Archive for May 12th, 2009

May 12, 2009

Latest ‘Carrie Prejean Nude’ News Update

BUMPED & UPDATED: TMZ has new topless photos of Carrie Prejean and this time, her back is not turned.

According to TMZ these photos were taken last year, when she was 20. Click on the photo at right to see more. (Thanks to John Hawkins for the Twitter tip.)

Fox News reports:

Donald Trump told FOX News’ Great Van Susteren Monday night that he had to review some additional materials before he made his decision regarding the fate of Miss California Carrie Prejean on Tuesday.
The topless photos of Prejean released by TMZ Tuesday morning may be the materials in question. The photos show Prejean, 21, wearing an open top and underwear on a beach.

“Review some additional materials.” Heh.

There’s a 100-plus-comment headline thread at Hot Air, and I like the title of Rancho’s post: “Sexy Pro-Marriage Crusade Even Sexier!” Uh . . . “rebranding,” anyone?

Dan Collins links because “we’re not that kind of blog.”

UPDATE: Donald Douglas is “that kind of blog,” as is Jammie Wearing Fool, and Memeorandum is that kind of aggregator.

UPDATE II: Trump trumps!

The real estate mogul and co-owner of the Miss USA organization announced Tuesday that the scandalized beauty queen, who spoke out against “opposite marriage” at the 2009 Miss USA pageant, igniting a fire storm of scrutiny about her stance on gay marriage and her modeling career, will keep her crown.
“[Prejean] gave a very, very honest answer when asked a very tough answer at a recent pageant. It’s the same answer that the President of the United States gave. It’s the same answer that many people gave,” Trump said. “If her beauty wasn’t so great, nobody really would’ve cared.”

Attaboy, Donald! Imagine that: A guy who thinks a beauty contest ought to be about . . . beauty. Remember: Rosie O’Donnell hates The Donald, and now imagine how she’ll go off on him!

UPDATE III: As if further proof was needed that Allah hates me, huh? I mean, dude, I own the “Carrie Prejean Nude” Google-bomb. Well never mind, here’s the video of Trump’s announcement:

And video of Carrie Prejean’s statement:

UPDATE IV: Moe Lane at Red State:

Speaking as somebody who is actually for same-sex marriage: has my side mucked things up enough, or do we want to really go for the gusto and alienate still more people? She’s not getting tossed, her detractors are not going to get a social conservative crusade declared against her (mostly because the social conservatives that they think that they were aiming at don’t actually, you know, exist), and now we get to be reminded that the current President is prepared to do anything for same-sex marriage except actually stand up for it. Let’s quit while we’re behind, OK?

Moe, I love you man! In that kind of brotherly way that two totally hetero guys love each other, of course.

UPDATE V: BTW, based on this latest pictorial evidence, I still say I liked her better before the boob job. Nothing wrong with a nice natural A-cup.

Meanwhile, we’re linked by The Blogprof and by DaTechguy, who has a good roundup of reaction. Strangely, no linky-love from Professor Jacobson yet, and at Red State, Josh Painter says:

It’s a rare lost battle for the Left in the culture wars, and leftists aren’t good losers. Come to think of it, they act the same crappy way when they win, too.

PREVIOUSLY (5/11): Despite the Instalanche-like surge of traffic I get every time she makes news, I’m getting bored with Carrie Prejean. However, as the Official Carrie Prejean Nude Google-Bomb Headquarters of the Right-Wing Blogosphere, I feel obliged to report the latest:

For the time being — today, at least — Carrie Prejean continues to be the official Miss California USA.
At a press conference in Beverly Hills, state pageant officials criticized the 21-year-old San Diego native for her public opposition to same-sex marriage and for not revealing that she had posed semi-nude in her underwear. Both violate pageant rules.
But the officials said they did not have the power to strip Prejean of her crown. That action falls to Donald Trump, pageant owner. He has scheduled a news conference for tomorrow on whether she will keep or lose her title.
Until then, the state pageant co-directors, Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler, have appointed first runner-up Tami Farrell as “our official Beauty of California ambassador.”

