Welcome back kids! How was el fin de semana? Because it sure sucked for a lot of our overseas amigos! A devastating earthquake on the scale of an earthquake that killed a quarter million people in 1976 just rocked China's Sichuan province; Burma's totalitarian military junta decided to grant itself unlimited totalitarian power and all the donated rice; no one can really protest the junta since they are mostly all dead and/or starving to death anyway; hopefully Jenna Bush did the sensitive thing and refrained from throwing rice at her wedding; two John McCain advisers did the sensitive thing and stepped down when it turned out they'd actually taken three hundred grand from the junta for PR services. Bob Barr and Ron Paul both launched separate attempts to do what voters are already doing anyway and sink McCain's campaign; Michelle Obama is nixin Hillary as a running mate (according to Bob Novak?!) and speaking of Nixon, there's a new book on him and the white voters who elected him and we read all about it sorta. All that and a Vito Fossella primer ATJ.
MOE: Okay I cannot tell you how much I read and forgot last night while trying to get to sleep. And then a fucking earthquake came and toppled a thousand cell phone towers and trapped 900 high school students in school and if it's anything like the 1976 earthquake of a slightly lower Richter 240,000 people stand to die.
MOE: Did you also read how in Burma they are counting the survivors because it's easier than counting the dead? I guess the death toll there is supposed to reach 100,000...
MOE: But the Most Emailed story is this thought provoking Tom Friedman column.
MEGAN: That was last week, before the military decided that all the food was for them. So, I think we can safely assume that the total survival rate will be about equal to the members of the junta, the military and their families, since apparently everyone else is just supposed to die quietly and let the soldiers dump their bloated bodies in waterways so no one knows.
MEGAN: Fucking Tom Friedman.
That restriction has angered local government officials like Tin Win who are trying to help rebuild the lives of villagers. He twitched with rage as he described the rice the military gave him.
"They gave us four bags," he said. "The rice is rotten — even the pigs and dogs wouldn't eat it."
He said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had delivered good rice to the local military leaders last week but they kept it for themselves and distributed the waterlogged, musty rice. "I'm very angry," he said, adding an expletive to describe the military.
MEGAN: Can we just assume that he called them "fuckers"? Because I would.
MOE: Remember how that guy you interviewed called it an "Orwellian nightmare that makes China look like Scarsdale by comparison" or whatever?
MEGAN: Yup. That guy totally knew what he was talking about...
"The government told us that school must reopen June 1, if you have a schoolhouse or not," Myint Oo told his visitor. "'Teach under a tree if you have to,' they said."
When he began describing the devastation to the school and village, a portly man in a white T-shirt who also seemed to hold a position of power interrupted.
"Don't tell these foreigners anything," the man said.
Myint Oo replied that he wanted to talk to the visitors in the hope that they could help rebuild the village.
"They will send the facts to the world and show the weakness of the Myanmar government," said the man in the white shirt.
So...safe to say the referendum was good for the junta?
MEGAN: Yes, I believe the junta won, the people of Burma totally love them. Obviously.
MOE: They're very patriotic.
MEGAN: And, as we've learned here in America, being patriotic means never questioning you government leaders.
MOE: Well, since the Nixon era made politics about Stuff That Isn't Actually Politics anyway right?
MOE: Here's Rick Perlstein's brief blog answer to George Will's (actually somewhat positive) review of his book.
MEGAN: Spencer keeps harping about that book on his blog.
MOE: ANYWAY, so yeah, I read that whole review about how Richard Nixon's resentment of the popular kids at college moved him to split the nation into two factions, "values voters and other conservatives who are infuriated by the disdain of amoral elites conservatives consider a 'Toryhood of change'" and "Hofstadterian liberals who feel threatened by these nincompoops who have been made paranoid by their status anxieties." Good work eh?
MOE: Yeah the topic seems seems up his line of attackerman.
MEGAN: Yay Nixon! Also, he went to China. And hippies were probably really annoying by the time he took office.
MOE: Oh my god he wrote a punk-rock love note to his wife at the end?
MEGAN: In the comments, Rick says it was jazz, not punk rock.
MOE: My favorite part was from a TIME magazine story on the boomers:
"This is not just a new generation, but a new kind of generation...In the omphalocentric process of self-construction and discovery," today's youth "stalks love like a wary hunter, but has no time or target — not even the mellowing Communists — for hate."
MEGAN: Either way, I will admit, it's just another long nonfiction book I will never read because I have 1,000 great works of literature to get to first, including the end of Crime and Punishment and Lady Chatterly's Lover and Tropic of Cancer.
MEGAN: Yes, I'm a little ADD about literature.
MOE: Well then there's something George Will and Rick Perlstein can agree on; jazz over hippie music; boomers are annoying. Oh, and I bet also: that Hillary should drop out now that everyone agrees she's showed more putrid cynicism than Nixon and we haven't even seen the convention much less the nomination? BC Peggy Noonan and Bob Herbert think so and they're both boomers.
MOE: And yeah re literature I'm too ADD to really read anything, but we already knew that. Although I totally read an excerpt of Lady Chatterly's Lover on Nerve one time I think.
MOE: And everyone is sick of living in Nixonland.
MEGAN: Peggy was on Morning Joe last week and I liked her. Granted, at the time, my uterus was trying to forcibly escape my body and apparently nothing but hormones raging against the dying of the light could stop it, so I might've been emotional, but she sounded really smart and thoughtful and part of me went, oh, gosh, if only Maureen Dowd could sound like that.
MEGAN: And then I warmed up my hotpack and forgot to read the column, so thanks for the link.
MEGAN: But there is good news here, too! Bob Barr is going to play Nader to McCain's Al Gore! He doesn't care who wins because McCain isn't a real conservative!
