Tuesday, May 31

Why the disaster in Venezuela should matter to you

The subject of this post is extremely important.  Crucial to your future.  Unless you're willing to just shrug and leave your childrens' fate to some lying politician you need to understand what follows, in every detail.

A friend asked me why I'd written so many pieces on the ghastly collapse of Venezuela.  Lots of countries have problems, he said, so why should their problems be of any more interest to Americans than any other country's?

That's a fair question.  To begin the answer I need to ask you what you know about "socialism." 

Unless you're a historian or a political junkie you probably have only a vague idea of what socialism is.  You may know that one of the two Democrats running for that party's nomination is a self-proclaimed socialist.  (The other is apparently a socialist in all but declaration.)  And you may have heard that Sweden or Norway or Finland or some of those Scandanavian countries are successful socialist states.

Finally, you have a vague idea that socialism shares one or two traits with communism, but you're probably not sure what those are.

Anyone recall what the acronym "USSR" meant?  (I'd love to see a video crew tour Harvard and Yale asking students that question.)

If you're under 30 and know the answer, you're unusually well informed:  It was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

"Wait, I thought the USSR was the communists.  Why would they call themselves socialists if they were communists?"

Oooh, good question!  We'll have to leave that for another day.  For now, suffice it to say that unless you're really into the nuances of "dialectic materialism" the distinction between the two is extremely small.

So what does this have to do with either the situation in Venezuela, or why we should be concerned?

Because, comrade, Venezuela once had the highest per-capita income in South America.  It's a nation with huge natural wealth, like oil.  But with the help of a socialist-loving media, a cunning socialist politician was able to win the presidency.  Then by fanning the flames of class envy--implying to voters that he would break the rich and give their fortunes to the poor--he was able to use his party's majority in congress to essentially get them to give him unlimited power--i.e. they allowed him to rule by decree.

Ringing any bells?  Eh, probably not.  At least not yet.

There's a word the U.S. mainstream media always uses whenever there's bad economic news here due to one of the emperor's many idiotic policies: "unexpected."  And after this asshole became dictator that's what most liberal media outlets said about everything that followed in Venezuela:  It was just so *totally* unexpected.

The first result was that the smartest people, and those who had an entrepreneurial drive and worked hard, left the country in droves. 

Oooh, that was unexpected.

The dictator then imposed "price controls:" A government "price commission" would tell every business the maximum price they could put on any product.  It even demanded that some businesses sell their goods at cost (i.e. no profit).  To the surprise of no one except the dictator and his fellow socialist brain-trusts, businesses forced to do this soon went bankrupt.  Again, totally "unexpectedly."

Wow, sure glad our so-called "leaders" aren't that fucking stupid.  Oh wait, they are.  But of course you've never heard about price controls here in the U.S.  They exist.  You just don't hear about them, because no one teaches it, and the mainstream media doesn't have any interest in telling you.

As economic activity slowed, tax revenue dropped.  People smart enough to read the handwriting on the wall started exchanging the national currency for dollars--making the national currency drop.  "Unexpectedly," inflation soared, hitting 100 percent per year, killing the value of savings--and thus the incentive for anyone to save money.

The loss of buying power of the currency, of course, was a clear, open signal to everyone that the rest of the world thought the dictator's policies were disastrous.  Oooh, can't have that!  So to avoid losing face the dictator decreed that there would henceforth be an "official" currency-exchange rate of something like ten bolivars to the dollar--at a time when the real, international rate was something like 1000 to the dollar.  His fellow party members--stupid and deluded--rubber-stamped this move.

If you ran a business and needed dollars to import a product not made in Venezuela, and could get the official rate, everything was fine.  Problem was that only the dictator's friends could get the subsidized official rate--everyone else had to pay the unofficial ("real","black-market") rate. 

But with the government dictating the selling price of everything, businesses couldn't recover their costs.  Which of course meant owners of ordinary small businesses couldn't afford to import anything.

The result--again, totally unexpectedly, eh?--was shortages of *everything*--including the most basic commodities like cooking oil, corn meal, milk and...toilet paper.

In a tropical nation with virtually unlimited scrub trees, you'd think it wouldn't be too tough to build a factory in Venezuela to make...toilet paper.  But apparently something's prevented the brilliant government from building one.

Because people were constantly short of everything, those who could shopped every day in case some store might have something they could use or trade.  Lines of people waiting to enter grocery stores stretched for over a mile--literally. 

Because everything was in short supply, in the rare case when a store got a shipment of, say, canned tomatoes, people would buy as much as they could carry because they could trade with friends later for other goods.

The government called this "hoarding" and responded by issuing ration cards, and requiring shoppers to have their fingerprint scanned at each store to confirm their identity. (!)

You'd think having to give a fingerprint to buy a can of tomatoes would trigger a massive revolution, but the people meekly complied.  Then again, when your emperor and his party passed a massive law telling you what kind of health insurance you had to buy, and forcing companies to stop selling health insurance the emperor didn't like, and making it impossible for you to keep seeing a doctor you'd used for 20 years, you'd think there would have been a revolt here.  Of course people meekly complied.

Maybe we're not so different from Venezuelans after all.

As Venezuela's descent into hell accelerated, the dictator died of cancer.  For his hand-picked successor--another socialist, obviously--this was a miracle, because it let him use the "great tragedy of our beloved leader's death" to revive support for the very same ruinous policies that had destroyed the economy in the first place!

Of course many people simply aren't smart enough--or don't have enough education--to connect cause and effect...which helps explain why they work in jobs that don't pay much.  They tend to see things in simplistic terms: you have more than they do, so the system must be unfair.  So the solution, as they see it, is to vote for a politician who promises he or she will take what you have and give it to them.

As far as I can see, you couldn't blast them out of this conclusion with high explosives. 

In the case of Venezuela, about 54 percent of voters (if you believe the results declared by government counters) elected a cunning socialist, who used his party to give himself the power to make laws by decree.  His policies were ruinous, and the economy went straight to hell, in an amazingly short time.

How fast can things go to hell?  Consider that last December all mainstream U.S. media were saying inflation in Venezuela was expected to continue at 100 percent per year.  Right now--not six months after those predictions--inflation is 5 times higher than the earlier prediction.

The country doesn't even have enough foreign exchange to pay foreign companies to print the billions of additional paper bills Venezuela needs to keep up with inflation.

Starting to get it?

Now, what does Venezuela's ghastly experience--the worst of which we haven't begun to see yet--have to teach us here in the U.S?

For starters we need to recognized that ignorant voters aren't unique to Venezuela:  Roughly 54 percent of Americans will vote for the pol who promises to give them the most free stuff.

This is a *huge* problem, because unless by some miracle about 5 percent of voters suddenly wake up and grasp the truth, we're doomed to the same end as Venezuela.

Of course you don't think that could happen here.  You think Americans are smarter, or love freedom more, or are different in some crucial way.  Really?  52 percent of voters elected a man with a highly unusual past, who spent millions sealing all his records, for a reason no mainstream reporter has even *asked.*  A guy who has fanned the flames of race hatred beyond anything seen.  A guy who--with the help of his party and an extorted judge on the supreme court--nationalized health insurance, while lying to you about being able to keep your doctor if you wanted to.

A guy who has violated the Constitution repeatedly--not least by refusing to enforce valid U.S. laws.  His minions were found to be using the IRS to punish political opponents--a violation of the law--and the IRS responded by claiming to have lost three years of emails from the key figure in the scheme.

And yet astonishingly, 54% of voters (if you believe the "official" results) voted to re-elect the guy.

Still think it doesn't matter?

And now, because Republicans have nominated a flake--and because the Democrats control election commissions in the key "swing states" that decide elections--voters are poised to elect a woman who's just as much a lawbreaker as Obama.  A woman who's promised to take the current emperor's policies even farther left.
==

Friends tell me it's useless to be concerned about corrupt politicians, or pols shredding the Constitution, or voter fraud, or federal regulations from stupid, unelected, corrupt chiefs of federal agencies--regs that allow them to fine a company for not allowing a man to use the woman's restroom.

The arguments for not being concerned (and not acting) are
   1) it doesn't affect me or my family, so why be concerned?
   2) "politics have always been corrupt"
   3) no one can change it in any case, so why get "worked up" about something you can't do anything about?
   4) I'm way too busy raising my kids and earning a living to get involved.

I understand.  Don't blame ya'.  But unless you're willing to let the U.S. follow Venezuela down the bowl, you need to overcome those excuses--good though they are.

If you can't muster the energy to do it for yourself, do it for your kids.

Sunday, May 22

Leo DeCaprio jets from Cannes to NY to pick up an environmental award, then 4,000 miles back to Cannes a day later

Leo DeCaprio firmly believes human activity is fatally warming the Earth.  In fact in his Oscar acceptance speech he said, “Climate change is real. It is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species.”

This firmly demonstrated Leo's virtuous right-thinking to all his peers in Hollywood and Cannes and Davos and similar liberal enclaves.  There can be no doubt that he's one of the most virtuous, politically-correct people on the planet.  Yay Leo!

In fact, he's so damn virtuous that the folks who organized the "Riverkeeper Fishermen’s Ball" (a clean-water advocacy group) in New York City decided to give him an award for his right-thinking and devotion to the global warming cause.

Leo was so determined to show his virtue that he jetted from Cannes (he was at their annual film festival) to NYC, picked up the award, then jetted back to Cannes the next day to keep partying attend amfAR’s "Cinema Against AIDS" gala, where he gave a speech.

