What is this wet crap secreting from my eyes? (H/T Jezebel)
Entries in 2008 election (305)
Nobody likes Newt Gingrich!
This is why I always found the former Speaker of the House's quixotic campaign for President so fascinating. He can't be serious after all. Racking up bills at Tiffany's and sunning himself on a rock when he's supposed to be kissing babies and feeling up campaign donors. The fact that when he loves America too much his wives don't fare too well. The fact that he went to war with a weakened Bill Clinton in the 90s, got his ass handed to him, and was run out of Washington. But he's back now! And still painfully clueless! His staff is abandoning him en masse. No one wants to give him money. Yet ... if Gingrich keeps this up, he just might fail his way into being the next Republican nominee for president. Then get his ass handed to him by a weakened, but still beyond better than the competition, President Barack Obama.
Did you know Rev. Jeremiah Wright is still giving interviews? Neither did I! Did you know he's still saying the first thing that pops into his head? Of course he is! Did you know that he's still highly NOT HELPFUL IN ANY KIND OF WAY? Damn skippy!
But that of course is what makes him all kinds of awesome and amazing!
More after the jump.
I'm still waiting on my Michelle Obama Barbie. Seriously. Where is she? I'll buy 20. But do you want to know what I won't buy? All this crap created in the time honored tradition of the enterprising North American "Hustle Man/Woman."
From tacky President-Elect plates to tacky President-Elect gold plated coins, if you can slap Obama's smiling, inspirational mug on it, you can profit from the latest piece of swag to move aspiring hustlers from rags to Obama riches.
There's gold in them there Obamas! Whether it's book sales (Both pro and anti-Obama books are selling like crack rock on the block!), TV ratings (Barack and Michelle gave 60 Minutes its highest ratings in nearly a decade) or magazines covers (I don't think they've been on Soldier of Fortune yet, but I'm sure they're working on it) -- people are buying visages of the Obamas. Even the fashion industry is hoping Michelle Obama will become their prêt-à-porter deity and keep sales going while the nation goes to the poorhouse.
From ABC News:
"We're all obviously trying to look at the silver lining," designer Norma Kamali told ABCNews.com. "Where do we look for hope, an opportunity to create good feelings for the customer? There is real hope with Michelle Obama. I think she can keep women interested in purchasing."
Obama's name surfaced at a recent meeting of The Fashion Group International, a professional organization for members of the fashion industry. The topic of discussion was the economy, and one member wondered aloud whether Obama could bolster the industry during the current economic downturn.
Networks are cobbling together half-assed documentaries. Books are being rushed to presses. Even the tabloids have put down running pictures of Brangelina (or Jennifer Aniston still upset over Brangelina) to boost their sales with Michelle and Barack. Where will the girls go to school? What is Michelle wearing? Why is Barack the "bee's knees?" What is this "hope and change" thing he keeps talking about? People want to know and the media is willing to provide knowing it all leads to the dollars.
From The Washington Post:
Perhaps it was the announcement that NBC News is coming out with a DVD titled "Yes We Can: The Barack Obama Story." Or that ABC and USA Today are rushing out a book on the election. Or that HBO has snapped up a documentary on Obama's campaign.
Perhaps it was the Newsweek commemorative issue -- "Obama's American Dream" -- filled with so many iconic images and such stirring prose that it could have been campaign literature. Or the Time cover depicting Obama as FDR, complete with jaunty cigarette holder.
Each writer, each publication, seems to reach for more eye-popping superlatives. "OBAMAISM -- It's a Kind of Religion," says New York magazine. "Those of us too young to have known JFK's Camelot are going to have our own giddy Camelot II to enrapture and entertain us," Kurt Andersen writes. The New York Post has already christened it "BAM-A-LOT."
But the real stars of this effort to capitalize and monetize history are not the media or the book publishers, but the hustlers, the peddlers, the eBay specialists who are the true heroes of crass capitalism.
