CNN decides what’s important — a decision that tracks with keeping donkeys safe

New York Times mottoAs you may recall, CNN refused to cover State Sen. Leland Yee’s arrest in any detail because his was a local story, and that was beneath them.  This was true despite the fact that it was, by any standards, an exceptionally juicy narrative, complete with peculiarly named mobsters (“Shrimp Boy”), hypocritical politicians (gung-ho gun-control Yee selling black market weapons), and murderous Islamists (the recipients of those weapons).  ”Feh!” sneered CNN.  ”It’s in line with us covering state senators & state secretary of state races just about never. You see another conspiracy?”

In examining the veracity of that smear, let’s put aside CNN’s enthusiastic (although not as enthusiastic as MSNBC’s) Chris Christie coverage.  Arguably, Christie was cover-worthy because he had presidential aspirations, raising him above a mere “state senator.”

But what about U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister?  He’s the Louisiana congressman who was caught kissing a staffer.  Admittedly, he is a member of Congress, making him a nominally national figure, but honestly, it’s a generic story about a guy known only in his Louisiana parish:  politician runs on family values (and they all do) and then gets in trouble over a woman.  Except for the fact that there’s some implied sex, it’s not a sexy story, it’s not about a man who’s carved out a national reputation for himself, and it doesn’t implicate larger political concerns.  None of that has stopped CNN.

To date, and using CNN’s own search engine, I’ve found seven — count ‘em! seven! — CNN main stories and blog posts about McAllister:

CNN stories on McAllister

Over at NewsBusters, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham offer a primer on the decisions MSM outlets use when they determine what’s newsworthy. You won’t be surprised that the algorithm includes determining what’s good for Democrats and bad for Republicans. Nor will you be surprised to learn that Leland Yee isn’t the only utterly corrupt Democrat — and, moreover, one who is corrupt in interesting and creative ways — whose story the media has determined simply isn’t newsworthy.

The MSM works itself into a frenzy celebrating a “bipartisan” (but strangely Leftist) political cartoonist

Herb Block cartoonI found myself in the unfortunate position last night of having to watch HBO’s hagiography . . . oh, sorry — documentary about Herbert Block, who was a political cartoonist for the Washington Post for several decades.  Although the show’s ostensible premise was that Block (known professionally as Herblock) was a bipartisan scourge of all presidents, one wouldn’t have known that from watching the show.

Block himself admitted that he was a “liberal,” a statement that, when run through the HBO to English translator, comes out as pretty darn hard Left.  To the extent Block criticized Democrat presidents, it was because they weren’t Left enough for him as is the case with the cartoon above, which came out under Carter’s presidency.  Incidentally, Block admired Carter, which tells you everything you need to know about the man and his world view.  It’s patently clear that Block emerged from the Roosevelt era (yes, he started working back then) as a solid-Left Progressive.

My problems with the show began instantly when I didn’t get his cartoons.  (I didn’t get them when I was a youngster/Democrat either.)  They were neither funny nor clever nor astute nor well-drafted.  They were just illustrations consistent with the same points being made in that day’s Pravda.  If you want witty, brilliant, clever cartoons, you need to check out Michael Ramirez (who’s also a better draftsman than Block ever was).

All that is bad enough — hard-core Leftist praised as “centrist,” pedestrian drawings with Leftist themes — but what made the whole thing nightmarish was the parade of talking heads who repeated over and over again that Block was incredibly brilliant and bipartisan.  Yes siree, his views were middle of the road, you betcha.

These assurances that Block was as 1950s American as apple pie came from a laundry list of the Leftist media’s Who’s Who.  The WaPo, in its rave review about this HBO hagiography . . . sorry, there I go again.  Reset:  The WaPo, in its rave review about the documentary (because Block’s “brilliant” humor was bipartisan), also provides a useful list of all the rapturous media Lefties agreeing that Block was brilliant and, yes, bipartisan:

There’s Tom Brokaw, Ted Koppel, Jim Hoagland, Ken Auletta, Don Graham, Ben Bradlee, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Clarence Page, Hendrik Hertzberg, David Brooks, Bob Schieffer, Eugene Robinson, Thomas Friedman, Michael Beschloss; from the cartooning world, there’s Jules Feiffer, New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff and former Philadelphia Inquirer cartoonist Tony Auth; and from “The Daily Show,” there’s Jon Stewart and Lewis Black. To name a few.

Funnily enough, the show’s creators didn’t talk to Charles Krauthammer, or George Will, or even Michael Ramirez to learn more about Block’s brilliant bipartisanship.

Having watched the documentary last night, and then having spent today being bombarded with MSM hagiographies . . . er, obituaries about the “brilliant” Pete Seeger (the man who never met a communist madman/dictator he didn’t admire), I’m not sanguine about America’s future.  As long as the media continues to act as intermediary and interpreter for Americans viewing the world around them, things are only going to get worse at home and abroad, not better.

It turns out that Lincoln misspoke when he said that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.  If you’re America’s 21st century media machine, you actually can.

Monday morning mash-up — and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesLots of laundry to fold, but that doesn’t mean I can’t highlight a few things that caught my eye.

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Until our relatives moved away from Los Angeles, twice a year we used to make the trek from the Bay Area to Los Angeles and then back up again.  In the early years, when we hit the central valley, we went through productive farmland as far as the eye could see.  In the last few years — including the Bush years — we often found ourselves driving through a barren Dust Bowl.  It wasn’t a natural drought (which we in California are suffering through this year).  Instead, it was a government-created drought, brought about by rabid environmentalists who have successfully insisted that saving a very small fish is more important than feeding a nation.  Charles C. W. Cooke has more.

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The Military must view troops by the content of their character and their commitment to the United States, instead of just looking at beards and turbans.  Standards are certainly necessary for military discipline and cohesion, but it’s a stupid military that turns away the best people because of minor deviations from the uniform.

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The New York Times has always been a Leftist mouthpiece, but it prided itself on being a dignified Leftist mouthpiece.  Back in the day, it was “the Gray Lady” rather than the “wide-eyed, stoned conspiracy theorist.”  At PowerLine, in one of the best articles I’ve seen on the subject, John Hinderaker goes into full lawyer mode to analyze and destroy the Times over-the-top anti-Koch editorial — an editorial that seemed to have emerged without editing from the bowels of The Daily Kos.  I should add that, while Hinderaker’s demolition job is masterful, it’s going out to the choir.  The people who should be listening to him . . . won’t.

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While we’re on the subject of the far Left Times, P. David Hornik correctly identifies the Times’ Thomas Friedman as one of America’s worst purveyors of old-fashioned, “Elders of Zion” type antisemitism.

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From the Proving The Point Department comes an Atlantic blog comment elaborating on Rand Paul’s pointed remarks about Bill Clinton’s predatory behavior regarding women.  Adam Chandler starts by quoting Rand Paul’s comments, and then analyzes them briefly in the context of whether Hillary should be forced to pay for Bill’s sins.  He then quotes from Senate Majority Whip Dick Durban, who vociferously defends Hillary.  Chandler wraps up with a paragraph meant to point out that Bill didn’t really get a pass for his sexual misconduct:

Other yet might contend that President Clinton is hardly the recipient of a free pass with regard to l’affaire Lewinsky, even all these years later. During the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the Associated Press controversially incorporated the affair in a fact-check it conducted of Bill Clinton’s convention speech. And, as we mentioned, when Bill Clinton was named “Father of the Year” by the National Father’s Day Council just a few weeks back, radio silence was hard to come by.

One has to wonder if Chandler read what he wrote.  If Bill really didn’t get a pass for his sexual misconduct, which ranged from affairs, to sexual harassment, to rape, to predatory behavior against young girls in the work place, then he wouldn’t be speaking at the 2012 Democrat National Convention or be named “Father of the Year.”  He wouldn’t be the dynamo who fronted much of Obama’s 2012 campaign, and Democrats wouldn’t be excited about the fact that a Hillary presidency gives them a Bill Clinton repeat.  Of course he got a free pass.  The fact that a few articles rake up his significant misdemeanors means nothing when the Democrat establishment still embraces enthusiastically this old lech.  Bill Clinton — a Teddy Kennedy for the 21st Century.

Back in the saddle and ready to blog

Victorian posy of pansiesLong, long day.  Really long.  I spent it with my mother, an experience that always exhausts me.  Age has sucked everything but the life out of her.  There’s no vestige anymore of the person she once was.  That saddens me, even though I know it’s the way of things.  A day spent with her is no longer a day with Mom, which used to be my delight, but is, instead, a day spent with a very frail, very slow, somewhat confused, usually grumpy, very passive-aggressive, lovingly narcissistic, obsessive compulsive person.

I don’t regret the time.  I still love the person she was, so I care deeply for the person she is, but I always arrive home completely drained.  It takes energy for me to slow down to her speed (which is the same reason I never enjoyed toddlers) and it takes even more energy for me to deal with her relentless negativity and to track, and respond appropriately to, her often obscure conversation.  I’m a grumpy person myself, so I’ve told both the kids to kick me in the tuchus if, when I’m old, I whine endlessly.  I’ve told them to feel free to threaten me with their absence if I don’t clean up (or cheer up) my act.

