Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the Original Yiddish


In follow up of the previous post, I present Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the original Yiddish (video above).

Christmas: A Jewish Conspiracy

With all his concern about the bogus War on Christmas, Bill O’Reilly is missing the real conspiracy. Jews are taking over Christmas–or at least the songs. Jeffery Goldberg mocks a complaint that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has religious overtones:

Of course, the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was written by a Jewish-American songwriter, Johnny Marks. He also wrote “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” Also written by Jews: “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” and of course, the mother of all Jewish-written Christmas songs, “White Christmas,” by Irving Berlin.  Why, you could almost say there’s a conspiracy by Jews to dominate the Christmas-jingle-writing industry!

If the plan works, we will have the Christianists spending more time singing harmless songs and far less time on promoting the teaching of creationism in schools, restricting abortion rights, preventing embryonic stem cell research, and worrying about who can get married.

Update: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the original Yiddish.

Rove Losing His Touch

After winning in 2000 and 2004 the conventional wisdom was that Karl Rove was a political genius. Winning was all that mattered. Few paid attention to the fact that if not for butterfly ballots in Florida and a friendly Supreme Court he could have lost in 2000. Fewer paid attention to the fact that Bush won reelection by a remarkably small margin for an incumbent president during war time. The results of the 2006 election made some finally question his tactics, and the 2008 election made many question the future of the entire Republican Party. I’m not sure if anyone is really playing attention to Rove’s advice as to how the GOP can make a comeback.

Rove has a number of fairly basic recommendations. The problem is that he seems to lack understanding of how bad a predicament the GOP is in and why it is where it is. He is in serious denial if he thinks that the three Republican wins after the November election mean anything. Nobody is surprised by the Republicans winning in the south. Their problem is that, with the exception of some sparsely populated states in the west, the Republicans will have difficulty winning anywhere outside of the south. It certainly was not impressive for Joseph Cao to defeat William Jefferson since Cao ran on a clean government platform and not as a typical Republican.

Republicans will have great difficulty winning a national election since their views are no longer in line with the majority of the country. Rove fails to realize this writing, “The GOP has the right principles to become the majority party again.”

Republicans lost this year primarily because Americans thought the Democrats can best handle economic matters. Making matters far worse for the Republicans is that they are also losing ground in other areas besides economic policy. At one time Republicans were considered the party of stability and common sense on foreign policy. Now they are the party of the nutty neocons who got us involved in one of the worst foreign policy fiascoes of all time, while Obama has taken the center on foreign policy. Extremist views on social issues, along with a hostility towards science and reason, has led to educated, affluent voters switching to the Democrats. Similarly large percentages of young voters do not take the Republicans seriously. A party in which many members live in a fantasy world and promote views such as creationism is an anachronism in the 21st century. Republicans must either change their views or be content remaining the party of the reactionary south, and ultimately they risk even being rejected there. They cannot fight the modern world forever.

Obama’s Role In Blagojevich’s Fall

New York has two newspapers which desire to be national papers. One generally does an excellent job. The other, while it does do some good reporting, has its credibility hurt by repeatedly making arguments which are counter to fact in its editorial pages. We can see this in the discussion of the background to the Blagojevich case.

John Fund, in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, claims that Obama was mute on Illinois corruption, ignoring Obama’s role in passing ethics reform while in the state legislature. He even admits to one fact quite late in the article which contradicts what he had written above it:

To his credit, Mr. Obama did call Mr. Jones in September to urge passage of an ethics bill banning some office holders from accepting money from a business that has a $50,000 or larger contract with the state. The bill passed and takes effect on Jan. 1

The New York Times leads with the story which The Wall Street Journal buried:

In a sequence of events that neatly captures the contradictions of Barack Obama’s rise through Illinois politics, a phone call he made three months ago to urge passage of a state ethics bill indirectly contributed to the downfall of a fellow Democrat he twice supported, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich.

Mr. Obama placed the call to his political mentor, Emil Jones Jr., president of the Illinois Senate. Mr. Jones was a critic of the legislation, which sought to curb the influence of money in politics, as was Mr. Blagojevich, who had vetoed it. But after the call from Mr. Obama, the Senate overrode the veto, prompting the governor to press state contractors for campaign contributions before the law’s restrictions could take effect on Jan. 1, prosecutors say…

Mr. Obama used leverage that he had seldom employed — publicly, anyway — and strongly urged Mr. Jones to bypass Mr. Blagojevich and approve the ethics bill, banning the so-called pay-for-play system of influence peddling in Illinois. When asked at the time how Mr. Obama had come to be involved, Mr. Jones replied, “He’s a friend.”

When the Illinois Senate passed the measure by 55 to 0 on Sept. 22, with Mr. Jones reversing his position, Mr. Obama praised the move as one creating “a tougher ethics law that will reduce the influence of money over our state’s political process.” Mr. Obama’s intervention deepened a rift between him and Mr. Blagojevich that had been growing for some time.

Opposite Polling Results for Obama and Bush

First Read has some observations on yesterday’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll results. Despite the greater polarization we have seen in recent years, Obama is entering office with higher ratings than his predecessors:

Obama is enjoying a bigger honeymoon than his recent predecessors ever did. Just consider these numbers in the latest NBC/WSJ poll: 67% say they’re pleased with Obama’s early appointments, 75% believe that the level of his involvement in making policy has been exactly right, and his fav/unfav rating is 67%-16%. By comparison, a month after their initial presidential victories, Bush’s rating was 48%-35% and Clinton’s was 60%-19%.

Bush’s approval is as low as Obama’s approval is high:

While the public is giving Obama a nice honeymoon, it’s finalizing its divorce from President Bush. A whopping 79% in the poll say they’re not going to miss him when he leaves office. That’s compared with 55% who said the same of Clinton in December of 2000. Moreover, almost half (48%) think that Bush will go down as one of the worst presidents in our history. Just 18% said that of Clinton and only 6% said that of Bush 41. But Bush 43 isn’t the only Republican who has taken a hit in the new NBC/WSJ poll. Dick Cheney leaves office with sporting an all-time low in his personal rating. And the Republican Party’s fav/unfav is 27%-52%, which is its lowest rating ever in the poll (by comparison, the Democratic Party’s is nearly reversed, 49%-28%). And get this: The most popular Republican we tested is Condi Rice, whose fav/unfav 47%-18%. But among Republicans only, the most popular is Palin — with a whopping 73%-13% rating. But Palin’s overall score is a net negative, 35%-45%, which means she fares poorly among Democrats and independents.

If Republicans see Sarah Palin as their top pick they risk remaining a minority party for quite a while.