The Talking Dog

March 31, 2008, The Slog...

That's referring to primary season, of course... which takes a much unneeded lull, as we are still around 3 weeks away from Pennsylvania, fwiw, which isn't much. The surrogates will call for Sen. Clinton to drop out, and Chris Hitchens will call for Sen. Clinton to drop dead, such as this post, more or less upping criticism for her... missteps... concerning her not-so-dangerous trip to Bosnia, and going to largely blaming her for the Bosnian genocide!

Hitch's post comes close to demonstrating a problem that Zuzu nails in one (albeit a lengthy one) in this post ("why calling out misogyny matters"); some money lines:

So, having listed my feminist bona fides, allow me to explain why calling out the misogynist shit thrown at Hillary Clinton, even if you think that Clinton is a party-destroying, warmongering succubus feeding at the corporate teat, is important. The Wall Street Journal has helpfully provided a framework for discussion:
When Sen. Clinton started her presidential campaign more than a year ago, she said she wanted to shatter the ultimate glass ceiling. But many of her supporters see something troubling in the sometimes bitter resistance to her campaign and the looming possibility of her defeat: a seeming backlash against the opportunities women have gained….

But her campaign has also prompted slurs and inflammatory language that many women thought had been banished from public discourse. Some women worry that regardless of how the election turns out, the resistance to Sen. Clinton may embolden some men to resist women’s efforts to share power with them in business, politics and elsewhere.

This is why I continue to call out the use of misogyny and sexist insults in this campaign. It’s not so much that I’m defending Clinton (though I think she’s getting an unfair shake in the media and in the blogosphere, and that annoys me), but that I’m calling this shit out because this shit hurts women. Women like me. Women like many of you. Women like your daughters, your sisters, your mothers, your friends, your spouses, your SOs. If it’s okay to dehumanize a US Senator and presidential candidate as “that thing” or dismiss her as “that bitch,” or set up a 527 called “Citizens United Not Timid” (aka C.U.N.T.) to “educate the American public about what Hillary Clinton really is,” then we now have an environment in which it’s okay to dehumanize, demean and diminish ordinary women because they’re women.

In short, the Obama candidacy has benefitted from the fact that it is, thankfully, uncool in any kind of polite society (and that includes Wall Street trading floors and locker rooms) to express openly racist sentiments. Alas, it still seems that there are large swathes of this society where it is perfectly cool to express, if not to espouse, openly sexist or outright misogynistic sentiments. This is most unfortunate. More unfortunate still that Sen. Clinton is herself such a divisive figure as to invite this sort of thing, but the fact that while Hillary Clinton may be a seemingly inviting target of this... Zuzu's point is that no one, ever, ever, deserves this kind of crap. No. One. Not. Even. Hillary.

In some sense, that is another major and humongous failure of all of us, but especially of the political classes this year. None of the Democrats, to be sure, should have tolerated attacks of a misogynistic nature against Sen. Clinton. They are unfair, and dehumanizing to all of us (and as Hitchens reminds us, entirely unnecessary!) And it was Sen. McCain himself-- the man who Sen. Clinton unforgivably lauded in the course of her pre-TX and OH denigrating of Sen. Obama-- who didn't miss a beat in describing "how we beat the bitch" (he sure as hell did not chide the disrespectful and misogynistic sentiment.)

I have not been shy about my favoring Sen. Obama's candidacy over Sen. Clinton's, at this point... but we are all diminished in standing by while the national discourse is debased.

March 29, 2008, The meaning of life

Damned if I know. That's kind of the point, is it not?

I got an e-mail from Randy earlier in the week, to tell me some dreadful news about someone we both knew from our work lives. As coincidence would have it, Norman was someone I had met in the job I managed to secure in White Plains, New York shortly after September 11th (I lost my previous job because of the proximity of that office to the WTC site, i.e. one block North of what is now the north side of "Ground Zero"). Norman was often kind enough to drive me back into the City, sometimes all the way home; later on, Norman and Randy ended up working in the same law firm, and I worked in another office in the same building in lower Manhattan.

