Wednesday, May 28, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Steve Bainbridge notes a possible explanation for the insanity that is Michelle Malkin, and it is something that has occurred to me as well, and was even something I almost commented upon this morning, i.e., that it is all an act meant to generate revenue:

Malkin and Johnson seem to have internalized what I call the “Ann Coulter Business Model.” It’s a familiar concept, based on a couple of simple propositions. First, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Second, as the sage Charles Barley observed, the meek may inherit the earth, but they don’t get the ball. To stand out from a crowd, you’ve got to be provocative. You’ve got to make your friends—and, almost as important, if not more so, your enemies—keep tuning in to see what you’re going to say next.


In sum, there’s a method to the madness.

Indeed. I suspect that he is correct.

One thing is for sure: if one wishes to succeed in the blogging business, one sure way is to be sure to be as ideological and shrill as possible.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Well, now that I have been altered to Rachael Ray’s terror chic, I see via Debbie Schlussel that things are more insidious than I feared.

First, John McCain’s daughter is, likewise, a terrorist sympathizer (note, the scarf!):

Schlussel specifically equates the image above with the following:

Well, keeping that in mind, consider the horror that is:

And, my, but they get them young these days:

The only conclusion that I can draw is that the terrorists are everywhere, and western civilization as we know it is over. Maybe, if we’re lucky, the Mexican reconquista will come to pass to liberate us from our Jihadi masters.

We are all doomed.

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By Steven L. Taylor

There is a Monty Python bit (and it may have been an album-only1 one), in which a fellow is ranting on about communists everywhere. He can’t take a bath without six or seven communists jumping in with him and Koysgin was in the kitchen eating his wife’s jam. Brehznev may have been in their with him as well, I can’t recall and I cannot find a transcript of the thing online (curse you Google!). I do distinctly recall, however, that there were communists peeping out his wife’s blouse at him.

At any rate, I think of this bit practically every time I have an encounter with the paranoid rantings of Michelle Malkin. Examples include seeing capitulation to terrorists by the UN because they used Legos in a poster. Then she sees the Reconquista because the Texas Rangers wore “Los Rangers” jerseys on Cinco de Mayo a few years ago.2

Now she is seeing terrorist capitulation because Rachael Ray wore a black and white scarf in a Dunkin’ Donuts ad. No, seriously. Malkin doesn’t see a black and white scarf, she sees “hate couture” and “jihadi chic.” Today she writes:

Anti-American fashion designers abroad and at home have mainstreamed and adapted the scarves as generic pro-Palestinian jihad or anti-war statements. Yet many folks out there remain completely oblivious to the apparel’s violent symbolism and anti-Israel overtones.

Or, just as a flagpole is often just a flagpole, so, too, is a black and white scarf just a black and white scarf.

Charles Johnson (amongst others) was all over the story as well. The title of his post on the subject was “Mainstreaming Terrorism to Sell Donuts.”3

By the way, here’s the scarf:

Which was supposedly a mirror image of this:

As James Joyner noted this morning:

The terrorists have won. Or maybe we’ve just gone collectively insane.

Perhaps not all of us, but clearly some of us.

I noted the story the other day over at Arms and Influence, but never got around to commenting on it, but then today I see that Malkin isn’t the only one seeing terrorists jumping in the bathtubs and peeping out of blouses, because Dunkin’ Donuts pulled the ad. Via the BoGlo:

Said the suits in a statement: ‘‘In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected by her stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the commercial.’’

Really, the paranoia here is remarkable.

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  1. For the youngsters in the audience, album were big black rounds things with holes in the middle that one played on an odd device that spun in circles []
  2. Good thing she missed the Spurs-Suns game this year when the Spurs wore “Los Spurs” jerseys! []
  3. Update:: Yet another example, is Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugs, who called Ray a “Jihad Tool” and writes “Have you seen Rachel Ray wearing the icon of Yasser Arfatbastard and the bloody Islamic jihad. This is part of the cultural jihad.” Utterly amazing. []
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC: Police killed in Mexico drug raid

Seven policemen have been killed and four injured in Mexico’s latest incident of drug-related violence.


Nearly 1,400 people have died this year across Mexico as the country’s drug cartels fight among themselves and government forces.

That figure includes 450 police officers and other government officials.

And why all the deaths? There are at least $20 billion reasons (the approximate profits for Mexican cartels per annum these days).

