Friday, January 23, 2009 by Michael Reynolds
Conservative nutsacks were right: Barack Obama is a pacifist, terrorist-loving secret Muslim. A fact he demonstrated by blowing hell
out of a gathering of Al Qaeda in Pakistan.
Suspected U.S. missiles killed 18 people on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border Friday, security officials said, the first attacks on the al-Qaida stronghold since President Barack Obama took office. At least five foreign militants were among those killed in the strikes by unmanned aircraft in two parts of the frontier region, an intelligence official said without naming them. There was no information on the identities of the others.
It should be obvious to those in possession of one or more items of tinfoil headgear that Barack Hussein Obama has only done this as a very clever trick to make us believe he would defend us from terrorists. By blowing up terrorists.
There is literally no end to Obama's perfidy.
by Michael Reynolds
Driving on the moons of Jupiter.
Some of you may remember that I was once very much in love
. With my Mercedes S-500. And you may recall the tragic ending of that love affair: I had to sell the Benz when we left for Italy because Italian roads are six feet wide, and so was the Benz.
I sold the Benz which I loved above all cars I've ever owned. There was just a hint of sickness to the whole relationship, I must admit. It was a very quick car. Fast. It was very powerful. It was big as hell but nimble. And when I drove through Prius-loving Chapel Hill with a fat stogie* stuck in the lower third of my massive bald head** I just knew that a quarter of the decaffeinated, granola-masticating population thought I sold guns to the Janjaweed.
It was a good feeling. As you can imagine. If there's something really wrong with you.
So, we bought a Toyota RAV4 to take with us to Italy. In Italy a RAV4 is an Escalade. It's about as big a private vehicle as you can comfortably drive on the dinky streets of Tuscan villages. It's the six cylinder engine and it's fast and fun to drive and as agile as a top-heavy SUV is likely to get. The seats are shitty -- Toyota insists on making seats for a short-legged people. I think they should offer a Gaijin seating package for people whose legs may be longer than Gimli's.***
I like the RAV. It's easy. It works. And it's red. But it is not cool. College coeds contemplating a switch from a Communications Arts major to a career as a fat guy's mistress would not target me when I'm driving the RAV.
So, anyway, after getting through US Customs (motto: we make Italian Customs look like FedEx) we got the RAV4 to join us here in the OC. This was nice. But we needed a second car because we have children who must be driven to ice skating, gymnastics, swimming, bowling, tennis, the beach, paddleboats (WTF?,) movies, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Wet and Wild World of Amoebic Dysintery, optometrist, orthodontist, pediatric dentist, pediatrician, Claim Jumper, Borders, Claire's, Limited Too For Tiny Trollops, the Apple Store, anything involving Hannah Montana including a toilet that may or may not have been peed in by Hannah/Mylie, and the other 18 trillion**** things they need to be taxiied and or dragged to.
So we needed a second car. Our criteria were 1) Crash test numbers, 2) Would I feel sufficiently cool driving it and thus feel that my manly manitude had been validated, and, 3) Hmmmm, I guess it's just those two. And thus, after obsessive bathroom reading of various ratings magazines, it came down to the Honda Accord or the Audi A6.
The rational economic choice was clear. But we went with the Audi anyway. In a soul-wracking compromise for the sake of both mileage and the ever-fragile environment, I forwent the 8 cylinder and stuck with the six. No: I won't let you call me an eco-hero. Seriously, stop, others have given up so much more for Mother Earth.
Herewith my review of the Audi A6 3.2 Quattro:
-- Fast enough, but not the Benz.
-- Great, great, great seats.
-- Lovely brakes, kind of like the Benz.
-- Great looking.
-- Joke cup holders. I mean, goddamn, if the Japanese can offer the Gaijin Seat option could the Krauts not try a little harder to indulge our need for automotive Starbucks? I mean, who won World War 2, anyway?
-- Beautiful but absolutely useless navigation system.
-- Big-ass trunk.
-- Nice handling, zoom zoom zoom and very little lean.
-- So quiet I can hear a kid fart in the back seat. (It's best to have some warning.)
-- Top crash-test numbers. Not yet tested by driver.
-- Stupid, obnoxious, over-engineered, piece of crap MMI "control system." Jesus Christ in a taco, just stick some fucking buttons on the dashboard.
-- Ludicrously undersized side mirrors. Blind spot? No, blind crater
. Mirrors don't see anything smaller than a tandem semi.
-- Very cool iPod interface.
In summary, is it worth the money? No. Is it worth the money if some drunk rear-ends me? So they say. Is it perfectly-calibrated for a successful writer living in the OC, neither as dickish as a BMW, nor as smug as a Prius? Yes.
