Saturday, November 1, 2008

How Do You Know She's A Witch?

This video has a hint.

Happy Belated Halloween

A little late, perhaps, but how could I not share the creepiest. ad. ever.?


This video of the Republican mayor of San Diego coming out (!) in favor of gay marriage is just as remarkable as it is touching. 

This has been and continues to be the most bizarre and amazing political year. You can almost feel the spin of history and the terrain shifting under your feet. The outcomes Tuesday night matter, but regardless of them, dramatic shifts have already occurred. Welcome to a new era in American history. We've all fucking earned it.


From DKos:
A Canadian comedy duo called The Masked Avengers from CKOI 96.9 FM in Montreal, Quebec pranked Sarah Palin, convincing her (and her team) they were receiving a call from French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

I'm Sorry Ms. Jackson, You're Not For Reeeal*

Billo finally scrapes the bottom of the barrel

What is it with 80's SNL alumni this decade? First Dennis Miller goes all neocon wackadoodle. Now Jackson** and her vapid pseudo-Christian analyses. What's next, Jon Lovitz joining the John Birch Society? 

If it's come down to the GOP needing to pull people like Jackson out of the woodwork, my political forecast is: a damn good couple of years.

*My apologies to Outkast.

**Approach website with caution. I can't be held responsible if your brain suddenly seizes. 

The Tsunami Cometh V

From Princeton Election Consortium:
Massive early voting
October 31st, 2008

Here’s a great resource - a compilation of early voting numbers. It’s amazing. Compared with the total number of people who voted in 2004, about half that number have already voted in seven states: CO, GA, NV, NM, NC, OR, and TN. Many more states are close behind. Hats off to Prof. Michael P. McDonald at George Mason University for assembling this information.

Among early voters, so far the fraction Democratic voters leads Republican voters, in some places by double digits (for instance, 22% in North Carolina and 28% in West Virginia). Don’t get too excited. These voters are probably counted in last-minute polls. Pollsters have been asking people if they have voted early, and if so for whom. It’s more likely that Obama voters are more enthusiastic, rather than there being some giant trove of them that polls are missing.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Tsunami Cometh IV

HUGE early voting lines in Georgia. People are waiting 8 to 10 hours! Click for video

Give, Give, Give

Today is the last day for your money to have any practical effect on tipping this historic election in a good direction. So, if you're feeling the urge to vote with your dollars, NOW is the time. Today. 

So, head on over to ActBlue and send some money to down-ticket Democrats for their last minute ad buys and GOTV efforts.

Or, go to No on 8 and help prevent the overturning California's constitutional right for any two consenting adults to marry. The highly funded and concerted efforts of the Mormon church and assorted other fundamentalists are paying off. Let's not let them steal Californian's right to marry whomever they choose. Isn't thwarting religious nuts worth $25

Happy Halloween!

In honor of one of my favorite holidays and since I won't be dressing up tonight…

Oh Shit!

I fucked up! Noooooooooo!
Obama's Loss Traced To Jeff Altemus
Single Nonvoter Tipped Election To McCain-Palin Ticket
Latest News
• Gov. Palin: 'Lookit That—I'm The Second-Most Powerful Person In The World'
• Neighbor: 'Jeff Always Seemed So Normal'
• World: 'Really? Again? Really?!?'
• Health Care Advocates Predict Reform By 2034

Thanks, Eric!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

File Under Pathetic

Looks likes balls are in fashion again over at CNN. Is Ted Turner back in charge or something? The guy getting the much-deserved batting around is Michael Goldfarb, McCain's spokesman. Real Major League material, these guys.

Schadenfreude IX

Like I said, every day is Christmas:
A former Republican Secretary of State and one of John McCain's most prominent supporters offered a stunningly frank and remarkably bleak assessment of Sarah Palin's capacity to handle the presidency should such a scenario arise.

Lawrence Eagleburger, who served as Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush and whose endorsement is often trumpeted by McCain, said on Thursday that the Alaska governor is not only unprepared to take over the job on a moment's notice but, even after some time in office, would only amount to an "adequate" commander in chief.

"And I devoutly hope that [she] would never be tested," he added for good measure -- referring both to Palin's policy dexterity and the idea of McCain not making it through his time in office. (Listen to audio below.)

The remarks took place during an interview on National Public Radio that was, ironically, billed as "making the case" for a McCain presidency. Asked by the host whether Palin could step in during a time of crisis, Eagleburger reverted to sarcasm before leveling the harsh blow.

The indictment of Palin was all the more biting because both she and McCain have held Eagleburger up repeatedly during the past several weeks as evidence that the Republican ticket has firm standing and support within foreign policy circles. (In fact, McCain conferred with Eagleburger by phone just this week, on matters pertaining to national security.)

Click here and scroll down for the audio.

