Archive for Media Bias

About That Palin Melee

Don’t know the “truth”; don’t care.

Do know, and do care very much, that you can’t trust the lame-stream media.

Can’t trust ‘em ever:

But with The Washington Post, “Good Morning America,” the New York Times and dozens of other media outlets all filing reports on the incident over the last few days, it’s clear that there’s a high level of interest in the events that transpired on that regrettable night in Anchorage.

But RealClearPolitics spoke with a source close to the Palin family, who wanted to provide their version of the events in question.

What no one disputes is that several members of the former first family of Alaska arrived at a well-attended birthday party, at which several competitive snowmobile racers were present.

Todd Palin, himself an elite racer of “snow machines” (as the vehicles are known in the 49th state), was celebrating his 50th birthday that night, though the party was not being held on his behalf.

With a live band, dancing, and the former governor rocking red-white-and-blue high-tops, everyone seemed to be having a good time.

But then, some words were exchanged. And that’s where the stories diverge significantly.

According to previously published eyewitness reports, the fracas began when Track Palin, the former governor’s adult son, confronted a former boyfriend of his 20-year-old sister, Willow.

But according to the Palin family’s version of events, the instigator was actually the former boyfriend.

The initial tussle occurred, the source said, after the young man in question “tried to get in” to the Hummer limousine after he’d engaged in some unspecified “questionable behavior.”

Track Palin soon found himself struggling to fend off four men who had “piled on him,” according to the source.

Todd Palin then inserted himself into the brawl, which left the former “First Dude” of Alaska bleeding.

According to the source, as her husband and son were trading blows with their adversaries, Palin was yelling (in reference to her son), “Don’t you know who he is? He’s a vet!”

This rendition of her words differs slightly but significantly from a previous report, which had Palin shouting, “Don’t you know who I am?”

“From my understanding, she was in full ‘mama grizzly’ mode defending the kids,” the source said of Sarah Palin’s mindset.

According to the source, Track Palin left the fight nursing four cracked ribs, while his father was bloodied up.

In an unrelated episode, a 25-year-old man was arrested last Sunday on charges of stalking Bristol Palin after allegedly sending her approximately 1,000 Facebook messages and then appearing in her driveway — an incident the Palin source described as “scary.”

I left out the part that mentioned Sarah Palin had just returned from Houston where she had been raising money for wounded vets.

Everyone gets a story wrong now and then, but not everyone so relishes getting the wrong story on Sarah Palin. The MSM does, always, but that’s the herd instinct at work. And Sarah Palin knows how to cull a herd.


Sarah Palin with Katie Couric

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Welcome to CNN, Jay Carney!

Now, don’t tell me, let me guess: you’re back to being an independent, straight-shot, call-‘em-as-you-see-‘em journalist, right?

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: I think it was a very weak argument. And by the way, I’m astounded that Mr. Carney should say that the Free Syrian Army is now stronger. In fact, they have been —

JAY CARNEY: Well, that’s not that I said, Senator. If I could, sir, what I said is, if we know a great deal more now about the makeup of the opposition. —

McCAIN: Come on, Jay, we knew all about them then. You just didn’t choose to know. I was there in Syria. We we knew about them. Come on, you guys were the ones — your boss was the one when the entire national security team wanted to arm and train them that he turned them down, Mr. Carney after —

CARNEY: Well, Senator —

McCAIN: The fact is —

CARNEY: I think we have to agree to disagree on this.

McCAIN: No, facts are stubborn things, Mr. Carney, and that is his entire national security team, including the Secretary of State said he want to arm and train and equip these people and he made the unilateral decision to turn them down. The fact he didn’t a residual force in Iraq, overruled all of his military advisers, is the reason why we’re facing ISIS today.

So the facts are stubborn things in history and people ought to know them. And now the president is saying basically that we are going to take certain actions, which I would favor, but to say that America is safer, and that the situation is very much like Yemen and Somalia shows me that the president really doesn’t have a grasp for how serious the threat of ISIS is.

