Monday, September 29, 2008

W.W.B.D. (What Will Biden Do?)

Heading into the most eagerly anticipated VP debate in history, we’ve seen a lot of ideas flying freely about how Joe Biden should approach the event. Many have worried that his substantial intelligence experience advantage and combative style might lead to backlash if he is perceived to be too tough on Palin. Or, if he tries too hard to be polite, he might be seen as patronizing.

I’ve seen suggestions ranging from having Biden ignore Palin and essentially pretend to debate John McCain; to having him consciously shorten his responses in order to let Palin talk, and sink herself, as much a possible.

The most ridiculous suggestion I’ve seen is that Biden adopt a pattern of “sharing the dilemma” of feeling like he has to respect Palin as the GOP nominee, but recognizing that the American people deserve to know she’s an idiot (I’m paraphrasing!)

Personally, I like the idea of letting Palin demonstrate her own lack of experience and sophistication, while responding with just enough detail to remind viewers why Biden is one of the most respected experts on foreign and domestic policy.

If I were Biden, I would also try a subtle, non accusatory, way of reminding the audience whenever Palin speaks complete jibberish instead of answering a question. I would simply start my responses with some variation of the following:
Well, I’m not sure I follow what Governor Palin just said, but . . . (insert substantive response here)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Debate Recap

After taking some time to ruminate over Obama-McCain I and listening/reading a variety of viewpoints, I’m firmly in agreement with those who think the lasting memories of this debate won’t have anything to do with what the candidates said. What will stick is the striking difference in the tone and body language of the two men; with Obama seeming relaxed, confident and presidential, and McCain seeming grumpy, accusatory, and defensive.

Here’s an excellent analysis by John Cole, which harkens back to the first Bush-Gore debate of 2000, where Gore was widely panned for his unappealing sighs and eye rolling, and reminds us that:
if we were to use the Al Gore criteria, John McCain got his ass kicked
John McCain likes to present himself as the candidate who is tough enough to stare down his enemies without blinking. But in the direct confrontation of a debate, he couldn’t even look Obama in the eye, and his default mannerisms included almost constant blinking. His physical presence was in stark opposition to the image of a tough, strong leader. In fact, at one point, McCain even seemed to mumble the word “horseshit” under his breath, rather than having the courage to express his objection to Obama’s face.

Mumbling obscenities under ones breath is not a presidential quality! Instead, it clearly looks petulant, childish, and weak. McCain may have been a courageous hero at one time in his life, but he now carries himself like an angry, petty, defensive and, yes, even cowardly man!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Debate Liveblog

7:45 PM (seenos): At this point, my thoughts are going to be rapidly polluted by the bloviating opinions of the cable news pundits, so I’ll sign off until I’ve had a chance to process what we’ve just heard.

As a parting shot, however, I have to comment on the initial response that I'm hearing, which is that McCain gave a very contentious closing in which he said Obama doesn't have the experience to be President. My response can be summarized in four words: Who. Chose. Sarah. Palin?

7:38 PM (seenos): Nice wrap up by Obama, bringing everything back to the fact that McCain = Bush = Iraq = Little focus on anything else. McCain follows with a rambling proclamation that Obama isn’t ready to be President, while he (McCain) knows how to do all of the things he hasn’t done during his many years in the Senate.

7:25 PM (seenos): McCain’ debate prep apparently consisted of memorizing and practicing pronunciation of all the names of all of the leaders of the former Soviet Union. Fortunately for him, he got to use one of his answers to list them.

7:20 PM (seenos): McCain definitely seemed to get flustered when Obama pointed out that McCain said he wouldn’t meet with the President of Spain. McCain isn’t good at hiding the fact that his opponent drew blood.

7:14 PM (seenos): Make McCain give one, just one, example of a “pre-condition” for talking to one of our enemies! The use of the phrase "pre-condition" is a classic bit of "McCainery".

7:05 PM (seenos): McCain: “Iran has a lousy government. Therefore, they have a lousy economy” LOL!

6:57 PM (seenos): Does McCain have someone holding up signs telling him what to say. He seems like he’s squinting really hard to see something in the audience while Obama is talking.

