The Blue Raccoon

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Notes on the News
Hello, is anybody out there?

Scarlett Johansson shows her support for the O-Man. I don't know where I got this, otherwise I'd give credit.

If any member of the billion-eyed audience thought there'd be a Part II for my previous Springsteen entry, I thought, naahhh. I'll just add to the one that's there, which I've done somewhat, and I may put more in, for what it's worth.

But I know why you come here is my trenchant political commentary, because, well, there is so little of the species anywhere else on the InterTubes.

This Georgia thing and Russia, with the stupid missile defense thing thrown in:

The U.S. didn't intervene when the Soviets rolled over Hungary or Czechoslovakia (back when there was a Czechoslovakia). And for more recent history, after encouraging the Kurds of Iraq to rise up, we left them hanging in the breeze. Lebanon and Somalia both turned out so well. And then there was Nicaragua.

Why would the Georgians think we'd come galloping to their rescue? And now Putin, wanting to stand up to the hyperpower, is playing into Bush's Gog-Magog Manichean view of the world -- because he can get away with the maneuver since he runs the media there. Here, we suffer from a corporatized media that feeds into the worst and baser aspects of human voyeurism and cheap grasping. The public by and large prefers not to be bothered with much that is significant. Sartre's elitist dismissal was: all they care about is fornication and the newspapers. Just change that to "the Internet" and I think the statement still holds. 

My view: I think that the citizenry are in some ways smarter, yet in other ways dumber, than most professional observers understand. People are more concerned and sometimes less able to articulate their worries (you ride public transit as I do, and you get an earful if you but listen) but don't know what exactly to do. We already had a revolution here. George Washington won it all by himself. 

But, about current events. 

The missile defense shield is a chimera and a pretext to rattle sabers. Georgia is getting bullied by Russia because of historic differences and can't stand yet another independent nation could spring up at its border. And there's that gas pipeline, too. Russia understands that with dwindling oil resources, whoever controls a sizable slice of the pie, gets power.

What is the U.S. going to do? Bomb Smolensk? NATO is literally over the barrel because they need Gazprom's oil. Don't listen to me, read Anne Applebaum, who knows this stuff. 

• Obama's vice presidential pick.

My fantasy of Vice President Wesley Clark dwindles, unless this has been a huge effort of misdirection. Maybe Obama is taking his present tour of possible VPs to tell them: I'm not choosing you, but I want to know if you'd accept x or y position should I be elected. 

Clark is (supposedly) not even attending the convention, and after the manufactured kerfluffle in which Clark was made to look like he was impugning McCain's several-decades old war record, Obama for some strange damn reason had to distance himself. This is a  full general who once ran NATO. Seems like Obama could use this expertise right about now. Further, as I've stated elsewhere, he's from Clinton country without the baggage of being a Clinton, looks and sounds good on teevee, and would up the guy factor, seeming a bit more experienced in the world than Hopey. 

I like Tim Kaine, personally--he was even at the Springsteen concert the other night--but for Virginia's sake and our future, I want to keep him down in the Alexander Parris-designed Executive Mansion until his term expires. Then, because our idiotic state constitution forbids governors succeeding themselves, he can become president of Virginia Commonwealth University. There. Done.

Evan Bayh may get the text or cell phone call that he's the one, but I think it's a lame choice; a conservative Democrat is going to appease who? Carry what state?

 Joe Biden-- Mr. "He's clean and neat" himself--is my pick among those being bruited. I prefer the Democratic white-haired loose cannon to the other white-haired loose cannon currently seeking the highest office. He's got foreign policy bona fides, he's smart, and he and Obama look good together.

• By the way, I don't know what politics matters anymore. This Broken Saddleback Whatever Non-Debate that McCain cheated on.

Why have this at all? Screw it, have Dr. Phil interview the candidates. Would make as much damn sense and be even more entertaining. This genuflecting before the evangelical right is just downright annoying and if you feed the beast, you but make it stronger.

Like Dr. Lindsey my college philosophy professor would say--and he, also an ordained minister--soon as you drag God kicking and screaming into an argument, you've proven the weakness of your argument.

Ipso facto, politics, as it is practiced here, is fallacious.

• August in Virginia--eerily balmy.

Temperatures in the 80s with pleasant breezes for a couple of weeks in what should be the most torrid days of summer. I'm not complaining except that we've not had any significant rainfall in--what?--two months? What's up with that?

We now return you to your regular web surfing for shoes and/or porn.

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