Wednesday, August 31, 2011

HE WAS A CRUEL MAN, BUT FAIR. Victor Davis Hanson defends the Dick Cheney biography. I have not read that book, and thus have no opinion of it, but I can still enjoy the wonderful bits in Hanson's defense. First, relating to Cheney's advocacy of waterboarding:
I opposed those techniques, but we still do not have the complete record of the information that came from KSM et al. — though National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair has since said “high value” information came out of it — and by now we have forgotten the sense of impending attack and mayhem that followed after 9/11.
It was the 00's, man -- everyone was doing anti-terror, and experimenting with torture.

From Hanson's list of Cheney's admirable qualities, this is my favorite:
...he retains a natural comfort with the middle classes that comes from his own upbringing in Wyoming.
Though its association here with the monstrous Cheney adds some piquancy, the general notion that someone should be applauded for "comfort with the middle classes" is depressingly common. I'm generally more impressed by how someone relates to poor folks. I supposed that's just my Christian upbringing, which I understand is now referred to as socialism.

Finally, the punchline:
He had a lot of Democratic friends — remember how little acrimony he showed with Lieberman in the 2000 debate...
Now, really, how can you top that?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FRESH BLOOD. A few readers have encouraged me, now that I am the DC area, to pick up the Washington Examiner at the Metro in the mornings, promising a daily bounty of wingnuttery. That it is; I'd come across their stuff before in web searches, but it is something to get the physical paper and see so much mendacity neatly parceled up, like crisp new butcher paper tightly encasing a cluster of turds.

Their tendentious headlines I'd already noticed, but having fed a long while on the New York Post, I'm pretty well used to a news side heavily infiltrated by opinion. (Today's "Yeas and Nays," the Examiner's social/local page, is topped by a quote by Rush Limbaugh.)

The opinion pages are up there with the Post's, too. I think they might be a little loonier, though my assessment may be negatively affected by the unusually large headshots that run with the columns. Columnists aren't the nicest-looking people anyway, but it's truly disturbing to see a four-inch-high head of Ken Klukowsi early in the day, baring its fangs.

Even more disturbing is the waxen image of Cal Thomas that the Examiner runs; he seems to have been subsisting for some years on babies' blood and the wax of devotional candles; his pallor and drooping jowls suggest this diet is insufficient, and mostly serves to sustain the vitality of his lush, black Reagan haircut. Within Thomas' bored, seigneurial gaze I see an ancient hunger, and my hand draws protectively to my neck.

But give the old culture warrior credit: he knows how to bring the anti-barbaric yawp old-school. Take this lede from today's column, and bear in mind that its topic is Marco Rubio:
In my high school days before sex and environmental education and the general dumbing down of the population, memorization of some Shakespeare was expected in Miss Kauffman's 12th-grade English class.
Forget the ambitious young weasel from Florida a moment, Grandpa's talking about the days before filth and eco-fascism drove the Bard out of high school.

Anyway, "taken at the flood" is Rubio, whom Thomas says goes "further than what might be expected of a Republican" because he admits that previous GOP administrations had big-gummint tendencies, which Rubio wants to avoid. Thus, Rubio "takes the 'compassionate conservatism' of George W. Bush to a different level," by providing a "ticket out of dependency for people who can work but have been robbed of their dignity by addiction to a government check" -- the first step in that process being, of course, taking away the check.

There's no reason for Thomas to be so impressed with Rubio specifically --all the young turk Republicans share his twin enthusiasms, namely gutting our entitlements and being considered angels of mercy for doing so. Is he just mesmerized by Rubio's healthy young veins? Perhaps, but think about Thomas' position; he's been at this game forever, and spent his long, exhausting career with Satan spinning talking points as furiously as Erich Brenn spun plates for Ed Sullivan. He's seen them come and go, so to him true-believing sprats like Rubio are nothing special -- mere armament in Old Scratch's war against humanity -- and require no more personal attention or differentiation than any of the infants from whom Thomas must suck life-blood to remain sentient and in service.

And because they're nothing special, Thomas has to talk about them as if they're something special. Thus, Rubio the comer. Next month it'll be Paul Ryan, or some other youngster who will revivify the old cause. If they falter, well, they can always be drained of blood and ichor, stuck in a think tank, and replaced by some other mushbrained sociopath.

Can't close without including this bit from the column:
Rubio points to a path beyond the familiar "either-or" debate; beyond envy of the wealthy and multiple and ineffective programs to liberate the "poor."
It's great to be a conservatve -- you can brag on your compassion while referring to people who live on food stamps as the quote-unquote poor.

UPDATE. In comments, commie atheist wonders how I missed the Ooga Booga angle in Thomas' column:
...people who can work but have been robbed of their dignity by addiction to a government check.

Dignity leads to many other character qualities, which advance the true welfare of an individual, benefiting society. Someone with dignity, self-regard and respect for others is unlikely to take part in a flash mob attack.
How long the acolytes waved Examiner flash mob stories in front of Thomas before his stigmata flowed afresh, I can't say, but clearly he is now educated to the new Afro menace and will alternate between this signifier of urban chaos and Amy Winehouse for a couple of years or until people have forgotten how to read English, whichever comes first.

