Thursday, October 30, 2008

Interesting Theory Of The Day

The great minds at Atlas Shrugs suggest that Barack Hussein Obama is hiding his birth records because he's actually the son of Malcolm X! Still five days left, wingnuts! This one could be a winner for ya!

Hey, Friends for WITHOUT PARTY!

I know, I know, there's other blogs too. I just get the feeling that the PUMAs are like Velvet Underground fans - only a handful of fans, but every one of those fans formed their own band. It's a limited phenomenon that looks bigger than it is, in other words.

Hey, at least I'm admitting that there ARE such people.

Pro-Obama Racists

Is THIS change you can believe in?

In an informal Esquire survey, three out of four white supremacists prefer Obama, while McCain is the clear favorite among black nationalists. (Sure, our methodology suffered from an extraordinarily low sample size -- limited to four white supremacists and one black nationalist -- but just because it wouldn’t fly with Gallup doesn’t mean there ain't a kernel of truth in there.)
Ron Edwards is clearly for McCain, and it's amazing that the journalist was able to get a quote by that time, because his head had probably exploded.

It's worthwhile reading, if you can stand to take a tour through the twisty tortured minds of proud racists. But it says a lot less about racism than it does about George Bush, and his historic quest to alienate every segment of the American spectrum. Man, McCain picked a bad, bad year to run as a Republican.

(h/t to Ben Smith at Politico)

If Only We Could Apply This To That Vegetable Jerky Machine

The Politics-Is-Good-For-Television meme I brought up a couple of weeks ago takes it to the extreme:

On average, Obama's 30-minute primetime infomercial managed to outperform usual broadcast network programming in the time period.

The Obama special was seen by 26.3 million viewers across broadcasters CBS, NBC and Fox, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings.

I don't know what to make of that. As the article points out, it's such an extraordinarily weird half-hour of programming that there's little to compare it to. Ross Perot did a similar stunt in the nineties but I guess he just wasn't Change We Could Believe In then.

Can one realistically compare "Knight Rider" to a political ad? That would normally seem unfair -- to the politician. Obama improved NBC's rating by 43% and CBS by 10% compared with last week. And keep in mind Obama was competing against himself.

The lowest-rated of the three presidential debates received a 52.4 million viewers -- but that was carried by more networks and was, after all, a debate.

The Ross Perot specials in 1992 averaged 11.6 million viewers, but those were 15 separate specials that ran on different nights.

NBC was the most-viewed and highest-rated network for its presentation of Obama's ad, pulling 9.8 million viewers and a 3.0 rating. CBS had 8.6 million (2.3) and Fox had 7.9 million (2.8).

As for ABC's underdog "Pushing Daisies," airing on the only major broadcaster not to carry the ad, the counterprogramming still came in fourth place in the adults 18-49 demo. "Daisies" (6.8 million, 2.2) was up by 16% from last week, which isn't as big of a boost as the network had likely hoped for.

I might as well admit it here - I'm an Obama supporter. But a half-hour infomercial getting big ratings - it's probably a sign of the Apocalypse. I'm busting out the Nostradamus on this one. I'll get back to you.

(h/t to myself: Cross posted from Box Office Weekly)

All Right, All Right, The Polls ARE Narrowing

Five Thirty Eight is putting the poll average at 52.0 for Obama and 46.6 for McCain. Now the lead is only 5.4 points! Check out the electoral numbers too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Final Silent Debate

Moderated by Le Show host Harry Shearer. Kind of makes you long all the more for next Wednesday.

Dammit, Now It's My Turn ***Updated***

West Hollywood Resident Refuses to Take Down Sarah Palin Effigy

The mannequin is dressed in brunet wig, glasses and a red business suit. Another mannequin dressed as John McCain emerges from a flaming chimney.

Chad Michael Morisette, who lives in the house, told CBS 2 News that drivers and bus passengers have been stopping to snap pictures of the macabre scene.

Morisette says the effigy would be out of bounds at any other time of year, but it's within the spirit of Halloween.
It's creepy rather than funny, it doesn't help, the dude should listen to the community and take the damn thing down, and fast. On the plus side, one of his neighbors has put up an effigy of HIM, which is a message I can support.

***Update*** Dude took Palin down, though he left McCain in the chimney. (Hat tip to WAMK. It's make nice with WAMK day here at KIRY)

Kudos to WAMK

For this, and most importantly for his brief and eloquent condemnation of it. Perhaps he's trying to out-moral me for my post earlier, but competition like that we could all use. And it's not like it's the first time either. (For the sake of clarification that last sentence is badly positioned; the context suggests that it means something other than I intended. Which is this: it's not the first time that WAMK has called out Republicans when the situation warrants it.)

Absence of Malice

Out there on the nets there is another one of those stories, the kind that I've been throwing around a lot lately to prove it's those Republicans who are the hate-filled ones. It involves a brief scary near riot at a McCain rally in Florida. I'm not going to link to it.

It occurs to me that this highlighting this kind of stuff is hypocritical on my part. McCain supporters are, by and large, sensible people who disagree with me about who should run the country. A small portion of them are nuts, just like a small portion of Obama supporters. And nearly all Ron Paul supporters. But there's a difference between a handful of people shouting "n*****r!" at a rally and ALL of them doing it. ALL of them are as appalled as I am.

And here I am, whining that WAMK should lay off the "character-assasination-by-association" attacks.

So I'm willing to knock if off on these kinds of stories if I'm not pushed back into it. And even if I am, I'll fight the urge as long as possible, the way I kept off Sarah Palin's family until people begged me to comment. I'm not going to try to get anyone to join me on this either, because y'all do what you have to do. This is just so I can read my own stuff without cringing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Closest I Come to Talking Politics At Work

I have this hanging up in my office.

No matter what side of the spectrum you inhabit, you'll find something to like here.

Obama Supporters Implicated In Savage Mace Attack!

Could this be it, the proof that Obama supporters are vicious thugs that will be mean to the gentle Republicans once they're in charge?

From the Galax Gazette (West Virginia, since you ask; pop 6655. Gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains!)

Two people were arrested Monday afternoon after an altercation led to five Republican campaign workers being sprayed with Mace at their headquarters in Galax.

Galax Police Chief Rick Clark said officers were dispatched shortly before 1 p.m. to the Galax Republican headquarters on East Grayson Street when a caller reported someone had sprayed office workers with Mace.

Responding officers arrested Daniel Cason Meinecke, 29, and Cara Annis Hindman, 26, both of Galax.

Meinecke was charged with one count of misdemeanor assault, Hindman was charged with five counts of misdemeanor assault.

Galax Republican Chairman Mike Stevens said he was one of the volunteers sprayed. He said a man and woman came into the office and asked for campaign yard signs for the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

After being told the Obama-Biden campaign office was up the street, Stevens said, the man said he was aware of that, but that he thought Democratic signs were being stolen and “stashed” at the Republican office.

Stevens told him that nobody there had stolen signs, not were they “stashing” any in the building...

...Once outside, Stevens said, the woman sprayed Mace on him and another volunteer before turning back to the office and spraying inside the building.

...While Stevens was unsure if the couple came into the building planning to start an altercation, he said it seemed evident they were... Stevens said he felt the man just came to the headquarters to agitate office volunteers and that he had no reason to enter the building.

“I can’t say they came there for that purpose. But it seemed that it was to come in and agitate. When he started cussing, that’s when I felt it was time for them to go out of the way and go on down the road.”

With the election of a new president coming in the next week, Stevens said the tension between Republican and Democrats has been elevated.

“We are more divided,” as a result, he said.
I'm less inclined to believe stories like this since last week (I'm lookin' at you Ashley Todd! And oh, you'd love that wouldn't you?) but hey, maybe it's possible. It makes perfect sense that that the party that's apparently winning would produce people so angry and unhinged that they would load up on mace and use it as an assault weapon.