America is a country founded on the ability to hustle. It was the founding fathers who hustled themselves out of being a colony, hustled the Native Americans out of their land and hustled slavery until that little Civil War happened. But this has always been a place where many business people who saw opportunity where other people only saw crap.
Take the inventor of Barbie.
Former Mattel, Inc. president Ruth Handler modeled the doll off of a German doll marketed to adults as a sexually fused gag gift, explaining Barbie's impossible waist- and bustline.
Or, Madam CJ Walker who became the first black and female millionaire through the invention of the pressing comb and creating the black hair care industry.
When others say why, the hustle man/woman says "Why not?"
From poorly bootlegged DVDs of new films the same day they come out to Steve Jobs pushing iPhones you can't afford, America is built on the backs of folks who can put up a mean hustle. It's only natural that the hustler would celebrate our fair Hopey McChangey by pimping his message in the most garrish, ridiculous, tackilicious "hang your portrait of Barack and Michelle between the MLK/JFK/RFK memorial plates/paintings and the giant, wooden "Tiki" (or African) fork and spoon in your dining room" fashion.
Before he won, Obama had already created a hustler's economy of buttons, jewelry, T-shirts, hats and all kinds of weirdness that I have chronicled on this blog over and over and over again. From his likeness in chocolate to indie designer label trousers, these were Obama items that sometimes came in "extremes," but the money was always right.
Aw shizz! A shirt of Barack dunking on McCain? Order me fifty, son!
"Folks want to buy it," recognizes the hustler, "No matter how cheesy." From lame Obama action figures (this doll is no where as talking Ken doll-riffic as the talking George W. Bush doll I have in the basement somewhere. Lame! Give me a Barack doll worthy of making out with my old school Barbies!) to Obama themed skins for your iPhone, who knows which tchotchkes will be those Eddie Money-esque two tickets to (financial) paradise.
As a child I sat in the homes of many relatives staring at framed photos of John F. Kennedy next to Martin Luther King Jr., typically mounted near the wooden Tiki fork and spoon wondering "why?" How did these particular items become the tributes of choice for black people? I've moved past that wondering to now expecting gigantic, gawdy-to-gorgeous portraits of the Obamas smiling at me, symbols of both pride and the North American hustle man/woman's entrepreneurial spirit.
In crap we trust. Some gaze at the Grand Canyon or Sierra Nevadas to understand America's beauty. Save the money, turn on QVC and do nothing but slow claps. Bravo, hustlers. Bravo. You truly are recession proof.
The Black Snob's one (and only) defense of Gov. Sarah Palin. Governor, you're welcome in advance.
Palin was apparently a nightmare for her campaign staff to deal with. She refused preparation help for her interview with Katie Couric and then blamed her staff, specifically Nicole Wallace, when the interview was panned as a disaster. After the Couric interview, Fox News reported, Palin turned nasty with her staff and began to accuse them of mishandling her. Palin would view press clippings of herself in the morning and throw "tantrums" over the negative coverage. There were times when she would be so nasty and angry that her staff was reduced to tears. (From the notes of FOX News Chief Political Correspondent Carl Cameron, Huffington Post)
Stop, anonymous McCain heads and Monday morning quarterbacking Republican pundits.
You know what I'm talking about.
Stop bashing Miss Wasilla, Sarah Palin, aka "Caribou Barbie." Yeah, yeah. During the election we all had our fun and our Tina Fey impressions and our "I can see Russia from my house" joke variations. All that was great. But to listen to the "anonymous" Round Robin of McCain insiders who say everything from she didn't know Africa from country or contintent to she couldn't name the members of North American Trade Agreement to that she used her status to become a "Wasilla hillbilly looting Nieman Marcuses from coast to coast" is ... how can I but this? In really, really, really poor taste. Harping constantly about how she pushed to speak on concession night andrefused to cram the night before her "big exam" with Kaite Couric says to me you are throwing poo because you want no one to look at you.
Some of the leaks are just catty. Like telling the press she once answered her hotel door in a towel and wet hair, also in a towel. What the hell does that have to do with her being a nightmare candidate? What is that supposed to imply? That she's immoral because she answered a door in a towl? That she's undignified? Wasn't that 90 percent of her appeal for the base? The fact that she was ... ahem ... "real?"
This "Sarah Palin was an ignorant, ungrateful $2,500 borrow suit coat wearing bitch" attack meme is not working on me. Even with a GOP lawyer dispatched to the frozen tundra to take back that expensive packaging and window dressing called designer suits and shoes.
You do realize, Anonymous McCain staffers when you point a finger three more point back at you? That in doing this you are further more soldifying the fact that it was, as John McCain said in his concession speech, his own failings which brought about the loss. One of those failings was Sarah Palin, a women he'd only met twice before offering her the job. It was he who picked this Nieman Marcus grifting Hillbilly who allegedly didn't know diddly about squat. "Country First" was the slogan. Who's country came first when McCain picked the alleged ignoramous, one we were repeated told was the future of the Republican Party the past two months?
These same staffers protected, defended and lied for her when the left pointed out and mocked her flaws. But when the loss hit and hit hard instead of looking within and finding their own mistakes, they've gone feral, launching the malicious, sexist attacks many accused lefties of once pulling. You have chosen this instead of going "maybe we could have responded faster to the financial crisis? Maybe 'suspending' the campaign looked like grandstanding? Maybe we did a poor job of explaining 'why McCain' while shouting 'Nobama?' Maybe we had no coherent strategy? Maybe we never knew or understood how to handle the race issue or Obama's rock star status -- other than bitch about him being a 'celebrity?' Maybe we ran McCain's campaign into the ground? Maybe he ran his campaign into the ground? The man wouldn't even work on weekends. Maybe it was because all we had were stunts and tactics but no real transformative ideas? Maybe Obama's digital and we're analog? Maybe Obama's a Mac and we're a PC? Maybe we suck?"
And if they'd ask themseves these questions they would know the truth.
You're a bunch of sour losing sons-of-bitches who, rather than be introspective and use this time to figure out where the hell you went wrong, chose to blame the bitch, the oldest routine in the book. You've already branded Palin with a scarlet letter "C" for campaign wrecker when -- j' accuse! -- It was you, all of you, McCain from the top down, complicit in this catagory five failure of temperment and judgment. The people wanted change. You couldn't offer it so you simply ripped off the word and started calling yourselves "the Original Mavericks." You went narrow when you should have made a play for the center. You picked up lame attacks that made little to no dent once the defening sound of the housing crisis imploding and Wall Street crashing came down.
Palin may have gone off script, been opportunistic, been a dim bulb, but it was the McCain campaign who was paraded her around like their new prize pony. Who sprung her from obscurity to infamy. Then you get mad because the prize pony is a "maverick" and just does "whatever." She doesn't read things. She's out for self. As I said before. If I was the lummox, I would be too. As repellent as I found her views, she was being used by the McCain campaign to ignite a recalcitrant base, and they got that.
They just lost everyone else.
That's how gambling works, McCain and anonymous McCain staffers. When you throw the die and it comes up snake eyes you don't curse the dice. You gave fate a roll and she bum-rolled you, Rick-rolled you, sushi rolled you. As The Stranger said in The Big Lebowski, "Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes, well, he eats you."
The "bar" just fucking ate you because of your incompetence. Deal with it! Get therapy!
And McCain? To stand silent while your running mate's legend as a moron increases is really classy, and I say "classy" as in not classy at all. It reveals your true character. Are you that compassionate, magnanimous loser from Tuesday night or are you the son of a bitch who can't say, "Knock it off, people I hired! We lost! Sarah's flawed, but the blame is shared and the bulk of it lies with me." But instead we get ... silence.
