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the making of bobby jindal June 23, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, comedy, politics, race, religion.
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details magazine:

When Bobby Jindal was 12, a Southern Baptist friend named Kent gave him a paperback Bible for Christmas. Jindal was disappointed, not least because the Bible was engraved with his name and thus unreturnable. “I was raised in a strong Hindu culture, attended weekly pujas, or ceremonial rites, and read the Vedic scriptures,” Jindal wrote in a 1993 article in America, a Jesuit magazine, one of many religious essays he published in the early nineties. “I considered myself anti-Christian,” he wrote in another piece; elsewhere, he confided that he thought Christians worshipped fish (“in the same way that many Westerners think Hindus worship cows”). The Bible went into a closet, and might have remained there had Jindal not sneaked away with a girl from a high-school dance at a Baton Rouge hotel.

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“and he aren’t” June 23, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, comedy, foreign policy, iraq war, politics, psychology, race, religion.
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“full metal mccain” – matt taibi at rolling stone… hilarious article:

Even the briefest of surveys of the supporters gracing McCain’s events underscores the kind of red-meat appeal he’s making. Immediately after his speech in New Orleans, a pair of sweet-looking old ladies put down their McCain signs long enough to fill me in on why they’re here. “I tell you,” says one, “if Michelle Obama really doesn’t like it here in America, I’d be very pleased to raise the money to send her back to Africa.”

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link roundup April 7, 2008

Posted by KG in arts/culture.
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1) “legal bondage: why we like restrictions on sex”

2) “a case of the blues” – nytimes mag story on the “recent struggles of the Republican party”…they are quite generous with their euphemisms

3) nytimes mag profile of david axelrod, “obama’s narrator”

4) “obama, mccain forged fleeting alliance”

5) ezra klein on health care

6) washingon post on the impact of howard dean as dnc chair

7) the erotics of investing

8 ) nytimes article on storing willpower

9) jonathan chait on hillary’s ridiculousness

10) the sting of poverty

11) vanity fair interview with ?uestlove about the roots’ new album and its political message

12) time.com’s first annual blog index

obama’s foreign policy March 26, 2008

Posted by AP in 2008 Elections, international, politics.
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you shouldn’t talk to your enemies because they are your enemies, so goes the logic of clinton and mccain. wsj:

Barack Obama is drawing fresh fire for pledging to hold direct talks with foreign adversaries, an approach both Hillary Clinton and John McCain say they will hit hard.

Critics in the foreign-policy establishment and from rival presidential camps said his idea could undercut pro-Western forces and legitimize leaders whose power the U.S. wants to undermine, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Increasingly, they are presenting his ideas as a radical departure from standard U.S. doctrine.

maybe if you talk to them they won’t be your enemies anymore.

the first civil libertarian president? February 20, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, op-ed, politics.
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jeffrey rosen writes (pdf or jpg) in the new republic:

If Barack Obama were to win the Democratic nomination and the White House, he would be, among other things, our first civil libertarian president. This is clear not just from his lifetime rating on the ACLU’s scorecard (82 percent compared to John McCain’s 25 percent). It is clear from the fact that civil liberties have been among his most passionate interests – as a constitutional law professor, state legislator, and senator. On the campaign trail, he has been unapologetic about these enthusiasms.

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1991, Obama went to work for a civil rights firm in Chicago, where he represented whistleblowers, community organizers, and black voters challenging discriminatory ward boundaries. During the same period, he developed an approach to constitutional law – which he was teaching at the University of Chicago – that has proved especially relevant to civil liberties debates. The Constitution, he wrote in The Audacity of Hope, “forc[es] us into a conversation, a ‘deliberative democracy,’ in which all citizens are requirred to engage in a process of testing their ideas against an external reality, persuading others of their point of view, and building shifting alliances of consent.” Discussions about civil liberties require this kind of conversation because they attract an unusual coalition of liberals and conservatives under one umbrella.

Obama’s approach in the U.S. Senate was similar. He became a co-sponsor of the SAFE Act, the bipartisan reforms that would have corrected the worst excesses of the Patriot Act, and encouraged the coalition of civil libertarian liberals and libertarian conservatives who supported it, from the ACLU to the American Conservative Union.

maverick vs. iceman February 11, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, politics.
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john-mccain.jpg

photo by flickr user pingnews.com used under a creative commons license

jonathan chait with a great article on mccain:

The prevalent view of McCain is that he is a generally conservative figure with a few maverick stances and an unwavering authenticity. Nearly every liberal editorial board that has made a Republican endorsement has chosen McCain, and nearly all have offered variations on the same theme. “Voters may disagree with his policies, but few doubt his sincerity,” editorialized The Boston Globe. “The Arizona senator’s conservatism is, if not always to our liking, at least genuine,” concluded the Los Angeles Times. This is the consensus: McCain’s basically a right-winger, but at least you know where he stands.

Actually, this assessment gets McCain almost totally backward. He has diverged wildly and repeatedly from conservative orthodoxy, but he has also reinvented himself so completely that it has become nearly impossible to figure out what he really believes.

