Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Porn: Chrystia Freeland Edition

Now that's what we call a stimulus package!

Chrystia Freeland, US managing editor of the Financial Times, a pink (never pinko) British newspaper devoted to quaint terms like "sport," "pint," and "Tony Blair," has an adjustable rate The Darn News would like to fix. With recession bearing down on the US, who better to explain the current swales of the American stock market than a Canadian-born Ukrainian who writes for a broadsheet with its headquarters in London?

When regular economic forecasts don't have us dusting off our barrel-comically-attached-to-suspenders outfit and ducking inside the nearest Hooverville, Team DN enjoys Freeland's lucid take on the complex domestic monetary issues so essential to Paul Krugman's shrill career. Plus, in her TV appearances, she's usually wearing something plunging and/or leather.

"The future is now." "The world is flat." "Lead, follow or get out of the way." "He who smelt it, dealt it." It truly is a financial jungle out there, folks, but, luckily, there's hot broads like Chrystia Freeland to make sense of it all. Securitized mortgages may be opaque babble; hedge fund exchange-rate maneuverings a mystery to you and me; but, as long as attractive women continue to talk about the state of the market, we'll watch. Just that it has to air on network TV -- we're too fucking poor to pay next month's cable bill.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Draft the Romney Five

Monday's "All Things Considered" had an Old Media-esque ditty about the children of our current Presidential Candidates. Frank Schaeffer, an Old Media tool, gave a commentary about the absence of presidential candidates' children in uniform. While the DN would prefer to give photo coverage to an attractive Meghan McCain over the horsefaced hybrid of Hill & Bill, a little narrative about Mr. Schaeffer's story is definitely worth space on our humble site as well.

The progeny of some potential Presidents show precious little interest in serving our country. Rather than spend the next 48 months in Baghdad, Chelsea Clinton opted for a six figure consultant job plus a few cameo appearances on Mom's campaign. The Clintons, remember, are disadvantaged outsiders. Mitt Romney's children work in varied forms of equally lucrative industry (Real Estate, Stocks, Etc.) while also workin the campaign trail. "Hittin doors! My kids are naturals," beams proud father Mitt. Huckabee's kids are too fat, John Edwards daughter is busy running a trendy internet site for recent relocatees to NYC. (Note: Obama's kids are still in diapers.)

The exception to this rule seems to be John McCain. The children of John McCain are either in, or are on their way to, Iraq. McCain's younger son is a Marine, the elder is at Annapolis. In a nod to our modern society, Mr. Schaeffer argues that though the McCain boys' service is laudable, each kid has the right to self-determination... you know, to choose between a posh job or a barracks in Anbar. But as I learned from a previous Senate Campaign in Virginia, for some the decision to go into the military isn't made at a High School counselors office. It is the centrality of honor and duty in one's life, inherited through generations, to forsake the trappings of privilege for tired ol' virtues like Country, Honor and Freedom. You know, all that shit spelled out in vulgar terms on the back of a Redneck's pickup truck.

Dated as those concepts may seem, it was a path followed by the children of every other wartime president. Eleanor Roosevelt said of her two children's heroic military service in WWII that her husband FDR, "...would have been terribly disappointed had they chosen not to serve." Lincoln's sole surviving son Robert served in the Civil War. Zach Taylor's only son fought in the Mexican American War and served again as a CSA General in the Civil War. Those whose children didn't serve simply weren't eligible. Wilson, Johnson & Truman fathered only daughters; JFK's kids, like Obama's, were babies.

We have the right to distinguish between the Gold Bars on the shoulders of McCain's sons' those in the bank accounts of Chelsea Clinton and the Romney Five. McCain's sons' service not only distinguishes their father, but highlights the mores and values that have, through succeeding generations, underpinned the leadership of our nation. We chose to ignore this fact when McCain squared off against the father of a pair of sodden sorority pledges. The apple don't fall far from the tree.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

End of an Error

Last July, coal-eyed Republicans worried that no candidate could unite their party’s chickenhawks, billionaires, and holy rollers. With no clear inheritor of the shining legacy of George W. Bush, Bill Frist, MD, exhumed and reanimated the corpse of Fred Thompson (1842-1920), a southern-fried Senator from McLean, Virginia. Thompson, who once filled in for the equally laconic Paul Harvey on the rad-eo, had the B-movie-star charisma that makes Republican women swoon. Not only was he imposing and craggier than a canyon, Thompson spoke plainly ... and with a drawl!

