Archive for the ‘Media Watch’ Category

LinkSwarm for December 1, 2017

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Welcome to another LinkSwarm! December already! I didn’t do enough to get ahead in 2017, because I was working hard merely to survive 2017…

Think I’m going to do a separate “Democrats Behaving Badly” roundup tomorrow, by which time there should be another half-dozen accusations…

  • Donald Trump, champion deregulator?
  • The Al Franken scandal is hitting Democrats right where it hurts most: in their pocketbooks.
  • Harry Reid kills the judicial filibuster. Result? “Trump will get to fill the most federal judiciary vacancies in 40 year.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “WaPo reporter to Project Veritas: There may be no evidence of Trump collusion with Russia.” Now you tell us… (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The welfare state should be abolished.
  • “McDonald’s Bun-Supplier Loses 35% Of Staff To Immigration Raids.”
  • He was just a Dreamer, dreaming of coming to America and stabbing someone in their chest 100 times and ripping out their heart.
  • John Hindraker: “Roy Moore for Senate! Enthusiastically.”
  • Professor: the fewer competitive congressional districts, the better.
  • China To Deploy Elite Troops In Syria To Fight Alongside Assad’s Army.”
  • Once again, liberals are outraged at a compact to cut down on voter fraud.
  • Philadelphia city councilwoman wants to see more constituents murdered.
  • ESPN lays off 150 people. How is that “All Social Justice Warrior, All the Time” format working out for you?
  • 100 Buzzfeed employees laid off. What happened next will shock you! (Hat tip: NolteNC’s Twitter feed.)
  • And the hits keep coming! “Music Mogul Russell Simmons Accused of Rape by Model, Then 17 Years Old; Now Accused by Second Woman.”
  • Time Inc. will be sold to Meredith Corporation for $2.8 billion in deal partly funded by Koch brothers.” Can the Koch Brothers make it suck less? Probably not, since they evidently won’t have any influence. I think Meredith overpaid by about $2.8 billion…
  • Croatian war criminal R. Bud Dwyers himself in court, albeit less dramatically.
  • Let colleges die.
  • Imagine being so unhinged and so geeky that you issue death threats to congressmen and their families over the “net neutrality” debate. Hope the 10 years in prison and the $250,000 fine were worth it for knocking $5 off your Netflix bill…
  • Social Justice has now reached the point in Olympia, Washington that police won’t even evict trespassers from railroad tracks. (Hat tip: Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit.)
  • Philly officer sold drugs stolen by corrupt Baltimore police squad.” Remind me again which party has controlled those two cities the last half century…
  • Feminist satire website to shutdown because it can’t out-crazy actual feminists.
  • Dogs > Cats.
  • Germany’s top 10 most surreal sites to visit.” (Last photo is NSFW.)
  • How hippies put on the worst music festival in history.
  • Broadcasting Bigwigs Behaving Badly

    Thursday, November 30th, 2017

    The torrent of Endless Media Pervbag revelations that started with Harvey Weinsetin has zoomed past water-hose, torn through fire hydrant, and is now at raging river conditions.

    The latest skeaves caught? Today show host Matt Lauer and Prairie Home Companion windbag Garrison Keillor.

    How skeazy was Lauer? Really, really skeazy:

    As the co-host of NBC’s “Today,” Matt Lauer once gave a colleague a sex toy as a present. It included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her, which left her mortified.

    On another day, he summoned a different female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis. After the employee declined to do anything, visibly shaken, he reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.

    Oh, he also had a secret button to lock his office door from his desk.

    You may wonder what genius at NBC approved that expense, but look on the bright side: They probably turned down his request to build a secret bondage dungeon as “too expensive.”

    More skeazy details here.

    By contrast, the details about PBS canning Keillor seem considerably vaguer:

    Garrison Keillor, creator of A Prairie Home Companion, has been evicted from his longtime radio home at Minnesota Public Radio after reported “inappropriate behavior” by the 75-year-old host.

    MPR communications director Angie Andresen confirmed his dismissal in a statement posted to the broadcaster’s website Wednesday that did not detail the nature of the allegations. The organization announced it would “end its business relationship with Keillor’s media companies effective immediately.”

