the principle demonstrated when an organization promotes one or more individuals so far above their level of competence as to precipitate or hasten its own sorry demise.
the ultimate culmination of the peter principle.
origin sept 2008: named after governor of alaska sarah palin, whose nomination as the republican vice presidential candidate, despite initial fanfare, ultimately proved to be the undoing of the presidential aspirations of her nominator john mccain, as well as the undoing of their party, likely for decades to follow. see also:
an attempt by an unpopular leader to rehabilitate his failed legacy by naming as his successor a person so corrupt and/or incompetent that the predictably disastrous reign to follow makes his own epic failure look like an epic win in comparison.
origin sept 2008: named after the unpopular roman emperor tiberius, who named as his successor his capricious and probably insane grandson gaius caligula, who in turn instituted a reign of terror of the like even rome had never seen.
mccain's nomination of the laughably inadequate palin as his vice president has to be the first time i've ever seen anyone preemptively slap down a tiberius gambit even before they've become president.
the term first appeared on the blog hullabaloo.
Monday, September 29, 2008
overheard on the net:
am i the only one that thinks palin has been sandbagging in interviews to get biden to put his guard down? she came out so brilliantly when she was announced, and has seemed to fade a little.
i have this confident feeling that she's been setting up the enemy and she's going to knock 'em dead in the debate.
i know she's a great vp candidate and a very smart lady. i just have to wonder why she's been "homely" when it comes to interviews. i know that the interviews she has been in weren't appropriately conducted and that she is the only candidate asked hardball questions throughout her interviews.
Friday, September 26, 2008
ol' mcflopsweat is proving himself to be the all-time dojo master of the pyrrhic victory. he always manages to steal the headlines from obama, but at the cost of horrible, horrible press.
his first big victory was the night of obama's primary victory, when he got roundly panned for his lame "green screen" speech.
then his veep pick stole some of the shine from the close of the dem convention, but palin got roundly panned in the press.
now he's rushing to get out in front of the big bailout, but now even letterman's roundly piling on.
mcflopsweat says he "knows how to win wars", which i guess is easy if you're willing to pay any price ...
... it is still instructive to review mccain's actions in the last two days, to see why the notion of him as president is now alarming even some republicans.
after making the hasty announcement wednesday that he was suspending his presidential campaign to rush to washington and lead the bickering sides to a bipartisan agreement, mccain did no such thing. instead, he spent wednesday night and much of thursday in new york, trying, self-servingly, to get on television.
... did mccain roll up his sleeves and put his magical maverick bipartisan skills to work? did he help get the members of his own party on board? build a bridge or two across the aisle? stick it to the wall street greedheads, as he had promised, by capping the money they can make in this bailout?
no. mccain closeted himself with his advisers and tried to find a way to salvage his rapidly deteriorating political position.
then it was time for the white house photo op, which mccain had so coveted. and what does mr. suspend my campaign for the good of the country do?
he goes awol.
ej dionne, washington post:
mccain's boisterous intervention — and particularly his grandstanding on the debate — was less a presidential act than the tactical ploy of a man worried that his chances of becoming president might be slipping away.
evansville courier & press (in):
mccain's action was a diversionary tactic and a rather crass one at that. he was not one of the key senate negotiators needed to hammer out a congressional deal on the bailout. he could vote up-or-down on the bill and still debate.
jeffrey toobin, cnn:
well, can i just quarrel with the premise of this? who says he suspended his campaign? he didn’t suspend his campaign. he’s been campaigning all day. he gave a speech in new york. he’s giving interviews all night. he’s raising money. his surrogates are attacking barack obama.
i think this is posturing of being apolitical. and, frankly, i think we’re being kind of gullible in falling for it. he didn’t stop his campaign. he’s campaigning. now whether it’s successful or not ...
