Ship of Fools on A Cruel Cruel Sea

I find that in order to get maximum schadenfreude while reading this write-up of the NRO’s post-election Caribbean Cruise, it is best to punctuate every paragraph with a sad trombone sound effect. At one point I imagined Ralph Reed singing Simple Plan.






143 replies
  1. 1
    The Dangerman says:

    A six page article on how the Right commiserated in the Caribbean? I don’t think so.

    ETA: OK, I tried to tackle it. but, by Page 2, the butt hurt was too strong for several cases of Desytyn. Couldn’t take it (perhaps later, when not sober).

  2. 2
    jayjaybear says:

    That first photo caption would have been so much better if it read “Ralph Reed (left) with an iguana”.

  3. 3
    Comrade Jake says:

    The entire thing is hilarious. Kudos to the writer for openly mocking his subjects in just about every paragraph, but of course they gave him plenty to work with.

    I assume most of the National Review people had their tickets comped. Which means the others paid several thousand dollars for the privilege of being able to dine with folks like doughy pantload, distributing healthy portions of the sad each evening. I suspect it was equally painful for just about all onboard.

    That sounds about right actually.

  4. 4
    r€nato says:

    It seems to me that one of the suckiest jobs in the world would be working on a cruise ship.

    It also seems to me that the only thing that could make that worse would be working on a cruise ship full of mean, bigoted extreme right-wingers who just lost for a second time to Kenyan Mooslim Soshulist Dictator, who are probably already shitty to ‘the help’ and even shittier tippers and looking for a dog to kick, so to speak.

    Is it wrong if I wish that they got lots of ‘extra ingredients’ in their food and drink? Because they probably did.

    (and how much secret, shame-filled in-the-closet gay sex do you think there was on that cruise? LOL sorry if I ruined your lunch)

  5. 5
    MikeBoyScout says:

    From the article:

    Then Hassett pivoted to the liberal media. “I actually think that Goebbels was more critical of Hitler than the New York Times is of Obama,” said Hassett, tucking into a piece of strudel.

    cue sad trombone

  6. 6
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Who in their right mind would pay to spend time with these stupid hate filled buffoons. Talk about a vacation in hell.

  7. 7
    r€nato says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: people who are not in their right mind? just a guess.

  8. 8
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @jayjaybear:

    That first photo caption would have been so much better if it read “Ralph Reed (right) with an iguana”.

    Fixed that for ya.

  9. 9
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    How about a tip of the hat to Comrade Jake who linked this piece downstairs?

  10. 10
    MikeBoyScout says:

    And then the clouds parted and they had an epiphany

    said Lileks, “we’re the stupid people, we’re the yokels, we’re the dumb, we’re the racists, we’re the hicks, we’re against everything that’s hip and cool.”

    and it suddenly became clear

  11. 11
    Comrade Jake says:

    Honestly the piece offers a window into the world of wealthy, soulless wingnuts. It’s really no wonder these folks feel no shame or responsibility over the financial meltdown.

  12. 12
    Suzanne says:

    The whole thing was hilarious. Can’t help but notice they they’re all going to die soon.

  13. 13
    WereBear says:

    @MikeBoyScout: said Lileks, “we’re the stupid people, we’re the yokels, we’re the dumb, we’re the racists, we’re the hicks, we’re against everything that’s hip and cool.”

    So… we’re right?

  14. 14
    BGinCHI says:

    Ralph Reed, resplendent in a blazer and billowing pleated pants, held court among his fans. “I did my job!” I overheard him say.

    This is the only argument I can think of for keeping automatic weapons legal and readily available.

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    Also, too, if your pleated pants (!) are billowing, you are doing it wrong.

  16. 16
    MikeBoyScout says:

    And then they came to some understanding about racism, poverty and American Exceptionalism

    But Ms. O’Sullivan again took umbrage. As everyone went silent, she recalled a conference she attended in Australia in which a liberal nun (who “didn’t even have the decency to wear a habit”) criticized America for its “inner-city racism.” Offended, Ms. O’Sullivan recounted what she wished she’d said to this nun:

    “Pardon me, madam, but I have been in your country of Australia for ten days and the only Aborigines I’ve seen have been drunk on the street, and at least if we were in my country they would be serving the drinks at this conference!”

    Inner city poverty could be eliminated if only the blahs would stop drinking and work as drink dispensing servants for wealthy white folk.

  17. 17
    Fred says:

    “So what do we do with our money?”
    The poor dears. My heart bleeds.

  18. 18
    The Dangerman says:

    @Suzanne:

    Can’t help but notice they they’re all going to die soon.

    Hopefully after the Estate Tax changes back to something sane.

    ETA: In a perfect world, a resumption of an Estate Tax would have some of these shits racing to go before it’s implemented. I call it a win/win.

  19. 19
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    others paid several thousand dollars for the privilege of being able to dine with folks like doughy pantload

    Hey. Respect the pantload (i.e., Ask not for whom the pant loads, it loads for thee).

    The dept. boss where I work just came through to tell us few lucky bastids who had to schlep in to work that we get to leave at 1:00. Can I get a Woot!!?

  20. 20
    Lojasmo says:

    Bag of salted dicks on a ship. What a shitshow.

