February 7, 2011 - January 31, 2011
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Worth a Second Look
This clip has been kicking around for years now, re-captioned whenever
some new disaster strikes the political scene. When Eduardo tossed this
version into the Comments section, I didn't even watch it. Until today.
Now I think it's interesting. Why? Because 'Hitler' isn't Obama, which
is what I'd assumed before I watched. He's someone else. Who? Maybe the
editor or publisher of The New York
Times. Maybe Harry Reid. Or George Soros. All of which means
we're being asked to identify the real
left-wing power structure that's pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Besides which, the captioning is spot-on: deft, clever, and beautifully
timed. It's a keeper, this one.
Part of my resistance had to do with the inefficacy of the Hitler
analogy. Yes, I know that Hitler's national socialism was more left
than right, but nobody knows anything anymore, and I guess I've been
willing to live with that. Which leads me to a second Second Look
recommendation. Glenn Beck's documentary "The
I didn't tune in. To me it was all old, old, old. Good that Beck is
educating himself about the most horrifying leftist regimes of the
twentieth century, but anybody who pretends he doesn't know how it was
is just lying to himself and everyone else, right?
Wrong. I should have known. The people who wear the Che
tee-shirts have NO idea. Beck is right. The glaring, inescapable
truth about these regimes has been suppressed, even at Harvard, Yale,
and Berkeley. Soooooooooo depressing. But true. Thank you, Glenn Beck.
What's that saying about how a child shall lead them? Can't remember
it. But dead on in this case. DEAD on.
Even if you think you know the history, watch "The
Revolutionary Holocaust." All of it. Then email the links to all
the other people you know you
think know the history. Admit right up front that Glenn Beck is a
maniac. Then tell them to watch it anyway.
Like I'm doing here. You see, it's not as hard as it seems. Even a
maniac can perform a public service. Like Glenn Beck just did.
Smerconish Hears the
Michael Smerconish, man of principle.
He would never pander to his audience. Below, we say something about 'sorry
ass.' Apologies up front for that. Sorry.
MUCH? On the long list of things we're tired of, Michael Smerconish
well, on the list. How perfectly appropriate that he would play along
with the latest Democrat gambit of defending Obama via sock
A letter defending Obama, over the
signature of one "Ellie Light,"
drew some attention after it became clear that the same letter had been
published in some 60 outlets,
listing different, local hometowns in different newspapers.
The episode provoked various theories
around the Internet, including
that the letter writer was, in fact, Barack Obama himself. I first published
he letter because it seemed to crystallize an argument that Democrats
were struggling to make. Light wrote:
But today, the president is being
attacked as if he were a salesman
who promised us that our problems would wash off in the morning. He
never made such a promise. It's time for Americans to realize that
governing is hard work, and that a president can't just wave a magic
wand and fix everything.
Well, the mystery may be over. A woman
who said her name was, in
fact, Ellie Light called this morning into the radio show of Michael
Smerconish, a national talker based in Philadelphia who has been
friendly to Obama, to clear things up.
"I'm only me," she said, identifying
herself as a traveling nurse
who works for 13-week stretches at hospitals around the country, and
whose primary residence is in Southern California.
"I need to own up – I did misrepresent my
home town in some places,"
Light told Smerconish. Her logic in faking the addresses is one
familiar to advocacy groups: "If I thought it was written by a neighbor
of mine, I would give it more credence."
Light mused on why the letter was so
widely circulated: "My letter
was pretty darn good. It took a long time to write. I took more
interest in honing it than most people take today."
"I don't know why others are not making
the observation that, Why
are we all abandoning the president we so adored so quickly?" she said.
Is it serendicity
again? I've been thinking about Smerconish. After
all, he's the one-time Republican who endorsed Obama to a Philadelphia
radio audience that went 95 percent to 25 percent (yeah, Philadelphia
poll watchers see DEAD people, routinely)
back in November 2008. His argument at the time was that Obama was more
serious about catching Osama bin Laden than McCain was. Right. Which is
why we thought of Smerconish when Robert Gibbs said this the other day:
You know, to us, it sounds
like the Obama administration has come to regard bin Laden pretty much
the way the Bush administration did -- as an annoying figurehead who's
less trouble where he is than he'd be if we actually caught his sorry
ass. Yeah, McCain didn't want to capture him either, because it'd be
bad publicity if a president shot a prisoner point blank in the head
with a .45 instead of putting him in touch with a crack criminal
attorney from Chicago. Which is undoubtedly why Smerconish decided
Obama was so
much more trustworthy on all matters pertaining to al qaida and the War
on Terror. Unless it had something to do with the political
propensities of his Philadelphia radio audience instead. How's that
working out for you about now, Mikey?
