Archive for August, 2008

Live From Denver
August 25, 2008

No, not me. NYU Localite and minor Internet celebrity Jess Roy has road-tripped to Denver and says of the convention:

This whole thing has made me realize how much I hate Hillary. She can “release” her superdelegates to my boy Barack, but it’s quite obvious that she wants her supporters to refuse to default to Obama, and in a party that is notorious for splintering violently, it is only causing damage.

Really? It’s not all that obvious to me. I didn’t see Clinton’s speech, but I did see her concession speech at the end of the primaries, and this doesn’t sound very much like deliberate party-splintering to me. If anything, it’s just a few overzealous Clinton supporters and staffers, like Howard Wolfson, who are trying to convince Obama to “heal” the party by paying fealty to the Clinton legacy in all sorts of gratuitous ways. Not to mention the McCain campaign, who are flogging this like it’s their only shot at the presidency.

Cohen at his Cohenest
August 25, 2008

From the Politico:

“I used to get a lot more on the right,” said columnist Richard Cohen, who broke with liberals when he supported the Iraq war. More recently, the left has picked apart columns that are perceived as being favorable to John McCain.

“If you’re a little bit critical of Barack Obama, you get really a pie of vilification right in the face,” Cohen said, adding that his liberal critics “were born too late, because they would have been great communists.”

Oh no! Not the pie of vilification! (I hear it deals +1 fire damage.)

Here’s some interesting subtext for ya: Apparently what unites potential Comrades isn’t a hatred of capitalism, but the fact that they mock Richard Cohen. I bet they’re all thin-skinned narcissists, too.

All Moved In
August 24, 2008

Not fully unpack yet, but probably as far as I’ll get today. I have other things to do. In the meantime, here’s the view from outside my window:

You know what still blows my mind? I go to school in New York fucking City. How cool is that?

Moving Day
August 24, 2008

Okay, time to get with the moving stuff. I’ll be back in NY in three hours or so.

Just a quick note about the rest of the week – don’t expect very much convention coverage here, for a couple of reasons:

1.) Being back at college, there will be some college-type things I need to take care of, and I’ll be fairly busy.

2.) The act of a national political party fellating itself, while impressive as an aerobic feat, just doesn’t have a whole lot of substance to it. I’ll keep an eye on it, and might post a little bit, but in general I’m not someone who gets really engaged by speeches or PR events that have been choreographed months in advance.

And so the anti-Biden backlash begins
August 23, 2008

I really should be packing right now, but this kind of irritated me:

Obama, whose mushy Iraq plan excites no one, is marrying his own’s flawed ideas — which mostly revolve around beefing up US forces in Afghanistan and unilaterally attacking Pakistan — with Biden’s discredited notion of partitioning Iraq into three squabbling mini-states.

The headline of that article, by the way, is “Biden is Worse than McCain.”

First of all, thanks again for dragging up the old, “Obama’s going to invade Pakistan” canard. But that’s not why we’re here, folks. We’re here to talk about the three-state partition plan.
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Michael Bloomberg plans to buy, demolish term limits
August 23, 2008

Well, this is awkward. Dylan tagged me to try and shed some light on New York City’s 2009 mayoral race, presuming, perfectly reasonably, that I would be fairly well-versed in the political climate of the city in which I live. That’s not entirely the case, however – my knowledge of NY politics is pretty sketchy, particularly now that I’ve been back in CT for two straight months, but I’ve been working on it.

With that disclaimer out of the way, a few thoughts:

First off, on the likelihood of Bloomberg getting a third term: He’s pretty damn popular in New York, and if he manages to get rid of the term limits, I think he would get reelected easily. But eliminating the term limits so he can run in the first place? That would probably be trickier. As the Times article that Dylan links to points out, a referendum wouldn’t do it but the City Council might. If the Speaker wants to keep her job, then she might try to push it through – but she might eyeing Bloomberg’s job, in which case she’ll want to preserve the term limits, because there’s no way in hell she’s going to want to have to go up against him next Fall.

One ray of hope for Bloomberg: the Democratic governor thinks it’s a swell idea.

I don’t really have a whole lot to say about who else might be running – I can tell you that if Bloomberg gets his chance at a third term, it’s not going to matter a great deal. In the meantime, I’m not making predictions until I hear about anyone assembling a team.

One last thought: When I first read about Bloomberg’s push for an end to term limits, it reminded me that he’s not the first prominent New York Mayor to try and artificially extend his administration past two terms. The difference is that Bloomberg seems to be attempting it through constitutional means, while Giuliani was basically trying to pull a Julius Caesar.

Biden? Sure, why not.
August 23, 2008

This morning was kind of like Christmas morning, except instead of Santa we had Barack Obama, instead of a tree we had my cell phone, and instead of presents we had Joe Biden crouched in the living room with a shit-eating grin on his face. Which is just as weird as it sounds.

Kidding aside, Obama could have done a hell of a lot worse. I’m no fan of Biden, and if you peek back in the archives to the very beginning of my blogging career, you’ll see that in my hot-headed youth I made some, shall we say, overheated accusations against the man. But he’s a good choice, for a couple reasons:
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Veepday
August 22, 2008

Today is supposedly the day we hear about Obama’s running mate. I’ll have thoughts up on whoever it is when we get word, but in the meantime, here’s my final prediction: Obama will select a crisp, refreshing can of Coca Cola as his running mate.

Which, amazingly enough, will still have slightly more personality than Tim Pawlenty. Zing!

Photo by Flickr user poolie used under a Creative Commons license.

UPDATE: Looks like we might have to wait one more day. I hold firm to my prediction.

Fun with list-making
August 21, 2008

Steve Benen’s comprehensive list of McCain policy reversals, combined with today’s weird spin from the McCain campaign has inspired me: Maybe it’s time to start compiling an equally comprehensive list of every single time McCain, a McCain surrogate, or a McCain friend in the press uses McCain’s POW experience to deflect criticism on something unrelated?

Besides the above example, I can think of four other ones off the top of my head. Leave any that I’m missing in the comments. If we can get up to ten, then I’m giving the list its own page!

A nice cold cup of cynicism
August 21, 2008

It is indeed, as Matt points out, extremely good news that the Bush administration has hammered out an agreement to withdraw combat forces from Iraq. Another underreported yet unambiguously fantastic component of this agreement is that the White House has finally admitted that Blackwater and its ilk aren’t immune from the law of the country their employees are currently stationed in.

These are the most important parts of the story. The domestic political ramifications, and which party this is “good for,” are ridiculously minuscule issues compared to matters like the bloody occupation of a sovereign nation.

That being said, since everyone’s talking about who this is good for anyway, I think Matt’s take is a little off base:

However, the medium to long term effect will be the vindication of Obama’s plan and taking the issue of Iraq off the table as an election issue for the GOP.

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