6:52 PM (seenos): For those on the right who are calling for Sarah Such-As to withdraw because of her complete inability to answer a question without an incomprehensible stream of random words, McCain just gave you a big "f**k you" by praising her once again as a great fellow maverick. LOL!

6:38 PM (seenos): McCain wants a spending freeze on “everything but the military.” He really does think everything is a war.

6:30 PM (seenos): The way his face keeps twitching, I keep expecting McCain to pull a Woody Hayes and run over and try to hit Obama. He’s really an angry guy!

6:25 PM (seenos): “Festooned” must be a word that McCain learned from Sarah Palin

6:19 PM (left-over): McCain just said that he will veto every spending bill that would cross his desk as President. Oops!

6:17PM (seenos):
McCain: When I'm President and we spend millions on studying bears' DNA, You will know their names!

6:10 PM (left-over): Not the end of the beginning but the beginning of the end. huh!

6:05PM (seenos):
One minute in, and Obama has already linked McCain to Bush. One minute into his response, McCain is filibustering.

6:02 PM (seenos): Let's get ready to rumble! I was desperately trying to think of a catch name for this debate, a la "Thrilla in Manilla," but damned if nothing rhymes with Mississippi! The best I can do is "The Piss at Old Miss!"

5:55 PM (seenos): When you run pre-debate ads claiming you won the debate, does that raise expectations so high that you can't possibly win the debate?

Just a little pre-debate clarification:

If the competence of a campaign spin operation can serve to lower expectations for a candidate’s debate performance, then John McCain can burp the alphabet on stage tonight and still be seen as a striking success who is the most skilled member of his team!

Here’s the web ad that began to appear this morning:

Obviously, it was prepared in advance (perhaps while McCain was claiming to be skipping the debate), and scheduled to be released on the day of the event, in order to push the idea that McCain dominated over Obama. But someone forgot to schedule it to begin running after the end of the debate. Oops!

I wonder if it was the same guy who released the internal talking points about how to gain political advantage from “suspending” a political campaign!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quick Thought....

All of McCain's mavericky campaign suspending has little to do with the Wall Street Bailout. I think its a huge smokescreen to keep the media from reporting on Palin's disastrous Katie Couric interview taped yesterday morning. If you've seen any of it - it is just jaw dropping. Palin is laughable - pathetically bad. The right leaning Couric cannot hide her bewilderment.

I think McCain even cancelled his appearance on Letterman to do a on-set interview with Katie for the evening news last night in a last ditch effort to push most of the Palin interview down the road. They are desperately trying to play misdirection here.

[Update by seenos] This brings me back to another notable Barney Frank gem, in which he shows that there's nothing better than some good, well-timed, sarcasm:
(Frank) said McCain's presence would be unhelpful, he did say, getting a dig in at McCain's running mate, that there "were times when I was ready to suggest that, when we got to some of the more complicated issues about how do you price these sophisticated instruments, that we ask him to make Sarah Palin available to give us her expertise."

Gotta Love Barney Frank!

Congressman Barney Frank is on a roll. Speaking about John McCain's decision to "suspend" his campaign to leasurely return to Washington and work on the bailout he had this to say:

"It's the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys."

This morning he added this gem:

“McCain is Andy Kaufman in his Mighty Mouse costume - ‘Here I Come to Save the Day,"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Millions of Dollars, for Access . . . to John McCain?

And I thought I occasionally wasted money on foolish purchases that end up going unused, stuck in the rafters of my garage!
Senator John McCain’s campaign manager was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations, current and former officials say.
“The value that he brought to the relationship was the closeness to Senator McCain and the possibility that Senator McCain was going to run for president again,” said Robert McCarson, a former spokesman for Fannie Mae, who said that while he worked there from 2000 to 2002, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together paid Mr. Davis’s firm $35,000 a month. Mr. Davis “didn’t really do anything,” Mr. McCarson, a Democrat, said.
Let’s look at this by the numbers shall we? Five years. That’s 60 months, at $30,000, or $2.1 million, for access to a man who was by no means a frontrunner even to become the Republican nominee five years ago.

