Saturday, October 29, 2011

Republican Prospects for Winning the Presidency

Andrew Sullivan has a take on the Republican primaries that makes sense to me:
My own take on this is that Cain is a great performer - he makes a living as a motivational speaker, after all - and the rest of the field is hobbled by one glaring problem respectively, while Cain isn't. Perry is simply too dumb and lazy to be president. Romney too transparently opportunist for a purist party. Paul is disqualified because of foreign policy. Bachmann is a programmed bonkers-bot. Santorum is a frothy substance whose views of the world are frozen in place sometime around 1986. Gingrich is an asshole who could never win the presidency, and even those who like his permanent smirk/snarl understand that. Huntsman might as well be Al Sharpton, because of his views on climate change, gays and because of his working for Satan. No wonder Cain has a shot, given the debates. He is likable and brilliant at simple, effective presentation. He has the skills of an actor, and a roguish shamelessness that reminds me a little of Clinton. Even though you know he's a total charlatan, you still kinda like the guy.
He's black too, and one cannot help but feel that some of his support is really a way of expressing hatred for Obama, and proving that the Tea Party is not racist.
But Cain is a function, I think, of a deeper Republican reality. It has become a wing of the entertainment industry, and in that media-industrial complex, the money to be made is immense. You do not make that money or become a star in conservative circles by actually governing, by the process of compromise and negotiation with one's opponents, or by detailed policy knowledge. In the universe where conservatism is defined by Levin and Malkin and Limbaugh and Hannity, you have to be a great polemicist, you have to be partisan above all, you need to be outrageous at times, and you have to appeal to the gut, rather than the brain.
This is an entertainment company based around a religious identity politics and masquerading as a political party. Once you grasp that, you can see why a Mitch Daniels or a Richard Lugar or a Jon Huntsman are asterisks. They know things; they want to govern, not perform; and they are not in a permanent mode of marginalized and angry opposition.
I'm beginning to wonder if the GOP is heading for a defeat they don't see coming - even in an economic environment which should make the presidency theirs' for the taking. I hope it is. Something needs to wake them up from their increasing detachment from the reality of governance.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Liberals' Answer to Fox News

Paid my monthly visit to The Huffington Post this morning. Saw these headlines within inches of each other on the politics page:

Actor Makes Shocking Comment About Sarah Palin

Robertson Makes Shocking Comment About GOP Presidential Candidates

Santorum Makes Shocking Remarks

I just love great journalism.

Actually, my post title is a little unfair to The Huffington Post. They have a tendency to make a to-do about trivial things, but they do not (as far as I know) actually make things up.


I will make an exception to the high class nature of this blog just this once. I had already posted the above item when I decided to find out what GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said that was so shocking. It turns out that he condoned the assassination of nuclear scientists in Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

In fairness, that is kind of shocking, especially the Russia part.

But not nearly as shocking as what appeared in my browser tab:

Considering the Santorum/Google thing ....  Well, I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Search Engines

I've said many times that this is a high class blog.

So I was shaken to the roots of my being when I discovered, via Feedjit Live (that little widget thing in the right-hand column that shows the flags of the countries Sempringham has received visits from), that someone arrived here by doing a Google search on "cheerleaders for latent campus sodomites."

Google, you need to pay more attention to your algorithms. We don't talk like that here.

The said search took the Googler to a post titled "How Low Can We Go?" Uh-oh, the phrase was actually used there.

But not in a good way!



The NY Times wonders if this Herman Cain effort is the first viral campaign video of the 2012 election. When I looked at it this morning, it was at about 80,000 views. As I'm posting, it's at 149,000. Maybe that's viral to the NY Times, but have they ever seen the one of the couple dancing down the church aisle at their wedding?

Whether it's viral or not, wherever I read about it, the words "weird" and "creepy" seem to be used. It's so, uh, different that the campaign had to assure everyone it wasn't a hoax perpetrated on the campaign. Considering that Cain is now leading the polls of Republican voters, maybe I should be less dismissive.


Notice, particularly, the smoke being blown at you. And watch Herman Cain's smile at the end.


And creepy.

For His Country

Please take a moment to reflect on the sacrifice of Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer Domeij of San Diego, who was killed in Kandahar Province last weekend by an improvised explosive device.

Sgt. Domeij was 29 years old and the father of two girls.

Sgt. Domeij was on his 14th combat deployment since enlisting in 2001.

I wish I could say something about that,  but everything I write sounds jingoistic or empty.

Monday, October 24, 2011

From the Mouths of Boobs Comes Wisdom

Newt Gingrich:

I think one of the Republican weaknesses has been that we rely too much on consultants and too much on talking points. And we don’t rely enough on actually knowing things.

h/t to Kevin Drum, who reads the National Review so I don't have to.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Occupy Chicago Protesters

Here are some of the folks who showed up at the Occupy Chicago demonstration site on Saturday, October 22. Absolutely everybody I talked to was very pleasant, although a couple asked me for money (their pictures are not included here).

[Update: That evening, 1,500 to 2,500 protesters marched from this site to Grant Park, where about 100 of them were arrested. Here's the story from the Chicago Sun-Times.]

Drums were ever-present.

The place was crawling with people with cameras. This is one worth clicking to expand it.

Tour bus riders shout and wave their approval.

The Chicago Police were nicely blasé about everything. At most, there were two cars. Here, there's one car and a bicycle.

Signs of the Times - Part 2

See the post below for background on these photos.

I'm really disappointed that the above photo didn't come out. I thought I had it cold, but she moved the sign, and I didn't notice when I was chimping the picture. The sign says: "Screw the Chicago School of Economics. F**k [Milton] Freidman (sic) to hell."

My people!

Signs of the Times - Part 1

Okay, the title is a cliché.

This morning I went down to the Occupy Chicago site on LaSalle St. to see what was going on. One thing I discovered is that protesters aren't, as a group, early risers. When I got there, I'd say there were 15-20 folks there. And they all smoked and had facial hair. Ugh.

But as time went by people started arriving from the suburbs, and the average age of the group increased. There is a march scheduled for 6:30 tonight, I'm told, and last week 5,000 people were there.

I'm told.

Well, I took almost 200 photos in the 4 hours I was down there, and a picture is worth a thousand words, so the next few posts will equal maybe 100,000 words to describe what I saw. The first two posts will just show signs I saw.

Remember: if you want a closer look at the picture, click on it.

I know a poly sci major when I see one. [Above]


The picture above is particularly interesting, I think. The plaque on the building commemorates the fact that "Standard Time" was created on this site.