A Congressman in Florida* runs an ad calling his opponent “Taliban Dan“.
That story compares the ad to the Saxby Chambliss ad from 2002 that “questioned Super All-Time Greatest War Hero Ever Max Cleland’s patriotism!” Here’s that ad:
You be the judge. I remember every Democrat in the country pooping his pants and flapping his arms over that ad. I don’t mind it – it looks honest to me, and you’d have to presume your countrymen to be a bunch of stupid bigots to believe that anyone saw that ad and thought, “Mah Gawd, Max dun gone and joined the Mohamatans.” The Grayson ad, though, is about as direct as it gets saying that the battle against Daniel Webster (!) is just an extension of the battle against Osama.
Vanity Fair has compiled a list of best dressed people. Approximately three quarters of the people featured in the slide show are slobs and frumps with the fashion sense of overcooked cabbage. The contrast with the well dressed people on the list (stand tall, David Beckham!) is devastating.
Michelle Obama wouldn’t necessarily make a Vanity Fair’s worst-dressed list, but the fact that she made their best-dressed list and they used a picture of her with full-on boob spillage, shows that they just picked her because they like her, not because she can throw together an outfit.
We here at Federalist Paupers respectfully disagree with Karol’s assessment. We think that someone at Vanity Fair has read their La Rochefoucauld and had the malicious imagination to apply this maxim: “To praise princes for virtues, which they have not, is to insult them with impunity.”
Between 2001 and 2009 [...] a very specific philosophy reigned in Washington: You cut taxes, especially for millionaires and billionaires; you cut regulations for special interests; you cut back on investments in education and clean energy, in research and technology. The idea was if we put blind faith in the market, if we let corporations play by their own rules, if we left everybody to fend for themselves, America would grow and America would prosper.
That was the philosophy that was put forward. For eight years, we tried that. And that experiment failed miserably.
Important note: Obama is full of shit.
Look anyone who is under the delusion that George W. Bush was some kind of market fundamentalist needs to have their head examined. What the vast majority of our pundit class, current ruling party and members of the political left don’t seem to understand is that the current backlash against big government has been a long time brewing. The Prophet (the good Jewish nerdy one, not the insane Catholic obstetrician one) is fond of pointing out the Tea Party is, in large part, blow-back against the excesses of the Bush Administration. Once our ruling class gets that through their thick skulls maybe we will get some real progress on this issue.
I started reading this story and wanted to know what state “Boiling Springs” was in. Can’t be that many Boiling Springs, says I, so I’ll google it.
Wrong. There’s a Boiling Springs PA, NC, and SC, as well as a Red Boiling Springs TN. If there’s one thing less appealing than a boiling spring, it’s a red boiling spring. Could you pick a less appealing name for a town? Rancho Cucamonga is already taken, but Crotchville seems to be available. At least it doesn’t sound like a landmark somewhere in the mid levels of hell.
Apollo posted this at 11:52 PM CDT on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 as Amer-I-Can!
O’Brian continues to amaze, even 15 books into the series.
In addition to writing a superb novel in its own right, he’s is clearly up to something with the addition of Clarissa Oakes to the cast of characters; (especially since the book’s original title was, simply, Clarissa Oakes). I’m not entirely sure what’s going on, but I’m keenly interested to find out.
David Frum explains why taxes will probably be raised:
Last weekend, Republican House leader John Boehner offered the anticipated compromise. He told CBS’s Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation that he would accept a middle-class-only tax cut if he had no other choice. What happened? Let Bob Schieffer tell it:
”By mid-afternoon [Sept. 12], the White House acknowledged Boehner’s change in position, but added in a written press release: ‘Time will tell if his actions will be anything but continued support for the failed policies that got us into this mess.’
”Blame it on a long memory, but I can remember when the first move by a president like Lyndon Johnson or maybe a smart aide in the Eisenhower White House would not have been a snarky press release.
”I’m guessing LBJ would have been on the phone to Boehner in five minutes after seeing him on TV, saying something like, ‘If you’re serious, why don’t you come over here quietly and we’ll try to work out something good for both of us and the folks out there?’”
Schieffer astutely diagnosed this reality: President Obama’s Democrats do not want a tax compromise.
I’m normally a Balko fan, but this is inane. We already have a bifurcated trial system in this country; first, a grand jury determines if a crime was committed and the likely suspect, and then a petit jury determines if the evidence proves that beyond a reasonable doubt. The ways in which that’s different from what Balko proposes are, in a most flattering light, marginal. At worst, they would be epically stupid (“We’ve got a dead body with eighteen stab wounds to the abdomen. Was a crime committed, or was this a suicide like the defense claims? What says you the jury?”).
We already must go through several layers to convict someone of a crime (also consider that the police must investigate, and the prosecutor, who has sworn an oath do to justice, must agree to prosecute the offense). To the degree there are wrongful convictions, it’s not for a lack of layers to our criminal justice system.
In Texas, we further bifurcate trials, with guilt determined in one phase, and then the punishment determined in another. And either can be determined by a judge or a jury. Our punishment phase resembles the Athenian trials of yore, where more or less anyone can testify about any bad thing the defendant has ever done, or any positive thing the defendant has ever done. Mothers testify about how devastated they will be if their sons are locked up in prison. Snooping old ladies testify about that time they saw the defendant take a leak in his front yard (aka “in public”) when he didn’t think anyone else was around.
I’ll venture slightly into the poppest of pop culture.
Camille Paglia’s attacks on Lady Gaga are the most tone deaf cultural criticisms of pop culture I’ve seen since Pat Buchanan left the main national stage. All along, Gaga has been extraordinarily open about the fact that she’s doing what she’s doing in order to be famous. Her first album was named “The Fame,” and her second “Fame Monster,” with songs like “Paparazzi,” “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich,” and “Money Honey.” She has created a persona that is, entirely, a critique of modern celebrity culture and designed to take advantage of that culture to advance her own fame. For Paglia to attack her as nothing more than a copy of prior pop figures strikes me a lot like going to a Beatles tribute band concert and complaining that they’re not really The Beatles. Well duh.
Moreover, the attack that Gaga is “stripped of genuine eroticism” misses the single most remarkable thing about Gaga. Objectively, she’s a reasonably attractive woman, and she is constantly wearing the skimpiest of outfits, or borderline nude. But she is never, ever, sexy. Ever. It’s the damnedest thing, and I can’t think of anyone else who comes remotely close to pulling that off. An attractive woman performing sexualized dances in revealing clothing who’d leave Quagmire flaccid. Talk about a rare skill!
So when Paglia says that Gaga is a hackneyed, unsexy attention whore, all I can imagine is Gaga saying back, “What do I need to do to emphasize that that’s the point, wear a skimpy dress made out of raw meat and a flank steak on my head?” (Seriously, look at how much taught flesh she shows without being sexy in the least.)
I think that Paglia is finally getting old. It’s not a bad thing – she’s had a good couple of decades, and one can’t forever stay on top of an evolving pop culture. But I don’t think she has the correct tools to deal with a creature as thoroughly postmodern as Lady Gaga.
There is nothing necessarily wrong with losing a primary and running as an independent or as a write-in during the general election. Joe Lieberman did so in 2006, and some DC residents hope Mayor Fenty will do so this fall. Both of them had taken risks—and knew that they’d offended some of their party’s partisans in taking them—because they thought that they were fighting for an issue more important than their elected office. For Lieberman, it was the war. For Fenty, it would be children’s education.
Now Lisa Murkowski wants to run a write-in after losing her primary. Why? I really don’t see what big issue she’s defending, other than her own ego.
Hubbard posted this at 6:36 PM CDT on Friday, September 17th, 2010 as Buffoon Watch
John Derbyshire has a long running bit of advice: get a government job. Eric Cantor (R-VA) has a website for people who are “fed up with the culture of spending in Washington.” It might seem tough for a conservative to rail about civil service reform and say something new, but Andrew Ferguson has done so, with a typical Ferguson twist at the end:
Even so, we shouldn’t forget the demagoguery in the Republican campaign against federal pay, especially when it’s waged on grounds of frugality and budget discipline. While not quite as negligible as foreign aid and “earmarks”—two other targets of the phony deficit hawk—the federal payroll amounts to much less than 10 percent of the government’s budget, and firing every federal worker tomorrow would still leave a deficit next year of roughly $1 trillion, except nobody would be around to count it.
There’s an irony to go along with the demagoguery. One reason the difference between federal and private pay widened at an accelerated pace in the last decade was the Bush administration’s decision to contract out many lower-paying government functions to private business. With fewer low salaries, the average federal salary rose. Another reason was the administration’s vast expansion of antiterror activities, giving the federal government an insatiable appetite for college graduates—raising the average federal salary again. The federal pay premium is in part a consequence of privatization and a strong national defense.