Scott from World O' Crap remembers the good times: "We held a beauty contest over at World O' Crap, forcing the headshots of the NRO Fundraising Cruise Speakers to compete in a pageant format, and Cal Thomas won in a landslide. His secret, I suspect, was smirking down at the camera, making it seem as though his jowls and drooping eyelids were cascading into the lens, creating that 3D effect the kids are so entranced by these days."

Monday, August 29, 2011

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about rightbloggers and Hurricane Irene. The reflexive Obama-hate they came up with was predictable; the big fun is in oddities like Ira Stoll's defense of price gouging. Go see.

UPDATE. The Washington Times has an editorial called "Irene is Obama’s punishment." It's cleverer than it looks:
Before Hurricane Irene made landfall, environmental extremists were spouting off three certainties about the storm: It is catastrophic; it was caused by global warming; and it is all President Obama’s fault.

On Thursday, climate alarmist Bill McKibben wrote, “Irene’s got a middle name, and it’s Global Warming.” His thesis is that warmer ocean temperatures mean hurricanes will hold more moisture and travel farther north than they have in the past, resulting in more devastation. Combine this with melting Arctic ice, record floods and record droughts, and the “global weirding” model is complete.

If anything is getting weirder, it’s the arguments of the climate-change crowd.
I didn't say less insane than it looks, I said cleverer. The editors quote exactly one source, McKibben, to back up their claim that "hard-core enviros" are unfairly attacking Obama, and I assume McKibben is also their evidence that "liberals say [Obama] hasn’t done enough and Irene is his punishment." (And me with dozens of authenticated rightblogger gibberings! I suspected I worked harder than these guys, but Jesus Christ.)

The clever part is, now the normal WashTimes readers will read the article and go, "Yeah, those enviros sure are crazy," and the subnormal WashTimes readers will look at the headline and go, "Cabbages, knickers, Hurricane Irene is Obama's punishment, I like choc-o-mut ice creams." And it didn't require anything like a fact to accomplish it.

UPDATE 2. Oops, neglected commenter kudos. Today they go to Jason:
Meanwhile, Jim Hoft—a person of such dazzling witlessness that he makes Jonah Goldberg look like Zeno of Elea—is hard at work reclassifying voluntary acts of charity and service as socialistic abominations. In another hundred or so years, one imagines, the flag of the United States will be nothing more than the image of a Patriot strangling an old woman to get to a box of shotgun shells.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

PEAK WINGNUT. First: Happy Irene Eve! Here in the DC suburbs, there are some power outages -- which were pre-announced by Pepco, our power provider; it's like they're not even trying; these guys suck worse than Con Ed -- but otherwise it's pretty chill.

For those of my fellow rightblogger watchers who have electricity and the stomach for it, I can recommend Robert Stacy McCain's insane "The Politics of Fear." It's amazing. It starts with some lively We're not the fascists, you're the fascists yak; then, the time-honored routine about how "McCarthyism" was actually right on, but the real McCarthyism is practiced by liberals all the time, and bad. You will read much about how American Beauty and The Sum of All Fears were created, not by "artists," but by leftist social engineers to lull the sheeple into a false sense of security, in which state they were brutalized by terrorists and buggered by homosexuals.

Per McCain, liberals' latest bad-McCarthyism trick is pointing out Republicans who don't believe God made no man outta no monkey, which leads to this lovely passage:
Though tempted to leave that question dangling, to demand that liberals explain why belief in evolution should be a sine qua non of participation in American political life, I will endeavor to provide an answer.

Ever since the French Revolution, the Left has presented itself as the political expression of Scientific Progress...
If you guessed Global Warming as the next talking point, give yourself a no-prize. Really, this thing is a perfect distillation of wingnut first principles -- kind of like someone threw random pages from Liberal Fascism, some Chick Tracts, Andrew Breitbart's multi-volume embargoed suicide note, and corn likker into a blender. The maddening thing is, the normal people who vote Republican would find it utterly confusing, and have no idea that the people they're voting for believe in it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Claims about North Dakota
If you have a license and no criminal record, you can get a six-figure trucking job almost overnight.
The article is here, hat tip goes to Garett Jones on Twitter. If your response is: “How many of the unemployed could get work in North Dakota?” you have missed the point.

You can find some of the ads here, and more broadly here. My poking around showed that some of them start at 75k a year, though with raises for good performance. It is also required that you have no DUI convictions. The sense of community is strong and the State Capitol is an Art Deco masterpiece. You can get Canadian TV. What more could anyone want?
If you've ever met any actual truckers --as I have -- and heard their stories of sleeping in their trucks, hidden costs that strip their paychecks, etc., you'll know that it ain't that simple:
There’s been a lot of hype about jobs in the trucking industry lately, but it’s time for a reality check. In this economy, exaggerations about a so called “growing field” where there are ample, easy-to-land jobs with lucrative paychecks can cause hardships for people who are desperate for work...

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects average growth rates for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers and below average increases for light or delivery services truck drivers through 2018. And even the industry’s trade group played down claims made by a host of media outlets in recent months that the industry has tons of jobs to fill.

