October 7, 2007 - September 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Peace in Our Time
Speaker-Elect Nancy al Pelosi
to be Muqtada al Murtha
A POSITION ARGUMENT
. Sometimes you just have to marvel at how
short-sighted the political analysis in this country is. Speaker-Elect
Pelosi is already drawing fire from both the right and the left for her
decision to back Representative Murtha for the position of House
Majority Leader. These three excerpts from today's Opinion-Journal
...several [Democratic] members are
privately aghast that Mr. Murtha, a pork-barreling opponent of most
House ethics reforms, could become the second most visible symbol of
the new Democratic rule. "We are supposed to change business as usual,
not put the fox in charge of the henhouse," one Democratic member told
me. "It's not just the Abscam scandal of the 1980s that he barely
dodged, he's a disaster waiting to happen because of his current
behavior," another told me...
Take the Abscam probe, in which Mr. Murtha was named an unindicted
co-conspirator in the late-1970s FBI sting operation in which agents
posed as Saudi sheiks and offered members of Congress bribes for help
in securing asylum in the U.S. and getting money out of Saudi Arabia...
The 54-minute Abscam tape shows Mr. Murtha functioning as a cynical
backroom operator, telling the FBI undercover agents: "You know, you
made an offer. It might be that I might change my mind someday." Later,
he explained how that might happen: "I want to deal with you guys
awhile before I make any transactions at all, period," he told the fake
sheiks. "After we've done some business, well, then I might change my
mind. I'm going to tell you this. If anybody can do it--I am not BSing
you fellows--I can get it done my way. There's no question about it."
...a recent book by George Crile, a producer for CBS's "60 Minutes,"
provides damning evidence that Mr. Murtha escaped severe punishment for
his role in the scandal only because then-Speaker Tip O'Neill arranged
for the House Ethics Committee to drop the charges, over the objections
of the committee's outside prosecutor. The prosecutor quickly resigned
Come on, people. Grow up. The mission of the new Congress is peace in
our time: getting the troops home quickly in some kind of plausible,
justifiable way that doesn't look like abject surrender. What kind of
skills does that take? Obviously, it takes the ability to Make a Deal.
And making a deal in the Arab world isn't accomplished by pollyanna-ish
negotiations consisting of feeble altruistic overtures muslim gangsters
can't even comprehend. If Maliki, the Iranians, the Syrians, and the
various Iraqi sectarian blocs are ever going to be brought to heel,
it's only going to be by playing hardball in the terms they understand:
cold-blooded tit for tat "arrangements" that compromise and ensnare
everybody to the point where they can't refuse. This is obviously
Where else are we going to find somebody who was getting down to brass
tacks with powerful (sort of) Arabs a full quarter-century ago? While
most public figures were still too terrified about the downfall of the
Shah to get involved in any middle-eastern shenanigans, Murtha alone
displayed the appropriate combination of boldness and caution to
explore opportunities without paying any significant political price.
Who among you is contrary enough, or dumb enough, to argue that this
isn't precisely the capability Congress is going to need in order to
extricate the U.S. from its tiresome obligations in Iraq?
Think about it. If somebody has to finally sit down at a summit with
the bastards in al Qaeda's leadership, who do you want it to be? A
nerdy ivory-tower type from the state department? Or a cagey old, no-BS
bargainer like John Murtha? It takes a tough man to tender terms in the
That Pelosi broad is a good deal shrewder than she looks. You heard it
You'll find a good deal more information about Murtha's outstanding
qualifications for congressional leadership at Michelle Malkin's
. Just disregard her peevish tone.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
A Touch of Class
vs. Harvard, yesterday
So, you decide to be a bad
about the elections, and you're fed up with the whole
American scene, from Britney's divorce to Pelosi's permanently startled
as she disputes the idea that victory has any definition at
all... What do you do? You pretend that your alma mater hasn't become a
on the landscape of your country and you go see a truly
amateur football game between that school you simultaneously love and
hate and the University of Pennsylvania. What do you get? If
you're really really lucky, an exuberant reaffirmation.
