SciFi Friday: Moffat Wins Three In A Row; The Doctor Dates His Daughter

The Hugo Awards are out and Steven Moffat now won three years in a row for episodes of Doctor Who. This year he won for Blink, which I previously reviewed here. He previously won awards for The Girl in the Fireplace, The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances. While I have long been impressed for Moffat’s work as a science fiction writer, I become even more impressed with him after seeing how well he did in a different genre. Coupling, which I wrote about here, is one of the best sit-coms I have ever seen, combining aspects of Friends, Seinfeld, and Sex And The City. I am hoping that once Moffat takes over as show runner for Doctor Who in 2010 he gives The Doctor three famale companions–Susan, Sally, and Jane from Coupling.

Here are some of this year’s Hugo Award winners:

Best Novel: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon.

Best Novella: “All Seated on the Ground” by Connie Willis

Best Novelette: “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Guide” by Ted Chiang

Best Short Story: “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear

Best Related Book: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Stardust

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who: “Blink”

David Tennant is currently busy playing Hamlet to mixed reviews. Catherine Tate, who played Donna last season is currently appearing in the play Under The Blue Sky. Tennant was recently seen attending an appearance of the play accompanied by Georgia Moffett, daughter of Peter Davison (born Peter Moffett) who previously played The Doctor.  Georgia also played The Doctor’s Daughter in the episode of that name last season, making her the The Doctor’s daughter both in real life and on television.

Besides the work of stars such as David Tennant, and writers including, but certainly not limted to Steven Moffat, much of the credit for the new Doctor Who series and its spin offs must go to executive producer Julie Gardner. IO9 has an interview with Gardner, which includes a spoiler about the Sarah Jane Adventures.

John Edwards’ Sincerity Has Long Been In Doubt

The John Edwards/Rielle Hunter scandal came as a shock to many, but others such as myself have long considered Edwards a phony (as is apparent from my earlier posts under the John Edwards tag). Many other bloggers are now referring back to previous posts expressing their opinion of Edwards. For example Andrew Malcolm has reposted this at The Los Angeles Times:

(Former John Kerry consultant Bob) Shrum’s memoir, published this year, hints at what rivals say could keep Edwards from the nomination: a question of authenticity.

Shrum writes that Edwards, interviewing with Kerry for the vice-presidential …

… nod [in 2004], told Kerry a story about his son Wade’s funeral that he claimed never to have told anyone before — except, Kerry remembered, Edwards had told him the same story the previous year.

Rivals add to that Edwards’ infamous $400 haircuts — he said he didn’t know they’d be so expensive — and the dream house, complete with indoor basketball court and swimming pool, that he and Elizabeth are building outside Chapel Hill, N.C.

They note his shift from Senate centrist to arguably the most liberal positions of the top ’08 Democratic contenders. Even his campaign headquarters, nestled amid trendy restaurants and a Google branch office in an upscale Chapel Hill development, has sparked controversy for its symbolism.

Friends and aides liken Edwards’ personal wealth and commitment to poverty to the Kennedy clan — perhaps Edwards’ true political heroes; he was close with Ted Kennedy in the Senate and would listen to Robert Kennedy’s taped speeches on drives between North Carolina and Washington.

John and Elizabeth Edwards, who are continuing the campaign despite her cancer’s recurrence this spring, prefer to invoke his working-class roots.

“It’s sort of naive, it’s sort of masterfully brilliant,” a former Edwards advisor said. “They think they’re normal people. They think they’re like a soccer mom and a small-town lawyer. They think, ‘They’re normal America, and we’re normal America, and they’ll understand.’ ”

Edwards writes in “Four Trials,” his book about courtroom successes and life challenges, that early in his law career, “I learned that trials are about credibility — and that if a jury is to believe your case, a jury must believe you.”

While Edwards has confessed to having had the affair, the paternity of Hunter’s child remains in question. While Edwards denies he is the father and claims he is willing to have a paternity test, Hunter now states she does not want the test. Considering all the previous lies in this case, the money which has exchanged (regardless of whether Edwards was aware of it or not), and the recent visit from Edwards to Hunter to try to keep the affair quiet, I cannot help but wonder why she is refusing the test. Did Edwards make it worth her while to be the one to turn down the test in the event the affair was discovered, allowing him to make the gesture of agreeing? John Edwards’ entire career, and not only this incident, make it difficult to believe anything he says or to refrain from suspecting the worst.

Memos Reveal Dirty Tactics Of The Clinton Campaign

The Politico has some information on the story that The Atlantic is planning based upon leaked memos from the Clinton campaign which I mentioned a couple of days ago. The memos further demonstrate how Clinton based her campaign upon xenophobia and personal attacks as opposed to campaigning on the issues.

Mark Penn, the top campaign strategist for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign, advised her to portray Barack Obama as having a “limited” connection “to basic American values and culture,” according to a forthcoming article in The Atlantic.

The magazine reports Penn suggested getting much rougher with Obama in a memo on March 30, after her crucial wins in Texas and Ohio: “Does anyone believe that it is possible to win the nomination without, over these next two months, raising all these issues on him? … Won’t a single tape of [the Reverend Jeremiah] Wright going off on America with Obama sitting there be a game ender?”

The article has more on this strategy later, along with the manner in which they wanted to portray Clinton, which somewhat reminds me of George H. W. Bush campaining in flag factories:

The Penn memo suggesting that the campaign target Obama’s “lack of American roots” said in part: “All of these articles about his boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii are geared towards showing his background is diverse, multicultural and putting that in a new light.

“Save it for 2050. … Every speech should contain the line you were born in the middle of America American to the middle class in the middle of the last century. And talk about the basic bargain as about the deeply American values you grew up with, learned as a child and that drive you today. Values of fairness, compassion, responsibility, giving back

“Let’s explicitly own ‘American’ in our programs, the speeches and the values. He doesn’t. Make this a new American Century, the American Strategic Energy Fund. Let’s use our logo to make some flags we can give out. Let’s add flag symbols to the backgrounds.”

The memos also demonstrate the chaos in the campaign which was obvious even from the outside once Clinton lost in Iowa. Some staffers even objected to the negative tone which the campaign took. The 3 a.m. ad almost did not even run, with Bill Clinton making the decision to proceed, once again showing that his political skills are much poorer than we preciously believed.

For many Democrats the final straw in the Clinton campaign was the manner in which she used Michigan and Florida  showing a disrespect for the basic principles of democracy. The Clinton campaign apparently had no qualms about the gross dishonesty they showed in their handling of Michigan and Florida, only looking at how they could use the situation for political advantage:

“They proposed that Clinton, from a position of strength immediately after her wins, challenge Obama to accept Michigan and Florida revotes. Such a move ‘preempts Obama’s reiteration on March 5 that they are still up 100-plus delegates and that we can’t win,’ they noted. ‘The press will love the rematch, like Rocky II.”

The dishonest tactics used by the Clinton campaign ultimatley sealed Clinton’s fate. Independents and many Democrats who were fed up with the politics of George Bush and Karl Rove were repelled by a Democratic candidate running a campaign which was every bit as dirty and dishonest as those run by Bush. Increasing numbers turned to Barack Obama, who even vowed not to resort to the types of fabrications that Clinton was engaged in. John Kerry endorsed Obama saying, “I support Barack Obama because he doesn’t seek to perfect the politics of Swiftboating — he seeks to end it.” Many other Democratic leaders and superdelegates followed, giving Obama a lead in both elected delegates and superdelegates, ending Clinton’s hopes for the nomination she believed she was entitled to.