Friday, July 04, 2008


Happy Birthday, USA


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Thursday, July 03, 2008


Open Thread

A short week, so up goes the thread! Try to avoid those bursting rockets in the eye, kids.

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Rodriguez Opts Out Of Contract...

If by "Rodriguez", one understands it to mean "Cynthia" and by "contract", one means marriage "until death do us part":

Smartest move by C-Rod was the timing: Don't dump the guy
last year as he was dragging some blonde floozy around the leagues. Instead, suffer in silence (though you may give the world an un-subtle hint how you really feel); then, wait until he signs humungous $300 million contract during the off-season. Oh, and have a second child too.

Then, in the middle of a media frenzy sparked by his
alleged horizontal vogueing with a certain middle-aged pop star (who has a history with New York sports stars), you drop the big bomb: You're leaving him -- and fly off to Paris for some R&R from "just a friend," Lenny Kravitz (wh0 had a fling some years back with the same aforementioned middle-aged pop star)!

Such audacity! It's almost like, um, announcing
in the middle of a World Series game that you're opting out of your Yankee baseball contract!

Revenge, as they say, is a dish best served cold.


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Farai Chideya, Mary Frances Berry and I talked politics on Wednesday. Before our three-way conversation, Farai interviewed Mary one-on-one on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Thurgood Marshall. You might want to check that out, if only to add some context to my comments at the very end of the politics segment.

Marshall was a remarkable figure and one of the great ironies -- which I only inferred because of time and not wishing to sound flip or disrespectful -- is that he may be the only Supreme Court Justice whose high court service was the least interesting or significant part of his life and career.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Somebody Tie Ed Down...

...before the McGonigal man goes for his gun rack on this news.

Hey, Brett, when you're one funny movie cameo was ten years ago, you're officially no longer cool. How can we miss you, if you WON'T STAY AWAY!!!

Besides, guess who will wanna come back -- just to get one more gimme sack?

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The Audacity Of Co-Option

Say this about the Obama campaign -- it has a ruthless brilliant efficiency that is scary to behold.

The candidate saw a nice little policy-political morsel planted by the Bush administration and has said, "Thanks, we think that's perfect for us!" Voila! "Faith-based organizations" will now be part of the Obama coalition:

As part of his outreach to evangelical voters, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will tour the Eastside Community Ministry in Zanesville, Ohio, on Tuesday and give an address on how he plans to builda "real" partnership between faith-based organizations and the White House if he becomes president.

Obama's outreach to evangelical voters has also included private summits with pastors, an effort to reach out to young evangelicals and a fundraiser with the Matthew 25 political action committee. It describes itself as a group of moderate evangelicals, Catholics and Protestants committed to electing the Illinois Democrat president.

Matthew 25's name is inspired by a biblical passage, in the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus says, "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink." The name is meant to signal the group's focus on social justice concerns about hot-button cultural issues.

The irony is superb: In his first campaign and term, Bush started talking about using faith-based organizations as an extension of federal policy for two reasons: 1) As a basic talking point for what "compassionate conservatism" could be and, 2) as a possible overture to black churches which have traditionally been aligned with Democrats. Obama now sees a way to use that infrastructure for his own purposes.

Obama now gets a similar two-fer with this: 1) He can point to a domestic initiative of the Bush administration that he agrees with and thus burnish his bipartisan sensibilities and, 2) more significantly, he establishes the importance of "faith" and spirituality in the Obama brand (and, incidentally, if he becomes president, will be able to spread federal largesse through various organizations -- without liberals emitting a peep).

The fact that John McCain doesn't talk about religion or faith nearly as much as Bush -- or Obama -- is just a bonus.

No, this won't get hard-core social conservatives switching to Obama. But for the observant voter in the middle (many swing Catholics, for example), this is a great way to reach them.

This is, by the way, not the first time that a Republican president's domestic policy initiative has been -- or could be -- expanded by a later Democratic president. Recall that the Earned Income Tax Credit was developed in the Nixon-Ford administrations. Ronald Reagan expanded it and then Bill Clinton used it as a major redistributive program to offset welfare reform.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008


RAG Media Heads-Up

Your blogging host will be appearing on CNN's "Situation Room" tonight (Tuesday) at around 6:30PM EST. He will also be on NPR's "News And Notes" on Wednesday (check local listings).

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Sunday, June 29, 2008


A Google/Blogger Anti-Anti-Obama Bias?

I certainly hope not. However, this post from Newsbusters is troubling:
It turns out that there is an interesting pattern where it concerns the blogs that Google's Blogspot team have summarily locked down on their service. They all belong to the Just Say No Deal coalition, a group of blogs that are standing against the Obama campaign. It seems the largest portion of these blogs are Hillary supporting blogs, too.

All I can say is, WOW! If Google is willing to abuse its power like this even against fellow leftists, what does it plan against conservatives, the folks Google hates even more!?

Here is a list of the Blogspot blogs that have been frozen by Google thus far:

One respondent to the post asks if it isn't possible that Blogger automatically "locks" a blog that it gets "spam" complaints about. Blogger does that for sites that could be deemed "offensive." So, if that is the case, then it behooves Blogger to realize that that policy could be easily abused during a political year. Indeed, already other Commenters are talking about flagging various pro-Obama blogs as "spam."

This is not a good thing.

Whether this is intentional or accidental, Google/Blogger needs to figure out a way to stop this.

As an addendum, I should note that I stumbled across the Newsbusters post via a cool Facebook app called "Blog Networks." In addition to allowing bloggers to build their own fan base on Facebook, it also gives readers access to random blog posts. This is another reason why I find myself becoming quite the Facebook evangelist. FB has reportedly recently passed MySpace as the worldwide leader in social networking -- though MS still leads in America. This should give Google/Blogger impetus to get its act together, re:the above problem. As powerful as Google is in the technology area, it's not the only game in town.

There are a lot of Facebook users out there and something tells me they won't like any insinuation that Blogger is being manipulated for political purposes. As my friend Steve Clemons noted not too long ago, Facebook has become a major player itself in the news dissemination/political organization/"ideas" marketing realm.

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"Rome 1960"

In Sunday's Post, I review David Maraniss' assessment of the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. Probably only someone who managed to do autobiographies of Bill Clinton, Roberto Clemente and Vince Lombardi could weave so adroitly the personal dramas of the athletes, the politics of the Cold War playing in the background -- as well as the internal (infernal?) Olympic bureacracies.

I recommend it.

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