John McCain, In His Own Words

This is the latest ad from the Obama campaign.  You’ll probably see it on TV, but I think it does a good job of exposing the choice of “winkie” and how that reflects on McCain.

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McCain Steps Back From the Rovian Brink (Lynch Mob Update)

I recently posted how McCain/Palin rallys had recently become something of a throwback to the civil rights rallies of the 60’s.  No, not those rallies.  The ones that didn’t get broadcast.  The ones held at night, in the woods, with torches and shit.

It looks like the tide has finally turned, and with it comes the final nail in McCain’s coffin.  Really, this is the 10-second ad that completely obliterates their latest argument…you don’t know Barack Obama.

Somebody just tossed this together.  As I think it completely encapsulates the end of this race, it goes first. 

Yes…he is talking about Barack.  You can see the longer question and answer on YouTube.  And yes, he does get booed for this.

This was needed because, as I mentioned previously, his attack line that “Barack Obama is an America-Hating Terrorist” was finding fertile ground amoung his supporters.

Please note…

These are not the type of people that McCain wants to represent him.  Palin…were not so sure.  So far she hasn’t done anything to disavow her scuriolous attacks.  

This is leading some realize that her behaviour is exactly the big problem with the Republican party.  And I, strangely, find myself agreeing with David Brooks.   In this essay, he is gently pointing out that having stupid people run things because you hate government is not a sound political philosophy.

This year could have changed things. The G.O.P. had three urbane presidential candidates. But the class-warfare clichés took control. Rudy Giuliani disdained cosmopolitans at the Republican convention. Mitt Romney gave a speech attacking “eastern elites.” (Mitt Romney!) John McCain picked Sarah Palin.

Palin is smart, politically skilled, courageous and likable. Her convention and debate performances were impressive. But no American politician plays the class-warfare card as constantly as Palin. Nobody so relentlessly divides the world between the “normal Joe Sixpack American” and the coastal elite.

She is another step in the Republican change of personality. Once conservatives admired Churchill and Lincoln above all — men from wildly different backgrounds who prepared for leadership through constant reading, historical understanding and sophisticated thinking. Now those attributes bow down before the common touch.

[full story] [edited so I could still agree with it.  An averagely brain-blessed woman can appear intelligent if she is hot.  Until she starts talking a bunch.  Then you realize she is average in the brain and genius in the body.  This is also true for men.]

The thing about it is, when you hate government and run on that platform relentlessly, you end up only having supporters that can’t see the inherent illogic your very party represents.   Which is to say, dumb ones.  When a big part of your platform is hating smart people, and everyone who runs your party is actually pretty smart in real life, the disconnect is so severe that you get…well…you get a country run into the freaking ground.  That’s what happens.

And you do it to cheering, blaming the other “team”.

And because you have shit on everyone who ever rubbed two neurons together in the race to the bottom, now your party is in shambles, as it would have been in late 2004 *if these very same tactics hadn’t worked*.

Success can hide many faults, but when you use that success to pat yourself on the back, rather than fix your problems, failure becomes catostrophic.  Now you have not only the faults that were ignored to deal with, but they are now multiplied by the very real faults any working piece of machinery develops over the years.

A political party is much like an engine, and when you think that winning one race means you don’t need to change the oil (hey, it worked last time!),  you can’t be surprised when that engine explodes in your face during the next.

PDS: Palin Derangement Syndrome

PDS: Palin Derangement Synmdrome = Holding the mistaken belief that Sarah Palin is in any way qualified to be President of the United States.

I’ve been reading and watching a whole bunch of Vice-Presidential “debate” reactions and I think I’ve located a fairly new psychological disorder (golly, it has only been happening for like 6 weeks now).   For some reason it only takes hold in the most partisan and hackish pundits.  Indeed, we have now a very simple test to see if a pundit is rational or “in the tank” (or tanked).

Simply ask them if they think Governor Palin is qualified to be President.  If they say yes, then they have PDS and should be ignored in all political matters until after the election.  If they say no, then they retain at least a slight bit of political acumen.  Note this has nothing to do with party affiliation, just a question with a simple and obvious answer to an objective oberver.

For those under the miskaken impression that “winkin'” and “lookin’ adorable” are qualifications for the Presdiency, please realize this is one of the first signs of PDS and now would be a good time to stop talkin’ all political under you read up and have some idea about what the heck is goin on.

Winkie!! For President 08-16!!

Winkie!! For President 08-16!!

 And if you *really* think Palin has the “executive experience” she needs to run the country….realize that for the *vast* majority of her political career, her office had a drive-through window.

No shit.

This was where you buy the rape kits.
This was where you buy the rape kits.

Yes, that is a drive-through right over there.  Yes, this is the “experience” that sufferers of PDS believe is sufficient to run a country in the midst of an economic crisis, two shooting wars, and three soft ones.

Oh, and our last “folksy” President has run the country into the ground/off a cliff/into a wall…pick your metaphor, they all work.   This is perhaps the single most damning aspect of PDS.  These same pundits just saw what happened when you give a young governor with little intellectual curiousity and a great deal of personal charm and no foreign policy experience the reigns of power.  Perhaps they think Bush has been a success.  Yes, that would explain it.

And would, of course, even further disqualify them from being seen as having a rational viewpoint.

An Irregular Heartbeat Away

Sorry, but I keep hearing the old cliche about CinC ticker’s, and I can’t help but amend it to make it topical for McCain and then look at his VP pick and kind of shrug.

I mean….really? That’s who you think is going to find bin laden/stand up to russia/china/europe and repair the country? I would think a responsible leader, who is of advanced age, would try and pick the best person to replace him, not someone who, at first glance, seems handpicks for campaign purposes. I’m still trying to make sense of this. I haven’t seen her speak yet, but jeez, the quotes I’m reading ain’t inspiring confidence.

Palin holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho where she also minored in politics.

Nice.

I’m officially qualified to be President now. Well, in a couple years. She is old enough to be President.   That’s something.

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More coverage here.

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Wow….they are going directly after Hillary’s voters.  Wow…”We can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.”   Going *directly* after Hilary’s voters. 

Now you know why’s she’s there.  18,000,000 Democratic Primary voters.

Hmmm….how does that work?

McCain Taps Miss Congeniality for VP

McCain "taps" Palin for VP

McCain

 Palin was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, the daughter of Charles and Sally (Sheeran) Heath.[2] Her family moved to Alaska when she was an infant.[3] Charles Heath was a popular science teacher and coached track.[3] The Heaths were avid outdoors enthusiasts; Sarah and her father would sometimes wake at 3 a.m. to hunt moose before school, and the family would regularly run 5k and 10k races.[3]

Palin was the point guard and captain for the Wasilla High School Warriors, in Wasilla, Alaska, when they won the Alaska small-school basketball championship in 1982; she earned the nickname “Sarah Barracuda” because of her intense play.[3] She played the championship game despite a stress fracture in her ankle, hitting a critical free throw in the last seconds.[3] Palin, who was also the head of the school Fellowship of Christian Athletes, would lead the team in prayer before games.[3]

In 1984, Palin was second-place in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant after winning the Miss Wasilla contest earlier that year, winning a scholarship to help pay her way through college.[3] In the Wasilla pageant, she played the flute and also won Miss Congeniality.

Sarah Palin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I have to say I am completely flabbergasted by this selection. For someone who has hammered on foreign policy experience during the campaign…to pick someone that governed a state of 600,000 people….for two years….one of which was in total darkness…

I’m just blown away.

BTW….from that wikipedia article…here’s what Governor Palin did to help her people deal with the current economy.

In response to high oil and gas prices, and in response to the resulting state government budget surplus, Palin proposed giving Alaskans $100-a-month energy debit cards.

Nice, eh? For some reason, I think she fits right along with McCain in his understanding how the economy works for everyone. Which is to say, not at all.

The Clintons @ the DNC

Willie

And Hillie

Of the two I have to give the nod to the former President.  Wow, that guy can work a crowd.

You can really see the, gosh I hate to say it…warmness…that Hillary was missing when you hold her up against Bill.  I know they share the same ideal and information, but he just seems to be a better communicator.

BTW, if you wonder why Obama is a better choice, Bill lays it out pretty specifically in the speech.  It’s about policy, not personality. 

Obama Taps Biden for Vice-Presidentail Spot

Here’s the vids…

Obama giving the nod…

And Biden happily accepting it…

Overall I am pretty happy with the choice.  I’ve like Biden for a while now.  He was decent candidate for President, but his penchant for making somewhat off-color comments/jokes played havoc with any kind of momentum he was trying to build.  I think he’s an excellent foil for McCain and Biden’s long-term knowledge of and friendship with McCain will make for some fun political posturing.

More on this later, it’s a nice day and time to head to the pool.

