Insight. Antics.

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

The Good Book(s).

In Politics, Religion on September 24, 2010 at 8:08 am

I heard something fascinating yesterday that I had to share. I was listening to the DoubleX Gabfest on Slate, a regular discussion of current cultural, social, and political issues with a woman’s slant, and something jumped out at me. You may be wondering how I got away with listening to the DoubleX Gabfest in the first place. It was pretty tough. I had to keep my Y chromosome quiet and hidden behind my X for a half-hour so I didn’t blow my cover. Suffice it to say, I dabble to keep my media diet balanced with progressive proteins and conservative carbs. Independents serve as roughage.

As I was listening I found that a point they made, (really as a tangent), struck me as so apt that I essentially have to regurgitate it.

Like many this last week, they were discussing the rise of Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Senate race and her brand of right wing politics in general. It began with Emily Bazelon, who is pretty much the big sister I never had, extrapolating from O’Donnell and other prominent Tea Party members’ general orientation towards the Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s The Economy, Genius.

In Economy, Politics, Television on September 21, 2010 at 8:40 am

Monday at noon, President Obama sat with John Harwood and a town hall audience for an hour at the Newseum in Washington to discuss the economy live on CNBC. Talk about stretching it out. CNBC took a rolling pin to that hour’s worth of content and spread it out over multiple dayparts. The morning preview/speculation coverage was already well underway at 9:00AM on Squawk on the Street and the screen was adorned with obligatory countdown clock to boot.

Leading up to the event, regional focus group viewing panels were asked for their opinions. Pundits pundited. Correspondents corresponded. “What do traders and bankers want to hear?” “It’s live… what if some question comes out of left field, I mean, the market is open!?” Afterwards, they did it all over again, but this time at least with clips, something to go on. And for twice as long. C’est la media.

So, what about the actual town hall? Well, it was pretty candid. On both sides. Definitely from the questioners, arguably from the president. The audience was respectful, if not deferential and admiring, but visibly shaken and frustrated by their collective lot in life.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Lowdown Down Under.

In Government, Politics, Travel on September 13, 2010 at 7:05 am

It was looking a bit touch-and-go there, but Australia has solved a parliamentary deadlock after a too close to call election on August 21.

Julia Gillard has found a way forward that will solidify her as the first female prime minister in Australian history. Take that, Hillary! That’s right, she’s broken through the glass floor. (Y’know, since the’yre Down Under, their floor is our ceiling.) Gillard, of the Labor Party, has been prime minister for a few months now, but that ascent came about as a bi-product of parliament taking the boot to her predecessor, more like Ford taking over for Nixon, but without the criminal cover-up. This current election, though close, offers her more legitimacy.

It’s just as well, because it looks like the guy she ran against, Tony Abbott, is not that good at math: his economic projections were off by about $10 billion. Also, his party needs to get better at naming things, such as itself. “Abbott’s Liberal Party represents the conservative spectrum in Australian politics, despite its name.” He also fondly refers to Australia as Up Above. It’s very disorienting. Read the rest of this entry »