Kissinger himself negotiated the One China policy, which recognizes the Chinese government in Beijing, as opposed to Taiwan.
Addy Baird reports: Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger dismissed concerns Wednesday about President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who has been criticized for his close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I hope and I am optimistic that the cooperative way will prevail… Keep in mind that if China and America are in conflict, then the whole world will be divided.”
“I pay no attention to this argument that he is too friendly with Russia,” Kissinger said at an event in Manhattan. “He would be useless at the head of Exxon if he was not friendly with Russia… I don’t hear those concerns at all.”
Kissinger was asked about Tillerson at an event put on by the Committee of 100, an organization that works to advance Chinese-American relations, where the former secretary talked about the future of U.S.-Chinese relations under Trump.
“I pay no attention to this argument that he is too friendly with Russia. He would be useless at the head of Exxon if he was not friendly with Russia… I don’t hear those concerns at all.”
But Kissinger walked a fine line in talking about Tillerson, joking when he was asked about the appointment that he didn’t “come to commit suicide,” but that he “sympathized” with Trump’s decision.
“Nobody can meet every single qualification for secretary of state,” Kissinger said. “I think it’s a good appointment.”
Reflecting on Trump’s developing relationship with China, Kissinger said he is optimistic about the coming administration.
“[We have to decide] whether to attempt to deal cooperatively or confrontationally” with China, Kissinger said. “I hope and I am optimistic that the cooperative way will prevail… Keep in mind that if China and America are in conflict, then the whole world will be divided.”
Earlier this month, Trump became the first U.S. president or president-elect to speak with the leader of Taiwan since 1979. And he suggested this past weekend that the U.S. shouldn’t have to be “bound” by the “One China” policy that American leaders have stood by for decades. Those comments “seriously concerned” China’s Foreign Ministry, its spokesperson said Monday. Read the rest of this entry »
The mainstream media is the biggest purveyor of fake news.
Debra Heine writes: You gotta love our liberal media. Their entire modus operandi for at least the past two decades has been to shamelessly disseminate false left-wing narratives to the masses in their ongoing effort to discredit conservatism and further a progressive agenda. It’s what they do.
But since the election of Donald Trump, they have been obsessed with a new pet narrative: that a so-called “fake news” epidemic is occurring on the right.
This is partly because, I’m convinced, they resent the fact that some people on the alt-right are making inroads on their turf. But the “fake news” excuse also functions as a soothing balm for their wounded egos after their devastating 2016 election losses. It helps them deal with the uncomfortable fact that the electorate just rejected the hell out of the candidates for whom they blatantly shilled.
This happens every time the mainstream media’s favored party suffes a massive defeat at the polls, by the way. In 1994, they blamed their losses on the “angry white male.” After the 2010 “shellacking,” they attributed it to a menacing “climate of hate,”as personified by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.
And now we are asked to believe that fringe conspiracy theories like “PizzaGate” swung the 2016 election for Donald Trump. That may make the left feel better about losing, but their pathetic “fake news” narrative is a conspiracy theory in and of itself.
PizzaGate refers to a spectacular conspiracy theory surrounding Comet Ping Pong, a Baltimore pizza parlor that some internet sleuths claim is at the center of an international child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton and the Podesta brothers. This month, a man with an assault rifle walked into Comet Ping Pong to “self-investigate,” and reportedly fired the rifle at least once inside the restaurant. Luckily, no one was injured.
If only one could say the same about the countless left-wing fake news narratives that have been pushed by the MSM over the years.
For example, the PizzaGate conspiracy theory festered online only in places like 4Chan, Infowars, and Reddit.
But the “hands up, don’t shoot” conspiracy theory — which suggested a racist white cop shot an unarmed black teenager for no reason at all in Ferguson, Missouri — was propagated all over the mainstream news: CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, and others. It even was heavily spread by elected members of the Democratic Party.
That fake news led to riots, and it’s no stretch of the imagination to assume that the ensuing murdered policemen were the result of some bad actors feeling justified in retaliating.
Here is a list of ten memorable fake news stories from the mainstream media.
CBS did its own investigation in the matter, and determined there were several serious breaches of handling this story, among them failure to identify the sources of the documents properly; failure to document the chain of custody of the documents; failure to establish the credibility of the documents.Those that tendered their resignations on request were: Senior Vice President Betsy West, the supervisor of primetime programs for CBS News; Josh Howard, the executive producer of Wednesday’s version of 60 Minutes; Mary Murphy, senior broadcast producer and Howard’s deputy. Mary Mapes, the actual producer of the Killian documents story, was terminated, in part for calling a senior official in John Kerry’s presidential campaign (Joe Lockhart) and offering to put him in touch with Burkett. The CBS panel called Mapes’ action a “clear conflict of interest that created the appearance of political bias.”
Unbowed and still convinced of the document’s authenticity, Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and its former corporate parent, Viacom on September 19, 2007, claiming he was made a “scapegoat”. A day later, Mapes wrote a column in the Huffington Post, claiming that far-right blogs have “pronounced themselves experts on document analysis, and began attacking the form and font in the memos. They screamed objections that ultimately proved to have no basis in fact … They dominated the discussion by churning out gigabytes of mind-numbing internet dissertations about the typeface in the memos, focusing on the curl at the end of the “a,” the dip on the top of the “t,” the spacing, the superscript, which typewriters were used in the military in 1972. It was a deceptive approach, and it worked”.
