Monthly Archives: September 2013

Music Monday

Jonathan Lethem wrote an entire book about Talking Heads and his favorite of their songs is “Life During Wartime.” Here’s a brief interview with him about the book.

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September 30, 2013 · 3:02 pm

Your Morning Cup of Links

Women shouldn’t drive because it damages their ovaries or something, says Saudi whackjob. 

Iranian spies in Israel wear jean shorts, apparently.

A study came out the other day that says everyone hates feminists (and environmentalists). This is why. Liberal hypocrisy/absurdity in a nutshell: Freak out over a woman making sandwiches for her boyfriend, but totally accept it when an Iranian official refuses to shake the hand of a U.S. diplomat because she’s a woman.

It’s a day that ends in a Y, so Islamic terror group Boko Haram is murdering schoolchildren. But hey, Christians are worse, according to Tavis Smiley.

Brendan O’Neill addresses the unique violence that is Islamism here.

In Western news-making and opinion-forming circles, there’s a palpable reluctance to talk about the most noteworthy thing about modern Islamist violence: its barbarism, its graphic lack of moral restraint. This goes beyond the BBC’s yellow reluctance to deploy the T-word – terrorism – in relation to the bloody assault on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya at the weekend. Across the commentating board, people are sheepish about pointing out the historically unique lunacy of Islamist violence and its utter detachment from any recognisable moral universe or human values. We have to talk about this barbarism; we have to appreciate how new and unusual it is, how different it is even from the terrorism of the 1970s or of the early twentieth century. We owe it to the victims of these assaults, and to the principle of honest and frank political debate, to face up to the unhinged, morally unanchored nature of Islamist violence in the 21st century. Maybe it’s because we have become so inured to Islamist terrorism in the 12 years since 9/11 that even something like the blowing-up of 85 Christians outside a church in Pakistan no longer shocks us or even makes it on to many newspaper front pages. But consider what happened: two men strapped with explosives walked into a group of men, women and children who were queuing for food and blew up themselves and the innocents gathered around them. Who does that? How far must a person have drifted from any basic system of moral values to behave in such an unrestrained and wicked fashion? Yet the Guardian tells us it is “moral masturbation” to express outrage over this attack, and it would be better to give into a “sober recognition that there are many bad things we can’t as a matter of fact do much about”. This is a demand that we further acclimatise to the peculiar and perverse bloody Islamist attacks around the world, shrug our shoulders, put away our moral compasses, and say: “Ah well, this kind of thing happens.”…Consider the hundreds of suicide attacks that have taken place in Iraq in recent years, a great number of them against ordinary Iraqis, often children. Western apologists for this wave of weird violence, which they call “resistance”, claim it is about fighting against the Western forces which were occupying Iraq in the wake of the 2003 invasion. If so, it’s the first “resistance” in history whose prime targets have been civilians rather than security forces, and which has failed to put forward any kind of political programme that its violence is allegedly designed to achieve…What motivates this perversity? What are its origins? Unwilling, or perhaps unable, to face up to the newness of this unrestrained, aim-free, civilian-targeting violence, Western observers do all sorts of moral contortions in an effort to present such violence as run-of-the-mill or even possibly a justifiable response to Western militarism. Some say, “Well, America kills women and children too, in its drone attacks”, wilfully overlooking the fact such people are not the targets of America’s military interventions – and I say that as someone who has opposed every American venture overseas of the past 20 years. If you cannot see the difference between a drone strike that goes wrong and kills an entire family and a man who crashes his car into the middle of a group of children accepting sweets from a US soldier and them blows himself and them up – as happened in Iraq in 2005 – then there is something wrong with you. Other observers say that Islamists, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also the individuals who attacked London and New York, are fighting against Western imperialism in Muslim lands. But that doesn’t add up. How does blowing up Iraqi children represent a strike against American militarism? How is detonating a bomb on the London Underground a stab at the Foreign Office? It is ridiculous, and more than a little immoral, to try to dress up nihilistic assaults designed merely to kill as many ordinary people as possible as some kind of principled political violence.

I disagree with O’Neill that these terrorists have no intention of acquiring territory to govern and have no answer for how they want to run things. They do want territory to control. They want the restoration of a lost empire, the Caliphate. And they want to govern both the believers and the unbelievers (who would be converted or killed) by sharia. I do agree with O’Neill that the way they go about trying to bring this to fruition, by killing innocent people (mostly other Muslims) is nonsensical, horrific and something that needs to be discussed in the public square. David Cameron doesn’t help the conversation when he says things like this. Although I do applaud him for this. I certainly believe people should be able to wear whatever they want (though how many Muslim women really want to be covered head to toe is an open question), but we do have a social pact that in certain social situations people’s faces need to be visible. So, I agree with the veil ban in public.

This is everything that’s wrong with out budgetary system. It’s called baseline budgeting, and it’s destroying us.

This past week, the Department of Veterans Affairs bought $562,000 worth of artwork. In a single day, the Agriculture Department spent $144,000 on toner cartridges.  And, in a single purchase, the Coast Guard spent $178,000 on “Cubicle Furniture Rehab.” This string of big-ticket purchases was an unmistakable sign: It was “use it or lose it” season again in Washington. All week, while Congress fought over next year’s budget, federal workers were immersed in a separate frantic drama. They were trying to spend the rest of this year’s budget before it is too late. The reason for their haste is a system set up by Congress that, in many cases, requires agencies to spend all their allotted funds by Sept. 30. If they don’t, the money becomes worthless to them on Oct. 1. And — even worse — if they fail to spend the money now, Congress could dock their funding in future years. The incentive, as always, is to spend. So they spent. It was the return of one of Washington’s oldest bad habits: a blitz of expensive decisions, made by agencies with little incentive to save…“The way we budget [money] sets it up,” said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). “Because instead of being praised for not spending all your money, you get cut for not spending all your money. And so we’ve got a perverse incentive in there.” But, Coburn said, “nobody’s talking about it but me and you.” Coburn said he had meant to mention it in his floor speech Wednesday. Then, when he got to the podium, he forgot.

U.S. government officials are shocked, SHOCKED, that all that leaking about how Zawahiri and friends communicate has undermined our intelligence on al-Qaeda. Apparently, this is “startling” to some people in our government. Startling? Really? You didn’t think once AQ figured out exactly what we know about how they communicate, that they would maybe change how they communicate?

Since news reports in early August revealed that the United States intercepted messages between Ayman al-Zawahri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden as the head of Al Qaeda, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the head of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, discussing an imminent terrorist attack, analysts have detected a sharp drop in the terrorists’ use of a major communications channel that the authorities were monitoring.

OH MY GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. They stopped using the major communications channel that they knew we were monitoring. UNPRECEDENTED. ASTOUNDING. EXTRAORDINARY. UNFORESEEABLE. Come on, you guys. I want to believe that the people protecting this country are smarter than this. Less naive than this.

This doesn’t sound like much of a crisis to me. Sounds like we would have the smaller government we’re supposed to have for a couple of days. But then again, if the government shuts down, who will remind me to drink water? Who will pay for the birth control of 30-year-old law students? Who will tell me which light bulbs I’m allowed to buy? WHO WILL PROTECT ME FROM RAW MILK CHEESE?? Who will give out the special Obamacare exemptions to the privileged few? Who will make sure poor, minority children are denied school choice? Who will prevent America from becoming energy independent? HOW WILL WE SURVIVE?!?!?

