It's a strange week when some of the more insightful political commentary on energy policy and the benefits of bipartisan compromise come from Paris Hilton, but such are the times in which we live, people. And so between John McCain suggesting that his wife dance on bartops, 50-Cent not getting political about Iraq and Afghanistan, and George Bush fooling himself about his own Iraq plans, it's a day when lesser bloggers than myself and Spencer Ackerman would probably throw in the towel. But we don't; in fact, we get into all that plus the dudely perspective on Cindy McCain's husband's offer, the anniversary of the intelligence assessment that predicted September 11th but was ignored, Rihanna's potential as a Vice President and the whole of her musical canon. Come, turn the music up and join us after the jump!
MEGAN: Hey, I'd like a dudely take on the my wife is hot enough to dance for y'all naked thing McCain did at Sturgis. I asked a friend of mine — granted, a Republican with a sick sense of humor — and he was like, you're making a feminist mountain out of a dude-joke molehill but I'm assuming you would disagree? SPENCER:: Given that I recall IMing you repeatedly in spittle-flecked outrage over McCain's parking-lot pimping, why, yes, yes, I do. MEGAN: Well, it was hard for me to see the spittle on this end of the conversation... SPENCER: It's an issue of context. If McCain was, say, a biker and so was Cindy, and they showed up to Sturgis to participate — then fine, that's the culture, everyone's a willing participant. But think back to the playground. imagine your friend suddenly gets to hang out with the cool d00ds who picked on him — what he's always wanted, right — but the price is to insult or injure the one friend who always stood by him and he does it. that tells you everything you need to know about the asshole's character: there's no one he won't betray. McCain, in his desperation, decided to throw the woman who not only mothered his children but bankrolled his whole career under the Harley. MEGAN: Or under the leering gazes of thousands of men. Those are probably heavier than a Harley. SPENCER:: and here's the other thing about that. The cool kids? They don't respect you when you do that. What they're doing is seeing what they can make you do. It's not a test you pass. MEGAN: But wasn't McCain kind of always one of the cool dudes? Not that they don't betray everyone to remain cool, too. SPENCER: At this point, as Maureen Dowd quotes a Senate friend of McCain's as saying, not anymore:
"John's eaten up with envy," said one. "His image of himself was always the handsome, celebrity flyboy.
MEGAN: Getting old sucks, dude. SPENCER: i really want to quote some "Celebrity Skin" lyrics. MEGAN: Oh, go ahead, I actually love Hole. SPENCER: What must Cindy have felt when McCain said that? MEGAN: I mean, if anyone there didn't really know that it was a stripper/simulated sex acts contest and not a "beauty pageant," it was probably Cindy. I'd suggest the question to ask is what did she feel when she found out. And then I'd venture to guess that he told her (or one of his handlers did, or one of hers) that John didn't know what kind of contest it was and she accepted that. Because that's what you do. SPENCER:: YES BUT, Commenter JaneSays IM'd me yesterday and noted that Sam Stein at HuffPost reported what went on at that pageant days before McCain attended, so it's not like this wasn't out there MEGAN: Oh, no, certainly, I believe I said that I don't see how John McCain didn't know. But Cindy's been — by her own admission — a bit sheltered at times. I would assume she's spent virtually none of her life hanging out at bikers rallies and whatever. So she probably thought it was like Miss Cornstalk or whatever at the Iowa County Fair, not a "sluttiest girl of the week" award on Girls Gone Wild Island or something. SPENCER: But how does McCain not know? You know that campaigns relentlessly vet every venue for a candidate's appearance. Someone in McCain's entourage researched the whole thing and either told McCain what Miss Buffalo Chip was, or should have. MEGAN: I mean, in the picture I used yesterday, the T-shirt promoting the contest is clearly visible — and the chick with everything but her nipples showing doesn't make it look like no Miss America pageant, I agree. As I said, I'm in agreement that McCain knew. I'm assuming that Cindy didn't because I'd bet they keep her in the dark, and that when she found out they told her John didn't know and she bought it because you almost have to to be able to live. SPENCER: oh and SPEAKING of things that people were supposed to know, do you remember what happened 7 years ago today? MEGAN: 7 years ago today? No, I can't say that it rings any bells. Was it when Osama assassinated the head of the Northern Alliance as a pre-thank-you to the Taliban for protecting him after September 11th? Wonder what Uncle Pervy's excuse is... SPENCER: on this day, 7 years ago, CIA delivered to Bush the following assessment:
Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."