Even Drudge is leaving the metaphorical siren in the metaphorical drawer for this story. Speaking of Drudge, how is Oprah doing producing that Obamamercial tomorrow night? I haven't heard anything about the details or her involvement in it. Sorry, tangent. While I'm out here, I hear that ABC, the ultra-far-left ABC, turned down the huge payoff and won't be running it. Why do they hate money? Oh yeah, ultra-far-left. Then why...? Ouch, my head.

So here are my reasons to doubt the story. The paper has what appears to be a pretty conservative readership (few pro-Obama comments, more are like this sample: Just some of Obama's BROWN SHIRTS. Look for many more to come if he gets elected. El Duce would be proud. --zenbuckaroo 10/28/2008) so it's in their interest to slant the story towards the audience. Or make it up. It might have been useful for them to interview the "assailants" and perhaps they will as soon as they're available.

There's the possibility that the Pro-Obama mace-wielders are Republicans desperate enough to get arrested for the good of the country. It's also possible that they are Democrats, angry at having their signs stolen, threatened in the office and protecting themselves with mace. Again, I await followups. It just seems likely that more details will make the Republicans look worse.

I have to confess though, the idea of talky, arugula-and-granola eatin' elitist thugs presents a fun image.

"Tightening" - It Means Not Tightening

Michael Shearer at Swampland rounds up the opinions of some poll-watchers who believe that the race isn't tightening, it's merely no longer accelerating toward an even bigger landslide.

Gallup also charts lots of horizontals, with maybe a slight uptick for Obama.

The RCP Electoral Map is basically flat as well, with a comfortable cushion for Obama.

A Glimpse All The Way Into Next Week

What should emerge from this wreckage is a major conservative party that acknowledges the idiocy of acquiescing to dumb mobs, a liberal party that realizes its future lies with inspiring centrists like Obama and not fringe-identity politics, and a lot of tiny angry splinter groups filled with nuts dedicated to one extremist cause or another.
- Ken Layne, Republican vs. Republican: The End of the Party

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our Biased Press

Yesterday I took a moment to compliment Fox News' Chris Wallace for treating people across the political spectrum in the same tough way. That's good journalism. THIS, not so much.

I'd be interested to see how Eyewitness News does in the ratings with this woman. Probably better than I would like. 

More Non-Racism IX: Under-the-Counter Propaganda

Flyer being left in mailboxes in Wisconson, preporting to be from the Obama campaign. I doubt most people would buy it. Those who would, good luck with the walking and gum chewing.

Remember, maverick fans: Change means...BLACK!

More Non-Racism VIII

ATF breaks up a plan to assasinate Obama and kill 102 other African Americans. But again, Obama is the only one injecting race into the campaign.

Good on ya, ATF!

There's More Than One Effect

We shouldn't discount the "Bradley Effect" and its role in the upcoming election. It's indeed possible that the polls are artificially inflated by people claiming they'll vote for Obama when polled, but not being able to bring themselves to throw down with a black man once they're in the voting booth. I'm willing to bet this will factor into the final count.

However, it's useful to also consider the Republican side of the equation. Per Five Thirty Eight, the Elephant Effect.

So, it wasn't just black Republicans who were undeperforming their polls; it was white Republicans too (likewise with Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania): not a 'Bradley Effect' so much as an 'Elephant Effect'.
Nate Silver is playing a little too much "inside baseball" for my taste here, but the takeaway is that plenty of "Nobama" people hate McCain as much, or almost as much, as the Democrat here. They will say they want a pro-choice guy who suspended his campaign to ensure the bailout went through, to pollsters; but on election day they may leave the box unchecked, or write in Mitt "Mittens" Romney instead. So most likely these two "effects" will cancel each other out.

The reason to mistrust polls is this: they're polls, goddammit!

A Time Saving Halloween Idea

Because it carves itself, you see.
(h/t Wonkette)
The Fairness doctrine is forcing me to include a link to this.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Hydrogen!

This election cycle is seeing an extraordinary thing: the failure of the last-minute negative smear campaign. It's always a risky move (Gray Davis tried it just before he went down here in California and it just made him look meaner) but as a rule, it's served Republican presidential candidates for the last ten years or so. If there wasn't a last minute smear campaign in 2000 questioning Gore's honesty, we'd probably have a president Gore right now. If he hadn't worked out, and they hadn't questioned John Kerry's fitness in combat, we'd have president Kerry.

So however you feel about it morally, you have to admit it's been an effective tool. But this year it's backfiring big. Michele Bachmann was ahead in the polls until she implied that Democrats were anti-American - suddenly she's three points behind and the RNC has pulled her funding. McCain brings up Bill Ayers at the final debate and the squiggly insta-poll lines among undecideds drop like a stone.

The situation is similar to being a Zeppelin captain where suddenly, without warning, the laws of physics change and hydrogen is heavier than air. At first you don't believe it - why would you? - and you immediately tell the crew to pump more hydrogen into the balloon. It's only when you see the Earth rushing towards you that you start to consider the unthinkable. We're in the last 9 days before the election, and some Republicans finally realize that they need to switch to helium. 

God help 'em, I don't think there is enough helium on board to keep the ship aloft this year. Even before the financial meltdown the zeppelin was lookin' a little wobbly. Now it looks like the best hope of survival is jumping close enough to the ground to avoid injury but far enough that you're out of the way when it bursts into flames. Oh the humanity!

Honest, It's Still Not Over

Damn this election cycle - it's destroyed my ability to sleep in on Sunday. No matter when I turn in on Saturday night, my eyes snap open at about 7:50am, which on the west coast is ten minutes before MEET THE PRESS, THIS WEEK, FOX NEWS SUNDAY and FACE THE NATION. Then in ten minutes I have to choose between those four. Lately it's been MTP (it's fun to laugh at Brokaw's "ells") but today I opted for Fox News Sunday.

May I say, mad props to Chris Wallace. I've seen him on other occasions and he's just has hard on Conservatives as he is on Liberals, the way good journalists should be. It's the job of the subject to accept the challenge and either repudiate it or dig themselves into a deeper hole. Wallace at the helm (plus a desire to play beyond the base in a way that people at the Fox News Network don't seem to care to) makes Fox News Sunday a decent news show. Its bias is mitigated considerably by the Wallace interviews, and then shoots back up again during the panel. More on that later.

This morning the guest was Master Strategist Karl Rove.

Karl isn't looking as ebullient as we've seen him in the past. In fact, though he took a few stabs at "it isn't over until it's over" this clip demonstrates that he's pointing a finger at the people who have destroyed the campaign by pointing fingers at the ones who are destroying the campaign. This interview seemed to be the result of a little too much heavy drinking by Rove the night before. And more in the green room. 

Karl tried to dismiss the polls by saying you can't trust them, that's why candidates conduct their own polls. However, the impression he gave was that the inside polling was probably just as bad, possibly much, much worse.

The interview was followed by a segment that was to feature Gov. Tim Kaine, D-Va. and former Gov. Tom Ridge, R-Pa. Ridge had plane trouble and couldn't make it, leaving only Obama supporter Kaine, whom Wallace seemed to be going easy on; that is, no talk of Ayers or socialism.

Then came the round-table discussion. It was the usual balanced panel - William Kristol and Britt Hume representing the right, Mara Liasson and Juan Juilliams (ha ha, just kidding - Williams) representing the left. Though the latter two work at NPR, they're moderates. Liasson seemed visibly perturbed at the idea of an Obama presidency. So the panel, just like the rest of the country, is three-quarters opposed to Obama. Anyway, the discussion ranged from whether Sarah Palin is a liability to the McCain campaign to how over the race is. There was a notable lack, again, of the terrorist-socialist-antichrist subject matter that has dominated the race. Since I haven't seen that muck on MTP either I cannot say that FNS has been wading through it. Maybe all these shows think it's beneath the purview of the beltway insiders; it's for the Applebee's crowd and they dine at Puck's.

