Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the September 2011 issue

Washington Post

Columnist Dana Milbank taps out his syndicated column to the ignoramuses and all are happy to have Ronald Reagan back--talk about speaking ill of the dead:

After he switched to the Republican Party in 1962, Ronald Reagan famously quipped: "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me."

Now, the Republican Party is doing the same thing to him--and Democrats are happy to take Reagan back.

At Tuesday morning's meeting of the House Democrats, caucus chairman John Larson rallied his colleagues for the day's debt-limit debate by playing an audio recording of the 40th president.

"Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility," Reagan says in the clip.

(July 20, 2011)

New York Times

Devotional readings from the Sunday New York Times's long-awaited Sunday Review:

I have wonderful friends. In this last year, one took me to Istanbul. One gave me a box of hand-crafted chocolates. Fifteen of them held two rousing, pre-posthumous wakes for me. Several wrote large checks. Two sent me a boxed set of the Bach sacred cantatas. And one, from Texas, put a hand on my thinning shoulder, and appeared to study the ground where we were standing. He had flown in to see me.

"We need to buy you a pistol, don't we?" he asked quietly. He meant to shoot myself with.

"Yes, Sweet Thing," I said, with a smile. "We do."

(July 10, 2011)

Wall Street Journal

As White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said back in 2008, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste":

The unemployment rate increased in 28 states in June, reflecting the rise in the national rate to 9.2% from 9.1% over the month, the Labor Department said Friday.

While 14 states saw their unemployment rate hold steady, eight logged decreases.

(July 23-24, 2011)

Chicago Sun-Times

Writing in the mordant voice for which she is justly celebrated, hometown columnist Stella Foster reports on the gruesome ways Mayor Rahm Emanuel now spends his days:

I love that Mayor Emanuel really cares and is compassionate about all Chicagoans and has been very visible by attending diverse events all over this great city, not just in the downtown area. In fact, besides eating at soul food restaurants on the South Side, the mayor was also seen enjoying gospel great Richard Smallwood's performance at the Trinity United Church of Christ 50th anniversary celebration Tuesday evening. He also dined on roasted chicken at Kiki's Bistro on Monday and stopped by Mario's Lemonade for Italian ice. The mayor is the "energizer bunny" for this city…he just keeps going, and going and going.

(July 21, 2011)

Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Cindy in progressive Petaluma, her brown shirt all neatly folded and her hobnailed boots spit and shined in her bedroom, gently coaxes her Führer, on the correspondence page of her local newspaper, to get off the golf course and take action:

EDITOR: Lately, among my circle of friends, someone whispers that they are disappointed in President Barack Obama and a quiet conversation starts. Some want to stay devout and defend Obama, but many of us are admitting that we are not as hopeful as we once were. He promised change, and we are still waiting.

Saying you are disappointed in someone you voted for can feel like admitting you were wrong, but what you are really admitting is that you are not inspired. The majority of us went to the polls pumped up and hoping for change. We did not expect a perfect America, but we did expect a leader who would inspire us again and again.

Most of us are waiting for instructions, Mr. Obama. Ask us to sacrifice, and we will. Ask something of us, and we will understand who we are and what we are capable of. Give us something to work together on -- not a war or a disaster but something that can be brought into each and every home. You inspired us before and can do it again. We're just waiting for instructions.



(June 12, 2011)

The Nation

On the occasion of the Hon. Anthony Weiner's quiet withdrawal from public life, the inimitable JoAnn Wypijewski reveals the findings of her long, personal, and at times highly perilous canvassing of our nation's men's restrooms:

Of all the restrooms in all the schools and bars and gas stations across this great land, rare is the stall inside of which someone has not paused to draw a penis. Erect, with tight scrotum on one end and a cartoon squirt at the other, it is characterized by a vigorous arcing line and a paucity of detail; no hairs or veins or rippled skin, no great variation in size or proportion, a Unipenis, really, the signal hieroglyph of our age. When we have blown or glutted or pummeled ourselves into extinction, alien archaeologists will find this symbol on crumbling viaducts and leeching scrap heaps, in the ruins of our cities and the overgrown remnants of our public libraries, and they will conclude, "Here was their god."

(July 4/11, 2011)

Alexandria Times

Columnist Isabel Alvarez shares with us a pensive moment, a transformative moment, just before becoming an apostate from French cuisine with the help of her dog, Titan, apparently a Chihuahua:

I recently upgraded my dog's canned food to a holistic, organic brand. My finicky Titan and I were impressed when simply opening the can made us both salivate. The chunks of meat, recognizable vegetables, hearty sauce and yummy scent made me want to toss it in some pasta and go to town. I was really tempted to try it. I had to remind myself that it was dog food.

While Titan indulged, I stood at my kitchen counter, reluctantly spooning non-fat Greek yogurt into my mouth and wondering why my dog's dinner was more flavorful and nutritious than my own.

(July 7, 2011)

Presidential Communication

In a personal letter to one of his biggest supporters our president attempts to escape the blame:

Dear R. Emmett Tyrrell,

Each night, I get the chance to read about 10 letters from people across the country. Some are inspiring. Some are heartbreaking. But each one compels me to keep moving forward on this journey we started together.

And as I read the stories, hopes, and fears of people nationwide, I'm also reminded of what I told you and the American people when I was sent to the White House. I cannot do this alone.

(July 2011)

From the Archives

Timeless Tosh from Current Wisdoms Past

(September 1991)

Los Angeles Times

A New Age super-patriot sounds off on the op-ed page of the Golden State's Times:

At a recent fifth-grade promotion ceremony, I felt compelled to go through the motions of flag pledging, to go so far as to say the words, because I thought the joy of the day was more important than my feelings about the flag. So I stood, crossed my heart and said the pledge, mentally editing as I went along.

"I acknowledge the flag of the United Racist States of America and to the repression for which it stands, two or three bifurcated nations, two economies, two health-care systems, two nations under God, divisible by color, class, gender and access, with liberty for some and justice for fewer."…

In the fifth grade I pledged the flag. By the ninth grade, I wanted to burn it.

(June 25, 1991)

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