Jonah Goldberg tugs his small dinghy



The questions raised by unlovely Rita are as painful as they are obvious. Will gays stay behind in disproportionate numbers in this disproportionately gay city? If so, Why? If gay marriage were legalized, could some of this disaster be avoided? Would George W. Bush have responded more quickly if the victims were just a tad less stylish? And, of course: Will the federal government help keep Key West festive?

Do you know the part in The Producers where the stage production of ‘Springtime for Hitler’ is in full blare, with dancing and singing and Busby Berkeley choreography, like this:


And then the camera cuts to the audience, who’s like this:


That’s one bonk-headed wingnut there, smiling, while the rest of America thinks that Jonah ought to be taken in chains to a hospital for the criminally insane.

Now, we’ve known Jonah for awhile, and it’s only fair to say that he’s not genuinely crazy and malignant like certain other people we could name. The thing with Jonah is that he’s been trained, literally from childhood, to think that he’s a public intellectual in the mid-century New York mode — comprising Commentary, Partisan Review, the NYRB, and the very ship whose poop deck he now haunts, the National Review. Except instead of being a Hofstadter, a Schlesinger, or a Buckley, he’s merely a medium-smart guy with a cushy, crony-advanced career, who uses three or four standard, stolen riffs for every occasion. Jonah doesn’t have ideas; he has opinions and a schtick, like so many other Beltway-conservative yappers and scribblers. It’s to his credit that he seems to realize this on some level — whereas, for instance, John Podhoretz’s cushy, nepotism-driven career seems to have left him with no self-insight at all. But things have changed in America in recent weeks, such that the old whoop-de-do that Jonah purveys, which used to be so easy and replicable in portion-controlled, column-sized doses, is no longer in the mainstream. It’s genuinely beginning to seem crazy, to growing majorities of non-bonk-headed Americans. Apropos hurricanes, and whether it’s the government’s job to rescue people from them, the ratio in the pic above isn’t far from accurate. If it were a referendum on the success of the Bush Presidency, you’d have to add a few more helmet-heads in the gloamy background, but not too damn many.

But I think the larger revelation of Katrina has less to do with identity politics and more to do with showing what various people think the government is for. We’ve heard constantly that it is a scandal of one sort or another that the (overwhelmingly black) inner city residents of New Orleans are so poor 40 years after the War on Poverty was launched.

Yes, if we’re not mistaken, that’s the lead-in to the late-1960s Buckley riff. It used to slay them in the Rotary halls.

“If I could just… Here, watch: If I could only stretch that final six inches or so and get my lips on it…”

Watch as Jonah bravely tilts against the windmills of Liberal Big Government of the wide-tie, Dick Cavett Show variety — as seen on that black-and-white Klassic Krusty the Clown segment where Ravi Shankar plays long ragas and Krusty interviews AFL-CIO head George Meany.

Indeed, the underlying assumption of the War on Poverty (and the New Deal) that government should make sure no one is poor is now widely accepted on both the left and the right. The chief arguments between policymakers on the right and left are over means, not ends. One side, speaking very broadly, believes the rising tide of the market should lift all boats. The other believes the government needs to tug the smaller dinghies.

It makes you almost want to vote for Nixon in ’08, doesn’t it? And not to put too fine a point on it, but perhaps, considering recent events, the Kennedy-era metaphor of the “rising tide of the market” is a bit tone-deaf? Like, maybe if the Cat-5 hurricane swirling off the coast of Texas were instead threatening the DC-area Cheetos supply, someone would snap awake from his happy-tummy, GOP-fanboy reveries?

In brief: We have a pal who you definitely ought to meet, Goldberg. Name’s Shutty McUppington. He’s a tight pal, in the zipper trade. Good business connection — win-win.


Comments: 29


Query “medium-smart”


The Nazi script writer reminds me of Pastor Swank for some reason. I mean, if some Broadway company produced Pastor Swank’s musical about homo nups, you can see him having that exact expression while watching it.


I love the rising tide of the market, but what if the market is exploiting poor people by making everything just more expensive for them because they don’t have a choice. Oops, that’s what we actualy have. Fuck it. Serious post on this. Maybe tomorrow. Wah wah. JG dropped an ever-loving turd, and I’m gonna vent my spleen all ova it.


As usual, one can count on young Goldberg to serve up a full pantload of doughy goodness.


I’m pretty sure Jonah is the product of some very expensive private education. If so, momma should think about having a little talk with her son, or getting a refund. He’s doesn’t seem to be going in for the higher-quality moves (..the Inverted Butterfly, The Fleshy Sawhorse, and that unamed thing he does that requires both a man-cleavage and a tongue-swirl) he’s built a reputation on. Lately, it’s all half-hearted hand-jobs behind the dumpster. I think La Goldberg should think about hanging up the strap-on, getting his own stable, and growing gracefully into the Edelnutte that is his destiny. There’s plenty of fresh talent out there, ripe fruit to the point of bursting. A certain nubile virgin comes to mind…


Hey, I’ve got a great idea, government should instead make sure some people are always poor! What do you mean that idea’s already been taken? Nurtz.


