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Bring Back Tech Central Station!


Another milestone in the death of parody, from the National Review cruise:

That prompted a tall, extremely tanned blonde named Kay, from Old Greenwich, Connecticut, to ask Hassett, the co-­author of the 1999 book Dow 36,000, “So what do we do with our money?”

The contact list from the people who paid money for this cruise has to be among the most valuable set of leads in history. I’m pretty sure Mitch and Murray have already given NRO a six-figure bid.

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  • UberMitch

    “A-B-C. A, always. B, be. C, cruising. Always be cruising with NRO.”

  • Dano

    Dano, at this same e-mail address, was one of the first commenters on TCS to deconstruct their BS, including exposing Alex Avery’s lies about Tyrone Hayes.

    Those were the days, when there were only a few outfits shilling for the corporations. Now they are every 7th website on the Internets.



    • I once set off a major freakout on that site. The Chair of the Iowa Republican Party wrote a column in which he made a reference to “the Southern strategy of focusing on law and order issue.” I commented, “Excuse me, sir, but is this your elephant in the living room?”

      Cue fireworks. How dare I call them racists? How dare I?

      • Dano

        I also caught several big names using sockpuppets to push their agenda (borderline lies), including Chris Horner. I wish I had gotten screenprints before it was disappeared so I could complain to the Bar.,..



  • wjts

    This charming bit of insight into Australian race relations from Mrs. John O’Sullivan has been quoted elsewhere:

    But Ms. O’Sullivan again took umbrage. As everyone went silent, she recalled a conference she attended in Australia in which a liberal nun (who “didn’t even have the decency to wear a habit”) criticized America for its “inner-city racism.” Offended, Ms. O’Sullivan recounted what she wished she’d said to this nun:

    “Pardon me, madam, but I have been in your country of Australia for ten days and the only Aborigines I’ve seen have been drunk on the street, and at least if we were in my country they would be serving the drinks at this conference!”

    But I haven’t seen anyone quote the punchline yet:

    Ms. O’Sullivan then warned against watering down the purity of the conservative agenda to placate minorities or, as she put it, rather succinctly, “the bastardization of the product.”

    Elsewhere in the article, James Lileks can’t understand why people stereotype Republicans as “the stupid people… the yokels… the dumb… the racists… the hicks… against everything that’s hip and cool.” Slander, of course: us groovy Republicans are still with it! Unless “it” is metaphorical miscegenation or drunken, lazy ape-brutes. We’re not with that at all.

    Why’s everybody looking at me like that?

    • montag2

      I think it’s very much in character for a racist defender of the British colonial empire to have married an Alabama belle….

      Still, the whole event seems like the 3% to 1% on parade, with all their fear and prejudice hanging out like flab at the beach.

    • Murc

      Slander, of course: us groovy Republicans are still with it!

      Correction, they used to be with it. Now what they’re with isn’t it anymore, and what’s it seems weird and scary to them.

      It’ll happen to you!

    • spencer

      James Lileks? Wow, there’s a name I haven’t seen in a good long while.

      • RhZ

        Yeah my thinking exactly. I think it was Sadly, No! (or The Poor Man) in 2005 or 6.

        • Malaclypse

          Edroso still mocks him semi-regularly.

      • Chilly

        He has a regular column in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, though it’s Dave Berry-style humor column largely free of political content. I hate to admit it, but sometimes it’s pretty funny.

        • The Dark Avenger

          He’ll go down in history with Petroleum V Nasby as a comic writer of his time and no other.

    • Bill Cross

      Slander, of course: us groovy Republicans are still with it!

      Now you’re on the trolley. That Mrs. Grundy was getting all spifficated on the giggle water, shame she ain’t got It. 23 Skidoo

    • Halloween Jack

      Copying and pasting my comment from the alicublog thread where this was linked.

      Oh, Jimmers:

      After dinner was a program called the “Light Side of the Right Side.” A frenetic, tightly wound man named James Lileks, a National Review columnist from Minnesota, warmed up the crowd with one-liners: “If we can put a man on the moon, we can put 50 million Democrats up there as well!”

