Archive for the ‘Media Watch’ Category

In Which I Make Fun of Matthew Yglesias’ Fashion Choices

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

If you haven’t see Matthew Yglesias’ purple plaid sports coat and pastel plaid tie combination (which has been making the rounds for a while now), it is something to behold:

Both Kurt Schlichter and I chimed in on it:

It’s Labor Day Weekend, so this is what you get instead of actual content…

LinkSwarm for August 29, 2014

Friday, August 29th, 2014

In addition to not having a clue, when it comes to ISIS, Obama says that “we don’t have a strategy yet.” I’m sure if someone asked Franklin Roosevelt in early 1942 what his plans were for dealing with Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany, he would have had a strategy. Then again, FDR’s polio probably severely curtailed his golfing

  • President of Ukraine dissolves Parliament. This happened before the latest Russian incursion.
  • Also, Ukraine seeks NATO membership. A little late for that…
  • Boko Haram beheads six year old boy because he’s a Christian.
  • Man threatens to slaughter Ohio school children with an AK-47 over Israel-Gaza conflict.
  • How and why journalists get the Israel story wrong. Namely because they want to. “Many in the West clearly prefer the old comfort of parsing the moral failings of Jews, and the familiar feeling of superiority this brings them, to confronting an unhappy and confusing reality.”
  • For all the talk of Obama’s suit, it wasn’t the worst fashion disaster this week.
  • “Women who are sane, normal and happy do not become feminists, because such women do not need feminism.”
  • It turns out that Louisiana Democratic senator Mary Landrieu doesn’t actually live in her home state. Awkward. And unconstitutional. See also: Lugar, Richard, electoral defeat of.
  • New Republic writer Yishai Schwartz wants to get rid of that fascist “innocent until proven guilty” nonsense. You know, if I were writing a piece that hinged on “the details of Missouri law,” I think I would actually cite, verbatim, the relevant sections of Missouri law that supported my central thesis. Having conspicuously failed to do so, evidently Schwartz feels that such niceties (like the presumption of innocence in criminal trials) are beneath him… (Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.)
  • Christian student groups are no longer welcome at Vanderbilt University.
  • You will be made to care.
  • British wind farms being paid not to produce energy:
  • A checklist for arguing with Social Justice Warriors.
  • Back when stewardesses were allowed to wear sexy uniforms. (Hat tip: Bill Crider.)
  • Everything you’ve ever known is a lie.
  • The Late, Not-So-Great Wendy Davis Campaign

    Thursday, August 28th, 2014

    It’s not been a good month for people trying to pretend the Wendy Davis campaign is actually capable of winning the Governor’s mansion.

    First, during a time when Davis desperately needs media attention to have any hope of closing the gap with Republican opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Rick Perry indictment is sucking up all the media oxygen. “It’s very good for Greg Abbott because he’s up by 12-13-14 points on Wendy Davis and he has two to three times as much money as she does to close out this race in the final weeks.”

    Next comes word that Wendy Davis is actually polling 10 points behind where Bill White was at this time four years ago. And Bill White, despite running a markedly more competent and professional campaign than Davis has thus far, got slaughtered.

    Then it was revealed that Davis was trying to hide her 2013 tax returns, giving partial copies to the media “with the stipulation that the document couldn’t be shared with anyone or published in full.” A look at those returns shows why. Her 2013 tax return itself shows that out of $249,754 in gross income, Wendy Davis actually paid Uncle Sam a grand total of $788 in withholding in 2013. That left her just a wee, tiny bit short of the amount she she estimated had to pay. Namely, $60,000 short. But even that amount (which is what she sent in with her extension form) turned out to be less than the $70,252 she actually owed, which is why she paid $1,246 in tax penalties.

    Evidently, when you pull Davis’ string, she says “Math is hard!” in addition to “Abortion is awesome!”

    Finally, Davis’ laughable attack ad attempt to link Abbott to problems at the troubled Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas gets slammed by MSM fact checkers. In fact, Jerald Combs, the only person indicted in the now-closed CPRIT investigation, has not donated anything to Abbott.

    In a state as deep red as Texas, Democrats were always going to need a string, spotless candidate running a flawless campaign to have any hope of beating Abbott. Davis isn’t, and she hasn’t.

    Adventures in Badly Targeted Ads

    Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

    I hit Instapundit this morning, and guess who the banner ad was attacking?

    Screen shot 2014-08-19 at 8.11.56 AM

    That’s right: An anti-Greg Abbott, pro-Wendy Davis ad on Instapundit! That’s some mighty fine use of targeted advertising, Wendy Davis campaign!

