Archive for the ‘Obamamania’ Category

“Our Divisive President”

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen write an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal:

President Obama’s Inaugural was a hopeful day, with an estimated 1.8 million people on the National Mall celebrating the election of America’s first African-American president. The level of enthusiasm, the anticipation and the promise of something better could not have been more palpable.

And yet, it has not been realized. Not at all.

Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class and partisanship. Moreover, his cynical approach to governance has encouraged his allies to pursue a similar strategy of racially divisive politics on his behalf.
The first hint that as president Mr. Obama would be willing to interject race into the political dialogue came last July, when he jumped to conclusions about the confrontation between Harvard Prof. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates and the Cambridge police.

During a press conference, the president said that the “Cambridge police acted stupidly,” and he went on to link the arrest with the “long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”

In truth, the Gates incident appears to have had nothing to do with race—a Cambridge review committee that investigated the incident ruled on June 30 that there was fault on both sides.

Well, the review committee got it half right.

They were playing to a modern mindset that says when persons of disparate race are involved in a disagreement that spirals out of control in any way, the person with darker skin must be found unconditionally blameless. These mobsters are being manipulated, in turn, by a swaggering elite that seeks to enslave the melanin-enhanced as well as the melanin-challenged, with a dysfunctional protocol that says skin color decides guilt & innocence. “Fault on both sides” was a concession to this anarchy, and it brought the anarchists an important victory: If you’re a white cop, avoid these confrontations in the first place. It’s the only way you can come out ahead. Pretend something’s wrong with your radio and you can’t hear the dispatcher.

But back to the President, since it’s a much more serious charge that this racial division goes all the way to the top.

It isn’t accidental. Listen to Obama talk about something that doesn’t have to do with race: I, I, I, Me, Me, I, I, Me, I just think, seems to Me, Michelle & I, I, I, I, Me, Me, Me, Me, Me. The subject shifts to race, and all of a sudden it’s we, we, we, we, America, Ms. Sherrod, bloggers, talk shows, Cambridge police, we. He stops talking about Himself, because He’s cataloging sins…things that have been done wrong. When that happens, He isn’t part of us anymore. Suddenly, He can grind out entire paragraphs without mentioning Himself one single time. He’ll re-join us when the lecturing is done. Then He’ll be happy to tell us, once again, what He thinks about things.

So our President is a divisive agent, a willfully divisive one, and not only does he see race as part of the division He seeks to deploy, but He has a carefully laid-out and executed strategy in place for dividing us along racial lines. He seeks to remedy & heal nothing. But it isn’t just about race. It’s also about money. Have you listened to this “full” video clip of Shirley Sherrod’s speech to the NAACP? I’m using scare quotes because there’s still some editing that’s been going on. But the point is this: It started out being about race, how a woman of color found herself approached for her legal assistance by a farmer of pallor. She didn’t apply the full force of what she could do for him, feeling that he should be helped but only by his own kind. The longer, 43-minute version becomes relevant because the speech is revealed as a “Grinch” story; the protagonist realizes her way of thinking about things is wrong, she reforms, and she does things she would not have done if she had not reformed. The speech was about this reformation, which is why there is such anger about the posting of the abridged version.

But why did she reform? I’ve seen lots of leftists subjected to this spiritual awakening, and it isn’t permanent, one-way, or spiritual. In my case, they’ve gone back and forth, and with the wisdom of hindsight I’ve come to realize something: What they were trying to decide, was whether or not I was a “mark.” Was I desperate enough yet that, if they short-circuited some rules to “help” me, would I give them my soul. This is the true face of the progressive movement: Put the non-producers in charge of figuring out how the goods and services are allocated, and if enough people are in desperate circumstances & stand to benefit from your little modern Bolshevik revolution, they will help you do this and you will succeed. You cannot succeed without them. This is how Shirley Sherrod saw that white farmer. She changed her mind about him. As his plight became more and more desperate, she figured out how he would come in handy.

This is a perfect illustration of Obama’s agenda. He is not a unifier because He cannot ever be one. He’s had a long time to enhance, rather than diminish, the control exerted over the production of things by those who do the producing; He hasn’t taken advantage of that opportunity one single time. Every move He has made has been to put the non-producers in charge. And ultimately, you have to drive wedges in order to do that. You have to have class envy. If we all have the feeling that we’re in the same boat, then our natural inclination is going to be to let the producers have the control that belongs to them, so the rest of us can benefit. To shift the wealth to the non-producers, you need to subvert the natural order of things, and you need to achieve broad interest in altering that natural course. Get the message out that the non-producers are the only ones interested in bringing a benefit to others across class lines. You need to spread a myth: Money makes a person naturally mean and selfish, unless the money a person has is money that came from somebody else, then that person becomes virtuous, egalitarian and civilized. Our poor, and the thieves who steal what they give to the poor, are the only enlightened beings in our society, or in any other. That is the Obama agenda and that is the Obama propaganda drive.

So anybody waiting for Obama to be any kind of unifier, is in for a long wait.

Partial hat tip to Irish Cicero, since I already had this in my “stack” when I was following a trackback to his place where he was talking about me…when I scrolled down I saw he already did a decent write-up about this.

You know, it would make a decent bumper sticker wouldn’t it:

Can We Elect a Black President Who’s Not Quite So Communist-ey?

Racism Test

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Received via e-mail earlier today. Short and sweet. Logic unassailable, indisputable and unanswerable.

Do You Like Him Any Better Now?


Then You’re Not A Racist.

Cross-posted at Cassy’s place.

Update 7/26/10: Welcome, fellow readers of Nealz Nuze.

“Yes, We Did!”

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

That’s His Royal Majesty’s new campaign slogan.

The Blog That Nobody Reads offers its profound congratulations to the Republican infiltrator who managed to take over that brainstorming session.

In response to the question this just naturally brings up, “Did What?,” FrankJ has a list, and so does fellow Right Wing News contributor Heather Bachman.

Don’t you see? We don’t have to run away anymore. I have brought peace to the Republic. I am more powerful than the Chancellor. I can overthrow him. And together you and I can rule the galaxy! Make things the way we want them to be! You don’t believe me, do you?

Darth Vader.

Cross-posted at Cassy’s.

Obama Being Tough on Business: Who Ya Gonna Believe, Rahm or Your Lyin’ Eyes?

Friday, July 9th, 2010


The White House has launched a coordinated campaign to push back against the perception taking hold in corporate America and on Wall Street that President Barack Obama is promoting an anti-business agenda.

Obama has been happy to be seen by voters as cracking down on Wall Street but those efforts have had an unintended result: feeding a sense that the president and his party are indifferent or even actively hostile toward big business, whether those businesses are Silicon Valley tech companies, Midwestern manufacturers or Main Street small businesses.
In a Thursday interview, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel argued that rather than recoiling against Obama, business leaders should be grateful for his support on at least a half-dozen counts: his advocacy of greater international trade and education reform open markets despite union skepticism; his rejection of calls from some quarters to nationalize banks during the financial meltdown; the rescue of the automobile industry; the fact that the overhaul of health care preserved the private delivery system; the fact that billions in the stimulus package benefited business with lucrative new contracts, and that financial regulation reform will take away the uncertainty that existed with a broken, pre-crash regulatory apparatus.

It’s like walking in on a burglar sacking your home, and listening to the burglar give a speech about how he isn’t really burglarizing you.

No wait, it’s worse than that: It’s like the burglar telling you the flawed policies of the previous burglar resulted in your home being burglarized all wrong, so he fixed the bugs in the system. And you should be thanking him.

Well, the way Ace is seeing it, Obama is tying cement shoes to the economy.

Another company announces that the healthcare bill the President and the Democrats had to write in secret and pass under cover of darkness will sink it when the bill goes active in 2014.

My friends, reason number 3,401 that ObamaCare needs to be repealed:

The Columbus-based family owned restaurant chain – known for serving small square hamburgers called “sliders” – says a single provision in the bill will eat up roughly 55 percent of its yearly net income after 2014.

Starting that year, the bill levies a $3,000-per-employee penalty on companies whose workers pay more than 9.5 percent of household income in premiums for company-provided insurance.

White Castle, which currently provides insurance to all of its full-time workers and picks up 70 to 89 percent of their premium costs, believes it will likely end up paying those penalties. The financial hit will make it hard for the company to maintain its 421 restaurants, let alone create new jobs, says company spokesman Jamie Richardson. White Castle employs more than 10,000 people nationwide, and more than 1,200 in Ohio.

This is really unbelievable when you think about it. It is almost as if — I would say exactly as if — our highest offices are filled with compulsive liars who cannot stop lying. They have never or very rarely been caught at anything; they come from a world in which there’s never a consequence, there’s always another speech to be made in which they get to ask that liar’s question “Who ya gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?”

Hey Rahm — an additional expense is an additional expense. I can see if a business manager starts crunching through a forecast, and produces the numbers that say so-and-so many people cannot be hired or will have to be laid off, your “I must have the last word” argument up above isn’t going to mean a whole lot. But you’re a smart guy, you can see that for yourself. You’re probably not talking to him.

Which brings us back to the primary complaint against the Obama team: They can never stop complaining.

They are an executive-branch version of that pipsqueak we’ve all met in the office. The guy who always has to have the last word about everything. The brown-noser. He never gets any real work done, because the one computer application he uses more than any other is the e-mail. When he isn’t on the e-mail system, he’s making lots of noise, having “folksy” conversations with people, acting chummy — but only to find out what’s going on, dictate to people what they should be thinking, or some combination of those. And then it’s back to e-mail. Know the type?

We’ve got an awful lot of people walking around like this. A lot of people. They’re not just in the White House, they’re out in corporate America too. Their work can’t ever speak for itself.

Cross-posted at Cassy’s place.

“Voted For Obama? Embarrassed Yet?”

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

KLTV, East Texas:

My comments at Rick’s place speak for themselves:

Two points. And my first has been echoed here numerous times already: Congrats to the teevee station for shoving their microphone into the face of a steady stream of Obama supporters who don’t like the billboard. If ever[y]one in the vicinity felt that way the billboard would not be there…DUH!

