The Daily Broadside


Posted on 04/06/2022 5.00 AM

JCM 4/2/2022 5:21:07 PM

Posted by: JCM

Occasional Reader 4/6/2022 7:03:29 AM
FYI (and via Instapundit):  Institute for the Study of War's evaluation of where things stand in Ukraine. 
JCM 4/6/2022 7:36:23 AM

Reply to Occasional Reader in 1:

Ahh, Plan B!

buzzsawmonkey 4/6/2022 7:39:35 AM

Since Barack Obama showed up at the White House for a farewell tour, it seems appropriate to take this out of mothballs:

The Lame Duck of Barack Obama
---apologies to TS Eliot, and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

L'État comprime et la loi triche, l'impôt saigne le malheureux
Nul devoir ne s'impose au riche, le droit du pauvre est un mot creux
C'est assez, languir en tutelle, l'égalité veut d'autres lois
Pas de droits sans devoirs dit-elle, Egaux, pas de devoirs sans droits
C'est la lutte finale, groupons-nous, et demain
L'Internationale sera le genre humain

 Let us go, without remorse
And leisurely golf one round more across the course
Where we can hide from newsmen and interviewers;
Let us go, traversing roughs and greens
And, from a distance seen,
With woods and irons and putters I can flail
And scorecards fudged will wipe out any fail:
Escaping mundane tasks, for crafting policy
Just does not interest me
(Aides know better than to make the suggestion)…
Oh, do not say I'm lazing
Later on, I'll be fundraising.

In the room the donors mutter low
Of change towards which their cash should go.

The yellow dog Democrats always vote the straight ticket.
The yellow press that builds the narrative to pick it
Has played the race card with a loud voice unceasing,
Trumpeted the bogus "war on women,"
Demanded "comprehensive immigration reform,
While of my scandals they say not a peep,
And since they rely upon mainstream news sources,
The populace, safely lulled, fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow press that magnifies my feats,
Rubbing its back like a cat on my legs,
There will be time, there will be time
For press events where they will worship at my feet;
There will be time to dodge, prevaricate,
And time for all the old Washington hands
That never think to question what I state;
Time for them to flatter me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred history revisions,
Before the morning when it's time to tee.

In the room the donors mutter low
Of change towards which their cash should go.

And indeed there will be time
To project "I don't care" and "I don't care";
Time to inflict what I think is fair,
With artfully spread spray-gray upon my hair---
(They will say: How 'fairness' has gotten thin!")
My trouser crease, my easy insouciant trademark grin
My insistence opposition's due to color of my skin---
(They will say: "But how his rhetoric is thin!")
Do I care
That things have gotten worse?
In a minute there is time
For historical upheavals press releases will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the volunteers, interns, union goons,
Have known the cronies to whom I've granted boons,
I know the voices of staged hecklers when they call
When I address a preselected room
In planned pause-and-resume...

And I have known the ayes already, known them all---
The ayes that baste you with an unmerited praise,
And when I am adulated, drawling about "folks," 
When I am questioned and asked to recall,
Then should I bandy jokes
To deflect any scrutiny of a hostile gaze?
And how should I resume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all---
Arms smuggled clandestinely to cartels
(Or distributed to Islamist cells!)
Can I then achieve my goal
To close gun show loopholes?
Arms that are in private hands, I'd like to take them all.
And should I then resume?
And how should I begin?

Shall I say, "I understand folks are frustrated,"
And once more try to put over the tripe
Of job creation, building roads and rails and bridges?

 I've tried to be the welfare Santa Claus
Distributing scores more of EBTs.

.  .  .  .  .  .  

And I swear to you that my decrees are not amnesty! 
These folks are Dreamers,
A multitude whose dream concurs 
With mine, of what America should be.
Should I make a strong statement on ISIS?
It would really be a shame to waste this crisis.

But though I have golfed and postured, golfed and brayed,
Though I have seen myself (sprayed e'er more gray) continue to be flattered,
I am no leader—and here's no great matter; 
I have seen acceptance of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen Vladimir Putin eat my lunch, and snicker,
And, in short, I was afraid.

 And will it have been worth it, after all,
After the clandestine diplomacy,
After the hissy fit retaliation at Bibi, 
Will it have been worth while, 
Having indulged my antisemitic bile, 
Having aided Iran's building its fireball 
With which it dreams of solving the Jewish question,
To say: "I am Barack, leading from behind,
Come here to give you all, I'll agree to all"---
If one, shaking the turban on his head,
Should say, "That is not what we meant at all;
That is not it, at all."

