I made a mildly starky tweet about Steve Jobs that, alas, isn’t getting retweeted. It must be too soon for humor. Steve Jobs was a genius and it’s sad that he died so young. Walt Mossberg wrote a fine eulogy of the man he knew. I never met Steve Jobs, but know something about him—and about the people he inspired. When people leave flowers at Apple stores around the world, something big has happened. It’s similar to what happened when Princess Diana died, but Jobs had rather more important accomplishments than she had. A symbol has died, and the world rightly mourns. Here are 5 things to keep in mind about Steve Jobs:
George Orwell once proposed that saints be assumed guilty until proven innocent, and if we apply this standard to Steve jobs, one thing becomes clear: he wasn’t always a good man. In recent years, he’s given inspiring speeches. When everyone was paying attention to him, he behaved. In his early days, as James Altucher makes clear, Jobs behaved less admirably: Jobs denied paternity of his first child, paid his child support with welfare checks, and swindled Steve Wozniak, his first partner. If character is what you do when nobody else is looking, Jobs may not have had much. And even when in power, Jobs was mercurial, moody, and a holy terror to work for, as Walt Mossberg hinted at.
But Jobs was unquestionably a great man. Does anybody remember 86-DOS, formerly the Quick-and-Dirty Operating System? The thousands of lines of mind numbing code? Jobs cleaned that up with icons. Perhaps he ushered back a preliterate age, but icons are a godsend. And he kept the inventions coming: Pixar, the iMac, iTunes, the iPhone, the iPad. Jobs wasn’t as great an inventor as Thomas Edison, he wasn’t as great a manufacturer as Henry Ford, he wasn’t the great artist that Walt Disney was, but he might have been the most amazing combination of those three—inventor, manufacturer, artist—the world has ever seen.
His death has dominated both formal news, like NPR and Google, and informal news, like Facebook and Twitter. We knew his time was short, but it was still a shock when he finally succumbed. The mourning needs some explanation, though, since millions of people obviously didn’t know him, nor do they entirely grasp all he did (even the well educated can barely grasp all the changes Jobs made). All of Jobs’s gifts to us—sleek lines and elegance and simplicity that clearly took lifetimes of hard work and hard thinking—have been mocked by brutal pancreatic cancer.
The symbol that Jobs chose for himself was an Apple. He could have picked something grander, as tech companies like Oracle and Palantir did. Or he could have made a gimmicky portmanteau like Verizon or Comcast. For a Zen Buddhist to pick up this bit of Judeo-Christian iconography (icons again!) and give it an ironic twist was genius. When the serpent gave Adam and Eve an apple, they were cast out of paradise; when Steve Jobs gave us Apple, he led us to the future. He replaced gargantuan machines with Macbooks, clunky mobile phones with iPhones, and entire libraries with the iPad. To the less technically inclined, it’s almost like turning water into wine.
Europe and America and Japan are mired in recession; China may well be on the verge of one; the Middle East and Africa are as unstable as they always are. In short, people are not short on self pity right now. They’re asking, “Does the future still happen here?” Steve Jobs attempted all his life to lead us into the future. He was a consummate salesman who encouraged us to see him and Apple as one and the same, and Apple was the future. The people leaving flowers at Apple stores are mourning the death of the future. This, too, shall pass. There will never be another Steve Jobs, but his vision lives. We can still be inspired: go, and think different.
The objective of the project, currently being explored by the X Prize Foundation and Qualcomm, is not just to create one more cool gadget for “Trek” fans … although the idea of a hand-held, automated medical diagnostic device is pretty cool. The objective is to extend the reach of health information and services to billions more people in the world.
“We believe this is a fundamental step in helping people become true ‘health consumers’ who can have as much say in assessing and accessing health care as they would any other service or product,” Don Jones, vice president of wireless health strategy and market development at Qualcomm Labs, said in this week’s announcement about the project. “Qualcomm believes the value of this X Prize is also in changing the cost structure and focus of health care. By having consumers take the initial actions to obtain health assessment data, the use and the quality of physicians’ time is improved.”
