Friday, October 31, 2008

Free to Be, You and Me (No, Just Me; Not You)

Seriously, people. Someone get Governor Moosekiller a copy of the Constitution. Ours, that is. I'm not sure which one she keeps referring to, but it's not the United States Constitution. Hell, you don't even need to buy her one. I just linked to it. And then read the fucking thing to her. And then explain it. Seriously. It doesn't take long.

First, she insists, repeatedly, that the Constitution gives the Vice President lawmaking powers. And now she craps all over the sacred 1st Amendment.

Apparently, "freedom of speech" really means "freedom of speech for governors from cold states but not you". And "freedom of the press" really means "freedom of the press to keep their yaps shut when I say stupid shit and never ever call me on it". Here's what she said to conservative radio host Chris Plante of WMAL-AM.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."

Excuse my French, but how fucking dumb is this asswipe? Oh no, I made slimy allegations about somebody and then the press said they were slimy. My rights are being violated!

Set aside for a second the logical problem with her argument (and I use that term loosely). Negative campaigning, by definition, is making statements about the other party meant to cast them in an unflattering light, as opposed to making positive statements about yourself. The media don't need to convince anyone of anything. It's negative campaigning. Period. What's at issue is its veracity. Anyway...

Palin has the 1st Amendment exactly backwards. She can say anything she damn well pleases. But then the press has the equally important right, nay, the responsibility, to call bullshit on her. This is basic stuff. Really basic stuff. I'm sure nobody reading this needs me to explain it to them. Which makes you all more qualified to be Vice President than this moron.

Mrs. Palin, here's the deal. Your rights are no more or less important than anyone else's. I know you don't want to believe that. If you want to have a nice little dictatorship where you can do whatever the crap you want but nobody can say or do anything to you, then please go back to your pals in the Alaskan Independence Party and make your own little stupid country. Please leave ours alone. The Bush/Cheney junta has done enough damage to it already.

Please, America, get this goddamn election over with so that this utter dipshit can go back to the cave she crawled out of and John McCain can begin apologizing for letting James Dobson and Bill Kristol foist her on us.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


So here's a picture I found in, of all places, ESPN's website. In a basketball preview, no less. [Insert your own basketball joke here.]

Apparently, this is an actress on AMC's well-regarded series "Mad Men", which I have never seen. Although I'm now one step closer to putting it in the ol' Netflix queue.

I was struck by the link above the picture that says "Enlarge".

My question, and I think it's an obvious one: Aren't they large enough already?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Big Fat Chunk of Dishonesty

Bill O'Reilly may be the most clueless (or dishonest; it has to be at least one) person ever to have a television show that human beings watch. And I'm only assuming that they're human. Here's Bill's expert breakdown of the current electoral landscape.

Crikey! Obama's behind! How could such a thing happen?

Wait. Here's a map from Slate based on data taken from Pollster, which aggregates data from several polling sources.

Hmm, bit of a discrepancy there. Here are some numbers from some of Bill's "tossup" states.
  • Pennsylvania: Obama 52%, McCain 41.3%
  • Oregon: Obama 54%, McCain 39.4%
  • Iowa: Obama 53%, McCain 41.3%
  • Michigan: Obama 54%, McCain 38.1%
Wow, only 16 points. That one's a tossup, all right.

And here are some numbers from some of McCain's "safe" states in O'Reilly World.
  • North Carolina: Obama 48.8%, McCain 46.9%
  • North Dakota: Obama 44.9%, McCain 41.3%
Georgia, Montana and Indiana are all in play but McCain is ahead so those are really only a mild stretch for Bill. But Obama is actually leading in two other states that O'Reilly has already awarded to McCain. They're not even tossups for Bill! From where is Bill getting his numbers? From the same place his head is.

[Wait for it.]

His ass!

John McCain: Socialist

How radical is Obama's tax plan? So radical that John McCain supports it. At least he used to. Will he next week? Maybe he should debate himself.

I love people who make videos like this. It means I don't have to. This is from Jed Lewison at Daily Kos. Play it for all of your McCain-supporting friends and family who like to call Obama a socialist.

