My Articles for Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Clinton campaign’s way of dealing with complaints that Hillary looks too cunning is to toss in a bit of personality. This is worse: now she’s laughing like an alarm clock buzzer. “The Daily Show” pictured a voice inside her head saying, “Humorous remark detected, prepare for laughter display.”

Photographs and a video are included.

[tags: Hillary Clinton, politics, news, ceelebrities, photographs, video]

“Paris Hilton’s Many Talents: Film Star, Recording Artist, Entrepreneur and Ex-Con.” David Letterman grilled Paris Hilton mercilessly on his television show last week. Letterman’s “jail interrogation” made Paris squirm and squirm!! Poor thing. It’s very funny to watch!

Photograph and video are included.

[tags: Paris Hilton, David Letterman, television, celebreties, socialite, video, YouTube]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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Hillary’s Wonkery: And Then There’s “That Laugh”

Frank Rich has written an interesting Op-Ed piece in today’s edition of The New York Times. In his article, he suggests that Hillary Clinton’s appearance of always being in complete control has “cracks” in it, which may lead to her downfall. One of those “cracks,” Rich points out, is that Hillary Laugh:

“The Beltway’s narrative has it not only that the Democrats are shoo-ins, but also that the likely standard-bearer, Hillary Clinton, is running what Zagat shorthand might describe as a “flawless campaign” that is “tightly disciplined” and “doesn’t make mistakes.” This scenario was made official last weekend, when Senator Clinton appeared on all five major Sunday morning talk shows — a publicity coup, as it unfortunately happens, that is known as a “full Ginsburg” because it was first achieved by William Ginsburg, Monica Lewinsky’s lawyer, in 1998.

Mrs. Clinton was in complete control. Forsaking TV studios for a perfectly lighted set at her home in Chappaqua, she came off like a sitting head of state. The punditocracy raved. We are repeatedly told that with Barack Obama still trailing by double digits in most polls, the only way Mrs. Clinton could lose her tight hold on the nomination and, presumably, the White House would be if she were bruised in Iowa (where both John Edwards and Senator Obama remain competitive) or derailed by unforeseeable events like a scandal or a domestic terror attack.

If you buy into the Washington logic that a flawless campaign is one that doesn’t make gaffes, never goes off-message and never makes news, then this analysis makes sense. The Clinton machine runs as smoothly and efficiently as a Rolls. And like a fine car, it is just as likely to lull its driver into complacent coasting and its passengers to sleep. What I saw on television last Sunday was the incipient second coming of the can’t-miss 2000 campaign of Al Gore.

That Mr. Gore, some may recall, was not the firebrand who emerged from defeat, speaking up early against the Iraq war and leading the international charge on global warming. It was instead the cautious Gore whose public persona changed from debate to debate and whose answers were often long-winded and equivocal (even about the Kansas Board of Education’s decision to ban the teaching of evolution). Incredibly, he minimized both his environmental passions and his own administration’s achievements throughout the campaign.

He, too, had initially been deemed a winner, the potential recipient of a landslide rather than a narrow popular-vote majority. The signs were nearly as good for Democrats then as they are now. The impeachment crusade had backfired on the Republicans in the 1998 midterms; the economy was booming; Mr. Gore’s opponent was seen as a lightweight who couldn’t match him in articulateness or his mastery of policy, let alone his eight years of Clinton White House experience.

Mrs. Clinton wouldn’t repeat Mr. Gore’s foolhardy mistake of running away from her popular husband and his record, even if she could. But almost every answer she gave last Sunday was a rambling and often tedious Gore-like filibuster. Like the former vice president, she often came across as a pontificator and an automaton — in contrast to the personable and humorous person she is known to be off-camera. And she seemed especially evasive when dealing with questions requiring human reflection instead of wonkery.

Reiterating that Mrs. Clinton had more firsthand White House experience than any other candidate, George Stephanopoulous asked her to name “something that you don’t know that only a president can know.” That’s hardly a tough or trick question, but rather than concede she isn’t all-knowing or depart from her script, the senator deflected it with another mini-speech.

Then there was that laugh. The Clinton campaign’s method for heeding the perennial complaints that its candidate comes across as too calculating and controlled is to periodically toss in a smidgen of what it deems personality. But these touches of intimacy seem even more calculating: the “Let’s chat” campaign rollout, the ostensibly freewheeling but tightly controlled Web “conversations,” the supposed vox populi referendum to choose a campaign song (which yielded a plain-vanilla Celine Dion clunker).

Now Mrs. Clinton is erupting in a laugh with all the spontaneity of an alarm clock buzzer. Mocking this tic last week, “The Daily Show” imagined a robotic voice inside the candidate’s head saying, “Humorous remark detected — prepare for laughter display.” However sincere, this humanizing touch seems as clumsily stage-managed as the Gores’ dramatic convention kiss.”

