Friday, January 30, 2015

China Syndrome Liberalism

The Goldberg File
By Jonah Goldberg

January 30, 2015

Dear Reader (unless you're Suge Knight, who apparently has bigger problems),

So Jonathan Chait stirred up a lot of sturm und drang this week when he complained about political correctness on the left. I read somewhere that he says it's the most debated thing he's ever written. That's probably right, at least on the left, which has gotten its cis-normative panties in a bunch about it.

I am not always a fan of "protest too much" arguments. Sometimes people protest too much because an accusation is so wrong, not because it strikes so close to home. If I publicly call you an incestuous pedophile or the founder of a Michael Bolton fan club and you make a big stink about it, maybe it's because I hit a nerve, but more likely it's because it's not true.

But this isn't one of those cases, I don't think. Chait scores some direct hits. Lefties can quibble with some of his examples. And conservatives -- such as our own Kevin Williamson and the Federalist's Sean Davis -- are absolutely right to complain that Chait is only now complaining after the problem has become inconvenient for him and his liberal friends. Davis writes:

I'm glad Chait has suddenly decided that speech policing is a terrible idea. He's only a couple hundred years behind the times, but better late than never, I suppose. Unfortunately, I don't think he's all that sincere about it. In fact, I think he just opposes speech codes when they're used against him or his fellow travelers. And the reason I think that is because I've actually read what Jonathan Chait has written about people on the right who disagree with him. It's one thing for Jonathan Chait to oppose the practice of using speech codes against Jonathan Chait and his friends, and another thing entirely for Chait to oppose speech codes used against his political opponents.

Yes, yep, yup, you betcha.

But as I wrote in the Corner, I don't think conservatives should respond solely by beating the dickens out of Chait for his hypocrisy, real or perceived. First, we should all say, "See? We were right. This cancer of ass-hattery is now spreading to all of liberalism."

Also, we should at least in part be like a good teacher bringing a student along to the Big Conclusion. In other words, we should be saying to Chait, "You're getting warmer! Keep thinking it through. And if this PC shoot-the-messenger stuff is wrong when they do it to you, maybe it's also wrong when you do it to us?"

You know, sort of like Hannibal Lecter leading Clarice to the realization of what Buffalo Bill's really up to.

Hannibal Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: What is it in itself? What is its nature? What do they do, these left-wing ass-hats you critique?

Clarice Starling: They shout down fellow liberals simply for disagreeing.

Hannibal Lecter: No. That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing they do?

Clarice Starling: Congratulate themselves? Abuse language? Replace words like "seminar" with "ovular"?

Hannibal Lecter: No! They bully. They bully with guilt. That is their nature. And how do we begin to guilt trip, Clarice? Do we seek out things to abuse? Make an effort to answer now.

Clarice Starling: No. We just . . .

Hannibal Lecter: No. We begin by morally bullying those close to us, people who will cave in to our cloying hectoring and claims of victimization.

Or something like that.

The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas

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The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas

By Jonah Goldberg


Checking Karl's White Privilege

Anyway, I am kind of excited, or at least entertained, by the spectacle of watching the Left eat itself. It's like a terrible virus escaped from a lab at Brown University and is now spreading across the country, island hopping from campus to campus and beyond (I don't merely mix metaphors, I put them in a salad spinner). My buddy James Lileks writes about how left-wing students at Berkeley (sort of redundant, I know) are starting to turn on Marx, not because of his potted theories of the dialectic, his crude reductionism of man to homo economicus, or even the fact that he set the foundation for turning the 20th century into an abattoir. No, Marx is bad because he's just another dead white guy. The students write in the school paper:

We are calling for an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities. This call to action was instigated by our experience last semester as students in an upper-division course on classical social theory. Grades were based primarily on multiple-choice quizzes on assigned readings. The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color.

First let me interject by noting that the moment anyone says to you "We are calling for an occupation of syllabi," you can put your headphones back on and finish watching the latest episode of Gotham, because nothing that follows will be worth your time.

Anyway, they go on to gripe that Marx worked from the assumption that there are -- or were -- differences between men and women. The madman! The professor's statement in defense of Marx, that "women give birth while men do not," was enough to make some students flee the room, no doubt in search of a gender-neutral fainting couch. ("Don't look at me! I'm all man" -- The Couch).

This is like watching Godzilla stomp across Tokyo and your only complaint is he's not wearing pants.

And then there was this item from The Week (The National Review feature, not the magazine):

Mount Holyoke College is for women only, but they're not super strict about the gender thing. According to official guidelines, you don't need to have the usual anatomical features to be considered female; a student can apply for admission if he or she is "biologically born male; identifies as woman" or even "biologically born male; identifies as other/they/ze and when 'other/they' identity includes woman." So basically, if you've ever thought about getting a mani-pedi, you're in. This pro-transsexual policy is intended to make Mount Holyoke hospitable to all women, no matter how tenuous their gender identity, and now it has resulted in the additional benefit of getting The Vagina Monologues removed from campus. This pudendum-positive theater piece, solemnly recited at colleges nationwide every Valentine's Day like the Haggadah at Passover, will no longer be performed at Mount Holyoke . . . because it is demeaning to "women" who have penises. The play is demeaning, all right, and so is this campus debate.

