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Slavery Program has glitches.

At the Value Voters Summit today, Mr. Ben Carson curiously juxtaposed the practice of Slavery with "Obamacare", saying: "Obamacare is the worst thing since Slavery". Because Slavery preceded the Emancipation Proclamation (I grant myself license to, as Mr. Carson was wont to do, riff a bit on what can actually be called a thing)---it would mean that Obamacare is worse than the Emancipation Proclamation---perhaps a question for further debate at the Values Summit---and at the same time one could say that Obamacare is worse than Woman's Suffrage, Prohibition, & Roe v. Wade. or any thing that's happened since about the year 1600.

Theodore Fancy Pants Underestimated.

The political repercussions of the latest budget and debt hostage-taking exercise by tea Republicans in Congress won't be known for another week or two when we find out whether or not the government has been shut down, if the nation's credit rating has been lowered again, and what concessions Obama has made this time around. And the long term aftermath of this latest tea party act of sabotage is unpredictable. What is knowable is that Ted Cruz has name recognition on a level that rivals anyone in politics or the entertainment industry.

The man with the rag-on tattoo

Since it was discovered that Barack Obama had "rag-on" tattooed on his back below the neckline, the punditry have been at odds about what the tattoo means, how it got there, whether Presidents should have tattoos, and whether he fumbled the ball by allowing Maureen Dowd to see the tattoo in an exclusive swim-along in the White House gym. I'm going to throw a lifeline to Obama and try to explain the tattoo.

Putin---don't play me!

Putin's now universally known initiative on chemical weapons control in Syria has, in my opinion, opened the door to essential American character traits which may preordain our getting more involved in Syria's war.

We don't like to be lied to. We particularly don't like to be played for chumps. When we do decide to address a problem, we are impatient. We are capable of revenge, but as one pundit has put it, "...we have the watches, the Middle Easterners have the time."  We don't have the patience for cold revenge, we like ours hot. And if Putin is playing us for chumps, he has all but written a scenario for American intervention.

Rumsfeld's Chobani bank shot.

I thought Donald Rumsfeld had been dumped from the shelves long ago for there is no bloated stuffed shirt more worthy of  being removed from our eyesight and consciousness than Rumsfeld--- architect of our unfortunate military intervention in Iraq.   

The Republican Interlocking Directorate

Two light bulbs lit up this week which key into my current hub of the universe mental state and I am writing them down here because I would be embarrassed to exhibit such conspiratorial tendencies after I get off these pain killers.  

The first bulb was the revelation about the Petraeus/Kagan off-balance-sheet war investment committee. The second was the flash fact that Grover Norquist is a board member of the NRA. These two little known situations are part and parcel of what appears to be a fifth estate in our country---a continuing and contiguous network of right wingers operating a non-conforming government.

Republicans pistol whip each other.

I have just had knee surgery and the drugs have induced a hub of the universe mental state which last time around produced my piece, "Jamie Dimon as William Holden"---which received my own unanimous favorable ratings.

Shocking news: The military sleeps around.

I am shocked that anyone is shocked that a high ranking military officer engaged in extra marital sex. It's been decades since I had direct involvement on a military base but the story of Petraeus' affair with Paula Broadwell leads me to the conclusion that some things never change. What's news here is that not all the participants were in the direct chain of command.

Foreign Policy Debate: Please proceed, Governor.

I don't think there are many who think Romney won't take another bite at the Benghazi apple on Monday night. After all, the host of the original 47% soliloquy is giving another fundraiser there in Boca Raton so why shouldn't Romney double down on his Libya attacks, even though he put his foot in his mouth the first time around on both accounts,

But after reading David Frum's Daily Beast column this morning, I wonder if the stage isn't set for a broader critique of Obama's foreign policy in the Mideast. The broader argument of course is whether the entire strategy on the Arab Spring has been correct.

The Debate: attacking Romney's jobs-creator mythology.

Obama lost the first debate on style---low energy, low engagement, and not parrying Romney's staccato speech and rote memorization of soliloquy and facts. I think Obama's deficiencies in style are the easiest things to correct in tomorrow's debate. What seems more important are the structure and forethought in specific attacks on Romney and how not to have internally competing strategies.

There is always the possibility that Romney would shape-shift again and perhaps introduce something completely from left field---how about, for example, a program to refinance student loans, or a new kind of health care guarantee? Or attempt to shift the debate to the Benghazi tragedy. I hope that the Obama team has already gamed some of these possible outliers. But my guess is that Romney will double down on his attacks on Obama's record, try to exploit his newfound Daddy-will take-care-of-business role, and further muddle the arguments on tax reform, Medicare and "Obamacare."

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