Any way, Norman was a rare individual, as Randy points out, an attorney about whom no one ever had anything bad to say. I will go still further and say that he was a man devoid of pretentions, as authentic a human being as I have encountered. A man who simply saw life for what it was, who lived in the here and now. A man capable of fully experiencing the full panoply of human feelings from top to bottom, with the full intensity of someone who feels them uncontaminated by pretention.

During the all too short time I knew him, he found the love of his life, and then, as his young son was born a few months ago, the happiest moment of his life, only to be diagnosed with terminal cancer almost immediately thereafter, leaving both wife and infant child behind, leaving us at only 44. Is any of this fair? As Randy told me after the funeral this morning, fair is just not a concept which with this universe is familiar.

The friendships I have made and retained in my adult life as a result of working have, invariably, been from my "shorter stays," those positions which, for a variety of reasons, I could not stay in very long, and were often marked by turbulence of some kind. (Most of the other friendshiips I have made have been from blogging-- which in many ways, are not dissimilar.) Maybe it's a "war-buddies" kind of thing. Who the hell knows? Anyway, Norman was of that character: the kind of man you wished had your back in a foxhole if it ever came to that. In the case of my eight months or so in White Plains, I had quite literally signed on as a temp, and though I later became a "full-timer", the often two-plus hour commute each day was becoming maddening (even with Norman often driving me back to Manhattan) and I left to take a job in the City.

Regular readers know that my signature first question in interviews concerns where the subject was on September 11th. It took me until this morning to realize why this question seems so important to me. During my talks with Norman as he wouuld drive me down the FDR, sometimes past Lower Manhattan, we would often talk about those strange events that threw us all together. As of this moment, my recollection (perhaps faulty) is that Norman himself was up in White Plains, with the other lawyers and staff at the law firm there, while in his own mind he realized that two of his dear friends worked in the WTC. "Oh my God, Terence and Joanne are dead." Simple, to the point. As real as it gets.

Sadly, his friend Joanne had indeed died that day. His friend Terence was one of the readers at Norman's funeral today. There, the priest pointed out the mystery of it all... why are some of us blessed with long lives, and others not? In Norman's case, the time he had here was honorable. The highest praise one can give, in my book. Still... why didn't this man get more time here, to see his young family grow if nothing else? Why?

Damned if I know. Just damned if I know.

March 27, 2008, Bitter Endgame

"If I can't have it, NO ONE CAN!" Thus is the classic tantrum of many a small child, or, at present, twenty small, rich, spoiled children, who wrote a letter to Nancy Pelosi essentially threatening not to contribute to Democratic causes any longer unless Speaker Pelosi takes back her statements critical of Hillary Clinton's attempts to save the party by stealing the nomination back from those stupid voters. I suspect that when this tactic starts to spin out of control (or be spun out of control, as the case may be), as with many a prior gaffe, Team Clinton will distance itself from it, but frankly, one still has to admire the "can-do" spirit of the Clinton campaign, which never seems to tire of trying to change the rules until it can find one to suit its candidate.

Meanwhile, proving that Team Clinton's efforts at mutual assured destruction are working, a new poll seems to indicate that Barack Obama has indeed taken something of a hit after the recent Rev. Wright flap and his "race speech"... except, of course, not nearly as much of a hit as... Hillary Clinton. She might also want to reconsider that tactic of talking up John McCain's commander in chief bona fides, before some Bosnian sniper weighs in on the issue...

Well... onward to Pennsylvania (which, since it is likely to vote for Senator Clinton in its primary, is clearly one of the states whose voters we should be listening to.)

March 23, 2008, Vox Parvi Populi

While I think of someone to post a picture of, check out Daddy's Amercan Street entry of the week, If God Wanted Us to Keep these things, He wouldn't have put them in the way.

Daddy tells me I haven't yet done... Ashley Tisdale.

This dog is droolier than Vanessa.... ewwww!

That's right, Ashley Tisdale. (Click on her to see what she thinks about the dog she's holding... and someone else.) I'm pretty sure that, like Selena Gomez, Ashley's cool exterior hides a seething cauldron of petty jealousy and supreme rage. At least, I hope so.

This has been... Vox Parvi Popui.

