You know the deal.
I have been tobacco free for a while, but every now and then, I will be damned if I do not want a cigar.
I agree with my fellow moralistic scold, Rod Dreher, that the MSM handwringing over how Miley Cyrus’s handlers should have known better than to let the fifteen-year-old pose for the Vanity Fair photo that she’s now apologizing for is more than a little ridiculous; the whole thing looks like a staged controversy, not a real blunder. If you’re trying manage a transition from tween sensation to alluring grown-up star, doing an artsy, sexually-suggestive photo shoot and then hastily apologizing for it seems like a brilliant career move – you reap the benefits of the Vanity Fair treatment while simultaneously distancing yourself from it. And I also agree with Poulos that the photo in and of itself isn’t problematic. You can make perfectly tasteful art, as he says, from the “worshipful celebration of the fecundity of the pubescent female body.” The problem comes in because we inhabit “a culture in which ‘worship’ seems to mean corrupting unceremoniously and kicking to the curb.” One day you’re posing for Annie Leibowitz; the next you’ve ended up in the Britney-Lindsey-Paris circle of celebrity hell.
A few thoughts:
1.) I have no idea who Miley Cyrus is. None. Zero. Saying the name does remind me of that awful Billy Ray Cyrus song from the early 90’s we were all cursed to hear over and over and over again. But other than that, I have no clue who she is, nor do I think I care.
2.) I can’t be the only person on the planet who finds nothing “sexy” about that photograph. If I had seen it in a magazine I would have thought it was some kid in one of those “Got milk” pictures as I flipped past it.
3.) I am not completely sure, but I think congress attempted to pass a law a few years ago that would land you in jail for using the phrase “the fecundity of the pubescent female body” online. I believe the Supremes shot it down, however.
Consider this an open thread.
*** Update ***
Via the comments, I see she is in fact the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus.
No good can come of this. I remember a joke about Achy Breaky Heart- something about three people being executed, and they were all asked their last wishes, one asked for a big meal, the second asked to hear Achy Breaky heart one last time, and the third, upon hearing the request from the second condemned person quipped, “kill me first.”
You will have to bear with me today- I only got two hours sleep last night because of insomnia, so I am a bit crankier than usual today. At any rate, Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) is still a blithering idiot. Looking dumb while appearing on the same show as Larry King is quite an effort, but she was up too the task last night. The question asked of the roundtable was whether or not Obama had finally put the Rev. Wright issue to bed. Take it away, Rep. Lee:
Congresswoman Lee, what do you think?
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS, SUPPORTS CLINTON: Well, first of all, this is a tough position, but I think Democrats are focused on the prize. And that prize is winning in November. We have two great candidates. This is a troubling time.
But I want to applaud Senator Clinton, who really gets it. She understands that most of the Democratic primary voters from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to Indiana and on want to talk about the issues. And I commend her for the stand that she’s taken over the last 48 hours and begin to continue reaching out to voters in North Carolina and Indiana…
KING: But the question was…
JACKSON LEE: Well, I think…
KING: That wasn’t the question.
JACKSON LEE: Well, I think…
KING: The question was, do you think Obama put it away?
JACKSON LEE: Well, I think he responded as Senator Clinton responded, which is the voters want to talk about the issues.
KING: All right.
JACKSON LEE: And he addressed the question of his pastor. And that’s up to him to address that question.
I like what Senator Clinton is doing…
KING: OK. OK.
JACKSON LEE: …and that is getting out and working with the voters.
KING: I appreciate that. The question wasn’t about Hillary Clinton.
Jamal, do you think he put it away?
It was painful to watch, and that is saying something because you expect a certain level of pain when you watch Larry King.
You can say what you want about Hillary Clinton, but it is clear to me she is no dummy, so it really sucks to have people like Sheila Jackson Lee out there speaking for her, no matter how well intentioned Rep. Lee might be. That is one of the things I hate the most about current politics- it is so unrelenting and endless that you, by necessity, have all these people out there speaking for you, whose support you need so you can’t tell them to just shut up, and quality control is just bad. I feel bad for Hillary for this, and hell, I just feel bad for every candidate who has to run for office and has to deal with this sort of stupid.