It's only nine days to the election, and it could still turn around. But it's gonna have to turn around A LOT in such a short time, and nobody can quite put their finger on what the thing is that will make Obama look like a worse choice than McCain. With Ashley Todd in jail, there is even less hope. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Next Big Thing

Pretty rough 48 hours on the GOP. Between Ashley Todd's illusory attack and the judge saying "yeah, of course he's a citizen, duh" the barrel o' talking points is emptying fast.

So what's next? I only see recycling.

Reverend Wright comes back, finally with "I'm John McCain and I approve this message" attached. Could be fun, just for the racial sidestepping.


Obama is the Anti-Christ!

My thinking is fear of racism charges, plus a desire to pander to the base, gives the latter talking point the best shot. Plus it would most likely be handed off to Palin, which would be f***ing hilarious. "I'm not saying he IS the Anti-Christ. I'm saying let's investigate." 

These are the national approved strategies of course. What comes outta the woodwork is anybody's guess. 

Whassup? True.

You won't find this as funny if you found AMERICAN CAROL funny. True.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I For One Will Welcome Our New Mulatto Overlords

There's all kinds of fun followups to stories I've been covering. Ashley Todd confessed to faking her Obamugging; Michelin Barkman (gosh-darn spell checker!) is buying national TV Time to apologize for believing something she was tricked into saying. And finally, Fox takes its first baby steps towards saying Obama is the anti-christ. Hint: he's not the Devil, but the Devil supports him.

So much followup, in fact, that I'm going to ignore it and move on to something more meaty.

I'm fortunate enough to be on arguing terms with Madeline's Dad again. One of his (not just him, LOTS of peoples) concerns lately is the the recent beefing up of police on election day. Police are apparently planning for celebrations/riots depending on whether Obama wins or loses. This is also a worry for my favorite PUMAs, Alix and Richard.

Look, I live in LA you guys. When this stuff happens it seldom lasts longer than a few days. Stock up on rice and bottled water, stay indoors. Since they're (you know what I mean by "they") too lazy to afford cars, they probably won't even make it out to your neighborhood.

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe like my ex-girlfriend said Obama is only going to help "his own kind." Mulattos? Hawaiians? I never quite pinned her down on that one. But if he does go down that path, how does America change? I have a few predictions.

  • Finally, Snoop Dogg gets to pen a new national anthem.
  • People who can't dance are rounded up into internment camps.
  • He paints the White House Black. (That's not mine, it comes from a humorous email I got.)
  • Every movie, EVERY movie that comes out has to feature either Morgan Freeman or Samuel L. Jackson.
  • White folks are deported to Europe, back where they came from.
Personally, I've always wanted an excuse to visit Europe, so I'm not seein' the downside. It's a shame what will happen to Rush Limbaugh (mugged, an entire pamphlet carved into his left cheek) but hey, he's a survivor. But maybe I'm looking at it through rose-colored glasses - how do you think we'll fare under the oppressive jazzy thumb of teh blacks?

Uh... Then Hawaii Wasn't A State In 1961! ***Updated***

The other day I linked to Red State's commenters' theories about why Obama is really going to Hawaii. Sure he claims he's visiting his ailing grandmother. They were all entertaining and if the McCain campaign picks any one of them up, I bet he winds up sounding even more stable and presidential. 

But the best one I have heard, parroted by a bellicose caller to the Stephanie Miller show this morning, is the one advanced by Michael Savage: Obama is visiting the 50th state to doctor his "birth certificate. It's been one of the talking points that Obama isn't even an American Citizen! They question the authenticity of  the document. Some would say that this is beating a dead horse. But if you're surrounded by dead horses, what else you gonna beat?

So I'll let far-left in-the-tank loonies address the phoniness charges. My question to Michael Savage, though, is this: if you're having documents altered, isn't is maybe a little more clandestine to have someone other than the Biggest Celebrity In The World doing the actual work? Maybe send a minor celebrity, like Colin Powell or Scott McClellan. Maybe call one of members of the secret cabal of non-white people and have them do it. Hawaii's crawlin' with 'em! 

***Update*** H/T to WAMK - a suit challenging the Obama's citizenship has been dismissed. "U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick on Friday night rejected the suit by attorney Philip J. Berg, who alleged that Obama was not a U.S. citizen and therefore ineligible for the presidency. Berg claimed that Obama is either a citizen of his father's native Kenya or became a citizen of Indonesia after he moved there as a boy." Blow off your Grandma Hussein! You don't need her to cover your illegal activities!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Another Word Problem For Palin

In her interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said that Bill Ayers is “no question” a terrorist because he sought to destroy the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon. Palin, however, refused to apply the same label to abortion clinic bombers:

Q: Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist, under this definition, governor?

PALIN: (Sigh). There’s no question that Bill Ayers via his own admittance was one who sought to destroy our U.S. Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist. There’s no question there. Now, others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that uh, it would be unacceptable. I don’t know if you’re going to use the word terrorist there.

(H/T Think Progress)

I suppose the distinction is that the Weathermen went after Government buildings (statues, actually.) If so, that lets the 9/11 guys off the hook.

So to summarize, a guy who didn't actually bomb the Capitol is a terrorist, a guy who DOES bomb a medical facility is maybe not. Or in other words, she's willing to turn a blind eye if she AGREES with the terrorism. She'll probably decide on a case-by-case basis once she's president of the Senate. "Well, you are a rapist but you only raped a couple of Democrats. You're cool. Get outta here, you nut. (wink)"

I had such high hopes after that CNN segment that she'd get to finish out the race with a little dignity. Honest, I take less pleasure in bashing McCain and Palin than it seems. You may recall the 1996 race between Clinton and Dole - that was an honorable race with the least mud-slinging from either candidate in recorded history. I'm getting all weepy thinking about it. Well, I still hope Palin can go on to a successful career after this race, but it probably won't be national because she's just too far to the right for most of the country.

Mark It With A "B" ***Updated***

The sensible thing to do would be to hold off until tomorrow on this story; then again, the sensible thing to do would be to find something more productive than blogging.

So a few hours ago this girl claims she was mugged at an ATM in Pittsburgh. The alleged assailant (a dark-skinned black man, 6 feet 4 inches tall, 200 pounds with a medium build) got $60.00 out of her, then noticed the McCain bumper sticker on her car, "became agitated" and attacked her and carved the B in her face.

One has to be delicate here because if this girl is the victim of a mugging then she's had a very traumatic experience. And it would be naive of me to claim that an Obama supporter isn't capable of this kind of violence, because it's a big country and the majority of it appears to support Obama. They're not all saints. Still, with all that, I don't think the mugger is the one who made a political statement here.

Before I go on, I want to point out that I'm not the only one who isn't buying it. Wonkette is rejecting it outright, and to her credit, so is Michelle Malkin. (H/T for the picture, Ms. M!) So here is our problem with the story.

  1. The black eye isn't swollen. Normally so soon after blow, it would be. Miss Todd has refused medical attention, so we can't get more information about this.
  2. The letter - why "B" and not "O"? Seems to me an O would be a lot quicker (thus avoiding the risk of capture) and more commonly associated with Obama.
  3. Why such a light touch? Wouldn't someone perpetrating such a savage attack (remember, he was said to be agitated) draw a little blood?
  4. And for god's sake, why is it backward?

On the other hand if you were a McCain volunteer, worried about the polls, you might consider faking an attack to stir up a little rage at Obama supporters, especially the dark-skinned black ones. The backward letter recalls a similar event that occurred in the eighties to Morton Downey Jr. His show was on the way out, and he claimed to have been attacked by neo-nazis who carved a swastika on his face; but it was backward. The subsequent investigation concluded that Downey had carved it himself while looking in a mirror.

I'll give Michelle Malkin the last word. God help me.

Hate crimes hoaxes — by anyone, of any political persuasion, and of any color — diminish us all.

***Update*** Just kidding, says Ashley Todd. "You're under arrest," reply Pittsburgh police. Time to put this one to bed.

