May 09, 2014

Overnight Open Thread (9 May 2014)

I don't know if it is impossible but it is tiring and tedious to argue with progressives.

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MSNBC, The Joke That Just Isn't Funny
— Ace

It's just so... Kossy.

Posted by: Ace at 03:21 PM | Comments (207)
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Clearing the Decks for Hillary: Bill Clinton May... Apologize to Monica Lewinsky?!
— Ace


I did not see this coming. (No really, I did not see this coming.)

The shamelessness of this couple continues to astound me.

Sneed hears rumbles former President Bill Clinton, who lied about his affair with White House intern Monica “That Woman” Lewinsky, may opt to publicly apologize for the abuse Lewinsky claims she’s endured since the sex scandal broke more than 15 years ago.

◆ The rationale? To fend off critics of his wife Hillary who blame her for protecting a powerful husband who is a sexual predator. Hillary Clinton is eyeing a 2016 presidential bid.

Of course. As if you had to explain that. Of course this can only be about political positioning.

From Althouse, filling in at Instapundit.

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Gee, If Only Someone Had Been Talking About Islamism's Extreme Hostility to Women For the Last Few Years
— Ace

I think Hirsi Ali's sin was taking her activism beyond the "Hashtag" stage.

Since the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria last month, the meaning of Boko Haram—the name used by the terrorist group that seized the girls—has become more widely known. The translation from the Hausa language is usually given in English-language media as "Western Education Is Forbidden," though "Non-Muslim Teaching Is Forbidden" might be more accurate.

But little attention has been paid to the group's formal Arabic name: Jam'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-da'wa wal-Jihad. That roughly translates as "The Fellowship of the People of the Tradition for Preaching and Holy War." That's a lot less catchy than Boko Haram but significantly more revealing about the group and its mission. Far from being an aberration among Islamist terror groups, as some observers suggest, Boko Haram in its goals and methods is in fact all too representative.

The kidnapping of the schoolgirls throws into bold relief a central part of what the jihadists are about: the oppression of women. Boko Haram sincerely believes that girls are better off enslaved than educated. The terrorists' mission is no different from that of the Taliban assassin who shot and nearly killed 15-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai—as she rode a school bus home in 2012—because she advocated girls' education. As I know from experience, nothing is more anathema to the jihadists than equal and educated women.

How to explain this phenomenon to baffled Westerners, who these days seem more eager to smear the critics of jihadism as "Islamophobes" than to stand up for women's most basic rights? Where are the Muslim college-student organizations denouncing Boko Haram? Where is the outrage during Friday prayers? These girls' lives deserve more than a Twitter hashtag protest.


It is... time for Western liberals to wake up. If they choose to regard Boko Haram as an aberration, they do so at their peril. The kidnapping of these schoolgirls is not an isolated tragedy; their fate reflects a new wave of jihadism that extends far beyond Nigeria and poses a mortal threat to the rights of women and girls. If my pointing this out offends some people more than the odious acts of Boko Haram, then so be it.

It's an interesting dynamic.

I think the problem can be summed up pretty simply: Progressives would like to believe that the war going on in the world is between Extremist Muslims and, get this, Extremist Christians. That it has nothing to do with Progressives, who are The Only Sane Men in the Room, standing back, laughing at the religious sillyheads as they war with each other.

No matter how many times Islamists vow that they hate "Progressives" more than the godly, if kaffir, Christians, and then match deed to vow, "Progressives" continue spinning themselves this childish fantasy. They'll rouse themselves to notice some awful massacre committed by the Islamist lunatics for a week, and, if really roused, will even retweet a Hashtag Uprising against it; and then the next week, they go back to "condemning both sides," and pretending to be a virtuous Switzerland.

In fact they're cowards and in their cowardice, accomplices to murderers.

Hashtag Activism

For moral preening without all the exertion and bother of moral action.

Posted by: Ace at 01:06 PM | Comments (209)
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"Community" Cancelled & Other TV Stuff
— Ace

NBC had kept the show on the air despite persistent low ratings because its fan base was intensely, nerdishly loyal -- enough to fill Hall H at Comic-Con (which I guess is a big hall, and thus a big deal).

It also helped that Community was one of those shows that no one watched, but a lot of people wrote about. There are, conversely, shows that a great many people watch, but no one writes about, such as NCIS.

