Friday, August 31, 2012

Ryan Killed It, Romney Rocked It, and Clint Eastwood Hammered the Living Shit Out of Barack Hussein

I commented previously on this, "Clint Eastwood's Throat-Slashing Speech to the Republican National Convention." And Mitt here and Paul Ryan here.

But seriously. Have people lost their minds?

Eastwood pulled off an extremely interesting impromptu speech performance that certainly packed enough punch to elicit a very insecure response from the president. According to reports, Clint's speech was indeed improvised --- he asked for a chair to be placed on stage at the last minute. That is the complete opposite of widespread political expectations. These conventions are buttoned-down, totally managed with 100 percent scripted presidential endorsements. Eastwood caught people off guard, and the crowd was roaring. Oh sure, no doubt many a Republican strategist winced as the 82-year-old actor drew a finger across his throat to signal that Barack's days are numbered. But again, seriously. We now have the Los Angeles Times suggesting that 12 minutes on that stage in Tampa tarnished an entire film career? Yes we do: "Did Clint Eastwood tarnish his film legacy?" Well, for crying out loud. Only the ensconced media elite would mount such a relentless attack. I mean, an icon of Hollywood not down with the approved Hollywood narrative? Heaven forbid. And the political pundits? They're calling it a "disaster," what else? They're clueless Beltway bitches, mostly at MSNBC, represented below by Andrea Mitchell and Brian Williams, wound up tighter than Roseanne Barr in a shrunken bikini:

So let's be honest: The Republican National Convention rocked. Both Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney raised the roof. The roster of speakers was so diverse and dynamic that MSNBC literally censored parts of the proceedings lest the American people get a glimpse of what true diversity looks like. And the message after three days was upbeat and genuinely progressive --- conservatives are looking ahead to restoring our country and reviving the American dream. "We can do this," in the words of the veep nominee.

Robert Stacy McCain has more, "How Awesome Was Clint Eastwood?" And from Bridget Johnson, at PJ Media, "Eastwood Turns in a Performance to Remember at RNC."

Australia Stunned by Deaths of Five Soldiers in Afghanistan

At the New York Times, "5 Soldiers' Deaths in Afghanistan Mark Australia's Worst Toll Yet."

Jennifer Lopez Rocks Yellow Bikini in Miami, Florida

Here's a little bikini hotness to lighten things up a bit.

At Egotastic, "Jennifer Lopez Bikini Pictures for a Bit of Veteran Saucy Pool Drop."

And London's Daily Mail, "She's going straight to the bottom! Curvy J-Lo takes a leap of faith as she jumps into swimming pool in teeny yellow bikini."

Clint Eastwood's Throat-Slashing Speech to the Republican National Convention

Don't let the deranged progressive spin fool you.

Clint Eastwood gave a phenomenal speech at the RNC last night.

Early evidence of this can be seen at the initial headline at ABC News, "Clint Eastwood Electrifies RNC Crowd, Interviews Invisible 'Obama'."

Sure, there were a few awkward moments, perhaps a little too unscripted for that venue, but overall the effect was devastating to the White House. And I mean f-king devastating! Throat-slashing gestures! How dare you disrepect "The One"?!!

William Jacobson has that, "This is not the tweet of a confident man," on President Obama's response to Eastwood on Twitter. And at Nice Deb, "The Narcissist in Chief Strikes Again."

And check over at Lonely Conservative, "Video: The Clint Eastwood RNC Speech Everyone is Talking About." And Maggie's Notebook, "This will go down in history as the best political speech EVER!"

In his quirky, completely spontaneous way, Clintwood has thrown the left into a frenzy of apoplectic fits. See John Nolte at Big Hollywood, "MEDIA STRIKES BACK AFTER DIRTY HARRY DARES TO MOCK OBAMA" (via Memeorandum):
Newsflash: Obama can't take a joke. But we already knew that.

For four long years we've waited, hoped and prayed that some young comic would break free of the politically correct demands of The State and mock Obama the way all presidents and all people in power should be mocked. But for four long years (with a few exceptions) all we've seen instead are cowardly toadies of The State: Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, David Letterman, Chris Rock, the cast of "Saturday Night Live"…

Who would've ever thought that one of the men who would display enough backbone and "edge" to finally take it to Obama with wicked mockery on about 30 million live television screens would be 82 year-old Clint Eastwood? ...
Yeah, that's about it.

You gotta love it. More at Memeorandum.

The Left Responds to Mitt Romney's Acceptance Speech

William Jacobson notes how the progs at MSNBC about f-king popped at Romney's key line about how Obama pledged to save the earth. See, "About last night":
Immediately after Romney spoke I switched over to MSNBC. Heads exploding hardly begins to describe the reaction from Chris Matthews. Romney’s mocking Obama’s promise to halt the rise of the oceans really got under their skin...

Daily Kos has a progressive roundup, and Matthew Yglesias pokes his ugly mug out with a boilerplate progressive screed about how conservatives harm women, "Mitt Romney's Incoherent View of Mothers." (Via Memeorandum.)

I'm still reading around the horn.

Folks are wiggin' over Clint Eastwood's speech so look for an update on that.

Mitt Romney's Speech to the Republican National Convention

It thought it was fine speech. Romney was confident and warm. He again showed his love for family, his own and the institution itself, which he wants to restore at the foundation of the political culture of individualism and self-reliance. That's key to bringing this country back from the failed interregnum of the nearly four years of the Obama administration.

The New York Times reports, "Romney Vows to Deliver Country From Economic Travails." And the transcript, "Romney’s Speech to the Republican Convention."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

RNC Derangement Syndrome

At Michelle's, "RNC Derangement Syndrome and the demise/dementia of the neutrality posers":
The media crazy train is standing room only.

As the GOP and the Right have gotten better and better at telling their stories and pushing back against progressive narratives, the gate-keepers who once held a monopoly on controlling the airwaves and printing presses have become more than unhinged.

They’ve become completely untethered from rationality:

- sloshing on the whitewash in a desperate attempt to stifle minority Republican voices;
- invoking RAAAAAAACIISSSM at every turn;
- circling their biased wagons for their hapless colleagues;
- dripping with open contempt; and
- spinning like tropical storms while posing as neutral fact-checkers.

2012 is the year that MSM “fact checker” officially became a punch line.

We’ve been heading towards this moment for some time, of course. For two decades in my newspaper column and nearly a decade on this website, we and the growing Right Media have chronicled the demise and dementia of the objectivity posers from Rathergate to the attempted media crucification of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party and all points in between.

This year, more than ever thanks to social media (including an army of Twitter conservatives and a weaponized generation of citizen journalists/fact-reclaimers inspired by Andrew Breitbart), the lapdogs’ insanity and pretenses have been met with effective exposure, resistance, mockery, and disarmament.

More at the link.

And ICYMI, Guy Benson had the best piece pushing back against the left's bullsh*t "Paul Ryan lied" meme. See, "Obama Camp Melts Down Over Ryan's Speech."

More later.

I'll be embedding some of tonight's speeches from the convention. Mitt's going to rock it!

Paul Ryan Interview With Wolf Blitzer on CNN

That was one hella speech last night, and the radical left has popped a collective vessel.

Memeorandum has all the controversy.

And ICYMI, at The Other McCain, "When It Comes to ‘Brazen Lies,’ Nobody Excels Joan Walsh":

By now, you’re familiar with the pattern for Republican National Convention coverage: Democrats choose their themes, issue their talking points and their media henchpersons then repeat the partisan spin as if it were a matter of indisputable fact.

It was decided in advance that a major theme of media coverage would be “Republicans Are Racists,” and the liberal lapdogs in the press obligingly parroted the message. Chris Matthews declared it, and MSNBC contorted their coverage to conform to the Democrat talking points. (In case you didn’t realize it, “Chicago” is now a racist dog-whistle code — the “C-bomb,” as they call it at MSNBC.)