    Next up: A Jewish Defense League fundraising appeal on Al Jazerra…

    Perry Indictment Slammed as Ridiculous On Both Left and Right

    Monday, August 18th, 2014

    More and more commentators, on all sides of the political spectrum, have weighed in on the risible nature of the Rick Perry indictment:

  • Respectable lefty attorney Alan Derschowitz (who has maintained an admirably consistent commitment to civil liberties throughout his career) condemns the Perry indictment: “Everybody, liberal or conservative, should stand against this indictment.”
  • Patterico provides extensive legal analysis and notes: “Words truly fail to describe what an outrageous and unsupportable abuse of prosecutorial power this is.”
  • “’You can’t pay me enough to vote for Rick Perry, but this indictment is a totally corrupt use of criminal law,’ said David Berg, a Houston attorney and contributor to Democratic candidates. ‘It is clearly political, vindictive and unsupportable.’”
  • Sarah Palin notes that frivolous lawsuits to derail a Republican’s national electoral chances are now standard operating procedure for Democrats.
  • Lefty journalist Jonathan Chait says:

    They say a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and this always seemed like hyperbole, until Friday night a Texas grand jury announced an indictment of governor Rick Perry…The theory behind the indictment is flexible enough that almost any kind of political conflict could be defined as a “misuse” of power or “coercion” of one’s opponents. To describe the indictment as “frivolous” gives it far more credence than it deserves.

  • Even MSNBC says that “it’s hard to imagine sending a governor to jail for talking about why he issued a veto.”
  • In other news, check out the #IStumbleWithRosemaryLehmberg tag…

    Israel/Gaza LinkSwarm for August 4, 2014

    Monday, August 4th, 2014

    Another roundup of news on Operation Protective Edge:

  • Israel destroys last known Hamas tunnel.
  • Atheist explains why he refuses to criticize Israel over Gaza. “People are capable of committing genocide. When they tell us they intend to commit genocide, we should listen.”
  • John Kerry’s asinine “peace” plan alienated not only Israel, but every Arab state not backing Hamas.
  • More Krauthammer:

  • Via Iowahawk’s Twitter feed: An “Israel has been rocket free for” counter.
  • Hamas is a walking catalog of prosecutable war crimes. So who does the UN target for denunciation? You know who.
  • “Strategically and economically, the Palestinian people are far worse off now than they were two decades ago when then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organisation chairman Yasser Arafat signed the first Oslo accord in Washington in September 1993.”
  • Anti-Israeli protestors in Calgary hold silent vigil. Well, silent except for the shouting “Heil Hitler!” part…

  • Reminder: U.S. protestors against Israel are the usual far-left, Che-loving lunatics they’ve always been.
  • On Nina Burleigh’s Irrational Perceptions

    Friday, August 1st, 2014

    Robert Stacy McCain first alerted me to Nina Burleigh’s amazingly irrational screed on the “Women Against Feminism” movement. Which, in turn, linked to this women against feminism tmblr, which Burleigh describes as “selfies of young women, dressed and posed like ads for DIY escort services.”

    Later on she says that “Everything about Women Against Feminism suggests it’s a sock puppet for the aggrieved misogynists and pedophiles of the anti-feminist men’s rights crowd. The main clue is that almost all the women on the site are nubile and posed in ways that fulfill dirty old men’s wildest dreams about pliant young things.”

    Set aside the fact that Burleigh’s sole claim to fame is offering to give Bill Cinton a blowjob. Go look at that tmblr she links to. Really, go look at it.

    So where are all those women “dressed and posed like ads for DIY escort services?” Not only do I not see any, I don’t see any pics that any remotely rational viewer could construe as such.

    In fact, let me post the very most salacious pic I could find on that entire tmblr. Ready? (“Don’t look, Ethel!”)

    That’s it. That’s the closest I could find to Burleigh’s “escort” poses.

    That tmblr consists of perfectly normal, non-slutty women holding up signs she disagrees with, none of whom remotely look like they’re “dressed and posed like ads for DIY escort services.”

    Instapundit weighs in as well:

    To a certain class of women in the media, it’s always about them, and their various mucous membranes.

    Which, speaking of psychosexual theories, may explain Burleigh’s reaction to Women Against Feminism. Just check out the pictures; I’m sure these young women need to check their “prettiness privilege” or something. And I think that’s what’s going on with Nina Burleigh. When she, and her generation of feminists, could exercise sexual power directly (see above) it was all “you go, girl!” Now that they’re getting past that age, they’re falling back on the standard refuge of older women: Slut-shaming younger women who try to do the same. Older women have, of course, always tried to limit the sexual power of younger women, for fairly obvious reasons. This is just more of the same.

    Plus this: “From the comments: “For Burleigh and her crowd I propose a new hashtag: #shrewculture. You know what to do, Internet.”

