Anand Giridharadas in Fear

Our old buddy Anand Giridharadas was back on Morning Joe, and boy how the tables have turned. I wrote in October how New York Times writer Giridharadas, on a Morning Joe appearance, couldn’t wait for the post election score settling with his arch enemy, white men.

“I think the people who went that way and that Trump movement and perhaps supported things about women they don’t actually support or supported things about bashing Muslims that they don’t in their deepest of hearts support, need to think about the fact that globalization and all of that was hard on everybody. It wasn’t just hard on White guys. For some reason, women lost their jobs in globalization, Black and Brown people lost their jobs in globalization, and managed not to lash out. I think there needs to be a reckoning, frankly, with white manhood in this country.”

But now the tables have turned, and with a Trump victory, Giridharadas has gone from a Brownshirt inciting a Caucasian Kristallnacht to shivering in fear in a Dutch attic.  Enjoy:

When Joe Scarborough has to be the voice of reason, “Hitler is not coming back,” then you know that someone’s gone off the deep end. But however much I’m enjoying the schadenfreude of Giridharadas having a special snowflake breakdown on television, it serves as a reminder that however much he now fears internment camps, Muslim banning, and all the rest, he’s the type of person who either thinks that you have your hands on his throat, or he’s going to have his hands on your throat.  If the tables had been turned, and Hillary had won, he would have been the first one urging internment camps and whatever final solution he feels appropriate to handle that pesky white male problem.

Demography is destiny and eventually the Democrats will be back in power.  And when they are, there will be Anand Giridharadas and others like him urging on their own pogrom.

A Reckoning

When it comes to anti white racism, I admit I’ve been pretty tolerant of it.  Mostly because anti white racism can be pretty funny so it’s hard to take seriously.  As anyone who has perused Salon, the website for white people who hate white people; can tell you, it’s sometimes hard not to get a good laugh out of it.  It’s hard to remember now, but at one time Salon used to be a legitimate and respectable magazine. But with stories like, White Men Must be Stopped, White Guys are Killing Us, America’s Angriest White Men, GOP base is still white and aging, and Time to Profile White Men; even the parody twitter account “Salon.com” has had difficulty topping the real articles and has often resorted to re-tweeting Salon’s real tweets.

Of course when real journalists do it, it’s slightly less funny, such as Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, whose article, On a Welcome End to American Whiteness, cheers for the day of demographic apocalypse for white people in America.  Milbank sees the declining white population as an opportunity to redo American culture, to get rid of an “excess of individualism, short-term thinking and prioritizing of rights over duties.

Yeah, we wouldn’t want too many rights gumming up the works.

So I suppose I do fundamentally view a major difference between the comic anti white hatred of Salon, ranting Black Nationalists on Youtube, or various SJW’s on college campuses, and legitimate journalists positing their anti white racism in the public sphere without any backlash at all.

anand-giridharadas

That’s why I found myself someone shocked by the comments of New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas on Morning Joe this week. Giridharadas is one of those semi regular guests to the set of the MSNBC show that doesn’t, to my view, seem to offer anything particularly compelling in the way of opinion other than the mouthing of whatever the latest conventional wisdom is.  In the case of Giridharadas he also brings some sort of incomprehensible thing going on with his hair.  It’s like he’s stacked a couple of bird’s nests up there.  I guess that’s his gimmick.

So check out the video at this link of Giridharadas.

Or I’ll just transcribe the relevant comments.  When co-host and white male Willie Geist asked Giridharadas a question about what happens to the frustrations of the people who supported Trump post election, he responded thusly:

“I don’t want to wait for a leader to deal with this energy because I think how badly we went when we don’t deal with each other as human beings. I think every institution needs to do this. I would say to your point, this needs to be a two-way reconciliation, and here’s my suggestion for kind of each side. I think the elites we’re talking about who relate to understanding this pain, who didn’t see the roots of Trump, need to see it–need to re-engage with What American needs to understand what’s doing on.

I think the people who went that way and that Trump movement and perhaps supported things about women they don’t actually support or supported things about bashing Muslims that they don’t in their deepest of hearts support, need to think about the fact that globalization and all of that was hard on everybody. It wasn’t just hard on White guys. For some reason, women lost their jobs in globalization, Black and Brown people lost their jobs in globalization, and managed not to lash out. I think there needs to be a reckoning, frankly, with white manhood in this country.”

Geist’s reply?  “Interesting.”

Putting aside the idea that if globalization is so hard on everyone, why are we doing it, I thought the real take away was, I realized that these guys, the establishment elite types like Milbank and Giridharadas were serious.  They really do regard whites as some sort of problem, like an atavistic hold over that’s harshing everyone’s buzz.  It’s pretty blatantly racist, but it’s not a racism that anyone particularly cares about.

