A rather effective Lutheran satire of soi disant Catholics who feel no obligation to accept the teachings of the Church. This phenomenon, though, is far from limited to young, blonde and female members of the uneducated public. Professional public intellectuals like Gary Wills and Andrew Sullivan notoriously combine self-identification as members of the Church of Rome with a penchant for demanding that the Magisteria renounce its pretensions to divine inspiration and immediately conform itself to the consensus of the left-wing community of fashion, which alone, as we all know, is infallible on matters of faith and morals.
It is being reported today that Harry Reid is demanding major Senate procedural concessions from minority Republicans designed to ensure simple majority passage of highly controversial legislation traditionally vulnerable to being blocked or delayed by the filibuster.
The Hill reports:
A coalition of liberal groups met at the headquarters of the National Education Association (NEA) shortly after Obama won reelection to set strategy for advancing his second-term agenda. One of the primary goals emerging from the meeting was enacting filibuster reform. ...
[Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid has begun to show signs of impatience with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), with whom he has been negotiating for weeks. He said Tuesday that he and McConnell have made progress, but added, “[W]e’ve got a long way to go.”
The Nevada Democrat said he would give Republicans another 24 to 36 hours to agree to filibuster reform and then trigger the so-called nuclear option. This controversial tactic would allow him to change the Senate rules with a simple majority vote.
“I hope within the next 24 to 36 hours we can get something we agree on. If not, we’re going to move forward on what I think needs to be done. The caucus will support me on that,” Reid told reporters.
Although its use has been threatened in the past to spur the minority party to agree to reforms, the nuclear option has never been used to change the standing rules, say parliamentary experts.
Reid has come under heavy pressure from liberal advocacy groups to drastically limit the minority party’s power to filibuster and delay legislation.
This is the same Harry Reid who, in 2005, back when Republicans had a majority in the Senate and democrats were using the filibuster to block confirmation of nominations (like John Bolton for UN Ambassador) that they didn’t like, and Republicans threatened to change the Senate rules, accused Republicans excessive partisanship and of bending to “the whispered wishes of a few right wing activists,” and desperately demanded the preservation of the filibuster as an affirmation of bipartisanship.
If Reid uses the nuclear option, he is going to be very sorry in 2014 or 2016 when majority control of the Senate returns to Republicans.
The New York Post reports that Current TV’s left-wing employees, in the aftermath of the network’s sale to the Saracens, are not too happy with their former boss.
Just call him Al Gorezeera.
Yesterday morning, the still shell shocked staff at Current TV was called to an all hands staff meeting at its San Francisco headquarters, which was teleconferenced to their offices in LA and NYC, to meet their new bosses.
That would be two of Al Jazeera’s top guys: Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director of international operations, and Muftah AlSuwaidan, general manager of the London bureau.
Ominously missing was the creator of Current, the self proclaimed inventor of the Internet and savior of clean energy, Al Gore, although his partner, Joel Hyatt, stood proudly with the Al Jazeera honchos.
“Of course Al didn’t show up,” said one high placed Current staffer. “He has no credibility.
“He’s supposed to be the face of clean energy and just sold [the channel] to very big oil, the emir of Qatar! Current never even took big oil advertising—and Al Gore, that bulls***ter sells to the emir?”
The meeting, while not contentious, was, according to staffers who spoke on the condition of anonymity, miserable.
The mostly left-leaning group—some still in denial —weren’t buying what Al Jazeera was selling.
And what are they selling? Al Jazeera’s image of —are you ready?— “inform, inspire and entertain!”
The “new” American Al Jazeera will, according to Shihabi, appeal to the American audience with a mixture of national and international news—and, of course, entertainment.
But you won’t be getting that Middle East merriment until April, which is when the network says it will be ready to take over.
“Sometime within three months—no more, no less—we were told,” said the Current staffer.
One person at the meeting, who has already announced that she’s leaving, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, tried to ask about severance packages for those who wouldn’t be staying.
“This isn’t the place to discuss this!” Hyatt barked at her.