  21. 21
    Jay says:

    Joe Hogan wasn’t the first to cover one of these cruises. Years back, Johann Hari (who’s since been nailed for fraud, but not fraud relating to this story) got onto the Bad Ship N.R. and wrote about it, calling it “The Muslims Are Coming Cruise” to make a point of the N.R. speakers’ bigotry.

    Sometime soon, we should raise money for a Balloon Juicer(s) to go on one of the wingnut cruises. Sweet Jeebus. Cole, DougJ, and/or ABL could turn out some glorious writing.

    Hari’s article, btw, is here.

  22. 22
    WereBear says:

    @Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: WOOT!

    It does mean something to be let off early on Christmas Eve. I’ve always treasured the times, and bosses, that I’ve gotten that from.

  23. 23
    Hal says:

    Ralph Reed looks like a power bottom at a circuit party.

    Rasmussen offered some friendly advice about approaching minorities. “You show them that you really care, you talk to them as grown-ups on a range of issues, you get them involved,” he suggested, “and you accept the fact that it’s a long-term investment. And you accept that you can learn as much from them as you can teach them.”

    Pet your minority gently. Stroke it’s greasy fur while saying “good boy, or whose a good girl” enthusiastically. Don’t let your minority see that you’re mad when it votes for a Democrat. It’s still learning. Simply point to the ballot and say gently but sternly; “bad! no!”

    Sometimes crating your minority may be necessary.

  24. 24
    Another Halocene Human says:

    I got distracted when the article started quoting [James] Lileks without introducing him. And he does need an introduction. Fondly I remember the Gallery of Regrettable Food. Sometimes you have to wonder how it is that a funny talented person when politics is involved turns into a giant, writhing sack of bile. And then I found this:

    http://lilekswatch.blogspot.com/

    I also found Bleat readers from the early 2000s suggesting he has a personality disorder. Heheheh.

    You almost feel bad for the guy, everything going so well for him professionally. 30 years old, has his dream job, starting other projects, getting attention for his quirky style and interests. Then, bam, newspapers start imploding, he loses his job after probably a few years of wondering when the hammer would fall. But he still has to be awful to people who never had it and lost it because they never had it to begin with, they didn’t luck into what he lucked into.

  25. 25
    Quincy says:

    So glad you front paged thos piece. I I loved every word. My favorite is part is when you learn Kevin Hasset actually thinks the Obama administration sabotaged Orca and is out to get him personally. These people are painfully stupid. Racism really was all they ever had going for them. Now that it’s a negative they’re utterly paralyzed with confusion and anger.

  26. 26
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Hal: I dunno about power bottom (sounds more kitten-like to me), but I did enjoy the subtle dig of reporting on what RR was wearing every day. I mean, okay, it’s probably sexist or something. But I was impressed at his clothes-horse-itude, especially considering that Jesus told the wealthy young man to sell everything he owned.

  27. 27
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @21 Jay: I would gladly cough up $1,000 to send Doug or Imani on a wingnut cruise of the Caribbean!

  28. 28
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MikeBoyScout: Who’s putting up the bail money?

  29. 29
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    I read these couple of paragraphs:

    As we drained the Pinot Noir, Hassett gave his audience the insider’s view of the Romney campaign, describing how its election-monitoring software crashed on November 6 and Obama was probably behind it, “because those guys are so evil.”

    The table grumbled in assent.

    “The thing we have to understand is, these are people who don’t have any morals,” said Hassett. “They’ll do anything. I’m one of their No. 1 targets. I mean, they really want me bad.”

    “Well, you’re safe on this ship!” said Bobbie boldly.

    Then Hassett pivoted to the liberal media. “I actually think that Goebbels was more critical of Hitler than the New York Times is of Obama,” said Hassett, tucking into a piece of strudel. “I was in the middle of the fight against the propaganda, and I have stories like you wouldn’t believe. These people are so evil. They’re basically Fascists. It’s unbelievable.”

    and I wondered if this guy actually believed what he was saying or if he was just playing to his audience.

    And that, really, is the question that underlies pretty much every conservative statement these days.

  30. 30
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    And then the clouds parted and they had an epiphany

    “If you stupid Republicans weren’t so goddamn bigoted you would have won the election!”

    Well, you wouldn’t necessarily have won the election, but your chances would’ve improved greatly.

  31. 31
    Hal says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    I mean, okay, it’s probably sexist or something.

    If you type Ralph Reed in google search the first suggestion is ralph reed gay. Somehow I imagine the author might have been referencing this little rumor. I will give reed props for being 51 and looking like a 25 yo, though that only confirms my theory that reed sold his soul long ago. Or he’s totally into moisturizing. Either way.

  32. 32
    Woody says:

    A very funny article featuring the comfortably deranged.

    Two things stood out for me in particular. Lileks seems to have begun mainlining the Kool-Aid. It’s too bad, as dude has undeniable talent for worthy ephemeral pastiches. It looks as if he’ll end up writing semi-bitter bits for Guideposts or Reader’s Digest in the decades to come.

    It also struck me that the National Reviewers were operating as valet whores to their benefactors. NR never turns a profit, so they’re singing for their supper.

    Frankly, the waiters, bartenders, and orderlys probably looked at the NR folks and said to themselves, “no way I’d lower myself to do that.”

  33. 33
    the Conster says:

    After the second page I got that the author was putting a Heart of Darkness vibe to it, if you could put Conrad’s story through a blender of stupid and read it backwards in a fun house mirror while making fart sounds.

