Thursday, February 02, 2006

Platonic Crushes

I’m a firm believer in platonic crushes. Something beyond like; closer to admiration and twitterpation in one neat package. In honor of the cuddly month of February, I thought I’d share a few of my sweethearts.

Barack Obama! Is it weird that every time you show your face on television I start hearing the sweet refrains of Son of a Preacher Man but instead I hear it as Son of a Goat Herder? Sure, you’re tall, skinny, and have a funny name. However, instead of covering it up, by, say, slouching, wearing double XL clothes and asking people to call you “Dave,” you full on own up to it. With that talent for public speaking, you’re going places, like, for instance, just to pick something, the White House.

Shh! Fareed Zakaria,
you had me at:

The new age of globalization has hit the Arab world in a very strange way. Its
societies are open enough to be disrupted by modernity, but not so open that
they can ride the wave. They see the television shows, the fast foods and the
fizzy drinks. But they don't see genuine liberalization in the society, with
increased opportunities and greater openness. Globalization in the Arab world is
the critic's caricature of globalization--a slew of Western products and
billboards with little else. For some in their societies it means more things to
buy. For the regimes it is an unsettling, dangerous phenomenon. As a result, the
people they rule can look at globalization but for the most part not touch it…

There is substance to some of these charges, and certainly from the point of
view of an Arab, American actions are never going to seem entirely fair. Like
any country, America has its interests. In my view, America's greatest sins
toward the Arab world are sins of omission. We have neglected to press any
regime there to open up its society. This neglect turned deadly in the case of
Afghanistan. Walking away from that fractured country after 1989 resulted in the
rise of bin Laden and the Taliban. This is not the gravest error a great power
can make, but it is a common American one…. America has not been venal in the
Arab world. But it has been careless.
Alright, so you had me before that. Even though you were raised in India, I feel like you’re my journalist next door. I don't even care that you can't take a picture without looking as stiff as a post. Every time I want to descend into finger pointing and name calling, you remind me of the bigger picture. That we’re all in this world together. It’s like you’re my college activist boyfriend, only, grown up, with a cute accent, and with less detectable political leanings. Fareed ( may I call you that?) I wish I could read you all day everyday. I’d be a better person.

Dear Joe Biden,
You. Are. Awesome. All those years of seasoning on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have caused you to age like good soy sauce. You’re salty and go great with Kung Pao. I even forgive this picture of you. I'm pretty sure you paused the shoot after this pic to get into your smoking jacket. Bygones.

Remember that time that your committee called in former Attorney General John Ashcroft to respond to allegations that our government was torturing people in its custody? You remember, the one where Leahy was all “U.S. citizens with no connection to terrorism have been in prison as material witnesses for chunks of time, and then, "Oops, I'm sorry," when what the Justice Department announced was a 100 percent positive fingerprint match turned out to be 100 percent wrong.”
Yeah, I figured you remembered. At first you were all nice to John Ashcroft you even said “We miss you, John. We'd like to see you more.” Then you called him generic. Woot Woot! And then you busted out this:

And by the way, there's a reason -- I'll conclude by saying -- there's a reason
why we sign these treaties: to protect my son in the military. That's why we
have these treaties. So when Americans are captured, they are not tortured.
That's the reason, in case anybody forgets it. That's the reason.

But HOW you said it, Oh JB! You said it with your teeth literally bared, like it was taking every bit of energy you had not to lunge across the table and bite Ashcroft in the neck. I totally get that. You’re also so charming and s-m-a-r-t. I totally get that. You played all coy on the Sunday morning shows about running for president, although you pretty much said you’ve formed an exploratory team. Dear Joe, you’re awesome, I’d vote for you. You just need to promise to do that whole teeth baring thing when you go toe to toe with Dick “Devil’s Tower” Cheney.

Oh dear Nina Totenberg, NPR legal affairs coorespondant! May we be friends? Please? I'd post a picture, but frankly, I like the picture I've created in my head. In my thoughts we both live in D.C. and we hang out all the time. Why, we just went to lunch at that Indian place next to the Georgetown mall. We totally gossiped about Linda Wortheimer and how even though she seems nice she totally bogarted the popcorn the last time the whole NPR staff took the afternoon off to see a movie (Tristan+Isolde, cause Bob Siegel has a thing for James Franco.)
Nina, you take something that I’d be interested in anyway (Supreme Court arguments and decisions) but you make it shorter and therefore even better. You know I have to love you for that! It’s the best when you change your voice slightly when changing the justices you’re quoting. I feel like I’m listening to a Dramatic Interpretation. It’s so fun when you do a rapid fire exchange between the justices and the counselors.

Like the arguments in the New London eminent domain case, which you probably
enjoyed as much as I did:

Justice Scalia: "Isn’t that changing the standard from requiring the city to have
a public use to requiring it have an efficient public use?"

Justice O’Connor: "You really want the courts to be in the courts to be in the business of evaluating if the utility will be successful? Or the hospital will be successful?"
O’Connor was just as unsparing in her questioning of the lawyer for the
other side, Wesley Horton, focusing on the city’s justifications for taking the
land, she asked: "Could the city then take a Motel 6 and give the land to The
Ritz because it would pay more taxes?"
Answer: "Yes."
Justice Ginsberg: "Then you’re arguing for something beyond what was decided by the lower courts in this case. The finding in this case was that the benefit would be primarily for the city and not the private developers."
Justice O’Connor: "When there’s no direct benefit to the public, why not require the city to just go out and buy up the land piece by piece?"
Answer: "Because there’s an assemblage problem. You need a whole area to interest developers.” Horton, holding up a map of the peninsula and trying to show the justices that without all the land, it would be impossible to plan for office space, parking, and access to the waterfront.
Justice Breyer: "Could the courts review what you just said for reasonableness?
Answer: That would mean we would have to meet a higher standard to acquire property that we are paying for. "
Justice Scalia: "You’re paying for it, but you’re also taking property from someone who doesn’t want to sell it, does that count for nothing? "
A decision in the case is expected by summer.
All emphasis Nina’s.

I shuddered to hear that the Supreme Court might allow same-day audio transcripts as it might put an end to your lovely summations of the machinations. I don’t care if the court does release the audio for the On-Campus military recruitment on the same day, Nina; I’m waiting for your DI.


Rachel said...


i'm going to have to go back and read all of your links, but since we're both, you know, left of center, i'm sure i agree with everything you said politically, without even really knowing what you said. does that make sense?

Q: how do you have time (you know with all of your 2 jobs, 1 child, 1 husband, toilet-paper-stock checking--i'm still laughing about that!!!--culinary skills, etcetera to read all of these magazines. you put me to shame. if i had the energy of one half of a carina, i'd be accomplishing SO much.

Rachel said...

i hate it when i forget to close parentheses.)

BowlerGirl said...

Carina, are a woman after my own heart (and Hubby's) we have a mutual crush on Mr. Obama! In our house he is top notch. There are other secret crushes that stray from the politcal vein can we all stand up for Jerry Orbach please? I'm also sinfully in love with Rudy Giuliani. Yes, he plays with the other team (Republicans, I mean) but I still think he's fantastic.

Azúcar said...

I like Keith Olbermann for many reasons, including this one.

BowlerGirl said...

Oh...and Jon Stewart....LOVE that man!