Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SHORTER S. ROBERT LICHTER. My old employees at Fox News are both the most anti-Obama network and the most fair and balanced network. How can this be? Simple. As a study by my own right wing front group explains, all the other networks are liberal media liars who love the fraud Obama. For purposes of this argument, the figures also show that the liberal media liars are now attacking the fraud Obama (whom they love) just as much as Fox is. Now, having said that, how can we go on insisting that the liberal media liars love the fraud Obama, whom they are attacking? Simple. (throws sand, runs out of room)
BOW MAO. I have to admit, even accustomed as I am to this foolishness, I found the hubbub over Obama's bow to the Japanese royals rather de trop. But I didn't expect we'd still be talking about it on Tuesday. Now footage of Nixon bowing to Mao has surfaced. They say fools rush in, and me and neo-neocon prove it:
I admit that I don’t like it. But it’s a little head bob compared to Obama’s extraordinarily deep obeisance. What’s more, in Obama’s case the bow is symbolic of his policies to humble America. In Nixon’s, the intent and the policies were -- different.
I'm really sorry she didn't explain that difference. 37 years after Nixon's visit, China's slave laborers make our clothes and its banks hold $798.9 billion in U.S. treasury bonds, more than any other foreign power. And look -- Japan is number two! I'm surprised Obama didn't kiss their asses.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I GET A SCOOP! Six sizzling excerpts from Going Rogue are available now at Runnin' Scared. (Some people seem to think it's just a joke, but you folks know I have no sense of humor.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'LL STICK WITH HIS BROTHER BOB. I see Lou Dobbs is leaving CNN. The Times playfully notes that "Mr. Dobbs’s show drew an average of 631,000 viewers in October, putting him in third place behind Fox News and MSNBC," and suggests he will go to Fox to do opinion journalism. The Ole Perfesser thinks he may have bigger fish to fry:
SO I’VE WATCHED LOU DOBBS’ RESIGNATION SPEECH and I wonder — is he planning to go Perot? Or, maybe, run in the Democratic primary?
I clicked the latter link to see what he meant:
MICKEY KAUS notes that the Democrats are abandoning the working class... If Lou Dobbs were running for President, this wouldn’t be happening.
It's dated June 18, 2007, bringing us back to the days when dirty Mescans were a bigger deal than Islamist Army majors. Does this signal a change in rightblogger tactics? I doubt it, with two Spanish-surnamed great right hopes in Florida now: Armando Gutierrez, supported by former "little brown one" George P. Bush, contending for a House seat, and Marco Rubio running for the GOP Senate nod against Charlie Crist -- Rubio's supporters are already accusing the Crist camp of racism. Rubio and Gutierrez are Cuban-Americans, but good luck explaining the difference to yahoos.

No, that's just nostalgia for more propitious times. They can always stick another nemesis to the prejudice when the sledding gets heavy. Dobbs is probably going to peddle his papers on another street and leave it at that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MORE CHILLING OF FREE SPEECH IN OBAMA'S AMERICA. I figured there'd be a lot of crazy stuff about Fort Hood, and there has been, but now it's starting to get out of hand. I have a story up at Runnin' Scared about the rightwing guys who called the FBI on commenters at the Joe My God site who appeared to promote violence, citing the Hasan massacre as a reason to be vigilant.

Over-the-top commenters are worrisome and weird, but it has never occurred to me to call the FBI on commenters who say things like "'Save the earth and our great nation...kill a liberal.' That's what I want my T-Shirt to read." Maybe I've been on the internet too long and have acquired a diminished capacity for panic.

It also strikes me that calling in the feds runs counter to the general message that Obama is the one trying to use the force of law to shut down the internet.
THE OLD DARK HOUSE. Hadn't been over to see the Ann Althouse site for a long, long while, but I retain a soft spot for her, so when tipped today by the Perfesser (with the irresistible tease, "Teenager? Is TMZ threatening to post child pornography?") I took a chance. Professor Althouse was talking about the Carrie Prejean sex tape:
But TMZ — I don't read it much, but, again, I'll guess — does not itself parade as Christian. Prejean does, and so she will be held to the high standards of Christianity, while TMZ can say and do whatever it wants. ("When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. ")

TMZ is following Rule 4 of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals":
Scripture and Saul Alinsky? This explains so much: Althouse is The Anchoress!

This argument that hypocrisy doesn't exist for the Elect is by now an old rightwing favorite, and the quality of Althouse's reasoning hasn't changed much from the old days. But the Jesus stuff was a shock. I went down into her comments; a quick scan suggests that the old let's-pretend liberals (what were their names, again? Rainbow? Sunshine?) seem to have fled or outed themselves, and the remnant are leaving stuff like this:
What's difficult as hell to do is to live up to the standards that would be set up for Christians by the butt-buggering sodomites. The rapists of 13-year-old children.

Christians could never live up to the sodomites' expectations.

Thankfully, though, Jesus doesn't require that. And we know they'll spend eternity burning in hell.

So at least there's that comfort.
Amazingly, Althouse is still removing comments, perhaps because they don't come up to the standards of this gem, or because they're actually messages from her employers trying to reach her because her phone has gone dead and her windows are boarded up.

Den Beste isn't still blogging, is he?

UPDATE. Althouse has a 1,200-word response, in which she claims I quote her out of context. The link to her post remains active, so you can judge that for yourself. She also thinks I misunderstand her, and deliberately, lest I be forced to declare I agree with her, which would get me fired. On the contrary -- if our disagreements are as important as she portrays them, such a revelation would be headline news, and boost my traffic. I might get promoted to janitor. Think of the prestige, and the raise in salary!

She's right about one thing, though -- there's no evidence that she removes comments. That was "a lazy mistake," if she'll forgive my quoting her again without attaching the rest of the post to make sure the context is clear.

