DEATHWATCH UPDATE

Posted in Quick Hits on February 26th, 2009 by Ed

Holy shit. It's a matter of weeks now. I imagine that all the administration is doing at this point is calculating which will cost less: forking over $20 billion every couple of months or forcing them into Chapter 11 and giving them Debtor-in-Possession (DIP) financing. After all, who in the hell else is going to do it? It's not like there's a private bank willing or able to shovel $40 billion into a furnace.

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WILL: HALF NEOCON, HALF OWL, ALL ILLUSION

Posted in Rants on February 26th, 2009 by Ed

In some ways I am impressed by George Will. He has written an altogether enjoyable book about our national pastime. He keeps his discourse on the Buckley/Safire level as opposed to slogging around in the sewer, ankle-deep in human waste, like his fellow conservatives on Talk Radio. But most of all I am impressed by how thoroughly and for how long he has successfully perpetrated a masterful illusion, convincing the media and public that he is an intelligent person whose intellectual power gives weight to his opinions. As most of what he says is in fact quite retarded, he creates the illusion of brilliance with diction, demeanor, vocabulary, posture, and tie selection.


O RLY, KRUGMN?

Sure, he's far brighter than the Glenn Becks of the world, but this fact does not place him in select company. Like Formula One is the highbrow NASCAR and the Council of Conservative Citizens is the Klan for the cocktail party set, Will is little more than Sean Hannity after a year or two in finishing school. His writing is a proofread, erudite version of the same old horseshit delivered by everyone else in his neck of the political woods. Will is a way for bourgeois Republicans – bankers, lawyers, etc. – to get their fix without surrendering their pride and feelings of intellectual superiority. Let's be honest: well-educated people have to feel ashamed of themselves reading Pajamas or listening to Michael Savage. Listening to Will makes getting the GOP talking points feel like going to church or sitting in on a particularly interesting class at Georgetown. That's why he exists.

His fellow pundits treat him with incredible deference, no doubt because Mr. Will is a friendly and gracious person. His charm must be great, for it prevents anyone from disagreeing with him. Ever. Until Paul Krugman came along. Now that he's regularly matched up against Krugman he no longer shares the camera solely with people who will unquestioningly swallow anything delivered in a condescending baritone and with politely folded hands. Krugman makes him look, well, like a pundit. Krugman doles out facts while Will, for all his polish, is exposed as just another guy on TV saying what he thinks and acting like his opinion is fact. Will's only accomplishment is spewing made-up crap about global warming and slamming "the unions" without making listeners feel like they are being lectured by their drunken Uncle Larry after being cornered at Thanksgiving. That's more than we can say about the rest of the GOP punditry, but…

Infomercial scam artists learned many years ago that a lot of mouthbreathers will believe anything as long as it comes from a man in a white lab coat. How could a man who looks like a doctor be lying? George must have been taking notes. He has made a 30-year career out of repeating things other, dumber pundits say in a way that doesn't insult upper middle class intelligence – provided one focuses solely on the delivery and disregards the substance.