Donald Sterling is the Left’s desperately needed “wag the dog” moment, distracting from their myriad failures

Wag The Dog-01Wag The Dog was a clever black comedy about a president hiring a Hollywood producer to trick the public into believing there was a war in Albania in order to distract the public from a sex scandal right before an election.  The movie came out in 1997, and became forever cemented in the public’s consciousness when, in 1998, Bill Clinton bombed a few pharmaceutical factories right around the time Monica Lewinsky and blue dresses were becoming a big deal.  Donald Sterling is the Left’s new “wag the dog” moment — a racial one, this time, not a martial one, because we live in the age of Obama.

If you think about the Sterling scandal without the attendant hysteria it’s pretty pathetic:  desiccated, insecure, ugly, rich, old man fears that his black/Latina girlfriend’s palling around with handsome, successful, young(ish), black men will make him look like what he really is:  a eunuch with a gold digger on his arms.

“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” (3:30)

– “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want.  The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games.” (5:15)

– “I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.” (7:45)

– “…Don’t put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me.  And don’t bring him to my games.” (9:13)

But for the fact that there are a few other racist incidents in Sterling’s past (refusing to rent apartments to blacks or Latinos, and making nasty comments), what you really see here is enormous sexual insecurity. Sterling doesn’t view these black men as inferiors.  Instead, he sees them as a threat to his virility and his relationship with a young woman who, because of her own background, could easily be seen as preferring them to this desiccated, pot-bellied, mean-spirited little man.

Nevertheless, the story overnight mushroomed in an hysteric denouncement of racism, with special emphasis on the fact that Sterling, being old, rich, and white, must be a Republican, a fact that makes him representative of all Republicans.  It was irrelevant that, while Donald Sterling’s official political affiliation is the subject of much debate, it’s pretty clear that he’s been pouring money into Democrat causes, including making very nice with the NAACP for years, resulting in his receiving an NAACP lifetime achievement award in 2009.  It’s also irrelevant that the vast majority of America’s Republicans and conservatives are neither rich nor old, that many aren’t white, and that Sterling’s closest demographic relatives (rich, white, and racist) live in the Democrat party.  (I’m talking to you, Harry Reid.)

I’m not denying that Sterling’s remarks were couched in racial terms, are nasty, and are therefore racist.  But let’s get serious here: Are the privately-stated rantings of an old, insecure man so important that they should result in thousands of news stories, headlines, tweets, Facebook posts, magazine articles, analyses, etc.?

No, his rantings aren’t important at all.  Contrary to what many Americans are being made to believe, this isn’t really about a rich, powerful sports team owner saying mean things about black people. Instead, the Donald Sterling story is about sucking the oxygen out of the news cycle so that people who don’t pour over it as obsessively as you and I do aren’t paying attention to a few other important stories.

What’s important to know is that most people can’t hold that many thoughts or sensations simultaneously.  That’s why, with a few exceptions, multitasking is an illusion and, quite often, especially when cars are involved, a very dangerous one.   A million years ago, my Lamaze teacher told me the human mind’s inability to process more than three, maybe four, disparate bits of information at the same time is the real secret behind Lamaze. The breathing doesn’t change anything in the birth process. What’s important is to drag the woman’s focus away from the pain and put it somewhere else.

In today’s political world, if you’re busy fulminating about a pathetic 80-year-old gnome, you’re not going to have room in your brain or your emotions for myriad news stories that are infinitely more important.  These stories include:

1.  The revelation that there is concrete evidence proving that the lies about the Benghazi attack originated in the White House and were a deliberate effort before an election to hide the fact that the administration knew that Al Qaeda was resurgent and that, despite this knowledge, it failed to protect Americans before and during the attack, leaving four Americans quite horribly dead.  Apparently the administrations fraudulent lies to the American public weren’t limited to Obamacare.

