David Petraeus wore regularly a lot more awards than Dwight Eisenhower did many years ago.
Marines have long remarked humorously on the proliferation of awards, badges, and decorations worn by members of the US Army. General Petraeus’s resignation as CIA Director recently even provoked comment from left-wing commentators, like Andrew Sullivan, on the questionable taste of contemporary doggie custom.
The Marines, of course, are a lot better qualified to criticize in areas of this kind than are foreign poofter journalists who make professional careers of Dolchstoß-ing those who protect them from big bad sand monkeys who would do them harm.
I was reminded of the criticism of General Petraeus’s uniform’s collection of shiny hardware by a photo of even more heavily be-medalled Chinese officers that has been floating around on Facebook. The original was sufficiently profuse with badges that it provoked some wag to use Photoshop to multiply them, and even to extend the medals to some Chinamen’s trousers. (see below)
The legitimate, original photo of Chinese officers.
Photoshopped parody. There are medals even on the sleeves and trousers.
The Pew poll is devastating, just devastating. Before the debate, Obama had a 51 – 43 lead; now, Romney has a 49 – 45 lead. That’s a simply unprecedented reversal for a candidate in October. Before Obama had leads on every policy issue and personal characteristic; now Romney leads in almost all of them. Obama’s performance gave Romney a 12 point swing! I repeat: a 12 point swing.
Romney’s favorables are above Obama’s now. Yes, you read that right. Romney’s favorables are higher than Obama’s right now. That gender gap that was Obama’s firewall? Over in one night:
Currently, women are evenly divided (47% Obama, 47% Romney). Last month, Obama led Romney by 18 points (56% to 38%) among women likely voters.
Seriously: has that kind of swing ever happened this late in a campaign? Has any candidate lost 18 points among women voters in one night ever? And we are told that when Obama left the stage that night, he was feeling good. That’s terrifying. On every single issue, Obama has instantly plummeted into near-oblivion. He still has some personal advantages over Romney – even though they are all much diminished. Obama still has an edge on Medicare, scores much higher on relating to ordinary people, is ahead on foreign policy, and on being moderate, consistent and honest (only 14 percent of swing voters believe Romney is honest). But on the core issues of the economy and the deficit, Romney is now kicking the president’s ass.
The stupid, backward, and sexually inadequate residents of China and Vietnam suffer from a delusion that consuming the horn of the rhinoceros (black or white) will increase, or restore, their potency. The usual associative sympathetic magical thinking is behind all this. Rhino horns are long, impressively stout protuberances, so their consumption is supposed to result in long, impressively stout et ceteras for Chinamen.
Stupid, backward, and ethically-challenged black African poachers kill rhinoceros for their horns which get to East Asia via totally illegal black market smuggling operations.
This is all very regrettable, of course.
So what do noble and idealistic left-wingers do about THE PROBLEM?
They modify popular videos that bourgeois residents of Western democracies watch, deceptively labeling new versions remixed with heart-wrenching images of dying and mutilated rhinos. Pirating somebody else’s content in order to mislead people into watching their own advertisements (they made 60 of these) is left-wingers’ idea of a clever intervention.
Watching their disgusting advertisements is intended to get you to start weeping big salty tears over all those poor dead rhinos and make you sign this petition.
This petition, as far as I can see, includes no specific proposals of any kind. So you would really be signing the equivalent of a kind of political blank check, indicating that you are oh-so-very concerned about poor rhinos and believe that Something Must Be Done.
What that Something might consist of is unknown. But if you are stupid enough to sign, you are indicating agreement with the theory that you (residing almost certainly in a location with no rhinos and being yourself a non-consumer of medications made from rhino-horn) nonetheless subscribe to the theory that you are personally responsible for the foolish and unethical actions of various Africans and Asians totally unknown to you, and believe that the Congress of the United States (despite its complete lack of authority over Africa & Asia) is also obliged to do something about all of this, beyond agreeing to the CITES treaty and all the other things Congress has already done.
That moron Andrew Sullivan and an advertising blogging asshole who calls himself copyranter both thought deceiving Internet video watchers into accessing agitprop crap was clever and worthy of commendation. Personally, I wish Vlad the Impaler were around today to punish Internet fraud, along with its encouragement and support, in his traditional old-fashioned way using some very long rhino horns.
Andrew Sullivan prefaces his recent Newsweek article offering an unusually optimistic assessment of the current president’s prospects and achievements by confessing:
I write this as an unabashed supporter of Obama from early 2007 on. I did so not as a liberal, but as a conservative-minded independent appalled by the Bush administration’s record of war, debt, spending, and torture. I did not expect, or want, a messiah. I have one already, thank you very much.
Barack Obama is, only too obviously, a political figure originating from the most extreme fringe of the radical left remodeled into a merely aggressively Progressive democrat. Barack Obama deliberately chose to break with the New Democrat/New Labour 1990s center leftism model successfully adopted by William Clinton and Tony Blair, in which politicians of the left offered an implicit understanding that their efforts to deliver more benefits to labor and the less well off would be pursued with restraint and never in such a way as to jeopardize economic growth and the general welfare of the country.
How it is, in any way, shape, or form, legitimately possible for a “conservative minded” person to be a supporter of Barack Obama is a mystery to me.
If one were so pacifistically-inclined that George Bush’s wars made one into a democrat, well, it is difficult to fail to notice that Barack Obama has continued the same military efforts.
Pointing to Bush’s war-time debt increases as justification for supporting Obama goes beyond obliviousness, on the other hand, far, far into hypocrisy. Barack Obama presided over a domestic spending spree utterly unprecedented in history in straightened economic times, multiplying dramatically all previous debt and, finding himself faced with a imminent crisis in funding existing entitlement obligations, proceeded, in defiance of an enormous public outcry of protest, to add a new massive entitlement.
Referring to mildly coercive interrogation techniques, carefully limited so as to inflict no real injury or permanent effects, as torture, while indulging in wildly exaggerated rhetoric and striking sanctimonious poses has become one of the principal exercises of Andrew Sullivan’s journalism. Sullivan has thereby become one of the foremost practitioners of the school of moral instruction combining flamboyant and in-your-face sexual latitudinarianism with Pecksniffian priggery applied to defense activities.
So, I start out, even before evaluating Sullivan’s analysis, arguments, and appraisals, confronted with a set of obviously fraudulent credentials. Andrew Sullivan is not “conservative minded.” He is a notoriously unstable and emotionally volatile partisan of the Homintern, who used to be on the right, but who has transferred his political loyalties to the left, partly in order to further the political agenda of his sexual subculture, and partly simply because the opportunities and accommodations are so much better over there.
No wonder that Ann Althouse didn’t even bother reading through the article. She knew perfectly well what she was going to find.
I don’t agree much with Andrew Sullivan on politics these days (but, with Andrew’s record of instability, that may simply mean I only need to wait awhile until he becomes conservative again), yet I largely agree with him on blogging.
Of course, Andrew Sullivan blogs on a considerably more prolific and professional scale than I do. He is infuriatingly intellectually dishonest, shamelessly manipulative and propagandistic in his arguments, but he otherwise does a pretty commendable job. (The backing of a major magazine and a budget providing funding for a staff undoubtedly helps.)
If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.
What do you do when you’re supporting a duck as lame as Barack Obama, a failed president with the ugliest record of economic failure and executive maladministration since American voters gave Jimmy Carter the heave-ho back in 1980, and along comes a truly frightening challenger, a good-looking, outspoken Republican governor with a record of creating roughly 40% of all jobs created in the country recently in his one state?
If you are a sanctimonious and mendacious leftist like Andrew Sullivan, you squeal in outrage, lift your skirts in the manner of a 1950s housewife frightened by a mouse, jump to the top of your highest portable moral pedestal, and make a Hail Mary! try at persuading readers that flavorful regional rhetoric is really the same thing as a promise of actual violence, and a metaphorical reference to “ugly treatment” really means lynching.
No one can be altogether surprised when the school of political commentary that proceeds toward the keyboard after rising from its knees on the mens’ room floor stoops to combining grand moral dudgeon with opportunistic melodrama, but when Republicans like Karl Rove and Tony Fratto, motivated by spite stemming from past feuds in Texas politics, are willing to join the left’s attack Chihuahuas in biting at the ankles of the probable next Republican nominee, that is surprising and causes some of us to begin reevaluating our positive opinion of Mr. Rove in particular.
Joining the phony baloney left-wing chorus of “Oh, my gracious! What he said.” is just plain despicable, and it is a grave and serious disservice to the country and to the political process to assist in the emasculation of political speech demanded by the left’s PC inquisitors.
When the American left needs to vent its rage at its reactionary opposition at the loudest volume and in the shrillest tones, when anything resembling rational debate simply will not do, when it’s time for a real old-fashioned over-the-top hair-pulling, fingernail scratching attack, the progressive camp turns to its fattest and flittiest combatants: Frank Rich and Andrew Sullivan.
Alas! America must really be turning to the right. Despite both men’s admirable records at releasing passion and their unequaled capacity for burying their adversaries in billingsgate, we learned yesterday that both would be moving on from their current well-paying and prestigious positions.
Jack Schafer notes that going from the New York Times to New York Magazine is not a step up the ladder of success.
Let me see if I’ve got this straight: Frank Rich is leaving a weekly column at the nation’s most important daily newspaper for a monthly column at the second best weekly in the country.
If Rich’s move is about wanting to spend more time with his family, gain greater distance from Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal, free himself to pursue his HBO projects more aggressively, or to work once again with New York Editor Adam Moss, with whom he has a mind-meld, I understand. But unless the deal came with Bloombergian bags of cash, it makes no sense.
I’m not suggesting that Frank Rich will disappear when he departs the Times for New York magazine, but the switch will transform him from the fat man in the biggest room in the oversized mansion of newspaper journalism to just another high-profile scribbler at a magazine. Oh, the New York press release says Rich will be editing a special “section anchored by his essay,” and be commenting on the magazine’s Web site, but it’s a step down. Today, Rich’s column appears in supersized format in the Sunday edition of the New York Times, which has a print circulation of 1.35 million, and more than 34.5 million unique monthly visitors to its Web site, compared to New York magazine’s 405,000 circulation and 8.5 million uniques.
Meanwhile, Sarah Palin-hater-extraordinaire Andrew Sullivan is also moving. His Daily Dish is departing from from the prestigious Atlantic blog-site to become part of a shaky start-up web-site operation involving Tina Brown’s Daily Beast joining up with Newsweek. Newsweek recently was sold reputedly for $1 (and the assumption of a ton of debt) by 92-year-old Sidney Harman.
The anticipated 2012 budget deficit will be $1,500,000 million ($1.5 trillion). This means we are borrowing that amount from our children to fund all of the Democrats’ Utopian spending programs.
Finally, the president has proposed “tough budget cuts” that total $775 million. No, that’s not a joke.
It is generally recognized by just about all members of the commentariat with IQs higher than room temperature that America’s projected entitlement spending was unsustainable… before Obamacare was added. The federal deficit threatens this country’s current economic, political, and military capabilities and promises to undermine the prosperity of future generations.
The president’s response is disappointing even to people on the left. Andrew Sullivan was a particularly conspicuous bellwether today, departing from his customary role of flack and harshly criticizing Obama.
[T]his president is too weak, too cautious, too beholden to politics over policy to lead. In this budget, in his refusal to do anything concrete to tackle the looming entitlement debt, in his failure to address the generational injustice, in his blithe indifference to the increasing danger of default, he has betrayed those of us who took him to be a serious president prepared to put the good of the country before his short term political interests. Like his State of the Union, this budget is good short term politics but such a massive pile of fiscal bullshit it makes it perfectly clear that Obama is kicking this vital issue down the road.
To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: he just screwed you over. He thinks you’re fools. Either the US will go into default because of Obama’s cowardice, or you will be paying far far more for far far less because this president has no courage when it counts. He let you down. On the critical issue of America’s fiscal crisis, he represents no hope and no change. Just the same old Washington politics he once promised to end.
When a tasty news item confirming one’s own prejudices and assumptions and wreaking injury upon one’s political adversaries comes along, it is only natural that the partisan blogger will seize upon it with a certain glee and give it prominent coverage in a major posting.
I almost simply referenced Andrew Breitbart’s video published yesterday of Shirley Sherrod apparently giving a tutorial on successful discrimination in federal program administration in a simple sarcastic posting, but it was short and I happened to watch it a second time, and then I began wondering about its editing.
A day later, everyone knows that all the wheels have come off of Andrew Breitbart’s discrimination story. (the Politico)
Breitbart was doing damage control, telling Talking Points Memo that he didn’t do the editing and was not even in possession of the full video when he launched the story. (sigh)
But the silver-lining in this unfortunate episode is that NYM was not alone in noticing the tricky editing. It was only to be expected that many blogs would be fooled. The truth is that everyone sometimes posts hastily without deep consideration of the material being passed along.
But the right-side of the blogosphere really does differ from the left with respect to honesty and responsibility.
The Anchoress was also paying attention yesterday, and her reservations received major attention because they were linked by Instapundit.
[Here’s] what is troubling me.
Doesn’t it seem like, after all of that sort of winking, “you and I know how they really are” racist crap wherein Sherrod–intentionally or not–indicts her own narrow focus, she was heading to a more edifying message? What did it open her eyes about? Was she about to say “I took him to one of his own, but it shouldn’t have mattered about that; my job was to serve all the farmers who needed help.”
Was she about to say, “I learned about myself and about how far we still have to go?”
Was she about to say “it’s not poor vs those who have, because we are not at war, we are just in the same human reality that ever was?”
Was she about to say, “poor is poor, hungry is hungry and the past is the past when a family can’t eat?”
I want to know. Because it seemed like Sherrod was heading somewhere with that story, and the edit does not let us get there. I want the rest of the story before I start passing judgment on it. ...
I want to see the rest of the tape. I cannot believe Sherrod ended on “I took him to one of his own.” Either she said something much worse after that (which we would have seen) or she said something much better.
If it was something “better” then we should have seen that, too.
Before long, her skepticism was being echoed throughout the right side of the blogosphere. So much for Andrew Sullivan’s “virulence of the far right.”
James Taranto, on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, also noticed that editing and he had no doubts.
It seems to us that Sherrod got a bum deal in all this. While her description of her attitude toward the white farmer is indeed appalling, even in Breitbart’s video it is clear by the end that the story was one of having learned the error of her ways.
Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.
Congratulations to Shirley Sherrod on her vindication.
David Frum, guest blogging for Andrew Sullivan, recently proposed the parlor game of writing a one-sentence description of a “modernized, reformed conservatism.”
His own offering went as follows:
A reality-based, culturally modern, socially inclusive and environmentally responsible politics that supports free markets, limited government and a peaceful American-led world order.
In other words, “modernized, reformed” conservatism of the Frumish variety would be:
A conservatism subservient to the opinions of the journalistic and academic establishment (reality-based);
Committed to the aesthetics and favored causes of the community of fashion (culturally modern);
Supportive of the left’s program of conferring official status and special privileges to victim groups (socially inclusive);
And faithful to the Luddite dualist heresy which regards human life and productive activity as intrinsically transgressive, contaminative, and blameworthy (environmentally responsible);
Whenever possible, of course, when not obliged by its commitment to all of the contemporary left’s principal agenda items, MRC (Modern, Reformed Conservatism) would be in favor of free markets and limited government.
Those markets, of course, would inevitably not be all that free, since they would require all sorts of regulating for purposes of environmental protection, redistributivist social justice, socially-engineered diversity, and coercive tolerance, by a government which could hardly be very limited, considering all the matters it would necessarily need to supervise, control, regulate, and direct.
Foreign policy is treated as a rather vague afterthought, but it is similarly couched in oxymoronic, having your conservative cake, though applauding as the left eats your lunch, terms. Mr. Frum refers to a peaceful American-led world order. The “peaceful” reference is obviously intended as a subtle reproach to the policies of the previous Republican Administration which indulged in war.
America ought to lead the world, but it should be obliged to do so using pan-pipes rather than its military. This tag end of a single sentence fails to provide room for an explanation about how the US ought to go about peacefully leading countries which provide bases for terrorist activity directed at American civilians.
I’ll play. What Messrs. Sullivan and Frum would like would be:
A conservatism agreeable to unstable journalists of foreign nationality intent on promoting the homosexual subculture’s political agenda and cultivating personal careers within the media establishment.
Coakley appears destined to be buried in a landslide. Who could possibly have imagined that the public reaction in the People’s Republic of Taxachusetts would be so averse to Obamacare as to loosen the party of the left’s grip on the safest of all possible democrat senate seats?
I suspect serious health insurance reform is over for yet another generation.
Even if Coakley wins – and my guess is she’ll lose by a double digit margin – the bill is dead. The most Obama can hope for is a minimalist alternative that simply mandates that insurance companies accept people with pre-existing conditions and are barred from ejecting patients when they feel like it. That’s all he can get now – and even that will be a stretch. The uninsured will even probably vote Republican next time in protest at Obama’s failure! That’s how blind the rage is.
Ditto any attempt to grapple with climate change. In fact, any legislative moves with this Democratic party and this Republican party are close to hopeless. The Democrats are a clapped out, gut-free lobbyist machine. The Republicans are insane. The system is therefore paralyzed beyond repair.
No man’s life, property, or liberty is safe when the legislature is in session, John Adams remarked, and at this point in history, paralysis is devoutly to be wished, followed by euthanasia at the polls in 2010 and 2012 for incumbents.
Glenn Reynolds yesterday found the above photo on the White Houses’s Flicker page and posted it (along with the enlarged detail below) inviting readers to “interpret the body language.”
Barack Obama has always been a mirror, reflecting back to individual members of the American public their own preconceptions, and the Instapundit selection provides a perfect opportunity for a wide range of interpretation.
I, for instance, thought Obama looked like the Godfather contemptuously rebuking an incompetent consigliere.
Over on Flicker, MCarrier1 thought Obama looked like James Bond.
Hot Air immediately launched a caption contest, where FishGov offered:
The Emperor Obama: [to the Senate] In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society which I assure you will last for ten thousand years.
Biden: [to Emperor Obama] So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause.
Ann Althouse, on the other hand, just thought The man is tired and it’s a way to get above it all. And that’s the other thing I see in that face: He’s tired and he’s floating above it all.
Andrew Sullivan had to puzzle for a while over what exactly Glenn Reynolds was trying to pull posting this cryptic photo, (a)nd then I realized why this photo immediately strikes some people are damning. Obama is a black man who looks as if he is condescending to a white man. That’s political gold.
Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano assures CNN that “the system worked.”
She announces with a note of assured complacency that “right now, we have no indication it was part of anything larger”.
“We have initiated more screening and what we call mitigation measures at.. uh… airports.”
“I would advise you, during this heavy holiday season, (voice sweetens) just to arrive a bit early.”
“The traveling public is very very safe in this air environment.”
In response to Candy Crowley inquiring why even a father’s report that his son had ties to terrorists and might be dangerous was not enough to move him onto the no-fly list, Janet Napolitano responded: “You need information that is specific and credible if you are going to bar someone from air travel.”
The directrex of Homeland Security’s performance was reminding me of someone, and after a minute it came to me who it was. Napolitano’s reassurances sound exactly like those of 1970s era Mayor of Amity, Larry Vaughn.
The head of DHS had the gall to say that “the system worked.” What she meant is that after the incident in Detroit, the response was good. Fine. But she has no assurance that this could not happen again, and even declared that the would-be terrorist was properly screened.
More to the point, she evinces no sense of responsibility for this lapse in security. I’m sorry but that’s her job and instead of preening about how she handled it after the fact, she should be apologizing for yet another instance of government incompetence and complacency. She is stonewalling and smug.
Really: disgraceful, glib, complacent, moronic. I want to know who is being fired for not taking the warning about this one seriously enough, and if Napolitano really believes that a near-miss, averted by the terrorist’s incompetence and the passengers’ courage, is a sign that the system is working, then she needs to be fired as well.
Blogging is surprisingly time consuming. It really does take a few hours to put out a respectable day’s worth of postings, and it has long been obvious to me that super-bloggers who deliver truckloads of articles daily without fail have to be relying on assistance.
There’s nothing wrong with having a support staff (if one’s blog’s revenues support that kind of thing), but in Andrew Sullivan’s case, there seems to be a certain inconsistency, even hypocrisy.
Remember all those blog posts from the Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan bashing Sarah Palin for employing a ghostwriter? Well, it turns out many of those posts may have been written by…a ghostblogger! Apparently Sullivan’s busy schedule prevented him from writing everything on his site, so, without informing his readers, he employed a few ghostbloggers to write in his name.
Daily Dish readers were surely surprised at the announcement—posted by one of the ghostbloggers on Saturday—given Sullivan’s insistence that his “one-man blog” is “honest” and “personal”. They may have been a bit perturbed to learn, in Ace’s words, that “half the blog isn’t personal to Sullivan at all, and all of it is dishonest.”
As always, it a pleasure to step in while Andrew gets some much needed rest. Guest-blogging is not all that different than my day-to-day activities on the Dish – 24 of the 50 posts currently on the front page were written by me. All the substantive posts are Andrew’s work, but it’s my and Chris’s job to read through the blogosphere and pick out the choicest bits. Andrew edits, approves, and spins what we find, but the illusion of an all-reading blogger is maintained by employing two extra sets of eyes.
“As always”? “24 of the 50 posts”? Ghostwritten posts were hardly an insignificant element of Sullivan’s blog.
Sullivan—or maybe his ghostbloggers—wrote numerous blockquote-style posts bashing Sarah Palin for using a ghostwriter named Lynn Vincent for her book, even referring to “Going Rogue” as “Lynn Vincent’s ‘book’”. Might we call the Daily Dish “Patrick Appel’s ‘blog’”?
Morgan Freeberg has a number of personal observations about Palin bashers. Several of his points fit my own experience to a T.
1. They’ve achieved a great deal less in life than she has, even though some are quite a bit older than she is.
2. They don’t want to be called “haters,” although their reaction to her is purely negative and purely emotional; I’m left groping for another word and “bashers,” far from being a perfect fit, ends up being the least-unsuitable. ..
6. They breathe hard and their pulse quickens. I haven’t run into too many people who are ready to calmly explain Sarah Palin’s lack of qualifications. ...
8. Their lofty opinions of the minimal requirements for the offices Palin has sought, or might seek, is selective. When the topic of conversation shifts to Joe Biden, suddenly it seems the Vice Presidency doesn’t demand a whole lot out of anyone.
9. They don’t seem to think it takes a whole lot to govern Alaska, or to even live there. They don’t appear to think very highly of Alaskans. One wonders if they’d back a Constitutional amendment establishing a “geographical litmus test” for future candidates, and if so, how many other states would go in the “No Can Do” column
It seems to me that Palin provokes fury in members of the community of fashion simply by being an outsider. As the Tanenhaus mugging in the New Yorker so effectively demonstrated, to the American elite the possibility that someone from outside their own class and culture and residential regions could possibly aspire to national leadership seems incongruous and insulting.
Sarah Palin, I have noticed, also provokes a special animus on the part of the lavender left. Andrew Sullivan, for example, seems about to tear himself into pieces à la Rumplestiltskin by an excess of negative passion inspired by Sarah Palin’s very existence. My guess is that the authentic femininity of a beautiful woman when associated with traditional cultural values unfriendly to sexual inversion has roughly the kind of impact on the likes of Andrew Sullivan that the crucifix has on vampires. The volume of the hissing and the screeching is directly proportionate to the frustration of the faux female confronted by what he recognizes as his definitive nemesis and rival. For those of us who had Roman Catholic childhoods the image of those ubiquitous statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary treading on the head of the serpent always come to mind when reading Andrew Sullivan on Palin. It’s all very Jungian: the serpent does not like the idea of the feminine principle, the Mother Goddess Creatrix, which can crush him into the earth with ease.