Fifty thousand people are dead or close to it in Burma, and Barack Obama can state unequivocally that he does not drink designer beer. Seventy five percent of American adults will at some point be impoverished. The average American car owner really must save $30 this summer. Chris Hitchens believes Barack Obama may be pussy-whipped. Ellen Page believes Burmese dictator Than Shwe is a modern Hitler. And when tomorrow comes, Terry McAuliffe believes everyone will be saying that Hillary Clinton did better than they thought she was going to do in both the North Carolina and Indiana primaries tonight. Now there's a statement Glamocracy Megan and I can get behind! After the jump, an unusually hip-hop laden edition of Crappy Hour.
MOE: So I just had a thought. A strategist on Fox News used the word "fulcrum" and it completely tripped up the blonde, who was like, "I'm still fascinated by that word you used Rich, fulcrum." And then the other guy was like, "Yeah, fulcrum what the heck does that mean?" And the strategist laughed
MOE: And said, "It's physics, Bob, it has to do with the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum."
MOE: Which is not a law I particularly remember but it gave me this theory: I think that smart people become Republicans to feel smarter than all their friends.
MEGAN: Whoa, he even quoted that? I think today is a Big Word day because David Axelrod just used the word "potentate" on MSNBC talking about leaders in the Middle East and OPEC.
MEGAN: Okay, and now Joe Scarborough just called Tim Daly the Grand Poobah of the Creative Coalition.
MOE: What does that even mean?
MEGAN: Not that it's a definitive source, but Wiki says
Grand Poobah is a term derived from the name of the haughty character Pooh-Bah in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. In this comic opera, Pooh-Bah holds numerous exalted offices, including Lord Chief Justice, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Master of the Buckhounds, Lord High Auditor, Groom of the Back Stairs, and Lord High Everything Else. The name has come to be used as a mocking title for someone self-important or high-ranking and who either exhibits an inflated self-regard, who acts in several capacities at once, or who has limited authority while taking impressive titles.
Man, now I'm kind of mad. Tim Daly seems really nice.
MOE: Hahaha so it's a more appropriate name for an MC than I knew when I began immediately associating it with this awesome party jam...
MEGAN: Dude, that guy on the TV sorta looks like Kid from Kid N Play...
MOE: Oh dude speaking of amazing segues, apparently Grand Puba holds Nation Of Islam beliefs. Which brings me to Michelle Obama, of whom we now know the same thing thanks to the Grand Puba of paranoid indiscriminate hateration. We should totally form a Hitchens-inspired hip-hop collective. I know some rappers who would dig it. We would get on Stuffwhitepeoplelike IMMEDIATELY.
MEGAN: Oh, Christ, Hitchens takes so fucking long to get to the point, which is him calling Barack, basically, pussy-whipped. Which, obviously, any man that doesn't indiscriminately cheat on his long-suffering wife the way Hitchens does obviously is.
MEGAN: Did I ever mention that I once watched Hitchens leave a party with a really pretty 18 year old? She might've been 20. She had some crazy hero-worship in her eyes, but I'll bet he sweatily fucked that out of her with his stale cigarette smell and tiny British ween.
MOE: Man I was checking TheRoot for some response to the Hitch and the lead story is on "Why The Summer Of '88 Was My Generation's Greatest." The late eighties were so rad in a lot of ways, I'm just remembering. The End of History and the like. But it was also, like, one of the bleakest eras for American cities, which I kind of think represent the future of American pluralism, which apparently Michelle Obama didn't believe in in 1985, which is why we are now wondering if she isn't a radical bitterfascist.
MOE: And that is a very good read on the situation. I was honestly disgusted he chose to go after her fucking college thesis which is basically about how alienated and inferior she felt on account of all the elitist assholes at Princeton.
MOE: And he writes:
To describe it as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be "read" at all, in the strict sense of the verb. This is because it wasn't written in any known language.
