Thursday, July 31, 2008

McCain Goes Racist

McCain falsely accuses Obama of "playing the race card" and thereby goes racist himself.

McCain took on the role of aggrieved victim, his campaign waiting almost a day after Obama's remarks to charge that he had injected race into the presidential campaign. "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. Its divisive, negative, shameful and wrong," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said.
That's one way to do it. Accuse the other guy about what you yourself are doing. Making it explicit puts it into the discussion. John McCain said he'd rather lose the election than be wrong on the war. But he's not above the politics of personal destruction and running a racist campaign.

Dishonorable John McCain

From Joe Klein:

A few months ago, I wrote that John McCain was an honorable man and he would run an honorable campaign. I was wrong. I used to think, as David Ignatius does, that McCain's true voice was humble and moderate, but now I'm beginning to think his Senate colleagues may be right about his temperament.
Remember Senator Cochran's view of McCain: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine...He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me." Klein writes, "The erratic nature of McCain's campaign seems to be confirming that judgment."

Indeed. This country made an enormous error in giving power to George W. Bush, with all his dishonesty, corruption, and ignorance. We'll be paying for that for the foreseeable future. Right now, though, we're either on the edge of doing it again (the popular definition of insanity), and for some unknown reason the media is cheerleading for that option, or getting it right. We need someone who will bring change, a fresh perspective, and intelligence to the office of president.

John McCain promises (threatens) to continue the failed policies of Bush. There's no way that should happen.

We Knew It!

It was obvious on the face of it that McCain was going to attack Obama whether he visited the wounded troops or didn't. But it's nice to see some validation of that, to let us know that our unchecked cynicism isn't unwarranted. When we have people like McCain -- people of no principles -- you know they'll swing both ways. If you did A you should've done B. If you did B you should've done A.

From Business Week: What the McCain campaign doesn’t want people to know, according to one GOP strategist I spoke with over the weekend, is that they had an ad script ready to go if Obama had visited the wounded troops saying that Obama was...wait for it...using wounded troops as campaign props. So, no matter which way Obama turned, McCain had an Obama bashing ad ready to launch. I guess that’s political hardball. But another word for it is the one word that most politicians are loathe to use about their opponents—a lie. (Posted by David Kiley.)
I really don't know why most politicians (at least through associates) are loathe to use the word lie. It's what liars do. And if we know anything about Republicans by this point it's that very thing. They are unscrupulous and completely removed from the truth. Liars.

Remember, John McCain would've created a "seismic event" if they'd told him he couldn't visit those troops. But if Obama had visited them we probably would've never heard of this "seismic event." Maybe that's what happened in California the other day. McCain was stomping around concerning something and set off an earthquake!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Which Candidate is the Real Britney Candidate?

The video gives us the answer!

McCain Supports "Sturge" in South Dakota

Who wouldn't want to go? That sounds great. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is way cool, even for us non-motorcycle riding skinny wimps with completely white skin, no tan lines, and thick glasses. "Is there even the remotest possibility that you fine young ladies might be free for the evening?" I ask in my best nasally whine. "Get lost, loser!"

This year John McCain is scheduled to appear, Monday, August 4.

"We are honored that a patriot of Senator McCain's stature would take time during his Presidential campaign to help us honor our veterans and active duty military personnel," said campground owner Rod Woodruff.

We know drunken fights and other violence will be way down now this year, now that McCain is the first candidate to support a "Sturge" in South Dakota.

McCain Takes on Britney

In John McCain's latest ad -- just more random attacks on Barack Obama, offering nothing positive of his own for the nation -- he features Britney and Paris. It would appear that he's trying to say Obama is an airhead, as that's what those two performers are generally perceived to be. Since Obama was a constitutional law professor for 12 years and graduated magna cum laude from the Law School at Harvard, maybe he's not as emptyheaded as McCain seems to think. Would that be a possibility?

Anyway, hasn't Britney been a faithful supporter of President Bush, just as McCain has been? Just going by this snippet of an interview, CNN, September 2003, with Tucker Carlson, she sounds very faithful:

CARLSON: A lot of entertainers have come out against the war in Iraq. Have you?

SPEARS: Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.

CARLSON: Do you trust this president?

SPEARS: Yes, I do.

CARLSON: Excellent.
Why does McCain want to pick on someone who gave such credit to our beloved Republican president?

John McCain Obviously Lying

Larry King asked McCain why Obama didn't go to the Landstuhl military hospital. McCain's answer is obviously a lie:

LARRY: Why do you think he didn't go?
MCCAIN: I have no idea except that I know that according to reports that he wanted to bring media people and cameras and his campaign staffers...
"I have no idea." None. I'm completely ignorant of any possible reasons, whether they would be negative or positive to Mr. Obama. I don't have a clue. There have been "reports" of reasons yet still "I have no idea." Perhaps Obama has given an explanation but if he has I haven't heard it. For had I heard it, of course, then I would have to have some idea.

For someone who has "no idea" of what's going on, McCain has been very bold about speaking out and mucking up the waters. If we were to take him at his word, he's making another preemptive strike based on faulty intelligence. By now, wouldn't he want at least to form some idea of the truth before lashing out?

His boldness to speak out was seen in the quick attack ad that got so much coverage, which, if I'm recalling, had some variation on the phrase, "This is John McCain and I approved this message." Why would someone known for "straight talk" approve a message that he himself had "no idea" about?

There are possibilities here. Setting aside here forgetfulness, mental lapses, and dementia, one big possibility is staring us right in the face: John McCain is a liar.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Don't Be Cruil" to Cuil

I was out of the loop on Cuil. I honestly never heard one word about it till yesterday when it had its big debut. It's surely been mentioned before, right?

Then suddenly there it was, upon us, a big surprise. The fun in that is that the next latest thing might be here momentarily and I'll be equally surprised!

Well, it didn't go well. The things I looked up -- my own name, various internet pseudonyms, etc. -- didn't come up with much. My own name was actually there a few times but the way it's laid out on the screen isn't good, too few results shown, and of course other people have the same name, "Regnad Kcin." Then I typed my name and a state I lived in, which said, "244,424 results" for that, but it only showed 2 and there wasn't a second page.

I typed in a blog title, one of my great blogs that everyone loves so much -- Grandma Slump -- and it wasn't there at all. It did show a few things having to do with grandmas and economic and housing slumps, that sort of thing, but that doesn't help me with my own grandma's whereabouts. She's 104 years old, for crying out loud, let's have some respect!

I typed a couple domains that I own, that have been online (with not much there) forever, and neither one appeared. (Of course I'm going going to cycle through 3000+ results looking for it.)

But, hey, everything and everyone has to start somewhere. Baby steps and all that. It's not cuil to be cruil. Although sometimes you have to be cruil to be kynd!

Poll with McCain Ahead

It's old news by now -- yesterday -- but there was a poll that has McCain out front by a few points, the USA Today/Gallup national poll. It's a little mixed, with Obama leading McCain 47%-44% among registered voters. But when it's reduced to only those likely to vote, McCain has a 49%-45% lead.

I don't think this is real significant at this point. But it shows there's going to be ups and downs. Just don't be surprised if it all flips the next time they take it.

For everyone hoping it will be an Obama landslide, I hope that too. And we get the big media making a big deal out of it that Obama -- when he's ahead -- isn't more ahead. I'm not expecting a popular vote landslide, for the simple fact that the Republicans are going to get their votes. The election was close in 2000 and '04, very close. Obama's great, but there's nothing at this point that shows the Republicans and their fellow travelers will be denied their usual portion.

Looking at some electoral maps, lately, getting down into the state by state stuff, it looks like Obama right now is projected to have an easier time of it than Gore or Kerry.

But if McCain keeps getting assists and hand outs from the big media -- lies and misrepresentations being lied about and misrepresented -- he could make it really really close.

