You know, I was born in Washington, DC, but I've lived in Virginia all my life. My family lived in Arlington County when I was very little. I went to high school at South Lakes High School in Reston (official motto: "We're not dead, we're just Reston"). I went to college at the University of Virginia, and lived in the capital of the confederacy - Richmond, Virginia - for three years, while going to graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University. I've been all over this state, and have friends from every single corner. So, when Nancy Pfotenhauer goes around saying that I'm not a real Virginian...well, it riles me up a little, because I'm as real a Virginian as you are going to get.
But I ain't mad at Nancy Pfotenhauer! You know, she's just a member of a desperate campaign, the same way George Allen was desperate when he last used the phrase "the Real Virginia." But, then, what would she know about "the Real Virginia?" Look at her! Real Virginians don't converse with other human beings in a glassy-eyes pill haze with plastered-on smiles. And Real Virginians don't dress in high-collared, expensive frocks that make one look like a baroness. And Real Virginians tend to reject the notion that the "real Virginia" is measured in how quickly one refers to the melanin-laden as "macaca" - like George Allen did...him being the last to use the term, "The Real Virginia." But I ain't mad atcha, Nancy. Really. The biggest emotional response I've had to you was when I saw you, finally wearing a dress that exposed your neck and didn't know whether to feel saddened or relieved that it didn't bear the tell-tale marks of an auto-erotic asphyxiation enthusiast.
Michelle Bachmann! You went on the teevee, broadly labelling half the country as anti-American and calling for a media witch-hunt of Congress to root out the bad eggs! But, I ain't mad atcha, Michelle. It's not your fault that a batty nimrod like yourself somehow made it to Congress. It's pretty clear that your district in Minnesota is filled with complete idiots. After all, this is hardly the first time you've said or done something that people find crazy, or stupid. But look, if your home district is the sort of place that holds a yearly festival to determine between their asses and a hole in the ground, as they likely do, it makes sense that you should come to Washington. Eventually, at that festival, those Minnesotans are gonna crack that code, and upgrade their representation to a potted plant or something. That's the way things are. So, I ain't mad atcha!
And hey, Jerome Corsi! You wrote a book full of toxic lies about the Democratic nominee because you lack the ability to engage in substantive critical analysis. But I aint mad atcha. Hell, I think this wingnut welfare book club you are a part of is a great idea. Without it, you'd just be another lonely voice at some blighted bus terminal, shambling around with a cardboard sign and stained pants, and every weekend, some poor church volunteer would have to feed you some soup or something, and take a soapy sponge to the rancid, cheese smell that emanates from your crotch. In that way, you're less of a burden on people, and that's fine, so I ain't mad atcha.
I ain't mad at any of you, because really, while I've long been looking forward to expressing the what and why of my vote. It's people like you who are helping me out where the "how" I'll vote is concerned. Y'all are gonna be the reasons I'm filled with enthusiasm, why I'll vote in public on Election Day instead of early in some office, why I'll be camping out in front of my polling place two hours before it opens. In short, you guys are making this stuff SO EASY.
So I ain't mad atcha. And come November, I'm going to show y'all how Real Virginians offset Nancy Pfotenhauer's vote. Sic semper, jerks. And now, here's your Sunday Morning Liveblog. Send emails, leave comments.
FOX NEWS SUNDAY
Chris Wallace is in Ohio, one of the few battleground states left that's actually a battleground, with John McCain. This will be the only show that will pit John McCain against his frenemy, Bill Kristol - who's already planning for the Palin - Joe the Plumber ticket in 2012.
"Aren't you in a world of trouble?" Wallace asks McCain. McCain says he is the underdog, and that he has Joementum, and he's confident, and don't mistake the fact that I've said "my friend" a million times as a sign of me being about to SNAP up in here. Meanwhile, Obama is a big NON-PUBLIC FINANCING TAKING JERK. How dare he take the support of so many American people! McCain also throws a hot sheet of paranoia on the fundraising. McCain worries about what is going to happen to the next election. Probably there'll be a Republican candidate that people are enthusiastic about supporting, at some point in the future!
Shorter McCain: OH, hey! When I say "first since Watergate," I'm not COMPARING Obama to Watergate!
