May 29, 2013

French Police Arrest Suspect in Weekend Copycat Stabbing Attack
— Ace


He's confessed to the stabbing. He's an Islamic convert, described as a traditionalist or a radical. He was seen praying just before the attack. This prayer -- which I believe was bowing towards Mecca -- was seen on videotape, as the attack occurred in a train station, well surveilled.

So of course the Interior Minister said:

“I cannot talk about radical Islam."


Posted by: Ace at 07:14 AM | Comments (158)
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Everyone Check Under Your Couch Cushions For Loose Change
— JohnE.

Because Newsweek is for sale again.

This is some pro-level BS peddling right here from Tina Brown:

"The simple reason is focus. Newsweek is a powerful brand, but its demands have taken attention and focus away from The Daily Beast," they wrote. "The story that hasn't been told about The Daily Beast is its strength. Deidre Depke and her team have earned the Webby for Best News site for two years running. Our traffic is up significantly yet again this year. And digital ad sales in a very tough environment are up 30% year to date."
Focus. It's all about focus.

It's nice she's being so honest about this decision. It's not like anyone at the company ever said buying Newseek was a gigantic mistake or anything.

"'I wish I hadn't bought Newsweek, it was a mistake," [IAC chief Barry Diller] told Bloomberg TV in late April, adding that he did not have "great expectations” for the digital version.
Oh. Well. Too bad about that. more...

Posted by: JohnE. at 06:36 AM | Comments (210)
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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer: The Only Thing I Care About Is Implementing ObamaCare
— DrewM

This story got a little lost over the holiday weekend but it's worth revisiting because it's still ongoing.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has decided her one and only priority is expanding here state's Medicaid program under ObamaCare and she'll veto all other legislation until lawmakers cave and pass it.

Gov. Jan Brewer sent five bills to the scrap heap Thursday in a pointed gesture intended to prod lawmakers into a deal on the budget and her plan to expand Medicaid.

The five vetoes, follow-through on Brewer’s promise to block legislation until her top priorities move forward, capped a tense day that saw some lawmakers receive threats over their support for the plan to provide health care for more of the state’s poor.

In letters explaining her actions, Brewer revealed a growing impatience with the Legislature, which she noted has been in session for 130days and has only five weeks until the constitutional deadline for a fiscal 2014 budget.

“I warned that I would not sign additional measures into law until we see resolution of the two most pressing issues facing us: adoption of a fiscal 2014 state budget and plan for Medicaid,” Brewer wrote. “It is disappointing I must demonstrate the moratorium was not an idle threat.”

Not surprisingly, there are plenty of Repubicans in the state legislature who support Brewer and ObamaCare.

Cases like this and Marco Rubio's immigration lies during his campaign are why conservatives are wary of giving an inch of maneuvering room to Republican leaders in Congress.

There have simply been too many times when the GOP/conservatives have not only tactically retreated but outright gone over to the liberal side. There's little to no trust for most elected Republicans. And for good reason.

Posted by: DrewM at 04:28 AM | Comments (486)
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Top Headline Comments 5-29-13
— Gabriel Malor

Happy Wednesday.

Forgive me if this has been linked before, I've been out of town. David Freddoso has an interesting column on Speaker Boehner's leadership style, as contrasted with the DeLay-Pelosi strong-arm speakerships.

Rep. Bachmann has an eight-minute video announcing that she won't run for reelection next year. It's somethin'.

WSJ is still asking about the IRS targeting of groups that support Israel, something that has seemed to get lost in the scandal.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:49 AM | Comments (391)
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May 28, 2013

Overnight Open Thread (5-28-2013)
— Maetenloch

A Worthwhile Public Health Initiative

Some people will tell you that if there were but a single loaf of bread in all India it would be divided equally between the Plowdens, the Trevors, the Beadons, and the Rivett-Carnacs. That is only one way of saying that certain families serve India generation after generation, as dolphins follow in line across the open sea.

