Saturday, March 08, 2008

Taking Sides

Rolling Stone magazine has recently become among the latest media outlet to endorse Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic party nomination ... and essentially President of the United States of America. Here is the cover artwork for the latest issue of RS magazine with a very superhero-like Barack Obama on the cover along with the full text of the magazine's official endorsement written by Rolling Stone editor Jann S. Wenner:

The tides of history are rising higher and faster these days. Read them right and ride them, or be crushed. And then along comes Barack Obama, with the kinds of gifts that appear in politics but once every few generations. There is a sense of dignity, even majesty, about him, and underneath that ease lies a resolute discipline. It's not just that he is eloquent — with that ability to speak both to you and to speak for you — it's that he has a quality of thinking and intellectual and emotional honesty that is extraordinary.

I first learned of Barack Obama from a man who was at the highest level of George W. Bush's political organization through two presidential campaigns. He described the first-term senator from Illinois as "a walking hope machine" and told me that he would not work for any Republican candidate in 2008 if Obama was nominated. He challenged me to read Obama's autobiography, Dreams From My Father.

The book was a revelation. Here was a man whose honesty about himself and understanding of the human condition are both deep and compassionate. Born to a white mother and an African father, he was raised in multiracial Hawaii and for several years in Indonesia. He drifted through some druggy teenage years — no apologies! — before emerging as a star at Harvard Law School. He chose to work as a community organizer in the projects of Chicago rather than join the wealthy insider world of corporate law. And as a young adult, he searched, in the distant villages of Kenya, for the father and family he never knew.

As I read all this, so elegantly written, my mind kept rolling over: Might it be possible? Is there some fate by which we could have this man as president of the United States?

Throughout the primaries, and during a visit he paid to our offices, we have come to know Barack Obama, his toughness and his grace. He would not be intimidated, and he declined to back down, when Senator Clinton called him "frankly, naive" for his willingness to meet leaders of hostile nations. When one of her top campaign officials tried to smear him for his earlier drug use, he did not equivocate or backtrack. On the matter of experience and capability, he has run an impressive, nearly flawless campaign — one that whupped America's most hard-boiled political infighters. Indeed, Obama was far more prepared to run a presidential campaign — from Day One — than Senator Clinton. And at no point did he go negative with personal attacks or character assassination; as much as they might have been justified, they didn't even seem tempting to him.

Obama has emerged by displaying precisely the kind of character and judgment we need in a president: renouncing the politics of fear, speaking frankly on the most pressing issues facing the country and sticking to his principles. He recognizes that running for president is an opportunity to inspire an entire nation.

All this was made clearer by the contrast with Hillary Clinton, a capable and personable senator who has run the kind of campaign that reminds us of what makes us so discouraged about our politics. Her campaign certainly proved her experience didn't count for much: She was a bad manager and a bad strategist who naturally and easily engaged in the politics of distraction, trivialization and personal attack. She never convinced us that her vote for the war in Iraq was anything other than a strategic political calculation that placed her presidential ambitions above the horrifying consequences of a war. Her calibrated course corrections over the past three years were painful. Like John Kerry — who also voted for the war while planning a presidential run — it helped cost her that goal.

Although Obama declined to attack her personally for her vote for the war in Iraq, he did call it, devastatingly enough, a clear demonstration of her so-called experience and "judgment." He has also spoken forcefully about the need to break the grip of lobbyists — at a time when Clinton is the largest recipient of drug-company donations of anyone in Congress. Clinton could not address this issue at all, and neither will John McCain, who is equally a player in Washington's lobbyist culture.

Obama also denounced the Republican campaign of fear. Early in the campaign, John Edwards took the lead, calling the War on Terror a campaign slogan, not a policy. Obama rejected the subtle imagery of false patriotism by not wearing a flag pin in his lapel, and he dismissed the broader notion that the Democratic Party had to find a way to buy into this entire load of fear-mongering War on Terror bullshit — to out-Republican the Republicans — and thus become, in his description of Hillary Clinton's macho posturing on foreign policy, little more than "Bush-Cheney lite."

The similarities between John Kennedy and Barack Obama come to mind easily: the youth, the magnetism, the natural grace, the eloquence, the wit, the intelligence, the hope of a new generation.

But it might be more to the point to view Obama as Lincolnesque in his own origins, his sobriety and what history now demands.