Palin Supporters Will Kill Each Other Before They Get Around to Me

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado — Heated words between drivers leaving Sarah Palin’s rally Monday allegedly escalated with one man brandishing a loaded handgun.Jack B. Cheskaty, 62, of Grand Junction, said he pulled a handgun because “he wanted to be ready for anything” in what started as a verbal spat between drivers in bumper-to-bumper traffic leaving Lincoln Park around 8 p.m. Monday, according to an arrest affidavit.

This kind of thing will never happen again once Obama takes away our guns! See, he's reaching across the aisle. From behind a riot shield, of course.

What's Driving the Anti-Gay-Marriage Propostion

Graphs can be so helpful.

H/T 538

And Now, I'll Go Negative

John McCain, interviewed yesterday on the CBS affiliate in Washington: You’ll have to tell me what’s changed. I love it when they say, “Oh McCain has changed.” And I say, “What have I changed on?” They can’t name a single issue or they’ll name an issue and its false. I’m the same guy. I’m proud of our campaign.

Think Progress cites 44 issues. But here's the thing - they cite these issues, but they don't NAME them. They don't give the issues names, like "The Gun Control Pivot" or "The Ethanol U-Turn". So McCain wins on that one! Suck it up, libruls!

Further Proof That People Don't Want Negative This Time

Rep John Murtha (D) now in precarious territory after asserting "there is no question that Western Pennsylvania is a racist town." Sorry dude. I tried to warn you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oh Noes! Pull Back On The Interviews Again!

Those damn media elites and their gotcha questions:

"Just to be clear. Not negotiating until preconditions are met means not starting your negotiating until the other side has met some kind of condition you imposed. ” - Ilan Goldberg. H/T Think Progress

Maybe that's been the problem all along! She just misunderstood the concept. I bet she and Obama are actually pretty close on policy issues, assuming they define "issue" the same way. And "policy."

(BTW, have you ever seen a video with more stamps on it in your life? In the industry, all those logos are called "bugs". Or as Palin says, "animals.")

Joe The Couture Consultant

You know the candidate of the real America? The one who is the champion of the non-arugula-eatin' common man? She bought $150,000 worth of clothes for the campaign.

But it's okay, because she didn't use her own money. The RNC bought the clothes, she's just BORROWING THEM, much in the same way that Ted Stevens BORROWED all those home improvements that he's on trial for.

However this one plays out, rest assured that the process of selecting the clothes didn't take time away from her campaignin' or readin' anything that's in front of her. I mean, take a close look at the scarf. (See comments below - the $150k didn't go towards the scarf. That's one cheap shot down!)

Fundraising Tools

Keep apologizing you guys - your opponents need money.


In a debate hosted by the local Independent Tribune Wednesday, Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) denied that he had ever denied saying that "liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God.” The new denial begins around the 5:33 mark in this clip.

In fact, Hayes spokeswoman, Amanda Little, on Hayes behalf, repeatedly and flatly denied to The Crypt -- on Monday evening and again throughout the day Tuesday -- that Hayes had said any such thing. She further denied the charge even after The Crypt told her that four sources had confirmed that he had said it. She accused The Crypt of "irresponsible journalism" for reporting the comments, which first appeared in the New York Observer.

Only when we turned up audio of his comments did he concede, saying that he "genuinely did not recall making the statement and, after reading it, there is no doubt that it came out completely the wrong way. I actually was trying to work to keep the crowd as respectful as possible, so this is definitely not what I intended."

At the debate, however, he said he was only denying the context. "One more time, I did not deny what I said but the context in which it was presented to us, Larry, was that I hated liberals. That is absolutely false and for you to say that it is shows a clear misunderstanding and a lack of a desire to find out what went on," he said.


Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told the St. Cloud Times yesterday that she regretted suggesting that Barack Obama held “anti-American” views. But at the same time Bachmann was apologizing for her remarks to traditional media outlets, Bachmann continued to cast aspersions on Obama’s patriotism in a series of appearances on right-wing radio shows....

BACHMANN: And that’s why shows like the Today Show are banding together with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews to get my scalp on a platter. Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews alone have raised $1 million for my opponent just since last Friday.
GALLAGHER: You’re kidding me.
BACHMANN: No no, over a million dollars in online contributions.
BACHMANN: In that amount of time to take out my scalp. They’re serious about it. Because they can’t stand that I’m fighting them. And Nancy Pelosi also pledged to donate $1 million toward my opponent. So, $2 million have come in since Friday to make sure that I lose this election. That’s why I need. I’m desperate for help right now or else I lose.

(Just a note - Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman didn't raise any money exactly - they just aired Bachman's comment and her opponent with the unpronouncable German name suggested he could use some contributions. As for Nancy Pelosi, you go girl.

I also hear the GOP is pulling money out of that race and putting it somewhere a little more viable.)

The Great Mystery of Our Age - Solved!

Two bits of information from the past few months provide an answer to something that has been vexing the Bush Administration for five or more years. Item one:

The guy who is the head of McCain's transition team was, at one time, a lobbyist for Saddam Hussein.

McCain, when asked how many houses he owns, claimed he couldn't remember.

Well, it's pretty obvious what's going on here, don't you think? At least a few of those houses are being used to HOUSE SADDAM'S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

That's why he was so hawkish on the war, because he knew Hussein couldn't fight back! Poor McCain is now in a bind, because he's no longer getting rental payments from Hussein, yet he can't sell off the stock for fear of drawing attention to it. He was probably betting on that president money to help him out for the next four years, but it's not working out and that's why the tone of the campaign is so desperate. Sorry John! Maybe you can keep a few missiles for Castro to tide you through the lean spots. Not our problem!

I don't know if Paulie reads this blog, but I'd like to invite him now to prove me wrong.

***Update*** Al Quaeda backs McCain! Maybe they're protecting their investment, eh?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Palin Annoyingly Sane-Sounding

It's not live, of course, and perhaps she had some kind of veto power, but she definitely doesn't seem stupid here. And I believe she must have either been coached to more deeply conceal her contempt for the press, or Drew Griffin is in the tank for Palin. Either way, let's have more. 

And I don't care if it's hypocritical, let's have less Biden interviews. He annoys me.

If the video doesn't embed properly looka here.

By the way, if Palin is going to be leaning so much on Joe the Plumber she probably shouldn't have stopped listening to him on Thursday night. Because by Friday morning he said this: "I would, if you believe (Obama), I would be receiving his tax cuts." Just sayin' that even HE isn't buying that talking point any more.

Goin' After the Swing Voters





Now that's good strategy boys! Keep it up! Sooner or later this stuff is going to turn those polls around.

Michele Bachmann Is A Pussy ***Update***

Check out this transcript of Congressette Michelle Bachman on the Chris Matthews Show.

MR. MATTHEWS: How many Congress people, members of Congress, do you think are in that anti-American crowd you described? How many Congress people do you serve with? I mean, it's 435 members of Congress.

REP. BACHMANN: Right now --

MR. MATTHEWS: How many are anti-American in the Congress right now that you serve with?

REP. BACHMANN: You'd have to ask them, Chris. I'm focusing on Barack Obama and the people that he's been associating with. And I'm very worried about --

MR. MATTHEWS: But do you suspect that a lot of people you serve with --

REP. BACHMANN: -- their anti-American nature.

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, he's a United States senator from Illinois. He's one of the people you suspect as being anti-American. How many people in the Congress of the United States do you think are anti- American? You've already suspected Barack Obama. Is he alone, or are there others? How many do you suspect of your colleagues as being anti-American?

REP. BACHMANN: What I would say -- what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that.

Way to leave us hangin', Michelle!

Though she's too chicken to come out and say it, I'm guessing from the rest of the conversation that the anti-American ones are the Democrats. Who comprise over half of Congress nowadays. And just like there are pro-American parts of the country and anti-American ones (the pro-American ones are where Sarah Palin can draw a decent-sized crowd for a rally after security has teased out the reporters and people with controversial t-shirts) there is a sizable portion of this country which, in her view, supports terrorism against this country. In fact, it's a slight majority if you read the polls.

From my perspective, I happen to know this isn't true. We're not against America. We're anti-Michelle Bachman.

