Everyone is a sucker for the year-end lists. Beyond re-hashing highlights of hoopla, I propose revisiting the topics herein with hindsight, rather than reflex. It is in the spirit of moving forward in 2009 with wisdom and renewed faith in other Americans that we (impatiently) approach this historic inauguration, and re-examine the issues we previously lost our shit over.
I told myself I would hold back on this one. But everyone from Harvey Fierstein to Frank Rich have flogged the Rick Warren Inaugural Invocation Horse so bad, it makes the decapitated horse head in the Godfather look humane.
Getting outraged over Rick Warren speaking at the inauguration is like throwing down over the typesetting on the invitations. Rick Warren? This is nothing. It is so small, in such a long day of pageantry, on the first day of some long years of the fight ahead. In terms of the fish-frying before us, Rick Warren is a scallop, and Moby Dick, the elusive wedding-white whale, is circling us. Read More
Ken Blackwell is no longer my friend.
After my last column endorsing him for the RNC Chair, I was abruptly de-friend-ed/dumped from his Facebook profile — proof that he is in fact getting tech savvy. He also took down the embarrassingly lame YouTube videos from his 2006 gubernatorial campaign, which still only had a couple hundred views after all this time. His super-fast, Internet-like response to my endorsement might have been tipped off when I posted a Tinyurl link on his Facebook wall to my piece here on Huffington Post.
And there on his Facebook profile I happened to notice the only film Ken Blackwell had put down as his favorite: The Coen Brothers’O Brother, Where Art Thou? This struck me that: A) He shares one of my favorite films by my favorite filmmakers, and B) What did he like so much about it to list it as his only favorite? Read More
It’s not often that you will see the same endorsement on Townhall.com as on the Huffington Post, so let’s savor this in the newfound era of post-partisanship.
J. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Secretary of State of Ohio whose administration of the 2004 election made Katherine Harris look like Mary Tyler Moore, is aggressively pushing to become the next chair of the Republican National Committee when its 168 members convene in 2009 to figure out how to pull their party out of the deep, dank hole they have dug themselves into. And I for one support his selection wholeheartedly.
I have spent a tremendous amount of time studying Ken Blackwell. I made a feature length documentary, FREE FOR ALL!, which examines his corrupt stewardship of Ohio elections. Just a few of Ken’s greatest hits:
-Purging a quarter of Cleveland’s register voters, one of the most Democratic counties in the country.
Bravo, Blagojevich! Amidst the awe-inspiring legacy of corruption you will leave behind (which takes a lot coming out of my hometown Chicago), you had the integrity and foresight to neatly distance “That One” from your middle-school mentality shakedowns.
President-Elect “Motherfucker,” as you so fondly referred to him on federal wires, stands clearly out of the loop of your own pompous power grab. Your “fuck him” disdain for this historical politician who ascended from your home state not only keeps Obama the good guy, but your drooling over the Senate seat he left behind makes you look far less the leader of the Land of Lincoln, and more like a spoiled rich kid who inherited a prestigious family heirloom and ran to put it on Craigslist. Read More
As my wife and I flew into Thailand, the Bangkok International Airport where we were scheduled to arrive had just been seized by thousands of anti-government protesters, shutting down all air travel. We were re-routed to Tupao, a Vietnam-era naval base 200 km outside of Bangkok, which was hastily set up with customs agents and buses handling the overflow of confused tourists.
For the next week, this modest third world country was paralyzed as hundreds of thousands of travelers and tons of cargo could not get in or out of Bangkok, costing this struggling economy over $85 million a day. Over 1 million Thais face losing their jobs because of this enduring blow to their thriving tourism industry.
The Peoples Alliance for Democracy (PAD) was fully aware of how devastating the protests would be. Yet they steadfastly believed that the demand for the Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat to resign was more urgent, and after staging protests outside the Parliament building since September, this was, as several banners read, the “Final Stand.” Read More