sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

May 19, 2016

Clearly We Need A Dictator

Filed under: politics — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 6:20 pm

Robert Kagan frets about fascism coming to America:

The Republican Party’s attempt to treat Donald Trump as a normal political candidate would be laughable were it not so perilous to the republic. If only he would mouth the party’s “conservative” principles, all would be well.

But of course the entire Trump phenomenon has nothing to do with policy or ideology. It has nothing to do with the Republican Party, either, except in its historic role as incubator of this singular threat to our democracy. Trump has transcended the party that produced him. His growing army of supporters no longer cares about the party. Because it did not immediately and fully embrace Trump, because a dwindling number of its political and intellectual leaders still resist him, the party is regarded with suspicion and even hostility by his followers. Their allegiance is to him and him alone.

I don’t know about the “historic role” bit, but the cult of personality is definitely there.  As is always the case with the strongman types, what the fans find charismatic is highly subjective.  Was Hitler not a bloviating idiot with a funny mustache?  Is Putin’s bare chest something to laugh about?  Is our short-fingered vulgarian too bloated and pasty?


Are Americans too bloated?  Yes.  Good news, there is always time to slim down.  Take the example of North Korea, the world’s number one thinnest nation:

Don’t mention it to the exalted leader Kim Jong-un, but his people are literally starving. They’re poor (earning an average of only $2-30 per month), their every move is monitored and controlled, and the government constantly mismanages the economy by buying weapons for a hypothetical war it is obsessed with, but would never win. North Korean food, to its credit, is relatively healthy (and includes dishes like rice, noodles, corn porridge, kimchi, soybean sausage, and bulgogi), so that deserves part of the credit for the population’s shockingly-low 4.4 percent overweight/obesity rate. Yet an even bigger factor is the ongoing famine, which caused the deaths of as many as 3.5 million citizens in the last 20 years.

I suspect the bulk of the 4.4% overweight/obesity population of the Hermit Kingdom hails from the nomenklatura class:

While malnutrition is widespread in North Korea, the restaurant scene in Pyongyang is thriving. It is never a problem to find a really good meal if you can afford it – and you know where to look. The newer, semi-private eateries tend to keep a low-profile, and often have their windows covered with heavy curtains. The signboards are also small, if not absent, so outsiders would have few clues of the luxury inside.[…]

All these pleasures might appear cheap for a visiting foreigner, but for the average North Korean restaurants are prohibitively expensive. A dinner in a regular upmarket restaurant would cost about $7-10 (excluding alcohol), but the most expensive places charge around $30-40. To appreciate how out of reach this is, remember that the average monthly salary of a university professor in North Korea is about 80 cents. In most cases, the consumers pay in foreign currency, usually Chinese yuan, which has long been a currency of choice in the up-market North Korean shops.

While Mr. Dpumpf lacks the trim physique, so does Baby Kim, and Putin’s been getting bloated lately.  Yet They are not us, and as a country we can stand to lose some weight.  It’s good for us.  Michelle Obama said so.


January 26, 2014

A Long Overdue Fashion Post

Filed under: fashion, politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 12:49 pm

Check out this fabulous post by Jonah Goldberg on the late term abortion prima-donna Wendy Davis:

Last June, when the mainstream media collectively swooned over Wendy Davis and her shoes, I was overcome with Fremdschämen. The only problem is that I didn’t know what Fremdschämen was back then.

But now I do! It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping! No, that’s not right. It’s my new favorite German word. What is amazing, to me at least, is that I am only just now learning of this word, despite having a soft spot (right below my elbow) for fun foreign words (“I myself am overcome with Backpfeifengesicht right now” — The Couch). Even more surprising is that we live in the Golden Age of Fremdschämen, so you’d think more people would be using it.

So what does it mean? It means feeling embarrassed for someone else. But more than that, it means feeling embarrassed for someone else because that someone else doesn’t realize he should be embarrassed.

It’s a good piece, I almost feel embarrassed to take it on this tangent, but somebody has to say it, and it might as well be me.  Yes, I am embarrassed for Mrs. Davis.

This pair matches Wendy Davis’s nose

What is it, 90’s revival?  Remember when feminists embarked on reclaiming pink, the most garish shades of it, and called it empowerment? Take back that afternoon in 2nd grade when the patriarchal oppressor accused you of having cooties!  Pink is the new black!

