Bottom of the barrel

Liberals officially out of ideas.

Chris Matthews just had a panel segment comparing Hilary "Empowered" Clinton to Laura "Housewife" Bush. The consensus was that Laura would not run for President. Quelle shocque. That's some uber-insight right there.

Along the way, Matthews made sure to disparage Laura not only for her lack of ambition to be President, but her lack of forethought and preparation in not having acquired the credentials to run for President.

ObSpeechless: ...


Back on the horse

Post-election and post-Thanksgiving and post-I-Really-thought-a-new-job-was-just-around-the-corner.

Ready for my morning dose of bile from Chris Matthews and whatever gang he's scrounged up this AM. I've watch a couple I think I didn't blog about -- the one immediately post-election with four whiny pathetic Democrats, including Maureen Dowd. What is wrong with that woman? More importantly, what is wrong with the world that she is employed for whatever it is people think she contributes to the NYT op-ed page, for Jeebus' sake (it's not thought, and it's not insight, and it's not information -- does someone in the universe find her "entertaining" or does she have J. Edgar Hoover's blackmail files?)?

Another one was more balanced, and included David Brooks, a fave of mine.


Matthews has an awful new haircut -- not a Ratboy, but heading toward Bangs.
Today's line-up: Andrea Mitchell, Joe Klein, Campbell Brown, Deroy Murdock (Scripps-Howard/National Review).
Hm, the token black guy is the token conservative. The time's they have a-changed.

Why haven't we been hit again?

Mitchell: Just because al-Qaida hasn't struck, doesn't mean we shouldn't worry. They could be a victim of their own success, trying to beat 9/11. Otoh, we've broken them down somewhat. (Gee, funny how no one noticed this prior to the election.) But the affiliates spawned by al-Qaida are more threatening.

Klein: NY's still the big target, we do have better intelligence, heavy duty former CIA covert action people, now providing info out of mosques that might be breeding trouble, but otoh no one knows why the next attack hasn't come yet.

Brown: Intelligence is getting better, here and abroad, French, Spanish, Pakistan, Saudis -- and their intel services don't play by the rules we do.

Murdock: See something, say something; good tips coming forward and e.g. subway plot nipped in bud.

Mitchell: They have prevented some things. But we have also become more protected.

Klein: Iraq has been a huge recruiting poster for al-Qaida and the other assorted groups.

Mitchell: There are only two people who can approve US/UK hits from al-Qaida, and one is in jail. Their replacements aren't as Westernized, not as adept, as their predecessors.

Murdock: The more spectacular the better, but the next attack doesn't have to be big numbers, could be something in the middle of Macy's, that would have a big impact. One reason we're safer is the Patriot Act and its dismantling of the wall between intelligence services and police. (Cut off by Matthews)

Matthews: The real danger is the suitcase bomb.

Klein: Let's plug Graham Allison's new book about nuclear threat.

Matthews: are we safer or simply a fatter target?
Brown: Safer, you can't ignore the basic stuff, everything that we've done, dispersion of al-Qaida, going down that list one by one.
Klein: Safer but facing a more intense enemy.
Matthews: More diverse
Klein: More diverse and more intense enemy.
Mitchell: Which is harder to get at and ... Safer marginally but we don't know what we don't know.

Commercial break: This is the second show where I've actively noticed that Campbell Brown seems to be jiggering ever so slightly away from the left-left mainstream Democratic liberal-near-anti-American line. She doesn't couch every single statement with how bad things are, or that how bad things are is of course Bush's (Republicans') fault, and she seems to be consistently hewing the factual line, reasonable things ("can't ignore the basic stuff").

Back: Eeeeeeew. Edwards' bye-bye NC tour o' pointlessness, plus Billary and so forth.

2008, will Hilary run? Klein says no. It's a very personal thing. She *loves* being in the center, not being attacked/anger/vitriol, won't go for it.

Brown: She still has huge obstacles to overcome. She has HUGE negatives.

Matthews: Look at the map Kerry just lost on, where does she see herself winning, West Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, anything?

Klein: She could win; she's a Midwesterner (Matthews: Not lately) and a Southerner. (!!!)

Mitchell: No one thought she could win the Senate seat in NY.

Matthews: She's a charmer when you're with her.

Murdock: Come to Daddy is I think what many people on the right are thinking. Hilary's the Republicans' dream candidate. She'll say what her husband said, who said he'd finish up his term, and then ran for President anyway.

Brown: Well, she is putting a team together. For either, for both.

Who's has the best shot at giving Hilary the hardest run for her money in the primaries?

Brown: Edwards. He has the ability to run as an outsider. (Matthews: because the voters rejected him) Well, yeah. Biggest problem: has no platform from which to run.

Klein: He doesn't have a sense of humor. There's a there there; I don't know where, where.

Mitchell: Not yet presidential material. I wouldn't say that he couldn't be.

Murdock: [Evan Bayh] I don't know if he's a strong threat but does represent something other than a liberal like Hilary who's a blue state and more than a one-termer like Edwards who didn't even deliver his own state.

Matthews: What's almost as good as a governor? A veteran having run for President before. Kerry will run again.

Klein: I think he's suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Look at the big sloppy governors. What the Democrats really need is someone who doesn't need to prove that he's the smartest guy in the room.

Brown: They need somebody with National Security Credentials, and that's what none of these people except Kerry which ended up being a sinkhole had.

Murdock: I doubt [Kerry will run again]. I think what the Democrats really have to do is come up with an agenda. There's a lot of stuff they're against, they need to determine what they're for.

Matthews: But anyone who beats Hilary in the primaries is God. And he can win the general election.

Mitchell: One of Kerry's big advantages is, he sat on all that money.

Tell me something I don't know

Brown: Dems will start beating up on Hollywood because they can't touch abortion and they need something on their side, to deal with on the morals issue.

Klein: Senator Harry Reid has a giant portrait of Mark Twain in his office. And I think that's really cool.

Mitchell: Paul Wolfowitz would like to be the UN Ambassador.

