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Friday, May 27, 2016

New York Times Editorial, "Hillary Clinton, Drowning in Email": Vote for Her Because He's Worse

In an editorial entitled "Hillary Clinton, Drowning in Email," The New York Times writes:

"Even now, it seems a stretch to say that Mrs. Clinton’s email mishaps should disqualify her for the White House, particularly considering the alternative of Mr. Trump with his manifold evasions — not least his refusal to release tax returns that could shed light on his claims to great wealth, his charitable contributions and other deductions and possible conflicts of interest."

Or stated otherwise, vote for her because he's worse.

The Times concludes:

"But the nation should not be judging leadership as a measure of who is less untrustworthy. Mrs. Clinton has to answer questions about the report thoroughly and candidly. That is her best path back to the larger task of campaigning for the presidency."

And if she doesn't answer those questions thoroughly and candidly? In all honesty - something Hillary is incapable of - there are no good answers.

What a splendid way to elect the next president!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Gail Collins, "Memorial Day Weekend Ranting": Ignoring the IG's Report

Yes, something "bad" happened to Hillary's presidential campaign yesterday, but you would never know it after reading Gail Collins's latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Memorial Day Weekend Ranting," which is devoted to airlines fees for checked baggage and $3 snacks. (Gail, it wouldn't harm you to lay off the junk food.)

The State Department IG's Report concerning Hillary's email practices? Why should that bother Gail, who told us one week ago that Hillary "is one of the most qualified people ever to run for the office." Hey, Gail, surely you remember what Hillary told reporters at the UN in March:

"First, the laws and regulations in effect when I was secretary of state allowed me to use my email for work. That is undisputed.

. . . .

I fully complied with every rule I was governed by."

If fibbing was a presidential qualification, Hillary would indeed have this election all sewn up.

More to the point, if Hillary cared more about the United States than herself, she would drop out of the race and save us from Donald Trump.

Sadly, she doesn't.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thomas Friedman, "Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel-Palestine": A "Dark Hour"?

Troubled by Bibi Netanyahu's dismissal of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Thomas Friedman concludes his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel-Palestine" by observing:

"So Netanyahu, who only acts the way the wind blows, purged Yaalon. With that move, said the Hebrew University religious philosopher Moshe Halbertal, we are witnessing 'Israel’s ruling party being transformed from a hawkish nationalist party that used to have a humanitarian and democratic base, into an ultranationalist party that is now defined by turning against the ‘enemies’ from within — the courts, the NGOs, the education system, the Arab minority and now, the army — anyone who stands in the way of their project of permanent occupation of the West Bank. Having failed to deliver a solution for the enemies on the outside, so now Likud is focused on the enemies inside. This is a major transformation in Israel and should be looked upon with great concern.' The army’s leadership, added Halbertal, 'is trying to transcend this war of all against all and impose moral order on chaos rather than inflame it for narrow political gains.'

Netanyahu does just the opposite. For those of us who care about Israel’s future, this is a dark hour."

Yesterday, I voiced my dissatisfaction with Netanyahu's decision. On the other hand, it need be noted that Israel is not Turkey. There will be elections, and I will be very surprised if Netanyahu, currently embroiled in a scandal, will remain Israel's prime minister.

Heck, Tom, a "dark hour"? Spare me! I am more concerned by the American electorate having to choose between Hillary and Donald.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

New York Times Editorial, "A Baffling, Hard-line Choice in Israel": How About Looking at Ploughshares?

In a New York Times homepage lead-in to an editorial entitled "A Baffling, Hard-line Choice in Israel," we are told "Benjamin Netanyahu selected a defense minister badly suited to the Obama administration and to forging peace in the Middle East."

Whoa! I am indeed disturbed by Netanyahu's decision to replace former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon with Avigdor Lieberman, a former IDF corporal, as defense minister, but Lieberman is "badly suited to the Obama administration"? An Israeli defense minister need not be suited to Obama; rather, he/she needs to be the person best suited to keeping the State of Israel safe in the face of death threats from "moderate" Iranian mullahs.

Let us also not forget Obama's appointment of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense. The appointment of Hagel, known for his hostility to Israel, was supported by Iran.

