Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Appearance of Pyrrhus was Self-Defeating

by Smitty

Dan Riehl points to Bill Kristol wondering aloud if the healthcare debate will prove a Pyrrhic victory for the Dems.

Again, Dan: if the Federal government's legitimacy in tampering with individuals remains unchallenged, then the Progressives are correct to view this conservative grousing as so much sound and fury.

In summary, in the broader sweep of history, the US Constitution itself shall have proven a Pyrrhic victory if we don't vanquish the Progressive vampire sucking the vitality out of our politics.

Federalism Amendment

More evidence (as if more were needed) that Conor Friedersdorf is a narcissist

Arguing with a narcissist is pointless, because the narcissist doesn't really care about the merits on either side of the argument. The ultimate point of the narcissist's argument is his own superiority (cf., Charles Johnson).

So it is with Conor Friedersdorf and the question of whether Sarah Palin's supporters are motivated by ressentiment. Julian Sanchez argued so last week, offering little more than a highhanded rehash of the ancient Adorno/Hofstadter psychoanalytic putdown of conservatism -- "status anxiety," blah, blah, blah -- which required in response that the knife be thrust to the hilt. ("When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way.")

It happened that Sanchez had linked Conor Friedersdorf's guest-blog at the Daily Dish, Palin-Hater HQ since the day she was announced as John McCain's running mate. And today Friedersdorf returned to the subject with the telling assertion that Sanchez's critics merely prove that he, Conor, was right:
When the Rebuttals Prove Your Point
In the last couple days, Julian Sanchez and I wrote posts arguing that a vocal group on the right are engaging in what Mr. Sanchez terms "the politics of ressentiment." . . .
It is noteworthy that both of us used the words "inferiority complex" in our posts . . .
(Is "noteworthy" a synonym for "tautological"?)

Indeed, explicit in our posts is the assumption that their "complex" is irrational. "Mark Levin, a man intelligent enough that he needn't have an inferiority complex," I wrote, "for some reason adopts the rhetorical style of the classic insecure bully -- juvenile name calling, constant self-aggrandizement, vituperative outbursts." . . .
Read the whole thing, or don't, if you wish to avoid the annoyance. In his first two paragraphs, Friedersdorf employs six first-person singular pronouns, a giveaway of his narcissistic purpose, his objective being to demonstrate his own superiority to . . . well, everyone, really.

Conor is engaged in the politics of aspiration, aiming to win acceptance by the elite as a certified intellectual, a pundit. This requires that he shoulder the heavy burden of fiercely defending his own reputation. It won't do to allow Sanchez to one-up him and steal his thunder. Therefore "I . . . I . . . I . . . I . . . my . . . I."

Sanchez's argument was wrong, but it was at least interesting and eloquent in its wrongness -- a lively read, no matter how infuriatingly smug its underlying assumptions. By contrast, the writing in Conor's posts (both the original and its sequel) is lifelessly leaden, weighed down by a stultifying self-seriousness.

Conor's arguments aren't actually about Sarah Palin or her supporters (or Matt Continetti's defense of Palin). Conor is arguing on behalf of Conor: Take Me Seriously, Dammit!

Good luck with that.

UPDATE: Via Instapundit, we find Ann Althouse engaged with another Daily Dish problem: Is you is or is you ain't Sully? Under fire from Lachlan Markay of Newsbusters, the former pseudo-Sully Patrick Appel responds:
Lachlan Markay pretends that my doing research for Andrew is the same as Lynn Vincent writing Sarah Palin's book.
Well, don't that beat all? There was never any deception involved in Lynn's collaboration with Palin, and it is the question of deception -- How much surreptitious work did others do under Sully's byline? -- that is at issue here. Ah, remember those halcyon days when Sully excoriated Rick Bragg for employing uncredited stringers?
Rick Bragg's self-righteous and self-pitying defense of his dubious journalistic methods appears to have been the last straw for some others at the NYT.
"Dubious journalistic methods," said Sully, who now employs ghostbloggers to perform mere punditry -- and then goes on vacation, leaving his erstwhile alter-ego to defend the practice!

Glenn Greenwald's sockpuppets must be laughing themselves silly over this . . .

Legal Insurrection has the summary

by Smitty

Professor Jacobson has a great thought on this perfect crapstorm ending this bizzarro year. In particular, I liked his enumeration on the 'convenient' things that occurred to get us here (reformatted):
  • Massachusetts changes its rules for a second time to allow appointment of a Democrat in Kennedy's place rather than having to wait for the special election;
  • Al Franken outmaneuvers and out-litigates Norm Coleman to steal the Minnesota race;
  • Rahm Emanuel recruits "blue dog" Democratic wolves in sheep's clothing and people fall for it;
  • the media covers up the Obama agenda during the campaign, portraying Obama falsely as a moderate;
  • George Allen says "Macaca," and so on.
There isn't much need to waste breath yelling "conspiracy". This has been the power vacuum created by Progressvism, and boy does it suck.

It would nearly, as a thought experiment, be fun to let this Progressivism run its fell course, collapsing our whole friggin' world into an autocracy. You know why? Because these jackass lefties that think this road a great one would be singing the loudest about how bad it sucks. Imbeciles.

Wasted time, wasted money, wasted life

No, not talking about Ben Nelson. I'm talking about Da Tech Guy's brutal review of But I'm a Cheerleader, starring Natasha Lyonne:
It's 85 minutes you’ll never get back.
I've linked that review as a sidebar headline, but thought I'd dilate on the topic a little more here in the mainbar. Da Tech Guy slags the movie for its negative stereotypes of Christians, a pet theme of contemporary Hollywood -- and a theme that is both unpopular and unprofitable.

Several similar movies have been produced in the past dozen years, praised by critics and even lavished with Oscar nominations, and yet none of them has been a major moneymaker. One might suppose that the geniuses in Hollywood would get the message, but apparently they don't.

Evidently, sarcastic secular screenwriters know that if they produce a script portraying Christians as a bunch of uptight prudes or hypocritical bigots, there will be some producer or studio executive who'll buy it, as this kind of product represents the regnant Hollywood worldview.

The problem is that while producers and executives constitute the market for scripts, they aren't the ultimate consumers of films. That's an important distinction. The American public might buy all manner of insipid dreck -- predictable slasher flicks, implausible sci-fi fantasies, gross-out comedies, cartoonish action movies -- but they do not share the Hollywood prejudice against Christianity manifested by movies like But I'm a Cheerleader.

There aren't enough God-haters in America to make such movies profitable, and yet they continue to be produced, evidence of how the perverse insularity of the film community has contributed to Hollywood's decline.

Now, go enjoy Da Tech Guy's blog. He's a good guy, even if he is Catholic.