CARNEY: Well, again, Senator, we’re going to have to agree to disagree. And I think on the question of the residual force, there was another player in that which was the Iraqi government. A, and B, it was the fulfillment of the previous administration’s withdrawal plan. And it was also the fulfillment of the president’s promise to withdraw from Iraq and not maintain a true presence, in perpetuity, which is pretty consistent with what the American people wanted and believed it was the right approach.

McCAIN: Mr. Carney, you are again saying facts that are patently false. The fact is because [Senator] Lindsey Graham, [former Senator] Joe Lieberman and I, we were in Baghdad, they wanted a residual force. The president has never made a statement during that or after that he wanted a residual force left behind. The Iraqis were ready to go. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the number cascaded down to 3,500. That was not sufficient to do anything but to defend themselves. And you in your role as a spokesperson bragged about the fact that the last American combat troop had left Iraq. If we had left a residual force the situation would not be what it is today. And there would be a lot more —

CARNEY: Senator, I can posit for great respect for you we can disagree on that.

McCAIN: You can’t.

CARNEY: Sir —

McCAIN: You don’t have the facts, Mr. Carney, that’s the problem.

CARNEY: Senator, I understand that that you present the facts that you believe are true based on the arguments that you have made for a long time, sir, that we should leave troops in Iraq for perpetuity. And that is not what this president believes. Obviously, he was elected president to fulfill what he believes is right for our country and right for our national security.

McCAIN: It is a bad decision.

CARNEY: I certainly understand where we are today.

McCAIN: It is not a matter of disagreement; it is a matter of facts, and you have yours wrong and you have distorted it.

COOPER: Jay, do you believe, does the president believe at all, if a residual force had been left on the ground in Iraq, that we would not be in this situation now?

CARNEY: Anderson, I think it is a mis — basically a whitewash of history to suggest that there was not — were not periods of enormous chaos and fighting and bloodshed in Iraq when there were tens of thousands of troops, of American troops on the ground. That is a fact. And it was true in 2004, it was true in 2007. And it was true even when we had the highest number of U.S. troops on the ground.

We cannot — the United States of America ask our military to be a permanent occupying force in a country like Iraq. We have to get to a situation where we can help build up and assist an Iraqi security force, where we can put pressure on Iraqi political leaders to form an inclusive government, which they have taken steps to do, as was noted earlier. And then we can provide the kind of military support that we’re providing, an action that we’re taking against a threat like ISIS as appropriate.

But the alternative of leaving a permanent, massive U.S. force on the ground in Iraq, not for 10 years, not for 20 years, but in perpetuity, is simply not sustainable financially; it is not consistent with what the American people think we should do.

MCCAIN: Again, Mr. Carney misstates the facts. We had it won, thanks to the surge. It was won. The victory was there. All we needed was a force behind to provide support, not to engage in combat, but to supply support, logistics, intelligence. And by the way, the Koran War, we left troops behind. Bosnia, we left troops behind. Not to fight but be a stabilizing force. And Mr. Carney neglects the fact that thanks to David Petraeus, and Ryan Crocker, who by the way, are very strong on this issue, that we won the conflict, and then by pulling the rug out and setting a date for withdrawal and bragging about it —

CARNEY: Excuse me, sir, but I think you have forgotten that the date for withdrawal was —

MCCAIN: I think you have forgotten — no, the date for withdrawal. They always contemplated an additional date behind it. And you can ask Condoleezza Rice, or George W. Bush.

CARNEY: Absolutely, and so did we, and we–

MCCAIN: So that is absolutely false too. And we didn’t need to go through the Iraqi parliament. All you had to do was have an agreement. And we were there on the ground.

COOPER: Senator McCain, let me ask you about in terms of what you heard tonight, do you believe the U.S. can fight an effective counter- terrorism strategy, which is what the president is calling this fight against ISIS, without U.S. military personnel on the ground? In harm’s way?

MCCAIN: We — this is another falsehood the president is purveying. We already have boots on the ground, well over 1,000. We need more. But we don’t need them like the 82nd Airborne sent in direct — to do — into direct combat.