This is like betting millions on an aging, possibly over the hill, NFL team to win the Super Bowl, before even knowing if they will make the playoffs!

As for said campaign manager, Rick Davis, who we now learn received payments from Freddie Mac as recently as last month, it takes a lot of gall to collect what essentially amounts to “protection money” while running a presidential campaign. Blatant hypocrisy, most likely, but from the look of him, I guess he could also just have his head in the sand!

Separated at birth?

Still not convinced?

Not So Deep Thought . . .

In order to focus solely on the nations economic crisis - we should suspend the War in Iraq and bring the troops home.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another Canned Plan from the Bush Pantry?

According to White House Spokesliar, Tony Fratto, it seems the $700 million taxpayer funded corporate bailout plan, with no accountability and no direct benefit to working-class Americans, may once have been sitting in a can alongside the Iraq War Plan.
Fratto insisted that the plan was not slapped together and had been drawn up as a contingency over previous months and weeks by administration officials. He acknowledged lawmakers were getting only days to peruse it, but he said this should be enough.
How many previous months, Tony? If they knew "months" ago to put together a Bailout plan as a response to financial collapse, why didn't they do anything to head off the financial collapse?

Perhaps it just took them less time to allow a terrorist attack to trigger the Iraq War Plan, which funneled taxpayer money to their defense industry friends, than it did to allow a financial collapse to trigger the Bailout Plan, which will funnel taxpayer money to their banking and finance industry friends!

29 Seconds of Foreign Policy

After a kerfuffle over the media being let in to the Palin/Karzai meeting this morning - Palin's campaign relented allowing reporters in for a whopping 29 seconds. Here is the detailed foreign policy information that they overheard:

“What is his name?” Ms. Palin was heard to ask (about Karzai's son), as she met with Mr. Karzai in the suite of a midtown hotel, according to a pool report.
“Mirwais,” Mr. Karzai replied. “Mirwais, which means, ‘The Light of the House.’”
“Oh nice,” Palin responded.

So I put that into the Sarah Palin name generator and here is Karzai son's Palin name:

Strike Chipper Palin

Great work everyone!

George Bush in Heels!

Meant to post this some time ago.

When you are a parent you have to blink!

In my opinion Palin's most damning response in the Charlie Gibson interview last week was when she said,"I answered him yes,".... "because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink. So I didn’t blink then even when asked to run as his running mate."

She didn't pause to think about it at all! She didn't consider her young baby, her pregnant daughter. She didn't even consider what this would mean for them. Is this the kind of person that anyone would want a heartbeat away from being the President.

Doesn't this completely counteract the fact that she has a young family in the first place. If she is going to make major decisions without considering them - she is saying that they are irrelevant - she has lost the right to use them in this campaign and she has lost the every woman tag that she is so eager to portray.

Palin's answer to this simple question revealed just how delusional she is. Any rational person of her experience level would at least take a little time on such a big decision.

Does she Remind you of anyone else?

"I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it."

- George Bush

Monday, September 22, 2008

What Are Your Facts?

Here’s a little something for those who like gonzo confrontational “journalism.”

During this year’s Netroots Nation conference in Austin, a right wing counter-convention was held across town. A couple of the more, let’s say, “colorful” members of the lefty blogosphere, Mike Stark and The Rude Pundit, went on a little field trip, during which Stark was recorded confronting the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund about past dalliances with Grover Nordquist, who also makes an appearance in the video.

Left-Over and I first heard about the incident in a conversation with a third blogger who was in the building during the confrontation, although he claimed to have made himself scarce during the actual incident, presumably out of embarrassment.

It’s a bit rough and long, since it’s presented in unedited form, but I do find it fascinating how many times Fund was willing to repeat his request for the facts that Stark had about his college sexual activities, even after he knew it was all on camera!

Friday, September 19, 2008

McCain Really is Crazy Out of Touch!