Thankfully, I’ve now had a couple of hours to decompress.  My husband took my daughter and her friends to the movies, the dogs are washed and resting nearby, and the mouse is making music on its creaky little wheel.  Everything is peaceful.  I like peaceful, since it gives my brain freedom.  And with that mental freedom comes the urge to share my thoughts.  Here goes:

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Upside down nazi salute quenelleThe new Nazi salute rises in Europe.  Its practitioners say it’s a joke, because they angle their stiff arm downwards, not upwards.  Their claim that it’s a joke is a lie, of course.  They pair this neo-Nazi salute with the same venomous anti-Semitism that led the Nazis to create the gas chambers.  Also, it’s very bizarre to see black men do this salute, since the Nazis believed firmly in black racial inferiority  Hitler, as many recall, was livid when Jesse Owens swept the races during the 1936 Munich Olympics.  How dare he prove false one of the Nazi’s racial theories.

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Bloody fingerprints in BenghaziAndrew McCarthy has penned one of his best posts.  In addition to shredding the purported facts in the now-infamous New York Times whitewash of Benghazi history (which I won’t dignify with a link), McCarthy zeroes in on the real purpose behind the story — and it’s not just to salvage Hillary’s reputation:

[T]he objective of Kirkpatrick’s novella is not to persuade; it is to shrink the parameters of newsworthy inquiry to a punctilious debate over nonsense: The cockamamie trailer and the dizzying jihadist org chart.

[snip]

Coherence and historical accuracy are not what the Times is after. The aim is to drag our consideration of a jihadist act of war down a rabbit hole of nitpicking over which jihadists did what. Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s derelictions before, during, and after the massacre — the matter of greatest consequence — remain studiously outside this wearying crossfire.

Remember, the Times-Clinton tag team has run this play before. Start with a president using a young intern to turn the Oval Office into a brothel and then perjuring himself over it. Ought to be a removable offense, right? But the next thing you know, after some epic media investigation dictated by Democratic talking points, we find ourselves kvetching over whether it was really sex; whether she was of consenting age; whether he really lied; whether the lies were really “material”; whether a president’s Oval Office trysts are really part of his “private life”; and “what the definition of ‘is’ is.”

See? None of the ever tinier questions or answers matter. The idea is to exhaust the American attention span until enough people are persuaded that it’s time to — all together now — move on.

McCarthy ends his post with dozens of the big questions, the ones that need to be asked.  The tragedy of those questions, a tragedy in many ways greater even than those four lonely, violent deaths in Benghazi, is that no one will ever ask them.  The media surrounding Obama and Hillary doesn’t want to know the answer to those questions, and Obama and Hillary will be careful to avoid every coming into contact with the people willing to ask them.

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Behead those who insult IslamCaroline Glick sees a silver lining to that same New York Times article.  She believes that the Times, while trying to whitewash Obama and Hillary, accidentally admitted an important truth:  Radical Islam, which is a worldwide phenomenon made up of many groups and individuals, is the problem.   Al Qaeda is just one tiny drop in the Islamist ocean.  This reality runs counter to Obama’s own narrative.

Since bin Laden’s death, as you know, Obama has been boasting that al Qaeda is dead, meaning that America no longer need fear massive terrorist attacks or global warfare.  With that fiction in place, Obama has felt free to pal around with Iran, the Taliban, the Turkish government, etc.  The New York Times just blew that fiction to smithereens.  Either al Qaeda was the main actor in Benghazi, which means that Obama lied when he said it was defeated, dropped the ball in Benghazi, and lied after the fact; or al Qaeda didn’t commit the Benghazi massacre, which means that Obama lied when he said al Qaeda was the only Islamic enemy, and that he’s been exposing America to terrible danger by refusing to acknowledge terrorists other than al Qaeda.

I agree with Glick in principle, but believe that only a small subset of Americans will appreciate these subtleties.  Either they support Obama and Hillary or they don’t.  Nothing else matters.

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UCLAJonathan Marks writes a brilliant take-down of the antisemitic American Studies Association.

And speaking of the travesty that is modern academia, if you can get behind the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, please check out Heather MacDonald’s masterful exposure of the rot at the heart of UCLA’s English literature department.  Shakespeare is out and now English majors must take “a total of three courses in the following four areas: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability and Sexuality Studies; Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies; genre studies, interdisciplinary studies, and critical theory; or creative writing.”

It sure sounds as if the English Lit department has been transformed into the Marxist Social Issues department.  The students will learn how not to think.  Well, they’re actually learning how not to think in every department at every major American university.  (In years past, I might have excluded the sciences from that blanket statement, but the sciences’ impassioned embrace of the global warming hoax reveals that academia is tainted in toto.)  Worse, these English majors will never learn learn about the beauty of their mother tongue nor will they be exposed to big ideas about human kind.  Instead, their prose, and the thoughts underlying that prose, will be like this:

At its most intimate, colonization involves bodies, altering how subjects experience and conceive of desire, hunger, touch, comfort, pleasure, and pain. This panel seeks participants from all disciplines engaged with the objects of early American studies to contribute to a discussion of method and theory for understanding early American carnality. In particular, it is concerned with the intersection of bodily sensation with evolving understandings of empire, nation, encounter, and resistance. How was colonization effected through and affected by sensation? How do theories of affect and intimacy impact current early American historiographies, and vice versa? How might Americanists reconceptualize our understandings of the significance of empire and colonization through attentiveness to early American sensation? Proposals that consider race, gender, and/or sexuality dynamically or that explore economic status, religion, local conditions, or ethno-cultural identities as part of carnality strongly encouraged (though naming some themes is not meant to exclude other possibilities).

Each panelist will present a 10 minute paper and be paired with a respondent who will provide prepared comments. Respondents will ideally be non-early Americanists in order to foster temporal interdisciplinarity.

Mr. Bookworm doesn’t understand why I’m resistant to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to send my children to big name colleges. It’s not just that they’re rife with antisemitism and anti-Americanism.  It’s because major universities such as UCLA are neutering and Marx-icizing their English departments, meaning that the universities’ ultimate goal is for America’s “best and brightest” (or at least, her “A” and “B” students) to be taught to think and write in the way of American academics.

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Nuns caring for the sickEverything you need to know about the Obama administration:  It frees from prison Lynne Stewart, an unrepentant Communist who actively aided Islamist terrorism against the US, even as it gets ever-more-deeply involved in a down and dirty fight with nuns who refuse to let  the government force them to violate their religious conscience.  My money is on the nuns.  Obama may have a rigid ideology on his side, but the nuns are members of God’s army, and they will not give up the fight.  Fortunately, the Archdiocese of New York is not playing nice but is, instead, telling the world exactly what the Obama administration is doing — and what it’s doing is discriminating against traditional religion.

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Bradley KasalMary Tudor (1516-1558) lost Calais, the last English outpost in France.  She found that loss so horrifying that she said, “When I am dead and opened, you shall find `Calais’ lying in my heart.”  Barack Obama has lost Fallujah, the city that American troops, especially Marines, bled and died for, probably in greater numbers than in any other geographic site in our decade long battle against Islamists in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He hasn’t said a single word about this terrible loss, nor does he seem to care that he’s allowed ten years of hard-fought military victories to vanish in the blink of an eye.  When Obama dies and is opened, not only will no one find ‘Fallujah’ lying in his heart, no one will find a heart.

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Obama looking stupidTom Blumer details the five myths people have to believe in order to accept the Obama presidency as anything other than a disaster.  Two involve the economy, one involves Obamacare, one involves climate change, and the last is about national security.  2014 may well be the death of all these myths, but we’ll still be saddled with two more years of Obama.

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Kennedy girls 1960The Democrat party used to have genuine liberals in its numbers — people with a broad, classic education who envisioned a world that was better with America, not a world better off without America.  They may have been useful idiots who were unaware that they represented the pretty front of hardcore Leftism, but they were real.

These old-time liberal Democrats were the people who believed in equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.  They believed that men and women were different (and viva la difference), but that women were entitled to equal treatment under the law.  They would have scoffed at the notion that men, and all their biological impulses, are dangerous and  perverse, and should therefore be destroyed.  They believed wholeheartedly that blacks were their brothers and sisters, and deserved full standing under the law.  They would have been shocked to hear that the blacks were to be treated economically as marginally intelligent infants and sexually as uncontrolled adolescents.  That’s how the KKK and Jim Crow viewed blacks, and true liberal Democrats fought against those demeaning stereotypes.

Old-time liberal Democrats believed that Israel was a feisty nation, rooted in the Bible, burnished in the terrible crucible of the Holocaust, and to be applauded for fighting against the forces of Communist and Arabist darkness.  They would have been unable to comprehend a world in which their party mouthpieces bellowed loudly that Jews are the new Nazis, simply because they are trying to protect their whole country and their individual citizens from being overrun by genocidal, anti-Christian, misogynistic, homophobic, medieval minds.

Those old-time liberals Democrats, who did truly exist, are gone now.  To those of you like myself who were once Leftists, but now identify as conservatives, you’re not imagining it:  the political party you left beyond has truly gone ’round the bend.  They’re all Marxists now.