NBC kept the show on the air, sort of, sometimes airing it in the winter or spring, and usually putting it up against the hugest show on TV, The Big Bang Theory, which is also, of course, a comedy. (Why they didn't put it up against, say, CSI, to benefit from some counter-programming placement, I don't know.)

In any event, after five seasons, most of which were abbreviated (only 13 or so shows being ordered instead of a more typical 22), they've finally pulled the plug.

I speculated a while ago that if Arrested Development had been on, now, rather than back in 2003, it never would have gone out of production. Fox would have cancelled it, sure, but Netflix, or Amazon, or even Hulu would have begun producing the show.

Community is that type of show, with a loyal (if small) fan base, so we'll see if my speculation has any merit to it.

In other TV news, Fox will begin airing Gotham, a show set in Batman's Gotham City, but Before Batman. The show will follow young-ish cop Jim Gordon and also a 12 year old Bruce Wayne. (Trailer below the fold.)

The creator, who also created Rome and The Mentalist, sings the praises of his own show:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: My assumption has been that the reason this TV show can be done — rights-wise — is because Batman himself is not in it. That way, it doesn’t overlap with any films. Is that correct?

BRUNO HELLER: Certainly from Warner Bros. and DC’s business point of view, that’s why it can be done. For me, if they said, “Do Batman,” I would have said, “No.” I would have not been interested at all. I don’t think Batman works very well on TV — to have people behind masks. Frankly, all those superhero stories I’ve seen, I always love them until they get into the costume. And then it’s, “Oh, okay, they’ve ascended, they’ve stopped becoming humans.” It’s their apotheosis. They go to heaven and they’re Superman. There have been so many great versions of it. This is a version of something else entirely.


I’ve been talking to Geoff Johns at DC for a few years about wanting to do something in the DC canon. I came in to pitch the idea that we’re doing, essentially, and they came to pitch me the same thing. The nut of the idea was: What if young James Gordon was the detective who investigated the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents? And once you make that connection, it opened up a whole world of storytelling that we realized hadn’t really been looked at before, which is the world before Batman — the world of Gotham, young Bruce Wayne, and young James Gordon and the origin stories of the villains.

ABC has renewed Agents of SHIELD despite so-so ratings, but then, the network has reasons besides ratings to keep the show on the dial, as it helps promote all of its parent company's Avengers-related movies.

Incidentally, while Agents of SHIELD began as sub-mediocre show, it got more interesting at season's end, when the HYDRA conspiracy within SHIELD revealed itself, timed, almost to the minute, with the same event happening in the Captain America movie. This is a geek triumph: Comic book continuity applied to comic book tv shows and movies.

Oh, and if you were a fan of "Peggy Carter" in the first Captain America film, and/or found Haley Atwell to be beyond hot, you might be happy to know ABC has now also picked up Agent Carter, about the character's work as a secret agent (alongside Howard Stark) in 1946.

Meanwhile, Marvel is filming not one but four new superhero series for Netfilx: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil.

I think the idea is that they'll also do a mini-series called The Defenders in which these characters team-up, like B-Team Avengers.

By the way I really have no idea who "Jessica Jones" is but spoiler alert she ultimately marries Luke Cage.

Oh, and of course The Flash is coming up on CW. (Video of his origin, which was already shown on the Green Arrow companion series, below.)

I really think this market is oversaturated, or, given the genre, super-saturated. I like superhero stuff, and yet I personally think this is all excessive.

I mean, this is ridiculous. Secondary players (Jim Gordon, Peggy Carter) are now getting their own series.

Fall 2014 will feature three series (3!) centered around people who have merely met superheroes.

Coming soon: Jimmy Olsen, Boy Reporter.


Posted by: Ace at 10:38 AM | Comments (358)
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And Now an Important Announcement From the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Opposition to Common Core Is Right-Wing Extremism and Racism Straight-Up

— Ace

Of course.

They don't actually say "racist," now that I read it more carefully.

It does, however, seem strongly implied.

To the propaganda machine on the right, the Common Core—an effort driven by the states—is actually “Obamacore,” a nefarious federal plot to wrest control of education from local school systems and parents. Instead of the “death panels” of “Obamacare,” the fear is now “government indoctrination camps.”

The disinformation campaign is being driven by the likes of Fox News, the John Birch Society, Tea Party factions, and the Christian Right. National think tanks and advocacy groups associated with the Koch brothers, whose father was a founding Birch member, have taken up the cause.