    The broadcaster will erase Keillor, one of public radio’s most famous voices, from its air and website, including renaming Companion, the variety show he created in 1974 and hosted until 2016, when he retired and handed over creative control to his handpicked replacement, musician Chris Thile. In addition, MPR will no longer air rebroadcasts of Keillor’s old shows, nor will it produce or distribute his remaining syndicated series, The Writer’s Almanac.

    I’m not a fan of Keillor, but it almost seems like someone at MPR had a long-standing grudge against him and used a single complaint to make him an unperson.

    Said Keillor: “If I had a dollar for every woman who asked to take a selfie with me and who slipped an arm around me and let it drift down below the beltline, I’d have at least a hundred dollars.”

    And who can doubt that women are irresistibly drawn to his smoking hot, sensual body?

    And as long as we’re talking about Keillor, here’s The Simpsons on his special brand of humor:

    Some final tweets:

    LinkSwarm for November 24. 2017

    Friday, November 24th, 2017

    I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy a short LinkSwarm for a short week!

  • “Unsealed court documents reveal that the firm behind the salacious 34-page Trump-Russia Dossier, Fusion GPS, was paid $523,000 by a Russian businessman convicted of tax fraud and money laundering, whose lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was a key figure in the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower arranged by Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone.”
  • Fusion GPS, the DNC and Hillary Clinton sampaign-funded organization behind the fake Trump dossier, has been paying journalists.
  • In this week’s MSM scumbag sexual harasser sweepstakes, both CBS and PBS fire Charlie Rose after sexual harassment accusations from eight different women.
  • And three more accusers just came forward.
  • You know the Arab-Egyptian Peace Treaty signed after the Camp David Accords in 1979? Jimmy Carter did his best to derail it.

    Carter wanted his Geneva talks. He didn’t care that the peace process already begun by Sadat and Begin might lead to peace, Carter wanted his plan or nothing. You see Carter’s vision of a Geneva conference would be run by the U.S. and the USSR, and Israel would be facing the terrorist PLO, and Israel’s neighbors including, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, and Jordan. It would not be a negotiation because when one considers that the Arab countries were Soviet satellites, and the Carter administration’s ideological orientation was anti-Israel it seemed to ensure the conference would be all the participants vs. the Jewish State.

    Thankfully Carter couldn’t stop the approaching peace train. Within days Israeli journalists were allowed into Cairo, breaking a symbolic barrier, and from there the peace process quickly gained momentum.

  • Kevin Williamson examines more of the left’s Manson worship.
  • How congress runs its illegal sexual harassment slush fund out of the public eye.
  • Washington Post reporter Janell Ross helped secret Democratic donor conference “craft liberal economic message without notifying superiors.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Cop killer captured. Update: Authorities have now released the name of the slain officer, which was Damon Allen.
  • “California State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) announced Tuesday that he will resign next year after six women accused him of making unwanted sexual advances.”
  • Want to download Skype in China? Tough.
  • Brooklyn College doesn’t want police using campus bathrooms.” Because snowflakes must make painfully clear that the people who keep them safe are beneath them…
  • Can a Ketogeneic (low-carb) diet cure diabetes? Evidence suggests a firm maybe.
  • Environmental activist convicted. “A Montana jury found Leonard Higgins of Portland, Oregon, guilty of criminal mischief and trespassing. Higgins could face up to 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine on the felony criminal mischief charge.” (Hat tip: Steve Malloy’s Twitter feed.)
  • Florida Woman Pro Tip: If you’re going to rob a bank, it’s best to rob one you didn’t formerly work at.
  • Larry Correia spells out exactly what writers “owe” their fans on unfinished series installments: namely “Jack” and “Squat.”
  • As A Male Feminist, I Really Think I’d Absolutely Crush It If I Ever Had To Publicly Apologize For Sexual Misconduct.” Heh: “I’d use the word ‘apologize’ and say ‘I’m sorry.’ I’d check off all the boxes that feminist Twitter looks for in an airtight apology, and I’d continue expressing remorse in the ensuing weeks to wow the world with the magnitude of my self-reproach.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Rama?
  • LinkSwarm for November 10, 2017

    Friday, November 10th, 2017

    This week’s news: If you believe the accusations, almost everyone in Hollywood was raping everyone else in Hollywood. Remember, innocent until proven guilty, yadda yadda, but we all know a lot of these sumbags are guilty as sin.