  34. 34
    Citizen_X says:

    The thing that amazed me was that a fitting epitaph of the Reagan Revolution would be given, at the end, by Jonah freaking Goldberg!

    “Their conception of what the country is about, they really were sure the country would reject Barack Obama,” he continued. “I do think it hits them hard. The fear I have, why this election stung, I think, Obama has successfully ­de-ratified some of the Reagan revolution in a way that Clinton never could and didn’t even try to. That’s what freaks people out, that feeling in their gut, either Obama has changed the country, or the country has sufficiently changed that they don’t have a problem with Obama. That’s what eats at people.”

    Plus, it’s pretty sorry when your non-white demographic is in single digits, and that’s including John Yoo and his mom. (Who seems all right. What happened with her boy?)

  35. 35
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @30 Bubblegum Tate: A grifter has got to grift, but it pays more if you can believe the BS you’re spewing.

    ps. I especially love the “said Hassett, tucking into a piece of strudel.” part of this reporting. Makes the discussion about Hitler and Goebbels sound more authentic.

  36. 36
    Quincy says:

    I apologize profusely for the spam. Last time I try to resend anything. FYWP.

  37. 37
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @32 Bubblegum Tate: No, no, no. They don’t see those traits as bad, it is the way those traits we find abhorrent were “messaged” poorly.

    “We haven’t done our marketing that well,” conceded Thomson. “That was Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney messaged whiteness. That was one of his greatest failings. ‘I’m a white Anglo-Saxon.’ ”

    Melissa O’Sullivan, the Alabaman wife of John, wasn’t buying the idea that Republicans had alienated minorities. “We’ve invited them to join us!” she insisted.

    Susan from Princeton granted that the Republican Party is “lily white and it’s a problem and it is messaging and Mitt Romney screwed up royally.”

  38. 38
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Haha, I love that they want to throw Sean Hannity overboard.

    John Yoo, the smiling torture memo man. I think it’s quite apparent he has no conscience whatsoever.

    So… psychiatric cases who need outpatient treatment, confused old money who really need help from senior services to avoid being scammed, and the same kind of psychopaths you’d find inside the SuperMax. Ship of the damned.

  39. 39
    smith says:

    Hassett is a delusional tard if he thinks Obama and his team gave a care in the world about him. Way to overstate your importance.

    This piece is high comedy and has given me relief from the events of the day.

  40. 40
    JWL says:

    What strikes me as humorously ironic is how they felt, i.e., how they felt in their heart-of-hearts, about having just been rolled in a presidential election year. Because its pretty much how I’ve felt in at least half those elections myself, albeit for diametrically opposed reasons.

  41. 41
    Citizen_X says:

    @Jay: Neither John nor Imani (nor I) would be able to get through that cruise without throttling a motherfucker.

    DougJ, though, now he’s a man of craft and subtlety. Let’s send him.

  42. 42
    Citizen Alan says:

    I am slightly nauseated by the thought of how many loogies must have been hocked into every single meal prepared on that cruise. If that Ship of Fools had sank, I would have wept for the loss of the crew but otherwise would have considered the disaster a net positive for the human race.

  43. 43
    burnspbesq says:

    @r€nato:

    It seems to me that one of the suckiest jobs in the world would be working on a cruise ship.

    The relevant question isn’t “does this job suck compared to working in a call center in South Dakota,” the relevant question is “does this job suck compared to subsistence agriculture in rural Philipines or Indonesia.”

  44. 44
    smith says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    “Messaged whiteness?” Oh good lord, these people are rich with the stupid. Yes, because “messaging” was Mitt’s problem, not the fact that he aligned himself with the nut side of his party and changed his positions several times depending on what day it was.

  45. 45
    Chris says:

    @Hal:

    And you accept that you can learn as much from them as you can teach them.

    Aye, there’s the rub.

    Modern teabaggers don’t even accept the notion that they can learn anything even from rich white Christian males if those RWCMs have the temerity to disagree with their Holy Fox News Gospel. The idea that these people have what it takes to shut up and listen to what nonwhite nonconservatives have to say is pretty hysterical. Their entire worldview is based on the notion that they have all the answers and nothing else to learn.

  46. 46
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Here’s a party that created a toxic swill of propaganda and paranoia to induce the rubes to vote for them, but it turns out their own donors, their own candidates, almost all of them have become the rubes, believing their own lies, while the yokels, but for a slice of Appalachia, are not buying it.

    GOP numbers among whites with no college education are not good. Sure, they’re better than their numbers with Blacks, but they don’t dominate that category. Yet these are the folks they were presumably shooting for with the Republican Jesus, the fear mongering, the stupidity.

  47. 47
    CaseyL says:

    I enjoyed reading the story, because I’ve been curious about those cruises. A few days of blissful epistemic closure, followed by… returning to their money-cocooned lives of more epistemic closure. Unreachable.

    I used to worry about that, reaching the unreachable. Now it looks like demography will obviate the problem. Not only were most of the passenger (and the “talent”) well into their second half-century, they complained that their offspring don’t share their political views.

    Good.

  48. 48
    Citizen_X says:

    I will point out that the Second Amendment clearly gives us the right to own torpedoes. That’s what the Founders intended!

  49. 49
    Another Halocene Human says:

    He lives in Alabama with his wife, Melissa, who has the lilting accent and winsome charm of a southern socialite. She asked me with genuine concern about the problem of Muslims owning all the taxi medallions in New York City. “How the hell did that happen?” she asked.

