Archive for ‘Little Miss Attilla’

July 31, 2009

Everybody’s in Atlanta, why not me?

First it was Little Miss Attila, and now Moe Lane announces his departure to my hometown for this weekend’s big Red State Gathering, where the attendees will celebrate the absence of the conspicuously uninvited Native Son.

Last weekend, after I described my trip to Richmond for Liberty 101 — the Virginia Tea Party Patriots are wonderful people — I got a worried e-mail from Ben Marchi, Virginia state director of Americans For Prosperity, as a result of these paragraphs:

Of course, my feelings were still sore that AFP’s Erik Telford insulted me by leaving me out of next month’s RightOnline National Conference in Pittsburgh with Michelle Malkin. When I mentioned Erik’s name, Ben reminded me that Telford recently made No. 2 on Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” list. As usual, Olbermann gets the facts wrong — Telford’s No. 1.
That surge of registrations for RightOnline the past two days was caused by my friends signing up for a seminar Telford left off the Pittsburgh conference agenda: “I’ve Got T-Shirts Older Than You, Punk: Stacy McCain Explains Why He Just Beat the Crap Out of Erik Telford in the Sheraton Lobby.” But I digress . . .

So I sent an e-mail back to Ben and explained that I wasn’t really angry at Telford. He’s a nice kid and I was only joking about the beating.

Well, probably joking. It’s been years since I’ve risked an assault charge by giving some ungrateful punk the thrashing he so richly deserved, but just because I’ve become a top Hayekian public intellectual — the pinnacle of journalistic respectability — doesn’t mean my enemies should feel they can grossly insult me without fearing the violent consequences.

These kids, they don’t know from Gonzo. Back in the day, when Hunter S. Thompson was living the precarious and poverty-stricken freelancer’s life, it became his habit to respond to rejection notices and unfruitful job applications with outrageous letters full of hyperbolic denunciations and threats.

People who actually knew Thompson understood that these letters were, for the most part, just writing exercises. A writer improves his craft by constant practice, and if you have just been denied the opportunity to get paid for your craft, why not exercise the rejected skill at the expense of the philistine wretch who failed to recognize your genius?

Long after he became famously successful — genius must ultimately have its reward — Thompson never forgot the experience of poverty and obscurity. For example, one reason he took such great delight in becoming a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner in the 1980s was that, 25 years earlier, his application for a reporting job at the rival Chronicle had been rejected. And then there was this 1972 love-note to a good buddy of his:

“Dear John . . .
“You skunk-sucking bastard . . .”

Hunter S. Thompson, letter to John Chancellor of NBC News, Sept. 11, 1972, reprinted in Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72

Thompson’s unpredictable sense of humor made him a constant source of carnival amusement for his friends. So as Moe and Attila relax and enjoy their cocktails Saturday evening at the Red State Gathering, they should not dismiss the possibility that their conviviality will be disturbed by a sudden Gonzo episode:

