See, this is why I didn't liveblog the debate last night. I just can't compete with the wonderful cracked-outedness of Dan Drezner:
Drink everything in your house if:
d) Obama grabs an American flag, tears it in half, spits on it, then jumps up and down and shouts "Attica!! Attica!!"
10:08 PM: Russert tells Obama, "You have to react to unexpected events in this campaign." I half-expect him to then leap over the table, stab Obama with a shiv, and then say, "like that!!"
I don't even want to know what led him to think of Dog Day Afternoon and prison shanks in the middle of a Democratic debate, but I love it.
William F. Buckley died today at the age of 82. I know there's going to be a lot of a hagiography and gushing about his influence on the conservative movement, but the fact of the matter is that I can't think of a single positive thing he accomplished. He defended McCarthy in the 1950s, was an advocate of segregation in the '50s and '60s and apartheid in the '80s, and promoted reactionary policies throughout. He catapulted his brother into the Senate in 1970, depriving New York of the progressive representation it deserved for six years. He called Gore Vidal a "queer" on national television (albeit in an inherently funny aristocratic accent). He was an important figure, no doubt, but he wasn't a good man, he wasn't a sensible or fair opponent, and it'd be a shame if he's remembered as such.
"I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel, then you're anti-Israel, and that can't be the measure of our friendship with Israel," leading Democratic presidential contender Illinois Senator Barack Obama said Sunday.
"If we cannot have an honest dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then we're not going to make progress," he said.
He also criticized the notion that anyone who asks tough questions about advancing the peace process or tries to secure Israel by anyway other than "just crushing the opposition" is being "soft or anti-Israel."
It's like he took Gershom Gorenberg's piece in The American Prospect from a month or so ago and transformed it into a sound bite. It's so true, so refreshing to hear from a major Democratic presidential candidate, and something that Hillary Clinton would never utter to save her life. If you want an example of why Obama would be the first president to pursue an actually progressive foreign policy since, I don't know, FDR, then just read those quotes.
It's a source of never-ending amazement to me that some people seem to really, deeply care about the Second Amendment, similar to the way normal people care about the actually important parts of the Bill of Rights. So it's pretty astounding to me that the Secretary of State for Montana is more or less threatening to secede if the Supreme Court upholds the D.C. handgun ban in D.C. v. Heller. Obviously, this won't actually happen, but if it does it'd be pretty hilarious to see a Montana vs. Every Other State civil war. I have a bit of a soft spot for Big Sky Country, but oppose the Second Amendment regardless of interpretation (why yes, I do want to take your gun away), so it'd be a tough call on who to root for.
You know, it's gotta be tough for Hillary Clinton to come to terms with the fact that she's not going to be the 2008 Democratic nominee, let alone the 44th president. It sounds like she'll lose Texas, and Ohio is narrowing, and even her own husband says that losing one of those two will end her campaign. I'm sure that from the morning of November 3, 2004 to that of January 3, 2008 she was absolutely convinced that she'd be inaugurated on January 20, 2009. Hell, for a substantial portion of that time period I was confident of it too.
But even given that, one would think that she values some things more than winning this race. One would hope that she'd have the party loyalty, nay, the basic human decency to not push the Muslim smear. But according to Matt Drudge, she is, sending around an image of Obama in Somali garb, clearly intended to stoke the Muslim rumors. I had expected that the Clinton campaign would deny this vociferously, and for their denials to be right; this was just too despicable a tactic for someone like Clinton to take. I was even somewhat disappointed with David Plouffe for jumping on the story without confirmation outside of Drudge. But, well, now there is other confirmation. From the Clinton campaign. Maggie Williams, Clinton's campaign manager, did not deny circulating the photo. Instead, she attacked the Obama campaign for considering it a smear.
This is just incredible. Even up to now, despite all the racial attacks and disingenuous policy slams, I maintained a grudging respect for Hillary Clinton, as a politician and as a progressive. That's gone now. No one expecting the Democratic nomination for president should be able to use attacks from the lower reaches of Freeper wingnuttery and get away with it. Period. I previously wanted party leaders - Howard Dean, Al Gore, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi - to intervene and push Clinton out of the race after she loses Texas on March 4th. In light of this, however, the time for such an intervention is now. Dirty tricks like this must have consequences. In the case of Clinton, that means expulsion from the race.
So, they're starting right now. I fully expect No Country for Old Men to sweep picture, director, adapted screenplay, and supporting actor, though There Will Be Blood deserves to win all but the last category. Daniel Day-Lewis, Julie Christie, and Cate Blanchett are all going to win their second statues (though the latter two categories ought to go to Ellen Page and Saoirse Ronan), and Diablo Cody's going to deservedly win for original screenplay. As for the rest, well, I'm pretty apathetic. I guess I expect Sicko and Ratatouille to win for Documentary and Animated Feature. There's a justice of a kind in the Coen Brothers finally cleaning up after being the oddballs of the industry for 20-odd years, so I don't think I'll be too disappointed if that scenario pans out.
By the way, this is awesome:
I may or may not have spent today walking around screaming "I've abandoned my child! I've abandoned my boy!" at random intervals. And by "may or may not have" I mean "definitely did". As my dad pointed out upon watching it, this is made all the better by the fact that SNL cast member Maya Rudolph is P.T. Anderson's girlfriend.
P.S. So my predictions weren't that off. Sicko lost to Taxi to the Dark Side, which I've got to see at some point, Julie Christie lost to Marion Cotillard, which isn't a total shock, and Tilda Swinton beat out Cate Blanchett, which seemed like it came out of nowhere. But except for those three, I got 'em right. Good for the Coens.
Happy 18th to Matt Zeitlin, my West Coast doppelgänger. Unlike myself, he's keeping his pre-adulthood moniker (in his case, "impetuous young whippersnapper"). I think it's a testament to the low marketing prowess of us both that neither of us has claimed the title "Barely Legal Blogging". Surely, that would lead to orders of magnitude more traffic than we currently get.
I'm currently taking a class on U.S. foreign policy, and we just did a segment on containment, including the Long Telegram and NSC-68. Would it be plagiarism for me to turn in an essay with this title, written by a student of d at LGM's?
"Best Contain Yo' Self Before Communism Claim Yo' Self."
Because, really, that is easily the greatest political science paper title in the history of, of everything.