Happy August 6! WE WILL NEVER FORGET MEGAN: You mean, we'll never forget again. SPENCER: (Ahmed Shah Massoud was assassinated Sept 9, 2001, by two al-Qaeda operatives disguised as journalists.) MEGAN: Hey, a shot in the dark. I knew it was sometime almost 7 years ago. SPENCER:: speaking of shots in the dark, what did you think of Paris Hilton's response to McCain? MEGAN: I personally loved it, though I'll admit I saw it on Attackerman first, after which the entire world either emailed me personally or sent it to the tips line. I especially liked "I'll see you at the debates, bitches." Also, I was very impressed by her ability to parrot the policy talk without stumbling. Most politicians can't do that. SPENCER:: you have no idea how many liberal journobloggers are now having second thoughts about paris hilton. how is this whole "Celebrity" ad not a debacle for McCain? I also liked the idea of choosing Rihanna for her VP. MEGAN: I have to admit, I nerded out right there because I knew Rihanna was from the Caribbean and thus ineligible. (Yes, I bought her first single.) SPENCER: But her parents are American, right? Or is it not like McCain being born in Panama? dance parties at the Flophouse always feature the jay-z-included remix of "Umbrella". MEGAN: McCain was born on a U.S. military base in Panama and children born there were supposedly considered born on American soil. But Wikipedia says her parents weren't American, for what that's worth. SPENCER:: and now I'm feeling All Time Low's pop-punk cover. MEGAN: Honestly, I'm listening to Pon de Replay still. But we all know my musical taste is way lamer than yours. SPENCER: I didn't know she had other songs. MEGAN: Wait, really? Yeah, no, this was her first single. She's also got SOS, where she samples "Tainted Love". Yeah, I own that, too. I'll bet 50 Cent doesn't cry SOS in his new Iraqi video game, though. SPENCER: Ahhhh but it is more than just Iraq! watch Fif man a helicopter gunship and shoot at insurgents in the Afghan mountains. so this is a new Activision game, out in November, in which 50 Cent and G-Unit start killing people in Iraq & Afghanistan because a drug dealer named Kamal stole the box office receipts from a show of theirs in a "war-torn" country, according to the synopsis, which helpfully adds that the show was "sold out" in case you were wondering. MEGAN: Well, why wouldn't 50 and G-Unit sell out a show in a war-torn country? SPENCER: I, of course, will buy the game, but you have to wonder about 50's cash when he's willing to cross two different theaters of war for payback on a couple of grand. MEGAN: Revenge is it's own motivation, dude... SPENCER:: that new g-unit record has the only possible improvement on the "fuck the police" dis- - that being Lloyd Banks' now immortal "fuck the police/ with a HIV carrier/ no vaseline/ and a M-16". What's also striking about the game is that 50 crosses, as I said, two theaters of active U.S. combat and nowhere on the game's website is even the slightest hint of patriotic motivation. I respect 50's unwillingness to pander. MEGAN: He's unlike most politicians in that way, I guess. SPENCER: Right, well, Bush was asked about Maliki calling for withdrawal along the lines of Obama's Iraq policy, and here's what the president said:
"I talk to him all the time, and that's not what I heard," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post aboard Air Force One on the start of a trip to Asia. "I heard a man who wants to work with the United States to come up with a rational way to have the United States withdraw combat troops depending upon conditions on the ground, that's all."
Is it possible to pander to yourself? MEGAN: I think it's certainly possible to fool yourself. But just because you buy your own story doesn't mean everyone will.