Friday, January 31, 2014

Former Mayoral Candidate Wendy Greuel Announces Run for Henry Waxman's Seat

Last I heard she was considering a run for county supervisor, but no doubt a congressional bid is way more attractive.

At LAT, "Former Los Angeles mayor candidate Wendy Greuel to run for Waxman seat."

.@MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Ripped for Ridiculously Obvious Obama Cheerleading

Rep. Tim Huelskamp is cool. He should have ripped Maddow for her network's racism as well.

See from last night, at Expose Liberals, "Rep. Tim Huelskamp biracial right-wing family offends progressives."

And now at Legal Insurrection, "Obama Cheerleader Rachel Maddow upset at being called an Obama Cheerleader."
What’s “amazing” is that Maddow won’t fess up to what everyone knows.

And, "Off topic — has she apologized yet for her inaccurate anti-Koch Brothers conspiracy theory?"

She's a disgusting dirtbag.

The Economist Pulls Anti-Semitic Obama/Iran Cartoon

Background at Israel Matzav, "Economist publishes anti-Semitic cartoon, ADL demands apology."

And now at Blazing Cat Fur, "The Economist finally apologizes for anti-Semitic cartoon."

Economist Anti-Semitic Cartoon photo economistcartoon01141_zps79982c29.jpg

New Face of Jim Beam? Smokin' Mila Kunis!


Jim Beam's my drink!

At LAT, "Mila Kunis is the new face of Jim Beam, learns the Kentucky chew."

And London's Daily Mail, "Drinking in her beauty! Mila Kunis visits Kentucky distillery to meet Jim Beam's great-grandson ahead of commercial."

Hat Tip: The Other McCain, "LIVE AT FIVE: 01.31.14."

Mila Kunis photo mila-kunis-jim-beam-01292014_zpse886b0fa.jpg

Intense Super Bowl Security Preparations

At SB Nation, "Super Bowl security: Is the NFL ready for everything?"

And at the Blaze, "Sunday's Super Bowl Set to Feature Some Intense Layers of Security Most Attendees Will Never See."

Thieves Steal 300-Year-Old Stradivarius from Musician

Some of these violins are worth millions. Why the dude was casually taking his out to the car in the parking lot is beyond me.

At NYT, "A Violinist’s Triumph Is Ruined by Thieves":
It should have been one of those nights musicians live for. Frank Almond, the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for nearly two decades, had just closed a chamber concert in his own “Frankly Music” series with Messiaen’s hushed, eerily intense “Quartet for the End of Time.” Mr. Almond drew the graceful, ringing high notes of the finale from his prized 1715 Stradivarius violin, producing a tone so intensely focused that the audience in the Wisconsin Lutheran College’s 388-seat auditorium sat in awed silence for 20 seconds before applauding.

But the glow of the moment evaporated quickly, once Mr. Almond, 49, stepped into the college art center’s parking lot at 10:20 p.m. Monday, his violin carefully swaddled against the subzero temperatures and minus-25-degree wind chill. And as he neared his car, a figure stepped up to him and shot him with a stun gun.

It happened in a matter of seconds: Mr. Almond dropped the violin, the attacker scooped it up and jumped into a late 1980s or early ’90s maroon or burgundy minivan, where an accomplice was waiting to speed away. Edward A. Flynn, the Milwaukee police chief, said late Thursday afternoon that Mr. Almond had described the thieves as a man and a woman. Chief Flynn has given the value of the violin as “the high seven figures.” The police said earlier that the violin’s empty case had been found several miles from the hall.

A spokeswoman for the orchestra confirmed that the instrument was insured, but said that because of the investigation, she could not provide details about the amount, or what restrictions, if any, applied to the use of the instrument. Given its prominence — high-resolution photographs of Strads are plentiful — it would be virtually impossible to sell the instrument on the open market.

“We’re not engaging in the pretense that this is just any other crime,” Chief Flynn said on Thursday. “This is an extraordinary art theft. It is just as extraordinary as if some master criminal crept into the Milwaukee Art Museum and stole several of its most valuable pieces. It’s an inordinately rare violin of unquestioned provenance, made 300 years ago and worth a lot of money. So obviously we are treating this like much more than just another mugging.”

Which again raises the question of why the dude didn't have armed guards transporting the instrument for him. I shake my head at this story.

More at that top link. Really. Keep reading. It's an extremely prized violin. Only 650 like instruments still exist.

St. Louis Rams Returning to Los Angeles?

Wow. This is interesting.

At LAT, "A return of L.A. Rams? Owner is said to buy possible stadium site":
The owner of the St. Louis Rams has bought a large piece of land in Inglewood that potentially could be used for an NFL stadium, multiple individuals with knowledge of the transaction have told The Times.

Within the last month, billionaire Stan Kroenke bought a 60-acre parking lot located between the Forum and Hollywood Park, according to individuals who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the buyer or seller.

Wal-Mart originally owned the land but sold it after failing to get public approval for a superstore. Madison Square Garden Co., which owns the Forum, had planned to buy the lot for an estimated $90 million in order to acquire more space for parking and possibly additional development. However, MSG was informed by Wal-Mart at the end of 2013 that the land had already been sold to an unnamed party. The individuals confirmed the buyer is Kroenke, a former Wal-Mart board member and husband of Ann Walton Kroenke, daughter of Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton. For years, Kroenke has owned a substantial amount of land in Southern California. The Rams neither confirmed nor denied that Kroenke had purchased the land and declined to comment on the situation.

Kelly Brook Cadbury Commercial

At London's Daily Mail, "She can boogie! Kelly Brook unleashes her disco diva in new car wash video for Cadbury chocolate."

Amanda Knox 'Frightened and Saddened' as Acquittal Reversed

At the Los Angeles Times:
An Italian judge sentences Knox to 28 years in the slaying of her former roommate Meredith Kercher. Her ex-boyfriend gets 25 years.
Video at CNN, "Amanda Knox convicted of murder again."

And commentary at Saberpoint, "Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito Found Guilty (Again) of Murder."

Mayor Kasim Reed Rejects Criticism of Atlanta Snow Response

Kasim Reed. What a f-king clown.

At NYT, "Mayor Unapologetic as Questions Fly About Storm":

ATLANTA — Anyone who has listened to Kasim Reed, the former entertainment lawyer who became Atlanta’s mayor in 2010, knows the man who calls himself a street fighter likes to be forceful when he makes a point.

But for the past two days, as the national face of a city that was virtually incapacitated by two inches of snow and ice, Mr. Reed has come across more as peevish than powerful as he has done interview after interview, mostly rejecting criticism of the government’s role in Atlanta’s vast ice storm gridlock.

“I don’t want to get into the blame game,” he snapped at local reporters Wednesday as children were still stranded in schools and images of thousands stranded on frozen interstates rolled in a seemingly endless media loop.

Atlanta Officials Gamble on Storm and Lose, and Others Pay the PriceJAN. 29, 2014
The next day, he fired back at national journalists, suggesting that Matt Lauer of NBC’s “Today” be more accurate in the images of a crippled region he was presenting to viewers and sniping with Mika Brzezinski on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.

How the capital of the Deep South fell victim to more than 24 hours of icy paralysis despite early predictions that a rare winter storm was about to fall is still being analyzed.