  • Chalie Sheen allegedly sodomized 13-year old Corey Haim on a movie set. Wait, Charlie Sheen would never…sorry, there’s no way to to truthfully complete that sentence.
  • NPR management covered up multiple sexual harassment complaints. Still another reason to completely zero out NPR and PBS subsidies.
  • Crazy leftist breaks five of Rand Paul’s ribs.
  • Slimy Similarities Between Weinstein and the DNC.”

    –Attorney who is a reliable footsoldier for the Democratic Party? Check.

    –Investigative queries foreclosed by claims of “attorney-client privilege”? Check.

    –Opposition research firm populated by foreign operatives using questionable methods? Check.

    –Surveillance, deceit, intimidation, outright distortions, possible illegality? Check.

    –Media in the back pocket, guaranteed to ignore or bury the story? Check.

  • Clinton News Network gonna Clinton News Network.
  • Communism robs a nation of 80% or more of its wealth. You don’t even have to talk about the body count.”
  • Attention snowflakes: China is a lot more racist than the US.
  • Illegal alien who raped and murdered his 16-year old cousin executed. Don’t mess with Texas.
  • Boat rescue story doesn’t add up. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • “Frankly, we’re losing our shirts on these deals, but we’re looking for people who buy audiophile cassettes…”
  • LinkSwarm for October 20, 2017

    Friday, October 20th, 2017

    Enjoy another complimentary Friday LinkSwarm:

  • The Imran Awan scandal could result in hundreds of federal charges. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Remember Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that came up with the ludicrously fake Trump Dossier? They were called to testify before congress…and plead the fifth. “So you have what seems to be the Democrats, and Fusion GPS and these officials — intelligence agency bureaucrats — all blocking every single attempt we’re making to get the most basic information about this document, which … may have been the single document that sparked the entire Russia investigation in the first place.”
  • Bonus: That fake dossier may have been the basis of the FISA warrants used in the Trump unmasking scandal.
  • Kurt Schlichter is unimpressed with Salon’s list of Fredocons:

    The media only hires nominal conservatives who already agree with liberals, liberals have no idea what real conservatives think or why. This is the reason they end up baffled when they lose and lose and lose again – sure, Felonia von Pantsuit was also stupid and drunk, but you get the point. As Sun Tzu observed, and I believe this is a verbatim translation from the original Chinese text, a wise general must seek to know and understand the true nature and schemes of his enemy lest he end up as forlorn and humiliated as a foxy fern in the Miramax head office.

  • DNC Chair Tom Perez purges supporters of one-time rival Keith Ellison while filling key positions with Clinton supporters.
  • Speaking of which: Heh.
  • “Ralph Northam, Virginia’s Democratic nominee for governor, deleted his black running mate from his campaign fliers. His campaign says that’s not a big deal.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Plurality of Americans believe the media fabricate stories. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Try to protest by blocking roads? Welcome to a jail cell.
  • This piece on how Facebook changed the 2016 election is peppered with the usual left-wing slant (has any liberal media outlet ever been labeled “hyperpartican”?), but is also filled with nuggets of insight on how liberal complacency and conservative mastery of social media blind-sided Democrats.
  • Republicans gain in voter registration:

    In short, among the truly contested states in 2016, the only ray of hope for the Democrats is Colorado, and even there, the trends have flattened some. They have stabilized New Jersey and Delaware, but Republicans continue to gain significant ground in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Nevada, and above all, Pennsylvania. If these trends continue through 2020, Florida would be have a slight Republican registration edge, North Carolina would be nearly even, and New Mexico would be close enough that it could never be taken for granted. Moreover, Pennsylvania and Iowa would be solid Trump states.

    The remarkable thing about the Republican trending states is that they have moved steadily ever since last November, in almost every case without a single break. Democrats continue to lose voters, and they are not becoming independents. All of this appears to be due to Trump and Trump alone, as the Republican Party has not offered any reasons to embrace it.

