September 11, 2012 - September 4, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Eleven years on, we're still relying on CGI for a peek at the
solemn, triumphant, and substantial memorial our governments
MORE YEAR. In one of life's little ironies, the mayorsatrap
of New York has banned politicians from this year's memorial
ceremonies. Perhaps because if they were present, they might be
asked why it is taking forever, at prodigious taxpayer expense, to
complete our national response to the greatest attack on U.S. soil
ever executed by a foreign enemy.
How many of you are familiar with this
history of graft, corruption, greed, union fixes, insider deals, and
every other form of rotten politics?
Kennedy. She used to be an MTV VJ. Some kids grow up.
Is there still a chance to honor the day as it should be honored?
Yes. But the window is closing, inch by inch. The participation of
the divine is becoming reality TV kitsch...
woman and the rustling trees... Look it up. She's no ditz.
...and everyone, especially those urbane New Yorkers (right?), is
free to interpret meaning in his own way. Even the president omits
any mention of God in his remembrance this year. He wants us to do
"community service" instead of praying for the dead and their
families. Why? Perhaps because he agrees with this guy.
fatuous, pseudo-intellectual doesn't even know how to count
What total does he assign to smart atheists like Stalin, Mao, Pol
Pot, and Hitler?
Still. There are those of of us who will not forget that on the
American side, the day was not about hatred but love and duty and
courage and sacrifice. Conflating the muslim god of death with
the Christian love that built the world's kindest and most
altruistic nation is a mistake we
will never make. Why we will close, once again, on a sacred note.
Read the provenance. You can find better audio.
Athene was a goddess of wisdom and justice, both of which are
imperiled in the new now of government in charge of everything.
Maybe 9/11 should become a reminder that the people in charge are
the ones who run into risk and danger when everyone else is in need
of a way out.
P.S. A memorial that didn't cost a billion in union
payoffs and kickbacks.
Meaning, thank you. And most of us do remember. We will never forget.
Friday, September 07, 2012
Time for a Recap
AN OLD CAUTIONARY NOTE. So the conventions are done and the campaign
begins in earnest. Personally, I'm most struck by a sense of
disconnect. There's no way this race should be close. I think maybe
it isn't, but then I'm assailed by the fear that it's my own wishful
thinking which makes me believe we're headed for another 1980. Help
me out. I'll show you my reasons for suspecting an electoral
landslide, and you show me why I'm wrong. Fair enough?
1. Lies Everyone Tells.
is so likeable he has a deep, probably incontrovertible
Actually there's nothing likeable
about him. He may be virtuous in pedestrian ways, but so was
Cromwell. Doesn't mean anybody ever wanted to hang out with
Cromwell. Read this from
the Sunday New York Times, no less. A highlight being:
Mr. Obama’s fixation on prowess
can get him into trouble. Not everyone wants to be graded by
him, certainly not Republicans. Mr. Dowd, the former Bush
adviser, said he admired Mr. Obama, but added, “Nobody likes
to be in the room with someone who thinks they’re the smartest
person in the room.”
Even some Democrats in Washington say they have been irritated
by his tips on topics ranging from the best way to shake hands
on the trail (really look voters in the eye, he has
instructed) to writing well (“You have to think three or four
sentences ahead,” he told one reluctant pupil).
For another, he may not always be as good at everything as he
thinks, including politics. While Mr. Obama has given himself
high grades for his tenure in the White House — including a
“solid B-plus” for his first year — many voters don’t agree,
citing everything from his handling of the economy to his
unfulfilled pledge that he would be able to unite Washington
to his claim that he would achieve Israeli-Palestinian
Those were not the only times Mr. Obama may have
overestimated himself: he has also had a habit of warning new
hires that he would be able to do their jobs better than they
“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my
speechwriters,” Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political
director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The
New Yorker. “I know more about policies on any particular
issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now
that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than
my political director.”
Yeah. Any of us would want to hang
around with this sanctimonious little self-absorbed prick.
Obama is a truly gifted
political orator. He's just magical with words somehow.
Nonsense. This man has given more
speeches than perpetual master of ceremonies George
Jessel. If he were actually good at it, he'd have
convinced us long ere now that the Stimulus worked and ObamaCare
is the best American law since the Constitution itself. Instead,
he has bored everybody to death, to the point that no one even
remembers what he said about any of it. Which may be the point,
but it hardly qualifies as oratory. It's overwhelming white
noise that everyone has learned to tune out.
Name me one eloquent nugget of Obama speechifying that you will
carry with you to your grave. And don't say, "Yes we can."
