The G-File

Bloomberg and More Bloomberg!

Dear Reader (and those of you who subscribe to this “News” letter for the pictures),

I’m on the tarmac at the Moline airport (in a plane on the tarmac to be specific). I’m heading home after a speech at Knox College, a very impressive little liberal-arts school in Galesburg, Ill., – the town where Ronald Reagan attended third grade! And where Carl Sandburg was born. Abraham Lincoln earned his first honorary degree at Knox College, and one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates was conducted there. Perhaps the coolest thing about the place is that the Knox County Jail was converted into a school building, which now houses faculty offices. The cells are still pretty much intact. The bad news is that the empty jail cells appear to be just about the most exciting thing in Galesburg. Still, I had a lovely time. My on-site hosts – from the Intellectual Diversity Fund (IDF!) – couldn’t have been more charming.

Now my plane is aloft. The lady next to me is reading The Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Some days, I’m grateful for being a pundit.

Anyway, as you may know, I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night, which is sort of the same thing as that crystal spaghetti colander of wisdom that Bones put on in “Spock’s Brain” [BROKEN LINK] in order to learn how to put Spock’s brain back.

I am now a true pundit, which, as we all know, is an Hindu word meaning wise-man-priest-shaman-philosopher. The sort of man who knows the sound of one hand clapping, who comprehends why Steve Guttenberg is a star, who can tell you exactly how much wood a woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

In America, however, pundit means anyone who is willing to make a political opinion, no matter how banal, outlandish, or unjustified, so long as he’s never held accountable for it and is willing to change his opinion for an open bar and some free shrimp.

So go ahead and ask me any question and I’ll answer it for you. What’s that? You can’t simply shout out a question into your computer screen? Pshaw, that was true before I’d slept at the Holiday Inn Express. Now, I can sense your questions through mother earth’s vibrations.

Question #1: Have conservatives truly reached epistemic closure?

I have no idea what you’re talking about, and that’s all I know about that.

Question #2: What do you think of Stephen Hawking’s prediction that we’ll be able to travel forward in time in the future?

Hey man, I’m doing that right now! What’s the big deal? We’re all moving forward through time.

This is a point I’m looking forward to explaining to those damned dirty apes who blew it all up.

Question #3: What was the dumbest treatment of time travel in any movie?

I know this is going to raise some eyebrows, but I think it has to be the first Superman movie. If memory serves, Lois dies, and some really bad things happen, too. So Superman goes out into space and flies counterclockwise, as it were, around the Earth so fast that the whole planet not only starts spinning backwards but spins so fast in the wrong direction that the whole planet moves back in time. Forgetting how mind-bogglingly stupid this is in terms of the science, and putting aside the idea that Superman would be smart enough to know that this would work (Had he tried it before? What if it didn’t work and he’d just created massive tidal waves and earthquakes, basically destroying all life on the planet? Was he going to say, “Hey, it was worth a shot at saving my bitchy, type-A girlfriend?), and even ignoring that it was the second-greatest writing cop-out in history (the greatest being the decision to make an entire season or two of Dallas into a dream), it symbolized the reason why I always disliked Superman as a superhero. And, as we all know, Pandit Goldberg is now the measure of all things (thanks again, Holiday Inn Express!).

Question #4: What are you blathering about now?

No, seriously, I can’t speak to the original Superman who had limitations and was something of a Jewish fantasy/Nietzsche rip-off. But by the time I started reading comic books in the 1970s and 1980s, Superman was so incredibly lame because, basically, he was by definition super at everything. He was always strong enough, always fast enough, always everything enough. He could just throw the “super” adjective in front of any bodily function and – voila! – problem solved. (Hey, let’s not get juvenile with the whole bodily-function-plus-super thing)

I’ve never thought Superman was interesting because his human alter-ego was the fraud. There’s actually a great speech [BROKEN LINK] about this at the end of Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (profanity warning; also, the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique). Bill observes that Superman is the only superhero whose alter-ego is a normal person and whose super-being is his real identity. Superman is Superman, he just pretends to be Clark Kent. It’s a great insight, and it helps explain why I’ve never liked Superman. That, and because he’s gay.

I kid, I kid. I don’t dislike him because he’s gay. But he is.

Question # 5 When are you going to stop taking these stupid questions?

Right . . . about . . . now.

Bloomberg’s Bust

As I noted Michael Bloomberg’s in the Corner, I think that Michael Bloomberg’s freelancing about the Time Square bomber is nothing short of a scandal. In his Katie Couric interview, he not only helped fuel the continuing “brown scare” B.S. aimed at Obama’s critics, he revealed that he was either a partisan hack or completely out of the loop while pretending to be on top of the investigation and all its particulars. Authorities already knew it was a Pakistani — or some other Asian-Muslim nationality – by the time Bloomberg was freelancing his Glenn-Beck-did-it bunk.

But that should be well-covered by the time you get this “news”letter. So let us focus on an overlooked idiocy. In the interview he said: “There is no evidence that it`s tied into anything else. It looks like an amateurish job done by at least one person.”

Ah. This is truly expert commentary. Without Bloomberg informing us that there was “at least one person” involved in the failed terrorist attack, many of us might well have assumed that the perpetrators could have been a null set. I would like to see the press conference for something like that.

Police Commissioner: “We are exploring every lead, including the possibility that this event did not happen, or that the atoms in the surrounding atmosphere simply spontaneously and randomly organized in the form of a 1990 Nissan Pathfinder full of propane tanks and fireworks. Of course, we are exploring the more likely scenario that some number of human beings are responsible, but we can’t rule out these other possibilities. Indeed, given the implications of the random-agglomeration-of-atoms possibility, we feel compelled to work diligently to rule out the zero-perpetrators scenario.”

More Bloomberg!

Here’s the opening to a piece by Mayor Bloomberg at the Huffington Post:

[BLOCK]It’s amazing but true: We can prevent terror suspects from boarding an airplane, but the FBI doesn’t have the power to block them from buying dynamite or an AK-47. I believe strongly that they should. And so do the 500 mayors who are members of our bi-partisan coalition of Mayor Against Illegal Guns. [BLOCK]

Um, not the best example. Didn’t the Christmas Bomber and the Unibrow Bomber (my pet name for the Times Square bomber) both actually, you know, get on the planes? Also, someone needs to tell Bloomberg that the “Mayor” in his group’s name is plural.


Anyway, I’ve got to jet. I just landed in D.C., and my Holiday Inn Express wisdom has worn off. And I can’t keep writing this stupid in such close proximity the couch without him chiming in.


See you next week.


Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

Most Popular


The 24 Democrats

Every presidential primary ends with one winner and a lot of losers. Some might argue that one or two once-little-known candidates who overperform low expectations get to enjoy a form of moral victory. (Ben Carson and Rick Perry might be happy how the 2016 cycle ended, with both taking roles in Trump’s cabinet. ... Read More