Saturday, October 18, 2008

McCain's Cosmological Breakthrough

Not content to let Michelle and Sarah have all of the fun, McCain surrogate Nancy Pfotenhauer jumps on the bandwagon:

But these comments—gaffes* on the face of it—have had the unexpected benefit of pointing The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder toward a potential new scientific discovery:
McCain's Cosmological Breakthrough: Unreality Is Expanding

The McCain campaign has broken through a heretofore impenetrable barrier in quantum physics, experimentally proving the existence of unseen dimensions and, in the process, setting three of its surrogates on a pathway towards winning the 2009 Nobel Prize in the physical sciences.

Gov. Sarah Palin, campaigning, she said, in "real America," which apparently includes part of North Carolina, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, calling for a media investigation to determine whether Americans are real or not, and today, McCain all-around best surrogate Nancy Pfotenhauer (pronounced -- Foe-Ten-How-er, like proton power), said that parts of the state of Virginia, heretofore universally assumed to be in America, were not, in fact, in the country.

Now -- the Mainstream Media, typically clueless, has interpreted these remarks conventionally -- classically, you might say, as if we live in an Eisteinian universe with three dimensions of space and a quasi-dimension of time: either these women were summoning their inner Nixonian cultural warriors, or they were untethered from reality.

But three utterances of this nature for me lead to an entirely more edifying possibility: that Palin, Bachmann and Pfotenhauer were making a radical new claim about the fundamental forces and constants that compose the background of our universe.

Read the whole thing, it's hilarious.

* Update: I didn't mean gaffes, exactly, more like unintentionally poorly-coded dog-whistles.

Sarah And Michelle BFF

You've all probably seen this wack job by now, but if not, you shouldn't miss it. I've posted about the bizarre and homophobic Minnesota representative, Michelle Bachmann, before, but this is just teh awesomest:

Matthews has been on a tear this year, nailing these jackasses. Good boy, Chris.

The funniest thing, though—and the one that may very well prove the existence of god—her opponent, El Tinklenberg, has raised near $500,000 since that video has aired. In a year expecting a big Democratic wave, Bachmann may well have engineered her own going drowning. There's also a move to censure the esteemed representative. Click here to sign the online petition.


In St. Louis, Missouri, a bellwhether state!

Update: Later that day 75,000 showed up at a rally in Kansas City.

He Represents The Nation As It Is, As It Aspires To Be

There's been a flood of newspaper endorsements for our favorite, Kenyan-born, child-killing, terrorist-befriending, Muslim candidate over the past several days.

Newspaper endorsements don't usually mean much other than capturing the news cycle for a day or two, of course, but what's interesting about this latest wave is that so many of them are conservative papers. Papers like the Denver Post, Salt Lake Tribune, and the Chicago Tribune, which hasn't endorsed a Democrat in its 100+ years of existence. 

My favorite endorsement, so far, comes from the LA Times:
It is inherent in the American character to aspire to greatness, so it can be disorienting when the nation stumbles or loses confidence in bedrock principles or institutions. That's where the United States is as it prepares to select a new president: We have seen the government take a stake in venerable private financial houses; we have witnessed eight years of executive branch power grabs and erosion of civil liberties; we are still recovering from a murderous attack by terrorists on our own soil and still struggling with how best to prevent a recurrence.

We need a leader who demonstrates thoughtful calm and grace under pressure, one not prone to volatile gesture or capricious pronouncement. We need a leader well-grounded in the intellectual and legal foundations of American freedom. Yet we ask that the same person also possess the spark and passion to inspire the best within us: creativity, generosity and a fierce defense of justice and liberty.

The Times without hesitation endorses Barack Obama for president.

Our nation has never before had a candidate like Obama, a man born in the 1960s, of black African and white heritage, raised and educated abroad as well as in the United States, and bringing with him a personal narrative that encompasses much of the American story but that, until now, has been reflected in little of its elected leadership. The excitement of Obama's early campaign was amplified by that newness. But as the presidential race draws to its conclusion, it is Obama's character and temperament that come to the fore. It is his steadiness. His maturity.
This passage in particular, shows they get it:
We may one day look back on this presidential campaign in wonder. We may marvel that Obama's critics called him an elitist, as if an Ivy League education were a source of embarrassment, and belittled his eloquence, as if a gift with words were suddenly a defect. In fact, Obama is educated and eloquent, sober and exciting, steady and mature. He represents the nation as it is, and as it aspires to be. [Emphasis mine.]