McCain says that he's turned things around, beginning with the debate, with his blinking! He says that "Joe the Plumber" is now speaking for millions of middle-class Americans. Apparently, the middle class is now filled with people who aren't the occupation they say they are, don't pay taxes, don't know what state they were born in, hate the "yankees", and may or may not have joined the Natural Law party on a wild night a few weeks ago. McCain also blames the Obama campaign for the fact that the media spelunked up into Joe The Plumber's alimentary canal to find out about how he's a little crackpotty.
McCain is now contradicting himself with every clause that comes out of his mouth. Socialism is bad! But we had to vote for this bailout package! This TERRIBLE TERRIBLE bailout package that won't work! Paulson is wrong wrong wrong! And that's why I supported Paulson's package.
OH MY. And then attention turns to McCain's robo-calls, which feature mentions of Bill Ayers, and Chris Wallace is all: Is this fair? Why'd you hire the same robo-calling outfit that smeared you in 2000? And McCain is really teetering on the edge of losing it, and Fox knows it, which is why they pull in tight on McCain's face. His answer is basically another wash of self-contradiction. His robo-calls are fair because they are true (actually, Ayers did not, as the call would have you believe, successfully bomb the Pentagon or the Capitol) and legitimate, and Obama must tell the truth about his dealings with the guy on the education boards that Republicans appointed both men too. By which I mean, he must tell McCain's version of the truth and drop out of the race, PRETTY PLEASE OH GOD I WILL DEBASE MYSELF TO WIN.
Also: Obama did repudiate John Lewis' statement, but I guess, once again, the repudiation wasn't, "Because John Lewis said some mean stuff about John McCain, I am endorsing McCain for president. It's the only fair thing." McCain goes on to say that he has repudiated everything said untoward about Obama, but he needs to catch up and repudiate Nancy Pfotenhauer, doesn't he? And Michelle Bachmann, too, right?
McCain says he isn't bothered by the fact that Colin Powell's sort of-endorsement of Barack Obama, through his hip-hop, Zulu dancing. McCain says he has the support of Al Haig, which is a Game Changer.
McCain says that his first 100 days will be spent "reaching across the aisle," fondling Joe Lieberman, and calling it "bipartisan." It's how Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill did it, even though Reagan called O'Neill a terrorist.
And now they're going to talk about SNL, and Sarah Palin's performance. She was great, by the way! But man, she has been a drag on McCain. McCain is not willing to admit this, but come on! His Palin praise chorus has not evolved one iota since the convention. And frankly, most Americans are beginning to notice that Palin is sort of turning the page on the 2008 election, herself. Perhaps Bill Kristol can talk more about that in a few minutes.
But first, the panel has to talk about Joe the Plumber! He's a GAME CHANGER. A blue-collar worker who apparently earns like a top-five percenter. That's middle class for McCain and its middle class for Brit Hume. Hume rails against wealth-redistribution for a few minutes, and then probably thinks about retiring. Liasson says that the problem is that Obama's mantra is to cut taxes, and then she gets something wrong! Liasson thinks that the claim that McCain's plan taxes health care benefit has been debunked. It hasn't because it's true. It's just that it still appears to leave the taxpayer with a net gain. But McCain's plan isn't indexed to inflation, so whatever small gains eventually disappear with time.
Juan Williams says that the Joe the Plumber conversation is ridiculous, and that what's really important is for the government to do more for people in crisis, instead of the POTUS making it a priority to move a single member of the upper class to move to another level of the upper class. Fox must buy Williams' argument, because they don't cut away to a shot of Kristol gritting on him.
Oh, Brit Hume: "There is still resistance to Barack Obama, which is why he's not fifteen points ahead!" Poor, Barack Obama! He can never get AHEAD enough! I mean, he got to FOURTEEN points ahead. But not FIFTEEN! No, no! Can't get FIFTEEN POINTS ahead, can you, Barack? And that's why McCain is going to win, with imaginary numbers like eleventy, and twelveteen.
OH, JEEZY CREEZY. Kristol says, "If the Red Sox win tonight, McCain wins." Kristol probably just doomed the Red Sox.
Williams, on McCain's coming ads: "What will be the theme to the pudding?" Pudding has THEMES? Also: "General Powell is the original crossover black rockstar." Hume says that the Powell endorsement helps Obama with independents. If that's true, then where does the additional support for McCain come from? Oh, and Hume is apparently a Real Virginian, too, where he takes calls from ROBOT PLUMBERS FOR OBAMA.