Kaine and McCain

That'd be an interesting word sound coincidence, if we had Gov. Tim Kaine on one ticket and John McCain on the other. Nothing extremely important in all that, of course. What's in a name? What might be a rose for the Democrats doesn't smell quite as sweet for the Republicans.

Kaine is able?

Eternal Shame -- Means It Lasts Forever

A presidency that will go down in infamy. George W. Bush, the torture president.

Eugene Robinson: I still find it hard to believe that George W. Bush, to his eternal shame and our nation's great discredit, made torture a matter of hair-splitting, legalistic debate at the highest levels of the U.S. government. But that's precisely what he did.
Some of the rules of karma, as I understand it, are fairly inflexible. You do it, it redounds to you in some way. Ripples on the water, the pain of separation, a nervous breakdown, being classed as a war criminal.

When you're a president of the United States, if you simply sat on the Oval Office couch for eight years, you created a legacy that will be known and analyzed forever. If you have violated international law, if you have violated the standards of essential human decency -- have committed, sanctioned, or allowed crimes against humanity -- it's not just going to go away.

Whether George W. Bush feels any shame is beside the point. He has it whether there's any feelings at all. He has dirtied things up for himself big time. And having engaged in this criminal activity in our name, he hasn't done us any favors either.

From Eugene Robinson's column:
A clear and urgent duty of the next president will be to investigate the Bush administration's torture policy and give Americans a full accounting of what was done in our name. It's astounding that we need some kind of truth commission in the United States of America, but we do. Only when we learn the full story of what happened will we be able to confidently promise, to ourselves and to a world that looks to this country for moral leadership: Never again.
That will help us, to have a full accounting of what was done in our name.

But it won't help George W. Bush. Nothing will. His misdeeds will be told and retold throughout time from this day until the time people quit talking about history. His name will always be associated with the shame of torture. Even if he escapes paying for his crimes in one sense, it's still on him and always will be.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Heightened Terror Alert

Must be an election year.

Media Fail to Report Facts on Hospital Visit

Maybe they really are dumb. Who knows? Or maybe they're just so tied to their "narrative" that they can't look up to see the facts on the ground. Whatever it is, facts are facts and fantasy is fantasy.

There was some reason why Obama didn't visit the wounded troops at Landstuhl. If you wanted to find out what the reason was, who would you ask? Would you assume that McCain's explanation would automatically be the truth? You would if you were the big media in this country!

This article explains some of the coverage this non-event received. Instead of simply examining the issue and reporting the objective facts, the big media chose to nibble around the edges (any possible inconsistencies in Obama's story) or to relay in an unquestioning way McCain's assertions, from his attack ad.

If McCain's assertions are false, it seems like Journalistic Rule Number One would have to be to report that his assertions are false. How is it that we don't know this?

Robert Novak Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

Robert Novak was admitted to a Boston hospital where he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In a written statement, he said:

"On Sunday, July 27, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I have been admitted to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where doctors will soon begin appropriate treatment.

"I will be suspending my journalistic work for an indefinite but, God willing, not too lengthy period."
All the best to Bob Novak for a speedy recovery and return to his work.

Dishonorable McCain: Disgusting Tactics

The headline is "McCain's New Tactic: Savage Obama's Character."

McCain appears to have absolutely nothing to run on, no promises, no vision, nothing but a desire to win at all costs. Everything positive is being set aside so that he can spend all his time "savaging" Obama.

This is a disgusting strategy, and we hope the American people will look for something more positive when they vote, someone more decent than that.

A Republican strategist says, "They're doing it because the candidate, and the campaign, is not happy with where they are and they're lashing out." The strategist recommended a different course, saying, "he needs to be a happy warrior."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Is This Elitism or What?

Is it elitism to take your butler with you to the grocery store?

That's one question. Other thoughts on this picture. He could be an undercover police man, trying to crack down on the ever worsening problem of shoplifting eggplant.

The woman's pose with her kids looks like she's trying to remind them what she's taught them about making for the exits if there's trouble. "If we hurry we can get out of here without him noticing. Run, Stacy, run!"

McCain Denies Using the Word "Timetable"

It looks like Grandpa McCain is confused again, this time about what words he uses. You know, up in your mind there's this little gatekeeper. He's a little guy who stands right between your brain and your mouth, equal distance between one point and another. He's in charge of letting words through or telling them to stay put. But at some point in your life, usually as you age, you notice him slipping up and letting words pass through.

Did Grandpa McCain use the word "timetable" in relation to troop withdrawal from Iraq? It was just the other day! There's another little guy up there, usually works closely with the gatekeeper, called memory. All these little guys eventually retire or die, and that's when you're finished.

If you're missing the gatekeeper guy and the memory guy, you're on the way out. Check the evidence whether John McCain used the word "timetable."

Ouch, McCain Bypassed the Same Troops

Oh, this is something.

In March, John McCain went to Europe and yet bypassed seeing the wounded troops at Landstuhl, Germany, the same ones he now criticizes Barack Obama for not seeing.

There's a map at McCain went to London and to Paris. But it's virtually the same distance between those two places as it would be between Paris and Landstuhl. Of course it would be possible for him to take the time, because he cares so much. Yet somehow McCain did not care enough for the troops -- perhaps no cameras around -- to make the extra little jaunt over to Landstuhl. There's the map below.

Rules Rules Rules

So, it turns out there are rules about political campaigns visiting military sites. You'd think there'd have to be, but we've seen so much blurring of the lines between the military and politics in the last eight years, it wasn't obvious.

McCain has been blustery as of late, supposedly angry that Obama didn't go to that one particular military hospital. He himself, he said, would've caused a "seismic event" if barred. But from the looks of this article, the link above, he actually demurs like anyone should and tries to follow the rules. His bluster is for public consumption.

But think about it. Did McCain really want Obama to visit this military hospital? Why would he? It would only serve to embellish Obama's commander-in-chief stature. Obviously McCain wouldn't want that. So he was geared up to criticize Obama if he went there and if he didn't. There's another word for this, of course, lying. He was upset about something he wasn't upset about and would've been equally upset with the opposite. If that works for him, if he thinks that's a position of integrity, that's his business.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Grandpa Clueless Shops for Groceries

Here I am, shopping for groceries with an average American and her kids. They kind of remind me of my great-grandkids, except of course they're younger. So this is where they sell groceries, huh? Interesting. They have everything on shelves and it's self service, not like 'back in the day' when old Jenkins at Jenkins General Store had to get everything for you!

I'm glad I wore my suit. I wouldn't want to look out of place. I should ask her what she wants me to do to help out. Good, the camera's rolling. I'd hate to be wasting my time like this if I couldn't get some coverage. Doing common things with common folks, that'll show them I'm no elitist.

So, what's this big basket thing with wheels? You put the items in it is what I would assume. Let's just stand here and make sure they get a good shot.

Whoa, what's that behind me? The applesauce is going everywhere! Where's the secret service? I'm being attacked by fruit jars! Get me out of this God-forsaken place! We'll just go out to eat from now on!

McCain's Snippiness

I've been noticing something in the recent string of McCain's constant criticisms of Obama, that he is a very snippy guy. Sarcasm, little chuckles, sounding put out, distortions, etc.

I hope people are picking up on that. It'd be nice to have a focus group right in my living room, so when McCain is on I wouldn't have to wait around for the media to tell me how McCain's 'tude is playing. As it is, there's only a couple of sensibilities in my household to go by. So I say, "Pretend you're not against him already. What do you think of his sarcasm and snippy comments?" "I don't like them." But still, you don't know, because we are already deadset against him.

I'm really not hearing what McCain hopes to do as president. I'm really not hearing good promises. What is filtering through is his attitude, which sounds mean and nasty. He's mirroring really what you pick up in rightwing media and blog posts. They're just clawing at Obama for anything and everything, without really anything positive to say. It's like they're so angry they don't know what else to do.

