Stuff to Check Out Including Why Ted Kennedy Can Say “Nuclear” and George W. Bush Can’t


annie congressional cemetary.jpg
(Annie — Oakley the Amazing Weimaraner’s sister — running in the Congressional Cemetery; taken with cell phone camera)
The Boston Globe has a fascinating long expose on Rose Kennedy’s life and letters. The most hilarious part of it though is on the third page in which she counsels her Senator son, Ted Kennedy, how to pronounce a word our incumbent president never quite manages.
From the piece:

She [Rose Kennedy] offered maternal advice long after her children had grown to adulthood. She told Jack to speak more slowly during his presidential campaign, as his Boston accent was hard for others to decipher. She told Bobby to get his hair cut during his 1968 campaign. In 1969, she sent her senator son Ted a letter that Barbara Bush apparently never sent her son.
“Dear Ted,” Rose wrote, “I wish you would check the pronunciation of the word ‘nuclear.’ You pronounce it as though it were spelled ‘nucular,’ but I believe it should be pronounced ‘nu-cle-ar.'”

My New America Foundation colleague Nir Rosen’s New York Times Magazine cover story, “Exodus: The Flight from Iraq” is up on the web now and well worth a read.
On Friday, we organized a fascinating array of speakers in a set of conversations on the future of the American and global economies. The question posed was “Will the Sky Fall?” and the general provocation of the meeting was that some progressives are beginning to take another look at whether or not we are measuring our economy correctly — inputs, outputs, tangibles, intangibles — and whether we should grab the next set of years as an opportunity to rebuild America’s public infrastructure — including educational system, physical infrastructure, broadband architecture, and R&D base.
The meeting was covered in full by C-Span, but the influential young blogger and a leading general among the “netroots” Matt Stoller offers some YouTube commentary and a short essay here. Matt and I will differ a bit here and there, but his take on the culture of elites discussing these issues is fascinating on its own — and his seeming dismissal of the “doom and gloomism” of those who want to strangle entitlements down is impressive, particularly since he doesn’t follow economic policy closely. His review is honest and something to note.
Last item before I go take Oakley & Annie for a walk is that this fellow, Dal LaMagna, has just bought my friends’ home across the street from me. Apparently, Cindy Sheehan stayed there the entire week week before last. I had no idea. But it’s prompted me to check him out — and he’s a powerhouse progressive activist that owns a firm, Tweezerman, that seems like it really believes in a socially responsible business model. He also seems to be involved in publishing the progressive magazine, Yes!.
I suspect we will get along — until I mention the many reasons I like Chuck Hagel.
More later.
— Steve Clemons


15 comments on “Stuff to Check Out Including Why Ted Kennedy Can Say “Nuclear” and George W. Bush Can’t

  1. Ian Welsh says:

    People who know how the liberal blogosphere works would say that Matt Stoller is probably one of the 5 most influential bloggers in it. Personally, I’d put him in the cat bird seat (yes, number one and ahead of Kos, whom people who don’t know how the blogosphere works think is the most important blogger.)
    While Matt isn’t an economics blogger, he’s not ec-illiterate and he does know a number of people who are far from ec-illiterate. Let’s just say that there’s a sizable alternative body of opinion that doesn’t think that strangling medicare and SS is necessary for fixing the economy.
    And most of us on that side got minor things like the property bubble right long before the people on the other side did.


  2. MP says:

    POA writes: “How many people are misinformed daily by AIPAC, and their unabashed propaganda?”
    Hmmm, I’d guess about .0000000001% of the population.


  3. Jon Stopa says:

    It seems to me that the next step in ending our occupation of Iraq is to submit to the Iraqi people an evacuaation plan of Iraq, with dates! See what they think. Why wait for Bush?
    Wouldn’t that be a form of “facts on the ground?”


  4. Pissed Off American says:

    Heres more on the IAEA inspections in Iran. I note the AIPAC website is still running a fictitious main article on their homepage as of this morning. How many people are misinformed daily by AIPAC, and their unabashed propaganda?
    IAEA inspectors ‘in Iran’
    Sun, 13 May 2007 20:04:28
    A team of two inspectors from the UN atomic watchdog are in Iran to continue their work at key nuclear facilities of Natanz and Esfahan.
    The UN experts arrived Saturday for a two week visit to the nuclear facilities and immediately began work, Fars news agency reported.
    Earlier this month, Western media claimed that Iran had suspended UN inspection as an objection to the UN Security Council resolution against the country. Iran and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) both denied the allegations.
    Marc Vidricaire, the IAEA’s spokesman said Iran had not hampered the IAEA’s inspections and “the information is untrue”.
    Iran has been cooperating with the IAEA and allows the agency’s inspectors to visit its nuclear facilities across the country.


  5. Marcia says:

    Thanks for the Tweezerman address. I have some gifts to make to some young people and am delighted to have access to an environment and worker friendly firm.


  6. Dana says:

    Well, if we’re talking about issues that are being ignored, how about the trade deals (with Peru, Colombia, South Korea, and others) that the Dems were touting as providing coverage for unions and organizing unions and such. But neither the Dems nor the Repubs have seen the legislative language, so how can they be so sure? No matter what, this admin is not responsible enough to be given the “fast track” authority it seeks. And we know we can’t trust them on trade deals just on their assurances alone.