Andrew Sullivan: Public Servant

Though a conservative (of the old-school, Burkean, sane variety), Andrew Sullivan, has been a shining light of sanity in an otherwise moribund conservative commentariat over the past several years. Despite his initial support, he realized early on that the Iraq War was a colossal mistake and has since virtually begged for forgiveness of his support. He also grokked early on that the Bush Admin was corrupt to its core and that his ideological compatriots were more or less partisan hacks, and has since been cast out of the conservative club. Whereas know there's a flood of thinking conservatives who are pouring forth from the partisan dens of what's left of the Republican party, Sullivan was an "early adopter" (unadopter?). He got it way back in the day and he got the fuck out. 

Though in partisan terms, he bats for the other team (he did actually call libs fifth-columnists in the scary days after 9-11, which is difficult to overlook), in human/rational/intellectual- honesty terms, he's one us. 

What's more, he was early, vigorous supporter of Obama, making the case for his presidency earlier and better than almost anyone I can think of other than the candidate himself. And since McCain's desperate, late-August, foisting of Palin upon the nation, Sullivan's just been flat-out a public servant, from the get-go cataloging her vacuous, disingenuous, and dangerous nature at length. 

This weekend he is reprising his "The Odd Lies of Sarah Palin" series of posts . The posts catalog the myriad untruths Palin has uttered again and again since being selected as McCain's running mate (at least 17 so far). These are falsehoods that has been proven to be so with scads of documentation and/or videotaped evidence. 

Here's the first of the bunch: 
The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin I: Firing Monegan
This weekend, I'll be re-posting all the factual untruths that Sarah Palin insists are still actually truths.I've updated each item to keep up with the new information that has come out since the original posting.
I'm doing this because Sarah Palin's contribution is to introduce a new level of detachment from reality to our politics. After Bush-Cheney, this would be hard for anyone. But youbetcha she can.
This has been the pattern from the start of her career: a denial of reality combined with an almost unhinged and unlimited ambition. Since the press is barred from questioning her thoroughly, since we will never know how she responds to the long list of untruths she has told - from the smallest biographical detail to the biggest policy - all I can do is remind my readers of the record one more time before November. There are nineteen assertions of factual untruths that I've been able to document.
We'll start at the beginning, and Troopergate.
Read them all if you can stomach it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Poem Of The Day

Apropos of nothing, really, but Ta-Nehisi Coates over at The Atlantic reminded me of Etheridge Knight, author of one of my favorite poems, "Feeling Fucked Up."

Here it is:
Lord she's gone done left me
done packed up and split
and I with no way to make her
come back and everywhere the world is bare
bright bone white crystal sand glistens
dope death dead dying and jiving drove
her away made her take her laughter and her smiles
and her softness and her midnight sighs--

Fuck Coltrane and music and clouds drifting in the sky
fuck the sea and trees and the sky and birds
and alligators and all the animals that roam the earth
fuck marx and mao fuck fidel and nkrumah and
democracy and communism fuck smack and pot
and red ripe tomatoes fuck joseph fuck mary fuck
god jesus and all the disciples fuck fanon nixon
and malcom fuck the revolution fuck freedom fuck
the whole muthafucking thing
all i want now is my woman back
so my soul can sing
And here's the one Coates posted. Check it out.

For more on Knight.

Progress...I Guess?

From the now-indispensible

Friday, October 17, 2008
On the Road: Western Pennsylvania
So a canvasser goes to a woman's door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she's planning to vote for. She isn't sure, has to ask her husband who she's voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, "We're votin' for the n***er!"

Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: "We're voting for the n***er."

In this economy, racism is officially a luxury. How is John McCain going to win if he can't win those voters? John Murtha's "racist" western Pennsylvania district, where this story takes place, is some of the roughest turf in the nation. But Barack Obama is on the ground and making inroads due to unusually strong organizing leadership.

Dude Is Funny, Too

A Bit Of A Walkback

A post in which your insatiably itchy author walks back a bit from his perhaps over-confident predictions of an Obama landslide. 

Now there's still a strong possibility of big day in early Nov. (33% from last reports), my more sober side has clawed its way back into the picture. It's clear to me that this race can't help but tighten up, at least a bit. And it's still possible that McCranky, Bible Spice and their hordes of knuckle-dragging racists may surge at the last minute and win this thing. I don't think that will happen, but it could. And while I'm confident in Obama's soon-to-be-legendary ground game (as well as his overall game), it's unwise to be cocky about it.  

So, I'm still predicting an Obama win, and hoping/praying for an Obama/Dem landslide, but I have to at least acknowledge the possibility that he could lose. 