Murdock: NY State has just been ranked at the bottom (50) of all states in terms of economic freedom. Weak economy, anemic Republican performance in last election, and Pataki's Presidential aspirations are summarized in one word: Fergeddaboudit. Regulations, union control of things, not much growth.

Note: She's a Southerner? O.M.G. Speaking of not clear on the concept.


Those pesky frogs

I've been haranguing elsewhere about the whole Ivory Coast snafu, and am mainly posting this here at the moment to remind myself to look into it & comment more, later.

(Trying to wrap up a major piece of work here and get some other paperwork in the mail before the end of the day.)


Just wondering

Did anyone ever rant & rave, or whine and complain, that Clinton put too many people in his cabinet who agreed with him? On general principles or particular tactics? That he didn't include enough dissenting voices? Or anything remotely analogous?

I'm just getting around to watching my tape of Fox News Sunday from this morning, and it reminds me of my bewilderment over this whole topic of conversation. The assumption seems to be that if people aren't having knock-down drag-outs, they're either in perfect mindmeld uniformity of opinion, or one is totally subservient to the other's merest whims and dictats.

It's bizarre.

Strong but true

I'm supposed to be working, but since I got word on Thursday that I wasn't getting any adjustment to my position here -- which means not only that the people I knew were ticked off that I escaped their previous plot (a restructuring bait-and-switch that would have made my life a living hell, and not for any piddly 40-hour-work-week, either) but that the internal subdivision in which I'd found temporary respite doesn't mind sticking it to me, also.

Good thing I'm already looking for my next job.

Anyway, after Thursday's Gud Nooze, I found out on Friday (a day I'd previously hoped to take off, so I could, er, take off), that a significant deadline that had been shifted out to the second week of December had at some point been reshifted back to the Monday after Thanksgiving. No, no one thought to mention that to me. Meaning, if I'm to have any hope of getting out of this godforsaken town over the horriday, at all, then I'm working this Sunday. Today. Terrific.

I should write a book on this organization's suicide. "How to Gut Morale and Inspire Loathing".

I'm not exactly motivated to work, obviously, but all the less so since that whole sideshow (I care so little it's not exactly front and center in my life) is running alongside my personal life going to utter ruin over the last month -- long time coming, but not the kind of thing for which a person can really be braced. It profoundly sucks regardless.

Anyway, to put all that in perspective, here's a little commentary from the Iraq front of the warn terra:

"Here's an alternative headline the [NY] Times' staff might have considered: 'Showing Their Resolve, Rebels Terrorize Families, Target Children, Disembowel Women, Behead the Elderly.'"

Don't bother with the NYT article, but do follow the Times of London reality check link.



Okay, I'm trying (in my 'spare' time) to provide more content than links, but what can I say? I'm a sucker for a merciless fisking. Douglas Kern provides an elegant example, including but not limited to:

Gosh -- clarifying complicated ideas and then expecting your audience to handle sensitive news in light of those ideas. What will those crazy pajama-clad bloggers think of next?
Look, MSM: no one cares about what you think is "bad for democracy." Democracy got along just fine before you and will continue to flourish once you are gone. Don't worry about protecting democracy from us horse-brained masses. Tell the truth, give us balanced commentary for perspective, and you'll have done quite enough for democracy.
But if I don't deserve a medal, I deserve at least enough respect to be permitted to draw my own conclusions about some stupid polls. And if I'm not afforded that respect -- well, Mr. Engberg, you may find that when you hold the intelligence and judgment of the American people in contempt, the American people will return the favor.

As the saying goes, RTWT.


Maybe dreams really do come true

I heard on C-SPAN radio this morning that Howard Dean is gunning for Terry MacAuliffe's job. Can it be true? Man oh man oh man. Now let me say that, personally, I am not all that hot for the current Republican domestic agenda, so in reality I'd like to have a relatively sane opposition party (a) articulating some feasible alternatives and, regardless of that, (b) reining them in.

If that's not, however, the way the Dems are going to go, and there's ample evidence that they're seriously confused these days, a la Elizabeth Edwards' characterization of our recently re-elected President and his administration as a "reign of witches" whose "spells" can't last forever, etc., then oh please put Dean in charge of the national party!

Yeah, he'll bring that "youth vote" out to the polls, you betcha.

Or maybe I should be saying, please don' th'ow us in dat briar patch, massa.

Via Instapundit (TM:Heh), some even better ideas


Wot 'e said

"As for Bush, I’m glad he survived, if only because every anti-American on the planet was looking forward to dancing on his political grave like those nutso Palestinian women in the streets of Ramallah on 9/11. But I’m annoyed that it was this close."

ObReadTheWholeThing: The inimitable Mark Steyn.

On the record

I was wrong. I had too much faith in the integrity and judgment of others. It's a character flaw -- hasn't done me much good personally, and led me last week to expect too much also of large chunks of the American voting population. I thought there were more 9/12 voters out there; I thought we'd win walking away, instead of just winning handily overall and improving margins (increasing absolute margins where Bush won and decreasing relative margins where he didn't) in every state.

On the other hand, I think one thing I grossly overestimated was the decline of the old-timey, agenda-driven, hugely dishonest and manipulative mainstream media. To me, Rathergate was the dying gasp of a morally-corrupt, intellectually-vacant empire, collapsing from the weight of its own self-importance -- an opinion that was all superstructure, no content. They are not, shall we say, a reality-based club.

But I've been paying close attention. The fact is, for considerable swaths of the non-information-junky population, that egregious incident was practically a first shot across the bow, the first 'mistake' that they'd consciously noticed in the whole atrocity that this campaign season, this entire Iraq campaign, and more-or-less the whole Bush administration has risen above. It was a decidedly marginal thing to most people.

So I would say that the MSM got their 15% this year.

I hope they enjoyed it, because it's the last time that will happen. The Gutenberg press has been invented, the Bible has been translated into the vernacular, and more and more people will come to the realizations hundreds and thousands of us already have: those people don't know more than I do, they're not smarter than I am, and (if they're thinking at all) they're making judgments and insinuations that don't stand up to the light of day.

They'll keep banging the defeatist drum about Iraq, but we're winning, and now we have four years to brick in some meaningful foundations over there. Thank God. I hope we can also turn some personal attention back to Afghanistan, because they need more help than the crippled creature NATO has become seems capable of providing, too. No bribing/bartering with the madman running North Korea -- the continuation of six-way talks to keep him frustrated in his regional corner is an excellent side-effect of this affirmation of Bush's leadership. It would be wonderful if some of the Old Yurripeons would get on the stick, at least rhetorically, wrt Iran, instead of whining and undermining par for the pre-election course. I wouldn't say I'm hopeful, exactly, of seeing that change, but it would be a hopeful turn of events -- not for Bush particularly, nor even for America, but hopeful for the hard times ahead throughout the world in the ongoing struggle to break the hideous current "international community" that demonizes that very struggle while continuing to legitimate terrorism as an acceptable political strategy.

On to victory, insha'allah.


Another map

I just find these to be fun.


Staying very conservative, I get/predict Bush at 342.

Catching up

Lots of key stuff around to read and contemplate this morning...

Let's start off with a red-blooded rant to get the juices flowing:

Lacking anything resembling human shame, you were tossed out of the NYT and spent the next year whining about how it wasn't your fault. And to this day, you refuse to even look down at your blood-soaked claws.

Speaking of the Times et al., this is interesting:

With few exceptions (New York Post up 5.2%), our twenty most popular dailies are basically flatlining or losing readers (LAT down 5.6%, SF Chron down 8.5%!).

Note that the Post's increase is the largest listed, with the next two highest upticks at 3.8 (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and 2.8% (USA Today) -- every other increase (7 of the remaining 17) is in the 0.x percents. Every downward percentage (10) is more than 1.1 (average fall in circulation among the losers: 3.5%).

As I said to my newspaper-editor relative just this past weekend, it will be interesting when advertising revenues start reflecting the new realities. Shades of the RIAA's lumbering toward either extinction or radical metamorphosis? No more "nooze" "stars" with multi-million dollar contracts? Stay tuned ... to the 'net.

Speaking of the Post (which I admit I find myself reading *far* more often than the Times), I know it gets tiresome but this is absolutely a must-read:

"A clear path runs to 9/11 from the day of the raid on the U.S. embassy in Tehran and the seizure of American hostages.
[...] "What especially surprised Khomeini was that Cater[sic] and his aides, notably Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, rather than condemning the seizure and the treatment of the hostages as a barbarous act, appeared apologetic for unspecified mistakes supposedly committed by the United States and asked for forgiveness and magnanimity."

It goes on. Sticking with the serious, this is both sobering and blood-pressure-raising:

I think that those who advocate war for legitimate self-defense have a defensible position. I think that those who are dedicated pacifists are at least morally and logically consistent, even if I disagree with them strongly.

But I cannot recognize the position of Andrew Sullivan, and John Kerry, as legitimate or honorable. Their shared position is unserious, highly partisan, and morally obscene. Those who would urge the nation into a war, or vote the nation into war, without contemplating the possible difficulties and pain of the struggle are cowards-- and worse than cowards. A man who would send another man to his death for a cause he does not think is important is a villain. What else can one call it?

And finally (because I suppose I really do have to do some work here today), a note on the election processes (gee, is it election day? How did it sneak up on us like this??), which clearly demonstrates One. More. Time. how important it is that the shallow entitlement whiners* not only lose, but lose rilly rilly big:

Instead of offering a defense of our Constitution and our process, Kerry instead promised to roll over for European demands to change it all.

Insha'allah, they will lose, today, bigtime.

*/and don't get me started on the whole damn "international observers" grotesquerie, at all.


Sunday Blather part 2 follow-up 2

Re-heard the panel discussions from ABC's news show and Fox News this morning on the drive in to work (C-SPAN radio is a boon to mankind), and noted that the three states Brit Hume mentioned the Republicans should be worrying about were *New Mexico*, Ohio, and Florida. I'm not sure if Brit was talking about opinion polls or vote fraud, but there's some better polling news from last night about Ohio, at least, via Powerline, and maybe Florida too. Nobody else mentioned NM yesterday, that I recall; is that where that toad Bill Richardson lives? Eeew.

Also, I know I didn't blog any more after Fox yesterday, but I did have George the Greek on while I was working on other stuff later. He actually seemed to be trying to hew a center line, at times, oddly enough. However, there was some chippie on their panel discussion who was so dim it was like a black hole of political savvy around her chair. The replay this morning reminded me of how irritatingly absurd she was as she went on and on imagining that if there's any closeness to the vote this time, "Americans" would simply rise up and throw out the Electoral College. Apparently she hasn't read her Constitution lately. Or ever. Sadly, that's par for the course for MSM -- I would say especially girlies on TeeVee, but if any of them have read more than what someone else has extracted and interpreted (often wildly wrongly) from the First Amendment, they certainly don't show it.

Steyn nails it

As usual, pithy and straightforward Mark Steyn sums it up:

"These are serious times and the senator is not a serious man."

I myself have used almost the exact phrase. In West Africa, about the most dismissive phrase one can politely use about an adult is to say, Il n'est pas serieux. That's what I've thought, and said, about Kerry since he tossed reason aside to co-opt the MSM that had been so hot for Dean and the Deaniacs, suddenly off-put after The Scream. Everything he's done, and everything that's been revealed about his [lack of] character, since then has reinforced my opinion.

"There are legitimate differences of opinion about the war, but they don't include Kerry's silly debater's points."

Silly, and internally contradictory, as Steyn's examples illustrate. Kerry either doesn't understand the content, import, or connotations of his own words, or he doesn't think average Americans can parse his soi-disant eloquence.

"If Kerry's oft-repeated 'outsourcing Osama' crack is genuinely felt, it shows he doesn't get this war. And, if it's just cheapo point scoring, it's pathetic."

