Some days I love Pennsylvania. Like: I love how the Victorian liquor laws actually mean good wine is cheaper there. I love how they still have a mob. I love how no one in Pennsylvania would tell you that being a state senator is no big whup. I love how I would regularly bite into a Tastykake from the office vending machine wherein the filling had essentially fermented from lack of preservatives. Where else would the black reform-minded mayor of Philly endorse Hillary Clinton? Where else would you get Amish coke traffickers selling to motorcycle gangs? And where else would the Catholic white pro-life political scion machine-made senator suddenly decide to embark on a hope-filled bus trip with the black socialist candidate? I'll bet he was just "inspired." Pennsylvania: it's the "Everything Seems Possible Where Nothing Is Possible" state. Megan and I discuss that and The Iraq, along with whether Condi Rice is black, whether John McCain is smart, whether Hillary can ...blah blah. Happy Friday! Click for that and hot Efraim's MySpace profile and more Green Zone/T-Zone analogies. Oh, and an EXCLUSIVE dispatch from an Obama speech to rich people.
MEGAN: By Friday, I swear, it's like sheer force of will to drag ass out of bed.
MOE: seriously. I did that thing that I never do where I assumed it must be Saturday.
MEGAN: I was like allllllmost awake, and then I fell back asleep again.
MOE: Also, I feel like there's no Crappy hour that can beat yesterday's. Though I found Andy Armsberg's spare MySpace profile.
MEGAN: get through airport security.
MOE: Do you think that the Pentagon would have bought all that ammo from him if they had known that in October 2005 he said that
for the moment im basically just working and chilling with my boyz when im not, im looking for some hobbies like i keep saying im gonna go to the gym and i started playing football again which is definately my favorite sport. im one of those guys who needs to be entertained and having lots of fun all the time so if your also an undiagnosed case of ADD look me up.
MEGAN: No, I mean, I read that and it's no longer surprising that he was a military defense contractor.
MOE: I bet he totally sends text messages such as "I'll need someone to fuck around 11:45."
MEGAN: Or the one I sent you last week, which came from a defense contractor! "News flash: looking for a fuck tonight. That said, how are you?"
MOE: Oh right. NEWS FLASH.
Looking...for...a segue. What is in the news? Guess who they just had on Hannity last night?
MEGAN: A pirate?
MOE: This guy. I don't really know how to describe his worldview, except to say, "I'm really glad Fox gives equal time to all irrational, inexplicable and yet also hateful viewpoints such as
MEGAN: Oh, Christ, I watched his shit last week. Obama's a pimp? He's got a white mama and is thus is... evil. He's practically preaching like the evils of interracial relationships only from the other side of it. Wright's a total moderate by comparison.
OMG, my favorite headline this morning just popped up! "Dempsey to become Central Command chief"
Sadly, it's not Patrick.
MOE: hahaha I guess we should talk about the Iraq today.
It seems to be in the news.
And we never officially celebrated the fifth anniversary of the invasion.
Also under stuff we never did: get oil?
It looks like the evildoers control the oil territories.
MEGAN: Ah, well, than I guess suddenly the reason we're still there is now clear. Fuck "stopping" a civil war, we just need to wrest control of the taps from whomever hates us and has control.
MOE: Speaking of do you ever think about the Middle East when you are squeezing your pores? Because I actually wrote about how I do that yesterday, and now I am referencing it again, and I bet if I consulted my Facebook Horoscope "Intellect" rating it would be 3% right now, and that is exactly where I will probably click next. But maybe in the name of defying Astrological Determinism I should read about Basra.
Oh fuck, haha, speaking of my diagnosed case of ADD, I meant to make this about Bob Casey endorsing Obama.
MEGAN: I did read that! I don't squeeze my pores, I use one of those Tweezerman things I showed you and I usually do it to relax and focus, yes. But I'm not normally focusing on the Middle East.
Oh, Bob Casey.
MOE: And also, have some sort of conversation that I am going to sound soooooo credible having right now re the fact that Obama is smarter and better informed on pretty much every issue than John McCain and that could make for an amazing campaign.
MEGAN: Does anyone actually question whether Obama is smart, or smarter than McCain? McCain's never been known as a hyperintellectual Senator, just one with good staff.
Also, Bob Casey is totally an Obamublican, even though he's a Democrat. Congrats, Pennsylvania, on electing an anti-choice Democrat to office. No worries about Supreme Court picks or abortion politics there!
MOE: I think McCain is smart. He's just the "talker" kind of smart. He is that guy who will date you on the basis of the fact that you get his jokes and then six months will pass and he will have this weird moment where he starts actually listening to you and goes, "Huh. You kind of have a point there, kid!"
I didn't know that Iraq had finally returned to its prewar level of oil production, to return the subject to my pores.
MEGAN: I totally did a Body Shop tea tree oil mask last night to cut my oil production.
MOE: Who bought oil from Saddam Hussein prewar? Anyway, whatever you know, when capitalism gives up on Iraq I think we know who's won.
"You'll see some limited initiatives to get a foothold in the country," said David Kirsch of PFC Energy, a Washington-based consulting firm. "What you are not going to see though, we estimate, in the next 10 years are the conditions that allow you to do the really significant type of investments that could let Iraq hit its geologic potential of six million barrels per day."
MEGAN: But President Bush told me yesterday that Iraq is negotiating its entry into the WTO, so everything will totes be okay.