In a clear contradiction of her rant, Mapes did in fact have prior knowledge of Bush’s guard service in her hands but chose to ignore it. In a press release on January 10, 2005, Accuracy in Media reported that the internal investigation conducted by CBS into the “Rathergate” matter revealed that Mapes had documented information on hand which detailed Bush’s attempt to volunteer for duty as a fighter pilot in Vietnam but was denied by his superiors at the time due to his inexperience. Accuracy in Media Editor Cliff Kincaid explained:
“Mapes, who was very close to Rather and enjoyed his confidence, had the evidence exonerating Bush of this malicious charge. The report shows that there were multiple credible sources to prove that Bush did not try to avoid Vietnam by going into the National Guard and that he was in fact willing to go to Vietnam as a pilot. However, CBS News deliberately kept this information from its viewers and conveyed an opposite impression because Rather, Mapes & Company were trying to depict Bush as a coward who, as Commander-in-Chief, was sending American soldiers to their deaths in Iraq.”
The truth is that Bush, the alleged slacker, had volunteered to go to Vietnam while in the Texas Air National Guard, but was he was turned down because he didn’t have enough flight hours to qualify.
On January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire on a Safeway parking lot in Casas Adobes, Arizona, shooting U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the head, and eighteen others. Six people died, including a federal judge, one of Rep. Giffords’ staffers, and a nine-year-old girl. Read the rest of this entry »
Evidence keeps piling up that the American people have a very low opinion of how the media reports on our elections. The latest Pew Research Center opinion survey revealed “Just 22% give the press a grade of an A or B, while 38% give it a failing grade” – an F. The approval of the media has been declining for years. After the 2004 re-election of George W. Bush, 33 percent of voters gave the press an A or a B, compared to just 16 percent picking “F.” Read the rest of this entry »
Progressive centrism was never thoroughly fleshed out, but the basic idea was to combine the goals of populism—harnessing the power of government to do good for the ‘little guy’—with the New Democrats’ recognition of markets as a powerful tool for achieving those goals. Combined with an incrementalist approach, Judis and Teixeira argued, Democrats would form a new majority coalition. Oops.
Sean Trende writes: The 2000 election left a Democratic Party that was simultaneously angry, dispirited and divided. Populists believed that Al Gore made a terrible mistake by embracing the “New Democrats”—what we then called a group of socially moderate, culturally cosmopolitan, fiscally cautious Democrats in the ’90s—thereby failing to excite working-class whites. New Democrats, by contrast, thought Gore’s late adoption of heavily populist rhetoric had needlessly alienated whites with college degrees, costing him the election.
As this fight wore on, two important left-of-center thinkers, John Judis and Ruy Teixeira, wrote a book called “The Emerging Democratic Majority.” Although the book is known as a demographic work, the demographics discussed so extensively in it are, in fact, subordinate to the larger goal of the book: to find a way for the two factions in the Democratic Party described above to live together, and to win. Their framework was explicitly Hegelian/Fichtean: They described the “thesis” and “antithesis” as being the populist Democrats and the “New Democrats.” Their proposed synthesis: what they called “progressive centrism.”
Progressive centrism was never thoroughly fleshed out, but the basic idea was to combine the goals of populism—harnessing the power of government to do good for the “little guy”—with the New Democrats’ recognition of markets as a powerful tool for achieving those goals. Combined with an incrementalist approach, Judis and Teixeira argued, Democrats would form a new majority coalition. This coalition would be an expansion of the old “McGovern” coalition, and would consist of working-class whites, women, African-Americans and Hispanics, as well as professional whites living in what they called “ideopolises” – high-tech areas filled with state employees and professional workers.
In keeping with the progressive view that history is something with an arc that can be predicted and even bent to our will, “The Emerging Democratic Majority” was expressly grounded in realignment theory. This view of elections holds that the arc of history moves in roughly 30-year epicycles, where the country progresses through stages where different parties hold a position as the dominant “sun” party, or the pale “moon” party (to borrow the terminology of Samuel Lubell). The Democratic majority, we were told, would emerge fully in the 2000s. Read the rest of this entry »
The public’s loathing and distrust of the media is richly deserved and indicative of one of Western society’s greatest failings: the free press has failed.
“The American media turned itself inside out trying to portray Trump as a misogynist, a racist and an authoritarian populist whipping up mobs and inciting violence. All this was unmitigated rubbish.”
The public’s loathing and distrust of the media is richly deserved and indicative of one of Western society’s greatest failings: the free press has failed. Only the fact that there is no alternative keeps it going. Few people now pay much attention to the common misrepresentation of public issues and people; nor should they. The American media turned itself inside out trying to portray Trump as a misogynist, a racist and an authoritarian populist whipping up mobs and inciting violence. All this was unmitigated rubbish. President Barack Obama strutted about the campaign trail in a last-ditch effort to salvage the Clinton campaign (despite the notorious absence of any affection between the Obamas and the Clintons), and accused Trump of being a sympathizer of the Ku Klux Klan. The president would have his listeners believe that Trump, who has an unblemished record as an equal opportunity employer, approves of thugs surging about in hoods and bedsheets, burning crosses on the lawns of African-Americans, Jews and Roman Catholics (most of whose 30 million voters cast their ballots for Trump).
