Friday, August 29, 2008
Danger Will Robinson! Danger!
According to the AP, it looks like McCain might tap Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. This does not bode well for the Obama campaign. I first heard of Palin over at Cros' Blog, where he made the case, sucessfully, that she'd be McCain's best choice:
"It's no secret that I think the best GOP #2 is Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska. And I swear it's not just because she's 1) female, and 2) hot, although neither of those is a drawback. The narrative Palin brings would be compelling if she were an ugly dude. She ran as a Republican against a corrupt Republican establishment in Alaska, and is the best spokesperson to argue for continued Republican leadership while acknowledging and addressing the problems that started happening once the GOP got used to being in power. She is so popular in Alaska that if she had the approval ratings of Strickland or Sebelius, she'd resign in disgrace. And it bears repeating that she is the only potential candidate who could "out-hot" Obama.
"What? He's a good-looking guy."
Cros later goes on to say that her main problem was the same criticism that the GOP was trying to glue to Obama, which is that she's inexperienced. However, after last night that criticism might not have the same strength that it used to. It's still a long shot, but if Palin did accept then Obama's Joe Biden selection is going to lose some of its power. Biden would have been free to beat the crap outta just about anyone in the GOP but it won't look nearly as palatable if he starts chopping off this woman's head, especially with the bio she brings. This isn't a game winner, but she would definately make alot of independants think twice, as well as show that the mainstream GOP is looking to grow and evolve.
UPDATE: Looks like there is a bit of rust on Palin's armor, but by Alaskan standards it doesn't seem too important.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I'll get more into it tomorrow but Obama won the election tonight. When both Pat Buchanan and Bill Kristol can't come up with shit to complain about, AND say that he exceeded expectations then you know it's over. Like a Klansman pulling off his hood and saying "Well gee, maybe I gotta rethink this whole lynching thing..." Obama came like Onyx with the lightening and the thunder. (Ha top that Coates!)
Anyway, the full text is here. Hope you saw it, cause if you didn't you just missed a bit of American history.
PS: Did anyone watch Stevie Wonder on Msnbc? Yeah, it's gay but I probably enjoyed the shots of the panel dancing WAY too much.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Sully hit all the notes here. Pres. Clinton, who's had me pulling out my hair several times this primary season, nailed it tonight. Like Hillary, Bill also gave his unequivocal support to Obama, plus, for the first time since the convention began, he started focusing the Dems attack strategy with specific and harsh condemnations of the Bush policies that have led to our abysmal ecomonic plight.
Now the ball's in Biden's court.
Update: Swish--Biden drops the trey. Uses Michelle's intro format, but then, after establishing his credentials bashes McCain over the head with them. The 'Obama's right, McCain's wrong' piece worked perfectly. I hate to be Mitt Rommey, er, I mean McCain's VP when he's got to debate Biden.
The Obama cameo at the end...I thought it was a bit too theatrical, dare I say, WWE for me. I almost expected him at the end to ask if they knew what Obama was cooking. But I suppose they loved it at the convention.
Either way, the table has been set, the intros have been made, and the Dems are about as unified as they'll ever be. In the end, it's all about Obama.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
"There's a tendency to want to sugarcoat the outcomes of elections. You can say you disagree with McCain's policies because universal health care is important and humane and social programs are just and decent and upper-crust tax cuts are regressive and shameful and he's on the other side of all those opinions. What you're not supposed to say is that if John McCain is elected, the policies he has signaled he will pursue will harm the country's health, defund its safety net, lead to untreated illnesses, reduce mitigation of the ravages of poverty, and, in many cases, the outcome will be sickness and death and homelessness and, for those cut off from health coverage and help, probably hopelessness, too. McCain, for his part, would argue that even so, tax cuts are a matter of fairness and it's more important that health insurance is primarily private than that health insurance is actually accessible. And fair enough. But no reason we should ignore the implications of that philosophy."
But too be fair, too much outrage, no matter how righteous it might be, can become banal. "Bush lies, people die" may be true but it's not a persuasive argument to most.
"First, the author of the post you link is wrong when he says drunk drivers who kill never get such sentences. It's harder to convict drunk drivers of murder, because a mental state such as "reckless disregard" or "depraved indifference" must be found, but it can, and has, happened. (Martin Heidgen in New York being the example that springs to mind) Drunk driving killers have also been convicted under the felony murder rule in states where your 3rd DUI is a felony, for instance. I think much of this writer's outrage is predicated on this erroneous assumption. Also, Brian Nichols (to name another) has claimed to be mentally ill as well, and may very well have a diagnosed mental illness. But because he used a gun to take his lives, rather than a car, I suspect the author has less sympathy for him. If Alvarez had gotten drunk, tried to "play chicken with the train," and caused the death and destruction he had done, I am virtually certain he would be in the exact same legal position he is in now. There may be an argument that the legal system doesn't properly address crimes committed by the mentally ill, but the argument linked to isn't it.
