Monthly Archives: January 2008

Hillary’s Race Card Confirmed: Part III


Dick Morris was one of President Clinton’s most trusted advisors and able spinsters. He has just written an op-ed piece confirming what I have previously said about how the Clintons were using Obama’s race and latent racial slights to Obama’s detriment. It is all just too disgusting, especially considering that all of the Clintons’ repulsive techniques appear to be bearing fruit. Is there any hope for this country if playing the game is what wins an election? Continue reading


Filed under Essays, Obama 08

Reduced Bill

Bill Clinton.jpg

Just after having written my last post on why I find Bill’s over-the-top campaigning inappropriate, William sends me this excellent piece from the New Republic: Continue reading

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Filed under Essays, Obama 08

Appropriate (ex) Presidential Behavior


Americans have a special relationship with the presidency and their presidents. Americans and American politicians on both sides of the table can disagree with their president on policy and other issues but will always support and honor the figure of the “president” out of respect for the institution of the presidency.

As a result, when a U.S. president’s mandate reaches it finale, the president is converted into an ex-president with all that the new mandate entails. Ex-presidents are honored as elder statesmen, as having served their country, and are bestowed with the enduring title of “President”. Former presidents Bush and Clinton, for example, are still officially called President Clinton and President Bush (respectively). And former presidents continue, for the remainder of their lives, to be representatives of their country.

Nevertheless, in the present elections, we’re seeing some of these traditional notions change. Of course, there is the obvious (and possibly hypothetical question) as to what role a former president may play in the new administration if his spouse becomes president. But there is a much more immediate question, that I believe, should be raised. What is the appropriate behavior of a former president in a presidential campaign? What happens when Bill Clinton acts more like James Carville, the Ragin’ Cajun, than like a dignified statesman? Or said another way, is it ethical for Bill Clinton, with all of the weight of his honorary role of ex-president, to campaign as fervently as he is doing now? Continue reading


Filed under Essays, Obama 08

Blood and Oil in the Orient and Europe


I just finished reading Tom Reiss’ celebrated biography of Lev Nussimbaum, The Orientalist. The biography’s subtitle is “Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Mysterious Life”, yet the book doesn’t quite do that, nor does it serve as the definitive argument proving that Nussimbaum was in fact Kurban Said (the author of Ali and Nino). Neverthless, I did enjoy the story and I would recommend it, with the caveats mentioned below. Continue reading

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Filed under Essays, Literature

World Bank Disgrace

World Bank.JPG

If governments around the world are rife with all sorts of corruption, doesn’t it logically follow that world organziations (the World Bank Group, IMF, United Nations)  — made up of appointees of those governments and citizens of those countries — are mere reflections of that corruption, the sum of their parts?

In any event, here are two recent articles from the Wall Street Journal on corruption at the World Bank: Continue reading


Filed under Essays

Bush Clinton Bush Clinton . . .

Bush Clinton.jpg

Does anybody realize what alternating dynasties and revolving door presidencies say about our country? I think that our history, our country, and the world deserve so much better.

Unfortunately because we’re in the primaries, a certain degree of decorum (and party loyalty) impedes Obama from raising this fundamental question about the state of the American democracy when the role call of four consecutive presidents could potentially be “Bush Clinton Bush Clinton”.

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Filed under Essays, Obama 08

Two Cinematic Let Downs

I just fnished watching two disspointing films (luckily I didn’t have to buy a ticket): American Gangster and Lust and Caution. Continue reading

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Filed under Digressions