Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rahm Emanuel: Tax evader?

My newest blog buddy, Barbara Espinosa compiled this research:
Why doesn't Rahm Emanuel pay property taxes?
According to the Cook County Assessor's website, the Chicago home of four-term Democrat Congressman and new White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, doesn't exist. . . .
Why wouldn't 4228 North Hermitage property owners Rahm Emanuel and wife A my Rule pay property taxes?
One reason may be because Emanuel and Rule declared their 4228 North Hermitage home as the office location for their personal non-profit foundation called the "Rahm Emanuel and Amy Rule Charitable Foundation." As the non-profit's headquarters, their home could be exempt from paying property taxes. . . .
Read the whole thing. Considering my family budget, maybe I should become a non-profit foundation, too!

UPDATE: Via e-mail, my buddy Dan Riehl points out that Ms. Espinosa's post contains broken links. Will see if we can't get her to fix those.

Most Important Post of the Day

by Smitty

The Jacksonian Party has a crucial graph on incumbency that I've wanted to do the work to produce for some time now. Director Blue has some additional thoughts.

The gist is that the 17th Amendment is correlated with a sudden decrease in the turnover rate in Congress, aiding the creation of the Congress That Shall Live in Infamy.

That may be a strong contributor. But what about the 16th Amendment and the Federal Reserve Act? I think it's high time "We the People", in this Information Age, realize that Progressivism was really a soft coup, and set about breaking the back of the beast.

It ain't over until Americans cower in fear like the poor blokes in lesser countries. Federalism!

The Vaughan/Beck verdict on Obamacare:

by Smitty

"Going Down"

Or, if not Chicago blues, how about Chicago pizza?

RightOnline: Just the Facts, Ma'am

Neutral, objective journalism:
PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Donna Scala was surprised to find she felt so at home among her fellow attendees at this weekend's RightOnline conference.
"I've never been in a room with this many conservatives before," Ms. Scala, a Democrat from Beaver Falls, Pa., said after attending the two-day conference sponsored by the Americans For Prosperity foundation.
During Saturday afternoon's final panel discussion, Ms. Scala drew applause when she stood up to ask a question, which she prefaced by introducing herself as "a Democrat who did not vote for Obama." . . .
Read the whole thing. And hit the tip jar. Oh, yeah, Erik Telford is here, too:

That's Peggy Venable, AFP Texas director, the surprisingly cheerful Telford, and Texas grassroots hottie activist Nina Sidoryanskaya.

It would probably be wrong to beat Telford into a coma in front of the ladies. But I haven't ruled it out.

UPDATE: I just helped my new blog buddy, Barbara Espinosa, install SiteMeter and Technorati on her blog. Please visit Barbara at American Freedom blog.

UPDATE II: Michelle Malkin had to catch a plane before I arrived, so I didn't get to see her, as I'd hoped. Maybe next year?

Hillary opening old wounds

by Smitty (h/t Sweetness and Light, assist to Pundette)

Dear Secretary of State:

Bush vs. Gore went to the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice swore George W. Bush into office. The same occurred with Barack Obama.

Your implication that Jeb Bush may have had something to do with anything other than fulfilling his office as Governor of Florida is disgusting. The context, a contested election in another country, does not even begin to excuse this cheap shot. If you sat on substantial evidence of wrongdoing at the time, Madame Secretary, I hope it brought you pleasure.

When you attack the Office of President of the United States in this scurrilous fashion, you attack the whole country. Your behavior is false. Shame on you.

Very respectfully,
C. Smith

John Bolton for Secretary of State, 2013

Feeling bad, somewhere near the left shoulder blade

by Smitty (h/t HuffPo)

A deal with Switzerland settling U.S. demands for the names of suspected tax dodgers from a Swiss bank has a lot of wealthy Americans with offshore accounts nervously running to their tax advisers -- and the Internal Revenue Service.

"They are very frightened," said Richard Boggs, chief executive of Nationwide Tax Relief, a Los-Angeles-based tax firm that specializes in clients with tax debts exceeding $100,000. "You have the super rich who are not used to being pushed around and they are finding themselves in unfamiliar territory."
Reached for comment, Throckmorton Q. Bugglethwiddy blended panic and fury:
"Biff assured me that the fix was in!
  • We made all of the right contributions at campaign time.
  • We sucked it up on the mortgage cramdown.
  • We took a bath on the General Motors debt.
  • We didn't blow the lid off the deal when Waxman-Markey went south.
  • We even bought every stupid feature in Oprah's book club.
Is Biff an idiot? Is he double-crossing me? I knew I should have never let him marry Taylor, and trusted him to run things.

The Sixteenth Amendment was a fine game, as long as only the little people really felt the bite. It's turning into ancient Rome. Who do they think I am, Mikhail Khodorkovsky?

Why, oh why, did I fund that 527 Organization to help elect that joker? I've been such a fool."

Gets Personal With Anti-Palin Blogger

I'm just crazy. Dan Riehl is from New Jersey. There is a difference:
You do remember Arnetha right, Jessi. Griffin, right? Your brother Joe's wife, based upon the records I've seen. You'd think a caring guy like you would have spent more time worrying about his own family, instead of the Palin family -- besides indulging young Heather in all the sex talk you bragged about, I mean. Kyle and his felonies, a sister-in-law graduated from kiting checks in Alaska to pumping out teen killers back in the hood. Sure sounds to me like Jesse has enough problems with own family instead of obsessing so much over what another one does. But, eh, maybe it was racism that allowed him to forget Arnetha so easily, so as to not mention her on his blog.
Read the whole thing, if you think you can handle it. Before you accuse Dan Riehl of unnecessary cruelty, remember: Well, off to Pittsburgh. Pity the vicious moonbat who ever doubts Dan Riehl's research abilities.
Look for updates at RIEHL WORLD VIEW.

Get thee glass eyes, and, like a modern liberal pundit, seem to see things thou dost not.

by Smitty

Moving on to economic Warfare, The Moderate Voice sounds just a bit...immoderate?
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey shot his company in the face the other day with an anti-health care op-ed screed in the Wall Street Journal. He’s managed to piss off his company’s core demographic: liberals and progressives, and in the process, enabled a boycott that could actually work.
It must be my lying eyes, but I thought Mackey said:
While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment. Here are eight reforms that would greatly lower the cost of health care for everyone...
Oh, the argument isn't about health in the slightest: it's about whether you're buying capitalist fromage or government cheese.

The assault on anyone not toeing the Party Orthodoxy has been extended to Glen Beck. William A. Jacobson says this is more bug than feature. Hopefully these suppression efforts will have even less effect than Cynthia Yockey's efforts to free up David Letterman's time.

Ultimately, to paraphrase Heinlein as freely as King Lear, a socially armed society may be a more polite society.

Humor-Impaired Commenter Syndrome

This rare condition can strike without warning:
If you want to know why Erik Erikson was invited to speak and not you, go to Alexa and compare your stats to Redstate. Orders of magnitude, buddy.
Why the difference? Redstate is about issues. This blog is about three things: 1) Who does and doesn't link to you, 2) Your resentment over real and imagined insults, 3) Begging for money in every post.
You want to be a player in conservative circles? Write about something that matters to a national conservative audience. And no, that would not be a two-part, line-by-line dissection of a column written two weeks ago by an unknown kid in a newspaper read only by people who eat whale blubber. Nor would it be a book-length rehashing of your personal disappointments at the Washington Times.
Seriously, this is the fourth time you've posted profoundly juvenile fantasies about hurting Telford because you're not on the program. If you ever do make it, your blurb will say, "We invited Stacy so he would stop whining."
-- "plarson," 7:55 a.m.
Research indicates that anonymity is closely associated with Humor-Impaired Commenter Syndrome, perhaps because people are afraid to advertise -- under their own names -- the fact that they are too stupid or ignorant to get the freaking jokes.