Great Moments in Lefty Consistency

by Smitty

The first comment on the earlier "Profile in Cowardice" post bears promotion to a full post, in light of the diabolical nature of things.
[A Nebraskan Commenter] said...
'cuse me
I'm a Nebraskan and you need to know two things:
1. We know he's a Democrat. We voted for him and have been voting for him for years.
Indeed. Incumbency in the last century makes a Vasa of our ship of state. Emphasis mine here:
2. We don't appreciate outsiders tell us how to think or how our senators ought to vote.
Finally, why do republicans continue to flirt with him when you know he's a democrat?
This is where I achieve orbit. The system is broken. The practical point is that we've a small number of people wielding vast power over others. Tyranny. For now, the tyranny is disguised as 2k+ page bills that are rushed through, literally in the dead of night. As government grows, the rule of law will gradually be discarded, as was seen so blatantly last week with Sanders' amendment.

So, you have conscious people arguing against this decadence. The 10th Amendment, now merely an icon to chastity that is venerated as foreplay for new adventures in sodomy, ought to make this entire argument about health care moot. The Federal government has no business whatsoever, per the Constitution, dealing with individual citizens. Sure, interstate commerce regulation for medications. Fine, running an FDA: there are economies of scale to achieve, without violating privacy. And we're all going to get violated, one way or another.

Ah, but your Senator Nelson is telling us what we'll pay. Your Senator's vote is going to have direct impact on me, over here in VA. You sound downright conservative there, getting all puffy about your state's rights and stuff. But did you follow the Big Government link above, and see what your Senator is perpetrating on the rest of the country? Do you really think that, for all Nelson's whoredom, this special treatment isn't going to get thrown under the bus Real Soon Now?

Oh, and here is your sorry punchline:
He's betrayed no one. He acts for us - not you.
He, and both of my local pieces of work, Warner and Webb, have betrayed the whole lousy country. They act for themselves. If you think he's acting for you, or for Nebraska in any long-term useful way, then all I can say is that your glasses are a fetching shade of rose. "not" and "you" are the only accurate words in your entire reply, sir.

I don't think any of the whining from the left about the contents of the bill is meaningful. The precedent is set, once this is signed. Our brave new Orwellian version of Logan's Run beckons. Cue Young4Eyes to come in and call me paranoid. Of course it will be implemented over time: I'm giving you the decades-out view. But Chekov's Law is correct. The century-long project to demolish our country history nears completion. And we still have these silly squawks from Nebraska that we shouldn't tell their Senators how think, when those Senators are cheerfully dictating to us. You stay beautiful, lefties.

And, as I hate leaving a post on a down note, here is a parting shot:


More than a foot of snow has fallen here in the hills of western Maryland -- a desperate crisis!

Despite the treacherous conditions, however, I remain committed to reporting on this desperate crisis:

Courageous young volunteers brave the elements, toiling tirelessly to assist in this desperate crisis:

Small children are suffering in this desperate crisis:

Won't you please give generously to the Western Maryland Snow Emergency Crisis Fund?

UPDATE: Despite the desperate crisis, we are encouraged by Dan Collins' heartwarming holiday classic, "Harry Reid and the $3 Trillion Monstrosity That F**ked Christmas."

UPDATE II: "Kill 'Em All, Let Gaia Sort It Out."

(UNNECESSARY DISCLAIMER: The Western Maryland Snow Emergency Crisis Fund is neither non-profit, charitable nor educational, and contributions are not tax-exempt. Any resemblance between the Western Maryland Snow Emergency Crisis Fund and a so-called PayPal "tip jar" is purely coincidental.)

When tar and feathers ain't good enough

by Smitty (h/t Scott W. Graves)

Scott points to a Washington Times article about a Federal judge who could well be impeached:
As Congress wrapped up several weeks of evidence-gathering hearings this week, legal experts who testified before a House task force suggested Judge Porteous is a clear candidate to become just the eighth federal judge in U.S. history to be impeached and convicted by Congress. Lawmakers appear poised to take their advice and bring charges early next year, setting up a historic trial in the Senate.
An early draft copy of the article I saw* also quoted Nancy Pelosi as saying "If he wants to be that sort of jackass, he'd better get himself elected."

Stacy has brought up the notion of tar & feathers, recently, for other officials. But is this too much of a touchy-feely, nice guy approach? Maybe we should blow by medieval and go truly olim schola:

Of course, the irony of the 111th Congress discussing impeachment of anyone is not lost.
*I am making this up.

Listen here, Troglo-wog

by Smitty

You have to admire the gills on a guy who'd plant a post like Why is Carol trying to discredit Stacy McCain?, and then set about discrediting me, by way of collateral damage.
She wants us to notice that his closest colleague – his co-blogger at The Other McCain – is a Navy man. And you know about those Navy men…y’know, how they get all celebratory about things like crossing the equator.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. If that’s who you are, that’s okay by me. I’m not one to judge.
Yes, I am, indeed a Trusty Shellback. It's what you do when you swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. To discover the latter have taken over.

Furthermore, as I have already posted at length, Stacy is a Wide Supra-Machinist, not a 'White Inferioritist', despite the emotional damage caused by the fact that Allah hates him.

So, until your stanky polliwog-ness finds a way to matriculate a proper shellback initiation, I'll leave you to your sly insinuations and Danica Patrick worship, miscreant.

Update: No Sheeples Here has played the feared "dweeb" card.

Tweet of the Day Week Year

Monique Stuart on Twitter:
Google "cheap whore" and my website comes up. So cool! Thanks, Vodka!
Last month, Stephen Green at VodkaPundit examined Bill Clinton's remarks about the politic strategy of passing bad legislation just to say you'd passed something:
There are statesmen, there are politicians, and then there are cheap whores who would sell out their country for a vote.
Ask Senate sellout Ben Nelson about that. Anyway, Monique Stuart concurred with VodkaPundit's sentiments and put "cheap whore" in the headline of her blog post, so that now when you Google "cheap whore" you get her post as the 10th result.

We should fix this. Ben Nelson is a cheap whore. I think other bloggers will agree that there is no cheap whore cheaper than Ben Nelson.

Ben Nelson: Profile in Cowardice

As Smitty mentioned, the Nebraska Democrat caved overnight:
Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), the final Democratic holdout on health care, was prepared to announce to his caucus Saturday morning that he would support the Senate reform bill, clearing the way for final passage by Christmas.
"We're there," said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), as he headed into a special meeting to announce the deal. . . .
Michelle Malkin reports the morning press conference:
Nelson announces support at press conference. Says he is satisfied by abortion language. He reads a perfunctory statement praising Reid and White House, then says with the most passion in his voice: "I reserve the right to vote against the next cloture vote if there are material changes" made in conference.
UPDATE: Dan Riehl points out the most important consideration: "What's in it for Ben?" His vote was bought, which may be the first time the phrase "thirty pieces of silver" has appeared in federal legislation.

