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“THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE—Oh, wait–the RUSSIANS ARE GOING!” (or) WOOF Chronicles the outbreak, the feverish climax, and the sweaty aftermath of the Media’s year-long bout with Russian Flu.

In "Apocalypse NOT" forum on October 28, 2017 at 6:24 pm

The unluckiest moment of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign may well have been his decision to crack wise about Hillary Clinton’s emails during a March rally. He had already joked during a televised debate that Mrs. Clinton’s preternaturally irretrievable emails might be locatable by Russia—a fairly amusing quip since the press was even then full of Russian hacking stories, none of which, at the time, involved Trump.  At a campaign rally, Trump iterated: “I will tell you this, Russia, if you’re listening; I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

“Maybe Russia can find them!”

It is unfair, we think, to say as many do that Leftists have no sense of humor. It is less unfair to observe that the liberal establishment is jocundly challenged, its mainstay attribute—sanctimony –having withered its less officious instincts. For this reason, the pontificators of the mainstream media routinely ignore or misinterpret irony, which explains, among other things, how Trump’s topical jape was deprived of context by Democrat politicians and newscasters.

So competent, I keep Putin up at night!

Initially, the chief utility of misreporting Trump’s laugh line as a serious remark derived from the tactical desirability of portraying Trump as a rapacious, sell-seeking power broker brazenly maneuvering to enlist foreign dictators in his effort to win office by defaming Hillary Clinton. The Russians, pundits claimed, might well collude with Trump in order to prevent a presidency helmed by the former Secretary of State whose brilliance, exhaustive geopolitical knowledge, sophisticated grasp of diplomatic nuances, and steely nerves would make her exactly the kind of chief executive Putin feared. The tone of analysis, in other words, was already psychotic.

We now know from Shattered, Jonathon Allen’s and Amie Parnes’s inside account of Hillary Clinton’s disastrous presidential campaign, that “Within 24 hours of Clinton’s concession speech, top officials gathered ‘to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up.… Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.’” But while the Clintonistas initially saw this fiction as little more than a face-saving device, the idea caught fire with media savants, Hollywood polemicists, disgruntled liberal voters, and a wide array of mentally unbalanced politicos who speak on their behalves.

In support of the hacked-election construct, the NSA seems to have leaked its own top-secret report to the effect that Russia attempted to manipulate certain regional elections by spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials. By all accounts, these efforts fizzled, yet appear to constitute the entirety of arguable Russian meddling in the 2016 election. More recent accounts suggest the Russians had nothing to do with the scheme. Even The Nation, that redoubtable house organ of American liberalism, admitted last August that “Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.”  Nevertheless, the impression was widely given by mainstream media that besides enlisting Putin to leak damaging information on Hillary, Trump had somehow persuaded the Russians to “hack the election” in some terrifyingly sophisticated manner that actually altered the vote count. Oddly, the Ruskies seemed to limit the application of this fiendish technology to the electoral count, perhaps leery of rigging the popular vote too, lest they overplay their hand.

“Mustn’t overdo! Hee, hee!”

At long last, hate!

The Dadaistic oddness of liberalism’s volte face on the subject of Russia inspires a mixture of bemusement and awe. Suffice it that nobody to the left of, say, Charlie Rose, would have dreamt of speaking ill of the former Soviet Union, its leadership, or its concerted efforts to manipulate our sociopolitical culture over the past eight decades, even while immiserating half the planet into the bargain. Russia’s immunity from liberal displeasure would be intact even today, were it not for the utility of Russo-phobia as a means of undermining the presidency of Donald Trump.

“Sunday” with Chuck and Alger….

At the height of their newly adopted Russo-phobia it seems reasonable to surmise that most Democrats would have enthusiastically impanelled a modern iteration of the House Un-American Activities Committee were its first function to investigate Russia’s clandestine abetment of the Trump administration. Notably, this signals the Democrat Party’s recent divorcement from longstanding philosophical premises (however irrational in the first place) and its newfound enthusiasm for whatever dogma seems momentarily opportune. The media, following like a leash-broken Maltese, shed its own longstanding Russophilia—a tradition that as recently as the late ‘80s saw Charles Kuralt narrating a segment of CBS’s Sunday Morning devoted to extolling Alger Hiss’s patriotism while rebuking his accuser, “the homosexual Whittaker Chambers.”

Haberman: “Never hit seventeen….”

Times change. The Great Liberal Russian Scare so fixated every establishment media outlet that remaining current on the topic proved almost impossible. Every day, newspapers rushed to print with fresh accusations attributed to unnamed sources quoted in articles that—read to their conclusions—ended with disclaimers acknowledging the absence of any substantiating evidence. For example, the New York Times initiated a particularly robust mythology when reporter Maggie Haberman mocked Trump’s refusal “to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected.” In fact, America has exactly 17 intelligence agencies, but to believe the Times, one would have to believe that Russia was cited as tampering with the presidential election by every one of them, including such disparate organizations as the 25th Air Force, United States Coast Guard Intelligence, and the TSA.  Indeed, after publishing several additional yarns featuring Haberman’s “basic fact,” the Times quietly retracted the story, burying their apology in the Gray Lady’s bowels, but Haberman’s “17 intelligence agencies” lived on, thunderously declaimed by congressmen and media babblers bent on revealing Vladimir Putin’s role in helping Donald Trump steal the presidency.

Rumors of Russian computer hacking predated Trump’s victory, of course.  Going into the election year, the FBI warned both the RNC and the DNC that efforts to ransack their cyber files might be afoot. The RNC responded by taking the recommended precautions. The DNC did not respond at all, presumably because their efforts to sideline Bernie Sanders, as well as a plethora of additional, equally sleazy shenanigans, were not items they cared to share with the Bureau. Consequently, the DNC was hacked to a fare thee well, allegedly by the Russians, although no evidence of Russian involvement ever surfaced. The resulting embarrassment led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, not because she dumbly permitted her data to be filched, but because the hacked material exposed her lies, schemes, and often shockingly illiberal opinions. Obviously, there is some good in everything.

The theft of John Podesta’s computer files occurred when Podesta, then chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, fell for a primitive phishing scam. No sooner had Podesta clicked the poison link, then tens of thousands of his messages were pilfered by nefarious powers, again widely reported to be Russian, although—as seems normative in these matters–no proof of Russian culpability materialized.

“Oops!”

Julian Assange, from liberal icon to doggie doo, in just one, short election!

Also during this period, Julian Assange was busily leaking information damaging to the Clinton campaign, widely reported as the fruits of Russian espionage, although Assange repeatedly denied receiving any material from the Russians, maintaining throughout that his sources were closer to the candidate–whose own computer scandals were now of a magnitude that demanded reporting, even by a media proclived to spike any news unflattering to her. Yes, this is the part where silly Hillary misplaced over thirty thousand emails formerly available on her private server–which she maintained in contravention of federal law–in order to (shall we speak bluntly?) trade confidential, often classified information for favors and money.  Worse, Hillary’s oft-cited ignorance of computers accounted not only for the accidental purging of her emails, but also for her equally accidental purchase and application of a pricey software product called BleachBit, designed to cleanse hard drives completely, ensuring that all accidentally deleted items were accidentally unrecoverable.

“Oops!”

Loretta and Bill

In this regard, it will also be recalled that while appearing before congress, FBI Director James Comey detailed numerous crimes and malfeasances attributable to Mrs. Clinton, mainly related to her emails, her false statements, and her bizarre indifference to matters of national security, following which, Mr. Comey announced his unilateral decision to waive prosecution in each of the cases cited, mainly, he explained, because Mrs. Clinton didn’t know what she was doing.  Comey’s tortured rationale aside, it remained mysterious which federal codicil absolved criminals of legal responsibility on the grounds of not knowing what they were doing. Moreover, FBI Directors do not determine whether charges are preferred, they report to the Justice Department, where such determinations are made.

Fairly Odd Grandparents

We know now, however, that Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, instructed Comey to excuse Mrs. Clinton’s offenses, and, that done, hastened to assure reporters that she would abide by whatever decision Comey rendered.  Lynch’s surreptitious stand-down order came in the immediate wake of her controversial private meeting with Bill Clinton, (whose wife was currently under investigation by her department). Bill Clinton afterwards promised a preternaturally credulous news media that nothing political was discussed during his huddle with Lynch. Rather, Clinton contended, his conversation with the Attorney General focused entirely on such casual topics as the pair’s grandchildren—a version of events only slightly complicated by the fact that Lynch doesn’t have any.

The golden shower dossier….

The charges against Trump enjoyed a major revivification with the introduction of what might be called the blackmail hypothesis. By incorporating a simple, easily comprehended plot device, this approach finessed the objection that Putin had no discernible motive for promoting a Trump presidency.  Trump, in this variation on the theme, received Russian support because Putin held Trump in thrall. Details varied version to version, but the theme common to all blackmail scenarios, many of which are still recited at Georgetown cocktail events, was that Russia possessed information so damaging to Trump that policies dictated by the Kremlin would be slavishly implemented a Trump White House, lest the appalling details come to light. The apex of this narrative came and went with the discovery of the “golden shower” dossier—trumpeted in Vanity Fair (for example) as an “explosive revelation.”

“Steele…Christopher Steele!”

The secret details were provided by one Christopher Steele, whom Vanity Fair described as an “ex-Cambridge Union president, ex-M.I.6 Moscow field agent, ex-head of M.I.6’s Russia desk, ex-adviser to British Special Forces on capture-or-kill ops in Afghanistan, and a 52-year-old father with four children, a new wife, three cats, and a sprawling brick-and-wood suburban palace in Surrey.” Eat your heart out, James Bond.

In one of the most inadvertently hilarious contributions to the Russia-gate narrative, Vanity Fair breathily detailed the urgency with which Senator John McCain dispatched representatives to London to take physical possession of Christopher Steele’s Trump dossier, which must have been deemed too sensitive to be scanned and emailed—or perhaps it remains the case that Senator McCain cannot use email. At any rate, what emerged was the now-infamous yarn of Trump hiring Russian prostitutes during a visit to Moscow to urinate on a hotel bed formerly slept in by Barack Obama. This news burst upon the scene unvetted, as seems characteristic of all negative reports on Donald Trump, and dwindled slowly over the following weeks as its absurdity waxed increasingly manifest.

Director Comey–looking riveted.

FBI Director Comey initially found Steele’s “bombshell” riveting, having received his copy courtesy of John McCain’s office. Prior to its exposure as palpable nonsense, the pee scandal appears to have seized Comey’s imagination with a peculiar fixedness. That Comey, at that juncture, realized that the dossier was concocted at the behest of the DNC seems improbable, given that WOOF knows Comey initially planned to pay Steele to “continue his research.” How much Agent Steele was in fact paid by John McCain, Vanity Fair, various TV networks or any similarly dedicated guardians of the commonweal may never be known, but we hope it was a lot. We do know the DNC ponied up $6 million, although nobody at the DNC can itemize the amount, recalls paying that amount, or recalls having anything to do with the project.  It now appears, in fact, that as Obama’s outgoing functionaries took pains to ruminate publicly over Trump’s Russian involvement, each offering up vague accusations dissembled as vital gleanings fresh from the files of the FBI, the CIA, or whichever agency was up to bat, no one really had anything more substantive in hand than the Mr. Steele’s bogus pee story. The stark absence of any symmetrical concerns regarding the Clinton campaign is telling, Hillary’s transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium storage to Vladimir Putin through Russian corporate fronts in exchange for millions laundered through the Clinton Foundation, and $500 thousand handed to husband Bill as “speakers fees,” seemed to fly entirely under the CIA’s radar. Of course, they can’t be everywhere at once.

John Brennan: Third tier Democrat political hack, anti-Trump propagandist, Obama flak, and first Muslim CIA Director–for which, admirably, he never seeks any credit.

Marc E. Elias, liar, lawyer, Clintonista, and newly accused colluder with Russia.

Without contributing a single fact to the discussion, the “golden shower dossier” did more than any other news item to cement the public’s perception of Trump as somehow beholden to Putin,and therefore compromised in matters presidential. The dossier currently stands as one of the greatest examples of fake news yet ascribable to the remnants of American journalism, and as further evidence of GOP complicity in efforts to undermine Trump’s presidency. It further appears the FBI and CIA used it to secure FISA warrants to surveil the Trump campaign, which makes Watergate look like Romper Room.  In the wake of the dossier’s exposure as fraudulent, certain die-hard never-Trumpers in the Senate grumbled for a few days about requiring Secret Agent Steele to testify before a committee or two, but this idea was short lived, first owing to the fact that British Subjects are not required to respond to summonses from American Senators—even John McCain–and second, of course, because the realization struck home that offering Steele a platform could embarrass all the wrong people, including those DNC staffers who even the Washington Post now admits bankrolled the effort, not to mention Hillary’s lawyer, Marc E. Elias, who hired Fusion GPS in April 2016 to contribute dirt to the dossier, and who steadfastly lied about his involvement from that point forward.

Maxine Waters stood by the Golden Shower report in a speech to “homeless LGBTQ youth” in New York during which she vowed to “take Trump out.”

Undaunted, various Democrat senators and House members (and not a few GOP establishmentarians) appeared on the usual assortment of DNC-controlled news programs, ranting that Trump was under investigation for involvement with Russia. It has since emerged that congressional leaders who described Trump in this fashion were simply lying, having already been briefed by Comey to the contrary—although efforts by Comey to make that fact public were conspicuous in their absence.  By April 1st, Comey had in fact told the president three times that he was not under investigation. He also told the leadership of both the House and Senate that Trump was not under investigation, and assured the president that he’d told the House and Senate leadership.  But telling the media was another matter. At every opportunity, Comey demurred, affecting something akin to casuistic torment as if the truths that burdened him would prove unendurable to lesser men. Trump’s frustration with an FBI Director given to fits of coyness whenever offered an opportunity to clear his president’s name, and whose complicity with the Clintons became daily more apparent,  began to mount.

“Keep the cameras rolling, ladies and gentlemen, we’re not done lying yet!”

Floppy Hacks

Jill Stein– on the trail of guys with  floppy disks!

Evidence aside, the certainty that Russia somehow altered the election result was achieved by making “hacked election” a phrase on the lips of every TV “journalist.” It was catchy, and defensibly metaphoric, but low information viewers took the phrase literally even as experts of every stripe dismissed the idea as cyberspacially impossible.  No less a player than Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein attributed her poor showing at the polls to Russian interference. When Fox’s Neil Cavuto confronted her with the argument that voting machines are inaccessible by Internet and therefore immune to electronic tinkering, Miss Stein schooled him properly, rejoining “No… no! Because people walk around and they reprogram these machines and use, like, a floppy disk.”  Oddly, Miss Stein’s revelation failed to catch fire at CNN or MSNBC. Perhaps they missed the show. Meanwhile, sensing the impracticality of the hacking angle, the media lurched inelegantly into the revisionist argument that Trump sought Russian assistance by conspiring with Putin to assist in other unspecified ways—meaning that suddenly any association with anyone Russian by anyone in any respect affiliated with Trump’s campaign, was evidence of conspiracy.

“…with the Russians, too!”

Almost entirely forgotten these days is the explosive coverage that accompanied the “intelligence leak” from a December meeting including Trump, his national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Russia’s (seemingly omnipresent) Ambassador Kislyak. During the meeting, Trump apparently disclosed that ISIS was developing computer bombs to explode on airliners, and attributed the information to Israeli sources. The conversation promptly leaked and the media went berserk. To hear the prime-time potentates tell it, Trump had—in one fell swoop–betrayed Israel, let slip classified information, and connived with the Russians, all in less than an hour. Bonanza! Except that the splay of accusations, each feeble, worked in combination to further enhance the sense of mindless diffusion.

Sergei Kislyak–just a big fuzz ball of ambassadorial conviviality.

In a way, the case perfectly encapsulated the entire “Russia-gate” delusion—so multifaceted that no single enormity seized the imagination. The story died before defenders had time to explain that Trump could declassify any information he felt like declassifying and on the spur of the moment if it pleased him, that Russia would not be much abetted in spreading evil across the globe by learning that ISIS is inventive, or that Israel (normally vilified by the American press but cast as the pitiable victim of Trump’s neo-Nazi predilections for the remainder of the news cycle) would survive despite the President’s revelation that they spied on ISIS. Only one item of any substance emerged from the episode, namely the discovery that Michael Flynn was, to quote Warren Zevon in a different context, “with the Russians too!”

Out like Flynn

Flynn’s sins are significant only insofar as they further stoked the post-election hysteria that Moscow was somehow in command of the Oval Office, even though Flynn was long gone from the premises by the time the story caught fire. In the process, one of the most widely respected and accomplished military-intelligence specialists in the United States had his career and reputation reduced to rubble. Flynn spent better than three decades in the Army and at top intelligence posts where he was widely acknowledged as the driving force in transforming America’s special operations command from an unruly jumble of competing services and disparate tactical philosophies into a sleekly efficient instrument of death. Imagine, then, our surprise at discovering he was–the whole while–a mere tool of the Kremlin!

Barack Obama in his boundless perspicacity must have sensed Flynn’s perfidy. Flynn was contriving numerous highly creative and unconventional strategies for the advancement of American interests at the Defense Intelligence Agency when Obama ousted him (along with a virtual daisy chain of equally aggressive, patriotic war fighters and military hardliners who threatened the president’s plans for neutering America). At the time, Obama was far too busy colluding with Vladimir Putin in an effort to disarm the United States (witness his live-mic remarks to Russian President Medvedev) to notice Flynn’s peripheral contacts with Russia, but Flynn’s combative spirit and pro-American agenda were clearly unacceptable to the man who championed uni-sex lavatories, open borders, and transsexual Marines.

Contrast this with Flynn’s sins as re-imagined by the Leftist media and Obama’s comical assertion that he warned Trump about Flynn because of Flynn’s associations with the Kremlin. Flynn lasted only 24 days as Trump’s National Security Adviser before resigning, bombarded by enough superficial evidence and florid accusations to defy quantification. But WOOF here must applaud the diligent researchers of Politifact, who managed such a compilation anyway. Aggressively truncated for readability, here is an overview of Politifact’s indictments:

“So, Robot X-10, good job sticking floppy discs in all the Amerikanski voting machines!”

June 2013: Flynn visits the headquarters of Russia’s military intelligence directorate, the GRU, while serving the Obama administration. Politifact views this visit with intense suspicion, perhaps because Moscow may have begun its subornation of Flynn well in advance, knowing their secret vote-manipulating technology would eventually hand Trump the presidency, at which point Flynn could insert himself as Trump’s handler.  In August of 2015, Politifact noted, Flynn “met with and briefed Trump ahead of the Republican primary debate.” Assuming Flynn was by this time a Russian operative, his recruitment of Trump may have begun at this juncture. Still more incriminatory, in December of 2015 Flynn gave a speech about U.S. foreign policy at a conference in Moscow. Worse still, he sat beside Vladimir Putin afterwards, at dinner, perhaps receiving further orders under the cover of diplomatic decorum. Politifact next raises the concern that in July of 2015, “Flynn signals support for an attempted coup against Turkish President Recep Erdogan.” Perhaps Flynn feigned support for the overthrow of Erdogan, an Islamic extremist cozy with Putin, hoping to appear anti-Putin while in fact being pro-Putin. Politifact doesn’t say, but that’s all we can think of.  In August of 2016: Flynn’s Intel Group caught Politfact’s eye when it was hired by the Netherlands-based company Inovo, which sounds kind of Russian, even though it is really owned by a Turkish businessman who also chairs the Turkey-U.S. Business Council, which is bad, because it has connections with the Turkish government, which is bad, even though Flynn tried to overthrow it, which is somehow also bad.

