Saturday Reads in SherovillePosted: December 4, 2010
Good morning, news junkies! Wonk here, under the weather with a terrible sinus bug. I hope this roundup is semi-coherent.
It’s Saturday, December 4th, 2010, and on this day in history in…
1791: The first edition of The Observer, the world’s first Sunday newspaper, is published; 1881: The first edition of the Los Angeles Times is published; 1943: The Works Progress Administration ends; 1961: Birth control pill ‘available to all’ (BBC)— Women who wish to take oral contraception may do so on the National Health Service; 2000: The Supremes rule on Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board.
The Pill, The Papers, The Works Progress Administration, oh my! Oh, and we sure could have used another WPA instead of another Bush.
Of course, on this day in the present… Tax Cut Theatre presents… drumroll please… “Inside the Beltway: A Deficit of Purpose” (that’s from the NYT editorial board in today’s Gray Lady). Here’s a Reuters overview of the provisions in the Tax bill expected to fail in the Senate today. I’m sure the day will be filled with coverage of this kabuki, so enough of that for now.
Onto a Wonk the Weekend link parade, with a Shero emphasis on who else…
Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger: (Reuters) – “Hillary Clinton said Friday she would not run for president and her current job as secretary of state was probably her last public position and she would focus on women’s advocacy work after leaving office. Clinton, who has repeatedly laughed off suggestions she might still want to take command of the White House, told an audience of Bahrain students that she was not contemplating a repeat run for president after losing to Barack Obama in 2008. ‘No, I’m not,’ Clinton said. ‘I think I’ll serve as secretary of state as my last public position and then probably go back to advocacy work, particularly on behalf of women and children.’” (Alright, that’s my cue: As much as I love blogtrotting with Hillary as she travels around the globe, I can’t wait to see The Hillary Rodham Clinton Foundation finally realized when the day comes.)
It’s been a Wikileaks Week of Diplomacy Havoc for Secretary Clinton (wikileaks link goes to the Guardian’s coverage), with the Vast Right Idiocy exhaling from the grave to say their ugly-nothings (or as Taylor put it the other day, “Because Dick Morris is a Jackass.”)
As Obama passes the domestic buck yet again (click for C-span video of Obama talking to troops on a surprise visit to Bagram), he is no doubt breaking the heart of yet another batch of supporters who “wanted to believe.” Then, there is his Secretary of State, connecting with the grassroots everywhere she goes —“Hillary Clinton’s Bahrain ‘Townhall’ goes a-Twitter” (via Meera Rani at the Khaleej Times):
“Meanwhile, in the audience, a quick poll showed that young Bahraini girls were more keenly aware of world politics than the boys. Although Hillary Clinton is too big a name for anybody to not to know, many boys said they were unclear of her exact role in the US government. Bahraini girls, on the other hand, were full of questions that they would have liked to ask her about her work-life balance, her career path and world view. Aysha Hamad, 25, said she would like to understand how Clinton got out of the shadow of her powerful husband to carve a career for herself. Perhaps the most promising observation came from Isa Aziz, 19, who shrugged that while he was not personally interested in politics, he would definitely vote for women in Bahrain because progress ‘..was about ability and not gender!'” For the rest of the Bahrain townhall, you can view the state.gov transcript.
Speaking of the Energizer Secretary, heard at the Hillary Townterview in Kyrgyzstan on Thursday (via state.gov): “MODERATOR 2: How many hours do you sleep? SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it really depends upon what else is going on. I’ve been kind of busy this week, so I haven’t slept many hours. But I try to get six hours. And then on the weekends, I try to make up for it, because you can’t go too long with too little sleep. It starts to impair your judgment. And so even when I can’t sleep a lot during the week, I try to catch up on the weekends.”
Also heard at the townhall in Kyrgyzstan… Hillary, in Ah-the-remnants-of-sexism wry smile mode: “MODERATOR 1: Okay. Which designers do you prefer? SECRETARY CLINTON: What designers of clothes? MODERATOR 1: Yes. SECRETARY CLINTON: Would you ever ask a man that question? (Laughter.) (Applause.) MODERATOR 1: Probably not. Probably not. (Applause.)”