And will it have been worth it, after all,
Will it have been worth while,
After the riots and the looting in the urban streets,
After the charges and the rhetoric, picking the scabs off of the racial sore—
And this, and so much more?---
It is impolitic to say just what I mean!
But as if light from a prairie fire projected patterns on a screen:
Will it have been worth while
If one, joshing earnestly with the press one and all,
And playing to the gallery, should say,
"That is not it at all,
That is not what he meant, at all."  

.  .  .  .  .  . 

No! I am not Roosevelt, nor was meant to be;
Am an Alinsky organizer, who
Was catapulted into office to
Pass policies enabling Leftist rule,
Credentialed, uneducated,
Doctrinaire, utterly incurious;
Few achievements, and those overrated;
Unmoved when actions prove injurious—
In short, the perfect Tool.

It grows old…It grows old…
My approval rating's now the lowest polled.

Shall I still lead from behind? Is single-payer in reach? 
Please send me a contribution, lest Republicans impeach.
I have heard “transgenders” singing, each to each,
Each time that I bring forth a new decree.

I have seen them riding on floats in parades;
Middle America feels it’s attacked—
Still I roil hatreds between white and black.

I've malingered over the economy
As Cloward-Piven drowns us in red ink
'Til the Chinese call our debt, and we sink.

Occasional Reader 4/6/2022 8:12:24 AM

Reply to buzzsawmonkey in 3:


Now, that took some work.

buzzsawmonkey 4/6/2022 8:20:32 AM

Reply to Occasional Reader in 4:

Thank you.  Yes, it certainly did.  It was, actually, the last thing I did for PJM as an official contributor---partly because the guy I'd dealt with as an editor left and his successor (still there) did not care for my stuff nearly as much, and partly because they changed their format somewhat at the time and decided my stuff would be a bad fit with their "new look."

Anyway, trying to match stuff to the number of changes of meter, rhythm and rhyme took a bit of doing.  And the quote at the beginning (an excerpt from "L'Internationale") replaces Eliot's introductory quote in Italian (it may be from Dante, but I forget now).

@PBJ3 4/6/2022 10:12:40 AM

Reply to buzzsawmonkey in 3:


Occasional Reader 4/6/2022 12:47:34 PM

In #5 buzzsawmonkey said: Eliot's introductory quote in Italian (it may be from Dante, but I forget now).


S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma percioche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

Back when I was a self-important Law Review guy, I thought about using this same epigraph in the same function for a law review note on 5th amendment "jailhouse-informant" cases; but fortunately, thought better of it. 

buzzsawmonkey 4/6/2022 1:24:49 PM

Reply to Occasional Reader in 7:

If you can share a translation of the Dante, I'd appreciate it; I can't remember it, and never learned Italian.

Kosh's Shadow 4/6/2022 2:00:34 PM

Reply to buzzsawmonkey in 8:

From Google Translate:

If I believed my answer was

To person who never returned to the world,

This flame stood without any more shocks.

But because never of this fund

I don't come back alive, I hear the truth,

Without fear of infamy, I will answer you.

Occasional Reader 4/6/2022 2:23:26 PM

Reply to buzzsawmonkey in 8:

Essentially, it's one of the damned souls speaking to Dante, and saying "since you're here in Hell, too, and therefore will never leave, I'll answer your questions about my life, because you won't be able to tell anyone in the world above about what I say".  (Of course, little does he know...) 

Kosh's Shadow 4/6/2022 2:38:40 PM

Reply to Occasional Reader in 10:

That helps explain the Google Translate version, which is still clearer than any utterance from Kamala Harris.

Occasional Reader 4/6/2022 3:00:33 PM

Reply to Kosh's Shadow in 11:

It is time for us to do what we have been doing, and that time is every day. Every day, it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down.

Occasional Reader 4/6/2022 3:04:01 PM

Reply to Kosh's Shadow in 11:

As to the reference to "this flame stood without shocks"; if I recall correctly, the soul in question is damned by being locked in an eternally burning flame.  The flame parts for a few moments so he can answer Dante's inquiries.  So he's saying, essentially, "if I thought you would be able to return to the living world, I wouldn't want to tell you anything, so this flame would just continue without any variation.  But since no one who comes to these depths ever returns, if what I hear is true; I reply to you without fear of infamy."

buzzsawmonkey 4/6/2022 4:07:15 PM
Thanks to both of you for your amplification/edification.   Sorry to not have responded sooner, but it's been a big furniture-moving day today; the landlord's minion came to take up the flood-damaged carpeting, and an immense amount of stuff has had to be shifted.
Kosh's Shadow 4/6/2022 5:02:15 PM
I did set up a pub thread in honor of today's discussion

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