Wow, what a guy!  Jets 8,000 miles to demonstrate the absolutely crucial problem that global warming--a deadly threat that's surely gonna destroy life on earth--is caused humans burning fossil fuels.  (Yes, liberals, jets fuel comes from oil.)

This guy is a true liberal hero.

Is it real or an anti-emperor satire?


Decide if the following is real or an anti-emperor spoof:

You goofy Christians are always complaining that the emperor opposes your religion.  Why, that's totally false!  I mean, consider that barely 2 weeks ago the emperor announced the appointment of a person named Barbara Satin to his "Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships."

So there!

Satin has precisely the background you'd expect of someone appointed to advise the emperor on matters of faith, having been the "Assistant Faith Work Director" for the National LGBTQ Task Force. She recently worked on the development of a LGBTQ senior housing project in Minneapolis. 

Wait, are you complaining that Satin is too...non-traditional for this "key" position?  What makes you say that? 


Yes, Satin was born male.  As we said, perfectly qualified to be appointed by the emperor to his Advisory Council on Faith-based Partnerships.

Okay, you liberals probably think this is a put-on, a spoof by a conservative blog.  Well it's true that I got this from a very flaky, unreliable source:  the White House website.  

Europe losing to...

As has been clear for a couple of years to everyone except kumbaya liberals, Europe is facing an existential crisis.  They're being overwhelmed by The Religion of Beheaders.  And the so-called "leaders" of the EU are busy defending their awful, all-belief-systems-are-equal decisions, either to demonstrate their superior virtue to other liberals, or possibly to deliberately surrender their countries.

Hard to tell which.

Anyway, I thought the cartoon below caught the problem:


What really happened at the Nevada Dem convention

You may have heard that there was some sort of dust-up at the Nevada state Democrat convention a week or so ago. 

If, like most Americans, you get your news from the mainstream media, you were told that the problem involved supporters of Bernie Sanders yelling and throwing chairs.

What they carefully didn't mention is that the chairwoman of the state Dems--not surprisingly--is a Hillary plant who repeatedly violated the party's own published rules to a) ram through a rules change by voice vote before the convention started, and with 1000 delegates outside the hall waiting to enter; b) refuse to recognize 64 Sanders delegates; c) refuse to take a physical count (as required by Dem rules) when a voice vote showed a tie on a crucial question; d) refused to let a Sanders supporter read a challenge to the procedures; e) abruptly gavelled the convention to a close and ran off when it appeared that Sanders supporters were about to win a challenge.

If YouTube hasn't taken down the following video, watch it.  And compare what you see with what the media told you.  Night and day.


I won't be a bit surprised if YouTube removes the video on some ridiculous, spurious excuse.  After all, they're totally behind Hillary and the Dems.  Oh well.  If so, try this.

Think this kind of behavior by the state party chair is natural or spontaneous, or do ya think this is what she was told to do by Hillary's minions?  This is how the Dems are ensuring the queen will get their nomination.  The fix is in, comrades.  Hillary is the next queen.  The Dems would rather fix the fight and thus take the presidency again than have an open, honest process.

Saturday, May 21

Biden: 'women and gays are a great asset in combat units'

If you were ever in the military you recognize bullshit right away--a talent that far too many civilians seem to lack.
Biden at West Point: Diversity on battlefield an 'incredible asset'

Joe Biden advocated for diversity in the armed forces Saturday, telling West Point graduates in a commencement address that more women and openly gay soldiers will strengthen the country's armed forces.

"Having men and women together in the battlefield is an incredible asset, particularly when they're asked to lead teams in parts of the world with fundamentally different expectations and norms," Biden saidThe first seven women who were commissioned into combat divisions graduated Saturday.

Really Joe?  For example, d'ya think Muslims would behave better if a woman was shooting at 'em? 
Biden also saluted class president Eugene "E.J." Coleman for coming out as gay.  "Thanks for your courage, E.J., and I expect we're going to hear big things from you.
Yes, this is definitely what we need to make our military stronger and more effective:  Women and open gays.  [/sarc]

Tell ya what, Joe:  Why don't we have an infantry unit composed entirely of gays and women, and let's compare effectiveness.  If the all faaabulous unit does just as well, great.  If it doesn't, will you shut the fuck up about the wonders of fucking diversity as an asset?

No, of course you won't.

Friday, May 20

School board bans materials that deny AGW climate change

Everyone knows that the best scientists are found teaching science in high school, right?  And school board members--who set policy for schools--logically would know even more about science than the teachers.  So it makes perfect sense that school board members would be the people best qualified to decide crucial issues like, oh, whether the earth's climate is changing, and if so, what might be causing it.

And of course it makes sense that such a sophisticated, highly trained group of scientists--the board--would want to be sure their young highschool students didn't see any information that might cast doubt on the AGW theory.  Cuz, you know, we wouldn't want 'em to be confused by...um...information that might make 'em doubt The Narrative, eh?

Portland school board bans climate change-denying materials

Environmental groups say science is clear, so textbooks should be, too

The Portland Public Schools board unanimously approved a resolution aimed at eliminating doubt of climate change and its causes in schools.

It is unacceptable [to whom?] that we have textbooks in our schools that spread doubt about the human causes and urgency of the crisis,” said Lincoln High School student Gaby Lemieux in board testimony. “Climate education is the minimum requirement for my generation to be successful in our changing world.”

The resolution passed Tuesday evening calls for the school district to get rid of textbooks or other materials that cast doubt on whether climate change is occurring and that the activity of human beings is responsible. The resolution also directs the superintendent and staff to develop an implementation plan for “curriculum and educational opportunities that address climate change and climate justice in all Portland public schools.”

Bill Bigelow, a former PPS teacher and current curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools, a magazine devoted to education issues, said “A lot of the text materials are thick with the language of doubt, and obviously the science says otherwise,” Bigelow says, accusing the publishing industry to bowing to pressure from fossil fuels companies. “We don’t want kids in Portland learning material courtesy of the fossil fuel industry.”

Bigelow said the school system's science textbooks are littered with words like 'might', 'may' and 'could' when talking about climate change.  “ ‘Carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources may contribute to global warming,’ ” he quotes a science text as saying. “This is a section that could be written by the Exxon public relations group and it’s being taught in Portland schools.”

Bigelow is also the co-author of a textbook on environmental education, "A People’s Curriculum for the Earth." Asked if this resolution will cause the district to buy new textbooks, such as his, Bigelow said Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit, not a money-maker.  [Well there ya go--the leftist's all-purpose free pass:  "I'm not trying to make a profit."]

“What we’re asking for is not 'Buy new stuff,'” he said. “What we’re looking for is a whole different model of curriculum development and distribution.”
Got a great idea:  Take away ALL fossil fuels and electricity from Bigelow and every other goofy bastard on that school board.  Come back in a couple of years.  Re-interview.  See if he and they have changed their views at all.  If not, go away for two more years.  Repeat as needed.

Google praises dead America-hating leftist on her birthday

Google is a definitely a far-left outfit, and never pass up a chance to run graphics praising anti-American leftists.  For example,Yuri Kochiyama was a Japanese-American leftist.  Here are some of her quotes:
The goal of the war [on terrorism] is more than just getting oil and fuel. The United States is intent on taking over the world.
...the main terrorist and the main enemy of the world’s people is the U.S. government.  Throughout history all people of color and all people who don’t see eye-to-eye with the U.S. government have been subject to American terror.
I admire Osama bin Laden.  He is in the category of Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba, Fidel Castro, all leaders that I admire.  He is no ordinary leader or an ordinary Muslim.”
When I think what the US military is doing, bombing country after country to take oil resources, bringing about coups, assassinating leaders of other countries, pitting neighbor nations against each other, demonizing anyone who disagrees with US policy, and detaining and deporting countless immigrants from all over the world, I thank Islam for bin Laden. America’s greed, aggressiveness, and self-righteous arrogance must be stopped.
A real leftist charmer.  And by conspicuously promoting her, Google popularizes her views.  Thus it's hard to avoid the conclusion that Google's owners and execs agree with those views.

What are the odds Google will put up an adoring graphic of Thomas Jefferson on his birthday?  How about George Washington on his?

They never would, of course.  Because their adoring lefty supporters would scream bloody murder.

Utterly amazing.

Imagine what the U.S. would be like if it had been founded by people like Yuri Kochiyama instead of people like Thomas Jefferson.

New California law to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants: backers argued they'd buy auto insurance. How'd that work out?

Want yet another example of Leftist policies don't do what their pushers say they will?  Try the faaabulous law passed by the Democrat-ruled state legislature of California, to issue illegal aliens  driver's licenses.  The bill was pushed as a way to reduce the number of uninsured illegal-alien drivers, and it's cost that state $141 million so far. 

So did it do what the Democrats said it would?  And was it worth $141 million?  Let's take a look.

Backers of the bill assured Californian citizens that the proposed law would spur illegal aliens to pass a skills test and buy auto insurance.  Because it's well known that illegals really want to obey the law, and the only reason they don't is...um...it's not important.

Nearly a year-and-a-half after the bill took effect, there’s no evidence it did anything like what its supporters claimed.
 The bill, signed by Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown, took effect at the beginning of 2015.  Since that time more than half of all drivers' licenses issued in the state have gone to illegal immigrants, and the DMV estimates that at least 1.4 million illegal immigrants will apply for a license in the next three years.

It was part of a bundle of measures designed to make California friendlier toward illegal immigrants.  The state hired 1,000 temporary DMV workers, opened four new processing centers and extended hours in an effort to deal with the anticipated flood of applicants. Almost half a million illegals applied for licenses in the first three months alone.