“After that, everyone kept their questions pretty much to themselves,” according to the staff member.
How do they feel about Gore the savior of green energy now?
The displeasure with Gore among the staff was thick enough to cut with a scimitar.
“We all know now that Al Gore is nothing but a bulls***ter,” said the staffer bluntly.
Dan Greenfield really puts Albert Gore’s career into perspective.
The Gore lost the election, went into the wilderness of Belle Meade and came out with the revelation that it’s time to drop all the little lies and stick to one big one. Forget claiming that you invented the comma and the cocoa bean while on a conference call with Isaac Newton and just focus on warning everyone that the planet is about to explode. A lie as big as a planet. A lie that was too big to fail.
Gore monetized that lie, he took it to every bank on the planet and then he took it to every cable company and convinced them to give him access to 40 million American homes so that he could tell them that the planet was about to blow up. And just as he had at the White House, Al Gore cashed out that access and sold it to an enemy nation.
There are idealists who sell out and become hollow men, and there are hollow men who pretend to be idealists. Gore is a hollow man selling someone else’s alarmist hollow earth theory so he can make it to the next stage of a career that has no meaning or purpose. Like most professional idealists, Al Gore cares for nothing except money. Having sold out so many times, his only idea is to keep doing it again and again.
The professional idealist is a hollow man. A soulless man who is tasked with convincing everyone of the existence of the thing that he does not have. The left has created an endless number of professional openings for such soulless men, for paid liars and faithless tricksters, who live only to convince the world that they believe just long enough for them to sell out one more time.
Business Insider reports that the fanatically anti-gun Gannett paper which published maps showing the homes of licensed gun owners in two suburban New York counties became worried about violent retaliation, so its management naturally hired armed guards.
A New York state newspaper is taking drastic steps to protect its staff after it enraged gun owners in two counties.
The Journal News, a Gannett-owned newspaper in Westchester, N.Y., published a map showing the names and addresses of licensed gun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties.
The Journal News tried to do the same for Putnam County, but the newspaper’s request for records was denied because of the outrage the map had already caused in Westchester County.
That outrage was so intense the newspaper resorted to hiring armed security guards to man its headquarters after receiving multiple threats, The Rockland Country Times reported Tuesday.
And, what do you know? it turns out that anti-gun documentary film maker Michael Moore also goes around protected by an armed bodyguard. (BizPacReview)
A bodyguard of filmmaker Michael Moore, who has long been a proponent of stringent gun control, was arrested at New York’s JFK airport for carrying an illegal firearm
Apparently, certain single moms can dine out on a sufficiently lavish scale to run up $138 restaurant tabs, but consider themselves so disadvantaged and worthy of special consideration that they feel no obligation to conform to the general custom of adding a 15-20% gratuity (which actually represents the principal portion of the compensation received by restaurant servers).
This particular woman’s spectacular sense of self-entitlement has won her a well-deserved 15 minutes of fame on the Web.
President Obama… is putting an American citizen in jail for 10 years to life for operating medical marijuana dispensaries in California where it is legal under state law. And I assume the President – who has a well-documented history of extensive marijuana use in his youth – is clamping down on California dispensaries for political reasons, i.e. to get reelected. What other reason could there be?
One could argue that the President is just doing his job and enforcing existing Federal laws. That’s the opposite of what he said he would do before he was elected, but lying is obviously not a firing offense for politicians.
Personally, I’d prefer death to spending the final decades of my life in prison. So while President Obama didn’t technically kill a citizen, he is certainly ruining this fellow’s life, and his family’s lives, and the lives of countless other minor drug offenders. And he is doing it to advance his career. If that’s not a firing offense, what the hell is?
Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration. But he’s enough of a chameleon and a pragmatist that one can’t be sure. And I’m fairly certain he’d want a second term. He might find it “economical” to use federal resources in other ways than attacking California voters. And he is vocal about promoting states’ rights, so he’s got political cover for ignoring dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.
