The Courageous Adam Silver

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Among the many characteristics I find most annoying about liberals is their belief that whatever their stand on a controversy, it is by definition : Courageous.

Take the comically absurd auto-da-fe carried about by  NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the entire media/Obama complex against one rich old guy, LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, for saying something (declared horribly offensive to black people) to his half-black girlfriend who was illegally recording the conversation. As a result Adam Silver has been declared worthy of the Media Medal of Honor which our chief executive will probably bestow on him at a solemn ceremony at the, dare I say it?, White House. Maybe I’m exaggerating the White House ceremony bit, but nowadays I go to bed at night with the firm feeling that They can’t do that, only to awake and find that They did It!

Of course, Silver’s defenestration of Sterling has produced a shit storm of abuse heaped on him by…whom? You wanted to show real courage, Adam? You should have called a press conference and said: What a team owner says in a private conversation (especially one illegally recorded) is none of the NBA’s business, and if the players don’t like it, they can refuse to play and thus not receive their obscenely generous salaries, period (as Barack likes to say).

But just when I think this orgy of self-righteousness could not get worse, I read the following in a story by Matthew Continetti in Commentary Magazine:

“It was real leadership,” consultant Doug Sosnik told Ron Fournier of National Journal, in what has to be my favorite entry in the catalogue of Adam Silver tongue-baths. Sosnik was complimenting the leadership skills of one of his clients; he was cheering Silver for taking his paid advice. And Sosnik was doing this in an interview with his friend Fournier, with whom he (and former Bush adviser Matthew Dowd) co-wrote a book in 2006. The Fournier column, then, is a triple self-advertisement, a free commercial for Sosnik’s business, Sosnik’s book, and Sosnik’s client. Impressive!"

Yes, indeed.

Welcome to the New Age Army

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Among all the questions that need to be answered, but probably never will be given the nature of the Obama administration and its media groupies, is whether or not the Army properly screens its volunteer wannabe soldiers.

Call me out-of-it but shouldn’t the home schooling, the hippy-dippy parents (again with the pony tail), the interest in Eastern religions (not to mention the ballet lessons) have raised a few red flags at Bergdahl’s local Army recruiting office?  Does the Army understand that not everyone is cut out to be a soldier?

What I fear is that to Obama and to those who run the New Age army in a way that satisfies the feminist, gay, LGBT and multiculti industries, a “sensitive soul” like Bergdahl was (and is) just the kind of guy they were looking for.

It’s Over!

The other night, I watched about 15 minutes of a tribute to the great comedian Don Rickles. I turned it off when Rickles came out using a walker and with a frightened, bewildered look in his eyes. This was definitely not the Don Rickles I remember, but I give him credit for having the guts to appear on television in such an alarming state of decrepitude.

No, it wasn’t Rickles that I found so annoying. Rather, it was the many preening “celebrities” the camera kept dwelling on. Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese were present which was tolerable because they actually knew and worked with Rickles, but unless I missed the connection, what the f–k does Johnny Depp have to do with Don Rickles?

 It was kind of like those usually absurd “American Masters” documentaries where someone like Billy Crystal is called upon to hold forth on anyone  from Mark Twain to  Pete Seeger. It’s like the “clergyperson” who’s paid to eulogize a person he or she never met.  Embarrassing.

Just as irritating was the constant cutting away to “celebrities” (none of whom I recognized, but then I’m an out of touch old fart), who were all young and good looking, the sole purpose of which, obviously, was to provide eye candy to the viewers. All of these twenty-somethings looked just as bewildered as Rickles, like who the hell are they talking about up there  and why am I here?

Here’s the bottom line:  Don Rickles is an old guy from another era, so why not have more people in the audience who actually enjoyed Rickles in his prime or even know who he is?