And remember, people, we're not "experimenting" with anything. We're talking about a reversion to Clinton-era tax levels. I seem to recall the economy being just dandy during the 90s. If that was an experiment, it was one that worked. A lot of the money that's currently leaking out of your 401(k) was made back then.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Michelle Obama Wants to Eat Your Children

Oh my god. This is scary. We simply cannot let this woman into the White House. Mrs. O was the subject of a NYT profile today, and in it she showed her true colors. This is what she said at a recent rally.

“So many precious little babies like that one!” she said after noticing one infant near the stage. “Just completely delicious!”

First terrorist fist jabs, then socialism, and now cannibalism?

The article continues:

Then Mrs. Obama leapt into the crowd, snatched two babies from their mothers, dashed their heads together and slurped out the contents. Crowd reaction was surprisingly mixed.
I'm not letting my kids anywhere near this fiend.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ted Stevens: Convicted Felon

Ha ha!

He was already trailing slightly in the polls. (Read that link quickly. It's gonna change.) Re-election now seems a bit of a stretch for this lying bastard.

Watch how quickly Governor Moosekiller becomes someone who doesn't even know the guy, just like The Idiot forgot that he knew Ken Lay once he joined the Convicted Felon Club.

Joe the Dumber

Do you make over $250,000 a year? Do you know anyone who makes over $250,000 a year? If so, are they (or you) struggling in any way? If so, can you (or they) look at someone making $18,000 a year working two jobs and explain that suffering to them? I'm sure they'll be all ears.

How this whole "Joe the Plumber" nonsense came to be the McPain campaign's big shillelagh is kind of mind-boggling to me. A guy asks Obama a question at a campaign stop, Obama engages the man thoughtfully, answering his questions and taking the guy's concerns seriously. At one point in the conversation, Obama mentions how "spread[ing] the wealth" (assuming there is any) is good for everyone. McPain picks this up and starts screaming about how Obama told poor old Joe (not really his name) the Plumber (not licensed, so not really his profession) that he's going to have his hard-earned money taken away from him to give to phony Hollywood socialists.

Obama's supposed gaffe was made based on the assumption that this guy actually would be making over $250K a year. (He wouldn't be.) And if he were, what the hell does he have to cry about?

Oh, and he doesn't have the money (or, um, the license) to buy the company anyway. And if he did, it would be the company's tax burden, not his. And he owes back taxes. (Not that that matters to the discussion. But it's fun to point out.) Based on what we know, it's pretty clear that this guy would actually benefit from Obama's tax plan. So, he's just the perfect tool to demonstrate how wrong Obama is. Of course.

Watch the whole video and it's unclear what the McPain campaign really thinks is so damning. (Assuming they do. Unless they're complete idiots, they know the truth.) It's utterly flimsy and yet they keep hammering on it as if this was the thing that was going to bring Obama down.

The whole thing makes no sense. And yet, we see campaign ads with people proclaiming that they are "Joe the Plumber" as if they were Spartacus or something and Obama really were going to destroy the middle class by spreading their wealth to some unnamed other (Wait! I know! It's black people, isn't it?), contrary to what the actual numbers say.

Oh, we're all Joe the Plumber now. In a way, it's true. We're all subject to being used fraudulently as a campaign tool to sell a bad product.

The joke's on you, people.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Huntin' and Fashion

Remember when... ("remember when": a recurring theme here) Remember when Al Gore was being ridiculed by Republicans for paying a consultant to suggest he wear earth tones? It was about $10K, as I recall. And remember John Edwards' haircuts? Important issues, they.

Guess how much the Republican National Committee has paid (so far) to clothe Sarah Palin?

$150,000. Plus almost $5,000 for hair and makeup through September alone.

"I like her. She's just like me!"

Because you just spent $75K at Neiman Marcus. We all do.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Colin Powell's Sycophancy Pills Wear Off

Colin Powell took a big step towards redeeming himself for spewing an economy-sized bucket of bullshit (his word, and mine) at the U.N. in 2003 by endorsing Barack Obama on "Meet the Press".

His words were a reminder of why we admired this man in the first place. He always seemed like he didn't quite belong in the group he was in. And we always hoped he'd dull their edges a bit. Until that speech at the U.N., when we all lost any respect we had for him.

By now decent and honest Republicans everywhere (yes, they exist) are scrambling for their place in the lifeboats of the S.S. Straight Talk. And Powell is undoubtedly an A-lister.

If you haven't watched this yet, you should. And if you know anyone who's planning to vote for McPain, make them watch it. In under 7 minutes Powell gives the most dispassionate, reasoned case for Obama (and against McCain) that we're likely to see.

