DANA MILBANK: With Chuck Hagel’s departure, Obama is turning into George W. Bush. Most of Bush’s flaws, none of his virtues.
Plus: “Obama went on at great length about the ‘class and integrity’ of the ‘great friend’ he was pushing out the door, praising Hagel for everything from drawing down U.S. forces in Afghanistan to working to reduce sexual assaults. Only in passing did Obama mention the war that threatens to dominate the last two years of his presidency.”
Yeah, winning the war is job number one. Obama’s failure here will come to dominate his portrayal in history. The other stuff, not so much.
UPDATE: The New York Times Changes Its Story Deleting The Most Remarkable Thing About Chuck Hagel’s Firing.
Taken as a whole, the original New York Times story paints a pretty damning picture of the White House’s national security policy setting. Mr. Hagel, so long as he was a loyal foot soldier for the President, was okay even if he was on the outside of the White House cool kidz team.
But the moment Hagel spoke up on ISIS, contradicting the White House, it was game over.
In other words, Chuck Hagel was not fired for incompetence. He was fired for telling the truth on ISIS — calling it an “imminent threat to every interest we have,” thereby forcing Barack Obama to deal with a threat he very much would like to ignore.
It’s only made more interesting by the New York Times’s decision to complete delete that bit explaining the motivation for his firing.
Someone from the White House called them, presumably.
HOW DO YOU SPELL SCAPEGOAT? H-A-G-E-L. “So Chuck Hagel has been fired as defense secretary. We were critical of his appointment, and opposed his confirmation by the Senate. But let’s be clear: Hagel has done what he was asked and what was expected of him at the Pentagon. To the degree he has deviated from the Obama White House line, he’s been more right than wrong (e.g., on the threat the Islamic State poses). So why has he been fired? Because the Obama White House needs a scapegoat. President George W, Bush fired Don Rumsfeld in connection with a change in strategy (the surge) and to bring in someone of independent stature. That’s not the case today. President Obama continues to want a Pentagon with weak leadership and little independence. There’s therefore no reason to expect the next two years of Obama foreign and defense policy to be any better than the past two.”
SO WHY ALL THE FERGUSON HOOPLA? Last time the Dems and Sharpton made a big deal of a shooting, it was the Trayvon Martin case, hyped to keep up black turnout for 2012. But now there’s not an election. So why Ferguson, and why now? Polling indicates that most people aren’t all that sympathetic, and protests that tie up Interstates, etc. aren’t going to attract swing voters.
But it’s not about swing voters. It’s about the base. And it’s not about the Democratic Party’s base, but about certain leaders’ base within the Democratic Party. This may be best understood as an intra-party struggle. Obama is the champion of the urban-black wing of the party, and because of him that wing has been on top. But his star is fading, black voters are beginning to realize that they haven’t benefited economically, and the next Dem nominee — whether it’s Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, or Elizabeth Warren — will be from the white gentry-liberal wing of the Democratic Party. The riots, the marches, the traffic-blocking are a way of telling them that the Sharpton wing is still a force to be reckoned with, and to improve its bargaining power between now and 2016. At least, that’s the only way this — not at all spontaneous — street theater makes sense.
CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE: Pentagon Renaming “Illegal Combatants” as “Unprivileged Belligerents.” No, seriously. The Obama Administration seems determined to live up to every right-wing caricature. Hey, maybe those aren’t caricatures after all, then.
In fact, captured terrorists went out of style a long time ago, so that’s not the actual change. Until recently — like, say, two weeks ago — the Department of Defense used the term unlawful combatant as the label for terrorists captured by American military and intelligence forces as a way to distinguish them from uniformed soldiers of a recognized state authority in a straight-up fight. Their new manual dispenses with that term, the Federation of American Scientists noticed today (via Steven Aftergood and Olivier Knox):
DC Police Department Budgets Its Asset Forfeiture Proceeds Years In Advance
Asset forfeiture may be the greatest scam perpetuated on the American people by their government — and it’s all legal. For the most part, assets seized translate directly to monetary or physical gains for the agencies doing the seizing, an act often wholly separated from any American ideals of due process.
The New York Times recently obtained recording of asset forfeiture conferences which showed prosecutors advising cops on how to best exploit these programs to obtain additional funds and goods for their respective law enforcement agencies. In short, it appears that many agencies use asset forfeiture to fill departmental shopping lists, rather than as the criminal syndicate-crippling action it was intended to be.
D.C. police have made plans for millions of dollars in anticipated proceeds from future civil seizures of cash and property, even though federal guidelines say “agencies may not commit” to such spending in advance, documents show.
The city’s proposed budget and financial plan for fiscal 2015 includes about $2.7 million for the District police department’s “special purpose fund” through 2018. The fund covers payments for informants and rewards.
Unthanksgiving: Leftists Have Lost the Ability to Give Thanks
There is an old Chinese legend of a golden scroll on which the secret of human happiness was written; and sages and warlords, merchant-princes and emperors sought the scroll with fervor. When found, they saw the secret of the scroll consisted of one ideogram printed over and over, an ideogram they could not read. However, there was a beggar girl who could read the mysterious word.
If you know that word, then you know the secret of human happiness.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for three reasons: first, it drives the Leftists crazy because it is a clearly and openly Christian holiday in the midst of a society they are fervidly attempting to dechristianize; second, it drives Leftists crazy because it is a holiday based on a historical fact, namely, Indian and Pilgrim cooperation, which flips the middle finger at the Leftist preferred narrative about non-civilized White men committing malign genocide on the non-savage Red men; and finally and most of all, it drives the Leftists crazy because the concept of being thankful, of feeling gratitude, of thanks for benefits never to be repaid, is utterly alien to their way of thinking and their way of life.
