The Democratic National Convention’s sudden infatuation with all things military Wednesday night was beyond smarmy. As a veteran, I found it manipulative, insulting and cynical. For years, the Democrats held in contempt anything to do with the armed forces; now they pose as its greatest defenders.
At Tuesday night’s Democratic Convention, Hillary Clinton did what everyone expected her to do, and she endorsed Barack Obama. As her husband mouthed “I love you” (in a gag-me-with-a-spoon moment reminiscent of the 1998 State of the Union address), Hillary encouraged everyone to jump on the Obama bandwagon.
Tom Friedman’s column in today’s Times hails China’s progress at the expense of ours: “When you see how much modern infrastructure has been built in China since 2001, under the banner of the Olympics, and you see how much infrastructure has been postponed in America since 2001, under the banner of the war on terrorism, it’s clear that the next seven years need to be devoted to nation-building in America.”
My wife is a huge Neil Diamond fan, and has converted me over the years to appreciate his first-rate songwriting and showmanship. The guy is a real talent and class act–and he proved it this week by offering refunds to every ticketholder at a recent show where his voice was not up to par. I know a few folks in the concert promotion world, and refunds on this scale just don’t happen. What a classy thing to do.
In 1984, I saw the Jacksons– Michael, Marlon, Jermaine, Tito, Bobo, Bubbles, however many there were– at the Gator Bwl in Jacksonville, Florida. It was quite good, but far from the best show I’ve ever seen. A magnetic performance before a huge screaming throng is not necessarily an indicator of transcendent greatness. It’s candy for the eyes and ears. Do you sense where I’m going here?
From Jay Nordlinger, of National Review: This insistence on the centrality of politics is distressing — and not very democratic. You know, everything hinges on this election, everything hinges on politics: our future, our children, our destiny, our health, our every breath. Nonsense. It’s not supposed to be like that in a liberal democracy. We are governed by a constitution — by laws, not men. And mature people know that most of the important things in life are private, not public.
On the first night of the Democratic National Convention, John McCain pulled off a brilliant piece of counterprogramming. He appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and turned in a terrific performance: he was funny, relaxed, respectful of his Democratic opponents, and serious when he needed to be. He looked, in short, fully presidential.
Lest we forget the nature of the enemy, this multi award winning documentary by Andre Hovsepian, an Iranian born American is not only a son’s tribute to his martyred father but it sheds lights on the hell hole that is Iran. Watch. But there is yet another cry from Iran. This one comes from Ahmadinejad’s opponents. They have been hoping to use the upcoming 2009 to oust him not because of his nuclear policy but because of Iran’s wrecked economy. Guess what? Ayatolla Khamenei, the “moderate cleric” with whom Obama is hoping to negotiate has just signaled that the presidential elections, will be as “predictable” as the parliamentary ones have been:
Here’s the latest Obama “Praise” video, plus the usual smart comments from Pete Wehner. It really won’t change anybody’s mind about anything–I offer it to you for its amusement value, and to demonstrate just how unhinged a few people have become. At a few points, you see the now-famous “Soviet” Obama image (with the posterization of colors–you’ll recognize it when you see it for its similarity to state-sponsored propaganda in the USSR; it’s conciously modeled after that, I understand). With the literally prayerful spirit of the video (which is creepy in itself), the picture adds an unintended ominous mood to the piece. Finally, it’s fun to note the irony that this video and song, titled “American Prayer,” is being played on guitar by Dave Stewart, a musician who is a citizen of… England.
I woke up this morning with a somewhat different view of the Michelle Obama speech. While I stand by my observation that it was a lovely, well-delivered if platitude-laden discourse on values and family, it was also something else: phony .
For anyone wondering how far over the cliff some people will go in the name of “fairness,” a youth baseball league in New Haven Connecticut provides an answer. 9-year-old Jericho Scott has been banned from pitching by league officials–because he’s too good.
Since Barack Obama selected Joe Biden (and before that too) the party faithful and the pundits have mused mightily about why he did not select Hillary Clinton instead. After all, she is the only one out there with a large base of voters. To me the answers are obvious: (1) After the strain of the primaries, Obama just did not like Hillary; (2) choosing Clinton would show weakness, not strength in that Obama would seem to need Clinton and would be overshadowed by both Hillary and Bill Clinton; (3) the Republicans would be able to run ad after ad of the VP candidate attacking Obama. They already did this truck with Biden, but with Clinton it would be much, much worse.