And it's pretty obvious to me that the rest of the Republicans think like her (look at the campaign ads!) I'm also opposed to the rest of those guys.

And you might say that espousing views like she (they) is espousing is dangerous, that it could lead to hate speech and violence, and unrest.

Republicans want to destroy America.

***Update*** The polls are out - Bichelle McPrawn was doing pretty well last week, but now she's down 3 points against a german elf; all because Chris Matthews tricked her into saying something nationally that she's only been saying to the base. Well, she hasn't lost yet. 

One thing's for sure - if you run a right-leaning interview show you're going to be booked solid for the next two weeks, because these guys can't talk to the normals.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Attention McCain Campaign

Courtesy of Free Republic - free talking points! Run with 'em!

Fat Lady Still Mute

Not only has she not yet sung, she hasn't even started clearing her hypothetical throat. Barack Obama has NOT BEEN ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. No matter how good the polls look, everybody knows there is a lot that can happen between now and November. Especially Obama.

During an interview on NBC’s “Today Show,” Obama said there is “no doubt” that “the race will tighten.”

“That's what happens at the end of campaigns,” the Illinois Democrat said. “Even when there are substantial leads. And in each of these battleground states, you've got a lot of close races. One of the messages that I've had to my team is that we don't let up. We do not let up.”
And as far as Republicans go, don't give up! Put everything you have into negative campaigning! Let your anger flow through you. Feel the dark side of the force! Aw, you don't need me to tell you that.

Just Another Republican Jumpin' Ship

So over the weekend, some guy named Gen. Colin Powell went on Meet the Press for the sole purpose of endorsing Barack Obama for president. Actually it appeared to be at least a dual purpose, because he spent a good chunk of the half-hour castigating the Republican party for going so seriously off the rails.

And don't get me wrong, it's great to have Powell's endorsement. It's just... well, the pre-2000 Powell was a better "get." Nowadays, Powell is known for endorsing two other things that are a little dodgy:

Weapons of Mass Destruction - he put his considerable reputation behind that presentation to the UN, thus helping us into an unfortunate foreign policy decision; and

Ted Stevens - he just filed a letter with the court in the Ted Stevens bribery case. Even Sarah Palin is clamming up about Ted Stevens.

So the Powell Brand is a little diluted nowadays. That's all I'm sayin'.

***Update*** Wonkette mines the comedy gold for me by reprinting FREE REPUBLIC responses to the Powell endorsement. A sample that doesn't allude to racism: Clown Powell showed us his true colors with his endorsement of this communist weasel. He just spit in the face of the military he supposedly cares about.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Without Party? I Have My Doubts

In my quest to find blogs I disagree with who will still talk to me, I've been spending a little time over at Without Party. That one is run by two people named Richard And Alix who claim to be lifelong Democrats who were so disillusioned by Hillary Clinton's failure to win the Democratic presidential nomination that they are bitter and voting for McCain.

Look! I told you there were real PUMAs in this country! Except I'm pretty sure they aren't.

Maybe it's my own bias showing through, because I was never that thrilled with the idea of another Clinton running things. I liked the first one, but enough already. Had Hillary won she would have had advantages that Barack did not; chiefly a fierce and unquenchable lust for revenge against Republicans. I thought at the time that once the campaign took a predictable turn toward dirty she could out-dirty them. It didn't occur to me that throttling back might be more effective.

Still, as I say, Clinton wasn't my top choice. She was a big supporter of the Iraq war and cooperated a little too easily with the farthest far-right Republicans, like Joe Lieberman. (Rimshot). So when I say I'd have voted for her, it would be under the exact distaste that a lot of Republicans are planning to vote for McCain with. In the primaries, in fact, most Republican pundits were almost salivating over the idea of Candidate Clinton. She was a Democrat that even Ann Coulter could support.

And that is what is coloring my judgement of Richard and Alix. (By the way Alix, thanks for correcting my misspelling of "Reagan" the other day.) Here's Richard, laying the historical groundwork for his transformation from Democrat to... well, what the hell is he now? Interesting.
I admit it, I loved the Clinton years. I was not of age to have been able to vote for President Clinton either term, but I was excited to cast my first vote for Gore in 2000. I hated Bush even then and I truly thought he would never win. The events that followed in Florida those few months were almost enough for me to lose faith in the system. Gore was robbed of the White House, and we all know it. 
Then came Kerry in 2004. Although I didn't really "like" him, we were finally going to get revenge for Gore and toss Bush out of office and stop this terrible war. Needless to say, my Kerry vote was more of an anti-Bush vote, but I remained a faithful Democrat. Once again, I was shocked that Bush had won a second term and was wondering if we were ever going to win another election.
Finally came my girl, Hillary. I have thought she was awesome from day 1. Maybe she reminds me a little of my mother and I love that fighting spirit. I felt like we had finally found a winner and a candidate who was really going to take on the GOP and get the Democrats back in the White House. I did grow very emotionally attached to Hillary's run for office. She marched every year for gay rights and stood up for us (as best as any politician can) and she spoke for the silent. I freely admit I was crushed when Obama got the nomination. It's wasn't about Obama for me, it was that it wasn't Hillary.
It just doesn't seem plausible to me that you support McCain Nader in response to losing Hillary. Not only support Nader, who killed Al Gore's chances in 2000 - also trash Pelosi and Reid, argue that the press has a pro-Obama bias, and most tellingly, mock Rachel Maddow. If you're gay (Alix) and liberal you could still disagree with Rachel Maddow; but you probably wouldn't ever refer to her as "Rachel MADCOW." That's a huge leap to make, from Democrat to Ann Coulter. And of course, if they love Hillary Clinton so much, why not take the advice that she offered at the convention and support Obama?

So the whole biography unravels as you read the posts. Still, people are more complicated than their narratives suggest, and I can't say that I know what Richard and Alix think any more than I can say that they're real people in the first place, and not a library picture slapped onto a blog by Karl Rove's nephews. I just don't know. That's what makes them such a good read.

A Racism Recap

About this "more non-racism" thing - it's been a while since the argument that prompted this series was advanced. Actually, it's been about a month and a half, but that's a long time in presidential politics. Only technology has a shorter shelf-life. Anyway, for those wondering why I keep dredging up these ugly images, here's LeShawn Barber at Pajamas Media from August. wouldn’t have anything to do with Obama’s liberal beliefs, inexperience, gaffes, and inconsistencies, would it? No, it’s because he’s black, says Heilemann and other liberals. Lurking just below the surface of any white person’s criticism of Barack Obama is racial bias. Heilemann’s article leaves the impression that Obama longs to take the high road and rise above such distractions; Republicans and other white people just won’t let him.
...He understands very well that his ethnicity distinguishes him in this election, and he’s counting on that distinction to help inspire voters. It’s why he’s injected race into the race. Yes, Obama is more than the color of his skin, but even he knows it’s an integral part of why some people support him.
Conservative bloggers have been arguing that prejudice played no part in the campaign except when Obama suggested that such a thing was a possibility. Even when a poll came out suggesting that up to 40 percent of Democrats were having trouble voting for Obama because of his race, the conclusion that I heard most often was "well, DEMOCRATS are racists, not Republicans." There is a special place in the denial hall of fame for that one. I suppose I shouldn't keep bringing it up because I've lost friends over this, but perhaps that's the best reason to keep bringing it up.

Anyway, a little context for your reading pleasure.

More Non-Racism VII

I'm gonna have to bone up on my roman numerals if this stuff keeps up.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Leave Joe The Plumber Alone!

I'm afraid we Democrats have fallen into a Malkin trap. It's a two step device. Step one is doing something that Michelle Malkin disagrees with, which give her an execuse to generate material:

The Left’s political plumbers are attacking the messenger, rummaging through his personal life, and predictably wielding the race card once again. It’s standard operating procedure for the Obama thug machine.
This isn't the dangerous part of the Malkin trap, because if you don't do something outrageous she'll make somethin' up. The dangerous part is stooping to her level.