Gov. Nathan Deal, in an apologetic briefing for reporters on Thursday and in his own series of national interviews, was as soft and contrite as Mr. Reed was unyielding and combative. The governor said he did not learn the storm had been upgraded until about 9 a.m. Tuesday, six hours after the fact. He was beginning an internal investigation into why early warnings were not heeded sooner, he said.

But larger questions loom for Mr. Reed, an ambitious 44-year-old politician, and Mr. Deal, who is running for re-election in November. How much will a losing gamble on how to handle a paralyzing storm hurt? And what’s the best way to cope with the kind of disastrous storm response that has dramatically wounded the careers of numerous politicians over the years?

Left up to some voters, the gamble could hurt a lot. Drew Hansen, a University of Georgia criminal justice student who spent Tuesday night in a pharmacy after driving for more than seven hours, faulted both Mr. Deal and Mr. Reed.

“To be honest with you, I don’t think they cared,” Mr. Hansen, 21, said. “Deal was warm. Reed was warm. They didn’t care. For them it was like, ‘Whatever, yeah, there’s people out there. We’re already in office. We don’t care.’ ”
More at the top link.

Syria Stalls on Chemical Weapons Handover

At WaPo, "Assad regime is dragging its feet on removing chemical weapons, U.S. says":

The Obama administration said Thursday that only 4 percent of Syria’s most dangerous chemical weapons had been removed from the country, and it accused President Bashar al-Assad of dragging his feet on complying with the international agreement to eliminate the arsenal.

Officials responsible for overseeing the weapons’ destruction met in The Hague to review what diplomats called major delays and obstruction by the Syrian government as the eradication project ramped up this month.

“The effort to remove chemical agents and key precursor chemicals from Syria has seriously languished and stalled,” Robert P. Mikulak, the U.S. representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, told the body.

Mikulak rejected Syria’s explanation that the delay is the result of security concerns in the areas through which chemical stores would be transported. Syria has demanded additional equipment to protect the shipments from rebel attacks.

“These demands are without merit and display a ‘bargaining mentality’ rather than a security mentality,” Mikulak said.

The White House said Assad must speed up chemical weapons shipments from inside the country to the port city of Latakia as agreed under a landmark deal to secure and destroy one of the world’s largest stores of lethal chemical agents.

“It is the Assad regime’s responsibility to transport those chemicals to facilitate removal. We expect them to meet their obligation to do so,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One.

The slow Syrian compliance in January came as the separate United Nations effort to convene peace talks between the Assad government and political opponents also hit snags. The tandem efforts are the pillars of U.S. policy toward Syria nearly three years into a civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people and displaced millions.

The Assad government and opposition figures sat down with a U.N. mediator this week but have made no real progress. Even a deal that was largely prearranged, to get more food and other aid to besieged areas of Syria, has not emerged from the brief talks. That agreement was supposed to build confidence between negotiators who might then be able to begin to form a power-sharing government.
Keep reading.

Michelle Malkin 'Put On a Clinic' in How Conservatives Can Respond to Leftist Racism

Here's Twitchy from the other night, "This is how it’s done: Michelle Malkin leads crushing social media win against MSNBC smear [pics]."

And on The Five yesterday:

Left-Wing Whackjobs Prove Tom Perkins' Point

At the Wall Street Journal, "Perkinsnacht: Liberal vituperation makes our letter writer's point":
Five days on, the commentariat continues to drop anvils on Tom Perkins, who may have written the most-read letter to the editor in the history of The Wall Street Journal. The irony is that the vituperation is making our friend's point about liberal intolerance—maybe better than he did.

"I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent," wrote the legendary venture capitalist and a founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Mr. Perkins called it "a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendant 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?"

That comparison was unfortunate, albeit provocative. It's not always easy to be subtle in 186 words, as Mr. Perkins learned, though a useful rule of thumb is not to liken anything to Nazi Germany unless it happens to be the Stalinist Soviet Union. Amid the ongoing media furor and an ungallant rebuke from Kleiner Perkins, Mr. Perkins has apologized for the comparison, without repudiating his larger argument.

While claiming to be outraged at the Nazi reference, the critics seem more incensed that Mr. Perkins dared to question the politics of economic class warfare. The boys at Bloomberg View—we read them since no one else does—devoted an entire editorial to inequality and Mr. Perkins's "unhinged Nazi rant." Others denounced him for defending his former wife Danielle Steel, and even for owning too many Rolex watches.

Maybe the critics are afraid that Mr. Perkins is onto something about the left's political method. Consider the recent record of liberals in power. They're the ones obsessed with the Koch brothers and other billionaires contributing to conservative causes, siccing journalists to trash them and federal agencies to shut them down.More at the link.
Keep reading.

The Nazi comparison was indeed over the top. But as WSJ points out, the left's attack on the rich is indeed unhinged, demonstrated by the meltdown over Perkins.

Neo-Neocon had a nice post on this the other day, "The war on the 1% and the war on the opposition":
Does this mean Kristallnacht and then the camps are coming? I happen to think what’s happening today will take a different form, a form it is already showing: continuing legal persecution and rhetorical demonization of those who dare to question the liberal line, minus the death camps and the rest. But I also believe that, if killing people ends up being necessary for some reason, the hard left here would have absolutely no hesitation in doing so. I just think, as I’ve written before, that this movement in the US has the earmarks of Chavez more than Hitler or Stalin. That could change.
As I've said many times, leftists would kill you if they had the chance. Kristallnacht is over the top. I just don't go for Nazi analogies, because they demeans the enormity of the Holocaust. That's not to say that the left isn't composed of a similar evil. It is. We've witnessed leftist evil first hand for some time now. But this is America in the 21st century. Things won't play out as they did in the 1930s. Or at least not yet. Not yet. Good people will not surrender decency to the regressive mobs.

PREVIOUSLY: "Barack's Pogrom: The Rising Tide of Hatred Against the 'Evil' One Percent."

Weather Channel's Jim Cantore Takes Out Heckler During Live Broadcast

Here's the real story, at the Wrap, "Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore Knees a Heckler in the Crotch on Live Television (Video)."

And Jimmy Kimmel picked it up a couple of nights ago, heh.

Mackenzie Wethington Survives 3,500 Sky Dive After Parachute Fails

A lot of skydiving miracles lately.

At Fox News Insider, "‘God’s Hand Caught Her’: Teen Survives Skydive After Parachute Fails."

And at ABC News, "Dad Speaks Out After Teen Parachute Malfunction (VIDEO)."

Pennsylvania Small Business Employees React to #ObamaCare Rate Increases


And this is just a glimpse of what we'll be seeing all year.

At Legal Insurrection, "Cruel Obamacare cost punishment is not unusual."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

#MSNBC's Apology Pathology

An unusually good post from Erik Wemple, at WaPo, "The Cheerios ad and MSNBC’s apologetic pathology":
The Erik Wemple Blog has asked MSNBC for an explanation but hasn’t yet gotten one.

