Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
The Return Of Random Flickr Blogging
In Other News, Pigs In Keokuk Sprout What Appear To Be Vestigial Wings...
Well, of course he did. What else is he going to say? "Tom, it's over. I'm going to lose, and lose badly. Obama will take states that haven't voted for a Democrat in over forty years. I'm going to get spanked so bad it will make red-headed stepchildren the world over breathe a sigh of relief. He's going to kick my ass so hard my brother will call 911 and my 97-year-old mother will say 'Ouch!'" McRagingfury started out his campaign by lying through his teeth, and has kept to that standard the whole time he's beeen out there stumping; why would he stop now?
And in other weekend campaign news, Obama gave a speech to a crowd estimated at 100,000 in Denver, while Angry John, up in Iowa somewhere, held a rally that drew six retired sheriff's deputies, four Jaycees, two Wal-Mart greeters and a 19-year-old student with a backwards "B" scratched into her cheek. Feel the love, John.
Friday, October 24, 2008
More On Palin
This, I think, is probably the clearest sign of doom for the Republican ticket there is. Because it's one thing for Winky the GILF to be underqualified, overmatched, ethically-challenged, dumber than George Bush and Dan Quayle (she's too stupid to know she's stupid), unclear on the Constitution and the duties of the office she seeks to occupy and just plain mean -- all that can be overcome in this country, and elections have been won by far too many people who have embodied all those qualities and worse. But she has become something that voters will not support: a punchline; a laughingstock; a joke. She's a parody of herself. She's Tina Fey or Sara Benincasa, and no matter how much she tries to get in on the joke, it's already too late. She can try to laugh with us, but she'll never truly understand why we're laughing at her.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
That Wicked Witchcraft
THIS IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS.(You'll have to follow the link to read the email from Flo Ellers, as I can only take so much of this sort of bullshit in small doses.)
Minutes ago I spoke with friend Dr. Norman G. Marvin, M.D. and he is so concerned at what he has learned about Barack Obama's family in Kenya that he is calling a special prayer meeting in his home to pray against the witchcraft curses attempted by them against John McCain and Sarah Palin.
Dr. Marvin sent me the below e-mail from Flo Ellers. Flo is credentialed with the International Fellowship of Ministries which is based in Washington State. She is also a member of EndTime Handmaidens and Servants of Jasper, Arkansas.
IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DO SPIRITUAL WARFARE, PLEASE PRAY TODAY AND CONTINUALLY THAT ALL SUCH CURSES BE BROKEN AND SATAN'S PLAN FOR AMERICA BE DEFEATED, IN JESUS' NAME. PRAY AND COVER MCCAIN AND PALIN WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DO SPIRITUAL WARFARE, IT IS TIME YOU LEARN!!!
Man! Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster some people are looking out for that dangerous witchcraft and doing their best to thwart Satan's plan for America! Because, you know, I'd hate to think that some crazy politicians could get in office and destroy the country...
To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.
Thanks to my good friend Carmen for that.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Vote Your Wallet!
Since World War II, Democratic presidents have increased the national debt by an average of 3.7 percent per year, and Republican presidents have increased it an average of 10.1 percent. During the same time period, the unemployment rate was, on average, 4.8 percent under Democratic presidents; it was 6.3 percent under Republicans.
That's the historical record.
What about economic policies over the past 15 years? The Clinton-Gore administration presided over the longest peacetime economic expansion in our history. The national debt was reduced dramatically, the industrial sector boomed, wages grew and more Americans found jobs.
How has the Bush-Cheney team fared? In the past seven years, we have experienced the weakest job creation cycle since the Great Depression, record deficits, record household debt, a record bankruptcy rate and a substantial increase in poverty. We have gone from being the nation with the biggest budget surplus in history to becoming the nation with the largest deficit in history.
The Bush administration, supported by Republicans on Capitol Hill, pushed through a sweeping tax cut in 2001, under which the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans reaped 43 percent of the gain. In less than a year and a half, the federal government's 10-year projected budget surplus of $1.6 trillion had vanished. In 2000, we had a surplus of $236 billion. In 2004, we had a deficit of $413 billion. This dramatic reversal is the direct consequence of Bush's tax cuts - and McCain wants to pursue the same bankrupt policies.
Just one more reason not to put another Republican in the White House. Ever.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
It's Drinkin' Time!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Letters The SF Chronicle Won't Print: A Continuing Series
Senator John McCain revealed everything we need to know about his qualifications for the presidency in his choice of running mate.
