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Saga of a Failed Jedi Mind Trick
I’ll tell you something crazy. There are blogs I don’t read, just because their names turn me off. I can’t explain it. It’s no reflection on the blogs. It’s just one of my quirks.
One example: The Jawa Report. When I see that name, a little voice from down in my brainstem says, “STAR WARS NERDS: AVOID.” Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I picture an adult male who owns an Ewok suit.
But today I went to The Jawa Report anyway, because Sondra linked to it. There’s a pretty wild piece of Citizen Journalism there. If the piece is correct, some goof from a famous PR firm–Winner & Associates–has been posting illegal videos to harm Sarah Palin, and he wasn’t even smart enough to use a fake email address. And Kos and DU helped.
This ranks right up there with the Dan Rather phony memo thing, but it’s more complex. Get a fresh mug of coffee and turn off your phone’s ringer before you read it.
What is it with Sarah Palin? Why do people hate her so much? I shudder to say this, but PDS makes BDS seem insignificant. It’s like I keep saying: Obama is running against Palin, not McCain. She scares the hell out of the opposition.
It’s just an ELECTION, people. She’s not Darth Palin, to refer to Star Wars yet again. She’s not orbiting the earth in a Death Snow Machine, preparing to shoot abortion providers from space with her moose rifle. Get a grip, liberals. If Joe Biden disturbed me as much as Sarah Palin disturbs you, I’d be shopping for a suicide belt. I admit, I’ve entertained the thought of suicide while listening to him speak, but that’s different.
She’s not even running for President. Let’s be real, here. If McCain wins, she’ll spend the next eight years flying to funerals and hiding from terrorists in various undisclosed locations. You act like she was going to drive around the country, holding liberals down and forcing them to eat meat and carry their children to term. Why are you so edgy? Is there a marijuana shortage I haven’t heard about?
I’m feeling dehumanized, here. As a conservative, I mean. How about the rest of you? Anyone feel demonized? Look how they hate us. This is how the left treats people about ten years before they take over and the firing squads assemble. What’s next? Kristallnacht II, sponsored by Apple and Birkenstock? Thank God I live in Florida and I still have time to buy a rural compound. I better get started, sewing yellow crosses on all my T-shirts.
I congratulate…the Jawa person (?)…on this wonderful blog post. This is the kind of thing that nearly justifies the existence of the Blogosphere.
My Eyes Deceive Me
I’m having a nice Sabbath. Took a few hours out to go to Man Camp and watch the Dolphins…WIN? Very confusing. Is that supposed to happen? Must be a great day for them. They probably felt like they would never win again.
I couldn’t resist taking a few minutes to see if my plan to remove the last concrete slug from the yard had worked. I hooked up the chain and took off. Problem: the epoxy had not set up. I must have mixed it badly. The slug moved about three inches before the rebar popped out. One leg popped out right away, but the second one held out longer, and the crook in the rebar kept the chain attached.
The rebar was asymmetrical after it came out; one leg was longer than the other. I ground a few inches off the long end, hit the other end with a MAPP torch to get the bulk of the epoxy residue off, cleaned up the holes with the hammer drill, vacuumed out the debris, mixed more epoxy, put it in the holes, and re-inserted the rebar.
Should be ready to yank tomorrow. This method works. You just have to do it right. I also took a mattock and dug out some dirt on the chain side of the slug. That will help it come out.
I shouldn’t have taken time to fool with this on the Sabbath. Temptation overcame me. But I’m back.
One fun thing about Man Camp is that Pat, who lives next door to Val, always has a new toy to look at. Two weeks ago, it was a camper and a pickup. This week, it was a scooter. Someone sold him a reasonably nice one for $200. I took it for a spin. When the speedometer hit 65, I got a little nervous. Then I realized it was 65 kilometers per hour.
I’m not a green freak, but I think scooters are a good idea for people who live close to the places where they run errands.