      Can’t you just imagine Bob Hope or John Wayne saying the exact same thing at the ’72 RNC? (Of course, these days it’s the likes of Newt Gingrich that’s raring to get up there, but anyway.) Or check this out:

      After a break for cookies came the 4 p.m. panel, “The Media: How Deep in the Tank?” Lileks, the energetic Minnesotan, was apoplectic that the mainstream media castigated Michele Bachmann for suggesting without evidence that Hillary Clinton adviser Huma Abedin’s had connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.

      It’s not as if I need anything more to add to the pile of things that I can point otherwise-sensible people to when they stick up for Lileks on account of past glories such as the Gallery of Regrettable Food or guesting on Rifftrax, but that will do nicely. He’s about right for something like an NRO cruise, and I suppose that it makes for a nice break from his important duties writing things like this, sprinkled throughout with imitation humor bits and–I know that this will come as a shock to you all–getting yet another post out of his trip to a retail outlet and out of his daughter.

      • commie atheist

        “tightly wound,” “energetic,” “apoplectic,” “Minnesotan”… Gee, sounds like a fun guy to be around.

      • spencer

        important duties writing things like this

        Shorter Lileks link: old man yells at clouds.

      • Chilly

        I did say sometimes.

  • STH

    The best part is when one of the cruisers tells the writer to write how scared they all are.

    Yes, we know.

    • DrDick

      The stains in the back of their pants tell the whole story.

    • That would be good. They should be after the way they have acted.

  • JimmyZ

    I got a catalog in the mail with $1000 coffee table books they claim can go up in value. I told my friends it was a sign that there would be a violent revolution in America soon. I didn’t know about the cruise with wealthy folks trying to figure out what to do with all their money.

    • brewmn

      The only way I would spend $1000 on a coffee table book is that if the book became its own coffee table.

      • Halloween Jack

        I wouldn’t even spend that much, as I tend to use coffee tables as a) footrests and b) a place to put my Chinese food during an especially difficult bit of a video game.

        • timb

          Check out Kosmo Kramer

      • fledermaus

        Cosmo Kramer on line one for you.

      • ….and then turned into a giant robot that would smite my enemies and do my grocery shopping.

  • Anonymous37

    The contact list from the people who paid money for this cruise has to be among the most valuable set of leads in history.

    Okay, everyone here who would have enjoyed going on the cruise (not alone: I wouldn’t be able to do that) in order to see how long it would take before you’d burst out laughing raise your hands.

    Mine is up. Look, am I the only person here who spends some of their money on entertainment?

    • rea

      I would have been snickering as I walked up the gangway.

    • TT

      Humanity produces an inexhaustible supply of easy marks. Conservatives in America know this.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        See this brilliant Rick Perlstein piece from a couple months ago.

        • Anonymous

          That was a very interesting piece. Perhaps the greatest restraint on political spending after Citizens United will be conservatives’ inability to resist ripping people off.

      • Timb

        That IS the organizing principle of the conservative movement

        • Shawn

          Anybody else hear Rush peddling the new conservative e-mail nonsense? for $40 a year, you get a Reagen.com e-mail account. I can only imagine that it’s sold exclusively to those old coots whose forwarded lunatic e-mails have completely alienated their tech savy grandchildren.

          • Jon H

            Yay, makes it easier to filter them out if they use a distinct domain.

          • MattT

            Anybody can get a .com account. I’m holding out for reagan.reagan.

    • I think I would have been mutinying fairly soon after arriving. The idea of being TRAPPED ON A BOAT with people of that ilk makes me pants-crappingly uncomfortable.

  • witless chum

    As I remember, One Market Under God by Thomas Frank contains about 31 percent just mocking that stupid Dow 36,000 guy. But, if anything, liberals don’t hate him enough.

    • Warren Terra

      I remember the line Krugman often used during the market collapse in 2008 (I don’t know if it was his originally) about how the prediction made in the title of Dow 36,000 might be correct except for containing an extra digit – and we had better hope the extra digit was the “3” and not the “6” or one of the “0”s.