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When seconds count, the police are always minutes (74 minutes in this case) away.  Thank God for legal guns.

The Big Lie is already making the truth irrelevant; or, Republicans are once again waiting for the manure shower

Biff manureA friend sent me a very funny email.  I don’t know if the numbers are precisely accurate, but I do know that they’re accurate enough to serve a larger truth, namely America’s overwhelming turn in 1942 from a peacetime nation into a fully armed, fully operational wartime nation. In this way, the facts stated distinguish themselves from the Progressive concept of “truthiness,” which means “fake, but [God alone knows how] accurate”:

During the 3-1/2 years of World War 2 that started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and ended with the Surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945, the U.S. produced 22 aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 420 destroyer escorts, 203 submarines, 34 million tons of merchant ships, 100,000 fighter aircraft, 98,000 bombers, 24,000 transport aircraft, 58,000 training aircraft, 93,000 tanks, 257,000 artillery pieces, 105,000 mortars, 3,000,000 machine guns, and 2,500,000 military trucks.

We put 16.1 million men in uniform in the various armed services, invaded Africa, invaded Sicily and Italy, won the battle for the Atlantic, planned and executed D-Day, marched across the Pacific and Europe, developed the atomic bomb and ultimately conquered Japan and Germany.

It’s worth noting, that during the almost exact amount of time, the Obama administration couldn’t build a functioning web site.

To me, living in my  head as I do, a head filled with news and political commentary, the above is both funny and devastating.  It puts into perspective the pathetic disaster that was the Obamacare exchange launch and should remind everyone that a government this bad at one thing is almost certainly also a government incapable of performing the most basic functions . . . such as protecting us from our declared enemies.

Immediately after getting the above email, I read that the New York Times is working hard to re-write the Benghazi slaughter so as to clean up both Hillary’s and Barack’s reputations. And I know, and you know, that even though the New York Times is losing subscribers like mad, that fact is kind of irrelevant, because the Times still the news source for all sorts of other newspapers across America.  Go ahead.  Check out your morning local rag.  You’ll see that at least one story comes direct from the Times or from the Washington Post or from the Associated Press.  As Conan proved in a funny, fluffy video, no matter the outlet, the story’s always the same.

The Obama administration is now boasting that one million people signed up for Obamacare in December.  Maybe it’s true; maybe it’s not.  The two things we know with certainty are (1) that the media won’t press for the truth and (2) that the media will work as one in the coming months to shill for Obamacare.  The glitches are over; the wonders are on their way.

Yes, we who have not drunk the Kool Aid know that Obamacare will collapse under its own weight, but that doesn’t matter.  All that the media hustlers need to do is keep those plates spinning until the day after the November 2014 election.  After that, they’re home free no matter what happens.

And please don’t look to the Republican Party for help.  It’s so busy trying to take out the Tea Party (it’s bad for business, doncha’ know?) that it’s ignoring the most wondrous political opportunity handed to it since . . . well, since never before.  Rick Moran sounds the warning, but don’t expect the money guys in the GOP to hear that tocsin:

Are Republicans smart enough to counter this propaganda with nightmare stories about sky-high premiums, the cancellation of perfectly good insurance policies, website errors, and other tragic experiences that ordinary people have had with Obamacare? Democrats couldn’t accuse them of cherry picking bad news when they’re cherry picking good news.

This is a long-term war to be played out over the coming years. What I don’t see yet is a commitment from the national Republican Party to engage the resources necessary to counter the Democrats move for move. There doesn’t appear to be a plan in place which means they’ll be improvising on the fly. That just won’t cut it.

With the Obamacare website now largely operational, the first phase of the battle is over. But unless the GOP stays on its toes, they are likely to be buried by the administration PR machine.

The Leftist PR machine is gearing up hard.  Moreover, with this video as a graphic illustration, please remember that the agile Democrats are already on the move, while the Republicans are the ones sitting in the car:

A bouquet of stuff from all over

Quick Link and Open Thread imageThere’s so much good stuff out there on Mondays.  All the pent-up writer’s instinct and energy from the weekend seems to pour over into this day.  Here’s some of that good stuff:

Camille Paglia points out the obvious:  it’s false that a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.  Men are necessary to women’s survival and well-being.  The important thing, as I frequently point out, is to cultivate men’s virtues — and, as my readers have pointed out, to raise women who appreciate men’s best qualities.

And while we’re on the subject of men’s importance, did you know that the majority of crazed mass shooters in the past decades have come from single-mom homes with no stable male role model?  Guns are just tools.  What’s interesting is to see the dynamic social forces that lead young men to those tools:  my list now includes boys and young men who take psychotropic drugs, have Democrat or other leftist backgrounds, and were raised in broken homes usually headed by single moms.  Those are the types of people who use tools destructively.

I keep saying that Charles C.W. Cooke is rapidly becoming one of my favorite pundits.  Posts such as this one, about the media’s endless efforts to pin mass shootings on the Tea Party (instead of on the shooter, or psychotropic drugs, or Democrat backgrounds, or single moms, all of which actually tie in to mass shootings) explain why I like him so much.

Whatever Al Qaeda touches, it turns to shattered human flesh and bones.

Lawlessness at the top of an institution invariably filters downwards.  In Obama’s America, sheriff’s are now refusing to enforce gun laws.  Actually, though, to the extent that this “lawlessness” involves sheriff’s refusing to enforce new laws that violate the Second Amendment, I’m inclined to say that the nation’s sheriffs aren’t being lawless.  They are, instead, engaging in the time-honored American tradition of righteous civil disobedience.

Of course, the lawlessness isn’t just at the top.  There’s also a deep dishonesty that permeates the Left from top to bottom, with its most malevolent outlet in the American media.

North Korea is looking increasingly unstable.  While I’d love to see Kim’s government collapse, I worry that, given North Korea’s massive dysfunction, and the result of 60 years of national brainwashing, anything that is able to topple the Kim dynasty will be worse than the Kim dynasty (assuming that’s possible).

Good for ESPN’s Stephen Smith to speak out against the pariah status imposed on conservative blacks.

Obama’s efforts to polarize America for political ends have resulted in something very dangerous:  a polarized America.

Two on Kerry:  (1) His horrible, awful, dreadful, truly horrible (did I mention horrible?), self-defeating diplomacy; (2) and the fact that he never shuts up, but just keeps spouting nonsense.  In England’s Restoration period, the Earl of Rochester got himself banished from King Charles II’s court when he wrote this little doggerel:  “Here lies our sovereign Lord and King, whose word no man relies on; Who never said a foolish thing, nor ever did a wise one.”  Had I a knack for rhyme, I would rewrite that for Kerry, emphasizing both foolish talk and dangerous action.

Add the University of Maryland to the list of schools that wants to have all students pay $15 more per year for insurance so that a very small number of transgendered students can get free surgery.  On the one hand, $15 is only about 1% of the total cost of student insurance.  On the other hand, if you keep adding in these small amounts, you end up with big amounts.  And to show you how that works, I had a poetry book when I was young that included a poem in which the narrator describes  how Jane would offer him some pie.  “‘Will you have some pie?’” asked Jane.  Said I, ‘Just a little bit.’”  The narrator and Jane repeat this pattern several times.  Eventually, the narrator decides not to wait for Jane to ask him if he wants some pie.  Instead, he asks her for a slice of pie.  To his chagrin, Jane tells him that there’s none left:  “Little bit by little bit, I’d eaten every bit of it.”  And so it goes with trying to insure for every eventuality, including politically correct ones aiming at making everyone feel included in the insurance pie — at the end of the day, there’s nothing left.  Little bit by little bit, insurance costs have became unsustainable and no one can be insured.

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.

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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.

I’m not the only one noticing the Emanuel Goldsteining of Ted Cruz

The other day, I wrote that David Denby, a soggy leftist film reviewer at The New Yorker was trying his hands at political commentary with a hate piece against Ted Cruz — one based entirely on the fact that Denby, no beauty himself, finds Cruz physically unattractive.

I’m not the only one noticing the hate raining down on Cruz, a hatred unanchored to what he actually is, does or says.  Bryan Preston calls it “The Emanuel Goldstein-ing of Ted Cruz.”  Because you’re all ridiculously erudite (much more so than I am), you remember Emanuel Goldstein as the object of the daily “two minutes of hatred” in 1984.  It was a useful way to keep both party members and proles from turning their hatred and discontent onto Big Brother.

Los Angeles Times decides what’s true and what’s false when it comes to climate change and Obamacare

For at least a couple of hundred years in America, the “letters to the editor” section of any newspaper has been the one place where people can express views opposing a newspaper’s editorial content.  Newspapers felt sufficiently strong in their viewpoints that they figured that a few crackpot letters wouldn’t be enough to damage the paper’s reputation.  Now, though, the Los Angeles Times has announced that conflicting views are a bridge too far:

Regular readers of The Times’ Opinion pages will know that, among the few letters published over the last week that have blamed the Democrats for the government shutdown (a preponderance faulted House Republicans), none made the argument about Congress exempting itself from Obamacare.

Why? Simply put, this objection to the president’s healthcare law is based on a falsehood, and letters that have an untrue basis (for example, ones that say there’s no sign humans have caused climate change) do not get printed.

