Archive for Liberal Ignorance

Girls Gone Defiled

The debate over abortion is complicated by two undeniable rights: the right to life and the right of a woman to control her own body.

We right-to-lifers (well, this right-to-lifer anyway) weigh the arguments, and come down on the side of the feminists who demand that abortion be safe, legal, and rare. Abortion will continue, but with restrictions. That seems to us (me) the only solution that honors both rights (or dishonors them equally). Does the right-to-terminate crowd make the same intellectual efforts at compromise of the uncompromisable?

You tell me:

If you would like to be filled with despair for the prospects of democracy, spend a few minutes attempting to decipher the psephological musings of Lena Dunham, the distinctly unappealing actress commissioned by Planned Parenthood to share with her presumably illiterate following “5 Reasons Why I Vote (and You Should, Too).” That’s 21st-century U.S. politics in miniature: a half-assed listicle penned by a half-bright celebrity and published by a gang of abortion profiteers.

You think that’s strong? Grab your Ray-Bans (with UVA and UVB protection):

A people mature enough to manage the relationship between procreative input and procreative output without recourse to the surgical dismemberment of living human organisms probably would not find much of interest in the work of Miss Dunham. But we are a nation of adult children so horrified by the prospect of actual children that we put one in five of them to death for such excellent reasons as the desire to fit nicely into a prom dress.

It’s not for nothing that, on the precipice of 30, Miss Dunham is famous for a television series called Girls rather than one called Women. She might have gone one better and called it Thumbsuckers. (The more appropriate title Diapers would terrify her demographic.)

I’m of a generation that went to college with women. If you referred to an 18 year-old coed as a girl, and you had your balls scorched with a blow torch. (Refer to her as a coed and you got away with a warning kick in said scrotum.) One learned to adjust, and those lessons stayed with one for a lifetime.

Have I lived too long?

Miss Dunham and likeminded celebrities think of voting in terms of their sex lives. Miss Dunham, in an earlier endorsement of Barack Obama, compared voting in the presidential election to losing one’s virginity — you want it to be someone special.

“I wore fishnets and a little black dress to vote,” she writes, “then walked around with a spring in my slinky step. It lasted for days. I can summon it when I’m blue. It’s more effective than exercise or ecstasy or cheesecake.” And that of course is the highest purpose of our ancient constitutional order: to provide adult children with pleasures exceeding those of cheesecake or empathogenic phenethylamines.

Miss Dunham’s “all about me!” attitude toward the process of voting inevitably extends to the content of what she votes for, which is, in her telling, mostly about her sex life. Hammering down hard on the Caps Lock key, she writes: “The crazy and depressing truth is that there are people running for office right now who could actually affect your life. PARTICULARLY your sex life. PARTICULARLY if you’re a woman. Yup.”

Yup? Nope.

Those of us who have been working against various mandates imposed by the Affordable Care Act are as a matter of fact attempting to extricate ourselves from involvement in Lena Dunham’s sex life, the details of which we would gratefully leave to her own idiosyncratic management. It is the so-called Affordable Care Act that has involved us in subsidizing birth control, abortifacients, surgical abortions, and who knows what else, for the strong, powerful, self-actualized American woman who cannot figure out how to walk into Walgreens, lay down the price of a latte, and walk out with her own birth-control pills, no federal intervention necessary. The very conservative editors of this magazine are in fact trying to make it easier for them to do so with over-the-counter birth control. I suspect that Miss Dunham does not know very many conservatives, so allow me to pass along the message: We really, truly, sincerely do not wish to be involved in your sex life.

Are you listening Sandra Fluke? (Very doubtful.)

I followed my feminist instructions in no small part because I wanted to get into their feminist pants. As some of my much-desired prey would be grandmothers by now, I am more inclined to be swayed by if not Ms. Dunham, at least some of her castmates:

Yet I am not. Juvenile behavior is never sexy, no matter how “easy” it may be.

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Who Wants to Play “Islam/Not Islam”?

President Obama assures us that ISIS (which he pronounces ISIL in his “Negro dialect”) is “not Islamic”.

I always thought Islam was like pornography. No, not that way! Heavens, not, not in the…pornographic sense. Rather as in you know it when you see it. But if Obama is to be believed (I think I see your problem, BTL), if Obama is to be believed, Islam is not always in the eye of the beholder. ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), sometimes ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), or just IS (Islamic State), is not Islamic. Not no way, not no how. So what else is not Islamic?

Ready to play?

Boko Haram (“Western education blows chunks”): Islam/Not Islam?

Not Islam, very good! Where are their turbans and robes? Besides, what Muslim would take an underage girl as his bride? (Don’t answer that.)

Hezbollah (Party of Allah), not to be confused with Ebola: Islam/Not Islam?

Not Islam again! Say, you’re good. Despite the name, the Party of God is no party at all. Party-poopers of God is closer to the mark. No Fun Boring Sourpuss Drags of God would be closer still, but unwieldy as a name. So when you hear Party of Allah, think instead Party of ethno-religious hatred and genocide.

Al-Shabaab, or Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (Punk-Ass Bitches): Islam/Not Islam?

Nope, still Not Islam. These wet behind the ears jihadists wouldn’t know Islam if it strapped on an explosive vest and blew up their crosstown bus. They’re just full of youthful exuberance, blowing off steam. And rockets, grenades, and mortars.

Hamass, an acronym for Harakat al-Muqwamah al-Islamiyyah (Islamic Bowel—sorry, Resistance Movement): Islam/Not Islam?

Is that your final answer? Cause it’s not—Islam, that is. Hamass is like the Elks or the Lions, a fraternal order of civic leaders, mad men, and psychopaths. But not a single holy man among them. Not one.

I’m afraid that’s all we have time for today. Thanks for playing. Comeback next time when we ask: are the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Ansar al-Sharia, Ansar al-Islam, Armed Islamic Group of Algeria, and the Army of Islam (just to pick from the As) Islam/Not Islam?

Study hard!

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Low-Hanging Fruitcake

Picking on Chris Matthews is like bullying a special needs student: reprehensible and condemnable.

Forgive me:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: It was a great speech. I thought it was a case in which the president of the United States didn’t just speak at the U.N. but to the U.N. He was talking to the members of the U.N. Some was good politics making the connection with his grandmother coming from 100 miles away from Nairobi.

Is that the “white grandmother” or the other one? Anyway, Matthews loves every Obama speech, including “gimme a bacon cheeseburger with gravy fries.”

He went after Israel, too. There was a little punch in the nose of Netanyahu saying the status quo is not sustainable. Everybody knows Netanyahu’s game is to play for tie. Pushing off, coming up with excuses, demanding the Arabs declare Israel the Jewish state. Every technique to avoid a two-state solution. And he said there has to be a two-state solution.

Did he just blame Israel? After Hamass’s war crimes this summer, he just blamed Israel? The nerve of that Bibi demanding Arabs acknowledge Israel as the Jewish state. What a tool. (Matthews, not Netanyahu.)

We’re a better country than we were ten years ago. I wish more people would think about that.

We are? How? I can’t think of a single way. The debt’s massively bigger, the economy incomparably worse, race relations in the toilet, Islamofascism on the march, and Matthews own network, MSNBC, trailing every network but the Macrame Channel in the ratings.

You think about these guys sitting around all day planning revolution and killing people and cutting their heads off.

What are they doing for the world? I thought it was a pretty strong statement. I think most people in the world today really want to be educated.

Why do they want to be suicide bombers? What a hopeless career move. To be blunt about it. I’m going to kill myself.

You ask that now, Chris? Did you eat paint chips as a child? “Coming up next on Hardball, Pet Rocks: fad or forever?” What a complete nincompoop.

And he still wasn’t done:

MATTHEWS: Unfortunately, there’s a parallel with the african-american kid in north Philly situation. You grow up in a situation where there no more blue collar the only deal being offered to you is the drug dealer. We have our problems.

We do, Chris, but the African-American kids in North Philly (or Chicago, or Detroit, or LA, etc.) are homicide killers. And too often (as in almost always), they’re victims are other African-American kids. Another trait that makes us not better than we were ten years ago.

So, sorry for hazing the harebrained host of Hardball. I’ll do some community service to make up for it.

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Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach laments his dissolving friendship with Naomi Wolf:

This Thursday, September 11, Naomi Wolf and I will be debating the question, “Is Israel guilty of genocide in its war against Hamas?” at the Manhattan Jewish Experience on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Naomi is a friend of mine. We both have history at Oxford. She earned her degree as a Rhodes scholar and I served as rabbi to the students for 11 years. Naomi reached out to me for a book she was writing and having been a fan of her work I greatly enjoyed making her acquaintance. She subsequently attended Shabbat dinner with my family. Naomi’s books have raised important issues, particularly in the realm of women’s rights and social justice, which is why I was shocked when I learned that Naomi was involved in a blood libel against the State of Israel with false and shocking allegations of a Palestinian genocide.

I, in turn, responded that in all her condemnations of Israel Naomi manages to virtually omit all mention of the brutal attacks and true genocidal ambitions that Hamas has toward the Jewish state and the Jews. Naomi in an interview later said that she never meant by her words that the Jews didn’t need a Jewish state. I challenged her to a public debate and she graciously accepted.

We’re all free to choose our own friends, but let’s brief the good rabbi on the Rhodes Scholar with whom he broke bread.

Most recently, Ms. Wolf publicly sided with that pestilence known as Occupy Wall Street:

Oops! Wrong movement, wrong picture.

Could they be more smug? Wolf has speculated that the long overdue crackdown on the Occupy movement was a government conspiracy, and on this I think she’s right: a conspiracy of the government to do its job and uphold law and order. The Occupy camps were incubators of disease, crime, filth. Never mind their symbolism (empty and bogus to my way of thinking), their dismantling and sterilization was way, way, way past time.

Wolf also once described Al Gore as an alpha male, but I think this is a misunderstanding: he’d ballooned up to the size of Alpha Centauri was her point (as has she, it might be noted, as have many of us).

I’ll leave aside her feminist views. I am generally favorable toward feminism in the abstract, less so toward today’s feminists and its modern practice. Too often the only issue is abortion, which we have repeatedly shown is harmful to women and minorities.

No, if Rabbi Boteach is not familiar with Naomi Wolf’s politics, we’ll leave him one more example, which should clear up the matter:

In The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Wolf takes a historical look at the rise of fascism, outlining 10 steps necessary for a fascist group (or government) to destroy the democratic character of a nation-state and subvert the social/political liberty previously exercised by its citizens:

Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
Create secret prisons where torture takes place
Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to citizens
Set up an internal surveillance system
Harass citizens’ groups
Engage in arbitrary detention and release
Target key individuals
Control the press
Treat all political dissidents as traitors
Suspend the rule of law

The book details how this pattern was implemented in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and elsewhere, and analyzes its emergence and application of all the 10 steps in American political affairs since the September 11 attacks.

Right practices, wrong presidential administration. Let’s take a look:

Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy: The Tea Party.

Create secret prisons where torture takes place: Every day Gitmo stays open is a betrayal of his promise to close it.

Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to citizens: The IRS.

Set up an internal surveillance system: The NSA.

Harass citizens’ groups: The IRS and the FEC.

Engage in arbitrary detention and release: The FBI’s treatment of James Rosen.

Target key individuals: See most of above.

Control the press: When not with the press’ own complicity, by stealth and by force.

Treat all political dissidents as traitors: See IRS above.

Suspend the rule of law: Making and amending law without Congress.

Hope this helps, Shmuley. Wolf’s adoption of Hamass is part of a pattern, not an aberration.

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Another One-Sided Conversation on Race

In lieu of an actual conversation on race—you know, a dialogue—sometimes, I just start talking.

There are so many misconceptions on race, it seems to me, particularly on the harm done to black people by black people. We spend so much time huffing and puffing about Michael Brow and Trayvon Martin (both of whom were willing collaborators in their own deaths, we now know), we forget the thousands of black people executed in cold blood by other black people. It’s practically sui-genocide (or geno-suicide). The facts don’t lie.

But facts don’t tell a story, pictures do:

If you’ve been reading us for any length of time, you know my heartache over Hadiya Pendleton, a beautiful, promising young woman from Chicago who got caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting in Chicago. She had just returned to that “killing field” of black people after performing at President Obama’s second inauguration (a symbolism too painful for me to explore). But Hadiya is just one face among thousands of the victims in the War on Blacks By Blacks. Some (many) don’t even have faces. Yet.