UPDATE II: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
Nelson caved on abortion and sold out for an extra year of federal Medicaid subsidies.
From his press conference speech:
Nelson compared the bill to the creation of Social Security and Medicare.
"I truly believe this legislation will stand the test of time," he said. "The lives of millions of Americans will be improved."
Those "millions"? Bureaucrats. Tell your kids to forget about a business career. Bureaucracy is the future!

UPDATE III: Philip Klein of the American Spectator walks it forward:
Next month, the House and Senate will reconcile their bills, which will then have to pass both chambers again before President Obama can sign it, which he hopes to do before his State of the Union address. At this point, the smart money would have to be on Democrats getting it done, but there are still obstacles to reaching a final agreement.
"Obstacles," indeed. Ben Nelson could realize how badly he has dishonored himself and commit seppuku. Unlikely, of course, but theoretically possible.

UPDATE IV: Readers who think I'm actually advocating that Nelson engage in ritual disembowelment are mistaken. Seppuku is an expression of the shogun's honorable acknowledgement of his own dishonor. Nelson obviously has no sense of honor. He's a Democrat.

Speaking of Democrats and dishonor, what about the progressive netroots? Total punks, says Moe Lane:
I've been involved with the political blogosphere since 2002 or so, and the next time I see the left side of its leadership stand up to entrenched Democratic party interests over something important will be the first. . . . [I]f they swallowed heavily and accepted being betrayed on FISA/rendition/same-sex marriage, they’ll accept whatever monstrosity that the current ruling party comes up with with regard to health care rationing.
Swallowing heavily, indeed.

UPDATE V: "Which is better, a whore or a slut?"

"If Nelson was really such a staunch pro-life advocate, why is he a member of the Democrat Party?"

UPDATE VI: (Smitty)
That's Right considers a new line of ballot suppositories. Sorry, Russ: Hugo Chavez just declared the evil of capitalism over in Copenhagen.

Sobriety Cat says: '"I'll chug to that."

by Smitty

Sobriety and sanity are vastly over-rated with the 111th Congress. The news that Senator Nelson has proven as craven, dishonorable, and un-Constitutional as my brace of buffoons, Webb and Warner, comes as scant surprise. The Weekly Standard indicates that this is tantamount to abortion approval in 13 States. Just as long as you don't waterboard the unborn after you slaughter them, it's OK.

One is momentarily tempted, this holiday season,

just to say "forget the dumb stuff" and crawl into a bottle.
For those wishing a weather report/update on what the proceedings looked like, Congress happens to be right there in my back yard, over in the corner.

A closeup shot of the Capitol Dome, as Heaven continues to comment on global warming.

Cracking the lid on the composterCapitol, we see the politicians busy doing what they do best: turning ideas into castings. If the weather is warm, and I, disguised as a lobbyist, roll the politicians a few times, they form a spaghetti-like bundle.

One hopes that these sorry invertebrates understand the raw fury that will meet them during the next campaign.

Fraudulent Meteorological Joyride Reaches Aphelion

by Smitty

How can the FMJRA not notice the foreign policy disaster that is Hopenchangen, so brilliantly juxtaposed with the domestic trainwreck that is ObamaCare?

We can report that, if they fire the jets at the right moment, and go beyond, just exactly what will happen. They will reach Boston. You know, more than aphelion:

Code Redeye:Comity of Errors:Blogenkrieg:
  • Little Miss Attila surveys. You know you're a big-time blogger when Gerard is your first comment:
    vanderleun said:
    December 13th, 2009 at 8:36 am
    I looked at that whole kerfuffle and the only things I could see was
    1) Paterico is caught in the trap of “I’m wrong but I can’t get out or back out so I’ll dig in deeper and deeper and assert more and more assertions.”
    2) Paterico is building a gigantic ball of horse manure and expects everyone to chew through it or else. Sort of a Johnsonian bit of business without the outright banning. (I decline this menu.)
    3) Patrico believes he can read minds. Sorry, Pat, but not
    LMA here also.
  • Left Coast Rebel viewed Stacy's consumption by wolves with shock and horror.
  • Protein Wisdom, the half of the argument we support, continues the battle.
  • Villainous Company weighs in.
  • Obi's Sister also linked the tragic wolf dinner.
  • A Conservative Shemale reports on the lefty reaction.
  • At the Point of a Gun wonders about collusion in some blog wars.
  • A Political Glimpse from Ireland had a good thread on the topic.

  • Troglopundit's ongoing spectacle with No Sheeples Here remains a terrifying descent into blogospheric atrocity.
Stacy Wonders How Clark Gable Could Presage Him So Effectively:
Interestingly, I was just over in England at one of the RAF bases where Gable is said to have operated during his explosive landscaping phase. Supposedly the Reich put a bounty on him, and it was deemed to great a propaganda risk to have that smile flying about, risking disaster.
  • Atlas Shrugs picked up the AmSpec piece.
  • Villainous Company:
    For men are truly at their best when they are protecting those they love. Just as men wish for a woman who is demure and proper in public but will turn on the fireworks just for him, we ladies can't resist a guy who is strong and independent in public but reserves his tender side for the woman he loves.
  • Belvedere enjoyed the Gable post, with a segue into wedding congratulations.
  • Mulieris Dignitatem also echoed the sentiment.
Hoping for Grandbloggers:The congratulations pour in.Alabama's Heisman:Stacy's AmSpec Tea Party Piece:ACORN Bill of Attainder Ruling:Cablinasian: Not Exactly a Wine
  • Piece of Work in Progress: "Who is to say that in Cablinasian society it is considered bad form to prefer buxom blondes, or to enjoy threesomes behind one's wife's back, fueled by booze, Ambien and Cialis?"
  • Bob Belvedere announces that he is beavering away on "Misunderstandings Of The Cablinasian Habit Of Tapping Botoxed Women" for the nternet Department of Cablinasian Studies. Let us hope PETA doesn't step on his tale.
HR 4173: the 111th Congressional Hit Parade Rolls OnSarah on Conan:Other FMJRA outings:Miscellaneous Shouts:That's your FMJRA. I'm sure I'm missing a boatload here, so send updates to Smitty. Also, Rule 5 Sunday beckons, with the question: are we sick of Tiger leftovers yet?

'We owe'

by Smitty (h/t Carol's Closet)

Cold Fury coldly, furiously steamrollers George Monbiot.

The gist of George's point seems to be "the decencies we owe to other human beings".

Here is the rub with Progressivism. As a Christian, I can read the Bible and approach George's concept from a theological, individual perspective: loving God, loving my neighbor. Rendering unto God that which is God's, and unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.