“The goal obviously is to drive a lot of innovation toward this narrow goal of easy-to-use, low-cost, minimally invasive, rapid, portable and scalable diagnosis,” Jones told me during a follow-up interview.
While the scientifically-minded among us might be a bunch of Mopy Matildas who insist that, ultimately, the future is probably unwinnable, I was pleased to learn the other night that the president is not a member of that particular reality-based community. I’m glad we have a leader who isn’t such a Glum Gretchen as to think that winning the future will require altering the laws of physics or developing time travel; rather, we’ll win it by reorganizing the government. When you look at your calendar one day, and it says “The Future,” you’ll be happy we had B.H. Obama Jr. in the White House back when it said “The Past.”
But if I might be a Presumptuious Percy, I think I might have a better idea. While reorganizing stuff is, in a word, AWESOME, it’s just reslicing a finite pie. What we need is an infinite pie. And how to do we get an infinite pie? With infinite dollars.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. “But Apollo,” says you. “But Apollo, if we print infinite dollars, won’t they actually fill up the entire universe and crush all other forms of matter with their infinite gravity?” But you know who thinks that way? Loser Lou, that’s who. When the future gets here, do you want to be Loser Lou, or do you want to have an infinite pie? Sputnik, people. Sputnik.
When we first blogged about Professor Chua, we thought about it in terms of the individuals involved. But quite a bit of the blogosphere has been obsessing over societal implications. Some people have had major reactions to Amy Chua’s Tiger Mother article (the book, incidentally, seems more nuanced than the article was; apparently, one of the daughters does rebel). In revealing ways, two bloggers seem to misunderstand Prof. Chua.
As an example, take how Chinese and other Asian students dominate classical music conservatories in the U.S. Yet there is not a single notable music composer of Asian extraction that I can think of. You’d think all that youth wasted rehearsing on the piano would imbue at least one of them with the ability to do more than repeat songs that dead European men wrote, but apparently not. Mind you, composing good music is by no means easy. I know I couldn’t write a song. But then again, I didn’t spend four hours a night, five days a week rehearsing Beethoven when I could have been out being a kid. (Yes, I played in my grade school bands. Laugh it up, knuckleheads.)
This is just one expression of a greater East Asian mental pathology — their inability to come up with any social or technological advancements that they didn’t steal from someone else. They can’t even build on what they thieve from others! Asians rule the classical scene at American universities, but they can’t write a single piece of music. Asian societies mimic the nations of the West, but they can’t produce any advancements on their own. The Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans cannot create, only copy; they are incapable of innovating, only imitating. They are creativity parasites, dependent on other societies to keep their own moving forward. If it weren’t for the technological and cultural progress of the West, the “Middle Kingdom” would still be in the Stone Age — which is where they’ll end up anyway.
It seems unrealistic to note that there are few Asian composers today when there really aren’t any great classical composers in the West, either (quick, name a classical composer who’s been productive since Aaron Copland died in 1990). The best composers these days seem to be working in films—Danny Elfman, James Newton Howard, John Williams, Randy Newman—so if you include them, you also need to know something about Asian films, which are massive moneymakers outside of America (and are beyond the scope of this particular blog post).
Asian societies have been playing catch up, true, but they have indeed developed plenty of inventions before the West got around to it: gunpowder, paper, magnetic compasses, etc. Western cultural creativity is, if anything, at a low point. For example, the last great comic book heroes to make a big impact in popular culture came about in the 1960′s: Spiderman, the X-men, etc. Hollywood keeps cannibalizing old comic books and old TV shows. Comic book adaptations from later eras’ source material have flopped. Who watched The Watchmen, which dramatically underperformed expectations and came from the relatively recent Reagan era?
