Saturday, August 07, 2010

Every Now and Then, One of Them Comes Up Sane

Former G.W. Bush speechwriter David Frum and I would probably disagree on just about everything. But he's one of the few n the Right who's willing to be honest and push back against some of their more ridiculous nonsense.

In this great piece, he takes on the whole "Obama is a socialist" malarkey:

Why didn’t Obama—the alleged socialist—fight for the public option? Why didn’t Obama—the alleged socialist—follow the recommendation of many, including Paul Krugman and Rep. David Obey, that the stimulus be much larger than what he ultimately proposed? Why didn’t Obama—the alleged socialist—give the American people just a small taste of real socialism and, at least, temporarily nationalize the large banks? (After all, even George W. Bush’s administration nationalized AIG, the largest insurance company in the world. Is Bush a socialist? Is Ben Bernanke? Is Henry Paulson)? Why didn’t Obama support a financial regulation bill that would actually break up the big banks and link bankers’ compensation to institutional performance? Why didn’t Obama withdraw American forces from Afghanistan as soon as logistically possible—why did he increase American forces there? Wouldn’t the fiscal savings have helped with the “transition” to socialism? I know I know—according to Kurtz, this is all part of the plan. But if this is the plan, the plan doesn’t really make much sense, does it?

The whole thing is worth a read.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Revenge of the Reviewed

Via Galleycat, literary critic Janice Harayda brings you the The Worst Negative Book Review Clich├ęs, proving that book reviewers are often as unimaginative, if not more,  than the authors they pan.

The top 5 are:

1. "cardboard characters"

2. "thin plot"

3. "cookie-cutter characters"

4. "the book falls apart at the end"

5. "I just didn't *care* about the characters."

You know,  we're often advised not to respond to negative reviews. It never does any good, and can lead you to be accused of being an "author behaving badly" by the type of reviewer that regards authors as something akin to domestic  employees, and who doesn't care for it when "the help"  gets uppity.

 But I think a simple link to Harayda's article might be apropos if some reviewer commits one of those cliches. What say you?

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Secret Weapon

Latest Newspaper Column (the Director's Cut):

HOST: Good evening, and welcome to "Amazing Inventions." I'm your host, Lana Lagniappe. Our guest tonight is is Doctor Dietrich Telefunken, and he'll be explaining his latest creation.

TELEFUNKEN: Thank you, Lana. As you may know, the media is overrun with liberal terrorist loving scum who hate America.

HOST: I'm not sure I know anything of the kind...

TELEFUNKEN: Since true conservative patriots are always outnumbered by the evil liberals trying to silence them, I have developed something to offset the numerical imbalance. I present to you... the Wingbot 5000.

HOST: It looks like some sort of robot...

WINGBOT 5000: I AM NOT A ROBOT. LIBERALS ARE THE REAL ROBOTS.

HOST: It talks!

TELEFUNKEN: It does more than talk! Thanks to its advanced conservative programming, it is a match for any liberal in any debate. We can deploy thousands of them to go on television, talk radio, blogs, editorial pages, you name it.

HOST: How does it work?

TELEFUNKEN: The basic program is very simple. It responds to certain keywords with arguments from the best conservative thinkers. Try it. Give it an issue.

HOST: Okay...how about taxes?

WINGBOT 5000: AMERICANS ARE BEING TAXED INTO THE POORHOUSE.

HOST: But isn't it true that the majority of Americans have gotten a tax cut in the last couple of years?

WINGBOT 5000: I REFUDIATE THAT.

HOST: It's right there in...wait a minute. Did you say 'refudiate"?

WINGBOT 5000: YES.

HOST: I don't think that's a word.

WINGBOT 5000: SAYS WHO?

HOST: The dictionary.

WINGBOT 5000: THE DICTIONARY HAS A LIBERAL BIAS. SARA PALIN USED THE WORD. THAT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR REAL NON-ELITE AMERICANS.

HOST: Heh. It sounds like she's channeling George Bush.

WINGBOT 5000: WHEN IS BARACK OBAMA GOING TO STOP BLAMING THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING?

HOST: What? Where did that come from?

TELEFUNKEN: Like I said, it reacts to keywords. Whenever anyone mentions George W. Bush...

WINGBOT 5000: WHEN IS BARACK OBAMA GOING TO STOP...

TELEFUNKEN: That's fine, Wingbot. Try another issue, Ms. Lagniappe.

HOST: Ummm...okay. How about racism?

WINGBOT 5000: I'M NOT RACIST IT'S YOU LIBERAL ELITES WHO ARE RACIST WHY DON'T YOU TALK ABOUT HOW RACIST THE NAACP IS,

HOST: Let me get this straight. The NAACP is racist?

WINGBOT 5000: THE SHERROD CASE PROVES IT.

HOST: How? They were so sensitive to charges of racism that they denounced Sherrod immediately. They were wrong about her, and they had to apologize but how does that make them racist?

WINGBOT 5000: BZZZZ....BLURP....

HOST: What's wrong with it?

TELEFUNKEN: Just wait.

WINGBOT 5000: EVERYONE KNOWS THE NAACP IS RACIST.

TELEFUNKEN: You see? Nothing gets through the logic shields! Nothing! HAHAHAA!

HOST: But it never answers my questions!

WINGBOT 5000: IT'S LIBERALS WHO NEVER ANSWER QUESTIONS.

HOST: What?

TELEFUNKEN: Try another issue.

HOST: Well...okay. How about global climate change?

WINGBOT 5000: AL GORE SAID HE INVENTED THE INTERNET. HA. HA. HA.

TELEFUNKEN: Ha! Good one! He lives in a big house, too!

HOST: But that doesn't have anything to to with the issue!

WINGBOT 5000: IT WAS A JOKE. LIBERALS HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR.

HOST: That story's not even true.

WINGBOT 5000: HOW DARE YOU SAY I'M LYING. YOU'RE TRYING TO REPRESS MY FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS. THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF WHY YOU LIBERALS ARE THE REAL FASCISTS.

HOST: This is getting ridiculous.

WINGBOT 5000: IT'S LIBERALS LIKE YOU WHO ARE RIDICULOUS. WHY CAN YOU NOT MAKE A POINT WITHOUT NAME CALLING.

HOST: Are you kidding? You've done nothing but call people names!

TELEFUNKEN: So?

HOST: So you said it could argue! It doesn't put forth any arguments! All it does is throw out random insults and claim that "it's liberals who are the real"...whatever.

WINGBOT 5000: IT'S LIBERALS WHO ARE REALLY THE ONES WHO THROW OUT RANDOM INSULTS.

HOST: It's doing it again!

WINGBOT 5000: IT'S LIBERALS WHO ARE REALLY THE ONES WHO ARE DOING IT AGAIN.

HOST: Okay, turn it off.

WINGBOT 5000: REPRESSION! FASCISM! SECOND AMENDMENT REMEDIES! JEREMIAH WRIGHT! WHERE'S THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE! TONY REZKO! MUSLIM! MUSLIM! MEDIA ELITE! REFUDIATE! REFUDIATE!

HOST: Make it stop! It's gone crazy!

WINGBOT 5000: IT'S LIBERALS WHO HAVE REALLY GONE CRAZY!

TELEFUNKEN: You can't stop it. In fact, we're thinking of running it for Congress. We've even done some polling.

HOST: Don't tell me...

TELEFUNKEN: It was the clear front-runner.

HOST: Sigh. Of course. For "Amazing Inventions". I'm Lana Lagniappe. Good night, and God help us all.