Two: Makes me LOL, the last idjit interviewed in the clip you have embedded, without meaning to, quoted from this card almost on a word-for-word basis:

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Superman Accidentally Leaves His Eyeglasses On

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Actually, no. It’s more like Clark Kent accidentally left a piece of red cape sticking out where his shirt was supposed to be tucked in. A colleague and I were working over a piece of code…and I don’t know who brought it up, but somehow the birth certificate thing surfaced. That’s a year and a half on the job, now, nobody knowing if I’m conservative or liberal. As of yesterday it’s pretty well settled: The other guy is in the twenty-seven percent who think things are going in the right direction (hat tip to FrankJ), and Yours Truly is decidedly not.

I should add I’m not really that good at keeping a secret. Folks in the cubicles around me know I’m not a tree-hugging lefty loser. But as of now there’s one guy in the group in which I actually work who has an idea of my political leanings. It isn’t the guy who has been trying like the dickens to find out — the guy who does know, I swore him to secrecy.

My colleague is a truly gregarious gentlemanly sort of guy…not like Joe America who represents the more brutal sort of lefty who pretends to be sociable but just wants to win-win-win. So I think my job over the long term is safe, and my secret is too over the shorter one. Once the opportunity was costless, I had to take it. It’s very rare I have the chance to talk to an Obamaton who is capable of some independent thought. In this case, though, the trouble is that the operative words are “capable of.” There was no independent thought here, other than when Obama was elected, the guy was hugely upside-down in his house and worried sick about what to do. Now things are evened out and he just thinks Holy Man should get the credit. As far as evidence, that is the full extent of everything I heard. Conclusions to be reached? Way, way, way out of the ballpark of what could be supported. Fantastic job, His plans are all working, Joe Biden is really smart, Palin is stupid, and so on and so forth you know the drill.

It’s interesting that a lot of these ideas were what I would call “bumptious,” arriving with subtle micro-broadcasts that challenges to these ideas were not going to be tolerated. What is also interesting, is that while the Obama/Biden ideas were sacred cows, the Palin-is-stupid idea turned out not to be. I cited a couple of examples where Palin outsmarted Obama — I think it was the death panel thing, and the nuclear thing — and that was enough to crumble the rotten floorboards. He said the same thing…word for word…that Hillary-supporting former-colleague of mine said at dinner, at our New Year thing: Something to the effect of “I guess I don’t really know that much about her, I’ll have to go check up on some of this stuff.”

Yes, there is a feeling in the air, at least among Obama’s supporters, that He’s super-qualified for the job and Palin never will be. But those are among Obama’s supporters, the ones who think the country is headed in the right direction, one-out-of-four. And even among them the feeling that Palin is a thick-headed dolt, is really a feeling and nothing more. They feel there are just layers and layers of evidence that she’s a dumbass. Once we go into details they realize there’s not a lot there…just that Couric interview…and I think they realize they’ve been snookered.

The Reagan/Carter thing scared him, I think. I’m not like most of the guys on my team when it comes to this time period; I was still underage, but politically aware. Humiliated, actually — I was really gung-ho for Carter in 1976, and by four years later it was just undeniable that everything that could possibly suck, did. Trust me on this: When you’re fourteen years old, you do not want to admit your parents were right about something.

Well, the other guys I work with…the older ones were in diapers during this time. Most of them weren’t even around yet. The time period is worth studying if you really want to get passionate about this stuff, because as a person, Jimmy Carter was & is a reasonably smart guy. His integrity and character are up for debate at this point; the “at least he’s a decent human being” ship has sailed now, since he can’t keep his big anti-capitalist anti-semitist mouth shut. And while his sense of judgment can be assailed legitimately, he has yet to say something like “This is a big fucking deal” at a Presidential signing ceremony, and nobody is challenging his I.Q.

There was an extraordinarily thick layer of feeling, all around, that Ronald Reagan was a likable dumbass.

Also, that the election of 1980 would be a photo-finish. I remember it right up until the Election Day, the one in which I was still too young to partake. Well, it wasn’t a photo finish. The lesson to be learned is that when one contender is saddled with the reputation of being a dimwit, it really doesn’t matter very much, especially if he’s the challenger. The dimwit is probably not doomed; in fact, the dimwit’s chances probably aren’t even significantly degraded. People have to be unhappy with the way things are going, if he’s the incumbent, or pleased with the way things are going if he’s the challenger. If those aren’t happening then the dimwit will end up on top of things when the time comes. It’s pretty much guaranteed.

What’s lost is this: In American electoral history, it’s actually pretty rare for a constituency to support a candidate out of a consensus that he’s perfect. That is the exception to the rule. The norm, is that the voter is forced to make compromises…and he feels pretty damn sore about it, but votes for the lesser-of-evils anyway.

Back to our conversation: My gut tells me that when my colleague insists he’s been “keeping up on the issues” (and then admits he doesn’t know a lot about this issue or that issue), what he’s really talking about is reading democrat party propaganda. I’ve had registered democrats give me these hints before, it’s usually a buzzword that real people don’t use in real conversations, or perhaps a catchphrase. “Pretext for war,” for example. This time, it was the denial that Obama is a socialist. He thinks it’s really sad that the discourse has deteriorated in this country to the point that Obama can’t do something people disagree with, without being called a socialist. To which my response was simply…”‘I just think, when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.’ What other ideas does He need to have, before He is one?” This is the way people are programmed. Even smart people. You make it clear it’s ridickerous to conclude X, stigmatize it in other words, and then when evidence pops up suggesting X people filter it out every time. Heck, they filter out the evidence that proves X. It’s like it was never there, even though they were looking right at it.

I should add that this is Item #11 (and #2, the distinction is a fine one) on my list of ways to motivate large numbers of people to do a dumb thing, without anyone associating the dumb thing with your name later on. There is a lobe in the brain that is built for cognitive thought, and then there is another lobe that isn’t. The latter, for good reason, possesses superiority in the command hierarchy over the former. Stigmatization effectively bypasses reasoned discourse, by activating that second lobe. When stigmatization is deployed in this way, as a political weapon, it works extraordinarily well. Extraordinarily well. Words fail to express.

This guy, in 2012, I think is going to vote for Obama. But I’m not entirely sure about that; I would characterize his support as somewhat shaky, although he doesn’t know it. I think he represents the spectrum that is strongly biased toward Him, but in the end is really just voting for the household pocketbook. My vision is that, although the suffering may be limited (just because I’m an optimist, and don’t like to see people get hurt), the prevailing viewpoint will be that our current President is an experiment, the experiment has not panned out, and it’s a mistake to give it any more time. We can’t afford it.

The dimwit who leaves the letter “g” off the ends of her words? Or the experiment we can no longer afford? Given that choice, Americans have always voted for the dimwit. They may, from time to time, give an experiment with lackluster results four more years of time to pan out…although in the moment, I fail to recall any examples of this…but once the failing experiment has crossed a decision point, they always vote for the other guy no matter how much of a reputation he may have for being a big ol’ dummy.

One thing I did not mention, is that people like me outnumber people like him 73 to 27. In my world, it doesn’t matter; if up is up, wet is wet, and two and two are four, it really is irrelevant how many people agree or disagree. But it’s an interesting question to ponder, what kind of persuasive power this would have on the other fellow if it was brought up. Obama’s slide in the polls is certainly one for the history books. It shatters all records. Truly breathtaking, perhaps the appropriate term is “ear popping,” and it certainly does mean something. It doesn’t mean the electorate is ready to run him out of DC on a rail, tarred & feathered. But it does mean a lot of points-of-view have changed since November of 2008, and that cannot be at all reassuring to those who are tasked with getting Him re-elected.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Obama Approval Slips Yet Again

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010


Obama’s approval ratings have generally been near the 50% mark since mid-November, although all of his weekly approval averages since late February have been below 50%.

Obama’s latest quarterly score of 48.8% is below average by historical standards, ranking in the 35th percentile of all presidential quarters for which Gallup has data, dating to 1945. The average historical quarterly approval average is 54%.

Additionally, Obama’s latest quarterly average does not compare favorably to other elected presidents’ averages at similar points in their presidencies. Obama joins Ronald Reagan (46.3%) and Jimmy Carter (48.0%) as the only elected presidents after World War II whose fifth quarter approval averages were below the 50% mark.

John McCain is owed an apology. At one point he made a statement that if Obama wins, it’ll be Jimmy Carter’s second term and he was roundly criticized and ridiculed for this. Well…if I say something bad about Obama I have a lot of people accusing me of being a racist, but other than that what’s the difference?

Seriously…there aren’t any bell-bottom jeans and we have the Internet. There is Netflix and Starbucks. That’s my list of differences between now and 1978; all the other differentials deal with magnitude, and are thus meaningless. As far as what’s going on in the government, the philosophy of “Our Approach To Any Problem Is To Make Sure No One Can Profit By Presenting a Solution,” don’t build that dam because you’ll endanger the snail darter, the encroaching into private business, the pressure to come up with shrunken-down car models nobody will want to buy, it feels eerily like 32 years ago.

I’m reminded, also, of a more recent past. Obama reminds this Californian of Governor Gray Davis. You have heard this story, have you not? We recalled him and that’s when we got The Terminator as our Governator. Our state’s recall process is a little bit over-simplified and screwy. We vote for/against the recall, on the same ballot on which we cast a vote for the ostensible replacement.

Davis’ re-election was routine. A few promises here to keep it legal to be gay; a few promises over there to “preserve womens’ right to choose,” and cottonhead was back in. (A cursory examination of the powers invested in the Governor, with regard to those two issues, reveals such pledges to be legally laughable.) But things still sucked, so the necessary signatures for a recall petition were collected in no time at all. The democrats couldn’t believe their eyes. They argued the point the way they argue everything else, by venting their theatrical outrage. The phrase “duly elected” was repeated ad nauseum. In the end it had no effect because we knew what we didn’t like.

It’s an interesting thought exercise: What if the recall provision from California’s state constitution, applied to our President?

Doctor Lays Off Employee Who Voted for Obama?

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Seems prudent at this point to add a question mark to the end of the headline.

Story is here.

Mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, no matter which way they march, I get a little queasy when employers simply hint to their workforce which way is the “right” way to vote on something. To act out on it, this really crosses a line with me.

On the other hand, comments like “elections have consequences” strike a chord with me that is positive overall. It will come as no news at all to regular reader of The Blog That Nobody Reads, that I equate the name “Obama” with an ignorant and bullheaded denial of the relationship between effects and causes. The name represents, to me, a mistaken and persistent belief that the right emotional vibe can solve just about any ol’ problem under the sun. I haven’t thought of this as harmless, ever, even back in the days when it was cool to think this was harmless. It’s actually quite dangerous. A guy with a microphone and a soothing voice, a few planted fainting whores in the audience, and “Yes We Can” — there, now it’s all good. But no it isn’t.

Sucks to be out of a job of course. But over the long term, assuming this really happened, the lesson can’t hurt and might help. You could always look at it this way: She voted for “change” and her boss gave it to ‘er.

Business is all about cause and effect. People who don’t believe in cause-and-effect, shouldn’t be doing anything that affects businesses. Including voting. In my world, that’s just common sense. Should employers really look the other way when their employees, in their off hours, champion political causes that actively seek to destroy the businesses?

What if the boss happens to be black, and his employees are going off after hours to attend Klan rallies? Naw…that’s a poor analogy. That’s wildly overstating the situation.

Or is it. What’s the last thing President Obama has had to say, in all those speeches of his, that is pro-business? Outside of something like “you better support My policies or economic disaster will ensue” — not counting that. Hmmmm…

More Disapprove of Obama Now Than of Bush in His Last Days

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Now that‘s an interesting statistic.

Bush’s numbers when he left office:

In the final full month of his Presidency, just 13% of American adults said they Strongly Approved of the way that George W. Bush performed his job as president. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapproved.

Obama’s numbers today:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove…

That coming our way via The Volokh Conspiracy who wonder:

Imagine how unpopular Obama would be if the press and the late night comedians (who are at least as important as the press) treated Obama as they treated Bush.

When you sacrifice everything else to be popular, you end up lacking even that. The rule works for all walks of life, all settings of human existence, all ages.

The Baier Interview

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I stopped watching the YouTube clips. It isn’t my fatigue with political figures, although it is partly that…I’ve had jobs before where I had to sit down and talk to important people. People highly placed enough that one would expect them to have had coaching and grooming and training on how to change a subject when you find it desirable to change the subject. People who would be motivated to change the subject by what I had to ask them.

Got a bellyful of this already. Enough to last me a few lifetimes. Maybe that’s why I despise democrat politicians so much.

From all I’ve been able to skim over, it seems Don Surber‘s conclusion agrees with mine. Baier did an adequate job pressing a question against an important official who didn’t want to answer it. President Sort-Of-God opted for the ol’ “The People Don’t Care About The Process Now Let Me Talk About What’s Really Important” approach.

Hint for Obama: Blogger friend Rick cares about the process, as do I, and…well, who knows how many.

From the clips I’m hearing on the radio, Obama did a sufficiently decent job of weaseling out of this thing in such a way that the mentally flaccid will fail to notice His weaseling. Hopefully, your average middle-of-the-road folks will come away thinking…you know what, from what I’m hearing I do care somewhat about the process. This seems wrong. And I don’t know if I trust someone who passively denies having an opinion about it. I think I need a better answer.

We shall see.

I’m left thinking back on a column by Noemie Emery I have in my files.

Denial is a river that runs through the White House, where the denizens are in the grip of two major delusions: One, that the country really wants really expensive big government, and two, that Obama is “sort of like God.”

Since early last spring, they’ve been waging a fight with the reality principle, convincing themselves (and fewer and fewer in the larger political universe) that in the very next speech, Obama will recapture that old campaign magic. If people don’t like what they’re doing, the way to regain and to hold their affection was to give them much more of the same.

In the face of plummeting polls, stunning upsets in blue states, and gathering dread among Democrats, they carry on as if the year 2009 never happened, and they were back with their mandate and magical candidate, who was declared a success before he even took office.

Conservatism was dead, the age of big government being over was itself over, and we were all socialists. And if we weren’t at the beginning, Obama would talk us around.
On March 4, Reuters’ Chrystia Freeland explained the administration’s rationale for its renewed health care offensive: “The reason … we have the moral authority to do this is Massachusetts was just an act of God,” she related. “We had that seat; we got profoundly unlucky. … This election wasn’t scheduled to happen normally, so we shouldn’t allow this to knock us off course.”

Peggy Noonan says there have recently been “interventions” (the term for when loved ones send you to the Betty Ford Clinic), as in “So-and-so tried an intervention with the president, and it didn’t work.” David Gergen said Obama reminded him of the old joke about how many psychiatrists were needed in changing a light bulb.

The President does seem to be in need of something. An actual intervention? Perhaps something along those lines…

He still seems so polished and smooth, so sonorous.

You know, it really isn’t His problem, it’s ours. There is something deep inside our programming that makes us think when we hear a person explaining something calmly, that person must have a plan. And, that if there’s a plan somewhere, everything’s going to be alright regardless of what the plan is supposed to do.

Both ideas are mistaken. Correct now & then, but no more often than a random-chance decision.


Friday, March 12th, 2010

Cylarz is invoking language I’ve heard before. The person from whom I heard it was me, and the timeframe in which I heard it last was sometime during Bill Clinton’s administration. So I’m getting my own words thrown back at me here:

No matter what your agenda is, you do not rise to that level of power by being an idiot.

It’s not Obama’s intelligence that I call into question. Rather, I question his priorities, his values, his judgement, his character, his friends, his advisors, his agenda….and yes, his patriotism.

But idiot? No.

Now to be clear, I did not call Obama an idiot and I would not call Obama an idiot. I made a cutesy reference to the 50% of the people writing Him letters, whom He Himself reports are calling Him an idiot. And that is almost certainly out of a sense of exasperation, not the culmination of a sincere effort to assess intellect or lack thereof.

I’m currently working my way through Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society, so I’m keen on the idea that there are multiple ways to measure intelligence. Perhaps the most reliable way to measure intellect’s most fundamental layer is with raw resourcefulness — wriggling one’s way out of, or through, a tight spot. Both Clinton and Obama have demonstrated this in spades.

Getting tripped up by something, does nothing to refute this quality. We all make our little “oopsies.” Clinton had his Monica, Bush’s public-relations handling of Iraq was a disaster, and of course Obama has Afghanistan. Bush’s Dad had a “read my lips” moment. Reagan had Iran/Contra, and retreating from Lebanon. Pobody’s Nerfect.

But why do people screw up? If you investigate this, here and there you can, at least, find some limits. With the Iraq thing, my firm conclusion is that George Bush simply didn’t try. It’s a Bush family attribute. You have this thing called “political capital,” you never spend more than you have, but at the same time you spend all that you have because whatever doesn’t get spent is useless. Follow those two simple rules, put your faith in God, and everything will work out. This time, it didn’t work out. That doesn’t show George W. Bush is stupid, however; it shows he is stubborn.

Bill Clinton was not stupid because of Monica, I don’t think. He was impulsive and reckless. He demonstrates a lot of qualities common to addictive personalities. If he labors over part of a lifetime building something, and a sexual dalliance can wreck it, there’s a part of him that just doesn’t care. It’s as if the sex itself takes place in an entirely different universe from whatever it is he’s been building, and he doesn’t think about the damage until after it’s all done. By which time it’s too late of course. The man really needs psychiatric help, but he isn’t stupid.

On Afghanistan, I have some real troubles with Obama’s intellect. I’m convinced His I.Q. is well above the national average. But there’s a lot of functional intelligence He’s missing. It doesn’t hurt His efforts in any area in which He possesses some actual experience — but as we all realize now, some of us belatedly, there are many areas of life in which He does not possess adequate experience. He doesn’t have the common sense to run off and get help in these areas. His lack of humility will not allow for it, and His sense of judgment is not that sound.

Ultimately, my indictment against Obama’s intelligence is that when & if the moment comes along in which it’s demonstrated He doesn’t know something that He needs to know, He fails in the department of — curiosity. He is incurious. Is it fair to categorize curiosity as a kind of intellect? Perhaps not. But it ultimately has a weighty influence on what you know, over the long term. And it has a bearing on the outcome of what you are trying to do.

To be fair to President Obama, I suppose this is a long-standing curse upon that high office. It’s really tough to get there, and once you’ve made it there, it’s even tougher to keep in mind there might be some other people who know things you don’t know, that you need to go find out. Obama is not the first President with this problem, and He most assuredly will not be the last.

Would I trust someone like Him to do an important job for me? Yes…maybe…but only so important. Delivering my newspaper. I don’t think I’d let him in my house to fix something or haul something away. Not unless I was there to supervise. And spare me the comments and e-mails about race, please. I’ve spent an entire lifetime working in high-technology fields. I just don’t trust people who “know everything.” I’ve seen them break too many things, and have spent too many thankless hours fixing it after Mister Wonderful has moved on to break something else.

And this is what I’m seeing now. No, Obama is not an idiot. But He’s in “King Midas” mode — deep inside, I think He has this delusion that when Congress puts together some dangerous, ramshackle health care bill, it isn’t even going to matter what’s written in the bill. Holy Man will lay His hands upon it, and that will make it wonderful. So I would say, yes, He is very smart in some ways. But His hostility toward reality interferes with His ability to perceive reality, to learn things He needs to learn. And so here & there, there are some key places where His intellectual gifts really don’t matter very much. He offers an incomplete package of these intellectual gifts. Not incomplete in magnitude, but incomplete in coverage.

Update: Right here. This is what I’m talking about.

I Made a New Word XXXV

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

O•ba•ma•lar•key (n.):

Rhetorical defense of a dumbass idea, offered by subtly re-directing the discourse from the merits and weaknesses of the idea itself, toward the appealing but meaningless attributes of the personality most prominently associated with it.

Starting in 2013 and soaring into the decades that will come and go after that year, this is what the name Obama is going to mean anyway. We may as well start recognizing it right now.

“Here Comes Santa Claus”

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

From Hot Air. Notice: This lady doesn’t seem to be trying to shut anyone else up, but it’s a definite that the Obama supporters around her derive a lot of sense of purpose from the mission of making sure she is not heard.

This has not been unusual at all.

I’m told fairly often that being opposed to this President has something to do with putting the hate on black people.

