Nov 30 2007
Ever since the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 during the American Civil War — when President Abraham Lincoln committed the Union to ending slavery — the issue of race has bedeviled not just the United States to this day but in recent decades, several European countries too as they struggle to assimilate minorities of color in their societies. Progressive-minded parties in Western liberal democracies have long been the home of minorities and immigrants seeking to benefit politically and economically from government policies designed to ease their assimilation into society. Some tangible successes notwithstanding, complete assimilation and recognition has often been elusive.
As has been true for the Democratic Party since the 1930’s — when African-American voters started to switch their political allegiance from Lincoln’s Republican Party to the Democrats as President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs provided economic relief to the poor — minorities in Britain have long supported the Labour Party for over 50 years.
Are we now witnessing an electoral drift from Labour to the Tories in Britain? More on the flip side.
Nov 27 2007
Earlier this morning, a young, widely-misunderstood African-American man died from a bullet wound in a Miami, Florida hospital. Outside of the Washington, DC area and the close fraternity that is the National Football League and the city of Miami — where he was a star football player for the University of Miami Hurricanes — few people, outside of his family and close circle of friends, knew him well. Certainly not many in the media. But his coaches and teammates loved him.
His name was Sean Taylor and for the past 3 1/2 years, he played safety for my team, the Washington Redskins.
He was only twenty four years old.
Oct 27 2007
A few minutes ago, I received a phone call from Paris from an old grad school friend of mine who said that Sky News just broadcast a report about secret negotiations between Al Gore and Nicholas Sarkozy over Gore’s political future.
Given its stellar record, Sky is indeed the gold standard in news reporting — particularly in Europe. Its ability to understand American politics and popular culture is unparalleled. I am fully aware that many of you are diehard fans of Sky News and are convinced that it represents the best there is in television journalism. I am in awe of your political acumen and I salute you for knowing what’s important and what’s fluff on the airwaves.
As for me, though I’m always skeptical of any Murdoch-owned news outfit, news of these negotiations intrigued me.
Oct 23 2007
In a not so shocking development, my favorite presidential candidate (other than you know who) is moving up in the polls. With his brilliant one-state strategy, he is fast emerging as a political threat to the front-runners and according to the Washington Post, he’s got momentum
Poll Tries to Measure Colbert Effect
Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm, recently completed a national poll of 1,000 likely 2008 voters that included Colbert’s name in both the GOP and Democratic primaries. (He has announced his plans to run in both the Democratic and Republican primaries.) In the field from Oct. 18-21, the survey has a 5 percent margin of error.
In the Democratic primary, Colbert takes 2.3 percent of the vote — good for fifth place behind Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (40 percent), Sen. Barack Obama (19 percent), former Sen. John Edwards (12 percent) and Sen. Joe Biden (2.7 percent. Colbert finished ahead of Gov. Bill Richardson (2.1 percent), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (2.1 percent) and former Sen. Mike Gravel (less than 1 percent).
Oct 19 2007
This is going to be a fairly short diary.
Television’s favorite political pundit, Jon Stewart, will continue his reign over at ‘The Daily Show’ at least until 2010
Jon Stewart Extends Deal With COMEDY CENTRAL Through 2010
COMEDY CENTRAL has reached an agreement with Jon Stewart to extend the contract of the host of the critically- acclaimed and award-winning “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” it was announced today by Michele Ganeless, president, COMEDY CENTRAL.
Stewart, whose contract was set to expire at the end of 2008, will now remain with the all-comedy network through 2010. In addition to hosting “The Daily Show,” Stewart also serves as an executive producer and writer and is the principal behind Busboy Productions, Inc. with whom the network has a first look television agreement.
“I love doing this show. I feel like I work with and for the best in the business. I look forward to using this extension to having great fun at President Colbert’s expense.”
Stewart declined to say if future President Colbert had taken any positions regarding SCHIP or the Iraq War/Occupation.
Oct 16 2007
I stumbled onto this on the internets and didn’t see it diaried in the past few days
Clooney, DiCaprio to Make Howard Dean Movie
Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney are reported to be in early talks about teaming up for a movie, which The Hollywood Reporter is calling a “political thriller,” loosely based on Howard Dean’s innovative but ultimately unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.
Mr. DiCaprio is expected to play the young, idealistic communications director who guides an unconventional candidate but is ultimately derailed by dirty politics as usual. So, that means the heartthrob is playing the screen version of Joe Trippi. (Kind of like Robert Redford playing Bob Woodward in “All the President’s Men.”)
