Political Weekly: The First Monday of Ordinary Time

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Our White House Correspondent Jim Downie on the latest political happenings on the internet, the campaign trail, and beyond. Also: 2nd consecutive SNL takedown. Enjoy the show. 

Your faithful blogger has always been happy that his last name has been spelled “Downie,” rather than such crasser versions as “Downey,” “Downi,” or “Downy” (though the last one may be the cleanest of them all – Heyoh!). Nevertheless, he was pleased to discover that there is a politically important man with a nominally similar name—James Downey, longtime SNL writer, and the creator of several recent sketches that try to play off a perceived pro-Obama bias in the media. As we’ll see in just a moment, these sketches have apparently actually had an impact. Your blogger leaves it up to his readers as to whether he shares any of his namesake’s ability at humor, but, of course, SNL is boring, it’s been on too long, no watches it, blah, blah, etc., etc. And now, the news:

Welcome, Mr. Obama, to the Meatgrinder: One big storyline last week was the press’s increased scrutiny of Obama. Last Monday, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post chronicled a particularly tense news conference given by Obama, and just yesterday the New York Times wrote a piece about his fairly non-existent Senate record.  Many observers at least partly credit SNL for the switch, since the still-popular sketch show ran a series of sketches over the past several weeks calling out the media for being soft on Obama (Senator Clinton also made a cameo last weekend).

Fair and Balanced: However, the Times of course reports all sides (or, depending on your perspective, all liberal sides), so one of today’s (Monday’s) big features is on questions about Clinton’s management skills. As one blogger put it, the election process has gotten to where winning the election proves you have the skills to manage the White House.

Mulligan, Please:The other big news of this week was Florida and Michigan making fine use of Florida’s unofficial state phrase “Mulligan!” The two states held primaries before the date that Democratic National Committee had set, and were shocked— shocked, I tell you!—to discover that breaking the rules has consequences. They were stripped of all their delegates by the DNC, but held the primaries anyways, even though all the major candidates signed pledges not to campaign in Florida and Michigan. After Clinton won both states (in Michigan she was the only major candidate on the ballot), she also claimed to be shocked—shocked, I tell you!—that the states had been stripped of their delegates. Now, the states want to do a revote, only with someone else paying for it (perhaps corporate sponsorship? the FedEx Florida Primary, only on Fox?). All your blogger can tell you is to check back next week.

At Least She’s In Stock Footage Forever: The 17 year-old girl sleeping in Clinton’s 3 A.M. ad goes on record as supporting Obama, and says she might make an ad for him (apparently, the video uses stock footage shot six years ago). Pundits think she’ll play a key role in swinging the Lonelygirl15 vote…

Too Mean: Samantha Power, the Kennedy School professor who this blogger “hearts” (WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?) for her straight-forwardness, just got in big trouble for that same straight-forwardness. One of Obama’s senior foreign policy advisers, Power said in an interview with The Scotsman, “We f***** up in Ohio. In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio’s the only place they can win. She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything.” The Clinton campaign jumped on the “monster” characterization, and Power resigned from the Obama campaign. One wonders what would have happened if she’d cursed during the interview (think of the children!), or if she could have avoided the whole thing by keeping it off the record. Hey, wait a minute…

Even More Mean: Iowa Republican Steve King must have decided Power’s comments were wussy, because he said in an interview with a local paper that, if Obama were to win, “the radical Islamists, the al-Qaida … would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror.” At least he can be comforted by knowing that Al Qaeda doesn’t care about Iowa.

Return of the Robocandidate: The Weekly Standard argues that Mitt Romney makes the most sense as a vice-presidential pick, both because he is the most capable and because conservative Republicans still like him. The minor problem is that McCain hates him. Whatever happens though, we should all respect the guy for getting this far with a name like “Mitt.”

If Reporting On Your Own “Kegger” Sounds Awesome: Then you should be a blogger! The New York Times led its Sunday Fashion section with this piece on Washington bloggers living together, especially focusing on Matthew Yglesias, a 26 year-old Harvard grad who’s already one of the most respected and widely read voices in the liberal blogosphere (most because of his killer looks and svelte new laptop). However, despite all the acclaim going his way, these bloggers still have to live-blog their own party. Ouch.

And Now, From Illinois’s 14th District
: A Democrat! Of course, that’s not significant until your blogger adds that the 14th District used to be represented by former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, and is normally strongly Republican. It does not bode well for Republicans if they have trouble holding onto these sorts of seats.

What’s In Your Water?: Technically, this is only politically related in that it could explain some of Washington D.C.’s oddest people, but an AP investigation has discovered that there are pharmaceuticals in the drinking water of 41 million Americans. Since these drugs mostly enter the water because of personal use, it appears that these drugs can tell us something about the cities they came from. DC apparently has six different drugs in its drinking water, while Los Angeles has anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications in its water (obviously, it hasn’t helped them). The best, though? San Francisco, where investigators found “a sex hormone” in the water. I wonder why…



  1. anonymous

    Ah, now we know why Columbians are always drooling over Obama. Estrogen in the drinking water:

    "Researcher Anne McElroy at Stony Brook University has found feminized male flounder [in Jamaica Bay], and she links them to high levels of the female hormone estrone or other estrogenic chemicals discovered in the waterway."

  2. um what?  

    the comment about san francisco and sex hormones. i don't get it.

  3. Hmm  

    Yeah, that's suspect. My guess is that they're correlating a largely visible LGBT population with a greater than normal amount of prescribed sex hormones (er, heard of post-menopausal HRT treatment, Bwog?) or that they function in some recreational way I can't fathom.

  4. yes  

    Re: article title - it's not ordinary time by any measure right now. According to the Catholic liturgical calendar, we're in Lent, and if you mean Daylight Savings Time v. Standard Time, we just started Daylight Savings Time yesterday.

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