“Today’s shortage is more of a quality than a quantity issue,” said Bob Costello, chief economist with the American Trucking Association. He said he recently talked to one of the association’s member who told him he has 100 jobs to fill, but 800 applications.
Don't tell most of the commenters at Cowen's blog, though. They mostly assume that able-bodied young bucks ain't going to North Dakota to get rich because they're shiftless., e.g.:
I think the point is that, even if North Dakota wouldn’t be a large-scale solution to national unemployment, the overwhelming lack of willingness of the unemployed to move to North Dakota tells us something about the nature of the unemployed in America. To me, it says that they’re not terribly motivated to find work, but I suppose there are other possible interpretations...

“Yes, labor migrates; no, labor does not migrate “easily”.” And my response to anyone who is unemployed and sucking at the government teat is “tough s*!t”. You do what you have to do to support yourself and your family...
(I should mention, though, that the comments include one of those rare instances of Matthew Yglesias being actually funny: "I think I may be missing the point here, so I hope Tyler will explain it to us.")

If we put as much effort into solving problems as we do into constructing alternate realities, imagine what we could accomplish.

UPDATE. Thanks, Vern Morrison, for spelling help. And to commenters, including KC45s -- "None of the ads promise a chimpanzee sidekick. Sorry, that's a deal breaker." I believe you mean an orangutan sidekick, KC45s. (Sub-update: Or not! wjts cites the historical record. I didn't realize helper monkeys had such a rich and varied history.)

Leonard Pierce has done some research on the subject (of the trucking business, not simian sidekicks) and lays out some of the hard facts of which Cowen and the Galtian Supermen are not in possession.

Sadly, No! is often very mean to poor K-J'Lo, but they and she are at their best when Lopez goes into a fugue state and makes with the Yeatsian automatic writing.

UPDATE. What, someone commented on KaJeaLop's post? Let's see:
I was in Charleston, SC for Hugo - on a Navy destroyer that couldn't leave port, no less...
It was a dark and stormy night! Came the dawn...
Therefore and henceforth, this particular dude abandoned his North Easterner attitude regarding hurricanes being just big ol' rain storms.

I tested my generator last night for the first time in a couple years. Got enough juice for the chest freezer, fridge, sump pumps, my network stuff (hub, router, cable modem, wireless access point, etc...), Tivo, TV, and a couple lamps. We'll see about the XBox and/or air conditioner, later.

Good to go.
I like to think our man has thus outfitted an old cabin cruiser under a tarp in his garage, where his wife sends him when he has "spells." He seems very proud of his Boy Scout exercise, and I suppose he has a right, but it's strange to me that a grown man would preen so over his preparedness. It smacks of survivalism, like he lives for these disaster-teases. I bet his cabin cruiser is blocked up with old How to Survive Y2K books.

Which reminds me: Why are so many of our rightwing brethren both survivalists and conspicuous consumers? The survivalism perhaps explains their politics: They wish to prove their manhood in the post-apocalyptic hellscape their policies are designed to bring about. But do they really imagine they'll be able to maintain their suburban lifestyle in that New Dark Age? Maybe they all see themselves as The Boss in Things to Come, clad in furs and lording over the wreckage; others may huddle in lean-tos, but not they... oh, wow, I think I just explained libertarianism.

UPDATE 2. Oh for the love of... conservative chiropractor Melissa Clouthier advises New Yorkers to flee Irene in terror:
You’re probably thinking this is melodramatic. Not so much. Things get primal awfully quickly. When it comes down to it, there will be a grim determination that sets in. You’ll start only seeing men at the grocery store. You’ll see panicked people pleaded with grocers for more water. You’ll wish you had prepared. You’ll feel foolish because you knew what you should do but you didn’t do it...

Civilization is a delicate thing. It goes out the window, and quickly, under trauma. Your best defense is preparing now...
I remember how the citizens of New York reacted to 9/11. They aren't going to act like a bunch of goobers because of a fucking tropical storm -- though the goobers always like to imagine them doing so. If their families really loved them, they'd confiscate their Death Wish DVDs.

UPDATE 3. Har de har har, commenters. "...these folks are fine with voting for policies that will put them in a cardboard box under an overpass, roasting a sparrow on a stick," says Jennifer, "so long as said policies assure that the guy in the next box over has no sparrow." And don't miss Whetstone's poem.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


This country sucks.

Honorable mention: The headline on Brian Hughes' article at the Washington Examiner, "Obama still faces daunting challenges as Libya changes," is even better in the paper edition I received outside the Metro station* this morning: "Obama challenged by chaos in Libya." It's time to pull out of that quagmire, which will never be the success our led-from-the-front victories such as Iraq have been.

* Oh, yeah, the quake: Kia and I were downtown. As a former Californian, she was unfazed (she says such a dinky temblor would rate a two-inch squib in the Cali papers). It was my first, and I'm glad the Earth was gentle. All office drones got the rest of the day off, so we had a few drinks at the St. Regis and went down to look at the MLK Memorial:

Not sure I like the hewn-from-the-rock effect -- it's very literal, and puts me in mind of a Ray Harryhausen special effect in which King bursts out of the rock and inches forward, roaring, as the earth shakes. But the quotes along the wall are effective, and King's face is very good; when we first saw it, it looked stern and schoolmasterish, but it softens as the light and angle change.