“Lil’ sumthin’ called federalism,” said Fred.

“Mmm-hmmm. He talk just like I think,” replied voter.

Establishment types went ga-ga for Fred. Wisely, they thought better than to nominate a candidate who might remind voters of the recent “unpleasantness” (2000-08). Thompson could position himself as a poorly traced copy of Ronald Reagan. How could he -- or the party-- lose?

It turns out that Thompson, whose campaign was aptly called “phlegmatic” by the liberal Jew York Times, hates people. At the Iowa State Fair, Fred’s idea of shaking hands and kissing babies meant donning his Gucci loafers, sportiest country club blazer, and riding around in a golf cart while nodding authoritatively at the mud farmers and butter cows who attend such events.

Fred, Team DN will miss your debate performances, especially. Who can forget how you spiked in the Luntz-O-Meter by pointedly interjecting a guttural throat-clearing? Or the time you embarrassed that nag of an editor from the Des Moines Register?

“No hand-raising.”

“We’re not raising hands today, Senator Thompson?”


We can’t handle a weekend visit to our uncle’s Appalachia-paradise cabin (enough with the fart jokes, please), and, therefore, doubt that we could have endured four years of a Thompson administration. News conferences just shouldn’t be renamed “talks,” and there’s no reason why they have to be held on the White House’s front porch. The media all gather’d round, Injun-style, as Grampa Fred, situated in his hickory rocking chair, dispenses homespun wisdom about those queers getting hitched and the A-rabs blowin’ ‘emselves up?

Feh. No thanks.

However -- if Jeri Kehn Thompson wants to stroll into the media limelight once more, we won’t object.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday Porn: Meghan McCain Edition

Want some Straight Talk about the race for the White House 2008? Hmmm? Here goes: Meghan McCain is gonna be the hottest First Daughter since Patti Davis.

On Saturday, by convincing several Republicans to actually vote for him, John McCain brought Team DN's collective wet dream one step closer to being realized. Meghan, for those uninitiated (or with lives of their own), is the Internets face of the John McCain for President campaign, with her personal blog, McCain Blogette. The site features pictures and playlists and videos and shit about makeup which we scrolled past and liberal use of the word "incredible." Meghan demonstrates a forthrightness on her blog that would make her old man proud and showcases enough primary colors in her wardrobe to make Karl Lagerfeld blush.

War hero dad, punkish fashion sense, a hipster's taste in music, basic command of the English language. What more do you need, America? In the remaining primary contests -- whether you live in New York, California, or even in one of the crap states -- The Darn News is encouraging you to vote for a Meghan McCain Whitehouse. So pull a lever, touch the appropriate screen, or merely trade your finest goose for a number of state delegates to be determined later, and give Senator John McCain the nomination, guaranteeing that even if our current War on Terror never ends, at least the music won't suck.

Friday, January 18, 2008

For Anonymous: Fair and Balanced Reporting on the Campaign Trail

Here's a clip of Mitt Romney conducting a news conference in front of a pen rack at Staples because the toaster aisle at Bed Bath was closed for stocking. Romney takes a veiled swipe at McCain when he remarks that his campaign isn't run by Washington lobbyists. Romney then begins to argue with Staples' printer salesman the AP's Glenn Johnson, who interjects that one of Romney's senior advisors is, in fact, a Washington lobbyist.

Tune in to the most ridiculous press conference since Terrell Owens shot a fitness video in his driveway.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Will Reads the DN

George Will reads the DN... or at least endorses the editorial rantings of Highland Ave. Will argues the only thing America should retain from the latter half of the 20th Century is the fashion sensibilities of an accounting office.

