Tuesday, May 31, 2011
meet with Donald Trump. Can you imagine the conversation between these two? It will be like "Rain Man" and Charlie Sheen discussing the finer points of quantum physics. Only dumber. And if I can crack wise about this so easily off the top of my head, you can imagine what the late night pros (Stewart, Leno, Conan, etc) will do with this material. For comedians everywhere, Palin is the proverbial gift that keeps on giving.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 7:07 PM
A Daily Beast reader's plea to the political press: "Please stop comparing Palin now to Obama in 2007. Voters didn't know Obama, but the more they got to know, the more they liked. Palin has been the opposite; the more voters have gotten to know her the more they dislike. That's a fact you can't seem to accept."
Posted by EJ Perkins at 7:03 PM
Business Week, the US Postal Service "relies on first-class mail to fund most of its operations, but first-class mail volume is steadily declining—in 2005 it fell below junk mail for the first time. This was a significant milestone. The USPS needs three pieces of junk mail to replace the profit of a vanished stamp-bearing letter." Now you know.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 7:01 PM
Steve Benen: "Let's put aside the notion of a 64-year-old presidential hopeful enjoying the Twilight series. What stood out for me in this little quote was Romney feeling the need to mention he doesn't "like vampires personally," followed in the next breath by a reminder that he doesn't "know any" vampires. [...] It's understandable that Romney and his campaign team want to make the candidate seem more likable and less animatronic. But is it me, or do these efforts usually end up making Romney look kind of ridiculous?" Long story short, Benen suggests Romney is trying too hard to appear normal. Sure - technically, Benen and the other pundits who have opined on this "issue" are probably right. But that doesn't make these observations any less trivial.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 6:44 PM
Friday, May 27, 2011
Veterans Day is for. Instead, they should take some time and remember the spirit of the country and the dedication of those men and women who chose to pick up arms. They never came home to be thanked, and only their memory remains." (Alex Horton, Iraq War veteran)
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:16 PM
Posted by EJ Perkins at 3:35 PM
Adam Kirsch: "Americans who learn about the war in Europe from a book like Stephen Ambrose’s 'Band of Brothers' (1992), for instance, could be forgiven for thinking of the defeat of Germany as the work of doughty G.I.’s. Yet in 'No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945' (2007), the British historian Norman Davies begins from the premise that 'the war effort of the Western powers' was 'something of a sideshow.' America lost 143,000 soldiers in the fight against Germany, Davies points out, while the Soviet Union lost 11 million. And if the main show was a war between Hitler and Stalin, he wonders, wasn’t World War II a clash of nearly equivalent evils?"
Posted by EJ Perkins at 3:28 PM
John Dickerson: "[Sarah] Palin ... has hurdles on the question of fitness for office. Some 67 percent of the country does not think she is qualified to be president, according to a Washington Post poll from last year. Seventy percent of independent voters hold that view. Even among Republicans, 46 percent hold that view. Those findings are consistent with a Gallup poll from a year ago." Those numbers are not likely to change between now and Election Day 2012 -- except, perhaps, get worst.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 3:05 PM
Posted by EJ Perkins at 2:58 PM
toast during the state dinner with the Queen. The miscue, a truly minor affair, isn’t worth any more words. But it is a perfect metaphor for far out of touch the media often is with its audience. This dawned on me when, the other day, I mentioned the faux pas to a friend in casual conversation. She returned bemused silence. My friend is smart and reasonably well-informed. Like most normal Americans, she puts living life ahead of following politics or diplomacy closely. And she had no idea Obama was even out of the country, let alone in London. Anecdotally, I suspect that’s the case for 4 out of 5 Americans (who are rightly focused on the NBA Finals or the Memorial Day weekend). Translation: Nobody gives a damn about Obama’s toast. Yet, the way the media drones on about this, you’d think our president had turned to the Queen and, like Quint in Jaws, raised a pint and said: “Here’s to swimmin’ with bow-legged women, guv’nor!” It’s time to put a sock in it. Cheers.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 12:04 PM