Let us take a small and obscure case. There has been at least one representative of the Devonshire Chinns in or near Central India since the days of Lieutenant-Fireworker Humphrey Chinn, of the Bombay European Regiment, who assisted at the capture of Seringapatam in 1799. Alfred Ellis Chinn, Humphrey's younger brother, commanded a regiment of Bombay grenadiers from 1804 to 1813, when he saw some mixed fighting; and in 1834 John Chinn of the same family - we will call him John Chinn the First - came to light as a level-headed administrator in time of trouble at a place called Mundesur. He died young, but left his mark on the new country, and the Honourable the Board of Directors of the Honourable the East India Company embodied his virtues in a stately resolution, and paid for the expenses of his tomb among the Satpura hills.

He was succeeded by his son, Lionel Chinn, who left the little old Devonshire home just in time to be severely wounded in the Mutiny. He spent his working life within a hundred and fifty miles of John Chinn's grave, and rose to the command of a regiment of small, wild hill-men, most of whom had known his father. His son John was born in the small thatched-roofed, mud-walled cantonment, which is even to-day eighty miles from the nearest railway, in the heart of a scrubby, tigerish country. Colonel Lionel Chinn served thirty years and retired. In the Canal his steamer passed the outward-bound troop-ship, carrying his son eastward to the family duty.

The Chinns are luckier than most folk, because they know exactly what they must do. A clever Chinn passes for the Bombay Civil Service, and gets away to Central India, where everybody is glad to see him. A dull Chinn enters the Police Department or the Woods and Forest, and sooner or later he, too, appears in Central India, and that is what gave rise to the saying, "Central India is inhabited by Bhils, Mairs, and Chinns, all very much alike." The breed is small-boned, dark, and silent, and the stupidest of them are good shots. John Chinn the Second was rather clever, but as the eldest son he entered the army, according to Chinn tradition. His duty was to abide in his father's regiment for the term of his natural life, though the corps was one which most men would have paid heavily to avoid. They were irregulars, small, dark, and blackish, clothed in rifle-green with black-leather trimmings; and friends called them the "Wuddars," which means a race of low-caste people who dig up rats to eat. But the Wuddars did not resent it. They were the only Wuddars, and their points of pride were these:

Firstly, they had fewer English officers than any native regiment. Secondly, their subalterns were not mounted on parade, as is the general rule, but walked at the head of their men. A man who can hold his own with the Wuddars at their quickstep must be sound in wind and limb. Thirdly, they were the most pukka shikarries (out-and-out hunters) in all India. Fourthly-up to one-hundredthly - they were the Wuddars - Chinn's Irregular Bhil Levies of the old days, but now, henceforward and for ever, the Wuddars.

No Englishman entered their mess except for love or through family usage. The officers talked to their soldiers in a tongue not two hundred white folk in India understood; and the men were their children, all drawn from the Bhils, who are, perhaps, the strangest of the many strange races in India. They were, and at heart are, wild men, furtive, shy, full of untold superstitions. The races whom we call natives of the country found the Bhil in possession of the land when they first broke into that part of the world thousands of years ago. The books call them Pre-Aryan, Aboriginal, Dravidian, and so forth; and, in other words, that is what the Bhils call themselves. When a Rajput chief whose bards can sing his pedigree backwards for twelve hundred years is set on the throne, his investiture is not complete till he has been marked on the forehead with blood from the veins of a Bhil. The Rajputs say the ceremony has no meaning, but the Bhil knows that it is the last, last shadow of his old rights as the long-ago owner of the soil.

Read the rest here.


This is a very special tiger. He is one of fewer than 400-500 wild, critically endangered Sumatran tigers. It was a huge challenge for Steve to photograph one, as those that have escaped poaching and forest clearance are mostly confined to patches of forests or the mountains and are extremely shy. A former tiger hunter, now employed as a park ranger, advised Steve where to set up his camera trap. But the challenge remained to position the remote-control camera and the lights in exactly the right position so the tiger would be lit centre-stage in front of a backdrop of forest habitat. The seemingly unstoppable growth of oil-palm plantations in Sumatra and continuing poaching for body parts for use in traditional Chinese medicine indicate that this subspecies of tiger is destined to become extinct in the wild, as have its Javan and Balinese relatives.


Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:20 PM | Comments (554)
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Jonathan Alter: Then and Now
— JohnE.

Jonathan Alter in 2011:

That was, of course, in reference to his half willful blindness and half liberal hack column declaring Obama "miraculously scandal-free", way back before the media firewall broke on stories that were quite well-known outside this chucklehead's echo bubble.

Jonathan Alter today:

Notice he offers absolutely no evidence to support this claim. He just declares it as fact and disappears to the shattered dreams of his own invented reality about this Chicago crime syndicate that is currently running our country off the rails.

How are they dissimilar? Because I said so, winger.

Stellar job, Jonathan. Maybe you'll be invited to the the next meeting of the Progressive Super Friends in the West Wing. The only costume requirement is kneepads.

Posted by: JohnE. at 04:29 PM | Comments (204)
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Evening Open Thread
— Ace

Mark Steyn writes a great column about the recent Islamic terrorism.

Of course, when I say this, I mean "Mark Steyn writes essentially the same great column about recent Islamic terrorism that he's been writing for twelve years, because not a thing has changed, except the West's capacity for self-delusion has, if anything, grown."

Posted by: Ace at 03:50 PM | Comments (153)
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Washington Post's Expose on Kathryn Ruemmler's Shoes: Sexist, or an Attempt to Humanize Her and Thus Aid Her?
— Ace

"Sexist," some claim.

This is dumb. The fact is, Women Really Like Shoes.

All women? No. But a lot.

And among the number of women who Really Like Shoes is one Kathryn Ruemmler. It is no slur to say Ruemmler likes shoes, because she buys a lot of high-end shoes.

People who buy high-end, fashion-forward shoes want you to notice their shoes.


Do you think "Diamond" David Lee Roth was upset by people noticing his Spandex and Boas?

No, he was not. He was sort of hoping you'd notice.

Would it be wrong to talk up Paul Ryan's interest in bow-hunting? No. Because that's genuinely one of his interests.

So sorry if it's too much of a shock for people to discover that men and women have different sorts of personal interests.

No, the problem here is, as usual, liberal bias. This is another liberal attempt at painting someone as Just Like You and thereby garner sympathy for her.

The question isn't "Did the Washington Post run other shoe-stories about other White House counsels?" That's a stupid question -- as far as we know, no other White House Counsels had multithousand dollar shoe collections.

The question is, "Did the Washington Post celebrate any Republican figures at the center of scandals for their humanizing hobbies and interests?"

During Watergate, did the Washington Post ever run a story headline:

John Mitchell's Passion: Model Rocketry


No they didn't. Because they weren't interested in showing The Other Side of John Mitchell. They only focused on one side, The Villain.

Posted by: Ace at 02:51 PM | Comments (204)
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Obama, Nixon Comparisons Not So Off-Base As Obama's Dwindling Praetorian Guard Would Have You Believe
— Ace

Via Nice Deb, by Revealing Politics, a comparison of Nixon's and Obama's various deflections of their scandals.


Posted by: Ace at 01:21 PM | Comments (181)
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"It's Not About the Nail"
— Ace

Stop trying to fix things.

Posted by: Ace at 01:05 PM | Comments (84)
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"Boob Bait for Bubbas:" The "Conservative" Con on Amnesty
— Ace

The right is being asked to give up something important and large which will change the course of this nation's politics for 40+ years, to our detriment.

And the left?

The left is being asked to provide a fakey figleaf with which conservative politicians can con conservative voters.

They've agreed to do so. Go figure.

Among the many misrepresentations, falsehoods, deceptions, and outright lies told by supporters of the Gang of Eight bill, the biggest involve border security.

Put simply, there is no border security in the bill. It’s a mirage. The bill only requires the DHS secretary to present a plan to secure the border. Meanwhile, the amnesty for 11 million illegal immigrants isn’t merely a plan, it’s a reality.

