It is to laugh, my dear readers. It is to laugh:
So you think that President Obama’s rise stemmed in part from media favoritism? Reid Cherlin, a former Obama campaign media liaison and later a White House spokesman, has different ideas, as outlined in a Rolling Stone piece:
No, Barack Obama never had reporters eating out of his hand the way that right-wingers love to allege — even though Obama’s intellectual approach made him seem like someone who could just as easily have been a columnist as a candidate. Appearing at his first Correspondents’ Dinner, in 2009, the president joked, “Most of you covered me; all of you voted for me.” But even as polite laughter settled over the black-tie crowd, there was ample evidence that the old way of the news business – in fact, the news business entirely – was falling away, and with it, the last shreds of comity between subject and scribe.
Time to book Cherlin on a conference panel with Mark Halperin. The co-author of “Game Change” and well-traveled pundit and reporter said after Obama’s 2008 victory: “It’s the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war. It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”
Halperin was, of course, correct. And several years later, unfortunately, not much has changed.
I’ll be chuckling over this one for a while:
Black Democrats in Congress are sharply criticizing their party’s leadership for supporting efforts to overturn the GOP-drawn congressional map in Florida and cut into Republicans’ House majority.
Last week, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) sent a sharply worded letter to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) complaining about the party’s support for a lawsuit that aims to throw out Florida’s congressional map — changes that could dismantle the gerrymandered seat of CBC member Corrine Brown.
“On behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), I write to express our ongoing concern with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) support of lawsuits challenging the validity of minority Congressional districts,” Fudge wrote. “Per our prior discussion, we are extremely disturbed by the DCCC’s efforts to dismantle CBC districts in states that have historically proven to be difficult to elect minority members. Considering the history of discrimination through efforts such as gerrymandering, the recent actions reflect the discrimination of days past.”
On Friday, a Florida judge asked the Legislature to redraw the congressional map so that it conformed with the state’s constitution. He set a deadline for Aug. 15 so that the new map could be used for the 2014 election and left open the possibility that the election could be postponed to allow time for the new plan to be implemented.
Democratic-aligned groups, with funding from the National Democratic Redistricting Trust, have supported the lawsuit with an eye toward undoing a congressional map that is seen as GOP-friendly. But the CBC is unhappy because the judge has specifically pointed to Brown’s oddly shaped 5th District, which snakes from Jacksonville all the way down to Orlando, as a district that violated the state’s Fair Districts amendment.
OK. Let me break this down: Democrats, especially those in the South, have an – er, unsavory shall we say history on the issue of racism going waaaaaaaaay back. They’ve tried to make amends to it over the years, mostly by flipping the switch and (many times falsely) accusing their opponents of racism in an effort to scare voters. To a large degree, the despicable, desperate tactic worked. They often point to “gerrymandering” as a way Republican-dominated state legislatures demonstrate their alleged disdain and hatred for black people.
In this instance, the FL GOP drew up a revised Congressional map that a FL judge has asked them to redraw by the middle of this month. Naturally, the DCCC applauded the judge’s ruling because they believe it will give them an upcoming election advantage. But if the maps are redrawn the way the judge seems to think they should be, it could impact Corrine Brown’s seat which the CBC does not support. In effect, black Democrats here are saying that, though in the past redistricting has been used to “disenfranchise” black voters, in this situation it wasn’t. The (mostly white) members of the DCCC, on the other hand, are apparently willing to overlook at how this could negatively impact Congresswoman Brown because of the potential to pick up more desperately needed seats elsewhere.
You really can’t make this stuff up! #popcorn
**Posted by Phineas
I’m telling ya, this is how Act One of a bad science fiction movie would run. A report leaked to Breitbart Texas from the Customs and Border Patrol service (CBP) discusses how people from all over the globe are trying to exploit our porous southern border to get into the United States. People from more than 75 different countries have been apprehended. That’s frustrating enough. But what is truly scary is where some of them are coming from:
Among the significant revelations are that individuals from nations currently suffering from the world’s largest Ebola outbreak have been caught attempting to sneak across the porous U.S. border into the interior of the United States. At least 71 individuals from the three nations affected by the current Ebola outbreak have either turned themselves in or been caught attempting to illegally enter the U.S. by U.S. authorities between January 2014 and July 2014.