“Sweetheart, give me a cold Corona, with lime,” I told the redhead behind the bar, loud enough to be heard by Miss Attila, sitting at a table in the corner with Moe Lane. As usual, Attila was zonked on gin and entirely oblivious. But Moe glanced over and froze with the shock of recognition. I nodded at him and smiled, tossed a $10 on the bar — the redhead was cute and the service was prompt — grabbed my Corona and strolled casually to their table.
Strolling casually was difficult, considering I was jacked up on no fewer than six cups of truck-stop coffee I’d consumed on my 700-mile drive from Hagerstown. I’d made it in just a shade over 14 hours, although I could have done it in less than 11, if I hadn’t been forced to exit I-81 south of Bristol to elude the Tennessee state trooper who blue-lighted me when I flew past him at 110 mph.
With my thorough knowledge of the region’s back roads and a half-mile head-start — the trooper must have been a rookie and was just a tad slow on the jump — I knew he’d never overtake me. But like the moonshiners used to say, you can’t outrun the Motorola, so I’d been forced to park the rented Mustang for half an hour behind a Pentacostal church near Walnut Hill while half the law-enforcement personnel in Sullivan County raced back and forth on the Blountville Highway trying to find me. I sat there on the front steps of the church, reading that morning’s New York Times, smoking Camel Lights and enjoying the show until I was sure they’d called off the pursuit.
Given that the trooper had never gotten close enough to see my tags, I was reasonably safe from further harassment, but now there was a BOLO for the Mustang, so I had to wind my way through backroads until I picked up I-26, then cut back over to I-81 and kept it cool all the way through Knoxville before opening it up again once I made it on I-75.
So it was nearly 8 p.m. when I handed the keys to the valet in front of the Grand Hyatt, grabbed my satchel and tried to be inconspicuous as I pushed through the side door and crossed the lobby to the men’s room.
Quickly washing, shaving and brushing my teeth, I changed clothes and looked as sharp as a CEO when I re-entered the lobby and approached the concierge, handing him the satchel containing my toiletry kit, washcloth and dirty laundry.
“No problem, sir,” he said, handing me a ticket in exchange for a $5 tip.
“You’re a gentleman and a scholar, Reginald,” I replied, with the manic sincerity of a man who’d had nine hours sleep in the past three days, including a fitful 90-minute nap in the front seat of the Mustang in a truckstop parking lot near Adairsville.
Moe Lane knew none of this, of course, and my stroll across the Hyatt bar was supremely casual.
“Stacy!” he said. “What the . . I mean, what’s with the tux?”
Attila stared glassy-eyed, predictably having skipped dinner to start in on the gin at five o’clock. She seemed to be trying to form the words of a greeting, but I just smiled, took a big swig of the Corona and pulled up a chair.
“Oh, my buddy Phil Kent invited me to a state GOP fund-raiser, and I thought I’d swing by over here and see how things were going.”
“Stacy!” said Attila at last, putting her hand on my wrist.
“Sweetheart, how are ya?” I said, but she was too far gone to comprehend even this simple pleasantry, much less formulate an answer.
“Stacy!” she repeated, but then was distracted when the waiter walked past our table. She grabbed him and thrust her empty glass at him, demanding more gin. I turned my attention to Moe.
“Hey, good to see ya, man. Where’s Mr. Erickson?” I said, taking another long drink from the Corona and trying to be as nonchalant as possible.
“Oh, he’s still finishing up at the reception. I’m sure he’ll be here in 10 minutes.”
Still nonchalant, I shook my head and finished the Corona with another long gulp. “Too bad. Can’t stick around. I’ve got to run back over to Phil’s party. But maybe I can drop in and say howdy to Erick on my way out. Where’s the reception?”
Moe told me the name of the ballroom and I nodded as he told me which floor it was on.
“Thanks, buddy,” I said, then reached inside my jacket and pulled out the souvenir Bowie knife I’d bought for $30 at that Adairsville truck stop. Now my eyes gleamed crazily as I briefly brandished the seven-inch blade. “I’ve got some old business to settle with Mr. Erickson tonight . . .”
With that, I stood up and, holding the knife down beside my leg as if to conceal it, walked quickly toward the side door, glancing back just once to see Moe frantically typing a text-message into his Blackberry. Perfect.
Ditching the knife in the nearest trash can — definitely $30 of fun — I headed up the corridor to the pay phones, dropped in some change and made a quick call. After hanging up, I went around the corner, down the hall and turned left, back into the lobby. The concierge spotted me as I strode cheerfully toward him, holding the ticket for my satchel. He took the ticket and handed me the bag with a smiling “thank you, sir.”
When I walked out the door, Phil’s car was waiting. I threw the satchel in the back seat, climbed in and closed the door.
“Stace, old buddy, how’s it going?” Phil said. “It’s been a while.”
“Yeah, too long, Phil. But you know how it is — busy, busy, busy.”
He wheeled the car through the driveway, but stopped when he heard the sirens of the Atlanta P.D. cars that came screaming down Peachtree Street toward us.
“Wow? What’s that?” Phil said.
“Ah, some drunk woman was getting rowdy in the bar. She started talking a lot of crazy stuff about a knife. I guess somebody finally called the cops.”
“Yeah, that happens a lot around here,” Phil said, turning onto Peachtree after the cop cars had roared past.
“Yeah, I said. “It happens . . .”

Merely another hypothetical scenario, you see. No way I would actually do something that crazy. Even if I had time to drive to Atlanta this weekend, the gas alone would chew up the commission check that just came in the mail this morning, and my wife wants to make the overdue car payment with that. On the other hand, if a couple dozen readers were to hit the tip jar today . . .

Well, I probably still wouldn’t drive to Atlanta just for the fun of startling Moe and Attila by my unexpected arrival, but isn’t it important for them to think I could?

(Erick: No need to pay me for promoting the Red State Gathering. It’s entirely my pleasure, you skunk-sucking bastard.)

UPDATE: Thanks to Steve Givler for playing the Grammar Nazi in the comments. “Strode” is just one of those irregular past-tenses that sounds so weird that it doesn’t occur to the ear naturally, and I tend to write by ear, having paid only enough attention in freshman comp class to slide through with a B. Nothing against English majors or Advanced Grammar classes, you understand. Some of my best friends were English majors. NTTAWWT.

July 30, 2009

Afterbirther

by Smitty

This is not a post, directly, about events that may or may not have occurred in Hawaii some decades past. Keep in mind that you have the POTUS sworn in by the Chief Justice, and a unanimous resolution in the House supporting him. That makes three branches of the federal government telling you that’s just the way it is.

The left-handed amusement I’m feeling is that, for all a sizable chunk of people are exercised about this point, no one is raising the same level of concern about the Social Security Act that they are about health care and the birther stuff.

While it’s 74 years long in the tooth next month, its blatant 10th Amendment violation stands as the hugest, longest lasting political WTF in contemporary US history. This is the best example I can think of conforming to the ancient observation:

Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.–Matt 23:24

(For you non Bible-geeks: they would pour wine through a mesh into the cup, just in case it carried any divers.)

July 29, 2009

‘Unseemly obsession’?

Little Miss Attila accuses me of some sort of Freudian complex involving the SiteMeter. Perhaps the Blogospheric Neologian can coin a term for this.

Look, Attila: The writer is ultimately less important than the reader. If it weren’t for readers, no one would bother writing. So the writer who seeks a larger readership cannot be presumed to be engaging in mere self-aggrandizement. Given that there is no TV network, publisher, agent, think tank, advocacy group or political party willing to spend a dime promoting my work to the wider world, the DIY-hype approach is the only alternative to the extreme traffic suckage that leads to blog-death.

Growth or entropy, take your pick. If folks in the newspaper industry had been more attuned to giving their readers something worth reading — something interesting and occasionally surprising — maybe I’d still be getting paid a full-time salary to fill reams of newsprint. Instead, the industry surrendered its fate to high-priced consultants and know-it-all ASNE panelists, so even if I were interested in a return to the dead-tree racket, why rush to be the last passenger aboard the Lusitania?

So I’m flinging pixels across the ‘sphere and, as Chris Muir recently reminded me, trying to have fun.

If you’re not having fun, you’ll burn out. And if you take this politics crap too seriously, it’ll drive you nuts. While I’ve been certifiably nuts ever since that unfortunate 1979 incident involving psilocybin mushroom tea and Bolivian flake cocaine — Just Say No, kids — maintaining a simulacrum of sanity requires that I occasionally get my Gonzo on.

So I indulge in little inside jokes and, as a great philosopher once said, the issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests.

We did. Or at least Professor Douglas did.

Well, you can do what you want to Donald Douglas, but we’re not going to sit here while you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

OK, that brings us around to Cassandra, who offers a splendid opportunity for double entendre that I’ll uncharacteristically resist. Instead, I’ll take up the comment she left in Monday’s post:

Stacy, if you want to argue with something I actually said, knock yourself out :p I’ll be more than happy to debate you on the merits.
But knocking down straw men doesn’t answer the mail. Kurtz didn’t link to the live video (repeatedly, just in case someone still hadn’t seen it), nor did he equate taking advantage of a crime committed against an innocent woman as part and parcel of “heterosexual male-dom.”

Exploitation is exploitation, ma’am, and your defense of Howard Kurtz approaches the event horizon of that philosophical black hole known as moral relativism. (As Stephen Hawking theorized, when one approaches such a point, time slows down and the force of gravity nears the infinite, which is probably neither here nor there so far as it concerns Erin Andrews, although it would have been a mind-blowing concept to ponder back in 1979.)

In my very first mention of the aforesaid Google-bomb, I tried to employ gentle humor to dissuade the Professor from further pursuing this unfortunate meme. When it quickly became apparent, however, that (a) the MSM were all over it and (b) other bloggers were weighing in on the Professor’s ethics, I felt obliged to address the topic more directly:

Like Dan Riehl and Don Surber, I had no clue who Erin Andrews is before this incident. I feel wrong even blogging about it, and I’m notoriously shameless when it comes to traffic enhancement.

Generally, however, it seemed to me that Donald had gotten himself into a fix where friendly persuasion would achieve better results than a fire-and-brimstone sermon. Even geniuses sometimes make mistakes and, while the professor clearly crossed the event horizon, one can hardly argue that his Icarus-like adventure was entirely fruitless.

Given that I was nearing deadline on a 3,000-word feature about IG-Gate for the September print issue of the American Spectator (subscribe now to the only dead-tree publication that still matters), even while new developments were popping up left and right, not even Hawking’s time-warp theory could possibly provide me enough time to read everything that everyone wrote about this controversy.

Like a sophomore slugging Red Bull as he furiously crams for a test he’d forgotten was this Wednesday, or a hurried tourist rushing through the Louvre (“Oh, look, Seurat!”) during a two-hour tour-bus stop, all I could do was to conjure a rough gestalt impression of what the hell was going on.

Therefore, Ms. Cassandra, please excuse my failure to engage what Conor Friedersdorf would call your “substantive criticisms.” Between one thing and another — reporting IG-Gate, bashing David Brooks, pushing the Best. Book. Evah! — maybe I’m a tad overextended lately. Hell’s bells, I’ve barely had time to deride the “sucker’s rally” on Wall Street!

Speaking of Wall Street, my recent return to biz-blogging means that I now tune my home-office TV to CNBC while working. Tuesday night, while I was writing this (for posting Wednesday morning, when I’ll be getting ready for another shoe-leather trip to Capitol Hill), CNBC presented an hour-long special report:”PORN: Business of Pleasure“:

It was once too taboo to talk about, but not anymore. In the new CNBC original production “Porn: Business of Pleasure” nothing is off limits when it comes to the controversial multi-billion dollar industry . . .
CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, takes an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look inside the multibillion pornography business . . .

Time slows down, gravity nears the infinite . . .

July 27, 2009

‘That’s Just the Rule 5 Way It Is!’

Little Miss Attila encounters the original inspiration for the Paul Anka Integrity Kick:

Seeing that was like watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time . . .

Indeed, and with Goldsteinesque appreciation for intentionality, I feel obligated to provide some (unfortunately necessary) clarification on the origins and purpose of Rule 5.

Donald Douglas is a good guy, and the blogospheric round-robin consensus that he pushed the rule beyond its reasonable limit does not diminish his good-guy status. One of the things about “edgy” humor is that you never know where the edge actually is until you’ve gone over it. Certainly, I cannot cast the first stone.

‘Pork Marlene Desmond?’
The sociological purpose of an inside joke is as a signifier of membership, an acknowledgment of shared experience. When I was at the Rome News-Tribune, there was a group of us guys in the newsroom who were all fans of Animal House and Blazing Saddles.

So when special-projects editor Pierre Rene-Noth issued an editorial memo to the newsroom, business editor John Willis would say, “Now what’ll that a**hole think of next?” To which the only response was, “Somebody’s gotta go back and get a s***load of dimes!”

Or, if you drew one of those short-straw assignments, city editor Mike Colombo would say, “You f***ed up — you trusted us!” Such a reference might lead to an extended riff-fest: “Will that work?” “Hey, it’s gotta work better than the truth.”

The whole point of this silly riffing was to humorously reassure each other that we were all sharing the same miserable fate (“Mongo only pawn in game of life.”) and thus maintain some some semblance of esprit d’corps among the wretches pulling the oars on this galley.

After I moved to Washington, I was mortified to discover that, in the newsroom of The Washington Times, the appropriate signifiers on the national desk were Caddyshack and Seinfeld, so that (a) I didn’t always get their in-jokes, and (b) my own accustomed in-jokes did not elicit the appropriate chuckles of recognition.

To make matters worse, over the course of the next decade, turnover in the staff meant that we increasingly had younger staffers for whom all such references were as opaque as the Dead Sea Scrolls. (On the upside, however, your average 20-something’s shortage of cultural referents means an old guy can recycle ancient vaudeville gags and be considered inventively witty: “If I could walk that way, I wouldn’t need the talcum powder!”)

Pirate’s Cove and the Zero Hour
As I’ve explained before, but perhaps should explain again, the credit (or blame) for inspiring Rule 5 is split three ways:

  • A back-and-forth Christina Hendricks riff with Stephen Green of VodkaPundit in the gloomy weeks following the 2008 election, when political blog traffic plummeted precipitously.
  • Five days a week, Conservative Grapevine includes links to bikini babes at the end of its news aggregation and — as John Hawkins has pointed out — the bikini links consistently get more clicks than all the rest.
  • Every Sunday, William Teach at Pirate’s Cove does Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup, an aggregation post featuring classic pinup art.

Back in the day — and remember, my first month of full-time blogging here (March 2008) I had a grand total of 6,000 visitors — involved repeated encounters with that awful moment experienced by every newbie blogger, The Zero Hour: You toil into the night to create what you think is the most brilliant post ever, e-mail the link to several bloggers (Rule 1), go to bed, wake up at 5 a.m., log on expecting your SiteMeter to be spiking off the charts and . . . nothing. Your most recent hourly traffic was a big, fat zero.

OK, you could buy a “secrets of blogging” book (Secret Tip No. 1: Be A Cute Chick) or sign up for a class on how to enhance your blog traffic. Or you could stick your head in the oven and end it all.

If neither of those options is appealing, however, there’s the DIY method: Obsessively study the craft, apply what you learn, and resourcefully bootstrap your own trial-and-error solution to the ubiquitous blogger problem of traffic suckage.

Also, listen to your wife. After about my third or fourth Instalanche, my wife said, “Let me guess: Was it one of your smart-ass comments?” Well . . . yeah, it was. My wife said, “See? You should be funny. You’re good at that.”

At any rate, there were some Sundays in the early going when, if it hadn’t been for inclusion in the Pirate’s Cove aggregation, I wouldn’t have had 100 visits for the whole day. So when it came time to celebrate our first million hits, to have omitted Rule 5 would have been an act of negligence and ingratitude. You’ve got to give something back, see?

‘Land-Snatching . . . See: Snatch’

Hedley Lamarr: My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.
Taggart: Golldarn it, Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue prettier than a $20 whore.

And so we behold Donald Douglas and the “Erin Andrews nude” Google-bomb, still pounding it as relentlessly as Andrew Sullivan in the back row of the cineplex during a Patrick Swayze film festival.

When we crossed the 2 million threshold, I used the occasion to suggest that maybe it was time to “step away from the peephole,” but Donald keeps milking it like Andrew Sul . . . Never mind. Supply your own disturbing mental image. I refuse to take responsibility for the emergency brain-bleach shortage that would result if I completed that sentence.

My point is that now Cassandra of Villainous Company is becoming so offended, she’s threatening to remove her sexy garter-flashing pinup art — and we can’t let that happen. Like some sort of well-intentioned mad scientist, I’ve created a monster (Frankencheesecake?) and now the villagers are storming the castle with pitchforks and torches.

What’s weird is that Professor Douglas is now able to provide Erin Andrews nude citations from the Hartford Courant and Howard Kurtz. It’s one of those viral memes that is unlikely to stop spreading anywhere this side of the Wall Street Journal or the Christian Science Monitor.

How can we lure Donald out of the swirling vortex — a torrent, one might say — of Erin Andrews nude?

‘We Have to Go All Out’

Otter: I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.
Bluto: And we’re just the guys to do it.

Fighting fire with fire, and inspired by the success of National Offend A Feminist Week, I hereby declare July 27-Aug. 2 to be International Rule 5 BikiniFest Week. (Smitty: “Now what’ll that a**hole think of next?”)

We’ll have a daily contest, recognizing the best of each day’s entries, and culminate next Sunday by awarding the 2009 Rule 5 BikiniFest Week Grand Prize. Here are the rules:

  • PG-13. You’ll be disqualified for prizes if you go too far, so use your best judgment, guys. Generally speaking, anything more revealing than the sexy bikini picture of Mrs. Other McCain risks disqualification. Smitty will be the final arbiter of this rule, although I may be available for consultation on particularly difficult cases.
  • Bikinis preferred, but not mandatory. Glamour/lingerie photos will also be considered. Mrs. Other McCain has never minded me looking at the Victoria’s Secret catalog, so long as I buy her something nice and lacy for Christmas. However, keep in mind the “PG-13” rule. Of the 15 photos in this Miranda Kerr Victoria’s Secret pictorial, the three topless photos would probably risk disqualification. However, Smitty is the final arbiter.
  • Sorry, ladies: No beefcake. Given that the whole point of this exercise is to tempt Professor Douglas away from his traffic-hungry Erin Andrews frenzy, photos of studly bare-chested macho dudes (NTTAWWT) will be ineligible for prizes, although Smitty may decide to link those posts anyway.
  • No minors. Anyone posting bikini photos of Miley Cyrus or Selena Gomez will be immediately disqualified. Ex-jailbait princesses — Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, etc. — are eligible, but only if the photos were indisputably taken after the subjects turned 18, you sick freak, you.
  • No Erin Andrews. Speaking of sick freaks, whoever drilled that peephole and recorded that video needs to be strung up by his scrotum and repeatedly cattle-prodded where it hurts the most. No criminal voyeurism, no bondage, no whips, no chains, no handcuffs, dog-collars or nipple-clips — do we need to go ahead and specifically rule out bestiality and necrophilia, or is the general idea clear? We want healthy, wholesome cheesecake of the kind that any red-blooded truck mechanic would be pleased to see rendered as art in a Gil Elvgren classic pinup calendar. Again, Smitty is the final arbiter.

So there you have it: Thanks to Dr. Douglas and this disgusting peephole video, bloggers now have a perfect excuse to post babelicious bikini pics every day of the week. Just post the babes and e-mail your links to Smitty. In addition to reciprocal linkage, winners will be eligible for the the prize of one beer, if you should ever happen to catch me in a bar with money in my pocket — and good luck with that.

Will this crazy scheme work? If it doesn’t, we may have to send SWAT units and the hostage negotiation team to try to talk Dr. Douglas away from Erin Andrews nude.

The amazing coincidence here is that International Rule 5 BikiniFest Week just happens to occur during the nadir of the mid-summer doldrums, when our blog traffic would otherwise suck worse than Andrew Sul . . . oh, you don’t really expect me to finish that sentence, do you? Hit the tip jar, or I just might, and in such a way that you’ll never get enough brain-bleach to erase that mental image.

June 21, 2009

Thank you, Bush 41!

Oh, sweet mother of ironies:

First Lady Michelle Obama is kicking off a White House push to underscore the importance of volunteerism in San Francisco on Monday — a move that will have political figures here elbowing each other to get in the frame with her.
But step aside, folks, it’s California First Lady Maria Shriver who snags that honor before all. . . .

(Editor’s note: Remember how all those celebrities in California strove to “get in the frame with” Laura Bush? . . . Hello? Is this thing on?)

Then, Michelle Obama delivers the keynote at Moscone Center, before the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service. That meeting, hosted by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Institute . . .

Ah, the “thousand points of light” hailed by President George H.W. Bush as he celebrated that “kinder, gentler America” which he handed on a silver platter to Bill Clinton four years later and which his son delivered, gift-wrapped with a festive bow of “compassionate conservatism,” to the Obamas. (Read My Lips: No More Bushes!)

Michelle Malkin links this S.F. Chronicle story to point to an angle that interests me very much:

Guess where the First Lady will be on Monday?
Why, she’ll be delivering the keynote address at the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service in San Francisco.
And who is co-sponsoring the conference?
Why, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)!
Yes, that’s the same CNCS that is the parent organization of AmeriCorps.
It’s the same CNCS that last year suspended Sacramento mayor/Obama crony Kevin Johnson from receiving federal funds after then-inspector general Gerald Walpin blew the whistle on massive fraud and abuse of AmeriCorps dollars for personal and political gain. . . .

If you haven’t read the whole thing (including The Other Michelle’s California itinerary), then most certainly you should read the whole thing. However . . .

When you come back from reading the whole thing, let’s talk about something very important: The reason Barack Obama is president is because the people in charge of the Republican Party are stupid. And I’m not talking about SAT scores. I’m talking about the kind of stupid that thinks:

  • Republicans can win by trying to beat liberals at the “compassion”/”social justice” schtick;
  • Republicans can create government programs that won’t be taken over and subverted to expand the Democratic Party the next time Democrats win an election; and
  • Republicans who think it’s a good idea to nominate a short, bald, grumpy 72-year-old for president.

Perhaps you fall into one of those three categories, in which case, you should never look into a mirror without seeing a face blushed with shame for having elected Obama president. Had the Republican Party stuck to its knitting, The Other Michelle would not be first lady, but because of “compassion” and Crazy Cousin John . . . On Super Tuesday 2008, somebody wrote this:

McCain is not a conservative, he will lose in November . . .

And the same person wrote this:

John McCain lost the election Sept. 24 and Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. Nothing that is likely to happen between now and Nov. 4 can change this outcome.

Really, shouldn’t being right count for something?

But it doesn’t count for . . . well, it doesn’t count for much. Why is this? Because the stupid people who run the GOP (are you listening, John Cornyn?) invariably heed the voices of The Republicans Who Really Matter.

Someone recently called attention to the fact that a certain writer is “enthralled with the leftosphere’s ‘association with academia,'” like Professor Glenn Reynolds is chopped liver and Professor William Jacobson is a side order of fries. Attention was called to this backhanded insult to conservative academic bloggers by the pickle on the lunch plate, Professor Donald Douglas, observing that the bearer of insults “argues like a lefty.” Gee, ya think so?

Some of you might have noticed that there was actual news today, while some of us were distracted by other matters. I’m tired of being distracted. Remind me one of these days to write an essay entitled, “Exhaustion Has Consequences.” Think Small.

BTW, I just had to borrow Ed’s troll-hammer and delete a couple of comments on a thread. Use your own bandwidth, Anonymous. You’ve abused my hospitality once too often. Also, sensei Moe Lane points out that he’s got some practical tips on blogging to offer.

There is a saying revered among the sensei: Thou shalt not suffer a troll to waste thy bandwidth. Few are the sensei, and many are their sayings.

Anything else? Yes. Little Miss Attila. More sensei wisdom: When in doubt, link Little Miss Attila.

UPDATE: Daley Gator is praying for me. TrogloPundit is moved to pity. Trog, you know who you should pity? The Wisconsinian with whom you partied in Minneapolis last August.

When I was driving down to D.C. on Thursday, I was so furious I was ready to dismantle that boy. Fortunately, I restrained my wrath, and he bought me a cup of coffee. Then I spotted a sign next to an elevator that directed me to the office to which your friend should have taken me immediately upon my arrival.

The most valuable qualities in journalism are aggression and resourcefulness. When other reporters are eating your lunch and your sources aren’t answering their phones, you get angry. You are being paid to get the story, and if you aren’t getting the story, you’re cheating your employer out of a paycheck.

Faced with the alternative of becoming a worthless laughingstock, you get in your car and start driving with one idea in mind: Finding that son of a bitch who stands between you and your story.

Well, Trog, on Thursday, your buddy was that son of a bitch. Ask Mrs. Other McCain what kind of mad Celtic fury had gripped my soul when I left the house that afternoon. Ask Rick Moran what sort of bloody imprecations I was shouting into my cell-phone as I blazed down the freeway at 90 mph en route to what, for all I knew at the time, was going to be a fruitless run-around by the son of a bitch who wasn’t returning my calls.

Trust me. I was going to leave Washington with the story, or else I was going to become the story. Maybe the story was going to be my obituary, but . . .

Anyway, when I have to drive 70 miles, pay $9 to park and walk three blocks because you didn’t answer your phone, don’t expect me to be in a pleasant mood when I arrive. And I’m prepared to make that trip again, if necessary.

April 11, 2009

Little Miss Attila on Latinos

“. . . a numerically significant, slavelike underclass in my particular part of the world.”

She means that in the nicest possible way, of course. As a matter of policy, my primary concern is whether they are in her particular part of the world legally, and I will leave it to Attila to describe their other attributes by way of explaining her intolerance of “stereotypes.”

No, seriously, that was her intention. Stereotyping Canadians, Frenchmen and Jews — she’s OK with that. But not the Latinos. (She’s probably also OK with stereotyping hillbillies, so excuse me whilst I guzzle some moonshine, tune up my banjo, and pick a little of that bluegrass classic, “Lonesome Incestuous Ridge-Runner Blues.”)

Don’t worry, Attila. When the MALDEF protesters show up at your office demanding your immediate termination, Kathy Shaidle and I will be there to defend you against charges of xenophobic hatemongering.

“No, you’ve got it all wrong, compadre. You’ve taken her out of context. In her culture, ‘slavelike underclass’ is intended as high praise. She really loves you little brown people! Look, she sent us down here to give you this case of Corona and $20 so you could buy some enchiladas for your buddies there. Have yourselves a regular fiesta, ya know? Now, y’all boys take your megaphone and your picket signs and get on out of here. Hasta la vista, Jose!”

That ought to fix the problem. “Crisis mediation” is a speciality of mine.

April 4, 2009

Of Course the Government Must Control the Interclouds

by Smitty

Little Miss Attila was thinking the other day that it would be awesome if some central authority controlled the shinytubes. She notes

they are handling the economic situation and international diplomacy so well. What, as the boys would say, could go wrong?

but this misses the fullness of the point: having conquered such relatively pesky problems as the economy and diplomacy, the ragged glory of the webbynets can no longer be tolerated, lest someone doubt the efficacy of the Temples:

We’ve taken care of everything
The words you hear, the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes
Its one for all, all for one
We work together, common sons
Never need to wonder how or why

[chorus]
We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
Our great computers
Fill the hollowed halls
We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
All the gifts of life
Are held within our walls

Look around this world we made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the brotherhood of man
Oh what a wide contented world
Let the banners be unfurled
Hold the red star proudly high in hand

[chorus]

April 4, 2009

What Instapundit is linking . . .

. . . instead of linking us:

Maybe you’re starting to get the picture here. Attempting to reverse-engineer the Insty algorithm is a favorite parlor game among conservative bloggers and I’ve been SOL the past 10 days or so. How pathetic am I? Today I got excited about a TrogloLanche. (I mean, that dude’s from Wisconsin. It’s practically Canada.)

So if you’re a blogger sitting around depressed because you’ve blog-whored Insty with your six latest vicious rants and still no linky-love, join the crowd. Meanwhile, if you happen to find a news story involving space, robots, terrorism, Chris Dodd and electric cars, let me know.

Maybe if I linked Attila more often . . .

UPDATE: Headline on major news story:

Binghamton Gunman Felt
‘Degraded and Disrespected’

Dude, I can so relate to that. OK, so he’s a Vietnamese immigrant who slaughtered 13 innocent people. But it says here “Jiverly Voong was angry about poor language skills and lack of job prospects.” Exactly like a blogger with no linky-love.

I feel lower than a hypoallergenic dog that’s been run over by an electric car . . . driven by Chris Dodd Cthulhu.

UPDATE II:I’ve designed in a randomness component just to foil the reverse-engineering efforts.” As the man said, “Heh.” Welcome, Instapundit, readers! This is what’s known as a PityLanche, but . . . well, here are some of the things I’ve been flogging lately:

Browse around. Check the blogroll and headlines. Bookmark me. Add me on Twitter. Hit the tip jar.

UPDATE III: A commenter notes the Professor’s “timely” link to an article about narcissism. Actually, I don’t believe the world revolves around me. But that doesn’t mean the world wouldn’t be a better place if it did revolve around me.

For starters, I’m the guy who explained the principles of advanced blogwhoring (Rule 1) and reciprocal linkage (Rule 2) to the conservative blogosphere. In a single post, “How to Get a Million Hits On Your Blog,” I thus jocularly* solved a mystery that had baffled all the conservative “Internet gurus”: Why is the Left side of the ‘sphere bigger and more effective than the Right? Two basic reasons are these:

  • We don’t cooperate. People on the Right side of the ‘sphere tend to place a high value on personal independence and integrity. Very good. But the flip side of this is that it’s very hard to get everybody on the same page, pulling together as a team.
  • Everybody wants to be a “pundit.” One reason that small bloggers don’t become big bloggers is that they can’t resist the temptation to pontificate, to analyze and comment. But the real value of the blogosphere (and Insty demonstrates this every day) is in aggregation: Collecting together a distinctive mix of links to news, research, information and entertainment, and then contributing the “value added” of your own knowledge, you own experience, your own personality.

If you’re going to tell me what I should think about Afghanistan or the federal budget, please demonstrate why I should care about your opinion. What special knowledge or experience do you have about these subjects? American Spectator managing editor J.P. Freire says that the Right needs fewer Bill Buckleys and more Robert Novaks: More reporting, less commentary. He’s absolutely right. But too many conservatives seem to have turned their disdain for the news media into a contempt for reporting.

Yet there’s something else even uglier at work on the Right: Envy. Why do so many conservative wannabe pundits routinely bash Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter? If it ain’t envy, I’d sure as hell like to know what it is. Success should be admired, praised and emulated. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with Limbaugh or Coulter. They must be doing something right or else they wouldn’t be successful. But some people always envy rather than emulate, and the negative attitudes of losers like that will inevitably destroy morale and make teamwork impossible.

People have sometimes called me a suck-up because of my enthusiastic praise for successful people, including successful conservative bloggers like Insty, Michelle Malkin, Allahpundit and Ace of Spades. In an atmosphere poisoned by the negative spirit of selfishness and envy, sincere praise is a rarity, and backstabbing criticism becomes the norm.

“For want of a nail, the shoe was lost,” and for want of blunt talk about the problems of the Right, we have President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid. Some small bloggers — including blogs that didn’t even exist two months ago, as well as a certain pathetic Wisconsinite — are now operating according to The Rules, especially the reciprocal-linkage Full Metal Jacket principle of Rule 2.

The spirit of teamwork has resulted in growth for these little bloggers, as Instapundit and others (including blog-fu master Moe Lane) have rewarded them with linkage. So as always, we express our gratitude to the man who inspired it all, Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, who now has a few words of cheerful encouragement for you:

UPDATE IV: KURU Lounge:

Well, at least I’m not the only one. . . . Maybe I go about it the wrong way.

Tell me about it. Smitty rocked a ‘Lanche with his second post. Talk about humiliation. And then there is this clever fellow:

“But you are erroneously assuming the flux capacitator is calibrated for this type of environment. I would re-think the whole matter.”

Heh.

UPDATE V: She Who Must Be Linked:

Of course, Insty kept my traffic at its normal bad weekend level, rather than letting it sink into the realm of “abysmal,” by linking R. Stacy McCain, who essentially badgered him into doing it. Fortunately, there are “good karma” links to me all over McCain’s page. We likes that.
Here’s the dilemma, though: if Insty keeps giving in like this, that dis-incentivizes the showing of restraint; Professor Reynolds is essentially subsidizing bad behavior, no?

See, here’s my theory of why you don’t get ‘Lanched, Attila: Dr. Helen is insanely jealous of you. So Insty can’t link you, or his wife would get suspicious. (She’s got a kitchen drawer full of knives, and he’s got to sleep sometimes.) This is why you’re the Kharma Queen of the Blogosphere. Bloggers who link you regularly get more traffic, because ‘Lanching them is Professor Reynolds’ way of satisfying his unrequited bloglust for you.

Ah, but it works both ways, you see. Maybe you haven’t noticed that Dr. Helen hasn’t linked me in forever, but . . . Heh. (Shhhh! Don’t say a word, Chris Muir!)

*”Jocularity” I prefer to explain these things by joking, because I don’t want to help the Left figure out what I’ve figured out. If there’s one thing we know about the Left, it’s that they can’t take a joke. I just flew in from Cleveland, and boy, are my arms tired!

March 2, 2009

Minor blogging milestone

Just collected my second check from Google Adsense. I got my first check back in November, as I recall. So it took eight months to get the first, and only another three months to get the second.

A small check, obviously — not that giant check they give to Powerball jackpot winners — but it is actual income from mere blogging. This gives me a thin pretext of legitimacy when I tell my wife that blogging constitutes “work.”

Also, my “this is work” argument got a boost from certain readers/tip-jar hitters who haven’t asked to be acknowledged for their contributions to the pre-CPAC fund-raising drive. It’s a subject of debate whether I still owe Little Miss Attila more martinis. I did indeed give her a $20 for lunch Friday.

Plus, I introduced Attila and Melissa Clouthier to a young protege, Josiah Ryan of CNSNews.com, whom I suspect by merely flashing his crooked grin helped them get in touch with their inner cougars. And that’s gotta be worth something, right?

L-R: Melissa Clouthier, Josiah Ryan, Little Miss Attila.

February 24, 2009

‘When I see a hot woman across the room . . .’

“. . . I don’t usually think, ‘I’ll bet she’s doing superb research into genetic engineering.’ “

Buy that lady a martini.