Whatever the explanation, there’s certainly no excuse. The tweet in question isn’t clever, helpful or fair. It’s a divisive piece of taunting nastiness driven by a worldview that MSNBC personalities have surfaced with great regularity in recent memory, always followed by excellent apologies. After then-MSNBC host Martin Bashir suggested that Sarah Palin be subjected to an excrement-related punishment visited upon slaves, he said, “My words were wholly unacceptable,” among other very contrite things. After short-lived MSNBC host Alec Baldwin allegedly shouted down a paparazzo with homophobic language, he said, “I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have — and for that I am deeply sorry.” After host Melissa Harris-Perry presided over a segment that mocked Mitt Romney’s family over a photo featuring his adopted African-American grandson, the host said, among other things, “So without reservation or qualification, I apologize to the Romney family. Adults who enter into public life implicitly consent to having less privacy. But their families, and especially their children, should not be treated callously or thoughtlessly.”

And now this Cheerios thing. The string of offenses raises doubts about Wolffe’s claim that the tweet from last night doesn’t reflect “who we are at msnbc.” Rather, the tweet appears to a careful observer to define precisely what MSNBC is becoming: A place that offends and apologizes with equal vigor.

The Erik Wemple Blog supports media organizations that muster strong apologies. Too often, mistakes are followed by stonewalling and a failure to repent. Apologies can be an important measure of accountability. Yet this string of meae culpae suggests that the apology may be morphing into an enabling device for the network’s tendentious and divisive attitudes. Sometimes a bad tweet represents the errant and unrepresentative thoughts of some employee managing the social-media accounts. And sometimes it represents institutional ... mores and prejudices.
And don't miss Dan Riehl's excellent aggregation, "In Leftist terms, MSNBC should be officially labeled a “Hate Network” – Over 100 examples."

It truly is a "hate network," and clearly instills in its viewers a despicable racist, eliminationist hatred. Like Walter James Casper III, who's a huge fan of MSNBC's pathological hate. (Well, Repsac's a pathological hater, but we've been there before.)

PREVIOUSLY: "MSNBC President Phil Griffin Apologizes to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus." Also, ".@MSNBC Takes Down Racist Hate-Tweet Attacking Conservatives Over New Biracial Cheerios Commercial."

Young Hero Tyler Doohan Laid to Rest

This story's a tearjerker.

At CNN, "Boy who died saving relatives from fire laid to rest as 'firefighter'."

Also, "Tyler doohan Hero 8-year-old boy killed in fire after saving SIX in Penfield, New York - R.I.P."

Lacey Banghard for Zoo Magazine January 2014

At Egotastic!, "Lacey Banghard Exhibits Her Big and Friendlies for Zoo."

Previous Lacey Banghard blogging is here.

MSNBC President Phil Griffin Apologizes to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus

This is something else.

At Politico, "MSNBC president apologizes to RNC, fires staffer responsible for tweet."

And at Twitchy, "MSNBC head apologizes for ‘outrageous’ bigoted tweet, but will anything change? [video]."

More at Mediagazer.

More at Mediaite, "Rothman: The RNC’s Boycott of MSNBC is Brilliant."

Dems Give Up on Retaking House of Representatives

Instead, they'll focus on damage control in the Senate.

Via Politico, "Democrats: Cede the House to save the Senate" (via Memeorandum):
With Democrats’ grasp on the Senate increasingly tenuous — and the House all but beyond reach — some top party donors and strategists are moving to do something in the midterm election as painful as it is coldblooded: Admit the House can’t be won and go all in to save the Senate.

Their calculation is uncomplicated. With only so much money to go around in an election year that is tilting the GOP’s way, Democrats need to concentrate resources on preserving the chamber they have now. Losing the Senate, they know, could doom whatever hopes Barack Obama has of salvaging the final years of his presidency.

The triage idea is taking hold in phone conversations among donors and in strategy sessions between party operatives. Even some of the people who have invested the most to get House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi back into the speaker’s chair are moving in that direction.

“There is no question that Democratic donors are shifting towards the Senate in 2014. They will continue to support Nancy, but everyone agrees that the emphasis is going to be on the Senate,” said Joe Cotchett, a prominent San Francisco trial attorney and friend of Pelosi’s who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic Party candidates and causes. “When you see people like [longtime California Democratic Rep.] George Miller announcing that they are not running again, you know where the money will be going.”

“…[U]nless we have a George Washington Bridge fiasco in the House,” he added, referring to the traffic scandal that has engulfed Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, “control is not going to change.”
Terrible analogy. Scandals generally don't engulf an entire party, especially in a year like this.

That said, I seriously can't wait until November, when I get to hammer the election results over Martin Longman's head.

More at at NYT, "Unpopularity of the House Could Turn Senate Races" (via Memeorandum).

Entrenched Democrat Henry Waxman to Retire From Congress

I wonder if this opens the way for Marianne Williamson to waltz to the Democrat nomination. LAT had this sometime back, "Marianne Williamson's spiritual path into political realm."

And here's the news on Waxman:

Democratic district. In addition to being a relatively safe seat, its many wealthy, politically active residents make the district, which runs from Beverly Hills and Malibu down the coast to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, one of country’s leading sources of campaign contributions. The ability to steer those donations to fellow lawmakers offers a path to power in the House that Waxman employed actively early in his career and that others will certainly covet.

Two political independents already had announced plans to challenge Waxman this year, but Democratic office holders who would not have run against the incumbent are now likely to enter the race.

In an interview, Waxman, 74, said that he had decided, simply, that the time had come to do something else.

“At the end of this year, I would have been in Congress for 40 years,” he said. “If there is a time for me to move on to another chapter in my life, I think this is the time to do it.

Obama's Operating Method Has Been Social and Political Division

From Daniel Henninger, at WSJ, "Obama's State of Disunion" (via Google):

Perfect Progressive photo Perfect_Prog_zps690d4845.gif
The 2008 campaign phrase "hope and change" will haunt future histories of the Obama presidency.

Many Americans voted Barack Obama into the White House for that reason alone. That reason is gone. The notion that this president would unify the nation by allowing people to summon their better spirits, as he promised, faded fast.

Even Mr. Obama's supporters see now that his operating method wasn't unification, but political and social division. Support for the president among the independents who gave him 52% of their vote in 2008 has fallen into the 30s.

Dividing the nation in his first term so that some Americans would vote in anger against his opposition was clearly the game plan from the start. He repeatedly scapegoated "the wealthiest" and the "1 percent." In 2012 when House Republicans published their deficit-reduction proposals, Mr. Obama dismissed the document as "laughable," "social Darwinism" and "antithetical to our entire history."

After four years of the politics of divide-and-conquer, Mr. Obama had stirred sufficient resentment in his political base to win a second term. What he has produced entering the sixth year of his presidency is a nation in a state of disunion.

The pollsters at Gallup wrote last week that Mr. "Obama is on course to have the most politically polarized approval ratings of any president." Segments of the U.S. population see themselves not just in disagreement with the Obama administration, but as the target of its policies.

This includes not only the famous 1%, but also the upper-middle class, Southern states, charter schools, politically active conservatives, private businesses, the Catholic church, electric utilities, doctors driven out of ObamaCare's health networks and those famous partisans, the Little Sisters of the Poor.

All have been vilified, investigated, audited or sued by the president himself, Eric Holder's Justice Department, the National Labor Relations Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and, not least, the Internal Revenue Service. Last year's most remarkable polling number from Gallup said in December that 72% of Americans regard big government as the greatest threat to the U.S. They got the message.