I finally get how crazy out of touch John McCain is. For a long time, I just thought the bellicose posturing about Iraq, Iran, Russia, etc. was coming from a cynical, manipulative, but tough and experienced, politician, who was saying whatever he thought he needed to say to gain political advantage over Barack Obama.

However, after hearing his response to the current economic crisis, I’ve finally realized how deeply ingrained is McCain’s stubborn refusal to see the obvious, when it means - to his perception as a former POW and “military man - losing a war!

First he declared that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Then he clarified that, when he says “fundamentals,” he is referring to American workers. He later made additional comments that indicate he considers any talk of a failing economy to be the equivalent of disparaging American workers! Just like he considers any talk of leaving Iraq to be the equivalent of disparaging American troops.

American workers? American troops? It’s all the same to McCain! When he hears someone say “the American economy is failing,” John McCain thinks they are accepting defeat in the war on the economy!

It even starts to make more sense that McCain famously stated “There will be other wars!” Sure, the war on the economy, the war on health care, the war on the climate, the war on education. To McCain, everything is a war!

Never give in. Never blink. Never back down. Stick to your delusions. That’s John McCain.

If the American people are stupid enough to elect this loon as their next President, they will deserve what they get . . . a collapse big enough to make Lehman and AIG look like the closing of the corner video store!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Poll I’d Like to See

Take a look at the two Pollster graphs below from a few weeks ago, showing Bush approval/disapproval ratings and support for Obama and McCain, respectively. While the numbers have moved slightly in recent days, they are still in the same ballpark for purposes of this analysis.

(click to enlarge)

Note that since the totals don't add up to 100%, there are three possible choices for each graph. Regarding Bush, there is “Approval,” “Disapproval,” and “No Opinion,” which must add up to 100 percent. Regarding presidential candidate support, there is “McCain,” Obama” and “Undecided,” which also must add up to 100 percent (although “Undecided” also includes supporters of minor party candidates who aren’t shown in the graph)

Every voter will fall into one of nine possible combinations, based on the three choices in each chart, so the combined percentage of the nine combinations will also be 100 percent.

For the sake of this analysis, I’ll make a couple of assumptions regarding the voters who fall into these categories:

1. Voters who still approve of Bush after 7 ½ years of Republican mismanagement are supporting McCain. While there may be a handful of Obama supporters or, more likely, those who are undecided, I’m going to assume the actual number is small enough to round to zero.

2. Of the six percent who have no opinion regarding Bush, I’m going to assume that two thirds of them are people who have no opinion on most things, and consequently overlap with those who are undecided on the presidential race. The remaining third will be split evenly between supporting McCain and Obama.

At this point, like some sort of twisted political version of Sudoku, all of the other categories can be completed, forming the yellow portion of the table below:

Now note that much of the current debate regarding what it will take to win the presidential election involves figuring out a way to appeal to the undecided voters, signified by the two bold numbers in the lower right which make up the 8% of so-called undecided, or swing, voters. However, also recall that some portion of these are current supporters of minor party candidates, or are people who tend not to make decisions at all, so their impact is even less than the original eight percent.

Of more interest, however, are the 17% of voters in the center left who disapprove of Bush, but are supporting McCain! I would love see a poll designed to develop a better sense of how it is that people fall into this category. I want to see some statistics on how these people would answer questions like the following.

In what areas do you expect John McCain to be an improvement over George W. Bush?

What policies do you expect John McCain to enact that would make him a better president for the country than George W. Bush, in areas such as:

• The Economy
• The Environment
• National Security
• Foreign Policy
• Civil and Individual Rights
• Social Issues.

Presumably, if these people are observant enough to have reached the conclusion that they disapprove of Bush, they must have some awareness of these issues, and consequently should be able to articulate some reasons for why they feel McCain is a more desirable choice to lead the country than George Bush. Or they will wake up and realize that McCain is more of the same!

Ultimately, I don’t think the currently undecided voters are the ones who are going to determine this election. Obama will win if he can find a way to get the 17 percent to answer some questions, at least to themselves, about why they prefer McCain to Bush.

Well, that and registering a shitload of new Democrats who aren’t currently reflected in the polls!

