Red outsells blue

August 31, 2012

According to Amazon’s data, conservative/libertarian books outsell liberal books by a 57-43 margin. In Pennsylvania the margin is 52-48. I don’t know exactly what to make of that, but it’s interesting. With the intelligentsia being so liberal, I would have expected it the other way.

One thing is for certain: publishers that drop writers who come out as conservative or libertarian (like Sarah Hoyt) are making a big mistake.

(Via Instapundit.)

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Busted

August 31, 2012

Yahoo news’ Washington bureau chief (wait, Yahoo news still exists?!), David Chalian, was caught on an open mike saying Mitt and Ann Romney “are happy to have a party when black people drown”. Other unidentified people in the ABC News studio laughed.

Yahoo promptly fired him and apologized, but here’s the thing: Was this the first time he ever uttered such offensive anti-Republican sentiments? From my own extensive experience with offensive anti-Republicans I find it very, very unlikely. No, people who can talk that way are the people who do talk that way. Chalian, almost certainly, has been saying stuff like this for years. He was fired, not for what he said, but for getting caught.

It’s certainly not bias that’s a problem for the managers of the legacy media, and it’s not even apparent bias that’s a problem. It’s undeniable bias that will get you fired, because that hurts the facade of objectivity.


Justice ain’t blind

August 31, 2012

Why is the Department of Justice facilitating protests at the Republican convention?


Democrats cause cancer

August 31, 2012

The Democratic convention will force a cancer treatment center to close for four days.


“Overlooked” documents show White House involvement in Bin Laden movie

August 31, 2012

Despite earlier denials, newly exposed documents show that the producers of the upcoming movie about the Bin Laden raid were given unprecedented access, and that that access was granted by the White House:

Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained records from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Department of Defense (DOD) regarding meetings and communications between government agencies and Kathryn Bigelow, the Academy Award-winning director of The Hurt Locker, and screenwriter Mark Boal in preparation for their film Zero Dark Thirty, which details the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden.  According to the records, the Obama administration granted Boal and Bigelow unusual access to agency information in preparation for their film, which was reportedly scheduled for an October 2012 release, just before the presidential election, but the trailers are running now until the rescheduled release in December.

The administration originally denied that the documents exist:

The records – which should have been produced months ago pursuant to a court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on January 21, 2012 – include records from a “stack” of “overlooked” documents discovered by the CIA in July 2012


War on women

August 31, 2012

The latest in the annals of government-run health care:

Family doctors are being told to try to talk women out of having Caesareans and very strong painkillers during birth to save the NHS money. New guidelines drawn up for GPs urge them to encourage women to have natural labours with as little medical help as possible.

But don’t worry, I’m sure that it could never happen here.

(Via Instapundit.)


Racism

August 31, 2012

On the first night of the Republican convention, MSNBC cut away whenever a minority took the stage. (Taking the usual liberal definition in which Asians don’t count as minorities.) NBC did the same on their web site, simply leaving those speakers off their “Tuesday night’s RNC speeches” page.

Coincidence? No. Certainly they didn’t pick the most noteworthy speeches, or they wouldn’t have left out Mia Love. And the likelihood that they would have randomly picked exactly those speeches to omit on the web site alone is 1 in 792 (or 1:C(5,12)). Include MSBNC’s on-air slate and the improbability becomes astronomical.

Clearly, NBC wanted to convey the impression of a party that is all white or Asian. Put another way, NBC based its choice of which speakers to feature on their color of their skin.


Thin skin

August 31, 2012

Wow, Clint Eastwood got under Obama’s skin. Funny how taking the high road never occurs to this guy.


Romney

August 31, 2012

If enough Americans saw his speech tonight, he wins the election.


Politifact

August 30, 2012

Jon Cassidy’s long and detailed takedown of Politifact is impossible to excerpt, so I won’t try. But allot yourself 5-10 minutes and read it. It’s essential reading, especially if you’re still inclined to take Politifact seriously.

I will note one interesting historical point, though:

PolitiFact started off straight. As a partnership of Congressional Quarterly and the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times) formed in 2007, the outfit won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 election. The partnership dissolved shortly after when The Poynnter Institute – the parent company of both outfits – sold off CQ.

The Florida journalists carried on alone, and their liberal tendencies became more obvious as the “Pants on Fire” rulings piled up on one side.

I’m glad to hear that, because I recall believing at one time that Politifact was good for something. My first inkling that something was very wrong with them was in October 2009.