So the Los Angeles Times has taken it upon itself to pronounce anthropogenic global warming as settled science, despite the fact that even the IPCC is trying to squirm around the fact that all of its earlier data and hypotheses were wrong.  That tells you  pretty much everything you need to know about the drive-by media, which works in an ideologically closed system that makes no allowance for new, and especially conflicting, evidence.

And then there’s that other thing:  the Los Angeles Times also says that it’s false that Congress exempted itself from Obamacare.  That too is a giant leap of fact and faith for the Los Angeles Times.  While it’s true that Congress didn’t exempt itself from Obamacare, it made sure to insulate itself from Obamacare, which is just as bad.  In that regard, I think that Noel Sheppard, of Newsbusters, gives up a bit too quickly on the Obamacare point:

Of course, readers are likely just as concerned that the Times is also not publishing letters claiming Congress is exempt from ObamaCare.

After reviewing fact checks on this issue published by CNN, the Washington Post, and Yahoo, it appears the Times has a point here.

I respect Sheppard for being honest enough to concede on the facts but the facts actually support conservative complaints.  The CNN link is a good start explaining why Congress has effectively exempted itself:  CNN purports to do a fact-check on the claim that Congress gave itself a pass:

When Obamacare was passed into law, Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican, attached language to the bill that mandated members of Congress and their staffers would have to buy health insurance on the newly created health insurance exchanges. What nobody accounted for at the time was that members of Congress and their staffers currently have health insurance through their employer – the federal government. No other employer has been legally required to drop its employee’s health care plan and have them buy coverage on the exchanges.

Like most other large employers, the federal government contributes a portion to the premiums of its employees. In fact, like many employers, the federal government pays most of the premiums for its workers; an average of 72 percent on Capitol Hill. The law didn’t account for the continued employer contribution for these federal workers who would now be buying their insurance on the exchanges. The exchanges were designed to help people without health insurance and people with overly expensive health insurance. It became clear that without their employer contribution, members and their staffers would essentially be getting a cut in pay and benefits equal to thousands of dollars. Even Grassley, the provision’s author, had said the government should continue to contribute to lawmakers’ and staffers’ premiums. What the Obama administration has done is ruled that the congressional workers will continue to receive the employer contribution to help them buy their insurance on the exchange.

All those words!  What they boil down to is this:  The Obamacare health exchange is so expensive, in large part because plans must contain expensive benefits that people neither need nor want, that requiring employees to go into it will cost them thousands of dollars out of pocket which, as a practical matter, decreases employees’ take-home pay at the end of the day.  Therefore, Congress is giving employees (congress people and staffers alike) a stipend to offset that cost.  So yes, congress people and their staffers, unlike other Americans, are being forced into the exchange, but Congress has made sure to insulate them from its devastating economic impact.  This insulation is tantamount to an exemption, because Congress won’t feel the pain.

In this regard, it’s unlike other Americans who are feeling the pain very badly.  The law’s terms mean that they too are being forced into the exchange, but without the nice little stipend to offset costs that Congresws gave itself.  For example (h/t Gateway Pundit):

Across North Carolina, thousands of people have been shocked in recent weeks to find out their health insurance plans will be canceled at the end of the year – and premiums for comparable coverage could increase sharply.

One of them is George Schwab of Charlotte, who pays $228 a month for his family’s $10,000 deductible plan from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

In a Sept. 23 letter, Blue Cross notified him that his current plan doesn’t meet benefit requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act and suggested a comparable plan for $1,208 a month – $980 more than he now pays.

“I’m 62 and retired,” Schwab said. “This creates a tremendous financial burden for our family.

“The President told the American people numerous times that… ‘If you like your coverage, you can keep it,’” Schwab said. “How can we keep it if it has been eliminated? How can we keep it if the premium has been increased 430 percent in one year?”

[snip]

Under the new law, all insurance plans must cover 10 “essential health benefits,” including maternity care and pediatric dental and vision care. Plans must also provide certain preventive services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies for free.

Today, people who buy individual policies often choose plans without maternity coverage, for example, to reduce premiums. That choice is gone, too.

“Now maternity is loaded into everybody’s plan,” Blount said.

That means men will generally be paying more than they did before. But women, who can no longer be charged more just for being female, will probably pay less.

[snip]

Blue Cross spokesman Lew Borman said Friday that large premium increases will affect about one-third of the approximately 400,000 North Carolina customers who buy Blue Cross insurance in the individual market. Some of their policies were canceled because they didn’t meet the new federal standards, he said.

[snip]

Michael Hood, 46, who lives near Winston-Salem, is another of the Blue Cross customers who is suffering sticker shock after receiving a recent renewal letter.

He and his wife, who is expecting their third child, now pay $324 per month for a plan with a $10,000 family deductible. The comparable plan suggested by Blue Cross for next year would cost $895.27 per month with an $11,000 family deductible. Their annual payment would rise from $14,000 to $24,000.

Self-employed as part owner of a medical device distributorship, Hood said he and his wife “try to live a healthy lifestyle and keep our medical costs down.” They chose the high-deductible plan to keep their premium low.

Hood said his income is about $85,000 a year, which would mean he might be able to qualify for a subsidy. He said he checked the online marketplace, which has been operating only sporadically this week, and didn’t think it looked like his family would be eligible.

One of the pluses of any new plan is that it will cover maternity care, which his current plan doesn’t. But “is that really worth paying $1,000 a month more for?”

“I’m angry that legislation has been passed that is forcing me to purchase something that otherwise I would not have to purchase,” Hood said.

“The president told us Obamacare would make health insurance affordable and reduce costs. It is now impossible for our family to afford private health insurance.”

By enacting legislation that protects itself from the pain ordinary Americans are feeling, Congress has indeed exempted itself from Obamacare.  And that’s no lie.

BBC goes the extra mile to pretend that Islam had nothing to do with yesterday’s murder spree in Kenya

We know the facts:  Gunmen invaded a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that is primarily frequented by Westerners.  By the end of the attack, at least 39 people had been murdered and 150 injured.  There may still be hostages.  An African Muslim group called Al-Shabaab announced soon after the attack that this was intended to be a targeted attack against non-Muslims.  Lest anyone be unclear about this concept, it spelled it out:  “Only Kuffar were singled out for this attack. All Muslims inside #Westgate were escorted out by the Mujahideen before beginning the attack.”

Funnily enough, the BBC, which still clings to its reputation as a news service, failed to get Al-Shabaab’s memorandum.  When the inimitable Zombie went to check out the BBC’s coverage, the BBC turned out to have tuned out Islam from its reporting:

The BBC’s lead story this afternoon was almost a study in journalistic malfeasance: an archetypal example of how left-leaning Western journalists will violate their own consciences — and the basic principles of reporting — in their relentless quest to hide the truth.

 Such bias happens every day, and complaints about it happen just as often, but the sheer volume and speed of partisan reporting makes it difficult to highlight a single example. Even so, let’s pause for just a moment and dissect this typical specimen of ideological media spin.

The article under discussion can be found here — at least for now. Since media outlets often delete articles which they later find embarrassing, I can’t guarantee it will be online forever, so to preserve the evidence I took a screenshot, which you can see here.

[snip]

Right off the bat, even in the headline itself, the BBC commits a litany of egregious and inexcusable journalistic errors.

The first and most obvious blunder is the missing subject. Who did what? Well, according the the BBC, an entity called a “shoot-out” committed mass murder in Nairobi. Note how there are no human actors in the headline. It wasn’t people who killed 11, it was an inanimate and leaderless “shoot-out” that killed 11.

This is a basic grammatical snafu which even freshmen journalism students quickly learn to avoid. But not the BBC, apparently.

On a second, more subtle, level, use of the word “shoot-out” implies that there were two equal combatants involved, and that therefore blame can be spread around to everyone. But as we know, it wasn’t at first a “shoot-out” — it was a group of terrorists massacring unarmed non-Muslims. (Only much later, after police arrived, did it devolve into a shoot-out.)

Since the BBC has been one of the world’s leading media outlets for nearly a century, and in previous generations set the global standard for news-writing guidelines, they have absolutely no excuse for writing a headline like that — they can’t claim “We’re new at this kind of thing” or “We’re just bloggers — cut us some slack.” No. The BBC literally wrote the book on how to write proper headlines. And if they write a poor headline like this, it must be on purpose.

I urge you to read Zombie’s entire post, just so you know how the Left lies to people.

To appreciate the scope of its egregiously misleading excuse for journalism, imagine if, when Hitler’s troops invaded Poland, jump-starting WWII, the BBC headline had been “Scattered German Troops Engage Some Polish Citizens In Battle.”

Barack Obama and the new world of the permanent campaign

I wasn’t paying attention, but it seems that the New York Times now has a dedicated Hillary reporter, even though the elections is more than three years away.  Does this mean that we can finally abandon the pretense of media impartiality?  This far in advance, having that kind of round-the-clock, individualized coverage from what many still consider (Gawd knows why) the premier paper in America, amounts to three years worth of non-cash campaign contributions.