Or that they are too stupid or ignorant to tell the difference between (a) a Republican discussion board about "issues" and (b) the personal blog of a journalist who has been called (by L.J. Miller of Red State, ironically enough) "the conservative Hunter S. Thompson for today."

And speaking of "issues," let's have an informal poll. Please read the following statment aloud:
A major problem of the Republican Party today is that in recent years the GOP has attracted too many humorless self-important blowholes who take everything literally and who only want to talk about "issues."
Do you (a) strongly agree, (b) agree somewhat, (c) disasagree somewhat, (d) disagree strongly, or (e) froth with rage because you're the humorless self-important blowhole "plarson" who is belatedly realizing what a complete fool you have made of of yourself?

Of course, a poll measures what is merely a matter of opinion. As a professional journalist, I am trained to deal strictly with neutral, objective facts.

Important fact: I arrived late to the blogosphere. In 2003, one of my interns at The Washington Times, a promising young feature writer named Amy Doolittle, came to me with the suggestion of writing a story about something called "blogs," a term she had to explain was short for "weblogs."

Miss Doolittle began to explain the concept of these do-it-yourself personal online journals, and my reaction was, "Oh, you mean, like or The Corner at NRO?"

Yes, kind of like The Corner, answered Miss Doolittle, but she then told me that, although some of these "blog" things were about politics, they could also be about . . . anything, including the personal hobbies and daily activities of the individual bloggers. Some of these sick freaks even blogged about their cats.

This seemed rather an obscure sort of topic for a feature article in America's Newspaper, but young Miss Doolittle had her heart set on it. So we presented the idea to assistant managing editor Maria Stainer who, while perhaps even more mystified than I -- "OK, now, explain to me one more time: Why do we need to do a story about this?" -- nevertheless approved the proposal, rather than to break poor Miss Doolittle's heart.

Fast forward to December 2006: Having survived the final deadline required to complete the manuscript of Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party, I'm on the phone with my co-author Lynn Vincent, discussing the promotion and marketing of the book.
"We must have a Donkey Cons blog."
"Well, a Web site, maybe, but why a blog?"
"Because we must. Everybody does blogs to promote their books nowadays."
"Stacy, a blog will eat your life."
Lynn had been assigned blog duties at World magazine, where she was features editor, and thus knew whereof she spoke. Did I heed her warning? Oh, no, no, no.

So at 10:55 a.m. on Friday, January 13, 2006, the Donkey Cons blog made its inauspicious debut. Immediately, I was confronted with a problem: If an author writes in the blogosphere and nobody reads it, why bother blogging at all?

What followed was a crash course in what are known as Traffic Enhancement Strategies, a subject subsequently explained as "How To Get A Million Hits On Your Blog In Less Than A Year."

There are people who make money writing books and teaching seminars about this topic -- including the kind of important people who get invited to RightOnline -- but I am notoriously averse to expert advice and, indeed, have been known to share Hayekian critiques of the entire concept of expertise.

Having never been a big fan of self-help books ("Dr. Phil's Guide to Sexually Abusing Interns"), the last place you'll ever find me is sitting in a hotel conference room listening to some neurasthenic geek drone on about SEOs and Web 2.0 social networking technology.

Sorry, geek-face, I don't roll that way. What I know, I learned by the bootstrap trial-and-error method and, proud though I may be, I am not too proud to occasionally display the scars that are the inevitable result of the "error" part of that process. Mr. "plarson" is invited to read the motto atop this blog:
"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."
-- Arthur Koestler
It would be a disservice to my readers if I were less than honest about my own motives. "I Write For Money," as I once explained to that notoriously self-important blowhole Rod Dreher. Tthere is nothing I hate worse than a professional writer who, in a sort of bait-and-switch marketing scheme, endeavors to attract a gullible readership prone to believing that he, the writer, is a disinterested philosophe who has no interest in grubbing for filthy lucre.

This is not a blog for chumps and suckers. If you're too stupid to recognize that "crunchy" conservatism is a crooked game of three-card monte, if you don't get the ongoing schtick when I indulge in self-deprecating mock-Gonzo humor, you are obviously reading the wrong blog.

The correct reader for this blog is a certain mischievous resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, who just hit the tip jar for a full Benjamin, and included this double-dog-dare-ya message: "Roadtrip to PA. GO! Tell MM, Hi from Sharon. She does not know me."

So while I would like to stick around here and expend another 1,500 words explaining exactly what I meant to say when I started this post, there is now no time to waste. Sharon in Cincinnati must have a personally autographed copy of the Best. Book. Evah! and there is only one man in the blogosphere who can get it for her.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro . . . and hit the freaking tip jar. Erik Telford's going to be buying the beer in Pittsburgh tonight, but man does not blog for beer alone.

Fearlessly, Myers Jumped Reflexively Away

by Smitty

You'd think an intern might lighten the load around here at Porch Manqué central. But nooooooo... Here I am, slaving away on this week's Full Metal Jacket Reach Around, while the boss and Myers are out chasing tacos and who knows what else at the National Press Club. How much do you want to be those punks don't even bring me back any chow? Talk about getting punked.
OK, enough of this fuming: I could begin to sound a modern liberal, droning past ad nauseum levels of whining about 'fairness'. To work.

George Archibald
  • Obi's sister includes the old guy spanking in a roundup of interweb paddling.
  • The Troglopundit wondered aloud about hitting the Delete button.
Panel of Death
  • 4 Simpsons noted the death panel that didn’t exist. How about the Coordinated Health Activity Resource Organization, National (CHARON)? Really great boat logo. Put an old squid in charge. It will be perfect. In some other country than this one.
  • The Blog Prof has a thorough roundup of the Community Organizer in Chief. He seems to have missed the special new 'stimulus' vehicle purchased to help popluarize the idea.
  • The Rude News pronounces the engagement a sound defeat. Just remember: 3.5 years left. It's not over until the last zombie has been fragged by a shotgun shell.
  • The Rhetorican feels "Life-Span Committees" has a nice, positive (if Orwellian) ring to it... [Except that it admits the government owns you cradle-to-deathbed a little too openly for now.]
  • Rickety Click lives up to his "Don't Expect Me to be Nice motto:"
    So, no, the bill does not order physicians to make their patients agree to die. It simply offers to pay them to bury their patients in bullshit, including a disguised offer to allow themselves to be neglected to death, because remember: from here on out, your health care will administered with all the compassion of the IRS or the DMV. And eventually, there will be no alternative.
Now, Bob's Bar and Grill would have probably linked Slayer, "Angel of Death". The last time we trotted out something that heavy, the porch nearly collapsed. Hopefully Bob will forgive a minor wimp-out in favor of the Finnish cello quartet Apocalyptica, which certainly captures the mood in a brooding, cultured sort of way.

