Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wonk wrote this post…
...so I didn’t have to. Welcome back, Wonk.
It’s a gosh darn beautiful day out here in the boroughs. Just plain beautiful.
...so I didn’t have to. Welcome back, Wonk.
It’s a gosh darn beautiful day out here in the boroughs. Just plain beautiful.
Some background: Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild was introduced to her husband British banking financier Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild by Henry Kissinger at the Bilderberg conference in ‘98. Portfolio labeled her “the flashiest hostess in London.” She’s “mistress” of the Ascott House, the 3,200-acre Rothschild family estate in Buckinghamshire. She’s on the board of Estée Lauder. She’s friends with Tony and Cherie Blair and other big-moneyed Brits, including the utterly corrupt Conrad Black and his wife, Barbara Amiel. She also owns what has been described as “the most beautiful apartment in New York”:
Sitting down with her on a recent afternoon in the new pad—an 18th-floor duplex in River House that was previously owned by Carter Burden and Libet Johnson—it’s hard to begrudge her the excess of good fortune, thanks to her affability and occasional self-deprecations. (The Chateau Lafitte she pours—“the family wine,” as she calls it—and the heaping bowl of beluga don’t hurt, either.)
Last night Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the same ridiculously privileged and extraordinarily wealthy woman profiled above, appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, identified simply as “businesswoman Lynn Forester,” and said the following about Barack Obama:
“This is a hard decision for me personally because, frankly, I don’t like him. I feel like he is an elitist. I feel like he has not given me reason to trust him.”
I’ll look around the web for video of The Most Hypocritical Thing Ever Uttered on Television and allow all of you adequate time to scrape your jaws off the floor (I had to use a jackhammer last night). Check back for updates.
UPDATE: Here’s Lady Lynn’s CNN appearance. Check it out:
No-holds-barred comedian John McCain does his Joe Lieberman impersonation
Sen. John McCain hasn’t had good luck joking about Iran. But he tried it again Tuesday.
Responding to a question about a survey that shows increased exports to Iran, mainly from cigarettes, McCain said, “Maybe thats a way of killing them.”
He quickly caught himself, saying “I meant that as a joke” as his wife, Cindy, poked him in the back.
It’s funny because they’d die a slow and painful death. Get it?
[via Think Progress]
MORE: The Associated Press version of the story is titled “Wife pokes McCain in the back” (how cute!) and features a great picture of what a douchebag looks like when he forgets how to use his thumbs.
UPDATE: Here’s the video…
The Morning Joe folks thought it was a hoot. Chuck Todd even said, “I think this is what people like about John McCain.” Yeah, people love that he wants to kill Iranians, a majority of whom love Western values and are not murderous fanatics, with lung cancer. Hearts. Minds. Whatever. That logic has served us well for the last seven years or so.
The guy who is “always reluctant” to talk about his Vietnam experience just released yet another campaign ad focusing on his Vietnam experience:
The core message? McCain is a war hero, unlike that nancy-pants hopey-changey hippie Barack Obama. Of course, the ad doesn’t mention that Obama was 6 years old during the “Summer of Love.” Now get off my lawn, you meddling kids!
From The Hill:
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who has primary jurisdiction over the executive branch, is considering legislation to eliminate Karl Rove-type advisers in future administrations.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hints broadly that such a bill could ban the use of federal funds to finance such a politically partisan office.
“Why should we be using taxpayer dollars to have a person solely in charge of politics in the White House?” Waxman said in an interview. “Can you imagine the reaction if each member of Congress had a campaign person paid for with taxpayer dollars?”
But I won’t get too excited about this after reading poputonian’s post from yesterday. Someone distract Pelosi with a shiny object for a month or two so Waxman can get this done.
Rachel filled in for Keith Olbermann last night and dismantled the “flip flop” narrative, with the help of Richard Wolffe (“There’s been a lot of sloppy reporting going on”), adhered to Obama over the past few days. Bravo.
[via The Mahablog]
The current administration has nothing to fear.
MORE: This Crooks and Liars post from March suggests Siegelman would still be in jail if not for the efforts of people like Pam Miles, the source of the above quote.