Predictably the law--and a three-year, $141 million program to implement it--did not provide for any mechanism to find whether illegal immigrants actually bought insurance.  Indeed, even though state law requires all drivers to have insurance, the new law does not compel illegals to show proof of auto insurance to get a license.

Which is really strange, cuz I have to show proof of insurance to get my license renewed. And I'll bet you do too.

To make it even easier for illegals to get auto insurance, the state provided a special Low Cost Auto Insurance Program for low income people, with premiums subsidized by taxpayers.  Plans provide minimal liability coverage with annual premiums as low as $241.  By comparison, legal residents who have to buy insurance from regular insurance companies pay an average of just under $2,000 per year.

In 2015 alone, 650,000 licenses were issued to illegal immigrants, but just 11,348 Californians bought Low Cost Auto Insurance policies.  Critics say the insurance pays victims less than regular policies, leaving them with insufficient protection in the case of accidents caused by illegal immigrant drivers.

One person opposed to the program is Don Rosenberg, whose son was killed in San Francisco by an unlicensed, uninsured, illegal-immigrant driver who had entered the country illegally but was granted "protective status."  [lib-speak for "the emperor permitted him to stay in the country, despite having entered illegally]  But when a legislature is controlled by Democrats, even sound arguments against a badly-conceived program never get a hearing, and will be overriden by party discipline.

Venezuela keeps getting worse; U.S. media blames anything *other* than socialism

Despite an unparalleled record of destructiveness and disaster, communism retains enormously good press.  In 2011 a Rasmussen poll found 11% of Americans thought communism would better serve this country’s needs than our current system. 

In particular, just 3 years ago Jeremy Corbyn, the current leader of Britain's Labor Party, praised the socialist president of Venezuela for his wondrous brilliance.  He tweeted  "thanks Hugo Chavez for showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared. He made massive contributions to Venezuela & a very wide world."  At almost the same time the leftist mag Salon praised Hugo Chavez’s "economic miracle."
According to data compiled by the UK Guardian, Chavez’s first decade in office saw Venezuelan GDP more than double and both infant mortality and unemployment almost halved. Then there is a remarkable graph from the World Bank that shows that under Chavez’s brand of socialism, poverty in Venezuela plummeted (the Guardian reports that its “extreme poverty” rate fell from 23.4 percent in 1999 to 8.5 percent just a decade later). In all, that left the country with the third lowest poverty rate in Latin America. Additionally, as Weisbrot points out, “college enrollment has more than doubled, millions of people have access to health care for the first time and the number of people eligible for public pensions has quadrupled.”
The alleged "miracle" has finally run out of other peoples' money.  Now there's no food, no electricity, nor even gasoline in this oil-rich nation. In the ultimate irony "catalytic cracking units," crucial to making gasoline, are idle.  Critics blame a shortage of spare parts, lack of maintenance, and power blackouts." 

Looting is epidemic.  Trucks are being swarmed by mobs on the highway.  Army troops -- crucial for regime survival -- have been reduced to foraging to make up a meal. The Atlantic, hardly a right-wing publication, writes "Venezuela is falling apart."

Even the phrase "falling apart" doesn't adequately convey the disaster.  A New York Times reporter described hospitals where patients lay on rotting mattresses or in pools of their own blood. Where doctors were forced to amputate the limbs of patients because they didn't have antibiotics to treat simple infections. Where doctors and nurses took turns operating respirators by hand -- the machinery sometimes broken and without power anyway -- until they collapsed from exhaustion and helplessly watched their patients die.

Yet Chavez's hand-picked successor and current president, Nicolas Maduro, claims the economy is just faaabulous:  “I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one.” 

This phrase shows how socialism manages to look so good:  Its politicians simply insist that things are great, and no one can out-shout them.  Sort of like Ben Rhodes admits doing for the emperor's Iran policy.  They control what the media allege to be facts.  Reality is ignored.

Thus Maduro tries to solve the shortages by decreeing that the owners of closed factories will be imprisoned until production increases.  Never mind there is no money to import raw materials; no power to run a business's machinery, nor that the government has ordered retailers to sell at cost.  None of this matters when the nation's emperor uses his pen and phone to simply decree that there will be plenty.

And half the populace believes this will work-- just as Marx promised.

H/T Richard Fernandez at Belmont.  RTWT.

Store security guard tells man to leave womens' restroom; local cops arrest *guard*

How do the emperor's decrees force you to do what they want, regardless of the law?  Take a look.
D.C. police have charged a security guard at a grocery store with simple assault after a transgender woman said the guard forced her [politically-correct usage noted] out of the women’s restroom.

Ebony Belcher, 32, said that while she asked a store employee to point her to the restroom and passed a female security officer standing in the hallway.  According to Belcher the officer came into the restroom and told her to get out.  She said the guard told her, “You guys cannot keep coming in here and using our women’s restroom. They did not pass the law yet.”

She said she called police and reported the incident after she left the store. According to a police report, officers arrested the guard after the confrontation.
Getting arrested would seem damned annoying, not to mention expensive.  How willing do you think  a "security guard" who learns about this incident will be to kick a man out of the women's restroom?

You may well wonder how it could be that if DC doesn't have a law allowing men to use womens' facilities, the DC cops arrest the security guard.  Good question.

The answer is that DC is and has always been run by leftists, who take their cues from the Democrat emperor.  And the cops are quick to discern what their political masters want.

It may well be that letting men use womens' facilities is a great idea.  In that case it should be easy to get legislators to pass a law to that effect.  But it's SO much faster and easier to simply order the DoJ to give written notice that the emperor's regime will henceforth consider any attempt to bar this as a civil-rights violation.

Oh, and for those liberal who claim this story is simply false--a fabrication by some goofy, biased outlet like Faux News:  You're right about goofy and biased.  But the source was NBC's TV station in DC.

Judge accuses DoJ of deliberately lying; mainstream media yawns

Do you still think the emperor is honest?  What if you learned that a federal judge had accused the emperor's hand-picked DoJ of "deliberate acts of untruthfulness"?

It should be obvious that DoJ attorneys wouldn't lie unless the head of the "justice department" and the emperor had agreed on that totally illegal--and normally-outrageous--tactic.  

For those of you too busy making a living and raising your kids to worry about esoterica like "the Constitution," or "unconstitutional actions" here's a summary:  A couple of years ago Obama issued one of his many decrees, this time ordering federal employees not to enforce valid U.S. law on illegal immigration.  This amounted to amnesty for anyone who managed to make it into the country illegally.

Twenty-six states filed a lawsuit challenging this decree, claiming that the Constitution required the president to "faithfully enforce the laws" of the U.S., and that laws had to be passed by congress.

The suit asked the judge to overturn the decree.  And since it was virtually impossible to find and deport illegal aliens once they vanished into the population, the states asked that while the suit was in progress, the judge order the emperor to enforce existing law and cease giving green cards to illegal aliens.

The judge agreed, and so ordered.  The emperor's immigration people promised that they wouldn't issue any more green cards to illegals until the suit was settled.

But stunningly and totally unexpectedly, the emperor's pro-illegal minions continued issuing green cards, in violation of the judge's order.  And when confronted with witness testimony they falsely claimed they had done no such thing.  That is, they lied.  To a federal judge.

Now, in an equally stunning ruling, the judge hearing the lawsuit to the emperor’s decree has accused the DoJ lawyers of deliberate acts of untruthfulness, writing “The Department of Justice has now admitted making statements that clearly did not match the facts. It has admitted that the lawyers who made these statements had knowledge of the truth when they made these misstatements.”

Thursday, May 19

31-year-old murders 11-year-old boy in Houston; mainstream media ignores the story

Yesterday in Houston a 31-year-old man brutally killed an 11-year-old boy walking home from school.

Stabbed the kid many, many times.  In broad daylight.

Killer was identified as Che Lajuan Calhoun.

Unless you live in Houston you won't read a word about this heinous, brutal murder in any U.S. paper. The only word comes from a Brit paper, the Daily Mail.

You might idly wonder why. Well, the mainstream media considers murders in the U.S. to be not particularly noteworthy--unless committed by whites.

Che Lajuan Calhoun isn't white, so to the mainstream media it's not a story worth writing.


University student does presentation saying "white people are a plague to the planet"

The special snowflake below apparently goes by the name "Shahem McLaurin."


Regardless of whether you agree with the point on his slide, consider this:  If a white person gave a presentation saying the same thing about blacks, how do you think his/her university would have reacted?

Double.  Standard.  To the nth power.  Virtually every academic and university adminstrator is a hypocritical bastard.  But then, their goal is to demonstrate to their peers how virtuous they are.  Right-thinking.  Politically correct.  Enlightened.

Pastor posts sign: "Allah is not our God." Moonbat heads explode.

From
In Hood River, Oregon, the pastor of a Baptist church posted the above text on the sign in front of his church. 

The other side said, “Allah is not our God, Muhammad not greater than Jesus.”

Pastor Michael Harrington obviously didn’t get the memo, that saying or writing thoughts like these is verboten.  Such ideas aren't politically correct
.
CAIR is reportedly planning a protest in front of the church this coming Sunday.

Here’s the absurdly biased article from Raw Story:
Pastor bizarrely explains anti-Muslim church sign: I’m not politically correct, but I am biblically correct
Right away the author claims Pastor Harrington and his opinions are “bizarre,” so the author's fellow leftists will have no doubt as to the author's embrace of correct thinking.

Now come the critics, beginning with the town's mayor:
But locals don’t want to see the signs. “I was really annoyed and sad,” Hood River mayor, Paul Blackburn, told KATU. “I am annoyed that in this political season there’s a solid case of ugly going on. I think it norms up this kind of behavior like ‘oh it’s okay to be a bigot now.’
According to the Left, if you hold a religious belief that contradicts a tenet of Islam you're now a bigot.  Neat, huh.

