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Archive for September, 2008

Julian Bond popped up Saturday night over dinner.  Today, having lunch at Eastern Market, I caught Congressman Steve Cohen.  Sadly I don’t have a camera on my phone, so you’ll have to trust my judgement.  Cohen is a unique-looking character, and was also wearing an orange lapel pin, so I’m certain it was him.

In case you don’t know him, Steve Cohen is a Jewish guy from Memphis who claims to have “the voting record of a black woman” and tried to join the CBC.  Cohen represents Tennessee’s only black-majority district.  He won his his 2006 primary amidst a split with a dozen black candidates, and then defeated corporatist Jake Ford (of the corporatist Ford family) who ran in the general as an independent.

In 2008, equally corporatist Nikki Tinker challenged Cohen in the primary.  Her anti-Semitic ads (and her surrogates’ worse ones) gained national attention and were condemned by Barack Obama.  Cohen, running on his solid record, promptly kicked her ass six ways to Sunday.

Cohen’s a strong liberal voice.  He’s also a snappy motherfucker.  Witness his response to Governor Palin’s dig at community organizers:

Best of all, his co-sponsorship of the Isaac Hayes Bill allows me to re-use the “Shaft Among the Jews” tag.

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So, over a massive plate of paella at Banana Cafe & Piano Bar in Eastern Market tonight, Mischa and I spotted Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP:

I know it’s an awful photo, but it’s the best I could do on my iphone without being obvious. Trust us, it was definitely him.

Personally, I think he looks oddly like Orrin Hatch in person. He seemed amiable enough, though he did sort of scowl at me when I smiled at him on my way out. Props to Mischa for being the one to actually spot him.

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The following exchange occurred on a message board at www.mgoblog.com, an outstanding Michigan sports blog:

Posted on: September 18th, 2008 at 11:46 PM #17
Jim Harbaugh Scramble Joined: 2008-06-30
David Terrell’s nickname was “Bomb-ass Dick.”

Posted on: September 19th, 2008 at 12:19 AM #18
Tim Waymen Joined: 2008-06-30
I heard that story!!…

Posted on: September 19th, 2008 at 12:24 AM #19
PattyMax64 Joined: 2008-07-21
A Story?  I think that needs to be told…

Posted on: September 19th, 2008 at 12:39 AM #20
Tim Waymen Joined: 2008-06-30
I just googled “david terrell bomb ass dick.”  Well, not only did I get hits that would even make R Kelly cringe, but apparently it’s a famous part of Michigan lore and not one that only my friend would know.  The story is that David Terrell was overheard asking a young female co-ed to whom he was making love, “Who got da bomb-ass dick?”

Funny story from a haloscan convo I came across: “Rich Eisen heard about that story when he came back to campus one year. I was watching Sportscenter the next week and DT caught a long pass. Eisen goes, ‘Who’s got the bomb? David Terrell’s got the bomb.’ I about fell out of my chair.”

So why in the name of Trapped in the Closet did I tell you that story?

Mireille and I were discussing the use of “-ass” as a suffix.  As in, “grown-ass man,” “punk-ass bitch,” or, less commonly, uh, “bomb-ass dick.”  “-Ass” serves to provide emphasis for the word it modifies.  “Grown-ass man” is used to reaffirm one’s maturity, responsibility, masculinity.  (“Grown-ass woman” serves a comparable purpose.)  “Broke-ass” (noun) is a common / formation / as well, while Urban Dictionary presents us with at least three permutations of “honkey” with “cracka.”  “Bad-ass motharfucka” is vernacular enough for an abbreviated t-shirt.

So where’s this come from?  We thought about it for a long-ass time, but had no conclusions.  There’s really no way to Google the etymology.  Where does this originate?  Who coined the formation and when?  We have our hunches, but not a lick of evidence.

Credible, (sourced) theories please?

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Chris Cilizza of the Washington Post reports:

Although the fate of tonight’s presidential debate in Mississippi remains very much up in the air, John McCain has apparently already won it — if you believe an Internet ad an astute reader spotted next to this piece in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal this morning.

“McCain Wins Debate!” declares the ad which features a headshot of a smiling McCain with an American flag background. Another ad spotted by our eagle-eyed observer featured a quote from McCain campaign manager Rick Davis declaring: “McCain won the debate– hands down.”

Screen-grab here.

Senator McCain is running for Potemkin Village Council.

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merry early christmas

From our 40th president and favorite airport, Ronald Reagan.