2.  The fact that Secretary of State John Kerry botched the Middle East peace talks so terribly that the Palestinians threw themselves into Hamas’s arms, with Kerry blaming Israel for this failure, before using PLO-esque language to announce that Israel is turning into an apartheid nation. Kerry is either evil or a fool. Who knows? What we do know is that Kerry’s never been either an honest or unbiased broker in the peace talks, and he’s certainly been an incompetent negotiator.

3.  The embarrassing reality that what was once the most powerful nation in the world is now so manifestly weak that, from Russia to Venezuela, with stops at all points in between, including Syria and Afghanistan, every bad actor in the world thumbs his nose at Obama, even as that actor cuts a bloody swath in his wake. I’m not saying that Obama has any ability now to remedy the situation in Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, the West Bank, etc. He doesn’t. He knows, the American people know, and the bad guys know that America will not, and therefore cannot, fight. The problem is that Obama got us into this situation in the first place. He radiated weakness like a badly wounded Wildebeest lying in the noonday sun on the African plain. He turned America into hyena bait.

4.  The recent admission that America had another “unexpectedly” slow growth in the first quarter of 2014 (a mere 0.1%), something the MSM-Pravda media immediately blamed on the weather. As Sadie helpfully pointed out to me, the extreme winter, although it hit China too, didn’t slow China’s economy at all. (But do keep in mind that China’s supposedly glowing economic numbers are probably on the extreme end of lies, damn lies, and statistics. The rule of thumb is that data from leftists always lies.)

5.  The ongoing, extreme, exponentially growing disaster that is Obamacare.  At the end of the day, Obamacare’s only success will have been that it managed to use government coercion, threats, and penalties to force 8 million people to sign up for insurance through government exchanges. Wow! Government bullying works. What government bullying couldn’t do was make 20-30% of the new enrollees pay for this insurance; make the enrollment balanced, rather than weighted in favor of the old and sick; get doctors and hospitals to agree to sign onto low-paying networks; lower costs for the middle class people forced off of their good policies; keep deductibles low, etc. Those of us who never drank the Kool-Aid knew in 2009 that only delusional people could believe that you could mandate more coverage and sweep in more people who can’t pay, all the while lowering costs all around.

6.  America’s vanishing privacy.  Sterling may be a stinker, but he thought he was having a private conversation.  Americans should be outraged that they no longer have zones of privacy.  (Although if these zones of privacy really are gone, let’s just banish birth control too.  After all, the main reason the Supreme Court used to justify striking down laws banning birth control was that Americans have an inherent right to privacy.)

All of which gets us back to the ginned-up national outrage about Donald Sterling.  Donald Sterling is a nothing. He may be rich and own a sports team, but the fundamental truth is that he’s a creepy old nebbish whose world views were formed in 1940-something. He’s a relic. He’s meaningless. He’s every old Leftist who goes around mouthing stupid things about black people. (Like Harry Reid, for example.)

Sterling matters only as cover. He’s the fake war in Albania from the movie “Wag the Dog.”  He’s the bombed pharmaceutical factories when people were getting too close to the Lewinsky’s blue dress.  America!  Forget Sterling.  Pay attention to the real stuff!

Michelle Obama’s disappearing act . . . and weeds in her garden

Two news reports today that offer a problem and a solution.

Story 1:  Michelle Obama has vanished from the scene during the shutdown.  Without her ginormous staff, and without TV cameras aimed at her, she’s idle and useless.

Story 2:  Michelle Obama’s White House garden is going to rack and ruin, since the paid staff isn’t caring for it.  This is a waste of good food stock.

Solution:  Why doesn’t Michelle Obama take her forced down time and weed her garden?

I look forward to your answers to my simple question.

The memo about Valerie Jarrett is EXACTLY how I see myself

The White House was apparently worried that Valerie Jarrett wasn’t getting the love she deserved, so it prepared a memo preparatory to Jarrett’s New York Times profile in 2012. just to make sure that everyone at the Times fully understood that, unlike Mary Poppins, Jarrett isn’t just practically perfect in every way, she’s actually perfect in every way. Mark Leibovich got a’hold of the draft memorandum, and shares it with the public in his upcoming book, The Town.