If the issue of federal pay does take off, surely somebody, somewhere, sooner or later, will make the obvious point. Republican politicians were in charge of the entire federal workforce when compensation went into the stratosphere and federal employees began living a life beyond the reach of the average citizens who pay their salaries. Eric Cantor will want to explain that to all those “fed-up Americans.”
I’ve been saying since 2007 that I know the Obamas. I went to college with people exactly like them. I understand their every move, anticipate their every thought.
Sure Michelle doesn’t like being First Lady. I could have told you that years ago. Two private chefs, a personal makeup artist, lavish foreign trips, being flown in a private plane to see Broadway shows – but she’s not getting to do things on her own. She’s not getting the recognition she so justly deserves for being so smart and so ambitious.
She’s just the lady who gets praised in America for being so beautiful and chic, and who then goes to France, wears essentially the same thing as Carla Bruni, and winds up in a picture looking like Bruni’s big-boned spinster friend. If you were Michelle and you saw that first picture, wouldn’t you call your job “hell”?
Apollo posted this at 11:17 PM CDT on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 as CHANGE!
Pessimism is a virtue for journalists in general and political journalists in particular, mostly because things are naturally less likely to go right than wrong. Michael Barone once summarized the pessimist’s strengths and cautioned against the optimist’s weaknesses:
Political judgments are affected by temperament. Optimists tend to be confident that their side is winning and alert to signs that things are moving their way. Pessimists tend to be gloomily certain that their own side is messing things up and that the other side is running circles around them. Pessimists often produce great political reporting. Robert Novak, an embattled conservative, is always ready to report stories that show conservatives hopelessly divided, outmaneuvered, on the verge of defeat. The Washington Post’s Thomas Edsall, a gloomy Irish liberal, chronicled the rise of the Religious Right and conservative Republicans’ gains in the ethnic working class. We optimists have it a little harder. We’re inclined to see the smallest glimmer of hope as a harbinger of victory. We tend to overlook issues or character traits that produce serious problems for our candidates. We are slow to discern trends in the wrong direction. We can try to discipline ourselves by rigorously analyzing data, but sometimes such discipline is not enough.
Given all the conservative triumphalism around us this election cycle, a degree of conservative pessimism is needed. Unfortunately, Andrew Pavelyev has overdosed on a good thing:
The long election cycle of 2010 is finally (almost) over. Yes, the general election still remains, but that’s almost an afterthought, since it is shaping to be the most boring and inconsequential federal election in a generation (seriously, will it make any real practical difference whether the Republicans pick 5 or 50 House seats?). The real action in this election cycle was in the Republican primaries, they are almost over, and we already know who won: (drum roll, please!) President Obama. American conservatives have suffered a crushing and lasting defeat. The center of gravity in American politics has shifted permanently and irreversibly to the left (and conservative ideology will eventually follow).
The saddest thing is that this conservative calamity is mostly self-inflicted. More and more conservatives get Oprah-cized (one of their favorite leaders, Sarah Palin is sometimes called “the conservative Oprah”, and in my humble opinion Glenn Beck deserves that title too). They now believe that expressing their feelings (e.g. by nominating quixotic candidates) is more important than trying to influence government policies (e.g. by nominating viable candidates). They withdraw from practical politics and instead join a protest movement. They march in the streets in tricorn hats while the liberals (whom they unwittingly help to put in office) are creating new entitlements and raising taxes.
Although Mr. Pavelyev makes many good points, he’s overdosing on pessimism like a drunk on a whisky bender. Consider his assessment of the Senate in 2012:
Even if Republicans capture the House this November, they will have a barely functional majority – a 225-210 split is about the best we can realistically hope for – and will be almost certain to lose the House again in 2012, potentially even by a worse margin than in 2008. Such a scenario would be devastating to conservative causes, since Obama would claim that his own re-election victory combined with his party wrestling the House from the GOP (and expanding their Senate majority) gives him a clear mandate to implement his agenda (rather than pursue bipartisanship).
Recall that in 2000, the Democrats had a net pick up of four seats; in 2006, the Democrats netted six. Those seats are up in 2012, and there simply aren’t many vulnerable Republican seats left. It’s very likely that Obama, should he win reelection in 2012, will have a net loss of seats in the Senate, which happened to both Nixon in 1972 and Reagan in 1984.
Pessimism, like all good things, can be overdone. A bit is a tonic, but too much of a good thing can be bad.
Hubbard posted this at 8:13 AM CDT on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 as Conservatism