Not from the game, sad to say. The most valuable player was the Penn
punter, who repeatedly pinned a frustrated Harvard team against its own
goal line for most of the second half. The Crimson were forced to start
offensive series from their own one, two, and three yard lines and
failed utterly to escape the trap, which sprang finally with a dull
thud as the Harvard quarterback tripped and fell for a safety in his
own end zone. (There was once a Harvard QB nicknamed End-Zone Crone.
Does anyone out there remember?) Penn won 22-13, even though a game but
rattled Crimson team won the second half 3-2.
Not from the ambiance, either. Because of a ticketing error, our
Harvard contingent spent the first half on the Penn side, where the
fans were moderately pleased with success and moderately disappointed
with setbacks. The Penn cheerleaders were scrupulously discreet,
interrupting the private conversations of the fans only at selected
intervals, except for the guy in the golf cart shaped like a Penn
helmet who whizzed by occasionally barking indecipherable cheers
through a bullhorn. This kind of hit-and-run encouragement didn't
inspire anyone to cheer, not even the corpulent women in black-muslim
burkhas who filled all of row three in our section. After two quarters
of play, the ambiance meter hadn't budged from zero.
At the start of the second half, down 20-10 and feeling somewhat like a
clandestine and impeached president at the Army-Navy game, we
transferred to the lightly populated Harvard side of gigantic Franklin
Field. There, we saw a welcome shadow of the past as the Harvard Band
-- like Marlon Brando in every movie he ever made -- was acting out its
own comedy-drama independent of the game, including at one point the
assassination of one of its own members with five pounds of
flour. Meanwhile, an entirely new and unwelcome brand of Harvard
cheerleader, all female and dolled up in high-school micro-skirts, was
doing a terrific impersonation of Britney at a spelling bee. By my
count they correctly spelled the words 'score,' 'defense,' and
'touchdown' without a single error. Their smiles were fixed throughout
the long sorrowful labors of their team to advance more than a yard or
two from their own goal line before having to punt yet again from the
back of the end zone. They were certainly prettier than the Cliffies of
old, but not one of them ever turned to look at the team they were
there to support. They may have had the 700 SATs of old, but no sane
man would have bet a nickel that any of them knew the rules of football.
(I'm not going to mention the guy who sat a yard behind my right ear.
He's not a cultural phenomenon, but a perosnal curse. He's been in
exactly the same relative position to me at every college football game
I've ever attended. His vocal chords are made of bronze. He's something
of an insider. he knows everyone on the team. He feels that it's his
personal responsibility to exhort the team, and the crowd, through
every vicissitude of accomplishment and failure. He never shuts up. He
can utter the letters 'D' and "O' as if they were the mystic Tibetan
phonemes that can end the world, and he can prove it with his own
personal trail of permanent ear damage caused... As I said, this is
simply my own personal curse, and I will not include it in my
impressions of the game, but he was there.)
Where in all of this could there be any reaffirmation? Deep in the
tunnel, under Franklin Field, as we were making our way back from the
Harvard side to the exit where the car was parked. We reached a point
where the stadium security officials asked us to stand aside because
the Penn team was comng through on their way back to the locker room.
Obediently, we withdrew to the edge of the tunnel, as did everyone else
but a four- or five-year old boy wearing a Penn T-shirt. While we
waited, he stationed himself along the corridor that had been created
for the Penn players and, as they passed, he put up his hand in hopes
of a high-five from his heroes.
And here they came, flushed and smiling with their crushing defeat (it
was) of the most interminably conceited rival in their conference, and
they were big and small and tired and smiling and exhausted, and every
single damned one of them spotted the little boy and his outstretched
hand and stopped along the way to give him that high five,
including the one on crutches whose leg was wrapped in pressure
bandages and for whom each step was a pain and a promise of months of
rehabilitation or the end of his athletic career. But he stopped,
painfully, and smiled as if there were no bandages on his leg, and
balanced his crutches while he high-fived Penn's youngest fan.
