Sep 20, 2013

The Audacity of Myope

posted by killre

I realize it's piling on at this point, but still... President Barack "Barry" Obama uttered something in the general direction of ABC's George Stephanopoulos earlier this week that is either the height of self-delusion or an hypocrisy so low that it sets a new limbo record at the least-common denominator tailgate party.

To wit:  "Folks here in Washington, uh... like to grade on style.  And, so, had we rolled out somethin' that was very smooth and disciplined and, um... uh... linear... uh, they woulda graded it well even if it was a disastrous policy."

First of all, Barry, that isn't true: a disastrous policy vis-à-vis Syria would not have graded well.  For an increasing number of people, even a good policy wouldn't have graded well.  Why?  Two reasons.  The first is that we Americans simply get tired of our presidents after a while.  The second is that there was no good policy available.  Either we'd have let thousands of people get gassed, or we'd have gone plunging headlong into another military intervention in the Middle East with its sure-as-shootin' messy geopolitical aftermath.  The possibility of a good policy hasn't existed for at least a year now-- not since you choked on your vegetables one day, George W. Bush gave you the Heimlich, and the words "red line" came flying out of your big, fat mouth.

None of which is what I came here to address.  What I was struck by in the above quote was the first sentence:  "Folks here in Washington, uh... like to grade on style."

Also not universally true, judging by the unutterable lack of style displayed by so many congress-type-persons that to list them all at once would create a cyber sinkhole that would threaten to collapse the internet.  If that happened, we might all have to go outside.  Now that's a disastrous policy.

Again, though, that isn't the headline.  The headline is this: Barack Hussein Obama is poo-pooing style in favor of substance.

Okay, let me get a few one-liners out of the way...

The surest way to know someone has recently puked all over the shag carpet is for Obama to point out, "Uh, look... the roof ain't leakin', so, uh... th-that's obviously a positive."

Obama championing substance over style is like Noah Webster declaring that the word impiousness has, somehow, perhaps in an alternate reality, more gravitas than the word impiety.

Hell, it's like Daniel Webster saying the same thing.  (Please note: it is NOT my fault that you don't know who that is.)

"Folks here in Washington, uh... like to grade on style."

Yeah, so do the American people, Barry.  You may fool yourself into thinking substance alone got you ensconced in that cushy, state-of-the-art suite of rooms in the executive mansion, but I have a news flash:  You currently reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue largely because you showed more style than George Walker Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Joseph Robinette Biden, John Sidney McCain, Willard Mitt Romney or Paul Davis Ryan, so you shouldn't knock it.

Sometimes, a metaphor (or an analogy, or whatever) drops into one's lap just when one needs it.  For an example of style counting big time, I cite for you a recent incident from pop culture.  Specifically, a round of Wheel of Fortune in which a contestant named "Paul" blew a million dollars (yes, I said million) faster than Hurricane Sandy.  Paul was already on a roll when he sent the turntable spinning a final time, landed hallelujah on the skinny million-dollar space, and declared that he would Solve the following three-word Puzzle...


Paul heaved some air into his lungs and proclaimed, "Corno curro cabnit!"

Sorry.  I'm back now.  I fall to the floor laughing hysterically every time I think about it.  I couldn't even watch the rest of the clip.  I can only imagine Pat Sajak blinking and cocking his head like Data trying to fathom human emotion and saying, "I... uh... n-no, no, that... th-that's not it," and/or joking about corno curro cabnit being Latin for "the emperor doesn't need a million dollars."

Anyway... style counts, Barry.  What's more, you know it.

P.S... Bud "Daniel Webster... Wasn't He That Kid From That 80s Sitcom That Was Kind Of A Diff'rent Strokes Ripoff But Not Really?" Selig must go.

Sep 15, 2013

The Lunch Hour, Episode 01 "Pilot"

Episode 01 of the Lunch Hour, Featuring "Joe" and produced by the Cap'n.

Hosted by "Joe" -- Talking about Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Cubs and Baseball, Bears and NFL Football, the Batman controversy, Superman, summer movies, Midnight Runs, and upcoming topics. Feel free to send notes, hate mail and spitballs by way of Blasphemes - we're sure to ignore it. Also planning to make available on iTunes.

Sep 13, 2013


[editor's note:  the above title was brought to you in part by the noted philosopher Charles M. Schultz, one of the twentieth century's leading proponents of anthropomorphism, punctuational dissonance, and primal scream therapy.]

posted by killre

See, I was going to wait to see how things actually played out.  For the past couple of days, though, that has been every bit as intriguing as watching a large pot of cold water boil.  So, like an old revolver, I'm going to go off half-cocked.  With that disclaimer aside, let's begin...

Well, that was easy enough.  Secretary of State John "The Great Wooden Face" Kerry gives a sarcastic answer to a reporter's perfectly legitimate question --because that's what you want in a prominent foreign minister: someone with all the diplomatic dexterity of a heavily taped defensive tackle who suddenly finds himself on the "hands" squad-- and viola! the rest of the world seizes it like a spider does a fly.