That's a bumper sticker. It's hardly "Give Me Liberty or Give Me
Death" or "Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes."
He's a con man whose snake oil is finally putting people in the
hospital or the ground.
All the demographic trends favor
him -- youth, women, Hispanics, blacks, union members, the
unemployed receiving benefits, and old people afraid of losing
uh, no. He needed all these groups
to get elected in the first place. He's lost a lot or some in
every category. Young people aren't registering to vote and
they're not much more than a few points in his favor this time
around. Hispanics aren't all illegal immigrants; U.S. citizens
aren't happy about being out of work. Blacks are experiencing a
14% unemployment rate and they're neither in favor of gay
marriage or willing to break their necks getting to the polls.
There aren't that many union members in the private sector and
they're starting to resent the public sector employees who take
no risk and still get kingly benefits, especially if they're
degreed folk like teachers and government social workers. The
unemployed would rather be employed than get another 99 weeks of
unemployment checks. And old people are smarter than the con
that they'll be cut loose for the hell of it by any party. Who
did I forget? Women. A lot of them are not fond of the "Sluts
Vote" initiative. Trust me. If you don't trust me, here's
inveterate hardcore lefty Margaret
Carlson expressing reservations:
Why has the Democratic Party
removed the sentence "Abortion should be safe, legal, and
rare" from its platform? It was in the 2004 document but not
in 2008's or this year's. Can't Democrats just throw a crumb
to the many millions who are pro-choice but not pro-abortion?...
Votes by former Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama — the votes
Gingrich cited on "Meet the Press" — sound shocking when
presented without constitutional or practical context. Yet
Obama and many other Democrats have opposed a ban on
partial-birth abortion on the slim reed that its only
exception is to protect the life and health of the mother.
They say the procedure is exceedingly rare. But the health of
the mother exception is vast, encompassing age, emotional,
familial and state-of-mind factors broad enough to include
virtually any woman in any circumstances.
It's a terrible thing to force a 12-year-old who lives in
chaos and hopelessness, with a boyfriend who has disappeared
or an abusive uncle who hasn't, to have a baby. But it's worse
to let her abort it after she waits so long for help that the
only difference between the baby being born alive or dead is a
gruesome procedure that the late Democratic Sen. Daniel
Patrick Moynihan said approximated "infanticide."
He is a political genius, the
most gifted since Bill Clinton himself.
Pure crap. He's a ruthless, take
no prisoners campaigner. That's all. Having failed to accomplish
any improvement in American life since his election, he has
reverted to the vicious ad-hominem campaigning of his Chicago
origins. Who is it exactly who assumes that voters can't see
what a dirty player he is? Only the people who have never seen
anything else -- the inside the beltway crowd.
If he knew anything about politics, he'd have made some
political deals with Republicans to help the country through
this economic mess. Simple answer. He doesn't care about anyone
but himself, the country be hanged. That's not political genius.
It's political suicide.
2. The Supine Conservative Elite.
I make it a practice not to read the
National Review anymore. They're like Dickens whelps, waiting to
be whipped. I took a look today and guess what I saw:
Parting Shots By Daniel Foster
For the past few days I have been feeling like Super Man under a
red sun. I think it’s partially due to the drain of slogging
straight through 20-hour days in Tampa to — I’ll be fair --
18-hour days in Charlotte. I know, I know, cry me a river, Foster.
But it’s also due in part to thinking that the Democratic
convention was more effective than the Republican. I certainly
felt that way over the first two nights here and was seriously
pondering Jay’s question: How do we ever win?
Give me a break. Just how elitely
brilliant and out of touch do you have to be to watch a convention
that talks about virtually nothing but abortion, contraception,
and LGBT rights and feel doomed? Even the 2008
traitor Peggy Noonan
saw what happened last night:
Barack Obama is deeply overexposed
and often boring. He never seems to be saying what he's thinking.
His speech Thursday was weirdly anticlimactic. There's too much
buildup, the crowd was tired, it all felt flat. He was somber, and
his message was essentially banal: We've done better than you
think. Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?
There were many straw men. There were phrases like "the shadow of
a shuttered steel mill," which he considers writerly. But they
sound empty and practiced now, like something you've heard in a
commercial or an advertising campaign.
It was stale and empty. He's out of juice.
But they keep coming with their doom
and gloom scenarios, don't they? Screw'em, I say. Don't listen
3. It's the Incompetence, Stupid.
The real nexus of The Disconnect.
This president hasn't ever done anything right. Why do we keep
pretending that we're watching something other than a grand
theater of the absurd being perpetrated on the American people?