Abortion in the black community is at an epidemic:

“Black women in New York City aborted more than half of their pregnancies in 2012, topping the number of abortions recorded by women of every other racial or ethnic group in the city.” The report revealed that more than any other ethnic group in NYC, black women were the leading abortion patients and also had the highest pregnancy and miscarriage rates.

[A]according to the 2010 census data, blacks made up 12.6% of the population. And, as Abort73.com broke down:

In 2009, a total of 286,623 blacks died in the U.S.14 That same year, an estimated 1.21 million abortions took place in the United States.15 If 35.4% were performed on black women, that means almost twice as many blacks were killed by abortion as by all other causes.

This being the 50th anniversary of various civil rights and Great Society acts and programs, it is a time for reflection on those movements too. Regular readers here will know (because I mention it all the time) that the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act passed not only with Republican support, but that Republicans out-supported racist, segregationist Democrats.

But this is something I did not know, and I bet you didn’t either:

According to economist Walter Williams, “[f]rom 1900 to 1954, blacks were more active than whites in the labor market. Until about 1960, black male labor force participation in every age group was equal to or greater than that of whites … As early as 1900, the duration of black unemployment was 15 percent shorter than that of whites; today it’s about 30 percent longer.” According to economist Thomas Sowell, “[t]he poverty rate among black families fell from 87 percent in 1940 to 47 percent in 1960, during an era of virtually no major civil rights legislation or anti-poverty programs … In various skilled trades, the incomes of blacks relative to whites more than doubled between 1936 and 1959.”

[B]lack economic progress was advancing steadily during the first half of the twentieth century, but proceeded to flat-line in the 1960s and 70s.

What happened, then? Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1960s-era big government happened. Welfare laws were constructed that didn’t view black men and women as human beings in the image of God, but as useless children and at best tools for political gain.

Okay, maybe I could have cut that last sentence, which is more editorialization than fact. Or is it?

Untitled

Laws like the Davis Bacon Act, which barred federal contracts from paying less than union wages, pushed black men out of federally funded or -financed construction jobs at the behest of white unions; segregated public housing pushed blacks into inner-city ghettos where poverty was concentrated and its impact worsened; government handouts punished those who tried to work; and, most evil of all, men who had limited employment prospects were offered a way to feed their families via the federal government—as long as they packed up and left.

A century of Jim Crow made America almost uniquely shameful—more so than slavery itself (which was once commonplace across the world—apartheid much less so). It’s abolishment was long overdue, and required “by any means necessary”. But fifty years is more than enough time to admit they made mistakes—that there are things to fix that don’t go back to the status quo ante. It may be too late for this generation of young black men (and women, and their babies), just as it is too late for the two generations before them. But can we offer real Hope for genuine Change for any children they see to term?

PS: Not if Obama has anything to do with it. Granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens will open the floodgates and inundate the job market. If it was a goal to put black people back to work they were before Liberalism ruined their lives, Liberalism will have dashed that hope once and for all.

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Out of Town

I’ve been waiting to address the ado in Ferguson, MO until I can figure out what the hell happened and is continuing to happen. I’m going to keep waiting.

But as for what happened to America’s great cities, and the black people who live therein, I have something to say:

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is, to the surprise of all thinking people, right about something: “A spark has exploded,” he said, referring to the protests and violence in Ferguson, Mo. “When you look at what sparked riots in the Sixties, it has always been some combination of poverty, which was the fuel, and then some oppressive police tactic. It was the same in Newark, in Chicago, in Detroit, in Los Angeles. It’s symptomatic of a national crisis of urban abandonment and repression, seen in Chicago.”

A question for the Reverend Jackson: Who has been running the show in Newark, in Chicago, in Detroit, and in Los Angeles for a great long while now? The answer is: People who see the world in much the same way as does the Reverend Jackson, who take the same view of government, who support the same policies, and who suffer from the same biases.

This is not intended to be a cheap partisan shot. The Democratic party institutionally certainly has its defects, the chronicle of which could fill several unreadable volumes, but the more important and more fundamental question here is one of philosophy and policy. Newark, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles — and Philadelphia, Cleveland, and a dozen or more other cities — have a great deal in common: They are the places in which the progressive vision of government has reached its fullest expressions. They are the hopeless reality that results from wishful thinking.

Bingo. And to repeat: “This is not intended to be a cheap partisan shot.” I used to be a Democrat, a progressive, if you will. But I grew out of it. I realized, as Kevin D. Williamson puts it, that my “wishful thinking” had no bearing on the “hopeless reality”. I came to accept the wisdom and certainty in Margaret Thatcher’s observation that “the facts of life are conservative”.

But the facts of our cities were anything but:

For years, our major cities were undermined by a confluence of four unhappy factors: 1. higher taxes; 2. defective schools; 3. crime; 4. declining economic opportunity. Together, these weighed much more heavily upon the middle class than upon the very wealthy and the very poor. In the case of Philadelphia, the five counties in the metropolitan area have had a mostly stable population, but the city itself lost more than a quarter of its population between 1950 and 2000 as some 550,000 people fled to the suburbs or beyond. How many people matters, but which people matters, too: They were the ones with the means and the strongest incentive to relocate. Over the same period of time, Chicago lost a fifth of its population, Baltimore nearly a third. Philadelphia is one of the few U.S. cities to impose a municipal income tax (one of the taxes Mayor Rizzo raised), creating very strong incentives to move across the line into Delaware County or Bucks County. This is sometimes known as “white flight,” but that is a misnomer: In Detroit, the white middle class got out as quickly as it could — and the black middle class was hot on its heels. Upwardly mobile people and those who expect to be — i.e., those with an investment in the future — care a great deal about schools, economic opportunity, and safety. And they know where the city limits are.

The more progressive the city, the worse a place it is to be poor and/or black. The most pronounced economic inequality in the United States is not in some Republican redoubt in Texas but in San Francisco, an extraordinarily expensive city in which half of all black households make do with less than $25,000 a year. Blacks in San Francisco are arrested on drug felonies at ten times their share of the general population. At 6 percent of the population, they represent 40 percent of those arrested for homicides. Whether you believe that that is the result of a racially biased criminal-justice system or the result of higher crime incidence related to socioeconomic conditions within black communities (or some combination of those factors) what is undeniable is that results for black Americans are far worse in our most progressive, Democrat-dominated cities than they are elsewhere. The progressives have had the run of things for a generation in these cities, and the results are precisely what you see.

So, if you want fewer Fergusons, you know what you have to do:

Our cities need economic growth and opportunity, functional education systems, and physical security. And where have our few urban success stories come from? We saw a dramatic turnabout in crime and public disorder in New York under Republican Rudy Giuliani, and we’ve seen periods of relatively good governance in two-party cities such as San Diego. At the moment, our most prosperous cities are those such as Houston, cities that are themselves Democrat-dominated but embedded in heavily Republican metropolitan areas or states, and which govern in a way that is much friendlier to enterprise and middle-class interests than is the style that has long predominated in places such as Philadelphia or Detroit.

Houston or Detroit? Your call.

PS: In 1950, Detroit was the fifth largest US city, at about 1,850,000; Houston was 14th, at less than a third the size, 596,000. Today, their places are reversed: Houston is 4th at almost 2.2 million, while Detroit is 18th at barely 700,000. Just sayin’.

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[Bleep] Liberals Say

Aggie wrote this comment to a post below:

Yesterday, one of the low information crowd told me, quite seriously, that the Tea Party was an outgrowth of Occupy Wall Street. Can you believe that?

I can, Aggie, because I hear [bleep] like that all the time. It’s time to start a column of it.

Yesterday:

I was killing time in Cambridge and overheard two students at a language school waiting for their class to start. One was local, and worked in web design for politics. The other was from out of town, but noted that Massachusetts was a pretty blue state, that the politics must be left wing. The local one assured him that was so, and added “I hate Republicans.” The second one responded “I can’t imagine a Republican learning Portuguese.” They continued in like-minded palaver until their class started.

Why would a Republican not take Portuguese? Why would a Democrat? Is there a hidden logic to that statement? People learn Portuguese only to hit on hot Brazilian chicks. Can’t Republicans fantasize about Shakira?

But it was the “I hate Republicans” line that I really should address.

Now, we all use “love” and “hate” liberally (pardon the pun): We “love” pickles, but “hate” relish; love Sandra Bullock, hate Maggie Gyll…Gylen…you know the one I mean. The one everyone hates.

But “hate” Republicans? How many does this person know? There aren’t that many of us around here—which is why she felt so free to speak of us that way. What are the odds, as the other person observed, that one would be loitering outside a Portuguese language class? Or loitering anywhere other than near a Catholic girls’ school or a highway rest stop? It’s a safe hatred, a comfortable hatred, a without-fear-of-contradiction hatred. Aren’t those the most dangerous kind?

The Governor is a Democrat. The Mayor (of Boston) is a Democrat. Both Senators are Democrats, as are all nine Congressmen (it used to be ten until we mercifully lost one to redistricting). There are only four Republicans in the 40-member State Senate, and 30 out of 160 members of the State House. Shouldn’t Republicans in Massachusetts be pitied rather than hated?

Except for the threat (and reality) of violence, Republicans in liberal strongholds are like blacks in the Jim Crow South. Despised, resented, under-(or un-)represented, misrepresented—if our politics were as readily apparent as the dark skin of African Americans, we would only have more such stories to tell, not fewer. But probably not the threat (or reality) of violence.

Move over, “It’s Unexpected!”™ and Dispatches From the Front Lines of Socialized Medicine, we have a new standing headline, [Bleep] Liberals Say.

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Hey UN! What About This War Crime?

In the Democratic War on Women, that is:

A Democratic operative deleted her Twitter account Monday following a series of what some called racist remarks about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao.

Chao, former U.S. Labor Secretary under President George W. Bush, is Asian.

Kathy Groob, who describes herself as an “advocate for women in politics,” sent a series of tweets related to Chao at a political event Saturday.

According to WKMS, Groob sent the tweets in response to comments McConnell made at the event, in which he referred to his wife as “the only Kentucky woman who served in a president’s cabinet.”

In one tweet Groob wrote, “Hey Mitch, nothing against you wife and spouses should be off limits; since you mentioned, she isn’t from KY, she is Asian.”

Groob followed that tweet with another: “Google Elaine Chao, #MitchMcConnell’s wife. No mention of Kentucky, she is Asian” Groop wrote.

Her racially-charged comments drew a firestorm on Twitter from people who questioned why Groob was pushing a narrative that someone who is Asian could not also be from Kentucky.

In Chao’s case, she and her family came to the U.S. from Taiwan when she was a child. She has been married to McConnell for more than two decades.

So that’s what passes for an “advocate for women in politics” among Democrats. I’d hate to see a critic. I also love that her comment came right after she wrote that spouses should be “off limits”.

PS: You might want to station peacekeeping groups inside the Democrat Party. They are repeat offenders:

A Democratic activist has claimed responsibility for controversial radio ads that attempted to tie Mississippi Senate candidate Chris McDaniel to the Ku Klux Klan.

Ruth Harris, 65, of Jackson, Miss., said she and five other like-minded Democratic women pooled their resources to fund three radio spots urging voters to support Sen. Thad Cochran over McDaniel, a state senator, in Mississippi’s contentious June 24 GOP primary runoff.

“This is an Election Day alert. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. When Congressman Thompson says a group of Tea Party radicals scares him, we should listen. Last week the Clarion Ledger was able to tie McDaniel’s campaign to an ally of the Ku Klux Klan. And, this supporter of McDaniel’s campaign was a Klan lawyer,” Harris says as the ad opens. “If we stand by and don’t go to the polls today, do you understand what we could lose? We could lose food stamps, housing assistance, student loans, early breakfast and lunch programs — and disaster assistance, as well as cuts to Social Security and Medicaid.

“The right-wing Tea Party people are saying we are too lazy to care or too afraid to go vote. They say we only want a hand out or something for free,” Harris says as the ad closes. “We are not going to turn back the hands of time.”

PPS: They really don’t like themselves some Elaine Chao:

You’ll recall last year when Progress Kentucky sent out a series of tweets vilifying Chao and McConnell’s “very close ties to China.”

Progress Kentucky, a Democratic super PAC with its sights on toppling Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), has drawn backlash for a persistent effort to suggest that the senator’s wife’s Chinese roots have led him to embrace anti-American policies.

In a Feb. 14 tweet, the group made a particularly blunt jab suggesting that Elaine Chao, former labor secretary under President George W. Bush and McConnell’s second wife, was encouraging him to support outsourcing jobs to China.

“This woman has the ear of @mcconnellpress — she’s his #wife.May explain why your job moved to #China!” the tweet read.

I don’t really get racism. I guess it’s a liberal thing.

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Remembrance

Terrific remembrance/appreciation by Harry Stein of his father, Joseph Stein.

Terrific on many levels:

My father, playwright Joseph Stein, was so vital for so long that when he died in October 2010, at 98, some people were actually taken by surprise. Nearly half a century after his greatest success, ¬Fiddler on the Roof, he had been hard at work on a new musical.

At the service, I began my eulogy with an anecdote from a few years earlier. My father and stepmother were en route from New York to Westport, Connecticut, where one of his old shows was being revived, when he began feeling ill. They called ahead, and by the time they arrived at the theater, an EMS crew was waiting.

“How do you feel?” asked the head EMS guy.

“I don’t feel so good.”

“What hurts you?”

“It hurts me that George Bush is president.”

The line drew a roar from the huge crowd at Riverside Memorial Chapel, as I knew it would. These were his people, New York theater folk, as reliably left a bunch as you’re likely to find anywhere outside a university campus.

Terrific, not least, in how it captures the Neanderthalian humor of the Bush era. Mention of his name (even worse, Cheney’s or Rumsfeld’s) induced manic hyena howls of hypocritical hilarity. Audiences were easy, comedians grew lazy—I had to dismiss the equivalent of an entire month’s guest list on the Tonight Show for the unpardonable sin of safe, comfortable—unfunny—jibes at the Bush administration. Not for their politics; almost everyone I knew shared their politics. But for their lameness. Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Companion, the New Yorker Magazine, so many other media outlets I followed, died to me with their groupthink humor. Listening to shows like NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” felt like being a teetotaler at a boozy bash: why was everyone laughing so hard? (Besides, the joke is too close to the old one told by Jack Lemmon about Walter Matthau: after Matthau fell down a flight of stairs, Lemmon rushed to his side and asked “Are you comfortable?” Matthau rolled over and responded, “I make a nice living.”)

But the piece is also a touching account of love and alienation between father and son:

It was a situation surely familiar to others in families sharply split along ideological lines, though the generational divide generally runs in the opposite direction. My father simply couldn’t fathom how any thinking person, let alone someone who’d imbibed politics at his knee, could have ended up a . . . well, he never actually used the word, at least not directly. The closest he ever came was reporting the reaction of a friend, one of Broadway’s better-known composers, who had come across something I’d written: “When did your son become a Fascist?”

For my part, I understood his worldview far better—a Communist in young adulthood, he’d been a proud progressive ever since—but I found him no less frustrating. In other respects thoughtful, even wise, how could he not see the damage that today’s aggrieved and self-righteous Left was inflicting on the country we both loved?

Boy, ain’t we all been there.

I’ll leave it to you to read the piece. If you like theater (specifically Fiddler), it’s a tremendous behind the curtain look; if you like political history, there are some telling details on the American Left, especially among America’s Jews; if you like memoir, it’s a terrific remembrance of a remarkable life of an ordinary man.

And if you like humor:

Trying to do too much, both hands full, he’d fallen backward down a long flight of stairs, landing on his shoulder. He was to have surgery the next day, when the phone on his bedside table rang, and I picked up. It was Carl Reiner. “I heard what happened to your dad,” he exclaimed, more excited than alarmed. “It’s incredible, it should be in the Guinness book of records! I told Mel [Brooks], and he said, ‘It’s impossible, no 98-year-old could possibly fall down 14 steps backward and survive!’ ”

I tried handing the phone to my father, but he demurred, whispering that he was too tired. But I knew his old friend would cheer him up, so I held the receiver to his ear. He listened for a moment as Carl repeated what he’d told me. “Tell Mel,” he replied wearily, “that not only is it possible; there are several people to whom I’d highly recommend it.”

Now, that’s funny.

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He Won.

We’re Sad.

Americans really wish they elected Mitt Romney instead of Obama

Americans are so down on President Obama at the moment that, if they could do the 2012 election all over again, they’d overwhelmingly back the former Massachusetts governor’s bid. That’s just one finding in a brutal CNN poll, released Sunday, which shows Romney topping Obama in a re-election rematch by a whopping nine-point margin, 53 percent to 44 percent. That’s an even larger spread than CNN found in November, when a survey had Romney winning a redo 49 percent to 45 percent.

Two years ago, Obama won re-election with about 51 percent of the vote.

Of course, the poll should be taken with a grain of salt. While Obama is actually taking on the tough task of leading the nation, Romney is sitting comfortably on the sidelines where he is liable to receive a more favorable reception. Still, the finding comes as foreign and domestic crises have sent Obama’s approval rating tumbling back to 40 percent, per Gallup.

Also in the CNN survey, a record-low 46 percent say Obama “shares [their] values,” while only 49 percent say he is “sincere in what he says,” also a record-low.

OK, CNN is a terrible news organization and most of what they say is rubbish. I don’t believe this at all, but it’s fun to fantasize. In any case, we are getting the government that we elected – twice.

– Aggie

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Antisemitism At The Washington Post

– Aggie

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You Wanna Know Why We’re Such Dolts in Massachusetts?

Course you don’t.

But I’m going to tell you anyway:

The strong public support for the Massachusetts health care law has not wavered, despite the well-publicized troubles of the state’s new health insurance website, a new poll has found.

Sixty-three percent of adults said they support the law, which is intended to ensure that almost everyone has health insurance — the same percentage as in a similar survey conducted in 2011.

Fine. Whatever.

But get this:

Fewer than half the people questioned in the latest survey knew anything about the difficulties with the state’s health insurance website after it was retooled to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act, starting last October. The site often was down, and when it worked, consumers could not determine their eligibility for government-subsidized coverage and experienced other problems, forcing some to go without coverage temporarily and use paper workarounds.

Of course we like the law—we know nothing about it! It works, we love it. It sucks, we love it. We just love it. It’s ours and we love it.

Except it’s not our law. We had a law, called RomneyCare (love it or loathe it), but ObamaCare came along and kicked sand in its face. And everyone knows what a morsel of excrement that was.

But so what?

Ann Hurd is among the supporters, despite her firsthand experience with the balky website when she applied for health insurance in December.

“You weren’t able to get through to anything,” said Hurd, a poll respondent who agreed to answer follow-up questions from a reporter. “You’re just stuck there. You try like a week or two later and they get you to the next step. Then you were stuck there.”

Eventually, Hurd was able to learn the premium prices, which approached $500 a month, more than she said she could afford from her pay as a baker. Hurd, 39, of North Attleborough, joined the shrinking group of Massachusetts residents who are uninsured.

But still, she approves of the law. “I support it,” she said. “I don’t support the price.”

A law that was shoved down our throats (or up another orifice) to cover everybody ends up not covering Baker-Americans—and they’re cool with that! Unbelievable!

Aggie and I were talking the other day about the group-think mentality of this place. They listen to NPR and take the New York Times (two of the more propagandistic organs to exist since Joseph Goebbels left the business) and fancy themselves informed. Aggie suggested we start conversations at social events with “I was listening to NPR today, and…”, but instead of actually citing the taxpayer-financed drivel, switch to what Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage said. See how long the mindlessly-nodding heads continue to nod. I would try another tack. “I heard on NPR today that if you drink your own urine, your butt will get smaller.” “I read in the New York Times that Angela Merkel has a mole the shape of a groundhog on her left breast.” “Frontline had a program about how alien DNA means we’re de-evolving into pus in the next million years.”

If we were only dangerous to ourselves, maybe we could be ignored. But we’re like the Taliban. No matter how far removed we are from you, we can make your lives miserable.

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