Actually, if they had any sense of shame -- and I know they don't -- they would totally sit this one out, for the misery they've put us through for the last eight years. At least we could hope they would be a little more circumspect about their plans for governing and put forth some kind of positive agenda.

The biggest hope we can have at this point is that the Republicans will go down, and go down hard. They have failed this country big time -- and McCain only looks to continue that. We really need a breather. We need something positive. We've suffered enough with Bush.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Curious McCain Flip Flop with Sprig of Parse

McCain before: No timetables in Iraq, unless it's at the end of a hundred years.

McCain now: Maliki's 16 month timetable is good.

McCain now, as well: Obama's 16 month timetable is no good.

Oh, Fudge!

McCain's been fudging the facts, fudging the record everywhere he goes.

He's dropping enough fudge he's wading in it.

Clarification on Obama's Canceled Visit to Landstuhl

It turns out the Pentagon ruled against an Obama visit to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, calling it "inappropriate." Obama was following the Department of Defense's rules and so he canceled.

This doesn't keep John McCain from cravenly insinuating that Obama is anti-troops, an aide saying, "It is never 'inappropriate' to visit our men and women in the military." I suppose there are times when even John McCain would actually think it's "inappropriate" to visit men and women in the military. Like if they're in the shower, or actually engaged in combat at the frontlines, or asleep in the middle of the night... OR IF THERE'S A RULE AGAINST VISITING THEM, Stupid.

The rightwing squawk squad wants to have it both ways, of course. If Obama doesn't visit them he did something wrong. If Obama does visit them he did something wrong. I believe most rational people can see through their BS.

McCain = Bush.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

McCain: Same as Obama, Just Shrunk Down

While Barack Obama was speaking before thousands in Germany, John McCain was meeting with small business leaders in a German restaurant in Ohio.

There's a great shot of some of the restaurant's publicity at this link. It actually sounds like a really good place, Schmidt's Restaurant and Sausage Haus, offering "Over a century of hospitality in the heart of German Village." And we can be glad that our Republican nominee is doing his best for international relations by sitting down to a good meal.

The entertainment also looks good, including Schnickelfritz, the Sausage Haus's "Haus" band since 1970. There's a guy on drums and a guy on accordion. Also performing, since 1978, are Squeeezin' N' Wheezin, a guy on tuba and a guy on accordion playing high-spirited German music. There's "an Oktoberfest feeling all year long!" I hope McCain doesn't muck up international relations by complaining about the entertainment.

Someone (yg17) made the comment that McCain could duplicate Obama's world tour by simply going to the International House of Pancakes, which sounds like a good suggestion. They have a decent menu, one is usually close by, and the prices are not bad.

But it might be best to spread the joy and send McCain on a complete tour of ethnic restaurants! The rest of the media might be turning on him, but he could get the coveted "Food Network" endorsement.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Media Starting to Notice McGaffe

(I saw the name "McGaffe" somewhere at Daily Kos.) The man is a walking mistake.

It appears that the big sleeping media might be looking up from their script to see the facts on the ground. Which include John McCain being a confused, gaffe-prone candidate. Of course at nearly 72 years of age -- the average lifespan for men a few years ago -- he's bound to make mistakes, be confused, and stumble.

What was it this time? He thought the North and South Poles shared a border? Something like that. Maybe it was Iraq and England. Afghanistan and Las Vegas? No, I think it was Turkey and Tahiti. Have I mentioned he's a foreign policy expert?

He also seems to have his facts concerning the timeline of the Iraq war wrong. I know the Republicans insist they don't want timetables, but that doesn't mean history itself has to be a hash, does it? What did he say came first? We took out Saddam Hussein, then we had Pearl Harbor? Or Pearl Harbor happened, followed quickly by the Iraq war, then 9/11? He had something wrong. We might be gracious to the man -- living in a haze as he obviously does -- and say, at some point in the distant future, the details of the Iraq war will telescope into one neat little package. We stupidly went there, we stumbled around under poor leadership, and finally we stumbled out, declaring it a victory. So John McCain is simply ahead of his time! But now, since we're so close to the war -- as it's still going on -- little things like "facts" matter, I guess.

McCain is also showing more and more bad temper. He called Barack Obama a traitor, and insisted that Obama would sell out his country in order to lead it. Something like that. No one believes it, of course, although McCain got a smattering of polite applause. And no doubt a lot of sympathetic people glancing at each other, meaning to compassionately avert their eyes when the nice men in the white jackets showed up to take him away. His temper is famous, but, hey, it's only July! If he's this nasty now, it'd be good to make sure you have your rabies shots if you'll be anywhere near him in October.

Some of the media shots are adding up, resulting in a bedraggled, pathetic candidate and campaign. It was sorrowful to see him give the OK sign to the one (or two) reporters who greeted him the other night. As I understand it, they were left there by other reporters, pranksters, who told them they were hunting for snipe, and were disappointed when it was just John McCain who showed up.

The campaign is trying to appear that they're taking it all in stride. But right now they're running on Geritol fumes -- and it's tough. They're using every trick in the book to respond, which mostly comes down to complaining, griping, and whining. If you don't have the opportunity to travel with McCain's campaign, just visit any nursing home at mealtime and you'll experience exactly what it's like.

Lieberman Loves Hagee in McCain's Place

Prominent John McCain supporter, disgraced Senator Joe Lieberman appeared at John Hagee's "Christians United for Israel" conference.

Lieberman said, "The bond that I feel with Pastor Hagee and each and every one of you is much stronger than that, and so I am proud to stand with you tonight."

We recall Pastor Hagee also as a prominent McCain backer, until his controversial theological and political views were aired. The final straw seemed to be his view of Hitler being directed against the Jews by God with the end goal of the survivors making their way to Israel.

Pastor Hagee was unceremoniously thrown under the McCain bus, but now with Lieberman's help appears to be crawling back out. No mention of tire marks or bruising was among the reports coming out of the conference.

McCain: Most Scurrilous Statement

Joe Klein on John McCain:

This is the ninth presidential campaign I've covered. I can't remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of desperation. It renews questions about whether McCain has the right temperament for the presidency. How sad.
McCain's statement is essentially that Barack Obama is a traitor: "This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign."

McCain clearly hasn't got the temperament to be president. Remember, he was going to run a "respectful" campaign. So who knows what kind of sourness he would've otherwise come out with!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reality: Key to Obama's Success

Why are McCain and Bush stepping in so many messes? Ideology.

Why is Obama enjoying so many successes? Reality.

Reality finally trumps ideology.

Dana, No One's Buying the Act

Imagine an American administration that has sunk so low in credibility that you discount everything that comes out of their mouth before it comes out. The old line, 'If their lips are moving they're lying,' will never be truer than it is with the Bush administration.

They have spun and spun and misspun Obama's trip overseas -- if not tried outright sabotage of it. Now we have Maliki endorsing in its essentials Obama's policy on American presence in Iraq. 'No, no, can't be, mistranslated, didn't mean what he said, for Iraqi consumption.' Imagine the armtwisting Maliki is getting behind the scenes from the corrupt Bush administration. Because they're driven by ideology (helping themselves and McCain) and trying not to step in the crap of their past statements. Such as they did with "appeasement" last week. Now they're trying to avoid "timetables" by coming up with something stupid like "time horizons." LOL. Even crooks can be clowns.

So, as it becomes apparent that Maliki is at least competent enough to speak and say what he wants to say, we now have public scolding from Dana Perino:

"We don't think that talking about specific negotiating tactics or your negotiating position in the press is the best way to negotiate a deal," Perino said after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was quoted in a magazine article supporting the 16-month troop withdrawal timeline proposed by Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate. "However, we understand that they're a sovereign country and they'll be able to do that," Perino said. "We're just not going to do it on our end."
Pffft! What "we" do "on our end" isn't worthy of imitation. All the lies, all the digging in just to save face, the partisan maneuvering. We've got people fighting and dying over there for the pride and "legacy" of George Bush and nothing more. And we've seen his duplicity for eight long years.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Trent Lott

It was amusing (and aggravating) watching Trent Lott on Hardball tonight.