"Also, terms relating to mental illness have very specific meanings in the legal field. That Alvarez had something wrong with him mentally may be true, however, since it didn't prevent him from understanding what he was doing or why he shouldn't have done it, he's as legally culpable as you or I would be. Mental health defenses rarely succeed - basically, since whatever illness he has, he's still capable of understanding the world around him, which means he can be expected to follow society's rules.
"Next, if you read the orginal article, you'll see that the jury did not believe his claim that he was trying to commit suicide. It was in the defendant's interests to portray himself as crazy as possible, but that doesn't make it true, and disputed facts should be viewed in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict. (At least, that's what I tell the Court of Appeals, and they seem to agree.)
"Finally, his mental illness probably did benefit him to some degree - he was convicted of capital crimes, which allow only a sentence of death or life without parole. He was not sentenced to death, despite a crime with a staggering human cost, and the only reason I can think of to spare his life would have been some variant of mercy shown because of mental illness.
"How was that?"
For those of us who've been following Barack and Michelle's story what we saw last night was nothing new, but the platform of the 2008 Democratic National Convention placed their narrative in a whole new light. For the first time we saw the most popular national party cheer, and rally behind an African-American family and the starkness of the images; the standing ovations, the tears and the laughs displayed that we have reached a turning point in American history. If you watched Olbermann and Matthews gush and tear up at the end you could tell that something had happened; it was a watershed in our country's politics and it seemed pretty apparent that what the Democrats had hoped for last night: that the Obama's could re-introduce themselves to the American voters, was a complete success--no matter what rain Fox News could drop on this event. It's become clear, at least to this writer, that Michelle completed the first goal of the DNC, which was to prove to the American public that her story is their story and that she and Barack, not John McCain, shares American values and the 'pull yourself up by your own bootstraps' mentality. You'll find that not everyone believes her. Some people will assume that everything from her narrative to the kids hamming it up at the end was completely fake. So be it. There is nothing you can say or do with naysayers. But for the rest of us the entire spectacle was extremely emotional and honest.
Furthermore, considering some of the issues the Obama's are having with the Clinton side of the party, I think Michelle's speech went a ways to wooing them to Barack's side. Her praise of Hillary Clinton came off as natural and admirable, but beyond that her story seemed like a liberal success. To paraphrase Chris Matthews, if you believe that social reforms can make a difference, if you believe that sometimes hardworking people need help to get on their feet then the Obama's are proof that such things can work. Coming off of the heels of Teddy Kennedy's speech (another emotional moment), Michelle made it clear that it was proposals such as those the Senator pushed in his tenure that has made this moment possible and it will these same programs that Obama will strengthen and continue. Yes, Rove and Pat Buchannan were correct that Michelle didn't really make an effort to extend a hand to conservatives but it's become apparent with the selection of Joe Biden that this ticket is finally going to take the chance that Americans are liberal and want what liberals, and only liberals, can offer. It's a gutsy proposition but after the past two presidential defeats this might be the time for that particular strategy. After all, watching the entire Obama family up on stage last night with the nation around them it has become apparent that now is the time for miracles.
Friday, August 22, 2008
"This is interesting. Part of the McCain Celebrity, as packaged for the evangelical base, is the rescue of two Bangladeshi girls at the behest of Mother Theresa, one of whom, Bridget, they subsequently adopted. During my live-blogging of Saddleback, I described the McCain adoption story as "peerless." And it is indeed an admirable, selfless thing - and a completely legitimate aspect of a candidate's life to be part of his campaign message. The story of how Mother Teresa talked them into it makes it all the more poignant.
"The only trouble is: it's not true."
If anyone remembers McCain took the whole shaft from Bush in 2000 when Rove pushed polled the story that this adopted kid was sired by McCain, out of wedlock with a black woman and that might have destroyed his presidential hopes. Probably trying to arm himself against a similar attack, McCain embellished the story so that people would remember, a) that the kid was adopted and b) that it was such a good thing since Mother Theresa (a good person) was behind it.
What sad about this, besides the fact that Americans could be so racist as to actually believe the Rove tactic, is that now McCain is using some of the same BS against Obama. But I guess if you can't beat them...
By the way, I think 1,2,3,4 has now become the most useful song since 'Happy Birthday' and 'Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuttin to F_ck Wit!' How was the latter useful? Well I was planning to F with the Wu-Tang but then I heard the song and I didn't. Smart move on my part.