Schadenfreude VIII

The latest installment from Sullivan:
The Palin Poison
It's slowly killing the McCain candidacy and, like most poisons, it eventually gets around to the vital organs:
59 percent of voters surveyed said that Ms. Palin was not prepared for the job, up 9 percentage points since the beginning of the month. Nearly a third of voters polled said that the vice-presidential selection would be a major factor influencing their vote for president, and those voters broadly favored Senator Barack Obama... The increase in the number of voters who said that Ms. Palin was not prepared was driven almost entirely by Republicans and independents ... 8 in 10 Democrats viewed her as unprepared, as well as more than 6 in 10 independents, and 3 in 10 Republicans.
My italics. If the GOP decides that Palin is the future of their party, the GOP won't have a future. Simple, really. And the same goes for those who promoted her. Getting rid of Kristol and all he represents is a prerequisite for conservative renewal.


Wow, response to my last post has been great. I really appreciate all of the input. And while the lion's share of you gave me the reasons you voted for Lemhouse, one brave soul—John Fricker—did make a thoughtful, strong, and substantive case for Hartzell. 

To honor his response, I've decided to post it here (with his permission). I still may or may not vote for her, but at least I know there's a case to be made. 
Hi Jeff,

I've known Cate for nearly as long as I've lived in Ashland. I met her when she was a frequent shopper at the Ashland Food Store (when it was on 3rd St) and I was a hippie cashier, back in 1991. So I may not provide the most unbiased assessment.

Cate has consistently showed a deep love of the uniqueness of the Ashland community - progressive and environmental, open and welcoming. Before she was elected she was involved in numerous community organizations as organizer and activist - working with Peace House, AHS and environmental groups. She has always expressed her love of the community with direct activity, passion and dedication.

I've watched Cate in various city council meetings and what impresses me is her attention to the matters at hand. Most recently, with the gun club lease review and negotiation, Cate did extensive research on shooting range waste collection, abatement and clean up. She brought to the discussion far more factual information about the hazards and issues at hand than staff or other councilors. I learned from the meeting that the gun club is littered with lead and residual waste and if the club where to move the city would be left with a mess. Cate strove to have appropriate language added to the lease to protect the community's interests.

Cate cares and acts appropriately, voluntarily (council is not by any means a high paying job at $350 per year) learns about the issues, researches the facts and helps staff do their job. The end result are better leases, better contracts, and better government.

The RVRC issue I'm not familiar with, even though I think it all occurred while I lived in the neighborhood. I guess I was a chai guy and ignored mere coffee concerns. (Today, it's a different story and I have to admit that Mix makes the best mocha on the planet!)

Now for the criticisms which are hard to address. Doctrinaire and rigid? I've seen her be very prepared as well as compromise. Process over outcome? I've never known Cate to wag a copy of Robert's Rules of Order around. Micromanages staff? Staff works for council so they expect to take direction from councilors. I would guess some staff may not like that for various reasons, and the only comment I can make is that Cate is prepared - often more prepared than staff.

Cate has also directly addressed some of the myths propogated by those who haven't appreciated her on her website at

Now I'll clear up a few things I know about Lemhouse. He's very ambitious and this isn't his first time running for council. He's also quite open about his aspirations - he wants to be Governor someday. He's also run a negative campaign (this time and in 2006) with direct personal attacks against his opponents - something I don't appreciate.

Cate has a long track record of environmental, community and progressive action in Ashland. I'm sticking with Cate.

The Horns Of A Dilemma

Dear fellow itch-scratchers,

I'm in need of your help. I haven't sent in my ballot yet because there's one race that I can't quite make my mind up on. It's the City Council race between Kate Hartzell and Greg Lemhouse. So I have a request for you: help me make my decision. 

But first, I'll lay out where I am and what I'm struggling with.

Here's what I know about Hartzell: 
• She runs as a progressive, which means ideologically she's on my team—that technically speaking, we share a basic political philosophy. 
• She showed colossally poor political judgement by spearheading the drive to shut down Rogue Valley Roasting Company on a decade-old technicality. 
• Every time I see her walking the streets she's got a scowl on her face (not the most important thing to consider, but it speaks to working well with others and is in the mix).

Here's what I think I know about her, but may be wrong about:
• She's ideologically rigid and doctrinaire.
• She favors process over outcome to the detriment of consensus and getting anything accomplished.
• She micromanages and alienates city staff, thus driving away many qualified people from holding staff positions. 

Here's what I know about Lemhouse:
• He was once registered as a Republican, but is now registered as an independent.
• He's a conservative.
• He's running as a non-ideological pragmatist.
• He's a fresh face in a major change election.
• He's got a young family.

Here's what I think I know about him but may be wrong about:
• He's a thinking conservative, one of the sane variety.
• He'll take into account many sides of an issue before making a call. 
• While not a Burkean, he strikes me as a Sullivan-esque conservative. Principled and open to other points of view.

Here's what I don't know about him:
• Is he as non-ideological as he purports to be or is he a Tom Delay in sheep's clothing?


I'll state upfront that, while I'm still on the fence about this, I'm leaning toward voting for Lemhouse. I voted for Hartzell twice, but have serious misgivings about doing so a third time. I've watched her at council meetings and planning commission briefings for years and something about her is off putting. I've had the opposite experience listening to Lemhouse in conversations with advocacy groups and possible constituents. (One of the bennies of working at the RVRC.)