... he didn’t pull his ads down. his ads have been on. and he’s done exactly what obama has done all day. and obama admits that he’s campaigning. it’s the middle of the campaign. i don’t see why we should treat what he’s doing as anything different from what obama is doing.
jack cafferty, cnn:
cafferty: i'm sixty-five and have been covering politics as you have for a long time. that is one of the most pathetic pieces of tape i have ever seen for someone aspiring to one of the highest offices in this country. that's all i have to say. ... blitzer: yeah, but she's ... cramming a lot of information, y'know she's — cafferty: that's just — there's no excuse for that! she's supposed to know a little bit of this! y'know ... don't make excuses for her! that's pathetic!
duncan black, eschaton:
i'm actually a little sympathetic to palin. her problem isn't so much that she speaks in gibberish, the problem is that she doesn't speak in official washington gibberish. john mccain spouts gibberish all the time, as do all politicians, but it's often the kind of gibberish which is part of the beltway dialect. it's pundit-approved gibberish. whether or not it makes any sense is irrelevant. whatever palin's knowledge of domestic or foreign affairs, her biggest problem is that she's obviously completely unfamiliar with the basic contours of the core political discourse of our country. gibberish is fine as long as it's the right kind of gibberish.
it was fun while it lasted.
ms. palin's recent interviews with charles gibson, sean hannity and now katie couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. who is clearly out of her league.
... what to do?
mr. mccain can't repudiate his choice for running mate. he not only risks the wrath of the gop's unforgiving base, but he invites others to second-guess his executive decision-making ability.
... only ms. palin can save mr. mccain, her party and the country she loves. she can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. no one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.
do it for your country.
kathryn jean lopez, national review online:
i’m not where my friend kathleen parker is — wanting her to step aside to spend more time with her family and alaska — but that’s not a crazy suggestion.
david letterman, late night, nbc:
sure there's an economic crisis, but here's what you do if you're running a campaign in the middle of an economic crisis, and it's about to 'crater' ... don't suspend your campaign. you let your campaign go on shouldered by your vice presidential nominee. that's what you do. you don't quit! ... or is that a really good thing to do? see what i’m saying?
... when john mccain — and he was nice enough to call me on the phone and said that he was racing back to washington — our people here were told, so serious, he's getting on a plane immediately and racing back to washington. and now we've just been told ... here, take a look — do we have it on the thing? this is going live ... there he is right there.
[monitor shows live feed of mccain having makeup touches for a cbs news interview with katie couric]
doesn't seem to be racing to the airport, does he? this just gets uglier and uglier. i'm feeling bad for the man to have participated in this ... first of all, the road to the white house runs right through me. well, let's just punch up katie couric's interview and keith, you can go back to wherever you came from ... let's just see what he has to say here. this will be interesting. ... let's see if he'll mention me. hey, john, i got a question — do you need a ride to the airport? now, this stinks.
charles babington, associated press:
even for a party whose president suffers dismal approval ratings, whose legislative wing lost control of congress and whose presidential nominee trails in the polls, it was a remarkably bad day for republicans.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
after eight years of cuddling at the decider's feet, have the media poodles become terriers?
sounds like mcworse has neglected feeding the pets, after waving treats in their faces for weeks ...
bear with me for a short rant on another subject, because frankly, i have had it and i know a lot of other women out there are with me on this.
i have had enough of the sexist treatment of sarah palin. it has to end.
she was here in new york city today meeting with world leaders at the u.n. and what did the mccain campaign do? they tried to ban reporters from covering those meetings. and they did ban reporters from asking governor palin any questions.
tonight i call on the mccain campaign to stop treating sarah palin like she is a delicate flower that will wilt at any moment. this woman is from alaska for crying out loud. she is strong. she is tough. she is confident. and you claim she is ready to be one heart beat away form the presidency. if that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now.
allow her to show her stuff. allow her to face down those pesky reporters, just like barack obama did today. just like john mccain did today. just like joe biden has done on numerous occasions. let her have a real news conference with real questions. by treating sarah palin different from the other candidates in this race, you are not showing her the respect she deserves. free sarah palin.
free her from the chauvinistic chain you are binding her with. sexism in this campaign must come to an end. sarah palin has just as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do. so let her act like one.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
today's addition to the garmin nüvi gps custom vehicle icon fleet: star wars landspeeders: (click to download)
these landspeeders are available in both new and pre-owned models. (one's from a kid on tatooine who hardly used it!) so come on down — you won't find deals this crazy in any other galaxy!
NOTICE: these custom icons that i make freely available are not for resale!
previously posted custom icons include tron lightcycles, several star trek shuttlecraft, a star wars tie fighter, the 1966 tv batmobile, even more batmobiles, speed racer's mach 5 and the beatles' yellow submarine.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
when you've lost bill o'reilly ...
alright, more economic choas today ... don't panic! uh, it'll, uh, flip around, but, uh, this is the end of president bush’s legacy. that's — he's done, he’s through.