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

  • One of Obama’s “Dreamers” murders high school girl. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Denison Whataburger fires employee for refusing to serve police officers. Good.
  • Kobe Steel, Japan’s third largest steel manufacturer, falsified quality reports, affecting over 500 manufacturers. Enjoy your flight.
  • Heh 2. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • LinkSwarm for October 13, 2017

    Friday, October 13th, 2017

    Happy Friday the 13th! In October, no less. Might want to avoid Crystal Lake today…

    Busy week, so a small LinkSwarm.

  • Who all did Harvey Weinstein donate to? A whole lot of prominent Democrats. Including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd, Chuch Schumer, Al Franken and Kamala Harris, among many, many others.
  • Billionaire Democrat megadonor Tom Steyer says Democrats must support impeaching President Trump if they want to receive any money from him. You may remember Steyer from such previous movies as My Attempts To Elect More Liberals in 2014 and 2016 Were Miserable Failures.
  • When the levee breaks, there ain’t no place to hide: Sexual harassment claim filed against Amazon TV producer Roy Price. Bonus: Accuser is Isa Hackett, one of Philip K. Dick’s daughters. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • This follows hot on the heels of claims that Price ignored claims from actress Rose McGowan that Weinstein harassed her. Price is now suspended.
  • “Jimmy Kimmel: Guess What’s In My Pants.” (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Followup: “Remember our old friends Detective Jeff Payne and Lt. James Tracy? The guys who arrested a nurse for refusing to let them draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant? Detective Payne has been fired. Lt. Tracy has been demoted.”
  • ABC News chief Matthew Dowd lies about jihad violence claims. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Timeline of the Las Vegas shooting. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Ann Coulter makes a valid point: There’s no way Stephen Paddock made a living playing video poker. Money laundering, then? (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Russian intelligence agencies reportedly used Kaspersky anti-virus software as a spying tool to scan for U.S. defense secrets.
  • “The NFL is not just losing white viewers. The NFL isn’t just losing black viewers. No, the NFL is hemorrhaging viewers of all races and ages, and they’re doing so at a frightening pace.”
  • “Sorry, I was still picturing Whore Island.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ>)
  • Drug-using Bernie Bro kills Texas Tech cop.
  • Boris Becker loses millions to a Nigerian scam.
  • Harvey Weinstein, Serial Rapist

    Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

    I had avoided writing on the Harvey Weinstein slimefest because everyone and their dog was on it, but the story has now morphed from “sleazy Hollywood studio exec and Democratic Party megadoner pressured women to watch him wank off” to “sleazy Hollywood studio exec and Democratic Party megadoner is actually a serial rapist.”

    I was told by thirteen women that, between the nineteen-nineties and 2015, Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, allegations that corroborate and overlap with the Times’s revelations, and also include far more serious claims.

    Three women––among them [Italian film actress Asia] Argento and a former aspiring actress named Lucia Evans—told me that Weinstein raped them, allegations that include Weinstein forcibly performing or receiving oral sex and forcing vaginal sex. Four women said that they experienced unwanted touching that could be classified as an assault. In an audio recording captured during a New York Police Department sting operation in 2015 and made public here for the first time, Weinstein admits to groping a Filipina-Italian model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, describing it as behavior he is “used to.” Four of the women I interviewed cited encounters in which Weinstein exposed himself or masturbated in front of them.

    (Note: I’m not a big Ronan Farrow fan, since he made it to his current position in the world off family connections rather than hard work. But this piece seems to be a fair, first-rate work of actual journalism. Good job, kid.)

    This is no longer “Weinstein needs to be fired from his own company [which has already happened], sued for millions of dollars and blackballed from working in Hollywood ever again,” this is “Harvey Weinstein needs to be put behind bars for a long, long time.”

    That’s a big story. An even bigger story is how vast swathes of the media establishment was complicit in hiding his predatory behavior for decades.

    But of course people knew about Harvey Weinstein. Like the New York Times, for instance. Sharon Waxman, a former reporter at the Times, writes in The Wrap how she had the story on Weinstein in 2004—and then he bullied the Times into dropping it. Matt Damon and Russell Crowe even called her directly to get her to back off the story. And Miramax was a major advertiser. Her editor at the Times, Jonathan Landman, asked her why it mattered. After all, he told Waxman, “he’s not a publicly elected official.”