  • Dustbury: "One might almost call it a monologue".
  • Obi's Sister Thought the post was funny.
  • The Daley Gator makes the rather surprising assertion that there are places no man should go. We shan't ask (a) where he came from, and (b) where else he considers acceptable. It's just not our business, and we love everyone anyway. Though that Myers creep is on thin ice. WTF my tacos?
  • Sir Bob of Belvedere: "THEY CALL ME DOCTOR LOVE"
Griffin, a case study in choosing foes carefully.
Camille Paglia
  • Daryl Vocat linked us.
  • The Blog Prof was all over Hitler Moustache story, that Stacy linked at the bottom of the disgruntled lesbian story. Connecting the dots on that one is left as an exercise for the reader.
  • Obi's Sister nabbed the Leah post.
  • The Classic Liberal hat tipped us also.
  • The Lonely Conservative was experience database personality while building this post. Yet your link on the topic of Leah was noted and approved.
Blowhard Department
  • Public Secrets agreed with the blowhard diagnosis
  • Jimmie linked the Blowhard post in a Harry Reid Denunciation (HRD) that is my #2 favorite HRD outing. #1 remains, of course, Dennis Miller:

Is it a bad thing if you're such an unimpressive public figure that denouncing you acquires its own acronym?
  • Poliblogger took a moderate tone. Some seem to miss the point that the healthcare debate, while a major skirmish, is really one engagement in the broader battle to retain liberty in this country. Don't focus on tactics at the expense of strategy, ye patriots.
  • AmieriCAN-DO Attitude linked us amidst the most thorough roundup on the topic I've seen yet.
  • Jazz Shaw and I sparred briefly. I'm still curious regarding Jazz's opinion of Federalism.
  • The Independent Political Report had a play-by-play summary on the future of the Libertarians.
  • Kn@ppster chewed on it a bit more, too.
Miscellaneous shouts:

As usual, send tips and accolades to the firm of McCain and Myers. They get the food, I'm stuck with the wrappers, here in my taco hell. But if you have some links that escaped the clone bot army, send them to Smitty. Line your blog and my inbox for Rule 5 Sunday tomorrow, as well, ye scalawags.

Erik Telford offers 'peace for our time'

"My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time . . . Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."
-- Neville Chamberlain, Sept. 30, 1938
On Thursday, July 21 -- 24 days ago -- I posted this in reference to my non-invitation to RightOnline:
No, my feelings aren't hurt. I'm chopped liver, and chopped liver doesn't have feelings. But why does Americans For Prosperity hate me so much? What did I ever do to Erik Telford to deserve this purposeful snub?

Puzzled and hurt, I intended merely to make mention of this, to serve notice that this insult -- this backhanded assault on my personal dignity -- had not escaped my attention.

A brief explanation: In D.C. Republican circles, if you allow yourself to be treated like Fredo Corleone getting slapped around by Moe Green, you might as well get "Chump" tattooed on your forehead, because you will never be treated with any courtesy or respect.

You've got to understand how these D.C. Republican operatives think. They're all sadistic sociopaths by nature. Maybe Erik Telford is so powerful, and I am so insignificant, that he can slap me around like Fredo and not have to worry about it. But if I don't even mention that he's slapping me around, Telford might start to thinking I'm so stupid I don't even know when I've been insulted.

OK, so on July 21 I merely noted the insult and was prepared to move on. Then, on Saturday, July 25, after speaking at the Richmond Tea Party, I ran into Ben Marchi, Virginia state director of Americans For Prosperity, and asked him if it was Telford's habit to casually insult Hayekian public intellectuals:
When I mentioned Erik's name, Ben reminded me that Telford recently made No. 2 on Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" list. As usual, Olbermann gets the facts wrong -- Telford's No. 1.
That surge of registrations for RightOnline the past two days was caused by my friends signing up for a seminar Telford left off the Pittsburgh conference agenda: "I've Got T-Shirts Older Than You, Punk: Stacy McCain Explains Why He Just Beat the Crap Out of Erik Telford in the Sheraton Lobby."

That was three weeks ago and Telford, perhaps hoping nobody else had noticed, continued ignoring me.

Finally, this morning sometime after 1 a.m. -- no doubt after toasting his buddies in the Sheraton hotel bar, as they all laughed while Telford recounted how he'd insulted me -- and in response to an earlier post, someone claiming to be Erik Telford left a comment.

This commenter offered to have me as a featured speaker at RightOnline 2010, and invited me to a future "Beer Summit" to make amends. That comment was rejected for three good reasons:

  • There was no independent verification that it indeed was posted by the actual Erik Telford. No responsible journalist could permit a potential "Erik Telford" impostor to perpetrate online fraud. Exactly why someone would wish to impersonate Telford, I don't know, but these Nigerian scam artists are cunning devils, and you can never be too careful.
  • The commenter claiming to be "Erik Telford" left a telephone number which could not be verified and which, for all I know, might be the number of a transvestite escort service. Exactly why someone claiming to be Telford would use such a subterfuge to lure unsuspecting blog readers into calling "Vonda, the Shemale of Your Dreams, I don't know, but these Nigerian scam artists . . . well, you can never be too careful.
  • Finally, even if this commenter was the real Erik Telford (and neither Nigerian nor a transvestite hooker) I fear that accepting an invitation to a "Beer Summit" could prove a prelude to disaster, like Chamberlain's 1938 summit in Munich.

How can I be sure that this "Erik" -- and readers will note the suspiciously Aryan name -- is really who he says he is, and that this is a sincere offer of peace?

What Would Reagan Do? Trust, but verify!

If the real Erik Telford truly desires to secure a lasting peace . . . Mr. Telford, come to this blog! Mr. Telford, hit this tip jar!

Of course, we encourage all our regular readers -- including Nigerian scam artists and transvestite hookers -- also to hit the tip jar.

I haven't seen Michelle Malkin in person since CPAC. It's 184 miles one-way to Pittsburgh, less than two hours drive, if the Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol hasn't been alerted that I'm on my way.

Whether or not I'm actually crazy enough to race westward on I-70 at 110 mph in order to ambush Telford and beat him into a coma, it's important that he believe I might do it. So hit that tip jar, folks. Gas, coffee, cigarettes, donuts, bail money -- expenses can add up on a spur-of-the-moment road trip like that.

"Go home and get a nice quiet sleep," Telford. And keep an eye out. Because you never know . . .

UPDATE: Humor-Impaired Commenter Syndrome.

First, they came for Glenn Beck . . .

. . . and, if these vile monsters are permitted to succeed with their attacks on Beck's advertising revenue, the monsters will grow stronger and bolder, moving on to silence other conservative voices, not just at Fox TV, but everywhere, in every medium.

Erick Erickson is absolutely right about this. It doesn't matter if you love Glenn Beck, hate Glenn Beck, or if you never heard of Glenn Beck. Defending Glenn Beck in this situation is absolutely essential to the preservation of conservative media as a viable commercial enterprise. But . . . what's this?
A noble impulse, but is that really true? My hunch is that companies have limited patience for this sort of thing; they’ll throw a bone to an angry constituency if it’s sufficiently large and focused on one show, but the more targets the boycotters add, the greater the headaches for corporate advertisers who are looking for airtime and sensitive about not alienating other constituencies by getting too political.
That line of reasoning is completely 180-degrees wrong. Beck attracts an audience; the size and demographics of that audience are a commodity sold to advertisers. Media Matters and other left-wing operations intrude their politics into that market nexus in order to undermine the market value not merely of Glenn Beck, but of any other broadcaster (or publisher, or blogger) who might wish to emulate Beck.

