Thursday, April 24, 2008

courting jenna bush

So Jenna Bush said on Larry King that she might not vote for John McCain. And you're thinking: so what? After seven years of basically making fun of the Bush girls for their teenage rebellious antics, their drinking, their partying, and their frenetic attempts to emulate Daddy-as-he-was rather than Daddy-as-he-is, why should we even care what Jenna Bush does or does not do?

And the answer is, of course, that we shouldn't. She's just one person. One Republican person. One very young, not particularly important or influential Republican person.

And yet...

She is also the daughter of the sitting GOP President, and she says she could consider voting against his GOP successor. Another GOP Presidential daughter, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, endorsed Barack Obama this week. What if anything does any of this mean?

Without any thought of making mountains from molehills, I do not mean to impart more importance to these statements than they ought to have. But it seems that something is amiss in the next generation of Republicans. Perhaps they are looking at the world that their parents have helped to shape and they do not like what they see. Perhaps they hear the siren call of Hope coming from the camp of Barack Obama and it entices them far more than the same old same old of John McCain. Perhaps anyone of dozens of things.

But like so many of her generation, Jenna Bush, the daughter of the President, does not seem to feel the need to perpetuate his policies. If she did, she would obviously support McCain, since he is on record as willing to continue most of them. And perhaps she will end up doing so. Clearly, though, she is hesitant.

I wish I could have been there when Laura and Jenna got home from the King show...


LAURA (entering): Is it too much to ask that you support him? That's all I'm saying.

JENNA (right behind her): As if Dad needs my support. He already has, like, 25% of the country behind him.

LAURA: You and your sister have had pretty darned good lives, young lady, and it's mostly been due to your father. I think you owe him.

JENNA: Right, Mom. I owe him. He's paying for the wedding. And I didn't say I wouldn't vote for McCain anyway. I said I've been too busy to think about politics.

LAURA: And I suppose you expect everyone to believe that.

JENNA: Why not? They believed Dad when he said he was a compassionate conservative.

LAURA: What's that supposed to mean?

JENNA: Let's just say I've seen him when the cameras aren't running. He's not so compassionate. And I don't think he's ever conserved a thing in his whole life.

LAURA: How dare you say things like that? After I just got through telling Larry King how upsetting it is to have those Democrats criticizing him, his own daughter---

GEORGE (entering): What about my daughter? Oh, there she is. Daddy's little girl. Heh heh heh.

JENNA: Not so little, Dad. (flashes ring) Getting married soon, remember?

GEORGE: I'll decide that. I'm the decider.

LAURA: It's a bit late, George.

GEORGE: I know. I'm joshing you. I'm the joshinator. So how was the King show? That little weasel do anything smarmy? Heh heh heh.

LAURA: Larry was a perfect gentleman as always, George. He just asked some questions and we talked about the election.

GEORGE: The election? He was politicating? I thought you wanted to talk about your book.

LAURA: Well, we just talked briefly about John McCain--

GEORGE: That old jackass. I have no idea how he ever got the nomination. But I guess we're stuck voting for him.

LAURA: Most of us are.

GEORGE: Whaddaya mean?

LAURA: Ask your daughter.

GEORGE: Jenna?

JENNA: Dad, I didn't say I wouldn't vote for him. I just--

GEORGE: You just didn't say you would.

JENNA: Right.

GEORGE: Do you know how the bloggers will play that? Huffington and Kos will have a freaking field day. Drudge is going to go nuts. Jenna won't vote for Dad's Party. I can see it now. Not that I blame you. If the best we can come up with is McCain.

LAURA: George, John is not that bad.

GEORGE: He's an old fart and you know it. If he hadn't been tortured in Viet Nam he would never have had a chance. (a thought occurs to him) Hey, you don't think I'm setting up those Al Kaydas to be President someday, do you? By waterboarding them and all?

LAURA: No, George. I don't think so.

GEORGE: Good. Because I wouldn't want that. That wouldn't be good. It would be bad.

JENNA: May I go now, Dad?

GEORGE: Wait one minute, young lady. Who are you going to vote for? Please don't say Obama.

JENNA (hesitates): I refuse to answer on the grounds that you might waterboard me.

LAURA: Obama? Oh, for crying out loud, Jenna! I thought Hillary, at least. I mean we can beat her.

JENNA: I said I don't know yet! But Obama's message is appealing. I like the idea of hope and stuff.

GEORGE: I have hope. I have lots of hope. I hope that my approval rating doesn't end up in single digits. I hope that history shows I was right about Iraq. I hope that no one ever finds any evidence that we colluded with the oil companies on prices. Not that we did that. We didn't. But I hope they don't ever find evidence. I hope that Cheney stays healthy because he's the only reason they haven't impeached me. I hope I haven't totally blown Jeb's chances or he'll be so pissed!

JENNA: (shakes her head) I'm going upstairs. Good night, Dad. Good night, Mom. (leaves)

LAURA: She'll come to her senses, George. It's just youthful idealism. Remember how we were at her age?

GEORGE: Not really. I don't have a lot of memory of those years. I spent most of them wasted. (They laugh.) Laura?

LAURA: Yes, Dear?

GEORGE: Did I make a mistake in not replacing Dick? I know he protects me from the Democrat witch-hunters, but with him we ended up without a clear favorite and now we're stuck with McCain. I should have had him resign last year and replaced him with someone who shares my view on most things, someone in favor of the war but less arrogant than McCain. Someone who understands the Democratic party and could use their own rhetoric against them. Someone I could groom as a worthy successor.


GEORGE: Maybe it's not too late. I could still do it. McCain isn't actually nominated yet.

LAURA: Who are you talking about?

GEORGE (picks up phone): Hello? Get me Dick Cheney...I don't really care what time it, I'll take responsibility if he has a heart attack...I'm the Responsibilitor...oh, and when you get him on the line, find me Joe Lieberman.


Maybe Jenna's generation--whether or not she comes around--will be the backbone of the Democratic Party for decades to come, as one diarist wrote earlier today. Maybe not. But I doubt they will vote lockstep with their parents, and that's at least something.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

the debate in one minute and other lunacy

This is classic, and absolutely hilarious.

23/ has posted this video that condenses Wednesday's "debate" into one minute of sheer nonsense (instead of the 90 minutes of sheer nonsense that it in fact was).