POSTSCRIPT: This is just another example, like the many Cassidy cites in his piece, but it is a particularly pungent one. Despite acknowledging that every fact in the ad is accurate, they nevertheless grade it false, because they think it conveys an impression that they deem inaccurate. You can faithfully abbreviate their entire analysis this way: “We rate the statement False, because it gives the inaccurate impression that Obamacare is not a good idea.”


We are all racists now

August 30, 2012

According to MSNBC, mentioning that Obama came from Chicago is racist.


Dangerous times

August 30, 2012

Oh my, the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now running Egypt, says that the Camp David Accords are unfair to Egypt. Here’s Wikipedia’s summary of the agreement, as it relates to Egypt and Israel:

Israel agreed to withdraw its armed forces from the Sinai, evacuate its 4,500 civilian inhabitants, and restore it to Egypt in return for normal diplomatic relations with Egypt, guarantees of freedom of passage through the Suez Canal and other nearby waterways (such as the Straits of Tiran), and a restriction on the forces Egypt could place on the Sinai peninsula, especially within 20–40 km from Israel. This process would take three years to complete. Israel also agreed to limit its forces a smaller distance (3 km) from the Egyptian border, and to guarantee free passage between Egypt and Jordan. With the withdrawal, Israel also returned Egypt’s Abu-Rudeis oil fields in western Sinai, which contained long term, commercially productive wells.

The agreement was entirely one-sided. Israel agreed to give Egypt the Sinai and the Suez Canal, in exchange for which Egypt promised only (1) not to militarize the Sinai and (2) to allow Israel to use the canal. Moreover, Israel recently has (foolishly) allowed Egypt to remilitarize the Sinai, leaving the second as the only Egyptian concession in the accord still active.

Is the Muslim Brotherhood really upset that Israel gets to use the Suez Canal? Not likely. More likely, they are upset with the accord’s implicit agreement that Egypt would not keep attacking Israel.


FACT: Fact-checking has nothing to do with facts

August 30, 2012

This ABC article is the apotheosis of the new liberal fad of bogus fact-checking. It assembles a collection of counter-arguments to arguments made by Paul Ryan last night, and precedes each counter-argument with “THE FACTS”.

Moreover, their counter-arguments are quite feeble:

[Obama’s Medicare] cuts do not affect Medicare recipients directly, but rather reduce payments to hospitals, health insurance plans and other service providers.

When doctors cut back on accepting Medicare patients, I’m sure Medicare recipients will be consoled that the cuts did not affect them “directly”.

Ryan himself asked for stimulus funds . . .

This is so stupid. When the federal government squanders billions of borrowed money, opponents are on the hook for the debt just as much as supporters. Of course they will look to get their share, even while preferring it wouldn’t happen at all.

The [Janesville GM] plant halted production in December 2008. . .

This is false. (Nice “fact-checking” guys!) Also it’s irrelevant to Ryan’s point. Much more here.

It’s true that Obama hasn’t heeded his [debt] commission’s recommendations, but Ryan’s not the best one to complain. He was a member of the commission and voted against its final report.

The final report called for keeping Obamacare, so of course he voted against it. But he based his bipartisan budget proposal on the non-Obamacare aspects of the report.

In short, the only one of ABC’s attacks that actually addresses the facts is wrong. The others are just liberal arguments prefixed by the phrase “THE FACTS”.


Lame

August 30, 2012

Some times the media spin machine is just sad. Before you report the the Republican convention is jeering its own speaker because of her race, maybe you should double-check that with someone with a clue.

(Via Patheos.)


Fact-checkers lie

August 29, 2012

Oh good grief; the Politifact spin artists are saying that Paul Ryan’s story about the Janesville GM plant (Obama said he’d keep it open for 100 years, but it lasted less than one year) is false because: (1) it closed under Bush, and (2) Obama never promised he would keep it open anyway.

Nonsense. The plant closed April 23, 2009. (Via Stephen Gutowski.) And as far as Obama’s promise goes, he said:

And I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years.

Okay, according to a very narrow reading, he never promised to keep it open, he only said that he believed that his policies would keep it open. That’s a pretty thin reed on which to call Ryan’s comment false.

Except it’s even worse than that. In fact, Ryan quoted him accurately:

Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said, “I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years.”

Put in an ellipsis, and that’s a verbatim quote. Ryan did not misrepresent Obama at all, even in the utterly insubstantial way that Politifact suggests.

