Slacker Friday

››› ››› ERIC ALTERMAN

We have a new Think Again column called "No Iraq News (Still) Isn't Good News," here.

On Moyers tonight:

What do the results in Iowa say about the press and politics? In two interviews, Bill Moyers talks with candidates shut out of key debates - [Ron] Paul by Fox News from an upcoming debate in New Hampshire and [Dennis] Kucinich by Iowa's biggest newspaper The Des Moines Register in December. On the Friday after the Iowa caucuses, Paul and Kucinich will give their perspectives on the results, the politics, and the process as the field heads to New Hampshire. Also on the program, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, examines the campaigns and coverage in Iowa and looks at the power of the press to systematically advantage some candidates and disadvantage others.

Name: Charles Pierce
Hometown: Newton, MA.

Hey Doc --

"They smile in your face, all the time they wanna take your place/the back stabbers"

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: Blue Pepper (Viperhouse) -- I am Fired Up (and Ready To Go) to tell the many worlds of the cosmos how much I love New Orleans.

Well, early on in the evening, Chris Matthews used the word "pissant" on live television. (Another barrier falls!) While I did slide nerdfully over to C-SPAN to watch some actual caucuses, I kept coming back to MSNBC and the evening zoo crew. Whatever points they accrue for giving some PT to the great Dr. Maddow, they lose for not bundling Matthews off to the Happy Farm very early on, before he started babbling about the revelatory moment of good ol' Ioway's signing up with a transformational "Third World" figure wha-dee-doo-dah while poor Olbermann sat there groping blindly for the Thorazine. By the end, after Barack Obama's latest oratorical candy floss, Matthews looked like he'd caught the whole dinner show at Lourdes. Can we please have one election where we are not told it's our obligation as citizens to swoon over someone? Can't we just, you know, HIRE someone to do the job?

That said, it was a good night to be a Democrat and a very, very bad night to be a Romney. How'd you like to spend seven million on TV ads, lose to a Bible-banger with a name out of Al Capp, and then see John McCain on your teevee, already in New Hampshire and taking further bites out of your hide? How do the R's square this circle? Romney's a self-evident fake, and the establishment plainly wants to sell the Huck down the river. How does it do that without fomenting a Wall Street/Wal-Mart split that will take a generation to heal? I think they suck it up and run St. John on his latest platform of keeping American troops in Iraq for 100 years. Have fun, kids.

As to Obama, well, I'm still waiting. He gives a good speech and he plainly can get people off the parliamentary side of their arse. However, after seven years of God Told Me To Screw This Up, and people telling me that it's the president's job to "protect" me and my family -- Give me a break. I wouldn't hire the incumbent to park my car -- I am very wary of messianic appeals to the better angels of my nature. I don't want reconciliation with this party full of vandals until we have truth first. Does the current frontrunner have an opinion on what should happen to the people who stonewalled the 9/11 commission? Is that something we have to "get beyond" so as to march together into bipartisan Shangri-La? Well, f**k that. How's the damage get repaired that way? If it's OK, I'm not kneeling at the grotto just yet.

Name: Peter Johnson
Hometown: Alexandria, VA

Here are links to the obituary of Philip Kaiser published in several papers.

From the Times of London:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article1890096.ece

And from the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,2091569,00.html

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