Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Eeyore Caucus

[Update: Revised toward the end for clarity 2/1/2015.]

Via StopMeBeforeIVoteAgain.
Vivid piece by Jeff Stein at Newsweek about the Israeli-style assassination of the Hezbollah terror architect Imad Mugniyah in Damascus in February 2008, which turns out not to have been Israeli at all but our own CIA.

Mugniyah was apparently a very dangerous and bad man, too, the alleged planner of the 1983 bombings of the US barracks and embassy in Beirut and many other bombings, murders, and kidnapings, including the bombings of the Israeli embassy and Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994. On the other hand, his involvement in these things has never been proven, and it's not clear that he was up to anything at the time of the killing other than visiting one of his wives, and the assassination looks very much like one of those bad things of which Obama is always being accused, an extrajudicial execution without trial.

But a curious detail of the story, noted by Laura Rozen, is that Bush's DCI, Michael Hayden, was worried himself that the strike might be illegal:

Friday, January 30, 2015

Brooks on behalf of the Stupid Shit Caucus

Cobbler's shop, Syria, early 20th century, via Pieter van Ostaeyen.
Verbatim David Brooks, "Being Who We Are", New York Times, January 30 2015:
The Middle East is not a chessboard we have the power to manipulate. It is a generational drama in which we can only play our role. It is a drama over ideas, a contest between the forces of jihadism and the forces of pluralism. We can’t know how this drama will play out, and we can’t direct it. We can only promote pluralism — steadily, consistently, simply.
It's possible that our correspondent is not fully conversant with the rules of chess, but it is a game in which players cannot manipulate the board but only play their roles.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cheap shots but not *that* cheap

Sully, via YouTube.
Paying my respects to the late

I have to say when Andrew Sullivan said in January 2013 that his readers would have to fork over $20 a year to partake of his Dish I respected that.

In fact I respected it enough to not go over there, standing on my own principle that nothing he wrote could possibly be worth that much, or any, money, except once in a great while when driven by the exigencies of some Brooksological problem (because Brooksy definitely dipped into Sully from time to time for the heavyweight intellectual material, including for his epic tour of early 20th-century Russian philosophy and his tragically doomed attempt to grasp the thinking of the psychoanalyst Adam Philipps). If it was really important to him, I figured, to keep his readership down to the class of those who were willing to commit, I'd stay away.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Check your privilege at the door, this joint is really jumpin

Image via Hand of Ananke.

I wasn't going to write anything about the Jonathan Chait political correctness pity party, because everybody I like had such great things to say about it already, but then there was this other thing I never got around to that ties in, from Jonah Goldberg's New Year's Eve piece (I wrote a lot about that sucker, too, but there's still more):
Frank Rich, the former New York Times columnist and theater critic, recently interviewed Chris Rock for New York magazine. He wanted to know why right-leaning comedian Dennis Miller isn’t as funny (at least according to Rich) as Jon Stewart of The Daily Show. He asked Rock, “Do you think that identifying with those in power is an impediment to laughter?”

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Photograph by Francesca Woodman, from Daily Poetics, February 2012.
On Holocaust Remembrance Day this, by Corey Robin, with its associated links.

For Jonathan Chait's silly but extremely lengthy effort at asking:
Can a white male liberal critique the country's current political-correctness craze (which, by the way, hurts liberals most)? We're sure you'll let us know.
the comment, with associated links, by Scott Lemieux. Really nice piece by the Vixen, too.

On the age-old question of why is Obama saying things the left likes to hear when we all know he's an evil Chicago-School economist who wants to enslave us all to Wall Street a wonderful piece of thoughtfulness, "Some Progressives are Confused by the Long Game", by Nancy Le Tourneau.

For Mozart's birthday (h/t Frank Lynch for the reminder), some Mozart:

I for one welcome our new B-corporate masters

New David Brooks Plagiarism Watch below the fold!
Change leader: From "Take Charge of your Career Like a Boss".
Shorter David Brooks, "How to leave a mark", New York Times, January 27 2015:
Both sides at a fairly cosmic level do it: markets and governments have failed, the one because of its chronic instability and irredeemable rapacity and the other because it has been captured by special interests that don't want it to do anything, which must have been caused by some more both-sides stuff such as the takeover of the Republican Party by multinational corporations and I'm sure there must be something analogous on the Democrats' part, so obviously our angle of approach for making things better should be on the market side, involving the many nongreedy investors who simply don't care about profit. If you're wealthy enough to make a difference you should make it by investing in companies whose shareholders will allow them to compensate for the failings of government by distributing free eyeglasses to the poor and that sort of thing, and if you're not maybe you could get a job working for somebody like that, and if you're very young you may live to see government coming back in some form or other some day, so it's all good.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The quality of mercy is not Strain

