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Archive for October, 2009

Elections have consequences

October 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Republicans who sat out the election because of McCain owe the rest of us who participated in our little republic a little something for getting us into this abject mess. I don’t know — maybe some community service during the next election cycle. Or a hundred push-ups. Something.

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Categories: Conservatism, Politics

Swine flu: Yes, the First Daughters deserve special treatment

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

I don’t doubt the White House went through the same process to get the swine-flu vaccine for the First Daughters that everyone else in the District must go through:

OBAMA GIRLS GET VACCINATED – N.Y Times’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports: ‘The Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha, have gotten their swine flu shots. The White House has been flooded with questions about whether the First Family has been vaccinated against H1N1, the swine flu virus. The administration posted the answer on its Web site Tuesday: President Obama and his wife Michelle will ‘wait until the needs of the priority groups’ –- including young people under 24, pregnant women and people with underlying illnesses –- have been vaccinated. But Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, fall within the priority groups, and they received their injections last week from the White House doctor, who applied for the vaccine through the District of Columbia Department of Health ‘using the same process as every other vaccination site in the District.”

But does anyone believe those handling the process treated the White House application like every other vaccination site’s in the District? It’s like Meryl Streep saying she went through the casting process for the local Christmas play “just like everyone else,” as if anyone would believe her winning the lead role had nothing to do with her being, I don’t know, Meryl F–g Streep?

Why can’t the White House say what the White House really means? Like, Look, some people simply matter more than others. If the First Daughters caught swine flu and brought it home and the president caught it, that’s a week of feverish, nasty sickness the most important man in the country — and the country itself — probably can’t afford.

But as it turns out, the White House statement is disingenuous and patronizing, which should come as no surprise.

Categories: Obama administration

Nobel Oh-Please Prize

October 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Needless to say, conservatives aren’t the only people in the world who stand aghast at the Nobel committee’s announcement today that President Obama is this year’s peace-prize winner. Mickey Kaus says he ought to politely decline, and other liberals across the blogosphere are saying this comes way, way, far too soon.

I guess I have a less political, more compassion-driven complaint about the whole thing. How many thousands of beauty-contest winners have done, said, and accomplished every bit as much as the president in advancing the cause of world peace? They’re all sad this morning, even if a few might act happy. Who’s going to defend them? I, is who; I am!

Categories: Politics

Life imitates The Onion: big bad banks

October 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Here’s a novel idea for people “outraged” (the new term of choice, usually accompanied by self-asserting rights created from thin air) by overdraft fees, New York Times: It’s called “balancing one’s checkbook.” Now, no one really uses these mysterious things I call checks anymore, and the “ordinary people” (a euphemism, if I’ve ever heard one, for “people who are too dim or lazy — or both — to manage their own finances”) who are “ambushed,” as the NYT calls it, by overdraft fees might not be able to make the connection between checks and their bank account, but that’s what I’m getting at here: balance your bank account everyday; know what you have and what you don’t in there (i.e., you can only have one of two things in your bank account: money or no money … there’s no third option like A Trip to Florida or Free Daily Cups of Coffee or Free Subscriptions to GQ or US Weekly; no, silly goose, all these latter options are paid for by one of the first two options: money or no money). Keep this simple rule in mind, and you won’t be “ambushed” by the big, bad banks.

It’s tough having all the answers, but at the same time, it’s getting easier by the day, it seems, in this increasingly unthinking American culture.

Matt Latimer: turncoat or change agent? (Why the “or”?)

October 6, 2009 Leave a comment

In principle, I’m generally opposed to tell-all memoirs of the kind that capitalize on one’s former, high-profile position as a trusted employee. An important ethic used to dictate that serving at someone else’s “pleasure,” as Colin Powell so frequently (and honorably) put it, required keeping behind-closed-doors conversations quiet and solemnly — even at the risk of less notoriety and financial remuneration — taking such conversations and insider insights to the grave. But as a weak mortal, I suffer from a voyeuristic attraction to the halls of power and as a student of political history, I can’t help but want to read this Latimer fella’s book, Speech-Less. It’s created a fair amount of controversy because he, apparently, so roundly criticizes Bush and many of his advisers as pseudo-conservatives, while praising the likes of Cheney; Rumsfeld; Senators Kyl, Coburn, and DeMint; and Governor Palin. So now my curiosity is piqued, because this Latimer dude sounds like my kind of conservative, even if he’s not my kind of honorable conservative.

Anyway, some interesting stuff about him on NRO’s “The Corner”.

Be sure to read the original letter Latimer sent to NRO (which Lowry links to in the above post).

So now, in conclusion, there’s another principle in tension here, one that might supersede my principled opposition to profiting from disloyalty and one’s own breech of trust: Does Latimer’s book serve a larger political goal, even if his aspirations in writing it might have been more puerile? I might have to read it to see, but either way, that others might profit from his folly makes the folly no less his. Maybe I can be a bit Solomonic about it: Perhaps I’ll just pick it up from the library or borrow it from someone to gain what I can from it while withholding my financial endorsement of his disloyalty.