There were no cameras. There was no need for show. They just saw the
kid, changed their course, and did what good men do. I told myself the
Harvard Crimson would have done the same. I realized I believed they would
have. And Alabama's Crimson Tide. And Notre Dame. And USC. And the Ohio State Buckeyes. And even
For the first time in a week or so, I felt good about my country again.
God bless us every one.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Outing Bill Maher
but a SCAM
we wouldn't do this, but like the man himself says
it's the hypocrisy that made us do it. If you're going to accuse people
of things you normally don't disapprove of on the off chance that your
disrespectful treatment of their private affairs might be embarrassing
in some way, then you have to expect that others might do the same
thing to you. So here goes.
Bill Maher is a SCAM, not that there's anything especially wrong with
that, but you don't hear him talking about it much, and we do think
SCAMs have an obligation to tell absolutely everybody they meet, just
so they'll know. The proof isn't hard to find. For example, we found the
following at CelebHeights.com
says on 18/Oct/06
Hard to believe he dated 6 foot Ann Coulter once. Reason 1, that must
have been a bizarre looking height difference. Reason 2, well, any
trueheight says on 4/Sep/06
actually, I do believe he's 5'8; dunno about footwear though. He was
like almost as tall as Rep. Darrell Issa who represents the 41s
district here in CA; he's 5'10, i've actually shook hands w/ Mr. Issa
J. says on 6/Jun/06
I met Bill after one of his shows. I'm 5'2 and was wearing 4.5" heals
and I was a little bit taller than him. I'd say he's 5'6.
trueheight says on 9/May/06
5'7; I was at a taping of maher's show this season w/ none other
than...Seth Green. Green was in sneakers and maher was about 4in
taller. anyway, if you're a fan of HBO than you undoubtebly have seen
Maher's '98 special in which his 2-3in heels were very very apparent.
He's 5'7 barefoot
Mr. R says on 18/Apr/06
He has been listed in People Magazine I think as 5-9. Clearly a
He's somewhere between 5'6" and (maybe) 5'8". Yet he's calling himself
5'9" and wearing lifts
face it. Any man who misrepresents his height for the purpose of making
people think he's taller than he is is short
. Short and not quite honest.
Our next key revelation is hinted at by the fact that Maher may have
once dated Ann Coulter. Whether they dated or not, they do have
something very serious in common. They both went to Cornell. This is
something that everyone should always be told about in advance of any
sort of conversation. Just so they can prepare. You know. That's why we
have previously felt obliged to disclose the same unsettling fact about
Keith Olbermann (who's as dumb
as they come, by the way, if that tells you anything). And it's why
we've written more about the alarming attributes of Cornell than
anyone else in the blogosphere (which you can read here
Not that we're prejudiced or anything. It's just that the American
people have a right to know these things and make up their own minds
how to respond to alumni of the most disturbingly depressed, envious,
and pseudo-intellectual institution in the Ivy League. Coulter.
Olbermann. Maher. Draw your own conclusions.
discloses that Maher has himself admitted that he is "is the product of
a "mixed" marriage (Jewish
father)." We hasten to say that we don't personally see
anything wrong with this circumstance. In fact, many (or at least one)
of our friends have similar backgrounds, but, you know. Facts are
facts. Bill Maher is a mongrel.
That makes Bill Maher a SCAM. We know there are a lot of people who
turn and walk in the opposite direction when they see a SCAM coming.
We're not like those
And we know and like many people who are short or Cornellian or
mongrel, if not all three at once. So we're not condemning him for what
he is. Just for the, you know, hypocrisy.
That's what we had in mind in outing him. It must have been. Or why
would we have done it? It's not like he's gay or anything. Or is he?
Well, that would be up to him to tell you, wouldn't it?