Insight. Antics.

Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Carolyn, No.

In Media, Politics on August 26, 2010 at 7:50 am

It’s taken some two months of bickering (and felt like six) but Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has finally agreed to debate challenger Reshma Saujani a week before the September 14th primary for New York’s 14th District. Thanks to Celeste Katz at the Daily News for being beyond patient in continuing to cover this topic. This is terrific news, the East Side of Manhattan and Queens will have its first debate in eons. File into the auditorium, dim the lights, dab on some makeup, and let the cameras roll. I hope Gabe Pressman comes out of the woodwork for this one!

Wait–what’s that you say? The debate’s not going to be on TV? Why not?

Can I even go see it in person, Lincoln/Douglas style? No!? Then, where is it? And how will we know who is wearing the infamous Kate Spade wedge?

It’s on the radio? What’s that, some doohickey that emits live podcasts? Sounds experimental.

Well, okay. I suppose I can just sit down and listen to it after I eat dinner, brandy snifter in hand in my favorite chair. Huh? It’s on in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday? But who can listen to it then? Read the rest of this entry »

A Weird Wedge.

In Politics on August 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm

What do Newt Gingrich, Howard Dean, Sarah Palin, and Harry Reid all have in common? Did I hear, “They will all never be president?” Hopefully, but we were looking for, “They all oppose the mosque being built a few blocks from Ground Zero.” Newt is so opposed, he brought out this cute baby polar bear to bolster his position. Actually, that’s just the tenth result when you Google Image Search “newt gingrich mosque.”

What do Barack Obama, newly independent Florida Governor/Senate candidate Charlie Crist, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie all have in common? “Their names are overtly Christey?” Nope, but two out of three ain’t a bad guess. Actually, they’re all on the flip side of the mosque debate, favoring or acquiescing to its construction.

Then, there is a cohort of pols In the middle. Mitch McConnell proved to be uber-cautious with his “no comment” reply. Nancy Pelosi, for some reason, channeled Deep Throat on this issue and quixotically told the press to “Follow the money.” Recently yelling new husband Anthony Weiner (though luckily not at his wife but at bass ackwards Republicans who oppose a real 9/11 issue, the health of WTC responders) displayed a stance that is virtually indecipherable in its ambiguous language. Read the rest of this entry »

Leisure Crime.

In Economy, Media, Politics on August 11, 2010 at 11:50 am

There’s been a recurring narrative in the major publications and cable news channels about the Obamas’ leisure time: that they’re  wasting or abusing taxpayer money to enjoy life outside of the White House, or that they’re doing so in the “wrong” place. Their date in Manhattan, their recent trip to Maine, their plans to spend a week in Martha’s Vineyard; all have drawn criticism.

This week has seen renewed hubbub since Michelle Obama took Sasha to Spain for a few days. She is paying for all the things you and I would pay for if we were going (hotel room, meals, and transportation) but of course being First Lady comes with a hefty Secret Service entourage, not to mention a secure private jet. I’ll admit that this trip seems much more lavish than a Cosby ShowWomen‘s Day” with Clair and Rudy, but whatever. (I wonder if Michelle is also telling Sasha, “Your father and I are rich. YOU have nothing!”)

I don’t fault Michelle for this. The first family shouldn’t be held to account for the modern realities of protection: I’m sure she would love to whisk Sasha away and disappear down the calles of España alone for a weekend.

Read the rest of this entry »

Shame Doesn’t Work Like It Used To.

In Politics on August 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Fresh off my “Qantas leap” from Australia, with my circadian rhythms still a bit off-tempo, I’ve taken renewed notice of the ethics charges against prominent Democratic House members Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters. If they had their druthers, liberals would hit them and others hard over this. But of course, expedience is trumping morality. (Fear not, a piece on the parallels between Aussie and US history is still in the cards.)

It used to be that you just had to look out for the usual suspects in politics. As George Carlin said, “Smug, greedy, well-fed white people [who] have created a language to conceal their sins.” But corruption is no longer limited to the good ‘ol boys. Sure, old white men are the stereotype, and still the majority of our legislators, but they are not alone in their shadowy dealings. Today it is apparently old black people who wear reading glasses that we should be watching.

Rangel’s appearance makes Al Sharpton look classy. Plus he has the voice of a Jewish grandmother. I half-expect him to offer me more rugelach every time he talks. “Oh and make sure to try the hamantashen, bubbelah!”

Read the rest of this entry »