Thursday, May 26, 2011
romance with some hot babe named Julia Allison. Rest assured, there’s no scandal here: Jack, a naval officer, is single and Julia (also single) is – or was – his girlfriend. Politico describes Ms. Allison, 30, as a “media personality.” Yep, I have no idea what that means either, but it doesn’t sound promising. For example: Given Jack’s high profile (thanks to his lineage), one would think Julia would keep this matter private and go quietly into that good night. Instead, she penned a 1,209-word post on her blog with all of the syrupy details about the break-up (“I am heartbroken … because I loved him”). Written in the prose of a bad romance novel, women will weep and savor every word of it. Guys (and especially Jack) will simultaneously guffaw and cringe. I only got as far as the fourth paragraph before I did. I can only imagine the merciless ribbing Jack is getting as his ship steams west toward Guam, his new post. Another tip-off about Julia is her blog’s slogan: “I wish I had a British accent so everything I said would sound smart. Instead I was born in Chicago.” Okey-dokey. Clearly, it’s all about her. It may have taken young McCain six months to connect the dots, but his “command decision” to bail before things got out of hand appears sound. Bro, you just dodged a bullet. Well played.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 8:10 PM
Posted by EJ Perkins at 6:33 PM
believes that's a good showing for someone with nearly zero name recognition. Cain is the former head of Godfather's Pizza and famed for not being well-versed on policy, foreign or domestic. Yeah, that guy. Granted, Silver has an interesting point. But then he skips blissfully into Alice's Wonderland with this: "[Cain] has good chance of having some influence on the race — perhaps like Mike Huckabee in 2008, a candidate with whom he shares some similarities. And I don’t think the possibility that he could actually win the nomination can so easily be dismissed. The argument that you’re likely to hear elsewhere is that candidates without an electoral track record haven’t won the nomination in the modern (post-1972) primary era. But it’s a small sample size, and some or another precedent is broken in nearly every election cycle." In other words, Silver thinks we should take the self-proclaimed "Herman-ator" seriously. Okay, Nate, repeat after me: Cain, a black dude from Atlanta with a gift for quips, will be the GOP nominee when pigs learn to fly.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 6:06 PM
YOUR COMMUTE IS KILLING YOU." Citing an obscure university study in Sweden (in Sweden?!), the two-page, 500-word+ article written by Annie Lowrey can be reduced to this: "Long commutes cause obesity, neck pain, loneliness, divorce, stress, and insomnia." Needless to say, if this was a legal case, Lowrey and her editors would be laughed out of the courtroom. That's how flimsy this piece is. You might as well write about how the mere fact of living is bad for your health. So why publish such obvious dreck? Because it's all about the page views and tv/blog mentions, baby. Hey, I was dumb enough to click on it, read the first couple of paragraphs, shake my head in astonishment (I'm shocked, shocked!), and then write about the story's silliness. So the scheme is obviously working. You're welcome.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:00 PM
view, "executive branch scandal has been an inescapable feature of the American presidency." Inescapable. Using charts, statistics and tortured logic, the good professor tries mightily to make the case that the "the first Obama scandal is likely to arrive sooner than most people think." Wow. Talk about epic navel-gazing. In fact, the Obama administration has not had a single scandal to date. Call me nutty, but could it be that Barack Obama is simply not corrupt?
Posted by EJ Perkins at 4:08 PM
Sarah Palin, it seems, has announced a multi-state bus tour to promote -- well, I'm not sure what. Anyway, this event surely means she's running for president, right? Wrong -- but the media, the pundits and countless political observers are filling the air waves and the blogosphere with mindless speculation like giddy kids in a feather-flying pillow fight. Crikey, here we go again.
