If ever there was a person in desperate need of a good high colonic (preferably administered orally), it’s James Taranto, not least for the insufferable habit of referring to himselves in the first person plural.
This week the collective Jameses hove into view already clutching at their very best pearls and fanning themselves frantically for the vapors, emitting a stream of non sequiturs, calumnies and links so baffling they hurt to read, all in order to convince us how non-u that horrible man in the White House is.
There’s been a lot of talk of late about how “cool” Barack Obama supposedly is. But people are starting to notice the man has no class.
And the Jameses’ evidence for this assertion? That Obama dares to go on holidays when poor people are suffering.
The Jameses cite John McLaughlin, who has apparently conducted focus groups with “blue collar and Catholic voters” in Pittsburgh and Cleveland who are “stuck taking depressing ‘staycations’ because they can’t afford gas and hotels“. McLaughlin (as translated by the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard) manages to come to the stunning realization that if you spend several hours with voters letting them complain about the fact that they won’t get to spend five days next to a warm, piss-filled pool in Florida this year, they will eventually blame all sorts of people including the rich, the president, the government, bureaucrats and those lazy lucky duckies the unemployed.
He found that they tend to think Mitt Romney is “too rich,” but “there is a start of resentment of the government.” In Bedard’s words, “voters were also lumping in the president’s vacation spending in with the General Services Administration’s Las Vegas scandal and federal spending for those who aren’t looking for work.”
Apparently, if Obama had any class he would stay in Washington and never venture out. Or something. I confess I am not quite clear on the Jameses’ logic here.
That matters not however because, horrifyingly, the Jameses then call on their ultimate source to tell us all how dreadfully beyond the pale Obama is. Can you see? They speak her dreaded name. There is a silence then, as if the universe paused in horror, and she comes, tentacles quivering in the eldritch light, mandibles dripping with venom, waving a mint julep (heavy on the whiskey, light on the mint and the julep) and screaming, always screaming.
Obama is also notorious for his golf outings. Blogress Ann Althouse, another swing voter (she has admitted supporting Obama in 2008), notes that George W. Bush was “savaged” for going golfing “when Americans were fighting and dying.” Michael Moore made hay of it in his 2004 agitprop film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” notwithstanding that Bush had given up golf in 2003 on the ground that it was unseemly: “I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong message.” Althouse opens her post with a story about the latest casualties in Afghanistan.
Frankly, getting Ann Althouse to comment on class is a little like bringing in Harold Shipman to fix your lumbago and, if you think that simile doesn’t make any sense, I challenge you to do better after you’ve read one of Althouse’s articles in full.
Althouse further criticizes Obama for his appearance earlier this week on the NBC show “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” in which, as Althouse notes, “Obama performs 5 minutes of a musically sexualized speech about students. . . . It’s wearing down my sense of the outlandish.” We watched part of the Fallon video and found it to be a head-scratcher. The president seems to be making a serious policy argument (in favor of extending subsidies for college debt), Fallon is sucking up to him, and somehow it’s supposed to be a comedy routine. We guess you had to be there.
The horror, the horror.
The student-debt debate has underscored another unattractive aspect of Obama’s presidential style: his tendency to be always and indiscriminately on the attack. The Washington Post’s Rosalind Helderman notes that the president not only personally attacked two Republican congressmen, Missouri’s Todd Akin and North Carolina’s Virginia Foxx, but grievously misquoted both of them.
Helderman dryly notes that “it is somewhat unusual for a sitting president to single out individual rank-and-file members of the opposition party for criticism and scorn in public speeches.” She quotes Speaker John Boehner: “Frankly, I think this is beneath the dignity of the White House.”
But is anything beneath the dignity of the Obama White House? This, after all, is the same president who has ignorantly blasted the Supreme Court and Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee. The only difference in his attacks on Akin and Foxx is that he is manifestly punching down. What next? Will he go after private citizens?