Things taper off rapidly when a bunch of (occasionally Christian) people set themselves up as Caesar and start bossing other people around. The Sermon on the Mount is not a Political Science text. It is not a foreign policy statement. Telling me what I owe to other people, or what I owe to Caesar, will be met with a dismissive "Uh-huh".

Loving your neighbor, or members of your local house of worship is one thing. You know them. You offer charity, and know that the negative feedback we all need will be offered. The drunk is told to steer clear of the bottle. The deadbeat parent is told to look after the offspring. Those important life lessons about managing credit are passed down, if not offered within the home.

Having Caesar appoint himself the mission to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony is a recipe for what you see: debt, misery, and chaos.

George, let's get to know each other as neighbors, and you'll find me a generous fellow. I certainly stand blessed beyond what I deserve and share with cheer. Right up to the point that someone I don't even know starts enumerating what I owe to other human beings. You have to build a trust relationship to make that assertion stick. Caesar isn't trustworthy. Get stuffed, sir.

Rahm Emanuel: 'F*** you, moonbats!'

"Intentionality," so to speak:
Turn off MSNBC. Tune out Howard Dean and Keith Olbermann. The White House has its liberal wing in hand on health care, says White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
"There are no liberals left to get" in the Senate, Emanuel said in an interview, shrugging off some noise from the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) that a few liberals might bolt over the compromises made with conservative Democrats. . . .
The comments may not endear the powerful White House chief of staff to liberal activists, furious that Senate Democratic leaders, at Emanuel's urging, cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman to drop a federally run insurance policy option, then eliminate a Medicare buy-in proposal.
"I don’t think the White House recognizes how much trouble they're in," said one former Democratic official this morning. "I think they're miscalaculating what's happening with progressives and the left. They feel like they're being taken for granted."
"One former Democratic official" (wild guess: Robert Reich) is on the money here. The online Left hates Joe Lieberman like God hates sin, and any deal that brings Lieberman aboard is automatically a poison pill for the DKos/Firedoglake crowd.

Allahpundit says he has "no reference point for what we're seeing on the left right now." Oh, but we do: The Left's mood now very much resembles the way conservatives felt when John McCain tried to shove amnesty down our throats. Firedoglake headline:
It’s Not Governing from the Center Just Because You Talk Out of Both Sides of Your Mouth
The Left is pissed off that Democratic leaders are playing the same phony P.R. game we saw Republicans play when they were in the majority: "Pass something -- anything -- just so we can say we've passed 'reform.'"

Many conservatives may be tempted to agree with Emanuel that the "progressive netroots community" will roll over and do as they're told. But you knew things were getting sideways when Glenn Greenwald started making sense and then said "Kill the Bill."

We're on a one-way train to Crazyville, and there's no telling what happens next. Meanwhile, enjoy this MSNBC shout-fest between Dylan Rattigan and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

Dude, I can so relate

Russ at That's Right kind of got peeved. And then he got drunk. And then he got angry. Not necessarily a strategy I'd recommend all bloggers to emulate but, in the wee hours of a Saturday morning, it worked.

Jason Mattera and Monique Stuart
re-unite to pwn AARP

Our girl Monique was best buddies with Jason in college, and did the camera work on his latest project:

Michelle Malkin describes the action at Hot Air:
He presents AARP vice president Nancy Leamond with an invoice for generational theft and takes on the powerful senior lobby’s rank hypocrisy when it comes to pre-existing conditions (AARP’s main policy, Medigap, actually imposes long waiting periods on seniors who have pre-existing conditions, even though AARP reps, like liberals in general, decry the discrimination of folks with pre-existing conditions). Jason also confronts AARP on how ObamaCare will fatten their own wallets. Medigap, their $400 million cash cow, is left untouched by ObamaCare, while all other insurance providers are subjected to tighter regulation.
More at Michelle Malkin's site. By the way, Jason's book, Obama Zombies: How the Obama Machine Brainwashed My Generation, won't be released until this spring, but you can click the link and pre-order now at

Friday, December 18, 2009

The sadism of Patrick Frey

On Sun, Mar 29, 2009 at 1:53 AM, Patterico wrote:
But hey, if it will toss his ass off the Internet, maybe I’ll do it. . . .
Maybe I’ll dribble it out over a couple of weeks. . . .
This is going to last a WHILE.
Oh -- and I know a few people too. I’ll be telling them what a fucking psycho he is. He was going to write a book? Good luck.
That was in March, you see, that Frey was planning to drive Jeff Goldstein off the Internet, and endeavoring to prevent Goldstein from publishing a book. All because Goldstein took issue with Frey's criticism of Rush Limbaugh. Now, nearly nine months later, the vendetta against Goldstein continues.

Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean people aren't actually out to get you.

Obama's massive FAIL at Copenhagen

High fives all around!
The UN climate summit reached a weak outline of a global agreement last night in Copenhagen, falling far short of what Britain and many poor countries were seeking and leaving months of tough negotiations to come.
After eight draft texts and all-day talks between 115 world leaders, it was left to Barack Obama and Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, to broker a political agreement. The so-called Copenhagen accord "recognises" the scientific case for keeping temperature rises to no more than 2C but did not contain commitments to emissions reductions to achieve that goal.
American officials spun the deal as a "meaningful agreement", but even Obama said: "This progress is not enough."
"We have come a long way, but we have much further to go," he added.
Who said it? "I hope he fails."

UPDATE: More news from Copenhagen:
In a strange twist, a Washington snowstorm is forcing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, to make an early departure from a global warming summit here in Denmark.
LOL. We're expecting up to a foot of snow here in the hills of western Maryland. My sons and I just got back from buying The World's Best Christmas Tree. (Family tradition requires that the entire family praise my selection as absolutely the most beautiful tree they've ever seen.) Now we're about to decorate the tree andnd I say, "Let It Snow!"

UPDATE III: Great minds think alike -- The Boss digs Dino, too!
Obama managed to cobble a "feeble" agreement that he is, of course, calling "unprecedented."
Obama leaves the snow-covered Copenhagen summit just in time to catch the East Coast blizzard.
It's gonna be a blue Christmas for Obama, if we can get Ben Nelson to stand strong and vote "no" on cloture. If any Nebraskans are reading this, CONTACT NELSON'S OFFICE NOW!

Go, Tabitha Go!

by Smitty

Getting down to crunch time on ObamaCare, ye patriots. Take it away, Tabitha:

McConnell digits: 202 224 2541
Webb's and Warner contact info. Calling him again as soon as I Tweet this.

This is essentially the vote for the bill. Should Dingy Harry get this, he can let his shakier dogs vote against the final copy.

0100 Monday, 21Dec candelight vigil? You bet your bippy I'm there. It's time to die with our boots on, if we can't live free of this atrocious Progressivism.

