Saturday, August 30, 2008

"what is wrong with this man?"

mcworse has made his choice, and the reviews are rolling in — like a train wreck.

cnn's "the cafferty file":

jack cafferty: the question about mrs. palin went up on about an hour and a half ago. we have received, before this show started, over 6,000 e-mails on this little topic. and the republicans ain't going to like this.

rebecca in california: "as a lifelong republican soccer mom living in an affluent community, i was impressed with senator obama's acceptance speech last evening. having my morning latte with a few of my republican friends, i almost spit my coffee when i heard the news. is mccain really putting the best interests of our nation first? to me, he is pandering to women, trying to obtain their vote. it seems he wants another 'trophy' to parade around with. what is wrong with this man?"

mitch in michigan writes: "i think mccain's selection of sarah palin as v.p. very similar to bush's nomination of harriet miers to the supreme court. it shows how much a mccain presidency would be just like the bush presidency, with the selection of totally unqualified individuals for high government posts. we've seen the disastrous results of such picks by bush. we can not let mccain continue this saga."

doug writes: "had i known that being a hockey mom under 45 and having virtually no political experience was the desired v.p. running mate for mccain, i would have asked my wife to throw her hat into the ring. mccain has just handed the presidency to barack obama."

jack cafferty: i'm telling you, there's 11,000 postings. we got a lot of mail to this, wolf.

fairbanks daily news-miner:

sarah palin's chief qualification for being elected governor was that she was not frank murkowski," cole said of her enormously unpopular predecessor ...

anchorage daily news:

state house speaker john harris, a republican from valdez, was astonished at the news. he didn't want to get into the issue of her qualifications. "she's old enough," harris said. "she's a u.s. citizen."

denver post:

i served with hillary clinton. i know hillary clinton. hillary clinton is a friend of mine. you, sarah palin, are no hillary clinton." sorry to steal joe biden's thunder, but we didn't want to wait for the vice presidential candidates' debate to say the obvious. ... in short, the presumptive republican nominee, an old soldier in all senses of that term, drafted the political equivalent of the unknown soldier as his co-pilot. mccain's pick of palin jettisons his attack that obama isn't ready to lead and looks more like a desperate "hail mary" campaign tactic aimed at female voters.

register citizen:

it's also obvious that mccain, if elected, is counting on surviving a presidential term.

journal news:

any woman won't do. i've got a message for mccain: hillaryites didn't want a woman; they wanted that woman. if this is his attempt at wooing disaffected hillary backers, he has sold all women short.

national review online:

... he is one arrogant sob. mccain is essentially telling the world that he doesn't really need a vice president. it is hard to imagine palin playing the same sort of role that modern vice presidents like gore, bush, cheney, or mondale played. rather, the office would seem poised to return to the "proverbial warm bucket of p***" category.

chicago tribune:

steve chapman: this decision mocks mccain's seriousness on the issues that are supposed to be his strength. it tells us that he puts his own political fortunes above the safety of the nation.

andrew zajac: john mccain may have some work to do ... if the underwhelmed reaction of former maryland gop gov. robert ehrlich is any indication... "i gotta go digest this choice," he mumbled to a couple of acquaintances.

new york times:

he was looking for someone who was well prepared to fight against international islamic extremism, the transcendent issue of our time. and in the end he decided that in good conscience, he was not going to settle for anyone who had not been commander of a state national guard for at least a year and a half. he put down his foot!


mccain's mighty and oft-swung obama swatting hammer of experience has been instantly changed from steel to rubber.


presidential scholars say say she appears to be the least experienced, least credentialed person to join a major-party ticket in the modern era.

so unconventional was mccain's choice that it left students of the presidency literally "stunned," in the words of joel goldstein, a st. louis university law professor and scholar of the vice presidency. "being governor of a small state for less than two years is not consistent with the normal criteria for determining who's of presidential caliber," said goldstein.

in one swift stroke, mccain demolished what had been one of his main arguments against obama. "i think we're going to have to examine our tag line, 'dangerously inexperienced,'" a top mccain official said wryly.