I'm inclined to agree, even if it means sacrificing the better candidate for a fresher one. I wouldn't have agreed with such an abstract concept had the Clintonistas not made it so tangible in the past few weeks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Last night's Democratic Debate was a policy vacuum. Lacking any meaningful differences between the front runners, the Dem's decided to focus on the issues... namely, 1968. Last week, Gloria Steinem was exhumed in support of Hillary, right before Hil shot herself in the foot with this historic legacy of LBJ and MLK bullshit. She spent a good portion of the evening dancing around both issues while successfully avoiding anything substantive. John Edwards, recasting himself as RFK, turned every issue into his two America's theme... Lou Dobbs thanks you, John.

Over 50% of Americans were born after January 1, 1969, meaning we have no memory of this stuff. We don't care about John Kerry's Purple Heart or Sonni & Cher's dramatic marital collapse. We don't see glass ceilings, we don't remember Selma. Other than the Lou Dobbs crowd, there was remarkably little substance.

I have to thank Barack Obama for pushing past this crap. Even if he seems willing to let this banal MLK v. LBJ banter continue to cloud meaningful issues, his insights into problems in black America are much more meaningful than Hillary's historic semantics, and he rejects the idea that he is running as a 'black man' against a glass ceiling. If the Democratic Party wishes to make a fresh start, understanding that Selma is not the central issue in our rotting ghettos, and accepting the glass ceiling is an imaginary firmament would be two very good starting points. As experienced as Hillary is, I worry that her keen insights and experience were in a bygone era. That, plus the considerable baggage that comes with her experience, might be a liability.

Its really time to put the 1968-obsessed 90's era of the Democratic Party to bed. How better than a vote for Obama.

You're welcome Drew.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Stop All Your Bitchin...

Has Gloria Steinem finally been proven irrelevant? Fooled by the pundits and pollsters that prematurely called New Hampshire for Obama, she wrote some screed about women never getting ahead. Check it, you ideology is tired. Further, in the wake of New Hampshire, it seems you're on the wrong side of the facts as well.

According to Ms Steinem, "This country is way down the list of countries electing women and, according to one (unnamed) study, it polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy." Think its tough getting past a stigma in politics, Gloria, try being an atheist.

Steinem's article conveniently ignores the hundreds of influential women who have shattered any glass ceiling in America. She even overlooks her own success as Emperor of the Galactic Empire (pictured right) in her attempt to paint America in its old, bigoted contexts. Really, Gloria, let the 60's go.

Hopefully the ultimate outcome of this most diverse of elections will be the realization that if a black man can win Iowa, and a woman can be President of the United States, that we really don't need diversity coordinators at our Universities contriving grievances and emphasizing the (typically superficial) differences between us. We don't need pundits or politicians boiling our complexity into generic genders or races. We don't need the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons telling us to feel guilty about something, and we sure as hell don't need Gloria Steinem anymore.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Signs of Desperation in Romney's Campaign

MANCHESTER, NH - Flip Romney's supporters yank out McCain yard signs near a Flip event in New Hampshire today. I took an evening stroll by Romney's headquarters on Elm Street. I had to peer between the 4' by 8' Mitt signs hanging in the display windows to view an unhurried gaggle of aging male supporters. A few members of the Hitler Youth College Republicans were loitering.

Unless Romney outsources his phone bank to India (or there's a call center hidden from the sidewalk), the total number of supporters could not have been more than 25. Compare that to McCain's bustling Manchester hive, where 50 supporters pound every phone line.

McCain has been leading Romney the last two weeks in the Real Clear Politics average. However, he hasn't added to what is a 4-6 point lead. Romney could be closing the gap with the immigration issue. We'll know tomorrow.

Dispatch from Granite State: Hillary Cries, Romney Dies?

MANCHESTER, NH - I recently opined that Mitt Romney was the establishment candidate, embracing conservative positions on social, economic, and military policy. I was wrong. Romney is the candidate of change!

