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April 16, 2008

Comments

Glenn Greenwald, Monday:

When I'm traveling and staying in hotels, as I have been the last several days, I'm subjected to far more television news programs than normal. In many respects, this week is an ideal one for the book's release, as the content of "political news" over the last week or so illustrates quite vividly several of the book's themes.

There was virtually no discussion, at least on any of the news shows to which I was exposed, of the obviously consequential revelations of the President's direct involvement in the creation of America's torture regime. Instead, the vast bulk of attention was paid to depicting Barack Obama as an effete, elitist, deceptive enemy of the Regular Guy -- exactly the way that every national Democratic politician in recent memory has inevitably been depicted (including Hillary Clinton, particularly when the media and the Right thought last year that she would be the nominee).

Our elections are dominated by the same tired personality script, trotted out over and over and over. Democrats and liberals -- no matter how poor their upbringing, no matter how self-made they are, no matter how egalitarian their policies -- are the freakish, out-of-touch elitists who despise the values of the Regular Americans. Right-wing leaders -- no matter how extravagantly rich they are by virtue of other people's money, no matter how insulated their lives are, no matter how indifferent their policies are to the vast rich/poor gap -- are the normal, salt-of-the-earth Regular Folk. These petty, cliched storylines drown out every meaningful consideration and dictate our election outcomes, and they are deployed automatically.

It doesn't matter what the candidates actually say or do. The establishment press just waits for the right episode and then reflexively and eagerly fills in the gaps in the shallow script -- the script with which they are intimately familiar and which serves as their only framework for talking about and understanding political disputes.

Funny, I remember, once upon a time, what the American mainstream media wouldn't cover, the blogosphere would.

Apparently, the pressures which ensure that the American mainstream media regard the lengthy dissection of whether Obama is "out of touch" as more newsworthy than Bush admitting he knew the US was torturing prisoners and he knew all the most senior members of his administration were sitting around in the White House discussing exactly which torture techniques should be used, have come to bear on many blogs, too - including Obsidian Wings.

I think again this comes down to: Blogs talk about what seems worth talking about. Somehow, whether or not Obama is "in touch" has been made to appear more worth discussing than the various, complex, and important issues raised by Bush admitting that he expects to get away with having endorsed American torture of prisoners.

I take this moment to rise and cheer Jes. Quietly, because it's the wee hours and my neighbors need their rest, but nonetheless.

I feel reminded of an old editorial cartoon about Chruschtschow's secret speech on the evil of Stalin. A group of pigs in uniform sits around the politbureau table and the head pig says: Comrades, I have to disclose some shocking news to you: Stalin was a pig.

That refers to both the "elitist Obama" pseudo-outrage as to the "news" that Bush knew about the abuse condoned and conducted by his administration. The guy boasted* (in a State of the Union speech) that US forces murdered terrorist suspects around the world without trial. So, what is a bit of torture among friends, especially , if we can dipute that nasty word away. What will be the next shocking revelation? That he thinks that laws do not apply to him or that he defines "compassion" slightly different from other people?
What's more interesting is that Obama dropped some hints that his message of harmony does not exclude looking into potential criminal wrongdoings by the current administration while being aware that it will be painted as a liberal witch hunt

*"Many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way -- they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies."

I don't want to suggest that my experience is the same as the experience that motivates front pagers here, but for me, there is a huge dose of outrage fatigue, especially where this administration and torture is concerned. Hilzoy, who I don't think could throw off an unresearched post if you threatened her, is not going to post something without carefully citing and quoting and she is certainly not in a position to do that.

This next observation might be mistaken because I didn't read Publius before he came here, but I get the impression that the niche he is filling/creating is still fluid. And the revelations about the admin's policy on torture not only underlines conclusions a lot of us (which I mean to include you, Jes) have already drawn earlier, but is in a sense too serious a subject to simply toss in an open thread. So directing ire at this blog in particular because they don't talk about this subject seems, at least to me, a bit out of place.

IMHO, many left leaning bloggers spend too much of their time pointing out the inaccuracy, hypocrisy, and bias of the mainstream media. Of course they are all these things and that is the intent of their owners.

The reason working class voters are shifting toward McCain is that the media are constantly repeating nonsensical charges about Obama and bloviating about their potential negative effect on his campaign, while worshiping at the feet of McCain who can do no wrong - at least in their eyes. No alternative narrative is readily available to them.

In both the campaign and the blogosphere, the focus must change to McCain. Exposing his duplicity, his maniacal policies, and his serious anger management problems is much more important than reminding us for the umpteenth time that the MSM is bias.