The bill’s various border-security “triggers” are little more than “boob bait for the bubbas,” providing no guarantees whatsoever that any steps will be taken to secure the border. In fact, the enforcement mechanisms are far weaker than the security requirements in previous immigration bills. The border promises to be an even bigger sieve affter passage of the bill than before.


The bill, after amendments, is now over 1,000 pages long. They could’ve easily reduced it to just a single page with one word: “Amnesty.”

Posted by: Ace at 12:37 PM | Comments (169)
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P.J. O'Rourke: Obama Is Stupid
— Ace

I don't know if I'd say "stupid," if I were interested in being technically accurate.

I'd say "not very intelligent" and certainly not very "intellectually curious."

But we usually say "stupid" in politics when we mean those things. Even when we don't say it, we mean it.

As far as the political lexicon, he's right, Obama's "stupid."

He wonders why people won't call a not-very-intelligent man not very intelligent. Here's his guess:

Maybe we pundits don’t tell President Obama, “You’re stupid,” because we are proudly showing off our sensitivity to the negative stereotypes that hurtful language engenders in a way that we didn’t feel was necessary when we were telling Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush, “You’re stupid,” even though actors, WASPs, and Texans are burdened with their fair share of negative lamebrain stereotypes.

More likely it’s because we pundits prize signs of intelligence. We take every opportunity to display our own signs, and President Obama exhibits the same wordy, wonky, academic intelligence indicators that we do, so we don’t call him stupid.

I've been much taken lately with analysis of people's self-definitions of themselves, and the external Signs they post to advertise those internal self-definitions. Before the long weekend, Allah spotted a dopey writer in the New Yorker all but admitting the only thing that matters to her is the signage, not the reality.

First, quoting Jane Meyer of the New Yorker, giving Obama a pass on drone-strike kills because he shows how anguished he is all about it, thus flattering Meyer's own self-conception as The Sort of Person Who Would Put on Shows of Anguish Over Drone Strikes (While Not Objecting To Them Terribly Much In Reality).

One first impression left by President Obama’s much-anticipated speech re-casting U.S. counterterrorism policy is that of the contrast between Bush’s swagger and Obama’s anguish over the difficult trade-offs that perpetual war poses to a free society. It could scarcely be starker. While Bush frequently seemed to take action without considering the underlying questions, Obama appears somewhat unsure of exactly what actions to take. That is not a bad thing: at least he is asking the right questions. ...

Obama agonized over other limitations, too..... Obama embraced both constitutional and international legal limits, at least in principle, even as he struggled to define them in practice. In fact, his speech was a paean to the theory of “just war,” which requires a balance between means and ends, demanding proportionality whenever the state resorts to the use of force. It’s a sophisticated and nuanced moral theory, on which the law of conflict rests. Obama has openly grappled with the most difficult questions posed by the most serious thinkers in this area…

Note Meyer's more-or-less explicit concession that while Obama talks up a limitations to his power to order assassinations, these limitations exist only "in principle" and Obama "struggles" to actually actuate them into reality. But hey, "it's a sophisticated and nuanced moral theory," and that ought to count!

Finishing up:

Obama’s evident pain over the [drone] program, whose civilian deaths he said would “haunt” him and his command “as long as we live,” seemed a telling change from the secrecy and winking smugness of the past.

Again, Meyer does not seem to care much that Bush's policies are not very different from the one Obama has adopted-- just that Obama puts on shows of Anguish (flattering her Tribe of People Who Pretend to be Anguished About Any Number of Things) and that Bush, on the other hand, didn't "seem" to show Anguish (which, in contrast, flatters the Tribe of People Who Are Sort of Sick of the Tribe of People Who Pretend to be Anguished About Any Number of Things).

I mention all of this because of O'Rourke's mention of the fact that Obama comes from the writerly class (well, Bill Ayers' book put Obama in that class, as far as appearances), and reporters and wordsmiths are themselves flattered when they flatter someone much like themselves.

