Tag Archives: 2008

Oh, You Republicans. Princes of Irony, All.

Billboard in Missouri cries out with irony.  You could eat the contradiction with a spoon.
Billboard in Missouri cries out with irony. You could eat the contradiction with a spoon.

A friend sent me this picture in email this morning. It’s a billboard which is apparently hanging up somewhere in public in the great state of Missouri.  Things are getting pretty bald-faced nasty in that state, it would appear.  There is nothing quite as unsettling in that Big Brother way than billboards like this one or the churchie signs on Rt 15 through Pennsylvania.

But when I look at this billboard in particular, I’m overcome with a sense of irony.  The sign begins by baldly stating that Barack Obama is a Muslim, therefore an extremist, therefore a terrorist.  Then it goes on to list all the things Barack Obama would foster as president.

Man, oh man.  I can hardly think of a person more qualified to eliminate abortion and taxes, kill gays and remove restrictions to guns than a religious extremist.  If they don’t want those things they wrote about on their billboard, they should really hire a terrorist religious freak to be president.  Oh, wait.  They already did that once, didn’t they?

And to add irony on top of irony, John McCain less qualified to uphold their “family values” than even Barack Obama is.

AK Troopergate Report: DFE Roundup

I’ve just finished up an article on the Troopergate matter in Alaska involving our favourite girl, Sarah Palin.  For those of you who need a refresher on what exactly is going on, this article should probably serve as a good Clift’s Notes version.  And there are also a few other gems I’ve found around the net that haven’t made it into wide circulation, such as this one:

» Palin Attempts to Circumnavigate Troopergate Investigation || DFE News Roundup » DFE News Updates

Specifically, the Seattle Times is reporting that Todd Palin’s affidavit states that the alleged disagreement between the Palins and Monegan was over, among other things, the use of Alaska’s state trooper airplane. Todd Palin claimed that “It seemed that whenever Sarah needed this plane, it was unavailable.” Palin suggested that Monegan may have been retaliating for the Palin’s decision to sell the plane often used by the Public Safety department. This was the plane Sarah Palin has insisted on the stump was sold by her on eBay.

Debate Wrapup: Please Speak in Complete Sentences

I didn’t bother live blogging this debate because frankly, I wasn’t all that interested.  I’m watching anyway, because I’m an addict.

My general impression of this debate is that Senator John McCain should really have sat down more, because he looks old when he walks around.  That, and he’s not making much sense.  He’s not really speaking in complete sentences most of the time and he’s bobbing and weaving from topic to topic in a very, . . .  well, eratic. . . . way.  This was supposed to have been his venue, as indeed the last debate’s topic of foreign policy was supposed to have been his subject.

One thing about this format which is not helping John McCain is that he’s used to actual town hall meetings where humor is rewarded with laughter.  In this case, reaction is not allowed.  Thus his jokes fall flat, even if they might have worked in other situations.  It’s also worth pointing out that his town hall meetings are filled with his supporters, which is not the case with this debate.

I found it interesting when they got to the “McCain Doctrine/Obama Doctine” silliness (what the hell is up with Tom Brokaw, anyway?) that McCain kept trying to project himself as the “cool hand,” when that is far from his current impression with the American people.  That doesn’t seem to be a winning position for John McCain and it takes away from him his chief strength in the campaign, which is his foreign policy experience.

Another strategy which has come to a level of silliness is the whole “you don’t tell people you’re going to bomb Pakistan” business.  Implicit in that discussion is that John McCain also accepts the premise, but thinks you shouldn’t talk about it.  Then why is he bringing it up again and again in the debates?  I find it equally strange that he doesn’t want to talk about what he’ll do in Pakistan but he is willing to call out the Prime Minister of Russia as a cretin.  Russia, you might remember, is one of those more powerful nations.

I think this debate once again comes down to a basic draw which benefits Barack Obama once again.  There’s really nothing about this debate that hurts either candidate, necessarily, but there’s also nothing that benefits John McCain at all.  Barack has once again done his calm, cool and collected best, while John McCain has seemed a bit rash at minimum and definitely old.

Save the Celebration

I think it’s safe to say that those of us who support Barack Obama are starting to feel pretty good right about now.  The poll numbers look good so far, the issues are against the McCain-Palin ticket and the momentum seems to be heading our way.  But before we get too used to success, let us remember our friend the cyclist and wait to celebrate until after the finish line:

Telling

Here’s some interesting stats for ya.  Citizen Media conducted a poll of last night’s debate viewers.  There’s a bunch of interesting numbers, but this one is really something.  Of those who watched the debate, by the viewer’s declared candidate, what channel did you watch? :

Of the people who declared themselves Obama supporters, the mix of channels is pretty even and wide spread among many different channels. Among declared McCain voters? Nuttin’ but Fox, baby.

