No, but there’s a Pundit Bubble…
Felix Salmon writes: Call it the Wonk Bubble. If you’re in the market for serious, empirical, quantitative analysis of national policy—or of just about anything else in the news these days—the East Coast Media Elite has you covered like never before.
The Washington Post has Wonkblog, and its Facebook-optimized cousin Know More, and will shortly unveil a “storytelling and policy” project to be run by economics policy correspondent Jim Tankersley. Meanwhile, a large number of Wonkblog and Know More alumni, led by former Wonkblogger-in-chief Ezra Klein, just launched Vox.com, a much more ambitious (if not yet fully formed) website seeking to explain the world in a truly web-native manner.
And Eric Holder is not exactly brilliant either.
Charles C. W. Cooke writes: Addressing the assembled congressmen in his inimitable style last Friday, Attorney General Holder told a House appropriations subcommittee that he wished to “explore” the opportunities that might arise were he to be given millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money and a copy of the movie Skyfall:
I think that one of the things that we learned when we were trying to get passed those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and we talked about how guns can be made more safe.
By making them either through fingerprint identification, the gun talks to a bracelet or something that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon.
It’s those kinds of things that I think we want to try to explore so that we can make sure that people have the ability to enjoy their Second Amendment rights, but at the same time decreasing the misuse of weapons that lead to the kinds of things that we see on a daily basis.
There is much that is remarkable about this rather ugly little disquisition, not least of which is Holder’s apparent inability to construct coherent, intelligible, and appropriate trains of thought. Eccentric syntax notwithstanding, the request is absolutely dripping with noblesse oblige, the clear implication being that the government remains prepared to indulge the exercise of basic liberties providing that it can find a way to ensure that the nation’s dilettantes don’t hurt themselves in the process. Read the rest of this entry »
AWR Hawkins reports: On April 2, Deborah Hughes looked out her front window and saw Steve Utash on the ground being brutally beaten by a gang of men–she grabbed her pistol and ran to his aid.
According to the Daily Mail, Utash had stopped to check on a 10-year-old child “he had accidentally hit.”
When Utash got out of the car a gang converged on him and had beat him unconscious “by the time [Hughes] got to his side.”
This is one of those days where I think Matt Drudge is imitating my obsessions, rather than the other way around. Wishful thinking, I know. But readers here know, Lois Lerner is our favorite voodoo doll. At punditfromanotherplanet, a day without Lois Lerner is a day without sunshine.
For the Washington Examiner, Joel Gehrke reports: House Ways and Means Committee Republicans aren’t ruling out the use of the chamber’s “inherent contempt” authority if Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to act on the panel’s accusations against former IRS official Lois Lerner.
The committee voted Wednesday to seek an investigation of whether Lerner violated federal law by using her power to ensure Right-leaning groups were targeted for extra scrutiny by the agency, giving misleading information during a probe of the matter by the Treasury Department‘s inspector general and using her personal email to conduct official business, which could have resulted in the disclosure of confidential taxpayer information.
Congress votes Lerner in contempt of Congress, refers prosecution to Attorney General who Congress voted in contempt of Congress
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) April 9, 2014
“The Ways and Means Committee, led by Chairman [Dave] Camp [R-Mich.], has conducted a serious and thorough investigation of the IRS, uncovering abuses and criminal acts that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said of the referral. “As I’ve said, if Lois Lerner continues to refuse to testify, then the House will hold her in contempt. And we will continue to shine the light on the administration’s abusive actions and use every tool at our disposal to expose the truth and ensure the American people get the answers they deserve.”
UPDATE: A KTLA TV reporter friend in L.A. broke the news to me, this video clip is not real, it’s a joke. Like a lot of people, I fell for it. Well, it’s funny anyway. And for a prank, well played!
For Ricochet, Greg Lukianoff writes: On Friday, April 3, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a first-of-its-kind bill that effectively designates all outdoor areas on Virginia public campuses as public forums. This has the practical effect of not allowing campus speech to be quarantined into ‘free speech zones.'(read more)
Bonus: In this video, note how some libertarian students in Ohio defeated one such zone:
Saturation coverage of Republican Vance McAllister planting a Republican kiss on his Republican aide in Republican scandal
Breitbart.com‘s John Hayward writes: Back when Democrats were rocked by an incredible spree of arrests over the course of just a few days, much was made of the media’s adamant refusal to disclose some of their party affiliations, especially when reporting on the arrest of Charlotte mayor Patrick Cannon by the FBI in a corruption sting. Somehow numerous local and national media reports just plumb forgot to mention which party Cannon belonged to… which is especially odd, since the FBI recorded him making efforts to sell his close access to President Barack Obama.
And when it came to the absolutely astounding saga of California Democrat Leland Yee, perhaps the juiciest political story in years – a loudmouth gun-control advocate of national prominence, a key figure in the crusade to ban violent videogames, and a strong contender for California Secretary of State busted forconspiring with Chinese gangsters to sell machine guns and rocket launchers – CNN famously refused to report on the story at all.
Hammered by critics for their refusal to so much as speak Leland Yee’s name, the network insisted his was a local story of no great significance. They even tried claiming they never report on the doings of state senators, a claim immediately blasted into a million pieces by citations of them running dozens of such reports over the years.
Update: Hey, what do you know? CNN.com just ran its very first story on Leland Yee, whose unbelievable story broke a week ago. So after a week of insisting they don’t run news stories on state senators, they suddenly decided to post something on this one. His party affiliation is disclosed… drum roll, please… in the fourth paragraph of the story.
Well, now we’ve got Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) caught on video passionately smooching one of his aides. Good news: they’re married. Bad news: they’re married to other people. Let’s see how our scrupulously fair and balanced media handled the disclosure of McAllister’s party affiliation, shall we?
TIME: First word in the story is “Republican,” right in the boldfaced sub-heading. It’s also the second word in the story itself.
Leland Yee needed cash. CNN needed credibility. Somehow, both lost their way.
(Is LeLand Yee a Democrat? You won’t find out until the fourth paragraph)
CNN‘s Matt Smith and Jason Carroll hot on the scene: First, the ambitious California state senator had to fund his 2011 race for mayor of San Francisco. When he came in fifth, he was stuck with $70,000 in campaign debt that he had to retire before he could mount his next run, for secretary of state — a costly statewide venture.
And that’s how prosecutors say Yee ended up sitting across from an undercover federal agent in a coffee shop in early March, brokering what he was told was a $2 million arms deal that would include the purchase of shoulder-fired missiles from Islamic rebels in the Philippines.
“Do I think we can make some money? I think we can make some money,” Yee told the agent in a conversation recounted in a 137-page arrest affidavit. “Do I think we can get the goods? I think we can get the goods.”
The veteran Democrat, an advocate for gun control and campaign finance reform in Sacramento, is now one of about two dozen people charged in a sprawling racketeering case brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco. His co-defendants include a former San Francisco school board president and a previously-convicted Chinatown mobster dubbed “Shrimp Boy.”
He’s accused of putting his public office up for sale, and promising to push donors’ agendas in Sacramento and in his district in exchange for contributions. The allegations have stunned his constituents in San Francisco and its suburbs and cast a shadow over his state Senate colleagues, who have suspended Yee and two other Democrats who have run afoul of the law in recent months. Read the rest of this entry »