I was doing laundry and found myself reading the letters to the editor at USA Today, and came across this gem:
Wanted: God-fearing man
Rev. Kort Greene Jr. – Scottsville, Va.
I’m constantly being asked who I’m voting for or who I want to win the Democratic nomination. Many automatically assume that because I am an African-American I will vote Democrat — not!
I supported Mike Huckabee, not simply because he is a Republican but because he is a man of integrity and stands for godly principle. This is more than I can say about either of the Democratic candidates. They have so much in common and so many reasons why I could not in good conscience vote for either.
The only good thing I see about the Democratic campaigns is we are finding out how inept these candidates are, which is a plus for the Republicans.
Let’s pray that God will intervene and give us an honest, God-fearing man to run this country.
I read that and my first thought was that if McCain wins, it is profoundly unfair that I have to go down with the ship with this idiot, and then I immediately realized what it must have been like for the people who hated Bush all along, knew he would be a disaster, and had to sit around and suffer while jackasses like me voted for the guy they wanted to have a beer with or voted for Bush because they didn’t really “trust” John Kerry.
I guess that is the most depressing part of the Gas Tax nonsense below. Now that everyone on the planet is criticizing the McCain-Clinton plan, even Paul Krugman, grudgingly, the Clinton campaign will feel the need to respond. McCain of course, won’t, because he is a Republican, and Republicans don’t have to explain themselves when they say stupid things. They just say them, accuse the opposition of being weak or soft on terror and then move on to some other disastrously stupid statement.
Clinton, on the other hand, will feel the need to defend herself (Clintons only have two modes- attack and bunker mentality), and we will undoubtedly be treated to the spectacle of Clinton surrogates going on television spreading nonsense about how the gas tax holiday really will help blue collar voters, further dumbing down an already moronic electorate.
It is great to see that we finally have some national unity on energy policy. Unfortunately, the unifying idea is so ridiculous, so unworthy of the people aspiring to lead our nation, it takes your breath away. Hillary Clinton has decided to line up with John McCain in pushing to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for this summer’s travel season. This is not an energy policy. This is money laundering: we borrow money from China and ship it to Saudi Arabia and take a little cut for ourselves as it goes through our gas tanks. What a way to build our country.
Being called ridiculous by the guy whose last big idea was that the world is flat has got to leave a mark. This gas tax holiday nonsense is so stupid that even the Cato Institute trotted out Jerry Taylor to CNN to report that it was a dumb idea.
I really can not figure out what is more offensive about this pandering from Clinton and McCain- that they think they can fool you into believing the gas tax holiday will actually lower gas prices (it won’t), or that they think your vote can be bought for the princely sum of 2-3 bucks per week. We’ll call it a tie.
*** Update ***
Share a thing or two about a thing or two.
So last night when I said everything was predictable about this show, I meant it. Here is a prediction- Starbuck has met and is nailing some professional athlete who is part of the resistance on Caprica. I give him three episodes until he is dead. Can’t have the brooding masculine chick falling happily in love.
Again, I give him three episodes, max. Not that this is a bad show, just that it is far less original than many of you act like it is.
Still inching forward:
Not bad for a bunch of potty mouths.
*** Update ***
Via memeorandum I see that John McCain has released his health care plan. My guess- daily doses of cod liver oil and full coverage for Viagra.
Gee, I wonder why Obama, the anti-political posturer, disowned Wright today. My dad got a call last night that might explain.
I got some more information about that call.
It was a live call last night around 7 p.m., not a robocall.
Where do these wingnuts come up with this perception? I see the same sort of crap from the Hillary Clinton blogs and the pro-Clinton commenters- this notion that Obama supporters are somehow unaware that Barack Obama is *GASP* a politician.
He is a United States Senator. He is running for the highest political office in the land. He is a politician. We are aware of this. Trying to change the tone and tenor in Washington as well as how politics is conducted is not apolitical, and we are all aware of this. What we reject is the current status of our politics, not the notion of politics. What we see in Obama is a chance to change the nature of our current political mess.
