kevyn: (Default)
( Jan. 24th, 2009 12:34 am)
Prince Albert came over tonight, and took me out to dinner at Phở 99. Then he took me to the movies, to see Frost/Nixon. Fascinating film, and Frank Langella did a brilliant job as Nixon. An Oscar-worthy performance, for which he has been nominated. Top rate.

Spoilers below

For a political and news junkie, the movie was pure gold. I was far too young at the time to pay attention when Watergate was happening, and just a 9-year-old kid in Germany when the actual Frost/Nixon interviews took place in 1977. I have studied the events of that time in journalism school, and done a fair bit of reading on my own, so I wasn't lost in the multitude of historical details that the film throws at the viewer.

But the facts of the story aren't really what this film is about: this is a character piece, about two men engaged in a verbal duel, with the world as an audience. Nixon walks all over Frost the first three interviews, but in the fourth, Frost comes back out swinging, and gets Nixon to admit he was involved in a cover-up.

The climax of the movie comes when Nixon loses his cool during the fourth interview, and states, "I'm saying that when the President does it, that means it's *not* illegal!"

The moment was breathtaking in its pure hubris... Nixon really did believe that he was above the law, and was rather let down by the fact that America didn't agree. This reminded me more than just a little of a recent ex-President.

And then, just at that moment, Nixon's walls are down, he's revealing the flawed human underneath to the cameras...

A cell phone goes off in the audience!

AAAAAGGGGGGGH!

And instead of shutting it off, he answers it while leaving the auditorium!
"Hello...?"

You could hear the wave of annoyance going through the audience, the collective exhaled breath, the mutters of "jeez!" from rows ahead of us. It was like he had punctured a balloon.

IDIOT!

Anyway, Ron Howard directed, and managed to get BOTH his father (Rance) and his brother (Clint) small roles in the film. Clint STILL looks like Balok, over 40 years after The Corbomite Maneuver.

Thumbs up for news and politics junkies, anyone who lived through the era, and for Langella's performance as Nixon.

Obama's political appointments continue to confound. While I can't say I've approved of some of his choices for his cabinet, this one seems to be a winner: Obama will pick Nobel Prize winner Steven Chu as his Secretary of Energy.

Chu won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997 "for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.” He is Professor of Physics and Molecular and Cellular Biology of University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which does unclassified scientific research. Chu is noted for pushing for the development of technologies to reduce the impact of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [Source: Wikipedia]

He's a real, honest-to-goodness scientist, who understands climate change is real, and he's NOT a professional politician. I've never heard of him before, but if he's as promising as his bio on Wikipedia says, we're FINALLY getting some grownups in the White House!

(Ganked from BoingBoing)
The BBC has a very interesting piece about a group of Shamans in Peru who are using their unique skills to make sure "the right candidate" gets elected in the United States.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/us_elections_2008/7699066.stm

You can't make stuff like this up!

(I do worry, though, when the one Shaman says they want the U.S. to get the president it deserves. That's actually a scary thought...)
Even though I voted for McKinney, I really dislike this nasty habit some Republicans have of calling Obama by his middle name -- as if Hussein was somehow a 'bad' name. Or a scary name. Or something like that. It's really, really distasteful, and shows just how petty, small-minded and ignorant many Republicans are.

Hussein, in Arabic, means "good," or "handsome." [source: Wikipedia] Doesn't sound that scary to me.

So, from now until the election, my name is Kevyn Hussein Jacobs.

Grow up, Americans.

(Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tianas_knife for pointing this movement out to me on Facebook!)
I have a dilemma. I can't figure out who to vote for president:

Cynthia McKinney (Green Party) or Ralph Nader (Independent).

They're the only candidates talking about the real issues.

I've voted for the Green Party every presidential election since 1996 (1996: Nader, 2000: Nader, 2004: Cobb).

My dilemma is, should I give my protest vote to the Greens, or to Nader?

I like Nader. I really, really do. I wear as a badge of pride the fact that I worked very hard on his campaign to defeat Gore and Bush in 2000 (And if you blame me for Bush, you can just go back to one-party Soviet Russia where you belong, asshat).