Me, I would have said that McCain and Palin are lying, hate-mongering troglodytes. But that's not going to change anyone's mind. This is the nice way to say it. I particularly admire the way he pointed out that (surprise, America!) we are not a nation of bigots. Religious tests for office are not only forbidden by law, they're against our supposed national ethos.

Thank you, General Powell. And welcome back.

Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore

That's right, Roy. It's over.

Well, the Sox came up a bit short last night. They had their chances, most notably in the 8th inning, when Joe Maddon used 5 pitchers to get 3 outs and the Sox left 3 men on base with 0 runs scored. The 9th seemed like an afterthought with the bottom of the Sox lineup batting.

Oh well. I don't feel as bad about it as I might. Maybe because we've already had some fun in the past few years and the Sox have a bunch of nice young players (and a whole lot of money) that will keep them competitive for the foreseeable future.

It's distressing how many runners they leave on base (they had the "advantage" in that department of shame 8-3 last night and left 12 on the night before, although they managed to win that one in spite of it) but the bottom line is that they just got beat by the better team. And it was kinda fun. Except for Games 3 and 4, and the first 6 1/2 innings of Game 5, which were torturous.

I almost would have felt bad for the Rays and their (newfound) fans if they blew this series after the absurd lead they chunked in Game 5. I'm not into schadenfreude. Even for Yankees fans, believe it or not. (Well, maybe a little for Yankees fans.) So the Sox' losing spared me some guilt. But I would have found a way to live with it.

The Rays, as much as I've hated to let the thought creep into my natural-order-loving brain all year, are a really good team and they earned it. Hats off to Maddon and to Matt Garza for pitching a phenomenal game.

Not sure if I'll be taking sides in the World Series. Lots of people want to see the team that beat their team lose to feel some kind of revenge. I've always been more of the opinion that you want that team to go all the way. That way you can say "Well, our guys lost to the champs. It may as well have been the finals."

Unless it's the Yankees, of course.

Friday, October 17, 2008

They're Alive!

Holy shit!

Saying that the Sox snatched victory from the jaws of defeat last night does not do the game justice. They were just 7 outs away from elimination and losing 7-0. They had been outscored 29-5 at home in over 2-24/27 games. They had nothing going for them. Nothing. A rerun of the utter shame of the previous two games. At this point they were just trying to avoid being shut out at home in the playoffs for the first time in 90 years and get ready to tip their hats to the Rays, who, credit where it's due, have been outstanding.

Then Dustin Pedroia knocked in a run with a single. Yippee. One fewer point of shame in this game. But, then...

Big Papi, 1 for 16 in the series and more accurately referred to as Big Poopi, went kablammo to make it 7-4. Huh? Do not do this to us, Sox. Do not. Do not get our hopes up.

Next inning, J.D. Drew knocks a two-run shot over the right-field fence to make it 7-6. At this point, we somehow knew that this was going to happen, even though they were still down and now only 4 outs from elimination.

Coco Crisp had one of the best at-bats I've ever seen (10 pitches!) to stay alive and knock in the tying run with a base hit.

They got into the bottom of the ninth still tied, thanks to a timely double play in the top half with two runners on. And J.D Drew came through again with a line drive single to cap off the most holy-motherlovin-crap-I-can't-believe-what-I-just-saw game we're ever likely to see.

This would have been amazing if it were just a regular game. The fact that this was an elimination game and the Rays had the champagne ready and the lockers covered with plastic just sent it into the stratosphere.

I'm sure that Rays fans are now feeling like we did in 1986. But hey, they're still up 3-2 and they get to go home (not that home is all that nice, but still, home) and face Josh Beckett, who in the playoffs so far has been about as steady as an epileptic with PTSD and a few bong hits in him.

The Sox still have an enormous uphill battle. But even if they can't get there, this was freaking awesome.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Round 4: The End (Finally)

Remember back in 2000, when Al Gore got pilloried for sighing during the debates with The Idiot? And remember how he got lambasted for seeming to be a different person in each debate?

