From Consumer Reports: We buy about 80 cars a year and this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process. This is a car which the Obama administration invested half a billion dollars in: But the best part of this story may be the name of the car. It’s called the Karma.
John on March 12, 2012 at 1:02 am
My friend Scott Ragan and I started Verum Serum back in 2005. I don’t think we were completely sure why we were doing it or what we hoped to accomplish. We both liked the idea of having a voice in things. In the early days we didn’t know anyone. I would write blind introductions to bloggers I liked. A few were kind enough to reply.
We also didn’t have any readers. I remember early on being happy to get 100 hits in a day. It took us about a year to get our first 100K. And then things slowly started to pick up.
In 2008, I made a new friend (via the blog) who turned out to be one of the most talented bloggers I’ve ever met. For around four years now, Morgen and I have been working to make VS not just another news blog but one that would really make a difference. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in that regard.
It was that success that led to a job offer which I’ve accepted. Starting today, I’m very pleased to say I’ll be going to work for Breitbart.com. If you’ve liked what I did here at VS, I hope you’ll join me over there at Breitbart.com. (My twitter handle will remain the same, @verumserum, so that’s one little bit of continuity.) I’ll still be writing about foreign affairs, media bias, and the occasional movie review, plus whatever else catches my attention. It’s going to be fun. There’s nothing better than getting paid to do what you love.
VS itself won’t disappear. There’s some real history here both political and personal. Over 8,600 posts and 32k comments which represent a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. (It’s hard to say how many unique visitors the site has had because we switched stat counters several times but it’s around 5 million.) I find that pretty amazing considering where we started. But six and a half years later, it’s time to move on. The blog will remain, but in a state of suspended animation.
Yes, Morgen and Scott will both continue blogging as well, just not here (they each gave me their blessing). They are considering various offers and options as we speak but details are not final yet. Once they’ve landed I will update this post so you know where they are going to be.
I think the best way to close this chapter is to publicly thank Morgen, Scott, and Cindy for their hard work and personal support. I’m grateful to have such good and talented friends. Fortunately for me, that will continue.
Morgen adds. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a sad day for me – I’m as much a fan of John and VS as I am an occasional contributor. Sure I helped stir up a little attention from time to time, but John has made this blog what it is (and now was). I can honestly think of no one who has worked harder, and who deserves more to join the ranks of professional bloggers than he does. And so no one is happier for him than I am. Congratulations John – it was a long time coming.
I am proud that we were behind the first major push back on this Administration, when we had the whole White House scrambling to defend a certain “wise Latina”. Yeah, we ultimately lost that one, but the American public was better served because we stepped in where the mainstream media would not have.
I am also proud that we initiated and led the fight against the public option, in revealing that it was part of a “sneaky strategy” by liberal Democrats to socialize our healthcare system. This is a fight we won, even if ObamaCare was ultimately enacted.
And when Democrats and their allies in the media tried to impugn Sarah Palin and conservatives in general for a crazed shooter in Tucson, we quickly demonstrated the unfairness and sheer hypocrisy of this charge.
And more recently we led the blogosphere in revealing the true nature of the Occupy movement.
We’ve been leading voices in many other battles as well, prevailing in some (bye-bye Van Jones and Goodwin Liu), but always proudly taking up the banner of truth and fairness to the best of our abilities.
It is a sad day, but also a day to celebrate what this blog has accomplished, and to thank all of you who have encouraged us along.
I have an opportunity to join John at Breitbart in some capacity, and in all likelihood that’s where you’ll find me down the road.
The fight continues – bye for now.
*Updated Even Further*
Well, this post was both happily and sadly anticipated. Congratulations my friend. I have watched you work incessantly hard over the past years and this is absolutely well earned and long over-due. I am so thrilled for you.
Morgen summed it up so much better than I ever could, so I will leave it fairly short and sweet, and allow his words to echo in the halls.