The other visitors seemed to like it fine. Don't know what they thought about the aesthetics, but they were certainly happy to see it there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

THE ETERNAL OOGA-BOOGA. Some time back, during the Donald Trump Presidential boom -- Remember that? Good times! -- I came across some nut who claimed to be a White House "Insider" who'd soured on Obama and was sneaking out to talk shit about him with a blogger.

At that time he was plumping the Trump campaign thus: "At first I thought it was something of a joke, but since then others have confirmed its legit - and considerable money is already being spent in preparation... I think this guy could win. He really could. And I would gladly work for this campaign."

Judging from his political savvy, he must be a very senior official indeed -- which is damning for Obama!

The Insider has resurfaced, and guess what? Now he's working the Ooga Booga angle.

To "lay out the psychological foundation of the son-of-a-bitch," The Insider tells us what a slob Obama is in his "upstairs office at the White House":
The big screen will be on – the volume loud. You can easily hear it from outside the door. The sports channels are the ones most commonly playing, though sometimes the channel will be set to music, or Fox News...

He often sits with one leg draped over one of the chair’s arms and the other leg stuck straight onto the floor. Shorts, sweats, a t-shirt, and like I said, no shoes or just those sandal things that so many of the younger people like to wear these days... And that desk, it’s a mess. Magazines spread out all over it. Stupid shit too. Real low brow reading material the president is into. People. Rolling Stone. Lots of those tabloid things.
Plus Obama has "like these long-fingered woman’s hands. And his wrists, you could wrap your own fingers all the way around those wrists – again, so much like a woman’s hands." Why, the Insider dreams about those hands.

You can see how a wingnut would be easily riled by this -- the woman-handed, shoeless pickaninny reading Rolling Stone and blasting hippity-hop in the House that Reagan Built! But that's just background for the real story: How Obama will use black riots to re-seize power.

Here's the come-on:
[Interviewer]: What do you mean by we – we are preparing for it? And are you actually saying that Barack Obama would push for race riots to somehow win a presidential election? That sounds…far fetched. Even for this administration.

Insider: Does it? How so? You need to take step back and see more of what has been happening in this country. It’s why this thing went from a concern about the party to a serious concern about the country. Why aren’t you seeing that?
After a bunch more Deep Throat bullshit, The Insider finally gives up a little more intel:
So will he stir up the race issue if it means guilting or scaring white voters to keep him in the White House? Hell yes he will. He’s been doing that shit his whole damn life! You wanna say so what to that? You wanna see this country torn apart by race because we have a president who sees it as a viable political tool?
Tell us, O Insider, how this guilt-or-scare will work!
The race card, the racial thing – whatever it’s gonna be called, it is the number one asset this administration believes it has to win in 2012. Their own polling data has shown that to be true over and over again. But how far are they willing to push that? Race. The charges of racism? I believe all the way if they have to. And they are gonna get people stirred up. And if Barack Obama doesn’t win re-election, watch them stand back while the riots break out, and watch them mouth the words “Burn baby burn.”
Oh no -- what a disappointment! Those of you over the age of 12 and with intact memories will recall that conservatives, some with actual names like Jay Nordlinger, were claiming that an Obama loss would lead to riots back in 2008. It's just wingnut SOP.

I was hoping the Insider, being Inside and all, would have smuggled documents out of the Black House that would tell us in which Popeye's Fried Chicken franchises the guns and ammo were being stored. Shoot, for all her passive-aggressive prevarication, even The Anchoress is more forthright about Obama's use of flash mobs to overthrow America.

But let's not give up hope. Maybe the Insider isn't telling all he knows. Maybe he's holding back. I bet he has a wife and kids -- and they know it. What is it, O Insider? Blink out the answer in Morse Code! Where is Valerie Jarrett drilling the troops? Will the Obama rioters try to trick us into flashing our headlights? Tell us, for God's sake -- the hour of Ooga Booga draws nigh!

UPDATE. Comments are all comedy gold, but special attention must be paid to whetstone, who sampled The Insider's dialogue ("Fuck no. Listen. And learn some goddamn history before you ask such a stupid question") and judged: "Wow, Mamet really did go off the deep end."

Monday, August 22, 2011

LIBYA ENTERS THE POPCORN STAGE. I opposed the Libyan intervention, so once again I'm watching video of happy crowds in a newly-taken capital with mixed feelings. I said my say in March and stick to that; Glenn Greenwald has other relevant demurrers. Here's to our new, hopefully more tractable client state.

Of course if I were a neo-con whose bloodlust only chills when a Democrat runs the show, my feelings would be much more unpleasantly mixed, in the manner of a number of imbeciles who have already embarrassed themselves today.

