Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cruising the Web

George Will has some very good questions for Hillary Clinton.
Three times in your memoir Hard Choices you say that as secretary of state you visited 112 countries. Do you think “peripatetic” is a synonym for “effective”?

....President George W. Bush said that when he looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes he saw a “very straightforward and trustworthy” man. You looked into Putin’s regime and saw an opportunity for a cooperative policy “reset.” Were you or Bush more mistaken?

In March 2003, Bush launched a war of choice to accomplish regime change in Iraq, mistakenly believing it was developing weapons of mass destruction. In March 2011, Barack Obama and you launched a war of choice against Libya for the humanitarian purposes of preventing, it was said, as many as 10,000 deaths at the hands of Moammar Gaddafi. Since March 2011, in Syria, where the regime continues to use chemical weapons that it supposedly agreed to surrender, the civil war has killed more than 320,000. Why humanitarian intervention in Libya instead of Syria?

....Forbes magazine says the combined net worth of America’s 536 billionaires is $2.566 trillion. Is it a grave problem that the 536 have 3 percent of America’s $84.9 trillion wealth? Is it deplorable that the Waltons became a family of billionaires by creating Wal-Mart, America’s largest private-sector employer? Do you regret that Apple products made Steve Jobs a billionaire? Are any of your however many phones iPhones?

Sanders vows “to make tuition in public colleges and universities free.” Do you agree that the 68 percent of Americans without college degrees should pay the tuition for those whose degrees will bring them lifetime earnings significantly higher than the earnings of the non–college graduates who will have paid much of the cost of the “free” tuition?

Amazon and eBay are refusing now to sell items with the Confederate flag on them, but they are still selling items with Communist and Nazi symbols on them.

The Washington Post doesn't think that Bobby Jindal is Indian enough. Isn't it nice that they can judge a Republican's ethnicity. Noemie Emery reminds us of this trend in the media when it comes to Republicans.
For a conservative not born a white male in this country, this is pretty much par for the course. There wasn’t much black in Clarence Thomas, not much woman in Kay Bailey Hutchinson (according to proto-girl Gloria Steinem), and there won’t be much anything in any Republican black, female, Latino, or non-male, non-purely-Anglo aspirant who has any chance of winning elections, gaining a following, or making a dent in the various voting blocs the liberals think of as theirs.

It brings to mind Mark Halperin’s embarrassing grilling of Ted Cruz a short time ago, in which he tried to discover, via his preferences in food, drink, and music, if Cruz was really a Cuban, and asked him to say something in his non-native tongue. But why is “enoughness” confined to such a small spectrum? It ought to be spread more around....

No one flunked the Irish Catholic test more than John Kennedy, who liked seafood, not corned beef and cabbage, did not say “begorra,” and never got drunk. He never mentioned Parnell, but identified mainly with English aristocrats, the ancestral foes of his ethnic persuasion, especially with the young poet soldiers of the World War I generation.... Obviously, there was no Irish “left in him” by the time he was running for president. JFK, race traitor. Who would vote for this mountebank today?

There’s a word for what happened to Jindal, to Cruz, and to Kennedy. It’s called “assimilation,” which was once a good thing. It is what happens when immigrants and their children lose some of the marks of their country of origin and become part of the overall national culture, which they also change by their presence in it. It’s what Theodore Roosevelt meant when he said people from everywhere are welcome here, as long as they shed their prior allegiance and really become of this country. He would approve of Cruz, Jindal, and Kennedy. We need more of his spirit today.

Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a very nice compilation of primary documents to demonstrate how Southerners were quite clear at the outbreak of the Civil War that they were fighting to preserve their right to own slaves. It was only after the war was over that there was an effort to whitewash their motives for fighting and to say that they were fighting for their liberty against an overreaching federal government. I use some of these same documents and others when I teach this period in my American history classes. I give students the ordinances of secession that Southern states issued declaring why they were leaving the Union. They all talk about slavery. I show them Alexander H. Stephens' "Cornerstone" speech in which the vice president of the Confederacy stated what the true foundation of the Confederacy was.
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.
Southerners might want to pretend that the War was not fought over slavery, but that is not what Southerners were saying at the time. And that is what matters. I'm teaching in Raleigh, N.C., a city that is made up mostly of transplants from somewhere else. I'm always surprised when I ask my students if they've ever heard that the Civil War was not about slavery. They all have heard that and many say that that was what their middle school teachers taught them. It's truly sad that this myth is being taught young people today even in a city like Raleigh where so many residents come from Northern states.

