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No Jokes Here

Monday, Jul. 21, 2008 8:59 AM

So why is it that if Barack Obama makes a mistake on his trip abroad, the media is casting it as a potential disaster ...

... when John McCain has made repeated errors as to issues that are fundamental to our Middle East policy, such as not knowing the difference between Sunni and Shiite, bumbling his facts while trying to pitch the 'blame Iran' meme (and having to be corrected by Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham), and making blowhard and foolish statements like staying for 100 years and bombing Iran?

And it's diplomacy-as-usual for the Bush Administration. We're sending someone to talk to Iran, but right on the heels of this announcement comes Secretary Ferragamo Rice to opine that Iran isn't serious about talks.

Given that we don't have the manpower to start another war while maintaining two botched missions, which means our military options consist of large-scale response (dropping bombs) -- which would most certainly destabilize the region and provide further opportunities for radical factions and non-state actors -- why are we so determined to throw up our hands and walk away from the table?

It's like the old joke about the man who wants to borrow his neighbor's lawnmower. But, as he walks over, he considers, 'What if he doesn't let me borrow it?' And he plays through a number of scenarios in his head, all of which end with refusal.

Thus, he gets to the door and yells at his neighbor, "Keep your goddamned lawnmower!" and storms off.

So while it's all very nice that Henry Waxman's committee has cited Karl Rove for contempt, the next step is to have the bastard (Rove, not Waxman) arrested and brought before Congress to answer the gorram questions.

Otherwise, the matter should be referred to a U.S. Attorney for prosecution. Given that Attorney General Mukasey is nothing but the most transparent of shills for the Bush Administration, I doubt that would go any further than the contempt citation.

Managed to see Batman: The Dark Knight over the weekend. It's a fabulous film, much more brooding and ominous in tone. The cast turns in a top-notch performance.

But again, there were parents taking children under the age limit (PG-13) to the film. While there isn't a lot of gore, Ledger's Joker isn't the wacky homicidal maniac that Jack Nicholson portrayed, nor the streamers-and-confetti Clown Prince of Crime that was Cesar Romero's take.

And speaking of which, Ledger's Joker is far superior to Nicholson's portrayal. Nicholson's joker was a two-bit thug/mob enforcer that suddenly becomes a criminal (and chemical) genius. Ledger brings that edge of insanity to light, but the script also imbues him with the appropriate scope of a criminal mastermind. None of this Joker's humor is for laughs - it's the kind of humor layered over serious problems.

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