Well, it turns out that selling senate seats is frowned upon even in a state where politics are controlled primarily by the mafia. Frankly, though, with the media interest, comical characters, and obvious guilt of the governor, the state legislature was left with little choice. They didn't want to blow their own covers, after all.
The Blago fiasco has been one of my guilty pleasures of the past few months. I realize that the entertainment value in political intrigue appeals strictly to my appetitive nature, but it's something that I'm willing to admit. Nothing has entertained me more, aside from Blago's man-bouffant, than his sodden T.V.-circuit defense. Instead of, say, hiring a successful lawyer or paying attention to the proceedings, he went on Larry King Live to explain to the peasants how messy politics are and to proclaim his innocence. He diversified his audience by hitting up Oprah and The View, which probably made housewives more, not less indignant. His publicity blitz, at least to me, seemed antithetical to what he should have been doing if he actually thought he stood a chance.
The curmudgeonly blog, Jeremiah's Vanishing New York, says the recession is actually renewing New York — purging it of the selfish Young Urban Narcissists that have settled there and reminding us that New York has always been about more than making big money:
Many of us are feeling optimistic about this city for the first time in a decade. New York's identity has always been about much more than just real estate and money. The path of the New Yorker "has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those that prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things."
That quote is from President Obama's inaugural address. In his rousing speech, there is great hope that the narcissistic, sociopathic tenor of our entire country, the dark cloud we've been living under for the past 8 years, is poised to change. And so it is changing in New York, too, where the "risk-takers, doers, and makers of things" have too long been stifled and squeezed out by a swaggering crowd of safety-seeking do-nothings.
Like Bush on his way out of office last week with his posture deflated, their swagger has diminished already. And our city will be far better for it. We don't need to tumble into violence and degradation. We can be safe, we can prosper, we can enjoy beautiful things–without living in a sociopathic New York.
This is eloquent. Recession as redemption and renewal? I can see it.
They've yet to acknowlege it on their site, but it's gotten out everywhere that the awkwardly-named Culture11, the conservative opinion magazine that hoped to compete with Slate, has dismissed its staff and will close either immediately or in the near future. Details appear to be on lockdown; everyone who knows anything seems to have been told not to talk about it.
What we do know: The staff was released sometime yesterday and rather unexpectedly. There were "signs," says one source who spoke to a Culture11 editor yesterday, but the announcement was a shock. The financial backers lost money in the downturn, and suddenly decided the expensive Culture11 needed to be profitable. (The site has, in its five months of operation, only occasionally displayed small ads.) How things proceeded to an overnight shutdown, we don't know. If you worked at C11 or know more, feel free to share.
Update, 4:31 p.m. Culture11 editor David Kuo speaks on Twitter: "Culture11 suspended operations, will try to keep platform alive for discussions, horrible economy, did best we could."
Today is Empathy Day. Apparently every Wednesday is Empathy Day. I just learned about this through Twitter, however, so I have a lot of empathizing to make up for.
I feel empathy for Culture 11, a conservative online magazine started the same time as Patrol in its current version, which died today.
I feel empathy for Rich Cizik since the National Association of Evangelicals is now advertising for his replacement. Whatever you think of his endorsement of gay civil unions, it's sad to be dumped for a dissenting opinion after 28 years of work.
I empathize with Bill Clinton, since he is a skank and thus can't tell the offensive jokes nice old man, George H.W. Bush, can tell.
On his Twitter, NYU prof Jay Rosen wants to know why the McCain campaign did its best to piss off the media. He's referring to an interview with Columbia Journalism Review, in which Weekly Standard writer and McCain campaign blogger Matthew Goldfarb described his role with the campaign:
I was a cudgel. I pissed off the media. They were furious about it. That was the effect the campaign was looking for.
Now that Goldfarb has said so in so many words, it seems obvious. The liberal media was a constant campaign theme, and now that Sarah Palin has pretty much started running for president in 2012, the theme goes on.
Desplat employs steadiness and symmetry to invoke the slow passage of time.
Well, that didn't take long! Jonathan "Favs" Favreau, 27-year-old speechwriter adored on Patrol's very pages, is dating White House aide/Maxim hottie, Ali Campoverdi. Naturally, she was a campaign intern and posed for not-classy lad rag Maxim magazine in her underwear. All this, just days after he disappeared from Facebook.
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