Couldn't agree more profoundly and absolutely. To finish:

"I want Bush to win on Election Day because he's committed to this war and, as the novelist and Internet maestro Roger L. Simon says, 'the more committed we are to it, the shorter it will be.' The longer it gets, the harder it will be, because it's a race against time, against lengthening demographic, economic and geopolitical odds."


Sunday Blather part 2 follow-up

Juan Williams aside, don't miss this article on black voters' changing attitudes. A similar argument recently was made in the Washington Times.

Sunday Blather part 2

Fox News: boring stuff with party hacks from both sides, first at Presidential level, then Senate. Florida, South Dakota, North Carolina, etc. Nothing new -- very little factual. A waste of time -- why blow 30 minutes on that? If you're going to belabor this stuff, at least have informed, critical, civilized people to discuss it instead of the usual party hacks spouting the usual, predictable guff.

Beneath the Fold (usually my favorite part, but weak today):
Cheney's heart-disease related flu shot & Kerry's neglect to mention that Clinton got one too.
WaPo correction re: party paid for, with refreshments, and pix posed by WaPo was reported on as if it were news. Oops.
Sinclair & Vietnam film -- showed only 4 minutes of the Kerry Expose, after all the brouhaha.

Today's Panel: Brit Hume, CiCi Connelly, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams
Chris Wallace cites RealClearPolitics.com and shows their map! Repeatedly! An excellent nod to the power of amateur punditry. 234B to 211K (RCP calls PA for Kerry, IA for Bush)
Brit: R should worry about FL, OH; Dems: Minnesota, WI, IA
CC: claims state polls are within margins of error. Charles No they're not, CC yes they are.
Brit: don't forget that if Bush wins just the states he had before, he wins, because they have more electoral votes now
Bill: these polls are still too far out, always lots of movement in the last 9 days. Could widen for Bush or we get a break for Kerry and then key states will likewise make it again not a squeaker, electoral-college wise
Juan: Surprised at RCP map, Pres won't carry Iowa, they're a local-issues place and a Democratic machine state. Similarly surprised about Wisconsin, thinks it will go Kerry too.
Juan: Kerry is the one on the move, Bush is entrenched where he is. Kerry has all the new voters registering, etc.
Chris: surely you jest
Juan: Nope, I'm serious, dood. Those scary wolves are like, Hallowe'en, man.
Bill: Cultural issues are helping Bush a lot, especially in some of these key states. Florida is dead even, [because it's] less culturally conservative.
Bill Kristol prediction: Bush - "He's going to win the whole thing by 5 points, it's not going to be close."
Juan: What about abortion, stem cells? Social issues will break for Kerry

CiCi: Pres is sitting about where he stood in 2000. Kerry has to pick up Nader column in key states, hasn't grabbed them yet.
Brit: Nader factor. Fox poll of Ohio only: showed Bush even better with "registered voters" than "likely voters"; we thought there was something wrong with the poll. Pollsters say, Nader voters are furious with Dems for trying to keep Nader off the ballot, either won't vote or will vote but not for Kerry.

Chris: Kerry keeps saying he'll pivot to domestic but still stuck on the international scene; he hasn't been able to nail down the safe-on-security factor; people don't trust Democrats on terrorism.

CiCi: He's still on international issues because he keeps being overtaken by events, such as Iraqis being shot this morning. But he does often turn to Edwards to attack, with Kerry trying to be more upbeat.
Brit: But he can't do that, really. Bush campaign is banking on idea that people will go in on election day and just won't feel safe voting for Kerry. Otoh, if people think, well we haven't had another terrorist attack and Iraq was a mistake, then that's over.
Juan: put tribalism aside, Bush is a loser.
Brit: The Q isn't whether or not they think Bush is strong on war on terror: they do. The Q is whether or not they're still worried about it. Could be a paradox in the result, if he loses because he's succeeded too well in making Americans feel safer.

Chris: flu shots
Bill: I totally agree with Brit; if people are thinking about this, Bush loses. I cannot believe that people are going to vote on November 2nd on flu vaccines.
Juan: [tries to break in, something about Pat Robertson?; Chris squelches him (finally) to give the floor to Cici.]
Cici: gets back to flu shot topic, major issues here.
Brit: Three key problems: litigation, regulation, and what amounts to price controls. Until we fix these, flu vaccine situation won't be resolved.

Letters ... nothing much. A request for Juan and Brit to hug; instead they blow kisses up and down the table (Chris is kinda grossed out).

Power Player of the Week: Red Auerbach? Was it just last week that they ran one on Wallace's dog trainer? And now it turns out he has lunch/dinner with a bunch of old guys like Auerbach. Look, Wallace is okay and all that, but this is plain silly. They rilly rilly need to retire this "feature". Please.

Sunday Blather part 1 followup

Andrea's prediction on Powell and North Korea seems undermined by this post (and yes, I do consider Captain's Quarters at least as reliable as NBC, if not more so).

Sunday Blather part 1

Chris Matthews has: Katty Kay, hates Bush; Andrew Sullivan, who's pinned everything on undermining, undercutting Bush on everything since he's abandoned Bush over gay marriage. Personally, I think Sullivan has to be a contrarian. He reveled in gay conservative, now he wants to be the conservative for Kerry.
That combo leaves Andrea Mitchell looking somewhat less biased than usual, and Howard Fineman looking downright fair and balanced.

Heh heh -- Chris Matthews brings up Terayza's MONSTER GAFFE of denigrating Laura Bush for never having a "real job". [NB: The video is much more devastating than the USA Today article -- she's clearly, deliberately dismissive of Laura and really, really impressed with herself.] "It was a put-down of little people." Agreement by Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell. Total Agreement. Andrew and Howard: She's A Disaster. The only one sticking up for her was that snotty Brit bint. Too bad they haven't put that video clip on the airwaves and all over the web. Bush pushers missed a window of opportunity there.

Clinton will be pimping for Kerry in Philadelphia. Andrea sees it as a pure positive. Chris agrees, predicts a large sympathy vote (huh?), then agrees with Katty (who obviously loves Slick Willy) and Andrea that "people just want to see him". Fineman: PA will go for Kerry. Sullivan: blacks are important in PA, however are breaking for Bush, largely on social issues -- because they're "the most hostile group, unfortunately" on gay stuff -- so Clinton could make the difference, since black folks love how Clinton preaches in churches.

