I believe now that the battle royal has been joined, between Her Inevitableness and the forces of … well, not darkness, exactly – but sort of café au lait darkness, in the person of the current resident of the presidential mansion … which I hesitate to call the White House, seeing that the current resident and his spouse seem to maintain a certain resentment-level regarding those citizens of these somewhat united states who are of a Caucasian pallor.
No, the current resident of the presidential mansion does not much care for those of us of pallor, or those of us of the working middle class, those of us who maintain small businesses – those who are not profitable enough to afford lavish donations to his eternal campaign and who take the principles of a traditional Judeo-Christian upbringing fairly seriously. I am also pretty certain now – especially after a scan of recent political headlines – that Her Inevitableness and the Current Resident do not care much for each other, either. In fact, I am convinced that they hate each other with the white-hot passion of a thousand burning suns, and we would observe open proof of this enmity at some point. I had supposed that the dirty laundry each had on the other would be aired later rather than sooner. Like, closer to the 2016 primaries.

That each party has dirt on the other goes without saying – and I always thought that Hillary was the ice-cold and manipulative intellect of the Clinton partnership; a Lady MacBeth as it were; Bill Clinton was the one with the charm, the gift for schmoozing, of being personally likeable and liking others in return – and if not, then of being able to mount a convincing facsimile thereof. There have always been grumblings from the military staffers, the Secret Service and those who worked in various low level staff positions in the Clinton White House of how horrible she was to … indeed, back in the dark ages of blogging (say around 2001-2003) the original founder of this blog was a humble AF maintenance tech for the Presidential aircraft at Andrews AFB. He once remarked that the only two members of the Clinton administration who rated flights on AF-1 or AF-2 who appeared to be genuinely nice people, and respectful of the staff who served on them were Louis Freeh and Tipper Gore. Just about everyone else they regularly flew were … well, apparently non-disclosure agreements were in force.

So is Hillary becoming less and less Her Inevitableness? Damned if I know how the low information voters see her – but I was pretty revolted by the revelation of how she defended a pedophile rapist by painting the victim as an unbalanced fantasist, and chuckling in self-satisfaction over her own skill as a defender. Look, every accused has the right to competent legal representation in a court of law, and the lawyer involved has a right to be proud of a good job well-done, but doing it by trashing the reputation of a barely teen-aged girl, and chortling about it in a video interview? That’s nauseating. Way to go about being the righteous defender of all womankind, Your Inevitableness. As a die-hard Tea Partier and libertarian-conservative, I eagerly await the upcoming revelations of horribleness – from both parties.
I’ll fetch some more popcorn in the interval. Something tells me I should see if Sam’s Club carries it in 25-lb bags.

Iraq Embassy Evac

A Ramirez cartoon, lifted from a commenter at Rantburg who posted it in a discussion of the evacuation of the US Embassy in Iraq.

I know, it was a bitterly ironic move, and the novel it was based upon was even more bitterly ironic (Trust me, I read the darned thing –eh – moderately funny, but I fear that the only thing that the move took away from it was the premise) but what we may have here *assuming Strother Martin voice* is called a failure to communicate. I mean the imbroglio with returning Bowe Bergdahl, the only recorded POW from the war in Afghanistan to the bosom of his family, after languishing in durance vile for five long years. More »

Obama - The Beatings

Any questions? You know, there comes a time when you have to come out and say that not only does the emperor not have any clothes on, but he is jumping up and down waving his donger in your face…

That useful concept (thank you, the French language for putting it so succinctly!) is defined “as an offense that violates the dignity of a ruler” or “an attack on any custom, institution, belief, etc., held sacred or revered by numbers of people.”Well, it appears that our very dear current occupant of the White House is certainly held sacred by a substantial percentage of our fellow citizens. How else to account for the perfectly earsplitting howling from Missouri Democrats and the usual suspects over a rodeo clown wearing an Obama mask to yuck it up before the crowd – most of whom seem to be laughing their heads off. All but the desperately sensitive, who breathlessly insisted that it was just like a KKK rally, practically. The rodeo clown’s name apparently is Tuffy Gessling; his supporters, and those who, as a matter of fact, support the rights of a free citizen to mock authority figures of every color and persuasion, have set up a Facebook page. He’s also been invited by a Texas congressman to come and perform the skit at a rodeo in Texas.

Never mind that sitting presidents long before this one have been ridiculed, mocked, hung in effigy and otherwise made fun of by one and all and in all sorts of venues. Such ridicule is usually defended as being a matter of free speech, man! And so it is. Occasionally distasteful, sometimes unfair, and always infuriating to partisans of the one towards whom it is directed. But there it is; either we have the freedom to ridicule the elected head of state of either party, or we have a monarch whose dignity demands that we peasants hold our tongue … lest we be banned from performing or doing our jobs, or else get investigated by the Secret Service and/or the FBI at the request of the Missouri Chapter of the NAACP … who at the very least seem to be a little vague on the whole freedom of speech concept. (Hint, people – freedom of speech does not mean that you are free from being offended.)