The evidence of my senses tells me that being for this President, has something to do with monopolizing the conversation. It’s not true of all of Obama’s supporters, of course, but there is certainly a correlation there: “I’m not here to debate your or check your facts, I’m here to throw them down the memory hole.” When I hear people object to the President’s policies, the objection is delivered in the spirit of now that the other side has had its chance to get their point across… And who, among intelligent people who have been paying attention, can doubt that it has?

But being an Obama supporter seems to have a lot to do with shut-uppery. More than being a supporter of one among most other democrats. Obama is more of a revolutionary figure than the average democrat politician, of course. But the revolution He led sixteen months ago does not have the feel of a “people’s” revolution and I don’t think it ever really did. It’s more like a private revolution. It’s motto might as well be “Free speech — only for cool people like me — not for thee.”

The effects of the policy changes, be they benign or otherwise, should be felt by everyone. That much is self-evident and non-negotiable. But only an exclusive club can have some input into what those policy changes should & should not be.

Best Sentence LXXXIII

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

The eighty-third award for the Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) goes to the aptly named That’s Right.

As is occasionally the case, it’s a little bit more than one sentence. Oh well. Deal.

Sometimes I Feel Sorry for Barack Obama
Any sensible, rational person learns three things from looking at and studying the political philosophy best characterized as “collectivism” and that is that, 1) it didn’t work, 2) it will never work, and 3) most importantly, it cannot work. Barack Obama is simply an absorber and a regurgitator; he is not a learner. His comments in his early life, on the campaign and during his first year in office are literally plagiarized from any collegiate socialist textbook. There’s no learning involved. There’s no contemplation involved. There is only a desperate need to believe in something that he hadn’t found anywhere else.

Hat tip to Camp of the Saints.

“Better Off With Her”

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

So noted leftist crackpot cartoonist Ted Rall was ranting away about our current President being clueles, and he kinda went off the deep end and made some disparaging remark about Obama’s intelligence — finding it inferior to Sarah Palin‘s. I thought nothing of it at the time. Looked to me like a classic case of a hardcore progressive type grasping-at-straws for the MOAB of insults to throw down.

And then HoundOfDoom said something that inspired me.

So now even uber-liberals admit that we would be better off with Palin.

Better Off With HerWelcome aboard!

Took me awhile to figure out the brilliance of it. And then, like I got smacked in the forehead with a two-by-four — That’s It! Announcing…drum roll please…

The Blog That Nobody Reads Better Off With Her campaign. Yessiree. We’ve all been looking for that patch of “common ground” on which the righty-tightee and the lefty-loosies can agree. This is it. You’re looking at it right here.

Yes, it is true…people like me say those four words, we mean one thing — people like Ted Rall say them, they mean something else entirely. They’re trying, once again, to motivate people toward their side with vinegar instead of honey. They’re using the former Governor to help accentuate their insult. Because they’re so veeeeerrrrrryyyyy angry. He Who Was Supposed To End All Suffering has not made them into a happy crowd…not by a damn sight. You see it here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. And dozens upon dozens upon dozens of other places.

So my new campaign is just a little bit sneaky. Just a little bit Obama-like…trying to be all things to all people. Not really quite so much resolving disputes, as papering them over.

What of it? Who freakin’ cares? We’re still agreeing on something aren’t we? Common ground. Middle-o-th’road. Reaching-across-the-aisle. That’s still supposed to be a good thing, is it not? And if we agree on it, it becomes important for the word to get out. Palin might not run. Again — who cares? The slogan still works. If she was running things…if. We’d be better off.

Besides…we would be a lot better off with her.

Take that in whatever way you will.

Memo For File CVII

Monday, February 15th, 2010

I’ve decided the time has come to honor the advice of The Bastidge, and follow it. There is certainly a valid point to be made that the world, and therefore the populace that inhabits it, straddles a chasmatic divide separating two unacknowledged communities, and that each of these communities in perfect isolation would enjoy a harmony that must elude us as we co-exist with each other as a monolith. The divide has something to do with order versus chaos, clarity versus obfuscation, substance versus packaging, individual rights versus community obligations, opportunity versus security, pulling your weight versus fitting-in, logic versus emotion.

We’re seeing it right now with the health care debate. And it substantiates the point all the more when we observe that much of the controversy and dissention swirls around this ramshackle, oxymoronic thing called a “public option.”

I called this “Yin and Yang” out of a desire to get to the bottom of what causes people to pursue, throughout their entire lives, one way of thinking over another. The Yin work within boundaries; the Yang do not. The concept is centuries old, and dates back to periods in different world cultures in which femininity itself was a concept synonymous with the stewardship of quiet, contemplative female chores. In societies like this, it naturally follows that men think of things the way women do in ours, and women must think of things the way men do in ours. Here’s a litmus test: Friend of a friend buys a new car. Or, gets carjacked. It’s a great story to tell for sure, but who is to spend time talking about it?

In an agricultural setting, what happens to one has at least the likelihood of impacting everybody else. And so it makes good sense for people to get together somewhere and swap stories. But these are “Shut Your Girl Mouth Men Are Talking” societies. To whatever extent checking-this-out evolves to become a necessary household chore, it is a manly chore. A railroad’s coming to town, maybe (how does this change things?). Farmer Brown’s crops got wiped out by the cold weather (are ours next?). Who goes down to the saloon to find out about this stuff. It’s not the Mama; there are meals to be cooked, a floor to be swept.

Now, we have the automobile. The printing press. The Internet. Womens’ Lib. And when the time comes to swap tidbits of useful news, who does that? Here is what a lot of people are missing: This is a perfect reversal. We do not have mead halls where the men go to drink beer out of steins and compare prices of bushels of corn. It would be awesome if we did, for sure. But it’s not happening, because the gender roles in our society have flipped around in a perfect one-eighty. Men retreat into their own little worlds, not unlike the kitchens that enveloped their great-grandmothers. Their “kitchens” may be just about anything: A computer with a stubborn virus on it; a classic car that’s being rebuilt; a ham radio or a model train set down in the basement; but there is always a project, it always has a border around it, and that’s what men do.

This awesome Art of Manliness article offers a chronicling of what happened to our mead halls. It began, irony of ironies, with us guys being decent and kind enough to give the ladies the right to vote. Prohibition followed that, and…

For centuries, a man could visit a bar and be in the exclusive presence of other men. Because drinking was seen as a corrupting influence on the “purity and innocence” of women, bars were completely off limits to ladies (exceptions were made for prostitutes, of course). Out of the presence of women and children, men could open up more and revel in their masculinity over a mug of cold ale. However, the bar as a men’s only hangout would quickly see its demise during the dry years of Prohibition.

By banning alcohol, Prohibition forced drinking underground. Speakeasy owners, desperate to make a buck, accepted all drinkers into their establishments, regardless of gender. Moreover, the economic and political empowerment women experienced during the 1920s and 30s made drinking by women more acceptable. By the time Prohibition was repealed, the female presence at the local watering hole had become a common appearance.

World War II only further eroded the male exclusivity of bars and pubs. As more women entered the workforce, it became acceptable to socialize with their male co-workers in taverns and lounges after work.

Today, there aren’t many bars around that cater only to men (gay bars being an obvious exception). Instead, bars have become a place where the sexes come together to mingle and look for a special someone.

Note the article’s title: “The Decline of Male Space.” Men used to own the world. Now, we don’t. We have relinquished the privilege and obligation of socializing, turned it over to the gals, and toddled off to the basement to go play with our train sets. The women do what we used to do — they hold court and they compare their notes with each other, try to see if there’s some hidden meaning of everyday events that might affect the family.

This is precisely what their great-great-grandfathers did. The very same thing.

And so I grow weary of having to explain this. Yes, “Yin” is traditionally female, although I use it to describe a personality attribute that predominantly is to be found in our males. Yang, likewise, is traditionally male, although it describes things our women usually do and that our men, typically, don’t. The concept didn’t flip around, the gender roles did. And so, I have to concede that The Bastidge is accurate in his critique:

Your theory’s alright, if a bit vague and rambling. But Yin and Yang have a specific meaning, and you’re using them more or less backwards.

Yin is a concept roughly aligned with the female, but the concepts covered in your theory- group consciousness, socializing, consensus, softness, weakness, emotion, passivity, are all associated with it.

Yang is roughly male, but also strong, factual, direct, resolute, hard, aggresiive, etc.

In their crudest, most basic form, yin and yang refer to the female and male sexual organs.

My use of these names was arbitrary anyway, and that was on purpose. For the last five years I have seen these as placeholders for something more descriptive that would, and should, come later. After I’d given it another think. Well, with this morass of a health care “debate” that has been taking place, and will surely flare up again later this year, I’ve been forced to give it another think. Besides of which, I’ve met lots and lots of manly-male guys who do their thinking in a much “Yangy-er” way than a lot of the females…so the genders don’t fit well in any case.

And I think the terms are these:

Architects and Medicators.

The word “Architect” is chosen with care. Way back in our history, when written language was a novel idea, architects were “master builders” (which is the etymology of the term). These things they labored to construct, with every little piece of it not put in place properly, could very likely collapse and wipe out an entire family in a heartbeat. And so laws were passed condemning failed architects to a death by stoning (Code of Hammurabi, Law 229). That’s a little gruesome, but it had the effect of galvanizing their chosen profession into a noble discipline.

In their own little community, a “Climategate” e-mail scandal would not, could not, have been tolerated even for an instant. Things were the way they were — period. An angle was ninety degrees, or it wasn’t — period. Up was up and down was down — period. There was no room for bastardizing the peer review process into some mutation of what it was intended to be, to ostracize and excoriate colleagues who spoke measurable truth. The architect, hundreds of years before Christ, lived in an object-oriented world and thought about that world in an object-oriented way.

Okay, now let’s look at what I’ve set up as the polar opposite.

“Medicator,” similarly, is chosen with deliberate thought and intent. “Physician” doesn’t work because physicians are supposed to adhere to the Hypocratic Oath and First Do No Harm. The verb “medicate” is applied to addictions, primary among those being mind-altering substances. It speaks to a process of adjusting one’s emotional response to reality as a first priority, with recognizing that reality as a distinctly second-place priority. Medicators do not heal. Nor do they seek to do harm. The long-term welfare of the body is simply outside of their concern. It isn’t that they don’t care, it’s that there is an emotional well-being that they prize more highly.