Can't believe no one's going to talk to Bill Kristol about Sarah Palin, other than to say that Palin's been calling him on the phone, and arousing him robotically.
THIS WEEK, WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
Panel time, ALL DAY LONG. With Will and Brazile and Gergen and Thomas Friedman and Newt Gingrich (who has a new DVD out!).
George Will compares the race to 1864 and nimble Southern generals and dikes and ice cracking. Newt says that the "bizarre irony" of McCain-Feingold is that it's crippled McCain. Obama, however, gave McCain a tiny ray of hope because of his "spread the wealth" comment. Overall, though, Newt seems to think that the best argument McCain has is a "divided government" argument. "Hey, America! You guys are falling over yourselves to elect Democrats to Congress! Wouldn't you like to send me to the White House, to put a check on these desires?" I'm sure that makes sense to Newt!
Thomas Friedman, says, "Iraq has receded." OH HO! Not so much that we'll forget how wrong you've been about it, chump!
Gergen says that the "Democratic tide" is coming in, and it doesn't mean that they "won't blow it." Boy, is that true. Gingrich is basically trotting out his future stump speeches. OBAMA WILL TAKE AWAY RUSH LIMBAUGH AND SEAN HANNITY'S SPEECH. Like ABC news gives a crap.
Let's get racial! John Murtha notes that Western Pennsylvania is filled with racists. (I've been there, and it is. Sorry!) But Obama has offsets. Friedman says that the "color green" is the most important color. Gergen says that black voters are going to rise up in great numbers to vote. I think that a whole lot of folks are going to take the opportunity to inoculate themselves from charges of racism, but going out and obtaining, by their vote, their very first "black friend." Heard this story, yet?
Speaking of black friends, Obama's got an important one of his own in Colin Powell. Everyone's stealing Meet The Press' thunder today! But, Gergen's right. The Powell endorsement is the right guy with the right cred at the right time, and once again, you can't help but feel those Fingers of Axelrod, who as far back as the primary always seemed to have things EXACTLY RIGHT. Get the right votes. Win by the right margins. Play the right cards at the right time. Know when to go big, know when to go small. Time your surrogates out to maximize their import. And zeitgeist, zeitgeist, zeitgeist. If Obama wins this, I hope Axelrod explains how the Hawaiian vacation fit in to the strategy. I thought it was a terrible idea myself, but heck! Maybe it was a SECRET GAME-CHANGER.
Meanwhile, everyone wants to spend money that doesn't exist. George Will expresses the resentment of the aristocracy, and how they labor so hard, paying taxes, which only makes sense considering how much policy is skewed to their benefit. You get what you pay for, and sometimes, you can even sell your resentment at having paid for what you got.
Gingrich thinks that Obama needs to look at Sacramento, whose government - run by a Steve Schmidt squired Republican - is awash in debt and dysfunction. I think that if Obama looks at California, he'll probably then look at Warren Buffet, who'll shrug and say, "Yeah. That state needs to triple its property taxes."
Gingrich has brought up union balloting like, forty times today. Finally GS points out that it's a teeny, small bore issue.
Friedman says that "many more shoes are going to drop on the economy," which will hopefully land with a loud enough clatter that no one notices how wrong I was on the Iraq War. Man, I can't wait to start calibrating my first Economic Friedman Units, can you? Oh, but GS is going there! Let's talk about Iraq! Who's the huge Got-It-Wrong on Iraq in the room? Oh, Thomas! Friedman says that, "No one's going to win the Iraq war!" What? Really? What if we gave it six more months, Thomas! SIX MORE MONTHS, BIG GUY. Come on!
How come the right-wing bloggers hate Obama for saying "Pakistan" like "PAHK-ee-STAHN," but are fine with Newt Gingrich pronouncing "al Qaeda," as "al kie-EED-a" instead of "al KAY-da?"
Also, I thought that Sovran Bank, the bank in which I opened my first ever bank account, no longer existed! But Thomas Friedman says some Spanish dude bought it this week. Well, get on with your bad self, defunct-bank buying Spanish dude!