NYC issues rules--sorry, "legal enforcement guidance"--that will fine businesses up to $250,000 for failing to use "ze/zir"

One of the biggest, most cunning ways leftists force you to do what they want is to have a government commission issue "legal guidance" on something.  Translation:  We will levy ruinous fines on those of you who disagree with us.  Just one of a thousand examples:

Greeting customers as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” — or even not using the pronoun “ze” or “zir” — could prove costly for New York City businesses under rules drafted by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bureaucrats.
The mayor’s Commission on Human Rights says entities that fail to address customers by their preferred gender pronouns and titles are in violation of the law and could be subject to penalties of up to $250,000.

The commission issued a “legal enforcement guidance” for the New York City Human Rights Law, which now “requires employers and converted entities [wtf??] to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun and title regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.”

The "guidance" notes that some people prefer pronouns that don’t have masculine or feminine forms, including “they/them/theirs or ze/hir.” The latter are among several alternative pronoun systems developed by academics and/or LGBT communities.

The "guidance" lists several examples of violations that could result in fines, including the “intentional and repeated refusal to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title.”

The maximum civil fine that the commission may impose upon “misgendering” is $125,000. But when the violation is the “result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct,” the maximum fine can double to $250,000.
If you'd told people 7 years ago that "rules" like this would be forced on the citizenry within 7 years absolutely no one would have believed it.

Such are the times we're living in today.

Wednesday, May 18

Emperor blocks Rhodes from testifying before congress on why he misled reporters and the public about Iran nuke treaty

Two weeks ago the New York Times Magazine ran a long, adoring interview with the emperor's deputy national security advisor for communication (or some such six-word title), Ben Rhodes, in which Rhodes bragged about misleading reporters and the public over the terms and effect of the emperor's nuclear non-treaty treaty with Iran.

Let's be very clear here:  Rhodes admission was NOT the result of a probing cross-examination by the obviously super-friendly interviewer.  Instead, Rhodes volunteered the information, apparently quite proud of his ability to fool reporters he said were naive, inexperienced and ignorant. 

It's impossible to read the interview and not get the strong impression that Rhodes holds reporters and the public in contempt because they were so easily fooled. 

Oddly, a couple of members of congress--among the dozen or so who aren't actively kissing the emperor's ass to avoid charges of raaacism--apparently felt this was less than a great way for an administration to operate, so they asked Rhodes to explain in live testimony before a House committee.

Well you know what happened next, because you watch the network "news", and they always tell you important things like...well, they tell you who won The Voice and what the newest hot movie is.  I guess that's what passes for news today.  In any case, even if they didn't tell you, you can guess what happened, with absolute certainty.

The emperor has decreed that Rhodes won't testify.  Executive privilege.

A mental exercise for ya:  If a Republican prez had made a treaty with a mortal enemy nation, governing nuclear weapons, but had refused to disclose the terms--indeed, seems to have actively tried to mislead the public about those terms--and then had conspired to avoid the Constitutional requirement that treaties would only bind the U.S. if ratified by a 2/3 vote of the senate; and now when congress wanted to hear from the point-man doing a big chunk of the misleading; and if the president claimed executive privilege to prevent that man from testifying...how large would the typeface be on the top of the front page of all liberal papers, shrieking about how awful this was?

Double-standard, anyone?

Hillary on guns

Ever notice that the Democrat pols who decree that "ordinary people" don't need to own a gun are always protected by...guys with guns?  Gosh, can you say "stinking, lying hypocrites"?  Sure.

And yet people keep voting for those same stinking, lying hypocrites.  Amazing.  People that clueless or stupid deserve what they get.


Tuesday, May 17

London elects Muslim mayor; Leftists giddy with joy

As you surely know--being well-informed citizens of what was for the longest time considered the greatest nation on earth--Londoners have elected a Muslim mayor.

Leftists are giddy over this.  One person asked a left wing colleague what his reaction would be if Londoners had elected an anti-gay, anti-abortion, religious fundamentalist as mayor of London.

The leftist saw the trap and started babbling something about inclusivity and the marvels of having a "multicultural society."

You'll figure it out eventually, of course.  Meanwhile just keep repeating the Left's mantra:  "All systems of governance are equal.  All religions are equally valid.  All economic theories are equally valid."

"Making "value judgments"--this thing is better or worse than that one-- is bad, the mark of knuckle-dragging, unenlightened conservatives.  Truly hip, enlightened, superior people never make judgments like that.  Cuz, you know, all things are equally valid."

Uh-huh.

Try asking the so-called "elites" if their Georgetown mansion is equal to a 500-square-foot shack.  If they say yes, ask 'em if they'll trade straight up.

Ask 'em if a highschool dropout is as learned as their Hahvahd degree in international relations makes them.

Ask 'em if a 30-year-old 'beater' car is equal to their new Mercedes 450.  If they say yes, ask if they'll trade straight up.

When they demand--demand, with force of law, at gunpoint--that your town build low-income housing next door to your laboriously-paid-for home, ask 'em why it "just happens" that no one is building the same thing next-door to their house.

Liberals sling all manner of bullshit at people who don't have the education to counter their utter hypocrisy, their total bullshit.  They're not just masters of the double-standard, they virtually invented it.

They will demand laws that will result in your wife and daughter being assaulted, your home value plunging, your job being given to an immigrant--and will calmly, casually deny they had anything to do with it.  It's the nature of what modern liberalism not only has become, but demands.

This would be funny if it wasn't such an utter disaster.

I am so grateful I don't have kids.

When a party decides the law is whatever they say it is, they'll even block impeachment

To have a functioning republic, both parties must obey legimate laws.  When one party embraces lawbreaking and corruption, members of congress from that party will block even a bona fide vote to impeach.

Oh, you say, that's typical wing-nut hyperbole!  It would be so...so obvious a demonstration of corruption that the people would never tolerate it!

Ah, I see.  If that's your thinking you're definitely smart enough to be a member of U.S. media elites.  But reality begs to differ, as in the case of Brazil, where members of both parties in the congress recently voted to impeach a notoriously corrupt president.  But that was before top leaders of the ruling party simply annulled the vote.

Cool, huh.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP)\ — The impeachment process against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was thrown into chaos Monday as the acting speaker of the lower Chamber of Deputies annulled a majority vote by his own colleagues that favored ousting the embattled leader.

The surprise move by acting Speaker Waldir Maranhao touched off a firestorm over questions of the move's legality and its possible implications.

The Senate had been expected to decide Wednesday whether to accept the impeachment case against Rousseff and put her on trial for allegedly breaking fiscal rules in her management of the national budget. If a simple majority of senators decides in favor, Rousseff will be suspended and Vice President Michel Temer will take over until a trial is conducted.

Under the terms of Maranhao's decision, the lower Chamber of Deputies would have five sessions to hold another vote on whether to send the impeachment process against Rousseff to the Senate.
The lower house overwhelmingly voted to move forward with the process last month and it is those April 15-17 sessions that were annulled by Maranhao, who opposed impeachment.
You will vote until you produce the result we want, comrade!
Rousseff reacted cautiously to Maranhao's announcement, suggesting it wasn't entirely clear what was happening.  "We have a difficult fight ahead of us," she said at an event about education. She also called for caution, saying that "we live in a time of cunning and wile."
 Now that's certainly the truth.

Sunday, May 15

Puerto Rico defaults on debt; Congress debating bill to bail 'em out, denies it's a bailout

Wanna see how blazingly fast disaster can bite ya--even when the numbers that made it inevitable have been known for years to anyone willing to look?

You probably don't, of course, because that would show you where we're headed.

But the fact that you're not interested matters not a whit:  You may not give a damn about the chasm, but the chasm will swallow you regardless.

This particular disaster is:  The tiny, Democrat-run U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is $70 billion debt.

That's about the size of California's debt, but in an economy about 1/2000th as large.

You may wonder how in the world that tiny territory's debt could have gotten so huge.  Or why any bank would loan money to a territorial government so wedded to spending far, far more than it took in.  Take a look:


1. Government overspending:  Actual states are required to at least write a balanced budget every year.  But Puerto Rican pols didn't.  Instead they took advantage of the island's limbo status -- it's not a state, it's a U.S. territory.  So for years the island's pols spent far more than they took in from taxes.

The deliberate overspending was made possible by a loophole:  an ambiguity in translation of a single Spanish word into English in the island's 1952 constitution.  It hinged on the interpretation of the phrase "recursos totales" -- total revenue or total resources?  Choosing the second meaning allowed the government to fund normal operations (e.g. education, policing, health care, etc.) by borrowing--just like our federal government.

Not surprisingly the politicians chose the interpretation that let them spend more money, enabling them to spend more generously on salaries for public employees, welfare and the like.  Again, like our federal government.

"Unexpectedly" [sarc], the territory's debt skyrocketed.  In just the the past 8 years it soared from an already astonishing $43.5 billion in 2006 to over $70 billion by 2014. (The island also has over $40 billion in unfunded pension liabilities).

Now, after threatening default for months, the island's pols have defaulted, missing a debt payment variously reported as $340 million to $400 million.

Uh-oh, now what?

Now this: our shitty, corrupt congress is debating a bill that will bail out the corrupt Dem pols who borrowed Puerto Rico into poverty.  Oh, they won't call it that, of course.  In fact they'll loudly, strenuously, shriekingly deny they've done any such thing.  But instead of listening to them, try watching what actually happens:  the island's Democrat-run government won't miss a single welfare payment or paycheck to a politician or public employee.  Total spending won't drop more than a token percent, if that.  Taxes and revenues won't rise.

