Archive for February 16th, 2009

February 16, 2009

Ace: Hanging with Hitch in Beirut

Ah, the glamorous life of the world’s most famous hobo-hating Ewok:

Yesterday was the high point of the trip. We took a harrowing action-movie race up the mountains of [Shouf] that left several green and sickened and Christopher Hitchens berating the driver. “Now stop this nonsense,” he said after we barely missed a head on collision with a Mercedes. “Start driving like a sane person.” . . .
There we met Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Druze faction and the most stridently anti-Syrian critic, in his villa slash fortress slash Bond Villain Lair.

(Via Little Miss Attila.)

February 16, 2009

Our Canadian future

OK, maybe our future is Argentina. But maybe it’s also Canada, where the government attempts to control who gets booked on TV talk shows:

Warren Kinsella, a senior aide to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, attempted to interfere with an editorial decision made by a public broadcaster today.
TV Ontario invited Kathy Shaidle, who blogs at Five Feet of Fury, to debate the “atheist bus” campaign. Kinsella, who was hand-picked by Ignatieff to head up the
Liberal war-room, immediately went ballistic, contacting the show’s host, Steve Paikin, and demanding that Shaidle be un-invited.
Then Kinsella continued his hysterics, e-mailing provincial MPPs and staff, screeching that Shaidle must be persona non grata. He tried to get an online “campaign” going to stop her.

Congratulations, Kathy, on making the “persona non grata” list. First Mark Steyn, now you. If only someone had thought to ban Neil Young back when they had the chance . . .

February 16, 2009

‘Better than having sex’

So does a 73-year-old Peoria woman describe the experience of watching Obama’s motorcade pass. (Via Michelle Malkin.)

February 16, 2009

Pelosi Presents: Republicans Are EVIL!

Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of the Speaker of the House, has an HBO film deal — I mean, wow, what a coicidence, huh? Time/Warner has only given $7.1 million to Democrats since 2000, making 82% of their donations to Democrats in the 2008 election cycle.

So HBO pays Alexandra to make a documentary about the election called Right America: Feeling Wronged: Some Voices from the Campaign Trail and guess what?

What kind of documentary would you expect given the subject matter and the filmmaker? . . .
If you said the film would show conservatives as ignorant, racist, hateful folk who genuinely cling to God and guns, give yourself a prize. Bonus points go for those who predicted the film would characterize McCain/Palin rallies as hate events.

Just amazing how these coincidences happen.

UPDATE: Smitty tips me to a story at Newsbusters, where Washington Post TV critic Michael Leahy pans the Pelosi documentary.

February 16, 2009

An assignment nobody wanted

A reporter at the New York Times has to write a profile feature about the Mexican investor who just bailed out Pinch Sulzberger to the tune of $250 million. It’s like being the sportswriter assigned to cover the publisher’s alma mater. You don’t want that kind of assignment, because you know the guy that signs the checks is going to be breathing down your neck if any little detail is wrong. (Via Instapundit.)

February 16, 2009

Post-stimulus blues

Quin Hillyer is bummed out:

There are times when it’s just too depressing to write about politics. This is one of those times. The welfare-reform-killing, debt-exploding, generational-thieving, pork-laden, growth-inhibiting, utterly unnecessary and counterproductive monstrosity that the Obamites and Pelosians just shoved down the nation’s throats has left me in a deep numbness akin to one of the stages of grief.

Anybody else feeling the post-stimulus blues?

February 16, 2009

‘You don’t have enough backbone to be a liar’

Moe Lane called this to my attention:

The other end of the political spectrum disregards you, Dahr, and now I know why. I thought it was because you’re a liar — but you aren’t. You don’t have enough backbone to be a liar. You’re a craven obfuscationist, intent on promoting your agenda at the cost of a menagerie of much braver men and women.

Now, THAT is some top-notch invective, directed by one HuffPo war-blogger against another. You’ll excuse me, but I’ve got to go pop some popcorn.

February 16, 2009

Don’t cry for us, Argentina

Phillip Jenkins:

The United States is a superpower with a huge economy. Argentina is a political and economic joke, a global weakling legendary for endemic economic crises. Between them and us, surely, a great gulf is fixed. Yet Argentina did not always have its present meager status, nor did its poverty result from some inherent Latin American affinity for crisis and corruption. A century ago, Argentina was one of the world’s emerging powers, seemingly destined to outpace all but the greatest imperial states. Today it is … Argentina. A national decline on that scale did not just happen: it was the result of decades of struggle and systematic endeavor, led by the nation’s elite. As the nation’s greatest writer, Jorge Luis Borges, once remarked, only generations of statesmanship could have prevented Argentina from becoming a world power.

My daughter’s boyfriend was born in Argentina and immigrated here with his parents. I jokingly call him “The Argentine Romeo” or “Lothario of the Pampas,” and threaten to call ICE to have him deported. Really a nice kid — both of his grandfathers are ministers of the gospel, and his parents are fine Christians.

But Argentina! Such a mess! They’ve got a bad case of “revolution envy,” and every minor political dispute results in mass protests/riots. My daughter attended college in Argentina last year and when she told me about the idiotic agricultural policy of Cristina Fernandez — “People in Buenos Aires are starving!” — I could scarcely believe it: A tax on exports! The most absurd thing I’d ever heard of, but a classic expression of envy-as-policy, which seems to be the norm down there.

Jenkins writes:

Could it happen here? The U.S. certainly has very different political traditions from Argentina and more barriers to a populist-driven rape of the economy. On the other hand, events in some regions would make Juan Perón smile wistfully.
California runs on particularly high taxes, uncontrollable deficits, and overregulation with a vastly swollen bureaucracy while the hegemonic power of organized labor prevents any reform. Thankfully, the state has no power to devalue its currency, still less to freeze bank accounts or seize pension funds, and businesses can still relocate elsewhere. But in its social values and progressive assumptions, California is close to the Democratic mainstream, which now intends to impose its ideas on the nation as a whole. And at over 60 percent of GDP, U.S. public debt is already higher than Argentina’s.

Equality in misery: We have seen the future, and it dances the tango.

February 16, 2009

Bitter? Angry? Moi?

No, that’s some other guy named McCain:

Democrats are growing increasingly frustrated with the brash political attacks Sen. John McCain has launched against Barack Obama in the weeks since the new president took office. No one expected the Arizona Republican to be a legislative ally for this administration. But it was widely assumed that Obama’s overtures to McCain in the weeks after the election would dull some of the hard feelings between the two. Now, they are realizing, it has not.
“He is bitter and really angry,” Bob Shrum said of McCain in an interview on Friday. “He is angry at the press, which he thinks is unfair. He is angry at Obama and angry at the voters. He has gone from being an angry old candidate to being an angry old defeated candidate.”

“Brash political attacks” — man, why didn’t he think of this during the actual campaign?

February 16, 2009

Sarah Palin: Laying pipe!

Energy development in Alaska = “Stimulus we can believe in!” says the hottest governor of the coldest state, in an interview with Michael Medved (via Conservatives4Palin):

Also: “First Dude” is 6th in the Iron Dog.