Sunday, October 30, 2011

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the rise of Herman Cain. I think we have time for a few more surprise GOP frontrunners before the primaries. So whattaya think -- Bobby Jindal? He might as well make some evasive statements which the press will dutifully cover, remind people that he just got re-elected with a big majority, and then walk off with a public image bonanza he may someday parlay into a more promising new job, like a Nawlins-themed cooking show.
WEEKEND SHIFT AT THE BULLSHIT FACTORY. Earlier this week, James Pethokoukis and the AEI were telling us that there isn't any such thing as income equality, because lots of houses have air conditioners, etc. Rich Lowry, however, seems to acknowledge that, why yes, some chaps gets stuck at the bottom -- quite a lot of them, even.

This seems like progress, until Lowry tells us what his solution would be:
This stagnation is less a statement about the structure of America’s economy than about its culture. As Ronald Haskins, also of the Brookings Institution, wrote in an essay for the publication National Affairs, “economic mobility is constrained above all by personal choices and behaviors.” He argues that society’s leaders “should herald the ‘success sequence’: finish schooling, get a job, get married, have babies.” If Americans finished high school, worked full time at a job that matched their skills and married at the rate they did in the 1970s, the poverty rate would be cut 70 percent.
That again! Too bad this wasn't announced during one of the top reality shows, so Lurleen could hear it, run to the other side of the double-wide, smack Jethro in the head and yell "We has to git hitched, cousin, and give these babies a name; then we's movin' up econonomical ladder, Mister Lowry says!"

Lowry's nonsense is pimped by Ole Perfesser Instapundit, who adds his traditional dark musings about The New Class, i.e., "people who, well, have state-supported managerial or intellectual jobs..." He says this New Class in America is made up of people in whom he detects "anti-Americanism, and the various manifestations of what some have called Transnational Progressivism." Ole Perfesser Instapundit is a tenured employee of the state of Tennessee. Whatever else you can say about him, you can't say that he doesn't have nerve.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

YOU NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD. Jonathan Chait compares "inequality deniers" to global warming deniers. At AEI, James Pethokoukis gives his response:
In a way, Chait is correct that income inequality really resembled global warming. Both are issues that, to the extent they are even problems, could be be fixed though faster economic growth.
Don't huh-what yet -- Pethokoukis links to an AEI paper that proves, pinky-swear, that there's no real income inequality in America, either. Highlights:
...official measures... paint a bleak picture of the well-being of the middle class and the poor... This grim picture is inaccurate for several reasons. First, most analyses of economic wellbeing rely almost exclusively on narrow income measures that do not reflect the resources available to the household for consumption. These measures ignore taxes and in-kind transfers such as food stamps and often rely on underreported measures of income.
When you factor in the food stamps and the cash you make selling peeled oranges by the freeway on-ramp, you bums are swimming in wealth.
In addition, [between 1980 and 1999] the middle 20 percent of the income distribution experienced noticeable improvements in housing characteristics: living units became bigger and much more likely to have air conditioning and other features... The share of households with amenities such as a dishwasher or clothes dryer also rose noticeably.
Some of you layabouts even have refrigerators! Coming next: An AEI paper explaining that, when the authors pee down your leg, it's raining if you look at all the data.

Again I have to ask: Do these freaks even know any human beings?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TRY, TRY AGAIN. You may remember when Hot Air's Tina Korbe was snarling at the Occupy Wall Street hippies with their "bag sex, in drugged-out meltdowns, in litter-filled spaces. Even if the ends they aim for are just (arguable), they haven’t pursued them honorably... Then, too, it seems the protesters are looking less for work as they are for the material benefits of work," etc.

Well, as propaganda that wasn't working out too well, so Korbe has a new tack: the erstwhile hippies have gotten a metaphoric haircut, and become quite noble and determined:
It’s becoming increasingly clear: Cold won’t chase these protesters away — at least not immediately. Nor are the NYC protesters alone in their persistence. Across the country (and even around the world), countless others have joined the movement — and appear similarly committed to sticking to their spots as long as possible... Sure, most of the protesters aren’t homeless, but many are jobless — and that’s the point.
Bums no more! The punchline is these newly-ennobled souls are actually not the victims of Wall Street or the banks or any of those things they think they're mad at, but of Barack Obama.
Many of the policies President Barack Obama has championed — not least Obamacare — have contributed to the country’s joblessness. So, it seems neither unfair nor inappropriate to say, regardless of whether they realize it or call it by name and regardless of who else has contributed to the borderline corrupt culture of a federal government in bed with business, the protesters are, in fact, protesting the Obama economy. And that would make those Hoovervilles … Obamavilles.
It's not as if she'd go down there herself and tell the kids this. They're probably as pissed at Tim Geithner as they are at anyone else. But she's not trying to sway them -- they were set-dressing to her as hippies, and they're set-dressing to her as the pathetic residents of the new Hooverville. She's just dressed and lit them differently, and she's trying to get the Silent Majority, whom she just knows is out there waiting for her show, to react to them appropriately.

