Monday, March 31, 2014

Clinton and the sex offender

Must read from R. S. McCain:

Perjurer … Pedophile … Lawsuit

What are the elements of a great news story? Well, President Clinton is a perjurer who lied under oath in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Billionaire investor Jeffrey Epstein is reportedly a pedophile who had sex with underage prostitutes. And a lawsuit has brought out new details of the friendship between Clinton and Epstein.
Note, this is not revisiting Clinton’s behavior in the 1990s. His visits to Jeffrey Epstein’s island/brothel/sex dungeon happened after he left office.

So far, the American media hasn’t touched the story. Maybe because Epsteinhas friends in the right places? has friends in the right places.

On the evening of December 2nd, 2010, a handful of America's media and entertainment elite--including TV anchors Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos, comedienne Chelsea Handler, and director Woody Allen--convened around the dinner table of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
So it is a story of multi-faceted corruption--Wall Street, politics, media. No wonder the Clintons and MSM want to bury this story.

Here is a question worth pondering:

Is Rand Paul playing 3-D chess while everyone else is playing checkers?

Remember when Paul was criticized for calling Bill Clinton a sexual predator?

What is Rand Paul was not trying to “re-litigate the 1990s”?

What if he and his staff is looking forward and knew about the Clinton-Epstein connection?

By any measure, it is the sort of story that could sink HRC’s campaign all by itself. The mother of all bombshells just waiting for some to seize it.

So HRC won’t run or will be destroyed if she plays the Women’s Candidate while dodging difficult questions about her husband’s friends and after-hours activities.

What happens to the polls when Hillary is no longer in the race? Biden?

No way even the corrupt MSM can prop Crazy Joe up for the whole campaign.

Rand Paul might look pretty good after HRC’s exit.

Plus he gets points for taking on the issue when no one else wanted to address it.

Until the MSM picks up on the story, Paul has a useful talking point about media corruption and complicity in child abuse and exploitation.

Imagine if he went on George Stephanopoulos’s show and hit him for covering up for and supporting not one but two predators?


Not too mention, anything which hurts MSM credibility works to limit the damage they can do to an outsider candidate like Rand Paul.

Maybe I am over-thinking this. On the other hand, Paul has been astute so far in his career. He has succeeded time and again when the smart insiders were certain that he was headed for disaster.

One final point. Leftwing historian Roger Morris wrote an extremely interesting and highly critical biography of Bill and Hillary Clinton in 1996. It was ignored by the MSM and its insider posse of Clinton boosters. Partners in Power was prescient on a number of points and makes interesting reading now that we know so much more about the Clinton’s.

This passage describes the insider society of Little Rock when Bill was governor and Hillary was burnishing her credentials as an advocate for women and children.

At raucous parties on sprawling estates and aboard private jets, cocaine lay piled in ashtrays, was passed about on silver platters or in small vials, was even bagged on festive pouches hanging as ornaments from Christmas trees. Regular party guests--powerful businessmen and politicians from Arkansas and beyond--had ‘all the coke they could snort’ as one witness told the police--and were supplied, too, with pretty teenage girls from Little Rock high school as well as with the most fashionable black prostitutes from the capital or Memphis or New Orleans, women who later told stories of suffering cigarette burns and other abuse in the houses and suites of some of the city’s most wealthy and prominent citizens. ‘They were animals’ said a West Memphis sheriff’s deputy who listened to some of the accounts.

It was all done with seedy abandon and, for most involved, utter impunity. Drug dealers corrupted local police for protection, hiring off-duty officers as bodyguards, and in any case kept up a steady stream of contributions to local officeholders and charities. At one point gruesome testimony moved prosecutors to bring a few cases. But inquiries never went too far, and the token convicts were soon forgotten, the most famous among them pardoned by Governor Clinton.

The GOP needs a dozen David Treens more than it needs another Ronald Reagan

A couple of key points made from Quinn Hillyer's obituary of Treen:

Dave Treen, Political Builder

David Connor Treen was a one-term governor (and four-term congressman) of a troubled southern state. He lost or withdrew from far more elections than he won. His nomination for a federal appeals court judgeship fell apart. And he was the butt of two of the most famous put-downs in American political history. Yet, although almost no history books will say so, he was one of the more consequential figures in late 20th century politics, not just in Louisiana, but nationally.
This is a a big legacy for a man who lost most of his big elections:

Treen played a huge role in breaking the Democratic Party's monopoly on the South. He played an important role in organizing U.S. House Republicans toward a conservative, reformist model in the late 1970s to help lay the groundwork for the Reagan presidency. He planted the seeds of reform in Louisiana government.
The losing was inseparable from the big accomplishments. Every big movement starts out with defeats. The movements that grow and make history have many characteristics, but one thing they share is a surplus of principled men who are not afraid to lose as they work to advance their cause in inhospitable environments.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chapman Pincher-- reporter, patriot

The best kind of Fleet Street hack turns 100 today.

A good, old-fashioned hack: Chapman Pincher at 100

When I was a schoolboy the only newspaper we were supplied with was the Daily Express. In those days it outsold all others and boasted 6 million readers. The star front-page scoop reporter was one Chapman Pincher. Even the name was redolent of Bulldog Drummond and Biggles.

Harry Chapman Pincher: Ex-Daily Express journalist turns 100

His employers called him "the lone wolf of Fleet Street", the man who got the stories other journalists seemed to miss.

For over 30 years, until his retirement in 1979, Harry Chapman Pincher was the defence and science correspondent for the Daily Express, then Britain's biggest-selling daily newspaper.

Few military or atomic secrets in the 1950s and 60s were safe from Pincher.

His contacts in the scientific and military establishment brought him one exclusive after another.

In retirement he turned his attention to espionage, producing a string of controversial books alleging Soviet penetration of MI5 at the very highest level.

His memoirs have just been published and he says he is at work on another book.
Writing another book when he is a hundred years old. Amazing.

This anecdote is telling.

And when he discovered that one of his best contacts, the general secretary of a civil service union with access to top secret establishments, was a communist, he was deeply alarmed.

When the man announced he was retiring and that his successor was to be another communist, Pincher promptly shopped the would-be successor to the authorities, who somehow ensured that he didn't get the job.

