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Swans at the Koch



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The Corner-reading masses have been clamoring, “Jay, what did you think of the Bolshoi’s Swan Lake at the Koch Theater last night?” Okay, okay: I have a piece on the subject at Armavirumque, The New Criterion’s blog — here. The piece is mainly about the place of music in ballet. Knock yourself out.

(By the way, how much do the people who work in the Koch Theater hate that it’s called the Koch Theater? If ever I’m feeling blue, I think of it, and it makes me smile.)

Friends in Norway



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Readers of NR and NRO may remember Kristian Norheim, an official of the Progress party in Norway. The “Progs,” as some of us call them, are the Reaganite-Thatcherite party in that country. Kristian is a friend of mine, and I believe I first wrote about him in this piece: “Among the Progs.”

He is something fairly rare in his country: pro-U.S., pro-Israel. He is also unabashed about it — but not obnoxious. He is a gentle, refined, good-humored person. It takes almost a reckless bravery to express the views he does. I’m not sure most of us Americans can fully comprehend it. We conservatives often think of ourselves as embattled or put upon. We are in mother’s arms, compared with Kristian and his band.

Currently, Kristian is experiencing a certain hell. He posted to his Facebook page a cartoon about the Arab-Israeli conflict. It shows a Hamas terrorist holding a little kid in front of him, and is captioned “The Hamas Missile Defense Shield.” Kristian commented, “Sad, but true.”

Exactly right. And the ferocity of the Norwegian political culture has been unleashed on Kristian.

The invaluable Bruce Bawer has written about all this on our homepage: here. Bruce is the veteran literary critic and political analyst who has long lived in Norway. The Norwegians don’t realize how lucky they are to have him: a foreign truth-teller.

Let me say again that Kristian Norheim is a gentle guy, the last person who should be pegged as a hater. At dinner one night, someone across the table described the Progress party, which Kristian represents, as racist. I could see the hurt in Kristian’s eyes — but he was amazingly polite to the man. Far more than I would have been.

Anyway, Kristian is a parliamentarian and his party’s foreign-policy spokesman. They could not have a better man in place. (I hope he will serve on the Nobel committee someday…)

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Fake ‘Aviation Expert’ Pranks MSNBC Host: ‘You’re a Dumb A**, Aren’t You?’



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MSNBC’s The Cycle was apparently pranked today when a supposed expert contributor pretended to be an eyewitness to the downed Malaysia Airlines flight in Ukraine, describing the plane as having been shot down by a “blast of wind from Howard Stern’s a**.”

Co-host Krystal Ball, who introduced the call as an exclusive interview with Staff Sergeant Michael Boyd from the United States embassy in Ukraine, asked the guest what he saw. “Well, I was looking at the window and I saw a projectile flying through the sky, and it would appear that the plane was shot down by a blast of wind from Howard Stern’s a**,” he said.

Unfazed by the guest’s comments, Ball asked him what his military training suggests took place.

“Well, you’re a dumba**, aren’t you?” the guest responded.

“I’m sorry, sir,” Ball replied, before quickly cutting to commercial.

After the break, Ball told viewers that the guest “obviously was not actually an eyewitness.” (The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine is hundreds of miles from the crash site.)

Web Briefing: July 23, 2014

Pull Quote of the Day



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Osita Nwanevu in Slate: “Republicans have helped make this the greatest Congress ever for pot smokers and thieves.”

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Obama: Downed Malaysia Airline Jet ‘May Be a Terrible Tragedy’



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In his first public comments on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, President Obama briefly touched on the developing news at the beginning of his previously scheduled remarks in Delaware.

“Before I begin, obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border, and it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy,” he said. “Right now, we’re working to determine whether there were American citizens on board — that is our first priority — and I’ve directed my national-security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian government.”

“The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why, and as a country, our thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the passengers wherever they call home,” he added, before resuming his speech on increased infrastructure spending.

CBS anchor Scott Pelley then cut away from the remainder of the president’s speech.

McConnell on Women



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Rebecca Traister, writing in The New Republic, says that the Senate Republican leader made a “typically boorish and inane statement” about women in the workforce. Harry Reid says McConnell’s comments were “shocking.”

