As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Rest Of The (Long Holiday) Week In Review

As I was gone for quite a while there, I wanted to circle back over a few dozen stories, but then settled on these:

• To John McCain, the best way to get the real story on what's happening in Iraq is to travel to heavily guarded, heavily scripted dog-and-pony shows, and Barack Obama hasn't been on one in two years, so they should go together. Obama countered by saying, um, no stroll through the market for me. Maybe instead McCain can go to the market he toured last time and apologize for putting a target on the backs of the Iraqi citizens who worked there.

• With all the talk recently in this primary season about Zimbabwe and assassinations, it's worth noting that Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai finally returned to the country after uncovering an actual assassination plot, possibly hatched by his opponent Robert Mugabe. Some elections are a matter of life and death.

• If you're a vegan, and you enjoy the occasional potluck, you are undoubtedly a likely terrorist, and Homeland Security is going to investigate you. You have been warned. If you're like me, however, you're thinking, "vegan potlucks exist?"

• I asked a few people out in New York what the deal was with the City's politicians and their inability to keep it in their pants. Apparently, in the aftermath of Vito "I Have Two Families" Fossella's stepping down, the City's Republicans can't even find anybody to run on the GOP line. Even the head of the Staten Island GOP doesn't think that they can win this seat. The Albany Project has more.

• Just another story about the military-industrial complex blowing billions of taxpayer money in Iraq. Ho-hum. Nothing to see here.

• The big parlor game of the week was asking if conservatism was dead. Ezra Klein and K-Drum had worthy responses. Political parties in the modern, post-1900 area wax and wane, but the idea that it's over for conservatism isn't practical. They can retool away from the New Confederatism that currently grips them, they could easily be strong within a couple of cycles. However, trying to win elections by showing a bunch of androgynous party-goers as consistent with "San Francisco values" isn't going to cut it. Wow, that's a bad ad.

• I have no idea what John McCain's immigration policy is supposed to be. At this point I think that McCain is running the Zachary Taylor campaign of 1848, saying markedly different things to different audiences and hoping nobody will find out about the contradictions. Only thing is, there wasn't 24-hour news and the Internet in Taylor's day, although he and McCain are roughly the same age, so I understand why McCain might think that's the case.

Great op-ed by Joe Biden, who I wouldn't mind at all as Secretary of State, especially if his diplomatic duties keep him the hell away from the economic dross he's supported over the years. The best point he made in that editorial is how you cannot call giving away the entire negotiation a "precondition" for negotiating. This is why the Bush-McCain policies are so dangerous; they fundamentally misunderstand the very concept of diplomacy.

• Yes, you're allowed to talk about racism and Obama as an election issue - especially if you craft it as well as in this story by Al Jazeera, and if you add this kind of context.

After emancipation, coal mining companies sought an advantage over unions by hiring former slaves as scabs since, the unions were racist, wouldn't allow blacks as members. The companies didn't have to fulfill many obligations to this new, unorganized labor force, and a lot of white miners lost their jobs. So it actually makes sense that people would see race relations as a question of pure exploitation; with one side dominating the other. That's the history of the region.

• Media Matters' report on cable news' fearmongering on immigration is up to their usual excellent standard. Lou Dobbs actually had Paul waldman on his show to discuss it, and he let his true colors show in the interview.

• So I guess my Walk Score is 82, which means there are a number of local shops and parks and services in my general vicinity. This is highly misleading, however. I always forget about, but it's hardly a full-service supermarket. And there are only a couple non-fast food restaurants I'd consider patronizing within walking distance (Tacos Por Favor happens to be amazing, and I've made that walk plenty of times). The Third Street Promenade is about a mile south, which makes it all within walking distance, but on the outer edge.

• Dusty Foggo had some new counts added to his indictment last week, including bribes in the form of "secual companionship." Which, because it was for a government employee, was probably jacked up in price, incomplete workmanship, and an indeterminate cost.

• Well it's about time - Liberal Pundits Offer Unprecedented Apology.

• And if I didn't end with the story about Garry Kasparov's speech being interrupted by a flying penis, they'd have to take my blogging credentials away from me. That's the online equivalent of a hanging slider over the plate. By the way, of all the speeches by all the public figures to be interrupted by a flying penis - Kasparov? Come on, you couldn't have found your way to Kobe Bryant or David Vitter?