Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
January 22, 2010 - January 15, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010


Pussy. But not for any reason you think.

LAZY?? How dare you?! I have a day job, sir! Granted, that job consists of staying airborne above international waters for at least 9.37 hours a day to exploit a little-known tax loophole, but still! Have you ever tried writing loaded to the gills while making giant loops over the Pacific in a private Lear jet? The centrifugal force alone would kill a lesser scribe. Did I mention that loophole requires me to be deeply intoxicated for most of that time. And with only the expensive hooch. Loopholes are tricky like that.­

And sure, it's true that I'm lazy, but you don't get to just declare it! At least candy-coat it by lamenting my wasted talent, too.

You want some Zoni writing, son? You got it. I pulled this out of my butt in, like, five minutes. Ten. If that. TALENT!

Mark McGuire has decided we need to pay attention to him again. I won't even link to the story. The reader can look it up himself, if that's how little respect he has for his free time. Long after we've stopped caring, he's confessed to using steroids during his home run record run. In other shocking news, Liberace was a fag.

McGwire is an even bigger fag. Fag, fag, fag. I don't say that lightly. Liberace had sequinsed candlelabrum ON his piano. That's gayer than the gay sex act itself. But McGwire has the old Watermelon Diet spokesman beat. Not because he "cheated" to get his home run record. Not because he's yet another ballplayer blubbering at a confessional press conference. Nah, the reason he's a homo is much more complicated. Explaining would involve, among other things, insulting the reader. Many times over. So let's dive right in.

First off, don't get me wrong. I feel a deep, patriotic love for America's pastime and harbor a cherished personal tenderness stemming from formative bonding experiences with my father over the game and I contemplate with misty awe how its rich history is inextricably and often spiritually tied to that of the nation itself and yadda yadda. But poppa just can't get it up for this. Poppa thinks this hand-wringing finger-wagging at steroid use clangs hollow. Poppa thinks it's a cheap excuse for lawmakers to duck the real issues and act like pious guardians of moral something or other. Fixing airport security? Who cares! Taking a hard look at the disastrous unintended consequences the government's best-intentioned interference has wrought? No time! There's an evil potion that makes professional athletes play sports better! Horrors!

But Washington is just the leeching oportunist of this tragedy. Not the villain. That dishonor goes to the hated American Public; the misunderstood Average Man. Again, don't get me wrong. In most matters, the Average Man's common sense keeps this country-- and therefore the world-- up and running. But sometimes-- sometimes-- common sense is a poisoned chain around the mind.

Wait. Can you poison a chain? Would that work? I'm gonna say yes.

The Average Man thinks steroids are cheating. The Average Man thinks-- or likes to think he thinks-- that there's a substantive difference between scientifically developed performance enhancing drugs and the scientifically rigorous training and exercise equipment that have only been on the scene for a few decades. Why does the Average Man think that? He couldn't tell you if you held a gun to his unused head. And the Average Man thinks he wants sooo many asterisks in the record books, it'd look like a fly with diarrhea walked all over McGwire's name. Good God, sometimes I'd like to bomb wherever the Average Man gets his ideas from. Flatten it like Tokyo in 1944. Not every time. But sometimes.

The Average Man's appetite for his godawful opinion (godawful in this case, I stress, put down the pitchforks) is stoked by a steady regurgitation of it back to him by sports columnists eager to crash the outrage party. Some cock from the LA Times wants McGwire greeted with stony silence for the rest of his life:

Although it's difficult to gauge McGwire's sincerity now that he's admitted to steroid use nearly a decade after his career, it's even more difficult to understand why anyone would still be cheering for him following his back-against-the-wall confession....

Former Cardinals slugger Jack Clark was booed during the event following a report that he described McGwire as a "phony." That's some pretty tame language considering the damage baseball has sustained due to McGwire and his steroid-era buddies.

Yeah, how dare he play better. Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk loves the game so much, he can't stand to see it evolve.

"That's a crock," Fisk said. "There's a reason they call it performance-enhancing drugs. That's what it does — performance enhancement. You can be good, but it's going to make you better. You can be average, but it is going to make you good. If you are below average, it is going to make you average. [And that's horrible WAAAAH!]

Hang on. The stewardess just handed me a bottle of Perrier. I've heard good things about this stuff. PTTTTOOOOFFF! What the...!? Who the fuck carbonates unflavored water? If France didn't have The Bomb, I'd totally kick that whole country's ass. Line 'em up.

And some virgin writing for some college rag doesn't miss the chance to reinforce his societally-imposed chastity. Sidebar: Why does Google News index college papers? If that's news, the AP should have a service that transcribes homeless people's cardboard signs.

“Who decides what can be used and can’t be used?” [Bobby] Knight asked. “Gatorade is a performance-enhancing substance ... As far as Mark is concerned, he should have been in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.”

Human growth hormone enlarges the heart, damages the liver and causes acromegaly, a condition that makes the jaw and eyebrow bones jut out like a Neanderthal’s. It’s also illegal.

Gatorade comes in fruit punch and fierce grape.

Awesome bon mot, virgin. Glad to see the U of P follows the Stewart/Colbert school of argument from flippant distortion.

Actually, Junior Reporter Virgil T. Virgin's fumbling satire raises an important point, which I'll get to in a minute. But first, a second sidebar: "It's also illegal"? Shut up. Shut UP. My ass you care about the law. The left's newfound reverence for the rule of law is one of the slimier developments of the last decade. To call it hypocrisy almost doesn't do it justice. It's the next mutation of the Big Lie: Fake sanctimony as rhetorical blitzkreig.

Steroids make you hit the ball harder? Awesome. They constitute an unfair advantage over those who don't take them? Then MAKE THEM MANDATORY. Everyone plays juiced. Put the asterisk next to Roger Maris's record. That way future generations will know he did, eh, pretty good, considering he was playing in pre-steroid horse-and-buggy days.

And holy God, spare me the ­"but it's harmful" arguments from the Virgil's of the world. Pro sports wear bodies out, no matter how clean the body. I don't mean accidents. I mean the normal strain on the body parts used. Pitchers have sholders like pulled pork. If you're playing football without chancing a broken neck, you're playing it wrong. And who, posessed of any love of human achievement, looks at what's happened to Muhammad Ali and sees only a reason to outlaw boxing? A craven snob, is who.

Listen to the audio at the top of the post, if you haven't. It illustrates (not as funnily as I could have, but the hooch beckons) the same fallacy the anti-steroid pundits fell into. This may be a weird sentiment for an ostensibly conservative blog, but sometimes the future is just plain better than the present, and we'd be better off with the present rapidly shrinking in the rear view mirror.

McGwire could have made a stand for that future. He could have squared his sholders and declared, with pride, "I took steroids because they made my game better. They make the game better."

Instead, he turns on the waterworks and begs to not get in trouble. Pussy.

This the best essay you'll read all year. On any topic. And it took me, what, 20 minutes to write? Half hour? Barely. Bow. And send tithes to the Marriot in American Samoa. I'll be passed out in the only room they have. For, you know. Taxation purposes. That's it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why is the Dow down
since the Mass election?

COLD WATER. This isn't an in-depth financial analysis. It's just a headline about the real state of affairs at the moment. I listened to about five minutes of Glenn Beck this morning and a caller asked him why, if Brown's election is such good news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over a hundred points yesterday and is down nearly a hundred points so far today. Beck said he didn't know.

I do. So I thought I'd tell you. (It's not about bank "fees"; they're DOA too.) The very worst thing for markets of all kinds is uncertainty. Investors were dialed in to the predictability of the Dems succeeding in passing the healthcare bill. Whether that was good news or not for the economy as a whole, they had strategies in place to deal with that outcome. But now they don't know what to do. Because they don't know what's going to happen next.

Like all of us. There's no way to know what will happen next. The Scott Brown election was NOT the melting of Sauron's ring of power in the Cracks of Doom. "This is not the end," as Churchill famously said of the defeat of Rommel in Africa; "It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

What Churchill meant was that the long, uninterrupted retreat of the Allies had finally been halted, at least temporarily. The enemy had been bloodied, proven less than invincible. That's where we are today. The nature of the game has changed, and the outcome will be determined by how both sides respond to the change in circumstances.

Yes, the Obama administration and the Democrat leadership in congress have a lot of tough decisions to make. Their Blitzkrieg on America has been brought up short. Humiliatingly so. They can choose to alter their tactics, settle for half a loaf rather than none on health insurance reform and energy legislation, regain their sanity on fiscal policy, and work with Republicans to reduce deficits, spur job growth with tax cuts, and slash spending from its currently astronomical levels. Which means they have a chance to regain some of the popular trust they have arrogantly frittered away and put themselves in position to minimize losses in 2010 and perhaps retain the presidency in 2012. Or they can ignore all the warning signs and go for broke, openly or deviously, on the existing plan of creating so many government dependencies for middle class Americans that they will be assured, in the long run, of a permanent political majority as the party which fills the trough nearly everyone feeds from. Regardless of what they're saying this hour, this week, that decision has not been made. Uncertainty.

Republicans also have decisions to make. Decisions that require a combination of shrewd tactics, subtle analysis of the popular mood, and streetwise toughness. Historically, these are not GOP virtues. Generally, as soon as the Democrats stop punching Republicans directly in the face, GOP politicians almost immediately start smiling, cooperating, and stumbling blindly into every sinister trap their much cagier foes across the aisle set for them. Which is another way of saying that the job of the minority leadership just got a whole lot more complicated. Mitch McConnell has done a very good job of playing an awful hand throughout the past year. He has kept his troops together based largely on the fact of their essential powerlessness and the naked aggression of an overweening majority. But it remains to be seen whether McConnell is clever enough to keep his troops together when the Dems' filibuster-proof majority is gone and the naked aggression gives way to blandishments, false smiles, and underhanded blows to the groin. So: the Repubs can have the courage of their convictions and fight in the congressional trenches with false smiles and ruthless tactics of their own. Or they can make the mistake they usually make, misinterpreting one lucky pause in the hellfire as a victory or a truce they don't anticipate can kill them. (When Schumer smiles and extends a hand in bipartisanship, beware.) Uncertainty.

For the past year the Republican caucus has been the Resistance. Now it must become an outnumbered but motivated full combatant. Everything rides on their ability to accomplish that transition, and there's not much evidence to suggest they're prepared for their new role. Ultimate uncertainty.

That's why the Dow Jones average isn't leaping for joy.

And why we shouldn't either. All the talk has been about the possibility of the Obama administration "doubling down." The more important question is whether Republicans can double down when they have to in the much messier new reality Scott Brown has given them. Will it still be possible to control the RINO twins of Maine when Reid sneaks a public option "trigger"  back into a "compromise" health bill enough Republicans have previously endorsed as bipartisan? Will it be possible to puncture the oh-so desirable illusion that both sides of the aisle are finally working together when it turns out to have been a typical leftist trick? That's when the Grassleys and Lugars and Hatches will have to double down, no matter how hot the firestorm gets.

That's exactly what they have to do. And what we have to do. The dragon hasn't been slain. He just has a bloody nose. And he's still a dragon.

And he's plural.

Just for Fun (seriously)

Side Question: Why can't NBC Sports understand how
many of us switch off their coverage as soon as Keith
appears on NBC NFL football broadcasts? Not rocket
science. Nearly half their potential audience hates him.
Is this smart, cool, businesslike, or even remotely sane?
 uh uh. It's crazy. Good luck, Conan, in your next career.

MAD-OW. Even parts of the MSM are showing signs of professional conscience. I apologize to the Miami Herald for running their whole piece here, but I couldn't resist. They're telling the truth. Isn't acknowledging that in detail "fair use"?

Watching coverage of the Massachusetts senatorial election Tuesday night, I wondered if MSNBC was getting ready to cut off its cable signal to the state. Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, positively enraged that Massachusetts dared to elect a Republican, delivered two hours of nonstop bilious rage toward the state's voters, calling them "irrational" and "teabaggers," engaged in "a total divorce from reality," and hinting that they're vicious racists to boot.

If you watched CNN or Fox News last night, you got a balanced analysis of how Republican Scott Brown pulled off the political upset of the century (or, if you prefer, how Democrat Martha Coakley blew a dead solid electoral lock). Yes, I said Fox News, without irony. To be sure, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity made it clear they were rooting for Brown. But their shows also included a steady parade of liberal-leaning guests -- former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, former Dukakis campaign manager Susan Estrich, Democratic party strategist Mary Anne Marsh, NPR commentator Juan Williams and radio host Alan Colmes. And pollster Frank Luntz interviewed a panel of two dozen or so Massachusetts voters, most of them Democrats, about how they voted and why. Practically every conceivable perspective on the election was represented.

And on MSNBC, you got practically every conceivable expression of venom against Brown and anybody who voted him. From Maddow's dark suspicions that the election was rigged -- she cited complaints about a grand total of six ballots out of about 2.25 million cast -- to Olbermann's suggestion in the video up above that the same Massachusets voters who went for Barack Obama by a 62-28 percent margin had suddenly realized they helped elect a black guy and went Republican in repentance, the network's coverage was idiotic, one-sided and downright ugly.

Olbermann was simply outraged by the vote. "The teabaggers may have elected their first guy tonight," he declared as Brown rolled up a commanding lead. Just in case the connotations of the word teabag might be lost on his audience, he clarified his feelings: "I wanted to apologize for calling Republican Senate candidate, Scott Brown, an irresponsible homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees. I`m sorry -- I left
out the word 'sexist.'"

Maddow added dirty campaigner to the charges. Her sense of fair play was violated by a Brown campaign ad in which his daughter complained about Coakley's attacks on her father: "Martha Coakley`s new negative ad represents everything that discourages young women from getting involved in politics, and as a young woman, I`m completely offended by that," the daughter said in the ad. Sniffed Maddow: "It`s like using your kid as a human shield." Oddly, Maddow made no mention of the Coakley TV ad that started the exchange, which began: “1,736 women were raped in Massachusetts in 2008. Scott Brown wants hospitals to turn them all away...”

MSNBC's idea of "balancing" these rants was to interview former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean. (His main insight: Coakley's loss was, honest to God, George W. Bush's fault.) When a third MSNBC host, Chris Matthews, timidly raised the possibility that Massachusetts voters were concerned about high government spending, Maddow snapped that such thinking was "irrational" and added: "To say it`s fiscally responsible to not reform health care is insanity... It`s a total divorce from reality."

(To be perfectly fair, I wouldn't have believed anything Matthews said, either, after he insisted that Richard Nixon's presidency crumbled not over Watergate but the recession of 1974.)

It may be too much to expect NBC, these days reduced to a national wisecrack, to be embarrassed over the frothing lunacy that passes for news coverage at corporate stepchild MSNBC. But both networks are part of the same news division. If news boss Steve Capus thinks his reporters can continue to appear with Olbermann and Maddow without suffering credibility contamination, he's dumber than whoever was behind the Leno/O'Brien late-night shuffle.

uh, Wow.

Let me add: I'm pretty sick of the Maddow bitch. She's monotonous, humorless, predictable, charmless, abrasive, and all in all, not too bright. I applaud the launch of Big Journalism, but I must confess I was utterly mystified by the new editor-in-chief's odd bouquet to "the lovely and talented Rachel Maddow." She's neither. She's a horrid boor. I actually tried to watch her reaction to the Scott Brown victory. But I was compelled to flee her tedious, incoherent state of denial after a scant two minutes. (The South Park rerun I saw instead was restorative.) Which makes me wonder whether Big Journalism can really live up to its vow not to be politically correct.

The challenges keep mounting. We live in perilous perilous times. She's not Martin Luther King. She's a drab, dumb dyke. Why is that so hard to admit?

Harvard Lampoon 1, NBC -$45 million

The end of' Tonight,' whatever happens. Shame. End of an era.

TONIGHT, TONIGHT. Subsequent reporting could defeat me here, but in the interim, I want to congratulate Conan O'Brien, past president of the Harvard Lampoon, for having principles. (Please don't let me down, Conan.)

NEW YORK - NBC said Thursday it has reached a $45 million deal with Conan O’Brien for his exit from the “Tonight Show,” allowing Jay Leno to return to the late-night program he hosted for 17 years.

Under the deal, which came less than eight months after O’Brien took the reins from Leno, O’Brien will get more than $33 million, NBC said. The rest will go to his 200-strong staff in severance.

Compensation for O’Brien’s staff and crew was the final hurdle in negotiations. O’Brien was said to have been “dug in” on the issue out of concern for the workers, while NBC said this week that it had already agreed to pay “millions of dollars to compensate every one of them” and deemed it a public relations “ploy.”

On Wednesday night’s show, speaking of a push to get a severance deal for his staff from NBC, O’Brien joked, “At first they thought I was gullible. They said the staff would be taken to a big farm, where they’d be allowed to run free forever...”

“In the end, Conan was appreciative of the steps NBC made to take care of his staff and crew, and decided to supplement the severance they were getting out of his own pocket,” his manager, Gavin Polone, told The Wall Street Journal. “Now he just wants to get back on the air as quickly as possible.”

What I thought he should do. I like loyalty and principle. I think Leno's shown it. And now I think Conan O'Brien has. Let's hope it's true.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Truck for Obama

So fun-neeee, no?

SUPRISE, SUPRISE, SUPRISE!  Okay. So apparently the wheels really did come off the Coakley campaign, despite our well intentioned entry yesterday. But speaking of wheels, there sure has been a lot of talk about pickup trucks over the past few days. Our favorite moderate, Ann Althouse, actually had the temerity and wit to fisk the president's Sunday campaign appearance in Massachussetts. It's all worth reading, but note the truck theme in this excerpt:

Finally, he gets back to his prepared remarks. Conveniently, he's through with the details about Martha. He tells us we need "somebody who has fought for the people" because times are tough. He's got something to say about "Martha's opponent":
He's driving his truck around the commonwealth -- (laughter) -- and he says that he gets you, that he fights for you, that he'll be an independent voice. And I don't know him, he may be a perfectly nice guy. I don't know his record, but I don't know whether he's been fighting for you up until now, but --
So he doesn't know anything about the guy he's about to tear down, but please laugh at the man who drives a truck. He doesn't worry that the truck might backfire. It becomes a theme in the next section:
Forget the truck. (Laughter.) Everybody can buy a truck. (Laughter.)...
... I'd think long and hard about getting in that truck with Martha's opponent. (Laughter.) It might not take you where you want to go....
Now, the repeated recurrence of the truck may be a good distraction, because this section of the speech is incoherent...

What's with all these truck references? Responses to this incredibly effective campaign strategem:

It seems all the laughter in the president's audience was misplaced. The joke would appear to be on them and Obama. Which reminds me that we tried to give candidate Obama some relevant good advice back during his presidential campaign. He didn't take it then. He'd be smart to take it now. Time to stop sneering at pickup trucks and get one for himself. Then drive it across the country and meet some of the people he routinely belittles from his telepromptered throne. 500,000 miles ought to about do it.

But what kind of truck would he pick? That turns out to be a pretty complicated question. For example, we know that the Obamas prefer to go top shelf in all their personal choices of clothes, nightspots, vacation destinations, etc. So the easy choice would be this:

2007 Cadillac Escalade Pickup.

Maybe that's too easy, though. Truth is, even the Escalade isn't the absolute high end of the market. This is (as reported on here at InstaPunk back in November 2008):

The International CXT. Costs $100K and holds 300 gallons of fuel.

Very cool. But the fuel economy is, well, disastrous for a cap-and-trade enthusiast. It might come across as a mite elitist and hypocritical. Gore's taken mucho heat for his jetting around to preach about Global Warming. And the CXT gets almost as many miles per gallon as a Gulfstream jet. Besides, it's still possible to be big and imposing with more of a common touch. We like this option, monumental and gigantic like The One himself but somehow more understated:

The Freightliner pickup. Kind of like Truman's train with tires...

Too common? Possibly. And also kind of boring. Unassuming might be the right message for unassuming populists like, say, Sarah Palin, but if you're The One, you want to remind people who's got the power even if you're nominally rubbing shoulders with ordinary, low class American shoulders. How to be quintessentially American without undermining the potency of your office? How about this:

A Monster Truck draws crowds, and it looks as
if there's room up there for a teleprompter too.

Nobody's going to take you lightly from a rig like that. Even if you can't bowl for shit. But it's also a risk to overplay the whole power thing. If you're really The One, you'll still shine like a star in some dramatically downsized vehicle. I feel sure he could carry off a hyper-tiny ride like this one:

The "less is more" principle writ largesmall.

On the other hand, it's hardly what you'd call cool. Which the Prez indubitably is, even if he's nothing else. And if perchance he is nothing else, it's all the more important that your appearance be perfect down to the last detail:

Wow. Those trashy Red States oughta love it.

Unless there's some combination of big and small and perfect and powerful and New Age that still feels something like a lofty bully pulpit about all the good things.

Kind of Euro but uniquely American.

Hard to find any vehicle that synthesizes so many complex and contradictory messages, n'est-ce pas? Although there's always the possibility that it will be simplycomplexly over the head of all those stupid ordinary Americans. Don't want to overthink it, do we? Because there's always the brute-plain option: something nice that reminds people of the traditional life they think they want that you're working night and day to take away from them for good. But hell. They don't know that. Do they?

"You really can fool all of the people -- enough."  -- Saul Alinsky

Well, that's the best we can offer in the way of thoughtful guidance. Doesn't matter anyway. We're pretty sure we know what the REAL choice will be:

Likely pick? The Self-Healing
Government Motors Half-ton

Looks like a fella who needs a tea party fix of faith and hope..

Of course, as always, you're free to propose your own nominations. I'm sure the president will pay close attention... he's done all year.

Out of the mouths of Babes...

More than a casual, accidental resemblance.

THE HUFFINGTON POST(WO)MAN. Collectively, the Gabor sisters (Zsa Zsa, Eva, and Magda) managed, without discernible acting talent, to marry about half the movers and shakers in Hollywood. Why does this matter at all? It doesn't. It's just fun to remember.

The brilliant Jim Treacher had the stomach (as did some of us) to watch part of the MSNBC reaction to the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts. He stayed with it long enough (we didn't) to note that Keith Olbermann cut away from the Brown victory speech to interview the far more interesting and relevant Arianna Huffington. His entry is instructive and funny in its own right. But we also felt compelled to read his commenters, who were equally inspired. A sample:


I did watch MSNBC! All. Night. I had to; it was so schadenfreude-licious!


Since I never watch or listen to her, I just realized that Arianna Huffington looks and sounds like that lady from Green Acres.

And, you know, she's absolutely right. Want to compare? Here's Arianna in full cry:

And here's Eva Gabor:

Pretty perfect. It's an American tradition that immigrant femme fatales can marry their way to power and influence in our great nation. But it's also an American tradition that the rest of us are entitled to laugh at their hubris in pretending that a prenuptial agreement which makes them rich also bestows any kind of intellectual or moral authority.

You'd be have to be a Hollywood liberal to get sucked into taking them seriously. About anything except the next stop in their bedroom march to a respectability that just won't ever come. (No pun intended.)

Honestly. Or as honestly as Arianna articulates her conversion from rightwing Clinton basher during the impeachment scandal to leftwing visionary during the Obama era. Can she make hotcakes? Or does the boa get in the way?

Inglourious Basterds
Glorious Survivors

DON'T LET'S GET CHEAP. From my dear friend Rob. A solemn but inspirational note on a day of celebration. Do you understand yet, Lake? I think you do.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Credit Where Credit is Due:

Three Cheers for CNN

SHOULD WE BE BRITISH ABOUT IT ALL? Something I've always wondered about. You're a journalist reporting on a frightful, dangerous situation. Bad things happen around you. When do you throw down the microphone, turn off the cameras, and get involved? Mostly, it seems, journalists don't. Call it a kind of target fascination. The availability of poignant images seems more important as a message than the people to whom real events are occurring. I understand. Up to a point. But I'm not a journalist. I'm always biased in favor of jumping in and hang the damn pictures... If this report is true, then I congratulate CNN's people on the ground in Haiti for being first-rate human beings. All politics aside and no irony or sarcasm implied. Just praise.

Cooper Carries Injured Child Away from Looting

In two segments airing on "The Situation Room" today, more newsers found themselves stepping beyond their roles as journalists to assist during emergency situations in Haiti.

While reporting on a chaotic scene in the Port-au-Prince streets, Anderson Cooper pulled a young boy with a bloody head injury away a storefront where looters were throwing rocks from above. Cooper aired a more detailed report at the top of "AC360."

In another incident, correspondent Chris Lawrence was returning to the network's base when he and his crew were flagged down by a paramedic who asked to use their truck to transport a 23-year-old university student who had just been rescued from the rubble.

Also, early this morning, CNN's Sanjay Gupta, who is one of the TV doctor's [sic] whose [sic] been pulling double duty as a journalist and medical professional in Haiti, was helicoptered to the USS Carl Vinson to perform brain surgery on a 12-year-old girl.

I hope you're as proud as I am, regardless of CNN's many sins against journalism in recent years. Yes, it might be even more praiseworthy if we'd never heard of it, but then we'd never have heard of it and the example wouldn't have been put out there for others to follow.

I believe everyone on the ground in Haiti should do whatever is possible to save lives and render comfort. But then I've been a sentimental old fool for quite a while now...

Who says they ain't no miracles?

Obamessiah Toast.

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN. Okay. So we heard about it from Brizoni. Who has always had a thing about eBay. But he sort of swore to me that he had nothing (much) to do with this particular miracle. He sounded kind of sincere. Honestly.

I think weyou should all bid on this sacred object to help the victims in Haiti. That's why Brizoni emerged from his cocoon and contacted me. A sacrifice on his part. Can weyou do less? Sure. But it would be wrong.

Send your donations here. Not to that damn text-message scam. Seriously.

P.S. uh, Brizoni? Planning on getting off your lazy ass anytime in the new year? To WRITE something?

Thought not.

Forgive me for mentioning it. I just thought, while we're on the subject of miracles, maybe... oh, forget it.

 The Coakley Challenge

Clones (cloanes?) are a political liability. Not even women like arid women.

MASS MASSES' EXPECTATIONS. What nobody else is considering. If Coakley wins. (Yes, she might.) You see, David Gergen should have asked the same question of her he did of Scott Brown: "Do you really see yourself sitting in Teddy Kennedy"s seat?" (Or words to that effect.) There's a lot of legacy in that seat, a long ton of it if we're being honest. Things that have to be done if you're going to live up to, er, honor, the memory of the pigicon who sat his fat ass in it for all his adolescent lifeso many years. I mean, you gotta go for greatness. Like a Kennedy.

For example, Scott Brown looks like he's got the wherewithal to execute a "waitress sandwich." But there won't be any more Dodd to serve as the other white bread half of the turkey club. Which means Scott is unacceptable. Massachussetts has never been into open-faced sandwiches. They insist on grinders.

At first blush Marcia Coakley is unacceptable too. But, just as she has had to learn that there's a place called Red Sox Nation a Massachusetts senator has to pay attention to, she can also learn how to do the sandwich thing that's expected of the commonwealth's most gloried elected officials. Granted, she can't be expected to sleep with a thousand members of the opposite sex during her term in office (wouldn't be possible for a helmet-haired androgyne), but she can at least make an effort to be truly progressive. Can't she? She better. A good first step would be drowning some sexual tool in her car. Here's a candidate who would attract some national attention:

The car has to be a GM model obviously. Which is a
shame. The Ford Escape would have been so poetic.

It might even help her standing with the neo-moderates (the few Massachussetts anti-Stalinists) of her constituents. Afterwards, she can get down to work on the sandwich thing. Obviously, she needs a partner in crime (figuratively, figuratively, you Bay State assholespatriots...). We nominate Geraldine Ferraro. For obvious reasons. Like the fact that Marcia and Geraldine are pretty much the same person -- drab, unfeminine Hillaryites who think it's enough to show up and demand that people celebrate their lack of a penis as a supreme qualification for office, barring all other possible qualifications of course.

But who should they make into a sandwich.  Again, we have a suggestion:

We don't need to hear about strap-ons and such. You know.

You're right. It's all starting to sound pretty complicated. Maybe it would be easier to elect Scott Brown and hope Connecticut can come up with a stud who knows his way around waitresses better than Marcia Coakley knows her way around Fenway Park.

I'm not saying I believe this crap. But THEY do.
Very very very very very bad mistake to forget it.

Well. At least I tried to be nonpartisan. As much as Obama ever has. As for Coakley... uh, GO B.U. (Best I can do.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Fun Controversy

NSFW: My nomination in the Foreign category. Lina Wertmuller.
A clip from the worst 'serious' movie I've ever seen, the original
Swept Away, a remake of a Brit comedy, The Admirable Crichton,
transformed into a ridiculous communist manifesto. Even worse
than the Madonna remake that won her a Razzie and offered the
saving grace of finishing off her so-called acting career for good.

FOR MOVIE FANS ONLY. Ben Shapiro is an enfant terrible of conservative stripe who has, apparently out of the blue, produced a list of the most overrated movie directors.

Here are excerpts from his screed I almost completely agree with. There's this:

It is one of the great travesties of artistic justice that no one remembers the writers of great movies – nobody knows Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, for example, but everyone remembers Frank Capra.  Together, those three wrote It’s a Wonderful Life.  (Together, Goodrich and Hackett also worked on The Diary of Anne Frank, The Thin Man, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Father of the Bride.)

Directors get too much credit when a movie goes right, and too little blame when a movie goes wrong.  There are certain directors, however, who get credit even when movies go wrong.

And this:

David Lynch:  Pure and absolute suckage, with the exception of The Elephant Man.  Lynch is one of those annoyingly “deep” directors we’re all supposed to puzzle over.  Forget it.  There’s nothing worth puzzling.  He’s as empty as they come, and he makes up for it with graphic sex scenes...

And this:

Woody Allen:  He’s pretentious and unbearable.  His movies are like nails screeching on a chalkboard, only with less humor.  He is as nerdy as Peter Orszag, but he acts out his fantasies and illuminates his insecurities in film and expects us all to watch.  It’s okay for a director to be self-centered – Orson Welles was famously self-centered.  But you actually have to be an interesting person in order to spend that much time focusing on yourself.  Allen isn’t.  He’s a whiny narcissist with sexual inferiority issues.  And no one except for him cares about the status of his penis.  As a side note, he made Diane Keaton into a “legitimate actress,” which alone should qualify him for the Seventh Circle of Hell.

And definitely this:

Martin Scorsese... His films are entirely devoid of anything resembling likable characters.  They are cold and calculating and ruthless – and boring.  Nobody cares what happens to Leonardo DiCaprio in The Departed (in fact, in one screening I saw, people cheered when he got it in the head).  The Aviator takes as long to tell as Howard Hughes did to live.  Gangs of New York featured a brilliant performance from Daniel Day Lewis, and not much else (on a side note, there is no excuse for killing Liam Neeson in the first ten minutes of a film).  Casino is nasty, brutish, and long... Raging Bull is gross.  Mean Streets is gross and soporific.  Taxi Driver is perhaps the most overrated film in Hollywood history — dreary, grungy, and subzero.  Scorsese has never seen a main character he liked, a villain he hated, or a pair of editing scissors.

I disagree with some entries and we can get to that if you're interested after you read the whole list. The comments on it at Big Hollywood are just as much fun. It's great to read how people react when their sacred cows are smacked suddenly across the face. They're so incredulous they can't even respond coherently.

What do you guys think of Shapiro's list? And who would be on your list and why? Be as voluble and provocative as you want. We could all use a diversion from the news...

Making an Example
Of Eduardo...

I told you. TWO breasts. Big ones.

PUNCHLINES 'R US.  We've had a recent example of a commenter, the much maligned and persecuted DRV, who felt he was singled out for abuse by InstaPunk. Now it's time to demonstrate what it means to be singled out for abuse by InstaPunk. It's not pretty. In fact, it's the blog equivalent of being waterboarded. The victim in this case? The Neanderthal who styles himself "Eduardo." He had the temerity to propose that he could talk film with us members of the Martha Coakley Film Club.

Hitchcock - Uhhh, don't think I'd put him as most overrated ever. I've always thought Vertigo was awful, but like I said before it was mostly the story I thought was stupid. How much of that is Hitchcock's fault as a director? Plus, I liked North by Northwest and a lot his movies are considered classics, loved by a wide range of people, not just the Hollywood elites, which I think makes him not overrated. Or should I say that the "overwhelming consensus" is that he's a good director?

I'll tell you who I think it missing, though, and I hope this pisses everybody off so you can tell me why I'm wrong: Stanley Kubrick. I guess Spartacus was all right, but my favorite all time Roman-period movie is Ben-Hur (you probably thought I was going to say Gladiator, didn't you?). Other than that, though, I don't get it. We've talked about 2001 here before, but I haven't cared for any of his movies. Sure, there's that part in Clockwork Orange is running around with no clothes on and the scene with the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket is funny, but what else is there? Why do people speak his name in awe? WHY?

Taking Eduardo's points in order, how is it possible not to appreciate Stanley Kubrick? I saw "Eyes Wide Shut" on the LateNite Channel just a week ago for the first time. There were breasts and, if I'm not mistaken, pubic hair. Which means, I suppose, that Eduardo is a fundamentalist Christian prig, Palin-supporting fascist. Enough said. Are these sufficient grounds for condemning the otherwise most something or other-esque director in the whole history of the movies? I don't think so. Sex and pubic hair, sterilely focused, are good things. Abase yourself, Eduardo, or expiate your sins by explaining what the hell the new season of 24 is up to. Or can't you manage even that? I thought not. It's not humanly possible.

Next, he has the nerve to attack Hitchcock. Vertigo was awful? How typical. This is where it gets personal. I can withstand the purely political ad-hominem attacks. But when he descends to the level of  ad-hominem ad-hominem attacks, the eviscerating of my whole human soul, my very gender identity, by assaulting the vivid cinematic relationship between James Stewart and the two-breasted Kim Novak, that's where I draw the line. He can pontificate and storm all he likes, even to the point of transcendant arrogant ultimance, but there's nothing he can ever present as credible evidence that will refute the two-breastedness of Kim Novak.

But maybe his pernicious and subversive undermining of Kim Novak's dual breastedness is only a screen for his devotion to the flaming homosexuality embodied in his favorite movie, Ben Hur. True, it wasn't the most positive possible post-AIDS relationship such as we saw in the Philadelphia Story, because it was a much much sicker story of sadistically repressed queerness instead. Is this what "Eduardo" prefers to really good, fine, super-plus"A" film-making such as that Hitchcock movie where Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant is definitely going to get into Grace Kelly's pants? Probably. I know I'm disgusted. There they are, Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd, indulging in their ultra ultra-gay chariot race until one of them is crushed metaphorically (uh literally) beneath the chariot wheels of the other. Talk about macho leather boys getting carried away...

What's the matter with him? Hitchcock not great? Nonsense. Any YouTube search will prove beyond dispute that Eva Marie Saint was both bi-breasted and blonde, Janet Leigh had bright yellow hair and mammaries shaped like rockets (two of them), and even Tippi Hedren was at least technically female. (Would Sean Connery pursue a woman with no... oh, forget it.)

Compare this to Eduardo's carping about Stanley Kubrick. Just because nothing Kubrick ever filmed contained even the slightest hint of sexual excitement, no matter how much nudity and sexual violence he put on screen, doesn't mean that Eduardo's hatred is justified. Not all of us are perverts. Some of us can look at female sexual parts and say, "Oh, what do they mean in the context of the picture?" Like in those crazy scary scenes in Clockwork Orange where we're being invited to BE the anarchistic rapist whose victims secretly enjoy what he's doing. That's just bad film making. Nobody thinks that way. Which is why Ben "the under-aged virgin conservative" Shapiro hasn't even thought to put Kubrick on his list.

But you put him on your list, Eduardo. You got a problem with Hitchcock's double-breasted blondes, we know. Do you also got a problem with Kubrick's women who really really want to have sex, even though the only thing that really matters is what real men agonize about? Like what's going at Jupiter? And all the sci-fi movies that get spun off from that one really dumb movie starring a computer? Whose progenitor you contemn, while 90 percent of what you like is derivative of his work?

Tell DRV we're anxious to have an intimate word with him too. We know how smart he is. How cultured. How ready for real dialogiue with IP. Man to man.

NFL Playoffs:


The old NFL? Running to victory? Shades of Jimmy Brown.

UPDATE. I'll confess right up front that there's a conservative political bias in everything I'm about to say regarding pure sporting events. So discount away. But I think what I have to say is still meaningful.

Here in Mrs. CP-land, it was a great football weekend, notwithstanding the loss by the Ravens. With the sole exception of the Ravens-Colts outcome, the headline of this week's playoff games was the "Defeat of the Pundits." (Actually, even the Ravens game was a kind of pundit defeat, but I'll postpone that discussion till later.)

All told, four networks were covering these games. Each with an array of former players and coaches who are presented as, and have abundant credentials as, football cognoscenti. The NFL Network. ESPN. CBS Sports. Fox Sports. They all have a panel of experts who know absolutely more than we fans know about everything associated with NFL football -- the technicalities of offense and defense, the experience of being on the field as participants, the realities of the lockerroom versus the media buzz and the Vegas odds. We should trust them, shouldn't we? Believe them? Bow to their wisdom? Of course we should. But we don't. We have our own opinions.

Isn't this analogous at a very deep level to the difference between the progressive and conservative views of who should be making decisions in  the United States? The progressives believe that the right combination of experts and education is superior to the ignorant opinions and emotions of the voters, who -- as in the current healthcare bill debate -- can and should be defied in order to do what's best for people who don't know any better. That's why government should grow and control more of our lives, because we're the ones who really can't and shouldn't be trusted.

Conservatives say, on the other hand, experts are never as smart as they think they are, and somehow or other, for whatever irrational reason, individual liberty and actions are more potent and productive in the end than a consensus of know-it-alls. Which is why a handful of experts can't be permitted to run everything based on the notion that they always know better than 300 million of the rest of us.

It's been said before -- we've said it before -- that sports are a microcosm of life itself. If the experts of NFL football were right, three of the four games played this weekend would have turned out differently. New Orleans, having lost its last three regular season games and all its 'momentum,' would have fallen to the offensive pyrotechnics of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, and the Arizona Cardinals. Any other outcome would be unprecedented in NFL history; no team that has lost its last three games at the end of the season ever won a playoff game.

Dallas would have stomped the Minnesota Vikings, who struggled in itheir final regular season games, ominously repeating the record of Brett Favre's last season performance with the New York Jets. The 40 year old Hall of Fame quarterback may have everything else, but he no longer has the stamina to play a 16-game season without getting tired out and reverting to his career-long bent for interceptions.

And by the way, aren't the Cowboys completely AWESOME? the MOST talent in the NFL, the MOST ambitious owner, the MOST perfect timing in peaking just as the season ended and the playoffs began. Vikings = Roadkill of the Dallas Juggernaut. Did we mention that the Dallas Cowboys are completely AWESOME?

And, oh yeah, the Jets. Lucky win against the Bengals. Decent defense but no offense. Against the best offense in the league. Watch Philip Rivers -- good as Manning -- take them apart. It'll be ugly.

After a morning of watching all the pundits predict the annihilation of the Vikings, with so much emphasis on the ascendancy of "America's Team" (nostalgic much?) as Super Bowl favorite, man by man by man, that even a meticulous observer would have thought the whole Vikings team consisted of Brett Favre and the defense's front four, Mrs. CP congratulated me for my predictions of how the individual experts would predict the winners of the games. (I got all five of the Fox predicters right, man by man by man.) Then she said, "But there's a reason they actually play the games."

She was, as usual, right. Experts don't know shit about real life. The Vikings annihilated "America's Team," just as the momentumless New Orleans Saints had splattered the Arizona Cardinals. And then there were the Jets.

Another of Mrs. CP's phalanx of new teams replacing the Michael Vick Eagles. She likes that Mark Sanchez, just like she likes Flacco and Ryan, and Stafford, and the other baby quarterbacks. (I'm not jealous; I'm still trying to remember who it is that's old enough to remember the 'America's Team' con as well as I do.) Me, I don't care that much about Sanchez, but I'm enjoying two (two!) retro defensive teams that take me back to my own youthful NFL loyalties. (Hey! The Vikings front four. Gash us for ten yards, we'll retaliate with minus fifteen yards. Page Eller, Larsen, and Marshall.) And this Jets defense under Rex Ryan, son of Buddy Ryan. This morning, somebody on ESPN put it in perspective: nobody knows how much focus and determination it takes to play defense like this on every single play in a game, knowing that the offense can't even do that much with the advantages you get for them.

It's old-fashioned is what it is. Watching the Jets play the Chargers (whom I've never really liked, for no particular reason except an archaic prejudice against the airy-fairy, no-hit passing offenses of the old AFL) was like watching an oldtime NFL team do simple murder with a few plays run again and again on offense and a "we'll kill you" attitude on defense. It helps, I admit, that Rex Ryan is the son of the infamous Eagles' Buddy Ryan and his provocative football philosophy; the four things you need to succeed in the NFL are defense, defense, defense, and nothing else.

It adds a certain mystique that Rex Ryan apparently has one of his dad's old drinking buddies stationed up top to assess the viability of challenges, who responded to a clear challenge imperative last week and another this week by missing the play altogether because of a tricky darts shot in the booth. Not that Rex would ever mention such a lapse. He thought his punter's heart arhythmia last week was "funny." Funny, too, how things work out. Those who ignore the actual "foot" aspects of the game of football sometimes prosper. The ad hoc, 40-year-old Jets punter excelled last week, while the Chargers' all-pro, state-of-the-art field goal kicker melted this week when the pressure was really on. Ryan probably doesn't know about either of these developments. He smiles a lot. It's good to be dumb and happy. Like John Madden talking about Thanksgiving drumsticks.

Reminiscent of a time warp. Makes me feel young. Or at least younger. So I'm rooting for the Jets. But I'm also rooting for the Saints. And the Vikings. And the Colts.

Which is a first for me. There's never been a time when I didn't have a real rooting interest for or against in the final four teams bidding for the Super Bowl. From my perspective all the 'villain' teams are out of the tournament. No Patriots. No Steelers. No (consistently overpraised) Chargers. No Giants. No (johnny-come-lately) Cowboys. Wow. No bad guys.

I can live with a Saints championship (they've never won or come close). I could get a faint thrill from a Vikings championship (Purple People Eaters II won't make up for four lost Super Bowls in the 70s when I was an avid fan, but...) The Jets would be a huge and welcome underdog story, even though they're from New York. Hell, they've had to play in 'Giants Stadium,' lo, these many years. All of these would be great American stories of persistence, dedication, hard work, traditional values, and the typically American triumph of an inspired underdog.

And then there are the Colts. Which is a different kind of American story. I said earlier I'd explain why the Colts are also a defiance of the pundits, meaning conventional expert wisdom. Yes, the football experts predicted that the Colts would beat the Ravens. And they did. A win for them, eh?

No. Accepting that notion would also require ignoring a lot of other expert discussion that's been going on for weeks. For example, the Colts screwed up (Conventional Wisdom!) by choosing not to play their first stringers, including Manning, during their last two games. They were somehow culpable for not seeking the undefeated season the experts wanted. They were therefore riding for a fall.

Notice how the "momentum" argument has failed across the board throughout the playoffs, despite the near unanimous endorsement of the experts. I think this is intensely relevant to our current national predicament.

I'm not generally a fan of the 16-game season, but in one respect it's superior to the old 14- and 12-game seasons of the NFL It's more like life. It's too long to permit a single sustained arc of brilliance. Just that much too long. In real life, we never always win. We go through valleys, sometimes the valley of death, before we achieve the ultimate objective. In NFL football, toward the end of the season, it may be appropriate to take a breather, the way a prizefighter may take a round or two off before the championship rounds when he's well ahead on points. This isn't an institutional or cultural decision. It's an individual decision.

You see, in life, the points are never awarded for being undefeated. They're awarded for winning the supreme prize, which in NFL football is the Super Bowl. Yeah, I know Peyton Manning looked grumpy when he got called out of Game 15. Did that doom the Colts? No.

The rest of the team needed the rest. Maybe not Manning. The rules of common sense and experience and good practice and prudence and smart organization apply to everyone but the clear exceptions that are the backbone of American exceptionalism.

America is a story of democratic unity and tremendous shared effort. It is equally a story of individual genius.

That's why the pundits were also wrong about the Ravens-Colts game. They cast their punditry as a matchup of rosters, coaching staffs, strategy, and, yes, momentum. In those terms, one could argue the Ravens won. The vaunted Ravens defense did exactly what it wanted to do and what had suceeded for them during the season. They covered the Colts receivers like blankets. Ray Lewis had a great game. Ed Reed had a great game. There was only one difference. Peyton Manning. Who did exactly what he had to do to win. Throw perfect passes into the tightest possible coverage. And score critical receptions.

All of which is in stark contrast to the pundit debate I admit, guiltily, I listened to before the event on the subject of "Who is the best quarterback in the NFL? Brady or Manning?" This and that, that and this, to and fro, fro and to, but ultimately it has to be Brady because of all those rings. Just a coincidence that Brady has always been surrounded by a Bellichick team that always has the best players at every position. Three Super Bowl rings make you a better quarterback than one.

The experts know, don't they? Which brings me back to my main pundit point. And to a lot of points that won't be popular. There are only two greatest active quarterbacks in the NFL. Stats have nothing to do with it. It's all in the eyes. (And Mark Sanchez may get there eventually, but Flacco won't. Look at the eyes.) Manning and Favre. But most of all Manning. The teams around them come and go, and they will win or lose based on how well their teams rise to the occasion. But the critical issue is and will always be their command of the situation.

It's an American thing. Jerry Jones would never control Peyton Manning or Brett Favre. That's why he has Tony Romo instead. He'll never understand what he is missing. Why he'd be better off with Donovan McNabb. A quarterback who'd rather lose in the good graces of his boss than win because he can do no other. The difference between primo and secundo.

Why the experts are all, always, wrong. And simultaneously, what's so endlessly right about America. We have a unique national talent for producing Peyton Manning.

Which is why we all win no matter who wins the Super Bowl.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Peggy's Not Happy

Poor dear. There's a disconnect.

THE FADED WHO REFUSE TO FADE AWAY. Truthfully, I never thought I'd be writing about Peggy Noonan again after the last time. But I guess I misunderestimated some people's nerve. Here's what I don't get. You get sucked in by one of the all-time biggest con jobs in American history, the kind that makes Bernie Madoff look like a piker, and then you actually think people will listen to your wise, droll, and careful criticisms of the total loser you helped put into office. Where does that kind of chutzpah come from?

You see, Peggy has been applying her eagle eye to the political scene and has discovered that President Obama is somehow lacking. Zounds! She calls it a 'disconnect:'

There is a disconnect, a detachment, a distance between the president's preoccupations and the concerns of the people. There's a disconnect between his policy proposals and the people's sense, as expressed in polls, of what the immediate problems are.

Hmm. Really, Peggy? Yes, really, InstaPunk. But she wants to make sure we're not confused (we proles are easily confused, don't you know) about exactly what kind of disconnect it is. So she also tells us what kinds it isn't:

I'm not referring to what is being called the president's rhetorical disconnect. In this criticism, he is not emotional enough when he speaks, he doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, he is aloof, like a lab technician observing the movements within a petri dish called America. It may be true that this doesn't help him, but so what? In a successful presidency, his cool demeanor would be called an interesting facet, not a problem. And we don't really need presidents to move us, when you think about it. We need them to lead, and in the right direction.

Nor am I referring to an iconic disconnect. In this criticism, the president refuses to or is unable to act as a paternal figure. "A president is a father," say these critics. "He must comfort us." But, actually, your father is your father. Voters didn't hire Mr. Obama to play the old dad in the MGM movie. In any case he always seemed like the bright older brother, not the father. At the end of the day you, being a grown-up, don't need him to be your daddy, do you?

Well, then, what kind of disconnect is it, O Wise One? This kind:

The real story is that his rhetorical and iconic detachment are harped on because they reflect a deeper disconnect, the truly problematic one, and that is over policy. It doesn't really matter how he sounds. It matters, in a time of crisis, what he does. That's where the lack of connection comes in.

The people are here, and he is there. The popularity of his health care plan is very low, at 35% support. Someone on television the other day noted it is as low as George Bush's popularity ratings in 2008.

Yet—and this is the key part—the president does not seem to see or hear. He does not respond. He is not supple, able to hear reservations and see opposition and change tack. He has a grim determination to bull this thing through. He negotiates each day with Congress, not with the people. But the people hate Congress! Has he not noticed?

Awwwwwwwww. What clued you in, Peggy? Did you go back and read what other people (uh, yeah, eerily prescient, eh?) were saying when you were writing this?

Barack Obama has a great thinking look. I mean the look he gets on his face when he's thinking...  I mean the look he gets in an interview or conversation when he's listening and not conscious of his expression. It's a very present look. He seems more in the moment than handling the moment. I've noticed this the past few months, since he entered the national stage. I wonder if I'm watching him more closely than his fellow Democrats are.... I've started to lean forward a little when he talks.

So how exactly did you get from "very present" to "the president does not seem to see or hear"? I want to know.

I mean, I really really really want to know. I want to know how you have the gall to pretend to be observant and shrewd about human character when thousands of us saw this guy as a dangerous cipher while you were still singing his praises, meaning, ah, all the way through the presidential election. I want to know who it is that's still paying you, and why, to write columns based on a political acumen that clearly does not exist. At all. I want to know who is still reading what you write as if it mattered in any way whatsoever. I want to know how you got a contract to write another book. And I want the name, address, and phone number of the agent who got that contract for you.

Here's another useful by-product of the Internet. It used to be that a columnist's topical stupidities disappeared forever into the trash, soaked in puppy pee. That's not true anymore. But another artifact of the dead tree media is that newspapers still haven't learned their pundits can lose all credibility by preserving their archives on the electronic bulletin board of the web.

That's my only point here. Isn't it about time for the MSM to learn that this week's pretty words exist in the context of an easily accessible history? That dumbass op-ed columnists can't be perpetuated indefinitely, like federal social programs? That there comes a time when they should say, "Sorry, Peggy. You're so demonstrably full of crap that we can't pay you to keep pretending you know something worth reading. Sorry."

Okay. So the MSM won't do it. But I will: Sorry, Peggy. You're so demonstrably full of crap that we can't pay you to keep pretending you know something worth reading. Sorry.

I'm not trying to be mean. Honestly. I really hope Peggy Noonan gets laid eventually. Maybe Harry Belafonte would oblige. But why do otherwise estimable sources like the National Review and Hotair continue to link her drivel? Irony? I wish. Redemption? I fear so. But there is no redemption for her kind of sin. She suckered some number of conservative readers into the Obama web when it meant the difference between winning and losing the White House. Now she acts as if she's not responsible for the nightmare we're stuck with, but a canny observer of it. [barnyard epithet] The hell with her. And with all the pretentious assholes who bought her lame lust as insight.

Ya know, I realize that this will sound McCarthyist, but is there anybody else out there who'd be in favor of making a list of the so-called conservatives who approved of Obama and declared or hinted that it was okay to vote for him? If I knew who all those people were, beginning with John McCain, I'd know who never to trust again. Not that they're bad people. Just naive, imperceptive  I  D  I  O  T  S. If you were being kind, you could call it a disconnect.

P.S. There was once a time when Peggy had Obama's number. Too bad that hormones got in the way. And that things ever went this far...

I still wish her well. Just out of the damn newspaper.

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