You know, I think the thing that gets me the most about Jonah, and Derbyshire, of course, is that I don’t know a single gay person, male or female, of any age, who couldn’t kick either of their asses five times in eight minutes.
For some reason, they seem to take it for granted that gays are inherently sissy. Talk about needing a stereotype update.


Is he kickin’ it in that picture with former has-been VJ Kennedy? That’s about as edgy as a billiard ball! Give it up for MC D-o-u-g-h-y-P a-n-t-l-o-a-d-ya-see.


“Former has-been?” Wouldn’t that make her hep again? (Or is it “solid?” I can never remember the lingo you kids use) At any rate, how much you want to bet the plaid purse is Jonah’s?


Nobody says government should being pulling around “dingys”. What they ARE saying is that people are not boats, so if the tide rises higher and higher, more and more people drown. So it is better to help them stay afloat so they can continue to take part in the economy we all rely.


“One side, speaking very broadly, believes the rising tide of the market should lift all boats.”

Yet, this side also rails against any who suggest that global warming is A) real and B) upstaging them in the boat lifting department.

“The other believes the government needs to tug the smaller dinghies.”

The other side, the misguided democrats, believe in tugging dinghies. Well, he might be right, Clinton clearly enjoyed it, but at least he wasn’t pre-occupied with rearranging the deckchairs.


Where the hell did this retarded idea come from that free markets are going to cure your dog’s cancer and give you a free blowjob?
John (moustache king) Stossel has sent me 2 emails about how like… totally awesome free market capitalism is, and i’m just wondering where the hell the evidence is. It seems to me the freer capitalism gets the more exploitative it gets, and the less responsibility it seems to think it has to customers and employees. (trust me I know, I worked for a defacto microsoft company now known as NCO group (formerly RMH) and it was a behemoth manifestation of capitalistic greed, exploitation and managerial incompetence.)
I don’t know if anyone here ever read a book called “Catch-22”, but if anyone did, that thinking reminds me of the “Milo” character. He would go around taking morphine out of medpacks, spare chutes out of backpacks, hell, when he realized that mercenary bombing for the germans was more profitable, he bombed his own squadron. All the while reminding everyone what was good for the syndicate was good for all.


Hey, Brad–I made a really gross suggestion on how to lure Jonah into a Wolcott-level feud with S,N! over in the comments for the latest Ultimate Wingnut? contest round over at WO’C. Check it out-it’s down toward the bottom. Always trying to be helpful and all….


Marq- as always, you’re a gentleman and a scholar 🙂

BTW, I just got the idea to change my name to “Brad Yarr!!” in honor of pirate day. I hate it when I think of shit too late.


On second thought, after actually reading your suggestion, you’re not so much “gentlemanly” as “incredibly disturbed” 😉

Anyway, give it a shot 🙂


I’ve been verbally abusing John Stossel at least once a week for months now, and I haven’t gotten so much as a form letter. I am *totally* bitter.


And if the free market is so wonderful, why are photos of dinghies, dinghy-pulling, or consentual dinghy activity off-limits, as per the last post? I can’t fathom it.


Anyway, give it a shot 🙂

(Homina homina!) Cripes-on-a-stick, dude! The very thought made me horridly nauseous all day! There’s no way, in spite of my long-standing history of flirting with straight dudes, that I’m actually going through with that ‘cos, well, it’s Jonah. Have a little mercy. Even Jim won’t go there. And dude, stop makin’ smilies in my general direction. You’re gonna trigger an episode, though whether it’s flirting with straight dudes or projectile vomiting, I leave for you to discover.
OTOH, if Monsewer Goldberg Googles his name fairly often, the very post may trigger a feud with you on a scale unseen since his feud with Professor Cole, though once again, I leave it for you to find out which one. Or, perhaps, Steve Gilliard’s feather war with Jonah. Mission accomplished!*
*or Sadly, No!


Oh, and D. Sidhe, are you bitter at Stossel or Brad R.? Or me? ‘Cuz Brad and I presumably both worship the very posts you walk on and every bit of snark you dish out.


Gosh, what a cool thing to say, Marq. Thank you.

Actually, I was attempting to imply that I was bitter at Timmah.
Technically, it’s not true; I’m merely in awe of his letter-writing kung-fu. But pouting seemed funnier on less sleep.

My actual guess is, Stossel is ignoring me because I keep calling him a “fuckwit”. Unkind? Yes. Unfair? Maybe not.


For D. Sidhe: My correspondance with john stossel, the first one is a form letter and he sent me two more (older messages at bottom)

“If Germany is better, why don’t you move there? “

Congratulations on resurrecting an argument used almost exclusively by racists and idiots. I’m hoping your simply the latter and not the former… or both as often seems to be the case. The whole point of representative democracy is based on citizens changing the rules to work for them. If the republicans had left the country during Clinton’s reign, they wouldn’t be around screwing things up so badly now.

Your oversimplification of the argument reveals the simple nature of the mind behind it. Black and White, Right and Wrong, Up and down. “Our free market is better than sex” “If yer don’t like it yer can geeeet out!” There is a third dimension to these arguments that you (and others who cling to these retarded beliefs) refuse or fail to see. The arguments are stupid enough to have illicited incredulous laughter from me, which is tough because i’ve seen alot of nuttiness lately.

People become rich for a multitude of reasons, hard work and intelligence (rare), Circumstance and luck (also rare) and personal connections/inherited wealth (Bush and company). Do you really believe that Bush (with his DUI, his coke problems and learning disabilities) would be president now if he was a fatherless mexican? Fuck no! He’d be in a texas prison so fast he wouldn’t even have had time to fail at managing the baseball team and oil company he also wouldn’t get handed to him.

On the flip side, do you really believe that Paris Hilton is providing a service to anyone? (other than prostitution of course, which I suppose is a skill of sorts)

What I find even more remarkable is the only the dumbest of the dumb continue to champion Bush’s policies, like barnacles stuck to a sinking ship. I maintain discussion with many of those right of the spectrum, and I find the intelligent ones, the ones whose ability to analyze a situation from all angles has dwarfed my own from time to time, are liking less and less of what comes out of Bush’s mouth these days. Allow me to say that I respect these individuals because they are capable of a meaningful analysis of a situation, while I usually don’t agree with them, I deeply respect them because they provide an objective way for me to self-criticize and improve my views on certain subjects and I like to think they hold me in the same esteem.

You are no such person. Your arguments leave something to be desired, namely logic and thought. You are not deserving of my respect or time, although I grudgingly provide that latter.

I also noticed you did not address the concerns in my last email. If you are going to be wasting my time with your mental detritus, then please show me the same courtesy I show you and answer my questions.

I work in IT. I code and compile systems to be used by the company and repair hardware (and any other job too “icky” for typical cubicle dwellers.) I also run a freelance business on the side doing much of the same, including tutoring for seniors and students or just techno peasants.

(I may have sent 2 similar emails, apologies, hotmail seems to be having DNS issues today so I’ve had to rewrite this once or twice)

From: ABC TV Stossel Reporting
Subject: RE: In praise of price gouging
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 10:42:51 -0700

If Germany is better, why don’t you move there?

The rich are rewarded because they are filling a need. People of lesser wealth have every opportunity to become one of the wealthy. That’s how free markets work.

What do you do for a living?
Original Message
From: []
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2005 3:41 PM
To: ABC TV Stossel Reporting
Subject: RE: In praise of price gouging

No, actually OUR free market isn’t the best thing out there. For instance Germany has a much more sustainable and environmentally feasible economy. OUR free market rewards the rich, making them richer and vice-versa with the poor. Get a clue, our brand of capitalism is leading to 1984 style fascism. Either that or complete resource usage and destruction of the environment. Or both. Take your pick.

Some things to think about: When a forest is clear-cut, the GDP does up, when a cancer patient is diagnosed, the GDP goes up, Every time tons of pollutants are dumped into the air, the GDP goes up. It’s time to introduce true cost economics, it’s time to learn to subtract. Like how about subtracting the amount it would have taken to build those levees properly to what it will cost to rebuild New Orleans. Do some research before you go shooting your mouth off. At first i thought it might be just a bored office temp emailing me on moustache man’s behest, but seems to me only Stossel and his ilk would be dangerously stupid enough to think that free market capitalism is a cure all rather than a snake oil.

As for the citizens, they are *as always* the true heroes here, from the people caught in the storm who afterward, formed groups, organized searches and cleanups and helped the worse off. To the New York firefighters who joined the effort later on. Which is why it makes me see red when the media plays up the looting and lawlessness. Of course social order is doing to degrade when your own government leaves you fending for yourself in “Mad max: beyond astrodome”. It also makes me furious that people who wanted to help were held back by the completely incompetent department of homeland security for reasons like “legal liabilities”.

As for the government, I’m sure there are local failures as well but this disaster is inarguably a failure from the higher levels of the federal government that borders on negligent homicide. Does it say anything about Bush being a “uniter” when there’s a literally opposite racial divide with blacks saying 2-1 that Bush reacted slowly because of race and 2-1 whites saying race isn’t an issue. Here’s a story to cover, even though 71% of Americans support an independent inquiry into katrina, 54 GOP senators oppose it, in favour of a republican whitewash. The latest spin they put out was that there were “procedural problems” with the amendment they were voting on. It’s a joke.