Here’s one question for you, though:  Do you think that a dedicated reporter will be able, not just to cover, but to cover for Hillary for an entire three years?  It’s almost impossible to believe that, considering their own actions, their cronies’ actions, and their Foundation’s financial shenanigans, Hillary will be able to keep her nose clean.

And I haven’t forgotten that the National Enquirer, which doesn’t lie anymore about famous figures since the Carol Burnett lawsuit, claims that she’s working on a tell-all biography in which she finally admits that she’s been lying to Americans for decades by pretending she’s not a lesbian.  In that regard, it’s not the lesbianism that I mind, it’s the lying.  More than that, having her hold such a potentially embarrassing secret while she was First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, raises the distinct possibility that unfriendly world players, such as Russia, have been able to blackmail her, her husband, and her political allies, over the years.

By the way, Seth Mandel has a much deeper, and more thoughtful, post about the ramifications of the Times’ decision.

Obama and Henry II; Obama and Martin Niemöller; and Obama and Al Capone

Congratulations, folks!  When it comes to the IRS audit scandal, you are about to get three apt historical comparisons in a single post.

The background, of course, is the cascading downpour of news stories revealing that the IRS deliberately audited Tea Party groups, patriot groups, small government groups, and pro-Israel groups.  The auditing started in 2010, but reached a crescendo during Obama’s campaign for re-election.  The result was that several groups hostile to Obama and his policies were completely broken or rendered paralyzed during key moments in the Obama administration.  Obama’s responsibility, and the reaction to this true witch-hunt made me think of three historic parallels.

1.  Obama and Henry II.  I’m willing to bet you never thought of Obama in connection with Henry II (1133-1189).  Henry was the lusty, rowdy, all-conquering (at least initially) 12th century English king who married Eleanor of Aquitaine, the richest, most beautiful woman in Europe; ruled large sections of France; fathered sons who went off on crusades and set put a signature to the first “rights” document ever written; and generally set the stage for England’s prominent role on the world stage for so many centuries.

Obama is the exact opposite — not lusty, not rowdy, terrified of conquest, married to a woman whose primary claim to beauty is her arms, etc.  And yet, there’s a thread that binds them.  I thought of it when I read about the defense Obama-ites are offering when it comes to the really horrible scandal about the IRS targeting conservative groups and Jewish groups, essentially disabling them during Obama’s first term and, especially, in the lead-up to the election.

According to Obama’s defenders, even if one concedes that what the IRS did was a bad thing, Obama shouldn’t be touched by the scandal.  It was not Barack’s fault.  Leave Barack alone!!  The IRS’s version of events is that  “low level” employees committed these tyrannical acts.  The New York Times goes so far as to blame the whole thing on the GOP (and certainly wins the George Orwell “1984″ Reporting Award for doing so).  Message:  this is not Obama’s fault.  Barack Obama himself has gone on record as being surprised and dismayed.

You know what?  This may be true.  I’m perfectly willing to believe that Obama didn’t personally order these audits.  But I can’t help thinking of Henry II.  Once upon a time, early in his reign, Thomas Becket was Henry II’s closest friend.  The relationship lasted right up until Henry elevated Becket to be Archbishop of Canterbury.  It was then that Becket, who had been a priest for years, finally had his “come to Jesus” moment.  He began opposing Henry vigorously on government policies that affected the Church, so much so that he became a thorn in Henry’s side.

Eventually, goaded beyond bearing, Henry cried out rhetorically “Will no one rid me of this turbulent (or meddling) priest?” (or, perhaps, the wordier “What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?”).  It’s important to note that Henry never ordered Becket’s death.  He just whined about the fact that Becket’s existence interfered with his goals.  Four of Henry’s knights heard these words and decided to help out.  They rode to Canterbury and stabbed Thomas to death inside the Cathedral itself.

Although the facts made it impossible to hold Henry guilty for having ordered Becket’s death, everyone understood that his attitude caused it.  Henry was castigated throughout Europe.  Four years after Becket’s death, he donned a sack-cloth and walked barefoot through Canterbury’s streets as eighty monks flogged him with branches. Henry then spent the night in the martyr’s crypt.  Henry also promised the Papacy that he’d go crusading in Becket’s memory, although never did so.  As it happened, Richard I, Henry’s oldest son, more than made up for his father’s broken promise.

Obama has made it plain in almost every speech he’s given that Republicans must be destroyed.  He has not treated them as partners in governing America.  Through straw men arguments, slanders, and insults, he has painted them as the other and made it clear that the only way for him to achieve full greatness is for his enemy to be wiped out.  Small wonder that party loyalists, whether at the upper level of the IRS or in the Ohio office too him seriously.

Even if Obama is not practically culpable, he is morally culpable, just as Henry was for Becket’s death.

2.  Obama and Martin Niemöller.  The IRS scandal has been brewing for a long time.  Conservative bloggers and pro-Israel groups have been complaining for years about their targeting.  The mainstream media completely ignored these complaints, or, alternatively, contended that they occurred because the GOP politicized everything, so every conservative organization was political.  The media and the White House would have happily continued along this path if Lois Lerner, for reasons that are still unclear, hadn’t blown the story wide-open by admitting that targeting happened.

The Obama administration’s and the media’s responses, reminded me forcefully of Pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous statement after WWII, when he was strongly regretting his Nazi past:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

3.  Obama and Al Cap0ne The press has been ignoring Benghazi as much as possible.  They’re starting to wake up a little bit to the fact that they were played (or rather, they let themselves be played), but it’s been a slow boil, one that took eight months and enormous pressure from the GOP, conservatives generally, and the families of those who died.  Even the recent hearing haven’t gotten them too excited, as they try to exculpate Hillary and Obama, downplay the credentials of the whistle-blowers, and generally hew to their “nothing to see here; move along” attitude.  Most reasonable thinkers admit that, while embarrassing for Obama, nothing that has yet been revealed about his defalcation and cover-up will justify legal action or impeachment claims against him.

It’s been different with the IRS scandal.  Once it couldn’t deny the story any more, the media has really gone after it.  Even Morning Joe, one of the normally complacent Obama Administration shows on MSNBC, was upset by this tyranny.  We now know what really puts the fear of Gaia into Leftists:  They’re not worried about terrorist attacks; they’re afraid of an IRS audit.  That’s pathetic, of course, but there’s a good side.  If the IRS audit scandal exposes the corruption running deep and wide through the Obama administration, I guess that’s good, with the end (the administration’s downfall) mattering more than the means to achieve it.

All of which made me think of Al Capone.  He was the biggest mob boss in the 1920s.  In addition to the direct hits he ordered, one cannot count the numbers of lives lost to the moral degeneration and violence that flowed throughout American society because of Capone’s rum running and prostitution businesses.  The problem for the Feds was that Capone kept his fingerprints off these grossly illegal and immoral activities.  Everybody knew he was involved, but prosecutors couldn’t prove it.  What they could prove, though, was that Al Capone lied on his tax returns — and that’s how he ended up spending years in federal prison.  Capone emerged from Alcatraz broken, broke, and rotting inside from the syphilis that eventually killed him.

Thinking of Al Capone, there is some irony to the fact that it might be taxes that bring down one of the most corrupt administrations in American history.

(This post has been updated to clear away a totally embarrassing typo that saw me confuse Richard I’s and Richard III’s numerical designator.)

You can help change the television landscape

I haven’t forgotten the collaborative post I put up after the election regarding the need for conservatives to create an alternate media challenging liberal paradigms.  I was therefore delighted to see that the Kochs are thinking of buying up old Leftist media outlets and reconfiguring them as honest news outlets — meaning outlets that either honestly report the news or honestly identify their own biases.

The Kochs are at one end of the economic spectrum when it comes to revitalizing conservative participation in the media.  At the other end comes a very good idea that is currently being crowd sourced (meaning that, if you donate money, the people with the idea can bring it to fruition).  Check out the proposal for a new gun show called Shoot to Thrill.  And if you like it, send a few bucks their way.  Game changers don’t have to be big moments.  They can be low-level trends that lead towards tipping points.  Demystifying the Hollywood treatment of guns — evil except when they’re in an action hero’s hands — will go a long way to changing the gun debate.

What will the people of Boston do now? Get mugged by reality or rationalize Muslim violence?

The day the bombing took place, I looked at the MO and thought it more likely than not to be a Muslim attack.  I stated:

There are two ways Boston can go.  It can be a liberal mugged by reality and get over its delusional belief that, if America will just do whatever the Islamists want, they will leave us alone, or it can go the way it went with gun control — enacting liberty-limiting laws that do nothing to prevent future tragedies, and allowing its native son, John Kerry, to grovel apologetically before the authors of this bloodshed.

That question remains.

The Chechen angle, however, throws in a twist that ought to have Bostonians thinking even harder than before.  Liberals could explain away a Middle Eastern Islamic attack by focusing on Palestinians, Iraq, or Afghanistan.  But how do you explain away two boys raised, mostly, in America, attending good schools, and having no connection whatsoever to the Middle East?  Is this the moment when some liberals begin to realize that Islam has issues?  Or will they once again rationalize this away as two crazy, murderous people who just coincidentally happen to have been Muslims, and who just coincidentally filled their Facebook pages with violent Muslim propaganda?