Greta Sure Loves the "First Dude"!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not So Deep Thought . . .

While Barack Obama speaks from his head,
and Joe Biden speaks from his gut,
John McCain seems to speak from his cheeks!

Monday, September 15, 2008

When Repetition is Point One of a One Point Plan

In recent years, the GOP has been pretty successful at using the endless repetition of false claims, and the aid of a compliant media, to make their lies stick in the minds of the public. They have proven that assertions don’t have to be true to be accepted. They only have to be heard enough times to seem as if they must be true.

However, it’s one thing to push phony “facts” when they are merely false. It’s quite another to have those “facts” accepted as true when they appear more demonstrably false with each passing day!

This is why it is so pathetic to hear John McCain repeating his claim that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong” as Wall Street tanks even further, and the banking system continues its downward spiral with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the near collapse of Merrill “We’re bullshitting on America” Lynch.

Once you establish repetition as your only strategy, there’s really not much more you can do but keep repeating your lies and desperately hoping for a reversal of fortune (like an economic surge, perhaps?), even though they make you look more and more foolish each time you say them.

It’s like the soon-to-be-fired NFL coach with a 0-14 record going to yet another press conference and talking about how the “fundamentals of our running game are strong!” Uh huh! With a 7-7 team, you might be able to pull it off, but at 0–14, it’s just laughable.

So laughable, in fact, that it raises questions about your competence at even simple things like tying your shoes, or wiping your own ass.

That’s John McCain, right now, on the economy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Blizzard of Words!

And that was understatement by “Charlie” Gibson; Sarah Palin’s interview was actually more like the Hurricane Ike of words!

Or maybe I was confusing it with another classic display of beauty pageant reasoning:

I agree with Left-Over that “lipstick on a pig” is a great metaphor for the McCain-Palin campaign (with Palin being the lipstick, and McCain – OK, his policies – being the pig!)

On the other hand, right now I’m partial to pushing a GOP ticket of John McSame, and his running mate, Sarah Such-As!

Palin Baby Name Generator

Wonder How Sarah Palin picked her kids names? This might be the place.

Find out what your name would have been if you were "blessed to be born a Palin.

- Clamp Noodle Palin

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

She's the Lipstick!

While watching Obama’s interview on Countdown last night, I kept thinking to myself, Obama’s making great points – but he just takes too long to make them. Not too long for those of us political junkies that might actually read this – but too long and nuanced for those independent and undecided voters he’s still trying to attract. Let’s face it after 8 years of Bush/Cheney, anyone who is still undecided in this race, is obviously not too bright. So the question is - what will get through to them.

The answer is in a KISS. No, not this one!

Its - keep it simple stupid. That is what the Republicans have been so good at over the last 8 years. Rove and Bush were able to boil everything down to simple slogans and catch phrases.
And that is when it hit me. Yesterday Obama stumbled upon his answer - the way to get through to the undecideds. When he uttered the "Lipstick on a pig" reference - he perfectly described the McCain/Palin ticket - but as he said Wednesday night on Letterman – “Palin is the lipstick” in this reference.

The media today ran with this story – pushed by the “crocodile tears” of the McCain campaign - and it's all the better for Obama. This is a perfect metaphor for the McCain Campaign. It is visual. It is catchy - and the media ate it up!

I think the Obama/Biden Campaign should embrace this phrase.............and repeat it ...............and repeat it...................and repeat it...................and repeat it some more - until no one can think about McCain/Palin without see the lipstick on a pig!

The Real Reason Palin Continues to Campaign with McCain

Since being named as John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin has been criticized for a lack of experience and numerous scandals that she refuses to discuss. The McCain campaign originally indicated that she wouldn’t be talking to reporters or appearing on television shows like “Meet the Press,” but would travel the country giving speeches a speech with John McCain. However, she recently relented by agreeing to an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, who has been the most deferential to McCain of any major network anchor.

The implication of such careful handling of Palin is that she is too green to discuss the issues without scripted talking points, and too risky to be trusted to campaign on her own. So with the exception of a few minutes of having Gibson fawn over her, Palin will stay by McCain’s side as they barnstorm the country calling themselves a “team of mavericks.”