So while I don’t agree with Romney’s positions on most topics, I’m endorsing him for president starting today. I think we need to set a minimum standard for presidential behavior, and jailing American citizens for political gain simply has to be a firing offense no matter how awesome you might be in other ways.
I think it would be more logical to desire to fire Obama for arranging the Midnight arrest and subsequent detention as part of an effort to mislead the public about the causes and motivations of the attack upon the US consulate in Benghazi.
The obscure Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was practically the victim of a literal contemporary equivalent of the ancien regime’s lettres de cachet.
It’s not that I disagree with Mr. Adams though about the absurdity, immorality, and perverse inutility of Drug Prohibition, of course, or would not be on the same side on the federalism issues. Arguing that we ought to throw out of public office everyone who is willing to put people in jail for drug crimes who has himself smoked pot is basically a sound position.
Hat tip to Walter Olson.
(image via Vanderleun)
A lot of reactionaries like myself have described Barack Obama as “a socialist,” “a Marxist,” and “a Communist.” How could we possibly have thought that about someone who, in his closing statement at the Second 2012 Presidential Debate, delivered this encomium to Capitalism and Free Enterprize:
I think a lot of this campaign, maybe over the last four years, has been devoted to this notion that I think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer.
That’s not what I believe. I believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world’s ever known.
I believe in self-reliance and individual initiative and risk takers being rewarded. But I also believe that everybody should have a fair shot and everybody should do their fair share and everybody should play by the same rules, because that’s how our economy’s grown. That’s how we built the world’s greatest middle class. . . .
This sounds enough like Barry Goldwater to make poor Bill Ayers go out and commit seppuku in Grant Park. But that would assume that Barack Obama was expressing himself with sincerity. In reality, Barack Obama, in his closing statement at that Second Debate, was fraudulently trying to position himself as a mainstream centrist believer in the American system, which he really is not. In the statement above, he is not expressing his real position. He is blowing smoke in an effort to conceal it.
The real Barack Obama is the Barack Obama who tried to revive turn-of-the-last-century Progressivism in a speech delivered lat December in Osawatomie, Kansas:
[T]here’s been a certain crowd in Washington for the last few decades who respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes—especially for the wealthy—our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.
Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ‘50s and ‘60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory. . . .
John Lott noticed the contradiction between exactly the same two Obama statements.
Hat tip to Clarice Feldman (FB).
Disillusioned former students who supported Obama in ‘08 sing of their unhappiness.
Hat tip to Jake McGuire.
We also learned yesterday that Ms. Warren was herself actively profiteering in the real estate market.
Novelist Paul Theroux is a typical member of the community of fashion elite. He is no conservative, and decidedly no fan of Rush Limbaugh’s, but even he finds the left’s attacks on Limbaugh resulting from his criticism of Sandra Fluke hypocritical.
The defense of Sandra Fluke is so shrill that it is almost as though many of her defenders actually believe there is a vicious taint of self-indulgence, if not sluttiness, in a female student’s clamoring for a federal mandate of subsidized contraceptives. How else to interpret such a welter of special pleading? They believe she actually needs defending.
It occurred to me that in this fairly illiterate, irony-challenged country we have no notion of what satire actually is. Satire is merciless, unsparing, savage. It is not the genial teasing comedy of The Daily Show, or the fooling of Saturday Night Live. It is destructive and cruel. It is Jonathan Swift in “A Modest Proposal” writing of cooking and eating babies. It is Daniel Defoe in “The Shortest Way With Dissenters” speaking of killing members of a religious sect. It is Thomas Nast drawing pictures of hideous cannibalistic Catholic priests, or Horace making rhymes about buggery. It is John Collier mocking suffragettes by writing a whole novel about a man who marries an actual ape from the Congo in “His Monkey Wife,” and nearer to the present, it is Hunter Thompson’s “He was a Crook”—“ If the right people had been in charge of Nixon’s funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles …” ...
