Neda

Tonight was the first chance I’ve had to see the video of Neda, the young Iranian woman shot to death while watching a demonstration.  I’m nearly speechless.  Her eyes just grab at you.

She has become a powerfully symbolic figure in just 2 days, and her name as a rallying cry quickly reminded me of Stephen Biko.  I have often wondered if Biko, as he lay dying in prison, had any idea what his death would come to mean to the world.  I’ve wondered if, even knowing that, he would have spared himself that death.

The ripples of Neda’s death have only just begun, and I hope that whatever becomes of it, people remember those eyes, and are haunted by them.

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Tommy Christopher’s New Gig

So, I got my first post-Playboy paying gig today, and in the “not just irony, but irony squared” department, it’s not only with AOL, it’s for Asylum.

I encourage you all to check out my debut story there, Perez Hilton Takes on Will.i.am, Snubs 911 Operators*, and re-tweet the crap out of it.  Let Asylum know they made a good move.

I’ll continue to post here, and I’m still on the lookout for more freelance work, but this is a hell of a good start.  Asylum does monster traffic, and it’s the perfect place for a man’s man like yours truly.

Thanks to everyone who stuck with me.

Paul Begala Falls Into Meghan McCain Trap

There’s a YouTube clip getting big circulation now, in which Democratic strategist Paul Begala “Schools Meghan McCain.” When I saw that title, I had to shake my head and say, “Paul, why?”  Just watch:

There are a few problems with this, but mainly, Begala takes the same bait that conservatives have with regard to Meghan. They engage her in the micro, as if she is (or claims to be) a policy expert, and miss her larger point.  In the process, Begala just comes off as a bully.  Yes, you are more learned than she is, but no, that doesn’t mean she has to STFU.

In fact, Begala’s response is an excellent crystallization of the partisan divide in this country.  Meghan makes the point that Barack Obama blames Bush for a lot of this mess.  (I think she overstates it, but she did say “…to some degree.”)  Begala’s response is, “Well, your guy did it more.”  This is the predictable course of most political debate in this country.

When I wrote about that Playboy article, people on the left pointed out instances of conservative misogyny, as if that made it OK.  We have to stop letting our rivals set our own boundaries.

I happen to agree with Begala, Barack Obama has been handed a monumental mess, and he really only ever points that out when the people who made the mess try to get schoolly with him.  That’s what my response would have been, not “Hey, I wasn’t born during the Mesozoic Era, but I still know what a stegosaurus ate for brunch.”

Meghan McCain is trying to meet the Democrats halfway, and taking shit from her side in the process.  She shouldn’t have to take shit from both sides.  Where’s the healing in that?

Big Pharma Offers President Obama Crumbs to Preserve Their Cake

pillage

The nation’s pharmaceutical companies have magnanimously offered to pony up what amounts to a filing fee on their license to print money.  They struck a deal with the White House and Congress to offer senior citizens discounts on prescription meds not covered by the Medicare D “donut hole.” Let’s see what’s really going in that hole:

The pharmaceutical industry agreed Saturday to spend $80 billion over the next decade improving drug benefits for seniors on Medicare and defraying the cost of President Barack Obama’s health care legislation, capping secretive negotiations involving key lawmakers and the White House.

“This new coverage means affordable prices on prescription drugs when Medicare benefits don’t cover the cost of prescriptions,” Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement announcing the accord.

Land’s sakes,I do believe I’m feeling faint!  $80 billion?  Where are they going to get a pile of cash like that?  Well, it’s not exactly a pile of cash: Continue reading