I sincerely look forward to toasting the special occasion soon, and thank you so much for allowing me the honors of taking up space here and to knock elbows with you boys, as it’s been an honor to be among all three of you. You have all been a force to be reckoned with.
And John, now I can finally say, “I knew you when…”
**AND UPDATED EVEN FURTHER**
So I guess I’m the last one to add to this, what is potentially the last post, in the life of Verum Serum.
It is with mixed feelings that I watch us putting VS on pause as we head into the future.
I am EXTREMELY excited for John and his opportunity to take his talents over to the Breitbart operation. They are extremely lucky to have him. He has proved, time and again, that he is up to the challenge of making a difference in moving and directing the political discourse in this country.
Since John and I started VS in 2005, he has become one the best friends I have ever had, closer than a brother. I count myself blessed to have him (and his wife and kids) in my life.
As John said above, when we started Verum Serum back in 2005 we didn’t really have a clear vision of what we wanted to do or say with the blog. We just knew that we wanted to jump in and get involved in the conversations going on out in the world.
And get involved we did: from faith and religion to politics and pop culture…from music and movies to science and the just plain silly. Between John and I, and then with the addition of Cindy and Morgen, we covered a lot of ground. And along the way we made some good friends around the country and even across “the Pond.”
Unfortunately, three years ago I was facing some daunting life challenges and significant changes that required me to pull back from regular activity on the blog; but John, working with Morgen, took Verum Serum to a whole new and exciting level. I am proud of them both and of what they have done.
As John moves to the Breitbart organization, and as Morgen potentially makes a similar move, I am launching a new blog (www.endofthetunnel.com). Now that my life has arrived at a new and different level of “normal,” I will be getting back to writing about the things that launched Verum Serum in the first place: faith, politics, pop culture and all the rest. I’ll also be writing about the things that I’ve been working through and dealing with over the last three years…things that have been life changing and altering. I hope you join me there.
I don’t want to feel as though I am saying good bye because this blog and its engaging, exciting, frustrating, challenging commenters and commentary have been a significant part of my life for seven years. So instead I will say, “See you later and come by our new places and visit us from time to time.”
Morgen on March 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm
I defy you to pick out anyone normal in this entire video. (Content warning)
Is it possible to do so much LSD that your children are still tripping 45 years later?
Morgen on March 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm
Over at Powerline, John Hinderaker points out the two degrees of separation linking Obama’s embrace of Derrick Bell at Harvard in 1992, and Bell’s statement in 1994 that “we should really appreciate” Khalid Muhammad, the founder of the New Black Panther Party. Bell’s praise came just one year after this now infamous speech from Muhammad:
(Video via Patterico.)
While there may be just two degrees of separation between Obama and Muhammad, the story really comes full circle with the decision by the Obama Justice Department in 2009 to not pursue a voter intimidation case against the current leadership of the New Black Panther Party. To see how inter-connected these events really are, compare Muhammad’s comments in the video above to this new VS video featuring Philadelphia Black Panther leader King Samir Shabazz, recorded earlier this year.
I frankly still find it stunning that even the Obama Administration would not pursue a conviction against Shabazz and the New Black Panther Party leadership, for whatever charge might be available to them. This organization is clearly dangerous: it’s only a matter of time before someone is inspired to act on this rhetoric, if it hasn’t happened already.
This is the real danger of imparting legitimacy to the ideas advanced by Critical Race theorists. That racism is a permanent feature of American society, that there is no solution within the law that will ever make a difference. If you really believed this, why wouldn’t you look at those calling for violent revolution as rational actors driven by despair? At a minimum you would probably have more than a little empathy for them. Heck, you might even let them walk away from a conviction they did not even bother to contest.
Open your hearts and minds.
John on March 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm
It’s getting pretty difficult to believe Newt is in this as a real competitor. If Newt had opted out last weekend and Santorum had won just slightly more than half of the 14% Newt got in Ohio (which seems likely), the delegate count would look pretty different. All that to say, it’s beginning to feel like Newt is playing spoiler.
