Thursday, December 30, 2010

Not Even a Goldfish

Baseball’s my game, not football . . . ever, at all. Even so, I can’t avoid knowing that Michael Vick has helped the Philadelphia Eagles clinch the division in the NFC East with his amazing record of 21 touchdowns vs. only six interceptions, among other impressive stats. And so, apparently, does our soi-disant sportsfan president. Mr. Obama likes Da Bears, too, and why not, when you think about it? He’s a Chicagoan, of sorts, and they’re having a winning season, and everyone likes a winner, even Mr. Cool.

It’s good to know he’s keeping up with football, especially after he embarrassed himself (if such is possible) a while ago throwing a baseball like a chick and recounting how as a “South Sider”—as if that were somehow akin to being a denizen of South Central, or of Southie—“you’d get vertigo sitting in the nosebleed seats” at “Cominskey Field”, y’ow, being such a White Sox fan and all, as opposed to Wrigley, where “Y’ow, there’s white wine interspersed with the beer.” As if, to repeat myself, it were possible to envision this quintessence of privileged self-congratulation guzzling beer in the nosebleed seats and looking down his hemorrhaging proboscis, all offended populism, at a gathering of effete interspersers of white wine watching the Cubbies in their topsiders just up the road.

But the president has now surpassed any (abstract) personal embarrassment and embarrassed the office of the presidency by his fawning congratulation—or “phoned-in fist bump,” as the Daily News deliciously puts it—to the Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie for offering dog-slaughterer Michael Vick a “fresh start”:

“He said, ‘So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance. He was . . .  passionate about it,” Lurie told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. “He said it’s never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail. And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall.”

Yes, it might have ended in sobby Aristotelian tragedy for the quarterback ex-con—and the Eagles—had Philly not provided Mr. Vick a second chance by signing him to a multimillion-dollar contract almost immediately upon his emerging from prison after having served 18 months for the major downfall of breeding and training Pit Bulls for the fight ring at his Bad Newz Kennels and torturing and killing the ones that just didn’t pan out. Oh, and betting on the whole enterprise. It’s a form of sport, according to some (if a felonious one), though naturally the president does not approve:

Bill Burton, a White House spokesman, said Obama “of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of, but, as he’s said previously, he does think that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again.”

Now Mr. Vick has joined Mr. Obama on the level playing field of his rehabilitation, and he’s got a plan: “I would love to get another dog . . . I think just to have a pet in my household and to show people that I genuinely care, and my love and my passion for animals; I think it would be outstanding. If I ever have the opportunity again I will never take it for granted. I miss having a dog right now.”

Here’s an alternative plan for the Vick household: You want a pet? Get a cockroach.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Biden Addendum

Bad Rachel, I almost forgot. Don’t Ask Don’t Tel-a-brate Good Times Tonite! It’s called progress, and our first Muslim president just delivered! Boom! Gays in the Military. The haters in the GOP hate. We govern. That simple. That’s my 2016 campaign slogan. “They Hate. We Govern.” Here’s something you gotta know about The Gays. They love Biden. Think I’m fabulous. And I tell it to them right back. I am Betty White and the other Golden Girls all rolled into one helluva vice president. That’s Joe Biden. 1,000 percent for The Gays. Thank me for a being a friend. Joe Biden 2016.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Faux Joe's Got His Mojo Back

Hello Bad Rachel. Its been too long, I know. But old Joe has been busy. Busier than a Queen bee in honey season. Barack tells me he wants the CDC to clone another Joe, so he can put me in charge of the economy, too. New government in Iraq? Who ya gonna call? Joe-Busters! Moving on. What’s that—the Republicans are gonna sink START and the Russians are going to kick us out of Kyrgyzstan? No problemo. Call me, Mr. Fix-it. 

But first I want to talk Afghanistan. I dont know if you noticed in between all this hype about the tax deal, but I won the Afghanistan debate. We now say 2014. But it might as well be 2024, if you know what I’m saying. Me and General Petraeus see eye-to-eye on this one. Af-Pak forever. I can’t wait to see Nancy Pelosi’s face when I tell her about our new permanent bases in Yemen and Somalia. Somalia was my idea. Yemen was my new best friend, Stan McChrystal’s idea. We put him in charge of the top secret wars we’re not even allowed to tell Woodward about. Hell, Stan asked the other day if I had a contact for Adolfo Calero.

