Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Book Signing: President Clinton, “Back To Work” in New York

Just wanted to share this photo – this is one of the best book acquisitions of the year, certainly. I’m a big fan of President Clinton – reading his books, and also about his time in office. His was the first presidency that registered with me: I was only nine years old when he was elected in 1992. When I was in Los Angeles, I volunteered for his Global Initiative anniversary concert at the Hollywood Bowl (perhaps the best night of the trip out West), and today I was able to properly meet the former President – albeit, as part of a considerable queue of people in New York who lined up to buy a signed edition of his new book, Back To Work.

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It’s unfortunate he didn’t have time to personalise any of the signatures, but this is still pretty awesome for me – someone who is fascinated by the presidency and the men who have held that office. Not only that, I wrote quite a bit about his presidency and foreign policy in my recently-completed thesis. In fact, as part of my conclusion, I suggest that a couple of the criticisms (from Richard Haass) of his foreign policy may, in fact, be the best way for America to approach its relations with the rest of the world: “case-by-case-ism” and “a la carte” foreign policy – it’s tied into my arguments for a more pluralistic approach to international relations.

This was well worth the two-hour wait in a line that wrapped around two sides of the block. I’ll read and review the book as soon as I get a chance, so watch this space.

Monday, 7 November 2011

In the Oeuvre of Stephen Colbert…?

Sorry, yet another clip from the Rachel Maddow Show, but this one was fascinating. Rachel has been thinking about Herman Cain’s candidacy, and has come to the conclusion that it is a piece of performance art. She comes up with a compelling and amusing case, indeed, and lays it out in full:

Now, where there’s a problem with this, is that his campaign is funded by the Koch Brothers, staffed by AFP staffers (Koch Bros-created/financed institution), and many other links betwixt the two. I just have difficulty believing that the Koch brother, who have been extremely activist when it comes to financing campaigns that will give them whatever they want voices agendas in line with their own, would spend so much time and money on a joke. What would be their motivation? It points to the absurdity of American politics brilliantly, so I don’t see why or how the Koch Brothers or any of Cain’s other backers would benefit from this exercise.

I do, however, think it would be fantastic if this were some kind of Republican attempt to emulate Stephen Colbert’s character-driven comedy. Frightening, but perhaps a little bit genius?

Saturday, 5 November 2011

It’s not just Big Book Fantasy…

… that suffers epic waits between volumes.

I came across this snippet in the latest issue of TIME magazine, and it made me chuckle enough that I thought I’d share it here (and on my other book blog). So, if you thought George R.R. Martin or Robert Jordan were taking their time, take a gander:

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Friday, 4 November 2011

Romney “as consistent as a human being can be”? Seriously…?

Another startling example of Romney’s inability to grasp the nature of modern technology and its ability to drag up evidence of your flip-floppery. Does he really believe this stuff, or is he just so disconnected from reality, living in a bubble of yes-men and sycophants? Or, perhaps worse, does he have memory problems?

It’s a long clip, but the first half is about Romney, the rest is about Perry and Cain (every time I type that, I almost at a “Mc-” at the beginning). Romney’s continued disconnection from reality is troubling, seeing as he is going to be the Republican nominee (probably), and his naked ambition and willingness to sell-out on every issue to court the supposed-important, utterly nutty party base… well, I don’t think anyone should want someone who exhibits no courage of any convictions that are perceived as politically unsafe.

America does not need a president who only has the courage of his ambitions.

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Update: Here’s another clip about Romney’s flip-flopping and anything but consistency on important conservative/political issues – this time from Lawrence O’Donnell’s Last Word, from last night’s show (Thursday 3rd):

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

“You can’t wait for your freshman microeconomics textbook to come true…”

Another great one from Rachel Maddow’s October 31st show: It’s a long clip, but the first half was very good. So was the second half, but it changed the topic slightly.

This is really weird…

Watching this clip on the Rachel Maddow Show, I can’t help wondering what the hell is wrong with Rick Perry during this speech:

As Rachel says, “it is hard to talk about Perry’s campaign” after watching this. It made me think of Matthew McConaughey acting like a stoned politician. Very bizarre.