So what did McConnell say? Mother Jones has the audiotape of the scandalous remarks. Asked what he would do to help Kentucky women, McConnell said that most of the issues he had previously discussed apply to both men and women; that we have “come a long way in pay equity”; that there are “a ton of women” running major companies; that more women are being graduated from college than men; that “I could be wrong but I think most of the barriers have been lowered”; that the notion that he or his party are hostile to women is “nonsense”; that he is skeptical of the idea that women need “preferential treatment”; and that women will by and large vote on the same issues as men.

Yes: He really did say those things. What a monster.

Brandeis Faculty’s Anti-Israel E-mails Exposed



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Brandeis University was founded to “embody its highest ethical and cultural values and to express its gratitude to the United States through the traditional Jewish commitment to education,” according to its mission statement. But recently uncovered e-mails between faculty members expressing their express their disdain for the United States and Israel cast doubt on its commitment to that mission. 

Brandeis student Daniel Mael uncovered an internal faculty listserv that contains e-mails with hateful anti-Israel language and attacks on the school’s Jewish leadership. Mael exposed portions of the listserv on Tuesday, and the Washington Free Beacon has since gotten ahold of more of the e-mails from tenured faculty members. 

The secret Brandeis faculty listserv, entitled “Concerned,” was started in 2002 “out of concern about possible war with Iraq, and it now has 92 subscribers. When women’s-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali was to receive an honorary degree from the university, 87 Brandeis professors signed a petition in protest. On the listserv, they expressed their outrage. “She’s an ignorant, ultra-right-wing extremist, abusively, shockingly vocal in her hatred for Muslim culture and Muslims, a purveyor of the dangerous and imaginary concept, born of European distaste for the influx of immigrants from its former colonies, ‘Islamofascism’ — which has died on the vine even of the new European right wing,” Brandeis English professor Mary Baine Campbell wrote. 

The listserv has also been host to anti-Israel rhetoric, especially recently with the Israel–Gaza conflict.

After the Hamas kidnapping of three Israeli teens, Professor Donald Hindley expressed his lack of concern with what Hamas had done, instead condemning the “Vile, Terrorist Israeli Government.”

Back in 2007, he wrote: “Zionist olive trees grow wondrously on Palestinian corpses. In that way, we combine great trees with our own holocaustic ethnic cleansing.”

In yet another e-mail, with the subject line “Israel and Our Organs,” Hindley noted that if he were to die, Israel would take his organs, which would be “of use to His people, recycled as (non-Kosher, I hope but money does corrupt us all, as witness the Jewish Orthodox occupiers of Palestinian territory) sausages-frankfurters-weenies-erstwhile hot dogs.”

Also popular on the listserv are slurs against the school’s Jewish leadership. Former University president Jehuda Reinharz  and his wife are referred to as “Mein Leader and Frau.” Hindley refers to the couple as “schwartzes,” a derogatory Yiddish term for black people, in an e-mail from 2010.  

According to the Daily Caller, almost all of the professors on this list express their support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

In a 2013 e-mail, physics professor Bob Lange wrote that the Benghazi attacks were “not terrorism.” He explained, “It is not terrorism to kill representatives of a government that you are opposed to.” Bringing the conversation back to Israel, he noted, “If an Israeli soldier protecting a settlement is killed by Palestinian militants, it is not terrorism.”  

One professor, Doran Ben-Atar, eventually became disillusioned with the listserv. In April, he wrote, “Let’s not be disingenuous. You guys hate Israel. that’s what united the gruop. That’s why is was founded.”

The Free Beacon spoke with Brandeis officials who tried to distance themselves from the listserv.

“The opinions expressed by individual faculty members do not reflect the opinions of Brandeis University,” the university’s senior vice president for communications Ellen de Graffenreid said in a statement. Graffenreid confirmed that Brandeis faculty do have rights to free speech and academic freedom. 

The ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’



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As we try to work out who downed that Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, and attention is focused on the possible involvement of ‘pro-Russian’ secessionists (many of whom are, of course, Russians from Russia proper), here’s some good background (via Jamestown) on how things stand in the principal secessionist enclave, the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (DPR).  The writer adopts a pro-Ukrainian slant, but not unreasonably so.

Here are some key extracts:

The “DPR’s” core area has receded to the city of Donetsk, hemmed in by Ukrainian-controlled or contested environs. Secessionist troops (augmented with those that withdrew from other areas) are now concentrated in that city of one million people. There, the “DPR” leaders are now embarking on a state-building project on a city-state scale. It is, alongside the LPR [Lugansk Peoples’ Republic], a building block of the Kremlin’s Novorossiya geopolitical and ideological design. Were it to take root (by Russian commission and Western omission, both patent), the “DPR” would become de facto a city-state inside Ukraine, with a short direct supply line to Russia.