"I knew what my duty was as an Englishman," he told me.
Quite a contrast to the attitudes expressed by US journalists like Mike Wallace and Pinch Sulzberger.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why do the GOP “professionals” keep acting like Leon Lett

It is one of the most famous blunders in sports. Cowboy defensive tackle Leon Lett scoops up a fumble in Super Bowl XXVII and heads to the endzone for an easy touchdown. As he approaches the goal line he waves the ball with one hand as he celebrates his easy score.

Unfortunately, Bills WR Don Beebe was chasing the showboating Lett. He knocked the ball free and through the end zone. The easy TD became a touchback and the Bills took possession.

Watch the play here.

I became a big Don Beebe fan that day. It was late in the game and his team was losing 52-17 yet he did not quit on the play. That is pride and real professionalism.

Something the professionals in the GOP should learn.

Every day or two we are treated to another story about the looming Republican landslide. Functionaries and factotums leak plans of action that will be taken by the new Senate majority.

All this seven months before the election.


At this point, if the 2014 midterms are epic wins for the GOP no one should praise the RNC because they have already accepted their quota of congratulations.

The consultants have their polls and historical trends. They had the same thing in 1998 when the expected Republican wave never appeared.

Seven months is several lifetimes in politics.

And no opinion poll has ever pulled the lever on a voting machine.

When I hear some pundit declare that the President’s poor approval numbers mean the election outcome is a foregone conclusion, I am reminded of one of the greatest leadership and intelligence failures of World War Two.

After routing two German Army Groups and liberating France in a matter of weeks in 1944, the Allies knew that the German defeat was just a matter of time. They were completely surprised by the strategic counter attack we now call the Battle of the Bulge.

Max Hastings:

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Strong, bore a substantial share of responsibility for failing to recognize the signifcance of the German buildup in the Ardennes, which had been flagged by Ultra. Strong told the supreme commander that German formations identified in the area were merely resting and refitting. The fundamental failure, in which many senior American and British officers were complicit, was that they were convinced of their own mastery of the campaign and thus, discounted the possibility of a major German thrust.
Hayek wrote that “without a theory, the facts are silent.” The same is true with intelligence. Adopt a wrong theory and the best intelligence in the world won’t warn you of disaster.

Eisenhower, Montgomery, and Bradley had adopted the wrong theory. They were so convinced that the war was won that they never considered the possibility that the Germans would mount one more epic battle as a last throw of the dice.

They did not understand that a battered enemy will still fight, even fight desperately beyond all reason, before it accepts defeat and annihilation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Who is Liz Wahl and why won’t CNN tell us?

CNN’s Reliable Sources has interviewed former RT reporter Liz Wahl twice in recent weeks. The interviews anything but hard hitting. To call them fawning would be polite; they were simply cringe-inducing in their unctuous and unrelenting praise of all things Liz Wahl.

Reliable Sources 9 March 2014

Reliable Sources 23 March 2014
Brian Stelter basically used the interviews to advance and bolster Wahl’s preferred narrative: that she is an American patriot and a martyr for journalistic integrity.

In the second interview, Stelter went out of his way to help Wahl dismiss the criticisms leveled against her by the left-wing website Truth Dig.

How Cold War-Hungry Neocons Stage Managed Liz Wahl’s Resignation
Stelter did not try to pin down Wahl on any of the issues raised by in the Truth Dig piece. Instead, he treated them as paranoid fictions.

WAHL: And conspiracy theories get very dangerous. I never realized -- I was never a privy to this world before, but working there I realized how dangerous it is. These people hear these conspiracy theories and think that it's fact.

I mean, they -- the insiders there hatched a story with one of their friends saying that my resignation was part of a neocon plot to take over the world...

STELTER: Yes, this was a dust-up online this week.

WAHL: ... and -- yes, to take over the world, a neocon conspiracy theory to dupe the mainstream media.

And they hear this from these people that thrive off of conspiracy theories. This is their livelihood. They've cultivated this kind of fringe extremist audience. And they think it's fact. And no matter what you say, these are people -- it doesn't matter what kind of evidence you present to them. They do not want to believe the truth.
Stelter is apparently blind to the absurd humor inherent in Wahl resorting to a conspiracy theory to explain away her negative press after she cited RT’s reliance on conspiracy theories as part of her reason for leaving.

Blindness is one thing but dishonest flacking is something much worse. The besotted Stelter engaged in just that when he dismissed Truthdig’s article on Wahl as “a dust-up online” and tacitly endorsed her characterization of it as another lie fostered by RT.

The Truthdig article by Max Blumenthal and Rania Khalek,”How Cold War-Hungry Neocons Stage Managed Liz Wahl’s Resignation,” was overwrought at times, but it did offer facts in support of its (fairly mild) conspiracy theory. Even if their theory is not true those facts are damning to Liz Wahl’s carefully crafted narrative. An honest media critic might have asked a couple of tough questions when faced with those facts.

But CNN does not have an honest press critic; they only have Brian Stelter. So all the really interesting points raised by Truthdig were ignored.

I’m still left with this question each time I watch Reliable Sources:

Is Brian Stelter clever and dishonest or is he stupid and completely lacking in self-awareness?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cass Sunstein's evasions and telling omissions

The Dark Side of New York Times v. Sullivan

One of the goals of the court’s ruling was to protect self-government, but the effects on self-government are not all good. Talk show hosts, bloggers and users of social media can spread ugly falsehoods in an instant -- exposing citizens to lies that may well cause them to look on their leaders with unjustified suspicion.
In Sunstein's world, self-government=big government by bureaucrats and politicians who are not "abused" on the internet or radio.

I wonder, does he like Orwell and not see that Orwell had people like him in mind when when he wrote Animal Farm and 1984. Or is he honest enough and clear-headed enough to hate Orwell?

Note as well, it is the new media that does the lying in Sunstein's argument. The MSM is presumably the slow but honest counter-balance to those meddling bloggers and lying readio hosts.

Presumably, government work makes one incapable of lying or distorting the facts. Because a government that lied would be much more dangerous to self-government than bloggers or twitterers.


Richard Jewell was unavailable for comment on that point.

Incestuous Washington

Despite its hard ideological edge and sometimes extreme language, i found this article fascinating on several levels.

How Cold War-Hungry Neocons Stage Managed Liz Wahl’s Resignation
For instance, I did not know that Robert Kagan was a foreign policy advisor to Mitt Romney.

Kagan is married to Victoria Nuland, the State Department official who helped scrub CIA's talking points to make them less politically explosive after the Benghazi attack.

