It turns out in my haste to have a normal life on an amazingly hectic Sunday, I missed several orts of tasty goodness, so here you go...
First, how did I overlooked the fact that it NBC's turn this week to level-up Ramesh Ponnuru's Serious Beltway Person cred by loaning him a national platform?
You might not be old enough to remember, but Mr. Ponnuru first staked out his place in the national spotlight at the height of the Bush Administration's War on Causality and Sanity when he bravely jumping onto the already Manila-Jeepney-At-Rush-Hour-overloaded
"Punch A Hippie For Jesus" bandwagon with the publication of his magnum dopus, "The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life"
Mr. Ponnuru his not missed a meal since.
Here is the top Amazon review of Mr. P's masterpiece...
Is the Democratic Party the “Party of Death”? If you look at their agenda they are. IT’S NOT JUST abortion-on-demand. It’s euthanasia, embryo destruction, even infanticide—and a potentially deadly concern with “the quality of life” of disabled people. If you think these issues don’t concern you—guess again. The Party of Death is roaring into the White House! In The Party of Death, Ponnuru details how left-wing radicals, using abortion as their lever, took over the Democratic Party—and how they have used their power to corrupt our law and politics, abolish our fundamental right to life, and push the envelope in ever more dangerous directions. In The Party of Death, Ponnuru reveals: How Hillary Clinton could use the abortion issue (but not in the way you think) Why the conventional wisdom about Roe v.Wade is a lie How the party of death—a coalition of special interests ranging from Planned Parenthood to Hollywood—came to own the Democratic Party How the mainstream media promotes the party of death Why Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, and other leading liberals gave up being pro-life How liberals use animal rights to displace human rights The Democratic presidential candidate who said that infanticide is a mother’s “choice” How doctors—and other health care professionals—are being coerced, by law, into violating their consciences The ultrasound revolution: why there’s hope to stop the party of death Ponnuru’s shocking exposé shows just how extreme the Party of Death has become as they seek to destroy every inconvenient life, demand fealty to their radical agenda, and punish anyone who defies them. But he also shows how the tide is turning, how the Party of Death can be defeated, and why its last victim might be the Democratic Party itself...
If I may indulge in a bit of modest self-promotion, at my depressed and hung-over worst I am a categorically better writer than Mr. Ponnuru. And so I have to wonder what the odds are be that if I penned 200-page treatise entitled, say, "The Party of Madness: How Conservatives Like Ramesh Ponnuru Skull-Fucked American Democracy To Death" how many hundreds of thousands of copies it would sell?
And which nationally syndicated publication(s) would pay me to write for them?
...He is also a contributor to Time magazine and WashingtonPost.com. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Newsday, New York Post, The Weekly Standard, Policy Review, The New Republic, and First Things.
And how soon after that could I parlay my success in print into an invitation to share my meditations on the state of politics and humanity on Meet the Press?
Hey, speaking of Meet the Press...
... Erik Wemple is summoning the tumbrels for Shuck Todd's godawful "Afraid" segment --
Chuck Todd’s ‘afraid’ segment on ‘Meet the Press’ must be killed
--in which panelists offer up a lump of cold Beltway media conventional wisdom while asserting that while all the insiders know this to be true, everyone is afraid to say it out loud!
Or course, Erik is quite right: three weeks of "Hillary!" and "Hillary!" and "Joe Biden Won't Run Against Hillary!" defies any normal human being's definition of edgy, outsider anything. Hell, if you really want to freak the squares out while changing nothing but the paint job on the MTP crapwagon, why not break out a Ouija Board each week and ask your panelists to commune with the spirit of David Broder up in that great Beltway cocktail party in the sky?
Or, alternatively, plug someone into the panel who will really talk about shit that everyone knows but no one dares to speak aloud.
Finally, I confess to missing Chuck Todd taking the NBC Fleetwood Bounder out to cook his Meet the Press hillbilly crack on the highways and byways of this Great Country Of Ours.
Fortunately Brother Charlie Pierce was on the job:
...But, after only two weeks on the job as caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, my man Chuck Todd wins this week's House Cup for demonstrating how one stays in touch with the common folk, and with their strip malls.TODD: And now to a different way to look at Campaign 2014 this election cycle.(Unless you're standing on your head in a ballgown, Chuck. I think this is not likely to be all that "different.")In one corner, it's Starbucks Nation. These are Democrats who live in the big cities, and the adjacent suburbs. Lots of Starbucks.(Quod erat demonstradumb)In the other corner, it's Chick-fil-A country, basically Republicans who live in the areas between suburban America and rural America.
(And no gay people?)We call them the "exurbs."(May I introduce you to Dallas? Or Atlanta? Headed northeast from Atlanta, the nearest "exurb" is called South Carolina.)Another way of saying "smalltown America."(Edna Ferber just enlivened her afterlife by developing an opium habit.)Chuck then goes on at length to make the unremarkable point that the electoral map is more difficult for Democratic candidates in 2014 than it was for the president in 2012 because the president's tossup states were "Starbucks states" and the senatorial map this time has more Democrats running in Chick-fil-A states, where the hayshaking rube factor may play a more significant role.
For those of us with longish memory, the real hilarity buried in Shuck Todd's simpleminded reductive pap is that not only only did he send his rolling courtier press meth lab out on the cracked, balding retreads of virtually the same grift David Brooks has been running since the 90s (and is still running today), but Todd even manages to screw up the basic factuality his claptrap --
Chuck then goes on at length to make the unremarkable point that the electoral map is more difficult for Democratic candidates in 2014 than it was for the president in 2012 because the president's tossup states were "Starbucks states" and the senatorial map this time has more Democrats running in Chick-fil-A states, where the hay-shaking rube factor may play a more significant role.By the way, is Montana really "Chick-fil-A country"? According to the company's website,there isn't a single Chick-fil-A franchise in the whole damn state, whereas there are two of them up here in the Commonwealth (God save it!). Meanwhile, at last count, there are 16 Starbucks outlets. I think your data set needs a little sharpening, my man. Things get even uglier when my man Chuck brings his new metric to the swing state of Colorado, where he argues quite sensibly that incumbent Mark Udall will draw his strength from the city of Denver and in Boulder County while Republican Cory (Personhood) Gardner will be strongest in the boonies -- "Chick-fil-A country." Alas, again, if you look at the Chick-fil-A map, you find that, of the state's 38 Chick-fil-A stores, all but nine of them are clustered around...wait for it...Denver and Boulder County.
-- in exactly the same way David Brooks screwed up his fairy tales back when he was slingin' the same Beltway crank at the Imaginary Applebees Salad Bar in the Land Before Time:
...Among the many assertions that Issenberg debunked was Brooks’ claim (Atlantic, 12/01) that after scouring local menus in Republican-leaning Franklin County, Pennsylvania and asking locals where to find the most expensive entrees, he still found it was impossible to spend as much as $20 for a restaurant meal:I was going to spend $20 on a restaurant meal. But although I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu—steak au jus, “slippery beef pot pie,” or whatever—I always failed.But when Issenberg retraced Brooks’ steps through Franklin County three years later, he found more than one restaurant with meals well over $20 on its menu, including a Red Lobster that Brooks claimed to have visited that featured a $28.75 entree, and a local inn that had a $50 prix-fixe dinner—with veal medallions, not pot pie. “As I made my journey,” wrote Issenberg, “it became increasingly hard to believe that Brooks ever left his home.”...
Because, y'know, continuity.
Which is a shame. Because what really needs to happen to NBC's Crystal Ship is...
Which is a shame. Because what really needs to happen to NBC's Crystal Ship is...