Friday, November 21, 2014

GREETINGS FROM OCCUPIED DC!

The atmosphere is tense here in Washington as the Tyrant ObamaHitler has sent his brownshirts into the streets in a show of force...

Yeah, it's a bunch of bullshit, but at least we have the pleasure of watching wingnuts try to make hay of it. My favorite in the Ray of Hope category so far is this post from Andrew Johnson at National Review:
Univision announced earlier this week that it would delay its broadcast of the Latin Grammys to air President Obama’s announcement to use executive action to grant legal status to immigrants in the country illegally. While some saw it as a politically calculated move by the administration to reach a largely Hispanic audience, some viewers weren’t too happy to see the president rather than their favorite celebrities.
Then Johnson showed dozens -- excuse me, a dozen (well, almost) -- tweets from fans who were disgruntled that the show had been delayed, and who will no doubt be surprised to find themselves on a GOP mailing list and being asked to contribute to a Stop Tyrant Obama and His Messicans drive.

UPDATE. I should have realized -- no one out-crazys Ophelia WorldNetDaily!


Oh God this is so great:
Ted Cruz said it best in a Wall Street Journal piece following Barack Hussein Obama’s State of the Union Address earlier this year: “Dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. When a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president"... 
I would go one further than Cruz: Obama has never been my president. I have steadfastly refused to acknowledge him as such. He is undeserving of the honorific. To this day, I am unconvinced he is even eligible for office... 
But that’s a can of worms few want to reopen – besides Donald Trump and me... 
I hereby join Ted Cruz in declaring Obama is no longer president.
Alan Keyes is going "And I thought I would be the winner in any crazy competition! I better step up my game!" and driving nails into his own skull.

UPDATE 2. Robert Tracinski (best known as a rhapsodist for the softer side of Ayn Rand) at The Federalist:

The ironic thing is that the media and Hollywood types have always convinced themselves, as George Lucas did, that their villains were metaphors for George W. Bush or a cautionary tale about the evils of the right. But here we are, the Old Republic is being dissolved, and it’s their hero who is doing it. They find themselves on the side of the Empire. (Or the Alliance. Yes, I’m looking at you, Joss Whedon.)
I think they should stop using words at all, and just make videos of themselves playing with their nerd dolls: "Don't worry Princess Leia, here comes G.I. Ted Cruz to save you, psshew, psshew," etc.

UPDATE 3. OK, one more: J. Christian Adams at PJ Media:
Take some comfort in this: executives acting lawlessly is a transgression as old as human history. Charles I similarly ignored the law when he went so far as to dissolve a Parliament with which he disagreed. When he started running out of money to conduct his wars with France and Spain, he violated Magna Carta by imposing a forced loan on the monarchs without the consent of Parliament.
And then they cut his head off! Get it? Well, maybe one of those nuts who seem to drop by the White House with a gun every couple of days will "take some comfort" from that story.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

RHETORIC LEVEL ADVISORY: SEVERE.

Well, now that Obama is fixin' to give the Founding Fathers a Dirty Sanchez by handing driver's licenses to Messicans, let's see how the brethren are talking it down. Clash Daily:
HOW CONVENIENT: Obama to Grant Amnesty on Mexican Revolution Day 
Coincidence? I don’t think so. This is all part of “fundamentally transforming” America...
At dawn the car horns will play "La Cucaracha," and over the ridge they'll come -- thousands of low-riders led by Salma Hayek and George Lopez. And Rick Perry will be powerless to act! Here's a passage from an Instigator News essay with the something-for-everyone title, "Pavlov, Orwell, Alinsky, Hitler, and Obama: A Synthesis of Evil":
I offer here just a few points from an early platform of Hitler’s Nazi Party, courtesy of The History Place. With the exceptions regarding Germany’s nationalism and disdain for immigrants, they’re almost identical to the policies we’ve seen proposed and/or enacted by the Obama administration.
The Messican piece is Obama's way of making Nazism his own, see -- he's a great cover artist as well as history's greatest monster!

