Schmoozalist's Notebook: L.A., Day 3

Political commentary and more.
Aug. 17 2000 2:59 PM

Schmoozalist's Notebook: L.A., Day 3

Despite predictions that the Democratic convention (and attendant demonstrations) might cause crippling gridlock, it has been easier to get around town this week than any time since ... well, since the '84 Olympics, when similar fears of gridlock caused locals to stay at home, emptying the freeways. Convention organizers have made elaborate shuttle-bus arrangements, but on Tuesday my colleague Jacob Weisberg just drove to the convention hall and found an empty parking space right outside. (He thought it was too good to be true and went to a nearby garage.) ...


Eager GOP buzz at last night's glamorous George party: Gore's actually down three points in the tracking poll! Even Clinton's speech didn't help! Voters in the Midwest "hated the walk," the wacky Leni Riefenstahlesque run-up! Who does he think he is? Caesar? ... Frank Luntz predicts the Republicans will win the White House but lose the House of Representatives. ...

Nastiest buzz at the glamorous George party: Did Bush's people leak news of McCain's skin cancer to distract press attention from Gore's big moment?

Best hygienic guerrilla marketing: Rubber mats in the urinals at Arianna Huffington's Shadow Convention were embossed with a bull's-eye, and the tag line: "The Star Wars Missile Missed Its Target. Will You?" ... Meanwhile, at the Shadow "Rapid Response Panel" following Lieberman's speech, The Nation's Eric Alterman found himself on the wrong (i.e. right) side of the assembled masses in the audience, who objected vociferously to Alterman's argument in favor of Gore over Nader. ... I actually felt a rare burst of sympathy for Alterman. The running dog! ...

After the panel, about half the crowd goes downstairs to hear campaign-finance-reform advocate Russ Feingold thank the Shadow Conventioneers for ... well, for giving him a media platform beyond the wildest dreams of a mid-bench liberal senator who wasn't on Gore's VP list. ... Feingold is preceded by a band, the Murmurs, whose appearance I dread. It's a small space, and rock bands always play too loudly. Plus "campaign-finance rock" has never been a favorite sub-genre of mine.

Bizarrely, the Murmurs are wonderful! A coupla' white chicks singing instantly likable, serotonin-boosting tunes. What more could you want? Equally bizarrely, I'm happy to leave after two songs. Something about the frenetic pace of conventions doesn't allow for music appreciation. I now realize that I've blown off three good musical acts in three days. (The other two? 1) Bonnie Raitt at the demonstration in Pershing Square on Monday. She had some sort of Native American drummer with her and sounded fantastic. I left immediately. 2) Melissa Etheridge, whose music I normally detest, at the George party. Etheridge performed a short, emotional acoustic set and must have been stunned that most of the guests talked right through it.)

Have I mentioned that I was at the George party?

Please, please, please, please: Lieberman lost me last night with one word. The word was "please." It's one thing for Lieberman to suppress all his previous doubts about racial preferences and fall into line behind the Clintonian "mend it, don't end it" approach. I can swallow that. I appreciate the need for party discipline. But it's another thing for Lieberman to now pose as a passionate supporter of affirmative action, plaintively wailing "please don't end it." I'd thought the whole appeal of Lieberman that he was a principled maverick who had heretical views on subjects like race preferences. If not that, his unique selling proposition was surely that he was an authentic character, not a phony. But "please don't end it" was inauthentic in a fairly fundamental way. It was made all the creepier by his general moralistic pose. ... Memo to Lieberman: Please don't "please" again!

[Where's Day 2?--ed. D-g ate it!]



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?