Saturday, March 7, 2009

Blame Limbaugh First

"This is all a White House distraction tactic, and it's being executed by friendly media taking directions. The left online, naturally, jumped on board faster than a Democrat on a filmmaker. It's simple to understand, really. They don't want you to think about Obama's broken campaign promises and inept first month. So they need a distraction."
-- Caleb at Red State

A heavy personal sacrifice

At the urging of a mutual friend, I've decided to give up Ross Douthat-bashing for Lent. I'm not repenting or recanting, but I'm just swearing off until Easter. My friend tells me that I'm undermining my standing with Respected Conservative Intellectuals by this anti-Douthat jihad.

(Yeah, it's a bad thing to be picking on a kid. The phrase "whited sepulchres" ring a bell there, buddy?)

But, OK, enough of that. I'll have to find other targets for unfair ad hominem invective to tide me over until Easter. So if any of you upstart punks out there wander into the crosshairs, don't blame me when the Mother Of All Fiskings comes down on your head. You have been warned.

And if, on Easter morning, Douthat finally looks down from the lofty heights of Fallowsium, and condescends to link a state-school alumnus, you'll know that this unprecedented occurence is a miraculous omen, perhaps even a sign of the impending Apocalypse.

O, ye of little faith!

Where do feminists learn to write so badly?

Clicking through from Ann Althouse, I wasn't sure what to think of this Judith Warner column in the New York Times. I wasn't sure what to think because Warner is so damnably foggy as to what it is she wants to say except maybe, "I am a woman. And a mother. And life is sometimes inconvenient. Hear me roar."

I take it that Warner is some kind of feminist, and perhaps the sister-in-law, niece or college roommate of someone very important at The New York Times Co., because I can't imagine why anyone would want to read such useless drivel as this:
. . . I saw this very clearly the other day, in a chance email exchange with my friend D.
She had written me to share some anxieties about the recession. They were very real and very pressing, and in the past, I would have responded with very pertinent examples of how things were much worse for me.
This time, however, tapping into great human reserves of calm and centeredness, I tried instead to lead her into staying with her feelings.
"Hang in there. Things will be O.K.," I wrote. . . .
She gets paid to write that crap. A "chance email exhange"? As opposed to what? A carefully orchestrated email exchange?

Then you notice her thumbnail bio, which tells you that Warner was the author of a 2005 New York Times bestseller. And yet "things are much worse for" her?

At which point, you struggle to resist the hope that she invested her money -- all of it -- with Bernie Madoff. You struggle, but you don't struggle too hard.

UPDATE: A woman whose blog title I greatly admire has some thoughts.

'Unfortunately, he’s a Democrat from Massachusetts . . .'

". . . If killing a woman isn’t a career ender there, I doubt helping to lay down the bedrock of the financial collapse of America would be enough."

URGENT! David Brooks of the NY Times Wins Prestigious Journalism Award!

Normally, the committee waits until April to name the winner of this coveted prize, but he was so far ahead on points . . .

'It's always been a pretty intimate relationship . . .'

What's for supper? Rule 5:

Shamelessly stolen from the comments at Protein Wisdom because all your links are belong to us!

by Smitty
At the mention of Jamie Oliver, duty requires one to post this clip,
(couple F-Bombs from Bob Geldof, but otherwise SFW) featuring JO eating junk food, a nearly pornographic event.

Caption contest

Sent to me by a friend of a friend:

Full Metal Jacket Saturday

In keeping with Rule 2 of "How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog," we once again devote a Saturday thread to the FMJRA principle of linking those who link us: Back in the day, before the damage inflicted by imported herbage, I was an irrepressible class clown. My teachers in middle school would send me to the principal's office for double-entendres that made them blush, but which none of my classmates understood.

So when Private Joker smiles, you don't always know what he's smiling at. Rule 2 is shorthand for a basic life principle, of showing gratitude for those who have done you a favor. Let me therefore give you a brief excerpt from Page One of a new book:
Death hides in the the tall grass of Southern Sudan. What looks like empty landscape can explode in a heartbeat with rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army shooting, slashing, and burning their way through an unsuspecting village. Government officials and NGOs . . . give these renegade soldiers a wide berth; they usually know where the trouble areas are and steer clear of them. Local residents, left to make it on their own, are constantly on the edge, always afraid. There are no peaceful nights in the bush. None, that is, except in one place -- a forty-acre island of safety and calm in the middle of a hellish, endless civil war. The Shekinah Fellowship Children's Village.
That's from Another Man's War: The True Story of One Man's Battle to Save Children in the Sudan, by Sam Childers. Lots of people talk about helping Sudan. Sam Childers does it.

When God needed a born fighter to save children from the vicious monsters of Joseph Kony's LRA, it was this two-fisted son of a Pennsylvania steelworker who got the call. "Pastor Sam," as he is known, had worked hard all his life to build his own million-dollar construction firm -- and then he gave it all up to go help children in Africa.

You may have heard ministers talk about the Christian principle of "servant leadership," but until you've met Sam Childers, you don't know what a servant leader is. The Machine Gun Preacher has put his life on the line to serve God and save God's children.

Please help Sam Childers and his ministry. Click that link and give what can, folks. If you're a blogger with an Amazon Associates account, please link Pastor Sam's book on your page. Order a copy for yourself and do a review. Link his site from your page, and tell your own readers to help this man who has given up so much to help so many.

Everything and anything you do to help Pastor Sam will help save lives and save souls -- and not just in Africa, either. His church in Pennsylvania is a refuge for all the hard-luck losers and outcast souls that other ministries say they want to reach. Sam knows how to reach them, because he was once an outcast soul himself. He knows very well that there is no sinner so wretched as to be beyond the aid of grace.

If ever you wanted to do me a favor, and deserve a future Rule 2, please do all you can to help this man of God, Pastor Sam Childers.

Like the people of Plataea conquered by the Spartans, it may some day be asked of you what you have done to aid the victor in this epic battle. And as wildly inappropriate as this reminder might seem after such a sermon, don't forget, folks, to get your babe-blogging done today, and e-mail me the links for Rule 5 Sunday. Aggregation is the name of the game.

All Your Links Are Belong To Us!

Friday, March 6, 2009

When Did We Start to Make Stuff Up?

by Smitty

The Blogfather points to Professor Bainbridge, who poses one of those boring but expensive questions: is health care a right? Allow me to up the ante: just when did we start to make stuff up?

Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism made a reference to an FDR speech that sent me to Google to scour the cloudywebs, arriving at this gem:

FDR 1944 State of the Union excerpt:
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights--among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however--as our industrial economy expanded--these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  • The right of every family to a decent home;
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
  • The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
Oh, Franklin, Franklin, Franklin. Who needs to amend the Constitution via Article 5 when you can just cook it on the fly? Life sure is easy when you can convince free men to sell their precious liberty for the perception of security.

Even if the intentions were initially noble, the results have been a mixed bag, and the precedent set simply disastrous.

Recognize this guy?

Guitar legend Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame with a 1958 Gibson Les Paul sunburst. Ed Driscoll sent out a Twitter last night directing me to this photo in a guitar-junkie forum. My 16-year-old twin boys both play guitar. One of them has the total ax obsession necessary to look at that photo and, rather than thinking, "Hey, Jimmy Page is aging gracefully," instead think, "What kind of pickups has he got in that thing?"

Here's "Kashmir" live:

by Smitty
Commentor Serr8d alluded to Fast Times..., triggering a Rule 5 requirement to decorate the post with a bit of Phoebe-age:

Attention, Evan Ramsey McLaren

You're 24 years old, OK? I've got ties older than you. When I was your age (groan) I was working as a nightclub DJ, driving a forklift during the day, and camping out weekends for Rod Stewart tickets (we part-time scalpers used to acquire our commodity in such manner). So excuse me for raising an eyebrow at this kind of rant:
The Republican Party, the conservative movement -- these are our enemies, we kept muttering amid the sad CPAC gathering of GOP robots and clowns. This petty hierarchy of shills, time servers, and girlish men (and boys) is supposed to represent a movement of principle -- of people -- and embody real opposition to established power arrangements and to the Left? What a bunch of unadulterated hooey.
The difference between Us and Them is not philosophical or intellectual. It is much more basic. Besides our heightened sense that the conservative movement is a top-to-bottom failure, we simply have too much backbone to function as obedient servants in their crummy, impotent army. . . .
Blah, blah, blah. Young Turks know everything, and nobody else knows anything. As much as I share the Young Turks' disgust with the creaky infrastructure of the GOP, I've got no taste for being lectured by a spoiled rich punk (Kenyon College tuition: $38K/yr) whose chief contributions to conservatism to date consist of editing a student newspaper

Were there any justice in the world, Evan, you'd be bagging groceries at Safeway and living in your mother's basement. And given the ongoing economic gotterdammerung, justice might be a lot closer than you think. I was also impossibly arrogant when I was your age, kid -- I'm pretty damned arrogant still -- but there was no Internet whereby I could embarrass myself by parading my arrogance for all the world to see.

Now shut up and get me a cup of coffee, punk. Don't make me get rough with you.

UPDATE: Kleinheider links. This McLaren kid is not worse than a lot of other 20-somethings in the political world. He just happened to wander into my crosshairs, a target of opportunity. I've done this rant before in various forms, and I suppose at some point it needs to be distilled into a carefully reasoned article, but let me recap a few of my basic points.

One of the problems with this whole "conservative youth movement" business is that "youth" today are used to being kowtowed to and petted by their elders -- the Gold Star Syndrome. They get all puffed up and think they know everything because they're praised to high heaven for any little thing they do. 

They're never rebuked, never assigned to do grunt-work and told that if they don't like it, "there's the door." They become ungrateful and disgruntled because they're not compelled to pay their dues. This has always been my beef with Ross Douthat, who graduated from Harvard and immediately landed a contract to write a book about . . . what it's like to attend Harvard.

Well, f--- you, Ross Douthat. Nobody ever offered me a contract to write a book about what it's like to attend Jacksonville (Ala.) State University, although that book would be a heckuva lot more entertaining than your ponderously earnest tome.

I've worked a lot with the Young America's Foundation, and at least Ron Robinson and his crew make kids work to deserve whatever recognition they get. (Not to give away any trade secrets, but let me advise kids: If you attend a YAF event, be assured that you will be observed and evaluated. They're looking for leadership qualities and organizational ability, and if you show up acting like a doofus, this will be noticed.) 

YAF honors students who can do the basic work of organizing: Raising money, scheduling events, coordinating travel, etc. And if you meet one of their best trainees -- name out of a hat, Matt Sauvage of GWU -- you recognize what the program accomplishes. And they push their trainees toward work of real political value.

Developing young conservative journalists, on the other hand, has become problematic in the age of cable punditry and a blogospheric environment where every 24-year-old who can compose a paragraph thinks he's the second coming of William F. Buckley Jr.

American Spectator managing editor J.P. Freire, whom I mean to praise highly when I say he's one of the least obnoxious of the Young Turks, is fond of saying that what we need is fewer Bill Buckleys and more Bob Novaks. We need fewer kids who want to lecture us about what Russell Kirk really meant, and more kids who don't mind getting their hands dirty doing the basic business of reporting the news.

So when I just happened to come across the McLaren kid denouncing CPAC as a "gathering of GOP robots and clowns" -- grrrrrr! My God, I could have introduced the boy to the legendary M. Stanton Evans, who is certainly not anybody's robot or clown. Evans was sitting outside the lobby bar all but unrecognized by the hordes of callow punks strolling past.

Exactly what has Evan Ramsey McLaren accomplished that he should dismiss so arrogantly these eminences gris of conservatism? Must seniority and estimable service plead for recognition from the likes of McLaren? Where is there in this young man's attitude anything of the chivalry that Burke celebrated?

Well . . . I could write a book. But I'm getting pretty damned tired of the outrageous displays of arrogance by these young writers who, by all rights, ought to be compiling "community briefs" at some small-town newspaper rather than lecturing their elders about "true conservatism."

Alabama Tea Party plans

As some of you may have noticed in the sidebar, plans are being sketched in for the Alabama Tea Party, part of the big April 15 nationwide event. This is my trip to Alabama I first mentioned a few days ago, and for which I'm now trying to raise money. (Thanks to everyone who's hit the tip jar so far.)

In telephone discussions with one of the organizers, I get the idea that a whole series of events is planned April 15-19. Huntsville, Birmingham and Montgomery have been mentioned. Also, there is an event in Atlanta that I'll be attending during that week. So get in touch and mark your calenders. And if you don't want to hit the tip jar (although you should), you can at least buy a T-shirt with this design:

The slogan on the design (incorporating the Alabama state flag) is something I've been saying about Ordinary Americans, that what America needs most now is the common sense of common people. Click on the logo to purchase the shirts. Proceeds from sales go to help your favorite greedy capitalist blogger. WOLVERINES!