None of those people it seems were carrying ebola, for we’d surely know by now. But what if someone carrying the virus made it across the Rio Grande and successfully hid themselves in our inner cities, not knowing the danger he or she posed as a “Trojan horse?” By the time this person showed symptoms and was discovered, the virus might already have spread into the larger population. Even if safely contained, the news would spread like wildfire.
Can you say “mass public panic?”
Securing the border is looking better and better all the time.
via Rick Moran
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
Via The Politico:
Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) on Monday called his recent fight with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “a walk in the park” after, he says, she called him a “liar” on the House floor.
“She came running over crossing the floor, which is a breach of protocol … and she came up to me wagging her finger and saying that I was a liar, a liar, and I simply said, ‘No, I do my research and I have my facts straight, perhaps you should try that,’” Marino told Fox News on Monday, recalling the event.
“I’m a former prosecutor … I’ve been threatened by drug dealers and organized crime and murderers, and this was a walk in the park,” Marino added.
The battle between Marino and Pelosi began on Friday during a heated discussion on immigration.
“You know something that I find quite interesting about the other side?” Marino said on the House floor on Friday. “Under the leadership of the former speaker [Pelosi], and under the leadership of the former leader [Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)], when in 2009 and 2010, they had the House, the Senate and the White House, and they knew this problem existed … they didn’t have the strength to go after [immigration] back then.”
Marino’s comments caused Pelosi to cross the aisle, but not for bipartisan reasons.
“I am an insignificant person; she told me that twice, and I just simply said to her, ‘Do you want to talk about this in the back?’ and she said, ‘No’; she was visibly shaken,” Marino said.
Make sure to watch the bottom of the screen when the camera pans to the floor and you’ll see her twice going after him, the second time pretty aggressively.
Now, I want you to imagine just for a minute the level of outrage had this been Marino confronting Pelosi on the House floor in such a hostile manner. We’d NEVER hear the end of it in terms of how it was just another “example of the GOP’s war on women”, etc. But, like I said Saturday in my initial comments on the matter, the double standard will – of course – be allowed to stand in this instance:
It was a severe breach of decorum, but unlike how House Dems reacted when Rep. Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!” at President Obama during a State of the Union, don’t expect much of any criticism of what she did yesterday.
Wondering what tripped Pelosi’s trigger? Nothing Marino said was a personal attack on her, her party, her constituency, nothing of the sort. It was mere political disagreement. Which, perhaps, is where the problem is. After decades of having to stand on the House floor and ‘tolerate’ ‘intolerant’ comments from the political opposition, perhaps ‘Madame Minority Leader’ had had enough. Though sh*t, hon. When/if the political opposition in the US House starts calling the President a murderer and dictator and thug on the floor of the House like your side did during the eight years Bush was in office, you’ll maybe have a valid excuse for your behavior. But until then ….
Hats off to Rep. Marino, for not backing down from her attempt at intimidating him into silence. We definitely need more like him.
It’s about time a President said it. Too bad it’s not the one currently occupying the White House. Via Mike Wereschagin and Salena Zito from the Tribune-Review:
Former President Bill Clinton on Saturday sharply criticized Hamas for deliberately endangering civilians and using international aid to build a network of tunnels into Israel.
Speaking at a memorial service for Tribune-Review owner Richard Mellon Scaife, Clinton lamented the series of foreign policy crises that have cropped up from Eastern Europe to the Middle East in recent weeks.
“How could the people in Gaza, who started rocketing Israel, think that it was OK to use international aid money to dig tunnels to increase their ability to destabilize the region and kill people?” Clinton told about 150 Trib Total Media employees at the memorial service at Scaife’s boyhood home in Ligonier.
Israeli officials list the destruction of the tunnels, which Hamas has used for a series of incursions into Israel, as a chief objective of the 26-day-old war in Gaza.
The Israeli government has come under increasing international pressure, including criticism from the United States, for bombing and shelling that killed more than 1,600 Palestinian civilians, many of them children. About 60 Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians have died.
But Clinton blamed the rising civilian death toll on Hamas as well, saying they deliberately placed munitions where civilians seek shelter, then use their deaths to foment international anti-Israeli sentiment.
“How could they put rockets in a school to follow a deliberate strategy to force the deaths of their own civilians so as to make Israel look bad in the world?” Clinton said.
Meanwhile, the dangerously clueless wonders in the White House all but accused Israel over the weekend of deliberately targeting civilians (including children). Criticism of Israel isn’t in and of itself wrong, but can’t they at least get their facts right before they condemn a staunch ally in public statements and on national television, in effect further fanning the flames of discontent and rage? Is that really too much to ask of this administration?
