Counting to Ten

Joe Nocera has a reminder from his mother — count to ten before you speak.

 It feels at times as if contemplation has given way to expectoration, with speed overtaking sense and nuance exiting the equation. And I’m talking about more than the rising count of reputations forfeited and careers dashed in 140 characters or fewer, of crackups like that of a prominent New York publicist who recently tweeted what she apparently meant to be a joke about not having to worry about AIDS in Africa because she’s white.

I’m talking about a revved-up metabolism and roughened-up manners.

Kucinich Goes All FOXy

Dennis Kucinich, former congressman and icon of the anti-war left, has signed up as an analyst for Fox News. He will debut on “The O’Reilly Factor” Thursday night.


And through what thorny thickets will Bill O’Reilly lead him?

Don’t think this will change my viewing habits…

Michael Moore Yaks it up with Bill Kristol

Dear Bill Kristol: More People Than You Thought Are Vulgar, Disgusting and Far-Left

By Michael Moore

I just sent this to Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard magazine and one of the most influential advocates of our invasion of Iraq. He posted something this morning about my post where I found an old quote from Chuck Hagel about how the Iraq War is all about the oil. I’ll let you know when Bill gets back to me. (If you don’t know much about Bill, you can find a good introduction here about his pre-war debate with Daniel Ellsberg.)

Dear Bill,

Thanks for your post mentioning me! I didn’t realize you visited my website so early on Saturday mornings. Man, I wish we had cleaned up after the party last night.

Anyway, I see you’re mad that back in 2007 former Sen. Chuck Hagel said that we were obviously “fighting for oil” in Iraq. You explain this was “vulgar and disgusting” and “could be the straw that breaks the back of Hagel’s chances” to be Obama’s next Defense Secretary.

Since you feel so strongly about this, I wanted to make sure you heard about four other prominent people who’ve said the same thing. (I should have mentioned them yesterday with the Chuck Hagel stuff, I apologize.)

Read on

David Brooks to Teach Humility at Yale. Really.

I lost my appetite for reading David Brooks twenty-two apologies for Republican extremism ago.  Still, like the curious fellow I am, I stop by his column from time to time and scan quickly — like I used to do at the 10¢ book bins outside bargain bookstores.  Maybe something will pop up.  Today what popped was not Brooks himself, but his nemesis Matt Taibbi, who fastened his teeth into the seat of Brooks pretensions some time ago and won’t unlock his jaws.  Today ran as follows:

New York Times columnist David Brooks may be scheduled to teach a class called “Humility” at Yale, but that doesn’t make him humble, according to Matt Taibbi.

“Assuming this is all real, though, this has to make pretty much any list of the most pretentious moments ever,” Taibbi wrote on his Rolling Stone blog on Wednesday.

Taibbi added that Brooks is a “class-obsessed” “aristocrat-apologist,” and that “this move might formalize his status as the biggest windbag in the Western hemisphere.”

“A Special Pile of Human Excrement” Dies

Andrew Breitbart, who opined on Ted Kennedy’s death that “he was a special pile of human excrement” has died, fortunately for the world,  at the age of 43.  Whatever his father-in-law wants to believe, it was not of natural causes.

And why anyone who witnessed the viciousness of his personality and his use of it against others would have nice words to say about him, is beyond me.

It is particularly illuminating that the phalanx of right wing presidential candidate zombies who want to impose their special brand of morality on the country admire a man with none, of any kind.


From the campaign trail, the Republican presidential candidates offered their condolences.

“That’s shocking, obviously prayers go out to him and his family,” said Rick Santorum, who called Breitbart a “powerful force.”

“What a huge loss, in my opinion for our country, and certainly for the conservative movement,” added Santorum, who was stumping in Dalton, Ga. “I’m crestfallen.”

“Ann and I are deeply saddened by the passing of @AndrewBreitbart: brilliant entrepreneur, fearless conservative, loving husband and father,” tweeted fellow presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“Andrew Breitbart was the most creative conservative in the country, in his use of technology, in his understanding of how to wage cultural war using the new media, in his courage in standing up and fighting, and I think in his zest and excitement for the life of politics and the life of ideas. It was an enormous tragedy to lose him. A tragedy for his family, but it’s a tragedy for the conservative movement and I think it’s a tragedy for America,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told POLITICO Thursday.

We should cheer every step of Shirley Sherrod’s defamation law suit against him and hope it continues against his estate.

Friday Morning Quarterbacks Calling for New Obama Team

Since the election hasn’t happened yet we can’t call the pundits Monday Morning quarterbacks, but more are weighing in prior to The Big Game! to give Obama unsolicited advice.  Bill Keller of the NY Times joins Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary, in proposing that Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden switch seats — and they aren’t the first, or only ones.  Maybe there is a market for Fantasy Politics, to go along with Fantasy Football…create your own line-up and place your bets!


She would bring to this year’s campaign a missing warmth and some of the voltage that has dissipated as Obama moved from campaigning to governing. What excites is not just the prospect of having a woman a heartbeat — and four years — away from the presidency, although she certainly embodies the aspirations of many women. It’s the possibility that the first woman at the top would have qualifications so manifest that her first-ness was a secondary consideration.


Well I don’t know.  She might add some spine to the Obama team, but it might be just were it is least needed — Iran? Bomb ’em.  Would she shore up Obama’s nauseating weakness on civil liberties?  Would the presidential right to gun-down Americans abroad or to hold indefinitely those who’s strange last names make them likely terrorists, be rectified?  My fantasy team doesn’t start with her.  But the Democratic bench doesn’t offer very much and Bernie Sanders would/should refuse the post if offered, as a kind of power painted prison he would languish in…..