From Greg Sargent:
One thing that hasn’t really entered the media narrative of this race is that McCain just isn’t a very good candidate.
He really is dreadful.
PUMA: the rift that keeps on giving...
The most important thing for all of us right now is spreading the word by any media or means necessary. You can do your part in any creative way you can think of. I suggested that PUMAs “mark their territory” in some organic way using natural elements such as sand, grass, shrubbery, or flowers to spell out PUMA. Print it and let nature take its course.
I guess it’s too bad it isn’t snowing now.
Got home late last night from a four-day vacation on Block Island (elitist!) and I’m trying to work my way back into blogging mode. Unplugging from politics for an extended period of time is certainly rejuvenating, but looking around the liberalsphere this afternoon put me in a deep funk. I mean, jeebus, if some of the allegedly earnest and principled online lefties wanted a hardcore, unwavering progressive as the Democratic presidential candidate who was totally unconcerned about public perception or media framing or, ya know, winning, why weren’t they all backing Dennis Kucinich this primary?
Oh, that’s right. Because he looks like an elf.
Politics: Everyone plays it, Democrats just hardly ever use the same field.
MORE: I’ll start pumping ‘em out in a bit, but wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks to Betty Cracker and poputonian for keeping this joint rocking while I was ingesting ungodly amounts of fried food and then slow-broiling my liquor-soaked hide under the unforgiving sun.
Two promising developments on the McCain campaign via the Political Wire; first:
“In one of his first moves to centralize control of McCain’s political organization, Steve Schmidt has tapped Rudy Giuliani’s former campaign manager, Mike DuHaime, to be McCain’s new political director,” a top campaign adviser tells CNN.
“Until last week, McCain had no political director at headquarters—highly unusual for a general election campaign. Mccain’s campaign instead relied on 11 regional campaign managers—a structure many Republicans in and outside of the McCain campaign, including Schmidt, considered unworkable.”
So Team McCain is imposing a basic campaign structure…in July. I guess those folks who were wringing their hands about the long slog of the Democratic primary giving McCain a huge headstart were right, huh? Oh, and picking Giuliani’s former campaign manager is such genius—I mean, Giuliani’s campaign was so darn successful. Schmidt should dispatch emissaries to all Tennessee Picadilly Buffet locations to round up former Fred Thompson staffers and press them into service. Second bit of news:
Bloomberg says the prerequisites for Sen. John McCain’s running mate are clear: “a Washington outsider with solid economic credentials who isn’t associated with President George W. Bush, can fill the vice-presidential attack-dog role, help win Western and Midwestern states and cut into Democrat Barack Obama’s fundraising advantage.”
“One candidate fits the bill: former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.”
Yes, by all means, please put Mittens on the ticket. Having a representative of a religion many evangelicals perceive to be a satanic perversion of True Christianity on the ballot will surely galvanize a base that is already iffy on McCain. Teaming up with a dude who once strapped his dog to the roof of his station wagon for a family trip will certainly inspire animal lovers nationwide to metaphorically strap themselves to the roof of the Straight Talk Express. The Five Brothers blog would inevitably be revived, inspiring comedy gold with fresh rounds of mockery. And most importantly, the Mittmentum would secure Utah’s coveted 5 electoral votes for Team McCain. Let’s get this done!
I’m generally not a fan of dancing on newly dug graves, but I’ll make an exception for Jesse Helms. It seems fitting since his former allies aren’t content with uttering a bromide or two over his carcass but are instead building a myth:
GEORGE W. BUSH: “Throughout his long public career, Sen. Jesse Helms was a tireless advocate for the people of North Carolina, a stalwart defender of limited government and free enterprise, a fearless defender of a culture of life, and an unwavering champion of those struggling for liberty.
“Under his leadership, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was a powerful force for freedom. And today, from Central America to Central Europe and beyond, people remember—in the dark days when the forces of tyranny seemed on the rise, Jesse Helms took their side.”
What a pack of offensive, bald-faced lies. Helms was no “unwavering champion of those struggling for liberty”—he was an avid bigot who sought to oppress minorities and gay people at every turn. He didn’t advocate freedom—he funded death squads and helped prop up fascist regimes.