When a family and Democrat political leaders drag a child down to Washington at 6 in the morning to read a script written by Senate Democrat staffers on a crusade to overturn a presidential veto, someone might have questions about the family’s claims. The newspapers don’t want to do their jobs. The vacuum is being filled.

If you don’t want questions, don’t foist these children onto the public stage.

Fight your battles like adults and stop hiding behind youngsters dragging around red wagons filled with your talking points.

Graeme Frost called! He wants his childhood back.

Thing is she's right this time. I'm tired of seeing people demonized and eviscerated, though I have to say Joe is more being teased and tweaked. But we don't have to do it. Those kinds of tactics are backfiring nowadays - let's take advantage of that and turn the discussion where it belongs, on policy. If nothing else, maybe it will finally marginalize Michelle Malkin

Only Ungracious In Debate

Mad ups to my man Johnny Mac! At the Alfred E. Smith charity dinner last night (there's YouTube clips all over the place, find 'em yourself) McCain said this.

"I don't want it getting out of this room, but my opponent is an impressive fellow in many ways. Political opponents can have a little trouble seeing the best in each other. But I've had a few glimpses of this man at his best and I admire his great skill, energy and determination. It's not for nothing, but he's inspired many folks in his own party and beyond. Senator Obama talks about making history and he's made quite a bit of it already. There was a time when the mere invitation of an African-American citizen to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage and an insult. Today is a world away from the cruelty and prideful bigotry of that time - and good riddance. I can't wish my opponent luck, but I do wish him well."
(H/T Swampland) The dinner is a lighthearted event and extreme rancor just wouldn't have played there. Howver I bet this is McCain's real view of Obama, not the Anti-christ terrorist Muslim crypto-duck that his ads want you to believe. And this in turn makes it harder for me to demonize McCain. Ignore your Bush-era campaign advisors, Johnnie Mac! We're onto that stuff nowadays.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Non-Racism VI

"I didn't see it the way that it's being taken. I never connected," she said. "It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else."

She said she also wasn't trying to make a statement linking Obama and food stamps, although her introductory text to the illustration connects the two: "Obama talks about all those presidents that got their names on bills. If elected, what bill would he be on????? Food Stamps, what else!"

(h/t Think Progress, quote from the Press Enterprise)

The Consultant Trap

John McCain is not such a bad guy. Seriously. He's being sold bad.

I saw this happen to the Democrats in the last two cycles. Al Gore is a warm funny guy but when the DNC was in charge of him he was wooden, restrained by dozens of rules about what not to say and what talking points to hit. Kerry... well, I don't know about Kerry. I'm still not completely convinced he's human.

But John McCain is also an appealing guy, and has shown a refreshing tendency to speak his mind in the past. Had it been him against Gore it might have been a serious contest. But the past four years he's been forced into the same straightjacket that they put Gore into - instead of speaking his own mind, he's speaking the RNC's collective mind. And this has made him appear erratic, made him endorse tactics he probably doesn't agree with. Being made into a mouthpiece has taken away McCain's best thing.

Interestingly, the same thing is surely going on with Obama. But he wears it better. I'm not sure if I like the implications of that, but at least I don't KNOW he's selling himself out.

Truth is, when you brush all the hatred aside these are both decent, capable men. Either one could run the country and neither would plunge us into the new dark ages. My gut feeling is Obama will repair more Bush-era damage than McCain would have.

More Non-Racism V

About them McCain/Palin rallies: there is now some controversey over whether a supporter yelled "kill him!" at the Palin appearance. It appears to be the word of a reporter over the word of a secret service agent. Fair enough.

These quotes, gleaned from an Ohio rally by the outside-the-bubble Al Jazeera news service (presumably keeping that affiliation under their turbans) may be a little more convincing.

“I’m afraid if he wins, the blacks will take over. He’s not a Christian! This is a Christian nation! What is our country gonna end up like?”

“When you got a Negra running for president, you need a first stringer. He’s definitely a second stringer.”

“He seems like a sheep - or a wolf in sheep’s clothing to be honest with you. And I believe Palin - she’s filled with the Holy Spirit, and I believe she’s gonna bring honesty and integrity to the White House.”

“He’s related to a known terrorist, for one.”

“He is friends with a terrorist of this country!”

“He must support terrorists! You know, uh, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. And that to me is Obama.”

“Just the whole, Muslim thing, and everything, and everybody’s still kinda - a lot of people have forgotten about 9/11, but… I dunno, it’s just kinda… a little unnerving.”

“Obama and his wife, I’m concerned that they could be anti-white. That he might hide that.”

“I don’t like the fact that he thinks us white people are trash… because we’re not!”

I like the "he MUST support terrorists" guy... not only is Obama a Muslim and a terrorist, he is also apparently some kind of crypto-duck.

Hat tip to Prose Before Hos for the transcript AND the footage. If it were just a transcript you could believe they made it up, but now if you want to deny it you have to believe that Al-Jazeera somehow managed to smuggle a dozen or so fake racists into the rally. And if you want to believe that, it's your perogative. It's probably easier to jump through that hoop if you're a global warming denier.

I'm going to try to embed the clip here, but I'm warning you I can't check it from work. If you don't see anything, try the link instead.

Immature Screen Grab Fun

Look, of course this is completely beside the point, it cheapens the discourse, it has no place is adult politics. From the debate last night.


(h/t Wonkette) Probably not doctored, either, but if they were it wouldn't make any difference because it's completely beside the point.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Penguin Wins The Debate

h/t Swampland

Joe The Plumber Wins the Debate

Yeah, Joe the Plumber. I hope those guys warned him that they were going to make him into a national symbol.

The takeaway from this debate is both candidates have had their feelings hurt by negative campaigns. The hostility is so palpable I could taste it, and like evil itself, it tastes chalky. McCain had these crazy eyes; Obama had this smile that reminded me of James Coburn in THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST, in the scenes just before he snaps. It's incredible that no blood was shed. Maybe Bob Scheiffer generates a paralysis field.

I wish I had CNN so I could watch those real-time reaction numbers. According to Wonkette when they talked about Sarah Palin, the Ohio women's line dropped like a clay pigeon. Props to Obama for declining to say negative things about her, and props to McCain for recognizing that saying bad things about Biden isn't a problem for him.

Did McCain turn it around? Oooooooh, I don't think so. Probably the best he has done is staunch the bleeding of support from his own party. Still, 19 days... that's an awful long time.

Oh yeah, one more thing... at the beginning, McCain pivoted away from that first question for a second to wish good luck to Nancy Reagan. But no love from either candidate for Dick Cheney! Wow! Low poll numbers punish everyone.

More Non-Racism IV

Via Fox News - italics mine, observation courtesy Wonkette.

Hip-Hop-Dancing Colin Powell Fuels Speculation He'll Endorse Obama

Colin Powell showed off his hip-hop moves at an 'Africa Rising' celebration in London Tuesday, fueling speculation that the former secretary of state is about to endorse Barack Obama for president.

Please don't make me explain why this leap is Fox dragging race into the discussion. Please. I beg you. I think the guy who goes negative first loses.

Good Wishes

Best wishes to both Dick Cheney and Nancy Regan Reagan, who are in the news today with health problems. (Thanks to commenter Alix for the correction!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


In an interview on a St. Louis radio station, McCain said Obama's comments that "I didn't have the guts" to talk about William Ayers in the last presidential debate have "probably ensured" that the former 1960s radical will come up in Wednesday's debate.

In an interview on Fox News, Sen. Hillary Clinton says the odds of her taking a seat on the Supreme Court are "zero" adding, "I have no interest in doing that." She also says odds of her being Senate Majority Leader are "probably zero," and running for president are "probably close to zero."

H/T Taegan Goddard's Political Wire

Ah, the probable definitive - the politician's choice when you need to say something that doesn't promise anything.

At Last, The Tone Softens

See this, from outside the Obama speech in Ohio? A week ago, before John McCain started calming the rhetoric, the sign would have read:


Admittedly the decision may have been made because they can no longer afford signs that big.