But I also want to see the Green Party continue to grow and build in the United States.

Decisions, decisions.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

Being a prisoner of war DOES NOT qualify someone to be president!

Watching McCain is like watching a little kid who is trying to lie their way out of a tight spot. He doesn't even lie well. Redefining "the Surge?" That's a little bit grade 3, don't you think?

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/07/25/mccain-denies-botching-anbar-timeline/
Obama (and Big Media) Turn Blind Eye to Israeli Apartheid

Is the chance for racial reconciliation, change, and the end of a Republican White House that Obama represents worth this price? That's the question for me this election.
I am getting so sick of this Iraq/Iran confusion. It really burns me up how many Americans are idiots on this issue. Especially Americans who SHOULD know better. Did everyone in this country flunk grade 4 geography?

For example, take all this Bullshit "John McCain is best qualified to lead us in foreign affairs" rhetoric.

No, he's NOT, and just being shot down and interned in a Vietnamese prison camp for years DOES NOT qualify you to be President of the United States... And it certainly doesn't make you qualified to handle International Diplomacy!

McCain's latest demonstration that he has no concept of Middle Eastern geography and politics came this morning on ABC, when he stated that the Iraq-Pakistan border is a very dangerous place:

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/07/21/foreign-policy-expert-mccain-iraq-pakistan-border-extremely-dangerous/

Problem is, Iraq and Pakistan don't share a border!

I know, I know, he "misspoke." Problem is, SENILE OLD McCain does this all the time. Like when his AIPAC handler, Joe Lieberman, had to publicly correct him on his statement that Iran was training Al Qaida. ARRRRGH! The man has NO CLUE! NONE!

And lest I be accused of being partisan here, I'm really NOT impressed with Green Party Vice-Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente for exactly the same reason. On an interview on Democracy Now this morning, she said:

"And, of course, an immediate withdrawal from Iran. And we must not be duped that a troop withdrawal in Iran could also mean a troop transfer in Afghanistan and more young people, particularly white working-class youth, being used as cannon fodder."
( http://www.democracynow.org/2008/7/21/first_all_women_of_color_presidential )

AAAAAAAAAAAGH!

This is my first exposure to Ms. Clemente. I have been seriously considering voting Green Party this year (voting against BOTH right-wing conservatives Barack Obama and John McCain), just as I have done in every Presidential election since 1996. But if this is the quality of candidate the Greens are running, not even the fact that they are the first party to run TWO women of color on their presidential ticket might be enough to get me to vote for her. I'll give her a pass for this first flub, but she is not inspiring me with confidence.

Sheesh, get me out of this country full of STUPID PEOPLE!
Outraged yet?

Karl Rove, defying a congressional subpoena to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on the attorney firing scandal, has fled the country, without notifying congress:

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/91181

And, just in case the Democrats grow a spine, and hold him in contempt, he's apparently gone to Ukraine, a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S. How convenient.


And, in other news, reports are now surfacing that the International Red Cross has taken the position that the Bush administration has engaged in torture, and any administration official who ordered torture can be held liable for war crimes:

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/07/12/international-committee-of-red-cross-says-bush-administration-guilty-of-war-crimes/


Buckle your seat belts. I have a feeling this ride is about to get a whole lot more interesting.
Now she's playing the race card?

Lady, you're asking for a whole lot of trouble. We need someone to unite us as a people, not divide us.


I'll give Clinton props for this: She's tenacious.

Maybe what she says it is true, that she's polling better among certain European-American groups, but she's veering dangerously close to "Obama can't win because he's black" territory.

Give it up Hillary. You lost. More Democrats want Obama than you.

Sheesh.
Another reason why I love my Québec class!

