January 15th, 2008

_The Truth_ by Al Franken, and a bit more about Brock

Eventually, someone gets around to recommending that Brock read about how doctors under the Nazis rationalized what they did.

All in all, Brock very much comes across as an opportunist who is lacking in much of a moral compass, in part because he didn't have strong connections to family and friends, and in part because lying had become such a habit (to himself and others). In the course of researching what was supposed to be a hatchet job on Hillary Clinton, Brock makes several more research trips to Arkansas. A woman named Becky who accompanies him is also Republican and also really wants this dishy stories to be true, but her innate bull-shit detector prevents her from just going along to get along. Later in the tale, between having come out as gay in the way of a probably-not-on-purpose-outing by Frank Rich and the Clinton book ultimately being not-exactly-a-hatchet-job, Brock loses All His Conservative Fans. Well, not all. Becky, for example, apparently keeps in touch. Which makes ya kinda think maybe she was a big factor in the Change Of Heart, or at least Change of Journalistic Standards and General Dusting Off of the Conscience. Does Becky get credit? Heck no! Remember, that inadvertent outing was Rich calling Frank "misogynistic". Other people read that as code for homosexual, but Rich meant was he was saying.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A04E7DE1F3EF935A35752C0A962958260

Rich was right. May _still_ have been right as of the writing of _Blinded_.

All in all, it makes me happy I bought it used; I'll do the same for his other book at some other point in time.

Al Franken by contrast, not a misogynist. I read _Lies..._ a year or two ago and picked up _The Truth_ in paperback at Costco some time after that. I'm always a little late with political books, which I'm thinking maybe I should change. *shrug*

In any event, Franken is, as always, pointed and funny, at times simultaneously, at times alternately. His summary of the numbers for social security's upcoming "crisis" pointed out something I had missed, which is that the unfunded liability computations are done to the year infinity. Wow. That's really silly. Some interesting stuff in there about Terror Management Theory (you can google it; wikipedia's article has an NPOV complaint associated with it) and Mortality Salience and the 2004 elections. I _love_ Franken's summary of the 2004 election: fear, smears and queers.

I'm about halfway done and may or may not post more. Franken is worth reading, always. Track down a copy somewhere and give it a whirl.

what is _up_ with the media and Janet Huckabee?

No one can see to put her in frame. Usually, I'm seeing snippets on TV and Countdown is so laughing at Chuck Norris and his wife that Janet gets one ear in frame, if that.

But there is so _no_ excuse for this!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/us/politics/13huckabee.html?ex=1200891600&en=9539116092ae3a68&ei=5070&emc=eta1

Interesting to see Weyrich go for Romney, but the Melkite Greeks are by no means Southern Baptist-types.

The constitutional amendment talk (Huckabee wants, surprise, pro-life and defense-of-marriage amendments) has definitely gotten some people going (and rightly so, of course!) but I should point out to any libertarians out there that Ron Paul has said some stuff about constitutional amendments affecting who gets to be a citizen and who doesn't that should raise the hair on the back of any American's neck.

I'd love to see Huckabee get the Republican nomination. Heh.

As for Ron Paul and his no-birthright-citizenship for children of illegals, the Moonies over at the Washington Times are attempting to smear Huckabee with this one, but he's not taking that one lying down.

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS202252+08-Jan-2008+PRN20080108