March 21, 2008, Your passport to political adventure

The first and still most logical reaction to the announced kerfuffle that each of the three remaining candidates (Clinton, McCain and Obama, in alphabetical order) had their passport files "breached" by State Department contract employees is "wtf"?. The first announced "breach" was of Obama, and his file was accessed three times (at key moments in the primary cycle) while McCain's and Clinton's were accessed once each, at different times, though in McCain's case, by one of the same accessors.

The first hope one has is the notion that maybe the powerful needed to be reminded once in a while that the rest of us have to live in the national security state that they seem to be hellbent on creating; even they--notwithstanding their vaunted positions as senators and presidential hopefuls-- are still American citizens who our esteemed government can arbitrarily spy on and gather dirt upon, like anyone else.

Still... it certainly strikes me (until proven otherwise) that the target of this adventure is Obama... perhaps, someone is trying to conveniently place him in Afghanistan or some other locale where he might have secretly met with his al-Qaeda overlords? With the "breaches" of Clinton being "a training mistake" and of McCain being unexplained, other than that it was done by one of the three contractors who accessed Obama's file (and two of the three contractors have been fired), I think it's safe to say that Obama-- who has demanded an investigation-- appears to be "the most" injured party here, fwiw, which ain't much at the moment.

For Team Obama, anything that takes the Rev. Wright off the front-page has to be welcome, particuarly as there will be no results of primaries or caucuses for another month or so to do the talking instead. In some sense, this is a "Murder on the Orient Express" situation; dirty tricks operatives abound not only in the Clinton and McCain campaigns, but throughout the Bush Administration, and it is not inconceivable that Obama's own team had something to do with this (see above re: Rev. Wright). Who shall we suspect? How about everyone.

Don't know. Again, anyone who thinks that they somehow have a reasonable degree of privacy for information in the hands of our government or any business that does business with our government... is not thinking clearly. It's all a matter of degree. We'll see if this is a wake-up call to anyone, or just another stop on a long campaign trail.

March 19, 2008, Wooden Anniversary

And so we come to the fifth anniversary of George and Dick and Don's Excellent Iraq Adventure; MSNBC has a bit of a retrospective here. Fifth year traditionally marks the "wood" anniversary (I guess one would give gifts of... furniture or salad bowls?) And in the case of the Bush Administration, wooden sums up the thought processes surrounding the war. With the benefit of a little time, we can now see that there was no basis for anyone to have trusted this Administration in its claims of the allegedly grave threat presented by Saddam, and his now established to be non-existent WMD arsenal; claims of ties to al-Qaeda were more or less debunked at the time. Later claims of a desire to bring democracy to Iraq have proven spurious. And, well... one wonders... why are we there? What has been gained from this outrageously expensive occupation?

And then the answer kind of jumps out at you. Was that originally the intended reason that billions if not trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives to have been flushed down the Mess O' Potamia? No, the whole problem is that the "block-of-wood" mental acuity of the Bush Administration means it probably actually believed its own tripe about the grave threat posed by Saddam (even as the Administration was overplaying if not manufacturing evidence of that threat!)...

Still... expensive oil sure is a nice bonus for our first "all oil man" administration, don't you think?

March 18, 2008, Transcending political reality

Barack Obama gave his long-awaited "race" speech in Philadelphia today; Huffington Post has the full text here.

I mentioned in an earlier post on the late William F. Buckley that his legacy mag, the National Review, often has interesting stuff. Well, this from Charles Murray no less, proves that point. And I quote:

Has any other major American politician ever made a speech on race that comes even close to this one? As far as I'm concerned, it is just plain flat out brilliant—rhetorically, but also in capturing a lot of nuance about race in America. It is so far above the standard we're used to from our pols.... But you know me. Starry-eyed Obama groupie.

I have been quite clear that I support (my college classmate) Sen. Obama, and frankly, we who call ourselves Democrats will have f***ed up as a party (probably until the end of time) if Obama does not secure our party's nomination this year. Yes, he might still lose to John McCain (thanks 100% to Hillary Clinton if it happens, btw, for trying to frame the race for McCain, just to try to trip up Obama for her own benefit), but if we lose with Obama, we lose for the right reason for a change. We will lose because we went for the soul, for what is right and good, and not just for what sounds good, or likely to generate some some short term political advantage, or because we were trying to game counties in Ohio and Florida.