…[This is]  more than a local “pro-Russian” project, this is a Russian project actually. Weapons, instructors, financing, geopolitical agenda, and (for the leadership group at least) ideological motivation are all Russian. And given the “DPR” commander’s repeated complaints that the locals are generally unwilling to join his forces (including most recently in Donetsk…), it follows that the pro-Russia forces probably include an even higher proportion of fighters from Russia than hitherto assumed.

On July 10, three top “DPR” leaders appeared at a press conference in Donetsk: “prime minister” Aleksandr Boroday, “defense minister” and commander-in-chief Igor Girkin/Strelkov, and newly appointed “deputy prime minister for security matters” Vladimir Antyufeyev (Interfax-Ukraine, July 10; Russkaya Vesna, July 10). These leaders have nothing in common with Donetsk or the Donbas. They are citizens of Russia with their origins in Moscow, the Pskov region, and Novosibirsk, respectively. They have arrived in Ukraine on special mission in April 2014, February 2014, and July 2014, respectively.

Fairly or unfairly, Strelkov’s name has been all over the Internet in connection with the shooting down of the flight (did he in fact effectively admit to the fact that the separatists had shot the plane down?).  He had already become something of a hero to Russian nationalists. But for those trying to understand what may lie ahead for Donetsk, Antyufeyev is also well worth watching. The man has form.

Here’s the Baltic Times from July 11:

A former major of the Soviet OMON police unit in Riga and former chief of security in the unrecognized territory of Transnistria in Moldova, Vladimir Antyufeev and is also wanted by authorities in Moldova.

In a press conference in Donetsk, Antyufeyev stated that ”he has fought against fascism” all his life.

Describing his active participation in attempting to suppress Latvia’s independence efforts in the early 1990’s, Antyufeev described his actions as ”an active fight against the resurrection of neo-fascism in Latvia”.

On January 20, 1991, OMON troops, loyal to the Soviet regime, attacked Latvia’s Interior Ministry, killing six people during the January 1991 events in a failed pro-Moscow coup attempt following the Latvian SSR’s declaration of independence. Seven OMON officers, including Antyufeyev, were subsequently found guilty by the Riga District Court and were given sentences in absentia. Antyufeyev subsequently fled Latvia to Russia after the country regained independence and has since been wanted by Latvian authorities for his crimes. As a major of the Riga OMON forces, Antyufeyev and his troops carried out various attacks against pro-independence supporters during the January 1991 events in Latvia.

So, after Latvia, Antyufeyev eventually ends up in Transnistria, which is a sliver of territory (and long-term host to a large Red Army (and then Russian Army) base) that declared its independence from Moldova at about the same time as Moldova left the USSR. The history of Transnistria is complicated (I wrote a bit about it here in March), but the key thing to note is that its ethnic composition (divided roughly evenly between Moldovans, Russians and Ukrainians) is different from the rest of Moldova. Donetsk, of course, is in some senses (this is not a straightforward question) a ‘Russian’ city in Ukraine.

Working in security in one unrecognized ‘Greater Russian’ statelet would be excellent preparation for doing the same in another, if that indeed is what Moscow (and it would be Moscow, not the locals) is planning for Donetsk.

Senate Dem: Immigrant Children Might Grow Up to Be Engineers



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Senator Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.) expressed his opposition to returning the unaccompanied children at the border back to their home countries, theorizing that the United States could benefit from any highly skilled workers among them, now or in the future.

“I’m not for throwing people out,” Rockefeller tells National Review Online. “I’ve got a huge interest in science, engineering and math, etc., and those are the folks who are trained in other countries and they come here and we cut their funding. We’ve all benefited from immigrants.”

Does he think that there are highly skilled workers among the children currently at the border? “I don’t know yet, but, you know, children can become anything they want,” Rockefeller says.

DHS Tells Senators: $250 to $1,000 Per Day to House Each Immigrant Child



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Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson shocked senators of both parties when he revealed that it costs $250 to $1,000 per day to house each of the immigrant children who have recently arrived at the border.

When Johnson reported that figure, “there was an audible gasp, a bipartisan gasp,” Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) told National Review Online. 

Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Patty Murray (D., Wash.) wouldn’t comment on the overall cost of housing so far. “It’s in the president’ request,” she said. President Obama asked Congress to provide $1.8 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services “to provide the appropriate care for unaccompanied children, consistent with Federal law, while maintaining services for refugees.”

Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.) was one of members of the ’Gang of Eight’ who wrote the comprehensive immigration bill that passed out of the Senate last June, but he identified the housing costs as a reason to remove the children from the United States quickly.

“The moral of the story is, turn them around quickly,” McCain told NRO. “Send the message by sending planeloads full of them back to the country they came from, and the parents or whoever who paid the coyotes thousands of dollars to bring them to the United States will think it’s not such a good idea.”

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D., W. Va.) wasn’t at the Johnson briefing, but he wasn’t surprised by the figure. “Housing people — it’s just like prisoners,” Rockefeller said. ”Prisoners can be $50,000 a year or more.”

Colorado Government Site Still Pushing Obamacare ‘Lie of the Year’



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The state of Colorado’s official website is still echoing the president’s infamous “If you like your plan, you can keep it” line. The Democratic selling point came under fire last year when millions of health-insurance customers saw their existing plans canceled in order to comply with new Obamacare regulations.

Under the FAQ page on its section on health-care, the website claims residents who like their current health-care plan will not lose it under the law.

This is surely news to the quarter of a million Coloradans who saw their plans canceled due to the law — that number was recoreded by the state’s own Division of Insurance. The president’s 2009 claim gained such notoriety during last year’s launch of the exchanges that PolitiFact rated the comment its “Lie of The Year.”

Like many of the exchanges exchanges across the country, Connect for Health Colorado experienced its share of problems, requiring what local media referred to as an “Obamacare tax” to help fund the exchange. The tax is a monthly fee applied to all health-insurance polices purchased in the state, including those offered by private employers.

The Colorado Republican party has called on Governor John Hickenlooper to remove the line and “apologize to Coloradans for his misinformation campaign.”

Times of Israel Editor Tears Apart Stewart’s Israel-Gaza Segment



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Jon Stewart offered his take on the Israel–Palestine crisis on The Daily Show Monday night, cracking jokes about the conflict’s “asymmetrical nature.”

Though audience members seemed to enjoy the segment, some commentators have since criticized Stewart for what they say is a misleading and unfunny portrayal of the conflict.

Times of Israel editor David Horovitz rips apart the segment in his article entitled, “Jon Stewart — so funny, so wrong on Israel-Gaza.” ​His piece takes on Stewart “joke by joke,” explaining how Stewart misrepresents the true nature of the crisis.

Stewart opens his segment with a news report that explains how Israeli troops are set to invade Gaza as aerial bombardment continues from both sides. Stewart responds, “Tastes great. More killing.”

Horovitz explains that right from the start, Stewart fails to provide any context for Israel’s possible invasion, such as the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization “avowedly committed to the destruction of Israel.” Stewart also implies that both sides are happy to be back killing each other, which Horovitz notes is “just plain false” as the facts show that Israelis “would much rather live and let live.”

Stewart goes on to joke that though both sides are bombing one another, Israeli “appears to be bomb-better at it.” He notes Israel’s Iron Dome technology and their warning app that notifies them of incoming attacks. Gazans, on the other hand, are notified by small mortar shells that Israel sends to warn of an upcoming airstrike. “An amuse-boom, if you will,” he says.

Horovitz breaks down the numerous problems with this point. “Having falsely implied that Israel is as keen on killing as Hamas is,” he writes, “Stewart now seems to be criticizing Israel for not being as vulnerable as Hamas would like it to be to those Hamas rockets that are sent to kill us.”

Stewart fails to mention, Horowitz explains, that Israeli airstrikes are directed at homes where Hamas terror chiefs live, where rockets are stored, or from where rockets are fired. “This is not the mirror image of Hamas’s arbitrary rocket attacks on any and every Israeli target. ”

Horovitz adds that while Hamas does not generally warn Israel of its incoming attacks, Israel tries to warn civilians with the warning mortal shells. “Would Stewart rather Israel not warn Gazans that, in its efforts to prevent rocket fire on its civilians, it is about to strike back?” he asks. 

For his last wisecrack, Stewart compares the NBC correspondents from Tel Aviv and from Gaza, with the former dressed in normal clothing and the latter wearing a heavy protective vest. The side-by-side image “sums up the asymmetrical nature of this conflict,” he says.