This whole Limbaugh business epitomizes our confusion and our hypocrisy. The folks who depicted George Bush as a chimp, and Sarah Palin as a skank, are indignant when these same words are used against their people in the virtue industry, and that includes the troopers in the Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps. The trouble with Limbaugh is that he is not a satirist—hasn’t the brains or the humor for it—and his earnestness, and his vanity, always gets in the way. He seems to believe that he is an opinion leader, but even as a gas bag on the sidelines he has a role to play, because not many other people are playing that role. If only he knew more about the power of satire, how it can do more than mere mockery. But, as a mocker—the Fluke affair is proof—he has an effect, and I think it uncovered one of our greatest weaknesses and our weirdest tendencies.
You have to give Limbaugh a pass, otherwise you lose the right to go on calling Gingrich and Eric Cantor pimps for Israel, and Rick Santorum a mental midget, and if you foreswear colorful, if not robust or wicked language altogether you might as well shut up.
The organized left has mounted a petition drive to persuade Rush Limbaugh’s radio program’s sponsors to drop advertising on the most popular program on AM radio. Their pretext is the claim that El Rushbo crossed a line by using words like “slut” and “prostitute” in connection with a sweet young thing like Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, but what all this really amounts to is the left taking the most pejorative terms in Rush Limbaugh’s lengthy and profoundly sarcastic response to Ms. Fluke’s Congressional testimony and attempting to personalize them in order to feign outrage and indignation.
All the “What he said!” games are just another hypocritical liberal exercise in dramaturgy, playing for the sympathy of the independent and ill-informed.
The real outrage, as Bryan Preston observed earlier this week, is the attempt by leftists like Barack Obama and Sarah Fluke to attempt to promote a personal choice into a right and an entitlement capable of trumping the barrier between state and church. Obama and Fluke proposing turning the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom into a dead letter essentially over what people used to call a French letter.
It costs a female student $3,000 to have protected sex over the course of her three-year stint in law school, according to her calculations.
“Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school,” Fluke told the hearing.
Georgetown University Law School is not cheap. It costs more than $70,000 per year without scholarships or other financial aid. Miss Fluke would have us believe that someone who can afford to attend Georgetown can not afford to pay for his or her own lifestyle.
Fluke claims they can’t afford to pay to, as the president so eloquently phrased it, avoid being punished with a baby before they graduate into extremely lucrative careers, in Fluke’s case most likely in a future Democratic administration.
The math derived from Fluke’s $3,000 price tag suggests that Georgetown is one swingin’ Catholic campus.
At a dollar a condom if she shops at CVS pharmacy’s website, that $3,000 would buy her 3,000 condoms – or, 1,000 a year. (By the way, why does CVS.com list the weight of its condom products in terms of pounds?)
Assuming it’s not a leap year, that’s 1,000 divided by 365 – or having sex 2.74 times a day, every day, for three straight years. And, I thought Georgetown was a Catholic university where women might be prone to shun casual, unmarried sex. At least its health insurance doesn’t cover contraception (that which you subsidize, you get more of, you know).
And, that’s not even considering that there are Planned Parenthood clinics in her neighborhood that give condoms away and sell them at a discount, which could help make her sexual zeal more economical.
With all due respect, Miss Fluke, your evidently very active amorous life is your business and should remain that way. It isn’t worth wrecking the Constitution.
Rush Limbaugh only, in his typical witty and eloquent fashion, proceeded to respond to Ms. Fluke’s testimony with highly effective mockery and analysis, contemplating aloud the various moral implications of society being required to fund the where-with-all ingredients of Ms. Fluke’s sex life. “If we’re paying for your sex life, Ms. Fluke and other subscribers to her point of view, what does that make you?” Rush wondered out loud.
We saw this week just how much delicacy, decorum, and decency the left subscribes to, when Andrew Breitbart suddenly passed away, and lefties loudly exchanged public self-congratulations and heaped abuse on the fallen rightist blogger.
The left wanted to shut Limbaugh up long before Sandra Fluke and the current contraception-as-entitlement religious freedom issue ever came along. All the noise you hear is just more left-wing opportunism.