This reminds me: Since I brought up The Silence of the Lambs and Buffalo Bill, aren't we overdue for a reassessment of that film? I mean isn't Bill really the victim here, forced by an intolerant society to take it into his/her hands to become the woman s/he/ze was meant to be?

More to the point, when you think about it, the really funny part is that we're still hearing how we conservatives need to get control of our nutjobs and extremists before average Americans will take us seriously. I'll tell you what: "What." I'll also tell you that the typical Joe on the street will find gun rights and the Tenth Amendment reasonable and mainstream long before he gets his head around the idea that The Vagina Monologues is sexist because it lacks wangs in the cast -- and I don't mean Asians.

China Syndrome Liberalism

Liberalism has been making these sorts of problems for itself for over a hundred years. I won't bore you with another long rant about liberalism's Faustian bargain with philosophical pragmatism, but I will bore you with another short rant about it. Progressives adopted pragmatism as a technique designed to delegitimize all competing ideologies. All philosophical opposition to progressivism, the pragmatists argued, was really grounded in naked self-interest. You don't like the free market because you think it's empirically superior or because you value freedom. You like the free market, quoth the progressives, because you benefit from it. This was Charles Beard's wildly influential (and thoroughly debunked) claim about the Founding Fathers: They were just a bunch of rich white Christians protecting their economic privilege. Sound familiar?

Meanwhile, the Progressives claimed that they were just empiricists and problem-solvers using science and the "experimental method" to find the best policies. Everyone else was a dogmatist or an ideologue. You can boil down vast swaths of left-wing egg-headery to this simplistic argument. Critical legal studies, critical race studies, Marxist notions of "false consciousness," the Frankfurt school, etc: They're all variations of the claim that the existing power structure -- or even just inconvenient arguments -- are nothing more than rationalizations of privilege, usually white-male privilege. By the way, such claims are not always wrong, but they are seldom right.

Saying everybody who disagrees with you does it because of some ideological spell or narrow self-interest is a great trick if you can pull it off, and ironically enough, Jonathan Chait is arguably the foremost champion of this charade. (Other than the current president of the United States).

Among the problems with this con is the fact that it leaves liberalism almost completely defenseless against the exact same kind of argument when it sneaks up on it from the Left. That's what's so hilarious about the attack on Marx as just another marcher in the long parade of the pale-penis people. For generations, liberals saw things primarily through an economic lens. And from that perspective, Marx wasn't part of the problem bequeathed to us by the DWEMs (Dead White European Males); he was part of the solution. But now that race and gender trump economics, he's being reassigned to the same dustbin of history along with Plato and Shakespeare.

It's amazing. We spent a century trying to explain to the Left why Marx was wrong. It just never occurred to us to try "He's a white guy!" It should have been obvious. It's like we spent hours trying to hack their computer and then suddenly someone suggests trying "password" as the password -- and voila.

What was I saying? Oh, right: Because pragmatic liberalism (deceitfully) claims no ideological principles save the greater good, it has few defenses when it's ideological principles are attacked, particularly from within. If good is simply defined by what (liberal) people at any given moment think good is, all questions become contests of power. Bertrand Russell understood this as early as 1909, when he wrote that if everyone becomes a pragmatist, then "ironclads and Maxim guns must be the ultimate arbiters of metaphysical truth." Russell's point was that there's nothing within pragmatism to delineate the proper and just limits of pragmatism. We must look outside pragmatism for truly meaningful definitions of the greater good.

Contra Russell, I don't actually expect the different factions of liberalism to settle this like the fight scene in Anchorman, as awesome as it would be to watch Amanda Marcotte try to check Jonathan Chait's privilege with a trident. But these questions won't be settled by contests of principle either. They'll be settled with power -- cultural power, electoral power, and social-media power. And at least until Barack Obama's out of office -- and probably long after that -- Chait's side of the intramural fight will likely continue to lose. This is because Chait's position can find no emotional purchase on the left. So many of the responses to him have been "aww poor white guy doesn't like to be made fun of." It's a stupid retort, but it works in a world where the highest goal is to use victim status to bully people.

Near the end of his life Charles Beard started to understand the problem he and the pragmatists had unleashed. By launching a "crusade against standards," in the words of J. Allen Smith, liberals left themselves ill-equipped to enforce universal standards of their own. "These people are talking the relativism which will ruin liberalism yet," Beard said of the new generation of liberals. "Don't they know that the means can make the ends? Don't they realize that their method of arguing can justify anything? I wish we could find some way of getting rid of conservative morality without having these youngsters drop all morality."

It seems Chait is learning a similar lesson.

The Return of Sturm und Drang

As M. Night Shyamalan says to himself whenever he's overwriting a screenplay, let me bring up one last irony. I began by pretentiously mentioning that Chait has stirred up a lot of Sturm and Drang. For those of you who didn't know, those are the names of the Rottweilers I will train to help me survive the zombie apocalypse. It's also the name of an 18th-century artistic movement in Germany aimed at pushing back against the Enlightenment. I didn't intend it when I started, but it's a pretty apt description for the forces on the left these days. According to the Sturm und Drang-ers, the Enlightenment was too rational, too empirical, too universal in its ideals. It reduced important questions to tests of reason, principle, and fact. The German Romantics (or proto-Romantics if you want to be a pest) preferred passion and emotion and self-expression. Artistically, Sturm und Drang was all about appealing to emotions and shocking audiences, not appealing to reason and rightly formed consciences. They responded to cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am) with caleo ergo sum (I feel therefore I am).