    Manhattan’s district attorney knew, too. In 2015, Weinstein’s lawyer donated $10,000 to the campaign of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance after he declined to file sexual assault charges against the producer. Given the number of stories that have circulated for so long, Weinstein must have spread millions around New York, Los Angeles, and Europe to pay off lawyers and buy silence, including the silence of his victims.

    That’s Cyrus Vance, Jr., son of Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of State. How strange that a Democrat District Attorney declined to pursue charges against the Democrat megadonor donating to his campaign. What are the odds?

    The real issue, as [New York Magazine‘s Rebecca] Traister notes, was that “there were so many journalists on his payroll, working as consultants on movie projects, or as screenwriters, or for his magazine.” Traister is referring to Talk, the magazine Weinstein started at Miramax with Tina Brown. The catchword was “synergy”—magazine articles, turned into books, turned into movies, a supply chain of entertainment and information that was going to put these media titans in the middle of everything and make them all richer.

    Traister and I worked at Talk together in the late ’90s. There were lots of talented journalists but it was still a mess. Outside of “synergy,” there was no idea driving the magazine, and Tina’s search for a vision was expensive. She spent lavishly on writers, art directors, photographers, and parties. Harvey got angry. Every time Tina went downtown to meet with him he screamed at her the whole time. He humiliated her. At least this was the story that went around the office every time she went down there, a story circulating through, and circulated by, several dozen journalists.

    Or, to put it another way: More than 20 people in one magazine office alone all had the story about Harvey Weinstein’s “mistreatment” of women.

    So why didn’t anyone write it? Not to take anything away from Jodi Kantor’s excellent New York Times piece, but the reality is that everyone had the story.

    The reason no one wrote it is not because the press wanted to get Weinstein, but couldn’t prove the story. No, it’s because the press was protecting Weinstein.

    Why wouldn’t they? He made terrific movies and he was a big mover in Democratic party politics, raising millions for local and national campaigns, including the Clintons. (Hillary, some readers will recall, was on the cover of Talk’s first issue.)

    John Kennedy, Jr. tried to blend politics and entertainment with the magazine he founded, George. His basic insight was correct; but he misunderstood something crucial. And John John misunderstood it because he was, by all accounts, a good man.

    You know the old joke about Washington: That it’s Hollywood for ugly people. Kennedy thought that this was unfair to Washington and that the people in the nation’s capital had the capacity for glamour, too.

    But it turns out that the joke works in the opposite direction: Hollywood is for ugly people, too. That was Harvey Weinstein’s essential insight, and how he managed to combine the worlds of politics, entertainment, and media. They’re all repulsive—and I know they’re disgusting or else they wouldn’t be courting, of all people, me.

    Thus his fortress was quarried from the misshapen material of human vanity, ambition, and greed. Writers and journalists—the intellectuals, in his mind—were nearly as contemptible as actors. They wouldn’t dream of crossing a guy who could turn them into culture heroes with a phone call. Hey, I just optioned your novel and I already know who’s going to make the movie. And oh yeah, please confirm that you don’t, like I think I may have heard, have a reporter looking into a story about me.

    A friend reminds me that there was a period when Miramax bought the rights to every big story published in magazines throughout the city. Why mess with Weinstein when that big new female star you’re trying to wrangle for the June cover is headlining a Miramax release? Do you think that glossy magazine editor who threw the swankiest Oscar party in Hollywood was trying to “nail down” the Weinstein story? Right, just like the hundreds of journalists who were ferried across the river for the big party at the Statue of Liberty to celebrate the premiere of Talk—they were all there sipping champagne and sniffing coke with models in order to “nail down” the story about how their host was a rapist.

    That’s why the story about Harvey Weinstein finally broke now. It’s because the media industry that once protected him has collapsed. The magazines that used to publish the stories Miramax optioned can’t afford to pay for the kind of reporting and storytelling that translates into screenplays. They’re broke because Facebook and Google have swallowed all the digital advertising money that was supposed to save the press as print advertising continued to tank.