**Posted by Phineas
That’s the gist of the complaint from Navi Pillay, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, who denounced Israel (and by extension the US) for civilian deaths in Gaza. The original article is behind Haaretz’s subscriber wall, so I’ll quote the Breitbart summary:
Navi Pillay told reporters following yet another “emergency” meeting of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council that Israel was not doing enough to protect civilians. “There is a strong possibility,” said the known Israel critic, “that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”
Among the UN’s long bill of particulars against the beleaguered Jewish state comes the almost unbelievable accusation that Israel’s refusal to share its Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield with the “governing authority” of Gaza – i.e. Hamas, the terror group created to pursue the extermination of the Jewish state and now waging a terrorist war against it – constitutes a war crime against the civilians of Gaza.
The UN chairwoman criticized the U.S. for helping fund Israel’s Iron Dome system which has saved countless Israeli and Palestinian lives. “No such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling,” she said.
Oh, poor little Hamas. They start a war with Israel, firing thousands of rockets with the potential to kill thousands –especially if they had hit that nuclear reactor at Dimona!– and they dig tunnels for offensive operations against civilians, and then when they fight back to destroy those tunnels and successfully defend their people from those rockets, the leftists in the transnational bureaucracy (1) whine that Israel, the nation that got attacked in the first place, has an unfair advantage.
You cannot make this crap up.
Claudia Rosett take Ms. Pillay’s idea about “sharing the weapon-wealth” to its logical, farcical conclusion:
It also seems unfair to limit such sharing to terrorist organizations. The UN is, after all, an institution devoted to upholding and treating equally the rights of all sovereign states. Why not save South Korea from its unfair military edge over North Korea, by demanding that Seoul turn over to Pyongyang enough advanced military technology to even the balance? For the sake of world peace, the U.S. could deliver to China any military secrets China hasn’t stolen already; likewise, give Russia its fair share. And it almost goes without saying that the U.S. and other world powers should stop dickering with Iran over its nuclear program, and just give Tehran the bomb.
Actually, once this redistribution really gets underway, there are quite a number of UN member states, plus an array of terrorist groups, around the globe, which could more safely threaten or attack the world’s developed democracies if only advanced military technology were to be included in the UN roster of aid entitlements. Though, the myriad transfers and accompanying funding could become complex. Maybe it would be more efficient to simply require that all developed democracies turn over all advanced military technology to the UN, along with the requisite cash, to be redistributed to terrorist groups and rogue states as UN human rights officials deem proportionately appropriate. One more step toward the UN dream of a more equitable world.
Fair is fair, after all. To paraphrase President Obama, “At some point, you have enough weapons.”
PS: My philosophy of dealing with dangerous neighboring countries is simple — “We want to live in peace with you. We are happy to buy your stuff and sell you our stuff, something good for us all. But, if you insist on trying to kill my people, I will bring the Wrath of God down on you. That is how I will share my country’s military technology.”
PPS: And if you want an idea of how seriously High Commissioner Pillay’s UN Human Rights Council takes the idea of human rights for all, consider that China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are all members.
(1) Is there a more useless class of people in the world? I’m hard pressed to think of one.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
I’m headed out to run errands and to try to enjoy this mostly cloudy (but still beautiful) day in Charlotte. Wanted to write more at length about the story surrounding House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s literally chasing a GOP member of Congress on the House floor over mere disagreement, but won’t have time to do it today. Read the story for yourself – it has to be read/seen to be believed. It was a severe breach of decorum, but unlike how House Dems reacted when Rep. Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!” at President Obama during a State of the Union, don’t expect much of any criticism of what she did yesterday.
Hope y’all have a good one!
**Posted by Phineas
The War on Poverty was launched in 1964 under Lyndon Johnson with the best of intentions: through massive spending and extensive welfare programs, the government would eradicate poverty in America and make people self-sufficient. Like I said, a worthy goal.
It has also been an utter failure. In 1964 we declared war on poverty, and poverty won.
As the chart above shows, poverty was in deep, rapid decline in America after World War II without any government help, just the natural processes of a growing, prosperous economy. It looked well on its way to elimination, perhaps. Then, in the mid to late-60s, it leveled off and, save for an occasional bump up, has stayed right around fifteen percent.What happened?