i'd feel bad for sarah, but she's only got mcworse to blame. her horrid press only underscores the wisdom of obama's choice of biden. obama's pick was a play to the punditry, whose glowing praise was what he needed in order to promote the "judgment" meme he's been trying to cultivate.

mcworse desperately wanted to steal a news cycle from obama, and he's succeeded, though his victory is profoundly pyrrhic: the press he's won is as bad as the press he'd won the last time he tried stealing a news cycle — the night of obama's primary victory speech. and it calls into question his judgment, keeping mcworse right where obama wants him — behind.

and mcworse's gambit has now put the once-tricky question of his age up front and center — on his birthday with a vengeance.

that's two unforced errors for the price of one. isn't the birthday boy supposed to be receiving gifts instead of giving them?

mcworse advisor charlie black:

she's going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he'll be around at least that long.

wow — sexist and condescending! a twofer! nice to see the republicans can still insult the people they're trying so desperately to win over.

Friday, August 29, 2008

prayers answered

one-time pastor and one-time tv meteorologist stuart shepard, director of digital media at focus on the family action, a lobbying arm for hardcore conservative evangelicals, asks his viewers to focus on rain:

hi, i'm stuart shepard. this is "stoplight".

would it?

would it be?

would it be wrong ... to ask people to pray?

would it be wrong if we asked people to pray ... for rain?

okay, not just rain. abundant rain, torrential rain, urban-and-small-stream-flood-advisory rain.

would it be wrong if we prayed for rain on, say, a particular day or night, at, say, a particular location?

oh, say, the evening of august 28th, right here at mile-high stadium in denver?

during the primetime tv hour, when a certain presumptive nominee is set to give a certain acceptance speech at a certain democratic national convention?

i'm talking-umbrellas-ain't-gonna-help-you-rain. not flood-people-out-of-their-houses rain, just good ol' swamp-the-intersections rain. we're not asking for hail the size of canned hams or lightning bolts to set the bunting on fire. just rain, beautiful rain, network-cameras-can't-see-the-podium rain. attendees-can't-walk-back-to-the-indoor-arena-without-wishing-for-hip-waders rain.

i know, you might ask why would i pray for that? well, i'm still pro-life, and i'm still in favor of marriage being only between one man and one woman. and i'd like the next president who will select justices for the u.s. supreme court to agree.

so i'm praying for unexpected, unanticipated, unforecasted rain that starts two minutes before the speech is set to begin.

would it be wrong to pray for rain?

i don't have any special insight or special connections. i'm just an ordinary guy who's looking for people, lots of people who feel like i do, to pray for rain.

now i know there'll probably be people who'll pray for 72 degrees and clear skies, but this isn't a contest. but if god decides — and it's always up to god to decide — if god decides that rain of biblical proportions would be a good and proper meteorological condition for that evening, we'll see it and we'll say that it is good.

and if he decides that it's not really necessary, i'm okay with that. i'll still trust in his wisdom and i'll rest peacefully knowing that lots of us offered up a humble prayer request.

would it be so wrong if we asked people to pray ... for rain?

so how'd all that wishin' and hopin' and prayin' work out for stu?

obama accepts nomination, rocks invesco

the night turned out as only [obama's] advisers could have dreamed. a huge crowd — roughly 80,000 in all — at times frenzied, at times rapt. perfect weather. fluttering american flags for the television cameras.

well, tough beans for the evangelicals, but stu's says he's okay with that. meanwhile, somebody, somewhere, is getting their prayers answered:

gop considers delaying convention

republican officials said yesterday that they are considering delaying the start of the gop convention in minneapolis-st. paul because of tropical storm gustav, which is on track to hit the gulf coast, and possibly new orleans, as a full-force hurricane early next week.

the threat is serious enough that white house officials are also debating whether president bush should cancel his scheduled convention appearance on monday, the first day of the convention, according to administration officials and others familiar with the discussion.

... staging a convention during a major natural disaster would be a public relations challenge, for either political party. but gop officials say the burden could be especially heavy for their party, whose reputation was tarred by the bush administration's bungling of katrina and its aftermath in 2005.

