August 22, 2014

Unlike ‘Mission Accomplished,’ Press Barely Mentions Obama’s ‘JV Team’ Ridicule of ISIS

The press never let George W. Bush forget about that “Mission Accomplished” banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln after Saddam Hussein was overthrown and his government’s military was routed in Iraq. They often pretend that Bush said it, or adopted it. He did no such thing, saying only that “Our mission continues.”

So while the press has come close to making a claim Bush 43 never made an article of faith, it is virtually ignoring something current U.S. President Barack Obama actually said, namely that, concerning ISIS, “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” Kristina Wong at the Hill is a rare exception. She reminded readers of what Obama said in January as she reported Thursday on how the nation’s defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff completely disagree (bolds are mine):



Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (082214)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: Korean nuns voice joy, gratitude for audience with Pope

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Seoul:

Aug 18, 2014 / 12:03 pm

Two Korean nuns have expressed their excitement at having participated in an audience with Pope Francis, stating that his words on poverty and the witness of the martyrs were particularly impactful.

“I was very happy, thankful for his closeness. But for everyone, the whole people, they are very happy,” Sister Lee Hee Jung told CNA Aug. 17. “It’s a feeling that is difficult to express, because there are so many emotions that I felt – consolation, joy, gratitude, a feeling of surprise.”

It’s a “feeling that his words touch you,” she said, explaining that “he is a like a motor for us, he gives us energy, he moves us. He gives us strength. And this is hard to express in one word.”

Sister Lee, who is celebrating the 25th anniversary of her first profession this year, was one of the thousands of religious present for Pope Francis’ Aug. 16 audience with the religious communities of Korea, which was held at the Training Center “School of Love” in Kkottongnae.

The meeting came during the Pope’s Aug. 13-18 visit to South Korea, with coincided with the Sixth Asian Youth Day. Earlier during the trip, he met with youth from across Asia and beatified 124 Korean martyrs at a Mass attended by an estimated 1 million people. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

August 21, 2014

Well, Well …

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:52 am

… innocent lad Michael Brown, to quote that famous philosopher Britney Spears (that’s sarcasm, folks), is “Not That Innocent”:

Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries, including an orbital (eye socket) fracture, and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department’s top brass told

“The Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital, his face all swollen on one side,” said the insider. “He was beaten very severely.”

According to the well-placed source, Wilson was coming off another case in the neighborhood on Aug. 9 when he ordered Michael Brown and his friend Dorain Johnson to stop walking in the middle of the road because they were obstructing traffic. However, the confrontation quickly escalated into physical violence, the source said.

“They ignored him and the officer started to get out of the car to tell them to move,” the source said. “They shoved him right back in, that’s when Michael Brown leans in and starts beating Officer Wilson in the head and the face.”

The source claims that there is “solid proof” that there was a struggle between Brown and Wilson for the policeman’s firearm, resulting in the gun going off – although it still remains unclear at this stage who pulled the trigger. Brown started to walk away according to the account, prompting Wilson to draw his gun and order him to freeze. Brown, the source said, raised his hands in the air, and turned around saying, “What, you’re going to shoot me?”

At that point, the source told, the 6-foot-4, 292-pound Brown charged Wilson, prompting the officer to fire at least six shots at him, including the fatal bullet that penetrated the top of Brown’s skull, according to an independent autopsy conducted at the request of Brown’s family.

Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket in the fracas, and was left dazed by the initial confrontation, the source said. He is now “traumatized, scared for his life and his family, injured and terrified” that a grand jury, which began hearing evidence on Wednesday, will “make some kind of example out of him,” the source said.

In fact, if Michael Brown were still alive, he would almost certainly be headed for a long term in jail.


Initial Unemployment Claims (082114): 289K SA, Raw Claims Below 250,000 For Second Week in Past Three

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:13 am


  • Bloomberg — “Data today will show initial claims for unemployment benefits declined last week.” Last week’s figure, pending possible adjustments today, was 311,000 seasonally adjusted claims.
  • Post-release updateBusiness Insider predicted 303K.

Seasonal Adjustment Factors:

  • Week ended August 16, 2014 — 83.4
  • Week ended August 17, 2013 — 83.3

Raw Claims:

  • Week ended August 9, 2014 — 268,637
  • Week ended August 17, 2013 — 281,164

For seasonally adjusted claims to match or decline from last week’s 311,000, raw claims will need to be 259,000 or lower (259K divided by .834 is 311K, rounded).