This speech was no God-damned Bill Clinton God- damned Sista Souljah God-damned moment. Barack didn't dump the Rev. Wright: he acknowledged him for what he is-- a flawed human being, with strengths as well as weaknesses (serious weaknesses, duly acknowledged in the speech). As much of a political liability as Wright seems to be becoming, Obama will not, after twenty years of Wright's being a spiritual advisor (if not some kind of father figure), after Wright officiated at Obama's wedding and the baptisms of his children... Obama will not simply dump a man he has come to acknowledge as family out of political convenience.
In short, it seems, might Barack rather be right than be President? My God. Are such men left?

If you want a candidate more likely guided by political convenience, , or because they seem "the safe thing to do", I think we know where to look.

At the end of the day, my new Brooklyn neighbor Scott Lemieux put it best (when I recently ran into him in the streets of our fair borough) as to why I will still support Hillary Clinton if her cheating, lying, cheating, stealing and cheating ultimately enables her to steal secure the Democratic nomination: "it's the Supreme Court, stupid". While Dems will likely control the Senate and could block any problematic nominee indefinitely, Hillary's fellow New York Senator Chuck Schumer would, as he did with Mukasey, doubtless support any fascist nominated by McCain as long as he's from New York (in math terms, Pres. McCain=replace Stevens with new Scalia). Hence... Hillary gets my vote, if not any enthusiasm to go with it.

At the end of the day, you're entitled to your own opinions on which candidate to support. As far as I'm concerned, Obama's speech, and his whole damned campaign, just seem to be... "Transcending political reality."

March 16, 2008, Vox Parvi Populi

I am SO much cuter than Miley Cyrus!!!

This week, I'm going for a teeny-bopper celeb Daddy doesn't even know about, Selena Gomez from "Wizards of Waverly Place" (click on her picture, and you'll see how she really feels about one of those other teeny-bopper superstars). Selena is very popular with lots of kids I know. Honestly, she's very pretty. On the outside. But inside, I'll bet she's a raging cauldron of jealousy and anger. And she'll probably grow up to be a Republican (that's Daddy saying that.)

Speaking of Daddy, he makes me, as always, tell you about his American Street post of the week, called Secrecy is its own jusitification. Between all the cartoons he puts up there and the kid-stars he puts up here, its hard to believe Daddy is in his mid-40's... but then, if you read most of his blog posts, its hard to believe Daddy is a grown-up at all.

This has been... Vox Parvi Populi.

March 13, 2008, Keeping it real

While the media continues its ongoing obsession with sex, money and politics, Candace reminds us that her client Al-Ghizzawi is still dying at the hands of our government. We are holding this man that the military itself has found to be no threat to this country out of sheer spite, and we are continuing to deny him basic medical care while he is quite literally dying as "our guest" at Guantanamo out of even crueler arrogance... all because too many of us think that arbitrarily holding and torturing other human beings "makes us safer".

As I suggested to Andy, whom Familia TD had the pleasure of hosting earlier in the week, why have we concluded that 19 Arabs with boxcutters who managed to crash planes into a building across the street from where I sat one morning (and then still walked home, very much alive) are somehow more dangerous (and hence more worthy of flushing our moral and civic values and civil rights and freedoms down the toilet for) than were hundreds if not thousands of nuclear armed Soviet ICBMs pointed at us, which would not only kill people, but end everything? Could it be that we are simply more stupid as people now than we were in the 1950s, 60s and 70s?

I really don't have a better explanation than that for our having stood for what has been done in our name.

March 9, 2008, Vox Parvi Populi

In keeping with Daddy's sensibilities, for this week, I'm going to talk about something "literary," and give you a picture of one of the morons (sorry, that's what they're called) from one of the leading literary works of our time, Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid".

That's Greg, the "wimpy kid," behind the moron, who seems to reading something called "Terp". Whatever it is, I'm sure it's more grown-up than "My Pet Goat," but then, we can't all be as mature as I am.

Daddy, as he makes me do every do week, says to check out "What's Good for Halliburton is Good for the USA" at you-know-where.

So... keep reading, boys and girls! This has been... Vox Parvi Populi.

March 8, 2008, Monsters, Ink.

Glenn Greenwald is on, of late. And hence, he puts the Samantha Power kerfuffle in its appropriate perspective, as outlined here in this thoughtful discussion of the remarks of Tucker Carlson on the current practice of symbiotic "journalism".