In reality, few grown up women (and by grown up I mean over the age of consent) can pull a pink look.  The color should be used cautiously, particularly when it comes to shoes.  Muted shades are preferable, and even then it’s advisable to throw another color in the mix.

Try these if  you must

Why do feminists think that Wendy has their back with her ugly sneakers?  I imagine she wore nice stilettos when she met husband #2 who paid her way through college and introduced her to political movers and shakers.

Running shoes, let alone pink running shoes, are a sartorial version of Lena Dunham, what you’d call female gaze — and it doesn’t matter how much they cost.  They are a girl-bonding attribute with a touch of sugar-coated kindergarten nostalgia.  Unintimidating, so we can pretend that girls like each other, and that it’s the boys who hate us.  Personally, I don’t believe any of that crap and wouldn’t be caught dead in pink sneakers.  Ladies, do yourself a favor, buy some nice heels.

February 25, 2013

Michelle Does Oscar

Filed under: fashion, Middle East, politics — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:03 pm

I didn’t watch the Oscar’s, but I did take a peak at the fashion as the event was happening.  i didn’t know there was anything else to it.

Imagine my surprise when the following morning I found out that Moochelle presented the picture of the year.  Enter Rush:

Well, the movie Lincoln?  That’s about Obama, everybody knows that.  Who won the best movie?  Argo.  The Ben Affleck movie.  And I’ll tell you why it won.  It won because Hollywood was portrayed as heroes, about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. […]

And, see, this was a snub for Obama because his campaign ad was Zero Dark Thirty, how he got bin Laden.  Didn’t win.  For some reason Hollywood’s mad at Steven Spielberg. I think it’s Steve Jobs syndrome. […]

Now, one thing we do know is that Moochelle’s appearance, her hijacking the Epidemic Awards last night, was Harvey Weinstein’s idea. So the consensus is that Weinstein wanted to show everybody that he’s bigger and more powerful than Spielberg. Speilberg got Clinton, but Clinton’s a has-been. Clinton’s yesterday. Harvey was able to get Moochelle. So Harvey called the White House; they planned it. The White House agreed to it, and I think one of the reasons is, again, they got snubbed. They got snubbed. Obama’s campaign ad didn’t win, and his autobiographical movie didn’t win. […]

There was some real irony last night that zipped by and blew by a lot of people. It might not have blown by you in this audience. The best picture award last night went to a movie named Argo, which was about what?

The rescue of embassy personnel under attack in Iran. The wife of the commander-in-chief who failed to rescue four Americans at an embassy/consulate in Benghazi presented it and talked about how important it was and how necessary it is and how great it was and all that. Now, I don’t know how many people got that, but this bunch — this administration — failed in rescuing Americans under attack. And the wife of the president who failed presented the Oscar to the movie who won the best picture award about a successful rescue of embassy personnel from Iran in 1979.

Not to mention that Iran is going nuclear.  It’s as if the Screen Actors Guild is asking the movie-goers if the ‘Bamster worse than Carter.  It doesn’t end there.

The shine of the dress is picked up by the silver lipstick and the gold detail on the uniforms of the military personnel behind Ma’am. That’s what I call attention to detail!

Iranian TV ‘shopped short sleeves on Mrs. O’s trademark sleeveless gown.  If they were to draw Khomeinista wrist-covering sleeves it would be one thing.  I would happily take it to mean “Cover up, you Hollywood whore!”  But they didn’t, so it’s more of a “give it up already” kind of fashion b*tch-slapping.

Too bad the Persians didn’t trimmed her bangs

And Mooch, by the time your husband is done unilaterally disarming *his* country (is it the 80s revival or what?) you might just need more cover.

Get with the program!

February 13, 2013

Sandbox State of The Union

Filed under: education, fashion, parenting, politics — Tags: , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 2:17 pm

I didn’t watch SOUT last night, and not necessarily by choice; we are just too busy here.  Leslie Loftis alerted me to another FLOTUS get up that lived up to the expectations:

This is our 21st century Amazonian beauty ideal — or something: upper arms dwarfing breasts and the lower body looking ever-ginormous thanks to too tight skirt and sparkles. Sparkles?