  • R. Porrofatto

    Hassett’s 36,000 Dow prediction was supposed to come true somewhere around 2003-2004. Missing the mark didn’t stop John McCain from making him senior economic adviser to his 2008 campaign. However, the prize for investment wrongness must go, as usual, to the Blowy Kudload. Larry’s “conservative forecast” in 1999 was a Dow of 50,000 by the year 2020. Still 7 years left to go on that one, but it doesn’t look good.

    • Colin Day

      The forecast was not numerically conservative but conservative in the sense of being for conservatives.

  • evodevo

    How DOES the 1% hang on to their money?! What a bunch of morans.

    There’s a sucker born every minute. PT Barnum

    • DrDick

      Just further proof that, despite what their PR people in the press tell you, the rich really are not all that bright.

      • Emily

        My dad, who was pretty good at business and who liked to do crossword puzzles, said the puzzle in the Wall Street Journal on Fridays was pretty easy because business men aren’t very smart.

      • Kurzleg

        Inheritance gets bestowed on both the brilliant and the stupid.

    • witless chum

      There’s lots of answers to this, but one of the most important is that they spend a lot of money to create nerf capitalism for themselves. Golden parachutes, understanding regulators, government contracting, etc.

      Donald Trump is a special case because of his media celebrity, but that guy is pretty terrible at business and he wouldn’t be out on the street even if people didn’t like to watch him yell at other minor celebrities.

      • Uncle Kvetch

        nerf capitalism


      • snarkout

        A freind kind of admired Donald Trump — I mean, the dude is an obvious hack, but he built a business empire out of selling his name to people with more money than taste, so that shows a certain Barnum-like venality worth admiring, right? I pointed out that he had inherited a real estate business worth hundreds of millions from his dad. It talks a business genius like Trump to turn a real estate empire worth hundreds of millions to a real estate-and-Atlantic City casino empire worth hundreds of millions in only forty years.

    • Njorl

      The 1% are often the relatives of the 0.1%.

    • Barry

      Simple. Those people on the cruise are not the 1%; they’re the 25% or so.

  • c u n d gulag

    John Yoo had to bring his Mommy?

    What, his Mrs didn’t want to be seen with him, while he trolled for bucks on this “Ship of Fools?”

    Either that, or she backed out when she saw him packing a whip, a blindfold, some handfuffs and thumbscrews, a Taser, and a 5 gallon water bottle, for the trip.

    • Timb

      That’s why I couldn’t go. Nothing would stop me from punching John Yoo in the face

      For Stacy McCain’s “readers,” that was hyperbole

      • spencer

        It wouldn’t be hyperbole for me.

      • Malaclypse

        The more appropriate, reasoned response would be to crush his testicles in a vise.

        • The Kenosha Kid

          Crush his testicles in a vise, with votes.

          • Uncle Kvetch

            OK, I need a little help here. I hate not being aware of all Internet traditions, and I’m not getting the “with votes” meme (and Google isn’t helping with this one). Help an uncle out, somebody?

            • Warren Terra

              I think it’s a version of adding “metaphorically speaking”. As in, “when I said that I wanted to see all that you loved rendered unto nothingness and to see you wracked with despair, I mean that I wanted your side to lose a fair vote, for your ideas to be crushingly rejected by the electorate”.

            • brewmn

              I’m pretty sure that this is a reference to Obama saying “don’t boo! Get your revenge by voting!” and the wingnuts getting all apoplectic about Obama calling for the resurrection of Nat Turner.

              • Uncle Kvetch

                I think you’re right, brewmn, thanks.

        • timb

          I thought of that, but where would I get a vise on board? Who would help tie the Professor down?

          And, remember, it’s supposed to be his child’s testicles and I ain’t messing with Peter Arnett’s grandkids

          • Malaclypse

            I thought of that, but where would I get a vise on board?

            Easily folded for transport and storage

            Who would help tie the Professor down?

            Just promise anybody on board a tax cut. It seems likely that that crowd will sell out anybody for a tax cut.