I heard Johnny Mac breathing at least four times during Obama's turns last night. And we got yet another John McCain for this debate. It wasn't really a different guy. It was just a different flavor. Gore had gone from pedantic to forceful to just plain lame (although he really won each debate quite handily, regardless of the wanna-have-a-beer-with-him crowd's bewildering preference for the other guy). McCain was a cranky old man who wouldn't look at his opponent in the first debate, a cranky old condescending man who wandered a lot in the second debate, and a cranky old sarcastic man who alternated between screaming and laughing inappropriately in the third debate. And he interrupted Obama a lot. Not good.

Obama was even more Obama-y then ever and McCain was even McCainier, like himself in the previous debates but on steroids. Or goofballs. He tried really hard to seem funny and sharp. But he just looked like your embarrasing uncle, who also tries really hard to be funny and sharp but only has you and your family to embarrass, not the whole freaking country. Of course, the polls had been trending towards the cool guy for some time now, so McCain doesn't stand to gain much by being more of what we're already deciding we don't like very much. But he doesn't have any other arrows in the quiver. So there it is.

For the first half hour I was bored and thought McCain was actually winning. Obama was trying not to lose, like a football team up by 20 points in the 4th quarter running out the clock. Which is fine. That's all he had to do here. But after McCain wasn't able to rattle Obama, and Obama showed yet again that he knew exactly what he was talking about on, oh, every issue, McCain's head started to smoke and he grew increasingly disjointed and embarrassing-uncle-like.

He actually was making a bit of sense for a while. And then he just started babbling incoherently, moving from one topic to another, getting angrier and more dismissive all the while. By the end, he was equating Down Syndrome with autism. And criticizing someone's health care proposal with calling someone a terrorist. This debate was the McCain campaign in a nutshell. No direction, no consistent message, throwing everything at the wall hoping desperately that something will stick, progressively more insane as it circles the bowl.

Obama did himself proud in his responses about abortion, taxes and (why must we talk about this? why?) Bill Ayers and ACORN. McCain looked like he crapped his pants after he taunted Obama for not saying what penalty would be levied for not providing employee insurance and Obama told the strangely ubiquitous Joe the Plumber that his penalty would be "$0".

McCain had at least two horrible moments. First, he pooh-poohed women's health, suggesting that women exaggerate their own health risks because they just looooves getting them some abortions. Ow, my neck! I need an abortion! Great way to get the gals on your side, Johnny.

(Oh, and while we're on the subject, I am so fucking sick of the "liberal" position always being called "extreme" and the conservative position always being called "mainstream", regardless of where public opinion really lies. What was that last word? Oh, yes. LIES.)

His other bad moment was more subtle. It was after Obama discussed the Lily Ledbetter case. McCain brushed it off with muttered comments about the statute of limitations and the case being a "trial lawyer's dream". He, of course, never bothered defending the actual merits of the case, which was a disgrace. He clearly did not want to talk about it and quickly moved on to the next topic. Another bad bad thing to say in front of the ladies. Or anyone with a sense of fairness.

The post-debate snap polls all went Obama's way. Again. And McCain's positive/negatives went even further in the wrong direction.

This is not over yet. A lot can happen in three weeks. But something really disastrous would have to occur for Obama to lose this.

McCain can most productively spend his time drafting a nice apologetic concession speech.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Bashed-in Dead Sox

Oh. My. God.

The Sox are taking a serious pounding. This is ugly. No, it's beyond ugly. This is fugly.

How the heck does this happen? A few days ago they took the first game on the road in that horrible dome in St. Petersburg. Then they came within a whisker of taking the second and going up 2-0. Even coming home at 1-1 looked really good, particularly with Jon Lester on the mound for Game 3.

Then they actually played the games at Fenway. Oy.

Will somebody please tell me where the real Boston Red Sox are and who replaced them over the weekend with these mushy vegetarian meatballs? Who are these people? They can't pitch, they can't hit, they can't manage. They're utterly lifeless. How is this the same team that just last week beat up on the best team in the American League (against whom they went 1-8 in the regular season, I might add)?

I know, they came back from down 3-1 last year in the ALCS and, of course, there was The Miracle of 2004. All hope is not lost. But the hope cupboard is not exactly overflowing right now. We're going to have to dump out the last box to find even a few crumbs of it.


Monday, October 13, 2008

How Do You Spell "Bullshit"? P-A-L-I-N

Alternate spellings: M-C-C-A-I-N and D-A-V-I-S.

Remember this quote from John McCain from not too long ago?