Friday, a bipartisan investigative committee in Alaska (ten Republicans, four Democrats, all agreeing unanimously) released a report concluding that Governor Sarah Palin unlawfully abused her power by firing Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan, who had resisted her efforts to get him to fire her former brother-in-law from his job as a state trooper. Recent interviews with journalists Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric have revealed Governor Palin to be woefully unprepared for their questions, unfit for high office and overmatched by the enormity of the challenge. Haven't we had more than enough high-level ineptitude and ethical chicanery from the current administration over the past eight years? Why on earth would anyone support a candidate so obviously unqualified to hold a job that is a heartbeat away from the presidency, much less the man who showed such poor judgment as to have picked her in the first place?
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Sean Hannity Gets His Ass Handed To Him
Keillor On Palin
It was dishonest, cynical men who put forward a clueless young woman for national office, hoping to juice up the ticket, hoping she could skate through two months of chaperoned campaigning, but the truth emerges: The lady is talking freely about matters she has never thought about. The American people have an ear for B.S. They can tell when someone's mouth is moving and the clutch is not engaged. When she said, "One thing that Americans do at this time, also, though, is let's commit ourselves just every day, American people, Joe Six-Pack, hockey moms across the nation, I think we need to band together and say never again. Never will we be exploited and taken advantage of again by those who are managing our money and loaning us these dollars," people smelled gas.
She is a chatty sportscaster who lacks the guile to conceal her vacuity, and she was Mr. McCain's first major decision as nominee. This troubles independent voters, and now she is a major drag on his candidacy. She will get a nice book deal from Regnery and a new career making personal appearances for forty grand a pop, and she'll become a trivia question, "What politician claimed foreign-policy expertise based on being able to see Russia from her house?" And the rest of us will have to pull ourselves out of the swamp of Republican economics.
Check it out, kids, it's a worthwhile read.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
"Like Watching Gidget Address The Reichstag"
Here's just a taste:
Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she's a new low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power.
Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she's the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV -and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation.
After that, he gets mean. Check it out, kids, and be prepared for a bumpy ride. Taibbi spares no one.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Frank Rich Gets It Right
Pit Bull Palin Mauls McCain
SARAH PALIN’S post-Couric/Fey comeback at last week’s vice presidential debate was a turning point in the campaign. But if she “won,” as her indulgent partisans and press claque would have it, the loser was not Joe Biden. It was her running mate. With a month to go, the 2008 election is now an Obama-Palin race — about “the future,” as Palin kept saying Thursday night — and the only person who doesn’t seem to know it is Mr. Past, poor old John McCain.
To understand the meaning of Palin’s “victory,” it must be seen in the context of two ominous developments that directly preceded it. Just hours before the debate began, the McCain campaign pulled out of Michigan. That state is ground zero for the collapsed Main Street economy and for so-called Reagan Democrats, those white working-class voters who keep being told by the right that Barack Obama is a Muslim who hung with bomb-throwing radicals during his childhood in the late 1960s.
McCain surrendered Michigan despite having outspent his opponent on television advertising and despite Obama’s twin local handicaps, an unpopular Democratic governor and a felonious, now former, black Democratic Detroit mayor. If McCain can’t make it there, can he make it anywhere in the Rust Belt?
Not without an economic message. McCain’s most persistent attempt, his self-righteous crusade against earmarks, collapsed with his poll numbers. Next to a $700 billion bailout package, his incessant promise to eliminate all Washington pork — by comparison, a puny grand total of $16.5 billion in the 2008 federal budget — doesn’t bring home the bacon. Nor can McCain reconcile his I-will-veto-government-waste mantra with his support, however tardy, of the bailout bill. That bill’s $150 billion in fresh pork includes a boondoggle inserted by the Congressman Don Young, an Alaskan Republican no less.
The second bit of predebate news, percolating under the radar, involved the still-unanswered questions about McCain’s health. Back in May, you will recall, the McCain campaign allowed a select group of 20 reporters to spend a mere three hours examining (but not photocopying) 1,173 pages of the candidate’s health records on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Conspicuously uninvited was Lawrence Altman, a doctor who covers medicine for The New York Times. Altman instead canvassed melanoma experts to evaluate the sketchy data that did emerge. They found the information too “unclear” to determine McCain’s cancer prognosis.
There was, however, at least one doctor-journalist among those 20 reporters in May, the CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta. At the time, Gupta told Katie Couric on CBS that the medical records were “pretty comprehensive” and wrote on his CNN blog that he was “pretty convinced there was no ‘smoking gun’ about the senator’s health.” (Physical health, that is; Gupta wrote there was hardly any information on McCain’s mental health.)