Carter was an inestimably better president, and he was a pure
disaster. Electing Barack Obama was a lot like (er, exactly like) picking some
back-bench state legislator to the most powerful position in the
world and then watching him crash the entire world in a matter of
three years. A lesson.
The people who get the lesson are the ones who earn credibility.
The ones who pretend that this is all business as usual, politics,
policy, etc, are never to be trusted again. We have a president
Doesn't work. He plays golf, raises
money, and has meetings with celebrities from Hollywood and
Doesn't submit a federal budget -- in four years -- that can be
taken seriously by even one member of his own party in congress.
Doesn't meet with members of the congress, not even the leaders of
his own senate and house caucuses
Doesn't involve himself with pending legislation, its words,
terms, or consequences.
Doesn't consult with his own cabinet.
Doesn't pay the slightest attention to the recommendations of his
own augustly commissioned committees.
Doesn't show the slightest interest in the suffering of people who
pay the price for his narrowly conceived and ideologically rigid
Doesn't disguise his naked preference for racially skewed
definitions of justice, as enacted by his DOJ.
Doesn't love his own country enough to avoid bowing and
apologizing to its many enemies.
Doesn't keep his promises about truth, transparency, and financial
Doesn't have the integrity to reveal his own records of education,
health, and past associates.
DOES have the temerity to rule by executive decree when it's a way
around congress and the Constitution of the United States.
All he really needs is a Nelson Eddy operetta-military uniform.
Pop dictator. Such a rush. No wonder Hollywood loves him But what
does anyone really know about him? We know George Bush's SAT
scores and grades at Yale. Four years in, we don't anything Barack
Obama. Not SAT or GPA scores, not his major at Occidental or
Columbia, not his transcript from Harvard Law. And he's carping
about Romney's tax returns.
Business as usual? The guy is a total catastrophe. But here we
are, debating whether or not he should be reelected. Why? Just to see
how much ludicrous bubngling the United States can survive? uh,
not this much.
4. Polls. Forget the Bradley
Effect. It's the Obama Effect.
Anyone who thinks the ambiance of
the nation hasn't changed in four years is lying to himself. In
2008, the mass media went all out to put this guy in office. That
was corrupt. But what's been happening this year is worse. Last
time, they could ride the rhetoric and sneer only obliquely at
McCain and Palin (well, yeah, worse at her. An exception?). That's
passive corruption. This time, they've had to be actively corrupt.
And they have been.
From first to last, they've misrepresented everything. While
pretending to be their usual objective selves. But there ARE
tradeoffs. The more biased the media get, the more polls begin to
reflect the distortion. We keep hearing that the polls were
accurate last time. I'm thinking they're less accurate this time.
What's changed? An increased sense that we're all being watched.
That an overtly political DOJ can come hunting for people on very
slight grounds. "Do you like Obama?" "Sure I do. Love him to
Concern about this issue has caused people to discuss the Bradley
Effect, the notion that racist feelings are hidden when a pollster
calls. As it happens, the Bradley Effect has been refuted. We're
not that racist. But the Obama Effect isn't about race. It's about
Hugo Chavez, the growing sense that we're surveilled and may be
targeted for retaliation because we're perceived as some kind of
threat. I know I feel it. Paranoia? You tell me. When they call,
what do you say?
What I know is that this guy doesn't want to lose. Not ever. And
he will do ANYTHING not to. Ask Gallup.
5. Where is Murrow?
Not actually part of my argument.
Just wondering. The U.S. news media have been taking credit for
Edward R. Murrow's belated slam at Joe McCarthy for more than 50
years. When TV news earned its stripes, so so to speak. What I'm
waiting for. Some TV news star from CBS, ABC, or NBC to blow the
whistle on this fraudulent, idiot, fake of a president and tell us
it's okay to elect a replacement.
Not going to happen. Is it Arbus?
I know. We win and maybe save the country. Or we lose and lose
absolutely everything. So be it.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Why I Feel Like
Even more likeable
than her husband...? Really?
ARE COOL. Had to turn off Laura Ingraham this morning.
Conservatives all have their heads up their asses about this
likeability issue. Let me say it straight and plain. Nobody likes Barack Obama or his
sour, ungrateful, freeloading wife. Why do conservatives keep
pretending this isn't so? So the First Bitch gave a speech and
everybody, including all the whores of Fox News but Krauthammer, were
charmed. The exact moment when I vomited in the bucket. This is
actually my biggest reason for doubting the polls this time around.
They may have been accurate in election cycles past. This time,
people are lying to the pollsters. They don't want to be accused of
racism because they can recognize trailer trash in the White
House. As usual, I've written about this before:
Still trying to be fair, but I'm not
seeing the Camelot charm here. I'm
unable to say that Michelle is gazing fondly or ever really quite looking at her husband in any of
these photos. She seems forced in her few smiles, pained, frazzled,
tired, or just plain physically distant from her husband. I'll leave
the girls out of it. (But is that
an Obama football he's carrying in his romp with the dog who bears his
initials? He looks happier with Bo than... well, enough said.) Truth
is, the family pics are vastly outnumbered by arty
pics of "Obama
Alone," which I won't reproduce here but which also suggest a
deliberate MSM attempt to identify him with the famous images of JFK
the Cuban Missile Crisis.
So was her speech really so great if she actually can't stand the guy?
And why do all the conservatives give her a pass? She's the last person
in the room I'd ever want to talk to. And Laura Ingraham and company
couldn't look me in the eye and say otherwise. Absolutely everybody,
even other black women, knows she's a walking nightmare, spoiled,
selfish, sullen, nasty, and probably not even good in bed. Why does the
whole nation have to pretend otherwise?
That's racism, my friends. The only time I feel sorry for Barack Obama
is when I contemplate his life with Michelle. Am I really the only one who knows that Michelle is
Wife of the fable?
Conservatives: Fucking grow up. A harridan is a witch is a cunt in
every race. Take the gloves off. I'm tired of throwing up in a bucket.
DATA. Granted, it's
not a problem tonight. The NFL season begins on NBC(?!). Cowboys versus Giants. Who's
going to be watching Dems bashing Mitt when the NFC East is back in
action? But tomorrow is more problematic. Why I have a suggestion.
No, you're not going to find that episode. Not easily anyway. But all
the others are almost as good. Fifteen years worth. Midsomer is a
fictional county in the south of England. Detective Chief Inspector
Barnaby gets to solve the murders there -- tons and tons (and tons) of
murders, usually three to four an episode. He's no Sherlock Holmes but
he's dogged. And the scriptwriters are so clever it scarcely matters
quickly you beat Barnaby to the truth.
The scenery is terrific, the cars range from fine to outstanding, and
every single script is a tongue-in-cheek exercise in Brit light comedy.
Except that people keep winding up dead -- harpooned, bludgeoned,
poisoned, shot, smothered, crushed by falling monuments, pierced by
arrows, run down by Bentleys and Jags, and even occasionally blown up.
It's so good I can't believe I haven't suggested it before. I must have
been saving it for a special occasion. Like the 2012 Democratic
It's your best bet to avoid hearing how much lefty women are obsessed
with their vaginas. Which is what the convention is all about this
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Sit. You know
she wants to sit. But there's no chair. Ahhh. Obama.
WHO VOTES? Reviewing the comments from my Clint Eastwood post,
I realized many of you may not be aware that Clint's performance at
the RNC might have represented a turning point in this election.
Some of you are glum about the prospects for his legacy. And
truthfully, even some media conservatives who should know better
continue to repeat the nonsense that he was "rambling" and somehow
"off point." Nonsense.
(Don't worry. I'll get to Cher. But at least I got your attention
from the gitgo, didn't I?.)
Yesterday there was a largely spontaneous twitter phenomenon called
Empty Chair Day," inspired of course by Eastwood's masterful
production at the convention. Production? Yes. Read this
acute analysis by Karl from Hotair's Green Room, where all
that site's wisdom lurks. After years of ineffective grappling with
the left's refusal to acknowledge that Obama even can be mocked, at
a single blow Eastwood -- oh so disingenuously -- delivered the perfect metaphor for this
perfectly ridiculous presidency. The empty chair says it all. What
Eastwood didn't have to spell out. The golf. The many jetset
vacations. The constant fundraising. The schmoozing with Hollywood
celebs. The hands-off approach to the delegated particulars of
disastrous legislation. The constant speechifying with no attempt to
meet or talk with the opposition, members of his own cabinet, his
own congressional leaders, or even his own appointed commissions. A
presidency of nothing but style executed almost purely in absentia.
One can imagine cobwebs forming in the Oval Office but for the
machinery of White House cleaning regimens.
Shortsighted Republican power brokers were embarrassed that he
ignored official party positions and spoke to a broader electorate.
Democrat power brokers went totally bipolar. Some depicted him as a
senile embarrassment to his own career. Others were so aware of how
deeply he had struck the general electorate that they felt compelled
a national icon. BIG mistake.