Well, isn’t that special? It’s up to The Donald to say, “You’re fired!” And Miss December 2001 gets to pick an interim “ambassador.”

Can’t we get back to “DijonGate” or “CutieGate“? How about “MeghanGate“?

ALSO SEE: Can we talk about stereotypes?

May 12, 2009

Those treacherous bastards!NRSC to endorse Charlie Crist?

Politico reports that the recto-cranial inversion cases at GOP-HQ are planning another atavistic blunder:

Even as Gov. Charlie Crist comes under fire from Florida conservatives, he will be getting some important political backing today as he announces that he’s running for the Senate in Florida.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee will be endorsing Crist, according to a senior Hill operative, marking the first time it has taken sides (for a non-incumbent) in a competitive GOP primary this election cycle.

(Via Memeorandum.) Why would any conservative ever send another dime to the NRSC after this? Marco Rubio is the conservative in that primary, and it was Charlie Crist whose endorsement of John McCain help deliver Florida to that dingbat loser.

To hell with Charlie Crist and to hell with the NRSC. Go give some money to Marco Rubio.

UPDATE: At AmSpecBlog, I quote the chairman of the Conservative Republican Alliance:

“In case the NRSC forgot, it was Governor Crist that openly supported the Obama ‘stimulus’ plan, and gave the plan political cover here in Florida,” CRA chairman Javier Manjarres said in a press release. “Why does the NRSC issue an endorsement without even waiting to find out where the respective candidates stand on the issues?”

Here’s Marco Rubio’s first ad hitting Crist:

UPDATE II: Mitch McConnell endorses Crist, prompting John Hawkins to ask:

Can endorsements from Kathleen Parker and Colin Powell be far behind at this point?

Hawkins is calling for Cornyn’s resignation as NRSC chairman. Just don’t send ’em money, whatever you do.

UPDATE III: Oh, good: Now Ed Morrissey hates me, too.

UPDATE IV: Lots more negative reaction from conservatives, including Erick Erickson of Red State, who calls our attention to Dan McLaughlin’s Red State blog post, “Charlie Crist picks a fight Republicans don’t need.”

Dan Riehl is more approving, but perhaps he hasn’t studied the situation in Florida in the detail McLaughlin has. Basically, the old wobbly moderate, Crist, is stepping on the career of the promising Latino conservative, Rubio. It’s the exact opposite of what we need. It’s a triple disaster: Crist will forego a reasonably safe re-election bid as governor, to waste NRSC money running for an iffy Senate seat, creating an expensive GOP primary in the governor’s race. It’s just bad basic politics, all the way around, and only an idiot like Cornyn could think this was a smart move for the NRSC.

Jimmie Bise Jr. at Sundries Shack doesn’t want any of what John Cornyn is smoking.

May 12, 2009

Fortune Favors the Bold

Inspired by the musings of a new-minted ex-Democrat at The American Thinker, I wrote a little bit for the American Spectator blog:

A projected federal deficit of $1.8 trillion, borrowing 46 cents for every dollar they spend. The Secretary of Heath and Human Services announces she’ll save $2 trillion in health care costs, but the numbers don’t add up. It’s mere “political theater,” as Megan McArdle says. The “Underpants Gnome” approach. There are only two things standing in the way of health care reform, says Cato’s Michael F. Cannon: Math and politics. Obama and the Democrats may have the political power, but they can’t overcome the math problem.

Everybody on the Right nowadays is talking about how to fix the problems of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. The problem with a lot of this talk is that most people on the Right have been Republican all their lives. They don’t have the experience of becoming an ex-Democrat, so they don’t understand what kind of messages cause such conversions, and they get it all wrong.

The GOP’s problem is not that it is too “extreme” or “mean-spirited.” There is no need to yield ground on social issues, global warming, health care or anything else. The Republican Party elected as president George W. Bush who, as Bruce Bartlett extensively documented, was never really a conservative. The GOP then nominated John McCain — short, old, grumpy and bald — who was even less of a conservative than Bush.