Recall David Brooks' ruminations on the impeccable crease of Obama's trousers. And note that this is actually a reflexive boast on the part of Brooks himself-- praising Obama for having a terrific crease in his pants is also praising other people who have terrific creases in their pants, and people who can appreciate a jaunty bit of pants-creasing, a group which just happens to include one David Brooks himself.

When I tell you guys I appreciate you for your wit and no-bullshit attitude, think about what I'm really saying: I appreciate your wit and no-bullshit attitude because firstly I appreciate my own.

Thus it really should be no large surprise to find that a soi-disant (self-proclaimed) intellectual, proudly wearing all the Warrior Plumage of that caste but actually lacking all the achievements typically bestowing the right to wear such plumage should be excessively praised by those who themselves wear the signs of the Intellectual without themselves having done much at all to warrant such a display.

As they flatter him, they first flatter themselves.

Consider: more...

Posted by: Ace at 11:41 AM | Comments (307)
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Explosions Rock Landscape as CSX Cargo Train Derails in Baltimore
— Ace

[Update - Andy]: Gigantic animated gif embed replaced with a still image to help page load times:


A gif from a witness' cellphone, via @johnekdahl

The cellphone video that gif is taken from can also be watched, here, but Moderate Content Warning for language including the N-word.

This is a cargo train track. Amtrak trains run on separate lines.

Live coverage of the aftermath from a local station, here.

Posted by: Ace at 10:46 AM | Comments (311)
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What "Grizzly Man" Was Going For When He Tried to Make Friends With a Wild Bear
— Ace

As much as I thought Treadwell was a hippie lunatic for trying to make a bear his special friend, I have to admit: I get it.

Imagine having a bear for a friend. Why, the world would be your oyster, my friends.

See below and tell me I'm wrong.


Posted by: Ace at 10:19 AM | Comments (167)
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House Committee Weighing Perjury Accusation for Holder
— Ace

Well, of course. I should hope so.

Media Matters, naturally, says it wasn't perjury at all. Is this the best defense they have?

Holder’s on-the-record denial of involvement in any prosecution of news organizations for publishing classified information in no way conflicts with any knowledge he may have possessed or action the DOJ may have taken against reporters for soliciting said information.

They're claiming Holder meant he had never been involved in prosecuting someone for disclosing classified material. But soliciting it? Sure, he's been involved in prosecuting someone for that. But you didn't ask about that.

Speaking of Damning Defenses, Bob Shrum writes at Daily Beast (no link) that the IRS "scandal" is no scandal at all.

It's merely massive incompetence reminiscent of Carter, that's all.

He also claims that the scandal is not about the scandal, but only about communications regarding the scandal; and it's just about the "West Wing" serving Obama, not Obama.

For the White House, there is no crime here, there is no scandal, no matter how feverishly, irresponsibly, or demagogically the GOP labors to concoct one. This is not a case of Nixonian indifference to the Constitution, the law, and the president's oath of office. But it does look like a reprise of Cartersque incompetence, increasingly so as we learn more about how the White House staff handled—or mishandled—a crisis they knew was coming.


As anyone who reads my columns knows, I regard Barack Obama as an exceptional president of high achievement....

On the IRS, the course probably will be longer than it had to be. For the White House, the problem here resembles Carter, not Nixon. It isn't about crime; it's about competence. This president didn't do anything wrong. But the West Wing sure didn't do everything right.

Never ascribe to farfetched, convoluted incompetence that which may be more simply explained by conspiracy.

Posted by: Ace at 09:58 AM | Comments (194)
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Big Takeaway: Obama and Holder Hope That You'll Accept Their Offerings of Emotion -- "Outrage," "Remorse" -- In Place of Actual Action and Accountability
— Ace

John Sexton finds the common thread and pulls at it.

President Obama is outraged over the IRS scandal. Attorney General Holder is remorseful over the James Rosen subpoena. Former Secretary of State Clinton is exasperated by Benghazi. Lois Lerner is apologetic for the targeting of Tea Party groups. An unnamed White House adviser is chagrined by his own idiocy.

