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December 13, 2013


Brooks' velvet glove in in tatters.

Our Miss Brooks does Common Core.

Danube on iPad

"This is a good moment to advocate greater executive branch power because we’ve just seen a monumental example of executive branch incompetence"

Funniest thing I've read this week.


I'd like to put a nice, crisp crease in Brooksy's forehead.


Here's a thought;
If DC and our scrotumless solons would stop regulating everything under the sun and doling out taxpayer money to everything that moves and many things that don't there wouldn't be nearly so many rentiers seeking rent control.


In the face of the greatest power grab in our history, Brooks says this? He must be smoking some very high grade weed.

This really is scary. There is a thread running through the Left of complete lawlessness now. The Constitution has no relevance to them except to force the rest of us to do their bidding and accept their twisted morality and ethics.

In the face of all of the facts, these people are moving us towards a Germany 1932 situation.

In fact, the Tea Party is becoming much more relevant. As Boehner derides us he is perfectly willing to allow the clown show to continue on the path to destruction.

The evidence is before our eyes of the economic, political, and moral decline of our country under the rule of Obama.

If you didn't see the news today, the moderate militias in Syria are being crushed by the Salafists. Libya has spun out of control, and Al Q'aeda now controls large swathes of Iraq.

The Iranians pulled out of the Geneva talks this morning because of sanctions enacted against certain individuals and companies violating the embargo on military & nuclear sales. And they have announced a new nuclear plant as well as increasing production of U-235. All since the agreement. If that ain't a great big finger at Kerry and Obama I don't know what is.

Karzai is having a meltdown and we have walked away from our talks in Afghanistan. A Chinese and an American cruiser almost collided in the South China Sea, and I understand that we have de facto accepted the Chinese air defense zone.

Holder and Sebelius are in contempt of Congress and the government, not just the administration is in contempt of not only Congress but of the law.

And Washington holds Main Street in utter contempt. Virginia and South Carolina politicians are talking constitutional convention and I don't know whether to laugh or cry because I see the power structure now as utterly corrupt.

New York is sounding more and more like Moscow in early 1917 and people give them credibility. Sick, sick, sick.


It seems like Brooks must have lost a bet to Tom Friedman and was required to let TF write a column to be published under Brooks' name. This is more of the "we need an enlightened despot just like China" stuff that Friedman routinely (and monotonously) writes.

At bottom, it is really a rejection of democracy and a return to the notion of an aristocracy. The left, of course, while nominally egalitarian, really wants an elite governing class to be freed up from the desires or votes of the common people because the elite governing class knows better than the people what is good for the people.

You know, the concept that is working out so well in Europe


matt-well said. If you had all the materials I have you would see that rejecting the Constitution is precisely what is intended. These are people who believe you gain power to change the rules and close the escape hatches.

Alice--if you are around, this 2 minute tape illustrates what I see all the time now. http://www.nbc29.com/story/24201428/albemarle-schools-maker-spaces-program-gets-national-attention

Not this as an alternative, but this as the new norm for all students. I have to laugh though. The AP Physics teacher bought a go cart disassembled that was to run on biofuel and the class had no clue how to construct it. Eldest brought it home, put it together over weekend, and loaded it onto pick up to bring to school. It really does work well to have the mind and be able to work with ratchets and screwdrivers and read a mechanical blueprint.


Here's the problem with those solons, regulations and offering subsidies and 'tax breaks' is their stock in trade, it's how they make their living. The problem isn't what they do, the problem is that they and the laws that created them exist in the first place.

Dave (in MA)

Datechguy: Boehner goes Fawlty.
On of our JOMers should appreciate the reference,

Dave (in MA)


Tom Bowler

I like this one:

"We need more unified authority. Take power away from the rentier groups who dominate the process. Allow people in those authorities to exercise discretion."

I think we already have those authorities exercising discretion -- at the IRS, processing Tea Party applications for instance.

I used to think it was remarkable that the Times would pay somebody to write this sort of stuff. Long, long time ago.


Alice-here is another example of what is being pushed so hard now. The activity and social interaction become the whole point. http://remakelearning.org/blog/2013/12/11/why-students-need-to-think-like-designers/


Or this-http://www.wqed.org/education/learninginnovation.php

All three are from just different emails today touting all this as the new purpose of the classroom.

