URLs du Jour

2008-05-28

  • Today's David Boaz WSJ op-ed describes the sad collectivist rhetoric employed by the leading presidential candidates, disparaging "individual interests" and urging their listeners to a "greater cause". Boaz notes especially Obama's recent commencement address, where he urged students to resist the temptations of the "money culture", and McCain's performance in a GOP debate, where he described himself leading "out of patriotism, not for profit."
    There is a whiff of hypocrisy here. Mr. Obama, who made $4.2 million last year and lives in a $1.65 million house bought with the help of the indicted Tony Rezko – and whose "elegant suits" and "impeccable ties" made him one of Esquire's Best-Dressed Men in the World – disdains college students who might want to "chase after the big house and the nice suits." Mr. McCain, who with his wife earned more than $6 million last year and who owns at least seven homes, ridicules Mr. Romney for having built businesses.

    But hypocrisy is not the biggest issue. The real issue is that Messrs. Obama and McCain are telling us Americans that our normal lives are not good enough, that pursuing our own happiness is "self-indulgence," that building a business is "chasing after our money culture," that working to provide a better life for our families is a "narrow concern."

    They're wrong. Every human life counts. Your life counts. You have a right to live it as you choose, to follow your bliss. You have a right to seek satisfaction in accomplishment. And if you chase after the almighty dollar, you just might find that you are led, as if by an invisible hand, to do things that improve the lives of others.

    It's a short column, and I've quoted a lot of it. But Boaz has won the coveted Pun Salad Read the Whole Thing Award for today.

  • Related to that: I usually avoid first-hand exposure to campaign rhetoric—a guy my age has to watch his blood pressure, you know—but Jim Geraghty has noticed a rhetorical point that the Obama campaign really, really, really wants you to get: "Barack Obama could have made more money in the past by taking different jobs, but chose other ones."

    Geraghty notes this point being hammered into the discourse by David Axelrod, Michelle Obama, Lawrence Tribe, and Barry himself. He then observes:

    The expected reaction to this I-could-have-made-millions-but-chose-otherwise is for the public to beam and salute Obama’s appetite to make a difference instead of a fortune. (He and Michelle have actually accumulated a small fortune, thanks to his book sales and her dramatic post-2004 salary increases.)

    But the more this note is repeated, I’m reminded of someone else. That guy in your office. You know, that guy who’s always, sometimes subtly and not so subtly reminding you how lucky you are that he works here. How he could be making more money elsewhere. How he knows he’s overqualified, but he isn’t interested in material things, and he feels the best way to demonstrate that modesty is to constantly remind you of it.

    Fortunately, we don't have those guys in my office. But I know what he means, don't you?

  • Also see: "Obamerica" from Jim Manzi.

  • The Point du Jour: Rachel Lucas addresses those conservatives who plan to sit out or vote third-party due to McCainian shortcomings:
    Sorry, I know lots of you who feel that way are very wonderful people who I really do respect, but I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: I think your plan is shitty. You’re going to get Obama elected, you realize that right? If you’re cool with that, more power to you, but I for one will NOT welcome my new Dumbass Overlord Obama.

    … We’re done with Bush now and we’re getting a new president. And it’s probably going to be Obama because so many people who otherwise could prevent that outcome simply won’t do it because McCain doesn’t say what they want him to say about whatever their pet cause is. It doesn’t matter to these people that there is no “Reagan” waiting in the wings to take over after Obama pulls a Jimmy Carter on the country.

  • But the Counterpoint du Jour is from Mike Rapaport at The Right Coast:
    We don't know who will be available 4 years from now. But one good way to make sure there is no Reagan is to elect John McCain, who will not only govern badly, but will also make it hard for the Republicans to have any principles.

    Notice how Lucas turns issues of principles into "pet causes." That is absurd. But she's right about one thing. Her post does treat principles as the equivalent of "pet causes."

    So, in response to Rachel Lucas, right back at you: "I think your plan is shitty."

  • Bottom Line du Jour is from Kevin Baker (via the aforementioned Rachel):

    bleepit

    Yes, he's selling those. Very tempting.


Last Modified 2008-09-30 1:54 PM EST

Robin B Hood

[Amazon Link] [2.5
stars] [IMDb Link] Jackie Chan! Need I say more?

His role here is "Thief With a Heart of Gold". He's a member of a three-man team of robbers, well-skilled at knockovers. But (unfortunately) their spending habits quickly drain their ill-gotten gains. So, desparate for cash, they find themselves roped into a kidnaping scheme, ironically involving a baby whose abduction they'd previously thwarted while stealing drugs at a hospital.

The movie then veers into a remade Three Men and a Baby for a while, as the robbers are spectacularly incompetent at infant care. That drags. There's an epic final showdown with the evil mastermind and his henchmen, and the baby's life is imperiled more than once. Will the kid survive? Will Jackie and his buddies escape? No spoilers here.

There are the usual stunningly choreographed fight scenes. There are also a lot of laughs. Apparently Chinese movies aren't quite as fastidious as American movies when it comes to showing the contents of diapers.


Last Modified 2012-10-12 7:44 AM EST