Monday, October 13, 2008

There Goes The Neighborhood

Specifically MY neighborhood. Last month there was a historic train wreck about 4 miles north of where I work, and now there is a massive fire about four miles north. What are we, built on an indian burial ground or something?

Don't Worry, McCain Has Already Distanced Himself

McCain Pre Program invocation.mp3

Pastor Arnold Conrad, giving an invocation before McCain's speech this morning. What do you think, was he being playful or serious? The audio doesn't sound particularly wry.

I also would also pray, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god--whether it's Hindu, Buddha, Allah--that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they're going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and election day."
Thanks to Marc Armbinder at The Atlantic. Kinda reminds me of John Gibsons entreaty for white people to have more babies.

The Angry Left

Meanwhile Blake Dvorak at Real Clear Politics points out a few examples of hateful leftist rhetoric. And tshirts.

Yeah, well, what do you expect? We're all terrorists. You're lucky we haven't already suicide bombed your asses.

Change I Can Believe In, Anyway

Sometimes you get the feeling that the McCain campaign is not so much being run as it is being fought over. There will be a guy who has a strategy, and that guy prevails until another guy jumps him in the hotel corridor, beating him senseless. Then the new guy takes over.

From the looks of it, someone got pretty bruised up Thursday night. Friday morning McCain took my advice and started correcting some Obama misconceptions during one of his hate-drenched townhall rallies; same thing Saturday. Sunday Sarah Palin held an entire rally without once mentioning William Ayers. Presumably this display of civility is at least partially motivated by a desire to avoid the too-ugly tone the campaign has taken. It is also probably motivated by a desire to slow the poll numbers steady descent, like snowflakes or a pearl in a bottle of shampoo.

I admire McCain for the first motivation (I think it's sincere) but I doubt the new strategy will help with the second. Or rather it may indeed slow or even stop the fall but it won't push the numbers back up much. He may gain some ground among disgusted independents but he's just going to lose it among the blood-thirsty base.

With so much at stake, and time running short, (VA State GOP Chairman Jeffery) Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: "Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon," he said. "That is scary." It is also not exactly true — though that distorted reference to Obama's controversial association with William Ayers, a former 60s radical, was enough to get the volunteers stoked. "And he won't salute the flag," one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, "We don't even know where Senator Obama was really born."
(As Karen Tumulty points out, we do know where he was born; it's Hawaii.)

Since it's likely to be a wash in the Polls, I think the liklihood is McCain is taking the high road on his way out after all. Whether anyone follows him remains to be seen. And of course, there are still three weeks to go. Besides, there's a debate soon - what's to stop another guy on the staff from cold-cocking the current advisor and telling McCain to repeatedly mis-pronounce Obama's name as "Osama?"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Republican Anger: A Helpful Guide

Text below, if you're un-post-literate.

Recent news coverage, especially of certain political rallies, has left the impression that Republicans are a bellicose, furiously bloodthirsty bunch of people. This is absolutely not true; besides, they can't help it. They're outraged! 

Still, how can you tell when they're a little outraged, versus when they're going ballistic? It's simple if you have the right tools! I give you the Republican outrage meter!

The outrage meter has four settings. Three of them apply to Democrats. The first setting: pegged.

This is the lowest setting.

Coincidentally, the second setting looks the same, but it's higher. It's "Pegged, but we're furious that we can't rip off the cover and pull the peg out with our teeth so the needle could go even farther."

The third setting looks like the first two: "The meter itself, by not allowing us to go higher than pegged, betrays its liberal bias."

The fourth setting only applies to Republicans. It's at zero or almost zero, or what they call "hey, what the hell, let's call it zero"; and it signifies that whatever the guy has done, lighten up, he/she's a Republican.

You may point out that there was a recent flurry of hate mail sent to certain right-wing pundits who suggested that Sarah Palin wasn't ready to be Vice President. This suggests that the meter doesn't work. The meter, in fact, works fine. Those pundits are now considered Democrats.

Well, That's Better

Good on ya, Walnuts:

After days of watching in silence, McCain calms the crowd at his Minnesota town meeting.

“I want everyone to be respectful. And let’s make sure we are, because that’s the way politics is done in America.”

Tells one supporter who says he’s scared of an Obama presidency: “I have to tell you, he is a decent person, a person that you do not have to be scared [of] as president of the United States.”

After a woman calls Obama an Arab, McCain interrupts to say: “No m’am, He is a decent family man, citizen.”
(h/t The Page at

And while we're at it: I finally found the thing McCain suggested this morning, the sensible proposal that he made while taking time off from bashing his opponent. Justin Fox isn't so sure it's a good idea, and I'm going to let him tell it.

John McCain is suggesting on the campaign trail today that the IRS rules that require owners of retirement accounts (IRA, 401ks, etc.) to withdraw a certain amount (there's a formula) from those accounts every year after they turn 70 1/2 ought to be suspended because of the market crash.

Sayeth the Senator from Arizona: To spare investors from being forced to sell their stocks at just the time when the market is hurting the most, those rules should be suspended.

It doesn't seem like a bad idea at first glance. If there are any tax lawyers or others out there who think it is, please let me know. But it also seems pretty trivial. First of all, the only people the suspension would help are those who don't need the money right now. And for the bulk of retirees (that is, people in their 70s) the required annual withdrawal amount is 5% or less of the total in the account. Still, this could be a big deal for 100-year-olds, who must withdraw as much as 16% a year. They should definitely vote for McCain.

I wasn't aware of the fractional amounts involved when I heard the proposal, but that doesn't alter the fact that it makes sense to suspend the rule, so I have two good things to laud Mac for today. And frankly, I'd be happier if there were more. Hate isn't doing the country any good right now.

By Example

Here's the thing about the leadership styles of our two candidates for President.

"I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue."
- March 14, h/t to WaPo

"Senator Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence. "
- Obama spokesman, February, h/t WaPo again.

"Kill him!" Palin smiles indulgently and goes on.

"Off with his head!" McCain goes on.

Okay, let's give the benefit of the doubt. You can't always distinguish what people are yelling at your rallies. But this kind of stuff has been going on all week, and Sen McCain and Gov Palin can be expected, by now, to know that it's going on. Further, hypothetical benefit of the doubt: Let's assume that Obama LOVES the actions of the Weathermen, and is secretly planning the long-awaited black uprising as soon as he enters the Oval Office. In short, let's presume he's lying about his denials.

It's still important to publically denounce violence. It's kind of the job of the president to say things that DISCOURAGE anarchy. Even President Bush, in the days after 9/11, made a point of saying that people shouldn't kill Muslims in the street. Can we not even expect that level of leadership from McCain/Palin? Would it be so awful to ad a line in the stump speech along the lines of "There are all kinds of reasons to not vote for my opponent; but we're Americans and we don't threaten the people we disagree with." It's true that he made a few feints at this to a Fox News host on Tuesday but he changes his mind so often that he'll probably have to keep at it to make the idea stick.

Playing the role of concern troll here, I'd add that it's probably the relentless negative tone that's driving McCain as far down as he is right now. This morning he advocated some plan for the economy that I actually liked (and I wish I could find it now) but it struck me as sensible, positive and, well, leadershippy. I bet he'd do better if there was more positive planning and less attacking. I don't want him to do better, understand, but if you're on the way out anyway why not take the high road?

Thursday, October 09, 2008


It's Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I'm an Atheist so I'm under no obligation to atone for anything. However, this also means my options are wide open. I can atone or not atone. O happy Godlessness!

So I'm atoning. Is that so wrong?

First of all, I atone for being in the tank for Barack "That One" Obama. I support him even though he's a Muslim, a secret non-violent terrorst, too black and not black enough, and a christian who attended angry services for twenty years, all the while pretending to not be Muslim. Oh, and angry angry angry. You can tell from the angry speeches about "hope" and "reaching across the aisle." You know what? My blind hatred of John McCain must have driven me to support Obama. I'm obviously confused.

