Category Archive 'Ann Althouse'
05 Apr 2017

Althouse is the Closest Thing on the Internet to Dorothy Parker

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Who but Ann Althouse could deliver two in a row like this?

17 Oct 2016

“Imagine Winning Like That, Knowing You Are Not Wanted”

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Ann Althouse notes that the Trump scandals and Trump’s ineffective campaigning aren’t moving Hillary ahead as much as one might have expected.

    (Politico:) Nearly 70 percent say they believe that Trump has “made unwanted sexual advances toward women,” a stunning number that comes after the publication of lewd comments the now-Republican nominee made on a hot mic in 2005, and amid allegations by several women who say he touched them inappropriately. (Trump has said his comments were just “locker room talk” and denies the groping accusations.)

    And a majority of registered voters — 55 percent — say that Trump’s treatment of women is a legitimate issue, version 42 percent who say it wasn’t. Similarly, most voters aren’t buying Trump’s apology for the 2005 video — 57 percent of registered voters say it was insincere, and only 40 percent agree it sounded like “typical locker room talk by men.”

    Just 30 percent of registered voters say Trump has a “strong moral character,” versus 45 percent for Clinton. Only 34 percent view Trump as honest and trustworthy, down from 42 percent in last month’s survey. And just 34 percent say Trump has the right temperament to be president, while 59 percent say Clinton does.

And yet, she’s only got 4 points on him. She must be truly loathed. I know she wants to win, but imagine winning like that, knowing you are not wanted.

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09 Oct 2016

#NeverTrump

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Althouse commenter Meade said, 10/8/16, 10:32 AM:

Trump grabbed an unsuspecting GOP by its pussy. GOP just let him do it. Except for the #NeverTrump-ers, who had too much self respect along with the fact that they had no pussies for Trump to grab.

07 Oct 2016

Predictable Corruption-As-Usual Versus the Unethical Fruitcake With a Mean Streak

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Ann Althouse & her commenters contemplate the key issues of our unappealing electoral choices.

I sort of like Trump’s lack of polish (though not really his nastiness — there’s a cruelty there that’s troubling) and if I thought he was trustworthy and demonstrated some capability in governing I’d be all for him. Though of course in a president, you do have to be careful with your words — not just in avoiding setting off financial panics (look at how closely investors consider Janet Yellen’s statements) but in diplomatic affairs as well (see Dean Acheson’s statements about our zone of interest that made Stalin and Kim think invading South Korea wouldn’t provoke major U.S. involvement). A more ‘earthy’ speaking style, with consideration of the phrasing used, is my ideal.”

Said Brando, in the comments to yesterday’s post about the preference many people seem to have for Pence’s style, the style of a career politician. I’d said: “A man with a style honed outside of politics will seem too rough, too unfinished, too strange.” I didn’t come right out and say it, but, like Brando, I sort of like Trump’s style — with the same reservations.

Here’s another helpful perspective from the comments, from Clyde:

    I want someone who:

    1. Is honest

    2. Is savvy enough to deal with our adversaries in the world without beclowning him/herself (Clinton’s political experience did not give her such help in dealing with the Russian Reset, Benghazi, etc.)

    3. Will pursue policies that will benefit the people of our country, rather than enriching him/herself, and will give the American people more freedom rather than less.

Hillary Clinton is 0-for-3. This election is a binary choice. Donald Trump might not be good, but Hillary would certainly be very, very bad, probably even worse than Obama. It doesn’t come down to whether someone is a polished politician or not. Clinton is more polished, but our adversaries would eat her lunch, just as they have with Obama. Trump? He’s used to negotiating and wheeling and dealing.

But he’s used to negotiating and wheeling and dealing where he can walk away from what he doesn’t like without worrying about the fate the other parties and where he can fold up the parts of his operations that are not profitable.

What happens when you transfer that skill to government — suddenly and at the presidential level — and when you are bursting with exuberant confidence? It seems like an insane risk.

23 May 2016

Question of the Age

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TrumpPleased

Via Glenn Reynolds:

ANN ALTHOUSE POSES THE QUESTION OF THE AGE: “Did Donald Trump make that happen or did he just sit back coolly and let it happen or — if such a thing is possible — is this not even about Donald Trump?”

Ann Althouse was actually referring to Megyn Kelly losing negotiating power with Fox News due to her performance interviewing Donald Trump, but when I first read it, I thought she was referring to the mania for Trump that swept over “Reagan democrats” and Low-Information Voter Republicans.

19 Jun 2014

“Shut Up!” She Argued

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Ann Althouse admires Hillary Clinton’s approach to balancing competing values and making hard choices with regard to public policies impacting Americans’ constitutionsl rights. Evidently, you balance those competing values by defining people interested in the ones you don’t like as “a minority” which you will not allow to terrorize the majority.

Hillary’s “guns” riff… contains [an] amazing assertion. … She begins:

    First of all, I think as a teacher or really any parent, what’s been happening with these school shootings should cause everybody to just think hard.

“Hard” is Hillary’s key word. It’s her book title — “Hard Choices” — and it’s an all-purpose boast and excuse. She’s capable of doing what’s hard and, when things are hard, one can’t be expected to get everything exactly right. And yes, “hard” invites her critics to mock her in a sexual way, as Rush Limbaugh did on his show yesterday: Hard Choices? Hard?!! That’s going to make everyone think of Bill Clinton’s erections. I’m paraphrasing. What Rush said was: “Now, if Bill had a book and the title of that was Hard Choices with the foreword by Monica Lewinsky, then maybe you might have a book that would walk itself off the shelves.”

Back to the town hall transcript. We’ve seen that Hillary has led off with her core theme: It’s hard.
Which seems to say: We all should just first pause and think about how hard it all is. She expands on hardness:

    We make hard choices and we balance competing values all the time.

This might make you think she’s about to give a balanced presentation with careful attention to the opinions and preferences of those who see deep meaning in the right to bear arms. But the values on one side of this values competition dominate:

    And I was disappointed that the Congress did not pass universal background checks after the horrors of the shootings at Sandy Hook and now we’ve had more… in the time since.

    And I don’t think any parent, any person should have to fear about their child going to school or going to college because someone, for whatever reasons — psychological, emotional, political, ideological, whatever it means — could possibly enter that school property with an automatic weapon and murder innocent children, students, teachers.

    I’m well aware that this is a hot political subject.

Hot political subject, yes, but I thought you said there were values here and that it was hard to balance them. Are the gun-rights people just political heat you have to face or do you genuinely contemplate their values? …

    But I believe that we need a more thoughtful conversation.

Yes? Do tell. We’re going to balance those competing values? We’re going to cool down and actually think about everything? NO! The next thing she says is:

    We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.

Whoa! That’s the line I was looking for. Read it again and see how shocking it is. Not only did Hillary completely turn her back on “balanc[ing] competing values” and “more thoughtful conversation,” she doesn’t want to allow the people on one side of the conversation even to believe what they believe. Those who care about gun rights and reject new gun regulations should be stopped from holding their viewpoint. Now, it isn’t possible to forcibly prevent people from holding a viewpoint. Our beliefs reside inside our head. And in our system of free speech rights, the government cannot censor the expression of a viewpoint. But the question is Hillary Clinton’s fitness for the highest office, and her statement reveals a grandiose and profoundly repressive mindset. …

Hillary Clinton poses as the coolly thoughtful presider over a national conversation, but if you listen to what she’s saying, she already has her answers and she’s not going to let hold you hold any other viewpoint. The woman who once famously said…

    I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic…

… is now ready to deploy the verb “to terrorize” against those who debate and disagree with her.

Read the whole thing.

29 Dec 2012

David Gregory and Taboo Object Control

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NBC News’ David Gregory apparently defied the (absurd) District of Columbia law forbidding anyone “to possess [&c.] any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm” by openly holding in his hand and displaying an empty 30-round magazine during a Meet the Press program in which he confronted NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre.

Anne Althouse elucidates the semiotics that drove NBC News to turn to open, on-the-air, defiant commission of a crime.

If possession of that high-capacity magazine was a crime, and the NBC folk knew it and had even contacted the police and thus even knew they’d created rock-hard evidence that they knew it, why did they go ahead and have Gregory flaunt that illegal possession on television? They had to have thought it was a devastatingly powerful prop. My first guess was that they imagined that viewers — some viewers, at least — would find the object itself scary. …

I’m not sure exactly why that jogged my thinking, but suddenly I understand the drama Gregory (and his people) were trying to enact. It’s a deep psychic memory of childhood. Gregory sought dominance over his interlocutor, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, and the idea — in the act of picking up that magazine and beginning an interrogation about it — was that Gregory would become (subliminally) a parent figure who would push LaPierre into the subordinate role of the little boy, the cowering child confronted with undeniable evidence of his wrongdoing. What’s THIS I found in your room?

The plan was for LaPierre to babble lamely, scrambling to explain it away, like the kid trying to concoct some cockamamie reason why that (whatever) got into his room. He’d look foolish and guilty, as Dad continues to hold up the item which the kid knows will be the defeat of every idea that flashes through his stupid, stupid brain.

The scenario didn’t play out as scripted. LaPierre is a stolid veteran of many a confrontational interview. He’s not going to let the interviewer get the upper hand that easily.

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Naturally, all this has inevitably provoked considerable discussion about whether Mr. Gregory should really be prosecuted and potentially convicted, sentenced, and treated as a criminal for an action obviously involving no real threat of any kind to anyone, for a purely technical violation of an obviously extravagantly far-reaching provision of a law aimed in intent at curbing authentic violent crime.

A lot of people have made good arguments and intelligent points. Even NRA President David Keene argued that Gregory’s “crime” should simply be overlooked.

Mark Steyn, however, decided to swim against the tide of general opinion, and argues that David Gregory ought to be held to the same irrational regulatory standards as everybody else.

This is, declared NYU professor Jay Rosen, “the dumbest media story of 2012.” Why? Because, as CNN’s Howard Kurtz breezily put it, everybody knows David Gregory wasn’t “planning to commit any crimes.”

So what? Neither are the overwhelming majority of his fellow high-capacity-magazine-owning Americans. Yet they’re expected to know, as they drive around visiting friends and family over Christmas, the various and contradictory gun laws in different jurisdictions. Ignorantia juris non excusat is one of the oldest concepts in civilized society: Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Back when there was a modest and proportionate number of laws, that was just about doable. But in today’s America there are laws against everything, and any one of us at any time is unknowingly in breach of dozens of them. And in this case NBC were informed by the D.C. police that it would be illegal to show the thing on TV, and they went ahead and did it anyway: You’ll never take me alive, copper! You’ll have to pry my high-capacity magazine from my cold dead fingers! When the D.C. SWAT team, the FBI, and the ATF take out NBC News and the whole building goes up in one almighty fireball, David Gregory will be the crazed loon up on the roof like Jimmy Cagney in White Heat: “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” At last, some actual must-see TV on that lousy network.

But, even if we’re denied that pleasure, the “dumbest media story of 2012” is actually rather instructive. David Gregory intended to demonstrate what he regards as the absurdity of America’s lax gun laws. Instead, he’s demonstrating the ever greater absurdity of America’s non-lax laws. His investigation, prosecution, and a sentence of 20–30 years with eligibility for parole after ten (assuming Mothers Against High-Capacity Magazines don’t object) would teach a far more useful lesson than whatever he thought he was doing by waving that clip under LaPierre’s nose.

To Howard Kurtz & Co., it’s “obvious” that Gregory didn’t intend to commit a crime. But, in a land choked with laws, “obviousness” is one of the first casualties — and “obviously” innocent citizens have their “obviously” well-intentioned actions criminalized every minute of the day. Not far away from David Gregory, across the Virginia border, eleven-year-old Skylar Capo made the mistake of rescuing a woodpecker from the jaws of a cat and nursing him back to health for a couple of days. For her pains, a federal Fish & Wildlife gauleiter accompanied by state troopers descended on her house, charged her with illegal transportation of a protected species, issued her a $535 fine, and made her cry. Why is it so “obvious” that David Gregory deserves to be treated more leniently than a sixth grader? Because he’s got a TV show and she hasn’t?

He’s got a good argument. Read the whole thing.

24 Jun 2012

Best Line of the Weekend

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Ann Althouse:

Michelle Obama wants to take away your cheeseburgers, but with Ann Romney, everybody gets a pony!

28 Oct 2011

Witty Rejoinders

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Don Surber:

From the Hill: “President Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill are increasingly referring to the Congress as Republican even though their party controls one-half of the unpopular institution.”

[Emphasis added]
Wait till next year when they start calling it a Republican White House.

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Ann Althouse:

Occupy Wall Street food servers get sick of the “professional homeless people.”

“They know what they’re doing.”

    For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad.

    They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day.

[Emphasis added]
What if everyone suddenly got sick of freeloaders?

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

14 Apr 2011

Apologizing Does Not Impress Althouse

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Ann Althouse

The infamous “Dear Woman” video came to the attention of Ann Althouse, who was not successfully propitiated.

[I]f you extract the crap music and the new-age quasi-religion, you’ve got men apologizing for manliness. But they are not apologizing for their own manliness. They are purporting to apologize for other men, whom they are demonizing. Really what you’ve got are the insufficiently manly men, who think that by insulting other men, they will get the women.

But they will not get the women, because they are insufficiently manly. And it’s a particularly pussy move to group all the manly men together for the purposes of trying to promote unmanly men. The violent, hateful, abusive men belong in a class by themselves, and to group them with all the other men who are more manly than you is self-serving and specious.

Now, take your bogus energy and get out of here.

23 May 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

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Brook trout fishing, filmed by F.S. Armitage on June 6, 1900 somewhere along the Grand Trunk Railroad. 1:15 video.

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Who should replace Dennis Blair as National Intelligence Director? No one, proposes John Noonan at the Weekly Standard:

Unnecessary bureaucracy has a venomous effect on the national security establishment, whether it’s infantry or intelligence. The director of national intelligence, which has ballooned to a 1500-man supporting office, was a top down solution to a bottom up problem.

Admiral Blair was a casualty of Intelligence Community turf wars. Closing the DNI office would reduce unnecessary conflicts and duplication of effort. It’s too logical a course of action to be given serious consideration most likely though.

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Bruce Fleming
says that standards at US service academies have been lowered for affirmative action and to allow academy teams to compete in the NCAA top divisions. He thinks standards should be restored or all the service academies closed down.

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Robin Hanson observes a unidirectional dynamic at work in progressive statism.

[I]n any area where we let humans do things, every once in a while there will be a big screwup; that is the sort of creatures humans are. And if you won’t decrease regulation without a screwup but will increase it with a screwup, then you have a regulation ratchet: it only moves one way. So if you don’t think a long period without a big disaster calls for weaker regulations, but you do think a particular big disaster calls for stronger regulation, well then you might as well just strengthen regulations lots more right now, even without a disaster. Because that is where your regulation ratchet is heading.

What if you can’t imagine ever wanting to weaken a regulation, just because it was strong and you’d gone a long time without a big disaster? Well then you apparently want the maximum possible regulation, which is probably to just basically outlaw that activity. And if that doesn’t seem like the right level of regulation to you, well then maybe you should reconsider your ratchety regulation intuitions.

Hat tip to the News Junkie.

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Ann Althouse chides the Washington Post: If you’re going to criticize the new social studies curriculum adopted by the Texas Board of Education, you’d better quote it or link it, not paraphrase it inaccurately.

22 Jan 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

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And you a law professor!

Anne Althouse is at her best when she is cutting.

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Texian
, commenting at Breitbart, remarks: The scary part is that four justices think that this does NOT violate the First Amendment. Hat tip to the Barrister.

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Bird Dog, at Maggie’s Farm, recommends going to Yale so you can use the Yale Club of New York City, conveniently located on Vanderbilt Avenue right across the street from Grand Central.

It’s easier than that. They even let people who went to Dartmouth and University of Virginia have memberships, and a fair number of clubs in other cities have reciprocal privileges.

It is the cheapest hotel you’d want to stay at in NYC. The second floor lounge is a peaceful refuge where you can read the paper, sip your drink, and watch traffic bustle busily around the PanAm Building out the window. The bar serves generous drinks. Harvard’s New York Club has a larger bar with good big game trophies, but it’s much farther away from the trains and it has a lot fewer rooms to stay in.

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In the latest, Jan/Feb 2010, issue of the Yale Alumni Mag, the same chap was eulogized by two classes.

1968:

Don Masters started with us in Woolsey Hall in September 1964, served with distinction as an officer in the 82nd Airborne in Vietnam, and completed his Yale degree in 1972. He practiced law in New York City and in Denver through his career, as well as serving in entrepreneurial and general counsel roles. He was particularly active in the recovery community in the Rocky Mountain region. He loved touring on his motorcycle, and died August 31 at a beautiful location near Salmon, Idaho, doing what he loved.

1972:

On a sad note, I received notification that Don Masters was killed some time ago in a motorcycle accident in a remote part of Idaho. His body was only recently found, and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, having served with distinction in Vietnam.

Sounds like someone I would have liked to have known.

04 Jan 2010

In the Eye of the Beholder

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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.

31 Dec 2009

Get Well, Rush

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Yesterday afternoon, Rush Limbaugh was taken to a hospital in Hawaii after experiencing “chest pain.” His condition was listed as “serious,” but he was later described as “resting comfortably.”

KITV story

Rush certainly has my best wishes. The country needs him.

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Ann Althouse
quotes a Twitter response to certain leftwingers:

“The people calling for Rush Limbaugh to die are the same people who ask to control your healthcare.”

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