We need to have additional support there, and we need to help the — the Iraqi army rebuild its capabilities. But we don’t have to have a ground combat invasion of the type we had before. But, the fact that they didn’t leave — we were not there before is a direct result we are paying a very heavy price for. And it doesn’t mean in perpetuity, but it does mean to keep the situation stable, which we could have done.

COOPER: Senator McCain, the president also said that we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland. Americans who hear those words might wonder, if that is really the case, then why do we need to take action against ISIS? To that you say what?

MCCAIN: I say that today, we had a hearing, and there was testimony from the counterterrorism people and the Department of Homeland Security. There is Twitter traffic right now and FaceBook traffic, where they are urging attacks on the United States of America. And there is a great concern that our southern border and our northern border is porous and that they will be coming across.

So is there a specific, direct threat? No, but is there any doubt to what their goal is? Mr. Baghdadi, the day he left our prison in Iraq, Camp Bucca, said “see you in New York.”

COOPER: And in terms of, as you said, you have been in Syria, you met with Syrian moderate opposition a while back, do you believe there are enough on the ground right now in Iraq who actually have military capabilities that can actually stand up and fight against ISIS, against the Assad regime?

MCCAIN: I do, but it is going to be very tough, and it is going to be a heck of a lot tougher, despite what Mr. Carney said, than it would have been two years ago when it was recommended by his entire national security team.

How many times did he call Carney a liar? He called Obama one once or twice, but Carney got more than I can count. Delicious.

You were a lousy candidate, Senator, and who knows what kind of president you would have made. But as grump old man, you’re peerless.

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Hey, Al Sharpton, Ya Busy Next Sunday?

It’s a protest against hatred and bigotry, right up your alley:

The New York Jewish community and its supporters will stage an historic march on September 14 in downtown Manhattan, protesting the recent skyrocketing wave of anti-Semitism and media culpability in an event entitled “Silence? Never Again!”

In the wake of the 50-day counter-terror Operation Protective Edge, studies have found global the rate of anti-Semitic incidents have skyrocketed dramatically since July.

That hatred has been largely driven by unbalanced reporting; Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh recently bragged that his terrorist organization’s greatest “victory” in the operation was swaying Western media to side with it, thereby winning the “media war.”

Say, you’re a member of the media, Al. Might do your profession some good for you to be out there.

The march will start next Sunday at 12 p.m. local time in front of the CNN building at 10 Columbus Circle, ending around 4 p.m. with a rally at 495h Street and 6 Avenue next to the MSNBC building.

MSNBC, perfect! You can march with your Hebraic homeboys right to your place of work. Couldn’t be easier. Come on, Al, you know you want to.

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Katrina Fatigue, Nine Years On

To all those with whom I did battle over the proper apportioning of blame after Hurricane Katrina (search our archives if you don’t remember), I will accept cash in lieu of an apology:

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has reported to a federal prison in Texarkana, Texas, to begin serving a 10-year sentence for corruption during the years when the city was struggling to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Nagin arrived at the facility shortly before noon Monday. New Orleans television stations showed images of Nagin hugging family members in a parking lot before he entered the lockup.

Nagin, a Democrat, was thrust into the national spotlight in 2005, when Katrina overwhelmed levees and flooded 80 percent of New Orleans, killing 1,500 people and causing some $80 billion in damage.

The bribes came in the form of money, free vacations and truckloads of free granite for his family business.

The onetime cable company executive who served as New Orleans’ mayor from 2002-2010 was convicted on 20 criminal counts including bribery, conspiracy and money laundering, all tied to payments he received for granting city contracts.

Nagin was convicted February 12 of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen who wanted work from the city or Nagin’s support for various projects.

With Ray “Tens and Twenties” Nagin and Mary “Forward Mail to DC” Landrieu in charge, the leftwing media blamed George Bush. Oh yeah, that made a lot of sense.