MOE: Which is true of most academic papers.
MEGAN: Man, I sort of wish I could've written about that for my college thesis. I had to write about the role of ideology in determining women's status in the labor market in Germany before and after reunification.
MOE: But not even of hers.
MOE: I dropped out, yay. I don't think I wrote a decent paper ever in my life after my treatise on the collapse of the Weimar Republic in tenth grade. After that it was all an alcohol haze. I wrote some good stories for the Journal that were better researched than any of my papers, however.
MEGAN: I picked a graduate school based on where I didn't have to write another thesis, which is why I ended up chucking my completed SAIS application in the garbage rather than sending it.
MOE: : This was Christian's take on Hitchens which sort of nicely unpeels the layers of disingenuousness:
What he's really saying is, I, the Hitch, know that people must necessarily allow contradictions into their lives, especially politicians, who typically do so cynically, but I am cynical enough myself to pretend that I don't know that, and so I can write a column that honestly admits that Obama really has nothing in common with his Reverend (did I mention that I, the Hitch, hate all churchees—I know politicians are only pandering to them, but it's fun to pretend they're not) but that his wife is a menace.
7:14 PM asserts that his wife is a menace anyway.
MOE: That was helpful, because I read that shit and thought, "Meh, Hitchens = hater." Which is also a fair conclusion, but not as convincing to the newer Hitchophiles drawn in by his forays into makeover journalism.
MEGAN: Also, I am not going to click that again because it is more than I can handle imagining Hitch having his taint waxed AND NOW I HAVE IMAGINED IT AGAIN and I think I might hate you a little, give me a second to wash the taste of bile out of my mouth and then let's change the subject.
MEGAN: Here, let's talk about Clinton saying that OPEC can no long be allowed to exist so she's going to file a WTO complaint even though, like, she's not so keen on free trade policies or something and I'm pretty sure there's no way it would succeed.
MOE: Ah, yeah so there is a bill to amend the Sherman Act to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal.
MOE: God, remember the fucking Sherman Act?
MEGAN: Which means, what? That we won't buy oil from OPEC anymore? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
MOE: Well, if the Heritage Foundation and major trade unions can agree on something...
Indeed, the only serious challenge to the organization came in 1978 when a U.S. non-profit labor association, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), sued OPEC under the Sherman Antitrust Act, in IAM v. OPEC. But the case was rejected in 1981 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. OPEC, the court affirmed, could not be prosecuted under the Sherman Act due to the foreign sovereign immunity protection it claimed for its member states. That decision was wrong. Government-owned companies that engage in purely business activities do not warrant sovereign immunity protection according to prevailing legal doctrines
MEGAN: Ok, well, then that begs the question of why the Supreme Court didn't overturn the 9th Circuit ruling.
MOE: Okay honestly this is kind of fascinating. What did the union sue OPEC over? It's interesting that basically anyone who works for the aerospace industry, especially in a publicly traded company, puts his or her livelihood in large part at the mercy of oil prices.
MEGAN: Why did the UAW back the 2001 Bush steel tariffs that were so detrimental to the auto industry? Why does the longshoreman's union oppose free trade when their entire livelihood is based on trade? I don't try to figure out union motives based on logic.
MOE: Apparently the effort was led by William "Wimpy" Wimpsinger. I like that he took that "wimp thing" and sort of owned it. Do you think Hitchens cynically wants the Clintons back because it makes his job easier?
I have the distinct feeling that the Obama campaign can't go on much longer without an answer to the question: "Are we getting two for one?" And don't be giving me any grief about asking this. Black Americans used to think that the Clinton twosome was their best friend, too. This time we should find out before it's too late to ask.
And by "find out" he means "not find out and elect my bestie Hillary because I already have 16 years worth of material ideally suited to the venomous erudickhead voice that keeps the kids reading Slate."