We think about Smerconish because we never ever listen to Smerconish.
He's the best living proof that moderates
are not necessarily safe or sane. They can be way creepy too. Like Smerconish.
The REAL value of
Freedom from accountability
Himself. Ain't we smart?
LITTLE WART. God knows, we've criticized
William F. Buckley here in
the past, but at least the man was consistent with his own line of
argument. Now we get THIS,
which is as shocking as it is stupid:
Beast columnist Christopher Buckley procured an early draft of President Obama’s
upcoming State of the Union speech.
My fellow Americans,
Tonight I can report to you that the state of the union, on a scale of
1 to 10, 10 being excellent, is a 9.8.
Now, you may ask—and I wouldn’t blame you for asking—how I came up with
that number. You might be saying to yourself, “Wait a minute. I’ve got
no job, no health insurance. My house isn’t worth half the amount of my
mortgage, and I just got called up by the National Guard to do a fifth
tour in Afghanistan. How the heck did he come up with 9.8?”
So it’s a good and valid question. And the answer is that 9.8 is pretty
good, considering the mess my predecessor and the Republicans left me.
Fair enough? I think so.
A year ago, I inspired the nation to have the audacity to hope that I
would change the political culture in Washington. Now, it turns out I’m
another hack politician.
I want to acknowledge some folks in this chamber here tonight. The
cipher-faced, light-skinned fellow right behind me is Harry Reid,
Senate Majority Leader, from the great state of Nevada, home of
gambling, legal prostitution, and empty nuclear-waste facilities.
Over the last year, Harry has managed to do something I wouldn’t have
dreamt possible: make me look like a total tool of the political
establishment. How did he manage that? How did I manage that?
A year ago, I inspired the nation to have the audacity to hope that I
would change the political culture in Washington. Now, a year later, it
turns out I’m another hack politician—from Chicago, where, believe you
me, we know a thing or two about hack politics.
I was going to set a new standard. Now I’m just a complicit bystander
as Harry bribes, among others, a senator from Nebraska who wants his
state to get a free pass on Medicare—in return for his vote on a
health-care reform bill that would make the Founders weep, or throw up.
What a difference a year makes. But I’m pleased to report that before I
came up here tonight, I was able to sign a contract with my publisher
for a new book. I’m going to call it The Audacity of Oops.
As you know, it is customary procedure, during a State of the Union,
for one Cabinet officer not to attend, so as to provide continuity of
government in the event someone, say, flies a plane into the Capitol
Building or sets off a nuclear bomb or what-have-you. Tonight, you will
be reassured to know that Secretary Janet Napolitano of the Department
of Homeland Security is at an undisclosed location, making sure that,
as she would put it, the system goes on working.
I can further report that Secretary Napolitano has come up with an
ingenious plan to prevent a recurrence of the Christmas bombing
attempt. From now on, all planes flying into the United States will
carry not air marshals but Dutch artists. For we now know that when it
comes to disabling well-born Nigerians attempting to detonate their
underpants, Dutch artists are proven first-responders.
Meanwhile, we must, and will, continue to strip-search 82-year-old
white, Protestant grandmothers and 2-year-olds, lest we annoy the
tender sensibilities of Muslim countries that practice, among other
time-honored religious rituals, genital mutilation of young women, live
burial of homosexuals, and stoning and beheading of adulterous women.
God forbid we should upset them. We’re Americans. We’re better than
And now, let me say a word or two about a subject that I have not had
time to address much this past year, what with arranging summits
between the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police, and aggrieved Harvard
professors, to say nothing of flying to and from Scandinavia to pick up
gold medals—namely, the economy.
Frankly, the economy is not what it should be, which is why the state
of the union is a 9.8 instead of a perfect 10.
I called in the smart folks in my administration, many of them educated
at Harvard, and I put it to them directly. I said, “Is this my fault?”