Good questions, and ones that only Bostonians and their liberal ilk around America can answer.

I’ll say only that, between (a) Kermit Gosnell’s mass murder spree, which the MSM ignored because of its anti-abortion connotations, and (b) the MSM’s repeated missteps regarding the Boston bombing (including their instant “Tea Party murderer” narrative), this has not been a good week for the mainstream media.  They, of course, will forgive themselves.  I’m just wondering if the American people will be stupid enough to forgive them too.

There’s an old saying:  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  But what in the world is left to say after you’ve been fooled a thousand times and keep going back for more? That goes beyond shame into realms of Darwinian stupidity.  If Americans forgive again, we deserve what we get.

Mass murder? Meh! Media shrugs collective shoulders because murderer is an abortionist

Newborn baby seconds after delivery

I’m not 100% pro-Life.  It’s hard for me to shake off the vestiges of spending 40 years in a pro-Choice world (the SF Bay Area) — and that’s despite the fact that I know that the pro-Life position is intellectually and morally the better position.  I haven’t yet shaken a visceral feeling that sometimes there ought to be a way out from pregnancy.  I have to say, though, that after writing the Gosnell article, below, for Mr. Conservative, I wasn’t faking my outrage.  It’s quite obvious why the media is hiding this story:  it completely destroys the clinically “clean” pro-Abortion narrative:

***

Given the national media’s love affair with grotesque murders involving dead children or large numbers of victims, you’d think that a story about the brutal murder of dozens of screaming, writhing children would be the lead story in every American media outlet. You’d think wrong. When the story is about an abortion clinic in a poor, black neighborhood in Philadelphia, where a doctor routinely aborted full-term babies and, when they emerged alive and kicking, cut their necks with scissors, the national media falls silent.

The Leftist American media is invested in a very specific abortion narrative, one that disregards entirely the value of human life. Famed atheist Richard Dawkins neatly summarized the pro-abortion world view when he tweeted that a human fetus is less human than an adult pig. This explains why America’s reporters don’t run screaming from the room when a representative of Planned Parenthood – an organization invited to speak in schools all over the nation — argues with a straight face that it’s a woman’s choice to abort a child that’s already been born alive. Ours is a spectacularly biased media.

An unbiased media, one concerned only with reporting news that sells papers, would have given this mass murder story the highest possible profile, shilling it in every paper and magazine, and rehashing it endlessly on TV. However, as Kirsten Powers reports at USA Today, the American media has completely ignored what may be the most sensational, grotesque, stomach-churning, mass-murder case in American history:

Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven’t heard about these sickening accusations?

It’s not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell’s former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart.

NBC-10 Philadelphia reported that, Stephen Massof, a former Gosnell worker, “described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, ‘literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body.” One former worker, Adrienne Moton, testified that Gosnell taught her his “snipping” technique to use on infants born alive.

Massof, who, like other witnesses, has himself pleaded guilty to serious crimes, testified “It would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.” Here is the headline the Associated Press put on a story about his testimony that he saw 100 babies born and then snipped: “Staffer describes chaos at PA abortion clinic.”

***

A Lexis-Nexis search shows none of the news shows on the three major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last three months. The exception is when Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan hijacked a segment on Meet the Press meant to foment outrage over an anti-abortion rights law in some backward red state.

The Washington Post has not published original reporting on this during the trial and The New York Times saw fit to run one original story on A-17 on the trial’s first day. They’ve been silent ever since, despite headline-worthy testimony.

We don’t need to ask what was going on at Gosnell’s clinic, because the answerer is obvious. This was Nazi-scale mass murder, done for profit and, quite possibly, for ethnic cleansing. One of the pro-abortion crowd’s most carefully held secrets is that the American abortion industry targets blacks. Planned Parenthood founder was a racist who viewed abortion as a way to destroy the black population. Gosnell’s clinic was in a primarily African-American neighborhood and the women who sought his services were black. (Watch a black Planned Parenthood worker assault a peaceful pro-Life picketer.) Gosnell, a black man who charged poor black and immigrant women up to $1,600 for an abortion, was willing to engage in racial cleansing for profit.

If you look back at Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930s, you see that ordinary Germans (not party members, but the regular guys and gals on the street) thought of themselves as decent people. They just wanted a better world for themselves and their children. The evil began when their Leftist political and media leaders convinced them that the barrier to this better world was “the other” (whether “the other” was a Jew, a Gypsy, a homosexual, or a physically or mentally handicapped person). Having targeted “the other,” these totalitarian thought-leaders were easily able to convince people that “the other” wasn’t just a problem, but was also subhuman and could be exterminated with as much ease and as little compassion as one kills a cockroach. That was the road to Auschwitz.

The unhappy truth is that America’s Leftist politicians and media are methodically training us in the same way. For many women, especially those who are young and careless, or young and poor, babies are expensive, inconvenient, and generally burdensome. Sex is nice for these women — and babies, well, not so much…. If you want these women to vote for you, you promise to give them sex without babies. Fetuses, sadly, don’t vote, and that’s true even though, from the moment of conception, they have all the ingredients necessary for future voters.

To this end — giving women easy sex so as to get their votes — America’s Progressive politicians and media have spent more than 40 years training us to think of the fetus as a parasitical “other.” The next step, as the Nazis knew, is to assure us that exterminating this “other” is as easy and requires as little compassion as killing a cockroach. Kermit Gosnell upset this sterile, woman-friendly narrative. The testimony in his case reveals that these “others” — these “cockroaches” — looked like babies, they cried like babies and, like any babies slaughtered by a mass murderer, they screamed in pain and rained down fully human blood and tissue down on those who killed them.

Most Americans agree that there are certain limited circumstances in which abortion can be justified. What the media hides from them — and this is the reason that the media has blacked-out the Gosnell trial — is that the American abortion industry kills babies (especially minority babies) with the same grim efficiency and absence of emotion seen in Nazis, Soviets, North Koreans, or any other totalitarian regime. Kermit Gosnell’s slaughterhouse house ripped aside the gauzy “a woman’s right to choose” narrative and showed us the inside of the gas chamber.

(Go here to learn more facts about abortion in America.)

Illegal immigrant and pedophile kills: uses single rifle blast to kill woman protecting her daughter from him

(First published at Mr. Conservative, but I wrote it, and it’s vintage Bookworm Room)

Maria Saucedo, who was only 31, died the other day in Arizona when Jose Zarate shot her in the chest with a rifle after she refused to let him date her daughter. This sounds like a very ordinary tragedy, but it isn’t. Instead, it perfectly represents the way the Left has used bad ideas and corrupt language to allow terrible things to happen in this country.

Jose Zarate, who is 25-years-old, wanted to date Saucedo’s 13-year-old daughter. When Saucedo objected, Zarate pulled out a rifle and shot Saucedo in the chest, killing her. After his arrest, Deputy Joaquin Enriquez stated that “Sheriff’s deputies say Zarate is a non-U.S. citizen who has been living in the country without proper authorization.” In other words, Zarate is an illegal alien, a pedophile, and a murderer.

Gun grabbers have been noticeably silent about this horrible crime – perhaps because speaking up about it would force them to acknowledge that none of their proposed new laws would have stopped this man. He couldn’t have passed a background check, yet he had a gun; and he needed only one shot to kill Saucedo, so gun magazine sizes would have been irrelevant to his crime.

The only thing that might have stopped Zarate was to keep him out of this country in the first place. That, however, is not something the American political class is willing to do. Democrats want all those potential voters, legal or not. Instead, Leftists are trying to use language to massage away the fact that it’s illegal to enter this country without permission.

Watch reporters contort themselves and distort the language to avoid saying anything negative about people who become criminals the minute they step into this country:

The Leftist AP, which is one of the primary news sources in America, just announced that in future reporting, it will no longer use the phrases “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant.” Instead of judgmental nouns, it will opt for less judgmental verbs. AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll explained that AP will henceforth refer only to people who happen to be “living in or immigrating to a country illegally.” Deputy Enriquez (quoted above) clearly knew the AP rules when he spoke to the press.

George Orwell, who knew Leftist thinking from the inside out, and viewed it with both fear and disgust, famously said that “political speech and writing,” by which he meant Leftist influenced political speech and writing, “are largely the defense of the indefensible.” He warned, too, that “if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” In the story of Jose Zarate, we are seeing both corruption of language and thought, as a flurry of deadening words are used to hide the fact that a man whose very existence here was criminal, attempted pedophilia and, when blocked, committed cold-blooded murder.

The media’s approach to Rand Paul’s filibuster: pretend it never happened *UPDATED*

Yesterday, Rand Paul embarked upon a nearly 12-hour-long standing filibuster.  The filibuster’s ostensible purpose and practical effect was to delay a vote on John Brennan’s nomination to head the CIA.  It’s real purpose, though, was to force Attorney General Eric Holder to answer a straightforward question:  “Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?”

Paul posed this question because, on Monday, in a letter responding to questions Paul had about the drone program on American soil, Eric Holder had written that the President could order a drone strike on American citizens in America, if there was a 9/11 situation.  Thus, Holder confined his answer to the President’s power in the event of actual combat on American soil.  Eric refused to respond to Paul’s follow-up question about a non-combat scenario.