“Fareed has generously invited me back this Sunday. But his program wasn’t fair comment or thoughtful information: it was propaganda, less virulent and hateful, certainly, than that of infamous promoters of the big lie in totalitarian states, but almost as lacking in integrity or balance.”
The media screamed for Trump’s blood when the Clinton campaign released an 11-year-old tape of boorish remarks about women, though what Trump said was the bland and pious reflection of a Baptist minister compared to the normal conversation of Lyndon Johnson, or the actual conduct, while discharging presidential business, of Bill Clinton. It was magnificent watching the Clinton News Network (CNN) robots on autocue scurrying around like asphyxiated roaches as it became clear that Trump would do the impossible and win, and that the public saw through the animosity of the lazy, complacent, boot-licking, myth-making claque of the Washington media, with its liars, defamers, frauds and idiots.
Last Sunday, I was a token expositor of a positive view of Trump, though I am no Clinton-basher, on Fareed Zakaria’s television program GPS. Fareed, a pleasant and capable man and a friend of many years, opened with a frenzied recitation of Trump’s status as a sexist, racist, xenophobic and crooked demagogue. What followed for 45 minutes, apart from Zbigniew Brzezinski’s artful debunking of the Obama foreign policy (“engaged but ineffectual”), was a sequence of Clinton-parrots. There was a debate between two pollsters about the breadth of Hillary Clinton’s almost inevitable margin of victory. I politely demurred from all this when my turn came after 50 minutes, and Fareed has generously invited me back this Sunday. But his program wasn’t fair comment or thoughtful information: it was propaganda, less virulent and hateful, certainly, than that of infamous promoters of the big lie in totalitarian states, but almost as lacking in integrity or balance. Read the rest of this entry »
Liberals liked executive authority as long as Obama wielded it. Now they’ve set a precedent.
Glenn Greenwald writes: Liberals are understandably panicked about what Donald Trump can carry out. “We have a president-elect with authoritarian tendencies assuming a presidency that has never been more powerful,” Franklin Foer wrote this past week in Slate. Trump will command not only a massive nuclear arsenal and the most robust military in history, but also the ability to wage numerous wars in secret and without congressional authorization; a ubiquitous system of electronic surveillance that can reach most forms of human communication and activity; and countless methods for shielding himself from judicial accountability, congressional oversight and the rule of law — exactly what the Constitution was created to prevent. Trump assumes the presidency “at the peak of its imperial powers,” as Foer put it.
“After Obama took office, many liberals often tolerated — and even praised — his aggressive assertions of executive authority. It is hard to overstate how complete the Democrats’ about-face on these questions was once their own leader controlled the levers of power.”
Sen. Barack Obama certainly saw it that way when he first ran for president in 2008. Limiting executive-power abuses and protecting civil liberties were central themes of his campaign. The former law professor repeatedly railed against the Bush-Cheney template of vesting the president with unchecked authorities in the name of fighting terrorism or achieving other policy objectives.
“After just three years of the Obama presidency, liberals sanctioned a system that allowed the president to imprison people without any trial or an ounce of due process.”
“This administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide,” he said in 2007. Listing an array of controversial Bush-Cheney policies, from warrantless domestic surveillance to due-process-free investigations and imprisonment, he vowed: “We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers.”
“Blinded by the belief that Obama was too benevolent and benign to abuse his office, and drowning in partisan loyalties at the expense of political principles, Democrats consecrated this framework with their acquiescence and, often, their explicit approval. This is the unrestrained set of powers Trump will inherit.”
Yet, beginning in his first month in office and continuing through today, Obama not only continued many of the most extreme executive-power policies he once condemned, but in many cases strengthened and extended them. His administration detained terrorism suspects without due process, proposed new frameworks to keep them locked up without trial, targeted thousands of individuals (including a U.S. citizen) for execution by drone, invoked secrecy doctrines to shield torture and eavesdropping programs from judicial review, and covertly expanded the nation’s mass electronic surveillance.
“Beginning in his first month in office and continuing through today, Obama not only continued many of the most extreme executive-power policies he once condemned, but in many cases strengthened and extended them.”
Blinded by the belief that Obama was too benevolent and benign to abuse his office, and drowning in partisan loyalties at the expense of political principles, Democrats consecrated this framework with their acquiescence and, often, their explicit approval. This is the unrestrained set of powers Trump will inherit. The president-elect frightens them, so they are now alarmed. But if they want to know whom to blame, they should look in the mirror.
Obama’s approach to executive power flipped so quickly and diametrically that it is impossible to say if he ever believed his campaign-era professions of restraint. As early as May 2009, Jack Goldsmith, a Justice Department official under George W. Bush, celebrated Obama’s abandonment of his promises to rein in these authorities, writingthat “the new administration has copied most of the Bush program, has expanded some of it, and has narrowed only a bit.” He added that the “Obama practices will be much closer to late Bush practices than almost anyone expected in January 2009.”
“Obama’s approach to executive power flipped so quickly and diametrically that it is impossible to say if he ever believed his campaign-era professions of restraint.”
By putting a prettier liberal face on these policies, and transforming them from a symbol of GOP radicalism into one of bipartisan security consensus, the president entrenched them as permanent fixtures of the American presidency. As Goldsmith put it, Obama’s actions were “designed to fortify the bulk of the Bush program for the long-run.”