(I'm sure many of you will correct my Latin if caleo is the wrong word.)

Well, that's pretty much what the identity-politics crowd is all about. Away with your biology textbooks and medical definitions! If I feel like a woman, that is what I am. Your facts are useless against me! You may think you're marshaling superior arguments, but all I hear is mansplaining! I don't care that you're descended from dirt-poor serfs who came to this country long after slavery ended, you're white and that's all I need to know! You must atone! And any claims to the contrary are just efforts to reinforce your privilege! Heed my trigger warnings or face my wrath!

Verschiedene und Sonstige (AKA Various & Sundry)

Things are changing. Why, at this moment, fly DNA is rewriting my whole genetic makeup. If you thought it was no picnic watching me eat before, just give it a day or two. No, that's not right. What I mean to say is that the Tattaglia's are backing Virgil Sollozzo's push to sell drugs in our territory! ("Tattaglia's a pimp! How many times do I have to tell you? It's Barzini!" -- The Couch.) No, that's not it, either. I know: The leader of our cheerleading squad has been stealing all of our best routines from the public-school girls. If we're going to win nationals this year, we're really going to have to bring it.

No, none of that is right. Now I remember. Very, very soon NRO will be undergoing the Mother of All Redesigns. As the founding editor of NRO, let me tell you with adamantine certainty that some of you will complain about it. That is the nature of redesigns. But this was a long time coming. I mean we don't even have a search engine these days. When I want to find an old article, I have to rub its scent on an intern's nose and say "fetch."

But I am confident that you will also appreciate how much time and thought went into this redesign. And, if you complain too much, please take note of the death-ray feature we had installed.

Zoë Update: So we're in the homestretch. The Fair Jessica returns Monday and my forced and intensive bonding with the dingo will wind to a close. She's been on the best behavior of her short life these last few days, and I'm afraid to jinx it. I fear it might be because she's sick. She's still full of energy when it comes to wrasslin' dogs and chasing squirrels, but she seems to have a cold. The only evidence I have for this is that she sleeps a lot more and is sneezing a lot, which she did in my mouth yesterday morning as a novel way to wake me up. That was only the second-worst animal related thing that has happened to me this week. The worst was when my iPhone fell in the cats' litter box while I was cleaning it. Anyway, here she is sulking, post-bath. And here she is getting her compensation for the pain and suffering.

Media Updates: I will be on Red Eye this coming Tuesday. I will be on Outnumbered on Wednesday, and I am scheduled to be the guest host of Bill Bennett's radio show on Thursday. I am on the Special Report "All Star Panel" tonight, which is good because I need to return Krauthammer's Miley Cyrus CD.

On February 12, I will be speaking at the University of Michigan. Friendly faces always welcome.

In anticipation of that, I gave this interview to the College Fix.

My column today is on the open-conspiracy of sorts between Obama and the Saudis.

Since ANWR is back in the news these days, here's my cover story on ANWR from 13 years ago (the link is to a reposting of it in 2005 in case you get confused). It made a big splash at the time, and I think it still holds up well.

I wish I'd read this label before Zoë's bath.

I have not shown her this because I'm not sure how she'd handle it.

Turn your tweets into poetry

Chinese man washes hair for the first time in 26 years

It begins: Buried zombie cat comes back to life

French court forbids parents from naming child 'Nutella' 

It's a skill! Man opens beer with butt

Adopt a cockroach in honor of your ex

This is the most disturbing thing you will see all day.

And of course, Debby's links

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Either Mitt Is Running in 2016, or He Just Wants to Talk to a Lot of People

Today on NRO

JOHN FUND: Did Justice "steamroll the truth" in attempt to extort a settlement? The Scandals at Justice.

THE EDITORS: If the Iranians balk at Congress's sanctions bill, they're not serious. Put More Pressure on Iran

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe, and in the Middle East a new Holocaust looms. The Final Solution: a Nuclear Iran

JILLIAN KAY MELCHIOR: There is evidence that many of our anti-oil-and-gas environmentalists are funded by Moscow. Russian Money, U.S. Energy.

SLIDESHOW: Drone Smugglers.

Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty

January 30, 2015

Either Mitt Is Running in 2016, or He Just Wants to Talk to a Lot of People

Maybe by the time you read this, it will be official. But let's face it, you don't do the things Mitt Romney has done in recent weeks if you're not running for president.

Former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has made a decision on whether to go forward with a third presidential bid and will tell to supporters which way he is going in a Friday morning call, a source familiar with Romney's plans tells CNN.

Another Romney source said "the call is an 'update' call with finance, political, policy and grassroots leadership around the country." While Romney will not officially announce his plans for 2016, he will clarify whether he is moving towards a run or pulling back from the prospect.

The news of the call was first reported by Bloomberg News, which highlighted an email that went out to supporters Thursday night inviting them to dial in.


Those who have been helping Romney make up his mind say there are three factors in favor of a run, and two factors against. The main rationale on the "go" side is Mitt and Ann Romney's strongly held conviction that no one in the current field would make a better president. Critics in both parties and the press may scoff at this view, but the Romneys believe it to their core and thus feel Mitt has an obligation to his country to once again shoulder the mantle. Following his crushing defeat in 2012, Romney has deemed Obama's second term an utter failure, particularly on issues of national security and the domestic economy. Furthermore, those in Romney's orbit are convinced that Mitt is not just best qualified, but almost uniquely qualified to turn around the nation and help guide the world to safer pastures. The Romneys consider this assessment a clear-eyed, rational analysis of his skills as a manager and a leader, augmented by the sense of duty he was raised with in the Mormon faith.