Still, I'd like to hear someone make a strong, positive case for Hartzell before I make my decision. So far, I talked to two Hartzell partisans—men whose opinion on politics I value—and neither could make a case for her. One told me I didn't know the whole story about the coffee shop fiasco (I feel I know enough, as it directly impacts me) and that she was smeared by the Tidings in re: the other issues. But then he never gave me his take on why he believed that to be true. He never elaborated on his assertions before going off on how he couldn't bring himself to vote for a Medford cop (Lemhouse). I got a similar response from the other man. 

Well, that's not enough for me. You're not going to get me to vote for Hartzell because her challenger is a cop. (If he were under investigation for abuse of power, that's another story. But he's not. If he were a Tom Delay-like radical right ideologue, that's another story. But he's not.)

So, if any of you out there are voting for Hartzell and can make a strong positive case for me to join you, now's your chance. E-mail or call me, I'm open to your argument. Otherwise, I'm going with my gut on this one and voting Lemhouse. 

The Tsunami Cometh III

Again from DKos:
Early/Absentee Voting Summary
Early/absentee voting has now outstripped 2004 levels, with 1,123,173 voters having cast ballots.

Democrats currently outnumber Republicans in early voting, albeit by a slim margin - 38.6% of all early voters, to 37.9% Republicans

It's likely that early voting will reach and surpass 2004 levels today. Democrats currently have a healthy advantage among early/absentee voter registrations, with 45.4% to 39% for Republicans.

Early voting is double 2004 numbers, and is equivalent to 42% of all votes cast in Georgia in 2004.
Here for more.

So Refreshing

From Kos:
Yesterday, joking with Jon Stewart, Obama made reference to how marginal Fox's audience is becoming:
"I think that there's a certain segment of hardcore Sean Hannity fans that probably wouldn't want to go have a beer with me,'' Obama conceded. "There's no doubt about that.

"But I think that the average voter, they're saying to themselves, 'What's all this stuff about? I'm trying to figure out whether I can hang on to my house.'"
It wasn't long ago that Democrats were tripping over each other trying to "appeal" to Fox News viewers, the most reliable Republican constituency in the electorate, and about as effective as having Republicans campaign for votes on Daily Kos. It wasn't just a waste of time that could've been spent talking to real independents and persuadables, but it also legitimized the GOP's propaganda operation.

But we're a new Democratic Party, and all those weenie Democratic handwringers are being left in the dust. There is no reason to talk to Fox News viewers unless you are Sarah Palin shopping for a friendly forum. Anyone seriously trying to get elected should look elsewhere. I suspect Obama learned that lesson once and for all after suffering through Bill O'Reilly's rude and boorish interview.

Meanwhile, Obama will help build Maddow's show with a coveted appearance tonight.

Marginalizing Fox while helping build progressive media institutions? I like this version of Obama.

A Good Sign


What a deliciously odd political year.

CNN Finally Grow A Pair

In the form of Campbell Brown:

* Oh, I shouldn't forget about Jack Cafferty who's been sticking it to the GOP for the past year or two, as well. Between the two of them, the channel is almost—almost—worth watching.

Schadenfreude VII

No-Show Joe Leaves McCain Out In The Cold
Where is he? Henh? Well, you're all Joe the Plumber then. Henh?

Margaret and Helen

I just got turned on to a relatively new blog written by a couple of saucy octogenarians who live in separate parts of the country, but who have been friends for nearly 60 years. It's a fun read; go check it out.

Choice cut:
What was I thinking when I called Sarah Palin a bitch?
I am surprised that some of you are up in arms about my calling Sarah Palin a bitch, or John McCain an ass or even George Bush a jackass. I read your comments about how I should be more respectable and not call Sarah Palin a bitch. Some of you are actually praying for me because I called John McCain an ass. In particular I am struck by the comments that suggest the problem with our country is that we can’t have an intelligent conversation to solve our problems without resorting to name calling like when I called George Bush a jackass.

Well this old broad is hurt. Clearly I didn’t start this blog to call Sarah Palin a bitch…or John McCain an ass… or even George Bush a jackass. I am so sorry if I have offended any of you. What was I thinking when I called Sarah Palin a bitch?

New rules:

I will stop calling George Bush a jackass when he stops calling me a terrorist: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

I will stop calling John McCain an ass when he stops calling Barack Obama a socialist at every dog and pony show on the Straight Talk Express tour.

I will stop calling Sarah Palin a bitch when she stops calling Obama a terrorist sympathizer. And I will stop calling Sarah Palin a bitch when she stops calling the parts of the country where I don’t live more Pro-American than the part of the country where I do live. And I will definitely stop calling Sarah Palin a bitch when she stops acting like a bitch.

I’m old enough to remember the Republican party of Barry Goldwater - when the party stood for fiscal responsibility, small government and personal freedoms. I remember when I could talk with friends about politics and just agree to disagree. And then religious nut cases decided that if you didn’t agree with them you were immoral. So they went and elected George Bush President so he could take the Republican Party from being a party full of respectable people to a party filled with asses, jackasses and yes - bitches like Sarah Palin.…
It goes on from there. They're great. 

Cowboy Up, Nervous Nellies

The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates offers some spinal reinforcement therapy:
OK, I'm tired of this. Someone--who shall remain nameless--just asked me if I was "nervous" about Obama. FTDS. I don't believe in black cats. I don't toss salt over my shoulder. I step under ladders whenever the mood strikes me. I break mirrors in my spare time. I've made a hobby out of splitting poles. Thirteen is my favorite number. So fuck it, I'm gonna say it--Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States.

