Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: History is now

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  • giovanni tiso,

    Does Obama really want to bring the endless Clinton psychodramatics back?

    Oh, good, the micromanaging of Barack has finally begun. He'd been president-elect for nearly 36 hours, I was starting to get worried.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7390 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    thank you to Craig, Ben Wilson, Steve Parks, Eleanor, Che, Bob Hosking et al who were patient enough to endure me today.

    Is endure the new word for ignore?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8615 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Oh, good, the micromanaging of Barack has finally begun.

    I guess it beats frotting oneself senseless over Palin in '012, which seems to be the preferred form of grief management in the deeper recesses of kiwiblog etc.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3595 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, good, the micromanaging of Barack has finally begun. He'd been president-elect for nearly 36 hours, I was starting to get worried.

    Gio: This is the prose of government after the poetry of the campaign, and I think we've eight years of evidence that the boys in the backroom do matter. On the domestic front, whatever you say about Heather Simpson I don't think she's prone to posting offal to disobliging pollsters, ranting about cementing the arseholes of staffers shut, and going Norman Bates on restaurant tables to relieve the stress.

    I'm pragmatic enough to know Obama is going to need some shit-kicking arm-twisters in his corner to "manage relations" on Capitol Hill (which isn't necessarily going to make his life easy just because it is controlled by his party) and so on. But really -- the White House Chief of Staff has rather a lot of practical and meaningful influence.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Oh, Paul Rowe, you were wondering about those elderly Jewish voters: the exit polls said the Jewish vote split 78:21, which is higher than for Kerry. Which is entirely expected. The Jewish vote in the US is generally Democratic, pro-choice, pro-civil rights issues.

    Wow, Stephen , long memory. :)

    My original comment was a lighthearted reference to Sarah Silverman & the Great Schlep. No disrespect or impression of false expertise intended!

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 563 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I don't know if this has been posted yet, but here is why republicans are red and democrats blue apparently:

    I was a polling analyst for Mark Penn and Doug Schoen in 1995, when we were brought in by Dick Morris and Bill Clinton to do the polling for Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.

    In 1995 and 1996, there were private weekly meetings (Wednesday nights) held in the White House residence on Wendesday nights to plan the campaign. It was a small group (Clinton, Morris, Penn, Schoen, Al Gore, Leon Panetta, Bob Squier, Bill Knapp, George Stephenopolous, maybe a few others). These meetings were later detailed, I believe after the election, by The New York Times.

    For each week’s meeting, I would develop maps of the status of the electoral college, as well as maps of media buys and visits by the Clinton and Dole campaigns. At the time, mapping software was making it easier to create these kinds of maps. I was known as “the Map Guy.”

    When you sit down to develop an electoral map, you have to actively decide which colors to use. I did some research at the library (this was before the extensive online resources we have today) and found that the networks were inconsistent in their assignment of colors to the different parties, so that wasn’t helpful. And the parties themselves tended to use red, white, and blue — again, no help.

    So I decided to assign the Democrats blue and Republicans red. I wavered between green and yellow for “toss-ups.”

    After a few weeks of meetings using these maps, Mark Penn came back to my office (something he rarely did) and said something like, “Josh, they love the maps, they’re a big hit. The President loves it.” He then said the President had asked him why we chose these colors for the parties.

    As I explained to Mark, there were several reasons. For one, the term “Blue Dog Democrats” was thrown around in the early and mid-’90s, so the association stuck with me. In addition, we were centrist Democrats and I never liked the association of our party with red communism. So I wanted to symbolically throw the red back at the Republicans. I also saw the Republicans as more angry/red in the face/out of control, since this was the era of the Newt Gingrich and the Contact with America. In addition, I associated red with a “red light” and stopping, while blue connotes something more positive and forward-thinking. All of these were reasons that went into my decision.

    So that was the genesis of the color selection.

    From these meetings, the shorthand vernacular turned to using the terms “red states” and “blue states” and spread from the private meetings to conversations with political professionals and the media. By 2000, these terms had been part of the DC language for years.

    The funny thing is, I am a public opinion researcher and we never tested the branding impact of the colors red and blue — yet this is one decision that (unintentionally) has had long-lasting brand implications.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    heh. i *demand* that everyone make the billy-goat-gruff jokes whenever james turns up.

    I was going to suggest we just start cyber-chanting: "IN! YOUR! FACE!. IN! YOUR! FACE!. IN! YOUR! FACE! IN! YOUR! FACE!."

    But that would be gloating and rude, so I won't.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I never even got that pony Russell said everyone was going to get.

    Really? I got two! They make a mess of the yard, but the roses have never looked so good.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    ertainly take sides if your loyalties require Russell.
    i mean whatever suits you.
    even after you post, I'm still getting digs like

    "Everyone's so mean to me! Nobody knows what it's like, nobody understands what it's like being a teenager now! I'm going to paint my bedroom black!"

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 980 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm going to paint my bedroom black!"

    Because the value of the house hasn't gone far enough down the crapper... :)

    But here's a bit of light relief from John Scalzi: **What Can Our Next President Learn From His SciFi Counterparts?**

    My favourite:

    **President**: Tom Beck of Deep Impact(Morgan Freeman)

    Crisis: A comet is coming to destroy us all!

