When all else fails, go to old Daily Show clips. I actually missed this one. It comes courtesy of my Mormon brother, Colby Poulson. Check it out
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More
Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.
When all else fails, go to old Daily Show clips. I actually missed this one. It comes courtesy of my Mormon brother, Colby Poulson. Check it out
Nice piece and he's got a point:
Clinton's path to the nomination, then, involves the following steps: kneecap an eloquent, inspiring, reform-minded young leader who happens to be the first serious African American presidential candidate (meanwhile cementing her own reputation for Nixonian ruthlessness) and then win a contested convention by persuading party elites to override the results at the polls. The plan may also involve trying to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations, after having explicitly agreed that the results would not count toward delegate totals. Oh, and her campaign has periodically hinted that some of Obama's elected delegates might break off and support her. I don't think she'd be in a position to defeat Hitler's dog in November, let alone a popular war hero.
I was really thinking about it, but this latest bit tears. Only a power-hungry fool--and yes a Democrat--would imply that the Republican opponent was more qualified than their fellow Democrat. I know I live in New York and it doesn't matter, but on GP, there's no way I can, in good conscience, vote for this craven fool.
Not bad advice at all. I am especially in favor of this one:
4. Make a speech about the Internet slurs. Stop ducking them. Confront them. Talk about your Christian faith and your childhood exposure to Islam. Tell people about your parents. Debunk that idiotic pledge of allegiance meme. Grab the flag pin issue by the lapels. Do it all at once undefensively. Yes, it will raise the profile of every single slur. But if you rebut them candidly, gracefully, calmly, you will defuse them. You can run but you can't hide from Internet crapola. So confront it; defeat it. Right now, on these issues alone, the Obama camp is actually captive to the politics of fear. Don't be.
You said you would go right at them brother. Well, don't talk me to death.
Heh. Nice list over at Radar. Half of these movies I never saw because the sexism oozed off the trailer. Generally I hate listacles, but this is worth a look.
Pretty awesome reporting job here by Anne Kornblut and Peter Baker. Screw the dumb analysis. Here is a pretty comprehensive accounting of the past few months. I've been burnt out on this stuff since Tuesday, but this was too hard to resist. I salute them both.
I thought I told you that we won't stop...
I want to say up front that it was stupid for Obama to deny this happened, when it in fact did. The "I was dealing with the facts as I knew them" defense doesn't cut it. Bush would say the same thing about Iraq. What I've loved so far about Obama's campaign is the cat's willingness to, as we say in the old country, Man Up. I hope he continues in that tradition and takes responsibility for his mistakes, and remains willing to
Now that that's out of the way, it also seems clear that Obama was basically set-up. Here's a piece in TNR on Canadian conservatives attempts to influence the election:
First and foremost, the U.S. media has identified his chief of staff, Ian Brodie, as the leaker of the diplomatic cable written by the Chicago consulate reporting on the Goolsbee meeting. Harper's domestic political foes are advancing a narrative that has already angered Democrats, and would be bad news for bilateral relations: that Harper was trying to do a favor for the GOP by tossing a piece of political dynamite in front of Obama's train as it was barreling down on Ohio.
"They will do what is necessary to help Republicans. They're a nasty, unprincipled bunch, who are incompetent to boot," Bob Rae, foreign affairs critic and member of the opposition Liberal party, wroteasked on his blog. "Is it possible that the prime minister himself knew about this information and authorized the leaks in order to discredit the campaign of Mr. Obama for president of the United States?" New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton
And also from Talking Points Memo:
Seems the NAFTAgate leak started with -- surprise, surprise -- the Chief of Staff to Canada's conservative PM Stephen Harper. Only the first hint wasn't about stuff the Canadians had heard from the Obama camp. It was about reassurances the Canadians got from the Clinton campaign. According to a reporter who heard the original conversation, Brodie said "someone from (Hillary) Clinton's campaign is telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt. . . That someone called us and told us not to worry."
Only somehow this evolved into a story about the Obama campaign giving such reassurances.
Nasty stuff. But Obama better get used to it, and fast.
Well Obama got creamed last night. There's just no way around that. But Marc Ambinder points out that, even after her big ones, the math of Hillary come back is still really hard to see:
It is a sad irony or perhaps cosmic justice: just as Hillary Clinton succeeded in reforming her coalition -- older voters, working class women, self-identified Democrats, Latinos, the less affluent, the less educated -- just as she's succeeded in raising doubts about the presumptive Democratic nominee, the claws that are the Democratic rules tightened, perhaps inescapably -- in that she cannot escape from them. Forget about momentum. Or press coverage. Or arguments. Or moral claims to this or that. Forget about the external things that all of us in the media normally cover.