I thought she was was ready to be your vice president, Johnny Mac? I thought she was your "soul mate?" Yet there you are in the busted "Stray Talk Express" pretending to look the other way as your staffers hogtie her to the ground so you can accidently run her over a few times.
Yes, she's cocky. Yes, she's a know-nothing. But she was YOUR know-nothing. You picked the Alaska disasta.' She was your one real chance to show your executive decision making ability and you came up craps. Well, tough titty, Senator. Stand up, stand behind, stand somewhere on your decisions. Admit that it's not her, it was you. Even if you hate her. Even if you wouldn't talk to her for most of those two months. Even though you both could read the writing on the wall. You wanted your pitbull in a skirt. You wanted this dinner of regret and crow, knowing now you will never be president, knowing you were destroyed by your own bad decisions on top of the failures of the Bush Administration and hundreds of other Republican politicians and operatives.
Invite your little bitter ones to your royal feast and tell them all to shut the hell up. While making Palin look bad, they are making themselves and their former boss look ever more the worse.
Personal responsibility shouldn't just be a political catchphrase every four years. Learn it. Love it. Live it. Practice what you preached, Republicans. Show. Don't tell.
Reuters will give you a little hint -- it rhymes with "rock" and "Danielle":
KISUMU, Kenya, Nov 5 (Reuters Life!) - The U.S. election has triggered a new generation of mini Barack Obamas with parents in Kenya and the United States naming their newborns after the new president-elect.
At the Nyanza Provincial General Hospital in Kisumu, western Kenya, Barack's ancestral homeland, several mothers were naming their babies after the U.S.'s first African-American president.
The mothers told Reuters Television that they wanted their babies to grow up to have thesame successful traits as Obama.
"I would like that by the time he is in his 40s he becomes the president of this country," said Nancy Otieno proudly of her newborn son Barack Obama.
Another new mother, Millicent Akoth, named her new daughter Michelle Obama after the soon-to-be first lady.
Obama has been elevated to rock star status in the east African nation which has named a beer, "Senator," after him and where "Obama: The Musical" opened last weekend.
Obama, who was born in Hawaii to a white mother from Kansas and a Kenyan father, is idolised by many Africans in the way the Irish revered U.S. President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s -- as one of their own who succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
Sweet. Totally sweet. And I wouldn't be shocked if a few blacks here in the Americas do the same. The West Indies. All parts of Africa. Blacks sprinkled throughout Europe and the UK. Oh yeah. Some babies are getting named Barack and Michelle. And you know the naming of people and things after the first black First Family, First Couple, First Lady and President isn't going to stop here. My future babies are totally going to Barack Obama High School someday. Word, BOHS is going to have the coolest debate team ever.
The Bushes, ever the gracious hosts since they are SO HAPPY to get this whole nightmare over with have invited the president-elect, my fair Hopey McChangey and his family to the White House for dinner. Hopefully not a hot dog dinner as George is fond of springing on world leaders.
Laura Bush, the one people still like (Elizabeth Banks did a great job as her in "W."), invited Michelle and the girls to come on down and get a feel for their new digs. The Bushes, after being partisan muck fighters for years are nice and soft in this sea change. I'm liking this new attitude even if it has a "Hey! You get to clean up my mess. We're going to be nice to you because your first four years are going to be ASS CITY, mi amigo!"
From The Washington Post:
First Lady Laura Bush invited Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia to the White House in the coming weeks to get a feel for their new abode. Obama accepted, and a trip will be scheduled soon.
In a telephone conversation this afternoon, Bush congratulated Obama and the two discussed life as a president's wife, according an account provided by the Obama campaign. Obama thanked Bush for her offer of help through the transition.
In interviews during the campaign, Obama has cited Bush as a role model for how she has handled a potentially perilous job with grace and a sense of purpose. Bush came to Obama's defense at a crucial moment, while she was being lambasted for the comment, "For the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my country."