Rightwing propaganda is generally an easy racket, which is why it draws such weak employees, but they can be fun to watch when they are obliged to make a fast change.
THEIR WHOLE WORLD IS WANKING. The cops rousted Occupy Oakland last night with tear gas.  Normal people are appalled or at least dismayed at the violence; conservatives, expectedly, are jerking off to the footage. Allahpundit:
Video: “The Man” 1, Occupy Oakland 0.
Haw haw, got them hippies good! Verum Serum:
Both the reports I cited said the arrests were peaceful...
The many sources that reported and (in case he can't read) ran pictures of the gassing he somehow missed, or saw but failed to cite. But he'll refer to them with appropriate disdain:
So how is the Kremilin’s network reporting this? Brutal arrests at Occupy Oakland. This is backed up by the lovely folks at Think Progress who have been dutifully repeated anything the protesters said about the raid...
Apparently Verum Serum is not only unable to read, he can't see pictures  or video, either. Maybe he's actually blind, and they keep him in a basement,  periodically hitting him with a stick and yelling, "the tyrant Obama and his flash mobs just ran in and hit us all with sticks!" whereupon Verum Serum stumbles to his Braille laptop and cranks out another screed.

They aren't making hardhats like they used to.

UPDATE. Robert Stacy McCain:
UPDATE: The NY Times reports on the Oakland riot, including reports that some protesters sang “We Shall Overcome” — as if these mangy white hipsters are victims of injustice and the Oakland P.D. is commanded by Bull Connor.
Yeah -- look how nicely dressed those black folks were when the police turned the hoses on them! That makes all the difference.

When the cops are tear-gassing and shooting beanbag rounds at you for protesting obvious injustices, you may be said to have received the Bull Connor treatment. And I must say it's a little rich for McCain to be using the civil rights movements as a stick to beat anyone.

Monday, October 24, 2011

TALL BUILDINGS AND EVERYTHING. Don Surber and his fellow outlanders are convinced by a New York Post story that the hippies of Occupy Wall Street have pitched New York into a crime wave. Funny, their old story was that New York was already having a crime wave caused by black people. Make up your minds!
The recent gunplay has now pushed the number of shooting victims this year slightly above last year’s tragic tally -- to 1,484 from 1,451 -- through Oct. 16.

Four high-ranking cops point the finger at Occupy Wall Street protesters, saying their rallies pull special crime-fighting units away from the hot zones where they’re needed.
Steve M. of No More Mr. Nice Blog already called bullshit, but I must also tell the boys that New York is a very big city, with many precinct houses, and it's not like the citizens in high-crime areas go, "Hey, there's a protest downtown -- quick, let's all shoot at each other before the police can get uptown and stop us!"

I was going to say their idea of city life comes from The Warriors, but it's more like The Warriors as improvised by a troupe of paranoid schizophrenics.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the Iraq withdrawal and the death of Gaddafi, neither of which has made the rightbloggers happy. In the Iraq case, it seems to be for them like the end of a beautiful dream in which the death of Saddam Hussein was the death of Darth Vader -- something they could stretch out in endless sequels and prequels and keep raking in money and respect. Now it's over and they're pissed. Obama fucked with their shit.

Regarding Gaddafi, there've been some grousings along the lines of Big Peace's "Democrats Cheer Gaddafi’s Death: Whatever Happened To ‘No Blood For Oil!’?":
Heck, even Hillary Clinton, who looks more haggard each time I see her, received no any major criticism for describing the Libya operation and the killing of Gaddafi thus: “We came, we saw, he died.”

The hypocrisy is more than palpable.
You too? More like fuck you. I wasn't a big fan of the Libya adventure, and I wouldn't cheer anyone's summary execution, but I must say I've never seen a single one of these guys worry seriously about the torture, imprisonment, or death of any foreign belligerent (or any American suspected of collusion with them) before Gaddafi. Well, maybe Pinochet.

That goes for Bin Laden, too; they said all kinds of crazy shit when he died, but I barely saw anything resembling a human rights demurrer from them. But now some of them are getting all weepy over the Libyan butcher. We have, for example, White House Dossier:
Can anyone imagine Henry Kissinger, George Schultz or Madeleine Albright having a good laugh after taking actions that resulted in someone’s death?
Mainly I imagine these horrible people having a good laugh as they collected the checks. Also, I remember Schultz saying of Gaddafi, "You've had it, pal" in 1986; if the old bastard is still sentient, he's probably marveling that his old client lasted so long.