This disaster has pointed a huge flashlight towards the deep, dark and greed-driven policies that the Bush administration has been pushing his whole term, from the disastrous environmental policies that are continually destroying the wetlands of louisiana (well known scientifically to be a buffer zone between hurricanes and populated areas.) and his ignorance of global climate change, which many argue is, among other things, causing hurricanes to increase in strength. To his indifference or hostility to the middle and lower class of the country. Millions have fallen into poverty since Bush took over office (5 years running poverty has gone up, unemployment was up (still is?) and almost all new jobs are minimum wage and/or service industry). Throw the Iraq war (aka operation complete fucking disaster) into the mix, draining our money, our national guard troops and engineer corps and stretching the military to the breaking point, toss in a touch of racial indifference and incompetent crony appointees and voila, New Orleans wreckage gumbo.

And now he wants to hand no bid contracts to…. guess who? Starts with an H and ends with Cheney, that’s right Halliburton. He wants to borrow his way into “the biggest reconstruction effort ever undertaken” increasing the staggering deficit even more, without asking Americans to sacrifice anything, no tax increases, no pullouts in Iraq, just put it on the credit card and buy our way out of this mess. (Gee that shit worked so well for Iraq)

Let the kids pay it off. That is, unless our Chinese debtors call our tab a little early, and we come up short. Then our money isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. What do you think of your free market now?

From: ABC TV Stossel Reporting
Subject: RE: In praise of price gouging
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 19:34:49 -0400

The Free Market isn’t perfect. It is the best thing there is out there.

What are your thoughts on all of the private citizens helping out and the government’s failures?
Original Message
From: []
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 7:32 PM
To: ABC TV Stossel Reporting
Subject: RE: In praise of price gouging

I’m not looking for some condescending, marginalizing response. I’m not a “silly leftie” you asshat I’m a human being with morals, of course you wouldn’t know morals if they built you a house and then gave you a handjob in it.

I noticed you didn’t defend your asinine article yourself, just referred to people who were dumb or naive enough to. Bravo Stossel, you really proved me wrong, I bow to your all mighty moustache of reason.

Seriously though… go slide naked down a big rusty cheesegrater At the very least get a frontal lobotomy, then at least the random letters appearing onscreen as your drool shorts out the keyboard will be semi grounded in reality.

People like you are the ones that allow injustices to happen all over the world. How can you even look at yourself in the mirror?

This was preceded by stossels lame ass form letter, im sure you got one. He sends them out to me once in awhile when I tell him to go fistfuck a bobcat. As you can see he (or someone) replies in short sentances so as to move quickly from one point to another, actually talking about nothing.


please, i’m begging, fix the italics that are always broken all over the page… arrrrhghghghghg.


Aaron, that is because your monitor is tilted. Put it on a flat surface rather than an inclined plane, and the ‘italics’ will disappear.


Wow, responses! No, I haven’t even gotten a form letter. Possibly I’m using the wrong address.
I’m using this
Yeah, it’s cute how he refuses to defend his “work”. I think I would tend to assume that that means he knows it’s indefensible.
My letters are generally of the “And the horse you rode in on!” variety, though his price-gouging column was such a gem I couldn’t help pointing out that it’s quite common for stores, facing overwhelming demand and limited supply, to, you know, ration sales. I mean, for Chrissakes, they do it with Pokemon cards. Obviously in the case of a disaster, it would be acceptable to do it to necessities.
The argument that people with more money are more deserving just pisses me off. God, that man’s an asshat.
The free market is only good with regulation. Otherwise, it’s the S&L industry.

Congratulations on getting responses from him, Timmah. Clearly you hit a nerve.


Timmah is my Hero of the Day.


I still can’t believe Stossel is on the public airwaves. The first (and last) time I watched him was about 6 years ago when he did this adolescent report where he compared poverty in the US to that in India (thus dismissing or minimising American poverty). The screeching, nasal “Give me a break” tone of it all didn’t help, either.

The basic premise was so mistaken, I couldn’t understand how ABC thought this deserved air time. Of course, I know the reason why ABC airs this; the people who watch it and eat it up are also the people who keep the National Enquirer in business and who buy the things advertised. But Senor Mustache has gotten so fucking loopy and callous lately that I can’t see him as anything other than an profound embarrassment to anyone remotely associated with him.

Those responses Timmah got just prove it. Even an idiot with half a clue would have judged that not responding at all would have been a better move.


I sent mine to
Try that


Btw thanks for the kudos all, I’m continuing to try and get another rise out of him. Updates will come if I have em. Between this and MJ’s responses i’m thinking of starting a “Tim’s nasty letter of the day” website 🙂


Didn’t I read somewhere that the government tries to keep eight million people unemployed at all times to keep inflation down?

But poor people don’t want to work.


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