By raising the specter of “Obamacore,” activists on the radical right hope to gain leverage against their real target—public education itself.

You can read the whole report, if you like, though I can't imagine why. It does acknowledge that there are "legitimate debates" over Common Core, but mostly it tosses together libertarian bloggers, fundamentalist preachers, nutjobs, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Tea Party members, the Koch brothers (obligatory disclaimer: David Koch sits on the Board of the Reason Foundation), and anybody else SPLC doesn't like who criticizes Common Core. And, yes, the John Birch Society, probably because the people on the SPLC's mailing list know who that is and find the group scary. It jogs even their memories, though, just in case: "Chief among the Patriot groups is the John Birch Society (JBS)—the ultra-right organization that once called President Dwight D. Eisenhower a communist agent."


It's anything you want it to be.

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Progressive Bloggers Are More Pro-Obama Than Obama
— Ace

So says this National Journal piece.

When Jay Carney was grilled at length by Jonathan Karl of ABC News over an email outlining administration talking points in the wake of the 2012 Benghazi attack, it was not, by the reckoning of many observers, the White House press secretary's finest hour. Carney was alternately defensive and dismissive, arguably fueling a bonfire he was trying to tamp down.

But Carney needn't have worried. He had plenty of backup.

He had The New Republic's Brian Beutler dismissing Benghazi as "nonsense." He had Slate's David Weigel, along with The Washington Post's Plum Line blog, debunking any claim that the new email was a "smoking gun." Media Matters for America labeled Benghazi a "hoax." Salon wrote that the GOP had a "demented Benghazi disease." Daily Kos featured the headline: "Here's Why the GOP Is Fired Up About Benghazi—and Here's Why They're Wrong." The Huffington Post offered "Three Reasons Why Reviving Benghazi Is Stupid—for the GOP."

It's been a familiar pattern since President Obama took office in 2009: When critics attack, the White House can count on a posse of progressive writers to ride to its rescue. Pick an issue, from the Affordable Care Act to Ukraine to the economy to controversies involving the Internal Revenue Service and Benghazi, and you'll find the same voices again and again, on the Web and on Twitter, giving the president cover while savaging the opposition. And typically doing it with sharper tongues and tighter arguments than the White House itself.

But are they all being honest?

Backing your friends and belittling your enemies is a healthy business model, one rewarded by a torrent of clicks, retweets, "likes," and links. "The incentives are to play ball," says one former liberal blogger, "not to speak truth to power. More clicks. More action. Partisanship drives clicks."

If someone is a progressive I'd expect him to peddle a progressive ideological line most of the time, and I wouldn't consider that dishonest. Wrong, yes, but not dishonest. It does not bother me at all that Dave Weigel, for example, would think Obama is right on all ideological points.

What makes me wonder about him is when he is also effusively pro-Obama (or rather: Effusively anti-any-criticism-of-Obama) about non-ideological points, like whether or not Obama told the truth in the aftermath of Benghazi.

Whether a man has told the truth about an event is a strictly non-ideological matter. He either did, or he did not. There is no theory of politics here that would tend to push an ideologue towards answering the question one way or another.

Someone could honestly always believe in the progressive ideological line, but it's a bit hard to believe that these progressive bloggers also believes that Obama has conducted himself faultlessly as regards every non-ideological grounds.

This is where hackery and herd discipline come into play.

Posted by: Ace at 07:57 AM | Comments (323)
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Mid-Day Open Thread
— andy

Hello, old friend ...


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AoSHQ Podcast: Emptying The Mailbag
— andy

Dave in Texas joins Ace, Gabe, Drew and me to answer some listener questions. I'd advise removing all sharp objects from your immediate reach before pressing "play".

Remember, you've been warned!

Intro/Outro: Pharrell - Happy / Katrina and the Waves - Walking On Sunshine

Questions & comments here: Ask the Blog

Listen: Stitcher | MP3 Download
Subscribe: rss.pngRSS | itunes_modern.pngiTunes

Browse (and even search!) the archives

Follow on Twitter:
AoSHQ Podcast (@AoSHQPodcast)
Ace (@AceofSpadesHQ)
Drew M. (@DrewMTips)
Gabriel Malor (@GabrielMalor)
John E. (@JohnEkdahl)
Andy (@TheH2 and @AndyM1911)

Open thread in the comments.

