CNNs Doubleplusungood, Really Terrible Week

I don’t give stock tips as a general rule, but I will give you one at the end of this article. Whether you should follow it is your business, I neither know nor care. In any case, have you been reading about CNN this week? Yeah, hard to avoid isn’t it? You know something is very wrong when suddenly the messenger, and that is all the press is, the people who tell us what is going on, becomes the story. From John Hinderaker.

It’s been a tough couple of days for CNN. Yesterday, the network announced the resignation (firing, I assume) of three journalists–Eric Lichtblau, recently hired away from the New York Times, Thomas Frank, and the head of the network’s new investigative unit, Lex Haris. They published a Russia/Trump story that turned out to be false (embarrassingly so, the quality of the reporting was abysmal) and had to be retracted by CNN.

It is no coincidence that CNN’s fake news story had to do with Russia. CNN’s CEO told the network’s reporters that it was nice to cover climate change, but it’s time to get back to Russia. How do we know this?

Because today, an even worse shoe dropped. James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has infiltrated CNN, and he has video of a CNN producer admitting that the network’s Russia fixation is “mostly bullshit,” but they do it because it brings in the money. Paul wrote about O’Keefe’s dynamite video this morning; if you missed it then you should watch it now. The CNN producer says things like “it’s mostly bulls**t right now.” And “I think the president is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me.”

Here is the video:

Later in the day, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders let CNN have it:

Notable quotes:

It’s the barrage of fake news directed at the president that has garnered his frustration. … We have gone to a place where if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America.
***
There are multiple instances when that outlet [CNN] has been wrong—there’s a video circulating now, whether it’s accurate or not, I’m not sure—but I encourage everyone to take a look at it. If it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism.
***
The media has been going on [the] Russia, Trump-hoax for the better part of a year now, and America is looking for something more.

Indeed. You don’t see a lot about it here because I’m bored with it, the media’s slobbering love affair with Obama cured me for a lifetime of believing anything at all they said. If they tell me it’s raining, I look out the window, usually at the sun.

Then there is this, from the New York Post

The retracted story [about Anthony Saramucci] was based on a single, anonymous source who claimed the Senate Intelligence Committee was probing ties between the Trump administration and a Russian government-owned investment fund. The story, posted on CNN.com on Thursday, also claimed the Treasury Department was believed to be investigating Scaramucci over a purported Jan. 16 meeting with the fund’s director general.In an Editor’s Note posted late Friday, CNN said the story had been deleted for not meeting “editorial standards,” with the network later revealing a “breakdown” in pre-publication vetting that typically involves “fact-checkers, journalism standards experts and lawyers.”

But wait, there’s more!

They retracted the story all right, they also apologized and fired the three reporters (or should that be fiction writers?) responsible.

The specter of a $100 million libel suit scared CNN into retracting a poorly reported story that slimed an ally of President Trump’s — and forcing out the staffers responsible for it, The Post has learned. CNN immediately caved after Scaramucci, a financier and frequent network guest, cried foul and threatened to take legal action, sources said Tuesday. Sources also said the three journalists responsible for the retracted story — reporter Tom Frank, editor Eric Lichtblau and Lex Harris, who headed the CNN Investigates unit — were urged to resign.

But wait, there is still more!

Well, maybe they were scared, and with cause, or maybe it was something else.

Zucker was afraid of facing a high-profile suit from Scaramucci while the US Justice Department weighs the proposed $85.4 billion media merger. At last week’s Cannes Lions festival in France — where Zucker boasted that viewers “trusted CNN even more than ever”— rumors were rife that he’d be out of a job if the AT&T deal goes through. “It’s not just Jeff Zucker, all Time Warner executives are anxious about if they will survive the merger. One thing’s for sure, there will be a re-organization,” one top executive told The Post.

True? False? Fake News, itself? Damned if I know, but it fits the parameters better than anything CNN is pushing in the last year. You see, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey, both have a very good relationship with the current administration. And that is who is buying Time Warner. Interesting, Huh?

Oh, that stock tip, Buy Kraft, the owner of Orville Redenbacher, we’re gonna need lots of popcorn. The rest of these organizations, you’re on your own.

Seattle Repeals Gravity

From Powerline. Well, not quite, but nearly that silly.

You know how liberals like to attach taxes on cigarettes so we’ll buy fewer of them, and on alcohol so we’ll drink less, etc? Funny, though, how the basic lesson of supply and demand and price sensitivity falls by the wayside when it comes to the minimum wage.