On G. Gordon Liddy

I'll be appearing on the G. Gordon Liddy Show about 10:30 a.m. today. Among the topics I hope to discuss with the G-Man are my new economic plan, the Foreclose and Evict the Deadbeat Scum (FEDS) Program.

If you can't find the G-Man on your local radio, you can listen live online or, if you miss it, download the podcast.

Karl Rove: 'It Won't Work'

A few days before CPAC, I learned that Karl Rove was following my Twitter feed, and the scary thing about that -- even more than the possibility of Karl researching all the nasty crap I've said about him before we became BFFs -- was that I might become "influential." So imagine my horror when Jennifer Rubin blogged the latest Rove column:
Eloquent words and "spin" work better in a campaign than they do while governing. And as Mr. Obama is discovering, the laws of economics won't change, even for him.
OK, here's me, Feb. 15, at AmSpecBlog:
The fiscal fantasies of Hope are about to slam head-on into the economic realities of the bond market. Economic reality is an unmovable object, and liberals are about to discover that Hope is not an irresistible force.
Or, in fewer words: It Won't Work.
No specialized knowledge or advanced education is needed to understand why Obamanomics won't work. All you need is two eyes, a brain, and the common sense of common people. Ignore the polls. Ordinary Americans who are watching their hard-earned retirement savings evaporate in the stock-market meltdown caused by Obamanomics are beginning to realize that Hope is a poor substitute for basic economics.

As bad as the stock-market slide has been, try to imagine the crisis that could ensue if the bond market gets the jitters. Associated Press on Wednesday reported:
Analysts are anticipating that the Treasury Department on Thursday will announce plans [to] auction $60 billion in notes next week. The government has been issuing debt this year at a record pace to finance its bailouts.
So far, auctions have been met with solid demand. But investors have gotten warier about buying Treasurys, particularly long-term ones.
No sign yet of a doomsday scenario, but these massive deficit-spending schemes piled one atop each other are placing unprecedented pressure on capital markets already ratcheted drum-tight by the bursting of the housing bubble and related financial fallout. Obama's budget is a fantasy, and while bonds tend to go up when stocks go down (people shifting capital from risk to security), we're now on such shaky ground -- fiscal, financial and monetary policy all going where no policies have gone before -- that the future is beyond prediction, certainly for a mere amateur like me.

People are scared. People are angry. They're "going Galt." They're planning a National Tea Party April 15.

Good-bye, Hope and Change. Hello, Fear and Loathing. When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

'Morning Joe' vs. 'Fox & Friends'

This morning, I happened to be awake at 6 a.m. -- did I mention I love my wife? -- and while Mrs. Other McCain was in the shower getting ready for work, I relaxed contentedly by toggling back and forth between "Fox & Friends" and MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Fox fans can crucify me for saying this, but "Morning Joe" is the better program, and the superiority of the MSNBC show was blindingly evident today. While "Fox & Friends" had on Geraldo Rivera to talk about Rhianna (allegedly) getting beat up by her boyfriend, Joe Scarborough, Mike Barnicle, Pat Buchanan and Mika Brzrzbuyavowelski were talking about real news -- especially the economic meltdown and the inability of Congress or the Obama administration to do anything to stop it.

Excuse me for thinking that gotterdammerung on Wall Street is more important than a domestic-violence case involving two second-rate pop stars that no one over 30 ever heard of until Chris Brown (allegedly) beat Rhianna to a bloody pulp.

OK, there may be some kind of "counterprogramming" rationale behind Fox producers going with celebrity tabloid news at 6 a.m., but there is a word for that rationale: Wrong. Most of those who get up at 6 a.m. and switch to the early news are essentially serious people. They're in a hurry, getting ready to go to work, and they want to hear about news that makes a difference in their lives, which doesn't include the obnoxious Geraldo sharing gossip about two pop singers.

Furthermore -- and Steve Doocy's my Facebook friend, so I want to be careful how I say this -- the "Fox & Friends" crew seems too lightweight. The "Morning Joe" crew is anchored by a former congressman and features a veteran political adviser in Buchanan. Barnicle doesn't impress me much, but Brzrzbuyavowelski, though hopelessly liberal, is at least a smart, serious liberal.

To employ an overused word, the implicit gravitas of the MSNBC crew gives them more leeway to joke around amiably like a bunch of buddies just talkin' news, whereas Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade lack that sort of heft (Doocy wasn't on the show this morning). My impression is that Kilmeade is a hometown favorite in the New York market, so Fox isn't going to pull him from the show, and I wouldn't want them to pull my buddy Doocy, which makes Carlson the prime candidate for replacement, if the executives want to tinker with the formula.

Bay Buchanan? Kate Obenshain? I don't know. They need somebody with a credible government/politics background. They need to change something. The whole mood of the Fox show is wrong for the current economic and political climate.

Any serious news junkie toggling back and forth between Fox and MSNBC in the mornings -- and this isn't the first time I've done this in recent weeks -- can't help but notice the difference. "Fox & Friends" feels too fake perky-cheery like "Good Morning, Orlando" or something, whereas "Morning Joe" exudes a vibe that is simultaneously confident, smart, and relaxed.

Roger Ailes needs to be paying attention, because whatever the total Nielsen numbers, he's losing "the eyes of the influentials," to borrow a phrase from Jon Henke.

UPDATE: I'm getting some push-back in the comments, which is OK, but Hyscience agrees with me. To those who only watch Fox, you should try toggling between "F&F" and "MJ" some mornings. Maybe it's me, but the Joe show is less show-biz, more laidback, and I like that -- even if Barnicle and Brzrzbuyavowelski aren't to my taste.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

You're welcome, Rush

"I'm going to leave some others out, but there have been a lot of people stepping up here, and I just want all of you who have to know I noted it and I appreciate it, and I thank you more than you could possibly ever know."
-- Rush Limbaugh

Sorry I couldn't have been in the green room with you and Erick Erickson, but I was busy hanging out with your man in Fairway No. 1. Ronald Reagan once said that you can accomplish anything, so long as you don't care who gets the credit. I'm no T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII, but I do what I can.