Even ObamaCare has contributed. The law's rules pit the healthy against the unhealthy by forcing them to pay higher premiums to subsidize the unhealthy. Catholics, some of whom might have supported ObamaCare, see their hospitals as singled out for retribution by their government.

The administration's supporters dismiss complaints about the in-your-face tenor of the Obama presidency as conservative sour grapes. "We won," they say, "get over it." OK, you won, but what have you done with it? Where's the upside?

The slow fade of hope is revealed in last week's Fox News poll, with 74% saying the country feels as if it's still in a recession, no matter that the real one ended in early 2009. It's hard to pretend hope is coming when, five years after the 2008 election, December's monthly jobs report said 347,000 Americans have given up looking for work. That's your real income inequality—the legions of chronically unemployed Americans who now have no earned income whatsoever.

In his speech, Mr. Obama pitched the causes of weak employment back "more than three decades." This 30-year-old problem has three major policy solutions available to him in 2014: tax reform, pending free-trade legislation and immigration reform. All require doing business with the other party in Congress. He can't, and by personal disposition doesn't want to. The speech made that clear.

Instead, Mr. Obama said his overdue promise of change is going to roll in on a cascade of unilateral executive orders and directives from his regulatory bureaucracies.
More at the link.

IMAGE CREDIT: People's Cube.

Anna Kendrick Game Day Newcastle Commercial: 'Approachable Hot'

She's hot.

At London's Daily Mail, "'I'm hot, but like, approachable hot': Anna Kendrick questions her attractiveness in hilarious 'non-Super Bowl' commercial":
'I'll just give you an endorsement now. "Hi, Newcastle Brown Ale, the only beer that ever promised me a paying role in a Super Bowl commercial and then backed out at the last f****ing second like a bunch of d**ks. Suck it,' she says as she motions to get up, before saying again, 'Suck it.'

Skydiver James Lee Knocked Unconscious is Rescued by Quick-Thinking Friends (VIDEO)

It's a miracle.

At ABC News, "VIDEO: Helmetcam Shows Unconscious Skydiver's Descent." And at London's Daily Mail, "Terror at 12,500ft: Watch the horrifying moment a skydiver plummets to the ground unconscious after being knocked out by another jumper in freak accident."

WaPo/ABC News Poll: Hillary Clinton Has Big Democratic Lead for 2016 Nomination

At the Washington Post, "For 2016, Hillary Clinton has commanding lead over Democrats, GOP race wide open":

Hillary Time Magazine photo hillarytime_zps3e1028c9.jpg
Hillary Rodham Clinton holds a commanding 6 to 1 lead over other Democrats heading into the 2016 presidential campaign, while the Republican field is deeply divided with no clear front-runner, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Clinton trounces her potential primary rivals with 73 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, reinforcing a narrative of inevitability around her nomination if she runs. Vice President Biden is second with 12 percent, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) is third with 8 percent.

Although Clinton’s favorability rating has fallen since she stepped down as secretary of state a year ago, she has broad Democratic support across ideological, gender, ethnic and class lines. Her lead is the largest recorded in an early primary matchup in at least 30 years of Post-ABC polling.

The race for the Republican nomination, in contrast, is wide open, with six prospective candidates registering 10 percent to 20 percent support. No candidate has broad backing from both tea party activists and mainline Republicans, signaling potential fissures when the GOP picks a standard-bearer in 2016.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was at or near the top of the Republican field in many public opinion surveys last year, appears to have suffered politically from the bridge-traffic scandal engulfing his administration.

The new survey puts Christie in third place — with the support of 13 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents — behind Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) with 20 percent and former Florida governor Jeb Bush at 18 percent. The rest of the scattered pack includes Sens. Ted Cruz (Tex.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.), who are at 12, 11 and 10 percent, respectively.

Among strong backers of the tea party — who make up about one-fifth of the Republicans polled — Cruz has a big lead, with 28 percent, followed by Ryan, at 18 percent. But Cruz, an iconoclastic freshman senator who rose to prominence during last fall’s partial government shutdown, registers just 4 percent among those who oppose or have no opinion of the tea party.

Christie is weakest among the strong tea party set, winning 6 percent of that group, but he has the backing of 15 percent of other Republicans. Bush’s base of support comes from self-identified Republicans, while Ryan’s strength comes from white evangelical Protestants, young voters and less conservative wings of the party. Rubio does particularly well among Republicans with college degrees.

Christie has benefited from the perception that he has unique appeal among independents and some Democrats, a reputation the governor burnished with his 2013 reelection in his strongly Democratic state.

But that image has been tarnished, the survey finds. More Democrats now view Christie unfavorably than favorably, with independents divided. Republicans, meanwhile, have a lukewarm opinion, with 43 percent viewing him favorably and 33 percent unfavorably. Overall, 35 percent of Americans see him favorably and 40 percent unfavorably.

The 2016 presidential campaign is not likely to start taking shape until the end of this year, when candidates are expected to begin declaring their intentions. Among the Republicans, Ryan and Bush appear to be the most ambivalent about a campaign. Other Republicans not named in the poll, such as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, could gain steam as potential candidates.

On the Democratic side, Warren has said she will not run, although she has a loyal following among some liberal groups hoping to draft an alternative to Clinton.

Polling this far out in the cycle is poor at forecasting winners of party nomination battles, but it offers important clues about current voter attitudes. Major fundraisers and party activists in particular look to such polls as indications of potential candidates’ strengths and weaknesses on the national stage as they begin to pick their horses.

In a theoretical head-to-head general-election matchup, Clinton leads Christie among registered voters, 53 percent to 41 percent. This is a far larger deficit than Republicans had in the popular vote in the past two presidential elections. In 2012, President Obama beat Mitt Romney by 51 percent to 47 percent, and he beat John McCain by 53 percent to 46 percent in 2008.

Christie is hurt by weak support among independents — trailing Clinton by 48 percent to 43 percent — as well as by a less consolidated party base. Although 90 percent of Democrats say they would back Clinton, only 79 percent of Republicans say they would support Christie. By contrast, Romney beat Obama among independents by five percentage points, and he won 93 percent of Republican votes.

Clinton, who would become the first female president if elected, shows enormous strength among women in the new poll. She leads Christie among female voters by 59 percent to 34 percent — more than double the 11-point margin Obama held over Romney.
Not a lot of suspense there. Clinton will not only run, she'll run away with the nomination. And the GOP? It remains to be seen.


Scarlett Johansson Cuts Ties With Oxfam Over Group's Support for BDS Movement

I blogged on this the other day, "Scarlett Johansson and the (BDS) Politics of Celebrity Ambassadors."

And now at Algemeiner (via Bad Blue):
Actress Scarlett Johansson ended her relationship with Oxfam International citing “a fundamental difference of opinion” over the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Associated Press reported Wednesday evening, citing her spokesman.

“Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years,” her statement said. “She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam.”

Johansson’s rift with the relief group began earlier this month when she was unveiled as the new face of Israeli carbonated drinks maker, SodaStream. Following the announcement, anti-Israel groups attacked Johansson citing the company’s West Bank based factory, which they deem to be problematic.

“Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law,” the group said at the time, adding that, “We have made our concerns known to Ms. Johansson and we are now engaged in a dialogue on these important issues.”

