December 30, 2008

Israel Rejects Truce (So Does Hamas)
— Dave in Texas

I guess that Hamas part wouldn't fit in the headline.

Both sides rejected any notion of a ceasefire soon, three days after Israeli leaders launched bombing raids with the declared aim of halting rocket salvoes from the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave.

Keep an eye on that headline, it's been changing (as has the storyline) since I noticed it this morning. Both that headline and the "both sides" paragraph were in this feed earlier today, but they're gone now. Replaced with the only slightly less objectionable "Israel presses on with Gaza strikes amid truce talks".

Hamas could end this today if they wanted to. But they don't want to.

In other war news, Cynthia McKinney's good ship lollipop gets bumped by an Israeli patrol boat.

"Our mission was a peaceful mission to deliver medical supplies and our mission was thwarted by the Israelis -- the aggressiveness of the Israeli military," she said.

I don't doubt their effectiveness at enforcing their own blockade, but I'll bet you a paycheck they can be a lot more aggressive about it if they want to Cynthia. For example.

(offer withdrawn if she doesn't in fact earn a paycheck.)


There's video, but I can't bring myself to watch her or post it.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at 08:13 AM | Comments (43)
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Breaking: Blago To Fill Obama's Seat
— DrewM



Above the original post update
: From the Politico via Hot Air (which has more on Burris):

Majority Leader Harry Reid views Burris as "unacceptable," the aide said.

I'm going to need some popcorn. Stat!


Original Post...

Chutzpah, defiance and the hair...that's the Blago we've come to know and loathe.

Gov. Blagojevich today is expected to name former state Comptroller and Attorney General Roland Burris to Illinois' vacant U.S. Senate seat, a knowledgeable source said this morning.

A news conference is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, 71, had lobbied the governor for the position in recent weeks.

Here's Burris' law firm bio. He's obviously a party guy and my guess is everyone will say nice things about him, his unquestionable personal integrity and how he represents a choice everyone can agree on so no taint here, move along and we'll fight it out in two years. Cause that boys and girls is the Chicago way.

Below the fold is a letter Harry Reid and all the Democrats in the Senate sent few weeks back to Blago saying don't make an appointment. more...

Posted by: DrewM at 09:00 AM | Comments (120)
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Pretenders To The Throne? NY Governor Is Interviewing Candidates Other Than Princes Caroline For Senate Seat.
— DrewM

A funny thing happened on the way to the coronation (sorry NYT link).

Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell, a Democrat who represents the Upper West Side. Mr. O’Donnell met with Mr. Paterson for about 45 minutes on Monday afternoon in the governor’s Midtown office for what Mr. O’Donnell said was his formal interview for the Senate seat.

...The governor’s chief spokeswoman, Risa B. Heller, confirmed that Mr. Paterson spoke to Mr. O’Donnell as part of the conversations that the governor is having with “a number of people” about the job. She declined, however, to say how many people Mr. Paterson has interviewed.

There's a whole slew of candidates listed. My front runner, Rep. Kristen Gillibrand isn't on there but I'm sticking with her as my guess. She's a woman who is nominally from upstate but has lots of ties with NYC power brokers (she represents an upstate district but pretty much used her summer home as her primary residence to do it).

Princess put Patterson in a bad spot with this. If he picks her, he looks weak (remember he's only the Governor because of Client #9's resignation), like he's the creature of the NY city and national elites. He'll piss off working Democratic politicians who were already less than thrilled about getting bigfooted by Hills 8 years ago and don't seem to like Ms. Kennedy all that much.

Of course, if he doesn't pick Sweet Caroline, he'll piss of a lot of NY money people (no, that's not code for Jews).

The quandary is, he needs both groups to be elected in 2010. See, a few months back he was a shoe-in. A sitting black, legally blind, Democrat governor will cruise to victory in NY 9 times out of 10. The 10th time requires something crazy like say, a state budget meltdown. Guess what is going on right now in NY?

I'm not saying the NY Republican party (is there still such a thing?) can rouse it self to challenge Paterson in 2 years but conditions will be more favorable for it than we thought just a few months ago. Governor Rudy, anyone?

As always there are other issues involved, Chuck "Is That A Camera" Schumer's ego and a strange battle over control of the state Senate to name just two that have to be factored into Patterson's decision. This is simply a headache and circus he doesn't need.