In advance of Paul Ryan’s speech — as demonstrated by the fundraising e-mail from DNC executive director Patrick Gaspard decrying “false attack after false attack” — it was decided to call Ryan a liar. This was the pre-determined theme, and when the DNC issued its message memo, their obliging stooges in the press corps repeated the contents without bothering to verify the facts for themselves.

Democrat drum majorette Joan Walsh rushed to the head of the parade to accuse Ryan of “brazen lies,” and the Washington Post ‘s Glenn Kessler took dictation from David Axelrod...
Continue reading.

Long Beach Students Head Back to School

School's back in.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports, "First day of school in Long Beach a lesson in waiting":

LONG BEACH - Long Beach City College student Vicky Van was hoping to enroll in a psychology class on Monday, but at No. 14 on the wait-list, Van knows her chances are slim.

"I'm going to try again on Wednesday, but I doubt I'll get in," said the 19-year-old Wilson High School graduate. "It's just so crowded this year."

Thousands of area college students headed back to school on Monday for the first official day of the fall semester. And as community colleges and universities face millions in state budget cuts, students are being greeted with higher tuition, crowded classrooms and fewer courses.

Education officials warn that more cuts loom on the horizon if voters fail to pass a November tax initiative designed to fund public education.
The article discusses Long Beach State, and then continues:
Long Beach City College is also facing significant budget challenges.

Funding for California's community colleges has been cut by $809 million over the past three years. California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott has said the system will face another possible $338 million loss in funding depending on the outcome of the November tax initiative.

As a result of the budget cuts, community college students this fall are facing fewer classes, fewer instructors, higher fees and larger class sizes. On Wednesday, Scott and other system leaders plan to hold a news conference to discuss the steps that colleges are taking to offset funding cuts at a time of increased demand for community colleges.

Meanwhile, LBCC this month announced a plan to cut up to 20 instructional programs and lay off about 10 full-time faculty members next year for a savings of $2 million.

LBCC President Eloy Oakley said the college plans to cut less popular programs in an effort to focus more resources on the core courses students need for transfer and graduation.

This fall, the college increased class sizes by about 10 percent for the majority of its courses, said LBCC spokesman Robert Garcia.

Many students on LBCC's liberal arts campus said classes this fall seem larger and also more affected than in previous years.

"I was surprised because I registered early this summer and I still got wait-listed," said 19-year-old Long Beach resident Jonathan Bealta.

Bealta said he was originally No. 12 on the wait-list for his English class but was bumped to No. 2 on Monday after several students didn't show up for the first day of class.
There's another video with President Oakley, and he makes no mention of the layoffs, "LBCC - 2012/13 Message to Faculty and Staff."

My classes were jam-packed. Lots of students are petitioning classes and I routinely admit all comers --- 13 students petitioned my Monday-Wednesday 11:00am class in American government, and there were almost that many trying to add my Tuesday-Thursday early morning classes.

These are tough times and students not only enroll in large numbers, but way fewer of them drop out than in earlier years. The tough fiscal times have forced students to be more careful about maintaining their enrollment, even if they're not doing especially well in their classes, which is an ongoing problem.

More on that later.

Meanwhile, also at the Press-Telegram, "California community colleges facing dire times."

Proof That Left-Wing Radicalism Makes You Stupid

This is extremely cringe-worthy, at Gateway Pundit, "#OccupyRNC Goon says ‘F*** The Rich’ – Wants Marxism (Video)."

BONUS: From Michael Totten, at World Policy Journal, "Noam Chomsky: The Last Totalitarian."

It's an interview with Benjamin Kerstein, who's written a book on Chomsky. And this is gold:
Michael Totten: Can you boil down your case against him into a couple of sentences or paragraphs?

Benjamin Kerstein: There are a couple of main points that should be made. First, Chomsky is an absolutely shameless liar. A master of the argument in bad faith. He will say anything in order to get people to believe him. Even worse, he will say anything in order to shut people up who disagree with him. And I’m not necessarily talking about his public critics. If you've ever seen how he acts with ordinary students who question what he says, it's quite horrifying. He simply abuses them in a manner I can only describe as sadistic. That is, he clearly enjoys doing it. I don't think anyone ought to be allowed to get away with that kind of behavior.

Second, Chomsky is immensely important to the radical left. When it comes to American foreign policy he isn't just influential, he's basically all they have. Almost any argument made about foreign affairs by the radical left can be traced back to him. That wasn't the case when he started out back in the late '60s, but it is now.

Third, he is essentially the last totalitarian. Despite his claims otherwise, he's more or less the last survivor of a group of intellectuals who thought systemic political violence and totalitarian control were essentially good things. He babbles about human rights all the time, but when you look at the regimes and groups he's supported, it’s a very bloody list indeed.

Communism and fascism are obviously dead as the proverbial doornail, but I doubt the totalitarian temptation will ever go away. The desire for unity and a kind of beautiful tyranny seems to spring from somewhere deep in the human psyche.

Fourth—and this may be most important—he makes people stupid. In this sense, he's more like a cult leader or a New Age guru than an intellectual. He allows people to be comfortable with their prejudices and their hatreds, and he undercuts their ability to think in a critical manner. To an extent, this has to do with his use of emotional and moral blackmail. Since he portrays everyone who disagrees with him as evil, if you do agree with him you must be on the side of good and right. This is essentially a kind of secular puritanism, and it's very appealing to many people, for obvious reasons, I think. We all want to think well of ourselves, whether we deserve it or not...

'A Conclave of Lily-White Racists'

Doug Ross reports, "I refer, of course, to vintage media -- the biggest collection of lily-white racists I've ever encountered. Consider the following incidents (all "coincidental", mind you)..."

More at Instapundit, "MATT LEWIS: On paranoia and the left’s obsession with hearing ‘dog whistles’."

Paul Ryan Speech to the Republican National Convention

I loved it.

Ryan is handsome and articulate. He hammered Obama personally and politically, and made stark contrasts between the GOP ticket and the moral bankruptcy of the Obama administration's nearly four years in office. The Wall Street Journal reports, "Ryan Pledges GOP Rebirth":

TAMPA, Fla.—Rep. Paul Ryan took the national political stage Wednesday as the Republican Party's vice presidential candidate, giving a televised speech that laid out one of the GOP's sharpest cases yet against a second term for President Barack Obama, and for Republicans as the party of small government.

Mr. Ryan's address to the Republican convention was his introduction to a national audience only now beginning to take his measure as one of the GOP's leading figures and the partner of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

He blended notes of partisan rancor with personal touches, such as a nod to his taste for rock bands AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, as he tried to build a case that Mr. Obama had hindered the economy and piled on debt.

"After four years of getting the runaround, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Gov. Mitt Romney," Mr. Ryan told the crowd gathered at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Mr. Ryan's selection heralds the emergence of a new generation of Republican leaders willing to reshape the main pillars of a social safety net that has been in place since the 1960s.

The 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman is the architect of far-reaching legislation to cut federal spending and to overhaul entitlement programs, including a proposal to transform Medicare from open-ended health coverage for seniors into a system in which future beneficiaries buy private insurance, or buy into the traditional Medicare program, with premiums subsidized by the government.

Democrats call it a voucher system that will shift health-care costs to seniors. Mr. Ryan and his allies say the plan will save Medicare from insolvency.

Mr. Ryan didn't shy from his Medicare plan Wednesday. "Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it,'' he said, an effort to blunt Democratic attacks that his plan would undermine Medicare and shift costs to future retirees. "A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom's generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours."

The congressman then blamed Mr. Obama for failing to curb the deficit, wasting stimulus money to revive the U.S. economy during his first year in office and passing a new health-care law that should "have no place in a free country."