            And, remember, it’s supposed to be his child’s testicles and I ain’t messing with Peter Arnett’s grandkids

            As I said, unlike Yoo, I’m not a monster.

      • Major Kong

        Can you keel-haul someone from an ocean liner?

        Hypothetically speaking of course.

    • rea

      Not only did he bring his mommy, but shes’s a distinguished geriatic psychiatrist, and appears to have concluded that the cruisers were all crazy.

      • timb

        His marriage must be on solid ground…

    • witless chum

      If there were a benevolent, or even a little bit just, God running this universe that cruise ship would have hit a reef, an iceberg and Cuba simultaneously.

      Not at all hyperbole and it contains no metaphor.

      • c u n d gulag

        We could also wish for Legionnaire’s Disease, but no one on the trip even served in the military, let alone the Legion.

        • Jon H

          I’d settle for a harsh strain of norovirus.

      • A reefer*, a head of iceberg lettuce, and Cuba is more likely.

        *Belonging to a crew member, of course.

    • S_noe

      She is definitely the hero of the piece. Or co-hero, with the gay smoking caregiver.

  • Speak Truth

    I like hating on the rich.

    Yeah, I hate those actors that demand (and get) millions per picture that only takes them a few months to complete.
    LaBron James makes $53 million a year and God knows what some of the higher paid sports starts earn.

    And then there’s Oprah Winfrey that makes more than a quarter billion a year. What does George Soros earn in a year? Who knows but it’s HUGE!!

    What do the successful music stars make? Christina Aguilera? Rascal Flatts?

    Successful New York artists that command hundreds of thousands for just one painting!!

    The list is endless and they’re all capitalists. They aren’t wage earners. They’re all selling a product.

    • Uncle Kvetch

      I like hating on the rich.

      And I like waffles. Let us come together in a spirit of comity at this holiday season.

    • The Rich hate you and want you to die in the gutter so they can have another ivory backscratcher

      • Uncle Kvetch

        No matter how much the rich hate Mr. Twoofy, Mr. Twoofy will always love the rich. He knows his place, like a good prole.

        • Warren Terra

          Julia! Cut the social safety net of Julia!

          • Uncle Kvetch

            Julia! Cut the social safety net of Julia!


          • wjts

            Your chocolate ration will be increased.

        • Linnaeus

          Boot leather is a hell of a drug.

          • Leeds man

            Boot leather? Koch smegma, more like.

      • timb

        I prefer to feed Jen with pancakes, although the suggestion of waffles makes me happy.

        Maybe we can compromise on Belgian waffles?

        • spencer

          That depends – exactly how socialistic are the Belgians, really?

    • MAJeff

      I’m rather enjoying laughing at terrified white supremacists.

      • timb

        You can laugh at the protein wisdom exile while we snack on pancakes and some link sausages….anyone who loves Goldstein is a white supremacist

    • Murc

      The list is endless and they’re all capitalists. They aren’t wage earners.

      At least half the people you list by name, and most of the professions, are by definition wage earners. Athletes earn wages. They are LABOR. So are actors. They exchange their labor for financial remuneration. They are only capitalists inasmuch as you consider labor a product to be sold, which is laughable.

      To paraphrase the great philosopher Christopher Julius Rock III, the guys you see playing professional sports may be rich, but the guys signing their checks are WEALTHY.

      Finally, nobody at this blog has any problem with people adding value to the economy by using their capital to produce things to be sold. I would be surprised if you could produce a quote to that effect.

      • Speak Truth

        At least half the people you list by name, and most of the professions, are by definition wage earners. Athletes earn wages.

        You know nothing. They are contractors and as such, independent business people.

        • The Dark Avenger

          Nope, they’re paid a salary, Speak Lies. That’s why they have their own association or union depending on the sport under discussion. Some players use their earnings to start businesses on their own, but they are usually considered for tax purposes as employees, unless they do something like set up a business entity to which their salaries are paid out instead of themselves.

          You really are pulling things out of your a** these days.