Andrea: John Kerry does not appeal to black voters.
Matthews: He doesn't do well with blacks, women, Israel, you name it.
Kay and Everyone: he's not pushing those buttons, he's pushing the anti-Bush button.

New voters -- but how many of them (will) actually vote?

Sullivan ranting on his soapbox, triggered by a butterfly flapping its wings in Singapore.

Chris Matthews predicts 118 million in voter turnout.

"Tell me something I don't know"
Katty Kay -- lawsuits in Colorado over over-registration
Howard -- there will be no concession call from either side on election night
Andrea: Powell trying to get NoKo back on track, Powell will leave; all speculation is who would Kerry's SecState be, but Holbrook wants NSA. (Matthews predicts a Republican, like Lugar)
Sullivan: Michigan trending to Bush, all bets will be off if that happens


Jobs, real jobs, and peons

Via Lileks, I discover a startling picture of abysmal obliviousness:

"But I don't know that she's ever had a real job -- I mean, since she's been grown up."

So someone who's disingenuously introduced in this same piece as a 'philanthropist' (read: a person who considers it the highest of public works to bestow fat chunks o' money-with-arbitrary-strings as ostentatiously as possible) gratuitously insults someone else who the entire universe must know worked as a librarian (and as many also know, a teacher), for not having had the "validation" of her "bigger" "life experience". Small beans, you may say. Laura was just marking time, perhaps. But she worked on her own for ten years, which is more than a lot of wimmen of that generation can say. I expect it's more than the Heinz widow, not counting being hired by relatives. And since she doesn't consider motherhood a real job, why should we count her nepotism experiences, either?

My mom got her master's and worked as a teacher before she got married. My grandmom worked practically all her life as the county librarian. Lots of ladies of many generations have done the same, with or without the advanced degree. That was a real job. Raising six (or three, or any) kids is a real job. And jeezo louise-o, putting up with Kerry's Madame, who btw turns in her taxes using only the name of her dead husband, must be more than a job-and-a-half.

Here are a few more choice statements:

"I mention my age because I find people in this country — women, not men, of course — women are so troubled by their age."

Of course. We are but little girls who await the sophisticated guidance of someone (a true cosmopolitan, apparently, neither in nor of this country) who married a rich guy who kicked the bucket. (Men, otoh [and I note that the byline appears to be a man], aren't foolish like that -- I wonder if she batted her eyes or gave a sidelong glance or patented hair-flip as she inserted the caveat?) Yeah, seeing her cavort around the country demonstrating her unconcern and inconsideration for Heinz's replacement (who so clearly enjoys spending her money but hardly seems to be able to remember her name, either) is a real buzz, quite the ideal toward which we backwoods bumpkins can only aspire.

Well, Americans who pause [at a potential First Lady who was born abroad, to two foreign parents] probably don't know history very well, because we are all from somewhere. [...] And to fear that or disparage that I don't think is American. And I never hear that out there.

Yeeeeeessss. Now I see. Any feeling that she might be condescending, might fail to serve our country and its interests, might in fact be someone we would all grow increasingly to detest for her supreme arrogance in being Not From Around Here but criticizing those who are for not being American in their attitudes ... why, we're simply wrong. Perhaps we've never had real jobs, or are not yet grown up.

I mean, wow. The layers of buffering that must surround this woman on a constant, daily, omnipresent basis have to be a mile thick. Does no one ever tell her she's a horse's ass? Because she is the purest example of offensive moronosity I've run across in, well, forever.

"...[M]y experience is a little bit bigger — because I'm older, and I've had different experiences. And it's not a criticism of her. It's just, you know, what life is about.

Bottom line: What TuhRAYzuh's life has been is what life is about. What anyone else has been/done/seen/shared is self-evidently lesser. Why, how could anyone take that as a criticism? That's just a "silly" idea some peasants might have -- none, of course, that she's ever heard (of course, the peasants with whom She interacts probably number no more than the single digits) -- and could only come from our failure to understand how "big" her heart and mind are, and anyone who persists can "shove it", because they're not being truly American.

Thanks for clearing things up, there, honey. Now run along, I'm sure you have servants to command and minions to make scatter.

ObSheesh: Sheesh.


Super snark

If you're like me, except nuts, you have probably been wondering, "With so much violence in the world, and so little in the way of affordable drugs, is there any way I, as a moonbat, can personally make a meaningful apology to Saddam Hussein for causing so much hardship to his armies of evil henchmen? Well, not a personal apology, since I didn't do any of that army stuff. But isn't there some way to, like, do a, kind of, apology for other people? Like, 'I'm sorry someone else liberated your country, dude'?"


Bondage and bonding

Have been away and then distracted. Still somewhat distracted.

An essential, undervalued Peeve: forced socializing in the company of random individuals who happen to work for the same employer.

Now, I've always hated it, everything from the pregnancy rituals to the good-bye functions to the horriday events to the birthday intrusions and more. But let's get real. There's nothing more cruel and bizarre than the modrun practice of sequestering a whole hapless crowd far from the reach of yooman civilization, flourishing an "agenda" of vague, only semi-work-related topics that was developed behind closed doors, in order to berate the shocked and horrified with their ObFailure to demonstrate their enthusiastic affirmative to that core, age-old, central question: "Are you On Board?"

You know what, boss? You haven't bought me a sailboat. You don't pay me enough to be "on board". You ensure a further degree of off-board-ness every single time you use the phrase, times ten when you pose the question and force me to respond. Your insistence on on-boardness is rotting the boards. Leave me off your leaky boat. Leave me alone, IN MY OFFICE, to do my work. The work for which I'm getting paid, and that otherwise I have to make up in what used to be my free time since I have to spend my farking work day trying not to bite your head off amidst the retarded, fake, unprofessional, unproductive, irritating, pointless charade of superficial bonding.