Leading the pack, as I expected, is Stanley Kurtz:
America put its credibility and prestige on the line in Libya, and we have fortunately escaped the potential disaster of seeing this intervention fail–although our escape as been far too narrow for comfort. Just a month ago, it looked as though the Libya campaign was nearly lost...
Yeah, NATO was in serious danger of being defeated by Muammar Gaddafi and his gunsels. That dream being dead, Kurtz spins:
What happened? We may learn more about that in the days ahead. Preliminary reports suggest that, despite denials, NATO changed its tactics under pressure of the deadline for re-authorization. NATO began offering more aggressive support to the rebels, by attacking Qaddafi’s strictly defensive positions.
I'm no war historian, but I understand that in any campaign tactics tend to evolve with circumstances, some of them political.
In other words, we may have finally won this war only when we recognized that it was a war, and stopped treating it as a strictly humanitarian intervention.
This is good news for Rick Perry.
So Qaddafi has been toppled, but only after a notably weak and unnecessarily prolonged campaign. If this is what it takes for America and its allies to dislodge an unpopular dictator in open terrain, our more dangerous potential adversaries cannot be feeling much fear right now.
Yeah, Bashar Assad just stretched his legs, put his hands behind his head, and sighed, "Easy Street!"

If it were not for the mountains of dead involved, I would just as soon see this finale stretched to October, so it coincides with the 10th anniversary of our invasion of Afghanistan.

UPDATE. This just isn't Kurtz's day:
I’ve been reading Rick Perry’s book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington. You should read it too...

The real controversy comes when Perry suggests that, in an ideal world, even sacred cows like Social Security and Medicare might have been better run by the states....

So what’s the big deal? Aren’t most conservatives and Republicans talking like that nowadays? Absolutely. But Perry’s critique of our entitlement system is very sharp — in a couple senses of that word — and is part of a systematic attack on the welfare state that runs all the way back to Roosevelt’s New Deal...
Almost simultaneously, Perry has been disavowing the Social Security argument in his book, per the Wall Street Journal:
But since jumping into the 2012 GOP nomination race on Saturday, Mr. Perry has tempered his Social Security views. His communications director, Ray Sullivan, said Thursday that he had “never heard” the governor suggest the program was unconstitutional. Not only that, Mr. Sullivan said, but “Fed Up!” is not meant to reflect the governor’s current views on how to fix the program.
Kurtz does try some preemptive spinning:
All this will be loudly excoriated by Democrats. Perry is going to be portrayed as an extremist who wants to kill Social Security and Medicare. In fact, Perry doesn’t call for that.
Back to the Journal:
[Perry] suggested the [Social Security] program’s creation violated the Constitution. The program was put in place, “at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government,” he wrote, comparing the program to a “bad disease” that has continued to spread. Instead of “a retirement system that is no longer set up like an illegal Ponzi scheme,” he wrote, he would prefer a system that “will allow individuals to own and control their own retirement.”
You can call this watered-down system "Social Security," just as you can call Coupons for Codgers "Medicare," but you can't get very many people to vote for it. That's why even the most rabid wreckers try to disguise their intentions as soon as they think someone's watching.
SHORTER JONAH GOLDBERG: Obama took "Blame" off the "Blame America First" slogan me and my buddies have used on Democrats for years. That makes him a hypocrite.
NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the Rick Perry campaign. Before he declared for President, rightbloggers were effusive; now, they're exploring the pleasures of damage control, as Perry's record comes under something resembling scrutiny. One I didn't have time for was the Gardasil issue, though I do find it interesting that the thing for which Perry has most abjectly apologized is his attempt to vaccinate girls against HPV. Jill of Pundit & Pundette does a little concern dance before coming around:
It can't be seen as anything but glaring government overreach, can it? I'm still very disturbed by it. Speaking as a mother of daughters, I have to say that Perry's Gardasil mandate is the kind of unholy statist invasion into the family that makes me crazy, and angry.
Good thing Jill's mom didn't feel the same way, or she might be blogging from an iron lung.

UPDATE. Commenter Fats Durston pulled this quote from the John Fund source:
Andy Puzder, the CEO of Hardee's Restaurants, was one of many witnesses to bemoan California's hostile regulatory climate... California is also one of only three states that demands overtime pay after an eight-hour day, rather than after a 40-hour week. Such rules wreak havoc on flexible work schedules based on actual need. If there's a line out the door at a Carl's Jr. while employees are seen resting, it's because they aren't allowed to help: Break time is mandatory.
"Jesus fuck," says Fats, "they really do miss the nineteenth century, don't they?" In the neo-feudal future, expect fast food kings to cry to rightwing columnists that Cali customers get their burgers five minutes late because some moochers are on so-called "sick leave," and that they had to throw out a whole bunch of meat because the fascist FDA said it was spoiled, cutting into the profits that make jobs.

Nineteenth Century? That's too limiting; yea, even unto the Middle Ages.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

OK BOYS, ROUTINE 12. I must be slipping; I had to read this John Kass column twice before I could be sure it wasn't satire:
All the signs suggest that Obama is in immediate danger of a rabbit attack. It would ruin what's left of his presidency. And it would horrify Democrats by ushering in, say, a President Bachmann.

It might happen while he's on that ridiculous vacation of his. Obama is chilling at some exclusive multimillion-dollar estate on Martha's Vineyard...

