URLs du Jour — 2013-12-19

[Apocalypse NPR]

  • Kevin D. Williamson writes on the President's recent "inequality" speech: "Inequality Does Not Matter". Read the whole thing, but here's the main point:

    The problem is not inequality: The problem is declining or stagnant wages for those Americans who are not thriving in the 21st-century economy. Cannier politicians will note that while they may respond to cheap rhetoric about the new robber barons, Americans are by and large much more concerned about their own paychecks and bank balances than they are those of other people. Republicans would be foolish to adopt the rhetoric of inequality and its implicit class-war thinking, but they would be much more foolish to ignore the underlying economic reality that gives teeth to that critique: Things are not good for the American middle class, and things are bad for the poor. There are signs that economic mobility is in decline, especially at the extremes, and the general environment of economic pessimism, so alien to Americans, is not entirely unjustified.

    If the only arrow in your quiver is eat-the-rich rhetoric, you've gotta pretend that "inequality" is per se a big deal.

  • Barackrobatics: we used to have a running gag about President Obama's rhetorical tics that nearly always indicated that he was uttering something that was, or was soon going to be, reality-challenged; we called such tics "Barackrobatics", a term that failed to go viral.

    At PJ Media, Rick Richman finds another example: the President's gratuitous use of "relentless".

  • Why I Hate The Republican Party Only Slightly Less Than The Democratic Party, Part XXIII: GOP Congressman Justin Amash is dedicated to limiting government, and so he's getting some in his own party irate. They are financing a primary opponent, Brian Ellis. At Cato, Walter Olson noticed a telling quote from Ellis, talking about some of Amash's votes:

    “He’s got his explanations for why he’s voted, but I don’t really care. I’m a businessman, I look at the bottom line.” He has no use for Amash’s constitutional scruples, remarking, “If something is unconstitutional, we have a court system that looks at that.”

    Olson observes that Article VI requires legislators (and other officials) to swear/affirm their support of the Constitution. And Ellis is essentially promising that, if elected, he will blow off that obligation.

    In a better world, this would disqualify Ellis, and make him politically radioactive. We don't live in that better world.

  • Somehow I missed the announcement of this year's Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest winners. If you did too, and you admire well-done wretched writing, go here. The overall winner:

    She strutted into my office wearing a dress that clung to her like Saran Wrap to a sloppily butchered pork knuckle, bone and sinew jutting and lurching asymmetrically beneath its folds, the tightness exaggerating the granularity of the suet and causing what little palatable meat there was to sweat, its transparency the thief of imagination.

    Lots more at the link.

  • The illustration for today's entry is from a Buzzfeed article: How The Media Will Report The Apocalypse. Very funny. (The NYT: "Recent Events Are A Judgement, Some Say")

  • At the mostly-educational Cow Hampshire blog, Janice Brown asks the questions that need to be asked. For example: Is hotcha music bad for for your cows?. According to the 1930s USDA… well, go see for yourself.