    The Free Market System at work! Hahahahaha!

  50. 50
    dr. bloor says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    I particularly liked the follow-up:

    I ran into Kay from Old Greenwich. Tall and stern, legal thriller clutched to her breast, she narrowed her eyes and complained that Kevin Hassett was too controlling of the conversation the night before and lacked social graces.

    She was probably most upset that Kevin didn’t give everyone else at the table enough of a chance to compare Obama to Hitler.

    Whackjobs with money.

  51. 51
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @The Dangerman:

    In a perfect world, a resumption of an Estate Tax would have some of these shits racing to go before it’s implemented.

    Last year, I had a wingnut tell me this exact thing was going to happen. “Look for a sharp rise in suicides and ‘suicides’ right before the new year,” he warned.

    I laughed in response. What other response is there, really?

  52. 52
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Ha ha, just kidding, w/out government there would be no medallions. But since they are bought and sold independently it’s sort of a your band/Ticketmaster situation, right? Free Enterprise! As long as you retain the regulations that benefit me!

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    That was Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney messaged whiteness. That was one of his greatest failings. ‘I’m a white Anglo-Saxon.’ ”

    Didn’t seem to give Clinton any trouble with the same voters.

    They’re really, truly and absolutely determined to blame anything and everything in order to avoid considering the atrocious possibility that maybe, just maybe, the voters weighed their ideas, measured them, and found them wanting.

    And that maybe the state this country’s in after thirty years of being used as a testing ground for said ideas might have something to do with it.

  54. 54
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    The cruise, featuring the star columnists of William Buckley’s 57-year-old conservative biweekly, had been planned long in advance, and everybody had believed it would be a victory party

    I am continually amazed at the lack of reality in wingnutopia. Of course, when you never come in contact with a non-white person who isn’t “the help,” it’s easy to keep up your cracker delusions.

  55. 55
    Anoniminous says:

    @Hal:

    And the next paragraph:

    This was harsh medicine to reluctant patients, and afterward some of them made their discomfort known. “That depressed me!” one woman said. To my right, a man snapped, “That’s bullshit!”

    Those people will never learn.

  56. 56
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Dinner in hell?

    Over tuna tartare and caviar and a bottle of 2008 Byron Chardonnay, O’Sullivan, wearing a pink oxford and Wayfarers perched on the tip of his nose, discussed issues as diverse as modern slavery, Hispanic Catholicism, male prison rape, and the preservation of “the Anglosphere,”..

  57. 57
    BBA says:

    Why people still pay money to listen to Kevin “Dow 36,000” Hassett is one of the great unsolved mysteries of the universe.

  58. 58
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    No, no, no. They don’t see those traits as bad, it is the way those traits we find abhorrent were “messaged” poorly.

    Yeah, the thing I quoted was being said sarcastically. They really do believe that they just don’t have good messaging. As though “Blacks are stupid and are being kept on the liberal plantation like good little house [*censored*] and are just being bought with welfare because they’re too lazy and stupid to get jobs” is a winning message.

  59. 59
    Chris says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Here’s a party that created a toxic swill of propaganda and paranoia to induce the rubes to vote for them, but it turns out their own donors, their own candidates, almost all of them have become the rubes, believing their own lies, while the yokels, but for a slice of Appalachia, are not buying it.

    I think they were always that way. The Fred Kochs and Robert Tafts and Ayn Rands and Robert Welchs and William F. Buckleys of yesteryear don’t strike me as having been any saner than the people on this cruise. They’re all fucking crazy, and their elites are the craziest of the lot.

  60. 60
    Lojasmo says:

    Hey, where’s spats? Ban hammer again?

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    I think John Yoo’s mother Sook Hee, as a psychiatrist and a nonpolitical observer, had something enlightening to say about this bunch of privileged and self-pitying people:

    “To protect the ego, you have a defense mechanism: denial and projection,” she told me as her son leaned in to hear over the party din. “You deny your problem, saying it’s your fault and not mine. Instead of projection, blaming other people, we have to think of a positive solution. But I didn’t hear that yet.”

    “They are still grieving,” she concluded as her son winced and began to break in, fearing she’d gone too far. “I hope not for more than six months. The grieving process should only be six months. If it goes on for more than six months, it could go into a major depression.”

  62. 62
    cmorenc says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Who in their right mind would pay to spend time with these stupid hate filled buffoons. Talk about a vacation in hell.

    As a paid one-week writing venture, it would actually be a really sweet gig to take a Carribean cruise with a bunch of hard-core wingers; as an extended one-year writing venture, it would indeed turn into a gig from hell. I found the his article to be a fascinating window into the the world of the affluent base of the GOP. It speaks volumes about why the GOP will continue to struggle to regain dominance as a national party, even though 2010 did allow itself to build quite a fortress at the state level in many areas.

  63. 63
    Richard Fox says:

    I have been on two cruises, one with Air America in 2008 and one with Progressive Voices in 2010, Air America being defunct at that point. Holland America was the cruise line as well. A nicer bunch of folks you could not find– some eccentric of course, but all quite interesting and fun to be around. The opposite of the Ralph Reed / Cal Thomas huckster types.
    Reading this article was like peering into a parallel universe. So glad to have my experience in my mind rather than seeing / experiencing Ralph Reed and his iguana. And don’t start me on the notion of him being a power bottom! Yikes!

  64. 64
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Hal: If you type Ralph Reed in google search the first suggestion is ralph reed gay. Somehow I imagine the author might have been referencing this little rumor.

    Yeah, that’s why I said sexist. If RR is gay then he’s like a woman, if he’s a woman then he’s a witch, then he’s made of wood, then we concern troll about what he’s wearing.

    Gay men get an echo of the hatred and disrespect heaped on women in our society. (That’s separate from and over and above being the target of homophobia, which stems from a revulsion for gay men and the fear that it’s catching.)

    But like I said, he bears the pious banner into battle so it is just a tad ironic.

  65. 65
    EdTheRed says:

    Went to see the captain
    strangest I could find
    Layed my proposition down
    Layed it on the line;
    I won’t slave for beggar’s pay
    likewise gold and jewels
    but I would slave to learn the way
    to sink your ship of fools

  66. 66
    Joey Maloney says:

    @MikeBoyScout: said Lileks, “we’re the stupid people, we’re the yokels, we’re the dumb, we’re the racists, we’re the hicks, we’re against everything that’s hip and cool.”

    Well…duh? I mean, that’s been Lileks’ schtick since the Gallery of Regrettable Food, at least.

  67. 67
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Citizen_X: He’s wrong about everything, so it’s hard for me to take his pronouncement seriously, but boy golly, I wish I could post that in a middle of one of those circular firing squad, “Worse than Bush–He Sold Us Out!” threads on dKos.

  68. 68
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    From the article:

    Under the shade of some palm trees, Ralph Reed took off his shirt and fed an orange to a giant iguana.

  69. 69
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Amir Khalid: #64

    I also liked Sook Hee’s analysis.

    There’s a lot of blame-somebody-else on the Right. It’s not possible that they might be mistaken. Obviously they were cheated.

  70. 70
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @The Dangerman:

    ETA: In a perfect world, a resumption of an Estate Tax would have the offpsring of some of these shits racing to go shoving them off of the proverbial cliff before it’s implemented. I call it a win/win.

    Improved.

  71. 71
    IowaOldLady says:

    I hate how long our presidential election season is, but one good thing you can say for it, especially in a cell phone era: Candidates eventually “message” the reality of who they are. Mitt Romney came across the way he did because that’s who he was.

  72. 72
    Gindy51 says:

    Here’s hoping they all get some really nice norovirus! Happy New Year for all!

  73. 73
    Haydnseek says:

    @Hal: This! Late to the thread, but This!

  74. 74
    Liberty60 says:

    @r€nato:
    We can only hope that some of “the help” had smart phones with video.

  75. 75
    Mike in NC says:

    I recall reading that it was a National Review cruise to Alaska several years ago that led to the discovery of one Sarah Palin. Hopefully this time they’ll drift into the Bermuda Triangle and never be heard from again.

  76. 76
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    John Yoo, the smiling torture memo man. I think it’s quite apparent he has no conscience whatsoever.

    John Yoo would be perfectly comfortable and an eager participant at the Wannsee Conference.

  77. 77
    mai naem says:

    How did John Yoo turn out the way he did with a mom like that? I don’t get it.

    I just got done reading it and was going come here to link it but y’all are way ahead of me. Freaking hilarious. When am I going to be tired of schadenfreude? Nevah!!!!

    It’s almost like they’re kind of waking to the “OMG, people really don’t like us! They really really don’t like us. Things are never ever going to be the same” conclusion. I don’t remember feeling that bad when Bush won the second time around and I was pretty down in the dumps for a couple of weeks.

  78. 78
    Raven says:

    A gigantic bulldog named Popeye is barking in my face as I type this.

  79. 79

    @WereBear:

    Jeebus, I work for myself, and that fucker made me come in for a mid-day conference call.

    However, he also had the grace to break out the Office Wine at noon.

  80. 80
    Jonah Goldberg sunning himself in a Speedo says:

    There. Now you’ve thought of it.

  81. 81
    Mike in NC says:

    A frenetic, tightly wound man named James Lileks, a National Review columnist from Minnesota, warmed up the crowd with one-liners: “If we can put a man on the moon, we can put 50 million Democrats up there as well!”

    Lileks is one of those clowns who totally lost their shit after 9/11 and turned into raging wingnuts, like Dennis Miller. Last time I read anything from Lileks was about 5 years ago and he was still shilling for Bush/Cheney. Apparently he’s at home now with the National Review.

  82. 82
    Chris says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Lileks is one of those clowns who totally lost their shit after 9/11 and turned into raging wingnuts, like Dennis Miller. Last time I read anything from Lileks was about 5 years ago and he was still shilling for Bush/Cheney. Apparently he’s at home now with the National Review.

    Sounds about right. Never read him myself, but I remember him being one of the websites linked to by Bill Whittle’s back in the early-to-mid-2000s when their blogosphere was still getting off the ground, and your description matches Whittle’s self-portrait exactly.

  83. 83
    Mary G says:

    We’ve been robbed!

    Neither Doug J. nor TBogg was nominated for a Moore Award on the Daily Dish.

  84. 84
    MattF says:

    I suppose it’s what they call a ‘bad thought’ when I imagine the boat sinking.

  85. 85
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Lojasmo:
    Maybe Christmas is a busy time of year for flea-market portrait guys like Special Timmeh. Or maybe he’s thinking up a new nym.