"[I]f a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed."
Here's what McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told Faux News' Chris Wallace regarding the Troopergate report released on Friday. (Quotes and stuff cribbed from Glenn Greenwald. Thanks, Glenn!)

"The reality is there was absolutely no wrongdoing found in the report — 1,000 pages — an enormous waste of time — and the best they could come up with was: no violations of any kinds of laws or ethics rules."
And here's what Sarah Palin herself told the Alaskan press corps.

"Well, I’m very very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoingany hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that."
Wow, they really dodged that bullet. So much for the partisan witch hunt. Oh wait. Here's what the report said in its very first finding.

"For the reasons explained in Section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."
Um, yeah. Cleared of all wrongdoing. Because abusing power and violating laws are not really wrongdoing. At least not for Republicans. We are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

What's that sound? It's McPain poll numbers dropping even further.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

More Rainbow Flags Coming to Connecticut

So a Connecticut court has made a rational decision. People may not be discriminated against. It seems simple. But people have all sorts of emotional and/or religious issues that tend to cloud things. Some folks will harp on and on about the "sanctity of marriage", which I find a bit ridiculous. It's a social institution like many others. It has undergone many changes over the centuries with many definitions. Even now it means different things to different people in different traditions, even within those traditions. But the religious nuts just can't get over the "between a man and a woman" thing because of one line in the Bible. (Q: Which topic has more coverage in the Bible, homosexuality or how you should treat your slaves? A: Guess. And it isn't even close.)

"Marriage is about children." Well, no. Many marriages are childless. I have friends my age who are married and don't want children. Should they not have been allowed to get married? My dad re-married in his late 50s and clearly had no intention of having more children. Should he not have been allowed to marry? Some people are barren. Should they not be allowed to get married? It's a specious and nonsensical argument on its face. It doesn't take a genius to refute it. But they still trot it out. It's the only semi-logical thing they can hang it on.

Take these people. They claim that their arguments against gay marriage aren't biblical but biological. What the hell difference does that make? It's still discriminatory. The fact still remains that many married people will never have children and they shouldn't have to in order to enter into a legal contract. Should people have to pledge to have children before they are allowed a marriage license? Should they have to take a fertility test? Should divorce be illegal because the whole point is to have one male and one female parent in the house at all times? Should Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual not be allowed to procreate?

Listen, whatever your church and you want to do is up to your church and you. But the state does not take a position on religious matters. The state does not take a position on "biological" matters, if that's what you want to call it. The state has pieces of paper that people can sign and enter into a legally binding contract. The state does not care if you love your spouse. The state does not care if you have children. The state does not care if you feed each other Cocoa Puffs while having sex in your laundry room. The state simply does not care. You sign the piece of paper and then when the other person dies you get their money. That is all the state cares about. It's a legal contract and the state may not discriminate in who gets to make a contract with whom.

Have fun discriminating in your church. It's perfectly legal. But it's perfectly illegal for the state to do it. 3 down, 47 to go.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dumb Letters: The Death of Free Enterprise

Here's an instant classic from the Chicago Tribune.

Now that the socialist wing of the Democrat Party has the economy on the ropes with its irresponsible mortgages, all it needs now to finish it off is a victory in November. Then it will be able to start with a clean slate and kill free enterprise forever. Lenin would be proud.
—E.J. McNally, Lemont
Yeah, you tell 'em, E.J.! Those Democrats just loooove to make people poor.

It's amazing how predatory lenders taking advantage of lax regulation and our nation's home-ownership fetish and then selling off their bad investments like hot potatoes can somehow be blamed on socialism. Just a tiny stretch there. Like 180 degrees.

These people weren't acting out of charity. They were trying to make money. And they made a heckuva lot of it until the bottom fell out. It was (way too) free enterprise that caused the catastrophe.

The lesson here: if capitalism fails, say that it was socialism and declare victory. Don't forget to invoke Lenin. That always drives it home. The Trib will publish your letter and you can frame it. The kids will be proud.

Also, Mr. (or Ms. or Mrs. or...) McNally may be surprised to learn that the socialist wing of the Democratic party consists entirely of Bernie Sanders. I had no idea Bernie was so powerful.

UPDATE: I just went to my bank and asked for a Democratic mortgage. They didn't know what I was talking about. I said, "You know, the ones that are Democratic. The irresponsible ones. The socialist ones." They said, "Why yes, we're all socialist Democrats here in this quintessentially capitalist institution. Gladys, get this young man some free money." Then security came over. Don't remember much after that.