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I Cannot Tell a Lie—Martha Chopped Down the Cherry Tree

Obama finally comes clean (and articulate!) and admits what everyone else in America has long known: if we wanted our first African American president to be a great golfer, we would have elected Calvin Peete.

Vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard in August, Obama chose to go directly from making a statement about the beheading of American journalist James Foley to the golf course, and drew criticism from across the political spectrum for appearing insensitive.

Asked if he wished now he could go back and reverse his decision to hit the links then, Obama said that, in retrospect, appearances might have mattered that day.

“It is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation. Because you’re followed everywhere. And part of what I’d love is a vacation from … the press,” he said.

But against stiff competition, our first African American president is also our most shameless (step aside Presidents Kennedy, Clinton, and Nixon):

[A]fter finishing, the president quickly headed to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for an afternoon of golf in 90-degree-plus heat.

May we recommend a nap instead, sir?

“There are days where I’m not getting enough sleep, because we’ve got a lot on our plate,” he said. “You know, when you’re, when you’re president of the United States, you’re not just dealing with the United States” but also leading the international response to crises around the world, as his administration is in responding to conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, as well as the outbreak of Ebola in Africa. “You know, our inbox gets pretty high.”

I’ve noted before that Barack Obama behaves like a kid who never had a dad—or at least a father figure. Someone who tells him to cut the crap, don’t bull[bleep] a bull[bleeper]. Obama can tell us he understands how bad it looked to go golfing while James Foley’s blood was still pooling on the desert hardpan—and then go golfing. He can tell us how much sleep he’s lost, how incredibly busy he is—and then go golfing.

And he’s worried about the press? If we thought America’s Fourth Estate would hold Barack Jr. to account the way Barack Sr. never did, we were fooling ourselves more than he thinks he’s fooling us.

This was the New York Times lead reporter after the first hundred days, need I remind you:

At least Monica Lewinsky dry cleaned her dress. Zeleny has never cleaned or worn that suit again.

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Hope and Change

Well, change anyway.

President Obama, September 3rd:

“We can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem.”

President Obama, September 5th:

“You can’t contain an organization that is running roughshod through that much territory, causing that much havoc, displacing that many people, killing that many innocents, enslaving that many women. The goal has to be to dismantle them.”

“Dismantle” is a little closer to “gates of hell” than “manageable” is, for which much thanks. But he needed David Cameron’s balls to get even that far.

I happened to hear the week-in-review roundtable on NPR’s On Point this morning. The Atlantic’s former editor, Jack Beatty, a five-star general among Obama apologists, first tried to paint Russia’s invasion as merely “exerting power on its border”. Tell that to Crimea. Tell that to Donetsk. David Ignatius chimed in that Putin’s territorial gain came at great cost: a hostile government in Kiev, a united Europe against him. He claimed Putin was playing a weak hand. Tell that to Putin. This sounds like the same tone deaf talk that appeased Hitler. Not one person mentioned Obama’s Chamberlain-esque pose.

When talk turned to the Middle East, Beatty got his second wind. He quoted an administration source as saying that “avoiding another Iraq is his guiding principle”. Beatty followed with “it seems to me that’s also the guiding principle of the American people…. We don’t want this.”

Don’t we? Of course we don’t, if you put it in those terms. Who wants “another Iraq”? But do we want our reporters getting their heads chopped off (other than the 75-80 we could all agree on)? Do we want to see their unrivaled savagery (too savage for Al Qaeda) rip asunder whole countries and regions? Do we want what’s happening over there to be happening over here?

No wonder Obama looks uncertain, Beatty declared, uncertainty is the reality. That’s one way of looking at it.

Another way is that you can’t run your affairs by trying to be different from the other guy. Avoiding “another Iraq” is a dog whistle for George Bush; so is “don’t do stupid stuff”. But the world Bush had to deal with, for better or worse, is five and a half years in the past, an eternity. Most of his big decisions are a decade old by now. Facing today’s realities with policies based on rejecting the previous president’s policies is almost too idiotic to write, let alone implement. And now that Obama is in Bush’s shoes (several sizes too big for him), he should have the decency and maturity to acknowledge that maybe he sees things a little differently.