Mr. Ryan said the president has shirked responsibility for the sluggish recovery. "College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life," he said.
More at that top link.

Plus, from Jonathan Tobin, at Commentary, "Ryan’s Star Turn Shows GOP Ready to Rumble on Medicare."


BONUS: At The Lonely Conservative, "What Are the GOP ‘Pros’ Who Panned the Ryan Pick Saying Now?"

Alanis Morissette: 'I Live for Having the Larger Conversations...'

At the Los Angeles Times, "Alanis Morissette nurtures 'Havoc and Bright Lights'":

The heat outside a North Hollywood rehearsal studio is in the triple digits, and inside isn't much better, but Alanis Morissette manages a cool, beatific calm beneath the hot lights of a film crew. She is fast approaching "the fever pitch" of activity that accompanies her every album release, even after a break of four years.

A camera sweeps in on a boom for a close-up of the singer-songwriter, cheerful in a gleaming white blazer, her auburn hair long and parted down the center. She is here to talk up a new album, "Havoc and Bright Lights" (out Tuesday), and her new life of marriage and motherhood for an online video piece hosted by Wal-Mart.

A young interviewer with a clipboard asks about her newest songs, and as Morissette begins — "On 'Woman Down' I comment about the patriarchy and misogyny ..." — it's immediately clear that the singer's first album since 2008 will pull no punches, regardless of recent domestic bliss in her own life.

"It's a challenge to be away from my son for too long, but I live for this," Morissette, 38, says minutes later, settling into her dressing room couch. On her left forearm is a tattoo of a tiger, drawn around the word "gentle." "I live for having the larger conversations that are spawned by the content of the songs. That's what I'm here to do, whether I like it or not."
More at that top link.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Condoleezza Rice Speech to the Republican National Convention

This was an interesting speech. She hinted about how a girl from Birmingham could become president. Hmm...

And she said improving neighborhood schools in poor communities is the defining civil rights struggle of the day, something I've repeatedly highlighted at this blog.

At the Wall Street Journal, "Condoleezza Rice Hits Obama Policies." And at Fox News, "Transcript of Condoleezza Rice speech at the RNC."

The 'Cultural War' Is Not 'Fringe'

Amazing how the post-modern left has perverted truth and decency to elevate radical homosexuality and environmental extremism, and infanticide and totalitarian secularism and God knows what else, to the "mainstream," while those standing up for goodness, decency and family values are "fringe."

But that's the meme running through this piece at the New York Times, "From the Fringe in 1992, Pat Buchanan's Words Now Seem Mainstream":

TAMPA, Fla. — Twenty years ago, Patrick J. Buchanan rocked the Republican convention in Houston by declaring there was a “cultural war” taking place for the soul of America, denouncing the Democratic Party as one that supported abortion, radical feminism and the “homosexual rights movement.”

“The agenda Clinton and Clinton would impose on America — abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat — that’s change, all right,” said Mr. Buchanan, a conservative commentator who was a rival to President George Bush in the 1992 campaign. “But it is not the kind of change America wants.”

The speech — along with similarly sharp-edged addresses by the evangelist Pat Robertson and Marilyn Quayle, the wife of Vice President Dan Quayle — pushed issues like abortion, gay rights, religion and the role of women in society to the front of the stage, often loudly. Supporters of Mr. Bush pointed to the tone of the convention as one of the reasons he lost the election that November to Bill Clinton.

Yet Republicans gathered here to nominate Mitt Romney suggest that those speeches would hardly give them pause today. What many viewed as the fringes of the Republican Party 20 years ago have moved closer to the mainstream — evidence, Mr. Buchanan said, of the extent to which a Republican establishment that was once relatively moderate on social issues has been pushed rightward by grass-roots conservatives.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Buchanan, who is not attending the convention here, said he was struck by what he described as the warm reception in the hall in 1992. He said that Mr. Bush’s aides were similarly praiseworthy after he walked off the stage. The temperature soon cooled but, he said, he had no doubt the speech was the right speech for the right audience in 1992 — and even more so today.

“That speech was then, and is now, consistent with the heart and soul of the Republican Party,” Mr. Buchanan said. “The country-club and the establishment Republicans recoil from the social, cultural and moral issues which many conservatives and evangelicals have embraced.”

Mr. Buchanan said Mr. Bush would have been well served had he seized on the issues Mr. Buchanan raised and used them in his campaign against Mr. Clinton.

“The issue on which they were most vulnerable was social and cultural issues,” Mr. Buchanan said. “That is what they could have won on.”
More at the link.

Buchanan's full speech is here. The dude was on fire.

Rockin' Conservative Mia Love Sets GOP Convention on Fire

William Jacobson has been boosting Mia Love for some time know, but this is the first I've really listened to her. What a phenomenal lady. No wonder she's throwing the left into just horrible fits of racist demonology. 

Here's the speech from the RNC, via Instapundit:

And at Twitchy, "Mia Love gives star-making speech at RNC; Left sees ‘GOP token’," and "Sick: Wikipedia entry calls Mia Love ‘dirty, worthless whore’ and ‘House Nigger’."

More at Twitchy.

And back over at Instapundit, "ROGER SIMON: DATELINE TAMPA: RACISTS OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA." Follow that link for the excellent update at the post.

Expect updates here as well...

Chris Christie's Speech to the Republican National Convention


And from Jonathan Tobin, at Commentary, "Chris Christie’s Republican Party."


RELATED: I've said it before, but it bears repeating: "Chris Christie for Governor --- of California!"

If only.

See the Orange County Register, "Chris Christie's pep talk for California":
TAMPA, Fla. – While California residents are justly proud of many elements of life in the Golden State, when it comes to public policy, California would do well to follow the lead of New Jersey.

The Garden State's tell-it-like-is governor, Chris Christie, has taken on public employee unions, overcome a significant state budget gap and advocated for lower taxes and fees. He recounted his successes to a breakfast gathering Monday hosted by the California Republican Party's delegation to the Republican National Convention.

Gov. Christie's approach is perhaps the polar opposite of that taken by California Gov. Jerry Brown. Gov. Brown has remained closely aligned with the state's powerful public employee unions, which did much to get him elected. He also is pushing to raise taxes via his Proposition 30 on the November ballot.

The states themselves share many political similarities. Both are longtime strongholds of the Democratic Party, which controls the legislatures, in concert with government-employee unions, and enjoys an advantage in voter registration.

As Gov. Christie told a room full of convention-goers, California and New Jersey face "similar challenges." He pointed to debt and deficits, people trying to get back to work and trouble with home mortgages. He chastised Gov. Brown's policies, while rejecting the notion that California is ungovernable.

"When I became governor of New Jersey, they said the same things to me. I heard people in California saying ... we don't know if it can be fixed; the problems are too big, the challenges are now too grave. Maybe we have just given California away to the public sector unions, to the masters of huge spending and huge government. But it doesn't have to be that way," Gov. Christie said.

"California and New Jersey made two very different choices," and "California made a bad choice" in electing Gov. Brown. "I have to sit at the National Governors Association with this guy and have him come up to me and say, 'Gov. Christie, stop telling people that I want to raise taxes. I am not trying to raise taxes.' And I said, 'Yes you are, Jerry.' And he says, 'No, I am going to put it on the ballot, and let the people decide.' Hey, that's leadership, isn't it?

"If you made a different choice ... California would be moving in a different direction today," he said. "I hear California is blue, but it's no bluer than New Jersey is. What matters is leadership," reminding his audience that New Jersey "hadn't elected a Republican in 12 years statewide" until his victory in November 2009...
More at the link.

Ann Romney is Indeed Mitt's Greatest Asset

An interesting commentary, from Jennifer Rubin, at Right Turn, "Ann Romney at the RNC."

PREVIOUSLY: "Ann Romney's Speech at the Republican National Convention."