Sandra Fluke, btw, is not some tender ingenue, now lying in tears upon a fainting couch after being spoken of so harshly by that beast of a Rush Limbaugh. She’s actually a hard-core 30-year-old reproductive rights professional activist.
Update, later the same day:
El Rushbo apologized (the wuss!).
You know what the Marine Corps says: “Never apologize; never explain.”
Dan Greenfield unloads on the very same people with this superb essay:
The American liberal is not a populist, he is still a New England preacher, but without a religion to preach. He has a great faith in the virtues of an ordered moral society, even if that ordered moral society would have been completely incomprehensible and unacceptable to his forebears. It is a society based on the virtues of tolerance and the rule of the enlightened.
The inflow of the European left has brought in a strain of power to the people populism, but that has not made the American liberal take seriously the notion that the people whose rights he defends are his intellectual or social equals, no more than the 19th century New York Republicans patting African-Americans on the head while stomping on the Irish viewed either group as equals.
American liberalism has traveled a slightly altered road to get to the same place. But its place is still at the top and everyone else’s place is still at the bottom. Its persistent denial of this basic truth leads to the perennial absurdity of millionaires like Elizabeth Warren playing class warrior when the only class they represent is the class of people who work for the government.
The oligarchy which is busy bleeding the country dry does not represent any group of working people anywhere in the country. Not Protestant or Catholic, black or white, or of any other creed or identity. Like every ideology incarnated in a system, it represents its own interests. The Democratic Party is the government party. It exists to create jobs in government, to dispense government subsidies and to expand the power and scope of its organization. It is not fundamentally any different than Putin’s United Russia or Israel’s Kadima or similar political creatures around the world.
The strange intermarriage of New England moralists, New York merchants and European radicals eventually led to a system of pushing immigrants into government service, mandating tolerance and running every aspect of human life through Washington D.C. It took a while to get there, but the system is a decade or two away from being complete. When it is complete then all our lives will be run in every possible way by the Elizabeth Warrens who will smile condescendingly at us, nudge us in the direction we are supposed to go, and when we don’t go there, then the fines and the tasers come out.
No matter how far back you go, the roots of American liberalism lie in a fear of the people, a distrust of the great unwashed. American liberals have championed voting rights, so long as they were confident that those voting were their inferiors and could be herded into voting the right way. They have always distrusted the instincts of the public, no matter how much pious ink they spilled fighting on their behalf.
That view of man’s sinful nature still informs their deepest thinkers, and the sins are still the same, the failure of fellowship, the refusal to consider the welfare of others and march in lockstep to create that ideal society. The New Jerusalem of universal brotherhood. Those ideas have been dressed up in modern clothing, transmitted as denunciations of racism and bigotry, immigration advocacy and hate crime laws, but underneath is the same notion that a society of good will to all can be forced through rigorous regimentation by the truly enlightened.
The populism of the American liberal is a cynical dumbshow where representatives of the oppressed gather in conclaves to demand more oppression by their liberal oppressors. This spectacle is at the heart of a political oligarchy, which like every oligarchy is built on government subsidies and special access to power for the privileged. And like all oligarchies it must disguise its nature by playing the protector of the people. Unlike them it must also disguise its true nature from itself.
The convergence of the ideal society and the government society was inevitable from the start. It took a while to overcome the technological and cultural barriers to running an entire country from a central point. Those barriers have never been truly overcome, but the technocratic mirage makes it seem as if they have been. And the ongoing faith in a perfectible society run by the saints makes it seem as if it must be.
The American liberal would still like to play at being humble, a 99 percenter fighting against the chimera of a 1 percent oligarchy. But the entire 99 percent theme is that the 1 percent isn’t paying enough taxes. And whom do those taxes go to but to the administration and employment of the professional class warrior millionaires.
It is the very Everest of hypocrisy for the members of the oligarchy to be bemoaning all the extra tax money that could be used to pay their six figure salaries, while passing off their naked greed as a crusade on behalf of the oppressed.
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to Bird Dog.