Instapundit links to Popehat's post advising us how to recognize the media's calls for censorship. Watch out for references to "hate speech" or reminders that we can't cry fire in a crowded theater and that not all speech is protected. Read the rest of the post and gain an education into what the Supreme Court has actually ruled on freedom of speech.

Kevin Williamson identifies the leftist response to anything bad that happens.
“Something bad has happened to somebody else, and so you must give us something we want!”
Williamson also notes this depressing trend of everyone rushing to disclaim responsibility whenever something goes wrong.
Regarding the OPM hack, the agency’s boss–I’d call her an OPM hack, but that would be confusing–offers the new motto of the U.S. government: “I don’t believe anyone is personally responsible.” We need to translate that into Latin and carve it into the Capitol dome in four-foot-high letters.

IRS criminals using the revenue agency as a political weapon? Nobody personally responsible. Former secretary of state violating a half-dozen laws and regulations with her secret email server? Nobody personally responsible. Federal agencies full of people who do nothing but watch porn all day? Nobody personally responsible. Diplomats massacred? Confidential records leaked to left-wing advocacy groups? Evidence-tampering? EPA paying out a half-million dollars in improper bonuses? Nobody personally responsible.
Add in the scandal at VA hospitals and the fiasco with the Obamacare rollout as well as the lack of security at the Benghazi consulate.

As Jonah Goldberg points out, the new U.S. policy of not launching attacks on ISIS if they can guarantee zero civilian casualties will have the perverse incentive of driving ISIS deeper among civilians just as Hamas hides its forces among civilians.

Depending on where you do most of your driving, an electric car might be worse for the environment than a gasoline-powered car.

Jim Hoft reports that, in the rush to remove all signs of the Confederacy from public spaces, Stars and Stripes is polling to see if people think that US military bases named after Confederate officers such as Fort Bragg, Fort Hood, or Fort Lee should be renamed. I've actually thought that for a long time. These men fought against the US government and I don't see why the US army should honor men who went to war fighting against the US army.

Charles Lifson notes how the MSM didn't report on the news about how closely Jonathan Gruber actually was to the White House in the crafting of the Affordable Care Act and the lobbying effort to get it passed. This flies in the face of what the administration said when videos of Gruber telling audiences that the bill passed thanks to the stupidity of the American people and that the very provision at the heart of King v. Burwell was designed to put pressure on state governments. So, it's clear that the administration lied to the public, but the media don't seem disturbed at being lied to.
What happened on Morning Joe was fascinating. One of the hosts, Mika Brzezinski, called attention to the Journal story. Her co-host, former GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough, followed up. Turning to Mark Halperin, who is the co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics and a former senior reporter at Time, Scarborough asked if the story was inconsistent with White House statements. “I owe my Republican sources an apology,” Halperin said, “because they kept telling me he [Gruber] was hugely involved, and the White House played it down.”

Then Scarborough asked the money question: “Did the White House lie about that?”

“I think they were not fully forthcoming.”

That answer did not come from a White House official or a Democratic operative. It came from a big-time reporter. And not just any reporter. It came from a reporter to whom the White House had deliberately lied in background briefings. Does he call them out? Nope. He spins for them.

Halperin’s circumlocution shows the rot that pervades America’s mainstream media. He cannot bring himself to say more than “they were not fully forthcoming.” Morning Joe’s panel of Democratic stalwarts, including Howard Dean, actually laughed out loud. When they were asked the same question—did the White House lie?—they kept laughing and said “they were not fully forthcoming.” I guess the joke’s on us.

As lies go, it’s not a huge one. It’s not like saying, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance. Period.” That wasn’t just fraud; it was fraud that played an essential role in passing Obamacare. The president knew it was false when he said it, and he said it repeatedly.

Still, the latest Gruber episode tells us something troubling and important. If the media share the White House’s political views, then journalists and editors will refuse to do their essential job: truthful reporting. They will spike the story. On the same spike, they impale what is left of their reputations.