Moreover, Politifact’s shtick is various different grades of truth or falsehood. But they didn’t grade Ryan’s 100% accurate claim as “mostly true” or even “half true”; they go all the way to an unmodified “false”. Even if there were some wiggle room here for Politifact to work with, which I don’t see, there’s no way to get all the way to “false”. They’re lying; plain and simple.

UPDATE: Further, David Freddoso points out that Ryan never said the plant closed under Obama. That’s true, but since the plant actually did close under Obama, it’s not a critical point.

Also, the Obama campaign claims that the plant was “slated” to close during the Bush administration. If true, that wouldn’t change anything: Obama knew the plant was in trouble when he delivered his not-quite-a-promise, but a planned closure can be reversed if times improve and that was the hope he held out for Janesville. (Indeed, a idled plant can be re-opened.) But, moreover, depending on how you define “slated” (their whole argument is one of semantics), the claim isn’t even true. Although the plant had been on the chopping block for some time, its final closure was announced February 18, 2009.

UPDATE: Indeed:

What I really like is how the Leftist media is pretending it knows more about a GM plant in Paul Ryan’s HOMETOWN than Paul Ryan does.

UPDATE: MSNBC’s “fact-checker” Ezra Klein (who used to run a discussion group for journalists to coordinate the liberal spin in their reporting) offers this:

Ryan says it had not yet shut down Obama was elected, that Janesville was “about to” lose the factory at the time of the election. This is false, as Ryan knew in 2008 when he issued a statement bemoaning the plant’s closing.

Either Klein never read the page he linked to, or he hopes that no one clicks through. Anyone who did click through found that Ryan’s statement said this:

Following the announcement by General Motors that it planned to close its Janesville plant by 2010, U.S. Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl and Representative Paul Ryan sent a letter to General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner asking him to reconsider the decision. . .

(Emphasis mine.) Exactly as Ryan said — and Klein contradicts — the plant was going to close but hadn’t yet. Bogus “fact-checking” is a plague on our body politic, but Klein has invented a new genre: the self-refuting bogus fact-check. Bravo! (UPDATE: Ezra Klein demonstrates how not to correct your mistakes.)

UPDATE: Here’s GM:

Janesville was placed on standby capacity in May 2009 and will remain in that status.

(Via Phil Kerpen.)

UPDATE: I’ve been focusing on the outright lies, but it’s also worth taking a note of the misdirection. Obama and his media allies are complaining than Ryan is unfairly blaming Obama for the plant’s closure. That would be unfair, if Ryan had said that, but he didn’t. Everyone knows that GM has been in trouble for years, and no one blames Obama for GM’s woes in 2008-2009. (Post-bailout is another matter!)

Ryan’s point, with Obama and his allies are trying to obscure, is simply this: The Janesville plant was in trouble. Obama told the worried people of Janesville that his policies would fix the problem. They didn’t.

This is just one example — a personal example from Ryan’s home town — of how Obama promised a bright tomorrow (“hope and change”) but failed to deliver.

It’s valuable to get the particulars right, since the left is lying about the particulars, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the key point.

UPDATE: More here.

UPDATE: Dear ABC: when you correct the factual errors in your article, it’s good form to correct the headline too.

Since this is apparently not just Politifact’s hackery, but the entire left’s main attack on Ryan’s speech, I’ve changed the title.

UPDATE: It turns out that GM considered re-opening the plant, but did not, at a time when the government was running the show, so you actually can blame Obama for the plant remaining closed if you want to. Fine, but that’s not really the point. The point is that Obama said he could turn around the auto manufacturing industry so that Janesville and plants like it would stay open, and he failed.

Also, in case there’s still any confusion about when the plant closed, there’s this video from April 2009:

UPDATE: A detailed chronology here.


Paul Ryan rocks

August 29, 2012

This was my favorite part:

None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers, a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

Listen to the way we’re already spoken to — listen to the way we are spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate. It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio.

UPDATE: Well, I have to take the quote a little further:

Now when I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey, where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happen as for myself. That is what we do in this country. That is the American dream.

That’s freedom and I will take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.

Full transcript here.


We don’t like your name, it looks like a gun

August 29, 2012

Idiots:

In a move blasted by rights groups, a 3-year-old-deaf boy has been told by his Nebraska school district to change the way he signs his name because the gesture resembles shooting a gun. Hunter Spanjer uses the standard S.E.E., Signing Exact English. He crosses his index and middle fingers and waves them slightly to signify his name. And, Grand Island Public Schools’ policy forbids any “instrument” that “looks like a weapon,” reported NCN.


Anti-semitism rises in Germany

August 27, 2012

I would have thought that Germans, in particular, would want to avoid this sort of thing:

Jewish groups and Israeli politicians on Wednesday lashed out at German authorities after Bavarian prosecutors filed criminal charges against Rabbi David Goldberg for performing a circumcision.

The rabbi has been slapped with charges of committing bodily harm, in the first known case to arise from an anti-circumcision ruling in May. . .

“It has been many decades since a Jew was charged for practicing Judaism openly and is reminiscent of far darker times. We hope that in Germany, of all places, the authorities would remain far more sensitive to this issue,” [said the president of the European Jewish Congress].

(Via Bench Memos.)


But enough about you. . .

August 27, 2012

President Obama pays tribute to Neil Armstrong’s passing with a stock photo of himself gazing at the moon.


Budget FAQ for liberals

August 27, 2012

It’s not quite as good as the Christian FAQ, but this is also very good.


Lights out

August 26, 2012

I tried a package of two of the high-efficiency incandescent light bulbs that the government wants us to use instead of regular light bulbs. Both of them, one at a time, have now burned out while a regular bulb in the neighboring socket has kept going, and it wasn’t even fresh when I put the first eco-bulb in.

Also one notices immediately that the eco-bulbs are poorly made — I had trouble screwing them into the socket. But at least they cost six times as much as the regular bulbs used to cost.


The NYT on the NYT’s bias

August 25, 2012

The New York Times ombudsman writes in his final column:

[T]he hive on Eighth Avenue is powerfully shaped by a culture of like minds — a phenomenon, I believe, that is more easily recognized from without than from within.

When The Times covers a national presidential campaign, I have found that the lead editors and reporters are disciplined about enforcing fairness and balance, and usually succeed in doing so. Across the paper’s many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.

As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.

The idea that the NYT is even-handed in presidential elections is nonsense, but the rest seems right. It’s interesting that the Times’ ombudsmen consistently only admit this sort of thing on their way out.

(Via Althouse.)


If only

August 24, 2012

Jim Treacher tweets this article in the American Prospect, which he re-titles “Stop denying you’re a racist, racist!” It’s mostly as dreadful as you would expect, but it did have this laugh-out-loud line:

It’s almost forbidden to discuss the role racism has played in shaping opposition to Obama.

The author lives in a very different world than we do, if he thinks that it’s “almost forbidden” to call Obama’s opponents racists. I wish I lived in that world.


Bag bans kill

August 24, 2012

It’s always fascinating to observe through practice the hierarchy of liberal causes. For example: when it’s convenient to them, liberals would have you believe that safety is the top priority for society (“think of the children!”). But while liberals favor safety over nearly any individual liberty, it’s at nearly the bottom when measured against other liberal priorities.

Especially environmentalism. Leftists across the country are enacting bans or heavy taxes on plastic grocery bags, and brushing off the scientific evidence that the reusable tote bags that they prefer are unsafe because they create a fertile breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

For instance, in a story headlined “Bacteria May Grow In Reusable Grocery Bags, But Don’t Fret”, NPR argued that:

Dr. Susan Fernyak, director of San Francisco’s Communicable Disease and Control Prevention division, tells Shots, “Your average healthy person is not going to get sick from the bacteria that were listed.” . . .

San Francisco banned disposable plastic shopping bags three years ago. San Francisco’s bag ban hasn’t affected the rates of E. coli infection in town, Fernyak says.

That was a strange position to take, from people who usually think that the slightest possibility of danger justifies a ban. Moreover, according to the latest research it simply isn’t true. A study at the University of Pennsylvania found that food-borne illness did spike after San Francisco enacted its ban, and that people died as a result.


Why no liberal Atlas Shrugged?

August 23, 2012

The question, “why is there no liberal Atlas Shrugged” never would have occurred to me, since the phrase seems to make little sense: what traits are there of Atlas Shrugged that are remotely compatible with liberalism? But Robert Tracinski gives the question serious consideration anyway, in a surprisingly interesting essay that ties together Marx, Victor Hugo, and “naturalism” in literature.


Christian FAQ for liberals

August 23, 2012

This is very good.


Oops

August 23, 2012

The lead plaintiff in the pro-fraud lawsuit against Pennsylvania’s voter ID went to the DMV to demonstrate how it was impossible for her to get a photo ID. . . and got her ID.