        • So to summarize you are pro-Union

    • wjts

      And except for George Soros and maybe those “New York artists”, they’re all in a union.

    • Joshua

      Lebron James, Xtina, movie stars, etc., are all wage earners. LeBron gets paid a negotiated salary in exchange for his services. The guy paying LeBron that salary is way richer than he is, and actually did way less than LeBron has done to get his fortune (it’s Mickey Arison, CEO of Carnival Corporation, whose father founded Carnival Corporation).

      They get paid a high salary, yes a salary, because their skills are very much in demand.

      it’s true that a lot of these people have “brands” that take them into quasi-capitalist territory, but in the end their “capital”, their “assets”, are the exact same thing they are earning a salary with – their in-demand skills.

      • Speak Truth

        They get paid a high salary, yes a salary, because their skills are very much in demand.

        How’s this any different from the presidents of large corporations, hedge funds and Wall Street Banking institutions?

        They also get paid well for the skill sets they have. Lawyers, Doctors all get paid pretty well for their skills.

        But liberals seem to think that people with no skills should do as well as those who do.

        Why would anyone think that?

        • How’s this any different from the presidents of large corporations, hedge funds and Wall Street Banking institutions?

          Athletes don’t set their own salaries, or those of their peers, where the corporate CEO/Board class in society does.

  • I drew my brother’s attention to the NRO cruise story. He expressed surprise that John Yoo felt bold enough to venture into international waters. We found ourselves giggling over the notion of commando frogmen from The Hague spiriting him overboard of a moonless tropical night and taking him east to face justice in the International Criminal Court. Maybe next year?

    • timb

      Perhaps LGM members can apprehend him next year? I’m thinking Johnny wouldn’t put up too much a fight. His mom, on the other hand, seems like she’s really with it

    • Bruce Baugh

      Does the ICC even work with Deep Ones like that? Oh, you didn’t mean those frogmen. Never mind.

      • Hogan

        A NRO cruise to Innsmouth just makes all kinds of sense.

    • Jon H

      I’m sure the boat has an on-board complement of husky 14 year-olds, who will repel any attempt at boarding with human wave attacks.

    • Major Kong

      I was hoping for a similar scenario except involving Somali pirates.

  • The lesson I take away from this is that these rich conservatives have terrible taste in clothes, which doesn’t surprise me.

  • wjts

    Jonah Goldberg attempted a note of optimism…
    In response, the moderator recounted the litany of dreary statistics from Reed and Rasmussen earlier that day. “So therefore we should give up and burn our passports and stay on this boat forever?” said Goldberg with real exasperation.

    Everybody wins.

    (Except the crew.)

    • It’s called “Survival of the Fittest” and Jonah’s solution makes that easier

      • Speak Truth

        No, it’s called envy of those who are doing better than you.

        • The Dark Avenger

          Yes, we libruls hate anyone making 1$ or more per year than us hair-shirt impoverished ideologists.

        • Envy Jonah Goldberg? That is the dumbest thing I ever read on the internet in the last five minutes

  • S_noe

    I was kind of wishing, as I read this piece, that David Foster Wallace had been there. With his Spider-Man hat. He would’ve given the staff a bit more attention.

  • Uncle Ebeneezer

    The fear I have, why this election stung, I think, Obama has successfully ­de-ratified some of the Reagan revolution in a way that Clinton never could and didn’t even try to. That’s what freaks people out, that feeling in their gut, either Obama has changed the country, or the country has sufficiently changed that they don’t have a problem with Obama. That’s what eats at people.

    This may be the smartest (an admittedly low bar) thing Jonah has ever uttered.

    • mds

      That’s what eats at people.

      … Goldberg concluded, stuffing more human body parts into his mouth.

      • Uncle Ebeneezer

        Given that they were probably coated in neon-orange, Cheetoh dust, who could really blame him?

  • Matt

    Longer investment-confused wingnut on the NRO cruise: “Where can we invest that won’t be impacted by our continuing efforts to destroy the country in retribution for electing one of THOSE PEOPLE to the Presidency?”

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