Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why, Exactly?

This tendentious George Will column (via Memeorandum) has its good points, but this is a dumb question: "Why, exactly, would it be less “divisive” for the court to uphold the broadly disliked Obamacare 5 to 4 than to overturn it 5 to 4?"

The relatively easy answer that upholding by a 5 to 4 vote maintains the status quo and allows the political branches to decide the issue—if Obamacare is as unpopular as Wills believes it to be, then President Romney and a Republican Congress will have an opportunity to repeal it next year. My guess is that Wills is afraid the either Romney won't win, or even worse, he'll win but the Republicans will fail to repeal.

If, on the other hand, the Court overturns Obamacare, it will be injecting itself into a hotly contested election in an unseemly fashion.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Naught, Save . . .

Literary historian, Paul Fussell has died at age 88. He wrote several books, the best known are The Great War and Modern Memory and Wartime.
One of my favorite sections of The Great War and Modern Memory is a brief discussion of elevated, heroic language:
The tutors in this special diction had been the boy's books of George Alfred Henty; the male-romances of Rider Haggard; the poems of Robert Bridges; and especially the Arthurian poems of Tennyson and the pseudo-medieval romances of William Morris. We can set out this "raised," essentially feudal language in a table of equivalents:
A friend is a               comrade
Friendship is             comradeship, or fellowship
A horse is a               steed, or charger
Danger is                   peril
To conquer is to       vanquish
. . .
Warfare is                strife
. . .
Nothing is                naught
Nothing but is         naught, save
. . .

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Jerk

What an idiot (via Memeorandum):
A teacher at a Rowan County school has been suspended after getting national attention for a YouTube video that surfaced last week showing her yelling at her students, saying it’s wrong to criticize the president.
In the YouTube video, North Rowan High School teacher Tonya Dixon-Neely and her students were debating several political issues, including a discussion about President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

. . . “Let me tell you something.  You will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom.”

“I’ll say what I want,” countered one male student.

“Not about him you won’t,” yelled the teacher.
. . .
Later in the video the conversation turns foul-mouthed when the discussion changes to President Bush.

“Do you realize that people were arrested for saying things bad about Bush,” the teacher continued.  “You are not supposed to slander.

“As a social studies teacher I cannot allow you to slander any president in here, past or present.  If that’s the case, somebody could say negative things about the Tea Party.”
The article quotes Rush Limbaugh saying, "This teacher is a full-fledged leftist.  There's no question about it.  And sounds very much like a jerk to boot." I'm not sure I would characterize her as a leftist—she sounds too dumb to have a coherent world view and she apparently believes  that it is slander to criticize any president. But Limbaugh called it on the jerk part.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Born Again

Yet another example (via Memeorandum) of the lunacy that has overcome the Right in this election cycle. Arizona's Secretary of State, who denies being a birther is talking about keeping a sitting president off of the November ballot:
“I’m not a birther. I believe the president was born in Hawaii — or at least I hope he was,” Bennett said on the show. “But my responsibility as secretary of state is to make sure the ballots in Arizona are correct and that those people whose names are on the ballot have met the qualifications for the office they are seeking.”
 One way to look at it is that these people are terrified that—in spite of the poor economy—the President is going to win the election.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

There’s Lot of Pretty Girls in Mozambique . . .

Via Memeorandum, the hacks at Brietbart will leave no pile of stupid bullshit undisturbed in order to "vet" the president:
Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii." 
And . . . that's about it—a two decade old piece of publicity material has an error. We can look forward to this type of lunacy for the next six months (and another four years should Obama win) but at least one Brietbart reader is wary of crafty Obamites:
BUT LET'S be CAREFUL. It could be that Obama's team had someone give this to Breitbart, in order to get everyone on the right to latch on to it,, so his campaign could then market everyone on the right a "birther" They'd do this because polls says most people do not agree with birthers.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cowboy Copas . . .

Lousian . . .

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Les Whinin'

So, isn't Robert Stacy McCain a journalist? And isn't The American Spectator a publication? Perhaps these guys should do some more reporting and less whining:
We’ve never seen Barack Obama’s college transcripts, or senior thesis, and the only former girlfriend of his we know about is a composite perhaps based on a dead ex-girlfriend of his ghost writer, radical terrorist Bill Ayers. But the Washington Post can send a reporter out to do deep investigative journalism on Mitt Romney’s high-school days.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

A Question That Nobody Asked

Newt Gingrich, ever the megalomaniac announces to the world (via Memeorandum) that he isn't interested in being veep:
Days after ending his run for the GOP presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich said Sunday he would not accept the Republican vice presidential slot if offered, and said Romney should focus on picking a young running mate.
“I can't imagine it,” said Gingrich on CNN's State of the Union Sunday of the possibility of joining Romney on the GOP ticket.
Nobody else can either, Newt.

Dreams of My Confirmation Bias

Stacy McCain is on the case to prove that Barack Obama's memoir, Dreams of my Father, was written by Bill Ayers.The latest smoking gun is the revelation that an Obama girlfriend mentioned in his book is a composite. McCain writes,
The so-called “New York girlfriend” in Obama’s memoir bears specific resemblance to Ayers’s ex-girlfriend Diana Oughton, one of three Weather Underground members killed in 1970 when a bomb the terrorist group was building accidentally exploded.
Like the girlfriend in Obama’s memoir, Oughton had brown hair and green eyes, and came from an affluent background. Furthermore, Oughton’s family estate in Illinois is strikingly similar to one described in a sequence in Dreams when Obama and his “New York girlfriend” visit her family.
I can think of several possible explanations, including the conspiratorial notion promoted by McCain (and others) that Ayers ghostwrote Obama's book. It  There is, however, the distinct possibility that any resemblance is a coincidence and McCain is a victim of confirmation bias. It's also possible that the Obama made the resemblance intentional. I don't really know how close Obama was to Bill Ayers when he was writing the book. But like normal people, I don't care. This story (as well as the Obama eats dogs kerfuffle) isn't aimed at normal people. GOP shills like McCain (and Glenn Reynolds) are stuck with the unloved and unlovable Mitt Romney as their standard bearer, so they are tasked with keeping the base worked into a continuous lather for the next six months.

Considering some of McCains's more witless readers, the lather should be easy to maintain. There is Elaine, who wrote that, "I saw a video clip of Ayers pretty much taking credit for having written Obama's first book, after Andersen's book was released. . . "; referring, I think, to this clip of Ayers doing so with evident sarcasm. Also, too, is Yehiel—claiming without evidence—that "Obama said his father fought in WW II. He was about 5 or 6 years old." I'm fairly certain that Obama said that about his maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who was born in 1918 and was in the Army in World War II.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Mission Accomplished

Memeorandum is aflame with complaints about Barack Obama capitalizing on the yesterday's anniversary of the bin Laden kill; so it is appropriate to remember on May Day how a real man capitalizes on a (seeming) military triumph:

A few years back, I noted some of the responses from that day, my favorite being from John Hindraker at Powerline. ""Yeah, we've had better leaders. Their names were Washington and Lincoln. And maybe Roosevelt."