So Paul filibustered, and filibustered, and filibustered.

During his epic speech, in the course of which he even quoted Alice in Wonderland, Paul came up with some liberty-oriented bon mots that will forever enter the conservative playbook:

“They shouldn’t just drop a Hellfire missile on your cafe experience.”

“If you give up your rights now, don’t expect to get them back.”

[A hypothetical question to President Obama:]  “So you can murder anyone you want, anywhere, any time?”

Paul not only managed to derail the scheduled vote for John Brennan, he forced Eric Holder to answer his question.  Today, Eric Holder issued what is probably the world’s shortest letter ever written by a lawyer:

Rand Paul won -- Holder gave him his answer

During his filibuster odyssey, Paul demonstrated that he is a lucid speaker, who still managed to make sense after almost twelve hours on his feet.  No wonder the Young Gun Republicans in the Senate soon rallied to his cause.  (And no wonder the Old Gun Republicans went off to enjoy an expensive dinner with Barack Obama.)

In one staggering feat, Rand Paul demonstrated he is contender material for the 2016 presidential election.  Those who have been paying attention know that he has been angling in that direction for some months now, both by speaking up for Tea Party interests and by trying to convince both conservative and Progressive Jews alike that he does not share the disdain his father, Ron Paul, seems to feel for Israel.

These plays, however, were inside baseball stuff, with only political junkies paying attention to Paul’s Tea Party and Jewish outreach.  The general public, including the conservative-leaning general public, was not paying much attention.

That all changed yesterday, with Paul’s filibuster.  He really did channel Jimmy Stewart, in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington:  He was boyish look, deeply committed to the cause of truth and liberty, and still making sense after hours of talking.  Moreover, unlike Stewart, who was merely acting, Paul was really doing this.  The conservative side of the internet went wild.  This was Paul’s moment.  This was when he catapulted himself into being a national player.  Now the world — or, if not the world, America — will know that there is someone with political substance aiming to challenge Hillary’s almost inevitable 2016 run.

Except that’s not what happened.

Instead, of reporting honestly about one man’s impressive performance in the United States Senate, the mainstream, drive-by media did what it does best:  it pretended Paul’s epic filibuster never happened.  In some of the nation’s main newspapers, his dramatic stand for individual liberty didn’t even make the front page or, if it did, it was buried within another story about Senate business or was the subject of an attack about his being a dangerous loose cannon.

I hereby give you exhibits A, B, C, and D.  The print is small in all of these front page captures, but it’s still large enough for you to see what’s missing — any mention, especially approving mention, of Paul’s epic stand:

New York Times buries Rand Paul filibuster
Washington Post buries Rand Paul filibuster
Los Angeles Times buries Rand Paul filibuster
San Francisco Chronicle buries Rand Paul filibuster

The above front pages from some of the dominant newspapers in America provide a textbook example of mainstream media control over political dialogue in America. The media’s playbook is simple: For Democrats, elevate good stories and bury bad ones. For Republicans, elevate bad stories and bury good ones.

Because the drive-by media is no longer interested in reporting news, but only cares about obtaining outcomes, it is up to us — the Citizen Information Army, a CIA we hope John Brennan will never control — to offset the media hegemony.  We do this by elevating good stories about the Republicans and reporting on bad stories about the Democrats. We have our orders now. Let’s march!

UPDATE:  Don Quixote, who’s more aware of television than I am, told me that the Today Show this morning did do a fairly superficial segment on the filibuster.  Let’s hope it was better than CNN’s coverage.  Ed Driscoll caught the fact that, while CNN did provide some reporting the filibuster, including commentary from Reason’s Mike Rig, it still let its bias shine through.  Check out the chyron CNN applied to the tape of Paul talking:

Media Bias

Although subtle, Ed notes that these things matter: “[T]he Chyron is likely the only thing the now-proverbial low-information voter will take from Paul’s historic filibuster.”

Friday morning round-up

If ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise — especially when the subject is Islam.

Today is the day that Obama (at extraordinary cost) flew all over the country to hype as Armageddon.  I got out of bed this morning, looked up, and saw the sky right where it belonged.  “Wow,” I said to myself.  “The sky didn’t fall.  I think someone lied to me.”  Krauthammer thinks the same.  The Dems were on to something with their “never let a crisis go to waste” policy.  Where they erred was in thinking they could use that policy effectively by faking crises.  That might have been a mistake for them — and I hope it was a big mistake.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Mia Farrow inadvertently said something very important.  “Bob Woodward burned his cloak of impartiality.”  What did Woodward do to start this conflagration?  Acting as an actual investigative journalist, he reported that Obama lied about the sequestration.  In other words, “impartiality” means “the Obama party line.”  I have a friend who loves Jon Stewart.  He cannot understand when I say that, aside from finding Stewart too puerile and crude to be funny, I don’t like his biased humor.  “Bias?  There is no bias,” says my friend.  According to him, the impartial truth is that, 90% of the time (per Stewart) conservatives are stupid, mean, and wrong, while that’s only true (maybe) about 10% of the time for Democrats.

I couldn’t agree more with this article urging that schools have children read the Bible, not as a religious book, but as literature.  The King James Bible is, without doubt, one of the most beautifully written books in the English language, and one that enriches our speech every day.  And if a little morality rubs off along the way, well, who’s to say that’s a bad thing?

Who knew that Michelle Obama had so much in common with ancient Sparta?  Following her fitness program is now a “patriotic obligation.”  Considering that Sparta was a, well, spartan, warlike, slave state, I’m not sure I like this.  It’s one thing if people want to be physically fit (as I do).  It’s quite another thing when the state makes it a civic obligation that, ultimately, as a civic obligation, will be enforced using all the state’s power.

One of my long-time blog friends, and one of the smartest women in the conservative blogosphere has a fascinating post up at PJ Media about the transition from liberal to conservative — one that sees many of us following a Churchillian political trajectory.  I think many Bookworm Room readers will recognize themselves in her post.  I certainly see myself.

Also at PJ Media, David Goldman brings some of his always interesting insights to bear on the warped, and definitely pre-modern, mental life of Obama’s favorite political leader, Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan, as you may recall, is the Muslim political leader who just the other day called Zionism a “crime against humanity.”

When Whitney Houston, the pathetically drug addicted diva, died in her bath, Obama paused in his busy campaign to acknowledge her passing.  To date, Obama has said nothing about Chris Kyle, a man who fought ferociously in the military that Obama heads, given his constitutional status as Commander in Chief.  Keith Koffler rightly calls Obama out on this revolting silence.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say as the day rolls on, but this is a start.

 

Color me prescient — Woodward in the crosshairs

 

Fortune teller

Yesterday, regarding Bob Woodward’s openly stated claims that Obama’s White House bullied him and that Obama’s conduct amounts to madness, I made this prediction:

Woodward is very much mistaken if he thinks the current generation of media types will support him in the long run, if he continues to attack Obama.  If he doesn’t step back and start to toe the party line, the Obamabots in the media will shred his reputation, blackmail him (if they can), and generally reduce him to Sarah Palinesque pariah status.

Honestly, it wasn’t that impressive a prediction because it falls in the same category as predicting that the sun will rise tomorrow in the east or that water will . . . wait for it . . . flow downhill.  Still, to the extent I made a prediction, I’m pleased to report that I was absolutely correct.

Obama “senior advisor” David Plouffe went on Twitter to say that Woodward has become too old to matter.  Other current generation reporters, the ones who confuse sycophantic propaganda with old-style investigative reporting, were equally vicious and/or dismissive of this one-time journalism icon.

Though no one’s disputed Woodward’s reporting, the media’s Cult of Obama began pushing back against the Watergate legend even before he dropped the bomb last night that he had been threatened by a top White House official.

But when that news hit, many in media immediately chose to protect Obama by ridiculing Woodward, questioning his motives, and/or dismissing his reporting.

Meet the members of the Cult of Obama…

Politico White House reporter Glenn Thrush:

Wonder if Woodward has humped up his book sales from GOPers, ie Amity Schlaes
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) February 28, 2013

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith:

Wish I could claim credit for this observation by a friend: “In which Bob Woodward shows he too can master the new media landscape”
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) February 28, 2013

Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg:

Hezbollah is intimidating. Gene Sperling writing, “I think you will regret staking out that claim” is not intimidating. cc: @buzzfeedben
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) February 28, 2013

The above is just a small sampling of the media push back against once of their own who “went rogue.”  You really need to read all of them to understand how quickly a Democrat icon can become Sarah Palin if he is deemed a heretic.  (And I use the word “heretic” deliberately, with all its religious connotations, because what we’re seeing here is a religion, with Obama as the God-head.)

Chuck Hagel — a litmus test for Republican weakness and stupidity

Hagel’s been confirmed.  As Sean Hannity keeps saying, “Elections have consequences.”

The Democrats did what Republicans never do, which is to march in lockstep formation behind their leader even when he chose as Secretary of Defense a man with an IQ that doesn’t exceed the double digits, and a management history that proves his role model was the Pointy Haired Boss from the Dilbert cartoons.