For what it's worth, many, many fans of Mitt passionately disagree with my assessment from earlier in the week:

When people go up to Romney and tell him, "Governor, I really wish you had won in 2012," they're not saying, "Governor, I think you would have been one of the greatest presidents in our lifetimes." They're saying, "Governor, Obama is really, really, really terrible, and electing you would have spared the country a lot of pain."

Get ready for Mitt-mania, I guess.



The 'Just Wait and See, You're Going to Be Surprised' Presidency

Who could have seen this coming, other than everyone?

The U.S. military and intelligence community now suspect that one of the five Taliban detainees released from Guantanamo Bay in return for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in May of last year has attempted to return to militant activity from his current location in Qatar, CNN has learned exclusively.

The first clue that the Taliban Five would attempt to assist the Taliban once released from Guantanamo Bay is the fact that they're called the Taliban Five.

The Morning Jolt, back on June 6:

Oh, I guess we can relax now.

The five senior Taliban leaders released to Qatar after years of detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are subject to strict bans on militant incitement or fundraising that might pose a danger to the United States, according to people familiar with the negotiations that freed American prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

How is this enforced? If these guys begin fundraising or incitement, do the Qataris send them back to us? What about beyond the first year?

Indulge me a trip down memory lane; I want to share a vivid metaphor.

Back in 1995, the infamous Rich Kotite was coach of the New York Jets. At the time, the Jets were bad but not awful, but had only one really talented player of offense, the tight end Johnny Mitchell. The Jets stunned the world in the spring by using their first round draft choice on another tight end, Kyle Brady. This logjam at one position was deliberate, Kotite insisted. He declared he was going to use the double-tight-end formation as his standard offensive formation. Almost everyone else in the football world argued this wasn't going to work. No team had run a double-tight-end offense in years. Kotite scoffed at the doubters and urged the skeptics to watch. Just wait and see. You're going to be surprised.

The Jets went 3-13 that season. And 1-15 the year after that.

Yes, sometimes a lone genius will stand athwart the entire rest of the world and be proven right. But when everybody around you is telling you that you're wrong, there's a pretty good chance that you're wrong.

Just about everybody in the world -- including James Clapper and Leon Panetta! -- said the trade of Bergdahl for the Taliban Five was a bad idea.

And in the face of all of those counter-arguments, President Obama effectively said, Just wait and see. You're going to be surprised.

We're seeing a lot more of this defiant certitude in the president's second term. Remember his giant outstretched hand to Cuba? Remember how we were lifting a slew of travel restrictions and restoring diplomatic and economic ties to Havana, to enter a new, friendlier era of U.S.-Cuban relations?

Yeah, here's how that's working out:

Cuban President Raul Castro has demanded that the United States hand back its Guantanamo Bay military base -- an apparent bargaining tool in the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the countries.

Castro also asked for a complete lifting of the decades-old trade embargo and for compensation for its effects, saying that without these changes the recent diplomatic thaw "wouldn't make any sense." . . .

He also demanded the U.S. end the transmission of anti-Castro radio and television broadcasts and deliver "just compensation to our people for the human and economic damage that they're suffered."

We make more concessions, they make more demands. But the president is undeterred.

We're going to talk Iran out of its nuclear program in a series of summits in Switzerland. Just wait and see. You're going to be surprised.

We're going to defeat the Islamic State through a combination of intermittent high-altitude bombing strikes and training the Iraqi army. Just wait and see. You're going to be surprised.

We're going to get this bolder, more defiant, less predictable Russian state to cease its aggression against its neighbors through a series of sanctions. Just wait and see. You're going to be surprised.

We're going to overcome a steep, six-year decline in the median-income level of Americans by raising the minimum wage. Just wait and see. You're going to be surprised.

Barack Obama is the Rich Kotite of American presidents.

Beware of Suspicious Donkeys -- Not a Metaphor In This Particular Case.

Okay, Boko Haram, now you're really in trouble. Now you're irritating PETA.

Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram is plotting to use cattle as suicide bombers, officials have said.

Nigerian authorities also suspect that the extremist group, which aims at establishing an Islamic caliphate in the country, is preparing dozens of suicide bombers to carry out large-scale attacks.

Mike Omer, coordinator of the National Information Centre, said: "Available intelligence reports indicate a plan by Boko Haram to use young male suicide bombers disguised as cobblers to hide explosives in their tool boxes and detonate them on soft target areas such as markets, restaurants, ATM locations, political rallies, worship centres as well as other public places," according to Nigeria's Vanguard daily.

"Also, there is indication of a plan by this group to use livestock such as, goats, cows, donkeys and camels laden with explosives to attack chosen targets."

ADDENDA: Maybe the best edition of our pop-culture podcast yet arrives this morning -- a Super Bowl-themed show discussing the must-have foods at the holiday I nickname "Bar Food Thanksgiving," great and awful Super Bowl commercials past and present, and my perhaps way-too-passionate assessment of the planned all-female reboot of Ghostbusters and the rumored casting of Chris Pratt as Indiana Jones. Did you know producer Dave Perkins and I can have an entire conversation consisting entirely of quotes from Raiders of the Lost Ark? My poor co-host.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ben Carson Declared Frontrunner

Dear National Review Reader,

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Run Ben Run!


“Feel the Carsonmentum. Breathe it in. Embrace it. It's happening...”


Yes! It’s true.

The news media did its best to ignore the effort to draft and elect Ben Carson as President, but they can’t ignore Ben Carson anymore.

The above headline and quote from the Huffington Post says it all. Ben Carson is now firmly established as a frontrunner--perhaps the frontrunner--for the 2016 Republican nomination for President.

It’s not only national polls like FOX News that now show Ben Carson as a frontrunner for President of the United States, the Des Moines Register poll in Iowa also has Carson at the top.

But, is Ben Carson going to run for President?

I am 100% certain that he is, but I’ll let you judge for yourself...

Recently, Ben Carson named Terry Giles as his Campaign Chairman “if he runs.”

Well, Terry Giles, a Houston multi-millionaire, announced that he and his wife are moving to the Washington, DC area. More important, Giles and five other members of the Carson team met at the Capital Hyatt in Washington, DC to...

  • Interview 35 people who will be staffing Carson’s presidential campaign
  • Talk with security professionals who would protect Dr. Carson
  • Confer with owners of airline charters to secure a campaign plane
  • Meet with celebrity handlers, who would serve as an advance team for the campaign
  • Consult with political strategists to guide the campaign through the rough shoals of a national political campaign

So, what do you think? Would all of this be happening if Ben Carson had not decided to run for President? Obviously not!

Yes, Ben Carson is running for President, and it’s clearly not going to be an amateur effort. He is putting a first class team together.

His expected announcement date is mid-April, 2015.

Remember, the 2015 Iowa Caucus is just one year away.

Some are still trying hard to dismiss Ben Carson as a legitimate candidate.

And, Democrats are already attacking Ben Carson viciously.

Just listen to this awful diatribe by Congressional Black Caucus member Hank Johnson of Georgia. Johnson begins by saying that Ben Carson boosters like you and me have a “vein of ignorance” and that we "act like a lynch mob.”

Of Ben Carson he says,

“African Americans like Dr. Ben Carson, who is a very smart, well-educated man and knows exactly what he’s doing, when we have blacks like that trying to tap into the ignorance of people who have been whipped into a frenzy, like a lynch mob, and you go to try to garner support from those folks, I think it’s very disappointing that we would have that kind of political discourse going on in this country.”

Even though it is a disjointed, run-on sentence that is a little hard to follow, you get the picture. Far leftists like Hank Johnson are scared to death that their betrayal of the African American community is about to be exposed and that there will be a stampede of black Americans to the candidacy of Ben Carson.

In fact, that’s exactly what is going to happen, and it won’t even take a stampede. Did you know that Ben Carson, who is loved and revered in the black community, will automatically win the White House if he receives...

Just 17% of the Black Vote!

That’s right, if Ben Carson receives just 17% of the black vote he wins every swing state and marches right into the White House as the first president who is the descendent of slaves.

Frankly, I expect Ben Carson to win much more than just 17% of the black vote...maybe a majority.

After all, a recent Wall Street Journal poll showed that more African Americans identify themselves as conservative, than they do as liberal.

And, when you consider the fact that Ben Carson has long been used as a role model for young African Americans by their parents, why shouldn’t he receive a majority of the black vote? Don’t forget that virtually all black Americans have seen the full length movie starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., Gifted Hands, that depicts the amazing story of Ben Carson.

But, there is even better data that confirms the power of a respected black candidate for President like Ben Carson.

When Herman Cain ran for President in 2012, his internal polls showed him winning more than 40% of the black vote and nearly 60% of the Hispanic vote. Cain’s campaign team was stunned. How could that be true?

They finally concluded that it was because both black and Hispanic Americans identified with the life experience of Herman Cain. He had escaped poverty to become a successful and prosperous businessman. And, because poor blacks and Hispanics want to escape poverty, why not support someone who knows how to do so?

The truth is that while Herman Cain was well-respected in black and Hispanic communities, Ben Carson is an icon in those communities.

Ben Carson grew up in one of the worst areas of Detroit, Michigan to become a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon. He became the youngest division chairman in the history of Johns Hopkins University Hospital, leading that multi-hundred million dollar enterprise to new levels of innovation and success.

Most important, Ben Carson has never lost touch with where he started. He and his wife Candy started the Carson Scholars Fund to help hard working and intelligent students escape poverty and succeed in life. The nonprofit the Carson’s started now operates in all fifty states, helping thousands of students follow his path to success.

But, just because Ben Carson is sure to win is not the only reason to support his candidacy for President. The most important reason you should support Ben Carson is because...

Ben Carson Will Heal Our Broken Land

Although Barack Obama came to the White House with such promise, instead of healing our land of racial strife, he has only made it worse.

Sadly, he continues to rip our nation apart solely for political gain.

Not since the American Civil War has America been more divided than it is today.

If a Democrat like Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren follows Barack Obama to the White House, our nation will continue down the same dangerous path.

Only Ben Carson, can bring America back together as one people.

In fact, Carson has announced that his campaign theme will be taken from our Pledge of Allegiance...

“One Nation, Under God, With Liberty and Justice for All”

Ben Carson has been a healer his entire life. That’s what a doctor does. When asked why he does not often talk about race, he replied...

“'s because I'm a neurosurgeon. You see, when I take someone to the operating room and I peel down the scalp and take off the bone flap and open the dura, I'm operating on the thing that makes the person who they are. It's not the covering that makes them who they are.”

As an active Christian, Ben Carson seeks to heal and bring harmony, not division and rancor to our society.

As President, Ben Carson will inspire and lead, emphasizing what unites us as Americans, not what divides us. He will be a president for all Americans, regardless of race or background, working for the best of America, not just to advance a political ideology.

Make no mistake about it, Ben Carson is a proud American. Unlike Obama, Clinton and Warren, he sees America as a great, good, and exceptional nation that is unique in the annals of history.

Ben Carson reveres the principles of the Founders, and respects the Constitution. As President, he will abide by the letter and the spirit of the Constitution as it was written and intended to be understood.

Ben Carson believes in life and has counseled many women to choose life, not abortion, even in difficult circumstances. He puts it this way, “There’s no war on women, there’s a war on babies.”

Ben Carson unequivocally stands for every American’s right to keep and bear arms, not just for hunting and target shooting, but, if necessary, to defend freedom.

Ben Carson believes in small, less intrusive government, low taxes, and a dollar tied to gold.

Ben Carson will not only balance the budget, but begin the necessary process of paying it off so that our children and grandchildren will not be burdened by a dangerous debt.

Ben Carson, who was once offered a commission to West Point, stands foursquare behind our military. He has donated his time as a surgeon to work at veterans’ hospitals because of his great respect for those who served.

Ben Carson will not seek military action, but if called upon to act, his response will not be proportional to that of the enemy. He will fight for victory on our terms, with no quarter given.

Perhaps most important of all, Ben Carson is not an inside-the-Beltway politician. He is a citizen statesman as envisioned by the Founders. They sought men to serve in office for whom service would be a sacrifice, not a career. Frankly, I can’t help but think that if men like Washington, Jefferson, and Adams were alive today, they would be supporters of Ben Carson.

In fact, I am absolutely certain that my great-grandfather, John Philip Sousa, would be leading the parade for Ben Carson.

What my great-grandfather and the Founders have in common with Ben Carson is his integrity and trustworthiness.

You Can Trust Ben Carson!

Ben Carson doesn’t owe any political favors. He carries no political baggage. He does not lust for power.

Ben Carson is the man we need in the White House to clean up the mess that has been created.

That’s why I urge you to join with me and others in a national crusade to elect Ben Carson and put America back on the road to greatness.

Please join with me today.

Once Ben Carson officially announces, this Committee has a very special responsibility.

We have assembled a very experienced and dedicated political team that is working with more than 24,000 volunteers across the nation to build a strong grassroots organization in every state.

In fact, no other prospective candidate for President can match the organization that we have put together in Iowa--a chairman and growing organization in every one of the 99 Iowa counties! We now have full time offices open in Iowa and in New Hampshire.

There’s more...

We have now distributed nearly 98,000 static stickers, 1.2 million bumper strips, 232,000 car magnets, 930,000 posters, 43,000 copies of America the Beautiful, 11,000 copies of Gifted Hands, 10,000 copies of One Nation, and 48,000 buttons!

And, we have collected some 600,000 petitions urging Ben Carson to run for president and that is the main reason he has chosen to run.

Now what?

The answer is that while this Committee played a very important role in persuading Ben Carson to run for president, it will play an even more important role in helping him win the nomination and the election.

The role of this Super PAC is to provide the margin of victory to Ben Carson in both the nomination and election process.

The best way to explain this is to describe how Barack Obama, a little known first term senator from Illinois upset Hillary Clinton to win the Iowa Caucus and, eventually, the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Iowa was the key to Barack Obama’s winning the nomination. If he did not win, his candidacy was finished.

And, like Ben Carson, the political pros gave him little chance of defeating a powerful candidate like Hillary Clinton, especially in Iowa.

According to the book, The Victory Lab (by Sasha Issenberg), if the 2008 turnout at the Democratic caucuses in Iowa was 125,000 as it was in 2004, Obama’s political team knew they would lose. They calculated that Obama would need a turnout of 180,000,“far more Democrats than had ever before participated,” in the Iowa Caucuses in order to win.

In other words, the Obama team would have to persuade 55,000 people who had never before participated in the Iowa caucuses to turn out on what would likely be a very cold, winter night to vote for someone whose name they could barely pronounce.

It was a huge challenge, but they did it. In fact, some 239,000 Democratic caucus goers turned out on January 3, 2008 to give Barack Obama a stunning victory and the push he needed to go on to win the Democratic nomination and the White House.

Ben Carson is in exactly the same position. If the same 100,000 Republicans turn out for the Iowa Republican caucuses that turned out in 2012, Ben Carson will not win Iowa, and if he does not run well in Iowa, he will have a very uphill race from there.

On the other hand, if Ben Carson wins Iowa, the path will be clear to win the Republican presidential nomination.

The good news is that Ben Carson has already activated tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people to participate in the political process for the very first time.

Just like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan before him, Ben Carson has awakened millions of Americans to the danger that our nation faces. These are new folks, a huge army, that when energized and activated, can push him over the top in Iowa, and indeed all the way to the Republican Convention in Cleveland and then to the White House.