That was then. Now McCain is looking increasingly shaky, whether he’s repeating his “Miss Congeniality” joke twice in the same debate or speaking from notecards even when reciting a line for (literally) the 17th time (“The fundamentals of our economy are strong”) or repeatedly confusing proper nouns that begin with S (Sunni, Shia, Sudan, Somalia, Spain). McCain’s “dismaying temperament,” as George Will labeled it, only thickens the concerns. His kamikaze mission into Washington during the bailout crisis seemed crazed. His seething, hostile debate countenance — a replay of Al Gore’s sarcastic sighing in 2000 — didn’t make the deferential Obama look weak (as many Democrats feared) but elevated him into looking like the sole presidential grown-up.
Though CNN and MSNBC wouldn’t run a political ad with doctors questioning McCain’s medical status, Gupta revisited the issue in an interview published last Tuesday by The Huffington Post. While maintaining a pretty upbeat take on the candidate’s health, the doctor-journalist told the reporter Sam Stein that he couldn’t vouch “by any means” for the completeness of the records the campaign showed him four months ago. “The pages weren’t numbered,” Gupta said, “so I had no way of knowing what was missing.” At least in Watergate we knew that the gap on Rose Mary Woods’s tape ran 18 and a half minutes.
It’s against this backdrop that Palin’s public pronouncements, culminating with her debate performance, have been so striking. The standard take has it that she’s either speaking utter ignorant gibberish (as to Couric) or reciting highly polished, campaign-written sound bites that she’s memorized (as at the convention and the debate). But there’s a steady unnerving undertone to Palin’s utterances, a consistent message of hubristic self-confidence and hyper-ambition. She wants to be president, she thinks she can be president, she thinks she will be president. And perhaps soon. She often sounds like someone who sees herself as half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency. Or who is seen that way by her own camp, the hard-right G.O.P. base that never liked McCain anyway and views him as, at best, a White House place holder.
This was first apparent when Palin extolled a “small town” vice president as a hero in her convention speech — and cited not one of the many Republican vice presidents who fit that bill but, bizarrely, Harry Truman, a Democrat who succeeded a president who died in office. A few weeks later came Charlie Gibson’s question about whether she thought she was “experienced enough” and “ready” when McCain invited her to join his ticket. Palin replied that she didn’t “hesitate” and didn’t “even blink” — a response that seemed jarring for its lack of any human modesty, even false modesty.
In the last of her Couric interview installments on Thursday, Palin was asked which vice president had most impressed her, and after paying tribute to Geraldine Ferraro, she chose “George Bush Sr.” Her criterion: she most admires vice presidents “who have gone on to the presidency.” Hours later, at the debate, she offered a discordant contrast to Biden when asked by Gwen Ifill how they would each govern “if the worst happened” and the president died in office. After Biden spoke of somber continuity, Palin was weirdly flip and chipper, eager to say that as a “maverick” she’d go her own way.
But the debate’s most telling passage arrived when Biden welled up in recounting his days as a single father after his first wife and one of his children were killed in a car crash. Palin’s perky response — she immediately started selling McCain as a “consummate maverick” again — was as emotionally disconnected as Michael Dukakis’s notoriously cerebral answer to the hypothetical 1988 debate question about his wife being “raped and murdered.” If, as some feel, Obama is cool, Palin is ice cold. She didn’t even acknowledge Biden’s devastating personal history.
After the debate, Republicans who had been bailing on Palin rushed back to the fold. They know her relentless ambition is the only hope for saving a ticket headed by a warrior who is out of juice and out of ideas. So what if she is preposterously unprepared to run the country in the midst of its greatest economic crisis in 70 years? She looks and sounds like a winner.
You can understand why they believe that. She has more testosterone than anyone else at the top of her party. McCain and his surrogates are forever blaming their travails on others, wailing about supposed sexist and journalistic biases around the clock. McCain even canceled an interview with Larry King, for heaven’s sake, in a fit of pique at a CNN anchor, Campbell Brown.
We are not a nation of whiners, as Phil Gramm would have it, but the G.O.P. is now the party of whiners. That rebranding became official when Republican House leaders moaned that a routine partisan speech by Nancy Pelosi had turned their members against the bailout bill. As the stock market fell nearly 778 points, Barney Frank taunted his G.O.P. peers with pitch-perfect mockery: “Somebody hurt my feelings, so I will punish the country!”