The Left doesn't have to add more targets to their boycott list in order to damage conservative media. Put the hit on Beck -- impose what might be called a political discount on the value of his advertising -- and the boycotters have thereby demonstrated their ability to do the same to anyone whom they should decide to target next.

To abandon Glenn Beck and throw him under the bus -- to sacrifice him to the Left -- would be an act of appeasement akin to Neville Chamberlain giving Hitler the Sudetenland.

What Would Ronald Reagan Do?

Via today's FMJRA honoree, Reaganite Republican:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Erik Telford, Internet expert

The guy who didn't invite me to Right Online -- who cannot even be bothered so much as to send an e-mail to explain this insulting omission -- finds time to give an interview to Dan Nephin of the Associated Press:
The Netroots Nation conference is much larger, at about 1,800 people, and lasts four days. RightOnline has about 700 people and lasts two days.
Erik Telford, executive director of RightOnline, concedes the left has been better about using blogging and social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
"I think for the past few years, they (the left) have had an advantage, but the tables are turning and rapidly so," he said. "The Internet is a great place for people to turn when they want to get involved. And people really want to get involved when they're locked out of power."
Telford pointed to the right's activism on "Tea Party" demonstrations across the country against stimulus spending and town hall meetings on health care as examples.
Conservative leaders were slow to embrace online activism, he said.
"But the fact of the matter is, the paradigm has flipped completely upside down. And we can either embrace it and succeed, or we can remain in denial about it at our own peril," Telford said.
"At Americans for Prosperity, we realize we can't just give marching orders to our activists. They have access to these tools. We want them to self-organize. We want to rebuild the movement from the bottom up," he said.
"Rebuild the movement" = Don't invite me.

Remember this, if you're a conservative organization for "people [who] really want to get involved." Whatever you do, make sure you leave me out, the way Erik Telford of Americans for Prosperity did, because you wouldn't want your event covered by a mere conservative journalist.

Huxley vs. Orwell

by Smitty (h/t Kottke)

The debate seems to be whether the proximal or distal end of the scatalogical discussion is more sanitary.

How to Reply to a Fool (If You Must)

This afternoon, after posting the first half of my critique of Julia O'Malley, I checked my inbox and found that I'd been BCC'd on an e-mail (about Barack Obama's smoking habit) from George Archibald.

George was an investigative reporter at The Washington Times who somehow, for reasons I don't entirely understand even now, ran off the rails and destroyed his career. He and his wife divorced, he took up with some young girl from Australia he'd met via the Internet, and finally he resigned from the newspaper.

George took a P.R. job for a Republican congressman, but that didn't work out, so he came back and requested to be reinstated in his old job. However, that position had been filled, and George took this rejection quite personally, launching an insane, spiteful campaign of vengeance against his former employers.

Along the way, rather notoriously, George claimed that I was some kind of evil David Duke-type hatemonger, seemingly giving credence to various left-wingers who had made such malignant accusations via their usual cut-and-past "Ransom Note" method of defamation. Because I'd always been friendly with George, and had thought well of him, I was quite hurt by this reckless and dishonest treatment, but eventually learned to forget it all, except as a lesson learned the hard way.

Then came George's e-mail today, which seemed to require that I dash off a brief and courteous response:

Thank you, George, for keeping me on your mailing list. During all that uproar at The Washington Times, etc., I never desired to be your enemy, and was personally hurt that you seemed to regard me as such. Your various misfortunes, subsequent to your resignation from TWT, have been a source of pain to me, even though you seemed in some way to blame me – and Fran and Wes – for your plight.

You should know that your seeming animosity has been an unexpected blessing to me, a reminder of Christ’s admonishment that we should pray for our enemies and do good to them who do us wrong. I always liked you, George, because you remind me so much of myself: Energetic, full of jocular good cheer, transparently excited about the latest scoop you were chasing – a man after my own heart.

My natural empathy toward you, however, caused me to be deeply troubled by your actions after leaving TWT, especially when you began peddling tales that I was some sort of raving bigot, an advocate of hatred, even an anti-Semite – this last a lie so directly contrary to fact as to have inspired laughter from those who know me well, including my Jewish cousins.

This was profoundly troubling to me, but not for the reason you might suspect. A bad reputation can be a most valuable resource for a journalist, and I learned to laugh off the “racist” smear as an example of how falsehood and distortion can make their rounds while, as the saying goes, truth is still putting on its shoes.

No, a concern for my own reputation was not what troubled me as I watched your descent into spite and self-pity. Rather, my thought was, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

If you were so much like me, and this was how you reacted after departing the employment of TWT, what would happen to me if I ever quit?

You perhaps were unaware of my own deep discontent at TWT. I'd hired on as an assistant national editor after having won national recognition for my work in Georgia, including an award-winning series of columns. When I started at TWT in November 1997, I expected that I might swiftly work my way into a regular spot as an op-ed columnist.

However, circumstances (mostly) beyond my control prevented this and – after the excitement of the Lewinsky scandal, 2000 election, etc., had faded – I began to brood over my lack of advancement at the newspaper. This brooding became even more intense after Tony Blankley took over the editorial page and, reversing the policy of his predecessors, banished newsroom personnel from offering op-ed columns. Thus I lost even the occasional chances to display my aptitude for commentary which I had been permitted when Todd Lindberg and Helle Dale ran the opinion shop.

Meanwhile, much against my own wishes, I was assigned to be editor of the “Culture, Etc.” page, after it was decided to shift the previous editor, Julia Duin, to assignment on the religion beat – which, of course, is what Julia had wanted to do all along. Anyone may ask Fran Coombs or Victor Morton how bitterly I protested my “promotion” to the Culture editor position. I’d spent five years watching Julia do that job, and it was a job I was sure I didn’t want, for which I knew myself to be temperamentally unsuitable.

Let’s face it, George: In Washington, the features beat is a journalistic ghetto, a dumping ground for “literary” types with no aptitude for doing real news. Thus, I felt this “promotion” to be an insult to my abilities, a brutal stigma of failure, a banishment from the mainstream of the political news operation that is the bread-and-butter of D.C. journalism. My wife, seeing my growing unhappiness, often reminded me of my promise to her that we would stay only five years in Washington.

“C’mon, Stacy, my mother just sent me this ad, where [some newspaper in Ohio] is looking for an editor,” my wife would say. “We could live in Ohio and the kids could play with their cousins and see their grandma and grandpa every day.”

Alas, stubborn pride forbade such a course of action. I had come to D.C. expecting to achieve success, and I would not leave town a failure. Besides, I felt a sense of mission that I could not abandon. Being hired at The Washington Times had been an answer to earnest prayer. God had not brought me this far to discard me, and so I hung on doggedly, fighting to keep faith in that promise of Proverbs 22:29: “See thou a man diligent in his work? He shall stand before kings . . .”

Perversely, the assignment I never wanted proved a blessing. Over and over, I begged Fran to take me off the Culture page and reassign me to some other duty. Heck, I would have gladly accepted a pay cut to become a reporter in the Capitol Hill bureau, just to escape the insulting burden of that Page 2 gig. And yet the job I hated kept giving me opportunities to interview the most amazing people: Robert Duvall, Peter Jennings, Michelle Malkin, David Horowitz, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Tammy Bruce, Tom Wolfe, et cetera. For all that I hated this indignity – I know quite well how real newsmen scorn mere feature writing – the job itself was actually pretty cool. Being assigned to write the obituary tribute to Ronald Reagan? Also pretty cool.

