Monday, December 23, 2013
Victor Davis Hanson articulates conservative (or more broadly, non-leftist) frustration and outrage at Obama's Pajama Boy Nation.
Pajama Boy is the bookend to vero possumus, the faux-Greek columns, the Obama rainbow logo, cooling the planet and lowering the seas, hope and change, Forward!, “Yes, we can!”, the Nate Silver infatuation, Barbara Walters' "Messiah", David Brooks’ crease, Chris Matthews’ tingle, and the army of Silicon techies who can mobilize for Obama but not for Obamacare.
If I were to focus on just two of the many characteristics of Pajama Boy nation in the Age of Obama, one would be that the consequences of one’s ideology apply always to someone else. Obama obsesses on inequality, but cannot even go through the populist motions of avoiding Martha’s Vineyard, or not dressing like a nerd for golf at the latest tony course.
He is an arugula-eating man of the people who tries to bowl only during election season. Michelle rags on the 1%, but still hits Costa del Sol and Aspen. Obamacare for us; for congressional staffers and insiders something quite different. A Nobel Prize and a half a billion dollars for guru Al Gore; and dumping Current TV on a fossil-fuelled, anti-Semitic, authoritarian Middle Eastern regime to fund more good work of our green Elmer Gantry. Amnesty for illegal aliens, but private academies for liberal kids far from the ensuing chaos of the public schools. Pajama Boys are fiercely liberal so that they can fiercely avoid the people they so champion and are so afraid to live among.
Second, the architects of Pajama Boy nation always expect others to go on despite rather than because of them. The frackers must frack so that Obama can brag about their productivity, while he bites his lip and looks pained to billionaire coastal benefactors about pumping liquid into the bowels of their Mother Earth.
On Friday, Barack Obama was back out to again brag about his three supposed accomplishments: One, the deficit is shrinking; two, the gas and oil picture is brightening; and three, we are not witnessing anymore shut-downs of government over the debt ceiling. He should have added — “We do best when no one listens to me.”
Savings accrued from the sequester that was forced upon Obama by those Tea Party nuts in the House. Gas prices are dropping despite the efforts of Obama to stop fracking and horizontal drilling on federal lands. Senator Obama himself voted to shut down the government under George W. Bush, rather than to raise the debt ceiling — having once passionately adopted the very stance that he now demonizes others for.
Half the country may have already tuned Pajama Boy nation out. Millions more or less don’t watch TV other than older movies and a few episodes of some serial like The Sopranos or Breaking Bad. Most expect just three things of today’s Hollywood celebrities: they are mostly spoiled and uneducated; they are very rich; and in their boredom they will find a way to annoy those without their money.
We also find the grating nasal-twanged voices of our young talking heads on the news shows a tip-off that all their over-clever rhetoric is never grounded in reality. We have no idea whom MTV is awarding, or why, and couldn’t care less. We are sick of slick slightly pornographic commercials, and sicker still of the crude left-wing Victorians who push sex down our throats, but can’t handle a caricatured hick talking just as graphically as they do — but about sodomy in a way they don’t appreciate. Which is the cruder: to see a three-quarters naked Miley Cyrus on national television stick a huge foam finger toward the anus of one of her performers or to read that a bearded reality star in overalls finds vaginal sex preferable to anal sex — and then tells us why?
Most don’t watch Oprah. Rap is a sort of occasional bothersome grate overheard at the service station or parking lot. No one goes to the movies to watch another tired Hollywood script of a courageous liberal maverick who fights the cancer-causing, stream-polluting, CIA-intriguing [fill in the blanks] corporation — as the actor is paid millions by the corporation producing the movie for his few hours of mediocre work. Company men and women don’t play renegades well anymore.
There is a growing tiredness with Pajama Boy nation. Millions are sick of being lectured, caricatured, and slandered for their supposed pathologies by the Sandra Flukes of the age and those in their pajamas who still grasp with two hands their hot chocolate. Add all their annoying Stalinist efforts up — to selectively going after Chick-fil-A or the Washington Redskins or Duck Dynasty — and the public is becoming tired of the shrill nerdocracy.
How many are revolting against Pajama Boy nation and his bunch, no one quite knows. But I’m beginning to think for the first time since 2009 that the rage and numbers of the disengaged have not crested yet, not quite yet.
Kevin Williamson again thinking and writing brilliantly, explains the chaotic insanity of Obama's ACA revisions. A case of political ambition and arrogance trampling free market efficiency and humanity.
The belief that markets are cold and inhumane is one of the great errors of our time, and it leads to a great deal of public stupidity, from British unionist Len McCluskey’s declaration that “there are some things too important to be left to the market” to endless Democratic demands that we put “people over profits.” Mitt Romney was mocked for maintaining that “corporations are people,” but that mockery is only one more piece of evidence that Mr. Romney is a good deal more intelligent than his critics: Of course corporations are people. That is what the word “corporation” means — a group of people acting as one body (corpus) toward some shared end. “Corporation” assumes “people” the way “hive” assumes “bees.” Profits accrue to people. Scratch an evil corporation and a retired teacher bleeds: Government pension and benefits funds such as CalPERS are among the largest shareholders in the United States, and the world. Two-thirds of Chevron shares are held by mutual funds, which are in turn held by what Mr. Romney recognizes, seemingly alone, as people.
...When somebody says that a market is not rational, what he really means is that people are making choices other than the ones he would make for them. It is not irrational that the market for reality television programming is many, many times the size of the market for productions of Shakespeare plays — people prefer Duck Dynasty. If the purpose of an economy is to help people get what they want, then the economics of reality television are not irrational. They’re only irrational if you believe that the purpose of an economy is to help people get what you think they should want.
...Those who deplore the element of self-interest in free markets reliably forget the fact that politicians have self-interest, too, meaning that the alternative to having millions or billions of people individually pursuing their self-interest in a free and voluntary fashion is to have a few hundred people — or, in the case of the health-care law, one man — pursue their own self-interest with the force of law at their disposal.
Williamson quotes Hillary Clinton early in the article paraphrasing Oscar Wilde, “The market knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.”
That Clinton believes that is conclusive proof that she should not be allowed anywhere near a position wielding policy making power.
And I was right about Mark Steyn, (previous post), though he discusses Pajama Boy in conjunction with the ado over Duck Dynasty.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Sunday, December 15, 2013
This excerpt from the New York Times (!) brings to mind H.L. Mencken's comment about democracy and the common people.
Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.
They are part of an unusual informal health insurance system that has developed in New York in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.
But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. And many of them are finding that if they want to keep their premiums from rising, they will have to accept higher deductible and co-pay costs or inferior coverage.
“I couldn’t sleep because of it,” said Barbara Meinwald, a solo practitioner lawyer in Manhattan.
Ms. Meinwald, 61, has been paying $10,000 a year for her insurance through the New York City Bar. A broker told her that a new temporary plan with fewer doctors would cost $5,000 more, after factoring in the cost of her medications.
Ms. Meinwald also looked on the state’s health insurance exchange. But she said she found that those plans did not have a good choice of doctors, and that it was hard to even find out who the doctors were, and which hospitals were covered. “It’s like you’re blindfolded and you’re told that you have to buy something,” she said
It is not lost on many of the professionals that they are exactly the sort of people — liberal, concerned with social justice — who supported the Obama health plan in the first place. Ms. Meinwald, the lawyer, said she was a lifelong Democrat who still supported better health care for all, but had she known what was in store for her, she would have voted for Mitt Romney.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
It's been widely reported that President Obama had a grand old time at Nelson Mandela's funeral. However, he didn't enjoy himself as much as Mark Steyn did when Steyn wrote about it.
How heartening, as one watches the viral video of Obama droning on while a mere foot and a half away (sign language interpreter) Mr. (Thamsanqa) Jantjie rubs his belly and tickles his ear, to think that the White House’s usual money-no-object security operation went to the trouble of flying in Air Force One, plus the “decoy” Air Force One, plus support aircraft, plus the 120-vehicle motorcade or whatever it’s up to by now, plus a bazillion Secret Service agents with reflector shades and telephone wire dangling from their ears, to shepherd POTUS into the secured venue and then stand him onstage next to an $85-a-day violent schizophrenic.
Speaking of enjoying themselves, back in the VIP seats President Obama, Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and British prime minister David Cameron carried on like Harry, Hermione, and Ron snogging in the back row during the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup presentation. As the three leaders demonstrated their hands-on approach, Michelle Obama glowered straight ahead, as stony and merciless as the 15-foot statue of apartheid architect Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd that once stood guard outside the government offices of the Orange Free State. Eventually, weary of the trilateral smooching, the first lady switched seats and inserted herself between Barack and the vivacious Helle. How poignant that, on a day to celebrate the post-racial South Africa, the handsome young black man should have to be forcibly segregated from the cool Aryan blonde.
Also - Andrew McCarthy puts Mandela's legacy in proper perspective.
The MK (the military wing of the Marxist African National Congress) led a terrorist insurgency that included bombings of public places. It killed many, many more civilians than it did members of the regime’s security forces — copiously including women and children. Indeed, it killed many more people than the approximately 7,000 black South Africans who, according to the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, were killed by the regime during the 46 years of apartheid. In fact, twice that number, over 14,000 people, were killed between 1990 and 1994 — the period during which the ANC was legalized and black-on-black violence became rampant, just as it is in South Africa today. The ANC systematically killed rivals for power and suspected regime informants — most notoriously, by the savage method of “necklacing,” in which a tire filled with gasoline was hung around the terrified victim’s neck and then set on fire.
...Under one-party leftist domination since 1994, South Africa has become a Third World basket case. It vies with Iraq and Colombia to be the world’s most violent country. In a country of 43 million, the official estimate of 60 annual murders per every 100,000 people (compared to six in the U.S. and fewer than two in the EU), is a gross understatement: Interpol pegs it at nearly twice that amount, for a staggering 54,000 homicides per annum. Rape is so commonplace it is estimated that one occurs every seven minutes (with one report putting it at one every 26 seconds). Most of the crime is black-on-black, but it is open season on whites — especially white land owners — as one would expect in a place where ditties like the one Mandela was filmed singing in 1992 remain immensely popular. A million white South Africans have fled the country.
It may not be a civil war. But it is surely the slide into dystopia that is Communism’s inevitable end. Giving Nelson Mandela his due should not mean obscuring that fact.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Over at NRO, Charles C. W. Cooke provides a revealing look at MSNBC. It's funny, scary and sad. That silly network animates a large segment of the left and helped inspire it to foist the phenomenon of Barack Obama on the nation.
A recent Pew study revealed that the supposedly neutral CNN spent 54 percent of its time broadcasting “news” and 46 percent of its time hosting “opinion.” Fox, by contrast, transmits 55 percent opinion and 45 percent news. But MSNBC — well, MSNBC consists of a remarkable 85 percent opinion and only 15 percent news. This has consequences. During the election, Pew added, the ratio of unfavorable to favorable treatment in stories on candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on MSNBC “was roughly 23-to-1; the negative-to-positive ratio on Fox News was 8-to-1.”
“Biased” doesn’t cut it. To watch MSNBC for an afternoon is not so much to be given a slanted account of what is happening here in America, but instead to witness a series of discussions about current events in parallel America II — a rather silly place in which the political center of gravity and all things Good are defined by the preferences of the faculty at Berkeley and the comments section of the Daily Kos and in which anyone who dissents from this position is believed to possess two heads, a black heart, and a pocket copy of Mein Kampf.
America II, as anyone who watches the channel will discover rather swiftly, hosts a supermajority of well-meaning multi-culti, progressive types whose foolproof plans for explosive economic growth, uniform social justice, and general human utopia are constantly being undone by a blossoming white-supremacist movement, split apart by neo-secessionists, and existentially threatened by traitors whose defining characteristic is a never-quite-explained hatred for progress. America II features no gray areas whatsoever: All local variation is apartheid, each and every identification requirement is the second coming of Jim Crow, all criticism of the government is sedition. It’s exhausting.
Hour by tedious hour, America II is saved from its own worst instincts. What destroyed Detroit, a city that has been run into the ground by Democrats for half a century? “Republicans” and “capitalism,” naturally. A pressing question? “Are conservatives the new Confederates?” A topic worthy of Chris Matthews’s investigation? Whether Sarah Palin can actually read. It’s like watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 — just less realistic.
...what would one possibly add to Martin Bashir’s suggestions that someone should defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth, that conservatives are using the acronym “IRS” as a stand-in for “n***er,” or that Ted Cruz is the “David Koresh” of the Republican party? What could be achieved by sexing up Chris Matthews’s conviction that tea partiers “still count blacks as three-fifths” of a person, or that the perpetrators of 9/11 “just have a different perspective”? What might a worker bee charged with feeding the outrage machine do to make more impressive Joy Reid’s asseveration that Republicans are “resentful” of “post-1964 America,” or to improve upon Ed Schultz’s faith that “God supports Obamacare,” or to render more absurd Michael Eric Dyson’s contention that Eric Holder is “the chief lawgiver” and the “Moses of our time”?
There's much more. Cooke provides a good analysis of the thinking (or lack thereof) behind the production of MSNBC's dreck. A really excellent piece. Read it all here.
While reading, remember that late during the 2012 presidential campaign, MSNBC's parent network, NBC, without irony, broadcast a program decrying the extent to which the quality of our political discourse had deteriorated. Hosted by the ever-so-respectable and bias-free (uh-huh) Brian Williams, the "investigation" chose as its prime target, Fox News, of course.