Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I'm with the majority in disagreeing with Andrew Sullivan on Obama's "denunciation and rejection" (happy, Hillary?) of Louis Farrakhan. Yes, Andrew, saying that you have consistently denounced is the same as saying you currently denounce. At least in this context. I mean, I could say that I consistently denounced Futurama before I actually sat down and watched a few episodes and decided that I liked it after all. But I can't imagine that Obama has, since his last denunciation (and I'm tempted to go back and trawl for some), said, "You know something? I think I agree with that whole white-people-not-being-fully-evolved thing."

I only saw the last half hour of the debate, but I think we have ourselves a president.

Rushdie watch

Evidently those folks in Philly heard about this. But the man himself doesn't seem so worried. There were no assault rifles or ferocious attack dogs in the vicinity when I got his autograph in Austin a few years ago. Just a golf cart driven by someone's mom.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Filling in nicely

I think the most telling line of this lame attack piece by Bill Kristol appears just after the body:

"Paul Krugman is off today."

Seriously, Bill...it doesn't look good to blindly wade into this Obama-hates-America discussion rather than adding something substantive or well-considered. Haven't you done enough to your reputation as it is?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

100-percent chance of shitstorms

I told you Hillary wasn't done yet. To be honest, I'm much more worried about this whole Weather Underground business* than some allegedly fearmongering health care mailer (try saying those last four words with a straight face.) Barack needs to come clean about his relationship with this Ayers fellow. If he only visited the guy's house that one time, he should say so. The Republicans are already grousing over such minutiae as that oh-so-scandalous photo of Obama not holding his hand to his heart during the pledge and his decision not to wear a flag pin on his lapel. Can you imagine what they'll be able to do with this? The Swift Boat thing will seem like...well, like an attack over health care mailers. And the slime they've begun to throw is sticking...CNN is evidently polling its viewers on whether or not they believe Obama is sufficiently patriotic to serve as president.

The Clintons may not bring up the Ayers thing...Hillary won't want to beat the GOP to the punch if Obama ends up being the nominee. As for Bill...well, he can't really claim the moral highground on this front, now can he?

On the bright side, it appears as though she's finally approaching shark-infested waters with a pair of skis.

Oh, and will someone tell Old Man Nader that presidential campaigns are only for young, spry playboys like...John McCain?

*Is is just me, or did the headline on the Ben Smith story linked here once read, "Obama once visited '60s terrorists" and not "radicals"?

Friday, February 22, 2008

So what if she's elfin?

I’m going to wade into this debate cautiously. Ellen Page is totally doable. I know she looks very young, but 20 is fair game for almost anyone (full disclosure: I am also in my 20s.) She isn’t the 16-year old character Jason Bateman creepily lusted after in Juno. Very attractive young woman. An Oscar nomination gets you a free ticket to my boudoir*.

* Not applicable to Dame Judi Dench.

His own words

As a professional magazine writer/editor and an aspiring author, the anecdotes about Obama in this TNR piece really impressed me. The guy has written both of his books with minimal editing and without the help of a hotshot ghostwriter (although, as Jason Zengerle notes, he did consult with political and policy advisors while writing The Audacity of Hope.) I would think that’s highly uncommon for a political figure, based on the written communication skills I’ve seen of many successful entrepreneurs and executives. (Granted, not many of the ones I know have law degrees from Harvard.)

BTW, how do I get myself in a position to make $120,000 to write someone else’s autobiography? Anybody have Barbara Feinman’s cell number? Does she have a MySpace page?

More Obamaganda: Via Matt Y., Jake Tapper has evidently verified the anecdote Barack related about the Army platoon having to hunt for discarded Taliban weapons by contacting the captain he referenced. Boo-ya, motherfuckers! Er, I mean…take that, conservative blogosphere.