One benefit that accrues to the Christian, even if all of history, logic, and revelation should turn out to be false, and God a myth no more real than Global Warming, nonetheless, is that we Christian men feel gratitude toward our Creator for the infinite gift of creation. A noble pagan can indeed receive a gift in his stockings at Christmas, and be grateful to the giver, but a Christian can feel grateful for the legs he puts into his stockings each morning, and the world on which he walks.
The Left does not give thanks, not to anyone, human or divine, past or present, not for any reason.
Teaching Little Girls to Hate Boys, One Barbie at a Time
[From the comments]
I think Mattel really crossed the line a few years ago, when they introduced “Divorced Barbie.” She comes complete with Ken’s house, Ken’s car, Ken’s boat, half of Ken’s income……
Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates
None of the 2016 hopefuls is polling higher than Darth Vader. You’ll recall that Vader chopped off his son’s arm and blew up an entire planet, but evidently in the eyes of the American public these are minor sins compared to Benghazi, Bridgegate and Gov. Rick Perry’s hipster glasses. These numbers suggest that if “Star Wars” were real and Darth Vader decided to enter the 2016 presidential race, he’d be the immediate front-runner.
Meanwhile President Obama is polling just two favorability points below Emperor Palpatine, Lord of the Sith. Make of that what you will.
[From the comments]
In Lord Vader’s defense, we at least know that there is a tiny remnant of goodness left in him. That stands in stark contrast to many of the other candidates.
The key to Obama’s struggle with white working class voters is not ‘white,’ but ‘working.’
Working class white people don’t like President Obama much. According to the latest Gallup poll, only 27% approve of him. That’s 21 percentage points down since he took office in 2009.
A standard talking-point is that these voters don’t like Obama because they’re racist. But that assumes that the key word in “white working class” is “white.” In fact, the key word is “working.” After all, Obama isn’t any blacker than he was in 2009.
ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO IGNORE:
Also no coverage at the New York Times of the arrest of Obama bundler Terry Bean for child rape. It’s like they have an agenda to distort the news for partisan reasons or something.
Shhhhh – Top Obama bundler accused of child rape: Column
Influential gay rights advocate and top Obama donor, Terry Bean, and alleged former boyfriend arrested.
Conservatives complain that President Obama gets a free pass from the media, which acts as a de-facto public-relations shop for the Democrat in the White House. Never has that charge seemed truer than now as an ugly rape scandal unfolds on the West Coast.
On Wednesday, Portland, Ore. police arrested Terrence Patrick Bean, who has been charged with two felony counts of having sex with a minor last year. This man is not just any old guy accused of having sex with a 15-year-old – he’s a big-money Democratic donor and liberal political activist with connections inside the Obama White House. Bean raised more than a half-million dollars for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
If one of President George W. Bush’s bundlers would have been charged with child rape, make no mistake about it, the media feeding frenzy would have been uncontrollable – which would be legitimate given the severity of the allegation. The silence surrounding Terrence Bean exposes the national media’s partisan double standard in obscene detail.
THE PRESS HAS GONE CRAZY OVER A GOP AIDE WHO CHIDED THE OBAMA DAUGHTERS, BUT I’LL BE THEY PAY A LOT LESS ATTENTION TO THIS: Former Democratic congressional aide pleads guilty to sexual assault.
Donny Ray Williams Jr., 37, who served as a staff director for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee, pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse, two misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse and one count of misdemeanor threats.
Prosecutors say that on July 22, 2010, Williams invited a female congressional colleague to his Capitol Hill apartment and promised to introduce her to Senate employees. At the house, prosecutors said, Williams spiked a drink with Ambien. The woman, according to court documents, fell into a “deep sleep,” at which point Williams raped her.
A month later, prosecutors said, Williams invited another woman to his home and gave her alcoholic beverages. They said he had sexual contact with her when she was too intoxicated to give her consent.
Williams had been indicted on 10 counts, but prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining charges. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors said they would seek a suspended prison term and five years of supervised probation. Williams also would have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Will the Washington Post send someone to look into his college records?
Hang on to your hats, America.
And throw away that big, fat styrofoam finger while you’re about it.
There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: We’re no longer No. 1. Today, we’re No. 2. Yes, it’s official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet.
It just happened — and almost nobody noticed.
The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A.
Via Reason, we see that an environmental group carelessly left a document up on the ‘net highlighting their plans to manufacture “science” to ban a pesticide they didn’t like. Of course, they didn’t have any scientific reason to dislike it, hence the ‘manufacture “science”‘ bit:
The Risk-Monger recently came across a strategy document carelessly left on-line by activist scientists that lies at the heart of the founding of the IUCN Taskforce on Systemic Pesticides. The Addendum to this document (see page 3) spells out a rather distasteful anti-neonicotinoid campaign strategy lacking in scientific integrity. The process has been tried and tested before by activists, but their behaviour has never been so clearly articulated in writing. I thought this document should be shared so we know the type of people are standing behind the “science” defending the bees.
How did this story unfold?
– Under the auspices of the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, a group of activists map out a four-year campaign strategy to attack the pesticide industry and seek the banning of neonicotinoids.
– The idea is to collect like-minded researchers, get funding to set up a task-force to attack neonics using the IUCN as a base with WWF (or some other NGO) doing the lobbying.
– Once funding is in place for the campaign organisation, start the research, write a main high-impact report and get a few other articles published (find some big names to use).
– On that basis, organise a broader campaign (with the support of several high-impact PR specialists) to promote their anti-neonic publication.
– Brace for reactions and blowback from other scientists and industry
Sentence first, then the trial. Seems it worked for them:
They were also more successful than they would have ever have imagined, getting neonics banned in the EU 16 months ahead of their strategic plan.