Mr. Bardamu’s real objection comes here: “Those dubious achievements come at a price – they strip the child of any ability to think for himself or challenge the faulty paradigms of the society he lives in.“ In short, Amy Chua’s children won’t become Ferdinand Bardamus. And this is probably fine by her. Prof. Chua is trying to raise reasonable children, in the George Bernard Shaw sense: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Too many unreasonable men bring the house down. And it seems odd that Mr. Bardamu, who has been harshly critical of bad, solipsistic female behavior, is now upset by women raised to be good girls.
Child rearing is also on the mind of the last psychiatrist, and much of his criticism (such as Chua’s contempt for her husband) is justified. Still, his take misses the point:
I’ll explain what’s wrong with her thinking by asking you one simple question, and when I ask it you will know the answer immediately. Then, if you are a parent, in the very next instant your mind will rebel against this answer, it will defend itself against it– “well, no, it’s not so simple–” but I want to you to ignore this counterattack and focus on how readily, reflexively, instinctively you knew the answer to my question. Are you ready to test your soul? Here’s the question: what is the point of all this? Making the kids play violin, of being an A student, all the discipline, all of this? Why is she working her kids so hard? You know the answer: college.
She is raising future college students.
College is certainly on Prof. Chua’s mind, but Asian parents know perfectly well that Ivy league colleges place much higher emphasis on sports and arts (which she forbids) than orchestra. After all, orchestra practically screams white or Asian, and there are too many of those people at most colleges these days anyway; sports and arts are a better bet for the aspiring college student. At most big colleges, how many dim bulbs have gotten orchestra scholarships versus football or basketball full ride scholarships? Orchestra arose in the West, and being good enough to play in Carnegie Hall is a sign that you’re beating white people at their own culture. One prominent American who understand this quite well is former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who once smacked down a professor who claimed that blacks were inferior [emphasis added]: “Who do you think you are? I’m better at your culture than you are. I’m the one who plays Beethoven. I’m the one who speaks French.” Here’s a key point of why the Asians are focusing so hard on Classical music: they’re not so much imitating Western Culture as preparing to surpass it.
“Chinese parents urge their children to excel at instrumental music with the same ferocity that American parents [urge] theirs to perform well in soccer or Little League,” wrote Jennifer Lin in the Philadelphia Inquirer June 8 in an article entitled China’s ‘piano fever’.
The world’s largest country is well along the way to forming an intellectual elite on a scale that the world has never seen, and against which nothing in today’s world — surely not the inbred products of the Ivy League puppy mills — can compete. Few of its piano students will earn a living at the keyboard, to be sure, but many of the 36 million will become much better scientists, engineers, physicians, businessmen and military officers. . . .
There is little doubt that classical music produces better minds, and promotes success in other fields. Academic studies show that music lessons raise the IQs of six-year-olds. Elite American families still nudge their children toward musical study. At Brearley, New York’s most exclusive girl’s school, playing in the orchestra is a requirement. American medical schools accept more undergraduates who majored in music than any other discipline (excepting pre-med).
Any activity that requires discipline and deferred gratification benefits children, but classical music does more than sports or crafts. Playing tennis at a high level requires great concentration, but nothing like the concentration required to perform the major repertoire of classical music. Perhaps the only pursuit with comparable benefits is the study of classical languages. It is not just concentration as such, but its content that makes classical music such a formative tool. Music, contrary to a common misconception, does not foster mathematical ability, although individuals with a talent for one often show aptitude for the other.
Ms. Chua isn’t being American because she’s forcing her daughters to play piano till their fingers bleed; Chinese mothers in China do likewise. Neither, contra the last psychiatrist, is she being particularly American when she boasts of calling her children “garbage”; plenty of Asian mothers (I can testify from experience) compare notes about how they motivate recalcitrant children. Most Asians have the sense to realize that, in regard to children, white people are like a box of chocolates—one never knows when the disgustingly sweet is going to ooze out—and they therefore keep their unvarnished views within the family, not in front of outsiders. Amongst the modern Asians, sugar is out and discipline is in.
Asians have focused on Western Classical Music not simply because of the discipline it demands, but because mastering it is beating the West at its own game (just like Secretary Rice did). Just like the Romans adapted Greek Culture for their own purposes, so too are Chinese attempting to adapt the West for theirs. The answer to the title of this post? America:China :: Greece:Rome.