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By Steven L. Taylor

Hillary Clinton’s only road to the nomination includes getting a rather improbable number of superdelegates to vote her way and all the delegates in Florida and Michigan to be seated. The former is rather unlikely (to put it mildly) and the latter just got even less likely than it already was (via the AP): Dem lawyers: Fla., Mich. can’t be fully restored

A Democratic Party rules committee has the authority to seat some delegates from Michigan and Florida but not fully restore the two states as Hillary Rodham Clinton wants, according to party lawyers.

Democratic National Committee rules require that the two states lose at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, the party’s legal experts wrote in a 38-page memo.

The memo was sent late Tuesday to the 30 members of the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which plans to meet Saturday at a Washington hotel. The committee is considering ways to include the two important general election battlegrounds at the nominating convention in August, and the staff analysis says seating half the delegates is “as far as it legally can” go.

None of this, of course, should be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention (except, perhaps, members of the Clinton team).

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Tuesday, May 27, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Here’s a follow up to my post on Hillary’s historically inaccurate description of her husband’s 1992 quest for the nomination, this time from Bill Clinton’s autobiography:

On April 7, we also won in Kansas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. On April 9, Paul Tsongas announced that he would not reenter the race. The fight for the nomination was effectively over.

h/t: Taegan Goddard

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By Steven L. Taylor

The LAT has a piece suggesting that popular support for Sadr’s militia is waning: Iraqis losing patience with militiamen. Primarily the piece is made up of Iraqi citizens expressing their dissatisfaction with Sadr. For example:

“People are fed up with them because of their extremism and the problems they are causing,” said Rafid Majid, a merchant in central Baghdad. Like many others interviewed across the capital, he said the good deeds the group performs no longer were enough to make up for the hardships endured by ordinary Iraqis who just want to go to work and keep their families safe.

I will confess, however, to skepticism about such stories, especially ones based primarily on anecdotes, as we have been poised to turn the corner in Iraq on numerous times in the past, and experience has taught me to therefore take such claims with a grain of salt.

Still, it would be a positive step if nonstate militias lost popular support (although, such groups don’t need a mass base to be able to fight, as history of such groups elsewhere clearly shows).

Beyond that, one paragraph in particular did jump out at me:

More than 1,000 people have died in Sadr City since fighting erupted in late March, and hospital and police officials say most have been civilians. As the violence continues, public tolerance for the Mahdi Army, and by association the Sadr movement, seems to be shifting toward the same sort of resentment once reserved for U.S. and Iraqi forces.

Now, that is roughly a third of the number of persons who died on 9/11, the event that was so dramatic that it launched two wars and led to a number of dramatic policy decisions by the US government. Further, said deaths took place during a period of time during which US policy (i.e., the The Surge and such) as well as Iraqi actions were supposedly more efficacious than they had been since the attack on the Golden Dome. And yet, approximately 1,000 civilians have died in a matter of months in one portion of one city. Not to be overly dramatic about it, but I think that those who wish to essentially claim victory and act as if the overall Iraq policy is finally headed in the right direction need to be a bit more thoughtful about the situation on the ground. If anything, the phrase “the violence continues” is a key one, as it makes it rather difficult to declare the matter resolved.

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Monday, May 26, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the Honolulu Advertiser: Obama picks up three superdelegates from Hawaii

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the AJC: Libertarians pick Barr as presidential candidate

Georgia’s Bob Barr won a long and tense battle Sunday for the 2024 Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination and now faces the daunting task of doing what no third-party candidate has done: Win in November.

It took six ballots and nearly five hours of voting at the Libertarian National Convention before the former four-term congressman defeated Texas business consultant Mary Ruwart for the party’s bid.

Barr, who until 2024 was a Republican, took 54 percent of the vote after Las Vegas odds-maker Wayne Allyn Root dropped out following the fifth ballot and endorsed Barr. Delegates subsequently selected Root to be Barr’s running mate.

This is all interesting, if anything because it is the first time since the 1988 Ron Paul nomination that the LP has a candidate with any national name recognition. Indeed, one suspects that this year’s LP nomination contest has already gotten more serious press for the LP than the combined coverage of their last several attempts at the White House. Given that the last time the LP got much national play was because one of their Senate candidate was blue (and I don’t mean depressed) this is a good thing for the party.