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Top Headline Comments 5-9-14
— Gabriel Malor


I got nothing for ya, except this movie trailer: more...

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May 08, 2014

Overnight Open Thread (5-8-2014)
— Maetenloch

The 2013 Duranty Awards For Mendacious Journalism Have Been Announced

Based on the lies and dishonesty of Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow correspondent during the 1920s and 1930s who was a apologist for Soviet crimes and helped cover up the holodomor.

The Duranty Prize for 2013:

Second runner-upJohn Judis for his absurdly biased and ignorant reporting on Israel and the Middle East in general in The New Republic. Presentation speech by Ron Radosh.

First runner-up: Candy Crowley of CNN for her unprecedented personal intervention in a presidential debate she was moderating on the subject of Benghazi.  The committee realized this intervention took place 2012, but the committee noted Crowley continued to justify this unconscionably biased intervention throughout 2013.  Presentation speech by Claudia Rosett.

THE DURANTY FOR 2013: David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times for his supposedly thorough unraveling of the Benghazi affair, "A Deadly Mix in Benghazi," which was revealed almost instantly to be a meretricious piece of deception worthy of Walter Duranty himself.  Presentation speech by Roger Kimball.

Along with a new award - The Rather - for lifetime achievement in dishonest reporting.

THE RATHER:  Seymour Hersh for a lifetime of astonishingly dishonest journalism on subjects ranging from the war in Iraq to JFK and Marilyn Monroe. Presentation speech by Roger L. Simon

Judis2 ap_candy_crowley_thg_121017_wg David_Kirkpatrick_Benghazi-620x426

Quote of the Day

There are some geopolitical lessons in history that everyone ought to bear in mind, like "don't get into a land war in Asia," and "Don't invade Russia, period," and one of those ought to be, "Don't invade Ireland. You might actually conquer it and then you have to rule them, and good luck with that."

-- Hognose on the Tommy Gun's first use in combat

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Boko Haram Now Armed With Weapons Gotten From... Post-Invasion Libya
— Ace


From Reuters:

The Bama attack showed [Boko Haram's] substantial firepower, including machine guns, large numbers of rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and pick-up trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns, a sign the weapons flood from the Libyan war that helped rebels seize parts of Mali last year has reached Nigeria, officials say.

From @rdbrewer4 in the sidebar, this piece on Bill Clinton's claim that only poverty, and not Islamism, animated Boko Haram's savagery.

Mr. Clinton not only stated that poverty was the cause, but that specifically, Islam and religion could not be blamed in any way.

“You have to somehow bring economic opportunity to the people who don’t have it,” Clinton stated. He added, “You have all these political problems — and now violence problems — that appear to be rooted in religious differences and all the rhetoric of the Boko Harams and others. But the truth is the poverty rate in the north is three times of what it is in Lagos."

This psychopathy, like many psychopathy, has several causes. The government of Nigeria has long been accused of being, by turns, corrupt, incompetent, and oppressive. And poverty is a sadly enduring incubator of social pathologies.*

But it is beyond absurd to claim that ideas and ideology have nothing to do with it.

The Left forever claims this when it comes to global jihad -- that it is not the Islamist ideology to blame, but rather "root causes" such as poverty or Western Aggression.

That's a strange thing for anyone on the American Left to claim -- because they vigorously attempt to marginalize, delegitimize, and silence any ideas conflicting with their own.

Why? Well, obviously they fear that ideas have power, and that if people believe ideas contrary to the left's ideas, then the nation will change from what it otherwise would have been. It will turn from the America that could be, as Hillary Clinton would say.

For example, if even one alleged Racist is permitted to own a basketball team, why, that would Normalize racism, mainstream it, suggest that racism is permissible and proper.

Thus, we must ruthlessly stamp out of Racism at the ideological roots or else it will surely bloom into flowers of racist action.

And yet when it comes to Islamism, the American Left engages in endless apologism and bizarre claims that the vicious dehumanization of women and non-Islamists as preached by Islamist priests and inculcated into the youngest of children has nothing at all to do with the horrors that ultimately flow from such ideas.

Nothing. Nothing at all.

If it's true, as the left claims in the case of violent global jihadist Islamism, that ideology is not a powerful motivator of human behavior, why does the Left spend its every moment preaching its political ideology in America, and demonizing those who depart from it?