Of course he felt it was necessary to put a negative spin on everything related to Obama. It's just so much yammering, but that's the game.

It was especially aggravating, though, when he listed all the foreign policy experience, that you need, and age, etc., when we've just had eight years of George W. Bush. Presumably Lott supported Bush all those years ago, when he was what? A blank slate with a famous name.

I would wish Chris Matthews would be tenacious enough to mention that. But Chris is more or less a suck up to all these guys. His famous man crushes never end.

The other one I could live without is Andrea Mitchell. In the piece on Obama's visit with the troops in Afghanistan -- making the baskets -- she went out of her way to say the military hates to be involved in these sorts of visits, that they're against the rules, etc. But he's a congressman, so what can they do? Where has she been the last eight years when Bush and company have exploited the military up and down the board, with military guys posed strategically behind him, and other events virtually without end?

It seems like the military has had plenty of opportunity to be used, and only now they're complaining?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Why Does Maliki Hate Iraq?"

This just in, a guaranteed McCain head exploder.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told a German magazine he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months.

"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."
The famous "facts on the ground" show this: The Iraqi leader and the Iraqis want us to think about getting out, not a hundred years from now, but soon. As in tell us when you're leaving and stick to it.

It could be -- as in other cases of Maliki speaking out -- that the Bush-McCain administration will claim something's lost in the translation. (That usually buys them enough time to try to talk him out of his views.) Or it could be that McCain and Bush will get the message this time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Loose Lips Express

Thanks to Bronxist at Daily Kos for the phrase, "Loose Lips Express." At least that's the first place I saw it.

John McCain has leaked details of Barack Obama's travel plans to Iraq, which were being kept secret for obvious security reasons. Everyone from the government who has gone to Iraq has done so discreetly, without notice. But McCain, apparently in on the secret as to Obama's movements, blabbed it publicly.

There's something seriously wrong with McCain.

A Plan for Iraq

John McCain continues to whine about Obama's travel plans. He wanted him to go to Iraq so much, but now he's not sure. First he criticized him for not going, now just the opposite. Confused?

His criticism now -- just shallow partisan sniping -- is that Obama already has a general plan for Iraq, which, McCain says, you cannot have until you go there. Since Obama already has been there (2006) McCain says you can't have a general plan for Iraq until you've gone there since the "surge."

"I know that Senator Obama is going to Iraq," McCain said. "I was very interested that he articulated and announced his policies and [approach to] Iraq before he went."

The thing about the Republicans is they never had a plan, a coherent policy, for Iraq, so they obviously aren't used to the idea of someone thinking these things through from the start. They were real good about going in and blowing things up, then they stood back and said, 'Now what should we do?' This led them to spend the next few years with no plan for success. The "surge" idea they finally hit upon -- sending more troops -- a common sense move they take as a genius -- could have been done earlier. (Remember Shinseki?) It wasn't a plan to flounder around for years on end, then finally do what they could've done all along, then claim to be geniuses for it!

"I've been on a lot of trips around the world, usually at your expense," McCain said. "But I usually issue my policy statements when I get back."

That is stupid on so many levels. We don't need a blank slate for president, we've already had one.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oh, Funny! Larry Craig Jerking His Own Gas Nozzle!

I suppose if you can't find someone else it's the only way to go!

Winning in Iraq

There's so much talk about 'wanting to win' or 'wanting to lose' in Iraq, it's starting to sound like so much partisan blather. We don't want to lose. That's ridiculous.

I think part of the problem is what 'winning' even is. It hasn't been spelled out, unless the benchmarks previously announced and fulfilling them and getting out is it. But all that has gone by the boards as the circumstances on the ground have shifted. We know there's not going to be a signing ceremony on a battleship somewhere, the enemy there with hat in hand. So what it looks like appears to be a matter of opinion.

Since John McCain has already announced -- well, two conflicting things -- that we will have "victory" by 2013 and that we could be there 100 years, it seems to be his opinion that we will win, since that's appears to be the primary definition of "victory." I don't believe he has defined what that is precisely, although we've seen that the definition of things usually isn't key, just the perception of things. The Bush administration has done it like this, lie enough until the lie is accepted as truth.

As for myself, just a random guy sitting here, I've always felt we could and should "win," meaning prevail militarily, stabilize things, and get out. Look, Iraq has no army, navy, coast guard, air force. We're the King Kong of offense, they're a guy in a wheelchair with a peashooter. We "won" a long time ago, except we didn't seem to have a good strategy for stabilizing things. They let it go with all that "Stay the Course" nonsense, then they came up with the Genius Plan of sending more troops! OK, I know this is above my pay grade, but isn't that common sense? The more troops you have the more you can have your way? That could've been done earlier.

So we actually "won," but then we spent the meantime saying we haven't, because we kept moving the goalposts. If -- if -- we haven't won, we should have. It's crazy that it's taking so long with all the advantages we have.

Poor old Hitler.
We had a fierce nemesis in him, with an army, the works. And we were able to beat him in less time. If we were able to do that, what's the stinking hold-up in Iraq?

Going to Iraq or Not

John McCain continues to make a big stink over how often Obama has been to Iraq, what he's going to learn when he's there, how he should always wait before saying anything until he has talked to the commanders on the ground, etc.

The stink is just stink, though, because who really thinks that going to Iraq and sitting in a tent somewhere, or touring a street that's been thoroughly prepped for your visit, is going to give you a materially superior perspective? I don't think that. I've worked for places where it's a different world when the higher-ups come to visit. Because the rest of us are spiffing it up and sprucing it up so they'll like what they see. Then when they leave it goes back to what it usually is.

The trips our government officials have made to Iraq have more or less been nothing but propaganda visits anyway. They go there with an agenda, then they come back saying their agenda has been validated. That's all it is. McCain walked the streets in full body armor, security planes, sharpshooters, the whole works, and he could come out of that with his prior opinion validated, that it is safer now than before.

Going there, then, is more symbolic than anything else. Really, there's nothing the commander on the ground can tell you on that particular ground that he couldn't tell you somewhere else. You're standing on the soil of that country, that's the only difference. It's the same commander's mouth, the same words.

As an example, McCain wants to make big hay out of the surge. He's been there, he's seen it work. But everyone can see -- without going to Iraq -- that the basic outcomes of the surge, the benchmarks and decreasing our troop presence have not yet been fulfilled. Just redefining what the surge was, then declaring victory, sounds simple and makes good headlines, but it's revisionism. Sitting in America we can see that.

Any fool could say this: If you have a lot of violence putting more soldiers in will likely help quell it. This is not a philosophy (Mitt Romney) that is new. We've all known it even from our days in school. If two kids are fighting outside, when additional teachers show up they'll be more likely to stop them. Duh.

The short version of the story is that McCain is going to criticize Obama no matter what he says or does concerning Iraq.

52 Is More Than 30

How many millions can you be off before it adds up to real money?

We all heard the speculation that Obama's fundraising was down for June, that it would be a measly $30 million. Oh no!

Except now the report has come out that instead it was $52 million, which is -- 2 minus 0 = 2 and 5 minus 3 = 2 -- $22 million more than $30 million. Not too shabby! But it makes you wonder where these lowballing speculations came from.

Is it the reverse psychology? Lower the expectations, then vastly surpass them? Or forward psychology? Say it's low, hoping it is, on the part of the Republicans, and in the meanwhile depressing current enthusiasm? I don't know, except you wouldn't expect positive motives on the part of the opposition.

