Archive for January 22nd, 2009

January 22, 2009

Video: Anti-card check ad

(Via Marc Ambinder.)

January 22, 2009

Tears of Hope

“We watched everything and George was still doing all the anchoring for ABC and as soon Beyonce said ‘At Last…’ George called me at home and he went, ‘Honey?’ and I said ‘I know!’ and we both started crying.”

George Stephanopoulos’s wife, Ali Wentworth, on “Oprah,” describing Inauguration Day

UPDATE: Linked at Hot Air Headlines.

UPDATE II: Matthew Archbold: “[W]e’re supposed to believe that he’s objective. I’m not sure I can get there unless he cried when Clarence Thomas was sworn onto the Supreme Court.”

January 22, 2009


Swiped from FishbowlDC.

UPDATE: Jack Shafer writes about Matthews’s annoying chatterbox routine during MSNBC’s inauguration coverage, and quotes this stupid anecdote as a typical example:

You know, Keith, this country is not as monarchical as it sometimes seems to the outsiders. I was at the shoe store the other day to get my shoes fixed, and sitting next to me — standing next to me at the cobbler was Jane Roberts, the wife of the Supreme Court justice. I was at a Georgetown game the other day, watching them beat Providence, and sitting next to me is the chief justice. I keep saying to myself, That’s the chief justice of the United States sitting there next to me. He’s a sports fan. There is some measure of democracy that comes to mind here.

OK, and your point would be . . .? I mean, if you hang around D.C. enough, you’re going to bump into famous people from time to time. But does the fact that Justice Roberts likes basketball and Jane Roberts sometimes needs to get a broken heel repaired really illustrate “some measure of democracy,” as Matthews suggests? Or is he just bumping his gums and filling the airwaves with random idiocy?

Somewhere, there is a retired NBC executive — the guy who originally hired Matthews — who cringes every time he flips over and sees Matthews chattering away like a meth-addicted chimpanzee. And you know that former NBC executive says to himself: “What have I done? My God, what I have I done?”

January 22, 2009

Just asking questions

“Similarly, there is a lot of sludge at the bottom of Obama’s statement that ‘The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.’ Sounds great. But who measures, who decides what is ‘decent,’ who decides what is dignified, and who doles it all out — and how and to whom?”
Claudia Rosett at PJM

January 22, 2009

Palin’s ‘State of the State’ tonight

At 11 p.m. ET, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will give her “State of the State” address in Juneau. JR at Conservatives4Palin has details.

January 22, 2009

A pro-Obama video

First time for everything, right?

Now, that’s the kind of Change I can believe in!

UPDATE: Linked by Gold-Plated Witch On Wheels. Hey, you can never link me too much!

January 22, 2009

Obamaphiles trash the National Mall

“Greenest inaugural ever” via Ed Driscoll.

January 22, 2009

Sex blogging

Jules Crittenden blogs about sex, including Dr. Helen’s latest video, my latest column, and the worldwide envy of rich Chinese guys.

UPDATE: You knew Ace couldn’t resist:

The word “p***y-whipped” wasn’t invented out of thin air. It describes a real condition.

Is it a word or a phrase? The hyphen makes me think of it as a phrase, but maybe that’s just me. After all, I’m a moron.

UPDATE II: Jules gets the ‘Lanche.

January 22, 2009

Greenwald vs. ‘abject ignorance’?

“There are times when the glaring ignorance one encounters from people who are paid to write about political issues is so severe — so illustrative of how distorted and misleading our political discourse is — that it’s impossible to ignore even though one would really like to.”
Glenn Greenwald

There are times when a writer so compulsively over-dramatizes everything — hypes it up so relentlessly with words like “severe” and “impossible” — that one must struggle to resist the temptation to think of him as a histrionic stereotype.

Such temptation is especially difficult to resist when the object of Greenwald’s ire is not, say, Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney, but rather the mild-mannered libertarian blogger, Megan McArdle, whose Crimes Against Humanity are (a) to ask a very sensible question about Gitmo detainees, and (b) to get linked by Instapundit for doing so. (Reynolds is to Greenwald as Moriarity was to Holmes.)

Glenn, think about: Do you really want to pick a fight with the Giant Blog Woman? She’s bigger than Godzilla, and you’ll be like Tokyo.

UPDATE: Thanks to the commenter who points out this previous BloggingHeadsTV exchange between Greenwald and McArdle:

I’m watching this video and severely disliking Glenn’s arguments for requiring journalists to report this, that or the other. With the sole exception of libel law — and American libel law is stacked in favor of the defendant — I don’t want government requiring journalists to do anything. We can complain all we want about the quality, amount and content of journalism (and I do), but government compulsion in journalism is frightening.

UPDATE II: All your Instalanches are belong to us. For the benefit of readers who are not Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fans, Mycroft Holmes is Sherlock’s older brother, “the most indispensable man in the country.” (This may be arcana, but some fans say that Myrcroft’s wife, Dr. Helen Holmes, was the hottest babe in fin de siecle London.)

UPDATE III: In the comments, someone calling themselves “Glenn Greenwald” writes:

[P]lease identify a single instance where, either in that video or anywhere else, I’ve ever advocated that the state impose obligations on journalists. I don’t and haven’t.

All righty, then. I don’t want to transcribe the entire video, but here are a couple of sentences of what Greenwald said to Megan about “public interest” in journalism:

“I see journalism as a profession like the medical profession or the legal profession, where going into work every day and thinking about, ‘How do I maximize my profits? How do I feed my readers whatever they want so I can charge as much as I want for commercials?’ is not the only concern. There are other concerns that conflict with that, and I think the law gives privileges, special privileges, to journalism, to journalists, in every single possible realm that’s based upon the assumption, the premise that journalism owes a duty to the public interest besides maximizing profit.”

OK, the medical and legal professions are both licensed by the state, correct? Not just anyone can hang up a shingle and declare himself a surgeon. And what, pray tell, are these “special privileges . . . in every possible realm” accorded to journalists? If I get a speeding ticket on my way to an assignment (it happens), can I go to court and say, “Your honor, I am a journalist,” and expect the charge to be dismissed? No.

Greenwald seems to imply — excuse me if I don’t fully grasp his entire argument — that the legal privileges (he says are) accorded to journalists might be made contingent on their acting in “the public interest.” Well, who is to be the judge of “the public interest”? Me? Megan? Glenn?

If Greenwald feels that the press corps as a whole is not doing a bang-up job, he’s got a lot of company (including the editors of most newspapers and magazines). But when he compares the practice of journalism to law and medicine (both state-licensed professions), and speaks disparagingly of the profit motive, excuse my paranoia in discerning the implied threat of a Federal Bureau of Journalism looking over my shoulder.

I’ve got no more “privileges” than Greenwald has, and I’m sure that his affiliation with Salon would be plenty enough to get credentialed as a reporter, if that’s what he wants to do. He can go and do all the eat-your-vegetables journalism he wants — or at least as much as Salon is willing to pay for.

That’s just it, however: Somebody’s got to pay for all this reporting, and as long as the bill is paid by publishers dependent on ad revenue, the incentives of the market will prevail. From all the baleful headlines I see about the newspaper industry, it certainly doesn’t appear to me that publishers are guilty of paying excessive attention to market demand. If a newspaper doesn’t make a profit, it won’t do much good to demand they serve “the public interest” once they’re bankrupt and out of business.

UPDATE IV: The Case of the Tortured Analogy, wherein I find myself accused of likening Glenn Greenwald to Sherlock Holmes. What I intended, of course, was to suggest that (in the Greenwaldian mind) Professor Reynolds is a shadowy menace like Moriarity, the evidence of whose evil handiwork is . . . everywhere.

The Doyle reader will recall how relentlessly Holmes pursues Moriarity. This relentlessness occurred to mind as I pondered how Greenwald can’t go two days without lashing out at his nemesis Reynolds — which I think is just hunky-dory, BTW, since I end up getting ‘Lanched for posts mocking Greenwald. (How do I maximize my profits?)

January 22, 2009

David Frum goes gay

OK, misleading headline there. Actually, David Frum’s new-minted “New Majority” Web site publishes Jamie Kirchick’s article, “Give Up the Losing Fight on Gay Rights, GOP.”

Let’s put Jamie Kirchick in the time machine:

  • 1965: Give Up the Losing Fight on Communism, GOP
  • 1977: Give Up the Losing Fight on Taxes, GOP
  • 1993: Give Up the Losing Fight on Guns, GOP
  • 2007: Give Up the Losing Fight on Terrorism, GOP

In the wake of a lost election, it’s easy to say that Republicans should cede ground on this or that issue. If memory serves, amendments to protect the traditional definition of marriage had passed in all 31 states where they were on the ballot, most notably in California, where this turned out to be pretty much the only thing blacks and Hispanics agreed with conservatives about.

I know Jamie and consider him a friend, but he’s just dug into the bunker on this issue, and there’s no point arguing with him. But if the gay-marriage constituency doesn’t amount to a majority in California, what exactly is the electoral calculus by which being pro-gay-marriage is a winner for the GOP?

Special pleading aside, Kirchick’s argument here is much like the argument that Republicans should support amnesty for illegal aliens. Even though polls consistently show that amnesty is unpopular, we are told that the GOP simply must support it or risk losing a key constituency. But the electoral calculus makes no sense.

This is one of those things where perception is the real problem. The Left frames the issue as one of “rights” and “tolerance,” then depict opponents of their agenda as intolerant oppressors. It’s like Stan in “The Life of Brian,” demanding to be called Loretta: “Don’t you oppress me!”

Excuse me for not playing nicely with others.

UPDATE: Ed Whelan suggests that Kirchick mischaracterizes the discussion at last month’s National Review Institute.

UPDATE II: Another party I wasn’t invited to.