How to criticize Obama as a terrible negotiator

· long story short

If Obama’s opening position is too close to the expected split-the-difference middle, point out that he is caving and that the deal will be too far to the right.

If Obama’s opening position is much further to the left (including, say, a public option or a permanent solution to the debt-ceiling b.s.), say that he caved and sold us out when he gives in on that sweetener to get to a deal.

Voila, either way, he sucks!

What was the Watergate scandal?

· long story short

Another in my new series of longwinded Aardvark answers made public, in this case answering a question about U.S. history from a 19 year-old in New York State: “What was the watergate scandal?”

Here’s my answer. (How’d I do?*):

watergate.jpg

Watergate is the name of a famous hotel in Washington, D.C. where a lot of political organizations (and individuals) kept offices and apartments. In the 1972 presidential election the Democratic Party, or the campaign of Democrat George McGovern, had an office in the Watergate. This office was robbed in a burglary that turned out to have been planned by undercover operatives working for the campaign of Republican Richard Nixon. This story leaked out bit by bit, mostly in the Washington Post (the movie “All the President’s Men” and the book it was based on, by Post reporters Woodward & Bernstein, tells this story pretty well if you’re interested, btw) and eventually turned out to be a scandal that reached up to the president himself. As with nearly all such poltiical scandals, it was the coverup where the worst crimes were committed. In the end, Nixon resigned (in 1974) rather than face an impeachment hearing. Hope this helps!

(image found using Creative Commons image search at Yahoo! and used with permission)

*I know the comment system seems to be churning here. I’m hacking on the blog so I’ll try to fix that. Reply to me @mediajunkie on twitter to comment.

A message to you, Rudy

· Music

duce.jpgSince Rudy Giuliani is running for president of 9/11, WFMU is running a remix contest encouraging people to put together tracks using his incessant invocation of that day (when his command center proved to be so ill-placed):
> Here’s over two minutes of wall to wall September Eleventh’s, courtesy of America’s mayor. Your mission: turn some or all of them into music, to be reposted here.
There are already a bunch of submissions up on the blog.
One of my favorites is Gary Lambert’s Revolution #9/11.