Horovitz offers some insight onto this final point. 

“Well, yes, NBC’s Tel Aviv correspondent can afford to look more relaxed because, despite Hamas’s best efforts, he’s fairly safe, protected by that Iron Dome system, and the sirens, and the apps, and the reinforced rooms, and the bomb shelters that Israel provides to try to keep its citizenry alive in the vicious Middle East,” he writes. “That doesn’t add up to a hermetic shield, but it’s doing wonders in keeping casualty figures down.”

“And, yes, NBC’s man in Gaza is more at risk,” he continues, “because he’s reporting from an enclave that was seized seven years ago by a ruthless Islamist terrorist organization that, far from building bomb shelters and other defenses for Gazans (which would not be necessary anyway if Hamas wasn’t bent on fighting Israel), has diverted electricity, building materials and all other relevant resources to manufacture rockets.”

Horovitz adds, “An asymmetrical conflict indeed — just not asymmetrical in the way Stewart depicted it.”

Watch The Daily Show video here:

 

 

Border Security: The Bright, Shining Lie



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Senator Reid’s delusional statement that the border is secure is manifestly ridiculous, requiring no rebuttal. But the contradictory contention contemporaneously trotted out by amnesty proponents — that the present crisis would’ve been avoided had comprehensive immigration reform (i.e., the Gang of Eight Bill) been passed — benefits from the fact that almost no one has read the monstrous and opaque bill.

To members of Congress and the media: Read the bill. The assertion that passage of comprehensive immigration reform would’ve prevented the massive influx of illegal immigrants is a lie wrapped in a sham inside a farce. There is no border security before amnesty in the Gang of Eight bill. It’s an utter mirage. The bill merely requires the DHS Secretary to present a plan to secure the border, and the bill’s enforcement mechanisms are even weaker than security requirements in previous immigration bills.

The border-security metrics in the bill invest so much discretion in the DHS Secretary as to be meaningless. As Senator Ted Cruz said to then DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano during last year’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on comprehensive immigration reform, “Madame Secretary, it seems to me that if border security is to be measured by an amorphous, multi-factor, subjective test, that this committee knows to a metaphysical certainty that DHS will conclude that border security is satisfied.” Precisely right.

Indeed, even when congress mandated (pursuant to the Secure Border Act of 2006) that 700 miles of double-layered fencing be built along the southwestern border, the requirements were evaded, diluted, and ignored. By last year, only 36–42 miles of double-layered fencing had been erected.

In 2011, more than 7,500 individuals from countries identified as state sponsors of terror or that harbor significant terrorist elements were apprehended along the southwestern border. The countries included Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. Last year, well before the current surge in illegal immigrants, the Congressional Research Service reported, “Terrorist and terrorist organizations could leverage [smuggling networks] to smuggle a person or weapons of mass destruction into the United States, while the large number of illegal aliens attempting to enter the country illegally could potentially provide cover for terrorists.” (Emphasis added.) Obviously, that ”large number” of illegal aliens has gotten even larger since issuance of the report.

While open-borders proponents peddle delusions and falsehoods, the harsh reality is that the refusal of  the federal government to protect our sovereignty is putting Americans in multiple forms of jeopardy.

‘Obama’s Hilarious Lawlessness’



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From my Politico column today:

President Barack Obama styles himself a wit, and some of his best material lately has to do with his abuse of his powers.

“Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff,” Obama told a crowd on the Georgetown Waterfront on July 1. “So sue me.” Hilarity ensued.

He cracked them up in Austin last week. “You hear some of them,” he said, referring to Republicans, “‘sue him,’ ‘impeach him.’ Really? Really? For what? You’re going to sue me for doing my job?”

He must have killed in a private meeting last month with activists who were pushing him to waive more immigration laws. According to POLITICO, the president resorted to one his favorite comic riffs: “You’re not going to get me impeached, are you?”

One can only imagine the comedic possibilities in his 9-0 defeat in the Supreme Court in June for his blatantly abusive recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board or any of the court’s other recent unanimous rebukes of his executive overreach.

It takes a truly blithe spirit to play the constitutional deformation of his office, and the ensuing congressional reaction, for laughs.

What Sayeth Chris Christie . . .



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. . . about this abusive prosecution in New Jersey?

Be sure to read all of Charlie’s piece over on the home page. 

