Author Archive: Ed Driscoll

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS: Krugman vs. Krugman. New York Times columnist tries to memory-hole his prior views on immigration.

And don’t get him started on this sort of invasion of illegal aliens: Fake an Alien Invasion, Save the U.S. Economy. “‘If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive build-up to counter the space alien threat, and inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months. And then if we discovered, ‘whoops, we made a mistake, there aren’t actually any space aliens,’ we’d [still] be better,’ he added.”

TRUNALIMUNUMAPRZURE!

I’m so old, I can remember when jump cut ransom note videos were strictly for when the DNC-MSM interviewed Republicans, not to get one of their own over the hurdle.

DISPATCHES FROM WEIMAR AMERCA: Seattle activists declare a ‘homosexual intifada.’

Is it possible the Seattle homosexual intifada flyer is meant to envision a world in which gay Palestinians fight back in Gaza? Are they trolling us with their flyer? Not likely. The pro-Hamas faction of Seattle activists has consistently downplayed or ignored Hamas terrorism against Jews because they believe “resistance is justified when people are occupied.”

Generally, Hamas’ dangerous hostility to the LGBT community is ignored. But in the rare instances in which it is not, progressive activists use their hatred of Jews to gaslight. Radical Swarthmore professor Sa’ed Atshan dismissed Hamas and Gazan homophobia as if it’s no different than anywhere else. In an interview, Atshan tries to explain why there’s “queer solidarity” with Palestinians without having to mention it’s driven by blatant antisemitism, historical ignorance, or both.

Atshan noted, “Homophobia is not unique to Palestinian society. It exists in most parts of the world, including in Israeli society, as well as here in the United States.” He even manages to blame Jews for homophobia in Gaza, falsely claiming they participate in a brutal military occupation of Gaza.

“It’s very dangerous to pathologize Palestinian society as uniquely homophobic or that homophobia is endemic to the society without this broader context, as well as without understanding the ways that life under brutal military occupation exacerbates homophobia within Palestinian society as well.

Some broader context:

Palestinian Islamic Scholar Sheikh Yousef Abu Islam: Homosexuals Should Be Thrown Off Rooftops, Stoned To Death; Allah Will Punish Us Like Sodom If We Don’t Fight This Abomination.

What It’s Like to Be Gay in Gaza: Meeting Israelis on Dating Apps, Evading Hamas and Plotting Escape. In a society where homosexuality could be punishable by death, gay Gazans keep their identity secret.

Hamas Executes Prominent Commander After Accusations of Gay Sex.

ACE OF SPADES: The New Yorker: Is The Media Prepared for an Extinction-Level Event?

Note that this is a different article from the similarly titled “Is the Media Heading Towards an Extinction-Level Event?” that appeared in The Atlantic February 2nd.

The media basically just copies from each other and writes the same ten pieces over and over again.

Is the Media Prepared for an Extinction-Level Event? Ads are scarce, search and social traffic is dying, and readers are burned out. The future will require fundamentally rethinking the press’s relationship to its audience.

It would be nice if you stopped lying to that audience all the time.

And as far as an audience being “burned out:” maybe you could stop the endless Cycles of Crisis where one Outrage is only displaced by the next Cause for Alarm and then that is replaced by the next Moral Panic.

Maybe your liberal readers — who are highly neurotic, as every survey shows — wouldn’t be so burned out if you weren’t constantly lighting their nervous systems on fire with your panic pornography.

A report that tracked layoffs in the industry in 2023 recorded twenty-six hundred and eighty-one in broadcast, print, and digital news media. NBC News, Vox Media, Vice News, Business Insider, Spotify, theSkimm, FiveThirtyEight, The Athletic, and Condé Nast–the publisher of The New Yorker–all made significant layoffs. BuzzFeed News closed, as did Gawker. The Washington Post, which lost about a hundred million dollars last year, offered buyouts to two hundred and forty employees. In just the first month of 2024, Condé Nast laid off a significant number of Pitchfork’s staff and folded the outlet into GQ; the Los Angeles Times laid off at least a hundred and fifteen workers (their union called it “the big one”); Time cut fifteen per cent of its union-represented editorial staff; the Wall Street Journal slashed positions at its D.C. bureau; and Sports Illustrated, which had been weathering a scandal for publishing A.I.-generated stories, laid off much of its staff as well. One journalist recently cancelled a networking phone call with me, writing, “I’ve decided to officially take my career in a different direction.” There wasn’t much I could say to counter that conclusion; it was perfectly logical.