    Look at Vanity Fair, basically the in-house Miramax organ that Tina failed to make Talk: Condé Nast demanded massive staff cuts from Graydon Carter and he quit. He knows they’re going to turn his aspirational bible into a blog, a fate likely shared by most (if not all) of the Condé Nast books.

    Si Newhouse, magazine publishing’s last Medici, died last week, and who knows what will happen to Condé now. There are no more journalists; there are just bloggers scrounging for the crumbs Silicon Valley leaves them. Who’s going to make a movie out of a Vox column? So what does anyone in today’s media ecosystem owe Harvey Weinstein? And besides, it’s good story, right? “Downfall of a media Mogul.” Maybe there’s even a movie in it.

    Snip.

    The other reason the Weinstein story came out now: Because the court over which Bill Clinton once presided, a court in which Weinstein was one part jester, one part exchequer, and one part executioner, no longer exists.

    A thought experiment: Would the Weinstein story have been published if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency? No, and not because he is a big Democratic fundraiser. It’s because if the story was published during the course of a Hillary Clinton presidency, it wouldn’t have really been about Harvey Weinstein. Harvey would have been seen as a proxy for the president’s husband and it would have embarrassed the president, the first female president.

    Bill Clinton offered get-out-of-jail-free cards to a whole army of sleazeballs, from Jeffrey Epstein to Harvey Weinstein to the foreign donors to the Clinton Global Initiative. The deal was simple: Pay up, genuflect, and get on with your existence. It was like a papacy selling indulgences, at the same time that everyone knew that the cardinals were up to no good.

    So why all the “courage” in exposing Weinstein now? Simple. As John Nolte notes “Today Weinstein is widely regarded as past his prime. Numerous reports indicate that the 65-year-old is in deep financial trouble. Moreover, he has not produced a hit or come near Oscar gold in nearly five years, and his highest profiles offerings have all bombed.”

    Hollywood and the media can finally tell the truth about Weinstein because he’s a has-been that can no longer help or hurt them.

    There’s talk that Weinstein could go to prison over the scandal. Well, I certainly hope so; last time I checked, rape was still a felony. Maybe he can share a cell with Anthony Weiner.

    Now to finish with a few piquant tweets on the issue:

    All other things being equal, I prefer to go through the day without thinking about Judi Dench’s ass.

    Finally, if anyone in Hollywood knows of other serial rapists and sexual abusers (and you know Weinstein isn’t the only one; he may not even be the worst…), now would be a swell time to come forward before more women (and boys) are raped or sexually abused…

    LinkSwarm for October 6, 2017

    Friday, October 6th, 2017

    Welcome to October! Enjoy your complimentary LinkSwarm:

  • Imran Awan’s lawyer said the House Democrats he worked for asked him to falsify spending reports:

    House Democrats ordered the systematic falsification of records showing how they spend their taxpayer-provided office budgets, according to lawyers for two former House information technology (IT) aides.

    It’s a remarkable accusation that pits sitting lawmakers against the former aides, Imran Awan, his brothers Abid and Jamal, and his wife Hina Alvi. Imran was arrested in July while trying to board a flight to Pakistan, and then indicted on four counts of bank fraud involving moving money to that country. Imran and Hina, who was also indicted, face a court date Friday.

    One of Imran’s lawyers, Aaron Page, acknowledged the invoicing discrepancy Aug. 21, telling The Daily Caller News Foundation, “This is just how things have been done for forever. This is what experienced members of Congress expect: to expedite things, they adjust the pricing.”

    If members or senior staff instructed IT aides to misrepresent how budgets were spent, that could potentially explain why officials have not charged the Awans with crimes related to procurement, even a full year after House authorities gathered documentation showing invoices that claimed expensive technological items cost $499 instead of their true price: potentially an open-and-shut violation.

    Garden-variety Democratic graft is probably the least worrisome lawbreaking the Awan ring could have been up to…

  • How the NFL protests are going to get Donald Trump reelected:

    now believe that the left will re-elect Trump. The ruction over NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem illustrates the point.

    The left has talked itself into believing that Trump’s alleged appeals to white racism were what put him over the top.

    More astute psephologists have pointed out that the actual difference was made by people in industrial states who previously had voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, but switched to Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Hard to attribute those decisions to white racism.

    Nevertheless, the left now interprets all of Trump’s actions through the prism of perceived appeals to white racism. If Trump were to tweet, “It’s a lovely day in Washington,” the left would denounce it as a dog whistle to white supremacists.

    Which brings us to the NFL ruction. Players began kneeling during the national anthem reportedly to protest what they regard as racial injustice in the United States. Trump denounced them in Trumpian fashion.

    According to the left, since the players were protesting racial injustice, Trump was endorsing racial injustice by criticizing them. There goes that dog whistle!

    o most Americans, that’s nuts.

    I’m not much of a flag waver. And I’ve never really understood why sporting events begin with the playing of the national anthem. Doesn’t seem a particularly apposite occasion for a display of patriotic fidelity.

    But it is part of American tradition. And traditions matter.

    You don’t have to be a racist to find galling the spectacle of pampered athletics, making millions of dollars playing a game, hosted in taxpayer-subsidized stadiums, benefiting from an antitrust exemption, ostentatiously exempting themselves from the traditional display of fidelity to our country.

    The argument by some that the protest isn’t really about the flag and national anthem rings hollow. If you do it during the national anthem, it is about the flag and the national anthem.

    Snip.

    Generally speaking, white Middle Americans aren’t racists. They don’t long for a return to Jim Crow. They’re just sick of having identity and grievance politics thrown in their faces all the time.

    If the left continues to tell Middle Americans they are racists, Trump will be re-elected.

  • “The media and the NFL did not know what hit them. I do. They hit themselves. Hard.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Pew confirms: Democrats are the extremists.
  • “Senior law enforcement officials from the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras announced here today criminal charges against more than 3,800 MS-13 and 18th Street gang members in the United States and Central America in a coordinated law enforcement action known as Operation Regional Shield.”
  • ICE nabs 498 criminal illegal aliens in “sanctuary cities.”
  • Under President Donald Trump, illegal alien deportations have roughly tripled. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • How Donald Trump’s election caused the mainstream media to drop their masks of objectivity:

    The forces that brought Trump to power are alien to the experience of the men and women who populate newsrooms, his supporters unlike their colleagues, friends, and neighbors, his agenda anathema to the catechism of social liberalism, his career and business empire complex and murky and sensational. Little surprise that journalists reacted to his election with a combination of panic, fear, disgust, fascination, exhilaration, and the self-affirming belief that they remain the last line of defense against an emerging American autocracy. Who has time for dispassionate analysis, for methodical research and reporting, when the president’s very being is an assault on one’s conception of self, when nothing less than the future of the country is at stake? Especially when the depletion of veteran editors, the relative youth and inexperience of political and congressional reporters, and the proliferation of social media, with its hot takes and quips, its groupthink and instant gratification, makes the transition from inquiry to indignation all too easy.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Reason is really high on President Trump’s nomination of Justice Don Willett to the 5th Circuit court. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “The media is missing the Republican takeover in New England.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Difficulties in nursing home evacuations: having to punch people.
  • Michael Totten wonders why Turkey is still in NATO.
  • Catalonia might declare independence from Spain.
  • North Korean ship carrying 30,000 rocket launchers seized in Egypt. Biggest surprise? They had been purchased by the Egyptian military in defiance of UN sanctions…
  • Houston still has not resumed jury trials since Harvey wiped out two criminal justice buildings.
  • Democrat mega-donor [Harvey] Weinstein accused of sexual harassment.” [Cue Instapundit] Why are Democrat-dominated industries like Hollywood such cesspits of sexism?
  • What do women who worked in the editorial department of Playboy think about their time there? That it was the best job they ever had.
  • Latest #BlackLivesMatter chant: “Liberalism Is White Supremacy .” Also: “The revolution will not uphold the Constitution.” Way to get ordinary Americans on your side! (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • How the Chicago Sun-Times bought a bar to to document local political corruption. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Houstonian’s rich neighbors aren’t wild about the the working Sherman tank in front of his house. I saw good for him. I also wonder why Fox declined to call it a Sherman rather than the more generic “World War II” tank.
  • Wisconsin gets court pushback in its illegal war against bakers.
  • Netcraft confirms it: Slashdot turns 20. CowboyNeal is now old enough to be Florida Man…
  • Gun Control as Charlie Brown’s Football

    Thursday, October 5th, 2017

    Following the Las Vegas shooting, we were treated to the same weary parade of liberal Democrats making the exact same noises they make after every shooting:

    “Now is the time for a national dialog and common sense gun laws. And by ‘dialog,’ I mean that Republicans shut up and let us shame them into voting for gun control. And by ‘common sense’ I mean ‘complete civilian disarmament of the sane and law-abiding.'”

    There was the ritual denunciation of the NRA. “Column after column is fired off about how much the National Rifle Association donates to congressional candidates (spoiler: it’s not much, about 200K a year). For every breathless declaration that the NRA has blood on their hands, it’s worth noting more journalists have committed mass shootings in this country than NRA members.”

    And don’t forget the four or five national media reports in which basic firearms details are so obviously and egregiously wrong that any knowledgeable gun owner could have spotted the error.

    Let me know where I can buy some of those “automatic rounds.” Ace of Spades has similar thoughts on that piece, including slamming them for this obvious lie about gun experts: “Those who are knowledgeable often don’t want to talk on the record.” Sayeth Ace:

    Are you fucking kidding me with that? You have 100 conservative gun expert bloggers and reporters trying to explain to you the difference between semi-auto action and full auto action (and revolver action, etc.) every time a fucking gun crime occurs, and you put your hands over your ears and say “My ears are hurting” like that childish retard on MSNBC.

    Every single time. This is not our first go-round on this, Media Gun Control Experts. It’s not even our hundredth go-round.

    Actual gun owners and experts are begging to explain the basics to you — but you won’t listen. Instead, you babble on ignorantly about “automatic rounds” and the modifications you need to make to your gun to get it to fire these exotic bullets.

    These rank stupidities get corrected again and again, but major media organizations still don’t bother to give their reporters the training or fact checkers necessary to catch these obvious errors. It’s as though they wear their ignorance on their sleeve as a badge of virtue signaling honor.

    But all this is off my central point: Why do Democrats persist in pursuing the exact same strategies when it is obvious they’ve not convinced voters any previous time before?

    Indeed, the Democrats’ most fervent advocacy for gun control comes during the same period when Democrats where hemorrhaging seats to Republicans. Gun control isn’t the only issue that’s made them unpopular everywhere but urban centers, but it’s certainly a contributing factor.

    So why do Democrats keep pursuing the same strategies over and over again even though they not only aren’t working, but seem to be counterproductive?

    Maybe complete civilian disarmament is the Democratic Party’s core value, and they feel a compulsion to spout it akin to a fervent Christian’s drive to “give witness” by reciting the gospel to unbelievers.

    Like Charlie Brown, Democrats just can’t keep themselves from trying to kick the gun control football, even though they must know by now that the scene ends with them lying on the ground in pain and humiliation.

    A smattering of other related gun pieces

  • 538 writer: “I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.”
  • Mass shootings are a poor lens through which to view violence involving guns.
  • Larry Correia slams Elizbeth Moon for her foolish, ill-argued opposition to suppressors. I’m friends with Elizabeth, but Correia has the far better argument here.
  • Hugh Hefner Dead at Age 91

    Thursday, September 28th, 2017

    Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner has died at age 91.

    Conservatives will decry Hefner for debasing the culture while libertarians will celebrate his role in unleashing the sexual revolution, but neither view is particularly accurate. Pornography predated Playboy by decades, and various cultural and technological forces (not least of which was the widespread adoption of the automobile, ensuring people could decamp to less restrictive environs at will) were always going to bring about the sexual revolution. Hefner was a canny businessman who understood that he could marry nude pictures of women to an upscale lifestyle magazine. The business model worked, and for many years Playboy paid writers some of the top rates in the field.

    Those same cultural and technological forces were also going to render Playboy obsolete, as the profit centers in the skin trade quickly moved first to video and then to the Internet.

    Today, most attacks on pornography seem to come from the anti-sex feminist left than the religious right.

    Hefner lived long enough to see himself transformed into a media icon, and for his flagship magazine to become culturally irrelevant.