We have a deeply divided nation, driven apart by economic policies that have deliberately created the largest income disparities in our history, with stunning tax breaks for the wealthiest and subsidies for giant industries. The income of the average citizen is stagnant, and his quality of life continues to slowly erode from inflation.

We are embittered and hobbled by the unnecessary and failed war in Iraq. We have been worn down by long years of fear- and hate-filled political strategies, assaults on constitutional freedoms, and levels of greed and cynicism, that — once seen for what they are — no people of moral values or ethics can tolerate.

A new president must heal these divides, must at long last face the hypocrisy and inequity of unprecedented government handouts to oil giants, hedge-fund barons, agriculture combines and drug companies. At the same time, the new president must transform our lethal energy economy — replacing oil and coal and the ethanol fraud with green alternatives and strict rain-forest preservation and tough international standards — before the planet becomes inhospitable for most human life. Although Obama has been slow to address global warming, I feel confident that his intelligence and morality will lead him clearly on this issue.

We need to recover the spiritual and moral direction that should describe our country and ourselves. We see this in Obama, and we see the promise he represents to bring factions together, to achieve again the unity that drives great change and faces difficult, and inconvenient, truths and peril.

We need to send a message to ourselves and to the world that we truly do stand for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And in electing an African-American, we also profoundly renounce an ugliness and violence in our national character that have been further stoked by our president in these last eight years.

Like Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama challenges America to rise up, to do what so many of us long to do: to summon "the better angels of our nature."

Um, wow ... now that's an endorsement. I'm not entirely sure that I agree with everything written in this piece by Jann Wenner but I understand that this is a sentiment held by a lot of voters this election. [Source]

In somewhat related but only in the fictional sense news, the Batman: The Dark Knight viral site has been updated to look more like a real campaign website, chock full of suggestions for supporting Harvey Dent's fictional campaign in Gotham City, a map that shows the cities that the DentMobile will be visiting on this campaign and downloadable banners for use on websites that show support for Dent's campaign:

Thus far, this has been one helluva campaign year. With both the real election and this fictional one both taking place at the same time, I can't imagine how anyone could not be excited by the political process. Sigh ... all of this hoopla makes me proud to be a political scientist. [Source]

The TV Guide: A Surprise Ménage à Trois

Calm down ... it's not what you think :) Last night I got to hang out with my new BFFs Steph and Alek for a little La Vie En Rose pink dinner party and, of course, had an amazing time. We had talked about getting together to watch the Academy Award winning film on the life of Edith Piaf for some time now and last night was the night. Steph prepared an amazing pink dinner (from appetizers to dessert) and Alek provided the delish pink cocktails and pink wine (which was called Ménage à Trois). The only thing I provided was the empty belly and the grateful smile ... here are a few pics from last night's fun:

OMG ... the food was incredible ... I was in heaven. The movie was spectacular ... it's absolutely evident why Marion Cotillard won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She was completely stunning in the role of Edith Piaf. I was just blown away by her performance ... she so completely transformed into Edith that I kept shaking my head in wonderment. The woman is an insane talent. The night was just a really fun night of eatin', TV watchin' and talkin'.

I'm not sure what is the plan for tonight ... Amber and I had plans for tonight but she unfortch had to leave town to take care of a family matter so we had to take a rain check on our hanging out plans. I'm not sure what I'll do now ... I suspect I'll keep it a quiet night. I hope all y'all are having a great weekend :)

Les News: NIN To Tour, Janet To Tour & Goodbye Adnan

PITNB Readers: B-Days, Bunnies & D-Town Lurve

Here is this week's batch of photos sent in by Pink is the new Blog readers -- Clara sends in a pic of her son Christopher enjoying his 1st birthday cake -- Nancy sends in a pic from her 30th birthday celebration -- Georgia from Sarah Lawrence College sends in a pic taken in front of Edinburgh Castle with her friend Caley who came out for a Spring Break visit to Edinburgh, Scotland where Georgia is studying abroad for the year -- Chelsea sends in a pic of her lookin' like a badass pink and black snow bunny -- Katy from San Diego, CA sends in a pic with friends Jess and Lydia from their recent "fun yet cold trip" to Detroit, MI where they posed for a pic in front of one of the many art pieces at the Heidelberg Project -- Mandi sends in a pic of a very PITNB-themed birthday card that was made for her co-worker Terese who will be celebrating her birthday this coming Monday March 9th ... Mandi, Terese and co. all hail from Detroit Rock City:

Because it's hard to read, you can click HERE to see a larger size version of Terese's awesome birthday card. Thank you all SO much for the amazing photos this week ... Happy Birthday to those of you celebrating b-days and much love to all of you who continue to send in photos from around the world. I really love the Detroit pics so much ... thank you, thank you, thank you :)

Rest assured, I will continue to post PITNB reader submitted photos on Saturdays when my blog gets relaunched in the coming weeks. This is one of my fave parts of the blog.

Robot Love

The fabulously stylish Vicki B. took her children out for a little play date to a park in Beverly Hills, CA yesterday where she was spotted doing a bunch of mommy things ... like doting on her youngest child Cruz Beckham before appearing to grab hold of him for a stern talkin' to:

Photo credit: X17

I suppose it's possible she was merely whispering sweet nothings into his ear before picking little Cruz up but it really does look like she was being cross with him. You know, I just don't understand how anyone could want to scold that adorable little boy. I love how the back of his cap reads Cruz-Control. LOL!

Additionally, Vicki B. was spotted spending time with her other children ... and by "spending time with" I mean "stealing away their toys so that she can play with the toys herself":

Photo credit: X17

I don't really understand why VB needed a remote control to manipulate that little toy car ... wouldn't it just be easier for her to assimilate it so that it could become one with the Borg? In any case, I do love seeing VB out with the kids ... it paints a very warm, loving picture of her that we don't normally get to see. It gives me a bit of hope that when I jokingly tell my computer that I love it that it might one day love me back. [Source]

A Crime Of Fashion

All credit and much love goes out to Pink reader Douglas for giving me the head's up on this AMAZING Beyotch Stole My Look item ... here is a side-by-side comparison of Sarah Jessica Parker (as Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw) at a photoshoot a few weeks ago and a classic Whitney Houston photo from back in the day (ie. the 80's) where the women are wearing nearly THE EXACT SAME DRESS!

Photo credit: Splash News

People, it's not even a matter of a similar looking dress ... if you look closely, the dresses are practically identical -- the only difference I can see is that Whitney is wearing 2 ugly big flowers on her breast while SJP is only wearing one. Honestly, I wouldn't be shocked to learn that it's the same dress being worn by both ladies. I know that Carrie Bradshaw has a bold sense of style on SaTC but I never pegged her for an outright fashion thief. LOL! [thanks Douglas]

Fortunately, it seems that SJP got all that thiefin' out of her system (that I'm aware of) because she was snapped posing for more Vogue magazine photos (with SaTC co-star Chris Noth) wearing a dress that, to my knowledge, was never owned nor worn by Whitney Houston:

Photo credit: Splash News

This is more like it. This is a much better look ... I'm not too crazy about the fur blanket that is sewn onto the front of the dress but it's heaps better than an old Whitney Houston cast-off dress. [Source]

Photo Op

Here are a few pics of the newest member of the paparazzi as he took to the streets of LA to begin working on his newest assignment, stalking the rich and famous for photographs:

Photo credit: Splash News

Unfortch for Adrien Grenier, this might be his last chance to make a sustainable living. I do wish the boy well ... I wonder what ever happened to that acting career he used to have. [Source]

Retouch My Body

Here is a new promo picture of Mariah Carey for her new album E=MC2 that was released to the media earlier this week:

Yeah ... I don't like it ... the matronly hair, pose and foofy wrap makes her look like an escapee from the Shady Pines Retirement Home as she reclines in repose on the lanai waiting for her next gentleman caller. Unless this album is being marketed for the AARP crowd, I think the promo pics need to be vamped up a bit. [Source]

Liev Feed

Here is a super cute pic of daddy Liev Schreiber taking a break from filming scenes from his new movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine to have lunch with his son Alexander while on location in Sydney, Australia this week:

Photo credit: Fame

1.) Is there anything cuter than a father feeding his child with babe in arms? 2.) Is is me or does Liev look more like a Quaker (sans the hat) with that facial hair rather than Sabertooth, the villain in Wolverine? 3.) I find that Liev has gotten way more sexier as a father than he was before fatherhood ... y/n? [Source]