Emily Trask and Chelsea Steverson as Shakespeare's defense attorneys in The Merchant of Venice, Utah Shakespeare Festival, 2010.
This is just so perfect, from Michael R. Strain of the American Enterprise Institute, in the Wapo today:

End Obamacare, and people could die. That’s okay.

It is such obvious trolling that you might think it best not to encourage it by paying it any attention, and yet the argument is bound to have a certain appeal to your 19-year-old dorm-room libertarian, so I think it's worth while pointing out that it's wrong.

What the argument is, basically, is that we do that kind of stuff all the time. For example, people die because we don't mandate a 10 miles-per-hour speed limit on our highways, which would make it really hard, according to Strain, to kill people with a car. Or

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cereal murder

If it's Froot Loops, on the other hand, you might be tying to score an online interview with the president, as GloZell has done, but certainly not bathing in cereal and interviewing the president at the same time. In spite of her youth she is unquestionably a more accomplished journalist than Jonah Goldberg, in the respect that she has in fact interviewed people in the course of her career.
Hai, Jonah
Dear Reader (Unless you’re sitting in a tub full of Cap’n Crunch, in which case you’re too busy talking to the leader of the free world)...
This is an apparent reference to a scandal of March 2011, when Daily Finance reported questions about the fate of the imaginary mustached ship's officer who serves PepsiCo as mascot of Cap'n Crunch breakfast sugar; was he being pushed out of his job under pressure from a Crunch-hating White House? Would he end up retired, on the bocce pitch with his mates Ronald McDonald and Joe Camel, talking about the good old days when poisoning small children was something a man could take some pride in?

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Love Profile of J. David Broofrocks

Louise Brooks (no relation), in (probably) G.W. Pabst, Pandoras Büchse, 1929. Via à l'allure garçonnière
My self-summary
When man seeks to evaluate,
at the behest of OK Cupid,
the hotness of a hopeful date,
he tries to play it straight and stupid,

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Gang signals? Cuomo and Silver last June, via Politics on the Hudson.
Photo caption in the Times on the arrest of Speaker Shelly Silver:
The investigation of Sheldon Silver, right, the speaker of the New York State Assembly, picked up speed after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission.
The Times and WNYC have kept repeating similar sentences in various versions of the story all morning. They are both not saying this, but are kind of forcing us to say it with this continual association of Cuomo's shutting down the Morland Commission and the feds doubling down on their investigations of Silver: that Cuomo closed the commission at least in part because it was looking too closely at Shelly.

The allegations are to my mind shocking enough:

It burns

Update: The Googlebot was just reading this two-year-old piece (January 9 2013), and when I took a look at it I felt like running it again.
HOUSTON, April 23, 2028--

Speaking yesterday in 120-degree heat on the beach where the former port of Galveston can still be seen poking out of the gentle Gulf surf, Rep. Barbara Bush (R-Tex.) laid into President Kirsten Gillebrand and the Democratic Party for what she called decades of neglecting the environment.

"They knew," she said. "They knew what was happening. For 30 years they watched our weather get hotter and stranger every year and they sat and regulated, and regulated, and regulated some more. Did they give the free market a chance to come up with a solution? No, they knew better."
In this presidential year, Republican candidates have rapidly begun to coalesce around the theme of global warming, a process many scientists believe is caused by human activity. "Some call it manmade climate change," proclaimed the front-runner, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, "but I call it government-made."

While Ms. Bush has largely blamed burdensome government regulation for the climate crisis, Mr. Christie focuses on the tax system. "Let's face it," he remarked, "the stupidity of these jackasses is just incredible. By taking money from those who could be installing solar or wind power on their estates and giving it to people who can barely afford to pay their utility bills, they are just literally burning mountains of coal. And how many times have you seen some punk in the bodega buying charcoal briquets with his mom's food stamps?"
Image by
Inspired by Dr. Turk.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cheap shots and a pair of Air Ernsts

Ron Fournier, via Ann Arbor Review of Books.
Dear Ron Fournier,

I hear that you wrote,
Count how many times Obama uses the words “I,” “me,” and “my.” Compare that number to how often he says, “You,” “we,” “our.” If the first number is greater than the second, Obama has failed.