That sort makes the Romney campaign's handling of Benghazi even more interesting.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Career planning at the Harrisburg Patriot-News

As near as i can tell, it consists of hoping that the Guardian is still hiring when Patriot-News folds.


Way-points on the path to irrelevance and oblivion

MSM: Shrinking Audience, Leftward Drift

This is simply outstanding

ESPN and the Politicization of Sports

ESPN deals with disputes as though they aren’t. Tautologically, a controversy doesn’t elicit unanimity. As the votes among the democratically-elected legislature in Arizona indicates, a view beyond the narrow one aired by Wilbon and Kornheiser exists. But it doesn’t exist on ESPN.

It may be the wrong view, but the network doesn’t help viewers to see this by exposing them to a caricatured version of it. Given that the four-letter sports behemoth, and its ombudsman, seem committed to covering sport more aggressively when it intersects with politics and culture, shouldn’t it make more of an effort to acknowledge that it reaches an audience far more diverse in outlook than those watching from a cable-television campus in Connecticut? Dispensing with the political litmus test for the non-jock talkers would be an encouraging start.
It is always worth remembering that Orwell based his Ministry of Truth on the people he met in the BBC.

The ESPN ombudsman is Robert Lipsyte. I think that the New York Times passed a key waypoint on its decline when it rehired Lipsyte as a sports columnist. A sports writer who hates sports is a pretty good indicator that the paper wanted to preach instead of report.


Why did Robert Lipsyte become a sportwriter?

Duke lacrosse: Auto de fe

Jefferson Street Joe: The creation of a modern myth

America’s Game

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Good item on US-Russia relations

Stuff you won't read in James Kirchick's "reporting."

The U.S. has treated Russia like a loser since the end of the Cold War.
Matlock was Ambassador to Moscow under Reagan and Bush

I think this point is telling:

President Bill Clinton supported NATO’s bombing of Serbia without U.N. Security Council approval and the expansion of NATO to include former Warsaw Pact countries. Those moves seemed to violate the understanding that the United States would not take advantage of the Soviet retreat from Eastern Europe. The effect on Russians’ trust in the United States was devastating. In 1991, polls indicated that about 80 percent of Russian citizens had a favorable view of the United States; in 1999, nearly the same percentage had an unfavorable view.
Putin is popular in Russia because the US managed to make itself unpopular in a very short time.

I am still puzzled at the eagerness of conservatives to rescue Bill Clinton's failures and support Victoria Nuland's misguided adventures.

Some inconvenient facts about US-Russian relations

Just a morning shot of paranoia because Thursday’s can be boring

Banker, 28, kills himself in ELEVENTH finance suicide this year

From Edward Jay Epstein’s wildly interesting book The Annals of Unsolved Crime:
Another category of interest is disguised murder. To protect itself against pursuit, a party can disguise a murder as a suicide or accident in such a way that the issue becomes: Was there a crime? My interest here was piqued by James Jesus Angleton, the legendary counterintelligence chief of the CIA. In 1977, he described to me six connected suicides that had occurred in Germany in late 1968. First, on October 8, Major-General Horst Wendland, the deputy head of the BND, the German equivalent of the CIA, was found shot dead with his own service revolver in his own office. That same day, Admiral Hermann Ludke, the deputy head of the logistics department of NATO, was found fatally shot by a dum-dum bullet from his own Mauser rifle in a private hunting preserve in Germany’s Eifel Mountains. Then, within days, four more bodies turned up: Lt. Colonel Johannes Grimm, who worked in the German Defense Ministry, shot; Gerald Bohm, his colleague in the Ministry, drowned in the Rhine river; Edeltraud Grapentin, a liaison with the Information Ministry, poisoned with sleeping pills; and Hans-Heinrich Schenk, a researcher at the Economics Ministry, hanged. All were declared apparent suicides. After he reeled them off, Angleton made his point. These were not unrelated deaths. All six apparent suicides had access to highly classified secrets and were all under investigation as suspected spies or for leaks of NATO documents. The secret investigation of these men had proceeded from the discovery of a strip of film taken on a Minox camera of top-secret NATO documents. The camera had then been traced to Admiral Ludke. This discovery was of immense interest to Angleton, who in 1968 was a liaison with the BND, because Admiral Ludke had “need-to-know” access to the top secrets in NATO, including the location of the depots in which nuclear weapons were stored. Next, a Czech defector supplied a lead that pointed directly to Major-General Wendland and the German Defense Ministry. But before the investigation could go further, both Ludke and Wendland were shot to death on the same day, followed by four other suspects in the case suddenly meeting violent ends. How was such a coincidence possible? Angleton supplied one theory: the KGB had eliminated them to protect its espionage. I said, “But they were ruled suicides.” He corrected me: “Apparent suicides,” and he added, “Any thug can commit a murder, but it takes the talents of an intelligence service to make a murder appear to be a suicide.” He pointed out that coroners look for a murder signature, such as rope burns or bruises, and, if those are not present, they declare the death apparent suicide or natural death. Those signatures can be erased, as Angleton explained, in what is termed in intelligence-speak “surreptitiously-assisted deaths.”

TR on books and reading

He shows us how to be well-read without being snobbish or finicky.

Teddy Roosevelt’s 10 Rules for Reading

Information overload?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to give a speech: learning from Churchill

I found these old, but useful notes from a talk given by James Humes.

Humes was a speechwriter for every Republican president between Ike and Bush '41, a student of Churchill, and a historian of public speaking and great speakers.

Churchill's five principles on language via James Humes:

1. Begin strongly.
"Don't start off with a stupid joke"
"Don't say, 'It gives me great pleasure to be here today'."

2. Have one theme.
"Know in one sentence what you want the audience to walk away with,"
"Be able to write it on the back of a pack of matches."

3. Use simple language.
Avoid the passive voice and polysyllabic Latinate words.
Eisenhower preferred bureaucratic words like "finalize" but Churchill would have said "finish" or "end."

4. Always paint a picture in the listener's mind.
"People can't see 'cost benefit' or 'capital insufficiency',"
When Churchill used "iron curtain," "You could almost hear the gate come crashing down."

5. End on emotion -- be it patriotism, love of God, or love of family.

Don't be afraid to give the same speech many times. "When you hear a great speech, you know it's something someone has delivered many times,"

A useful review of one of Humes books is here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Radosh Rule: It is only McCarthyism when Diana West does it

This post is mind-boggling in its hysteria and its dishonest arguments.

