Hillary’s on another one of her listening tours and so we have no choice but to listen. So tune in we have, and what did we hear? A lot of two-worders including a revival of her favorite two-word phrase: “you know.” You know, when she’s at her profoundest and dead broke. If Ray Charles were her ventriloquist, she would have said, “I’m busted.” (Not to be confused with any drug raid that’s been erased from her records.) Or as Bill, channeling Charles himself, always wanted to tell her during their co-presidency, “I’m gonna send you back to Arkansas.” So tell your mama, tell your pa, dear readers: “What’d I say” is shaping up to be the theme of her solo presidency.
Our current soloist might steal it for himself, if anyone cares. He doesn’t have much to say anymore, not for lack of trying. To Iraqi P.M. Maliki he just says no. To Defense Secretary Hagel, it’s “Get under the bus.” To his new HUD secretary, the boss of San Antonio, he might begin, “Mr. Mayor.” (Remember when President Reagan was ridiculed for saying that to his HUD secretary? The double-standard we’ll always have with us.) To his wife, he’ll, um — to be honest, we have no idea what that might be, assuming they ever speak to each other. We only know she scowls at him, as if Republicans controlled her demeanor or she detected tobacco residue on his chewing gum.
Someday the New York Times might ask her about her favorite books and authors, as its Sunday book review section has done with Dr. Hillary. She mentions 25 books alone from her most recent afternoon of reading, though one of them is The Bible, which she put to memory in pre-kindergarten. Although she fails to mention her husband’s books, she does single out Our Divided Political Heart by E.J. Dionne, her guy at the Washington Post and a former reporter at the New York Times — though the Times neglects to acknowledge that. A cozy life they all live.
Jonathan Chait, who founded the “I Hate George Bush” movement a decade or so ago, is happiest these days when cozy with himself at his little blog. A choice moment came a few days ago when he mocked Cantor conqueror Dave Brat for misspelling the name of leading think-tank head Arthur Brooks on his c.v. Then Jonny tried to pile on, noting that “Brat scheduled a meet-and-greet session with Beltway leaders like Grover Norquist and Paul Weyrich — the kinds of movement hands an insurgent absolutely needs to woo to gain any oxygen for his quixotic campaign — but stood them up…”
Paul Weyrich would no doubt have been delighted to still be in the thick of things. Only problem is, he passed away on December 18, 2008. Don’t you hate it, Jonathan, when you turn yourself into a jackass? Need some oxygen?
We know what an oxygen shortage can do. Living as he does in America’s smog capital, former?/current?/future? Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been declared mentally impaired, according to NBA commissioner Adam Silver. He’s not doing too well himself, saying he feels “a bit impotent in this situation,” not the best pickup line in La-La Land. Silver’s a lawyer and he insists that because “two leading neurologists in L.A. [have found Sterling] to be incapacitated or incompetent,” Sterling’s team could be rightfully sold from under his nose.
Not so fast, reader Bob Hazlett responded: “How can you hold Donald Sterling accountable for his remarks when he has been declared mentally incompetent? That alone should be grounds for his attorney to void the sale of the team.…” Silver counters: “It’s time for him to move on.” Sounds like a death wish. Who needs death panels when you have NBA commissioners?
It’s a first in our memory: a professional basketball commish beating out a slew of political talent to earn EOW recognition. The jury is still out on whether Alan Silver will be a better sport about it. Maybe after he’s gone one on one with Diane Sawyer we’ll know more.