As the calendar progress, the reality is that the rules have become the controlling legal authority. When folks say "this ain't over for a while," they don't have a predicate. Perhaps the scrutiny on Obama will increase and that he will crash and that 30% of his superdelegates will crash and that 30% of his pledged delegates will defect and that 60% of the remaining superdelegates delegates will go her way. That could happen, but it is still not that likely to happen. I suppose that if we discover that Obama has a second family in Idaho...
Heard this today from my good friend Ed Park. Gygax, outside of my parents, may be the single most important factor in me becoming a writer. It's hard to explain to people today--hell it was hard then--what it meant to create an entire world inside your head with only some paper, weird dice, and rule-books. But, oh man, that world was so real to me. I later went on to MMORPGS like EQ and WoW, but in truth, nothing that any programmer does could match the limitless possibilities of conjuring a world in my head.
My sessions of Dungeons & Dragons were the most fun I ever had as a child, bar none. And it wasn't like I was the stereotypical geek with a pack of weird friends (really though, who was?). I was a relatively popular, if somewhat awkward black boy attending the public schools of West Baltimore. My brother Malik, who introduced me to D&D, was a similar dude--though a hell of a lot smarter.
The great thing about D&D though, was that as fun as it was, it really pushed your abstract thinking skills. I think that abilityto conjure a complete picture, based only on skeletal details stayed with me, and has really helped me as a writer.
And so now I look at my seven-year-old son, who has seen some of my rulebooks and wants me to teach him. What will I do? I was seven when I started. And yet, it's been so long since I've played. I wonder whether it will still feel the same. Time, I guess, to dig out my old gem dice...
Be still my heart. Man I can't take it--we got killed in Ohio and ambushed in Texas. I don't think I have the heart to even begin to try to analyze what any of this means yet. I think I'm with a lot of folks my age who just feel that we'll just die if we have to endure a smackdown of Hillary in the primary--that's what will happen--and then another four years of Republicans running this in D.C. Add that to the fact that I just don't see Barack Obama making another run for president after this.
I read somewhere that he really needs to take the gloves off and start hitting her hard. But I don't want to see that. I don't want him to become a win-at-all-cost Clintonite. I want him to draw a line in the sand about what the future means, and then force the Democrats to make a choice over embracing it, or rejecting it out of fear. All of that said, I'm with Andrew Sullivan tonight guys:
I just had a Jager shot, and hope to get drunk very soon.
OK, so maybe only in spirit. I still gotta get the boy to school in the morning...
Nice hit piece here on the inanity of Yes We Can and other campaign rhetoric. Hitches, as always, siffs out the b.s.:
Pretty soon, we should be able to get electoral politics down to a basic newspeak that contains perhaps 10 keywords: Dream, Fear, Hope, New, People, We, Change, America, Future, Together. Fishing exclusively from this tiny and stagnant pool of stock expressions, it ought to be possible to drive all thinking people away from the arena and leave matters in the gnarled but capable hands of the professional wordsmiths and manipulators.
He ends with a rather uncharitable jab at his now ex-friend Sid Blumenthal:
How well I remember Sidney Blumenthal waking me up all those years ago to read me the speech by Sen. Biden, which, by borrowing the biography as well as the words of another candidate's campaign, put an end to Biden's own. The same glee didn't work this time when he (it must have been he) came up with "Change You Can Xerox" as a riposte to Sen. Obama's hand-me-down words from Gov. Deval Patrick.
TNR argues that the press is finally turning on Obama. I gotta say, even as a supporter, I'm glad to see that happening. First of all, it's good for him--if he's going to be any sort of candidate in the general, or any sort of president, he better get used to answering tough questions. Second, it's good for all of us. I just hope he doesn't slouch into the same whiny press-bashing that the Clinton campaign has.
When I started The Beautiful Struggle, I refused to read any other memoirs. With the exception of Walter Bernstein's lovely Inside Out, I kept that promise. My reason for such a weird decision? Stories like this:
In “Love and Consequences,” a critically acclaimed memoir published last week, Margaret B. Jones wrote about her life as a half-white, half-Native American girl growing up in South-Central Los Angeles as a foster child among gang-bangers, running drugs for the Bloods.
The problem is that none of it is true.
Margaret B. Jones is a pseudonym for Margaret Seltzer, who is all white and grew up in the well-to-do Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley, with her biological family. She graduated from the Campbell Hall School, a private Episcopal day school in the North Hollywood neighborhood. She has never lived with a foster family, nor did she run drugs for any gang members. Nor did she graduate from the University of Oregon, as she had claimed.
I flipped through a few memoirs when I was writing my proposal, and while I didn't get the impression that they were completely fabricated, I was amazed at the level of detail with which people could recall events. I'm talking about memories of attire and weather on specific days from, like, age five. And not just once, but all across the book. I felt like I couldn't trust any of it. To my mind, memoir is supposed to be true.
When I wrote mine, I struggled with even the idea of recreating dialogue. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that I couldn't write the book without doing that. I'm still not sure that was the right decision, and my discomfort is reflected in how little dialogue is actually in the book. OK, I'm getting off-track here. My point is that editors are going to have to start fact-checking mo-fos. They don't have to fact-check everything, because as I understand it, that would be prohibitively expensive. But maybe an audit system where they randomly fact-check books, and fact-check ones that raise the B.S. alarm. I think a white chick claiming to have grown up gang-banging in South-Central qualifies. Man, a few phone calls would have revealed the fraud...
Of course there are lots of other reasons why Jews support Obama. Jews have been the religious group most opposed to the war in Iraq. Jews are overwhelmingly liberal Democrats. The American Jewish Committee poll last November asked American Jews to pick their most important campaign issue. 23% named the economy and jobs, followed by health care (19%), the war in Iraq (16%), and then terrorism and national security (14%).
At the bottom of the list: support for Israel, at 6 percent.
That wasn't in the New York Times, either.
I find that fascinating because it mirrors a lot of what I see in black folks. People somehow think that reparations or Affirmative Action are voting issues for black folks, when in fact it's same stuff that other Americans worry over--the economy, the War, and health-care.
Oh man, you just made my blogroll. Yeah I know, I'm late. But anyway, here's Glenn's bumrush of Howie Kurtz:
On a weekly basis, Kurtz -- who, due to his deeply conflicted joint positions at both CNN and the Post, has significant influence on how political journalists behave -- makes his method for "media criticisms" clear. He scours the right-wing blogs, religiously consults Drudge, and listens to right-wing talk radio. He writes down all of the scurrilous filth he picks up there and copies it into his column (hence, his prominent, respectful featuring of Red State Erickson's "cokehead" commentary today). His most frequently cited sources are Bill Kristol, Michelle Malkin, and various far-right bloggers. And then he angrily demands to know why the media isn't passing along all the attacks and manufactured scandals he heard from Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin. That's Kurtz's formula for "media criticism."
Never thought the Catholic League would nail this, but they basically get it right here:
Catholic League spokeswoman Kiera McCaffrey says Hagee is a "larger problem" than Farrakhan because Farrakhan is "small potatoes and old news" compared to Hagee and his huge following. McCaffrey says her group is calling on McCain to repudiate Hagee, a Christian leader spokeswoman McCaffrey claims has a long history of "anti-Catholic bigotry."
Yeah, maybe in the 80s and 90s, Farrakhan held some truck with black folks. But the NOI has been on a steady decline since the MMM. I think Tim Russert thought that his questioning put Obama in a bind because, it would split him from black folks who, of course, are mindlessly loyal to Farrakhan. What Russert fails to understand is how bad black people want this, and how little sway Farrakhan has, these days, in the neighborhood. No one cares if Obama denounces Farrakhan. This isn't Jesse circa 88.
Josh Marshall breaks down Wolf Blitzer for trying to equate John Hagee's relationship with McCain and Obama's relationship with Farrakhan:
Let's be clear what happened here. John McCain solicited the support and endorsement of Hagee and then he held a joint appearance with Hagee in which he formally endorsed him. In these terms, Obama has no connection whatsoever to Farrakhan. He's just someone who said positive things about Obama. So the premise for even asking Obama is dubious in itself, whereas McCain has openly embraced Hagee.
Kay Bailey Hutchinson, speaking on McCain's behalf, then basically refuses to denounce the dude. This is a guy who called Catholicism "the great whore." I'm not a Farrakhan fan. I was at the Million Man March in 2005. I want to know where all that money went that was collected. That said, there is something to this idea that media, and most of us, tend to tolerate white bigots, while leading lynch mobs to the homes of black bigots. Anyway, see for yourself.
Yeah I avoid that term like the plague, but wow. Man, listen, or rather, Woman, listen:
I can't help it, but reading about such episodes of screaming, gushing and swooning makes me wonder whether women -- I should say, "we women," of course -- aren't the weaker sex after all. Or even the stupid sex, our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial. Women "are only children of a larger growth," wrote the 18th-century Earl of Chesterfield. Could he have been right?
Better people than me have taken this on, but it just amazes me that this sort of stuff gets published. People just want to see a fight these days--preferably, apparently, a catfight.
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