Friday, July 30, 2010

a few short notes/observations

I finally got the new Merle Haggard album, I Am What I Am. Amazon has it for $5, and it's worth a whole lot more. I love it. The Bakersfield Sound lives on.

I find the whole Sherrod Affair so shameless, so galling-- both on the part of Breibart and Fox, and on the part of the administration for rolling over, again, for that game. It is so depressing. I'm in complete agreement with the sentiment expressed here.

The Tour de France was enjoyable this year mostly because of the building momentum behind Lance Armstrong impending fall from grace. I can't think of a more arrogant or deserving person. If you're looking for a charity supporting cancer research and advocacy, I'd suggest looking for one that puts more of its money into the cause than LAF and Livestrong, which spends 45% of its proceeds on solicitation. (This is, admittedly, better than the egregious 60% of the ACS.) Maybe consider giving to the V Foundation. Plus, you won't be supporting Pharmstrong and Nike's branding projects.

I was completely disappointed with the World Cup finals-- an ugly game that highlighted the extent to which soccer on the international pitch is dominated by a culture of cheating. And by that I mean, dominated by a culture of getting away with as much hacking and as much acting as one can short of a red card. It was a let down after a pretty enjoyable tournament overall.

I blame Bill Clinton, the DLC, and the whole New Democrat strategy of the 1990s for the complete lack of effectiveness of the Obama administration. Whatever his administration has accomplished has been so severely damaged by executive and congressional ineptitude that I seriously doubt the Obama presidency will have a positive historical legacy beyond the (admittedly important) symbolism of having elected a black president. Controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, and yet being incapable of standing up to the posturing, racially charged rhetoric, and economic incompetence of the same people who gave us a global recession the size of the 1930s... Only the democrats could accomplish this. And November will bring a tide turning in the favor of the worst political impulses of this country. And BP. And Afghanistan. And unemployment.

It leaves me feeling so exasperated that I find it hard to write a post whenever I feel moved to do so, which is usually daily.