Arizona Republic skips out on Obama-inconvenient story once again

Keeping up a long tradition, The Arizona Republic again is doing what it can to play good-puppy with the national media, this time joining most of them in avoiding the Susan Rice Story as if it had been tongue-washed by Donald Trump.

At least the ideological ringleader New York Times wrote something on Monday. The Arizona newspaper of record (of fun, new drink concoctions at Tempe bars!) has gone full Don Lemon/CNN on the story. It doesn’t exist on the Republic’s pages, thus opening the door for cartoonist Steve Benson to render another howlingly humorless cartoon about a Donald Trump story his publication refuses to cover.

At least the Times gave it something more than the A-16, middle-of-dull-story treatment today. President Trump said some stuff that was sufficiently over the top for Times reporter Maggie Haberman (who reportedly sat on the original Rice story for at least two days) to, yes, turn it into another “Crazy Trump Cites No Evidence” story. She quotes Rice declaring her innocence and, well, that’s that then, isn’t it?

The rigid, determined lack of curiosity on the part of these reporters is the real stunner here. Dare I say it? Sad!

It’s not like there isn’t evidence for Haberman to sift through if she was so inclined. Which she clearly is not.

Two weeks ago, Rice said “I know nothing about this” when asked about Devin Nunes’ allegation that Trump campaign aides and transition-team members may have been swept up in surveillance by U.S. spy agencies.

Yet in her interview Tuesday with Andrea Mitchell (for whom the phrase “follow-up question” put to a sympathetic subject constitutes a gross impertinence), Rice changed that line completely, posturing as an “investigator” who just had to get to the facts behind… President-elect Trump’s foreign-policy plans. And here I thought the media were consumed with liars of late. Only certain ones, apparently.

The Obamas have done everything to advertise their willingness to abuse surveillance powers, short of posting a neon-sign declaring “Get Yer Hot Russia-Trump Tips Here!”

Wait a minute. They were telling people to “Get yer hot Russia-Trump tips here!

For no apparent reason, President Obama loosened the rules on sharing surveillance intel a week before he left office, rendering the profuse leaks we have seen these last five months a given. His administration did almost exactly this same thing as what Rice is accused of doing now when they snooped on members of Congress during the Iran nuke negotiations.

There really is no professional explanation for this lack of curiosity beyond abject Trump-hate. Haberman is the one who is supposed to be digging up evidence, not the one whining that Trump isn’t serving any up to her.

Do you suppose anyone is ever going to ask Susan Rice what the national-security imperative was for focusing a months-long investigation on Trump communications? Or why none of the intel reports on Trump team activities that Nunes saw had anything to do with Russia? What was Inspector Rice inspecting, then?

Don’t hold your breath for it.

(Wild guess: Now that Haberman and the Times have broken ground with a story that turns the Susan Rice-abuse-of-power story into another Mad Hare Trump story, that’s something we may see in tomorrow’s home-town paper.)

 

 

 

Media apologies to Devin Nunes can start now

The Left’s defense of Susan Rice (haven’t we seen that phrase written somewhere before???) in the Trump spying case will follow two lines of argument.

One is that Rice, as President Obama’s national security adviser was “simply doing her job” when she began ordering the “unmasking” of, first, Trump campaign officials, then, post-election, Trump transition-team members. It’s not an outlandish defense, considering the wide latitude given intelligence officials like Rice to conduct surveillance.

The other line of defense is the Left’s remarkable capacity to simply ignore behavior that — were it anyone but St. Obama and  Friends — would prove unavoidably compelling to anyone with even modest curiosity.

Rice reportedly was asking for reports involving Trump associates as early as last summer, even before he was nominated. Before clamming up (as of the evening of April 4, she hadn’t made a statement), she appears to have lied about what she knew, claiming she knew nothing about information being incidentally collected on Trump transition officials.