Like me, Glenn is concerned both with our nation's inner police state (and how it is relentlessly continuing to assert itself), and with the principal means of getting that police state into place, i.e., the failure of our "fourth estate," the only profession outside of government recognized in our Constitution. The press has been, to put it politely, falling down on the job the last few years, as it fawns over the powerful to get "access" (and presumably cocktail party invitations). And hence, Glenn recites Carlson's noting that the Power episode would never have happened had she been talking to an American "journalist" who would have "respected" her "off the record" disclaimer when she called Hillary a "monster."


It's extremely likely, though, that had Power been speaking to a typical reporter from the American establishment media, her request to keep her comments a secret would have been honored. In one of the ultimate paradoxes, for American journalists -- whose role in theory is to expose the secrets of the powerful -- secrecy is actually their central religious tenet, especially when it comes to dealing with the most powerful. Protecting, rather than exposing, the secrets of the powerful is the fuel of American journalism. That's how they maintain their access to and good relations with those in power.

Illustrating that point as vividly as anything I can recall, MSNBC's Tucker Carlson had Peev on his show last night and angrily criticized her publication of Power's remarks. Carlson upbraided Peev for her lack of deference to someone as important as Power, and Peev retorted by pointing out exactly what that attitude reflects about Carlson and the American press generally (via LEXIS; h/t Mike Stark):

CARLSON: What -- she wanted it off the record. Typically, the arrangement is if someone you're interviewing wants a quote off the record, you give it to them off the record. Why didn't you do that?

PEEV: Are you really that acquiescent in the United States? In the United Kingdom, journalists believe that on or off the record is a principle that's decided ahead of the interview. If a figure in public life.


PEEV: Someone who's ostensibly going to be an advisor to the man who could be the most powerful politician in the world, if she makes a comment and decides it's a bit too controversial and wants to withdraw it immediately after, unfortunately if the interview is on the record, it has to go ahead.

CARLSON: Right. Well, it's a little.

PEEV: I didn't set out in any way, shape.

CARLSON: Right. But I mean, since journalistic standards in Great Britain are so much dramatically lower than they are here, it's a little much being lectured on journalistic ethics by a reporter from the "Scotsman," but I wonder if you could just explain what you think the effect is on the relationship between the press and the powerful. People don't talk to you when you go out of your way to hurt them as you did in this piece.

Don't you think that hurts the rest of us in our effort to get to the truth from the principals in these campaigns?

PEEV: If this is the first time that candid remarks have been published about what one campaign team thinks of the other candidate, then I would argue that your journalists aren't doing a very good job of getting to the truth. Now I did not go out of my way in any way, shape or form to hurt Miss Power. I believe she's an intelligent and perfectly affable woman. In fact, she's -- she is incredibly intelligent so she -- who knows she may have known what she was doing.

She regretted it. She probably acted with integrity. It's not for me to decide one way or the other whether she did the right thing. But I did not go out and try to end her career.

Credit to Tucker Carlson for being so (unintentionally) candid about the lowly, subservient role of the American press with regard to "the relationship between the press and the powerful." A journalist should never do anything that "hurts" the powerful, otherwise the powerful won't give access to the press any longer. Presumably, the press should only do things that please the powerful so that the powerful keep talking to the press, so that the press in turn can keep pleasing the powerful, in an endless, symbiotic, mutually beneficial cycle. Rarely does someone who plays the role of a "journalist" on TV so candidly describe their real function.

I'll go further than Glenn's piece there (addressed to journalists and the journalism "profession" here stateside), and add that much of our courts and our legislative branch, which are also expressly mentioned in our Constitution, have fallen down on their jobs, to ensure that the even more powerful are brought to account, particularly when the powerful trammel on rights laid out in the Constitution, or of course, they trammel on the prerogatives of the other branches of government. But it's all of a piece: courage of any kind seems to be in short supply, even if only the courage simply to do one's traditional job these days.

Some of us are shouting to the hills, baby. It's all we can do. Look: human beings seem to be predisposed to being a fairly unique combination of herd animal and pack animal, with rather nightmarish consequences at times (seeTwentieth Century, The), genocide ironically being Prof. Power's academic discipline and expertise, btw.