Gimme that old time profound commitment to justice

Mohamedou Ould Slahi. Wikipedia.
One thing I didn't quite like about the Jon Stewart movie Rosewater (and I should say I thought it was a lot better as a movie than merely politically worthy—very strong and moving) was the scenes where the detained-without-trial prisoner Maziar Bahari interacts with his dead father and sister, which I could understand as a kind of metaphorical cinematographicization of his thought processes in isolation and a dramaturgical necessity—not much you can do to work some dialogue into solitary confinement—but had a somewhat stagy, artificial feeling. I might have felt differently if I'd read Bahari's book, because it looks as if these scenes may have been not so much a dramatization as a representation of what he really experienced, according something I learned today, from Mark Danner's brilliant review of another detainee memoir, by the Mauretanian prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Guantánamo Diary:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Support our students, just don't give them any help

Clara Bow in her talkie debut, The Wild Party, directed by Dorothy Arzner, 1929.
Shorter David Brooks, "Support our Students", New York Times, January 20 2014:
The problem with the president's plan for universal free community college is that getting students to enroll is neither hard nor important. The important task is to help students graduate. And how is paying their tuition supposed to help with that?
What's interesting today, if anything, is what gets left out of the discussion. For example, according to Brooks:
In the first place, community college is already free for most poor and working-class students who qualify for Pell grants and other aid. In 2012, 38 percent of community-college students had their tuition covered entirely by grant aid and an additional 33 percent had fees of less than $1,000.
Or, as Robert Kelchen put it in an essay in Inside Higher Education last October, with reference to the Tennessee program and the proposed one in Chicago, long before Obama's plan was publicly mentioned,

Monday, January 19, 2015

National Review MLK Day Fail: Disparate impact

Update: While I was out doing things today Scott Lemieux literally wrote this piece for me, ten times wittier and more concise, of course, and leading with a remarkably similar joke. It was the first thing I read after posting. But there's a bunch of other stuff in this one anyhow. Besides I've got the picture, and the National Review piece we're writing about is actually a lot worse than Lemieux even realized once you get to the second paragraph.

From somebody else who likes to run photos of Dr. King smiling and wearing a hat, at Relationships Matter Now.
As most conservatives understand, Dr. Martin Luther King uttered only 35 words in the course of his entire life—
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
—and what he meant by those words, oddly, was, "If a white student scores two points higher on the LSAT than some given black student, then the white student should be admitted to the University of Michigan Law School."

This year, though, it was looking different, and I'd begun to think all the conservatives were fleeing from the usual celebration of the conservative Dr. King (Edroso finds a brand-new strain of condemning the liberal-fascist Dr. King, emitted into the ether by Ann Althouse, discussing how LBJ and MLK plotting the push for new civil rights legislation in 1965 took their inspiration from Hitler, because of course Hitler was totally ruthless in his passion for racial integration and voting rights and whatever it took to get more civil rights legislation passed in Germany), but a Roger Clegg at the National Review hasn't given up, and offers a learned legal four-little-children argument to commemorate the holiday:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cheap shots and hog balls

Via Newser.
Sick of Bushes? Vote for Jeb!

Jeb Bush seems to have gotten all his friends to tell Peter Baker of the New York Times that he is so not George W. Bush that he's literally the only option for Republicans who want to make sure they're not renominating George W.:

New York note

Not your (Irish) grandfather's NYPD; this year's Police Academy recruits being welcomed on January 9 by Mayor Bill de Blasio (David Handschuh/New York Daily News).
Via Mahablog, very encouraging columns by Juan Gonzales at the Daily News suggest a lot of ferment going on in the NYPD over the police brutality controversy of Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, and Patrick Lynch's leadership of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, not to Lynch's advantage: for the first time since 2003 he seems likely to have an opponent in the PBA election, which is coming up in June, and it will be one who represents the patrolmen's embarrassment over his shameful treatment of Mayor de Blasio:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Onward and Upward with the Arts

Costumes from Wu Meiniang Chuanqi (The Legend of Wu Meiniang), via Dianyingwang Dingding.
Fans of Chinese historical TV drama late last year were somewhat startled by certain aspects of The Legend of Wu Meiniang, a bio series on the empress Wu Zetian (or emperor, properly speaking, since she was the only woman in Chinese history to rule in her own right, in the early height of the Tang dynasty from 690 to 705), in particular the dedication paid to authentic period costuming, since few were acquainted with some the facts of court dress in the imperial capital of Chang'an during the 7th and 8th centuries, which had not previously been reflected in the television serials of the People's Republic.