My wife's weekly bone to pick is with Bob Schieffer, by the way, who this week asked a question pertaining to education, insisting that America spends more money on students than any other nation, to get test results that are worse then many other nations. I'm pretty sure that if you dig into the relevant research, that neither is true. But that's not my wife's big beef. She woulf point out to Schieffer that the United States of America is the only nation that TEACHES EVERY CHILD and TESTS EVERY CHILD. Lots of other countries weed children out from the top levels of education, and certainly there's no other nation in the world that treats the test scores of her autistic students in the same way you'd treat the test scores of someone not disabled. She says that if the rest of the world hewed to our standards, no one would be able to say that kind of stuff at debates. In short, she's tired of playing a part in the greatest challenge ever undertaken by a nation in education, only to be called out as part of the problem every election year.
MEET THE PRESS
Thanks to emailer, Gerald with some updated Latin: "Sic semper evello mortem Jerks." That does make more sense. It's been many years since I participated in Latin certamens. Do they even still have those? Man I hope so. Otherwise, how will people sneak excellent yearbook epigrams, like "ex nemo non fesces" past the editors?
Well, we get Colin Powell now, in the worst kept secret in politics, and panel with David Brooks, Jon Meahcam, Andrea Mitchell, and Joe Scarborough. Oooh! Three Republicans and a magazine editor! I love the smell of BALANCE right around noontime!
Before we get to the BIG QUESTION, comes the BIG PREAMBLE, where Brokaw runs down the litany. The ECONOMY is in COLLAPSE. We are AT WAR. There is PARTISAN RANCOR. CAKE doesn't TASTE as GOOD anymore. People still CATCH COLDS. And global leaders STILL WORRY, that even after having the chance to learn the lessons of the past year, the teevee show HEROES still doesn't really MAKE A LICK OF GODDAMNED SENSE. Has a would-be President ever face such challenges? Powell says no, adding that really, it's a bad idea to get heavily into alternative time-lines and realities so soon after having to prove your basic storytelling bonafides again. Also, the big issue is the economy. And then, Iraq. And then the next president must reach out to the world, with a hand that does not contain a vial of anthrax.
Powell then clears his throat, loudly.
American has to convey a "new image" of itself to the world, according to Powell. And the next president needs to restore confidence in America. The President much keeps kids in school. And show leadership. And help the needy. And make CAKE TASTE GOOD AGAIN. GOD, IT TASTES...SO BAD.
Brokaw then breaks out some GOTCHA video of Powell. Mr. Powell, you once said you loved America. But do America lovers endorse people who pal around with terrorists? Yes! Apparently. Powell begins his wind-up...these two guys are both awesome. McCain is a beautiful man. Obama needs to pass tests. He's watched them both. He's administered final exams. McCain seems unsure about the economy, in that he wlldly veers from point to point, like a stevedore hopped up on meth. And Governor Palin, while pretty good as a cameo guest on Saturday Night Live, is all but an incompetent fraud as Vice President.
Meanwhile, Obama has been dreamy, and studious, even though he sort of phoned it in on that last debate, like a high school senior in April. And Powell is all: ENOUGH of the Bill Ayers, stuff, MY GOD. It goes TOO FAR. And really, now, we're about twenty minutes into Powell's speech and he really just needs to cut to the chase. But still, we get: so what if he's a Muslim, seven year olds who practice Islam, the GOP has lost its way, pictures in magazines, Arlington cemetery, we have got to stop polarizing people, and Muslims serve in the army, and we have two people running for president, and the times are tough, and we need inspiration, and we need to reach all of America, and we need style and substance, and transformations, and so, without much further ado, Powell pauses, and officially endorses: BOB BARR FOR PRESIDENT, YO! HIP HOP DANCES AND ANTHRAX VIALS ALL UP IN THE REASON MAGAZINE LOFT WITH THE BEST PORN-STACHE IN LIBERTARIAN POLITICS!
Ha. Kidding. He endorses Obama.
"I can already anticipate some of the reaction to this," Brokaw says, as if he hasn't had four days to actually assess this reaction to the worst kept secret endorsement in politics. This prompts Brokaw to ask for explanations. Which leads to Powell going back over EVERYTHING HE JUST SPENT THE PAST TEN MINUTES SAYING. I mean, cripes, Tom Brokaw! Why do you think Powell gave you the big wind-up speech? It was done to spare you the need to ask stupid questions, and really, the aforementioned wind-up pretty much anticipated the two questions you asked anyway, despite having the answer. Why not just ask, "Are you sure?" and then, "A followup; are you sure you're sure?"