  86. 86
    srv says:

    How much would it cost to tow an iceberg to the Caribbean for next years cruise?

  87. 87
    Noskilz says:

    Steely Dan’s “Midnight Cruiser” is what sprang to my mind, but is also probably much too good for that lot

    http://youtu.be/GD_DyoB4Cjs

  88. 88
    GregB says:

    Goldberg, straight ahead!

  89. 89
    Josie says:

    @Raven: That sounds scary. Is it a friendly bark or unfriendly?

  90. 90
    trollhattan says:

    Where’s a damn attack sub when you need one?

    Was KLo there with a rosary made of drink beads?

  91. 91
  92. 92
    trollhattan says:

    @GregB:

    That’s funny! “Goldberg, dead ahead” might add yet more seasonal mirth.

  93. 93
    TerryC says:

    @Another Halocene Human: I do feel sorry for Lileks. When he wrote here for the Ann Arbor News, he was brilliant and talented. I think the political stuff came lately.

  94. 94

    Lileks?

    LILEKS??!?!?

    Huh. he’s still alive. Who gnu?

  95. 95
    trollhattan says:

    Maybe next year’s cruise can instead be campin’ at the Citadel. This was covered last week, but there’s more information, including a location. (I’d assumed it would be in the Panhandle, so as to keep the wingnut coefficient as high as possible.)

    http://seattletimes.com/html/l.....el24m.html

  96. 96
    Brachiator says:

    I was listening to the Rush Limbaugh show this morning since I had the day off and was mildly curious. The guest host (didn’t care enough to catch his name) was in sync with the cruise ship whiners. The lowlights:

    Obama won because of low information voters. And Rush, by the way invented the term “low information voters.”

    Romney really did not want to run, because he knew that Obama would attack him for being rich and successful.

    The Founders did not establish term limits only because they assumed that all politicians would be citizen patriots who would return to private life after a term or two in office. The government has been hijacked by the professional political class, which uses liberal media to cater to low information voters.

    The Constitution should be amended to prevent close relatives of a president from running for the office, especially Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

    Obama is vacationing in a mansion in Hawaii. And playing golf.

    Susan Rice protected bin Laden when she worked in the Clinton Administration. She also has a serious personality disorder and shows disrespect to white men.

    Foreign policy should not be left to the State Department, but should be run out of the Pentagon, by white male Republicans with guns.

    The Bible is really about individual rights.

    Obama does not think about America in the same way that Real White American Republicans do.

    John Kerry hates America.

    I thought that late night alien invasion talk shows were weird. But conservative talk radio is seriously deluded.

  97. 97
    RSA says:

    @Citizen_X:

    DougJ, though, now he’s a man of craft and subtlety. Let’s send him.

    Better than Borat in a redneck bar.

  98. 98
    Ruckus says:

    @WereBear:
    In my business 20 years ago we used to have a party xmas eve day and then let everyone go at noon. With a bonus check. But if xmas fell on Monday or Tuesday like this year we would have the party on Friday. And a bonus check.
    But then I liked the people that worked with me.

  99. 99
    Maude says:

    @Brachiator:
    They keep repeating the same things over and over.

  100. 100
    eclecticbrotha says:

    I couldn’t even make it past the opening salvo, sir:

    The whole thing was white, and broken, that much was clear.

    The fork, stick it in me, I’m done. That much is clear.

  101. 101
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    OT: OMG, David Gregory performed journalism:

    “But if you want to check and screen more thoroughly for the mentally ill,” Gregory said, “why not screen more thoroughly for everybody and eliminate the fact that 40% can buy a weapon without any background check?”

    LaPierre had no choice but to dart away again. “We… we don’t prosecute anybody under the federal gun laws right now,” he sputtered.

    He shot back at LaPierre with a pitch-perfect summation. “But that’s not a response to my question, Mr. LaPierre.” Gregory began. “What I hear you saying is, ‘Well, you can’t do anything about the high capacity ammunition magazines because it simply won’t work,’ yet you’re proposing things that you don’t know will completely work. But you’re into the art of the possible, because your standard is anything that has a chance of work we ought to try, except when it has to do with guns or ammunition. Don’t you see that people see that as a complete dodge?”

    And conservative media’s response is that Gregory might have violated gun laws by holding a 30 round magazine.

  102. 102
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I read the whole thing. There’s no such thing as too big a serving of losers’ tears.
    It looks like they know their era has passed and there’s not a damn legal thing they can do about it. Not ready to accept that but there it is in front of them.

  103. 103
    Ruckus says:

    @Citizen_X:
    Neither John nor Imani (nor I) would be able to get through that cruise without throttling a motherfucker or three.

    You say this like it is a problem.

    BTW I fixed it for you.

  104. 104
    Warren Terra says:

    It’s perhaps not entirely fair to pick on an elderly person who’s not really a public figure overly much (I’m not sure the wife of a little-known opinion writer qualifies as a public figure), but Mrs. O’Sullivan sounds like a truly awful human being, even if she is unfailingly polite with it.

    A fun article, and a target-rich environment. I think the saddest part was probably the minstrel show.

  105. 105
    Maude says:

    @Warren Terra:
    I think the saddest part is that these people exist.

  106. 106
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Everything I know about cruises comes from D. F. Wallace’s “A Supposedly Fun Thing That I’ll Never Do Again”. That one sounds like hell on earth, in a tropical paradise.

  107. 107
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Neither John nor Imani (nor I) would be able to get through that cruise without throttling a motherfucker.

    I would probably try to sabotage the boat ala Speed 2.

  108. 108
    catclub says:

    @Jay: I think I read that one. (Or on all the cruises they whine about the Muslim horde taking over Europe first and then coming to the US.)

    Just remember, Sarah Palin got her big chance meeting one of those NR cruises. Convinced Bill Kristol she was VP material.

  109. 109
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @jayjaybear:

    That first photo caption would have been so much better if it read “Ralph Reed (left) with an iguana”.

    Or “Cold-blooded creature with an iguana.”

  110. 110
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I recall reading that it was a National Review cruise to Alaska several years ago that led to the discovery of one Sarah Palin.

    Weekly Standard, I think. Batshit neocon warmongers, not batshit wingnut culture-warriors. Mooselini met Billy Kristol at the docks. Write your own punchline.

  111. 111
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Ruckus:

    Neither John nor Imani (nor I) would be able to get through that cruise without throttling a motherfucker or three.

    To be accurate, I think John is more likely to punch a motherfucker in the neck.

  112. 112
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Warren Terra:

    Mrs. O’Sullivan sounds like a truly awful human being

    Bless her heart.

  113. 113
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Anyone else old enough to remember the “Silent Majority”? The article brought it to mind.

  114. 114

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:
    The last four years were defined by their desperate belief that if they could deny Obama reelection, it would all have turned out to be a meaningless fluke. Now they know it’s actually true. The stages of grief are interesting and terrifying to watch.

  115. 115
    SuzieC says:

    @Woody:

    True dat. Isn’t the National Review being sued for a doughy pantload of money by Prof. Mann, prominent climate scientist? They need to perform for their benefactors like trained monkeys.

  116. 116
    Mike in NC says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    I read the whole thing. There’s no such thing as too big a serving of losers’ tears.

    Just finished the article. Amusing and fascinating, like the surreal Letters to the Editor in the local rag that keep on calling for Obama to produce his birth certificate, etc. We know a couple in their mid-70s down the street who’ve been flying the flag upside down since election night. I have to resist rubbing salt in their wounds.

  117. 117
    Citizen_X says:

    OT: the guy who set the fires and shot the firefighters in upstate NY this morning (mobile site)? William Spengler, 62, Caucasian. Right in the demographic bullseye. And he had, according to the Police Chief,

    staked out a position with an arsenal of several firearms on a berm overlooking the scene.

    Had acquired an arsenal, despite having served 17 years for KILLING HIS GRANDMOTHER WITH A HAMMER.

    But at least he never had to worry about losing his 2nd Amendment rights, right, NRA?

  118. 118
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    My meager understanding suggests that “they” believed that once America returned to its senses Obama would be voted out in a landslide.

    Reality bites.

  119. 119
    Joel says:

    Kevin Hassett, a former economic adviser to Mitt Romney

    That explains everything.

  120. 120
    hitchhiker says:

    You show them that you really care, you talk to them as grown-ups on a range of issues, you get them involved, and you accept the fact that it’s a long-term investment. And you accept that you can learn as much from them as you can teach them.

    Now, doesn’t that sound exactly like a parent talking about his difficult middle-school-aged brat?

    The fact that it’s actually a rich Republican discussing his party’s issues with minority voters just absolutely blows my mind.

    Who in the bright blue fucking hell do these people think they are?

  121. 121
    sharl says:

    @SuzieC: TBogg posted on this a few days ago. Lawyers in the comments over there said that the legal firm retained by Mann had a very good record of success in cases like this too.

    The complaint filed on behalf of Mann can be found here (.pdf, 37pp.) – also via comments at TBogg’s place. It’s actually quite easy reading (not being knowledgeable in the ways of the law talkin’ crowd, I expected turgid prose).

  122. 122
    MattF says:

    @Joel: Kevin Hassett is also the co-author of the 1999 book “Dow 36,000” which failed various basic tests in arithmetic and accounting. So, that explains everything twice, at least.

  123. 123
    Warren Terra says:

    @MattF:
    The line in which a lady asks the co-author of Dow 36,000 was one the author clearly enjoyed writing.

    Generally, Hassett comes off as quite the hack. He’s far from the only one in the article, but he is featured first and for several paragraphs. With all these articles, there’s a lot of subtext: the author is skewering easy targets, and while some of it is about what stories the author has, they’ve got lots of stories to pick from and can choose how to deploy them. Given the amount of fun the author has at Hassett’s expense, early in the article, it’s pretty clear the author thinks Hassett is an even bigger jackass than their article conveys.

  124. 124
    Yutsano says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Bless her heart.

    I wuv u. :)

  125. 125
    RSA says:

    Joe Hagan includes some very funny grace notes in his piece. I think it’s excellent writing. The juxtaposition of Hassett, Hitler, and strudel (as @MikeBoyScout‘s mentions) is great, as is “So what do we do with our money?”

  126. 126
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @burnspbesq: you’re telling the working poor to STFU because third worlders have it worse? Have you ever lived paycheck to paycheck as an adult, living bellow the poverty line?

  127. 127
    rikyrah says:

    @Brachiator:

    Susan Rice protected bin Laden when she worked in the Clinton Administration. She also has a serious personality disorder and shows disrespect to white men

    that Dr. Rice is MARRIED to a WHITE MAN…

    I guess that went over the host’s head.