The Inflation Truthers



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‘They Didn’t Ask Any Questions, Didn’t Feel the Need to Fill Out Any Forms or Make Phone Calls. Someone Needed Help, and They Felt Privileged to Be Given the Opportunity.’



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This is American civil society in action, via the New York Post:

When disabled Vietnam vet Michael Sulsona’s decrepit wheelchair broke down in their Mariners Harbor home-improvement store, three employees jumped to his aid — and stayed an hour past closing time to fix it.

The 62-year-old vet, who lost both his legs in a land-mine explosion, heard a loud crack from a busted bolt holding the chair together. “I knew I was stuck and couldn’t go anywhere,” he told The Post on Wednesday.

But before Sulsona could panic, a red-vested employee nicknamed “Sal” came to his rescue. “He shouted out some orders and assembled a team of guys who came over and immediately started helping me,” Sulsona said. “They were like a well-oiled machine, like a SWAT team.”

The trio rallied around Sulsona, helping him into a nearby patio chair, and then spent their own time — off the clock — tinkering with his wheelchair, which the war hero had tried to get the Veterans Administration to replace.

It was a stark contrast to the service he gets at the VA:

Sulsona was shocked by the insistence of the home-improvement superstore workers on helping him — something he’s not used to in his dealings with the embattled VA.

“They didn’t ask any questions, didn’t feel the need to fill out any forms or make phone calls. Someone needed help, and they felt privileged to be given the opportunity,” Sulsona said in a letter to the Staten Island Advance.

After his letter got noticed, Sulsona woke up with a new wheelchair on his doorstep from the VA — two years after he started filing paperwork for a new one.

@Salondotcom Ironist in Chief on Twitter Policy: ‘Where’s the Fun in That?’



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The Twitter parody account @salondotcom got the Royal of the Boot Wednesday evening due to an alleged violation of the microblogging giant’s terms of service. The co-creator of the parody account tells National Review Online that Twitter, which requires such accounts to be clearly marked as parodies in order to protect the stupid, shut the account down. 

“Technically we’re in violation of their terms of service for not disclaiming that it is a parody account,” Jordan Bloom, who created @salondotcom with Rob Mariani in June, writes in an e-mail. “But where’s the fun in that? We’re stubborn enough that if it takes a quota of social justice snitches reporting us or whatever, by god we’ll make ’em do it. I suppose we’ll appeal and promise that if they give it back we’ll prominently display our jailhouse tattoos.”

(Disclosure: This reporter worked with Bloom at The Daily Caller, where he is the opinion editor, and I consider Bloom to be among the most redoubtable people in Washington. He is also indefatigable and dauntless.) 

Earlier this month, NRO’s Celina Durgin wrote about Bloom and Mariani’s parody of Salon.com, a San Francisco publication with a nearly two-decade pedigree of interesting left-liberal journalism that has, according to many observers including this observer, taken a nose dive in general quality and interest within the last two or three years. 

Bloom and Mariani are getting support from many earthlings: 

While Bloom acknowledges that Twitter’s sarcasm-disclosure policy does appear to be consistent with its terms of service, his rhetorical question raises an important point: Labeling something a “parody” or “satirical” is like elbowing a person in the ribs when you tell a joke. To the extent people are unable to recognize parody, this performs the useful social function of making clear who the dummies among us are. 

Though many supporters have speculated that Salon’s representatives requested Twitter sanction the parody site, Bloom does not claim to have any information in that regard. An e-mail and phone call to Salon’s New York office were not returned by press time. The long-struggling site’s San Francisco phone number has been disconnected. 

Tags: Parody , Twitter , Radical Reactionaries

Ted Cruz Spox: ‘We Want to Stop’ DACA



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A spokeswoman for Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) provided a little more clarity on what his border bill would do, explaining that it ends President Obama’s policy of effective amnesty for children who would qualified for citizenship under the DREAM Act.

Obama’s decision to create a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is the magnet that has caused the influx of unaccompanied children at the border over the last two years.

“We want to stop any more people from getting deferred action under DACA and we want to stop the president from being able to expand it as we have heard he wants to do,” spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told National Review Online.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) accused Cruz of attempting to deport the people who have already passed through the DACA program, but this bill does not do that.

“Our bill doesn’t address people who have already received deferred action under DACA,” Frazier explained.

Lowry: Immigration Law Is ‘Huge’ Example of President’s Overreach



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