Well, regardless of where the $30 million figure came from, $52 million is a great month! More than twice what McCain was able to raise. The Republicans are devious, though, so it'll be critical for Obama to keep raising money. And we trust he will.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What About the 28%?

From TPM:

"I think the American people have had enough of inflexibility and stubbornness in national security policy," Scheunemann said. When asked later by the Huffington Post's Sam Stein whether the campaign was disparaging President Bush, Scheunemann dug in: "We cannot afford to replace one administration that refused for too long to acknowledge failure in Iraq with a candidate that refuses to acknowledge success in Iraq."
I like the phrase, "When asked...whether the campaign was disparaging President Bush..." That has to be risky territory for the Republican nominee. Especially since there's still plenty of people who think Bush is doing a good job. 28% is a low figure for approval, I know, but it's still a little over every fourth person you see. (What I can't figure out is why you don't see these people running into walls and tripping over curbs more often, but that's beside the point.)

Can you (McCain) make a good case to your own voters that the guy they voted for twice and still think is doing a good job sucks? That his administration is crap and has been crap all along? And that you have supported him 99-100% of the time even though you thought he was crap?

That has to constitute a flip-flip, no? Like a flip-flop spanning eight years, a super mega gigantic jumbo flip-flop. You've supported someone for eight years right down the line and now you say he's been crap all along.

And I believe McCain is on record saying he voted for Bush both times. (Even though the first time is disputed by others.)

They're Confused in McCain's World

You know they're confused in McCain's world when he, McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee is running against the current sitting two-term Republican president, and even saying his Democratic opponent is like Bush, and he means that in an insulting way!

So, what can we say? This might come as a shock to you, but the last eight years simply didn't happen. You may feel like you've lived them and you may feel eight years older, but you didn't and you're not. If you're like me you have a very vivid imagination of John McCain being 99% to 100% supportive of everything George Bush wanted in those years. But since it didn't happen, our minds have been playing tricks on us again. Kind of like the "mental recession" from the other day.

As the Beatles sang, "Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream."

But wait, something must have happened in the last eight years. It can't all be imagination, can it? Because if none of this happened -- if John McCain hasn't been 99% to 100% supportive of everything George Bush wanted -- then how can we make sense now of McCain's turning the tables on Barack Obama, saying he is the candidate most like Bush? If Bush never happened, and all that other imaginary stuff never happened, how does his current charge make any sense at all?

This is like a time machine conundrum! I might meet myself coming or going and end up with a fading picture of my parents' first date. And that's one backseat I'd rather not see!

Are you confused yet? Good! Now you know what it's like to be John McCain everyday. He doesn't know anything about anything. He's still on Czechoslovakia. He's meeting with the King of Siam next week. He has some high level talks coming up with Brezhnev. He may do the whole circuit and take on Bismarck. He's confused, insane in the membrane, insane in the brain. Someone get the man help.

But just to conclude, let's go on the assumption that George W. Bush's administration has actually happened. If he shows up at the Democratic convention, that may just prove McCain's point about Obama. But what if he shows up at the Republican convention? What do you think we would learn from that?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

McCain Lets Two Brainfarts

Remember the country of Czechoslovakia -- a country that officially ceased to exist in January 1993? Basically, they got to 1993 and said, "We've done everything a country can do. There's no reason to go on." So that was it, out of business, a big garage sale and it was over.

But John McCain in two days has made two references to it, as in references to current events in the non-existent country.

Does this qualify as simply a brainfart, or a senior moment?

McCain's "Ape Rape" Joke Recalled

Link at Huffington Post.

McCain's got troubles. We deserve better.

President Bush: "Abracadabra!"

President Bush's lack of a "magic wand" has come up again, again in regard to gas prices.

"There is no short term solution," Bush said. "The president doesn't have a magic wand. You can't just say, 'Low gas.' "
Earlier this year, in April, he said:
[Y]ou know, if there was a magic wand to wave, I’d be waving it, of course. I strongly believe it’s in our interest that we reduce gas prices, gasoline prices. … No, I think that if there was a magic wand, and say, okay, drop price, I’d do that. … But there is no magic wand to wave right now.'
And going back to May 2005, already back then his magic kit was lacking one key tool:
Americans are concerned about high prices at the pump, and they're really concerned as they start making their travel plans, and I understand that. I wish I could just wave a magic wand and lower the price at the pump; I'd do that. That's not how it works.
He needs to read more Harry Potter books, and maybe yell, "Avada Kedavra!"

Gas Prices: All In Your Mind

President Bush at his news conference said this about offshore drilling:

"I readily concede it won't produce a barrel of oil tomorrow, but it will reverse the psychology."
That's right. Bush is fully on board with McCain and Gramm that the nation's problems are all mental, psychological. Just rearrange the deck chairs -- maybe break out the Feng Shui book -- and the sinking ship will seem OK. Oh yes, and everyone please clap harder!

How Will You Celebrate the End of Bush's Presidency?

The news the other day about Bush not wanting foreigners to 'seem eager' for the end of his presidency made me think about how 'eager' we actually are.

It's coming up like Christmas, Halloween, your birthday, and losing all your teeth at the same time! You can hardly wait for it to get here! Happy days are here again!

But it doesn't seem enough just to have private celebrations. You and the wife with a cheese platter and two party horns. This ought to be global. It ought to be like the year 2000, with celebrations in every country of the world, like on January 19, with fireworks and concerts, kissing in Time Square, and blimps shining lights all over the place. A "surge" of humanity coming together in common cause, to celebrate and say to Bush with one voice, "Don't write, don't call, you're dead to us."

Have the Dixie Chicks, Neil Young, and any great anti-Bush performer who'd like to get up and kick it into high gear and maybe kick a little dirt in the guy's face as well. A big celebration is what we're envisioning -- maybe call it "Goodriddancepalooza" -- as we guide George W. Bush finally out the door.

Laughingstocks All Around!

I'm still amazed by the news of the George W. Bush Presidential Library. It's a half billion dollar project and they're putting the squeeze on friends, benefactors, and lackeys for contributions.

Like the Bush presidency, this library promises to be different. Only those who suck up, kiss up, or otherwise genuflect to the memory of the soon to be departed (hallelujah) president will be able to use its many resources.

Of course it's no joke to say the "resources" might be limited -- and I haven't even got the energy to make the obvious jokes here. They've been done to death anyway!

Here's one of the weirdest quotes:

However, the George W. Bush Presidential Center will come with a catch. It “will also feature an institute — independent of academic governance of the university — to sponsor research and programs designed to promote the vision of the president” and “celebrate” Bush’s presidency.
That's right, the library will promote the vision of the president and "celebrate" his presidency. LOL! Precisely what "vision" that might be is not specified. But we can well imagine a courtyard in a complete shambles, perhaps a lower section completely flooded, visitors seeking any kind of help to get out. Maybe there will be a big globe smoldering. And as to any "celebration" of his presidency, perhaps this will be represented with the hooded guy in Iraq standing on the box with electrodes leading to his fingers. Yes, we'll let that guy speak for the world in "celebrating" President Bush.

The flat out truth, folks, is this presidential library/center will be the laughingstock of presidential libraries, which is appropriate. And Southern Methodist University will be the laughingstock of universities for being foolish enough to give it a home. How about reconsidering? Maybe just become a nuclear waste dump instead, and do something good for the country.

Monday, July 14, 2008

War Is Over! Bush Back to Golf!

You'll recall when we last left our beloved leader, he had deleted one of his favorite outdoor sports from his activities. No, it wasn't Synchronized Brush Clearing, it was golf! Bicycling was still OK, boating was OK, fishing OK -- in fact everything was OK, except golf.

[Cue moment of silence ... everyone look down ... hands on heart ... you too, Barack, please ... this is a tender, touching tribute ... thank you very much.]