All of these emotive responses to scandal have in common that they help insulate the person doing the emoting from any real responsibility. Holder feels bad about what he has done but that's it. He's not leaving office.

Secretary Clinton is frustrated that people working for her denied additional security, rewrote talking points and blamed everything on a You Tube video. But "What difference does it make?!" she blurted out during her appearance before Congress. She feels terrible, just don't hold it against her in 2016.

President Obama has been on an emotional jag lately. He was outraged by the IRS targeting of his political opponents is shocked by the subpoena of James Rosen's emails and, (implicitly) by the drone strike that killed a 16 y.o. American citizen on his orders. It's all very shocking and he knew nothing (except when he did) but in those cases he's going to make sure it never happens again.

The idea behind all of these responses is that the person responsible has learned their lesson. Everything in Washington becomes an Aesop's fable the moment it goes wrong. The powerful ham-handedly act out the role of the enlightened pupil and then carry on as if expecting more than a self-inflicted slap on the wrist would be, well, outrageous.

Actually, per that horrible Daily Beast apologetic, it is argued that they will now be "wiser" in the pursuit of their duties due to having received some good life lessons.

Posted by: Ace at 09:02 AM | Comments (257)
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So, Honestly: How Bad Did Arrested Development Disappoint You?
— Ace

At some point maybe I'll write an actual review, but the thing was just so misconceived and badly executed on top of that it would take a lot of words, and I know that you Morons hate words.

There are some bad consequences that flow from this major misfire:

1. As far as Arrested Development itself, the perfect ending of Season 3 is now undone. In its place is now this sprawling mess, with no ending, with an unsolved murder (well, whatever, suspected murder) and the Michael and George Michael now apparently hating each other and alienated.

2. And because Season 4 -- if you can call it that -- was so bad, there will not be a Season 5, nor a movie; so the series now ends, forever, with Season 4, with the family completely disintegrated and even the one unshakable bond in the series -- Michael's and George-Michael's relationship -- now shattered.

3. As appealing as the idea is of Netflix or other alternative content providers picking up old, beloved shows and doing a batch of new episodes, the Arrested Development failure will tend to keep such ventures from happening. No Firefly for you, probably, not after this Hot Mess.

This Daily Beast article discusses some of the reasons for the failure.

Even the liberals are knocking the laugh-free attempts at political edginess, too.

Posted by: Ace at 08:16 AM | Comments (327)
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Interesting Observation
— Ace

From Breitbart's Joel Pollack.

Obama and his supporters refuse to be judged on normal criteria, such as the president's actual record in office. Though he is quick to claim credit on the rare occasion--such as the bin Laden raid--when things go right, President Obama typically adopts a prophetic distance from the office he holds that insulates him from criticism and allows him to attack the very Washington he leads, the very political games he plays.

The heresy of Fox News is not just that it criticizes the Obama administration or that it provides a platform for conservative opinion, but that it rejects the attempt to place Obama beyond politics and accountability. It refuses, in other words, to endorse the idea that Obama inhabits a unique category, beyond the obvious (and, for most governing purposes, meaningless) historic fact that he is the nation's first black president.

Posted by: Ace at 07:28 AM | Comments (205)
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DoJ Went Judge-Shopping for Judge Who Would Approve Secret Warrant?
— Ace

Third time's a charm?

The link is to Gateway Pundit, and he links to Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker. (Lizza is admirably aggressive on these issues and, IMHO, should be white-listed as far as any boycott.)

The new documents show that two judges separately declared that the Justice Department was required to notify Rosen of the search warrant, even if the notification came after a delay. Otherwise: “The subscriber therefore will never know, by being provided a copy of the warrant, for example, that the government secured a warrant and searched the contents of her e-mail account,” Judge John M. Facciola wrote in an opinion rejecting the Obama Administration’s argument.

Machen appealed that decision, and in September, 2010, Royce C. Lamberth, the chief judge in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, granted Machen’s request to overturn the order of the two judges.