Iron Maiden's "Die With Your Boots On" starts off as if referring to BHO:
Another prophet of disaster who says the ship is lost
Another prophet of disaster leaving you to count the cost
Taunting us with visions, afflicting us with fear...

Endorsing this message

by Smitty (h/t Jefferson Area Tea Party)

It might be late in the game to get one up on health care, but props to the Danville Tea Party for putting the word up there nice and high.

For those lacking YouTube bandwidth, here is the crucial bit:

Dept. of Suspicious Statistics

The New York Times and Obama's Justice Department appear to have entered a joint-operating agreement, with misleading headlines as the transacted commodity:
Federal Hate Crime Cases at Highest Level Since ’01
Two days after the Justice Department announced federal indictments related to the fatal beating of a Mexican immigrant in Shenandoah, Pa., federal authorities said the charges were part of a larger effort to step up civil rights enforcement after nearly eight years of decreased hate crime prosecutions. . . .
(Note how the anecdote and the statistic are connected in the lede, suggesting a causal relationship between the Pennsylvania case and the statistical trend.)
Thomas E. Perez, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said the department brought more federal hate crime cases this year than in any other year since 2001.
During the budget year that ended in September, 25 hate crime cases were filed, Mr. Perez said. By comparison, that number fell to a low of 12 in 2006, before rising to 23 in 2008. In 2001, 31 such cases were filed.
Mr. Perez said he was "shocked to see the downtick in prosecutions of hate crimes" during the George W. Bush administration, adding, "The Civil Rights Division is again open for business."
Please pay attention to the variable -- the annual number of federal hate-crimes prosecutions -- that is the basis of that "highest level" headline. There is no evidence in the story that the frequency of such crimes has changed. Rather, the Department of Justice has decided to prosecute more of these crimes as federal cases.

This is an important distinction, and there is no suggestion that the Ramirez case -- the anecdotal "hook" of the New York Times story -- would not have likewise been prosecuted by the Bush administration.

Federal hate-crimes prosecutions are useful in cases where there is reason to belief that state and local prosecution may be inadequate to the severity of the crime. For example, if the Klan burns a cross in someone's yard and the perpetrators get off with a plea-bargained arson conviction and a suspended sentence, federal intervention can be justified. And the Ramirez case, where local law-enforcement officials are accused of falsifying police reports to cover up for murderers, represents another justifiable intervention.

Nevertheless, prosecutorial discretion involves a number of different considerations, including the appropriate allocation of personnel and other resources. If fewer federal hate-crimes cases were prosecuted during the Bush administration, perhaps this was because the Justice Department was busy dealing with cases related to terrorism.

It may well be -- and I suggest this merely as a possibility -- that state and local law-enforcement have done a better job at prosecuting hate crimes, thus lessening the need for federal intervention. Or it may even be that there is a declining trend in the number of hate crimes.

But these are not possibilities that the New York Times wishes its readers to consider, preferring to create the impression that the Bush administration was indifferent to civil rights, and that the Obama administration is now rectifying a shameful oversight.

Of course, that is not a possibility that can be ruled out a priori. Yet we must note that the Times article dishonestly insinuates that conclusion in the absence of any actual evidence.

(Via Memeorandum.)

Nebraskans: Help Save America!

Don't let Sen. Ben Nelson flip-flop on ObamaCare:

As I explained here yesterday:
Nelson can vote "yes" on the motion to proceed to a vote (which requires a 60-vote supermajority). and then vote "no" on final passage, where only 51 "yes" votes are needed. Because of the overwhelming Democratic majority in the Senate, there is no question on the final passage if it gets that far; therefore, the only way Nelson (or any other Democrat) affects the outcome is if he votes "no" on the motion to proceed.
So unless and until Nelson says he'll join the filibuster, his statement of opposition is meaningless.
Get on the phone, Nebraska! Or go in person to Nelson's office nearest you:
7602 Pacific St.
Suite 205
Omaha, NE 68114
Tel: (402) 391-3411
Fax: (402) 391-4725

440 North 8th Street
Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508
Tel: (402) 441-4600
Fax: (402) 476-8753

Washington, D.C.
720 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 1-202-224-6551
Fax: 1-202-228-0012

Tel: (308) 631-7614

Tel: (308) 293-5818

South Sioux City
Tel: (402) 209-3595
This is where Tea Party power -- the individual activism of citizens -- can make a difference.

Webb wants to have his progressive
cake and eat his re-election, too

Brilliant foreshadowing of how multiple votes on the same bill provide political cover to a shifty Democrat:
Senator Webb has taken a number of tough votes in the last month-- always voting his conscience and without bowing to party politics. . . . During this debate, he has broken with his party six times, including four votes to prevent cuts in Medicare. At the same time, he appreciates that the need for health care reform is great. The status quo of our health care system burdens families and undermines the competitive position of American business."
In other words: Count Webb as a Democratic "yes" vote on cloture for ObamaCare, although his vote on final passage of the bill is purely a function of whether Harry Reid needs him to get to 51 (which is unlikely). Either way, if challenged about his votes in 2012, his votes on various amendments provide him with a chance to play it both ways.

Webb has shrewedly amassed a facing-both-ways record that can be used to fend off either a "progressive" primary challenger or a conservative Republican in the general election. The Conscience of a Centrist!

(Hat-tip: AmSpecBlog.)

New depths of sycophancy

Brace for that "just threw up a little in my mouth" reaction:
Andrew has an inhuman ability to write a well-reasoned and beautifully-crafted 700-word blog post in about fifteen minutes.
-- Daily Dish ghostblogger Patrick Appel
(Hat-tip: AmSpecBlog.) Glenn Greenwald's sockpuppets never praised him so effusively. Sharmuta would be embarrassed to say that about Charles Johnson.

Wipe your mouth when you're done, Patrick.

Four out of five doctors agree:
Health care debate causes mental illness

Things are getting crazy, with lots of Left-on-Left action. Via Ace of Spades, Obama's apologists are excoriated by . . . wait for it . . . Glenn Greenwald:
We've long heard -- from the most blindly loyal cheerleaders and from Emanuel himself -- that progressives should place their trust in the Obama White House to get this done the right way, that he's playing 11-dimensional chess when everyone else is playing checkers, that Obama is the Long Game Master who will always win. Then, when a bad bill is produced, the exact opposite claim is hauled out: it's not his fault because he's totally powerless, has nothing to do with this, and couldn't possibly have altered the outcome. From his defenders, he's instantaneously transformed from 11-dimensional chess Master to impotent, victimized bystander.
Barack Obama has indisputably performed his first true miracle. A year ago, Rush Limbaugh was the only guy talking like that. Charles Johnson to accuse Glenn Greenwald of raaaaacism in 3, 2, 1 . . .

Joe Lieberman Walks the Valley of the Shadow

by Smitty

VotS picks up the parliamentary angle of yesterday's For Want of a Minute incident.

The meta-joke here is that the reason for the brusque treatment is that there is no slack left in the schedule. In treating our collective bottom like a stocking, the fascistsProgressives pretend to watch every minute, in the name of getting the whole suppository wrapped in time to get to the mantlepiece and jam the bill where it ought not go.

Senator Lieberman may as well have been a man pleading for prostate cancer treatment. The presence of Senator Smalley foreshadows the coming Death Panel saying "Sorry, no budget for you. We can give you Ibuprofin."

"Thanks, no offense taken," replies a morose Joe in this hypothetical scene, "but I was taxed at a rather high rate my whole life in order to pay for this kind of thing. How is it that I've followed the rules all along, yet still come up short?"

Smalley takes on a expression blending boredom with sadness. "You know the four stages:
  1. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
  2. If everyone else couldn't have it, it was/is immoral to let you have it.
  3. You had, therefore you must have stolen.
  4. Since you were classified a thief, it was morally correct to separate you from your ill-gotten gains.
Thus, you should thank the State for having kept your foul capitalism in check these years. I shall accept your gratitude, as a representative of the State."

Lieberman, dejected: "Thanks"

Smalley, beaming: "You're welcome."

In all surreality, though, that minute matters not. As the recent Sanders Incident demonstrates, the Progressives care not fig #1 for anything like rules, tradition, or decorum when such do not support their foul agenda. Dingy Harry is going to plant that stocking stuffer, come hell or a Milli Vanilli record.

And it's time for me to head to work. Might as well enjoy having the job enjoy me while it lasts. But I'm blegging for FMJRA input. Spam me, ye linkers. That includes any slack-jawed crypto-Marxists who don't agree with the this blog's traditional American stance on matters. If you're one of these hate-America-first weenies that's going to go see Avatar tonight, by way of getting your masochistic fix, stop on by. Offering infantile Al Gore apologists a boot to the head is just another service we offer.

Peace, out.

Update: And, just as I Tweet this post, here is Fausta with a related offering.

Britney and K-Fed, then Brad and Jen,
then Jon and Kate, and now . .

And I hereby pledge that I will not buy this perversion of health-care reform. Pass this at your peril, senators. And sign it at yours, Mr. President. I will not buy this insurance. Brand me a law-breaker if you choose. Fine me if you will. Jail me if you must.
Next: Olbermann attacks Obama with a nine-iron . . .

Update: (Smitty) This nearly teased a post out of me. My thought, to paraphrase Buckley, is that Kieth would do anything but start his own goddam insurance company. In defense of Olbermann, such a capitalistic outburst would offend Hugo Chavez, so maybe simple petulance is the better part of valorinfantilism.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Alabama attorney successfully
employs 'Roll Tide' defense

Why they call it "Sweet Home Alabama":
The BCS Championship game is so big in Alabama that it has shut down school for three days and now led to an accidental-death case being delayed so an attorney can attend the game.
In a move that is becoming as much of a trend as SEC teams playing for and winning the national title, an Alabama lawyer filed a motion seeking a trial date continuance based upon a conflict with the Alabama-Texas BCS title game. Jon B. Terry, a 57-year-old defense attorney for Energen Corporation filed the motion in Jefferson County, Alabama stating as grounds for the continuance, the well-established Roll Tide exception to general court business.
In a call to his office, Mr. Terry's secretary "not the Auburn one" said she was not at liberty to announce the judge's response to the motion. But a call to the judge's chambers, the honorable Dan C. King presiding -- an Auburn man no less -- confirmed that the judge has granted the motion although an official order has not yet been released.
Judge King told the Birmingham News, "If I didn't, they'd say, 'He just didn't grant it because he's an Auburn fellow. I wouldn't do that to 'em."
New joke for Jeff Foxworthy in 3, 2, 1 . . .

And really, you need to hit my Pasadena tip-jar for that.

Update: (Smitty) It should also be noted that sympathy for Stacy's cause might also help Troglopundit's, as a collateral bonus.

Preach it, Ray Stevens!

by Smitty (h/t Saberpoint)

This is great, but taking the ObamaCare ammunition out of the Progressive shotgun chamber doesn't permanently remove the threat. Yes, we need to focus on removing the round before this trigger is pulled, but don't forget that leaving that lethal power in Federal hands shall prove a brief respite at best. Federalism Amendment, people.

Gloat not, Eric Boehlert

Checking for the latest news about Tucker Carlson's, I came across this recent gloatfest from Eric Boehlert of Media Matters:
[T]here is not one site in operation today on the right side of the Internet that consistently produces original and dependable journalism. And why is that? Because conservatives don't do journalism. They don't respect it and they don't have the foggiest idea of how to produce. They're clueless.
Now, as every regular reader knows, my reaction to Carlson's May announcement was not one of enthusiasm. Announcing at a Heritage Foundation luncheon that you're going to create the "Huffington Post of the Right"? Bad move. As I said, it had better not suck.

The seven months that have since elapsed -- first a projected July launch, then October, then November, now Jan. 11, with an announced capitalization of $3 million -- have not exactly inspired confidence. Neverthless, it occurred to me this evening that, my own profound doubts aside, failure of would give the Eric Boehlerts of the world an opportunity for more of their "conservatives don't do journalism" gloating.

So I've resolved to stop slagging Carlson and his project. He's obviously got enough problems without my perching on the bust of Pallas by his chamber door, croaking proclamations of impending doom.

UPDATE: Richard McEnroe of Three Beers Later commented below:
Not sure I agree with your decision to lay off Carlson.
Let me explain it by reference to Culture 11. I saw that as a debacle from the outset, but said so privately in an e-mail to a friend -- who had solicited me to write for the site -- and then mostly ignored them, until they started publishing idiot crap.

It would not be fair to continue slagging Daily Caller until we see whether it sucks or not. If Daily Caller turns out to be non-sucking, it will be a very helpful addition to the Right's online presence. And with $3 million in start-up capital, they're likely to be around more than the 6 months that Culture 11 lasted. As long as they are an ongoing effort of the Right, they are likely to have some beneficial impact.

I'm clearly on record about my doubts, so continued slagging would be redundant and vicious. And here's another analogy: John McCain. On the day Mitt Romney quit (Feb. 7, 2008), effectively ceding the GOP nomination to Crazy Cousin John, I resolved to vote Libertarian in November.

What was I to do, as a conservative political journalist, under those circumstances? Among other things, I covered the denouement of Hillary Clinton's campaign and the LP convention in Denver, and then turned my attention to the prospects for an Obama meltdown.