Santorum went after Obama using fracking as an issue:
This should be a major debate this election as it seems Obama’s EPA is working to shut this down even as he continues to talk up electric cars which are over-priced and disappointing in the view of most Americans.
Morgen on March 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm
I posted a clip from Derrick Bell last week which included some pretty obvious Marxist undertones, but this…this is like a Marxism primer. CUNY TV in New York has curiously pulled a video clip of this down from their site, and YouTube, but c’mon, you know that’s not going to stop me. From 2007:
(Full source MP3 available here.)
But I thought according to Soledad O’Brien, Critical Race Theory was just about the intersection of race and politics and stuff?
On a related note, does this (pdf) remind of you anything?
The empathethic perspective also comes from the Critical Race Theory tradition, which suggests that a diverse judiciary greatly shapes judicial decision making, legal analysis, and, by extension, the law itself. Specifically, judges who hail from different social or cultural backgrounds may provide a more nuanced understanding of facts, evidence, and credibility determinations than judges who lack such experience.
Yes, apparently President Obama’s guiding philosophy in selecting judges – “empathy” – is rooted in Critical Race Theory. Small wonder then that his first nominee to the Supreme Court will forever be remembered for opining that a “wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life”.
Oh, and Elena Kagan, Obama’s other Supreme Court pick? Not only did she confer credibility on Bell by publishing his radical writings at Harvard, but she also gave a seminar in 1993 where she opined (pdf) that the issues raised by Critical Race Theory were “among the most important questions in all of American law”.
You know, questions like: does our Constitution serve only to perpetuate a system of racial subordination? And: was Karl Marx right?
Terrific. Welcome to post-racial, post-America, America.
NYT Rebukes Obama on Extrajudicial Killing of U.S. Citizen Terrorists, Echoes Hypocritical Eric Holder from 2004
Morgen on March 11, 2012 at 11:02 am
In a lead editorial today, the New York Times ripped the Obama Administration’s legal argument for the targeted killing of U.S. citizens in the fight against Islamic terrorism. Attorney General Eric Holder outlined the Administration’s case in a speech last week – the Times isn’t buying it.
Perhaps most disturbing, Mr. Holder utterly rejected any judicial supervision of a targeted killing.
We have said that a decision to kill an American citizen should have judicial review, perhaps by a special court like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which authorizes eavesdropping on Americans’ communications.
Mr. Holder said that could slow a strike on a terrorist. But the FISA court works with great speed and rarely rejects a warrant request, partly because the executive branch knows the rules and does not present frivolous or badly argued cases. In Mr. Awlaki’s case, the administration had long been complaining about him and tracking him. It made an earlier attempt to kill him.
Mr. Holder said such operations require high levels of secrecy. That is obvious, but the FISA court operates in secret, and at least Americans are assured that some legal authority not beholden to a particular president or political party is reviewing such operations.
Mr. Holder argued in his speech that judicial process and due process guaranteed by the Constitution “are not one and the same.” This is a straw man. The judiciary has the power to say what the Constitution means and make sure the elected branches apply it properly. The executive acting in secret as the police, prosecutor, jury, judge and executioner is the antithesis of due process.
I’d give the Times some credit for consistency, but the truth is this editorial could have been published at any time since September 2011 when Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike. Or even after 2009 once it became perfectly clear that the Obama Administration planned on continuing most of the Bush ‘War on Terror’ policies that the Times had spent years railing against. Did the editors of the Times really hold out hope that they would be swayed by the brilliance of the Administration’s legal argument, and thus duly waited to hear it before weighing in on this? I doubt it, and in any case we know they would have been hounding the Bush White House incessantly from day one.
But this isn’t even the hypocrisy I really wanted to highlight. Take a look at what Eric Holder had to say about the Bush terror policies at a speech at the University of Oregon in 2004. This really is the height of hypocrisy.