“In fact, a new Democratic Party orthodoxy took hold under Obama: the right of a president to detain people, or even assassinate them, without charges or a whiff of judicial oversight. This included even American citizens.”
Liberals vehemently denounced these abuses during the Bush presidency. From 2001 through 2008, Democrats called them the embodiment of tyranny, an existential threat to democracy, a menacing expression of right-wing radicalism. Read the rest of this entry »
America is the world’s largest economy, and yet many American companies are moving jobs and factories overseas.
Why do large companies based in the U.S. often move jobs and new factories overseas? Because our current tax system often makes doing business in America a losing proposition compared to expanding internationally. So, just how much more expensive is it to build that next factory or hire that next worker in America?
[VIDEO] REWIND: Unprecedented? Clinton/Gore ’92 Seized On Law Enforcement Revelation 4 Days Before ElectionPosted: October 30, 2016
FBI Director James B. Comey decided to inform Congress that he would look again into Hillary Clinton’s handling of emails during her time as secretary of state for two main reasons: a sense of obligation to lawmakers and a concern that word of the new email discovery would leak to the media and raise questions of a coverup.
“Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.”
— Director Janes Comey, in a memo to FBI employees
The rationale, described by officials close to Comey’s decision-making on the condition of anonymity, prompted the FBI director to release his brief letter to Congress on Friday and upset a presidential race less than two weeks before Election Day. It placed Comey again at the center of a highly partisan argument over whether the nation’s top law enforcement agency was unfairly influencing the campaign.
“It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election. The Director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining.”
— John Podesta, chairman of Clinton’s presidential campaign
In a memo explaining his decision to FBI employees soon after he sent his letter to Congress, Comey said he felt “an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed.”
“Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record,” Comey wrote to his employees.
The last time Comey found himself in the campaign spotlight was in July, when he announced that he had finished a months-long investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information through the use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. After he did so, the denunciation was loudest from Republican nominee Donald Trump and his supporters, who accused the FBI director of bias in favor of Clinton’s candidacy. There was also grumbling within FBI ranks, with a largely conservative investigative corps complaining privately that Comey should have tried harder to make a case.
Republicans and Democrats respond as the FBI makes new inquiries related to Hillary Clinton’s private email server. (Dalton Bennett, Alice Li, Ashleigh Joplin/The Washington Post)
This time the loudest criticism has come from Clinton and her supporters, who said Friday that Comey had provided too little information about the nature of the new line of investigation and allowed Republicans to seize political ground as a result. The inquiry focuses on Clinton emails found on a computer used by former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), now under investigation for sending sexually explicit messages to a minor, and top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who is Weiner’s wife. The couple have since separated. Read the rest of this entry »
ALARMISM ALERT: Climate Change Consensus Increasingly Questioned Amid Government Crackdown on DissentPosted: April 11, 2016
“There has been quite an uptick in papers that question the consensus this year.”
— Anthony Watts
Even as Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude E. Walker demanded the free market think tank’s climate research and communications, a rising tide of evidence has challenged the narrative that increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are driving floods, drought and other disasters.
“As the body of evidence refuting climate alarmism continues to balloon, the question of how the IPCC can continue ignoring it becomes ever more glaring.”
— Engineer Pierre L. Gosselin
As of March 27, researchers had published 133 “consensus-skeptical” papers this year, bringing to 660 the number of such studies appearing since January 2014, blogger Kenneth Richard wrote on the skeptics website NoTricksZone.
“There has been quite an uptick in papers that question the consensus this year,” said Anthony Watts, who runs the influential WattsUpWithThat? website.
Studies published on his website and others include in the past few weeks include those that say:
• An exhaustive study published April 7 in Nature by University of Stockholm researchers examining hydrological patterns going back 1,200 years found that climate models cannot accurately predict extreme rainfall and drought.
• An article published April 4 in Nature Geoscience linked the melting of the Greenland ice sheets to hot spot activity within the Earth’s core, a finding that “must be included in studies of the future response to climate change,” said lead author Irina Rogozhina, a scientist at the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen in Germany.
• A March 21 paper by meteorologist Martin Hertzberg and chemist Hans Schreuder, evaluating figures behind the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “consensus,” concluded that “nothing in the data supports the supposition that atmospheric CO2 is a driver of weather or climate.”
“As the body of evidence refuting climate alarmism continues to balloon, the question of how the IPCC can continue ignoring it becomes ever more glaring,” said engineer Pierre L. Gosselin, who runs the NoTricksZone website and translates climate news from German to English.
In spite of that research — or maybe because of it — Democrats have renewed their efforts to clamp down on climate dissent.
Two weeks ago, 17 attorneys general — 16 Democrats and Mr. Walker, an independent — announced that they would investigate and prosecute climate-related “fraud,” citing investigations by journalism outlets accusing Exxon Mobil Corp. of stifling its own scientific research in support of the “settled science.”
While Exxon Mobil has denounced the accusations as “preposterous,” Mr. Walker followed up Thursday with a subpoena calling for the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s work on climate and energy policy from 1997 to 2007, including the nonprofit’s “private donor information,” the institute said. Read the rest of this entry »
Grab your popcorn and enjoy the show.
Shawn Macomb writes: So now that the Democratic party is well and truly feeling the Bern, how should those of us who identify not as democratic socialists nor oligarchs nor oligarch-enablers feel about those lighter-shade-of-Mao “Bernie 2016″ yard signs reddening up the landscape?
