Out With A Whimper

Slow New Years Eve planned for tonight here. Ordered a gut-bomb pizza (which took two hours to arrive, was cold, and the wrong order, so I actually yelled to the driver as he was pulling away and took my money back, then ate chicken and rice), and now Tunch and I are going to spend the last night of the year watching movies.

Although I have to admit- I am kind of curious to see how the Anderson Cooper/Kathy Griffin train wreck is going to play out, so I may have to tune into that for a bit. I caught a little bit of them together last night, and she looked like she had had major work done. And while I think Kathy Griffin is pretty damned funny in very small doses, I fully expect their NYE special to be a total disaster, so I am going to check that out for a bit.

Other than that- hot chocolate is the big event tonight. Exciting stuff, no? At any rate, it has been a good year, and a busy one, so maybe a nice calm night is the right way to end 2008. Hope you all have a good one, and we’ll see you next year.

I might have some pictures of Tunch glaring at Laura W. up later.


James Joyner is the proud father of a brand new young’n. Helluva way to ring in the New Year. Top that, folks.

Dumbest Thing Said By a Politician in 2008

Here is my list of the dumbest things said by a politician in 2008. It doesn’t necessarily have to be wrong, or stupid, what they said (for example the Jesse Jackson remark by Bill Clinton), but even when something is correct or factually accurate, it can be dumb or tone deaf to say it. So when we say “dumbest,” we mean things that are just plain dumb, things that are tone deaf, things that are staggeringly incoherent, and things that are just plain offensive. Some of these I consider dumb simply because they are so revealing, others because they are flat out lies. Or, as is the case with some of these, all of the above. I have excluded Bush from the list to keep the race competitive.

Because there are so many to choose from, you are allowed to vote for up to three. The list:

Barack Obama: “It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”


Barack Obama: “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”


John McCain: “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.”


John McCain: “That one.”


John McCain: “I think — I’ll have my staff get to you. It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.”


Hillary Clinton: “No, I really can’t. I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn’t wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.”


Hillary Clinton: “I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia, and as Togo said, there was a saying around the White House that if a place was too small, too poor, or too dangerous, the president couldn’t go, so send the First Lady. That’s where we went. I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”


Hillary Clinton: “Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”


Hillary Clinton: “You heard Diana talk about coming from a country where votes don’t count. People go through the motions of an election only to have it discarded and disregarded. We’re seeing that right now in Zimbabwe — tragically an election was held, the president lost, they refused to abide by the will of the people. So we can never take for granted our precious right to vote.”


Rudy Giuliani, discussing his Florida strategy: “This is the strategy we chose; this is the one we’re going to use. We believe in it; we believe it’s going to work.”


Sarah Palin, on her national security creds: “We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state.”


Sarah Palin on the Bush Doctrine: “In what respect, Charlie?”


Sarah Palin (multiple variations): “I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that bridge to nowhere.”


Sarah Palin: “Ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy- Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions.”


Bill Clinton: “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in ‘ 84 and ’88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here.”


Geraldine Ferraro: “I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white.”


Mike Huckabee: “That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He’s getting ready to speak and somebody aimed a gun at him and he — he dove for the floor.”


John Boehner, on why Republicans killed the bailout: “I believe we could have gotten there today if it weren’t for Speaker Pelosi’s partisan speech.”


Sarah Palin, asked which newspapers she reads: “All of them.”


Mitt Romney, explaining the family contribution to the War on Terror: “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I’d be a great president.”


Alberto Gonzalez: “For some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.”

[poll id = 5]

Have fun. If you find any glaring omissions, throw them in the comments and I will add them.

Funniest Comment of the Year

I am a little behind on this, and mainly because I completely forgot about it. At any rate, here are five quotes that should serve as a starting point for the funniest comment of the year. Add other worthy entries in the comments, I will add them, and tomorrow I can put up a poll.

Michael D.:

Ahmmm, I’m a ghey, and I wouldn’t do anything with the words “Cruise” and “Hugh Hewitt” in it.