This is a cocktail dress.  She wore one for SOTU 2012, too; that gown was shiny and blue.  The First (if I may call her) Lady has a tendency to wear cocktail dresses all day long.  I know, I love to dress  up too.  Unfortunately, by not looking serious when seriousness is called for, Moochelle is sending a message — that she’s not taking her husband serious.  And if she doesn’t, why should we?  No need to be nervous, Marco.

Here we have the far better designed prototype. Jason Wu Pre-Fall 2013. We can observe Mobama’s fashion sense maturing in her fifth year of FLOTUS-ship.  There is a clear trend for shiny sci fi villain looks

The President’s favorability is down — not that it matters at this point.  He’s in the black on national defense only, and that’s probably because of droning.

All this SOTU news is coming against the rough LAPD ex-cop with some sort of racial grievances on a murder rampage.  Don’t you just love how Barack Hussein Obama personally solved all our race problems?  And did you know that Christopher Droner loved Michelle Obama’s bangs?

Sarah Palin already fact checked O’s speech, so I don’t really have much to add.  If you are not too busy figuring out why all of a sudden you paycheck is smaller, you might notice that in 2010 we surged in Afghanistan for some reason, and now we are for some reason leaving.  In the meantime, a recent Medal of Honor recipient former Army Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha politely declined an invitation to sit next to the Flablulous Buttness during the speech.  Three years ago, Kimberly Munley, the hero who helped stop the terrorist attack at Fort Hood, was a Presidential guest at the State of the Union.   Now she is on record saying that she felt betrayed by Obama who classified the attack as “workplace violence” thus denying proper benefits and military honors to heroes and victims.  Currently BO is making further plans to take on our military.

The two MO’s guests who did show up, and were seated right next to the Flabulous Buttness were the parents of the teenage victim of Chicago gang violence Hadiya Pendleton.  Their prominent placement signals the centrality of the anti-gun agenda to the President’s policies — nothing new here.  This morning when we were packing lunchboxes DH said that he’s glad BO keeps talking about guns.  You see, we own stock in Smith and Weston, and every time the Prez opens his mouth about guns, the stock goes up.  It’s up 3.5% today.

I did scan the text of the speech this morning.  President BO conceded that he’s waging class warfare.  Thank you.  Blabbed on about the middle class (see my notes on FLOTUS MO’s opinions of her hubby above) and called for more spending on hip grown-up toys, like windmills.

‘Bamster wants to get the states to subsidized babysitting, potentially edging out private (and often religious) pre-schools, or, as he put it politely, “high-quality preschool available to every child in America”.  In real world, a “high quality pre-school” is the one where the teachers are nice.  The wee ones don’t need any more than that.  Oh, and a mommy will do.  Anyhow, this might be a Nancy Pelosi’s idea.  Not sure how her bankrupt home state of California is supposed to afford it all, or how the millionaires in Congress will be affected.

He also feels that all state should mandate high school graduation.  While this sounds nice, universal high school graduation is not a hot idea.  Many students simple don’t have the ability, or the drive, or respect for the system.  I gather drop outs don’t care much for your little mandates, that’s why many of them drop out.  When I went to a junior college, I had many classmates who oped out for the GED, and then went the community college rout, and were doing fine.  Instead of mandating graduation, how about designing a challenging curriculum that makes their diplomas meaningful?  He topped off his education chat with call for further inflation of the higher education bubble.

The Prez believes that the state of the Union is strong.  OK.  Then perhaps we can deal without universal pre-school.

January 23, 2013

Wanted: Humanoid First Lady

Filed under: fashion, politics — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 10:35 am

Michelle Obama’s inaugural get-ups weren’t at their eye-popping best.  And yet in her usual display of opulence FLOTUS 44 went through something like twenty five changes, which, of course give plenty of fodder to your humble blogger.

Lets start with her pre-party children’s inaugural ensemble.  While an ostrich might be preferable to a peacock, it’s still an ostrich.  Hi-Lo hemline is easy to overdo, and if anyone knows about overdoing, it’s Michelle.  Unfortunately, this McQueen shirt is one of those garments that one pretty much has to be a model to get away with.

FLOTUS might need a little extra room in the fabulous upper arm area

On to the outdoor daytime inaugural look.  For the afternoon festivities MO wore a helmet and a pair of blood-stained gloves.