Yet when this abandonment of sturdy principle yielded the inevitable electoral disaster, what did the likes of David Brooks tell you? “Blame conservatives!” But what did I tell you?

Conservatives who sought to prevent McCain’s nomination cannot be blamed for his defeat. And it is his defeat, not yours.
Ideologues tend to see election results in ideological terms. Right now, “progressives” are congratulating themselves on the triumph of progressivism. But Obama will be the next president because millions of non-ideological “swing” voters — those I call the Ordinary Americans — saw him as the superior candidate. A vote for him was not, in the eyes of those key voters, an endorsement of any ideology. . . .
Good candidates win elections, and bad candidates lose. John McCain was a bad candidate and he lost. Those who try to put an ideological spin on this election will miss that basic point.

With the GOP “brand” at low ebb, reaping the harvest of ex-Democrats is crucial now. And that harvest will not be reaped by fearful, defensive RINO squishes peddling an apologetic message of moderation: “We’re Republicans, but we’re not really so bad. Please don’t hate us, OK?”

That wasn’t the message that made me an ex-Democrat in the 1990s. It was the economics, stupid. Whatever the spark that causes someone to become disaffected with the Democrats (and most Democrats are Democrats because, like me, they inherited their parents’ partisan loyalties), the ultimate weakness of the Democratic Party is that its agenda flunks the test of basic economics.

This bold truth is why Meltdown is a bestseller, why sales of Atlas Shrugged are soaring and why you’re hearing a lot more people talking about Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. The Democrats are in charge, the numbers don’t add up, we’re heading toward a stagflation trap, people are starting to figure out that It Won’t Work, and they’re seeking answers.

The answer is not those “new ideas” that people keep telling us the Republican Party needs. No, what the GOP needs is some very old ideas: Limited government and economic freedom.

The GOP also needs something else: Courage. Without the courage to speak boldly in favor of solid political and economic principles, all else is in vain.

The pathetic whining of a spoiled brat like Meghan McCain, the intellectual elitism of Ross Douthat — these are of no use to the conservative cause in this crisis. We need to “cowboy up,” mustering the courage to speak plain truth, in the confidence that there are still enough Americans with the good sense to prefer truth to lies.

Nothing succeeds like success. The Tea Party movement succeeded in bringing hundreds of thousands together on April 15, and plans to bring that success to the nation’s capital on Sept. 12 for the Taxpayer March On Washington. That’s 120 days from today. What are you doing to make it a success?

Let the elitists and the moderates keep wringing their hands and whining. Conservatives need the courage to speak the truth, and speak it boldly, because fortune favors the bold.

UPDATE: In reaction to the talk of Gary Sinise as a GOP leader, Michelle Malkin says:

Mimicking the Left’s idolatry isn’t the path to GOP salvation. It’s the path to permanent ruin.
The rebranders have it ass-backwards. The key isn’t rebranding the GOP. It’s rebranding Obama.

Not to argue with The Boss, but:

  • A) It is important in politics to have attractive, articulate candidates.
  • B) I’ve heard very good things about Sinise from Andrew Breitbart.

That doesn’t mean Sinise is The Real Deal, or that Nicolle Wallace has a freaking clue. And MM is certainly right that the “rebranders” are strategically mistaken about the nature of the GOP’s problem. But having sharp candidates doesn’t hurt. I’m thinking Marco Rubio is looking pretty sharp right now.

3/21: Patterico: ‘The final word’?
2/28: Tea Parties, Defeatism and Wolverines
2/23: Rick Moran takes counsel of his fears

May 12, 2009

Can we talk about stereotypes?

“It’s time for you to find someplace new to recruit your henchmen. We’re getting back to our business of beauty,” says Miss California USA pageant direct Keith Lewis, setting the gay rights cause back at least 20 years with his portrayal of the vicious, catty drama queen stereotype.

Via Townhall, where Greg Hengler says that Lewis is “openly gay,” which is a term of art in such a case. I mean, some guys are gay and you’d never know unless they told you. But Lewis? It’s like he’s emitting a gaydar homing beacon or something.