Yet still I brooded, privately feeling the hurt of a perceived slight which my superiors insisted was actually intended as an honor. I wanted either to be on the front page or on the op-ed page, and yet here I was permanently assigned to Page 2. I took an ironic pride in the fact, as was subsequently learned by our editors in an Oval Office interview, that Page 2 was a daily favorite of the President of the United States. (“Oh, that thing at the top of the page . . . You know, with the pictures.”)

What bothered me the most about all this was that I had always disdained the “disgruntled” employee. Every newsroom has its share of disappointed failures, second-raters who sink into resentful self-pity because they’ve been passed over for promotions they (wrongly) felt they deserved.

My inspirational advice to the disgruntled has always been this: If you think you’re so damned special, why don’t you go find another job where your specialness will be properly appreciated? The fact that you’re just sitting around bitching and moaning all the time is the best evidence that you’re not nearly so special as you think you are. The boss has a stack of resumes in his desk drawer from people who’d love to have your job, some of whom may actually have talent and an appetite for hard work. If it were up to me, you never would have been hired in the first place. So instead of doing everything in your power to spread discontent and destroy organizational morale, how about you grab yourself a nice hot cup of STFU and continue ineptly doing the unimportant task you’ve been assigned?

Well, here I was struggling with every fiber of my being to heed my own advice. “If you don’t move up, move out,” as I’d always said, but it’s damned hard for a conservative journalist to find employment more prestigious than The Washington Times. I had a wife and six kids and bills to pay, and so I felt trapped, with no honorable exit in sight.

And it was just about then, George, that you began your campaign of defamation against me. Oh, it wasn’t me you were targeting. I was just collateral damage in your personal war of petty spite against Fran Coombs and Wes Pruden. You were out there spewing bile to anyone who might care to listen – and, if mere rumors are to be credited, sinking into a slough of alcoholic despair – while I was forbidden to respond. Under strict orders to say nothing about your slanders, prohibited even to deny them in my own defense, under penalty of firing should I speak out, I was forced to learn some very hard lessons about the meaning of loyalty.

Well, God chastises those whom he loves, and I learned not to question these unsuspected blessings. If I have been wrongly accused and falsely maligned, it is not as if I am a moral paragon, entirely without fault and incapable of error. To have survived that Mesopotamian inferno, a fiery ordeal for which you were at least partly responsible, I count as a tremendous badge of honor. Before Max Blumenthal went to press with his laughable “investigative” piece about TWT, I requested and was at last granted permission to return Max’s phone call, giving him what proved to be the best quote in the entire story: “I’m too lazy to be evil.”

Doing evil is ultimately a much more demanding job than doing good, George, and the reward of doing evil is not such as anyone should covet. Whatever your fate or mine, I assure you that I personally bear no grievance against you. Rather, I have the pleasure of knowing how Joseph felt when, after he had become right-hand man to Pharoah, he made himself known to his brothers who had sold him into slavery: “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.”

While considering therefore that you have unwittingly done me good, so that you have committed no wrong toward me that requires any forgiveness on my part, I suspect that Fran Coombs, Wes Pruden and some other honorable men may not be quite so philosophical about your despicable course of conduct. In fact, George, such are the honorable dispositions of these men that I suspect they would take no notice of an apology from you if you cared to offer one. And these men whom I esteem may consider it dishonorable that I, who have matters far more important requiring my urgent attention, have condescended to reply to you at such length.

Having resigned from The Washington Times in January 2008, departing on my own terms and for my own reasons, and in such a way as to enable the newspaper to continue under new management as if I had never existed, I am content that I did exactly the right thing. With a blog that now gets upwards of 5,000 visits daily, and a promising new career as a freelance journalist, my only thoughts toward my decade at TWT are about how much I learned and grew, and the wonderful people I met along the way. I never got my gold watch – I quit four months before the annual ceremony where 10-year employees are so rewarded – but that is a minor consideration.

When your e-mail showed up in my inbox today, I intended at first to ignore it. I had planned to do something else with the time I’ve devoted to writing this, but for some reason, I felt obligated to respond. For I wanted you to know – and when I post this reply on my blog, I hope everyone else will marvel – how utterly you failed in your purpose to destroy me. Now, happily far beyond the power of your perverse malice, I wish you a happy future, as it is ever my pleasure to remain sincerely

Your most humble and obedient servant,

Robert Stacy McCain

Somebody really ought to hit my tip jar for that. But doing good is its own reward. Oh, and I accidentally understated my blog traffic. I'm currently averaging more than 9,000 visits daily.

The Anchorage Daily News Has No Shame

Nor class, nor an editor who has any respect for the decency of his readers, and if there hasn't been a wave of canceled subscriptions since Aug. 1, it can only mean that Alaskans are too stupid to know when they've been insulted.

In his continuing investigation of the "Gryphen"/Griffin saga, Dan Riehl took a look an Aug. 1 ADN column by Julia O'Malley. Dan notices that, O'Malley's fawning column about deadbeat baby-daddy Levi Johnston (a/k/a, "Ricky Hollywood") included a mention of his then-pending trip to New York for a Vanity Fair photo shoot.

Curiously enough, early that same morning of Aug. 1, when the kindergarten-teaching amateur pornography enthusiast Jesse Griffin posted his "Splitsville" piece about the Palins, it included this:

And while I am on the topic of Levi I will also let you know that he did a very interesting Vanity Fair interview in which he divulged a lot of heretofore unknown information. I did not get too many of the juicy details, but my understanding is that Levi was without his handler (Tank Jones) and let some fairly explosive tidbits out. The article will be published in the October edition.
So, on Saturday, Aug. 1, both O'Malley and Griffin were excited about Levi Johnston's Vanity Fair interview. Perhaps mere coincidence, of course. But notice a couple of other things in the same "Gryphen" post:

Now nothing written above should be considered a rumor. My source is very good and I trust that the information is accurate and will be confirmed by other news sources in the weeks to come. . . .
I anticipate much more of this kind of confirmation filtering in as the day goes on. . . . (Emphasis added.)
And then, in his foolish e-mail to Dan:

By the way watch the local Alaskan papers closely for the next week, you may learn something.
That e-mail piqued my curiosity at the time: How does an irresponsible PDS Trig Truther moonbat blogger like Griffin know what stories are going to be in "the local Alaskan papers" in the next week? One of two scenarios would explain this:

  1. Jesse has sources in the local media, who are telling him what stories they're working on; or
  2. Jesse's sources are also peddling their gossip to local reporters, then telling Jesse about the dirt they're dishing (i.e., "Yeah, wait 'til you see this one . . . The reporter seemed really interested when I told him . . .")
However, giving Griffin's habitual dishonesty, we ought not discount a third possible explanation:
3. Jesse Griffin is totally full of crap and is once again, as one of my best sources said, "making stuff up."
So while it is certainly possible that O'Malley or someone else in the ADN newsroom is talking shop with anti-Palin moonbat bloggers, feeding them tips about rumors that their editors won't let them put in the paper, we can't base such speculation on the word of a notorious liar like Jesse Griffin. Every word Griffin writes is a lie, including "and" and "the," to borrow Mary McCarthy's famous putdown of crypto-commie Lillian Hellman.

