Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Updated

Kiss Kiss: I’m very happy that our president-elect is bringing people with measurable IQs, degrees from accredited schools and actual expertise back into government, in decision-making positions, no less. I do hope his economy team has the vision and the courage to be bold – and concern about that is not mere trolling. Some of this, please.

On the foreign policy front, where we will be represented by the natural leader of our country, we’re in excellent shape. It speaks very highly of Barack Obama’s judgment and self-confidence that he has been willing to embrace a co-presidency (which seems to be Hillary’s fate) – especially with a partner as formidable and dedicated as she. It’s all the more impressive that he is doing so over the frothing objections of – perhaps with the intent of sending a message to? – some of his most prominent supporters.

Bang Bang: Note to Chris Matthews, Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich, Christopher Hitchens, Josh Marshall, John Avarosis, Markos, Arianna Huffington and the rest of the zombie crew (you know who you are): I recommend the film below for your holiday viewing pleasure. I myself give thanks, with you in mind, every time I get to the 2:00 mark in this clip:

And for one whose brains long ago exploded, here's another option for you, Keith Olbermann (1:40 et seq.):

John Heilemann has an excellent piece in the latest New York magazine on the political meanings of Obama tapping Hillary for SoS. It concludes:
"It demonstrates strength, whereas selecting her as his running mate would have displayed the opposite (the stories would all have been about how he did it because he had no choice). And it demonstrates a level of self-confidence remarkable even in someone who just won the presidency. One of the cardinal rules of the Beltway is that you never appoint a subordinate who, for all practical purposes, can’t be fired. Colin Powell was very nearly such an appointment, and George W. Bush came to regret it. Hillary Clinton would be another. Obama is wagering that Clinton will do his bidding and not pursue her own agenda because she will see that her future—in electoral politics, in how she’s treated in the history books—will be bound up with his success. He’s not just bringing her inside the tent; he is making her a tent-pole. This strategy is either shrewd or delusional. But timid it is not."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Send Not To Know for Whom the Nape Bristles - Updated

Just when I’m musing about taking down my shingle, a few more sick fuckfaces stumble into in the waiting room…

The Times reports today that “some in the Obama camp are bristling at what they see as strategic leaks by the Clintons aimed at boxing in the president-elect and forcing him to offer the post" – i.e., Hillary’s prospective nomination as Secretary of State. There seem to be two outrages prompting said bristling. First, Bill was asked about it, at an unrelated event – asked about the extensively pimped “investigation” into his dealings (which was, in fact, leaked and then bloviated upon with outrage in the Times and across the shrillosphere) – and he said he'd do whatever they wanted. Second, Hillary sought to understand her proposed role and scope of authority.

So let’s get this straight. “The Obama camp” did talk quite a bit to reporters, anonymously, about how supposedly serious the issues surrounding Bill's activities were – deliberately spreading the meme that there's something unsavory in the Clinton Global Initiative (which makes sense when you understand what a racist he is). And yet they’re the ones “bristling” when he reacts to this by saying in public – the nerve! – that he’ll agree to all their conditions… or any further conditions they come up with.

And on point two, we pick up no seismic evidence of bristling when exactly the same things are done by Tom Daschle (his own possible conflicts, his wife's continuing role as a lobbyist, and his insistence on real power to shape healthcare policy). Not to mention, of course, that these people have been working actively behind the scenes and anonymously to their pals in the Clinton-hating press to exclude Hillary herself – the obvious leader in America on universal healthcare – from a leadership position on healthcare.

Let’s stipulate that Bill Clinton is what to manage. Without doubt, he will not go gently into that good night. But grown-ups would see him mostly as a huge asset, not mostly a problem. These people are supposed to be up to managing the world – and their sensibilities are so delicate and their equilibrium is so unsteady that they can't manage this?

Who are the leakers here? Who are the pimps? Who are the enablers? Who’s the prima donna? Who are the grown-ups? Who are the practitioners of the old politics and the “new”? And whose follicles of moral outrage deserve to stand on end?

Update: I am prompted to a further thought by Anglachel's new rumination on what Hillary's appointment as SOS would mean -- to the world, to America, to the State Department and to the new Administration. If Obama actually extends the offer to her, that would be a highly significant act, for all the reasons Anglachel states. It would obviously demonstrate his own lack of infection by CDS, and his own self-confidence. And the fact that it would also, deliciously, explode the brains of the Army of the Undead (scroll down to "Bimbo Eruption")... well, that would be a tasty boat of gravy for those turkeys. (Not the least of it would be denying the alliance of the Clinton-hating press and "the Obama camp" their dearest wish... at the hands of their own love object. Nice.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Biting the Bullet Points

Items in the passing parade:

  • Into the sunset? You’ve probably noted a reduction in frequency of posts here. I’m musing on whether and/or with what purpose to continue this blog – ruminations influenced by factors ranging from personal/family/work considerations… to tonight’s news of the apparent absorption into the OBorg of my political hero and the original raison d’etre for my alter ego’s animadversions.

  • Go read David Brooks in tomorrow’s Times. Yes, David Brooks. Whether Obama rises to the occasion or not, whether or not we get a New New Deal, one thing is certain: People are going to curse the name of George W. Bush. (If Depression I gave us Hoovervilles, will Depression II give us Bushburbs?)

  • The Girls of MSNBC. What goes through the heads and hearts of the kept women of this hothouse of misogyny – up to and including Rachel Maddow (who seems, per her New York Magazine piece of puffery, to be just hunky-dory with KO, Tweety, Chuck and the Ladz)?

  • Hopeless for a Cure. I know we’ll eventually conquer cancer, AIDS, schizophrenia and hangnails, but if the Martians do invade, they’d better be prepared for something a lot more persistent.

  • Derridean Derivatives: Another one to go read – John Lanchester’s consideration of the financial meltdown as a crisis of postmodernism, in the Nov. 10 New Yorker. The nut graf: “If the invention of derivatives was the financial world’s modernist dawn, the current crisis is unsettlingly like the birth of postmodernism. For anyone who studied literature in college in the past few decades, there is a weird familiarity about the current crisis: value, in the realm of finance capital, evokes the elusive nature of meaning in deconstructionism.”

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Four by Four

Today’s four wonderful things:

  1. America has elected an African-American as president.
  2. America’s standing in the world is about to rise dramatically.
  3. The Republican Party is d-doornail-dead as a national party. It’ll be a generation before they can regroup and take over again.
  4. Our new president is a lodestone for people’s hopes – so, a big chunk of the human race will have his back, will be trying to help him succeed.

Today’s four lousy things:

  1. The misogyny of the primaries has been rewarded, and in a very personalized way for one remarkable person. Hillary Clinton will never be President of the United States.
  2. The Democratic Party is being led by deeply unserious and/or unprincipled people.
  3. We have a large question-mark at the center of our government, in a chair that has traditionally required vision and decisiveness, and at a time that would seem to require an extra measure of both.
  4. Homophobia still ranges the land – even on the Left Coast.

And tomorrow? Well, it’s another day... and the forecast is at least a mix of sunshine and clouds, after a long, dark season.