    Evaluation: Very positive. First, he manages to charm an investigative reporter into keeping a blockbuster secret through sheer force of being Morgan Freeman. Second, when he announces to the country that a massive comet is coming and might kill them all, he keeps everyone calm by exuding that Morgan Freeman charm. Third, when it's clear that the comet will indeed kill them all, he gives a soothing valedictory speech that makes everyone feel okay about dying horribly, because he does it in those deep, reassuring Morgan Freeman tones. And then, when only about half of everybody dies, he tells everyone else, "Well, it's time to get back to work," and they get back to work -- because he's Morgan Freeman.

    Lessons for the President-elect: Be Morgan Freeman.

    Heh...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Indeed, but surely we'd both vote for Roslin?

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 980 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Davie,

    This thread is getting very long.

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Indeed, but surely we'd both vote for Roslin?

    Let's review the record:

    1) Banned abortion.

    2) Despite having 'plausible deniability', her chief of staff was a central player in election fraud that (almost) stole an election.

    3) Chose a running mate (Gaius Baltar) who makes Sarah Palin look... well, presidental.

    4) Has a record of making public policy decisions on the basic of prophetic visions (or hallucinations caused by the seriously unorthodox drug she's taking as treatment for cancer, depending on your POV) and her reading of the apocalyptic Book of Pythia. Which goes down very well with the Colonial equivalent of the religious right, who view her as a messiah-figure.

    5) Throws prisoners of war out of airlocks, and condones "coercive interrogation techniques" (torture) of said prisoners.

    6) Regained power after the escape from New Caprica, by offering the Vice-Presidency to a convicted terrorist who was running an extra-judicial death squad killing alleged collaborators. (Some people never learn do they...)

    7) Ordered the use of a genocidal biological weapon against the Cylons.

    Yeah, I'd vote for her!

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    50 pages and nearly 1000 responses. Surely a record breaker.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 272 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Oh yes, I'd forgotten those trifling details...

    Morgan Freeman it is then.

    OK, really putting my geek on here, but it has to be said that Eick and Moore have done a splendid job in creating a series whose overall message is clearly opposed to that of the Bush presidency's aims and methods and yet shows intelligent, aware people making Bush-like decisions and still gaining the audience's sympathy.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 980 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Based almost entirely on enthusiastic discussions on this very forum, I have recently begun watching Battlestar Galactica. I have just started season 2, and am enjoying it very much. If we could refrain from publishing spoilers in random PA threads, I would be grateful.

    And Luke: The Veitch thread reached 55 pages and retains the record.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    A post-election post from Jolisa would be very sweet.

    Your wish is my command.

    By the way, Danielle, you are the sweetest cheer-germ ever and you more than deserve a pony for keeping it happy in here. I say we get some pompoms and start a cheerleading squad along side the XV.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Wait! Danielle has wheels???

    Choice, that will make running away with her so much easier.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Based almost entirely on enthusiastic discussions on this very forum, I have recently begun watching Battlestar Galactica. I have just started season 2, and am enjoying it very much. If we could refrain from publishing spoilers in random PA threads, I would be grateful.

    Me, too. Just watched the 3-ep pilot, and am waiting for some inconsiderate individual to bring the season 1 DVD's back to the video store. Season 2 is already there.

    If I wasn't a repressed Englishman, I would, as I understand the saying to go, be squeeing.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Wait! Danielle has wheels???

    Choice, that will make running away with her so much easier.

    Until you get to the first set of stairs.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Your wish is my command.

    Well, since we're discussing Battlestar Galactica a little bit, that should be "By your command."

    And Jake, Romo Lampkin doesn't really have a leg injury, Baltar grows a beard for a while and the final cylon is- mmmph mmm mmmmph...!

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 980 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Jake:

    My big bad. Will avoid spoilage -- or properly tag it -- in future. And you might want to cover your eyes, because my response to Kracklite CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS FOR LATE SEASON TWO AND THREE OF BSG.

    Who wrote:

    OK, really putting my geek on here, but it has to be said that Eick and Moore have done a splendid job in creating a series whose overall message is clearly opposed to that of the Bush presidency's aims and methods and yet shows intelligent, aware people making Bush-like decisions and still gaining the audience's sympathy.

    But Moore himself has said that's not what he was trying to do, although inevitably viewers are going to bring their own reading to the table. If you want to, of course you can read the whole New Caprica thread and the aftermath as some Iraq allegory. But can equally plausibly see Vichy France; or a broader question about what makes a 'civilization', and how truly fragile it is.

    I certainly find the least interesting reading of the Cylons to be 'really ugly American Christian-righties on a genocidal rampage'. In one of the podcasts, RDM made a really interesting comment that he saw them as teenagers - trying to figure out their nature, their place in the universe. And as season four unwinds, their unity and purpose fractures, they're beginning to discover everything they thought was true is a lie. That's a very interesting place, dramatically speaking, to be.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Wait! Danielle has wheels???

    Choice, that will make running away with her so much easier.

    Until you get to the first set of stairs.

    Bugger.

    El-e-vate!

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    El-e-vate!

    .

    Nice.

    In before 1000...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1569 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    1000th

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2775 posts Report Reply

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