MOE: Anyway, back to Obama for a second. Forgetting my own personal hard-on for the guy, he does an amazing thing when he is talking to capitalists, and that is he discusses economic policy in a way that doesn't even remotely sound like populist rhetoric. I doubt his interview with Maria Bartiromo will be sound-bitten anywhere or repurposed into campaign propaganda. He made her look like an idiot. He gave a little chuckle when she said, "But! Small business! They are WORRIED! That you're a SOCIALIST!" and he said something very telling about how they say they're worried when these surveys get taken because they're taken by local Chambers of commerce after said chambers of commerce hold luncheons and get them worried, systematically, every time there's a minimum wage increase on the table or whathaveyou, and how the sky never falls and they're losing their credibility. I wonder if he was referring to Chicago, where I vaguely recall some economic development project that demanded all employees get paid $10 an hour? Anyway, whatever. He sounded intelligent and sober and she sounded reflexive and ideological.
MEGAN: Oh, Christ, I ALSO love how everyones that thinks there should be more government intervention in the economy to prevent market failures is a Socialist right up until Wall Street wants the Fed to pony up a gazillion dollars to save their asses from the market failures of their own making.
Also, my only props to the Money Honey, having just seen her on TV on Sunday for the first time in a while, is that she seems to be Botox-less. You go, Maria. Be your insane market-will-solve-all hotness without knives or shots.
MOE: He also pointed out that he wasn't an ideologue. Anyway, not to babble on about this but an undecided reader saw him give a speech yesterday and wrote me an email complimenting me on "placing my bets" with him. Lol.
he gave a brief speech and then spent about an hour or so answering questions from the audience. a lot of the questions had to do with his campaign. he was very forthcoming about the past and future challenges of his candidacy, concerns that he wouldnt be able to get the necessary funding or establishment support, that he was too white or (more recently) too black, too professorial or too rhetorical, etc., etc. he acknowledged that the main challenge in the general election will be overcoming concerns whether he has the right temperament to lead the nation in a time of crisis. he conceded that a lot of people will be taking a leap of faith to put a first-term african-american senator with a name like barack hussein obama into the white house at a time like this. he got into specifics on a couple of items, e.g., energy, funding for veterans, general economic malaise, phased (and responsible) withdrawal from iraq (with which i tend to disagree), the need to engage iran (with apt comparisons to jfk-krushchev, reagan-gorby, etc.). the thing is this: there's all this meta-stuff about his campaign that a guy like me can get caught up in, but when it comes down to it, the fact is that he is a convincing candidate.
Sigh. "Convincing." But still. Yeah, I didn't catch Maria on Meet The Press but my sister said she was good. I suppose I should clip this sort of thing but I have no New Economy type technologytype skills. Although: I was a very good Starbucks barista and I have fallen back on that before.
That's what the Bosnia story was about. Her fictions about dodging bullets on the tarmac — and we have to hope they were lies, because if they weren't, if she thought what she was saying was true, we are in worse trouble than we thought — either confirmed what you already knew (she lies as a matter of strategy, or, as William Safire said in 1996, by nature) or revealed in an unforgettable way (videotape! Smiling girl in pigtails offering flowers!) what you feared (that she lies more than is humanly usual, even politically usual).
MEGAN: I mean, he doesn't say how many we'll lose first, but, you know, details.
Well, I mean, who doesn't lie politically except for pathological liars? Everyone lies for reasons of politics and to make themselves look better. People in glass houses, Peggy. I'll bet you've lied about stuff. I regularly tell people I'm 5'4" when I'm really only 5'3.75"
MOE: Meh, I think the "You have to lie and be Machiavellian and speak in poll-tested half-truths and appeal to statistically-proven demographic subniches to get anything done in this terrible cynical political world" is a total cop-out. That said, I regularly lie about certain things, I am sure. Like I think I say that I am 5'7 even though I am probably just 5'6.5 because everyone lies about their height. Which reminds me of that thing about the North Koreans and how they're not tall enough.
MEGAN: I dunno, all candidates talk like that. Obama probably talks like that. Bush promised no more wars to prevent other countries civil wars and no more nation-building. The problem is that most Americans don't want to hear the truth, they want to hear what they want the truth to be.
MOE: No, you know what? I think that's the thing. I do think that this country has gotten to the point where they're like, "NO. Just give me the diagnosis. Tell me. Don't fuck around." And Obama is the guy who's like "hard work and positive thinking and some surgery to remove malignant tumors here and there and we just might beat this thing" and McCain is like "grit your teeth and give me all the radiation I can take cause I can TAKE IT! I owe it to my buddies!" Oh god, it's 9:44 and we still haven't discussed Bob Casey.
MEGAN: Bob Casey endorsed Obama. He's not charismatic or particularly popular.
But he is a superdelegate, which Obama needs and Clinton needs to keep him from getting.
MOE: Bob Casey is a pro-life Catholic who unseated Rick Santorum by a beautiful 20 point margin in which I am pleased to report I was part. Bob Casey is not someone with the clout or the machine of someone like an Ed Rendell or even a Mike Nutter, but he is someone with a different kind of influence because of that. Can you think of another openly pro-life Obama supporter? I think that goes over big with a lot of Pennsylvanians. Apparently the state is 30% catholic. I'm actually surprised that's not higher. Related: why does it seem like everyone is from Pennsylvania originally? Not just SarahMC.
MEGAN: It's the 6th most populous state, and yet the economy isn't that great so people go elsewhere?
MOE: Whoa, Condi addressed the fact that she is black? WTF.
MEGAN: Wow, and she didn't even crap on affirmative action.