Monthly Archives: February 2008

Lock ’em up


Check out the great news: the U.S. is now the world’s top incarcerator! We’ve got more people in jail than ever before.



Filed under Essays

Begrudging His Bedazzling


I hate to dedicate too many posts to why Hillary is an inferior candidate instead of focusing on why Obama is the superior one. Yet I continue to do so. I just read a fantastic column by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times.

First, she reinforces something that I have always believed that candidates must learn about running for office — it is a total shame that Mariano Rajoy, the PP candidate for the Spanish presidency, is clueless about:

[Hillary] has been so discombobulated that she has ignored some truisms of politics that her husband understands well: Sunny beats gloomy. Consistency beats flipping. Bedazzling beats begrudging. Confidence beats whining.

Dowd also does a good job of distinguishing the Obama’s confidence with Hillary’s Al Gore 2000 constant metamorphosis.

The fact that Obama is exceptionally easy in his skin has made Hillary almost jump out of hers. She can’t turn on her own charm and wit because she can’t get beyond what she sees as the deep injustice of Obama not waiting his turn. Her sunshine-colored jackets on the trail hardly disguise the fact that she’s pea-green with envy.

After saying she found her “voice” in New Hampshire, she has turned into Sybil. We’ve had Experienced Hillary, Soft Hillary, Hard Hillary, Misty Hillary, Sarcastic Hillary, Joined-at-the-Hip-to-Bill Hillary, Her-Own-Person-Who-Just-Happens-to-Be-Married-to-a-Former-President Hillary, It’s-My-Turn Hillary, Cuddly Hillary, Let’s-Get-Down-in-the-Dirt-and-Fight-Like-Dogs Hillary.

Finally, with respect to Hillary’s sob story about the press not being nice to her, as I wrote early today, Dowd writes,

Beating on the press is the lamest thing you can do. It is only because of the utter open-mindedness of the press that Hillary can lose 11 contests in a row and still be treated as a contender.

In any event, I truly recommend that your read the piece in its entirety: Continue reading

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Filed under Essays, Obama 08

The Game of Forgetting


It’s taking me ages to finish Mohamed Berrada’s post modern novel, The Game of Forgetting. Yet this morning I was able to get some reading done during what felt like the neverending metro commute, and I came across these lines in Berrada’s novel:

I think that many people are miserable because they are unable to remember their childhood and incorporate it into their present life. The experiences they lived in childhood are like something that happened to others. This is, perhaps, because they think childhood is less serious than is necessary for life . . .

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Filed under Digressions, Literature

Stop Vetting Me, I’m Already Vetted


In last night’s debate, Hillary complained that she’s been the victim of a press corp that has asked her too many tough questions and not enough of Obama. Yes, they keep asking her the first question, and frankly that just isn’t fair. Actually, it’s not the first time her camp has cried about an unbalanced treatment in the media — Bill whinned about it after Iowa.

What’s ironic is that one of the central themes of Hillary’s campaign is that she has been more tested, questioned, and “vetted” than her Democratic rival. So why is everyone still vetting her? Maybe the vetting isn’t over. Maybe they’re still not satisfied with her answers. Continue reading

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Filed under Essays, Obama 08

Give It a Rest Already


On the night of the last presidential debate of the Democratic party’s primaries, I think it is a good time to reflect on the obvious: Hillary should finally give it a rest. It is time for her to end her campaign. Her staying in the race does nothing but harm the party and its possibilities at winning the election in November. Her campaign has also reached an annoyingly offensive tone that it almost too ugly to bear.

Notice that last Thursday she was proudly Barack’s best friend, and then out of nowhere, she is screaming and yelling about shameless tactics and other absurdities. I don’t even think that it is worth it to humor her accusations. It is just another example of Hillary throwing a stone and hiding her hand. She has been playing gutter politics since Nevada, and now her team is trying to figure out just how low they should go. Likening Barack to Bush or stating that he is not ready for the White House not only violate the unspoken rules of the game, they also debilitate the party. The other antics are simply disgusting.

