August 09, 2003

Classic move !! I just drove about 60 miles north on the 5 before I realized I forgot my wallet.
I'm off to the Bay Area to visit my nephew, and hopefully hook up with friends and bloggers. Does anyone have any appropriate suggestions for the speech I'm supposed to be making at the bris on Monday?

August 08, 2003

The first sign of a potentially disturbing trend in the Kobe Bryant case: whites are more likely than blacks to presume the Laker star guilty. The Harper Lee, black-man-accused-of-rape-by-blond-girl aspect to this trial is the great unmentioned undercurrent, just as it was in the early days of the O.J. case. BTW, it's been almost a month; when is celebrity ambulance-chaser Dominick Dunne going to see some face time?

August 07, 2003

Apparently, NaziPundit gets a little bit of help ensuring her books make the best-seller list [link via TalkLeft].
Nephew Blog !!!

Charles Henry Ruderman

I know this is going against the grain here, but Ahnolt's entry into the race probably helps Davis more than it hurts. Riordan had strong cross-over appeal with Democrats, he would have beaten Davis had he been nominated last year, and his presence on the ballot would have salved the anxieties of liberals who were concerned with this recall being another in a string (after Florida, Colorado, and Texas) of right-wing coup attempts. In all likelihood, the announcement on the Tonight Show means that the former L.A. mayor will sit this one out (does that mean the L.A. Examiner will post something again?).

Political campaigns are popularity contests, but they are not just popularity contests. Schwarzenegger has more credibility among political reporters and pundits than he does with the average voters, many of whom still think of him as a self-parodying bodybuilder. Celebrity candidates have a very spotty track record (remember Governor Janet Reno? Senator Geraldine Ferraro? Governor Steve Largent?), and as sycophantic as most of the journalists and pundits who cover politics are, they will seem like Sonny Liston compared with the adulatory coverage Schwarzenegger has received from entertainment "journalists". Moreover, the freakshow aspect of this election will be accentuated by his candidacy; after all, why should he be taken more seriously than Gary Coleman or Dennis Rodman? The more people who see the replacement election as a joke, the more likely it is the recall will lose in two months.

But more importantly, he will not be the only candidate on the replacement ballot (assuming, of course, that the State Supreme Court allows the election to go forward; the law is kind of vague on that issue [ed-never mind !). While Davis simply has to beat one opponent, himself, Schwarzenegger must convince the public both to recall Davis and vote for him. In doing that, he will have to face other opponents besides Davis who will be motivated to knock him out. For all the talk about Davis' use of "puke politics", it is the other candidates in this race that will have to go negative to have any chance to stand above the crowd, while Davis is the only one whose stature in the race improves if he stays positive, and focuses the negativity on the process itself.

August 06, 2003

The BBC is reporting that Ahnolt is running for governor, where he will have a fight for his life against...Arnold !! Arianna announced today, while the steady and sober Senator Feinstein has decided to take a pass. Come to think of it, for all the grief she's gotten for selling campaign thongs, Georgy Russell is more qualified, and is more thoughtful, than most of the "serious" candidates in the freakshow.
The latest gambit from the GOP on the issue of judicial nominations is to accuse the Democrats of acting out of "anti-Catholic" prejudice. The idea, as I understand it, is to say that because William Pryor, et al., oppose abortion rights, and purportedly base said opposition on the teachings of the Catholic Church, anyone who opposes their nomination is doing so out of religious bigotry.

The logic of that attack is ridiculous, as Joshua Marshall points out here; by that logic, the right is basically stating that Catholics can avoid being held accountable for anti-abortion opinions, but that non-Catholics, or those who wish to restrict abortion rights for reasons not connected to religious principles, are out of luck. For other reasons, though, I hope the far right keeps up the attack. It shows that these wack-jobs have as little understanding of mainstream Roman Catholicism in the U.S. as they do of every other non-white, non-male, non-straight and/or non-Baptist in the country.

The typical American Catholic does not belong to Opus Dei, and does not believe that Cardinal Ratzinger speaks for him. We not only support abortion rights, in numbers greater than non-Catholics, but most of us think that priestly celibacy, the male priesthood, the bans on contraception and divorce, and the reliance on clerics to dictate the tenets of our faith are historical relics. Many of us support gay marriage. And just so you don't think it all goes in one ideological direction, quite a few "cafeteria Catholics" support the death penalty, and backed the war in Iraq, in defiance of the teaching of the Holy Mother Church. In short, we think for ourselves.

So if Senator Santorum wants to follow this strategy, BRING 'EM ON. Lord knows, the Democrats are going to need every Catholic vote they can get next year.

August 05, 2003

Having received no contributions, utterly betrayed by the lethargy of my supporters, and preoccupied with the pressures and time-constraints of unclehood, I have decided, after close consultation with family and friend, to withdraw from the recall election currently scheduled for October 7. In the meantime, those of you who want to ensure that our message will be heard should feel free to back the candidacies of Neal Pollack, Georgy Russell, and Brian Flemming, who has electrified the state by promising to resign should he prove victorious. Or perhaps the sobering candidacies of Larry Flynt and/or Arianna Huffington, for those of you inspired by the notion of having the state led by former Politically Incorrect regulars. Or better yet, you.

August 04, 2003

As of one hour ago, I became an uncle for the first time. Congrats to my baby sister Cat, bro-in-law Dan, and to Charles, for getting a crack at making the world a better place. Wherever you are, Dad, you finally have a grandkid !!

August 03, 2003

Blogger Charles Kuffner had an opportunity recently to appear on a FoxNews panel, where he would have had a chance to dis the President on taking a month-long vacation/photo op at his "ranch". He is one of the few bloggers who actually has a job, though, so he didn't get the message until it was too late. Even so, he is unsure he would have taken the gig, and thereby add to the drone of the media whores and junior orwells who pass themselves off as TV pundits.

Just so there's no confusion, I have no such trepidation. If need be, I will go on any news or cable show at one hour's notice and spout whatever opinion is needed to get face time. Even the O'Reilly Factor.

I can only imagine what his 341(a) meeting will be like. Not surprisingly, Tyson going double toothpicks represents a trend that is all too common among athletes and entertainers. They make an enormous amount of money early in their adulthood, mistakenly think it will last forever, and surround themselves with people who are well-versed in spending other people's wealth. Life, however, has a funny way of outlasting the earning potential of even the most athletically (or creatively) gifted.