Assuming that Griffin has sources other than the voices in his head, there is no particular reason to suspect that O'Malley is one of them. It is far more likely that his libelous smears are based on conversations with someone in the Johnston family orbit, perhaps Rex Butler -- whose name was notably missing from the list of people whom Griffin recently denied as being his sources.

Be that as it may, I have temporarily lost interest in Griffin and have now taken a sudden and keen interest in Julia O'Malley and her editors at the Anchorage Daily News.

If you've read this far, do me a favor: Go grab the text from O'Malley's Aug. 1 column, cut and paste it into a Word document, put it into an easy-to-read font and print it out. (Which is what I did last night.) Then come back to this post in a few hours, when I'll update with a critical examination of O'Malley's journalistic fellatio of Levi Johnston.

Oh, yeah: Dan had insinuated that O'Malley's interest in Johnston might be romantic or even possibly erotic. However, sources tell me that this is unlikely, as O'Malley is believed to be "playing for the other team." IYKWIMAITYD.


Come back for the update . . .

UPDATE 3:20 p.m.: My apology for the delay in my promised evisceration of Ms. O'Malley and the ADN, but other urgent matters required my immediate attention. After a decade in D.C., I learned the danger of allowing myself to be insulted without adequate response, so when I saw I had received an e-mail from a fellow who once did everything in his power to destroy me . . .
How to Reply to a Fool (If You Must)

Please read that, and accept my apology for this unexpected delay in providing the slow, painful dissection of Ms. O'Malley's hagiographic Levi Johnston column. Sometimes a man must break a promise in order to keep a vow.

Ms. O'Malley will have her turn in due time. Please hit the tip jar.

Awww! Senate Drops 'Death Panel' Provision We Were Told Didn't Exist

Even though I should be encouraged by this news -- because it means Sarah Palin was right -- in fact, I'm profoundly disappointed.

Why? Because my sources say that if the bill had passed with the "death panel" provision, Sarah Palin had been planning, after being elected president in 2012, to put Ann Coulter in charge of the Death List.

(Ann, please promise Stogie and me that Kathleen Parker is on your Death List. Not even Erik Telford is more deserving of a do-not-resuscitate order than a phony scalawag from Winter Haven, Fla.)

Quote of the Day Week Year Millennium

"Of course, if Obama were a WHITE socialist, we'd say 'Sign me up!' You see, we don't mind scarcity, rationing, poverty, despotism and despair, as long as the boot on our neck belongs to a white guy."
-- Stogie, in reply to Kathleen Parker

Dan Collins' blog has moved

Piece Of Work In Progress in a new WordPress format. He's got an open thread where you can say hello, so please go join the discussion.

Dan's good people even if, like me, he's far too insignificant, obscure and marginal to be invited to Right Online.

The Chopped Liver Coalition!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Whenever important bloggers gather . . .

. . . I'm not invited. Two weeks ago, I was not invited to the Red State Gathering in Atlanta. This week's big blog shindig to which I am not invited is Right Online in Pittsburgh.

Ed Morrissey is a featured speaker at Right Online and Twitters who he's hanging out with in Pittsburgh:
Having dinner with ... um .... everone. @ewerickson, @saorendayton, @boteleprompter, @E_lizabethCrum, @oetaxpayer, @johnhawkinsrwn

Also at dinner: @seanhackbarth, not eating.

Hey, @katiefavazza just showed up, kind of like my AIP columns ... just a wee bit late. ;-)
Right Online is organized by Americans For Prosperity, which assigned Eric Telford not to invite me.

Telford, who's every bit of 26 years old, probably thinks I was only joking about driving to Pittsburgh and whupping his impudent young ass. And probably I was.

On the other hand, I just did a Mapquest (184 mi – about 3 hours 11 mins) to the Pittsburgh Sheraton Station Square Hotel, and I've been known to do far crazier things than drive two hours -- hey, I drive fast -- for the pleasure of laying a long-overdue ass-whupping on an arrogant sumbitch who did me wrong.

If only I had enough gas money . . . but nobody loves me, because my blog sucks.

Liveable Communities Act

by Smitty

May fortune bless PJTV. Trifecta's coverage of the Liveable Communities Act is essential reporting that garners a cricket chirp from the propaganda wing of the Democratic party. It also uses a magic term: "Federal money".

While the Treasury controls the legal tender, the document that authorized a federal treasury begins with the words "We the People". When we abdicate the egalitarian concept of "We the People", and let DC get away with pretending that the dollars emerge, manna-like, from any source other than the taxpayer, we enter an inverted realm.

The govnermnental cart bethinks itself the economic horse. There is enough momentum in the system for the cart to drag the horse, but everything will progressively worsen. The cart is the load, the horse is the source, and absolutely no amount of wishful, progressive thinking will alter this.

Around the world, we see governments oozing towards weakness and tyranny. Our own government shamefully cozies up to thugs on several continents. Up this noise. Let's get the Federalism Amendment going. Start pressuring your governor now. Article V, ye patriots. It's not too late, though the pain involved in picking up the horse and resetting a natural arrangement does worsen by the day, and by the disgusting legislative floater squeezed out by this atrocious 111th Congress.

This Looks Like a Case for . . .
Dr. R.S. McCain, OB-GYN

My esteemed medical colleague, Dr. L.M. Attila, points out that in the Age of Hope and Change, when any random Obama delegate can represent herself as a "primary care physician," the overall quality of our nation's health care system may be at risk.

Therefore, because of my concern for the well-being of American women, the McCain Institute for Advanced Vaginology is proud to offer a citizen's handbook for improving gynecological health, Know Your Vajayjay: An Expert Guide to What's Up Down There.

Because vaginal emergencies can strike suddenly and without warning, I would urge every American to order a copy of Know Your Vajayjay immediately. However, understanding that many low-income blog readers may not be able to afford this fine product, the Institute's staff is currently available to answer any questions about the proper vaginal care that commenters or e-mailers might have.

