Saturday, June 21, 2008

Obama campaign getting awkwardly awful

I have mixed feelings about Obama not accepting public financing for the general election campaign. It's true, it's a "broken system." But his opting out isn't exactly helping anything.

So it's rather insulting to our intelligence that the Obama campaign is now trying to frame this as a good thing. In their email today, they say that donating to the campaign is actually declaring your independence from the broken system. And they tout this as "the first presidential election truly funded by the people" -- a notion that could be rather damaging to the actual movement out there that is trying to move us toward publicly-funded campaigns.

Which progressive movement will be chopped up and tossed on the floor next?

I'm not sure which is worse: if they're trying to fool people with this, or if they actually believe what they're saying.

Duanna Johnson

Here's something you'll be hearing more about in the coming days.

On February 12 of this year, Duanna Johnson, a transgender woman, was beaten by a Memphis police officer, in a station, while others looked on. The story came to light on Tuesday of this week, when WMC-TV, the local NBC affiliate, aired the surveillance tape they obtained showing the beating. That report is here.

The Memphis Police knew about this by days after the incident -- the officer who attacked Johnson, Bridges McRae, has been on desk duty since, during investigation. This follow up from WMC is the most thorough I've seen on explaining where the legal process stands.

At best, we could hope for some kind of institutional change in the Memphis Police to come out of this. We'll see. You have to wonder what happens that is not caught on tape.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Wolong Pandas

Sunday's Washington Post has the story on the pandas in the earthquake zone in China. At the Wolong reserve, one died and one is missing. Otherwise they are a bit shaken up but doing ok.

The best part, though, is the accompanying video. Be sure to check out the amazing acrobatics at 1:15 and 2:20.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Good to know

Believe it or not, with many kinds of meat, marinating only takes a few seconds. Leaving it for hours or days will make relatively little difference. At least, that's what this guy says.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Oh Anderson

If you haven't yet seen the Anderson Cooper / Donna Brazile thing yet, it's a hoot.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

One more reason I probably won't vote for Obama

Over the last many months, there have been quite a few times when Obama has done things that have led me to say to myself, "I just can't bring myself to vote for him." (and of course, a vote in the general election only matters in a few states anyway).

Today, in his speech before AIPAC, Obama said, "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."

So there you have it. Two radical departures from existing US policy. Currently the US, for most intents and purposes, does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And the Bush Administration, when it has spoken of a future Palestinian state, has never said that it would include absolutely zero land in East Jerusalem (sometimes quite the opposite in fact). But that's exactly what Obama is calling for here.

I don't think there's that much wiggle room; it's hard to twist this into one day meaning something of a shared capital.

A two-state solution where the Palestinian state does not include an inch of East Jerusalem is a pretty absurd thought, and presumably he must know that. Maybe if he gets elected he'll say that what he told AIPAC today no longer applies.

But for now, let's recognize these words today for what they are: Obama endorsing right-wing extremism.

I don't want to vote for that.

Update: Robert Dreyfuss at gets the reaction from the conference attendees.

Katie gets it. Brian and Charlie don't.

The part of McClellan's book where he says the media seriously messed up on the Iraq war has given a chance for some in the media to reflect on the pre-war story. In a joint appearance on the Today show, Katie gets. Brian and Charlie still have their heads stuck in the sand. Way far in the sand.

FAIR also has a useful rundown on the media response to McClellan.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Red Hook Mess

The food vendors in Red Hook are still stuck in the world of permits, and its now unclear when they are going to open, The Brooklyn Paper reports this weekend.

The consolation is that a few of the vendors have started selling at "Brownstoners' Brooklyn Flea", a relatively new weekly flea market (Sunday, 10am-5pm or so), in Fort Greene (Lafayette Ave between Clermont and Vanderbilt - Google Map), that is organized by the folks at the Brownstoner blog.