“If you want to know the law and nothing else, you must look at it as a bad man, who cares only for the material consequences which such knowledge enables him to predict, not as a good one, who finds his reasons for conduct, whether inside the law or outside of it, in the vaguer sanctions of conscience.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
We here at Federalist Paupers are nothing if not ecumenical, and we have a guest post by President Barack Obama a senior White House Official who spoke on deep background, off the record, yadda yadda yadda. Some of his thoughts about potential 2012 Republican nominees:
Mississippi governor Haley Barbour Please nominate this man. I The President would make this a campaign between a black man from the Land of Lincoln against the lawyer-lobbyist from the Land of Jefferson Davis.
South Dakota Senator John Thune He did a statesman like thing, voting with me then-Senator Obama on S.R. 213 in the 110th Congress: that is, voting for the $700 billion bailout. Watch the Tea Partiers sit out an election, and we can do it while praising his record. For that matter, just about any Senator or Congressman would be fun for us to run against. They’ve got lots of votes on issues and pork to defend.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney He’s one of a handful of people in American politics who makes me the President look genuine. Plus we can thank him for providing inspiration in our health care bill; remember Romneycare preceded Obamacare. We’re sure the tea partiers will love that, almost as much as they loved him in the 2008 primaries.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin We’re sure we can let Tina Fey do most of the dirty work. Palin gave us a huge gift when she didn’t finish her term of governor, and we can tie every wingnut she’s endorsed around her neck: Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle are gifts that’ll keep on giving. Imagine the ad: O’Donnell says something kooky, cut to Palin praising her. Angle says something nuts, cut to Palin endorsing. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty He may represent a state that has the longest streak of voting for Democrats, but this two term governor never actually won with a majority of the vote. He’s wonkish, though, and might be able to out argue me the president, which good old John McCain never quite did. He could be a threat, but we’re not sweating yet.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels Here’s a potential threat. A governor, balanced the books. Fortunately, he’s a Bush administration alumnus (OMB director). Thankfully, he has the charisma of plain oatmeal.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee He’s from the land of Clinton, where anything’s possible. His social conservative bona fides are impeccable, but will the tea partiers make peace with him? If they unite, this man has the charisma to be dangerous.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal The man wrote an article defending exorcisms. It’s almost a shame that Christine O’Donnell lost: the Jindal-O’Connell ticket would balance an exorcist with a (former) witch.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich The man is a human pinata: we can bash him from almost any angle and good stuff comes out. He can’t stay on message. Plus it isn’t that hard to get him to say nice things about the Rockefeller Republicans, which will infuriate the Goldwater-lovin’ tea party crowd.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani If he could win the nomination, he’d roll into the presidency. Since he won only one delegate in 2008 after millions spent, we’re not worrying about him.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie This man’s a threat. The tea partiers and the establishment Republicans all love him, plus he’s effective. He’s claimed he ain’t running, but then, I the president did that, too. Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt had both served less than 4 years as governor when they were elected president, so there’s precedent.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell See Chris Christie, but fortunately, McDonnell managed to get himself tangled up in the Confederacy. That won’t hurt him in the south, but it’s poison in much of the midwest.
Presidential Strategy: If the election is about my Barack Obama’s record, Democrats lose, just as George Bush would probably have lost in 2004 had he not been given the gift of a ridiculous candidate. The urban parts of the country are safely Democratic. New England and the Pacific West are safely blue. Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado are places we should be able to hold or pick up—Harry Reid and Michael Bennet give me hope. The midwest is seething right now, so the best thing for us to do is pander to them. Even so, my probable opponents the Republican nominees, whom we hold in the highest esteem, have baggage we can exploit. Yeah, we got the political equivalent of a bloody nose a few weeks ago, but from where we sit, things look reasonably on track for a second term.
