Chickenshit coming home to roost

Let us recall Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s disquisition on American foreign policy in which he explicated the text of Malcolm X in his Nation of Islam phase: “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” It was Wright’s post 9/11 sermon. Thus spake Obama’s pastor (video here): “What Malcolm X said when he got silenced by Elijah Muhammad was in fact true: America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” Wright expounded on the text and reiterated his theme:

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Rev. Wright said in a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001.

“We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back into our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost,” he told his congregation.

Now in Jeffrey Goldberg’s “chickenshit” variations we have a senior Obama administration official gloating over the invulnerability of Iran’s nuclear program to Israeli attack: “It’s too late for [Netananyahu] to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”

The official mocks Netanyahu for letting Obama bully him into inaction on the promise, let it be recalled, that the United States would have Israel’s back. Having foolishly heeded the Obama administration wishes and perhaps even taken its word at face value, Netanyahu is now poorly positioned to do anything about a prospective deal that blesses Iran’s nuclear program. The gloating is nigh on unbelievable, but it is just America’s chickenshit coming home to roost.

H/t: AEI’s Danielle Pletka, who recalled Reverend Wright in this context.

And now for something completely different, part deux

The first half of The Big Lebowski may the funniest half-movie ever, and is certainly right up there with the other funniest half-movies of all time. Not surprisingly, the film in its entirety has generated its own cult following and annual Lebowski Fest convention.

Dude In the film Jeff Bridges plays the dissolute leading character, Jeff Lebowski (“the Dude,” photo at left). His daily attire is a bathrobe, except when he is bowling.

Shopping for a bathrobe online, not necessarily one like the Dude sports, I find that the film has even generated a Big Lebowski Dude Wig and Costume Set. The Dude Wig and Costume Set is “frequently bought together” with the bathrobe.

As a standalone, it is for the man who has everything, or for the man who needs it for the next Lebowski Fest convention. With one-day delivery, it can even be adapted for use on Halloween tomorrow. This made me laugh.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 11.47.26 AMSTEVE adds: I’ve wondered sometimes whether the Coen brothers aren’t making some sly digs at modern liberalism in Lebowski.  Among other great lines is the early scene by the pool where The Dude spies Bunny’s supposed boyfriend asleep on a pool float.

Bunny: “Oh, he’s a nihilist.”

The Dude: “That must be exhausting.”

Truer words have seldom been spoken.  And don’t even get me started on the wisdom of Walter Slobchak, who is slated to make an appearance in our Week in Pictures this Saturday.

And Now For Something Completely Different

With the final week sprint to the election next week, a brief time out for some music.  Anyone remember when MTV used to broadcast music videos?  Of course, musicians need to make music videos for anyone to have anything to broadcast, so no wonder MTV now stands for “Mostly Trashy Viewing.”

About the only musicians still putting out videos with real effort is the circus act known as OK Go.  They’ve got a new one out two days ago, once again featuring remarkable choreography and camera work in one continuous shot.  I’m not much for their techno-pop style of music, but video work like this deserves a salute.  We’re going to try this on Power Line some day.  (Yeah, sure. . .)

When You’ve Lost the New York Times. . .

Even the New York Times is starting to figure out that Obama and his roving clownshow of an administration is simply in over its head.  In “Mounting Crises Raise Questions on Obama Team’s Ability to Cope,” Times reporter Mark Landler uses ventriloquist journalism to give effect to the no doubt widespread desire of Beltway Democrats for Obama to try to right his fortunes through the desperation measure of cleaning house after the election:

“There is an inflection point in every presidency, and this certainly is a logical one, if the president feels he might be better served by some replacements on his team,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

While Mr. Blumenthal said the administration had borne up well under the circumstances, the scale and complexity of the problems “would exact a toll personally and professionally on any group.”

There is little evidence that the president plans a wholesale shake-up.

Could John Kerry be on the chopping block?  One can only hope.  Take in this delicious graph from Landler:

Mr. Kerry is vocal and forceful in internal debates, officials said, but he frequently gets out of sync with the White House in his public statements. White House officials joke that he is like the astronaut played by Sandra Bullock in the movie “Gravity,” somersaulting through space, untethered to the White House.

Aides to Mr. Kerry reject that portrait, saying he dials into White House meetings from the road and is heavily involved in the policy process. A long memo he wrote on the Islamic State, they said, has become the administration’s playbook for combating the group.

What an amazingly droll piece of reporting.  “Aides to Mr. Kerry reject that portrait”?  Seriously?

But yeah, I can’t get “Sandra Bullock” and “John Kerry” in my head at the same time either.  Oh heck, maybe I can.  Just spare us the underwear please:

Kerry Spacesuit copy

Kerry Spacesuit 2 copy

Finally, there’s this conclusion from the story: “Ultimately, of course, the administration’s crisis management reflects the president.”  Good to know.

Who’s a Chickenshit? Part Two

We have written here and here about the “senior Obama administration official” who called Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit” in an interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. This is the full context:

The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most. “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” this official said, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, by his nickname.