Seventh Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

At the Los Angeles Times, "Hurricane Isaac prepares to test New Orleans."

And ICYMI, at the New York Times, "The Storm, Again." But see Jonathan Tobin, at Commentary, "Exploiting Hurricane Will Hurt Dems."

And a 2005 flashback, from Bob Williams, "Shifting Blame in the Katrina Tragedy."

Hurricane Katrina

Katrina New Orleans


IMAGES: Via Wikipedia.

Private Medicare Plans Find Success Despite Democrat Bleatings

At the New York Times, "Despite Democrats’ Warnings, Private Medicare Plans Find Success."

Rachel Corrie's Parents Talk to Communist Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

My earlier entry is here, "Court Rules Rachel Corrie Death Accidental":

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ann Romney's Speech at the Republican National Convention

I thought this was fantastic. She's so beautiful and so genuinely in love with both her husband and her country. What a contrast from Mooch Obama.

See National Journal, "Full Text: Ann Romney's Speech at the Republican National Convention."

And at the New York Times, of course, "Stepping Out of a Husband’s Shadow, and Perhaps Overshadowing Him."

Also, at yesterday morning's Los Angeles Times, "A toughened Ann Romney's convention role is to show her husband's softer side."

Court Rules Rachel Corrie Death Accidental

At Israel Matzav, "No pancakes for St. Pancake." And Atlas Shrugs, "Blood Libel Exposed: Court Vindicates Israel in Rachel Corrie Case."

And at the Los Angeles Times, "Israel judge rules Rachel Corrie responsible for her own death":

Rachel Corrie
JERUSALEM — Nine years after their daughter was crushed by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip, the parents of American activist Rachel Corrie lost their legal bid Tuesday to hold Israel responsible for her death and force authorities to reopen the investigation.

A Haifa judge rejected the parent's negligence lawsuit, calling Corrie's death an accident that she brought upon herself by refusing to leave what had been declared a closed military zone. "It was a very regrettable accident and not a deliberate act," said Judge Oded Gershon.

Family members vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court and accused the Israeli government of covering up the truth.

"I believe this was a bad day not only for our family, but for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law, and also for the country of Israel," said Cindy Corrie, Rachel's mother, after the verdict was announced.

The court rejected the family's request for a symbolic $1 in damages and legal expenses.

Members of the Corrie family, who live in Olympia, Wash., have traveled to Israel for sporadic hearings over the last two years, listening to graphic testimony about how Rachel Corrie, then 23, was run over by a slow-moving bulldozer in Rafah near the border with Egypt.

Corrie, a college student, traveled to Gaza with the group International Solidarity Movement to act as a human shield to prevent Israeli soldiers from demolishing Palestinian homes and farms.

During the trial, the Israeli bulldozer driver, who was never identified, testified that he did not see Corrie standing in front of his vehicle. He ran over the young woman, than backed up and drove over her a second time, witnesses said.

Activists testified that the driver must have seen Corrie, who was wearing a fluorescent orange jacket and standing just a few feet away. They said it appeared Corrie became trapped in the dirt and debris and was unable to escape at the last moment.

The court agreed with an Israeli military investigation that concluded that the driver's field of vision was limited, and blamed Corrie and other activists for putting themselves in harm's way.

"She did not move away as any reasonable person would have done," Gershon ruled. "But she chose to endanger herself ... and thus found her death."
Continue reading.

More from Con Coughlin, at Telegraph UK, "What on earth was Rachel Corrie doing in front of an Israeli army bulldozer in the first place?"

PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons.

Hurricane Isaac Updates

Check out the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

And at the website, "Isaac slows, now forecast to pass New Orleans at 1 a.m.", and "Nearly 50,000 without power as Hurricane Isaac approaches."

Lots more at that top link.

And at the American Political Science Association, "2012 Annual Meeting - CANCELED."

I'll be updating throughout the night.

5:53pm Pacific: The New York Times reports, "Hurricane Isaac Makes Landfall Along Gulf Coast":
NEW ORLEANS — Hurricane Isaac made landfall along the Gulf Coast on Tuesday night as a Category 1 storm, smaller than initially feared, forecasters said.

The National Hurricane Center announced at about 8 p.m. Eastern that Hurricane Isaac had hit southeastern Louisiana with sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. The storm was moving northwest at a slow pace of 8 m.p.h., making serious flooding more likely as the storm lingers over land. There have already been reports of flooding and power failures in several areas along the Gulf Coast.

The National Hurricane Center said in a statement that a storm surge of eight feet was recorded at Shell Beach in Louisiana.

“Now is the time to hunker down,” Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, said in a televised news conference as the storm came to shore.

The coast — and areas extending inland from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle — was bracing throughout the day for strong winds, heavy rain and flooding. The threat of tornadoes has also increased with the approach of the storm.

A hurricane warning was in effect for areas east of Morgan City, which sits on the Atchafalaya River in south-central Louisiana, and extending into Mississippi. That stretch of coast includes New Orleans.
And also video from CNN, "See new images of Isaac from space."

William Jacobson Launches 'College Insurrection'

I read Legal Insurrection every day, multiple times a day. I'm proud to call William a friend. But for some reason I missed his announcement in June that he was launching a new blog, called "College Insurrection."

Here's the announcement, "Welcome to College Insurrection."

And here's the heads-up from June, "The next Insurrection":
Because most campuses are dominated by liberal adminstrators, faculty, and student activists, conservative/libertarian students often feel isolated and alone, and up against seemingly insurmountable forces which wield power over their lives.

For many students, the risk/reward ratio says to shut up and just go along so as not to be singled out and targeted.

In reality, they are not alone.  They are the silenced majority.  They are a youthful Army of Davids.  They just don’t know it yet.

So the next project will be …

Col·lege In·sur·rec·tion
More at the link.

One of the more interesting things, in my teaching experience, is the large number of conservatives students --- students with very traditional values --- who are laid back, quiet and low key. They listen a lot and hold back from the discussions. LBCC is a majority-minority institution, and for the bulk of black and Hispanic students, there's literally no questioning the hard-left line on politics, racism, or you name it. Sometimes, though, I like to have students think through their assumptions, or the assumptions they've been fed by the mass media. I followed the media stories on the Trayvon Martin shooting during classes last semester, and I swear some students where heartbroken to learn a different point of view, to find out the shooting was much more complicated than they'd heard. When ABC News posted images of George Zimmerman's injuries, which seemed to confirm his account that he'd been pushed to the pavement by Trayvon, some of my students went into shock. They really want to think that racism is everywhere and all-encompassing. A left-wing professor will of course encourage such thinking, for sure on my campus, especially in the history classes, and sociology and psychology, off the top of my head. I will often get only one or two conservative students who'll speak up with their opinions in class, because they don't want to deal with being heckled, or called racist. It does happen. A few years ago, I had a homosexual student who claimed in class that traditional marriage didn't matter. He said that anyone could get a sperm donor and have a baby. I asked him then why have marriage at all? He didn't go so far as to want to abolish it, but that was the implication of his argument. I was surprised when a young conservative student spoke up from the back of the class. He said something like, "Everything is about gay politics nowadays. The gay rights groups get whatever they want. And you can't criticize them or you'll be attacked. It's crazy." Needless to say the discussion was getting a little heavy, but that was a rare event. Most conservative students won't express their opinions like that because they're intimidated by a stultifying environment of political correctness.

As for "College Insurrection," there's still a lot I don't know about it, some further plans for the blog, additional goals, range of contributors, etc. But if it generates a critical mass of conservative commentary on academe it will be extremely helpful. And I'll be glad to help toward that goal.

Congratulations to William.

More on this later as things develop.

'Comment is Free' Fires Joshua Treviño After Just 10 Days

There's a lot of his stuff I disagree with, but he's a firecracker on Twitter. Extremely interesting man. And it's no surprise that The Guardian canned his ass in less than two weeks. Amazing he was even given a slot over there in the first place.