Oh ha ha, he’s doing that already, as our colleague Kim Strassel notes:
This past week, one of his campaign websites posted an item entitled “Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney’s donors.” In the post, the Obama campaign named and shamed eight private citizens who had donated to his opponent. Describing the givers as all having “less-than-reputable records,” the post went on to make the extraordinary accusations that “quite a few” have also been “on the wrong side of the law” and profiting at “the expense of so many Americans.”
Strassel likens Obama’s demonization to Richard Nixon’s “enemies list,” which “appalled the country for the simple reason that presidents hold a unique trust.” It’s an apt comparison, but even Nixon delegated much of his attack-doggery to his vice president, Spiro Agnew. We guess Joe Biden is too goofy for that role so Obama has to do it himself.
Responding to your political opponents and engaging in petty name calling is so déclassé. You’d think Obama would know his place. He’s just like that dreadful Richard Nixon, who we seem to recall was a Democrat.
It seems to us that Althouse is on to something in suggesting that part of the reason Obama conducts himself in such an unseemly way is that the mainstream media are largely Democratic partisans, inclined to give their man a pass. True, there are plenty of alternative media voices now, but it’s relatively easy for a leftist president to dismiss them and continue to enjoy the adulation of the so-called mainstreamers, who have also been suggesting lately that Obama is a shoo-in for re-election because he is so likable.
The McLaughlin findings point to the risk that that isn’t the case. Obama could end up losing because sycophantic media encouraged him to act in such an unseemly way.
Holy shit. I just, can’t even … Apparently the Wall Street Journal is an alternative media voice now, and the news media that has spent the last three years inserting its collective nose carefully into President McCain’s arsehole every Sunday morning is sycophantic because it had a vague realization that the participants in the Republican primaries couldn’t find their own arses with a torch and two well trained bloodhounds.
There’s a parallel in the way the media have strained to play down bad economic news. A couple of hilarious examples come from NPR’s website today: A homepage title asked: “Is Slow Growth Actually Good for the Economy?” (The actual story, which has a less risible title, pretty much answers in the negative.) And an NPR “Special Series” is titled “Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength.”
Remember when the economy was strong and there were pockets of poverty? In November, it is possible the voters will.
So there you go. James Taranto says that Obama has no class because poor people are dumb and smelly. Or something like that.
To which we can only respond that James Taranto is a poopy head. He doesn’t give a shit about making a logical argument, so why should we bother?
Now we’re off to watch youtube videos and think about how superior to everyone else we am.
Uncle Rupert has taken the stand. The Guardian is liveblogging. Murdoch seems to have been told quite clearly by his lawyers that his doddering oldster act from last year’s parliamentary committee isn’t going to cut it in front of someone who actually knows how to question a witness.
Robert Jay QC (counsel assisting the inquiry) is taking quiet delight in quoting unflattering views of Mr Murdoch to him for his response. If that wasn’t enough to make me want to get into Mr Jay’s pants (and, frankly, it is), his questioning seems to be focussing on two quite interesting themes so far.
First, he is carefully exploring the relationship between Murdoch and British governments, starting with a lunch between Murdoch and Prime Minister Thatcher in 1981 when Murdoch was bidding for the Times. Murdoch maintains that the meeting was entirely appropriate. It was simply to inform the PM about his bid, and nothing to do with asking for favors.
Jay suggests a slightly different take:
Jay asks: “President elect Reagan, Baroness Thatcher and you were all on the same page politically weren’t you?”
Murdoch: “I guess that’s true.
“Was part of that meeting to demonstrate how much you were “one of us” to use Mrs Thatcher’s term? “No,” says Murdoch.
Asked why it was important for Thatcher to have a meeting with him about the possible takeover, Murdoch says it was “perfectly right that she should know what was at stake”.
Wasn’t the meeting all about the trade unions, asks Jay?
Murdoch: “I didn’t have the will to crush the unions, I might have had the desire but that took several years.”
Murdoch bluntly denies that he ever asked a Prime Minister for anything, but Jay’s clear implication is that Murdoch doesn’t need to ask.
