I’m Not Looking at You

So… one debate down and right now — right this very moment — hundreds of thousands of folk are furiously typing millions of words on why their guy won. Me, I’d just like to make a single observation of one thing that struck me as extremely telling. Throughout the debate, John McCain went to extraordinary measures to *not* look at Barack Obama. I suspect this was a self-prescribed anger-management tactic… I think McCain has no love for Obama at all. At the same time, however — and I suspect that maybe only improv actors and primatologists would recognize this — in so doing McCain gave away *all* of his status to Obama. By not meeting Obama’s gaze he elevated Obama above himself… which isn’t really what you’re going after when you’re trying to sell yourself as the uber Commander in Chief. I think that — maybe more than anything that was actually said this evening — is going to show up in post-debate...

I Can’t Hear You!

It reads like an episode of The Office. Turns out, it’s your government at work. From the New York Times: “The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week. “The document, which ended up in e-mail limbo, without official status, was the E.P.A.’s answer to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that required it to determine whether greenhouse gases represent a danger to health or the environment, the officials said.” Let’s make sure we’re  perfectly clear on this. After years of foot-dragging on the part of the Environmental Protection Agency, the frickin’ Supreme Court orders the EPA to fish or cut bait, by making an agency-level determination whether greenhouse gases are, or are not, dangerous to our health and environment. Having exhausted its available “do-nothing” options, the EPA finally, reluctantly, sends its court-ordered findings to the White House where the Bush administration — in a fit of pique that would rival a three-year-old stickin’ his fingers in his ears and squealing “I can’t hear you!”  — refuses to open the email. This, my friends, is your government at work. January 20, 2009 cannot arrive quickly enough. Hat tip: to Making Light, which you may want to visit to see the fireworks that occur in response to this development. Update: Don’t miss the fun conversation happening over at Scalzi’s place, where the trolls are in full throat and Scalzi’s whackin’ em like so many moles in an arcade...

On This Memorial Day

It’s odd to feel so self-conscious about flying the flag on a national holiday; to feel conflicted about being genuinely proud — honestly grateful — to be an American, and at the same time saddened and angry about what’s been done in our country’s name. I’m not certain… does that make me a true patriot, or a reluctant one? I believe that patriotism isn’t a matter of whether or not you fly the stars and stripes, or wear a lapel pin, or place your hand over your heart for the pledge of allegiance or sing along to our national anthem. These are platitudes; they don’t reward the blood of our forefathers, nor honor their sacrifice. Of course, mine isn’t the first generation so conflicted. Others — far more astute than I — have observed that our nation’s actions aren’t always lined up with our aspirations; that blind patriotism is the worst sort of sedition, a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy, and the last refuge of scoundrels. But of all the reflections on patriotism in America, the one I find most compelling — and most true — was penned by the American author to whom I am most indebted, and in whose footsteps I have frequently trod (literally, if not figuratively), the hometown hero of Hannibal, Missouri, Mr. Samuel Clemens: “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” ~ Mark Twain Words to live...

MoveOn’s Open Source Politics

MoveOn has focused some of the grassroots energy behind the Obama campaign with it’s ObamaIn30Seconds video contest. The premise is simple: submit what you’d like to see in ad about Obama’s “new kind of politics.” Be positive. Be upbeat. From what I’ve seen, the results run the gamut from really, really good to — frankly — astonishing. I’ve linked my favorite here, not just because it’s a great message, but because it’s a bit of a dip in the pond of my own childhood memories. Oh, and it also features the Dodo’s on the soundtrack. So, what’s up with the politics posts? Ahhh… I just can’t help myself. I’m not gonna spin Bloggle into a full-on politics site, but I am going to add Politics as a category (thus allowing you to avoid it altogether if you so...

It’s Groundhog Day (Again) in Pennsylvania

It’s Groundhog Day in Pennsylvania. Punxsutawney Hill has climbed atop her dais and proclaimed to have seen a shadow of a chance of pulling this thing off. What it means, of course, is that we’re now faced with another two weeks (at least) of discontented, wintry discourse; another fortnight of kitchen-sink strategies and maneuvering, political calculus and triangulation made all the more amazing given the campaign’s utter inability to grok the very simple math of delegates and popular vote. I predict: Two more weeks (at least) of pundits proclaiming that, “It ain’t over, yet!” in a desperate bid to make the race appear closer than it really is, which is no closer than it’s been since the Potomac Polls. Two more weeks (at least) of commander in chief thresholds, padded resumes and mud-slinging. Two more weeks (at least) and untold millions of dollars spent on primaries that are utterly meaningless, but utterly necessary (we’re told) lest someone, somewhere, feel disenfranchised. This is exhausting, even for a politics...
Page 1 of 212

Pin It on Pinterest