DC's Bad Kabuki & the Next Chapter of Trouble – UPDATES

Clearly, what we are getting out of Washington is not leadership, not from anyone. It is spitefulfulness; it is deceit; it is hyperbole unto madness and maneuvering and masterful manipulation, but it's not leadership.What it is, is pure Kabuki theater, but less honest.Or maybe it's not Kabuki, at all; maybe it's just a carnival with freakshow, burlesque and a magic act, all brought forward to engage our attention in misdirection. "Look right this way, folks, (no, not there or there, there … [Read more...]

Obama Complains a Lot

I've always said his instincts were more inclined toward ruling than leading. This is not the first time he's suggested that a dictatorship might be preferable to a presidency.But for a guy who campaigned for the job, he sure does complain a lot:"I'm sympathetic to your view that this would be easier if I could do this entirely on my own. It would mean all these conversations I've had over the last three weeks, I could have been spending time with Malia and Sasha instead," President Obama … [Read more...]

Not Incompetence; Planned Chaos

Over at The New Editor, Tom Elia has a a Michael Ramirez cartoon that depicts Obama dressed up in a super-hero costume, but unable to get out of the phone booth."Captain Incompetence."I dunno if he's incompetent. He surely does do and say some very stupid things with nary a peep from the formerly gaffe-obsessed press, but then they only notice and hyperventilate over mistakes from the right. That's old news.But going back to the question of "competence." I look at the headlines, … [Read more...]

Osama bin Laden & Obama – UPDATED

As I was in Rome when the story of bin Laden's killing broke, I was rather glad to be too busy to really process it. Justice is satisfying, to an extent, but I tended to take the view so well-expressed by the Vatican, and many others, that the cheering in the streets over a human death is perhaps not appropriate or what we want to become.Should the White House show the pictures of the dead bin Laden? I'm of two minds. Mussolini was shown in death, so why not bin Laden? I am not feeling … [Read more...]

The Harrowing Job Market

Over at Instapundit Glenn Reynolds writes:YA THINK? Higher Education: The Next Asset Bubble? “45 percent of college graduates earn less than $15,000.” Can this be true?Yes it can be true! My son is 25, graduated from a well-respected school, has additional certifications in a variety of areas and is a well-read autodidact to boot. He is currently working at what he hopes will be a temporary job where -- even with "overtime" -- he took home a whopping $1,000 last month. Real unemployment num … [Read more...]

Sarah Palin in Wisconsin: Wit, Clarity, Coherence

I finally got to watch the video of Sarah Palin's speech, which is up in two parts at Hillbuzz.Gotta say it -- Sarah Palin doesn't use teleprompters, she doesn't use Orwellian double-speak that is so preposterous even Jon Stewart has to call it out; she is not contemptuous of her audience, as the president increasingly appears to be, she has enough wit to grab a phrase and have fun with it, ("so yeah, we're here, we're clear, get used to it!") and, most importantly, the former Governor of … [Read more...]

The Toxicity of Idolatry – UPDATED

My Tuesday column at First Things is up, and today we're talking about the strange gods we put before us and the toxic effect it has had on our politics:[In Barack Obama] . . . chattering classes, largely indifferent-to-agnostic-to-hostile toward religion, had suddenly found themselves a god, and to speak his name in vain could not be countenanced. Heretics sinning against the speak-not commandment were speedily feathered with the gooiest tar available and then ostracized from polite … [Read more...]

Ride on, King Obama! – UPDATED

Instapundit links to an interesting piece at Powerline, where it is suggested that President Obama might prefer to be a King:Obama enjoys being president, and he especially treasures the symbolic significance of being the first African-American president. That's how his supporters feel, too. I haven't heard anyone defend his actual performance in a long time, but there is still widespread satisfaction with the symbolic value of his presidency. So why don't we make him king? If being the first … [Read more...]

"At some point you've made enough money…"

I don't want to be unfair. NPR is a big organization, and a big organization, especially if it is headed by someone with valuable know-how and an even more valuable Rolodex should pay its top person accordingly.But then there is this:PBS President Paula Kerger even recorded a personal television appeal that told viewers exactly how to contact members of Congress in order to "let your representative know how you feel about the elimination of funding for public broadcasting." But if PBS can … [Read more...]

Egypt: As Vague as We Wanna Be – UPDATED

PhotosourceIn 2003, when the United States liberated Iraq, an older Iraqi man related his vision of what life would be like without Saddam Hussein.“Democracy!” he shouted. “And whiskey! And sexy!” Yes, but perhaps with a Middle-Eastern, faith-based spin that intellect-based Washington could never quite grasp, not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, and now, not in Egypt.My column at First Things takes a look at Egypt, and the nearly impenetrable vagueness that has surrounded the story of the Januar … [Read more...]