... "the american people want to know the people they elected are paying attention, care about them and are making decisions they need to make," [former fema chief michael] brown said. "the smart thing is not to poke their chests out and say what a great job they're doing or going to do, but just to do what needs to be done."

would it be so wrong to pray for rain? let's ask the republicans.


rain is not all some are praying for ...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

a noun, a verb and ...

ok, so if newly-crowned pageant-winner joe biden goes all the way through to november without saying

... a noun, a verb and pee-oh-dubya!

to john mccain's face, then i'm sorry, i gotta call obama's pick a failure.

hard to believe it was only 10 months ago that america's mayor!™, rudy giuliani, was busy turning his dubious 9-11 cred into a tiresome morbid fetish. rudy was counting on his fellow republicans' unwholesome and unrelenting sanctification of 9-11 and the democrats' paralyzing fear of committing blasphemy to grant himself wholesale license to beat everyone else over the head with it.

that is, until then-fellow-presidential-hopeful joe biden finally stepped up to the plate and smacked some silly off him:

"there's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, and a verb and 9/11!"

so here we are 10 months later and mcHulk is on a rampage, gratuitously dealing a sickly-green cockslap to any puny human foolish enough to even fart in his general direction.

just check out some of the swings at his critics during just the last seven days:

the mccain campaign is road-testing a new argument in responding to obama's criticism of his number-of-houses gaffe, an approach the mccain camp has never tried before: the houses gaffe doesn't matter because ... he was a pow! "this is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years — in prison," spokesman brian rogers told the washington post.

... mr. mccain’s performance was well received, raising speculation among some viewers, especially supporters of mr. obama, that he was not as isolated during the obama interview as mr. warren implied. nicolle wallace, a spokeswoman for mr. mccain, said on sunday night that mr. mccain had not heard the broadcast of the event while in his motorcade and heard none of the questions. "the insinuation from the obama campaign that john mccain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous," ms. wallace said.

the mccain campaign has offered a novel defense against critics who hit him for offering up his wife cindy as a contestant at a topless biker beauty pageant: he was a pow! ... the wall st. journal reports that mccain spokesman brian rogers fired back by saying that americans "know that john mccain's faith and character were tested and forged in ways few can fathom."

for decades it's been part of our hallowed washington mythos that the straight-talking-john-mcsame™ "doesn't like to talk about" (read: exploit) his years as a p.o.w. — if that was ever true.

so here we are two months out from the finish line, and look who's turned his ticket stub from the hanoi hilton into his all-purpose get-out-of-jail-free card.

he needs to have it revoked — with extreme prejudice. it's like he's bloody chokin' for it, my friends.

so if biden doesn't do it, who will ... ?

comment of the day

hope nope

Saturday, August 16, 2008

you're no fun

the little prince isn't happy:

bush is so done out with al-maliki's obstreperous stance on restrictions on us troops and his demand for a withdrawal timetable that he sharply warned al-maliki that without a [status of forces agreement] he would have to pull out us troops by jan. 1, 2009. (us troops operating in iraq with no agreed legal framework would be constantly open to murder and other serious legal charges).

well, well, well ... so much for "staying the course", that whole "stand-up-stand-down" thing and "conditions on the ground".

y'see, the whole point of the game was to take home two prizes: exclusive western oil contracts and permanent military bases to guarantee them. and it was clear that the prince was simply going to keep playing, and keep changing the rules, as long as the prizes were in front of him.

so, as playtime winds down, inexorably, with no prizes actually in hand, does the prince really think that taking his toys home in a huff is going to impress the other kids, who've already told him they don't want to play anymore and who've already heard his mamma calling?


the oil majors are largely giving up on negotiating short-term contracts with the iraqi oil ministry. the contracts aren't that lucrative, and were just seen as ways of establishing a relationship, but the oil ministry played hard ball and so they could not come to terms.