Here is thing. I believe in competition. John Kerry wasn't swift-boated--he was beaten by a superior campaign. I guess Al Gore lost because of Nader and the Supreme Court. But why was it ever even that close? What is the use of being a Southern senator when you can't carry a single state in the South? I mean no disrespect to any of those guys, I really don't. But this notion that mystical and nefarious forces deprived them from claiming what was rightly theirs is odious and self-serving.

No one has conspired to deprive us of power over the past few decades. The American people aren't stupid. We've sucked at articulating our message. If you have any interest in a more progressive country, we need to be honest. At the presidential level, at least, conservatives have hammered us. Give them their due. Don't blame Rush. Don't blame Kristol. Don't denigrate states you've never visited. Give them their due. Give them their respect. Study them, and then get better.

Denial is bad for two reasons. First, if you can't accept that you lost, you don't have a prayer of getting better. If you think Kerry and Gore lost because they were too "high-minded," then you miss the basic fundamentals at work, and spend your days congratulating yourself for being up on the latest Paul Krugman. This is a war, and you don't lose wars because of abstract principles, but because of hard immovable facts. Is your army bigger than theirs? Are you attracting more recruits? Are you deploying in the right places? Who has more resources? Who has the technology edge? These are the reasons I voted Obama in the primary. I didn't think he was "more principled" than Clinton, nor did I really care. I thought she was tough, but I knew he was tougher. I thought her campaign was smart, but I thought his was smarter. I thought one person was talking about being a fighter, and another was out there actually being a fighter. The general is bearing all of this out, because right now, Barack Hussein Obama is beating John McCain like he stole something--from Toot [Obama's grandma], no less.

Syncronized Debating

Trippy, but fun:

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Infobamercial

Here it is in all its syrupy glory in case you missed it on TV:

I prefer his speeches myself, but with six days left—six!—it can't hurt.


If you've got a few minutes, check out this video of Michelle Bachmann backpedaling from her comments on Hardball the week before last. 

This never would have happened, even as little as two years ago. Republican politicians are in a full-on retreat. Never mind what happens this Nov. 4, we already are in a new era. 

(By the way, anybody believe she's really never seen an episode of Hardball?)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Tsunami Cometh II

2008 Early Voting Statistics

Christmas Every Day…Or An Embarrassment Of Riches

You know, as a political junkie, and especially as a lifelong liberal, almost every day of this year since January 3 has been a bit like Christmas. (I admit I experienced a week's worth of Halloweens back in Sept. during the peak of Palinmania.) This has been, without a doubt, the single best, most fascinating political year of my life. 

Now, Obama may yet not win, but even if that happens, a) there will still in all likelihood be a down-ticket Democratic wave, though smaller, and b) this year will still have already been incredible. History has been made again and again, and I've never seen the electorate of this often-lazy, tuned-out country so electrified. 

Better still, the team of amoral knuckle draggers who've spent the better part of 40 years running our country into the ground all while kicking sand in the face of those of us who aspire to something bigger and better in ourselves are finally getting their due and losing political ground at an alarming (to them) rate. 

The gods are truly smiling upon me. And I'm smiling back. 


Wet Dream, IX

Another hour, another Wet Dream post. This time from Charlie Cook of The Cook Report.
Late Monday afternoon I was standing in front of 200 or so congressional staff members when someone in the front row handed me a Blackberry with the news bulletin announcing Sen. Ted Stevens' seven-count felony conviction. As I read the news flash to the gasping Hill aides one thing jumped into mind: "Foley Friday," Sept. 29, 2006, when news broke of then-GOP Rep. Mark Foley's inappropriate behavior toward a House page. At that point in 2006, Republicans had already been buffeted for a year or more by a then-worsening situation in Iraq and a wide array of scandals. Just as it seemed things could not possibly get worse, they did. Only the most partisan of Democrats or cold-hearted of people would fail to have some compassion or sympathy towards a party for which virtually everything has gone wrong. Someone recently likened it to watching a wounded dog kicked.
He's got it exactly wrong with the wounded dog metaphor. That implies that they don't deserve every bit of whipping they get. And they do. A better metaphor would perhaps be putting down the fox that has cleared out your hen house or maybe crushing the back of a rattler before if can finish the job of killing the rest of your family.

Make no mistake, if they get the drubbing it's looking like they will, it couldn't happen to a more deserving group of people. 

But, hey, I'm probably just excessively partisan and cold-hearted.

Update: Oops! This post was originally mistitled Schadenfreude. My bad.

Schadenfreude V

From ABC's Jake Tapper:
Allies of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are now trying to throw McCain aide Nicolle Wallace under the proverbial bus, and as they do so those in McCain’s circle are wary of the impact on Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., himself.

