Saturday, December 14, 2013

Left-Wing Violence

A popular meme on Facebook has been the notion that recent mass-killings in schools (Virginia Tech; Newtown) have been conducted by Democrats.  Some of this has been obviously wrong: the Virginia Tech shooter was identified as a "Registered Democrat" and was from Northern Virginia, and as everyone knows, no one in Virginia is a "registered" anything, since we don't register by party here.  And once, as an adoptive Virginian, I read this, I had little interest in fact-checking the other assertions.

Nevertheless, in today's Denver Post, a story appears identifying the shooter in yesterday's Arapahoe High School shooting as an adherent to a series of far-Left views.

I wonder if "The Richmonder" will be touting this confluence of politics and violence?

h/t Christopher Buckley

Friday, March 08, 2013

More Hackery

It's one thing when an obscure blogger engages in political hackery.  It's quite another when a major newspaper does so.

Communist "journalist" I.F. Stone famously observed that "What makes the Washington Post a great newspaper is that you never know on what page you'll find the page-one story."  Sometimes, the page-one story is nowhere to be found, except in the archives.

For instance, yesterday, the WaPo devoted no less than three stories to the Senate GOP filibuster against President Barry's nominee to fill a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  One pretends to be a straight news story by Paul Kane ("Democrats said that the GOP filibuster was a politically motivated effort to halt the career of a potential Supreme Court justice").  Another is an op-ed from Greg Sargent, bemoaning filibusters generally.  The third and final is the third editorial on the editorial page, which called for an "up or down vote."

The D.C. Circuit is often described as "the second-most important court in the land," given its jurisdiction over Federal agencies and rule-making, and the fact that those who sit on it are frequently promoted to the United States Supreme Court.  No fewer than four sitting Justices --- Antonin Scalia; Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Chief Justice John Roberts --- sat first on the D.C. Circuit.

So it's little surprise that Presidents treat their appointments to the D.C. Circuit seriously, and Senators treat them no less seriously when considering their confirmation.

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats failed to break a Republican filibuster against one such nominee, Caitlin Halligan.  I won't get into the merits or demerits of that nomination.  What is interesting is the facts that are absent from the WaPo's three articles on the issue.

What do all three have in common?  Not a single one mentions that the seat to which Halligan has been appointed is the one vacated by Chief Justice John Roberts in 2005, and that Democrats refused to vote on President Bush's nominee to fill the seat, Peter D. Keisler, who served briefly as acting Attorney General in the Bush Administration, and on whose nomination Democrats refused to act when they seized control of the Senate in 2006.

It's not like this fact is hard to find; after all, Wikipedia has a nice entry on the D.C. Circuit which includes identification of the tenure of various judges in office, and another on Keisler.  One would thing that this fact is of at least marginal significance, particularly since the WaPo's editorial complains that "When lawmakers hold nominees hostage to politics and ideology, trampling the legitimate prerogative of the president to staff the government and the judiciary, it degrades the effectiveness of government and the courts, deters qualified people from pursuing public service and poisons the politics in Washington."

And indeed, five years ago, the WaPo called it "a travesty that [Keisler] has yet to get a vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee," so I can't call the WaPo's attitude "hypocritical," which was how this post got started

But why is it any less a "travesty" that Democrats seek to profit from their petulance by putting one of their own into a seat they unfairly held open?  The WaPo does not explain, because no one there wants people to remember how we got here.

Blogger Sargent is correct about one thing, however: Democrats are reaping what they sowed.  However, Sargent is incorrect in complaining that it's about "weak" filibuster "reform."  What they sowed was a war over the Federal judiciary.  It's a battle they chose when they went to the courts to pursue an agenda they couldn't pass democratically, and when they smeared the late Robert Bork.  And it's one they doubled down upon when they unfairly blocked President Bush's judicial nominees.  Complaining about Senate Republicans finally choosing to engage in the battle by employing like tactics is simply a demand that the other side unilaterally disarm.

After all, if those wascally Wepublicans didn't use the same weapons as the Democrats, they'd be so much easier to defeat.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Political Hackery Masquerading as "News"

The Weekly Standard identifies this week what it calls "three interesting data points on media double standards."

Of course, this likewise demonstrates that at least portions of Virginia's moonbatosphere suffer from the same tunnel-vision in the interests of pursuing their far-Left political agenda.

For example, J.C. Wilmore (The Richmonder) has whole tags for "Right Wing Terrorism" and "Right Wing Violence."  Now, never mind that he attributes to the "Right Wing" occurrences with no provable connection to the "Right Wing" --- things like a shooting into an Obama campaign headquarters, the bombing of a Democrat Texas state senator's office, and the Gabby Giffords shooting --- declaring that "The far right wing constitutes an ongoing threat to the United States...."

Since he has no such tags for "Left Wing Terrorism" and "Left Wing Violence," one can only presume that there are some kinds of terrorism and violence that he supports.  And no mention of mob violence perpetrated by labor unions in Wisconsin and Michigan.  Don't expect to see a report on perpetrators of union violence.  Mr. Wilmore offers 'nary a word about that violence in February and March 2011, or in December 2012, respectively.  In Wisconsin, the tag is for "Wisconsin Protests" (emphasis added).

But what's a little disingenuous euphemism among friends?

Hypocrisy, thy name is Liberal.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Sad News

Reading my WaPo today --- yes, I'm one of those anachronisms who still subscribes to and reads daily papers --- I came across an article on the late Richard Ben Cramer, who died on Monday at age 62.  As the article details, Cramer was, in many ways, a throwback to the caffeine-addicted, chain-smoking --- lung cancer ultimately claimed him --- reporters of yore.

Cramer, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 (at age 29) is best known for his 1992 work “What It Takes: The Way To the White House,” a huge tome on the 1988 presidential race.  Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley calls it "“arguably the finest book on campaign politics of all time."

I had the privilege of dining with Mr. Cramer and his assistant at a Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention some years ago, and while I can't say I knew the man or got to know him well on that brief encounter, he struck me as a very nice guy, a hail-fellow-well-met sort of man whose friendliness and good humor doubtless served him well in his chosen profession.  It was easy to understand how he got to know his subjects so well.


Friday, January 04, 2013

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is ...

Blow Me ... er, Blue Virginia.

Here's a post which caught my eye.  It complains of the fact that nationwide, Democrat House candidates won the popular vote by less than a percentage point (49.15% to 48.03%), but Republicans won a 33-seat majority.  In Virginia, Republican candidates won the popular vote by 2%, but won eight out of eleven seats.

To be sure, this is a function of gerrymandering.  To be sure, there are exceptions (one-seat states like Alaska, Wyoming, and North Dakota) which skew the results, but it's almost a fair point.  If, of course, we lived in a parliamentary system of government, and not a representative republic.  But of course, the moonbats on far Left never let the facts get in the way of a good rant.

Here's one they cast proverbial Memory Hole: that there were crickets chirping over at Blow Me ... er, Blue Virginia when a Democrat gerrymander for the Virginia State Senate resulted in 20 Democrat Senators, even though statewide, Democrat Senate candidates won less than 43% of the  vote.

You can be taken seriously as people of principle when Virginia Democrats surrender three of those seats.  And reverse the effort to carve up Prince William County like a Thanksgiving turkey (one whole district and parts of four others in a county whose population justifies two full seats, and part of another) to preserve Chuck Colgan's seat.