Excuse me, it's time to order a stack of Demotivators to plaster around my office.


A critical, important post

Not one of my regular sites, but read the whole thing. (It's not long.)

Intellectual honesty is rare and seems to be getting rarer. Professional integrity. Any kind of integrity.

Not holding myself up as a stellar example, but it's always useful to remind ourselves of the standards that actually matter.

Oh No Po Mo!

Via a comment on Roger Simon's blog, I was led to this piece.

The sentence that got my juices flowing was "Your war on terror is like draining the lake to catch the fish." Well, yes. Exactly. By George, I think she's got it. Let's consider: why do we not catch all of the fish today by draining lakes? Answer: because we want to be able to catch some fish tomorrow, and there will be no fish to replenish fish stocks, because there will be no environment in which they can live, if we drain the lake.

So, since we don't want to maintain the world's stock of terrorists, we want to drain the lake, exactly. Sounds like Ulrike instead wants to ensure we don't run out of the (not-so-)scarce resource of terrorists. Maybe I'm just sane, and civilized, but I find myself naturally inclining more toward the camp of those who'd like to see terrorists using terror as a political tool become extinct. Maybe we'll never get there, but I prefer the asymptotic approach to zero over the nurturing of terrorists' lakes to keep our stocks up.

I was going to leave a comment, but I think a fisking is more appropriate.

No deal, September 2004, by Ulrike Guérot
A German foreign policy expert says the US should become postmodern

Well, you know right there she's lost me. First of all, because I have little tolerance for 'experts'. If this broad was a former SecState (German equivalent), or has worked for X years at doing Y, or etc., etc., then let's hear a credential or two. For all we know, her expertise is that she worked on the Oil-for-Palaces-&-Oppression gravy train out of the UN, or maybe she turned her dissertation on deconstruction of the idiom of FP into a book no one's read. Some magazine editor's evaluation of someone they've already decided to publish as an "expert" is distinctly unimpressive in my book.

And don't get me started on the whole postmodrun angle as if it had any relationship to real power and decision-making. Listen, if you want to imagine that you can project any meaning you want onto text and it's as "valid" as any allegedly objective (PoMo mantra 1: nothing is objective) alleged reality (PoMo mantra 2: there is no reality), then smoke a clove cigarette, get a tattoo, and have a blast. Oh, I'd rather you not spend any tax dollars on your idiocy, but I suppose that has to be fought case by case.

But if you want to converse with the big boys about things that empirically affect real (yes, Ulrike, there is reality), real-live life-and-death, then take off the beret, scrub your greasy hair, turn the lights on, and prepare to do some work thinking about facts and other hard stuff that have tangible consequences.

(deep breath) Okay, let me pace myself a little better ...

The new deal proposed by Philip H Gordon (Prospect, July) to help drag transatlantic relations out of their post-Iraq low is too nostalgic.

Are our relations at a low, or have Germany and France dropped off the US's radar since they're so self-evidently On The Other Side? (tmHeWhoBlendsPuppies) I say the latter.

America should be nicer to Europe, he suggests, and then Europe will support America again. But, as David Marquand pointed out in the last issue, the status quo ante will no longer work.

All too true, since (a) we don't want to be nice to "Europe" -- meaning you, Germany, and of course France, (b) we don't trust France and Germany, and you're going to have to earn that trust back, so (c) the former status quo is busted forever.

Sorry d0odz. We're all growed up now. You cried a few crocodile tears after September 11 because you thought it would mean we'd buy into your oh so tragic pomo self-hatred. And indeed, some Americans have. But luckily they're not the ones running things. And don't kid yourself they will be any time soon, either.

We'll be nice. When it suits us. When it's in our interests. Not because we think France and Germany have some mystic Auld Countriye knowledge or insight into what ought to matter to us (but doesn't) or how the whirled ought to work (but doesn't).

You think you know cowboy? Wait till you really absorb what's happening here; get a load of post-terror pragmatism.

How can Europe respect America's special responsibility for global security when large majorities in Europe believe that the way the US handles foreign policy puts them at greater risk?

It is better to be feared than loved. For a modern/classic rendition of this approach in more detail, please see FrankJ. Go ahead, this can wait.

We do not want to provide legitimacy for international actions of which we disapprove. We do not believe in your enforcement of democracy (at least not through regime change) or in the desire to fashion other countries in your image.

All of that is cool by me, since you're essentially irrelevant.

Will we help you in Iraq? We will help an America that returns to the rule of international law, and that ranks "soft power" as high as military power.

Chortle. Well, honey, we'll have to agree to disagree and go our separate ways. Good luck with whatever you're after, as long as you're not in our way. When that happens, though, sparky -- all bets are off. You've decided we're not friends; live with the consequences.

Many Europeans believe that we have a better idea of security.

Many Yurripeons believe some weird stuff. Where's the evidence that you have a better handle on security? I see absolutely none.

Your war on terror is like draining the lake to catch the fish.

You betcha, insha'allah.

Europe is developing a more flexible security system, which stresses collective responsibility rather than just our own interests.

yaaaaaawwwwwwnnnnnn. Pretend I'm from Missouri, and Show Me.

The strength of Europe today is that is has no enemies.

Shirley, you jest.

But if you're serious, then you're in for a rude awakening. Belgium didn't have any enemies but the Germans sure marched in and ruined their day. Oh, I guess that historical nugget has a different connotation for you, Ulrike. No offense.

And if power means getting what you want, then Europe is pretty powerful. Jeremy Rifkin grasps the new mood in his book The European Dream: "The American dream is far too centred on personal material advancement and too little concerned with the broader human welfare to be relevant in a world of increasing risk, diversity and interdependence. It is an old dream, immersed in a frontier mentality... The European dream emphasises sustainable development over unlimited growth... and global co-operation over the unilateral exercise of power."

Wow. That's simply stunning. A book about a dream of Yurrip lectures the US on being too practical? Yeah, we'll sure take that piercing criticism to heart.

Europe, unlike America, does not aspire to western supremacy

Whoa, Nellie. Actually, in our heart of hearts, America aspires to be left the hell alone. Please, kindly, get over yourselves.