While much of mainstream journalism was swept up in the "historic Hope" theme, I noted with skepticism the Obama campaign's electoral calculus for winning without Ohio, and their belief that they might win Alaska (heh). And on July 14, I published this:
Evidence of conservative despair isn't hard to find nowadays in Washington.
"We're doomed!" one veteran communications operative of the Right exclaimed last week when I asked her to assess the current campaign.
Similar views are expressed privately by many other Republicans, including some professionally employed as part of the GOP election apparatus. Talking to them is like walking into the Redskins locker room before a Dallas game and being told by Washington players that the Cowboys are unbeatable. . . .
Perhaps overwhelmed by the media enthusiasm for Sen. Barack Obama . . . many conservatives seem to have accepted the Democrat's victory as inevitable, or even desirable. . . .
You can read the rest, but the point is that I can't stand to see a team just lay down and quit. Although there was never any possibility I could vote for my erratic cousin, nevertheless I wanted to see the GOP at least try to win the election. And the fact that there were people on the Republican Party payroll telling me they had zero hope of winning -- well, it infuriated me.

So I kept reporting about reasons to doubt Obama's inevitability until, finally, on Oct. 7, I published "How John McCain Lost," explaining that his endorsement of the Wall Street bailout had irreparably doomed the GOP ticket. (A verdict that has since been vindicated by every other account of the campaign.)

Looking back on the 2008 campaign, then, despite my vehement opposition to Maverick's nomination, I gave the Republican every benefit of the doubt until it was finally time to stick the fork in.

Same deal with Daily Caller. The possibility that it might succeed requires me to hope for its success -- or at least not to be a cheerleader for failure -- so long as there is a chance the venture can accomplish anything useful.

UPDATE II: Thanks to the commenter who tipped me to this background on Eric Boehlert's journalism career as a defender of jihadist professor Sami Al-Arian:
The American Left sprang to Al-Arian's defense. Their efforts included articles in The Nation and, whose reporter Eric Boehlert lamented "The Prime Time Smearing of Sami Al-Arian." . . .
One FBI surveillance video of Al-Arian's fundraising tour of American mosques showed him being introduced as "the President of the Islamic Committee for Palestine . . . the active arm of the Islamic Jihad movement." . . . Al-Arian declaimed, "God cursed those who are the sons of Israel ... Those people, God made monkeys and pigs ... Let us damn America, let us damn Israel, let us damn them and their allies until death."
In other words, Eric Boehlert defended a man as dangerous as Jeremiah Wright!

If Nelson says 'no,' is Obamacare dead?

If the Nebraska Democrat's statement means he'll join the the GOP filibuster, this could be the stake througth the vampire's heart:
A moderate Democrat whose vote could be crucial said Thursday an attempted Senate compromise on abortion is unsatisfactory, raising doubts about whether the chamber can pass President Barack Obama's health care overhaul by Christmas.
"As it is, without modifications, the language concerning abortion is not sufficient," Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a key holdout on the health care bill, said in a statement after first making his concerns known to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. . . .
[I]n a radio interview earlier in the day with KLIN in Lincoln, Nebraska, Nelson also said that abortion wasn't his only concern and he didn't see how the Christmas deadline was achievable.
The development came with Senate leaders working round the clock trying to finalize their 10-year, nearly $1 trillion bill in time for a final vote on Christmas Eve. Nelson is emerging as a major obstacle -- perhaps the only remaining one -- since Democrats need his vote to have the 60 necessary to overcome Republican stalling tactics.
(Gee, Associated Press, thanks for that perfectly neutral characterization of the "Republican stalling tactics.")

Here's the situation: Nelson can vote "yes" on the motion to proceed to a vote (which requires a 60-vote supermajority). and then vote "no" on final passage, where only 51 "yes" votes are needed. Because of the overwhelming Democratic majority in the Senate, there is no question on the final passage if it gets that far; therefore, the only way Nelson (or any other Democrat) affects the outcome is if he votes "no" on the motion to proceed.

So unless and until Nelson says he'll join the filibuster, his statement of opposition is meaningless. If you are a Nebraska resident opposed to ObamaCare, you need to contact Nelson and try to get a clarification:
7602 Pacific St.
Suite 205
Omaha, NE 68114
Tel: (402) 391-3411
Fax: (402) 391-4725

440 North 8th Street
Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508
Tel: (402) 441-4600
Fax: (402) 476-8753

Washington, D.C.
720 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 1-202-224-6551
Fax: 1-202-228-0012

Tel: (308) 631-7614

Tel: (308) 293-5818

South Sioux City
Tel: (402) 209-3595
And if you are a Nebraska Tea Party activist, you need to go in person to Sen. Nelson's office nearest you. No need to get angry or make a scene. Just make sure the Senator's staff knows that you understand the legislative process, and that you won't count the Senator as having voted against the legislation unless he joins the filibuster and votes "no" on the procedural question.

Julian Sanchez is neither
a.) conservative nor b.) correct

Therefore, he misses on either definition of "right":
Conservatism is a political philosophy; the farce currently performing under that marquee is an inferiority complex in political philosophy drag.
Well, thanks for your assertion, Julian. Thanks also to Theodor Adorno, Richard Hofstadter and every other practicioner of the Psychoanalytic School of political theory that inevitably views popular opposition to liberalism in such terms.

From the psychoanalytic perspective, there can be no rational objection to, inter alia, EFCA, the Waxman-Markey bill, or the health-care legislation passed by the House and now pending in the Senate. Nor for that matter could any reasonable person object to the sharp turn toward Keynesianism -- massive deficit spending for bailouts and "stimulus" -- that began in the final year of the Bush administration.

Turning Sarah Palin (or Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, etc.) into a symbol, and then analyzing reactions to that symbol from a perspective of cultural criticism, is a sort of avoidance strategy.

In the real world of politics, Obama and his supporters are desperately attempting to pass a health-care bill -- any health-care bill -- just so they can claim to have accomplished something useful since his inauguration. Every new poll shows a new low in Obama's popularity, and Democrats are beginning to fret about a massive electoral backlash next November.

Shorter Sancher:
"Hey, let's change the subject and talk about what a bunch of yahoos those Republicans are!"
If you do not like Palin, it is not surprising that you also do not like her supporters. Nor is it surprising that if you are a clever writer, as Julian is, you will be able to compose an essay justifying your dislikes. But this merely proves you're a clever writer, doesn't it? If Julian Sanchez does not like Budweiser beer, his argument against Budweiser will be persuasive, but we ought not confuse his skill in argument with the merits of the beer. To wit:
The secret shame of the conservative base is that they've internalized the enemy's secular cosmopolitan value set and status hierarchy -- hence this obsession with the idea that somewhere, someone who went to Harvard might be snickering at them.
An eloquent sentence. Yet it strains the imagination to conjure up an engagement between (a) "the conservative base" and (b) their "secular cosmopolitan" antagonists, in which Julian Sanchez would declare at the end that the conservatives had deservedly routed their foe. He despises all provincialisms -- except his own, and certainly the provincialism of Alaska's former governor is not of the Sanchezian sort.

Sanchez is entitled to his class prejudices, but we are not required to share them, no matter how much he ridicules us --- really, Julian, our "secret shame"? -- with criticism that treats political disagreement as a form of neurosis.

Mrs. O on the hook in IG-Gate?

The Washington Times raises interesting questions:
In the past 10 days, two major developments have occurred. First, Obama administration attorneys continued their efforts to deny Mr. Walpin his day in court. On Dec. 7, they filed reply briefs rearguing their demand that the case be dismissed without even a hearing. Second, Rep. Darrell Issa of California and Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, both Republicans, have openly questioned the honesty of CNCS Chairman Alan D. Solomont. Most explosively of all, dirty deeds may have been employed to hide extensive involvement in the affair by the office of first lady Michelle Obama, whom the White House months earlier had announced would play "a central role in the national service agenda." . . .
Mr. Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote a scathing letter to Mr. Solomont on Dec. 11. Parts of it are worth quoting at length:
"After Mr. Walpin's removal, there was speculation in the press that former Chief of Staff to the First Lady Jackie Norris may have influenced the President's action because she left the White House to become a senior advisor at CNCS around the time of Mr. Walpin's removal. Accordingly, Committee investigators specifically asked if you discussed any Corporation business, including the issues relating to the Corporation's Office of Inspector General, with Ms. Norris. You indicated that you did not. ... The White House announced on June 4, 2009 that Ms. Norris had been appointed Senior Advisor to the Corporation. ... In light of all this, it seems highly implausible that you would meet with Ms. Norris on June 9, 2009 and not discuss the IG," who was fired the very next day. . . . .
Mr. Issa is right to smell a rat, especially since White House aides reportedly cut short congressional staff questioning of Mr. Solomont when the line of questioning began to lead to Mrs. Obama. . . .
Read the rest. The inference of a cover-up is obvious, the evidence of an actual crime is less so. However, remember that the FBI has also been asking questions in the Walpin case. If anybody questioned in this case lies to the FBI, that's a crime. If anybody destroys evidence relevant to a federal investigation, that's another crime. The question is whether Obama administrations will begin snitching on one another, rather than to risk prison sentences.

I've said all along that this story -- not just Walpin/AmeriCorp but the other inspector general stories, including AmTrak and SIGTARP -- is not going to go away. Whether it results in a takedown of any major administration figure, there's enough here to keep making news for months to come.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It gets better, Allahpundit

by Smitty

Absolutely crucial post at Hot Air. Senator Bernie Sanders (Imbecile-VT) throws a sweet hissy fit when Senator Tom Coburn (may Heaven bless him) insists his 767 page end-run be read aloud. The Senate Parliamentarian magically allows a halt at the three hour mark with sub-unanimous consent.


Maybe we've actually reached the point where not only aren't they reading the bill before voting on it, they're not even writing it before voting on it.
That's not the half of it. You see, I have it from sources equally as reliable as Al Gore that some wise-ass had inserted the missing CRU data into the text of the bill. Had the reading gone on for another hour or two, an estimated 17 Democratic Senators may have been felled by boredom, embarrassment at the repercussions, or both.

Stopping that reading may have saved lives.

The only way to disprove my nonexistentunnamed source would be to publish the godforsaken legislation. But we all know that representative government is sooo last century.

Update: Fish Fear Me notes some differences between the CSPAN video and The Hill's transcript of Sanders.

So, if DC is the beating heart of America

by Smitty

...according to the Stephen Spruiell piece linked at NRO, the question turns to the location of the sphincter: San Francisco, or Hollywood?

Ace: 'Foam-flecked buffoon' Sullivan doesn't have 'stupid queerbait readers'

Sorry, Ace, I disagree with your walkback. If "queerbait" is a homophobic putdown, it's a putdown that a lot of gay guys employ, generally to describe an ostensibly straight guy who seems . . . well, potentially available.

Like Charlie Crist. Or Rahm Emanuel, so my gay sources tell me. And those same sources say that gay men in Chicago swear there used to be a tall semi-Kenyan guy who was, as we might say, no stranger to the community.

But that stuff is mere gossip, and is not germaine to the question of whether it was fair of you to use "queerbait" to describe Sully's readership. The larger point, I think, is that not all gay people run around looking for excuses to be offended, and are themselves not averse to applying certain pejoratives -- "nelly," "swish" etc. -- to other gay people, especially ones they don't like.

And as for "queerbaits," who doesn't know the type of person described? I just noticed Little Miss Attila referencing a post by Cynthia Yockey about appropriate use of the term "dyke." Well, not all lesbians are dykes, and some women who look or act like dykes are actually straight.

If we didn't all have our insensitivity detectors set on "stun," tiptoeing around in fear of accidentally offending someone, maybe more people would be encouraged to criticize Sullivan's ongoing melodrama -- and the stupid queerbait readers who dig it.

Andrew Sullivan was outed by Michelangelo Signorile and, rather than leading Sully to question the hyper-politicization of sexuality, the experience led him to become SuperGayMan, the caped crusader for same-sex marriage. Sully let himself be trapped in a box, defined by his enemies, taking refuge in a ridiculous more-gay-than-thou stance.

His sexual persona is intrinsic to his politics and vice-versa. You know who he reminds me of? Bill Maher, who hates feminism and Christianity with equal fury because both belief-systems stand opposed to selfish little worms like Bill Maher gettin' some.

So I don't think you should have walked back the "queerbait" putdown, Ace. The rest of your critique of Sully is pure genius.

P.S.: To any readers intrigued by my assertion of familiarity with gay culture: (a) I majored in drama in college, (b) I was once the only straight guy working in the men's wear department of a department store, and (c) I hang out with lots of libertarians. However, (d) my wife and I have been married 20 years with six kids. If I'm overcompensating, I'm doing it right.

P.P.S.: Meredith Baxter gay? That's a big loss for the team. But what about her 15-year marriage to David Birney? Was she just fakin' it? Her inner lesbian straining for release? And why didn't her inner lesbian break free earlier, say about 1982, in a video with Phoebe Cates?

Never mind . . .

Our commenters need to up their game

"I can't hear 'Moving in Stereo' anymore without having Phoebe Cates' naked breasts dance through my head. Which isn't really such a bad thing, but it can be distracting."
-- Slartibartfast, Protein Wisdom (comment #77)
Why aren't we getting these clever "Phoebe Cates' naked breasts" comments over here, huh?

I'm disappointed. You guys are slacking off. This is the "Rule 5" blog, remember?

I'm not saying that comments about Phoebe Cates' naked breasts should be on every post, but Slartibartfast is definitely onto something there, because now I've got that guitar riff from "Moving in Stereo" stuck in my head. And you do, too.