The Washington Post reports today on the results of the mandated minimum wage hikes in Seattle:

A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals

By Max Ehrenfreunde

When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city’s minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they’d hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet according to a major new study that could force economists to reassess past research on the issue, the hike has had the opposite effect.

The city is gradually increasing the hourly minimum to $15 over several years. Already, though, some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They’ve cut their payrolls, putting off new hiring, reducing hours or letting their workers go, the study found.

The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city. The study, published as a working paper Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, has not yet been peer reviewed.

On the whole, the study estimates, the average low-wage worker in the city lost $125 a month because of the hike in the minimum.

Congratulations Seattle—you’ve managed to lower wages by $1,500 a year for the people who can least afford it. But I’m sure you feel good about how you’re fighting again inequality.

About that subtle little dig about peer review (which is mostly nonsense of a different color these days).

“This strikes me as a study that is likely to influence people,” said David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was not involved in the research. He called the work “very credible” and “sufficiently compelling in its design and statistical power that it can change minds.”

David Autor is one of the leading figures in America in this field. Good enough for me, particularly since NBER itslef is the gold standard in the field. Besided we all said this before it happened.

If I was a retail merchant in the Emerald City, well, I’d be Sleepless in Seattle and not in the good way.


In other related news, Andrew Bolt writes that:

Here in Australia, the Greens Party keep claiming coal is dead, just like they predicted runaway warming, permanent drought and draining dams.

The Greens said coal mining was dead:

The world is moving away from coal. A report released by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis finds that the global market for Australian thermal coal has entered “structural decline”, with prices falling 70% since 2009.

Wrong. Coal is roaring ahead:

The world’s biggest coal users — China, the United States and India — have boosted coal mining in 2017, in an abrupt departure from last year’s record global decline for the heavily polluting fuel and a setback to efforts to rein in climate change emissions.

Mining data reviewed by The Associated Press show that production through May is up by at least 121 million tons, or 6 percent, for the three countries compared to the same period last year. The change is most dramatic in the U.S., where coal mining rose 19 percent in the first five months of the year, according to U.S. Department of Energy data.

Coal’s fortunes had appeared to hit a new low less than two weeks ago, when British energy company BP reported that tonnage mined worldwide fell 6.5 percent in 2016, the largest drop on record. China and the U.S. accounted for almost all the decline, while India showed a slight increase.

The reasons for this year’s turnaround include policy shifts in China, changes in U.S. energy markets and India’s continued push to provide electricity to more of its poor, industry experts said.

The Greens would support providing electricity to the poor, wouldn’t they?

Reader Mark M rounds up the latest evidence for the climate catastrophe we were warned would affect even food supplies:

South Africa: Silos ready for record maize harvest

As farmers in SA get down to harvesting a record maize crop, operators of grain storage facilities say there is enough space to accommodate the bumper haul.

Maize is, of course, to us Americans, corn. Good on them although I must say if we ever had a corn harvest where we had enough space to store it – well, it would be a very poor year, indeed. We’re lucky if we have enough to store the food grade corn. Also:

Australia: “Australian farmers’ record breaking season confirmed at $62.8 billion: ABARES

ABARES said even with the dip, the figure is still 9 per cent higher than the five-year average to 2015-16.

USA: California sets cherry record; big Washington crop rolling

Exactly where is this catastrophe the Greens keep seeing?

Not a lot of point in adding much to any of these, people that read around here tend to be common sense types, who understand that if one (especially one’s government) gets out of the way, amazing things will happen. And so they are.

Frau Merkel und das Vierte Reich: Bedrohung für den Westen

There is a lot here, more than we are going to unpack today, but I think Nikolaas De Jong is on to something here.

In the mainstream media, the policies of the German prime minister, Angela Merkel, are often portrayed as a form of atonement for Germany’s past sins of imperialism and genocide. Letting in a million refugees is supposedly the absolute negation of the Holocaust, and pressing for further European cooperation is seen as the opposite of Germany’s old attempts to violently bring the rest of Europe under its control. And for these very reasons, progressive politicians and intellectuals around the world are now looking up to Merkel as the defender of pluralistic Western values. […]

Let us begin with the more obvious parallel: German support for further European integration. Despite all the German talk about subordinating narrow national interests to the European project, careful observers must have noticed the coincidence that the Germans always see themselves as the leaders of this disinterested project, and that the measures deemed to be necessary for further European cooperation always seem to be German-made.