We have to stand united to kick Donald Sterling out of the NBA for a couple of lines he spoke in private to his mistress, but a thousand clerics preaching hate and murder have no impact on behavior whatsoever?

'Tis very strange, the ideologies the Left deems terrifyingly dangerous and those it deals harmless, blameless, and even quaint.

* Of course, in this case, it could well be that the Muslim-held north is poor precisely because its intense xenophobia causes it to reject the wealth-producing culture of the Western boko it so despises.

Posted by: Ace at 01:56 PM | Comments (187)
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Federal Judge Shuts Down Secret "John Doe" Investigations of Scott Walker and Right-Leaning Groups
— Ace

I haven't written about this because honestly I continue not to understand it. I read almost the entire order shutting down the investigation (providing injunctive relief telling the progressive prosecutors from five counties to Shut It Down) and I looked up other writers discussing it but I still don't really understand what the prosecutors were doing.

John Ekdahl brought it up on the podcast a few times, and I didn't understand it then, either.

Well, I understand only the vaguest outline of it:

Prosecutors from five, get this, progressive-leaning counties were conducting a never-ending investigation into groups that just happened to support the union-limiting reforms in Wisconsin, based on a flawed reading (or deliberate misreading?) of campaign finance laws, and furthermore demanded that each target of the probe (and there were many) remain absolutely silent about it.

A judge has shut this anti-democratic, thuggish abuse of conservatives down.

The four-year effort by Democratic prosecutors to criminalize political speech in Wisconsin has hit the wall of the U.S. Constitution. In a ruling that could have consequences nationwide, federal judge Rudolph Randa issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday ending the secret John Doe probe of allies of Governor Scott Walker.

We've been telling you for months about the secret Wisconsin John Doe, which operates like a grand jury and forces targets to remain silent. The targets are right-of-center groups disliked by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, his special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, and the left-leaning state Government Accountability Board that regulates campaign finance...

Prosecutors had justified their dawn raids and harassment in the name of exposing illegal coordination between the Walker campaign and conservative groups. But Judge Randa ruled that the investigation was based on a mistaken reading of campaign-finance law that violated Mr. O'Keefe's First Amendment's rights.

One of the judge's key findings was that the law, supposedly put in place to prevent corruption and the rigging of political contests, cannot be permitted to be used as a club for corruption and the rigging of the political contests.

There's a minor epilogue as Judge Randa's order was technically defective but now he's reissued a correct order.

Update: This 2013 Legal Insurrection post seems to explain some of it.

As I understand it, the main complaint was that prosecutorial resources were being warped for partisan purposes.

As Wisconsin Reporter first revealed, the investigation, launched in early 2012 by the Democrat-led Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office, aims to prove conservatives illegally coordinated activities in the historic recalls of Gov. Scott Walker and Republican state senators, multiple sources say.

One source with knowledge of the investigation has told Wisconsin Reporter the ultimate goal is to bring down Walker, the bane of Wisconsin liberals.

Conservative targets and others close to Wisconsin’s latest politically charged John Doe contend the probe is nothing more than a “taxpayer-funded, opposition-research campaign.”

“This is not a question of what conservatives did wrong. It’s a question of one party in this state using prosecutorial powers to conduct a one-sided investigation into conservatives,” said one source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to his proximity to the probe.

What is striking is that no liberal organizations appear to be targeted in the John Doe, particularly interesting in light of the tens of millions of dollars pumped into Wisconsin’s unprecedented spate of recalls in 2011 and 2012 by union and left-leaning groups.

And it should be noted that these prosecutors were searching for evidence in their probe. One can then wonder why they didn't also think of searching for evidence of illegal coordination among Walker's opponents.

Posted by: Ace at 12:32 PM | Comments (277)
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Representative: Nearly One in Ten Donors to Tea Party Groups Were Audited
— Ace

Stunning, if true.

I don't know if it is true. It seems so hard to believe that anyone would be that brazen.

Despite assurances to the contrary, the IRS didn’t destroy all of the donor lists scooped up in its tea party targeting — and a check of those lists reveals that the tax agency audited 10 percent of those donors, much higher than the audit rate for average Americans, House Republicans revealed Wednesday.


“The committee uncovered new information indicating that after groups provided the information to the IRS, nearly one in 10 donors were subject to audit,” Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., Louisiana Republican and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee’s oversight panel, told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen at a hearing Wednesday.

