URLs du Jour

2022-05-22

[Shell Game]

  • Just a small reminder… From Michael Goodwin at the NYPost, about: Hillary Clinton's sordid legacy of lies.

    Proving that what’s old is new again, here is how the late William Safire began his New York Times column of Jan. 8, 1996:

    “Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady — a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation — is a congenital liar.

    “Drip by drip, like Whitewater torture, the case is being made that she is compelled to mislead, and to ensnare her subordinates and friends in a web of deceit.”

    Safire detailed a series of situations where Hillary Clinton was caught in obvious lies, and there is a straight line to the Hillary Clinton whose shadow hangs over the Michael Sussmann trial in Washington. Once again, Clinton is being exposed as “compelled to mislead” and ensnaring “her subordinates and friends in a web of deceit.”

    William Safire is sorely missed. Also Michael Kelly.


  • The strident and phony demand to "do something". The NR editors point to the latest example: Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act Is Sheer Politics.

    Anti-terrorism laws are supposed to be law-enforcement tools, not political stratagems. The so-called Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which House Democrats began pushing after the January 6 riot and have now revived in the wake of the Buffalo massacre, is clearly a political stratagem.

    The point of the revived proposal, which House Democrats plan to push to the floor for a vote in coming days, is not to beef up the government’s capacity to investigate and prosecute acts of terrorism committed inside the United States. That would merely be superfluous. Federal and state law-enforcement agencies already have a rich arsenal of authorities that enable suspected terrorists to be monitored and, if they plot or carry out mass murder, to be prosecuted and punished severely.

    Instead, the Democrats’ proposal would actually create indefensible exceptions in terrorism law. It would narrow the scope of terrorist activity that existing statutes can reach — for the blatantly political purpose of labeling white supremacism, alone, as the nation’s urgent domestic security challenge. Toward that end, it would divert investigative resources from other terrorist threats. Democrats would then, we can be sure, demagogue conservative policy preferences — e.g., Second Amendment rights, free expression, opposition to progressive indoctrination in the schools and other institutions — as catalysts of white supremacism that must be monitored by the Justice Department.

    The workhorse/showhorse categorization for Congressional representatives has a long history. But now it seems like they are all showhorses.


  • Speaking of showhorses: Eric Boehm comments on the latest proposal from the Democrat side of the stable: Banning 'Unconscionable Excessive' Gas Prices Is Risky Economic Nonsense.

    Having failed to learn from history, Congress is apparently determined to force Americans to repeat it.

    Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed a bill granting President Joe Biden, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and state attorneys wide-ranging and ill-defined powers to crack down on "unconscionably excessive" gas prices, supposedly in the name of protecting consumers.

    What counts as "unconscionably excessive," you might be wondering? That's in the eye of the beholder apparently, as the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act contains no explanation or definition to limit the new executive powers over prices at the pump. Any seller deemed to be "exploiting the circumstances related to an energy emergency" can be targeted with civil penalties or forced to stop selling gasoline at whatever price the authorities have deemed to be excessive. The text of the bill allows the FTC to determine appropriate "benchmarks" for deciding whether some gas prices might be grossly excessive—a neat little trick that effectively allows the FTC to set prices if it chooses to do so.

    House Democrats voted in favor, 217-4 (NH Reps Pappas and Kuster were ayes); Republicans voted against 0-203.

    Don't worry, though. Republicans will come up with different risky economic nonsense pretty soon.


  • Wading through the cesspool. I don't encourage you to follow this link, but if you'd like to see for yourself how deranged a mass shooter can be, Michael Shermer's substack will get you there: A New Great Replacement.

    On May 14, 2022, a self-described white supremacist named Payton Gendron, donned in body armor, a military-grade helmet, and mistaken lethal ideology, unleashed a torrent of bullets from a modified Bushmaster XM-15 rifle at a Tops Friendly Markets store in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, killing ten and wounding three. Eleven of the victims were African American. “Zip code 14208 in Buffalo has the highest black percentage that is close enough to where I live” he wrote, adding “Top’s Market is an area in zip code 14208 where a high percentage and high density of blacks can be found.”

    The motivation for this bloodbath was Gendron’s belief in blood, literally and metaphorically. Here is his explanation on page 4 of his 180-page screed (“manifesto” is too lofty a descriptor) under the subhead “What do you want?”

    We must ensure the existence of our people and a future for white children.

    If these 14 words have a familiar ring to them it is because it is a copy-and-paste from the screed issued in 2019 by the Christchurch New Zealand mass murderer Brenton Harrison Tarrant (51 dead, dozens more wounded), who himself repeated the 14-word slogan originally coined by the white supremacist David Lane while in federal prison where he was serving a 190-year sentence for his role in the 1984 murder of the Jewish radio talk show host Alan Berg. Here are the original 14 words:

    We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.

    The reach and talismanic symbolism of the 14-word phrase may be seen when the number is rendered, as it sometimes is, as 14/88, with the 8s representing the eighth letter of the alphabet—H—and 88 or HH standing for Heil Hitler.

    It's very bad, with hatred and lies directed at blacks, Jews, Asians, and more.


  • Need a palate cleanser? Charles C. W. Cooke fesses up! A Confession: I Did, Indeed, Mock and Attack Nina Jankowicz and the DHS.

    Taylor Lorenz’s piece on the apparent demise of the Department of Homeland Security’s “disinformation board” prompts me to make a confession. Like many others, I did, indeed, “attack” the Department of Homeland Security, its stupid misinformation board, and its ridiculous nominee, Nina Jankowicz. I mocked it, and her, and I did so without compunction. I suggested that the DHS’s name was a bit “Russian.” I called its proposal a “Ministry of Truth.” And Jankowicz did, as charged, become “a primary target” of my words — which, if I recall correctly, included the claims that she was an “an extremely strange woman,” that “while she is certainly interested in disinformation, her passion is dressing up as Liza Minnelli,” that she had offered up “that pornographic twist on the Harry Potter books for which we’ve all been clamoring,” and that her online canon was “enough to test even the most committed civil libertarian in his opposition to casual waterboarding.” I also suggested that, while at work, she and her colleagues should at least be subject to “24/7 surveillance and closely monitored ankle bracelets.”

    Lorenz proposes that the aim Jankowicz’s critics had in mind was “discrediting and attacking” her and her bosses. This is true of me, certainly. She says that those who wrote about her “began mining Jankowicz’s past social media posts and publishing articles to generate controversy.” I did. She says that if the DHS tries to set up a similar board in the future, the next Jankowicz will be critiqued in the same way. This is true — and you can bet on it staying true going forward. The mockery will continue until the government cuts it out.

    As one who blogged CCWC's article when it was posted, I am equally guilty of being "far-right" and "right wing", in Lorenz's universe. (There are no "conservatives" or "libertarians" in that universe.)