Keep talking that hot, sweaty sexytalk.

If only someone could have predicted the potentially disastrous impact of being myopic coastal-oriented publications that ignored or insulted the views of millions of Americans living in the vast region it dismissed as “flyover country.” If only:

ROLLING STONE STILL PARTYING LIKE IT’S 1979: Ugh. Kristen Stewart Tells Rolling Stone She Wants to ‘Do the Gayest Thing You’ve Ever Seen in Your Life.’

In The Painted Word, Tom Wolfe quoted Andy Warhol as saying, “Nothing is more bourgeois than to be afraid to look bourgeois.” Or as America’s Newspaper of Record notes:

THE RISE OF BARBARIC PROGRESSIVISM*:

The progressives’ turn to violence first appeared in the one institution over which progressivism exercises near-absolute rule—academia. Recent years have seen the emergence of a kind of progressive dictatorship of the professoriate, a totalitarian regime that denies its subjects the right not only to believe but even to hear ideas that might cast doubt on progressivism’s rectitude. For some time, this was accomplished by administrative corruption and quiet censorship. Today, however, it is largely accomplished by mob violence. The professoriate’s shock troops shout down and assault speakers; disrupt events; attack opposing activists; engage in intimidation, harassment, and psychological abuse; and aggressively “deplatform” anyone with whom they disagree. Thus, while freedom of thought and speech are not outright forbidden in the academy, they have become impossible to exercise, much as Islamic religious laws against depictions of Muhammad have been imposed on Western societies through the threat of terrorism.

This culture of progressive violence emerged in full during the events surrounding the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police. While the Black Lives Matter protests that followed were often peaceful, a very large number were not, and left-wing groups like Antifa played a large role in the looting, burning, vandalism, property damage, and general anarchy that devasted several urban centers and led to a massive spike in crime as police withdrew for fear of further public execration. Along with this, and not only in the US, a campaign of iconoclasm took place that saw statues pulled down and monuments destroyed and defaced, including a statue of Winston Churchill and the Cenotaph in London. Even statues of decidedly non-racist figures like Theodore Roosevelt and Ulysses S. Grant were allowed to be pulled down for fear of further mayhem. Many progressives who did not themselves participate in these brutal campaigns of intimidation and violence either excused or supported them.

Particularly disturbing is that a large number of progressives—perhaps a majority—have adopted two of the most egregious ideologies they purport to oppose: antisemitism and racism. It has often been said that all totalitarian ideologies eventually end in the Elders of Zion, and the examples of Hitler and Stalin appear to bear this out. Indeed, as it has become more totalitarian, progressivism has also become more antisemitic. It tends to couch this antisemitism in the language of anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel, but its rhetoric is so vitriolic and hateful, its violence against Jews and Zionists so intense, and its support for the most horrendous antisemitic atrocities so open and palpable, that no other conclusions can be drawn.

Read the whole thing.

* I’ll take “Headlines from 1917” for $500, Alex.

CLOWARD AND PIVEN SMILE: The Bankruptcy of Bidenomics. Biden’s economic policies gave us three years of excessive, wasteful, and poorly targeted federal spending.

Higher deficits, meanwhile, mean more spending on interest: “Rising interest rates and persistently large primary deficits cause interest costs to almost triple in relation to GDP between 2023 and 2053,” the CBO noted. Small wonder that Biden stopped bragging about the deficit.

Much of Biden’s presidency has been defined by this sort of memory-holing, when the president uses dubious evidence to give himself credit and then moves on when the story changes. Indeed, the word Bidenomics itself eventually fell to this sort of revisionist political marketing.

After his Chicago speech, the president traveled the country making the case for Bidenomics. It wasn’t successful. Polls found that a clear majority of even Democratic voters were unhappy with the economy. In a November New York Times/Siena survey, just 2 percent of respondents rated the economy as excellent. Literally zero surveyed voters under 30 in the key swing states of Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin gave the economy top marks. Biden administration officials themselves seemed dismayed by the limited results of the president’s policies: In late 2023, an unnamed White House official told CNN the president was immensely frustrated about the slow rollout of infrastructure projects that Biden had hoped to show off.