    Nina Burleigh’s feminist politics seem to have so warped her worldview that she can’t even perceive reality clearly anymore. Perhaps she should consider seeking professional help…

    Salon Writer Complains That Democrats Are Corporate Whores

    Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

    Well well well, what have we here?

    It’s a jeremiad by Democrat Bill Curry about how his party has abandoned its soul for the sweet smell of Wall Street crony capitalist dollars.

    Democrats hooked on corporate cash and consultants with long lists of corporate clients were less attuned to Nader’s issues.

    Democrats today defend the triage liberalism of social service spending but limit their populism to hollow phrase mongering (fighting for working families, Main Street not Wall Street). The rank and file seem oblivious to the party’s long Wall Street tryst. Obama’s economic appointees are the most conservative of any Democratic president since Grover Cleveland but few Democrats seem to notice, or if they notice, to care.

    These days, says Curry, Democrats “don’t believe in ideas because they don’t believe in people” and calls for a Nader-esque populism. (Indeed, Nader’s latest book seems to provide the spine for his piece.)

    Curry actually sees the populist Tea Party energy on the right and laments its absence on his side of the aisle. “If there’s a true populist revolt on the left it is as yet invisible to the naked eye.” (Though I note one very hot populist issue, widespread opposition to the Democratic Party’s push for illegal alien amnesty, is conspicuous by its absence from his piece.)

    “Democratic elites are always up for compromise, but on the wrong issues. Rather than back GOP culture wars, as some do, or foreign wars, as many do, or big business, as nearly all do, they should back libertarians on privacy, small business on credit and middle-class families on taxes.”

    This advice is far from the worst Democrats have received, but they are congenitally unable to follow it for numerous reasons:

  • As a party, Democrats are all in on Big Government. Access to the Gravy Train and charging a transaction fee on robbing Peter to pay Paul are the only thing that holds their coalition together. Likewise, to say Democrats are unenthusiastic about cutting taxes is to vastly understate the case.
  • Democrats can’t embrace populism because both the political and cultural soul of the party is rooted in elitism. The people who run the party in D.C. are absolutely certain that they and their brethren can run peoples’ lives better than they can run their own. And the party’s biggest supporters in blue bastions like New York City, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco are convinced that they are manifestly smarter, more moral, and above all more sophisticated than those gun-toting redneck freaks of JesusLand. Asking them to embrace real populism (as opposed to candidates making meaningless promises every 2 or 4 years) is almost certainly futile.
  • A significant fraction of their supporters in those blue bastions benefit directly from the crony capitalism Currey decries.
  • There are also numerous areas where Curry appears unable to shed his blue-colored glasses:

  • When he says “Oddly, the one system working relatively well, public education, is the object of our only sustained reform effort,” he’s ignoring the huge problems in teacher union controlled schools and curricula as documented everywhere from Waiting for Superman to Vergara vs. California. And in his conclusion, the very first member of his potential future coalition mentioned is “unions,” pointedly ignoring the populist revolt against fat cat public sector unions that have helped bankrupt Detroit and numerous California cities.
  • The plight of American workers pushed out of jobs by illegal aliens, and the popular revolt against busing them to communities across the country and amnesty? No mention.
  • He seems equally enthused about small business and fighting “global warming,” with nary a mention about how the EPA’s power grab thanks to the latter is crushing small business left and right, nor how many “green” firms are riding the crony capitalist gravy train.
  • Other populist “small ball” issues that never get mentioned: cheap light bulbs that work and toilets that flush. Though Shalt Not Question Washington’s Mandates.
  • Agribusiness subsidies, crony capitalism in almost its purest form? Not mentioned.
  • The Democratic Party faithful are never, ever, ever going to reengage with Nader, because their hatred for George W. Bush is far stronger and more visceral than their theoretical attachment to populist economic policies.
  • Of course, since it’s Salon, the piece has more than one inside-the-blue-bubble howler:

  • “Nader’s belief in convergence isn’t the same as Obama’s naïve pursuit of the holy grail of bipartisanship.” Obama has pursued “bipartisanship” with much the same fervor the late Amy Winehouse pursued “sobriety.”
  • “Republicans can talk values even while defending a corrupt status quo because, recent Tea Party convulsions aside, defending the status quo is their job. The Democrats’ job is to challenge the status quo; when they don’t do it, nothing they say sounds sincere. ” Republicans certainly defend many cultural status quos, but it is the Democratic Party that has consistently defended the status quo of the lumbering monstrosity that is Big Government.
  • When he says that until 1996, congress “had not enacted any major social or economic reforms since the historic environmental laws of the early ’70s,” he’s flat out lying. (Kemp-Roth was certainly reform.) What he actual means is “No reforms that far left economic populists like myself approve of.”
  • In the next paragraph he decries the deregulation of the airline, trucking and phone industries, missing the point that these were not only reforms, but populist reforms that ended monopoly profits by entrenched special interests, and ones which radically brought down prices for consumers.
  • “But Nader always hit hard; you don’t get to be the world’s most famous shopper by making allowances or pulling punches.” I would venture to guess that the world’s most famous “shopper” is probably someone like Paris Hilton, which is probably not the image he wanted to convey…
  • “Liberals have spent the intervening years debating macroeconomic theory.” Have they? As far as I can tell, the only debate in the ideological vineyards of the Democratic Party is over how much Keynesian vs. how much Marxism.
  • “Democrats must also learn to argue history. They chortle when Michele Bachmann credits the founders with ending slavery or Sarah Palin forgets who Paul Revere rode to warn.” Tiny little problem: By and large Sarah Palin got Paul Revere’s story right, no matter how much liberals might insist otherwise.
  • “The best template of populism remains the career of William Jennings Bryan.” Well, it’s not that Curry is necessarily wrong per se, but one must view with a certain jaundiced eye the idea that current electoral models can be found in a man who probably peaked in 1896.
  • Indeed, when you get right down to it, Curry’s piece could be boiled down to “Talk vaguely about populism while pushing the same Big Government, redistributionist schemes liberals always push.” Maybe the Nader book itself is bolder (and if someone wants to pay me to review it, I’d happily give it a go), but Curry’s piece is very old and undistinguished wine decanted into a slightly shinier bottle.

    No matter how many times liberals declare “This is it! I’m finally fed up with the Democratic Party!”, the party’s fat cats know the truth. Come November 8, 2016, they’ll remember they loathe Republicans far more than they love reform, and pull the (D) lever no matter how many jeremiads Bill Curry and his ilk pen.

    We’ve seen this movie before, and we know exactly how it ends.

    Shockingly, Bill Maher Makes Sense on Gaza

    Monday, July 21st, 2014

    Here’s something from the “Blind Squirrel Find Acorn” department: Bill Maher actually making sense on Israel’s incursion into Gaza.

    Some choice quotes:

    “If Hamas had the opportunity, they would kill the maximum number of Israelis, which would be all. And Israel has the capability to kill a lot more and they do not. They seem victims of the soft bigotry of high expectations.”

    “Can we ask why Israel wins all the time? Because they’ve won every war. They have to. You can’t go 8-1 and be Israel. You have to go 8-0 every year to still exist.”

    “Jews have 155 Nobel Prizes and Muslims have two. Maybe it’s who you know, but that seems a big advantage for Team Hebrew.”

    Wendy Davis’ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

    Friday, July 18th, 2014

    This has not been Wendy Davis’ week.

    First Greg Abbott’s campaign announces that he has more than $35 million cash on hand. Since Abbott was already the prohibitive favorite, hearing that he’s shattered Texas gubernatorial fundraising records wasn’t exactly a ray of sunshine for Team Wendy.

    Second, a Dallas Morning News headline proclaims that “Hollywood luminaries, labor and trial lawyers fuel Wendy Davis campaign.” Thus reminding everyone yet again that Davis is a liberal media darling whose fundraising occurs out of state because she’s far more popular in Hollywood than in Texas.

    Now even the Democrat-friendly Texas Tribune is debunking her fund-raising numbers:

    Instead of $13.1 million in cash on hand as claimed, the reports Davis and her allies filed show there was actually $12.8 million in the bank at the end of June, a difference of about $300,000.

    Meanwhile, the $11.2 million Davis claims she raised over the latest period — an amount she said was larger than the $11.1 million Abbott raised — contains over half a million dollars in non-cash “in-kind” donations and counts contributions that could benefit other Democratic candidates.

    One of the biggest sources of non-cash donations: a $250,000 in-kind contribution from country singing legend Willie Nelson. That’s how much the red-headed stranger told the campaign he would have charged for a free concert he gave at the senator’s Houston fundraiser, the campaign said.

    The lower-than-advertised cash figure and non-traditional accounting methods raise questions about how much money can be accurately attributed to Davis for the latest period.

    Also this:

    It was the cash-on-hand figure from Battleground Texas that came in lower than advertised. In the press release, the Davis campaign said Battleground would report $1.1 million in the bank. But Battleground told the Ethics Commission it only had $806,000 in the bank.

    That’s a double-dose of good news: The hopeless Davis campaign is sucking up money that might go to competitive races nationwide, and the well is running dry on Battleground Texas, which might conceivably be able to swing a few down-ballot races with better funding.

    And the general election is four months away…