“The Sandernistas on the march will be more fun to watch than a crossover season of Girls and The Walking Dead—if, that is, one could still stomach watching Lena Dunham now that she’s thrown in her lot with that pantsuited Goldman Sachs subsidiary who portrays Hillary Clinton on various debate stages and social media accounts.”
The perhaps counterintuitive answer is . . . thrilled. Ecstatic, even. The Sandernistas on the march will be more fun to watch than a crossover season of Girls and The Walking Dead—if, that is, one could still stomach watching Lena Dunham now that she’s thrown in her lot with that pantsuited Goldman Sachs subsidiary who portrays Hillary Clinton on various debate stages and social media accounts.
Skeptical? Allow me to relate a single line from Outsider in the House, Sanders’s memoir of his 1996 congressional campaign: “I’m not sure how many of them actually heard my fourteen-second speech about the dangers of Newt Gingrich, given when I stepped out of my tiger costume.”
Sanders is describing his collaboration with the Bread and Puppet Domestic Resurrection Circus, “a political company whose accomplished theatrical productions are,” the then-congressman assured us, “truly radical”—radical enough to induce a sitting congressman to hold up the hind quarters of a tiger costume, anyway. “It’s better than being a horse’s ass,” Sanders writes, though whether he speaks from experience is not immediately clear.
“Alas, the charge of ‘insufficient Leninism’ is not the campaign-killer it once was. The Sandernistas don’t care about realpolitik lectures from ex-congressmen or the bitter ravings of the man whose 2000 campaign on the Green party ticket robbed the nation of four-to-eight glorious years of prime-time PowerPoint presentations from President Gore.”
Sure, the tiger-costume anecdote is a bit rich coming from the same guy who a few pages before slagged freshman Republicans who slept in their offices to save taxpayer cash back in ’95 as “total nuts” making “some kind of weird political statement.” But Sanders’s tale takes an even more absurdist turn as he recounts his address to the all-volunteer Mississquoi Valley Emergency Rescue Service later that same day. “Person after person,” Sanders notes, “talked about the trauma of seeing people die and the joy of saving people’s lives.” The contrast “from radical theatrics to community-based service,” he allows, “was striking.” Indeed. But “the differences strike me as more superficial than deep,” Sanders inexplicably feels compelled to add, as “both the rescue workers and the drama troupe are focused on . . . giving of themselves to build community.”
Even if he isn’t plotting to replace America’s first-responders with a puppeteer corps, Bernie Sanders is clearly delusional enough to be president. But is he delusional in the appropriate way?
Many of his erstwhile ideological allies are not so sure. Former congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, for example, snarked to National Journal, “I don’t understand what [Sanders] running for president would do other than frankly show that his viewpoint is not the majority viewpoint.” In a scathing Salon piece, writer Charles Davis averred that while, yes, Sanders “tosses rhetorical Molotovs at America’s 21st-century robber barons like few other national politicians,” he’s also “rather non-threatening, his politics reformist, not revolutionary—more old-school liberal than Leninist.” Read the rest of this entry »
Noah Rothman writes: Anyone who believes the 15-year-old wounds resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore must have healed by now should ask a Broward County Democrat for their thoughts on the matter. Resentment among those who perceived themselves to be on the losing end of that decision lingers.
The notion that former Vice President Al Gore won the popular vote and yet lost the presidency is perceived even today by partisan Democrats not only as (erroneously) anathema to the foundational precepts of American constitutional governance but a veritable crime. Forget the merits of the case, which decidedly favor the plaintiff.
A pervasive sense of victimization continues to animate many a liberal Democrat. You would think a Clinton of all people would have internalized the lessons of 2000. Instead, the likely Democratic presidential nominee and the party she is vying to lead are sowing the seeds of similar discontent that might linger on for years…(read more)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her assessment of the poor state of the broadcast news industry in America. Saying,
“Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because its real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.”
John Nolte reports: Other than the political benefits for central planning-Democrats that come from civil unrest in America’s inner-cities, another reason CNN president Jeff Zucker has turned his cable news network into a relentless hate machine is simple greed — the power and money that comes from increased ratings.
There is no questions that CNN’s dishonest but ongoing smear campaigns against Christians, conservatives and the police have stolen left-of-center viewers from MSNBC. The two left-wing networks share a very small piece of viewer pie, and when CNN is ginning up hate and civil unrest, CNN usually wins a larger piece of that pie than MSNBC.
Steven F. Hayward writes: Try this out as a thought experiment: what would happen if, tomorrow morning, we had definitive proof that catastrophic climate change was impossible, wasn’t happening, and would never happen. Would Al Gore breathe a big sigh of relief and say—“Well good; now we can go back to worrying about smoking, or bad inner city schools, or other persistent, immediate problems.”
“As an ageing warrior, he grew breathless in pursuit of smaller and smaller dragons—for the big dragons were now harder to come by.”
Of course not. The general reaction from environmentalists and the left would be a combination of outrage and despair. The need to believe in oneself as part of the agency of human salvation runs deep for leftists and environmentalists who have made their obsessions a secular religion.
And humanity doesn’t need salvation if thereis no sin in the first place. Hence human must be sinners—somehow—in need of redemption from the left.