The other aspect of the questioning goes to Murdoch’s frequent statements that he runs a decentralized business and allows his editors to set their own agendas without his interference in any way.
Lord Justice Leveson seems to find that idea a little questionable:
Leveson: “You have been on the world stage for many years, you have seen many editors come and go, your press interests have extended. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if those who worked for you recognised that you had an appreciation of events that it would be important for them to understand and they should therefore take a different line only with caution?”
Murdoch: “I would hope so. Our editors have generally been very long serving.”
Leveson says he wasn’t suggesting there had been a big turnover of editors. It ends there.
It’s going to be a long day, and Jay is a very skilled questioner. I’d be very surprised if things don’t get stickier for Rupert as the day progresses.
For all of their esteem as the “swing” members of the court, the reputations of both former Justice Sandra O’Connor and current swingman Anthony Kennedy should forever be diminished by their having made up the majority. As John Paul Stevens said at the end of his memorable dissent:
…[T]he majority of this Court can only lend credence to the most cynical appraisal of the work of judges throughout the land. It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today’s decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.
Fallows’ suggestion of term limits or a compulsory retirement age seems perfectly reasonable to me. I know full well that at my age I shouldn’t be permitted to operate heavy machinery, use sharp knives or radically alter the political, social and economic landscape by means of arbitrary and partisan judgments handed down with no respect for either established precedent or good manners.
And yet Clarence Thomas, if he so wishes, will be on the Supreme Court till the day he dies, no matter how decrepit or deaf or bug crazy he becomes, sitting on his fat arse day in and day out on the public dollar, catching the odd three hour cat nap between intermittent bouts of comparing toy soldiers with Sammy Alito, giving Roberts wedgies, giggling behind the bench because Scalia wrote “boobs” on every page of his case brief, and conspiring to destroy the fabric of society.
I don’t dispute that extreme age sometimes brings great wisdom, or that compulsory retirement would have robbed us of the later careers of many fine jurists – Brennan and Marshall and Stevens spring to mind. Nonetheless, and in the absence of any statistical evidence to support them (because it’s time for a drink and I can’t be bothered finding it), I think the arguments for the change are good ones.
If the only effect of mandatory retirement was ridding America of the ridiculous spectacle of judges defying age and illness and boredom merely to keep a seat warm until there is a new President, then it would be worth it. We would still, happily, be able to gossip about which judge looks ill, which is always such a satisfying discussion to have over several bottles of scotch after an exhausting day trying to peg Skittles at Kennedy from the public gallery and not get caught.
The Supreme Court needs new blood, new ideas and, frankly, the odd judge who was born after the Eisenhower administration. Courts should (as much as possible) reflect the aspirations and the diversity of the society they serve, which is a little hard when three quarters of the bench doesn’t know or care what IUDs or DVDs or CFCs are.
I suspect that mandatory retirement would assist in this regard, not least because every year more and more women (pdf) (and with any luck more non-white, non-straight, non-bigoted persons) are managing to lie, cheat and backstab their way into the corner offices and onto the bench (they are lawyers, after all). There’s a good chance that some of those new judges might come with a uterus and a conscience attached.
Of course, changing the rules for the Supreme Court would require a constitutional amendment which, even if it got up, would probably be held to be unconstitutional by a 9-0 decision of the Supreme Court applying the doctrine of Faciens quod volo, canes feminam. Still, a girl can dream.
Fallows also has up a number of fine posts on the filibuster, including this good summary of its history, which he ends with this:
For now this last thought, from a reader with family ties to George Norris, the long-time “progressive Republican” U.S. Senator from Nebraska:
[My ancestor] Senator Norris filibustered the old fashioned way, as it were. (His stand that no politician should invest in any asset except US bonds to avoid any bias also contrasts sharply with politicians today.) I did want to point out that, if the Democrats lose the Senate, then I predict that the Republicans will simply change the rules*, thus eliminating the problem. At that point they will cheerfully switch sides, and then ram it down the throat of the Dems. My favorite line of Krugman’s is that the Republicans “are serious men”, by which he meant that they played a tougher, and longer, game than their opponents.