“The abuse of discretion and audit selection must be identified and stopped,” he said.

Mr. Koskinen didn’t specifically address the accusations during the hearing, and the IRS didn’t respond to a request for comment late Wednesday evening.

Not even a smidgen of corruption.

Posted by: Ace at 11:37 AM | Comments (295)
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Louis Gohmert Grills Comcast Lawyer: Is Comcast Blocking Glenn Beck's Purchase of a Cable Network in Order to Keep Him Off the Air Until After the 2014 Elections?
— Ace

He begins his question by noting Beck was interested in buying Al Gore's failed network, Current. Al Gore preferred a different suitor -- the Al Jazeera network -- but only if Comcast would agree to keep the network in its channel line-up.

Comcast agreed to swap Current for Al Jazeera, and Al Gore was able to get a huge payday (consisting of oil money) for his massive failure.

Beck didn't get that channel, obviously.

Now Beck is attempting to buy another failed network. He would like, as Al Gore and Al Jazeera wanted, for Comcast to keep this network on its channel line-up, just as they agreed to let Al Jazeera move into the old Current swap without any complications.

Representative Gohmert reads an email to Comcast's lawyer, who is on the Hill, I imagine, to argue in favor of Comcast's intended mega-merger with Time Warner, for which they need government blessing.

The email -- apparently written to Beck's people from the network he seeks to inquire -- states that he (representing the network) wants to sell to Beck, but that Comcast will refuse to allow a channel swap because they want to keep Beck off the air and do not want Beck influencing voter opinions.

The ailing network apparently owes Comcast $20 million (I'm guessing for unpaid subscriber fees or whatever, but I don't know). Beck has agreed to pay those fees to Comcast, so Comcast would get the $20 million owed from the deal.

But for some reason Comcast refuses to do the deal. The lawyer claims that the network is not designated by Comcast to be a "news and commentary" network and ergo Comcast is within its rights to refuse to allow the swap.

There are several layers of bullshit here. The first one is that a company controls its own alleged internal policies -- they make their policies, and they routinely approve deviations from stated policy.

The Comcast lawyer is attempting to claim that Comcast's hands are tied here-- we've got this policy, you see.

But that's bullshit -- unless Comcast can show that it has never deviated from some alleged policy of refusing such variances in the past.

I'd like to see this lawyer grilled on this point: Obviously the Current-for-Al-Jazeera swap was not automatic, and required some kind of variance/permission from Comcast, as the sale was predicated on presecuring Comcast's blessing before the actual sale went through.

So if they permitted a variance there, why not here? A company cannot simply claim "This is our policy" when they often vary their own policy. They cannot claim policy binds them when it does no such thing.

They need to explain why they permitted the Current-for-Al-Jazeera swap, but are now claiming "It's our policyyyyy" when Glenn Beck proposes an unnamed-network-for-Blaze swap.

The "it's our policyyyyyy" dodge is generally dishonest, offered just as a Shut Up answer to someone. If Comcast has ever altered its policies to accommodate any other sale-and-swap in the past, it cannot simply claim "it's our policyyyy" now, as if that binds them absolutely.

They need to explain why in one case they enforce the policy and in another case apparently find there's some wiggle room in it.

Comcast, by the way, owns MSNBC and MSNBC's child corporation, the little-watched alleged entertainment venture NBC.

Incidentally: For those who say this is a "business decision" which cannot be further scrutinized: Well, just about everything about a cable company is a government creation, starting with the local government's awarding of cable rights to the company.

When you're essentially a creature of government, which government grants you what is either a true local monopoly (in many cases) or a oligopoly, you're not entirely free to let your political freak flag fly. As a creature of government, you cannot engage in viewpoint-discrimination that the government itself (which creates you) cannot engage in.

Furthermore, of course, Comcast is now on the Hill asking for government latitude in a merger with anti-trust implications.


Posted by: Ace at 10:21 AM | Comments (302)
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Why Did the Press & Political Establishment (But I Repeat Myself) Only Begin Caring about Boko Haram When They Began Kidnapping Girls?
— Ace

Good question.

When they were slaughtering other children -- boys -- our press and political establishment (but I repeat myself) seemed rather not to care.