Moreover, McCain campaign sources say, Palin has developed quite a reputation on the campaign trail for shopping.
During this controversy, McCain insiders were appalled to read a blog account from Nevada noting that the day before Palin held an event in Reno, “Palin's assistant stopped in at the Ann Taylor at the Summit Sierra Mall and bought the skirt suit that she wore during to her speech Tuesday at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. ‘She bought a short, three-quarter sleeve jacket, a skirt and a couple other items,’ store manager Suzette Ludden said.”
All the while, Palin herself has given the wardrobe story more media coverage by denying that she had anything to do with it.
And some Republicans are starting to now say they should have seen this coming, since Palin has a reputation for making friends who can help her and then screwing them over.
The list is long:
Too long to post here. Click over to the original to read it. Pit bull, my ass. She's a viper.

Time To Throw The Anvil

Someone over at the Princeton Election Consortium points out that, at this point, if you're going to donate to a candidate's campaign, do so down ticket, because the chances your $25 help Obama are far smaller than your chances of helping those who may not be getting enough cash. 
Making your efforts pay off. An example of wasted effort at this point is making an additional contribution to either Presidential campaign. I realize that for some of you, this is a difficult proposition. If you are already committed to turning out the vote for your candidate, by all means do so. But if you still have time or money to spare, think about the following argument.

In general, any contribution you make to a strongly leading or trailing candidate makes little difference in the outcome. It’s like voting in Massachusetts or Utah: whether you do or don’t essentially makes no difference in the outcome. The same is true for campaign contributions. In the best of worlds, $100 to Obama-Biden or McCain-Palin would move the national win probability by an infinitesimal amount. Even 0.00001% would be an overstatement.

The place to make a difference is at the margins. Take the Georgia race, in which incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss is defending his seat. In 2002, Chambliss won office by tarring Vietnam war hero and triple-amputee Max Cleland with an alleged sympathy for Osama bin Laden. Now Chambliss is fighting for his political life, and is in a dead heat with Democratic challenger Jim Martin. If you had the choice of driving voters to the polls in Georgia or in South Carolina, you’d be dead wrong to pick South Carolina. By the same token, a contribution in Georgia, but not South Carolina, might make a small difference in the outcome.
So with that in mind, I'd like to ask any of you who are so inclined to fork over some cash to go to the Act Blue site and give it to down-ticket candidates. We have a good chance of taking Gordon Smith out here in Oregon, so Jeff Merkley is a good place to start. 

If you want to learn more about the other candidates, go to their sites from the ActBlue site, or head over to DailyKos, OpenLeft, or MyDD for assessments of how their campaigns are doing.

This election is a unique historic opportunity. Cycles like this are extremely rare. Voters are primed to punish Republicans for their colossal mismanagement of the country. The only question is, how big of a year will it be for progressives? With enough support it will be huge. Republicans are drowning, this is our chance to throw them an anvil.* 

* James Carville once famously quipped, "When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil." 

The Tsunami Cometh I

Yet another new series of posts. This one chronicling reports of unusually huge early voting. From Daily Dish:
Unprecedented numbers: over 36% of the total 2004 vote. And a very heavy black turnout. I really don't think we have fully absorbed what a massive - and I mean massive - black turnout could do in this election.

Schadenfreude IV

Talking Points Memo is on the case.
The Palin Effect
From instant crush to how could I have ever liked her in six short weeks. [TPM] chronicles conservatives' short and sour fling with Sarah Palin.

A Preelection Cautionary Tale

Oh, My Gosh. SOS. A Crappy Prop 8 Video


Funny, though, I think what the makers of this video don't get is that they're underscoring just how childish and inane Prop 8 is. Perfect (if a little creepy).

Three Cheers For Howard

I was early supporter of Howard Dean when he ran in the last election. I knew he didn't stand much chance of winning, but he had the best ideas (such as universal health care) of the bunch. So I was pleased to learn that despite his loss he was able to get himself elected head of the DNC—despite the best efforts of the Clintonistas. 

In the ensuing years, he took a lot of grief from said Clinton supporters, like Paul Begala, James "crazy ass pit viper" Carville, and others. Most of the grief came for his support of a 50-state strategy, the idea that Dems should run in every county of every state. This was seen as folly by many of the Democratic establishment—the same establishment, mind you, that gave us 8 out 0f 12 electoral losses in the past half century. Begala had this to say the strategy, "What he has spent it [DNC money] on, apparently, is just hiring a bunch of staff people to wander around Utah and Mississippi and pick their nose."


As should be evident by now, Dean and his strategy have been more than vindicated. We have more Democrats and better Democrats in more parts of the country than at any time since the 60s at least. There's a deep bench of talent and a stronger progressive movement ready to push the next congress and president to move the country in a saner direction. Obama and his team hewed to the same strategy and now we have McCain fighting for life in places like Montana and N. Dakota, Indiana, and Virginia. 

So, kudos to you, Howard Dean, you—and those who followed your lead—rocked the mother fucking house.

Schadenfreude III

From GQ's Robert Draper:
Palin, Alone Aboard the Bus
Almost from the very beginning, the Palin pick created tension.