It seems as though Clinton and Obama are very different beasts. Had Clinton had Obama’s majorities, he probably wouldn’t have passed something as unpopular as health care reform. Bill Clinton has many weaknesses, but indifference to the polls has never been one of them. When Hillarycare got to be politically toxic, Clinton let it drop and moved on. When Obamacare turned into political poison, Obama soldiered on.
The key difference between the two is that Clinton had no principles, while Obama has them. (From a right of center point of view, Obama’s principles are lousy, but he certainly has them.) This means that Obama’s reaction to the electoral rebuke is going to be different. We’ll see how Republican adapt, but their previous flexibility doesn’t give much hope.
Fortunately for the right, it looks like Obama has trouble learning from the recent past, too. In 2006, Bush tried to run against making Nancy Pelosi speaker of the House. That failed, largely because as the relatively powerless House Minority Leader, Pelosi could criticize, which is always easy to do, without being in charge, which means having responsibility. Attacking the then-House Minority Leader failed Bush and gave him a Speaker of the other party. Naturally that meant that Obama had to do the same thing with House Minority Leader John Boehner, which remarkably has given Obama the same thing it gave Bush.
Over a decade ago, Jack Pitney, our former professor, explained how the seven deadly sins sink politicians in Washington. Money quote:
Sloth. Contrary to the popular myth that Washington keeps bankers’ hours, people in the political community put in long days. Physical sloth is not their problem. Instead, many suffer from intellectual sloth, which sets in when they fail to rethink their assumptions. The D’Amato hearings on Whitewater and the Thompson hearings on campaign finance both embodied this kind of sloth. Each time, Republicans were expecting Watergate in reverse, where noble Republicans could take down a tainted Democratic president. Each time, they flopped.
Notwithstanding all their hard work, they failed to take account of one big thing: The other side had studied Watergate, too. The White House recognized that it could hinder investigations by providing evidence at a glacial pace, a practice called “slow-walking.” Congressional Democrats remembered that Sen. Sam Ervin (D-N.C.) was effective as chair of the Watergate committee because of his reputation for probity. Accordingly, they undercut the GOP chairs, hoping to make D’Amato look like a sleazebag and Thompson a shameless self-promoter. They succeeded.
Will history repeat itself? Or will people get new playbooks?
If there are still doubts in your mind as to whether marijuana will eventually become legal, this story will remove them.
When alcohol was chased underground during Prohibition, the resulting clandestine booze was notoriously rank — the paint-stripping moonshine, the barely drinkable homemade wine. Marijuana, however, has undergone radical advances since the war on drugs sent it deep into the shadows 25 years ago.
In the now semi-open marijuana landscape of Northern California, I find a plant species transformed. Skilled mom-and-pop breeders have developed hundreds of high-performing cultivated varieties, and home hobbyists have grown them to perfection using new techniques and technologies. Marijuana has never been more potent, more productive and more varied in its appearance, flavor and effect. It is twice as productive as in the 1980s and three or more times as potent. As the supply has increased, the value has dropped or stagnated, from $5,000 a pound 15 years ago to about $3,000 today. By the ounce, Ramsay says, the choicest varieties still sell for as much as $400, but the cannabis connoisseur can pick up high-grade strains for half that amount today.
Many Americans of a certain age will remember that in the 1970s, seedy homegrown pot was reviled for its raw, throat-burning quality. Now dope-smoking locavores steer clear of cheap, low- and mid-grade weed in favor of organically grown boutique strains. They speak of “presentation” and varieties so agreeably complex that “you inhale one flavor and exhale another.” Just as in the vineyards of the Napa Valley a few miles to the north, complexities come from the soil, from the fruits of labor, from careful breeding. Suddenly, pot has terroir.
The notion that the government can make a plant illegal becomes more obnoxious the more I think about it. I’ve got no clue whether Prop 19 will pass, but it’s largely irrelevant. Within a decade, pot will be legal nationwide.
If I had artistic license to to summarize American leftist utopian politics with a single story, it would look an awful lot like this.