... um, y'know, i like president bush personally, i think he's done some good things in the war on terror, but he will now go down in history, alongside jimmy carter, as a, uh, ineffectual leader, particularly with the last four years in iraq, and now the economy just imploding.
and i’ll tell you the reason why, it's, it’s poor leadership on his part, and the people that he picked, uh, to run certain things have been disastrous. and no leadership and now americans are getting, getting hurt. and it's my job to, uh, put an end to that, and i'll do the best i can. we'll start today ...
it's true — if you've got no leadership skills and you can't even choose the right people to delegate to, what else is there to being president? charm? well, let's not go there, folks ...
so welcome aboard, billo, but this bus left the station seven years ago.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
the man who built and ran global insurance giant american international group for more than 35 years says it is in the "national interest that aig survive."
speaking in an interview on cnbc-tv, maurice "hank" greenbeg, former aig chief executive officer, said that aig is facing a liquidity problem, not a solvency problem, and that if it can't raise cash from private markets, the federal reserve should step in with a bridge loan.
"it's not a bailout; it's a cash problem," he said.
if i showed up at your door and told you that i needed a million dollars in cash and i needed it tonight — not tomorrow, but tonight, dammit — you'd probably intuit that my liquidity, my ability to raise that much money at will, or my solvency, my ability to raise that much money at all, was actually the least of my problems. you'd certainly want to know why i needed so much money so fast.
but, looking at me, digesting my unusual-to-say-the-least request, and listening to me explain that it's only a problem of liquidity ... well, you would already know the answer to that question.
and the answer, of course, is that i'd done something horribly, horribly stupid ...
it's just a liquidity problem, really.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
colorado delegate gabriel nathan schwartz at the republican national convention in st. paul:
linktv: what is your vision for change under a john mccain administration? schwartz: less taxes and more war. linktv: more war? schwartz: more war! linktv: so where should the united states bomb next? schwartz: iran, baby! linktv: why? why should we bomb iran? schwartz: protect israel. linktv: so you think iran is threatening israel right now? the u.s. should intervene on behalf of israel? schwartz: absolutely. or israel should do it themselves. linktv: so what would that look like? what would a war with iran look like? schwartz: hopefully just, ah, bomb the hell out of them from the sky. no troops. linktv: are you worried about the escalating costs of the iraq and afghanistan wars? how would we pay for our war with iran? schwartz: we should plant a flag. take the oil, take the money. we deserve reimbursement. linktv: um, ok, so — you're commander-in-chief, talk to me about how it works. how do you — i mean, do you invade? are there troops on the ground? are you just bombing overhead? schwartz: do a strategical airstrikes. take out their nukular facilities. simple. linktv: so, um, in particular, though, what — what is iran doing to threaten israel? talk about that relationship. schwartz: making nukular weapons. threatens the world. linktv: israel has nuclear weapons. schwartz: they don't threaten the world. linktv: alright, so if ahmadinejad were here today, what would you say to him? schwartz: destroy your nukes. linktv: alright, alright, so should the united states use nuclear weapons when it attacks iran? schwartz: we could use slingshots and beat 'em, i'm sure. [snip] linktv: do you have a message for people outside who are protesting the republicans? schwartz: get a job! you can protest, but don't get arrested, man! linktv: ok, so john mccain said we might be in iraq for another 100 years. do you support that? schwartz: we're still in japan, we're still in germany. we've been there over sixty years.
just a few hours later that night, mr. schwartz got lucky with a little lady named karma ...
gop delegate's hotel tryst goes bad when he wakes up with $120,000 missing
he met her in the bar of the swank hotel and invited her to his room. once there, the woman fixed the drinks and told him to get undressed.
and that, the delegate to the republican national convention told police, was the last thing he remembered.
when he awoke, the woman was gone, as was more than $120,000 in money, jewelry and other belongings.
the thief's take stunned cops.
"it's very, very, very rare," minneapolis police sgt. william palmer said. "i can think of a couple of burglaries where we had that much stolen, but it's the first time i've heard of this kind of deal."
in a statement released today, gabriel nathan schwartz, 29, of denver, put the figure at much less.
"it's embarrassing to admit that i was a target of a crime. i was drugged and had about $50,000 of personal items stolen, not the inflated number that the media is reporting from an inaccurate police report," he said.