Here's Larry Sabato (an eminent presidential historian) writing for the New York Times today:
"Sarah Palin can’t be underestimated; she could still grab the nomination since no one else has taken off. A lot would depend on whether, a year from now, Republicans see President Obama as ripe for the picking. If Obama can be beaten, then the G.O.P. may turn a bit cautious and try to choose someone who can capture swing voters. That isn’t Ms. Palin’s profile. In trial heats she fairly consistently loses to President Obama by the widest margin of all the better known G.O.P. candidates. Yet if the economy is much better and the president looks to be romping to a second term, Republicans may just go with their hearts and not their heads. They’ve done it before, with Barry Goldwater in 1964. The G.O.P. was wild about Goldwater, who garnered 38 percent and lost to President Lyndon Johnson in one of the biggest landslides in history."Well, the Goldwater connection is at least a novel twist.
Yes, yes -- the economy could nose-dive between now and November 2012. Pigs might evolve wings and we could be invaded by aliens, too. However, none of these scenarios are even remotely likely. It's hard to knock off a popular sitting president, especially a historic one with enough raw charisma to power the national electrical grid. Election 2012 is Obama's to lose. Period. Full Stop. Unlike the rapture for Goldwater in 1964, the entire GOP is not "wild" about Palin. Most of it, like most of America, thinks Palin is certifiably nuts. Goldwater (a five-term US senator) was an extremist in some policy matters, but he wasn't crazy. That's just one crucial difference, as Professor Sabato well knows. Repeating history, this time with Palin at the top of the ticket, would be knowingly suicidal. That wasn't a foregone conclusion in 1964 when Goldwater ran against LBJ. Republicans have learned a thing or two since then. The notion that the GOP will just hand the election to Mr. Obama is plainly ridiculous.
Are we really doomed to have these pointless debates about Palin all summer long? That's a rhetorical question, of course. Think of Don Corleone as a proxy for the punditocracy. Just before giving him absolution in Godfather III, Cardinal Lamberto summed it up about right: "Your sins are terrible. It is just that you suffer. Your life could be redeemed, but I know you don't believe that. You will not change."
Posted by EJ Perkins at 3:50 PM
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Daniel Larison (writer for The American Conservative): "The Joan of Arc comparisons are strange, and for some reason people have made these comparisons ever since the 2008 campaign, and if they are intentional they are even more odd in a documentary called The Undefeated. In terms of the contemporary politics of her time, Joan of Arc wasn’t just defeated. She was put on trial and executed for heresy, and it was only five centuries later that she was formally canonized. I can’t imagine that this is the image that Palin and her fans want to project." Larison, god bless him, could be over-thinking this one. It's highly unlikely that Palin and her flacks have any idea who Joan of Arc is, let alone her history. Ergo, they're blissfully unaware that they are shooting themselves in the head. Where's Katie Couric when you need her?
Posted by EJ Perkins at 9:16 PM
signs that Palin is seriously weighing a 2012 presidential bid. But actually crossing that Rubicon would only certify that Ms. Palin really is delusional. For if she runs, she will be unceremoniously crushed. Ironically, Democrats (let alone Obama) will have no need to devise a Palin counteroffensive. In this special case, the GOP establishment will only be too happy to do their bidding. Make no mistake: Republicans privately know Palin is their worst nightmare. The scales have long since fallen from their eyes. They know Palin would be disastrous for the party and potentially the country. And they are simply not going let the Wasilla Wonder take them over the cliff with her. If Palin becomes a candidate, expect the GOP long knives to come out in force from every direction. It won’t be pretty. Indeed, I could easily imagine a late autumn scenario where a figuratively bleeding Palin would look up from the marble floor, Caesar-like, spy her modern-day Brutus, and say, “Et tu, McCain?”
Posted by EJ Perkins at 8:09 PM
contender for the top IMF job vacated by alleged rapist Dominque Strauss-Kahn. Known for her quick wit, the Washington Post noted that when asked during a radio program in 2008 what people could do about high gas prices, she said: “Ride a bike.” Now that's my kind of dame. Bonne chance.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 7:59 PM
story opened ominously. Oh, dear me. Okay, time for a pop quiz. Quick, explain why not raising the US debt-ceiling will risk global economic Armageddon along with gigantic cuts to Medicare and Social Security? Are you staring at that last sentence slack-jawed with knitted brows? Count me among you. But that's just us college educated types. When the pollster calls, surely Joe and Jane Six-Pack will be, like, totally prepared to coherently answer questions about macro-economics, right? In other words, polling the public about the national debt is a meaningless exercise. Yet, pundits and politicians cite such polls to advance their narrow agendas (while the media concocts stories assuming public knowledge where there is none). Is it too much to ask that the media stick to educating the public, and that the Congress do its homework on these complex issues and, you know, start behaving like a body of leaders acting in the best interest of the nation?