(Via Brit Hume.)


Your lips are moving again

August 23, 2012

More here.


Dangerous times

August 20, 2012

Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood figure elected president of Egypt, is taking over the military.


No more defectors

August 20, 2012

Apparently, our national security brain trust thinks it would be better if no one ever defected from China again:

China’s communist government is preparing to file treason charges against a former official who sought political asylum at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu but was turned away to avoid upsetting U.S.-China relations. . .

U.S. officials said Wang provided information and documents on the case of British national Neil Heywood, who was found dead in a Chongqing hotel the previous November.

The Free Beacon reported May 1 that the office of Vice President Joe Biden was behind the administration’s decision to turn Wang away from the consulate, in particular Biden national security aide Antony Blinken.

Blinken, according to administration officials, overruled State and Justice Department officials who favored granting Wang political asylum and working to get him out of China.


Pravda

August 20, 2012

The New York Times refuses to correct an unambiguous error:

The centerpiece of the photograph . . . shows a naked child, screaming in pain as she fled an aerial napalm attack near a village in South Vietnam. . . The Times described the image as “the aftermath of one of the thousands of bombings in the countryside by American planes: a group of terror-stricken children fleeing the scene, a girl in the middle of the group screaming and naked, her clothes incinerated by burning napalm.”

But as I pointed out in an email sent to the Times soon after the obituary was published, the aircraft that dropped the napalm wasn’t American; it was South Vietnamese.

The newspaper’s assistant obituary editor, Peter Keepnews, replied to me on May 22, stating in an email:

“You are correct that the bombing in question was conducted by the South Vietnamese Air Force. However, the obituary referred only to ‘American planes,’ and there does not seem to be any doubt that this plane was American –- a Douglas A-1 Skyraider, to be precise.”

As if the aircraft’s manufacturer were a crucial element in the napalm strike by the South Vietnamese.

UPDATE (8/29): The NYT belatedly, half-heartedly corrects. They stick with the it-was-an-American-plane-because-Americans-built-it argument, but at least they put the facts in front of the reader. Two-and-a-half weeks later.


We meant to do that

August 20, 2012

The Obama campaign says it’s drawing smaller, less enthusiastic crowds on purpose.


Busted

August 14, 2012

Soledad O’Brien caught parroting Talking Points Memo:

CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien was recently caught on screen looking at an article from a known left-wing website to assist her when debating Romney campaign senior adviser Barbara Comstock.

In screen grabs posted on Newsbusters.org [here], O’Brien, who was filling in Anderson Cooper, can be seen reading from a piece entitled “The Myth of Paul Ryan the Bipartisan Leader” as Comstock offers her response. The post, which was published just hours before the program began, appeared on the website Talking Points Memo.

In the old days CNN produced its own left-wing agitprop. It’s sad to see them reduced to this.


Apple’s epic insecurity

August 14, 2012

Yikes! If you use Find my iPhone/iPad/Mac, all that Apple requires to authenticate your identity is your mailing address, and the last four digits of your credit card number. Those are the same digits that get displayed in plaintext everywhere since you can’t do anything with just them. With that easily-obtained information, an attacker can remotely wipe and brick all your Apple devices.


Natch

August 14, 2012

If you’re surprised that stimulus money and Obamacare money were illegally used to lobby for liberal policies, you’re not nearly cynical enough.


Haters

August 14, 2012

The New York Times unloads a nasty attack piece against Lolo Jones, the American woman who came in fourth in the 100m hurdles in London.

Judging from this year’s performances, Lolo Jones seems to have only a slim chance of winning an Olympic medal in the 100-meter hurdles and almost no possibility of winning gold. Still, Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign.

ASIDE: Don’t people often pay attention to athletes for their off-the-field story, rather than their on-field performance? (If Geena Davis had made the Olympic archery team, do you think that she might have gotten some media attention?) Indeed, doesn’t NBC produce and market the Olympics on that basis at least as much as for the athletics alone?

Why does the New York Times hate Jones? This might explain it:

At the same time, she has proclaimed herself to be a 30-year-old virgin and a Christian. And oh, by the way, a big fan of Tim Tebow.

We’re used to this sort of thing in politics. There we understand that the New York Times has a reason to tear people down, and we’ve come to expect it. But Lolo Jones has no policy implications whatsoever. There’s only one reason for them to give Lolo Jones the hatchet-job treatment: they hate Christians.

(Via Tim Groseclose, who uses the piece as a case study in media bias.)