That seems about right. If raw claims are above last week’s figure, it will be cause for a bit of concern. If they beat last year’s same week, it will justify significant concern.

We’ll see what happens here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent link), and it’s pretty strong —


In the week ending August 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 298,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 311,000 to 312,000. The 4-week moving average was 300,750, an increase of 4,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 295,750 to 296,000.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 248,759 in the week ending August 16, a decrease of 20,709 (or -7.7 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 9,357 (or -3.5 percent) from the previous week. There were 281,164 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

This is the second week in the past three where raw claims have come in below a quarter-million (pending possible adjustment to this week’s raw number).

There’s nothing troubling here. Whether this translates into a lower unemployment rate is another matter, but it’s obvious that layoffs and involuntary terminations have pulled back to roughly where you’d like to see them stay.


Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (082114)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:01 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: Memory, hope, witness are Korea trip’s import, Pope reflects

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Aug 20, 2014 / 08:22 am

Pope Francis discussed his recent trip to South Korea in his General Audience address Wednesday, saying its significance is found in the three words memory, hope, and witness.

In South Korea “the Church is the guardian of memory and of hope: and is a spiritual family in which adults transmit to youths the torch of the faith received from the elderly; the memory of the witnesses of the past becomes a new witness in the present, and hope for the future,” he said Aug. 20 at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

“In light of this it is possible to read the two principle events of this voyage: the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs, who are added to those canonized 30 years ago by St. John Paul II; and the encounter with the youth, on the occasion of the Sixth Asian Youth Day.”

The Pope began his address giving thanks for the great gift of his visit to Korea, calling the Church there both “youthful and dynamic, founded upon the witness of the martyrs and animated by a missionary spirit.”

He noted that the Republic of Korea “is a nation which has had a remarkable and rapid economic development. Its inhabitants are hardworking, disciplined, ordered, and must maintain the strength inherited from their ancestors.”

Youth are always “searching for that which makes life worth living, and the martyrs bear witness to that, indeed, to That One for whom it is worth to give up one’s life. This really is the Love of God, who took flesh in Jesus, the Witness of the Father.”

Pope Francis discussed also the Church in Korea as “guardian also of the memory of the primary role of the laity in the dawn of the faith … in that land, in fact, the Christian community was not founded by missionaries, but by a group of Korean youth in the second half of the 1700s, who were fascinated by certain Christian texts, who studied them profoundly and chose them as a rule of life.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

August 20, 2014

Esquire Columnist: ‘We Are All Complicit’ in Ferguson

You had to know this was coming. The only question was who was going to be the first to do it.

On Tuesday, echoing the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil,” wherein the devil slyly tells listeners that “it was you and me” who “killed the Kennedys” (making everyone responsible ensures that no one is truly responsible, allowing evil to advance), James Joiner, the Special Projects Editor at Esquire Digital, pointed the finger of guilt for recent events in Ferguson, Missouri at all Americans. He claimed that “we are all complicit” in what has transpired, starting with the shooting death of Michael Brown in an altercation with police on August 9. Execrable excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):



As Cincinnati Clinic Finally Ends Surgical Abortions, Local Station Gives Its Spokesperson an Open Mic to Rip Governor

A Cincinnati-area abortion facility will finally stop doing surgical abortions on Friday. Many of us, including yours truly, thought this would happen back in January, but the operators of the Lebanon Road Surgery Center, aka Women’s Med, persisted in frivolous appeals which only delayed the inevitable. Finally, they have decided to give up their challenge to the State of Ohio’s refusal to renew its license to operate because it does not have a legally required transfer agreement with a local hospital to treat post-abortive patients who experience complications.

Since January, I have received several emails from pro-life groups reporting on the status of Women’s Med’s appeals. Their identities are well-known: Ohio Right to Life, Operation Rescue, and others. They’re easy to find and easy to reach. There’s no indication that reporter Ben Petracco at local TV stations WLWT attempted to contact any of them. He instead gave the sore losers an open mic to criticize Buckeye State Governor John Kasich as if he personally oversaw the entire effort (report saved here in case it’s update; bolds are mine):



Dylan Byers Defends Politico For ‘Diversity’ That Barely Exists and Is Shrinking

Just to be clear, the racial makeup of a news organization should be irrelevant to its ability to cover current events. The answers to who, what, where, when, why, and how are colorblind. The practice of assigning reporters to stories based on the ethnicities or races of stories’ subjects is offensive, and should be seen as insulting.