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We have heard very little about Palin’s relationship with the substantial Native minority in her state. This is due to the fact that the vast majority of Americans forget that Native people still, you know, exist. I’ll go ahead and say it: its part of dominant group privilege to paint the millions of people that came before Europeans as marginal props in the great American expansion and when they are recognized, to speak as if their defeat was inevitable. The poverty and continued discrimination against native people matters. This is a pretty good primer on the issues and injustices facing Native Alaskans and where Palin fits in. Her abysmal record on Native rights should be an issue of paramount importance–We should be talking about how completely absurd it is that she opposed Native substance hunting and fishing. Yes, the woman who shoots wolves from planes thinks hunting to strengthen tribal bonds with marginal environmental impact is wrong. She opposes tribal sovereignty, is totally disrespectful of native languages and has encouraged detrimental anti-choice polices that have been devastating to native women. But really, what do you expect from a running mate when the candidate himself has a record like this?

John McCain should be made to answer for his pivotal role in Black Mesa–an incident that the UN found in violation of Article 10 of The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I know damn well the reason this is not part of his media narrative and it sickens me. Whatever ideological dislike I had of the man before has turned into deep, visceral loathing over this.

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Earlier today, Elizabeth Bumiller of the evil New York Times reported:

“Senator John McCain said Wednesday that he would temporarily suspend his presidential campaign on Thursday to return to Washington to deal with the financial crisis and the $700 billion bailout package now before Congress.”

Mavericky stuff there, lookin’ all post-partisan. But wait, there’s more!

“Mr. McCain said he told Senator Barack Obama that he was asking the Commission on Presidential Debates to postpone the debate scheduled for Friday night.”

These debates are long-planned, long-prepared events. The financial crisis is here today, it’ll be here tomorrow, and if we’re lucky for the rest of our lives. McCain called this a matter of “patriotism;” by now we should know not to trust any Republican wearing a flag. Postponing the debate over the weekend is a shallow ploy to appear statesmanlike while diverting attention away from a floundering campaign. A McCain campaign source noted:

– McCain called Obama before he made the statement and told him he was going to suspend his campaign and move back to DC until the economic crisis has been figured out.
– McCain wants to create “a political free zone” until a deal is reached between now and Monday.

Given the campaign’s inability to manage Palin properly, their decreasingly coherant blame-the-media strategy, and their recent Wall Street problem…

(Pew Poll, September 23)

(Pew Poll, September 23)

…it wasn’t surprising to hear them calling for an urgent political moratorium. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell quotes the McCainiacs’ hysteria:

“[McCain advisors] deny that there is a political calculation in this and say without action the country could slide into a Depression by Monday and added “we’ll see 12 percent unemployment” if action is not completed.”

Our economy has apparently sunk so low that a 90 minute Presidential debate on Friday night could double the unemployment rate. Ben Smith over at Politico questions the urgency, noting: “The only thing that’s changed in the past 48 hours is the public polling.”

And Obama? “No dice:”

“The debate is on,” a senior Obama campaign official told ABC News.

Assuming the debate remains on, (and I’d put my $1 on it,) McCain will at least suspend his ads. What this has to do with anything is beyond me. Senator McCain isn’t writing the ads himself, nor spending any personal time planning them instead of dealing with financial policy. This too-cute-by-half gambit reaffirms McCain’s motive: A temporary stop to the campaign bleeding, rather than an actual solution to the financial crisis.

Obama could pull his ads as well, if he wants to match McCain charade for facade. (*I’m aware it don’t rhyme.) Alternately, Obama could release a statement explaining that the campaigns themselves are absolutely central to America’s financial future, while hammering on a “failure of conservatism” narrative. Friday’s debate is on foreign policy, so let’s expand it beyond war-gaming. Let’s have a talk about free trade. Let’s have a talk about the interconnectivity of international markets. Let’s have a talk about blowing American taxpayer money to save foreign banks.

Bring. It. On.

Update: The reviews are in and they’re horrible:

First poll results are trickling out.  The very good Survey-USA asked:

“The first debate between John McCain and Barack Obama is scheduled to take place in two days. Should the debate be held as scheduled? Should the debate be held, but the format changed to focus on the economy? Or, should the debate be postponed?”

And the results:

Held as scheduled:  50%

Held with focus on economy:  36%

Postponed:  10%

Not sure:  4%

Nor are Americans buying the campaign suspension gimmick.  Question:

“Is the right response to the turmoil on Wall Street to suspend the campaigns for president? To continue the campaigns as though there is no crisis? Or, to re-focus the campaigns with a unique emphasis on the turmoil on Wall Street?”

Answers:

Suspend campaigns:  14%

Continue campaign:  31%

Re-focus the campaign:  48%

Not sure:  7%

My unscientific guess is that the wording may have pushed some people both towards the “re-focus” answer and away from the “continue” response; the former because it sounds nice (“unique emphasis”) and the latter because it sounds dismissive and naive (“as though there is no crisis.”)  Consistant, though, is the fact that less than one in eight Americans are buying McCain’s used car.

(S-USA polled 1,000 people, margin of error 3.2%.  Crosstabs here.)

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