And to a person they said, “No, sir! No way!”
I said to them, “Well then, whose fault is it?” And they said, “It’s
the bankers, Mr. President. The scum-sucking, stimulus money-accepting,
bonus-awarding, self-regarding swine who inhabit the street of shame
and infamy, the harlot’s den known as Wall Street.”
I said to them, “And what are we going to do about them? We can’t hang
them all. We don’t have enough rope. And anyway, rope is expensive and
I’m trying to cut the deficit. Ideas, people. I want ideas.”
So tonight I can announce to you, my fellow Americans, the creation of
a bipartisan commission to study how to kill the bankers in an
efficient and hemp-sensitive manner.
Now, it is customary on these occasions, after offering the American
people bromides and yes, even downright lies about how well the nation
is doing, to acknowledge American heroes sitting in the gallery.
Unfortunately, no pilots have landed planes in the Hudson River lately,
so we don’t have any of them. But there are a number of Dutch artists
with us tonight…
Which sort of reminds me about the biggest hole there is in media, be
it mainstream or new: NO ACCOUNTING.
I've made predictions here, and I've been more right than not, though I
pretend -- like everyone else -- that I'm always right. I got that from my
favorite rock band, the Rolling Stones, who started calling themselves
"The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World" and repeated it until
everyone consented and repeated it themselves as if it were true.
Now I'm going to beat up on Christopher Buckley. Not because he's the
only malefactor in this venue. But because he's the most evidently
odious one. He said this
in the run-up to the election:
Let me be the latest
conservative/libertarian/whatever to leap onto the Barack Obama
bandwagon. It’s a good thing my dear old mum and pup are no longer
alive. They’d cut off my allowance....
I am—drum roll, please, cue
trumpets—making this announcement in the cyberpages of The Daily Beast
(what joy to be writing for a publication so named!) rather than in the
pages of National Review, where I write the back-page column...
As for Senator Obama: He has exhibited throughout a “first-class
temperament,” pace Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s famous comment about
FDR. As for his intellect, well, he’s a Harvard man, though that’s sure
as heck no guarantee of anything, these days. Vietnam was brought to
you by Harvard and (one or two) Yale men. As for our current adventure
in Mesopotamia, consider this lustrous alumni roster. Bush 43: Yale.
Rumsfeld: Princeton. Paul Bremer: Yale and Harvard. What do they all
have in common? Andover! The best and the brightest.
I’ve read Obama’s books, and they are first-rate. He is that rara avis,
the politician who writes his own books. Imagine. He is also a lefty. I
am not. I am a small-government conservative who clings tenaciously and
old-fashionedly to the idea that one ought to have balanced budgets. On
abortion, gay marriage, et al, I’m libertarian....
Obama has in him—I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy “We are the
people we have been waiting for” silly rhetoric—the potential to be a
good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the
historical moment seems to be calling for.
Now he wants us to read him seriously as a witty commentator on the
state of the Obama presidency. Not buying. Obviously. He's the callow,
fortunate offspring of a much better and wiser man. Not at all
uncommon. Abilities do seem
to skip generations. His son, if he has one, may well be a force to be
reckoned with. So it's okay that Christopher Buckley is an empty suit.
I'll say no more about it than that.
BUT. In this day and age of 24/7 news coverage, new and old media, and
obsessive coverage of the media as a story commensurate with the news
itself, isn't it time that SOMEBODY started tracking the predictions
so-called pundits make?
I know Rush Limbaugh has an accounting firm on retainer for the purpose
of monitoring his predictions. He's still at 98-plus percentile
accuracy. Yet everywhere else, we're asked to give our faith to
talk-show pundits whose records of past predictions are about as
transparent as the congressional health care negotiations.
Is anybody keeping score on Bob Beckel, Karl Rove, Michelle Malkin,
Arianna Huffington, Lawrence O'Donnell, Dana Perino, Paul Begala, Dick
Morris, Juan Williams, Charles Krauthammer, Andrew Sullivan, Bill
Kristol, and all the other know-it-alls who presume to tell us what is,
might be, and will be? Wouldn't it be great if we could see, as soon as
they open their mouths, how their past predictions have fared in the
context of real outcomes and results? And the rating system should be
scaled and weighted in accordance with the importance of their
predictions and advice. (For example, a pundit who told us to vote for
Obama because he was, uh, cool
should have that prediction hung around
his neck forever.)
