If you’re seeing this post, it means you’re in the wrong place! You may need to clear your browser’s cache in order to properly reflect the new domain and subdomain information. Anyway, my new blog is located at theoneblog.brendanloy.com.
NOTE: If you are looking for my hurricane coverage, that is now at my Pajamas Media-hosted hurricane-blog, “Weather Nerd.”
G’nite, all. See you on the other side.
Guestblogging is turned off, and I’ll be shutting down comments in a few minutes, and redirecting this URL to the new blog shortly thereafter.
Thanks for the memories, everybody.
Oh, and don’t be deceived by the title of this post. Much like The Return of the King, this blog will have more than one ending. :) One final “signing off” post will follow…
P.S. Since I’ll be signing off as the “Irish Trojan,” I should probably link one last time to the post that started it all, in regard to that name.
Somehow, I’ve had this blog for over six years without ever posting this clip. Well, time to fix that omission while there’s still time:
Hmm… this is interesting:
The presumptive GOP nominee tells voters in an afternoon Pickersville,
Pennsylvania town hall that the state will pick the winner in November
Ã¢â‚¬â€ and he will be behind until right before the polls close.
McCain’s point seems to be simply that he’s the underdog, which is undoubtedly true. But, if the election is close, it’s quite possible that he’ll be literally right; indeed, he might seem to be behind even after some polls close… until the combined impact of the Bradley-Wilder Effect and the Exit-Poll Liberal Selection Bias Effect (see: the Seven-Hour Presidency of John Kerry) is revealed, when actual vote totals — as opposed to final opinion polls and leaked exit polls — reveal a narrow McCain victory.
I’m not predicting it. I’m just saying it’s a possibility.
Just a thought: it would be nice to see John McCain clarify his non-answer about Barack Obama’s patriotism in the same sort of straightforward, no-nonsense, not-open-to-interpretation way that Obama responded today to Wesley Clark’s comments questioning the value of McCain’s military service.
The John McCain of 2000 and 2004 would have done it. Will the John McCain of 2008?
P.S. Incidentally, Obama also criticized MoveOn.org — specifically its "General Betray Us" ad — in the same speech.
UPDATE: It seems Obama’s answer on the Clark front isn’t good enough for the McCain campaign, which appears to be implicitly adopting the position that a candidate can be faulted for anything his supporters say, even after the candidate clearly and explicitly disavows it. I trust the McCain folks won’t mind when this same standard is applied to them.
McCain’s only hope in this election is to make the case that he is the true candidate of change, reform, "straight talk," etc. In short, he needs the "McCain brand" to both survive the collapse of the "Republican brand" and to trump the shininess of the "Obama brand." It’s a tough task, but Obama has recently opened the door for McCain with his reversals on several issues, particularly campaign financing. (For that matter, the MoveOn.org thing is something of a flip-flop; Obama pointedly did not vote on the resolution to condemn the ad, back when it was primary season and a "Yes" vote might have hurt him with the base.) McCain is obviously trying to take advantage of the opportunity he’s been handed. But, in this still-undecided voter’s view, he’s doing so in precisely the wrong way.
McCain needs to kill Obama with kindness, honesty and straightforwardness, not heavy-handedly twist and contort his words in a blatant political game that ultimately holds Obama’s statements and actions to a standard that McCain himself cannot possibly meet. The latter course might be enough to fool some low-information voters, but those folks aren’t paying attention yet anyway, and in the mean time, opinion leaders in the media and blogosphere — who are crucial to the survival of the McCain brand — are going to see right through McCain. You can’t become perceived as the candidate of the "high road" by taking a short cut on the low road. It just won’t work.
I suggest that McCain read Mark Halperin’s advice from last week, particularly:
14. Recognize that gimmicks … are seen as just that Ã¢â‚¬â€ gimmicks. …
17. Avoid personalizing your disdain for Obama. …
22. Protect the McCain Brand at all costs Ã¢â‚¬â€œ it is the only thing that gives you a chance to win!!
In anticipation of the imminent end of this blog — and redirection of its traffic to a new, weekly blog — I figured I should give y’all a little more detail on what’s happening.
Although I’ve focused on the weekly blog in discussing this issue, I’m actually replacing "Irish Trojan in Tennessee" with three separate blogs:
Yes, the latter two titles are both Lord of the Rings references. :) As for "Hopefully Considered," it is, as I explained before, a reference to my Papa Loy’s old newspaper column. I appreciated all of your suggestions, some of which were quite good, but I ultimately decided that I liked my original idea best. (The subtitle is "Brendan Loy’s Weekly Musings," adapted from David K.’s suggestion. I decided to drop the "Irish Trojan" moniker altogether, though it’s still referenced, at least for now, in the new blogs’ sidebars.)
All three new blogs are powered by Blogger and hosted on Blogspot’s servers, but with domain redirection to make them look like they’re on my server. Thus, the URLs — which are already active, though the blogs are still works-in-progress — are weekly.brendanloy.com, photo.brendanloy.com, and moblog.brendanloy.com. (Regular readers may want to bookmark those.)