I’m sympathetic to Eskew and Wallace, and not just because they’re decent people. They’ve held their tongue from leaking what a couple of McCain higher-ups have told me—namely, that Palin simply knew nothing about national and international issues. Which meant, as one such adviser said to me: “Letting Sarah be Sarah may not be such a good thing.” 
It’s a grim binary choice, but apparently it came down to whether to make Palin look like a scripted robot or an unscripted ignoramus. I was told that Palin chafed at being defined by her discomfiting performances in the Couric, Charlie Gibson, and Sean Hannity interviews. She wanted to get back out there and do more. Well, if you’re Eskew and Wallace, what do you say to that? Your responsibility isn’t the care and feeding of Sarah Palin’s ego; it’s the furtherance of John McCain’s quest for the presidency.
On the other hand, it had to be hard for Sarah Palin—who has achieved all she’s achieved with a highly personal touch—to take all this ridicule under an enforced gag order. After being introduced to the world as one of the “Team of Mavericks,” she’s admonished not to be one. She’s being called out by some McCainites for not cleaving to all of the senator’s positions. The Republicans who fawned over her superstar looks are now shocked—shocked!—to learn that her much-admired wardrobe has been purchased with RNC funds. 
I’ve heard from one well-placed source that McCain has snubbed her on one long bus ride aboard the Straight Talk Express, to the embarrassment of those sitting nearby. It has surely been implied to the governor that she should be eternally grateful to have been plucked from obscurity. And yet the high water mark of John McCain’s campaign for the presidency unquestionably began on September 3, when Palin gave her nomination speech—and ended precisely twelve days later, when McCain went off-script—I have that on the authority of the person who participated in the writing of said script—and told an audience that he still believed the fundamentals of the economy were strong.

Victoria's Secret

Remember Victoria Jackson from SNL's 80s period. Yeah, me neither. Anyway, she used to play this ditzy blonde character in most of her skits and was moderately funny, I guess. Turns out the ditzy piece wasn't an act. This from her website:
I don't want a political label, but Obama bears traits that resemble the anti- Christ and I'm scared to death that un- educated people will ignorantly vote him into office.

You see, what bothers me most, besides being a Communist, and a racist (Obama writes in his book, From Dreams of My Father, "I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and and animosity against my (white) mother's race.") (Obama's "religion" of the last 20 years is Black Liberation Theology. What is that? "It is simply Marxism dressed up in Christian rhetoric. But unlike traditional Marxism, Black Liberation Theology emphasizes race rather than class. It's leading theorist is James Cone who says Jesus was black, African-Americans are the chosen people, and whites are the devil. Cone says, "What we need is the destruction of whiteness, which is the source of human misery in the world." The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor), is that he is a LIAR. He pretends to be a Christian and he incriminates himself everytime he speaks about Christianity. To lie about being a believer in Christ is very dangerous. Lightning could strike him at any minute! But seriously, he doesn't have a clue what the Bible says and yet he pretends to be a church- going Christian to win votes. That is sooooo evil.

Wet Dream, VIII

From Ryan Sager via Reason magazine:
The Rove Realignment
Have libertarians been driven out of the GOP?

McCain's working on the other realignment: The one where eight years of fiscal recklessness and cultural warfare alienates swing voters and withers the Republican Party until the very base of the conservative movement cracks in half—splitting a coalition that has endured since the Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964.

That coalition between social conservatives and economic libertarians (who tend to be socially moderate to liberal), served the GOP well from 1964 to 2006. It gave the party eight years of Ronald Reagan and 12 years of a Republican Congress. But the Bush years have proven to be one long pulling apart. And, in a matter of days, we may just see the final snap.

Two years ago, I wrote a book imploring the Republican Party not to follow its worst elements off a cliff—not to evolve, in short, into an insular party with little-to-no appeal outside of the rural, the southern, the Evangelical. As the McCain campaign flames out in a ball of Rovian disgrace, scorching the center in an attempt to fire up the base, it's difficult to reach any other conclusion than that the battle for the soul of the Republican Party has been lost.

Into The Foxhole

More evidence that even the cheerleaders—er, newscasters—are becoming unhinged by Obama's srength:

Wet Dream, VII

Also from Mike Allen's Playbook this subject line:
7 days -- One week out -- Republicans expect to be crushed in historic landslide: buy emergency time in Montana and West Virginia

Schadenfreude II

From Politico's "Mike Allen's Playbook":
***In convo with Playbook, a top McCain adviser one-ups the priceless “diva” description, calling her “a whack job.”

Schadenfreude I

Another new series of posts, this one detailing the fracturing of the McCain-Palin campaign. (I've already missed cataloguing several stories over the past couple of days, but we'll have to live with that, I don't plan on playing catch up.) So, sit back and enjoy the show. We've earned it.
Rift Cracks 'Demoralized' McCain Campaign
McCain Staffers Blame Palin's Lack of Readiness; Palin Loyalists Blame Over-Managing By McCain Handlers
The McCain campaign is definitely demoralized right now. The blame game has begun.

There is no question that there is a rift between Sarah Palin's camp and that of John McCain inside the Republican campaign, sources tell ABC News.

And you are seeing people within the McCain campaign starting to look to the future.

Not only Palin, but many of the McCain staffers, as well, are circulating their resumes and pointing the finger.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Frankly, My Dear

A flashback to late September. So good it deserves a rerun:

Electoral Maps 10/27

These maps and EV projection totals are all from sites who crunch the polls of several pollsters together into their various algorithms to come up with their figures. None of these are from single pollsters, any one of which can have flawed methodology causing it to be an outlier. Their congruence is staggering. 

