Wednesday, October 31, 2012
That's the Obama administration. Check out this article by Andrew McCarthy over at PJMedia (my emphases):
Under the supremacist interpretation of sharia — Islam’s totalitarian societal system — that is regnant in the Middle East, non-Muslim Westerners who seek to implant Western ideas and institutions in Islamic countries are deemed enemies who must be driven out or killed. As U.S. Ambassador to Libya, as an American attempting to transition the former Qaddafi dictatorship into something approximating Western democracy, Christopher Stephens was deemed an enemy worthy of killing; therefore, sharia ideologues killed him, along with three other similarly “culpable” Americans.
That is what happened. It is, moreover, what President Obama and his administration knew happened. They no doubt knew it while it was happening. They undeniably knew it within hours of its happening. And in spite of knowing it, they weaved a web of lies, over a course of weeks, to obscure what happened. They did so in gross violation of the president’s oath of office, and in a willfully anti-Constitutional conspiracy with Islamists against American free expression rights — a conspiracy resulting in the unforgivable prosecution of an American citizen for exercising his First Amendment right to make a video negatively depicting Islam. A video top administration officials, including the president himself, fraudulently portrayed as the catalyst of murderous Islamist savagery, intentionally obscuring the role of sharia.
That could be the explanation for the headline of this post. But it is not.
The headline, instead, is a quote mined from a bull’s-eye column by the American Spectator‘s stellar Jeffrey Lord. “Sharia,” he concludes, “killed Ambassador Chris Stevens.” And unlike anything you’ve read, Jeff compellingly connects some damning dots.
The local al-Qaeda franchise in Libya is called Ansar al-Sharia — literally, the “helpers of sharia.” The organization’s goal, the goal shared by all Islamists, not just those who seek it by violent jihad, is to “impose sharia.” So declares Ansar al-Sharia’s emir, Mohammed Ali al-Zawahi. Entirely consistent with that goal, Lord reports Zawahi’s proclamation that Ansar “is all about doing ‘battle with the liberals, the secularists and the remnants of Gaddafi.’ The terms ‘liberals’ and ‘secularists’ of course mean Americans and Westerners.”
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Yet the truth is, Obama and his advisors never abandoned their quest to shape a permanent leftist majority, a coalition that would forever put an end to Clintonian triangulation and usher in unfettered leftist Obamaism instead. Obama’s frantic efforts to gin up the women’s vote and the youth vote aren’t only desperate attempts to secure his base. They flow from a deliberate decision not to fight for the center, but to build an independent majority on what is supposedly the “demographically ascendent” left.
Over at The Nation, Richard Kim gets it. Writing about the Lena Dunham “first time” ad controversy, he speaks of it as part of an effort “to realign the electorate towards the Democratic Party for a generation.” But the best place to read about Obama’s larger strategy is “Hope: The Sequel,” the New York Magazine piece by John Heilemann that got attention last May but bears rereading now. When it comes to the course of the 2012 Obama campaign, Heilemann clearly nailed it.
His piece describes an Obama campaign willing to risk turning off socially conservative Democrats and independent voters by hyping leftist social issues. President Obama evidently made this strategic decision himself, and he publically began to adopt it with his “evolution” on gay marriage in May of this year. While Obama’s team is solidly behind the strategy, Heilemann makes it clear that some prominent Democrats don’t like it. Instead, they fear it as an excessively divisive approach that puts the great asset of Obama’s likeability at risk with middle-ground voters.
Obama’s strategy, says Heileman, is built around the idea that he can win with a coalition of the “demographically ascendent,” African Americans, Hispanics, women, and young people. To a degree, the bad economy has pushed Obama toward this approach. The obvious hope is that economic weakness can be countered by appeals to socially liberal women and young people on cultural issues. But don’t underestimate the extent to which this strategy is a deliberate decision that could have gone otherwise, as the behind-the-scenes opposition of some Democrats indicates. Obama is clearly willing to abandon centrist voters and place his own likeability at risk for the sake of creating a socially and economically liberal Democratic coalition that would allow him to govern securely from the left.