Which leads me to a recent Rolling Stones concert in London that was shown on HBO. Like with the Rickles show, the camera kept going to the audience which seemed to be comprised entirely of sexy 20 year olds with their boobs hanging out. Now I love 20 year old boobs as much as the next guy, but do you (HBO and the Stones) really want me to believe that people that young are really your most ardent fans? Where’s the pot-bellied old bald guy (with the requisite pony tail) who actually comes to your concerts and listens to your songs?

As Don Rickles would say:  Mick, just between me and you: It’s over!Image

 

Deniers?

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Is there anyone out there, particularly Jews, who has taken offense over Barack Obama’s use of the word “deniers” to attack those who are skeptical about global warming, er excuse me, climate change?

The word deniers has, in recent memory, been used to describe those who reject the historical fact of the murder of 6 million Jews in what we now call The Holocaust. To use the word deniers to refer to what is at best plausible but still speculative opinion of what might happen in the future or even what might be happening now in some places is, I would think, obscene.

So in this age where you can hardly say a word without the Thought Police descending on you, how come Obama gets to implicitly compare people not convinced of man-made “climate change” to those who say the worst crime in human history never happened?

On a Beautiful Day in May

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As I was saying…Since I wrote here last, we had a wind and ice storm (in February) which knocked out power for five days (longer in other neighborhoods). After about the third day, without electricity inside and freezing temperatures outside, I decided to call my local “commissioner,” a woman named Cheryl Gelber. Her attitude was basically: Who the eff are you and what do you want me to do about it”? So I then wrote my Pennsylvania state senator, one Daylin Leach the Fifth (I made up the last part of his name, I think), and he gave me the same song and dance and in addition, he didn’t like my “tone.”

Goodness gracious, we’re without electricity and heat for about five days and it’s in the single digits out there and Sir Daylin doesn’t like my “tone.” He even noted that his family was without power for two days. I emphasize the word family because I took it to mean that he was toiling in the feverish swamps of Harrisburg where at least the lights were on.

Just to be bi-partisan (Cheryl and Daylin are card carrying Democrats), I also wrote to the Republican governor of Pennsylvania and next morning got a call from one of his mouthpieces who joined the Gelber-Leach chorus, ie, what the eff do you want me to do about it?

Just a thought:  I would have thunk that the prime requirement for going into politics is a very thick skin. But these “folks,” as our Dear Leader likes to say, are extremely touchy. I mean, I didn’t expect them to get up on the pole and get my power back on;  all I wanted was a little Clintonian I feel your pain jazz. Nup, they couldn’t fake a little sincerity even.

So fast forward a couple of months. The lights are on, the flowers are starting to bloom, and I am out for a constitutional, as they used to say. I run into a local neighborhood activist (Democrat) who is very close to both Daylin and Cheryl. So I mention my experience with her putatively public servant friends.  She immediately bristles and calls the ice storm and the power outage “an act of God.” Being me, I couldn’t help myself from pointing out to her that when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans (which I believe is below sea level and is a bullseye in one of the country’s hurricane alleys), I didn’t remember any liberals calling it an act of God. I guess I really meant: If our neighborhood was run by people of the opposite party, she would not be calling it an act of God.

I forgot to mention that I had circulated my email exchange with the politicians among some of the non-politicians in the neighborhood.  Rosa Serota, the aforementioned neighborhood activist, asserted that many in the neighborhood were outraged over my “tone” and took it upon themselves “to apologize” to Cheryl for me. I never knew how you apologize for someone else but whatever….

Fast forward to Memorial Day.  I am at the annual Memorial Day block party, which I have attended for, perhaps, decades. I’m enjoying a beer and a chicken wing when a neighbor nudges me and points to a woman across the street whom I had never seen in attendance at past block parties. (My wife even went up to the woman and said: Who are you?)  Well, you probably guessed already – It was none other than Cheryl Gelber.

I looked around. The flowers were in bloom, the weather was fair, temperature in the 70’s. And if I had been inside, I would have noticed that the lights were on. And on a beautiful day in late May, our “alderwoman” was mingling with the masses.