Johansson responded with a detailed statement highlighting the cooperation that takes place between Jews and Arabs at SodaStream’s factory. “SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights,” she said at the time.

“I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine,” she added...
More at the top link.

ADDED: An excellent post from William Jacobson, at Legal Insurrection, "BDS takes Oxfam down with it as Scarlett Johansson resigns."

Linked at Lowering the Boom, "Under Political Pressure, Scarlett Johansson Steps Down From Oxfam Ambassador Role." Thanks!

.@MSNBC's Alex Wagner Attacks (Condescends to) Cathy McMorris Rodgers' During #SOTU Response

I read this extremely fascinating (if not entirely eye-opening) piece on MSNBC's Alex Wager the other day, at Instapundit, "MATTHEW CONTINETTI: Love in the Time of Obama: Alex Wagner, Sam Kass, and the new aristocracy."

Wagner apparently was once a personal assistant to George Clooney and she later married President Obama's personal White Houses chef Sam Kass. She's part of the new snobbish elite who've ascended on the tails of their connections, not on grit and merit. We've heard these kinds of stories before, but of late, with all the talk of "income inequality," it bears noting that status inequality is the new marker for leftists disdainful of flyover Americans.

Ace of SpadesHQ had a long post on this yesterday, "The Left Talks a Great Deal About the Evils of Income Inequality, But Is Very Happy to Perpetuate a Regime of Social Inequality":
Social inequality -- that is, strong caste and class identification, and disparagement of all other (or "lesser," in the eyes of the class-obsessed person) castes and classes -- has gotten more pronounced over the past ten years.

It is weaponized for politics. Sarah Palin quite plainly is not dismissed by the New Class merely because they disagree with her beliefs. Their disdain has a nasty personal edge to it -- they disapprove of her and the class she hails from. The New Class is not to content itself with disparaging Palin. They actively wish to include millions of Americans they've never even met inside the broad circle of their angry, arrogant disdain. The fact that they are not just attacking Palin but attacking millions of other people is not a bug, but a feature. The additional casualties of the attack are not regrettable collateral damage, but rather bonus damage to be celebrated.
Yes "weaponized," as in Wagner's tweet Tuesday ridiculing the House Republican Conference chairwoman:

Wagner is criticized as the perfect parrot for the left's tut-tut Democrat Party line. And her attack on McMorris Rodgers jibes perfectly with the longstanding leftist war on women that's really driving American gender politics. Rep. McMorris Rodgers is a particularly dangerous threat to radical feminism, according to Hanna Rosin at Slate, because she's a more "subtle model" for "values feminism" than Sarah Palin.

More at Fox Nation, "‘Where’s the Needlepoint?’: MSNBC’s Alex Wagner Mocks Female Republican's SOTU Response."

And at Mediaite, "Megyn Kelly and Guests Go After Alex Wagner’s ‘Blatantly Sexist’ Tweet."

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

.@MSNBC Takes Down Racist Hate-Tweet Attacking Conservatives Over New Biracial Cheerios Commercial


This is racist Walter James Casper's channel.

At Twitchy, "‘Self unaware overload’: Despicable MSNBC pounded by reality after saying ‘right wing will hate’ bi-racial family [pics]."

And Politico, "MSNBC trolls the right with Cheerios tweet."

MSNBC photo BfMzC33CQAAjwk6_zpsa4688a8f.jpg

More at Fire Andrea Mitchell, "MSNBC: right wing hates new Cheerios ad with biracial family," and American Glob, "How the Left Lies About Conservatives."

The Right Scoop has the video, "Official @MSNBC on twitter accuses ‘rightwing’ of being racist."

I think they're going to need a more formal, forceful statement.

'Women Make 77 Cents to Every Man's Dollar'? Nope, Not True

Following up on my promise to update this morning, "#SOTU: 'Time to Do Away With Workplace Policies That Belong in a 'Mad Men' Episode...'"

Here's Hanna Rosin, at Slate, "The Gender Wage Gap Lie." (Via Memeorandum.)
The point here is not that there is no wage inequality. But by focusing our outrage into a tidy, misleading statistic we’ve missed the actual challenges. It would in fact be much simpler if the problem were rank sexism and all you had to do was enlighten the nation’s bosses or throw the Equal Pay Act at them. But the 91 percent statistic suggests a much more complicated set of problems. Is it that women are choosing lower-paying professions or that our country values women’s professions less? And why do women work fewer hours? Is this all discrimination or, as economist Claudia Goldin likes to say, also a result of “rational choices” women make about how they want to conduct their lives.
I don't particularly care or Rosin, by the way. She's the author of The End of Men: And the Rise of Women, which was also featured as a cover story at the Atlantic, "The End of Men":
Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences.
I don't have the statistics from my college, but women do very well in my classes. Their success mirrors the general trends folks may have read about regarding "the war on boys." Frankly, there are no neat conclusions on this. What's particularly pathetic, however, is that the president would push a bogus slogan in the State of the Union address to solidify has base. He's such an asshole.

A Constitutional Right to Public Masturbation in the Presence of Children?

It's hard to believe this, but it's happening.

At iOWNTHEWORLD, "Is Whacking Off in Front of Children an Exercise in Free Speech?" Well, it's a "right" if you're a deranged, depraved regressive leftist:
PJ Media’s Megan Fox continues to battle a local library that seems to think that filtering porn on their computers, and in the process blocking the fap material for public masturbators and the mentally deranged that enjoy watching porn around children, is an assault on the 1st amendment.

You know what else is a 1st amendment right? Taking pictures of people who access porn in the library and posting it on a website called PornSurfersAtThePublicLibrary.

Do leftists have a problem with that? Well, to wrap their heads around it they can think of it as akin to publishing the names and addresses of people who legally own guns.
Click through to read the Megan Fox piece. She's got a whole series on this going at Pajamas Media.

@Edroso Commenter Threatens Workplace Harassment Over Pete Seeger Communist Blogging — UPDATED AND BUMPED!!

It's one of the leftists over at Roy Edroso's blog, who writes:
Wonder how your employer's administration would enjoy reading a copy of this comment?
The comment's at the link.

Interesting how Edroso's entire community of depraved harassment leftists are down with it. No push back. F-k 'em. It never ceases to amaze me that virtually the first response of all leftists is to contact your employer. It's too pat. I understand more than ever why people blog anonymously. Personally, I've always put my reputation out there. Regressive leftists can't debate you. They can't win on the merits. All they have are lies and harassment. I've been through this too many times to recount. I'm up to a half dozen or so attempts to have me fired, a couple of which have instigated frivolous investigations.

These people are driven by hatred. All in a day's blogging, I guess.

Here's the search tag for "workplace harassment," which is voluminous.

Previous Communist Pete Seeger blogging is here.



My department chair has been contacted by someone named "Selwyn Hollis."

I have sent this Hollis person an email to their gmail account of the same name. I have not heard back.

Also there is a Dr. Selwyn Hollis, Professor of Mathematics, at Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Georgia. I cannot confirm if my harasser is the same as Professor Hollis.

Again, I do not know if this is the same "Selwyn Hollis"?