“Hundreds”

August 14, 2012

Politico calls this “a crowd of hundreds”:

 

More pictures here.

(Via Instapundit.)


Your lips are moving again

August 12, 2012

Joe Soptic is a former steelworker who was laid off when the plant at which he worked closed in 2001. The Obama super-PAC says that Mitt Romney killed Soptic’s wife, Ilyona Soptic.

If you haven’t heard this story already, I’m afraid this is no joke. The story goes like this: Romney laid off Soptic, causing his wife to lose her health insurance, so she couldn’t get treatment for her cancer, so she died.

The ad contains two actual facts: Soptic lost his job, and his wife tragically died of cancer. Everything else is a lie. Let’s see if we can list them all:

  1. Romney left Bain in 1999, two years before GST Steel was shut down in 2001.
  2. When GST was shut down, Bain was run by Jonathan Lavine, a major Obama bundler.
  3. GST offered Joe Soptic a buyout.
  4. After GST shut down, Joe Soptic got another job and could have added Ilyona to his health insurance, but chose not to.
  5. Ilyona had her own health insurance through 2003, when she lost her job at a different company.
  6. Ilyona wasn’t diagnosed with cancer until 2006. She died 22 days later.

It’s sad that Ilyona died. But her death had nothing whatsoever to do with Mitt Romney. If such a tenuous connection really meant anything, think of how many deaths we can blame on Barack Obama, whose policies have and will cost millions of people their health insurance!

The ad is so radioactive that the Obama campaign wants to distance itself from it. But, at the same time, they won’t condemn the ad either. Instead, they tried to split the difference:

Asked about the Priorities spot on MSNBC Wednesday morning, Robert Gibbs said he doesn’t “know the specifics” while Stephanie Cutter said on CNN: “I don’t know the facts about when Mr. Soptic’s wife got sick or the facts about his health insurance.” And Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One that “we don’t have any knowledge of the story of the family,” according to Yahoo! News.

By claiming not to know the facts, they want to insinuate that it might be true while keeping their hands clean. (Now, in a situation such as this, that doesn’t cut it. If you don’t know the facts, you need to learn them. But never mind, because. . .)

This too is a complete lie:

Yet in May of this year, Cutter herself hosted a conference call in which Soptic detailed his case to reporters. During the call, as he did in the ad, Soptic explained how his wife fell ill after he lost his job, and how he lost his health insurance. The call took place as Soptic began appearing in Obama campaign ads, and was featured in a profile on the Obama campaign website.

Not only does Soptic appear in two Obama campaign ads, the Obama campaign still has Soptic on its official website even now. (Screenshot here.)

Let’s review: Barack Obama’s endorsed super-PAC releases the most vicious attack ad ever. The ad is a complete lie. The central figure in the ad has a long and ongoing history with the official Obama campaign. And, the Obama campaign lied about that history.

POSTSCRIPT: The Onion treatment.

UPDATE: Now this is just sad:

Democratic Party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Sunday she has “no idea” about the political affiliation of Priorities USA, the Super PAC behind a recent ad suggesting Mitt Romney is responsible for a woman’s death — though the group was co-founded by two former Obama staffers.

Wasserman-Schultz also defended the ad’s content (!) saying “What I think of the ad is that there’s no question that the ad raises facts.”

In fact, Priorities USA is not only run by former Obama staffers; it received President Obama’s official blessing:

Fearing a tide of spending by outside conservative groups, President Obama is giving his blessing to a pro-Democratic Party “super PAC” that will work to help his reelection, his campaign said late Monday. . . Messina said Obama will throw his support to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC founded by two former White House aides that until now has been unable to match its conservative competitors in fundraising.

Wasserman-Schultz later had to concede:

The Florida Democrat later backtracked on that remark on Twitter: “Clearly Priorities USA is a Democratic SuperPAC. Was trying to state the obvious: we have no control over their activities.”

That is clearly not what she was trying to state (she had even gone so far as to question whether Priorities USA was even run by Democrats), but even that doesn’t mean a whole lot. Although they can’t legally “coordinate” with the PAC, it’s easy for them to signal what they want. For instance, they might have Joe Soptic tell his (bogus) story on a conference call.

Moreover, how certain are we that the Obama campaign really doesn’t coordinate with his PAC? They say it’s illegal, as if that were somehow proof that they’re not doing it. But the law rarely seems to be a conclusive factor with this bunch. Why would they suddenly start following the law in the single area — getting re-elected — that matters to them most?