Luckily, Brokaw has got some HOT GOTCHA JERRNALISM to throw at Powell. "But General! You once said that 'arbitrary withdrawal deadlines' were bad! How can you support Obama when there may be one thing that you two may not see completely eye-to-eye on? Shouldn't this one tiny difference of opinion
todd ["Todd?" No idea what word I misspelled here. -j] flip your endorsement back to McCain, with whom you have many fundamental disagreements, that you just spent two hours enumerating, in painstaking detail, in the hopes that I might probe more deeply into these issues, but I'm not, for reasons only known to me?"
Powell points out the obvious: the U.S. is negotiating the Status of Forces Agreement with the soveriegn government of Iraq. Thus, the deadline is no longer "arbitrary." It has, in fact, become a "fact on the ground."
OH SWEET FANCY MOSES. Brokaw is asking Powell about William Ayers. This nonsense just amazes me. I mean, as far as I can tell, William Ayers has existed in the United States of America for a long time. Sometime late last year, William Ayers became the direst threat to the Republic that America had ever known! It was important that we learned MORE ABOUT THIS WILLIAM AYERS FELLOW. Because MY GOD, why was no one paying attention to the WILLIAM AYERS flourishing in our midst! Of course, even though we all needed to PAY STRICT ATTENTION to our SUDDEN WILLIAM AYERS problem, could a reporter walk up the WILLIAM AYERS? Could Meet The Press book William Ayers? Could anyone in the press demonstrate even the tiniest amount of fortitude and ask William Ayers what his diabolical plans for America were? OF COURSE NOT. THAT WOULD BE SUPER DUPER CRAZY, WOULDN'T IT?
Here's what worries me! Obviously, William Ayers is the most dangerous thing that we as a nation face. He is like a COILED COBRA, wrapped in a WEREWOLF, smothered in AL QAEDA, strapped to the DIRTIEST and most NOO-COO-LARIEST BOMB in the world, poised to kill America and Freedom and Jesus and Apple Pies and the Boston Red Sox. No one dares to doubt this! And yet, I have got the WORST SINKING FEELING that by February of 2009, let's say, no one in the press will be mentioning this guy's name! I have the terrible premonition, that Bill Ayers might actually continue to exist, his secret and horrible plans will never be disclosed, and the true depths of his secret, horribleness will never be plumbed. I think there will come a moment, where discussion of Bill Ayers - America's Next Top Bugaboo - will not only simply cease, but that the media will act in such a way that you'd never know in all the world that they ever spent so much time of their lives talking about Bill Ayers.
It's truly uncanny! It's almost as if the media were filled with vastly trivial people, who will spend an entire day yelling, "OMG! Someone said LIPSTICK ON A PIG and it's a GAME CHANGER," and yet fail to say anything substantive about an economic collapse that's been coming from a mile away until it's actually unfolding as predicted.
At least Powell calls it, "a terrible stretch, demagoguery," right to the face of somebody who's terribly stretching and demagoguing the issue.
Poweill regrets the fact that a whole lot of obvious and widely-predicted outcomes of invading Iraq actually happened.
Brokaw then plays some GOTCHA video of Colin Powell supporting
Bill AyersGeorge W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Doesn't Barack Obama need to repudiate the endorsement of someone who once palled around with terrorists terrible idiots?
"It isn't easy to disappoint Senator McCain," Colin Powell says. OH NOES! Why does Colin Powell continue to say nice things about John McCain instead of treating him like a lycanthrope? Does Colin Powell not realize that by not sliding into a pained rictus of loathing and revulsion at the mere mention of the name "John McCain," he will never pass the Super-Secret Liberal Litmus Tests of Jamison Foser, and thus ascend into the cottony, cuddly graces of his supreme shallowness? When will people learn that John McCain isn't even a human being?
Time for a little dose of Chucky Todd. Ohio: One point McCain lead. Wisconsin: Twelve point Obama lead. West Virginia: Six point McCain lead. Electoral map: flipped toward Obama. Economy: a key issue. OH BUT PLEASE: We are so NOT going to start calling Montana and the Dakotas "Brokaw country" or some such nonsense.
Panel time! Scarborough says that the Powell endorsement will force the McCain campaign to perform one of their patented Stunts To Win A News Cycle! What will it be this time? Will McCain personally help Joe The Plumber buy his business? Will he punch Bill Kristol in the mouth? Will be order his entire staff to spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express, searching for wisdom? It could be anything! THAT GUY IS CRAZY.