OK, that's fun, but come on, these are bottom feeders; surely no one legitimate is saying such stupid--


-- Huh. Well, guy's an American Spectator writer, that's still pretty fringe. The really big boys know it's ix-nay on the itler-Hay until this impeachment thing gets a little traction. Thus, Rich Lowry at Politico:
Barack Obama, American Caudillo
See? It even sounds Messican!
The last 400 years of Anglo-American political history...
He ain't just a traitor to America, he's a traitor to Anglo-America!
...can be read as a successful effort to establish and maintain a system tethering the executive to the law. What President Obama is contemplating will undermine that achievement, both through his own lawlessness and the precedent he will create for subsequent presidents to operate by extra-legal fiat.
Well, excluding presidents who already figured out how to get some bright fella to write them a Get-Out-of-Den-Haag-Free card, anyway.

The rest of them are just using regular Republican slurs, like "tyrant" and "emperor," but with a few twists to wring extra juice out of them. Take for example Damon Linker's essay, "On immigration, Obama is flirting with tyranny," in which, after getting the accusations of destroying democracy out of the way, Linker explains that this Messican thing is even worse than Bush's possibly illegal torture, because when it comes to torture "such judgments can only be fairly rendered once the state of emergency has come to an end," but everybody knows there's no rush about these illegals, they'll just keep on skulking between landscaping gigs and food banks forever. Also:
Compared with torture, rendition, and the extrajudicial use of surveillance and even deadly force against American citizens, Obama's efforts to help illegal immigrants can seem benign and even trivial. But that's precisely the point. No matter how you feel about Bush's actions, up until now, executive transgressions of the law have been made in the name of protecting the common good from a grave threat in a time of emergency.
I have to admit, I like to think I know these guys, but telling readers to try and be reasonable about the Black Sites while calling Obama a tyrant is one I completely did not see coming.

UPDATE. Shit, how'd I miss this -- Burt Prelutsky at Bernard Goldberg's site, on previous casus bellow Jonathan Gruber:
All in all, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that it has to be more than mere coincidence that “Gruber” sounds like “goober” and that Adolf Hitler’s birth name happened to have been Schicklgruber.
CONNECT THE DOTS SHEEPLE

MIKE NICHOLS, 1931-2014.

When I heard he was dead, I recalled that I'd seen his production of Streamers at Lincoln Center years ago; only later did I notice that he'd also directed the original Broadway production of The Gin Game, which I'd also seen (with E.G. Marshall in for Hume Cronyn, but Jessica Tandy still playing). 10 years ago (!) I made a mean gag about Nichols being "a one-man major entertainment institution for ninety years," because that's really how it seemed; he was always around, even when you didn't notice until someone gave him an award for it.

Those two New York productions were brilliant, but like most of you I know Nichols best from his movies. As Bruce Weber mentioned in the Times today, he was sort of an anti-auteur; you couldn't really pick out obsessions and motifs from his work like you could with Kubrick or Scorsese. He was more like George Cukor, a hard worker who knew that when inspiration failed elbow grease would do. And like Cukor he served the material. He served Edward Albee as well with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf as he did Charles Webb with The Graduate; if the latter is fussier, it's just that Webb's deadpan angst needed more active intervention than Albee's masterpiece.

Maybe some clue to Nichols' true feelings, in lieu of auteur signifiers and whatnot, resides in two of his crazier, more misanthropic efforts: the eco-downer The Day of the Dolphin, and Wolf, a jaundiced (one might say hepatitic) midlife fantasy, redolent of Tom Wolfe but much more fun if no more convincing. If so, it's just as well he turned the generosity of his talent to other authors. For me his sweet spot is Carnal Knowledge -- and I wish there were a YouTube of the scene where Jonathan thinks he's going to date-swap and gets a double whammy instead; it's not as flashy as the available showstopper clips, but it has the advantage of being perfect. But it's also worth remembering that he started out as a comedy sketch artist -- just like Adam Sandler, and how's that for a flattering comparison -- and worth watching those old Nichols and May bits not just for the laughs, which are still there, but also to see him and Elaine May learning on their feet how the game works.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

YOUR MOMENT OF OOGA BOOGA.

The recent election has given some of the brethren the idea that they can continue to win elections without black votes. This stirs Michael Barone to analysis (the Democrats' "core groups," the "gentry liberals and blacks," he says, are suffering from "geographic and cultural isolation" from real Americans -- one might even say [puts on sunglasses] they've been segregated [YEEA-AAAAH]),  and Heather Mac Donald to, oh, the same horrible shit she always does, only worse, with the aid of the National Review editorial staff:

This Mandingette's black rage is so strong, its blowback has actually turned the police into harmless blurs! Among Mac Donald's choice bits:
No one is “bracing,” in press parlance, for white riots or police violence should Officer Wilson be indicted... 
Normal, as well, is the sickening sense of dread with which one awaits another possible outbreak of black rage... 
The Obama administration has lent its prestige to this conceit, charging, for instance, that the elevated rate of black school suspensions reflects administrator and teacher bias. The disproportionate rate of black students’ misbehavior is left completely out of the anti-discipline crusade, just as the disproportionate rate of black crime is ignored when the media, the White House, and academics discuss allegedly racist police activity and incarceration...
Well, guess it's time for Rand Paul to give another speech at a historically-black college!

UPDATE. In comments, mortimer2000 explains that "any random paragraph of MacDonald's bullshit needs a few additions to make it even remotely pertinent" and does some glossing on her current offering:
No one is “bracing,” in press parlance, for white riots or police violence should Officer Wilson be indicted [not even for all of Wilson's gun-toting racist supporters -- why is that?]. Nor were there preparations for Asian riots last month in Los Angeles as a jury heard a murder case against a 22-year-old [not-a-cop] thug from South Central L.A. [who was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole], who, along with an [not-a-cop] accomplice [who was also sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole], had shot two Chinese engineering students attending the University of Southern California in 2012.
It should also be mentioned that Mac Donald accepts the most cop-friendly interpretation of events in the Brown case as the irrefutable truth, and affects surprise that any black folks would see things differently:  "One might think that it would be good news if Wilson did not initiate the violent encounter or shoot Brown in cold blood: It would mean one less instance of alleged police brutality." Similarly, what if all those old-timers volunteered to work on those cotton plantations? You just have to know how to look at it!

SHIRTHEAD.

Regarding Matt Taylor, I couldn't give a shit about the shirt. As a punk rocker I wore plenty of offensive t-shirts and, while I no longer completely support such chest-borne sentiments as "No Money No Honey," I give my young self a pass because 1.) my business, like Taylor's, had nothing to do with creating a more enlightened society, and 2.) Fuck you.

Of course, Taylor's critics have every right to complain about his shirt; that does not make them thought police, as (also of course) various wingnuts have portrayed them, apparently in hopes of cementing the fledgling alliance between the conservative and Men's Rights movements, thus building the crotchswell of resentment needed for a big White Man victory in '16.

It's a sad situation -- but, as experience has taught us, Jonah Goldberg can always make it worse:
Many of my friends and colleagues on the anti-PC right have responded with understandable outrage. And it’s true: Taylor’s confession of wrongdoing did feel forced — awfully North Korean. 
Still, the feminists have a point.
Oh, no, no...
Although I like the shirt (which is now selling like hotcakes), I would never wear it to a nice restaurant, never mind on a globally broadcast TV interview. The reason I wouldn’t wear it has very little to do with my fear of offending feminists. It’s simply unsuitable professional attire. I’d ask critics of the feminist backlash, would you wear it on a job interview? How about to church or synagogue?
Being influenced by ladies' preferences in menswear is Orwellian; you should instead be influenced by Jonah Goldberg's sense of decorum; he wears a shirt and tie every day, though being a legacy pledge he doesn't have to; its about Burke and little pantaloons or something (fart).

Apparently for Goldberg the real outrage is that bitches be Occupying his moral superiority:
But why are feminist motives so special? What if you’re a devout Christian, Muslim, or Jew working in the humanities? What if you like cartoonishly sexy ladies, but you hate guns? What if you’re simply the kind of person who thinks male professionals should wear a jacket and tie on TV?
Also, what if you have a serious uniform fetish? Feminists are so thoughtless.

As is traditional, Goldberg finds himself out of ideas but with more space to fill, and so drifts into the gas clouds of Uranus, telling us "diversity comes at a cost" and no one knows how to dress anymore:
In this age of unprecedented cultural liberty, we’ve lost sight of the fact that common standards of decency and decorum can be liberating. They inconvenience everyone — a little — but they also free us from worrying about who we might offend or why. School uniforms, remember, constrain the wealthy kids for the benefit of the poor ones.
[blink] [blink] School uniforms constrain... the...

Let us leave off. Sometimes the works of the immortals cannot be analyzed; we can only marvel at them, silent upon a peak in Derpian.

Monday, November 17, 2014

WITH THEIR SPITTIN' AND THEIR ANTICS...

National Review's Tim Cavanaugh does an obit for Glen Larson, the TV producer who died recently. One of Larson's shows was "Quincy, M.E.," which gives Cavanaugh an opportunity to correct the record on a malign social influence from years past:
While Quincy has a claim to being the progenitor of the CSI shows, the tools at Klugman’s crime-solving disposal now appear medieval, and the show is today mostly remembered for “Next Stop Nowhere” a late-period episode in which Quincy saves a troubled teen from the clutches of L.A.’s then-thriving punk rock culture. Made long after social causes of the week and Klugman’s penchant for soppy lecturing had begun to capsize the series, the fabled punk rock episode serves as an ironic touchstone for aging hipsters keen to remember when they were all scary and hilarious. On a fresh viewing, however, “Next Stop Nowhere” paints a fully true picture of punk rockers as they really were: deceitful social predators who wouldn’t think twice about framing you for murder and forcing you into a codeine overdose.
Always fighting the last culture war, these guys. But where do they stand on beatniks?

ANNALS OF THE CULTURE WAR, PART 432.333.

Big claim in this headline by Andrew Klavan:
There’s Something Happening Here: Conservatives Are Catching On to the Culture!
That would indeed be news. So, did they finally make The Joe McCarthy Nobody Knew or any of the other big-budget projects I've recommended to them? Don't be silly; "It’s not enough to have talented artists and good works," says Klavan, which is why instead of supporting any such specimens as exist they "catch on to the culture" by piling on a lefty artist they don't like -- and surprise, the target in this case is their traditional fantasy hate-fuck object, Lena Dunham.
Recently, my friends at Ben Shapiro’s website Truth Revolt did for Miss Dunham what the economy and ISIS have done for Obama. They introduced her to non-leftism, also known as reality. They quoted sections from her recent autobiography Not That Kind of Girl under the descriptive headline “Lena Dunham Describes Sexually Abusing Her Little Sister.” Miss Dunham threatened to sue the site for quoting her verbatim! Then she canceled parts of her book tour. Then she went on a “rage spiral.” Then she jumped up and down three times and went through the floor like Rumpelstiltskin. Okay, that last part is a joke — but only just.
In other words, they kept Dunham's book, which if James Wolcott is any judge (and he is) has little intrinsic value of its own, in the headlines for a few more weeks. That's good culture-warring, soldier!

The whole thing is priceless but for my money this is the best part:
But the point is that the folks at Truth Revolt have recognized the revolting truth: liberty lovers need a cultural echo chamber of our own.
Maybe he thinks a bigger and better right-wing echo chamber will work like a Large Hadron Collider to advance his Zhdanovite cause, instead of just increasing the maddening din of their Bedlam.