MEGAN: Run, Bob, run! I'll give him money! Maybe he can talk about how his conservative ideals led him on a crusade during his tenure in Congress to spend extra tax dollars to name something in every state after Ronald Reagan!
MEGAN: Maybe he can talk about how he held the Metro system's budget hostage until they agreed to spend more than a million dollars to change all the signage in the system to reflect the full name of National Airport.
MEGAN: But to guarantee his ability to fuck over the Republican Party and my ability to have something interesting to write about, I would totally make my first political donation to him.
MOE: No Peggy is totes the weird answer to Maureen Dowd. Her prose is kind of hilarious, like the way she seems to go inside a dark room and close her eyes and meditate and return with a Very. Melodramatic. Assessment. Of the feelings and attitudes governing the political awareness of the American populace. I should have Maria do a Best Of Peggy I think. And does McCain really need Bob Barr undermining his campaign when he's got RON PAUL undermining it already?
MEGAN: Scroll down, by the way, for the picture of them standing in front of the Eiffel Tower with a Ron Paul sign. Crazy ass motherfuckers.
MOE: Also: didn't two McCain advisers just step down after admitting to representing the Burmese junta? (That might lose Laura Bush's vote.) McCain is kind of a lousy subject right now.
MOE: Here we go.
Doug Davenport, the regional campaign manager for the mid-Atlantic states, founded the DCI Group's lobbying practice and oversaw the contract with Myanmar in 2002.
"Doug has tendered his resignation and we have accepted it," Jill Hazelbaker, McCain's communications director, wrote in a e-mail.
He joins former DCI Group CEO Doug Goodyear, who resigned yesterday from the post of convention CEO after Newsweek reported that DCI was paid more than $300,000 to represent Myanmar's ruling junta.
MEGAN: Yeah, the did. It's interesting because I went to search FARA for their names on Saturday (me=nerd) and Burma/Myanmar isn't actually an option in the pull-down list of countries for which people are registered to represent.
MOE: Was Davenport the one who wanted to leave anyway if Obama got the nom?
MOE: Hahaha weird!? Is North Korea on there? What about Syria and Sudan?
MEGAN: Every time I hear the name Davenport, I think of my grandma's couch.
MOE: So did you and Spencer discuss "whitegate" last week? I didn't read the site because I was kind of...sick.
MEGAN: North Korea (ROK), Sudan and Syria are all options.
MOE: North Korea is the DPRK
MOE: The ROK is South Korea
MOE: What the fuck did those guys even do for the junta?
MOE: Oh no Mark McKinnon is the one who's quitting if — and only if! — Obama is the nominee.
MEGAN: Fuck, I always mix that up. DPRK is there, too.
MEGAN: DCI was leading their charm campaign trying to get us to open a dialogue with them without them having to, you know, change anything about their regime or the way they abuse their own people. Kind of like Nixon did with China.
MOE: Dude, I can't believe it took me till now to make the link between Nixonland and big Obama supporter Julie Nixon Eisenhower. Who was a big supporter of talking to China, as was I, incidentally, because at the end of the day people are better off in China today than they were during the cultural revolution. But can we discuss for a moment Bob Novak's bunch of "close-in" Obama supporters — whatever that means — telling him Michelle has vetoed Hillary as a running mate?
MEGAN: Never mind, apparently even though our government doesn't officially recognize the name Myanmar, you can register to represent it, so here's DCI's registration
The Democratic front-runner's wife did not comment on other rival candidates for the party's nomination, but she has been sniping at Clinton since last summer. According to Obama sources, those public utterances do not reveal the extent of her hostility.
Jesus Christ, her fury towards the white Americans knows no bounds does it.
MEGAN: Only in Washington would there be someone to whom Michelle would confide and who would know Bob Novak well enough to break that confidence.
MOE: I bet it's the same gentle soul who told Chris Hitchens she was the radical separatist who told Jeremiah Wright about that AIDS conspiracy!
MOE: So you know what we haven't discussed?!
MOE: TEH WEDDING
MEGAN: I'm gonna guess that Michelle is a fiercely loyal person and she's taking Hillary's negative campaigning harder than her husband because that's what fiercely loyal people do. They get madder for you than you get for yourself. I should know, I threatened to beat a girl up this year who was being cruel to my ex.
MEGAN: Because we hate weddings? Or is that just me?
MOE: Yeah I have entirely outsourced my "getting mad" duties to my more rage-filled loyal friends. I'm lucky that way I guess. And oh fuck you know what else?
MOE: I totally read ALL ABOUT MOKTADA AL-SADR
MOE: over the weekend.
MOE: It confused me though.
MEGAN: What part of it confused you?
MOE: Or Vito Fossella? Who is supposedly planning his reelection campaign already! My these stories are starting to all run together!
MEGAN: Why did he not use a condom? How did he support the love child?
MOE: Here's the thing too. I haven't been paying close enough attention:
A procedural hearing on Fossella's drunken-driving arrest - which ultimately exposed his double life - is slated for a Virginia courtroom Monday.
How did the DUI "ultimately expose his double life"? Especially if it happened in Virginia where he doesn't even have an address?
MEGAN: Ah, that's the brilliant thing! When he got pulled over for running a red light drunk, his excuse was that he was on his way to a friend's house, after which he admitted he was going to see his sick kid.
MEGAN: Only his official kids were in NY with his wife. And, OMG, they've been having an affair since at least 2003? Five years? Dude, what the fuck. Even Kennedy got a divorce.
MOE: Even Prince Charles got a divorce! Dude did we learn anything over the weekend about this minister who officiated the Jenna wedding?
MEGAN: He's an Obama supporter who also does weddings?