Putting a Finger on the Difference

Op-Ed Columnist – Frank Rich – One Historic Night, Two Americas – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com

All presidential candidates, Mr. Obama certainly included, are egomaniacs. But Washington’s faith in hierarchical status adds a thick layer of pomposity to politicians who linger there too long. Mrs. Clinton referred to herself by the first-person pronoun 64 times in her speech, and Mr. McCain did so 60 times in his. Mr. Obama settled for 30.

Remarkably, neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. McCain had the grace to offer a salute to Mr. Obama’s epochal political breakthrough, which reverberated so powerfully across the country and throughout the world. By being so small and ungenerous, they made him look taller. Their inability to pivot even briefly from partisan self-interest could not be a more telling symptom of the dysfunctional Washington culture Mr. Obama aspires to mend.

This is the essential difference between Obama and Hillary (and McCain).  It’s a personality thing.  I really do believe him when he says he wants to work for everyone.  He’s been doing it his whole life.  Now I might be a naive Robot Pirate Ninja, but I’ve seen a few things.

Killed a few liars.  Stolen from a number of men, both rich and poor (*coughpiratecough*), so I think I have a pretty good grasp on what an honest man and a really good liar look like.
Obama is one or the other, and his history points to the good side of that paradigm.  Whether or not he can stay there is a more difficult question that only Time can tell, but if I could still vote, I’d know where it would go.

O Brother, Obama Gets Democrat Nod

Obama Clinches Nomination, Capping Historic, Bitter Contest – WSJ.com

The Democratic presidential nomination his, Barack Obama reached out Wednesday to mend fences with his defeated rival as Republican opponent John McCain tried to frame the fall campaign on his own terms. “I think he has exercised very bad judgment on national security issues and others,” Sen. McCain said.

Sen. Obama captured enough convention delegates Tuesday to make a historic claim to the Democratic presidential nomination, the first African-American to earn a major party’s nod.

Hillary Clinton was angling to become Sen. Obama’s running mate and her aides ramped up the speculation on that matter Wednesday. “I think a lot of her supporters would like to see her on the ticket,” Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe said. But Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs cautioned “there is no deal in the works.”
A clip from Sen. Obama’s speech after he has secured enough delegates to win the Democratic presidential nomination. (June 3)

It’s official, Obama gets the nod. Very good work, sir. Madam, madam, please…Madam, please! Step back…

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Oh, and I think it’s hillaryious that McCain thinks saying that Obama is dumb on national security while at the same time defending the war in Iraq is going to work for him.

Still, the nomination marked a remarkable accomplishment for the son of a Kenyan immigrant who spent part of his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia.

“Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States of America,” Sen. Obama told an estimated 32,000 people gathered in St. Paul, Minn., late Tuesday.

The venue symbolized his start of the general-election campaign against the likely Republican nominee, Sen. McCain: In September, Republicans hold their presidential convention in the same city. And Sen. Obama’s huge audience, compared with Sen. McCain’s less than 1,000 supporters for his speech Tuesday night in New Orleans, dramatizes the Democrats’ big edge in voter excitement, evident all year in record turnout for the party’s primaries and caucuses.

Sen. McCain, his own nomination locked up months ago, defined the distinction he will draw with the less-experienced 46-year-old Sen. Obama, who is 25 years his junior: “Both Sen. Obama and I promise we will end Washington’s stagnant, unproductive partisanship,” he said. “But one of us has a record of working to do that, and one of us doesn’t.”

Yea…McCain has been working on changing Washington for what…25 years now. How’s that going for ya, buddy? What hasn’t that fixed in 25 years? How many lobbyists do you meet in 25 year in Washington, BTW? Many of the really hot ones weren’t even born when you got there, ifyouknowwhatI’msayin’…

It was the longest nomination race ever. Early returns were in keeping with the closeness of the Obama-Clinton race — a split decision, with Sen. Obama winning in Montana Tuesday and Sen. Clinton in South Dakota.

Once the polls closed Tuesday night, the Obama campaign released the names of 26.5 superdelegates — those from Michigan and Florida get half-votes, in punishment for holding their primaries too early. With others that came in through the day, and Sen. Obama’s share of Montana’s and South Dakota’s 31 pledged delegates, he could claim the 2,118-delegate majority needed for nomination.

Sen. Obama started Tuesday roughly 40 delegates shy of the number needed. But he exceeded that with the night’s final group endorsement from party leaders. In addition, 10 delegates pledged to former candidate and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards switched to him, besides the pledged delegates he’d get from Tuesday’s primaries.