In the past couple of days, many newspapers have run stories on why and how Hillary should honorably concede defeat — for the benefit of us all. For example, yesterday there was Robert Novak’s “Who Will Tell Hillary?” and this op-ed piece by Richard Cohen in today’s Washington Post: Continue reading


Filed under Essays, Obama 08

Fight the Power


Some people are all talk and no game. Well that isn’t the case with my Bro. If an attorney/community organizer can aspire to be president of the U.S., I think my Bro may have a futre — even though he might want to think twice about cetain statements he makes to the press because those go into your permanent record — just kidding.

In any event, check out this article on what’s he’s going to fight the power: Continue reading

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Filed under Digressions, Friends / Family

Who Says That?


A few days ago in reference to Castro stepping down from absolute power in Cuba, John McCain said that he hoped Castro would soon meet Karl Marx. In other words, McCain publicly stated that he hoped Castro would die. Who says that? How can a guy running for president of the United States say that he hopes that another human, no matter who that person may be, should die? What does that say about our country and our values? Continue reading


Filed under Essays, Obama 08

Silent Lucidity

I am often told by Spaniards, experts on all things American, that Americans only eat hamburgers and pizza (they obviously never heard of Taco Bell). I think that makes me un-American because I eat maybe one or two hamburgers a year (and have never been to Taco Bell before), but last night was one of those hamburgers. For no reason whatsoever, I felt for a good burger. Because even a decent burger is hard to come by in Spain, I opted for the only mediocre burger joint in town — Hard Rock Cafe. Hard Rock was a mistake: while my stomach still hurts from the over-sized burger, my head still aches from the annoyingly loud music.

The music was so loud, in fact, that I could barely hold a conversation, let a lone enjoy the joyless pseudo-rock lovers ambiance. As you can imagine, the place was plagued with American and British ex-pats and tourists looking for an overlit, obnoxious drinking den populated by chubby-legged short skirt wearing waitresses and mid-level students of the English language waiters.

Then out of all of the noise, distortion, E.S.O.L., rosy beer-bellied Brits and obese “Oh, my God” Americans, arose “Silent Lucidity“, the only commercially successful song by Queensrÿche. Perhaps it was the fact that I had just gone to see the high school film Juno or that “Silent Lucidity” came out in 1990, my first year of college, that I got to reflecting. Continue reading


Filed under Digressions

Hillary’s Plagiarism at the Austin Debate


I was checking out some of the highlights from last night’s CNN/Univision debate in Austin, Texas between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Hillary said something that sounded awfully familiar,

Whatever happens, we’re going to be fine. You know, we have strong support from our families and our friends. I just hope that we’ll be able to say the same thing about the American people, and that’s what this election should be about.

This sounded incredibly familiar to me, and I couldn’t remember from where. Then it hit — I could hear John Edward’s Southern accent with a head cold in my head. So I looked it up. And there you go, John Edwards talking in New Hampshire this November 2007:

To be perfectly honest about it, my life is going to be fine no matter what happens. So is Barack Obama’s. So is Hillary Clinton’s. Our life is going to be fine. On the other side, Mitt Romney is going to be fine. Giuliani is going to be fine … But [this election] should not be about any of us; it should be about the country we believe in. The democracy we want to change. Where the people who we all grew up with — your story — get heard.

Hillary may not have used each and every one of Edwards’ words, but if you want to get legal about plagiarism, the ideas are clearly not hers, have not been authorized for her to use, and do reference Edwards. Maybe, just maybe, Hillary should be more careful about her criticisms. Dave Scaggs at the Maryland Soccer School where I used to be a summer camp coach used to always tell us, “point your finger, and you’ll have three pointing right back at you.”

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Filed under Essays, Obama 08

Hillary’s Toast


It is said that good advice is when someone tells you exactly what you want to hear. In the same vain, I suppose I find Eugene Robinson’s columns so on point because I essentially agree with what most of the things he has written about the primaries. For exampe, I have often described Hillary’s false readiness as reflected in her inability to run a coherent campaign. In his op-ed today, Robinson writes,

Most striking of all, to me, is that the campaign still can’t settle on what kind of candidate Hillary Clinton should be. Does she now have to go negative, or should she try to hitchhike on the hope express? Does she project steely resolve or reveal human vulnerability? The campaign wants to convince voters that they don’t know who Obama really is — yet also insists on fitting Clinton with a new persona every week.

Robinson also explains how if Obama were in Hillary’s predicament, people would be telling him to abandon the race for the good of the party. Continue reading

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Filed under Essays, Obama 08