Posted by EJ Perkins at 7:54 PM
criticized for a diplomatic position he doesn't hold. Yes, you read that right. Congress is up in arms about Obama's suggestion that Israel should “return” to its 1967 borders. Except he suggested nothing of the sort. As the Washington Post correctly noted, "he supports a peace framework based on the pre-1967 lines with land swaps, which is not the same thing at all." It's up to Israel and Palestine themselves to negotiate the actual border details. But as it has relentlessly reminded us in recent days, the bumpkins in Congress doesn't do nuance. Hence the misguided brouhaha. And yet, these are the same congressional bumpkins divining "solutions" for our complex economic woes. God help us.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 7:41 PM
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
reported the New York Times. The Queen even gave the First Couple a tour of the six-room suite where they will stay. Very gracious. The Times could have stopped there and simply noted that the gesture is intended to underline the "Special Relationship" we've had with England since WWII. But going all tabloid on us, the editors deemed it crucial that readers know the suite was used by Prince William and Kate Middleton -- on their recent wedding night. “It may not be the same bed; it is the same suite,” said a nameless palace aide. Blimey, as the commoners say along Piccadilly Circus. Talk about way too much information.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 11:58 AM
POLITICO's Roger Simon isn't impressed with the Republican presidential field for 2012. "Question: If Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney were on a sinking ship, who would be saved? Answer: America." Ouch! "It is said that Pawlenty once gave a fireside chat and the fire went out." Double ouch!
Posted by EJ Perkins at 11:53 AM
Monday, May 23, 2011
Posted by EJ Perkins at 6:15 PM
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:29 PM
"A sailor throws a drowning man a life preserver. How dare you, screams the man. Because of you, people are going to think I can’t swim. That about sums up the relationship between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu." (Peter Beinart, The Daily Beast, "Netanyahu's Bizarre Response to Obama's Palestinian Proposal")
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:19 PM
writes: "The Republican presidential narrative is taking shape, and it's the story of a child's birthday party when the magician doesn't show. The audience is glum. Now it's someone's frantic job to find entertainment from the limited resources at hand and then convince everyone they're having a good time."
Posted by EJ Perkins at 4:26 PM
take on the matter by TNR writer Tiffany Stanley:
"Do the end-timers seem ignorant? Yes. Are they insane? Possibly. But should our reaction to them be chuckling glee or something more like sadness? Pay attention to their individual stories—their willingness to sacrifice everything in anticipation that their earthly lives are over—and I dare you not to feel the latter. [...] Laughing at religious fanatics is nothing new. And, at some level, there’s nothing wrong with it. But this story didn’t just take off in popularity because people wanted a quick laugh or some insight into a quirky subset of our country. There’s a cruelty underlying our desire to laugh at this story-—a desire to see people humiliated and to revel in our own superiority and rationality—even though the people in question are pretty tragic characters, who either have serious problems themselves or perhaps are being taken advantage of, or both. [...] We might want to ask ourselves not what is wrong with this sad group of apocalyptic believers, but rather what is wrong with a society that takes such pleasure in their dysfunction."
