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April 18, 2008

i tried to cite an "informed electorate" quote, but don't trust internet sourcing

Further to flag lapel pins, McClatchy tracked down the author of the question to Sen. Obama in Wednesday's debate, wondering how trustworthy a man can be that refuses to wear a brooch that flirts with flag desecration.

She's a proud woman with a sad story -- husband disabled, ailing -- who is now a go-to for those journalistic types looking for the contrapunctal don't-like-Obama quotes.

Also, she is the living embodiment of why we, the people, should not be allowed to vote.  Sure, we, as voters, are permitted to make character judgments about our candidates, but if we, as voters, can never get past character judgments of the "He's not wearing a flag-lapel-pin" variety, then I start repeating the old saw about us getting the government we deserve, which seems like the past seven years to me.

So lady, and I'll not quote your name in case you find time in your righteousness to google yourself, you are so entitled to your opinion, but the fact that you represent one-two hundreth million, or whevetever it is, of the popular vote makes me wish that you would find something more edifying to do on Election Day, like harrassing the school board or whispering about your neighbors.

Which ill will does not stop me from wishing you well with your husband's health.  Been there.  Good luck.  Think about not voting.

Posted by mrbrent at 6:31 PM

well spoken, very old guy

Let's let the lack of context do my job for me:
“The second world war we knew was there,” [Iwo Jima veteran Donald] Mates said.  “There’s a big discussion.  Some say there is global warming, some say there isn’t.  And to stick a tree in place of a flag on the Iwo Jima picture is just sacrilegious.”

Of course, that's from a story about something, but I just like sitting here and watching the ideas whizz by -- "War!  Warming!  Sacrilege!"

[Via Ubiquitous Paid Content.]

Posted by mrbrent at 9:17 AM

April 17, 2008

i forget when it was that charlie gibson starting killing puppy dogs

Some of my favorite questions from last night's debate, which made me love freedom all the more:

"So, 'Obama' is terrorist for...?"

"I'm holding a small object behind my back.  Senator, what is this object?"

"Senator, a question that is on a lot of voters' minds is, 'When did you stop beating your wife?'  But I'd like to ask, why did you stop beating your wife?"

"Does this make me look fat?"

"If you were to accept the premise that you are dishonest, then, what do you think you might say if you were being truthful?"

"On a scale of one to ten, with one being hatred of America and ten being love of America, where do you need to be on that scale to stop wearing the flag lapel pin God gave you?"

"When kissing my ring, would you kneel, or merely bow?"

"Do you think that Americans are ready for your presidential brand of chocolate love?"

"Senator Clinton, are we forgetting anything?"

Day-after mainstream news reports are describing Sen. Obama's debate performance as unsettled, or rattled.  I think that's inaccurate (but fits the narrative, so, hey!).  I would instead describe his demeanor as, "Are you fucking kidding me?"

Though I once knew a man who was related to the principals of the infamous Baader-Meinhof Gang, so I'm not sure that I'm entitled to have an opinion.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:25 AM

April 16, 2008

i assume "everybody hurts" was playing in the background

A spontaneous outbreak of coolness hit Chicago yesterday, as commuters, sick of subway delays, decided to hoof it, disembarking from trains and walking down the tunnel, just like in a music video.

Of course, the authorities were none too happy:

“If those particular passengers had not self-evacuated, we could have gotten people out on trains and restored service much sooner,” said Ron Huberman, president of the Chicago Transit Authority.

And maybe if your broke-ass train would've functioned properly, then none of this would've happened.  Instead, a group of strangers decided to disobey the service announcements they probably couldn't understand in the first place (if Chicago subways are anything like New York subways) and stand up, as it were, providing the rest of us with a "wish I was there" moment.

The positive aspect of this is not necessarily to overthrow your local public transport agency (as public transport is good, though usually poorly managed), but rather to take a collective moment and feel a little bit less powerless than we usually do.  Because, well, when's the last time you participated in something like that?