I got to thinking about this when reading a short passage from an old book by Canadian philosopher George Grant, Philosophy in the Mass Age:
“During the excitement over Sputnik, it was suggested that the Americans were deeply depressed by Russian success. I thought this was a wrong interpretation. Rather, there was a great sigh of relief from the American elites, for now there was an immediate practical objective to be achieved, a new frontier to be conquered—outer space.”
This tracks closely with Kenneth Minogue’s diagnosis of liberalism in his classic The Liberal Mind. Minogue compared liberals to medieval dragon hunters, who sought after dragons to slay even after it was clear they didn’t exist. The liberal, like the dragon hunter, “needed his dragons. He could only live by fighting for causes—the people, the poor, the exploited, the colonially oppressed, the underprivileged and the underdeveloped. As an ageing warrior, he grew breathless in pursuit of smaller and smaller dragons—for the big dragons were now harder to come by.”
[Order George Grant‘s book “Philosophy in the Mass Age” (Philosophy and Theology) from Amazon.com]
Hence on college campuses today the liberal mind is relentlessly hunting after “microaggressions,” which is pretty pathetic as dragons of injustice go. Environmentalists are still after the fire-breathing dragon of climate change, now that previous dragons like the population bomb have disappeared into the medieval mists—so much so that even the New York Times recently declared the population bomb to have been completely wrongheaded.
“Hence on college campuses today the liberal mind is relentlessly hunting after ‘micro aggressions,’ which is pretty pathetic as dragons of injustice go.”
Or perhaps a better metaphor for true-believing environmentalism is drug addiction: the addictive need for another rush of euphoria, followed by the crash or pains of withdrawal, and the diminishing returns of the next fix. For there’s always a next fix for environmentalists: fracking, bee colony collapse disorder, de-forestation, drought, floods, plastic bags . . . the list is endless. Read the rest of this entry »
Tesla’s impresario is right about one thing: Humanity’s preservation is a legitimate government interest
Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. writes: There is often a large difference between what people imagine they are doing and what they are actually doing. Especially in politics, any relationship between the effect of policy, the goal of policy and the stated goal is often incidental to the point of randomness.
“He’s not the first to suggest that dramatically reducing the cost of earth orbit is a key to future space endeavors. He isn’t the only dot-com millionaire to turn his attention to space.”
Adding to the complexity, the doers themselves are often confused about the relationship between rhetoric and reality.
Which naturally brings us to a new biography of Elon Musk, whose entrepreneurial energy is a marvel; the world would be better off if there were more like him, even if a “nonstop horrible” childhood was a precursor to his adult achievements. That said, the “change the world” stuff, let alone the “save humanity” stuff, that fills Ashlee Vance’s admired “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” is a tad overdone.
“If he succeeds, though, in delivering his cheap, reusable heavy-lift vehicle, vast new possibilities will open up. Fifty years from now if there are hotels and factories in orbit, they may well be SpaceX hotels and factories.”
Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House roof. GM rolled out its EV1 electric car in 1996. Mr. Musk has been selling back to affluent, middle-aged baby boomers their own youthful ideals in the shape of roof panels and plug-in cars.
These items sell not because the moment is ripe to transition the world economy to solar but as vanity trinkets for the rich that even the rich wouldn’t buy without a large helping of taxpayer money.
“If a human outpost materializes on Mars, it may well be a SpaceX outpost.”
Yes, Mr. Musk deserves credit for organizing his enterprises and getting them off the ground. The bureaucratic obstacles to starting a car business are especially daunting. And his Tesla Model S is a lovely object and wonderful machine.
[Order Ashlee Vance’s book “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” from Amazon.com]
Nowhere in Mr. Vance’s book, though, does the figure $7,500 appear—the direct taxpayer rebate to each U.S. buyer of Mr. Musk’s car. You wouldn’t know that 10% of all Model S cars have been sold in Norway—though Tesla’s own 10-K lists the possible loss of generous Norwegian tax benefits as a substantial risk to the company. Read the rest of this entry »
Are Conservatives a Little Paranoid? The Obama Administration has ‘Richly Earned Citizens’ Distrust’, says David FrenchPosted: May 11, 2015
No, the Obama administration isn’t going to invade Texas
David French writes:
…Let’s not forget that more than half of Democrat voters thought it was “very” or “somewhat” likely that the Bush administration either “assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.” Let that sink in: For all the elite’s disdain of allegedly gullible conservatives, a majority of the Left believed that an American president was complicit in mass murder.
But extreme paranoia wasn’t limited to the Democratic rank and file. As National Review’s own Rich Lowry pointed out, Naomi Wolf (former campaign consultant to Bill Clinton and Al Gore) actually wrote a book explaining how the Bush administration was mirroring the early actions of dictatorships like those in Germany, Russia, and China. Harper’s Magazine published breathless stories about a barely averted Bush administration “coup” or “military dictatorship.” Even as recently as 2013, the National Journal published an article claiming that military officers were considering “staging a coup” against President Obama — the basis for the claim was a series of statements by a retired general who specifically declared that no coup was being contemplated.
In this atmosphere of earned distrust, it is appropriate for elected officials to ask questions about even benign and well-meaning military exercises. No, the Obama administration isn’t going to invade Texas or Utah. Yes, there are some bottom-dwelling, opportunistic conspiracy-mongers who’ve done their best to whip up public concern. Read the rest of this entry »
In which our resident scholar on all things Middle-East – and circus related, Andrew Klavan, explains Barack Obama’s policy for that troubled region. Think of it as Smart Diplomacy for Dummies…
Kurt Wagner writes: Twitter is officially pulling back the curtain on Periscope, a livestreaming video app that’s been in beta since the company acquired it back in January, reportedly for $100 million.
