By Tom Blumer | January 31, 2016 | 9:04 PM EST

In trying to explain the current situation in Venezuela, the Washington Post's Matt O'Brien, in a post at the paper's Wonkblog, also inadvertently identified two reasons why authoritarian socialist tyrants like Huge Chavez and Nicolas Maduro are able to achieve and retain power.

The formula is simple: When you first gain power, garner international and media goodwill by giving stuff away, like housing and gasoline. That wlll earn you props from the likes of O'Brien and liberals everywhere who have come to believe that doing so "is a good idea in general." Meanwhile, you can work in the background to overturn whatever checks and balances your country's political system might have. If the populace finally figures out what you're really up to and rises up in opposition, they can't stop you — even if your party gets blown out in elections and takes over what has become, thanks to you, an impotent legislature.

By Brad Wilmouth | January 16, 2016 | 3:02 PM EST

On Friday's Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN, during a segment devoted to discrediting President Ronald Reagan's conservative credentials and painting modern Republicans as far right, host Erin Burnett proclaimed that Republicans "would hate that guy," and joined with CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley in suggesting that Democrat Hillary Clinton's views on some issues are closer to Reagan's.

By Sarah Stites | January 1, 2016 | 2:14 PM EST

During the darkest days of communism, Romanians had something to brighten their oppressed existence—illicit American movie parties.

Under Nicolae Ceausescu’s dictatorship, the Eastern European country had very little contact with the West. But thanks to Teodor Zamfir who was willing to smuggle VHS tapes, and his translator Ilina Nistor who dubbed them, over 3000 movies made it over to Romania between 1985 and 1989. Millions of lives were changed and uplifted as a result. 

By Tom Johnson | December 28, 2015 | 10:06 PM EST

In his new documentary, Where to Invade Next, Michael Moore jaunts around Europe showcasing what he deems enlightened social and economic policies, including Italy’s lengthy paid vacations, Norway’s treatment of prison inmates, and France’s school-lunch program. New York Times reviewer Stephen Holden observed that Moore’s “examples…are cherry-picked to make American audiences feel envious and guilty.”

On Monday, Salon ran an interview with Moore in which he talked about the movie as well as the U.S. presidential campaign. One of his comments: "I also think it’s a little gauche for Americans to point out to anybody in the world what their problems are at this point…I think we need a little time in the timeout room, you know what I’m saying? A little chill-down from running around the world: ‘You need democracy! Now you need democracy!’”

By Tom Johnson | December 23, 2015 | 11:22 AM EST

New York magazine’s Chait thinks that in a sense, conservatism and Communism aren’t such strange bedfellows when it comes to economic matters. In a Sunday post, Chait categorized “American conservatism” and Marxism as “rigid dogma,” whereas liberalism, he argued, focuses on “data.”

Chait contended that “liberals would abandon, say, new environmental regulations if evidence persuaded them the program was not actually improving the environment, because bigger government is merely the means to an end. No evidence could persuade conservatives to support new environmental regulations, because conservatives consider small government a worthy end [in] itself.”

By Tom Johnson | December 18, 2015 | 11:02 AM EST

Starting with the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, several mass shootings have brought about considerable debate regarding restrictions on access to firearms for the mentally ill. D.R. Tucker argued last Sunday that denying guns to “deranged individuals” should have been a special cause for conservatives long before -- specifically, since March 1981, when John Hinckley tried to assassinate President Reagan.

“You’d figure that the folks who worship Reagan like he’s a second Jesus would have been so shocked by the attempted murder of their hero that they would join progressives in calling for comprehensive gun reform, to make sure no deranged person could ever do something like this again,” wrote Tucker. “Of course, you’d figure wrong.”

By Tom Blumer | December 14, 2015 | 6:07 PM EST

One hesitates to give attention to Jesse A. Myerson. But it's probably worth it, if for no other reason to contend that many of his beliefs are likely shared by the mindless lemmings disguised as "journalists" who wildly cheered on Saturday when an obviously orchestrated "climate change" agreement designed ultimately to redistribute massive amounts of wealth from developed to underdeveloped countries — which would virtually guarantee that they will stay undeveloped — was announced in Paris.

Almost two years ago, Myerson, whose experience includes "the Media and Labor Outreach committees at Occupy Wall Street," identified of "Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For" in a Rolling Stone column. A week ago at The Nation, he vacuously attempted to elaborate on one of those five ideas, namely: "Let’s get rid of private housing."

By Clay Waters | November 9, 2015 | 11:33 AM EST

It was an '80s flashback in the New York Times Sunday book review. Serge Schmemann attacked a new book about Russian dictator Vladimir Putin by Garry Kasparov. Schmemann seemed to take personally Kasparov's criticism of Barack Obama and his celebration of Ronald Reagan. Schmemann gave all the credit to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev: "...ultimately it was Gorbachev, more than any American or other Western leader, who played the greatest role in bringing down the Soviet system." Deeper inside, the Times gave space for veteran liberal journalist Timothy Noah to review a Jack Kemp biography: "If space aliens were to land a flying saucer on the Capitol’s South Lawn, one question they might ask is: Wherever did you get the idea that cutting taxes would increase revenue?"

By Brad Wilmouth | October 25, 2015 | 11:47 AM EDT

Appearing as a guest on Friday's Tavis Smiley show on PBS, actor Dick Van Dyke spoke of his support for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and oddly complained that it is "incendiary" for his critics to call him a "socialist," even though Sanders labels himself a "democratic socialist." Van Dyke then declared that "we're a fairly socialist government already."

The veteran actor, who is currently promoting his book, Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging, had previously appeared on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell and pronounced Sanders the winner of the Democratic presidential debate.

By Seton Motley | October 13, 2015 | 8:42 AM EDT

We’ve time and again seen the media receive their messaging orders  - and then march off all mouthing the Leftist talking point(s) of the day.  Washington, D.C.-based talk radio host Chris Plante quotes a military friend of his describing the media not as a gaggle, but as a centipede.  Multitudinous legs in coordinated movement - all headed in the same direction. 

Talk radio impresario Rush Limbaugh has long made audio cavalcades of this media mal-practice a routine feature of his show.  He strings together “media montages” - innumerable examples of “reporters” magically all arriving at the exact same Leftist term(s) to describe the news of the day.  

By Matthew Balan | October 10, 2015 | 10:10 AM EDT

Jennifer Latson paid tribute to communist thug Che Guevara on the anniversary of his death in a gushing Friday item on Time magazine's website. Latson marveled how the Argentinian radical "might have considered the United States his worst enemy, but he faced an even greater threat to his revolutionary ambitions: asthma." The writer later touted that "asthma didn't keep him from embracing the rowdiness of youth," and that "it didn't prevent him from following a rugged revolutionary road to Cuba."

By Tom Blumer | October 4, 2015 | 11:11 AM EDT

Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro presides over a country which is falling apart thanks to the socialist policies of his government and that of his predecessor Hugo Chavez. The Economist describes the period since Chavez took over in 1998 as that of "authoritarian misrule" characterized by "by shortages of everything from poultry to pharmaceuticals, by inflation approaching 200% and by rampant corruption and crime."

It also cites the country's "dwindling cash reserves." Given the situation, the fact that a U.S.-based PR firm has recently and eagerly taken on the task of trying to make Maduro look good should be seen as appalling. But that hasn't been the case. The apparent silence of some of this PR firm's leftist clients arguably indicates that they tacitly support obvious oppression as long as the one engaging in it is a socialist. What little press coverage there has been of this firm's association with Maduro has been neutral to mildly laudatory.