ELIZABETH DOLE: “In succeeding Jesse to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate, I knew I could never replace him, but I continue to strive each day to provide the dedicated constituent service he provided the people of our state for 30 years. As my father would say, Jesse was indeed a watchdog — for North Carolina and for the nation.”
A mangy, rabid pit bull is more like it. That Dole could utter such falsehoods about a racist, homophobic creep like Helms with a straight face is all the more reason to hope she gets kicked out on her ass in the next election (and all the more reason to throw some bucks to the campaign of Dole’s Dem opponent, Kay Hagan).
BILLY GRAHAM: “In the tradition of Presidents Jefferson, Adams and Monroe — who also passed on July Fourth — it is fitting that such a patriot who fought for free markets and free people would die on Independence Day. As we celebrate the birth of our nation, I thank God for the blessings we enjoy, which Senator Helms worked so hard to preserve.”
Christ on a Triscuit. That anti-Semitic old fraud is another dinosaur lumbering toward the pit, but he’ll leave a whelp behind to carry on God’s work, so we can look forward to more stupefying nonsense from the Graham clan well into the future.
The truth is Helms was a vicious racist, homophobe, despot-enabler and tool of the tobacco companies. I’m sure his death is a sad event for his family, but its sole meaning for US politics should be as an occasion to mark how far we’ve come since he was a leading figure in it. The collective mewling over Helms’ carcass from people like Bush, Dole and Graham shows that they don’t get that and never will.
The most fitting way I can think of to mark the occasion is for Barack Obama to carry Helms’ home state of North Carolina in the upcoming general election. That the race is even close in that state is a welcome signal that the Helms era is over.
Good article in the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine.
On the June evening in St. Paul when he captured the Democratic nomination, in between shout-outs to his daughters and his grandmother, Barack Obama paid tribute to a political operative most Americans have never heard of. “Thank you to our campaign manager, David Plouffe,” Obama said, “who never gets any credit but has built the best political organization in the country.”
Obama’s top advisers outmaneuvered Hillary Clinton’s organization with no leaks, no nasty infighting and virtually no public credit for their efforts. By all rights, Plouffe and the other chief architects of Obama’s machine should be household names on par with James Carville and Karl Rove. And yet, with the exception of chief strategist David Axelrod, who has emerged as an affably low-key spokesman for the campaign, Obama’s brain trust works in near anonymity from the campaign’s headquarters on the 11th floor of a smoked-glass skyscraper two blocks south of the Chicago River.
That obscurity is by design ... As senior adviser Valerie Jarrett puts it, “We aim for you to not know about the inner workings of the campaign because there’s not much to know other than: It works.”
The drama-free approach proved to be in sharp contrast to the Clinton campaign, which was beset by leaks and infighting among factions of overbearing strategists (Mark Penn), know-it-all advisers (Harold Ickes), egotistical flacks (Howard Wolfson) and self-important campaign managers (Patti Solis Doyle) who battled noisily — and publicly — over message, budget, access to the candidate and prestige.
The article describes how the numbers man Plouffe crafted a successful turning point after the set back in New Hampshire and reveals how Obama’s leadership style allowed Plouffe’s engineering to work. Quite a contrast to what was going on in the opponent’s camp.
K-Lo has a crazy idea:
A totally crazy Saturday-morning thought: Wouldn’t George W. Bush make an awesome high-school government teacher? Wouldn’t it be something if his post-presidential life would up being that kind of post-service service? How’s that for a model? Who needs Harvard visiting chairs and high-end lectures? How about Crawford High? (Or wherever?) Reach out and touch the young before they are jaded, or break them of the cynicism pop culture and possibly their parents have passed down to them. Whatever you think of President Bush, he’s a likable guy in love with his country with some history and experience to share.
Like I said, crazy. Saturday. Have a good one.
Here are a few other zany thoughts on classroom topics and instructors for Crawford High (or wherever):
Running a Day Care Operation—Michael Jackson
Piloting Oil Tankers through Prince William Sound—Capt. J. Hazelwood
Preventing Domestic Violence—O.J. Simpson