So, if you worked on the Dean Campaign in 2003-2004, I guess here’s your chance to be in the movie.
Oct 15 2007
Last night, Tim Russert’s CNBC Show discussed the state of the 2008 race as it stands now. This show, about which I’ve written before, has no transcripts available and almost every time I write about it, it is usually from memory. Last night, however, I did take notes.
I almost always watch this one-hour show as it allows the guests maximum time to elaborate their viewpoint. Unlike ‘Meet The Press,’ Russert rarely interrupts and proves what one of my favorite journalists ever, Robin MacNeil, once said of the concept behind PBS’ The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, “If you allow a politician or a policy maker more than a few seconds to speak, they might even say something substantive.”
Towards the end of last night’s show, Russert and his panel discussed Al Gore’s political future.
Oct 13 2007
Earlier this evening, I watched Fox News’ “All Star Panel” of talking heads. It included Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke, and Nina Easton. The moderator, Brett Baier, highlighted some Fox poll which showed non-candidate Al Gore with about 10% support among Democratic voters, third behind Hillary and Obama. What’s noteworthy is that the poll was taken on October 10, 2007 BNPP (Before the Nobel Peace Prize). But what really caught my attention was this insightful statement from Fred Barnes, who some of you may remember was once a liberal reporter for the Washington Star newspaper which went out of business in the early 1980’s
“Al Gore has really debased the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Which got me thinking. Are there other such examples of people really debasing their chosen professions and dishonoring respected institutions in recent history?
The answer below the fold.
Oct 02 2007
Bill Clinton is the consummate politician. The man remains wildly popular with many constituencies in the Democratic Party. Some even remember his presidency fondly, given the nightmare of what has followed him. With his wife Senator Hillary Clinton seeking to become the 2008 Democratic nominee, Bill is enthusiastically campaigning for her.
Will someone new emerge to challenge Hillary in 2008? This from the New York Times blog ‘The Caucus’
But perhaps the biggest takeaway from it all is a meta-story – that Vanity Fair‘s editor, Graydon Carter, apparently seemed to think that Al Gore was going to jump into the ’08 race sometime soon.
Mr. Gore could still enter the race, of course. But this is the second major Vanity Fair piece this fall that attempts to dig deep into Goreworld.; the first piece assessed the media’s coverage of Mr. Gore during the 2000 campaign, reminding readers of the Vice President’s press problems way back when and ruminating on how he would fare with the Fourth Estate if he were to run again.
Sep 26 2007
Gore to Receive Sierra Club’s Highest Award
SAN FRANCISCO, California, September 24, 2007 (ENS) – Former Vice President Al Gore, who has spent 30 years making the world aware of the dangers of global warming, will receive the Sierra Club’s top award this year, the environmental group announced today.
Between his earliest political career in 1976 as a representative of Tennessee’s Fourth District, and his two-term vice presidency beginning in 1993, Gore helped set the political and popular stages for prime-time environmentalism, the Sierra Club said today.
Sep 24 2007
If you’ve ever visited London or had the opportunity to live there for an extended period of time, you’d know which war Londoners refer to when they mention “The War.” Not so in the United States, where you’d get a quizzical look in return should you mention that term to most people. Since World War II, the United States has been involved in so many wars that an average person can perhaps be excused for his or her ignorance.
Unlike ‘The Civil War,’ Burns’ ‘The War’ is quite different as it looks at World War II not from the perspective of politicians, generals, or scholars but from the ground up. It chronicles the experiences of veterans from four towns in four different regions of the country.
It will also, I am fairly certain, spark a debate around the country about the reasons as to how and why we fight wars.
Sep 21 2007
If you’ve seen the movie Bonnie and Clyde, you’ll remember the stylish Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker and Warren Beatty as the roguish Clyde Barrow. Parker and Barrow were Depression-era bank robbers in the American heartland who captured the attention of many around the country with their daring exploits in the 1930’s. You also know how the movie ended.
Upon arriving in Sydney, Australia yesterday, Al Gore blasted the environmental policies of both Australia and the United States. Will the AU-US partnership in blocking meaningful change to combat the problems posed by Climate Change hold up and for how long?
Gore is trying to cause a split between ‘Bonnie’ (Australia) and ‘Clyde’ (United States) and explicitly suggesting that being an outlaw can, ultimately, be harmful to your environmental health.