Where will the minds capable of brilliance get nurturing except at home?

Who will recognize the nonsense that our political class has in mind for us before it is too late?

Do we really think China doesn't still take care that its most capable students are still getting solid academics even if it is in state-funded boarding schools? That there finest minds are just doing group projects?

Or are they getting solid math and science to better design next generation missile systems that will be aimed at us or Japan and anyone else whose wealth they want?



Jersey, NY, or Connecticut slang?

Jeff Dobbs

This is a good moment to advocate greater executive branch power because we've just seen a monumental example of executive branch incompetence

I'm so using that in my performance review next week to argue for a raise.


Actually, the Chinese are robbing us blind of our technology and IP. I will believe in the intellectual ascendancy of China when they begin to consistently win Nobel prizes while based in China.

No offense to the Chinese, but the system itself is flawed. Ideological purity comes before scientific inquiry or literary freedom. Rigid systems restrict the ability to create or explore because the very nature of exploration means going beyond rigid boundaries.

RSE, have you done any looking at how students in Europe are taught? It seems that our education establishment is faddist and utterly incompetent.Do they put up with this garbage in Europe?


Snowfall hits Cairo. First in 100 years. Global warming, I assume. Never explains what caused it to snow 100 years ago.

les nessman

"It’s important to advocate greater executive branch power in a chastened mood."

Is he saying we should give the exec greater power while *we* are chastened or while *the exec* is chastened?

If the former, that makes no sense due to the aforementioned Ocare rollout debacle.
If the latter, right...because the exec will always stay chastened, huh? How chastened was the exec in 2008 (I Won) or 2012? How chastened will the next exec be?

Or is he saying give and take greater power depending on how chastened we/the exec is on any given day? Yeah right, that'll work.

James D.

Even for the NYT editorial page, even for Brooks, this is mind-blowingly stupid.

These people really are just begging for a repeat of the Reign of Terror, aren't they?


Yes matt.

The Europeans have also fallen for the PISA farce and the Germans remade their K-12 around "doing better on it." UNESCO and the OECD drive ed reform now all over the world in a common direction. The new proposed global acronym is EQuEL-Equitable Quality Education for Lifelong Learning for All. Mark Greenberg's Positive Behavior work is now being pushed hard in Europe and the Middle East as schools set up School Wide Positive Behavior Systems that make behavior not knowledge the point.

UK and the Scandinavians are still the furthest along, but the US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and EU are all pushing comparable themes now.

In Europe, the redo of higher ed is what is driving everyone to chase after grad degrees trying to get leg up. The associated Qualifications Frameworks are in place in Europe but not popular with employers apart from the BBC and public sector. Ed really is the way in quietly to get the same ends that we went to war to prevent in the 20th.

And China is darn pleased about the whole surrender.


We have even liberal professors and pointy heads alarmed at the extra legal behavior of our current executive and Brooksy, what passes for a "conservative" amongst the poo flinging chimps of the Times, wishes to fix the problem by making such unconstitutional power grabs legal.
In what way does anything this buffoon writes reflect a desire for limited government?
He and his clique of well paid state run courtesans are the ultimate rentiers.

Beasts of England

(didn't see the new thread)

Younger daughter just returned home from college, so I got to have lunch with both of the Beastettes, which is always a treat.

Got the complete rundown and saw all ~500 photos from their NYC trip. Any Manhattan JOMers familiar with ABC Kitchen? Looked and sounded pretty pure.

Some Guy

I have to echo Matt, how can any intelligent being witness the last few years and come to Brooks’ conclusion?

It’s unpossible, unless…

…oh yeah, unless you were one of the idiots of “the right” who projected your vision onto the empty vessel and endorsed sending said vessel to reside on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Like leftwing true believers, it’s never the ideology, it’s just never been done right. For Brooks, his hero can’t reach the healer-in-chief heights of his fantasy, so it’s not the incompetent boob, it’s just not being done right yet. If only his hero had more power, then it could be done right.

What a maroon.