Apparently they really weren't making it up:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Governors' Handicap

Via giphy.
Well, well, Brooksie's back as Mr. Savvy, handicapping the Republicans for 2016:
If the Republican presidential campaign were “American Idol” or “The Voice,” this would be the out-of-town auditions phase.
Actually it's "America's Next Top Model". Have I used that before?

But it's not the out-of-town (i.e., non-Washingtonian and hence non-Senatorial) candidates as such. No Dr. Ben here, no frothmeister Santorum, for instance, just governors. And no ex-governors like Mitt or Jebbie, or Huckabee or hahahahaha Pataki:

North Carolina Terrorists Win

The strange, evil foreign muezzin sending waves of sharia out across defenseless Durham. No wait, it's only a Duke student, Ibrahim Saber, rehearsing the three-minutes-a-week performance inviting his friends to perform their religious obligations, which is now not going to take place because some heavily armed Christians seem to object. Photo via WRAL radio.
That is, the plan for the Muslim Students Association at Duke University to use the chapel bell tower as a minaret to broadcast one Friday call to prayer each week—prayers have been held in the chapel basement for years, and nobody's complained about that—has been scrapped.

Not apparently because of the efforts of Reverend Franklin Graham and his brothers in bigotry to get university donors to make financial threats to the university:

Happy birthday Dr. King!

Martin Luther King, Jr., had he not been murdered, would have been 86 years old today (yesterday, actually—took me past midnight to get this out), and the right wing celebrates, as is their recent habit, by making up idiotic lies about how he supported their vile agenda or would have done so had he known what it was, as in:

Was an Endless Flow of Immigrant Workers who Take Jobs and Suppress Wages Dr. King’s Dream?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

No, Tom

From Brainless Tales.
Uh-oh, Friedman's off his meds again. Not just because the president didn't go to Paris, although he disapproves of that, but
it is typical of American politics today that we focus on this and not what would have really made the world feel the jihadist threat was finally being seriously confronted. And that would not be a march that our president helps to lead, but one in which he’s not involved at all. 
Wait, he was involved in the one he didn't go to but he should have not gone to the one he wasn't involved in?

National Review fail of the week: the People's House

Via ScottSeesThings.
My occasional correspondent Kevin D. Williamson has some fun over at The Corner with some unhappy innumeracy from Alternet (now withdrawn from the site, because unlike National Review they do correct errors over there sometimes):
Here is an excerpt from an Alternet article by Kali Holloway republished by Salon. See if anything about the GDP figures jumps out at you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Je suis cheap shots

Because you all want to be smarter than the New York Times, which is incapable of reading the Luz cover for tomorrow's issue of Charlie Hebdo:
It shows a tearful caricature of the Prophet Muhammad holding the by-now iconic “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) placard with the words “Tout est pardonné” (“All is forgiven”) above him. Many viewed the cartoon image as a conciliatory message from the new editors of Charlie Hebdo after the carnage of the Paris attack.
Wrong, cons. The drawing depicts the Prophet aligning himself with Marine Le Pen, Nicolas Sarkozy, Binyamin Netanyahu, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, bishops, cabinet ministers, TV idiots, pseudophilosophers, the New York Times Paris bureau, and all the other authoritarians, fundamentalists, rightists, prudes, and cons that hated Charlie and now want to march to show how much they cherish the journal and its freedom. Whether he's the one saying "Tout est pardonné" or being pardoned, he's in the same warm bath of mutual freedom from criticism that they made out of the #JeSuisCharlie party with their solemn and respectful presence. He wants to march too!

The message isn't about Mohammed at all, but about the hypocrites in the parade, and I'm so happy to see that the paper's toughness is undiminished.

Utopia Limited

Robert Owen's planned community of New Harmony, Indiana, as envisioned by F. Bate, 1838. Wikipedia.
Abstract David Brooks, "The Child in the Basement", January 13 2015:
Summarizes Ursula K. Le Guin's short work "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" (1973), and proposes three interpretations of its allegorical import.
Spoiler alert: all three are fundamentally wrong, as fearless literary scholar David Brooks could easily have learned by checking the story's Wikipedia entry, which cites Le Guin's own account of what she meant.

