Thursday, February 25, 2010

A FULL DAY. The Corner has been full of gems today. On the matter of the health care summit, its authors go passive-aggressive, either declaring that they don't care about it (Ramesh Ponnuru even going so far as to say he'd read a book instead!) to rustling up "reader" emails that declared Paul Ryan the big "winner."

Yuval Levin says Obama looked bad because "he doesn’t seem like the President of the United States -- more like a slightly cranky committee chairman or a patronizing professor who thinks that saying something is 'a legitimate argument' is a way to avoid having an argument." Maybe some of the 0.013 percent of the electorate who watched will agree with Levin; more likely the younger of them will be mystified by the spectacle of a President able to maintain, in complete sentences, a discussion with experts.

Levin later responds to Obama, who mischievously asked if the health care benefits government employees received, and which he proposes to give to all Americans, are "socialism": "Well sure they aren’t, but isn’t treating all Americans as though they were employees of the federal government a bit like socialism?" Now your boss has a new excuse when you ask for Martin Luther King Day off.

But this circus is just meant to distract you from the real crime, says Andy McCarthy -- that is, the Cruel, Inhuman And Degrading Interrogations Prohibition Act, which seeks to make some forms of torture expressly illegal -- or, as McCarthy puts it, "Democrats are saying they would prefer to see tens of thousands of Americans die than to see a KSM subjected to sleep-deprivation or to have his 'phobias exploited.'" (The Act was later pulled, in a great victory for Andy McCarthy and children who like to pull the wings off flies and wish to be assured of government jobs when they grow up.)

Ponnuru, tired of reading, emerges to provide an object lesson in Republican health care strategy:
Mickey Kaus argues that passing Obamacare is the only way the Democrats can disprove the Republican charges against it. "For months, both GOP and Fox hosts have been talking about socialized medicine and death panels and vicious Medicare cuts and the government coming between you and your doctor, etc. If Democrats pass the bill and none of this happens, Republican opponents will be more than defeated. They'll be discredited." Maybe. But if taxes and premiums rise and people don't see benefits from this big expensive comprehensive bill, maybe not. . . . Do Democrats really believe not only that this legislation is going to have positive effects but that its transition rules have been so well-designed that its short-term effects will quickly be seen as positive?
Translation: OK, we won't be able to get away with that bullshit anymore, but maybe the plan will take time to work. Then we can get started on our next line of bullshit!

And there's Jay Nordlinger, strewing aperçus like rose petals ("Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County, The Far Side — where do they go? [That was merely rhetorical.]") He devotes a few paragraphs to the japes of panhandlers he and others have encountered:
I also mention, in my column, the most charming thing I ever heard a panhandler say: “Would you like to contribute to the United Negro Pizza Fund?” I did. That man was in Washington, D.C., I believe. A reader writes to say that he knew such a man in Albany, N.Y. — a man who used that line regularly. “I wonder who is training beggars to use that clever approach.”

Finally, a different reader writes, “You’ve reminded me of a sign I saw in San Francisco. The man said he wanted money for ‘alcoholism research.’” That’s the spirit! (No pun intended.)
Next week, he'll tell us that he saw some Mexicans on the subway singing "Guantanamero," and marvel that they had strayed so far from their homeland.

Inevitably, there is Goldberg. Challenged by a Ron Paul fan who imagines Goldberg has insulted him, he dances around, saying the Paulites don't really have anything ("If/when the Fed does get audited, it will be a lot like the search for WMDs in Iraq"), but "I'm with where Ron Paul where it matters" -- that is, he thinks his stupid Fed audit should be done even though it's useless. That's how Goldberg makes friends when he doesn't have a spare bag of Cheetos. And along the way he gives us one of the better Goldbergisms:
I also think it's funny how so many people (on the left and right) love to dismiss stuff from the MSM when it contradicts their ideological positions, but cling to it as God's proof they're right when it seems to confirm their position.
It's like he missed the entire internet, not to mention his own career.

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