"I think it's a little too early yet for the president to be attacked by a rabbit," cautioned a veteran Chicago Democrat wise in the ways of Obama. "But it's close. Real close."
Actually conservatives try this sort of thing all the time. "Alas, as with Jimmy Carter's unfortunate tangle with a killer rabbit, the Bush socks episode became a metaphor for the Bush presidency," wrote Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator in October, 2009. "...The Bush and Carter episodes come to mind watching this Obama jaunt to Copenhagen for the Olympics." Almost simultaneously, Robert Foster quoted Frank Luntz to the effect that the failed bid "has the potential to do to Barack Obama what the ‘killer rabbit’ incident did to Jimmy Carter.” When it comes to restating talking points, these guys are pros.

No one, except some prospective 2012 GOP Convention attendee seeking a fresh angle for his handmade sign, cares much about Obama's failure to secure the Olympics now; in fact, given their new conflation of flash mobs and the London riots and their assignment of blame for them to Obama, I expect a new story is being percolated as I write, suggesting that Obama threw his Olympic bid to London*, so that it would be harder to tell that he alone was behind the international chaos.

Well, at least it gives the troops some variety in their ordnance. And it may be as much American history as they'll learn in a season.

*UPDATE. That Rio has the 2016 Olympics, while London has them for 2012, just goes to show that the Kenyan Pretender has in his incompetence allowed events to get far ahead of him.

Friday, August 19, 2011

COLOR BLIND. Who knows what's going on in that rat's-nest The Anchoress calls her brain? (Cartoons of a Red Devil pitchforking FDR, I expect, and Jesus warming his hands in preparation for Thee Anch's full-body rubdown.) A few days ago she gave a sermon on the topic Obama and Flash Mobs: Plot to Take Over America?:
In various internet political and religious forums, I have seen the suggestion being made — leaking in from the fringes, mostly — that the odd rise of “flash mobs” over this summer... are not meaningless or coincidental, but rather are “training exercises” or “dry runs” for larger scenarios; they are, according to some, “research” meant to discover what can be accomplished quickly, how mobs are responded to, the efficacy of law enforcement and, finally, at what point a flash event can, by sheer numbers and the element of surprise, subdue and repress resistance, or warrant the deployment of National Guards.

Ask “to what purpose,” and the answer you get runs along the lines of “when the cities are in chaos in 2012, Obama will declare a national emergency, install martial law and suspend elections.”
OK, Anch, here's your chance to be a uniter and not a divider.
For all of President Obama’s complaints about having to deal with congress and “messy” democracy when it would be easier to just do what he wants, I am not worried about Obama installing himself as a dictator.
Well, TA, that's a pretty passive-aggressive way to put it, but at least it shows that you're not completely --
Nevertheless, I ran out to the store a little while ago and basically heard Rush Limbaugh suggesting that these riots in London are “what we have in store, that we are “on this path” and referencing the US flash mobs. Another sentiment I’m seeing expressed elsewhere

I can’t say it’s not possible. Who knows — by next year, if we’re dealing with another hot summer of high unemployment, hopelessness and electoral passions enraged — who knows? But if so, I hate to think the mobs are actually sort of trained and ready.
One half-hearted assurance that the President is probably not planning a mob-led coup d'etat vs. the repeated "suggestion being made" (or "expressed elsewhere") "according to some" that "runs along the lines of" BIG BLACK TAKEOVER! What does The Anchoress think? Questions Remain. [pushes in nose, pushes out lower lip, sticks out tongue]

This suggests Thee Anch would make a wonderful addition to the the old Ooga Booga brigades but alas, her hatred of Obama so overwhelms her that she can't stay on message -- from a later post:
Now, if you check Drudge, he’s featuring this picture, which I actually love, because it’s colorful, the kids are adorable, and the president looks relaxed and happy:

But the headlines blaring all around the picture? Black Caucus Tired of Making Excuses for Obama and Waters slams Bus Tour; “he’s not in any black community”.

You read the headlines, you look at the picture and eventually you realize, “oh yeah…those kids are all white.” Not a helpful juxtaposition of word and image, for the president.
So, Obama's problem is he's spending all his time with his fellow white people. Wait'll this gets back to the flash mobs -- they'll drop him like he's hot and march instead behind Allen West.

UPDATE. Maybe she's not the only one who's confused. I see Rush Limbaugh called Obama an Oreo. I remember when conservatives told us this was the worst thing you could say about a black guy. Considering it's one of their strong suits, isn't it amazing that they're actually fucking up at racism?

UPDATE 2. Leonard Pierce in comments: "When Obama does something that white people don't like, the right screams that he's the second coming of Eldridge Cleaver... When Obama does something that black people don't like, the right screams that he's a race traitor... He's all things to all racists!"

IN CONTRAST & WITH GRATITUDE. The wonderful comments received on the previous post about floating libertarian nations reminds me, for reasons I'll explain presently, of the comments to this Ann Althouse post, in which she tells her readers about an ad soliciting sexy intel on Rick Perry. Samples:
If it is going to be an issue for the left to use, then payback is fine for the left...

...Unless there's some sort of reason to believe that there's an issue (I'd accept it for Bill Clinton), what could they possibly prove that would be relevant?...

