Rhetoric & Rhythm
 

 
Politics, movies, jazz, baseball... These are a few of my favorite things....
 
 
 

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    Thursday, March 13, 2008
    Desert Island Music
     
    Over at Boots & Sabers they have been running a series of posts where people pick their favorite song by different bands. Today, they take it one step further with a deserted island post.
    The game is that you are stuck on a deserted island with plenty of electricity and a good stereo system. In one version you are allowed to have three songs and only three songs. In another version you are allowed three albums - double albums allowed but no greatest hits compilations or box sets. And in a third version you are allowed the entire discography of three artists.
    I decided to combine the three versions and make them cumulative so that I could get the most musical variety on my little island as possible.
    Here was my answer:

    The complete discographies of:

    The Beatles
    Bing Crosby
    Duke Ellington

    The Albums:

    Exile on Main Street - The Rolling Stones
    The Sun Sessions - Elvis Presley
    Modern Sounds in Country Music - Ray Charles

    Songs:

    Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
    Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police
    The Sixth Symphony (Pastoral) - Beethoven


    That still leaves out a lot, doesn’t it.

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    Wednesday, March 12, 2008
    Warning shot
     
    Jonathan Gurwitz can see what’s coming. The Republicans are heading for a major election defeat in November and the loss of former Speaker Dennis Hastert’s seat in what used to be a solidly Republican district in Illinois is just one indicator.
    But Democrats still have a long primary fight ahead of them with the next big primary - Pennsylvania - nearly six weeks away. Obama won Mississippi handily - 61-39 percent - adding to his victory a few days earlier in Wyoming. That gave him enough delegates to wipe out any bump that Hillary saw out of her March 4 victories in Ohio and Texas.
    There is no way at this point that Hillary can win this thing so it is not clear why she is staying in the race. But it will all be over in time and Democrats will unite behind their nominee just as the disgruntled Republicans have obediently kow-towed to John McCain.

    |

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    Tuesday, March 11, 2008
    Dump Spitzer
     
    What is he still doing in office?? Get the hell out! Resign now! He should have been out yesterday.
    There is no way that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is going to survive this sex scandal. The fact that he used to be a prosecutor who aggressively went after people caught up in prostitution rings sends this case way off of the hypocricy scale. Democrats should not waste one ounce of political capital trying to defend his stupid ass. What an idiot! His political career is over, regardless of how the legal case plays out.
    There are a lot of questions about how the Justice Department came to snare a Democratic governor. These should be pursued vigorously and exposed if it turns out the investigation was politically motivated. But that doesn’t mean Spitzer is going to get off the hook. His goose is cooked no matter what. He needs to clear out and make room for the Democratic Party’s next rising star - Lt. Gov. David Paterson. Paterson would not only become the fourth African-American governor in history, but he would also be the first one who is legally blind. What a great story! Dump Spitzer now and start promoting Paterson!

    |

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    Monday, March 10, 2008
    A question of experience
     
    When they are not darkly alluding that Barack Obama is a terrorist sympathizer because of his middle name, they will attack him for his percieved lack of experience.

    On that note, here is an interesting exercise on picking presidents based on experience:

    Suppose you had to choose between two Presidential candidates, one of whom had spent 20 years in Congress plus had considerable other relevant experience and the other of whom had about half a dozen years in the Illinois state legislature and 2 years in Congress. Which one do you think would make a better President? If you chose #1, congratulations, you picked James Buchanan over Abraham Lincoln.


    There are many other examples like that where you can persuade people to pick Warren G. Harding over Franklin Roosevelt; or Millard Fillmore over John Adams.

    Clearly, “experience” is almost a random factor when it comes to determining the success of a president. One of the most galling things about Hillary’s “threshhold” argument for being commander-in-chief is that her own husband would never have passed the test the way she is using it today.

    Some people will argue that having too much experience is actually bad. They will point out that most presidents fare more poorly during their second term after gaining experience than they do during their first term. I don’t necessarily buy that argument. I just think that experience by itself is overrated. What matters most is what you do with the experience you have and not just the simple fact that you have it.
    Some people can do a great deal with very little experience while others do almost nothing with lots of experience.

    |

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