Where Did the Pleasant Cthulhu Go?

by Smitty
The poor wee Cramer:
I also made it clear in a New York magazine article that I favored Obama over McCain because I thought Obama to be a middle-of-the-road Democrat, exactly the kind I have supported all my adult life, although I will admit to being far more left-wing during my teenage years and early 20s.
To be totally out of the closet, I actually embrace every part of Obama's agenda, right down to the increase on personal taxes and the mortgage deduction. I am a fierce environmentalist who has donated multiple acres to the state of New Jersey to keep forever wild. I believe in cap and trade. I favor playing hardball with drug companies that hold up the U.S. government with me-too products.
Oh, it must have been pleasant in that closet, Mr. Cramer. Not that we're the least bit interested in the rituals. Now, however, you can reap the whirlwind with the rest of us:
So I will fight the fight against that agenda. I will stand up for what I believe and for what I have always believed: Every person has a right to be rich in this country and I want to help them get there. And when they get there, if times are good, we can have them give back or pay higher taxes. Until they get there, I don't want them shackled or scared or paralyzed. That's what I see now.
If that makes me an enemy of the White House, then call me a general of an army that Obama may not even know exists -- tens of millions of people who live in fear of having no money saved when they need it and who get poorer by the day.
No, Cramer, the truth about world-class evil is that it can afford to devour the worshippers as well, knowing that there will always be a supply of useful idiots, until humanity itself is gone, which is the other big win. Your consolation prize was also eaten, but here is a free clip upon which to ruminate:

UPDATE (RSM): Dang, Smitty's got the blog-fu goin' on, don't he? Give the man kudos. And he got 'Lanched!

Foreclose and Evict the Deadbeat Scum

OK, as political slogans go, it ain't "Hope and Change," but as economics it's way better than this:
Learn About the Making Home Affordable Refinance and Modification Options
The President's plan was created to help millions of homeowners refinance or modify their mortgages.
Refinancing: Many homeowners pay their mortgages on time but are not able to refinance to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates perhaps due to a decrease in the value of their home. A Home Affordable Refinance will help borrowers whose loans are held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac refinance into a more affordable mortgage.
Modification: Many homeowners are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments either because their interest rate has increased or they have less income. A Home Affordable Modification will provide them with mortgage payments they can afford.
To quote The Outlaw Josey Wales, "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." This is a classic example of how interventionist government picks winners and losers, singling out some people for favoritism, while screwing over the rest of us.

When I left Georgia in 1997, we left behind a cute little bungalow on a full acre of wooded land that we bought cheap in 1992. It took us two years to sell the thing, which meant that I spent my first two years in Washington paying that mortgage while also paying $900 a month for an apartment. We tried to rent out our Georgia house, then tried to do a rent-to-own, until finally we sold it at a very modest increase over what we'd paid for it. The damage to my family's financial situation in the meantime was enormous.

You do what it takes. And since what it took was for us to suck it up, essentially forfeiting our equity and become tenants, that's what we did. Well, welcome to 2009, and suddenly it's unpatriotic to expect people to make the mortgage payments or else lose their equity. People have a right to a home, no matter if they're 120 days past due. Pay close attention to the next sentence:

Excuse my temporary departure from the appropriate decorum of family-friendly blogging, but expecting me to conceive of worthless deadbeats as victims is a bit much to ask. I'm hustling as hard as I can -- please hit the tip jar, people -- to avert complete financial disaster myself. I've got six kids to support, and I ain't got time for pity, as if pity had any economic value to begin with. Imagine me calling up the finance company and pleading pity to prevent the repossession of my car. (I'm still waiting for those ACORN protesters to show up.)

Now, you can go to Michelle Malkin and read about people whining about the Obama plan. Or you can go to Naked Capitalism and read a detailed analysis of this "mortgage modification" nonsense cooked up by the Treasury Department. But, in general, as an economic proposition, the plan can be summarized in two words: It sucks.

That's why I've announced my own plan, "Foreclose and Evict the Deadbeat Scum" (FEDS). It's very simple:

  • The banks take back the houses currently occupied by deadbeat scum.
  • The deadbeat scum either find a place to rent, or move in with relatives, or go straight to hell. It doesn't really matter. We're talking economics.
  • This creates a housing occupancy in the homes formerly occupied by deadbeat scum.
  • The banks must either (a) sell the homes for whatever the market will pay, or (b) rent the homes to people who weren't foolish enough to take on balloon-payment mortgages.
  • Whatever the ultimate result -- and rents for homes made vacant by the FEDS program may need to be reduced in order to attract tenants -- the point is that the excess-valuation problem in the housing market will be resolved, so that prices once again reflect actual supply and demand.
  • Homeowners who don't wish to participate in the FEDS program can opt out by making their fucking loan payments, like they fucking agreed to when they fucking signed their fucking contracts.
Don't blame me for the rough language. That's how the free market talks, you worthless scum. "Compassionate conservatism" left town two months ago. Now you're talking to the heartless right-winger your mother warned you about. Either make your payments or get foreclosed and evicted. As an economic proposition, one is as good as the other.

Uh-oh, she invokes the Gonzo

"I was one of those kids who grew up planning to be somebody important. I wasn't content to imagine myself as a doctor or a fireman. I was going to be the next Hunter S. Thompson (minus the tragic end), Rush Limbaugh (minus the masculine physique), or the First Lady (who, at the time was Hillary Clinton, so minus the pantsuit). I had big dreams."
-- S. Logan

Oh, man. I was going to be a soldier, then an artist, then a football player, then an actor, then a rock star. I guess journalism was sixth on my list.

But invoking HST -- that's almost like inviting ridicule for overweening ambition. Thou shalt not invoke the Gonzo in vain.

Assignment: Try to write up CPAC in your best approximation of Gonzo. Not a slavish imitation, but with the spirit of Gonzo.

Warning: This is merely a writing exercise. You are not to publish this. You are writing it for the sake of seeing if you can write it. Set yourself a deadline, and produce X number of words (1,500? 2,500?) about CPAC by that deadline.

Try to hear the Mojo Wire humming in your mind. Also: You'll need lots of whiskey. And grapefruit. Feel free to substitute Red Bull for other stimulants.

UPDATE: OMG, Moe Lane goes Gonzo! See what you've started, you wench?

'The other possibility, of course, is that he’s clueless.'

"Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence, and after the Geithner/Daschle/Richardson/Killefer/Carrion/Kirk problems, incompetence is looking like the strong horse."
-- Professor Glenn Reynolds

Too hot for the White House?

My latest Taki's Magazine column:
Some just-published research suggests that the incontestable hotness of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hurts her chances of becoming president, which is a sore disappointment to her admirers at Conservatives4Palin, and also to me. Never mind any discussion of Palin’s political leanings or qualifications. It just seems to me that if America is going to elect a woman president, she might as well be a hottie.
Please read the whole thing. Remember, I'm the guy who got a quarter-million hits in September on the strength of "Sarah Palin bikini pics." Rule 5 has been very, very good to me.

ET SEQUELAE: The Hottie Who Would Be Gonzo tells her tale.