Today we were studying the political parties of Québec, and while discussing the Parti Québécois, our instructor showed us this clip from YouTube:

It's from a Québécois sketch comedy show, not unlike Saturday Night Live or This Hour Has 22 Minutes. It seems this particular sketch created a bit of a kerfuffle in Québec in 2006. It features impersonations of U.S. President George Bush and Canadian PM Stephen Harper in a parody of Brokeback Mountain, and doing a little hanky panky in a tent. This is funny in itself, because many see Harper as being politically "in bed" with Bush.

But what really got some people in the Parti Québécois upset was the punchline at the end -- that guy who pokes his head in the tent is André Boisclair, who at the time was the leader of the PQ and -- this is why it's funny -- is openly gay.

What he's saying when he pokes his head in is essentially, "Québec will have no part in this."

Quite a few members of the PQ found his appearance in the sketch comedy routine to be of questionable taste, and soon after, Boisclair resigned as leader of the PQ.
Well isn't that interesting. She's still in the race.
After (barely) winning Ohio & Texas last night, Hillary Clinton managed to stay in the game, and is still competing against Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for POTUS. Obama still has a slight delegate lead (he won Vermont yesterday), and if she hadn't won Ohio & Texas last night, he'd be the clear choice. But she managed to hang in there, and isn't conceding.

What's most interesting now is how close these two candidates actually are. The Democratic party appears to be almost evenly split between them.

I've said for months now that an Obama/Clinton ticket would be the ideal campaign for the Democrats to run this year, in the wake of eight years of George W. Bush. The American people are ready for fresh faces, and a fresh approach. They want change. A black man as president and a woman as vice president would be almost unstoppable. Old white guy vs. young black guy and groundbreaking woman: That's a contest that people will care about. That's a campaign that speaks of change.

Hillary supporters keep telling me that there's no way she'd accept the VP position -- she doesn't want to be a woman in second place to a president again -- but I think she might. Here's why:

  • Obama has the charisma that would make him ideal for "Cheerleader-in-chief." She, honestly, is less of a charismatic leader and more of a capable manager. He inspires. She directs. After 8 years of Bush, someone inspirational is more needed than a capable manager. If she and her advisers can get past her ego, they would see that, at this point in time, she's not the ideal candidate. It's not a slam against her capabilities, just a statement of where the people are.

  • Large swaths of the American people want to follow someone like Obama right now. She shouldn't fight that.

  • A woman as VP is still groundbreaking and history-making.

  • After 8 years as VP, she'll be well-positioned to go for the Presidency in '16. She's young enough, and if she does a bang-up job as VP, she'd be well-proven to the people as capable of filling the leadership slot.

  • If Obama were assassinated (c'mon, you know you've worried about it, admit it), she'd be in place to assume command, and prove herself.

  • An Obama/Clinton ticket would unite the Democrats.

  • Obama/Clinton vs McCain/(whoever) would be almost unstoppable.

  • Obama vs. McCain can credibly be framed as "pro war vs. anti-war." Clinton vs. McCain cannot.

    But the MOST important reason I can see Clinton accepting the VP position:
  • Cheney has shown us that the office of the VP can wield a lot more power these days. She could make the changes she wants to make, more quietly, and from behind-the-scenes, if she takes the #2 position.


  • So, I've been mulling these points in my head the past couple of months, and then, today, we have this:

    Clinton Hints At Sharing Ticket With Obama.

    Yep. She'll consider it.

    I's just a matter of time.
    Dennis Kucinich continues to amaze me with his clarity and candor. Of all the candidates running for president, he's the only one who has the cojones to call it like it is. Pity he's running dead last.

    Kucinich Questions Bush's Mental Health
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich questioned President Bush's mental health in light of comments he made about a nuclear Iran precipitating World War III.
    "I seriously believe we have to start asking questions about his mental health," Kucinich, an Ohio congressman, said in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial board on Tuesday. "There's something wrong. He does not seem to understand his words have real impact."
    Of course, it looks like Hillary "I am willing to commit genocide" Clinton will probably get the nomination - she has the war machine's money behind her. Barack "I Suport Israeli Apartheid" Obama isn't very palatable, either. Looks like I'll vote Green for President again in 2008.
    .

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