Saturday, August 09, 2008

 

Open Thread

Go for the gold in threading!

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Friday, August 08, 2008

 

Not The Next Attorney General

John Edwards' public career is pretty much kaput: Affair? Yes. Lied about it? Of course. Loved his mistress? Of course not!! (That must make Elizabeth feel much better!) Any "love child"? No, well, probably not (he didn't take a paternity test).

Not quite sure what it was that he said back in January that made me say this, but this latest admission just confirms both my gut instinct and my state of mind at the time.

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"The One"

So, is that John McCain ad mocking Obama as "The One" just another satirical dig at the young senator's celebrity status? Or is it subtly primed to take advantage of a sub-rosa suspicion of where Obama's true power comes from?

Amy Sullivan makes a pretty good case that it seems a little bit more than just coincidence.

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Summer Games

Well, what would August be without the Olympics -- and war breaking out between former Soviet states!

As much as I'm rooting for Georgia, Russia should be seen as the favorite to get the "the gold."

With so many to choose from, what will ultimately be seen as the Bush administration's worst foreign policy decision? Iraq is obvious. Some might point to China. But an argument could also be made that standing by as Vladimir Putin consolidated power and reasserted nationalistic aggressiveness may have ripple effects for years to come. And this was the man who Bush vouched for personally, getting a "sense of his soul" by looking into his eye.

The difference between that sort of narcissistic baby boomerism and Reagan's "trust but verify" is stunning -- and tragic -- to behold. And, it's not as if Bush's adopting Putin as his BFF has actually gotten the United States anything of much value on the world stage. On the contrary, Russia has been more than happy to side with China on serious diplomatic ventures.

And, yes, I understand perfectly well that Vladimir Putin is no longer the president of Russia.

So what?

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

 

Thursday Round-Up

This started out as a quick way to pound out a post the last couple weeks ago when I was doing extra work for the day job. But, I kind of like the idea of doing a handful of quickies (keep your minds out of the gutter):

1) Yep, it's still about them -- Bill and Hill. Still aggrieved over Obama's taking the nomination. Of the two, Bill is having the hardest time getting over it:
Not helping is the fact that Obama has yet to follow up on the tentative dinner plans he and Bill Clinton made at the end of the primary season. "It's personal with him, in terms of his own legacy," says a friend of Bill Clinton's. "And the race stuff really left a bad taste in his mouth."

Ironic, given that it wasn't that long ago that dinner (pizza) plans with Monica Lewinsky ended up leaving a bad taste in her mouth.

2) Ah, just what we need -- a Marion Barry for the 21st century (well, without the crack). Ladies and gentlemen, Kwame Kilpatrick.

3) John McCain: Against "inflation" before he was for it. Let's hope the "pressure" isn't getting to him. Of course, it can be difficult to guage these things. Whole thing seems pretty tired to me.

4) The Village Voice's Wayne Barrett identifies the hidden culprit in the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac meltdown. And no, it's not a Republican -- or anyone in the Bush administration.


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B-R-E-T-T-S JETS! JETS! JETS!

RT contributor Ed McGonigal's nightmare, got even worse -- sports media's favorite boy toy, No. 4 will play this season in the country's biggest media market.

Jet fans are ecstatic, however, one wonders whether Favre's iron man streak of games started will survive an improved, yet inexperienced Jet offensive-line unit.

One major farewell salute though to Chad Pennington. He's the loser in the Favre merry-go-round. The Jets will either release or trade him within hours. Pennington never had the strongest arm, but he was a classy, gutty QB who took the team to the playoffs three times in his career -- even surving Herman Edwards not-so-imaginative offensive schemes. Happy trails, Chad.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

 

The Newest Political Superstar


As a co-worker said: "This undoes a decade of me loathing her."

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

 

The FBI's Powder Keg

Tired of being blamed for multiple screw-ups -- Wen Ho Lee, Richard Jewell, Stephen Hatfill -- the FBI has had enough:
Under pressure to make public its case against a U.S. Army scientist in the 2001 anthrax murders, the FBI is preparing to release its evidence on the researcher, who killed himself before he could be charged, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.

The evidence could be released as early as Wednesday and includes anthrax spores found in the office of Bruce Ivins that were linked through DNA matching to the spores sent through the mail, the officials said.