The New Apologists for Vladimir Putin on the Right and the Left
To Radosh, not only does Russia have no legitimate national interests in Ukraine or Crimea, but there is no legitimate position for Americans except all out denunciations of Putin and aggressive saber-rattling.

To take just one example, here is Radosh attacking Steven Cohen:

As for the suppression of gays in Russia, Cohen points out they were suppressed in America when he grew up. Moreover, he says that 85 percent of Russians believe homosexuality is a disease or a choice. And there is no popular support in the country for gay rights. In other words, we may not like it, but one has to respect the feelings of the Russian public, and not inflict our values and decisions on them. He goes on to say “it’s not our concern,” and sarcastically remarks: “Are we supposed to form a brigade and go there and liberate Russian gays?” That is, my friend the historian of Russia Louis Menashe puts it, “reminiscent of turning back criticisms of the USSR with: “What about the Negroes lynched in the South!”

Once again, leftists like Stephen Cohen join with paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan in opposing a stand for democracy,
I have rarely seen so dishonest an argument. First note how Radosh pretends to like “democracy” but is unwilling to accept Cohen’s point that Putin’s policies have democratic support inside of Russia. Moreover, Cohen’s key point, “Are we supposed to form a brigade and go there and liberate Russian gays?” remains, perfectly valid. Since we lack the power to change Russia’s internal policies, what is the point of the constant moral preening and unceasing expressions of outrage?

And why stop at Russia? More counties in the world fall short of American standards of freedom. Are we to have no positive relations with any of them? Carried to its logical conclusion, Radosh’s preferred policies lead only to diplomatic isolation and military impotence.

Such nuance escapes Radosh. He had divided the world into two categories. Black and white. Putin apologists and Forces of Light.

That’s an odd position for Radosh to take given his harsh criticism of Diana West and her book American Betrayal.

Back then, he was the champion of a nuanced understanding of history and opposed to simple minded dichotomies.

As seen here and here, I leaned toward Radosh’s side about American Betrayal. I was struck even then however, with the harsh, even hysterical tone of his critique.

Marc Andreessen’s unconventional take on the news business

The Future of the News Business
The whole thing is fascinating.

A couple of quick points:

On the journalistic “good old days”:

Analyzed as a business, the news industry is going through a fundamental restructuring and transformation, for worse and for better.

The main change is that news businesses from 1946-2005 were mostly monopolies and oligopolies. Now they aren’t. The monopoly/oligopoly structure of newspapers, magazines, and broadcast TV news pre-‘05 meant restricted choice and overly high prices. In other words, the key to the old businesses was control of distribution, way more than anyone ever wanted to admit. That’s wonderful while it lasts, but wrenching when that control goes away.

The end of monopolistic control doesn’t mean that great news businesses can’t get built in highly competitive markets. They just get built differently than before.
Previously in this space:

The newspaper today and tomorrow

Carroll’s golden age coincides with the rise of the one newspaper town. Why was that a good thing? How could New York be better off when the Times did not have to compete with the Herald-Tribune? Why is journalism the rare business where monopolies serve the customer better than competition?

I doubt that the reading public was or is better off. The owners were because monopolies provide a nice stream of predictable earnings. The newsroom liked that the owners were fat and happy because as long as the income statement looked good the owners did not interfere with content. Editors and reporters were free to chases awards, collect bigger paychecks, and indulge their ideological obsessions. Local monopolies also gave journalists bigger megaphones and a de facto victory in “explanation space”.
Andreesen on web advertising:

Advertising is still central for many news businesses. But they need to get out of the “race to bottom” dynamic of bad content, bad advertisers, and bad ads. Quality journalism businesses need to either take responsibility for their own high-quality advertisers and ads, or work with partners who do. There is no excuse for crappy network-served teeth whitening come-ons and one weird trick ads served against high quality content. Disastrous.
That’s very true. I wrote this in 2005:

The indispensable innovator is the advertising genius who will make internet advertising a serious competitor for print, TV, and radio. Once that happens, ad money will flow to the audience bloggers attract.

But right now, blog ads and pop-ups just don't fit the needs for most big advertisers.
Nine years later and we are still waiting for that genius. Or maybe that genius is waiting for the editor/impresario that Andreesen describes. Either way, online ads still suck.

Rightwing upstarts need to pay special heed to his warning.

The “race to the bottom” hurts the brand of all news sites. Established outlets have established brands so that the damage is mitigated. New, online only outlets pay a much heavier price. They have no established reputation or offline presence. As Andreesen suggests readers are liable to think crappy ads=crappy content.

Monday, March 17, 2014

HUAW: Think of it as a symptom of deeper problems

An interesting post from the Harvard Business Review blog:

Two Ways to Reduce “Hurry Up and Wait” Syndrome

Intersecting with this drive for speed is the reality that many organizations have slimmed down over the last few years. But while they have reduced costs and taken out layers of managers and staff, they often haven’t eliminated the work that those people were doing. So the surviving managers are expected to do more and more, and do it faster and faster.

The result of trying to drive more work through fewer people, and at greater speed, is a jamming of the queue. There is simply no way to get everything done in the accelerated time frames that many managers expect. So while their intentions are to move quickly on things, the reality is that you can only force so much work through the eye of the needle.
I think HUAW is symptomatic of deeper, systemic problems with in an organization.

Maybe it is the result of the fetishization of speed by a business-manque

Why the hurry?

Most executives, it seems, are only businessmen manqués because their organizations are not really businesses. The lessons of a lifetime do not need to be revised, they need to be tossed aside completely. It is no surprise, then, that many executives recoil when they apprehend this fact. They take refuge in action, connection, and other "irritable mental gestures" as a substitute for hard thinking.
Quite likely, a part of the problem lies in the organization’s refusal to heed the best strategic planning advice ever.

Avoiding HUAW is a useful byproduct of Manstein’s leadership matrix.

When hard work doesn't pay

Leadership, hard work, and meetings
Undoubtedly, a part of the problem is managers who lack the moral courage required for effective delegation.