David Brooks says that McCain can either yell at Colin Powell, or suggest that Powell is a Broken Washington Surge Hater. Andrea Mitchell says, "I will closely circumscribe my commentary to avoid mentioning my husband's culpability in this financial matter." Meachan says that Obama has won the endorsement of "the most important military figure of the age," a "standalone brand." Mitchell says that Sarah Palin has figured into the equation, in that McCain's decision to put her on the ticket was crazy.
Scarborough warns that Obama needs to hie himself to Florida and Ohio, because there will be tightening.
Does McCain need to buy himself a half-hour of primetime? Brooks says that McCain needed to have been the candidate that John Weaver and Mike Murphy knew and admired, and brother, on this score, he could not be more right. ScarJo makes the point that Steve Schmidt's plan was working until Wall Street melted down. This sort of precludes the idea that the Weaver/Murphy method wouldn't have worked before, and after the financial meltdown.
Andrea Mitchell basically says Obama is a cash-money baller, but maybe McCain can get himself some equal time with the Sham-WOW guy, on the Lifetime channel. Actually, that Sham-WOW dude really inspires confidence! Despite wearing a Bloggingheads headpiece!
I am just going to put up Amy Poehler rapping as Sarah Palin, because Amy is a national treasure. And who needs to hear ScarJo and Brooks talking about how a center-right nation is kicking so many center-right people out of office.
Yeah, that's just one reason I'm endorsing the Poehler-Sedaris ticket in 2012. That's right: TEAM OF AMYS IN THE ONE-TWO. Whassup, Doris Kearns Goodwin? Yeah, you can TOTALLY borrow that!
By the way, in three weeks time, Jon Meacham will return to MEET THE PRESS to promote his book on Andrew Jackson, American Lion. At least we hope! Who knows how much coverage Tom Brokaw will have to spend on the critical matter of William Ayers and how he has ensnared the nation with his insidiousness?
So, before we go today, a word or two about someone who means a lot to me. Every week, I get emails and comments from the people who read this liveblog. A lot of y'all seem to really like it! Others despise it, like cat cancer. I feel pretty lucky to have the opportunity to do this. Well, none of us would have the opportunity to write this stuff, praise this stuff, or hate this stuff if it weren't for Rachel Sklar, who announced this week that she will be leaving the Huffington Post soon after the election.
Many years ago, Rachel Sklar bonded over a Phil Collins joke while I was, at the time, guest editing Wonkette for Ana Marie Cox. We stayed in touch after that. She expressed to me just how delicious tomatoes were, and we collaborated on the spitting of hot fire over the South Dakotan abortion ban, especially one sick anti-choice legislator and his crazy rape fantasies. Eventually, Rachel needed to take some time off, and seeing as I was already well-positioned as the go-to substitute for the hot lady bloggers of the interweb, asked me to contribute to Eat The Press. Over the course of two alternate weeks, I contributed a bunch of pieces to Eat The Press, and during that time, I learned something very important about Rachel Sklar - she apparently thinks that "taking time off" means waking up and working with as much diligence and dedication as she always does. To this day, I am nor convinced she even sleeps. I've never seen her sleep, actually!
At some point, Rachel decided to shepherd me through the process of actually getting hired by HuffPo, and, honestly, there will never be a way for me to adequately thank her for her part in making that happen. Though i have made it clear that if she is ever alone and scared and needs a ride to Union Station, that I will pick her and whatever steamer trunks she has with her in my tiny convertible. I'd be willing to do much more, once my wife has set some basic parameters on how all that's going to go.
Rachel is an incredibly driven woman. She is also exceedingly generous, ripe with a funloving spirit, infused with a boundless talent, blessed with a remarkable memory, and most of all, she is one of the most, and best Canadians you will ever hope to meet. I think most importantly, is that Rachel is a fundamentally good and decent person. She also is the best break dancer in New York City, let's say.
Now of course, you're probably out there thinking, "Sure, it's pretty easy to lavish praise on someone who got you a job, dude." And, indeed, it's true. But I'll tell you this sincerely: if I'd never met Rachel Sklar, she'd still be just as generous and as talented and as kind and as decent and as intelligent and as good at popping and locking as she is. The only difference is that my life wouldn't be nearly as rich. So, Rachel, I love you a lot, and I will miss you terribly.
Have a good week, everyone!