* To clarify, changing rules during a session requires a 2/3 vote, but it is generally understood that every two years, at the start of each new Congress, each House can set rules for itself by majority vote.
The Republicans will not only change the rules, they will boast about how they got rid of the filibuster those dreadful Democrats were always using to subvert the will of the people, at least until they lose control of the Senate again, at which time the filibuster will become a vital tool for liberty which those dastardly Democrats have been suppressing.
Because Republicans are perfidious, pernicious pricks, and lying is what they do best.
Image: A Judge Going to Court – Thomas Couture (1815-1879)
Occasionally I do like to slip on my anti-bacterial floaties and my best Vera Wang one piece, and wade into the piss-scented and vaguely warm kiddie pool that is the Corner.
Currently, Michael Walsh is standing in the shallow end, screaming his lungs out like a toddler who dropped his lollipop in the water and had it land on a turd floater, and doing a fine variation on that old favourite, “Wimmins is not birthin’ enough and we’re all going to die”.
On the one hand — as NRO’s resident demography bore has been tirelessly pointing out — the Western world is facing an unparalleled demographic crisis brought on by a feminist-inspired modern twist on Lysistrata (showering sex but withholding children), while at the same time, the West’s vaunted “safety net” is collapsing because the system has been turned upside-down and a bevy of great-grandparents now coos over a single child.
Surely, this is the ultimate expression of the suicide cult that is the modern Left, a subset of libertine takers that so loathes itself that it will dragoon the makers into underwriting the chalices of tasty hemlock it’s so eager for everybody to quaff in order to put itself out of its misery. If, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, it feels good, do it! Alas, it does hurt somebody — it hurts society, by robbing it of its future and burdening those lucky kids who make it through the contraceptive/abortifacient gantlet with an unpayable debt to the very people who tried to get rid of them.
Self-centered Baby Boomer liberalism emerged from the “sexual revolution” of the sixties, and for the past half century Boomers have been trying to escape the consequences of no consequences, which now threaten the underpinnings of the Left’s beloved, bankrupting welfare state. And yet, at the same time, women of child-bearing age demand that somebody — insurance companies, Washington, the pope in Rome — pay for universal contraceptive and abortion services in the name of “women’s health.”
If this is not the definition of a suicide cult — one driven by the leftist insistence that sexual license be, well, licensed by the state, non-judgmentally and consequence-free — it’s hard to know what is. The Shakers had nothing on these people; at least they made furniture. But it’s what comes from treating pregnancy as a preventable disease, and viewing people as carbon-based pollutants instead of beings created in the image and likeness of God.
You left-wing sluts out there are trying to kill us all, with your desperate need to control your own birth cycles, with your libidinous concupiscence and your filthy backroom orgies (often, I am told, involving the wanton use of abortifacients and condoms), and your pathetic reliance upon government handouts because you have failed to produce enough children to look after you when you are old and have been brought low by syphilis and the other deservéd wages of your sin.
The trick will be restoring what, in the days of family-owned farms and small businesses, was once true: that babies are an asset rather than a burden. Imagine a society in which parents get to keep more of the human capital they form by investing in their children. Imagine a society in which the family is no longer just a consumer unit, but a productive enterprise. The society that figures out how to restore the economic foundation of the family will own the future.
“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” That was the witticism that passed for cleverness back in the day. Who needs men in the Brave New World? We’re about to find out.
Of course. All you lefty women need to do is stop it with your baby hatred and remember that kids are exploitable labor. If nothing else, you could get good prices on the organ market. Do you know what a baby kidney goes for today in Marrakesh? Imagine how many hip replacements that could pay for. Worst comes to worst, we can always eat the little fuckers. Read the rest of this entry »
Warning: Many links are to Kathryn Jean’s Fluffy Pink Womb of Zygote Love.
