Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Well Now I'm Pissed

McClellan says in new book that White House used propaganda to sell war
Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan writes in a new memoir that the Iraq war was sold to the American people with a sophisticated "political propaganda campaign" led by President Bush and aimed at "manipulating sources of public opinion" and "downplaying the major reason for going to war."
God damn it, he didn't fucking sell it to me.

I was not misled; I was shouting from the trees that they were wrong.
I do not support the concept of this war to this day. Unfortunately, I understand that we are now living with it, and that we need to work within the parameters that we already have, but I never, never, never wanted us to send troops to Iraq. If someone can find me a place where I wrote, "Yes, we should invade a country that hasn't attacked us, that's the best way to move our country forward!" then I will eat my shoes.

Maybe other people bought what Bush was selling, but I did not. My blogging friends did not. The "American People" is not a single, unanimous body.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Don't Get Around Much Anymore

I won't look to see the last time I posted. The presidential nominee thing has me feeling apathetic, because my dog in the race was Edwards. He's not there anymore, and I have no idea if either of the two dogs left can hunt. No idea.

I have been working on getting the new house together, and some of the wonderful benefits are that I can have company all the time, and that no one thinks I'm getting in the way of their stamp collection (which is on the kitchen table, of course) if I wish to use the kitchen for baking. Time to experiment!

I made up a no-sugar-added strawberry cake yesterday. It had:

4 egg whites, beaten
24 packets Splenda
1 stick of butter, softened
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
about 1 cup strawberry puree (6 large strawberries in the food processor)

I put the strawberries in the FP to puree, creamed the Splenda into the butter, whipped the egg whites, and went to sift the baking powder into the flour, when I realized that I had no baking powder. Crap! I ran to the store, knowing that the cake would suffer since I'd already whipped the eggs. Got back, did my sifting. Added the dry ingredients to the butter/Splenda, folded in the egg whites, had a lump that looked like dry bread dough. Not good. The strawberries that I had intended to use as a topping got folded in. Much better! I made 6 mini-bundt cakes. I think if I try this again I'll go 6 egg whites.

I estimate these to be about 300 calories per mini-cake. Maybe more like 305. I could cut the calories significantly if I switched out the butter with Smart Balance.

I'm not a strawberry fan, but apparently if you dilute the flavor enough, I can enjoy them.

So there you go.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Find Your Best Advisor

Barack Obama will face some challenges this fall, no matter how Rosy you may find the outlook for Democrats. And he'll need good advice to make the best plans for success. So who would any Democrat turn to when looking for sage words? Why, Newt Gingrich of course!
Dear Senator Obama,

Your campaign has been brilliant. It has given you more support and more momentum than most analysts expected a year ago. Keeping things simple and vague has worked so far, and it might work all the way to the White House. "Change you can believe in" is a great all-purpose slogan. It allows every person to fill in his or her own interpretation of what it means. In some ways, it's reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's 1976 promise to run "a government as good as the American people."

The challenge you will face in the next few months is stark. Do you want to remain vague? You might win—but you might find that, in winning, you have a "victory of personality" with no real policy consequences. Or do you want to provide specifics? If so, your victory could be a clarion call from the American people to Congress to join you in achieving your goals.

Ok, it may sound a little crazy for a member of the Donkey Tribe to be looking to the former GOP speaker of the house for hints and tips, but Newt's been around the block a few times and may be on to something here. As long as you stay vague and focus on positive imagery like hope and change, you deny your opponent the ammunition he desires to pick apart your platform. And it may just be that this is the kind of campaign you need to get across the finish line in November.

The problem with this, of course, is that you then need to show up in January after the inaugural balls are concluded, the balloons popped and the banners taken down, and actually get to work. And if you surprise a whole bunch of your supporters who thought you would do certain things, your support erodes. Getting into the office in the first place is critical, certainly, but you need to maintain that coalition of support through your term to actually get anything done. Failure to manage that feat leads to a one term president.

So, Senator Obama... don't trust Newt's intentions too much, but you may want to give some thought to that advice.