I also atone for not praising John McCain in the debates - you know what? He loves America enough to not bother wearing one of those flag lapel pins, while Obama flaunted his hatred of the country by wearing one. Sneaky terrorist Obama! And McCain has a plan for America, which is simple and elegant - No President Obama! The rest will take care of itself.

I'm sorry that I suffered from Bush Derangement Syndrome for the past seven years. I bet I look pretty stupid now!

I never should have said anything about Sarah Palin. As Republicans have proved, the proper way to treat her is to stop discussing her at all. Don't ask, don't tell, eh Sarah? *wink*

Big appies to God, for not believing in him. Logic will tell you to question the sincerity of that.

It was terribly racist of me to suggest that any white people are racist. Except Democrats of course. Obviously, racism is a thing that never crosses party lines. Logic will tell you this is okay, because as a Democrat I can be racist enough to suggest that some Republicans are racist, even if they don't know it.

One thing I can avoid atoning for - when I had a mortgage, I insisted on a 30-year-fixed, 20% down that I could afford. And when we sold the house last year, we turned a profit. So at least I'm not part of THAT problem.

Finally, I apologize to the Jews, for using a solemn holy day of theirs as a platform for my snarky observations. Granted they've had worse over the millenia, but I can't atone for those guys.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hussein Better Days

I was interested to see that they're starting to refer to Barack "Hussein" Obama again at the McCain rallies. Okay, you guys, if you think it helps... I like this comment, from the WSJ blog:

I don’t know why McCain and Palin are keeping up the smear campaign when this strategy is obviously killing him in the polls, but this is the strategy he would implement from the White House. No thanks.
It kind of reminds me of Bush Sr., whose strategies often involved a form of name calling. Remember "Slick Willie"? That one was sure a winner for him! And you know why? Because it's statesmanlike.

Enough Substance - Now Style!

Among the other hilarious things about last night debate:

Republicans consider planetariums to be the worst pork of all. They hate 'em! We can add planetariums to the list that also includes community organizers, grieving widows, people who gave George Bush good advice, Kathleen Lopez, Spain, France, and John McCain.

In the post-debate period, Barack and Michelle Obama hung around for about forty minutes and worked the room. John and Cindy McCain left after ten minutes. Because they hate Americans.

Post debate polling of undecided voters indicated increased positives for both candidates, but Obama's were more increased. But you know, the undecideds are in the tank for him.

Some say referring to Obama as "that one" was disrespectful. Me, I found it a little charming.

What was up with everybody wanting to break the debate rules? And would it have killed Brokaw to just say "No, shut up, we're moving on." Instead, as paraphrased on Wonkette:

9:46 — Someone finishes answering a question, meaning Tom Brokaw has to yell at them both again. How do you teach those who don’t want to learn? Answer: catty sarcasm. Brokaw basically asks them if they’ve heard of clocks, which can be very useful — they tell the “time” — and especially useful during, say, TOM BROKAW’S LAST DEBATE BEFORE HE DIES. John McCain says “no”, he doesn’t know about these new Apple time gadgets or whatever, and thens asks Tom to act like a crazy retard with hands flailing to tell him the time instead.
Oh how I love Wonkette.

I wonder if Republicans are still going to demand that Obama should do another 9 Townhall-style debates? There's probably time if they both can squeeze 'em in, and I bet McCain would crack by number 3, tops. He seemed a barely tamped down caldron of rage already last night. And yet, the promised "gloves" didn't "come off." My guess - he realized he wouldn't be able to put them back on once he got started.

Why I Don't Like Debates

And also why I don't like campaigning! This morning's email from

  • McCain proposed to write down the amount owed by over-mortgaged homeowners and claimed the idea as his own: “It’s my proposal, it's not Sen. Obama's proposal, it's not President Bush's proposal.” But the idea isn’t new. Obama had endorsed something similar two weeks earlier, and authority for the treasury secretary to grant such relief was included in the recently passed $700 billion financial rescue package.
  • Both candidates oversimplified the causes of the financial crisis. McCain blamed it on Democrats who resisted tighter regulation of federal mortgage agencies. Obama blamed it on financial deregulation backed by Republicans. We find both are right, with plenty of blame left over for others, from home buyers to the chairman of the Federal Reserve.
  • Obama said his health care plan would lower insurance premiums by up to $2,500 a year. Experts we’ve consulted see little evidence such savings would materialize.
  • McCain misstated his own health care plan, saying he’d give a $5,000 tax credit to “every American” His plan actually would provide only $2,500 per individual, or $5,000 for couples and families. He also misstated Obama’s health care plan, claiming it would levy fines on “small businesses” that fail to provide health insurance. Actually, Obama’s plan exempts “small businesses.”
  • McCain lamented that the U.S. was forced to “withdraw in humiliation” from Somalia in 1994, but he failed to note that he once proposed to cut off funding for troops to force a faster withdrawal.
  • Obama said, “I favor nuclear power.” That’s a stronger statement than we've heard him make before. As recently as last December, he said, “I am not a nuclear energy proponent.”
  • McCain claimed “1.3 million people in America make their living off eBay.” Actually, only 724,000 persons in the U.S. have income from eBay, and only some of them rely on it as their primary source.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Free Sarah Palin!

"Free Sarah Palin!" said William Kristol on Fox News Sunday a couple of weeks ago. And so the McCain campaign has. After relenting on his plan to bump the VP debate by forcing the first presidential debate to happen that night, they saw that Palin was capable of looking competent, as long as she wasn't required to answer, you know, questions. So they're letting her do interviews again.

FOX News Channel (FNC) will present a joint interview with Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin on Hannity & Colmes on Wednesday, October 8th at 9 PM/ET.

In addition, FNC will present an interview with Governor Sarah Palin on On the Record with Greta Van Susteren on Wednesday, October 8th at 10 PM/ET.

In their interview together on Hannity & Colmes Senator McCain and Governor Palin will provide reactions to Tuesday’s presidential debate. In addition, McCain and Palin will discuss their campaign strategy moving forward.

Following the joint interview, Governor Palin will speak On the Record with Greta Van Susteren about her running mate, her family and her potential future as vice president of the United States.
It should be interesting... McCain in the same room as Hannity? Hannity HATES McCain! But he looooooooooves Sarah Palin. Heck, we all do, you betcha.

Right-wing logic - a candidate who appears on every network but Fox is afraid; a candidate who only appears on Fox is simply being sensible. And this will pay off on election day, when a portion of the basic cable network's viewership is practically guaranteed to vote for McCain. Except the base.

Something to Look For In Tonight's Debate

FiveThirtyEight, the poll aggregators, currently have the vote going to Obama. Specifically the popular vote is running 51.9% to McCain's 46.5% (or what Bush would call a hyper-mandate) and the electoral vote favors Obama 345.4 to 192.6. Those margins were smaller last week before the VP Debate, in which Sarah Palin reclaimed her mantle as the not-complete-failure we all hoped for.

Thus, the stellar Palin appearance didn't help. So tonight's debate is a potential game-changer for McCain. All he has to do is solidify the support he enjoys from a handful of Democrats who favor him and the handful of Republicans who do the same. And then, my friends, he can turn this thing around.

I can't find the link now (***update: found it!***) but this morning I read an interesting piece about the weird formalist rules to be followed in this townhall debate. Among others - the candidates are allowed to walk around, but only within a certain area that doesn't intersect with the other candidate's - questioners will have their mics turned off after they ask, to prevent followups. A fun drinking game - every time McCain mavericks the rules (steps beyond the bounds, asks for a followup from a sympathetic questioner) drink up. Every time Obama mentions the economy, drink. Bonus drinks if he works the economy into a foreign policy question.

Extra special bonus drinking if Obama says to McCain: "You say there is too much Americans don't know about me... what do you want to know? Ask me." This isn't part of the drinking game per se, just a warning that if the debate goes that far into negative territory you'll need to self-medicate.

Anyway, check the polls later in the week and see how the McCain strategy is reaping votes.