I would like to second the call to place emphasis on McCain and his many failings. The fucking press gave him a box of donuts the other day, for Chrissakes, just before asking Barack a question about "Obama bin Laden". Juxtapose those two for a second and appreciate what needs to be done.

Look, if McCain still wins white, working class males after the last 8 years of Bush, then there's no Democrat who is going to win them, because--and this is going to sound awfully elitist of me--they're too stupid as a group to understand what's being done to them. I don't think they're stupid, at least not any more than any other demographic group is, but I do think that the chattering class is, because they're making predictions about an electorate based, for the most part, on polls that are being taken months in advance of the next election about candidates who haven't even been decided yet.

John Judis has been riding this one trick pony (Dems can't appeal to working class white males) since I used to read him in In These Times in the 1980s. Maybe Dems should appeal to people who want our policies? They are becoming the majority.

s any real advantages. Ruthlessness and ambition can help but, if displayed too obviously, can hurt instead.

About the torture--I know I am fatigued. I'm the same way about anyting relating to global warming. I focus on what gives me a faint hope--this election.

The cats ate my comment.

Darn!
So I'll try agains: MyDD has two maps depicting the results of the election based on current polling. If the election was today Obama would be behind by one electoral college point and North Carolina would be too close to call.

Clinton would be down by ninety or so.

I am not thrilled by the propsect of an elelction that comes down to Florida. If that's Clintons' route to victory then let's try a differet road.

McCain could win but it is still possible for him to lose to Obama because Obama has the attrributes of an outstanding candidate--good advisors, effective strategy, ability to expand the base with new voters, ability to fight aback against faux outrage attacts and media shit storms, great ground game and fantastic money raising ability. HRC doens't have any of theat, plus when she sticks her foot in her mouth she says stuff that makes people laugh at her. It is far better to make some people mad than to make everyone laugh.

The level of political analysis coming from TL is so shameful that the posts are hardly worth mention other than as a study in what not to do and how not to think.

Aus truly is another country (ha). Here the working class, for the most part, vote Labor, the party of the left and have for ever I think. I find this very interesting.

As an "Elite" I am so frustrated by the current administration's trashing our civil liberties, constitutional separation of powers, outright violations of international law, and politicization of our government, that:

It's not surprising then [they] (I) get bitter, [they] (I)cling to [guns] (political horse races) or [religion] (candidate personalities) or [antipathy to people who aren't like them] (antipathy to writers with whom I don’t agree) or [anti-immigrant](anti- Republican) sentiment or [anti-trade] (anti-war) sentiment as a way to explain [their] (my) frustrations.

So, am I really elitist?

I think what I am arguing is two things:
1) What Obama said is mostly true.
2) I am distracted from real issues by it.


Funny, I remember, once upon a time, what the American mainstream media wouldn't cover, the blogosphere would.

Apparently, the pressures which ensure that the American mainstream media regard the lengthy dissection of whether Obama is "out of touch" as more newsworthy than Bush admitting he knew the US was torturing prisoners and he knew all the most senior members of his administration were sitting around in the White House discussing exactly which torture techniques should be used, have come to bear on many blogs, too - including Obsidian Wings.

I think again this comes down to: Blogs talk about what seems worth talking about. Somehow, whether or not Obama is "in touch" has been made to appear more worth discussing than the various, complex, and important issues raised by Bush admitting that he expects to get away with having endorsed American torture of prisoners.

Jes,

I take your point, which is well put. In my case the "outrage fatigue" which liberal japonicus points out is a factor, but perhaps a little too vaguely put. My lack of commentary on this subject on ObWings stems from a "preaching to the choir" sense that this is not a venue where there is a lot of ground for dispute over this issue, and the audience that holds to contrary views and is still persuadable has shrunk to a near vanishing point. Most people here seem to have decided a long time ago where they stand on the issue of Bush and torture, and so what is the point of trying to hold a dialog?

I think the commentary here tends to gravitate towards the areas where some fluidity of opinion is still apparent, and this isn't one of those areas. YMMV, and I'm probably misreading the temperature here so please correct me.


MyDD has two maps depicting the results of the election based on current polling. If the election was today Obama would be behind by one electoral college point and North Carolina would be too close to call.

Clinton would be down by ninety or so.