  7. Dana says:

    Who is Matt Stoller, and why should we care what he says?


  8. Greg Priddy says:

    Chuck Hagel certainly has some interesting things to say on Face the Nation this morning, including this exchange:
    SCHIEFFER: You had dinner, I know, the other night with Mayor Bloomberg of New York. Some say he’s thinking of a run, perhaps, as an Independent. What did you come away from that meeting feeling?
    Sen. HAGEL: Well, we didn’t make any deals, but I think Mayor Bloomberg is the kind of individual who should seriously think about this. I think he is. I can’t speak for him. Obviously, the conversation we had was confidential, but it’s that kind of independent thinking. He’s been–here’s a man who’s been successful in every walk of life. He’s thoughtful. He’s got a range about the world. He’s not tied down and captive to political ideology. He wants to make things work. He is the mayor of one of the greatest cities on earth. He makes that city work. That’s what America wants.
    SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you this. Could you see a ticket that had Mayor Bloomberg and Chuck Hagel, in no particular order there, but those two names on the same ticket? Would that be–can you see something like that?
    Sen. HAGEL: It’s a great country to think about a New York boy and a Nebraska boy to be teamed up leading this nation.
    More here:
    I like Hagel too in many ways — on foreign policy in general, I probably have more in common with him than I do with some of the Democratic candidates. But he’d need to move much more to the center on economic issues, and climate change in particular, to appeal to me…
    Still, rather intriguing. I particularly liked his reference to Eisenhower…


  9. JohnH says:

    Matt Stoller’s observations are great. Global political elites hold their positions of “authority” because global economic elites are paying for the views they articulate. Nowhere is this clearer than the relationship between neocons and the American Enterprise Institute. David Sirota observes that “The National Association of Manufacturers purports to represent America’s domestic industrial manufacturers – you know, the factories that Washington’s economic policies are trying to destroy. Thus, you may expect such an organization to be constantly railing on the Establishment. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite – the organization is increasingly being exposed as a corrupt, partisan wing of the Republican apparatus whose leadership often uses NAM’s resources against the interests of the majority of NAM’s own members,” and to the benefit of the largest members.
    As a result, the Iraq war rages on with no clearly stated objectives, even though the majority of Iraqis and Americans agree that the US should leave. Defense budgets double in half a dozen years with barely a whimper from the elites, political or economic. Yet when “entitlements’ –programs for people, not corporations–need funding comparable to what defense got over the last few years, it’s a crisis. The crisis exists only because nobody except retirees and the disabled is getting any money. And the financial elites, determined to reform it so that they get their cut, will pay as many economists and hired pens as necessary to reform it more to their liking.


  10. Pissed Off American says:

    Egads, its the invasion of the ‘ol hippies. But, my guess would be barrel Orange Sunshine. Post Ozly.
    I see Steve is singing Hagel’s praises again. I can’t seem to find any comments from Hagel about the AG thing. I notice too that this blog seems to be ignoring the issue as well. Goodling’s immunity. Shlozman flipping Congress the bird. All huge developments. Not a peep. TPM really is staying on top of it though. I guess Steve just prefers to stay with the “foreign policy” stuff.
    And how is Rice managing to get away with saying “fuck you” to a congressional subpoena? Notice the MSM is ignoring that one? I guess its uncomfortable for them to point out that we have a bunch of scum in Washington that not only consider themselves above the law, they apparently ARE above the law.
    And the Dems??? Here they are, the new majority, and they refuse to even enforce a fuckin’ subpoena, whether it be Rice’s, or Gonzales’. And while the Bush criminals make it clear they won’t honor subpoenas, the Dems actually “invite” Shlozman to testify, instead of just issuing a subpoena from the get go. Well, of course Shlozman flipped them off. What did they expect? If they refuse to hold Gonzales and Rice to the letter of the law, can we expect them to do anything about Shlozman making light of their “invitation” to testify? Its time to start issuing subpoenas they mean, and enforcing them by having Federal Marshalls haul these God damned lying pieces of shit in to testify, in shackles, just like they would you or I if we ignored a congressional subpoena.


  11. downtown says:

    yeah, Mr. Clemons…. it looks like your cellphone is on Acid. Keep it at arm’s length, please. I almost had a flash-back.


  12. OnTheBus says:

    By the looks of that thar picture seems you got a holda some purty decent LSD! Purple microdot by any chance?


  13. Steve Clemons says:

    Buck — thanks for your advice. I’m very focused on substance nearly all of the time — and I’ve said before, I’m really lousy at humor, but I found it beyond ironic that Rose Kennedy had actually written to her son about this. I found it fun to note.
    be well,


  14. buck says:

    Didn’t Jimmy Carter used to say “nucular”? There are many reasons to dislike the Idiot-in-Chief, but, I don’t think, pronunciation of “nuclear” is one of them. It’s about the difference between appearances and substance–Bush has neither when he talks about anything “nuclear”, but the comments about his pronunciation focus only on the appearances. Let’s focus on the substance, shall we?


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