The world can be cruel, and the presidency carries many thankless tasks. President Obama performed one of them today. It is not popular to consider our strategic interests in such an instance, but the man responsible for sending our children off to war, including the special ops forces he sent to raid bin Laden's compound in 2011, must consider them. Before condemning him, let us imagine the weight of it that he must bear and we do not. Remember Churchill, who could not warn the people of Coventry of the Nazi bombing raid that he knew was coming because it would have tipped off the Germans that Britain had broken the Enigma code. Giving away that secret would almost certainly have led to many more deaths. Even when they do not have my agreement or understanding, those who take on that burden have my respect. And on November 8, we must not confer its terrible responsibility on an ignorant and reckless man.
Very funny. But of course this is not the first time Hillary's appeared on TV with a clown. Remember the Benghazi hearing? There was a whole carful.
One of Elwood P. Dowd's friends at the rest home, otherwise known as the Libertarian candidate for President.
The video taken by Keith Scott's wife Rakeyia of his fatal encounter with police is hard to watch and to listen to. MSNBC was just analyzing the video. I do not begrudge their doing that, but I had to mute the TV. I've had too much. One thing that shines through in the painful recording is this woman's fearlessness in confronting her husband's killers. She is not the first. If there is one ray of hope in all this, it may be that.
No other songwriter has equaled the power of Bruce Springsteen's searing ballad of a black mother giving her son The Talk. As timely as when it was written after the police killing of Amadou Diallo, it ends on the plaintive notes of a saxophone played by Bruce's dear friend, the late, great Clarence Clemons. Sadly, those who most needed to receive its message reflexively hardened themselves against it. I ask forgiveness for the hatred their cold and heartless reaction stirs in me still. #BlackLivesMatter
My latest Blade column asks: With this con artist for a leader, who would need enemies?
It features a discussion on Trump and race by leadership and diversity consultant Robert Naylor Jr.
I am sick of Trump's small set of gestures repeated endlessly. Also the way he sets his mouth. Bip the Clown, the stage persona of the late mime Marcel Marceau, could have delivered a Trump speech without saying a word -- except that Bip was pleasanter, and would have been more trustworthy with the nuclear launch codes.
Stop Freaking out, NASA Did Not Just Change Your Zodiac Sign https://t.co/0Jd4IvOZdU— ScienceAlert (@ScienceAlert) September 19, 2016
Glamour Magazine has set off a kerfuffle with a story confusing astrology with astronomy.
I got into amateur astronomy as a teenager, and have long known that the astrological sign dates did not match where the sun is during the course of the year. Saturn right now is in Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer, who sticks his foot in between Scorpius and Sagittarius.
But astrology has nothing to do with science, at least not modern science. It is a mystical system. If you really believe that the actual position of a particular planet in the sky has any effect on your life, it is not coming from a rational place. The non-rational (as distinct from irrational) has its place. I'm interested in stars with earth-like planets because they might harbor life.
As for constellations, they are just a convention, though an ancient one. We could make up our own if we wanted. I think the real universe is vastly more interesting than the mystical one. Neil deGrasse Tyson agrees with me, as did my late astronomer friend Frank Kameny. We were all born at different times of year: Tyson on October 5, Kameny on May 21, and I on March 30. As to its meaning, I invoke Edmund from King Lear:
"This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are
sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behaviour, we make
guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if
we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion;
knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical pre-dominance;
drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'd obedience of
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine
thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whore-master man, to lay
his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father
compounded with my mother under the Dragon's Tail, and my
nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and
lecherous. Fut! I should have been that I am, had the
maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing."
Congrats to freshly minted D.C. Councilmember Robert White (D-At-Large), who was sworn in today after being chosen by the D.C. Democratic State Committee to fill the unexpired term of recently resigned Councilmember Vincent Orange. In the picture below, CM White is joined by infant daughter Madison. Robert earned the highest GLAA rating in the At-Large primary race, which he won in June. He stands for a full term on November 8.
Excellent speech by Michelle Obama in which she talks about why she is inspired by Hillary Clinton.
Trump cries "America First" and calls for barring all Muslims from the country, then he fills the Trump International Hotel with imported goods and is ready with Qur'ans and prayer rugs for those who can afford his conspicuous-consumption rates. He deserves a prize for brass-fronted impudence (to take a phrase from Frederick Douglass) if he wins this election. Thanks to Dana Milbank for the tour.
A break from the news: The shattering song that helped Donna Murphy win her Tony in 1994, from Sondheim's Passion, reimagined as a duet for Barbra Streisand and Patrick Wilson.
Keith Olbermann is right.