I am not thrilled by the propsect of an elelction that comes down to Florida. If that's Clintons' route to victory then let's try a differet road.

wonkie,

www.fivethirtyeight.com is doing the same thing - crunching poll numbers and forecasting possible state-by-state outcomes and how they would shift the electoral college. The blog host is pro-Obama but seems to me to be making an attempt to keep his candidate preferences out of his analysis to a reasonable degree. The results he is showing as of late are more favorable for McCain than MyDD's, so take it as you want (large salt grain or small?)

I don't have outrage fatigue, exactly; I have a sense that "this post is going to be read by 25 people, 20 of whom already agree with me, 5 of whom never will, & will change absolutely nothing."

In general, I think the left blogs have really taken our eye off the ball during primary season. Too much determinedly neutral, horse race obsessive coverage. It's one thing for people to get caught up in supporting whichever candidate--that's understanable; I have gotten caught up at times. It's another thing to not want to take sides in a bitter primary battle--that's also understandable. But neutrality in the primary should enable more focus on other stuff, it shouldn't just lead to pointless, obsessive horse race coverage.

Part of it is that the left blogs have always focused on media criticism, & the media is currently obsessing about the horse race so we're obsessing about the media coverage of the horse race. But WHAT they cover & don't is at least as big a problem as how they cover it, & we've collectively fallen down on the job of covering the important stuff.

Thank you Left Turn for the link. I have my suspicions about the MyDD info. The maps show Obama losing NY and Clinton losing Washington. That seems even more unlikely than Clinton winning Florida.

Yes, I think that there is a ve4ry strong possiblity that mcCai will win and I think the longer the primary goes on the greater his chances are. It's time for HRC to get out.

"Apparently, the pressures which ensure that the American mainstream media regard the lengthy dissection of whether Obama is 'out of touch' as more newsworthy than Bush admitting he knew the US was torturing prisoners and he knew all the most senior members of his administration were sitting around in the White House discussing exactly which torture techniques should be used, have come to bear on many blogs, too - including Obsidian Wings."

Yes, that's exactly it.

I hope Hilzoy recovers soon from the brutal pressures applied to keep her silent.

It's frightening that those pressures can reach all the way to Pakistan, to keep someone from posting, while actual access to the internet is, of course, no problem.

No, it's the "pressures" of the government, 'n all, that are to blame. Spot on.

The problem is that the mainstream media only pays attention to what *candidates* say. If candidates talk about Bush and torture, the MSM will. If candidates talk about "bitter", that's what Wolf Blitzer talks about.

Simple rule.


In general, I think the left blogs have really taken our eye off the ball during primary season. Too much determinedly neutral, horse race obsessive coverage. It's one thing for people to get caught up in supporting whichever candidate--that's understanable; I have gotten caught up at times. It's another thing to not want to take sides in a bitter primary battle--that's also understandable. But neutrality in the primary should enable more focus on other stuff, it shouldn't just lead to pointless, obsessive horse race coverage.

Katherine,

I think there are a couple of factors driving blog commentary in this direction. One is that comments are gravitating to topics where people feel their voices can influence the outcome in an immediate and tangible way. Adam http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/04/thomas-frank--.html#comment-110761720”>pointed out on the previous Frank Thomas thread that this may explain why values voters concentrate on non-economic issues out of frustration with a lack of progress on the economic policy front and a highly opaque system which gives them no sense that their votes matter any more. I think left blogs may be gravitating towards primary campaign horse race coverage for similar reasons. The continual churn of polls and elections on a weekly basis creates a sense of feedback and progress (which may or may not be illusory) and the internet driven campaign finance model creates a sense of ongoing participation, essentially voting with dollars in an extended and continuous referendum on the candidates which we all can participate in (so long as we have $$ to spare).

The "neutrality" of the commentary which you perceive is a little mysterious to me as all of the political blogs I’ve been reading have been polarized by the Democratic race to the point where it is getting hard to even have a neutral conversation without considerable effort of self-restraint being observed by partisans of both campaigns, something which is noticeable in its absence. If there is still some neutrality left, I'm guessing it comes from uncertainty over the outcome and/or the knowledge that substantial post-nomination reconciliation will be needed if the Democratic nominee is to have a chance at beating McCain in November, so some people are trying to keep their bridges unburned by keeping their commentary as emotionally neutral and clinical as possible, and focusing on horse-race aspects is the easiest way to do this.

In other words, you are seeing a lot of commentary on a topic where people feel they have access to a pivot point where future events are being influenced in a way which is sensitive to individual input, but that discussion centers on horse-race aspects because polls and electability arguments are about the only aspect of this topic left for us to talk about which doesn’t reduce people in a very polarized environment to screaming at each other in anger and frustration.