No telling where this story goes, if anywhere. ABC and NBC news ran nothing Monday evening on the Rice revelations, while CBS national news issued a cloyingly sympathetic report that seemed prepared by Obama spin-meister Ben Rhodes, noting in the first paragraph that Rice simply needed “to understand the context” in which all these Trump people kept turning up (incidentally!) in all these surveillance reports — none of which, by the way, involved Russians.

Whatever comes of it, one thing that should come of it (in my perfect world) is an abject apology to Rep. Devin Nunes from all the media whose knee-jerk instinct was to mock the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee after he announced having seen documents supporting Trump’s claims to have been spied upon by the Obama administration.

The story line was all about Nunes’ trip to the White House, while mostly indifferent to what Nunes claimed to have found.

The Arizona Republic’s editorial on the subject was a classic of media group-think.

In addition to serving up abject hysteria about “the external threat to the sovereignty of our elections” (I swear!!! Go read it! It’s the very first line! Duping John Podesta into giving up his g-mail password is an existential threat to the sovereignty of our elections!), the editorial smears Nunes with a thick coating of liberal condescension.

“Nunes sent up a smoke screen — and we need to get beyond this kind of distracting political posturing. Way beyond it.”

Well, we’re beyond the smokescreen now. The smoke has lifted and — why look here! — guess who’s behind the smoke:

Susan “It was a spontaneous reaction to a video” Rice, conducting vitally important surveillance of Trump officials from July through December, and making certain their names were known to anyone who looked at the documents.

Which, as former Obama aide Evelyn Farkas noted, included as many people as they could round up.

 

Now, Becky….

A Letter to the Editor that include the phrase, “I am outraged…” is a letter from a zealot.

Right or Left, they all arise from the same crop of pods (yes, I did watch “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” last night on Turner Classic Movies, thank you). One arrived from a Person of the Outraged Left in The Republic today.

“I am outraged that our senator, Jeff Flake, during his time to question the Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch would ask: ‘Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck?” wrote Republic reader Ms. Becky (full name withheld because maybe she’s taken a pill and calmed down by now).

You know, it was an odd question for Sen. Flake to ask. But with all the purple-faced fake outrage being directed by the Left against Gorsuch (the worst? the absolute worst? oh, yesssss: Right here), a little silliness doesn’t hurt.

Flake in fact has indicated just how seriously he takes Gorsuch’s nomination. And his seriousness won’t please Ms. Becky.

But here is the thing: After four days of Senate hearings with this elegant, intelligent constitutionalist, a reasonable person — Ms. Becky in her present state of pique clearly excluded — simply cannot end a Letter to the Editor with this, and not be pegged as a Perpetually Outraged Pod Person:

“Gorsuch is not fit to sit on the Supreme Court. He must be opposed.”

No, Ms. Bahr, the Navajo Generating Station is NOT closing because of wind and solar

All politics involves the art of lying. The Left obsesses over Donald Trump’s unique practice of the art (Although… really. Wasn’t James Comey just a couple months ago the lying spawn of Satan-Trump himself?), but prevarication is a well-worn screwdriver in the progressive toolkit, too.

Leftist lies are often by omission. If someone had had the good sense to ask President Obama what might happen if your insurance company were to alter that healthcare plan you like by as little as a comma, then we all may have learned that you really couldn’t keep the fricking plan, after all.

Missed opportunities.

The Arizona Republic recently published (apparently only in its paper editions) a great example of a Leftist’s Lie by Omission. It ran on Saturday on the oped pages. By the director of the local Sierra Club, Sandy Bahr.

Bahr wrote about the impending closing of the Navajo Generating Station near Page. It is the largest coal-fired power plant in the Western U.S. In addition to delivering power to a multitude of states, it provides power to the Central Arizona Project, which delivers (uphill!) Arizona’s portion of Colorado River water. That takes a lot of power.

The NGS had an Obama-era target on its back. Closing it was a top goal of Obama’s activist Environmental Protection Agency. But even with the obnoxious “Clean Power Plan” in hand, Obama’s fierce change-agents at the EPA couldn’t quite pull it off. They managed to shut down a third of the plant’s capacity, but that was it.

Then, earlier this year, the owner-operators announced the plant would close. The driving force? It wasn’t the heavy hand of Washington at work. It was economics. Coal, historically one of the cheapest and most efficient-burning sources of energy, could no longer compete with other, cheaper power-providers.

Enter the exultant Ms. Bahr, crowing on the pages of the Republic about how coal-fired power “simply cannot compete against cheaper — and cleaner — energy options.”

Which is true. And if Ms. Bahr had simply ended her sentence there, she would have been spot-on accurate. Coal really is in a death spiral as a fuel source nationally because natural gas is so cheap.

But Ms. Bahr is an environmental activist, which renders it impossible for her to acknowledge that coal is being displaced by cleaner burning gas, because gas is not perfect, and Leftists bow only to perfection.

So she had to write this: “The largest coal plant in Arizona, and the entire U.S. West, may be shutting its doors far sooner than anyone expected because it simply cannot compete against cheaper — and cleaner — energy options such as solar and wind.” (emphasis added)

For honest environmentalists, the revolution in the natural-gas industry is a hugely significant event. But it is largely because of fracking, which they despise. So very few on the Green Left can acknowledge how natural gas is dampening the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

But the NGS is not closing because of competition from heavily subsidized energy options such as solar and wind. It is closing because natural gas. Because fracking.

Nowhere in Ms. Bahr’s oped (subscription required) does she mention the words “natural” and “gas” next to each other. And that is just a falsehood.

Even in the Age of Trump, it qualifies as a lie.

 

 

Conservative (once again) objects of curiosity in the New York Times

The Times is trying, bless them, to help readers grasp what motivates these curious creatures called ‘conservatives.’

This one is an earnest stab at explaining the Trumpists without explicitly declaring them unworthy. But, as always in the New York Times, the writer can’t let loose of the exotic-goldfish perspective. And she can’t resist making it clear — like a kid dancing with sparklers — that no matter how hard she works to make it appear she’s being fair to these sods, they’re still sods. And she wants you to know she knows it.

I believe the term is “othering.”

The piece is by Times contributor Marin Cogin, who writes an “On Campus” column that on Sunday examined some of Donald Trump’s odd-duck collection in the White House from the perspective of their days on college campuses.

“How Liberal Colleges Breed Conservative Firebrands” is one of those patronizing head-patters that seeks to illustrate the exotics while making it clear that there’s none of that empathy-stuff going on here.

We are in an age of pay-back time on college campuses. A generation of history-civics-economics education avoidance is returning the inevitable dividend. Today, it’s pampered Middlebury that’s in the news as a First Amendment wasteland, where braying about “flawed notions of ‘free speech'” being afforded to ‘racists’ marks you as a righteous rebel. Meanwhile, the contempt for anything conservatives hold dear is widespread. And few budding socialists on campus are shy about expressing it.

Cogin is writing to and for them.

Aren’t campus political contrarians all underdogs? Aren’t they idealistic and committed? Isn’t the very idea of being “anti-establishment” a good thing? I think you know the exception to these rules.

Conservative students on campus don’t raise consciousness. They “provoke.” Indeed, as Cogin identifies the initial subject of her story — Trump senior policy adviser Stephen “young Gargamel” Miller, a product of progressive Santa Monica, Calif., and Duke University — conservatives on campus are not just provocateurs. They are “contrarian-provocateurs.” They provoke by not agreeing with you, the devils.

All traits that are admirable in the comfortable mobs of young leftists are hostile and needling in not-liberal students (those Libertarians, notes another Times writer, are just as tedious).

Miller, as the writer observes, is “an aggressive self-promoter.” And a “bomb thrower.” (Which makes one wonder: Has any NYT piece ever identified a real bomb-thrower as a “bomb-thrower?”)

It’s not a bad feature on fly-over people and their ways. But, oh, the insufferable virtue-signaling. If you wish to honestly profile someone who you know most of your readers already hate, do you really have to quote what David Letterman (“creepy”) and Stephen Colbert (that “young Gargamel” zinger) think of the guy?

We do already know that, you know.