“There’s so much deceit here we hardly know where to start”

August 12, 2012

Even the liberal fact-checkers are noticing:

“There’s so much deceit here we hardly know where to start,” explains Brooks Jackson at FactCheck.org, which is run by Annenberg Public Policy Center. He’s commenting on a new [Obama campaign] ad that strongly suggests Romney committed tax fraud. “It wasn’t Romney who was avoiding taxes, it was Marriott Corp. And there’s no evidence to support the ad’s speculation that Romney himself paid no income tax, or that he did something illegal,” Jackson had already noted.

Jackson also noted that the central claims of the ad are attributed to CNN, with only the fine print acknowledging that it was an opinion piece.


Occupy White House

August 12, 2012

The White House can’t maintain its distance from the Occupy movement in light of this revelation:

The Obama administration told law enforcement authorities to go easy on Occupy Wall Street protesters, even though they were violating local laws, according to documents obtained by watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Emails from the General Services Administration show that the federal agency, acting on orders from the White House, told federal law enforcement authorities in Portland, Ore., not to enforce curfews on protesters camped out on federal property. . .

Occupy Portland saw some of the more violent protests of the national movement. A week before the email exchange, 25 demonstrators were arrested after they refused to leave Jamison Square in the Pearl District after the park was closed at midnight.


Dark corner

August 8, 2012

When Charles Krauthammer wrote a column criticizing President Obama for his disrespect for our allies, the White House took issue with one sentence out of Krauthammer’s litany of Obama snubs and worse:

Obama started his presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.

The White House first denied that the bust had even been returned, calling it a “rumor” that was “patently false”. Except it was true, and the denial was patently false. The White House later retracted their “fact check” (although they left all the incorrect material up and buried the correction at the end) and eventually apologized.

However, they continued to maintain that Krauthammer’s allegation was a “completely false” “urban legend”, claiming that the bust was returned only because the loan had expired at the end of President Bush’s term in office. The White House deputy press secretary took up the new line of defense and attack:

There is myth floating in some of the darker corners of the internet that suggest that upon taking office the President went out of his way to snub the British people by prematurely returning the bust of Winston Churchill that had occupied a prominent place in the Oval Office under the previous president. That’s not true. . .

The bust was loaned to President Bush by the British government. As is customary, at the conclusion of President Bush’s term, and before President Obama entered the Oval Office, the bust was returned to the British embassy.

The White House’s new story isn’t true either. The British government has made it clear that they offered to extend the loan and the Obama administration refused. The Times reported:

Britain wants President Obama to put a bronze bust of Sir Winston Churchill back in the Oval Office, where it stood for the past eight years as a symbol of an enduring special relationship with America. The White House is not so sure. . .

A spokesman for the British Embassy in Washington said yesterday: “We have made it clear that we would be pleased to extend the loan should Mr Obama so wish.” He added that no response had been received; yesterday the White House declined to comment.

A similar report appeared in the Sunday Telegraph.

We will be charitable, and assume that the White House’s original attack was not a deliberate falsehood, and that they simply failed to ascertain the facts before lashing out. But we cannot be so charitable now that they have had every opportunity to establish the facts. Not only is their latest defense/attack false, but they sneer that the allegation comes from the “darker corners of the internet”. Darker corners? The Times is one of the world’s oldest and most respected newspapers, dating from 1785. The Telegraph and the Washington Post (for which Krauthammer writes) are relative upstarts, dating from just 1855 and 1877.

(Previous post.) (Via Nile Gardiner.)


Political appointees interfered with Black Panther prosecution

August 6, 2012

That’s the ruling of federal judge Reggie Walton:

Citing a “series of emails” between Obama political appointees and career Justice lawyers, Walton writes:

The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision.

(Previous post.) (Via Instapundit.)


Loose lips sink ships

August 6, 2012

Reuters reports:

President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said.

(Via Hot Air.)

Sounds good. Just one problem: Why do I know about this?! Isn’t it supposed to be a “secret” order?

This administration is completely unable to keep a secret when it comes to national security. We know that the leaks are coming from top administration officials, probably from the White House, and the administration’s leak investigation is just theater. The administration no longer even denies that the leaks came from the White House, and just says that the president didn’t authorize them. (You hardly need the president to officially “authorize” leaking to establish a sense at the White House that leaking is tolerated or even encouraged.)