Wow. Think about that: "The FBI is preparing to release its evidence on the researcher!!!!" "The evidence... includes antrax spores."

Oh, wonderful. Think we know where this one's heading?

Anyone going to that press briefing Wednesday might want to make sure they've got their mouthguards on. Otherwise, things might get ugly.

[Everybody, run for your lives!!! The spores...the spores...the spores have been released!!!

[Confused Bureau officials didn't understand why releasing the evidence (anthrax) on a researcher who was already dead might be deemed excessive by the public...

[FBI Director Robert Mueller was said to be preparing an apology to the families of the unintended victims at the press briefing...]


(Grammatical hat tip to Jeff Stier)

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Self-Parody Watch

Barack Obama's new ad takes on the GOP head-on -- asserts country is "worse off than four years ago", castigates "Big Tobacco" and "the drug companies" and boldly vows to "reform Wall Street" and take on "Big Oil."

Oh, wait, it's not
Obama's new ad:



Words fail.

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(Relative) Peace & Prosperity?

Andrew Sullivan asks why the race remains close and zeroes in on both changes on the ground in Iraq -- and the likely increased Democrat numbers in Congress that might argue for divided government:

The second factor, I'd argue, is, paradoxically, Democratic strength. The shift away from the GOP is pronounced everywhere (democracy hasn't failed completely) and few doubt that the Dems could make big gains in both House and Senate this fall. So the threat of the kind of Republican agenda that propelled Bush from 2002 to 2006 is much diminished. McCain, moreover, is not so bad a figure to deal with a Democratic Congress from the perspective of many independent voters, especially since the Congress is pretty much reviled as well. So the choice becomes an all-Democratic government, headed by a senator whose newness is still one of the most striking things about him - or an old war horse who ticked off all the right Republicans at one point or other and who was more right about the sruge than Obama. Obama's hopes for a landslide therefore rest on the chance that economic distress will now do to the public mood what Iraq once did - and make bold change seem necessary. [Emphasis added]
The last line, however, is rather significant.

John McCain and the
Republicans members of the House have managed to play the oil drilling issue perfectly. Barack Obama has publicly backtracked on it. Nancy Pelosi is now talking about holding a House vote -- and letting many Democrats vote their conscience. But, here's the really significant part. Oil prices are falling significantly. What was $147 a barrell a three weeks ago -- when the GOP started pushing the drilling theme strongly -- is now $118. It doesn't seem to be stopping at this point.

Now, the drop in barrell price is not yet necessarily seen at the gasoline pump. However, if that occurs by the fall -- and home-heating prices are not necessarily as expensive as people expect (which, even if they are, won't really be felt until late November, December, January) -- the most telling personal aspect of a precarious economy might not be felt nationwide.

In short, John McCain (though not necessarily the GOP) might not be in such a bind: Iraq will be stable ahd he won't have to be seen defending a "calamitous" economy steered by an unpopular incumbent president. Running against a young Democratic hopeful that voters may still have doubts about suddenly doesn't seem such a tough row to hoe.


It's not exactly running on a record of "peace and prosperity," but the political landscape for McCain is not necessarily as disastrous as it appeared at the beginning of the year.

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RAG Performances

For those in the New York area this week, you can come check out your humble blogger on stage:


Thursday, August 7th, 7PM @ the Broadway Comedy Club: I'll be participating in a stand-up comedy contest to win some prime spots around town. The club is at 318 W. 53rd Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues. Making reservations ahead of time will get you $5 bucks off the cover charge. Call (212) 629-1781 or e-mail, bellylaughstix@aol.com. You Facebook-ies can also let me know you're coming by going here.



Saturday, August 9th, 7PM @ The PIT:


Bringing my varied talents together: I'll be part of a bipartisan group taking a humorous look at the political year. I will be doing a few minutes of stand-up, having a roundtable discussion -- and then participating in some improv with folks I've never performed with before! Ah, it's like being on the high-wire without a net! The PIT (People's Improv Theatre) is at 154 W. 29TH Street (between 6th & 7th). Some more details here.
Drop by either or both as the mood and the muse strikes you!

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Libertarian Q&A For The Candidates

Reason's Radley Balko asks questions of John McCain and Barack Obama that a few libertarians might like answered. (Yes, some libertarians can't even agree on what a libertarian is, let alone agree on questions of the candidates, but Radley does his best.)

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