Subscribe via RSS Feed


[ 0 ] July 8, 2009 |

I expect that future generations will view this as my crowning contribution to American public discourse.


"’Thoughtful, articulate, persuasive’…I do not think these words mean what.."

[ 0 ] July 8, 2009 |

6 months of Aesthetic Stalinism For Dummies!

Perhaps my favorite part of the very articulate and persuasive Victoria Jackson rant Glenn mentions:

Obama legally kills babies and now he can legally kill Grandmas!

Hitler did this. He killed the weak, the sick, the old, and babies and races/religions he didn’t like. Hitler also controlled the media. (Where’s the public debate between scientists on “Climate Change/Global Warming?”) Hitler had the VW bug invented as the state car. What will O’s nationalized car be? So… kill off the weak. That’s the plan. Tax the workers to death. Erase the middle class. Sounds like the evil governments we studied in high school long ago. The evil governments were : kings, oligarchies, facist, socialist, and communist. Now it’s called the Obama Administration. Sounds like candy or a rock band.

In fairness, 1)you have to admit that it’s much funnier than BigHo’s “humor” writing, and 2)if she can just pad this out for a few hundred pages she could get a fluke bestseller out of it…

In Which I Am Forced To Agree With Derek Jeter

[ 0 ] July 7, 2009 |

I’ve long complained about the de facto “every play is a force play” rule that seems to prevail among too many umpires. But I think this is the first time I’ve seen this laziness and incompetence defended so explicitly. At least Ques Tec might stop us from reverting to the fairly recent times in which umpires felt they were entitled to unilaterally enforce individualized strike zones…


[ 0 ] July 7, 2009 |

The Obama administration’s ongoing inaction with respect to the unpopular, unjust, and contrary to national security DADT policy is indeed a disgrace:

In all of this, nothing is more infuriating than Obama’s refusal to act on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It is true that the issue affects a relatively small number of gays and lesbians. But discrimination in our armed forces carries a potent symbolism: It tells an entire class of people that the country is not interested in their service. And it would be an easy problem to fix. As Nathaniel Frank argued at tnr Online last month, Obama may need Congress’s approval to officially repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but he has the legal authority to tell the Pentagon to stop enforcing the policy via executive order. He could do it tomorrow. As for the political risks: Obama should look at some polls. Unlike same-sex marriage, the question of whether gays should serve openly in the military is no longer a particularly controversial issue. According to Gallup, 69 percent of Americans believe gays should be able to serve openly. To put that number in perspective, it is 25 points higher than the percentage of Americans who endorse Obama’s handling of health care, 19 points higher than the percentage who currently support the war in Afghanistan, and 18 points higher than the percentage who approve of the administration’s economic policies. Obama is not afraid to push health care reform, send more troops to Afghanistan, or stand by his stimulus program–nor should he be. But why, when it comes to the far less controversial cause of gays serving in the military, is he apparently willing to punt?

As I said at the time, I could live with the bad symbolism of having Rick Warren at the inauguration…if it were accompanied by good policy on gays and lesbian rights, with the low-hanging fruit of working to repeal DADT the minimum acceptable baseline. But since it hasn’t been, Obama deserves all the criticism he received for it and more.

Must Fight Them There, Etc.

[ 0 ] July 7, 2009 |

This seems kind of interesting. I think that #7 is particularly important, and that some of the rest are actually subsets of the “must protect our women and children” construction of war.


[ 0 ] July 6, 2009 |

Andy McCarthy ingests more than his daily allowance of crazy pills (and let me tell you, that’s a lot of crazy pills):

The Wall Street Journal (as flagged in the NRO web briefing) reports on rioting in China by Uighur “students” that has left scores dead and hundreds wounded. The “students,” described elsewhere in the story as from a “predominantly Muslim ethnic group[, which has] long chafed at restrictions on their civil liberties and religious practices imposed by a Chinese government fearful of political dissent,” expressed their dissent by torching cars and buses, as well as — according to accounts of some witnesses to state-controlled media — rampaging “with big knives stabbing people” on the street.

No reason for non-Muslims in Bermuda, Palau, or the United States to worry, though. The lovable Uighurs are merely trying to address “economic and social discrimination.” Once they get social justice, I’m sure they’ll stop.