Posted by EJ Perkins at 1:22 AM
Sunday, May 22, 2011
bowed out of the 2012 presidential race today. "In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one, but that, the interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry,” Daniels said in a statement. Don't be, Mitch. It was the right decision given the current state of the GOP, a Looney Tunes place where there is no room at the inn for rational moderates. Besides, the media would have eaten Daniels (and his messy personal life) alive. Saying no was a gutsy decision in the face of great pressure from the remaining adults in the Republican establishment. Ironically, Daniels just demonstrated the kind of true grit and wisdom one desires in a president. Still, I'm relieved he opted not to drag himself and his family through what promises to be an ugly race to the bottom for the GOP nomination only to face an incumbent president who remains all but unbeatable. Good call, Mitch. Live to fight another day.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 1:16 PM
Saturday, May 21, 2011
observes, before any GOP official utters a word in public,"he must constantly ask himself the question: Am I about to say something to which a white, evangelical, socially conservative, gun-owning, Obama-despising, pro-Tea Party, GOP primary voter in rural South Carolina might object? By this standard, simple acceptance of the theory of evolution becomes a risky stance. To lie or to duck?" The truth rarely enters the equation. "Conspiracy thinking is flourishing on the right like no time since the McCarthy era. The GOP rank and file is in desperate need of a cold shower, a slap in the face, a wake-up call. But instead of telling the base to get a grip on reality, the party's leaders are chasing after the delusional mob. To get to the front of the line in 2012, Republican candidates must pretend to believe a lot of nonsense than isn't so."
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:09 PM
Friday, May 20, 2011
The Rapture" which, according to Christian radio
nutcase personality Harold Camping (who has belonged to no identifiable church since 1988), is supposed to occur tomorrow. At precisely 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. (Have you planned your Last Supper yet?) Google alone has over 5,000 articles referencing Judgment Day 2011. By the way, Camping predicted the End Times once before in 1994. But he's absolutely, positively sure this time. Right. It's always best to counter nonsense with nonsense. Therefore, I give you screaming, neck-vein-bulging, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from Full Metal Jacket: "If God would have wanted you up there he would have MIRACLED YOUR ASS up there by now, wouldn't he?" Amen, Gunny.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 6:47 PM
observes that "there are levels upon levels of complexity and nuance in the Cornel West vs. Barack Obama fracas." I side firmly with Princeton's Melissa Harris-Perry who noted that West ("in a self-aggrandizing, victimology sermon deceptively wrapped in the discourse of prophetic witness") offered nothing more than "stunning insight into the delicate ego of the self-appointed black leadership class that has been largely supplanted in recent years."
DeVega helpfully puts the debate into context:
DeVega helpfully puts the debate into context:
"The questions surrounding race, identity, group interests, loyalty, and the symbolic power of America's first Black President--and his obligations (if any) to the African American community--are not going away anytime soon. At times, it is necessary to state the obvious. President Obama is not perfect. He is a man who happens to be both black and the President of the United States. He is not a magical salve or a superhero. And as hard as this is for some to hear, Obama's blackness and his presidency are coincidental--and given America's history, almost mutually exclusive to one another. I have thought much on the following point and am surprised that more have not signaled to it: Obama as a "first" carries the burdens and dreams of so many on his shoulders. Sadly, realpolitik demands that he disappoint even as he blazes a trail forward. Obama is a consummate politician. His success in that milieu is a twisted sort of progress, for in a way he is just like all the others. That my friends is the unintended (or was it intentional?) consequence of the triumph of "colorblind" politics in the post-Civil Rights moment."The black ancien regime has never understood Obama. (Recall that this is the same bunch - led by Jesse Jackson - who proclaimed Obama was not "black enough." Therefore, they deemed, he would never win over the black community. Yet by Election Day 2008, black support for candidate Obama was something like 90 percent. I predict it will be the same in 2012.) The old guard, like so many other detractors, continually underestimate Obama's long game and his ninja-like attributes in the political arena. Once he is unshackled from the realpolitik constraints of reelection, I suspect Obama will unveil a set of bold (if not historic) initiatives aimed at the poor and persons of color. He will be motivated by genuine concern, profound obligation and his historical legacy. It's always been a question of timing - and viewing the Obama presidency as a two-term enterprise.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 6:22 PM
Thursday, May 19, 2011
speech today, President Obama opened by saying: "I want to thank Hillary Clinton, who has traveled so much these last six months that she is approaching a new landmark — one million frequent flyer miles. I count on Hillary every day, and I believe that she will go down as of the finest Secretaries of State in our nation's history." To which Esquire's Thomas P.M. Barnett retorted: "I personally would never use the words "go down" and "Hillary" in the same sentence, but you get the clear sense of her term winding down with — quite honestly — no signature accomplishments and no signature screwups. Not bad for a politician." Heh. But Barnett is right about Hillary's tenure: No hits, no runs, no errors.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 9:10 PM
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
criticized John McCain for opposing the torture of terrorists, saying McCain (a former POW who was tortured) doesn't understand how "enhanced interrogation" works. The denunciations of Santorum have been swift and unsparing. But McCain's long-time aide Mark Salter offered the best response: "For pure, blind stupidity, nobody beats Santorum. In my 20 years in the Senate, I never met a dumber member, which he reminded me of today," he wrote on Facebook. Click here if you doubt Salter's "truthiness."