Ike’s leadership style: Don’t Meddle...delegate or replace

Ike’s leadership style: Don’t Meddle...delegate or replace

Edgar F. Puryear, Jr. 19 Stars: A Study in Military Character and Leadership:

General Eisenhower followed the same practice with his Army commanders. He gave them their job and left them alone; with responsibility for millions of men and billions of tons of material he had to. By contrast, the British chiefs maintained daily contact with their field commanders and interfered consistently in tactical plans.
Williamson Murray and Allan Millet, A War to Be Won

Coming into the war last, the Americans experienced their own weaknesses. In 1939 the US Army had ranked seventeenth in the world. As compared to the Germans, who by 1939 had been preparing themselves for war for six years, the American's had barely three years before their troops were committed to combat. Consequently, many units that fought in Normandy displayed a depressing lack of tactical sophistication. Nevertheless, most US formations exhibited greater adaptability than their British counterparts, and their learning curve was steady and steep. Such improvements owed much to the flexibility of a citizen army, as well as to the ruthlessness with which Eisenhower sacked senior officers who failed.
Max Hastings Inferno:

[Under Eisenhower in North Africa in 1943] the most visibly incompetent American officers were replaced with a ruthlessness the British might had profitably emulated.

What ails the GOP?

Part of a continuing series

In two words: Karl Rove.

That’s sounds simplistic but I plead the Gelernter Defense:

But if you allow carpers to shoo you away from every generalization before you have time to explore it, you have no hope of coming to grips with basic questions of modern America.
Rove wanted to be his generation’s Mark Hanna—a political operative who forged a new, dominant majority coalition.

He failed.

Rove can be seen as the sad result of the misinterpretation of the Reagan legacy discussed here…

Conservative anger and the Reagan legacy
The administration he helped elect demoralized the conservative base.

Why are conservatives mad at the GOP?

Five quick points about the conservative tantrum
… and left the conservatives and Republicans with a terrible burden in future election.

GOP future: It’s not the “messaging”

Conservatives and messaging

Friday, March 14, 2014

Is this the goal of The War on Noticing*

David Gelernter, Drawing Life

But if you allow carpers to shoo you away from every generalization before you have time to explore it, you have no hope of coming to grips with basic questions of modern America.

* Patton Oswalt: "Political correctness is a war on noticing."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What was the Fed thinking in the summer of 2008?

How the Fed Let the World Blow Up in 2008
High oil prices blinded the Fed to the growing danger before the crash
Three things stand out beyond the absolute cluelessness of most of the participants.

One: That the Fed and Treasury had allowed the banking system to become opaque to every one, even themselves. No one knew how much risk was in the system nor which institutions were most threatened by it.

The world changed on August 9, 2007. That's when French bank BNP Paribas announced that it wouldn't let investors withdraw money from its subprime funds anymore. It couldn't value them, because nobody wanted to buy them. The effect was immediate. Banks stopped trusting, and lending to, each other. They all had their own subprime problems, but none of them knew whose was the worstor who had insured whom.
And this:

Hawks had convinced themselves that the financial crisis had been going on for so long that it wasn't one anymore. That banks had had more than enough time to cut their exposure to troubled firms. That one bankruptcy, say Lehman's, wouldn't cause a cascade of others. Or, as St. Louis Fed president James Bullard put it, that "the level of systemic risk has dropped dramatically, and possibly to zero."
Two: The blithe acceptance of a severe shock like the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

And the economy really couldn't afford it if they decided, like Richmond Fed president Jeffrey Lacker suggested, that "at some point we're going to choose to let something disruptive happen." That is, let a too-big-to-fail bank fail.
After they did let Lehman fail, there was still an unworldly calm about what just happened:

"We have a lot to talk about," Bernanke said. That they did. Lehman had failed the day before, and markets were trying to figure out what it meant. After some consideration, they decided it was the end of the world.

It was easy to see why. Markets had expected Lehman to be bailed out. Lehman had expected Lehman to be bailed out. So when it wasn't, nobody was prepared. It wasn't clear who had lost what, and who had claims on what. But what was clear was that the insurance giant A.I.G. was going to need a bailout. That money market funds were, as Rosengren had warned, about to break the buck. And that there was a run on every financial asset that wasn't guaranteed by the government.

The Fed, though, was surprisingly upbeat. Lacker had gotten the "disruptive" event he had wanted, and he was pretty pleased about it. "What we did with Lehman I obviously think was good," he said, because it would "enhance the credibility of any commitment that we make in the future to be willing to let an institution fail." Hoenig concurred that it was the "right thing," because it would suck moral hazard out of the market.
Three: There was no real planning or preparation for crisis. They did not have contingency plans for the post-Lehamn fallout just has they did not have a clear understanding of what the failure of a TBTF institution would mean.

It was the day after Lehman failed, and the Federal Reserve was trying to decide what to do.

It had been fighting a credit crunch for over a year, and now the worst-case scenario was playing out. A too-big-to-fail bank had just failed, and the rest of the financial system was ready to get knocked over like dominos.
This echoes something Joseph Lawler noted in his review of Hank Paulson's memoirs:

huge decisions determining the fates of endlessly complex institutions are gamed out in the crudest of terms by two pals in conversations depicted with a level of detail, dramatic tension, and moral awareness that would be better suited for a Sesame Street segment about cooperation.
I find this mind-boggling. For 150 years modern militaries have used war-games, scenario planning, and other strategic tools to prepare for nearly all contingencies. The plans themselves are not the key product of these exercises. It is the development of a collective mental framework and the exploration of messy problems not given to pat answers.

The Prussians were the first to systematize the process withing their General Staff and War College. The goal was to avoid exactly the problems that we see with the Fed and Treasury in 2008:

Continuity of conception is imperative to safeguard leadership in the nervous trials of reality. Knowledge or capacity in individuals is not enough. In war the organically developed capacity of a majority is necessary
President Eisenhower:

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable
Colin Gray notes that for Ike "the principal value of military planning is not to produce ahead of time the perfect plan, but rather to train planners who can adjust and adapt to changing circumstances as they emerge."

Adm. Chester Nimitz on his Naval War College experience (1922)

The enemy was always-- Japan-- and the courses were so thorough that after the start of WWII-- nothing that happened in the Pacific was strange or unexpected.
Perhaps the greatest example of the power of the military model is this: The German Army, with its reconstituted General Staff, developed tank doctrine and the concept of the Blitzkrieg before the army possessed any tanks.

Because conservatives and America deserve better

Excellent piece by Ben Domenech

When Will Fox News Recognize Other Views on Foreign Policy?

Here's a good review of season 3 of "Sherlock"

I think the reviewer is absolutely right that the writers spent so much time playing with the quirkiness of the characters that they forgot about the plots.

From Sherlock to Schlock
While i've enjoyed all the recent adaptations of Holmes, it must be said that all of them do violence to the essential nature of Holmes and Watson. But that is for a later post.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

More pundits should read Jerry Pournelle

The consequences of Clinton and Albright choosing sides in five hundred year old conflict in the Balkans, and choosing to bomb the Slavs, has had and will have repercussions for a century and more, and it is still difficult to find the US national interest involved.

Too many American journalists and pundits act like history began 18 months ago.

Nailed it!

Kevin Williamson on John Stewart:

Mr. Stewart is among the lowest forms of intellectual parasite in the political universe, with no particular insights or interesting ideas of his own, reliant upon the very broadest and least clever sort of humor, using ancient editing techniques to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results.

His shtick is a fundamentally cowardly one, playing the sanctimonious vox populi when it suits him, and then beating retreat into “Hey, I’m just a comedian!” when he faces a serious challenge. It is the sort of thing that you can see appealing to bright, politically engaged 17-year-olds.

Ambiguity is anathema

Ron Rosenbaum:

People can’t live with uncertainty! They crave certainty more than they crave truth.
Note that he is explicitly including reporters in this.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Peter Hitchens on Ukraine

His take is one that American conservatives might want to consider before they automatically accept the MSM anti-Russian/anti-Putin line.

Gove's latest lesson for parents: How to cheat the school system

They say they’re in favour of ‘democracy’, when in fact they are apologists for a naked coup d’etat against an elected government by an armed mob.

They say they are against interference in other countries, when they excuse the blatant intervention of foreign politicians on the side of the Kiev rabble.

They say that Crimea has no right to secede from Ukraine, when they all supported the secession of Kosovo from Serbia.

They say they are concerned about Mr Putin’s undoubtedly squalid and dishonest government. But they never complain about China, which is far more repressive and which is now trampling on the national independence of its imperial conquests in Tibet and Sinkiang.

When someone’s not consistent, they’re not telling you their real motives. Interestingly, most of the people who hate Russia also love the EU, and hate this country’s independence and traditions. That might give you a clue as to what sort of people they really are and explain why I sympathise with Russia.
One does not need to be pro-Putin in order to question the actions of the EU and Victoria Nuland in provoking the crisis.

I am either too cynical or too forgiving

A few months ago I wrote this about the new host of CNN’s Reliable Sources.

In an odd way, Howard Kurtz's move from CNN to FNC has made each network more liberal.
Each week confirms my suspicions.

I’m left with this question: Is Brian Stelter clever and dishonest or is he stupid and completely lacking in self-awareness?

This week’s episode offered a perfect case study.

Here’s the set-up:

STELTER: Welcome back to RELIABLE SOURCES. I'm Brian Stelter.

We who love TV news know, if you want a conservative point of view, you turn on FOX. If you're looking for liberals, you turn on MSNBC. It's all pretty simple, right?

Well, except you can find Democrats on FOX and you can find Republicans on MSNBC. Just in different ways.

It was really an interesting piece in the "Columbia Journalism Review" about this week. I want to read a quote from it.

"While the liberal hosts of MSNBC often skewer conservatives, those debates happen with villains who are not in the studio, lambasted by proxy in news clips. At FOX, they happen in person, with a real live liberal who is often on staff."
Now here is the sleight of hand:

It's got us thinking about what it is like at FOX and MSNBC, when guests or commentators are in enemy territory.

So, I wanted to bring on two people who know a lot about that.

Sally Kohn is a left leaning community organizer, that job title used against you at FOX, right? And now here at CNN, she appeared on FOX until a few months ago.

And Ben Ferguson is a conservative talk radio show in Dallas with us today, who appears on CNN regularly as well. But in the past before signed at CNN, he repeatedly refused to appear on MSNBC.

Thank you both for being here.



STELTER: Ben, first to you. Back in the days when you weren't signed to any network, why not appear on MSNBC? They're entitled to their leftist points of view, right?
Stelter takes a story which shows that Fox is more open to differing opinions and is more fair to those who hold those opinions, and does a segment equating Fox to MSNBC.

This isn’t the first time he has played that game:

Bad Bad week for NBC News
That framing does two things. First, it takes credit away from the hated Fox News and implies that all “ideological programming” plays the game the same way. I. e., he ignores the conclusions of the article that he just quoted.

Second, it helps his employer, CNN, to position itself and centrist and objective between the liberal MSNBC and the right-wing Fox.

Like I said, he is either clever and dishonest or stupid and completely lacking in self-awareness.

The Third Man

Over sixty years after he fled to Moscow, Kim Philby still fascinates writers and publishers. Two new books shed new light on the case.

Kim Philby got away with it because he was posh

A review of A Spy Among Friends, by Ben Macintyre. The double agent's victims, unlike his family, were not the sort of people one bumped into at White's

The story of Kim Philby is, of course, like so many English stories, really one of social class. He was one of the most scandalous traitors in history, and from within the security services sent specific information to the Soviets during the early years of the Cold War that resulted directly in the deaths of thousands of men and women. Among them were the Albanian guerrillas, hoping to liberate their country, who found Soviet-sponsored troops waiting at their landing places to shoot them. A list of non-communist opposers to the Nazis in Germany was passed on to the Russians who, advancing into Germany in the last years of the war, summarily executed 5,000 named people.

Philby worked for the British security services for years, almost all the time passing significant information to our country’s enemies. He was closely associated with those other traitors, Burgess and Maclean, and clearly helped them to escape. Despite very substantial evidence against Philby, he was allowed to retire from the service and left unprosecuted. MI6 seems to have protected and defended him; MI5 wanted to bring a case, but was rebuffed.

Kim Philby: The man I knew, by the master spy's oldest friend

The banned memoirs of Tim Milne, Philby’s closest associate in MI6, have just been published, offering a fascinating insight the man and traitor

Looking back on Philby’s double life, Milne cannot fully explain his motivations. “He never seemed to identify himself with his country, even over sport. Although Kim was a very English person, and much more at home in congenial English company than any other, he showed little affection for England or its countryside, cities, institutions and traditions. Though he never lacked physical or moral courage, one could not imagine him making patriotic gestures. Perhaps this should have been a clue to his real feelings.”