In an interview on "Good Morning America," Bush said, "I think she probably meant 'I'm more proud'" and warned Obama, "you have to be very careful in what you say" on the campaign trail.
"That's one of the things you learn and that's one of the really difficult parts both of running for president and for being the spouse of the president, and that is everything you say is looked at and in many cases misconstrued," Bush said in the interview.
See? And that's why Laura's going to be the one Bush to get out of this thing relatively unscathed. Sure. Some will still totally label her as an enabler in the madness of King George, but hey, she's the wife. What do you want her to do? Divorce him? If him being a drunk for decades didn't kill that marriage nothing will.
In other news, dropping her red state credentials, the out-going First Lady is going to war against Vice President/Dark Lord of the Sith Dick Cheney over preserving a species of shark near the Marianas. Who knew that underneath all that nicety-nice Mrs. Bush was packing some balls. This will be the ONLY time in my life I'll say this but, go Team (Laura) BUSH!
Pardon if my platitudes aren't particularly unique or polished or perfected. Some things are all feelings.
Not words of true eloquence or coherence. The kinds of spurts, giggles and gurgles, happiness, hope and uncertainties. And that's how I felt (and sounded) Tuesday night as I watched the election results with my parents. Other than alternating between giddiness and the urge to cry because of the enormity of it all, I was spent. I had nothing left to give. I just let relief wash over me with each electoral college vote counted in Barack Obama's favor. And it all happened so fast, nothing like 2004 or the month long presidential crisis of 2000. All over with a huge push of everything on Obama's side.
And as the joke goes, it appeared reality had a leftist slant, leaving John McCain, gracious in defeat while sounding so defeated, with most of the states Huckabee won during the Republican primary and little else. Obama expanded everywhere and into every thing and now we all woke up to a new reality.
When I think how Barack Obama is going to be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States in January I still can't believe it. When I think about his daughters, Sasha and Malia, and the new dog he promised them, frolicking in the White House, I'm stunned. When I think of Michelle Obama as First Lady, there are no words. Eleven months ago I was skeptical he would even be able to make it out of the gate. Never have I been so happy to be wrong.
I think Barack Obama killed my cynicism. Or at least temporarily stunned it. I don't know. It's too early to tell. We've all witnessed something we've never seen before. Something many of us never thought would happen. This is a Hollywood Ending and as a black person, I don't usually see too many Hollywood Endings for us on that large a scale. We've made inroads and successes in business, sports, entertainment, science, the military, medicine and education. But politics is primarily a local phenomenon. It's still a big deal when a black person becomes mayor. But president? Of the United States? The way Rev. Jesse Jackson was bawling in Chicago Tuesday night you could tell how hard and faraway that one seemed. Then, for the first time in MY ADULT LIFE, I heard my father declare, "I want to stay up and listen to MY president's speech." He's never claimed a president as his (nor has either of my parents) ever. My mother liked LBJ and Carter and both liked Bill Clinton, but they've never referred to either three as "my president." After a lifetime of voting against candidates, my parents had someone to vote "for" and they got to share in the success.
I'm still numb. I'm still trying to imagine the inaugural ball. Trying to imagine the G-8 Summits. The first speech at the United Nations. The first State of the Union. The first everything. Anything. And all of it with Barack Obama. What will the press coverage be like? How will things change? Easter egg rolls on the White House lawn. Negotiating with North Korea. Dealing with America's 1001 crises, domestic and international. The symbolism of the what is still the most powerful and sole remaining super power on earth be an African American man when the world knows what it has meant, since 1776, to be black in America. The past and the future are reaching out to shake hands and I'm wondering if the universe is about to collapse in on itself from the audacity of this moment.
All I've got is doodles and rambles. Maybe I'll make more sense come inauguration day. But for now ...
No words. I'm just anxiously awaiting Act II where the really hard work (and history) begins. May my verbage make a comeback by then.