To recognize reality as it really is, and to adjust one’s emotional profile in response to the reality so that it is unconditionally cheery, are two mutually-exclusive goals. It may not seem to be the case when reality happens to be pleasant. But when reality is unpleasant you can choose to wrestle with it to whatever extent is required to fix a problem, or you can choose to ignore it in order to keep your emotions on a high and even keel. The sacrifice of long-term satisfaction in order to achieve a short-term high is, of course, a defining hallmark of medicating.

One Revolution AwayNow, these people trying to shove this fustercluck of a health care bill down our throats: It’s no mystery at all where they come down. They are medicators. It is not a primary goal of theirs to actually treat illnesses, heal the sick, bring “healthcare” or “access to healthcare” to “the uninsured.” Nor are they trying — architect-style — to solve any kind of a problem, President Obama’s unceasing speechifying notwithstanding. Think on it: When is the last time you heard anyone in Washington use those phrases above? Been awhile, hasn’t it? No, lately it’s about “getting this done.” Beating the opposition. Winning. Make things the way they/we want them to be. But wait just a second…we’re half way through an election cycle, one that began with their decisive victory. They already beat the opposition. Their victory is forgotten, however, just like a druggie’s high, and they find themselves incomplete, hungry, after-buzzed, struck with a raging case of Delerium Tremens if they don’t score another victory. And after they get that done, of course, they’ll need another and another and another. They live out their lives on a hairpin turn, just like a druggie. Time loses all meaning for them. Bliss is constantly one hit away.

It’s not about health care, of course. It’s about how we think about the world around us. The medicator lives in a gilded cage, waiting passively for someone to come along and fix the latest problem. He does not solve real problems, he does not support anyone who would solve real problems, he does not live in reality. He considers reality itself to be an inimical force. This, ironically, provides a liberating effect. Of course it’s all about the way one does one’s thinking to perceive the world around him, and with someone else assuming the burden of actually fixing the problem, the thinker enjoys the luxury of thinking about things as a non-architect. In a non-object-oriented way. With every little thing on God’s creation, melted together into a sloppy mess. And this overly-medicated “thinker” does not think, in turn, about the resulting mess; instead, he picks up an emotional vibe from it, and shares it with other self-medicated thinkers. That’s the model of reality as perceived by the medicator: A great big ball of warm, gooey wax that’s all melted together, and is now giving off vibes. Hopefully good ones, but if they’re bad ones then someone else needs to fix something — or it’s time for another “hit” of something via one-more-revolution.

Disciplining a child provides a similar contrast. To the architect, everything is cause and effect: The child engaged in undesirable behavior, therefore something needs to be modified about what the child perceives as proper or improper. The solution is to teach the child a new taboo. This can be done through direct communication if the child shares the desire that his behavior should be proper, or through punishment if he does not. First of all the transgression has to be properly categorized — bad attitude, or simple misunderstanding? Then we assess what the child understands about etiquette and go from there. In the Architect’s world, that’s what we do.

In the Medicator’s world, the exercise really is one of medication! Concentrating on something is not a task that was, for one reason or another, failed in this case; it is an ability that has gone missing because the child’s “brain isn’t wired quite right.” Of course the solution is to put the child on a prescription for some goop that will alter his emotional state, and make the process “easier for him.” (It’s nearly always a him.)

Another acid test is when a complex system of any kind starts producing the wrong output, because some unit within it starts to go all wonky — with all the other units in good order. To the Architect and Medicator alike, this is a no-brainer, but they come up with polar-opposite solutions. The Medicator wants to chuck the whole thing and start from scratch, whereas the Architect sees a puzzle to be solved in separating what’s good from what’s busted. Think of Blondie and Dagwood getting in one of their matrimonial melees about whether to call the plumber.

I commented last month that I had finally expunged the malware from my HP Mini notebook. My victory announcement was premature, it turned out. The beastie lived on, downloading other crap onto my platform. It shames me to say it, but if I were to act purely on logic and reasonable cost-benefit analyses, I would have taken the “scorched earth” approach much, much earlier than I did, and lost a lot less time. It became an Ahab/whale thing; I lost sight of fixing the problem, and concentrated instead on figuring out entirely useless trivia about it. Where’d I pick up this thing? What exactly does it contaminate? How come these packages over here can detect it and fool themselves into thinking they’re cleaning it, when they’re not? How come that package over there seems to have “wounded” it (toward the end, it locked up the netbook instead of popping up an ad, which is what it was clearly trying to do)…but can’t quite get all of it?

See, neither Architects or Medicators enjoy a monopoly on always having the right idea. Medicators throw things away in bulk — they are much more inclined to announce “this entire thing is bolluxed!” That is often the right approach, and I have to make a confession…my second one, now…that I’ve often missed out on this advantage when it comes up. Medicators seem to think life has no puzzles in it, none whatsoever. And they probably think this because, in the world they construct around themselves by accepting some responsibilities and simply walking away from some other ones, they’re absolutely right. Choices confront them — choices in which the wrong answer results in some kind of personal suffering — and they become petulant, unpleasant, and then someone else swoops in and solves it for them.

In their world, the question of who gets the “rep” as a problem solver, is completely isolated from the record of who did or didn’t actually solve problems. At no time has this been more evident, than this first year of watching our new President struggle with the demands of His new job. He is a dedicated Medicator. He fixes nothing. The only responsibility He takes is to refine the emotional buzz that comes from this thing or that one…and having failed even at that, He has a ready finger-of-blame to point somewhere else so He can give Himself a good report card. Which He did, actually. That one single act speaks volumes not only to how He thinks about the world and the challenges within it; it is a tip-off to how medicators think as well. You’ll notice this about them if you know some really dedicated ones personally. They enter into conflict with others, because they tend to demand the final word about their own work. It was up to par, the other guy just has a mistaken interpretation of “par.” They followed the instructions they were given, it’s the other guy’s fault for not giving them the right ones.

Running a meeting is yet another good litmus test. Some meeting chairs do it right: Agenda item, question, answer, does anyone have any objections, next agenda item — boom, boom, boom. Others engage in this ludicrous and time-consuming practice of using the forum to adjust the emotional tenor of the participants, as if it’s a high school pep rally. Buying a car: Any salesman will tell you, some people turn their thoughts to the TCO with considerations such as gas mileage, service records, availability of parts. Others worry overly much about how they look when they’re tooling around in the car, what strangers will think of them.

Homeowners’ Association bylaws can be written to accommodate one of these halves of humanity, or the other, or both. This is a rather interesting situation, because the bylaws represent an attempt to “architect” a successful neighborhood, through the “medication” of the emotions of the people who observe it. Here and there, though, we see stories in the news surrounding HOA bylaws that are, to turn a rustic phrase, just plain stupid. They don’t do anything to make people feel good and it seems extravagant and far-fetched to suppose they could have anything to do with preserving the value of the property. Banning the American flag is the one example that springs immediately to mind, since those stories have a way of jumping onto the front page.

The last time we linked one of these, the story in question showcased a persistent trait among the Medicators: proxy offense.

[M]anagement told them the flags could be offensive because they live in a diverse community.

The controlling curmudgeon lays down the curmudgeonly rule, and the curmudgeon is silent on whether he or she personally finds the emblem, the e-mail, the cologne, the pin-up calendar, et al, offensive. It’s much more often proxy: Some third party is offended. Or some third party could be offended. The impossible-to-meet “Could Be Interpreted As” standard of cleanliness. It is conceivably possible, therefore the contraband has to go. The curmudgeon will oversee the removal. But it’s business and not personal, see? Just like something out of The Godfather: “Tell Michael I always liked him, it was business, not personal.” Some nameless faceless anonymous person complained, or could complain.

This dedicated Architect says — Medicators really shouldn’t be running anything. They don’t want to. They don’t want the responsibility. This is why these columns are now coming out, some serious and some satirical, that speculate openly that President Obama is perhaps bored and disenchanted with His own job. I no longer consider it to be commentary outside my sphere of knowledge, to proffer that President Obama had some serious misgivings the first time He made a decision about something that had little-or-nothing to do with winning an election, saw that His decision had a direct bearing upon the outcome, and emotionally recoiled. I have seen this happen too many times, up close. In the months since then, the country has been buried in this “awkward stage” in which He tries to confront each and every single challenge with a vision that, as this-or-that chapter reaches the final page, the emotional buzz of those watching has been fine-tuned and frothed up into a desirable state of bliss. This is, I’m sure, why we’ve seen so many speeches out of Him during His first year, and will doubtless see about that many out of Him during His second.

We live in a society in which our every want and need is met, with resistance or inconvenience that is at best negligible. It may not seem like that to us at the time because we’re spoiled; we tend to mistake a temporary slow-down, or wrong turn, or setback, for a real possibility of failure in acquiring what we’re trying to acquire. Deep down, we all know we’re not really being challenged by much of anything; we will get what we are trying to get, one way or the other, so long as some minimal quantity of our peers are also trying to get the same thing. If all else fails we’ll band together and our populist rage will force someone to give it to us. We’re supposed to be so worried about “the economy” but we have our beer, our coffee, our big teevee screens. The only things that are really in jeopardy are the self-respect and dignity that come from having a job, and the same for our children. All other things are guaranteed, in one way or another. They don’t face any real jeopardy.

This state of hyper-safe hyper-civilization has aggravated the divide between — whate’er you wanna callzem, Yin and Yang, or Architects and Medicators — as I’ve pointed out before. It creates a bigger divide on such fundamental questions as: What is a good speech, anyway? What is a convincing argument? Is it thinky-thinky or feelie-feelie? In other words, do you progress systematically among the first three pillars, basing your opinions/inferences upon available fact and things-to-do upong the opinions/inferences. Or, do you just stir up a whole lot of motivating emotions in your audience, get them all outraged against some straw-man Snidely Whiplash, anti-logical exuberance for your “ideas,” Obama-style?

And the fact is, Architects have a definite idea in mind about the answer to such rudimentary questions.

Another fact is, Medicators have a definite idea about the answer as well. These ideas are not the same. They are opposites.

Another fact is, neither side is willing to budge on such issues. If you have a pulse, and a brain, and you’ve been using your brain to solve problems that confront you here and there…each day you stay alive further enmeshes you in the answer you chose, way back, before you were five years old.