Talk about the world coming full circle. This is the same Democrat who had been slurred as “Barney Fag” in the mid-1990s by Dick Armey, a House leader of the government-bashing Gingrich revolution that helped lower us into this debacle. Now Frank was ridiculing the House G.O.P. as a bunch of sulking teenage girls. His wisecrack stung — and stuck.
Palin is an antidote to the whiny Republican image that Frank nailed. Alaska’s self-styled embodiment of Joe Sixpack is not a sulker, but a pistol-packing fighter. That’s why she draws the crowds and (as she puts it) “energy” that otherwise elude the angry McCain. But she is still the candidate for vice president, not president. Americans do not vote for vice president.
So how can a desperate G.O.P. save itself? As McCain continues to fade into incoherence and irrelevance, the last hope is that he’ll come up with some new game-changing stunt to match his initial pick of Palin or his ill-fated campaign “suspension.” Until Thursday night, more than a few Republicans were fantasizing that his final Hail Mary pass would be to ditch Palin so she can “spend more time” with her ever-growing family. But the debate reminded Republicans once again that it’s Palin, not McCain, who is their last hope for victory.
You have to wonder how long it will be before they plead with him to think of his health, get out of the way and pull the ultimate stunt of flipping the ticket. Palin, we can be certain, wouldn’t even blink.
Friday, October 03, 2008
McCain To Michigan: "I'm Outta Here!"
Politico reports that McCain is closing down his campaign in Michigan, terminating his TV ads, and moving his staff there to Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida. If true, this is a major development. Michigan is one of only two Kerry states McCain has any realistic chance of winning (the other being New Hampshire). If Obama wins all the Kerry states, as now seems likely, and wins Iowa and New Mexico, both of which are almost in the bag for him, he needs only one more state to win. That means McCain must win all the swing states: Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, and Nevada. Obama is leading substantially in a number of them. McCain does not have a statistically significant lead in any of them.
Vacation Photos (Run Away! Run Away!)
How She Did It
McClellan, McKiernan, Whatever
George B. McClellan here. I am writing you urgently about last evening’s goddamned debate, where you cited my comments on Afghanistan as a defense for Senator McCain’s proposed “surge” in Afghanistan. The goddamned media is really all over you. They say you didn’t mean to refer to me. That I’ve been dead since 1885, and you clearly meant General David D. McKiernan. They say you don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t worry Palin, you stick to your guns. They said the same things about me after Antietam, goddamn sunken road. You’ve got a good future ahead of you.
The problem though, Palin, and I’ll be blunt, is that history has not remembered me kindly. They say that I couldn’t put away Robert E. Lee. They say I was a coward. They say I was elected Governor of New Jersey and didn’t even know it. I’m pretty fucked.
Accordingly I respectfully ask that you refrain from quoting me or implying my support in this campaign. People just don’t like you guys. It won’t do. Let me clear a few things up:
1. I know John McCain. John and I fought side by side in Mexico. We threw back a bourbon and loved some whores in TJ. We had our fun. But that man doesn’t know how to win a war any more than I knew how to beat Robert E. Lee. What the hell is he talking about? Win wars? Back in Mexico if you got captured you’d chew off your goddamned leg and bleed to death, that’s what you’d do, not end up with lithographs of yourself in some box all over the goddamned internet. Win what war? Come on.
2. I learned something important in that Summer of 1862. You don’t dally. If there’s an enemy that attacked you, you goddamned well better go after them where they live and fast. I took my sweet time, Palin, just like McCain and that goddamned Bush have spent five years johnny-booting around in the Ottoman Empire. A lot of men died. I know. You two listen to that Karzai and that goddamned Muslim you’re running against.
3. Alaska is a backwater. Good Mary Molly and Joseph. Goddamned Andrew Johnson’s polar bear garden for $7.2 million dollars! Come on. Also you said “up there” so many times last night I didn’t know if you were talking about heaven or Alaska, and you probably didn’t either.
Seriously Sarah, just leave me out of this. I fought hard and I loved those men of the Potomac. I know from strategies that work and strategies that keep you on a goddamned bloody lane years longer than you need to be. You’re on the wrong side of history here, just like me. You’re running against goddamned Abe Lincoln. You can’t win this and you shouldn’t.
Give John my best.
Sincerely and most respectfully,
General George B. McClellan
cc: Adm. Seward; First Dude; Gwen Ifill.About The Author - Ben Wyskida is a writer, activist, conscientious hedonist and political communications strategist living in Brooklyn. - Visit Ben's site.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Riiiiiight. And green monkeys will fly out of my ass any second now.
Any... second... now...