"as a single man, i was flattered by the attention of a beautiful woman who introduced herself to me. i used poor judgment."
contacted by the denver post monday, schwartz declined to speak on the record. in the statement released today, schwartz said he would decline further interview requests.
the haul included a $30,000 watch, a $20,000 ring, a necklace valued at $5,000, earrings priced at $4,000 and a prada belt valued at $1,000, police said.
schwartz is a single attorney and a fixture in colorado republican politics. he was one of the state's delegates to the convention this month in st. paul.
i think we all just got reimbursed.
Monday, September 15, 2008
in time-honored fashion, after having abolished the republic and crippled the empire, george bush and karl rove prepare to pass the torch ... to nero:
mccain may still be grateful for the fact that the bush-flunky rove disciples he has running his campaign have rescued it from oblivion and brought him within striking distance of the prize he's sold his soul for, but i doubt he'll feel the same way after the election. because win or lose, make no mistake about it, brand mccain has been destroyed. and therein we see the long arm of george bush and the hand of karl rove. it may well be that a scorched earth campaign was his only shot, but consider how every attack and every lie, while they serve to smear obama, also serve to undermine he [sic] credibility, honor and self-image of john mccain. i can hear george cackling as karl explained how cool it would be: we might just pull out a win for the folks who own the country, but at the same time we totally fuck over mccain by getting him to destroy the only thing he really had going for him.
and how does the notoriously short-tempered mccain really feel about the fact that he had to crawl to the religious extremists now vying with the neo-cons for control of the party and employ the very bushies who smeared him eight years ago and are now using him as a tool to do the same to obama? i don't think it's much of a stretch to assume that these two petulant narcissists absolutely hate and despise each other. and who is writing about the devastating effects these personal and political wars may have on our future? from where i'm sitting, it looks like bush has gotten the best of it — and as a bonus he gets to say f.u. to the country as well by using his slime machine to ensure his dreadful policies will be continued.
it can be useful to look at what happened to he [sic] succession of power once ancient rome made the transition from republic to empire under julius caesar. i think of it as the tiberius gambit. each emperor did his best to ensure that the one who followed him could never rival his achievements. and it was a short step indeed for tiberius to inflict he [sic] egregious caligula on the empire, secure in the knowledge that he would make the populace yearn for the comparatively golden days of his own rule. so augustus gave us tiberius, tiberius gave us caligula and the accidental claudius gave us nero. nero almost destroyed the roman economy by his personal greed and burned part of rome intending, perhaps, to remove the blight of a quarter congested with the urban poor. when it got way out of hand and he began to feel universal public opprobrium, he blamed it on a fringe group of alien terrorists, the early christians.
so bush would give us mccain and mccain would give us palin and palin will ignite the fire and fiddle while the planet burns. the joke is on us. hail!
the joke is on everyone. who could forget after all, tiberius' july farewell to his counterparts from around the globe:
the american leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: "goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."
he then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including gordon brown and nicolas sarkozy looked on in shock.
president bush made the private joke in the summit's closing session, senior sources said yesterday. his remarks were taken as a two-fingered salute from the president from texas who is wedded to the oil industry.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
gibson: would you favor putting georgia and ukraine in nato? palin: ukraine, definitely, yes. yes, and georgia. gibson: because putin has said he would not tolerate nato incursion into the caucasus. palin: well, you know, the rose revolution, the orange revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, i believe, deserve to be in nato. putin thinks otherwise. obviously, he thinks otherwise, but ... gibson: and under the nato treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if russia went into georgia? palin: perhaps so. i mean, that is the agreement when you are a nato ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.
i have one question — among many, of course — that i wish gibson had asked our would-be lieutenant commander-in-chief:
which american cities are you prepared to lose in defense of georgia? and is wasilla on that list?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
it's an open secret, like a nasty little truth fart, embarrassing and unmentionable, about why the mcworse campaign, despite a pledge to conduct an respectful campaign, is hellbent on ensnaring the media in a morass of "straight up lies", triviality and sleaze, all while avoiding any direct contact with responsible journalists: like bad gas, they absolutely stink on the issues. and everybody can smell it.
this is the republican candidate for ruler of the universe in what must be his millionth live interview — and he might as well be a first grader at his first recital: nervous, robotic and clinging to his wretched talking points like a blanket. he looks like he's still reading that teleprompter.