Biden used the word Bidenomics more than 100 times in various speeches, according to NBC. But by late November, the term had entirely disappeared from his prepared remarks. Democrats had reportedly decided that their economic messaging would instead revolve around the more generic phrase “people over politics.” One marketing gimmick would be replaced with another—because Bidenomics wasn’t working.

NBC, huh? Here’s why economists don’t expect trillions of dollars in economic stimulus to create inflation.

—Headline, CNBC, July 23rd, 2020.

MILE MARKERS ON THE ROAD TO DETROIT: Charles Barkley eviscerates San Francisco for ‘homeless crooks’ during All-Star Game.

The NBA legend and TNT basketball host and analyst likely won’t be planning any vacations to the city anytime soon.

Barkley was speaking with polarizing Warriors forward Draymond Green and ex-Pacers star Reggie Miller, now an NBA analyst as well, on TNT’s alternate broadcast during the NBA All-Star game Sunday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indiana.

During the broadcast, Green said, “Hey Reggie we love you, let’s not have another All-Star [game] in Indiana. Let’s let this be the last one, my friend.”

Next year’s All-Star game will take place at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

When Green responded, “yes you can walk around,” Barkley responded “yeah, with a bulletproof vest.”

It’s certainly not the first time Barkley has criticized San Francisco.

San Francisco’s last Republican mayor left office at the beginning of 1964.

ABOUT THAT VIRAL $50,000 SCAM STORY: I Have Questions.

  • Why was Cowles chosen as a target in the first place? Normally, scammers hook a person first, and then get that person to provide their details to them. But the scammers seem to have known a lot about Cowles from the start — including that she had a small child. How? And why choose her? She’s a financial journalist. Wouldn’t she be the worst person in the worldto do this to? The scammers seemed relatively sophisticated. Why did they select someone who presumably has a bunch of high-level contacts?

  • Why would the scammers be so keen to get physically near to Cowles? Scammers usually hope to stay as far away from their marks as possible. Had Cowles called the police and had them set up a sting, the game would have been up when the scammer’s car pulled up and accepted the cash. Why take that risk?

It is possible — likely, in fact — that the ultimate answer to all of these questions is that Cowles is profoundly stupid. Or, to invert Cowles’s own words: It is possible that she got scammed because she is, in fact, “hysterical, or a rube.” If so, she has no business being a financial-advice columnist, whose sole professional role is to advise others about money. And if not? Well, then she’s giving Jussie Smollett a run for his money.

Otherwise, the story places Cowles in an even worse light:

Responding to Cowles’ debacle, Jim Treacher asks: Maybe Our Elites Aren’t So Elite?

DISPATCHES FROM THE “IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN WE DO IT” PARTY: Suddenly, Politico Discovers DC’s ‘Ugliest Protest Trend’ When Blinken’s Targeted.

When the far-left protests outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices, the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) think that’s freedom of speech in action. The Washington Post published a puff piece on a woman disturbing the peace outside Brett Kavanaugh’s home: “We’re about to get doomsday, so I’m not going to be civil to that man at all.” The Trump era made disturbing conservative dinners at restaurants a tactic that’s “not going away.”

But turn the target around to Biden’s Secretary of State, and Politico on Friday found an “ugly” protest trend: 

Antony Blinken’s Family Is the Latest Target of Washington’s Ugliest Protest Trend

Yelling at Antony Blinken’s kids does not help Gazan children.

And? Saul Alinsky wrote Rules for Radicals for leftists to target the earlier generation of earnest FDR-style liberals in the early 1970s; his rules are simply being aimed in his intended direction once again.

In any case, as Kurt Schlichter has warned: Liberals May Regret Their New Rules.

PARTYING LIKE IT’S 1791:

As Kevin Williamson wrote in his 2019 book, The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in the Age of Mob Politics, “The Bill of Rights ought to be titled ‘A List of Things You Idiots Don’t Get a Vote On, Because They Aren’t Up for Negotiation.’”