At the Times of Israel, "In firing Treviño, Guardian’s hypocrisy laid bare."

The Guardian’s August 15 announcement that Joshua Treviño would be joining its US politics team provoked predictable outrage by some of the most virulent Israel-haters.

One of the first screeds published on the appointment of Treviño was by “one-stater” racist Ali Abunimah, himself a contributor at the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” through June 2009, who wrote a piece for Al Jazeera, as well as several others at his own Electronic Intifada site, to protest the Guardian’s apostasy.

MJ Rosenberg and Richard Silverstein also condemned the appointment. On August 19, the Guardian published a letter criticizing the appointment of Treviño, by a who’s who of anti-Israel campaigners, chastising the Guardian for employing someone they characterized as holding “extremist views.”

The main complaint of all Treviño’s critics is the now-famous flotilla-related tweet by Treviño in June 2011 – 106 characters which, according to Abunimah and his anti-Zionist friends, represent “incitement to murder”....

The hypocrisy of this group of hardcore Israel-haters and apologists for Islamist extremists — who comically wear the mantle of “anti-racists” — is staggering. None of these sensitive souls was the least bit bothered by “Comment is Free” publishing, for instance, Azzam Tamimi – who supports suicide bombing against Israelis.

Indeed, in 2011, Guardian editors published a letter by a UK professor explicitly endorsing, on ethical grounds, deadly terrorist attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians — a decision which was later defended by Guardian readers’ editor Chris Elliott. And none of those protesting Treviño’s appointment have seen fit, of course, to object to the fact that the Guardian has repeatedly published articles by Hamas leaders....

The Guardian’s recent addition to its stable of writers of anti-Zionist blogger Glenn Greenwald, who has a long record of advancing explicitly anti-Semitic tropes on his blog at Salon, about the power of the Jewish lobby over the US government, is another example of the institution’s selective tolerance of bigotry.

Sure enough, the Guardian fired Treviño, citing a completely bogus conflict of interest as the cause, when the fact is that the paper gave in to pressures from extremists and those who wish the Guardian to remain an echo-chamber for shrill and malign anti-Zionist rhetoric.

The supreme hypocrisy of the Guardian has been laid bare, as it demonstrates that it is morally unburdened by hideously anti-Semitic, pro-terror commentators and journalists but will cravenly give in to arguments by extremists suggesting that those on the mainstream American right — commentators who take the threat to Western values posed by Islamist terrorism seriously — are beyond the pale.
There's more at the link.

I don't really read the Guardian, but it's not that much different from left's maelstrom of hatred at most other outlets for progressivism. People like that want to destroy their opponents, not debate them. And they especially want to destroy someone like Treviño, who is so exceptionally good at exposing them for their evils.

And see Treviño's commentary here, "My 2011 Gaza flotilla tweet: a clarification."

Hat Tip: Carl in Jerusalem.

'The New Normal' Is Anything But


And from the Los Angeles times, "NBC affiliate KSL-TV in Utah declines to air 'The New Normal'."

Tropical Storm Isaac Moves Into Gulf of Mexico

At the Wall Street Journal, "Isaac Heads to New Orleans: Echoes of Katrina as GOP Gathers."

And at NewsBusters, "NYTimes Cynically Deploys Isaac Threat to Paint GOP As Opposed to 'Care of Its Most Vulnerable'."

Also, at the APSA, "2012 Meeting to Proceed as Planned on Thursday."

The New York Times Shrinks James Holmes

See, "Before Gunfire in Colorado Theater, Hints of 'Bad News' About James Holmes":
AURORA, Colo. — The text message, sent to another graduate student in early July, was cryptic and worrisome. Had she heard of “dysphoric mania,” James Eagan Holmes wanted to know?

The psychiatric condition, a form of bipolar disorder, combines the frenetic energy of mania with the agitation, dark thoughts and in some cases paranoid delusions of major depression.

She messaged back, asking him if dysphoric mania could be managed with treatment. Mr. Holmes replied: “It was,” but added that she should stay away from him “because I am bad news.”

It was the last she heard from him.

About two weeks later, minutes into a special midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, Mr. Holmes, encased in armor, his hair tinted orange, a gas mask obscuring his face, stepped through the emergency exit of a sold-out movie theater here and opened fire. By the time it was over, there were 12 dead and 58 wounded.

The ferocity of the attack, its setting, its sheer magnitude — more people were killed and injured in the shooting than in any in the country’s history — shocked even a nation largely inured to random outbursts of violence.

But Mr. Holmes, 24, who was arrested outside the theater and has been charged in the shootings, has remained an enigma, his life and his motives cloaked by two court orders that have imposed a virtual blackout on information in the case and by the silence of the University of Colorado, Denver, where Mr. Holmes was until June a graduate student in neuroscience.

Unlike Wade M. Page, who soon after the theater shooting opened fire at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, killing six people, Mr. Holmes left no trail of hate and destruction behind him, no telling imprints in the electronic world, not even a Facebook page.

Yet as time has passed, a clearer picture has begun to surface. Interviews with more than a dozen people who knew or had contact with Mr. Holmes in the months before the attack paint a disturbing portrait of a young man struggling with a severe mental illness who more than once hinted to others that he was losing his footing.
More at that link. It's a lengthy piece.

What's so amazing is all the initial reports coming out of Aurora said that Homles was an exemplary student and citizen, and the university boasted about how extremely few students flunked out of their neuroscience program. Man was that some kind of epic damage control before all the facts became known.

Piecing together the tidbits of news clearly revealed this guy went off, as I mentioned previously, "Shooting Suspect James Holmes Failed Oral Examination, Made Threats, Prosecution Reveals."

My Dream Speech for Romney

From Dennis Prager, at National Review, "This election is a referendum on whether we keep our traditional system of government."

Curiosity's Descent to Mars

Via the Los Angeles Times, "Stunning Video Shows Curiosity's Descent to Mars."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dan 'Hurricane Porn' Drezner Slams APSA for Holding Annual Convention in New Orleans During Hurricane Season

Can you say "chutzpah"?

Professor Daniel Drezner's got a not-so tongue-in-cheek post slamming the American Political Science Association for scheduling its annual convention in New Orleans for Labor Day Weekend, at the height of hurricane season, "How not to take political scientists seriously":
Readers might be aware that Tropical Storm Isaac appears to be bypassing the Republican National Convention in Tampa and is instead headed.... right for New Orleans. It's scheduled to his the NOLA area on Wednesday. This is a wee problem for political scientists because, well, the American Political Science Association annual meeting is scheduled to be held in - wait for it -- New Orleans from Thursday to Sunday. APSA has already cancelled all Wednesday pre-meeting activities, and based on the storm path, I'd place a 50/50 bet on the whole convention being scrubbed (the other possibility is APSA Hunger Games, which would end badly for all the post-materialists).

This gives rise to a very simple question of mine: why, in the name of all that is holy, did any political scientist think it was a good idea to have the annual meeting in a hurricane zone... DURING HURRICANE SEASON??!!
Okay. Makes sense, right? Perhaps Drezner's the calm, cool observer of convention scheduling protocols? I'd believe it myself, except when it comes to hurricanes, you'd think Dr. Drezner might withhold judgment, considering his epic blogging blunder from 2005, "We interrupt normal blogging about the rest of the world to freak out about THE BIG STORM!!!!" You have to read the post to believe it. Two days later, on August 29th, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the rest is history. Needless to say, Drezner f-ked up, "Hurricane Porn Open Thread":
CROW-EATING UPDATE: The post below was written 24 hours before the waters of Lake Ponchatrain broke through the levee, devastated New Orleans, and video footage came in on damage to the Mississippi Gulf coast. I must concur with James Joyner that the coverage of this hurricane was not overhyped in the end, and at this point is a rather trivial issue compared to the damage at hand...
See? There's more of that chutzpah, trying to save your hypothesis whilst one of the country's deadliest hurricanes was destroying New Orleans really takes a lot. Talk about not taking political scientists seriously.

