Saturday, November 23, 2013
Editor's Note: Obamacare trudges on and Harry Reid has detonated the nuclear option. What better time for a drink? Pull up a bar stool and listen as the late Christopher Hitchens explains -- as he did in our May 2001 issue, using his favorite New York City establishment -- just the kind of place required to properly enjoy one.
What does one seek in a place of refreshment? Or what qualities, once found, make one think of a bar as in some way one's own? I would list in no special order the following features. The place should be open early and late and in between. In line with this, it should be a setting of moods: a slow start in the mid-morning, a bit of a bulge around lunchtime, a languorous afternoon and then a gradual quickening of pace after 6 p.m., culminating in a commitment to some sort of late-night or after-dinner or post-theater crowd. (It's not absolutely necessary to experience all of these things in the same 24-hour cycle, but you should be able to say that you have experienced them all and can in some way count on them.)
Those who staff the place should by all means recognize a faithful patron, and pull the trick of pouring the favorite bracer as soon as he shuffles in, but they should also recognize those times when he wants to read, or write, or brood, or recuperate. There should be music--not a television--and the customer should be able to have some say in its nature, also its wattage.
The clientele should be various, but not atomized. One wants the certainty of a few familiar faces, but not too many of them or not except at predictable phases of the day. In other words, my true bar should have an element of cafe-society to it; a place for newspapers and espresso as well as cocktails and basic food, and a place where you could bring your mother, if you had a mother, for a light lunch as well as your mistress or male lover, if you had a mistress or male lover, for a late-ish nightcap.
Lies smooth the transition to a fundamental transformation of our health-care system.
Fraud can be so brazen it takes people’s breath away. But for a prosecutor tasked with proving a swindle — or what federal law describes as a “scheme to defraud” — the crucial thing is not so much the fraud. It is the scheme.
To be sure, it is the fraud — the individual false statements, sneaky omissions, and deceptive practices — that grabs our attention. As I’ve recounted in this space, President Obama repeatedly and emphatically vowed, “If you like your health-insurance plan, you can keep your health-insurance plan, period.” The incontrovertible record — disclosures by the Obama administration in the Federal Register, representations by the Obama Justice Department in federal court — proves that Obama’s promises were systematically deceitful. The president’s audacity is bracing, and not just because he lies so casually while looking us in the eye. Obama also insults our intelligence. It is one thing to tuck evidence of falsehoodinto a few paragraphs on page 34,552 of a dusty governmental journal no one may ever look at. It is quite something else to announce it in a legal brief publicly filed in a case of intense interest to millions of Americans aggrieved by Obamacare’s religious-liberty violations. To be so bold is to say, in effect, “The public is too ignorant and disengaged to catch me, and the press is too deep in my pocket to raise alarms.”
Is it possible for Americans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death without the media taking potshots at the Right?
Consider former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw who while on MSNBC’s The Cycle Friday recounting where he was when Kennedy was shot decided he needed to make the case that people in conservative states wanted the president killed (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Via: Newsbusters.orgTOM BROKAW: I was a reporter in Omaha. I was the morning news editor. I did the cut-ins for the Today show on the noon news, and it was kind of an exhausting schedule, about nine hours. And I was in the newsroom kind of cleaning up, and the bells on the wire machines went off. AP and UPI was how we got the news in those days. Not a tweet or anything online. And it meant there was a bulletin of some kind. And I went over and Merriman Smith - who really became legendary for dictating on the run, the UPI reporter – had dictated that shots were fired at the presidential motorcade, the president perhaps fatally wounded. That was the first thing that we saw. And then of course it rolled out there in Parkland and then the announcement of his death.We didn't have the network up at KMTV because NBC would give back a local station one hour of midday programming. I ran down, there was a garden show on the air. So I put it on over the garden show and then did that a couple of times. And this was unusual but it was not unheard of. As I came running out of the announce booth the chief engineer - with whom I didn't get along very well. A really curmudgeonly guy, old, kind of a gnarly guy – and he said, “What happened?” And I said, “Kennedy was shot.” And he said , “About time somebody shot that S.O.B.” That was heard in other places, mostly in the conservative states. But he was, that was reflecting his real feeling, and they had to peel me away from him. I then ran back up and continued to work.
Dan Bongino is a 12-year Secret Service veteran who recently announced that after protecting President Barack Obama for four years he would be leaving his job to run for Congress in Maryland as a Republican. Bongino appeared on Steve Malzberg’s NewsMax show Friday to both discuss his campaign and promote his new book, Life Inside the Bubble.
Asked to explain the difference between Obama and President George W. Bush, who he spent most of his Secret Service career protecting, Bongino said Obama “does what’s best for his ideology.” Alluding to those who don’t believe the president is Christian, he said, “his religion is government, and when your religion is government you do anything to further that.”
Bongino accused Obama of making major leadership decisions based on “faith” rather than “evidence.” Using the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act as an example, he said “just like someone trying to tell you, if you’re a Christian, Jesus Christ didn’t exist… it’s his faith in government that despite the evidence, he sticks to it no matter what.”
“I believe he’s a Christian, because he says a Christian,” Malzberg responded. He wanted to know from Bongino whether Obama joined a church for “political expediency” or because he’s actually a “religious man.”
Bongino admitted that he did not get the chance to meet with Obama on a “personal” level and would not know what he does on his own time, but, he reiterated, “my impression of him is his religion really is government.”
Watch video below, via NewsMax:
Al Sharpton said Friday night it’s now “par for the course” for conservatives to make tone-deaf remarks about rape, in the wake of comments made by Rush Limbaugh comparing the nuclear option to a circle of people voting on whether to rape women. Sharpton and his guests, Joe Madison and Patricia Murphy, condemned Limbaugh’s comments, but actually disagreed on whether the Democrats were in the right to push the red button in the first place.
Murphy called Limbaugh’s comments “disgusting [and] totally uncalled for,” but then proceeded to disagree with Sharpton and Madison on the nuclear option. She argued the Democrats “played into Republicans’ hands,” saying they should have fought within the rules rather than changing them.
Madison shot back that the Democrats aren’t “dealing with honest brokers,” that the Republicans brought this on themselves after years and years of obstruction and blatant opposition to anything President Obama wanted.
Sharpton also brought up two distinct criticisms of Obama from the right: he’s a ruthless dictator who doesn’t abide by the rule of law, and he’s also a weak-kneed politician with no spine. Well, which is it?
Watch the video below, via MSNBC:
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