Friday, November 14, 2014

FRIDAY AROUND-THE-HORN.

•   Here's a video from the audience of that Springsteen-Grohl-Brown performance of "Fortunate Son" that had the dummies dribbling this week. Something no one asked, though: was it a good cover? Well, it was a nice matey sing-along (why no one was booing and yelling "Have you forgotten 9/11", I can't guess) but pretty uninspired, unless you think the best thing you can do with a cover is get everyone to go, "Wooo, I know that song." The covers I like put a little spin on the ball -- else, why bother with a do-over? If the performer has enough personality, he or she can keep the spirit and even much of the arrangement of the original and still make it their own -- like Lucinda Williams' "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" (warning: the live versions of this on YouTube aren't very good). To me, though, the best is what The Residents do to "Viva Las Vegas": At first listen it may seem like one of their goofy glosses, but I think they really pulled something mysterious and poignant out of it. Or put it in. (UPDATE. Oooh, lots of fun covers in comments!)


Thursday, November 13, 2014

SIDESHOW.

The simple version is, a consultant to the Democrats on Obamacare made some impolitic remarks about voters, and the conservative response has been to elevate the consultant, Jonathan Gruber, to the imaginary office of Architect of Obamacare so they can impeach him from it -- Washington Post:
Hearings floated as Hill Republicans seize on Gruber Obamacare comments... 
Jordan said House Republicans have been sending each other a blizzard of e-mails and text messages this week, and he expects the interest in "bringing [Gruber] up here to talk" will gain traction as members return to Washington. House Republicans will gather Thursday evening for their first series of votes since the election. 
"I just had a colleague text me saying, 'We've got to look into this!" Jordan said as he glanced at his phone outside the House floor Wednesday morning.
It's not like they have anything important to do.

This miasma has led some of the brethren unto weird, elaborate fantasies. Bryan Preston at PJ Media:
Allah makes another good point, which is that Republicans probably shouldn’t lead with Gruber’s capitol dressdown. Gear up for it, make sure it’s not another missed opportunity, wasted on grandstanding instead of asking the witness questions and letting him squirm on national TV.
Wouldn't want any grandstanding!
But not first thing. First thing, they should take Mary Landrieu up on a Keystone vote first, see how the Democrats behave and what Obama does after it passes. Increase dissension in the opposition’s ranks before launching the assault on their castle.
Preston's D&D cards and Risk gameboard are getting a workout today.
Just make sure to get him [Gruber? I guess] in Congress under oath ahead of the Supreme Court’s look at the exchange issue. He’ll surely provide more useful soundbites about how he and the Democrats lied to everyone, gamed the CBO, and knew all along that the subsidies/exchange
Maybe Gruber will insult Chief Justice John Roberts specifically while he’s under oath, too. 
Then he'll yell I'M A BIG STUPID JERK AN I KISSED OBAMA AND HE LIKED IT and dissolve into smoking dust as an outraged public rises up and makes Bryan Preston (who, after all, told them how to assault the castle) Lord Protector.

As usual with rightbloggers, delusions of grandeur must alternate with persecution mania, and there are actually people who will tell you that this fulsomely-covered story is being hushed up by the liberal media:


It's always piquant when they take a break from hollering that the hated MSM is dead to complaining the hated MSM is not only alive but so powerful it can hide all the videos of Jonathan Gruber from the public, except on YouTube

Their aim, inchoate as it is, seems to be to convince enough reporters that they must be even-handed about this (that is, take their bullshit seriously) to generate sufficient airtime to make them feel all zeitgeisty. They've already been pretty successful  (from the Washington Post story: "The controversy has lit a fire under conservatives eager to dismantle the law and has raised eyebrows among the law’s defenders, who are concerned that such comments will further damage" blah blah), but they won't be satisfied until some big-time brow-furrower like Jake Tapper has done a hard-hitting special series, maybe even bringing on Ron Fournier to do his Mickey Kaus act and talk about innocence betrayed. For extra laffs they could get Romney, for whom Gruber labored to develop Romneycare, to weep that he had ever nourished such a snake at his bosom.

The signal irony of the whole grift is that the grifters are pretending to be outraged that someone said voters are stupid, which is the First Principle of their livelihoods.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WHO'LL STOP THE DERP?

I expect everyone had a great time at yesterday's Concert for Valor in D.C. -- except Ethan Epstein of the Weekly Standard, who must have feverishly thumb-typed this right from the Mall:
Who would have thought that that Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, and Zac Brown, accomplished musicians all, would be so, well, tone-deaf? But how else to explain their choice of song—Creedence Clearwater's famously anti-war anthem “Fortunate Son”—at the ostensibly pro-military “Concert for Valor” this evening on the National Mall? 
The song, not to put too fine a point on it, is an anti-war screed, taking shots at "the red white and blue." It was a particularly terrible choice given that Fortunate Son is, moreover, an anti-draft song, and this concert was largely organized to honor those who volunteered to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. 
Think how traumatized those vets must feel every time they hear this hateful song played in an oldies bar or at a ballgame or in a jeans commercial!
On a musical level, “Fortunate Song” is not a bad song—that's one hell of a riff.
I mean, it's okay if what you want is a cool, extremely popular MOR rock song at a big public concert, but why would you want that?
But the “Concert for Valor,” a Veterans Day event sponsored by HBO and Starbucks, in front of the Capitol Building, was not the place for it.
Epstein forgot to mention the big finale, where the rockstars spit on the vets from the stage and called them war pigs.  (I haven't heard any actual veterans complain, but maybe they can provoke Allan West into providing some mouth-foam later.)

There's some harrumph-harrumph Let's Examine The Controversy stuff at the Washington Post and elsewhere, but fuck it: Some ideas, if we're so generous as to call them that, are just too stupid for anything but cold buckets of derision.

UPDATE. Kudos to this guy ("a grassroots activist who distinguished himself as one of the top conservative bloggers in Florida") for crafting the perfect lede for this story:
Perhaps we should expect no less during the Obama administration...
Don't fault him for failing to work in #Benghazi, he was on deadline.

UPDATE 2. Ann Althouse gets in on it, and actually sounds sane for a while, but inevitably --
I couldn't watch the clip at the first link. I can't stand Bruce Springsteen, and much as I dislike the Weekly Standard's bellyaching, it's not as bad as listening to Bruce straining histrionically. I have to concede that it's possible that Bruce thinks — and somehow conveyed — that those who volunteer today are doing so because it's their best option in the limited array of choices they have because they are not rich or well-connected. If that's the message, then it really is a rotten thing to say to our American volunteers.
That's a lovely example of even-handedness as practiced in our current political discourse: Sure, what actually happened was clear, but on the other hand here's an unsupported fantasy about what Springsteen might be thinking, so you see both sides etc.

UPDATE 3. Here, enjoy the nightmare of Breitbart factotum John Nolte arguing about the lyrics to "Fortunate Son." (Sample: "Read lyrics from 'star spangled eyes' to 'military son, son' and understand the context of troop-bashing era, obvious imo.") Everybody retuck your shirts! Coming up next: Is "Louie, Louie" Dirty, and Whether The Flintstones is Indeed a Rip-Off of The Honeymooners.

UPDATE 4. I think this is my favorite: The Washington Times calling "Fortunate Son" "Creedence Clearwater’s Revival’s draft-dodging anthem." No, wait, my favorite is NewsBusters referring to Eminem swearing onstage (I know!) as "liberal celebrities embarrassed families in the audience and those watching at home with heavy-handed profanity." No, wait, I -- oh, hell, they're all winners.