Oh, for fuck’s sake. Reason number 682 why people hate joyless feminists. “Lad banter.” THE THREAT OF OUR TIME. This is a great piece by Brendan O’Neill:

Over the past fortnight, five prestigious institutions in the U.K. have banned Robin Thicke’s saucy R&B ditty Blurred Lines from playing anywhere on their premises, on the basis that its overly sexual lyrics might encourage bad behaviour in men. Which institutions, I hear you ask? Stuffy churches, perhaps, aghast that a song would promote casual sex? Islamic groups, maybe, believing that lines like “I know you want it” are not suitable for young ears, especially female ones? Or maybe it was killjoy police forces, not exactly renowned for their ability to chill out, which forbade the playing of Thicke’s tune? Nope, it was student unions. Five student representative bodies—at the Universities of Edinburgh, West Scotland, Leeds, Derby and Kingston—have banned Blurred Lines in all the premises in which they have dominion, including student bars and dancehalls, on the basis that it “undermines and degrades women” and “promotes an unhealthy attitude toward sex and consent”. Once upon a time, students’ political leaders kicked against authoritarianism; now they enforce it. In the space of a generation, they’ve gone from demanding the right of young adults on campus to listen to, dance to, read and watch what they want, to placing a paternalistic hand over students’ ears and eyes lest they hear something a bit raunchy…The modern breed of sexless, censorious feminist has been particularly vocal in slamming both the song and its accompanying video…Now, British student unions have taken this shrill reaction to what is just a pretty good and perfectly harmless pop song to its logical conclusion. The student union at Edinburgh kicked things off on 12 September by banning Blurred Lines from every student building. It did this as part of its policy to “End Rape Culture and Lad Banter” on campus. It’s hard to work out what is most shocking about the Edinburgh union’s ban-happy antics: the fact that it thinks nothing of behaving like a nun at a convent-school disco and switching off any song that mentions the sex act, or the fact that it has an actual policy to “end lad banter”—that is, to prevent young men from speaking in a certain gruff, licentious fashion. Quite when student leaders switched from fighting for students to fighting against them, and against their apparently demonic thought and speech patterns, is a mystery. The Edinburgh union said Blurred Lines “trivializes rape,” and in doing so it contributes to “a culturally permissible attitude to rape.” Really? Are the minds of male students so malleable, so putty-like, that a single encounter with lyrics like “You’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature” and “Let me liberate you” might be enough to push them towards committing rape?…The instinct behind the Edinburgh union’s banning of Blurred Lines is the same one that has motored every act of censorship in history: a paternalistic urge to keep the little people’s base motives in check by protecting them from sexy, blasphemous, or shocking imagery…Student leaders’ intolerant war on Blurred Lines fits a depressing pattern in modern British university life. In the UK, as in other parts of the Western world, students have become extraordinarily censorious in recent years, seeking to obliterate from campuses any song, book, newspaper or person that has the temerity to offend their sensibilities…We seem to have nurtured a spectacularly narcissistic generation, many of whom seem truly to believe that it is perfectly natural and reasonable to demand the squishing of anything that offends them. This is the grisly end product of the self-esteem culture: having educated young people to believe that their self-esteem is sacrosanct, and that anything which dents it is evil, we cannot now be surprised that they believe they have the right to erect a moral, censorship-powered forcefield around themselves and their peers in order to ward off any idea or image or song that makes them feel bad. Universities, or at least some of them, were once hotbeds of radicalism, sites of feverish and excitable political debate in which any idea was permissible, especially if it railed against adult society. Not now. Today, universities in Britain and elsewhere have become breeding grounds for nanny staters and nudgers, training courses for the blue pen-wielding authoritarians of the future. That’s the most worrying thing about the student reps currently bashing Blurred Lines—one day, these joyless, casually censorious, fun-allergic misanthropes will be running Britain.

Goodbye, freedom. You had a good run. But I guess at least these censors aren’t as bad as those Christians, who are always strapping bombs to their children and blowing shit up while screaming “Jesus is Great!”, amiright, Tavis?

In more British batshittery, dressing up as a crazy person for Halloween is now frowned upon because it’s “insensitive.”

The New York City Opera is about to go bankrupt, largely because it can’t pay out its pension funds. Incredibly sad. Thanks a lot, unions.

Behold, the Japanese all-you-can-eat cookie buffet. 

The hotel that inspired The Shining is going to dig up its pet cemetery because that’s not creepy at all.

Anyone want a mine-resistant ambush-protected truck? It has low mileage (only been driven in one war) and it’s free! And you might want to have one because they will be in the hands of your local cops soon…

As the Pentagon withdraws from Afghanistan and vows never to get involved in any long, deadly wars of occupation, it has a few thousand armored vehicles to spare. So it’s been giving them away to local police departments — 75 of them since August, according to the Defense Logistics Agency. MRAPs did their job saving the lives of thousands of troops from roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, they’ll be hitting the mean streets of Columbus, Ohio, where campus police at The Ohio State University can presumably bust beer bashes with the behemoths. Cops in Madison, Wis., another Big Ten party town, can presumably do the same with theirs. They’re free. Mostly. Which is a pretty good deal considering a fully tricked-out MRAP with bomb-signal jammers, radios and a .50-caliber machine gun in the turret can run about $1 million.

What would the Founding Fathers think of defunding Obamacare? Here’s a brief excerpt that sums it up, but read the whole piece for a great historical lesson:

The House bill to defund Obamacare is consistent with the intent of the Founders. The law is unpopular, with 52% of the people opposing it. Its exceptions and exemptions doled out to political favorites are unjust, its constitutional violations blatant, and its incompetent construction, confused rollout, and unforeseen future costs dangerous for the public fisc and our exploding debt. If ever there was a “grievance” needing “redress,” Obamacare is it. Defunding Obamacare may or not be a wise tactic politically for Republicans, but its consistency with the Constitution and the intentions of the Founders is not in question.

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Filed under Around the World, Politics, Religion, Uncategorized

Unusually Stupid Primates of the Week

Tavis Smiley says Christians are more murderous and violent than Muslims today because Tavis Smiley is a fucking idiot. Being a liberal, he of course goes right for the gun debate, claiming that Christians shoot up post offices and schools every day and that “that was what Columbine was all about.” Now, you have to be an intellectually retarded person to make this argument, considering that these isolated shootings in general are not done IN THE NAME OF Christianity, the way suicide bombings, etc. are done in the name of Islam. I don’t recall the lunatics in any American mass shooting in modern memory screaming “God is Great!” or as John McCain would put it, “Thank God!” Poor Ayaan Hirsi Ali. How did she get stuck wasting time debating religion with this guy? It’s like sitting Einstein and Sarah Palin across from each other and having them discuss physics. It’s just not a fair fight.

About half of the American people, who are going to blame Republicans if a government shutdown happens. The Republican House worked into the night on Saturday to pass a bill. The Democrat Senate decided to sit around until Monday afternoon, 10 hours before shutdown time. And Obama golfed all weekend. Which side wants a shutdown here? Democrats are going to vote against repealing a tax that most of them have gone on record saying is a “stupid tax” that should be repealed. I’m so sick of hearing about how Republicans need to compromise (read: just agree with the Left already). I don’t remember hearing the media whine about bipartisanship and compromise when Obamacare was unilaterally being rammed through, with kickbacks, in the middle of the night. The thing is, the Republicans ARE compromising. They don’t want to fund this gigantic government in its entirety, but they’re willing to do it if Democrats will give a little on Obamacare. The defunding effort was obviously never going to happen, but the proposal now is perfectly reasonable. Delay the individual mandate for a year. The President has already delayed half the damn thing on his own. The exchanges aren’t ready yet. Repeal the medical device tax, which there is pretty much universal bipartisan agreement on. Democrats even admitted on Sunday shows this weekend that they would be willing to do this stuff, but not if it’s attached to this continuing resolution. In other words, “we’d be perfectly happy with this deal, but if we reject it now we fuck the Republicans and that’s really what’s important.” As usual, Democrats put party before country and they know they have a lapdog media that will tell the sheeple whatever they ask it to. This is what’s happening right now…Obama: “I refuse to negotiate.” Reid: “No need for conversations.” Media: “See, the Republican extremists won’t negotiate!”

Can you imagine if Republicans passed sweeping legislation on a party line vote. Legislation that would effect the entire country and was unpopular to boot…and then they exempted big business and themselves from it. Liberals would be FREAKING OUT. But if Democrats do it, it’s ok. The hypocrisy is stunning.

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September 30, 2013 · 1:08 pm

HOMELAND TONIGHT!!!!

Season 3 of “Homeland” begins tonight. Here’s one of my favorite clips from Season 2.

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September 29, 2013 · 3:44 pm

Poem for the Weekend

Benedict Cumberbatch reads John Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale.”

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September 27, 2013 · 8:35 pm

Weekend Links

I give you, America’s 10 strangest strip clubs. Some of these aren’t really strange, but rather awesome. If I were a single dude, I would probably never leave the Star Wars-themed one…though I might mix it up once in awhile by heading over to the strip club that has a copy of the Constitution on the wall, since I like to be patriotic.

Mark Steyn has a great piece on America, the banana republic.

“This is the United States of America,” declared President Obama to the burghers of Liberty, Missouri, on Friday. “We’re not some banana republic.” He was talking about the Annual Raising of the Debt Ceiling, which glorious American tradition seems to come round earlier every year. “This is not a deadbeat nation,” President Obama continued. “We don’t run out on our tab.” True. But we don’t pay it off, either. We just keep running it up, ever higher…As Obama explained in another of his recent speeches, “Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt.” I won’t even pretend to know what he and his speechwriters meant by that one, but the fact that raising the debt ceiling “has been done over a hundred times” does suggest that spending more than it takes in is now a permanent feature of American government. And no one has plans to do anything about it. Which is certainly banana republic-esque…Washington does nothing but government, and it gets richer even as Americans get poorer. That’s very banana republic, too: Proximity to state power is now the best way to make money…With government redistributing more money than ever before, we’ve mysteriously wound up with greater income inequality than ever before. Across the country, “middle-class” Americans have accumulated a trillion dollars in college debt in order to live a less-comfortable life than their high school-educated parents and grandparents did in the Fifties and Sixties. That’s banana republic, too: no middle class, but only a government elite and its cronies, and a big dysfunctional mass underneath, with very little social mobility between the two…The tax collectors of the United States treat you differently according to your political beliefs. That’s pure banana republic, but no one seems to mind very much…“Banana republic” is an American coinage – by O Henry, a century ago, for a series of stories set in the fictional tropical polity of Anchuria. But a banana republic doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a sensibility, and it’s difficult to mark the precise point at which a free society decays into something less respectable. Pace Obama, ever-swelling debt, contracts for cronies, a self-enriching bureaucracy, a shrinking middle class preyed on by corrupt tax collectors, and thuggish threats against anyone who disagrees with you put you pretty far down the banana-strewn path.

Lebanon can’t decide whether it wants to grant the visa request of a Polish woman who is on a ‘world sex tour’ in a quest to have sex with 100,000 men. I approve of this because I like goal-oriented people. If you can dream it, you can do it, kids.

The Muslim Brotherhood, ousted from Egypt, is moving to London, a place less hostile to Islamism.

“Rights advocates”? Really? Is that the new euphemism?

So, it looks like we’re kinda-sorta bailing out Detroit. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that giving more money to people who have already maxed out the credit card solves the problem. Detroit did such a great job with the money it had.

Son of a bitch. It looks like Wendy’s will be the fast food of choice going forward. Way to let them win, McDonald’s, way to let them win.

A earthquake off of Pakistan was so powerful it created a new island, which is pretty awesome. But of course, there’s a catch.

Someone had to do it. I give you “Green Eggs and Obamacare.” Way to come through, Daily Caller.

Really? “UK zoo bans animal print, says animals are getting ‘confused'”

Jay Carney doesn’t get “Sharknado” reference because Jay Carney is a loser. “What’s NATO got to do with it?”

Hugh Hewitt on why everyone in D.C. hates Ted Cruz. (Hint: Because he’s smart and fresh and inspiring.) Matthew Continetti has a great article on this as well.

Cruz deserved applause for his commitment and, at least, for his stamina. He established himself as the leader of the anti-Obamacare forces, forced the Democrats to defend their misbegotten law, and pulled the public discourse rightward…The criticism to which Cruz has been subjected is unlike anything in recent memory. He has been likened to Joe McCarthy, condescended to by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), called a “wacko-bird” by McCain, a “schoolyard bully” by Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.), a kamikaze pilot by the Wall Street Journal editorial board, and generally described as an anarchist, a nihilist, inhuman, and inhumane…What makes the populists the object of such ridicule and spite is their refusal to bow to the consensus. Democracies love consensus—to a large degree democracies cannot function without it. But the premises of the American consensus today, whether a Democrat or a Republican holds them, are liberal. You have heard them before: the status of illegal immigrants must be made legal, so-called austerity harms the economy, governments must do something to forestall climate change, free trade is all benefits without costs, economic integration with China is a net-plus, diversity is a compelling state interest, health insurance is a right, abortion on demand is a right, Islamophobia is a bigger worry than Islamism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root of Mideast turmoil, and at the end of the day human beings across the world, no matter their nation or religion or culture, are basically alike. This is the consensus that shapes our assumptions about the world, our notions of what is proper political behavior and what is not, our idea of what is worthwhile and possible. This is the consensus that says Obamacare is a settled issue, that says a government shutdown would be a Biblical disaster. Whether particular aspects of the consensus are right or wrong matters less than that they are held by as many people as possible. That is where the Tea Party enters the picture, for its view of the world is in many ways the very opposite of what one might hear at the U.N. General Assembly, and at the Clinton Global Initiative, and at establishment outlets in Washington. Challenge the consensus, disrupt expectations, introduce a little anarchy into the world, and you threaten the power of those who forge the consensus and benefit from it. You challenge the power of the caste… If Ted Cruz annoys and unsettles the cronies and oligarchs and bureaucrats and managers and navel-gazers assembled in New York City this week, and their servants in Washington, well, good for him. He refuses to submit to the consensus without a fight. He is a rebel without a caste.

Charles Krauthammer on the real Rouhani. He’s no “moderate,” but he’s smart enough to know he can snow the Left, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.

The test of moderation is not what you want but what you’re willing to give. After all, sanctions were not slapped on Iran for amusement. It was to enforce multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding a halt to uranium enrichment. Yet in his lovey-dovey Post op-ed, his U.N. speech and various interviews, Rouhani gives not an inch on uranium enrichment. Indeed, he has repeatedly denied that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons at all. Or ever has. Such a transparent falsehood — what country swimming in oil would sacrifice its economy just to produce nuclear electricity that advanced countries such as Germany are already abandoning? — is hardly the basis for a successful negotiation. But successful negotiation is not what the mullahs are seeking. They want sanctions relief. And more than anything, they want to buy time.  It takes about 250 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in August that Iran already has 186 kilograms. That leaves the Iranians on the threshold of going nuclear. They are adding 3,000 new high-speed centrifuges. They need just a bit more talking, stalling, smiling and stringing along of a gullible West. Rouhani is the man to do exactly that. As Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator between 2003 and 2005, he boasted in a 2004 speech to the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, “While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the [uranium conversion] facility in Isfahan. . . . In fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in Isfahan.” Such is their contempt for us that they don’t even hide their strategy: Spin the centrifuges while spinning the West.

Michael Moynihan delves deep into what Rouhani really said about the Holocaust.

It’s important to remember that the skilled Holocaust denier parses, dissects, and molests language, quibbling with the word “denial”—they typically acknowledge that many Jews died, but were victims of various typhus epidemics—and wondering why shadowy forces are hamstringing dissenting historians…Aren’t our moral standards for Iranian theocrats rather too elastic? It’s lovely that Iran’s new moderate president wants to moderate his government’s reputation for being a viper’s nest of lunatics, thugs, and anti-Semites, but must so many representatives of the fourth estate—a wholly owned arm of the you-know-who lobby—be willing to redefine “moderation” and “condemnation” along Iranian lines? Using the definition accepted by mainstream scholars of Nazism, Rouhani is a moderate Holocaust denier.

Your “apolitical, nonpartisan” White House, everybody. Oh, by the way, Mr. President, unfortunately you DO believe in negotiating with people with bombs strapped to their chests.

Bill Gates admits “Control-Alt-Delete” was a mistake.

Daren Jonescu carves up John McCain.

After twenty-four hours of Ted Cruz acting like a man — a man who sees his country on the brink of expiring — the Democrats have pulled the Senate floor out from under him. And as has become the custom, they have been aided in their bullying by Senator John McCain. As Charles Schumer was about to scold Cruz for “trampling on the rights of his colleagues,” he interrupted himself to yield the floor to McCain. For a moment, there was confusion over whether the time yielded would be his own or the Republicans’, but the Democrat leadership quickly jumped in to express its pleasure at allowing McCain to speak under any conditions. That is, they knew he was going to do some of their dirty work for them, thus lending credibility to their authoritarianism. And so he did.

Glenn Reynolds calls Obama out on being selfish, stubborn and narcissistic.

It’s also sadly typical that Obama sees this debate as being all about him. The Republicans aren’t trying to overturn a deeply unpopular bill that was crammed through on a party-line vote despite widespread opposition by Republicans and Democrats. They’re “trying to mess with” Obama. It’s not about policies or governance, it’s about personalities…Indeed, one reason, I suspect, that he’s set down a red line on ObamaCare is that it’s pretty much the only legislative accomplishment he can claim as his legacy. The problem with that is that ObamaCare was unpopular in 2010 (that’s why Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who crammed it through, is no longer speaker, but a minority figure in a GOP-controlled House). ObamaCare has become, if anything, even more unpopular now as costs have risen way beyond projections even as the number of people covered has shrunk to less than half of what was advertised. People are losing their insurance — or their jobs — as policies are canceled and employers shift to part-time hiring in order to escape ObamaCare’s onerous restrictions. It’s no wonder that an NBC poll a week ago found that 45% of U.S. adults say that the Affordable Care Act will make the health care situation in the U.S. worse, while only 23% say the law will make it better. And as ABC notes, currently 52% oppose the law, and, even more striking: “In 16 ABC-Post polls since August 2009, it has never received majority support.” Now, in spite of these sentiments, Obama will negotiate with Iran or Syria, but not with the House Republicans. And if the Senate passes the House bill and sends it to him, Obama will presumably enforce this red line and veto the budget, plunging the nation into a government shutdown…Obama can blame Republicans all he wants, but his party controls the White House and one house of Congress — two-thirds of the elected levers of power in Washington. If he can’t run the country with the White House and the Senate … well, maybe he just can’t run the country. After Syria, he’s lost a lot of credibility abroad; if he can’t keep the government from shutting down at home, he’s likely to lose credibility here as well, no matter how much finger-pointing he does. Ultimately, if the country seems to be in chaos, it’s the president who gets blamed. The truth is, Obama would be better off cutting a deal with the Republicans. ObamaCare implementation, scheduled for Oct. 1, is going terribly and it seems very unlikely that it will be anything other than what former supporter Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., correctly characterized as a “train wreck.” In fact, they’ve already had to implement delays and exemptions because of problems. And now there’s word that the software doesn’t work. Instead of refusing to negotiate, Obama should be trying to work something out, instead of engaging in brinkmanship. With better leadership, in fact, we wouldn’t be in this fight at all.

If you live in Brooklyn you can enroll your baby in a DJing class. Yes, DJ as in “disc jockey.” Brooklyn is a weird fucking place, man.

The world’s “most badass sports car” gets its first redesign in 60 years.

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Filed under Around the World, Politics, Uncategorized, What the F**k Friday

Video of the Day

LOL. Once again, Reason TV, well done. Well. Done.

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September 27, 2013 · 6:12 pm