ET SEQUELAE II: Now Richard's begging for a second chance. This could become interesting.

How not to argue

"What is it supposed to mean to describe conservatives who have a beef with Limbaugh's views or rhetoric as 'highbrow'? Are the opinions illegitimate or mistaken because they supposedly come from a vantage point of cultural sophistication?
-- Rod Dreher
Having plowed the fields of culture for many years, I don't want to deny being sophisticated, but that's not really the beef, is it? Calling people "mongoloids" isn't exactly sophisticated, even if you do reference it to A Confederacy of Dunces. I mean, Huck Finn is a work of literature, so maybe there are some words in Huck Finn that Rod Dreher wants to start slinging around.

In any conflict between Rod Dreher and Rush Limbaugh, Dreher loses.

Our Venezuelan future

What will Obamanomics do to America's economy? The same thing Hugo Chavez has done to his nation's economy:
Venezuela's public finances are unravelling, with oil prices at $40 a barrel, while the national budget is calculated at $60 a barrel. Inflation is running at over 30 per cent, yet with the new measures Mr Chavez is seeking to ensure that his core support, the poor, can still fill their shopping baskets with food.
"If any industry wants to ride roughshod over the consumers, with a view to getting better dividends, we are going to act," said Carlos Osorio, the national superintendent of silos and storage. "For the government, access to food is a matter of national security."
Production quotas and prices have now been set for cooking oil, white rice, sugar, coffee, flour, margarine, pasta, cheeses and tomato sauce.
Fixing prices, rationing, hyperinflation -- you may say, "Well, that can't happen here in America," but how do you know?

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama are spending borrowed money at an unprecedented rate. This sudden, massive addition to the deficit amounts to a huge additional demand for credit in a financial situation where capital was already in short supply. There are several possible outcomes of such an action, and none of them are good. The one certainty is that the shortage of capital for business investment will be exacerbated, and the consequences of that alone is enough to ensure that recovery won't happen.

However, the spiral into stagflation is almost equally certain, because with tax revenues plummeting as a result of the stagnating economy, the only way to pay interest on the debt will be to turn on the printing presses, producing the trademark inflation of unsound fiscal policy. That, in turn, will drive capital away from the dollar -- oh, there are lots and lots of ripple effects when this kind of snowball gets rolling downhill.

You cannot have a strong economy without a stable currency. You cannot have a strong economy without capital investment. The Obama administration's policies have already begun driving capital investment out of the market -- which is the Wall Street plunge is represents -- and the currency has already been destabilized, we just haven't begun seeing the inflationary effects yet. You wait, though -- it's coming.

And notice how Chavez responds to his country's financial crisis -- caused by government intervention -- with more intervention. A classic socialist response to economic woe:
Hmmm. Our programs of coercive expropriation don't seem to be working. We must apply more coercion!
They never learn.

Rep. Paul Ryan exposes Obama's OMB Director as a complete putz

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Smackdown City

Doubleplusundead gives David Frum some serious disrespect.

Ace of Spades gives it to Rod Dreher.

Red State's Erick Erickson gives it to Frum, Dreher and others.

Wlady Pleszczynski gives it to Kathleen Parker.

Jimmie Bise gives it to John Farrell.

So much . . . divisiveness. Tsk. Tsk.

UPDATE: (Forehead slap) Almost omitted Dan Collins's contribution to International Fisking Day.

UPDATE II: And thanks to Dan Collins for pointing out the return of T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII to the blogospheric fray.

UPDATE III: Donald Douglas goes upside E.D. Kain's head.

UPDATE IV: Late entry from Mark Goluskin: David Frum needs to shut his hole. Which kind of sums the whole thing up, eh?

'Going John Galt'

Wow, raise your hand if you remember the mind-blowing awesomeness of the first time you read Atlas Shrugged. The recognition that you own yourself, that what you earn by your labor and ability is yours, and that the socialist parasites who would stake a "moral" claim to take away your hard-earned property are, in fact, the most immoral creatures on earth -- it's a psychotraumatic revelation, isn't it?

Rand's philosophical radicalism ultimately goes beyond a point I am willing to follow, but in her basic idea -- the irreplaceable creative value of the entrepreneur, and the unworthiness of capitalism's enemies -- she hammers it home.

Michelle Malkin has begun hammering the "Going Galt" theme, and it's the subject of a long post by Melissa Clouthier today, and Donald Douglas also weighs in. I believe Dr. Helen may have been the first to raise the issue, so I'll link her to be on the safe side. (I met her and the Instahubby at CPAC, which gave me occasion to say, "All your links are belong to us!")

The Obama/Pelosi/Reid axis have enacted laws that constitute an incentive against earning, against investing, against hiring, against working. Projections of deficits cannot possibly measure future revenues accurately, if more and more people simply stop engaging in productive economic activity. They can't force you to work and earn, can't they? They can't force you to invest and hire, can they?

Can somebody tell me when the next Treasury auction is? I've been saying for weeks that everybody's panicking about the stock market, but if the bond market gets the willies -- and methinks they're starting to sweat a little -- oh, boy!

BTW, I am in discussions with some folks down Alabama way about getting there for a Tea Party they're planning. So if any of my readers are in Alabama and are in touch with the Tea Party resistance, please get in touch or leave a comment. Dates and details are sketchy, but my itinerary will likely include stops in Decatur, Birmingham, Alexander City (to see a certain erudite fellow) and Montgomery.

Thanks to everyone who's been hitting the tip jar lately. The contributions are greatly appreciated by my beautiful wife.

Her 'illustrious mentor'

Nyark, nyark, nyark. Suzanna Logan -- the Rule 5 answer to the oft-repeated question, "Who was that girl at CPAC?" -- is now a blogger.

Frequent commenters will please go over and introduce themselves. Guys, try not to drool on your keyboards. And be gentle -- it's her first post, and it should be a tender moment.

Video: 'Cougar Barbie'

My JSU classmate Gloria Grady recently turned 50, and someone sent her this video:

Apparently this was on the Jay Leno show a few weeks ago, but I hadn't seen it. If you've already seen it, excuse me if it's kinda old. (NTTAWWT.)

Insane news of the day

Philip Klein at the American Spectator:
Hundreds of members of the Service Employees International Union are taking off from their jobs to join the fight to pass President Obama's $3.55 trillion budget, a union official said on Wednesday.
"SEIU intends to bring the full force of the union and its 2.1 million members to bear," Khalid Pitts, director of political accountability at the SEIU said on a conference call. "Right now, we have hundreds of our workers, who have taken leave from their jobs in 18 crucial states to moving this budget."
Pitts said that the members will be going door-to-door to convince their neighbors to support the budget as well as organizing house parties and other events. The hope is that the hundreds will turn into thousands as members of Congress arrive in their districts during Easter recess.
Think about that. Here we are with the economy in the toilet, unemployment above 7% for the first time in many years, the stock market plunging to its lowest point in 12 years, new waves of bankruptcies and foreclosures and layoffs announced every day. And yet, these SEIU members -- who are very fortunate actually to have jobs -- are going to take time off to go door-to-door campaigning on behalf of Obama's stagflation-on-steroids budget that will kill jobs like Raid kills roaches.

Nurse, more Thorazine, please!

Frank Schaeffer and the barking dogs

After I posted the video of the CNN debate between Jason Mattera and Frank Schaeffer, I got an e-mail from a blog buddy who sent me a link to a September 2008 blog post by some useless idiot who followed Schaeffer into the so-called "Obamacon" camp.

Today, I've got a lot on my mind. I'm planning a visit to Alabama soon for an appearance at an event, my personal financial situation sucks, and if I don't get some serious tip-jar action going, it'll be even more scary than it already is. And so this idea of Frank Schaeffer being on CNN to peddle his book, making money by pushing the Obama agenda, kind of stuck in my craw, and my e-mail reply to my buddy ran to 1,400 words. Grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair, because here is what I wrote:
You see that Schaeffer and others of that ilk were, in large measure, turned off by the cynicism of the Mehlman/Rove/Bush manipulation of evangelical Christians, as well as the shameless flag-waving "be patriotic, vote Republican" use of 9/11 and the Iraq War. Any intelligent, well-informed and politically aware person couldn't help that. But to jump over into the enemy camp over that, and publicly denounce the GOP in the manner that the soi-dissant "Obamacons" did -- that was stupid and dishonorable.
When I left the Democratic party (circa 1994-95), my disillusionment and sense of betrayal was so deep and profound that, as a conservative, I have maintained a very detached, skeptical and, you might say, objective view of the Republican Party. I try to avoid using "we" when speaking of the Republican Party, because I am not part (and have no desire to become a part) of the official electoral apparatus.
Politics is a very dirty and very cynical business, full of self-serving ambitious men who -- to give them every benefit of the doubt -- hope to do well by doing good. It's a racket, and if you've spent as long as I have watching it at close range, it is impossible to be too idealistic about it.
All that said, however, when push comes to shove, you have to choose sides and keep in mind the fundamental differences between the two parties, differences that have never been clearer than at the present moment, as the Obamanomics agenda devastates the market economy and Democrats enact policies intended to make their political hegemony permanent.
I talked to an old friend Tuesday, a retired fellow who has worked all his life, as has his dear wife, and they had managed to amass sufficient savings that he was set to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Or so he thought.
"Stacy, I've lost a half-million dollars in this market," he told me, and explained that the mortgage payment on his retirement home was becoming problematic. "We might lose our house."
My friend is an erudite man, who views his plight philosophically, and appreciated my jocular reply.
"Well . . . just think. Eighteen months ago, you could have given me a quarter-million, and whatever I did with that investment, you wouldn't have been worse off than you are now," I said. "You gotta go with who you know."
He laughed, and mused that, indeed, I'd have been a better steward of his investments than Lehmann Brothers. And then I told him that I'd managed by sheer lunatic accident to outsmart the market. When I walked out of the Washington Times in January 2008, I had money in my 401K that, over the course of several months, I withdrew and spent to subsidize the launching of my career as a freelance journalist and blogger.
At this point, although I might be flat broke and faced with all manner of financial woes, my blog has just passed the 1-million hits threshold, I'm being published at The American Spectator, Pajamas Media, Taki's Magazine and Splice Today, and it appears that investing in myself was the best move I could have made. It was a helluva crazy gamble, but it's starting to pay off.
Which brings me back to Frank Schaeffer and some of that "evangelicals for Obama" nonsense. Do you remember three weeks ago when Michelle Lee Muccio rocketed to Internet fame with her YouTube video? I've known Michelle for a couple of years, just from hanging around libertarian events in D.C. She works at the Acton Institute, which is all about getting Christians to understand that property rights and the free economy are far more consonant with Bible values than the socialist class-envy agenda of the Left.
This is a basic idea I've had for years, which I wrote about last fall in a column for the American Spectator called "The Bible vs. the Bailout." It infuriates me when people like that idiot Ryan Sager claim that there is some kind of conflict within the Republican "Big Tent" between evangelicals and libertarians. It's not true or, at least, it shouldn't be true. The idiocy of Frank Schaeffer -- and people like Rod Dreher, who can't seem to find time in their busy lives to read Ludwig Von Mises or Friedrich Hayek -- is that they have failed to understand, embrace and proclaim the truth that without economic liberty, we will have no other liberty, not even a free press or freedom of religion.
If the leadership of the Religious Right had proclaimed this truth to their followers -- who are "poor, uneducated and easy to command," we're told -- then evangelical conservatives would have screamed bloody murder over the Bush administration's deficit-spending ways and the profligacy of Republicans in Congress during those six long years where Bush seemed to have misplaced his veto pen. But the Mehlman/Rove axis was happy to get 51% with their jingoism and token gestures to the "base," while ignoring the basic maxim of governance that good policy is good politics.
So it is not as if I don't share the disappointment of effete critics like Schaeffer and Dreher and David Brooks -- the dogs who bark while the caravan moves on -- but rather that I was as undeceived about the essential nature of politics in 2001 as I am today. There are other maxims of politics that the barking dogs ignore, including this one: You can't govern if you don't win.
At a very basic level, politics comes down to the business of who can put the most butts in voting booths on Election Day. And when my libertarian or neocon friends scoff at pro-lifers and the Religious Right, my answer is always, "Yeah, but they can put butts in voting booths." How many votes can David Brooks deliver? Where is his powerful following? And since the answer is, "Not very many," then who the hell cares what David Brooks says about anything? He speaks for no important constituency, and his influence is effectively nihil, because the only people who pay attention to him are media types and others of the intelligentsia who vote about 8-to-1 Democrat year after year.
Dreher and Schaeffer and their ilk, however, are far more valuable to advancing the Democratic agenda. Because their dyspeptic obfuscations spread like a squid inking the waters, confusing and demoralizing the Bible believers who by all rights ought to be the staunchest advocates of economic liberty and, thus, the most militant opponents of Obamomics. What they are telling their readers is, "Don't bother to hope. Don't try to get involved and make a difference. You don't need to investigate for yourself what's going on. Why even bother to vote or contact your congressman? It doesn't matter what you think or what you do, because you are not important and politicians only care about important people. Just sit here with me, as inert as argon, complaining about everything, and take comfort in the dignity of your irrelevance."
Well, that ain't how I roll. Knowledge is more powerful than ignorance, truth is more powerful than a lie, and courage will always triumph over the weakling cowardice of those who sit on the sidelines whining because Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are in the starting lineup.
So I kept talking to my old friend who lost a half-million in the stock market, and I said to him that I have closely watched the signs of the times, and have seen the omens, and have faith that a mighty work is at hand. My friend laughed and remarked that, of course I know he's utterly unreligious.
"Yeah, I know, you're a damned pagan and I'm a hillbilly holly roller," I said. Nevertheless the signs of the times are clear to me, and I see which way this situation is headed. It doesn't matter whether you believe now, you will see soon enough. We are in the midst of a great sorting, separating the wheat from the chaff, and I don't plan to be the chaff.
As for Schaeffer and Dreher and those other barking dogs, they can either grow up and confront the realities of coalition politics, or find themselves counted as members of the hostile army encompassing the camp of the saints. I know what side I'm on, and I'm sick and tired of their carping pusillanimity. They can stand with us and fight the enemy, or they can get the hell gone, but the time for deciding is at hand, and they're not necessarily going to be the ones doing the deciding.
Living like a wild man on tip-jar contributions and freelance assignments isn't exactly fun, but at least I can tell the truth without having to ask anybody's permission. WOLVERINES!
-- RSM
Now, if you like that attitude and you want more of it, please hit the tip jar. To give you an idea of how bad things suck right now, before I opened my buddy's e-mail and wrote that reply, I'd been working on a little promotional idea. In college, I minored in art with an emphasis in commercial design, so I know a thing or two about effective messages that grab the reader's attention.

Exploring new nadirs of blogospheric shamelessness is kind of a hobby. Like I said, I write for money, and I have a lot of fun thinking up imaginative new ways to build traffic and enhance my revenue stream. As amusing as these detours into transparent blogwhoring might be -- oh, the joys of Rule 5! -- I'd rather be writing about politics, which would be easier to do if I didn't have to spend so much time coming up with devious new ways of shaking the tip jar.

I'm obliged to John Hawkins at Conservative Grapevine who linked to some smokin'-hot bikini pics of Miranda Kerr that inspired my latest fundraising scheme. So if you've been thinking about whether to hit the tip jar, hit it now. I don't know how much longer the ACORN protesters on the picket line will be able to keep the repo man from towing my car.

Mrs. Other McCain and son

Just wanted to show you this picture my wife took with my 8-year-old son, Emerson, on the computer camera.

Sir Ted of Chappaquiddick

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will announce that Sen. Ted Kennedy will receive an honorary knighthood, the Times Online is reporting.
Brown is to make the announcement when he becomes the fifth British prime minister to address both houses of Congress.
Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat and an Irish-American, will be recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for his role in U.S.-British relations and the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Because he is not a British citizen, Kennedy will not be allowed to be called "Sir Ted," but he will be allowed to place the initials K.B.E.(Knight of the British Empire) after his name.
Drown a girl in an Oldsmobile, wield political influence to get the charges reduced to a minor traffic infraction, and go on to become a Knight of the British Empire! Only a Democrat could get away with that.

'Ed, you're a butt boy'

Yesterday, I was driving from the Heritage Foundation over to my current part-time day gig as a video editor and listened to the second hour of Rush Limbaugh's show, in which he was talking about a particularly idiotic question that CNN's Ed Henry asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs:
The question is from Ed Henry, CNN, of Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman: "The president has spoken a lot about bringing the country together. . . ."
Ed, you're a butt boy.
That caused me to laugh out loud. You have to hear the audio to appreciate the way Rush delivered that line. He started to read the entire question from Henry, preparatory to playing a sound-bite of Gibbs's response. As he began to do so, however, he halted, evidently struck by the total tee-ball nature of the question, which had zero to do with White House policy or the real work of the governing process.

That set Rush off on a memorable monologue, and understandably so. Henry was simply giving Gibbs an easy shot at Limbaugh. Here's the complete question:
"Bob, the president has spoken a lot about bringing the country together. And after the stimulus fight, there was a lot of pandering in both parties about bipartisanship. What's the White House's reaction to Rush Limbaugh saying again that he wants the president to fail, specifically on his economic plans, and how does that bode for bipartisanship in the future working with the Republicans?"
Henry asked Gibbs to give "the White House's reaction" not to any legislation in Congress or economic development on Wall Street, but rather to something said by a radio talk-show host. Imagine Ed Henry asking a White House spokesman to something said by, inter alia, Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews. Never gonna happen.

Butt Boy Ed is not engaged in journalism. Rather, he is promoting a Democratic Party propaganda objective, to set up this "controversial" statement by Limbaugh in order to use Rush as a proxy for the Republican Party. It's a little game for Butt Boy Ed, to get the White House to officially condemn Limbaugh, so that Republican leaders in Congress can in turn be asked whether they side with the now-denounced radio host.

Butt Boy Ed is doing hammer-and-wedge work intended to divide and/or discredit the GOP, to render the conservative movement's most influential spokesman persona non grata among Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Butt Boy Ed thinks ordinary Americans are too stupid to see what it is he is doing, and that he is not engaged in genuine news reporting, but is in fact a partisan political operative propagandizing CNN viewers on behalf of the Democratic Party.

If Butt Boy Ed quit his job at CNN and went to work for the Obama administration, the first thing he'd do is collect back pay.

Random freaking adults, again

Big headline at MSNBC:
Poll: Obama's rating at all-time high
And Mark Murray's story begins:
After Barack Obama's first six weeks as president, the American public's attitudes about the two political parties couldn't be more different, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds.
Despite the country's struggling economy and vocal opposition to some of his policies, President Obama's favorability rating is at an all-time high. . . .
By comparison, the Republican Party — which resisted Obama's recently passed stimulus plan and has criticized the spending in his budget — finds its favorability at an all-time low. It also receives most of the blame for the current partisanship in Washington and trails the Democrats by nearly 30 percentage points on the question of which party could best lead the nation out of recession.
What Murray doesn't tell the reader until the 15th paragraph is who was polled to get these results:
While the poll — which was conducted of 1,007 adults from Feb. 26 to March 1, and which has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points — finds Obama in a strong position after his first six weeks as president, the same isn't true for Republicans.
Random adults! Not "registered voters." Certainly not "likely voters." Just random adults. Look at the poll details (PDF): No effort was expended to determine the voting habits of the respondents. There was no screen at all. Just whatever 1,007 people answered the phone and said they were 18 or old.

