Slacker Friday

››› ››› ERIC ALTERMAN

Paging Tom Edsall ...

Look, bub, at what you started: This idiotic New York Post story is a screaming Drudge headline. All it is is the fact that Edwards published a book with HarperCollins. Hello, so did I -- my first one, Sound & Fury. Am I in Rupert's pocket? Is everyone who publishes a book with one of the only remaining commercial publishing houses somehow "TAKING MURDOCH MONEY"? And yet, the political process is now taking this insanity seriously. Come now, this is even sillier than the haircut. God save the nation that elects its presidents this way. God save the nations who are at its mercy. (Just so it's clear, Edwards knew he was full of it with his attack on Hillary as well, I'm sure. That doesn't make it right ...)

Slacker Friday:

Name: Charles Pierce
Hometown: Newton, MA

Hey Doc --

"And I won't feel afraid/Whenever I gaze on Waterloo sunset, I am in paradise."

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click -- Thunder Chicken (The Mighty Imperials). Once again, I have neglected to install a state-of-the-art animatronic system in Michelangelo's "David" that will enable it to tell passing German tourists how much I love New Orleans.

One of the great things about covering a baseball trip to New York back in the day was the fact that, after the story was filed, if you caught the train quickly outside the big ballpark, you could be on 55th Street in time to hear Tommy Makem sing "Four Green Fields" onstage at his Irish Pavilion. He died this week, and the AP apparently gave his obit to a 12-year-old who was then apparently edited by a 15-year-old, and the great song of political mourning was described as a song about "a woman whose sons died trying to prevent strangers from taking her fields." Ah, no. Not really. He saw the two days, did Tommy. A chairde, old son.

Hey, I was in Chicago doing that NPR thing and I dropped by YearlyKos to see what was scaring Bill O'Reilly so much. I don't get it, myself, unless he's got a phobia about laptops. There are some really young wonks out there, Doc, let me tell you. I felt like Clark Clifford.

Riddle me this. Is it possible that the hyperbolic coverage of every tiny twist and every miniscule turn among the various Democratic presidential candidates, even though the Republican field is equally vast, equally sprawling, and far more entertainingly daft -- our latest episode seems to have Sam Brownback running for hall monitor at the Council of Trent -- is a tacit acknowledgement by our brethren that the GOP cause is pretty well hopeless? A friend of mine spent a weekend recently at a resort where he attended a gathering of fairly well-known wise men, and he reports that the consensus view among the various GOP types grazing at the buffet table is that the whole party already has gone four wheels off the cliff and is about halfway down what seems to be a fairly bottomless abyss. He got the sense that they're already regrouping as a minority opposition party and beginning the process of purging what they believe to be the poisons that have driven the party mad. Now, this was pretty much the old-line boardroom conservative wing talking, and we all know that they aren't the ones who have been driving the Crazy Train for the past six years, but my friend said they seemed almost terminally cheesed off at what's happened to what they perceive to have been the main chance, and they're worried about another few years in a Goldwaterish exile. All I know is that, in the public prints, Fred Thompson went from Great Wrinkly Hope to Indolent Cracker Hound Dog in less time than it takes Mitt Romney to change a deeply felt principle while, at the same time, of all things, a Chris Dodd boomlet seemed to be building. Anything can happen. Hell, the Democrats appear disgustingly willing to get rolled on this "reform" of the FISA law even as we speak, but I'm wondering if more than a few people are feeling an earthquake, but are too polite and professional to mention it.

p.s. -- This is, of course, arrant nonsense from one of the women who's spent a decade and a half rummaging through the lingerie drawers of Hillary Clinton's mind. But, dammit, if there's one writer in America who should be banned, forever, from the use of the first-person plural, it's la Noonan. What do you mean "we," white lady? It is not the job of your fellow Americans to be the voices in your head. Sheesh.

p.p.s. -- And, based on this, any major conglomerate that wants to buy The Politico and turn it into a nice roadside vegetable stand has my full support. Jeebus Christmas, boys, get a room, OK?

Name: Brian Geving
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

It truly is a sad day for everyone here in Minneapolis, and I never thought that our fair city would be the subject of wall-to-wall coverage on CNN. Even though the loss of life is tragic, and is bound to increase as we find more bodies today, tragedies tend to bring out the best in people. The same thing happened on 9/11 and other tragedies, and it always renews my faith in the goodness of people. Until the police got there, the first responders that saved many people were civilians who ran to the scene to help save people. Amazing ... but not surprising to anyone who grew up here.

The authorities have been planning for this type of tragedy since 9/11 and their plans worked like clockwork. Emergency services were mobilized even before the TV stations started reporting on the incident, and within an hour there were emergency crews on the scene from the entire metro area, and every ambulance from every hospital in the area. It truly was an amazing effort, and I'm surprised that it went so smoothly. Thank God that FEMA wasn't helping us.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as this tragedy is likely to get worse as more bodies are found today.

Name: Tom Arsenault
Hometown: Durham, NC

Funny thing is, the note you had on the site today from "Tim" (no hometown given), where he quoted the Hugh Hewitt posting, is almost identical to what I heard Neal Boortz bloviating about on the radio today at lunch. Almost verbatim.

Can you say Bush talking points handed down from the man himself? It's like he told his biggest cheerleaders and PR guys, "Hey, here's tomorrow's message, don't quote me directly because this is a private conversation, but this should be the tilt of it."

Makes me wonder when he's going to have someone from the democratic side in to have a chat. Isn't this the 2nd or 3rd time he's brought in the right wing talk show hosts to have a private chat in the Oval Office?

Name: R. Dale Webb
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah

Twice a year the Mormons hold a General Conference here in SLC, attended by tens of thousands of the faithful (and known among the rest of us as "Mormodan."). Twice a year evangelical street preachers gather across the street from Temple Square and the SuperNacle (super-sized Tabernacle) to scream at the Mormons attending conference, calling them sinners, waving signs saying that Mormon = Satan, accosting people and telling them they are going to hell, and so on. If Romney gets the GOP nomination, those same kinds of crazies are going to come out of the very woodwork, on a national scale. The GOP will tear itself apart, with each faction trying to prove it's more godly. Just watch.

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