14 December, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Something tells me the Iraqis are a wee bit upset at Bush:

President Bush is in Baghdad today on a surprise farewell visit highlighting the security deal recently reached between the U.S. and Iraq. CNN Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware reports this afternoon that during a press conference with Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, an Iraqi man threw a shoe at Bush — “a grave insult in the Arab world” — but “it just sailed past his head...”


McClatchy identified the man as Iraqi television journalist Muthathar al Zaidi and reports he threw both of his shoes at Bush just after he finished prepared remarks.

The New York Times notes that the first shoe “narrowly missed” and the second shoe also missed. “This is a farewell kiss, you dog,” Zaidi shouted.

Is it wrong of me to wish his aim had been better? And to get a good chuckle out of the fact that Dana Perino reportedly suffered a black eye in the ensuing struggle? Even if it's wrong, I'm still enjoying this immensely.

And I can't resist the Autin Powers's quote: "Honestly. Who throws a shoe?"


In other amusing news, McCain's rapping the knuckles of the RNC:

The Republican National Committee, true to form, is going to comical lengths to try to connect Barack Obama to Rod Blagojevich, reality notwithstanding. The latest initiative includes a three-minute web video featuring a bunch of instances in which the senator from Illinois met the governor of Illinois. The horror.

The video is likely part of RNC chairman Mike Duncan's campaign to keep his job -- he's desperate to prove to Republicans that he can be at least as ridiculous as the other candidates for the post. But outside this context, the Republican National Committee's baseless smear campaign against the president-elect seems unusually cheap, even by RNC standards.

Oddly enough, an unexpected source came to Obama's defense this morning.

John McCain, reminding GOP partisans why they always hated him, downplays the Blago story and takes a passing shot at the RNC on "This Week":

"I think that the Obama campaign should and will give all information necessary. You know, in all due respect to the Republican National Committee and anybody -- right now, I think we should try to be working constructively together, not only on an issue such as this, but on the economy stimulus package, reforms that are necessary. And so, I don't know all the details of the relationship between President-elect Obama's campaign or his people and the governor of Illinois, but I have some confidence that all the information will come out. It always does, it seems to me."

Maybe after two failed presidential bids, he's feeling freed from the party line. This doesn't make up for months of disgusting campaigning, and the fuckwit still has no principles to speak of, but it's nice to see McCain twisting the noses of his own party again.

Maybe he can give Arlen Specter some lessons in taste now:

On Friday night, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) offered up some “tasteless ethnic jokes” at a swanky Pennsylvania Society luncheon in New York City. The senator asked the audience if anyone present was Polish. Reportedly, about 10 people raised their hands. Callous to their concerns, Specter then proceeded to let loose with a stream of Polish jokes...

Charming. Polish jokes lost their appeal when I was about ten years old. Republicons, on the other hand, never seem to outgrow their immaturity.

If anyone's wondering if McCain will endorse a Palin presidential run, I've got advice. Don't hold your breath:

Because what the country can't get enough of is more coverage of Sarah Palin (/snark), George Stephanopoulos asks the question burning brightly in the hearts... minds... crotches of the country... Washington... the punditocracy: Will John McCain endorse former running mate Sarah Palin for the 2012 election?

The answer? Nope.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You said, after the election, that Governor Palin has a bright future in your party. Does that mean that, if she does chooses to run for president, she can count on your support?

MCCAIN: Oh, no. Listen, I have the greatest appreciation for Governor Palin and her family, and it was a great joy to know them. [..]But I can't say something like that.

Very ouch. I think the bloom's off that rose.

But apparently, the bloom never fades for media morons sniffing after fake scandals:

Last week, Newsweek's "Convention Wisdom Watch" feature gave Barack Obama another up arrow. The feature added, however, "What, no gaffes? CW worrying it won't have enough silly distractions to feast on."

Now, the magazine was obviously kidding, but the snarky joke pointed to an unfortunate truth: the political media establishment has been just sitting around, waiting for a "silly distraction to feast on." A day after the Newsweek edition hit newsstands, Rod Blagojevich was arrested. Guess what happened next.

Kevin Drum's take this morning was spot-on:

...I've lost count of the number of op-eds and TV talking head segments over the past week that have started out with something like this: "There's no evidence that Barack Obama was involved in Rod Blagojevich's pay-to-play scheme -- in fact just the opposite -- but...." After the "but," we get a couple thousand words with some take or another on why this is casting a "lengthening shadow" over Obama even though there's precisely zero evidence that he had even a tangential involvement in the whole thing.

Look, I get it: it was kind of a slow news week, reporters are tired of Obama the Savior stories, the Blagojevich story is theatrically sexy, and everyone is desperately trying to find a way to turn it from a local story to a national one. But there's no there there. Maybe Republicans still haven't learned their lesson from the 90s, but that's no reason the press has to follow them over a cliff once again.

The "once again" phrase seems especially important.

Doesn't it just? Memo to the MSM: we have a plethora of real scandals to deal with. We don't need a bunch of bumbling fuckwits chasing after skirts, manufacturing controversies, and blowing innuendo and speculation into enormous non-stories. Leave that to the tabloids.

Anyone else getting the feeling it's time to fire every so-called "journalist" in the country and start from scratch with the handful remaining who are actually doing their jobs?

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