I wonder if it’s the preference cascade beginning; quietly and without much fanfare at first, ordinary people are beginning to openly mock Obama. There was a story about a country fair where contestants were throwing darts at a picture of him – the picture taken down and a hasty apology made … but people were participating gleefully, just as they were laughing at the rodeo clown in the Obama mask. I have heard mention in certain right-of-center blog comment threads of a ‘pin-the-tail-on-Obama’ game. How much of this mockery is bubbling under and breaking out at county fairs, over a late summer where the job situation is not getting any better, the cost of groceries is creeping up, and the smoke and fallout from various fires – like Benghazi, Fast-n-Furious, and the IRS-facilitated abuse of political opponents grows thicker? Could it be that parties like … oh, I don’t know, the head of the Missouri NAACP and the leadership cadre of the Democrat Party and the old news media (just to mention a few) are surprised and disconcerted to discover that the current president is not worshipped and glorified universally? Has it come as a complete surprise to those luminaries that people living from slender paycheck to paycheck, or facing cutbacks and layoffs might very well resent the heck out of a president ostentatiously going to Martha’s Vineyard (the playground of the 1%) for his fifth vacation of the year after not doing very much in particular to address those problems?

Later on this month, Mad Magazine’s new issue is lampooning Obama for the various electronic eavesdropping programs. I can hardly wait. Let the ridicule begin, loud and long. It’s the American way. We don’t do lese-majeste here.

(Crossposted at www.chicagoboyz.com)

How very interesting that über-celeb (and possibly former über-celeb) Oprah Winfrey has now tried to walk back a very publically-made accusation of being treated with racial bias in an expensive Swiss handbag shop in Zurich with one of those lame apologies which aren’t really apologies, more of that sniveling, ‘I’m sorry that you were offended,’ statements which are framed so as to throw blame on the offended party merely for being offended. At least, she has skipped over the second part of the pro-forma excuse and non-apology, which is usually some variant of, ‘gosh, don’t you have a sense of humor?’ Both statements of which, I am obliged to confirm, do not remove the sting that a party thus abused takes away from the experience. Or even that that such an apology has been honestly and fully rendered to the aggrieved party.

I have to say, though – that the handbag alleged to be in question is butt-ugly. My own reaction at being told the price of it was $38,000 would have been to walk away, laughing. That Ms Winfrey reportedly didn’t want to buy it at that price is about the only believable statement that I take away from her version of events.
I am not particularly well-versed in the protocols of very-high-end retail establishments in Zurich, Switzerland – but I have had a brief but intense experience in high-end retail in San Antonio, during the year after I retired from the Air Force. One of those places – a fur salon in the Marshall Field store which was closing the San Antonio location – paid a small salary and a commission on sales, which had the effect of concentrating one’s attention on service and attentiveness to the customers who walked through the door.
One of the lessons learned in those venues was that you could size up customers swiftly and often with considerable accuracy, regarding their background, real income and ability to pay for what the place was selling and if they were the ‘right sort’.

The second lesson was that such a judgement was not anything like 100% accurate; being dismissively rude a customer on that basis – yes, failing to be attentive to any customer, even the ones who at first glance looked like they had wandered in from the nearest trailer court (or from under the nearest highway bridge) – was a bad call and liable to rebound disastrously. Anyone in retail for any length of time has stories about the surprise customer and oftentimes many of them. Mine was of the girl who looked about the age of my then-high-school-aged daughter, who wandered into the fur salon on a mid-afternoon weekday, and began asking about the coats. There were no other customers and I was bored out of my mind. To pass the time, I gave the apparent-high-school girl a tour through the racks, the usual lecture about furs and the quality thereof, unlocked a couple of nice coats and let her try on a couple in front of the triple mirror … and then she utterly floored me by selecting the nicest of them and getting out her credit card. She told me that she had just passed the Bar, had a nice job lined up with a prestigious firm – and had promised herself that she would buy herself a nice fur coat to celebrate. Well, color me all over astounded – she didn’t look as if she was old enough to drive alone, let alone go to law school.

And she bought the coat, of her choice and thanked me very graciously. Chalk that sale up to the principle of making an initial assumption and being polite and helpful anyway. The ones who can’t really afford the stuff in the shop will go away, with all the speed they can muster. The others will perhaps purchase something. 2% off a $38,000 price tag would be a nice chunk o’change. Snub a likely customer – even a badly-dressed one – and give that up? Pull the other leg, sweet-cheeks – that one has jingly bells on it.

So, the takeaway for Oprah’s ‘bag-gate’, as it has been dubbed – is that it was most likely – because of the convenience of the timing – an effort to gin up publicity for the movie The Butler, in which she has a part. Sigh. This whole thing is becoming just too transparent. And sad, and pathetic – as well as rather unthinking as to other results on Ms Winfrey’s part; yes, spin a tale of Swiss retail racism, just as your movie is about to open, get a whole-lotta-media coverage for your tale of woe by one of America’s most well-compensated celebrities=mysterious transmission=profit! I really don’t have any particular insight into the workings publicity for this particular movie, but it strikes me that this is really the case – it is pathetic on so many levels. Sure, one of the wealthiest and most well-known American television personalities deliberately accusing a woman working in a high-end shop with an accusation of racism, just to gin up some interest in a movie … which, curiously, touches on racial matters. What a coincidence.