The endless rambling, the inability to limit his answer to a single point, the ultimate refusal (or inability) to answer the initial question, the obliviousness to the audience, the preachy tone on far ranging and largely irrelevant subjects – this guy is nothing more than a well-meaning professor who has, through a set of circumstances that would make Oedipus tilt his head sideways, managed to get himself in way, way above his head.
Since he became a major figure in the 2008 (really, 2007) Democrat primaries, I’ve maintained that I know this man forwards and backwards. He’s the leftist college professor who never personally espouses views in front of his class, but merely informs them that even the most moon-bat crazy leftist has a valid point.
But now he can’t merely be the professor advising students of the views of others. The passage of healthcare means that he must actually defend his own position.* This is something that is completely alien to him, and something, ultimately, he cannot do. He cannot comprehend the minds of those who disagree with him, thus he cannot address their concerns.
Neither this speech nor this date is particularly historic. But I’m planting a marker and predicting the future from here. Increasingly, this presidency is going to be defined by long or undisciplined ramblings. When a president gives a 17-minute tangential response to a citizen’s simple observation that “We are over-taxed as it is,” it is not evidence of a well-ordered mind, but rather the sign of bad things to come.
*I hardly think the Obamacare that passed much resembled the Obamacare that Obama might have crafted on his own. He’s stated before, in fairly stark terms, that he’s a single-payer kind of guy. It is genuinely ironic, in the truest sense of the term, that a popular president elected on a particular health care platform is going to get destroyed because he has to defend the Scheissewurst that eventually emerged from the Congressional Sausage Works.
If you want to boost your faith in the future, you need to look no further than that. While some doom-and-gloomers have been saying that in the future we’ll all drive hamster-powered shoe boxes in order to save gas, the truth is that the market responds to consumer wishes and economic stimuli.
Every generation of cars gets faster, safer, cleaner and more fuel efficient. Long live the open road, and raise the damned speed limits, already!
I don’t care how much it costs we need to fund and build these right away.
group of German companies with expertise in parachute systems have joined forces to create the Gryphon Next Generation Parachute System. Designed for high altitude jumps, the Gryphon has a 6-foot wingspan and a glide ratio of 5:1, meaning that a solider can glide up to 30 miles in the air—60 if they go ahead with plans to add a small engine like the one used by Yves Rossy to cross the English Channel.
I’m pretty sure if our enemies saw these badass delta-force type guys flying at them they would surrender due to sheer overwhelming awesome.
The US president, who has seen sharply declining public support for healthcare reform and falling personal approval ratings, will set out his plans in “understandable, clear terms”, Joe Biden, the vice-president, said on Thursday.
Actually, what will happen is that the president will continue to spout his indecipherable, unconvincing jargon – who ever thought “bending the curve” was a good argument to make to the public? or to anyone? – and will then continue to complain that the people who oppose him are just a bunch of birthers and gun nuts. And instead of making concessions in the bill that actually alleviate the opposition’s concerns, Congressional Democrats will just bitch about how there’s not enough bipartisanship these days (despite the fact that they don’t need Republican support).
We’ve been here before. When Obama needs to make a speech to get himself out of a pickle, he fails. The media will swoon about it as the greatest speech ever – if his speech defending Jeremiah Wright was the greatest speech since Lincoln’s Cooper Union address, I reckon Wednesday’s speech will be hailed as the greatest utterance by a human since the very first time a cro-magnon made a grunt sound – but those who actually pay attention, and even those who passingly care, will agree that the greatest orator of the last billion years has failed once again to make his case.
Is this guy still president? This is getting too predictable. I’m going to bed now, and I’m going to set my alarm for 2012.
It’s a possibility many Republicans speak of only in whispers and Democrats are just now beginning to face. After passionate and contentious fights over health care, the environment, and taxes, could Democrats lose big — really big — in next year’s elections?
Ask them about it, and many Democrats will point to the continued personal popularity of Barack Obama. But that’s not the story. “I think what’s going to happen is Obama’s going to be fine, and the Democrats in Congress are going to get their a**** kicked in 2010,” says one Democratic strategist who prefers not to be named. “This is following a curve like the Clinton years: take on really controversial things early, fail, or succeed partially, ask Democrats to take really tough votes, and then lose. A lot of guys are going to get beat, but the president has time to recover.”