Lastly, ISIS is not really “another Iraq”, but Iraq II:

On the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, a 36-year-old Jordanian who called himself “the Stranger” slipped into the suburbs of Baghdad armed with a few weapons, bags of cash and an audacious plan for starting a war he hoped would unite Sunni Muslims across the Middle East.

The tattooed ex-convict and high school dropout had few followers and scant ties to the local population. Yet, the Stranger — soon to be known widely as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — quickly rallied thousands of Iraqis and foreign fighters to his cause. He launched spectacular suicide bombings and gruesome executions targeting Americans, Shiites and others he saw as obstacles to his vision for a Sunni caliphate stretching from Syria to the Persian Gulf.

Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2006, but the organization he founded is again on the march. In just a week, his group — formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq and now called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS — has seized cities and towns across western and northern Iraq at a pace that might have astonished Zarqawi himself. Already in control of large swaths of eastern Syria, the group’s black-clad warriors appear to have taken a leap toward realizing Zarqawi’s dream of an extremist Sunni enclave across the region.

The mission is still not “accomplished”, President Obama. It’s been your responsibility since you took the oath of office.

No fair leaving it for the next guy:

“This, as the President has said, is going to have to be a sustained effort. … It’s going to take time, and it will probably go beyond even this administration to get to the point of defeat.”

Do your effing job.

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The Jew-Hating Left

I read every word Caroline Glick writes, but I cite these few as especially worthy of your attention:

The only meaningful commonality between Islamist and leftist dogma is hatred for Jews with power, first and foremost for Israel. And the singular creation of this alliance is the sides’ joint determination that it isn’t racist to hate the Jewish state, or Jews who refuse to condemn it.

In this state of affairs, the only outlet that leftists have for their moral outrage is Israel. Because while they fear being called racist, they know that being anti-Semitic will not expose them to charges of racism.

And they know Jews won’t assault them for attacking Israel and its supporters. So they project all the crimes perpetrated by Islamic fanatics on Israel.

For instance, this week Megan Marzec, the president of Ohio University’s Student Senate, posted a video of herself dousing herself in a bucket of “blood.”

Marzec explained, “This bucket of blood symbolizes the thousands of displaced and murdered Palestinians – atrocities which OU is directly complacent in [sic] through cultural and economic ties with the Israeli state.”

In other words, she accused Israel of the crimes Hamas seeks to inflict on Israel, and of the crimes that Islamist forces, such as al-Qaida, Islamic State and Boko Haram, are currently carrying out in their areas of operations.

Consider the recent New York Times op-ed by Antony Lerman which ran under the title “The End of Liberal Zionism.”

Lerman insisted that there is no way to square Zionism with liberal values.

According to this disaffected Jewish leftist, “The only Zionism of any consequence today is xenophobic and exclusionary, a Jewish ethno-nationalism inspired by religious messianism. It is carrying out an open-ended project of national self-realization to be achieved through colonization and purification of the tribe.”

Huh? Who? Where? Even my man Moshe Feiglin, about as far to the right as there is in Israeli national politics (by my reckoning), would accept Arab citizens from an annexed Gaza, or pay them to relocate if they didn’t want to stay.

But if you can write it, someone will print it:

Lerman quoted an article published a few weeks before his in The New York Review of Books by Jonathan Freedland titled “Liberal Zionism After Gaza.”

Freedland argued that as the two-state solution becomes more and more remote, liberal Zionists “will have to decide which of their political identities matters more, whether they are first a liberal or first a Zionist.”

That does it. Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of Glick:

But this is of course absurd. The only way a person can uphold liberal values is by being a Zionist. Israel is the only country in the region that is a human rights-respecting liberal democracy that is governed by the rule of law.

