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December 8, 2010

Wednesday Round-Up: Taxing Times; Target Assange; Picturing Edwards

Between Obama throwing karate chops in the WH Press Room and the Dems parading the bowels of Congress, this is the only “tax deal” photo I could identify with yesterday. Obviously, Bernie’s not going quietly.

This cover could have been read several different ways when it appeared a few days ago.  With the witch hunt fully underway, however (see: ubiquitous Assange-in-limo perp shot, then: shooting the paddy wagon), I can’t read it any other way now than: he must be silenced — courtesy of Uncle Sam. (…And here’s Naomi Wolf for the day’s exclamation point.)

Finally, condolences to family and friends of Elizabeth Edwards. Kudos to Reuters, though, for re-releasing this gem from April 27, 2007. A month after the cancer announcement, this bizarre couple, high on the “Two Americas” crusade, had the ability to look passionately into each other’s eyes and see Pennsylvania Avenue.

(photo 1: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images. caption: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill on December 7, 2010 in Washington, DC.  The Obama administration is pushing for Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts in a compromise with Republicans. TIME photo: Kate Peters. Illustration: D.W. Pine. photo 2: Jim Young/Reuters. caption: U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards says goodbye to his wife Elizabeth as they leave the Jefferson-Jackson Democratic Party fund raising dinner in Columbia, South Carolina, in this April 27, 2007 file photo. Elizabeth Edwards, best selling author and the estranged wife of John Edwards died of cancer at age 61 at her home December 7, 2010, media reports said.)

  • Glenn May

    1. I’m glad someone – anyone – is mad about Obama’s latest sell-out.
    2. Assange is great, but of course the media is changing the subject by making him the subject. Concentrate on the evidence of the utter corruption of U.S. foreign policy revealed in the leaks themselves. And on the attempts by corporations to shut off support for wikileaks.
    3. OK, I guess Edwards is newsworthy. But shouldn’t we be finding women to put in the news for reasons other than the men they are married to?

  • black dog barking

    John Edwards and Julian Assange have some common experiences. Make certain people unhappy and your private life, *your* secrets, are no longer yours. Turns out Edwards is a dick, privately, but by itself that doesn’t (shouldn’t?) trump one’s public life. In fact, the theory is that one can have one of each.

    ‘Course we saw this pattern writ large a decade ago in blue dress stains.

    • jonst

      BDB…let us not forget Scott Ritter or Spitzer. They made “certain people unhappy”.

      On a different note, the ‘devil in the blue dress’ kept her mouth shut. No pun intended or desired. I really respect her for that. She got on with her life and did not make any money off her notoriety. A rare, rare, rare, thing in American life.

  • kailuahale

    She’s looking passionately at him, but he’s completely closed off, eyes shut, caring not. Why even have him in the picture at this point? Isn’t that in itself an insult to her?

    • Vvoter

      Good catch, kailuahale.

      The already-conventional progressive narrative, expressed by Bernie Sanders’ face and echoed by Glenn May’s comment #1, is that BO’s deal is a sell out, an outrage, a capitulation.

      Hannity, et al, meanwhile, are doing victory laps.

      I watched the bulk of Obama’s tax cut press conference yesterday. He frames the deal as a choice between…

      a) purism, conviction, protracted political fight: doing nothing, thereby directly harming millions of citizens whose unemployment benefits are poised to expire, or

      b) pragmatism: doing something – whatever he could – to help those millions of people avoid the financial hit.

      Not out of political ignorance or blind deference to Obama, but I find his argument on this point persuasive. Bernie Sanders, here, may have the look of righteous indignation, but I bet if he were at the negotiating table, certainly holding fast to option a, nobody would have gotten anything except more entrenched.

      I think Obama is far ahead of everyone else on this. The reflexive ideological response from both sides helps emphasize the effective contrast between purism and pragmatism in national politics.

    • Gasho

      Vvoter -” I think Obama is far ahead of everyone else on this. ”

      Not in THIS world he’s not. He’s only reasonable and smart when you listen to him–when you take the time to hear him speak. Today’s media messages are passed in images, captions, sound bites and twitter-length messages. If you can’t condense your message to that format, it gets truncated and the argument is lost.

      So, how could Obama pitch the deal in a tweet? – because it’s easy to attack it in a tweet.

      Watch: “#Obama extends W’s tax cuts for the nation’s elite. Big FU to base; #BernieSanders unhappy. #Krugman predicts 2012 impact.”

      On that note, I wonder if there is a journalistic comparison between the caption and the tweet. Were captions the first tweets? Whole stories condensed into a sentence or phrase that many people read instead of reading the whole story?

  • bresson

    The photo and the Senator both encapsulate the outrage of the Dem base. Clearly he’s angry, and the intelligence in the eyes differentiates him entirely from the ignorant rage of the teabagger. But the pic seems to have caught him mid-sentence, cutting off what he has to say and making him look almost as though he’s gasping. The extended warning finger is out of focus – as is the background. Sanders is the Senate’s Jeremiah, and despite his utterly sensible and humane admonishments, he’s scorned and ignored. DFH’s are not “Serious” and they are not to be listened to. The “Serious” people are the ones who throw them under the bus.

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