Especially when they tell us we're ignorant and uneducated for not
listening to their
received wisdom. Mister
What do we get instead? Smart guys who make a living from predicting
things that never happen. That's what ESPN and the NFL Network are for.
Oddly enough, they keep
better track of past predictions than the news organizations do. Not
as well as they should. But better.
All in all, some accountability would be nice. Especially when it comes
down to entities that are "too big to fail." Like the federal
government. Unless you went to the right schools, of course. Meaning there won't ever be ANY accountability for what you blow out your ass. Graduates of Harvard and Yale NEVER fart. Or didn't you know that? Well... just ask Obama. I'm sure the closest he's ever come to a fart is a high-pitched squeak his Princetonian wife thought was a spontaneous expression of delight by yet another NYT columnist.
And so it goes...
Monday, January 25, 2010
Good News, Bad News:
Me. The elusive, multi-voiced one.
Rapper BEFORE Eminem. And better.
. Even my wife insists that I don't have any
respect for women
other than her. She doesn't either (I think she's just checking to make
sure I'm not succumbing to Alzheimer's), but she still deals me that
look. It's not true. I've known dozens if not two or three women for
I've been glad that they, personally,
were allowed to vote. That's not the same thing as wholly approving the
Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Which I
haven't been for throughout my adult life. Until now.
I had to force myself to confront the question because of this latest
Ya know? Yuck. I've held my tongue, sort of, for about 15 years now,
ever since I got blackballed from the book publishing world for a
manuscript called "The Naked Woman," which was (gasp) a satire of
feminism the newly equal superior sex and their anatomically lumpy
toadies weren't ready for. I mean, if you're actually equal, you're up
for being satirized like everybody else, right? Wrong.
But I'm finally ready to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. Anyone want
to know why?
Sure you do. I know I've got everyone's attention on this one. All
those kittens and cougars and neutered lions with their great big manes
waiting to pounce. I'll tell you first all the reasons that don't budge
the needle at all.
For example, it's not because women are somehow wiser than men. They aren't. As a
sex, women are total lunatics. (And, yeah, I'm not using the word
gender, which is a technical grammatical term most pertinent to the
study of Latin nouns, not the gradations of insanity effected by the
vicissitudes of human female hormonal cycles. Sorry.) My own adult life
has been dominated by two illusory tsunamis of feminist propaganda --
1) the advertising + sitcom lie that men are dolts and their
wives/girlfriends/dates are smart, witty, and enlightened, and 2) the
racist stereotype that the wisest women of all are the black women who
preside over the largest number of fatherless households in the history
of the United States.
You can see I'm not pulling punches here. To take these fantasies in
reverse order, black women are lousy mothers because 80 percent of
their sons grow up without fathers. And women in reality bear no
relation to their advertising + sitcom templates because life isn't at
all about being snotty, demeaning, cruel, emasculating, and superior to
the people you're supposed to love and care for. Plus, what percentage
of women are ever witty? I know one. I'm thinking that's WAY ahead of
Here's a new idea for all you feminists. At MOST, women are equal to
men as a sex. I say "at Most" because the historical record would
indicate otherwise. Which isn't a statement of prejudice but fact. No
human society in the historical record has ever been proven to be
dominated by women. So-called "matrilineal" societies, falsely called
matriarchal societies by feminists, have all been annihilated within a
few generations in the ancient past. (Awww.) Yet in so-called
"patriarchal" societies, women have always been effective, ruthless,
and deadly political players whose elites lived at the same levels of
luxury as the male oppressors. And in all societies at all times, until
the current abortion-choice age, women have outnumbered men.
Which probably explains why all the great breakthrough achievements
have been recorded by real macho studs like Homer, Pythagoras,
Galileo, Kepler, Leonardo, Newton, Bach, Chopin, Shakespeare, Dante,
Milton, Jefferson, and Einstein, who simply beat the crap out of every
beta male (and bitch) who disputed their right to tell everyone else
what to do. WWE, worldwide and lifelong.
I could elaborate this argument for 50,000 to 100,000 words or beyond.
But I won't All you need to know is that I'm not finally favoring
women's suffrage because women are as wise as men.