He (and we) still have work to do.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe The Ringer

Well, we shouldn't be surprised that the supposedly undecided voter who McCain couldn't resist mentioning so much last night is a bit of a ringer:
Joe The Plumber Admits He Wasn't Undecided After All
For starters, according to Ben Smith, he's not registered to vote. It's hard to believe that this could be the case; it seems likely that there is some sort of clerical error. For example, his name could be mispelled as Worzelbacher instead of Wurzelbacher in the Lucas County file. (Update: Ben Smith notes that appears to be exactly what happened. 'Joe' appears to be a registered Republican under the name of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher. Also, earlier today at a press conference, Wurzelbacher said he originally registered with the Natural Law Party.)
One who hates the biggest and greatest tonic against senior destitution in human history, Social Security:

And, what's more, he's not even licensed as a plumber:
Joe not a licensed plumber, McCain's enthusiasm not diminished
The Toledo Blade is reporting that Joe the Plumber is actually not licensed. But that, combined with his apparent tax lien, isn't lessening McCain's ardor.

He said in an interview with Fox's Carl Cameron today that he hoped to hook up with the instantly famous Ohioan soon.

“I'm probably going to call him this morning," McCain said. "I thought he would probably be up late. I heard that his — that his phone lines were pretty well flooded. But I think we're going to be spending some time together.”
Buncha hucksters, these Republicans. But that's not exactly news....

Jeff Is…

Not sure whether to be embarrassed by the fact that there are two Macbooks, two iMacs, two iPods and, now, two iPhones in his home. 

That's right, I finally broke down and bought my first iPhone today. My contract with the unbearably lame U.S. Cellular ended this month so I figured the time was right. 

Anyway, I have no love of brand loyalty, but, goddamn, Apple makes a superior product in every conceivable way. So how I not support that?

Jeff is…also incredibly grateful for the abundance in his life. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Three For Three

Well, that wraps them up. Another clear debate victory for Obama. McCain attacked but didn't connect and ended up seeming like an even crankier old man than before. Americans want strength in a leader, but also warmth. McCain had none to offer.

What's more, Obama was clearly the alpha male at the table, looking directly at McCain while critiquing his positions (causing McCain looked away at one point) and calling him John several times. He projected a calm, cool, steady command of facts, ideas and vision. He spoke directly into the camera more frequently and was as specific about ideas as a presidential candidate can be if he wants to win. While McCain flailed and failed to make his case, Obama made his clearly and powerfully. And he has won the majority of Americans over. 

Get out your history books, and review and get acquainted with the pivotal moments. Because we're about to walk right into the pages and join them in a big way.

Update: Finally, a decent moderator. Schieffer did a decent job. This was the best format, as well. 

The Final Debate!

The final 08 debate Settle down and get ready to see McCain kick Obama's ass.

They're seated in swivel chairs. Interesting choice. I actually think McCain will have a pretty good night tonight. Let's see. Schieffer is damn near filibustering on his first question. 

Ugh, already with the "real person" story. At only eight minutes in. Joe the plumber, believe it or not. Thanks, McCain.

Obama ripostes with joke and counters McCain's points. 

McCain goes back to the tried and true, says Obama was to "spread the wealth around". As in redistribute wealth. As in Commie!

If I hear "Joe the plumber" one more time I'm going to tear my ears off. They couldn't have found a plumber named Felix?

Obama makes good point about not liking taxes but needing them for functioning society. 

McCain continues his "redistribution" attack. 

Next question, please.

Obama started strong looking right into the camera. He's back to addressing Schieffer, though. Wants line-item veto? Obama's making great case about preventative actions to societal ills. "Embrace ethic of responsibility."

McCain goes back to previous q. Still likes Hillary.

Schieffer's holding both of their feet to fire as they try to squirm out of questins. 

McCain likes cutting instruments. Hatchets, scalpels. He still knows how to do things. Still won't elaborate. Show, John, don't tell. 

Somebody should tell him that "I know how..." is not an effective technique.

Obama looks at McCain as he makes his point. McCain holds gaze for split second before looking down and away. There's your tell, right there. 

Good god, they both love hatchets and scalpels. 

McCain claims he can balance budget in four years. Hands Obama a gift by saying he's never one against Democratic leadership.

Obama proceeds to list the times he has. Smoothly ties McCain to Bush. Incorrectly says McCain disagreed with Bush on torture. That was only initially true. He eventually caved and that's the real travesty of the man's career. Why does Obama give that to him?!?

Ooo, Schieffer challenges them both to say to each other's face what has been said on the trail.

McCain: I'm only nasty because Obama wouldn't do town hall meetings with me. Is he really serious? What a wussy fucking thing to be saying on national television. Brings up John Lewis's critique. His feewings were hurt. Sowwy John. Claims Obama has spent more money than ever on negative advertising. Probably untrue. 