Now that’s a charm offensive!
One more snippet: “MODERATOR 2: What inspires you? SECRETARY CLINTON: People who have the courage to stand up for human rights of themselves, and particularly others. That I find very inspiring. Leaders who put the needs of their people and their rights ahead of their own personal benefit.”
People and rights before personal profit. Obama is inspirational, but it is Hillary who is inspired. (BTW, people-over-profit, how do you translate that in Caviar commission-speak? On second thought, I can’t imagine there are any terms in the CC manual for the concept of good governance.)
Back at Hillaryland.gov (in an ideal world, that would be a valid url), on Friday: “Ambassador Verveer welcomes participants to a conference on International Day of Persons With Disabilities.”
Peter Daou earlier this week: “It’s a nightmarish joke that Republicans and Tea Partiers want to assail President Obama for denying American exceptionalism, while doing everything possible to undercut it.” Perfectly said, but of course, on the other side of the mockery, the great DLC/Clinton Slayer That Never Was… wants to call himself a Blue Dog, not to mention do everything to undercut the domestic policy legacy of FDR and LBJ. Another sick joke for sure, though it is no surprise. (See Politico, March 2009: “I am a New Democrat.” –a newly inaugurated President Obama )
Of course I could quote the dead giveaways from the ’08 primaries, as well, but ’tis the season to be generous and it’s not even necessary to go to that well. This so-called Democratic president’s declarations of independence from core Democratic principles has been on trainwreck display for everyone left-of-center to see and hear with their own lying eyes and ears since his tabula rosa took the oath.
From Wednesday on nakedcapitalism. Matt Stoller says End This Fed. Check out Dakinikat’s comments on Stoller’s thread and her post if you missed it. I wanted to include it in my roundup because the image that struck me while reading all this was a bit chilling: B. Hoover Obama has stuck the shiv in the Democratic party, and the right-wing scavengers have arrived to openly feast on its remains. Yeesh!
The one other story I wanted to touch on briefly and open up for conversation is the dustup over Angelina and her Bosnia movie — link takes you to Melissa Silverstein‘s writeup of the situation at Women and Hollywood.
Also from Hollywood Reporter (H/T Minkoff Minx): “Jolie asked that the women hold their judgment until they have seen the movie, which features a love story between a Bosnian woman and Serbian man. ‘There are many twists in the plot that address the sensitive nature of the relationship between the main characters,’ she said. Jolie explained that she originally decided to write a screenplay to highlight her frustration with the length of time it takes the international community to intervene in conflicts. ‘It kept leaning toward Yugoslavia at the time, I wanted to learn more about it and the people, the more I read and learnt I was drawn to that part of the world,’ she said. ‘I met artists from that part of the world and found they were extraordinary for what they’d gone through, so I wanted to give them a platform.'”
Hmm. Reminds me of the Hindi film Pinjar (based on the novel by the same name–this is a link to a writeup on a lecture series from a couple years ago). The word literally means “skeleton,” but it can also mean “cage.”
So, let’s dish!
What’s your take on the Angelina story? Sounds to me like a case of the media’s three favorite pastimes: hype, misinformation, and mischief.
I say Let Angie Direct, and the calls for her to be stripped of her UN role over a script that we have only a vague plot idea about are over the top.
What’s next for Hillary? Will she go straight back to her public advocacy roots whenever she moves on from Foggy Bottom? Or, is she playing women-dimensional chess?
I’m skeptical as ever Hillary running again, but she still has my vote if she ever needs it.
And, back to where we started– So what about that corporate mush that will be masquerading as a Senate vote today? My two, you ask? Like I said a few days ago, it all boils down to… We are so f’d.
On that note, this is Wonk signing off and wishing everyone a serendipitous Saturday. Here is a mini-photo bomb, shero-style, to cheer you up. Click to view full size & Enjoy!