However, if readers are concerned, and need information or confirmation on "Selwyn Hollis," they should inquire with the Chairman of the Department of Mathematics, Dr. James Brawner:
Department of Mathematics
College of Science and Technology
University Hall 297
11935 Abercorn Street
Savannah, GA 31419
Thanks dear readers. And remember, never cave to these assholes. All they have are threats and intimidation. They never win debates on the merits. They attack and harass like the evil assholes they are. F-k 'em.

GOP Senate Takeover Within Reach

From Beth Reinhard, at National Journal, "6 Signs a Republican Senate Takeover Is Within Reach":
Republican gains and President Obama's weakness have Democrats on their heels, preparing to fight for Senate seats they never thought they would have to defend and hoping that 2016 will give them a chance to win back the Senate if they lose it next year.

Mark Warner, one of the most popular Democrats in the Senate, is now facing a serious challenge from one of the few Virginia Republicans who can keep pace with his fundraising. Polls show the Republican favorite in Michigan running evenly with Democratic Rep. Gary Peters, and raising more money than him as well. Republicans are even watching the Oregon Senate race closely, where a Republican physician running against Obamacare raised a half-million dollars against Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Democrats are feeling the pressure and looking longingly at 2016, when the political landscape should be nearly as favorable to them as the 2014 environment is perilous to their majority. This year, the party is defending seven states that rejected Obama in 2012; the GOP will be defending six seats in state that he carried that year in 2016.

"We always knew this cycle would have a number of difficult seats to defend," said Democratic strategist Jef Pollock. "Everything stacks up better for us in 2016."

What's changed in the past month is that a handful of states once thought to be safely Democratic—such as Michigan, Oregon, and Virginia—could become highly competitive in a best-case GOP scenario. If President Obama's approval ratings don't improve and Republicans catch a few breaks, the GOP could ride a wave to a majority that could withstand a small 2016 setback.

"They've put candidates on the ballot," acknowledged J.B. Poersch, who advises Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC focused on the Senate. But he added, "Six months from now, or even four months from now, how many of these are actually going to be races? It's great to be able to laundry list candidates and another to see how viable they're going to be."
Keep reading.

With Social Media's Rise, the Pulpit Isn't Just the President's Anymore



WASHINGTON — Twitter has fast become the conventional-wisdom clearinghouse and real-time echo chamber for major political events, so it was not surprising Tuesday evening when Twitter also became the forum where opinion on President Obama’s State of the Union address seemed to crystallize before he had even finished speaking.

“The media party line where everyone can listen in,” said Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist.

“The town hall for the media and political elite,” said Erik Smith, a Democratic strategist and founder of Blue Engine Message and Media.

The power of Twitter to shape the debate (for better or worse) was on display shortly before Mr. Obama began, when Representative Randy Weber, Republican of Texas, posted an error-riddled message that called the president a “Socialistic dictator,” and quickly went viral.

Indeed, Twitter’s ability to focus the pundit class helps explain why, in the fierce competition to control the political narrative, lawmakers, candidates, operatives and even the president are increasingly turning to it and other social media. The battle is the same as before, but they are now hoping to prevail 140 characters at a time.

“Conventional wisdom is like fast-drying concrete in the Twitter age — it doesn’t take long to harden,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. “Twitter is one of the fastest ways to shape opinion.”

The State of the Union address spawned a bipartisan embrace of new photo- and video-sharing platforms, and a rush to create tweetable graphics and synchronized hashtags to amplify messages. Democrats and Republicans competed to make their views the majority, often with little regard to what the president actually said. Members of Congress sent out 750 tweets over the course of Mr. Obama’s speech, according to data provided by Twitter.

Congressional Republicans rallied around hashtags like #CloseTheGap, to push their message of reducing income inequality, and #YearOfAction, to call on Mr. Obama to act on some of their major proposals in the coming year. (Of course, especially after the president called for a “year of action” in his address, #YearofAction took off among Republicans and Democrats alike.)

And, perhaps more notably, Republicans set up “recording stations” on Vine, the Twitter-owned platform for sharing six-second videos, and Instagram to allow caucus members to record short responses that they could share before, during and after the speech.

When Mr. Obama got to the part of his address where he said he was willing to go around Congress through executive orders, Representative Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona, was ready. As if on cue, he tweeted out a prerecorded Vine video featuring him sitting him behind his desk and stating, “If the president has a pen and a telephone, we have the Constitution.”
Keep reading.

.@MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell: 'Iran Was More or Less an American Ally' Before Bush's 'Axis of Evil'

Oh brother.

At Hot Air, "Andrea Mitchell: Remember how Iran was sort of an ally after 9/11 until Bush’s “axis of evil” speech?"

And at Twitchy, "‘Are you insane?’ Andrea Mitchell suggests Iran was our ally before Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’ speech."

Barack Obama's Imperial Presidency

Man, I'm glad at least someone's not hiding behind their mama's knickers. Sheesh.

Take it to these f-kers. You go Ted Cruz!

At WSJ, "The Imperial Presidency of Barack Obama":

Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the president's persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat. On Monday, Mr. Obama acted unilaterally to raise the minimum wage paid by federal contracts, the first of many executive actions the White House promised would be a theme of his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The president's taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: "There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates." America's Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.

Rule of law doesn't simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. That no one—and especially not the president—is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

Yet rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying and waiving portions of the laws he is charged to enforce. When Mr. Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

On many of those policy issues, reasonable minds can disagree. Mr. Obama may be right that some of those laws should be changed. But the typical way to voice that policy disagreement, for the preceding 43 presidents, has been to work with Congress to change the law. If the president cannot persuade Congress, then the next step is to take the case to the American people. As President Reagan put it: "If you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat" of electoral accountability.

President Obama has a different approach. As he said recently, describing his executive powers: "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone." Under the Constitution, that is not the way federal law is supposed to work.
Keep reading. (Via Memeorandum.)

Tea Party Response to the State of the Union — Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah)

A hard-hitting address.

At Politico, "Mike Lee tea party response: Barack Obama at fault for inequality":

Sen. Mike Lee tried to challenge the Democrats on their own turf by discussing an “inequality crisis” in his official tea party rebuttal to the State of the Union on Tuesday, while fellow tea party darling Sen. Rand Paul struck more familiar Republican chords in a separate speech.

Lee’s language echoed Democrats who have been actively raising concerns about growing inequality in American society. But the Utah Republican cast the solution in distinctly conservative terms.

“This inequality crisis presents itself in three principal forms,” Lee (R-Utah) said. “Immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big-government programs; insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get ahead, and they can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else.”

Lee highlighted educational and economic inequality, but argued that government is a root cause of growing disparities. He also included issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and National Security Agency surveillance as examples of big-government policies that lead to “real inequality.”

But the worst culprit, Lee argued, is the Democratic health care law.

“Obamacare – all by itself – is an inequality Godzilla that has robbed working families of their insurance, their doctors, their wages and their jobs,” Lee said. “Many Americans are now seeing why some of us fought so hard to stop this train-wreck over the last four years.”

President Barack Obama, Lee added, “has paid lip-service” to addressing inequality “but seems uninterested in truly confronting or correcting” it.
We'll see.

He's got a pretty good laundry list of reforms. It's going to take majority power to actually push these things through the Congress, which is why the stakes are as high as ever in November.

More at Hot Air, "The State of the Union: Six down… and two to go" (via Memeorandum).