Obama reminds McCain that 100% of his ads have been negative. Obama calls McCain on the town hall thing. Good. Brings the American people back in. 

It's remarkable how gray Obama has gotten over the campaign. 

McCain's back on Joe the fucking plumber. He won't repudiate John Lewis. Waaa!

Obama clarifies what actually happened with Lewis. McCain starts to talk over Obama. Obama continues McCain withdraws. Obama is so besting this guy.

McCain is taking what looks like authentic umbrage at attacks on his crowds. Obama pivots from tit for tat, brings focus back to issues. 

McCain finally brings up Ayers and ACORN, which may be destroying the fabric of American society! That is teh awesomest! 

Obama again condemns Ayers actions 40 years ago. Brings up Annenburg and other Repubs that served on board with Ayers. Obama goes on offense with his associations. Cloaks himself in establishment figures. 

Obama's laughing as McCain speaks. As he should. McCain's got nothing. It is funny.

Schieffer asks about the running mates. Good question. 

Obama sings Biden's praises. Consistent pattern of fighting for little guy. Good line. Shares core values. 

McCain...uh, never mind. No, Palin is a role model for women! She's a reformer, through and through. Ugh. Brings up special needs families. Groan. 

Obama treads carefully when asked by Schieffer whether Palin is qualified. 


Talk About Second Stringers...

Ah...Ohio, where many beautiful, smart, funny people are from. While eastern Ohio is about as different from Cleveland as day from night, it still represents the larger portion of the state. You can see why those of us who could, got the hell out of there as quickly as possible, eh?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hot Damn, I Love The Gays!


Remember to do your part to defeat Prop 8 in California. A consortium of Mormons, Christianists, and assorted other homophobes with scads of money are doing their dead-level best to overturn Californians' god-given—and now legal—right to marry whomever they please. And they've been gaining ground. 

No on 8!

h/t: AmericaBlog

Highway Hillbilly

An Alaskan Takes On Palin in

Choice cut: 
In the broadest sense, Palin is a poseur. Alaska is too large and culturally diverse (it’s only a bit smaller than the entire lower 48 east of the Mississippi, and once was divided into four time zones) to be summed up by some abstract, romanticized notion. And even if it could be, it sure wouldn’t be symbolized by Palin. “The typical Alaskan? She couldn’t be farther from it,” says Alaska House Minority Leader Beth Kertulla.

Still, Palin is a genuine Alaskan — of a kind. The kind that flowed north in the wake of the ’70s oil boom, Bible Belt politics and attitudes under arm, and transformed this state from a free-thinking, independent bastion of genuine libertarianism and individuality into a reactionary fundamentalist enclave with dollar signs in its eyes and an all-for-me mentality.

In the end, Palin’s attempt to cash in on the Eau d’Alaska mystique as she supports its destruction sickens those of us who do love this land, not for what it will be some day, after the roads and mines and pipelines and cities and malls are all in, but for what it is now. What we see before us is the soul of an ambitious, ruthless, Parks Highway hillbilly — a woman who represents the Alaska you probably never want to meet, and the one we wish never existed. That said, we’re all too willing to take her back. The alternative is just too damn frightening.

Chuck Jones' Campaign Coverage, Part II

The "Comeback"

If you start to hear McCain comeback stories this week, understand them for what they probably are:

Is Drudge Priming a McCain "Reboot" Narrative?
Something is a little bit funny when Matt Drudge is treating 1-2 point gains for McCain in the Rasmussen and Zogby tracking polls as "BREAKING" news. Naturally, Drudge ignores other results like the just-released ABC/WaPo poll that show Obama continuing to gain ground.

Drudge has a nose for news, and he knows that a one-point gain in a tracking poll is not news -- unless someone desperately wants it to be.

The McCain campaign is planning on a major "reboot" of its campaign in some point in advance of Wednesday night's debate. This will take on something of the form that Bill Kristol advocates in his must-read Monday AM piece in the Times, including some combination of (i) pledging to run a positive campaign; (ii) firing/demoting Steve Schmidt and or/Rick Davis; (iii) apologizing for his campaign's tone. In fact, Kristol's column may be something of a trial balloon for this strategy.

What the McCain campaign really, really doesn't want is for this move to be portrayed as desperate stunt.

Tasteful, No?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Never Mind "The Exorcist"…

Forget Omens 1, 2, 3, & 4. Shoot past The Others, Friday the 13th, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You want to see something really scary this Halloween season, watch this: