January 2nd, 2009

Apollo 4 on column of fire

Playing Thom like a fiddle

I’m listening to Thom Hartmann interviewing his JFK-assassination conspiracy theory co-author, and it’s like listening to Paul Wolfowitz interview Ahmad Chalabi. This guy sounds like a con, and Thom Hartmann sounds like a mark.

Oh BTW they say that the actual murder of JFK was covered up to prevent World War III. Well, I guess it is true that JFK was murdered by a communist.... At least they got that part right.

And, um, they slandered RFK but good. He was in on the cover-up, you see.
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The kind of thinking that won Hillary Clinton the presidency

Air America is replaying the Randi Rhodes broadcast from a couple of Fridays ago (she’s on vacation), and here’s what happened.

A caller told Randi proudly that she had gone down to Florida to help get out the vote. The correct response, of course, is ‘That’s great!’; instead, Randi blandly asks what county. The caller says Broward. Randi puts the caller on the defensive, asking why Broward, given that Obama was guaranteed to win there. The caller, sounding hurt, says she had friends there.

Of course, in Florida, in a presidential election, the county is irrelevant; indeed, Broward is a very good place to go for Democratic get-out-the-vote, because you will get a good reception. Thus, Randi made someone feel bad and futile for doing GOTV in a particularly good place to do GOTV.

Think how much similarly weak reasoning we have endured; it takes some effort not to fall into the intellectual traps. There was, for example, Big Tent Democrat concerned that Obama couldn’t win in big states, because Hillary did better there; so, how many of those big states did Obama lose in the general, eh? Obama concentrated on winning little states, because he was not distracted by falsehoods and irrelevancies; he saw he could net more delegates that way than Hillary could by trying to ‘win’ big states.

It is said that Hillary’s campaign manager didn’t even know that ‘winning’ a state was practically meaningless, and that delegates were to be divided proportionally. That’s astoundingly lazy behavior for a campaign manager, if true. But there was also the supposed ‘momentum’ the candidates got from their ‘wins’, which got discussed by quite brainy people despite that Obama’s ‘winning’ of a long string of little states didn’t stop Clinton from ‘winning’ in places where she was favored.

(‘Momentum’ is IMO way overrated; sure, winning begets winning, losing begets losing, but commentators are using the phenomenon as a mental crutch. It occurs to me that perhaps barking_iguana’s efforts towards a political sabremetrics will help future commentators and campaign managers put their brains to work.)
Apollo 4 on column of fire

A major correction

Apparently I misheard Randi Rhodes’s advice to Melissa Etheridge, as to how to deal with Rick Warren. The anxious Ms. Etheridge was due to perform at an event where Rick Warren would be the keynote speaker, and wanted Randi to help her deal with that. (Ms. Etheridge eventually listened to Barack Obama’s implicity advice.) I had thought Randi told Melissa to disrupt the speech; actually what a supposedly devastated Randi suggested that Melissa and her partner ask Barack Obama for an invitation to the inauguration so they could use the event to disrespect Rick Warren.

I have the impression this quasi-supernal dissing would have been an offshoot of an anti-Warren protest that Air America’s David Bender has been promoting. With two-valued reasoning worthy of George W. Bush, Mr. Bender argues that the protest is not a protest because it is an affirmation; yeah, and by the same ‘logic’ my using the middle name ‘Hussein’ for a while was an affirmation of Barack Obama’s name and ‘therefore’ wasn’t a protest against the anti-Obama smear campaign. Mind you, I don’t say he shouldn’t take part in the protest, just that he shouldn’t ‘think’ in the manner of GWB.

Back to Randi. In the same show she boasted powerfully and without irony about her modesty and self-deprecation, and also she said that if Norm Coleman had asked her for dirt on Al Franken she would have given it.

Again I think Air America is better off without Randi. The Nova M Radio network (that is, Mike Malloy and Randi Rhodes) seems to be a dumping ground for Air America hosts who have inferiority complexes that manifest as public disrespect for their colleagues, including former co-workers, but also Ed Schultz, and in the case of Malloy also Jerry Springer when they both were employed by Air America.

Randi’s show is funny, however, and she isn’t deliberately dense—just someone moderately ‘neurotic’—so I shall go on listening and loving.
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Panarin

Does anyone know if this nut has been seen hanging around with white nationalist types?— http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123051100709638419.html

There’s a lot of that going on in Russia these days, with the encouragement of guys like David Duke. I’m curious just what Panarin’s angle is—is he a white nationalist? is he just your usual spy-agency kook? is he merely a propagandist who knows he is full of it? How much of each? Etc.

(BTW ‘white nationalist types’ includes Pat Buchanan and probably ought to include Lou Dobbs, as well, but I don’t expect either of these guys has been hanging out with Panarin. Please don’t make me be wrong.)