Things related to the 2012 Republican primary

I shouted out who killed the Kennedies

Anne Laurie’s last post should serve as a reminder: the general election is going to be shithouse rodent crazy.

Here’s my question: how much traction will the murder of Vince Foster, the Clinton’s drug-running activities at the Mena airport, and so on, get within the mainstream media?

I have one prediction and I guess it’s an obvious one: Don Lemon will ask someone from the Hillary campaign a direct question about Mena and/or Vince Foster on camera sometime between now and November.








Before they blow up the world

When I say that professional centrists frighten me much more than wingers, I am being completely serious. Let’s look at this passage by Jim VandeHei that Anne Laurie highlighted this morning:

Exploit the fear factor. The candidate should be from the military or immediately announce someone with modern-warfare expertise or experience as running mate. People are scared. Terrorism is today’s World War and Americans want a theory for dealing with it. President Obama has established an intriguing precedent of using drone technology and intelligence to assassinate terrorists before they strike. A third-party candidate could build on death-by-drones by outlining the type of modern weapons, troops and war powers needed to keep America safe. And make plain when he or she will use said power. Do it with very muscular language—there is no market for nuance in the terror debate…

And let’s remember this David Broder classic:

Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

Say what you want about the tenets of wingnuts, at least they don’t suggest starting wars for purely political reasons. It’s one thing to be an honest, earnest bedwetter who thinks we need to bomb the world to be safe, it’s quite another to suggest that presidents, or mythical third-party unicorns, start exploiting fear and killing people for purely political reasons.



Don’t you wanna go (1999)?

The other day I was listening to a political show on the radio, and a guy called into say that, although he was “Cruz guy”, he believed that Trump could beat Hillary because of Hillary’s sordid past, as detailed in a book by Roger Stone.

That’s when it hit me: if Trump is the nominee, it will be five months of Vince Foster, the Mena drug operation, the Clinton body count, and so on.   I hope the Hillary campaign wishes a motherfucker would, but they’d best be prepared for a media that says “some say the Clinton personally murdered upwards of 50 people, some say they do not, the truth lies in the middle.”

As crazy as the last eight years of anti-Obama have been, I don’t think it quite touches the insanity of the anti-Clinton stuff in the mid-to -late ’90s, at least within mainstream political discourse.  The Republicans never even got around to impeaching Obama the way I thought they would.

 

It’s all coming back if Trump is the nominee, and maybe to a certain extent regardless of who the GOP nominee is.

 



One day the bottom will drop out

I hope that Trump is the Republican nominee. If I lived in a state with an open primary, I would vote in the Republican primary for Trump. Fifty years of resentment politics from the right created the conditions for Trumpism, and Trump is the candidate the GOP deserves.

In the immortal words of Mister Blonde “I say fuck ’em. They set off the alarm. They deserved what they got.”



For A Good Time In Cambridge (This Thursday)

Yo! Local Juicers — if you’ve reserved Thursday evening for watching paint dry, I have an alternative.

I’m going to be moderating a really excellent iteration of the MIT Communications Forum — this time co-sponsored by our city-wide celebration Hub Week.

I’ll be very lightly riding herd on Annalee Newitz and Charles C. Mann as they wonder about how (and whether) study of the past can help us prepare for the future — with the possibility of apocalypse included.

Brueghel-tower-of-babel

Both are wonderful writers and thinkers.  Annalee was the founding editor of io9, and is now Gizmodo’s Grand Poobah.  She’s written Scatter, Adapt and Remember:  How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction, which was, inter alia, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. She’s at work now on a history of the city (and its possible future) — and more besides.

Charles  has been producing erudite and elegant science writing for yonks*. He’s perhaps best known for 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus which won the the National Academies of Sciences Keck award as best popular science book of the year.  He followed that up with 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Createdand is at work now on The Wizard and the Prophet, which he describes as a book about the future which makes no predictions. (Yogi Danish parliamentarians would approve.)

Time:  5-7 p.m., Thursday, October 8.

Place:  MIT Building 3, room 270.  Interactive map here.

PS:  If you’re into some long distance planning, I’ve got a couple of events coming up in support of my long-teased new book, The Hunt for Vulcan: and how Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe.  The book is timed to the centennial of Einstein’s discovery of the General Theory of Relativity, which he completed in November, 1915, and it gets to that striking moment through a marvelous oddity of a story from 19th century solar-system astronomy, the repeated discovery of a planet that should have existed, but didn’t.  The appearance and then vanishing of the planet Vulcan is not just a curiosity, (or so it seems to me), as its history reveals a great deal about what it takes for science really to change under the pressure of inconvenient fact.

Anyway — the book comes out on Tuesday, November 3, and we are in the midst of planning a launch event at the MIT Museum.  That will most likely run from 6-7:30, with details to come soon.

Then, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 12, I’ll be doing a reading and signing at my local:  Brookline Booksmith.  Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.

*Yonks being a unit of measure of time roughly equal to more than you thought.

Image: Pieter Brueghel the Elder, The Tower of Babel, 1563



And they said he was a very great man

Even by the low standards of our wretched elite media complex, this is amazing..the NYT had a buddy of Kissinger review Niall Ferguson’s Kissinger hagiography and this is what he wrote:

[I]f Kissinger’s official biographer cannot be accused of falling for his subject’s justifiably famed charm, he certainly gives the reader enough evidence to conclude that Henry Kissinger is one of the greatest Americans in the history of the Republic, someone who has been repulsively traduced over several decades and who deserved to have a defense of this comprehensiveness published years ago.

(via)



I watched the needle take another man

In a just world, this would hurt Republicans, and especially Carson and Trump, immensely.

The frontrunner was allowed to spout debunked theories linking vaccines to autism, and ‘bunching up’ shots, before an audience of millions of CNN debate viewers—and went unchallenged.

Heads up: Donald Trump is still a vaccine truther.

At the CNN debate Wednesday night, the GOP frontrunner broadcasted anti-science vaccine conspiracy nonsense—unchallenged by moderators or fellow contenders—to an audience of millions.

This is completely without basis within the medical community. There is no reliable evidence that the spacing of vaccines is in any way harmful, and the pediatric community as a whole is not making any changes to the recommended vaccine schedule. The “way too many” line is pandering at its worst, and there is no way that Carson the physician can be in any way confused about this.

But hippies hate vaccines too, so both sides do it.

(I highly recommend Betsy Woodruff‘s coverage of the Republican primary, she’s a bit like Jonathan Martin but less annoying and insidery.)