I’ve been writing about the increase in tribalism and identity politics for years, but it looks like it’s going for a new level.  Nothing good will come out of this of course, but now it’s not just that nothing good will come out of this in a general way, but now I feel like I’m being targeted personally.  Unfortunately Joe Scarborough recognized the rabbit hole Giridharadas was going down and sidetracked the conversation into one of “reconciliation,” I would have much rather heard Giridharadas elaborate on his point and find out just what exactly he had in mind with his reckoning “with white manhood.”

Although I think I’ll eventually find out.

 

Two Americas: Dunham and Duck Dynasty

After spending days of airtime excoriating Donald Trump for asking why Mrs. Khan didn’t speak at the Democratic Convention, Morning Joe decided to take a breather to interview Hollywood Reporter writer Michael Wolff for his new article, “Michael Wolff on Hillary’s “Self Delusion, “Trump’s S- Show” and the Media’s Final, Frantic 100 Days.”  Wolff’s basic thesis is that the two conventions show that we’re too different countries with almost no middle ground.  He uses the example of two convention stars, Lena Dunham for the Democrats and Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame for the Republicans.  As Wolff writes:

“The Nation divides over many lines, but a basic split is between Lena Dunham, who made a prime time appearance July 26 at the Democratic National Convention, and Willie Robertson, a star of Duck Dynasty and a celebrity endorser at the Republican convention. No longer an actual aspect of political decision-making, party conventions are wholly symbolic affairs, an elaborate messaging apparatus and targeted media platform. In this instance, Dunham represented a cosmopolitan, millennial, pan-sexual, women-focused view, abhorrent to a significant part of the country, and Robertson a nativist, older, gun-associated, military-inclined, white-male-focused view, abhorrent to the Dunham part.”

That’s basically true I think.  If you drew a Venn Diagram of Dunham fans and Robertson fans, the two circles would probably just sit there without even touching.  I’ve had my own fun with Dunham, so just knowing I’m in the non Dunham circle should tell you a lot about me.

Wolff doesn’t sound very optimistic about the two Americas, but the division is not a new invention.  America has over big issues and small, long been a divided country.  What’s different now has been the tendency to nationalize every issue into a one size fits all, top down approach; exactly the opposite of what the founders intended.  I suspect the divide began to take on national consequences with Roe v Wade in 1973.  It may be hard to believe now, but the country was gradually moving towards a pro choice position when the Supreme Court decided to short circuit the democratic process and impose a court written national law that froze the debate in place. So for 40 plus years, the needle has barely wiggled on abortion and it’s still a contentious issue.  And you can add up every single issue that we’ve had either decided for us by the courts or imposed on us at a national level issues that were usually a state and local concern. Now that the federal government is vitally concerned about who goes into what bathroom in North Carolina, and every state in the union, there are effectively no limits to what the national government can decide or impose.  So every issue is a national issue in which at least half the country feels burned on.

There is an easy solution to this of course, good old fashioned constitutional federalism.  Leave the bathrooms, abortions, and gay marriage cakes up to each state, and suddenly we have a lot fewer things to fight about on the national stage. Unfortunately good old fashioned constitutional federalism is as abhorrent to half the country as Duck Dynasty and country music.  So prepare for more squabbling between Dunham and Dynasty.

 

The Dumbed Down Gun Debate

I hadn’t intended to write anything about the flared up gun debate simply because as an issue, it’s been done to death, and no one’s mind is ever changed.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever written about it, in spite of the frequency in which it comes up as an issue. On the other hand, anytime there is a shooting the issue flares up as if we’ve never discussed it before, and we get treated to the same old arguments…

Of course, as I noted earlier in the week, if we’re going to debate anything, it should be terrorism, but the media has guided the issue away from that to guns because, that’s what they feel comfortable talking about.  They don’t feel comfortable talking about terrorism, so guns make a nice distraction from the real issues. To that end, one of my guilty pleasures, the Monsters of the Morning radio show, had an oh so serious gun control discussion.  Although I was slightly irritated at having my morning dose of fart jokes cut off, it’s a local Orlando station and Central Florida needed the catharsis of talking about the tragedy.

Monsters of the Morning

 

Listening to the show on podcast, it more or less fulfilled my expectations.  In other words, I was in a constant state of facepalm.  Of course listening on podcast meant the show was in the can and I couldn’t call in for any corrections.  On the other hand, what’s the point?  I’ve seen other gun debates in which the pro gun person would have to correct all of the typical mistakes that anti gun people make because in general, the anti gun people, not having any interest in firearms other than as a hate totem, don’t know anything about them. In this debate the primary anti gunner was producer Carlos Navarro, who, as a superlib Obama supporter, was the natural default antigun proponent.

But there is a way to argue with liberals on guns and a way that is totally ineffective. Like most leftists, he didn’t care about the 2nd Amendment, and was pretty clear that he didn’t think much of the constitution; or care about the rights of people they hate (you know, “bitter clingers”) having access to weapons for recreation or self defense.  In fact, from his perspective, the onus on justifying why you need an AR-15 was on the gun owner, which was the question he asked every single caller.  From his perspective, they had to justify to him why they had to have an AR-15.  As you can imagine, every reason fell short. So trying to argue from those points is worthless.  When the constitution only means what the next liberal judge on the court says it does, constitutional arguments are moot.

But there is a line of argument that they are vulnerable on, because it’s already part of their suitcase of issues. They totally don’t accept the logic of prohibition.  They know that the war on drugs is a failure, and they know making drugs illegal; particularly weed, doesn’t keep anyone from getting some.

But when it comes to guns, prohibition seems totally plausible. But that is the crux of the current gun control argument: the logic of prohibition.  Liberals do care that the war on drugs is a failure since the government has totally failed to restrict the sale or import of drugs.  Prohibition can’t work with drugs they will say, so why do they think it will work with guns?  Take a typical leftist or libertarian argument against drug prohibition and replace the word ‘drugs’ with ‘guns’ and you have the same argument. It’s just a matter of whose pot is being gored.  In fact, I credit host “Dirty” Jim Colbert for making that point regarding cigarettes.

After all, if you are really concerned about saving lives, wouldn’t you be in favor of banning alcohol? Annually, 88,000 people a year die from alcohol related causes. However in 2015, there were 12,942 gun deaths in the US.  A large number, but if you were interested in saving the most lives, you would ban alcohol.  But….most people like to drink.  So if you like to drink but don’t own weapons, then you want the government to go after the other guy, and that’s the case here.

Interestingly the most eye opening thing about the show is that most of the callers still supported keeping AR-15’s legal, and that’s in Orlando, three days after the city suffered the worst terrorist attack in the US since 9/11.  That’s reassuring when everything in the media wants them banned.  So while I expect Morning Joe to go off on another 6 month crying jag on gun control, there still seem to be people who are immune to it.

 

The San Bernardino Shooting Might have been stopped

The political firefight over the San Bernardino shooting terrorist act started almost before the event was over, with President Obama calling for gun control even while the suspects were still on the loose.  Morning Joe seemed to think this was another Sandy Hook and peppered all of their interviewees with gun control related questions.

But for me, the take away of this event is the utter failure of “see something; say something.”  As reported by CBS:

A man who has been working in the area said he noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men in the area in recent weeks, but decided not to report anything since he did not wish to racially profile those people.

Americans have been taught, and have learned the lesson, that it’s better that multiple people die horribly than to be thought of as racist.

Political Correctness kills.

Finally, the Left Confronts its Own Hypocrisy

Last week is the first time in President Obama’s presidency that the hypocrisy and double standards of the media has finally been realized by that same media.  It’s as if they are awakening from a long, four year nap.  President Obama’s DCI nominee John Brennan’s testimony last week brought public the administration’s policy on targeted drone killings.  As Brennan floundered trying to explain the policy, he was interrupted countless times by the far left anti war group Code Pink, which had previously been in a state of suspended animation since January 20, 2009.

On Morning Joe, Kelly O’Donnell noted how differently this is being viewed then if this were a Dick Cheney policy.  In fact, with Joe gone for that segment, the table was 100% liberal, and even simple Mika Brzezinski seemed to realize that people’s reactions, including hers, to the issue of drones targeting American citizens, was based more on your allegiance to a Presidential administration than to the policy itself.  Only Obama sycophant Donnie Deutsch supported the President by supporting the administration’s policy of killing Americans.

Eugene Robinson’s column last Thursday perfectly encapsulated the confusion the left is dealing with:

If George W. Bush had told us that the “war on terror” gave him the right to execute a U.S. citizen overseas with a missile fired from a drone aircraft, without due process or judicial review, I’d have gone ballistic. It makes no difference that the president making this chilling claim is Barack Obama. What’s wrong is wrong.

Of course Robinson isn’t going ballistic over Obama’s policy.  But he at least recognizes that in theory, he should.

It’s not a new issue.  American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, the Iman behind the Ft. Hood attack, was targeted and killed by a drone attack in 2011. I shed no tears over his death.  In fact, I’m glad he’s dead.    I personally have no problem with drone warfare.  It’s another tool in the toolbox and if it makes key Al-Qaeda leaders nervous and looking over their shoulder, so much the better.

But specifically targeting Americans is a different story.  There are plenty of situations in which an American forfeits normal due process; put on a Confederate or Wehrmacht uniform, and it’s open season on you on the battlefield.  Or hanging around a legitimate military target, whether it’s a terrorist training camp or terrorist leader is rolling the dice.  But that’s not the same as an American citizen being targeted for assassination by name off a target list that the President personally picks, without any sort of due process.  And in spite of White House assurances, I rather doubt it’s legal.

The fact that al-Awlaki was an American citizen was barely mentioned as a potential legal issue in the MSM  at the time of his killing.  But now the President is safely re-elected some liberals and the media are finally opening their eyes that with President Obama, they got a war on terror strategy very similar to the one they thought they voted out when Bush left office.  Of course, I’ve had my eyes open on Obama’s policy for a while and have given the President his props when I thought he deserved them, but for the left, which though they were voting out Gitmo, drone strikes, ”warrantless wiretapping,” and the Patriot Act ending up getting… Gitmo, drone strikes,”warrantless wiretapping,” and the Patriot Act.

And now, targeted assassination of Americans.

The real question is whether this a momentary blip, and the left and the media will gently fall back asleep as the elections of 2014 and 2016 get nearer, or has Obama really gone too far, and the left and the media will have to take a stand in opposition in principle?

I’m guessing heavy doses of Ambien and off to dreamland again!

The Left Makes Up Their Own Romney Tax Plan

At one of the web forums I visit, some liberals had caught notice of this bit of news:

(CBS News) President Obama is seizing on a study out Wednesday to support his argument that Mitt Romney is focused on boosting the rich at the expense of the middle class.

The study from the Tax Policy Center looks at the impact of Romney’s tax plan, which he promises will be revenue neutral. Romney has vowed to cut tax rates by 20 percent across the board, repeal the estate tax and get rid of taxes in investment income for those making up $200,000. He says the reduction these tax cuts will have on tax revenue will be offset in part by eliminating deductions and loopholes, though he has refused to say what deductions and loopholes he would eliminate.

The Tax Policy Center – a joint project of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute – found that if Romney wants his plan to be revenue neutral, it will result in “large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.”

They found that would be the case no matter how he ultimately structures the plan. In fact, the group operated on the assumption that Romney would first eliminate deductions and loopholes for the wealthiest Americans.

“Even when we assume that tax breaks – like the charitable deduction, mortgage interest deduction, and the exclusion for health insurance – are completely eliminated for higher-income households first, and only then reduced as necessary for other households to achieve overall revenue-neutrality- the net effect of the plan would be a tax cut for high-income households coupled with a tax increase for middle-income households,” it said.

I read as far as “…a joint project of the Brookings Institution…” when I realized the study being referred to here was a phony.  The Brookings Institution is of course a left-liberal think tank.  Officially, it’s “non-partisan” as is required for a 501(c)3 organization, but it is generally staffed by researchers who are left leaning and provides reports and analysis that supports Democratic Party initiatives.  That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t do legitimate research, but it’s helpful to know which direction the bias is coming from.

So rather than just accept the CBS news article, as I was meant to, I followed the link to the actual abstract of the Tax Policy Center’s analysis here.   One of the first things I noticed is that they are not even scoring Romney’s plan.  “We do not score Governor Romney’s plan directly, as certain components of his plan are not specified in sufficient detail, nor do we make assumptions regarding what those components might be.”  So rather than score Romney’s plan, they make up a plan similar to what they think the final legislation will be.  And of course, make assumptions as to its components. Now, that should have ended the matter right there, but apparently the non partisan researchers at the Tax Policy Center will be more than willing to fill in any of the blanks themselves.

Another error the author’s make, (and this one is even more egregious than making up their assumptions) is that they assume that Romney’s 20% tax cut is on top of the Bush/Obama tax cuts.  The author’s point to Mitt Romney’s website as the source of this information; however that condition is nowhere on Romney’s website.  In fact, Romney’s site emphasizes that his plan is a variation of the tax plan from the Simpson-Bowles deficit plan, lower marginal rates, with few deductions; exactly what Democrats say they want, until a plan is actually offered.

So given that the authors add two tax cuts on top of each other, it’s easy to see how they came up with a plan that they don’t regard as workable.

This was all information that I dug up in just a few minutes, however I’ve yet to hear this counter argument in the main stream media.  It’s an example of the media’s bias of course, but specifically, confirmation bias.  The press release for this report fit the media’s prejudices so there was no need to even look at the abstract.  It just sounded right.   On Morning Joe this morning they spent 10 minutes talking about the report without anyone, even alleged conservative Joe Scarborough, challenging its assumptions.

The win goes to Obama on this one, but only because the truth was successfully embargoed by the media.