MOE: Okay hi sorry I know I'm terrible. I needed to get coffee and then my computer wouldn't start. Is that you texting me again? MEGAN: Yes, that was me asking if you were invisible or if it was my computer screwing up and needing to restart. Anna introduced me to this thing this morning, this thing you can do in New York where they DELIVER coffee to you. A man came to her door and gave us lattes. God bless America. MOE: In any case my computer not working gave me ample time to read the Times on paper and um holy shit Martin Sobell ?! and obviously we need to talk Palin-Gibson but can we first discuss this guy who died this week. Also funny, Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs in the same paper. As pictures of people crying at September 11 ceremonies. Lucian Pye also died, I believe he was a friend of my father's. But yeah Martin K. Tytell, 94, typewriter wizard, the world will miss you. He made a hieroglyphics typewriter for a museum curator. Oh look, he grew up in the LES! And yeah the coffee delivery plan was floated here as well but I think the only place that delivers coffee around is diners and diner coffee actually always manages to make me more tired somehow. MEGAN: I have to say, this was an awesome line for any obituary:
An error he made on a Burmese typewriter, inserting a character upside down, became a standard, even in Burma.MOE: So instead I went to Starbucks and got their little Good Magazine pamphlet on carbon emissions. MEGAN: Ah, carbon emissions. Plant more trees! Also, did you know the wackiest carbon emissions reduction plan ever? Injecting it into the holes we leave when we suck all the oil out of somewhere. Also, potentially carbonating the ocean. MEGAN: So, Sarah Palin: hawkist, or hawk-est? MOE: Can we talk for a minute about the wackiest reason ever for getting rid of a prime minister? What, did he give the studio audience salmonella poisoning? Is there Youtube footage of this? I don't want to sound uh gratuitously Eurocentric here, but just reading about Thai political events over the past few years has been confusing. In my defense, a political scientist quoted in Mydan's news analysis today calls it "a very weird situation" where "a reactionary movement is mobilizing people by using conservative ideology mixed with leftist language." Although you probably could describe Mitt Romney's RNC speech the same way. MEGAN: I think getting rid of a head of state for taking an illegal payment is slightly less wacky that trying to get rid of one for lying about getting a blow job or 10, but that might just be me. But, yes, Thai politics are a bit confusing right now. I mean, I think they went from being a really poor country to being a relatively wealthy one fairly quickly, then there was the Asian financial crisis, major reforms, they got wealthy again but, as in every country that gets rich quick (see: Russia) there evolved rather quickly a bunch of oligarchs that sought to consolidate political and economic power. Plus then you get the whole struggle with former ideals and ideology, the struggle among various elites to get power (see: last year's coup) and mix it all up with a PM no one wanted to replace the one everyone voted for but the military deposed and add in a little illegal payment that looks like graft in the midst of a growing political crisis and you have: Thai politics. Not as tasty as Thai iced tea, but close. MOE: Yeah but I think there is a difference between taking payments from like, some shadowy corporate interests with designs on controlling the Thai water supply or some shit and TAKING HARD EARNED MONEY FOR APPEARING ON A COOKING SHOW. I don't even watch cooking shows, but my parents are hugely into the Food Network and dude that is some stressful ass shit. And yeah Thailand never got that rich to begin with, it was never a "tiger" or anything although I believe that's the name of their beer, and its financial crisis was more of a currency crisis. You also have the matter of them never being colonized, and the sex industry, and I think a fair amount of anti-Cambodian nationalism. MEGAN: Well, no one is as rich as us, but it is, I believe, the wealthiest nation in SE Asia that isn't Singapore. MOE: Nah pretty sure Malaysia's better off? They def have a more diversified economy. MEGAN: But Paul Newman hates them and their palm oil-y ways... MOE: And a more autocratic government imbued in "Asian Values" ANYHOW, I mean, I was there for the financial crisis thing, which thank god was not like the Russian situation, namely because the Asian countries planned their economies a lot better than the Soviets. MEGAN: Malaysia has a larger per capita GDP, but Thailand has almost twice the GDP of Malaysia. And a lower unemployment rate. MOE: Dude. You are being annoying now. Fine! Go to Thailland! Find easy unemployment AS A WHORE if you want! MEGAN: Anyway, the SE Asian financial crisis was also better because they didn't have a former employer of mine illegally helping the mob move millions of dollars in hard currency offshore in the middle of it like Russia did. MOE: Also, your argument — fine, Malaysians are way better off, but Thailand has the bigger economy ON THE WHOLE and OOH OOOOH a lower unemployment rate because people are willing to work for 50 cents an hour or whatever — that is one of those retarded Republican talking points that makes no sense. MEGAN: Actually, when you're referring to the overall wealth of a country, I think it's an important point, and especially since I just pointed out several points ago that there is a large consolidation of wealth in the hands of a few leading to the current political crisis, I hardly think you can call me retarded or Republican. MOE: But we have to go back to Palin now. I think I understand their strategy with her. It's like, "Hey, while we're resurrecting thoroughly discredited ideas and unfounded arguments over here, why not bring back the singlemost pointlessly destructive of the past eight years, just see if we can polish off that old TURD? So to speak???" MEGAN: So, can we now stop talking about how important foreign policy experience is in a national candidate? God, I crack myself up. Between that line and her complete lack of any knowledge of what the Bush Doctrine is — you know, the single most important foreign policy reversal of this Administration and of the last 50 years in which Bush reversed every single President that preceded him in the nuclear age and reserved the right to pre-emptively hit another country with nuclear fucking weapons — I was like, wow, what did she think they were going to talk about? Also, I love that McCain this week was all like, Obama is unsafe for America because he'll go after terrorists in Pakistan! And then Bush signs an order authorizing it and Palin agrees with Obama and I sort of drunkenly munched my doughnut and laughed at the TV while watching it last night. MOE: Dude DIDN'T THAT TAKE SOME HUBRIS? I want that on a shirt, fuck. Charlie Gibson I love you. I wonder if she knows the meaning of the word? MEGAN: She seemed to, since that was a question she actually managed to answer, sort of. More so than the Bush doctrine one, anyway. MOE: Jesus Christ can we stop using words like "fret" already? I'm not fretting. MEGAN: I don't even play guitar! MOE: You know what is interesting, reading this interview? I feel like I sometimes err on the side of chalking up most Republican gaffes and idiocy re foreign policy to a kind of purposeful vagueness that buys them the license to invade whatever they want. But it should not be so hard to brief Sarah Palin. How could she come off so blindsided? How difficult is it, really, to grasp basic foreign policy? Why are so few politicians capable of giving a more accurate assessment in a television interview than i could? And I think to be honest, maybe it is tough for Sarah Palin to grasp. Maybe she just doesn't absorb information about Sunnis and Shiites and Iran and Pakistan the way, you know, Barack Obama would. It isn't that hard! And yet, it's not like this shit gets taught in our schools, and that probably includes the communications curriculum at all six of Sarah Palin's colleges. MEGAN: My concern, though, is that it makes her just enough of a "regular" American that it'll make regular Americans want to have a beer with her and mock us elitist Americans' obsession with little things like the Bush doctrine and how starting an actual war with Russia might be bad. And that's sort of what got George Bush elected. Twice.