Too cool for school — Obama’s latte salute

The video below speaks volumes about President Obama, not only concerning his underlying disdain for our military, but also as regards basic decency. In my opinion, a president who thinks he’s too cool properly to return a salute from our servicemen is presumptively unfit to command them.

By the way, I received this video clip via a lawyer who was badly wounded serving in Iraq. He was offended by Obama’s latte salute, and with very good reason.

Now is the time to support Tom Cotton

I share John’s uneasiness about the November elections. Republican chances of gaining control of the Senate have been downgraded to less than 60 percent by Nate Silver, whose track record as a political forecaster is outstanding.

One reason for the downgrade is the emergence of pseudo-independent Greg Orman in the Kansas race. If he defeats Republican Pat Roberts, and the polls give him a clear lead, the GOP will have to win seven Democratic seats (assuming the GOP wins somewhat dicey races in Georgia and Kentucky).

Turning over seven seats is no small task. There are only three that seem nearly certain to turn — Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. That leaves four more, assuming Roberts loses in Kansas.

The list of seats that Republicans have a decent chance of turning is not long. In my view, it consists of Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire (maybe), North Carolina, and Louisiana. Optimists might also include Michigan.

If our friend Tom Cotton were to lose his race in Arkansas, Republicans would need to win four of the six remaining tight races (assuming, again, that Roberts loses and Michigan doesn’t turn). But Colorado and Iowa are purple states, and the Republican is running behind in North Carolina.

So the bottom line, I think, is that the Republicans desperately need Tom Cotton to win in “red” Arkansas.

But that’s not the only reason to support Tom. He is a potential Republican superstar for decades to come. Tom has it all. He is exceptionally intelligent, strongly conservative, a true patriot, and a man of principle.

His personal journal — from a small town in Arkansas, to Harvard College and Law School, to “Big Law,” but then to serving as a volunteer in the infantry in Iraq after 9/11 — seemed so implausible to the left that when we reported it, many thought we had invented Tom.

But Tom’s sacrifice to his country didn’t end with his service in Iraq. After a stint here in the Washington D.C. area, during which I got to know him pretty well, he was set to leave the Army. After a visit to our wounded warriors at Walter Read Hospital, however, he told me he still didn’t think he had done enough.

This time, frankly, I thought I was talking to a fictional character. But truth can be stranger than fiction. Tom volunteered for another tour in harm’s way, this time in Afghanistan.

Politics can change the best of people, but it doesn’t seem to have changed Tom. While many conservative Republicans, all-too conscious of public opinion polls, were shying away from aggressive prosecution of the war on terror, Tom was a consistent voice for staying the course. For example, at an AEI event a year ago, he warned about the rise of al Qaeda style forces in Iraq.

In sum, a man of Tom’s character and intellect would be worthy of support even if his race were irrelevant to control of the Senate. As noted, though, his race may well be central to Republican control.

The good news is that Tom is ahead. A new poll from PPP puts his lead at six points.

The bad news is that the race is probably much tighter. No other poll taken in the last month gives Tom that big of a lead, and one such poll actually has his opponent, Mark Pryor, fractionally ahead.

Now is the time to support Tom Cotton. As John says, contributions in October are less valuable to a candidate than contributions now.

You can support Tom by donating here. I just did, again.

How Dumb Is The New York Times?

Does the New York Times still employ any managing editors or copy editors who know anything?  First, today’s story on “corporate inversions.”  Check out the hed carefully:

Inversions Hed copy

But what example do they feature in the photo in the story?

Hortons copy

So I guess Canada now counts as “overseas” for the NY Times.

The Times is apparently more ignorant of Christianity, which, last time I heard, was a major religion even in New York City.  In a story back in July about pilgrims to the Holy Land, Mollie Hemingway captured this blooper (since corrected online):

Burial copy

I guess it just depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.


Climatistas Don Their Brownshirts

Apparently yesterday’s rant about the Koch brothers wasn’t enough for Little Bobby.  Here he is calling for the jailing of the Koch brothers, and possibly politicians who “deny” climate change, when all they’re really denying is the will to power of brownshirts like Little Bobby.  (John referred to this rant yesterday, but here’s the tape.)  He cites “reckless endangerment” as the legal cause of action for jailing the Kochs, who belong “with all the other war criminals.”  Hmm: shouldn’t Little Bobby be in prison for the “reckless endangerment” of his unrelenting claims that vaccines cause autism, which every scientific review has debunked?  How many children of getting the old childhood diseases again because their stupid, gullible parents listened to this demagogue?  (Video is just 45 seconds long—hardly time to pour a shot glass for Power Line’s Little Bobby Drinking Game.)