By the way, a big hat tip to Melancholy Sideshow's Michael Kerr for turning me onto the outstanding Princeton Election Consortium site. It's become a daily stop for substantive poll-gazing.

Wet Dream, VI

From The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder:

RNC Goes Up In Montana

The state and its three electoral votes are now competitive?

A Democratic media buying source says -- Republicans won't yet confirm -- and Republicans now confirm -- that the RNC's independent expenditure arm has bought television ads in the state.

The ads begin Wednesday.

In 2004, George W. Bush won Montana by 20 points.

Ron Paul is on the ballot. And Ron Paul supporters aren't happy with John McCain...

A Republican congressman from Texas could throw the state to Barack Obama.


We Have To Work Like Our Future Depends On It, Because It Does

I'm old enough to know better so it's hard to admit, but I'm just embarrassingly moved by this guy's oratory. 

McCain-Palin's Base

Cheap shot? (You reap what you sow, Pallin'-Around Palin.)

We all know this stuff is out there, but hearing of an actual plot makes it all the more eerily real. 
(WASHINGTON) — Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday.

In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.

Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the two men planned to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another 14. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

The men also sought to go on a national killing spree, with Obama as its final target, Cavanaugh told The Associated Press.

"They said that would be their last, final act — that they would attempt to kill Sen. Obama," Cavanaugh said. "They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying."
As far as I'm concerned those federal agents are fucking American heroes. Sadly, their job has probably just begun. 

Mad About Mad Men II

I've learned since my last Mad Men post that some of you out there have seen a few episodes of the show and were left cold. Well, all I can say is that not everything moves everyone and that's cool. I stand by my recommendation, though, for those of you who haven't tried it out. 

But I think it important to point out that one should watch the entire season before making a final decision, as the show and its characters unfold slowly and subtly. The joy of the show is its pacing, its nuance, its arc. Or as one of The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates' readers puts it:
To me each of those shows have more in common with novels than episodic TV. Which is why I never get into this episode was better than that episode debates.…To me you have to view each episode of theses series like a chapter in a novel. You never hear someone say chapter 13 of Moby Dick was the shit, but 20 was lame. You judge the novel as a whole. Same with these series. You need the whole season to play out before you pass judgement.
You may not end up liking Moby Dick, but you should at least read the whole thing before drawing your conclusion.

Speaking of Coates, he has an interesting post on Mad Men titled "The Negro Don Draper" in which he meditates on the way Draper is akin to other marginalized minorities, some of whom can "pass" in society. It's one of only two shows that have ever made him tear up:
When I rewatched the first season of Mad Men, all of this came back to me. Don's past is unorthodox for his profession, and furthermore it is an object of great shame for him. And yet the past is the source of his power. In the last episode of season one, Don has to do a pitch for "The Wheel" a slide projector in need of rebranding. Don's marriage is crumbling and he's lost his brother—the last link to his murky, and poignant past. Don pulls all of that together and makes a beautiful pitch, rechristening "The Wheel" as "The Carousel" a device that's a time machine which takes us to a place where we ache to go again." The pitch blows everyone away, and Don is hailed as a genius. But what only we know, is that Don can write such pitches because he sees different, and he sees different because he's literally seen different things. His life has been much harder than his colleagues, and that gives him a power to see more than them.

But he's also haunted by the past. Don believes his progress is tied to no one ever knowing who he truly is, to no one discovering his true history—his secret identity, if you will. Don Draper is, in the parlance of old black folks, passing. His orgins are not proper and gentile--he is the child of a prostitute, who as reinvented himself for the Manhattan jet-set. He is Gatsby and Anatole Broyard, no? And yet the irony that animates Mad Men is the fact that, without that past, Draper would likely be the sort of pampered hack he despises. He'd be Pete Campbell. His double consciousness, makes him, indeed, doubly conscious, doubly aware. Don Draper sees more.

Only two groups of people truly can sense something amidest—the blacks, and the Jews. There is a lovely scene in Season Two where Peggy, Don and the black elevator man are riding up. They are talking about Marilyn Monroe's death and noting how shocked they are. The elevator man casually notes, "Some people just hide in plain sight." It is not so much that he directly knows Don's identity, but that he is playing the role that blacks play throughout the show--they are a kind of Greek chorus, unseen, but offering short poetic takes on the themes at work.

The major theme is set from the first episode, when Don, wooing Rachel, a Jewish proprietor of a department store, is enjoying the sound of his own voice. Rachel listens skeptically and then cuts right through the mask:
I don't know what it is you really believe in, but I do know what it feels like to be out of place, to be disconnected, to see the whole world laid out in front of you the way other people live it.There is something about you that tells me you it to.
To be out of place, To be disconnected. That is the essence of us, and I guess in one way or another, it's everyone else too. 
That scene with Rachel was the one that hooked me, the one that intimated that the show was going to be something more than interesting set pieces and nostalgia, that it was going to be something special. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Red, White, & MILF

I'm not sure I like this vid, it's only moderately clever and sorta, kinda funny. But I thought it worth posting anyway, if only to further sear Palin's ridiculousness into the collective consciousness. Points, though, for mentioning the Bridge in the bridge.