So it looks like this thing was oven when I said it was, which is to say when Edwards said it was. That with the 3/5 votes from Michigan and Florida (haw-haw) and the thing was o.v.e.r.

Oh wait….you mean…Madam, please, please step back.. Madam!!!

And Sen. Clinton brushed aside calls for her to end her campaign last night, telling a crowd of cheering supporters in New York: “I will be making no decisions tonight.” That raised the prospects of days of wrangling and negotiating.

aaargh. And she keeps winning friends like this too. Riiight.

So it ends much the same as it dragged on, with Obama as the presumptive nominee and Clinton nipping at his heels.

It is quite a day for the the U.S. as someone who is the same color as a bunch of people we used for slaves is now, finally, one of the two people with a chance to be The President of the United States of America.

Pretty nifty, these united states (from thirteen original colonies).

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UPDATE: Longer version of the 16-month campaign.

Politic Like a Rock Star (Newsbusted, Decemberists)

Obama Draws Huge Crowd in Oregon as Clinton Courts Kentucky – New York Times

Obama Draws Huge Crowd in Oregon as Clinton Courts Kentucky

Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Barack Obama spoke to 75,000 people on Sunday in Portland, Ore. He called it “the most spectacular setting for the most spectacular crowd” of the campaign.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a President we like again?

I guess some don’t think so…

How many of the people showed up to hear Obama, and how many to hear the band?

Here’s how the local paper The Oregonian, which estimated the crowd at 72,000, reported the rally:

“Obama was the biggest star at Sunday’s gathering — though a popular Portland band, The Decemberists, provided the warmup act. With blue skies and temperatures in the 80s, many in the crowd said Waterfront Park was simply the place to be.”

CNN headlined its 10 p.m. segment on May 18 with “Barack Obama: Achieving Rock Star Status in Oregon.”

The New York Times, which ran a color photo of the crowd, estimated the throng at 75,000, noting that it was “the largest crowd of his campaign so far.” There was no mention of The Decemberists, and the Times described the weather as “an unseasonably hot day.”

Dude, seriously. My response is now aimed at people like those at ‘Newsbusters’ and other knee-jerk politically assigned websites. Gimme a flippin’ break.

They guy got 75,000 people to come out and listen to a brother talk. 75,000 people.

That’s more than Jesus met in his lifetime.

I saw the Decemberists on Colbert, and frankly, they ain’t pulling 75K on their own to a park, even on a nice day in Portland*.

Anyway, I found the whinging about the news before I found the news, so I thought I would reply to the whinging and then get to the news.

* the avrerage high temperature in May in Portland, Oregon is 67°. In June it is 74° [source] so saying ” There was no mention of The Decemberists, and the Times described the weather as “an unseasonably hot day.” ” about a day that was in the 80’s in Portland in May, is quite accurate reporting. Yea, opening acts get shafted in the big time, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Local paper reports local band and national paper reports national news. As mentioned, I’ve seen the Decemberists, and I think the May Weather and the Obama were a much larger factor in the curious fact that 75,000 people came out to hear a politician speak.

I don’t think this was the draw of the day….(apologies to the band, and I do like the pirate)….

live version

The Oldest Meme of 08

Things younger than Republican Presidential candidate (oh, and did I forget to mention war hero?) John McCain » Duct Tape.

Duct Tape.

Duct tape is younger than John McCain.

I was happy to see on Wikipedia – the internet’s #1 source of partially-correct information – that duct tape is also known as “duck tape”… which is what I always thought it was called (or, at least, should be called).

And there you have it. McCain is older than duct tape (correct spelling). Duck Tape™; is a brand.

Pirates and robots love duct tape.  it keeps things running. It is only good for the soles of a ninjas feet, and even then, only for the hottest of coals.

Here’s the Clinton Solution

Facing her doubters, Clinton remains stoic – International Herald Tribune

Joanne Drewry, 47, a contractor in Shepherdstown, stood in the back of the crowd holding a pole with six Clinton posters stapled to it. She said she was disappointed in the results Tuesday and believed that it meant the end of Clinton’s presidential ambitions, at least this year.

But she said she hoped that Obama would offer Clinton the vice-presidential nomination and that she would accept it.

The money quote, as it were, comes at the end of the article.  I think this is a very equitable solution, and it’s the one I proposed a looong time ago.    From the tone of the article it looks like HIllary is finally reading the writing on the wall (and in the ballot box).   This should be over soon.