After sludging through that pseudo-journalistic ambush and reading scads and scads of analysis (I measured them: there were at least 4,000 scads...honest!), I needed someone to put the whole thing in its simplest possible perspective.

And here is a link to the aforementioned perspective:

I could not find an embed code, but it's worth a visit to 23/6 for that perfect one minute summation. And Chelsea makes a cameo appearance.

This week and this campaign reached a real nadir (and I don't mean Ralph, a Nader whose Nadir came in 2000) on Wednesday night. When respected journalists like Gibson team up with wannabes like Stephanopolous to rig a debate on a major network into an extension of the tabloid-style press coverage we've sadly grown used to, it is not merely politics as we know it that needs to change. Political coverage as we have come to know it needs to change too.

When did it become de rigueur for journalists, like stereotypical politicians, to pander to the lowest common denominator in their viewership? I try to imagine Walter Cronkite or Huntley and Brinkley presiding over a sham like Wednesday's debate and the images just won't come. When the "Compassion Forum," which featured questions about personal religious matters, ended up revealing more of substance than the major network political debate a few days later, something has gone considerbaly wrong.

Still, as Julian E. Zelizer pointed out this week, perhaps it is not all the fault of the media.

Voters have been guilty as well. The problem is not just the media or the political process. Public interest in politics has steadily declined since the nineteenth century when turnout in presidential elections averaged almost 80 percent and 60 to 80 percent for nonpresidential year elections. Election day was a major public event akin to entertainment. People vote less, their attachment to political institutions has declined, and their distrust in politicians has grown. Americans are more interested in American Idol than American presidents. They're not asking for much substance.

(See his entire diary here.)

I don't know what we as a nation deserve. I just wish we were getting something better than what we've been getting lately.

Fortunately for us all, there are Jon Stewart and Stphen Colbert. Colbert's Thursday show, featuring Clinton, Obama, Representative Pat Murphy, and John Edwards in a hilarious "EdWørds" segment, was probably his finest ever. And the week, capped by Obama's phenomenal rally in Philadelphia last night, drew to a close in a better fashion than it had begun.

Maybe Tuesday will end better than we expect as well.


Monday, April 14, 2008

The Democratic Conspiracy (a private conversation)

A quiet room. Not too fancy. Probably a hotel's private lounge. Leather chairs, wooden tables, a pitcher of ice water and some glasses. Maybe a muffin or five.

Enter Barack Obama, on cell phone.

BARACK: I don't know, Michelle. It doesn't make much sense to call attention to-- ...I know, Hon. I know. But she-- ...OK, OK. Calm down. I'll talk to David... I don't know. Either one. Why I had to have my two key guys both named David is beyond me. Look, I'll call you back. Someone's coming in.

Enter Hillary Clinton. Surprised to see Barack, she almost leaves, but thinks better of it and enters the room. She moves deliberately into the room as if she owns it, sits in a chair and pours a glass of water.

HILLARY: Would you like some water, Barack?

BARACK: Excuse me?

HILLARY: Water. I was just wondering if you'd like some.

BARACK: Uh, no. Thanks. There isn't any orange juice by any chance, is there?

HILLARY: Smiles. Sorry. Just water. Sips her water. Barack watches her, trying to figure this out.

BARACK: Uh, Hillary.

HILLARY: Yes, Barack?

BARACK: Is there a reason that you are here?

HILLARY: holds up her glass as in a toast Just having a drink, Barack. Wetting my whistle. Calming the old parched throat. You know how it gets when you talk all day.

BARACK: Yes, I understand that. But why here? Is there something I can do for you?

HILLARY: puts nearly empty glass down an looks directly at him for the first time Why, yes, Barack. Yes, there is.

BARACK: Well, if it's something within my power, I'll try to do it. What would you like?

HILLARY: I don't think you'll do it.

BARACK: Try me.

HILLARY: takes a small flask out of her purse and pours most of it into the glass I really want to win this time.

BARACK: rolls his eyes We've been all over that, Hill.

HILLARY: I know. I know. But I'm really tired of playing the bitch, Barack. I love this party every bit as much as you do. And damn it, it was supposed to be my turn.

BARACK: sits next to her Does Bill want to stop?

HILLARY: Hell no. Bill wants to keep going out there and making an ass of himself right up to the convention. He loves it! But that's Bill. He never did know when to stop. takes a swig of whiskey Want some? Crown Royal.

BARACK: No, thanks. Look. We agreed, Hillary. Way back in Iowa.

HILLARY: I know. And you and Howard and Al were right. My negatives are too high. Damn Bill and his cheap whores anyway. You know if I hadn't been saddled with the right's hatred for him, I might have made it.

BARACK: Hill, if you hadn't been his wife, would you even be a senator, let alone a viable candidate for President?

HILLARY: shrugs Water over the dam. I just--I can't keep saying these things.

BARACK: What things?

HILLARY: These monumentally asinine things you guys keep writing for me. Don't interrupt, Barack. You know what I mean. I think I've been a good sport. I even went along with the whole Bosnia thing, though I have no clue what kind of an idiot can't remember whether or not there was sniper fire when she got out of an airplane. But I said it--what? Four times before you leaked that video to CBS? Thanks a bunch for that. Give a girl some warning, why don't you?

BARACK: You knew we would discredit the story.

HILLARY: With video? I look like a lying fool!

BARACK: It wasn't that bad.

HILLARY: Right. And the blue dress was just another bit of dirty laundry. another swig

BARACK: OK, OK. You didn't look very good with that. But that's over and done with. What are you on about now?

HILLARY: Bittergate.

BARACK: Bittergate?

HILLARY: Bittergate. You guys have me running all over the midwest making a huge deal over that stupid fragment of a quote you said in San Francisco last week. Not only do I look arrogant for making San Fran out to be some elite and effete bastion but I also--once again--get to go around making mountains out of molehills. So people are bitter? Whoop de doo! They're out of work! They've been dumped on for years! Of course they're fucking bitter! Bill's said so. McCain's said so. Shit, I've said so--and I'm sure you'll dredge up video on that at some point. And you guys have me saying they aren't? Why the hell do I have to be the little pollyanna sweetcakes idiot?

BARACK: It seemed the right time for that move.

