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Hail to the Chief

[ 0 ] March 8, 2008 |

Here’s Trekkie Clausewitz, fitting the Powerliners for a pearl necklace:

Obama sees and describes himself as an astonishment to the world: the audacity of hope; an agent of change; the total transformation of the world; a blissful warrior against arrogance. He speaks in a messianic preacher-voice, because he sees himself as the Minister of the New (liberal fascist) World Order.

Which is of course totally not the way “the great bloggers of our time” have ever spoken of anyone:

I had the opportunity this afternoon to be part of a relatively small group who heard President Bush talk, extemporaneously, for around forty minutes. It was an absolutely riveting experience. It was the best I’ve ever seen him. Not only that; it may have been the best I’ve ever seen any politician. If I summarized what he said, it would all sound familiar: the difficult times we live in; the threat from Islamic fascism–the phrase drew an enthusiastic round of applause–the universal yearning for freedom; the need to confront evil now, with all the tools at our disposal, so that our children and grandchildren can live in a better and safer world. As he often does, the President structured his comments loosely around a tour of the Oval Office. But the digressions and interpolations were priceless.

The conventional wisdom is that Bush is not a very good speaker. But up close, he is a great communicator, in a way that, in my opinion, Ronald Reagan was not. He was by turns instructive, persuasive, and funny. His persona is very much that of the big brother. Above all, he was impassioned. I have never seen a politician speak so evidently from the heart, about big issues–freedom, most of all . . . .

It was, in short, the most inspiring forty minutes I’ve experienced in politics.

. . . I was in the middle of a faculty senate meeting when I posted this, so I was a little more abbreviated than I’d have liked. I should have added that it’s this sort of thing that’s going to make life incredibly easy if and when Obama secures the nomination. Wingnut bloggers who yodel about “teh messiah” are going to have to scrub years worth of archival wanking if they want lefty blogging to be anything more difficult than paint-by-numbers.

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Resignation, cont.

[ 0 ] March 7, 2008 |

I agree with Scott that Samantha Power’s resignation was probably the expedient course of action, though I’m disappointed by the nonsense of it all. Power clearly should have been more guarded in her conversations with The Scotsman, but the feigned hyperventilating over the “monster” remark has been pathetic given the thousand-fold greater absurdity of the Ken Starr analogy.

How long does anyone seriously believe the Clinton campaign would have allowed Power to remain before mainstreaming Paul Mirengoff’s absurd smear that she seeks the destruction of Israel? I’d have given it about two weeks.

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[ 12 ] March 7, 2008 |

One of the great things about living in the Pacific Northwest (at least the parts where people live) is that it only snows roughly 1-3 times per year, and doesn’t stay very long when it does. This means that snow takes on the quality of a novelty, which makes up in part for the difficulty it causes.

It’s fair to say that I no longer view snow as a novelty.

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Next Week on Law and Order…

[ 0 ] March 7, 2008 |


Italy’s highest appeal court has ruled that married Italian women who commit adultery are entitled to lie about it to protect their honour.

The court gave its landmark ruling after hearing the case of a 48-year-old woman, convicted of giving false testimony to police by denying she had lent her mobile phone to her lover.

The appeal court did not agree that she had broken the law.

It said bending the truth was justified to conceal extra-marital relationships.

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The Powers Resignation

[ 9 ] March 7, 2008 |

I think it was the best option for the Obama campaign.

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The Book or the Review?

[ 0 ] March 7, 2008 |

This review of Gusher Of Lies makes me wonder whether the bad arguments are the book’s or the reviewer’s. For example, Bryce’s attacks on ethanol seem very convincing, but in what way do they challenge “cherished green beliefs?” This is djw’s department, but it seems to me that the class of people pushing ethanol contains a rather higher percentage of “corn-growing interests and their political representatives” than “environmentalists.” Then there’s this:

Wind power and solar power have the added drawback of being intermittent and unpredictable. A town that relied entirely on solar or wind power would suffer constant service interruptions and wild fluctuations in output, which is why both technologies must be used in conjunction with traditional fossil-fuel generators.

You don’t say! One hopes that it’s Grimes and not Bryce who considers identifying the fact that wind and sunlight are not constants as potential problems in using them to generate power a monumental insight.

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Be More Funny! And Less Homophobic!

[ 40 ] March 7, 2008 |

Since I really, really Don’t Get Garrison Keillor, at least I can say that I don’t find this disillusioning. (I mean, given the esteem with which his wit is inexplicably held in many quarters, shouldn’t his attempt at homophobic humor at least involve some stereotypes that wouldn’t have stood out as stale cliches at a Dean Martin Celebrity Roast in 1971?)

[Via TS.]

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LGM Tourney Challenge

[ 18 ] March 7, 2008 |

I’ve created an ESPN group for this year’s Tournament.

Group Name: Lawyers, Guns and Money
password: zevon

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[ 0 ] March 7, 2008 |

Yglesias on Abe Foxman giving a pass to the anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-gay, all-purpose nut whose endorsement John McCain assiduously sought out: “What does Foxman have to say about all this Hageean nuttiness? He thinks it’s just fine since Hagee’s pro-Israel. Obviously, we’re not supposed to give too much scrutiny to the content of Hagee’s “pro-Israel” views since in an ordinary sense deliberately seeking the destruction of the Jewish state and the deaths of all its citizens wouldn’t be considered an especially pro-Israel stance.”

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Who Would Win in a Fight?

[ 36 ] March 7, 2008 |

Chris Partlow and Felicia “Snoop” Pearson vs. Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield?

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More on Gygax

[ 0 ] March 7, 2008 |

As befits a group full of social maladjusts, the blogosphere has turned out some good stuff on the passing of E. Gary Gygax. Jason Sigger has a good round-up and a nice tribute here. Russell Arben Fox also has a nice remembrance. A friend forwarded this article from two years ago, written by Paul La Farge, who traveled to Lake Geneva in order to play D&D with Gygax. And of course Rich Burlew does characteristically good work here.

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Tails We Win, Heads You Lose.

According to new numbers released by Survey USA today, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama win in match-ups against McCain. Obama wins by more (and wins 4 more states than Clinton); the numbers suggest he loses Pennsylvania and New Jersey, wins Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado. The numbers show that Clinton wins Pennsylvania and Ohio too, but loses the pacific northwest.

Not sure how much to trust these numbers (if at all)…but still. A bit reassuring, I guess.

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