It’s very exciting, but the challenges ahead are great.

Ben Carson’s candidacy appeals to many, many individuals and groups of people. These groups include active Christians, health care professionals, as well as black, Asian, and Hispanic voters. At a recent event where Ben Carson spoke in Iowa, the Republican county chairman remarked at all the new faces, especially those of African Americans and Hispanic Americans who had never before supported a Republican candidate for president.

My vision for this Committee is to reach out to these new folks who have been energized by Ben Carson to participate in the political process. It’s not enough for them to just be excited about Ben Carson, we need an organization that will get them to the Iowa Caucuses and then to the voting booth in the primaries that follow.

Frankly, the official campaign can’t do everything.

But, through this campaign you and I can stand in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30) and make sure that Ben Carson has the margin of victory to win in Iowa.

The Iowa Caucus is almost exactly one year away.

That means we must start now to reach and activate new caucus goers in Iowa.

Together, you and I will provide the margin of victory to Ben Carson.

Are you with me?

I sure hope so because I have a huge and immediate need.

I have negotiated to purchase 100,000 copies of a condensed version of Ben Carson’s book, Gifted Hands at a cost of $157,000--that’s just $1.55 each.

In my opinion, this book is the first essential stepping stone to understanding who Ben Carson is, what he stands for, and why he can be trusted to follow the Constitution and to solve our nation’s critical economic problems.

Will you help me do that?

The truth is, I’d like to purchase 250,000 copies of the Gifted Hands book.

I can buy that many for just $1.45 each.

I’d like for every caucus goer in Iowa to have a copy of this book well in advance of the Tuesday, January 5, 2016 caucus. I would also like to have enough copies to give this book to the new folks Ben Carson will need to recruit in order to win the Iowa caucus.

We will hand deliver as many of these books as possible and mail the rest. But we need to order these books now since it will take at least four months for them to be printed and shipped.

I would like to ask you to help me decide how many books to order. And, I would like to know if you agree with my plan to win the Iowa Caucus for Ben Carson by expanding the number of caucus goers, just as Barack Obama did to win the Iowa Democratic Caucus in 2008.

I hope you can provide me with a rapid response.

Because it takes four to five months to re-print these books and ship them to the Committee, I need to order soon.

One of the biggest challenges we face is that too few people know who Ben Carson is...

Most vaguely recall his speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, and some know about his medical breakthrough in separating twins conjoined at the head, but they really don’t know Ben Carson.

That’s why giving them a copy of Gifted Hands will be such a big step toward winning their vote at the Iowa Republican Caucus.

We can’t wait for an official announcement by Ben Carson, we must act now.

The more momentum we build for Ben Carson today, the better chance he has of winning the White House in 2016.

It says in Proverbs 12:15 that... “A stubborn fool considers his own way the right one, but a person who listens to advice is wise.”

Please give me your advice.

Should I purchase 100,000 copies of the Gifted Hands book or should I be bold and purchase 250,000?

No matter what your answer, I do hope that you will support this effort to provide copies of Gifted Hands to prospective Iowa Caucus goers.

Of course, we have plans to distribute other materials and books, but right now, we need to introduce Dr. Carson to Iowa Caucus goers.

That’s why I’m hoping you can help today with a gift of $35, $50, $100, or even $1,000.

But, whatever you can send will, of course, be greatly appreciated and spent wisely.



John Philip Sousa IV
National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee

P.S. I do want your counsel and advice. I want to be bold, but prudent. Should I order 250,000 copies of Gifted Hands, or just 100,000? Do you agree with my Iowa strategy? Please let me have your answers today. And, if possible, please send along a contribution of at least $35 today to help with the purchase of these books. May God bless you, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

Contributions to the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes.

Paid for by the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
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Careful With That ‘We Like the Simple Life’ Routine, Governor Huckabee

Today on NRO

HEATHER MAC DONALD: The NYC mayor has lost the police's trust. De Blasio vs. the NYPD.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Traditional pillars of Israel's security have begun to erode. Can Israel Survive?

KATHERINE TIMPF: Yes, Mike Huckabee's comments about women swearing were sexist. Any Other Women Feel Like Swearing at Huckabee?

JAMES LILEKS: Of all the reasons to criticize the father of Communism . . . Marx Was an Othering White Male!

SLIDESHOW: Comet Up Close.

Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty

January 29, 2015

Careful With That 'We Like the Simple Life' Routine, Governor Huckabee

Our Charlie Cooke is getting tired of Mike Huckabee's homespun schtick:

Huckabee is essentially attempting to become to the Right what the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson have become to the Left: namely, a proxy figure who can be used as shorthand by the lazy and the lost to signify their allegiance to a set of cherished cultural values. "We like the simple life," Huckabee announces in his book. "Status is a Ford 150 truck; luxury is crawfish étouffée and slaw on your pulled-pork sandwich; and privilege is front-row seats at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert." And unlike those "misfortunate" souls in "Manhattan, the Washington Beltway, or in Beverly Hills," we know the joy that one can get from wading "in chest-deep water to hunt mallards." Insofar as it goes, there is nothing wrong with this. Indeed, I like many of these things too. But the self-conscious spinning of local tradition into a national political aesthetic is invariably irritating, and, typically, electorally counterproductive. There are many wonderful things about the world Huckabee is attempting to represent. But surely, just surely, it is possible for a southerner to run for high office without dressing up as Forrest Gump?