Now I know what your readers are thinking: Didn’t you guys just get rolled on tax cuts? That’s one way to look at it. But let me let you in on a little secret. At this point just as many rich guys give money to us as the give to Republicans. Don’t tell Nancy and Harry, but we stopped caring about working families at the White House last February. It
s all about the Benjamins now. So tax cuts were a big win for us.

Now look at this START treaty. Truth of the matter is, we haven’t had inspections for a year. We don’t know what the Russians are up to. We have no idea where these nukes are right now. Heck, they
re probably refitting those warheads with some kind of biological nuclear cyber bug. Take out a city in an EMP/Anthrax mushroom cloud. That’s what freaks me out, knowing Putin the way I do. You see, I remember him when he was a KGB colonel. He tried to recruit me. I told him, “No Way. Take it across the street, pal. Who do I look like, Chris Dodd?” But I got to know him over several meetings back then, when I was a junior guy on the Judiciary Committee. And I just want to make this perfectly clear: Putin is Bananas. He is an evil, crazy man. So you don’t cross him. He’s like that guy muttering under his breath at the truck-stop bar about Vietnam. Stay Away. Don’t provoke him. You gotta treat him like a wounded animal. If we screw up this treaty, it’s like a poking a stick in the eye of that Vietnam vet at the truck stop. Just dumb.

I try to share these insights with my good friend Jon Kyl. But he doesn’t care. He can’t stop talking about missile defense and counting rules. My head hurts. On and on. Now, I love Jon Kyl. He is a great American and a good man, but these arms-control shenanigans are going to tip off a thermonuclear war with EMP/Anthrax mushroom clouds. I tell him, “Jon, you are starting World War Three.” But he doesn’t listen. It reminds me of when Barack kept saying we had to drone our way out of Afghanistan. 

Anyway, things are great over here at the Naval Observatory, or, as I like to call it, the Real White House.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

There Are Hardly Words For This Abomination

Two sentences of explanation, courtesy of the Jerusalem Post, will do: “A Kashmiri Shiite Muslim boy bleeds as he flagellates himself during a Muharram procession in Srinagar, India, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010. Muharram is a month of mourning in remembrance of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It’s Like Capitol Hill Vote-Whipping, Only On Lockdown

In a marvelously rewarding tripe-athon of socio-anthropological exploratorio, the New York Times reports that for thousands of convicts suffering the carceral depredations of the state of Georgia (that’s our Georgia, as in peach, not the Caucasian Georgia, as in menaced by Russia), relief could be just a few days and a “non-violent protest” away. “[U]sing text messaging and word of mouth” via contraband cellphones—a modern-day underground railroad, if you will—internees of every stripe and inclination have spent months communicating prison-to-prison, organizing what the newspaper of record, ever the sober-sided analyst, christens “a grass-roots movement behind bars.”

Inmates said they would not perform chores, work for the Corrections Department’s industrial arm or shop at prison commissaries until a list of demands are addressed, including compensation for their work, more educational opportunities, better food and sentencing rules changes.

Next stop, UNION! (But “sentencing rules changes”? Too many jailhouse lawyers—and Times reporters—without enough educational opportunities, methinks.) 

(Can one be forgiven for wondering, by the way, just how much the compensation-deprived members of the Brown Side Locos, MS-13, the Dixie Mafia, the Aryan Brotherhood, the Crips, the Bloods, or the Five Percenters, to name but a small sampling of the whole dappled and various throng of prison gangs that have been brought to such togetherness by this prospectively peaceful enterprise, would enjoy the educational opportunities, not to say the food, of Tehran’s Evin Prison, or Cuba’s Combinado del Este, or the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Zimbabwe?) 

