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I don’t share the views of many of my fellow progs that the president is an idiot. He may not be brilliant, but he has often been misunderestimated at the peril of his opponents. A corrupt demagogue maybe, but not stupid.
Still, he does lack a certain intellectual finesse, which leads to entertaining exchanges like this one with L.A. Times reporter Peter Walsten documented at Wonkette.
Bush: You gonna ask your question with shades on?
Bush: But there’s no sun out here.
Wallsten: It depends on your perspective.
Walsten is blind.
Update: Apparently, the above was based on recollection, and wasn’t quite right. Here’s the transcript. Not sure what changes, but I’m too bored to make a point of anything – if there was a point to be made.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Peter. Are you going to ask that question with shades on?
Q I can take them off.
THE PRESIDENT: I’m interested in the shade look, seriously.
Q All right, I’ll keep it, then.
THE PRESIDENT: For the viewers, there’s no sun. (Laughter.)
Q I guess it depends on your perspective. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Touche. (Laughter.)
Q Following up on the other Peter’s question about Karl Rove…
Fred notes the bad blood between Richard Marks’ campaign co-chairs post-election. They’re not only arguing about whom to endorse, but also about who was really in charge of the campaign, and quite frankly now I’m starting to wonder how much better Richard Marks could have done with some grown-ups in charge. Marks himself is starting to sound just like Rodney King during the L.A. riots following his attackers’ trial.
The bottom line is that Shane Brinton is plugging for Republican Bonnie Neely while Richard Mostranski feels that Republican Nancy Fleming more closely represents the values of Marks’ campaign – balloon tract issues be damned.
It’s pretty sad that in such a progressive community one solid Democrat couldn’t survive to a run-off against two Republicans. Neely seems to have revised her politics since her “you’re all alone” comment to Paul Gallegos during a hearing in which she seconded a motion to deny Paul Gallegos permission to seek outside counsel to fight the PALCO suit (either still sore from her husband’s loss, or intimidated by the illegally parked logging trucks circling the courthouse like a scene from the trucking strike that paralyzed Chile in 1972). But Marks was clearly the more progressive candidate, and it appears that he was abandoned by his fellow Democrats – some of the fallout reflected in the comments posts over at Fred’s blog.
I haven’t followed that campaign closely, but on the face of the story it appears that Marks has some legitimate grievances with the local Democratic Party apparatus. I haven’t really heard their side of the story yet, so I’ll try to reserve judgment, but I’d really like to read an in depth balanced story about the background politics and what the Hell just happened in the 4th District. Hank? Kevin? Bob? Daniel? Somebody.
Update: Shane Brinton appropriately points out in the comments section that the flaming came from Mostranski. Shane’s response as recorded in the article I cited was professional and “grown up.” Apologies to all, expecially Shane.
The burning question – will Paul fire Worth? Nobody except Kevin Hoover and Estelle Fennell are asking the question, but it’s got to be on everyone’s mind. Dead silence in rumorsville.
Inquiring minds want to know.
Our own second district supervisor Roger Rodoni was seriously injured by his horse over the weekend, requiring surgery. Wish him well, whatever your political views.
Update: Apparently he’s doing fine.
Have to wonder if these pinheads were any influence on the braintrust within the South Fork High senior class. Sorry kids, but your representatives whining at the public hearing about how that event is going to reflect on your class only reinforces your problem. It isn’t about you. It’s about a community and a very dedicated and warm teacher who were victimized by you or your friends. I know for a fact that most of the senior class knows the names of those responsible – I used to be a teenager myself. I understand the solidarity issue, but then accept the consequences quietly because you are essentially accessories after the fact. It’s part of growing up.
Again, your self-image isn’t the issue here. You’re willingness, or lack thereof, to make right to those wronged is.
Jim Garvey, a gentleman from Rio Dell, writes to the Eureka Reporter about cultural assimilation. He believes it should be “required.” A very candid letter unfortunately fraught with some gross innacuracies and odd points of irony – not the least of which of the latter is his closing reference to Rome following a curious line of argument justifying mandatory language use in terms of the needs of empire. I have to wonder if he wrote the following with a straight face:
Once “Manifest Destiny” was completed and we virtually controlled the entire continent from sea to shining sea, we set about consolidating our gains and unifying this nation with one language. It took two wars with Great Britain, one war with Mexico and numerous wars with the nomadic tribes.
The “nomadic tribes” phrase is apparently preferred nomenclature to what he refers to as “so-called Native Americans.” And I had no idea the “two wars with Great Britain” were fought over the English language, although I suppose there may be a certain logic to it since the British kicked our ancestors’ asses in the second instance.
Then there’s this gem:
Up until the time of the break-up of the Soviet Union, the only language spoken in any providence within that country was Russian. That was the first priority that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin wanted to accomplish right after the end of World War II. The only way that he could unify his country was to unify the language spoken throughout his vast empire.
Is he really holding Stalin up as a standard to which we should aspire?
The first sentence of the paragraph is false by the way. Not even close. Mr. Garvey would do well to read Soviet but not Russian by William Mandel.
And HSU underclassfolk might want to stash away that fake ID for the next year. Your constabularies have done gone and got a grant!
That means they’re watching you, and looking for the raw material to renew the grant next year.
Hilary C. was booed today at the Democratic Party “Take back America” conference. Apparently, she doesn’t yet get it re the Iraq war. Matt Stoller opines:
That’s a big deal. I sympathize deeply with Senator Clinton. She has not lived in the real world since 1993 out of necessity. The vicious smears by the right-wing forced her to build a phalanx of advisors who protect her from feedback. This was necessary, but it carries a severe cost. That cost is that she lives in a bubble. It’s a different bubble than that of Bush, but not as different as you might imagine. It is a bubble built of big money donors, right-wing beltway pundits, campaign consultants, and constituency group leaders.
Time to vote again! This time, for the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s “Best of the Bay” vote. It’s easy. New Asia Gardens, Hamburger Mary’s, The Rat & Raven Tavern, and the Community Thrift Store is all you need to remember. Oh, and Muddy Waters Coffee House.