By the way, thinking about Palin’s amendment idiocy from earlier, I could have sworn she said something threatening towards the media just a little bit ago. Anyone have a link?
Archives for October 2008
One of the hazards of being the son of two English teachers is that this sort of thing happens while you are growing up:
Your host, dressed up for Halloween as… Ernest Hemingway.
Top that, Mr. Roasted Rump.
Does this make any damned sense to anyone:
Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama’s associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate’s free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.
“If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”
Someone please get Sarah Palin a copy of the damned Constitution.
Just like Sarah Palin’s denial that she didn’t violate state ethics laws when, in fact, the report specifically said she did, we now have Ted Stevens, denying reality.
“I’ve not been convicted yet,” Stevens said Thursday in a meeting with the editorial board of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “There’s not a black mark by my name yet, until the appeal is over and I am finally convicted, if that happens. If that happens, of course I’ll do what’s right for Alaska and for the Senate. … I don’t anticipate it happening, and until it happens I do not have a black mark.”
Stevens reiterated that position during a televised debate late Thursday night, declaring early in the give-and-take with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, “I have not been convicted of anything.”
A jury of 12 people found him guilty of all the charges against him. In Alaska – unlike the other 49 states in the Union, and unlike most other countries with jury systems – this apparently doesn’t mean conviction.
In general, I think this kind of thing is petty and stupid, just like I did when the McCain crew did it to Joe Klein:
The Obama campaign has decided to heave out three newspapers from its plane for the final days of its blitz across battleground states — and all three endorsed Sen. John McCain for president!
The NY POST, WASHINGTON TIMES and DALLAS MORNING NEWS have all been told to move out by Sunday to make room for network bigwigs — and possibly for the inclusion of reporters from two black magazines, ESSENCE and JET, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
But then I remembered that the New York comPost regularly features crap like this, and I guess I will just have to deal with the shame of my hypocrisy when I laugh out loud. I guess the Post and the Washington Times will have to fly commercial or rely on more credible sources, like WorldNetDaily.
If the definition of a gaffe is a politician accidentally telling the truth, this is absolutely, positively, one hundred percent gaffetastic:
Asked by the host whether Palin could step in during a time of crisis, Eagleburger reverted to sarcasm before leveling the harsh blow.
“It is a very good question,” he said, pausing a few seconds, then adding with a chuckle: “I’m being facetious here. Look, of course not.”
Eagleburger explained: “I don’t think at the moment she is prepared to take over the reins of the presidency. I can name for you any number of other vice presidents who were not particularly up to it either. So the question, I think, is can she learn and would she be tough enough under the circumstances if she were asked to become president, heaven forbid that that ever takes place?
“Give her some time in the office and I think the answer would be, she will be [pause] adequate. I can’t say that she would be a genius in the job. But I think she would be enough to get us through a four year… well I hope not… get us through whatever period of time was necessary. And I devoutly hope that it would never be tested.”
The most appalling aspect of the groupthink on the right has been the need for many of them to pretend that this this train wreck in heels is somehow fit to be commander-in-chief. BTW- I eagerly await the Eagleburger walkback on this one. Good luck, Larry.
You thought that I was kidding with the drug analogies. Via Sullivan, read the authoritarian Glenn Reynolds explain what happened to the libertarian Glenn Reynolds.
“Some may say, and you call yourself a libertarian. But I have decided I can be a kind of statist, big government, expansive regulation, high spending, low investing, industrial policy, aggressive religion enforcing sort of libertarian. If you look at libertarians for Bush, I would hardly be the first. . . . It’s not so bad really. It feels kind of like when you wake up in the morning and your mind is kind of blank, but in a peaceful sort of way. Rather nice, really. You know, healing.”
Oops. Two minutes after writing I realize that I read the post all wrong. Oh well.
Saxby Chambliss certainly knows what he has to do to win the Georgia senate race. He’s got to pit white against black. He’s seen the rush to the polls by African Americans in Georgia’s early voting:
The Republican is outwardly confident, but there’s urgency in his voice as he tours North Georgia, trying to boost turnout in his predominately white base: “The other folks are voting,” he bluntly tells supporters.
The other folks are voting. I wonder what he means by that? (via)
After John McCain loses (which, barring a collision of planets, he almost certainly will), who will be in charge of the Republican party? Even if his fringe nutcase act was mostly for show, unlike a genuine article like Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich gave the Republican party a bold and ideologically coherent leader to effectively rally the free-floating Clinton hate. Before them George “poppy” Bush supervised the tail end of the Reagan-era coke high.
Even the Powerline crowd would never describe George junior in the same terms as pure, uncut Reagan. George W. was like huffing glue – a short, delirious high then a fast dirty crash that leaves even a heavy hitter like Scott Johnson feeling dirty and slightly ashamed of himself. The GOP will not have any lingering goodwill to tap like poppy’s party did. Too bad for McCain and, yes, Sarah Palin, as a rule joke candidates don’t take over the party.
The GOP could look to the House, like they did under Clinton, for all the good that will do them. Can you name the last interesting thing that John Boehner did? Compared with a firebrand like Gingrich or a productive tyrant like Tom DeLay Boehner is a forgettable nonentity. Boehner keeps the seat warm until a real player wrangles the party behind his banner. We can set aside the Senate, which for institutional reasons is more moderate and therefore less likely to produce GOP leadership than the loopier House. The rule by extremes is too ingrained in the GOP’s DNA for a few election night massacres to wash away.
If we’re very, very lucky the ideological purity faction will win and drive the
Reagan dems obamacons on the path of Cole. Is there any other choice? Can the party rally behind an ideologically tainted candidate who fails on abortion? Sensible tax policy? Torture? Habeas corpus? Unless the party’s insane Malkin wing can handle some heterodoxy from their leadership , the party is stuck with winners like House Whip Eric Cantor. The alternative is either rudderless obstructionism peppered with futile stunts, a la Boehner, or self-imposed exile into a purity-obsessed third party of far-right extremists.
So what’s next for the GOP? I don’t think that Obama hate will win the party any more traction than it gave McCain. They need a positive agenda. Unfortunately their platform was on the wrong side of history when Gingrich etched it in granite in 1994. The recent add-ons – torture, belligerent wars, islamophobic fear – had a skin of mold when Dick Cheney rolled them out in 2001. If John McCain, who honestly isn’t as stupid as his campaign has made him look, had any winning issues he would run on them. It’s not like he has not tried. They are stuck with random, flaining personal attacks because the surge in Iraq, offshore drilling, the capital gains tax and an unlicensed plumber with a tax lien all have the traction of a Yugo in Alaska.
Most likely the Republicans’ next move will look just like the McCain campaign. Like McCain the party hasn’t cared about anything more than tactics at least since the Contract with America was gutted and buried by Rove’s permanent Republican majority. The McCain team’s stupid mistakes even make a certain sense if you grant that the only thing that matters is tactics. Palin had star power, two X chromosomes and the Clinton voters were vulnerable because everybody kept saying so. Win!
Eventually, it was Schmidt who blurted out the epiphany concerning Obama. “Face it, gentlemen,” he said. “He’s being treated like a celebrity.”
The others grasped the concept — a celebrity like J-Lo! or Britney! — and exultation overtook the room.
Then for a half-hour or so, the group reviewed names that had been bandied about in the past: Gov. Tim Pawlenty (of Minnesota) and Gov. Charlie Christ (of Florida); the former governors Tom Ridge (Pennsylvania) and Mitt Romney (Massachusetts); Senator Joe Lieberman (Connecticut); and Mayor Michael Bloomberg (New York). From a branding standpoint, they wondered, what message would each of these candidates send about John McCain? McInturff’s polling data suggested that none of these candidates brought significantly more to the ticket than any other.
“What about Sarah Palin?” Schmidt asked.
Now for the first time! Ever! Monster scoop!! MUST CREDIT BALLOON JUICE! Here is a transcript from that meeting:
McCain: “We need a shot in the arm. You hear me boys? In the bleepdamn arm! Election held tomorrow, that sumbitch Stokes would win it in a walk!”
Schmidt: “Well’ he’s the reform candidate, Daddy.”
Schmidt: “A lot of people like that reform. Maybe we should get us some.”
McCain: “I’ll reform you, you soft-headed son of a bitch. How we gonna run reform when we’re the damn incumbent? Is that the best idea you boys can come up with? Reform?! Weepin’ Jesus on the cross. That’s it? You may as well start drafting my concession speech right now.”
Schmidt: We could hire our own midget, even shorter than his.
Wouldn’t we look like a bunch of Johnny-come-latelies, bragging on our own midget, don’t matter how stumpy.Yeah, sure. Whatever. Call me when Matlock’s on.
Congressional Republicans will not do any better. Barring any other brilliant idea, they will flailingly mimic Obama’s tactics until they figure out that they are not getting their ass kicked by tactics (it could take a while). Obama won (is winning) because he makes a bold, mature case for Democratic solutions to relevant national problems. He didn’t shy away from health care or progressive taxation. His conscientious stand on abortion was a savvy move both in style and substance. In isolation Americans prefer Democratic issues by roughly the same margins by which Obama is winning, they just don’t like milquetoast pols who compromise their principles for approval from the harpies and trolls at FOX News.
Obama’s winning formula will stay out of reach for the GOP as long as they remain chained to their turd of a neolithic platform. Intellectuals exist who might steer them back to the 21st century, or, failing that, at least back to the Magna Carta. Too bad those guys are on the outside looking in. The wingnuts and extremists left in charge are the people most likely to steer it further onto the rocks. Yet, as they say, possession is nine tenths of the law.
Many of you are aware that, for years, I traveled in conservative circles. As such, I am still on a number of what are considered conservative email lists. I still get the emails, and I still read them. In fact, I am glad I do, because one of the things that got me out of the current wingnuttosphere is that when I was a Republican, I listened to and read a lot of Democrats. I read the Daily Kos every day, I read Kevin Drum, I read Matt Yglesias, I embraced the Huffington Post. I think diversity of opinion is an important thing, and I like to come to my own conclusions, however addled and foolish I may be.
At any rate, I received the following email on one of my “conservative” email lists the other day:
Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read “Vote Obama, I need the money.” I laughed.
Once in the restaurant my server had on a “Obama 08” tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference–just imagine the coincidence.
When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need–the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.
I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I ‘ve decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.
At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed money more.
I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.
In and of itself, no big deal. The kind of thing that passes as conservative humor, and something that I am sure has ricocheted around right-wing blogs and email lists everywhere. However, listen to Nicole Wallace, one of the chief McCain flaks, today on NPR. Start paying attention at around 3:35 in the interview:
Listen, you go into a restaurant and instead of leaving a tip, you stiff the waitress and give it to the homeless person outside, it is a noble thing to do, it is spreading money earned by that waitress and giving it someone outside.
Look- the intellectual wing of the Republican party is dead. What is left are brain-dead acolytes spreading meaningless and simplistic anecdotes, trite stories, and distilled nonsense passed on that has a more fitting home in AM radio. The McCain campaign, once again, is just a symptom of the real problem- an intellectually incurious and lazy movement in the final ugly spasms of death. The McCain campaign is now, in their interviews with the press, spreading what we can all recognize as wingnut email chains.
*** Update ***
Via the comments, here the same story is in the letters to the editor at the Chicago Tribune:
On my way to lunch recently, I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read “Vote Obama; I need the money.” I laughed. In a restaurant my server had on an “Obama 08” tie. Again I laughed. Just imagine the coincidence. When the bill came, I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Barack-Obama-redistribution-of-wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need—the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight. I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I’ve decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful. At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment, I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more. I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.
—A. Hart, Forest Park
Nicole Wallace, lead McCain surrogate, with nothing to offer but astroturf. This was once a proud movement.
*** Update #2 ***
Sam Adams Hefeweizen is so bad it should be a felony. If Obama does usher in the NEW WORLD ORDER, first on the chopping block are these jackasses for their crimes against the reinheitsgebot. Christ, this is ten pounds of suck in a sixteen ounce bottle. Thank God I have three UFO’s left. This Sam Adams is borderline flat, has no body, a bland to nonexistent aftertaste, and almost a fake sweet quality like it fell into a vat of shitty honey brown. If this was the last beer I was to drink before my impending execution, I would just ask them to give me a piss-jar of Corona or shoot me without having a beer.
This Sam Adams crap was the hefeweizen equivalent of having sex while wearing eight condoms. If someone offers you one, give them the finger.
For whatever reason-maybe I was slightly peevish, maybe I was feeling slightly cantankerous, maybe I was just ready for this election to be over- I went out and had a liquid dinner. Well, not actually, but I did have a bottle of red with my meal.
And, as I was sitting there enjoying my meal, a plan was hatched. As I speak, mom is digging up pictures of me in Halloween costumes past, and hopefully dad will scan some by tomorrow.
Why? Because I love you. Consider this your open thread, and consider this your opportunity to send in pictures of yourself in embarrassing Halloween costumes (MAKE SURE YOU NAME YOUR PICTURE WITH YOUR COMMENTING HANDLE). My favorite from grad school was me as John Daly’s Caddy, when all I did was wear a caddy uniform with a golf bag full of empty tequila and beer bottles and a sign on my back like a caddy wears that said “Daly, BAC .28” instead of a number.
Hopefully mom will find the picture I am looking for, and it will be pretty damned funny.
Michael Goldfarb, lead McCain Report blogger on loan from the Weekly Standard:
Joe Klein is not impressed:
Here we have the McCain campaign’s execrable Michael Goldfarb slinging around accusations of anti-semitism–a favorite pastime, as we’ve seen this year, among Jewish neoconservatives.
Nor is Sullivan:
Michael Goldfarb, McCain spokesman, accuses Barack Obama of hanging around with anti-Semites – plural – on CNN. Asked to name one other anti-Semite other than his allegation about Rashid Khalidi, he can’t. He won’t. But he leaves it hanging, refusing to disown or retract the charge. This is pure McCarthyism. And it is the rotten core of McCain.
I know this is getting old, hearing me say it over and over again, but when I said that the McCain campaign was being run by wingnut bloggers, I was not engaging in hyperbole. I was simply describing who is running the McCain campaign- wingnut bloggers.
The GOP just needs to be destroyed.
And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.
And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. Exodus, Chapter 32.
For these and other reasons Cindy is calling for a Day of Prayer for the World’s Economies on Wednesday, October 29, 2008. They are calling for prayer for the stock markets, banks, and financial institutions of the world on the date the stock market crashed in 1929. They are meeting at the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank, and its 12 principal branches around the US that day.
“We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the ‘Lion’s Market,’ or God’s control over the economic systems,” she said. “While we do not have the full revelation of all this will entail, we do know that without intercession, economies will crumble.”
I guess we can add the bible to biology, chemistry, and the rest of the book learnin’ our modern Christians have no use for these days.
Just finished reading this DailyKos recommended diary, Inauguration Ball 2009, and actually got goosebumps.
Update: I am as lily white as you can get. I grew up in a small town in eastern Canada (Clarenville, Newfoundland – 2200+ people) until I was 16. I never knew a black person in all the time I lived there. I moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick in 1986, and there I only ever knew one black kid. He was a member of a performing arts group I was involved with. Wonderful kid. The only reason I noticed he was black was because it was a novelty to me. I had never known a black person.
In 1998, I moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia for a year to do my Master’s degree. Halifax has a large black minority. Again, very little racial tension – at least none that I noticed. I studied and partied with a few black people while I was there. It never occurred to me that there was any difference between us except the color of our skin.
In 1999, I moved to Atlanta and all that changed. I could not believe how racial politcs was. I have never in my life had to walk on eggshells in conversations. It really never occurred to me that there could be such thing as racial tensions. I never knew that growing up. But moving to Atlanta really gave me an education that I did not want to get, because I never had any need for it. The politics of division was something I had never known.
I must admit, part of the reason I support Barack Obama is because he is black. But only part. I did not support Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton – not because they were black, but because I believed neither had the competence for high office. I also believed the only reason they were running was because of race.
In Barack Obama, we have pure, 100% competence. That he is black is a sidebar. But it’s a sidebar that I cannot wait to celebrate late in the evening on November 4th. We’re not only going to elect the most competent president of this decade. We’re going to make history by electing the first black president in this nation’s history.
I am tired of racial politics. Sick of it. I hope, with every fiber of my being, that Barack Obama is as competent as he seems. I want the Neanderthals to see a Black Man run this country well. I want them to eat Jim Crow. I want every decent white person in America to look at their racist friends and say “Look. He’s terrific. What were you thinking all these years you stupid fucktard?” I will be happy to have Obama in office – mostly because I think he is a smart, competent manager. But I admit, the prospect of a black man in office is the chocolate frosting on a very delicious cake.
In one of my first posts on this site (I can’t find it) I said that I didn’t have a racist bone in my body. I was mocked for that – as if to say every white person has at least a little racism running through him. Hopefully, from what I have written above, you can understand why. I just didn’t have those experiences growing up – and I am truly grateful that I did not.
Update: When I say “walk on eggshells” I don’t mean while talking with African Americans – implying that I would be saying racist things. I mean with white people who grew up here and have been subjected to racial politics all their lives.