Holder's gonna make it all right, thought. As Step One in Making It All Right, he has let it be publicly known that he now feels a "creeping sense of remorse" when reading the search warrant he already read and signed years ago.

This Daily Beast article is incredible, and seems to represent a Crisis Communications firm's response to the scandal. Eric Holder really, really wants you to know he's sorry... even though he didn't do anything wrong.

Here are some representative quotes:

Holder’s Regrets and Repairs

by Daniel Klaidman

How the attorney general feels about his own role in the Fox News case—and how he plans to prevent it from happening again. By Daniel Klaidman.

But for Attorney General Eric Holder, the gravity of the situation didn’t fully sink in until Monday morning when he read the Post’s front-page story, sitting at his kitchen table....

Kitchen table! Why, he's Just Like You!

Holder knew that Justice would be besieged by the twin leak probes; but, according to aides, he was also beginning to feel a creeping sense of personal remorse....

By week’s end, Holder knew he had to be proactive in stemming the criticism and restoring the department’s credibility with the press. He and his advisers began exploring ways to reform the Justice Department’s internal guidelines for investigating leaks to safeguard the media against overly intrusive tactics....

I'll bet. A mafia don just called me and said he was feeling "remorse" and was exploring ways to reform LCN's "internal guidelines" for extortion and theft.

As one of Holder’s advisers put it, the message was: “Look we get it. We understand why this is so controversial, and we’re ready to make changes to find the right balance.”


But sources close to the attorney general says he has been particularly stung by the leak controversy, in large part because his department’s—and his own—actions are at odds with his image of himself as a pragmatic lawyer with liberal instincts and a well-honed sense of balance—not unlike the president he serves. “Look, Eric sees himself fundamentally as a progressive, not some Torquemada out to silence the press,” says a friend who asked not to be identified.


To begin the process of recalibrating that balance, Holder is initiating a dialogue with representatives of major media organizations. Invitations go out today, with the first meeting taking place possibly as early as this week. Holder’s aides say he is encouraging a no-holds-barred conversation with the goal of updating and strengthening DOJ guidelines. But Holder’s own personal soul searching has already begun, with, among other things, the question of why he signed off on an affidavit that in retrospect he believed may have crossed the line.

A Listening Tour. How novel.

I really get it, guys. I feel a growing sense of remorse. I think that something bad may have happened.

Next comes...

As an explanation, if not a justification...

Which is in fact an attempt at a justification, explaining that poor Eric Holder was "besieged" by demands for leak investigations from the CIA 'n stuff.

Then the writer explains that Eric Holder just might be too dedicated to his job.

Holder, his aides say, believes there may also be a cultural factor at the root of his decision. Prosecutors tend to have a somewhat insular mindset, not always able to see clearly beyond the walls of their cases. They are often dogged investigators, trained to vacuum up as much evidence as possible to sustain convictions in courts of law. That sometimes means taking maximum advantage of every law and procedural rule. It also can mean seeing every activity of those in their sights through a more sinister lens than may be justified.


Perhaps the most significant structural flaw in the current system, however...

Oh thank God, The System is to blame. For a moment I was afraid this Crisis Communications Firm's defense of Holder would forget to blame The System instead of its client. that the fox is guarding the henhouse. Prosecutors whose main interest is catching and convicting leakers call the shots on how aggressively to pursue reporters as part of their investigations. That is why, Holder believes, there is ultimately no better solution than passing a media-shield law that would place those decisions in the hands of an independent federal judge. But until then, Holder will be the judge—a little more experienced, and perhaps a little wiser.

Hilarious. It ends on such an optimistic coda -- well, he screwed up, you know, but now he's got all this Wisdom he'll be using to protect us. Lose-Win, but accent on the Win.

I think the article should have stopped much earlier, after this sentence in the fourth paragraph:

DOJ officials, realizing the issue could turn into a press feeding frenzy, went into damage-control mode.

That is really the only news here. All the rest of this, about remorse and "internal reviews" and wisdom, is jut details.

It's all about damage control. And about nothing but that.

Posted by: Ace at 06:13 AM | Comments (288)
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