Dec
19
2014
3

University of Virginia not letting a good (and false) crisis go to waste.

The answers to these questions are depressingly easy to surmise:

In order: (more…)

Dec
19
2014
6

George Clooney discovers the essential uselessness of the Hollywood he helped create.

Oh, God, while the Sony situation isn’t funny George Clooney’s reaction to it certainly is. Well, not Good Funny.  This is Bad Funny… anyway, let’s go over who Clooney blames, shall we?

  • The press. “They played the fiddle while Rome burned.” They should have mentioned that this was blatantly a North Korean-friendly (at least) operation, based on the very name (I freely admit that I missed the historical details behind that one).
  • Trial lawyers. “[The theater chains] said they were not going to run it because they talked to their lawyers and those lawyers said if somebody dies in one of these, then you’re going to be responsible.” Those tort-obsessed trial lawyers…
  • Movie executives. “They know what they themselves have written in their emails, and they’re afraid.” Clooney argued that that’s why the first wave of emails were the embarrassing ones: to keep the rest of the industry’s heads down.
  • The government. “Everybody was doing their jobs, but somehow, we have allowed North Korea to dictate content, and that is just insane.” …This is as close as George Clooney will ever come to criticizing Barack Obama, and while I normally don’t grade the Left on a curve there were just too many other good bits in this interview to make me entirely merciless*.

That’s… a large cross-section of the Establishment Democrats’ supporters up there, huh?  We’re just missing the academics, Big Labor, and Big Green.  George Clooney thinks of all of these people as being a bunch of cowards, which is certainly true; but what he’s apparently not getting (while sounding like quite the fire-eating Republican on this issue, might I add**) is that they didn’t become cowards overnight. This is, in fact, pretty much reflective of the standard operation procedure that’s been adopted by the Other Side over the last few decades; and forgive me for saying this, but that’s why they were targeted***. Nobody over there wanted to fight.

So in the end George Clooney gets it almost right.  What he fails to see is that Hollywood’s moral defeat here was inevitable, because the institutions and groups that Clooney’s spent so much time working with were not up to the task****. It is my humble suggestion that the man consider this fact in the future when deciding what kind of civic contributions he wishes to make in the future in order to better help the Republic…

Via @SonnyBunch.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Besides, despite it all the man did still give a great performance in O Brother, Where Art Thou?.  You’re just going to have to forgive me on this one.

**The rule of thumb is, You are most conservative about the things that are most important to you.  It would appear that the movie industry is genuinely important to George Clooney.

***They, of course, did not deserve to be targeted: ‘the way she was dressed…’ defense is not accepted in modern society, and for good reason. But many in modern society seem to have difficulty in distinguishing between saying that a behavior is risky, and saying that the same behavior justifies a particular response.

****At this point there are probably reflexive if not outright indoctrinated responses – not all from Democrats, alas – that the Right is just as much a bunch of cowards.  Far be it from me to suggest that the GOP is made up of a band of strong-jawed paladins and stalwarts.  But we do know when it’s time to circle the dang wagons, and this would be one of those times.

Dec
19
2014
0

Quote of the Day, Maybe The Commie-Hipsters* WILL Move To Havana edition.

OK, lemme break a rule and quote the Daily Beast.

If you listen to people who know nothing about anything, you’ll inevitably be told that Cuba has the best health care on the planet, despite it’s poorly remunerated and constantly defecting doctors, a lack of basic medical supplies, and a lider maximo who jets off to Spain when his life is in danger (the poor saps who believe the health care propaganda, like Castro manqué Hugo Chavez, tend to end up stuffed with newspaper, covered in wax, and on display in a mausoleum).

So it might seem odd that [Alan] Gross would have lost sight in one eye, shed almost half his body weight, and emerge from captivity with the dentition of a minor league hockey player.

(more…)

Dec
18
2014
4

Barack Obama not yet understanding that he needs to be irrelevant to 2016.

Well, I don’t need him to be irrelevant.  But you know what I mean.

This should be fascinating to watch: “In recent weeks, Democratic operatives have begun to voice concerns that the 2014 midterms made plain the limits of an approach that failed to reach beyond minority groups or those who are reflexively liberal. And yet what should come next is not yet totally clear.” Largely because it’s essentially futile.  The Democrats will not have control over their message in 2016, because in our system a sitting President has tremendous power to define for the public what his political faction does or does not care about.

And the bear is loose:

[Barack] Obama feels liberated, aides say, and sees the recent flurry of aggressive executive action and deal-making as a pivot for him to spend the last two years being more of the president he always wanted to be.

I don’t often feel sympathy for my opposite numbers – and, in fact, in this case I still don’t.  But if I were to feel sympathy, it’d be in the way that they’re going to have to spend the next two years going Never mind Barack Obama without actually looking like they’re going Never mind Barack Obama.  Because while Barack Obama’s popularity generally is in the toilet*, it’s noticeably better among Democratic primary voters. Which means that the Democrats can’t actually tell Barack Obama to sit down and shaddap.

In case you’re wondering: yes, normally second-term Presidents don’t need to be told this.  Generally speaking the sitting President gets out of the way as gracefully as possible so that the eventual nominee from their party can get on with the remarkably difficult task of winning three elections in a row.  Fortunately (for my side), nobody bothered to tell Barack Obama that. Or maybe he doesn’t care.  Or – and this would be the best answer – the man still hasn’t come to terms with the limits to his competence, and Obama thinks that he can (chuckle, snort!) help

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: If Barack Obama thinks that what was going this session was ‘deal-making’ (instead of, say, ‘trying to work around an over-rated Harry Reid’), we will probably find next year to be quite amusing, in its way.

*I should note, by the way, that his reputation will recover, post-Presidency.  That’s what typically happens.  Don’t get bent out of shape over it, because doing so won’t affect the process and you’ll just be there in the dark chewing bitter bones, as the Elves might say.

Dec
18
2014
2

Tweet of the Day, PETA Honors A Man Who Killed A Groundhog On National TV edition.

And they wonder why people point and laugh.

Seriously, these people would normally be yelling about Groundhog Day celebrations where the mayor didn’t off a groundhog. It’s a little weird that they’re honoring somebody with sciurid blood on his hands…

Dec
18
2014
0

J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hoard,’ revisited.

Recited by Tolkien himself:

…and if you haven’t seen The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies yet, you should probably check this out first. It’ll clarify elements of the film for you.

(more…)

Dec
18
2014
0

I don’t know how to explain to the Boston Globe how irrelevant the MA Congressional delegation is.

Oh, wait, I do.  This bit?

[Rep Joe] Kennedy’s vexation at the lack of congressional debate on what he called “another military conflict in another Middle Eastern country mired in yet another civil war” was aired by other members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation who are assigned to key committees with oversight of foreign policy and the military.

…As far as I can tell, there isn’t a Ranking Member to a full committee in either the House or the Senate Massachusetts delegation.  Looking over that delegation, in fact, and I’m struck by how utterly bland and forgettable it is. Elizabeth Warren is the best of a sad and sorry lot, and she’s not really that impressive. She’s also not on any of the particularly good Senate committees, which shows a remarkably clear-headed view of her utility to Democrats.  Perhaps too clear-headed: I prefer my Democratic establishment types to be half-asleep.

So, yeah, the MA Congressional delegation can keep shaking their fists in the air.  Their own party doesn’t want to give them a better platform than that; why should the rest of us?

Dec
18
2014
3

Off to go see the Battle of the Five Armies.

Early-early showing, because it’s a long flick.

Dec
18
2014
0

‘Twas the week before Christmas, so FINISH YOUR SHOPPING.

Amazon still has four days left for free two-day, so get on that. Link here.

It’s interesting, by the way, just how quickly this paradigm changes.  I’ve gotten used to the idea that, yeah, sure, when I wake up in the morning there’s going to be a bunch of Christmas presents out on the front porch because Amazon’s having a really busy month.  And I no longer feel even vaguely guilty that I’m skipping all that brick-and-mortar shopping.  I had to hit the Target a couple of times this week, and… hoo, brother, even weekday morning shopping is all nerve-jangling now.

[snip]

I almost wrote out Amazon is getting close to becoming a public utility, there.  Which should probably worry Amazon: when pundits start making that assumption, watch out. That kind of thinking is like a lure to the spirits of Creative Destruction. …But that’s going to happen before next Wednesday, so go finish your shopping.  Again: link here.

Dec
17
2014
2

Visas, Hillary Clinton, and the Ecuadorean ‘alien smuggler.’

I wonder if the New York Times is not entirely comfortable with the idea of a Hillary Clinton candidacy: “The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials.” Specifically, the woman (Estefanía Isaías) got a visa from Clinton’s State Department (the Times was very careful to note that) despite involved in, and I don’t know why I’m so surprised here, what was called ‘alien smuggling.’  Apparently the Isaias family is made up of very rich people with severe entitlement issues and at least two fugitives from Ecuadorean justice; but perhaps I’m being unfair about the ‘entitlement’ bit.  The article makes it clear that the Isaias family has bought a time-share in US Senator Bob Menendez (D, NJ)… and I have to admit that if I had this kind of access I’d be severely tempted to use it to fix parking tickets (or extradition requests), too.

Via @NoahCRothman, who feels that this news is ‘explosive.’ And, honestly, it should be.  But if it’s going to be explosive that’s going to be in the context of a primary campaign, and not, say, a federal corruption investigation.  The odds of that happening to Bob Menendez and Hillary Clinton during the current administration are somewhere between ‘not a chance’ and ‘are you high?’

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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