Gay Patriot notes Lewis’s over-the-top bitch act:

Why must he so attack Maggie Gallagher? And why do so many gay lefties use the word “shame” to describe the actions of their ideological adversaries? . . . Why can’t these people show some class, some grace, in confronting their adversaries? Why must they adopt so harsh a tone and so vitriolic a vocabulary?”

It’s who they are: Angry at the world, externalizing their own unhappiness by projecting it on scapegoats. Lewis’s attack on Maggie Gallagher grates because it is a non sequitur. In fact, the whole press conference was a non sequitur, as far as any official business of the Miss Calfornia USA pageant was concerned.

This was Lewis, the preening narcissist, venting his personal rage against someone (Gallagher) he’s identified as The Enemy, inflated in his mind as the dehumanized embodiment of his every disappointment and of everyone who has ever disapproved of him.

However, such is the Movement mentality — if you’ve ever read Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer, you understand — that all of Lewis’s comrades will congratulate him: “Yeah! You sure showed her!” The viciousness is reinforced by this echo-chamber effect.

Meanwhile, well-meaning people will watch the video and say to themselves, “What was that about?”

UPDATE: BTW, if you actually know Maggie Gallagher, you know she’s hardly the Evil Hate Monster of left-wing imagination. If it is true — as Keith Lewis says — that a large share of the contributions to the National Organization for Marriage goes for Gallagher’s salary, benefits and expenses, then that is surely with the knowledge, and perhap by design, of her supporters.

Her organization is a small one, and if she had a larger budget, then a smaller share of the contributions would be required for her salary. (Question: What is David Brock’s salary at Media Matters? What is the budget of Media Matters?) John Hawkins of Right Wing News recently interviewed Gallagher:

[L]ook at what they’re doing to Carrie. Okay, I mean look at what they’re doing to a nice girl. She’s a beauty pageant contestant. All she did was say when asked, “Hey I think marriage should be between a man and woman,” and they’re reacting and dumping on her and trying to destroy her as if she had said something shameful and controversial.
So what we need to learn from Carrie is that they’re dumping on people who believe that marriage means a man and a woman because they don’t want to debate the consequences of gay marriage. They don’t want you to think about what it means when your government adopts a law that says you’re like a bigot if you disagree with the government’s definition of marriage.

Bingo. The gay left’s eruptions of screaming intolerance are not accidental. As I keep trying to explain, the gay-rights movement is egalitarian, not libertarian, and that is an important distinction. Egalitarianism, which aims to re-arrange society so as to produce “social justice,” inherently involves coercion, and therefore inevitably requires that the government assume vast power over the lives of the ordinary citizen.

It is this egalitarian appetite for power that produces the “Gay Rights, Gay Rage” reaction that we see in the reaction to Carrie Prejean. Those who don’t understand the power dynamic of politics believe that it is possible to reach some compromise with egalitarianism. This belief is a fundmental error.

George Orwell, a socialist, wrote his two great novels, Animal Farm and 1984, after his experiences in the Spanish Civil War awakened him to the dishonesty and viciousness of Soviet communism. (Soviet-trained commissars played a key role in organizing the anti-Falangist resistance in Spain.) But Orwell died at age 46, and never made the next step beyond recognizing the evil of totalitarian tactics to understanding that such tactics are implicit in the egalitarian ideology of socialism.

This is why Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom is so important. Hayek understood that the egalitarian Left’s promise of “social justice” is a lie, and that the Left’s militant demands on the so-called “issues of the day” are mere ploys, tactical means to the strategic end: Destruction of the free society. If you don’t understand this, if you think that the same-sex marriage argument is merely about being nice to gay people, then you have been deceived.

PREVIOUSLY: Latest ‘Carrie Prejean Nude’ News Update.

May 12, 2009

How to get a million hits, etc.

“Personally, I think the more topless photos, the better. But as a straight male, what do I know about beauty pageants?”
Professor Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit

May 12, 2009

Video: Ann Coulter does ‘Red Eye’

Chairman Ann says:

“This is a pageant in which the women are asked to strut in bikinis . . . It is owned by a well-known, renowned, open, serial adulterer, Donald Trump. It is judged by sodomites. And they are claiming they are shocked to see the sight of a 17-year-old girl’s back.”

May 12, 2009

‘They said they were Democrats first’

by Smitty (hat tip: TOTUS blog)

ABC contributor George Will suggested former Sen. John Edwards was irresponsible to campaign for the Democratic Party nomination.
“Think about what a tragedy it would have been if he had won?” Will said.

Tragedy? Greek? The Book of Job? The current economy?

Several of [Edward’s staffers] had gotten together and devised a “doomsday” strategy of sorts.
Basically, if it looked like Edwards was going to win the Democratic Party nomination, they were going to sabotage his campaign, several former Edwards’ staffers have told me.
They said they were Democrats first, and if it looked like Edwards was going to become the nominee, they were going to bring down the campaign.

Look, if we’re going to continue slouching The Road to Serfdom, then what difference does it make which stuffed shirt gets the credit/blame? Oh, right: non-worshippers of the POTUS are racist. OK, modulo the nebulous DNA difference, again: what’s the difference?

‘Democrats first’ is as good as ‘Republicans first’. How about ‘Constitution first’, ye losers?

May 12, 2009

I guess you know this means WAR, Attila?

On the recent collapse of Conde Nast’s super-upscale business magazine Portfolio, Little Miss Attila approvingly quotes Virginia Postrel:

Portfolio worked — for a while — as an advertising vehicle, but it never gave readers a reason to care. And from what little I know from the inside, the stuff about editing the life (and glamour) out of articles is entirely true. Newspaper training isn’t the ideal background for magazine editors.

Attila then adds her own snark about people from “a newspaper background,” as if our inferiority were a self-evident fact known to everyone in the literary racket. Of all the insults I have to bear — Michael Gerson is a twice-weekly columnist! — this little put-down is just too damned much.

Postrel is the former editor of Reason, and her dig at “newspaper training” may be a backhanded jab at current Reason editor Matt Welch, formerly of the L.A. Times. The Gawker item Postrel links in blaming “newspaper training” for the demise of Portfolio is by former researcher/staff writer Paul Smalera, who aims his ire at the magazine’s top editor:

[Smalera’s colleagues’] resumes were dotted with long-term assignments from Time, The New Yorker, Fortune, The New York Times and other A-list publications. The most popular being the Wall Street Journal, the former home of editor-in-chief Joanne Lipman and much of her top staff.

OK, so Portfolio was directed by a former Wall Street Journal editor who brought a lot of Journal staffers along with her. So what? David Brooks, whom I loathe, used to work at the Journal. That coincidence is not even an indictment of the Journal, much less an indictment of everyone in the newspaper industry. What is Smalera’s specific grievance against Lipman?

But if you have to say one thing about the failure of Lipman to create a successful magazine, it would be that dissent was not brooked by her. Not ever. . . .
When others at the magazine tried to inject their talents into the dialogue by questioning the wisdom of certain articles, certain cover choices, word choices, headlines, etc., Lipman was not interested in hearing from them if their ideas about those things differed from hers. . . . When Lipman took any advice at all, it usually came from the top deputies she brought with her from the Journal. Yet despite her tight grip on the magazine’s editorial content, there was the obvious scattershot, disconnected mix of stories and covers, and the pendulum swung wildly from issue to issue. Lipman’s means of survival and ascension at the Journal soon became clear with firings and departures and freeze outs at Portfolio: they had less to do with editorial acumen and more to do with knowing how to squash revolutions and power plays.

OK, fine. Lipman was a dictatorial ogre who surrounded herself with favored cronies, refused to listen to advice or suggestions from anyone else, and generally tyrannized the workforce. Let me see a show of hands if the same general description fits your boss.

Everyone? That’s what I thought. In the immortal words of Elvis Costello:

Welcome to the working week.
I know it doesn’t thrill you.
I hope it doesn’t kill you.

Life sucks. Oh, and did I mention that I’ve got ties older than Paul Smalera?

I was a computer geek for several long years after college, and though I enjoyed it, it wasn’t my calling. So I moved to New York and decided to become a journalist. . . . After writing some freelance articles and getting a foot in the door at another Condé Nast magazine, I found my way to Portfolio.

Right. The starry-eyed ex-geek moves to New York to be a journalist, because you can’t be a journalist anywhere else except the most expensive city on the planet. And by age 30, or whatever, he knows everything there is to know about journalism, so that he is now qualified to tell us:

Readers got some articles written by really good writers who could’ve become A-listers, had their articles not been edited within an inch of their lives and rewritten mercilessly, as if not by magazine editors but rewrite men at the New York Post City Desk. They got some articles chock full of good raw reporting that should’ve been re-worked into something readable by those same rewrite happy editors. And they got some utter crap, written by hacks that should’ve never been there to begin with.
As for me, like a lot of the younger writers there, I was never really able to do much damage, or earn much praise. There were easily half a dozen writers under 30 there whose role was to be seen and not heard. Despite our hustling and trying to curry favor with our editors, in the hopes they could sell us to Lipman, we were up against the faceless contract contributors for space, and we — especially me — usually lost that battle.

Alas, Paul Smalera, God’s gift to journalism! His talents unrecognized, aced out by “hacks” and “faceless contract contributors,” his brilliant work editorially abused by wretched “rewrite men” who did not appreciate his every golden adverb.

Maybe everything Smalera writes about Lipman’s blunders is true. But her most glaring blunder, I would suggest, was hiring punks like Smalera. If arrogance were talent, he’d have already won a Pulitzer or two. His article on “How Google Works,” for example, obviously would have been an instant classic had it not be hacked to pieces by the editors.

The classic, though, is Smalera’s dishy little tell-all about Portfolio which, in fact, tells us more about Smalera than it tells us about anything. His conclusion:

Essentially, it’s hard to take principled stands when you work pretty much at the beneficence of a billionaire. And if you’re wondering what’s wrong with journalism these days, that’s pretty much it.

Hey, I’ve got an idea: Let’s start a business magazine for readers who resent rich people!

If Little Miss Attila wishes to indict those of us from “a newspaper background,” she’ll need a better witness than a dime-a-dozen punk like Smalera.

UPDATE: Does my vendetta against Smalera seem a tad personal, considering I don’t know him from Adam’s housecat? Trust me, I know the type: The junior staffer whose ambitions are more literary than journalistic, who thinks himself unduly burdened by the task of actually finding some news to report, who imagines that writing is superior to mere reporting — a dime a dozen, like I say.

You run into this artsy-fartsy literary type too much in the news racket. They saw something in a movie (All The President’s Men) or on TV (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) or read a magazine article about journalism and said to themselves, “I want to do that!”

What they didn’t want to do was sit through a school-board meeting or write up a softball tournament or do any of the other crappy little jobs that (a) were the traditional training ground of journalists, and (b) are necessary to the production of a newspaper.

Which is to say, they don’t want to pay their dues. Because they’re arrogant punks. They don’t want to work at a job, they want a “career,” something glorious and wonderful like what they saw in the movies. If you ever hire somebody like that, they’ll sit around brooding about how damned unappreciated they are, and how this work they’re asked to do is beneath their talents, and they’ll whine, whine, whine.

The only way to deal with such people is rudely. You’re not going to alert them to the yawning gap between their skill and their ambition by talking nicely to them. Grab ’em by the scruff of the neck, get in their face, and tell ’em to shape up or find a new line of work.

Reality check, Paul Smalera: You suck.

UPDATE: Pouring salt in the wound left by Attila’s insult, Smitty e-mailed me a link to this:

Dan Baum was a staff writer for The New Yorker for a time . . .
My gig was a straight dollars-for-words arrangement: 30,000 words a year for $90,000.

Nice work if you can get it. I can (and do) produce far more than 30,000 words in a month. My usual pace of original composition is about 400 words an hour, and I have never had a problem knocking out a reported 1,000-word news-feature in a single day, to wit. But the “No Conservatives Need Apply” sign hangs above the door at the New Yorker, so somebody else will have to do that $3-a-word work, I suppose.