That Hillary Laugh

Jon Stewart: And Then There’s That Laugh

Interested readers can find the entire New York Times Op-Ed piece by Frank Rich here.
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My Articles for Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blame has long circulated around the deficient Hurricane Katrina federal relief efforts. In August 2006 Harvard researchers observed that mental illness had doubled after Katrina. With the continuation of shoddy relief efforts, depression among residents has become increasingly enduring. Photographs, a photo gallery and music audio are included.

[tags: Hurricane Katrina, depression, suicide, music audio, photographs, photo gallery, New Orleans]

“Photo of the Day: Toes.” That’s it…just toes. Pretty toes, though. The photograph is presented here for your enjoyment in colorful high-resolution.

[tags: blogs, Photo of the Day, Photograph of the Day, toes, photograph, photography, art]

Yesterday was the official “United Nations International Day of Peace.” This is a posting that celebrates The International Day of Peace. The posting presents a beautiful image of the Picasso Peace Dove, as well as a Photo Gallery that commemorates the Day of Peace. Picasso Peace Dove image and photo gallery are included.

[tags: United Nations International Day of Peace, Day of Peace, peace, Picasso, Picasso peace dove, peace dove, photographs, photo gallery]

The Advocate, the gay tabloid, has published an interview with Hillary Clinton, in which she directly addresses the long-persisting rumors that she is a lesbian. Nope, Hillary Clinton’s not gay. Then is America ready for a straight woman president? Samantha Bee thinks about that one on The Daily Show. Photo and hilarious video are included.

[tags: Hillary Clinton, gay, woman president, The Daily Show, Samantha Bee, photograph, video]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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Hillary: No Way Gay! But, Then, Is America Ready for a Straight Woman President?

Hillary Sets It Straight for Those Who Really Care: Nope, I’m Still Not Gay!

The Presidential Candidate Addresses the Ongoing Rumors about Her Sexuality

Yesterday, there were news sources reporting that The Advocate, the gay tabloid that is sometimes only one notch above Perez Hilton in trying to find “gay” everywhere, has published an interview with Senator Hillary Clinton, in which she directly addresses the long-persisting underground rumors that she is a lesbian.  Have you been sitting on the edge of your seat with breathless anticipation for years, waiting to hear the truth about all of this “straight” from the horse’s mouth?  Well, Rebecca Traister over at Salon has been fretting about this very question for years, and here’s what she was relieved to find out:

“Have you been stewing over this very question since you first saw her on “60 Minutes” in 1992?  Can you not wait another second to get the good word?  Then you’ll find it utterly mind-blowing to discover that, nope, Hillary Clinton’s not gay.

According to the New York Daily News, Advocate News and Features Editor Sean Kennedy described Clinton as a feminist who knows what it’s like to be discriminated against for simply being who you are.  Kennedy went on to say, “although her campaign is loath to talk about it, Clinton is a woman who enemies have tried more than once to caricature as ‘lesbian.’  So she knows firsthand the stigma associated with homosexuality.”

Nevertheless, Kennedy asked Clinton directly how she responds to “the occasional rumor that you’re a lesbian.”  Clinton replied, “People say a lot of things about me, so I really don’t pay any attention to it … It’s not true, but it is something that I have no control over.  People will say what they want to say.”

Apparently this response didn’t provide enough clarity for The Daily News, which just had to follow up by calling Kennedy themselves, just to double-check that he didn’t think she was lying or anything.  “I 100 percent believe she’s a straight, heterosexual woman,” Kennedy told the paper.”

So there you have it.  Hillary Clinton has officially declared she’s not a lesbian, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Again, for all of you folks who are sitting at home keeping score on this issue with our national politicians, Hillary Clinton is not a lesbian.  Anyway, she graduated from Wellesley, not from Smith!!

But that Still Leaves Open Another Important Issue: Sex and the Presidency

Is America Ready for a Woman President?

But does Hillary really have a chance to win the election and serve as our first woman president?  In Tuesday night’s excellent “Daily Show” Samantha Bee segment, Bee transforms herself into a very believable Carrie Bradshaw as she wonders, in her most perfect Sarah Jessica Parker tones, “Now that women can be ‘doctresses, body-buildtrixes and firemenwomen,’ Is America ready for a woman president?

The entire clip is extremely amusing, but the best part is probably when Bee goes wandering around the sample sales with her very feminist friend Kim Gandy, “who is the lady president of some lady thing.”  (That would be the National Organization for Women).  Why don’t you just watch this very funny clip for yourself:

Is America Ready for a Woman President?

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