But Oprah’s big problem, and possibly the one she didn’t see coming was the fact that the national race card is about tapped out, along with the several former industrial cities, the job market, and your favorite charitable food pantry. Ms Winfrey’s little buddy from Chicago has been elected to the highest office in the land – twice! Really – and take it from me – in the wake of that event, white people who don’t harbor any particular racial animosity are getting damned tired of being accused of it … especially if the person whipping out the race card gets some material advantage from doing so. Since the director of The Butler also saw fit to stunt-cast Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan, this attempt at promotion may all have been all for naught anyway; conservatives and military veterans will give a miss to it on those grounds alone.

(Crosss-posted at www.chicagoboyz.net)

That’s actually what it feels like – all these revelations about the NSA possibly-maybe-likely snooping wholesale through personal communications for exactly how long – and how long does this go back? As far as an excuse note from my mother getting me out of 8th grade gym class? You know, I wouldn’t really mind whatever they were doing, if it had actually prevented something like the Beantown Blaster Brothers, Joxer and Speed-bump, from setting off bombs at the Boston Marathon, or if the Fort Hood shooter had been bounced out of military service before he even pinned on his bars. Actually catching Islamic fundamentalists with terroristic plans seems to have been just too hard; it’s much easier, spying on law abiding citizens, just like it’s too much trouble for incompetent police departments to put a crimp in the activities of the gang-bangers, so they substitute harassing the law-abiding instead. Lets not get into the over-militarization of our local police forces, or the mass-molestation of anyone wanting to travel by air these days.

Then there is the IRS, that organ of the FedGov which everyone loves to hate, weaponized to harass, hinder and hamper conservative-oriented organizations, while making the way smooth for liberal ones … that will not end well, seeing as it was authorized and encouraged from everywhere but a few low-level rogue agents in Cincinnati. And spilling private information on donors to political opponents … that will not end well, either. Nor will the EPA carelessly releasing private information on farmers and ranchers to environmental groups – we all know how grounded, considerate and civil some of the more radical enviros have been, when it comes to protesting. Then there is the possibility that future elections will be massively fraudulent, and that the last one might very well have been, that our political class seems to be only concerned with what they can grab in the way of short-term gain, that certain blue-state cities such as Detroit are circling the drain, that our establishment press is so deep in the tank for Obama – still! – that they need a deep-sea diver’s suit and an air hose. The military is being steadily demoralized – even as our Kardashian president seems to think intervening in Syria is a wonderful idea. Oh, and there still hasn’t been a reasonable explanation released by the Obama gang as to what the hell happened in Benghazi … or why so many upper-tier and influential senior officers so suddenly retired.

Speaking of circling the drain, our establishments of higher education teach less and cost more for the privilege, and those of the lower persuasion seem to be obsessed with kids playing with guns and drugging rambunctious boys into placidity. I have told my daughter that any children she has will be home-schooled, by me, if necessary. She will probably have to work several part-time jobs as an independent contractor to support them anyway, as the imposition of Obama care will do a number on those small business which provide the larger portion of those jobs which we still have.

On the up-side, it has rained here rather generously for June, and I bagged the cable TV package in favor of a Roku box, which saves me a good bit of money a month, and will allow me to pay of my very last creditor even sooner. So there is that. And it does seem like the global warming delusion has been pretty much thrown over by all but the dumb and die-hard, so there is room for hope.

And so it begins; at first a trickle of rocks falling down a steep mountainside; then more and bigger rocks, and then half the mountainside comes away and falls away in a mighty roar, the earth trembles, and White House spokes-minion Jay Carney is probably looking around desperately trying to figure out what hit him.
The first of these is l’Affaire Benghazi, which just will not die, especially as those who serve at the front line in the military and at the State Department are totting up their personal balance sheets. My semi-informed guess is that such personnel are concluding that if and when they should ever be unlucky enough to be the target of a local protest, that the highest echelons of their command will let it all happen, merely to enhance their own political aspirations. Hillary Clinton did herself no favors with, “At this point, what difference does it make.” Hillary, babe, it makes a great deal of difference, most especially to the friends, associates and next of kin. We always knew that you despised the serving military, anyway. Say buh-bye to any thought of running in 2016 and being a female head of state; at this point you aren’t fit to carry Margaret Thatcher’s jock-strap.