In addition, Hagel had been a director of the Ploughshares Fund. According to a Daily Caller article entitled "Revealed: Iran Deal Propaganda Money Made Its Way All Around Washington" by Russ Read:

"Ploughshares also provided over $280,000 to the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) for its work supporting the Iran deal, some of which went directly towards sending NIAC staff to the nuclear negotiations in Vienna. NIAC was accused of engaging in lobbying efforts on behalf of the Islamic Republic around 2007, which led to the organization’s president Trita Parsi bringing suit against journalist Hassan Daioleslam for defamation. Parsi eventually lost the protracted legal battle."

Trita Parsi, NIAC's president? As reported by Michael Rubin in a Commentary article entitled "Ploughshares: The Money Behind the Iran Deal" (my emphasis in red):

"It is a theme supporters of the Iran deal have picked up. Trita Parsi, an Iranian-Swede who leads the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and once declared that everything he does, he does for Iran, marked Senator Harry Reid’s endorsement of the deal by declaring it a defeat for big money, a silly statement given Reid’s own partisanship and acceptance of myriad campaign contributions from lobbying groups. 'The Iran Project,' likewise reported, 'In efforts to sway Iran debate, big-money donors are heard.' The news media has played along. 'Big Money and Ads Clash Over Iran Nuclear Deal,' USA Today reported.

The irony, however, is that many of the staunchest proponents of the Iran nuclear deal feed from the same trough of cash supplied by the Ploughshares Fund, a multimillion-dollar group which defines itself as a foundation seeking nuclear disarmament but which has, for several years, taken a consistently apologetic line toward Iran. Now, too often analysts throw around discussion of funding to cast aspersions on those who disagree with them in the policy debate. Often, this is nonsense. Few analysts on either the left or the right are blank slates that simply follow the money. Those staffing NIAC, for example, have always sought an end to sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Wait! There's more!  Earlier this month, in a New York Times Magazine article entitled "The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru," David Samuels quoted Ben Rhodes, Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, as saying that "We created an echo chamber" to support Obama's unsigned nuclear deal with Iran. More specifically, Samuels wrote (my emphasis in red):

"When I suggested that all this dark metafictional play seemed a bit removed from rational debate over America’s future role in the world, Rhodes nodded. 'In the absence of rational discourse, we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this,' he said. 'We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.' He is proud of the way he sold the Iran deal. 'We drove them crazy,' he said of the deal’s opponents."

And what did Ploughshares do? Ploughshares ploughed $576,500 to J Street to support the nuclear deal with Iran, i.e. cause Congress to believe that the deal had the backing of those who purportedly care about Israel's security.

Yes, it's time for a Congressional inquiry!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Frank Bruni, "How Facebook Warps Our Worlds": Just Facebook? Consider the Damage Done by Obama!

In an exceptional New York Times op-ed entitled "How Facebook Warps Our Worlds," Frank Bruni writes:

"We construct precisely contoured echo chambers of affirmation that turn conviction into zeal, passion into fury, disagreements with the other side into the demonization of it. Then we marvel at the Twitter mobs that swarm in defense of Sanders or the surreal success of Donald Trump’s candidacy, whose historical tagline may well be 'All I know is what’s on the Internet.'"

First, my philosophy regarding Facebook: Just say no! Sure, I use it to identify myself on rare occasions for purposes of writing comments on the Internet, but beyond that? I have no Facebook friends, and I haven't had a visitor in months (years?).

Back now to Bruni. Odd that he uses the words "echo chambers of affirmation" in the paragraph quoted above without mentioning Ben Rhodes, Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications. Earlier this month, in a New York Times Magazine article entitled "The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru," David Samuels wrote (my emphasis in red):

"In this environment, Rhodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once. Ned Price, Rhodes’s assistant, gave me a primer on how it’s done. The easiest way for the White House to shape the news, he explained, is from the briefing podiums, each of which has its own dedicated press corps. 'But then there are sort of these force multipliers,' he said, adding, 'We have our compadres, I will reach out to a couple people, and you know I wouldn’t want to name them — '

. . . .