Periscope streams live audio and video from a user’s smartphone that other people can watch and comment on within the app — the link to the livestream can be shared on Twitter as a way to spread the word and boost the audience.
The free app, which is only available on iOS for now, provides immediate competition to Meerkat, a similar livestreaming app that took off at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, earlier his month.
Meerkat, which launched just two weeks before the conference, relies heavily on Twitter’s platform. It uses Twitter login and had used its social graph to help users find people to follow before Twitter cut it off.
Given the relationship between the two products, speculation that Twitter might buy Meerkat made sense, but it bought competitor Periscope instead. Things haven’t been all bad for Meerkat, though. The app has more than 400,000 users, according to CEO Ben Rubin, and it just raised $12 million in a deal that values it at $52 million.
The two apps work in a similar way, but Twitter-owned Periscope is actually more independent from Twitter than Meerkat. Unlike Meerkat, where any Likes and comments are reflected on your Twitter profile, all the engagement on Periscope is kept within the app. Read the rest of this entry »
Out: Far Left 9/11 Truthers. In: Far Left ISIS Truthers
October 4th, 2014, Ed Driscoll writes:
Al Gore was driven (further) insane when he lost to GWB in 2000, going from a man who attacked Bush #41 in 1992 for not removing Saddam Hussein from power, to demonizing Bush #43 for removing Saddam Hussein from power, and smearing his supporters as “digital brownshirts.” Gore, whose political career was reborn in 1989, when he made an about-face from a relatively conservative Democrat in the 1980s to comparing global warming to “An Ecological Kristallnacht” in a New York Times op-ed, sold his Current TV channel to Al Jazeera, owned by the ISIS-funding petro-state Qatar, for $500 million at the start of 2013.
With her above Facebook post today, Naomi Wolf, legendary (if perhaps somewhat apocryphally) for advising Gore in 2000 to switch to earth tones to bring out his hot-blooded alpha male (no, really), has joined him in la-la land.
It shouldn’t be all that surprising. In August of 2009, the former self-described “third wave feminist” thought that Islamic women forcing women to cover their faces was totally groovy, and underneath, the Islamic world was as laid back about sex as say, your average, Greenwich Village coffee house. (No, really.) Or as Phyllis Chesler paraphrased Wolf’s essay in the Sydney Morning Herald, “The Burqa: Ultimate Feminist Choice?”
In the fall of 2008, she predicted that if John McCain won, we’d see the coming of the Palin-Rove Police State. (No, really!) Here’s Wolf’s fever-swamp rant at the Huffington Post in September of 2008:
Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah “Evita” Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state.
You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand “Palin Power.” A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections — but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you don’t have freedom.
I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints.
(Read the whole thing; it’s quite a hoot.) In October 2011, Wolf got her wish, sort of, being busted by Mayor Bloomberg’s finest and held overnight after an Occupy Wall Street rally went awry. Read the rest of this entry »
Maybe I’m perverse, but this made me laugh out loud. It’s so true. Over at The Corner, Jim Geraghty, observing that the time has never been better for a limited-government candidate, writes:
“…This is not to say electing a Republican candidate, pledging to limit and reduce the size, scope, cost, and reach of government is going to be easy, of course. For starters, no matter who the 2016 Republican candidate is, that person is going to face some variation of this:
All of the celebrities of Hollywood and the music industry will come out to rally and endorse the Democratic candidate — Ms. Perry and her latex dresses, Bruce Springsteen, Eva Longoria, the Black Eyed Peas, Ben Affleck, and all the other usual suspects. This reflects their reflexive insistence that the Democratic president candidate is the “cool” one. Most of these figures insisted John Kerry was the cool one in 2004 and that Al Gore was the cool choice in 2000. Ahem.
The 2004 experience ought to reassure us that Democrat-friendly celebrities cannot, by themselves, convince the public that the Democratic nominee is cooler and thus a better choice for president.
The 2016 Republican nominee is also certain to face some variation of this:
In some senses relating to the campaign, it does not matter whether Republicans nominate Jeb Bush, or Rand Paul, or Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, or Bobby Jindal, or Chris Christie, or Scott Walker, or Rick Perry, or any other GOP rising star. The 2016 Republican nominee will be attacked for being insufficiently “cool” and attacked for being “not one of us.” Read the rest of this entry »
Justin Danhof, Director of the Free Enterprise Project (and one of Tim Cook’s least favorite investors) joined the program to discuss his recent dust-up with the Apple CEO… Apparently, Cook thinks that return on investment isn’t nearly as important as pursuing “green energy” dollars from DC.
Click here to listen to Ransom Notes Radio live or for archives of previous shows.
Ed Rogers writes …some very interesting analysis from Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. The YPCCC, which “conducts research on public climate knowledge” has grouped Americans’ sentiments about global warming into six categories, ranging from “The Alarmed” to “The Dismissives.” Even though I am properly suspicious of anything Yale has to say about global warming, I think Mr. Leiserowitz makes some interesting points. His analysis puts into vivid relief that one group is missing from the spectrum of debate on climate change. There should be an additional category called something like “The Prudent Rationals.” There should be, but there is not — and it is the liberals’ fault.
