Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the September 2012 issue


An intellectual review that is the Bible of the faculty at Harvard State University asks President George H. W. Bush to slander a great American and, alas, he takes the bait:

Thoughts on the “no new tax” pledge from Grover Norquist.

PARADE: During your presidency you gave in on your “no new taxes” pledge. You’ve been vindicated in many respects for that decision. I wonder how you view the “no new tax” pledge from Grover Norquist that seems to be requisite for GOP political candidates.

GB: The rigidity of those pledges is something I don’t like. The circumstances change and you can’t be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist. It’s—who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?

(July 13, 2012)


On the Web’s equivalent to the New York Times, evidence that in Canada the brain drain continues:

Canadian model Shera Bechard, the ex-girlfriend of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and creator of “Frisky Friday,” was granted a special genius visa the U.S. government gives to “individuals with extraordinary ability.”

Thanks to the help of her immigration lawyer Chris Wright, Bechard was bestowed the O-1 visa, commonly referred to as the “genius visa” by the U.S. government, “an internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize.” Wright argued that her accomplishments in modeling and business earned her consideration for the visa.

(July 2, 2012)

New York Times

The editors of the estimable Times choose the work of Miss Maggie Shipstead, an obvious idiot, for its featured op-ed. What are they trying to tell us?

Three years ago, at a wedding in Prague, I met an Englishman with whom I had an immediate and powerful connection. We e-mailed for two months, and then I joined him in the Bahamas for a weeklong second date. At first, the match seemed fated, the product of a romantic version of paying it forward. [sic] You see, my cousin Luke, who grew up in Michigan, started things off by marrying a woman from Prague named Kaja. At their wedding, my cousin Beau met Tereza, Kaja’s younger sister. They had an immediate and powerful connection, e-mailed and Skyped for a while, and then Beau moved to Prague. I met my Englishman at their wedding.

This is where the international matrimonial chain reaction ends, however, because we broke up in less than a year, driven asunder not by the 5,000 miles that separate London from Palo Alto but, mundanely, by our own incompatible personalities.

Had we met under different circumstances, I doubt we would have dated at all, but weddings impair judgment. It was 4 in the morning; it was Prague. We weren’t alone in behaving imprudently. After I walk-of-shamed the length of Wenceslas Square back to the apartment I was sharing with the groom’s sisters, I found a dress soaking in the bidet. One of these sisters, ordinarily an elegant and selfpossessed woman, had gotten the giggles so severely while stumbling back from the bar that she had executed a kindergarten-style collapse-andpee on the sidewalk.

(July 19, 2012)

A sad missive from someone named Lowin addressed to an aspiring Times blogger of tender years named Dick Cavett, sitting at home in his underpants:

Dear Mr. Cavett, The occasion of my comment is, of course, sad since it relates to the death of [Nora Ephron,] one of our greatest wits and talents.Nonetheless, the event has caused you to write again and for that I, and no doubt many others, are and will be always grateful. Your columns remind us all of an era when there was hope for progress and respect for intellect in the land. Now, as the empire crumbles under the weight of forty years of right wing policies, anti science, anti intellectual, flat earth, fanatical, and, not to put too fine a point on it, fascist in nature, looking back on you and your show and revisiting the glowing personality that powered it, I smile.

Eric Lowin
Pleasant Hill, CA

(June 29, 2012)

Washington Times

A bizarre sexual ritual, as reported in the infallible Times of our nation’s capital:

SALT LAKE CITY—A man spotted dressed in a goat suit among a herd of wild goats in the mountains of northern Utah has wildlife officials worried that he could be in danger as hunting season approaches.

Phil Douglass of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said Friday the person is doing nothing illegal, but he worries the so-called “goat man” is unaware of the dangers.

“My first concern is the person doesn’t understand the risks,” Mr. Douglass said.

(July 23, 2012)

The Progressive

The lonely fate of soon to be ex-Congressman John Conyers, the scamp who promised on C-SPAN to turn the Feds on The American Spectator as a consequence of its merry investigation of the Clinton outfit—more evidence of the Spectator’s curse. To think he would end up with his own Monica scandal!

Now Conyers’s congressional career is on the brink of closure. He was touched by scandal when his wife, Monica, was sentenced to thirty-seven months in prison in March 2010 for taking bribes while a member of the Detroit City Council. Although he was innocent of any involvement in the affair, his reputation took a hit nonetheless.

(August 2012)

Daily Beast

A highly agitated Michael Tomasky, one week before the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare, proffers his delusions of recent American history before heading off for his weekly meeting with his anger management counselor:

The main thing that changed between then [40 years ago] and now,Instead, is that rabidly right-wing billionaires started throwing many millions of dollars into politics, forming and funding groups like the Federalist Society, which have managed to assert their will. They represent about the same 30 percent they represented back when Barry Goldwater won the GOP nomination. It’s just that now they’re organized and lavishly backed, whereas before they weren’t. In the 1960s, Nino Scalia would’ve ended up teaching at Notre Dame law school (where he belonged)—a crackpot speaker on a marginal rubber-chicken circuit that mainstream America could have blissfully ignored, instead of sitting on the highest court in the land imposing his 16th-century will on the rest of us.

And so: If we get a 5–4 ruling against the Affordable Health Care act or any part of it, this is the context to keep in mind. It will be another in a series of ferociously ideological one-vote-margin decisions from the court that we do not need history’s perspective to decide is far and away America’s most ideological.

(June 21, 2012)

Village Voice Blogs

Indignant fulminations from Mr. Michael Musto, a hitherto unknown, who apparently has wandered in from the local Occupy movement and found a cubicle at the once venerated Voice:

I always thought that any gay who backs a candidate that doesn’t support equal rights must have some very scary death wish.

It’s self-defeating and downright creepy!

And though they’ve rationalized that gay marriage is just one issue, and the economy is a more important one, I’d have to say (A) Romney has no better answer to our economic woes except for general pronouncements and promises: (B) Whether we’re in a good economy or not, I’d rather have my rights, thank you.

So, here’s to you and your bizarre contradictions, GoProud.

You’re like Jewish Nazis!

Black Klan members!

Women who campaign for Rush Limbaugh!

Mexican Republicans!

Roaches who moonlight for ex term inators!

Blech, go away.

(June 25, 2012)


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