"If your house just got foreclosed on, or you can't afford the mortgage any more, this is not someone you can easily identify with:
Those real estate holdings include a Sedona ranch with three dwellings, worth $1.1 million; a Phoenix condominium suite that had originally been two units, worth $4.7 million; an $847,800 three-bedroom high-rise condo in Arlington; an oceanfront condo in La Jolla, Calif.; a half-million-dollar loft in Phoenix purchased for their daughter Meghan; another Phoenix condo, worth $830,000; and two beachfront condos in Coronado, Calif, one of which is valued at $2.7 million. The other was purchased just this year, as McCain was lamenting the difficulties that struggling Americans were facing just to make their mortgage payments. Cindy McCain told Vogue magazine the family needed the second condo because the first was getting too crowded as their family grew.
I don't know about you, but this is more distant to me than someone who just earned a bunch of royalties for a book he actually wrote himself."
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
"This year, the Republican primary was composed primarily of confessed adulterers. Fred Thomas, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain – yes, the very same John McCain who the media lionizes and who may indeed become president – have all cheated on their spouses, some of them multiple times, some of them in cruel circumstances. McCain’s infidelity came while his first wife was crippled by a car accident. When McCain stood on the stage of Saddleback Church on Saturday night and said "I was responsible for the breakup of my first marriage, due to my immature and very bad behavior,” that’s what he was talking about. Yet, somehow, the establishment manages to forgive him. Michael Barone does not write columns on McCain’s transgressions. His election is not considered implausible.
"That is because there’s no ache to tarnish McCain’s sainthood. No desire to construct a narrative incorporating the Keating Five and personal infidelity and dizzying ideological shifts keyed to political ambitions into some sort of incoherent whole that wrecks McCain’s reputation. With Edwards, by contrast, there is. In 2004, running as a cautious and quiet centrist, he was a darling of the establishment. But his populist reinvention enraged them. Unlike McCain’s transformation from an unpredictable renegade who almost joined the Democrats in 2002 to a doctrinaire conservative who out-Reaganed the competition in 2008, Edwards’ drift to the left cast immediate doubt on his basic integrity. From there, it was almost a competition to decisively prove his essential phoniness: His $400 haircut was somehow far more damning than McCain’s $500 loafers. His willingness to raise taxes on his lavish lifestyle showed hypocrisy, while McCain’s eagerness to cut his own taxes by about $370,000 hasn’t detracted from his “country first” posturing. Edwards’ apologetic admission of an affair now discredits his politics, even as McCain’s leverages apologetic references to his own affairs in order to burnish his reputation as a somber straight-talker willing to accept responsibility for his actions."
"Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn. Biological imperatives trump laws. American government cannot fight against marriage and hope to endure. If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die," - Orson Scott Card, Mormon Times."
That was almost as silly as Empire.
Hat Tip: Sully
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
"A 100 college presidents -- including the executives of Dartmouth, Duke, and Syracuse -- have signed a letter calling on Congress to lower the drinking age to 18. "Twenty-one is not working," they say. "A culture of dangerous, clandestine 'binge drinking' -- often conducted off-campus -- has developed.""
Not quite sure about the logic of this argument. After all, why should making drinking legal stop binge drinking? I've been binge drinking since I was 17, and if they had of lowered the legal drinking age to 17 I...would have still been binge drinking. People binge drink not because they're "rebelling against the system" but because, like Samuel Jackson Beer, "It'll get cha f_cked up!"
By the way I'm all for lowering the drinking age. I think it's obscene that we, as a nation, can send kids to die and kill but don't allow them to have a nice, soothing Colt 45. Also, as a patron of bars, I think 18, 19, and 20 year old women should have the chance to hang out with me. It's only right.
"Dean Barnett thinks the cross in the dirt wild goose chase betrays a sense of panic among Obamaphiles:
By all means, let’s focus more attention on McCain’s stint at the Hanoi Hilton. Maybe the Obama campaign will offer up as a counterpoint Obama’s supremely courageous opposition to the Iraq War while on the front lines of the Illinois state legislature. And by all means, let’s have the left continue its campaign to minimize McCain’s service in Vietnam. That should work wonders for Obama!
Megan is similarly puzzled:
Allow me to add in my voice to Dean and Megan's. While there's no doubt that the story does seem like it was, at best, pieced together from other material (not going to put in links, just check out Sully's blog from the last week for evidence) it doesn't belie McCain's greater narrative, and in the public sphere this questioning is undoubtably going to look desperate and nitpicky. And if any real hard evidence did pop up proving that McCain made the whole thing up, he'll probably just hold a press conferance claiming that he forgot. After all the American public seems to be very forgiving of old white guys with soft heads.
The only way this would actually hurt McCain is if you found a signed letter from him saying that this never happened. Since it's very unlikely that such a letter exists, the very best that this effort will achieve is sowing seeds of doubt in a few minds, making themselves look desperate to almost everyone else (and thereby making people wonder what's wrong with Obama, that they're this desperate), and outraging a number of people that you would call McCain's honor into question with absolutely no evidence, or hope of obtaining [some]."
Seems to me that a more productive attack would be to remind people that McCain is a cheater who has no idea about the value of money.