Just perfect.

 

 

 

Peace In Our Time

Neville Chamberlain waving his agreement with Hitler

Neville Chamberlain waving his agreement with Hitler


New York Times Obama groupie Maureen Dowd believes the President has a “superbrain” which produces “amazing insights,” and she predicts that his post-presidential memoir will be ” the most brilliant political memoir outside of Ulysses Grant.” Memo to Modo: Why rank Obama’s as yet unwritten White House masterpiece below that of the Dead White Male Grant?

The real question is not whether he has a super or less-than-super brain, but whether he possesses the knowledge you’d normally expect of an expensively educated (Columbia and Harvard Law School) public figure.

A few have reported on a phrase contained in Obama’s inaugural address that any reasonably knowledgeable person, let alone one with a super brain, would have avoided like the plague:

…America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe. And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad. For no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice.

Not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time [my emphasis] requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes; tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice…

Who made the phrase “peace in our time” infamous?: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who on returning from Munich in 1938 where he had negotiated with Hitler the so-called Munich Agreement which gave Germany the Sudetenland in return for Hitler’s pledge to stop threatening to invade Germany’s neighbors, waved a piece of paper and said, “I have returned from Germany with peace in our time.” Less than a year later, Germany invaded Poland and World War II began. Chamberlain’s policy was (approvingly back then) called “appeasement.” And for most of my lifetime Chamberlain, the Munich Agreement and appeasement were considered hard lessons of history, warnings that must be heeded in order to avoid catastrophic future wars.

Nowadays, some consider Obama’s foreign policy of “engagement” to be nothing more than appeasement by another name. But few believe that Obama and his speech writers purposely used the rhetorical embodiment of pre-World War II appeasement. No, it seems clear that neither the speech writers nor the super brain himself understood the ironic meaning of “peace in our time.”

Now if George Bush had said that…

Colin Powell: Political Hack and Hypocrite

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One thing you have to say about Colin Powell: He’s an extremely “impressive” public figure. Handsome, magnetic, and glib (not to mention “eloquent” – a quality attributed most often nowadays to his fellow African American Barack Obama), he’s the guy they go to when the Obama administration wants to anoint someone whose character has been questioned; if he’s good enough for the General… As Joe Biden might say about Colin Powell as he actually did say about his now boss, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” Come to think of it: Wasn’t Powell the first “mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy”? Joe must have forgotten.

I bring this up in reference to Powell’s very impressive and articulate, if not eloquent, performance on last Sunday’s Meet the Press. I used to be one of those folks, like, say, Meet the Press host David Gregory, who found Powell’s magnetism (and presumed military-based reputation for honor and integrity) irresistible. That is, until the Joe Wilson-Valerie Plame scandal in which George Bush was brow-beaten by the media and the Democrats to appoint a “special counsel” (Patrick Fitzgerald) to investigate who leaked Plame’s CIA employment to journalist Robert Novak. (No such brow beating has occurred as a result of the Benghazi attack in which 4 Americans died, but I digress.)

Although leaking Plame’s CIA employment was not a crime, Fitzgerald pretended he did not know the identity of the leaker, Powell sidekick Richard Armitage, despite the fact that he was told it was Armitage from the get-go. Eventually he found a politically acceptable scapegoat named “Scooter” Libby who worked for the arch-villain Dick Cheney. Fitzgerald was, not suprisingly, able to convince a jury of 12 Washington, D.C. Democrats that Libby was guilty of a crime for contradicting the contradictory testimony of the late Democratic TV “personality” Tim Russert.

What’s Colin Powell have to do with this? Powell knew that Armitage was the leaker from the beginning but refused to prevent the ruin of Scooter Libby’s life by revealing the truth. Powell’s excuse was that Fitzgerald had ordered him to remain silent while Fitzgerald looked for someone politically acceptable to take the fall.

