Welcome one and all to the most intense night read anywhere on the sphere… The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble
- POLANSKI: Glenn Reynolds says in a Washington Examiner column over the weekend :
“Technologically and market-wise, Hollywood is in the weakest position it’s ever been, and yet it is also more arrogant than it was in its Golden Age.”
That’s true enough. I have to say also that if the reaction to the Polanski affair (you should pardon the unintentional pun) is of any significance it demonstrates that Hollywood has become successful at disconnecting itself from mainstream America more fully than at any time in its history. I also have to say that I have my disagreements with Allahpundit… but this has to be the best line ever  on this whole thing.
“Word on the street: Polanski’s next film is so good, Europe’s going to let him bang an eight-year-old. It’s THAT GOOD.”
BBCT: Billy Beck,  who also points up a quite in the LA Times from Harvey Weinstein:
“Hollywood has the best moral compass, because it has compassion.”
You know what, Harvey? You went and stepped in that, and so you can walk through it now. 
Indeed. And what, I ask, in that context, is “compassionate conservatism”? Remember that when we talk about centerism, and centrist reform, that Polanski and his defenders are the kind of people we are compromising our values with . These are the people were supposed to be coming to some kind of consensus with. You’ll forgive me if I abstain from that monstrosity.
Meanwhile, it is interesting to note the level to which some of the Polanski defenders will go to .
- Denmark Disaster, MarkII: Both David and myself commented over the weekend, on the costly disaster  in Denmark in front of the IOC . Over at National Review, Jim Geraghty passes on a reader comment  that I think cuts to the quick of the matter: (It doesn’t except well, so I’ll just post the reader quote and beg forbearance from the NRO crew)
There’s actually something worrisome about this whole Chicago fiasco, and it goes back to President Obama’s inexperience. Diplomacy 101 tells us that your head of state only shows up on the high-profile stage when a deal is complete. The lesson that most politicians learn well before they gain positions of power is that diplomacy is done by diplomats, professionals who work through all the negotiations and the hardball tactics and the carrot/stick combinations. The principals in the matter gather to discuss high-level topics and to smile for the cameras as the agreement is being signed. Heads of state do not conduct diplomacy, they ratify it, and surprises are entirely unwelcome at those summits and signing events (hence Reagan’s anger in Iceland.)Why were you and Ramesh surprised? Because you thought that President Obama at least knew this very basic lesson. Today’s announcement suggests that he does not, and it just got advertised big-time to countries who already were pretty sure we had a rookie at the helm who didn’t know how to use international power. President Obama just got upstaged by an organization against whom no retaliation is acceptable, and he wants to meet with the Iranians next month? We are in deep, deep trouble.
The loss of political capital here is not just for Obama himself , but for the country as well. And, yes, I think it a very serious matter. The readers points about Iran, are spot on. And worse… Iran knows it. Not only that, but they also know that this administration has been quite willing to be conciliatory in the extreme to begin with. The conciliatory position along with a lack of any experience in diplomatic matters makes us a extraordinarily weak and any bargaining table that Obama choses to point our country toward with Iran, or anyone else, and the ‘anyone else’ part of that comment is the larger message, here. Our international troubles do not start or end with Iran. It just happens to be the hottest spot in a long list of such.
Perhaps the best comment comes from Larry Sabato, at Politico who says in part: 
Let me get this straight. The White House puts a new President’s prestige on the line, flies POTUS, the First Lady, and half of the administration to Europe to underline the importance of the gambitâ€”and then Chicago finishes fourthâ€”dead lastâ€”in the Olympics voting? Will anyone’s head roll for causing Obama this acute embarrassment on the international stage?
Political capital is a precious commodity. It is never to be wasted. That’s why many have been questioning whether Obama is making too many media appearances, lessening the importance of each one. And that’s why almost every observer will wonder how the White House got snookered into Olympics-gateâ€”an unnecessary humiliation that will be on the permanent list of losses for this Presidency.
While Sabato seems willing to write this off totally as a case of inexperience, I think it more a case of that combined with an insurmountable arrogance on the part of this administration. At the very time when we need serious leadership what we have is Obama. The Reader is quite right. We are in deep, deep trouble.
- ANOTHER STIMULUS? I’m sitting here reading the print edition of the Wall Street Journal this morning and frankly I don’t see any publicly excess a bowl link on their web page to these facts, but the paper reports that the economic recovery that we’ve experienced, such as it is here and the states, isn’t due to Washington’s stimulus spending at all, but rather it is because a free market economy and the resilience thereof. This is remarkable given the usually quite liberal slant that the news pages of the Journal.I see were ill and Greenspan spent a good deal of time warning us against a second stimulus package. For one thing he makes the salient point that only 40% of the money that was dedicated to the purpose is actually been spent. Then, of course, is the issue of what got spent where. That point aside, it seems clear that Greenspan is not pleased with the prospect of the White House dumping even more deadly than money into the coffers of his political friends.Not that it makes all that much difference to the White House, who is apparently still trying to figure out how to split the second stimulus package into the mix without calling it a second stimulus package. Typical Democrat ploy. If someone doesn’t like a program that you like, simply change the name of it, and all’s well with the world. John Thune suggests that perhaps it’s time for a TARP exit strategy.  I think he’s right, but that idea won’t make it past the front gate of this White House. You know it and I know it.
- THE CASE AGAINST CHARLIE RANGEL: From The New York Post… worth a read.  But of course I only say that because I’m a racist. :-/ You KNOW that charge is going to come up, right?
- COMMANDERS? Several have commented that under Biush it was “I’ll listen to the commanders on the ground”. With Obama, it’s “How dare the commanders on the ground speak?” Jenifer Rubin looks at the situation and quips...” Well, it IS change”. 
- DEFENDING THE AMERICAN DREAM: If you didn’t make the Defending the American Dream Summit this year, you can read what happened and see lots of pics from the event here 
- HEY ANN, SITYS: Attention Ann Althouse : This stuff ain’t rocket science.
The most striking thing in the movie was the religion. I think Moore is seriously motivated by Christianity. He says he is (and has been since he was a boy). And he presented various priests, Biblical quotations, and movie footage from ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ to make the argument that Christianity requires socialism. With this theme, I found it unsettling that in attacking the banking system, Moore presented quite a parade of Jewish names and faces. He never says the word ‘Jewish,’ but I think the anti-Semitic theme is there. We receive long lectures about how capitalism is inconsistent with Christianity, followed a heavy-handed array of â€” it’s up to you to see that they are â€” Jewish villains.
The Great Rotundo himself is a socialist, albeit, ironically, a rich one. When he starts talking like a liberation theologist, which by the way we identified him has as back on the old Blogspot blog, we know where that’s all coming from. Wikipedia: 
Liberation Theologians use political theory, primarily Marxism , to help understand how to combat poverty . Some elements of certain liberation theologies have been rejected by leaders of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church over the last 30 years.  At its inception, liberation theology was predominantly found in the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council . It is sometimes regarded as a form of Christian socialism , and it has enjoyed widespread influence in Latin America  and among the Jesuits , although its influence diminished within Catholicism after liberation theologians using Marxist concepts were harshly admonished by Pope John Paul II  (leading to the curtailing of its growth)
So first of all, anyone who is worth Moore’s time, by his lights, must be a socialist. … No wonder he supports Obama, and labels him a socialist. As for the Jewish angle, good point. Let’s recall, shall we, what happened to the jews under Stalin and Hitler… unarguably, both socialists. And as for the movie? Flop. 
- BUMPER STICKER OF THE DAY: (Seen on a horse trailer) I’m having a bad mare day.