Archive for September 29th, 2005

Someone ‘Splain This To Me…

The Heretik has a nice post excoriating the 22 spineless so-called Democrats who voted to confirm Roberts as Chief Justice. And here’s the thing I don’t get: Every time this sort of cave-in happens and it’s explained rather than just swept under the rug (see: Reform, Bankruptcy), the explanation is some variation of “The Dems want to keep their powder dry for really important Issue/Confirmation Fight X.”

Frankly, this sounds about as rational to me as the argument that gay marriage somehow diminishes straight marriage. Are the Democrats somehow constrained on how many times they can oppose the Republicans? Do they have a quota of No votes? They’re the opposition party, it’s their job to oppose – do any of them really think the American people are going to take them less seriously when they oppose Rush Limbaugh for Sandy O’Connor’s swing vote seat because they also voted to oppose Roberts? I just don’t see it, and worse yet, they can’t even be counted on to show up for the fight they said they were saving themselves for (remember the filibuster compromise that was supposed to be such a great deal ‘cuz it would let them filibuster the next Supreme Court nominee?).

Can some more knowledgeable politics-talkin’-guy (or gal) please explain this to me? And use small words – I don’t think real good since the bad thing happened.

6 comments September 29th, 2005 at 08:40pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Favorites,Judiciary,Politics,Wankers

Fun News Day

Okay, so Roberts getting confirmed/sworn in sucks, but there were some awfully juicy tidbits out there:

  • University of Maryland poll suggests that about 70% of the population isn’t buying “Spreading Democracy” as sufficient grounds for war.
  • Piece-of-meat-with-eyes Doug Feith’s creature, Larry Franklin, is going to plead guilty to leaking classified information to Israel.
  • Not exactly news, but I think there are a whole bunch of “Tom DeLay Will Bring The Crooked Republicans Down” columns and articles out there like this one and this one.

Ha! The wages of sin is, well, public embarrassment followed by a cushy lobbying job.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps. Much as I want to see just about the entire Republican party in jail, I am more than willing to settle for them letting go of the wheel. I just wish I had a little more faith in the Democrats’ willingness to grab it. I know, it’s awfully close to the cliff and they don’t want to take the blame, but they’re in the car too.

3 comments September 29th, 2005 at 05:54pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Iraq,Judiciary,Politics,Polls,Republicans,Torture

No More Doubt

Well, if there was any question in my mind about whether I’m authentically Jewish, I think this pretty much puts it to rest:

Yiddish is the language par excellence of complaint. How could it be otherwise? It took root among Jews scattered across Western Europe during the Middle Ages and evolved over centuries of persecution and transience. It is, Mr. Wex writes, “the national language of nowhere,” the medium of expression for a people without a home. “Judaism is defined by exile, and exile without complaint is tourism,” as Mr. Wex neatly puts it.

To be Jewish, in other words, is to kvetch. If the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” had been translated into Yiddish, Mr. Wex writes, “it would have been called ‘(I Love to Keep Telling You That I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Because Telling You That I’m Not Satisfied Is All That Can Satisfy Me).’ “

Okay, that last bit was maybe a little too tortured…

Yiddish thrives on argument, hairsplitting and arcane points of law and proper behavior. Half the time, Yiddish itself is the object of dispute, a language, Mr. Wex writes, “in which you can’t open your mouth without finding out that, no matter what you’re saying, you’re saying it wrong.”

When you get it right, it can be a beautiful thing. Or a lethal weapon. Yiddish excels at the fine art of the insult and the curse, or klole, which Mr. Wex, in a chapter titled “You Should Grow Like an Onion,” calls “the kvetch-militant.” Americans generally stick to short, efficient four-letter words when doling out abuse. Yiddish has lots of those, too, and it abounds in terse put-downs like “shtik fleysh mit oygn.” Applied to a stupid person, it means “a piece of meat with eyes.” More often, though, Yiddish speakers, like the Elizabethans, like to exploit the full resources of the language when the occasion requires.


A simple, American-style “drop dead” might be rendered as “a dismal animal death on you” (“a viste pgire af dir”), which, Mr. Wex, notes, carries the suggestion that “you should spend the rest of your tiny life in a Colorado feedlot, then be herded off to some nonunion slaughterhouse to be turned, painfully, into fast-food burgers for one of the less prominent chains.”

I can’t fathom how it is that I don’t just know Yiddish, like, instinctively. I think I’m going to have to add “piece of meat with eyes” to my repertoire, along with “wee tiny of a man” (big hat tip to Spear And Magic for that one).

1 comment September 29th, 2005 at 05:41pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Weirdness

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