And Philby the man? “It is interesting that whereas the character sketches we have of Burgess and Maclean are detailed, convincing and reasonably consistent, nobody seems able to pin down Kim himself. Even those who knew him best probably all have different pictures. “Kim said in an interview that if he had his time over again he would do the same thing. I wish that were not true. But I do not regret knowing him. He enriched my world for many years and I owed a lot to him. Certainly my association with him caused many difficulties for me but I do not feel bitterness towards him, only sadness.”

The smiling spy

Philby spent most of his adult life hidden beneath thick layers of subterfuge. For almost 30 years, during which time he rose almost to the top of MI6, Philby dutifully passed every interesting nugget of information straight on to his bosses in Moscow.

All spies engage in deceit, of course, but none with quite such relish as Philby. Ben Macintyre prefaces his new book with E.M Forster’s famous quote about betrayal - ‘If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friends, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.’

Philby, though, betrayed both his friends and his country. Indeed, he betrayed, or spied on, just about everyone of any importance in his life, including his father and his wife.
One caveat

The reviewers follow along the conventional wisdom that holds that Philby's betrayal drove CIA James Jesus Angleton into paranoia. That is one interpretation, but it may be more self-serving spin than real history.

CIA Director Richard Helm's completely rejected that interpretation in his memoirs:

The criticism leveled against Angleton since his dismissal by Colby seems to ignore Jim's accomplishments and the reasons General Donovan and six directors of Central Intelligence...valued his service. There were a number of channels-- formal and otherwise, through which any of Angleton's post facto critics might have expressed their views of Jim's performance while he was still in office. I recall no one within the Agency having raised even a fraction of the criticism they began to express after his dismissal.
In this post i discussed how the Angleton caricature was created:

The pro-Nosenko side never refuted the case that the defector was a dispatched disinformation agent. They simply glossed over the most damning evidence, grasped at straws to bolster their case, and then pronounced him bona fide. They shut down debate by purging the nay-sayers and destroying evidence. When disturbing facts about Nosenko became public, his advocates replied with ad hominen attacks and outright lies-Angleton was a drunken paranoid, Bagley was an inexperienced agent conned by Angleton and Golitsyn, "sick think" was the inevitable consequence of counter-intelligence, etc. etc....

the pro-Nosenko side promulgated a false history which they fed to gulliable journalists like Tom Mangold (Cold Warrior). This distorted account of Angleton, Nosenko, and Colby now is the Standard Version that other writers and historians repeat unknowingly and ad nauseum.

Friday, March 07, 2014


Smart commentary here:

Ukrainian Chess

Ukraine’s established politicians have spent the last two decades playing off the US and Russia, and extracting resources from both sides. Corruption among this group is pervasive; in no sense have they managed Ukraine for its people.

Masterpiece Theater


DOWNTON ABBEY DIARY: The Mad Memoirs of Rebecca Eaton
When I read the book I was struck by the diffidence with which Eaten and her British partners viewed their most popular offerings. Fans might love classic mysteries, but Eaton disliked the genre.

Loyal PBS contributors might want more Jane Austen and other costume dramas, but the people on the inside are always itching to bring in more modern, more edgy fare.


Eaton is at times refreshingly frank. She admits that when she became executive producer of Masterpiece Theatre, “I wasn’t a regular Masterpiece viewerI wasn’t even a Masterpiece fan, really.”
Eaton, who is also in charge Masterpiece Mystery describes herself as “a reader impatient with the formulaic construction of whodunits.”

Television is a funny business.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Worth a look: a couple of smart takes on Russia and Ukraine

Obama’s Confrontation over Ukraine Has Increased Putin’s Support at Home

I will be commenting in greater detail on some of these points, but for now will simply say that though I have been a strong admirer and supporter of President Obama, I cannot understand how he could fail to recognize that confronting President Putin publicly on an issue that is so central to Russian national pride and honor, not only tends to have the opposite effect on the issue at hand, but actually strengthens tendencies in Russia that we should wish to discourage. It is as if he, along with his advisers, is living in some alternate ideological and psychological universe.

Ukrainian Chess

Ukraine’s established politicians have spent the last two decades playing off the US and Russia, and extracting resources from both sides. Corruption among this group is pervasive; in no sense have they managed Ukraine for its people.

The genuine Ukrainian street revolution is against the political elite most closely aligned with Yanukovych. But do not get too starry eyed about new democrats already taking over the people now holding the reins of power have been prominent before.

Instapundit agrees: Worse than Watergate

If the CIA was spying on its own oversight committee — with the President’s knowledge — that’s much worse than Watergate. And if there was this kind of illegal spying going on, what else was there?

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Some inconvenient facts about US-Russian relations

There are some vital points in this paper by one of our finest historians of US foreign policy.

What Is Grand Strategy?(.PDF)
I’m sure Putin and the Russians remember this even if our politicians and pundits have consigned it to the memory hole:

The story begins with President George H. W. Bush’s assurances to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990, echoed by West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, that if the Soviet Union would accept a reunified Germany’s membership in the NATO alliance, its expansion would go no further.
That is a fairly important promise that was broken somewhere along the line. All thanks to Bill Clinton’s anti-strategic approach to foreign policy.

Let me begin with the event that caused us to begin teaching this class. The date was September 24, 1998. A NATO briefing team had invited itself to Yale to make the case for the Clinton administration’s policy of expanding the alliance eastward. There would be no problem about including the Czechs, the Poles, and the Hungarians, the briefers told us, because so much effort had gone into reorganizing committees in Brussels to make them feel welcome. The briefing concluded after about half an hour, and questions were called for.

Our colleague Bruce Russett raised his hand and asked whether NATO expansion might not cause difficulties with the Russians, perhaps undermining President Yeltsin’s efforts to democratize the country, perhaps creating an awkward situation for the new or prospective members of the alliance as Russian power revived, perhaps even driving Russia into some new form of cooperation with the Chinese, thereby reversing one of the greatest victories for the West in the Cold War, which was the Sino-Soviet split. There was a moment of shocked silence. Then one of the briefers exclaimed, in front of our entire audience: “Good God! We’d never thought of that!”
A hegemon cannot afford such feckless leadership. We are now paying the price for it.

We are also paying for Bush’s inexplicable continuation of this mindless bear-baiting.