This is important. The pollster, Peter Hart, and the folks at NBC/WSJ who commissioned the poll are not so stupid that they don't understand the importance of the distinction between "random adults" and actual voters.

Anyone who knows anything about public opinion polling knows that non-voters are different than voters. Everything we know about the behaviors and attitudes of non-voters shows that these are people disengaged from, and ignorant of, the political process. Compared to voters, non-voters tend to have lower levels of income and education, to be less informed about politics and current events, to score lower on every measure of civic involvement.

And guess what else we know about non-voters? If they could be motivated toward engagement with the political process, they would overwhelmingly vote Democrat and support liberal economic policies. So when news organization commission random-adult polls about political questions, the results will always skew substantially leftward, giving the false impression that Democrats and liberal policies are more popular than they actually are among actual voters.

Nobody knows this more than Democratic Party political operatives, who expend massive resources to register the unregistered, and to get as many as possible of these unengaged and uninformed people to vote. If you go back and look at 2008 exit polls, you find that Obama got 73% of voters with annual incomes under $15,000, and his strongest educational cohort was high-school dropouts (63%). Yet even with a historic level of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts in 2008, there were still many millions who could not be bothered to go to the polls on election day.

Non-voters are irrelevant to the political process. Taking a random-adult about political questions and turning it into a major news story is therefore a fundamentally dishonest action. Polling random adults is fine, if you're asking about Coke vs. Pepsi, McDonald's vs. Burger King. But to do a random-adult poll about politics -- without even endeavoring to find within the respondents a subsample of registered voters or likely voters -- is not honest journalism.

And the fact that Murray buried in the 15th paragraph the fact that the NBC/WSJ poll was of random adults tells you that he understands, and wishes to conceal, the essential bogusness of the result.

So, a socialist, a Marlboro smoker and the President of the United State walk into a bar . . .

. . . and they were all the same guy!
"Nearly one in six Tennesseans has told a joke about Barack Obama's race, and three-fourths say they've heard or read at least one, even though only 15 percent of Tennesseans say they would find such a joke funny."
But seriously, folks -- I just flew in from Nairobi and, man, are my arms tired!

BTW, yesterday was my best traffic day in the past 30 days -- 17K+ visitors, 20K+ page views. So while I'm thinking about traffic, let me do some belated Rule 2 for Rule 5 Sunday bloggers, as The Patriot Room brings you Danica Patrick bikini AND Faith Hill upskirt.

Also, if you want to hear me on PJM Radio, click here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Evan Sayet at Heritage

By Smitty

Evan Sayet spoke Tuesday at The Heritage Foundation, talking about the themes from his new book, How the Modern Liberal Winds Up on the Wrong Side of Every Issue.

Sayet reprised and updated a talk given two years previously, Regurgitating the Apple: How Modern Liberals "Think". (YouTube version)

Among the key influences on both talks were Allan Bloom, author of The Closing of the American Mind, and Thomas Sowell., author of The Vision of the Anointed.

In today's outing, Evan built upon a three point thesis about "modern liberals":
  1. They are raised to believe that the sole virtue is not making discriminate judgments, e.g. promiscuity is bad, chastity is good. Since discriminating between good and bad is the new taboo, coming out in favor of the good and successful choice is to be avoided. This leaves the unsuccessful and bad choice as the way to go.
  2. Evidence of success, e.g. the pre-eminent position occupied by the US, cannot be predicated upon any inherent superiority of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. That would violate the first two premises. Therefore, the modern liberal must conclude that the US is a brutal, imperialist country, and consistently side with her enemies.
Thank heaven for Evan.

UPDATE (by Stacy): Thanks to long-time commenter Smitty for his first post. Click here to download Sayet's lecture in MP3 format. I arrived late. Among my notes of the lecture, Sayet said that "stupidity is a luxury," and that in academia, "liberals cannot survive in the fields where truth is truth." He got a big laugh mocking Rosie O'Donnell's "9-11 truther" claim that "fire can't melt steel." Sayet said O'Donnell must know better: "I know she's watched 'Flashdance' -- over and over and over."

Jason Mattera defends Rush Limbaugh

On CNN, via Young America's Foundation:

I love how Jason calls out Frank Schaeffer, who responds that "Rush Limbaugh is to the conservative movement what Jabba the Hut was to the 'Star Wars' movies."

Oh. Ha, ha, ha. Now I get it. A fat joke. Wow, that is so erudite and sophisticated.

'You must think we're f---ing idiots'

Part of my job today required me to do some cold-calling on behalf of a county Republican Party in another state. So I was doing my FM radio smooth-jazz voice, with a bit of Andy Griffith downhome charm, and knocking 'em dead.

Talking to my boss about this, she mentioned that she got cold-called by a Democratic organization last week. My boss hadn't gotten the "Operation Chaos" message on time, so she actually voted for Obama in the primary, even though she is the staunchest of staunch conservative Republicans. Her registration therefore put her on the Democrat calling list.

Now, being a smart lady, my boss knew what to do when she got the Democratic cold call:
  • Waste the maximum amount of the caller's time. They're getting paid to call you, and every minute of time they waste on you is a minute they can't spend calling someone who might actually give them money.
  • Demoralize them. Your objective is to convince the caller that you are a loyal Democrat and have been for years, but . . . (and here you might want to choke up just a little) . . . Obama's breaking your heart. He has sold out and betrayed everything you ever believed in as a loyal Democrat.
My boss worked that like a pro. "Why is he hurting people? . . . We're the party of compassion, and he's hurting poor people, he's hurting women, he's hurting black people, he's hurting everybody! . . . Obama is destroying the country, he's destroying the Democratic Party, he's playing right into the Republican Party's agenda. . . . How do you even have the nerve to call and ask a loyal Democrat like me to give money to Obama after he stabbed us in the back like this? Are you a Democrat? Aren't you ashamed of how cruel Obama is to the little people who've lost their jobs?"

You get the drift. The cold-caller kept interrupting, trying to give her Democratic talking points, but my boss lady would have none of it. Finally, after the cold-caller tried for the third or fourth time to argue that everything was Bush's fault, my boss just said in a quiet serious voice: "You must think we're f---ing idiots."

And the cold-caller hung up. Eight minutes is not bad. And just think of the break-room chat when the cold-callers get together. Complete demoralization.