The biggest, and the most damaging cascade is a revelation – from a representative of the IRS yet – that the IRS willfully, deliberately and maliciously targeted Tea Party groups in their efforts to establish themselves as 501 organizations, while giving a pass to progressive groups doing pretty much the same kind of thing. That was about as bright as Pickett’s Charge for several reasons; everybody hates the IRS anyway, now it looks as if pro-Israeli Jewish groups and Billy Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse group were similarly scrutinized and harassed with endless demands for information regarding the actions and members of the various groups, and honest liberals hated it when Nixon did this to groups and individuals that he perceived as enemies. Great way to unify the nation, people; using government bureaucracy to target perceived enemies. At least the brighter progressives have twigged that doing so can be very, very dangerous.

Secretly obtaining the phone records of reporters for the Associated Press… at this point, I have to stop and giggle manically. Way to go, Justice Department; tread heavily all over the mainstream press, or as I like to call them, the Obama White House’s Public Affairs Division. The mainstream press carried him into the White House on their shoulders and cheered him on ever since, and for all that loyal service, they get treated like this?

It is curious that suddenly, all of this is breaking loose now. My daughter and I speculate that perhaps it is driven by the rivalry between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama which first broke into the open in the 2008 Dem convention. I referred to it the battle of Ebony and Ovary, back then, when I wasn’t calling them Her Inevitableness and the Fresh Prince of Chicago. Just suppose that she is using the IRS imbroglio against him, and he is using the Benghazi debacle against her – or vice versa. Suppose also that the more self-aware members of the mainstream press and the political establishment in Washington are just beginning to conclude that Obama is tainted goods – and it might be good to dust off Her Inevitableness again and present her as pure and pristine, while hanging on to some few pitiful remnants of their reputation as honest brokers.

Discuss … and break out more popcorn. (Thoughts from the great Den Beste, here.)

Having now developed what seems to be an annoying allergy-cough in the last couple of months, I have had reason to visit the Fort Sam Houston primary care facility more times lately than I had in years. I think I must have had about a dozen primary care providers in that time, who came and went without me ever laying eyes on them. In the time since I last had reason to seek medical care or a prescription renewal, BAMC itself compounded, split and compounded again like a cell undergoing mitosis – to the point where they moved the primary care clinic and the laboratory facilities which supported it out of the massive brick Skinner-box maze and onto a free-standing and very modern clinic building on Fort Sam itself. Where, in another couple of years, I wouldn’t be the least surprised to see undergo a mitosis of its own…

Anyway – walking into that building through the main door means that I walk past the serried array of pictures of the chain o’command, which includes a picture of our current president. The sight of this almost makes me start coughing again. Perhaps in light of the hearings this week regarding l’affaire Benghazi, I should begin coming in through the other door. I might actually begin to cough so hard that I throw up, whenever I see the current C’in’C’s picture, posted there.

I am actually glad to be retired at this point and that my daughter also completed her enlistment a good few years ago. Given current conditions, we are both glad to no longer be on active service, and past the point of being recalled. No, this administration must be a horror, to be any rank at all over E-2 or GS whatever in the State department … and I speak as one who did my first hitch during the Carter Administration. Say what you will about ol’ Jimmuh (and I can say a lot about that sanctimonious, double-dealing anti-Semitic creep) at least, you never got the feeling that he as the Commander in Chief would sell out military members and State Department functionaries for the sake of keeping his own political reputation bright an squeaky-clean. (He only went for that after he departed high office.) And if Jimmuh himself wasn’t the answer to a voter’s prayer, the top echelons of his government were stocked with responsible and experienced grown-ups. At least they mounted a military strike force to free the hostages taken in Teheran, whereas our current administration couldn’t even find it within themselves to do that.

Just as a personal aside, rumors had it during their administration that the Clintons – especially Hillary – didn’t much care for the military. And despite Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden making a show of attending to the moral and well-being of military family members, I very much suspect that the Obamas actually despise the military ranks. I should not at all be surprised to find out that things such as ending Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell, permitting women in direct combat roles – even the rumors of Christians being disciplined for evangelizing inappropriately – were intended rather to sabotage morale and discipline among the military. Knowing that in the event of things going all pear-shaped, the highest levels in the chain of command will hang you out to dry, have a photo-op with the next of kin over your coffin, and then lie to cover up their own incompetence and lack of imagination … well, that is just the cherry on the top of the whole rancid sundae.

It seems, from the link posted on Da Blogfaddah, that our very own President Kardashian will be gracing the great state of Texas with his presence for a brief and flying visit … which to no one’s surprise (at least in my household) – includes an appearance at a fund raising event. Holy jumping Jesus, does this political leech’s every move outside the White House involve a fund-raising event? Guess so, although Blondie’s cynical guess involved the presence of a hitherto-unknown prime golf course in the vicinity of Dallas or Waco.

