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Paula Deen: Bringing GayPatriot Readers Together

Before I drove cross country in 2010, I had never heard of Southern cooking diva Paula Deen, but I credit her for the harmony of our readers’ dinner in Atlanta that spring.  You see, when we gathered in that august town, I was concerned; one of our critics (with whom I have corresponded at least since 2006) would be joining us — along with two of our most outspoken conservative readers, one who, two years after the 2008 election, still sported a McCain-Palin sticker (with the Arizona Senator’s name removed) on his truck.

I had feared I might have to play peacemaker.  Well, I didn’t have to.  I don’t know how Paula Deen came up, but as soon as she did, all my Atlanta readers found something to talk about — how they delighted in this diva, enjoying her books, TV show and recipes.  They discussed which ones they had tried and home and celebrated her appreciation for butter.  Paula Deen, in short, bridged the political divide.

Aware of this woman’s capacity to foster harmony, my ears naturally perked up when my correspondent James Richardson alerted me this weekend to an article he wrote, taking to task “Northern” food critics who would bring this Southern diva down:

“Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later,” [New York-based foodie Anthony] Bourdain said Tuesday. He has also previously called Deen the “worst, most dangerous person to America” for her country cooking indulgence. Even 2011 James Beard winner Jose Andres said that Dean should “endorse a vegetable or fruit” instead of a diabetes drug.

But the Bronx cheer for apparent chef-turned-rebel terrorist Deen, a prototypical Southern mother with a lifetime’s recipes of irredeemably deep-fried dishes, is less a reflection of the culinary elitism that runs through Bourdain’s vice-ridden travelogues than the regionalist snobbery that fuels its appeal.

. . . .

From food to faith, the mythic Dixie–soulful and abundant, passionate and insubmissive–has always clashed with the rigidly cosmopolitan north, which keeps an ever watchful eye on we, her unlearned, drawling wards. (more…)

Obama: leading from behind on reform

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:05 pm - January 25, 2012.
Filed under: Leadership,Obama Incompetence,Real Reform

Maybe it’s just that he’s waiting for others to craft the reforms so he can see how people react before signing on to anything. This way, he accrues the benefit of supporting a popular reform without the political risk of backing a proposal which might alienate his base.

I endorsed Jon Huntsman for President, in part, because of his bold tax reform plan. In his speech last night, the man the former Utah Governor once sought to replace addressed the issue thusly: “It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I’ll sign them right away.” He went on to repeat his mantra about having the rich pay more.

Note how in the passage cited above, the president asked someone else to write the reforms and send them to him.  He failed to offer a plan of his own.

In a similar vein, here’s how he addressed entitlement reform:  “I’m prepared to make more reforms that rein in the long term costs of Medicare and Medicaid, and strengthen Social Security, so long as those programs remain a guarantee of security for seniors.”

Prepared to make?  Prepared to make, Mr. President?  The President of the United States should be doing more than just make preparations, he should be proposing solutions. (more…)

My Tweet Of The Day

Conservative pundits/politicians who claim to know what’s best for We, The People are no less heinous than the liberal ones.

You can surmise who I’m referring to. Hint: More than one person.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

SOTU: Obama dodges big issues

Like Mickey Kaus, I didn’t watch the president’s campaign speech State of the Union last night and am finding the text actual quite “boring” with standard Obama tropes repeated so often, you’d think his speechwriters merely cut and paste passages from previous addresses into this one, adding a few references to events of the past year.

Instead of reading the entire speech, I searched instead for a few words, like “obstruction.”  Sure enough, it’s there, “But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.”  There you go again, Mr. President, Republicans aren’t proposing to return to those policies which created the crisis.  That’s just another one of your false choices.

When I searched for other words like “cut”, “Medicare”, “Social Security” and “entitlement”, it became clear that the Democrat has no plan to address some of the nation’s pressing fiscal issues.  As Jennifer Rubin asked, “Where is his entitlement reform? Where is his tax-reform plan? He can’t be bothered with actual governance.

Sure, he says “we’ve agreed to cut the deficit by more than $2 trillion.”  But, he didn’t specify how he plans to “cut through the maze of confusing training programs” nor identify particular domestic programs he wishes to scale back.

He even proposed new government programs, offering only to fund them through higher taxes on millionaires.  If you’re trying to cut the deficit, you should use any revenue you bring in to pay that off rather than any new liabilities.  As William W. Beach put it in National Review’s symposium on the speech:

. . . among the litany of programs he announced, he promised little action on the driver of economic decay: the blooming debt of governments at all levels, but particularly the government that President Obama runs. (more…)

Red Tails: This is why they make movies

I did not watch the State of the Union last night.  Instead of hearing a speech by a man of little accomplishment and great acclaim, I went to see a movie about men of great accomplishment and little acclaim, Red Tails, about the Tuskegee Airmen and their valor in World War II.

All I can saw is get yourself to the cinema and see this movie (and make sure to bring a handkerchief).

It’s cheesy and has, particularly at the outset, some really clunky dialogue, but later on, there are also some great lines.  And some amazing scenes.  In the end, you forget cheesiness and focus on the story, the hotshot pilot who just wants to shoot down Nazis, his commanding officer who has trouble with the booze.

Some of the film’s flaws, like those in our friends, make the film more endearing, like the imprisoned American officer who can’t disguise his Australian accent — or Cuba Gooding Jr.‘s attempt to imitate Douglas MacArthur by dramatically clenching his teeth on a curved pipe.  (Perhaps because Gooding is such a likable guy, he can get away with this — and, in my eyes, he does.)  In the end, it’s just a feel-good story about a group Americans who want to serve the country even as some in their country’s leadership question their ability to serve.

The pacing of the film is such that you’re drawn into the story and easily forget its shortcomings.  Director Anthony Hemingway focused on making it an action film, starting in the air rather than tell us about the Tuskegee program.  It is not as great a film as Glory to which I’m sure it’s been compared, but it doesn’t need to be.  It entertains us, it moves us — and reminds us of some forgotten men of the greatest generation, men who helped defeat one of the greatest evils of all time.

This is why they make movies.