An Althouse defender comes to comments to notify my readers:
If you can ever tear yourself away from the one website you visit every day you would understand how big of a joke Edroso is in the blogging community, and it's because he does stuff like this.
I had deceived myself that they were laughing with me. But that's okay. If I weren't content with negative attention, why would I write about these people in the first place? The rest of you I leave free to dump me for some more reputable site, lest you suffer in the Althouseans' eyes guilt by free-association.

I should add that I am grateful to learn that the hell-fire commenter had specific targets in mind for her hell-fire, "Polanski and the Hollywood-type liberals who've defended him," though I had no idea those people ran TMZ, nor that they constituted all of Prejean's detractors. Shows you how dangerous it is to go to Althouse's site without a concordance.

Monday, November 09, 2009

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the rightblogger coverage of the Fort Hood shooting. I'm so used to accusations of liberal media bias that it didn't hit me at first how much of this coverage presumes that newspapers and TV news organizations are trying to protect Major Hasan and Islam -- whose aims are also presumed identical.

The newsies are thus tarred for not calling for counter-jihad in their stories. Mark Steyn, for example, makes the same sort of obligatory reference to peaceful Muslim citizens that automatically gets the papers accused of dhimmitude, but rescues himself by lamenting that "America has the best troops and fiercest firepower, but no strategy for throttling the ideology that drives the enemy -- in Afghanistan and in Texas," suggesting that his prescribed means of dealing with the enemy would be the same in both locations, though he is clever enough not to say so out loud.

Generally the smarter rightbloggers show a similar measure of restraint, and portray common sense as their exclusive province. Legal Insurrection declares that the massacre was "an act of domestic terrorism committed for political and religious purposes," and that "the left targets anyone who dares speak honestly about terrorism." After this gun-waving, he calls for... an investigation, "not only as to the extent of Hasan's connections, but also as to why the military hesitated to respond." Cripes, I was expecting a call for the assassination of Keith Ellison, at the very least. Legal Insurrection finds it necessary to add, "And if the left cries foul, that's too bad." Fancy liberals standing in the way of an investigation of the military!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

ONE CHERRY, FRESHLY PICKED. Moe Lane of RedState notices he is being taunted by Eugene Robinson about RedState's many threatened purges of the GOP. "Will loyal members inform on others for harboring suspiciously moderate views?" asks Robinson. "Will there be re-education camps?" Etc.

The only thing more pleasing than this rare instance of a mainstream reporter noticing that wingnuts are wingnuts is Lane's reaction, which consists of:
  • Going "Err, no," after each of Robinson's jokes.
  • Adding after the re-education camp joke: "Also: cheapening to the memory of victims in the tens of millions."
  • Ending with a paragraph-long equivalent of "Is not," supported by changing the subject from NY-23 to Virginia.
Which spurs a few thoughts:

1.) They don't even really make arguments anymore, do they? They just play Mad Libs with memes and talking points. It's like that "My Pet Goat" thing they tried to stick to Obama this week, which I predict will have the longevity of "stuck on stupid," "fisking," and other such catchphrases cooked up in their labs.

2.) Lane's shirt-tucking outrage at Robinson's joke about re-education camps further demonstrates that right-wingers are the new political-correctness champions. Jesus Christ. No one tell him about The Producers -- he'll start convening a hate crimes tribunal.
THIS IS WHY I DON'T GO OUT AND COVER STUFF MORE. When I took the trouble to go to the Clinton Global Initiative last year and broke Al Gore calling for civil disobedience to fight pollution, no one gave a shit. But now that it's in the Guardian suddenly it's a big deal. All you need in journalism is connections! That and a chick bass player! Phooey!

Friday, November 06, 2009

THE KILLER INSIDE ME TRAILER. This looks all wrong:



Looks like a good Elmer, and Casey Affleck has the stuff for Ford. And it's a trailer, so I would expect the sex to be emphasized -- as might Jim Thompson, who was after all a pulp writer. But The Killer Inside Me is much less about sexual obsession than about self-hatred -- the way it drives you to the periphery of the world and makes you a monster, and makes other people monstrous to you -- like Elmer, running and screaming from the house, looks to Ford. Kubrick territory, certainly, and too bad he never got to it.

Actually Kubrick did work with Thompson. In his excellent book on the director, Michael Herr relates:
Jim Thompson had made him nervous when they working together on The Killing, a big guy in a dirty old raincoat, a terrific writer but a little too hard-boiled for Stanley's taste. He'd turn up for work carrying a bottle in a brown paper bag, but saying nothing about it -- it was just there on the desk with no apology or comment -- not at all interested in putting Stanley at ease except to offer him the bag, which Stanley declined, making no gestures whatever to any part of the Hollywood process, except maybe toward the money.
Thompson worked on Paths of Glory too, and Kubrick commissioned from him a script that never got filmed, though I see someone wants to try it.

There's a pretty bad film of the book with Stacy Keach, but Keach has Ford's clammy sorrow down cold. And it has Susan Tyrell. They make a good team.

The music in the trailer sounds awful. I always thought the score of a film of Killer should be entirely based on Genocide by Link Wray.
CONSERVATIVE GAY OUTREACH CONTINUES. Dan Riehl:
Obama Doesn't Like Gay People...

Heck, gays are all but at the back of the bus. But at least Obama hasn't yet thrown them off it, as he's done with so many others. The real question is, don't they sort of look like rubes for remaining on it themselves?
This is getting monotonous, but here, from the Riehl World View archives:
So, I'm thinking, what better way to take advantage of the current Liberal Blogosphere bonanza of attention we've been hearing about ... mostly from them, than to launch a series of Gay Blogger Boy Toy dolls, so every Liberal commenter can take a likeness of their favorite Liberal Boy Toy blogger home...

What is Limbaugh trying to say here, exactly? lol [reference: "Rahm Emanuel is the power behind the throne -- and don't let his effeminate nature and his ballerina past mislead you on this..."]

Did the lesbians lie? Or do they just not care about body image, thus leading to their perception and that disastrous armpit issue we see when they elect to march for equality in tank tops?

Oh, and give us the masses that huddle with individuals of the same sex ... because being Gay is now a basis for political asylum, you see. I suppose transvestites get to go to the front of the line. God Bless the Queen ... er, I mean America, sorry. ; )
I could go on all day, but why bother? Riehl's pulled this stunt before (concerning Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper, believe it or not). But be nice to him, because he had a gay brother who died, "probably of aids for all I know." So he's just the fellow to convince gay folk that they really ought to be batting for his team, just so long as they don't use the showers.

I'm being mischievous, of course. The point isn't to bring homosexual Americans over to conservatism, but to give fellow wingnuts another reason to despise them.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

FIGHTIN' KEYBOARDERS CALLED BACK INTO ACTION. We'll probably be reading a lot of idiotic stuff about Fort Hood, but it'll be hard to top this from Robert Stacy McCain:
The people who want to kill you are not Tea Party protesters or accountants from Saranac Lake, N.Y. They're not Kentucky populists or Belgian radicals.

Anyone who wants to distract you from real dangers by telling you to fear this week's pet bogeyman -- global warming! creationists! Ron Paul! -- is not your friend. They are fools and liars who cannot be trusted. They are objectively evil.
The only through-line I can detect in this incoherent gush is this: Liberals are trying to distract you so their friend the Arab terrorist can kill you. So don't shit your pants like they want you to -- shit your pants like Robert Stacy McCain wants you to!

There are other contenders. For example, there's Linda Chavez at Commentary, who attempts to portray President Obama's delivery of planned remarks to a Native American affairs conference before announcing the Fort Hood situation as the equivalent of "President Bush’s 'Pet Goat' moment on 9/11." First of all, Obama was, in the face of crisis, taking care of business rather than, as our last President did, shitting his pants; second, how refreshing to hear a conservative acknowledge there was something weird about "President Bush’s 'Pet Goat' moment on 9/11."

There will be plenty of small-time nutcakes making fools of themselves (like Mad Americans Club, which raves "Obama wants to honor these type of actions with a United States Stamp! USPS New 44-Cent Stamp!!! Celebrates Muslim holiday," appearently referring to this), but the more well-known and respectable rightbloggers are soiling themselves as badly as any of those.

The reason's simple, and the same as it was during 9/11: they think soiling oneself is a sign of patriotism, and consider those who pants are not full of shit to be traitors.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

SHORTER ROD DREHER. The Mad Men in my head, where they all get AIDS and die, is so much better than the real one, don't you think? Too bad liberals don't get it -- they see it smugly, whereas conservatives see the [deep, quavering voice] traaagedy. [brightly] Did I ever tell you I met a color -- er, black gentlemen who said segregation wasn't so bad?
"THE PERSONAL IS THE POLITICAL" © THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT. The following, removed from context, reads like excerpts of what a normal reporter might bring back from Election Night victory/defeat parties. So forget for a moment this is by Stephanie Guttman, one of the new skree-bots at The Corner:
In making his concession speech, Democratic governor Jon Corzine was consoling his followers when he said, “My mother is probably the only one that’s happy tonight. She’s a Republican. She’s 93 years old so, we’re not going to worry too much about that.”

The line got a big laugh.

When victorious Republican Chris Christie made his victory speech, he told the story of an elderly constituent he met on the campaign trail. “He said to me, ‘I’m 90 years old, and I’m going to vote for you. But you better do what you promise. Because if you don’t, I’m going to vote against you in another four years.’”
And now Guttman twists the lens filter to give you that scary polarized effect:
The line also got a big laugh, but it sounded more joyous, less sneering, and less subtly derisive.
Whu-huh...
Just a straw in the wind, but the Corzine remark mirrors a callousness, a coarse attitude about the “dispensability” of the aged, that one sees in the debate over health-care reform.
Not only do Democrats (even rich ones like Corzine who can afford to keep them in nice homes far away) want to kill their mothers -- they also tell mean, health-care-debate-like jokes about it.

It's what we call in the biz "working blue state." You see all those liberal funnymen doing it: making cruel fun of fat people, dumb people, and people who suffer from that terrible condition where they're constantly slipping on banana peels.

You won't catch Ann Coulter using material like that! That's why she goes over so well with the church groups.

Also, Republican laughter is "joyous," whereas liberal laughter is "sneering." I don't know what sneering laughter sounds like -- maybe I should get a tape recorder and leave it running while I'm reading Confederate Yankee, and find out. Maybe we all sound like Muttley, and those audience reactions on The Daily Show are pre-recorded by joyous conservatives and piped in to make Stewart's liberal fans sound human.

I am very overworked, and it is both a blessing and a curse to have subjects that never get less crazy. When I started this blog they were saying a lot of insane things, but mostly about the war and patriotism. Then -- maybe it's just that I started noticing it -- they started to do this thing where everything, including painting, food, TV shows , sports teams, neighborhoods, etc. was judged either "conservative" or "not conservative."

Now they're making up ideologically specific ways of joking and laughing. It can't be healthy for either of us.
ELECTORO-SHOCK. I'm very tired after Election Night -- drunkblogging these things is fun, in a dudgeon-stroking way, but hard on my liver and my lights -- but if I need boosting during the day, I will take little nips off the rightblogger responses to the Hoffman debacle. Here's my early-a.m. scan. BradlyNo seems to be enjoying particularly the Black Knight routine of Erick Erickson. That guy was absolutely bughouse through the home stretch (though unlike R.S. McCain, he kept his overt screaming fits to himself), and his declaration of victory in NY-23 is a fitting climax to the whole crazy business.

Though I'm sure someone will come along to top him.

In a way it's too bad we don't have Citizen Hoffman going the Washington to carve out a bold path as the Bernie Sanders of the GOP, and staring with incomprehension at farm bills and such like. I had a clock all set up for counting the minutes until his RedState buddies put a fatwa on him for voting yes to an appropriations bill. Congratulations meanwhile to the Republicans in Virginia and Jersey, who I'm sure will provide much amusement in the days to come.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

NOTES ON THE CULTURE WAR. Big Hollywood:
Add one more soldier to the Left’s war on Fox News: Oscar the Grouch.
Oh, wait, it gets better:
Last week, in a re-broadcast of an episode that originally aired two years ago...
Aw, c'mon guy -- it only took Fox eight months to catch up with the Obama children's song.
Oscar starts his own news network, GNN (Grouchy News Network). An irate viewer calls in to berate him that the news is not grouchy enough:
“I am changing the channel. From now on I am watching ‘Pox’ News. Now there is a trashy news show.”
Later in the episode, Anderson Cooper from 4th place CNN, guest stars as a reporter for GNN. He interacts with “Walter Cranky” and “Dan Rather-Not” — Muppets representing real-life liberal news personalities — and they talk about “Meredith Beware-a” and “Diane Spoiler.” But no affectionate nicknames for Fox News personalities; no Spill O’Reilly or Brittle Hume...
Now they're complaining that the liberal conspiracy won't make up funny names for their heroes. Next week: Media fails to give Hannity a high-five.

The post is over 900 words long, by the way. But that's nothing -- Jonah Goldberg cracks 2,500 words with "How Politics Destroyed a Great TV Show" at Commentary (!). Warming up with a mixing bowl of warm cake-batter and a lament that one line in the last Star Wars movie "unraveled the entire moral superstructure of the Star Wars franchise," Goldberg goes on to bitch about a bunch of TV shows that offended him ideologically before deciding that "denouncing the ideological intrusion into the dialogue of Grey’s Anatomy as a corruption of artistic integrity offers such televised junk more respect than it deserves." So he jumps on his trampoline and heads for the loftier reaches of Battlestar Galactica.

Goldberg, who thinks Norman Mailer was overrated, explains that the show was boss when he was able to read its plot threads as against abortion and communism but sucked when he could no longer find a way to make it conform to his views on the Iraq War. In a final insult to all that's Goldberg, "for having the 'bravery' to tackle the occupation of Iraq, the producers and lead actors were invited to a panel at the United Nations to dilate on the war on terror." It's worse than when Joanie married Chachi.

Money quote:
It’s been said that the difference between the truth and fiction is that fiction has to make sense. After its third season, Battlestar Galactica steadily failed on both counts.
Well, I say the difference between a Magic 8-Ball and Jonah Goldberg is that a Magic 8-Ball has to be right sometimes, and Goldberg fails on both counts.

Monday, November 02, 2009

THE KING'S SHILLING. Yeah, I know a Bloomberg ad keeps popping up on the sidebar. (They must have heard we get a lot of Democrats, among which group Bloomberg may be trying to shore up his 43 percent take.) We've had Sarah Palin and others up there, too. I expect you guys are impervious, though if any of you are motivated to flip by a website ad, I can honestly say I won't feel personally responsible. The tiny amount they pay me suggests Google Ads doesn't expect much either.
NEW VOICE COLUMN UP. This is an especially long one, tracing the rightwing purge in New York' 23rd Congressional District race from early days to its operatic final act. Full as it is, I was obliged to cut some sections, one of which I'll share with you as bonus material:
The roots of the insurgency reach back to Scozzafava's nomination on the third ballot by local Republican chiefs in July, on which occasion an NRCC spokesman praised her as "proven vote-getter who shares John McHugh’s willingness to work across the aisle on issues that matter most to central and northern New Yorkers."

At that time Lemon Lyman of Monroe Rising ("Political Information — Without The Liberal Bias") added, "Scozzafava has been called a RINO (Republican In Name Only) but she’s really a Republican with cross party appeal that can connect with constituents of all political belief. This is a terrific asset for a representative of the people." Nonetheless Lyman suggested she "should speak of her belief in keeping taxes lowered."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sensed this vulnerability, and sought to exploit it with a September anti-Scozzafava ad claiming that while in the Assembly Scozzafava "voted for more taxes and fees for you 190 times." In upstate New York, Democrats can get away with that sort of thing...
Those were the days, huh? Now it's all Cavaliers vs. Roundheads. Things look good for Hoffman in NY-23, but nationally I expect we are going to get, to paraphrase Ninotchka, fewer but better Republicans.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

NOTES FROM THE COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATIVE FRONT. Yesterday President Obama signed the Ryan White Act, allowing HIV-positive people to travel to the United States. By and large rightbloggers have kept away from it -- oh, wait, here are a few who've weighed in:
Obama loves homos with HIV

IMPORTING THE INFERIOR CULTURE

It seems that everything Obama does is to destroy America. And it's just so blatant an open.

Is it inhuman of me to say that America shouldn’t welcome immigrants who have costly health issues unless they have the means to personally pay for their treatment?

Harsh as this may sound, would you wish to be seated on a plane for 12 hours next to someone with contagious leprosy?

... overturning a 22 year ban ignorantly suggesting that he is smarter than the Department of Health and Human Services.

Thank you, President Obama. Are you out of your mind?

The feminist praise of President Obama's decision to overturn Bush's ban on HIV infected people coming to America proves how dangerous feminism is.
Etc. On the bright side, Gay Patriot hasn't denounced it yet. So that Tea Party-"Gay Left" rapprochement is still totally on.
SOMEBODY HERE KNOWS HOW TO PLAY THIS GAME. As you may have heard, the presentation of White House visitor logs for January-July led to some humorous gun-jumping by the usual gang of idiots.

The White House release is incomplete at this time, which I can't approve. (More names are expected later this year.) But I'm heartened that its content suggests the Administration knows how to drive its opposition nuts on purpose.

The White House went out of its way to alert readers that some names recorded in the logs were not those of the people you might think they are -- the visitors Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, for example, were not the famous preacher and radical, respectively.

Some nonetheless scream the news about Ayers and Wright without the explanation, Atlas Shrugs and Don Surber ("A vote for Obama was a vote for Ayers") prominent among them.

"Michael Moore should be waterboarded," roars Right Wing Fanatic. "Bill Ayers should hang from some basketball net." He is also exercised that "General Petreus" was not included on the incomplete list. (One wants to suggest he try a different spelling, just to make him madder. Oh, wait, he got it from TownHall. Never a good idea, RWF!) "Even Good ole Rev. Jeremiah 'God DAMN America' Wright got a visit," says Flopping Aces. "If you ever wondered why Obama appointed so many raving radicals to important positions in the White House, this list makes it clear..."

"What else is there to do when you aren't selling access that comes with influence," says Riehl World View, "entertaining Bill Ayers or doing the SEIU's business but shoot basketball with Mikey [Jordan, another imaginary celebrity visitor]!" RWV later discovers his mistake, and knows where to place the blame: "White House Plays Games, Sets Trap With Web Site." He says the disclaimer "was nowhere to be seen when I clicked in before I did my post," which left him the choice of checking his information or immediately posting an outraged screed; surely he cannot be blamed for taking the more patriotic course.

Meredith Jessup of Town Hall gets the Bad Bill Award for assuming -- despite the White House caveat, to which she does not refer and may or may not have bothered to read -- that the Malik Shabazz listed is the famous Black Panther, and details his crimes over 1,100+ words. "Stay tuned for the next installment of 'Barack Obama's Guest List,'" she concludes, "where I'll delve into the history of another one of Obama's questionable connections." Maybe it'll be Hitler!

A few at this writing have updated, to similarly hilarious effect. Melissa Clouthier adds, more in anger than sorrow, "David Petraus is notably absent." Petraeus ought to change his name to Smith or something else more American and easy to spell. "I previously posted pictures of Chicago Boss Bill Daley with the president on the White House lawn (but not a word about it in the press at the time)," complains American Power. Holy shit -- the Mayor of Chicago (under a previously unknown nickname*) visited Obama? Draw up the articles of impeachment! "The press is totally in the tank, so the truth is relative to power and access," he adds. "Never believe what these people say." Well, that's one way of getting out of it.

Others actually suggest that the White House accurately reported the names but lied about them not being the betes noires they wanted to think they were. "So, there’s more than one Malik Shabazz?" queries Global Observatory. A look at some of GO's other work may explain their confusion. The confusion of Macsmind ("how many William A. Ayers are there anyway?") is harder to figure.

By now the big boys have given them the new talking points: ACORN! Also, the list is incomplete, which is Nixonian. With the latter they are on surer ground, and the Administration's attempt to insulate itself from some of the non-fantasy names may remind even sympathetic readers of the spin practices of previous Presidents.

I'm not saying Axelrod is lying, nor that any of the names so far revealed are really a big deal -- only that the Obama people, who are constantly portrayed as inept handlers of the press, seem to know more than their opponents have been willing to recognize.

* UPDATE. Donald Douglas has corrected Daley's name at American Power, notifies me of such via comments. The rest of the post he apparently stands by.

Friday, October 30, 2009

CRAZY JESUS LADY NOW JUST CRAZY. Peggy Noonan says our leaders are too stupid to know that nothing they try will work, while her nameless friends in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries realize that the reanimation of her former boss Ronald Reagan will.

As she is a nut, they're all nut graphs, but I'll represent this one here:
When I see those in government, both locally and in Washington, spend and tax and come up each day with new ways to spend and tax -- health care, cap and trade, etc. -- I think: Why aren't they worried about the impact of what they're doing? Why do they think America is so strong it can take endless abuse
She professes to believe that a national health care system is a form of abuse; also, that her anonymous buddies will stop working if their tax rate approaches something 25-30 percent less than what they had under Eisenhower. And she thinks the government is filled with "Callous Children."

Her loss of faith is remarkable. Once upon a time, when she was the Crazy Jesus Lady, Noonan directed our attention heavenward, confident that this would get our minds right. Now that the Republicans are no longer in power, she is less inclined toward spiritual remedies. I guess she has sensed -- as even dullards like George Pataki have -- that the tide in rightwing fashion has turned toward Tea Party rage, and decided to grab a pitchfork.

I saw the Crazy Jesus Lady losing Jesus about a year ago, when she was trying to maneuver the GOP faithful out of the hands of gooberish preachers and toward the healing embrace of Mitt Romney. Now it appears she has found a new animating force. There will be no murmured prayers or other pretenses of divine grace to soften her spiels now. She has become the Crazy Lady of the God of Wrath.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CALL FOR ENTRIES. Technorati no longer does anything for me (I mean that literally) and JS-Kit has dropped the hobnails on my last nerve. Suggestions for replacements please?
CUTTING OUT THE MIDDLEMAN. Megan McArdle:
I really don't want this post to come out as "See--black people don't understand how hard white people have it!"
I am overworked, and thus grateful to her for writing her own Shorter Megan McArdle.

UPDATE. You may also enjoy Rod Dreher's contribution, which contains another fatuous misuse of the Robert Putnam diversity study, and suggests that having to work with black people puts white people at unfair risk of persecution by the Human Resources Department ("stakes for white people in making a single slip -- or what is interpreted as a racially hostile slip"). Someone should tell him that terrified and terrorized are not synonyms.
REALLY BURYING THE LEDE. Rod Dreher talks about the drop in newspaper circulation. Here are the examples he chooses to cite:
But look: the newspaper with the worst circulation falloff in the country, the San Francisco Chronicle (which lost 25 percent of its readers since the last reporting period), is a liberal newspaper in a liberal city. The ailing Boston Globe, ditto. This doesn't mean newspapers aren't biased to the left, but it does mean that there's something else going on here.
Yuh don't say. Among the other losers in the latest ABC tally, which Dreher declines to mention: his own paper, the Dallas Morning News, has seen its circulation drop 22 percent in a year -- slightly less than the Chronicle, but more than the Globe (18.5 percent) and much more than the New York Times (7 percent).

Advertisers are bailing, but the Morning News' circ revenue is growing -- because they're charging more for the paper. "We've listened to what our readers and advertisers tell us they value most," says publisher Jim Maroney, "and we are responding to it by maintaining a robust newsroom focused on original, local reporting."

What this "original, local reporting" approach means for the hot gas Dreher blows there -- yelling about Hollywood and his inability to hear U2 properly at the local stadium, for example -- is anyone's guess. "I've tried to do something with the Dallas Morning News online op-ed page, to run it like a blog/aggregator site," says Dreher, "but that hasn't really caught on like I'd hoped it would." Seems to me if Dreher paid less attention to the influx of sooties over t'England, and more on the gol'-durned Mescans in Dallas, he'd have hisself a winner for shore! Yee-haw!
BEAUTIFUL EXILES. The New York Post does a Goin' Galt story (with reliably rightwing sourcing and a thumbs-up from the Ole Perfesser) about "tax refugees" who seek to "escape from New York."
Overall, the ex-New Yorkers earn about 13 percent more than those who moved into the state, the study found...

While New York City and the state were the losers, the Sunshine and Garden States were winners. more than 250,000 New Yorkers who lived in and around the city fled to Florida. Another 172,000 city taxpayers ended up in New Jersey.
Rich chunkheads have been moving to Joisey since time immemorial, and well-fixed New Yorkers moving to Florida is equally a stereotype. But let's see how things are doing in those tax Valhallas to which they're moving (in both of which conservatives have of late been calling for new management):
"Florida's unemployment rate jumps to 11 percent; Tampa Bay area hits 11.7." -- St. Petersburg Times.

"The most recent banks to fail were Partners Bank, Hillcrest Bank Florida, and Flagship National Bank, all of Florida..." -- AllGov.

"Overall, the [University of Florida] survey found [state] consumer confidence flat at 72 in October... With decreasing revenues and increasing costs, the state could see a $2.6 billion budget deficit, [survey director Chris] McCarty projected..." -- St. Petersburg Times.

"Property taxes will increase about $300 for the typical homeowner in northeastern New Jersey over the coming year, despite a recession that has crimped the ability of taxpayers to foot the bill... tax increases are down from prior years, when levies were rising 5 percent to 8 percent per year. But they come amid a recession that has stalled economic growth, cost New Jersey 173,000 jobs and produced regional inflation in the first half of 2009 of less than 1 percent." -- NorthJersey.com.
These well-off citizens aren't heading to these places because they're economic powerhouses, but to take advantage of suburban sprawl, southern sunshine, and perhaps lower personal and business tax rates, and the prospect of paying lower wages, as may be common in the depressed economies of their new homes (though I note with interest that the National Right to Work Committee considers Jersey a "forced-unionism" state). In other words they're looking for pleasanter environs after a stint in the Big City, and to keep more of what they've got.

God go with them. But I doubt they'll bring much entrepreneural energy to their adopted homelands. New York's tax burden has been onerous for decades, and outflow has kept pace with it, as the study finds -- the exodus was no worse in 2004. Yet those refugees don't seem to have done much for Jersey and Florida so far, though I'm sure they've done pretty well for themselves.

The Go Galt idea is that disaffected "producers" take their magical power to create wealth with them. But more often than not, what they take is their money, and then they sit on it (and, of course, demand more breaks) -- else their long-favored destinations would now be paradises rather than recession-wracked sinkholes.

New York's not doing so hot itself, but at least we've got people coming here who are willing to do some goddamned work.

Monday, October 26, 2009

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the fake Obama "thesis." You'd think days after its revelation as a fake, the follow-ups would stop rolling in, but in the minutes since I posted, Israpundit has come up with one: "Read it all and grab your smelling salts." Thence comes the more-or-less obligatory follow-up: " I am looking for the link for the ten pages ……….can’t find it. But listen to this interview with Obama where he embellsihes upon this anti-capitalist thinking..." Thence to the go-to 2001 Obama quotes, which have nothing to do with anything.

We also have On The Right's consideration, entitled "The dishonest left-wing media." He says the thesis story "I knew to be a satire when I posted it," by which he apparently means he posted it uncritically, and updated, "While the documents are false, I stand by what has been posted. Obama is a radical and I believe that the evidence supports that." In the follow-up he details the crimes of Rachel Maddow, Dan Rather, etc. 20/20 Radio, admitting "We Just Got Punked!!!" adds, "it does not surprise me that an Obama thesis that Rush and some others on the right got a hold of was a fake! You see the first problem is that no one will be able to get a hold of Obama ANYTHING! All that stuff is SEAL!"

Fair-minded people who wish to give their opponents the benefit of the doubt should remember that these people are never so insistent on their own credibility than when they've been proven incredible.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

NOTES FROM AROUND HERE. New Geography tells us all those "progressive cities" you liberals love so much are very white. Of course you have to grade on the curve to get this result:
If you take away the dominant Tier One cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles...
Also, apparently, Philadelphia and D.C. That's like saying that if you got George Will and Laura Ingraham off This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the roundtables would be pretty reasonable.

Meanwhile it seems the NYC tea party movement has scaled back with a modest display at news org buildings. Jamie Wearing Fool complains that the MSM didn't cover them and their comrades elsewhere. I'm sorry I didn't get the memo, or I would have happily covered; but it seems to me the mainstream outlets were doing the patriots a favor. "We want our country back," says one of minions, "and we're gonna take it if you don't give it to us." Seldom has such a revolutionary threat seemed less credible.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A SERIOUS MAN. I see that my Voice colleagueElla Taylor* finds in this movie "an avalanche of Ugly Jew iconography." As a goy semitophile raised on Mad magazine, I see it as an overdeveloped Dave Berg cartoon.

I assume the Coens, whom I have always suspected of being heavy stoners and ultracosmopolitan Jews, made a conscious decision to people their latest morality play with 60s-vintage intraJewish stereotypes -- like the hero of Frank Gallop's "Irving" parody of "Ringo", like characters in late Molly Picon vehicles such as Paris Is Out, and on the trailing edge of early Woody Allen routines, like Russo ("they wanted all his cash, and Russo like a jerk tried to sign for it for tax purposes").

In other words, the Coens picked 60s suburban American Jews because they are easy and harmless figures of fun that automatically provide some comic distance to the general audience -- like the Minnesotans of Fargo (Joel Coen called Minnesota, recall, "Siberia with family restaurants"), the white trash of Raising Arizona, the sorta-50s, sorta-40s city slickers of The Hudsucker Proxy, etc.

We may have been un-reminded by the serious cred afforded to No Country for Old Men that this has always been their schtick: to pick a stereotype and, while staying conscious of the reality behind it, fuck around with it. No one bitches about The Big Lebowski (still my favorite Coen joint) because no one feels the need to defend Cali stoner culture, but in A Serious Man the Coens have done no more to, or with, American Jews than they did with Lebowksi to a different, Anti-Defamation League-deprived constituency.

Setting the self-hating Jew nonsense aside, what do we have? In a way, a twist on Barton Fink. The humorously Semitic caricature-hero Michael Stuhlbarg in this case -- bespectacled, hair only slightly less unruly than Fink's, academic, and passive -- is more schlimazel than schlemiel; that is, the one on whom the hapless schlemiel spills his soup.

Where Fink in his Hollywood quest ran a gauntlet mostly of equally-alienated strangers, Stuhlbarg is persecuted by local fellow Semites -- the nightmarishly insensitive family, the paranoiac and physically challenged brother, his wife's vaguely bohemian and thoroughly ruthless lover, and a variety of Jewish professionals (lawyers, rabbis) who defend their own position against his interest. While Fink found himself in a foreign, sun-drenched goyische paradise/hell, Stuhlbarg is comfortable and happy in his 60s-suburban development until everything and everyone he's been accustomed to trust turns against him.

Big difference there: Fink went looking for the promised land, whereas Stuhlbarg merely wants to stay on the tenure track. Fink finds his new environment disastrously unaccommodating; stay-at-home Stuhlbarg is genuinely betrayed. In short, Fink went looking for trouble, and trouble went looking for Stuhlbarg.

This might promote the notion that the Coens' lead Jew here is a total victim, but for the complementary story arc of his son, a weed-smoking rock-loving Yeshiva boy who not only enlists the support of the top rabbi -- with whom his hapless father can't even get an appointment -- but manages, despite seemingly incapacitating stonage, to read the Torah aloud at his Bar Mitzvah.

Stuhlbarg fils is the counterweight to Stuhlbarg pere's agony. Confronted by his own, junior-grade authority figures (teachers, dealer, sister), he is perfectly and by brute instinct able to handle them. His self-preserving instinct -- untroubled by the moral querulousness that has his dad running among authority figures, seeking existential answers -- lifts him above all the conventions that make his dad a schlimazel. He's nowhere near as smart or conscientious as his father, but is clearly destined to work through the maze of life more successfully. And for his father he shows nothing but contempt.

This -- as does much of A Serious Man -- seems a first merely a cruel Oedipal joke. Dad's search for truth leads only to suffering; Son's search for good dope and better reception of F Troop leads to comfort and a promising future.

The punchline, though, is a little more interesting. Without spoiling too much, I'll say that the father finally agonizes out of the weeds only to find an unexpected new obstacle; the son, meanwhile, appears to have his ducks very comfortably in a row when a natural disaster -- looming over the shoulder of one of his former antagonists -- seems to threaten his future.

I'm not sure that this isn't just a Dave Berg punchline: the smartass kid getting his comeuppance in the final frame. It might be my own lack of depth is assessing it, but I think the Coens rolled too much on instinct here. They clearly wanted the morally-concerned nebbish-patriarch to fail -- and heaped externalities on him to make sure of it -- while they wanted the morally-neutral son to succeed. That reflects a sour home-truth that fits with most of their movies. (Fargo is a big, and popular, exception.) But it seems they wanted a cop-out, too, in the form of a climactic tornado, and in the post-9/11 era that's about as cheap a dodge as you can get. What if the boy simply outstripped his dad?

Maybe the Coens felt the stereotypes they were playing with hit too close to home, and summoned a disaster to rescue them. It wouldn't be the first time that's happened in the movies. But it's a shame to see a few of our best filmmakers fudging like that.

(* Fixed attribution)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

JUST IN CASE YOU HADN'T NOTICED. Moe Lane in July:
To put it bluntly: there was no point to this editorial, which uses Governor Palin and former Senator/current SecState Clinton as examples of how badly the media treats inconvenient women in politics. It was pointless because conservatives already knew and liberals don’t particularly care, which means that the people who would most take this editorial to heart are the least likely to have needed it, and vice versa.

I had a few paragraphs more, but it can be summed up as such: the larger problem will persist until feminists get sick of being the aphids in the Democrats’ anthill.
Moe Lane today, on a Dede Scozzafava campaign appearance:
From our super-secret hidden peanut gallery (names left in because they said to):
streiff: I was an evaluator on a live fire exercise back in 84 when a herd of free range cattle moped into the impact area and about 200 troops decided they were much more fun to shoot at than 55-gal drums filled with dirt. I wish I had pictures of the outcome of that because that is what her photo op is like

Neil Stevens: Streiff: You aren’t comparing Dede with a cow are you? Because that wouldn’t be right.

streiff: actually, I was thinking of one particular cow that had a rear leg chopped off by an M-60 machinegun
…no, that image wasn’t pretty: then again, neither was this
Most people realize that everything these guys say about feminism is bullshit, but it never hurts to be reminded.

Monday, October 19, 2009

THE FUTURE OF CONSERVATISM. While the joy-poppers are boycotting the NFL, Victor Davis Hanson is boycotting everything:
...I think some of you are in the same boat: Have you stopped reading, listening, watching, and paying attention to most of what now passes for establishment public or popular culture?...

Take Hollywood protocol -- make a big movie, hype it, show it at the mall multiplex. But I went to one movie the last year. Maybe three in the last four years. There is not much choice here -- car crashes, evil white men killing the innocent, some gay or feminist heroes fending off club-bearing white homophobic Mississippians in pick-ups...
I think he's talking about Transporter 2.
Ditto music. I don’t know the name of a single rapper. Don’t follow rock anymore. Don’t want to. I like a Mark Knopfler or Coldplay...

Add in television. I haven’t watched a network newscast in 10 years...

I used to be a big fan of PBS and PR, but no more. The laudable shows are far outweighed by the race/class/gender agendas...

Next confession: I have not watched a single NFL game–including the Super bowl–for more than 10 minutes during the last decade... Ditto the NBA. I have not watched a complete game in 15 years... I watched 2 baseball games on television the last 3 years... Just a dozen selfless players, who keep quiet when they score, give credit to others when they pitch a shut-out, or pass rather than shoot could help things...
Baseball, ruined by hotshot pitchers! Vanitas! Christy Mathewson used to insist the scorers add a run for the opposing team, so people wouldn't think he'd gotten a swelled head.

Being a bit of a crank myself, I generally applaud non-joiners, holdouts, and antiquarians. But to go on for over 2,200 words about all the things he hasn't seen and won't see suggests, despite his insistence to the contrary, that Hanson is proud of it. He's proud as an observantly religious man might be that he scrupulously avoids the near occasion of sin, and has done so long and faithfully enough that he can truly say he's untempted.

The religious guy has a God to which his abstinence brings him closer. What has Hanson? The old things, which are lovely, and this:
...I have tried to remain more engaged than ever in the country’s political and military crises, which are acute and growing. One’s distancing from the popular culture of movies, TV, newspapers, and establishment culture makes one perhaps wish to overcompensate in other directions, from the trivial to the important.
Bear in mind that Hanson also eschews major news media, so we may assume he gets such political information for his "engagement" as he has from his colleagues at Pajamas Media and like-minded souls. Now it's clearer that he's not just avoiding things in which he has no interest, but also things in which he professes a keen interest but finds unaccommodating. He's bragging on the selectivity of the sources from which he draws his conclusions and writes his columns.

And why shouldn't he? When you know, ahead of time and for a fact, what's crap and what isn't, why waste time with the former? All new movies are PC, all new music is noise, all the athletes are thugs, all the prizes go to undeserving minorities, and the MSM lies. Go with what you know: Suetonius and Fox News.

Homer nods but the Ole Perfesser links, and commenters rush to assure Hanson that they, too, have taken leave of the hurly-burly:
When I read reviews of movies, I have no desire to see them. They sound so superficial, politically correct, and narcissistic...

My psychological withdrawal is being matched now by a material need to go Galt...

Just last night I was watching “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” with my grandson, a movie advertised as a “family-friendly laffer (sic).” And even in this moronic 90 minute bore the Hollywood liberal bias was evident...

The American who loves his country is, must be, alienated from American popular culture in the Obama era...

My sentiments exactly. The only exception was the TV show Battlestar Galactica until its third season began when it went off the rails....

I also used to love listening to “Prairie Home Companion”, but not in the last two years, ever since Garrison Keillor became so bitter and deranged...

With my Study of Sparta and the real meaning of a republic, I have since gotten rid of anything dealing with America since it is all a Masonic Kabbalistic lie...
Bonus: A comment by Frank Miller, for those of you so steeped in loathsome pop culture that you know who he is.

This suggests an interesting vision of a future for conservatism. I wonder if David Frum has looked into it?
NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the Rush/Rams deal and the hilarious conservative boycott of that notorious left-wing activist organization, the National Football League. The column hasn't been up long, but already one of the patriots quoted therein has emerged in comments to accuse the NFL of "a DOUBLE standard." Another citizen gobsmacked by capitalism! You'd think one of them would have learned something by now.

The brighter bulbs among them certainly have. "I'm not talking about trying to boycott the NFL," says Deacon Paul of Power Line, " I'm talking about directing our efforts at more vulnerable enterprises. In a sense, this is already happening. Many conservatives have deserted the mainstream media..."

Smartly done -- sensing the planned takedown of America's Sunday-Monday beer-and-wings ritual may not be the great success its promoters have promised, they can always retreat to past glories, specifically the lingering death of the MSM, which they may again attribute to real Americans who couldn't be bothered to show up at the last election but are sufficiently motivated to not buy newspapers. Actual football fans are indeed calling for boycotts -- of their lousy home teams. Surely this can be summoned as proof of a groundswell for Rush and the new American Revolution.

Can't wait to hear Megan McArdle on the subject.