Patterico's Pontifications

4/25/2014

Our State Department: Living By the Promise of Hashtag . . . And Following Their Hashtag With Action

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:06 pm

If that headline made no sense to you, you probably don’t belong at the U.S. State Department:

Not inane enough yet? Oh, it gets stupider:

What’s that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke? No, it really happened:

They are making a hashtag of our foreign policy.

Apparently Concerns About Federal Overreaching Are Now Racist

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

The ritual denouncement of comments made by Cliven Bundy has begun. Here’s how Adam Nagourney of the New York Times reported his comments:

Cliven Bundy stood by the Virgin River up the road from the armed checkpoint at the driveway of his ranch, signing autographs and posing for pictures. For 55 minutes, Mr. Bundy held forth to a clutch of supporters about his views on the troubled state of America — the overreaching federal government, the harassment of Western ranchers, the societal upheaval caused by abortion, even musing about whether slavery was so bad.

Here is partial video of what he said, focusing on the slavery comments. This is not a guy you want to hire as a spokesman for your ideals, but then, he makes it pretty clear that he’s not so good with words. Still, if you watch the whole thing, he’s clear that he’s not “pro-slavery” but rather musing on the sorry situation caused by our welfare state.

Inelegant? You betcha. Pro-slavery? Doesn’t sound like it to me.

Still, Nagourney has to portray it that way, in order to place complaints about “the overreaching federal government” in the same category as “musing about whether slavery was so bad.” Both, we are led to believe, are radical and unacceptable beliefs.

Still, we have on Yahoo! News the following: A List of Cliven Bundy’s Supporters, Now That We Know He’s a Pro-Slavery Racist. And on CNN we get: Cliven Bundy: Another conservative folk hero exposes racial nerve. And anyone who was foolish enough to overreact and embrace this guy without any reservation is now predictably overreacting and tiptoeing away backwards lest they get the stink on them.

Concerns about federal overreaching are not racist. I don’t know enough about the facts of this case to opine on the merits in detail, but the general thrust of the concern is clear: that the federal government does overreach, and that it’s not racist to say so.

I saw this on Hot Air and while I don’t know if I agree with every word here (because, again, I don’t know enough about the case or Bundy himself to opine on whether he’s a racist or a bigot or what have you), I sure do like this lady’s style. Watch all the way to the end, where she talks about Toure and Jesse Jackson and ringing the dinner bell. It’s great:

Paging Harry Reid

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:40 am

[guest post by Dana]

In the short span of a few months, Harry Reid has referred to those notorious Koch brothers a total of 134 times on the Senate floor.

In his non-stop verbal assault, Reid has hurled all manner of accusation against them,

The Koch brothers are radical. They are un-American. They promote lies. They’re trying to buy the country.

(On a side note, could Reid himself be a Koch-funded politician?)

And, as a reminder, this is what Charles Koch is all about,

A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens.

No wonder Reid continues his full-frontal attacks, ad nauseam.

These two men are a pair of shadow billionaires spending millions of dollars to rig our political system, and who does it help? Them.

Because the left is certainly above such crassness, right? They would sneer at big money contributions. They would never attempt to “buy the country”. They would never try to “buy democracy”. They would never seek to re-shape the political landscape of the country. And certainly, they would never seek the favor of any “shadow” millionaires or billionaires. In other words, the left would never resemble the accusations and smears made against the Koch brothers.

Well, not so fast,

Some of the country’s biggest Democratic donors — including Tom Steyer and Jonathan Soros — are huddling behind closed doors next week in Chicago with union bigwigs and progressive superstars like Bill de Blasio to plan how to pull their party — and the country — to the left.

The setting is the annual spring meeting of the Democracy Alliance, a secretive club of wealthy liberals that’s the closest thing the left has to the vaunted Koch brothers’ political network.

This is not a club for those with lean bank accounts. This is for serious players who can pony up the big bucks,

Democracy Alliance partners, as the group calls its members, pay annual dues of $30,000 and are required to contribute a total of at least $200,000 a year to recommended groups. Since its inception in 2005, the DA has steered upward of $500 million to a range of groups, including pillars of the political left such as the conservative media watchdog Media Matters, the policy advocacy outfit Center for American Progress and the data firm Catalist — all of which are run by Clinton allies.

DA conferences are typically kept hush-hush, with locations tightly held, press barred from the sessions and participants prohibited from discussing the proceedings.

The DA, as the liberal group is known to insiders, is increasing its ranks of rich donors for the first time in years and is gearing up to spend huge sums on political data, voter registration, ground organizing and advertising to influence the 2014 midterms and 2016 presidential elections.

The New York Times ran a profile on Steyer, which included this,

A billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers.

The donor, Tom Steyer, a Democrat who founded one of the world’s most successful hedge funds, burst onto the national political scene during last year’s elections, when he spent $11 million to help elect Terry McAuliffe governor of Virginia and millions more intervening in a Democratic congressional primary in Massachusetts. Now he is rallying other deep-pocketed donors, seeking to build a war chest that would make his political organization, NextGen Climate Action, among the largest outside groups in the country, similar in scale to the conservative political network overseen by Charles and David Koch.

Oh, did I mention “radical agenda”?

[P]panels will focus on elevating progressive issues like income inequality, climate change, drug reform, gun control, abortion rights and the death penalty.

“I anticipate the Democracy Alliance becoming both more progressive and more aggressive in the coming years,” said Erica Payne, who helped found the club, and now runs the Agenda Project, a progressive communications nonprofit. “That will disturb centrist Democrats, but it will be healthy and productive for the country. They need to be challenged on these things.”

Here is a fun video of Harry Reid discussing what he wants us to believe is a truly “radical agenda”,

–Dana


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