These reports are troublesome enough, but they were to be capped before week's end by given by Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods one of the Special forces men murdered in this assault:He said the President was cold and appeared unsympathetic at the ceremony at which the bodies of the slain were returned. Secretary Clinton whispered that the administration was going to have the producer of trailer arrested, showing she was still playing the lying game and, at the same time, demonstrating the administration's utter disregard for the Free Speech guarantees of the Constitution. But that wasn't the worst of it. The rock bottom of sleaziness was the question asked by the Vice President:"Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?"
People died. Obama lied. But he and his administration have also betrayed the fundamental principles of our American constitution and our inherent rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
"We're going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video," said Hillary Clinton. No, not the person who made the video saying that voting for Barack Obama is like losing your virginity to a really cool guy. I'll get to that in a moment. But Secretary Clinton was talking about the fellow who made the supposedly Islamophobic video that supposedly set off the sacking of the Benghazi consulate. And, indeed, she did "have that person arrested." By happy coincidence, his bail hearing has been set for three days after the election, by which time he will have served his purpose. These two videos – the Islamophobic one and the Obamosexual one – bookend the remarkable but wholly deserved collapse of the president's re-election campaign.
You'll recall that a near month-long attempt to blame an obscure YouTube video for the murder of four Americans and the destruction of U.S. sovereign territory climaxed in the vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden's bald assertion that the administration had been going on the best intelligence it had at the time. By then, it had been confirmed that there never had been any protest against the video, and that the Obama line that Benghazi had been a spontaneous movie review that just got a little out of hand was utterly false. The only remaining question was whether the administration had knowingly lied or was merely innocently stupid. The innocent-stupidity line became harder to maintain this week after Fox News obtained State Department emails revealing that shortly after 4 p.m. Eastern, less than a half-hour after the assault in Benghazi began, the White House situation room knew the exact nature of it.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
As problematic is where the growth came from and where it has gone missing. Consumer spending provided the most lift, perhaps helped by the asset burst inspired by the Federal Reserve's money printing. If Mr. Obama is re-elected, he should buy dinner for Ben Bernanke and the Fed Governors for their in-kind political contributions. The problem is that consumers can't continue to spend if the overall economy doesn't grow fast enough to raise incomes faster than it is.
The other big third-quarter growth driver was federal government spending, which rose 9.6%. Overall government outlays rose 3.7% and accounted for about 0.7 percentage points of the 2% overall GDP increase. Economist David Malpass calculates that growth in private output was closer to 1.3%. So much for the private economy "doing fine" and the government slumming for dollars.
Friday, October 26, 2012
The best bits, as you might expect, regard his personal experiences with Biden:
In the prologue, Connaughton recounts the 2008 campaign gaffe when Biden predicted that Obama would be tested soon into his term. In a meeting with Connaughton and some of his other advisers a few days after the election, Biden revealed that he had been upbraided by an angry Obama.
“Biden told us that Obama had called him and told him sharply that he didn’t need public tutoring: ‘I don’t need you acting like you’re my Henry Higgins,’” Connaughton writes. “Biden said his private reaction was, ‘Whoa. Where did this come from? This is clearly a guy who could restrict my role to attending state funerals or just put me in a closet for four years.”
Biden added: “I’m going to have to earn his trust, but I’m not going to grovel to this guy. My manhood is not negotiable.”
And how did Biden like to remind staffers of just what a man he was?
Connaughton recalls a story from the lead-up to Biden’s ill-fated 2008 presidential run. “Later in the campaign, a twenty-three-year-old fundraising staffer got into a car with Biden with a list of names and phone numbers: ‘Okay, Senator, time to do some fundraising calls,’” Connaughton writes. “Biden looked at him and said, ‘Get the f**k out of the car.’”
Which gets us to Bob Woodward's "The Price of Politics," published last month. The portrait it contains of Mr. Obama—of a president who is at once over his head, out of his depth and wholly unaware of the fact—hasn't received the attention it deserves. Throughout the book, which is a journalistic history of the president's key economic negotiations with Capitol Hill, Mr. Obama is portrayed as having the appearance and presentation of an academic or intellectual while being strangely clueless in his reading of political situations and dynamics. He is bad at negotiating—in fact doesn't know how. His confidence is consistently greater than his acumen, his arrogance greater than his grasp.