- the assumption that there are things we have the right to possess but that we need to keep out of the hands of others.

We want everybody to have democracy, liberty, money to spend, and enough of their own business to take care of to leave them little time or energy to muck about in ours.

This idea is fertile soil for anti-western attitudes and even for terrorism.

Everything seems to be fertile soil for anti-western attitudes and terrorism, at the moment.

The principle of western supremacy seems unlikely to survive the 21st century, but the US is committed to resisting its decline - widening the gulf with Europe in the process.

I've been hearing about the decline of Western Civ (and market economies) for a long, long, long time from Yurripeons. As an Africanist, I've personally been calling Yurrip "the Dying Continent" for a lot longer.

ObUsenet: I'm right, and you're wrong.

Let us take a current example: Iran. You suggest a common, Euro-American carrot and stick approach to prevent the country from getting nuclear weapons. But whatever we do, Iran will do everything in its power to get the bomb.

You sound like John Kerry. Everything should be multi-multi-lateral, as many laterals as imaginable ... except when that's *exactly* the approach we want to take (N. Korea). Then it's, Oh you naive fools, you aren't paying attention to realpolitik.

It feels threatened and it knows that the bomb is the route to real clout as a global player. Rather than thinking about how to keep them in their place, why not take their interests seriously? Nuclear deterrence worked for us for more than 40 years.

Smile when you say "us", you ungrateful bint. And it worked under the American nuclear umbrella because America stationed tons of troops in your misbegotten land and several other places to back up the conventional deterrent as well, and in case you haven't noticed, we're pretty much through with that policy. And it's not likely to "work" with Iran because Iran's mullahcracy is likely to pass their nukes to terrorists, who are -- in case you didn't notice their little oopsie in September of 2001 -- far from unwilling to leap with glee into the philosophy of Mutually Assured Destruction.

Why should it not work in the middle east?

Iran of course would be most likely to use its nukes against a secular democracy emerging nearby (Iraq) or one just a little further away that they think would look better pushed into the sea, but they'll settle for vaporized. I know the New! Europe! (especially the French and German portion of it) is again less shy about its scorn for the Jews, but I really don't think the path to equilibrium is through nuclear war in the Middle East.

Or between India and Pakistan? In any case, we cannot durably prevent proliferation through military force.

You're a little slippery on those pronouns. You can't prevent anything through military force. Israel prevented Iraq from nuclear capacity when Saddam was getting a little too close, and it wasn't with a dozen red roses. We're making double-dog sure of it, there, and I think have an excellent chance of success, which couldn't have remotely begun to happen through Hans Blix and his many blind mice, or your slick-n-greasy sanctions-breaking aid and comfort to Saddam under so-called sanctions. It's beginning to look like the main effect of the sanctions was to ensure that the only people making money were Saddam's hand-picked Beezelbubs, domestic and foreign. You should be so very proud, oh ye of the multilateral, anything-but-military, except when the US wants it, approach.

The US needs to acknowledge that the EU is a state in the making - it will soon have a foreign minister and its own diplomatic service.

Speaking for the US, let me just say, consider yourselve so acknowledged. And speaking for myself, with a hearty guffaw lurking beneath the surface, just how many divisions will your foreign minister and striped-pantsers be mobilizing? Mobilizing effectively?

Yeah. I thought so.

And since Nato can no longer carry transatlantic relations as it did in the cold war,

Translation: since the US is bored with being jerked around by tinpot bureaucrats posturing over increasingly crippled economies that can't even begin to pretend to carry their weight in NATO (all caps, you dillhole), a few rational people in this new "state" of the EU are getting very, very nervous.

Quite rightly so. Too little too late, but quite rightly so. This is Europe, getting up with fleas.

the US and the EU should agree on a treaty that focuses on new spheres of interdependence.

I believe she misspelled "the EU doesn't have a hope in hell of anything better than supine dependence, begging for scraps, but we hope the US won't be so gauche as to mention it." Gosh, sorry, but we're nutbar cowboys, you know. Simple people. And we're tired of bearing all your burdens for a sharp stick in the eye.

The task of the EU is to spend more on security and become more effective;

Good luck with that, guys. No, really. Let us know when you begin to grasp what "effective" means in the modern world. Here's a hint: it looks an awful lot like our effectiveness, and it will continue to look a lot like that (only better) even if you confuse reality with your so-called postmodern world.

the task of the US is to join us in the postmodern world.

Missing the point by several kilometers, Ulrike doesn't understand that they're the ones behind, and when it comes to security there is no PoMo world. No matter how much the EU spends (and they don't remotely have the cash), they'll never catch up -- unless we decide it's in our interests. If we want them to catch up, we could catch them up -- technologically, at least. But no amount of money thrown at this problem is going to create an EU military worth a damn functionally, much less one that the EU (oh so pomo, and with no! enemies!) would ever use.

Internal inconsistency, smug insularity, lack of situational awareness (how many Muslims in Germany? What's their fertility rate? What's their employment rate? What's the social safety net's financial state?), and blame America first. Why, she's practically a Kedwards Democrat.

Ulrike Guérot runs Europe policy at the German Marshall Fund in Berlin

Oh. My. Goodness. This is simply Too Rich. Her expertise is that she wanks away at an organization that I have to guess is built on the US's forward-thinking actions to support rebuilding the political economy systems, infrastructure, and capacity of farkin' Germany after they lost the Second World War they started?

Words fail me. But I do wonder if her pomo sensibilities include any appreciation of that basic civilized concept, irony.


Debate 2.4

A woman's right to choose [abortion] is in the Constitution? Not last time I read it.

OOOOOOH. And followed up with an abortion (anti-abortion) question, very direct.

Kerry: I'm a Catholic. Helped lead me thru a war. (First mention of Viet Nam? Must be a record.) Throws in TuhRAYzah, gratuitously.

More details on abortion, using extreme examples, pointless.