Posted by mrbrent at 11:24 AM

April 15, 2008

i am too coy -- it was nazareth college

This is the reason why I do not have close relations with, or fond memories of, my alma mater, a small nunnery-turned-liberal arts college in Rochester, NY.  I received yet another piece of "Alumni News!" from them, which continue no matter how many times I ask, promoting something they're calling "Escape To Reunion Weekend 2008!", containing the following passage:
Dining and Dancing

There will be plenty of delicious dishes and toe-tapping tunes.  Don't forget to pack your dance shoes!  Then, catch your breath and chat with pals over dessert and coffee before you boogie through the night.

Yes, I attended an instution that steals its promotional copy from 1979.  Which is not fair, because, in truth, everyone kinda talked like that.

Unfortunately, I am busy that weekend, and every weekend following.

Posted by mrbrent at 7:36 AM

April 14, 2008

marilyn monroe

This is too weird not to link -- not only is there a Marilyn Monroe sex tape, but a collector purchased it too keep it off the Internet.

Further, this tape has been rumored to exist for years (thanks to the tireless efforts of J. Edgar Hoover), and somehow, this rumor passed me by.  I thought I was pretty high up on the conspiracy/urban legend gossip tree.  Now I am sad.

This is not the way these things usually happen (celeb sex tape revealed, confirmed, and then hidden away forever), but maybe this is an ominous portent of a return to some sort of civility -- I'm pretty sure that my long-held image of Marilyn Monroe as a bona fide sex bomb can survive not seeing footage of her giving some dude a hummer.

Posted by mrbrent at 4:42 PM

i'm not bitter, but i'm getting there

I spent the weekend obsessing over the elitist/"bitter" meme that the Clinton campaign is trying to assault the Obama campaign with, and it's left me pretty steamed.  So forgive me if I go partisan in a way that might make you want to fire me from Air America Radio or something.

For the record, these are the careless words that Sen. Obama said at a fundraiser in San Francisco:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them.  And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.  So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Now that may be a bit unvarnished for a candidate to say out loud, but it is true.  To deny that there is a bitterness amongst those left behind by the sad exit of the manufacturing base, and to pretend that this bitterness does not lead to an insular scapegoatism, is what I would call "butt stupid".  And the only people who should be aggrieved by Sen. Obama's impolitic phrasing of this truth are, basically, those people who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment."

Which subset of people apparently includes Sen. Clinton, who Rove-d these comments up into a blood libel against voters:

I saw in the media it's being reported that my opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who faced hard times are bitter.  Well, that's not my experience.

As I travel around Pennsylvania, I meet people who are resilient, who are optimistic, who are positive, who are rolling up their sleeves.  They are working hard everyday for a better future, for themselves and their children.

Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them, they need a president who stands up for them, who fights for them, who works hard for your futures, your jobs, your families.

And that is basically one big God-damn lie.  It is maybe what voters would presumably like to hear -- "You are smart, attractive and better than your peers!" -- but it remains one big God-damn lie.  The only people encountered by Sen. Clinton who are "rolling up their sleeves" are her campaign braintrust, who are of the belief that her candidacy is not only an inevitability, it is also a birthright.  Pennsylvanians may not need a president that looks down on them, but they also don't a president that thinks that they are so dumb as to fall for this bullshit.

A TPM reader says it better:

I wonder if [Clinton] realizes that gaining a few days of lurid publicity that might reach a slice of voters is going to cost her a great deal in the regard of many Democrats, whose strong support she will need if she somehow claws her way to the nomination -- and even more so if she does not clinch the nomination.  The distribution of "we're not bitter" stickers to her campaign rallies is the height of over-the-top crudity, and the reports are that very few audience members seem to have much enthusiasm for this nonsense.  Not surprisingly, people cannot see the reasons for so much fuss.

'Cause I'm more like, eff her, dude.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:38 AM