Are the Germans really such idealistic supporters of the European project? It is more probable that in reality they see the European Union as an ideal instrument to control the rest of Europe. […]

You can be your own judge here, but I don’t see many (or any) sign that Merkel is doing anything that she perceives as against the German national interest. That doesn’t mean she is correct, like his successors, Kaiser Wilhelm II made plenty of mistakes, part of the reason that by 1919 he was unemployed, dreaming of being an American cowboy. That also includes trying to keep the British under their thumb by trying to derail Brexit. The British, even more than the Americans, are the traditional guardians of the European balance of power, engaged in, but not part of, Europe. And far more committed to individual freedom than Germany has ever been, and sixty years of Naziism followed by communism probably hasn’t changed that for the better. Tell me again what part of Germany Frau Merkel is from. Now tell me who runs Brussels.

Thus, on closer scrutiny, there is a strong continuity between the foreign policy of Wilhelm II, Hitler, and Merkel. And this continuity can easily be explained by looking at Germany’s position within Europe. On the one hand, Germany is the strongest and largest country in Europe, but on the other hand it is not strong or large enough to dominate the rest of Europe automatically. In consequence, ever since German unification in 1870, the country has been presented with the choice either to subordinate its wishes to those of the rest of Europe — which has always appeared rather humiliating — or to attempt the conquest of Europe, in order to ensure that Germany’s wishes would always prevail. […]

Lots of truth here, even in Bismarck’s campaigns (that unified Germany), Germany (or Prussia, by some reads) wasn’t quite strong enough, so it was reduced to bullying the rest of the continent to get its way. This didn’t work well, with the Soviet Union and the United States staring at each other in Germany, but with the demise of the Soviets, and the American attention being drawn elsewhere, it may well be so, again.

However, the most frightening thing is that the parallels between Merkel’s mentality and that of her authoritarian predecessors go deeper than mere geopolitics. Because the philosophical premises underlying modern German policies are also at least partly similar to those that motivated Germany in both World Wars. […]

I think he makes a pretty good case here, opposing the collectivism of the classical German, and the love of Ordnung, above all, especially as it contrasts with the classical liberalism of the Anglosphere. He includes the French here, but I find that including the French in classical liberalism is just a hair too far. Their model is far more often license, liberty without responsibility. I commented elsewhere yesterday that in some ways we are again facing the old Christian question that surfaced most strikingly in the Great War, “Gott mit uns” or “We are on the Lord’s side”. Although both sides are far less religious than they were a hundred years ago, there is still that dichotomy in how we view the world.

To conclude: far from being the defender of Western values like individual liberty and individual rights, the modern Germany is acting in a very German way indeed.

And that is very true, and rather frightening, indeed. Read the full article,  Why Germany Is Once Again a Threat to the West

Saturday Wrap up.

Welp, we made it to Saturday, again. Only two days left till we can try Monday all over again. Been a busy week, though. Mostly from Powerline.

Also from Powerline, this week’s Ammo Grrrll shouldn’t be missed.

[…]

They do all start with “R,” and that is close enough for the brain-dead, lazy, chickens**t losers who have to believe themselves to be part of something important and worthy. Instead of what they actually are: just cowardly, blackshirted criminals wearing little bandana masks like they wore when they were six, playing “Cowboys and Indians.” (Or Boys of Cow and Indigenous Peoples in pc language. Don’t bother learning the correct language – the game is virtually illegal now on playgrounds anyway, along with Tag, Monkey Bars, Dodgeball, and chewing your bologna into the shape of a gun.) […]

Resistance is risking torture and death in World War II Occupied France by helping to hide Jews or downed Allied pilots from the Nazis. If captured, trust me, Literally Hitler saw to it that the worst thing that happened to them was not to lose their New Year’s Eve hosting gig.

Resistance is women risking torture and death in Central American dictatorships by wearing white and making a fuss about the “disappeared,” who number in the thousands.

Resistance is trying to become some sort of law enforcement agent in Mexican cartel territory. Or being Coptic Christians in a Muslim country.

Resistance was smuggling matzoh into Communist Russia, or God forbid, trying to leave Russia, especially for Israel. Do you think those caught lost just their endorsement for the Squatty Potty? No. They lost everything – housing, jobs, families. “Wintering” in Siberia. Or lifelong confinement in a “mental hospital.”