Aug. 17, 2016 finds Flynn attending U.S. intelligence briefings—which is exactly what a Russian spy would do, and on November 18, Trump taps Flynn as national security adviser.  Flynn now seems unstoppable as Putin’s sleeper agent in the Oval Office.

We ask you: Is this the face of a Kremlin tool?

“I feel one of my inaccessible illations coming on!”

December 2016: Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, meet with Russian Ambassador Kislyak at Trump Tower, which is bad–but it turns out that on January 12, 2017, Flynn met with Russian Ambassador Kislyak at least twice while part of the Obama’s administration, which was not bad, unless it was secretly bad because Flynn was actually a double agent already working for Donald Trump, while actually working for Putin–making him a triple agent—which is three times worse than previously suspected. Why Obama blithely allowed Flynn to meet with the Russian Ambassador (that being bad) without immediately arresting him for treason remains moot, but Obama’s subtle illations being famously inaccessible, we suppose some greater purpose was served.

“I’m giving you just enough rope to hang yourself, Commie!” “That’s funny, sir, I was about to say exactly the same thing to you!”

Jan. 22, 2017: Flynn is sworn in as the nation’s 25th national security adviser, raising the obvious question: Is he serving the Kremlin as an independent operative, or is Trump already part of the conspiracy? Next, reporters learned Trump spoke for an hour over the phone with Vladimir Putin, who besides being indisputably Russian is also authentically sinister– and among those present in the Oval Office during the call?  General Flynn! Such recklessness surely betokened a new level of conspiratorial hubris.

Feb. 9, 2017: Poltifact reports that “U.S. intelligence officials [read: Comey and Brennan] reveal Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite his earlier denials,” which they report under the rubric, “Flynn walks back denial,” which was probably his only viable option, given that “I misspoke,” “I conflated different memories” and “I was taken out of context,” only work for Democrats.

Flynn vs. the Founders?

Feb. 13, 2017: Constitutional scholars at the New York Times discover the Emoluments Clause. They rush to agreement with Congressman John Conyers (Communist-MI), that Flynn’s acceptance of fees for his 2015 Moscow speech are unconstitutional because he failed to seek congressional approval. WOOF applauds the Times newfound enthusiasm for our founding document, but any assertion that Flynn accepted a “present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State” omits the fact that “RT,” (the Russian media corporation soliciting Flynn as a speaker), dealt exclusively with the speakers bureau representing Flynn, not Flynn.  Liberals argued that any corporate entity receiving government funds (as does RT) is itself a foreign state, although consistency would then dictate that PBS and NPR are also independent states. For that matter, any American official paid anything for any purpose by some such “foreign state” as the BBC, EuroRail, Volvo, Honda, or Air Canada, would be culpable of failing to notify congress. Moreover, Flynn’s speakers bureau actually charged RT $45,386 for arranging Flynn’s talk, deducted their handlers’ fee, and issued Flynn a check for $33, 750, meaning he was paid specifically by them, not RT.  Consider also that emails between the speakers bureau and the Russian corporation show that RT refused to meet the Bureau’s original price, insisting on a considerably lower amount—which certainly constitutes a novel approach to bribery.

Because that worked out so well!

Feb. 10, 2017: Flynn apologizes to vice-president Pence for misleading him in the matter of sanctions. The Washington Post, which apparently bugged Pence’s office, reports that Flynn “indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, [during his discussions with the Russian ambassador] he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.” Three days later, Flynn resigns under withering media fire, ending the shortest term for any national security adviser in history—which is to say, since Richard Nixon invented the position in 1968 at the behest of Henry Kissinger, who proceeded to occupy it.

Liberal conspiracy theorists were again rendered apoplectic when, on March 30th,  General Flynn offered to testify before the Senate and House intelligence committees on condition of immunity. The offer was not accepted, (which is the clearest imaginable indication that nobody honestly thought Flynn had anything to say that might incriminate Trump) but the media framed it as proof that Flynn was prepared to spill the beans about Russia’s involvement in whatever they currently suspected Russia was involved in. Less benighted analysts saw the offer as a sign that Flynn, rather sensibly, had obtained a lawyer.  His pertinence to the entire Russia kerfuffle seemed to evanesce thereafter.

James Comey ascendant, descendant, repeat and fade….

In one of those rare instances of objective journalism still glimpsed occasionally amid the diatribes and dis-informational blustering that typify mainstream news in the 21st Century, CNN reported the FBI’s conclusion that Flynn did not intentionally mislead them regarding his meetings with Kislyak, but this bijou was swept from notice by panicked reports (leaked by James Comey), that Trump himself had attempted to subvert the FBI. Indeed, Comey recalled that Trump, during a conversation with him in the Oval Office, had insisted that Flynn was “a good guy,” and told Comey he “hoped” the director could “let this go,” meaning the Flynn investigation. Upon learning of this, the New York Times raved, “President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February,” adding that “Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.”

Comey, clearly contemplating making a break for the drapes.

Comey kicked off the New Year by informing the New York Times that during a private dinner, Trump also asked Comey “to pledge his loyalty,” which struck editors at the Times as nothing less than Hitlerian. Aside from the obvious fact that Trump’s request that Comey pledge loyalty to his boss signaled a Constitutional crisis—or rather, another in a series of such crises inasmuch as two or three were declared each week by liberal commentators during the height of the Russian panic—Trump’s request was also viewed as further evidence of his obeisance to Moscow—why else would he attempt to undermine the Bureau?

On second thought, Comey decides he was witness to yet another constitutional crisis.

Comey next appeared before the Senate Investigations Committee where he resurrected his Oval Office exchange with the president during which Trump expressed hope that Comey would be able to clear Flynn. But whereas he had formerly assessed Trump’s remark as a mere expression of legitimate concern, Comey (who must read the Times)  informed the committee he had reflected further and now recalled feeling intimidated and pressured to drop the investigation altogether. In fact, Comey now recalled being set entirely on tenterhooks by the president; so much so, he testified, that he considered hiding in the White House drapes to avoid further obtrusions upon his rectitude. WOOF is not making this up. Comey received fulsome bipartisan praise and applause for his resoluteness in this matter. Clearly, he was once again ascendant, despite being relegated to infamy on several previous occasions when Democrats found his performances unhelpful.

“Frankly, Senator, I’ve had my ups and downs!”

To review, Comey entered the nascent Russian Scare with his findings in the matter of Hillary’s email scandal and was lionized by liberals when, after detailing an impressive number of criminal offenses committed by Mrs. Clinton–he good-naturedly and unilaterally declined to pursue them. In fact, subsequent revelations make plain that Director Comey, in a flash of forensic prescience beggaring the work of Peter Hurkos or Jeanne Dixon, composed his absolution of Mrs. Clinton over a month before the FBI’s investigation concluded. But no sooner had the establishment registered its full-throated appreciation of the Director’s comportment in the matter, than he suddenly announced that Hillary was once again under investigation owing to the discovery of new evidence, whereupon the left wing establishment (demonstrating its uncanny agility in such matters), switched overnight to the view that no public official in American history rivaled the detestable Comey in matters of incompetence and deceitfulness. Orotund demands for Comey’s firing issued from such keepers of the liberal flame as Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler, John Podesta, Harry Reid, Bernie Sanders, the DNC, the Congressional Black Caucus, and, of course, Keith Olbermann, as the Beaver.

Deplorable again!

Sensible that his star was in free fall, Comey announced his new investigation had failed even more resoundingly than his initial investigation to produce any details inculpatory of Mrs. Clinton, at which point he was once again the toast of the town, lauded for his gutsiness and unshakable integrity by the same politicians and journalists who had only days before demanded his unceremonious ousting.

Then came the election, and Hillary, confronting the incomprehensible phenomenon of a Trump victory on November 8, sought—as did most liberals—to assign blame. Calling the American voter stupid is not a politically utile strategy, so Hillary denounced Director Comey for torpedoing her candidacy in the final hours of the campaign. Although Comey had regained his standing with liberals by waiving this evidence, like all the previous evidence against Secretary Clinton, word now went around that Comey was obviously in league with Trump the whole time—rendering him once again–well–deplorable.

You’re fired!

But the Director’s final rehabilitation occurred so suddenly that the rank and file lost track of the narrative—as best demonstrated by the fact that Stephen Colbert’s audience burst into raucous cheers when their host announced Comey’s firing by Trump. This annoying failure to keep step with the Party line obliged Colbert to intercede sternly, chastising his audience for its reaction and explaining, in so many words, that whereas Comey had been good before being bad, before being good and again becoming bad, he was once again good, and so firing him was bad. The audience, to its credit, did its best to adjust.

So…when the phone doesn’t ring, that must be the mainstream media?

Comey’s firing by Donald Trump may fairly be regarded as the apex of the Russian Scare—especially since it offered progressive opinionists everywhere an opportunity to summon the holy ghost of Watergate.  President Nixon’s firing of Archibald Cox was roundly held identical to Trump’s dismissal of Comey, notwithstanding the episode’s almost total dissimilarity and the fact that Trump had every legal right to can the FBI Director for any reason he liked, as liberal constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz continued to explain to anchors on CNN and MSNBC until he found himself persona non- gratis.

James Comey, Spy Smasher

“Duty to correct–? Never heard of it!”

His removal made Comey a media god, and he felt his position deeply. He now regaled the Senate Committee with remembrances of Trump’s gaucheries, sometimes even waxing self-enamored to the point of self-incrimination. Yes, he admitted thrice assuring Trump  he was not a target of the FBI’s investigation, but he now characterized his bizarre refusal to say so publicly as an ethical necessity. Publicly confirming that Trump was not a target, Comey explained, might have placed him, Comey, afoul of “the duty to correct, should that change.” While Democrats and Rhinos nodded approvingly, as though the “duty to correct” were some inviolable cannon of due process familiar to anyone who was not a total dunderhead, Americans wondered why no such “duty” restrained Comey from unilaterally clearing Hillary Clinton of all charges—even the ones he acknowledged she was guilty of–not once, but twice.

Maine’s Senator Susan Collins, always happy to chat with a fellow idealist.

Meanwhile, Comey confided, he grew so persuaded personally that the whole Trump/Russia connection required additional probing, he took it upon himself to leak his notes to the New York Times. Comey achieved this by recruiting his friend, Daniel C. Richman, a Columbia law professor, as his designated leaker—a service for which Comey repaid Richman by cheerfully throwing him under the proverbial bus—openly naming him during the hearings.  Comey told Susan Collins (R-Me) he leaked the material “because I thought that might prompt the appointment of the special counsel.” He justified the leak as the best way to “get the truth out” in the wake of Trump’s tweeted hint that tapes existed of their Oval Office conversations. But Comey’s testimony didn’t wash in several respects. First, of course, it is an unauthorized and consequently unlawful misuse of FBI information to leak it to the press on a personal whim. Second, if Comey thought tapes existed, why not let the tapes become public? Assuming he truthfully recounted the conversation, wouldn’t tapes provide verification? Third, it is in no respect the prerogative of an FBI Director to decide when a special prosecutor should be appointed, and finally–as a matter of strict chronology–Trump’s tweets rejoined Comey’s leaked information, not the other way around. Perhaps his psychic gifts distract Mr. Comey, at least occasionally, from linear exactitude.

From Russia with Lies?     

Natalia Veselnitskaya, getting her fifteen minutes…well, actually, twenty!

Americans next awoke to discover that back in June, during the campaign, Donald Trump, Jr., met with people known to be Russian, including the suddenly infamous Natalia Veselnitskaya, a lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary, but didn’t–shortening the meeting to a scant 20 minutes. Nevertheless, the fact that Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort all met with Russians at the same time in the same room, during the campaign, made the media orgasmic. Talking heads set about jubilantly enumerating the dozens upon dozens of ways in which this latest revelation irrefutably proved treason. Caught up in the emotional surge, even Glenn Beck opined that Donald Jr., at least, was “going to prison”—an assertion readily acceptable to millions of listeners who were by then sufficiently overdosed on Russo-phobia to suppose talking with any Russian anywhere at any time a treasonable offense, punishable by God or Beck knew what.

On September 7, the Senate set aside such seemingly unattainable objectives as repealing Obamacare, lowering taxes, accepting responsibility for deporting illegal DACA residents, helping hurricane victims without substantially hiking the debt ceiling, or building a border wall, and turned its attention to hauling Donald Jr. before the Senate Investigations Committee in a laughable pretense of searching out further evidence of Russia’s complicity in robbing Hillary of the presidency…and all in just 20 minutes! Notably, all such sessions to date have convened behind closed doors. When Joe McCarthy’s Senate Subcommittee on Investigations interviewed witnesses, the proceedings were public—but not nowadays. One could be forgiven for supposing the absurdity inherent in a chamber of highly-salaried adults affecting to ferret out evidence everyone knows doesn’t exist of crimes nobody can precisely describe, might otherwise embarrass the participants.

“WTF?”

It’s Mueller time!

So eager were the power brokers inside the beltway to “get to the bottom” of the issue,  that they took the unprecedented step of establishing Robert Mueller’s office of special counsel without bothering to say what, exactly, he was expected to investigate. Thus, Mueller became the first special counsel in the history of that office appointed to investigate a crime nobody had specified, that might or might not have been committed by Donald Trump, or by any of dozens of individuals currently serving his administration or by any of dozens of others who previously served it, or who served Trump prior to his election, or who knew Trump well enough that it might be regarded as suspicious if they were also be shown to know anybody Russian.  To make matters even murkier, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein proceeded to authorize Mueller (whom WOOF KNOWS was recommended to Rosenstein by James Comey) to investigate all of the above matters, plus “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”  The mandate is absurdly carte blanche–authorizing Mueller to proceed in any direction and on any premise Mueller prefers; to engage, in other words, in exactly the kind of free-ranging snipe hunt that occurs when a prosecutor is hired before a crime is discovered.

Stop the presses!

Further evidence of the special council’s desperation, not to mention the media’s, is descriable in stories such as a recent piece in the New York Times, revealing that “Mr. Mueller is investigating whether Mr. Trump committed obstruction of justice in pressing for an end to the Flynn inquiry.” So, if the Times is to be believed, the best case for obstruction Mueller can thus far assemble, depends on a back-formulated memo-to-self scribbled by Mueller’s longtime friend Comey, which even if exactly accurate documents nothing more than a presidential velliety. It is at times like these that special counsels worthy of their hire (and unfettered by anything resembling a coherent mandate) proceed to plan B. This is when the hunt begins for anything of a criminal or embarrassing nature regarding anyone in their target’s broader span of acquaintances. Once unearthed, such details are shown to whichever party they serve to intimidate. The intimidated party is then assured that none of his sordid involvements or potentially criminal entanglements need be revealed if said party will supply testimony sufficiently damaging to the investigation’s real targets.

A Manafort in Full

The wonderful fact about Paul Manafort from Mueller’s perspective is that he conspicuously has Russian connections, if largely unrelated to Trump’s presidency. His (known and legal) ties to a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine seven years ago ostensibly drew Comey’s attention at the time, prompting the erstwhile Director’s revelation to congress that Manafort was caught up in the bureau’s investigation of corruption charges involving ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. It is a matter of record that Manafort advised Yanukovych on political matters in 2010, back when Donald Trump was still liberal and the Russians were of no concern whatever. Comey never paused to explain the FBI’s previously unknown interest in former Ukrainian presidents—nor did he adduce a shred of evidence that Manafort’s duties for the Yanukovych campaign (where he served as a professional lobbyist and political adviser, as is his wont), led somehow to his subornment by Russian intelligence. Surely, if the CIA had obtained incriminating evidence of Manafort’s involvement with Moscow, Director Brennan would have passed it to Comey and Manafort would, by now, be steam-pressing laundry at Leavenworth.

Mueller, evidently, felt differently. The day after Manafort voluntarily testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, (July 25) the FBI conducted a pre-dawn raid on his home, following which all manner of records, computers, files, and miscellaneous additional materials were carted off in boxes, making for some terrific optics, and complicating Manafort’s good-faith effort to produce records requested by the Senate Committee. Obviously, the items seized could as easily be subpoenaed as pounced upon, making the raid’s true object—the imposition of dramatic levels of pressure on Manafort—crystalline.

Honey–are we moving? Oh, wait–it’s the FBI!

Manafort’s future darkened further when NBC News scooped its competitors with news that his subpoenaed notes contained the word “donations” juxtaposed to the words “Republican National Committee,” and this in conjunction with his already-malodorous Russian dealings. To emphasize what level of perfidy this implied, NBC explained, “It is illegal for foreigners to donate to American elections. The meeting happened just as Trump had secured the Republican nomination for president, and…Manafort was the campaign chairman at the time.” Those parts of the story were factual. Fortunately for NBC, hurricane Irma diverted national attention from the abjectness of their retraction. In fact, the network sullenly acknowledged, “the notes did not include the word ‘donation.’” Apparently, even when armed with two anonymous sources, NBC can still get it wrong.

Did the Russians get Rachel?

When MSNBC’s ratings leader, Rachel Maddow, vanished from her program for two weeks, rumors spread on Twitter that Putin had silenced her in retribution for her dogged reporting about Russia’s election tampering. Maddow soon disappointed her fans by returning, however, polonium free. But Maddow had not been idle. Her latest scoop laid bare the Russian in filtration of Facebook during the primaries, when, Maddow explained, Moscow had infested that social medium with “malicious [i.e., anti-Clinton] ads, emanating from “fake accounts” spreading disinformation detrimental to Clinton’s image during the campaign. Frantic to corroborate these details, CNN went to the unusual length of consulting the source, petitioning Facebook for the lurid details. A Facebook spokesman replied on July 2017, declaring, “we have seen no evidence that Russian actors bought ads on Facebook in connection with the election.” A more recently issued report corroborates the absence of Russian involvement. Adding that “of the 201 websites subsequently banned from Facebook in the months following the election for spreading fake news, not a single one originates from a Russian IP.”  Even The Nation—liberalism’s surviving house organ, sighed that “from accusations of Trump campaign collusion to Russian Facebook ad buys, the media has substituted hype for evidence.”

A bonfire of the inanities…

Yale’s Rangappa–not just another pretty face. Are those bull horns?

As of now, it appears that every reported instance of Russian wrongdoing, from the earliest notions of hacking (with or without the nefarious intercalation of floppy discs) through to the alleged subornment of current or former functionaries of the administration, is unmitigated flapdoodle. The stories, no matter how solemnly recounted or widely circulated when fresh, faded into inanity as emerging details proved them banal.

As editorial desperation set in, even clashes between neo-Nazi dullards and Antifa thugs in Charlottesville prompted novel interpretations. Yale’s Asha Rangappa appeared on CNN insisting the violence “highlighted again the problem of Russia.” In an apparent acknowledgment of her own psychosis, Rangappa readily admitted finding “no evidence to date that Russia is directly supporting extreme right groups in the United States,” while insisting that Charlottesville, “viewed through the lens of Trump’s response…suggests an opening for Russian intelligence to use domestic hate groups as a vehicle for escalating their active measures inside the United States.” But Rangappa’s inspired amphigories aside, Russia-gate’s ramshackle scaffolding was collapsing beneath the weight of a thousand diaphanous canards disguised too thinly as – “the news!”

Good thing we don’t have to worry about any Russian connection with ANTIFA; nope–not a trace!

“Why no Russian meddling?”

New York Times headlines complaining that “Russian Election Hacking Efforts, Wider Than Previously Known, Draw Little Scrutiny,” finally drew sufficient scrutiny to dispel the idea that Russian hackers caused any voting irregularities whatsoever in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, or Arizona, despite original claims. Election monitor Susan Greenhalgh, who initially told reporters the incidents “felt like tampering, or some kind of cyber attack,” admitted on further reflection that, “There are plenty of other reasons for such breakdowns–local officials and human error and software malfunctions–and no clear-cut evidence of digital sabotage has emerged, much less any Russian role in it.” For that matter, reports that France’s elections fell prey to Russian hackers gave way to admissions that “no trace” of evidence existed. Similar stories that Germany’s elections had been manipulated by Putin’s cybernauts also proved groundless. Loath to abandon the matter, the New York Times waxed rhetorical, running the spectacularly amusing headline: “German Election Mystery: Why No Russian Meddling?”

