Love, Hate, and Huma’s Pathetic Weiner


“She said her husband should be elected mayor! You do not get to trash his candidacy and praise hers. Want to support Huma? Then vote for Anthony!”

Marc Tracy

Yes, really, it comes to this.

The thing is that I really, really don’t care. Really. I promise. The sad saga of the Little Weiner That Couldn’t Quit is all abstraction to me. Can he get elected? We’ll see when this is over.

But Marc Tracy’s article for The New Republic was one of those idiotic headlines I just couldn’t resist. I don’t know, maybe I was expecting satire.

Huma AbedinThere isn’t a transcript available yet, and I was too transfixed and oblivious of myself to take notes during this proverbial train wreck. But basically, she said that she determined that it was best for her, her marriage, and her child to stay together. It all seemed perfectly valid. And the Twitterati seemed to agree: My feed lit up with variations on a theme I have been seeing since Weiner announced his mayoral candidacy in late May—Huma is great; I love Huma; it should be Huma. As in: Weiner is the worst, and, relatedly, Abedin is the best.

Sorry, but no. Abedin spoke at her husband’s press conference (it was reportedly her idea, in fact), among the most important events of his political career, in the service of getting him elected mayor. This doesn’t mean you can’t agree with what she said. (Besides, to the extent that she was speaking about her decision to remain married to Weiner, it isn’t really our business.) But at least listen to what she said! She said her husband should be elected mayor! You do not get to trash his candidacy and praise hers. Want to support Huma? Then vote for Anthony!

Maybe Abedin should be mayor. Maybe she should be President Hillary Clinton’s chief-of-staff. Maybe she should divorce Weiner and marry someone better, like Eliot Spitzer. Or maybe she should be First Lady of New York City. But to deny that she is in the same boat as her husband as far as his political ambitions are concerned is to believe she is incapable of making informed decisions for herself. I doubt that is how her admirers feel ….

…. Abedin’s story isn’t over yet, either. But in this chapter, she is shilling for her husband to become mayor. If you have a problem with that, then you have a problem with her.

(Sigh.)

Yes, really.

I don’t have a damn thing to say to disagree with Tracy. Like I said, it’s all abstraction, like whether Irv Halter can unseat Rep. Doug “Tar Baby” Lamborn in Colorado’s Fifth Congressional District.

But … I don’t know. Really? This is really what our political discourse is coming to?

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Asking the obvious question


Could someone please explain to me the following?

  • How is it that a known serial adulterer being accused of asking his second wife, with whom he was cheating on his first wife, to open the relationship so that he could continue to bang the woman who eventually became his third wife, can reliably count the scandal as an asset among allegedly conservative family values voters?

John Darkow, Jan. 18,  2012What the hell is happening to American conservatives? I generally speculate something about neurotic tensions at the breaking point, but my conservative neighbors think that an unspeakably evil form of character assassination.

Just what is going on in Republican America?

How fal-awful?


Bill O'ReillyOne of the problems with the infotainment industry sector known as cable news is that it is, well, entertaining. Even when they’re not trying to be. To wit, during post-Irene coverage, a CNN anchor whose name escapes me, with a turd-under-the-nose blueblood sort of posture and delivery, was trying to cover first the people who were dumb enough to stay on outlying islands to the result that 2,500 of them are without road access to the mainland for perhaps two weeks. And then he tried to manage an interview with a woman who was among twenty-three stranded in a rural area of New York. The whole sequence was macabre.

But then there are the deliberate entertainers, the punditry hosts who raised FOX News to dominance or transformed the inept MSNBC into a GOP fundraising bogeyman. The persistent, even seemingly teflon Keith Olbermann has landed on his feet at Al Gore’s network, Current, with a version of Countdown that sounds much the same, and only looks any different as a matter of budget. And yes, we know Keith is politically active and wears his bias on his sleeve. Yes, we know how conservatives loathe him. But it’s so much more fun when he tells the latest story of FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly, himself a lightning rod of such comedic scale that you can’t write this kind of fiction. Mr. O’Reilly topped yesterday’s “Worst Persons in the World” list, and Olbermann clearly enjoyed the hell out of explaining the logic behind that:

You may recall years ago before he was fired from his syndicated radio show, that a caller mentioned my name to O’Reilly and he responded by saying that the caller’s name would then be turned over to Fox security, and soon he’d be receiving a little visit from the police. You may also recall there was a little problem with Bill and one of his producers, and his phone calls to her about three-ways and loofahs, and improbably about falafels.