Round 3: "Town Hall"

We didn't learn much from the latest prez debate. Perhaps the best new information we got is that John McCain knows how to get Osama bin Laden. In a real debate with follow-up questions, the next question would be along the lines of, "Yeah? How?" But this wasn't a real debate.

Of course, in a sane world, the response from ordinary people would be along the lines of, "WHAT? How long have you known this and when the fuck were you planning on telling us, you asshole? Have you considered sharing this valuable information with our current leaders? Someone needs to be sent out for an 'enhanced interrogation technique'." Of course, this isn't really a sane world.

McCain's other big moment was doing that fierce combination of demonic botox smirk and lingering-war-injury shrug while pointing at Obama and calling him "that one" as if he were your grandmother saying "Guess who broke somebody's lamp today?" "Why who, Grammie?" "That one." "Waaahhh!!!"

Some people have claimed this was racist. Eh, not really. He didn't exactly call him "boy" or "uppity". It was just garden-variety condescension. Bad enough, and the one sound bite that people will remember most from this event.

Overall, Obama again showed himself to be calm, collected, knowledgable and, yes, presidential. McCain again showed himself to be a cranky, petulant, impatient old man who should be put out to pasture before he does even more damage to his once-proud reputation. Oh, and he said "my friends" so often that it started to sound like "you ignorant shitbags".

This was supposed to be McC's best format. Of course, foreign policy was supposed to be his best subject. If this is the best he's got, we don't need to see any more. Time to stick a fork in him.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Sad Lunatic Ravings of a Desperate Man

Wow. The McCain campaign is degenerating even more rapidly than we expected.

Read this account of a speech the old fart gave today.

These people are officially out of ideas. I know, I know. They never really had any in the first place. But now that the economy has spiraled out of control (a tragedy but, politically, a plus for Dems) and no one seems to give a rat's petoot about McC's war record or his "maverick" pick of that other "maverick", whose maverickiness seems to consist of not following that herd that, you know, knows stuff about stuff, these guys are left with ad hominem attacks on Obama.

What's really sad about this is how baldly it smacks of desperation. McCain, who used to be civil and respectable, has become an old-fashioned Washington mudslinger. It doesn't suit him. It made him look bad in the first debate and it's making him look bad now.

What's that, John? Obama's inexperienced? Is that supposed to be news? What's that? He hangs out with terrorists? We went over this in the primary. It didn't fly then. How the hell is it supposed to fly now?

And get a load of this.

“Senator Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis,’’ he said. “I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed."

This is classic projection. Does he even know how hypocritical this sounds? Case in point: he goes on to say this.

“Today the Dow has fallen below 10,000,’’ he said. “And yet, members of his own party said they felt no pressure to vote for the bill. Why didn’t Senator Obama work to pass this bill from the start? Why did he let it fail and drag out this crisis for a full week before doing a thing to help pass it?’’

Wow, do I even have to point out whose party stonewalled this thing and who couldn't get them to pass it for the life of him? And his pledge not to debate or campaign until there was a resolution? Remember that?

McCain has jumped the shark. This is entirely unpresidential behavior. And it's only going to hurt him. His only hope is that this deflects attention from any actual issues. Because he's getting his ass whooped on substance.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Round 2: Tag Team

I didn't really catch much of the latter half of the VP debate last night. I was totally cocked off my ass from drinking every time Sarah Palin used the word "maverick". By 45 minutes in I was reduced to taking my pants off and French kissing my TV screen while screaming "Kiss me, you hot sexy veeper, you! SLLUUUUUUURRPP!" And then Joe Biden finished his response.


Well, this was about what I expected. Palin, of course, didn't display the awkward pauses and idiotic non-answers that we saw in her interviews with Katie Couric and, to a lesser extent, Charles Gibson. Instead she displayed awkward attacks and well-scripted non-answers delivered with a wink and a smile and a "you betcha". Oh, and a whole pile of lies.

Of course, she couldn't come up with any fresh lies. She just had the ones from her note cards, which she consulted furiously during Biden's turns and even during her own. Whenever a buzzword was mentioned by Biden or moderator Gwen Ifill, the light in her head went on and she grabbed the note card with that canned response on it, regardless of whether it was really appropriate to the question or whether she had already used it.