The Democrats’ global-warming “solutions” fit a little too nicely into their tiresome political agenda of class warfare, anti-business regulations and the big government controls they want to force on us.
“The Prudent Rationals” would be comprised of those whose attitudes comport with something like the following: They are generally respectful of the scientific community and are eager to listen to mainstream scientists and researchers. They want to hear from legitimate experts who acknowledge the variables, the uncertainties and, importantly, the mistakes and errors of climate science so far. This group could support a prudent plan to produce measurable benefits, but only if the plan were truly global in scope and the cost seemed to be proportional to the outcome. The “Prudent Rationals” believe it is reasonable to accept that there are consequences for continually pumping gases into the atmosphere. And it seems right that one generation should leave the planet better than they found it for the next generation. But we need to be realistic about technical science and political science. If we can’t act globally to limit these gases, we should be focusing on local pollution, not on plans that unilaterally wreck our economy and impoverish millions – if not billions – for nothing.
Violently ill, strapped to a hospital bed, under psychiatric observation, Robert Shrum writes:
Handicappers in the presidential race abhor the opposite of a vacuum—a campaign two years out where one candidate seems to blot out the entire field. Thus a mini-chorus now rises, and may swell, questioning Hillary Clinton’s apparent lock on the 2016 Democratic nomination. It’s a predictable reflex, but in cold, hard reality, logic suggests that the lock is authentic, not just apparent. And in modern history, or virtually all American history, Hillary’s inevitability is unprecedented for a non-incumbent.
First, the logic. Who can seriously challenge her march toward a closing night acceptance speech at the next Democratic convention?
With a deft touch of humor more enjoyable than enlightening, Matt Bai suggests that Hillary is “no more likely to clear the Democratic field and avoid a primary … than Dennis Rodman is to become her Secretary of State.” Her fundraising advantages and her strength among “party regulars” make “her vulnerable to another grassroots challenge.”
But history doesn’t metronomically repeat itself. There is no Barack Obama waiting in the wings this time—and the last time, he wasn’t exactly in the wings. He had captured the party’s attention and admiration from the moment he commanded the national spotlight with a stunning keynote speech at the 2004 convention. It’s utter mythology that he came out of nowhere in 2007; some of the smartest Democrats, including Clinton loyalists like Greg Craig, who had defended the president during impeachment proceedings, signed on with Obama early on.
The always entertaining, perpetually ill-tempered Mark Steyn writes: Yes, yes, just to get the obligatory ‘of courses’ out of the way up front: of course ‘weather’ is not the same as ‘climate’; and of course the thickest iciest ice on record could well be evidence of ‘global warming’, just as 40-and-sunny and a 35-below blizzard and 12 degrees and partly cloudy with occasional showers are all apparently manifestations of ‘climate change’; and of course the global warm-mongers are entirely sincere in their belief that the massive carbon footprint of their rescue operation can be offset by the planting of wall-to-wall trees the length and breadth of Australia, Britain, America and continental Europe.
But still: you’d have to have a heart as cold and unmovable as Commonwealth Bay ice not to be howling with laughter at the exquisite symbolic perfection of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition ‘stuck in our own experiment’, as they put it. I confess I was hoping it might all drag on a bit longer and the cultists of the ecopalypse would find themselves drawing straws as to which of their number would be first on the roasting spit. On Douglas Mawson’s original voyage, he and his surviving comrade wound up having to eat their dogs. I’m not sure there were any on this expedition, so they’d probably have to make do with the Guardianreporters. Forced to wait a year to be rescued, Sir Douglas later recalled, ‘Several of my toes commenced to blacken and fester near the tips.’ Now there’s a man who’s serious about reducing his footprint.
But alas, eating one’s shipmates and watching one’s extremities drop off one by one is not a part of today’s high-end eco-doom tourism. Instead, the ice-locked warmists uploaded chipper selfies to YouTube, as well as a self-composed New Year singalong of such hearty un-self-awareness that it enraged even such party-line climate alarmists as Andrew Revkin, the plonkingly earnest enviro-blogger of the New York Times. A mere six weeks ago, pumping out the usual boosterism, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that, had Captain Scott picked his team as carefully as Professor Chris Turney, he would have survived. Sadly, we’ll never know — although I’ll bet Captain Oates would have been doing his ‘I am going out. I may be some time’ line about eight bars into that New Year number.
Emily writes: Apparently, the kids these days just think George W. Bush is the bee’s knees. He paints, he loves cats, he’s awesome at the Internet, he writes consoling letters to football kickers who lose important match-ups for their teams and he takes selfies with Bono at major world leaders’ memorial services. And the hipsters are falling as hard for GWB as they did for PBR and Beats by Dre.
Vanity Fair, the sophisticated glossy tome of old Hollywood whose most recent achievement was a near-defamatory observation of Gwyneth Paltrow’s lack of reality in selecting cooking utensils, is old enough to remember when you young whipper-snappers were all “Bush sucks!” and showing up at high school anti-Bush rallies with all manner of creative slogan apparel and diagnosing his apparently impaired cognitive ability in Huffington Post puff pieces. But now that he’s stumbled into something of an image revival, they would like you to please get your George W. Bush limited edition self-portrait lithograph off their front lawn.