The problem is that the mainstream media only pays attention to what *candidates* say. If candidates talk about Bush and torture, the MSM will. If candidates talk about "bitter", that's what Wolf Blitzer talks about.

Simple rule.

Ara,

That will work only if both candidates stick to the policy issues. If one of them chases after trivia (e.g., for the sake of a momentary advantage), then the MSM will chase after trivia because that is what they do best.

The MSM is the tiebreaker between two candidates who want to talk about different things. Unfortunately they operate at about a 5th grade level of intellectual development and a 2nd grade level of emotional maturity.

We need a better media, and it will never happen until we fire the one we have now. In face-to-face discussions of politics I tirelessly repeat the same mantra: TURN OFF THE TV.

ThatLeftTurnInABQ, most people aren't going to turn off the TV. The TV shapes elections. We have to get TV right to make good collective decisions.

As far as "bitter" goes, conservatives have been saying far far worse about liberals as a matter of routine for a long time.

But, you know, they haven't been attacked from within their own party for doing it.

I'm pleased to see that Hillary is going to play right into the Republican character script. So pleased. It is good to see Democrats mindlessly obeisant to a candidate who is destroying their electoral chances from within.

This is just what the Harry Reids of the world wanted when they said magnanimously: let it go to June! This is what the Steinems and Estritches and Ferrarros wanted when they felt that the contest shouldn't be over.

CQ did an analysis yesterday projecting that HRC, with the polls standing where they are, would net ... three delegates out of Pennsylvania. Yeah, that's right. This was all for absolutely nothing. Selfishness or stupidity: take your pick.

Once again, Democrats are showing themselves to be too selfish, naive, and stupid to win an election. It makes me wonder if their incompetence is as much to blame for the last eight years as Republican malfeasance.

In order to try to square the circle, let me suggest that, by obsessively covering the Obama/Clinton primary, we are working to prevent torture. After all, the candidate the receives the bulk of the support here is the only candidate who has equivocally spoken out against the extra-constitutional actions of this administration, and voted against them in all instances.

One of the primary reasons I am adamantly opposed to a Clinton presidency is because I believe she will perpetuate most of these policies. And it's pretty damn obvious the congress as presently constituted will not move to stop them. Therefore, we need a "Commander-in Chief" who doesn't believe that war and torture prove our strength.

And I am also fairly confident that, while the majority of my white brethren may not agree with me on war and torture, they still realize that the Iraq War specifically and the behavior of the Bush adminstration generally have fucked up their lives and their country to an unprecedented degree. And I don't think they'll be voting for four more years of that, no matter their tribal identification.

The president has so much power that, say, registering voters in PA & IN for the candidate you think is better seems like an eminently worthwile to spend your time. But obsessively speculating about the likely electoral ramifications of the gaffe-of-the-week doesn't really seem like it's in the same category.

This isn't specific to this blog--I'm not posting, why should hil post from pakistan? And I like publius's latest. It's just: okay, yes, bloggers can write about what they choose; yes, time is limited; yes, they're largely doing this for free. But collectively, the resources to do good coverage are there, and aren't being used; collectively, I've been disappointed.


Once again, Democrats are showing themselves to be too selfish, naive, and stupid to win an election. It makes me wonder if their incompetence is as much to blame for the last eight years as Republican malfeasance.

Ara,

I don't think this is a fair characterization of the Democrats (despite the fact that I frequently indulge in similar language myself). In reality we have 3 major parties in the USA: a center-left party (the progressive wing of the Dems), a center-right party (the DLC wing of the Dems), and a far-right party (the GOP).

The two wings of the Democratic party are like an old married couple that can't stand each other, fight constantly, but won't divorce because that would just make things worse, because judging purely from election results and ignoring the Frank Thomas hypothesis, the political center of gravity in the USA for the last couple of decades (at least!) is somewhere between center-right and far-right.

In most years this means the Progressive wing of the Dems is reduced to carrying water for the DLC wing and hoping for the best and/or begging for crumbs from the policy table. Courtesy of Bush the political center of gravity in this country seems (at least temporarily) to have shifted to the left just enough that the Progressive wing has a chance to take control of the Democratic party for perhaps the first time since 1972. The DLC wing is fighting tooth and nail to prevent this, just as they did back in 1972.

And just as in 1972, I think keeping control over the Democratic party has become a more important objective to the DLC wing than winning this year’s general election . Hillary and co. are looking past this election to 2012 at this point, IMHO, and while this may seem to us now like a foolish thing to do, there is ample historical precedent for doing so. Remember that in 1976 Jimmy Carter won the WH after leading the fight at the 1972 convention to try to stop McGovern from being nominated.

Note that I don’t think that Obama himself is ideologically a McGovernite, in fact in some respects he seems ideologically to the right of Hillary, but he has inherited the mantle of the leader of the Progressive wing of the Dems because Hillary was already at the head of the DLC wing so he had nowhere else to go in search of a base. Ideologically Obama’s support seems to me to span a wide range including both Progressives and pro-Market/anti-Statist Indy’s, a coalition which actually straddles Hillary’s position.

That he is able to hold together this somewhat unlikely combination is an indication IMHO that he is one of the most talented politicians we have seen in quite a while – if he succeeds in winning the POTUS and governing successfully on this basis then comparisons with Reagan and FDR will be appropriate (which will stick in Bill Clinton’s craw to an intolerable degree and is the source of much of the really nasty bile being thrown at Obama IMHO). What Hillary is trying to do with her recent attacks is to chop away at the weak point in Obama’s base and splinter his coalition by driving the Indy’s away from him.

What you are seeing in the Democratic party right now isn't incompetence, it is a civil war within the party, similar to what happened in 1972 but with the left + center-right Obama coalition added in as an additional wrinkle. That's what you get when a party is really a broad coalition spanning a wide range of ideological viewpoints and interests, and the balance of power between them is very close.

ThatLeftTurnInABQ, fair enough. You are arguing for self-destructiveness based on a structural instability. But, look, if at some point in time people can't put away their differences for their own collective benefit, then I think it's fair to say that selfishness and stupidity might be the causes of self-destructiveness.

Obama is now being attacked by HRC, Bush, and McCain on the same talking points. He's being defined by them. And I think it is safe to say that this story wouldn't have gone anywhere had not the HRC camp committed so much to it.

If Democrats lose this election, I'm sure we'll see another round of articles speculating on why the Red states are so stupid, rather than Dems faulting their own self-indulgence.

The news in Bush's admission of torture wasn't that we are torturing people, or that George W. Bush knew about it. The news was that he implicated the rest of his administration, including such "honorable" and "reasonable" people as Colin Powell, Condi Rice, and the rest of the heads of his administration as war criminals. The only one who even spoke up at all was John Friggin Ashcroft, and he only thought the heads of the administration shouldn't be involved in the discussions, not that we shouldn't be torturing people.

And the "news" that John McCain is a Typical Republican Liar isn't really news either. It's only the media's fawning over his feet that ever made him seem otherwise.

ThatLeftTurnInABQ : "The two wings of the Democratic party are like an old married couple that can't stand each other, fight constantly, but won't divorce because that would just make things worse…"

Except that they do divorce on occasion: Reagan Democrats, Southern Democrats, etc… they've peeled off before; and I think it's likely you'll see a similar abandonment if Obama's the candidate. And not only the small town bitter demographic group Obama was referring to in San Francisco. There's a whole lot of other profiles that are disenchanted (to say the least) with the Wonder Boy (no racial accusation slurs, please - it's an appellation Maureen Dowd used to describe him in her prescient Eggheads and Cheese Balls column in today's NY Times).

Yesterday at the Ye Olde Neighborhood Pub, the Gang Of Eight -- all men, all over 40, six life-long Democrats, one a disgruntled Republican who hates Bush, and me (the 'show' Independent) were playing the 'guess who's going to be VP' game. The combo that received the best approval rating was McCain-Powell. Seven out of eight said they'd vote that ticket if Obama's the candidate.

The consensus was that McCain-Powell is a winning team, if the Republicans are savvy enough to go for it. Hillary-Billary would have a difficult time against them too (that was a split: four to four) - but Obama would be toast. Powell would bring experience, ‘blackness,’ name recognition, healthy virility, and a willingness to reduce troop levels and get the hell out of Iraq ASAF (As Soon As Feasible). And if fate takes a hand, and McCain is called to the Happy Politician's Home In The Sky, we'd have a man with proven leadership and administrative experience to take over.

And Obama brings --- uncertainty.