Scooters are strange. You don’t do anything with your feet, so all your motorcycle instincts get screwed up. I told Pat to get himself to MSF class (Motorcycle Safety Foundation). You may think you don’t need training to ride a scooter safely, but that’s not true. It’s a small motorcycle. The same problems apply, and you can’t learn how to avoid them from experience. Some of the safety stuff is not intuitive. Someone has to teach you.
I told Pat he needed a helmet and gloves. Val thought I was nuts. Riding a bike without a helmet is pretty safe, because bikes are much more maneuverable, and you don’t ride in traffic, and you don’t go as fast. But you need one on a scooter. As for gloves, what do you do when you fall off a motorcycle? You put your hands down. At anything over five miles per hour, that means kiss your palms goodbye.
I think a scooter would be a great thing to have, for grocery missions and so on. But I don’t have Pat’s knack for finding cheap used stuff. Oh well.
That’s Why she Expects Them to Rape on Command
Yesterday, I asked a fellow blogger if she could think of any more rotten things the left could do to Sarah Palin. I was being sarcastic. My point was that leftists had been so creative and so cruel, it was hard to think of anything new for them to do.
Wow, was I wrong.
They accused her of pretending her daughter’s baby was hers. They said she should have stayed home having babies, instead of governing a state. They compared her to the political-machine stooge (close kin to a community organizer) who had Jesus scourged and delivered Him up for crucifixion. Then they hacked into her email account, and leftist blogs put the emails on display, claiming they were “legitimate news.”
Now we learn that Sanda Bernhard is publicly joking about Governor Palin being gang-raped by Bernhard’s “big black brothers.” And people are paying to hear this crap. Not many; it looks like she’s appearing in one of those clubs that used to be a Pack-n-Ship or a Mrs. Field’s, but still.
What do you say about a “joke” like this? It makes me think of all the over-the-top jokes I’ve made, which makes me want to crawl into a hole. I hope I am not as culpable as Ms. Bernhard.
What is the point of making a joke like this? What merit is there in the joke, that justifies putting that horrible image in our minds, and in the minds of Governor Palin’s kids? What will we joke about next? Raping children? Auschwitz?
What exactly did Sarah Palin do, to deserve the treatment she has received from the left? She accepted an invitation to run for public office. That’s her crime. She didn’t shoot up a day care center. She didn’t bomb the World Trade Center. She didn’t–let me pull an example out of a hat–bomb the Pentagon, publicly confess it, and state that she wished she had done more. She didn’t steal documents from the National Archives. She didn’t commit perjury and get disbarred. She didn’t con the government out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a bogus land deal in Arkansas. She didn’t encourage Los Angeles residents to riot, shouting “No justice, no peace!” She didn’t hit a security officer on her way into the Capitol. She wasn’t involved in the first and only real “Troopergate.” She didn’t hide $90,000 in bribe money in her freezer. She didn’t steal furniture from the White House, or vandalize it before a new administration moved in. She just answered the call, when her party and her country needed her.
It’s a wonder anyone is willing to run for office as a Republican. Look at the treatment our candidates and politicians get. If the kooks don’t get you, unethical prosecutors will. And the press will turn a blind eye, and sometimes, they’ll aid in the persecution.
What an education her kids are getting. Liberals present themselves as warm and loving people who care about all the trees and bunnies, and who protect the downtrodden from mean old Republicans, who want to return to the feudal system. But there is nothing warm and loving about the way liberals are treating Sarah Palin. It’s no exaggeration to say they display more hatred for her than they do for Osama bin Laden.
Governor Palin’s treatment is an ominous reminder of the way the hard left wishes to treat those who disagree with it. It reminds us that killing fields and gulags can happen here, too. If Bill Ayers were in charge, we would have had those things forty years ago. And it looks like Sandra Bernhard would approve.
What ever happened to perspective? When did Americans decide that the need to win an election justified this kind of vile behavior?
Another question: what does Sandra Bernhard think of black men? It seems pretty obvious. She thinks they gang-rape people for trivial reasons. I’m trying to think of a more depraved example of racism, but I’m drawing a blank. This is a person who feels solidarity with blacks? She cares about them and respects them and empathizes with them, but she thinks she can count on them to rape a visiting governor. Black people should rejoice, having a friend who thinks so highly of them. I wonder what the Obamas thought of her remarks.
I already hoped Sarah Palin would win, because I support her politically. But now I hope she wins because her enemies are so vicious. I don’t want to see them rewarded.
I wonder if we can make it to Monday without a new story about someone sliming or threatening or mistreating Sarah Palin. I hope so, but I wouldn’t bet my lunch money on it.
Knock it Off
Can we all stop repeating the lie about Dan Quayle? He’s not the one who came up with “potatoe.”
Quayle was helping a teacher. She had cards with words written on them. She was the person who filled out the cards. Quayle just held them up. THE TEACHER WROTE “POTATOE” ON THE CARD. Quayle’s only sin was that he failed to correct her on national TV.
Let this be a lesson to you. This is what happens when you miss an opportunity to correct a liberal.
And you KNOW that teacher was liberal. They all are. It’s the law.
Set Phasers on “Wedgie”
I just half-read a recent article, which points out that people who are really good at math tend to be good at ballpark estimates.
This is not news. Everyone who goes past second-semester physics knows this. How many piano tuners are there in Chicago (here’s a hint: divide the number of community organizers by ten)?
Here are a couple of things people who are ignorant about math and science don’t realize. First, once you get past your first year of college, all hard science is math. Second, no real scientist cares much about exact figures until it’s time for a real-life application. Scientists estimate all the time.
I say this with some irritation, because I’m a former scientist, and I’m very used to making ballpark estimates, and I get “corrected” a lot by people who don’t know anything about using numbers. For example, when making a practical calculation in real life, I might say, “Let’s say the tread length of a tire is three times the diameter.” And some…helpful person…will pipe up and say, “Actually, it’s more like 3.1428!” Like I have never heard of pi.
I’ve forgotten most of what I know about science and math, but I’m not stupid. I can calculate sines and cosines with a pencil, to any number of decimal places you want. I know what pi is. I know what radians are. I know what a unit circle is. You’re not helping me when you tack 0.1428 onto 3 for me. It’s like offering training wheels to a professional bicycle racer. Okay, a fat retired professional bicycle racer. You get the idea.
In the real world of science, nobody is impressed when you know the value of something to ten decimal places. That’s grunt information. Let the entry-level engineers worry about that; it’s what calculators and computers are for. The highest and best use of the human brain, with its capacity for all sorts of abstract thought, is not calculating silly figures any six-year-old with a ten-dollar calculator can generate. The hard work is in understanding complicated concepts and manipulating them in your mind. Variables are for thinkers. Arabic numerals are for people who work on assembly lines.
If you’re in a room full of scientists, you can round eight hundred and thirty-seven up to a thousand, and nobody will even cough. They understand. When exactitude matters, it matters. The rest of the time, it’s a hindrance and a pain in the butt. If scientists liked getting bogged down in difficult numerical calculations, they would never have invented algebra or the metric system.
This is why, in the movie Rain Man, Dustin Hoffman was not working for NASA. At NASA, nobody cares if you know how many toothpicks are on the floor. They are not going to give you a job just because you can calculate square roots instantly. That stuff is useless. It might have been important in 1944, when we were using clunky IBM machines to do calculations to help us build the atom bomb, but probably not even then. Nobody wants to hear about the trees. What matters is being able to see the forest.
I remember back when liberals were lying about Saddam Hussein’s uranium ore. They claimed it didn’t exist, but there were actually 500 tons of it. Using ballpark figures, I came up with a guess as to how many bombs you could make with that much ore. And I was wrong. But I was so close, it didn’t matter that I was wrong. My point was that it could make somewhere around a hundred bombs, and the actual figure was not far from a hundred. A real nuclear engineer, Ward Brewer, did a more exact calculation, which is how I know I was wrong, and also how I know my answer was useful and sufficient. ONE bomb would have been a lot, to the people in the vicinity when it went off. The most fundamental point was to show that that ore could do a lot of damage, and I’m pretty sure I succeeded.
When my grandfather died, and I was sitting on the runway, getting ready to fly to his funeral in Kentucky, I thought about all the cigarette tobacco he had grown in his life, and in a few minutes I was able to calculate that my family had probably given about ten people lung cancer. I thought about that, because the family was going through a lot of misery, and it seemed as though we were being repaid for something. If I were obsessed with exact figures, I would never have been able to do the calculation. Maybe the real number is five. Maybe it’s twenty. If you want to get philosophical about it, there is no real answer. But ten is a useful estimate.
There are many examples in science where a result that is off by a factor of two is perfectly acceptable. If you’re a smarty-pants who loves correcting people with exact numbers, that will probably depress you. Well, it should. You ought to know whether or not you’re a scientist by now. If you’re not…shut up.
Many of the figures we spout and use with confidence are approximations. The sun isn’t really 93 million miles away. The population of the US isn’t really 300 million. Come on. For crying out loud, pi is an approximation, even if you take it to three thousand decimal places.
Scientists have a word for the numerals in a number, which they consider meaningful. They call them “significant figures.” What does that tell you about the ones they leave out?
I think Star Trek is one reason people get overly excited about highly accurate figures, which are what real scientists and mathematicians call “trivial.” Back in the day, very often, Kirk and Spock would find themselves in a pickle, and Spock would say something ridiculous, like, “Our chances of survival are approximately 1 in 3457,329.02304730979.” And Kirk, who never thought about anything more complicated than scoring with alien babes without revealing his girdle or losing his wig, would buy it. And of course, there was no way Spock could back up that figure, and even if he had, there is no way you could have called it “approximate.” When he said “approximately,” he was just being an ass. Like, “I could give you ten more decimal places, but it would do you no good, because you would still be the descendant of a monkey.”
You have to remember: Star Trek was not written by scientists. It was written by chain-smoking TV writers with big hard livers, liberal arts degrees, and deadlines. Even TNG, which seems to have gotten some occasional input from scientists, had some pretty unscientific dialogue. I remember somebody on the bridge saying the temperature of something was like 7 million Kelvins below zero, or something like that. You can have a positive temperature of 7 million units. In the negative direction, there’s a floor. Off the top of my head, I think 0 Celsius is +273.15 Kelvins. Zero Kelvins is the absolute bottom. You can’t get any colder than that, even in February with the windows open and your hand down Hillary Clinton’s blouse.
You’ll notice I’m not checking the Kelvin thing, any more than I checked to see if the first four digits of pi, past the decimal sign, are .1428. That’s because IT DOESN’T MATTER. The concept is what matters.
So no, I’m not surprised that a good estimator might turn out to be a good mathematician. It’s probably surprising only to the kind of people who write newspaper articles.
Like it or Not
Agent Bedhead has discovered the next hot chick who is going to take Hollywood by storm. I think I’m in love!
Get Out the Home Depot Vote!
GREAT NEWS FOR DEMOCRATS! Republicans in Michigan have been caught falsifying voter registrations!
Oops, I’m wrong. It’s the Democrats again.
Fresh new Ideas in a Can
If Karl Rove were half the man Democrats say he is, wouldn’t he be preparing something like this for the first debate?
It’s a little bit like painting a curved line on a highway, directing Wile E. Coyote into the side of a butte.
How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth
According to some poll or other, Obama now leads by only 5% in New York State. That’s shocking.
Here is more bad news for Obama:
Ethics are as Old-Fashioned as John McCain
Moxie is blogging about Jill Greenberg, the photographer who brags that she tricked John McCain into posing for unflattering photos, so she could make him look “evil” on the cover of The Atlantic.
It’s an interesting situation. Because a member of the leftist media was unfair to a conservative? No, that’s not interesting. That’s routine. It’s interesting because it shows what happens when a profession has no ethical code.
I’ve complained a lot about IT professionals having no code and no oversight. If a hosting company employee or a web designer feels like messing with a customer, the customer has little recourse. There is no bar association to report them to, and litigation is expensive, and generally, you have to prove monetary damages. Unless I’m mistaken, the situation is the same with journalists.
You can’t license journalists. It would be a violation of the first amendment. That means you can’t have a bar association empowered to shut them down for ethical violations. Still, it would be nice if someone drew up a code of ethics to which journalists could voluntarily subscribe. There would be no enforcement power for violations, but at least victims would be able to point to the violations, and other members of the journalistic profession could take note.
Maybe it’s not a practical idea.
We are seeing egregious transgressions these days. US Magazine put a photo of Sarah Palin on its cover, behind the caption “BABIES! LIES! SCANDAL!” Three network anchors accompanied the Democratic Presidential candidate on his trip to Europe. Pundits have uncritically repeated discredited lies about Sarah Palin as truth. I realize it’s impossible to eliminate bias from reporting and commentary; that doesn’t excuse what’s happening. A journalist can be forgiven for involuntarily leaning one way or the other. It’s different when they don’t even try to be objective, or when they deliberately deceive.
The Greenberg case is unusual, because the perpetrator admitted what she had done. It’s too bad that doesn’t happen more often. I still remember the Ann Coulter TIME cover, which was clearly designed to make her look ugly and masculine and old. The people behind it defended it wholeheartedly, which was ridiculous. And we have never heard a good explanation for the troop of anchors on the Obama Europe trip.
I suppose Ms. Greenberg’s actions will end up generating votes for John McCain, just as a history of TV bias by other outlets generated high ratings for Fox News. But we would all be better off if she had never done this in the first place.
Will she pay a price for her actions? No. She might lose a job here and there, but other people will funnel work to her, in solidarity. That’s how the world works. I’ll bet she makes more money in 2009 than she will make in 2008.
It’s a sorry way to treat a candidate. Agree with him or not, he’s not an axe murderer. He doesn’t eat babies. He just tried to win the Presidency. He deserves a fair shake, like anyone else. And so does Barack Obama.
I suppose we should thank Ms. Greenberg for exposing herself by bragging on her blog. I wish the people at US had been that candid.
Rescind her High School Diploma
For some reason I can’t fathom, front-running Presidential candidate John McCain went on The View (maybe he’ll also do Sesame Street) and talked to Baba Wawa and Whoopi Goldberg. While he was talking about the need for judges who interpret the Constitution instead of rewriting it, Whoopi interrupted and asked if that meant she had to worry about being a slave.
Note to Whoopi: slavery was abolished by an amendment. And guess what amendments are? Part of the Constitution.
You can thank Republican President Abraham Lincoln, by the way.
If you don’t know who he is, don’t worry about it. He was just an old white dude from a red state.
This Campaign has Performed an Illegal Operation and Will be Shut Down
I hope Karl Rove is keeping his payments to Barack Obama current. The Golden Child is doing a wonderful job, generating gaffes to help John McCain.
Today’s atrocity? A TV ad with the following message: JOHN MCCAIN SHOULD NOT BE ELECTED PRESIDENT BECAUSE HE’S OLD.
Proving they know exactly what they’re doing, “Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said the campaign was not making an issue of the 72-year-old McCain’s age.” If this pig had any more lipstick on it, the weight would pull its hind legs off the ground. Pfeiffer went on to bulk up his credibility with the following remarks: “Up is down, September is actually July, and I’m definitely not wearing my underwear.”
The ad features a disco ball. It features unflattering 1982 footage of McCain in Congress. It has a short piece of what appears to be a commercial made in the Fifties. It reminds everyone that he hasn’t mastered crucial Presidential skills, such as email, Myspace, Google, Youtube, Napster, and Facebook.
John McCain is an old fart! He doesn’t know how to SUPERPOKE people! He can’t send Naughty Gifts or Booze Mail! He has ZERO Myspace friends! He has never answered a Nigerian spam letter! We can’t let a guy like that in the White House! Where are his piercings? Where is his Ipod? Where is his creepy little post-90s chin beard? Are you kidding me? This guy is DANGEROUS! We can have Mac, and we’re electing PC’s dad!
What are we going to do, when Putin goes nuts and decides to nuke Poland, and John McCain can’t put a rebuke on Putin’s Facebook Fun Wall?
I have to ask. When did we decide it was okay to discriminate against job applicants based on age? Didn’t liberals coin the term “ageism”? Didn’t they afflict us with laws making age discrimination an incredibly expensive federal tort?
You want age discrimination? I’ll give it to you. The Constitution says you can’t be President until you’re 35, and it was written at a time when a lot of folks dropped dead before reaching that age. What does that tell you? It tells you the framers were more worried about hiring immature punks than they were about Presidents who have to use reading glasses.
Some people–lunatics, I guess–have the crazy idea that human beings learn as they age. They think older people are wiser and more mature. We need to find these people and deprogram them. Then we can fix the Constitution and elect our new co-Presidents, the Olsen twins.
If old is bad, what the hell is Joe Biden doing on Obama’s ticket? He’s SIXTY-FIVE. Joe Biden is NINE DAYS OLDER THAN OBAMA’S MOTHER. On November 20, he’ll have a birthday, and then he won’t be able to serve, because it will be time to turn him into Soylent Green.
Please, please, let Biden pick up on this and try to change his image. He’s insecure enough to do it. He already has plugs and glowing blue teeth. Please, just once before I die, let me watch Joe Biden try to skate on a half-pipe. Let him throw up ONE gang sign at a debate. Then I could die happy. Here’s what he should say when they interview him on Nickelodeon:
Is it because they didn’t work hard? My ancestors, who worked in the Apple stores of Northeast Pennsylvania and would come up after 12 hours and play Wii for four hours? No, it’s not because they weren’t as smart. It’s not because they didn’t work as hard. It’s because they didn’t have a pair of Crocs upon which to stand. Dude.”
I want to see Biden in Mountain Dew commercials. I want to see him play a high school kid on his own DNC-financed sitcom: That 40s Show. That makes Obama Fez. Just imagine it. “Olbermann, to you I say good day!” Then John McCain can come in with a beer in his hand and call Biden “dumbass.”
Let’s see. The Democrats have made it clear they hate working moms. They hate Christians. They hate gun owners. They hate teenage girls who have sex before marriage. Now they hate old people. Who’s next? Who’s left? They call themselves the Big Tent party, but the biggest tent is the one they’re filling with people they detest.
I don’t know what McCain should do about this. Maybe Pfeiffer and Obama should both be grounded.
McCain continues creeping up in the polls, like the shuffleboard scores of a retiree who has just discovered Celebrex. Obama continues working his helpful magic. When a person whose primary job is PR thinks he can do no wrong, wrong is what he is most likely to do. Keep scolding the press, B. Hussein. Keep attacking demographic segments you need in order to survive. This is like the scene in Fight Club, where Ed Norton goes into his boss’s office and beats himself up. You’re doing something the Republicans could never do in their own right.
Hurry, November. Let’s get this thing finished before Illinois mounts a Senatorial recall election.
Get Oprah Some Fresh Dress Shields
The other day, I was writing enthusiastically about McCain’s poll numbers, and people told me the electoral map was what really mattered. I said it seemed to me that if the national poll changed, the electoral numbers would have to follow it. It doesn’t really make sense to have a big change in popular-vote polls without an accompanying, albeit delayed, shift in the electoral picture. Think about it. The planets have to line up a certain way in order for the popular vote and the electoral vote to conflict. It’s not normal.
I guess I was right. Take a look at Realclearpolitics: the latest electoral map shows Obama with 217 votes and McCain with 216. Nearly even.
I hope Obama continues to offend and pat himself on the back and cry victim. I hope he keeps scolding and patronizing the press. It might eventually become fashionable for mainstream journalists to pretend they knew he was a brat all along.
Today McCain said he would offer Obama a cabinet post. It was a silly thing to say, but it may have a positive effect. There may be some BO voters out there who aren’t totally sure about Obama as President, but who would like to see him in the picture somewhere.
If we’re still seeing good numbers on Monday, I think Obama will officially be over.
Regarding the election…I think it would be wise if commentators, when discussing the Republican VP choice, would stop saying McCain “tapped” Sarah Palin.
Didn’t the Dalai Obama say They Were Harmless?
Fausta thinks we may be on the verge of another Cold War. I’m glad I went on Ebay and bought those electric boxers.
A reader informs me that it’s not actually cold during a Cold War. Apparently it’s just an expression.
I have wonderful news.
First Amendment Unimportant to Liberals
Moxie lives in California, the land of tolerance. See how Californians express their tolerance for a McCain banner on private property.
Better still: if you leave the banner up so people can see what happened, the city tries to force you to remove it.
While you’re there, read about the shocking sliming of B. Hussein.
Who Gets Custody of Joe Biden?
Ben Smith at Politico points out something interesting. Barack Obama just kicked the press out of bed and took his money off the dresser.
In his bizarre, whiny, faux-patriotic response (see Otter’s courtroom scene in Animal House), Obama began to criticize the press for paying attention to his pig/lipstick/smelly fish gaffe. He began ranting about how “the news media” were going after the story, and he compared it to catnip. He said America (stand, place hand over heart) was the true victim.
What Smith omits from his quote is Obama’s feeble effort to make it look like he’s not really criticizing the press. Obama expressly went after the press, but then after the words “This is what they want to spend two of the last 55 days talking about,” he tried to turn it around, claiming “they” meant McCain’s people.
Let’s be honest. He did swerve toward McCain at the end. But that was only after he made it very clear he was trying to run down the press.
What will happen now? If there is one thing the press hates as much or more than a Republican candidate, it’s being told how to do its job. Barack Obama can’t handle criticism, but compared to the press, he’s gracious. The press has a long memory and a short fuse. And it is nearly impossible to beat them, once the bombs start flying.
How can this man be so ungrateful? The press sent three news anchors on his ridiculous jaunt to Europe. They put Sarah Palin on a magazine cover over the words “Babies Lies & Scandal,” one week after putting him and his wife behind “Michelle Obama: Why Barack Loves Her.” They ignored the first half of McCain’s campaign. They continue to ignore Obama’s confessed-terrorist buddy, Bill Ayres. They sat on the Edwards scandal because they thought he might be Obama’s running mate. They practically groped Obama at the debates. They made an icky homoerotic remark about tingling legs. They uncritically published lie after lie about Sarah Palin, even as untrained bloggers with day jobs were disproving the rumors. How can he risk alienating an utterly corrupt journalistic establishment, which fawns over him as if he pooped diamonds and cancer vaccines?
The press loves him so much, they’ve had to discipline themselves. The cable pseudopod of NBC, the farthest-left, least self-aware network, actually became embarrassed by Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews and removed them from their anchor posts. You can’t buy friends like that. They are irreplaceable.
How does he think he got where he is? He’s a junior senator with 143 days of work behind him and no major accomplishments. Before that, he was a state senator with no major accomplishments. Before that, he was a political machine flunky. He’s not even a real lawyer; he has never had a practice. He thinks he jumped to the top of Mount Everest, and now he’s throwing rocks at the Sherpas who carried him.
The most likely thing is that the press will bite its collective tongue and suffer the insults until he’s elected. But maybe they won’t. They brought Gary Hart down, after he dared them to prove he was an adulterer. They might give the Precious a dose of the same bitter medicine.
To paraphrase Dean Vernon Wormer, maybe it’s time someone put his foot down. And that foot is the press.
The Voice of Class
Barack Obama’s mouth is like Pandora’s box. A helpful aide should glue it shut, while there is still someone Obama hasn’t offended.
Yesterday, we learned that Obama used the old “lipstick on a pig” joke, which appeared to be a reference to Sarah Palin, who made a famous and very recent joke in which she said lipstick was the only difference between pit bulls and she and her fellow “hockey moms.” He compounded the error by making an ill-advised reference to a smelly piece of fish.
Today, Obama gave us his official response. And it was a beauty. He said–smirking–that this was a “made-up controversy” of the type of which the public was tired. There was no apology. There was no acknowledgment that anyone could have taken legitimate offense.
He made his remarks at a high school. How appropriate.
There is about a two percent chance his pig remark was not aimed at Palin, so he could be excused if he claimed he wasn’t referring to her. But a mature man would have apologized, anyway. He should have said, “I can see how people would misunderstand. I am sorry if it appeared that I was insulting Governor Palin, and I did not mean it that way.” Instead, we saw the now-familiar, highly insensitive face of the Chosen One, dismissively chiding blasphemers and implying that those who claim they were offended are lying. And he ignored the PUMAs, who have nothing to do with the McCain campaign, and who are more angry than anyone.
Before the PUMAs arrived on the scene, I did not realize how badly Obama’s arrogance and contempt offend people. Since they started creating blogs and message boards, my eyes have been opened. They complain about sexism, disrespect, and bullying. They see Obama as a spoiled child who becomes indignant when criticized, and who feels entitled to a cushy ride into the White House, as if it were somehow his birthright. The more I read and the more I watch, the more I see what they’re talking about.
Here are two examples of what they perceive as crass Obama behavior.
At a rally in Iowa, Obama’s people played a rap song as background music. The refrain? “99 Problems but a bitch ain’t one.” Look it up. I’m not joking. Using rap music, in and of itself, is evidence that contempt for women doesn’t bother you. Rap’s history of vile sexism is indisputable. Using that song at a rally, while you’re trying to beat a powerful female opponent, is just plain over the top. And a song that crude and antisocial is inappropriate at a rally, no matter what the circumstances are.
We know campaigns fret a great deal about the music they use. They choose it with care, they think about the message, and they worry about how the public will take it. They even pay for rights. Right now, the McCain campaign is involved in a kerfuffle with 80s band Heart, because the campaign bought the right to use “Barracuda” to promote Sarah Palin. Obama’s people can claim they didn’t think about the rap lyrics, or that they didn’t know the song would be played, but the obvious and reasonable presumption is that they reviewed it and approved of it. Did Obama apologize? I see no record of it.
In April, in Raleigh, North Carolina, a bruised and petulant Barack Obama discussed the spanking Hillary Clinton had given him at a televised debate. While making childish remarks, he raised his right hand to his cheek, pulled back his index and ring fingers, and brushed his cheek beneath his right eye. Any high school student can tell you what this means. It’s a way to give someone the finger, while pretending not to. It’s an ancient and widely used insult. Every teacher has seen it a thousand times. You can see it in the movie “Aliens.” The character Sergeant Apone uses it in response to a stupid question from a private.
Now, maybe Obama’s cheek itched. Maybe the supporters, who sat behind him on the stage and broke up with laughter as he made the gesture, were laughing about something else. But the L.A. Times–not known for its hostility to Obama–thought there was enough doubt to justify running an item on one of its blogs. And again, if there was an apology, it’s not very obvious in Google searches.
This is the guy who thinks diplomacy is his great strength. He’s going to sweet-talk our enemies until they make peace with us. If he can’t be tactful and respectful in a political campaign, how are we supposed to believe he can charm the Iranians and North Koreans? So far, his efforts at charm have been limited to convincing slum dwellers that the government owes them more stuff. That’s not a job that requires a Clarence Darrow.
I won’t complain. Every time he stiffens his neck and refuses to be gracious, he moves votes into the McCain column.
Sun Tzu said, “If your opponent is quick to anger, seek to irritate him.” Maybe that’s the recipe for a McCain win. Call Obama on his disdain and narcissism, and wait for him to respond like an angry adolescent. He simply can’t take the heat. He treats criticism aimed at him the way jihadis treat criticism of Mohammed; it’s as if you’re criticizing someone he worships. Remember how upset he got when Maureen Dowd talked about his ears? If George Bush (or any other prominent Republican politician) were that sensitive, he would have killed himself by now. He makes John McCain seem almost serene, and that’s saying something.
It’s no wonder the PUMAs call Obama “the Precious.”
Maybe we should start calling him “Radar,” “Dumbo,” and “Jughead,” just to see if he throws a fit.
I’m glad Obama is working so hard to help us win. I don’t think we could pull it off without him.