Earlier: Charles Cooke: On the Peculiar Coverage of the Kansas City Shooting.

THE 21st CENTURY IS NOT TURNING OUT AS I HAD HOPED: Elderly volunteer, 90, claims she was forced out of MS Society job for asking about pronoun usage.

An elderly California woman claims she was forced to step down from her volunteer position of 60 years after she asked for clarity on the use of pronouns.

Fran Itkoff, the 90-year-old leader of the Lakewood/Long Beach Self-Help Group, was told her organization would no longer be affiliated with the National MS Society after her “failure to abide by our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion guidelines.”

Itkoff, who has won multiple awards for her and her husband’s work with the organization, became confused one day after she saw several people sign their emails and letters with their names along with their chosen pronouns.

“I was confused, I didn’t know what it was, what it meant,” Itkoff told the social media account Libs of TikTok. “I’ve seen it on a couple of letters that had come in after the person’s name they had the pronouns, but I didn’t know what that meant.”

The nonagenarian, however, did not get a clear answer.

“Finally I was talking to her and thought I would ask ‘what does it mean’ and let her tell me,” Itkoff said. “She said that it meant ‘they were all-inclusive,’ which didn’t make sense to me.”

The “De-Gleichschaltung” may be beginning, but it’s sure taking it’s time getting here en masse.

HOW DARE YOU!

CHARLES COOKE: On the Peculiar Coverage of the Kansas City Shooting.

That this was not a “mass shooting” in the way that that term is typically used, but was an argument between two illegally armed minors that turned violent. This isn’t pedantry; it matters. When determining what to do about crime, it is important to understand the nature of the crime in question. From what I can tell, the aim of the two alleged shooters was not to hurt or kill those around them; they just didn’t care if they did. That does not describe most “mass shooters.”

* * * * * * * *

Once again, the media is exhibiting a chronic lack of imagination in its coverage of gun-related crime, which is invariably marked out by a fanatical obsession with gun-control and a total lack of interest in anything else.

Read the whole thing.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: Washington State Democrats add ‘Hamas amendment’ to Holocaust education bill.

Earlier: The rise and rise of Holocaust envy: “Where once racists accused the Jews of inventing the Holocaust, now the demand is that the Jews share the Holocaust. Yes, the Jews can have remembrance of their genocide, says [Anshel Pfeffer of Haaretz,] but first they must agree to ‘share it’ with other victim groups.”

THE PARTY TOLD YOU TO REJECT THE EVIDENCE OF YOUR EYES AND EARS. IT WAS THEIR FINAL, MOST ESSENTIAL COMMAND:

The administration, with journalists in tow, is playing the Looney Tunes dancing frog act — that to them and only them, behind closed doors, away from cameras and the voting public, Biden is not the president we see regularly confuse world leaders, forget where to walk off a stage, lose concentration mid-sentence and refuse to hold live interviews or unscripted press conferences. They are telling 86 percent of the country (according to a recent ABC News poll on Biden’s fitness for a second term) not to believe their eyes and ears.

When Biden’s White House attorneys were asked if they would demand a transcript release to refute the special counsel’s generalizations, they were non-committal. The White House has not pledged to support the release of audio recordings of the sessions, which could go a long way in refuting the final report’s assessment of Biden. At every step, this administration and a lockstep media pushing its message has refused any access to the president himself, so Biden can make the case for his own mental and cognitive fitness.

If Joe Biden cannot make his own case to the American people that he will serve a second term to its fulfillment and not resign halfway due to his advanced age and health, thrusting an unpopular President Kamala Harris onto the country, then we should not allow anyone in our media or this White House to make the case for him.

Related: Puck’s Dylan Byers: White House Reporters Knew About Biden All Along.

Of late, we hear plenty from the news industry about a “crisis” for democracy as their platforms downsize or fail. They are a necessity for a well-informed republic, media professionals insist, But how can they make that argument while at the same time refusing to actually inform the public, especially about a critical failure at the head of government and state? I don’t doubt for a moment what Byers reports as the excuses from the White House press cohort, but excuses are precisely what they are.

What is “sensitive and unseemly” about reporting a cognitive incapacitation of a sitting US president? This isn’t about an affair; it’s not a private issue in any way under these circumstances. The incapacitation of a president or governor is not a matter of “delicacy,” either.