And the least inconvenient fact of all is that if we cannot agree on questions like those, we aren’t going to agree on anything else.

We are engaged in a discourse between people who understand how to make real decisions, and those who do not understand this and do not seek to understand this. They don’t see the need. But since they’ve “won,” for the time being it is their job…even if they continue to find ways to weasel out of it, and blame others when the job goes undone.

Who Do I Respect Less Than Meghan?

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

I think it’s gotta be people who think she’s some kind of Republican. She surfaces, tosses out some throwaway words about how much She Loves This Party, but is really concerned about the blah blah blah of the hour…blows a whistle, imposes a penalty, waggles a fat finger in her self-appointed role as Extremism Cop. And then descends. That’s it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The democrats are approaching our public debt problem by spending lots of money and bragging about it. They’re ignoring the people to transform our health care system into something that resembles the other countries with lesser systems, the ones who send their sick here to receive the treatment they can’t get there. Within my understanding, McCain hasn’t tweeted a peep of protest against any of it.

Via Riehl World View, we acquire a link to that most sacred of highbrow intellectual cloisters, The Huffington Post. Huffington Post embeds a video from that other highbrow intellectual cloister, The View. And on The View, this chubby girl who was born on October 23, 1984 worries ominously about how much Tom Tancredo’s speech reminds her of what was going on in “the fifties”…

…just damn. These are the people who condescend to Sarah Palin for reasons dealing with intellectual acumen?

Hey Meghan, you know Tancredo has been pushing this civics literacy test for awhile, and his challenge is on the table for anyone, anywhere, to find a single racist question in it. Maybe you should take him up on it. Pull your nose away from Twitter once in awhile.

Last I heard (although my information could be out of date), questions similar to these were being demanded of the legal immigrants who came here and sought to become naturalized citizens. You know…that crowd isn’t all pasty-white either, and if I were among them and having to take the time to learn this stuff, then learning my illegal counterparts were voting without taking the time to assimilate in the culture in any way — I’d be pretty upset about it.

So when are you going to stand up for their interests, cetacean Extremism-Cop lady? Why do you have to be so raaaaacist about it?

And Whoopi. Did I hear you right? Tancredo should get his facts straight because some of the people who voted for Obama knew precisely what they were doing? Like you?


Ms. Goldberg, I think Tancredo’s facts might be just as straight as anybody else’s…

Yes. Civics literacy test. And I got a gut feel it might do us some good to make sure Meghan McCain is the first one to take it. No peeking at your neighbor’s paper!

You’d have to be an insane fool, or gloriously uninvolved and distracted, to say we don’t need something. Sorry if this brings back painful fifty-year-old memories in the impressive noggin of this twenty-five-year-old girl, but the system is missing something. If, indeed, it’s racist to simply point that out, then we might as well shut the whole experiment down.

The Curtain Has Fallen

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Wow…it’s turned into a tired theme by now, but this one is still worth running. It’s just so dirge-o-matic.

The curtain has come down on what can best be described as a brief un-American moment in our history. That moment began in the fall of 2008, with the great financial panic, and gave rise to the Barack Obama phenomenon.

The nation’s faith in institutions and time-honored ways had cracked. In a little-known senator from Illinois millions of Americans came to see a savior who would deliver the nation out of its troubles. Gone was the empiricism in political life that had marked the American temper in politics. A charismatic leader had risen in a manner akin to the way politics plays out in distressed and Third World societies.

There is nothing surprising about where Mr. Obama finds himself today. He had been made by charisma, and political magic, and has been felled by it. If his rise had been spectacular, so, too, has been his fall. The speed with which some of his devotees have turned on him—and their unwillingness to own up to what their infatuation had wrought—is nothing short of astounding. But this is the bargain Mr. Obama had made with political fortune.

Obama? Un-American? Who’d a-thought it? I mean, other than by His use of the word “we.”

I notice when “we” have done something really great, in that context “we” means Him and His administration; when “we” have done something morally questionable “for far too long,” that’s when “we” can be taken to mean the rest of the country. Other than that, I can’t think of too many indicators that Obama is anti-American.

Although I suppose when you think about it, that’s plenty. Over the course of several hundreds of speeches, our President has had a lot of opportunity to deviate from the pattern. And never once, to the best I can recall, has.

Apart from that, I’m just completely bowled over by this realization that charisma alone can’t solve everything!

Eh, no I’m not. I’ve often been heard to say that “charismatic” people, people with “excellent communication skills,” probably lose corporate America up to a trillion dollars every quarter if not more. So it failed yet again. I’m not even overwhelmed. Just kinda…whelmed.

America Slowly Recovers From Hangover, Christopher Buckley Still Drunk

Friday, January 29th, 2010

What else is there to be said? You tell bald-faced lies, but if you have that lilt to your voice and There’s Just Something About you, hey it’s all good.

[President Obama] proved himself capable, too, of drama, as when he (figuratively) pointed a finger at the Supremes, sitting in their courtly robes directly in front of him, hands demurely folded, and accused them (in my opinion, unjustly, to say nothing of injudiciously) of allowing “foreign enemies” to influence our elections. I had been under the impression that it was called “free speech.” But never mind. It was an electrifying moment. Thank you, Mr. President.

Yeah I thought the guy was getting mad props because He was “no-drama Obama”; don’t know what happened to that.

I don’t understand these people, I really don’t. And I definitely mean that in the plural because Buckley is not the only one by any means. You know the type; yes it’s provably untrue, but it makes me feel so good I wanna fall for it anyway, and you should too. They’re still out there.

Buckley kicks off this fine piece of sermonizing with —

It is hard, indeed almost impossible, not to like Mr. Obama. In recent weeks, I’ve tried—tried my best. But Wednesday night he made it virtually impossible. Even discounting the perhaps 40 percent of the speech that consisted of the usual bromides and platitudes, even the most hardened skeptic must admit—the son of gun gives one hell of a speech.

The President’s gestures and comments were injudicious, unfair, untrue, imprudent, demagogic, snobbish and just plain rude. But “the son of a gun gives one hell of a speech” so this makes up for everything else?

Is it really impossible not to like Obama?

Let’s find out. Hmm. What’s Blogsister Daphne have to say?

I was going to wait until he was done, but I can’t.

I despise this shallow man and everything he stands for.

He’s either:

A) a full blown socialist.

B) an idiot.

C) a lobotomy patient.

D) a liar

E) demented

F) full of shit

G) a hypocrite

H) Poorly raised by a delusional hippie Boomer

I’m going for the full combo…

Advantage Daphne; you lose, Chris. Your slobbering hosannas weren’t true in 2008, and now they’re just outdated, and not a little bit.

Didn’t your Dad tell you? The millions of your fellow citizens who are now doing what you claim is virtually impossible, will be able to fill you in: Elections have consequences. Yes, a lot of Obama voters are still on your side — the first step to getting better is admitting you have a problem — but a whole lot more of them have started the long road to recovery, and are getting ready to apologize to the rest of us for putting the country through the entirely avoidable events of 2009.

It seems you have a keen eye for the hot new trend, or are trying to develop one. Hope you’re not the last to hop onto this one.

Update: Here’s one out of many possible examples of an issue that is just a touch more important than “giving one hell of a speech”:

The two police officers who ended the Fort Hood massacre viewed the State of the Union address from a spot reserved for national heroes: right next to first lady Michelle Obama.

Sgts. Mark Todd and Kimberly Munley watched the State of the Union address seated next to Michelle Obama.

President Barack Obama did not mention Sgts. Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd – or the Fort Hood shooting – during Wednesday’s speech. But the two officers joined in a standing ovation when the president addressed all of those who serve and support the military.

“All of our men and women in uniform – in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world – they have to know that they have our respect, our gratitude and our full support,” Obama said. [emphasis mine]

On a tip from Towanda, commenter over at Buck’s place, responding to our New Mexico friend’s recap of Wednesday’s big event.

Just d-i-s-gusting. They were there. Right freakin’ there. Mister Wonderful didn’t feel it was worth His time to utter a single syllable. Too busy second-guessing the Supreme Court “with all due respect to the separation of powers.”

How nice it would have been to hear Mister Dulcet Tone call out the heroes by name, ask them to stand up, and request a round of well-deserved applause. But would that fall into the category of “Failed Policies of the Last Eight Years”? Because I got a feeling President Obama’s successor would-a done it…no ifs, ands or buts. And at the end of it, there’d be good things for people to say about Bush’s State of the Union besides the pat-answer thrill-up-my-leg stuff. The country wouldn’t be so divided about it. Even with the declining approval ratings, Soros’ billions of dollars brainwashing people into thinking it was some kind of human tragedy or war crime to take down Saddam Hussein…that remained the case. Heroes were called out for positive acknowledgment, those who disagreed or obstructed were not publicly humiliated like that, and there was…you know…some measure of class.

An entire generation seems to be in need of learning the lesson: Class is not the same as charisma. It is not the same as giving “one hell of a speech.” It’s a different thing, and maybe it falls into the Louis Armstrong If You Have To Ask You’re Never Gonna Know file. I’m thinking Daphne, in the very moment in which she peels off with her potty-mouth, has more class in her little finger than Christopher Buckley has in his whole body.

Sorry, that’s just the way it is. You lost massive points. Your Holy Man loves to talk a lot about “those who caused this mess in the first place” — and this year that’s people just like you, more than any “fat cat bankers,” when you get right down to it. You caused the mess we’re in right now, in the first place, because you’re overly enamored of smooth-talking salesmen, you aren’t tuned in to the idea that things have a causative relationship to other things…and for reasons nobody can explain, you want to vote anyway.

Update: Oopsie! If indeed there is a great cross-section of Americana that remains slobberingly fixated on the Community Organizer, there is gathering evidence that the feeling’s not mutual: Obama is becoming bored with the job.

SOTU 2010

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

No, I won’t produce a new Obama Speech Bingo card. It’s adequate as it is now…although I have another list, some 52 items long and growing. I’ll just sit through the speech and put in some updates to it. He really does like His buzzwords, doesn’t He? For too long…we haven’t always done what’s right…let me be clear…crisis…journey…around their kitchen tables…on and on it goes.