You know what's weird, though? I often choose to drive the RAV.* I'm favoring Macanudo Golds at the moment.** Seriously. I have, like, alien DNA or something.*** That's right, an LOTR reference. I'm already married, I don't need a woman.**** Trillion is the new billion. Million is the new nickel.
Thursday, January 22, 2009 by Michael Reynolds
No, it's not the Onion, it's the Daily Mail:
Former French president Jacques Chirac was rushed to hospital after being mauled by his own 'clinically depressed' pet dog.
The 76-year-old statesman was savaged by his white Maltese dog - which suffers from frenzied fits and is being treated with anti-depressants.
That's really bad enough. But the Brits, being Brits, and the French being their blood enemies since, oh, the fall of the Roman Empire, they couldn't very well stop at that. The Daily Mail had to offer this headline:Former French President Chirac hospitalised after mauling by his clinically depressed poodle.
Yes, they pretty much had to go with "poodle."
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 by Michael Reynolds
So, conservative Rick Moran, on the conservative Pajama's Media site, wrote a rather inspiring piece
on todays' events. Here are a couple of paragraphs, but it's worth reading the whole thing:
We forget how truly remarkable a nation we are. We forget the courage of those who stood up to the hate, the evil traditions, the 300 years of abominable history that saw African Americans as slaves, serfs, and second class citizens. In the end, what they did mattered. Their sacrifices were not in vain, despite the idea that at times it must have seemed the mountain was too high and the path too steep.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but they were not only carrying the hopes of a race up that Everest, they were redeeming all of us who, through neglect apathy and ignorance, had failed utterly in making the words of the Declaration of Independence come alive and actually mean something. “All men are created equal” sounded hollow indeed to someone forced to sit in the back of a bus, or stay at a “Coloreds Only” motel, or who ran into barriers in employment and education due to the color of their skin.
No, the election and inauguration of President Obama does not banish racism or discrimination from America. That happy event is still in the future. But inaugurating Obama allows us a glimpse of such a future on the distant horizon, barely discernible but now a definite form shimmering in the morning sun. And a clear path to that goal is in front of us just waiting for us to take the first step.
Now here is a sampling of comments left by Pajama's Media readers:
-- This article is certainly the most nauseating piece of drivel I have seen on Pajamas Media. I kept reading, hoping that what I saw would turn out to be satire, a parody of the madness that has seized our country. But no, it was serious.
-- You should be ashamed of yourself. You are either a liar or a coward. Both is more likely.
-- I looked to the day when the election of a black President would signal the end of racism in America. Sadly, the election of BHO is the single greatest act of collective racism in the history of the Unites States of America.
-- I am so glad you like the Emperor’s suit, Mr. Moran. Tell me who is more racist: Bull Connor and his deputies, or Reverend Wright and his congregation? It is the content of the character, remember? If I want leftist talking (make that screaming) points, I’ll head for Arriannaland.Go have tea with Peggy. You are now an official member of the media. Enjoy your bennies.
-- Right, let’s cheer for the triumph of symbolism. Moran still lives in Peggy Noonan’s dream world of “all Americans under the skin.” The Left destroyed all that years ago. The current reality is ideological war. Anyone who considers himself a centrist is deluded.
-- Rick, please GET HELP! Your Delusional! Kyle Shiver wrote an article the other day thanking G.W. Bush in the article she was brilliant about his character.I commented to her that it reminded me of Rudyard Kiplings poem “IF”,where he describes what a man is.BHO is the antithesis of that poem. Not to mention he is totally lacking in any MORAL CHARACTER.
Cherry-picked? Yeah, a little. Not much. Ladies and Gentlemen: your 2009 Republican Party!
Can anyone tell me why the GOP is 100% white? Except in Utah, where's it's actually 104% white? Hmmmm. It's a mystery.
The interesting thing is that GOP leadership -- including Mr. Bush -- have all been a lot closer to Rick Moran's take than to the positions of the commentors. I suspect this is because most of them are actually patriots who love their country and like to see it do good and do well. Plus there's the fact that the saner portions of the GOP leadership now sees the magnitude of its mistake. The country is becoming steadily less white, less rural and less bigoted. So the GOP has put all its money on appealing to whites, rustics and bigots, while insulting blacks, hispanics, city-dwellers, secularists, gays . . . pretty much everyone who doesn't have a Confederate Battle Flag tacked on his wall.
This is the problem the GOP faces. If it can become the party of limited government, restraint, prudence, responsibility -- in other words, actual conservatism
-- it'll appeal to non-imbeciles of all races, and not only survive, but contribute and, in the fullness of time, return to power.
But the party of Lincoln has allowed itself to be turned into an asylum for gay-bashers, know-nothings and racists. The GOP is not a racist party, but racists have chosen it as their political home. And the GOP welcomed that influx and exploited it. The GOP needs to find a way back to its roots, back to its core beliefs, away from what it has become. Like General Motors needs to shed a few losing divisions, the GOP needs to shed some divisions of losers.
We have a similar task in the Democratic Party. But we've taken several giant leaps toward isolating the crazy conspiracy nuts, the luddites, the race-hustlers and the blame-America-first hair-shirt brigades. Obama, who the whack-job Right predicted would be the newest convert to the Weather Underground, has built a centrist administration and reached way across the aisle. In so doing he cut the legs out from under the far Left. Seriously: they're walking on stumps.
I guess we'll see if the GOP manages to do as well. I doubt it. I think they waited too long and now the crazies own the asylum. It's the rational conservatives who will end up leaving the GOP to the whackjobs they thought they were just using. But maybe not. It's a good day to hope.
Monday, January 19, 2009 by Michael Reynolds
Well, goodbye Mr. Bush.
You did some good things. The AIDS money for Africa? That was very cool. The Libya thing was good. The reachout to India was big. The attempt at an immigration deal was principled.
Beyond that you were in over your head. We handed you a country that hadn't taken a direct hit since Pearl Harbor. A country that was the unchallenged hyperpower (as the Frogs say.) A country running a surplus. A happy, cocky, devil-may-care country.
Before you came along, Mr. Bush, I could look anyone from anywhere in the eye and say, "No, we
don't do things like that. Because we're the Americans." I lost that. I don't know for sure just what the hell we do any more.
I trusted you, Mr. Bush, and you screwed me. You said you'd deliver Osama in handcuffs or with a bullet in his head. And you didn't. You said you'd take down the Taliban and Al Qaeda. You failed.
I actually thought you had sense enough to know that invading Iraq would take all our resources. It never occurred to me that you didn't know what you were getting into. It never, honest-to-God, occurred to me that you were that stupid.
The first real inkling I had of the disaster you would become was when you asked nothing of us after 9/11. You know what? I would have sold my house and mailed you the check at that point. And you asked for nothing. Go shopping. Here: have a tax cut. That was an insult. I was a bit past enlistment age, but we were all so ready to do something. You stiff-armed us. You acted as if we had nothing to give.
And yet, I fell for Iraq. Alarm bells going off in my head I muttered to my friends that it was a 51/49 thing for me. The Shinseki thing happened and I thought, no, they don't really think they're doing this thing on the cheap. Do they? They couldn't be so stupid they actually bought Rumsfeld's crapola. It had to be a feint, later, they'll do what had to be done.
We toddled off, me and some film guys, to shoot a documentary on anti-Americanism in Europe just after anti-war demonstrations raged through France and Spain. I defended you, Mr. Bush. You want to know something embarrassing? We were shooting a stand-up, on a balcony in Paris. I think. The whole thing's kind of a blur. Anyway, the director throws an off-camera question at me and the question contains the assumption that you, our president, had ignoble motivations. And I said, No, I think he wakes up every morning seeing those planes hit the towers and thinks, I need to keep that from ever happening again.
And here's the embarrassing part, I started crying. Because I was still not over it. 9/11 being the "it" in question. And of course I hadn't slept in a week: tight budget, tough schedule, jet lag, no sleep.
But even then I knew you had fucked up. A Frenchman asked me what I thought of the barely-begun occupation. I said, Can I defend the way the occupation is being handled? No. But give us time, we just got there.
Yeah, well . . .
You doubled down on stupid, Mr. Bush. And by the time you finally, finally, finally
listened to the people who'd been screaming that we were in deep shit in Iraq, it was too late to pull off a victory. We may have gotten a non-defeat that accomplished less than half of our objectives. But we could have won. We could have changed the world. If a more capable man had been president.
And then, Katrina. I drove down to Mississippi a few days after. I saw National Guard vehicles on the roads but then I went shopping, stuff for an emergency shelter. I went to the nearest Wal-Mart. They were marking down prices. The federal government was just getting there and Wal-Mart was marking down prices. Your federal government, Mr. Bush.
Katrina, Don Rumsfeld, Tora Bora, Karl Rove, Valerie Plame, Abu Ghraib, Terri Schiavo, privatizing Social Security (Jesus, that was a bullet dodged) Guantanamo, Dick Cheney, stem cells, deficits and debt and divisiveness.
I'm prepared to believe you were the victim of some bad luck, Mr. Bush. But we pay you to be lucky. We didn't force the job on you, you demanded it of us. So it's on you to come through. Hell or high water, your job was to succeed. And you failed.
The United States is weaker, poorer and sadder after eight years of you, Mr. Bush. We're not sure how long it's going to take us to pull ourselves out of the ditch you drove us into. You hurt the country and the Constitution you swore to defend.
I don't think you're a bad man. But you were a bad president.
by Michael Reynolds
President-elect Obama, the next First lady, and Abraham Lincoln.