i almost pity the fool. when your job is selling tickets on the republican titanic, you don't want to talk about icebergs and missing lifeboats. you want to talk about what an awesome crew you have:
campaign manager rick davis: "this election is not about issues. this election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."
strategist john feehery: "the more the new york times and the washington post go after sarah palin, the better off she is, because there's a bigger truth out there and the bigger truths are she's new, she's popular in alaska and she is an insurgent. as long as those are out there, these little facts don't really matter."
cnn’s dana bash: "a mccain adviser i talked to tonight admitted that talking about anything related to bush especially policy, especially iraq policy, is basically a political death knell especially for john mccain right now. so he didn’t mention it at all."
so hush now, america — just hold your nose and enjoy the cruise!
Friday, September 05, 2008
it's like ridge let go a little truth fart: it's embarrassing, everyone can smell it, but no one's going to acknowledge it.
brokaw: ... but the fact is, governor, that you had eight years of a bush administration and a lot of republicans in congress for the last eight years, so why wouldn't the american people say "look, they had their shot. we're gonna change."? ridge: uh, because john bush —
[catches himself, cringes]
because john mccain is very much his own man ...
openleft's chris bowers quotes an unnamed dc newscaster on mccain's acceptance speech:
he's no sarah palin.
and jeffrey toobin concurs:
brutal. upstaged by the understudy. then again, we are taking about john-the-former-pow-did-you-know-my-friends-mclame. is this turning into the republican version of "all about eve"?
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
well, it's certainly been a tough week for gop-veepee-lottery-winner sarah palin. it's also been a tough week for her soul mate, former-pow-did-you-know-turned-maverick-presidential-also-ran john mcsame. (but we should all be happy that a guy his age can still find happiness so soon after the loss of another wife. what? you hadn't heard about cindy? tragedy. must've gotten buried in all the chatter about bristol, her baby and its father, all of whom i hear, are also having a tough week.)
it's also been tough on the republicans, what with their convention having not only a genuinely tough act to follow from across the aisle, but also with having to contend with the misdirected anger of the weather gods (thanks for nothing, stu!) and the restless ghosts of new orleans, who are surely making things tough for just about everybody on the gulf coast.
but just as surely as no one, absolutely no one, wants to end the war in iraq more than our erstwhile democrat joe lieberman (he just wants it to end in 2108, apparently), no one, absolutely no one, can be having a tougher week than the last honest man.
painfully, no doubt, after months of doing all the heavy lifting personally holding up mcsame's bearings in one hand, and with the other tirelessly slipping the knife, again and again, into his soon-to-be-former-caucus-mates, poor joe-just-can't-get-a-break-lieberman had to watch all his careful machinations upended and all his aspirations unceremoniously dumped into the comely lap of a bubble-headed upstart from that god-forsaken-frozen-backwater-three-electoral-votes-are-you-effin-kidding-me i-don't-wanna-be-a-state-of-alaska, of all places. and then, to top it all, having to dutifully take the stage in minnesota, not as a proud running mate on a winning ticket, but as an unappreciated z-list shill at the coming-out party for a modern-day
wolfmoose gal, in front of a scattershot crowd of dullards and ingrates. how truly bitter his words must have tasted.
but november is still a whole two months away, so joe will probably look forward to a little time away from the klieg lights. time enough for this sad little creature to crawl back to his den, lick his (self-inflicted) wounds (again!) and get back to work on that shrinking list of imaginary friends while thoughtfully fingering the well-worn blade on the only thing he can trust:
gollieberman: master has betwayed us! he wants the pweshuss all for himself!
smeajoe: no, no, no! master likes us! master said so himself!
gollieberman: master wants the palin! he wants to give it the pweshuss! our pweshuss! the palin must die!
smeajoe: no, no! if we kill the palin, the master will hate us! the palin is pwetty — and we are not! and he won't give us the pweshuss!
gollieberman: no ... we shan't kill the palin, but the palin is stupid! we are smart! we can twick it, make it twip and fall! make master look foolish!
smeajoe: yesss ... yes! then master will hate the palin, and send it away!
gollieberman: yesss ... then master will pay! like the democwatsss will pay! we will kill the master and take the pweshuss for us! then smeajoe will be the master!!
moose gal may have to watch her back ...