I have also wondered about Obama's former girlfriends. Obama met Michelle when he was 27. Really, not one former girlfriend to wax nostalgically about how dreamy Obama was in college or law school? Not one?...
Eventually someone informs the brethren that the ad was run by a Ron Paul supporter. It doesn't sink in for a long time ("Maybe Obama didn't have girlfriends. Don't ask, don't tell"). Eventually:
Libertarian types will be a much greater threat to any Republican frontrunner than any Liberal...

Every Ron Paul supporter I know personally is a flaming Leftist who loves him for being anti-war. Dummies, all...

...The douchenozzles try to dig up dirt on Perry and end up looking foolish, but being lefties, they never learn... Paultards in Texas tend to be liberals. Every one that I personally know (and I know quite a few) vote Democrat on every other slot on the ticket, knowing that Paul will never do anything that actually damages any Democrat...

Yes, Garage, Ron Paul supporters are liberals. As am I. Liberal in the real sense of the word meaning a lover of liberty (both come from the latin "liber") Or as too many call us today, "libertarians"...

Obama is scary skinny. He looks anorexic. Did you see his legs a few months back when someone snapped him in shorts. Might he have HIV or even AIDS?...
Ad nauseum. The Althouse comments provide several ripe examples of the sort of feebs, cranks, and mouthbreathers that colonize even the most popular blogs. Their domains are to the alicublog comboxes the Gathering of the Juggalos to the Algonquin Round Table.

Except at the fleeting apices of my mood-swings, I don't brag on myself much, but I will say that if there's anything about this blog that makes me proud, it's the company it keeps. Thanks, guys.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WHERE YOU WILL ALL BARE-KNUCKLE BOX UNTIL ONE OF YOU EMERGES AS KING OF YOUR FLOATING HELL! Here's another million-Ferengi-coin idea from the libertarians:
Pay Pal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has given $1.25 million to an initiative to create floating libertarian countries in international waters, according to a profile of the billionaire in Details magazine.

Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties. The idea is for these countries to start from scratch--free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing place.
"Creating Galt’s Gulch from Scratch?... great idea," says the Cato Institute. "It’s a Rawls-ian experiment in how newborn societies develop under a given set of political rules... it’s the greatest game of Sim City ever," gushes Allahpundit.

Kia asks the pertinent question, though: If a flotilla of pirates decides to attack this floating pipedream, to whom will the Glub Glub Galtians apply for relief? Try to imagine Nick Gillespie, epaulets pasted to the shoulders of his leather jacket, drawing up plans for a naval counterattack in the captain's quarters ("We'll hit them with a satirical broadside!" cries First Mate Matt Welch) while Bryan Caplan frantically works the radio, negotiating a last-minute mutual-defense treaty with the nearest statist hellhole ("And in return, if Indonesia is attacked, we'll send in so many senior editors and SEO consultants it'll make your head spin!").

Me, I can't wait for the first Jolly Rogers to encircle Freedonia, and for all the rational self-interest boys therein to start shooting their own dicks off, and for their galley slaves, who have been paid in sips of water and crusts of bread since they were purchased in Gabon (minimum wage? That's socialism!), to turn against their masters and separate them from whatever penises they have left.

UPDATE: "I've always wondered if it's possible for people who make a shit-ton of money in the real world to relocate to exclusive, private island communities and to live as though they are above the law," says Gin and Tacos. "This experiment should answer that question once and for all."

UPDATE 2. Early comments are very promising. "A bunch of Libertarians living in the middle of the ocean on a rig constructed without building codes? " asks Big Bad Bald Bastard. "Where do I donate?"

UPDATE 3. Have to applaud MR Bill and cleter, respectively, for these alternative names for Freedonia: Galt's Gulf and Sea-malia.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

ANNALS OF THE CULTURE WAR. What are the conservative art critics up to? At First Things, here's Ethan Cordray on zombie movies:
But what if this fascination is about more than just gross-out gore and action thrills? What if it represents a subtle, subconscious understanding that something is wrong—spiritually wrong—with our culture.

Zombies represent the appetite divorced from everything else. They are incapable of judgment, self-awareness, or self-preservation... And they aren’t just hungry for anything—they specifically want to eat the living, and even more specifically the brain, seat of rationality and self control...

As we become more and more zombified, as our culture becomes ever more adept at amplifying our desires through advertising, pornography, and a media culture obsessed with gratifying every appetite, we can see the inevitable results of that process shambling along on their rotting legs...
I notice that kids these days are also going for vampire movies and TV shows. Vampires seem to be the opposite of zombies, at least behaviorally; they are very self-aware, and Lord knows they wish to preserve their eternal lives. And they're hungry for blood -- as Christians are for the blood of Christ! Doesn't this say something positive about our society?

I can play this game all day, but no rightwing think tank is paying me to play it.

UPDATE. All the comments have been lovely, but I liked Jay B imagining Cordray's interpretation of "squeeze my lemon till the juice runs down my leg": "What if this song isn't about citrus juice? What if it's about yearning and the consummation of the sexual act?" I would actually expect Cordray to find in it a condemnation of the sexual act, because that's what, as a good little theocon, he has been trained to find -- you know, the way Jonah Goldberg looks at the work of David Simon and finds it conservative because fart snort black people.

