Monday, September 17, 2012

Cruising the Web

Andrew Ferguson is his usual penetrating and humorous self as he takes down Michael Lewis's paean of praise to The One.

Martha Raddatz asks a good question. Why do we have Marines at the embassy in Paris, but not in Tripoli?

Patterico gives a good defense of Jan Crawford whom conservatives have been all over once the open mic picked her and other journalists in the press corps gaming out which question to ask Mitt Romney at his press conference last week. The startling element was not that journalists were swapping notes on what to ask him, but that after doing that, seven of them asked the very same question instead of moving on to ask him about what he would be doing differently.

Jonathan Turley criticizes the perfectly administration's incoherent approach to the First Amendment as it asked YouTube to "review" the video trailer for "Innocence of Muslims." Connor Friedersdorf also weighs in on the dangers of granting mobs the "heckler's veto." These are not conservatives making these criticisms.

George Schultz and others have some scary thoughts on the fiscal mess we're now in.
The problems are close to being unmanageable now. If we stay on the current path, they will wind up being completely unmanageable, culminating in an unwelcome explosion and crisis.

The Libyan president calls the administration's claim that the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was a spontaneous protest against the anti-Islam video "completely unfounded and preposterous." It sure is, but the administration is clinging to that view in the hopes that no one will look further into the failure of Obama's whole approach to the Muslim world.

Michael Barone, building on his experience interning for the mayor of Detroit during the 1968 riots, posits a good theory for why people riot - "they riot when they expect other people to do so."

Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post fact checker kinda sorta walks back his conclusion that Republicans' attacks on the administration weakening welfare's work requirements. He just won't admit that he's done so.

Jonah Goldberg notes that the media jumped the gun on their reporting on the riots in the Middle East when they first blamed the video on a bunch of Jews.

Jay Cost details how the media are mischaracterizing this election.

Hmmm. Egypt's prime minister said that a number of those protesting at the U.S. Embassy had been paid. So what does that do for the administration's argument that it was all a spontaneous, unplanned protest against a YouTube video?

Niall Ferguson advises Obama to learn from Machiavelli.

Oh no! Putin admits that some of the macho pictures of Putin were staged. You mean he's not really the macho sportsmen he's been portrayed as?

Andrew McCarthy explains why the State Department has no reason to hide behind the investigation of what went wrong at the Benghazi consulate to refuse to answer legitimate questions. Mark Steyn wonders why reporters are buying such an obvious dodge from the State Department spokeswoman.
This is a security fiasco and a strategic debacle for the foreign policy of the United States, not a liquor store hold-up. What is wrong even with the bland, compliant, desiccated, over-credentialed, pansified, groupthink poodles of the press corps that they don’t hoot and jeer at Victoria Nuland? I know why she’s doing it; I know why Hillary Clinton is desperately trying to suggest that some movie trailer on YouTube is the reason that a mob in Benghazi knows the location of the U.S. ambassador’s safe house. But why would anybody else even pretend to take this stuff seriously? Elderly Soviet propagandists must be wondering why they wasted their time jamming radio transmitters and smashing printing presses when they could just have sent everyone to Columbia Journalism School.

The media and members of the Obama administration certainly had a different reaction to the Broadway play, Book of Mormon, than they had to the trailer Innocence of Muslims.

Ken, a federal prosecutor and defense lawyer, writes that it shouldn't be surprising that a man on parole for fraud that involved using an alias such as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula would be brought in for questioning.
But if I had a client with a serious fraud conviction, and his fraud involved aliases, and he had the standard term forbidding him from using aliases during supervised release, and his probation officer found out that he was running a business, producing a movie, soliciting money, and interacting with others using an alias, I would absolutely expect him to be arrested immediately, whatever the content of the movie. Seriously. Nakoula pled guilty to using alias to scam money. Now he's apparently been producing a film under an alias, dealing with the finances of the film under the alias, and (if his "Sam Bacile" persona is to be believed) soliciting financing under an alias. I would expect him to run into a world of hurt for that even if he were producing a "Coexist" video involving kittens.

Let's not forget that the consulate in Benghazi was targeted for attack in both June and August. So why was there so little protection there?

Jay Nordlinger reminds us of how Jimmy Carter cozied up to Yasser Arafat despite the clear evidence that Arafat had had our ambassador to Sudan murdered in 1973. But of course Jimmy Carter and Arafat both got Nobel Peace Prizes so I guess no one should care.

So the President "pretends to go to work" and instead watches the Showtime series "Homeland." I have high school students who also "pretend to go to work" and then watch videos. I see the President is their role model.