Posted by: DrewM at 06:57 AM | Comments (22)
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Semper Fidelis...It's Not Just A Slogan
— DrewM

Cpl. Jonathan Yale and Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter (USMC) stood their ground so others might live.

Some Iraqis told him they were incredulous that the two Marines had not fled.

When Marine technicians restored a damaged security camera, the images were undeniable.

While Iraqi police fled, Haerter and Yale had never flinched and never stopped firing as the Mercedes truck -- the same model used in the Beirut bombing -- sped directly toward them.

Without their steadfastness, the truck would probably have penetrated the compound before it exploded, and 50 or more Marines and Iraqis would have been killed. The incident happened in just six seconds.

"No time to talk it over; no time to call the lieutenant; no time to think about their own lives or even the American and Iraqi lives they were protecting," (Marine Maj. Gen. John) Kelly said. "More than enough time, however, to do their duty. They never hesitated or tried to escape."

Each Marine will be posthumously awarded the Navy Cross (an award for valor second only to the Medal of Honor) early next year.

"Indythinker" points out that Yale and Haerter each have tribute sites dedicated to their memories.

Also, polynikes reminds us of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.

(h/t Lex)

Posted by: DrewM at 06:11 AM | Comments (57)
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Top Headline Comments 12-30-08
— Gabriel Malor

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:07 AM | Comments (73)
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December 29, 2008

It's A Boy! Sarah Palin Is A Grandmother
— DrewM

Congratulations to Bristol and Levi.

Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston on Sunday. He weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces.

Andrew Sullivan is still trying to do the math.

Posted by: DrewM at 03:29 PM | Comments (309)
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Final Results - NFL Pick Em
— Dave in Texas

Shit. I cratered like the Cowgirls in Philly yesterday.

Here's the last round up for you morons. Physics Geek takes the gold, with an impressive run to push his lead up 2.

Mesablue kisses his sister.

And somehow I manage to stay in the top five.

1 Physics Geek 139
2 mesablue 137
3 buzzion 135
3 Is pigskin kosher? (joshin) 135
5 Nodakdrunkhobos 134
5 Dr. Remulak 134
7 Dave in Texas 132
7 jimmytheleg3 132

ALSO: jimmytheleg3 is a BOS. Whatever the hell that is.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 03:22 PM | Comments (22)
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Duet: Barack Obama and Caroline Kennedy Singing "You Know"
— Ace

Heh. more...

Posted by: Ace at 01:11 PM | Comments (20)
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Open Blog Tonight
— Ace

As I'm going to be at the Moronapalooza anyway.

Posted by: Ace at 01:07 PM | Comments (91)
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"Barack the Magic Negro"
— Ace

This is one of those highly nuanced sorts of topics I want to stay away from because, frankly, nuance takes more work than unqualified declarations, so here's Allah on the GOP chairman candidate's passing around of Paul Shanklin's Barack the Magic Negro.

Here's the nuance: Do I think Shanklin's thing is offensive? Not... exactly.

Yes, I say this myself, and thought I originated the notion, until I found out Spike Lee had been talking about the "Magic Negro" syndrome in Hollywood for years. (Yes, like Billy Blasjowski in Night Shift, I invented it, except they already had it.)

But here's the thing. Spike Lee and later David Ehrenstein (who mentioned the phrase in connection to Barack Obama in an LA Times piece (I think) a year or so back) are both black. David Ehrenstein is half-black, but that counts.

The phrase is used to denote Hollywood's use of magical black men who show up to solve all of a white hero's problems. E.g., The Legend of Baggar Vance, where a magical Will Smith steps out of the shadows to help Matt Damon "get his swing back" in golf. The word "Negro" is meant pointedly -- and works far better than "magical black man" -- because it's designed to highlight that while Hollywood imagines it's being all progressive and forward-thinking in writing such roles, they're actually sort of demeaning.

For example, no Magic Negro resembling Will Smith or Morgan Freeman or even Michael Clarke Duncan has ever suddenly knocked on my door to help me solve all of my relationship troubles with some good old-fashioned southern-fried cornpone wisdom. I can't even get an extra thing of BBQ sauce at KFC, so I'm pretty sure blacks aren't particularly concerned about guiding me through my various psychological blocks.

Anyway, the use of the word "Negro" rather than "Black Man" underscores the fact that these roles cast blacks in a servile light, makes them no more than plot-objects, etc., displaying them as lacking their own inner light and personal agenda other than serving the needs of white people.

So: The word "Negro" is used there with a bit of racial bite. Black critics who use the term are angry that black actors are being put into what they see as the magical-reality equivalent of house-slave roles.

That's part of the reason that "Magical Negro" has caught on and "Magical Black Man" has not -- the former has bite. It's edgy. It's just right up to the line of being offensive, while not really being quite offensive.

At any rate: While two black guys have done more to popularize the term than, say, me (and I am saddened I am not credited with doing my own part), it's still kinda owned by blacks, who can toss out the word "Negro" with impunity, because they're using it not to call other blacks by a retrograde term, but to underescore the retrograde thinking behind these type of roles.

So the question of whether or not it's offensive really turns on intent. And blacks are pretty suspicious of Republican intent from the jump anyway. Spike Lee would say he can use it and whites can't because he's using the word "Negro" to highlight centuries-old attitudes about blacks, whereas whites are just digging the phrase mostly because it's giggle-worthy way to get away with saying an almost-forbidden word.

And, on my part... yeah, that latter thing is part of the appeal. I admit it: I'm using it for both reasons. Kinda-forbidden but not quite technically offensive language is sometimes funny. Try saying "octoroon" in mixed company for no particular reason, for example.* Try: "Oh, my friend Charles, he's a perfectly delightful octoroon." Silence and awkward tension. Nervous titters and social horror.

Good stuff.

The fact that it's a word people aren't quite sure they're allowed to say makes it, well, shock humor. (A mild sort of shock, yes, but still in that category.)

But I'm an idiot. I'm not running for RNC chair.

In short, it's really stupid for a white candidate for GOP chairman to think he can get away with this. He can't. Duh. One can argue double-standards until one turns blue but one can't argue with the fact they exist, or that there are consequences for running afoul of them. The GOP is perpetually derided by the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) as being "against blacks" because, it is claimed, that we're against policies that help blacks.

Given that reality, it's hardly a smart move to give blacks and race-conscious whites even more reason to be distrustful of the party and our motives.

The more likely a joke is to give offense, the more howlingly funny it had better be to justify that offense. Shaklin's parody is so-so, not really anywhere near his greatest hits CD, and it's kinda old by now in any event.

Not really worth it. Quite the opposite. Counterproductive and stupid, and even or me -- someone mostly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt -- leaving me wondering what he was going for here, exactly.

I kinda wonder if this is his idea of pandering -- "Hey, vote for me. I'll use the word 'Negro.' You guys like that, right?"

I don't think he was really thinking that. But I'm kinda baffled.

And if this cat thinks he's got the chops to charm the media and attract fresh voters to the GOP -- well, this is not exactly giving me confidence in his judgment.

It's 2008, we have the media more overtly in the bag for the Democrats than at any time this century, and we just lost two bruising elections in a row.

What the hell, man? What, things aren't difficult enough for us as it is? You want to make things a little harder because you dig big challenges?

Stupid. I don't even have to reach the actual substantive issue of racial insensitivity because this guy is an Epic Fail on judgment and savvy. Next.


* I'm legally obligated to say that "mixed company" doesn't mean racially mixed company, unless those of other races are your friends and know what you're up to.

I have to say that, or else, my lawyer advises, one of you morons will try this and I'll get sued for provoking a light to medium race riot.

By the Fucking Way: I'm pretty damn sure I did coin "Magic Retard," though I see now everyone is saying it.

Well, not everyone, but other morons who type on the internet.


Posted by: Ace at 11:38 AM | Comments (360)
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Just Too Silly: Feminsting Claims Dennis Prager Supports Marital Rape
— Ace

Yeah, well, apologies for the second post about Jessica Valenti. But this is seriously dumb.

Prager makes the case which, I'm thinking, most men agree with: Hey, honey? I know you're not in the mood tonight, but then, I wasn't in the mood to spend six hours shopping for tea-cozies and flan-cups at Bed Bath and Beyond, either. Give me a pity hand-jay for crying out loud.

He's more delicate:

The subject is one of the most common problems that besets marriages: the wife who is “not in the mood” and the consequently frustrated and hurt husband.

...

It is an axiom of contemporary marital life that if a wife is not in the mood, she need not have sex with her husband. Here are some arguments why a woman who loves her husband might want to rethink this axiom.

First, women need to recognize how a man understands a wife's refusal to have sex with him: A husband knows that his wife loves him first and foremost by her willingness to give her body to him. This is rarely the case for women. Few women know their husband loves them because he gives her his body (the idea sounds almost funny). This is, therefore, usually a revelation to a woman. Many women think men's natures are similar to theirs, and this is so different from a woman's nature, that few women know this about men unless told about it.

This is a major reason many husbands clam up. A man whose wife frequently denies him sex will first be hurt, then sad, then angry, then quiet. And most men will never tell their wives why they have become quiet and distant. They are afraid to tell their wives. They are often made to feel ashamed of their male sexual nature, and they are humiliated (indeed emasculated) by feeling that they are reduced to having to beg for sex.

Most women don't seem to agree with this logic (alas), but last time I checked there's no crime committed in asking someone to change their attitude.

Jessica Valenti, author of the upcoming book Did I Mention the Time a Guy Once Used the Word "Finger" In Mixed Company?, calls this an advocacy of marital rape:

It takes a certain je ne sais quoi to unabashedly argue in favor of marital rape. Of course columnist Dennis Prager doesn't call it that. No no, he prefers to use some sort of bizarre high school logic about how ladies who really love their man will "give her body" on demand.

...

And here I thought the "if you really loved me" argument was only relegated to after-school specials! How wrong I was.

...

Haha, because the ideas of men's bodies as commodities is ridiculous, of course! Outside of the insulting notion that men only recognize love through sex, Prager also seems to think that sex is simply about women "giving" their bodies to men. (In fact, he writes some variation of the phrase "give your body" or "deprive your body" multiple times in the article.) The idea that sex could be a mutually enjoyable and wanted expression of love is lost on the dude. Which is actually pretty sad.

Um, no, it's not lost on him, he's just, you know, accepting the reality that men want sex more often than women, and things like work-stress will put a woman out of the mood for sex while a guy with work-stress, on the other hand, thinks that pretty much sex would be the best thing he could imagine to relax him.

In other words, m'dear, he's living in the real world, and you're living in a fantasy world of no sexual differences whatsoever.

PS, when these chicks aren't railing about how awful it is to be called a "slut" because they have sex with strangers, they're also advocating sexually depriving husbands of sex.

It kinda makes no sense whatsoever -- sleep around with whatever guy chats you up at the bar, but don't put out for the guy who's dumb enough to marry you.

Okay, that's enough with Jessica Valenti, author of her most serious, scholarly book yet, a hard-hitting, paradigm-shifting work about the nuances of female sexuality, tentatively titled Milk, Milk, Lemonade, Fudge, unless she can figure out a way to tastefully work the word "Vulva" in there somewhere.


Posted by: Ace at 10:24 AM | Comments (307)
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Why Not? Hamas Legalizes Crucifixion
— Ace

Seriously.

Both Iran and its Hamas proxy in Gaza have been busy this Christmas week showing Christendom just what they think of it. But no one seemed to have noticed.

On Tuesday Hamas legislators marked the Christmas season by passing a Sharia criminal code for the Palestinian Authority. Among other things, the code legalizes crucifixion.

Happy Birthday, Jesus! We thought a sweater was too impersonal.

This is actually progress. They're boldly moving into the zeroth century, the conservative hard-liners and luddite sentimentalists be damned. Give 'em a couple thousand years and they'll be okay.


Posted by: Ace at 09:29 AM | Comments (85)
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White House: Hey, You Know What Might End the Hannukah War? Maybe Hamas Could Take a Chill-Pill on Lobbing Rockets Into Israel
— Ace

The lack of nuance here is breathtaking.

How naive. A belligerent terrorist government can actually end a war by ending the constant making of war. Obviously none of these jokers have Caroline Kennedy's Harvard education. (Giggle -- Caroline Kennedy's entrance essay? "I am Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F. Kennedy, and that "F" stands for "Friggin'." The essay got ten marks out of ten.)

The Bush administration is continuing to monitor events in Israel and Gaza, but insisted again Monday that Hamas stop agitating for a fight whose latest violence has resulted in more than 300 dead Palestinians and two dead Israelis.

"In order for the violence to stop, Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel and agree to respect a sustainable and durable cease-fire. That is the objective to which all parties need to be working. That is what the United States is working towards," National Security Council Spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in Crawford, Texas.

Building on Gabe's earlier post, Noah Pollack from Contentions takes on the Juicebox Mafia (not sure what that means, but I like it) and their endless apologism for Hamas.

Matthew Yglesias:

But already the number of Israelis killed by Hamas rockets has increased (from a baseline of zero) since the retaliatory attack that was supposed to prevent such killings.

Ah, so they should wait for the inevitable rocket that kills 40. Hamas has launched three thousand rockets this year. Is Israel to simply accept weather reports stating "partly cloudy with chance of terror-rockets" in perpetuity?

Furthermore, Yglesias either doesn't know or doesn't mention (option one is more likely) that Hamas has in fact killed people with their rockets:

A crude rocket fired by Palestinian militants fell short of its target in Israel on Friday, striking a house in the northern Gaza Strip and killing two schoolgirls.

I do not mean to be snarky when I say Israel is also protecting Palestinians. The left notes, correctly, that wars kill people and sometimes civilians get killed in wars. (This is pretty much the extent of their geopolitical thinking.)

So, you know, I wish they'd take that thinking to the next level -- Hamas is killing civilians through its never-ending and futile war on Israel.

But "stop shooting rockets into civilian areas" is far too restrictive a rule to impose on the poor beset Hamas terror-masters.

There can in fact be peace between Israel and Palestine -- the moment the Palestinians give up their Eternal War on the hated Jews.

Thanks to Dave in Texas.


Posted by: Ace at 08:40 AM | Comments (52)
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The Best Ad Campaign in Human History
— Ace

NSFW. Let's get that out of the way from the get-go.

If I have this right from tipster JimM, this commercial for Fleggaard (a Danish e-commerce firm) contemplates ginning up interest by running ads featuring scantily-clad buxom women and puppies. Not quite safe for work, as they do more than contemplate it. They do a "what if" sort of thing.

Then I guess they decided the campaign was conceptually sound and went ahead and did an ad featuring dozens of nude skydivers. I didn't notice any puppies.

Of course I'm not posting this simply for the T&A (and puppies). There is, of course, a political angle here of great import. To wit, the perpetually outraged gals at Feministing demand to know "Why are only skinny white girls with fake boobs being featured?"

There's a bit of irony here-- Jessica Valenti from Feminsting got a book deal, it is alleged by some female "bloggers of color," largely because she in fact was... a skinny white girl with fake (? -- suspiciously ample, at least) breasts.

I can't fault the publisher for going with an empty-brained chick with a decent rack for their book -- publishers often decide whether or not to go with a small-bore book based on the author's attractiveness and ability to connect with a crowd. The advertising/marketing campaign for such small press-run books is largely restricted to appearances at Borders and Barnes & Noble, so a writer of a small-sales book is the publisher's primary sales vehicle. (And FYI: A male writer's attractiveness and charisma is also considered in these cases. Handsome, affable dudes sell more books than unattractive, antisocial headcases like myself.)

Nor can I fault Jessica Valenti taking a deal offered to her largely not for her writing skills (which are weak) but for her looks. Hey, we all have our virtues and flaws. One works with the skill set one has.

But it would be nice if on occasion these FemiVixens kinda acknowledged the hypocrisy (even if understandable and excusable hypocrisy) of forever nattering on about the unfairness of judging women by their looks while, you know, getting book deals primarily on the appeal of their looks.

It was always a laugh to me that Naomi Wolf became the media darling and go-to spokesman for speaking out against The Beauty Myth and how horrible it is that women are judged on their looks, when, of course, she was in that position precisely because she was... cute.. She's, uh, kinda meh now, but when she burst on the scene in the late eighties, she was pretty nicely put together. Kind of a dish, really. A couple of extra pounds, but hey, built for comfort and not speed and all that.

And it was just hysterical to me listening to this not-terribly-accomplished writer appearing on tv all the damn time to offer up her jiggly you-want-fries-with-that-shake analysis of "the beauty myth" while bein' all hot and shit. (Well -- hot for a writer. "Writer cute," as I term it. A step below real cute, but an accolade all the same.)

Anyway.

Have I justified posting the tits videos sufficiently? I think I have. This is culture and sexuaity and crap. And gay shit of this nature.

By the way, I held this out of respect for the holiday. Jim sent me the first vid on Christmas Eve, and I said, "Thanks, but not the right time for T&A."

But now we're passed the G-rated holiday Christmas and on to the PG-13/R rated holiday New Year's Eve, so I figure it's okay.

Jessica Valenti's Book: Medium content warning for top-drawer profanity coming right out of the box, as it were.

You tell me that mix of The Vagina Monologues and Sesame Street deserves a book. This is like a "very special episode" of Blossom, exploring the rich themes of cleavage and vagina.

Did I say "a book"? How silly of me. I meant "books."

She has a second book. Notice the first page of this book is virtually identical to the first page of her last book.

It includes this gem, right off the bat, to let you know she's one of those feminists who's kinda cute:

IF YOU HAVE A VAGINA, chances are someone has called you a slut at least once in your life. There's just no getting around it.

...

I was called a slut when my boobs grew faster than others'.

Yes, and then they called you "prom queen" and now they call you "author." Deal with the trade-off.

Ever notice that the stupidest shit sounds kinda interesting when a girl with full C's/almost D's is saying it? Yeah, well. Publishers have noticed that too.

I think I'll start outlining my book:

Chances are, when you have a penis, someone is going to call you a "dickwad" at some point. It's almost unavoidable.

And balls? Don't even get me started. I am tired of women ogling my trouser tits, my jock-knockers, my rambunctious Heines-hooters.

Book deal me.

I Just Can't Quit Her: Seriously, it's like Judy Blume writing soft-core porn. Hello, God? It's Me, Margaret... What Are You Wearing?

So far this FemiVixen has written two books with sexually-charged titles, all the while bemoaning viewing women as sexually-charged objects. We've had Full Frontal Feminism and now You're a Slut, He's a Stud.

Here are some proposed book titles for Jessica Valenti's upcoming books:

Someone Once Called Me a Slut in Fifth Grade: True Tales of Terror of a Privileged White Chick

And in Seventh Grade Too, Once, But Maybe He Said That to My Cousin Veronica, Who, If I'm Being Honest, Did Kinda Give It Up Easily for a While, Not That I'm Judging, But Giving an Hand-J to Billy Donovan Under the Bleachers During Spirit Week? Come On, Veronica, You're Better Than That. That Little Stunt Probably Cost You Your Bid for Treasurer of the Yearbook Club.

Oh, And Also, Someone Once Remarked Favorably Upon My Rack: Even More Grueling Tales of Existential Horror from the Sexual Holocaust That Was the James K. Polk Middle School

Vagina: An Autobiography

The Nipple Conundrum

The American Rape Machine (And if That Title Sounds Like a Downer, I Just Want You to Know I Spend Two Chapters Discussing Bras and Panties)

and, if those aren't subtle enough:

I've... Got... Jugs!

I haven't tossed out much riff-chum for a while... maybe this is a decent subject for it? If you can help Jessica write her next book, please do so in the comments.

She's covered tits and she's covered vagina. Basically she's got one book left in her, if you know what I'm saying, and then it's desperation-time.

Posted by: Ace at 09:39 AM | Comments (625)
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WaPo Opinion Piece: Caroline Kennedy, Just Like Me!
— Ace

Uh huh. The differences in media treatment of Sarah Palin and Caroline Kennedy are getting so obvious the liberal media must be ought to be embarrassed.

This is an opinion piece submitted by a freelancer -- but the WaPo gives its imprimatur by printing it.

Amid all the recent buzz about Caroline Kennedy's bid for a U.S. Senate seat, there has been a great deal of talk about her connections, her power, her wealth. But the way I see it, if you strip away the glamour, the name and the money, then Caroline is . . . me. And many of my friends. Maybe even you. If, that is, you happen to be a midlife woman raising kids and returning -- or thinking of returning, or hoping one day to return -- to the full-time workforce.

A great deal of the criticism around Kennedy's interest in Hillary Rodham Clinton's soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat sounds an alarm for women like me. We've been at home with the kids, sure, but we've also been busy with lots of other things. We've been working part-time, consulting, freelancing. Like Kennedy's, our resumes don't conform to the conventional, one-job-after-the-other sequence that recruiters expect. When I read a sniping post on Gawker.com that "Caroline has been a happy housewife since getting her law degree, published a few ghost-written books and sat on a few boards that used her celebrity to draw donations," I thought, hmm, wait a minute. Couldn't there be a more inventive way to look at her CV?

...

But that's when I caught myself, and my more out-of-the-box side spoke up: Kennedy had young children, and no matter how much child care her money could buy, she clearly wanted to be a very-much-there primary caregiver. Perhaps, like many women in her situation, she found stimulation and satisfaction in whatever tasks most easily fit her schedule and her life, and her kids' lives. You could say her work history was spasmodic; you could say it was scattershot. But you could also say that as her children have grown up, her focus on public life has intensified, culminating in her fundraising for the public schools and her participation in Barack Obama's presidential campaign. You could say that, consciously or unconsciously, she was preparing for this moment.

Rather than a privileged aberration, I prefer to view Kennedy as a bellwether, a case study in how things could be if only the workplace were more accepting of an unconventional CV, one that may brim with great experience and skills and talent but is also peppered with gaps and one-off projects and volunteering. ... Maybe now's the time to change our thinking about what constitutes the ideal CV.

...The reaction seems to be: If she hasn't followed a straight-and-narrow, logical path, we simply can't imagine her in the role under discussion.

Meanwhile, it is believed that Sarah Palin did some light volunteering work herself, raising the profile of Alaska by accepting the figurehead position of "governor."

Avoiding the press? Check.

Giving answers in a sometimes-unpolished vernacular? Check.

Unable at times to clearly answer questions? Check.

But Princess Caroline is just like other women, so she's qualified, unlike Sarah Palin, who's unlike many other women in the sense that she's been the governor of a state and has negotiated multibillion dollar deals with large oil companies and foreign governments.

Also note that with Sarah Palin off the stage (for the moment), it's safe once again for the MSM to begin pedaling the sexism card. Sexism was an important concern when Hillary was running; then not so much when Palin was being attacked; and now that Princess Caroline is running asking her relatives to make phone calls to get her appointed, it's back.

Funny how the timing always works out so joyously to liberals' benefit. Why, if I didn't know any better, I'd suspect some kind of double-standard or something.

In related news, Princess Caroline seems to accuse the New York Times of bias. Or something.

You know, um, it's not, you know, clear what she's objecting, you know, to.

Kennedy appeared to insult women's magazines when she responded to a question by one of the reporters to recall, for the sake of storytelling, the moment she decided that wanted to be the senator from New York.

"Have you guys ever thought about writing for, like, a woman's magazine or something?" she asked, to which the reporter countered by asking what she has against women's magazines?

"Nothing at all, but I thought you were the crack political team here," she answered.

The unscripted response was followed by Kennedy saying she wishes she could draw on a moment and will think about it a little more.

She has no answer because she, you know, thought if it, you know, three weeks ago.

But we are assured by the WaPo's guest opinion columnist that she has been preparing for this moment, consciously or subconsciously, all of her adult life.

Thanks to someone2.

VDH with More: Gettin' kinda embarrassing for the MSM. Not that they'd notice.


But, no, the real embarrassment proves to be the media itself that apparently can't see this weird unfolding self-incriminating morality tale: It is not just that Palin is conservative, Kennedy politically-correct (e.g., pro-abortion, gun control, gay marriage, etc), or Palin a newcomer to public attention, Kennedy a celebrity since childhood. Rather it is the aristocratic value system of most NY-DC journalists themselves who apparently still assume that old money, status, and an Ivy-League pedigree are reliable barometers of talent and sobriety, suggesting that the upper-East Side Kennedy's public ineptness is an aberration, a bad day, a minor distraction, while Palin's charisma and ease are superficial and a natural reflection of her Idaho sports journalism degree.

A few generations ago, Democrats would have opposed Palin but appreciated her blue-collar story, and applauded a working mom who out-politicked entrenched and richer male elites. But now the new aristocratic liberalism has adopted the values of the old silk-stocking Republicans of the 1950s—and so zombie-like worship rather than question entitlement.

Indeed, it was about, and continues to be about, social class. Obama's thin resume was greeted warmly by the MSM because (among the other obvious factors) he comforted them by being "of the right sort," as they used to say. He shared their values. Hell, he actually shared their alma mater, at least for a lot of them, and even though most reporters didn't go to Columbia or Harvard Law, they at least applied to those schools.

And Sarah Palin? Garishly blue-collar with her droppin' of -g's at the end of gerunds, believin' in religion and hard work and family and all those values of the workin' class.

Oh, and by the way: As Dennis Miller cracked in another context, Caroline Kennedy earned her admission to Harvard in much the same way that Elvis Presley earned his black-belt.

Dead Horse, Well-Beaten: I am overly fascinated with my own pop-culture insight that liberals, while purporting to be champions of the "common man," reflexively go out of their way to ostentatiously show their distinctions from the tastes and habits of the common man, thus setting themselves apart and (they think) elevating themselves by comparison.

Here is one of the several posts I've written on this.


Posted by: Ace at 06:43 AM | Comments (80)
Post contains 1227 words, total size 8 kb.

Taliban Claim VBIED Attack Kills 20 "Foreign Soldiers;" Actual Casualties: 14 Afghan Children
— Ace

The US puts out pictures and video showing the driver of the rolling bomb had plenty of time to see his victims were kids. But the brave Islamic warrior didn't care.

Content Warning on the link. A picture captures the blast before it engulfs the kids. As the picture is snapped, the kids are just standing there as the truck bursts into flames; a split-second later they would be dead. There's no gore here-- but it's an awful picture just the same.

Posted by: Ace at 06:10 AM | Comments (17)
Post contains 108 words, total size 1 kb.

Top Headline Comments 12-29-08
— Gabriel Malor

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:02 AM | Comments (24)
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December 28, 2008

Leftist: "There is Nothing Proportionate in this Response"
— Gabriel Malor

Ezra Klein provides a timely reminder why the Left gets no respect when it comes to national security or foreign policy. Big surprise, of course, he condemns Israel:

This is the paragraph that I can't get out of my head:

Hamas had in recent weeks let it be known that it doubted Israel would engage in a major military undertaking because of its coming elections. But in some ways the elections have made it impossible for officials like Mr. Barak not to react, because the public has grown anxious and angry over the rocket fire, which while causing no recent deaths and few injuries is deeply disturbing for those living near Gaza.

No deaths and few injuries. "Deeply disturbing." Hamas lacks the technology to aim its rockets. They're taking potshots. In response, the Israeli government launched air strikes that have now killed more than 280 Palestinians, injured hundreds beyond that, and further radicalized thousands in the Occupied Territories and millions in the region. The response will not come today, of course. It will come in months, or even in years, when an angry orphan detonates a belt filled with shrapnel, killing himself and 25 Israelis. At which point the Israelis will launch air strikes killing another 70 Palestinians, radicalizing thousands more, leading to more bombings, and so the cycle continues.

He goes on to note that the Israeli counterattack lacks proportionality. Now, Klein can't possibly mean that the Israelis should simply respond by indiscriminately rocketing Gaza with a like number of attacks. Such an act, without troubling to even aim at military targets, would be universally condemned (and rightfully so). So what does he mean by proportional? I think what he'd really like to see is Israel limited to attacks which cause "no deaths and few injuries." In other words, he'd like Israel to do nothing while terrorists get to try over and over to shower violence on innocents.

It is worth noting that Klein's post is internally inconsistent since he writes that the Hamas attacks have resulted in "no deaths and few injuries" but that the Israeli attacks are "simple vengeance." Vengeance for what, Ezra?

Nowhere in Klein's post does he mention that the Israeli attacks have been against military targets. And he may not even be aware that Israel sent thousands of cell-phone messages to Gazans telling them to stay away from weapons caches.

Klein excuses the Hamas rocket attacks because of "the checkpoints, the road closures, the restricted movement, the terrible joblessness, the unflinching oppression, the daily humiliations, the illegal settlement" without recognizing that much of the so-called oppression is a response to suicide bombers striking civilian targets including buses, restaurants, hotels, and markets.

It's been said before but it is worth repeating a thousand times: if Hamas, Hezbollah, and most of the Arab states (and Iran) laid down their weapons tomorrow and forgot about their plans to dissolve Israel, there would be peace in the Middle East. The Israelis could forget about the fences and the Palestinians might one day have something approximating a Western standard of living. On the other hand, if Israel laid down its weapons tomorrow, the country would be utterly annihilated, the Israelis killed to the last man, woman, and child.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 09:46 PM | Comments (48)
Post contains 555 words, total size 4 kb.

Overnight Thread
— Ace

By the way, the very light Christmas blogging ends tomorrow. I'll be, you know, actually working again tomorrow.


Posted by: Ace at 07:30 PM | Comments (4)
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The Princess and the Peabrain
— Ace

Cuffy counts up how many times she says "you know" in a two and a half minute interview. It's a lot.

Even the liberal media is beginning to notice she's kind of an unqualified dummy.


Posted by: Ace at 10:29 AM | Comments (161)
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