Cintia Dicker for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2013

Taking it day by day, now. Heh.

Until next month, at SI, "Cintia Dicker Swimsuit Photos."

#SOTU: 'Time to Do Away With Workplace Policies That Belong in a 'Mad Men' Episode...'

I thought half the Democratic conference was going to have a collective orgasm. Looks at these lollygagging dolls.

At the Wrap, "Obama Says Enough With Anti-Women Policies That ‘Belong in a ‘Mad Men’ Episode’ in State of the Union Address."

Leftists will be all over this today, although O's comments are easily fact-checked and found wanting. Women, at comparable levels of education, make as much as men do. I'll update when there's more on this.

'And don't forget Republicans led by Teabagger Ted Cruz shut down the Government!'


You gotta love Twitchy, "‘Racist honkie trailor park living people’; 30 tweets bashing the Tea Party during the SOTU speech."

Leftists are dirtbag scum. And communist filth. Fight them to the finish. Stand up to their hatred. Hit back twice as hard.

President Clinton Passed Speaker Gingrich a 'Secret Note' Before 1996 #SOTU

Longtime readers will recall that I'm no fan of Newt Gingrich.

That said, this is interesting. Here's the former Speaker with an intimate look back at what appears to be a proud moment in the political limelight.

Congressman Michael Grimm Threatens NY1 Reporter

Not becoming of a congressman, at NY1 News, "Rep. Grimm Threatens NY1 Reporter Following State of the Union."

The reporter finished his on-air report, saying Rep. Grimm didn't want to talk about campaign finance allegations:
"So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances," Scotto said before tossing back to the station. But as the camera continued to roll, Grimm walked back up to Scotto and began speaking to him in a low voice.

"What?" Scotto responded. "I just wanted to ask you..."

Grimm: "Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this f-----g balcony."

Scotto: "Why? I just wanted to ask you..."

[[cross talk]]

Grimm: "If you ever do that to me again..."

Scotto: "Why? Why? It’s a valid question."

[[cross talk]]

Grimm: "No, no, you're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."
More at the link, plus video.

Also at CNN, "New York congressman threatens to throw reporter off balcony." (At Memeorandum.)

Grimm's a Republican, the idiot. Here's his statement:
“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first Member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last...”

'Too many people are falling further and further behind because, right now, the president's policies are making people's lives harder...'

That's the line that stuck with me most. It's something I've talked about in my classes, especially on healthcare and jobs for college aged students.

At Politico, "McMorris Rodgers promotes ‘hopeful’ agenda."

The text is here, "State of the Union GOP response: Cathy McMorris Rodgers (text, video)."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Obama Pledges 'Year of Action' on Economy and Jobs

At ABC News, "In State of the Union 2014, President Obama Pushes for Year of Action on Economic Opportunity" (via Memeorandum).

And at the New New York Times, "Obama Vows Solo Action on Economic Gap":

WASHINGTON — After five years of fractious political combat, President Obama declared independence from Congress on Tuesday as he vowed to tackle economic disparity with a series of limited initiatives on jobs, wages and retirement that he will enact without legislative approval.

Promising “a year of action” as he tries to rejuvenate a presidency mired in low approval ratings and stymied by partisan stalemates, Mr. Obama used his annual State of the Union address to chart a new path forward relying on his own executive authority. But the defiant “with or without Congress” approach was more assertive than any of the individual policies he advanced.

“I’m eager to work with all of you,” a confident Mr. Obama told lawmakers of both parties in the 65-minute nationally televised speech in the House chamber. “But America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

The president’s appearance at the Capitol, with all the traditional pomp and anticipation punctuated by partisan standing ovations, came at a critical juncture as Mr. Obama seeks to define his remaining time in office. He touched on foreign policy, asserting that “American diplomacy backed by the threat of force” had forced Syria to give up chemical weapons and that “American diplomacy backed by pressure” had brought Iran to the negotiating table. And he repeated his plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan this year and threatened again to veto sanctions on Iran that disrupt his diplomatic efforts.

The most emotional point of the evening came with the introduction of Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger the president had met both before and after he was ravaged by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. As Sergeant Remsburg, blind in one eye and having to learn to walk again, made it to his feet in the first lady’s box, lawmakers of both parties gave him an extended ovation.

But Mr. Obama’s message centered on the wide gap between the wealthiest and other Americans as he positioned himself as a champion of those left behind in the modern economy. “Those at the top have never done better,” he said. “But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled.

“The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by, let alone to get ahead,” he added. “And too many still aren’t working at all. So our job is to reverse these trends.”

To do so, the president announced an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for future federal contract workers and the creation of a new Treasury savings bond for workers without access to traditional retirement options. He proposed incentives for trucks running on alternative fuels and higher efficiency standards for those running on gasoline. And he announced a meeting on working families and a review of federal job training programs.

Mr. Obama was gambling that a series of ideas that seem small-bore on their own will add up to a larger collective vision of an America with expanded opportunity. But the moderate ambitions were a stark contrast to past years when Mr. Obama proposed sweeping legislation to remake the nation’s health care system, regulate Wall Street, curb climate change and restrict access to high-powered firearms.

Republicans responded by blaming Mr. Obama for the country’s economic problems, but the party’s leaders avoided the language of last year’s government shutdown and hoped to present what Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington called “a more hopeful, Republican vision” intended to appeal particularly to women in a midterm election year...
More at the link.

'America's Most Successful Communist' Trending at Memeorandum

Pretty funny when an almost 10-year-old article on a depraved folk-rock Communist gets linked up by enough bloggers to get a thread on Memeorandum. Heh.

PREVIOUSLY: "Communist Folk Singer Pete Seeger Dies at 94," and "On Cue, Far-Left Partisans for Pete Seeger Bring the Hate."

Lolo Jones Makes the U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team

At USA Today, "Lolo Jones handles the heat over bobsled selection."

I haven't been very impressed with Ms. Jones, but I guess she's got some supporters out there. Still, making the bobsled team on your fame is kinda unfair to those who worked years at the sport.

Here's the video from 2008 in Beijing, where Jones clipped the second to the last hurdle and lost an Olympics gold medal: "Athletics - Women's 100M Hurdles - Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games." She's never gotten over that.

More at CBS News, "Lolo Jones' selection to Olympic bobsled team criticized."

Lolo Jones photo photo2_zps07de8326.jpg

Sabine Jemeljanova for Nuts January 2014

At Egotastic!, "Sabine Jemeljanova Topless Secretary Nuts Shoot in January 2014."

University of North Carolina Apologizes for Fake Classes, Promises Real Change

At Business Week (via Instapundit).

PREVIOUSLY: "Universities Admitting Illiterate Athletes," and "UNC Professor Mary Willingham Receives Death Threats After Bombshell Research on College Athlete Illiteracy."

Also, "University of North Carolina Suspends Athlete Illiteracy Research by Mary Willingham," and "Illiterate Athletes a Symptom of Nationwide Problem."

On Cue, Far-Left Partisans for Pete Seeger Bring the Hate

It's still early, but I expect it's going to be an interesting day of leftist hatred.