MEGAN: Wait, so white man Christopher Hitchens would like Black America to know that the Obamas will... what exactly? Betray them like the Clintons? I think this is why I only read stuff he writes about him waxing his back, sack and crack.
MOE: Oh man hip-hop reference segue time #2 of the morning. Let's give a shout-out to Khia. Dude, the Hitchens inspired DJ collective is a total gold idea. I know these dudes Plastic Little who could get into it. They're biracial like Obama. But I think we've gotta address the notion of Burma, and how this cyclone hit just as Hollywood celebs were getting in on the action.
MEGAN: So, am I right that the appropriately white guilty thing to do is not talk about the oppressive government for a bit?
MOE: Here's the latest "That's So Jane's!" on the matter, God I love this graphic...Apparently you likened Burma to Katie Holmes.
MEGAN: Oppression shows its face in all kinds of dark ways.
It's an Orwellian nightmare that makes China look like a liberal paradise by comparison. For twenty years there has been nothing on this scale and when protests have been staged they have been in the order of hundreds and have been easily dealt with. The monks posed a huge dilemma for the military since they initially felt that they could not simply resort to smashing skulls and opening fire indiscriminately. Buddhists believe that what you do in this life will determine how you come back next time. So massacring a few monks is more likely to see you come back as a cockroach than achieving nirvana.
China looks like a liberal paradise in comparison to a lot of the world, sadly. But did they turn out to not believe in reincarnation? Because 22,000 people are either about to be reborn, or...
MEGAN: Well, but they'll be born in China or India more often than not, so it's like they get reborn into a less oppressive regime?
MOE: Okay here's another thing. The last sentence of that Times story.
If you talk to Vaclav Havel, he'll say that Lou Reed's support for human rights in Czechoslovakia was very important to the cause."
Lou Reed? Really?
MEGAN: Um, I guess the cool factor is really important?
MEGAN: But neither Ellen Page or Jim Carrey is Lou Reed.
MOE: Okay so there's a primary tonight and I'm sick of primary nights but I suppose we ought to address it. Hillary Clinton will win in Indiana because she's "not going to put my lot in with economists." Obama will win North Carolina because Petey Pablo is from there. Oh man, hip-hop foray part III. Do you remember when Petey Pablo did that remix of "North Carolina" on the USA after 9/11? I'm sure you won't, but some commenter might. I think he also went to Afghanistan. Okay. Any predictions?
MOE: Terry McAuliffe is on Fox right now. His prediction is that "people will be saying she did better in both states than they thought she would." Jesus Christ.
MEGAN: I predict me and a lovely bottle of Petite Sirah will be blogging it tonight for Glamocracy. And that I hate being wrong so I don't make predictions but it does seem like the polls are saying that Hillary will take Indiana and Obama will take NC.
MEGAN: Whoa, talk about managing expectations there, Terry Boy. I didn't think the polls in Indiana were that close, plus she's been standing in pickup trucks! Pickup trucks are like electoral gold in Indiana.
MOE: I'm going to leave us with a passage from David Brooks, because I found it calming, sort of like certain candidates.
This wasn't just shameless spin, it was shamelessness with a purpose. Clinton signaled that she wasn't going to concede even an inch to the vast elitist conspiracy. She wasn't going to feel guilty about ignoring the evidence. She was going to stomp on it, flay it and leave it a twisted mass of jelly quivering on the ground. She was going to perform the primordial duty of an alpha dog leader — helping one's own....But, as Sunday's contrast made clear, Obama still seems like a human being. He still seems to return each night to some zone of normalcy where personal reflection lives.He wasn't fully candid when answering questions about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but there are some inner guardrails that prevent the spin from drifting too far from the truth. Thoughtful and conversational, he doesn't seem to possess the trait that Clinton has: automatically assuming that critics are always wrong. Obama still possesses his talent for homeostasis, the ability to return to emotional balance and calm, even amid hysteria.
MEGAN: Yeah, that almost calms me enough to have a nap.