It’s not just that I don’t particularly like the coat because tiny geometric print punctuates the seams, and some of the panels are wider than others, which makes her look a bit odd.  All in all the coat is not bad, especially considering the source.  But her helmet hair, together with the stiff coat lines, the shiny belt, the pointy shiny toe, the fuchsia gloves and the cool tones made her look like a space alien about to use her mechanical hands to repel away a bitter clinger or two.

I want my hair to look like a wig too!

Because so many people already think she’s a meanie, she should generally get away from severe looks.  In this particular case, incorporating warm browns, round toe shoes, or, like the presidential lip-syncher, soft curls would go a long way.

Easy good looks

At the ball the First Lady of Fabulous wore a shiny (doh!) LBD and a red gown.

The red piece is nice, which means that according to the media it’s the best thing that ever happened to the office of the First Lady

Last time she wore a white dress with fluffy trimming and a thick strap across one shoulder.

Virgin white. I’m not a fan of First Ladies wearing white for inaugural balls. What is it, an occasion to renew your vows?

I can see the thinking here.  Since she already wore white, what’s left is black and red, and it can’t be black or red, she has to have both.  Reminds me of how our ever-sophisticated First Lady wore a gold dress for hubby’s Nobel “Peace” Prize ceremony and then a silver dress for the reception.  Based on her sartorial choices alone, Michelle Obama is much more of an open book than her husband.

And besides her dresses?  What is Michelle known for if not flaunting riches and telling working women how to raise kids?  Take away these two and all that’s left is a gal who’s only proud of her country on the occasions of her husband’s inaugurals.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I totally missed it.  It’s Romulan:

October 25, 2012

Ann Romney for A Better J Crew Catalog

Filed under: fashion, politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 3:55 pm

Did Ann Romney’s teal dress erase the gender gap?  Our future First Lady wore the dress by a designer whose name I will not mention to the foreign policy debate at Lynn University.  The color popped on TV screens and complimented her complexion.  O’s fabulous wifie, inexplicably, wore a gray cocktail lace dress by the same designer.

foreign policy debate

A woman who knows what works for her

I’m ready for a First Lady with bigger ambitions than to serve as a walking billboard for brown-nosing fashion industry insiders.  One problem with designers getting too cozy with politicians is that designers are typically nuts, and not in a good way.  Fox News reported that the notorious American Vogue editor Anna Wintour enlisted designers like Marc Jacobs to create Obama 2012 merchandize. There are many things wrong  with Marc Jacobs (and I don’t mean his bizarre style).  For instance, he knowingly hires underage models, the practice Anna Wintour pledged to stamp out.

Marc Jacobs underage models 2012

In February 2012, as the American Presidential campaign was gathering momentum, Barack Obama backer Marc Jacobs (center) sent two underage models (on his left and his right) down the runway. Forget Michelle, perhaps he should outfit Barack

Jackie Kennedy was a fashion plate, but she was the youngest First Lady in history.  For this reason alone there will probably never be “the next Jackie”.  Matronly Obama’s sartorial options are limited by her age and the imperfections of her figure.  Every time her consultants put her in an inappropriate outfit, her faux pas are amplified by her status.  She comes across as somebody who tries too hard, and fails, and makes fool of herself and her office.  Michelle should have stopped competing with Jackie a long time ago.

michelle obama style

Who can forget this one?

It’s not just that Michelle won’t leave fashion alone; the fashion industry that won’t let go of her.  Wintour seems hell-bent on dragging FLOTUS’s formidable behind across the finish line, and The Daily Mail has pictures to prove it (hat tip to Leslie Loftis).  Michelle Malkin has a great essay on the little fascist Wintour commanding fashion insiders to back Obama, in the process alienating half of their customers.  Overtly political designers whose names, again, I’m not going to mention, should keep their fingers crossed that conservative women can’t care less about their little political tantrums and will buy their product regardless.

There are rebels in the industry, though.  Malkin quotes the terrific designer and brave man Bradley Scott:

Young New York City designer Bradley Scott also spoke up against ideological “persecution” in his industry. “It’s really offensive for me, as a designer, to be issued an unveiled threat by someone who could exert an enormous amount of influence over my customers, store buyers and magazine editors,” he told me on Tuesday. “I for one want absolutely nothing to do with this attack on women. This pressure upon designers should offend every woman in this country, not just the conservatives.”

Of course, not every fashion house supports the ‘Bamas in order to placate a queen bee or because, being artists, they are mad as hatters.  Outfitting a First Lady is an honor, even if her taste is questionable.  Early on Michelle indicated willingness to incorporate J Crew in her get ups, and the fashion house went crazy for her.  Michelle’s consultants figured she needs to wear color (because she’s black?), and the J Crew catalog exploded with blinding hues.  I don’t suppose they will design for Ann Romney, but if Michelle is gone, they will move on to a different aesthetic, which is a kind of progress.

J Crew November 2012

Their November 2012 production. Somehow I doubt many American women would like to wear this pallet

P.S. Like his wife, Barack knows how to stay classy.

P.P.S. I don’t see a whole lot Obama yard signs in our bluest blue Alameda county.  It’s not just my town; I go to Oakland regularly, and last weekend I was in Berkeley (yes, Berkeley).  I don’t see a lot of bumper stickers either.  Not much love for Romney here either, of course, but lots of people put up local election signs in their yards.  I somehow don’t recall seeing a lot of Obama yard signage and bumper stickers in 08, but last presidential election cycle merchandise like tot bags and onesies was all the rage.  That was before Anna Wintour became O’s super-duper bundler.  I guess the glorious trendsetter was too busy with September Issue back then.

August 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr President One Year Later

Filed under: fashion, politics — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 10:24 am

A year ago we celebrated the President’s 50th Birthday with the top 50 get-ups of Michelle Obama.  Since Barack Obama held yet another Birthday fundraiser yesterday, I feel obliged to review the last 366 days of wardrobe of our First Lady of Fashion.  It’s a lot of outfits to parse through, and I’m lazy.  So since I blogged about MO’s style through the end of 2011, I’m going to chose Michelle’s most eye-popping outfit of 2012.

In March FLOTUS went on a children’s TV channel wearing nothing but a see-through top and shiny tight pants.  Eye-popping indeed.  Still, I want to find another look because the pictures of her Nickelodeon appearance had been around the internet and back.

Michelle Obama Nickelodeon

Doesn’t shock anymore

A few days ago Michelle attended a British royal Olympic function in a 7K J. Mendel jacket, which is by now as ubiquitous as her Nickelodeon look.

London Olympics

I give her points for covering her shoulders, but the sleeves cut her oh-so-fabulous arms where they are the widest

Can’t say I like it, but looking at the picture of the model I see what the designer had in mind.  It’s the slopping white line across the chest that makes the garment.  On Michelle, however, the sleeves point upward, and the line is broken.  I never understood why she doesn’t get her clothes custom fitted.

Obama wore

The model wore it better

Considering that the majority of Americans still think that we are in a recession, and that the occasion is the Olympics, she could have recycled the gold medal in a cardigan look she spotted for hubby’s Nobel “Peace” Prize ceremony.

Then there is a boob belt siting in May:

Michelle Obama style

Not sure why this dress need a belt, let along a boob belt, and what this belt has to do with the string of pearls. And why she wore those pearls to begin with.  The First Lady has the unfortunate tendency to over-accessorize

In my opinion Michelle wore her most eye-popping look on David Letterman’s show in March.  She chose a sharp outfit by Preen:

Preen 2012

Nice proportions, bold color

Unfortunately, the dress was hard to wear, and this is what we saw on TV:

Obama Letterman

Michelle’s body viciously sliced into rectangles, with rear end and thighs most prominent

So, OK, they didn’t quite think it through, although somebody on Michelle’s massive stuff should be thinking about what looks good when seated in nighttime TV chairs.  And, again, what’s with the accessory?  The Preen design was all about clean lines.

Michelle Obama style

Why did she need to ruin it with the glittery pin?

In case you are wondering, MO chatted with Letterman about raising her daughters with South Chicago values.  I wonder if those are the same as “the Chicago values” her pal Rahm lauded when he expressed his desire to banish Chick-fil-A from the Windy City but embraced the race-monger Louis Farrakhan.  Of course, at the time of the airing of the Letterman show, BO was officially against gay marriage.  Presumably he was (and still is) pro-Farrakhan.

UPDATE: Linked by Temple of Mut — thank you!

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