Rice and Bonds
-- New York Magazine columnist John Heilemann predicts Susan Rice will replace Hillary Clinton as next Secretary of State. He offers a variety of reasons here. This passage, in particular, caught my eye: 4. Because McCain is being a jackass—and Obama is sick of it. Arguably more than any other national figure, the senior senator from Arizona is driven in every aspect of his public behavior by personal pique. In the wake of the 2000 Republican nomination fight, when he believed Bush and his campaign had defeated him by nefarious means, McCain lunged to the center and became one of the sharpest thorns in the side of the new president from his own party. In the wake of the 2008 election, when he was soundly thumped by a Democratic challenger whom he regarded as a neophyte and a pretender whose experience and valor were no match for his own, McCain immediately shed all traces of mavericky independence and became one of Obama’s fiercest critics from the right. Now into McCain’s crosshairs has come Rice, who routinely stripped the bark off him four years ago as one of Obama’s most quotable surrogates. (“His tendency is to shoot first and ask questions later; it is dangerous, and we can’t afford four more years of this reckless foreign policy” is just one vintage example of the form.) No one who knows McCain believes he has forgotten these brickbats or that they are not a substantial part of what is motivating him now. Nor does anyone close to Obama not suspect that, after four years of McCain’s truculence, he’s had quite enough of it, thanks, and is indeed sorta spoiling for a fight."
-- Had to see "Skyfall", the newest James Bond movie. Like many of a certain age, I go back to the first Bond film -- "Dr. No" -- and have seen them all. This was one of the better Bonds, but truth be told, I'm getting weary of suspending disbelief on these increasingly over-the-top stories. Meantime, a good case is made by Stephen Lynch in the New York Post about why Bond is a terrible spy.
-- Big season-finale for "Boardwalk Empire" last night on HBO. Diehard fans are wondering what's next. Series creator Terence Winter offers a preview in this report from Entertainment Weekly.
-- Jets' coach Rex Ryan won't say who'll start at quarterback this week, but he told reporters today he has three good ones from whom to choose. He must be talking about somebody else's team.
-- A-Rod is facing more hip surgery and probably will miss upwards of half of the 2013 season. I can't recall the last big-time baseball player who aged and broke down as fast as this guy.