In the coming decades, “Obama/Biden” is going to have a meaning all its own. Envision this: Your company’s entire division is called in for a mandatory meeting because a new executive has just been put in charge. He spends two hours plying you with buzzwords that don’t mean a goddamn thing. While filing down the hallways to go get some work done, you’re asked your opinion and you say “The guy seems to me like a real Obama/Biden,” meaning his whole way of doing things has to do with giving stale, recycled speeches and not really knowing or caring much about the business.

It’s set in already. You have to admit it: If, today, you asked a co-worker what he thought of a new boss, and he chose to give you that answer, there’d be no uncertainty about what he was trying to say. None.

And we got here by means of classic Valley-Girl/Dumbass-Jock thinking straight out of high school. You know what I mean: If anyone is engaged in something you don’t understand, it must mean it’s the other guy who’s stupid, because he’s a “nerd,” not much fun to watch, and nobody ever lets him join in any reindeer games. Whoever has “charisma,” gives off that “vibe” — that must be the smarty-pants. Fifteen months ago we bought into that, and now we have to listen to the soul-sucking, energy-sucking, time-sucking boss throw his bromides at us four times or more every week.

“Obama/Biden” is an anagram of “An Idea Bomb.”

“Too Sexy For America”

Monday, January 25th, 2010

The White House photostream on Flickr has offered up this image, and it’s an interesting lesson to all of us about the grayness and squishiness of that blurry fat line that separates politics from…well, everything else.

Too SexySlobbering Obama fan JMBOwer says it very well, in my opinion. Or would, if the situation was as simple as he puts it,

I always have to laugh at the same sort of people who got steamed at any criticism of Bush as being “not respectful of the office of the president” now coming on to make gratuitous negative comments anywhere they can.

In American politics, it seems ethics are imminently situational.

The photo, on the other hand is fantastic. Politics are irrelevant to the quality of the pic.

Jenius Photography goes for a more neutral stance:

Listen, regardless of whether you like President Obama or not, the White House photostream is not about politics. It’s about the artistic aspect of the photography. The White House photographers are amazing at capturing what would have been unseen moments. They have amazing talent and the best job.

And please don’t assume that I’m “Pro-Obama” just because I said all that. I’m just tired of reading through political comments to see what people actually thought about the photograph itself.

lat54205 concurs:

FLICKR is all about the photography…….not about political opinions.

Go put your opinions in political blogs.

Please let us enjoy this wonderful photography.

Thank You.

And that’s as straight as it gets, right? Right? Simple? Reduced to atomic particles? Measurable? No ifs, ands or buts?

Not so fast. What about comments like these…

Ahhhh memories. Awesome shot.
Excellent shot. Great memories – I’m glad I was there.
I still believe.
!!!!!!!!! excellent!!!!!!
i love this portrait and this moment.
Hooray! I am still glad you are President.
great moment.
From one year ago today I’ve been able to respect the intelligence, decency and good will of the man who holds the presidency. Thank God for him!
It’s been an intense year, I hope he believes in himself as much as we believe in him.

Are those comments “political”?

You have to be delusional, certifiably nuts, or dysfunctionally unintelligent to respond in the negative. And yet…here we are. A full year later, an impressive glut of Flickr regulars, and God only knows how representative they are of Americana, is fully caught up in 1-20-2009 Hopenchange euphoria. This is how it works.

Don’t go getting all political!

“OMG He sends a tingle up my leg!!!” is apolitical.

“Erm…I seem to recall He told us things that turned out to be untrue” — that’s political, and therefore toxic. Shame on you.

“I’ve changed my middle name to Hussein!” — not political.

That’s how it works. And the Massachusetts thing doesn’t mean it’s all behind us, by any means. We’re still right in the thick of all of it.

Hat tip to The Jawa Report, where commenter d_fitz sums up the situation adroitly: “I’m too sexy for America.”

Bumper Sticker of the Year

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

From the personal observation of my fellow Webloggin contributor Bookworm Room, hat tip once again to blogger friend Gerard:


Mmm, hmmm.

Investing in Enron…giving your checking account number to that Nigerian Prince in the e-mail with sucky spelling and grammar…voting Obama/Biden ’08.

The three big dumbass moves, as the 21st century opens.

I stand by my comment:

You want to see what meaningless, vague generalities look like — as a Palin hater why they have so much hate.

You want to see what compelling, well-thought-out specifics look like, as[k] an Obama voter why he’s sorry.

Oh, and Joe Biden, Janet Napolitano, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank all make Sarah Palin look like a genius. Not just my opinion; “middle-of-the-road” America agrees. Probably.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form XXIX

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

ImageShack tells me it was early June when I uploaded this one:

Perhaps it was for this item over here.

Mark Steyn has been noticing the same subtle central theme that permeates throughout all the Hopenchange policies. He echoes my point, but has some hard data to back it up:

He only gave (according to CBS News’s Mark Knoller) 158 interviews and 411 speeches in his first year. That’s more than any previous president — and maybe more than all of them put together. But there may still be some show out there that didn’t get its exclusive Obama interview — I believe the top-rated Grain & Livestock Prices Report — 4 a.m. Update with Herb Torpormeister on WZZZ-AM Dead Buzzard Gulch Junction’s Newstalk Leader is still waiting to hear back from the White House.

But what will the president be saying in all these extra interviews? In that interview about how he hadn’t given enough interviews, he also explained to George Stephanopoulos what that wacky Massachusetts election was all about:

“The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” said Obama. “People are angry and they’re frustrated, not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

Got it. People are so angry and frustrated at George W. Bush that they’re voting for Republicans. In Massachusetts. Boy, I can’t wait for that 159th interview.

Of course it goes without saying — although it seems there’s always some pipsqueek around to say, and say & say & say & say some more — that each speech is levels of magnitude greater than the one immediately previous, which in turn is so much more wonderful than all the speeches that came before.

It is getting awfully tiresome, isn’t it?

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

“Can’t Win Them All”

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Great Scott.

State Sen. Scott Brown has pulled a Bay State bombshell by upsetting his Democratic rival to capture the open U.S. Senate seat by a 5-point margin.

Brown, 50, of Wrentham, will roll into Washington as Congress wrestles with health-care reform. But Brown has vowed to be “the 41st Senator” who will defeat the measure and bust up the Democratic supermajority.

Democrat Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general, has gone down in a stunning defeat. Brown has won 52-47 percent, with 94 percent of the precincts reporting. Independent Joseph L. Kennedy finished way back with 1 precent of the vote.

In her concession speech, Coakley said President Obama called her to say, “We can’t win them all.”

It’s history. And every time it’s mentioned, I’m going to immediately think of Daphne’s comment:


Obama takes one right in the nads!!!!!

Way to go Massachusetts!

Drinks are on me, boys.

I Told You SoWhat happens from here on out? Frank has some predictions.

* The Democrats will try to rush their Obamacare bill through the House, not even checking it for errors, and we’ll all wind up with free halth care.

* Obama locking himself in his office, and when he’s told the people want to hear from him, he’ll say, “I’m too awesome for the American people! They don’t deserve me!” This will be followed by loud weeping.

* Left-wing blogs will break down into even more rage and incoherence such that posts will just be made by the bloggers angrily bashing their keyboards with their tiny fists.

Guess I can stop writing posts with the recurring headline “Twilight of Honeymoon.” It’s freakin’ pitch black now, and the honeymoon’s over. Undeniably. In less than a year.

Update: When my optimism of the human condition gets to be a little bit too high, I hit FARK. Cures me every time.

In fact, while I can always predict the outcome, sometimes I cannot predict the means. Case in point — you’ll never guess what they’re doing tonight. Never in a million years. If your very first exposure to the site was through this thread, you’d swear on your grandmother’s bones that the place was an underground bulletin board for lifelong Republicans. “Take that, you stinking democrats!” seems to be the prevailing theme. “Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of assholes!”

You FARK people…who in the blue fuck do you think you’re kidding. You’d have to cross-reference the names to find out for sure: Are these people changing their tune, now that York has overthrown Lancaster…or is it one crowd of people, previously overbearing, now shutting up; and another one, previously silent, letting loose? Which one is it?

Does it really matter?

People are jackals. Cowardly jackals. Fucking hyenas. Scavengers of the first order. Well…you read it here first, folks. FARK is now a hard-right Republican news site. Obama? Aw, they could never stand the guy, nope.

Well, whatever. Tomorrow, we start following the saga surrounding the “halth care” bill. It should be in terminal decline. I won’t stop worrying about it until the dirt is hitting the coffin lid.

Bury it with Ted’s rancid carcas, and dump nine feet of wet cement on the whole stinking mess. You want a nanny state to manage your aches and pains and treat you like a five-year-old with a tummy ache, there’s a hundred other countries you can go. I’ll help you pack. One-way ticket.

Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself… XXVI

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

All the news worth printing over the last month or so (minus the Haiti thing), distilled down into a single brief paragraph from Gabriel Malor at Ace of Space HQ:

…Democrats just aren’t that excited about this election. Martha Coakley is a certified idiot. And as much as Obama wants something — ANYTHING — with the words “Health” and “America” to pass Congress, not even the Democrats are excited about the Senate or House versions of healthcare reform. Second only to the Christmas Day attack, the dominant news story since Christmas has been how much the Senate hates the House version; how much the House hates the Senate version; and how much Democratic constituents hate both. Game over, man.

Now here’s something I did say…over at the place of the purse-dog-obsessed Gerard Van der Leun, who was asking the entirely legitimate question: What if Obama does fail? I recall wearing my “Hope He Fails” tee shirt out to dinner to meet an old acquaintance and his O-worshipping wife, who was aghast at my attire. Naturally, she thought I wanted the country to fail. Well, I’m not buying the O-worship. I see the logic. If Obama succeeds, the country fails, and vice-versa. She, in turn, was not seeing that. So……subject change. And no, dinner was not unbelievably awkward. The most unpleasant thing that happened was that my ol’ roomy really didn’t like his prawns-scallops-and-cayenne dish. The political-opinion-differences didn’t enter into it. That’s the way it works in mature-adult-land. We get past that stuff.

The dish, for what it’s worth, was cooked expertly IMO. But I don’t think it belongs on a restaurant menu, no. It’s really an acquired taste. If you appreciate the way seafood, red pepper and lime mix together, you’d love it. To most people it’s like gulping orange juice in the morning right after brushing your teeth and gargling minty mouthwash. And I’m on that side.