Here is one recent question presented to the McCain Institute's team of vaginal experts:
Dear Dr. McCain,
For many years, my vagina was quite useful to me both personally and professionally. There was widespread interest in my vagina, which I gladly shared with any man who expressed the slightest curiosity, including editors, publishers and other men who could help me in my career as a writer.
Lately, however, I have had increasing difficulty finding anyone to take interest in my vagina, which has become somewhat dry and itchy. According to one man who recently took a brief look, it "reeks" of stale seafood. However, he ran screaming from my apartment before I could ask him more about this problem, and I figure I needed some expert advice. Can you help me?
Maureen D., N.Y., N.Y.
Obviously, an emergency case. The institute staff rushed this woman's desperate message directly to my desk and I quickly sent this reply:
Dear Ms. Dowd,
You seem to be suffering from a condition which, unfortunately, has become increasingly commonplace for women your age. Sometimes referred to as Kathleen Parker Disease, this is known to medical specialists as twatticus nasticus or Bad Nookie Syndrome.
BNS is caused by years of wanton promiscuity, and most often occurs among crack cocaine addicts, truck-stop prostitutes and Women's Studies majors. Symptoms of BNS, which may include delusional admiration for Democratic politicians, often go undetected for years because sufferers tend to inhabit environments (such as elite universities, low-rent motels and major media newsrooms) where these symptoms are considered normal.
Because early-stage BNS does not usually result in noticeable deterioration of vaginal quality, younger sufferers often believe they are immune to the known effects of the disease -- until it is too late. The onset of terminal BNS, clearly indicated in your case, is sudden and irreversible, resulting in the telltale odor you describe. (While your message said nothing about "extreme gaping," most BNS patients are too embarrassed to mention that symptom, which usually begins to manifest itself in the intermediate stages of your disease.)
Unfortunately, despite decades of intense research here at the Institute, we have not yet discovered an effective treatment for BNS, which appears to be incurable once it passes the early stages. Vaginal death inexorably ensues. Attempts at vaginal resuscitation, such as hanging out in waterfront bars during Fleet Week, will prove futile.
However, with the able assistance of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, we have recently received a stimulus grant through the National Institutes of Health that allows us to offer End Of Vaginal Life counseling and Vaginal Hospice to patients such as yourself in the painful last throes of BNS. While we are not yet authorized to advise vaginal euthanasia, clearly there is no point attempting to delay the unavoidable.
Despite the impending death of your vagina, the Institute's educational service will be forwarding some informative materials to your New York office, so that you may warn others to avoid this tragic fate. When you receive your copy of Know Your Vajayjay, please see Chapter 11, "When Nookie Goes Bad: Maureen, You Ignorant Slut."
Here's to your health!
Dr. R.S. McCain, OB-GYN
President, Founder and Research Director
McCain Institute for Advanced Vaginology
Our motto: "Trust Us. We're Experts."
We ask our readers to give generously and help advance the institute's mission of vaginal health. Anyone ordering a copy of Know Your Vajayjay should be advised that because of overwhelming demand, the Institute is currently experiencing shipping delays which might, like the death of Ms. Dowd's vagina, prove to be permanent.

Our experts are now waiting to answer your vaginal questions.

UPDATE: We are grateful for the referrals from Dr. Mike's Fisherville Clinic and from our Florida affliliate, Dr. Gator's Home For Unwed Hotties. Also, we have a referral from one of our moronic associates at the Ace Of Spades Center For Vaginal Research. Dr. O'Spades has pioneered the development of Valu-Rite Vodka therapy for BNS sufferers.

Meanwhile, a question from commenter "Jeff S.":
Have you heard from Kathy Griffin as yet, Dr. McCain? I heard something about her getting "...a bruise in a naughty place" after the "Teen Choice Awards", in cooperation with Levi Johnston. Or are we seeing the terminal stages of BNS?
Thank you for your question, Jeff. While Ms. Griffin is clearly at risk for BNS, it is unlikely she is yet past the intermediate stage and may be employing an avoidance strategy commonly employed by less-attractive BNS cases. Having exhausted the supply of genuinely desperate heterosexual men, women like Ms. Griffin sometimes avoid vaginal death by associating primarily with homosexual men.

Despite allegations that Mr. Johnston has previously participated in acts of heterosexuality, his recent emergence as "Ricky Hollywood" reveals what "a total closet-case he's always been," according to sources in Wasilla, Alaska.

So while we are not yet prepared to offer a prognosis for Ms. Griffin, it is clear that Mr. Johnston may be suffering from spreadicus glutteus maximus, commonly known as Raging Faggotosis. However, for further information on this disorder, we advise you to contact the Gaping Anus Foundation.

Remember to give generously to support our research.

UPDATE II: We welcome students from Nurse O. B. Sister's Peach Cleft Clinic. Nurse Sister practices in Lithia Springs, Georgia, where I did my earliest research into vaginal health.

To Ann Coulter: Thank you, ma'am

Chairman Ann eviscerates Kathleen Parker:
Fresh off her mainstream media tour as a Sarah Palin-hating "conservative," Parker is now a self-proclaimed Southerner blaming opposition to Obama's policies on the region's reputed racism.
Uncannily, this claim struck a chord with Northern liberals!
Throughout the presidential campaign last year, liberals were champing at the bit to accuse Americans of racism for not supporting Barack Obama.
Inasmuch as Obama was just elected and his policies have turned out to be the most left-wing the country has ever seen, it wasn't going to be easy to claim the electorate suddenly decided they didn't like the mammoth spending bills or socialist health care bills because they just noticed Obama is black. But Kathleen Parker has leapt into the fray to explain that the opposition to Obama's agenda is pure Southern racism. And she's from the South, so it must be true!
As she put it on Chris Matthews' "Hardball": "One word, Chris -- one word. 'Confederacy.' . . . I want to make that clear, too, because I'm not bashing Southerners."
No, she was certainly not bashing Southerners. This she made clear in her Washington Post column calling for the Republican Party to "drive a stake through the heart of old Dixie."
How one gets from "we don't want socialized medicine" to "we hate black people" was a tough equation. As my algebra teacher used to say: "Please show your work." . . .
Be sure to read the whole thing. Because Chairman Ann is from Connecticut, I'd always thought of her as a Yankee, until she revealed that her late mother was a Martin from Kentucky. I've told Ann she needs to get together whatever geneaological records she can find and get in touch with the United Daughters of the Confederacy. I'm sure there must be rebels somewhere in her family tree. She's just too good to be all Yankee.

(Note to offended Yankees: My wife's from Ohio, so back off with that "we won the war" stuff. If y'all won the war, how come I'm sleeping with your best-looking woman?)

Because Our Commenters Deserve the Best

In March 2008, my first month of full-time blogging here at The Other McCain, I had 6,000 total visits. As of today -- approaching a cumulative total of 2.2 million visits -- we've already had more than 126,000 visits this month, which isn't yet halfway over.

More readers means more comments. Because I'm notorious (not the same as being famous, but better than being anonymous) comments have always been moderated here, which seems rather to discourage some people.

The delay caused by the moderation process prevents the spontaneous thrill of seeing your own words posted immediately, but it can't be helped. I don't mind the raving left-wing moonbats -- even most of Isabella's comments get approved -- but as I've sometimes explained to Smitty, there are two things I can't stand in the comments:
  • False-flag trolls, who pretend to be conservatives as a subterfuge for pushing liberal messages; and
  • Attacks on the prestige of the blog, which have the effect (and, I believe, the purpose) of telling readers that this entire project is a waste of time.
Don't even try putting that kind of crap in my comments. If you want to attack me, start your own freaking blog and we'll have a Rule 4 flame-war. But you're not going to hijack my bandwidth in order to tell my readers not to read the blog.

OK, all of that was prelude to explaining that yesterday, under the title "The Road to Dunkirk," I posted this quote from Appeasement by A.L. Rowse:
"The practical way of looking at things . . . may serve well enough in ordinary, normal times. But our times are not 'normal' in the good old Victorian sense, and never will be again. . . . These men, even Halifax, were essentially middle-class, not aristocrats. They did not have the hereditary sense of the security of the state, unlike Churchill, Eden, the Cecils. Nor did they have the toughness of the 18th-century aristocracy. They came at the end of the ascendancy of the Victorian middle-class, deeply affected as that was by high-mindedness and humbug. They all talked, in one form or another, the language of disingenuousness and cant: it was second nature to them – so different from Churchill. . . . It meant that they failed to see what was true, until too late, when it was simply a question of survival."
That quote prompted the comment:
I feel like you're trying to tell me something, but I just can't wrap my brain around it.
Which in turn inspired me to write an essay at the Hot Air Green Room:
Astute reader! I had been re-reading Rowse (whose brilliant little book was assigned reading in a college British history class I took 30 years ago) when Dan Riehl called yesterday to talk about this "Gryphen"/Griffin affair.
For the past week, the anti-Palin blogger Griffin and his PDS-affected buddies have been claiming that Dan and I are “minions” doing the bidding of Palin’s team. In actuality, I can't even get a comment from them. Two phone calls and a text message yesterday, seeking a response to the latest gossip tabloid smear, went unanswered.
Sic semper hoc. The people who control access to Republican leaders go out of their way to prevent their bosses from ever having direct contact with any rank-and-file conservative who wants to help. It's a tragically familar story . . .
It's 3,800 words, so read the whole thing. You deserve it.