The American Republic, as horribly flawed as it was (slavery, Indian massacres, land-grabs from Mexico, etc.) was just about the first effort to change the rules of herd and pack animal, and treat human beings as... human beings, each with individual, arguably "inalienable" rights. And until one horrible morning in September of 2001, we had been moving not exactly steadily but at least regularly, forward, on expanding those rights and enabling individual fulfillment and freedom-- and aspiring to those rights for all humanity-- as our core value.

Until one incident-- a big one to be sure-- but it affected me and those of us in downtown Manhattan that day infinitely more than most of the people who are paranoid and crap-in-their-pants-afraid of the swarthy furriners planning our destruction... and we have, to this day, not reconciled any of this with the fact that (as the Unseen Editor recently reminded me) this fear is a legitimate feeling on the part of millions of Americans, and one entire party. We have to recognize that.

But it's not about dismissing that fear (see Clinton, Hillary; Air America; Liberal Establishment, The) so much as reconciling it with the fact that turning ourselves into a police state is not the answer to addressing these fears, and, indeed, it is probably even counterproductive to doing what ultimately needs to be done to combat terrorism. Even if we make "battling terrorism" our number one priority, we can (and should) still do so as a more or less free country.

Of course, if our "journalists" and our "opposition party" and courts won't talk about any of this, lest they give up their cherished privileged access to the powerful... well, see above re: shouting to the hills. Just saying.

This has been "Monsters, Ink."

March 6, 2008, Never bet against a Clinton

I have been forgetting one of the cardinal rules of American politics, set forth in the post-title above. Might Barack Obama somehow pull off the Democratic nomination, just because more people vote for him in primaries and he has more delegates? Sure... it's possible. But he is running against Hillary Clinton, current matriarch of what Bruce the Veep politely calls the "Hillbilly MacBeths". They play to win. Indeed, that is their appeal-- really their only appeal. Now that they have finally had a successful play of the race card in TX and OH (and they hope it will also work in PA), coupled with their cheating in MI and FL (which, let's face it, Hillary previously was part of the agreement not to count)... we may have finally reached those events that will eventually enable Team Clinton to overcome those pesky youngsters and Blacks and educated White people and the majority of Democratic primary voters and caucus goers who supported Obama, and take what rightfully belongs to the Clintons. Well, you won't catch me napping again, so let me repeat: just never bet against a Clinton.

In the latest recitation of John McCain's talking points that might come back to bite Hillary on the tush (except for "never bet against a Clinton"), Hillary now asserts that she has "crossed the commander in chief threshold". Honestly, what in God's name is that supposed to mean? Has she suddenly revealed that she took correspondence courses at West Point? Or does she mean... oh yes... she has been married to the commander in chief, so that qualifies her.

Sadly, the Obama campaign wasn't fast enough to run a counter-ad to the 3 am bit, featuring a groggy President Hillary Clinton putting on the Presidential bathrobe, emerging from the Presidential bedroom, entering the Oval Office, and rushing toward the red phone, only to trip (at the last moment) over a heavy-set brunette in a beret crawling around the floor, apparently looking for something, while the tripping President Hillary misses the call (for good measure, a scene of a mushroom cloud follows). Of course, even if the Obama people had been swift enough to run such an ad... see above, re: "never bet against a Clinton".

This has been... "Never bet against a Clinton." We mean it, man.

March 5, 2008, Mavericky Straight Talk and Stuff

George W. Bush seems satisfied that his party's standard-bearer won't be changing courses or anything... as he lauded John McCain for his likelihood in following the super-successful Bush foreign policy of as many unwarranted, irrational and insanely counter-productive wars as we can borrow money to pay for (complete with flushing our moral standing down the toilet).

And so, with a President hovering at 19% approval ratings to whom the once-sainted John McCain (who will be 72 come election time) must now wed himself in the interest of holding together the "base" (without whom he has no chance at all, as McCain's credentials as a racist are extraordinarily suspect), it's nice to see Hillary Clinton out there reciting some of McCain's best talking points.