In the meantime, all that inter- and intra-prisoner cellular bonding has been accompanied by a little extracurricular bonding, as well, notably with the New York Times’s own proud self:

Reached on their cellphones inside several prisons, six participants in the strike described a feat of social networking more reminiscent of Capitol Hill vote-whipping than jailhouse rebellion. . . .  “Anybody that has some sort of dictatorship or leadership amongst the crowds,” said Mike, one of several prisoners who contacted The New York Times to publicize their strike. “We have to come together and set aside all differences, whites, blacks, those of us that are affiliated in gangs.”

If all goes as planned, and the lockdowns that have already been instituted by wardens who are very likely wary of grass-roots movements and Capitol-Hill vote whippings behind Georgia bars are rescinded, the strike of the cons against the inadequate circumstances under which they are forced to do their time will take place this weekend. And, needless to say, they have a consultant: 

The inmates’ closest adviser outside prison walls is Elaine Brown, a longtime advocate for prisoners whose son is incarcerated at Macon State Prison, one of the other major protest sites. . . . A former Black Panther leader who is based in Oakland, Calif., Ms. Brown helped distill the inmate complaints into a list of demands. She held a conference call on Sunday evening to develop a strategy with various groups, including the Georgia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Nation of Islam. 

The strategy? The Times doesn’t stoop to say, but where there’s a gathering of Panthers, the NAACP, and the Nation of Islam, can a protest—of whatever kind—outside the prison walls be far behind? 

And just in case the whole prison peace-movement thing comes a cropper, and the non- falls off the violence, rioters can always beat their cellphones into shivs.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Plame, Lies, and Videotape

The September/October issue of World Affairs contains a tour de force by lawyer-journalist Stan Crock, which is not only the authoritative takedown of “Fair Game,” Douglas Liman’s meretricious cinematic hagiography of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, but also the essential case, laid out with amazing meticulousness, for a presidential pardon for Scooter Libby—the pardon that ought to have been forthcoming the instant he was indicted, and, failing that, issued before President Bush left office. Inexplicable judicial rulings, coupled with the inexcusably disgusting cowardice of the president and his counsel, Fred Fielding, left a brave and loyal man on the field of battle, fending for himself.

A couple of highlights from Mr. Crock’s piece:

The entire thrust of Liman’s film, told from the Wilson/Plame point of view, is that the White House did something wrong, that it manipulated intelligence and then retaliated against Wilson by exposing a covert operative and endangering national security. But no one was ever charged with violating the law that makes it illegal to expose spies because the law requires an intent to undermine CIA operations. . . . As trial testimony showed, neither Libby nor anyone else knew Plame was covert. Most importantly, Libby was acquitted on the only charges that relate to leaking Plame’s CIA employment.

The more you probe, the more Kafkaesque the case becomes. Conversations prosecution witnesses failed to remember became proof Libby couldn’t have forgotten them. Witnesses said the FBI’s potentially exculpatory contemporaneous notes about their testimony were wrong, and their more incriminating memories to the contrary months later were right. When a key prosecution witness was shown to have been confused about which reporter he spoke to about Wilson’s wife, the prosecution argued that a faulty memory “about Wilson’s wife does not in any way, shape or form suggest a reason why [the witness] would fabricate, make up, or invent a story.” For the prosecution, confusing which reporter a witness had a conversation with doesn’t mean the witness is lying. Unless the witness’s name is Scooter Libby. The movie should have starred Ludacris, not Sean Penn.

But read the whole thing.

And to Fred Fielding, wherever you are: Shame, shame, shame!

Happy Veterans Day

To all who have served, God bless you. To all who are serving still, God bless you and keep you from harm. We owe you all our liberties, the ones we abuse as well as the ones we cherish.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Words of (Conventional) Wisdom from Graydon Carter

The editor of Vanity Fair is in dudgeon over last week’s election. Let’s call it the middle dudgeon of a well-dressed (and beautifully coiffed!) domesticated ungulate who receives the information upon which he bases his declared opinions from the rest of the herd of scribblers and celebrity-hounds who ruminate alongside him (nor should the excogitations of the actor/celebrities who flock to his parties be dismissed—they think things about things, too, and they have all the emotions). They heard this wave of Dem/lib defeats was coming, but it’s just possible they didn’t really believe it: How, after all, could it happen? Eight years of suffering—war, torture, lies, and oh, that mangled language—ended with the advent of Obamunism. Now they have to relinquish their antibiotic-free ranging and go back to huddle in their Robert Couturier-decorated pens? And all because of an enraged, pitchfork-bearing, brimstone mob of Tea Partiers? They don’t know anybody like that! Those people live elsewhere, in the great unwashed middle, as Katie Couric so deliciously put it, and aren’t they really just too dumb to vote, anyway?