He is, according to the news reports, intending to visit with and console the bereaved of West-comma-Texas, a tiny mid-state town of which I am certain that he and most everyone else who never traveled the IH-35 between San Antonio and Fort Worth, had never heard … until the local fertilizer plant blew up during a fire last week. Which explosion killed one-third of the local volunteer firefighters, and demolished a good portion of the town, since it went up violently enough to register on the Richter Scale. Honestly, reading the brief obituaries of the identified, I wonder exactly how his visit will console any of the next-of-kin. Firefighter volunteers, members of local fraternal organizations, small business owners, people who liked to hunt, rodeo riders, NASCAR fans, devoted to family, church, and the community of their little town. What a rootless, drifting cosmopolitan like the current POTUS has in common with them, besides being red-blooded vertebrates is anyone’s guess. He might as well be teleporting in from Mars; my suspicion is that his scheduling office was shamed into adding it to the itinerary for the day.

On the other hand, this hideous tragedy occurred in the very same week that the Beantown Blaster Brothers set a couple of home-made bombs which killed and de-limbed a goodly number of people either running in or waiting at the finish-line of the Boston Marathon. And it’s a lot easier to cover that news which happens within an easy commute of New York, Los Angeles or Atlanta.

It now appears that the Beantown Blaster Brothers were motivated primarily by the ever-refreshing well of Islam in it’s most radical application. Which is ironic to almost an industrial grade, as the aforesaid brothers lived and … well, occupied themselves in the most blue of blue-state enclaves, an enclave which afforded them every indulgence and liberty, marriage, higher education, refuge and support … and yet, they repaid all that with savagery and violence. And as it turns out, it’s the Islamic version of the above, which must be terribly embarrassing to the current administration. Don’tcha know, Islam is all about peace, and tolerance and the cries of the imam calling all to prayer being the sweetest sound, and you’re the most awful bigot if you say otherwise.

And I am just cynical enough, after the events of last week, if President Kardashian would rather that the public memory of developments in Boston just go down the ol’ memory hole as far as the mainstream media and low-information voters are concerned? Hence the flying visit to Texas … which visit incorporates an appearance at the dedication of the Bush II library, which (again and cynically) moves me to wonder how heroic an effort will it take for Bush II to be polite to him in private.

I am fairly certain that Bush II, and the residents of West-comma-Texas will be polite. Perhaps frigidly so … but always polite. This is how we roll.

It is apparently not news to anyone that the office of the President of the US involves a degree of security – to include an official food-taster, as medieval as that sounds. Been going on for years, apparently, so having a designated expert to cover food safety with regards to the President isn’t something to have a conniption fit over. So someone has to eat a couple of bites – a whole helping? from a dish prepared for the White House table, and if that person doesn’t fall over, gasping and foaming at the mouth, then it is OK for POTUS consumption. Got it. And yes, I do understand very well that security ought to be tight when it comes to food supplies and preparation for any President … but the recent story about President Obama sitting by at a private luncheon with GOP senators and not being able to eat a bite because his food taster hadn’t vetted the food first strikes me as a matter a little deeper and much more insulting than it has been played.
More »

It looks really weird to me, this last Veteran’s Day weekend … not even a week after the election results came in. A couple of days after General Petreus put in his resignation as head of the CIA – conveniently for the American news cycle – on a Friday before a three-day weekend. So, kind of astonished over that – a mere several days before he was to testify about whatever was going on with regard to our quasi-official establishment in Benghazi on the 11th of September last. Of course, the second most astonishing aspect to me is that the head of the CIA can’t keep an affair secret, and the third most astonishing is that someone so politically wily as to be able to pin on four stars would still be stupidly reckless enough to engage on such a very public affair. What, were they doing the horizontal mambo in the middle of the parade ground at reveille at whatever base they were at in Afghanistan? Ok, never undervalue the comfort of situational friendships between persons of the opposite sex in a far country, double if in a war zone. Been there and … err, backed off from doing that, in the physical sense. But the friendship was enormously satisfactory; a way of getting through a hard tour in a distant and unforgivingly difficult place, and a lot of people there with us and who noted that we were a quasi-official couple also probably assumed that our relationship included an ongoing sexual aspect. Which it did not; part of the friendship involved an understanding between us that carrying it that far would inflict unacceptable damage on each other, emotionally and professionally. I thought the world of him, and he loved his family, back in the World; that’s the way that responsible and caring adults manage that kind of situation. It’s in the field, and it ends in the field.

But the way that the Petreus mess is expanding is enough to cause me to raise an eyebrow – and now it turns out that the second woman involved – is she the South Beach Mata Hari or what? – also had a good friend of the multi-star adorned command-rank level, as well as the somewhat dogged interest of the investigating FBI agent, who sent her a pic of him shirtless… dear god, people – this is not high school. Or at least, I assumed it was not. As it is, I could swear I watched a story line like this on General Hospital in the late 1970s, only with doctors, nurses and consultants, instead of commanders, reporters and socialites.

It is curious though – the sudden retirements, resignations, and reassignments of high-ranking and notable officers lately. It’s almost like there is something going on: earlier there was that kerfuffle about General Carter Ham being relieved of duty, with dark hints that it was because of events in Benghazi. On the bright side, though – since General Petreus was deeply involved in the events of 9/11/2012 in Benghazi, it just might be that there might be a little more interest in what happened there than has been displayed so far by our mighty mainstream press.
Or not.

Well, that was interesting – Blondie and I watched about the first fifty minutes or so together, and then she watched to the very end, as I had already pretty much given up hope of the Obaminator melting down entirely … the consummation that I have been devoutly wishing for since his administration began. Well, he was looking a bit melty and sweaty, and what was with all the constant blinking? Reassuring that he can speak sort of coherently without the crutch of a teleprompter, so he had that going for him, but I have to say that he did not seem confident at all; good at coming out with the predigested and memorized talking points, but no sense at all that he really, really, knew what he was talking about.
Romney, on the other hand, was there – on point, knowledgeable and authoritative. I know, I know – Blondie and I have both had the experience of being briefed in a military setting by someone who knows the subject inside and out, and one who is just reciting the required materiel. We both of us can tell the difference. I was reassured by how good Romney was; as I said, neither of us had him as first choice for the GOP, but we are now thinking that he was a good pick after all.

Of course, the major media melt-down is grimly amusing to behold … in the same way that a massive, spectacular wreck on the interstate is. Reporters and reporterettes, you got sold – and you believed in the Obaminator being the superior being and sang his praises in four-part barber-shop harmony … and framed Romney as a bumbling and doltish caricature. Have fun, sucking up what little remains of the respect for your profession, trickling in little steaming streams out of the wreck. Trying to belatedly redeem yourselves in the eyes of conservatives, libertarians and Tea Partiers will be another interesting spectacle over the next few weeks. I look forward to it, and am making popcorn.

So – next challenge; an open town-hall meeting, and a possibly much more partisan moderator. This should be interesting, especially if Romney handles it all with the same aplomb, Obama sweats bullets, and the mainstream media goes into overtime-spin, explaining just one more time how Obama really, really came out the winner. Fun times … maybe I’d better get more popcorn.

PS – from the expressions on the faces of both the Obamas after the debate, I don’t think that celebratory anniversary nookie was in the cards last night.

It’s been another one of those weeks, blog-fans … now, I do want you all (all both of you) to put your hands together and welcome back Radar, a contributor from away back, who has decided to get back into long-form blogging again. Yay, Radar! Welcome home!

As for the rest of it … well, welcome to interesting times. Now it is something like six weeks, give or take a handful of days until Election Day, and honestly, it cannot come too soon for me. Every week and every day there’s some new bit o’drama inflated by the lapdog mainstream media into something that spells Certain Doom for Romney/Ryan, and Glorious Victory for the Dear Leader. A sooper secrit recording of Romney talking to fundraisers and being bluntly honest that a certain percentage of potential voters probably wouldn’t vote for him and upset their entitlement applecart … oooh! Gaffe of the week, according to all the talking and editorial heads. That a good number of the conservative-libertarian blogger types taking note of all this would not have disagreed with this insight – although the exact percentage might be open for discussion – appears to be something that the usual media lapdogs have chosen to ignore. Also – that the tape was edited, and Jimmy Carter’s hapless grandson chose to do his bit for the Dems … jeese, doesn’t he have a real job to go to? Apparently many of these Millennial’s don’t. The Daughter Unit, better known as Blondie does – having several different jobs to go to, none of which offer health care benefits. Not a shock, considering that some of them are part-time, and for the rest, she is an independent contractor – and is qualified to go to the VA.

OK – back to election matters – wish I may, wish I might – know why Mittens Romney is the party of the clueless, disconnected rich, Thurston Howell-type … whereas, a candidate who has a fund-raising event at a venue owned by a fabulously wealthy rap music* entrepreneur and his performer wife featuring a tower made of $800 bottles of champagne and charging $40,000 a plate for the privilege is a defender of the downtrodden middle- and working-class. This is probably one of those mysteries, like that of Hollywood blockbusters which never turn a profit to pay off the hapless actors and writers who signed contracts for a percentage of the net profits.

But $800 bottles of champagne, all in gold – Talk about ghetto fabulous. I’ll shudder over the gross vulgarity of that and move on, while noting that if the stuff tastes any better than Crystal, I’ll be mildly surprised. And Blondie has sampled Crystal – through the offices of a date with a surfer dude she met in Ocean Beach, once upon a time. She tells me it didn’t taste any better than the $6 supermarket champagne that we buy for celebrating the New Year.

It does look as if the O-Man did, in his rounds of entertainment and talk shows, actually stumble into some real reporters, prepared to ask hard questions instead of the usually softly thrown Nerf ball. Just a hint, big guy – the local Hispanic community does care very much about what has been happening south of the US border for quite a while. Fast and Furious has managed to kill hundreds of Mexican citizens, many of them innocent bystanders to the drug gang wars. Meanwhile, the rest of us look at the Middle East going up in flames, and wonder if a brand-new Obama campaign motto and a logo featuring a re-imagining of the US flag with stripes bearing a curious resemblance to the dragging finger-marks made in blood on the doorway of the US consulate in Benghazi was all that good an idea. Your mileage may vary, however.

Let’s see … is Twitter a means for hapless celebrities to reveal themselves once and for all as utter morons and/or bigots? I guess so; the evidence is compiled at Twitchy. Alas, it looks like Bette Midler joins my steadily lengthening list of stars and personalities who have so pissed me off that I will never pay money for anything they are in. Bette, Bette, Bette … we do not, in fact, have a blasphemy law in this country. Citizens may not be arrested for saying things that embarrass the government or an established religion … and if they were, then Andres Serrano and the producer of The Book of Mormon would be in big, big trouble.

And that was my week – yours?

(* insert viciously skeptica quote marks around that word)

To come out? Oh, no – probably not yet, with the Dem political convocation going on. Well, as long as they are having fun, the bed-bugs are biting, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is still conditioning her hair with mayonnaise (Deb, sweetie … you’re supposed to rinse the stuff out, after it sets for a bit), and the DNC/Obama campaign is paying their bills on time. Perhaps they are not, which is one of those straws in the wind. My daughter says that Charlotte is a fairly couth little city, with plenty of ok-to-nice-to rather-more-than-nice hotels and motels on tap, so why they had to book various news orgs into those with hot and cold running bedbugs and drug dealers and hookers in the parking lot servicing their regular clientele is a mystery … Ooooh, I know! They didn’t want to spring for the nice hotels, or couldn’t spring for the nice hotels, or maybe they just wanted to treat the working press mainstream division like the …umhumms … that they are.

Or … since they are already in the bag for the O-man, why bother spending anything more? Anyway, as a desperately cynical libertarian/conservative Tea Partier, I already know where the establishment media stands. When I want to get cogent reporting and commentary I go to various online sources, and if I have a mad pash to read a newspaper, the Daily Mail is full of laughs. I think their American correspondents don’t give a toss as to whether the White House gives them access at all, so their political coverage is rather refreshingly unhampered by residual consideration for the finer feelings of the Chocolate Teleprompter Jesus … or his better half, who … I am sorry, no matter how you slice it, she is not the second coming of Jacqueline Kennedy. (Her sense of fitness and fit in the garments draped about herself is sorely underdeveloped, and the expression that her face customarily falls into in moments when she appears to think herself unobserved is not a pleasant sight.)
Moving on; I was bitterly amused to note that Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy are apparently championed as the defenders of American womanhood. Apparently it’s all about the purity of intention … not the actual conduct when it comes to interaction in the corporeal world with real, flesh and blood American women. In such actual interaction with real, live, flesh and blood American women who had the misfortune to be perceived by these gentlemen* as of a lower social class – they conducted themselves with astonishing and well-recorded piggishness. I shouldn’t really be surprised about this: Al Gore, John Edwards, the Sainted JFK, and LBJ and even going back to FDR … many are recorded as having been rather ghastly in their private conduct towards women generally and female underlings in particular. Their wives were and are, alas, the better part of them. Say what you will about Richard Nixon as an otherwise dysfunctional political paranoid, he appears to have refrained from humping the help, the interns, star-struck film documentarians, on-call hotel-masseuses and passing attractive female strangers.

*triple-plated industrial-strength sarcasm

You know, I meant to do this on Monday, for part of my Monday Morning Miscellany series, but I had a deadline or two, and the time and writing energy just got away from me … but all to the good, for the last five days have actually provided something to muse upon, in these dog days of summer. (Fittingly called the dog days, as one of them is curled up underneath my desk at this very moment.)
The first of these is that Newsweek – tottering towards it’s nearly inevitable doom – has either recovered something of its journalistic backbone, or thrown caution to the winds and tried to win back those droves of disgusted conservatives and libertarians by doing a cover story suggesting that it might be best for all if the Dear Leader start packing. I couldn’t have been more astonished to hear the White House Press Corpse-men suddenly break out singing, “Hit the Road Jack, Don’t You Come Back, No More, No More,” in four-part a-capella harmony during the morning White House briefing . Not surprised that a pop historian like Niall Ferguson should say so, but in Newsweek? The deeply cynical opine that it’s a sort of “Get out of Jail” marker, against future accusations of being biased in favor of the Dear Leader – so at a later date, they can say in their defense, “We did too criticize him, so there!” I wonder if it isn’t one last vain attempt to cut themselves free from the sinking USS Obama, seeing that the ship is going down by the head, the engine room is flooding rapidly, and the last lifeboats are being lowered.

Further indication that the White House Press Corpse is perhaps less enamored of the Dear Leader lately is this recent picture … captured by a Reuters photog. Further comment would be superfluous … but somehow one senses that the bloom of enchantment with Dear Leader is pretty much wearing off with the working press stiffs.
And as for our own Mittens, our hero in the upcoming joust in the 2012 campaign lists … the phrase “Bless your/his/her heart” is a somewhat loaded one, in flyover-country-speak. It can be a mild and gently charitable wish for the person of whom it is said to have a nice day … but when said in a certain tone of voice and under certain circumstances by certain practitioners of the passive-aggressive arts (usually but not always Southern ladies of a certain age) the unstated meaning is a suggestion that the person referred to should sodomize themselves with a rusty chain-saw … or something even more painful and humiliating. Glad to clear that up for my bi-coastal and international readers. Moving on …

And it seems to be true that the Obama campaign is stiffing host communities on paying for the additional expenses attendant on hosting a Presidential event in their dear little towns. Whereas the Romney/Ryan campaign is paying up front, even paying in advance. Seriously, I wonder how long this kind of thing – stiffing cities and municipalities for the extra expense of having Dear Leader swoop into town for an event – can go on without serious repercussions. A pattern? Do bears perform ablutions in the woods? IIRC, Los Angeles commuters got pretty darned tired of the Presidential motorcade making traffic a nightmare … or more of a nightmare than usual, whenever he attended a Hollywood event.

The Todd Akin rape kerfuffle … hard to know what to say about that; he is not running for office in a district where I vote, and the suspicion remains that if a sentiment so dubious and so clumsily expressed were mouthed by a candidate with a D after his or her name, it would get the full-enable treatment. Still – a clear pitfall, in the question posed to him and a bad response to it. Seriously, if you need follow-up explanations, clarifications and footnotes about what you said – then you have not put the best foot forward … unless that foot is comfortably lodged in your mouth up to the kneecap. I note that the gentleman in question is a long-term establishment Repub, which in my way of thinking is at least one strike against him. The other strike being that if you cannot enunciate what you mean, clearly and unmistakably, without legions of commenters arriving on gossamer wings on a mission to disentangle you from your thoughts … then perhaps you should consider another career, outside politics. One mush-mouthed, gaffe-producing and deeply confused career politician of Social Security age at a time, please – and that slot is already filled bountifully by Joe Biden. Alas, the only useful suggestion I have for GOP/Independent/Tea Party voters in Mr. Akin’s district is to consider a write-in vote, and to campaign on that basis over the next two months and a bit.

And finally, Prince Harry in the tabloids after a loosing round of strip pool in Los Vegas. Hmmmm, yes. Very nice and thank you, sweetie. Now put on your trousers before you catch your death of cold, as your Gran is going to be pretty pissed for a while.

And that was my week; yours?

Well, that certainly was interesting … in the sense of ‘slow down and gawk at the multi-car pile-up on the interstate’ kind of interesting. By this, I mean the spanking administered by pro-Walker voters in the much-ballyhooed recall effort. I guess it is a sign of the times that I was mildly surprised by how overwhelming the support for Scott Walker was. But then again, seeing how deranged so many of the recall adherents were in their behavior and in their statements to the press and on the kind of blogs which were covering the whole Madison circus … maybe I shouldn’t have been. Because that kind of over-the-top excess is really kind of of-putting, and Scott Walker really seems like a fairly sensible executive and manager, as well as being a rather likeable person. Painting him as Hitler and Genghis Khan all rolled into one … really, people. No better argument than that? Papering the capital building with signs and the internet with death-threat tweets, and insisting that the Koch brothers are the very devil incarnate … that kind of shrill, irrational fury is counter-productive, to put it mildly. No wonder the good, voting middle-of-the-road citizens of Wisconsin got fed up with it all and voted for an end to the open-air, public-space sixteen-month-long temper tantrum.

Interesting, though – the reactions of the lefty-lib side of the media and blogosphere; Open Salon seems to be stunned into silence by the very horror of it all, although I have found some commenters trying to blame it all on the machinations of the Koch brothers, or the bigotry and stupidity of the average Wisconsin voter. Music to my ears, the cries and lamentations, although I do wish that some of them would grasp the essential clue: that you cannot go on robbing tax-payer Peter to pay public-union employee Paul with a salary and benefits package several degrees more generous than Peter could ever hope for. You also cannot go on spending more than you earn, at least not for very long. It’s a fact of life for private citizens and business-owners. That it is considered by the great and the good among the establismen commentariat be a dangerously reactionary, racist, proto-fascist, fringe and radical notion when applied to a government, certainly comes as a surprise for earnest Tea Party-sympathetic persons like myself.

So – was this week a foretaste of things to come, on Election Day? My personal Magic-8 Ball viewer says yes, although many of those choosing to vote for Mittens Romney will be voting against the narcissistic, teleprompter-dependent miserable cluster of a failure known (this week) as Barack H. Obama. The wailing and lamentations will certainly be at an ear-splitting pitch, and certain inner-city rust-belt neighborhoods will probably erupt in riots. It might even get pretty ugly at CNN and MSNBC, even supposing those stations have any real viewers left.

The one big unknown in my mind, though – is if Obama looses the election in November … how graciously will he and his family depart the White House on Inauguration day? During the inauguration ceremony, the White House staff is supposed to totally move out the outgoing president’s personal possessions and household goods, and move in the new president’s stuff. How agreeable do you suppose the Obamas are going to be about all that … or will they trash the place like defaulters skipping out on a mortgage they can’t afford any more.