Posted by EJ Perkins at 7:02 PM
per the Washington Post. If the court allows him to upgrade his pre-trial accommodations, there presumably would be no, um, maid service. What? Too soon?
Posted by EJ Perkins at 6:35 PM
Spooked by the shockingly weak Republican field, the GOP elite is pressuring the mild-mannered Indiana governor to save them from the political Frankensteins (Gingrich, Bachmann, Palin, etc.) they created. If Daniels bows to the desperate appeal, the clumsy, grubby hands of the media will wreck havoc with every piece of private clothing in his proverbial closet.
Here's the opening salvo from the Wall Street Journal by conservative columnist James Taranto:
"There's been a lot of talk recently about Daniels's marriage to First Lady Cheri Daniels--or rather, about his marriages to her. [She dumped him and their four children, ran off to marry a rich California lawyer, then dumped him 3 years later to re-marry Daniels. Go figure.] ... There has been no suggestion that Mr. Daniels behaved wrongfully in private, much less in public. ... Yet there's a curiosity around this story, which we suppose comes down to the question: What does it tell us about the character of a prospective president? Or, to put it more pointedly: If a man would take back a woman after such a betrayal, is he tough enough to lead the country?"Mitch, they are already calling it the "Cuckold Factor." Disgusting, isn't it? And it's only the beginning, my decent friend. If the WSJ is questioning your manhood today, can you imagine what the rest of the media (not to mention the Democrats) will do with it on the campaign trail? And that's on top of the "nebbish" moniker you earned prior to our knowledge of Cheri's "Desperate Housewives" shtick. You don't believe me? Type in "bland + wonkish" on Google and note the name that pops up. It ain't "Barack Obama."
Sadly, presidential politics abhors a charisma-free candidate with the face and mannerism of a small-town accountant. And it doesn't matter if you're qualified for the job. If you opt to go one-on-one with that captivating guy with the thousand-megawatt smile and the bin Laden scalp on his belt, odds are good that you're gonna get smoked. And that's assuming you can get past the crazies in your own party to win the GOP nomination, a long shot at best. In short, Mitch, don't do it, bro. Life's too short. Consider yourself duly warned.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:41 PM
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
analysis by one of his readers (from whom I quoted in the previous post). The take on Obama: "I wish people would realize that we have a President that was born in the USA, raised in Asia and multi-cultural Hawaii, and who lived in Harlem, and went to uppity Harvard and then spent a lot of time in African-American ‘hoods. Oh, and he’s driven up and down the rural highways of Illinois hundreds of times. Furthermore, much of his life was spent in obscurity so he had to live amongst us normal people paying back student loans. Even as a Senator he lived in a run down apartment in D.C. This is why I never worried about Obama’s lack of experience. All he’s had is experience. ... Have we ever had a President that has lived in this many American worlds and cultures and succeeded in all of them?"