HILLARY: Jesus, Barack! You want me to be the bitch, then you want me to be fucking Barney! What next? I'm tired. I just want it to be over. But first I really, really want to win this one. I know you're supposed to do this big come from behind thing and all, and I drop out after North Carolina, but come on! All I really won with any significance were Texas and Ohio, and then you took Texas away too. This isn't even fair!

BARACK: We let you have New Hampshire.

HILLARY: Oh, golly gee whillikers. Thanks! You should have just won that and finished it.

BARACK: You know why we couldn't do that. Not enough vetting. You've said it yourself many times--

HILLARY: Yeah, with your scripts!

BARACK: Be that as it may, I simply had not been vetted enough in the eyes of the nation to be the front-runner yet. I never counted on winning Iowa. That was a huge surprise. I thought John would win it.

HILLARY: Not me?

BARACK: The negatives, Hill.

HILLARY: Oh. Yeah. Right. shoots remainder of glass

BARACK: When I did win, and I was suddenly a shoe-in in New Hampshire, Al and Howard called me in and explained why we needed this strategy. I was surprised that you'd buy into it, though. Why did you, anyway?

HILLARY: Two reasons, mostly. I had done all of the chart work with Bill and we knew after Iowa that I was never going to win the nomination. So when Howard and Al proposed this and told me that, if I helped, I would be offered a senior post in your administration and they'd pay all of the rest of my campaign debts, I could hardly say no.

BARACK: You always were sly about money.

HILLARY: You don't get to be worth $109 million by throwing good money after bad.

BARACK: You said there were two reasons?

HILLARY: Right: they promised me I could do some real acting.

BARACK: Oh yes: the crying scene. That was classic.

HILLARY: Thank you. blushes slightly I thought about acting, you, know, before I decided on politics.

BARACK: I didn't know that.

HILLARY: Yes, well. It's all the same anyway.

BARACK: Well the crying was great. Real tears. I don't think Meryl can even do that.

HILLARY: But it was all downhill from there. After Super Tuesday you guys demanded I play the Bitch, and there were the 3 AM commercials--God I hated those...and did you know that little tart was your campaign worker?

BARACK: Oh come one, how could we know that? And she was not a little tart; she was about five years old then and now she's a very sweet and personable seventeen-year-old. But I have to admit: what a serendipitous bit of stock footage that was!

HILLARY: All I've been doing since then is playing "Gotcha!" And I hate politicians who play "Gotcha!" They're the lowest of the low! And this "bitter" thing is the lowest, stupidest one yet. It's even worse than the one where you had me complain about the NAFTA deal with Canada. I'm bitching about your guy talking to them? My guy talked to them too! As if no one would find that out.

BARACK: Well, that was sort of the point.

HILLARY: Or how about that "Commander-in-chief" litmus test thing? Oh, no: Obama isn't ready but McCain is. Right. McCain might have been ready thirty years ago, but today the guy isn't even sure who's fighting who or where or why. I'd say he can't find Iraq on a map but I'm not 100% sure he could find the map! And you guys make me sound as if I'm more on his side than on my party's side?

BARACK: All part of the master plan. You have to make the attacks now so they'll be old news when McCain's people make them in the fall.

HILLARY: Well, I've lost track of you master plan. It's not working for me. And the math! I'm a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School! I think I know a little bit of math. And I know that, no matter how you slice it up, I don't win this thing. No matter how many times you guys tell me to move the goalpost, I can never score the touchdown. All that happens is that I get to look more and more ridiculous! And now I'm spouting nonsense about how elite and out of touch you are? You? A--pardon me for stating the obvious--black guy who grew up without a father and then without a mother and was raised partly in Indonesia and cut his political teeth on the streets of Chicago? Sure. From the mouth of $109 million me.

BARACK: OK, OK, Hill. I'll tell you what I can do. I'll call Howard and I'll tell him to let things go where they will right now in PA. No more superdelegate announcements until the 23rd, OK? We'll cancel the scheduled meltdown you were supposed to have next Sunday in Pittsburgh, and I'll stop using the Annie Oakley line. It's stupid anyway; I don't even really like it. We'll let Pennsylvania go as it goes, and either way we play the game out as we planned it. OK? And Hill: VP is still there if you want it. We can work this out.

HILLARY: gets up to leave near the door, she stops, turns. No we can't, Barack. You've made me look too much like an idiot and you know it. You can't win with me on the ticket. Pick Clark. He'll put you over the top. But I want Secretary of State. We'll see if I don't duck some sniper fire. We'll see if I can't negotiate treaties... exits

BARACK: opens cell, hits speed call David? Yes, we have a problem... Yes, she's cracking... I'm not sure. She may or may not hold... No, you can't use Bill again... I know it's fun, but-- ...No. Hold on--call waiting--Michelle? ...What, Hon? ...Yes, it was Hillary. She's cracking. I'm on the other line with David now trying to figure out--I don't know which David--one or the other--what? ...Do nothing? ...Oh... Right. Have I mentioned that you're going to make a great First Lady? Tell the girls I'll be home early. Bye.--David? Sorry. Look. Never mind... No, I know I sounded like it was an emergency, but I don't think it is... Yes she might break down... Yes she might tell them about it. But if she does, she'll start saying things that will make absolutely no sense to anyone who is listening. And how will that be any different from what she's been doing all along?... Exactly. Good night, David.

Humming to himself "Hail to the Chief," Barack leaves the room.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

if you're not bitter, you haven't been paying attention

I know that Hillary Clinton needs to pounce on any little thing she can in order to magnify her increasingly microscopic chances at the Democratic nomination, but I'm sorry: "Bittergate" is just too much for me.

(Actually, I'm pretty sick of gate entirely. Can we just put gate out of its misery? It's had a long life, a prosperous life, a useful life. But I think its spark of originality went out at least twenty years ago. We need to find a new scandal suffix. I nominate "Bush.")

Enough pundits have weighed in by now that there is probably no new ground left to cover, but damn it I'm angry. And when I get angry I either blow off steam by writing a diary or I turn into this hideous giant green thing that tramples everything in its path. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Obama is under attack for saying that some people who have been stomped upon by the economic policies of the last twenty years, especially the last eight, are bitter? He is out of touch and elitist because he said that people are righteously pissed off at the unfulfilled promises coming from Washington and at the neocon Party Time that has made corporations and their CEO's wealthier while making them, the middle and working class, have to struggle even harder to figure out a way to get by? He's being demeaning when he suggests that it is this pent-up anger that causes people to vote not about pocketbook issues they don't believe the politicians will solve anyway but about faith and guns?