Because, hey, if it's not her, it may as well be John McCaon, right? [Also... while there is no doubt whatsoever that Senator McCain's courageous refusal to be returned home from the Hanoi Hilton out of turn because it would be dishonorable showed extraordinary virtue, maybe we would still prefer a President who managed not to get shot down and captured in the first place... say, one who managed not even to go to Vietnam at all, like, say, Bill Clinton, or George W. Bush? Never mind, I suppose.]

Anyway, I have said it before, and I'll say it now. Barack Hussein Obama can, and if he secures the Democratic nomination, will, be elected President of the United States. John McCain is not merely old (and arguably bat-s*** nuts), but he is constrained to sell out the supporters he needs most-- independents and cross-over Democrats-- to secure a rabidly right wing base (and he may even need to bring Huckabee into his fold in order to hold on to all of it). Hillary Clinton is the only Democrat with a chance of losing to him (and I include Mike Gravel, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, Al Sharpton, and myself in that category). Oh... let's not sell Hillary short: it's an excellent chance.

Let's just say that last night was great for McCain as much for his own securing the GOP nomination as for the fact that Obama did not put a stake through the heart of the Clinton campaign. Well... onward we go on the Mavericky Straight Talk Express.

March 2, 2008, Vox Parvi Populi

In honor of his buying me Corbin Bleu's record album (which I and my friend are using in a jump-rope related act in our school talent show), Daddy thought I should post a picture of Corbin Bleu. So here goes.

I really didn't want to post Corbin's picture, but it's Daddy's blog, so I kind of have to do what he wants... he also says to check out his post at AmStreet, "The Big Brotherhood of Man".

What I really wanted to do this week was to put up a picture of Phineas and Ferb, not that Daddy even lets me watch them... So here they are.

This has been... Vox Parvi Populi.

March 1, 2008, The War on Plagiarism

While Senator Clinton fires wild shots that hit nothing (though the recoil seems to keep knocking her ever further off her game) about Senator Obama's supposed "plagiarism" by using lines from Mass. Governor Deval Patrick it appears that the nation's new "war on plagiarism" has claimed its first victim, ironically, unrelated to the Obama team at all, but none other than White House (and former Gary Bauer) aide Tim Goeglein, who seems to have copied huge swathes of his columns published in his (and Frank Burns') hometown of Ft. Wayne, IN.

Ah, the bitter irony of it all.

Meanwhile, it seems that desperate times have called for desperate measures, replete with Team Clinton running ads in Texas touting Hillary's "experience in a crisis" complete with a child sleeping at 3 a.m., though Team Clinton couldn't actually explain just what actual experience she has being "tested in a crisis". [While I won't dignify it with a link, I will note that there also seems to be a potential kerfuffle brewing re a not-so-subtly-racist message embedded in said ad; to quote, ahem, Drudge... developing!]

As Mahablog's Barb notes in a further post on the subject, many people rightly mistake this for a McCain ad: Senator John "I'll be 72 on Inauguration Day" McCain's main appeal will well be his long (and ACTUAL, PERSONAL) experience in government... why, in God's name, has Hillary Clinton, who, to be quite frank, has a great deal to recommend her (to go along with her baggage), insisted on running on her "35 years of experience"... WHY? Come on, Senator Clinton: you have been married to Bill Clinton for 35 years. Good for you.

Look: I have already announced my support for my college classmate, Barack Obama, and quite frankly, I stand by it. Who he is-- a man of color who spent part of his childhood in a Muslim country (and a man with a Muslim father and the middle name "Hussein") with a career in academia (constitutional scholarship, actually), community activism and state government-- makes him much more likely to be the guy we need, right now, to get us back on track to be the kind of society we have the potential to be, and to restore our place in the world.

Senator Clinton might be able to achieve this as well (and if she somehow pulls out the nomination, I will support her). But the disarray of her campaign is not a comforting sign. What she should have run on is something very similar to Obama's campaign: basically, a campaign about "crashing through the glass ceiling," "fighting the good fight against the odds" (even if you don't always win, the fight itself is worth it), and "standing up against bigotry and hate" (and irrational personal attacks)... in short, she should (have) play(ed) to her REAL strengths, and not to her husband's.

Ironic, no? The campaign that has launched our nation's "War on plagiarism(TM)", is, at its core, essentially plagiarizing its candidate's own "experience" from another person named Clinton.