If you share the herd’s fine politics and good clothes your emissions will pass muster: You don’t need to know anything at all about your subject to expound upon it—your fellow bovines will swallow it as their own cud. Thus is Mr. Carter’s analysis of America’s flaws not much more than the pre-digested grass regurgitated daily in the pages of the New York Times, the Atlantic, and The New Republic, among others: “The general anti-Obama rage out there is palpable.”

But it’s no more virulent than the anti-Bush sentiment that has pervaded the country for much of the past decade—although this being America, there’s an attendant hatred for Obama that has more to do with race than anything else. What makes today’s fury more worrying is the fact that angry right-wing extremists tend to carry guns in disproportionate numbers to their liberal counterparts.

Interesting choice of words—“anti-Bush sentiment”—putting delicately what could fairly be described as some of the most vicious “discourse” ever to emanate from the stalls of “journalism” and academia. And who, while we’re on the subject, could the liberal counterparts of angry right-wing extremists be? Surely he doesn’t mean Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers? Or the stick-wielding Black Panthers menacing voters at a polling place—twice?

But it’s the casually tossed-off “this being America, there’s an attendant hatred for Obama that has more to do with race than anything else,” that really catches the eye: Mr. Obama has been president for nearly two years; Mr. Carter suggests we great unwashed ones have just now noticed he’s black, and have rushed to empty our gun cabinets. He gives himself away, though. Dumb (and armed) as we may be, we get the message: “This being Vanity Fair, there’s an attendant hatred for America that has more to do with class than anything else.”

And you can take that to the butcher.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wild Monkeys Couldn’t Drag Me Away

Warships, armored cars, and armed guards are all very well in their place, but powerless when it comes to marauding fruits and macaques. Thus, according to the New York Post, authorities in Bombay, in a preemptive strike, are removing coconuts from trees in order to prevent them from falling on our president’s head when he visits Saturday; meanwhile, in Delhi, “‘As several incidents of monkey-menace have been reported from the area, we are keeping a watch on the simians,’ a police officer said.”

It’s a relief to know that whatever else may befall him during his post-election wound-licking weekend in India, Mr. Obama will not be interfered with either by monkeys or by coconuts.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tender These Tender People a Homeland

Why shouldn’t the U.N. give Islamic Jihad and Hamas a state, as long as they’re thinking of doling them out? Blood-cultists need a country as much as the next “Palestinian.” The 10,000-man wipe-Israel-off-the-map rally is a growth industry, requiring room. Why must Gazans carry their sons on their shoulders to their convocations of sanguinity, when they could be walking side-by-side with them, sharing space adequate for the lobbing of rocks and grenades and the aiming of RPGs?

I say declare them a state, and don’t bother stopping at the tiny sliver of land that comprises Israel. Make it a big old Platonic state.  Like Atlantis, or Helike, or whatever it is we are these days calling the island kingdom that according to the ancients went down in one colossal night of earthquakes and tsunamis and now resides in perfect peace under the sea.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


In something of a conservative-side October Surprise, Ed Whelan has produced for National Review Online an extraordinary and amazingly revealing—and embarrassing—letter from Laurence Tribe to his former protégé Barack Obama (this is some major leakage from the White House, but that’s a story for another time), written in the weeks before the elevation of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, which has set blogospheric drums a-beatin’ and even zetzed the sclerotic arteries of the MSM. 

The subject, inter alia, is Ms. Sotomayor’s unsuitability, and Mr. Tribe deploys his missive to advise the president of her limited brain-power, and to suggest she hasn’t got the wherewithal to steer the apparently empty vessel that is the mind of Justice Anthony Kennedy toward the more right-thinking (liberal-left variety) Tribe-Obama-Harvard-Establishment-approved port of Constitutional interpretation. To say nothing of helping guide the Court itself, unmoored for so long from its liberal bollards by ultra-conservative pilots, back into the safe slip (and glory days) of Justices Warren, Douglas, Marshall, et al.  “Bluntly put,” he writes, with all judiciousness, “she’s not nearly as smart as she seems to think she is, and her reputation for being something of a bully could well make her liberal impulses backfire and simply add to the fire power of the Roberts/Alito/Scalia/Thomas wing of the Court. . . .” 

Justices Breyer and Ginsburg haven’t got “much of a purchase on Tony Kennedy’s mind,” either, come to that: 

David Souter did, and it will take a similarly precise intellect, wielded by someone with a similarly deep appreciation of history and a similarly broad command of legal doctrine, to prevent Kennedy from drifting in a direction that is both formalistic and right-leaning on matters of equal protection and personal liberty. 

(Speaking of approved liberalism—if memory serves, Justice Souter earned those Tribal accolades the “stealthy” way, only after molting the conservative juridical skin with which he’d camouflaged himself to get the nomination to emerge as one of the most liberal members of the Court.) 

So, first, on behalf of Justices Sotomayor and Kennedy both: OUCH!! I have no use for either of them, but Mr. Tribe does—that is, if “one of the top constitutional law scholars in the country” ever wants to argue a case before the Court again. On the other hand, his letter is laden, dripping, oozing with praise for Elena Kagan (he owes her one, a big one, for closing the case on his plagiarizing), who now sits on the bench alongside the dumb bully and the void mind, and might be inclined to give him a more forgiving hearing. 

On the third hand, Mr. Tribe’s sullying of himself feels final, the ruination of his reputation inexorable, and not because of the name-calling and the dissing, but because of the pathetic grovelling and job-begging that comes at the close of his letter:  

And, if I might add a very brief personal note, I can hardly contain my enthusiasm at your first hundred days. I don’t underestimate the magnitude of the challenges that remain, and I continue to hope that I can before too long come to play a more direct role in helping you meet those challenges, perhaps in a newly-created DOJ position dealing with the rule of law, but my main sentiment at the moment is one of enormous pride and pleasure in being an American at this extraordinary moment in our history.

He has gone to work for the Justice Department, but at a post considerably lower than the one he created for himself in his daydreams. Rather than “dealing with the rule of law,” he’s got a job helping poor people charged with crimes get access to legal counsel. Didn’t that used to be called the public defender’s office? In any case, it’s all the reward such a blatant piece of flattery to such a contemptuous and ungenerous president as the one who has given him so much pride and pleasure deserves.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Taking the Whip to Washington, D.C.'s Underprivileged Black Children

Michelle Rhee—the tough broad who spent nearly four years as D.C. schools chancellor in a pitched battle against the corruption-plagued, incompetence-ridden Washington teachers union to reform a rotten public school system—was forced out today by mayor-elect Vincent Gray in what surely must be seen as a kind of triumph for the union and a potential tragedy for the city’s underprivileged, mostly-black schoolchildren. 

To think about the stunning contempt with which so many D.C. public-school teachers treat their students and the struggles of those students’ parents to see their children actually educated is to be disgusted: These people are earning salaries and pensions keeping (a semblance of) order in classrooms year after year, while their precious charges wither in front of their eyes, warehoused and untaught by them—or, alternatively (which is worse?), taught lies and told lies by them.  

To think about the absolute indifference to this calamity of members of Congress on the left side of the aisle—to say nothing of Mr. And Mrs. Obamas breezy unconcern—is to be no less disgusted: These people are tucking their own cute little kids safely away in private schools, many of them, but they “believe” in public education for the city’s beleaguered black children and actively deprive them of any way out.

This is a whipping, plain and simple. Miss Rhee tried to wrest away the whip and got a lashing from Mr. Gray and the union that filled his campaign coffers for her pain. I guess D.C.’s poor black children will be taking their lashing from the president of the United States, to wit, “It took time to free the slaves.”

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Obamic Rally Fail

Washington DC’s WTOP radio reports this afternoon from Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland that “[a]bout three dozen people have been treated for illness during a rally featuring President Obama. . . .”

Prince George’s County Fire and EMS spokesman Mark Brady tells WTOP numerous ambulances have been sent to the rally after people started fainting and became dizzy. . . . The president still spoke despite the health issues in the audience.

Yo! Where’s the healing?

How Many Times Must One Man Resign, Before You Can Call Him Abbas?

Three times?

It’s only four, so far, but who’s counting, when peace is at stake?

Mahmoud Abbas, steadfast, courageous, a leader of his people.

Nomination: NEA Grant for R. Kelly

Karen Finley got one; so did Tim Miller; Andres Serrano, of “Piss Christ” fame; and a host of other equally deserving artists. Why not R.? His greatest work, Trapped in the Closet, is positively . . . operatic. 

Heres a clip of the musician at his craft (Warning: Filthy!!!!):

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Religion of Domestic Violence

From MEMRI, by way of Andy McCarthy at NRO, a fascinating interview on Egyptian TV with Muslim cleric Sa’d Arafat (Mr. McCarthy quotes it in full, and so shall I):

Interviewer: Wife beating is a serious accusation [leveled against Islam]. Let us examine this matter bit by bit.

Sa’d Arafat: Allah honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings.

Interviewer: Honored them with beatings? How is this possible?

Sa’d Arafat: The prophet Muhammad said: “Don’t beat her in the face, and do not make her ugly.” See how she is honored. If the husband beats his wife, he must not beat her in the face. Even when he beats her, he must not curse her. This is incredible! He beats her in order to discipline her.
In addition, there must not be more than ten beatings, and he must not break her bones, injure her, break her teeth, or poke her in the eye. There is a beating etiquette. If he beats to discipline her, he must not raise his hand high. He must beat her from chest level. All these things honor the woman.
She is in need of discipline. How should the husband discipline her? Through admonishment. If she is not deterred, he should refuse to share the bed with her. If she is not repentant, he should beat her, but there are rules to the beating. It is forbidden to beat her in the face or make her ugly. When you beat her, you must not curse her. Islam forbids this.

Interviewer: With what should be beat her? With his bare hand? With a rod?

Sa’d Arafat: If he beats her, the beatings should not be hard, so that they do not leave a mark. He can beat her with a short rod. He must avoid beating her in the face or in places in the head where it hurts. The beatings should be on the body and should not come one right after the other. These are all choices made during the process, but beatings are allowed only as a last resort. [...]
The honoring of the wife in Islam is also evident in the fact that the punishment of beating is permissible in one case only: when she refuses to sleep with him.

Interviewer: When she refuses to sleep with him?

Sa’d Arafat: Yes, because where else could the husband go? He wants her, but she 

So: Husband beats wife for refusing sex with husband who honors wife by beating her to a pulp for refusing sex with husband who has thus honored her, and so forth, ad infinitum, or at least ad finishum of wifum. Note the interesting touch of instructing husband to beat wife everywhere but upside her head, so that wife remains attractive enough to husband that he demands sex, which wife refuses because she has been honored with a beating, whereupon she is honored once more.

Eventually husband could find he has honored wife so widely and deeply that he’s meted out an honor killing. But that may be in some other surah.

Bill Clinton, Sociologist

On the subject of Mr. Clinton’s little tutorial on Middle East peace, delivered off the top of his heady-head-head at the Clinton Global Initiative the other day, much properly disgusted commentary and response has appeared in the last couple of days, with a particular focus on his assertion that “An increasing number of the young people in the IDF are the children of Russians and settlers, the hardest-core people against a division of the land. This presents a staggering problem. It’s a different Israel.”  (Different from what, one must interrupt oneself to ask: The Israel he attempted to coerce—not once, but twice—into making a deal with the gore-covered Yasser Arafat and his blood-soaked fellow Fatah terrorists? The Israel of hot Tel Avivi beach chicks with their cafe-society contempt for all the grubby little worries of those less fortunate and less esthetically pleasing than themselves? The Israel of peace conferences put on by “Kumbaya”-singing post-Zionist academics for the purpose of weeping mea culpa naqba into the hankies of their “Palestinian” opposite numbers?)

His fabrication of a long-ago conversation with Natan Sharansky—“I said, ‘Natan, what is the deal [about not supporting the peace deal],’” Clinton recalled. “He said, ‘I can't vote for this, I’m Russian. . . . I come from one of the biggest countries in the world to one of the smallest. You want me to cut it in half. No, thank you.’” Clinton responded, “Don't give me this, you came here from a jail cell. It’s a lot bigger than your jail cell”—is also a doozy, and on the order of his wife’s extremely wonderful Bosnia sniper-fire-incident experiment in language usage.  (Apparently there’s not much Mr. and Mrs. Clinton won’t say, given half a chance.)  

But for me the most delicious part of that performance was his extraordinary—no, his fantastical, his risible, his marvelously ludicrous—foray into sociology, with the ranking of Israelis’ attitudes toward peace according to their national origins:

The “most pro-peace Jewish Israelis” are the Sabras, who he described as native-born Israelis whose roots there date back millennia, because they have the benefit of historical context. “They can imagine sharing a future.” . . . Ashkenazi Jews who emigrated from Europe and have been in Israel for one or more generations are the next most supportive of a peace deal, Clinton said. . . . The “swing voters” are what Clinton called the “Moroccans”: North African Jews who immigrated to Israel in the 1970s. He described them as right-of-center citizens who nevertheless want normal, stable lives.

Res ipsa loquitur, as the lawyers say. Just a note of thanks, stain man, for the spurious, illiterate, and really amazingly racist lesson in Israeli politics! So glad we needn’t ever again imagine sharing a future with you.

A Note From Brooklyn Boy

“Here is a line from Obama’s UN speech:

If an agreement is not reached, Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state. Israelis will never know the certainty and security that comes with sovereign and stable neighbors who are committed to co-existence.

“Let’s say statement No. 1 is true—the Ps won’t get to have a state until they have a state. Fair enough.

“But what about statement No. 2? Why is it that Israel will ‘never’ know security until there is an agreement? Why is it just assumed that Palestinians will always seek to murder Jews until one day they magically have a state for themselves? It’s not the threat of the law that keeps most people from committing acts of murder—it is the knowledge of human origins or human rights that keeps us straight, and that is given expression in the law. What he is saying might be true—that the Palestinians today will always seek to harm Israelis—but he's missing the corollary fact: that neither security nor certainty will come from a paper document, least of all one signed by people whose ravening hatred would have to be, in his theory, hemmed in by a signature on a dotted line.”

To which Bad Rachel will only add that that knowledge of human origins and human rights of which Brooklyn Boy speaks emanates from God—the God of the Hebrew Bible—and end by saying amen v’amen.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How To Obamify History Without Really Trying

It turns out to be harder than you might have thought it would be, being the president of the United States and all, to hire a decent speechwriter. True, you can always find a hip young staff brainiac to purvey your every word and move (and his own, while he’s at it). But even Google seems to have failed the battalion of  swell-headed policy twits you employ, one or two of whom might have studied, oh, let’s say history, at some fabulously famous institution of higher learning—if they still teach that kind of thing—but are now so busy live-tweeting their ice-cream socials among dictators, for example, that they just haven’t got the time to LOOK STUFF UP.  So you’re stuck embarrassing yourself today by saying things like Mexicans Were Here Long Before America Was Even An Idea (did they tour Jamestown?), for which tomorrow someone will have the embarrassing job of excusing you publicly, someone else will have the embarrassing experience of looking up from his iPad to hear he has been fired, and you will have the apparently unembarrassed temerity to go on grousing about your lousy job.

Not a Parody

Press conference, Four-Stooges style:

Mideast Peacemakers Cancel Conference Amid Rancor

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The Quartet of Mideast peacemakers shepherding the newly started direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations called on Israel to extend a settlement freeze, after abruptly canceling a planned news conference over a disagreement on who would appear on behalf of the group.

Need one say more?