It’s really strange reading the draft memo because it is exactly how I see myself – and all of you, of course.  I can tell that you guys, much like Jarrett herself (and me, of course), can out-saint a saint.

WARNING:  Do not have liquids in your mouth as you read the following memorandum, or you will have to clean those liquids off your keyboard and screen:

The magic of Valerie is her intellect and her heart. She is an incredibly kind, caring and thoughtful person with a unique ability to pinpoint the voiceless and shine a light on them and the issues they and the President care about with the ultimate goal of making a difference in people’s lives.

Valerie is the perfect combination of smart, savvy and innovative.

Valerie has an enormous capacity for both empathy and sympathy. She balances the need to be patient and judicious with the desire to get things done and work as hard as possible for the American people from the White House.

To know what both drives Valerie Jarrett and why the President values her opinion so much, you benefit greatly from really getting to know the woman.

Valerie is tapped in to people’s experiences, their good times and bad. She knows from her own life what it is like to believe and strive for your dreams.

Valerie expects people to work their hearts out for the President and never forget where you work and the magnitude.

Single mother, woman working to the top in a competitive male dominated world, African, working for change from the grassroots to big business.

Valerie is someone here who other people inside the building know they can trust. (need examples.)

White House takes down petition asking it to stop pretending that Catholic institutions aren’t being forced to pay for ideologically offensive products

This morning, I linked to a very clever post that Bad Catholic put up, chastising the Obama administration for doing a sleight-of-hand, completely fake “compromise” regarding its demand that religious organizations fund birth control, sterilization and abortifacients.  At the end of the post, Bad Catholic invites readers to sign a petition urging the administration not to make an ass of itself with regard to the issue.   If one clicks on that link, one finds oneself on a page that is part of the White House’s own citizen petition website, which it patriotically calls “We the People.”  That is, the White House invites citizens to create and circulate online petitions using the White House’s on server and website as the host:

Welcome to We the People on WhiteHouse.gov. This tool provides you with a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.

Well, that’s exactly what Bad Catholic did:  he petitioned “the Obama Administration to take action on [an] . . . important issue[] facing our country” — namely, the issue of religious freedom.  Incidentally, unlike those on the Left, we conservatives define religious freedom, in accordance with the Founder’s understanding and the explicit Constitutional language, to mean that the federal government may not use its coercive powers to interfere with religious doctrine or practice.

The petition which, unfortunately I didn’t copy, was very funny.  The worst word in it was “ass” as in the remonstrance that the federal government “cease being an ass.”  In simple, amusing, non-violent, non-threatening, non-intimidating language, Bad Catholic stated that the so-called “compromise” did not fool Catholics or other pro-Life individuals and organizations, since it still requires all employers to fund insurance that pays for birth control, sterilization, and abortifacients.  Bad Catholic then politely asked that the White House withdraw this mandate.

Well, the White House did withdraw something:

 

Yes, the White House, rather than withdrawing the mandate, withdrew the petition.  Nor did I inadvertently link to the wrong page.  As you can see from my helpfully placed red arrow, I linked over to the correct petition, since the tab and the URL both still refer to a petition entitled “Keep Calm and Cease Being an Ass Towards the Catholic Church.”

That’s Obama democracy in action.  Now we know what happens when we ” petition the Obama Administration to take action on . . . important issues facing our country.”  The White House deliberately deletes and ignores us.

Just to give you a little perspective on this, I feel it’s worthwhile reminding you that, in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith’s job was to engage in historical revisionism.  In other words, Winston erased history, ensuring that the present always comported with the government’s current political needs and posture.

White House/Obama email information collection — it’s getting weird

I received something peculiar in my email yesterday:

A few things to note:

1.  The email informs me that someone left a comment on “bookwormroom.wordpress.com,” a blog that has lain dormant for four years.

2.  The Author’s name is an obvious nom de cyber — Trimegistus.

3.  The Author leaves as his email address “flag@whitehouse.gov“.

That email address is the interesting part.  I am not for a single minute claiming that Trimegistus is a White House employee.  However, “flag@whitehouse.gov” is an email address with a history.  The Obama administration created that address shortly after moving in, way back in 2009.  The “flag” in the email address was not a patriotic reference.  Instead, the White House was asking supporters to “flag” information that was “fishy”:

The White House is under fire for a blog post asking supporters to send “fishy” information received through rumors, chain e-mails and casual conversations to a White House e-mail address, flag@whitehouse.gov.

The best spin one could put on this bizarre White House request was that, as it pushed for health care reform, the White House was trying to stay ahead of the rumor mill.  The worst spin was that the White House was trying to create an enemy’s list, a concept with an East German feel to it.

Given the suspicion surrounding the email address, you can understand that I’m a bit perplexed that someone left this specific email address in a message intended directly for me (intended for me because the email address does not show up in the comments; it only reveals itself to the blog proprietor).   Is someone hoping that, finding the comment confusing or the email address intriguing, I’ll fire off an email of my own asking about it?  Who knows?  It could just be a prank — a real one, not a Weiner one.

I wouldn’t have blogged about this at all, but for the coincidence of reading today that the Obama White House seems to have gotten confused about the purpose of the official White House website, and is using it to collect visitor’s email information.  You can read more about this blatant information collection tactic — which might also violate campaign laws — at Doug Ross’ site and at Publius’ Forum.

Keep in mind that the White House website is a publicly funded site, so you’re paying to assist the Obamas as they build a database.  Just be grateful, that (presumably) you’re not being put on the enemy’s list.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land, available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon, Smashwords or through your iBook app.

Oh, those cwazy uniforms; or, no wonder Valerie Jarrett was confused.

May I quote myself, writing about the beautiful and moving Battle of Midway Commemoration in San Francisco last year?

The event was a formal one, which is much more beautiful than a civilian black tie affair.  The women, of course, presented a familiar and pleasing picture.  They had on lovely dresses ranging from safe (but always elegant) black to a rainbow of jewel-like colors.  Their hair was piled high or cascaded down in graceful ringlets, curls or curtains of silky hair.  Their make-up said, appropriately, “Here I am and aren’t I lovely?”  I expected that.

It was the men who were such a treat — and a surprise.  To me, “formal” means black tie.  It’s a good look, since it’s the rare man who isn’t elevated slightly by the dignity of a black jacket, pleated shirt, and neatly tied black tie.  Add in a cummerbund, and he’s ready to face anything.  I am, therefore, not complaining about traditional formals.  It’s just that, after having seen Navy formal wear, traditional men’s formal wear will, forever after, seem a little bit bland.

As I knew, but had never seen, Navy formal wear is white.  The uniform therefore brings the light in a room up, rather than down.  On their arms and shoulders, the officers wear the golden insignia of their rank.  I know now, although I didn’t understand that fact when I walked in, that many of the men present boasted an Admiral’s rank.  There was no shortage, however, of other ranks, whether chiefs or captains or lieutenants. The young men and women in attendance who had not (yet) attained the higher ranks were nattily attired from head to toe (or, if they were women, from head to knee) in whites.  The only exceptions were the two tall, trim, young Marines who were resplendent in their dark blue uniforms, lavishly decorated with gold and red.

Every uniformed guest had a variety of “mini-medals” on his (or her) left chest, over his (or her) heart.  The higher the rank, or the longer the years of service, the more of these exquisite medallions adorned the wearer — exquisite both because they are beautiful on their own terms, as mere objets, and because each represents a special level of accomplishment, dedication or bravery.

I’ll admit to being a girl (an aged girl, sadly) who still gets a thrill from a uniform.  I can’t help but think, though, that my possibly silly attitude ranks higher than that shown by White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.  She clearly believes that one uniform is pretty much like another — and that none are that special:

According to our tipster, Jarrett was seated at the head table along with several other big-name politicians and a handful of high-ranking military officials. As an officer sporting several stars walked past Jarrett, she signaled for his attention and said, “I’d like another glass of wine.”

Garçon!

White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, who was seated next to Jarret, began “cracking up nervously,” our tipster said, but no one pointed out to Jarrett that the man sporting a chestful of medals was not her waiter.

“The guy dutifully went up and got her a glass of wine, and then came back and gave it to her and took a seat at the table,” our tipster said. “Everyone is in tuxedos and gowns at this thing, but the military people are in full dress uniform.”

“There was no shortage of waiters either,” the tipster added.

It’s great to know that the world’s knowledgeable intellectuals are firmly in control of Washington, D.C.’s levers of power.

Hat tip:  American Thinker, which got it from Instapundit

“You had me at ‘gutless’”

I didn’t even have to read Dick Morris’ article to know that I liked it. Here’s the tag for the article at Front Page Magazine: “Only gutless Republicans could turn the U.S. Attorney firings into a budding constitutional crisis.” Well, yeah. The Democrats scream bloody murder over the political equivalent of a hangnail, while the White House politely allows itself to be disemboweled. I’m all for good matters, restraint, and a functional and friendly atmosphere in D.C., but this rollover on the faked attorney scandal leaves me almost breathless. You can’t win in politics if you’ve got nothing even resembling backbone, and are missing some significant guts to boot.*

Morris’ article, by the way, lives up to its promise. I’m quoting at length here, because I really didn’t have the heart to leave any of this off my blog. However, there’s much more to the original article, and you’d probably enjoy reading the whole thing:

When will the Bush administration grow some guts? Except for its resolute — read: stubborn — position on Iraq, the White House seems incapable of standing up for itself and battling for its point of view. The Democratic assault on the administration over the dismissal of United States attorneys is the most fabricated and phony of scandals, but the Bush people offer only craven apologies, half-hearted defenses, and concessions. Instead, they should stand up to the Democrats and defend the conduct of their own Justice Department.

There is no question that the attorney general and the president can dismiss United States attorneys at any time and for any reason. We do not have civil servant U.S. attorneys but maintain the process of presidential appointment for a very good reason: We consider who prosecutes whom and for what to be a question of public policy that should reflect the president’s priorities and objectives. When a U.S. attorney chooses to go light in prosecuting voter fraud and political corruption, it is completely understandable and totally legitimate for a president and an attorney general to decide to fire him or her and appoint a replacement who will do so.

The Democratic attempt to attack Bush for exercising his presidential power to dismiss employees who serve at his pleasure smacks of nothing so much as the trumped-up grounds for the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson in 1868. Back then, radical Republicans tried to oust him for failing to obey the Tenure of Office Act, which they passed, barring him from firing members of his Cabinet (in this case, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton) without Senate approval. Soon after Johnson’s acquittal, the Supreme Court invalidated the Tenure of Office Act, in effect affirming Johnson’s position.

But instead of loudly asserting its view that voter fraud is, indeed, worthy of prosecution and that U.S. attorneys who treat such cases lightly need to go find new jobs, the Bush administration acts, for all the world, like the kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. All Republican supporters of the administration can do is to point to Bill Clinton’s replacement of U.S. attorneys when he took office. Because the president and the attorney general insist on acting guilty, the rest of the country has no difficulty in assuming that they are.

___________________________
*Mr. Bookworm was listening to NPR this morning, and played the “readers letters.” As to the attorney “scandal,” the letter deemed most representative of the many that came from NPR listeners on that subject essentially said if the White House officials have nothing to hide, why don’t they just walk into Congress, take an oath, and expose themselves to the Democratic party for testimony.

I thought the “innocent people have nothing to hide” tactic was fascinating, since it has never seemed to sway the liberals in the area of terrorism. That is, they’re horrified by the Patriot Act because it pries into areas where they say it has no business being, because it might expose innocent people doing innocent things. Yet they’re asking White House operatives to walk into the enemy’s lair (and that’s what Congress has become with the switch in majorities) without a blink or second thought. The inconsistency is especially interesting considering that they’re demanding that people give up manifest constitutional rights for a political witch hunt, but are loath to ask for a possible limitation in some rights in order to stop potentially apocalyptic slaughter. Hmmm….

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