Of course, with all those social conservatives in one place, it’ll probably sound like Riverdance in the bathrooms.


Freedom of speech is freedom to mangle metaphors. In other words, give idiots enough rope, and they’ll put themselves in front of the firing squad.


You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.

And when I look out my window I can see the moon. Doesn’t make me a fucking astronaut now, does it?

John S.:

David Gregory is Paul Bunyan’s axe: A giant fucking tool.


If only Wallace had held ten town hall meetings with MLK, we wouldn’t be having this problem today.

Have at it.

Stop Talking And Do Something

The Obama transition speaks out about the Burris pick:

Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat. I agree with their decision, and it is extremely disappointing that Governor Blagojevich has chosen to ignore it. I believe the best resolution would be for the Governor to resign his office and allow a lawful and appropriate process of succession to take place. While Governor Blagojevich is entitled to his day in court, the people of Illinois are entitled to a functioning government and major decisions free of taint and controversy.

I guess I just fundamentally disagree with what is going on here. We have a system of justice, and there are rules that govern how things happen in this country, even in Illinois. Gov. Blagojevich has been convicted of approximately nothing right now. Yes, there is some damning information and audio out there, and I think I have even called him corrupt in the past, but right now it really irritates me the way things are playing out. All of these folks are playing games and looking for the easy way out, Obama included.

If Blagojevich is so corrupt that he can not appoint an innocent and good man to take the seat, then the Democrats needs to do something about it. He can be impeached. They could have had a special election (something Blago supported, I believe). But sitting around beating our breasts and saying “he should resign for the good of the state and the country” is not cutting it, and unless and until the Democrats stop pussyfooting around and do something, they should all just shut up and cope. Right now, Blagojevich is by legal standards not guilty of anything, and he is well within his rights to appoint someone to that seat.

And all this pearl-clutching makes me want to vomit. If there is room in Washington for William Jefferson all these years, who was caught with 90 large in his freezer, or David Vitter, who was caught in his didy being spanked by a hooker, or any number of others, there is room for Roland Burris, who hasn’t done anything wrong.

We are a nation of rules, after all. How about we follow them rather than creating all this damned drama? Blagojevich will have his day in court, but for now he is legally the governor, he is legally carrying out his duties, and unless and until the Democrats grab the stones to get rid of him, they should suck it up and deal with his pick. All this gamesmanship and posturing is irritating.

*** Update ***

From the comments:

Also not sure why you don’t realize that a lot of what you call posturing is fairly astute maneuvering for the purpose of cutting off at the knees the inevitable Republican and MSM charges of the Senate Dem caucus’s acquiescence to a totally bent governor. We’ve been bitching for years about how Republicans mostly never let out a peep when one of their own gets busted; we’re now supposed to hand the media, the GOP and low-information voters the kind of ammunition they’d get from our blithely accepting a Blago pick for the seat he tried to sell? It’s not like we’re protesting him fulfilling a function of his office that’s wholly unrelated to the charges against him, after all.

Probably right. I guess I just hate pile-ons, even when they are directed at folks who probably are guilty. Come to think of it, I guess I just detest politics.

You Dropped A Bomb On Me

Noah Pollak at Commentary:

Yesterday, the IDF did something innovative: it opened a channel on YouTube and posted videos to it that help explain why Israel is fighting Hamas. The site hosted about a dozen videos showing things like Israeli humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza and airstrikes that prevented terrorists from firing rockets at Israeli civilians.

This was apparently too much for YouTube, which moments ago removed several videos from the IDF’s channel, including the most-watched video, which showed a group of Hamas goons being blown up in an air strike as they loaded Katyusha missiles onto a truck. The point of such footage, as if it needed to be said, is not to revel in violence — it is to show the legitimacy of Israeli self-defense.