With Friends Like These

Rumsfeld lackey and man who introduced Cheney to Wolfowitz, uber-con Ken Adelman joins the ranks breaking away from the floundering GOP. Choice cut of his devastating critique of McCain:
Granted, McCain's views are closer to mine than Obama's. But I've learned over this Bush era to value competence along with ideology. Otherwise, our ideology gets discredited, as it has so disastrously over the past eight years.

McCain's temperament -- leading him to bizarre behavior during the week the economic crisis broke -- and his judgment -- leading him to Wasilla -- depressed me into thinking that "our guy" would be a(nother) lousy conservative president. Been there, done that.

I'd rather a competent moderate president. Even at a risk, since Obama lacks lots of executive experience displaying competence (though his presidential campaign has been spot-on). And since his Senate voting record is not moderate, but depressingly liberal. Looming in the background, Pelosi and Reid really scare me.

Nonetheless, I concluded that McCain would not -- could not -- be a good president. Obama just might be.
[For the record, he's either wrong or lying about Obama's record.]

Things Like Fruit Fly Research In Paris, France

Richard Wolfe brings the nasty on this Countdown segment:

The more she talks the better it gets. I'm beginning to think she's an Obama plant.

Lions And Tigers And Obamas, Oh My!

Man, I would not want to get on James Wolcott's bad side.
Presidential Monster Chiller Horror Theater!
This Halloween be on the lookout for all the righty bloggers dressed as drama queens. They'll be the ones looking as if they just escaped from Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor, swatting away invisible mites as they battle a bad case of Obama on the brain pan. It's been quite an inglorious spectacle, watching these wracked souls lose their shit as they swing from the belfry.
Take that double-decker sandwich of snap judgments that goes by the name of Phyllis Chesler, one of Pajamas Media's many reclamation projects gone awry. In the first giddy rush of excitement over the Pittsburgh "B"-cheek attack (quickly unrobed as a hoax), Chesler discerned a pattern of violence unfolding across the sidewalks and lawns of America; gripped the railing; and girded for anarchy:
Folks: This is not good. American v American in a race war, a class war, a gender war [a threefer!] even while jihad has been declared against America?
Forget about all the voting fraud allegations and the chaos at the polls: Do we all have to get guns? Will we need the National Guard to protect us when we vote? Or to walk voters home?
It's an infallible sign of how porously susceptible Chesler is to bogus hysteria that in the same post she snappily salutes the cut-and-paste heroism of "Pamela the Magnificent of Atlas Shrugs," yes, the same Pamela Geller who fell with a thud for two debunked stories last week, the "B"-cheek hoax and the Michelle Obama room-service-at-the-Waldorf fraud. Put their two heads together and you've got yourself a set of maracas.
But then, these asshats deserve his blistering scorn. Read on:
Over at Protein Wisdom, Jeff Goldstein, who always seems to have a lot going on offstage, gives his runny seal of approval to the pessimist porn of a mysterious entity named Kim Edwards:
I am not a reactionary person by nature, but trust me when I say the first 100 days of a Barack Obama presidency will bring holy hell upon those who adhere to a classical liberal philosophy. This man is a radical of the first stripe, and he has left no stone unturned in his quest. [Some sentences follow detailing the mighty zombie army Obama has amassed to march under his command.]
Did I mention this man hates me? You and me? Yes he does. Why? Because he can. Yes He Can. Beneath that cool persona is a megalomaniac. Cool? Like Stalin after a purge, emotionally and sexually spent. Like Saddam after a torture session, dozing in his chair with someone's genitals curled in his fist. Like Pol Pot after a petit mal seizure, mumbling a litany of the dead. Cool that way.
Obama hasn't even been elected into office yet, and already he's kissing cousins with history's most sadistic mass murderers. Talk about a brother not being able to catch a break!
Even if Obama loses, he'll be blamed for unleashing the days of wrath:
But what if Obama loses? Wouldn't that win us a reprieve, at least? Not necessarily...
Several of Obama's higher-profile backers have openly said that for him to be defeated could only be the result of foul play...or "racism." In our time, "racism" is one of the foulest imprecations a man can suffer. It's a justification for doing anything and everything to him, regardless of the evidence for or against it. Never mind that the word has been emptied of all objective meaning. Remember Judge Charles Pickering, and see if you can disagree.
Regardless of who wins, the election on November 4 has a staggering potential for tearing the country violently asunder. The lines make it too probable to contemplate.
Your Curmudgeon has decided not to stint on preparations. He's filled his pantry, doubled his gold reserves, and replenished his ammo stocks.
And to think they called us "sore losers" in 2000! They haven't even lost yet and they're already blaming the victor, acting all butch and making with the big talk about stocking up on gold and ammo as they hole up in the shag-carpeted panic room and let their whiskers grow. They can't face the fact that conservatism has epically failed; this is their way of pouting and refusing to come out and play, leaving everybody else to deal with the ruin left behind.

A Groucho Marxist Maybe?

Check out Biden's response when wacky Florida newscaster Barbara West drops the Marx bomb. Perfect.

h/t: Wonkette


Can you say unhinged?