Wow, that was a bunny trail.

Back to the subject at hand: Gerard was asking where the country is if Obama fails. And if we do want Obama to fail, shouldn’t we at least put some thought into this before we wish too hard. That’s a good point. My response:

Forty-four men have taken the oath of office of President in Obama’s universe; in mine, only forty-three, which is almost as many.

Of those, it is fair to say at least two-thirds were placeholders. Say what you want for-or-against Reagan, Clinton and GWB, but all three of them distinguished themselves in office. They were definers. (“Bush Pere” I would categorize as falling somewhere on the wall that separates the two halves I’m talking about.)

We have been incredibly fortunate these last thirty years to see what real Presidents do. It’s just time for a milquetoast, in fact we’re overdue. Law of averages. We’ll survive it.

By the way, I know you’re just asking a sincere question and trying to get a decent answer. But you’ve inadvertently supplied a perfect definition for the word “Obama” in the generations ahead of us. Somewhat synonymous with “seagull manager.” All hat no cattle. Post turtle. An ultimately unfortunate soul who talks a good game, fulfills the writ of the Peter Principle in grand style, and ends up with vastly more power and authority than he was ever intended to have. If I may be allowed to inject just one more hackneyed metaphor — the dog that finally caught the car.

People who wanted the job, and once they got it just ended up in the way, well be told to “Quit Obama-ing!”

If you’re American and you’re under thirty, you haven’t had a President Millard Filmore or Chester Alan Arthur in your lifetime. And back in their day, they were just filling out a consecutive, contiguous parade of phone-it-in presidents. That’s how it was done. The trend was unbroken save for Abraham Lincoln and, if you’ve done your research and concluded favorably, perhaps Grover Cleveland and Ulysses Grant. From 1837 to the end of the century it was just one long string of duds.

This is my hope for Barack Obama: To be a one-term, modern-day Martin van Buren. That’s how He can do the least amount of damage. And the evidence of my senses tells me He’s already there.

He is smallpox, after the epidemic has ended and the last specimen has been — not destroyed — safely isolated into a single vial, where it can be studied, and have no further ill effect on anything outside that vial. If things go well Tuesday, this will be confirmed once and for all.

His Blank Slate X

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a rather vicious swipe at President Obama — or — belittled, perhaps rightfully, the practice of anyone taking what democrat candidates have to say on the campaign trail seriously. One or the other.

Pelosi emerged from a meeting with her leadership team and committee chairs in the Capitol to face an aggressive throng of reporters who immediately hit her with C-SPAN’s request that she permit closed-door final talks on the bill to be televised.

A reporter reminded the San Francisco Democrat that in 2008, then-candidate Obama opined that all such negotiations be open to C-SPAN cameras.

“There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail,” quipped Pelosi, who has no intention of making the deliberations public.

That day, Bagdad Bob Gibbs, the President’s Press Secretary, sidestepped the issue entirely:

QUESTION: C-Span television is requesting leaders in Congress to open up the debate to their cameras, and I know this is something that the President talked about on the campaign trail. Is this something that he supports, will be pushing for?

GIBBS: I have not seen that letter. I know the President is going to begin some discussions later today on health care in order to try to iron out the differences that remain between the House and the Senate bill and try to get something hopefully to his desk quite quickly…

The following day, when Gibbs would presumably have had time to see all the letters he wants to see, he discovered the issue wasn’t going away. And he dealt with it in a way that is rapidly becoming the hallmark of his adminstration:

QUESTION: During the campaign the President on numerous occasions said words to the effect of — quoting one — “all of this will be done on C-SPAN in front of the public.” Do you agree that the President is breaking an explicit campaign promise?

GIBBS: Chip, we covered this yesterday and I would refer you to yesterday’s transcript.

QUESTION: But today is today and —

GIBBS: And the answer that I would give today is similar to the one —

QUESTION: But there was an intervening meeting in which it’s been reported that the President pressed the leaders in Congress to take the fast-track approach, to skip the conference committee. Did he do that?

GIBBS: The President wants to get a bill to his desk as quickly as possible.

QUESTION: In spite of the fact that he promised to do this on C-Span?

GIBBS: I would refer you to what we talked about in this room yesterday.

“LOOP, ENDLESS: See ‘Endless Loop.’ ENDLESS LOOP: See ‘Loop, Endless.'”

Things got even sillier after that…

QUESTION: Well, does the President think it would be more helpful if this process were more transparent, that the American people could see —

GIBBS: Mike, how many stories do you think NBC has done on this?

QUESTION: Speaking for myself —

GIBBS: Just a guess.

QUESTION: That’s not the issue. The issue is whether he broke an explicit campaign promise.

GIBBS: So the answer is —

QUESTION: I deal with the information that —

GIBBS: So the answer is hundreds, is that correct?

QUESTION: Right, but that’s got nothing to do with it. I deal with the information, however much or little of it, there is. I’m saying would people benefit by having more information?

GIBBS: Have you lacked information in those hundred stories? Do you think you’ve reported stuff that was inaccurate based on the lack of information?

QUESTION: Democrats ran against the very sort of process that is being employed in this health care —

GIBBS: We had this discussion yesterday. I answered this yesterday. Is there anything —

QUESTION: But the President met with members of Congress in the meantime —

GIBBS: And he’ll do so today.

QUESTION: — and pressed them to —

GIBBS: Do you have another question?

Perhaps, now, those that need to figure it out can now do so. These people think they’re popular and always will be…or dang it, that’s the way things should work, anyway. They think they’re wonderful public speakers and that’s all that should matter. So they can say the most absurd things, like for example “the system worked perfectly.” We’ll just gulp it all down and beg for more. All of us.

I suppose it makes some kind of sense if you think back to the campaign of ’08. Hope! Change! Greek columns! Planted sluts, pretending to faint!

Hate to say it, but a genuine revolution would look so good right now. Not a pressuring of the President to resign at noon tomorrow, but a complete dismantling of the Government. New Constitution. A “reboot.” One in which (somehow) nobody gets hurt.

Imagine the message that would send to the world. They’d say “Holy CRAP!, the Americans just took down Obama! He failed some of His campaign promises, so they took Him out! Marched Him out at midnight, in His underwear. Those Americans…you tell them something, you’d better live up to it.”

And then, in my fantasy, all those other countries say “Hey — come to think of it, our own leaders lie to us pretty regularly, hmmm.”

And that is change I can believe in. The entire world facing down gasbag politicians — the world! — and telling them “We don’t give two shits how wonderful of a public speaker you think you are.” The human race acting…well…intelligently. Treating the garrulous lectern people, with all their perfect lilts and cadences, their expensive suits and their perfect hair, exactly the same way we treat car salesmen. Or anybody else. Keep your promises and maybe you can have our trust. For a while. Break them, and all bets are off.

Instead, we drift from one year to the next, humming Fleetwood Mac lyrics…

This Is Good LXIV

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

By way of Don Stott at Musket Balls.

“Penis Monologues”?

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Little PrickLike any good progressive, I’ve gone from admiration to hope to disappointment to anger when it comes to this president. Now I’m fast getting to rage. I’ve really been trying not to write an article every other week about all the things I don’t like about Barack Obama. But the little prick is making it very hard.

Really, are you going to spend the next three interminable years perfecting your whiney victim persona? I don’t really think I could bear that. Hearing you complain about how rough it all is, when you have vastly more power than any of us to fix it? Please. Not that.

David Michael Green, professor of political science at Hofstra University, OpEdNews December 19, 2009

From The Morning After.

By way of blogger friend Gerard.

It Didn’t Go on the Cutting Room Floor

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

It was put up on the White House Flickr page. And how come that is, anyway?

Another Black Consevative comments,

Personally, as a photographer this shot would have been in my discard pile. The reduced size image makes Obama look sleepy or worse yet, tipsy. Sleepy or tipsy looking images of the president should be an automatic red flag to discard the image for any photographer.

Even the high resolution version leaves much to be desired. Obama looks like he has contempt for Biden (given the Joe “The Gaff Machine” Biden’s performance this year, that maybe a possibility). This again reminds me of how this administration seems to have become oblivious to the images they project to the public.

But…but…but…when you put people in charge who are obsessed with image, sure you might lose out on substance. But you at the very least always get the awareness of image, right? Right?

Or the image of awareness?

Guess not. I guess sometimes you sacrifice all other competencies for that one thing, and then you lose that one thing as well.

Ready to call it a failed experiment yet?

How to Cover Obama’s Double-Homicide

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

John Hawkins printed up a list of the Top 40 Quotes From 2009, and we got a trackback out of it because we came up with #11. For grins, we decided to skim through it top to bottom, and we realized we completely missed out on this eight-month-old Onion article.

Sadly, it remains just as relevant today as it was then.

Media Having Trouble Finding Right Angle On Obama’s Double-Homicide

More than a week after President Barack Obama’s cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime.

“I know there’s a story in there somewhere,” said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama’s home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. “Right now though, it’s probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation.”

Added Meacham, “It’s not so cut and dried.”

Since the killings took place, reporters across the country have struggled to come up with an appropriate take on the ruthless crime, with some wondering whether it warrants front-page coverage, and others questioning its relevance in a fast-changing media landscape.

“What exactly is the news hook here?” asked Rick Kaplan, executive producer of the CBS Evening News. “Is this an upbeat human-interest story about a ‘day in the life’ of a bloodthirsty president who likes to kill people? Or is it more of an examination of how Obama’s unusual upbringing in Hawaii helped to shape the way he would one day viciously butcher two helpless citizens in their own home?”

“Or maybe the story is just that murder is cool now,” Kaplan continued. “I don’t know. There are a million different angles on this one.”

So far, the president’s double-homicide has not been covered by any major news outlets. The only two mentions of the heinous tragedy have been a 100-word blurb on the Associated Press wire and an obituary on page E7 of this week’s edition of the Lake County Examiner.

Since this one was printed up, the Obama administration has specifically fingered Fox News as “not a real news organization.” The Onion piece reports — prophesies — why this might be. Some bit of fact emerges that is unflattering to the administration, and Fox News comes out and actually reports it. I mean, hey, what in the world is up with that? What responsible news organization would do such a thing?