Susan Greenhalgh,: “Oops! Never mind!”

The Washington Post’s nationally incendiary story about Russians hacking and shutting down Vermont’s power grid also turned out to be bull dejecta. Investigators discovered the incident resulted from malware contained on one power-company employee’s laptop. Reviewing a January collection of intelligence agency reports alleging Russian encroachments on the American electoral process, The Atlantic lamented “it does not or cannot provide evidence for its assertions.” Suddenly umbrageous, the New York Times saw fit to remark the “absence of any proof” or “hard evidence to back up the…claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack,” and complained that the intelligence community had replaced solid details with anecdotage, offered on terms that “essentially amount to ‘trust us.’” A cynic might be forgiven for noting similarities to the editorial policies at the Times.  

Meanwhile, back at the Swamp….

Mueller’s team, meanwhile, is completing “interviews” with the annoyingly-mercurial Reince Priebus, not to mention such relative bystanders as Sean Spicer, Hope Hicks, and the president’s chief counsel, Don McGahn.  Surely, Steve Bannon will follow shortly—if Mueller’s assemblage of post-Obaman apparatchiks can muster the nerve. Mueller was recently reported combing yet again through the fine points of the infamous golden-shower dossier, the ridiculosity of which is so concretely established that desperation must be inferred.  All of this must now be seen in light of the fact that America’s silly season of paranoiac Russo-lunacy is ending. The fever gripping what tatters remain of a once-proud televised journalistic profession is breaking, leaving a bewildered group of news readers mopping their brows in embarrassment. The entire matter–seen in perspective–appears utterly absurd.  If Mueller remains in business, he must confront the dawning realization that Hillary, Bill, the DNC, and the media were the real Russians all along–and very naughty Russians, to boot. So the special counsel’s options are four. He can fold his tent and steal away, declaring an absence of findings; he can charge some second-stringer with something-or-other —a la Scooter Libby–and save a small amount of face;  or he can begin to investigate Democrats, conceivably including himself.  His fourth and worst option is to shrug off reality and plow gamely ahead for the team.

Hell to pay?

If Mueller intends to retain his status as an establishment darling by challenging Trump’s presidency on such thin premises as seem available to him, he will shortly learn what the NFL, the Boy Scouts, Flake, Corker, and “Jeb” discovered to their regret– namely that a nation of vocal and resolute American patriots exists between the parentheses that are the Left and East Coasts—and they don’t care what the buzz is in Georgetown or Balboa Terrace.  It won’t matter much if Mueller’s posse railroads the likes of Manafort or Flynn—Trump will pardon the victims.  But if Mueller proceeds against Trump himself, there will be—as Hillary Clinton once said in dramatically distinct circumstances, Hell to pay.  That kind of thunder, once called down, will not easily be re-bottled.

 

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Colt’s 1911 Pistol –An Allegory for Our Times?

In "Gunning for success" forum on July 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

On shooting fish in a barrel….

It is occasionally remarked around the WOOF cave, especially by well-intentioned supporters who would love to see us eclipsing allegedly rival sites in popularity—that we should stick to articles about Black conservatives, and guns. The argument is entirely supportable from a marketing standpoint. For reasons we do not pretend to fathom, our discussions of conservative thinkers and politicians who are–to employ the currently acceptable (if paralogistical) locution–African American, always score huge numbers of “clicks,” while gun articles tend to outperform even Black conservatives. To be ridiculously candid (because, why not?) the largest number of views our humble site ever scored on a single day followed our publication of “Detroit Shoots Back,” in 2014. That article—which, come to think of it, was about guns and a pro-gun Black police chief—almost made it to the one-thousand clicks line on WordPress’s pale blue bar graph, which is what passes for an astronomical one-day tally here in the WOOF cave.

This is us, being obstinate.

But we are an obstinate lot, not at all driven by vainglory, and thus not much disposed to the pursuit of “clicks” obtained by shaping our ramblings to themes most likely to solicit large responses. And because this is so, when one of our team proposes a story that revisits any of these attention-grabbing topics, our first concern involves a kind of monastic self-catechism—in which we ask ourselves: Why are we doing this again? Are we selling out to the false gods of acclamation when we ought rather to be maundering on about underappreciated nuances of the 14th amendment, or decrying Paul Krugman’s latest sophomoric mishandling of Say’s Law…you know, stuff almost nobody wants to read about, let alone at such torturous lengths!

Besides, even “Stars & Stripes” can fall for fake news!

Usually the answer is in the affirmative, and so we cast aside the glittery item and slog ahead with whatever prohibitively recondite subject we deem preferable; but not always. Sometimes a topic seems irresistible despite threatening widespread appeal—and on such occasions we boldly pursue it. One such topic, as attentive readers will have gathered from this screed’s title and the accompanying illustration, is the United States Army’s pursuit of a new pistol for our troops—a story best left, one might suppose, to the pages of Guns and Ammo, or Stars and Stripes, except for the story’s inherent (and, we think, instructive) ironies, lifting it above a simple “gun story” and infusing it with a near-Greco-Hellenic cachet.

Note to the allegorically dense…

Sophocles, by the way, not Hemingway; but you knew that.

Readers who prefer to regard the forthcoming details less complexly are certainly free to do so. Just as no categorical imperative prohibits one from perceiving The Old Man and the Sea as a straightforward account of a frustrating day of deep-sea fishing, some may prefer to regard what follows as a simple chronicling of weapons development and its discontents. Why not? We invite such readers to skip the following discussion of congressional efforts to end Obamacare. It will seem incongruous and time consuming. We simultaneously invite the more philosophically inclined to bear with us—because what really persuaded us to proceed with this story was its allegorical dimension. The seemingly ineradicable nature of suboptimal policies once they are ensconced systemically is aggravating in itself, but when one further considers how often earnest exertions meant to reform these policies result instead in the reinforcement of their most egregious aspects—well—that’s what we mean by Greek! Permit us a single analogy.

Obamacare and the 1911

Just say  ‘arghhh!

Recently, the Republican Party undertook to relieve the nation of the horror that is Obamacare. It is not the business of this screed to detail the onerous, unconstitutional, and impractical characteristics of President Obama’s signature legislation, beyond remarking that its removal from the body politic is urgently required and demands uncompromising legislative surgery. More to our point is the commonly recognized fact that nothing of that nature happened. Rather, a president steeped in the art of negotiated adjustments to pre-existing business models combined forces with a GOP establishment so fearful of negative media coverage that it hadn’t the nerve even to recycle its own legislative efforts at authentic repeal, and produced instead its own version of Obamacare—sporting a handful of tweaks made chiefly in the interest of creating salable appearances.

President Trump wisely refuses to expose his back to applauding GOP House members.

In other words, what emerged from the GOP’s huddle, despite years of available brainstorming time, was simply the Affordable Care Act dropped into a more sedate, respectably Republican chassis. As Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr famously remarked, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” (Which roughly translated from the French means: “The more the government tries to fix something the surer we are to wind up with more of it, working even less satisfactorily than before it was fixed!”)

It sounds a lot smarter when you say it in French.

One part of government that long seemed exempt from this critique was the military. In fact, however, the service-related procurement authorities were often doddering–even perversely Luddite in their opposition to weaponological breakthroughs. It was, after all, the Army Ordnance Corps that refused to equip the Union Army with the .44-caliber Henry Model 1860 rifle at the outbreak of the Civil War. In doing so, the Corps pulled the plug on what amounted to a per saltum leap in infantry firepower, citing the rifle’s weight when loaded to its 15-round capacity and the fact that the .44 Flat Henry cartridge didn’t fit other Army weapons as grounds for rejection. The Chief of Ordinance further declared himself unimpressed by the Henry’s rapid firing lever action, opining that it would waste ammunition and prove a burden logistically.  Resultantly, the Union fielded an army equipped mainly with single-shot muzzle loaders, relinquishing a potentially decisive advantage in firepower in order to avoid logistical headaches.

Prior to World War I the Army rejected the Lewis Machine Gun, mainly because Chief of Ordnance General William Crozier hated Lewis’s guts. The legendary Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) was issued to only four American divisions in the last two months of the First World War, while most American Doughboys contended with the wretched French 8×51 mm Chauchat automatic rifle (also legendary, but mainly for jamming and misfiring). The most widely circulated explanation of this idiocy was the War Department’s fear that Germans might obtain a BAR on the battlefield, reverse engineer it, and turn it against us. Obviously, this logic—if generally applied—would prevent any advanced weaponry from reaching the hands of our front-line forces. The BAR became famous only after the armistice, when Bonnie and Clyde adopted it in rather less official circumstances.

Authentic photo of Clyde Barrow displaying his BAR. Bonnie does not appear, as the gang evidently had not yet stolen a delayed exposure camera.

The famous Thompson submachine gun was not accepted by the United states Army until 1938, despite its availability as early as 1918—principally because the First World War ended two days before the earliest Thompsons arrived in Europe, and the War Department sensibly concluded that nothing so devastating as General John T. Thompson’s “tommy gun” would be needed in the Utopian aftermath of what Woodrow Wilson (in his customarily delusional fashion) declared the “war to end all wars.”

General Thompson, and a Thompson.

But to discuss the Thompson is to get rather ahead of ourselves, which rarely happens here at WOOF, where devoted readers know fighting our way beyond the exordial details is our most common challenge. The Thompson is, after all, a weapon famous for its powerful .45 caliber punch; and that punch could not have been delivered without the development of the .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridge.

Come the Moro…

When 800 Marines disembarked in the Philippines following the Spanish American War, they discovered that while Spain had relinquished its hold on the islands, the inhabitants were feeling less generous. The First Philippine Republic pronounced itself dissatisfied with the terms of the Treaty of Paris (the one ending hostilities between Spain and the United states, not the one ending the revolutionary war…and what is it with peace treaties and Paris, anyway?) In any case, the treaty had been signed without consulting the Philippine Republic, and it was a bit late to make adjustments. Attempts to accommodate Filipino demands were partial at best and suffered a series of bollixed translations and misinterpretations into the bargain. The upshot of all this was a declaration of war, perhaps most remarkable for its injudiciousness, by the First Republic against the United States.

TRUE FACT: Excesses were committed by Americans during the war with the Philippines but obscured by the jingoist press and propaganda of that era. Fortunately, today we have Hollywood to harp on such things endlessly.

To their credit, the soldiery of the Philippine Republic battled far longer than had the Spanish armies and navies, but in 1902 the war ended in its third year with an American victory. Readers will be pleased to know that while a staggering complex of diplomatic, political, governmental, and international developments followed fast upon the Republic’s capitulation, we will resist detailing them here—because none of them serves to advance our narrative. What we will discuss instead is the guerilla warfare that sprang up in the wake of the Filipino surrender. This insurgency involved numerous tribal cultures, many of them savage fighters, but none more relentless in battle than the Moros, whose foremost warrior caste featured the Juramentados, (from the Spanish for “one who takes an oath”) who pledged themselves to kill all Christians. Obviously, this left little room for negotiation.

Meet friendly natives, and learn their customs!

The word Amok (yes, as in running amok) is considered to have Malaysian roots, but it was also the name of a Moro band as deadly as the Juramentados, with an even worse reputation for—well—running amok. The simple Amok creed of battle was to go berserk, charge into the largest available assemblage of infidels (meaning us in this case), and kill or maim as many as could possibly be assailed before being killed oneself.

Obama visiting Mindanao? No, this Moro chieftain’s resemblance is purely coincidental.

Worse still, the Moros preferred to attack after heavily drugging themselves with a form of local narcotic, binding their limbs and bodies with leather in ways calculated to delay blood loss if wounded, and participating in religious rituals that whipped them into homicidal frenzies. These attributes, on top of their 400-year history of relentlessly battling any occupier against whom they declared jihad, made the Moro tribesmen the most implacably bloodthirsty opponents the United States had yet faced. And just by way of reinforcing this article’s undergirding theme, which mnemonically gifted readers will recall as, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” allow us to present one additional fact about the Moros: They were Muslim.

Short by 56 virgins, but good to go, nonetheless!

As historian David S. Woolman put the matter in Military History Magazine a few years ago, “Although certain of their own extinction, these fanatics were secure in their belief that they would be whisked to the Muslim paradise for their valorous self-sacrifice, where, among other glories, they would be serviced by 16 virgins.” Sound familiar? Okay, we thought it was supposed to be 72 virgins too, but maybe the Moros were victims of soteriological discrimination and simply had to settle; Woolman doesn’t say.

Readers may also find themselves wondering how on earth swarms of Muslims wound up in the middle of the Philippine jungle in 1902, but we invite them to pursue the question independently given that a thorough explanation will involve us in God knows how many discursive tributaries, and none of us wants that, do we. Suffice it for our immediate purpose that Moros were Muslim, and hell-bent on slaughtering Christians—particularly Christians of the American variety, we being the most proximal irritants.

The Moros were not well equipped, of course, being essentially pre-industrial in outlook and armament. Firearms were scarce. Select fighters were equipped with either single-shot, 1871 Model .43 caliber, rolling block Spanish Remingtons (involuntarily provided by the islands’ previous occupiers) or, more commonly, the .70 caliber, black powder Tower musket originally manufactured in England for use by British forces in the Raj. In design, the Tower was barely superior to the infamous “Brown Bess” which British redcoats carried to defeat in the Revolutionary War.  Americans were far better armed with their bolt action Krag–Jørgensens, but even the M1899 carbine model, built specifically for use in the Philippines, was longish and slow to re-chamber for a jungle weapon. The Moros, meanwhile, turned their muskets’ muzzle-loading impediment to advantage by funneling iron pellets, available metal fragments, sections of light chain, and even pebbles down the barrels. The result was a nasty close-quarters scatter gun capable of inflicting horrifying wounds from ambush in the jungles of the southern Philippines.

The 1899 Krag–Jørgensen, a superb collector’s item but a suboptimal jungle weapon.

More often, however, the Moros attacked with their traditional bladed weapons, including the Kriss, a serpentine thrusting sword, the slashing
Kampilan sword, long Budiak spears, and the infamous Barong—often called a sword, but approximately the size of a large Bowie knife, and no less suitable for stabbing or slashing adversaries.

So what?

But so what, right? We detect the thoughts of many readers, wondering at this point: What does this have to do with anything? We hear them thinking, “it is interesting, we suppose, that fanatical Muslims were a problem for American soldiers and Marines as long ago as 1902, and strange how few Americans realize this nowadays, but what possible pertinence does this have to the supposed topic of this ridiculously turgid screed?” Well, as readers better informed regarding America’s weaponological history already know, that question is about to be answered! (You don’t want to rush us, do you? Okay, don’t answer that.)

Weapons of last resort….

If you liked the Warner Brothers’ TV series, you could also read the Dell comic books.

From the earliest reports of Texas Rangers battling swarms of Comanches along the Pecos, to the headlong clash of cavalries at the height of the Civil War, and the iconic imagery of George Custer’s embattled troopers firing their last rounds into limitless waves of Sioux and Cheyenne at the Little Big Horn, legend (and quite often historic fact) depicted the weapon of last resort as that singularly American innovation—the six gun. Soldiers, Marines, Cowboys and anyone who’d ever read a Penny Dreadful knew without doubt that the implement of choice when confronting an onrushing foe was the revolver. Billy the Kid is theorized to have carried a double-action .41 caliber “Thunderer,.” while Wild Bill Hickok stuck doggedly to his trusty 1851 Navy Colts, and (truth be known) Custer may have died clutching a pair of “Bulldog” self-cocking revolvers imported from England; but the six gun most widely trusted, carried and praised was the 1873 Colt .45 “Peacemaker,” a gun so legendary it even got its own TV show in the ‘50s.

And if you liked the TV show and the comic books, you could check out the movie! We decided the malt liquor doesn’t actually count.

The Colt .38, Model 1892: Progress marches on.

Reaching for that classic American standby—the revolver—became reflexive for American soldiers hard pressed in close-quarters battle, but with its uncanny flair for misestimation, the Army Ordnance Department chose to declare the single-action .45 obsolete, replacing it with the Colt M1892, the Army’s first double-action general issue revolver. The new pistol sported a swing-out cylinder chambered for .38 caliber shells because, as Bruce N. Canfield explained in American Rifleman, “It was felt in some circles that a smaller caliber, higher-velocity cartridge would be better for military use than the heavy .45 round.” This paralogism, usually voiced in tandem with the canard that the .45 cartridge produces too much recoil for accurate shooting, remains as much in circulation today as in the early 20th century. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” not to put too fine a point on it.

Gary Cooper in MGM’s 1939 flick “The Real Glory” opted for an extra gun…but there were also extra Moros.

Ordnance officials further praised the new pistol’s easy-to-load counter-clockwise rotating cylinder and its “star” extractor, which ejected all spent cartridges at once. But over time, the counter-clockwise cylinder rotation had the unintended effect of nudging the cylinder out of alignment. The swift re-loading feature took on a grimly ironic insignificance when U.S. forces couldn’t send a round down the barrel.

“Finally!”

But the biggest problem was the .38 caliber bullet. Historian Tim Marr confirms that “Moros struck terror in the American military partly because …Moro jihadis killed soldiers even after soldiers had shot them several times.” Many accounts exist of American fighters being hacked to shreds or losing limbs to slashing barongs, even as troopers fired round after round, point blank, into their attackers. Since Moro attacks typically became close-quarter contests as soon as the tribesmen struck, the effectiveness of the Americans’ bolt-action Krag-Jørgensens was quickly nullified. Reaching for their revolvers as the aggressors poured into their ranks, American soldiers and Marines soon realized they could empty all six chambers into a charging Moro and still get decapitated before the assailant collapsed.

Enter the… Luger?

With signature obtuseness, the Ordnance Department responded to the situation by shipping 2,000 German Lugers to the Philippines. The Luger, although highly touted in European military circles, was in no respect relevant to the situation. In stopping power, its 9mm cartridge was a marginal improvement, if that. In an acerbic report to the War Department, General Samuel S. Sumner, commander of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu, noted that “The Luger automatic pistol as a hunting pistol and for dress occasions is attractive and useful. I have one which I prize highly, but for field service, in the hands of officers and men, it is a failure. It is too complicated, and cartridges often jam, but the main defect is that the bullet will not stop a Moro.”

A stopped Moro…well…you get the idea, right?

Exit the Luger….

The next act of what might be regarded as a comedy of errors, albeit a dark one, entailed the adoption by local constabulary forces of the Colt .45 DA Model 1909. This double action revolver fired the same round as the original Colt model of 1873, but more rapidly, owing to its double action feature. It also reloaded less slowly, since the “Peacemaker’s” hinged gate was replaced by a swing-out chamber and an ejection rod.  That said, the weapon remained solely in the possession of the indigenous constabulary, since the Ordnance Department did not approve its issue to American forces for another 5 years.

Colt’s .45 DA Model 1909

Once the new Colt was in American hands, General Pershing wrote that “The substitution of the caliber .45 Colt revolvers for the caliber .38 is a distinct improvement.“ He might have added, were he inclined to snarkiness, that the new Colt revolver fired the same hard-hitting round as the original Colt model of 1873, which the Ordnance Bureau had seen fit to replace with the deficient .38 caliber pistols; but of course, “Blackjack” Pershing was not inclined to snarkiness.

Of cadavers and cows….