It’s hard to figure out where to start… for one, there was a time at which movement conservatives were mildly skeptical of the claims made in Chinese state media. Apparently this is no longer the case. There was also a time at which conservatives would have celebrated a provincial rebellion against our communist superpower existential foe*, but apparently there was a memo or something to the effect that “Anyone from any ethnic group that has members who have ever been incarcerated in Guantanamo deserves the swift, brutal justice of the Chinese state. Pass it on.” I also like how McCarthy has tossed aside the values of democracy and self-determination just to score points against liberals; this doesn’t even rise to the level of coherence displayed by Chucky “Bring back the Shah” Krauthammer.

The rest of the Corner crew, it appears, has tactfully declined comment.

Hat tip to Chet.

*of the week

Sarah Palin: The First Politician Ever to Be Criticized In Less Than Fully Rational Ways!

[ 0 ] July 6, 2009 |

See Adam, Steve, Jill and Steve for the obvious rejoinder to Douthat’s claim that it’s only politicians of Palin’s gender and class background who can expect that their “children will go through the tabloid wringer” and their “religion will be mocked and misrepresented.” Even leaving aside the press’ longstanding war on Clinton and Gore, as Adam notes we have an excellent ongoing example of an Ivy League meritocrat being subjected to all kinds of race-and-gender driven attacks in Sonia Sotomayor. Palin was indeed subjected to some attacks based on her gender and class (as well as many more perfectly legitimate and substantive ones), but this ongoing conservative meme that there’s something unusual about the vitriol directed at Palin is absurd.

Roy has more on winger reactions to the Palin resignation here.

Independence Day, Redux (from a British perspective)

[ 0 ] July 6, 2009 |

Yeah, I know.  But an American colleague of mine at this rain soaked university sent me this yesterday.  These two are amongst the funniest guys on the planet (just ignore all the House bs, his best work was with Stephen Fry by miles).  This is not unfunny.


[ 0 ] July 6, 2009 |

It appears that Old Man McNamara has passed. I’m not sure it’s correct to say he has a “mixed” legacy; he was a terrible wartime Secretary of Defense, and the fact that he apparently felt the war was pointless from the beginning doesn’t really win him any points. Had war been avoided he might be remembered as a fine SecDef, but the war poisoned the reforms he tried to enact at the Pentagon. While I value “Fog of War” as a historical document, I still think that Morris let McNamara get away with far too much at too low of a price. Someday, someone will write a fabulous book comparing and contrasting Robert McNamara with Don Rumsfeld.

. . . update (davenoon): Meantime, this old post from the much-missed Jon Swift will have to do…

First Against the Wall When the Revolution Comes is….

[ 0 ] July 6, 2009 |

Ezra Klein.

…see also Ebert (via Lance).

A Green Light?

[ 0 ] July 6, 2009 |

I guess that I don’t read Biden’s comment in the same way that Marc Lynch:

BIDEN: Look, Israel can determine for itself — it’s a sovereign nation — what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Whether we agree or not?

BIDEN: Whether we agree or not. They’re entitled to do that. Any sovereign nation is entitled to do that. But there is no pressure from any nation that’s going to alter our behavior as to how to proceed.

What we believe is in the national interest of the United States, which we, coincidentally, believe is also in the interest of Israel and the whole world. And so there are separate issues.

If the Netanyahu government decides to take a course of action different than the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that. That is not our choice.

I read this as Biden distancing the United States from any Israeli attack; this is to say that, if the Israelis do attack Iran, that the United States had nothing to do with it. I don’t really see it as the US giving Israel a green light; why would such a message ever been given in public? I probably wouldn’t have used the phrase “entitled” but the point seems to be to draw a distinction between Israel and the US, rather than to indicate a preferred course of action to the Israelis.

… to clarify a bit, Israel is unlikely to ask for overflight permission from anyone, Iraqi, Saudi, or American, if it wants to attack Iran. The chances of US aircraft shooting down attacking Israeli fighters as they cross Iraq is approximately zero, and the Iraqis don’t have the capability. This is to say that the Israelis do not need our permission to attack Iran, whether they’re crossing Iraqi airspace or Saudi. What I read this statement as saying is this: “What the Israelis do, they do on their own. An Israeli attack on Iran is not part of US policy.”

I should add that this is yet another case in which supposedly clear “messages” turn out to be remarkably murky.

EMP: A Special Breed of Crazy

[ 0 ] July 6, 2009 |

Dick Destiny does the work. Via AG.