With nothing he wants to write about or anybody wants to read about and a deadline looming, Brooks is delving into something like surrealist automatic writing here, with the old thought processes minimally engaged, so there's a good deal of purely Brooksological interest in the way it reveals the inner workings of his mind. Readers who are more interested in reality might not be able to bring themselves to care. Everybody should just read "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" if you've never done so—here's a good text and it's under seven pages and you'll never forget it—and feel free to skip my report. No, wait, I'm kidding—

Monday, January 12, 2015

Nous sommes tous des juifs français--sauf Bibi

Charb on IDF tactics: "Hamas is taking the population hostage!" "So let's kill the hostages."
Can't quite let go of Charlie without calling attention to the unspeakable behavior of Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who crashed the party in Paris yesterday despite being politely but firmly asked not to come, as Haaretz reports:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A little more Charlie

The finest of the Mohammed caricatures, I think, was Cabu's from 2006, in the wake of the Jyllands-Posten riots, which showed a little sympathy for the old Prophet overwhelmed by intégristes or fundamentalists and doing a double facepalm: "It's tough being loved by cons..." (the word, etymologically referring to the vagina, has much less force than English "cunt" and is more of an equivalent to "asshole").

On the whole, though, the worst thing for posterity about the murders of the Charlie Hebdo staff is that these heroes may be remembered for what wasn't their best work, the relatively crude and satirically unpointed drawings of 2011 and 2012 showing the naked Prophet eating his own shit or posing as Brigitte Bardot. They were so much better taking on the frisky College of Cardinals:

Cheap shots: Pimp my (plane) ride

“Beyoncé is incredibly talented — gifted, in fact,” Huckabee wrote. “She has an exceptional set of pipes and can actually sing. She is a terrific dancer –— without the explicit moves best left for the privacy of her bedroom. Jay Z is a very shrewd businessman, but I wonder: Does it occur to him that he is arguably crossing the line from husband to pimp by exploiting his wife as a sex object?” (Via RollingOut)

In God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, Mike Huckabee asks, “Have I been taken to a different planet than the one on which I grew up?”
Hmm, I'd say it's not impossible. What quadrant are you from?

Friday, January 9, 2015


Updated 1/10
The Vagabond (1916).
Shorter David Brooks, "I am not Charlie Hebdo", New York Times, January 9 2015:
I am not Charlie Hebdo in the sense that I would never say anything vulgar in public or denigrate somebody's religion, that's so sophomoric, but, speaking of being sophomoric, I do think we should do away with college speech codes and allow the William F. Buckley, Jr., Program to invite Ayaan Hirsi Ali to insult Muslims freely on the Yale campus, because that's what freedom of speech is all about.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Suis-je Charlie?

For a moment I was afraid this meant he was dead, but of course he was born a long time before 1994.
"Nous sommes tous des juifs allemands," said Daniel Cohn-Bendit in May 1968, or not exactly. He was Jewish himself by birth and German by choice. His parents were German Jews who had fled to France in 1933, and he was born stateless in 1945; after his family moved back to Germany in 1958, already a radical, he opted for German citizenship, specifically to avoid the military service demanded of young French men, but he wound up in France anyway, in 1966, as a sociology student at the working-class university of Nanterre in the northern Paris banlieues.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A little less meaning: Postscript

Luis Buñuel, L'Age d'Or (1930).
Brooks actually had a point to make in that excursus on the inadequacy of meaningfulness this morning, though he doesn't understand it well enough to make it and would of course have been wrong if he did. It's a left-right point, too, and I'd like to go over it just briefly.

If somebody wants you to tell them what is the meaning of life, the correct answer is that they should rephrase the question: it's a category error. That which has meaning is a sign, and life is not a sign. The word "life" is a sign, so you could ask,  e.g.,


Laura Ingraham's feet, via WikiFeet.
Laura Ingraham quoted at Americans Against the Tea Party:
The Republicans shouldn’t fall into the media trap of ‘We have to work with Obama! We have to work with Obama! Obama is going off on his own. He’s going to sign an executive order, he’s going to close Gitmo, he’s draining Gitmo down.
Republicans have been successful, and the economy has been improving with two things: gridlock and opposing Obama. The economy has been getting better!”
I left a comment at Susie Madrak's C&L report:
Wait folks, she may be right--it's all that dictatorial executive action with the quantitative easing. If GOP had been willing to do some of the work there would have been more austerity and we'd be worse off. From the audit of all government contracts he ordered the week he took office to the boost of consumer financial security last October Obama's been taking care of business while Congress holds Benghazi hearings.
Then there's the Affordable Care Act that has created more jobs in California alone in one year than the Keystone Pipeline would create in the whole country in its entire lifetime. Republicans would have stopped that if they'd been able to get off their asses.
Now there's immigration reform by executive action. I hope the Republicans continue to find themselves unable to show up so the country can get the maximum profit out of that too.