What we don’t see is Obama as apolitical. That is just stupid. Some might say it is TOWNHALL stupid.
So, attention wingnuts- We are aware Obama is a politician, and your attempt at witty comments aren’t breaking news to us. All it is doing is proving that we are right to think you are a moron.
…and if you like decent radio where the hosts don’t scream at you and tell you you’re stupid if you’re a Democrat / Republican, please give to WABE, Atlanta’s Public radio station. It’s a totally awesome listening experience, and I gave a buck a day – $365. I’ve been doing the same thing for 3 years (I listened for free for 4 years.) Am I allowed to solicit funds here for anyone but Obama? Hmmmm…
I guess this can be an open thread!
Because I refuse to say he threw him under the bus, which is now my least favorite expression in the English language. At any rate, Obama “distanced” himself from Wright:
“I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday,” he said.
Obama also distanced himself from the man in a way he has been reluctant to in the past.
“The person that I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago,” he said. “His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church.”
“They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs,” he said.
“If Reverend Wright thinks that’s political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn’t know me very well and based on his remarks yesterday, I may not know him as well as I thought either.”
All the talking heads assured me he had to do this, and now he has. I am not sure why it was necessary, as it was pretty clear to me when listening to Wright the past few days that he was not speaking for Obama, but such is the guilt-by-association bullshit of the media.
As to Wright himself, well, I have my own thoughts. First and foremost, I guess I am no longer the delicate fainting flower that most other bloggers and media commenters are these days. I spent several years in the early days of this blog being all sorts of outraged about petty bullshit. I spent days calling Ted Rall an asshole (he still is, I think), days opining about what an asshole Michael Moore is, and so on. I got my panties all in a bunch about Ward Churchhill (also a dick), and stupid things Bill Maher may or may not have said, and so on.
And you know what? They may be assholes, or jerks, or whatever term you want to use, but they sure as hell didn’t run this economy into the ground. They aren’t responsible for turning a huge surplus into a several hundred billion dollar deficit. I have yet to read any memos from Barbra Streisand detailing how we should spy on American citizens.
And so it is with Jeremiah Wright. Is he a jerk? I don’t think there is any argument to be made that lately he hasn’t in fact been one big, giant, puckered asshole. His ego tour the past few days was all about him, but so what? I blame the media as much as I blame him. Is it an offensive notion that the government created aids? Absolutely, but I refuse to get all bent out of shape about it, because the government that tortures people and ran the Tuskegee experiment and wiretapped MLK for years opens itself up to crazy accusations like that.
So Jeremiah Wright has acted like a jackass the past few days, and he may have acted supremely selfishly by hurting Obama’s electoral chances. Regardless, he may be a flawed man, but that does not undo all the good he has done over the years. I don’t know of any bloggers with thirty years of service to the poor and the indigent. Get back to me when Chris Matthews feeds hungry people for three decades. And even with all his flaws, Jeremiah Wright did give us this quality bit of entertainment, and I have to admit to enjoying someone treat the media with the respect they deserve (which is to be mocked, have eyes rolled at them, and taunted as Wright did yesterday at the Press Club).
Maybe it is because I am totally and unrepentantly in the tank for Obama, but I just can’t get worked up over what his pastor said. Maybe it is because I am not religious, and I am used to religious people saying things that sound crazy. Or maybe I just refuse to spend any more time and energy getting worked up over and denouncing, distancing, and rejecting the wrong people- people who really don’t matter in the big scheme of things. If you have a memo from Jeremiah Wright to John Yoo showing how we should become a rogue nation, let me know. If you have pictures of Jeremiah Wright voting against the GI Bill, send it to me. If you have evidence of Jeremiah Wright training junior soldiers on the finer aspects of stacking and torturing naked Iraqi captives, pass them on.
Until then, I just can’t seem to get all worked up about the crazy scary black preacher that Obama has to “throw under the bus.”
*** Update ***
So it isn’t as though we really have anything else to talk about besides Jeremiah Wright. There are some countries in the world — probably most — which have so many big problems that they could ill-afford to devote much time and energy to a matter of this sort. Thankfully, the United States isn’t one of them. I believe it’s critical that we keep that in mind as we discuss him for the next seven months.