At the debates and campaign appearances, Romney has portrayed himself as the Washington outsider. Only a governor from beyond the Capitol Beltway - presumably one who possesses management acumen - can repair Washington.

As Rudy Calzoni sez, "the reality is" Romney would be a "feckless administrator" (credit Govt. Issue). Romney would encounter a Democratic Congress that would be anathema to the promises he has made to the GOP base. There would be no deportation of illegal immigrants, appointment of strict constructionist judges (ugh), or increase in military spending that would be presumably used to fund prolonged expeditions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Given that it's unlikely Romney would be elected with an overwhelming popular vote, he would could not claim a public mandate. And if he were to find common ground with the Democrats, he could expect the kind of severe excoriation from the base that doomed Bush 41.

This may be a change election, but there is still a war going on. And despite recent polls indicating a spike in ambivalence about Iraq - Americans will have to consider whether they want another B-School administrator or a war-time President. John McCain is that man of honor.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Friday Porn: Fine Friel Fox's New Folderol

Fox News Channel's latest -- what? anchor? reporter? shot girl? -- is garnering big ratings for the soft-core-pornography-and-swooshing graphics outift owned by Rupert Murdoch. Courtney Friel, late of the World Poker Tour (not quite the CSJ, but whatever), has rocketed to the top of the cable network's stable of hot, unavailable women.

Friel, 27, is a former swimsuit model and, according to one Fox News executive, "Although Courtney has been here for just a short time, her positive attitude and willingness to help out on any shift is very much appreciated."

Good enough for us! Courtney makes her debut as a regular contributor this weekend, so do check her out if you enjoy superficial news coverage and generous, fabric-degrading cleavage.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Living In Iowa Again Briefly Meaningful

Caucus, you wonderful hillbillies, caucus!

The Darn News would like to thank all the hicks, rubes, old-timey country folk, dirtballs, and ethanol lobbyists who hitched up their pet hogs and participated in the Iowa caucuseseses yesterday. Below, please find our official roundup of the night's Winners and Losers. It's almost like being in Iowa -- if for some terrifying fucking reason you'd actually want to visit that shit-splat state. Viva unity.

Winners: change, Christian hysterics, liberal guilt, white people, antiquated voting procedures, Jesus Christ, corn, jawbonin', butter cows, butter-cow endorsements, mesmeric cross symbolism, John McCain.

Losers: The Establishment, Washington punditry, reason & good sense, switchgrass, Ron Paul ('natch), Mormon tolerance, butter bulls, secret balloting, foreign policy, the state of New Hampshire, Joe Biden (again), triangulatin', HDL cholesterol, and fake experience.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Live Free or Go F*** Yourself: Dispatch from the Granite State

MANCHESTER, NH - Mitt Romney's support - soft like the frigid morning fog that blankets this state - just dissipated. Romney's millions ($6 million on television advertisements) could only buy him a second-place finish in Iowa.

Romney's strategy required early peripatetic victories before February 5 that his campaign could then string together to coalesce Republicans nationally.

Despite his moderate record as governor of Massachusetts, Romney positioned himself as the GOP's standard bearer: a moneyed, xenophobic conservative scared of catching the Gay.

Unfortunately for Romney, he's none of those things. And the Reagan coalition is dead. Voters of all political persuasions are pissed. Thus, establishment candidates like Romney (and to an extent Clinton) will lose early to candidates whose supporters are with the most fervent. Today, the Huckster's bible-bees delivered him 45 delegates. But there will be no significant bounce for Huckabee; McCain will win New Hampshire handily. And Huckster lacks the national exposure or infrastructure, which Romney had begun putting into place, to secure the GOP nomination.

A New Hampshire victory doth not a presidency make. McCain needs Thompson to drop out and throw his support to the Maverick in South Carolina. McCain then takes a strong second-place showing he can use to defeat Rudy in Florida. If not, this race goes on.

You heard it here first dear reader. Off the record. On the Q.T. And very * hush * hush *