It's not because women are morally superior to men. They're not. Both
sexes are equally compromised on birth and paternity, both historically
and in contemporary legality. Women have an incentive to hide lack of
chastity and duck lifelong responsibility. Men have an incentive to
duck lifelong responsibility. Hmmm. Maybe not equally compromised. But
certainly not unequally culpable on the moral issue. If morality
matters, then both men and women have just as much at stake, except
that women have more physical discomfort on the line. Which means they
get to tell everybody else what to do because they're the most
intimately involved in giving birth. Like combat troops. Ordinary
Americans always defer to combat troops (?) about the risks they should
shouldn't take, because they're the most intimately involved in saving
American lives. It's called fairness. Unless it's called hypocritical
It's not because men have always bullied women on the basis of pure
physical superiority. (We'd be extinct by now.) Or because men have sexual desires women do not. (Lots. Imagination is the proof of consciousness. For men.)
Or because men unfairly care less about pregnancy itself than the women
who must be pregnant to term. (Duh.) Or because biology isn't destiny. Of
course it is. It's in the nature of men to try to plant their seed in
women and in the nature of women to accept that seedclose
their legs if they don't want to become pregnant.
It's not because women have finally become as good artists as men. They
haven't. I wish they had. Life would be easier if they had. But they
haven't. Despite all their claims of being superior at "communicating"
or just being "verbal," they have yet to log the best poem, short
story, novel, play, script, or essay the way men do; members of the "fairer sex" always win for the
best women's versions of these forms, as if 'close' were a prize for
girls. But they always lose to men at the movie box office; they keep
thinking that tits outweigh eyes, and when all is said and done, nobody
is ever really interested. Sylvia Plath is a Lifetime movie starring
Kate Jackson or Jaclyn Smith with anti-makeup. Artur Rimbaud, on the
other hand, is an Oscar script no one has written yet. Sizzlingly
brilliant, GAY, did we mention gay, and um, uh, MALE. Meaning actually
Which leads us out of the realm of sex altogether. Somehow women are
equal and worthy of voting, even though they're mostly awful. Which
they are. As any woman who knows anything will tell you.
So. Why do I finally agree with the Nineteenth Amendment, that
amendment which more than any other
has led us to a statist threat to democracy no one could have
anticipated in the days of the founding fathers?
Because the women have finally won. Men are now women. Except for a
handful of us old guys. Who couldn't hope to satisfy the new population
of men-women any more than the new population of women-men could.
I've been defending a declining population that no longer exists. So I
withdraw my defense. Go to it, all you pussies. See if I care. (I've
Shore. I'm from New Jersey. I've spent weeks at the shore myself.
And I finally know what's wrong with all the kids...)
Rejoice. Everybody's a girl
now. Everybody wants attention. Everybody wants to be the center of the
universe. Everybody's the smartest, shrewdest, savviest little
dumb-fuck four-year-old who ever controlled some other little
post-fetal narcissist all the way through graduation day at the
priciest place that gave a degree that upped the one their spouse had.
With better makeup.
Only problem? I'm a guy. Worse than that, I once dared to compete with Rimbaud.
I'm the hell on earth called...
Friday, January 22, 2010
MAKE STEROIDS MANDATORY (BIG TIME NSFW)
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?
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
Harvard Lampoon 1, NBC -$45 million
end of' Tonight,'
whatever happens. Shame. End of an era.
Subsequent reporting could defeat me here, but in the interim, I want
to congratulate Conan O'Brien, past president of the Harvard
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
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
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
A Truck for Obama
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
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
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...
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
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
is (as reported on here at InstaPunk back in November
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:
Monster Truck draws crowds, and it looks as if there's room up there for a
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
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
Likely pick? The
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...
...like he's done all year.
Out of the mouths of
than a casual, accidental resemblance.
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
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
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
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?
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
SHOULD WE BE
BRITISH ABOUT IT ALL? Something I've
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
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.
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 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.
Brizoni? Planning on getting off your lazy ass anytime in the new year? To
Forgive me for mentioning it. I just thought, while we're on the
subject of miracles,
maybe... oh, forget it.
Clones (cloanes?) are a political
even women like arid women.
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
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:
car has to be a GM model obviously. Which is a shame. The Ford Escape would have been so
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
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
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.)