Friday, November 19, 2010

Clouds in my coffee

I have often balked at focusing on the personal faults and failings of President Obama. After all, nobody's perfect, and it can take time away from concentrating on the horrible damage that the man's policies are causing.

Having said that, I think that Jonathan Last's "American Narcissus" article is a must-read. It illustrates the real consequences of Barack Obama's arrogance and vanity, like his absolute lack of bi-partisanship and his "in-house retirement" service in the Senate during which the American taxpayers paid him to write his second book. Furthermore, the article shows the amazing extent to which the man relates everything to his own persona and achievements, like when he gave the Queen of England an iPod pre-loaded with his famous speeches and pictures of him. Here's an excerpt his pathetic response to the fall of the Berlin Wall anniversary:

On November 9, 2009, Europe celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was kind of a big deal. They may not mention the Cold War in schools much these days, but it pitted the Western liberal order against a totalitarian ideology in a global struggle. In this the United States was the guarantor of liberty and peace for the West; had we faltered, no corner of the world would have been safe from Soviet domination.

President Obama has a somewhat different reading. He explains: “The Cold War reached a conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years, and because the people of Russia and Eastern Europe stood up and decided that its end would be peaceful.” Pretty magnanimous of the Soviets to let the long twilight struggle end peacefully like that, especially after all we did to provoke them.

So Obama doesn’t know much about the Cold War. Which is probably why he didn’t think the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was all that important. When the leaders of Europe got together to commemorate it, he decided not to go to that, either. But he did find time to record a video message, which he graciously allowed the Europeans to air during the ceremony.

In his video, Obama ruminated for a few minutes on the grand events of the 20th century, the Cold War itself, and the great lesson we all should take from this historic passing: “Few would have foreseen .  .  . that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent. But human destiny is what human beings make of it.” The fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War, and the freedom of all humanity—it’s great stuff. Right up there with the election of Barack Obama.

Wow... The "punchline" caught me by surprise. I hadn't heard that speech. I guess "Obamanometer" for pretentiousness wasn't too far off the mark.

This also goes quite a ways toward explaining why people are starting to get annoyed with him internationally, and his magic is fading.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Bill Donohue provides an amazing digest of negative remarks about the appointment of Archbishop Timothy Dolan as head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

NPR is worried that Archbishop Dolan is "overtly conservative," and Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times is fretting about his "confrontational approach." Dissident Catholics are upset as well: New Ways Ministry says the vote "sends an ominous message"; Call to Action also sees his election as "ominous"; Sr. Maureen Fiedler says "we now have our very own Catholic version of the 'Tea Party' movement"; DignityUSA concludes that Dolan's election means the hierarchy is "out of step" with Catholics. Similarly, the Human Rights Campaign, a gay secular group, says the vote means the hierarchy is "out of step." Not to be outdone, the website of the Tucson Citizen accused Dolan of evincing an "arrogant" attitude in winning (it is true that he was caught smiling).

SNAP, the professional victims' group, opines that Dolan's "winning personality obscures his terrible track record on abuse." Marian Ronan of Religion Dispatches says his election is "not a good sign," and her colleague, Sarah Posner, concludes—and this really is ominous—that "the bishops are targeting families with loved ones who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender." The Internet site Lez Get Real calls Dolan "the Vatican's spin-doctor," and the website of Time has a headline which reads, "More Bad News for Obama 2012: Catholics Elect Dolan." picked up the AP piece, but chose to give it a new headline: "Catholic Bishops' Vote to Mean Harder Church Stance Against Gay Families." And atheist Susan Jacoby is sweating over the fact that Dolan will be treated by the media "as if he is the voice of all American Catholics." She needs to get used to it.

I received an email from the pro-gay group "Catholics for Equality" which stated that the "Election of Archbishops Dolan and Kurtz Signals Increased Vatican Influence in US Politics". I don't know why I get their emails; maybe they bought my email address from the Daily Kos?

My first thought was something like "Yeah, because these people liked Cardinal George so much on their pet issues." I don't know if these gripes are worth a second thought.

But here's one anyway: a little bird told me the Episcopalians are having a membership drive.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dolan's in


Gotta run.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What do you think?

Funny? Scary?

What do you think? Jonathan? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?