Add some music to your day

I had not heard of Ann Hampton Callaway before her audacious 1999 recording To Ella With Love, but I’m glad I took a chance on that disc. Ella led me eventually to Ann’s superb show at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York when I stopped over on my way to Israel in June 2007, and then to the rest of her recordings. There is no arguing about taste, but in my view she is the foremost living practitioner of the Great American Songbook.

Ann graciously consented to a telephone interview in advance of her two shows at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in 2008. It was a memorable experience. Ann is one of the most articulate people I have ever spoken with and a passionate proponent of the Great American Songbook, describing herself as “a keeper of the flame.” I wrote up my interview with Ann in “In praise of Ann Hampton Callaway.”

Ann’s new disc is another audacious and beautiful tribute, this one to Sarah Vaughan, aptly titled From Sassy to Divine: The Sarah Vaughan Project. I’ve been listening to it on Rhapsody this week. Like Ella, it’s a labor of love full of the musicality and creativity that distinguishes Ann’s work. Here is a good write-up on the project. A propos of the Sarah Vaughan project, Ann told me back in 2008, “We need performers in every generation to maintain our legacy,” such performers being the practical advocates of “the songs and the artists who have made a mark on our consciousness.”

Is this enough of an excuse to say that of the Sarah Vaughan recordings with which I am familiar, my favorite is her magnificently beautiful I Love Brazil! on Pablo, produced with his usual loving care by Norman Granz? I think the Brazilian setting and the Brazilian songs and the Brazilian musicians elicited something special from Vaughan. The video below features her singing “Like a Lover (Cantador)” accompanied by Dorival Caymmi, the song’s composer (with Nelson Motta, the English lyrics are by Alan and Marilyn Bergman). You may be familiar with the old Sergio Mendes version of the song, which wasn’t bad. However, the song never sounded quite this good, either before or after Miss Sarah had her way with it. Please check it out.

How Reporters Try to Rewrite History

On September 10, the New York Times published a major story on President Obama’s speech announcing his plan to attack ISIL. The paper’s front-page account included this ludicrous claim:

Unlike Mr. Bush in the Iraq war, Mr. Obama has sought to surround the United States with partners.

In fact, the Iraq war of 2003 was conducted by a coalition of more than 40 countries–compared with the five mustered in support of Obama’s attack on ISIL–several of which contributed troops. Despite the obvious falsity of the Times’ claim, nearly two weeks went by before the paper finally issued a correction, this morning. Here is a screen shot of the two corrections to the article, the first of which was a photo credit:

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 1.47.08 PM

Note that five reporters are credited on the story, and multiple editors must have reviewed it before it landed on the front page of the Times. They can’t all have been born after 2003. The article’s gross factual inaccuracy can only be attributed to a politically-motivated desire to build up the Obama administration and tear down the Bush administration.

Then there is the case of Associated Press White House reporter Josh Lederman. Lederman came out with this hilarious tweet last night:

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 1.53.31 PM

Via Twitchy. After enduring considerable well-deserved abuse, Lederman deleted his tweet without apology or explanation. And this is a guy who covers the White House for the Associated Press!

These elementary factual errors on the part of multiple reporters and editors reminds us how often the liberal media describe the world as they imagine it to be, rather than the world as it is.

Democrats Are Winning the Money War

I am uneasy about November’s election, partly because I don’t think Republicans have succeeded in nationalizing (or even drawing much attention to) the election, partly because any coherent themes are being drowned out by various “squirrels” (Ray Rice and the NFL, for instance), and partly because the Democrats are raising an astonishing amount of money to defend the dysfunctional status quo. Politico headlines: “Democrats relying on big donors to win.”

Democrats love to cast Republicans as the party of big money, beholden to the out-of-touch billionaires bankrolling their campaigns.

But new numbers tell a very different story — one in which Democrats are actually raising more big money than their adversaries.

Among the groups reporting the biggest political ad spending, the 15 top Democrat-aligned committees have outraised the 15 top Republican ones $453 million to $289 million in the 2014 cycle, according to a POLITICO analysis of the most recent Federal Election Commission reports, including those filed over the weekend — which cover through the end of last month.


The analysis shows the fundraising edge widening in August, when the Democratic groups pulled in more than twice as much as their GOP counterparts — $51 million to $21 million. That’s thanks to a spike in massive checks from increasingly energized labor unions and liberal billionaires like Tom Steyer and Fred Eychaner.

This is only surprising to those who haven’t been paying attention. Cronyism has always worked well if you are a crony. Like most of us, you probably don’t fall into the “major donor” category, but every little bit helps. If you are looking for good conservative candidates to support, please check out the Power Line Picks in the sidebar.