What is becoming more and more difficult is being a Zionist while being a leftist. As the Left becomes more and more tied to Islamic fanatics, anti-Semitism is going to become more and more of a staple of leftist dogma. And that anti-Semitism will express itself first and foremost as a virulent rejection of Israel and of Jews who refuse to disavow and condemn the Jewish state.

Sotloff reportedly maintained faith with his Judaism in secret while in captivity. He refused food on Yom Kippur and secretly prayed toward Jerusalem.

In so doing, he showed that the evil that controlled him physically, could not penetrate his soul. For this he died a Jewish hero.

Leftist Jews must take a lesson from Sotloff, who was reportedly a product of a Jewish-leftist worldview.

They should understand that the decision they are being required to make is not a choice between liberalism and Zionism, but between liberalism and a reactionary dogma that sits comfortably with genocidal Jew-haters and misogynist oppressors. It shouldn’t be a particularly difficult choice.

If you’re not wiping a tear from your eye, you have no soul.

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Welcome to Our World

It may be nasty and brutish, but—unlike the fantasies dreamed of by the Left and spread by the media—at least it’s real:

A sickening photograph has emerged of a tiny baby lying on an ISIS flag surrounded by guns and hand grenades.

The chilling image is the latest photo believed to have been posted by militants fighting in Syria and Iraq as part of their online propaganda campaign.

It shows the child – who appears to be less than six months old – lying on its back on the black flag now associated with the group terrorising the Middle East.

Where other babies its age might have soft toys scattered around them, the child has been cynically positioned next to a Kalashnikov rifle, a pistol and hand grenades.

The photo caused a furious backlash online, with one user accusing the organisation of using ‘babies as weapons to kill the innocent’.

And we can’t have that!

Self-styled Palestinian Arabs have been glorifying infanticide for decades—for Muslim as well as Jewish babies and children—and the world can barely rouse itself to clean its left nostril.

One picture of a ISIS baby similarly attired and the world is horrified. Sorry to wake you, people, but its way past time you woke up to reality.

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Hosanna Montana

Remember Todd Akin? Neither do we, but evidently he was a towering figure in the Republican Party. Every Republican in the country, from presidential hopeful to candidate for dog catcher, was obliged to answer for some ignorant comment he made about rape. He must have been really important.

Almost as important as Amanda Curtis:

Meet Democrat Amanda Curtis. She took over as the Democrat Senate candidate in Montana after Democrat John Walsh disgraced himself by cheating on his Army War College thesis (As an actual Army War College graduate, I’d like to say, “Thanks for that, Johnny – those of us who did the hard work to actually earn our masters degrees really appreciate you devaluing it.”) Now Democrat Amanda Curtis is running as a free-spirited progressive, unconstrained by things like class and dignity and the concerns of her constituents.

[U]nlike the goofy womyn’s studies majors we laughed at back in school, we can’t just ignore her. Nor, try as they might, can her fellow Democrat Senate candidates.

Democrat Mark Begich, where do you stand on Democrat Amanda Curtis’s attack on women’s right to be free of sexual assault? Do you consider women’s safety an appropriate topic of humor? Do you stand with the right of Alaskan women to exercise their Second Amendment right to protect themselves from violent crime, or do you support a candidate from your Democrat Party who will vote with the rest of the liberals in your Democrat Party to deprive women of that right?

Democrat Mark Pryor of Arkansas, where have you been as Democrat candidate Amanda Curtis was insulting and rolling her eyes at the mere mention of Christianity?

Democrat Mark Pryor, do you support your Democrat Party’s candidate when she thinks the religion that most of your constituents hold dear is a punchline?

Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky, where do you stand on Democrat Amanda Curtis’s anti-Christian hate speech? Do you stand with the people Kentucky or with the liberal Democrat establishment in Washington, D.C.? Your silence is your answer.

Democrat Kay Hagan of North Carolina, why do you think it is okay for your fellow Democrat to make fun of Christians, and then to roll her beady eyes at the mere mention of the idea of family? Is that what you believe? Why do you want this woman in the Senate?