But the fact is that news organizations and so-called progressives are obsessed with “diversity” — in everything but viewpoint, of course. So it’s especially delicious that Politico’s Dylan Byers claim that Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery’s tweet that “black ppl don’t work for @politico” was “offensive and factually inaccurate” has caused the truth about the insufferably self-righteous web site’s track record to gain wide exposure.



Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (082014)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


From a Politico morning email, confirming the visually obvious — “IT’S WORSE THAN IT LOOKS – Per a senior Democrat close to party leadership: ‘I’ve never seen House Members so distant and disdainful of the WH Congressional affairs operation … Except for fundraising, it appears to them that POTUS has completely checked out.’”


Positivity: ‘Asian youth, wake up!’ Church needs your witness, Pope says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Seoul:

Aug 17, 2014 / 02:20 am

Addressing thousands of young people from across Asia, Pope Francis emphasized the urgent need to “wake up” and spread Christ’s love throughout the continent, pointing to the martyrs as examples.

“Asian youth, wake up!” the Pope exclaimed.

“As young Christians, whether you are workers or students, whether you have already begun a career or have answered the call to marriage, religious life or the priesthood, you are not only a part of the future of the Church; you are also a necessary and beloved part of the Church’s present!” he said.

The Pope delivered the homily at the Aug. 17 Closing Mass of the 6th Asian Youth Day, which took place at Haemi Castle, a fortress that was used to imprison Christians during the 19th century. The Mass was held during the Pope’s historic Aug. 13-18 trip to South Korea.

Pope Francis invited the young people of Asia to imitate the martyrs of the continent, including the 124 Korean martyrs he beatified the previous day.

These men and women, he said, “handed over their bodies to their persecutors; to us they have handed on a perennial witness that the light of Christ’s truth dispels all darkness, and the love of Christ is gloriously triumphant.”

The Pope pointed to the theme of the event – “Asian Youth! Wake up! The glory of the martyrs shines upon you!” – describing these words as being both a consolation and a responsibility for those who hear them.

The diverse Asian countries from which attendees had gathered each offer a unique context for the reflection of Christ’s love, he said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

August 19, 2014

NYT Blames Hamas, Israel Equally For End of Cease-Fire; Story Ignores Hamas Plot to Overthrow Abbas

Over at Hot Air tonight, Mary Katharine Ham pointed to a headline at the New York Times, present at its web home page as well as at the story itself, which equally blames Hamas and Israel for the end of their cease-fire: “Rockets From Gaza and Israeli Response Break Cease-Fire.” Someone needs to tell Isabel Kershner and Jodi Rudoren that it’s the “rockets from Gaza” which broke the cease-fire.

There’s a bigger problem with the story, and with establishment press coverage of the conflict in general during the past 36 hours, namely that virtually everyone is ignoring a Monday blockbuster report at the Jerusalem Post presenting compelling evidence that Hamas intended to overthrow the Palestinian government and its President, Mahmoud Abbas, in conjunction with its attacks on Israel (Shin Bet is Israel’s internal security service; bolds are mine):



Bob Beckel: Fellow Dems Defending Perry Are ‘Wusses’

Liberals and even far-leftists who would normally be inclined to cheer political attacks on Republicans and conservatives have been distancing themselves from last Friday’s indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry. Former Clinton special counsel Lanny Davis, lawyer Alan Dershowitz (this “what happens in totalitarian societies”), and former Obama White House advisor David Axelrod are just a few of them.

“The Five” co-host Bob Beckel is definitely not in that crowd. In Monday’s segment on the topic, Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign manager called his fellow liberals “wusses” and Rick Perry “a jerk.” Wait until you see his reason why Rosemary Lehmberg, who was sentenced to 45 days in jail for driving drunk with a blood alcohol reading three times the legal limit, should remain in her job. Excerpts from the relevant Monday segment follow the jump (bolds are mine):



Prominent Progressive’s Email Suggests Defacing Cover of Paul Ryan’s New Book

Filed under: Activism,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:58 pm

Imagine that a prominent Republican activist proposed a campaign of malicious destruction against Hillary Clinton’s latest book. Does anyone doubt that the press would be all over it as proof that conservatives and Republicans are disrespectful and mean-spirited?

Well, Erica Payne is a prominent, aggressively self-promoting progressive. The advanced nature of her activist bona fides might cause you to assume that she would think before stooping to openly suggesting destruction of property. Nope. Via Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard (link is in original; bolds are mine):