The 'bar gang' participants yesterday were an eclectic group, economically, educationally, ethnically, and racially, including a Catholic Japanese American contractor, a waspy former Mergers & Accusations lawyer for Disney, an African-Filipino art director for a West Coast ad agency, a second-generation Mexican American plumber, an Nth-generation (he can trace his ancestry back to the original Spanish settlers of L.A.) Mexican American landscaper-handyman-electrician, an Irish-American violin maker (yeah, he makes 'em from scratch). Among them, there's little enthusiasm for Obama. But there was a lot of enthusiasm when Powell's name surfaced -- whereupon someone suggested we have a contest to make up an off-the-cuff Republican campaign song. Here's the winning entry (it earned the winner seven drinks; two yesterday, the rest in drink-chips):

Let's Hear a Howl For McCain and Powell-- Of Political Victory

Barak and Michelle
Can Go To Hell
Because We'll Have The Presidency!!!

Let's Hear a Howl
For McCain and Powell--
Of Political Expertise

Hill and Bill
Can Swallow A Pill
Because We'll Be Commander's In Chief!!!

Take that, Bruce Springsteen

Anyone taking a bet on Son-of-Cain/Lie-berman?
The latter already vies for the Zell Miller spot in the GOP convention (according to news I read about an hour ago he does a "I am willing, if someone would ask" currently)

Btw, Powell lost a bit too much of his credibility, I think, to be actually considered (and many GOPsters may not forgive him for admitting any fault)

Obama can not win beer track white working class voters

Anecdota:

The two people I know with the most refined taste in wine are my electrician, and the guy at the liquor store who was a fisherman before he was their wine buyer.

What the hell is this 'beer track'?

My brother in law is a union electrician in Phoenix AZ. He'll cut his right nut off before he'll vote Republican this fall.

My cousin in law is a construction worker in Akron OH, working mostly concrete. He'll cut his left nut off before he'll vote Republican this fall.

The only people I know, personally, who are solid Republican these days are rich.

I do have one normally liberal friend, a gallery owner, who's considering voting McCain. He just likes the guy.

Who the hell is Judis talking to?

IMO the pundits need to get out more.

Yesterday at the Ye Olde Neighborhood Pub...

Jay, that's two school nights so far this week at the local. Time to give your poor liver a rest!

Thanks -

Funny, I remember, once upon a time, what the American mainstream media wouldn't cover, the blogosphere would.

A fair point. In lieu of blog discussion may I suggest:

1. Send $$$ to the ACLU
2. Call your reps and senators and let them know you're pissed

For non US residents, call the American embassy in your country and let them know you're pissed.

Thanks -

The saddest part of the idea of a McCain/Powell ticket? There's no way the media would point out that Powell's implicated in war crimes. They haven't yet, or mentioned that "Maverick" McCain has supported torture either.

Hell, they're still calling torture "harsh interrogation" because the president does.

"The 'bar gang' participants yesterday were an eclectic group"

Sounds like my outing last night, where I was kicking back with my homies--a Noldorin elf, a grizzled veteran of the Sardaukar, a Kzinti, a couple of Klingon warriors, and a retired berserker who fought under Harald Hardraada. Anyway, they all agreed Powell had no credibility left. Most of them thought a Paul Atriedes/Aragorn ticket would sweep the country in a landslide.

Donald, as it happens, I was drinking last night with two Dorsai, a Predator, and my friends Admiral Naismith, Bill Mandella, Juan Rico, Harry Paget Flashman, William Dhalgren, Kimball Kinnison, Alyx, and Modesty Blaise, and they all agreed that Powell had no credibility left.

But we concluded that a Royal Tennenbaum/Bob Harris ticket would be a truly non-elitist ticket.

Failing that, Laura Roslin/Lee Adama. They have the foreign policy experience we need.

Also, Voight-Kampff for all the candidates.

a Catholic Japanese American contractor, a waspy former Mergers & Accusations lawyer for Disney, an African-Filipino art director for a West Coast ad agency, a second-generation Mexican American plumber, an Nth-generation (he can trace his ancestry back to the original Spanish settlers of L.A.) Mexican American landscaper-handyman-electrician, an Irish-American violin maker (yeah, he makes 'em from scratch).

Actually I think Jay was home drinking with his TV, watching one of those WWII buddy movies.

Jay, you forgot the shy but good hearted Iowa farmboy and the scrappy Italian kid from Brooklyn.

Thanks -

Jay-

Your drinking buddies might represent an interesting cross-section of people but that doesn't make it any less anecdotal. Not to mention you don't seem to have a single woman in the mix.

I too could spin tales of drinking with an interesting cross-section of friends-- all of whom who are passionate Obama supporters. It really doesn't amount to much when you're talking about millions and millions of voters.

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