The major change tonight, aside from some final tweaks to make the blogs ready for prime time, will be that www.brendanloy.com, blog.brendanloy.com, and www.irishtrojan.com — all of which currently point here — will instead redirect to weekly.brendanloy.com.
You may be wondering why on earth I’m replacing one blog with three blogs (or four, if you count the Linklog, which is a "companion" to the weekly blog; or five, if you count my Pajamas Media hurricane blogging), when the whole purpose of this switch is to cut back on the time I spend blogging. I know it’s a bit counterintuitive. But I actually think it’ll work well, when you consider my twin goals of: 1) spending less time blogging, while 2) continuing to have outlets for the types of blogging that I can do without eating up all my free time.
Remember Tom Buffenbarger, the machinists’ union blowhard who unleashed a hilariously unhinged anti-Obama rant on Hillary Clinton’s behalf during her post-Wisconsin-primary rally back in February? I’ll refresh your memory:
[During his speech introducing Clinton,] Buffenbarger derisively dismissed Obama as a mere "wunderkind," a
"man in love with the microphone," and "a poet, not a fighter." He
repeatedly and pointedly called him "the junior senator from Illinois"
(as if Hillary isn’t the junior senator from New York?). He compared
Obama to "Janus, the two-faced Roman god of ancient times." And then he
really got going:
"The Barack Show is playing to rave reviews, sold out on
college campus after college campus, standing-room-only crowds to hear
his silver-tongued oration. Hope! Change! Yes, we can! Give me a
break! I’ve got news for all the latte-drinking, Prius-driving,
Birkenstock-wearing, trust-fund babies crowding in to hear him speak! This guy won’t last a round against the Republican attack machine!"
… Buffenbarger [also made the] blatantly anti-intellectual argument — repeated twice
– that Obama can’t "fight" for the working class because he was "the
editor of the Harvard Law Review." I guess Hillary’s stint as an editor
of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action establishes her credentials
as a real union stiff?
Buffenbarger blustered so buffoonishly that I proposed a new verb to describe his actions: "to buffenbarger," meaning "to engage in an inappropriately vitriolic attack on a member of one’s own political party." (TPM Cafe contributor David Schlitt had a similar idea.)
Well, it turns out ol’ Tom is still buffenbargering after all these months:
Now is not the right
time for the [International Association of Machinists] to endorse Senator Barack Obama… Our members feel
the economy squeezing their family finances for every last dime, every
single week … But those meat and potato issues have not found a place
in the message frame developed by Senator Obama’s campaign. To us, hope
and change are not antidotes to the economic pressures blue-collar
families face… In the Machinists Union, a predominately blue-collar
union, the impression continues to grow that Senator Barack Obama could
care less about folks like us.
McCain-Buffenbarger ‘08! ;)
I’ve been working hard this weekend on the back-end tasks necessary to make the big blog switch happen Monday night, and I think I’ll be able to do it on schedule. So, sometime after 7:30 PM EDT, this blog will disappear, and will be replaced with my weekly blog (and my photoblog… and a linklog… and a new “moblog”…).
I’ll save the details of the new blog(s) for later, but I wanted to mention this now so you’re all aware. Guestbloggers, if you have anything you’ve been itching to say, today would be the day. :) And readers, if things are a little screwy in this space Monday night, you know why. Hopefully everything will be humming along smoothly by Tuesday morning, albeit in a brave new world wherein I’m no longer a hyperactive blogger.
P.S. Incidentally, I’ve decided, upon reflection, to drop the “Irish Trojan” moniker from both the titles and subtitles of the new blogs. The sidebar of the weekly blog will still mention my USC and Notre Dame affiliations, and that I used to blog as the “Irish Trojan,” but officially speaking, these are my final 24 hours blogging as the “Irish Trojan.”
I haven’t really been paying any attention to the hype for WALLÃ‚Â·E, the Disney/Pixar film that opened Friday, but it’s getting absolutely rave reviews from critics — a 96% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes! — to the point where, for example, it made the Wall Street Journal’s critic sound veritably Obamaesque in his gushing:
The first half hour of “WALL-E” is essentially wordless, and left me speechless. This magnificent animated feature from Pixar starts on such a high plane of aspiration, and achievement, that you wonder whether the wonder can be sustained. But yes, it can. …
[T]he film stands as a stunning tour de force. The director has described it as his love letter to the golden era of sci-fi films that enchanted him as a kid in the 1970s. It is certainly that, in hearts and spades. Beyond that, though, it’s a love letter to the possibilities of the movie medium, and a dazzling demonstration of how computers can create a photorealistic world — in this case a ruined world of mysterious majesty — that leaves literal reality in the dust. … I must drop my inhibitions about dropping the M word — especially since I’ve already used magnificent — and call “WALL-E” the masterpiece that it is.
See also TNR’s Christopher Orr:
For over a dozen years now, the best name in American film has been Pixar. No movie star, no director, no writer, producer, or studio approaches its level of consistent excellence. Even Pixar’s weaker offerings (A Bug’s Life, Cars, and–in my moderately heretical view–Finding Nemo) have exceptional depth and texture, moral as well as visual. And its best efforts (Toy Story, The Incredibles) are simply transcendent, rivaling the finest live-action films in sophistication and sentiment.