He misread his Republican opponents from day one. If he had been large-spirited and conciliatory he would have effectively undercut them, and kept them from uniting. (If he'd been large-spirited with Mr. Romney, he would have undercut him, too.) Instead he was toughly partisan, he shut them out, and positions hardened. In time Republicans came to think he doesn't really listen, doesn't really hear. So did some Democrats. Business leaders and mighty CEOs felt patronized: After inviting them to meet with him, the president read from a teleprompter and included the press. They felt like "window dressing." One spoke of Obama's surface polish and essential remoteness. In negotiation he did not cajole, seduce, muscle or win sympathy. He instructed. He claimed deep understanding of his adversaries and their motives but was often incorrect. He told staffers that John Boehner, one of 11 children of a small-town bar owner, was a "country club Republican." He was often patronizing, which in the old and accomplished is irritating but in the young and inexperienced is infuriating. "Boehner said he hated going down to the White House to listen to what amounted to presidential lectures," Mr. Woodward writes.
Mr. Obama's was a White House that had—and showed—no respect for Republicans trying to negotiate with Republicans. Through it all he was confident—"Eric, don't call my bluff"—because he believed, as did his staff, that his talents would save the day.
They saved nothing. Washington became immobilized.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
I’ve been struck by commentators on both the right and left treating Obama’s leftist campaign as a matter of strict necessity. For a couple of years, conventional wisdom has held that the weak economy left Obama little choice but to turn this into a base election. Then conventional wisdom was upended by the conventions. Bill Clinton’s dubious but effective attempts to exonerate Obama from economic blame could easily have been combined with a centrist campaign — and presidency. Obama’s class-warfare campaign was a choice, not a necessity. But to see that is to suggest that Obama is a leftist by conviction, and many have been reluctant to do that.
Remember when Obama told Diane Sawyer he’d rather be “a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president”? That was a swipe at Clinton, Obama’s lifelong model of what not to do. In that same interview, Obama explained that he didn’t want to go “small bore” just to avoid controversy and secure re-election. That’s what Clinton did, and that’s what Obama wants to avoid. The president is willing to take significant political risks for a shot at transforming America in a second term. Reelection flowing out of a class-warfare-based campaign would further that goal. Is it so hard to believe that Obama means it when he runs left? After all, he was the most liberal senator before he became president. So where’s the mystery? The real mystery is our refusal to see what’s staring us in the face.
Here’s where Obama’s political past is illuminating. Obama joined a leftist third party in 1996 precisely because he was dissatisfied with the direction of the Democrats under Bill Clinton. That’s why the New Party was created to begin with. I explained in the final chapter of Radical-in-Chief, two years before the fact, that Obama would run a class-warfare campaign in 2012 because his leftist community-organizing buddies see that as a strategic key to transforming the country. Again, as Crook himself correctly says, Obama could have done otherwise. The president’s strategy was a choice based on background and conviction.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
This gradual journey is so familiar to me! To me it has been about learning to confront reality as it is, rather than how we hope it will be, while at the same time finding hope where it belongs---in Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven, not in utopian schemes that ignore the sinful reality of human nature. BTW, my big hope in the upcoming American election is that political correctness loses big time and we can start naming things what they are rather than cloaking them in misleading euphemisms, whether it is regarding abortion, jihadist attacks or anti-poverty measures that grow dependency and block voters rather than help liberate people. Go on over and read this and follow the ample links by David Swindle at PJMedia:
Over the weekend I published the first in an ongoing series of book blog posts by me here at PJ Lifestyle: 23 Books for Counterculture Conservatives, Tea Party Occultists, and Capitalist Wizards.
This more than 17,000-word, free, online ebook features six sections of books on a variety of subjects: autobiographies, history, polemics, American exceptionalism, media, and science. (And included throughout are various YouTube videos and custom photos of relevant excerpts.)
The three autobiographies that begin this series each tell a different variation of a story familiar to many PJ readers: the liberal “mugged by reality” reemerging after disappointment as a more tough-minded conservative who recognizes the world’s evil and can call it by name. (Victor Davis Hanson refers to this as the tragic view.)
In reflecting on these narratives, one point often goes unsaid: the journey from Left to Right usually takes awhile — years, sometimes even decades. PJM CEO Roger L. Simon’s Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine, the late Andrew Breitbart’s Righteous Indignation, and leading occult author James Wasserman’s In the Center of the Fire each show as much for men traveling very different careers. For all three the journey out of so-called liberalism required many difficult realizations and personal struggles with both private life experiences and the big national stories.