You may well wonder how the hell the island's budget will suddenly balance if no cuts in spending or increases in taxes.  They spent $26 billion more than they took in, just between 2006 and 2014, and yet somehow now, with only a percent of spending cuts, they expect you to believe that suddenly the government is no longer spending beyond its revenues?  No way.

The secret will be that congress will have quietly signaled that they'll bail out lenders.

You don't believe that, of course.  Congress would never lie to you about something so serious, any more than the emperor would.  But if you don't believe it, come up with a plausible answer to the question I just posed.

You can't, of course.  But don't worry:  No one in congress expects that more than a handful of Americans will penetrate this mystery.  And even if everyone did, and was mad as hell, why would members of congress care?  What could you do about it?

But it gets better [sarc]:  If they bail out Puerto Rico, next up will be Shitcongo, then Detroit, Newark and  California.  The national debt will quietly mysteriously double.  And no one will remember what it was before.  Hell, very few Americans actually know what "a billion" means anyway.

The RINOs in congress will go along with all of this, because not one of 'em has the balls to hold Dem pols accountable for spending far more money than they have.  Dems and RINOs have always bought votes that way, which gets 'em re-elected year after year.  Why would they want to change what is to them a winning game?

2. Congress exempted island business from federal tax but later changed the law
Not surprisingly, congress is partly to blame for the mess:  It passed a law exempting certain industries from federal corporate taxes.  This made the island attractive to companies like the pharmaceutical industry.

But in the mid-1990s Congress began rolling back those tax exemptions, phasing them out entirely in 2006.  Though no numbers have been cited, it's claimed that the island's economy tanked after this.  It's claimed that good private sector jobs were lost and tax revenues dropped.  In any event the economy has shrunk almost every year since.

Also, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 mandates that only U.S. vessels can take goods between Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland. This increases prices on the island and makes goods produced in Puerto Rico more expensive than those from Caribbean nations that can use cheaper shipping.



3. Skilled workers have left
With unemployment at 11.8% it's getting harder and harder to find a job.  As a result, residents are fleeing, packing up and moving to the mainland U.S.  [Gosh, a lack of jobs prompt people to move somewhere else?  Who could have seen that coming?  Certainly not the emperor or his Dept of Labor.]

In particular, professionals and skilled workers are leaving. An average of a doctor a day (sometimes two or three) leaves the island. Skilled professionals like doctors can earn more on the mainland, and don't see the economy recovering.  Families with young children -- the future workforce -- are also departing. This will continue to cut sales tax and income tax revenues--a vicious circle.



Many experts believe some sort of debt restructuring will be necessary. It may mean delaying payments to creditors or paying less than 100% back. The problem is Puerto Rico is in legal limbo. Neither the island nor the creditors want to budge much in negotiations until they know what the laws are for sure.

Anonymous Dem congressman writes tell-all book; U.S. media ignores it

A new tell-all book about the inner workings of Congress, to be released later this month, has Washington buzzing.  The Confessions of Congressman X, written anonymously by a Democrat congressman, reveals a level of corruption that won't surprise most conservatives.

On voting:
Fundraising is so time-consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. I don't even know how they'll be implemented or what they'll cost.
My staff gives me a last-minute briefing before I go to the floor and tells me whether to vote yea or nay. How bad is that?
I sometimes vote "yes" on a motion and "no" on an amendment so I can claim I'm on either side of an issue.
 It's the old shell game: if you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em.
On voters:
Voters claim they want substance and detailed position papers, but what they really crave are cutesy cat videos, celebrity gossip, top 10 lists, reality TV shows, tabloid tripe, and the next f***ing Twitter message.
I worry about our country's future when critical issues take a backseat to the inane utterings of illiterate athletes and celebrity twits.
Like most of my colleagues, I promise my constituents a lot of stuff I can never deliver. But what the hell? If it makes them happy hearing it, and they're stupid enough to believe it, shame on them.
On donations, bribes and spending:
Some contributions are subtle. Donations to a member's nonprofit foundation. Funding a member's charitable pet project. Offsetting the costs of a member's portrait to adorn the committee room he or she has so faithfully served.
It's all a bunch of bulls*** to get around gift bans and limits on campaign contributions. Where there's a will, there's a way.
Business organizations and unions fork over more than $3 billion a year to those who lobby the federal government. Does that tell you something? We're operating a f***ing casino.
I contradict myself all the time, but few people notice. One minute I rail against excessive spending and ballooning debt. The next minute I'm demanding more spending on education, health care, unemployment benefits, conservation projects, yadda yadda yadda. I'm for having everything, just like my constituents.
On his own party:
Our party used to be a strong advocate for the working class. We still pretend to be, but we aren't. Large corporations and public unions grease the palms of those who have the power to determine legislative winners and losers.
Most of my colleagues want to help the poor and disadvantaged. To a point. We certainly don't want to live among them. Or mingle with them, unless it's for a soup kitchen photo op. ... Poverty's a great concern as long as it's kept at a safe distance.
I'm concerned my party has an activist far-left wing intolerant of center-leftists. Like the Republican Tea Party, these ideologues are much too rigid and extreme in their beliefs. And they're equally unappealing to mainstream Americans.
On media bias:
Political columnists, TV commentators, and talk show hosts are inherently biased and aspire to effect election outcomes. Pretending otherwise is a thing of the past. You're either red or blue, and there's no in-between. Little wonder voters flock to TV stations, newspapers, and websites offering them the partisan news slant they believe in. ...
Journalists are a lot like the politicians they interview. The more elite ones are puffed up with self-importance and entitlement.
The congressman sets aside an entire chapter for Sen. Harry Reid, calling him "a pompous ass." He lumps in Sen. Mitch McConnell and just about everybody in the House.

Sadly, his contempt for voters has a ring of truth to it, as many Americans have stepped aside and let the federal government trample through:
Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works. It's far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.
But with Americans turning their backs on corruption in politics and looking for the next great hope, lawmakers like Congressman X are willingly taking full advantage of their ignorance in achieving their ultimate goal:
My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything.
Screw the next generation. Nobody here gives a rat's ass about the future and who's going to pay for all this stuff we vote for. That's the next generation's problem. It's all about immediate publicity, getting credit now, lookin' good for the upcoming election.
Fairly damning stuff.  But our fearless mainstream media doesn't shy away from political controversy, no matter which party gets tarred, so... Oh wait, the article you just read isn't from any U.S. "mainstream" media outlet.  It's from the U.K.'s Daily Mail, via the blog TruthRevolt.

No doubt about it, if you're looking for real news about the U.S. government, try foreign papers.  Cuz you certainly won't find anything real in the U.S. media.

And now for something off the regular path

People have grappled with the questions, "Is there such a thing as evil, and if so, what characteristics make something evil?"  So I'd like to take a shot:

I suspect that at heart, evil begins when someone utterly rejects the belief that God exists, and created the universe. A person who has made such a decision does not consider consequences of his/her acts, because he or she absolutely rejects any concept of morality.  Morality is like "law" in the U.S. today: it's whatever the government says it is at that particular moment.

Such people want to be God, but without having any principles other than the ones they like.  They want absolute power, but lack any higher conscience.  Lacking the truth of God, they make up whatever guiding principles they like as they go.  They are without truth.

My opinion, anyway.

From a 2004 interview with Obama; leading to "Stupid, or incompetent?"

In 2004 Cathleen Falsani--a friendly reporter writing for a very pro-Democrat rag--interviewed the emperor after he'd just clinched the Democrat nomination for the U.S. senate.  The interview got almost no attention at the time, but blogger Richard Fernandez rediscovered it.  In hindsight the following exchange explains a lot:

Falsani:  What is sin?
Future emperor Barack Obama: 
 Being out of alignment with my values.

Not "being out of alignment with God's values," but with the emperor's values.

Yeah, that would explain so much.  But of course to our liberal friends the notion that God has any voice whatsoever in questions of morality or values--or even the notion that there IS a God--is solely the province of  knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing neanderthals.

Explains so much.

And that's a great intro for Fernandez's article about it, an edited version of which is below.  But do read the original.
The New York Times has an article describing how Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, sold fiction as truth in communicating the president's foreign policy.

Rhodes regarded the deception as a clever way to success. Like an engineering student who has found a way to cheat on his final exam, or a man astonished to find himself with a medical license by mistake, Rhodes appears to think he's actually accomplished something positive. He has no clue he's set up a disaster that is only waiting to happen.

Thomas Ricks, writing in Foreign Policy, calls the article "a stunning profile of Ben Rhodes, the asshole who is the president’s foreign policy guru."  But it is also a profile of the president. As David Samuels wrote in the interview, Rhodes saw himself as a reflection of the president.

Obama is the originating image. Rhodes is just a flunky who transcribes what the president dictates.

Still, Samuels' interview, by printing Rhodes's admission [of having willfully deceived congress and the public on the Iran nuclear non-treaty treaty], provides crucial insight into the fascinating subject of whether Barack Obama -- if you believe he is a failure -- is incompetent or malevolent.

Which is it?

At first glance the admission that the administration lied to the public seems a slam-dunk case for malevolence. But there's more to it than that. There is a perception that political incompetence--presumably due to stupidity--is less harmful than malice.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the anti-Nazi activist, disagreed.

While in prison waiting to be executed, Bonhoeffer reflected that "Against stupidity we are defenseless," because imbeciles never feel a qualm. Against the stupid "reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict ... simply do not need to be believed ... and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this, the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied."
 