And Resistance was the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King marching for the most elemental human rights and dignity and risking beatings, jail and death threats that were eventually carried out. The pusillanimous morons protesting white women selling burritos or demanding that all white professors exile themselves from a campus are not only NOT part of his legacy; they are simply crude and ugly racists themselves.

Noisy ill-bred louts that they are, they often remind me of something the Duke of Wellington (no not that one, although scum fits them far better than it ever did British soldiers) when he was Prime Minister, something about a “whiff of grapeshot”. Be interesting to see how fast they can run.

This is a stray comment from somewhere (I forget where, sorry)

I was having lunch with some Europeans recently (all obsessed with Trump) and they wanted to know if I thought Trump could change. I answered that Trump being himself has allowed him to become: (1) a billionaire; (2) President of the US; (3) married to a European underwear model. You think he believes he needs to change? One English lady laughed and said “I see your point.”

And, of course,

Happy Saturday.

Continuing the Mission

One year ago today, the day of the Brexit election, my post started with a quote from Thomas Paine, this one

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

It was true in the winter of 1776, and it was true last year, and it is still true. But the British, being the steadfast friends of freedom they have always been voted to leave the EU regardless. They’ve had a tough year. They will stay the course, I think. We’ll talk about that later, but just for comparison what happened in the year after we Americans declared independence? A quick overview from BritishBattles. com.

  • Battle of Long Island:The disastrous defeat of the Americans on 27th August 1776 leading to the loss of New York and the retreat to the Delaware River.
  • Battle of Harlem Heights:The skirmish on 16th September 1776 in northern New York island that restored the confidence of the American troops.
  • Battle of White Plains:The battle on 28th October 1776, leading to the American withdrawal to the Delaware River and the capture of Fort Washington by the British.
  • Battle of Fort Washington:The battle on 16th November 1776 that saw the American army forced off Manhattan Island and compelled to retreat to the Delaware River.
  • Battle of Trenton:George Washington’s iconic victory on 26th December 1776 over Colonel Rahl’s Hessian troops after crossing the frozen Delaware River; the battle that re-invigorated the American Revolution.
  • Battle of Princeton:The sequel on 3rd January 1777 to the successful Battle of Trenton: the two battles began the resurgence of the fortunes of the American Colonists in the Revolutionary War.
  • Battle of Ticonderoga 1777:The humiliating American abandonment of Fort Ticonderoga on 6th July 1777 to General Burgoyne’s British army.
  • Battle of Hubbardton:The hard-fought battle on 7th July 1777 in the forest south-east of Fort Ticonderoga.

The next winter will see the naked Continental Army starving at Valley Forge. We didn’t win our independence until 1783. I think the cousins will have a somewhat easier time, but their perils are also different. But amongst other things, they have us. As they started this trend, we picked it up last fall, not a little encouraged ourselves by Brexit.

Dan Hannan recapped the status the other day for us.

An unexpected defeat is always unsettling. I suspect many ConservativeHome readers were disoriented when two in five people voted for Jeremy Corbyn. We wondered how we had so misunderstood our own country; and that was following a vote that we had won.

In the days following the referendum, three false assertions became widespread. First, that Leave had won dishonestly. Second, that the country had become more racist. Third, that the 52 per cent had wrecked the economy.

The “liars” complaint is levelled the losers of every vote. Political campaigners are not trying to behave like neutral academics: they are trying to win. Both sides make good and bad arguments; both sides get to rebut each other’s claims.

Remain told us that a Leave vote would trigger a recession in 2016, cost every family more than £4000, cause Scotland to leave the UK and transplant the Calais refugee camp to Kent. In fact, Britain boomed after the vote, support for Scottish separatism plummeted and the Calais jungle was dismantled. […]

What of the idea that the referendum somehow unleashed xenophobia? The notion that the Leave vote had been “all about immigration” was endlessly repeated in Remain circles and on the BBC. In fact, every opinion poll showed that sovereignty had been the main motivator. Lord Ashcroft, for example, carried out a massive survey on the day, interviewing more than 12,000 people, and found that democratic control was by miles the biggest issue for Leavers (49 per cent of them named it as their main reason for backing Brexit), with immigration a distant second (which was cited by 33 per cent). But opinion polls, for many Remainers, were no match for anecdotes: “Well, one Leaver I spoke to said…” […]

Saddest of all, though, was the determination to believe that Britain would become poorer. To be fair, several experts thought there would be an instant crash. A week after the poll, 71 per cent of City economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected a recession in 2016; in fact, Britain grew faster in the six months after the vote than in the six months before it. Another survey, by Reuters, found that the consensus among economists was that unemployment would rise by 9,000 a month in the second half of last year; in fact, it fell by almost exactly that amount.