My conclusion: If Colin Powell were really a man of honor and integrity, as he obviously expects everyone to believe, he would have told Patrick Fitzgerald to go fuck himself and brought the witch hunt to an abrupt end. Is it a crime to disobey a “special counsel”? And more importantly, would Fitzgerald have had the guts to even contemplate prosecuting the great African American war hero Colin Powell?

But despite my current estimation of Powell as just another political hack, I must say I found myself falling under his spell during his Meet the Press appearance, that is, until he started in about “a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the [Republican] party,” after having excused Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel’s remarks about the “Jewish lobby” and how he wasn’t when he was in the Senate an “Israeli senator.”

Wall Street Journal columnist Brett Stephens describes it well by quoting and commenting on Powell’s remarks:

…”There’s also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. What do I mean by that? I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see a former governor [Alaska's Sarah Palin] say that the president is shuckin’ and jivin,’ that’s a racial-era slave term. When I see another former governor [New Hampshire's John Sununu] say after the president’s first debate when he didn’t do well, he said he was lazy. Now it may not mean anything to most Americans but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there’s a third word that goes along with it.”

So let’s get this straight. Mr. Powell holds it “disgraceful” to allege anti-Semitism of politicians who invidiously use the phrase “the Jewish lobby.” But he has no qualms about accusing Mr. Sununu—along whose side he worked during the George H.W. Bush administration—of all-but whispering the infamous N-word when he called Mr. Obama’s first debate performance “lazy.”

It’s hard to decide whether Mr. Powell is using a double standard hypocritically or inadvertently. I’ll assume the latter, since he seems to have missed the reason why Mr. Hagel’s nomination to be secretary of defense has run into so much opposition.

Consider the following hypothetical sentence: “The African-American lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.” Would this pass Mr. Powell’s smell test?

Or this: “I’m a United States senator, not a Kenyan senator.” Such a statement would be considered as so weird and unwonted that no amount of spinning (let’s say it was uttered in the context of a discussion of U.S. policy toward Africa) would have saved the person making it from immediate disqualification.

Now maybe someone can explain how that’s materially different from Mr. Hagel’s suggestion that “The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here” and “I’m a United States senator, not an Israeli senator.”

One of the arguments I’ve come across recently is that there’s nothing unwarranted about using the word “intimidate” and that it’s something all lobbies do. Remarkably, however, a Google search yields zero results for the phrases “the farm lobby intimidates,” “the African-American lobby intimidates,” or “the Hispanic lobby intimidates.” Only the Jewish lobby does that, apparently…

Earlier in his column, Stephens notes that Powell may have questioned, Hagel-style, the loyalty of Jewish political appointees:

…according to Bob Woodward, Mr. Powell accused Douglas Feith, one of the highest-ranking Jewish officials in the Bush administration and the son of a Holocaust survivor, of running a “Gestapo office” out of the Pentagon. Mr. Powell later apologized personally to Mr. Feith for what he acknowledged was a “despicable characterization.”

Or the time when, according to George Packer in his book “The Assassins’ Gate,” Mr. Powell leveled another ugly charge at Mr. Feith, this time in his final Oval Office meeting with George W. Bush. “The Defense Department had too much power in shaping foreign policy, [Powell] argued, and when Bush asked for an example, Powell offered not Rumsfeld, the secretary who had mastered him bureaucratically, not Wolfowitz, the point man on Iraq, but the department’s number three official, Douglas Feith, whom Powell called a card-carrying member of the Likud Party.”…

And he concludes:

…In the meantime, maybe Mr. Powell could show that he’s as sensitive to the whiff of anti-Semitism as he is to the whiff of racism. If George Packer’s description of Mr. Powell’s last meeting with President Bush is inaccurate, he should publicly disavow it. If it’s accurate, he should publicly apologize for it. Nobody questions where Mr. Powell’s loyalties lie. If he has called the loyalties of other patriotic American public servants into question, that would be, to use his word, disgraceful.

An Armed Camp: The White House

US President Barack Obama departs by Marine One helicopter at the South Lawn of the White House
I watched a couple of the Sunday talk shows which were almost exclusively devoted to the tarring and feathering of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Among liberals, apparently, the NRA is even more contemptible than Al Qaeda and spokesman Wayne Lapierre even more odious than, say, Jerry Sandusky or Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attack. After all KSM gets a few points for not being your typical white guy, the group from which, according to liberals, all evil springs.

Unlike al Qaeda, the NRA is the organizational embodiment of angry white maleness as Maureen Dowd might put it.

The two Grand Inquisitors yesterday were Meet the Press’s David Gregory and Face the Nation’s Bob Schieffer. The latter seemed to be having a stroke during his interrogation of NRA president David Keene. His blood-shot eyes welled up and his hands trembled. Both Gregory and Schieffer could not contain their palpable contempt for the NRA and its leaders.

Contempt aside, I did learn two new things from the interrogations: The National Education Association rejects the idea of armed security guards in schools (turning schools into “armed camps”) and the Washington studios of NBC does not have an armed security detail.

As to the first assertion, I doubt that any five year old would be traumatized by the presence of an armed security guard (or even two) at their school. And I must say that I do not believe that the NBC studios are “gun-free zones.”

What I suspect is that David Gregory urged the armed guys (and gals) at the front desk to take a coffee break when NRA vice president Lapierre entered the building. I know my suspicions relegate me to the netherworld occupied by conspiracy minded birthers and truthers, but given that NBC News’s on air personalities are among the most annoying people in the national media, I cannot believe that they would not demand and be provided with armed security.

There must be millions of sane, law abiding citizens who cannot help but lose it at the sight and sound of, for example, Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow. Even Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell have been known to cause seizures in otherwise healthy adults.

I happened to be in Washington D.C. earlier in the day yesterday. Upon entering the front door of the National Gallery, the first persons I encountered were large, polite security guards who demanded to inspect bags while armed with what looked to me like semi-automatic pistols (I didn’t ask about the “capacity” of their ammunition magazines). They were stationed there presumably to protect the many masterpieces and art fans therein. And I encountered another armed guard at a smaller art gallery with few if any “priceless” masterpieces and a small number of patrons. I am sure that none of the Obama voters enjoying the art were the least bit offended by the presence of burly guards packing heat; in fact, they may have even, like me, been more than happy that the armed guards were there.

Speaking of armed camps, I then strolled over to the White House where there were more guards than tourists. One fellow caught my eye, for he was strolling the White House lawn behind the gates dressed in a full swat team outfit, and he was conspicuously brandishing a genuine “assault rifle,” that is, a fully automatic weapon which can be legally possessed only by military and police personnel.

The prominent display of deadly force was clearly meant to deter any “bad guy or guys” from even thinking about committing a violent act anywhere near the president’s home and office. And the Obamas were at that moment enjoying the beaches of Hawaii thousands of miles away…surrounded by lots of armed security folks, I presume.

But back to the talk shows. The question on every liberal’s lips was: Why would any sane, law abiding person want or need an “assault rifle” with large capacity ammo clips? The answer is quite simple: to protect yourself (and possibly others) from an insane criminal coming at you with just such a weapon.

Playing The Dog Whistle

Thus Spake Obama
Did you see Obama’s news conference yesterday? If not, you missed an extraordinary performance – Obama doing what he does best: imputing malevolent motives to those who disagree with him.

The ostensible purpose of the “presser” was to announce the appointment of Crazy Joe Biden to lead a commission that will quickly, we are told, get to the bottom of the Connecticut atrocity. (An unstated purpose was to deflect attention from the just released internal State Department report on the Benghazi fiasco which predictably found that “mistakes were made,” but not made by any identifiable human beings named Barack or Hillary.)