Byers lands on one of the real issues in this passage. The reporters knew that to inform the public that Biden had begun sliding into senility would mean that the White House wouldn’t treat them favorably. And that’s what they really value — not protecting democracy and “speaking truth to power,” but pandering to it for the perqs. This is a real-life recreation of the fable of The Emperor’s New Clothes, with the White House press corps playing the role of the obsequious courtiers.

The old joke that DC is Hollywood for Ugly People descends all the way down to both cities’ chattering classes. For decades, Hollywood knew that even its worst big-budget films would be propped by good reviews from local city film “critics.” They were desperate not to be tossed off the gravy train where they got to interview the stars and receive screeners, press kits, and other baubles from Tinseltown, no matter how badly executives such as Harvey Weinstein and their entourage treated them.

Political “reporters,” having clawed their up the greasy pole to make it to covering the White House, are similarly afraid of losing their status as insiders – no matter how badly Joe Biden and his handlers treat them.

Related:

 

TUCKER CARLSON DISCOVERS AMERICAN TOURISTS ARE RICH:

After checking out, Carlson is floored by grocery prices in Russia. He said in the video that a cart of groceries that he thought would cost $400 actually cost $104.

Americans will frequently be impressed by how far their money goes in foreign countries. It’s expensive to travel abroad, but once you actually get there, a lot of stuff seems really cheap. That’s because American tourists benefit from a strong dollar, and they have high incomes by global standards. It doesn’t really tell you much about the quality of life for people who live in the foreign country.

That’s especially true the past few years. In 2022, the dollar was trading at 20-year highs relative to other currencies. It’s down slightly from that today, but it is still very strong.

The reason for this is largely higher interest rates. When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, it increases the returns for Treasury securities. The higher returns mean more foreigners want to buy Treasury securities. But Treasury securities are sold in dollars, so foreigners demand more dollars to buy them. That raises the “price” of the dollar on international exchange markets, giving Americans more purchasing power abroad.

* * * * * * * *

Russia must be loving these videos that Carlson keeps putting out. But his amazement at the prices of Russian groceries doesn’t demonstrate Russia is doing something great. It demonstrates that Americans in foreign countries are rich.

Why don’t more Americans move to foreign countries then? First, most jobs that pay American incomes do not allow people to live in foreign countries. (For the few jobs that do allow it, some Americans have moved to Mexico City, for example, where they can buy very nice houses at Mexican prices.)

Second, most people know that what they might see on vacation is probably not representative of everyday life. And it’s just not worth it to most people to uproot their lives and live in a country that speaks a different language, uses a different alphabet, has high rates of alcoholism and suicide, lacks democratic institutions, persecutes religious minorities, and is waging a genocidal war on its neighbor — even if their income would land them in the upper class.

Tucker (who used to know better) is suffering from a case of Omnipotent Tourist Syndrome in Cyrillic:

The Omnipotent Tourist Syndrome is a disease common among Americans that is caused by arrogance, egotism and nonchalance. Carriers show a penchant for obliviously overlooking the obvious while delighting themselves at the cost of others. Delirious OTS sufferers refuse to acknowledge their malady and will argue that it is their God given right as an American to travel freely about the world with little or no conscience or consequence. OTS people frequently hide behind their Bill of Rights and Constitution. Unfortunately, there is no cure for OTS nor is there any way to ease it’s symptoms. It is a disease which, no matter how much hard data and facts are introduced into the OTS sufferer, will not ease unless said sufferer finds a compass of morality and humanity.

Flashback: When Boris Yeltsin went grocery shopping in Houston:

It was September 16, 1989 and Yeltsin, then newly elected to the new Soviet parliament and the Supreme Soviet, had just visited Johnson Space Center.

At JSC, Yeltsin visited mission control and a mock-up of a space station. According to Houston Chronicle reporter Stefanie Asin, it wasn’t all the screens, dials, and wonder at NASA that blew up his skirt, it was the unscheduled trip inside a nearby Randall’s location.

Yeltsin, then 58, “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” wrote Asin. He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. supermarkets, “there would be a revolution.”

Related: The Full Duranty.