Bush: "History will look back, and I'm fully prepared to accept responsibility for my decisions."
Kerry: Iraq's a mistake, huge colossal gargantuan mistake, rush to war, Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

I'd like to hear Lurch answer the question for himself. Was it a mistake to treat with the enemy while we were fighting in Viet Nam?

Final statements. Lurch the ThumbMan goes first, good. He says he's an optimist. Yeah, except for all of the things he's pessimistic about.

Bush: This has been enjoyable. (Looks like he might mean it.) We've been through a lot, yet think about where we are. Tonight I had a chance to discuss with you about how to move on. Don't increase the role of the grubbymint. Energy plan. We're at war, which requires a President who is strong, resolute, etc. (He's hitting his stride here.) Deep faith in liberty, freedom is on the march, Afghanistan elections, Iraq elections coming up.

Not bad for the good guys, insha'allah.

Charlie's a total, total lightweight. Will be interesting to see how things go in PunditWorld, especially considering the ABC memo that I guess came out just before this thing started.

Ooh, people refusing to shake Kerry's hand. kewl. Crowd apparently warm to Bush.

My my my.

Charlie congratulating Kerry. Must... turn... away. Shields and Brooks, blood pressure stabilizing...

Debate 2.3


Kerry's answer to a question about embryonic stem cell research starts with a condescending "I respect the feeling/emotion/morality behind your question" and quickly cuts to Michael J. Fox and Christopher Reeve. Is name-dropping truly an effective campaign tactic?

Bush: I'm the first Prez to allow federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, but we must balance science and ethics.

Whoa. I don't have a real dog in this fight, and I think it's a tar baby for Bush, but I think he just hit that one out of the freakin' park.

Kerry: I don't know how you draw that line [between allowing and not allowing]. So we have to open up all the possibilities. Nothing about ethics/morality. I don't think that will play for those who see this as an important issue.

Q: who would you pick for
Bush: "I'm not tellin'! Besides, I want 'em all voting for me!" Then: strict constructionists. Well, that will scare some people. "No litmus tests, except for how they interpret the Constitution."

Debate 2.2

Fairly specific comments about tort reform by Bush get a reaction from Kerry that "the President is just trying to scare you".

I hate the way Kerry says "folks". He's not a regular guy, and can't fake it.

Bush goes into dangerous territory, i.e. who's not credible on fiscal responsibility. But turns it toward how to make the economy grow. I don't know how that's going to play. Someone earlier did ask directly about Bush never vetoing a spending bill. I can't really gauge how he did on that.

Kerry claims Bush is using fuzzy math. Isn't that Bush's line re: Gore last time?

An environmental question, Bush fumbles a bit but seems to pick up a little bit ... then goes down the pointless road of hydrogen something or other.

Kerry pretending to be a sports fan, again (Red Sox). Uh oh.

Kerry: I was in Kyoto. (Why does he think it's an argument, to say he was somewhere? He does this all the time. I find it silly and at best queerly vain.)

I must say Charlie Whosits is being pretty dogged on the point of how the heck are you going to cut the deficit in half.

Kerry: Bush and Cheney are corrupt.
Bush "I own a timber company? That's news to me? Need some wood?"

Nyuck nyuck.

Q: Why are my rights being watered down?
Bush: I don't think they are. Everything requires court action. These tools are already in use in war on Drugs (not exactly a great argument for people who think they're wrong in that context too). Agencies need to be able to talk to each other.
[Guy looks far from convinced]
Kerry: [cites other guys who are worried about the way Patriot Act is being applied] This is in our country, "folks", the United States of America! (Oh, is that our country? Thanks, it had slipped my mind.)

Debate 2.1

Bush theme: "It's naive and dangerous"

Kerry theme: "We can do better"

Bush good one: "I almost want to scowl"

Bush looks good with the blue tie, he's definitely warming up and feeling comfortable. Red power tie: oh so '80s.

Kerry oopsie: "It's not a question of 'if', it's a question of 'when'."
Kerry semi-backtrack: "according to this President and his experts"

Bush: I'm worried. Everyday people are working overtime. The way to [treat a monster?] is liberty, spread liberty.

Onto domestic issues, Canadian drugs, seniors and prescription drugs.

Kerry really does look like Lurch. He just said the Senate passed the drug stuff. I so hope he wasn't there to vote on it.

I think some people might not like it, but I like Bush jumping up, eager to rebut and get into the discussion.

Kerry jawdropper: "We did something you don't know how to do"

Oooh, I really hate his attitude. "Go figure."

I'll be really interested to see the polls/discussions of (other) voters' impressions of these guys tonight.

Oh oh oh, a stab at Empty Suit BreckGirl Edwards!!! And Kerry's response is that everyone should go to his website and download some tort reform plan? OMG. What a punt. A punt by a putz. Just farkin' abysmal.

Debate 2

I'm watching the townhall "debate" on NBC, because locally that channel comes in as one of the best. It made me wonder, since we had two PBS moderators, tonight an ABC guy, and next time that CBS fellow, what NBC did wrong to get cut out? I can see why the Bush campaign wouldn't care to have any of these guys running things (I concur that Lehrer was more slanted than Gwen Ifill, no real opinion yet on Charlie Whosits (except my pre-existing impression that he's essentially an intellectually-vacant lightweight), but CBS at best doesn't come into any conversation without an odor of bias these days. On the other hand, NBC's no worse, I don't think, than ABC, CBS, and PBS. And we may (or may not) be more polarized these days, but didn't Fox run one of the debates last time?

I'd like to see these two guys in front of William F. Buckley, Mara Liason (sp?), David Brooks, Cici Connelly, Juan Williams, Ralph Peters, who else...

I do think that stupid thumb gesture needs to be retired. Point, gesture, or wave, but don't thrust your stupid thumb toward me like someone who doesn't have the 'nads to point.

Uber kewl

Doesn't it seem odd that there are, now, so many ways to make one's perspective available to the whirled? I merely wanted to add a thought to a particularly egregious fugly post, and suddenly I found myself creating a whole new outlet ... for any wide variety of thoughts on many subjects ...

ObMrBurns: Excellent.