Clueless yet self-righteous would describe Ben Rhodes to a T.  And when Obama described himself as a blank screen on which anyone was free to project his fantasies, the public should have listened. What makes the present absurd situation possible is that a critical mass of voters have agreed to go along with the make-believe.

Bonhoeffer in his prison letters says what he means by "stupid" is the passivity born of a feeling of learned helplessness akin to an audience passively watching a play.
Under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances.
To Bonhoeffer the German people in 1938 had become an audience watching a madman on stage.

A functioning republic requires thinking voters; tyranny just needs groupies.  Graphic artist Shepard Fairey understood the fundamentally bogus nature of Obama when he crafted his iconic poster, "Hope."  Faced with overwhelming threats, most people are passive.  We sit around and hope.
Fiction
In a now-forgotten interview with Cathleen Falsani on the subject of his religious beliefs, Obama defined sin as the state of being in disagreement with himself:
Falsani: 
Do you believe in sin?
Obama: 
Yes.
Falsani: What is sin?
Obama:
 Being out of alignment with my values.
That's all there is--and it's terrifying.  People who got close enough to either the Nazis or Communists found that they were worse than evil--they were nothing.  Bonhoeffer anticipated Hannah Arendt's discovery of the banality of evil when he observed that true stupidity -- real emptiness -- is the most destructive condition of all.  They're people who will pull the wings off a butterfly without even understanding that they're hurting something.
In conversation with [the stupid man] one virtually feels that one is not dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords and the like that have taken possession of him. ... Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also become capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.
The fundamental mistake of the policy establishment (which Ben Rhodes derisively calls "the blob") was to take the Obama administration seriously, to think that terms like "grand bargain" and "regional realignment" were serious concepts, and to spend hours pondering their meaning.  Instead we now know they were just phrases that Obama and his inner circle made up as they went along.  Thus a White House that should have been instantly destroyed by contempt was instead preserved by the wariness of people who thought they were facing a Professor Moriarty instead of Bluto from Animal House.
Perhaps the only person who guessed the truth -- besides Clint Eastwood -- was Vladimir Putin.  Some instinct told the Russian that inside the suit was...nothing. He's treated Obama accordingly and that's been the secret to his success ever since.

Malice or incompetence?  The Washington policy establishment has to believe Obama is a brilliant, cunning master-schemer.  Otherwise they'll never live it down.
 Fernandez has seen communism up close.  He knows it well, and he's definitely not a fan.

Yale law prof: 'We won the culture wars, so now we need to start taking *stronger* legal action'

Most so-called "liberal academics" (i.e. almost every university professor and public school teacher) are among the most hard-core fascists one could possibly find.  A typical example is a wannabe-Hitler named Jack M. Balkin, a professor of Constitutional law and the First Amendment at Yale.  By credential and position this guy seems to be one of the elites of liberal thinking on the law.

If I hadn't stumbled on this guy's blog I wouldn't have believed any so-called "liberal" would dare to be so open about his hatred of conservatives, and his side's carefully-plotted strategy to impose his and their brand of fascism on the nation.

Oh wait, the emperor has been just as open in his goals so guess I'm not too surprised.  Still, it's a chilling read:
Friday, May 06, 2016
Abandoning "Defensive Crouch Liberal Constitutionalism"

Several generations of law students and their teachers grew up with federal courts dominated by conservatives.... The result: Defensive-crouch constitutionalism, with every liberal position asserted nervously, its proponents looking over their shoulders for retaliation by conservatives (in its elevated forms, fear of a backlash against aggressively liberal positions).
OMG, they were in, like, total fear of [gasp!]...a backlash?  Not a...backlash!  How awful!

It’s time to stop.  Right now more than half of the judges sitting on the courts of appeals were appointed by Democratic presidents, and ... the same appears to be true of the district courts. And those judges no longer have to be worried about reversal by the Supreme Court if they take aggressively liberal positions. ...

And we shouldn’t focus on the Court’s docket this year, which was shaped by conservative justices thinking that they could count to five on a bunch of cases. The docket will look quite different if they can’t see that path to five votes when they decide which cases to review.

What would abandoning defensive-crouch liberalism mean?

A jurisprudence of “wrong the day it was decided.” Liberals should be compiling lists of cases to be overruled at the first opportunity on the ground that they were wrong the day they were decided. My own list is Bakke (for rejecting all the rationales for affirmative action that really matter), Buckley v. Valeo (for ruling out the possibility that legislatures could develop reasonable campaign finance rules promoting small-r republicanism), Casey (for the “undue burden” test), and Shelby County.... What matters is that overruling key cases also means that a rather large body of doctrine will have to be built from the ground up. Thinking about what that doctrine should look like is important – more important than trying to maneuver to liberal goals through the narrow paths the bad precedents seem to leave open.

The culture wars are over; they lost, we won. Remember, they were the ones who characterized constitutional disputes as culture wars (see Justice Scalia in Romer v. Evans, and the Wikipedia entry for culture wars, which describes conservative activists, not liberals, using the term.) 
Wow, talk about deliberate misdirection!  Of course conservatives rather than so-called "liberals" were the ones using the term "culture wars" to describe the huge efforts libs were making to fundamentally transform American culture via decisions made by unelected liberal judges.  Back then they were trying to hide that fact.  Admitting it would have made their goal far harder to achieve.
And [conservatives] had opportunities to reach a cease-fire, but rejected them in favor of a scorched-earth policy.  The earth that was scorched, though, was their own:  No conservatives demonstrated any interest in trading off recognition of LGBT rights for “religious liberty” protections. Only now that they’ve lost the battle over LGBT rights, have they made those protections central – seeing them, I suppose, as a new front in the culture wars. But, again, they’ve already lost the war.
For liberals the question now is how to deal with the losers in the culture wars. That’s mostly a question of tactics. My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after [sic].  And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945. 
I note that LGBT activists in particular seem to have settled on the hard-line approach, while some liberal academics defend more accommodating approaches. When specific battles in the culture wars were being fought, it might have made sense to try to be accommodating after a local victory, because other related fights were going on, and a hard line might have stiffened the opposition in those fights. But the war’s over, and we won.

Aggressively exploit the ambiguities and loopholes in unfavorable precedents that aren’t worth overruling. Take Wal-Mart: Confine it to its unusual facts (a huge nation-wide class, a questionable theory of liability), and don’t treat it as having any generative power in other cases. Or Washington v. Davis, which said that disparate racial impact wasn’t enough to trigger strict scrutiny, but that sometimes such an impact could support an inference of impermissible motive:  Play the “sometimes” for all its worth. Defensive-crouch liberalism was afraid to be aggressive about the precedents because of a fear of reversal by higher courts. That fear can now be put aside. (Judge Reinhardt’s essay on habeas corpus, in the Michigan Law Review, is an exemplary discussion of how liberals can exploit ambiguities and loopholes.)

Remember that doctrine is a way to empower our allies and weaken theirs. Conservative decisions on class-action arbitration should be understood as part of a long-term project of defunding the left. Much of the current Court’s voting rights jurisprudence strengthens Republican efforts selectively to shrink the electorate. Similarly with campaign finance jurisprudence. I don’t mean that these doctrines are consciously designed by the justices to have those effects, but outsiders – academics and activists – should understand that that’s what they do.

Finally (trigger/crudeness alert), fuck Anthony Kennedy. I don’t mean that liberals should treat him with disrespect.

Oh, of course.  That was, like, totally obvious from your assertion "Fuck him." 
But defensive-crouch liberalism meant not only trying to figure out arguments that would get Kennedy’s apparently crucial vote (not so crucial any more), but also trying to milk his opinions – and more generally, obviously conservative opinions – for doctrines that might be awkwardly pressed into the service of liberal goals. (Think here of how liberal constitutional scholars treated Kennedy’s [truly silly] concurring opinion in Parents Involved [“You can deal with the consequences of segregated housing patterns by locating new school construction carefully” – in districts that are closing rather than building schools], or his “views” about affirmative action, or recasting the Court’s federalism cases as actually good for liberals.) There’s a lot of liberal constitutional scholarship taking Anthony Kennedy’s “thought” and other conservative opinions as a guide to potentially liberal outcomes if only the cases are massaged properly. Stop it. (See agenda items 1 and 3 for how to treat those opinions.)
This man epitomizes the enemy of all that's good.  If you believe in any conservative values whatsoever, he is determined to use the law to either make you abandon your principles or else make your life miserable.  "We won the culture wars," he crows, "and all that remains for you losers is to deal with it."

We'll see about that, you sonofabitch.

Friday, May 13

Emperor's department of "education" orders schools to let TG students use any bathroom

Earlier this week the emperor's "justice department" sued North Carolina, claiming that state's law insisting that people who were anatomically male not use womens' restrooms violated the civil rights of people who...wanted to do that.

Today the emperor's department of "education" fired the second round in this war--and you gotta see the DOE's letter to understand what a cunning, devious, unconstitutional piece of shit this is:

Civil Rights Division
Office for Civil Rights                                           May 13, 2016

Dear Colleague:

Schools across the country strive to create and sustain inclusive, supportive, safe, and nondiscriminatory communities for all students.

In recent years we have received an increasing number of questions from parents, teachers, principals, and school superintendents about civil rights protections for transgender students. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and its implementing regulations prohibit sex discrimination in educational programs and activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance.

This prohibition encompasses discrimination based on a student's gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status.
This is horse shit.  The title bans discrimination based on "sex", not "gender identity or transgender status.  Here's the relevant language from Title IX:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
D'ya see the words "gender identity" there?  No?  How about "including discrimination based on a student's transgender status"?  So the DOE letter is based on a totally false premise--i.e. horse shit.

Back to the DOE letter:
This letter summarizes a school’s Title IX obligations regarding transgender students and explains how the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) evaluate a school’s compliance with these obligations. ED and DOJ (the Departments) have determined that this letter is significant guidance.

This guidance does not add requirements to applicable law, but provides information and examples to inform recipients about how the Departments evaluate whether covered entities are complying with their legal obligations.
Again, the idea that this "guidance" "does not add requirements to applicable law" is utter horse shit:  the letter not only "adds requirements," it imposes requirements that are not, and have never been, any part of the law.  The department is purely and simply lying.  They are making this shit up as they go--just as the emperor has been doing for much of his 7-plus years of lawless rule.

Here's how yesterday's NY Times described the letter.  Note that the article is an "admission against interest," which suggests it's more likely to be true than most of the crap printed in the Times.  Note also that because this directive was released to the public, the Times had no motive to lie low:
The Obama administration is planning to [and did] issue a sweeping directive telling every public school district in the country to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.
Gee, isn't that pretty innocuous?  But that's if you think "gender identity" is just bureau-babble for "sex."  Of course it's not--what they mean is that the emperor's minions have decided to let students pick the gender they wish to be as of any given morning.
A letter to school districts will go out Friday, adding to [the] debate over transgender rights in the middle of the administration’s legal fight with North Carolina over the issue. The declaration...will describe what schools should do to ensure that none of their students are discriminated against.
It does not have the force of law but contains an implicit threat: Schools that do not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.
To claim--as the Times does--that this order "does not have the force of law" is so disingenuous as to amount to a lie:  The U.S. supreme court has ruled that rules promulgated by a federal agency have the force of law, even if not specifically authorized by your representatives who ostensibly write laws.  Example:  the emperor's EPA unilaterally declared carbon dioxide a "pollutant," and on that basis ordered electric utilities to cut CO2 emissions or face ruinous fines.  The Times, as always, writes in a way that blurs or obscures reality if it helps their Preciousss achieve his goals.
The move...represents the latest example of the Obama administration using a combination of policies, lawsuits and public statements to change the civil rights landscape for gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people.

After supporting the rights of gay people to marry, allowing them to serve openly in the military and prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against them, the administration is wading into the battle over bathrooms and siding with transgender people.
When the emperor ordered that gays be allowed to serve openly in the military (as opposed to unobtrusively), congress and the American people didn't rise up because only a small percentage of them had kids in the military.  When the emperor directed his minions in the laughably-misnamed "justice department" to sue North Carolina over that state's law that barred men from using girls' locker rooms, the public wasn't too upset because they didn't live in that state.

But it was inevitable that the emperor wouldn't stop, to the point that it would affect you and your daughters.  And now it's too late, because neither Hillary nor the spineless congress will reverse it.  

And you can bet the national media won't report any incidents, because they don't want to report anything that would reflect badly on a policy pushed through by their Precioussss.  And because they love it when the federal government does anything to beat up "knuckle-dragging conservatives." 

And for you moms who have "sons" who have decided to be girls, and who indignantly protest that your sweet kid would never be a problem:  I agree.  Actual transgender kids won't be the problem, but rather the one percent of actual wacked-out older males who temporarily declare themselve girls for a day.  Once the emperor makes it legal, how in the world do you think any school or law or parent can keep those guys from putting on a skirt and using the girls' locker room?

Actually I'm probably concerned about nothing:  Probably nothing bad will happen.  After all, the emperor promised you repeatedly that if congress passed Obamacare everyone who liked their current doctor and health insurance would be able to keep both.  And we know how accurate that proved to be, right?  So we should definitely trust him on this radical transformation too, right?

Oh, just saw a clip from press secretary Josh Earnest, who called the letter "advisory" and said it merely offers "advice and suggestions" to all school systems. 

Ah.  "Advisory."  Like the Constitution, eh Barry?

Oh, the "advisory letter"--which, they assure you, does not have the force of law--has 34 footnotes, over half of which cite portions of the "CFR."  For those unfamiliar with this acronym, that's the Code of Federal Regulations, which is supposedly the sum of all regulationl implementing...U.S. law.

But trust them, citizen:  They assure you this "advisory letter" does NOT have the force of law.  Nor does it add a single requirement to existing law.

What unmitigated horse shit!

If the emperor were to convince congress that existing law needed to be changed, and congress did so, then fine.  But the Constitution does NOT allow the fucking emperor to write laws--even if he's half black.  This is totally unconstitutional--and the press knows it.  But the members of the emperor's fucking lawless, constitution-shredding party will back him up.

Because as far as they're concerned the Constitution no longer applies to presidents--at least not to presidents from the Democratic party.

Emperor's deputy national security advisor says he told reporters and editors what to write; media yawns

Last week the New York Times Magazine ran a breathlessly adoring interview with the emperor's 38-year-old "deputy national security advisor," Ben Rhodes.

You may be curious to know what warrants the description "breathlessly adoring."  Stuff like this:
On the largest and smallest questions alike, the voice in which America speaks to the world is that of Ben Rhodes.
Rhodes strategized and ran the successful Iran-deal messaging campaign, helped negotiate the opening of American relations with Cuba after a hiatus of more than 50 years and has been a co-writer of all of Obama’s major foreign-policy speeches.

“Every day he does 12 jobs, and he does them better than the other people who have those jobs,”

[I]n addition to the two to three hours that Rhodes might spend with Obama daily, the two men communicate remotely throughout the day via email and phone calls.
The last 'graf shows readers that Rhodes constantly has the emperor's ear--and thus how important he presumably is to developing the emperor's policies.  
He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press.

His ability to navigate and shape this new environment makes him a more effective and powerful extension of the president’s will than any number of policy advisers or diplomats or spies.

Part of what accounts for Rhodes’s influence is his “mind meld” with the president. Nearly everyone I spoke to about Rhodes used the phrase “mind meld” verbatim, some with casual assurance and others in the hushed tones that are usually reserved for special insights. 

He doesn’t think for the president, but he knows what the president is thinking, which is a source of tremendous power. One day, when Rhodes and I were sitting in his boiler-room office, he confessed, with a touch of bafflement, “I don’t know anymore where I begin and Obama ends.”
See what I mean?  It's a total puff-piece: "gosh-he's-so-amazing-and-important."

But then there are a couple of sentences that make you wonder.  Like this one:
His lack of conventional real-world experience of the kind that normally precedes responsibility for the fate of nations — like military or diplomatic service, or even a master’s degree in international relations, rather than creative writing — is still startling.
Uh..."lack of conventional experience"?  No military or diplomatic service, not even a master's in international relations?  Could he have worked for the CIA or something?  (He didn't.)  What in the world could the emperor have seen in this guy to have named him deputy national security advisor--and by all reports the one the emperor spends the most time with?  And it's worth noting that the emperor chose Rhodes for this post in 2009, when Rhodes was just 31 years old.

Wow.  Could the guy have an IQ of 170, and thus is able to effortlessly grasp the nuances of convoluted foreign-policy problems that aren't seen by ordinary mortals?  I mean, the emperor must have seen something in this guy, right?

Gosh, what could it be?  Could it have anything to do with the fact that his brother David is president of CBS news?

Nah, probably just coincidence.

Anyway, back to the NYTM interview:  The interviewer happens to catch Rhodes just as two small U.S. Navy boats are captured by larger (i.e. longer-range guns) Iranian ships.  Watch as the miracle-man works his magic, putting a favorable spin on the story:
[Watching the screen] Rhodes quickly does the political math on the breaking Iran story. “Now they’ll show scary pictures of people praying to the supreme leader,” he predicts. Three beats more and his brain has spun a story line to stanch the bleeding. 

He turns to [his assistant and dictates:]. “We’re resolving this, because we have relationships,” he says.  [The assistant] begins tapping away at the administration’s well-cultivated network of officials, talking heads, columnists and newspaper reporters, web jockeys and outside advocates who can tweet at critics and tweak their stories backed up by quotations from “senior White House officials” and “spokespeople.” 

I watch the message bounce from Rhodes’s brain to [his assistant]’s keyboard, to the three major briefing podiums — the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon --and across the Twitterverse, where it springs to life in dozens of insta-stories, which [soon] don formal dress for mainstream outlets. It’s a tutorial in the making of a digital news microclimate — a storm that is easy to mistake these days for a fact of nature, but whose author is sitting next to me right now.
Okay, so far it's normal news manipulation by an administration that's very accustomed to slobbering obedience by the mainstream, almost-entirely-Democrat media.  But things are about to get strange.  Rhodes--who was a speechwriter for the emperor from day 1 before being promoted--is writing the text of the speech.
With three hours to go before the State of the Union address, Rhodes starts combing through the text. I peek over his shoulder to get a sense of the meta-narrative that will shape dozens of thumb-suckers in the days and weeks to follow. 
Dozens of what?  Thumb-suckers?  Now obviously this is the interviewer's language, but...WTF??
One sentence reads: “But as we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands.  Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks, twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages — they pose an enormous danger to civilians; they have to be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence.”
Ah, the boy wonder at work:  Claim that if something doesn't "threaten our national existence" it's not a real problem.  Nice.
When I asked Jon Favreau, Obama’s lead speechwriter in the 2008 campaign, and a close friend of Rhodes’s, whether he or Rhodes or the president had ever thought of their individual speeches and bits of policy making as part of some larger restructuring of the American narrative, he replied, “We saw that as our entire job.”
 Their entire job.  "Restructuring the American narrative."  Nice.
It has been rare to find Rhodes’s name in news stories about the large events of the past seven years, unless you are looking for the quotation from an unnamed senior official in paragraph 9.... But once you are attuned to the distinctive qualities of Rhodes’s voice — which is often laced with aggressive contempt for anyone or anything that stands in the president’s way — you can hear him everywhere.
A recurring term in the interview is "contempt"--Rhodes seems to have a lot of it, for everyone except his boss.  With whom, you may recall from earlier, has a "mind-meld."

Gosh that's odd, cuz you wouldn't think the emperor felt contempt for ordinary Americans. Except conservative, maybe.  In any case, what's the origin of this contempt?  Short answer:  Reporters today have no experience, so they depend entirely on what politicians--and the pols' assistants--tell 'em.
[The ways that words get into newspapers and on television] have changed. Rhodes singled out a key example to me one day, laced with the brutal contempt that is a hallmark of his private utterances. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. [Now] they literally know nothing.”
Gosh Ben, that sounds like...you.  You've been a political gopher for most of your adult life, virtually no experience outside Washington, but because you've gotten to rub shoulders with the emperor suddenly you're the wise one? 

Also, I suspect at least half the nation's reporters and editors are experienced  know that most of the statements made or released by the emperor and his lackeys are lies.  They've played dumb because every last one of 'em supported the emperor.  They wouldn't do anything to hurt his image, since that would make Americans realized the mainstream media had betrayed our national interest.  Oooh.

And now, with barely over 5 months left in the emperor's final term the most critical thing on their agenda by far is ensuring the Democratic candidate wins the presidency in November.
In this environment, Rhodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once. Ned Price, Rhodes’s assistant, gave me a primer on how it’s done. The easiest way for the White House to shape the news, he explained, is from the briefing podiums, each of which has its own dedicated press corps. 

“But then there are sort of these force multipliers,” he said, adding, “We have our compadres, I will reach out to a couple people....  I’ll say, ‘Hey, look, some people are spinning this narrative that this is a sign of American weakness,’ ” he continued, “but...”

“In fact it’s a sign of strength!” I said, chuckling.

“And I’ll give them some color,” Price continued, “and the next thing I know, lots of these guys are in the dot-com publishing space, and have huge Twitter followings, and they’ll be putting this message out on their own.”
So if you're with me so far, we've got a wunderkind with no real experience who's been the emperor's main propaganda guy for seven years.  He thinks reporters know nothing, and that because of that he can get 'em to say whatever he tells 'em.  (Reminds you of a kid who gets singled home from third and thinks he's hit a home run.)

And the culmination of that sophisticated propaganda op was...the nuclear "non-treaty treaty" with Iran.  (It's a treaty that the emperor insisted it wasn't really a treaty in order to evade the Constitution's requirement that treaties would only bind the U.S. if ratified by the senate.  It's not that the emperor didn't think he could get the senate to ratify, but that he'd have had to tell every senator what the actual provisions of the damn thing were to get 'em to approve.  The senate ducked their Constitutional duty with the help of a traitor RINO who gave 'em a fig leaf that let 'em do so.)
Rhodes’s innovative campaign to sell the Iran deal is likely to be a model for how future administrations explain foreign policy to Congress and the public.  [Most Americans believe the Iran deal started when] the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013...[after] elections that brought moderates to power in that country....
[This fable] was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true [the only true thing is that the Iranians held elections in 2013], the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false.  Obama’s closest advisers always understood him to be eager to do a deal with Iran as far back as 2012, and even since the beginning of his presidency.

“It’s the center of the arc,” Rhodes explained to me two days after the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was implemented. .... It’s the possibility of improved relations with adversaries. It’s nonproliferation. So all these threads... converged around Iran.”

In the narrative that Rhodes shaped, the “story” of the Iran deal began in 2013, when a “moderate” faction inside the Iranian regime led by Hassan Rouhani beat regime “hard-liners” in an election and then began to pursue a policy of “openness,” which included a newfound willingness to negotiate the dismantling of its illicit nuclear-weapons program. The president set out the timeline himself in his speech announcing the nuclear deal on July 14, 2015: “Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not.” 

While the president’s statement was technically accurate — there had in fact been two years of formal negotiations leading up to the signing of the J.C.P.O.A. — it was also actively misleading, because the most meaningful part of the negotiations with Iran had begun in mid-2012, many months before Rouhani and the “moderate” camp were chosen in an election among candidates handpicked by Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. 

The idea that there was a new reality in Iran was politically useful to the Obama administration.  By obtaining broad public currency for the thought that there was a significant split in the regime, and that the administration was reaching out to moderate-minded Iranians who wanted peaceful relations with their neighbors and with America, Obama was able to evade what might have otherwise been a divisive but clarifying debate over the actual policy choices that his administration was making.
I sure am glad the emperor was able to evade that "divisive but clarifying debate."  Cuz when it comes to a treaty governing the development of nuclear weapons the very last thing you'd want would be clarity.
By eliminating the fuss about Iran’s nuclear program, the administration hoped to eliminate a source of structural tension between the two countries, which would create the space for America to disentangle itself from its established system of alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Turkey. With one bold move, the administration would effectively begin the process of a large-scale disengagement from the Middle East.
Clearly, the interviewer is impressed with the emperor's brilliance--and thus with the cleverness of his cat's-paw Rhodes, being able to get all the newspapers and TV talking heads to say exactly what he and his boss wanted 'em to say--and to not ask uncomfortable questions.
Framing the deal as a choice between peace and war was Rhodes’s go-to move — and proved to be a winning argument.
Funny, I must have read 50 articles on the deal and never ran across that phrase.  For the emperor's people to have warned that the U.S. risked Iran declaring war if we didn't agree to their demands would have been immediately seen as ludicrous.  What I recall--from the few terms of the agreement (officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to avoid even the word "Agreement") that were made public--is that in return for the lifting of all economic sanctions and the unfreezing of all Iranian bank accounts in the west, the Iranians agreed not to develop nuclear weapons, but refused to allow the U.S. to verify this.  The only provision for "verification"--to be done by the corrupt IAEA--required 27 days of advance notice.  Which would have been enough to yank out any evidence of development.

But I posted a piece on that shortly after the "Joint Plan" was signed.  The point here is that the interviewer thinks Rhodes has admitted scamming congress and the public.
As U.S. representatives worked with the Iranians to ratify details of a framework that had already been agreed to, Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

When I suggested that all this dark metafictional play seemed a bit removed from rational debate over America’s future role in the world, Rhodes nodded. “In the absence of rational discourse, we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this,” he said. “We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.” He is proud of the way he sold the Iran deal. “We drove them crazy,” he said of the deal’s opponents.

Yet Rhodes bridled at the suggestion that there has been anything deceptive about the way that the agreement itself was sold. “Look, with Iran, these are agreements between governments. Yes, I would prefer that it turns out that [two members of the Iranian govt] are real reformers who are going to be steering this country into the direction that I believe it can go in, because their public is educated and, in some respects, pro-American. But we are not betting on that.”

In fact, Rhodes’s passion seems to derive not from any investment in the technical specifics of sanctions or centrifuge arrays, or any particular optimism about the future course of Iranian politics and society. Those are matters for the negotiators and area specialists. Rather, it derived from his own sense of the urgency of radically reorienting American policy in the Middle East in order to make the prospect of American involvement in the region’s future wars a lot less likely. 
Of course Rhodes's efforts--at the behest of his boss--ensure that when the Iranian mullahs finally decide to try to wipe out Israel, none of them will say Wait, how can we be sure the Americans won't defend their ally?

Oh, and the Iranians will have nuclear weapons.  

But at least we won't intervene.  Ah, nice.

I wrote this analysis because not one of you believes there can be this much cynicism and malicious cunning at top levels of your government.  Whether Rhodes is actually leading the nation's press by the nose or whether the latter would do anything for the Democrats no matter who was asking is only barely relevant, because Rhodes seems positively gleeful over what he thinks is his ability--power, if you like--to "ventriloquize" (amazing to see that word) the nation's editors and TV decision-makers (like his brother, president of CBS News).  

In Rhodes's view it's almost his duty to feed reporters what his boss wants them to say, since in his view they lack enough experience to figure out the truth for themselves.  Well, maybe not truth, but...

Reading the interview one is struck by how much Rhodes seems to be the very personification of the  reporters he holds in such contempt.  But hey, not a problem, citizen:  You don't own any real estate in the middle east, and the prevailing winds will blow any fallout east, meaning it'll be dispersed almost to background levels before it reaches our west coast.

Update:
Rhodes has written a piece defending (but not denying) his comments in the interview.  Click on the link and then...*read the comments*.  Rhodes doubles down on his cunning, manipulative approach:  His defense is interesting:  Trying to defuse the claim that the White House was shown to have lied when they said that negotiations with Iran only began after the election of so-called "moderates" in 2013, Rhodes notes that the emperor *wanted* to make a deal with Iran all along.  Period.

He says things like "we believed" to justify the emperor's good intentions.  He repeatedly says verification is assured, but ignores claims by critics that Iran refused to allow inspection of any military facilities (meaning that's where any development would be done); that Iran demanded (and the emperor agreed) that any "verification" measure could only be done by the IAEA, not the U.S.; and that any IAEA inspections would require 24 days' notice--a time long enough to make them effectively useless.

But the flaws don't matter:  The emperor will be out of office before the Iranian mushroom cloud erupts, and the Democrats will be able to blame it on global warming, or mean Republicans being meanies to special snowflakes.  Or something.  And the mainstream Dem media will back 'em up.