Palin Answers President Obama
on ObamaCare 'Death Panels'

From her Facebook page:
Yesterday President Obama responded to my statement that Democratic health care proposals would lead to rationed care; that the sick, the elderly, and the disabled would suffer the most under such rationing; and that under such a system these "unproductive" members of society could face the prospect of government bureaucrats determining whether they deserve health care.
The President made light of these concerns. He said:
"Let me just be specific about some things that I've been hearing lately that we just need to dispose of here. The rumor that's been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that we don't, it’s too expensive to let her live anymore. . . .It turns out that I guess this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, etc. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they're ready on their own terms. It wasn't forcing anybody to do anything." (Source: ABC News)
The provision that President Obama refers to is Section 1233 of HR 3200, entitled "Advance Care Planning Consultation." With all due respect, it's misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients. The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context.
Section 1233 authorizes advanced care planning consultations for senior citizens on Medicare every five years, and more often “if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual . . . or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility. . . or a hospice program." During those consultations, practitioners must explain "the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice," and the government benefits available to pay for such services.
Now put this in context. These consultations are authorized whenever a Medicare recipient’s health changes significantly or when they enter a nursing home, and they are part of a bill whose stated purpose is "to reduce the growth in health care spending." Is it any wonder that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care? As Charles Lane notes in the Washington Post, Section 1233 "addresses compassionate goals in disconcerting proximity to fiscal ones.... If it's all about alleviating suffering, emotional or physical, what's it doing in a measure to 'bend the curve' on health-care costs?" (Source: Washington Post)
As Lane also points out:
Though not mandatory, as some on the right have claimed, the consultations envisioned in Section 1233 aren't quite "purely voluntary," as Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.) asserts. To me, "purely voluntary" means "not unless the patient requests one." Section 1233, however, lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive -- money -- to do so. Indeed, that's an incentive to insist. Patients may refuse without penalty, but many will bow to white-coated authority. Once they're n the meeting, the bill does permit "formulation" of a plug-pulling order right then and there. So when Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) denies that Section 1233 would "place senior citizens in situations where they feel pressured to sign end-of-life directives that they would not otherwise sign," I don't think he's being realistic.
Even columnist Eugene Robinson, a self-described "true believer" who "will almost certainly support" "whatever reform package finally emerges," agrees that "If the government says it has to control health-care costs and then offers to pay doctors to give advice about hospice care, citizens are not delusional to conclude that the goal is to reduce end-of-life spending." (Source: Washington Post)
So are these usually friendly pundits wrong? Is this all just a "rumor" to be "disposed of," as President Obama says? Not according to Democratic New York State Senator Ruben Diaz, Chairman of the New York State Senate Aging Committee, who writes:
Section 1233 of House Resolution 3200 puts our senior citizens on a slippery slope and may diminish respect for the inherent dignity of each of their lives. . . . It is egregious to consider that any senior citizen . . . should be placed in a situation where he or she would feel pressured to save the government money by dying a little sooner than he or she otherwise would, be required to be counseled about the supposed benefits of killing oneself, or be encouraged to sign any end of life directives that they would not otherwise sign. (Source: Ruben Diaz)
Of course, it"s not just this one provision that presents a problem. My original comments concerned statements made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor to President Obama and the brother of the President’s chief of staff. Dr. Emanuel has written that some medical services should not be guaranteed to those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia." (Source: NCPA) Dr. Emanuel has also advocated basing medical decisions on a system which "produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated." (Source: Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel)
President Obama can try to gloss over the effects of government authorized end-of-life consultations, but the views of one of his top health care advisors are clear enough. It's all just more evidence that the Democratic legislative proposals will lead to health care rationing, and more evidence that the top-down plans of government bureaucrats will never result in real health care reform.
(Hat tips: Hot Air Headlines, Conservatives For Palin)

Good to see Gov. Palin talking policy. Looks like ObamaCare is on life-support. Time to "pull the plug"?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hanson: Europe is Europe, Because America is Not?

by Smitty

(emphasis mine, but avail yourself of the full monty)
No, Europe should not only not be our model, but Euros know it should not be our model. A few brilliant Europeans whisper, "Of course, it is lost here, since no addict insidiously hooked on government entitlement ever gives such largess up. But you over there still have a chance." For a few Europeans, America’s military (drawing on fewer people and less territory and GDP than the expanded EU) is the only hope for Western defense. It's where most life-saving drugs will emerge, new technologies are birthed, and huge sophisticated markets grow for European goods. So they have a stake in not allowing us to become like them.
That last bit about doctors recalls Roger L. Simon's latest outing, which is also worthy of your consideration. Simon discusses the problem from the other direction.

And I don't buy the whole Europe is Melniboné argument. Granted, you need some clever plan to transition the populace from Egypt to Canaan. Something that allows the existing system to run in parallel with a voluntary capitalistic system for a time period, an Exodus, if you will. Will. That is the problem, not intellect.

Dan Riehl Has Questions for Jesse Griffin

"Answer the questions, creep. That's all I have to say to, or about him today. Why hasn't he done it? All I can imagine is, he can't. . . . If someone calls you a complete fraud with plenty of evidence to back up the claim and all you can do is chirp like a cricket during a heavy rain, well, I guess that makes you a fraud."
-- Dan Riehl to Jesse Griffin

When this confrontation over "Gryphen" and his "Immoral Minority" blog began, Jesse Griffin actually sent Dan Riehl e-mails. But when Dan started asking well-informed questions, Griffin stopped e-mailing and, eventually, told his readers to ignore Riehl World View and other critical blogs.

Why? The facts have always been on Dan's side, and Griffin doesn't want to confront the facts. When I spoke to Dan this afternoon, he told me he felt like taking things easy for a day or so, and that's cool.

Thanks to all the folks who have hit the tip jar. Today I got not only a tip, but a tip from an old buddy down Atlanta way. A guy I went to high school with was the one who suggested I pick up on the Paglia-Pelosi item, which had the happy benefit of reminding me to check in with my friend Cynthia Yockey.

My wife gets annoyed by my reliance on the tip jar. I've always been proud to say "I Write For Money" (i.e., I am a professional writer) but the transparency of the tip-jar solicitation method . . . well, isn't that begging? Nah. I'm just eliminating the middle man, creating a direct market nexus between the reader and the writer. . . .

I'll be back to add more in a few minutes, but one of my 16-year-old sons just called to say he's off work, so I've got to go pick him up. In the meantime, I'd like to dedicate a song to a generous tip-jar hitting lady in California. Alison, this one's for you!

UPDATE 1:45 a.m.: When I got back from picking up my son, I saw that Allah had linked Sarah Palin's response to Obama at Hot Air Headlines, so I posted the whole thing. To serve unbidden, unrecompensed and without thanks is the conservative's fate in this evil age.