As I read the piece, my minding is thinking; Obama is a clusterfuck, we can't allow him to fail this badly, if we allow him to do what he wants, maybe, maybe he can rectify things.

Which reminds me a conversation with what use to be some liberal friends. Somehow the subject of Obama came about and their went on and on about how if the first Black President fail, how bad it would be for the country.

I tried to remind them how bad was the country as a result of his lack of performance but they we not interested, to them Obama being a success was more important than any damage that Obama would cause.

He was one of them and he was Black, he could not be allowed to fail but if he was freed to do what he wanted the world would be right again.


I have never heard the expression "umpty-bump," but have heard, "umpty-ump" and I assume they are the same thing, sort of like eleventy.

Tom Veal

Before expanding its power, let's see whether the executive branch, which has lots of control over Amtrak and is supported in this area by a rentier class that would dearly love the Acela to be on schedule, can make the trains run on time.


There is nothing and no one doing anything to stop Obama from doing what he wants right now as it is, and he's still failing miserably.


David Brooks has an inflammation in his vagina.

It's the only thing that makes sense.


"What is your experience implementing policies through big organizations?"
The ideal executive that Brooksie seems to be pining for would appear to be none other than...Mitt Romney. Yet he went overboard for the guy with the sexy pants crease.

Jim Rhoads f/k/a vnjagvet

Apparently, Brooks has never read VO Key's Politics Parties and Pressure Groups last published, I believe, in 1964.

A detailed description of American government politics, as performed formally through parties and supplemented through pressure groups that function to advance the goals of specific groups. Includes sections on pressure groups (chapters 2-6), the party system (chapters 7-11), party structure and procedure (chapters 12-16) party and the electorate (chapters 17-23) and party and the government (chapters 24 and 25). Covers up to the early 1960's.

Anyone who read Key's book would understand that the problems Brooks is describing were well developed more than 50 years ago.

His suggested solutions are perfectly consistent with the views of our friends, Brains of the Northeast headquartered on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan.


“This is a good moment to advocate greater executive branch power because we’ve just seen a monumental example of executive branch incompetence: the botched Obamacare rollout.”

Foolishness this grand had to come from the mouth of Osgood Conklin.

Please, never cite him again for any reason. This is “more cowbell” without the irony.

Jim Rhoads f/k/a vnjagvet


"Brains of the Northeast" should read "Jeeenyusses of the Northeast".


5) Episode 16: “The Hurricane” (Aired: 01/16/53)

Miss Brooks gets the school ready for a hurricane when Walter hears storm warnings on his homemade radio.

I’ve heard from fans of both the TV and radio series that this episode was a highlight for them. Here is another episode that builds to a climax, while letting the audience in on, via radio, the secret that none of the other characters know: the hurricane the announcer is speaking about is actually occurring in Bombay. Conklin leaps around the school yelling, “Tether your elephants!”

For me, nothing quite shorthands utter idiocy like the phrase, "Tether your elephants."


Brilliant, MarkO.

jimmyk on iPhone

Oops, meant to post this here.

Since I linked to Stockman's diatribe on the budget deal, here's another more positive take by another not always reliable source.


Or maybe


He says undoing the future cuts will require legislation, so maybe there's some hope with an R majority in Congress they'll stick.


Was it Gale Gordon or Cale Gordon? (also played on a lot of Lucy sit coms)




BTW, at the Bing homepage today there is supposed to be a picture of a Great spotted woodpecker and a great tit but the whole thing is a bust for me.
I see the pecker but not the tit.
Am I being a boob?



I think I pulled my spleen on that one.


BoE-- glad to hear your Beastettes had a safe and fun journey to NYC.

Jack is Back!


When I was 10 years old I had big crush on Even Arden. Being taught exclusively by nuns it became my dream and desire to get a teacher like Our Miss Brooks. Of course, I also became a lifelong enemy of Richard Crenna:)

Gale Gordon had a hellva career as a cantankerous, curmudgeon first as Conklin then on I Love Lucy.

Jeff Dobbs

For those scoring at home, Guide Dogs of America is widening its lead over Americares.

This should not be.

Remember, voting is easier than commenting at JOM. Well, except for the whole captcha thing.


some of my friends in the policy universe are welcoming the impending "crackdown" on the tea Party.

All of the data I wrote up above is open source. The IRS is now codifying witch hunts of the government's opponents by reverse engineering them. The aggregation of undue powers by the Administration is well documented. the ill use of those powers is also well documented.

And yet these fools still opt for the groupthink that exists in Washington. There is no wonder our foreign policy is completely botched. There is no wonder that Obamacare is a train wreck. There is no wonder that the DOJ has been waging war on political opponents. There is no wonder that the NSA and the intelligence community have clearly violated the right to privacy enshrined in the Constitution.

And yet all we get is crickets on the important stuff and the demonization of the Tea Party.

They actively support the wars on Angle and O'Donnell and Akin and ignore Fauxcohantas and Patty Murray and the useful idiots of the CBC. I am not defending any of the three, but there are millions out there who take the Constitution and fiscal responsibility seriously.

They take a man like Ted Cruz and demonize him despite the fact that he is in fact one of the smartest guys in the room. And this is our side?

Someone needs to dump a bucket of cold water on these fools.


What schoolboy did not love Our Miss Brooks?

I always thought Gordon's timing and delivery were impeccable.

If you didn't see the "Tether" episode, I'm sure you can hear him yelling. Then, he realizes what he's said and repeats it slowly, with the dawning knowledge that he's been a fool. You've seen the bit with different words.


TM< one of your finest.

James D.

Someone needs to dump a bucket of cold water on these fools.

I can think of other things I'd rather dump on them...


I would vote all day if it weren't for captcha. I can't read it.


I tried 5 different times and gave up. Sorry.

2Jack is Back4!

For DoT:)


Gale Gordon always reminded me of Fred Clark

who played the doctor who was always tangling with Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies and was a grouch on about a 100 other shows and movies.
Born a stone's throw from where DocJ lives.

2Jack is Back4!

TyphusPad is f**ked up again. Had to change my handle, email and link. I think its their annual Christmas party.


Ignatz-- Fred Clark was also the Banker- Trustee for the ward in the Auntie Mame movie. When he's having it out with Mame after she busts up the ward's engagemet to the nice (snobby) New Canaan Ct girl, Mame shouts at the banker that he wants to turn her ward into:

"An Aryan from Darien!!!"

I watched that file my first Sunday evening living in my Darien house, moments after the line was uttered on TCM Movies, Steve Miller calls me, yes future IRS Commish Miller, who says:

"What have you done?"

Jeff Dobbs

You are simply enjoying "the Typepad comment impediment".


Typepad has merely put you in the Fa Queue.


Well the category error was there with Fukuyama,
and then Brooks went turtles all the way down,


iggy @ 4:04; Richard Deacon also fit right in with those two. (Lumpy's father on Leave it to Beaver)


Breaking - Benghazigate Update: State Department ordered Benghazi security firm not to talk to media



Some more sophisticated philosophizing, and some keen sophistry;



Sue: The first time I tried voting (a couple days ago, now) I discovered I was typing in the wrong captcha! The grey box to the left contains a word, the white box to the right is a numerical sequence. I was stupidly typing the word in the grey box! Finally, the light bulb (dim though it is) went off and I have been successful ever since.

2Jack is Back4!

Even the Chinese know they can roll Barry

And its dangerous. Our first "punk president".

Sandy  FriDaze  131213

Eh, Steve, not much to that report; SOP for USG contractors to typically not/NOT talk about their performance when under contract.

Typical to when something gets AFU that nobody talks, whether USG agency/department or in private enterprise.

The bigger scandal is why Blue Mountain was ever contracted to begin with, the terms of that contract, and the mechanism through which that contract was awarded (seemingly sole-source to a company with no past performance, no history, no compliance with industry best practices, etcetera...)


Typepad has merely put you in the Fa Queue.



Milan orders removal of naughty Christmas tree

MILAN (AP) -- A provocatively adorned outdoor Christmas tree in central Milan was just too naughty for city officials, who have ordered it denuded of its racy red sex toys.

The city said in an order that the Christmas season, `'qualifying as a holiday for children and families, requires sobriety in urban decorations," in particular when using `'traditional symbols that distinguish Christmas."

Norma Rossetti, who launched an Italian sex toy e-commerce website this year, said Friday she complied immediately with the order. But she defended the so-called `'Tree of Pleasure," saying the objects chosen were elegant and not obviously X-rated. She said her goal is to break down taboos by making sex toys `'completely normal everyday objects. `'

Rossetti acknowledged some complaints, but said most passers-by during the one-day display were enthusiastic.

Here it is, denuded of it's pleasure objects. (Couldn't find a before pic.)

Dave (in MA)
iggy @ 4:04; Richard Deacon also fit right in with those two. (Lumpy's father on Leave it to Beaver)
http://cheezburger.com/3284945152 Mel Cooley, from Dick Van Dyke Show Totally Looks Like Douglas E. Schoen, from Fox New
Dave (in MA)



NK-in your honor someone really needs to load up a link to "We Need a Little Christmas." I used to sing that with my kids when they were at the toddler stage and I was tired of being Home Alone with them all day.

And the nasal accent of the Darien girl is a hoot. And the actress who plays poor Agnes who decides to "live" one night.


"If we only had more right-thinking conservatives like David Brooks."

-- stuff NYT readers dream about in their footie pajamas


surprising how many fell for this scam, they pulled;



The Darien family in Auntie had a really funny name, that I think was used as an innocuous double-entendre. I'm having a senior moment and can't remember it. Help!


Note all the caveats;



Surprising this hasn't seen more of a public airing;



If Carlos Slim told us it was sunny out, we'd take a second opinion,


Comanche Voter

David Brooks fell in love with a well pressed pair of pants.

Of course David Brooks is a doody head as well.

Move along, no signs of intelligent life in that column. Nothing to see there.


Well the purpose of a Brooks column, is the proper glee at it's derision, although this particular dispatch from Omicron Persei 8 is extra quixotic



Wise men won't be out tonight in Jerusalem!



Taranto points this Kafkaesque item in Pravda facts;

We're not making this up. PolitiFact actually rated Obama's promise as "true" on the ground that in making the promise, he was making the promise.


There's also this bit from Carlos Slim;

It is an uncomfortable position for many members of the creative classes to be in. "We are the Obama people," said Camille Sweeney, a New York writer and member of the Authors Guild. Her insurance is being canceled, and she is dismayed that neither her pediatrician nor her general practitioner appears to be on the exchange plans. What to do has become a hot topic on Facebook and at dinner parties frequented by her fellow writers and artists.

The punchline is 'I'me for it, but what do we do now;

whiny beatches

Bobo should take a backseat to Boner's declaration of war on the Toilet Paper Party. It's a cryin' shame.


Note: He's an Obama person, too.


Those coal driven chariots won't drive themselves;


Miss Marple

Florida orphan who pled for a family will spend Christmas with prospective adoptive parents.


"Only, dressed in a dark suit and borrowed tie, told the packed church that he was seeking a family to call his own. His requirements were simple.

"I'll take anyone," he said. "Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be." "


Well would he be less logical then Carney,;

whiny beaches



Apparently some weren't.



Chinese naval vessel tries to force U.S. warship to stop in international waters

The Cowpens was conducting surveillance of the Liaoning at the time. The carrier had recently sailed from the port of Qingdao on the northern Chinese coast into the South China Sea.

According to the officials, the run-in began after a Chinese navy vessel sent a hailing warning and ordered the Cowpens to stop. The cruiser continued on its course and refused the order because it was operating in international waters.


'what color is the moon, on your world, Usul' Brooks gives an example of questions. no one is asking.


Good thing you are watching Palin.


They're obviously itching for a fight.



May your days be merry and bright, and may your Christmas include a conversation about health insurance. http://t.co/OYo43dqYt2

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 13, 2013
whiny beaches

Why would one watch Palin? Why would it be a good thing to watch Palin? Unless, of course you mean, sans couture..

whiny beaches

Things are gettin' dicey 'twixt Sino/Amercun relations. Hurry Sundown.




OMG. What a heartbreaker.


A question, that answers itself;

robert sigg

Wow that ωaѕ unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long commen but
after I clicked submit my comment diԁn't show up. Grrrr...
well I'm not wгiting all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to saay excеllent blog!

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