come january, dubya's not gonna have much to show for his tenure in the oval office but for a tragicomedy entitled "how i ginned up an unjust war, alienated the world, castrated the constitution and only got this lousy t-shirt."

update ii:

looks like the iraqis are seriously feeling their oats these days, and aren't giving anyone any candies or flowers:

iraq will sign a $1.2 bn. service contract with china, for work on a small field that produces 90,000 barrels a day (iraq produces on the order of 2.4 million barrels a day). the deal declines to offer china a share in profits, confining it to fees paid for work done. that the iraqi oil ministry is playing this kind of hard ball has caused several western oil majors to pull out of talks on such short term contracts, which are not very profitable and are mainly undertaking to make good relations with the host country.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

jake gets it (finally)

... even if he still won't say it.

i guess getting schooled on political dogwhistles on camera has opened abc new's jake tapper's ears a bit to mccain's acutely pitched ad strategy:

how many young white women professing adoration for sen. barack obama, d-illinois, can you count in this anti-obama web video that the campaign of sen. john mccain, r-ariz, was sending out yesterday?

one ... two ... three ... four ... sure are a lot of young white women in this thing ...

why do you think they put so many young white women professing their love for obama in what is clearly an anti-obama video? what would possibly be negative about young white women liking sen. obama?

yes, jake, what would that be?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

we know what that means

too polite to plainly parse mccain's ad strategy for what it is, too cowardly to call a spade a spade, so to speak, this week panelists jake tapper, george stephanopolous and george will get politely schooled by david gergen on what he, donna brazile and everyone else in america already knows:

tapper: ... that's not fair. the media has been very vigilant on the attacks against obama that are race-based. whether it was, uh, questions of things that clinton and clinton supporters said, or the scurrilous ads coming out of various state republican parties, the media has been viligant — vigilant — but by the same token we're allowed to say "hey, wait a second. you're lumping in mccain making racial ads, uh, attacks, when it's clear he hasn't done it."
gergen: i-i-ah ... [sighs] i think that donna's got a point here. everybody knows he's black, but there has been a very intentional effort to paint him as somebody outside the mainstream — other — he’s not one of us ...
steph: mostly below the radar screen —
gergen: it's below the radar screen. i think the mccain campaign has been scrupulous about not directly saying it, but it's the subtext of this campaign. everybody knows that. and when he said — there are certain kinds of signals. as a, as a native of the south, i can tell you, when you see this charlton heston ad, 'the one,' that's code for, 'he's uppity, he ought to stay in his place.' y'know we, everybody gets that, who is from a southern background. we all understand that. when mccain comes out and starts talking about affirmative action, 'i'm against quotas,' we get what that's about. we understand where that's coming from ...
steph: i answered the question —
will: [pointing to steph] he was asked about that!
gergen: i understand that, but i'm just telling you that gets across, and so it's not unfair for him to sort of bring up the fact: "hey everybody knows i'm black. what are you talking about?"
steph: hey george, that may be his only strategy ...

if stephanopolous is referring to mccain's strategy, that's something else that everyone already knows.

Friday, August 01, 2008

if bush is batman, that would make cheney ...

the difficulty of the questions is surprising given the absurdity of the premise:

bush or batman?

right here i have a series of 30 quotes that were either said by george bush as the president of the united states or batman from the 1960 tv show:

"whether we bring our enemies to justice or justice to our enemies, justice will be done."

"i solemnly swear by my office that this outrage shall not go unavenged."

"we've climbed the mighty mountain, i see the valley below and it's a valley of peace."

"we always escape the vicious ensnarements of our enemies. i like to think it's because our hearts are pure."

"this nation is freedom's home and freedom's defender."

"in the interest of law, order, justice, good fellowship and the flag, you must convict them to keep our streets safe from evil persons."

"the constitution is the cornerstone of our great nation, we must abide by it."

"if you can't spend it, money's just a lot of worthless paper, isn't it?"

"planting a time bomb in a local library is a felony."

"no time to tarry, lest we forget lives are at stake. the longer we tarry, the more dire the peril."

"we are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens."

"i don't think we should treat religion lightly, mr. gore."