This focus on Boko Haram from both the media and the government is an unqualified good. The press arguably increased the pressure on global governments to do something about this backwards group of terrorists. But Boko Haram is not a new phenomenon. It was not long ago that some – including this author – were asking why this group’s atrocities were not generating any attention in the press.

On February 25, between 40 and 59 children were killed by the fundamentalist militant group. Early that morning, Boko Haram terrorists attacked a boarding school and shot many of children, aged 11 to 18, while they slept. Some of the students were gunned down as they attempted to flee. Others had their throats slit. In some buildings, Boko Haram militants locked the doors and set the building alight. The occupants were burned alive.

All of the victims were boys. Reports indicated that the young girls the militants encountered were spared. According to the BBC, the militants told the girls to flee, get married, and shun the western education to which they were privy.

Beyond wire reports and a handful of segments on globally-focused outlets like NPR, this atrocity went unremarked upon in the popular news media.

February 25 was not Boko Haram’s first atrocity. By March, more than 1,000 people had been killed in the country’s northeast since the first of the year. Prior to Boko Haram’s shift in tactics, from wholesale slaughter of young men to the kidnapping of young women, the group traveled from village to village where they killed children and razed buildings with near impunity.

I would imagine the answer is fairly simple: The boys and other victims were not in The Victim Class. They were usually Christian -- which is officially an Oppressor Class and not a Victim Class at all. Thus the media and political establishment blesses Boko Haram through silence, as you can't victimize an Oppressor.

To even discuss such a thing upsets the principle paradigm through which all global events are viewed: Victim Class righteous, besieged, and to be defended at every step; Oppressor Class evil, privileged, and to be attacked at every turn.

To confess that someone in the Victim Class might actually commit oppressive barbarism, or that someone in the Oppressor Class might be himself victimized, is to undermine the hideously-stupid Narrative the political elites and the press (but I repeat myself) have constructed to control the masses.

The one wrinkle is that it is girls now who are being victimized, and girls are part of the official Victim Class, and ergo, the Narrative is not offended by noticing the actual facts of the world.

Posted by: Ace at 09:33 AM | Comments (263)
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Hillary Clinton Blocked State Department from Naming Boko Haram as a Terrorist Organization
— Ace

And now she fires out furious Tweets about how awful they are.


At the time, the sentiment that was expressed by the administration was this was a local grievance and therefore not a threat to the United States or its interests,” he said. “They were saying al Qaeda was on the run and our argument was contrary to that. It has metastasized and it is actually in many ways a growing threat and this is a stark example of that.”

Obama had a plan for dealing with Boko Haram. And that plan was, get this, "social justice" and plenty of it.

The Obama administration has been critical of the military approach of the Jonathan government [Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian of the south, is President of Nigeria-- ace]... in dealing with the insurrection in the predominantly Muslim north.

Washington has advocated a wider economic and social-justice agenda to counter the dogmatic Islamists and increase national loyalty among disaffected northern Nigerians. Jonathan has mostly ignored the advice, [Johnnie Carson, who was assistant secretary of state for Africa until last year] and others said.

But that's okay. They'll hit Boko Haram where it really hurts: On social media directed primarily at giving Obama's bored do-nothing followers a new daytime soap opera to follow.

Every retweet is like a gleaming sword for social justice.

So retweet, Obama Soldiers. Retweet like the wind.

Posted by: Ace at 08:12 AM | Comments (571)
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NFL Draft Thread [Y-not]
— Open Blogger

Round 1 of the NFL Draft is on ESPN. Start time is 8 pm Eastern.

Predictions of the draft order abound. Here's one at CBS.

Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina's Defensive End, seems to be the consensus first pick, despite his off-field (and ON-field) antics.

Wildest draft rumor that I heard this morning on Mike & Mike is that Jerruh Jonez is thinking of drafting Manziel. (I gather this rumor may have started with Mike Mayock.)

Seems like as good a reason as any to post this:


Posted by: Open Blogger at 02:45 PM | Comments (799)
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May 10, 2014

Saturday Gardening Thread: Howdy Partner Edition [Y-not and WeirdDave]
— Open Blogger

Owing to the vagaries of a thing we call Life in a place we call Meat Space, today's gardening thread has two topics: "Ain't Got Time" and "Companion Plants." See if you can tell which is which. (I'm not sure I can!)

This thread brought to you by the avocado:


Posted by: Open Blogger at 08:03 AM | Comments (122)
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