Today, the two topics merged into one. This is going to be easier if I just read the first paragraph directly. Shall I?

“Last summer, Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly came to believe that his wife was romantically involved with another man. Not just any man, but a police detective in the Long Island community they call home. So, O’Reilly did what any concerned husband would do, he pulled strings to get the police department’s internal affairs unit to investigate one of their own for messing with the wrong man’s lady.”

Wait, Internal Affairs investigated Mrs. O’Reilly’s alleged internal affair?

Gawker has identified the Nassau County Internal Affairs Unit detective actually assigned to investigate Billo’s alleged cuckolder. “The source provided contemporaneous e-mail traffic to support his account. He told me, ‘You’ll never guess what happened to me the other day. Do you know Bill O’Reilly?’ I got called into my boss’ office saying they wanted me to meet with these two PIs”—that would be Private Investigators—”working for O’Reilly to go over some information because a detective was having an affair with O’Reilly’s wife.”

He’ll turn this over to Fox Security! He’ll be receiving a little visit from the local authorities!

“The investigation was highly sensitive for two reasons, the source said. One, it was ordered directly by then-police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey, and, two, O’Reilly was at the time considering making a major donation to the Nassau County Police Department Foundation, a private, not-for-profit foundation Mulvey helped found in 2009 to raise money for construction of a planned $48 million police training facility at Nassau Community College. These internal affairs cops were on the case at the behest of Mulvey in order to get O’Reilly’s funds,” the source said.

Oh, great. So now it’s not trying to get the cops to get a cop to stop an alleged affair with Mrs. O’Reilly. It’s trying to get the cops to stop a cop to stop an alleged affair with Mrs. O’Reilly, in exchange for donations to the policemen’s charity. So where’s the evidence?

Unfortunately Gawker not only has records of Mrs. Billo buying her own house down the street from the family home, and being removed as a director of the O’Reilly Family Foundation, but the Nassau Police Commissioner kind of confirmed the investigation when he told them, “I don’t know if the investigation is ongoing or concluded,” Mulvey said, “so I wouldn’t comment.” You just did.

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Don’t read this


Um …

An Australian woman accused of setting her husband’s genitals on fire because she thought he was having an affair has been charged with murder ….

…. Prosecutor Lucy Boord said Narayan told neighbors she was a “jealous wife” but she hadn’t meant to kill him when she doused the sleeping man’s genitals with an alcohol-based solvent and then set him on fire.

Boord quoted Narayan allegedly saying: “I just wanted to burn his penis so it belongs to me and no one else. … I didn’t mean this to happen.”

The husband jumped out of bed and knocked over the bottle of alcohol, causing the fire to spread and resulting in 1 million Australian dollars ($711,000) of damage to their town house and an adjacent property, the Adelaide Advertiser reported.

… yeah.

(AP via AZ Central)

Love and honor, Italian style


Um … huh?

Anyway, these days I’m finding it easier to just shrug and admit I don’t know where to start. I mean, what am I supposed to do with Christian Fraser’s report for the BBC?

Italy’s highest appeal court has ruled that married Italian women who commit adultery are entitled to lie about it to protect their honour.

The court gave its landmark ruling after hearing the case of a 48-year-old woman, convicted of giving false testimony to police by denying she had lent her mobile phone to her lover ….

…. The woman who brought the appeal was from Porto Ercole on the Tuscany coast, and named only as Carla.

She had lent her telephone to her secret lover, Giovanni, who then used it to call Carla’s estranged husband, Vincenzo, and insult him.

Giovanni, the lover, was convicted of abusive behaviour in a local court, and Carla convicted as an accessory.

But the Court of Cassation found that having a lover was a circumstance that damaged the honour of the person among family and friends.

Lying about it, therefore, was permitted, even in a judicial investigation ….

…. The Court of Cassation, which is largely staffed by elderly male appeal judges, has in the past issued a number of controversial judgements.

It once gave a ruling, later rescinded after protests from women’s groups, that a woman could not be raped by definition if she was wearing tight jeans, since the jeans could only be removed with her consent.

I mean, it occurs to me that we Americans ought to consider complaining a little less about our judiciary, but that doesn’t really help, does it?