Freeing Sarah Palin

I’m not sure that this whole “free Sarah Palin” movement has proven to be such a good idea.  The original idea was that by allowing her to get face time with reporters, she could be her effervescent self and charm them.  Granted, most of the interview segments we’ve seen have been from the same day, but honestly, take a look at this recently released bit:

Now, this is not a question of foreign policy.  It’s not complicated macro-economic stuff and it’s certainly not as tricky as being asked what you read.  This is also not foreign territory for Sarah Palin.  Abortion and Pro-Life issues have been a standard for Palin since her candidacy was announced and well before.  She’s campaigned on this platform long before she became the Vice Presidential Candidate to the Republican Party.

But what we see here is a person who has either not bothered to think too deeply on an issue she’s long held forth on, or at best a person whose not bothered to think through how to communicate her position.  My feeling is that the latter is over-generous.  It’s not a question of whether I agree with her – in fact, I’m not even sure what her position actually is, entirely – its that there’s a listless quality to this monologue that seems reluctant to stake out any position whatsoever on the issue.  Isn’t it a little late for that?

Gotcha.

Journalists are sneaky and nefarious types.  Filled with hate and brimming with mischief.  What’s more, their favourite pass-time is playing “Gotcha Journalism.”

How, precisely “Gotcha Journalism” compares and contrasts to “Gotcha Politics” is not entirely clear, but I presume they originate from the same evil wellspring of contempt for politicians not grown in vats at Harvard or in a Georgetown country club.  Whatever is the case, both are equally unacceptable and it’s a wonder journalism hasn’t been made illegal yet.  Let’s all hope the McCain-Palin ticket goes straight to the White House, so we can make that happen.

Case in point, in Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric, Mrs. Couric threw out the most devious of questions, sure to trip up any salt-of-the-earth politician: she asked “What newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?”  And when Sarah Palin refuse to answer in specific (since, after all, education is a private affair), Couric drilled deeper, “Can you name a few?”

Can she name a few?  What is this?  Joseph McCarthy’s Communist trials?  I mean, those were good, but this is outrageous.

But, with the cat-like intellectual reflexes we’ve come to expect from Mrs. Palin, she responded, “All of them.”

Well, if that doesn’t shut up critics, I don’t know what will.

Update: No Palin disaster story is truly complete without the video:

Debate Wrapup

Looking back on the debate, there’s not a lot in the way of real blood-letting to be taken away from this debate.  I think whether you think Barack or John won will be based largely on style or personal preference.

On the other hand, it was McCain’s debate to lose.  He’s in a hole right now, and he needed to look better than expected.  I’m not sure he did that, and I’m not sure there was a lot to inspire confidence in those whose confidence he lost.  He didn’t look at Obama, he laughed weirdly, and despite Barack Obama’s many compliments and attempts to engage in discourse, McCain could not bring himself to return the favour.  Frankly, it looked petulant and unpresidential.

Overall, my personal feeling is that this was roughly a draw, but practically a loss for McCain.  Not a win for Obama, precisely, but a loss of opportunity for McCain.

The Appearance of Impropriety

By the way, check out Andrea Mitchell’s hair.  Whoo.  And it’s funny that she reported on this story and now acts like she doesn’t even remember it.  And let me direct you to my post of a few days ago.  Watching this video, keep in mind that the only thing John McCain wanted to fix was what got him into trouble, not the basic dirty dealing of the scandal.  And also keep in mind that, despite having self-flaggelated on the lobbyists and campaign money front for the public’s amusement, he’s still got active lobbyists in his campaign.

Bailout: Something Foul’s Afoot. . .

Looks like there’s no crisis too big for John McCain to avoid playing politics with:

Political Radar: Stephanopoulos: McCain Holds Key to Administration’s Bailout Passage on Capitol Hill

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos reports: If Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain doesn’t vote for the Bush administration’s $700 billion economic bailout plan, some Republican and Democratic congressional leaders tell ABC News the plan won’t pass.

“This is a huge crisis. We know, in the words of many  experts and mine, this is the greatest financial crisis since World War II. So to somehow, for the Democrats to say that their vote is going to be gauged on my vote frankly doesn’t do them a great deal of credit.”

Funny thing: no one knows how this plan will turn out – if indeed it passes – till well after the election.  I understand that Republicans are hoping to paint this as the Mother of All Tax and Spend Liberal Proposals, but until the bill passes and until it’s proven to be a failure, how does this not come across as the Mother of All Republican Deregulation Fuck Ups?

Am I missing something?