A quick point about that line, "Status is a Ford 150 truck; luxury is crawfish étouffée and slaw on your pulled-pork sandwich . . . "

Governor, I think you have to be a little careful about suggesting that you're all about the "simple life" with a more humble definition of luxury than all those coastal elites.

For starters, your three-story beachfront house in Florida -- with 8,224 square feet of living space, and 2,969 square feet of porch and deck space -- is worth $2.8 million. It's a nice house, with a built-in radio studio.

And he's flown quite a bit on private planes in recent years.

Huckabee had a $500,000 per year contract with Fox News. His speaking fee is listed at $50,000 and above.

And then there's all the money that's gone to his PAC…

Over the last six years, the Fox News host's political action committee, which was created to raise money for GOP candidates, has paid nearly $400,000 to members of Huckabee's extended family, while spending just a fraction of its multimillion-dollar fundraising haul on the Republican contenders . . .

Since its inception, Huck PAC has never spent more than 12 percent of its funds on candidates or other PACs. It gave only 5 percent of its revenues—that is $47,000 of $1,063,142—to candidates during the 2012 cycle.

He's welcome to enjoy all that; to contradict our president, he built that. But I'm not so sure that fits most people's definition of "the simple life."



Why Jay-Z Has a Good Reason to Be Mad at Mike Huckabee

While we're picking on Mike Huckabee, a quick point about this section of his book:

My reaction: Why? Beyoncé is incredibly talented -- gifted, in fact. She has an exceptional set of pipes and can actually sing. She is a terrific dancer -- without the explicit moves best left for the privacy of her bedroom. Jay-Z is a very shrewd businessman, but I wonder: Does it occur to him that he is arguably crossing the line from husband to pimp by exploiting his wife as a sex object?

Would anyone dispute that the above statement, suggesting Jay-Z is Beyoncé's "pimp", implies Beyoncé is a whore, or dresses like a whore?

As noted on the pop-culture podcast . . . gentlemen, if another guy came up to you and called your wife a whore . . . wouldn't you knock his teeth out? Ladies, if a man called you a whore and said your husband was your pimp, would you or would your husband knock the guy's teeth out first? I'm not endorsing bare-knuckle dental work on those who call married women whores, per se . . . I'm just saying I can understand.

Separately, I'm sure this is the sort of statement that plays terrifically among the 120,000 or so Republicans who participate in the Iowa caucuses. It also plays terribly among the millions of Beyoncé fans out there. There's a really legitimate discussion to be had about sexually-explicit images and behavior in pop culture, particularly about whether these images, intended for adults, are permeating the culture of America's pre-teens and adolescents. But suggesting that Jay-Z is pimping out his wife -- as if Beyoncé wears anything she doesn't want to wear! -- is precisely the wrong way to have that conversation.

Now, in Huckabee's defense . . . here's her with her backup dancers at the Video Music Awards last year. No, I'm not putting that photo in the e-mail, you'll have to click-through.

Hillary Clinton May Launch Message-Free Campaign Later than Expected

Over in Politico, Mike Allen reports:

Hillary Clinton, expecting no major challenge for the Democratic nomination, is strongly considering delaying the formal launch of her presidential campaign until July, three months later than originally planned, top Democrats tell POLITICO.

The delay from the original April target will give her more time to develop her message, policy and organization, without the chaos and spotlight of a public campaign.

It's the end of January 2015. She's been out of public office since 2013. The book tour was a year ago. She's been in the public eye since 1992.

If she doesn't have a message yet, how likely is it that there's a better message coming? It's not like she hasn't been thinking about running for president for a long, long time.

Her unspoken message is, "It's my turn." And that's a pretty bad one. Even David Axelrod feels compelled to point out that "Ready for Hillary" doesn't really mean anything.

What he could have added is that "Ready for Hillary" is about her, not about the people she wants to vote for her. And in a time of real problems and real crises threatening American lives and tearing at the national fabric, rectifying the mistake of the Democratic primary voters in 2008 just isn't a real priority.

ADDENDA: I'm scheduled to appear on the panel of Greta Van Susteren's On the Record tonight.

Peyton's Head envisions what happens when the least-talkative NFL star gets a chance to say one of the iconic victory lines:

"Marshawn Lynch, you just won the Super Bowl. What are you going to do now?"

"I'm going to Disney World. Just so I don't get fined."

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Article: Pentagon picks new Air Force One

Pentagon picks new Air Force One

Shared from CNN Breaking News on Flipboard, your personal magazine.
Get it for free to keep up with the news you care about.

John Hames
Listen to my podcast!! 

Isis threatens to behead Barack Obama and 'transform America into a Muslim province'

Shared from Zite

 An Isis fighter has threatened to behead Barack Obama "in the White House and transform America into a Muslim province" before murdering a Kurdish soldier in a gruesome propaganda video.


Isis threatens to behead Barack Obama and 'transform America into a Muslim province'

The Independent - The footage, entitled "Bombardment of Peaceful Muslims in the City of Mosul" showed damage from shelling allegedly carried out by Peshmerga forces in the Iraqi city earlier this month before killing the captive in retaliation.

John Hames
Listen to my podcast!!