After Crazy Joe left the stage, Obama took questions which revealed the real purpose of the news conference – to flay the Republicans for not completely surrendering to his demands for higher taxes and more spending in return for vague promises to “cut” spending at some far, distant point in the way, way-off future when everyone now alive will be long dead.

But the jaw-dropping part was when Reverend Obama drew a moral equivalence between the Republicans’ oh-so-slight resistance to his fiscal cliff demands and the Sandy Hook shootings:

After what we’ve gone through over the past several months, a devastating hurricane and now one of the worse tragedies in our memory, the country deserves folks to be willing to compromise for the greater good…

Am I going too far in thinking that before this is over, Obama and the whack jobs at MSNBC will be accusing the Republicans of complicity in the murder of women and children in Connecticut? It isn’t like he hasn’t gone there before; remember Mitt Romney, the murderer of the laid off steel worker’s wife?

Memo to David Axelrod: The murderer lived in a million plus dollar house which means his family is a part of the upper 2% who have not as yet paid their fair share. And doesn’t his father have a big job at General Electric? Bad luck there since the CEO of GE is a big Obama supporter and chairman of the president’s outside panel of economic advisers. And wasn’t there some controversy over GE’s failure to pay their fair share? Never mind.

Bottom line: Forget the GE part and go with the “if the rich paid more taxes, they wouldn’t have the disposable income to spend on such frippery as assault rifles” angle.

But I digress. In addition to the invocation of mass murder in the context of the fiscal cliff debate, Obama also, to my ear, played the race card yesterday, or as the wacky MSNBC guys and gals would say, “blew the dog whistle” by suggesting
that GOP legislators are having less difficulty saying “yes” to his fiscal cliff plan than saying “yes” to him.

So it’s not his plan to continue to tax and spend even more than we do now that bothers the Republicans. No, Obama vigorously implies, it’s that these white racists cannot abide caving in to a black man.

So there you have it: The Republicans, by refusing to abjectly surrender to Obama’s tax and spending demands are, for now at least, insensitive to the Newtown victims and all decent Americans who mourn their loss. And they’re racists to boot.

For Obama, it’s all in a good day’s work.

The Grand Besmircher


Yesterday, Obama urged critics of UN ambassador Susan Rice’s misleading Benghazi “full Ginsburg” on the Sunday talk shows to leave her alone and dared them to “go after” him instead.

Is there any button this guy won’t push? How thrilling to watch Big Brother Barry defend the honor of a distressed damsel (and she’s black too!).

All demagoguery aside, I agree with Obama: They should go after him, and the reporters might have immediately obliged by asking him why he sent Doctor Rice on all five Sunday talk shows to spin misleading talking points when, as Obama claimed yesterday, Rice “had nothing to do with Benghazi.” And if I were Rice, I would be asking him the same thing.

John McCain and Lindsay Graham have been assigned the role of White Republican Bullies in this melodrama, but as I recall, they were only responding to questions about whether Rice could be confirmed as a possible Secretary of State after her full Ginsburg. If her reputation has been “besmirched,” as Obama correctly claims, the grand besmircher is Obama.

You might remember that Colin Powell dutifully appeared before the UN Security Council to make the case for the presence of WMD in Iraq, and when no WMD were found after the war, his reputation took a bit of a hit, which I am sure still infuriates Powell and is probably the reason for his inexcusable behavior in the Scooter Libby case and his later endorsement of Obama. But at least the Bush administration believed there were such weapons in Iraq as did the CIA and every significant intelligence agency in the world, the loony claims of WMD truthers notwithstanding.

To send Rice out to blanket the airwaves with what were at best sketchy talking points and at worst bold faced lies was a reckless, risky maneuver almost guaranteed to injure if not destroy her credibility and harm her career.

So by all means, the politicians and press should “go after” Obama, just like the media went after Bush.

But I am not holding my breath.

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