I’m afraid Donald Rumsfeld was right when he said this week that Israel would be unwise to notify the United States about any planned action against Iran’s nuclear program:

“If I were in the Israeli government, I don’t think I would notify the United States government of any intent to do anything about Iran,” Rumsfeld stated. “I think that their [Israel’s] relationship with the United States is such that it conceivably could leak out of the United States government that he called and that he plans to do something on Iran.”

“So my guess is, given the pattern of leaks out of the White House, that any prime minister of Israel would not call the United States and give clear intentions as to what they plan to do.”

(Via Instapundit.)


National health care

August 6, 2012

If you catch a cold, the British NHS will give you good treatment for free. If you have a serious health problem, you don’t want the NHS. A frightening look at our future under Obamacare.


Two

August 6, 2012

As I have frequently remarked here, the biggest mystery in the Gunwalker scandal is exactly what the operation was intended to accomplish. It’s the fact that ATF never tried to track any of the guns they were trafficking into Mexico (which rules out any obvious legitimate purpose) that turns Gunwalker from merely a horrible screw-up and cover-up into something more sinister.

Thus, it’s worthwhile to note that the ATF actually did try to track some of the guns. Out of thousands of guns illegally trafficked to Mexican drug cartels, the ATF tracked two of them.

(Previous post.)


Curiosity has landed

August 6, 2012

The skycrane worked! Amazing.

We can build a complicated contraption, send it to another planet, and have it work right the first time, with no testing. Humans rock!


Scaling back health care

August 4, 2012

As the federal government takes control over everyone’s health care, and as it consequently scales everyone’s health care back, it will rarely if ever admit “we are going to let you get sick or die to save money.” No, the government bureaucrats in charge of your health care will tell you that it’s for your own good.

That is, you’re going to see a lot more of this:

On Monday an expert government panel, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, joined the call by recommending against routine testing with electrocardiograms, or EKGs, in people who have no known risk factors or symptoms of heart disease, like shortness of breath or chest pains.

The recommendations, published online in Annals of Internal Medicine, made the test the latest addition to an expanding list of once routine screening tools that have fallen out of favor. Earlier this year, the task force advised against regular screening with the prostate specific antigen, or P.S.A., blood test, long considered the gold standard for early detection of prostate cancer. The panel has also come out against measures like annual Pap smears for many women and regular mammograms for women in their 40s.

(Via Patterico.)


Obama on Jerusalem

August 4, 2012

Broken promise? Sure, but Jews were truly naive if they believed he ever meant any of it.

(Via Instapundit.)


Obamanomics

August 4, 2012

(Via James Pethokoukis.)


The free exercise thereof

August 4, 2012

A letter to the municipal governments of Boston, Chicago, New York City, Washington, and San Francisco:

I was surprised to learn that your city may have a policy barring persons with certain religious views from engaging in commerce in your city. Naturally, I have no wish to invest in your community and only then find that I am excluded from doing business there because of my religion.

Therefore, I ask that you supply me with a list of all current religious tests that must be satisfied to do business in your city. Please also explain what sorts of business are covered by your policy: is the religious test only for restaurants, or does it apply to other businesses as well? Furthermore, please clarify what percentage of a business must be owned by members of prohibited religions for the exclusion from commerce to apply.

I would also like to know how to go about obtaining an exemption from your city’s religious test, as is apparently possible in Boston.

Finally, can you refer me to any attorneys who specialize in navigating your city’s religious restrictions?

Thank you for your prompt attention.


Habits of the mind

August 3, 2012

In President Obama’s infamous remarks on successful people’s lack of responsibility for their success, he said:

Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.

and then:

Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.

Economic historian Deirdre McCloskey argues that the people who created the system that allowed us all to thrive are exactly the people who stopped thinking about success they way that Obama does:

“In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries,” she writes, “a great shift occurred in what Alexis de Tocqueville called ‘habits of the mind’ — or more exactly, habits of the lip. People stopped sneering at market innovativeness and other bourgeois virtues.” As attitudes changed, so did behavior, leading to more than two centuries of constant innovation and rising living standards. . .

What was different, she maintains, is how people thought about new ideas. Creative destruction became not only accepted but also encouraged, as did individual enterprise. “What made us rich,” she writes, “was a new rhetoric that was favorable to unbounded innovation, imagination, alertness, persuasion, originality, with individual rewards often paid in a coin of honor or thankfulness. . .”

Obama thinks that 21st-century living standards are compatible with 18th-century attitudes toward entrepreneurism.

(Previous post.) (Via Instapundit.)