So why did the Americans push it with such persistence? Perhaps with the thought that Russia was, and would always be, so weak that even if it did object to NATO expansion, it would never be able to do anything about it? Perhaps in the belief that, if the Russians did rebuild their power, they wouldn’t play the old American game of linkage, so that democracy expansion and missile defense would remain disconnected in the minds of Kremlin leaders? Perhaps with the expectation that the new and prospective members, knowing NATO lacked the military means of defending them against a resurgent Russia, would take care not to offend that country? Perhaps because NATO enlargement gratified domestic political interests? Perhaps for no more complicated reason than that once a policy rock starts rolling down a policy hill, it’s too hard to reverse it so you might as well get behind it? Whatever the reasons, they did not add up to a grand strategy. That’s become obvious over the past six months, as the Russians have shown us what a real grand strategy looks like.

They waited patiently until a young American-educated democracy enthusiast who happened to be the president of a prospective member state went a bit too far, whereupon they invaded his country, occupied enough of it to show how easily they could control all of it, and then withdrew from most of it. They chose a country that had not yet joined NATO, showing that they had the capacity to defy the alliance without actually having to do so. They quickly produced, thereby, a psychological chilling effect on all who sought the further expansion of the alliance, and then added to it an actual physical chill this winter by reminding both the new and old European members of NATO who controls their energy supplies. It isn’t the United States, which from eastern and central Europe now looks distant and ineffectual, something that cannot be said of Russia. Which, presumably, was the objective of the strategy the Russians set in motion in the first place last summer.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Why are neocons trying to rescue Bill Clinton's failed strategy?

The roots of the crisis in Ukraine go back to the days just after the end of the Cold War.

This is from a post from last October.

The Clinton administration had no grand strategy because they did not believe they needed one. As historian John Lewis Gaddis notes:

President Clinton himself saw little need for a grand strategy under these circumstances. Neither Roosevelt nor Truman had had one, he told one top advisor early in 1994: 'they just made it up as they went along.'
Instead of the careful balancing of ends, means and interests, the Clinton years relied on ad hoc crisis management. All too often that degenerated into a battle to win the next news cycle and the next election (e. g. Susan Rice and Rwanda).

The damage created by this anti-strategic mindset lasted long after Rwanda, Kosovo, and Bosnia dropped from the headlines.

One thread connects Syria, Iran, and North Korea. We need Russian cooperation which Putin stubbornly refuses to give.


the Clinton national security team-- notable for its simultaneous cultivation and humiliation of Russia

I feel like such a piker

Twenty-two thousand books!

Gladstone's Library

Of British Prime Ministers, William Gladstone whose accent was under discussion on the Today programme this morning: can you tell he was from Liverpool? stands out as one of the most dedicated bibliophiles. As he acquired more and more books, he got into the habit of awarding his children prizes for finding new places to put them. He would ultimately own more than 32,000, of which he read some 22,000 (he kept a record) and annotated 12,000.

Gladstone’s daughter Mary Drew wrote of his desire “to bring together books who had no readers with readers who had no books”. He was a trustee of the London Library, and helped to found a number of reading rooms. He also saw to it that his own books at Hawarden Castle, North Wales, were used by local people when he was away. Reading, he said, offered a “vital spark to inspire with ideas altogether new”.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Remember the Stresa Front

Especially remember how it was destroyed and the consequences of its destruction.

I blogged about that years ago in the early days of this blog. It seems especially relevant now.

One track minds: Not every crisis is a Munich, sometimes it is the destruction of the Stresa Front

The Wilsonians picked the wrong fight and Hitler was off and running. Sometimes you can act with the best intentions and make the situation worse.
I know Right Twitter is all excited because the events in the Crimea make Romney and Palin look better on geopolitics.

Except, better does not mean right.

To pick Russia as the #1 geopolitical threat still seems a little outdated.

Where, exactly, does Russia threaten vital American interests? Note, vital interests are different from hegemonic designs crafted by neocon pseudostrategists ( e.g. Georgia) or the bizarre actions of the current administration (helping al Qaeda in Syria).

If Russia is and has been an implacable enemy, please explain this:

The U.S. needs Moscow's cooperation as it withdraws the more than 33,000 troops left in Afghanistan because one of its main withdrawal routes runs through Russia.

The Pentagon began developing a supply route from Afghanistan through Central Asia and Russia because of frequent disruptions on the main routes through Pakistan, including a seven-month closure in 2011-12 stemming from the deaths of 24 Pakistani troops in a NATO air raid. A three-month blockade by a provincial government in Pakistan's northwest in protest over the U.S. drone strike policy only ended Thursday after a court ordered it stopped.

Russia has allowed NATO to develop a transit hub at a base in Ulyanovsk to move cargo by air, road and train from Afghanistan through the country to its northern ports. At least a third of the cargo coming out of Afghanistan is expected to move by that route -- if Moscow doesn't shut it down

CNN and Ted Nugent

In which Wolf Blitzer proves Tom Wolfe's point and Brian Stelter is made to look a fool

Point one:

From the outset the eminence of this new creature, the intellectual, who was to play such a tremendous role in the history of the twentieth century, was inseperable from his necessary indignation. It was his indignation that elevated him to a plateau of moral superiority. Once up there, he was in a position to look down on the rest of humanity. And it did not cost him any effort, intellectual or otherwise. As Marshall McLuhan would put it years later: 'Moral indignation is a technique used to endow the idiot with dignity.'

Tom Wolfe, Hooking Up
Point two:

From Reliable Sources on CNN

STELTER: Somehow Nugent managed to stick every paranoid right- wing rant against the president into one sound bite.

But let's put aside politics for a moment and talk about journalists.

Shouldn't journalists call this for what it is? Not some ramblings of a colorful Texas character but hate speech? That's what it is, it's hate speech. One journalist did stand up this week and I found what he said to be pretty inspiring. Here's what CNN's Wolf Blitzer said.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: I mean, do they know the history of that phrase, "subhuman mongrel"? That's what the Nazis called Jews leading up and during World War II to justify the genocide of the Jewish community. They called the Jews " Untermensch" or "subhuman mongrels," if you read some of the literature that the Nazis put out.

There's a long history there of that specific phrase the he used involving the President of the United States.


STELTER: So why aren't more journalists showing some backbone, saying that this is not the time for objectivity, that there is nothing objective about ugly prejudice?
Point three:

Anyone who saw Blitzer on Jeopardy knows that he is indeed an idiot in desperate need of some dignity.

Wolf Blitzer Loses on Jeopardy to a Comedian and an Actress

It's bad enough to come in last place on any game show, but when you're one of the top personalities of a cable news channel who gets absolutely demolished by a comedian and an actress.