The pitfalls of being a maverick

I don’t think anyone in the blogosphere lampoons the “Straight Talk Express” better than Matt Yglesias. Today, he merely warns that McCain will end up having to always talk like a “douchebag” – a.k.a. a sober, non-maverick pol running a national campaign – if he keeps up with the cocky defiance and the bluster. He’ll almost certainly have to re-name the bus if that comes about. “Focus-Group-Tested, Carefully Scripted Flim-Flam Express,” anyone? Do they build buses that long?

About Mac’s alleged “lobbyistress” - I’d use undue influence on a federal agency to help secure business for her telecom clients any day*. Note that this doesn’t reflect sexism on my part, but rather a lack of integrity with regard to ethics in government. (Even though that’s not quite how the New York Times would report it if I were a public figure.)

* I should note that in the other two photos I've seen of her, she's not nearly as hot. Not that it's a prerequisite to becoming BP's sugar momma.

MSM self-parody watch

Some things I noticed today while watching different TV monitors in a noisy restaurant, along with one print-media-related item:

1. Fox News had this so-called “facial coding expert” critiquing freeze-framed moments from last night’s debate. I suppose analyzing the shit out of what they say isn’t enough. And just how does one become an expert in facial coding? Seems like it would involve a lot of staring at faces of strangers in public settings. How many people did this guy have to creep out in order to obtain the proper qualifications to analyze the curvature of Obama’s lips in a split-second frame on a 24-hour cable news network? Did he ever get maced or kicked in the nads?

2. Televised competitive fishing on the ESPN networks has probably been going on for years. I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to explore the absurdity. I am aware that a great deal of thought, preparation and strategy goes into getting one’s self into a position to reel an optimal amount of fish out of water, but the fact is that the whole thing depends entirely on the behavior of dumb animals we really can’t control. I think there should be other guys with diving equipment under the water who have to try to grab the fish before they go for the bait. Now that’s something I…still won’t watch.

3. New York Magazine has rehashed a famous nude Marilyn Monroe photo shoot with that chick from the movie about mean high school girls. If you’re not aware of my antipathy toward cheap celebrity, go here. Still…what a great set of cans! (Here's a link from the aforementioned "news" network in case you give a shit what Neil Cavuto thinks about this.)

Debate over the debate over the debate

I think it’s crazy to suggest that Clinton’s final words in Austin constituted a concession. Seemed more like a cleverly calculated move to recast herself as an underdog who’s not afraid to lose. We all know how she loves to play the sympathetic figure role when her back’s against the wall. Let’s let March 4 (and the upcoming debate in Cleveland) come and go before we claim white flag sightings. I know the delegate math looks pretty bad for her, even if she wins Ohio and Texas, but why would someone with her ego and apparent sense of entitlement capitulate unless the odds were clearly insurmountable? And she did attack him on the Deval Patrick and Kirk Watson things. (On the latter point, she totally gave Obama a great opportunity to list some of his legislative accomplishments. All that just to express her amusement at Watson’s lack of preparedness to be a surrogate?)

Another thing about that upcoming Cleveland debate…wouldn’t it make more sense to wait until then to start throwing the haymakers, giving Obama less time to recover before the primaries? I’m no expert on these kinds of things, so I can’t say for sure.

I’m glad it drew boos from the crowd, but I kind of liked her “Change you can Xerox” line from a comedic standpoint. I’m easily amused.

Overall, I agree that Obama won simply because he made no mistakes and held his own effectively against attacks on his experience, health care policy proposals, Plagiarismgate and just about everything else. I didn’t care for his getting-his-things-together-before-he-leaves response to the final question about challenges.

“Uhhh, well, you know, my life has been kinda interesting and stuff.”

On the other hand, I kind of like the analogy many bloggers and commenters have made to a football team running out the clock with a big lead late in the fourth quarter. But couldn’t he have come up with something – anything – specific to preemptively take steam out of Clinton’s histrionics?

Then again, it’s not like he can say “I took on the Republican attack machine in a presidential election as a black one-term senator, and I survived.” Yet.