URLs du Jour — 2013-11-29

"I Got Mine" Happy Black Friday, everyone! Hope you stayed sane!

  • The great national treasure that is Kevin D. Williamson discusses the relationship between President Obama's megalomania and Pope Francis’s recent anti-free market apostolic exhortation. The common thread is selfishness: both the Pope and the Prez claim to be agin' it, but (a) Obama's entire career has been the selfish pursuit of political power, and (b) the Pope (and not just the Pope) has a huge blind spot to this form of selfishness.

    KDW is set off by a recent Barackrobatic oration where he bemoaned "our politics" which he claimed "all too often encourages people to think selfishly or short-term."

    What could it possibly mean to be lectured on selfishness by a man whose entire career has been dedicated to no cause other than the cause of himself? “Selfishness” has been conflated with materialism and greed, but the literal meaning of the word is excessive devotion to one’s self and one’s interests. To be unselfish is to be ready to give up that which one holds most dear; for some men, that is money, but what is money to a president of the United States, who knows that in retirement he can support himself in ducal style with one day’s work a month at Bill Clinton rates, in princely style with two days’ work, and in imperial style with three? Money is an abstraction to a retired president. But the thing that he really cares about — power — Barack Obama guards in a fashion more miserly than that of any mythical dragon watching his horde. That the president is so haughty about the prospect of negotiating with his rivals in the House and the Senate comes as no surprise to his advisers, whose opinions he holds in equal contempt: “I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters, I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. . . . I’m a better political director than my political director.” And he has some thoughts about generosity of spirit he would like to share.

    He touches on a theme that can't be touched enough. Read the whole thing! Especially if you're the Pope!

  • The Presidential address mentioned in the item above is described here, and it's… well, darned odd. The venue for this lecture about "selfishness" was Magic Johnson's mansion in Beverly Hills. If that's not cognitively dissonant enough:

    “We know what works, and what’s stopping us is a failure of our politics and a lack of ambition and we shy away from what might be hard," he said.

    Given the disastrous bungling of Obamacare, how out of touch does the President have to be to still claim he knows "what works"?

  • Very cool news in the WSJ today: Amazon is producing a pilot for a possible TV series, Bosch, based on Michael Connelly's driven LAPD detective Harry Bosch. I'm a big fan of the Bosch books, and I hope it works out as well as Justified.

    The (paywalled) article has details on how painful it is for an author to deal with Hollywood bigwigs. Not a problem I'm likely to have, but still. It would be neat if Amazon could provide an alternative path to bring more literary characters to the screen.

    Connelly had previously been quoted as saying a good actor to play Bosch would have been Billy Burke. Agreed! But he's busy doing his own series, Revolution. The role is instead being played by Titus Welliver. Who? Well, I remember him best as the "Man in Black" on Lost. And, yeah, I think he could be pretty good as Bosch too.