However, the real, little-reported, reason that John McCain needs Palin to campaign with him is that nobody really cares to see John McCain! McCain is so profoundly dull as a candidate that before adding Palin to the ticket, he couldn’t draw more than a couple hundred people to one of his insufferable “town-hall” meetings (and I’ve always suspected that he must have bribed them with a free lunch to get them in the door!)

With Palin by his side, McCain is guaranteed a screaming hoard of evangelicals and ultra-conservative women creating the impression that McCain is every bit the celebrity rock star he once accused Barack Obama of being. This feeds the persistent efforts of corporate media hacks like David Gregory (and everyone on Fox News) to characterize the race as a toss-up, although there is no reason to believe the crowds now turning out for McCain-Palin rallies aren't merely the 28% who still approve of George Bush!

Ultimately, however, as both campaigns move down the home stretch, this should prove to be a huge advantage to Obama. McCain won’t be able to get his message before large crowds of people and generate momentum without using Palin as bait! In contrast, Obama can bring in crowds on his own, while also deploying Joe Biden to help get the message out to other key voter groups around the country.

Left-Over update: Just to add to your point Seenos - here is an article about McCain's first Palin-less event. Pretty funny!

Monday, September 08, 2008

John McCain, the "Bipartisan Reformer," is George Bush, the "Compassionate Conservative!"

You’ve probably heard the old saying:
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
After listening to John McCain trying to pass himself off as a “bipartisan reformer,” willing to work with anyone in order to solve America’s problems, I think the saying needs another option:
Fool me three times, take me out and shoot me!
John McCain is not a bipartisan reformer!

If John McCain were a bipartisan reformer, he would not have voted with George Bush at nearly every opportunity, during nearly eight years of the most partisan administration ever.

If John McCain were a bipartisan reformer, he would not have staffed his campaign with Karl Rove protégés and oil industry lobbyists.

If John McCain were a bipartisan reformer, he would not have allowed the RNC to be stacked with red meat flamethrowers like Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.

If John McCain were a bipartisan reformer, he would not have chosen a running mate like Sarah Palin, who is not only partisan, but is known for using her power as Mayor of Wasilla and as Governor of Alaska, to punish those who disagreed with her.

In fact, the only thing John McCain has done in recent memory that can be called even remotely bipartisan is his willingness to adopt Joe Lieberman as his “pet democrat,” after Lieberman was abandoned by Democrats in his own state of Connecticut.

John McCain, the bipartisan reformer, is a complete lie! Just like it was a complete lie for George Bush to run for president calling himself a “compassionate conservative,” while secretly planning to risk thousands of lives and potentially bankrupt the country in a politically motivated war in Iraq.

In 2000, when George Bush “won” the presidency over Al Gore based on lies, it was his shame!

In 2004, when George Bush retained the presidency over John Kerry based on lies, it was America’s shame!

In 2008, if John McCain wins the presidency over Barack Obama based on lies, America will be beyond shame and, from all indications, will be quite ready to be put out of her misery!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Powerful Opportunity for Obama?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The following is a somewhat belated post that was partially composed after Netroots Nation, which was brought back to my attention after watching the introductory video for Cindy McCain during the RNC.

With all of the excitement of Al Gore’s appearance, the keynote speeches, and some of the blockbuster sessions in the main exhibit hall, perhaps the most intriguing speaker at Netroots Nation, at least for me, was Samantha Power.

At the time Power was pressured into leaving her role as an advisor to the Obama campaign - for an unfortunately candid comment about Hillary Clinton - I, somewhat jokingly, defended her, feeling that she was just caught in a difficult situation where political expediency trumped other considerations. Until that point, she had been a key member of the team helping to craft Obama’s foreign policy agenda.

After hearing her speak, as a part of a panel on “War Pundits,” I’m even more convinced that she’s exactly the kind of advisor a President Obama will need, primarily because she has strong convictions, an abundance of knowledge, and will tell it straight and stick to her guns in the face of opposition. In short, she’s the exact opposite of the team of “yes men” and “yes women” who have surrounded the current president for two disastrous terms.

