Four years ago, Barack Obama accepted the presidential nomination of a Democratic Party that was as unified and energized as at any moment in its past: Clintons and Kennedys, labor and Wall Street, centrists and leftists, old and young, blacks, whites and Hispanics. It bristled with the excitement of history and the expectations of a new era.
Most pressingly, Democrats said they were worried that the tensions between supporters of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama from the contest that just ended two months ago would spill into public view after her name is entered into nomination, particularly after Mr. Obama bypassed Mrs. Clinton in choosing Mr. Biden.
“I have a lot of doubts that this convention is going to be as persuasive as it should be because they’ve got this damn thing with Hillary,” Mr. Fowler said. “I love Hillary. I was …
Laughing at the “Young Con Anthem” because neither “Serious C” nor “Stiltz” have skillz is all well and good, but there’s more to their awfulness than the sort of schadenfreude you get watching the first two weeks of American Idol. For the uninitiated:
This breed of rap is all about establishing and maintaining identity, which you do by asserting your authenticity and questioning that of other rappers—either by attacking it whole cloth (coastal feuds) or its legitimacy (street credibility). The Young Cons talk up their own game like some white Wu-Tang. Ideally, these assertions of identity should be such that when they “manufacture poems to microphones, bones fracture.” (Let that play while you work and your dull life will turn into a Jim Jarmusch film.) What makes the Young Cons so tellingly awful is that they sat down to forge a…
Our loyal readers who also surf political blogs have probably noticed the flap over Dijongate, wherein reality descends madly into satire as the blogsphere ponders the political meaning of Obama’s decision to order Dijon mustard on a hamburger (and whether the media hushed it up to make him seem like a regular Joe!) Anxious to do our part, we at EoTAW have discovered the real reason Obama ordered spicy Dijon rather than regular yellow mustard:
Via Sadly, No!I learn that the mayor of Los Alamitos—a city whose proximity to Los Angeles disqualifies its citizens from claiming they live behind the Orange Curtain—recently sent the city council an email entitled “No Easter egg hunt this year.” It contained this picture:
When questioned as to the propriety of sending poorly-executed racist photo-shops to government employees, the mayor claimed to be “unaware of the stereotype that black people like watermelon.” Putting the issue of what exactly is “funny” about the picture in the absence of said stereotype aside, there are some conservatives who claim that the real problem here is hypersensitive blacks and their “rat-fink” instincts:
The fink who ratted him out was a black woman who sacrificed friendship to the motto, “Never Fail to Be Offended.”
His commenters agree:
How dare [defenders of the rat-fink] be offended at…
Thesis: The only thing more annoying than Valentine’s Day advertisements and garish displays of red and pink* are the complaints about the holiday where people endorse the very commercial and patriarchal values promoted by commercials that they purport to reject by getting upset over the day.
Slightly more defensible thesis: Since Valentine’s Day is, by and large, a holiday that while not fake**, unmoored from other cultural traditions, there is very little social cost to ignoring it. Thus, do not let it make you upset! This one is up to you, so to speak.
Most defensible thesis: I’m being a dick. (No wonder I’m not getting any flowers!!!) But I find it curious that one effect of the day is return everyone*** involved to the popular caricature of the 1950s; either one is the popular cheerleader getting flowers from the quarterback, or one is her plain best friend whom no one…
Oh, no. Not the stimulus package. BattlestarGalactica. I thought Zarek’s actions were out of character, and designed to ensure that they could wrap up the coup in two episodes, ensuring the audience knew who they were supposed to back.
Key evidence: The Quorum are wimps. More discussion (with spoilers*) after the jump.
All the cryingandcrowing over the death of Pajamas Media overshadowed the birth of the awesomeness that is Pajamas Television. Just today I watched Glenn Reynolds, Michelle Malkin, and the Artisan Formerly Known as Joe the Plumber discuss the first weeks of the Obama administration. They showed behind-the-scenes footage of the Daschle debacle:
They laughed ha ha while the tape ran. Then Reynolds showed it again ha ha. Malkin said it was distracting ha ha. Reynolds asked how that got in there again ha ha. Is that the Obama administration or a car full of clowns ha ha. Who can tell ha ha.
Because being on the cutting edge of political commentary entails airing footage of a clown car while the contemporary equivalent of “Bag of Rags” blares. I couldn’t watch much more than the first five minutes—I kept waiting for Reynolds to pull a full Saget and show Obama getting…
It seems that Obama did the reading for the audio version of his book, Dreams from My Father. And there are passages contained therein that are, um, colorful. Which is to say, I know that Obama usually gets compared to Lincoln and FDR, but LBJ might be more apt. It’s all enough to make Rahm Emanuel blush.
“… Odd, this neurotic tendency in the American business man. Can you account for it? No? I can. Too much coffee.”
“That and the New Deal. Over in America, it appears, life for the business man is one long series of large cups of coffee, punctuated with shocks from the New Deal. He drinks a quart of coffee, and gets a nasty surprise from the New Deal. To pull himself together, he drinks another quart of coffee, and along comes another nasty surprise from the New Deal. He staggers off, calling feebly for more coffee, and…. Well, you see what I mean. Vicious circle. No nervous system could stand it.”
Bertie Wooster’s Uncle Percy (with a brief assist from Bertie), in P. G. Wodehouse, Joy in the Morning. Which, I arbitrarily assert, is the best of the Jeeves/Wooster novels.
Mark Helprin—author of my favorite novel when I was a naive fourteen—published another well-written, ur-conservative editorials in the Wall Street Journal today. You can (and will) disagree with the sentiment, but you must admit that the man can control his clauses:
The pity is that the war could have been successful and this equilibrium sustained had we struck immediately, preserving the link with September 11th; had we disciplined our objective to forcing upon regimes that nurture terrorism the choice of routing it out with their ruthless secret services or suffering the destruction of the means to power for which they live; had we husbanded our forces in the highly developed military areas of northern Saudi Arabia after deposing Saddam Hussein, where as a fleet in being they would suffer no casualties and remain at the ready to reach Baghdad, Damascus, or Riyadh in three days; a…
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This blog is a blog about history, Yiddishkeit, and the Muppets, neither exclusively nor necessarily in that order. And as William Gibson said about this very blog (no, really), “History can save your ass.” Yiddishkeit and the Muppets are just extras.
is the associate director of the Cornell in Washington program and a senior lecturer at Cornell University. He teaches courses on European history, modern military history, guerrilla war, and the role of popular will in waging war.
is an associate professor of history at UC Davis. He is the author of A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans, which won the Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize in 2004, and his new book, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek, will be published by Harvard University Press in fall 2012.
is a professor of history at UC Davis. She is the author of Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11 (Oxford, 2009); Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley (North Carolina, 2002); and Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI (North Carolina, 1996).