Pixar’s newest movie, WALLÃ‚Â·E, is firmly in the latter tier, and quite possibly at the top of it. It is, in a word, a marvel, a film that recalls in equal measure Hollywood’s most evocative future visions–Blade Runner and Brazil, E.T. and 2001–and the silent intimacies of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. It is a story about love and loneliness, perseverance and triumph, the possibilities and pitfalls of human existence. That this story is told by way of the exploits of a tiny, faceless robot only makes it more extraordinary.
Wow. I guess I’ll have to go see it.
Incidentally, speaking of movies, I finally saw Charlie Wilson’s War; Becky and I watched it Friday night on DVD, having rented it from Blockbuster. It’s really good, mostly because Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman freakin’ rock. Watching their witty banter — fueled also by great screenwriting, by the way — was just an absolute joy. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in a movie, with apparent effortlessness, when you’ve got great actors playing the key roles. For a film that didn’t exactly have an elaborate or involved plot, it never seemed to drag at all. It was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. (Becky, who hates Julia Roberts, thought she was poorly cast and outclassed by her co-stars, and that she brought the movie down a notch. I agree that she was the weakest link, but I don’t think she particularly hurt the movie.) If you haven’t seen it, you should; it’s a great film.
Uga VI, the mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs since 1999, has died.
I’m not a Georgia fan, obviously, but Uga (pronounced "uh-guh") is pretty freakin’ cool. Not as cool as Traveler, of course, but cool nonetheless. R.I.P., Uga VI.
If you’re a North Carolina resident, and you’re offended by your own license plate because it begins with the letters “WTF,” you can get it replaced for free.
It seems that DMV officials “learned last year the common acronym stands for a vulgar phrase in e-mail and cell phone text messages.” Heh. No word on whether the initial discovery of this fact was met with an expression of incredulous disbelief — for instance, “STFU!”
Coming soon: the N.C. DMV discovers the hidden meaning of “POS” and various other three-letter combinations, and decides to stop making such a BFD out of this sort of BS.
Powder blue, of course, used to be a UCLA school color, back when I was at USC. But the Bruins switched in 2003 to a different shade of blue, so I guess I can forgive the Dems for their use of what I’ve always considered a rather distasteful shade of an otherwise fine color. Still… for future reference, I’d recommend either Notre Dame blue or Newington blue. :)
Anyway, here are some more photos from the Obama-Clinton rally in Unity.
Around midday today, the former Democratic rivals will make their first joint public appearance since she dropped out of the race — and the event will be held in Unity, a tiny town in western New Hampshire where Obama and Clinton each received exactly 107 votes* in the January 8 primary.
Here’s a quick primer on Unity, from Wikipedia:
is a town in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States. The
population was 1,530 at the 2000 census and an estimated 1,715 six
years later. The town includes the villages of East Unity, Quaker City,
and West Unity. … The racial makeup of the town
was 99.35% White, 0.07% African American, 0.13% Asian, and 0.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.72% of the population.
The percentages from the 2000 census indicate that Unity had literally one black person, two Asians, seven mixed-race individuals, and eleven Latinos. Oh, and 1,509 non-Hispanic whites. Heh.
Anyway, here’s an AP article about how Unity is gearing up for today’s big event. It opens with the obligatory quote from a local old lady: "I don’t remember having any presidential candidates here in my time," says 84-year-old Roberta Callum. And then there’s this, regarding the expected crowd of 2,500: "Locals say the last time there was a crowd that big was for a 1970s performance by folk singer Arlo Guthrie." Heh.
The Concord Monitor is unimpressed with the meta-pun that today’s event represents:
[N]o one would have mistaken these two policy wonks for the jokesters of the New Hampshire presidential primary.
Nonetheless, nearly six months after the local vote, Obama and Clinton return today, going to extreme lengths for a corny gag.
They’re coming to Unity, N.H. - get it? Unity? It’s a place where they
split the local Democratic vote, 107-107. It’s a place so far out in
the boondocks that voters and reporters will require shuttle buses from
Sunapee, for Pete’s sake.
SCOTUSblog is liveblogging.
UPDATE: By a 5-4 vote, with no plurality or concurrences — i.e., the five justices in the majority all agreed on the same rationale — the "Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm." (That quote is from SCOTUSblog, not from the opinion.)
UPDATE 2: Here’s the opinion and the dissents (PDF). Scalia wrote the majority opinion, which was joined by the other four conservative justices. There were two separate dissents, one by Stevens and one by Breyer; each dissent was joined by the other three liberal justices. So, like I said, a clear 5-4 split, with no muddying of the waters by multiple plurality opinions and such.
If you don’t want to read the whole thing, some relevant quotes from the majority opinion can be found here. And here’s an initial analysis from SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston — although, as the Volokh Conspiracy’s Orin Kerr says, "the details of the opinion are critical; it will take a bit of time to read the decision to get a sense of what it means."