We all screw up blogging here and there. The trick is to not fool yourself into thinking people won't remember.

And in Drezner's case, I'd be more forgiving if the dude had a record of speaking out in defense of Israel over the last few years. It's bad enough that his fellow FP blogger is Stephen "The Israel Lobby" Walt. But in Drezner's case I literally don't remember him really ever sticking his neck out on a question of Middle East politics that might challenge the academy's orthodoxy on the extermination of the Jewish state. And Drezner's Jewish. I generally quit reading him years ago, so I could be wrong and would be glad to correct the record. But early impressions matter. And there's something to be said for integrity when it comes to Israel and the political science profession --- we could use more.

In any case, the APSA's website is here. They've cancelled Wednesday's events and plan to proceed with the convention on Thursday. I'll say a prayer for the political scientists and all the residents of the Gulf Coast. Even the dates of landfall are almost the same.

Reince Priebus Slams Chris Matthews for Sowing Division: 'He Made the Case For Us. This Is the Barack Obama Surrogate of 2012'

You gotta admit, Matthews is practically blowing smoke out his ears. And Chairman Priebus handles it well, but the later remarks slamming "Tingles" are classic, from Jim Geraghty, at National Review, "Priebus on Chris Matthews: ‘He Made the Case for Us’" (at Memeorandum).

Mitt Romney's Neoconservatism

James Kitfield has an interesting piece at the National Interest, "Mitt Romney's Neocon Puzzle."

It's a decent piece, although windy, and inaccurate, IMHO, on the public's perception of foreign policy this season (it's not that people don't care about world affairs, but that the economy is the overwhelmingly dominant issue). Here's an interesting bit, however:

In emerging as the Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney vanquished primary opponents representing venerable strains of GOP thinking. Representative Ron Paul, the libertarian from Texas, was the strongest voice for a more isolationist foreign policy. Former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania gave the most authentic voice to the populist nationalism of the Tea Party movement. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich most closely aligned with the neoconservatives who were ascendant in George W. Bush’s first term with their staunch support for the Israeli Right and disdain for talking with distasteful adversaries. Gingrich blasted the Obama administration for being “wrong on Iran, wrong on the Muslim Brotherhood [and] wrong on Hezbollah.” Former governor Jon Huntsman of Utah, former ambassador to China, stood in for the realist or liberal-internationalist wing of the party that dominated the George H. W. Bush administration.

Romney must reconcile these competing camps and weave their various policies and rhetorical positions into a coherent foreign-policy narrative. His task is complicated because the old Republican orthodoxy of staunch anticommunism and a strong defense was upended at the Cold War’s end, and George W. Bush’s Iraq invasion still generates controversy and dissention within the party. Beyond that, there are the added challenges of the country’s deep partisan divide and political dysfunction, as well as a shifting global landscape.
Actually, I don't even think it's fair to call Ron Paul isolationist --- that then becomes a slur against folks who hold traditionally isolationist views without attacking Israel or courting 9/11 truthers (e.g., Eugene Gholz, Daryl Press, and Harvey Sapolsky, "Come Home, America: The Strategy of Restraint in the Face of Temptation").

Not only that, I'd argue Romney's clearly in the neoconservative camp --- it's not really a puzzle to me. Romney's 2010 book, "No Apologies," laid out a fairly standard national greatness foreign policy. I'd have to break out my copy to be more specific (and I may just do that later), but between that and the pool of top neocon advisors working with Team Romney, it's pretty straightforward. Here's the announcement from the campaign, from last November, "MITT ROMNEY ANNOUNCES FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISORY TEAM." I'd point to Eliot Cohen, Robert Kagan, and Dan Senor as some of the more prominent neocons at the announcement, but don't take my word for it. Ari Berman at The Nation just about had a fit over Team Romney's neoconservative bona fides, "Mitt Romney's Neocon War Cabinet."

Berman mentions Ambassador John Bolton as an advisor to Romney, although he's not cited at the campaign's announcement. Bolton has repeatedly rejected the neoconservative label, although that hasn't stopped the left from attacking him mercilessly, at Daily Kos, for example, "Knuckle-dragging ultrahawks dominate Mitt Romney's foreign policy team."

Plus, listen Romney's CBS News interview at the clip above, and at Twitter, "Mitt Romney tells CBS News' Scott Pelley it's "unacceptable" for Iran to get nuclear weapon." That sounds more bellicose than the "evil" George W. Bush administration.

In any case, the question ultimately is whether Romney's foreign policy will be an improvement over the Obama administration's. I'd say that's a no brainer as well, but the proof is in the pudding, so let's hope #RomneyRyan win it in November.

New York Times Says GOP Riven by Factions, Cites Mostly Establishment Types Who Spite the Tea Party

I don't recall George Pataki as a big tea party champion, and former veep Dan Quayle is interviewed. Dan Quayle? See, "A Party of Factions Gathers, Seeking Consensus":
It is common for parties out of power to suffer an extended identity crisis. The Democrats struggled for 12 years until Bill Clinton emerged to unite left and center in an uneasy alliance to capture the White House. It has been happening to Republicans for at least four years as different conservative factions have competed for dominance and as outside forces, from the grass-roots Tea Party activists to “super PACs” and other groups financed by wealthy conservatives, have to some degree undercut the party establishment.

But in some ways, the Republican Party today appears more factionalized — ideologically, politically and culturally — than Republican leaders said they could remember in recent history.

There are evangelicals, Tea Party adherents, supply-siders who would accept no tax increases and a dwindling band of deficit hawks who might. There are economic libertarians who share little of the passion that social conservatives hold on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. There are neoconservatives who want a hard line against Iran and the Palestinians, and realists who are open to diplomatic deal-cutting.

More than anything, the party is racked by the challenge to the establishment from Tea Party outsiders, who are demanding a purge of incumbents who play by a set of rules that many of these Republicans reject.

“The party itself is in a transition time,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the No. 3 Republican in the House. Highlighting a shift in the House to a younger and less traditional generation of conservative leaders, he said, “My theory is the Senate is like a country club and the House is much like having a breakfast at a truck stop.”

Representative Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican running for the Senate, said that if Republicans won in November, the magnitude of the country’s fiscal problems — and the general agreement among Republicans about addressing them by reducing spending — would overcome any jockeying among factions.

“I think the fiscal issues we face are so big and so overwhelming that there’s little reason to focus on the other things,” Mr. Flake said. “That makes it by definition easier to manage, because those issues are so big and require so much work.”

It may not be easy. When Republican leaders sought to push the party’s nominee, Representative Todd Akin, out of the Senate race in Missouri, for saying women who are victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant, Mike Huckabee, the conservative talk-show host and 2008 presidential candidate, came to his defense.

“In a party that supposedly stands for life, it was tragic to see the carefully orchestrated and systematic attack on a fellow Republican,” Mr. Huckabee wrote in an e-mail to supporters.
This article's the lead story at the paper's front page, so no doubt the editors think "factionalism" is the defining element of the party. But remember, this is the paper marked by a "progressive worldview," as Arthur Brisbane put it, so limited government principles --- and living within one's means --- are ridiculed as "extremist" (or "racist," if you're criticizing the president).

More at that top link, FWIW.

'The Fountainhead'

I watched it on TCM this morning. What a movie. Wikipedia's entry is here.

Should CNN Abandon Traditional 'Objective' News Format?

The longstanding news model in American journalism has been professional objectivity. I've argued many times that we've reached a new era of partisan journalism that harkens back to the late-18th century model of the partisan press. Between Fox News and MSNBC on cable, and the Rupert Murdoch properties (NY Post, WSJ) versus just about everybody else in print journalism, the battle lines have been drawn now for almost two decades. But CNN keeps plugging away under the premise that its reporting is non-partisan. Put aside Soledad O'Brien for a moment, or Don Lemon perhaps. As noted earlier, Wolf Blitzer and a few others continue follow the old fashioned "watchdog" style of journalism that treats government skeptically and which stands up for the interests of the public. But with the ratings challenges at CNN, perhaps it's time to junk that approach and go balls out for an ideological framework?

The Los Angeles Times reports, "Is CNN looking for its own game change?":
With the Democratic and Republican national conventions just days away, there's already suspense behind the camera: CNN is staring down one of the worst crises in its 32-year existence.

The cable news network that dominated the political discussion during the 1990s has slumped to record ratings lows this year, with its prime-time audience plunging by more than 40% compared with four years ago (No. 1 Fox News and runner-up MSNBC have each posted double-digit increases). Critics are attacking the Time Warner-owned network's coverage as dull and rudderless. CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton recently announced he will leave at the end of the year, observing that CNN needs "new thinking."

Many industry watchers say change is long overdue, but CNN sees the presidential campaign as an opportunity to prove the doubters wrong. Its new multimillion-dollar studio in Washington is arriving just in time for the President Obama versus Mitt Romney showdown, even if the convention coverage itself doesn't necessarily promise changes that will make viewers snap to attention. The network will start the convention coverage every morning at 5 Eastern time and continue right through a midnight interview show hosted by Piers Morgan, who hosts its flagship prime-time interview program.

As during the primaries this year, there will be round tables overseen by Anderson Cooper — perhaps the network's biggest star — and other anchors, along with a stable of commentators such as the liberal James Carville and his conservative commentator wife, Mary Matalin. Statistics guru John King will work his hands over the "magic wall" of the electoral college once more — in fact, the new studio has two such computerized graphics boards, for even more "Minority Report"-like razzle-dazzle. It will be the first time CNN has managed its convention coverage from Washington.

"In the next six months, there's going to be a huge amount of viewer interest," said Wolf Blitzer, the veteran CNN anchor and reporter who will be a prominent face at the conventions. "I think people will come back and watch us."
More at the link.

Wagner in Israel: Promoting Anti-Semitism or Fighting Censorship?

From Professor Michael Curtis, at American Thinker:
Should the music of Wagner be played in Israel?

There is, in fact, an Israeli Wagnerian Society, but attempts to play the music -- by Zubin Mehta in 1981, by Daniel Barenboim in 2001, and most recently in June 2012 at Tel Aviv University -- have been opposed by groups in Israel. The TAU president stopped the private concert on his campus, arguing that it would offend the public, especially Holocaust survivors, of whom 200,000 remain alive in Israel.

Wagner was an unremitting anti-Semite, as shown both in his prose and in his music expression. His article Das Judenthum in der Musik (Jewishness in Music), written in 1850 under a pseudonym, is a strong criticism of the role of Jews in German culture and society in general, and a more personal attack on the composers of Jewish origin, Giacomo Meyerbeer and Felix Mendelssohn, of whose success he was jealous.

More pertinent to the issue than his anti-Semitic writings is the fact that the music of Wagner and the persona of Wagner became linked with and embedded in Nazi propaganda. Hitler, at least in official pronouncements, spoke of the Wagnerian opus as the best expression of the German soul and in his Table Talk expressed admiration for Wagner. Indeed, the composer became a symbolic and even mythological figure in the Nazi regime, with its racial and genocidal anti-Semitism. Hitler had a special seat at the opera house in Bayreuth, which Wagner built. Recordings of Wagner's opera Rienzi usually opened the Nazi Party conferences.

The case of Wagner is unique. No one objects to hearing the music of Chopin, who disliked Jews and also made anti-Semitic utterances, though they were casual rather than virulent. The piece Carmina Burana by Carl Orff has been played in Israel, though Orff was close to the Nazi Party and obliged the Party by writing new incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream to replace the original music of Felix Mendelssohn, who had been banned as a Jewish composer. More difficult to assess politically was the pragmatic Richard Strauss, who was not a Nazi but who was president of the Reichsmusikkammer (German State Music Chamber), 1933-35, a period during which Jews were prevented from performing, and then president of the Nazi-controlled Permanent Council for the International Cooperation of Composers. The difference between these other composers and Wagner was not only the prominent use made of him in Nazi ideology but also the claim, which may be unfounded, that his music was played in Dachau and in the death camps to accompany the murders...
I can't imagine there'd be much of a market Wagner in Israel, in any case. But it's good to debate censorship. I say let the marketplace sort things out.

More at the link.

New Romney Ad: 'It Ain't Right'

An excellent clip:

The Evolution of the Republican Party Voter

From Michael Barone, at the Wall Street Journal:
The core of the Republican Party throughout its history has been voters who are generally seen by themselves and by others as typical Americans—but who by themselves don't constitute a majority of what has always been an economically, culturally and religiously diverse nation. But, as the electoral data cited above suggest, the nature of that core group has changed over time.

In the 19th century, the Republican core consisted of northern Protestants (and any blacks who were allowed to vote). It was founded as a North-only party, and its first presidential candidate, John C. Fremont in 1856, received no votes in slave states.

So enduring was the trauma of the Civil War that for nearly a century afterward the Republican Party had much the same base, while the Democratic Party's base, sometimes united but sometimes deeply divided, consisted of white Southerners and big-city Catholics. In 1944, Republican presidential candidate Thomas E. Dewey carried the popular vote outside the five boroughs of New York City, Chicago's Cook County and the South (defined as the 11 formerly Confederate states plus West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma). Dewey got only 10% of his popular votes and no electoral votes in the South.

Over the next four decades the biggest partisan shift was among white Southerners, while blacks since 1964 have voted about 90% Democratic. By 1984 and 1988, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were getting about one-third of their popular and electoral votes in the South. In the presidential elections since 1988, Republican nominees have gotten 34% to 39% of their popular votes and 60% to 69% of their electoral votes in the South.

A party that attracts new support from a segment of the electorate tends to repel part of its old coalition. As the 1990s began, political pundits were opining that Republicans had a lock on the Electoral College—just before Bill Clinton, with assistance from Ross Perot, picked the lock and ripped open the door. Democrats won the popular vote in four of the five next presidential elections.

Republicans similarly embarrassed the pundits who said two decades ago that Democrats had a lock on the House of Representatives. Republicans won the most popular votes and most seats in seven of the nine congressional elections beginning in 1994.

As a result, the Republican core going into the 2012 election is no longer northern Protestants but white, married Christians...

Code Pink Women for Peace Take Their Vagina's to Tampa


Really vulgar. Skanky even.

At The Shark Tank, "U.S. Military Presence at Republican Convention, Code Pink Comes Dressed as Pink Vaginas."

PREVIOUSLY: "Respect Women! Dress Up Like a Vagina for Equal Rights!"

Wolf Blitzer in Tampa Bay for the Republican National Convention

Another Howard Kurtz interview with Wolf Blitzer:

Howard Kurtz Interviews Wolf Blitzer

This interview's from just a couple of days ago, from CNN's Situation Room:

CNN's been doing well lately, and not just Wolf. Anderson Cooper questioned Debbie Wasserman Schultz surprisingly hard the other day, and Dana Bash acts like a serious journalist most of the time.

Mitt Romney's Convention Interviews on Fox News Sunday

At The Right Scoop, "FULL INTERVIEWS: Mitt Romney on Fox News Sunday."

And at the Wall Street Journal, "Romney: Obama Wages ‘Campaign of Anger’":

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Barack Obama’s political struggles can be chalked up to the president’s “campaign of anger and divisiveness,” which Mr. Romney said was a sharp contrast to the Obama message of 2008.

“I think his whole campaign has been about dividing the American people,” Mr. Romney said on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace. “I think it’s one of the reasons why his campaign, despite spending massively more than our campaign, that his campaign hasn’t gained the traction that he would have expected. I think people have seen this campaign of character assassination and divisiveness as being very different than the campaign of hope and change that he ran on originally,” Mr. Romney said.

The most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found Mr. Obama leading Mr. Romney 48% to 44%, which was within the margin of error.

In an interview at Mr. Romney’s summer home ahead of the Republican national convention, the candidate touched on several other key topics...
Keep reading.

And the Washington Post's new poll has Romney up 47 to 46 percent, via Michelle Fields on Twitter.

A Dame to Kill For: Jessica Alba Takes Target Practice in Los Angeles

At London's Daily Mail, "Ready to shoot! Jessica Alba gets some target practice at Los Angeles firing range as she trains for new role."

She's starring in the upcoming movie, "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For," a sequel to 2005's "Sin City."

'Midnight Train to Georgia'

Gladys Knight is Mormon, something I learned when working on yesterday's Mitt Romney entry.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mitt Romney: A Charitable Man With a Sense of Faith, Not the Mean, Rapacious Businessman the Democrat-Media-Complex Foists on the American People

A surprisingly good cover story from Maeve Reston, at today's Los Angeles Times, "A Mitt Romney most of America doesn't know":

Mitt Romney
BOSTON — Edward Albertian had been working for only a few weeks at his new job, managing the first two Boston-area Staples stores, when he got an unnerving call from his wife. As Staples staffed up, Albertian had been poaching talent from his old company, and his former boss was piqued.

That morning, a courier had delivered papers to Albertian's wife threatening them with eviction unless they immediately repaid the $250,000 loan from Albertian's former company that they had used to buy their home.

A few days later the couple, with their newborn son and 2-year-old daughter in tow, were invited to Staples' Watertown headquarters and found themselves sitting across from Mitt Romney, whose company, Bain Capital, had invested money in Staples. He had heard about their predicament from the chain's co-founder, Tom Stemberg.

They talked for less than half an hour about the young store manager's goals and his role in the company. Then, "Mitt opened his checkbook and wrote a check for $250,000," Albertian, who is now chief operating officer of the Massachusetts-based Transnational Group, said of the 1987 encounter.

"He said, 'You're going to be great. As soon as you sell the house, then you can pay me back, but I want you to focus on Staples and building this into a great company,'" Albertian said. (Stemberg later assumed the loan, and Albertian paid it back over a number of years).

That was the Mitt Romney known to friends and business associates: a man generous to those in need, whose charitable acts stemmed from a deeply rooted sense of duty to help his neighbors.
While Ms. Reston points out that Team Romney's been careful in rolling out personal stories, especially relating to Romney's Mormonism, the Obama-enabling press has been itching to fill in the details, as unfavorably as possible:
George W. Bush connected with voters by revealing his struggle with alcoholism and his path to redemption through his faith. President Obama shared stories about growing up with a single mother. Romney has forgone those sorts of personal anecdotes; instead, his narrative has focused on others — like his father's path from being a carpenter who sold paint cans from the trunk of his car to becoming the head of American Motors.

For more than a year, Romney relentlessly hammered at President Obama on economic and budgetary matters, only recently switching to attacks centered on welfare. That strategy left largely unspoken by the candidate three of the most important elements of his life: his Mormon faith and related acts of charity; his time at Bain Capital; and his signature achievement as governor of Massachusetts, the state's healthcare plan — all matters deemed politically problematic.

As a result, 10 weeks before the election Romney remains an enigma to many Americans.

Democrats have done their best to fill in the blanks, pairing stories about Bain deals that led to layoffs with Romney's plans to shrink federal programs for the poor or shift them to the states. The result: Some of his closest friends and former colleagues say the portrait of Romney as a cold, calculating businessman bears little resemblance to the man they know.

Romney's advisors have long shrugged off his likability problem, arguing that voters care most about competence and insisting that Obama's middling job approval rating is a far more important number.

But in recent days advisors have signaled an intent to fill in the portrait of Romney. Last Sunday, for the first time, his campaign invited reporters to watch Romney attend church, one of its first formal recognitions of his faith. This week's Republican National Convention looms as their biggest opportunity to flesh Romney out with testimonials from people he has helped throughout his business career and through his church.

While some might see a contradiction between Romney's private acts of generosity and his plans to shrink government programs that help the poor or college students, those close to him say there is none. It stems from his belief in individual responsibility and self-reliance, and the view that every American has a duty to help others either through their community or through their church.

"He believes government has a certain role as far as helping people, or helping provide an infrastructure in areas where you can help create opportunities," Romney advisor Kevin Madden said. But his guiding principle is a belief in "putting our faith in individuals and free markets and free enterprise" rather than "government being the only engine."
Keep reading.

This is an amazing piece, and I'm giving Maeve Reston a major shout out here: good on you, lady, this is the kind of reasonably balanced journalism that should be the standard in campaign coverage.

Ms. Reston gives a number of examples of personal charity, but this story below is particular interesting, on the refugees from Hurrican Katrina who wound up in Massachusetts in 2005:
The Rev. Jeffrey Brown, who heads a faith-based gang intervention group in Roxbury, Mass., and spoke frequently to Romney during his governorship, saw two facets of the man — the executive and the spiritual counselor — come together after Hurricane Katrina when the Massachusetts Legislature provided shelter on Cape Cod for evacuees. Romney wanted members of the black clergy to attend to the arrivals — because he said some would rather talk to pastors than mental health professionals — and asked Brown to lead the effort.

Romney arrived a few days later, telling Brown he wanted to hear the stories directly from the victims, many of whom were from New Orleans' hard-hit Lower 9th Ward.

"He wanted to make sure that their needs were being met," Brown said. "He brought 50 state agencies down there, and everybody's needs were attended to. I'm talking about people who left their houses in such a rush that they forgot their teeth. He had dentists down there to get them their dentures.… He was on it."

But Brown was most surprised watching Romney interact with victims — praying with them, sitting with them on park benches asking about their families, scooping up children and asking for hugs.

"He was pastoral," Brown said. "He was that person with those people."
Not mentioned there is that Rev. Brown is black, and most of those from the Lower 9th Ward are black. Since Mitt Romney has been repeatedly attacked as racist on the basis of his Mormonism (the Mormon Church discriminated against blacks in the ordination of priests until 1978, a point the left has been extremely eager to exploit), the story of the New Orleans refugees should be a particularly powerful comeback to the left's racist cult of personality destruction.

The Boston Globe reported on Rev. Brown at the time, "1,350 miles away, they find a haven." Also, Rev. Brown is quoted at this piece from the Massachusetts GOP, citing another Boston Globe report, "Boston ministers skeptical of Elizabeth Warren."

Yeah, there's a lot about Mitt Romney --- and the Republican Party --- that folks aren't getting from the MSM. Thanks again to Ms. Reston for getting out a decent piece on the eve of the convention.

Recall in 2008 the Pew Research organization reported on the horribly biased media coverage favoring "The One." Doug Ross has that, "Pew Research Center confirms media bias affected race."

RELATED: I would bet this Politico piece is more representative of the media coverage of Romney's campaign, "Romney defends Swiss bank account" (at Memeorandum).

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UPDATE: Blue Crab Boulevard links:
Reading this, one gets a feeling for Mitt Romney completely different from the usual media smears. This man is not at all like the villain the media/left tries to paint him. He sounds like someone who would be a good friend. And a good man.
He is a good man --- and thanks Gaius!

Also linked at An Ex-Con's View. Thanks!

More! Power Line links at the "top picks" widget. Thanks!