This comment is representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors….

Today the Obama administration tried to distance itself from the “chickenshit” comment.

“Certainly that’s not the Administration’s view, and we think such comments are inappropriate and counter-productive,” Alistair Baskey, a spokesman for the National Security Council, stated Wednesday.

But consider: the “senior Obama administration official” made the comment in a conversation with a reporter, Goldberg, who was working on a story about the strained relationship between the Obama and Netanyahu governments. He must have known that the “chickenshit” characterization would be quoted, albeit anonymously. He must have wanted it to be quoted. He must have known that it would garner a great deal of attention. And Goldberg, who spends a lot of time talking with members of the Obama administration about Israel, considered the remark “representative” of the ways in which members of the two governments talk about each other.

So was the Obama administration’s repudiation of the senior official’s remarks merely pro forma? It would seem so. Today reporters asked both John Earnest, on behalf of the White House, and Jen Psaki, on behalf of the State Department, whether the administration will try to identify the senior official and set him straight. The answer? No, of course not. Here is Ms. Psaki:

And Mr. Earnest:

Which tends to confirm that the senior official was indeed speaking for his boss, the president. But, either way, what sense did it make to call Netanyahu a crude epithet? What purpose could possibly have been served? The outburst, whether it represented Obama’s own views or not, was childish and petulant, at best. Viewed from any direction, the episode reveals, once more, an administration in disarray.

A twisted administration

The twisted mentality of the Obama administration is prominently on display in Jeffrey Goldberg’s summary of his conversations with senior officials posted here. Anonymously describing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as “chickenshit,” one senior official serves up a pure case of projection, and another senior administration official seconds him (or her). It is as if Obama himself had dismissed someone as “arrogant,” or Joe Biden disparaged anyone as “stupid,” or John Kerry insulted someone as “haughty,” though in this case the official is projecting on behalf of the administration as a whole.

The whole thing is almost — almost — unbelievable. If you’ve been awake and alert, however, it makes sick sense. It figures. “Fair is foul, and foul is fair:/Hover through the fog and filthy air.”

On the substance of the issues, Danielle Pletka speaks for me in her comments on Goldberg’s column. She renders this stinging judgment:

Let’s get this straight: Bibi et al, who have what most would agree is a legitimate and existential fear of an Iranian nuclear weapon, are “good” because they’re, er “chickenshit” about launching a strike on Iran; oh, and Bibi is also labeled a “coward” for having been “chickenshit” in that regard. But he’s “bad” because he won’t cave to a Palestinian Authority and Hamas so riven by terrorism, corruption and incompetence that they won’t “accommodate” with each other.

How can we read this as anything other than an appalling display of hypocrisy, hostility to Israel and warmth toward the very powers that have killed almost as many Americans (Iran, Hamas, et al) as al Qaeda? Did team Obama label Ahmadinejad as “chickenshit”? Have they labeled the Qataris, who arm and fund ISIS at the same time that they buy US weapons as “chickenshit”?

I’m sure that in defense of Obama, many will say that they expect more of the Israelis than they do of the Gulf or Turkey or NATO or … anyone. The question is, why? Coming back to the fons et origo of this whole relationship disaster, let us recall that it was Obama who ashcanned the George W. Bush commitment to Israel to oppose the return to 1967 lines; Obama who prayed at the altar of Jew-hating Reverend Jeremiah Wright; Obama who absorbed the scholarship of Israel-hating Rashid Khalidi; Obama, whose own settlement policy has been more extreme than that of the Palestinian Authority.

But let’s forget about Obama’s own ideological dislike of the State of Israel and its leaders, whoever they may be. Set aside the fact that it is not Bibi who is acting like a selfish political actor, but Barack Obama and the personal sycophants around him who are more interested in the whims and fortunes of the American Narcissus. Let us instead focus on the fact that an unnamed “senior American official” is waxing triumphant over the fact that it is now “too late” for Israel to strike Iran’s nuclear weapons complex. This is good news? The fact that American officials believe it is more advantageous to have a nuclear Iran than to have someone in power in Israel who will not kowtow to the US president says something about the fundamental rot at the core of the Obama administration, its contempt for the national security of the American people – who are at terrible risk from an Iranian nuclear bomb – and the vileness of the cowards and chickenshit officials who people the fiefdom of Barack Obama.

What Difference, At This Point, Does It Make?

Democrats are convinced that Hillary Clinton is a powerhouse presidential candidate, notwithstanding the fact that the only elections she has ever actually won were for the Senate; she ran in New York, a state in which she did not live, while she was First Lady. Which is, essentially, cheating. She was then reelected. After that, she lost the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination despite being universally considered the inevitable nominee. Is that the track record of an outstanding political talent? I don’t think so, and in recent months we have been reminded of how often Ms. Hillary puts her foot in it.

Michael Ramirez isn’t much impressed by Hillary, either. Click to enlarge: