These posters have been going up in southern California in advance of a scheduled appearance by Texas Senator Ted Cruz. The Cruz Missile approves.
Which inspired another Photoshop. (John McCain must be going nuts with impotent jealousy.) [After the jump.]
Update: Ted Cruz… bad boy of the US Senate.
- Cruz bumped Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) in the hallway, pointed and said “what’s that on your tie?” When Udall looked down Cruz flipped up his hand, batting him in the face. As Udall arrived at the Senate cafeteria, he noticed his lunch money was gone.
- Suspect fitting Cruz’s description drove slowly by the White House, clinking three empty beer bottles stuck to his fingers and taunting, “Obaaaamaaa! Come out to play-ee-yay!”
- Spends all Republican caucus meetings slowly rocking his back-row chair, chewing gum and cracking wise.
Anonymous complaint filed with the Senate Ethics Committee alleged a certain Texas senator “only refers to Hawaii Sen. Schatz by the present-tense version of his name.”
- Cruz interrupted a long answer by SecDef nominee Chuck Hagel, with “speaking of drones, we gonna wrap this up soon?”
Really, Powerline, really? Come on, you’re better than this.
Yesterday Rand Paul addressed CPAC. His speech was well-received and in some respects inspiring. He quoted one or two of the Founders, including James Madison, as well as Daniel Webster and William Lloyd Garrison. He quoted, I believe, only one modern figure–Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd, from a song called “Wish You Were Here”: “And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? … And did you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?” The Waters reference is at about the 8:30 mark:
I am not sure why Paul thought that Waters or Pink Floyd, a band of the 1970s, would have resonance for the youthful CPAC crowd. But while Pink Floyd is long gone, Roger Waters is still around. He is known, these days, primarily as an anti-Semite. More here. To me, it seems extremely odd that Rand Paul would single out a Roger Waters lyric from the 1970s in a speech that otherwise quoted classic American heroes. Was Paul’s admiring reference to Waters intended as a proverbial dog whistle to let listeners know that he hasn’t diverged too far from his father’s foreign policy views? Or was his decision to highlight Waters simply a random (albeit odd) choice made by a politician who is unaware that Waters, in recent years, has come to stand for an obsessive hatred of Israel?
Not much going on, right now. The Obamas are on yet another vacation, because wrecking an economy and diminishing American prestige is hard work. So, for the sake of generating content, here’s a completely oblique tangent.
For those of us above a certain age, this should bring back some childhood memories; horrible, horrible childhood memories. Memories of a time of the three-network tyranny. The music is what gets me, it’s like ABC was screaming at you to watch their cut up, commercial interrupted, edited for television versions of two-year old cinema or, worse, made-for-TV movies.
And your movie tonight is the second worst airplane disaster movie of 1977, SST Death Flight. Featuring 70′s closet case Robert Reed as your pilot; Billy Crystal already setting himself up to host the Oscars by playing a gay flight attendant, also Ginger and Q. Enjoy.
I didn’t think this was a big deal, but all the other blogs seem to be covering it: Captain and Tenille divorcing; lame ironic references to dippy seventies song running amok.
Somehow, I feel like George W. Bush is responsible.
Well, this happened…
An Arizona couple was charged with assault and disorderly conduct after arguing with McDonald’s employees and throwing food at them, KNXV reports.
Michael and Nova Smith ordered a Number 2 and Number 4, but were outraged when they did not receive hash browns with their meal.
And this happened…
And this spokesman for his generation and low-information voters everywhere said this.
“Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed. I am not a fan of books.” ― Kanye West
And I can’t help thinking these events are related; linked by a common diminishment and rejection of standards of behavior across society. The people at the top of the political elite behave like street trash, and that lowers the bar for everybody else.
My mother passed away early this fall. My family is mostly made up of working/middle class folk who live in “flyover country.” We are the kind of people Obama and the rest of the ruling class look down their noses at, and dismiss as people who “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”
But I will tell you this. Even those parts of my family that make ‘Duck Dynasty’ look like ‘Frasier’ had enough decorum and decency not to take selfies at my mother’s Memorial service.
But that level of respect and decency is apparently too much to ask from the Leader of the Free World. So we shouldn’t be surprised when his subjects throw tantrums at McDonald’s and denounce reading books as a waste of time.
Something that flew over the Facebook Transom: 80′s Pop Stars, Some Aging Gracefully, some… not so much. Some of the dames are holding up nicely; Debbie Harry, Jane Wiedlin (high school crush), even Terri Nunn — who must have mutant X-Men powers to not look like Helen Thomas’s corpse after all the whorin’ and whatnot — look great. Time has been less kind to Cyndi Lauper and Kate Bush.
Some of the men have held up well, expecially Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s singer (another surprise) who looks like he could be a London banker or Tory MP… or a Time Lord. And some of the other guys … again…. not so much.
Let’s take up a collection and buy Robert Smith a mirror
Overall, I’d say the ones who accept aging with grace instead of desperately trying to hold onto fleeting youth, and who apply some discipline to their personal habits (staying fit, eating healthy) seem to be doing better. But the major takeway from this photo essay, I think, is… don’t be Pete Burns. (more…)
Enough lefties understand that President Obama is drowning in scandals of his own creation that comedy shows can begin to talk about it:
But other lefties remain mired in denial:
Oprah…[said] “There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African American. There’s no question about that and it’s the kind of thing nobody ever says but everybody’s thinking it.”
Oprah ignores the fact that Americans elected Obama twice; the fact that everybody on the Left has been ‘saying it’ for years; and the fact that Democrats, to this day, show the greatest of disrespect to President Bush. Never mind the question of whether Obama has been dragging down the office with his unpresidential behavior.
Why do ghosts wear clothes?
When die you, forever look you like the outfit you died in.
As we all know, language undergoes change over time, especially idioms. I remember when “The mother of all X” became a popular U.S. English idiom (to mean “The greatest of all X”, as distinct from its earlier usage, “The origin of all X”). It was a little over 20 years ago, the time of the first Gulf War. Saddam Hussein promised us “The mother of all battles”, and it sounded humorously strange. Today, it’s a cliche.
One idiom I see becoming widespread is the use of “It begs the question…”, to mean “It raises the question…”
As with “The mother of all X…”, begging the question has a different, earlier usage. It meant an argument whose outcome you rigged, by simply assuming the conclusion (what you wanted to prove) as one of your argument’s premises. But I see ever more people using the phrase in a different sense, like this:
With the markets breaking all-time highs last week, it begs the question of just how high they can go.
To me, that’s a misuse. No, it doesn’t “beg” the question. It POSES the question. It RAISES the question. Unless the idiom has changed, and I’m just being cranky about it.
Which RAISES (!) the question: When do idioms change? What bell is rung? How much must an idiom be misused, before the grating mis-usage should be accepted as the new, correct usage? Or should some of us just keep pointing out how uneducated people sound, when they misuse it?
I’ve forgotten where I stumbled across this term, Mean World Syndrome, although it was yesterday!
“Mean world syndrome” is a term coined by George Gerbner to describe a phenomenon whereby violence-related content of mass media makes viewers believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is…”You know, who tells the stories of a culture really governs human behaviour,” [Gerbner] said. “It used to be the parent, the school, the church, the community. Now it’s a handful of global conglomerates that have nothing to tell, but a great deal to sell.”…
…Individuals who watch television infrequently and adolescents who talk to their parents about reality are claimed to have a more accurate view of the real world than those who do not, and they may be able to more accurately assess their vulnerability to violence…
What do y’all think of this idea?
I have only a few scattered fragments of thought about it, so far. First, I’m suspicious of anything that smacks of Behaviorism. But I also notice that this idea isn’t the standard fare, that our violent media culture somehow programs us to do violent crime. It makes a different point: that our violent media culture (and I would count TV News shows, in that) has given us all a darker vision of the world, making most people a little more frightened and suspicious. True/untrue/?
Reader Kurt passes on a link which showing this Manhattan sensation to be of a mind with the Gipper’s (political ideals):
“I believe in a small, decentralized, fiscally responsible federal government,” [}Robert Burck, aka the guy who sings and prances around in his underwear in New York City’s Times Square"] told New York’s CBS affiliate. ”I believe in an economy with free market principals, and I believe in the strongest national defense on Earth. And those are the antithesis of all the things Obama is doing.”
He’s already “filed his vote for Romney in the all-important state of Ohio.”
Saying that he is “by nature an entrepreneur and a small businessman” who’s been successful and he sees “this country as going kind of in the opposite direction of that.”
He’s not the only one.
Yesterday, our reader TGC alerted me to this piece on Queerty which reminded me that I had neglected to write a planned post on Matt Bomer’s coming out:
As the cover story in last week’s Entertainment Weekly reinforced, it’s a different world out there for gay celebrities: We’ve seen Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto and Jim Parsons come out to little or no controversyHeck, even American Idol and The Voice alum Frenchie Davis just came out in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The basic point I had intended to make was, well, how little controversy such comings-out excite nowadays. When Ellen De Generes came out in 1997, it made the cover of Time magazine. And interestingly, she’s become more of a pop culture presence since publicly identifying as a lesbian. And by and large, Americans like this out-lesbian. Her sexuality hasn’t hurt her image.
It is, I believe, a good sign for gay people that today, we pretty much yawn when a celebrity comes out.
“You might think”, reports Oliver Knox on Yahoo! News
. . . that Barack Obama’s crazy presidential schedule makes it difficult for him to stay on top of popular culture. You’d be half-right. Quizzed on ABC’s “The View” on Monday, Obama slam-dunked a question about Kim Kardashian . . . .
“Which Kardashian was married for only 72 days?” co-host Joy Behar asked the president.
“That would be Kim,” Obama replied.
Via Jim Geraghty. Meanwhile, at PJMedia, Tom Blumer reports:
An indicator of just how seriously the federal government’s financial situation has deteriorated (combined of course with the establishment press’s clear desire to emphasize “news” which might assist Dear Leader’s reelection effort) is that the dismal 2012 report released by the Social Security system’s trustees on April 23 received little attention. Viewed through that perverse prism, cash deficits which “will average about $66 billion between 2012 and 2018 before rising steeply,” even before considering the $110 billion or so taken from “general (non-existent) revenues” during 2011 and 2012 to make up for the payroll tax cut, pale in comparison to the importance of higher priorities — like working up a 5,400-word report riddled with errors and distortions on what Mitt Romney was doing when he was a teenager.
The sad, under-reported truth is that three years into an alleged “recovery,” the long-term outlook for Social Security continues to crumble at an accelerating rate.
Via Glenn Reynolds. Could find online any reports about the president’s plan to fix Social Security. Or address the coming insolvency of Medicare. Or a plan to put a dent in the national debt.
Picked up Andrew Breitbart’s Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! while browsing in the Barnes and Noble at the Grove on Saturday and have found it hard to put the book down. The book provides much food for thought and perhaps some fodder for future blog posts. In defining the “Coulter Threshold,” the author provides some sound advice for conservatives, a recommendation which rings particularly true for gay conservatives:
I had passed what I call the Coulter Threshold: the point where you understand that Ann Coulter and those like her are standing up for what they believe in, feeling the righteousness of living without fear of missing a dinner invite from Tina Brown or fundraisers with Steve Capus or Ben Sherwood or Steven Spielberg or Jeffrey Katzenberg–or worse, the agony of being excoriated by those conservatives who fret that their liberal overlords will start admonishing them for keeping company with you. Feeling the thrill of sending a message to these people that we reject their worldview for the way they reject ours.
More on this anon. In the meanwhile, buy Breitbart’s book. It’s a great read, a great read.
Look, I’m not the first to say it, so I’ll just put this observation out there for your consideration and commentary. People in LA want to be noticed; they want to be the center of attention. And many don’t care how they get your attention just as long as they have it.
Charlie Sheen has ours now. He’s all over the tabloids, in print, pixel and video. When I got to the gym, I hear people talking to him. When I go out to eat, even in restaurants outside LA, I hear people talking about him. Certainly, he seems like he’s off his rocker. But, is he? Right now, everyone is paying attention to him. He’s being noticed. He has become the number one celebrity this week.
(A google search for “Charlie Sheen” (in quotation marks) results in over 500 million hits.)
To Hollywood celebrities, it used to matter what people thought of them. Now it only seems to matter that people think about then. And people are sure thinking about Charlie.
NB: Moments after posting this, I decided to modify (albeit slightly) the title.
Several years ago, I defined a condition known as Huffingtonistis, in honor of that ubiquitous political celebrity Arianna Huffington:
Huffingtonitis, when one defines his political views and makes public statements in order to win social approval and/or acceptance.
Blogger Roger Simon, whom I cited in that post, offers a different spin on Ms. Huffington’s motivations to sell her eponymous Post to AOL:
Arianna Huffington is a brilliant businesswoman with an extraordinary sense of timing — first riding the feminist wave to write a best seller accusing Picasso of womanizing, then going conservative to marry a multi-millionaire Republican, and then switching to the liberal/progressive side and founding the most successful new media news and opinion site extant. . . .
Arianna has read the tea leaves. Progressivism, which was riding the crest of popularity on the election of Obama, is over. It is no longer good for business. And just as the stock market is said to be a leading indicator on business cycles, I submit Arianna’s track record has shown her to be a leading indicator on the zeitgeist. She knows when to get out. Obama, and by extension progressivism, is fini.
Read the whole thing. Is Ms. Huffington then more interested in following the zeitgeist (as is the pop star Madonna in following the latest musical fads) than in currying favor with the liberal social and cultural élite who dominant her current hometown?
In such case, she defines her views not in order to win social acceptance, but to head whichever way the wind blows.
Howard Towt seems to think so. In a thoughtful post on the “What I’ve Learned” interviews in the January, 2011 issue of Esquire magazine, entitled “Establishing Credentials,” he notes that one theme that seems to unite the reflections of the various celebrities interviewed:
Each of these individuals establishes his anti-Republican credentials as a way of validating his remarks with the reader and letting us know that he is a part of our popular culture. It is a reflexive action and is endorsed by Esquire.
On Monday, in the Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary (available by subscription), Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote about how Oliver Stone’s film South of the Border, “which lauds Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez as the nation’s messiah, has flopped spectacularly in, of all places, Venezuela”
To be fair, the film is about more than Mr. Chávez. It also praises the region’s latest crop of left-wing authoritarians, from Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, Brazil’s Lula da Silva and Mr. Stone’s favorite Latin bad boy, Fidel Castro. In Mr. Stone’s mind, however, none is more unjustly maligned than Mr. Chávez. The director pulls no punches in his admiration for the Bolivarian bully. “I think he is an extremely dynamic and charismatic figure,” he told the press last year. “He is open and good-hearted, as well as a fascinating personality.”
And this got me wondering why so many liberals in America’s cultural élite, particularly self-described intellectuals. have become so fascinated with despotic rulers like Chávez and Castro. (I doubt their views would change if they talked to some of the refugees from those tyrannical paradises, including a number of gay people of my acquaintance.)
For such cultural élitists, a critique of Western society has become admiration for, if not adoration of, its enemies, no matter how diabolical their ideas or record (in office). These tyrants may preside over systems far worse than those the élite criticize, but so long as they oppose such systems, they are (to the élite at least) by definition, worthy of adulation.
*and other demagogues.
Sonicfrog reports that some of my fellow conservative bloggers are upset that Rima Fakih “Michigan Muslim hottie has won the Miss USA Pageant“.
Now, having seen her pictures, I’m trying figure out what all the fuss is all about. She’s wearing a bikini not a burkha. And don’t Islamic radicals want women to cover it all up?
My sense (from what little I know of her) is that she is as far from the ideology of the Islamic extremists as are most Muslims in American society. This could actually be a very good thing to have her as Miss USA. Let’s wait and see. Or it could (as is most likely) just be a big ol’ nothing burger, just another pretty face with a title which gives her headlines and allows her to make public appearances.
Maybe she is dumb as a box of rocks (I have no idea I haven’t heard her speak), but if so, it just shows she has a lot in common with other winners of the title. From what little I’ve seen of her (on the web), she does carry herself very well–and has a great smile.
She defies the Islamicists who seek to oppress women like her merely by looking beautiful in a bikini and other attire which help bring out her natural beauty.
So, what did y’all think? I missed it. Had made enough progress in my dissertation that I treated myself to a fun movie about training your dragon or something. A lot of fun. Good score. Fun animation.
Missed Betty White on Saturday Night Live. So, a reader suggested a do an open thread. As per his suggestion, here it is.