President Bush gave up golf, you see, because he didn't think it seemed exactly appropriate for him to be playing golf as long as the war in Iraq was going on. Let's let him explain:

"I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," he said. "I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."
Thank you, sir, that was a great sacrifice. You deserve one less kick in the pants for this selfless act, which does go quite a ways toward mitigating all the international damage you've done. Yes, truly, it is good. We admire you for your very gracious gesture.

But, now, what's this? Monday -- you've got to be kidding me -- former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush will host a fundraiser for John McCain. For $5,000 those who are invited can play a round of golf at Bush's home course. "Both President Bush and Governor Jeb Bush will be stopping by to greet the foursomes."

It doesn't actually say President Bush will be playing golf, I guess. But I prefer my sacrifices straight, not diluted. Meaning, I don't want to see him anywhere near a golf course, or hosting golfing outings, or greeting people on the greens. Let's have a sacrifice now! Anyway, McCain doesn't need money. He's going to win this thing by acclaim!

Is the war over? If not, we need the commander-in-chief to stay away, far away from golf!

The Video Professor to the Rescue!

Society Page: Political Marriage Coming?

John McCain and Charlie Crist, could this be the Republican ticket for '08?

Charlie's getting married. Apparently that means something. Here's the St. Petersburg Times article. Here's Kos's article.

It's legal in some states, so that's OK.

Terrorist Watch List Hits 1,000,000 Names

According to a tally maintained by the ACLU, based on the government's reported numbers, the terrorist watch list has hit the one million name mark!

A couple years from now, it will probably be easier to go the other direction, that is, just list those who are not on it.

The list has some strange aspects to it, as it includes members of Congress, nuns, war heroes, and people with common names like Robert Johnson and Gary Smith.

Perhaps one way to deal with all these potential terrorists is to adopt the McCain "Kill An Iranian" policy. So, to get started, if your name is Robert Johnson or Gary Smith, please go by your local federal building for a free carton of cigarettes. And if you're a suspicious nun, don't feel like you're left out; you too can pick up the habit.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The New Yorker Cover

I have two basic thoughts on the New Yorker cover of Obama. 1) It's pretty funny; 2) It's pretty sad. It's sad because every campaign season could be subtitled "Attack of the Morons." Everything and anything is fodder for morons to seize on. Candidates riding in tanks, candidates wind surfing, candidates who are portrayed as national enemies, in this case.

It's funny at one level, because it does present in all its stark ridiculousness this year's crazy right wing smear of our candidate. It would be a lot funnier, say, the week after the election and Obama has won. Then it would've been hilarious. Because there's no way -- except for the stupidest morons -- that the right wing can seriously believe all these things about Obama. And it would be a way of throwing it in their face ... after the election. And for the stupidest morons ... well, there's no getting through to them anyway.

But lemons have already been served us. So now it's time to make lemonade. The hope has to be that in whatever conversation there is of this picture that it will serve to point out the stupidity of the smears. Calling it "tasteless," the official line, might be a way to move past it. Let it have its day or two in the news. But if it lingers, use it to make people see how stupid their fears are. Yeah, this is the true Obama ... as if! How ridiculous.

There will be those who will try to reinforce the smears by way of this illustration. But of course they're: 1) for the most part not sincere; 2) a lost cause anyway. Whatever harm there is to be done by emails has already been done. Morons are plentiful, but there's not an endless supply. President Bush seems to have found the bottom, around 28% of the population.

"I'd Like To Make A Joke"

This is one weird response.

The NY Times has this:

When asked if he felt that it was more difficult to run against Mr. Obama because of the sensitivities of race, Mr. McCain responded wryly: “I’d like to make a joke, but I can’t.”
What kind of response is that? We have "the sensitivities of race," then a "wry" response, which is that he would like to make a joke, but can't. The "can't" part is no doubt because of past experiences with joking and getting criticism, and maybe some strict advice from his advisers.

But what kind of joke would he like to make? That's the weird part.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Phil Gramm Quip Today

Anyone remember when Phil Gramm ran for president? He said he would subject every program or proposal to a particular test.

Well, we've heard a few things about John McCain and Viagra. We've wondered whether he uses "Viagra or Cialis," which would be the best "Boxer or Briefs-type" question for him. McCain doesn't want to address the question of his potency, how he rates on the flacidity scale, which of course goes from Overcooked Thin Spaghetti to Granite, with granite being the hardest.

But if we put Gramm's test and McCain's rating together maybe we'd have something. Gramm said he would subject everything to the "Dickey Flatt" test. If it passed the Dickey Flatt test it was OK, if not it failed. So, we now ask McCain, "Is Dickey Flatt?"

Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Baby

While I have your attention, I have one little complaint about Talking Points Memo's (TPM's) videos. That little scratchy transition and scratchy noise. It's very annoying and doesn't help get the point across. I realize you need some kind of transition -- probably -- but how about something less grating? Like the sound of a ping pong ball hitting the table.

The Biggest Polluter

Bush is so beyond shame, the man is ridiculous.

At his last G8 summit, "President George Bush signed off with a defiant farewell over his refusal to accept global climate change targets ... He told his fellow leaders: 'Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter.' "

OK, we've now had eight years of moronic Republican leadership. Enough of that. We tried stupid, it didn't work. It's time to try smart.

McCain Attack is Big Oopsie

Remember the old saying? "I'm rubber, you're glue. What you say bounces off me and sticks to you!"

Well, one rule of thumb in life is don't attack others for what you yourself do, or in this case did not do.

McCain is guilty of this very thing, and this time he got caught. CNN has the story. He criticized Obama for not voting on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment in Sept. 2007. Bad, bad, bad, should have at least shown up to vote yea or nay!

So what's the problem with McCain's criticism? You guessed it! McCain himself didn't vote on the amendment! He wasn't in Washington at the time but in New York.

The CNN article concludes with this, "The McCain campaign admits the error"... "Admits the error," as in "Oops! McCain's confused again!"

Not an Honest Mistake

John McCain has been caught in an obvious lie and is trying to dismiss it as "an honest mistake." That in itself is a lie.

He was in Pittsburgh Steelers territory and told the touching story of his time in Vietnam. "When I was first interrogated and really had to give some information because of the pressures, physical pressures on me, I named the starting lineup, defensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers as my squadron mates."

The only problem with that anecdote is that when he recounted it in his book, Faith of My Fathers, he said, "Pressed for more useful information, I gave the names of the Green Bay Packers' offensive line, and said they were members of my squadron."

So was it the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line or the Green Bay Packers' offensive line?

There's no good out for McCain on this one except to call it a "mistake" and move on. Was he confused? Is he having false memories? No, this is something the dumbest guy in the world can understand as an obvious lie. He's sucking up to the locals by claiming their team as his own.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

America on McCain's Couch

Looking for a good shrink? Want to participate in a psychological experiment? Maybe you too can be a rat in McCain's maze! Our problems aren't out there, you see, but in here, in our thoughts and mental delusions.

"Vee needs to go -- how you zay it? -- deep into our psyches for zis one, yah? Zee what's zere!" And then we'll find out there's nothing wrong with America that a little counseling wouldn't fix, according to John McCain and his economics adviser Phil Gramm.

You feel like you have The Economy Went South Blues? Let's talk. When did you start feeling this way? "Well, doc, it's like this. They shipped my job overseas, the cost of gas went way up, my house is mortgaged up the ying-yang, I can't make my payments. I send my kids to the store to take pennies out of the cup by the cash register. Things just aren't going well!" What you need to do, my friend, is first, quit whining. Your problem is what we call "psychological." It's like your Ego's in a steel-cage death match with your Id, and your Super Ego just hasn't shown up yet with a board to whack him.

How about you, ma'am? What seems to be your problem? You say you can't afford groceries? That you're reduced to visiting food pantries and digging under rocks for something to mix with the Hamburger Helper? Your children are collecting for UNICEF, for themselves? The answer to your problem, again, is that this is a "psychological" condition. First, stop whining about it. Food is vastly overrated anyway. Have you ever noticed that you ate a couple days ago, then yesterday, then you only want to eat again today? This is what we call "a chain of dependency." You've become dependent on food, and so have the dependents who live with you; they are co-dependents. Perhaps a visit to a local self-help group -- Eaters Anonymous -- would help you deal with these issues and break this vicious cycle.

It's easy! America's problems can be easily solved, because, according to John McCain and Phil Gramm, it's just a matter of talking it out, seeing that the problem lies with you and you alone, and then addressing it at the psychological level.

Whatever it is, the imaginary recession, seemingly high gas prices, the so-called deficit, even the purported war in Iraq, it's all just in your mind. You think the issues are there so they're there. But if you think they're gone, poof, your problem's solved!

Iran Missile Picture Faked

Can you tell which part of the Iran missile picture is faked? Do the Iranians believe in cowboy diplomacy?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Inspired Post: Is McCain AWOL from the Senate?

I've been thinking about it lately. I saw a post somewhere the other day that said McCain is the "laziest" guy in the Senate, and that he hardly ever shows up.

Today we had two biggie votes, the FISA bill and the Medicare thing. And guess who didn't show up to vote? If your answer was "John (W.) McCain" give yourself a gold star. He can't be bothered.

Anyway -- the "Inspired Post of the Day" for me today is this one at Atomic Gay Wonk, called, "Should McCain be considered AWOL from the Senate?"

Lee quotes the Washington Post citation of how many votes McCain has missed, 374 out of 605. Then he makes the point that McCain has missed more votes than Sen. Tim Johnson or Sen. Edward Kennedy. Johnson had a brain hemorrhage and Kennedy a brain tumor. Both were sidelined for a while, Johnson for a long time.

John McCain.
He's Proud of His Service. But Now He's AWOL.
Vote McCain -- Maybe He'll Show Up to Serve,
Maybe He Won't

Good Ad Asking McCain When Will Troops Come Home?

If I had to guess, I'd say he'll have a different answer tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Waxman (yawn) Threatens Mukasey

House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry "Toothless" Waxman threatened Attorney General Michael Mukasey that the committee would hold him in contempt on July 16 if he fails to produce a report on an interview with Dick Cheney concerning the Valerie Plame leak scandal.

Since the Administration continually thumbs their nose at Congress and nothing ever happens, it is difficult to picture Mukasey as being overly concerned.

Heck of a job, Waxy. It's nice to know you're trying something, even if it never does any good.

Remember, McCain Will Veto Every Single Beer

McCain: Horny as Three-Balled Tomcat

Great article here on McCain's adultery and the (once-) righteous Republicans' silence on the matter.

Remember how Lieberman stood up to condemn Clinton? But not a peep out of the guy now.

Confidential to McCain: Try to keep it zipped buddy, and not just your lip.

Two Peas in a Pod

At John McCain's Denver town hall meeting a protester in a pea pod costume was outside, with fliers comparing McCain and Bush to two peas in a pod on major issues.

That's great!

Monday, July 07, 2008


What's wrong with saying "McCain=Bush"? Isn't Bush a beloved figure in the Republican party? Isn't he the beloved leader of us all? You would think the Republicans would feel complimented anytime anyone tried to equate the great John McCain with the great George W. Bush.

But apparently they see it as some kind of insult. Go figure... I can't imagine why that would be. John McCain has appeared proudly with President Bush. He depends on money that Bush is raising. And as far as we can tell, he's running on Bush's policies and promising more of the same. An unending war in Iraq. Stay the course. Economics that will continue to run our country into the ground. An energy policy that the oil companies love. Who could quibble with such promises?

And yet, it seems, there's trouble in Denver, with a woman bearing a sign that says that very thing, "McCain=Bush." She was kicked out of a McCain event. Her name is Carol Kreck, a 61-year-old librarian. The article linked to says, "On orders from McCain's security detail, police cited her for trespassing and escorted her to the sidewalk. She was told if she returned she would be arrested." Would a kind soul like John McCain do that? Apparently so!

But Kreck had a great statement: "And all I did was carry a sign that said McCain = Bush. And for everyone who voted for Bush, I don't see why it's offensive to say McCain = Bush." Exactly. Why would that be offensive to McCain?

Especially when it's true. McCain=Bush.

GOP Rep Lies About "Support" for GI Bill

Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) voted against the new GI Bill that doubled educational benefits for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But now he writes in his hometown paper -- three times -- that he was "proud to support" it.

Is this something Republicans should be getting away with? If he was against it, in what way did he support it?

We have a word for this kind of thing. It's called "lying."

The Presidential Gong Show

John McCain still has a ways to go when it comes to public reading. This is embarrassing. The Republicans have to be kicking themselves, "This is the guy we're going with???"

Bush at the Wishing Tree

Awwww, isn't that sweet? George W. Bush is wishing for a world free from tyranny, including "the tyranny of hunger, disease; and free from tyrannical governments." He posted his message on a "wishing tree" at the G8 summit in Japan.

It's nice to see they allowed time for him to make crafts during his visit. He wrote his message on a piece of paper with an embroidered border.

He added, "I wish for a world in which the universal desire for liberty is realized."

You know, hardly anyone in the world gets to serve as President of the United States of America. So if you as President have idealistic wishes such as these -- and you didn't use your time in office to make positive steps toward realizing any of it -- it would be best now if you would just keep your wishes to yourself. You've already blown it. You're a tyrant! Project much?

McCain is a Liar

The strategy of simply lying is what the Republicans have used for the last eight years. And John McCain is continuing to use it. He's an out and out liar.

With a press that cannot be motivated to scrutinize McCain's press releases and pronouncements, and very little actually going for him, he has all the incentive he needs to just make false assertions. This is what they're doing with Obama's positions on Iraq. Lying.

McCain could do what he pledged to do, which is to run a respectful campaign. He's already broken that pledge repeatedly. He's down in the polls, the people have no use for his proposals -- including an open-ended commitment in Iraq for a hundred years. So he's trying to lie his way to the White House.

If we needed any more proof that Bush and Rove would have a third term in John McCain, look no further.

Social Security

Is there anyone out there who would trust John McCain with Social Security? I mean really trust him?

As part of his promise to balance the federal budget by the end of his first term (God forbid there is one), a part of his proposal is to overhaul entitlement programs, including Social Security.

Mike Allen of Politico says, "The vow to take on Social Security puts McCain in a political danger zone that thwarted President Bush after he named it the top domestic priority of his second term."

We dodged an enormous bullet when Bush was stymied on Social Security. Putting aside all the other reasons not to vote for John McCain, here is a huge one that should doom his candidacy. We cannot trust the Republicans with Social Security. They've been trying to end Social Security for decades. When the Democrats declare the Republicans cannot be trusted on Social Security, they're right.

McCain must not be allowed to destroy Social Security.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Global Shrinkage

Planets are always in trouble, it seems. As we know, Krypton exploded into a million pieces. Earth is going down the tubes thanks to global warming and the existence of Republicans. And now Mercury is shrinking!

In this article, by Jupiter Kalambakal, -- no relation to Pluto Kowabunga -- we learn that scientists say that Mercury, already the smallest planet in the solar system, is shrinking. Apparently it will eventually shrink to the size of a billiard ball, then literally disappear, but not for billions of years.

So what seems to be the problem this time? The cooling of the planet's core triggers a magnetic dynamo, leading to the contraction of the planet. The contraction is greater than what they previously thought.

There's no word yet whether the Republicans are denying Mercury shrinkage or if they think it's some kind of conspiracy on the part of smart people to make them seem dumber. And we're still awaiting word from Al Gore as to what can be done.

Viva Watermelon!