Excuse me, Hillary. Look around you: what bloody country are you trying to be President of? Which candidate is suddenly all fluffy light and sweetness, all squadrons of angels and peace and love and happiness? Good God, is this the woman who, scant weeks ago, ridiculed Obama for those very qualities? And now she has the audacity to stand there and pretend that all she sees is happy happy joy joy when she looks into the faces of the working classes? Is she now the hugs and warmth candidate? Has she suddenly morphed into Barney?

This is George Bush's America. It is the Land of Missed Opportunity. It is the Home of the Brave Investors. It is the country in which "morning in America" has been obscured by dark, ugly clouds for far too long. It is a place where that "giant sucking sound" is the sound of our money being siphoned into the wallets and accounts of the very richest among us. It is the nation that Big Oil bought, and it is still paying dividends for them as the oil executives get richer and richer and gas has tripled in price at the pump under the Bush administration. It is the Former Center of Human Rights on Earth, now relegated to watching from the sidelines as others condemn us for violations of basic morality. It is the country that everyone briefly loved and felt sympathy for after 9/11, only to have those emotions replaced within months by loathing and disdain for the unilateral–and don't give me that "coalition of the willing" bull***t–attack on a sovereign nation that had done nothing to us. It is one of the few western countries in which the money people run the health care system. (Maybe it's the only one. Seems like a peculiarly American concept.) It is the land of school attacks, racial hatred, religious hypocrisy, gay bashing, corruption and scandal among our leaders, increasing poverty, a widening gap between the poor and the wealthy, and still-present misogyny. It is a land in which our leaders have conspired to provide tax breaks for the rich to the tune of billions of dollars while seeking to appease the rest of us with $600 and pretending that this is a wonderful opportunity for us all. It is a country spending trillions of dollars and thousands of lives on a war of choice in a far-off land when we have starving children, crumbling infrastructure, fractured health care, hyper-expensive college tuitions, and you name it here at home.

This is not the America we grew up loving.

"Bitter," Hillary? You pander to the right wing, playing a Republican-inspired "all is right with America" card while the country is dissolving around you and you condemn Barack Obama for wondering why some people are bitter? Maybe the better question is: why the hell aren't you bitter, Hillary? Why are you so blind that you don't even see the bitterness?

Oh, yes: maybe it is a bit difficult to find the bitterness when you have to look through eyes worth $109 million. I don't begrudge you your money–God knows I wish I had it–but come on: Barack Obama is elitist? The black guy who grew up in a single-parent home? The one who spent part of his childhood in Indonesia? The one who made his first living on the streets of Chicago? That guy? Not McCain of the Civil War McCains? Not (gulp) Hillary of the unimaginable-to-the-common-man salary?

There is bitterness, all right, Hillary. It's everywhere. It's in an America that yearns to be better than what this President has turned us into. It's in an America that knows it has been wrong and hates being a part of that. It's in an America that desperately wants to solve its financial crises and right its economic boat so that it can return to what it ought to be: elite among nations, powerful, charitable, strong and respected. We can't do these things by pretending we have already done them or that the bitterness and anger don't exist. We can only do them by recognizing our flaws and demanding that our leaders work with us to fix them. Barack Obama has said that he sees them.

Hillary, take your blinders off. There is more to be bitter about than losing an election. And most of the rest of this country knows it.

orange juice journalism

OK. I'm officially confounded.

I have looked it up in several sources, and I have come up with a lot of definitions for the word "journalism." Here are a few:
  • the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business. (
  • writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation (
  • the work of collecting, writing and publishing news stories and articles in newspapers and magazines or broadcasting them on the radio and television (
To me, this sounds like an honorable profession, a noble and worthy thing to aspire to. So why the hell do most of our most well-known "journalists" seem to subscribe to's third definition, which reads as follows:
  • writing that reflects superficial thought and research, a popular slant, and hurried composition, conceived of as exemplifying topical newspaper or popular magazine writing as distinguished from scholarly writing (emphasis mine) ???
I'm not talking about Fox. These are not journalists; they are the semi-official Bush Administration Promotions Department. I'm talking about the rest of the media. On a day when our commander-in-chief acknowledges, after years of outright denial, that he and practically everyone of significance in his administration knew about and signed off on the official use of torture in defiance of the Geneva Convention, not to mention our own Constitution and pretty much everything that the United States of America stands for, the pundits and talking heads of network and cable news spend all of their time worrying about, what?

  • Not our country's diminished moral standing in the world.
  • Not the administration's lies and deceptions, once again acknowledged and once again given a pass.
  • Not the painful realization that we are not living in a nation that always stands up for what is right.
  • Not the absurdity of a President of the United States authorizing torture and then condemning China for human rights abuses.

Nope. The keepers of our national debate are obsessed with what Barack Obama ordered to drink in a small diner at a campaign stop. And they are fixated on whether his recognition of the anger and bitterness in the millions of middle class people who have been embattled by the policies of the last two decades and watched their once reasonably secure lives fall into the toilet connotes a latent elitism and fatal flaw in the Candidate of Hope.

Are these idiots out of their collective minds? Do they HAVE minds to be out of?

Here, courtesy of Media Matters, is a transcript of the Chris Matthews/David Schuster "analysis" of Obama ordering an orange juice:

MATTHEWS: He's [Sen. Barack Obama] not that good at that -- handshaking in a diner.


MATTHEWS: Barack doesn't seem to know how to do that right.

SHUSTER: -- he doesn't do that well. But then you see him in front of 15,000 people in some of these college towns, and that's why, Chris, we've seen Chelsea Clinton and Bill Clinton in Bloomington and South Bend and Terre Haute. I mean --

MATTHEWS: What's so hard about doing a diner? I don't get it. Why doesn't he go in there and say, "Did you see the papers today? What do you think about that team? How did we do last night?" Just some regular connection?

SHUSTER: Well, here's the other thing that we saw on the tape, Chris, is that, when Obama went in, he was offered coffee, and he said, "I'll have orange juice."


SHUSTER: He did.

And it's just one of those sort of weird things. You know, when the owner of the diner says, "Here, have some coffee," you say, "Yes, thank you," and, "Oh, can I also please have some orange juice, in addition to this?" You don't just say, "No, I'll take orange juice," and then turn away and start shaking hands. That's what happens [unintelligible] --

MATTHEWS: You don't ask for a substitute on the menu.