The Olympic medal count is unofficial, not something officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Still, the count is universally reported and widely known. (Even the IOC puts the count for each games on its web site, but says: “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not recognise global ranking per country; the medal tables are displayed for information only.”) Officially, medals are awarded to individuals, though these individuls do represent national teams.
Well, so much for that morning advisory that Ted Kennedy would appear but not speak. After niece Caroline Kennedy spoke her words of tribute, and after the 8-minute video (by documentary king Ken Burns, no less), out strode the 76-year-old silver-haired “Lion of the Senate,” looking quite fit for someone battling a malignant brain tumor.
I think the Obama tech-heads may be too clever by half. I went to Obama.com to see his new commercial (where he improbably links himself to terrorist Bill Ayers–go figure) and went obama.com didn’t help, I googled the campaign. It took me to barackobama.com, his official website, and started up a video of Obama himself welcoming me. Here’s the problem: The only way out of the page was to enter my name and address. There was nothing else to click on. So I typed over the link (now suddenly my.barackobama.com) which took me to, well, another non-informational page–some kind of startup that required a log-in. Finally, I clicked on the logo on that page and got the main site. (Though the ad I wanted to see was nowhere to be found on their video page–and the video page didn’t have any obvious link to the campagin’s commercials.) Now, I’m running Firefox and I have some ad-blocker software running, so I guess it could be on my end. But I’m not the only one set up like this–which gets me to my point: Not everyone who goes to the Obama website wants to sign up. Some folks are going to be simply curious, and looking for direct links to information. From what I can tell, the Obama site is by Internet “experts” and for Internet “experts.” I think they need to simplify a whoooooole lot.
The Democrats have formally convened in Denver, opening their national hoo-ha with an “interfaith” service. Scheduled to speak: the head of the Islamic Society of North America and an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism case.
I suppose in this day and age it was appropriate that I received the news via text messages; they came pouring in last Tuesday evening. As I scrolled through one after another, all with the same flash, I couldn’t believe my eyes - LeRoi Moore was gone.
Accepting an unwanted job out of a sense of duty to one’s people is, thankfully, a common enough occurrence. The Bible considered shunning of power, a sign of worthiness. Moses, famously, set the precedent by tried to convince G-d he is the wrong man to lead Israel out of Egypt. America’s founding father, George Washington, too was reluctant to accept the presidency. Things seemed to have changed but maybe not always. Try the following:
Talk show number one is in the books from the DNC, and I’m exhausted. Remote radio broadcasts are always a little more frenetic– constant chatter in my headphones during commercial breaks, different methods of accessing my usual resources, and of course, guest placements in a constant state of flux as producers here at the Pepsi Center try to distribute interviews among the top stations.
Tom Friedman asks: What did we expect from Russia? After all, we expanded NATO because we assumed that Russia will behave aggressively when opportunity strikes. High energy prices provided the opportunity and Russia behaved as we expected, with “brutish stupidity.” It showed Georgia who’s the boss in the near abroad. In other words, they acted in the manner we assumed. If you assume Tom Friedman is going to praise Western policy makers for using Russia’s temporary weakness to improve NATO’s strategic position, you’d be wrong. Friedman argues that Russia is merely acting according to form because we assumed it would. Debatable, to say the least. History certainly does not support such an ideological assumption.
“Everybody’s watching what’s going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics. Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a corporation deciding where to do business you’re starting to think, ‘Beijing looks like a pretty good option.’ “–Barack Obama
Anarchists, Code Pink, Flava Flav, Cindy Sheehan, tree sitters, ANSWER, feminists, PETA, vegans, pot legailzers, Naderites, illegal immigrants and the libs who love them. Levitations. Public nudity. Street theater. Puppets.
Hey, gang! Look who just hired on at the Puffington Host as their latest super-genius expert on politics and policy! It’s 80s one-off singer Cyndi Lauper! I for one look forward to her mighty insight. She will fit in well with her fellow HuffPo intellects; wisdom overflows. I bet the average IQ just went up a few points!
Against the backdrop of politics and the Olympic medal competition between the Chinese and the United States, both countries are in clear agreement on one thing –the value of image over reality for televised events. During the opening ceremonies, the Chinese unapologetically resorted to deception in pursuit of more compelling television, first by digitally enhancing the impressive opening fireworks ceremonies and then by having a cute nine-year-old girl lip synch for the seven year old actually singing, who had a better voice but crooked teeth.