Although her new husband, University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein (shown with her above), is a legal advisor to Obama, Power has no current role in the campaign.

Not too long ago, the McCain campaign made a ridiculous attempt to try to twist a comment by Obama into evidence of flip-flopping and being soft on genocide. During the RNC, Cindy McCain was presented as some sort of expert on of genocide because she’s accumulated a whole bunch of photos while traveling to various problem areas of the world.

What better way of responding to that attack, and Cindy McCain’s grandstanding than by announcing the return of Power, the internationally renowned, Pulitzer prize winning, author of “A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide” as an official advisor to his campaign?

At this point, I doubt any former Clinton supporters would care, because in reality Hillary’s false indignation over Power’s “monster” comment was pure political theater anyway, and it serves no further purpose now that Obama has won the nomination and gained Hillary’s support.

So why not take the opportunity to bring her back now, making the importance of an adequate response to genocide a prominent part of his campaign, and paving the way to give her a greater role in an Obama administration?

Friday, September 05, 2008


The McCain campaign is so inept that he gave most of his acceptance speech standing in front of a backdrop of Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, CA!

As Josh Marshall puts it:
That's not stock photo keyword searching we can believe in.
This whole thing is particularly funny, in light of Sarah Palin’s dig at Obama the night before (with my emphasis):
But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot . . .
Hey, at least the Obama campaign didn’t have him speak in front of giant Styrofoam bananas while thinking they were Greek columns!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Random Thoughts on McCain’s Speech

Obviously, based on the tasteless video that kicked off the evening, the first McCain-Palin “reform” effort is not going to involve a break from the party practice of exploiting 9-11.

At first, when I saw that the huge lawn backdrop zoomed into another flat green screen, I thought “what a bunch of idiots!” But then it hit me that with his official acceptance of the nomination, McCain’s spending is now limited by public financing restrictions. Perhaps the green screen was just his desperate effort to get free exposure by having his speech played over and over as a part of hundreds of YouTube videos.

I really tried to listen carefully to the whole speech, but I just couldn’t do it. I faded out somewhere around the time the backdrop switched from lime green to sky blue, but before I did, I think I actually had a brief moment of understanding what it must have been like to have been tortured for 5 ½ years.

Seriously, this speech was so uninspiring compared to the excitement, if not honesty, of Sarah Palin’s speech last night; that if I were a Republican, the only thing that would get me off my couch to go vote on Election Day is the thought that McCain might croak and leave Palin as president.

Question: Why is it that the party that constantly boasts about its superior national security credentials can’t even keep a nutjob with a pink dress and a wig from disrupting their candidate’s acceptance speech?

Answer: He blended in!

Sarah Palin is the female Ann Coulter

It was difficult to watch Sarah Palin’s speech last night but after reading reaction from across the blogosphere – I agree with Poblano and Al Giordano that the speech was another miscalculation by the McCain campaign.

This was Palin’s introduction to the country – her chance to create a positive impression. But the decision to attack Obama in such a sarcastic and petty way may have played well in the room – but is not going to get any independent or swing votes. I think we can put the PUMA myth to bed now.

All she did was rally the “Angry” conservative base. Why the f**k are the Republicans so angry anyway? They got their war and their tax breaks and their shredding of the constitution. But I digress………

Sarah Palin is not a reformer ...... not a maverick. Her speech was just “red moose meat” for the Republican base. She attacked with dismissive sarcasm and lies - blaming the media and manufactured straw men as the Republicans always do.

She glossed over her own extreme views on abortion, sex education, book banning and “her God’s” view of the war in "eye rack".

The reality is that Palin’s views are so extreme that McCain might as well have picked Michelle Malkin or Ann Coulter as his running mate.

So now – let’s watch the media and the Netroots expose this woman for who she really is – an extremely right-wing social conservative with more scandals than kids she can parade up on stage.

Now that will be enjoyable to watch!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The New McCain Strategy

Apparently, Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, capping a perfectly executed convention, convinced John McCain that he can’t win a race centered on leadership!