SHUSTER: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: David, what a regular guy. You could do this. Anyway, thank you, David Shuster. I mean, go to the diners.

HUH???? The inanity of this conversation does not even deserve the respect of dignified commentary, so I'm not going to bother. But I have to wonder who makes the decision to pay these guys for their alleged insight into the news, and what I have to do to get that person's attention. I mean I could definitely talk for half an hour about why Obama doesn't wear ties or whether Hillary's pant suits should have been left in the eighties. If that's what it takes to be a "journalist" these days, heck, sign me up!

But what about, I don't know, news? What about a US President officially condoning torture? Is anyone out there? Bueller? Matthews? Russert?

I live in Chicago. With the crappy weather and the loony tunes running the country, moving to an island somewhere is looking better and better all the time...


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

democrats for democrats

This is not going to be a blog about why people should vote for Barack Obama or why Hillary Clinton's campaign is over. It is not about the giant sucking sound (to steal a tiny Texan's phrase from years ago) that the nation's emotional adrenaline would make as it leaked out following a McCain election as it realized it was about to settle into the third Bush term. Nope, it's not about any of these things.

This blog is about principles. And it's about voting. And it's about actually caring about something and believing in it.

Until a little over six weeks ago, I really could have eagerly supported either Democratic candidate for President, though I've been a fervent Obama supporter since he ran for Senate in 2004 and have optimistically always believed he would be the 2008 nominee. I am of course pleased at the way things have worked out, and from some of my other diaries you can tell that I have been more than a little bit disappointed by the way that the Clintons have run Hillary's campaign. However, I still believe that either of them would make a much better President than John McCain. I simply do not understand anyone who claims to be a Democrat who says she would vote for him over Clinton or Obama.

This is a peculiar political season. If there were enormous philosophical differences between Clinton and Obama, that would be one thing. If we were talking Ronald Reagan vs. the first George Bush or Joe Leiberman (forgive me) vs. Dennis Kucinich, OK. There are fundamental differences between those who would vote for one and those who would vote for the other. But this is Clinton Vs. Obama, for crying out loud. They agree on 97% of their policies; even they acknowledge that. And where they differ it is more a matter of degree than of substance. And of course a matter of style.

I'm not here to argue though for one over the other. I've done that before and that's what the whole primary season is about anyway. What I'm here to wonder is simply this: if you are a Democrat, and you admire the principles of Democrats; if you have detested what has happened to this country for the last seven years under the Bush White House; if you believe in the freedoms that W. has systematically taken away in the name of anti-terrorism; if you believe that the Iraq war was a huge error from the beginning and has become a boondoggle that threatens to drag our economy down with our international image; if you are a liberal whose voice has been stymied by the conservative appointments to the Supreme Court that our Supreme Court appointed President has made; if you are someone who honestly supports either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton and what they are fighting for...

How could you spite all of these beliefs--not to mention the efforts of your candidate--by voting for more of the same Republican policies just because your candidate is not the choice of the majority of the party?

I respect the right of people to vote their beliefs. I respect the right of McCain voters to disagree with those of us on the Left and to vote their own consciences. I respect the right of millions of Democrats to believe that Hillary would make a better President than Barack. I even respect anyone who really believes in Ralph Nader for some reason other than the kind of "none of the above" absurdity that helped give the Supreme Court that opportunity eight years ago. What confuses me, what I find it harder to respect, is someone who swears that he or she believes in democracy, yet cannot abide by its rules. We have elections for a reason, and whether this is a razor-slim majority or a landslide, one candidate will win, and whoever wins will share 97% of his or her ideology with the defeated opponent.

If somehow that victor is Hillary Clinton, I will vote for her. I may not be as enthusiastic about it, but I am a Democrat. I will help in whatever way I can. It is simply too important. The country cannot afford another four years of McBush. It cannot afford even one more conservative Justice. It cannot afford four more years of this infernal war. It cannot afford any more erosion of the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. It cannot afford another four years as an international pariah. It cannot afford four years of a President who is admittedly less than competent in economic matters and who is unable to keep straight the most basic details of the foreign affairs that are his supposed strengths.

This country cannot afford another Republican President right now.

If you call yourself a Democrat and you would even consider voting for him, what exactly does that say about you?


Monday, April 7, 2008

can Bill Clinton still feel our pain?

What happened to the man who once understood on a gut level what it felt like to be an average American stuck watching the political game?

Bill Clinton famously fought his way into the White House as someone who understood that Americans were hurting back in 1992. The inevitable recession after the military hyper-build-up of the Reagan years was a simple pocketbook issue, and his campaign made it a four-word slogan: It's the economy, Stupid!

But it was not the candidate's way to be so blunt and so crass. In town hall after town hall, in debate after debate, in stump speech after stump speech, Bill Clinton used a very different four word slogan that, while it did essentially get to the same point, got there in a much, much different, more gentle way: I feel your pain.

"I feel your pain," our would-be President assured us, and we listened eagerly. After four years of a Presidency by a decent but effete man who, with his absurdly wealthy family, could hardly be expected to understand our economic needs, the notion of a leader who was in touch with the things that troubled the people of this country appealed to something at our very core.

Many of us–the Republicans, anyway–thought we had it in Reagan, but the reality of his administration was that it divided the nation severely: his was a Presidency that appeared at once strong and empathic, but if you were not white and rich and conservative his strength and empathy did you little good. He always said it would "trickle down." And now, in the waning years of the administration of his VP, the first Bush, he was finally being proved correct: the weight of the incredible national debt he had rung up to defeat the Soviets was driving the nation to ruin, and the "pain" we felt as it "trickled" all over us is what put Bill Clinton in the White House.

Clinton was good at the whole empathy thing. He was always what he still is, of course: a ruthless and calculating politician. And I am not saying that there is anything wrong with that; politics is not a child's game. But Bill Clinton, from the carefully crafted colloquialism of his informal first name to the casual, off the cuff manner in which he delivered fully prepped speeches, played the game in a very new way: he may have been rough behind the scenes, but out in front of the cameras he was smooth as silk. Not for nothing did his detractors call him "Slick Willy." Cool under pressure, friendly and always possessed of that benign, empathic face, Bill Clinton was practically a dream politician.