You see, I remember the exact moment when Clint Eastwood became a
movie superstar. It was in 1967, when his trio of spaghetti westerns
hit American theaters. In the space of a few months he became the
ultimate American western antihero, and paradoxically he was adored
by both John Wayne fans and student revolutionaries. His screen
persona was fearless, deadly, and a symbol of (incredibly) rough
justice. He was also entrepreneurial (er, mercenary),
anti-authority, beholden to no flag, and idiosyncratically
subjective about matters of right and wrong. Evidence suggests that
he had some idea what he was doing even then:
Eastwood later spoke of the
transition from a television western to A Fistful of Dollars: "In
Rawhide I did get awfully tired of playing the conventional white
hat. The hero who kisses old ladies and dogs and was kind to
everybody. I decided it was time to be an anti-hero." Eastwood was
instrumental in creating the Man with No Name character's
distinctive visual style and, although a non-smoker, Leone
insisted Eastwood smoke cigars as an essential ingredient of the
"mask" he was attempting to create for the loner character.
"I wanted to play it with an economy of words," [Eastwood said at
the time] "and create this whole feeling through attitude and
movement. It was just the kind of character I had envisioned for a
long time, keep to the mystery and allude to what happened in the
past. It came about after the frustration of doing Rawhide for so
long. I felt the less he said, the stronger he became and the more
he grew in the imagination of the audience."
A Fistful of Dollars proved a landmark in the development of
spaghetti westerns, with Leone depicting a more lawless and
desolate world than traditional westerns, and challenging American
stereotypes of a western hero with a morally ambiguous antihero.
The film's success made Eastwood a major star in Italy and he
was re-hired to star in For a Few Dollars More (1965), the second
of the trilogy. Through the efforts of screenwriter Luciano
Vincenzoni, the rights to For a Few Dollars More and the final
film of the trilogy (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) were sold to
United Artists for about $900,000.
The rest, as they say, is history. Clint Eastwood went on to become
the biggest box office star of his time. He could have become the
John Wayne of his generation, perpetual western hero tailor-made for
his generation. But he aspired higher. He became a highly effective
Which is where Cher
comes in. Yes, I'm going to surprise you. The two of them really are
comparable. Both came from working class families with no special
connections. Both had surprising talents, perseverance, and little
formal education. Clint Eastwood went to a technical high school.
Cher became a high school dropout afflicted with severe dyslexia.
Both succeeded in one highly competitive arena, then went on to win
praise and awards in multiple others. Cher is the only person to win
a Grammy, an Emmy, an Oscar, and multiple Golden Globes in acting.
Clint Eastwood is the only top box office star to become an Oscar
and, well, go
look for yourself.
Neither is a personal saint. Cher's personal life has always been a
mess. Eastwood's has hardly been better.
But the fact that they're comparable is instructive. I can't forget
Clint Eastwood because he gave me the Man with No Name, his own
permutations of High Noon and Shane, a paean to country music in
Honkytonk Man, an elegy to jazz in Bird, and what I regarded as a
Truth is, Clint Eastwood has used his latter directing years to
explore humanity entire, from Invictus to Gran Torino, from Million
Dollar Baby to J. Edgar, from Flags of Iwo Jima to Letters from Iwo
In years to come, he will be regarded as a latter day John Ford. He
sees and understands the American drama without rejecting the
American experience. He knows he's a product of American
exceptionalism. You don't get to be a movie star, director,
producer, jazz musician, composer, and father of jazz composer
director children without appreciating American opportunity.
On the other hand, here's the lefty response to American success:
The Tweets of Cher.
[Look. By all means look and click to subsequent pages too. She's a
Lamia.] But I
congratulate Cher on the first ever bottomless video. Despite all
her laurels, the first time I iever saw a woman show off her private
parts to an army of navy men. I congratulate them for their
Awwww. So Cher was half Armenian, meaning a member of one of the
most orthodox Christian communities in history. Anybody with me in
wondering how many of the celebrity haters are terrified of their
Christian roots? If there's an afterlife, they're sunk.
Clint? Well, his hair is fluffed up. Must mean he's out of control.
My hair is fluffed up too. I'm out of control. Ask anybody. I'm
sitting in a chair right now. You're way wrong if you think Clint
Eastwood knows nothing about chairs:
a lifetime, he knows about doing in the villains...
Sorry, Cher, as well. I know how much sitting down hard and
harder and again means
to you. But you were never Clint Eastwood. Maybe why you've been
so all-fired pissed all these years. There's talent. And then
there's vision. The difference always tends to show itself.
The first tends to look like a fluke (Fluke?), the second like
a warning from beyond. So sad to be an old broad whose greatest
legacy is the first panty made of dental floss.
Now. Can someone please fill up that sad empty Cher?