Democrat Michelle Nunn of Georgia, why aren’t you raising your voice against this kind of mindless progressive bigotry? You made a big deal of refusing to promise to vote for Democrat Harry Reid as majority leader, but in your first test you’ve chosen to tolerate the anti-Christian, anti-family hate of Democrat Amanda Curtis just because she’s in your Democrat Party.

Democrat Bruce Braley, be like Republican Joni Ernst and emulate the example of courage that this Army lieutenant colonel has displayed by standing up to your Democrat Party for its nomination of an anti-Christian, anti-family, anti-woman extremist.

Democrat Amanda Curtis is truly the Todd Akin of this election cycle, yet in contrast to the Republicans, who immediately repudiated Todd Akin’s bizarre biological misconceptions, the Democrats, by their silence, tacitly admit that they either support their Democrat Party over the people of their states or that they agree with Democrat Amanda Curtis’s radical and extreme agenda.

Why do you choose the Democrat Party over your people? The time is now to repudiate the anti-family, anti-Christian and anti-woman views of Democrat Amanda Curtis.

Todd Akin was just as irrelevant (or relevant) to the Republican Party as Amanda Curtis is (or isn’t) to the Democrats. I just wouldn’t want to be accused of not affording her equal treatment.

PS: The last poll from about two weeks ago had Curtis down by 20 points—too close for my liking.

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In Defense of “No Strategy”

The media circles the wagons:

There is a fun foreign policy game making all the rounds in Washington D.C. this summer: Pin the tail on Barack Obama.

There are no points for understanding how international relations work, how U.S. power is actually utilized or how other countries interpret their own interests. There’s no space on the board for tracking the real-life impact of your recommendations.

Foreign policy stewardship would be easy if it were as simple as playing this game. If, as President Obama joked recently, America “control(led) everything around the world,” there wouldn’t be much to decide at all.

See? “Strategies” are fanciful constructs, mere whims. They are policy variations on the old line, “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” Obama’s too smart for that.

We’re just not smart enough to see it:

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Obama will continue to move at his own speed to respond to these crises, regardless of criticism. “There’s no timetable for solving these problems that’s going to meet the cable news cycle speed,” he said. “It’s not a tenable thing. We’d much rather do this right than do it quickly. We tried the opposite [during the Bush years] and it worked out very poorly.”

This week, Obama will have an opportunity to show global leadership at a crisis-packed summit with European allies. Immediately afterward, Secretary of State John F. Kerry will travel to the Middle East, where potential partners, waiting to see whether Obama has the capacity to chart a clear, decisive course, are hoping for direction.

Obama does have one strategy: blame Bush. It’s worked for him so far.

And then, there are those who don’t take the president at his word:

President Obama’s critics often claim he doesn’t have a strategy in the greater Middle East. That’s wrong. Like it or loathe it, he does, and he’s beginning to implement it against ISIS. To understand what it is, it’s worth going back seven summers.

No, no, no. Life’s too short. If I want to climb into the Obama way-back machine, it’s too hear him dismiss bitter clingers, or tell a hall full of union hacks he wants single-payer health insurance, or try to come up with the word “inhaler”. If we’re going to do nothing against the threats of ISIS, Boko Haram, Vladimir Putin, and a dozen other threats (not one of which is global warming), I’m going to enjoy what remains of summer. And my life.

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IRS: Remember Those Lies We Told You About Lois Lerner’s Emails?

We lied:

Judicial Watch, a watchdog group which has been investigating the IRS scandal, has learned that Lois Lerner’s supposedly missing emails may still exist within a federal government back-up system.

After months of administration officials insisting that two years worth of Lerner’s emails were irretrievable following a computer crash, a Department of Justice attorney admitted to Judicial Watch Friday that the federal government backs up all their computer records in case of catastrophe.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified just a few months ago that Lerner’s emails were lost, while the IRS claimed it had gone to “unprecedented efforts” to retrieve the emails.

The news of the “lost” emails was met with wide mockery and disbelief in the press, with many suspecting that some back-up of the records must exist.

Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, told Fox News that the Department of Justice now claims it would be “too hard” to retrieve Lerner’s emails from the back-up system.

Fitton was irate over the administration’s deception: “Everything we’ve been hearing about scratched hard drives, missing e-mails of Lois Lerner, other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration–it’s all been a pack of malarkey.”

“There’s no such thing as Lois Lerner’s missing e-mails,” said Fitton. “It’s all been a big lie. They’ve been lying to the courts, to the American people and to Congress. It is really outrageous.”

It ain’t the crime, but the cover-up. This is Watergate forty years on. If it’s too much to ask for Woodward and Bernstein, can we at least have Holmes (Katie) and Watson (Emma), Lucy and Ethel, or Potsie and Ralph investigate? Memo to media: this kind of crime is precisely why you exist. Do your job.

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Comforting the Comfortable

Many conservatives have come to realize that to win the contest of ideas, you have to compete on the field of culture. It does one no good to be right (as in correct) when Hollywood, academia, the media are all left (as in wrong).

They tell us so themselves:

At last, we know the reason why comedy writers don’t make fun of President Obama much.

It turns out the man is completely unmockable.

We learn this from Jim Downey, the longtime “Saturday Night Live” specialist in political japery. “If I had to describe Obama as a comedy project, I would say, ‘Degree of difficulty, 10 point 10,’” the writer says in the expanded new edition of the “SNL” oral history book, “Live from New York.”

“It’s like being a rock climber looking up at a thousand-foot-high face of solid obsidian, polished and oiled,” Downey says. “There’s not a single thing to grab onto — certainly not a flaw or hook that you can caricature. [Al] Gore had these ‘handles,’ so did Bush, and Sarah Palin, and even Hillary had them. But with Obama, it was the phenomenon — less about him and more about the effect he had on other people and the way he changed their behavior. So that’s the way I wrote him.”

Got that? The charter Choom Ganger, confessed eater of dog and snorter of coke. The doofus who thinks the language spoken by Austrians is “Austrian,” that you pronounce the p in “corpsman” and that ATMs are the reason why job growth is sluggish. The egomaniac who gave the queen of England an iPod loaded with his own speeches and said he was better at everything than the people who work for him. The empty suit with so little real-world knowledge that he referred to his brief stint working for an ordinary profit-seeking company as time “behind enemy lines.” The phony who tells everyone he’s from Chicago, though he didn’t live there until his 20s, and lets you know that he’s talking to people he believes to be stupid by droppin’ his g’s. The world-saving Kal-El from a distant solar system who told us he’d heal the planet and cause the oceans to stop rising. The guy who shared a middle name with one of the most hated dictators on earth.

Nope, nothing there to mock. No way to get a grip on this polished, oiled obsidian. So comedy writers didn’t and mostly still don’t.

In a new book, “Politics Is a Joke!” three academics tabulated 100,000 jokes told by late-night comics over the last 20 years. They found that in 2008 only 6% of the jokes were about Obama (Palin attracted nearly as many jokes in four months as a public figure as he did all year). And those jokes had a tendency to be about as barbed as cotton candy. Example cited by Tevi Troy in The Wall Street Journal: Jon Stewart said Obama visited Bethlehem so he could see “the manger where he was born.”

In every presidential campaign since 1992, the researchers found, comedians aimed more jokes at Republicans than they did at Democrats. Overall, twice as many barbs flew at the GOP.

“Our job is, whoever is in power, we’re opposed,” “SNL” chief Lorne Michaels told The New York Times in 2008.

And 2008 is when that policy ended.

Anyone who cares deeply about a story—say, the way we do about Israel—sees the distortions in the media and the culture at large. We often despair. Obama, global warming, big government, race—we see (and share with you) report after report, story after story highlighting the misconceptions and hypocrisies in the coverage in the media and culture, yet we feel like we get nowhere.

To many young Americans, Jon Stewart is their John Chancellor, and Tina Fey is their Sarah Palin.

Speaking of whom, who says Obama isn’t comedy gold?

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