If you don't count the fact that he had a bit of a problem with his zipper and another one with the truth.

But the thing is: he felt our pain, and as a result, when push came to shove and he went on the air and admitted that he had been dishonest with us, that he had misled us about Monica, we saw that he was contrite–whether he was or not–and we felt his pain. There is something almost miraculous about a President who is roundly hated by most of the opposing party, who is impeached, who admits to lying to the American public, who is constantly being investigated for one alleged scandal or another, but who ends up leaving office–after two terms–with a better than 60% approval rating. It was not for nothing they called him "the Comeback Kid," either.

Yes, Bill Clinton was fabulous at feeling our pain and we loved him for it (at least those who didn't hate him for other reasons). But right now, eight years later, I fear that his magic touch has left him. How else to explain the adamance with which he continues to attack Barack Obama? How else to explain the fact that he has not counseled his wife to stop sticking the knife into the back of the man who, inevitably, will be the party's nominee? How else to explain the fact that poll after poll tells us that the ugliness is not appreciated, but it keeps coming? He used to be so good with polls. If Bill Clinton could still feel our pain, wouldn't he be doubled over in agony somewhere right now?

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton are extremely intelligent. They are among the most intelligent people ever to run for President, I'm sure. I'm equally sure that they both can see the truth of this race as easily as any pundit or mathematician. Do they actually believe they can get the superdelegates to overturn all of what has come before? If this happened, then Bill would feel some real pain: the party would be ripped asunder. The Clintons know that, as much as Hillary knows better than to prop up the GOP nominee over her Democratic rival. As much as she knows better than to embellish and falsify stories for the campaign trail. As much as Bill knows better than to make remarks that diminish the importance of black voters in South Carolina, too.

The Clintons have been a valuable national resource since 1992. With Hillary in the Senate and Bill as a formidable ex-President, they still can be for many years to come. But in order for that to happen, both of them had better start to feel the pain they are causing to the party and by extension to the nation by their selfish actions. I'm not saying that Hillary should drop out. She has a legitimate cause. But she should immediately cease the ground war against Obama. It's not hurting him as much as it is hurting her and hurting the Democratic party. And it is hurting those of us who once believed in the Clintons and whose opinion of them has been dropping lower with each news cycle.

Hillary and Bill, please: listen to us. Feel our pain. Or, if you can't do that, stop running long enough to feel your own. You are doing severe damage to yourselves, to your reputations, and it will be irreparable before long, if it isn't already. Slow down and consider that. We'll all feel that pain, but it will be deepest right there, in you.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

the blogosphere debate: questions i'd love to ask

Someone posted a video on a late night thread this week that was hilarious but also one of the saddest commentaries possible about our national press corps. Called "The Press as Lapdogs," it demonstrated with humor and passion the fact that, whatever our country's journalists once were, they no longer as a whole aspire to be. The days of Edward R. Murrow, of Woodward and Bernstein, or of others who actually thought it was--gasp!--their job to investigate and report on the veracity of the claims that those in office were making are long over, at least among those in the corporate press.

Today's champions of the Truth live in the blogosphere. Not everything one finds out here is true, of course, but it's no coincidence that when real news breaks it often does so here first. Snipergate, for example, exists because of the relentless work of bloggers who dug through videos to find the real story of the then-First Lady's Bosnia landing and thereby debunk the exaggerations and outright lies she was telling on the campaign trail. No national news anchor or pundit, network or cable, would have done that. None of them would ever have risked their precious access to the politicians involved. There is simply too much quid pro quo in today's journalistic world.

So why, then, are the moderators of the many, many debates we watch with these candidates always members of the Corporate Press? Why don't we see a Blogosphere Debate? Why don't we get a chance to see what reporters who, lacking the fear to ask real questions, might deem reasonable to pose to the candidates? Instead, we get this:

I'd love to see some respected bloggers ask Obama, Clinton and McCain some of the questions that no one ever bothers to ask. If I were moderating the debate, here are some of the things I'd want to know:
  • Senator Clinton, you state almost every day that you do not want to "disenfranchise" the voters of Michigan and Florida, yet you completely supported the DNC's decision until you fell behind in delegates. How do you justify this inconsistency other than pure political pragmatism or extreme chutzpah?
  • Senator McCain, you have spent a great deal of the last several years pandering to almost every subset of the right wing of the Republican Party, even seeking out the endorsement of the extremist Reverend Hagee, even pandering to the same Reverend Falwell you once denounced. You were against the Iraq war, but now you favor maintaining a presence there for a hundred years if needed. Have you in fact sold your soul to obtain this nomination?
  • Senator Obama, your campaign is supposed to be the New Politics, the politics that rises above the ugliness of the past, yet your operatives have shown themselves completely adept at fighting dirty in the past two months, even at times initiating the negativity, as in Ohio's direct mailings. How do you reconcile this?
  • Senator Clinton, you say that you will be the CEO President, yet you have run a campaign that many are calling one of the worst in history. You took what was a giant lead and a war chest that was basically unparalleled in primary campaign history and, on the assumption that you'd merely have to show your face around the country to achieve the nomination, spent both the lead and the money by Super Tuesday. Since then, your campaign has been largely in debt, even (it has been reported) failing to make payments on bills and employees' health care coverage. Will your 3AM call, as one current web parody has it, be from a debt collector?
  • Senator McCain, we know that you never said you'd want to fight for another hundred years in Iraq. But you have advocated leaving an American troop presence there for a hundred years, equating such a move to our presence in Japan. But you are not a stupid man, Sir. You know that there is a huge difference between leaving Americans in a peaceful country that is our ally and in one that detests us and is torn apart daily by suicide bombers and infighting among several major factions. Americans are not being killed in Japan. Are you truly telling the American people that this will be the case in Iraq as well? Or are you being disingenuous? And while we're on Iraq: how can you honestly argue that the surge is working when all it has accomplished is bring the state of hostility back to the level it had been a year before it began? Oh, yes, and of course make the American military presence indispensable in maintaining that slightly lower level of mayhem.
  • Senator Obama, your relationship with the GLBT community is not as strong as that of Senator Clinton. Though both of you are on record as favoring gay rights, neither of you has a record of having the best relationship with that community; however, at least she is generally viewed as reaching out to them. To date, you have only given a full interview to one gay media outlet. You have allowed an outspoken "ex-gay" pastor to speak at your rally in South Carolina. You have not made a single speech addressing GLBT issues, though you have often made a point of including the community in your blanket calls for equality. Still, you steadfastly refuse to see the basic equality in civil marriage as a civil right. Senator, are GLBT people less equal than other minorities?
  • Senator Clinton, you are not a stupid person. You know that either you or Senator Obama is very likely to win in New York and California and other reliably Democratic states. You know that primary victories do not translate into electoral votes. You know that it is impossible to make an accurate count of popular vote in the campaign due to both the caucuses and the fact that there were so many other candidates at the start. You know you cannot mathematically finish ahead of Senator Obama in any category after all of the primaries have been completed. You know that, should the convention award you the nomination in those circumstances, it is very likely to drive a stake into the hearts of the most consistent Democratic constituency in history as well as the millions of young voters who have signed up this year and would quickly learn that the system favors those who are connected. How can you, knowing all of this, continue your incessant attacks on Senator Obama?
  • Senator McCain, how can you align yourself with any of the policies of the worst administration in the history of this country, an administration that you yourself have been outspoken about on many occasions?
  • Senator Obama, what in the world possessed you to pick up a bowling ball with cameras rolling? What does that tell us about your judgment?
If I had the power, these are some things I'd like to ask. There are about a thousand more. But they don't give bloggers any debates to moderate, so I guess we'll get to listen to Hillary tell us for the forty millionth time why the hairs she has split between her health care plan and Obama's make hers the better one and why she looks better at 3AM.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

diversity and the sock drawer

"As our story continues, we find Sen. John McCain resting in his tent, plotting his fall campaign, as the Democrats continue the longest primary in human history, which has left the pundit club and the blogoswamp with nothing new to say whatsoever. You might as well write about your sock drawer."
--Garrison Keillor 4/2/08

I know a challenge when I see one.

Nothing new? Nothing new, Mr. Keillor? Why, a brief peek at Daily Kos reveals diaries concerning FISA, Mukasey, warrantless wiretapping, domestic surveillance, Mukasey...


Well, there's the campaign, of course! Rife for commentary! Obama's incredible cash haul in March! (Like his incredible cash haul in February...or his incredible cash haul in January...or...) The latest polls! (Well, OK, there are always new polls.) The delegate count! (That no one can actually agree on anyway.) The delegates themselves in Florida and Michigan: so many diaries, there must be something new there. Dean is involved! Yes! Primal scream therapy!

Of course, I do see a diary called "I'm bored to tears" and one called "I freaking hate primary season," so maybe this thing is dragging on a tad too long. So, Mr. Keillor, I'm going to take you up on your proposal. I'm going upstairs to investigate my sock drawer.

It's actually sort of amazing what you find when you look in a sock drawer. I mean besides the simple presence of socks, which of course is not particularly amazing at all for the locale. Mine is actually five drawers, which creates a whole lot of interesting conundrums right from the outset, as well as the immediate notion that, along with way too many pairs of shoes, I probably own way too many socks.

Why, for example, are the pantyhose segregated into their own extremely overcrowded and far less spacious drawer than the bulk of the socks? And why are the black pantyhose in yet another separate drawer? Why are the black socks in a separate drawer? Why are the white athletic socks also in a separate drawer? Why in the name of heaven is all of this segregation going on in my dresser?

Perhaps I should not even count pantyhose with the socks, but even without them I have the blacks separate from the whites and then, in a larger drawer that is itself subdivided, the rainbow coalition: variations on three themes from purple/red to green/blue to brown/beige, each subdivision flung together in harmony, randomly mingled in its third of a dresser drawer.

Now I should point out that my underwear drawer does not have this problem at all. Underwear of all colors, patterns, styles, and what-have-you are thrown haphazardly together in a melange of vibrant chaos. So what's up with the socks? I've never once noted any prejudice, though, among the occupants of these drawers. If perchance a pair of black socks found its way into the white drawer, it would be welcomed, treated as one of the family–though it would stand out like a sore thumb–until the day came when it was discovered or used. If socks from the green/blue section spilled into the brown/beige, no one would care. What's a little more diversity among friends?

But that's actually one of the most amazing things: the diversity exists not only between the drawers but within them. My black drawer contains ten vastly different types of pairs of black socks. Some are smooth and shiny; some have ridges and are of thick cotton; some have patterns embedded in them; some even have other colors as well as the black. Some are also mismatched: there are so many whose mates I cannot find that I have simply rolled together socks that are not too dissimilar instead of socks that are exactly alike. They don't complain.

My daughter Julie takes the concept a step further. Unless required for purposes of a uniform, she never wears matching socks. In fact, she mismatches so egregiously that her orange-and-blue left sock might throw an unfamiliar observer into temporary shock if she expects a complement to the Snoopy patterned red-and-green affair on the right foot. And neither sock has anything whatsoever to do with whatever outfit she happens to be wearing (which generally do match, by the way). Her socks are a trademark, but they seem to me to be something more: a sign of thumbing her nose at the way things are done.

My socks are colorful statements, often matching otherwise obscure swaths of teal or violet on a sweater I am wearing and boldly accenting that color instead of calmly and sedately blending into the hem of my slacks. Sometimes, when I wish to give them a treat, I wear them with clogs, so I can show them off to the world. But when they are not on my feet, they live in one of those oddly segregated drawers.

I think I'd like to rip out the little dividers from within that one large drawer and let all of those rainbow colors blend together, the oranges flowing into the greens bleeding onto the fuschias tucking up against the beige-with-green flowers. I don't plant gardens in rows, don't even like them that way; maybe it's time that I break down these old, anal retentive, segregationist patterns that I undoubtedly adopted because they are easier.

And as to those separate-but-equal white and black sock drawers? Well, I've got some nice Christmas socks too; I can create a second fabulous jumble if I want to. But then I'd have a whole new problem to deal with: the forced busing of holiday footwear.

I turned my attention to my sock drawer and I found rampant segregation and racism! Barack Obama is right: this problem is so pervasive that it will never go away if we don't address it. We all need to take the time to do more than talk. We need to walk the talk too. And we might as well start in our dressers.

So that's what I've done with my evening. And if anything new were going on out here in the "blogoswamp," I might never have even noticed it.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

the great color divide

One of my students, James, was waiting for me in my classroom this morning to have a conference on a haiku he had written. After a long dormant period, James's work lately has been fascinating: full of insight and unusual perspectives. Today, his piece was short, simple and poignant. He said that he had been inspired to write it after hearing Barack Obama's speech on race relations in America.

when color divides people

Is it possible
To change our future when we
Worry about red or blue?

The haiku is imperfect, but the question is not. We have so many issues dividing us in this country, so much that stops us from solving the crises that plague this country, and race is only one of many. In his landmark 2004 Convention Speech, the one that Hillary Clinton keeps saying Obama is basing his "entire campaign" on, he spoke of one America. So much time has past; maybe we need to remind ourselves of the words he spoke on that stage on that July night:

There's not a liberal America and a conservative America — there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

It is four years later, and we have all suffered for another term of perhaps the most intentionally divisive administration that this country has ever seen. The neocons that have propped up the President have, from the outset, made it clear that this is a government of the GOP, by the GOP, and for the GOP. Its policies, from the first months when Dick Cheney met in secret White House sessions with representatives of Big Oil and allowed them to help set energy policies that--golly gee!--have seen their profits go through the roof in the same seven years that the rest of the country has slipped deeper and deeper into recession, have serviced no one but Big Business, while giving enough lip service to the biggest scam of the 21st Century--so-called "family values"--that he maintained a core appeal to those who, if they voted their pocketbooks, would not have touched him with a ten-foot pole.

The man rode into the White House on a chariot labeled "Compassionate Conservative." It might have been fine, I suppose, had he in fact been either. We've dealt with conservatives before, and compassion would be welcome in anyone. But he was neither. He and his cronies, who came into office on the slimmest of all possible electoral margins promising an administration that would work across the aisle to get things done in Washington, insisted in treating his razor-thin Supreme Court-awarded "victory" as a political mandate for sweeping change, ignoring the outcry of the minority, and setting up what has become eight years of vitriol and antagonism, eight years of a continuation of the red/blue divide that began with the Gingrich congress in the Clinton years and has never let up.

And by appealing to the worser angels of the nature of his constituents--their fear of losing some nebulous core "values" to some advocacy groups the neocons and the Christian Right painted as evil--he managed to maintain at least the illusion that he had support for his actions. He even managed to get himself re-elected. (Let's not get into the how's and why's of that; it just boggles the mind.)

The bottom line, though, is this: if we want things truly to change in America, we must begin by making true changes in Washington. That is why, long before her selfish and boorish recent campaign led me to feel a growing distaste for her, brand of politics, I gave my support wholeheartedly to Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, a woman I had previously felt I could support this year. The truth is that, no matter how you look at it, four years of Hillary Clinton in the White House would end up four more years of this nation suffering from the deep red/blue division that has marked it for almost fifteen years. No matter what kind of President she could be if she were allowed to be--and despite her detestable campaign I still believe her capable--the right wing would never give her a real chance. She is too much tied to a past they loathe.

Barack Obama represents something new: a vision of a future untethered to an archaic imaginary divide between red states and blue states. Where Hillary says his victories mean nothing because they came in GOP states, he says that's exactly the point: he'll win the "Democratic" states anyway, but the fact that he finds support in GOP strongholds says something about his appeal. The fact that he runs strong with independents and "Obamacans" says something about the perception in the nation of the notion of getting rid of the old color divide once and for all.

We are not and never truly have been a red and blue country. We are a country possessed of a glorious rainbow of color, starting with purple, like the "mountains majesty" in the song. We are black, white, Latino, Native American. We are gay, straight, bisexual, transsexual. We are Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green, Libertarian. We are from every country on the globe, and we are all from here. To force us into the convenient little boxes of "reds" and "blues" for political advantage is disingenuous at best and insidious at worst. The neocons have been very, very good at it. But if we want to confront the real problems dominating this country, from race to the economy to health care to social security to foreign policy and whatever else, the very first thing we need to do is bring everyone to the same table.

It's time to bring an end to the Great Color Divide. And there is only one candidate who is running for President who has been talking about doing just that since 2004.



it's your hair that i notice first
streaked with morning
it frames your face
you lying there eyes closed
soft breath not quite there
i follow its path as it bends the sheet
and i can touch you there
touch what i feel is you
in the spark of daylight
you'll rise
pull on the wrinkled shirt from last night
say something you think is beautiful
drink some coffee
from behind my paper
and drive away,
leaving a kiss on my lips
and a hole in my heart
where a fire ought to be

Favorite Films

  • The Wizard Of Oz
  • Amelie
  • The Princess Bride
  • Casablanca
  • Annie Hall
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • All That Jazz
  • Citizen Kane
  • Love Actually
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Big Fish
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Almost Famous
  • Bull Durham
  • Notting Hill
  • Apocalypse Now (Redux)
  • Magnolia

All-Time Favorite TV Shows

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Gilmore Girls
  • M*A*S*H
  • The West Wing
  • The X-Files
  • The Daily Show
  • Ally McBeal
  • Picket Fences
  • All In The Family
  • Seinfeld
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Star Trek
  • Firefly
  • Wonderfalls
  • Northern Exposure
  • Get Smart
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • Twin Peaks
  • The Larry Sanders Show
  • Monk
  • Felicity
  • St. Elsewhere

Current TV Shows I Enjoy (in no particular order)

  • Perception
  • Major Crimes
  • American Horror Story
  • Louie
  • Suits
  • The Newsroom
  • Falling Skies
  • Franklin and Bash
  • Veep
  • Scandal
  • Fairly Legal
  • Girls
  • Don't Trust the B---
  • Justified
  • Portlandia
  • Psych
  • The Middle
  • Person of Interest
  • Happy Endings
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • Nikita
  • Raising Hope
  • Castle
  • Drop Dead Diva
  • Covert Affairs
  • Elementary
  • Rizzoli and Isles
  • Revolution
  • The Last Resort
  • Alphas
  • SNL
  • Revenge
  • Community
  • Suburgatory
  • New Girl
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Grimm
  • Nashville
  • Downton Abbey
  • Smash
  • Homeland
  • Fringe
  • Glee
  • Haven
  • Community
  • Warehouse 13
  • Modern Family
  • Vampire Diaries
  • The Daily Show
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • The Colbert Report
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Leverage
  • Rachel Maddow Show

xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and