A little less meaning here!

Verbatim David Brooks, "The Problem with Meaning", January 5 2015:
The ultimate authority of meaningful is the warm tingling we get when we feel significant and meaningful.
It's the world-famous Dada semanticist David Brooks on the idea that a kind or brave action could give "meaning" to a life, crusading against all that modern promiscuity of meaningfulness: while the rest of us postmodern chumps worry about getting buzzed by those floating signifiers, Brooks is dodging the signified; where we choke on sound pollution, he sees a surfeit of sense. Stop making sense and start making structure!
Meaningfulness tries to replace structures, standards and disciplines with self-regarding emotion. 
No way, really? Could you repeat that?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cheap shot: Cokie

Via Holly Daze.
But my earliest memory of the Capitol, I mean firm memory, was Opening Day. And I love Opening Day. I still love Opening Day. There are all these little kids on the floor in their Christmas velvets. (Cokie Roberts, in an interview for the Oral History of the House project, August 28 2007) 
She used virtually the same words on the radio this morning, eight years later. It is clear that representatives' children indeed show up for Opening Day and hang out in the Well, but I cannot find any other reference to congressional "Christmas velvets" on the Web. Nor does it seem like a description borne out by the physical evidence:

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Cheap shots and funky eggs

An amputation: the Tweets below were posted Saturday afternoon, mine as a reply to D'Souza's. D'Souza then deleted his and re-sent it, response-free. I felt it was a shame to leave it in that mutilated form, so here it is, restored:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

"You're always using tu quoque arguments, Jonah!" "No, YOU are!"

Update:Thanks for the shout-out, Blogenfreude, and welcome Mike's readers!

Image via Buzzfeed.
Jonah doesn't know what old Steve Scalise was up to in 2002:
As I write this, GOP House whip Steve Scalise is in hot water over reports that he spoke to a group of racist poltroons in Louisiana twelve years ago. Whether it was an honest mistake, as Scalise plausibly claims, or a sign of something more nefarious, as his detractors hope, remains to be seen.
But one thing he knows for sure, whatever it was, some Democrat has done exactly the same thing and gotten away with it scot-free. Or at least that's what he hears on the Twitter:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Brooks on Bibi: He's a little bit country, he's a little bit rock and roll

Photo by Cliff Owen/AP, via Salon.
Shorter David Brooks, "The Age of Bibi", New York Times, January 2 2015:
He's a little bit Nixon
He's a little bit Kennedy
He's kind of Churchill
He's sort of Machiavelli
But Sara is Lady Macbeth.
So many analogies, so little time. You were expecting maybe some judgments?
Both viewpoints have some truth.
I couldn't really deal with this one at all, I guess, but Driftglass is brilliant, and our friend Redhand in comments here inspiring.

Mario Cuomo

Mario Cuomo, 1991. Via Albany Times-Union.
I got a little annoyed with the normally humane PastorDan, on the subject of the late governor Mario Cuomo, whom he accuses of having "triangulated" on the abortion issue:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Replacing the Klan

"Little Charlie" of the Dixie Rangers of the Ku Klux Klan, Louisiana, in her own design for a bridal veil, with fiancé. Image via Kati3H.
Jeremy Alford in the Times clarified something about Louisiana, the Klan, and the Republicans as they've developed since David Duke ran for governor in 1991:
Two decades later, much of his campaign has merged with the political mainstream here, and rather than a bad memory from the past, Mr. Duke remains a window into some of the murkier currents in the state’s politics where Republicans have sought and eventually won Mr. Duke’s voters, while turning their back on him.

It's beginning to look a lot like Brismas

Happy Feast of the Circumcision!

Luca Signorelli, The Circumcision (1490-91) (Wikipedia).
Mohel be seeing you in all the old familiar places...