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Current Wisdom

The Nation
And so concludes another interlude of navel-gazing in the company
of columnist Patricia J. Williams, Obamamaniac

So Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize is something all Americans should feel good about, a reassurance that we are moving toward a light, a globally hailed goal of prosperity and nuclear disarmament. It speaks to the unfortunate power of our “It’s a Good Thing! It’s an Evil Thing! Slimeball! Sucker!” habits of thinking, however, that not a single US newspaper I could find had a headline with anything as simple as “Congratulations, Mr. President! Congratulations to Us, Every One!”
(November 9, 2009)

The Great Books Series
Conservatism’s mortician, Sam Tanenhaus, serving as the Prophet Obama’s cosmetician, and rendering him a “centrist, nonideological presidential candidate,” via Botox and a few nips and tucks:

The primary dynamic of American politics, normally described as a continual friction between the two major parties, is equally in our time a competition between the liberal idea of consensus and the conservative idea of orthodoxy. We see it in the Democratic Party’s recent history of choosing centrist, explicitly nonideological presidential candidates (Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama),
as contrasted with the Republicans’ preference for ideologically committed ones (Goldwater, Reagan, George W. Bush).
(From The Death of Conservatism, by Sam Tanenhaus, Random House, 144 pages, $17)

Los Angeles Times
A great metropolitan daily publishes an unforgettable excerpt from psychiatrist Dr. Alvin Davis’s probation report on Mr. Roman Polanski, the dream beau of 13-year-olds everywhere. Dr. Davis is speaking of the “creative minds” whose intellectual and artistic lineage traces back directly to Mr. John Wilkes Booth, idealist:

Possibly not since Renaissance Italy has there been such a gathering of creative minds in one locale as there has been in Los Angeles County during the past half century….While enriching the community with their presence, they have brought with them the manners and mores of their native lands which in rare instances have been at variance with those of their adoptive land.
(October 25, 2009)

The Cavalier Daily
In the “Health & Science” column of the newspaper of the University of Virginia, useful information to go along with the average undergraduate’s courses in sex education and anger management:

Gas can be embarrassing, noisy, smelly — and perfectly normal. Most of us pass gas anywhere from 13 to 21 times a day. There are two main gas-related complaints: excessive burping and excessive flatus, each of which has a number of causes.

Excessive burping: Burping results from swallowed air or from gas generated by consuming carbonated drinks. We all unknowingly swallow a little bit of air while eating or drinking. The amount of swallowed air increases if you eat or drink rapidly, don’t chew your food completely, chew gum, drink through a straw, suck on candies or smoke cigarettes, among other things. Most of the swallowed air escapes through your mouth as a burp. A small amount, however, makes it to the intestines. Once there, it is either absorbed by the small intestines or makes its way to the large intestine to be released through the rectum (and we all know what results).

Excessive flatus: Your food is normally digested in your small….[Let us pass on]
(October 28, 2009)

Art Works
(Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts)
An ardent adherent to the Obama cult gibbers, illogically, incoherently, and ignorantly, from his perch at the National Endowment for the Arts, perhaps a year before he is carted off to the booby hatch:

…My answer is pretty simple. There is a new president and a new NEA. The president first. This is the first president that actually writes his own books since Teddy Roosevelt and arguably the first to write them really well since Lincoln. If you accept the premise, and I do, that the United States is the most powerful country in the world, then Barack Obama is the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar. That has to be good for America.
(October 19, 2009)

The Progressive
Poor Comrade Obama. In nine delirious months he bankrupts the United States, transforms it into a non-aligned power, and declares war on Honduras. Nonetheless, this is the thanks he gets from the pajama-clad editor of  TheProg, young Matthew Rothschild:

Across the progressive community, there is a widespread feeling of disappointment and disenchantment with President Obama — even a sense of betrayal. The high hopes that he created on the campaign trail have given way to the cold realization that he may not be as progressive as he seemed — or as many had wished. When the moment called for extraordinary boldness, he balked. When the moment called for a head-on ideological confrontation, he blinked. When the moment called for mass mobilization, he preferred to chase after the phantom of bi-partisanship.
(October 2009)

New York
Review of Books

America on the brink, as seen by  the fans of innumerable marches on Washington and maybe even an occasional suicide bomber over at the venerable NYRB:

We have never seen, at least in the modern history of the United States, a right-wing street-protest movement. Conservatives who oppose Roe v. Wade march on Washington every January 22, the anniversary of that 1973 decision; but aside from that single issue and that single day, the American right over recent decades has, until this summer, carried out its organizing in a comparatively quiet fashion, via mimeograph machine and pamphlet and book and e-mail and text message, and left the streets to the Left.

So we have something new in our political life — the summer’s apoplectic and bordering-on-violent town-hall meetings, and the large “9/12” rally on Washington’s National Mall that drew tens of thousands of people to protest America’s descent into “socialism” (or “communism,” or, occasionally, “Nazism”).
(October 22, 2009)

American Prospect
Soi-disant conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, a fierce 2008 critic of the pulchritudinous Governor Sarah Palin and a derider of Joe the Plumber, is revealed by a gifted researcher in the pages of AmPro to have her own long-standing interest in plumbing as Art:

Save the Males, Kathleen Parker’s 2008 polemic on sexual permissiveness and libertinism, contains the following euphemisms for vagina: “inner sanctum,” “familiars,” “you know what,” “very private parlor,” “sacred vessel,” “vestal vestibule,” and “hirsute abyss of God’s little oven.” We will be, laments Parker
in her obligatory chapter on Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, so “awash in vaginaism,” that we are nothing beyond “vaginas on the plain seeking out other vaginas with which to hold hands and gaze unlongingly into the silky night of a manless moon.”
(November 2009)

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