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barack obama strongest in november versus mccain February 9, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, media, news, politics, television.
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mccain @ cpac February 8, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, media, news, politics, speeches, talks.
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part 1 of 3 (part 2 and 3):

can you imagine hillary saying something to the effect of, “i have in many ways important to us maintained the record of a liberal”?

all very weird.

oh ann coulter February 8, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, comedy, politics.
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ann-coulter-graf.jpg

photo by flickr user bookish in north park used under a creative commons license

ann coulter on mccain:

Nominating McCain is the gesture of a desperate party.

Republicans are so shell-shocked and demoralized by the success of the Bush Derangement Syndrome, they think they can fool the voters by nominating an open-borders, anti-tax cut, anti-free speech, global-warming hysteric, pro-human experimentation “Republican.” Which is to say, a Democrat.

As the expression goes, given a choice between a Democrat and a Democrat, voters will always choose the Democrat. The only question remaining is: Hillary or Obama?

On the litmus test issues of our time, only partially excluding Iraq, McCain is a liberal.

— He excoriated Samuel Alito as too “conservative.”

— He promoted amnesty for 20 million illegal immigrants.

— He abridged citizens’ free speech (in favor of the media) with McCain-Feingold.

He hysterically opposes waterboarding terrorists and wants to shut down Guantanamo.

Can I take a breath now?
— He denounced the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

— He opposes ANWR and supports the global warming cult, even posturing with fellow mountebank Arnold Schwarzenegger in front of solar panels.

The only site that would have been more appropriate for Schwarzenegger in endorsing McCain would have been in front of an abortion clinic.

If Hillary is elected president, we’ll have a four-year disaster, with Republicans ferociously opposing her, followed by Republicans zooming back into power, as we did in 1980 and 1994, and 2000. (I also predict more Oval Office incidents with female interns.)

If McCain is elected president, we’ll have a four-year disaster, with the Republicans in Congress co-opted by “our” president, followed by 30 years of Democratic rule.

There’s your choice, America.

ralph nader 2008 run? January 30, 2008

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, campaign finance, econ, environment, iraq war, news, politics.
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ralph-nader.jpg

bloomberg:

Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who ran for president in 2000 and 2004, said he is considering another bid for the White House because he believes the current contenders aren’t standing up enough to corporate interests.

“Look at the major areas of injustice, deprivation and solutions that are not being addressed by the major candidates,” Nader, 73, said in a telephone interview today. Among other issues, he cited the need for a “practical timed withdrawal” from Iraq, programs to crack down on corporate fraud and a rearrangement of the U.S. tax system.

The campaign has set up an exploratory committee and is in the process of filing papers with the U.S. Federal Election Commission. The committee’s Web site says Nader is “committed to challenging the corporate powers that have a hammerlock on our political and economic systems.”

Nader said he wants to spend the next month assessing the fundraising abilities of the campaign, gathering paid staff and volunteers and trying to win over an army of lawyers willing to work for free to fight for his access on ballots across the U.S. He said he would want to raise $10 million over the course of the campaign and initially get enough to cover operations.

By comparison, the top Democrats — New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama — each raised more than $100 million in political contributions last year.

nader’s exploratory committee website:

Maybe the Democrats and Republicans will nominate Presidential candidates this year who will stand up against the war profiteers, the nuclear industry, the credit card industry, the corporate criminals, big oil, and the drug and health insurance industries.

We doubt it.

But hope springs eternal.

In the meantime, take a few minutes and explore with us an idea.

abc:

He was set to announce that he had formed an exploratory committee Wednesday, even before former Sen. John Edwards made it known that he’d be ending his candidacy. But with Edwards — who has made economic populism and ending poverty cornerstones of his campaign — leaving the Democratic field, Nader said, he feels his candidacy is more urgent than ever.

“When Kucinich threw in the towel, now you have Edwards gone — who’s going to carry the torch of democratic populism against the relentless domination of powerful corporations of our government?” Nader said. “You can’t just brush these issues to the side because the candidates are ignoring them.”

He has harsh words for the leading Democratic candidates, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, chastising them for failing to advance aggressive plans to tax corporations more fairly, and to fight for a vastly higher minimum wage.

Obama, he said, is a particular disappointment, since his background suggests that he knows the importance of progressive issues yet hasn’t fought for them in the Senate.

“His record in the Senate is pretty mediocre,” Nader said. “His most distinctive characteristic is the extent to which he censors himself. He hasn’t performed as a really progressive first-term senator would.”

His “self-censorship,” Nader said, “is a reflection of character.”

cnn political ticker:

Nader said he finds Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both unacceptable candidates, and he said whichever wins the party’s presidential nomination will not have an impact on his decision to run.

“They are both enthralled to the corporate powers,” Nader said of the two leading Democrats. “They’ve completely ignored the presidential pattern of illegality and accountability, they’ve ignored the out of control waste-fruad military expenditures, they hardly ever mention the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars to corporate subsidies, handouts, and giveaways, and they don’t talk about a living wage.”

He expressed particular disappointment with Obama, whose senate record he called “mediocre, and quite cautious.”

“It’s not that he doesn’t know what the score is, of course he does — look at his background, he knows plenty,” Nader said. “But he’s censoring himself.”