Meme of the Week

The Meme Warriors have spoken. Of the five daily memes that went out last week, Russia DNC proved to be the most popular by a nose. Media Chimps was second, while my personal favorite of the five, Zuckerberg 2020, finished a respectable third. Ironically, the most conventional meme – admittedly, all five were rather more verbose than the norm – finished last.

  1. 26.2%  Russia DNC
  2. 24.2%  Media Chimps
  3. 22.3%  Zuckerberg 2020
  4. 17.6%  CNN Godfather
  5. 09.7%  CNN Zombies
If you haven’t seen all of these, you may want to consider signing up for the Daily Meme Wars. Regular meme service will resume on Monday.

A meme, corrected

So, not the DNC and Team Clinton, but rather, the Obama administration, with a connection to Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” before she embarked on a lobbying campaign last year that ensnared the president’s eldest son, members of Congress, journalists and State Department officials, according to court and Justice Department documents and interviews.

This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.

Megan McArdle is astonishingly stupid

I’ve never had any respect for her; as someone who understands economics considerably better than she does, reading her articles have always been painful. But this is a new nadir for the woman:

On Monday, the New York Times published a jaw-dropping story, alleging that a 2016 meeting between a Russian attorney and Donald Trump’s son and son-in-law had been arranged to discuss dirt on Hillary Clinton that a Kremlin-connected lawyer might be willing to provide to the Trump campaign. Donald Trump Jr. had been informed via email that this compromising information was part of a Russian government operation to help his father win the presidency.

Facing an accusation like that, Donald Trump Jr. obviously didn’t want to sit around while the Times dribbled out information bolstering the speculation that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia. He rushed to confirm it himself, tweeting out the email chain. His response to being informed that Russia was trying to engineer the outcome of an American election, with efforts that included providing damaging information about Clinton? “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.” Son-in-law Jared Kushner was cc’d on the email.

Is this illegal? Does getting oppo research from a foreign power count as an in-kind campaign contribution from a foreign national, one that might leave Jr. and Kushner vulnerable to criminal prosecution? I have no idea, because as we say on the interwebs, I am not a lawyer. Regardless of whether these actions turn out to be legal, it hardly ceases to be a problem if this somehow manages to squeak through some hole in our federal election laws. What they did is so obviously wrong that a 10-year-old child would know better.

Social media indicates that there are some people out there still trying to defend the Trump camp’s relationship with Russia, so it bears spelling out why this is, as the ethicists and public relations pros say, “not OK.”

Donald Trump is an American. He is an American who ran for office under a slogan of patriotic pride and love of country. People who love their country do not help rival powers intervene in their country’s elections, even if that intervention might have the lovely side effect of getting them elected. Countries gonna country, and spies gonna spy. But Americans running for American office must pick sides: the will of American voters or the influence of a foreign power. Hint: You choose your fellow Americans.

What happened at the meeting could ultimately be irrelevant. The sin to which Donald Trump Jr. has already confessed is egregious enough. A decent person would not give an audience to a foreign power promising to help tear down the opposition. A decent person certainly would not contemplate and suggest timing of any document release — which moves this revelation beyond merely “taking a meeting you shouldn’t have” and into the territory of “a presidential campaign actively coordinating with foreign agents.”

Even Trump supporters seem to be having trouble mustering much of a defense. There was a lot of irrelevant sputtering on social media this morning. One Trump apologist asked me: What about Aipac? (Unfortunately, Twitter offered no way to transmit my response: an astonished, incomprehending stare.) Others mounted standard complaints about leaks and sly implication. We are now past the point of anonymous sources and innuendo. Donald Trump Jr. showed us the primary sources, pleading guilty in the court of public opinion.

The president’s supporters have already retreated to what now looks to be their last rhetorical stand: to say that this isn’t collusion, but just politics. They get creative and postulate that this isn’t unlike what Clinton’s campaign would have done.

Here’s the reality: Once you are given the details of a Russian attempt to change the outcome of an American election, there is only one patriotic thing you can do, and that is to get on the phone to the FBI and say “I have some very disturbing news.” End of story.

Translation: Donald Trump Jr. is not a politician, did not do anything illegal, and did nothing more than what is generally known as “opposition research”. The source is totally irrelevant, as should be obvious considering the large number of US-Israeli dual nationals who would otherwise be entirely barred from any involvement in the U.S. political process.

And to claim that “Trump’s Defeated Defenders Can Only Whimper” is even more ridiculously stupid than the illogical argument she is making in the article itself. We’re not whimpering, we’re laughing at the desperation of the Never-Trumpers. Besides, we all know where tracking down the origins of this story is going to lead.

On a not-entirely-unrelated note, the Daily Meme Wars is now 1,500 strong. If you want to help force-multiply the memes, sign up here.

Locked out of Twitter again

From our friends at Twitter:

We’ve temporarily limited some of your account features.

Supreme Dark Lord @voxday

What happened?

We have determined that you have violated the Twitter Rules, so we’ve temporarily limited some of your account features. While in this state, you can still browse Twitter, but you’re limited to only sending Direct Messages to your followers — no Tweets, Retweets, or likes. Your account will be restored to full functionality in: 6 days and 20 hours.

I can’t say I’m entirely shocked, considering that I had repeatedly broken my own advice against responding to SJWs on Twitter. Not smart. They complain to the amenable authority, and next thing you know, you’re “temporarily limited” or worse. No worries, though, I’ll simply go back to auto-muting any SJW who tries to “debate” me.

This will have absolutely no effect on the Daily Meme Wars. The mail will go out tomorrow morning as scheduled.

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After talking to a couple of people who follow me on Twitter and somehow didn’t realize I’d published a book, let alone 15, I’ve been thinking about how it might be possible to increase the general awareness of Castalia’s catalog while simultaneously expanding our collective meme war capabilities. Nearly 10,000 of you are on the New Release mailing list, but I’m not willing to use that for anything but announcing new ebook releases once or twice a month. We don’t even email announcements of new print or audiobook editions, although we probably should.

But I was thinking that by putting out a Meme of the Day, which everyone on the MemeWar email list could then put up on their blog, Gab, or Twitter that day, we might be able to effectively set things trending on a regular basis. The Meme of the Day would be “sponsored” by one of our books, which might or might not be related.

Today’s MOTD. Do feel free to spread the love.

We’re reaching levels of #FakeNews that were not previously believed to even be possible. #CNNMemeWar #CNNBlackmail

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