There is all sorts of learned material in print dismissive of the notion that the .45 automatic pistol was tested, in tandem with its specially developed 230 grain 45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridge, on cadavers and charging bulls. Many gun historians rank such tales with the notion that Wyatt Earp favored a “Buntline Special” or that Billy the Kid was left handed—quaint, in other words, but apocryphal. Technically, they are correct, but the Moros did inspire what became known as the Thompson–LaGarde Tests.

It’s for science!

In 1904, before the .45 automatic existed, the Army took a variety of handguns to the Union Stockyards in Chicago and tested  them extensively on cattle, as well as at least two horses. Next, human cadavers were suspended by various means and shot from a variety of ranges. The dangling bodies constituted crude ballistic pendulums, permitting the testers to measure impact.  In the wake of these experiments, Colonel John T. Thompson (later to develop the eponymous submachine gun, remember?) opined that any new pistol “would preferably be semi-automatic in operation,” adding that “a bullet, which will have the shock effect and stopping effect at short ranges necessary for a military pistol or revolver, should have a caliber not less than .45.”

No, that’s NOT why they called it that–but it just seemed too apropos to pass up.

Obviously, soldiers in the Philippines had been making the same point for years, but it was only after the stockyard experiments that the Ordnance Bureau inferred the obvious, and the Secretary of War issued a Special Order to the Army to begin testing handguns which met a specific set of criteria, to wit:

• Caliber not less than .45.
• Magazine holding no less than six rounds.
• Bullet weight not less than 230 grains.

John Browning, please call your office….

Robert Moses Browning, genius.

It was at this juncture that someone thought of John Moses Browning, the brilliant Mormon inventor whose weaponological genius was already deemed a national treasure of sorts. Browning concocted a magazine fed, single-action semi-automatic pistol based on short-recoil operation, featuring both manual and grip safeties and yet so simple in its design as to render it virtually impervious to weather or gritty field conditions.

Savage’s 1907 .45 auto pistol.

Browning next made himself a familiar sight at Colt’s Hartford, Connecticut factory where he supervised the manufacture of his design personally. He also personally carried the gun into the Army’s endurance testing in March, 1911. The test included having each gun fire 6000 rounds. After every 1000 rounds, the pistol could be cleaned and oiled. After firing all 6000 rounds, the pistols were tested with deformed cartridges, rusted in acid or submerged in sand and mud. The competition soon narrowed to a runoff between Browning’s Colt and the .45 entered by Savage Arms.

By the end the test, the Savage design suffered over 37 incidents of malfunction or breakage; while the Colt suffered none. On 23 March 1911, the evaluation committee’s report stated, “Of the two pistols, the board was of the opinion that the Colt is superior, because it is more reliable, more enduring, more easily disassembled…and more accurate.” As evidence of durability they cited the fact that when the grueling 6,000 round test left Browning’s pistol so hot it could not be handled, he simply dunked it in a bucket of water and calmly resumed shooting.

Ironically enough…

Doughboys training in France with Colt .45 semi-automatic pistol of 1911.

Nine days after the committee’s report, the Army designated the Colt Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911 its official sidearm. The Navy and Marine Corps adopted the 1911 two years later. Ironically, the pistol was adopted too late to resolve the crisis that inspired its development. Myths and pictorial depictions notwithstanding, Moros were not knocked down willy-nilly by the newly issued automatic pistols. That’s because the M1911 was not issued to U.S. Army units until mid-1913, just prior to America’s military drawdown.

True, in 1913, Moro chieftain Datu Amil ensconced himself and 1,500 warriors atop the volcanic crater of Bud Bagsak and challenged Pershing’s troops to “come on and fight.” The use of the 1911 pistol in that battle is often asserted, and the pistol appears as the centerpiece of a memorable poster issued by the U.S. Army; but records indicate the first shipment of new pistols left New York around the time of the battle, so its presence at Bud Bagsak seems unlikely.

Killed by an anachronism? O, the ignominy!

As a crowning irony, the M1911 made its verifiable debut in the Philippines 30 years later when American submarines delivered crates of them (together with Thompson Submachine Guns, which fired the same rimless ammunition) to guerillas–many of whom were Moro tribesmen, eager to battle the invading Japanese.

Alvin’s “Luger”

Sgt. Alvin York

Colt’s .45 automatic first went to war in Europe where World War I doughboys found it a useful accessory. In fact, despite the motion picture portrayal in which Gary Cooper accomplishes the feat entirely with a German Luger, the famous incident at Chatel-Chéhéry in which Sergeant York shot down six out of six charging German soldiers and accepted the surrender of 132 more, was achieved with a .45 Colt automatic. The blasphemous substitution of the Luger occurred because the prop men at Warner Brothers had no blank cartridges powerful enough to allow the Colt’s slide to chamber additional rounds. In actuality, York, who resorted to his Colt after emptying his rifle (which, by the way, was an Enfield, not a Springfield as shown in the film), had one round left in his pistol when he accepted the enemy’s mass surrender. Whenever asked to recall the event, Alvin York (who won the Medal of Honor for his actions that day) was sure to give full credit to God, the men with whom he served, and his Colt pistol.

Second blood….

Following Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II, demand for John Browning’s powerful .45 quickly outpaced production. By VE Day, the government had purchased 2 million 1911 pistols, but since Colt’s legendarily inept business and production formulae were problematic even then, this number was achieved by issuing contracts to Remington Rand (the typewriter company) —the Ithaca Gun Company, and the Union Switch & Signal company. However improbably, the Singer Sewing Machine Company made at least 500 1911 pistols, while Springfield and Savage provided only the slides, which were interchangeable with the other pieces.

John Basilone depicted in a WWII bonds poster–let’s face it, the machine gun was more visual!

Emerging from World War II, mounting calumnies surrounded the Colt 1911, among them the standard canards that it was highly inaccurate and cursed with unmanageable recoil. There was also the widely circulated assertion that no combat kills had ever been recorded by soldiers using the 1911, a notion that found its way even into some reputable firearm histories. Alvin York, obviously, would have disagreed. John Basilone, who wiped out an entire company of charging Japanese during a harrowing night on Guadalcanal in 1942, became legendary for blunting the assault with fire from a red-hot .30 caliber machine gun, cradled in his arms (sans tripod). This is certainly the “money shot” of the event, but closer examination reveals that Basilone also dropped several enemy soldiers with his .45 Colt pistol.

Al Schmid receiving the Navy Cross

Also on Guadalcanal, Marine PFC Al Schmid proved crucial in stopping a nighttime banzai charge, first with his 30 caliber water-cooled machine gun, (which, unlike Basilone, he decorously elected to fire from a fixed position) but also, when his belts of .30 caliber were exhausted, by pulling his Colt pistol, which he was still clutching when medics placed him on a stretcher the next morning. Reportedly, Schmid reached up from his litter, handed his locked-back Colt to his lieutenant, and said, “I guess I won’t need this any more!”

When Lt. Owen Bagget’s B-24 Liberator was shot up and set ablaze by enemy aircraft over the jungles of Burma, Bagget ordered his crew to hit the silk, and did likewise. When the Japanese fighters turned to make a strafing run at the Americans hanging in their parachute harnesses, Bagget was hit, but undaunted. When the offending Japanese pilot made a second pass to finish him off, Bagget (who was a Texan, by the way) angrily drew his .45 Colt and fired four times at the approaching enemy’s cockpit. The Zero spun into the jungle and exploded.

Bagget and a Zero like the one he outdrew.

Readers interested in discovering numerous additional reports of 1911 pistols that proved useful in combat from the trenches of World War I to the jungles of Vietnam will find nuggets galore—and yet traducements against Mr. Browning’s semi-automatic handgun continued unabated, as did the U.S. Army’s irrational urge to retire it.  From 1948 onward, a close examination of the record reveals a desultory yet continuing effort to replace the 1911 pistol.

Our hero: The 1911 A1 Colt Pistol

Partially stripped Walther PPK 7.65mm, showing trigger hinge. Hincty, if you ask us!

Army Ordnance, left too long to its own ruminations, first concluded that new pistols of a more acceptable nature should not exceed seven inches in length, and 25 ounces empty. Blow-back action and a squeeze charger system were mandated, as was a folding trigger guard. This last requirement ostensibly addressed the problem of soldiers wearing thick gloves who might encounter difficulty inserting a finger inside the Colt’s fixed trigger guard. A more cynical assessment might posit that because Walther pistols fielded by Germany during the war featured such gimmicks, Army Ordnance’s longstanding preoccupation with all things très européen was flaring up.

Enter the T3

The T3 series may have failed repeatedly, but its trigger hinge never malfunctioned!

High Standard submitted the prototypical T-3 test pistol. The Army was pleased to note the design’s double-action trigger and its pivoting trigger guard that slid tidily into a recess in the frame. However, to meet the Army’s weight criterion, the gun’s frame was partly aluminum. This, of course, increased recoil, and Army Ordnance was already phobic on the matter. High Standard insisted that annular grooves carved into the T-3’s chamber would diminish recoil by causing cartridge cases to expand, retarding the backlash of the slide.

Of course, at some point, weight undeniably becomes a consideration.

In testing, the T-3’s hammer cracked, evidently owing to poor metallurgy. Before the hammer incident, repeated failures to feed occurred because cartridges “upended” in the breech. High Standard vowed to fix the hammers and insisted that adding a “guide shelf” would remedy the problem. The Ordnance Corps financed these improvements, but let High Standard know that upon further deliberation, the Corps now wanted a 13-round magazine. On the bright side, test pistols could now weigh 29 ounces, empty. Exactly what insight ramified in the Army’s decision that guns formerly believed to exceed the boundaries of practicality at 28 ounces could now weigh 29, remains a mystery. What is known is that in 1950, High Standard submitted the new, improved T-3. on which the hammers still broke, failures to feed were undiminished, and the frame–enlarged to accommodate the 13-round magazine–cracked at stress points.

Exit the T3

Undaunted, the Ordnance Corps financed a third evolution of the T-3. Having seemingly experienced a subsequent revelation that 13-round magazines were no longer necessary, the Corps agreed that third-generation T-3s could revert to single stacked magazines. Tested in November of 1952, the new pistols “suffered numerous failures and malfunctions.” Extraction problems continued, the new magazine releases broke, the slide stops locked the slide back at arbitrary intervals during firing, and the hammers still fractured. At this point, the Ordnance Board recommended cancellation of the T3 program.

Going out of business, High Standard sold cheap handguns made from spare parts of various models. Here’s the rear sight on one such “V” model automatic.

In 1955, the Army sought once again to replace the 1911, this time by inviting foreign manufacturers to enter pistols into the replacement competition, forgetting perhaps that the 1911 had beaten all its foreign competitors in early stages of the trials that led to its adoption. Taxpayers were saved further bother when the Army’s deputy chief of staff for logistics discovered the program, together with Ordnance’s request for $150 thousand in start-up funding, and cancelled the entire business. The logic applied by the deputy chief was that “sidearms are seldom used anymore.” To his credit, he added that existing stocks of M1911A1s were “more than adequate,” although his assessment was probably more actuarial than martial.

Dawn of the “Wonder Nines”

Gun video-queen “Destinee” holds up a 1911 and a 9mm Beretta–prefers the 1911.

It was late in the 1970s that the Defense Department actually succeeded in solving the non-problem of the 1911 .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun. Reciting the traditional slanders in defense of their lurch back to small caliber “poodle shooters” (to borrow Jeff Cooper’s memorably caustic term), the Department of Defense decided to synchronize the weapons of all five branches of the military, and to further synchronize American weapons with those beloved of our western allies. Since it was universally held by strategists of that era that any future conflict would involve a Soviet drive into Europe opposed by the combined forces of NATO, the Defense Department argued that a handgun chambered for 9mm, the ubiquitous European pistol cartridge, was preferable from a multicultural standpoint to the chauvinistically nativist .45 ACP.

Maybe Army budgeters should check out this ad.

Besides, the new “wonder-nines” were being widely touted in America at that time—mainly for their greater magazine capacity. Police departments switched to them in droves. It is a curious fact that the same logistical wizards who denigrated superior “stopping power” as an obsolete concept found greater magazine capacities irresistible. Granted, part of the concern was based on the supposition that panicky soldiers in close quarters battle would miss a lot, but close quarters battle means exactly that, and it might be reasonable to prefer a gun that stops a charging adversary with two or three rounds to one that requires eight or nine. Still, worriment over American soldiers missing with their handguns at point blank ranges conflated with the seemingly imperishable belief that American soldiers would find the recoil of a .45 daunting to the point of mass demoralization—and the decision was made to retire the iconic 1911.

Enter the Beretta

TRUE FACT: Robert Blake never carried a Beretta in the TV show “Baretta,” nor did he leave one behind in the restaurant–that one was a .38 Special S&W.

In 1985, following trials that Undersecretary of the Navy Ambrose called a “game of charades,”’ and from which Smith and Wesson was strangely excluded despite its efforts to place its Model 5946 pistol into competition; and with rumors circulating that backroom deals for bases in Italy made the selection of an Italian gun highly probable, the Beretta 9mm pistol (newly designated the M9) was selected to become the military’s new standard sidearm. Why did an Italian gun based on a German design featuring comparatively little stopping power replace John Browning’s iconic masterpiece? No one ever really managed a persuasive explanation (although, in fairness, many made the attempt). Pistol guru Jeff Cooper, widely deemed the ultimate authority on guns and handgunning, declared that he “would rather have a hatchet than a 9mm at intimate range.”

Colonel Jeff Cooper: Acknowledged expert in matters both weaponological and epigrammatic.

Similarly, the military, which now had an authentic handgun problem acquired while solving its putative handgun problem, took quite a while to admit that caliber was the problem, let alone such additional concerns as the M9’s sexy-looking exposed barrel letting dirt into the action, slides cracking, open slides filling with Middle-Eastern sand, safeties mounted inconveniently high on the slides that also led to accidentally de-cocking the gun when attempting to clear stoppages, locking block plungers’ retaining pins needing replacement every few hundred rounds, trigger return springs breaking, and parkerized magazines that attracted contaminants.

But in battle, the main problem continues to be the Moro problem—in other words, the issue of stopping power. As R.K. Campbell wrote in 2005, “The M 9 is a triumph of the technical over the tactical compared to the 1911. The Beretta is easy to shoot well. It kicks but little and is usually accurate…[but] even when loaded with expanding ammunition, which the military cannot use, the 9mm has not proven to give consistent, reliable results…I have one case in my files in which a female victim took eight rounds before succumbing to a ninth shot through the eye socket. I have a 9mm pucker in my leg and a ragged scar on my face left by an individual who absorbed three 9mm soft point rounds. Adequate for battle? Hardly. (The 9mm man will always say, ‘You used the wrong load. Why, the FILL IN THE BLANK [cartridge] will get the job done.’ They never seem willing to admit the caliber was the problem.)”

Elsewhere, Campbell quotes the redoubtable Jeff Cooper to the effect that the 1911 .45 is “the best fighting pistol of all time,” adding his own view that “the .45 ACP cartridge remains as well balanced and effective a defensive cartridge as we are likely to produce. Those advocating the small bores either have no personal experience in the problem, or they do not understand the problem.”

To stop, or not to stop….

Stopping power–the debate continues!

Of course, nowadays, stopping power is fashionably denounced across the panoply of gun ‘zines and online discussion threads—and yet to the frontline soldier it remains a crucial consideration. Most of the dismissals of stopping power come from writers who adduce anecdotes in defense of their points, but one such argument issues from the scientifically oriented, research-based Greg Ellifritz, who snorts, “I don’t care what you carry for self defense. My research shows that there really isn’t much of a difference at all between the service caliber handguns.” But Ellifritz acknowledges that of 1800 shootings he’s analyzed, his “number of rounds before incapacitation” looks like this:

.45= 2.08
.40= 2.36
9mm= 2.45

Going to war with a 9mm, even if one accepts Ellifritz’s data as gospel, seems the least advisable choice of those available. And we all know about statistics, don’t we–so we won’t bother quoting Disraeli on the matter.

A Cold War relic?

The XF-85 “Goblin.” No joy.

And then, one day in 2014, word came from the website Military.com that the “Army Wants a Harder-Hitting Pistol.” In the article, Matthew Cox explained that “The U.S. Army is moving forward [how’s that for unintended irony?] to replace the Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol with a more powerful handgun that also meets the needs of the other services.” Again, according to Matthews, “Soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have complained that the 9mm round is not powerful enough to be effective in combat.” Brutally, the same military that once heralded the gadgetry, fetchingly configured Beretta as the last word in low-caliber chic, now bemoaned it as hopelessly superannuated—”a Cold War relic,” as obsolete as the XF-85 Goblin, Nike Bases, or the 280-mm “Atomic Annie” artillery piece—although “Annie”certainly had great terminal ballistics.

Inadvertently safe….

Daryl Easlick, a project officer with the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, announced that the “outdated” M9 pistol would be replaced by a handgun featuring “greater accuracy, lethality, reliability and durability.” Suddenly, the military was on the lookout for a “a more potent round than the current 9mm.” “The 9mm doesn’t score high with soldier feedback,” explained Easlick, adding that the Army now sought “a round that will have better terminal effects — or cause more damage — when it hits enemy combatants. We have to do better than our current 9mm.” Among other issues, it transpired (mirabile dictu!) that Berettas had “reliability issues.” Undoubtedly, the decision to replace the M9 sprang from a sincere desire to put a harder hitting pistol in the hands of our military, but it was Lou Reed who warned us that “between thought and expression, lies a lifetime.”

Obviously, what was needed was a contest—a set of trials designed to pick the perfect sidearm for the American military—just like the ones that picked the Beretta 9mm back in 1985. In other words, it was time for another “game of charades!” And needless to say, trials were held, competitions staged, and entrants eliminated, (some of them, like the Glock, prior to even testing).  And inevitably, a winner  emerged from these latest exertions. At no time, so far as WOOF can ascertain, did any ordnance official or Pentagon authority give consideration to simply reinstating the 1911 pistol despite the fact that the Marines had already done so.

Ask a Marine!

The Corps began re-equipping its elite forces with .45 pistols in the 1990s, including the entirety of its Force Reconnaissance units. Gunsmiths at the Weapons Training Battalion Precision Weapons Section kept busy hand-building them from retired 1911s stored at Quantico after the advent of the Beretta.  In 2012 the Marines realized home crafting their pistols was impractical in the long term and contracted Colt Defense in Hartford Connecticut to solve their 9mm problem by making them 10,000 new 1911-style Close Quarter Battle Pistols chambered for 45 ACP.

The Army competition was ostensibly open-caliber, which it claimed would “give handgun makers flexibility to present the most effective handgun,” despite the fact that .357 SIG and .40 S&W were never seriously considered because they are allegedly hard on their frames, thus insufficiently durable. Besides, the Army didn’t want just any old handgun—it wanted “a total system replacement.” The winning sidearm would be designated the Modular Handgun System—which sounds pretty lethal, but comes closer to describing a gun designed by a committee.

And the winner is?

A considerable amount of squid ink surrounds which gun actually emerged victorious from the Army’s trials, yet there seems no real doubt that the military’s new pistol will be the Sig Sauer P320. The Sig’s selection, however, is more nuanced than one might initially assume. As Ammoland’s Tom McHale writes, “the caliber part is a little bit squishy as the finalist guns were all somewhat multi-caliber in nature.” McHale explains, “The ‘gun’ has no caliber, length, height, or weight. All of that depends on the parts you use around the ‘gun.’” Indeed, the military’s new “Modular Handgun System” can be configured to fire a 9mm, .40 S&W, or even a .357 Sig Sub Compact cartridge, or, presumably, just about anything else. Thus it appears –as the Dodo Bird concluded at the end of his race in Alice in Wonderland— “Everybody has won and all must have prizes.”

“…somewhat multi-caliber in nature…”

What this means in practical terms is that the logistical nightmare foreseen as a result of our troops fighting in Europe with handguns demanding .45 ACP ammo, is now replaced by a weapon that may demand any number of logistically impractical calibers in order to remain in action. Unless, of course, one configures it to fire (ahem!) 9mm. Complaints about the Sig include its largely plastic frame, but soldiers also point out that when forward pressure is placed on the magazine base pad, it malfunctions.  Additionally, the bore axis is too high for fast shot placement, and the removable plate on top of the slide, meant to accommodate optical sights, leaves a portal exposed to debris.

Military experts have determined that women cannot master the kick of a .45 caliber pistol.

But the issue, finally, comes down to the cartridge. Any handgun chambered for .45 auto will, after all, deliver a .45 auto round to the target. Sadly, this appears to be an unlikely scenario for the Sig 320, no matter its versatility. One reason is what a less genteel blog than WOOF’s might call “chickification.” “The reason the Army went with Sig Sauer was to get the different-sized polymer frame,” reports Bruin Herr of Axman South. “An Army soldier today might be a 6-foot-5 guy or a 5-foot-2 woman, with really different-sized hands. With one handgun, that’s really difficult to do. So a big requirement was the modular design.” Needless to say, the military’s imperishable belief that nobody other than a veritable titan can discharge a .45 without breaking both wrists and missing the target will also figure into the Army’s choice of caliber.

Some girls just didn’t get the memo!

Thus, as we confront a GOP repair of the Affordable Care Act that effectively reissues the Affordable Care Act, and a predicted “fix” of the tax system that is almost certain to complicate and perpetuate that monstrosity, we are presented with the analogous decision to give American soldiers a “harder hitting pistol” by replacing the military’s 9mm handguns with newer, plastic, 9mm handguns. Mark our words, gentle readers: The Army will issue their vast stores of remaining 9mm ball ammo to troops whose 320s will be configured to accept that round. Nobody will be issued a .45, or a .357, nor even a 40 caliber weapon. Do you doubt us? According to Military.com, two sources confirmed that Sig submitted only .40-caliber and 9mm pistols for the Army’s consideration. An additional source said the Army ultimately selected the 9mm version.” Et viola: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” or as Pogo might have put it: The minor things change, the Moro they are the same!  

Still holding out for complete repeal.

 

WHAT THE FOX? (How the Murdoch Brothers Hatched a Plan that ‘FOX over’ FNC Viewers while Saving the Planet and Sparing their Wives Further Embarrassment!)

In "The Media are the Massage" forum on May 22, 2017 at 3:37 pm

There is an old adage, familiar to most, that if something works, one should not attempt to fix it. We have no doubt the vast majority of our readers are conversant with this saying, and alert to its meaning; so much so that to explain it here for the benefit of the culturally illiterate seems pointless; first because it ill-repays everyone else’s kind attention, and second, because that rare reader who requires assistance comprehending so obvious a maxim will doubtless be equally bollixed by any attempt at elucidation. Therefore, we suggest that the apprehending majority proceed to this article’s gravamen, while the uncomprehending minority may also elect to proceed, placing its reliance on context in order to establish insight. Or, some may prefer to click over to, say, Infowars, where chemtrails, Pizza gate, and other sinister phenomena, are discussed in simple, easily comprehended terms.

But before plunging fully into the aforementioned gravamen, allow us to point out that unlike so many familiar aphorisms graven into the American psyche, the idea that something need not be repaired if it functions smoothly is virtually irrefutable. One may hear, “he who hesitates is lost,” for instance, and think ironically of Custer’s Last Stand—or reconsider the sagacity of “slow and steady wins the race,” in light of Jeb Bush’s disastrously phlegmatic bid for the presidency. But almost everybody agrees that a marvelously efficient apparatus need not be overhauled in the moment (continuous quality improvement notwithstanding), and this seems even more apparent when the apparatus is essential to some aspect of the nation’s cultural welfare—as is Fox News.

So, if  ‘he who hesitates is lost’ is wrong, but so is ‘slow and steady wins the race,’ how confusing is that?

We at WOOF gaze with considerable dismay upon the widely reported efforts to dismantle the Fox News Channel, or, put more exactly, to transform it—to reshape its core into something bound to prove anathema to the tastes and expectations of its millions of loyal viewers.

Some predicted Turner’s CNN would counter liberal media bias–but when Ted went hunting with Castro and married Jane Fonda, hope perished.

Not even the liberal media could invent a means of diminishing or obfuscating Fox’s primacy among the 24-hour news contenders. A public trained to think “CNN” when it thought of around-the-clock news broadcasting, came despite itself to an awareness that Fox News dwarfed Ted Turner’s band of whiny propagandists in the ratings…and, put frankly, in news coverage. True, a sizable sub-population of that public remained aloof from FNC’s programming, persuaded by the full force of the Liberal Establishment that Fox comprised little beyond an assortment of thunderously fascistic Cro-Magnons, babbling blond Stepford Anchorwomen (whose vacuous skulls had been filled with GOP talking points), and a supporting cast of Republican Party shills whose main function, the Left insisted, was to tell lies.

Lois of “Family Guy” actually enjoyed a brief career at Fox News Channel.

The mythology of Fox’s reliance on calculated prevarication was soon run threadbare by the progressive hierarchy to the point that it became an object of satire on the cartoon program Family Guy. In one episode, for example, Lois, the cartoon housewife, is seen ranting about Fox’s inveracity when she is challenged by the family dog (who talks). The dog accuses her of hyperbole, but Lois doubles down, snarling, “Everything on Fox News is a lie… even true things, once said on Fox News, become lies!” Certainly, that was the official view of the Obama Administration for eight years. But while the “Fox lies!” mantra busied the tongues of besotted liberals and frightened off, one must assume, legions of the irreclaimably naïve, it proved insufficient to thwart FNC’s rise to cable supremacy.

In the beginning…

The late Roger Ailes–looking rightward.

It was February of 1996 when Australian publisher and multimedia mogul Rupert Murdoch hired former GOP strategist-cum-NBC producer Roger Ailes to mastermind the Fox News Channel. Scoffers marveled at the stupidity of “reinventing CNN,” simultaneously pointing out that NBC was launching MSNBC (does anyone know what that actually stands for?) and that a 24-hour news channel run by so hallowed and sacrosanct a broadcasting entity as NBC in combination with the ultra-branded CNN would obviously crush any upstart competitors.

Fox’s refusal to play by the rules of establishment (read: liberal) journalism made it instantly attractive to conservatives among whom Murdoch’s experiment built a swiftly expanding viewership. Moreover, Fox presented liberal viewpoints by a far greater ratio than conservatism appeared elsewhere, thus moderates began to admire the fresh approach too. During the Republican National Convention in 2000, Fox’s ratings handily outpaced all three major (which is to say, hallowed and sacrosanct) news networks, and increased another 300 percent during the American invasion of Iraq.

Heresy!

Hmmm–something’s up.

Further digression into particulars needn’t consume us. Suffice it that Fox climbed from obscurity to the position of America’s number one source for cable news at so dazzling a velocity that establishment progressives were hard pressed to internalize, let alone oppose, the phenomenon. Slowly, in that recalcitrant way in which ponderous beasts react to some peripheral annoyance, the Left began to recognize the magnitude of Murdoch’s heresy. For establishment panjandra, this entailed a more challenging cognitive adjustment than one might suppose. It required stretching the liberal weltanschauung to accommodate three distasteful propositions.

Shattering paradigm (file photo)

First, the guardians of America’s informational orthodoxy were obliged to accept that the major networks, whose news divisions were known to be hallowed and  sacrosanct if only by dint of their ritualistic practice of so describing themselves, had been outclassed in the ratings war by a bunch of conservatives and neocons with no entrée into the progressive guild, and no interest in seeking any. This realization alone was, as the lexicographically slipshod might say, paradigm shattering.

Second, one could not efficiently analyze the success of Fox without acknowledging coinstantaneously that American TV viewers liked Fox’s handling of events more than any competing network’s, and sometimes more than any combination of them, because on a really dark day FNC would pull higher numbers than CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC put together.

The Nielsen ratings– an inconvenient truth.

Third, these facts conduced ineluctably toward one of two available conclusions, neither of which inspired optimism on the Left. Either (a) the American people were more inclined to conservatism than to liberalism, which would disprove longstanding elitist claims to the contrary–or else, (b) vast enclaves of otherwise sensibly progressive citizens were tuning in Fox News every night, beguiled by Roger Ailes’s media sorcery. Once hooked, such viewers apparently surrendered their adjudicative powers and descended ever deeper into the reactionary abyss where they were irretrievably transformed by Murdoch’s dark alchemy. These poor wretches—and there appeared to be millions of them– misperceived themselves as entertained and informed whereas in fact they were merely the former, any semblance of the latter being so interlarded with lies, distortions, and bigotry, as to render it dismissible.

Regarding the above, notice that whether one embraces the first or second alternative, the leftwing perspective relies on the barely concealed subtext that Americans are stupid. (Stupid being the most widely circulated synonym among progressives for ‘not liberal.’) But better they be stupid on account of Roger Ailes’s magical mental manipulations than by mere dictate of nature, and thus the second option of the third proposition carried the day, explaining the second proposition, and maybe even the first. And so was born the “Fox-lies!” mantra, echoed robotically by liberals everywhere, even today. Not only does Fox lie, but in the progressive estimation, Fox lies so skillfully and seductively that Americans prefer it– not only because many of them are stupid (meaning ‘not liberal’), or even because quite a few more are simply stupid, (meaning stupid, in the general sense of acceptation), but mainly because the majority are, in fact, stupefied, which is to say, mesmerized by Rupert Murdoch’s insidious legerdemain. Enter now the progressive passion for “re-education.”

“Just a FOX story!”

For two decades now, Americans have endured a withering barrage of propaganda from every conduit dispensing left-leaning commentary (which is nearly all of them), to the effect that Fox lies, Fox isn’t really a news network (an Obaman favorite), Fox is homophobic, Fox is racist, Fox is Islamophobic, Fox is—well, you get the idea. The enterprising liberal eristic (of that subspecies at least one specimen of which inevitably winds up at Thanksgiving dinner) will always have an ample supply of politically-correct insertions in mind, whereby the basic anti-Fox template may be adjusted to address almost any conversational variant.

“Ummm…lessee…’Operation Fast and Furious?’ Ummm…I think that’s just a Fox Story.”

The Obama administration made excellent tactical use of this planted axiom. Whenever Fox went to air with details of yet another Obama travesty, Obama or one of his acolytes would smirk and declare, “Well, that’s just a Fox story!” and reporters would snicker, nod, and forget the matter. In fact, the President on such occasions was speaking literal truth, since the near-absolute refusal by establishment networks to spotlight anything unfavorable to the regime meant that any hint of scandal, blunder, or illegality associated with Obama was instantly “spiked,” with the predictable result that Fox would be the only network reporting it. Thus, almost every one of the administration’s miscreancies over eight years of unprecedented contempt for law, truth, and the Constitution, might be accurately described as “just a Fox story!”

As vociferously as the liberal networks promulgate this interpretation of Fox’s appeal, one might reasonably assume some effect would be had—but efforts by the punditry to warn viewers of Fox’s wanton disregard for the higher principles of responsible (read: liberal) reportage made no measurable dent in Fox’s ratings. One reason, obviously, was that no matter how often or how emphatically the liberal networks rehearsed Fox’s infamies, no means existed by which to inform the masses–other than by purchasing advertising space on Fox News, which claimed most of the viewers. For the elites in New York, D.C. and Los Angeles, such ignominy would be unendurable, so the likes of Chris Matthews and Don Lemon found themselves limited to warning their comparatively miniscule audiences that Fox was awful—a belief already shared, presumably, by most of their viewers. Small wonder if the resultant frustration drove certain of these journalistic Titans to the occasional social drink.

Looking on the bright side, Fox’s deliverance from the grip of its fascistic, warmongering, misogynistic former executives may have a salvific effect on Don Lemon’s liver.

Following America’s penultimate attempt at national suicide, (we refer here to the 2008 presidential election), President Obama joined in the effort, lambasting Fox News at every opportunity from the Bully Pulpit, even attempting on one occasion to lock Fox out of a news conference, and whining incessantly to anyone who would listen about the colossal unfairness of Fox’s coverage, which often criticized him, whereas all the other televised news operations waxed giddy at his approach.

In a reckless attempt to boost ratings, Joe Scarborough challenges Barney Frank to an impromptu game of patty-cake.

One might suppose that attacks by the administration combined with the exertions of establishment journalists and manipulations by the entertainment industry (which made Fox the butt of endless jokes inserted into movie and TV scripts, sitcoms, rap recordings, and late-night comedy monologues), would erode FNC’s popularity. Shown the error of their ways, thousands of repentant souls might reasonably be expected to grasp– however belatedly– the importance of watching real news as represented by credible journalists like Joe Scarborough (failed conservative talk radio host), or Van Jones (self-confessed communist subversive and 9/11 conspiracy theorist), Al Sharpton (diction-impaired race hustler and tax cheat), or certainly by old pros like Brian Williams (signer of the Declaration of Independence, first journalist to orbit the moon, Bronze Medal winner in Olympic Mahjong), but no! Despite eight years of unremitting, presidentially approved criticism, Fox News emerged unscathed.

Much of Fox’s success may be attributable the inadequacies of its competition. Even the ultra-elitist SALON admitted as recently as last November that “Watching MSNBC is pure torture!”

In fact, 2016 found Fox comfortably atop the ratings for basic cable viewers, prime time viewers, and “total day” viewers (a spot formerly ceded to CNN whose “branding” inclined more people to switch it on at some point in any week, however briefly). For emphasis, FNC delivered the best rated quarter for total viewers in the network’s history and spent ten consecutive weeks as the number one channel in total day viewers of all cable networks, bar none.

A series of unfortunate events…

But precisely at this point began what might be termed a series of unfortunate events, none of which, in any direct sense, reflected meddling by the organized Left. To begin with, a sudden flurry of charges was brought against Fox’s resident mastermind, Roger Ailes. Alysyn Camerota, for instance, charged Ailes with sexually harassing her during her stint at FNC following which Gretchen Carlson lodged similar accusations. Camerota’s complaints might be considered suspect by virtue of her subsequent CNN affiliation, while Carlson could reasonably be described as disgruntled, but when Megyn Kelly added her voice to the mix even as the venerable Greta Van Susteren (to whom WOOF invariably grants special dispensation on account of her being Urban Van Susteren’s daughter) switched from defending Ailes to tweeting her regrets that Ailes was “not better supervised,” the charges seemed substantial enough that few on the Right rushed to protest Ailes’s removal. Besides, he had already built the Fox machine—devised its components and imbued the network with its unique pizzazz—so if he was a creep into the bargain, he might be safely set aside while his creation rolled on, or so many assumed.

Carlson and Ailes–never a love match.

But even as the Ailes controversy reached critical mass, the redoubtable Rupert Murdoch announced his retirement, and the elevation of his sons, James and Lachlan, to leadership positions at FNC where they would perform as his de facto successors. A New York Times story entitled “In House of Murdoch, Sons Set About an Elaborate Overhaul,” was accompanied by a splashy portrait of the Murdoch lads gazing determinedly toward a far horizon, faces set confidently in the best tradition of socialist realism. In the background, Rupert appeared to look on with a certain sense of world-weary detachment. The younger Murdochs, the Times explained, were ready to “rid the company of the old-guard culture on which their father built his empire.” And for once, the Times had its facts straight.  Indeed, it transpired that James and Lachlan were instrumental in firing Roger Ailes.

Lachlan, James. and doting parents. They look so harmless when their little, don’t they!

Reading the Times piece by Brooks Barnes and Sydney Ember, one would think the Earps had arrived to clean up Tombstone, except that such imagery entails a profound logical fallacy. Students of debate learn three ways to recognize a false analogy, namely that a) it draws a comparison in which the differences outweigh the similarities, or b) the similarities are irrelevant, or c) the two things compared are not similar enough to warrant comparison to begin with. As a quick example, the Earps (at least in legend) were dauntless lawmen who cleaned up Tombstone because it was nihilistically dysfunctional and required rescue. But James and Lachlan are not the Earps—they are lackluster feather merchants stamped with Hollywood social values, besotted with all the usual liberal sanctimonies, anxious mainly to retain the good opinion of their toney peers. And Fox isn’t Tombstone—it’s a roaringly successful enterprise that only a pair of callow ninnyhammers handicapped by bossy wives and room-temperature IQs would seek to reinvent.

Left to right: Definitely not Lachlan, definitely not James.

The Times story admits papa Murdoch is less than comfy with the succession, although we are told he “spent decades plotting and re-plotting which of his children would take over his empire.” Obviously, he should have taken longer. Lachlan made a play for the crown as early as ’97, but a scornful Roger Ailes ran him off. Meanwhile, James so badly mismanaged the phone-hacking scandal swirling about the family’s tabloid empire in England that speculation turned to Rupert’s daughter Elisabeth as heir apparent. Elisabeth had experience running Britain’s Sky Network, and might well have righted the ship at Fox without undermining its editorial disposition; but instead, for whatever reason, the brothers were offered the helm.

Elisabeth Murdoch, flanked by her unprepossessing siblings. Where was she when we needed her?

Chickens in the Fox house….

Fox suddenly found itself at the mercy of James, the formerly bleached-blond, facially-pierced hipster, who dropped out of Harvard to found Rawkus Records, a hip-hop label, but converted to natty suits and fashionably thin-rimmed glasses (while sensibly reducing his facial jewelry to a single, tasteful eyebrow stud) before assuming control at FNC. Besides a who’s who of Hollywood celebrities and power players, his pals include Elon Musk and a predictable assortment of Silicon Valley savants.

The preternaturally good-looking Lachlan Murdoch, and his blonder half.

Lachlan, a Princeton graduate whose various tattoos and motorcycles serve as counterpoint to his eastern-liberal establishment upbringing, is breathlessly described by Vanity Fair as blessed with “preternatural good looks,” but the author must have been looking at the Times portraiture…no, even then, it won’t wash. If James resembles the quintessential pajama boy, nerdy, gawky, and probably inclined to exclaim “awesome” rather too often, Lachlan, at first glance, registers as the runty, insecure junior sibling. He lives in a swank Mandeville Canyon estate near Los Angeles with his wife, Sarah, a former model who twice appeared in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editions and was the official face of ‘Wonderbra,’” whatever that is, back in 1997. Readers will be unsurprised to learn that (according to the Daily News), Sarah is “progressive minded.” Her several autobiographical contributions to celebrity magazines include such poignant disclosures as “I’m No Superwoman,” and “How I Stay Real.”

James and Kathryn Murdoch–ready to take charge and make Fox awesome! 

Tellingly, James no sooner grabbed the attention of media watchers than he rushed to a National Geographic event where he pledged to render Fox News “scientifically literate,” by which, of course, he meant committed to ruthlessly suppressing the vast stores of evidence demonstrating flaws in the global-warming argument. Nothing “fair and balanced” in the climate-change debate, after all; you’re either apostle or apostate, and apostates, as everybody knows, are persecuted relentlessly by sober-minded advocates of “settled science.”

In tune with the times….

“Thank God the culture at FOX News is changing–maybe now I can get to shore without drowning!”

One such advocate is James’s fashionably-green trophy wife Kathryn, whose “driving interest in environmentalism” (per the Times) is best evinced by her work on behalf of—wait for it—the Clinton Climate Initiative, not to mention the subversive Environmental Defense Fund. Having apparently studied climatology and environmentalism between photo shoots while modeling in Oregon, Kathryn is cited as the chief architect of James’s “pro-environmental” mindset. As far back as 2007, James was urging his father (a long-time “denier”) to adopt initiatives aimed at making the Murdoch empire carbon neutral. “A lot of people are worried about climate change but are waiting for someone else to do something about it,” James explained. “We are showing that you can take action…and… make employees feel good and…win customers by showing that the company’s values are in tune with the times.”

Despite considerable effort, WOOF could not locate any photos of Kathryn reacting to the horrors of election night; we hope this alternative depiction of the former First Lady  will suffice.

The Times piece proceeds to note approvingly that James and his “progressive-minded wife…have long been embarrassed by certain elements of Fox News…” and that James’s and Kathryn’s Twitter feed “shows disdain for President Trump.” (Shocking, we know.) In September, Kathryn (who ardently backed Hillary’s candidacy, as she did Barack Obama’s) tweeted: “A vote for Trump is a vote for climate catastrophe.” And on election eve, as Trump’s electoral advantage became incontrovertible, Kathryn tweeted, “I can’t believe this is happening. I am so ashamed.” And who can blame her? Obviously, a myopically heedless public somehow managed to miss so many of the cues and prompts so lavishly provided by the journalistic establishment, that the majority of Americans in most states shambled off to their polling places determined to vote in a manner hopelessly out of tune with the times.

Killing Bill….

TRUE FACT: Actress Uma Thurman has never accused Bill O’Reilly of sexually harassing her.

If the organized Left was only marginally involved in Roger Ailes’s removal (the brunt of the opposition comprising former Fox employees and the newly inserted Murdoch sibs), it was nonetheless quick to realize the incident’s potential. Thus, as if conjured by a magician’s wand, rent-a-mobs with pre-printed placards assembled outside Fox’s Manhattan headquarters demanding Bill O’Reilly’s ouster on similar grounds. And as if by Jungian synchronicity, an entire conga line of accusers added their voices to the one or two in O’Reilly’s past. Thin skinned advertisers began jumping ship in droves. O’Reilly, meanwhile, steadfastly maintained his innocence, explaining previous settlements as efforts to shield his family from a media circus.

WTF?

Certainly, the case against O’Reilly seemed far from compelling. Fox News anchorettes rushing to file charges of sexual misconduct against their network’s marquee player were conspicuous by their absence, while many insiders offered evidence that seemed to contradict charges of sexual coerciveness. Even Megyn Kelly confessed that she had gone her entire career at Fox without being sexually harassed by O’Reilly.  Meanwhile, an email surfaced from Wendy Walsh, O’Reilly’s most vociferous accuser, written long after her alleged victimization, in which she wrote, “Specifically, please convey to ‘the boss’ [O’Reilly] that I am deeply grateful for his professional kindness….His media power is immeasurable and his call to [“The View’s” executive producer] really launched my book tour on a high note. Can’t thank him enough.” We certainly hope Miss Walsh never expresses such immensurate gratitude toward anyone at WOOF.

Oddly, Wendy Walsh remained inexpressibly grateful to Bill O’Reilly long after he allegedly harassed her–in fact, pretty much right up until she filed suit. Apparently the folks at CNN are less  insensitive.

Even the normally subversive Washington Post treated the situation ambivalently, and CNN Money dismissed the defecting advertisers, opining correctly that “Fox and O’Reilly are positioned to weather such defections.” O’Reilly, the CNN report concluded, “resides on an elevated tier with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, who, like the Fox host, has endured multiple controversies over the years and ultimately prevailed not too much worse for the wear.”

This is what stupid looks like….

Times writer Brooks Barnes–oddly remindful of James Murdoch, or is it just us?

Anytime the Washington Post and CNN conjoin in a momentary fit of perspicacity, it is worthy of note, but no such notice was taken by the Murdoch sprouts, who canned their network’s (and all of cable’s) number one ratings grabber whilst he vacationed in Italy. Word was given out: Not only was O’Reilly fired, he would not be permitted to return for so much as a farewell telecast. James’s wife Kathryn doesn’t care for Bill O’Reilly, it seems—thus James became the loudest and most insistent of those calling for the host’s termination. Lachlan’s wife, Sarah, also had a role in the decision. According to the Daily Mail, the official face of Wonderbra “convinced an on-the-fence Lachlan that Bill O’Reilly had to be fired.” Of The Factor’s mindless destruction, Times writers Brooks Barnes and Sydney Ember gushed: “This is what generational change at one of the globe’s most powerful media conglomerates looks like.”

Really? Well, if Barnes and Ember were assaying to suggest that generational change at Fox resembles a bunch of morons drilling holes in the bottom of a boat in order to drain the bilges, they got it exactly right.

Anti-politically correct environmentalism for dummies….

Hannity tried to save Fox exec Bill Shine–but the writing was clearly on the wall.

The next head to hit the basket belonged to FNC’s Co-President, Bill Shine. When rumors that the brothers were zeroing in on Shine began to circulate, Sean Hannity tweeted, “…i pray this is NOT true because if it is, that’s the total end of the FNC as we know it. Done.” Obviously, somebody forgot to tell Hannity what generational change looks like. Shine was axed even as Hannity launched his short-lived #Istandwithshine Twitter initiative. “Done.”

Times writer Sydney Ember, who doesn’t resemble James or Lachlan, but whose omission would be sexist, we suspect. 

A newly arrived Martian might assume that Fox was an unmitigated train wreck, its only hope for survival residing in a quick infusion of fresh blood and a radical change of direction. Feeding alacritously into this contrived narrative, Doug Creutz (a media analyst at Cowen and Company) explained that the Murdoch boys are “young enough to see and understand that the company has to change.” Why it has to change, Creutz neglects to say, he being a practitioner of the liberal art of the implicit axiom. But as Barnes and Ember relate in their Times article, Lachlan and James “immediately set about creating a warmer and fuzzier workplace….moving away from an anti-politically correct environment…” and what rational onlooker could object to the Murdoch boys introducing what they describe as “more paid vacation, vastly enhanced reproductive coverage for women and expanded coverage for our transgender colleagues?” But such epic reforms aside, authors Barnes and Ember seem most especially taken with the fact that “the brothers concluded the memo on a jaunty note: ‘Enjoy!’”

Air who…?

Air America’s dismal performance was hardly emended by its choice of the least inspiring logo in promotional history–until, of course, the advent of Hillary’s 2016 “H” design.

Who now remembers the endless accolades and hosannas bestowed upon Air America at its inception? (For that matter, who now remembers Air America?) In recalling this project’s much-ballyhooed injection into the matrix of talk radio, we are offered an instructive instance–one of many in which the Liberal Establishment cast reality aside in deference to unbridled ideological psychosis. Specifically, almost every mechanism of left-wing disinformation—meaning the vast majority of newspapers, every news network (except Fox), every TV program devoted to ephemeral entertainments and personalities, every magazine from People to The Atlantic, and every media commentator who was anybody, breathlessly heralded what was certain to prove the most significant communications development since Guglielmo Marconi stumbled onto the monopole antenna.

Rush Limbaugh: endlessly analyzed and criticized by the Left; yet, strangely, almost never listened to.

It is difficult to recall any popular endeavor more richly and unanimously lauded in advance of its debut as was Air America—the liberal answer to conservative talk radio. Given the tone of the advance work, one might reasonably conclude that conservative dominance of the AM dial was a sort of aberration, ascribable mainly to the Left’s failure to notice the problem. Now, however, notice had been taken, and with the advent of Air America, matters would be set right—and Americans would be free to avail themselves of liberals broadcasting in the manner of right-wing talkers, except, of course, without the racism, homophobia, misogyny, and warmongering. Finally, Americans could tune in talk-show hosts seeking to regale them with truth and brilliance, rather than reactionary lies and all that loutish, anti-intellectual invective!

Imagine: truth, brilliance, and good looks into the bargain!

To borrow a wonderfully concise phrase from the feisty moms who maintain the 100 Percent FedUp website, “the cultural upper hand is a mighty one.” But it is far better suited to fashioning perceptions than to vouchsafing outcomes. Were it not thus, Hillary Clinton would be president…and Air America would be a dominant radio presence, having taken the nation by storm as predicted by nearly everybody. But in the event, few tuned in, and most of those who tuned in soon tuned out. Style was a significant problem from day one, the channel’s daily fare comprising a parade of uniformly vituperative dullards whose broadcasting personae were modeled on the likes of Rush Limbaugh, or so they imagined.

...now that the Garofalo’s gone.

But because nobody on the extreme left actually listens to Rush Limbaugh, the prevalent solecism that Limbaugh’s program consists mainly of hate, vitriol and puerile insults (which is what liberals tell one another about Limbaugh’s program) led to Air America overflowing with hate, vitriol, and puerile insults, intended to be Limbaugh-like, only, of course, on the side of the angels. In reality, almost nobody wants to listen to unrelenting streams of hate, vitriol, and puerile insults, thus Air America pioneered new lows in radio discourse even as it bled its financiers. Ultimately even George Soros wearied of maintaining so manifest a turkey on artificial life support and decided to cut his losses. Today, despite all the encomia that preceded its arrival, Air America is as extinct as the Pyrenean Ibex; although the Pyrenean Ibex is, at least, missed.

The Pyongyang impediment

The lesson here is plain, but so deceptive is the power of retaining “the cultural upper hand,” that it is lost on James and Lachlan Murdoch, and would be, even if they were clever. The same lesson was lost on Hillary Clinton, her pollsters, her advisers, and the entire liberal punditry. The lesson is that beyond certain niche markets, liberalism is not something to which most Americans, even today, are particularly attracted. Even large numbers of Americans who earnestly believe themselves to be liberal are not particularly attracted to liberalism, once driven to confront its ramifications. And because this reality is never rehearsed in liberal circles, it never occurs to the denizens of those circles to consider it. Sealed hermetically within his elitist echo chamber, the Brie-and-Chablis leftist is no more aware of the realities that surround him than is the average citizen of Pyongyang…he just enjoys more amenities.

So on this account, we have an almost Dadaistic scenario in which James and Lachlan descend on FNC having inherited the most successful venture in the history of televised journalism, and announce their intention to rescue it. Indeed, they solemnly declaim that without immediate and drastic reform, the entire operation teeters on the brink of collapse. Not only that, establishment media pundits of all descriptions and affiliations hasten to agree emphatically, without ever bothering to present evidence that any sort of collapse was either imminent or likely. Are these people insane? No, they are the progressive elite. James and Lachlan aren’t nuts, they are closer to what an author in an earlier decade called Bobos in Paradise —wealthy liberals persuaded by their glittery wives as well as by every journalist, techno-tycoon, Hollywood actress or academic bezonian with whom they exchange banalities, that Fox News must be pulled into conformity with the progressive ethos, or else…well……or else something awful will occur.

Not the brightest beers in the toolshed.

The boys are not deep thinkers—you have probably noticed—and their inability to specify even a logical basis for their escapade denies them the insight necessary to predict its results, no matter how obvious to the rest of us. Friends and associates of the Murdoch lads agree that a more liberal, multicultural, less nativist, more global, more climate-sensitive and unthreateningly metrosexual Fox News is envisioned. But to what end? The brothers Murdoch are, by all reports, agreed that such adjustments will bring greater success to FNC than their father dreamt possible.  Presumably, all their friends and supporters agree. But reality serves a decidedly different demographic, and it is traditionally hard on leftist expectations.

Coals to Newcastle: A business model for the 21st century?

Kelly Ayotte, for example, took the advice of consultants, distanced herself from Trump, embraced liberal causes like climate change, and lost her New Hampshire senate seat to the real Democrat.

Let us pause here to recall those critics who, at Fox’s inception, asked “why reinvent CNN?”  Indeed, who wants or needs Fox to become CNN? And once it becomes CNN, why would viewers prefer it to CNN? Will viewers whose loyalty was built on Fox’s role as an oasis in the vast wasteland of DNC-controlled news sources, suddenly find themselves enthralled by its shifting to precisely that brand of left-leaning poppycock they fled to begin with? For that matter, will dedicated liberals or rank-and-file Democrats accustomed to watching MSNBC or ABC World News Tonight or PBS News, or whatever, rush in droves to watch the same drivel on Fox? Why would they? Even the GOP has lately begun to acknowledge that when one campaigns in ways that make one indistinguishable from Democrats, voters tend to elect actual Democrats. Too, when one shifts from a business model long known to provide maximum returns to one that predictably and repeatedly results in failure, investors–even the most ideologically supportive investors–tend to shop elsewhere.

David Brooks–always available for intellectual balance.

Left to their own devices, the Murdoch cubs will annihilate Fox News, retooling it as a vapid amalgamation of trendy mediocrities—a hint of The View, a tincture of Ronan Farrow—a dash of Colbert with a pinch of Jake Tapper—and lots of settled science linking impending planetary devastation to man-made global warming…and why not replace Bret Baier with David Gregory? Perhaps, too, an occasional word from David Brooks, or some similarly neutered establishment sycophant, ostensibly representing the “conservative” perspective, could provide the illusion of intellectual balance. The result will be disaster—not only qualitatively, but financially. If they give a damn, the brothers may wind up begging Bill O’Reilly to return. But they won’t give a damn, because in the world of progressive journalism, failure is a badge of distinction.

The Tina Effect

Tina Brown, Lioness of the Left.

Consider Tina Brown, who took over Newsweek, dragged it to the far left, and bankrupted it. Undaunted, she moved on to the Daily Beast where she blew through tens of millions of investors’ dollars to no perceptible gain before she was offered an exit package in exchange for her resignation. Tina nevertheless remains a venerated liberal icon. Even now, Bravo is planning a glossy TV series about her in which, rumor has it, she will be portrayed by Scarlett Johansson (undoubtedly a fan, if by no means a ringer).

Following Brown’s ouster from the Beast, Hamilton Nolan wrote in Gawker that “the Tina Brown NewsBeast era was…a fiasco,” adding that, “Tina Brown is like Keith Olbermann, a media star who has proved by now that they [sic] should probably not be hired, but who always will be hired again, probably at an even more prestigious post.”  Correct!  And if there were a Tina Brown Achievement Award (which may yet manifest itself, for all we know) the Murdoch brothers could be plausibly accused of bucking for it. Long after Fox has withered ignominiously, the Murdoch lads will be lionized in all the right venues by all the right imbeciles for their valiant efforts to guide the masses toward the light—even if said masses proved too benighted to embrace their Promethean benefactions.

Well, he was coming to Current TV–and pretty soon after that he was leaving it because even Al Gore couldn’t stand him. But he’s working again, doing a webcast for GQ.  And pretty soon he won’t be…but that’s probably just us putting the cart before the ass.

Après O’Reilly, le déluge

Maddow, Ascending.

Even without major philosophical changes yet in evidence, the brothers’ earliest policy decisions have wrought havoc. With Ailes recently dead at 77 and O’Reilly truculently exiled, Fox has already plunged to number three in the ratings–an embarrassment undreamt of during Ailes’s tenure. The sudden collapse is mainly traceable to James’s and Lachlan’s first programming decisions.  Available second-tier hosts were rushed from slots in which they performed credibly, to times previously occupied by powerhouses like O’Reilly and Van Susteren.  One tragi-comic result is the meteoric rise of Rachel Maddow and MSNBC. Maddow now finishes first in the hour previously dominated by O’Reilly’s Factor.  True, her ascendency is partially attributable to the anti-Trump polemics gushing from every conduit of the Dark State’s media complex, but it is predominantly ascribable to the astonishing lack of planning that accompanied the bloodbath at FNC.

Sean Hannity, wearing the perturbed look of a man coming to identify more and more with the proverbial canary in the mineshaft.

If Maddow’s ascendency reminds us that nature abhors a vacuum, the precipitate descent of Fox’s hastily reshuffled line-up into third place serves as a painful validation of the Peter Principle. And the brothers are only beginning. Once the conservative remnant manning FNC’s battlements is sufficiently thinned and the network’s new role as a sandbox for trendy sociopolitical experimentation better established, it will appeal only to former viewers of Al Gore’s Current TV, of whom there are at least a dozen, the brain-dead glitterati haunting Left-Coast salons, and, of course, Sarah and Kathryn Murdoch.

R.I.P., FNC!

Do not suppose that Lachlan and James will eventually see the light and reinstitute those qualities that made their father’s network a cultural phenomenon. It will never happen. Liberalism’s lodestone is too potent to allow for such practicalities. Just as Milton’s Lucifer preferred ruling in Hell to the supernal alternative, captives of the progressive entrancement prize their status within the liberal milieu too passionately to consider swapping it for success amongst the hoi pollois. Better, in other words, to be toasted by Cher, Babs, Bezos and Buffet than applauded by legions of bitter clingers whose approval comes at the price of finding oneself shunned at 21 Club. Barring some unforeseeable intervention, Fox will continue in decline, even as Lachlan and James continue to bask in unremitting praise from all the right social circles. Finally, when Fox is no more than a fond recollection, the brothers will be extolled for their excellent intentions. And as Billy Jack once said in dramatically dissimilar circumstances, “there’s not a damned thing you’re going to be able to do about it!” Enjoy! 

 

“The Devil and Barack Obama” (Part One: The Early Years)

In "Unfinished Waffles" forum on March 22, 2017 at 12:20 pm

d-and-o

Dear Mr. Obama:

Did you ever see the movie Big Jim McLain? We’re guessing probably not—for one thing, it stars John Wayne, and we don’t see you as a John Wayne guy, besides which it opens with a salute to the hard-working members of the House Un-American Activities Committee. We’re guessing you’d rather appear in an NRA commercial than display a scintilla of sympathy for an anticommunist bunch like HUAC.  But that’s not important now. What’s important is Daniel Webster.

The Webster Paradigm

We’ve seen media reports that you’re quite the scholar, Mr. Obama, so we needn’t remind you that Daniel Webster was the American statesman who twice served in the House of Representatives (for New Hampshire and Massachusetts) and then in the Senate (for Massachusetts) between and 1813 and 1827. No, not the guy who wrote the dictionary. That was Noah. No, not the Noah who built the ark—but anyway—the reason we thought of Daniel Webster as we began this effort to help you compose a true accounting of your presidency is because in Big Jim McLain there’s this spooky scene where you see Webster’s gravesite on a lightning-riven night, and the narrator intones these lines from Stephen Vincent Benet:

Webster’s grave as depicted in “Big Jim McLain.”

“Yes, Dan’l Webster’s dead—or, at least, they buried him. But every time there’s a thunderstorm around Marshfield, they say you can hear his rolling voice in the hollows of the sky. And they say that if you go to his grave and speak loud and clear, “Dan’l Webster—Dan’l Webster!” the ground’ll begin to shiver and the trees begin to shake. And after a while you’ll hear a deep voice saying, “Neighbor, how stands the Union?” Then you better answer the Union stands as she stood, rock-bottomed and copper-sheathed, one and indivisible, or he’s liable to rear right out of the ground.”

Please don’t misinterpret that as a threat, sir. True, you wouldn’t pass muster, but we understand your public persona demands pretensions to patriotism, even as you chirpily dissemble your record in that sing-song manner to which we’ve all grown achingly accustomed. You did a good job of this last January on the occasion of your most recent farewell address. Presidents traditionally use such events to voice concerns and hopes for the Nation’s future, but somewhat unsurprisingly, you used the occasion to review what you perceived to be your greatest moments in office.  As journalist Caroline Baum remarked, “Why wait for others to assess your legacy when you can do it yourself?” But even the perspicacious Baum failed to note the dichotomy between the legacy you described, and your actual accomplishments—or between what Comrade Lenin called truth and objective truth.

The long farewell– from a man who says he’s not going anywhere! 

We understand how frustrating it must be to continuously burble misleading flummeries while no proper recognition can be given your genuine achievements as an agent of the Islamo-Fascist Left. Like Dostoyevsky’s Raskolnikov, you must find the thrill of getting away with the perfect crime dampened by the realization that nobody appreciates your brilliance. So in what follows, we at WOOF offer you an opportunity to give a complete accounting of the blows you rained upon the Republic, offered  mainly for the edification of a demonic dyad (see below) uniquely positioned to assess the impact of those blows, as well as to applaud those manifold  instances in which your famously incomputable intellect sufficed to keep you several steps ahead of the  clueless bourgeoisie.

Franklin’s arithmetic:

Ben Franklin wrote that ““Three May Keep a Secret if Two are Dead,” and that’s exactly what occurred to us while pondering how best to help you catalog your rascality without risking discovery by the masses. Our plan works a lot like Binet’s–only without Daniel Webster, of course–he being an old, dead White guy who’d throttle you on sight.  No, for Binet’s framework to fit our purpose, an antithetic approach was required entailing a very different historical icon–one occupying a very different gravesite. An iconic figure sympatico with your unwaivering revolutionary convictions. We refer here, of course, to Fidel Castro.

_____________________________________________

The Devil and Fidel Castro

fconeYou will doubtless have occasion in the not too distant future to revisit the imprisoned island of Cuba, upon which you recently lavished so much favor, even as you conveyed to its tyrannical leadership so many overt and implicit apologies for the sins of your predecessors. Once arrived and sumptuously quartered in environs palatial enough to gobsmack the average Cuban, you will want to seek out the resting place of Fidel Castro. As you know, his ashes are interred inside a big concrete blob at Santiago’s Santa Iphigenia Cemetery. It’s supposed to be a kernel of corn, but it looks more like the Rubbles’ house in Bedrock. Anyway, the point is, you will want to make a pilgrimage there the better to reenact the Big Jim McLain scene, mutatis mutandis.  We suggest you cry out,  “Primer Ministro Presidente, Comandante Fidel!” And imagine your thrill when he thunders back, “Comrade, how goes the struggle for el socialismo?”

El Comandante’s tomb is supposed to be a kernel of corn. Presumably the designer was shot.

(Except he will probably add remarks amounting to three or four additional hours of your time, in that inimitably loquacious way of his.  So bring a book. After all, Fidel’s penchant for giving five-hour speeches to audiences forbidden to leave their seats on pain of death or imprisonment, makes him the only world leader to have used–and on myriad occasions–even more personal pronouns per speech than yourself.  But then again, because Fidel gave such long speeches, he had more opportunities to praise himself than you had in your (comparatively) brief addresses. Judging the matter on an hourly rather than a per-speech basis, you’d win hands down. Take your speech in Austin back in 2014. You spoke for only 40 minutes, but managed to employ the pronouns “me,” “my,” and “I” one-hundred and ninety-nine times. Did you know, the entire Gettysburg Address only lasted about three minutes?  It contains a measly 272 words– and Lincoln didn’t use a single personal pronoun in the whole speech. What a wallflower!

Print this article!

No place to plug in a teleprompter at Fidel's tomb!

No place to plug in a teleprompter at Fidel’s tomb!

So, when Fidel finally finishes you must grab the opportunity to say something like:  ”The struggle for socialism, unh, goes pretty well, and, unh, I really stuck it to the unh, Yanquis who are so stupido they –-hah–elected me for two, unh, consecutive terms, and unh…” And…see the problem? Here’s where WOOF can really help out, because, that’s right: There’s no place to plug in a teleprompter at Fidel’s concrete lump, and even if there were, Cuban electrical power is notoriously spotty—did you remember to apologize for that? Anyway, you know how you get when you try to ad lib! So print these articles out, Mr. President, and bring them with you (if you can even get WOOF articles into Cuba, which come to think of it probably isn’t all that easy, but you’ve got pull.) Stick to our comprehensive script and we bet Fidel will just about jump right out of his cement blob and give you a big comradely smooch.

Iblis, aka Shaitan–the most important audience member!

But don’t draw the line at impressing your hero in the big grey blob…no, he’s just the intermediary–like a medium at a seance–or a big cigar-chomping ouija board. What matters most is to impress the big guy himself–El Diablo. You know: Iblīs— did we get that right?–you know who we’re talking about, and he’ll be listening all right, Mr, President–the third person in Franklin’s trilogy. Okay, he’s not dead like Fidel, but he’s not alive like we mortals–so Franklin’s maxim still applies. The Devil can keep a secret all right! So here’s what to say; stick to the script we’ve provided and you’ll do fine!

———Begin reading your statement HERE, Mr. President: ————

Carl Davidson’s articles appeared in “FORWARD,” a journal named for the classic battle cry of the Marxist Left. By complete coincidence, that was also my campaign slogan in 2012!

“To begin with, right from birth I was the cause of confusion and dissent, only most of it didn’t boil over until I ran for president. See, I was born on August 4th in Mombasa—that’s in Kenya—in 1961, just a year before the Americans blundered into the Bay of Pigs, isn’t that right Comandante? LOL! Anyway, I always told everyone I was born in Kenya; but by the time I was running for senate, comrades like Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Carl Davidson— started to worry abut that.  I know the Comandante knows Carl, because he personally contacted him and told him America was ready for revolution, remember? Anyway, as soon as my fellow radicals,  ex-weather underground mentors and a few of my favorite CPUSA-type professors came up with the idea of my national political career, they pointed out I had to be born in America—just in case I ever tried running for president. Those were some smart folks, guys—I mean—Fidel and—Mr. Devil, sir, or…can I call you Iblis? Maybe just Old Nick!

Bill and Bernardine: My staunch supporters, advisors, and political advocates in Chicago, pictured here in more carefree times.

Multiple births, multiple mysteries:

“After all the advice I got, I realized I was probably born in Honolulu, Hawaii, (coincidentally, on the same day that I was born in Mombasa) so Hawaii became my updated birthplace, even though I seem to have registered as a foreign student in college. And there were all those brochures left around from 1995 publicizing my forthcoming book, Journeys in Black and White–which never actually forthcame, heh, heh,  saying  I ‘was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.’  In fact, my Kenyan birth was still going strong as recently as 2007 as publicity for my next book–which actually did get written.  I liked the Kenyan version because being a real African always impresses “African Americans” cuz, let’s face it, the majority of ’em couldn’t find Africa on a map–and real Africans always leave white liberal academicians gasping in awe, so the Kenyan angle worked great. To tell you the truth, near as I’m able, I’m not exactly sure where I was born anymore–I was pretty young at the time. But  I think we can agree that confusion is a mighty weapon we wield against the forces of capitalism, reaction, and  all those backward hayseed southern fundamentalist churches that won’t support partial-birth abortion or transgender bathroom rights…you know, like the Catholics.

“But honestly, fellas, the truth is, Hillary really did start the whole “birther” thing back in ’08, like Trump said, only I’d never tell anybody else that. For starters, she sees all these memos and oppo-research findings about my total disconnect from anything authentically American–a fact I take great pride in, by the way–but politically not so good! Next, in unmistakable Clinton style– the emails get ‘leaked’ saying I’m Kenyan–or Jakartan, or Indonesian–and when everybody runs back to Hillary and asks her ‘Why are you sayin’ all this horrible stuff about Barack?’ (Because by then, remember, the media were trampling her in a mad rush over to my side), so she just pulls that bug-eyed face of hers where she looks like she’s never ever been so shocked in her life, you know–eye balls popping out of her head–and –classic Clinton–she turns around and fires the loyal staffers she had leaking this stuff, and tells the press, ‘oh–we traced those memos to a few renegade staffers but I got rid of them.’

“I mean those Clintons, you gotta admire their style– their knack for looking self righteous while they pump out whatever garbage they just made up– I have to say, I’m a big fan.  I’ve certainly tried doing it like that, but when I go for indignation I just come off snotty, so mostly I try to act suave and highbrow, but that bores people after a while, except Charlie Rose. I think I’m going more urban Black from here on out, droppin’ muh final G’s, an’ soundin’ like ah’m from the Chicago hood ‘stead of Indonesia by way of Hawaii. And just between us comrades, thousands of my admirers will totally buy the idea that I’m all of a sudden talking like Charlie Rangel or somebody, because, let’s face it, they’re morons–but I say, praise Allah for making so gosh darn many of ’em! Can I get an amen?

The road to the Whitehouse…

Me and George.

“Okay, some funny things happened on my way to the Oval Office–at first, of course, I didn’t think I could win. Like everybody, I figured Hillary was a shoe in, so  I just wanted to get my face out there.  I never doubted I could beat John McCain–that guy has the electability of a brain damaged tuber–plus, I swear he was rooting for Hillary–but  everything changed when the mainstream media just all of a sudden seemed to decide I was the guy. Like somebody pulled a switch. Okay, let’s face it, somebody did–so let’s give kudos to George Soros here, before I go any farther.  Me and George go back to 2004 when he threw me a fundraiser at his New York mansion. Up until then, there wasn’t any real money behind me because most of my supporters were communists or former Weather Underground terrorists– and the only work those people can get with that kind of background is pretty much limited to tenured positions at major universities. But Soros smeared my opponent and got me elected in Illinois, after which I served about 700 days, and ran for President!

Wright and Wrong

“Don’t turn your back on Islamic tradition–I’m still in the Bible!”

“So the next big deal was my history at Jeremiah Wright’s church, which we thought might end my chances, because there’s tons of video tape of him saying stuff like ‘God damn America’ and ranting about the Jews, and White people, except that none of the mainstream networks played those parts. So, I just claimed I sat in his church for 20 years, and never heard a word, which was obviously ridiculous—especially with him being my kids’ Godfather and one of my books being dedicated to him and quoting him about “the white man’s greed”and stuff–but the liberal media held solid and covered it up.  In retrospect, we totally overestimated the damage Wright could do me—first because voters just dopily accepted the idea that I sat nodding like a bobble doll in his church for 20 years and never heard a word he said, but also when stuff came out about how he’d mentored me and counseled me politically the whole time, we just called it right-wing nonsense. When it came out he taught Liberation Theology, which is really Marxism, as you fellas well know, the press didn’t go near it. And when that jackass Ed Klein came out with his interview asking Wright if he converted me from Islam to Christianity, Wright tells Klein, “I don’t know about that… I can tell you I made it easy for him to come to an understanding of who Jesus Christ is and not feel that he was turning his back on…his Islamic traditions and his understanding of Islam,” —that could’ve blown me out of the water. But none of our media comrades touched it—even though a few of them know—cuz they’re mostly dumber than bricks–but a few of them must know that Jesus is in the Quran—he just isn’t a very big deal.

“But then Jeremiah goes totally nuts and gives a speech to the National Press Club. I was still pretty new at the game, so I had the Secret Service sneak me in to try talking him out of the speech—we even secretly tried bribing him to the tune of 150,000 dollars to shut up—which was a lot of bread for us before we got our hands on the money machine–but he goes ahead and gives the speech—and what were we even worried about? It was like it never happened. You know what the press talked about? McCain’s imaginary mistress!

“And the same thing happened with Bill Ayers—who bombed the Pentagon and married Bernadine Dorne—who also bombed the capital and the Pentagon—and here they paved the way for me into Chicago politics, helped mentor me, gave me my big political send-off at their suburban home, and Bill even wrote most of my book for me—the first one, the literate one—and he even gets me on the same board of directors as him for three years—and and guess what? Steffy—you know—Comrade Stephanopoulos over at ABC who reminded me I wasn’t  Muslim when I goofed and said I was? Well, he asks me, do you know this dude? And I say, ”This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood’ and that’s all there was to it—the only people who gave a damn after that were on FOX News, which we have yet to destroy, comrades.

Gosh, it’s Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers (that guy down the street) and Bernardine Dohrn. They must be Christians too, LOL!

Arugula, and other discontents….

Comrade Frank Davis: Communist activist, the father I didn’t have to dream about.

“Same deal with the books. Lotsa people bought ’em, but I guess nobody ever read ’em, because they were full of praise for Marxists, radicals, and anti-semites, plus my childhood spent imbibing the wisdom of arch communist activist Frank Marshall Davis, when I wasn’t studying Islam.  And all my bloopers, heck, they ignored those too. During the campaign when I told reporters I’d been to 57 states and had one to go, SNOPES actually claimed I made sense! I told a national audience my maternal granny didn’t trust Blacks cuz she was ‘a typical White person….’ after which I got caught on a live mic describing people in the Midwest as “bitterly clinging to their guns and their religion.” Ha, but even that didn’t go much farther than the right-wing blogs and radio shows. I  said Hillary’s primary win in Kentucky was because she was better known, being from the neighboring state of Arkansas–then I found out Kentucky is actually next door to my home state. Illinois, that is–not Hawaii, which is in Asia—but aren’t all those southern states supposed to be down south? And then there was the whistle stop where I asked the crowd,  “Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and seen what they charge for arugula?” Turns out nobody had. Boy, I had to drop a lot of final “g’s” to make up for that one!

And whenever someone to the right of Che Guevara needs to be smeared, you can ALWAYS count on good old Jan Wenner and  Rolling Stone!

“And of course I told Joe the Plumber he’d be better off if we spread his wealth around, which is crazy, cuz once we redistribute income, Joe’ll be plumbing for the socialist collective for peanuts, but again, it was sloughed off by everyone except that whole Hannity, Limbaugh, O’Reilly bunch—and our people dug into that plumber guy and nearly demolished him with smears and negative press. Chicago rules, right? If you make the Man look bad, you get the treatment!  But anyway, I get the nomination, mainly because the press all switched to me from Clinton with two snaps of the fingers–first Soros’s, and second, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s over at the Trilateral Commission–and those folks are some dedicated idealists! 

As the tide recedes….

“Bailey”

“I get elected, which surprises absolutely nobody by then, least of all that zombie McCain– and I’m on the cover of every magazine on every news stand, and supermarkets are selling me on t-shirts and commemorative plates with my big grinning face on them, Pepsi changes its logo to look like mine, and school kids are singing about me the way they used to sing about Papa Doc Duvalier in where was that– Guatamala? And I give that speech with the Greek columns and the reverb thing on my voice, and I tell everybody ‘this was the moment the sick got cared for, the moment there were good jobs for the jobless—the moment the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet started healing’—can you believe that schlock? But everybody practically swooned. It’s just like P.T. Bailey used to say, there’s an idiot born every second! And to cap it off, the next thing I know I win the Nobel Prize—for what? Even I couldn’t figure it out! I don’t think those old white farts in Stockholm knew why either–but like that skinny girl with the big breasts said in that video that went viral–they all had a crush on Obama!

Reverb on the microphone and Greek columns–because good taste is timeless!

The trillion dollar misunderstanding….

“I pledged to balance the budget in my first year in office. Seriously? I actually hiked the national debt by 6 trillion and managed to take an economy weakened by the housing collapse and the bank crisis, and drive it further into recession and debt by ramming through my trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ program. I called it the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but there wasn’t any recovery because instead of reinvestment, we did redistribution, mainly of the middle class’s tax dollars into all kinds of worthy projects such as stimulating the economies of Finland,  Indonesia, India, Mexico, China, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Vietnam, Italy, Russia, Luxembourg, El Salvador, Spain, and France.  I told reporters ‘the stimulus won’t cost taxpayers a dime,’ and did they investigate that? Of course not! Can you even imagine SNOPES looking at something like that? Heck, they’d’ve co-signed my baloney! Nope, the press just ‘reported’ it! Not that we neglected the domestic side. We gave billions to supporters like Elon Musk, NRG Solar, Siga Technologies, and so on. You know how to borrow a whole bunch of campaign money and get tons of free, influential support? One word: Solyndra! They donated massively to my ’08 campaign, lobbied for me like crazy–heck, their top executives met with me regularly at the White House even after I got elected. They bet a load of money on me, so no wonder I ‘stimulated’ them in return with $535 million. Once they got it, they folded, of course–how’re you gonna sell hundreds of defective solar panels? Earlier, I told everyone Solyndra was going to mean 4,000 new jobs, so the New York Times said I failed “to properly evaluate the company’s business proposals.” And they say the press is never critical of me!

Me, balancing the budget, LOL!

Save the marsh mice! (Screw the eagles!)

Eagles…who needs ’em?

“I told everyone the money was ‘going to help those hardest hit by the economic crisis,’ and those Ferbies on the networks just repeated that guff, along with all that ‘shovel-ready jobs’ manure.  Meanwhile we built a high-speed rail system in California that connects nowhere with nothing for a mere $4.3 billion; we handed $128 million to backers who constructed a bridge between Palm City and Stuart, Florida, right next to the bridge that already does that.  We gave an Indiana company $118.5 million to pioneer new vistas in electric-car battery technology, only they filed for bankruptcy instead. The Canandaigua Wind Farm did just fine after receiving $61.8 million to build turbines and towers—probably because it was doing just fine already, having built all those things a year earlier. Meanwhile I got the EPA to okay windmills killing hundreds of American eagles, just as long as they died green, but we spent $16.1 million to save the San Francisco Bay area habitat of the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse–and, (and this is my personal favorite)–we  forked over half a million dollars of taxpayer funds to support the creation of Yoga classes in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Say, maybe Hillary will relocate! So next I nationalize a few banks and take over GM and Chrysler, ban the word “Chevy” and build the Volt.

“The infrastructure continued to crumble, but nobody minded; I told the Press Club, ‘There weren’t as many shovel-ready jobs as we thought!’ and everybody laughs and slaps their thighs, like, okay, Barack, no big deal, buddy! Truth is, the stimulus didn’t create any lasting jobs for working Americans– but we kept people thinking it did. This total genius, Ed Pound, over at this joke called the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, comes up with the idea of reporting how many jobs we created  ‘or saved!’ Brilliant! Of course, we never did say which were which, and you can’t prove a negative, so if I say I’ve created or saved one million jobs, how do you know I didn’t save 999,999 of them, including yours, and maybe just created one?  And every summer we trot Biden out to tell everyone its ‘recovery summer!’ and we get Al Gore to say, ‘the stimulus worked!’ Talk about gaseous emissions! Okay, just one time, ABC slipped up and reported that 79 percent of wind-power money got spent in foreign countries–and even Chuck Schumer got pee-ohed. But you know Jewish liberals–they always fall back in line–so to speak–hey, did I do a microaggression there? LOL!

The best of everything!

Killing Mubarak, Gadaffi, and–oops–my own ambassador…..

Me and Mubarak–ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, suckah!

“Meanwhile, in foreign policy, I totally screwed over our allies in Poland and the Czech Republic by cancelling the missile defense programs Bush negotiated. At home, I cut funding for that dopey star wars thing Reagan started to protect us from enemy missiles, and totally humiliated Benjamin Netanyahu, who’s Jewish, by ditching him and his posse in the East Wing when he refused to let me dictate what concessions Israel needed to offer the Palestinians. I sent him out the back door after he waited for me to finish dinner without him, so he had to walk past the trash cans! I sent Winston Churchill’s bust back to the British Imperialists who put my daddy in prison for trying to communize Kenya, and I ordered Hillary to pull the rug out from under Mubarak, that long-time pro-American toady in Egypt. So much for rubber stamping American strategic interests, allowing our  warships priority access to the Suez Canal, letting our aircraft use his airspace–and playing Mr. Softy with Israel! Out he went!

Me and Gadaffi–ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, suckah!

“Next I persuade Hillary–who knows as much about foreign policy as she does about housekeeping–to help Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood take over Egypt–and I mean, this guy is a great choice–he thinks Jews evolved from pigs and he’s all about destroying the state of Israel–heck,the whole Muslim Brotherhood is just a wing of Hamas. So  he gets in and I send him 400 army tanks and a bunch of those F-whatever-they-call-’em airplanes–because he’s going to need ’em,  surrounded by a hostile state like Israel–and the whole thing looks perfect–we had the media in the U.S. calling it “Arab Spring!” So what happens? Some reactionary army general named Sissy–I swear, that’s his name– kicks Morsi out and takes over–and man, I threw a fit about it–I made every kind of threat I could think of–but Sissy was too dumb to feel threatened, I guess.

Gadaffi–last day on the job.

“Now, in Libya–this Gaddafi guy got bombed by Reagan way back in the day and got cold feet about blowing up Jews and Americans–and next he tells that “W” cracker he’s giving up his nuclear program so we don’t have to worry about him getting A-bombs or funding terrorists…boy, he never saw me coming! We bombed the crap out of him,which was pretty much illegal, but oh well–and when he finally tries to leave town and his own people grab him, strap him to some car and take turns stabbing him and shooting him–and Hillary goes on CBS and tells some brain-dead reporter ‘we came, we saw, he died!’ and she cackles that blood curdling cackle of hers– and I think, good grief, we can’t let people see this, it’s obscene! But you know what? Just more “Arab spring!”  Gaddafi was gone, Libya’s economy was ruined, there was no functioning authority, and terrorist factions devoted to killing Jews and Christians were left scrapping over the remains!

So then Hillary goes on CBS and brays like a jackass about it–really! How’d she ever think she could get elected dogcatcher?

How red was my Valerie!

“So Hillary’s so messed up she can’t walk straight, literally–and I’m thinkin’ this cows gotta go; but first we get this perfect opportunity to work with brother Morsi in Egypt to accomplish a mutual goal, namely freeing the Blind Sheikh. See, Americans are only interested in the dumb crap you wave right under their noses, so nobody remembers the Blind Sheikh bombed the World Trade Center during Bill Clinton’s administration, and even though the towers didn’t come down, Clinton had to throw the Sheikh in prison– a political prisoner if ever there was one! Naturally this infuriates the ‘Arab Street,’ and it drives my radical professor, lawyer, and ex-weather-underground comrades crazy, too, not to mention Valerie Jarrett! You know Valerie, right, fellas? She’s the Iranian communist Soros appointed as my chief of staff–man, she makes Van Jones look like Barry Goldwater! So all these folks are telling me we oughta do something to free the Blind Sheikh, but I can’t just pardon the guy–people would start to question my motives–and obviously my motives were the most closely guarded secret of my presidency! So what to do?

Sadly, the Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, died in prison–but we did our best!

“Well, Mohammed Morsi over in Cairo–did I tell you he rewrote the entire Egyptian constitution in one night? What a cool dude–anyway, Morsi is also totally committed to the Sheikh–he’s Morsi’s idol–so we come up with this really cool idea: Instead of just letting the guy go, which would  baffle the bourgeoisie, what if there was a hostage swap? What if an important member of the American diplomatic corpse was kidnapped overseas by a bunch of Muslims–only these would be good, ordinary Muslims who were really mad because, let’s say, some Christian in America made a movie critical of Mohammad. The Prophet, that is, not Morsi. And what if they demanded the Sheikh be freed from political prison and exchanged for the hostage? Like most great plans, this one was simple–and nearly foolproof.  Hillary would strip the consulate in Libya of its normal security and replace it with some local militia guys who weren’t worth bupkis.  Pleas to have the security restored and enhanced would be ignored. The patsy we picked to be kidnapped–the unwitting Ambassador–a friend of Hillary’s– would be snatched by overwhelming numbers of heavily armed, highly trained Ansar al-Sharia terrorists posing as disgruntled movie goers, and I would have no choice but to swap out the Blind Sheik for our guy, because my humanitarian concern would be so–you know–so overwhelming and stuff. Besides, the whole mad-about-a-movie angle would make it look like I was negotiating with a group of indignant cinema critics, not terrorists! What could go wrong?

SEALS of disapproval

Shoot, shoot, shoot!–and what could have been resolved quietly over the course of a few years becomes a case of mindless butchery at sea! I ask you, who were the real pirates in this scenario?

“I’ll tell you what went wrong–and not for the first time! It was those same same warmonger SEALs I’d tangled with early in ’09 when Somali pirates were holding an American ship captain hostage on a lifeboat.  One of our destroyer boats butts in, but I give very clear orders that any idiot could understand: Don’t do anything or intervene in any way unless the pirates are definitely gonna kill the guy, which won’t happen, because they need him–he’s a hostage, right? So the Somalis should have easily gotten the American captain to the African coast and hidden him inland, no problems, everyone fine–but no! The destroyer boat’s captain colludes with those SEAL maniacs to deconstruct my orders and they decide that just because one of the pirates happens to point his gun in the captain’s direction, the guy’s life is threatened–so bangity-bang, they shoot all the Somalis in the head–a disgusting bloodbath–and rescue the hostage, and I have to act as if I like it. As if I thought of it! Man, that had me steaming.

stevens

Ambassador Stevens, last day on the job.

“Okay, back to Benghazi. All I know is third hand, really because I was asleep in bed during the actual incident. Why bother hanging in the Situation Room, when I planned the situation, right? Hillary wasn’t there either–we all wanted to look surprised so we could say we didn’t send any rescue forces because it all happened so fast–which it would have, except for those damn Army SEALS!  Valerie’s in the situation room, handling what is supposed to be a perfectly routine seizure of American diplomatic personnel by irate Muslims, and everything’s going well. All of a sudden, a couple of those SEAL crazies decide to disregard all Valerie’s orders to do nothing, and instead they go do something–and the whole thing turns into this huge, all-night-long battle and when it’s all over and I wake up in the morning, we have a dead Ambassador because the Ansar al-Sharia guys lost their temper when those SEAL soldiers started shooting them, and we have no hostage swap, because who wants a dead Ambassador? And we have this other embassy dude dead, plus the two SEAL guys are dead–which serves them right for acting like Clint Eastwayne and disobeying direct orders–like, don’t they teach you to obey orders at SEAL camp?

So tell me, if the Left owns Hollywood, how on earth does a disaster like this movie manage to escape? Curse you Michael Bay–you can bet you’re getting audited!

“This makes the cover up pretty messy. Susan Rice, one of my Administration’s top up-and-coming Maoists, goes on every media outlet available all weekend, sticking to the story that some movie about Muslims is the reason everybody suddenly went nuts in Libya. I go make a speech at the UN and tell the same ridiculous story, and I blame American religious intolerance for the whole fiasco, saying, “a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.” Ha! Nobody’d ever seen the dumb thing except  a dozen people at some backroom showing in L.A., but I stood up there and lied up a storm, and everybody applauded. Even better, I took the opportunity to make a pitch for government control of the Internet so that in the future no more innocent people would get killed by Muslims justifiably upset by unregulated free speech! Never let a crisis go to waste!

Thank goodness for comrades like Samantha Power. When Susan Rice got in trouble for lying about Benghazi, Samantha, my favorite Jane Fonda admirer, took her place at the UN.  

“Hillary even told the parents and spouses of the dead Americans that we were going to get that guy who made the video—which came back to bite her after they found out it was total bull. The story didn’t stretch very well to explain a 13 hour battle with massed forces armed with mortars and RPGs during which nobody tried to help. We did throw Nakoula–the guy who made the video–in prison for insulting the Prophet, and he’d still be there if it was up to me. Sadly, the Blind Sheikh remained in prison and died there just a few weeks ago–and even sadder: Morsi’s in prison now too, since that Sissy guy took over Egypt–but Arab Spring was fun while it lasted! I finally ditched Hillary and replaced her with Comrade John Kerry–a diplomat so shrewd, there was already a plaque in his honor in Hanoi!

Incomplete successes….

“Sure, we had a few failures, and I’m big enough to admit it. We had this great website where citizens could go to report any neighbors, relatives, friends, or teachers who were talking trash about my policies—and it contained lots of reassurances for the public, such as, ‘For the record, the President has consistently said that if you like your insurance plan, your doctor, or both, you will be able to keep them.’ Poor, uninformed souls who didn’t believe stuff like that could be reported and receive educational outreach. Ha! Re-educational outreach is more like it. But so many people whined about it, we had to drop the idea. Even some liberals criticized it—like, what kind of liberal is against squelching criticism?

It’s not as though “re-education” is anything new. Pol Pot pretty much perfected it in the ’70s!

Pearls before swine in Copenhagen!

“One huge downer was earlier when Michelle and I flew to Copenhagen where they supposedly loved me because of the whole Nobel Prize thing, and we explained how important it was to me to make Chicago the site of the next Olympics–I gave this great speech mentioning myself 26 times in 44 sentences after which Michelle made an impassioned plea and mentioned  herself 44 times in 41 sentences– which I happen to know because that dirpy George Will guy–is he Jewish?–counted them, but the worst part was that even after we gave our time to fly over there and explain everything, that pack of White European ingrates gave the games to Rio–so that made for a long ride home. Even word that the number of Americans on food stamps was increasing by 11,000  a day  couldn’t cheer us up, thanks to those racist morons on the Olympic committee!

So it turns out I gave Chief Medicine Crow the Freedom Medal, which is different from the Congressional one somehow or other–and on top of that, the stupid Indian wasn’t even there!

“We had problems like Fort Hood where that oppressed Muslim officer shot a bunch of military types. I took the occasion to give shout-outs to my friends and staff and got everyone to applaud this Indian in the audience. I said he won the Congressional Medal of Honor, only he wasn’t there–and it turned out I really gave him the Freedom Medal, which is different, evidently, and besides everyone said I should’ve been solemn because Hasan just shot all those soldiers, but hey, nobody likes a Debbie Downer, right? And of course there was that dumb skeet shooting thing when I said I shot skeet ‘all the time’ at Camp David–like what are skeet, exactly? Anyway, we tried to back it up with that unfortunate photo–man, that was a mistake.  I don’t even want to talk about that one!

Despite firm White House warnings that nobody was allowed to photoshop my skeet-shooting photo, some jerks remained insufficiently intimidated!

Who needs political radio anyway? Radio used to be plenty entertaining without all that right-wing talk!

In all fairness…

“We also sent out a bunch of trial balloons about reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, but as usual, the reactionaries pitched a fit.  What do people have against fairness? Why should they just get to listen to what they wanna listen to?  Hey, before Reagan revoked the Fairness Doctrine we had “Tradio,” which nobody wanted to listen to, music shows, call-in psychics, car and financial advice, plus sports. What else do you need on the radio? All radio hosts were liberal, because that’s what the FCC called mainstream, and you don’t owe anyone equal time if you’re mainstream. Then Reagan ditches the rules and—bang!—you’ve got  Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Larry Ingraham, Mark Levi…they’re everywhere! So we tried to get back to where station owners had to put three hours of liberal commentators on if they ran someone like Limbaugh for three hours. Of course,most people don’t like listening to liberals (even liberals!), which is why you can’t find Air America on your dial anymore! So the owners lose money, so they cancel the liberals–which means they also have to get rid of Limbaugh and switch to 24-hours of self-help babble or sportscasting. Sadly, we failed to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, but we’ll rename it eventually and try again!

“We didn’t do any better at getting rid of FOX news, by the way—like when I had them locked out of our press briefings, man, everyone was up in arms. When I sent government employees to sit in their studios and monitor FOX’s broadcasts ‘to assure objectivity,’ they didn’t even care. Clearly, this remains a work in progress.

Killing Osama

“Also during my first term, I had to kill Osama Bin Laden–well, not me personally. Right from the start, I refused to approve any strikes on bin Laden.  Valerie and me–we were looking for ways around it–but the whole chiefs of whatever those pentagony militarists call themselves, they got to the point where I could see them leaking to the press if I didn’t act on the available info. In my defense, Mr. Nick, sir, I cancelled the darn operation at least three times! But after cancelling mission after mission I started looking like a wimp. Me, a wimp? Heck, I debated Alan Keyes! I tried to cancel the final mission–the fatal one–too, but those joint chief guys and even Panetta and believe it or not even Hillary pretty much bullied me into going ahead. Valerie said we had to give into the jingoists and besides, she said I might even get re-elected if I ‘got’ bin Laden–Americans seem to have an irrational hatred for the guy.

“But those SEALS didn’t just catch him, oh no! They shot him to bits and pieces. I had to say that we buried him at sea to get around showing the body–but I left that Pakistani doctor who ratted on Osama rotting in prison over there, so good luck collecting his twenty-five million! I also violated operational protocols and outed SEAL Team 6 as the trigger happy bunch that did the dirty deed–and as we all know, SEAL Team 6 was mysteriously blown to bits shortly afterwards when they were rushed aboard a big, slow, cargo helicopter and sent without any air cover into a known danger zone full of Taliban who seemed–heh, heh–to have been tipped off. Ka-boom! But I wasn’t finished! I found out they liked to wear those stupid ‘don’t tread on me’ tea=bagger flags on their uniforms–so I banned them! ‘Too radical,’ I told them! Like I said earlier, you make the Man look bad, you get the treatment!  Anyway, all in all, comrades, I hope we can agree that killing Osama was a necessary evil.

See that? Mess with the Man and say goodbye to your dumbass tea-bag flag!

“To sum up the rest of my first term, comrades, it went pretty smoothly. Eric Holder botched ‘Fast and Furious’ by getting caught, but the mainstream press wouldn’t talk about it, and we succeeded in arming the drug cartels. We overturned Arizona’s effort to pass some fascist law saying that they were going to enforce federal immigration laws even if I didn’t, and when that Jan Brewer hag got all up in my face about it on the runway, the press all said Governor Brewer was horribly disrespectful of me, so how dare she, right? Let’s face it, that kind of disrespect is only okay for Donald Trump! Ha!  And when the congress got antsy about all my deficit spending and tried to look responsible—which is a laugh, because they were so scared of me it was amazing—they did that sequestration thing, and all I had to do was shut down tours of the White House and throw a bunch of octogenarian war veterans out of some war memorials and say, see—see what those heartless Republicans did? Worked like a charm.

Close the fire department!

Ha, it costs nothing to keep war memorials open, and a fortune to police shutting them down–but it was worth it to see those geezer vets get turned away!

“That’s the first rule of maintaining socialist programs in a free republic, guys—as soon as they try to cut spending, close the fire department. As soon as they want to trim the fat or cut the pork out of some major boondoggle, threaten the oldsters and the vets. Works every time, and the press played it up like it was the GOP’s fault even after my emails colluding with the Department of the Interior to harass the vets got exposed by National Review--whatever that is!

“Unemployment went to new heights, but by assuming anybody who gave up looking for work no longer counted as unemployed, we hid the 11 percent unemployment figure. The media kept the real figures under wraps even when I finished my first term with two million fewer people working than when I took office, but I told the country I’d  ‘created or saved’ 4 million jobs…even though that meant I must’ve destroyed six million jobs, but hey, that’s another six million people who need government money to survive—and I call that progressive, comrades!

Never mind the math! This is my Secretary of Labor looking insulted!

“A bunch of conservatives like that Allen West guy, who’s Black, if you can believe it, started saying that the Department of Labor’s figures were “ludicrous,” and that capitalist pig Jack Welsh tweeted “..these Chicago guys will do anything–can’t debate so they change numbers,” so I just have my Labor Secretary says she’s “insulted,” and the story turns into this old rich White CEO bullying this poor, hardworking, Latina civil servant who’s also female—ha–this is why you appoint minorities to these positions, comrades! Never mind if they need it or deserve it, the PC political climate we’ve created makes criticizing them political suicide!

My promising career….

“As for promises kept? I did sign an executive order closing Guantanamo Bay’s detention camp–I just never actually closed it! But I freed a lot of the worst terrorists there who returned to the struggle for Islam on battle fronts in the Middle East. I promised to reduce American and Russian nuclear stockpiles, and I reduced ours tremendously while Russia actually increased theirs -but hey, it’s America that needs to come off it’s high horse, and Russia never keeps agreements anyhow. That’s when I got caught on a live mic begging Medvedev to tell Putin I could disarm faster after I got re-elected, which would’ve ended any Republican’s career, but nope—our media comrades buried it totally. I claimed I’d ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but  the terrorists nearly took back Iraq, and we’re still in Afghanistan, and I created a new war in Syria and fought an unconstitutional air war in Libya allowing terrorist factions to seize power.

______________________________

To infinity, and–never mind!

“I promised to make NASA ‘a robust program of space exploration and scientific discovery.’  Told everyone we’d return to the moon and land on ‘other distant destinations, including Mars.’ But that was all baloney. Thing is, even liberals like space stuff, so that was a crowd pleaser. In reality, I cut NASA’s budget, our Astronauts had to ride Russian rockets to reach orbit, and I re-tasked NASA with Muslim outreach, telling the new Director I wanted him to ‘reach out to the Muslim world and engage …with dominantly [sic] Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.’ I had NASA focus on promoting global warming, too, until those 49 former NASA scientists and astronauts came out in 2012 and called it all nonsense. I can’t control everyone. Astronauts are almost as bad as SEALS, and it took a lot of effort to keep the story our of the mainstream!

And for my next trick…

I called ISIS the Junior Varsity, and then I called them ISIL to make my cultural sophistication obvious. But I never actually did much to stop them.

“To cap off my first term, I politicized the IRS  into a wing of the DNC, denying tax-free status to any Tea Party applicants. I laid our borders wide open to absolutely anybody who felt like coming into the country, ignored my constitutional obligation to deport illegal immigrants already in the United states, changed the rules of Obamacare without approval from congress whenever it seemed convenient, used the EPA to conduct a war against the coal industry, ordered intelligence reports altered to make my ‘war on terror’ look successful, and made the growth of ISIL possible by withdrawing from Iraq prematurely.

“My greatest achievement of course, was socializing American Medicine over the protests of a majority of Americans by ‘deeming’ Obamacare to have passed, after illegally conniving with House and Senate leaders to offer sweetheart deals to Democrat politicians so they’d pretend to like it! Reducing the best medical care system anywhere in the world to something resembling the DMV, only run by the IRS, was quite a feat. And they’ll never be able to get rid of it–NEVER! The media won’t let ’em and the GOP doesn’t have the guts! And as  icing on the cake, we spent 600 million on a website teenagers could have designed for peanuts, and found out it didn’t work. So we spent $2.1 billion repairing it.  Look, free health care doesn’t come cheap!

The only part of Obamacare that actually worked was the pretty girl’s face on the website–and she turned out not to be a citizen and said she wasn’t signing up–so we ditched her.

“I illegally nationalized the American auto industry and illegally reorganized it to enrich union leaders while shafting shareholders; I illegally targeted conservatives with the IRS, BATF and OSHA, militarized the Department of the Interior to threaten ranchers, forcibly federalized local police departments by concocting claims of racism;  promoted voter fraud by using the Justice Department to prevent states from issuing or requiring voter IDs, ignored a court order to lift my  illegal ban on deep water drilling in the Gulf, used the resources of the Department of Justice to ramp up public opinion against George Zimmerman, illegally swapped three top ranking terrorists for that deserter guy Bergdahl– with the same name as my dog– who defected to Al Qaida but got homesick; and I established an illegal ‘phone tax’ through the FCC so ‘every school child in America could have Internet service’—which never happened, but the tax is still there. I also got caught altering press conference tapes to remove embarrassing moments, and conspired to remove evidence of radical Islamic connections from criminal events like the Orlando shootings, which I preferred to blame on a homophobic NRA.

“And did I mention Common Core? Our bogus educational initiative actually turned what was left of America’s elementary schools into Marxist/Islamic indoctrination centers! Yep—all in all it was a good first term. And I was only getting started, comrades! There was plenty more to come!”

WTSCTGU file photo

The worldwide totalitarian socialist conspiracy that governs us. (file copy).

[Well, Mr. President, what do you think so far? Obviously your achievements on behalf of the Worldwide Totalitarian Socialist Conspiracy (as we here at WOOF like to call it) are far too extensive to be summed up in just one installment. So PLEASE don’t go jetting off to Havana until you have the complete set, all right? Fidel isn’t going anywhere, and Old Scratch is infamously patient–so bear with us while we prepare the second installment of your career in review! As you know, it tops even your first four years of unparalleled vision and lengthy vacations, so stay tuned. And meanwhile, rehearse your delivery on this first chapter! We want it just right for the big moment! Remember–no sing-song!]WOOF PRINT