With all due respect to President Reagan, the problem is not government. The problem is with those who run the government. In the struggle against terrorism, these people have made a mockery of the rule of law…
And yet a disturbing pattern has emerged. Lawyers for this administration have attempted to sanction the wholesale roundup and extended detention of Middle Eastern men on routine immigration violations, and the indefinite detention of American citizens with minimal judicial supervision, and without access to legal counsel.
Now I understand that we live in difficult times, and that we face an extraordinary, unprecedented threat. We cannot be naive in how we expect to conduct this struggle. This is not a time for the liberal community to see our enemy for anything other than what they are: murderers bent on the destruction of our way of life, which is superior to that which they seek to impose. We must be aggressive in the conduct of the war, and in the interrogation of prisoners taken in that war. But this Administration’s view, that the President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief can almost always overcome what it views as burdensome laws, restrictive International treaties, and tired old customs is extremely dangerous.
Our history is replete with scandals and miscues that are tied to the unrestricted exercise of Executive Branch power, in peace and in war. We must employ techniques in the current struggle that are consistent with the spirit of our founding documents, and that will also stand the test of time. We must feel comfortable, fifty years from now, looking back at our actions in a way that we do not when we examine for instance, the detention of American citizens during World War II.
Now let me be clear. This is not to equate American al-Qaeda sympathizers with law abiding Japanese-American citizens. But citizenship must mean something. The guarantees that come with it must be respected.
The war on terrorism can be won and our tradition of respect for civil liberties can be respected. The tension that this administration sees existing between the two simply is not correct.
This probably goes without saying, but if “respect for civil liberties” took precedence over the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens under Bush, then the same argument should apply even more so to the idea of killing them under Obama…you know, permanently.
I have a feeling that a weasel like Eric Holder would try to square the circle between his sanctimonious condemnation of Bush in 2004, and the policies he is now defending. But when even your most ardent supporters in the media aren’t buying your bullshit, maybe it’s time to just pack it in and resign.
John on March 10, 2012 at 11:21 am
In looking for the “root causes” of last summer’s riots, investigators discovered something:
About 72,000 of the most troubled families, 60 per cent of those being targeted by the Government, are headed by a single mother. The rate is about triple the national average.
An official review into the causes of last summer’s riots is expected to highlight the lack of “male role models” for many of the youths arrested in the wake of the widespread disturbances.
The riot panel, set up to investigate the problem, is thought to have become frustrated that few details of the family backgrounds of problem children have previously been recorded, despite it being such an important influence on their behaviour…
Britain’s problem families are estimated to cost the taxpayer £9?billion annually – an average of £75,000 each in benefits and the costs of other public services.
In the UK, politicians are taking this issue seriously as a major drain on public resources. Last October the Telegraph reported just how serious the problem was:
“It’s a story of futility and waste. Waste of money. Waste of people. And it has simply got to stop. We are going to stop it. We can no longer afford the luxury of fruitless, uncoordinated investment. The damaged lives and communities.”
Mr Pickles highlighted the case of one family in Salford which was visited by 250 government officials in a single year, including 58 police call-outs and five arrests, five 999 visits to the local casualty unit, two injunctions and a council tax arrears court summons. The cost of the family to the taxpayer was calculated at about £200,000 a year.
Illegitimacy and fatherless households are just as big a problem here in the US as they are in the UK. But there’s a reason we never have this same discussion here in the states. The reason is that here in the US illegitimacy strongly correlates with race. As a result, any conservative–like Santorum–who raises this issue in public is suspected or accused of using “dog whistles” or coded language. In short, the left demagogues this issue by playing the race card every time it comes up. As a result, we can’t do anything about what is probably the #1 driver of dysfunction among young people–crime, drugs, gangs, failure to graduate from high school, etc.
The left in this country will not let us talk like adults about the real problems we face. This is perhaps the most egregious example.
John on March 10, 2012 at 9:33 am
Turns out she’s now being represented by Anita Dunn’s agency:
Everyone remembers Anita Dunn for the comments about Mao that got her fired. But that’s not the relevant video clip here. The relevant clip is this one:
In this case, we need to point out why the campaign is promoting Fluke and also point out that her message is absurd. Kudos to Bill O’Reilly who did a very nice job telling the truth about what is going on here when most of the media was content to roll over for the DNC’s chosen emissary.
John on March 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm
Jack Coleman at NewsBusters has what could be a pretty big media story. He spent some time digging through union disclosure forms at the Dept. of Labor and found that Ed Schultz has been collecting quite a sum from various unions while working at MSNBC:
In fiscal 2011, Schultz received $190,000 from the Communications Workers of America for what the U.S. Department of Labor categorized as “representational activities.”
For swag like that, you’d think Schultz could at least get it right about the CWA name. Instead, he invariably refers to it as the “Communication” Workers of America when its president, Larry Cohen, is a guest on Schultz’s radio show, as Cohen often is.
Coleman wondered if this could be another Ed Schultz, but no apparently not:
A Labor Department spokesman confirmed to NewsBusters that Schultz received $190,000 from CWA in fiscal 2011, far from than the $7,500 he was paid by the union a year earlier. The spokesman said unions are mandated to report such payments as required by the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.
Here’s the issue. As far as anyone can tell, Ed and MSNBC have never disclosed that he is taking serious money from unions while covering their activities on his show.
You can imagine the outrage at Media Matters if someone at Fox was being paid by big banks while reporting favorably on big banks.
Did MSNBC know about this? If so, why didn’t they disclose it. If not, shouldn’t Ed be in a heap of trouble for not doing so?
Morgen on March 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm
Paging Professor Beck.
You know I have a feeling that most of the hard-core Occupy rabble are already “on strike” against paying their bills.
“The intransigence of employers”. You just have to love the mentality of these leftists. How dare these employers decide how they want to run their own businesses.
If you stuck it out through the end she is obviously very proud of herself. Only in Obama’s America would anyone consider it “honorable” to agitate for people to squat in property owned by someone else, and to not pay their bills.
I can’t wait for the Occupy mob to ramp back up again. They may represent the Organizer-in-Chief’s vision of America, but I am confident that most of America will see these people as the free-loading, socialist agitators that they really are.
Bring it on.
John on March 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm
Actually only one woman goes topless the other two go shirtless:
They should call this protest Boobs for Bailouts. More here.
Morgen on March 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm
Yet another Occupy protest featuring a horde of harmless looking old biddies singing an Occupy parody right out of the Great American Songbook. Yesterday it was “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”, today it’s “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.
It’s almost as if there is some well-funded organization secretly coordinating activity with the Occupy movement around the country, in order to re-shape the movement’s image with an eye towards the election this November. Hmmm.
Speaking of old people. I think this is the most ineffectual throw-down I’ve ever seen.
If you are going to make a production of climbing over all those chairs, you gotta be ready to do more than wave your arms around. I was waiting for the Superfly Snuka move…or something.
John on March 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm
So there’s a clip of Chris Christie getting worked up at a townhall event that’s making the rounds today. It’s actually clipped out of the longer video below. The part with the shouting comes at the end:
They guy Christie was arguing with is a former Democratic candidate for state Assembly named William Brown. The problem with this video is that it has been edited so heavily you get no sense of how the argument developed. Brown is talking quietly and then cut after cut of Christie getting more and more angry. Christie says the guy kept talking over him, but we don’t see or hear any of that.
I’ve contacted Calkins Media who shot the clip and asked them to post the full tape. Until we get that we’re really seeing just one side of a phone conversation.
John on March 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm
I think McCain gets it just right here. He’s not calling for an invasion of Syria, but the idea that we need to give negotiations time to work is a joke. Why would we negotiate with a regime we’ve already said must go? It makes zero sense: