Love You Long Time: The Earl of Louisiana

“The Earl of Louisiana” by A. J. Liebling (1961) **** Liebling’s witty and nostalgic book shows us something of the old time politics and how it seems fresher and more vibrant than the sterile and shrill shenanigans of today. True, he had to travel to Louisiana (where the citizenry don’t expect corruption, they demand it) and he had a ringside seat to the Long legacy (the famous ‘Kingfish,’ Huey Long, Governor from 1928 to 1932 and a U.S. Senator until his death by gunfire in 1935, had been followed by younger brother Earl, Governor from 1939 to 1940, 1948 to…

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Learnings from Joe Biden

November 24, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, POLITICS, THEATRE |

As we look forward to a hilarious four years of the Biden Administration (the last 3/4ths of which will probably be completed by President Harris), it is apt to consider the wise words of a statesman whose eloquence rivals that of Pericles, Cato, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, Asoka, Jefferson, Lincoln, Disraeli, Churchill, FDR, De Gaulle, Mandela and Obama. We’ll set aside the instances of Joe being touchy (either in a tetchy way or a creepy way) or difficult matters like his 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that consigned millions of African Americans to life behind bars (“what I…

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Wake up, President Joe! Congratulations!

November 5, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, POLITICS |

5 November 2020 (Australian Central Time): An overnight flip has put Joe Biden ahead in Michigan and Wisconsin. And a weird stay of counting in North Carolina and Georgia doesn’t matter, nor does Pennsylvania, because Joe has 264 electoral college votes now and he will win Nevada (6 electoral votes) which puts him over the top. Congratulations, and if you thought the Trump Show was a wild ride, wait till you get a load of Joe and Kamala and their retinue! [UPDATE: Bad things seem to have occurred in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and Pennsylvania, in terms of dodgy electoral…

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American Unease

September 1, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, LIFE, POLITICS, Ulalume |

September 2020: With a Presidential election a mere 2 months away, we have thought about the unrest in that country, an admixture of BLM protest, concerted (possibly organized) opposition to Donald Trump, and a spontaneous reaction against the prevailing authority, a left-wing version of the alt/general-right correction of 2016. The disruption and disorder is a weird echo of 1968, where in a different and more difficult period, voters chose order over chaos.  In the wake of Martin Luther King‘s assassination in that year, Robert Kennedy’s plea for calm seems apposite now (see below).  We fear this November, or next January, might…

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The Circus

(Showtime) This documentary (more of a fly-on-the-wall ride-along) looks at the bizarre 2016 primaries and general election in the US. The access to the candidates is terrific, even better than the Pennebaker piece, but you get the sense that whilst Donald Trump kept on winning, his rivals kept attacking the Republican candidate next in line, as they clearly couldn’t accept such an outlier: denial of clear facts over bruised feelings aka derangement syndrome, replicated even after he was endorsed by the GOP and contested the election against Hillary Clinton. The footage is king here; but the analysis is also vastly…

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