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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Morning News

Posted by on September 13 at 8:41 AM

President Bush said yesterday that he sees a third awakening taking place in America. When were the first and second awakenings, and what is he talking about? More on this later, but he’s speaking in code (again) to Evangelical Christians — and just in time for the fall election season!

In the Rhode Island primary, Chafee wins, making it less likely Democrats will take that Senate seat.

In the New York primary, Clinton and Spitzer win, with Clinton described as having “swamped” her anti-war challenger. A good omen for Cantwell in next Tuesday’s Washington State primary?

In Nova Scotia, the gossip involves Condoleezza Rice and Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay.

In Baghdad, violence is flaring (again).

In Seattle, signs of a cooling housing market, while in downtown Seattle, a $1 million luxury condo is becoming a comparative bargain.

In the Internets, Lonelygirl15 has been revealed.

And in the land of tea, a new bag.

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That's so weird, the fuss about Rice and Mackay. I remember when Jack Straw was still Foreign Minister and the press would make such a big deal out of their relationship, how there was supposedly palpable romantic tension and that he acted like a schoolboy with a crush when they were together. I do think it's a bit sexist that when our secretary of state, who happens to be a single woman, has any meeting with a counterpart who is also single, the media feel the need to speculate on these things. Maybe sexist is too strong a word, but it's really strange.

You know, you should read up on the people you lambaste before you go all "OH NOES WE LOST THE LITTLE STATE", and don't assume New England politics are anything like Northwest politics, or the rest of U.S. politics for that matter. The northeast has the highest proportion of progressive republicans in the country.

I'd MUCH rather have Lincoln Chafee, Olympia Snowe, or even William Weld than, say, Joe Lieberman.

George is wrong yet again. Historians generally recognize three periods of "awakening," ie, widespread religious fervor of the Protestant fundamentalist stripe: 1730s-1740s, 1820s-1830s, 1880s-1900s. You know, fire-and-brimstone preaching about how we're all going to hell and gotta turn to Jesus. Think Cotton Mather and Billy Sunday. Some even count the 1960s and '70s as another wake-up call from the Jesus folks, so George is off by one or two awakenings. The original Puritans don't count as an awakening because they presumably arrived in America awake already.

The tea article is cute, but check out this story in the Times about the growing cult of coffee in NY, with many loving nods to Seattle coffee houses.

As for Chafee, while he's certainly more moderate than the "official" GOP candidate, Laffey was, the exceptionally large turnout indicates there was most likely a fair amount "cross voting", since registered Independents in Rhode Island are allowed to vote for candidates from either of the two major parties.

No doubt the pundits are already spinning this as an indication that the "anti-incumbent" mood in the country isn't as strong as had been anticipated, but Chaffee is also about as far to the left in the GOP as one can get and still be considered a bona-fide member of the party. Given R.I.'s strong independent voting block, it's still not a given that he's going to sail smoothly to re-election.

That third awakening article is some scary stuff. It makes it difficult to decry your adversaries as religious fanatics when you yourself frame the battle as a religious one.

Awakening to what? I think it's more like the First Great Endumbening - with GWB as its fearless leader and mascot.

Yea, the tea bag story is cute, but it's nothing but a press release for Lipton. As noted in the story, they are hardly first in line for using the bags or long leaf tea. Plus, the bags are still freakin' nylon which doesn't break down properly in the compost bin as say the paper bags used by Seattle's own, Choice Organic Teas - a leader in the recycling industry. Try:

Choice Organic Teas

and see the PI article on them:
PI Article

Chaffee is going down.

COMTE: I think you underestimate the pull of a legacy (not simply an incumbent, but one with a history) candidate in that area. Chafee comes from a long-standing New England political family, most importantly his father John Chafee who held Lincoln's very seat for 24 years. That sort of family political resume is a winner in New England, where they like candidates with a reliable track record and legacy, regardless of party.

Why do you think Ted Kennedy is so invulnerable? It ain't just some New England Democratic party loyalty. The reason he usually saunters through elections (and why term limits are unpopular out there) is that New Englanders trust his legacy and track record.

As for pyramidical teabags, Britain's PG Tips has been doing that for a decade now.

Chafee can hardly be claimed to be an indicator of any sort of national political trend, one way or another. The entire state of R.I. has a population of just slightly over 1 million. That's a bit more than half of the population of King County (roughly 1.8 million). As a person who has never spent any time in New England, I've always found it peculiar that that itsy bitsy thing even counts as a state.

Personally, I think we on the verge of going back to sleep. I think folks are starting to get tired of the strident religions.

Many big states have a ridiculously small populations. Alaska has about 626,000. Wyoming has about 493,000.

Yay, PG Tips!

Can someone tell me why the Grey Lady has decided to front a photo of a camwhore?

I mean, has journalism really degenerated to the point where journalists just surf the web all day? To the point where a reporter's job consists of doing what people with other desk jobs do when they're avoiding work?

Re: awakenings, unfortunate.

Check out the lead story on Salon. The Mars Hillians are taking the world by storm....

(OT: those tats and oh-so-ironic tees lose some of their glamour when worn by a bigots, don't they?)

Looking over the "Third Awakening" article, it is curious to me that everyone lets GW BUSH call it a good vs. evil thing. In the context of the wider scope of the WAR, and not just specific to the article. And I do mean LET him, no matter what the politics are, there is not a strong force condemning the morals, out side of the christian sect frame, of GW BUSH. It seems to mean that most Americans, Dem, Rep, Indy, Other, do agree with the good vs. evil thing, even if they are uncomfortable with the religious framing. Most debates, in the blogs and MSM, do not have a strong "one person’s terrorist is anothers freedom fighter" tone. Not many folks are willing to engage that fact that a muslim terrorist is actual on the side of their particular brand of good, with America being the evil. Not much serious, across the board debate on Evil being a matter of perspective from ones point of view, politically or religious.

Maybe instead of looking at the "WTF does Third Awakening mean", just skip over it as a matter of GW BUSH's personal view, and start arguing him on his moral perspective concerning good vs. evil.

But, then again, during a time of WAR, putting a human, we are all people, and some people simply have to die is never in vogue. Only after the WAR is over does that perspective, maybe, gets considered. Its just so very safe to just vilify the FUNDI's as the messenger, and not to reject their message.

Today them, tomorrow you: "Webb was quite the big shot back then, according to his testimony - the toast of radio town. At least that's what you'd think based on his oozing condescension and smug, avuncular tones, bragging as he leaned into the microphone ..." (from blatherwatch; this GEICO thing don't make a lick of sense).

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