"But it was to no avail. President Obama spoke fine words, but he didn’t bring enough goodies.
Yes, goodies. In the great wide world the fine portals open into courtyards that are not all they seem. Amid the fine words, gleaming crystal, white-coated waiters, the green baize tables, the Ivy League accents — the entire august setting — two basic modes of doing business remain: cash on the barrel or a gun to the head. That is how the players deal among themselves. The fine music and lofty words – is all for the consumption of audiences who think His Excellencies are really excellent or that David Letterman is funny when he tells a fifteen minute story about how he had sex with his employees and got blackmailed for it. At least Letterman knew enough to press charges. That wasn’t funny. But the fact that people were laughing was.
The reaction among the Olympic officials was telling. This machine translated page from a Danish newspaper says it all: “You can not just come with the train one day and try to affect everything, says Kai Holm and continues: – People have felt that it was a lack of respect for the Olympics and sport in general.” It’s amazing how much that sounds like Rod Blagojevich’s complaint that he was being dissed by the One when it came to who he would appoint to the US Senate."
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Success No Matter What:
"In January, the administration's economic models warned that unemployment would hit 9 percent next year if its $787 billion 'stimulus' wasn't passed. Passing it would keep the jobless rate under 8 percent before it begins to fall.
Well, the packaged passed -- and unemployment in August rose to 9.7 percent.
Friday, October 2, 2009
"When France chides you for appeasement, you know you’re scraping bottom. Just how low we’ve sunk was demonstrated by the Obama administration’s satisfaction when Russia’s president said of Iran, after meeting President Obama at the U.N., that “sanctions are seldom productive, but they are sometimes inevitable.”"
Polanski Controversy Shouldn’t Be Controversial:
"And that’s the main reason I am grateful for this controversy. It is a dye marker, “lighting up” a whole archipelago of morally wretched people. With their time, their money, and their craft, these very people routinely lecture America about what is right and wrong. It’s good to know that at the most fundamental level, they have no idea what they’re talking about."
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The New Ledger:
"For the rest of us, Friedman provides a valuable lesson in what not to do. If you want to write serious political or social commentary, Friedman’s work is an excellent barometer: Do the opposite of everything he does and you may not get hired by the New York Times, but you will probably become a vaguely competent writer: Think clearly about things, make your sentences comprehensible, refrain from redundant anecdotes and stupid jokes, don’t treat your readers as though they are mentally deficient, remember that emotion is not a substitute for thought, don’t play to cliches and popular prejudices, attempt to retain some sense of objectivity, hold on to a measure of generosity toward other people, and write with a modicum of respect for the English language. This may not make for good writing, but it seriously impedes the possibility of bad writing. Everyone violates these rules quite often, and I have broken a few of them in this piece myself, but even the attempt to follow them will likely result in something which, if not necessarily popular, will be at least readable. It will not make you the best writer in the world, but you will be far from the worst. That position, in any case, has already been filled."