By picking Sarah Palin as his running mate, McCain has abandoned his previous strategy of focusing on experience. Instead, he’s reverted back to the old culture war strategy, by trying to convince America that the “angry left,” which includes both Obama supporters and the media, are attacking “nice, church-going, PTA moms” like Palin and you!

Under this strategy, the more intense the attacks on Palin, who clearly has many glaring openings for such attacks, the better for this new circle-the-wagons approach. In fact, Palin’s vulnerability to attack, combined with her perky, country bumpkin demeanor, are likely the main reasons she was selected. Republicans will insist throughout that Palin is a tough, principled “reformer” with family values, and that anyone who questions their narrative is also questioning the values of small town America.

It’s a reach back to the meat and potatoes of the Karl Rove playbook, a calculation that the majority of voters prefer that the country be run by a guy who seems like the over-age frat boy neighbor with whom they BBQ during Monday Night Football, than the smartest guy in the class!

As for Palin’s acceptance speech, I really don’t have much to say. She can read. In a condescending, sarcastic tone, even. And she was definitely aided by the fact that when it came to backdrops, she apparently drew the long straw against Rudy Giuliani, who had to spend his entire speech looking like a turd floating in the Hudson River.

Too Funny Not to Post!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sarah Palin, the “Tough Maverick Reformer,” is Pure McCainery!

How many different Republicans have to call Sarah Palin a “reformer” who is “tough” and a “maverick” before Andrea Mitchell quits asking and just consults her notes without bothering to start another interview?

It’s exactly what I earlier described as “McCainery,” the use of simple-minded platitudes intended to deceive the gullible. It is, after eight years of complete and utter failure, all the Republicans have left to say for themselves. And so every one of them, from Carly Fiorina to Pat Buchanan, said it over and over and over.

Even Joe “Droopy Dog” Lieberman made a point of squeezing all the requisite words into a predictably dull speech about his friend, the “restless reformer who will clean up Washington!”

He was preceded by Fred Thompson, the actor turned critic of opponents' “teleprompter speeches,” who blustered that McCain-Palin are prepared to go to Washington to “drain the swamp!”

Of course, said swamp is still crawling with members of a Bush administration whose policies form the basis of nearly everything the “bold, activist reformer” (according to Newt Gingrich) wants to achieve as president.

It’s still crawling with the very lobbyists who are running the McCain campaign, and who helped Mayor Sarah Palin get $6 million in earmarks for her town of 5700 people.

It’s still crawling with an obstructionist minority in Congress who kill nearly any legislation not blessed by a Bush administration who has spent eight years pandering to the same evangelical base that McCain is courting with his VP choice.

So by all means, we’re in agreement, as Americans putting country first, that we need to clean up Washington by draining the swamp! It’s just that everyone we heard speaking tonight needs to go down the drain!

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Wisdom of Laura Bush, and Other Observations!

1. Leave it to Laura Bush to point out the biggest advantage of having Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket. If Palin suddenly has to succeed John McCain as President, Ahmadinejad and Putin would have to be really, really careful not to be perceived as sexist!

OK, that’s not exactly what she said, as she warned the Democrats to be careful of displaying sexism toward Palin. I agree, however. I think it would be terribly sexist if Palin were to be treated worse by the Democrats than a man like John Kerry was by the Republicans!

2. For those who keep trying to argue that Sarah Palin’s leadership experience is equivalent to that of Barack Obama, let’s go to the tale of the tape, shall we?

In the blue corner, we have Obama, who rose from community organizer to the Illinois State Senate to the U.S. Senate, and built the broadest, most effective, national presidential campaign in the history of American politics.

And in the red corner, we have Palin, who supports home schooling and abstinence-only sex education, and has a seventeen-year-old pregnant daughter.

3. The GOP website has a clock that is designed to count the time between gaffes made by Joe Biden. It currently sits at two days, two hours and ten minutes. At this point, there is a pretty good chance that a “John McCain VP Selection Gaffe Clock” would have to be reset before the Biden clock!