None of this, of course, means that I think that the LP has now become a major contender nor that I am even of the opinion that Barr will prove to be a “spoiler” in a given state or states this year, but I do think that this situation says something about the Republican Party at the moment. It seems pretty clear that a) there is a great deal of discontent with the GOP at the moment, and b) some of that discontent is being expressed by increased interest in the LP.1

There can be little doubt that the Republicans of late has shattered the notion that they are the party of fiscal responsibility (one need look no further than the last several budgets to figure that one out) and nor are they the party of limited government in terms of intrusion into the lives of citizens (clearly in the post-9/11 world, they have become the party of paranoia, worried so much about “keeping us safe” that they have embraced intrusion into the lives of private citizens and the expansion of executive power under the argument that it makes us more secure).

There have been various responses to these facts. Some are starting the whole “we need to lose so that we can reform” tact that partisans often take when unhappy with their party (a recent example of that would be John Hawkins). Others, like Andrew Sullivan, stung by the failure that is Iraq (amongst a variety of other issues), have turned to Obama. Yet others have, no doubt, have followed the Barr route, finding themselves so distraught over the degree to which the current President has attempted to use fear over terrorism to expand government power that it has ignited latent libertarian views and therefore has caused them to drift towards the LP. That something is up is underscored by the fact that Richard Viguerie (a movement conservative, not a libertarian) was one of the keynote speakers at the LP convention. Indeed, as James Joyner noted a few days ago, “Something really strange is going on with the Libertarian Party” to which he meant the candidacy of Barr, the toying of Tucker Carlson with that candidacy as well, and the presence of Viguerie, as none of them are traditional libertarians (neither of the large nor small “l” variety). I think what is going on is the simply that there are a lot of people extremely displeased with the GOP at the moment and that one of the places to go, if they aren’t willing to sit this round out or willing to jump to the Democrats, is the LP.

At the end of the day all of this is simply a further indication of the problems that the GOP has this electoral cycle and is further evidence that it is unlikely that McCain will win in the fall. I don’t mean this because the GOP is cracking up and about to die, nor do I think that there will be a groundswell for the LP. Rather, like the canary in the mineshaft, these are warning signs about the danger ahead for Republicans, as this much unhappiness will lead to lower turnout in November and a whole lot less enthusiasm from those who do stick with the party. It is only going to take a small percentage of potential Republican voters in a handful of states to do a combination of staying home, defecting to the Dems or going third party to lead to defeat in the electoral college.

  1. Bold analysis, I know. []
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Sunday, May 25, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Apart from the weirdness of the Bobby Kennedy assassination reference, there is the real issue of whether Clinton’s references to Junes past (those of 1968 and 1992) are legitimate historical analogies to her current situation.

The answer is: no.

As Deperado notes at his Houston Chronicle-based blog:

In 1992, there were 3 major contenders for the nomination–Bill Clinton, Paul Tsongas, former Senator from Massachusetts, and Jerry Brown, former Governor of California. Tsongas won in New Hampshire with Clinton finishing second. Bill Clinton won nearly all the Super Tuesday primaries, making him the front-runner for the nomination. Jerry Brown then upset Clinton in Connecticut and Colorado.

On March 17, Tsongas dropped out after finishing a distant third behind Clinton and Brown in Michigan. On April 7, Brown lost to Clinton in Wisconsin and New York and was never a serious contender after that. Clinton defeated Brown in California in June to clinch the nomination, which by that time was a foregone conclusion.

To get a further perspective on the race that was really a no-contest after Super Tuesday, the final delegate count was Clinton 3372, Jerry Brown 596, Paul Tsongas 289. Clinton won primaries in 39 states compared to 6 for Tsongas and 3 for Brown. Hardly the nail-biter that Hillary would have us believe.

Jake Tapper
at ABC’s Political Punch put it more succinctly:

All serious competition to Bill Clinton had dropped out in March 1992, and party leaders began rallying around him in April.

In regards to 1968, Tapper notes:

the first contest that year, the New Hampshire primary, was on March 12, 1964.

Meaning, the fact that it was still going on in June then would be like this year’s race still going on in March.

But that doesn’t even really begin to explain how the 1968 comparison is ludicrous.

Back then, only 13 states even held primaries — the party bosses in most states controlled the delegates.

Further, Kennedy only announced his candidacy on March 16, 1968.

Tapper goes to one to explain how different the nomination process was in that year. Indeed, as Chris Lawrence notes:

the analogy is pretty stupid, not because it’s offensive but because it’s specious. Much like in NASCAR, where there is a useful division between “prehistory” and “the modern era,” there is no valid comparison between anything today to anything that happened before 1972 when it comes to Democratic nomination politics. And pretty much everyone who was actively campaigning into June since then was either a loser in the primaries or the general election; Clinton would be better off not reminding Democrats of that history.

h/t: Sullivan for the Desperado piece.

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