Keep in mind that you should probably put as much stock in this daily tracking poll as you did every one in which Obama was leading (in my case, that is very little), but it appears that Hillary is now ahead of Obama by one percentage point in the latest Gallup. Who knows how much of this is bounce for Hillary from Pa, and how much of this is Obama being dragged down by his former pastor.
As far as super delegates go, it appears that Obama has picked up two in the past few days and Hillary has picked up one. In the Obama category go Richard Machacek from Iowa and Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler, while Hillary picked up NC Gov. Mike Easley.
As someone new to the Democratic party, I have to admit to being shocked at how efficient we are at inflicting maximum damage on ourselves. I still don’t think there is any way for Hillary to win without ripping the party in two for at least a decade, but I am amazed that the remaining undecided super delegates seem content to sit by and waffle and do nothing as Hillary and Obama destroy each other. Profiles in courage, I tell you.
At any rate, the way this is going, by the time Obama finally has the number of super delegates he needs, Hillary and Rev. Wright can have him trailing McCain and Hillary in the polls by double digits. Awesome.
As a side note, I still do not know whether I am supposed to hyphenate the term super delegate, and I switch back and forth between hyphenated and unhyphenated, sometimes in the same post.
*** Update ***
Almost an identical post at the Great Orange Satan, which has me kind of weirded out. Apparently now I even think like the Great Satan himself.
The overall press silence on contracting abuses in Iraq, despite a major and disturbing Congressional hearing yesterday, really is disgraceful.
As a side note, it’s a weird experience for me to read the American Conservative RSS feed more or less daily and find little if anything to disagree about (one has to assume that will change when we start debating single payer healthcare). They’re not even paleocon in the grumpy racist
Weekly Standard National Review under William F. Buckley kind of way. Readers looking for another John Cole could do worse. However, be warned, you’ll probably miss out on highbrow content like this.
Goota love the war on your neighbor:
Brooklyn Park police were looking for a meth lab, but they found a fish tank and the chemicals needed to maintain it.
And a few hours later, when the city sent a contractor to fix the door the police had smashed open Monday afternoon, it was obvious the city was trying to fix a mistake.
It happened while Kathy Adams was sleeping.
“And the next thing I know, a police officer is trying to get me out bed,” she said.
Adams, a 54-year-old former nurse who said she suffers from a bad back caused by a patient who attacked her a few years ago, was handcuffed. So was her 49-year-old husband.
“They brought us here and said once we clear that area, you can sit down and you will not speak to each other,” she said.
Police were executing a search warrant signed by Hennepin County Judge Ivy Bernhardson, who believed there was probable cause the Adams’s home was a meth lab.
I think my favorite thing about home invasions like this is how the police maintain that they did nothing wrong. This quote, from the Capt. Roehl regarding the information that was used to invade the home, is just priceless:
“Everything this person told us turned out to be true, with the exception of what the purpose of the lab was,” Roehl said.
Things are starting to pick up after episode 3 in season 2.0 (Fragged), and I have developed a healthy dislike for Col. Tigh. There are a number of things that bother me so far about the series, most of which is that all the characters seem so, well, stereotypical. The butch female fighter who has a hidden soft side but a tough exterior, the flawed military man with a troubled past and a liking for the bottle, the self-confident and often over-confident son, the scheming wife, and so on. However, I do happen to really like the nutty professor. Gaius Baltar is actually turning out to be my favorite character in the whole show.
Many questions do arise, however, about the overall status of the show. Like, for example, where does Col. Tigh find his endless supply of booze? I remember running out of booze years ago as an undergrad after the bars had closed in WV, and we couldn’t find a drop to drink anywhere and had to run on fumes and Parliament of Funk. Col. Tigh, however, is trapped on a ship with no means of production in outer space, chased by an alien space fleet after what is essentially the apocalypse, and yet he has an never-ending flask of green scotch?
Seriously? What is up with that?
*** Update ***
I should probably add that while Tricia Helfer seems to have attracted all the geek lust for BSG, Grace Park is much, much better looking.