We can talk about Obama's hypocrisy all day, but in the end his Middle East agenda at least makes some kind of sense. The American conservative approach has demonstrably been to invade a place, fuck the shit out of it, rack up a trillion dollar bill, and then bitch when someone else cleans up the mess.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

SHORTER MEGAN McARDLE: Won't somebody please think of the 1%?

UPDATE. No, really --
I doubt Occupy Wall Street will be assuaged by learning that the top 0.1% now only receive 8% of the income earned in the US, even if that number is the lowest it's been since 2003.
I'm very upset with the liberal media -- they've obviously spiked my proposal, sent to all major networks, to give McArdle a Sunday morning show called Attend Your Betters, starring her and a bunch of dollies (whom she calls her "Board of Directors") having tea and telling each other how good it is to be away from the riff-raff. (I can tell you good people the secret of its inevitable success; once or twice an episode, we let assorted zoo animals loose on the set. No, she won't quit. It'll be just like the financial collapse: she'll never suspect things can go wrong again, so long as all the dolls have pretty dresses.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NEW TO OUR PLANET. John Hood at National Review sees Obama hanging out in a small Southern town where nobody lynched him. Something must be wrong.
But put the president in an unscripted moment with “average” people, such as those who ran into him yesterday at a restaurant in Reidsville, N.C., and you get glimpses of a stiff, stilted scold.
Here's the news report Hood worked from:
To one man, Obama said: “Now, you ate all your vegetables before you had dessert,” noting his wife’s focus on healthy eating...

“You’ve got to work hard,” he said to one pair of community college students.

One woman handed Obama a phone, telling him that her grandmother was on the line. “Hey grandma — boy this is an old style phone … I appreciate you.”
John Hood re-tucks his shirt and interprets:
Called me old-fashioned — though I no longer own an “old style phone” — but I’m not greatly interested in running into politicians who might choose to critique my choice of lunch items and the order in which I eat them. A skillful politician, say a Reagan or a Clinton, might smile conspiratorially and make a joke about how good my dessert looks, or flatter me by asking for a menu recommendation. He wouldn’t thank me for following his wife’s dietary pronouncements, then instruct a passing college student to study hard, then make fun of a grandson’s phone to his grandma.
Along with fairness, equality, and humanity, these guys seem not to understand the concept of normal human behavior.

UPDATE. In comments, Nom de Plume: "I found it shocking and vulgar when he held a very young person (or 'baby'), and pressed his lips to its face, a custom that I am reliably informed is known as 'kissing'. No previous elected official of my recollection has engaged in such behavior publically. I shall register my displeasure with the proper authorities."

harrison is surprised Hood was allowed to implicitly praise Bill Clinton's political skills. Praise for retired Democratic politicians, and dead MLKs, is acceptable for use in National Review propaganda -- you know, like barricading the door with the corpses of the enemy.

It is left for Halloween Jack to spell it out: "If Obama weren't able to schmooze with folks from all over, he wouldn't have made it past the primaries... That whole arugula-and-grey-Poupon thing was invented out of whole cloth by GOP spinners who were deathly afraid of someone who had charisma to spare..." We have to remember that sometimes they're trying to convince others, and sometimes they're just trying to convince themselves.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ROLLING OUT THE BIG GUN. Occupy Wall Street has gotten so troublesome that the brain trust at Rightwing Central -- you know, Hitler, Dracula, Satan, the guy who invented reality TV, et alia -- has been forced to once again call in the man they call The Ano-Vaporizer to argue it down. Take it away, Jonah "This Poundcake Is Lo-Cal 'Cause I Injected It With Frozen Yogurt" Goldberg:
I grew up anti-Communist. I remain anti-Communist. I share with my National Review colleagues and forebears an abiding hatred of Communism. And that hatred extends to ill-conceived, poorly articulated, envy-driven jargon from street radicals.
Jonah Goldberg promises to reveal the secret connection between Josef Stalin and Maynard G. Krebs.
But at the same time I’ve got to say there’s something truly refreshing, even reassuring, about the all of the Marxist twaddle coming out of these protests. These Red goons, buffoons, ruffians and tatterdemalions didn’t spring forth ex nihilo. They’ve been living among us all of this time. All that is new is the opportunity for them to out themselves in YouTube videos and the rest.
None of you were actually expecting him to explain how Occupy Wall Street is communist, are you? It's Jonah Goldberg; lower your expectations.
I think we’ve all known that, but it’s useful to be reminded of it.
Farrrt, farrt farrt -- BTW, joy-poppers, this is where the whole Goldberg Gas thing comes from: the uncanny similarity between many of his rhetorical tropes and flatulence -- i.e., they're valueless, the merest residue of what was once substantial and nourishing; and they stink.
It’s also useful (as I argue in the current issue) to be reminded of the fact that given the flimsiest of excuses a great number of mainstream liberals will drop their apparently feigned resolve against leftwing radicalism and leap at the opportunity to express solidarity with the crazies.
Cut to grainy super-8 footage of Lucianne drilling young Jonah: "And who is this a picture of?" "Action Jackson. [sound of electrical charge] OWWWW! Fart." "Henry Jackson, Jonah! Or you may call him Scoop. And what is Scoop Jackson?" "[crying] C-c-cold war libr'l?" "Very good. Two more and you get a banana boat. Now, who's this a picture of?" "Hubert H. Humperdinck. [sound of electrical charge, sharts, dogs barking]"
So far, except for one honorable dissent from the editors of The New Republic, I haven’t seen any prominent liberals expressing any serious concern about what the occupiers are actually saying.
OK, let's tote it up: Goldberg hasn't made any case at all against the Occupy kids except to call them commies, which unsupported accusation he finds so convincing that he assumes liberals also accept it, and yet they go around acting like everybody doesn't know they're commies, which Jonah proved and I think we all know and farrt fartfart FA RAR R R R R RT. [Wow, that last one had undertones and overtones like the guitar in Teenage Lobotomy.]