Well, almost none of that happened. In fact, Britain is booming.

From Euro-Guido:

UK manufacturers’ order books are at their highest level since August 1988. A CBI survey of 464 firms found a “broad-based improvement” in 13 out of 17 manufacturing sub-sectors, with food, drink and tobacco and chemicals leading the British-made boom. Meanwhile, export orders rocketed to a 22-year high. CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith said:

“Britain’s manufacturers are continuing to see demand for “Made in Britain” goods rise with the temperature. Total and export order books are at highs not seen for decades, and output growth remains robust.”

Outstanding!

Britain’s got some serious problems, many of them caused by uncontrolled immigration, and by a Conservative Party which seems to have lost its mooring in history. Not to mention a press that is at least as biased as the American one. So it ain’t all beer and skittles. But remember what Paine wrote, and hopefully they will get themselves back on track one way or another. Along that line, I was thinking the other day that Tom Jefferson and George Washington were miles prouder to be British (until arbitrary government forced them out) than Jeremy Corbyn ever dreamed of being. Sad for a prominent politician to owe his allegiance to something outside his country, mostly for his own aggrandizement. Right General Arnold? Was Peggy Shippen worth it?

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more

Rep Scalise, and an Attack on the Republic

(Photo: Shawn Thew, European Pressphoto Agency)

[I have some things to say about the Grenfell Tower fire in London, but it won’t be today. So far, I start thinking about it, and I just sit here and cry, not least because of the parallels to the WTC back on 911. The worry over my niece that was working in lower Manhatten that day still haunts me, and the pictures from this disaster bring it all back, terribly strongly. Maybe tomorrow.]

So, let’s talk about something perhaps more evil. The assassination attempt on Steve Scalise and a bunch of other Republican Representatives. Lots of time I don’t agree with any of them, you know that, but they are our elected representatives, and we should assume they are doing what they think is right. That goes for the Democrats as well. We are a representational republic, if you don’t like what they do, vote against them.

The weapon was apparently an AK 47 variant, not that it matters, it could have been anything including a bolt action. Much of the problem was that while I suspect many of these guys have carry permits, who carries a gun at baseball practice?  I don’t, you don’t, I doubt anybody does, but yesterday it would have been a Godsend.

That said, Rep Scalise being there likely saved us from a massacre, as leadership, he is entitled to security. And a couple of very brave Capitol Police officers saved the day. I don’t know whether they took the gunman out or the responding locals did, but they at least bought time for that response.

It’s no easy thing to go up against a rifle with a handgun, but Special Agent David Bailey and Special Agent Crystal Griner are beyond doubting real American heroes. Agent Griner was apparently wounded in the attack and we obviously wish her all the best. Both agents were as well as two others, and we pray for them all.

The perpetrator is dead, which is a good outcome, as Jonathon Turley reported earlier today the penalty for attacking Congressmen with intent to kill, ranges from 25 years to death, as it should. This was not a terrorist attack, at least as we generally perceive them. He was a 60-year-old supporter of Bernie Sanders, and opposed virulently both Trump and Clinton. As usual, he was likely just crazy, not that the current environment doesn’t aggravate that. None of this rebounds to Senator Sander’s fault, it is purely the responsibility of the perpetrator. Sen. Sanders released a statement which said this.

 

Fair enough, you will all remember that Senator Sanders also defended Ann Coulter’s right to speak at Berkeley. I almost never agree with him, but he’s an honest and an honorable man.

We are already, unsurprisingly seeing the attack turned into partisan politics, especially by the press, which seemingly will do and or say anything to get noticed these days. Which of course is why they have become irrelevant in the first place.

But it is time, indeed it is well past time, to cool the rhetoric in this country some. The witchhunt and the defenses against it are becoming much too likely to precipitate violence, and as we saw this morning, that is not in any of our best interest. We don’t need to agree, but we do need to agree to act civilly, if we don’t this will become the precursor of who knows what. I was asked today by a British friend whether we are getting ready to kick off Act 4 of the “Cousin’s Wars”. My answer was that I hoped not, but I feared we are.

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