We shouldn’t be surprised.  The Democrats’ world outlook is collectivist, and they behave collectively.  They have given their fealty to Obama.  If he ordered them to drink Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid, jump off a cliff, or retire from politics en masse, they would obey.  It doesn’t speak well of them that they subordinate their Creator-given gifts to party politics,  but it does make them effective.

And then we have Republicans.

Herding cats

The problem with Republicans is that they’re individualists.  Trying to get them to work together, even when pulling apart means sure death, is about as easy as herding cats.  What’s worse is that they’re not cool, sophisticated, self-assured cats.  Instead, they’re the dumb cats that John Hawkins describes:

Can you teach a cat to sit? To roll over? To come when it’s called? No, because cats are stupid. Granted, dogs are stupid, too, but they’re probably on the same level as your two-year old. A cat is closer in intelligence to a geranium — if a geranium had claws and a certain feral cunning it could use to track, torment, and kill smaller plants for its own amusement.

Hawkins had his tongue firmly in cheek when he wrote that.  As for me, when I apply those words to the flailing Republicans in Washington, my tongue is nowhere near my cheek.  Republican politicians are dumb.  Really, really dumb.

I have a few words for these dummies.  I applaud them for having the courage to run but that doesn’t make up for the fact that, once they get to Washington, the collapse in a spineless puddle the moment the drive-by media turns it sights on them.

Nerd

Here’s the deal, doofuses (doofae?):  Because the media will play everything and anything to make Obama look good and you look bad, stop trying to look good.  You are the geeks in high school, the losers at the work place, the dork at the dance.  No matter what happens, you will look stupid — in the short run.

But we smart people (and that group does not include you guys in D.C.) know that those high school geeks who stuck to their geek guns made smart decisions that made many of them rich and famous.  We know that the smart losers in the work place left their cubicles behind and became successful consultants.  And those dance floor dorks?  They’re the ones who managed to avoid the vapid blonde with STDs and, instead, find pretty young women of substance.

You idiots. . . . Sorry, I mean you Republican politicians think you’re playing a long-term game that goes like this:  “If we bend here, bow here, and scrape there, the new mandarins, especially in the media, will finally give us credit and the voters will support us.”  Dumb.  Dumb.  Dumb.

What you should be doing is stand up, vocally, for core conservative principles.  If those reporters ask you about rape, ignore them.  If they ask you about gay marriage, ignore them.  Right now, the media is making these pressing issues only doing so is a cheap and easy way to appeal to people’s emotions and deflect attention from the fact that we, as a nation, are going broke.  And you guys (and gals) let them get away with this shoddy tactic, simply because you’re so pathetically desperate for New York Times‘ approval.

If you were lucky enough to be a Republican who made it to (or stayed in) Congress, voters elected you pretty much for one reason:  Fiscal responsibility.  Even if the Tea Party candidates weren’t quite ready for prime time, it was the principles they asserted that created the wave that got you guys into office in 2010, and that kept some of you there in 2012.

Sequestration

So what should you be doing?  You should be harping on fiscal responsibility.  You should be screaming to the rafters at the way Obama is punishing ordinary citizens (e.g., releasing previously-arrested illegal aliens; threatening to make the TSA even worse; and threatening old people and children).  You should be reminding them that Obama is lying about the sequester.  It was his idea and it doesn’t cut past spending, but merely slows future spending.

Be loud in your conservative beliefs.  Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, WaPo, NYT, NPR, and CNN are going to ream you a new one regardless.  Stop making conservative bloggers do all the heavy lifting.  All we can do is preach to the choir.  If enough of you in Congress start making a loud noise, the media will have to report it.  At the very least, do yourself the favor of going down like a man, or a woman, not a sniveling coward.

And speaking of sniveling cowards, those Republicans who cast a yea vote for Chuck Hagel are exactly that.  Senators have a Constitutional duty to protect American citizens from a president who chooses a cabinet member who is manifestly unsuited for the post.  Hagel’s testimony and the information that started surfacing about him established conclusively that he is mean-spirited and dumb as a rock.

Hagel is anti-Israel, even though Israel is our ally; pro-Iran, even though Iran is our enemy; hostile to the American armed forces, even though he’ll now be in charge of them; antisemitic, even though his baseless canards have their roots in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, rather than the real world; devious, as was shown by his prevaricating about his past and his refusal to release documents; and really, really, really stupid.

I guess it’s that last factor — his rank stupidity — that proves that, all of his other qualities to the contrary, Hagel can still call himself a Republican.  Dems have turned on Israel, look longingly at Iran, hate the military, have a festering antisemitism in their ranks, and routinely lie about and hide information that Americans should know.  But when it comes to butt-numbing stupidity, Republicans win, hands down.  I guess you could call Hagel the double threat, seeing as he has the worst qualities of both parties.

 

Kerry says we have the “right to be stupid” and then proves his intellectual “disconnect” in the very next sentence.

You’ve already heard about Kerry’s imaginary country, so I won’t work that one to death.  You’ve also heard that Kerry said (correctly) that Americans have the right to be stupid.  But did you catch what he said immediately after that?

‘In America, you have a right to be stupid, if you want to be,’ he said. ‘And you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be. And we tolerate that – we somehow make it through that.’  (Emphasis mine.)

Let me repeat: “[Y]ou have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be.”  In what world does that even remotely make sense?

Bush pronounces “nuclear” the Southern way and is ridiculed for the next 12 years.  Kerry says something completely meaningless and all you hear are crickets.

If you’d like to counteract that cricket sound, please feel free to share this poster on your blogs, in emails, and through Twitter and Facebook:

John Kerry's Right To Be Stupid

 

 

The way the media designates heroes and villains *UPDATED*

The Koch brothers are the Leftist media’s arch enemies.  Because they donate money to free market think tanks, media coverage routinely vilifies them.  If Satan got the kind of negative press the Koch brothers do, even Satanists would abandon him.

The media’s articles make it appear that the Koch brothers’ sin isn’t in holding their political views but, rather, in using their ill-gotten gains to fund those views.  How dare they use money acquired from capitalism to advocate for their personal causes?

It’s quite a different story, of course, when ill-gotten gains from rampant capitalism end up funding Leftist causes.  Today’s San Francisco Chronicle ran a hagiographic article about Tom Steyer and Kathryn Taylor (whose money comes from investment banking) and who now devote their time and fortune to fighting climate change — never mind that the climate will change with or without them, as it has always done.  What Steyer and Taylor are really doing is ensuring that nobody else gets the chance to be as rich as they are, since all climate change efforts are fundamentally directed at limiting wealth acquisition in the First World, while transferring some measure of wealth to the economic sinkhole that is currently the Third World

Incidentally, I am not saying that the Third World doesn’t have vast economic possibilities.  As much as anything, it’s a sinkhole because of a toxic combination of homegrown corrupt and/or totalitarian governments and religions, on the one hand, and NGOs and Leftist billionaires, on the other hand.  These two forces work together to keep Third World citizens mired in picturesque squalor.

This is insidious propaganda.  The media doesn’t overtly take a position — it simply vilifies those who stand for principles the media opposes, while swooning over those who invest money in the media’s favorite causes.  The low-information readership doesn’t realize that the article’s targets are ideologies.  They simply start having a Pavlovian response when an ideological position rolls around.

UPDATE: This post makes my point perfectly about the vitriol poured on the Kochs.

Jonathan Tobin gets to the heart of the matter when it comes to conservative failures

In an earlier post, I railed against the fact that conservatives, despite good ideas, good history, and good spokes people, get absolutely no traction.  Jonathan Tobin, in his post “The Rules Are Different For Obama,” gets to the heart of the matter, which is that the toxic amalgam of Obama and the media means that, no matter the situation, Obama always appears to the public as the one holding the Royal Flush:

Obama with halo

Obama’s status as the nation’s first African-American president and the consequent kid-glove treatment he gets from the press make it difficult, if not impossible, to hold him accountable for his hypocrisy or his failures. As I wrote earlier in the week, the White House’s innovative strategies for manipulating the media do not fully explain his ability to evade the normal tough scrutiny that any president gets. Nor does the liberal bias of the mainstream media, though that, too, is a contributing factor.

Obama’s identity as the man who makes Americans feel good about their country renders all other factors irrelevant. This is something that conservatives struggle to understand primarily because they are immune to the president’s personal charm and speaking ability. But it is a fact they must accept if they don’t want to spend the next four years banging their heads against a wall. That’s why the GOP must stop focusing so much on trying to attack a president who is impervious to criticism and concentrate on the sort of big ideas about growth that made them the party of ideas in the ’80s and ’90s.

Read the rest of Tobin’s post here.  As you can see, he says that conservatives had better get used to this reality.  Okay, that’s fair enough.  You can’t be a functioning conservative and pretend that you’re anywhere near a level playing field.  But if this is the game — a fixed one — what the heck is our strategy?

Obama's hand, every time

Tobin suggests that we just play out the crooked hand dealt, because the only corrective is time — time that will show that Obama’s policies are bad.  That’s a pretty scary scenario, because a lot of his bad policies are the type from which there is either no return, or the return will exceed any of our lifespans.

The hand Obama's been dealt