She certainly showed that she was capable of talking, as long as she had something rehearsed. And she is undeniably charming. And forceful, when she has the aforementioned rehearsed statements. If I had watched this debate and I didn't speak English, I would have given it to her hands-down. Unfortunately for Mrs. P, I (and the rest of America) do speak English. And, call me crazy, I care about content. Her "responses" were utterly free of substance. It was, as The Idiot and his fellow Texans would say, all hat and no cattle.

Seriously, I expected overuse of "maverick" but even I was stupefied by just how many times she said it. And here's something you may not have known: she's from the middle class and she's a Washington "outsider". And, get this, a MOM! Wow! I can so relate to her! Okay, so what else ya got? Nothing? Okay. I can so relate to her!

She spoke, at least at first, entirely to the camera, which I found almost as disconcerting as McCain talking exclusively to Jim Lehrer. Mix it up, girl. (Obama did and it was effective.) And the winking? WTF? Who does she think she's talking to? Is she promising us a little roll in the hay or something? I do not care to be flirted with by my (vice-)presidential candidates, or any other candidates. There are plenty of people on the internet that are hotter than her that will be happy to wink at me. And some of them are smarter than her too. Possibly most.

If I were looking for someone for a local newscast, she's my gal. She looks good on camera and can read a cue card like nobody's business. But as a politician and potential leader? She's still a complete joke. And not a funny one. This debate, although better than her interviews, only confirmed this. There was still no actual substance there, no matter how well she sold it.

Oh, guess what? There was someone else at the debate. It's true! Joe Biden was there. Yeah, and they even let him speak. And damn, he was pretty good. A bit lumpy in the first half but he was strong, coherent, knowledgeable, and he actually responded to the questions with stuff he knew about, not just stuff from his note cards. (He did have note cards; they all do. But he can go off of them, which is unsurprisingly useful in a debate.)

He didn't say anything stupid. He's a very smart guy but sometimes he lets his mouth run off. Not tonight. I liked him more after watching this. And trusted him more to run the country, if need be. Which is good.

I was encouraged by the post-debate polls. It appears that most people considered Biden the winner. I didn't expect this. Eight years ago, I couldn't wait for America to see The Idiot in the debates against Al Gore. "Great," thought I, "they'll see what a dipshit this guy is and his numbers will crater." Gore mopped up the floor with him in the debate (on substance, anyway, and truthfulness). Then afterward everyone said the debate was a tie or even that W. had won. I knew that we, as a nation, were in deep deep shit at that moment. (Little did I know just how deep, and how wide, it would get. But that's another story.)

I fully expected the same this time around. "I like her" would trump "She has nothing to say." If we had really learned our lesson, McPain would be getting slaughtered in the polls already. And they're not. But it seems that, although we are slow learners, we are getting it bit by bit.

Keep going, America. You can make it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Palin Bingo

Why just watch the debates and scream at the television? Have some fun by printing out these custom Palin Bingo cards.

If that's not enough for you, you can always fall back on the standard drinking games. I plan to get completely sloshed by drinking every time she says "maverick".

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tomayto Tomahto

So, have we all noticed that what was yesterday called a "bailout" is now a "rescue"? And this is in every media source I've seen, read and heard. I mean, everybody. Hmm.

We're at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

And the Misses Just Keep on Comin'

So, Ms. P is well-informed. It's very impressive. Here's what she had to say to Katie Couric about how she stays so informed.

Couric: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?

Palin: I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.

Couric: What, specifically?

Palin: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.

Couric: Can you name a few?

Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where it’s kind of suggested, “Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?” Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

Geez. She couldn't have just tossed out the name of one major American newspaper? (I know, I know. She doesn't know any.) And does anyone really ask her how she can stay informed way up there in Alaska? We do have the internet now. Or maybe she doesn't.

So, she can't name a single newspaper (although she reads all of them), she can't name a single actual policy that John McCain promoted ("I'll get 'em for ya!") and, rumor has it, more Couric interview nuggets are going to be available today showing that she can't name a single Supreme Court case other than Roe v. Wade.

How can this get worse? As noted in comments, I'm not expecting a major disaster in Thursday's debate with Joe Biden. But I'm having a hard time figuring how she's going to have anything remotely intelligent to say after watching these interviews. She was supposed to be prepared for them too.