At Alicublog, Roy Edroso calls me an "asshole":

Then this idiot tells me to "fuck off" on Twitter:

Here's disgusting hate-troll Repsac3 spewing the pro-Communist propaganda:

And Bird Dog takes the heat in the comments at Maggie's Farm:
I saw him perform several times. Grew up middle class, went to prep school and Harvard, affected a working class style but I doubt any working class people were ever interested in him. A likeable old commie, naive and innocent to the end.


No, he was a totalitarian monster and a fraud, and his so-called folk music was also a fraud. He should have died 90 years ago, instead he polluted America for decades. As did all the other so-called folk artists, all of whom were Communist frauds.


Good grief! The guy was an old Commie geezer who never found an enemy of this country he couldn't find a way to support.

He championed the Soviets (you might remember them) during the"nuclear freeze" in the 80's and was an outspoken liar and propagandist about the motives of Ronald Reagan, one of the finest American's who ever swore the office of President.

Obummer probably had to bite his lip and choke back a tear.
My earlier entry is here, "Communist Folk Singer Pete Seeger Dies at 94" (with, so far, one hate-addled apologist for Communism in the comments).

BONUS: Da Tech Guy links, "If only Leni Riefenstahl was a Communist like Pete Seeger…" Thanks!

Communist Folk Singer Pete Seeger Dies at 94

A long obituary at the New York Times, "Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94." This passage is telling:
In 1955 he was subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he testified, “I feel that in my whole life I have never done anything of any conspiratorial nature.” He also stated: “I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this.”

Mr. Seeger offered to sing the songs mentioned by the congressmen who questioned him. The committee declined.
Althouse likes that as well, "'I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs'." (Via Memeorandum.)

Here's Seeger's entry at Discover the Networks:
In 1945 Seeger became the national director of People's Songs, Inc, an organization designed to “create, promote and distribute songs of labor and the American People.” Within a few years, the California Senate Fact-finding Committee reported that:
"People's Songs is a vital Communist front … one which has spawned a horde of lesser fronts in the fields of music, stage entertainment, choral singing, folk dancing, recording, radio transcriptions and similar fields. It especially is important to Communist proselytizing and propaganda work because of its emphasis on appeal to youth, and because of its organization and technique to provide entertainment for organizations and groups as a smooth opening wedge for Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist propaganda."
Seeger parted ways with the Communist Party in 1950 and eventually renounced strict Stalinism, in favor of socialism and pro-labor activism. "I realized," says Seeger, "I could sing the same songs I sang whether I belonged to the Communist Party or not, and I never liked the idea anyway of belonging to a secret organization."

In 1955 Seeger was subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee, whose questions about his past Communist ties he answered evasively or not at all. The following year Seeger was indicted for contempt of Congress. In 1961 he was found guilty of that charge and was sentenced to ten years in prison, though in 1962 his conviction was overturned on a technicality.

In the 1960s Seeger was deeply involved in the civil rights movement and its hallmark demonstrations. His musical interpretation of an old spiritual, which he called We Shall Overcome, became a signature song of the movement. The song was played at the founding meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. In subsequent years, Seeger would perform benefit concerts on SNCC's behalf.

Historian Ronald Radosh writes: "Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, Seeger called for peace, peaceful co-existence between the United States and the Soviet Union, singing songs like Put My Name Down, Brother, Where Do I Sign? -- a ballad in favor of the Soviet Union’s phony international peace petition that favored unilateral disarmament by the West while leaving the Soviet atomic stockpile intact. He would sing and give his support to peace rallies and marches covertly sponsored by the Soviet Union and its Western front groups and dupes -- while leaving his political criticism only for the United States and its defensive actions during the Cold War."

Seeger was an opponent of America's involvement in the Vietnam War. He similarly opposed the U.S. military campaigns and weapons buildup during the Reagan years of the Cold War. He supported the Nuclear Freeze Movement of the 1980s -- a Soviet-sponsored initiative that would have frozen Soviet nuclear and military superiority in place and would have rendered Reagan unable to close that gap to any appreciable degree. Seeger has used his status as a folk icon to lend support to a number of leftwing causes and initiatives.
I don't see it yet, but I expect far-left historian Erik Loomis to post a glowing obituary at some point, at Lawyers, Gays and Marxists. (See Robert Stacy McCain for Loomis' background, "He’s a Lumberjack, and He’s OK: The Wobbly Scholarship of Erik Loomis, Ph.D.")

Expect updates. It's going to be interesting to see the leftist bloggers salivate over Seeger's anti-American legacy.

What Purpose International Holocaust Remembrance Day?

From Caroline Glick, at JPost, "International Holocaust Remembrance Day’s fatal flaw":

On the surface, it is very moving to see half of the members of Knesset at Auschwitz marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

But in a larger sense, it is not at all clear why this is necessary.

The Jewish people have Yom HaShoah V’Hagevura, our own national day of mourning for the genocide of our people in Europe.

More importantly, we carry the legacy of the Holocaust inside of us.

Every day, at some level, we experience the ulcerative loss of a third of the Jewish people in the hell of Europe, because we feel the hollow absence of the victims.

The six million murdered have become 10 million descendants who were never born. And we miss them.

We remember them too, every day, when we look at our children and thank God we can protect them.

Israel does not need this extra Holocaust memorial day. And before we send another delegation of elected officials to Auschwitz next January 27, we need to ask whether this extra day serves any positive purpose.

In November 2005, Israel was one of the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution that made January 27, the day Auschwitz was liberated, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. At the time, Israeli politicians and American Jewish leaders extolled the resolution as signaling a new era of UN relations with the Jewish state.

Consider for instance that a week before its duly mandated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the UN ushered in 2014 as the Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The occasion was marked among other things, by the January 20 opening of a yearlong exhibit at the UN Headquarters in New York portraying Israelis as Nazis and Palestinians as Jews.

Since 2005, anti-Semitism has risen throughout Europe, as have levels of anti-Semitism among Europhilic Americans.

Jews throughout Europe feel under assault, and unprotected. The situation is so bad that Jews don’t even bother reporting most of the anti-Semitic attacks they suffer.

The more closely we consider events the more clearly we see that ironically and obscenely, Holocaust memorializing in Europe is enabling anti-Semitism.

Europeans use the focus on the Holocaust to pretend that European anti-Semitism began with the Nazis’ rise to power in 1933 and ended with their defeat 12 years later. In truth, the Nazis’ rise to power was a natural consequence of 1,600 years of European Jew hatred.

From the time of Roman Emperor Constantine, persecution, expulsion and massacre of Jews was the norm, not the exception, in European life.

Hitler and his colleagues were adored not despite their hatred of Jews and their organization of German politics around the dehumanization of Jewish people. They were supported by the Germans, and by the majority of the people in the European lands they conquered because of their anti-Semitism and their dehumanization of Jews.

This Jew hatred did not die in Auschwitz.

As Ruth Wisse explained in August 2010, political anti-Semitism was resuscitated immediately after the war ended with the establishment of the Arab League. The League’s sole purpose was to reorganize anti-Semitic politics around denying the Jewish people their legal right to establish a sovereign state in their homeland.

In other words, with the establishment of the League in March 1945, the just-ended physical annihilation of European Jewry was replaced by the campaign to deny Jews political freedom and independence in our land.

Rather than combat this affront to international law and to the Charter of the United Nations, Europe, along with the rest of the world, sought to appease, and so facilitated and encouraged Arab anti-Jewish aggression.
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