Most Republican hope focuses on the House of Representatives, but even there they have a huge job ahead. Democrats control 256 seats, and Republicans 178. Forty seats would have to change hands for Republicans to take charge.
On the other hand, 52 seats turned over when the GOP won the House in 1994.
The historic pattern hasn’t been that one party beats the other with better ideas; rather, it’s that one party self-destructs and the other waltzes in. Thus the collapsing Great Society lead to Nixon’s Silent Majority, which collapsed under Watergate to lead to Carter, etc.
But when the other party takes control of Congress prematurely, it’s less the kiss of death than a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for the beleagured president. In 1946, Truman’s Democrats collapsed, and Republicans took control of the 80th congress. They overrode his vetoes and, ironically, saved his presidency. Truman bounced back in 1948. Similarly, in 1994, Clinton’s Democrats were decimated, but Clinton himself was able to bounce back in 1996.
In 1978, however, Republicans made small gains, and Jimmy Carter collapsed on his own. The right likes to tell itself that Reagan won in 1980 because he was all that was right and good; I suspect but cannot prove that he won because Carter was collapsing and Reagan was able to convince just over 50% of the nation that he would do a better job.
By all means, the right needs to generate good new ideas, but they’re not going to win on them; the left will lose.
Mark Levin is the author of the #2 book on Amazon, the host of a popular radio show, and a contributor to NRO’s the Corner. After Rush and Dick Cheney, he’s probably the most important conservative thinker today.
CALLER: I just wanna say, Obama is a lot smarter than you folks give him credit for. You guys were on a roll, I have to admit, with all those tea parties. Everything was rolling along, the Republicans were gaining momentum. And he managed to change your entire conversational focus. And you let those three hundred thousand people —
LEVIN: My God. He’s so smart. His own party voted against him on Guantanamo Bay. How stupid was that, Cindy? His own party refused to fund the closing of Guantanamo Bay.
CALLER: Yeah but you know he can just move those people over here anyway. He’s already doing it with the one guy.
LEVIN: Yeah, sure, he can do whatever he wants. Let me ask you a question. Why do you hate this country?
CALLER: No, I love this country.
LEVIN: (angrily shouting) I SAIDWHY DO YOUHATE MY COUNTRY! WHY DO YOUHATE MY CONSTITUTION? WHY DO YOUHATE MY DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?
You just said it. He can blow off Congress. He can do whatever he wants, right?
CALLER: Well, he seems to, he just moved (inaudible).
LEVIN: Answer me this, are you a married woman? Yes or no?
LEVIN: Well I don’t know why your husband doesn’t put a gun to his temple. Get the hell out of here.
We will not win so long as this kind of rhetoric is tolerated; on the off chance that I am wrong about that, will will not have deserved to win. Levin’s bullying and tantrums — here’s another examples — toward anyone who disagrees with him are more emblematic of the Savage Nation than the conservative movement and certainly unworthy of an institution like National Review. For God’s sake, don’t buy his books, don’t buy products from his sponsors, write National Review and ask them to stop buying his writing. I am.
A CAT scan revealed a tumor measuring about 1 centimeter across the center of the pancreas, the court said.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers: Nearly 38,000 cases a year are diagnosed and overall, fewer than 5 percent survive five years.
The reason: Fewer than one in 10 cases are diagnosed at an early stage—like Ginsburg’s appears to be—before the cancer has begun spreading through the abdomen and beyond. That’s because early pancreatic cancer produces few symptoms other than vague indigestion.
Even when caught early, surgery for pancreatic cancer is arduous. Doctors typically remove parts of the pancreas, stomach and intestines. Radiation and chemotherapy are common after surgery.
I’ll be keeping Judge Ginsburg in my prayers, but something tells me Obama will be appointing his first Supreme Court Justice soon.