In 1964, with the start of the War on Poverty, progressives and other economically illiterate do-gooders wound up trapping people in poverty, rather than helping them out of it. As Robert Rector at The Signal writes:
Johnson did not intend to put more Americans on the dole (1). Instead, he explicitly sought to reduce the future need for welfare by making lower-income Americans productive and self-sufficient.
By this standard, the War on Poverty has been a catastrophic failure. After spending more than $20 trillion on Johnson’s war, many Americans are less capable of self-support than when the war began. This lack of progress is, in a major part, due to the welfare system itself. Welfare breaks down the habits and norms that lead to self-reliance, especially those of marriage and work. It thereby generates a pattern of increasing inter-generational dependence. The welfare state is self-perpetuating: By undermining productive social norms, welfare creates a need for even greater assistance in the future. Reforms should focus on these programs’ incentive structure to point the way toward self-sufficiency. One step is communicating that the poverty rate is better understood as self-sufficiency rate—that is, we should measure how many Americans can take care of themselves and their families.
What was it Ronald Reagan said?
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”
One would think that, faced with all the mounds of evidence that government programs don’t lift people out of poverty, Progressives, who claim to be devoted to “progress,” would see the war on poverty has been a failure and that the programs should be reformed or discontinued and something else tried, something like less government intervention.
But, no. Few ever will be that honest, because to say government failed to reorder society as desired would be to admit that the central tenet of progressivism, a faith in the power of technocrats to manage a vastly complex society, was wrong.
Meanwhile, that core 15% remains trapped in poverty, addicted to government “crack” and walking a road paved with good intentions.
PS: Note the sharp climb back up to 15% at the end of that chart. It starts soon after the Democrats take over Congress in 2006 and undo the 1990s Clinton-Gingrich welfare reform, then accelerates under Obama. Coincidence? I think not.
RELATED: Cato economist Dan Mitchell has often written on the same topic. Here’s a post he wrote on the failures of the War on Poverty and another on the “redistribution trap.” That latter is must-reading.
(1) Many criticize that assertion, with some justification. See for example Kevin Williamson’s “The Dependency Agenda.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
The shameful judicial advocacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continues:
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been making the media rounds and the Internet is eating it up. After telling Yahoo News the five men on the court have a “blind spot” when it comes to discrimination against women, she turned around and told the Associated Press they’ll just have to live and learn.
The five conservative justices recently ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. that closely held for-profit companies may refuse to cover women’s contraceptives for religious reasons. Ginsburg was joined by the two other women on the court as well as liberal Justice Stephen Breyer in a dissenting opinion, which held that leaving it to companies to decide what sorts of health coverage a woman may use amounted to a form of discrimination.
Asked about the decision by the AP on Thursday, Ginsburg suggested the five male justices simply didn’t know better. “I have no doubt that if the court had been composed of nine women the result would have been different in Hobby Lobby,” she said. But, she added, she hasn’t entirely lost hope for the men in the court’s majority opinion: “As long as one lives, one can learn.”
Here’s the shorter version of what Ginsburg has said all along about the ruling on Hobby Lobby, including her dissent on the case: The United States Supreme Court should consider gender before the Constitution when deciding which way to rule on any given case where there is a perception that women could potentially be impacted. Furthermore, implicit in her public reaction and dissatisfaction with the majority opinion is the insinuation that the five “conservative” (hilarious that National Journal considers Justice Kennedy a “conservative”!) Justices ruled that way because they’re men - full stop, and that a court of all women would have (and should have) taken gender into account and ruled primarily on emotion rather than basing their opinion solely on the Constitution. And here you thought it was misogynistic for anyone to suggest women allow their sex and emotion to dictate their decisions rather than logic and fact and, in this case, the law! Silly rabbit.
I respect the position of SCOTUS Justice, and I respect the years Ginsburg has been on the bench. It’s cute that she and Justice Scalia are reportedly “close friends” in spite of their obvious ideological differences. However, none of that changes the fact that she has crossed a serious line here in suggesting in so many words that the men on the court are, well, just being men and that a majority of women on the court would have and should have ruled differently based more on the sideline emotional aspects rather than Constitutional law. She’ll get by with it, of course, without much criticism from the Usual Suspects™ who would have, I should note, flipped their lids at this point if any of the so-called “conservative” male Justices on the Supreme Court had even remotely suggested after a court ruling that the women on the court were, you know, just being women.
Move along here, business as usual, and all that …