When one’s ideology fails, a new process of searching for answers begins. The experience resembles a fish out of water flailing about on the shore. One flop forward, another scared slide backwards toward the progressive ocean.
I resisted accepting the “conservative” and “right-wing” labels for years; my own transition from Chomsky reader andNation subscriber during college in 2005 to conservative new media editor in 2012 came in baby steps. I drifted from the hard left wing of the Democratic Party circa 2006 to the (imagined-in-my-own-head) Centrist Liberal wing of the Democrats by 2008. (Thank two and a half years of pay-the-bills-type jobs while developing my freelance writing career for those small gains.) I then flopped over to a disillusioned, independent “New Centrism” (my own term years before “No Labels”) as Obama came into office and his hard leftism emerged. (What was a radical like Van Jones doing in a “post-ideological” administration? Stanley Kurtz would answer that question.)
Initially I empathized with the polite, “center-right” David Frum/David Brooks-style “sophisticated” conservative circa Fall 2009. During 2010 and 2011 the ideological shift continued into more aggressive Tea Party and anti-jihad positions, though my “social liberalism” still remained. Only in the last year — as I’ve returned to a belief in God andgrown certain in my need to someday become a father — does it feel like I’ve come all the way to the Right, thus inspiring an unashamed identification with social conservatism and family values. (That I still support state-level legislation favoring gay marriage for the kind of socially conservative, every-human-being-on-the-face-of-the-earth-needs-to-endeavor-to-get-married reasons that Jonathan Rauch argues in his book can remain an ongoing debate for another day…)
Does this kind of gradual journey sound familiar to anybody else?
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Obama blew his closing statements by developing ultra-energetic conjurer’s hands (“Look at the hands, not at the cards, look at the hands…”)
The real difference was in style. In his closing statement – after Obama was done making the Ace of Spades disappear – Romney channelled Reagan by looking straight into the camera and asserting his faith in America. It was empty, sugary stuff that will make liberals sick. But it was infinitely preferable to Obama’s constant, nasty attacks. Sometimes in life, the nice guys do win.
Karin McQuillan at American Thinker:
Words don't matter as much as body language when voters decide on the man they trust to lead the nation. Despite all the policy debates, all the fact checking, all the pundits, we don't weigh and balance and research, not most of us. We don't even use our forebrains. We use the most primitive part of our brains, the part that can smell danger, that smells who is the alpha male, who is the omega, who is the rogue. The nose knows who is the real leader. We can smell a winner.
Mitt Romney passed the smell test for the third time last night, and Barack Obama failed. Choosing a president isn't a beauty contest, although good looks help. It is about masculinity. It is about confidence and calm strength. Romney was the happy warrior of the debate. He was the guy so big he doesn't have to pick fights or show off his muscles. They are obvious from his stature and how he conducts himself. Obama was the junk yard dog, trying to protect his turf by mean looks and threatening to bite. He didn't actually get his teeth into Romney a single time. Obama's attempt at a steely gaze came across as unpleasant, hostile, even silly. He didn't faze Romney, and he didn't win anyone's confidence. He made himself smell nasty. A snapping dog doesn't make people feel safe.
And Hillbuzz blogger Kevin DuJan, a gay blogger in Chicago, takes some amusing liberties in his live-blogging the debates last night. He must have become a little punchy towards the end.
OBAMA: China is a partner. It needs to follow rules. I insist that China plays by the rules. We need a level playing field and a trade task force. We have brought more cases against China and we won those case. Hey, ho, raise the roof. There are steelworkers who are selling tires to China now and I saved those jobs. There are gay steel workers in Springfield who love me and those guys know how to work hard and to play hard and that makes me ha…uh, happy.
ROMNEY: China wants a stable world. They don’t want war. They don’t want protectionism. They want economy to work. They have 20 million people moving to cities looking for jobs. China wants to be with a strong America. China does not know what to make of us cutting out military. They see America withdrawing from world. We need trade relations with China that work. China artificially holds down the currency. We lose jobs that way. I will label China a currency manipulator and they are stealing designs and counterfeiting goods. We need to make them understand they have to play by rules.
SCHEIFFER: Is you trying to start a trade war or something?
ROMNEY: China doesn’t want a trade war. We have a trade imbalance now. We can’t just surrender. We have to say to China, look you are playing aggressively but you can’t keep doing these things. China takes counterfeiting products and sells things using our serial numbers. China can be our partner but not steal our jobs on an unfair basis.
OBAMA: Romney sends jobs overseas. He likes doing that because he hates all of you. If we listen to Romney there would be no gay steel industries and we’d be sending all those jobs overseas because Romney is evil. He is going to send those jobs to China. Are you making investments in education? Bitch, I’m going to hire MATH TEACHERS up in here. They will do the math to double the exports. There are currencies that are part of the math and I am going to press it. Press it, yo. Press it like it’s hot. I will transition from Afghanistan to Mathganistan and sends signals that America is a specific power and we will work through with the ships to held them pass through countries. I have basic standards.
Read more http://hillbuzz.org/livestream-debate-transcript-foreign-policy-debate-between-romney-and-obama-in-boca-raton-florida-on-10222012-10222012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Just as the greater use of contraceptives and availability of abortion have trimmed the left's upcoming generations but not those of more traditional voters, the increased employment of women and not just in those jobs we call "the caring professions," but in jobs where daily they can see at first hand the effects of bad policy on their economic opportunities, seems to me to factor into this.
When you want to hire an employee but the uncertainties about tax planning and the market and your obligations under Obamacare mean you can't, soft appeals to minor extraneous issues fall on deaf ears. When you cannot afford to fill the tank of your to get to work, pay for your health insurance, or feed your family, while Obama is tossing away more billions on green energy fantasies, ethanol subsidies, or Fluke's birth-control pills, just turn up the heat on your ire. When your savings evaporate, your property is worth less and bonds in Delphi are made worthless to benefit UAW members, your tax bill rises to pay for illegal aliens' social costs, diversity for doctors, lunchroom monitors checking to see if you packed a healthy enough lunch for your kids. or TSA bullies to pat down the underwear of enfeebled oldsters and crying kids at airports, Obama's offers to provide more government regulation are unpersuasive.
Ladies are More Than Their Lady Parts
Then there's the insult of an appeal that assumes that over half the population is so focused on their reproductive parts that nothing else matters much to them. I mean that does seem terribly regressive when you consider it. And it is an equally poor judgment that assumes free contraceptives and no limits on abortion are the choice all women want to make.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/10/the_war_on_women_backfires.html#ixzz29wZqpHJ1
Thursday, October 18, 2012
From Drive-by Pundit via American Thinker:
Out of all the dishonest statements, evasions, and disquieting responses from Obama, though, one particularly stood out. It was his response to an audience member who asked: "What has your administration done or plans to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?"After mumbling some unconvincing boilerplate about how much he deeply "believes in the Second Amendment," Obama said: "Frankly, in my hometown of Chicago, there's an awful lot of violence, and they're not using AK 47s. They're using cheap handguns."
I was astonished. Not just me, but my son and his fiancée, who is fresh out of the 'hood. As if rehearsed, we all simultaneously leaped from our seats, hooting in total derision, loudly wondering what "hometown" he was talking about -- Nairobi?
Get this: the first "black" president of the United States, the man who worked as a South Side community organizer in Chicago, really believes that "folks" in the ghetto are still running around in afros, dashikis, and platform shoes, ducking behind Buick Electra 225s while taking potshots at each other with zip guns and .22s, once commonly referred to as "Saturday Night Specials." Seriously?
Obama couldn't be more mistaken if he added that black gangbangers also schedule nightly rumbles with straight razors and after the malt shop closes.
No self-respecting gangbanger would be caught dead with a "cheap handgun." These are people who think nothing of plunking down $500-plus for the latest pair of Air Jordans. Do you think they're going to skimp on firepower? The brothas and sistas of the hood are strapped with some serious, expensive heat, like Rugers, Glocks, and Berettas. In some cases their handguns are blinged out with gold or silver plating, mother of pearl grips, and precious gems.
From the brilliant Stanley Kurtz over at National Review's The Corner:
The chief symptom of liberal distress is an intense form of denial. Liberals now actually deny that conservatives exist. There are, of course, strange, cartoon-like images that liberals call conservative, yet these bear little resemblence to complex conservative human beings with thoughts capable of posing a reasoned challenge to liberal convictions. In psychiatic terms, liberals have split off an all-bad version of conservatism in an effort to defend against the intolerable reality of actual threats to the liberal point of view. I don’t think this denial has quite reached the level of psychosis. Perhaps we could call it high-functioning borderline instead. At any rate, we are now clearly in the realm of pathology.
The problem is visible in the 2012 presidential and vice-presidential debates. If we treat President Obama and the three debate moderators as manifestations of a troubled liberal mind, the progress of the debates makes perfect sense. It is an exercise in the gradual breakdown of denial, accompanied by increasingly frantic efforts to shore that denial up.
The first debate reflected a relatively stable form of denial. It had been going on for years, after all. President Obama and Jim Lehrer simply assumed that no conservative opponent existed. There was thus no need to prepare, no real need to show up, and no need for the moderator to impose time limits or interrupt the conservative with questions. It’s easy enough to crush a stick figure.
Once Romney broke through this first form of denial, more active and less stable attempts at denial were required to hold reality at bay. In the next debate, Vice-President Biden adopted a manic air, automatically rejecting all of his opponent’s arguments as absurd. Biden’s comportment was socially dysfunctional and could not be maintained consistently throughout the debates, yet it served for a time to stave off a severe threat to liberal self-esteem. The moderator, meanwhile, sharing the vice-president’s disregard for Paul Ryan’s existence (as anything other than a cartoon bad-guy) was oblivious to Biden’s bad behavior, and so refused to stop it.
By the third debate, the liberal patient’s internal conflict was out in the open. Obama was forced to deal with his opponent as an actual being, worthy of serious argument. Yet this distrurbing intrusion of reality forced the moderator into an embarrassing public display of total denial, simply negating the reality of Obama’s Libya coments, and breaking with her proper role (more social dysfunction). Frequent interruptions of the conservative’s argument were necessary for the moderator at this point.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Saturday, October 06, 2012
Unlike Mitt, I loathe Sesame Street. It bears primary responsibility for what the Canadian blogger Binky calls the de-monsterization of childhood – the idea that there are no evil monsters out there at the edges of the map, just shaggy creatures who look a little funny and can sometimes be a bit grouchy about it because people prejudge them until they learn to celebrate diversity and help Cranky the Friendly Monster go recycling. That is not unrelated to the infantilization of our society. Marinate three generations of Americans in that pabulum, and it's no surprise you wind up with unprotected diplomats dragged to their deaths from their "safe house" in Benghazi. Or as J. Scott Gration, the president's Special Envoy to Sudan, said in 2009, in the most explicit Sesamization of American foreign policy: "We've got to think about giving out cookies. Kids, countries – they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes." The butchers of Darfur aren't blood-drenched machete-wielding genocidal killers but just Cookie Monsters whom we haven't given enough cookies. I'm not saying there's a direct line between Bert & Ernie and Barack & Hillary ... well, actually, I am.
Okay, I may be taking this further than Mitt intended. So let's go back to his central thrust. The Corporation of Public Broadcasting receives nearly half-a-billion dollars a year from taxpayers, which it disburses to PBS stations, who, in turn, disburse it to Big Bird and Jim Lehrer. I don't know what Big Bird gets, but, according to Sen. Jim DeMint, the President of Sesame Workshop, Gary Knell, received in 2008 a salary of $956,513. In that sense, Big Bird and Sen. Harry Reid embody the same mystifying phenomenon: they've been in "public service" their entire lives and have somehow wound up as multimillionaires.
Mitt's decision to strap Big Bird to the roof of his station wagon and drive him to Canada has prompted two counter-arguments from Democrats: 1) half a billion dollars is a mere rounding error in the great sucking maw of the federal budget, so why bother? 2) everybody loves Sesame Street, so Mitt is making a catastrophic strategic error. On the latter point, whether or not everybody loves Sesame Street, everybody has seen it, and every American under 50 has been weaned on it. So far this century it's sold nigh on a billion bucks' worth of merchandising sales (that's popular toys such as the Subsidize-Me-Elmo doll). If Sesame Street is not commercially viable, then nothing is, and we should just cut to the chase and bail out everything.
I realize that not thinking about intimacy in the context of marrying someone is a foreign idea to most people. I dated in a totally different paradigm. My husband and I view marriage from a Torah perspective, meaning that we see marriage as a creation of G-d. In the Jewish marriage (when everything is working right, and thank G-d our marriage is healthy and holy), intimacy is holy. It's something special that produces souls even when physical reproduction does not happen. Dating in a holy way allowed us to set the stage for building an "everlasting edifice."
Instead of thinking about intimacy, I was way more concerned with finding out if Y was someone who I could live and cooperate with. I wanted to know if the issues that we disagreed on would be stumbling blocks down the road. One of my rabbis advised me, "Watch the way a man treats taxi drivers and waiters." We were simultaneously building a friendship and monitoring every single word and action on every single date. What does any of that have to do with touching?
We made a decisive effort to maintain objectivity. We checked in with the matchmaker after every date. We didn't speak on the phone, text, or email between dates until after our fifth time going out, and even then, the conversation was light and none-too-intimate. The result of this was that when I got married, I didn't love my husband, but I felt like I was making an informed choice. I liked him. I trusted him. I found him to be pleasant-looking and well-groomed.
Almost two years later, we are definitely in love. My husband is my best friend and my favorite person in the world. As a religious Jew, I can't discuss details of intimacy with you. My bedroom door is closed to the world. And that's the point: Intimacy is holy. What I can reveal to you is that instead of crashing and burning and seeing the flame wither away after marriage, we've experienced the opposite. Every day we get closer and love each other more.
HH: The latter, definitely. I’m going to come back to the substance of the debate in just a second, but I want to pause on MSNBC, and indeed, much more. Whether it was Michael Moore or Bill Maher or Andrew Sullivan or the MSM’ers like David Gregory and a host of CNN’ers, they all were apoplectic. It was like the Lord of the Flies adapted for debates, and they turned on him, and they said…why the anger, Mark Steyn, on the left?
MS: No, well, and I think they also turned on poor, old Jim Lehrer, who had been hailed…Politico did some preposterous thing on how he was the master of moderation and everything. And now, they treat him like that guy who did the video. He’ll be lucky if the L.A. County Sheriffs aren’t around his house to get him on parole violations. I mean, this guy…you know what it’s like? It was like, somebody said this last night, it’s like when a boxer who’s come up with so many fixed fights actually finds himself in the ring with somebody who is real. And by the way, that, just to go back to Jim Lehrer for a moment, I thought one of the very best moments about ten minutes in was when Romney fired, in effect, fired Big Bird and Jim Lehrer.
MS: I thought that is so cool to tell the moderator you’re going to cut off his funding.
HH: Yes, it was…
MS: And Jim Lehrer lost control of the format, and you know, I don’t know whether it was because of that, or whether he’s thinking oh, my God, this time next year, I’m going to be doing the night shift on WZZZ, but all that stuff that makes these debates normally unwatchable, you know, you’ll have a 90 second pre-rebuttal of the third question’s rebuttal, and all that kind of thing, and they just had at it. And so Romney, that was a terrific alpha-male moment, not just…I mean, Big Bird, I don’t care. I loathe Big Bird. But skewering Jim Lehrer, wow. Super cool, man.
Friday, October 05, 2012
However, conservatives understand leftist arguments very, very well, living in a see of progressive ideas that most of us start imbibing with our mother's milk in North America.
Many conservatives are former leftists and I count myself in that group. We know what arguments began to convince us that the progressives have an underlying totalitarian and nihilist philosophy that sees the end justifying the means. Utopian thinking that breaks some eggs to make the omelet really only produces power for the progressive elite. The utopian, statist ideas have been tried and proven to be failures.
So here come Obama who has probably never really encountered a conservative who could pierce his leftist bafflegab and cogently argue for free markets and smaller government. He probably does not have one person on his staff who understands conservative ideas and he certainly has not been held to account by the news media. So Romney wiped the smug smirk off his face with gentleness and respect, while obliterating his ideas one by one.
One of the things that began to convince me of the merits of conservative idea were the calm, rational, and generous behavior of conservatives under fire by the left in contrast to mob-like behavior such as shouting down opponents, character-assassination Alinsky-style and outright lying in order to score political points.
Romney's graciousness the other night will go a long way towards having the same effect on others who have, like I used to, default progressive, statist programming because we were never taught there were alternative points of view.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
His repeated appearances on comedy shows, daytime talk shows (No Dick Cavett here; No Firing Line), and his joshing with local DJs such as The Pimp with the Limp are efforts to reach these potential voters.Obama certainly enjoys an advantage here: it is hard to fathom a man as serious and contemplative as Mitt Romney -- a man who is more focused on facing our problems rather than babbling pabulum (without the nutrition) -- riding the carnival circuit.Obama has no problem on the carnival circuit. He is a star there, the world's biggest celebrity, as the McCain camp presciently recognized in one of their few smart tactics during the 2008 campaign.
This Obama campaign strategy has been clear for some time.
Has there ever been a politician whose campaign is so focused on the euphemistically termed "low-information voter"?
-snip- [Lasky lists the signs. Go read them!]
The internet has overtaken newspapers as a source of news; hence the Obama emphasis on reaching people via the internet, where micro-focused messages can be tailor-made to appeal to an individual potential voter. The danger behind such narrowcasting is that the information delivered can be akin more to propaganda than to facts. Obama supporters all too often would rather gaze, graze, or glance than read, think, and ponder.
How nice it is not to face reality. Ignorance is bliss. That should be the campaign slogan for the Obama campaign, for it has been his modus operandi as president.
Barack Obama's appearances on lowbrow outlets geared to "low-information voters" (or, as Michelle Obama would say, "knuckleheads") has capitalized on one edge that Barack Obama has always had over Mitt Romney: "likeability." Of course, Obama's likeability is merely a result of the media shielding the public from the many derogatory remarks he has made about Americans.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/10/obama_trolling_for_the_knucklehead_vote.html#ixzz28F6vXKSq
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
On Tuesday, September 25th, Mr. Rocky Mimmo, Founder and Chairman of the Ambrose Centre for Religious Liberty, an Australian organization, visited OLSWA campus to describe the work of the Centre and to discuss the issue of religious liberty. He addressed a good-sized crowd of students and community members, focusing first and foremost on the manner in which one should exercise one’s religious liberty when engaging in discussion about matters pertaining to Christian truth and morals.
Beginning with some statistics regarding the percentage of Australians who profess to be Christian, he noted that “We are confronted with a declining interest in Christianity.” He went on to state that, if that is the case, we cannot hope to convince people of religious truths by invoking the Gospels or other religious authority. Rather, he declared, it is the opinion of members of the Ambrose Centre that the best course of action is “to go armed with reason and logic.”
An example Mimmo gave was the case of laws concerning same-sex marriage in Australia. When the Australian government recently considered whether or not to legalize same-sex marriage, members of the Ambrose Centre met one-on-one with government officials, not to try to convince them of the good of marriage – which many in government positions did not believe in – but simply to impress upon them the consequences that would logically flow from an alteration of the legal definition of marriage. Mimmo described some of those consequences in his talk: “If you change the law which says that marriage is between a man and a woman, then the law says that what is unnatural, is natural – that a man is the same thing as a woman, and that two men – or two women – is the same thing as a man and a woman. Do I want my kids taught that?” By means of these sorts of arguments, Mimmo says, the Ambrose Centre achieved its goal, and when the vote was held, the overwhelming majority of government officials voted against legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia. Mimmo reiterated the basis of the Ambrose Centre’s success: “Never once did we invoke the authority of the Gospel,” he says. “Never once did we invoke religious authority. Never once did we apply anything but reason, underpinned by faith.”
Monday, October 01, 2012
Here's an excerpt of a great piece by Hugh Hewitt:
President Obama has a number of "poker tells" which he displays when answering questions. They betray an increasing distance between his reply and the truth.
Talk show hosts love when the president gives one of his very rare press conference or any other occasion when he is off prompter. That is when these "tells" surface, giving all veteran Obama observers the verbal heads-up that the president has entered the land of thinly disguised fantasy or obvious dissembling.
First, the president begins a pattern of "ahs" and "uhmms" which are as embarrassing as they are revealing. The awkward pausing punctuated by these semi-stutters increases in frequency as the president senses his own flailing about.
Next, the president begins filibustering. His average length of answer in every press conference is already epic, but he has been getting worse as the presidency has dragged on. Pressers are not battles between the "reporters" and the president. Very few not named Jake or Ed bother the president with fastballs. The struggle is simply between the president and the effort he has to land the plane anywhere near where it took off, so far does he wander as he rambles through the minutes he is obliged to spend appearing to take questions.
The president will allegedly be subject to time limits on Wednesday night, but his contempt for most such rules almost guarantees he will blow through every limit and dare the moderator or Mitt Romney to challenge him