Posted by EJ Perkins at 7:13 PM
Cornel West. He is a an articulate, well-read, pseudo-intellectual who plays the part of the black Yoda well, but is ironically very provincial. His world is literally black and white which limits his analytic powers and makes him ineffective as a true intellectual and impotent as a true force for change. ... Cornel West and Sarah Palin have a lot in common. They speak the language of a time gone by and really get very little of what is going on." (A Daily Dish reader)
Posted by EJ Perkins at 6:54 PM
kid busy playing "Cowboys & Indians" in rural Pennsylvania. On that same date, future Republican senator John McCain ejected from his burning A-4E Skyhawk over North Vietnam. Santorum spent the next five years becoming a popular teenager. McCain spent the same period being beaten and tortured as a POW. His interrogation became so severe at one point that McCain attempted suicide to escape further injury and pain. Finally broken in body (but not spirit), McCain finally "confessed" and gave his captors the names of the pilots in his squadron. Strangely, they were identical to names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line. Today, McCain is a US senator who recently condemned torture of any sort for any reason. Santorum is an ex-senator running for president who supports torturing America's wartime enemies. "I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative," Santorum said on Hugh Hewitt's radio show yesterday. Yes, Rick, they sure do. Ask McCain. He could have stopped there. But Santorum - who never served in the military or faced physical adversity - continued with this appalling declaration: "[John McCain] doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works." So, the man who can no longer raise his arms above his shoulders due in part to torture doesn't know how torture works. McCain's politics makes me nauseous. His manhood in captivity made me proud. Santorum's politics also makes me nauseous. But his manhood is nonexistent. In my book, that makes Santorum nauseating in his entirety.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.)
Posted by EJ Perkins at 3:00 PM
extramarital affair ten years ago given his reputation for scruple-free womanizing? Are we truly surprised that there is an unlimited supply of scruple-free women willing to fling themselves at married megalomaniacs like Ah-nold? Does anyone honestly believe Arnold has been a saint since he fathered a child with his housekeeper? (If so, I've got some lovely swampland to sell you.) Does anyone blame poor Maria Shriver (who friends say has been unhappy for years) for finally terminating the Terminator? For me, the only surprising thing about this sordid affair is that Maria didn't leave the "Austrian Oak" sooner.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 2:46 PM
reporting that in 2006 she and hubby were in debt to Tiffany's for over a quarter million dollars. Sorry, but it doesn't take much imagination to imagine Callista echoing Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) in Breakfast at Tiffany's: "That's right. I'm just CRAZY about Tiffany's!" It won't matter if the bill was ultimately settled. It still adds up to a lot of very expensive bling for the spouse of a self-declared fiscal conservative. And no matter how Newt tries to spin this shocking revelation, Republican folk in Peoria will never understand. In other words, presidential candidate Gingrich is done. The only remaining question is how long it will take him to drop out of the 2012 race.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 2:41 PM
stand-up comedian): "My race is a part of who I am. In one sense, it's very easy to get mired in that. At the same time, the reality is if you look at me, you see a black person, so in that way race will always be there no matter what. It's like, 'Oh it's the black correspondent.' Well, no, I'm just a correspondent, but regardless of how I present it, people will always attach a racial element to it. But this is my story: A kid who's black, who grew up in Texas, who is of West Indian descent. There are very specific aspects of my experience that are not the 'black experience' and to me, that's what transcendent is."
Posted by EJ Perkins at 2:35 PM
Monday, May 16, 2011
official: Donald Trump will not be a GOP candidate for president. Though there was nary a chance he would become a serious contender (let alone win), let's face it: Trump's brief rise to political prominence was only possible thanks to the press and its insistence on keeping the Obama birther nonsense alive. In the end, the president played his own trump cards by releasing his long-form birth certificate (which shut off the story's oxygen), and deftly turning Trump into a laughingstock. But the fact remains that Trump debased our political discourse, embarrassed America with his attacks on Obama, insulted African Americans and (as Jonathan Capeheart noted) "played Republican primary voters for fools." And all of it, I'm sorry to say, was abetted by a ethically rudderless media. As for The Donald's political departure: Good riddance.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 12:44 PM
Friday, May 13, 2011
explains, he's also getting Al-Gored. "An Al Gore problem is what happens when the media forms an impression of your character and decides to cram every irrelevant detail of your appearance and behavior into that frame, regardless of whether or not it means anything. Thus Romney's hair and lack of tie are now evidence of a character flaw, as is his decision to give a detailed policy lecture in a university town without being officially sponsored by a University. An Al Gore problem results in the media ganging up on a candidate like cool kids mocking a geek, with literally everything he's doing serving as more evidence for the predetermined narrative."