It looks like watermelon may have some libido-enhancing ingredient for men in it, according to this, which I'm still trying to read (scientific lingo makes me sleepy.)

How it is they didn't already know this stuff, that would be a question to wonder about. Or is it like eggs, one year they're good for you and the next year they're not? A year from now, what, are we going to hear that watermelon sterilizes you?

Anyway, whatever may happen in the future, right now, today, watermelon is right up there with Viagra as a thing stimulating sexual performance. That is, if you follow the fine print, and eat enough of it and the right bits.

Here's some of the sleep-inducing scientific lingo: There is the presence of "a precursor called citrulline of arginine, a common natural amino acid, in watermelon. Arginine has a range of physiologic functions in the body and some help maintain sexual health and promote sexual performance." Everybody get that?

This citrulline is also in the rind, in great abundance. But, of course, who eats the rind?

What does this have to do with sexual performance? Citrulline is converted to arginine in the body. Then some other stuff happens, and finally arteries are relaxed, blood flow is eased, and this is an important factor for sexual performance.

As to quantity that needs to be eaten for any positive effect, "According to media reports, six or seven slices of watermelon need to be consumed to have enough citrulline to result in an affect. Plus, the rind needs to be eaten to have the highest intake of citrulline. In reality, the amount of watermelon needed to have an effect is so much that men would be busier in bathroom than bedroom."

So, basically, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


The way the press is jumping on Obama about his comments on Iraq are unbelievable. If they had been half this tenacious through the Bush years -- in the time leading up to the war and in the time since, in the disastrous handling of it -- maybe they could have done us some good. But they were worthless then and they're worthless now.

But really, if Obama is "refining" his policies, that's nothing more than saying that the closer you actually get to governing, the more detailed your policies have to be. When you're starting out in the primaries, it's going to be broad themes, overarching philosophies and ideas. When you get closer to governing, this is where specificities and how you're going to implement your policies come in. Get that yet? Duh.

The press (and the Republicans) have shown themselves to be incapable of understanding nuance, or simply understanding the basic progression of things that get you from Point A to Point B in a reasonable way.

So we've had Bush's disastrous policies, then the Republicans rubberstamping it in its totality, then when none of that worked, they fell into "surge" mode. It's been staggering to the mind to realize they put this "surge" idea out there like they did, which follows this logic: 1) Everything that we said was working at the time was actually failing; 2) Therefore we need the "surge." But since point 1 is true, that what they said was working was actually failing, how can you believe them when they said the surge was needed or has done any good? They're liars in addition to being stupid.

Remember, though, the one primetime press conference Bush had, in which he was all lethargic, the press was sitting there in the doldrums, and he was calling on each reporter who got to ask a lazy, unprovoking question? They were like sleeping, toothless dogs. But now when we get a candidate who acts like he knows what he's doing, one who appears to have some intellect, one who appears to have some values beyond corruption and deceit, they're all over him like wolves. There's a disconnect in this.

And, of course, the whining, carping, offering-nothing McCain campaign takes Obama to task, really over nothing. Obama said repeatedly -- repeatedly -- that we need to be as "careful getting out as we were careless getting in" to Iraq. Get that, McCain dunces? That "careful getting out" requires some finesse. Obama is not Bush. He's not a bull charging into the china shop, then out again.

The press is a little cozy with McCain. It is ... unbelievable.

Notes for Bibliophiles

Notes for Bibliophiles -- The official blog of the Special Collections department of the Providence Public Library.

Tons of interesting things, stories about books and authors, with lots of cool photos of rare things.

Theater of Found Sounds

Theater of Found Sounds blog

A composer based in New York City writing about indeterminacy, mimesis in music (found sounds, transcriptions, borrowings), the role of transcriptions today despite the ubiquitousness of digital recordings, transcription as transgression, audio patina, thoughts on the New York Experimental School, reviews, random observations, posting YouTube finds, and all things New York.

Lots of interesting things, with some music tracks at MySpace, by Marc Chan.

Friday, July 04, 2008

GOP Anger: Bush "Reduced to Child's Play"

U.S. News and World Report via Huffington Post:

Some of President Bush's political allies are angry and embarrassed that he's spending his time on frivolous events when the country is having such bad economic times. "Look at the schedule for Monday," said a Bush adviser. "A highlight of his day was witnessing a tee ball game. ... He is being reduced to child's play."

Mr. Khalid's Neighborhood

Is anyone else out there -- like me -- starting to sense, however slightly, that the Bush White House has some desire to use fear mongering for their own political ends?

I suppose the sense of this started to dawn on me -- I dunno -- immediately when Bush was elected, when he started talking down the economy. And I've grown in the conviction (ha ha) that it's so! No one else has noticed that? OK, it must just be me...

But what do you make of this? The Supreme Court ruled that detainees at Guantanamo Bay have legal rights. In other words, being human beings, I guess, and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable right, among them apparently being life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they have some right, however slight it may be, to know what they're charged with and to see some semblance of due process to determine their guilt or innocence. Shocking!

So here's the White House's spin on this, that now the detainees will be released and will be walking our streets! This from Dana Perino: "I'm sure that none of us want Khalid Sheikh Mohammed walking around our neighborhoods," referring to al-Qaida's former third in command.

Can you picture that? Khalid strolling down the block? "How you doin' today, Mrs. Brown?" "Great, Khalid, how's your wife?" "She's good. Oh, hello, Mr. B!" "Hey, Khalid, old man, glad to see you're finally out of Gitmo!" "Yeah, thanks, it was really just a little misunderstanding." Little Jenny's ball rolls across the road. Khalid tells him to stay put, "I'll get it for you, Jenny!" "Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies, Khalid?" "You have to ask? Let me see how much money I've got."

The Campaigns in Brief

Here's what the two campaigns boil down to in their essence so far:

Obama -- Here's what I'm going to do as president, here's my plan, here's my promises.

McCain -- That's no good, whatever Obama said, that's not change we can believe in, heh heh.

One thing you notice instantly there is that McCain isn't saying much. It's like The Argument Sketch of Monty Python, just the automatic gainsaying and contradicting of whatever Obama says.

But you have to hand it to McCain. Between the lines, over the months, we've seen the essence of his plan, which is simply to continue Bush's presidency. So there's very little to say on a day to day basis when that is so.

The big dust-up yesterday -- more manufactured controversies stemming from two factors, constant press idiocy and this McCain gainsaying -- points some of this out. But whatever Obama said and no matter how they chose to misconstrue it, he was actually talking about what he's going to do, policy matters. And that's a big difference.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Terrorist Fist Jab

Oh no! Maybe this really is a terrorist fist jab! Bush and Lieberman do it!

The News at Fox

If you're getting your news at Fox, watch out. This is to news what sewage is to steak. Beware.

McCain's Word Untrusted

There's a good listing this morning of some of John McCain's changed positions, flip flops, and deliberate distortions of his position. It's a recommended diary at Kos called "DAMMIT..Tell Me The Truth!" by StuHunter.

It's exhausting to read for the length and audacity of some of McCain's flips, but probably not exhaustive. The man yet lives and speaks!

One that is recent -- hot off the press -- would be his audacious flip on the G.I. Bill. He was opposed to it one day, then the next day took credit for its passage! I'm staggered by that one. Here's a video, which could be a more straightforward presentation, but the guy is also staggered by McCain's flip. By the way, if you watch it, notice how much shifting and pacing John McCain does when he's talking about this. Body language experts out there, what does this tell us? (In the video, the guy says McCain voted against the bill, but the fact is he didn't show up to vote.)

Just glancing down StuHunter's list, how about Yucca Mountain? It's a link to a Nevada article, and they ought to know who has taken what position on this issue of burying nuclear waste. He switched his position when it came time to go to Nevada.

StuHunter has quite an article. It definitely should make everyone wonder about McCain's word. I'm concluding it ain't much good!