I have no idea why youtube would have removed the videos, and were I in charge of things at youtube, I would have done otherwise. Having said that, the IDF channel says that youtube has since restored many of the videos:

We were saddened earlier today that YouTube took down some of our exclusive footage showing the IDF’s operational success in operation Cast Lead against Hamas extremists in the Gaza Strip. Fortunately, due to blogger and viewer support, YouTube has returned some of the footage they removed.

On to my point- I can’t tell what the purpose of the IDF channel is other than to provide war pr0n. Here is a sample video:

Here is another:

And there is video after video like that. I just don’t get what they are trying to prove. Absent any other documentation, it just looks like the standard cockpit video from any bombing mission. Yes, some of the buildings are marked “rocket launching” and “tunnels,” but to an untrained eye, it could be anything. Here is another one:

Just kidding. That is actually a British tornado dropping a bomb in Iraq.

Do you see my point? You can’t really tell what is going on in the videos from the IDF other than explosions of buildings. The IDF videos may be something that experts can watch and understand, but for a PR move, it would seem to fall flat, because to most people it probably looks just like buildings blowing up. I am not sure what the persuasive message is in that, because pretty much everyone agrees that the IDF is in fact blowing up buildings in Gaza.

Again, maybe this is something for the experts, but I can’t see how this proves anything to laymen like me. Those videos could be of anything blowing up in the last twenty years of laser guided missiles videos, and I would not know any difference.

And before there are any truthers out there claiming I am accusing the IDF of lying, I am not. I simply don’t understand how this is an effective PR out reach. Maybe I am just misunderstanding, and this is not intended to persuade the masses, but instead directed at those who do know what to look for in bombing run footage. Regardless, the IDF channel says the point is to get their message out to the world, but I just can’t tell what that is. Am I missing something?

Those Who Fail To Learn From History

So Rod Blagojevich may say to hell with anyone and go ahead with his pick to replace Obama, and is signaling it might be Roland Burris. This causes the Jane Hamshers of the left to remark:

Blago is playing one heck of a game of chicken — the Senate ultimately decides who they will seat, and Harry Reid has suggested that they might not seat a Blagojevich pick.

Not to be too much of a smart-ass, but since when has anyone ever paid a political price for going against Harry Reid? Has it ever happened? On the other hand, jane may be right. In my limited time as a Democrat it sure does seem like the only time Democrats take a stand is when they are attacking… another Democrat. And, if you ask Joe Lieberman, they don’t even do it very well then.

As to Blagojevich, it really isn’t that ballsy of a move at all. The only thing he has going for him right now is the legitimate power he commands as governor. Democrats hate him. Republicans hate him. His approval ratings are lower than Bush. Patrick Fitzgerald has him by the short hairs on tape. All he can do is keep insisting he is innocent and act as if nothing has happened. He really has no other options.

*** Update ***

Maybe I am wrong, and someone will pay a political price for crossing Sen. Reid:

It is truly regrettable that despite requests from all 50 Democratic Senators and public officials throughout Illinois, Gov. Blagojevich would take the imprudent step of appointing someone to the United States Senate who would serve under a shadow and be plagued by questions of impropriety. We say this without prejudice toward Roland Burris’s ability, and we respect his years of public service. But this is not about Mr. Burris; it is about the integrity of a governor accused of attempting to sell this United States Senate seat. Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus.

And that someone paying the price will be Roland Burris. Praise the lord and pass the ammunition, let’s get the gang together and shoot ourselves in the foot.

If Burris is clean and a good pick otherwise, seat him. Blagojevich doesn’t give a shit what you do, and Reid can’t do anything to him. No reason to inflict maximum damage on yourself for no good reason.

And if I were Rod Blagojevich, and the Senate does refuse to seat Burris, here is what I would do- I would piss on the seed corn. I would, every single day at 1 o’clock, in front of every camera in the nation, have a press conference to name my pick. And each day, after they rejected my pick, I would announce a press conference for the same time the next day and I would choose someone else who was an up and comer in Democratic politics in Illinois. Why? because I am Rod Blagojevich and I don’t give a shit, and Harry Reid and the Senate really shouldn’t have any say in the matter.