As Malley and representatives of the State Department, including Wendy Sherman and Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in formal negotiations with the Iranians, to ratify details of a framework that had already been agreed upon, Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. 'We created an echo chamber,' he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. 'They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.'"

Did you read George Orwell's "1984"?:

"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."

Orwell was off the mark by some 30 years.

Maureen Dowd, "Weakend at Bernie’s": Roosevelt Was Wrong

Maureen Dowd concludes her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Weakend at Bernie’s" by observing:

"Hillary can’t generate excitement on her own so she is relying on fear of Trump to get her into the White House. And Trump is relying on fear of everything to get him into the White House.

So voters are stuck in the muck of the negative: What are you most afraid of?"

What am I most afraid of? Allow me to answer that question by referring you to three quotes:

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

- Franklin D. Roosevelt

"We just can't trust the American people to make those types of choices.... Government has to make those choices for people."

- Hillary Clinton

"You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass."

- Donald Trump

Roosevelt was wrong, but then again, he was fortunate enough to have died before Hillary and Donald were born.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Jonathan Weisman Amazed by Anti-Semitic Backlash? Given The New York Times's Behavior, It Should Come As No Surprise!

Yup, it's a classic chickens coming home to roost story.

As noted in a Washington Post item entitled "New York Times staffer tweets out op-ed critical of Trump, faces anti-Semitic avalanche" by Erik Wemple, deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weisman of The New York Times and other Jewish journalists critical of Donald Trump are being overwhelmed with anti-Semitic tweets.

I am horrified by the Trump candidacy; however, I think it is also worth observing how The New York Times has tolerated anti-Semitism from the left. You might want to have a look at the following JG Caesarea blog entries (all can be found in the blog archive under the label "anti-Semitism":

Maureen Dowd, "Hi-Ho, Lone Ranger": More Anti-Semitism Courtesy of The New York Times
SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 2015
Is The New York Times Anti-Semitic? Absolutely!
New York Times Editorial, "Anti-Semitism in the Soccer Stands": The Pot Calls the Kettle Black
David Brooks, "The Mental Virtues": What About Anti-Semitism at The New York Times?
MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2014
Frank Bruni, "The Oldest Hatred, Forever Young": Have a Look at Your Own Newspaper!
Roger Cohen, "A Jew Not Quite English Enough": What About Anti-Semitism at The New York Times?
Nicholas Kristof, "Meet the Champs": Nick Taking Leave Without Explaining His Filthy Retweet Concerning AIPAC
Is New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd Anti-Semitic?
The Stench of Anti-Semitism at The New York Times
Monday, December 19, 2011
The New York Times Sanitizes Critical Response to Thomas Friedman's Anti-Semitic Tirade
The New York Times and Israel Bashing: Yes, The New York Times Is Anti-Semitic
Anti-Semitism, The New York Times and Occupy Wall Street
Sanchez Dismissal Spawns More Anti-Semitic Readers' Comments at The New York Times
Anti-Semitism: No Response from Charles Blow
Charles Blow's "Obama and the Jews, Part 2" Evokes Anti-Semitism
Anonymous Anti-Semitism from the Editorial Board of The New York Times: Netanyahu a "Master Manipulator"
Vicious Anti-Semitic Reader's Comment in Response to Paul Krugman's "Bad for the Jews"
The New York Times, Anti-Semitism and the Mike McMahon Election Scandal: See No Evil
If You Were Revolted by Helen Thomas, Have a Look at The New York Times
TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2010
Return of Anti-Semitism to New York Times Online Comments
Anti-Semitism and Censorship: Shame on The New York Times!
David Brooks' Op-Ed Spawns Online New York Times Anti-Semitism
Jimmy Carter's "New Anti-Semitism" and The New York Times
Why Is Antisemitism Permitted in Online Comments "Moderated" by The Times? Open Letter No. 2 to Clark Hoyt, Public Editor of The New York Times
FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2009
Weaving Hatred on the Web
Roger Cohen's "Obama in Netanyahu's Web"

A New York Times editor is astonished when anti-Semites climb out from under their rocks and bite him in the arse? Spare me!