  128. 128
    trollhattan says:

    @RSA:
    Loved the answer, including the surely well-reasoned prediction that Krakow will “be like Paris in a few years.”

    You have to pay Big Bucks for insights like that.

  129. 129
    angler says:

    @Jay: thanks for the link. It’s good and disconcerting that the 2007 review was filled with the same implied “conservatism at the dead end” take that the NYM piece of today is. Sadly, they ain’t going away.

    Also interesting how much they obsessed on Iraq. It’s gone down the memory hole.

  130. 130
    Mike G says:

    That first photo caption would have been so much better if it read “Ralph Reed (left) with an iguana”.

    “Reptile (left) with an iguana”

    The people who would pay to go on an NRO cruise fully deserve the shitty time they will have.

  131. 131
    Kyle says:

    Kevin Hassett is also the co-author of the 1999 book “Dow 36,000″

    Which weren’t but could have been followed by “Earth 10,000 years old” and “Saddam’s Nookyuler Weapons”.

    The fact that anyone pays Kevin Hassett to do anything but bag groceries is a screaming indication of the intellectual bankruptcy of the Repukes.

  132. 132
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    @burnspbesq: you’re telling the working poor to STFU because third worlders have it worse? Have you ever lived paycheck to paycheck as an adult, living bellow the poverty line?

    You’ve suffered context failure….

  133. 133
    J C says:

    Anyone who was a conservative entirely missed Jerry’s message and the entire point of Dead Shows.

    You are only one notch above Coulter on the list of delusional people who were never dead heads but somehow claim to have been.

    Please stop acting like you were a fan. You werent.

    Jim

  134. 134
    jake the snake says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    @Warren Terra:

    Mrs. O’Sullivan sounds like a truly awful human being

    Bless her heart.

    Or, “God Love her.”

  135. 135
    me says:

    Melissa O’Sullivan, the Alabaman wife of John, wasn’t buying the idea that Republicans had alienated minorities. “We’ve invited them to join us!” she insisted.

    And that right there is another viewpoint into the Republican mind. No thought about “Do they find our position appealing?” No, that’s taken as a given, that they’d be grateful for the invitation. And also the implication she doesn’t seem to be aware she’s making – that minorities were not welcome among Republicans until they got that invitation.

    And they wonder why their approval rating among the non-white population is somewhere south of jock itch.

  136. 136
  137. 137
    SRW1 says:

    Tired joke, I know, but it jut fits too well: Piece should have been titled

    The Nile Cruise in the Caribbean

  138. 138
    Patrick Phelan says:

    Belated, but – do you see a lot of Native Americans as wait staff?

    Because that’s the closest analogue to the Aborigines. We white Australians came in, killed most of them, and shunted the rest into communities far from anywhere. Now, I won’t argue that the woman was wrong to say America treats its Natives better than Australia treats its Aborigines, but I don’t think that’s what she was saying. In context, she seems to be saying that America treats black Americans better than Australia treats Aborigines. And that’s only a sensible thing to say if you start from a basis of “all nonwhite people are alike”.

    I mean, I know that’s a self-answering question, but I still wanted it out there.

  139. 139
    Paul in KY says:

    Boy, I really enjoyed reading that NRO cruise story. Thanks for posting that.

  140. 140
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Kyle: Fuck no, Hassett would put the eggs on the bottom.

    @trollhattan: If that dumbshit knew anything about Europe he’d have known the real real estate and investment steal is Slovenija. Medit. climate, avoided the Yugoslavian wars, free entry to/from Trieste due to the Schengen system, and hasn’t been overrun like other Central European countries by foreign investors building big box crap.

    Btw, you want a real nice, affordable vacay spot, go to Ljubljana. Castle, gardens, canal, cafes, & train to anywhere in the country. The castle is on this sheer cliff thing and is guarded by a dragon. All that and Viennese coffee.

  141. 141
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Patrick Phelan: Good point. Do we treat them better? Well, the VAWA is held up right now because Eric Cantor doesn’t think we should be able to prosecute white men who live on reservations and rape Native American women who are members of tribes.

    This really needs more publicity, like “It’s Rape A Native Free Day on The Rez” “Thank You, Eric”. He’s such a chickenshit he’d hide and deny everything and then claim he was the victim.

  142. 142
    Thursday says:

    This reads to me like Frankenstein and his monster: the people giving the speeches and hosting the tables have all contributed to the bubble their Republican readers are sitting in, or they are young enough to have always grown up with Reagan’s “Southern Strategy” ringing in their ears. Now, as they are trying to tell their followers the reality if the situation, the monster refuses to listen.

    A clever few – that’s very few – have actually started coming around to just how insane the mob mentality they have created really is. Some recognized it at the dawn of the Tea Party “rallies” and tried laughing it off, but these others finally coming face-to-face with the determined sense of unreality they’ve fostered instead of leaving it at the end of an internet connection or invisible ears on the radio… Are they, too finally seeing the results of decades-long “Me-first/me-only” politics?

    You’d hope so: in a two party system, it’s best if one of those parties isn’t utterly insane.

  143. 143
    Stentor says:

    Ahhh! Too short! That was like a delicious veal cutlet of schaudenfreude, & I ate it all up! Mmmmm, delicious!!

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