Kathryn Jean thinks that Mitt Romney is a man of principle because he vetoed a section of legislation which would have required all Massachusetts hospitals, including Catholic ones, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims – or as she puts it:
would require Catholic hospitals to provide abortifacient drugs
thus managing both to include the word “abortifacient” and entirely exclude the words “emergency”, “rape” and “victim” – even though Romney vetoed it for entirely political reasons, knew at the time his veto would be overturned, even said that “in his heart of hearts,” he believed that rape victims should have access to emergency contraception, but now believes that a similar rule “tramples on religious freedom”.
President Obama, on the other hand, is a big scary blah man who wants to take away, in turn, our liberties, our virginal innocence and the little blah babies he fathered upon us with his heathen lusts.
Also, Kathryn Jean is preparing for the inevitable day when she will need to snuggle up next to Mitt’s special undies and worship at the temple of the Mitt. I bet Mitt’s pubic hair looks just like the hair on his head.
Also, defunding Planned Parenthood was a “business choice“. Italics in the original.
The “Editors” think that Susan G. Komen for the Cure is (or at least was, and probably still is) an organisation of principle because Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms, all they do is do breast checks and refer people for mammograms. So there. After all, finding out how to check your own breasts and then obtaining a referral to a mammogram clinic when you find a lump is easy-peasy when you are poor and/or illiterate and/or don’t have insurance. I think they offer them at McDonalds, with a side of fries and a free home pap smear kit. Besides, this is great because it lets us talk about abortions some more and donate our usual three bucks a month to a charity that doesn’t fund child murder and then feel smug about it. Read the rest of this entry »
I give you due warning – the sight of cute Russian boys in their undies is not adequate compensation for the boyband/Christmas acoustic horror that will overwhelm you if you press that play button.
I suspect Poe’s law may also apply to bad europop.
Sometimes the youtubes take me to scary places.
I’m trying to understand.
I managed to put my back out somewhere in Portugal, then picked up a dread lurgy in Amsterdam, and have therefore spent the last week making my way home to Shady Pines, swathed in a haze of Tiger Balm, vaIium, codeine and champagne, while alternately lying on the floor of hotels and groaning, lying on aeroplane seats and groaning, or sitting on toilets and groaning while squirting from every orifice. It was like a Katharine Hepburn movie, except one where Katharine knees Tracy in the balls in the first five minutes and is handcuffed to her seat for the rest of the film. My fond regards to the staff of KLM and Singapore Airlines for their sterling service and their heavy hands with the gin.
Having arrived home, I have been appropriately cleaned and medicated, and now the world is like a big, warm ball of pink marshmallow with me in the middle like a particularly unpleasant (although exquisitely perfumed) jammy filling.
I know there are important events going on outside. I’m reading my blogs and trying to take it all in but, with the bucketsful of painkillers I am on, my brain has self-deported.
As far as I can tell, lots of people are complaining because the President made a speech in which he talked about creating jobs and improving education and the unremarkable (yet rarely spoken of) idea that the rich should pay at least the same rate of tax as the non-rich, while sounding like a calm, responsible adult.
This after a week which the chosen exemplars of Republicaniness (a morally-compromised blowhard, a rich herbert with the likeability of a sanitary napkin full of blue ink, an insane gnome and an obnoxious wowser whose name is inextricably linked to lubey, shitty suds) spent flinging poo at each other, fellating the rich and otherwise saying dumb shit, while arguing about how little tax they all pay.
President Obama clearly has no idea what he is doing.
Also, Nancy Pelosi. No idea. Why on earth would she say of Newt that:
I think he’s done plenty of dumb things and there’s stiff competition for what is the dumbest thing he’s done, of course, including his violations of the ethics rules of the House of Representatives.
when she knows that it will make the 27 percent squeal at her for the next week like piggies in a sack about how unfair it is for Nancy to mention stuff for which God has personally forgiven Newt?
I tried reading Mitch Daniels’ reply but as far as I can tell he just went “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Why won’t you do what we want you to?” for ten minutes, crapped his pants and fell off his chair.
None of it is making sense.
Perhaps I need another drink….