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:42 PM
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
readers retires this argument rather neatly:
"What drives me crazy in the rush to proclaim bin Laden "un-armed" is that there is no way the SEALs could have known whether he was armed. Bin Laden said repeatedly that he would rather be killed than captured, and Al Qaeda loves suicide bombing, favoring explosive vests and other clothing. Bin Laden not having a gun in his hand did not prove that he was not armed: planners had to assume that either he, his room, or the entire building was rigged to explode and that bin Laden only needed to activate a switch. Unless he actively surrendered (in which case international rules of war would kick in), operators had to assume that he was about to blow them all up."Hence, the quick "double tap." None of us were in that dark room. We'll never know the exact decision-making processes that led to bin Laden's killing. Yes, taking human life is almost always morally ambiguous. But in this case, I can live with that fact.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 1:12 PM
"There’s an obvious parallel between weddings and politics: Everyone wants to get married, fewer want to be married; everyone wants to win an election, fewer want to govern." (Alexandra Petri, Washington Post, "The Shriver-Schwarzenegger separation")
Posted by EJ Perkins at 12:39 PM
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
In September 2008, two months before the presidential election, Bill O'Reilly told Barack Obama: "You're not gonna invade Pakistan, Senator, if you're president. You're not gonna send ground troops in there. You know it." (Hat tip: Political Wire)
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:47 PM
"As nervous as I was about this whole process, the one thing I didn't lose sleep over was the possibility of taking bin Laden out. Justice was done. And I think that anyone who would question that the perpetrator of mass murder on American soil didn't deserve what he got needs to have their head examined." Amen.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 12:11 PM
Saturday, May 7, 2011
New York Times: "The world’s most-wanted terrorist lived his last five years imprisoned behind the barbed wire and high walls of his home in Abbottabad, his days consumed by dark arts and domesticity." And then he got a double-tap to the head and chest for his trouble, courtesy of Uncle Sam. What's not to like?
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:34 PM
"We are an America in need of Adderall. We have a hard time focusing on heady issues for long stretches. We prefer little candy-coated news nuggets to issues of substance — picking Chiclets over chowder every time." (Charles Blow, New York Times, "The Bin Laden Bounce")
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:31 PM
Friday, May 6, 2011
Waterboarding" is an interrogation technique designed to cause the sensation of drowning (a captive is immobilized and water is poured over his or her face). It was used by the Gestapo as a form of torture during WWII. President Bush authorized waterboarding after 9/11 as part of a suite of enhanced interrogation techniques for use against captured terrorists. President Obama outlawed it in Jan. 2009 citing US law and the Geneva Convention (Common Law 3, which bans "cruel treatment" and torture of any kind). Two years ago, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said that waterboarding not only damages the victim "but to our values more broadly." However, during a Republican presidential candidate debate yesterday, Pawlenty said: “I support the use of enhanced interrogation techniques in limited circumstances." TPaw's pandering is pathetic. But his stated support for the use of torture is frightening. Is this really what the GOP has come to?
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:15 PM
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Posted by EJ Perkins at 10:32 PM
angst for feeling joy over his death? Me neither. Do you know anyone who really has a problem with the slogan “Bin Laden: Dead or Alive but Preferably Dead?” Me neither. Do you know anyone who gives a damn that bin Laden wasn’t armed when SEAL Team Six took him out? Me neither. Do you know anyone who has sunk into a deep depression over the fact that some Americans chose to celebrate bin Laden’s demise by boisterously chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A!” in the streets Sunday night? Me neither. Though we don’t have photographic “proof,” do you know anyone who doesn’t believe bin Laden is dead? Me neither. So, why have much of the media latched onto these narratives as if there is controversy? Answer: They can’t help themselves.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 12:21 PM