It's also fun when commenters pretend to play Cordray's game ("No, no, no. Zombies aren't collectivists. Zombies are the Galtian Superman. Consider: Each zombie works for itself, without concern for other zombies...").

Monday, August 15, 2011

SHORTER JAMES POULOS: Tim Pawlenty failed to win the Republican Presidential nomination because he wasn't crazy enough.
NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the causes of the English Riots as identified by rightbloggers: gun control and black people. (Obama makes a guest appearance courtesy of Stanley Kurtz.)

UPDATE. As the best people will tell you, alicublog is all about the commenters. "You are perhaps familiar with the song We Didn't Start the Fire (the Blacks Did)?" asks Jason. There is some discussion of What Would John Lydon Do -- germane, given nee Rotten's seeming endorsement of riots late last year. Scott thinks Lydon'd be on it, but mds demurs: "You could be wrong. But ... you could be right. The looters could be black. They could be white. What's important is that their anger was an energy."

Dan Coyle even quotes another frequent commenter, Leonard Pierce, to the effect that "guns aren't magic" -- a sentiment that would probably mystify the subjects of my Voice columns, and set them to flinging away their current weaponry ("These things don't work! We've been conned! Quick, sell 'em to the people who watch Glenn Beck") and pooling their resources for fighter jets and tanks, wherein the real magic lies.

Friday, August 12, 2011

THE NEW QUOTOMATIC SELECTOR ENTRY (see masthead) is from an amazing Witherspoon Institute essay by Jennifer S. Bryson called "Pornography and National Security." Arguing a connection between porn and terrorism, it is full of sensational pullquotes, e.g., "Likewise, pornography is not a sufficient cause for terrorism," and "As terrorism researchers Daniel Bynum and Christine Fair point out in an article about the modern terrorists we have been pursuing, especially since 9/11, the fact of the matter is that 'they get intimate with cows and donkeys...'" (Also, "is anyone in the U.S. government tracking and surveying the presence and types of pornography on these media?" If no one is, I count it another unintended consequence of puritanical legislation.)

But the important parts, relatively speaking, are a.) approving quotations of Andrea Dworkin and b.) this:
I do not know what link, if any, exists between terrorism and pornography, but I do think this question warrants attention.
I admit it; if I had put this quote at the top, instead of near the end, I could have saved a lot of people a lot of time. But not nearly as much time as Bryson could have saved.

KINKY. Glenn T. Stanton is upset because at last night's GOP debate Michele Bachmann was asked the impertinent question "As President, would you be submissive to your husband?" (referring to her loony beliefs) by the Communist infiltrator Byron York of National Review. "Submission is clearly not a one-way street," Stanton insists, because all good Christian men and women are switches -- he has Biblical proof!
In fact, in I Peter, the text under discussion, Peter tells all of us, men and women, to “submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him.”

A king is kind of like a president. So not only are all of us called to be submissive to others, but had Mr. York bothered to review the text he was questioning Bachmann on — seems like a reasonable thing to do — he would have found that the text actually calls on Mr. Bachmann, and all other believers, to submit to the authority of the president.
See? The President tops the mens, and the mens top the womens. (Excepting, of course, the current President because he's a black socialist.) So Mrs. Bachmann isn't really getting topped, because the once and future white President is giving the orders. He likes to watch, apparently.

While National Review interns try in vain to distract him with a eucharist, Stanton wades deeper in:
Yes, Michele would be called, under her faith, to submit herself to the leadership and protection of her husband in their marriage. And I trust she is quite happy to do so. But no, it does not mean he is her boss, but rather that he is to — and this is critically important to understand — obey God’s command to him for “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
That last sentence is a honey, isn't it? No, he doesn't rule her, because he is ruled by someone else who tells him to love her. Like Stanton has never seen or experienced a loving D/s relationship! If he hasn't, he should haunt the rectories for a couple of weeks and see what he sees.

The Jesus gibberish gets so thick Stanton must revert to The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel, Theological Edition -- namely C.S. Lewis. However successful Lewis was as a children's writer, I'm afraid the bit Stanton quotes doesn't help much:
The husband is head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church. He is to love her as Christ loved the Church — read on — and give his life for her. This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be, but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion, whose wife receives most and gives least.
The snuff-porn component totally confuses me, but I think I saw a movie in Tijuana once where the wife received most and gave least, in terms of headship. Also I think it's something Dr. Mrs. Ole Perfesser's readers like to complain about.

The Republic hurtles down the chasm, and these morons debate the number of angels that can clusterfuck on the head of a pin.

UPDATE. Why York pulled this duty is suggested by the comments to a Right Scoop post on the rightwing columnist's "low-blow question":
Real tough guys [Chris] Wallace and York. They pee like puppies around Obama...

Establishment lib. Upper NY and Northeast. Sectioned off from the rest of us schlubs...

... Byron York has no clue about the teaching of submission in Ephesians...
Plus Rush Limbaugh is telling his listeners, "Now I guarantee you, I guarantee you that the favorite journalist of the mainstream media today is Byron York.” I predict that months from now, Bachmann's backers will still be snarling about that son of a bitch who asked her that question, and York will be saying, "Yeah, probably some son of a bitch elitist liberal!"