Now, those of you who might be tempted to cast Kerry as crazy like a fox need to remember a couple of things...

1. In the wake of his comments, Kerry's own State Department had to issue an explanation-- a word that, when you think about it, could be at least partly defined as, "a form of apology that does not use any form of the words apology, sorry or regret."

2. This guy is arguably the man most responsible for George W. Bush being elected to a second term.  Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on John Kerry.

While in general the Obama administration's handling of Syria is to Bush's handling of Iraq as Caddyshack-deuce was to Caddyshack, Kerry's fumble-rooskie puts me in mind of an entirely different movie franchise.  Specifically, one infamous, deleted scene from Back to the Future III...

MARTY:  "Wait a minute.  Doc, are you tellin' me... that all we have to do is splice the fuel line, siphon a few gallons of gas out of the other DeLorean that you stashed in the abandoned mine a few days ago, and we can cut this picture short?"

DOC:  "Precisely!  It's a plot hole big enough to drive a stainless steel car through!"

MARTY:  "Yeah, but Doc... I mean, the producers have already bought, like, three steam locomotives and hired a B-list demolitions guy."

DOC (lowers his voice):  "That's nothing, Marty.  If you had any idea how much they paid for the rights to all the Clint Eastwood references, it would give you the shivering fits."

One can't help but wonder how history might be changed if we could fold John Kerry in thirds like the cardboard cutout he is, stuff him into the trunk of a souped-up DMC and flux capacitate his flux cap-ass back in time to apply his "well... duh" pearls of wisdom to other notable events.  Imagine, if you would, John Forbes Kerry poofing into existence in 1860 or so, just in time to become Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State instead of William Seward.  Kerry holds a press conference at a local pub to address the exit, stage right of the southern states, monotoning, "Look, they can have everything south of Monticello for all we care.  They don't even have to free their slaves.  They just have to send us all their whips and chains."  Then he waves his hands in front of his face and shouts, "Abraca-pocus!"

Pros:  Six hundred thousand are not killed and countless more are not injured in the Civil War; the United States is not held back for more than a century and a half by its southeastern quadrant, like three dozen ants trying to tow a large-type edition of the Good News Bible; and major-college football in the U.S. develops a playoff system in, like, 1938, culminating each year in the Rose Bowl.

Cons:  Okay, slavery continues indefinitely, including in some areas of the North, and that's a drag-- probably even more so for the slaves; despite the benefit of hindsight, Kerry somehow manages to flub the purchase of Alaska from the Russians; and instead of being a TV show, The Dukes of Hazard is a series of folk ballads known only to white people in the Confederacy.

Other:  The U.S. would have some unfamiliar faces on its currency and probably at least one different visage on Mount Rushmore (Lincoln would never have become the beloved martyr who saved the union, for instance; no-one, and I mean no-one, would ever have heard of Grant; and Jackson, while preceding the split by nearly a quarter-century, was a southerner).

Feel free to use the comments button to speculate whose countenance we would be counting instead.

P.S.... Bud "Grover Cleveland Alexander!... Uh, No, Wait" Selig must go.

Sep 9, 2013

A Break In The Storm? Or Another Fumble By John Kerry?

Syria "Welcomes" International Control Over Its Chemical Weapons

After meeting Syrian counterpart, Russian foreign minister says he’ll push Assad to give up WMDs to avoid airstrikes; Kerry: Attack can be averted if Damascus agrees to cede ‘every single bit’ of its chemical arsenal by week’s end

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem on Monday said his country welcomed a proposal by Moscow to submit Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles to international control.

The surprise announcement came following a meeting in Moscow between Moall
em and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and just hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry said such a move — which Kerry made plain he considered highly improbable — could avert a limited US strike on the country in retaliation for a lethal August 21 chemical weapons attack.

“Syria welcomes the Russian proposal out of concern for the lives of the Syrian people, the security of our country and because it believes in the wisdom of the Russian leadership that seeks to avert American aggression against our people,” Moallem said.

"Suck it, John Kerry!"
My take on this? John Kerry's mouth got the best of himself - yet again. He said hand over the weapons, or face attack - and then the US Government rushed for the microphone to deny that that offer was even made.

Fumble. Ball! Ball!

The the Russians picked up the fumble - and then "suggested" that the Syrians use this turnover to put some much needed points on the board.

Even funnier, Boomer and the boys at the half-time show at the UN welcomed this "non-plan" (that totally didn't happen) as the best thing to happen since Dennis Hester returned a punt for a touchdown, but got called back for holding, back on his own three. It's Assad's a way out!

Now Putin smells like roses for his efforts, which up until now was to do nothing and allow nothing to happen, and John Kerry looks a little more long faced than usual. Obama is most likely doing a facepalm out on the golf course today, trying to figure out how come everyone is running diplomatic circles around him and his Loose Association of Morons. He's probably also wondering how Bush and Cheney made it look so effortless.