The rest just goes on like that, but there's time for one Greatest Hit:
If the Occupy Wall Street mob swept the country, I’m sure some of these liberals would, eventually, find a backbone — particularly when it came time to redistribute their stock portfolios or seize their McMansions.
Yeah, that's when I was planning to get off the bandwagon myself. I mean, fun's fun, but this Olympic-size hot tub doesn't chlorinate itself.

Thank you, good evening, and farrt.

Monday, October 17, 2011

POETS' CORNER. Some of you may remember that I wrote a book some years back, announced that it would be out soon, and then shut up about it. The only public reminders came from a commenter to my Village Voice columns who would regularly write things like "Hey Roy, when is your novel coming out? Or are you just going to write a dull blog for the rest of your life?" I suspect Mark Helprin.

As it happened, the publisher had gone under, and I was too busy/demoralized to do anything about it except drink and stagger around my crappy apartment wearing a cardboard dookie rope to which I had fashioned a crude imitation of a Pulitzer Prize medal.

Well, recently I heard that this e-book thing is all the rage, so I put the novel out in that form. Now you lucky people can buy it for $2.99 (cheap) at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and who knows where else, and read it on your iWhatchamacallits.

As if that weren't enough of a come-on: Morgue for Whores is a neo-noir set in Brooklyn, and has lots of violence, sex, and hard-boiled palaver as only Roy Edroso, semi-known internet buffoon, can deliver. Cover art by frequent alicublog commenter and the pride of New Providence, John E. Williams. Enjoy!

UPDATE. Commenter Snarl says the B&N Nook edition is missing pages, so you may want to try one of the other formats available at the Smashwords link until I find out what the problem is. (Re-Update: I tried out the Nook edition, and found that while the page numbering is indeed screwed up, the pages themselves are complete and in sequence. Weird.)

UPDATE 2. In comments. John E. Williams says, "New Providence sucks." Noted!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about what I like to call the Nixonization of Occupy Wall Street. Catchy, no?

UPDATE. Reagarding a photo of protesters with a "Class War" sign -- which might shock the Little Old Lady from Dubuque, if no one else -- Ole Perfesser Instapundit lays on the bullshit:
And Reuters ran this pic, but I doubt many newspapers front-paged it as they would have a similar photo of masked Tea Party protesters proclaiming some sort of war...
Yeah, the MSM commissioned it and ran it -- but they didn't run it big enough to suit the Perfesser, the Perfesser bets! Well, I don't remember seeing this one on the cover of the New York Post, proving the rightwing media is preje-ma-diced, infinity:

I'm not sure why Reynolds didn't just pretend the picture was from Zombietime, and that Reuters tried to Photoshop it to look like Rick Perry was stupid or something -- it's not as if his minions would notice.

UPDATE 2. Give the commenters some! Hunger Tallest Palin reminds me that the whole thing about sleeping-bag sex, which Tina Korbe claims would incense MLK if he were alive and Thomas Sowell, was more or less claimed against King and his peeps, too -- in fact, some of the brethren still run that game ("Those four days on the road had turned into an habitual sex orgy by the time [the Freedom Riders] reached the capitol").

And D. Sidhe, yes, I know who Kalle Lasn is, but so what? The protesters are not the cat's-paws of Kalle Lasn, nor of George Soros, nor any of the other ooh-scary figures these operatives are trying to stick to it.

Fave one-liner from DocAmazing: "I don't expect originality from these loons, but a shot-by-shot remake of Joe?"

Friday, October 14, 2011

SHORTER DANIEL FOSTER: Are you proud of me now, Dad?

[gets extra points for riffing off a two-month-old story; also for bragging on the Silent Majority of which he is apparently valedictorian, and for generally having the Youth for Nixon schtick down cold]

Thursday, October 13, 2011

COME LET US REASON MAGAZINE TOGETHER. At the Washington Examiner, "A libertarian camps out with Wall Street occupiers." The libertarian is Timothy P. Carney, whose bona fides are impeccable. Expectedly he finds the occupiers' grievances "unfocused," "scattered," "incoherent ," etc, but like Rod Dreher he has to admit, or pretend, that he sees something to approve in them:
They're right. It does undermine our democracy and harm our economy when hiring a former Senate majority leader, for instance, can be the best investment a company ever makes. Wealthy special interests do dictate policy too much, regardless of which party is in power. I don't know who made the sign under which I slept Sunday night, but I agreed with its thrust: "Separation of Business & State." The back read "I can't afford a lobbyist."
Aw, that's sweet. Inevitably, though, Carney has to explain to these kids why all their dreamy talk founders on the strong bedrock of libertarianism: they "don't seem to understand," he says, "that getting government more involved in the economy always gets business more involved in government." I'll bet if he said that to the guy with the sign, he'd be flummoxed! Maybe James O'Keefe can try it with a video camera.

Assuming, perhaps unfairly, that he hasn't already tried it and encountered an unhappy result, Carney should go back down there and explain to the protesters why they can't get something more for the 99 percent out of the 1 percent, because as Galtian supermen the 1 percent deserve every penny they've got. Also, that they should instead focus on reducing government to its libertarian essence, because in that state of nature everyone will get what they need -- except the losers, of course, who are always part of the libertarian vision. (In fact they're its most important part, because how could you be sure you've achieved Free Market Nirvana unless some people die because they don't have health insurance, or starve because they don't make enough money, or lose their home to conflagration because they didn't pay the Fire Department?)

He should tell them also that maybe 99 percent is too big a target -- they should count on ten or fifteen percent, or maybe more, remaining sunk in penury because they made bad choices. Couldn't we call our movement the 75-to-80 percent? Or better yet, the Winners?

C'mon, Tim, let's get the dialogue going. Maybe you can have 'em wearing tricorners before the weather turns cold.
Solidarity hero Lech Walesa is flying to New York to show his support for the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

"How could I not respond," Walesa told a Polish newspaper Wednesday. "The thousands of people gathered near Wall Street are worried about the fate of their future, the fate of their country. This is something I understand."
Walesa's been a supporter of American unions for years, which is something that his Reaganite worshippers always manage to miss; it goes directly to their bone-deep, bonehead conviction that anyone who opposes them is a communist.

Really, I'm just putting this here to increase the chances that they'll hear about it. It's been a hard day and I'd like to refresh myself with the taste of their bitter tears.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

DO PEOPLE REALLY CHANGE? You might be tempted to think that, despite her long history of rightwing lunacy, The Anchoress is onto something as she rather surprisingly comes out for fair trade in chocolate and less exploitative working conditions for the folks who bring it to us. She's seen some heart-tugging videos, you see.

Go back a few posts, though, and you'll see she's still on about the flash mobs Obama is using to bring socialist revolution to America. Those of us who follow her know she'll be back at that popsicle stand soon, possibly tomorrow.

So what caused her current hiccup? Besides disturbances in her brain chemistry, I mean. Well, I wouldn't be surprised if it were the Occupy Wall Street stuff. While the regular kind of functionaries are furiously denouncing the damn dirty hippies, the volunteers are more prone to sentiment. (Which is why the functionaries often try to pull them back in line by telling them that the revolutionaries are actually hurting the common people.) Maybe The Anchoress has picked up on the general mood of uplift and social justice, and though she can't get with all this share-the-wealth crap, it may have softened her soul sufficiently that when someone showed her a sob story she thought, o let's be mad! In another era she'd be choking up to "The Impossible Dream" and wondering if maybe she shouldn't just go ahead and put on that Humphrey for President button. Later, of course, she'd be cheering the hardhats.

You can see it more plainly in Rod Dreher, who is in a mood, too:
You know, whenever I hear an American politician, especially a Republican one, denounce “class warfare,” I roll my eyes. What Rand Paul is doing here is implying that any questioning of the way our system distributes rewards is an expression of crypto-Marxism. Is this kind of thing really of no interest to Sen. Paul?
But Dreher is more hapless than The Anchoress; he doesn't have the same kind of sudden dissociative breaks; he has to talk himself into things, often in public. So further down he starts talking about culture war, and after some traveling music about Sarah Palin et alia...
Though liberals refuse to concede it, this line of attack doesn’t come from nowhere. What is invisible to so many on the left is as plain as day to conservatives: the liberal cultural overclass in this country looks down on their values. Candidate Obama’s gaffe in which he condescended to explain conservatives to liberal donors as “bitter” people who cling to God and guns blah blah blah...
Also, liberals recreate themselves by "yelling, 'Bigotry!' in its various forms (e.g., 'Racist! Sexist! Anti-gay! Anti-Catholic! Islamophobe!') at anyone who points it out that there’s something really disordered about their behavior." Rudely disordered! So there you have it: Everyone under the top one percent is getting screwed, but some prig on Fifth Avenue sneered at the salt of the earth -- see, it all balances out.

These have been the observations of an old man who has seen a few surges of popular enthusiasm in his time, and has seen what they came to. By which I mean, kids: don't get your hopes up.

Monday, October 10, 2011

NO WAY TO GO THROUGH LIFE, SON. Jonah Goldberg says some guy says conservatives are obsessed with Elizabeth Warren.
We could stop there; Goldberg isn't likely to make this argument any more convincing. Might be fun to watch him try, though.
But does anyone really believe that George Will(!) was challenged or threatened by Warren’s spiel?
George Will is the Most Interesting Man in The World.
That gets to my point: The reason conservatives responded to Warren’s “declaration” is simply that liberals were relentlessly hyping it. It didn’t become a YouTube sensation among conservatives. It became YouTube sensation among liberals who were inspired by it and then conservatives responded to that.
He's not obsessed, you're obsessed.
It’s an important distinction because to listen to liberals, Warren’s argument strikes fear into the heart of the right because it’s so powerful and super-terrific. It really doesn’t and it really isn’t.
Well that was elegant.
I’m sure Will wrote a column about it not to pay “enormous tribute” to her brilliant insight. Rather, it’s because liberals wouldn’t shut up about it.
In other words, the conservative response to Warren isn’t nearly as interesting as the liberal reaction.
And by "interesting" he means dur hur hur.
The real question is why is liberalism so arid and why are liberals so dejected that when a liberal politician offers a fairly trite exegesis on the social contract, leftwing bloggers stand up and cheer like it’s a St. Crispin’s Day speech?
The real question is why liberals are all jerks. Except he thinks he ought to fancy that up, so he gets a thesaurus, and calls Nordlinger to get the name of an awesome speech by whatshisname, the Hamlet guy, except not Hamlet because everyone knows that's Cuomo's dad.

I like to think Goldberg knows how stupid this is, but enjoys the fact that they have to let him get away with it. He has to have one admirable quality, at least.

UPDATE. Many alicublog commenters disagree that Goldberg has to have one admirable quality. Maybe the ability to appreciate absurdity isn't it -- I think Alanis Morissette would walk away from Goldberg muttering, "This guy doesn't understand irony at all" -- but there has to be something, if only because he's one of my favorite comic characters and I would like him to have the dimensionality of a Tartuffe or a Hank Kingsley. Maybe there's a little boy in Africa he writes letters to. ("Dear Mtumbo, how's it hanging?")

Spaghetti Lee reacts badly to "Meh." I understand; I've written about it before; it's the characteristic vocal tic of a specific type of suburban douchebag who thinks his unqualified, monosyllabic opinion on anything matters because you can't see his house from the road -- the bleat of the burgher who resents every moment the world isn't kissing his ass.  I must admit Goldberg uses it perfectly.

UPDATE 2. Also in comments, Duncan takes offense at my rough handling of Goldberg. I see what he means, but believe he misunderstands me. As I intimated earlier, I view Goldberg as a character and not as a live human being. And in this incarnation he delights me. What look like my gross physical insults to him are only good fun and even in a way (excluding his wretched politics and writing) not unkindly meant. I don't think of Goldberg as fat so much as appetitive; or if he is fat, he is fat like Falstaff, or stately, plump Buck Mulligan, or Junior Samples -- that is, he is outsize, expansive, suitable for State Fair exhibits, one of those giants with whom the world sometimes demands our awestruck attention. His Cheetos are to him as the bow to Orion, and his farts as the wound of Philoctetes, except worse-smelling. I am not insulting him -- I am immortalizing him.
A STEADY DIET OF BULLSHIT. Let's play a game: see if you can figure out whether  Julie Gunlock was forced by her employers to write this horrible thing for National Review, or whether she burst into K-Lo's office juiced to rip the lid off the lefty plot to frighten kids with some junk about children going hungry:
Although Lily is just the latest politically charged plot to come out of Sesame Street...
From this toss-off, I judge the rightwing notion that Sesame Street, known to most of us as promoters of good citizenship and basic education, is actually a communist propaganda mill has been fully adopted by the Central Committee.
...the problem with this storyline is that it is absolutely false. In fact, Lily’s lucky to be “poor” in this country.
Paf! Just because the new Muppet isn't getting enough "food" to "eat" doesn't make her poor but only "poor," which translates from rightspeak to "I know all you homeless fakers are luxuriating in Starbucks bathrooms and eating garbage paid for by my tax dollars, and I resent the hell out of it as I fart through silk and stuff my fat maw."
The truth is, 94.3 percent of American households are able to put enough food on the table every day to feed their families. And despite the grim “facts” and figures thrown around by children’s television programs, celebrity spokespersons, and the mainstream media, the vast majority of children living in America are healthy and well fed.
Leaving only, what, about 15 million hungry? That's not so much and Gunlock sure doesn't know any of them. Plus there's that whole loaded term "hungry":
In fact, American kids have it pretty good. As I wrote on NRO back in January, the idiom “food insecure” — a term created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — means one has either “reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet” or “disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.”

So, far from hungry or starving, Lily suffers from a much less dramatic condition — unpleasant to be sure, but at its core, just a somewhat boring, irregular, and occasionally reduced diet.
Similarly, people who are being waterboarded merely experience occasionally reduced breathing.

I guess there's no game here at all, really. A lingering faith in human nature is all that kept me hoping that Gunlock heaved a big sigh, looked at the desktop photo of the aged, infirm mother her paycheck was supporting, and forced herself to write this literally monstrous piece. In reality there are enough soulless humanoids who would scamper with  glee at the prospect of this assignment to fill several think tanks. Who knows, maybe one day Gunlock will be the business and economics editor of The Atlantic, assuming she hasn't been dragged off in a tumbrel before then. [h/t Kia.]

Sunday, October 09, 2011

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about the rightblogger enthusiasm for their new avatar of conservatism, the late Steve Jobs. Generally they seem delighted that a cool guy who made money died, and give the Occupy Wall Street folks a hard time about it. I think they're so happy with this schtick because they know they won't have another chance for even so cheap a pseudo-irony anytime soon; if either of the Koch Brothers drops dead tomorrow, people will be dancing in the streets.

UPDATE. Commenter James Norris: "I would never have imagined right-wingers to pour out such accolades for an iconoclast hippie drug-addled half-Arab anchor baby."

Friday, October 07, 2011

ANNALS OF McMEGAN. "Whenever I suggest that not everyone should go to college, I am met with cries of classism and snobbery. But here's the thing: I love studying in a way that most people just don't." -- Megan McArdle, who also explains that those non-studious non-McMegan types just sort of wander into college as if it were a blues bar on Beale Street, with no thought whatsoever of the job market, and would be better off if we made college prohibitively expensive (especially now that Megan McArdle no longer goes to one); this would also cause employers to hire high school graduates for desk jobs, of which there must suddenly be an enormous over-supply.

The whole thing is a nightmare, but I don't have time. Feel free to work it over in comments.
THE END OF THE AFFAIR.. It was only when it came that I realized it had long been inevitable. But like all the other poor Gomers who followed her, I thought Sarah Palin was something special. Just a few weeks ago I actually found myself telling a very skeptical  labor lawyer that next summer I expected Palin to ride like a Valkyrie into the convention hall and  relieve the Republicans of whatever false idol they had put in her place.

She certainly kept a game face on to the end. Just weeks ago, when the prominent dopes of the GOP were cautiously essaying their ridiculous war on crony capitalism, Palin jumped in with both feet, and got a lot of the punters to go with. Any time a crackpot idea came down the pike, by the time it was in the public's view (thanks, Liberal Media ) Palin was at the wheel with her pedal to the metal.

But I still should have seen what was up when the more prominent apparatchiks, who are more dazzled by the prospect of re-looting the treasury than by any candidate, started bailing on Palin. Chief RedState buffoon Erick Erickson:
The ["Sarah Palin Cult"] is full of people with little prominence outside a twitter stream, a few nominal soapboxes imagined to be bigger they they are, and possessing a lot of bile and little grace inside an echo chamber of indecision 2012 dementia. About the only thing this cult lacks are thetans...

As Ann Coulter said, “Fish or cut bait.” Governor Palin has teased us long enough. Most of us are tired of it. She has harmed her own entry into the race and now, even if she got in, would only see a modest rise in polling.
Shorter'd: The Republican field has found several fresher, more exciting lunatics, we don't need you. And we of "little prominence" who followed her better get with the program, and pitch in for the big win behind someone normal Americans have not yet learned to hate.

Erickson is nothing if not a wind-sniffer, and would not have put himself out there  if he didn't think the Palin dream was really over -- though, being also a coward, he drenched it in enough don't-get-me-wrong  sauce that he could afterwards say "Oh, no, I didn't mean YOU" to every person involved who might someday be in a position to do him some good, or some harm-- from Palin on down to those campaign operatives whose ship-jumping skills were in order.

And that explicitly did not include those poor sods who carry the hods -- the salt-of-the-earth types who are now left standing at Palin Central, waiting on a train to Galt's Gulch and glory that will never arrive. 

I note this with some sadness, and not only on my own account. Most of Palin's retinue will peel off without many tears to the Perry and Bachmann bandwagons, where their thirst for blood and bullshit may be slaked. But I spare a thought for those who actually believed in Palin -- who thought this venal con woman was the real deal, their mama grizzly, their wingnut messiah -- someone who, though swimming in unearned wealth and privilege, understood their underwater double-wide lives and, though incredibly averse to responsibility, would bravely take up the Old Standard and be the backwoods Boudicca of their redneck resurgence.

She was as close to a new Reagan as the Tea Party people had -- simultaneously  sunny and impenetrable, a great grinning billboard behind which they could safely wreak their bitter vengeance on the hippies, ethnics, and paupers on whom they blamed the modern world. How long will it take for them to move on, and where to? And -- here's a strange thought, coming from someone who expected to see her crowned -- whether they did or not, are there enough of them that anyone will notice? Or was the whole idea that battalions of backwards-looking, flintlock-shouldering patriots marched with her just a scam as well? That would seem the cruelest thing for them to find: that they were doomed all along, and had only seemed close enough to victory to yearn for it because hucksters found profit in telling the world that they were.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Today I saw a side to the Occupy Wall Street protests which hasn’t been much reported — the impact on local businesses. A Vietnamese immigrant came up to me and, frustrated, asked me what the protesters wanted and when they would leave. He hasn’t worked for two weeks, he said:
I don't recall this issue coming up back in the days of large Tea Party rallies. (Come to think of it, given the Tea Party position on the subject of immigration, shouldn't Cooke have verified that his Vietnamese subject isn't here illegally? Maybe Cooke, who has a furrin accent himself, didn't want to open up a can of worms.)

Next Cooke should talk to the banksters' cleaning ladies, whose workloads I'm sure have increased since the Occupation began, especially in and around their employers' liquor cabinets and toilets.

UPDATE. At Hot Air, Tina Korbe learns that Americans are warm toward the protesters' slogan,  “The big banks got bailed out, while we got left behind," but fancies this means they share her feeling that Obama is a monster for regulating offshore drilling, ergo, "Clearly, the American people understand the problem of crony capitalism better than the protesters themselves." It's amazing what they come up with when their whole philosophy is challenged by what's right in front of their noses.

UPDATE 2. In comments, Chuckling offers some primary reporting from the protest site.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

BRIEFLY NOTED. God bless Hank Williams Jr., who got in trouble for comparing Obama to Hitler. I'm giving him the same respectful treatment I gave the Dixie Chicks when they made their (non-Hitlerrific) remarks about Bush -- that is, snidely favorable comments. If a celebrity can't act like a buffoon in this country, then why the hell did Beaver Cleaver fight and die in Vietnam?

UPDATE. Making things even better is the coverage at Big Journalism, where I learn that Mike Tyson is a progressive and that Dana Loesch is still the master of schoolyard argument:
It seems that progressives are doing more to call Obama “Hitler” with their accusations than Williams implied with his remark.
That's their strength, you see -- you'd be embarrassed to say something like that, wouldn't you? These guys will smear themselves with poo just to keep the guards from grabbing them.

UPDATE 2. He can get tiresome, but I really do like HWII. His cover of "Kaw-Liga" is most kicking.

UPDATE 3. I see some of y'all don't like ole Hank Jr., though commenter Matt T ably defends him here. Again I am reminded of that unnamed New York Times editor who, years ago, blurbed TV listings for especially crappy, lurid old movies thus: "You want Hamlet, read it."

Monday, October 03, 2011

IS LANGUAGE A VIRUS? DEPENDS ON WHO'S USING IT. At Hit & Run, Meredith Bragg mentions that Reason has interviewed Ken Burns, whose Prohibition documentary is available via [looter-moocher network] PBS:
"The telling of history need not be Castor Oil, the dry recitation of dates, facts, and events" says Burns, who rejects doctrinaire activism in his art despite calling himself a "Democrat for life."
Similarly, I understand that despite calling himself a libertarian, Matt Welch does not have resounding B.O., nor reflexively correlate occurrences in everyday life to scenes from obscure science fiction novels, nor stand too close to you when he talks. (Gillespie I don't know about.)

Sunday, October 02, 2011

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP about the rightblogger response to Occupy Wall Street. They seem to think it's a bunch of hippies being their usual dirty hippie selves, and a great occasion for hippie-punching. I don't know nothing about it, but anytime the rightbloggers and the New York Times are on the same page ("Look at these kids, sitting here with their Apple computers") you have to assume all right and justice is on the other side.