Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Big Huge Oil

CNBC:
HOUSTON - Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, reported income Thursday that shattered its own record for the biggest profit from operations by a U.S. corporation, earning $14.83 billion in the third quarter.

In completely unrelated news, gas prices have suddenly dropped over a dollar a gallon the week before the election.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Point of Fact

It is now less than a week until the election, and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has still never held a press conference. And it is clear that the McCain campaign has no intention of ever having one.

Someone potentially a heartbeat away from becoming leader of the free world has never faced unscripted questions from reporters. Fluff interviews (Hannity, etc.) and slightly-less-than-fluff one-on-one, pre-taped interviews (Couric, Gibson) do NOT count.

Four or five weeks ago when people like Andrew Sullivan were complaining about the same thing it seemed improbable that McCain/Palin could get away with it.

They have.

Just thought I'd point that out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Weatherproof

Weather was nasty in Pennsylvania today. McCain canceled his rally, but Obama played on...




Some awesome shots—check 'em all out at Shakesville.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Miscellany

GUYS WHO WEAR $14,000 WATCHES WEIGH IN
Esquire Endorses Barack Obama for President
We thought this election would be a serious fight over the future of this country, but only one candidate showed up.

A good endorsement of Obama column from the editors of Esquire. They are justifiably critical, even harsh, regarding certain aspects of Obama's candidacy (ie: kissing the ring of Rick Warren). But they assemble a devastating indictment of the Bush Era and McCain's complete capitulation to, and eventual bear-hug of, the theocratic wing. Concluding with a compelling case regarding not just the Supreme Court—but ALL the Federal Courts. It's a column that's worth reading...

SPENCE SPEWS
Patton Oswald on the election, the candidates and what a good Ellroy novel it would make...


BLOGROLL UPDATE—IN:

SHAKESVILLE Now with 50% less PUMA! Still annoying (infuriating?) at times, but a near-daily stop for me with plenty of good stuff, or at least good debate.

DANIEL LARISON Heads up, that link takes you to The American Conservative—John Cole and Sullivan link to this guy often, and he's good. Perhaps less pertinent after the election—but, then again, important to keep things honest.


BLOGROLL UPDATE—OUT:

POSITIVE APE INDEX Site of the artist Coop. Infrequent posting, and too little art, design and hot rods in favor of too much wierd biker chick nudity (Angelos alert)

NEIL GAIMAN'S JOURNAL Seemed cool at first...I never go back there

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wow.*

I haven't touched this "Obama Mugger" story all day because I attributed this horrible sequence of events to the independent and desperate act of a single, disturbed person crying out for attention/help. I didn't want to contribute to the publicity of the event or the resultant backlash.

But this is a serious development...

McCain Spokesman Implicated In Mugger Hoax

Not some local yahoo. The Communications Director of one of the remaining states McCain is seriously and actively contesting.

*Am I honestly really even surprised anymore? Let this fucking election end already.

Best. YouTube. Ever.

Brilliant.



Thanks, I really needed that.

[h/t Sullivan]

Unbelievable Palin Video of the Day

Sarah Palin is asked whether abortion clinic bombers fit her definition of terrorists... Watch for yourself:



"I don’t know if you’re going to use the word ‘terrorist’ there..."


What other word would you use, Governor?

I'm not sure which is more offensive: her ham-handed attempt to work her Ayers talking points into her non-response, or the blatant wink-and-nod this was to the fringe right.

I'd say the Army of God's record stacks up pretty well against the Weather Underground, and they are just ONE of these groups. They alone killed more people, set more bombs, sent out anthrax threat letters, maintain an online hitlist, and had members all over the FBI Ten Most Wanted List. The original Weather Underground only targeted property and gave warnings of their attacks. AoG bomber Eric Rudolph killed people at clinics and a gay bar—but I suppose they don't meet your definition of "innocent." What about the people killed and maimed by the bomb he set in the crowd at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta?

So yes, Governor, you fucking monster, you sure as hell use the word "terrorist" there.

And Senator? Sitting there with your fucking Maverick™ thumb up your ass while she spouts this bile right in front of you? You still "so proud of her?" Reap what you've sown, you worthless coward.

UPDATE: Look at the two of them again...Which one is the VP? McCain is baggage to her now—she's not campaigning for now, she's laying groundwork for 2012.

Palin To Visit Fake America


This is a pretty shocking development. North Carolina is a state where the McCain/Palin camp appears to be making a stand, but I didn't expect them to spend time or resources in a town where they will lose—and lose heavily. While western North Carolina certainly has its share of rural, Republican areas, Asheville is pretty much a Green Zone of liberal, progressive hippiedom. They should be doing this in Hendersonville or some other "pro-America" venue.

They'll be lucky to attract as many attendees as protesters here in Asheville. So much so, that I almost have to wonder if that's the idea...baiting to capture some ugly liberal crowd video. I actually hope DEms and libs here just ignore the whole thing rather than feed the beast. Eyes on the prize, Asheville—ignore this sideshow, and just GOTV.

Naturally the McCain site has no information for the media, so I am unclear whether or not I will be covering this.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A New and Improved Democrat

Bob Cesca links to a very encouraging Joe Klein column. It's not encouraging because of anything Klein says, it's the behind-the-scenes look at Obama's style...In fact, Cesca relates the best part of the piece better than Klein himself [emphasis mine]:
Apparently, when McCain suspended his campaign and flew back to Warshington, Senator Obama was in the midst of debate prep in Tampa. Democratic villagers urged Senator Obama to follow McCain -- or McCain might appear more presidential.

Of course, this is the traditional Democratic instinct. To follow... To constantly play on Republican turf rather than defining a a separate path. And of course Senator Obama ignored the leadership and remained calm -- determined to debate on schedule with or without McCain.

[Obama] "You gotta be kidding. I'm going to debate. A President has to be able to do more than one thing at a time."

That's awesome. I hadn't realized that he had been under pressure from the pussies in Washington to pull a "Me Too!" on McCain's stupid stunt.

That's awesome because it shows fortitude the party needs, but more importantly, it was also the right decision for both the short- and long-term. That single moment, more than any other I can think of, altered the race—defining Obama as steady and level-headed, and McCain as an erratic, undisciplined drama queen.

I think any other Democratic candidate would have gotten that one wrong, and be looking up at McCain right now.

UPDATE: Do yourself a favor and go read the Klein piece—the decision about the Rev. Wright Race Speech and dealing with Petraeus are excellent as well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Linkdump [continually updated]

BACK TO THE FUTURE
Ron Howard's Obama video at FunnyOrDie.

CONVENTIONAL “WISDOM”
Salon.com lists the seven biggest things the political punditry called wrong...I'm not even sure that list gets it right, but I can say I got all but one right (I had a brief period—measured in hours—of panic about Palin), but I was spot-on with 4,5 and 6—and, more importantly, so was Obama.

LESS AGITATING

In an OpEd that appeared at reason.com and FOXNews.com, Radley Balko makes the libertarian case for Obama. Good stuff, and I don't even take issue with his reservations about Obama. Forward to any center-right or true conservative you know.

EPIC PFAIL
Chris Matthews—perhaps making up for lost time and lack of effort—relentlessly pummels a McCain spokesperson on Palin's misunderstanding of the job of VP.

IRRELEVANT
I wouldn't give a shit what al-Qaeda had to say about President Barack Obama, or the price of figs—so I don't really care about this supposed "endorsement" of McCain, and bloggers who waste more pixels on it than I just did are being jackasses.

WHERE'S THE FIRE?
Unbelievable video from a red-light camera in St. Louis...



Nobody was seriously hurt, which seems almost impossible. But, I have to ask...how the hell did that happen? Were they going to two different fires or what? BTW, that could never happen in Asheville as both trucks would be hemmed in by a bunch of Outback-driving stoners.

Line of the Day

If Sarah Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe had a life of its own, it would [still] get a tax cut from President Obama.

[via TPM]

I hope to see something like this in the next Obama and/or Biden speeches.

I Approve This Message

Some pretty good, creative ads in Ohio...



Should be useful combating Joe the Plumber. There are three more: Nuts, Waitress, and Pinch.

[h/t ATK]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sweet Caroline -- UPDATED, AGAIN

So far, so good...
[AP] NORTH CAROLINA

Early voting opened Thursday and drew some 214,000 voters to the polls in the first two days, leading to hours-long lines in parts of the state and lengthy schedules for poll workers.

In the first few days, the balloting clearly favored Democrats, with those registered with the party making up 62 percent of those who had voted. Only 22 percent of the voters had been registered Republicans.

North Carolina has 15 electoral votes.

HOLY SHIT UPDATE: Well, THIS is not good news...
NC is one of two states in the country where straight ticket voting does not count for President. This unusual exception trips up tens of thousands of voters every 4 years.

North Carolina lost 92,000 votes for President in 2004 due to straight ticket confusion. Our state has one of the highest undervote rates for President in the Country because of this.

Voters have very little reason to know about this exception, since it is not intuitive, and it was not even mentioned in the 3 million + voter guides mailed to households all over North Carolina.

What fucking genius came up with that shit? (Answer: probably a Republican) I can only hope that this is pant-soiling news to me since I am new to North Carolina—the only reason I know about this is the Obama campaign sent a mailer to my house yesterday.

Here's my double-edged take on this: Hundreds of thousands of new voters have registered in NC—most of them Dems. Hopefully the fact that they are so motivated to cast a vote for Obama means that they zero right in on that choice and don't miss it. On the other hand, they are all first-time voters, so the likelihood of confusion or error with the ballot is high.

Fuck.

UPDATE 2— Double-fuck:
My mother has been working the polls in North Carolina for early voting [...] she says that in the last few days alone, she has personally seen at least 200 votes intended to go to Obama that were not being counted (in other words, people telling her how excited they are to see Obama elected, only to find out that by selecting the straight democratic line, they never even cast a vote for him).

Smitty, Bob—hold each other.

UPDATE 3—BETTER NEWS: If that shit has you down, this should help...
I squeaked in just before the 7pm deadline to find two very frustrated poll workers and a line of a couple dozen people, due to problems with the computerized voting system not accepting people's driver's licenses. It was taking about 7-10 minutes per person just to get the computer to accept them as valid and to print out their ballot, causing very long delays.

For me the most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn't in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president. Anyone who doesn't think that African-American turnout will absolutely SHATTER every existing record is in for a very rude surprise.

There were about 20 people in front of me but remarkably not a single person left the room without voting over the 2 hours it took to get through the line.

New Rules


by August J. Pollock, via Cole. Click to embiggen.

A Few Good Apples



In confronting this lying racist douchebag outside a rally, this handful of McCain supporters and a local campaign chair showed a hundred times more class, and, yes—balls, than the candidates and all prominent Republicans combined.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Live from New York...

Just saw the Palin cameo on SNL...She didn't really do much but walk on set and let Amy Poehler take over, and she was pretty funny—her Palin-mocking rap took balls, and Palin showed she was a good sport for participating...but, as I said to Mrs F (ie: talking at the tv) when it was over, "Too bad I have to fucking hate you. You pathological liar and asshole."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

GTFOTW



People in Asheville do not know how to drive.

Specifically? They don't follow some key universal laws of the road—such as:

1. When there is a fire truck coming down the road—lights ablaze, siren screaming and massive fucking airhorns blowing the glass out of your car windows—you should pull over and get the fuck out of the way! This happened again today downtown and makes me want to take a bat to the offending car(s). I can see when there's a cop who is using their weak-ass electronic siren intermittently to cut through traffic, that there might be some mystery where it is in relation to you, or possibly even inaudible over your radio, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm seeing people take their sweet-ass time down the road, making their turns or doing whatever the hell they want with 30,000 loud, in-a-hurry pounds of truck on their ass.

2. Merging in traffic means taking turns in a simple every-other-car technique. Even people in NYC understand this shit.

3. When I am crossing the street with one little girl in my arms and the other one holding my hand, and I have the walk signal and you want to turn right, you fucking sit there and wait until I am out of your fucking way, you stupid Land Cruiser driving jackass.

Avalanche

Endorsements from major newspapers are rolling in for Obama. One day earlier this week he received 15 to MacCain's 0. My favorite thusfar? This one [emphasis mine]:
Many Americans say they're uneasy about Obama. He's pretty new to them. We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.

We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.

What's so great about that one? It's the Chicago Tribune—a conservative paper that has NEVER in its 160-year history endorsed a Democrat for President.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Late Night Awesome 2: Geriatric Boogaloo

John McCain probably wishes he never rescheduled his Letterman appearance...



Letterman just hammers him—on Palin in particular. He uses disarming humor in many instances, but underneath it all he makes McCain try to defend the indefensible and McCain ends up looking like a fool, and all of his selling of Palin comes across like a watered down sales pitch for Obama. It's awesome television.

During the interview, McCain promises to have Palin appear on the show. Trust me when I say, there is no way in hell that actually happens. I would have put the chances of that at slim to none BEFORE Letterman ridiculed her selection to John McCain's face...After that? No fucking way.

Reading Listening Assignment

John Rogers at Kung-Fu Monkey has a post up containing links to two fantastic episodes of NPR's This American Life that explain in detail, yet complete clarity, everything about the current financial meltdown.

355: The Giant Pool of Money

365: Another Frightening Show About the Economy

I've only heard part of the second one, which I sat in my car for twenty minutes to finish, and I meant to go back and listen to both whole episodes and then blog it up, but this being a deadline week and all, I completely forgot.

Anyway, as Rogers puts it, it's your duty as a responsible and informed citizen to understand what the fuck is going on. (Unless you are a Republican, in which case you can go over to rushlimbaugh.com and continue to dissolve what's left of your atrophied brain.

'Hero' for the "Hero"



NOTE: Audio NSFW.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Obama Era

Ross Douthat via Sully:
...while conservatives can be confident that a President Obama and a new Democratic majority will eventually overreach and create openings for the GOP, they'd be fools to anticipate anything like the series of disasters, political and otherwise, that George W. Bush has presided over. If Obama ends up where Bush is today, then conservatives can campaign any way they damn well please in 2012 and 2016 and be confident of victory. But that isn't likely to happen, and if it doesn't, the Right is going to need a strategy based on something more than base-rallying and media-bashing.

Of course, we need to seal the deal in November, but things are looking pretty good.

I think there is a lot to what Douthat has to say; I am confident Obama will outgovern the Worst President Ever, but it's true that power corrupts and the Dems will have plenty. But more than that, he's missing something that will prevent it from being that easy for Democrats or quite that difficult for Republicans...

What Douthat fails to calculate is the fact that Obama and the Democrats are taking over a sinking ship. They have to clean up the GOP's mess (again) and there will be some tough stretches in the next year or two as the economy recovers. The GOP won't waste a day during that time blaming Obama for the bind the country is in.

It's crap, but they'll do it. It's all they have, and unless the public suddenly becomes more intelligent and discerning, it will work—to a degree.

A large part of how effective that is depends on how the media calls it. I have no faith in them to do anything except try to level the field in favor of the GOP—and I don't just mean FOX and Rush Limbaugh. The mainstream media is utterly worthless at discerning truth vs. bullshit—they merely present both sides as if equal.

The biggest thing in our favor that could overcome all that is Obama himself. He has the communication skills to go right over the heads of the media to make his point if necessary.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rogue

HuffPo:
In an interview with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin explained her reasoning in going on the attack against Barack Obama. Asked why she was more "forceful" than her running mate, she said: "Rush, I've got nothing to lose in this and I think America's got everything to gain by understanding the differences, the contrasts here between Obama and McCain."

"Nothing to lose..." Pretty much. The electoral chances of the McCain/Palin ticket are swirling in the bowl as we speak, but Caribou Barbie has a much softer landing place than McCain. She gets to go back to her day job: handing out oil checks and "Earning" her 80% approval rating. She's the new darling of the FOX Right, and the fundies want to groom her for 2012.

Five weeks ago she was a relative unknown. Now she is a few weeks from either becoming Vice President or a high-profile martyr for next to no effort or investment—it's really win-win for her. She has absolutely no reason to restrain herself, tell the truth or do anything honest or ethical. She owes McCain nothing and in a way probably benefits as much if not more from a loss.

I'm sure McCain wakes up every morning ecstatic about his choice...

936

WTF? Can anybody convince me that Wall Street isn't some combination of bed-wetting pussies, space aliens, and embezzlers? No substantive action has been taken regarding the bailout, yet the market is all over the place. Nothing bad enough actually happened to cause the 700-point drops, and nothing good enough happened to justify a 900-point gain.

It's a crock of shit.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Daily Lie

I should have started this weeks ago...

Every day for the rest of the campaign, I'm going to give you one of the brazen lies of John McCain or Sarah Palin. The hard part will be choosing which one...Let's kick it off with this one:



Prove it, you lying asshole. Video? Audio? Hell, even a still photo or pencil sketch?

Yeah, that's what I thought...

Credit Where Due...

Bush critic Krugman wins 2008 Nobel for economics
By Anna Ringstrom and Sven Nordenstam

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - U.S. economist Paul Krugman, a well-known critic of the Bush administration for policies that he argues led to the current financial crisis, won the 2008 Nobel prize for economics on Monday.

The committee said the award was for Krugman's work that helps explain why some countries dominate international trade.

A prominent economist who writes columns for the New York Times, Krugman has long featured among the favorites to win a Nobel. He is a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University in the United States.

I actually thought Krugman had already won in the past…

And yeah, the Reuters headline "Bush critic Krugman wins 2008 Nobel for economics" is not inflammatory at all. His criticism of Bush and his politics had fuck-all to do with what actually won him the award. While it is worth noting his stance on Bush economics as part of the profile, it should not be the lede. Hell, for most of the year I'd've called him "Obama critic Krugman."

But, Professor, you've come to your senses and realized the real threat is more Bushonomics and have been doing yeoman's work of late.

Congratulations.

[h/t Balloon Juice]

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Life Experience Meme

We all probably need to step away from the politics for a bit. Mrs F got this in an email, and we both purloined it for use as a blog meme.

The stuff that’s true is in BOLD. (I've modified slightly to make this more gender-neutral...)

APPEARANCE:
- I am 5′6 or taller.
- I think I’m ugly.
- I have many scars.
- I tan easily.
- I sunburn easily.
- I have a tattoo.
- I am self-conscious about my appearance. Not excessively, but I think about it. Sometimes.
- I have/I’ve had braces. I did. For years.
- I wear glasses. If I'm awake, they're on.
- I’d get/have gotten plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free, scar-free.
- I’ve been told I’m attractive by a complete stranger.
- I have had more than 2 piercings.
- I have had piercings in places besides my ears.
- I have freckles.

FAMILY/HOME LIFE:
- I’ve sworn at my parents.
- I’ve run away from home.
- I’ve been kicked out of the house.
- My biological parents are together.
- I have a sibling less than one year old.
- I want to have kids someday.
- I have children. 2 girls.
- I’ve lost a child.

EMBARRASSMENT:
- I’ve slipped out a “LOL” in a spoken conversation.
- Disney movies still make me cry. I cry at the drop of a hat watching movies.
- I’ve snorted while laughing.
- I’ve laughed so hard I’ve cried. All the time.
- I’ve glued my hand to something.
- I’ve laughed till some kind of beverage came out of my nose. Not "till" as in a build-up, but from a sudden burst of laughter while eating or drinking.
- I’ve had my trousers rip in public.

HEALTH:
- I was born with a disease/impairment.
- I‘ve had stitches. Not many.
- I’ve broken a bone. Slipped in the leaves and fell on the curb as a kid. Broke a part of my hip. No cast or treatment required.
- I’ve had my tonsils removed.
- I’ve sat in a doctor’s office with a friend.
- I’ve had my wisdom teeth removed. I'd advise not waiting until you're 39.
- I’ve had serious surgery.
- I’ve had chicken pox.

TRAVELING:
- I’ve driven over 200 miles in one day. That's nothing. I'll do 400-600 miles without a second thought.
- I’ve been on a plane.
- I’ve been to Canada.
- I’ve been to Niagara Falls. As a kid.
- I’ve been to Japan.
- I’ve been to Europe. Paris.
- I’ve been to Africa.

EXPERIENCES:
- I’ve been lost in my city. Here as a newbie. In New York if I went too far out in the boroughs.
- I’ve seen a shooting star.
- I’ve gone out in public in my pajamas. I have a dog...
- I’ve pushed all the buttons in a lift.
- I’ve been to a casino.
- I’ve been skydiving. Photographic proof was just hung up in the house.
- I’ve gone skinny dipping.
- I’ve played spin the bottle.
- I’ve crashed a car. A few.
- I’ve been skiing. A lot.
- I’ve been in a play. Not a fan of public speaking/appearances.
- I’ve met someone in person from the Internet. Other bloggers, no match.com stuff.
- I’ve caught a snowflake on my tongue.
- I’ve seen the Northern Lights.
- I’ve sat on a roof top at night. Often, in Brooklyn.
- I’ve played chicken.
- I’ve seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- I’ve eaten Sushi. No thanks.
- I’ve been snowboarding. Not as successfully as skiing.

RELATIONSHIPS:
- I’m single.
- I’m in a relationship.
- I’m available.
- I’m engaged.
- I’m married.
- I’ve gone on a blind date.
- I have a fear of abandonment.
- I’ve been divorced.
- I’ve had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back.
- I’ve told someone I loved them when I didn’t.
- I’ve told someone I didn’t love them when I did.
- I’ve kept something from a past relationship.

SEXUALITY:
- I’ve had a crush on someone of the same gender.
- I’ve kissed a member of the same gender.
- I’ve had sex with someone of the same gender.
- I’ve had sex with more than one person at the same time.
- I am a cuddler. An incomaptability with Mrs F.
- I’ve been kissed in the rain.
- I’ve had sex outdoors.
- I’ve hugged a stranger.
- I have kissed a stranger.
- I have had sex with a stranger.

HONESTY/CRIME:
- I’ve done something I promised someone else I wouldn’t. I can't think of a specific, but i'm sure I have, do, will...
- I’ve done something I promised myself I wouldn’t. See above.
- I have lied to my parents about where I am.
- I am keeping a secret from the world.
- I’ve cheated while playing a game.
- I’ve cheated on a test.
- I’ve driven through a red light.
- I’ve witnessed a crime.

- I’ve been in a fist fight.
- I’ve been arrested.
- I’ve shoplifted. As a kid.

DRUGS/ALCOHOL
- I’ve consumed alcohol.
- I smoke cigarettes.
- I smoke pot.
- I regularly drink.
- I’ve taken painkillers when I didn’t need them.
- I’ve taken cough medicine when i wasn’t sick.
- I’ve done hard drugs.
- I’ve been addicted to an illegal substance.
- I can’t swallow pills.
- I can swallow about 5 pills at a time no problem.

MENTAL HEALTH:
- I have been diagnosed with depression. Nothing debilitating...
- I shut others out when I’m depressed.
- I take anti-depressants. Helpful...
- I have had an eating disorder.
- I’ve slept an entire day when I didn’t need it.
- I’ve hurt myself on purpose.
- I’m addicted to self harm.
- I’ve woken up crying.

DEATH:
- I’m afraid of dying.
- I hate funerals.
- I’ve seen someone dying.
- I have attempted suicide.
- Someone close to me has attempted suicide.
- Someone close to me has committed suicide.

RANDOM:
- I can sing well.
- I’ve stolen a tray from a fast food restaurant.
- I open up to others too easily.
- I watch the news.
- I don’t kill bugs.
- I hate hearing songs that sacrifice meaning for sake of being able to rhyme.
- I swear regularly. Goddamn right.
- I am a morning person.
- I paid for my mobile phone ring tone.
- I’m a snob about grammar.
- I am a sports fanatic. Less so than before.
- I play with my hair. If rubbing your own bald head counts...
- I have/had “x”s in my screen name.
- I love being neat.
- I love Spam.
- I’ve copied more than 30 CD’s in a day.
- I have fired a gun. Skeet and clay shooting.
- I don’t know how to shoot a gun.
- I am in love with love.
- I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS.
- I laugh at my own jokes.
- I eat fast food weekly.
- I believe in ghosts.
- I am online 24/7, even as an away message.
- I can’t sleep if there is a spider in the room. Not if it's near me—I'd need to "take care" of it. I have mild arachniphobia.
- I am really ticklish.
- I love white chocolate.
- I bite my nails.
- I play video games.
- I’m good at remembering faces.
- I’m good at remembering names.
- I’m good at remembering dates.
- I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Get on it, folks. You know who you are.

Quote of the Day

John Cole:
Who could have imagined that if you take an ethically challenged know-nothing religious nut from backwoods America, have Bill Kristol and the Rove 2000 team whisper in her ear for weeks, that she would turn into a vicious political opportunist with no regard for the country and an eye on her personal future?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Incitement

Sullivan:
This is a moment of maximal physical danger for the young Democratic nominee. And McCain is playing with fire. If he really wants to put country first, he will attack Obama on his policies - not on these inflammatory, personal, creepy grounds. This is getting close to the atmosphere stoked by the Israeli far right before the assassination of Rabin.

For God's sake, McCain, stop it. For once in this campaign, put your country first.


Klein:
I'm beginning to worry about the level of craziness on the Republican side, the over-the-top, stampede-the-crowd statements by everyone from McCain on down, the vehemence of the crowds that McCain and Palin are drawing with people shouting "Kill him" and "He's a terrorist" and "Off with his head."

Watch the tape of the guy screaming, "He's a terrorist!" McCain seems to shudder at that, he rolls his eyes... and I thought for a moment he'd admonish the man. But he didn't. And now he's selling the Ayres non-story full-time. [...] we are on the edge of some real serious craziness here and it would be nice if McCain did the right thing and told his more bloodthirsty supporters to go home and take a cold shower. But McCain hasn't done the right thing all year. His campaign is appalling, as the New York Times editorial board said today--and more, it is a national disgrace.


TPM:
The point is, McCain is letting this whack-job fear and hysteria ride across the board, and is even encouraging it. That's news, and you'd think it would get some serious and aggressive treatment from the big news orgs.


Cole:
I just hope the Secret Service knows what they are doing. I was talking to my father last night, who is still a Republican and [...] was audibly shaken by the tone of the campaign- “Have you heard some of the things they are shouting at the rallies? I am afraid where this is heading.”


GOP strategist David Gergen on Anderson Cooper 360:
GERGEN: This—I think one of the most striking things we’ve seen now in the last few day. We’ve seen it in a Palin rally. We saw it at the McCain rally today. [...] There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence. I think we’re not far from that.

COOPER: Really?

GERGEN: I think it’s so—well, I really worry when we get people—when you get the kind of rhetoric that you’re getting at these rallies now. I think it’s really imperative that the candidates try to calm people down.


Greenwald:
Is there anything even remotely comparable taking place at Obama rallies? Are the accusations against McCain even arguably similar to the Right’s relentless and self-evidently dangerous depiction of Obama as a military-hating, subversive Muslim and Terrorist? What do we do with Terrorists and traitors — or, in the past, with those wanting to take over the U.S. with a secret socialist agenda? We kill them. If that’s what Obama is, if that’s what hordes of enraged right-wing mobs are becoming convinced of and having those passions stoked, then what should be done to Obama — just merely defeat him in the presidential campaign?

[...] Everyone can see with their own eyes: over the last two weeks, we have witnessed some of the ugliest and most dangerous attacks by any presidential campaign that one can recall — not from surrogates or from shadowy groups but from the candidates themselves and their campaign. The most hated, despised thing one can be in the U.S. is a “terrorist,” followed closely by ”traitor” and, in many circles, “Muslim.” The McCain/Palin ticket’s prime strategy now is to win by scaring Americans into believing that Obama — the first black candidate with a viable chance to become President in our country’s history — is all of those things. There just is nothing comparable to that.


Digby:
I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but what we are really seeing is the beginning of a right wing story line about the next president of the United States --- he is a drug user, a foreigner, a terrorist and a traitor. And the importance of that is that it gives permission to the right wing machine to do anything and everything to destroy him. He will not really be president, you see. He will be illegitimate -- a usurper.


And don't feed some bullshit that it's just a "one bad apple" scenario. Check out this video of a whole damn town full of scary-stupid asshats—young and old alike. They're don't ALL yell crazy shit, but enough of em do that they can all feel safe and supported doing so.

The McCain campaign is WAAAY over the line, and this shit needs to stop now.

They are willing to create the next Lee Harvey Oswald in a futile pursuit for for wingnut votes, and so far much of the media coverage is still trying to "balance" this "screaming fire in a crowded theater" strategy against legitimate, policy-oriented critiques by Obama.

If something happens, they are all complicit.

GOTDV

Deb "tagged" me to spread the word on this...



It's a couple minutes longer than it needs to be, and it's probably too clever for the dopes it's aimed at, but it's pretty good.

False Alarm

Boy? Did O'Reilly just call a black professor a "boy" on cable television?

Actually, Andrew? No. I don't think he did.

Bob Cesca also bites on this. Until someone shows me a video, I'm reading that "boy" as shorthand for "Boy, Oh Boy" or "Man..." etc.

If you guys could just wait another night, O'Reilly WILL certainly say something clearly stupid and/or racist. No need to jump the gun.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Black and White

Awesome Very good column on 'white privilege' and quiet racism. Read it.

UPDATE: As Toast points out in the column, there is much of this that can be attributed to a conservative/liberal or GOP/Dem bias, but there is still plenty of food for thought in there, especially when you get past issues-related double standards and to the parts about Michelle Obama, etc.

Some Context

An excellent comment from a thread at John Cole's:
If Bill Ayers is such a scary terrorist, why are Bush, Cheney, and McCain just letting the guy walk around free? If he’s the most evil person ever, shouldn’t McCain spearhead some sort of operation to capture him? Laura Bush has killed more people than Bill Ayers. I think the only people to die from a weatherman bomb were a couple of people from the group who blew themselves up. I mean, we’re talking about terrorists named after a Bob Dylan lyric for Chrissakes.

I don’t want to defend any sort of bombing, but you gotta remember that during that period, black people would get KILLED for looking for a job in a white neighborhood. JFK, RFK, and MLK were all KILLED. the national guard KILLED students at Kent State. There dozens and dozens of riots. Uprisings at Ivy League schools. Even the daughter of William Randolph Hearst became a terrorist. It was a violent time in America. People drove through riot-burned streets only to go home and watch the news which showed their children coming home from the other side of the world in a body bag. There were concerns amongst the rightwing that the black soldiers coming home from war would be starting a guerrilla war revolution in the streets of American cities. It was a crazy crazy time. And Obama was about 8 when all that was happening.

Nylund October 9th, 2008 at 10:22 am

That Laura Bush line is the Quote of the Freaking Month. But it's true, these Weatherman guys were more Keystone Cops than al Queda—even the bombs they DID manage to plant, they called ahead to warn everyone to get out. And considering the state of affairs of the day, I'm not sure anything less would've attracted attention. [NOTE: Not a defense, morans.]

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thirteen Minutes

...is all it takes to reduce John McCain' reputation of a Maverick™ and reformer to rubble.



How much would a thirteen minute ad cost?

Prediction: Look for some horrendously produced rip-off / response video from the McCain camp—only, unlike this one which is 100% true and skewers McCain with his own defense attorney—The GOP version will be complete fabrication about Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers rowing a boat out to Hawaii to indoctrinate an eight-year-old boy to be their Manchurian Black Panther candidate for President forty years later...

1,000 Words



[h/t Kleiman]

Media Elite


Put some pics up on my Flickr page. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get to a Georgetown cocktail party...

UPDATE:
28,000.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

In Play


I've known the Asheville area is Obama Country since I came here in May for my interview. It was the weekend before the N.C. primary, and Obama signs outnumbered Clinton by ridiculous margins. Since we moved, I think I can count the McCain signs AND bumper stickers I've seen in Asheville on one hand each. Seriously.

It was for that reason I never thought Obama would bother coming to Asheville—he's already got us—any time in N.C might be better spent in Greensboro or somewhere he can swing voters over.

Well, he came to Asheville today and it was huge. I'll post some pics and details shortly., but first I wanted to share some numbers with you... I just went online to double-check my voter registration and saw these numbers on the State site:
Voter Registration as of 10/05/2008
Democratic: 2,741,769
Republican: 1,961,524
Libertarian: 1,696
Unaffiliated: 1,335,415
Total: 6,040,404

Three quarters of a million more registered Democrats. That's fucking huge. This state will be turning blue.

Let me get to my Photoshop...

Cardboard Today, In-Person Tomorrow...



This afternoon was the "Mamas For Obama" picnic, tomorrow is the rally in Asheville. I'll be there as a real, live media-elite photographer.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Different, Yet More of the Same

The New York Elitist Times had readers submit debate questions for the VP candidates. Here's one from an Alaskan:
Governor Palin, as we both know, Alaskans are a special breed. I grew up in Fairbanks, a few hundred miles north of Wasilla. I was proud to live on the frontier, far from civilization. Like many Alaskans, I lived in a log house on a dirt road, with no city water, sewer system or trash collection. We didn’t get much from our government, and we didn’t want much.

I love my frontier state, but the first thing I learned when I moved to the Lower 48 was how unlike the rest of the country Alaska is. How would you govern America when as mayor and governor, you hardly had to provide basic public services? In Wasilla, less than a tenth of the town is connected to the sewer system.

Alaska’s economy runs on oil proceeds — we don’t even pay income tax. And despite our disdain for Washington, we are given hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government each year. How would you handle our financial crisis when you’ve never had to balance a budget while tax revenue fell?

She bragged repeatedly last night about all she did to cut taxes, etc. as mayor. She barely had to provide services to residents, the oil companies are the major revenue source so why the hell NOT cut taxes? Here's why...

Palin neglected to mention that she took office and inherited a balanced budget. As mayor she raised the town's sales tax, increased spending by 50% and left office with the town of Wasilla $20 million in debt.

Alaska might be different, but that fiscal policy sounds familiar...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hot Damn!


I heard on the radio that Obama would be spending the days leading up to Tuesday's debate in Tennessee at an undisclosed location in Asheville, and was hoping that meant an appearance somewhere.

I am going to try my damnedest to wrangle a media pass.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Galloping to a Lead

I don't remember the numbers, but on the radio I heard Gallop had Obama opening up big leads in the "key" swing states...something along the lines of an 8-point lead in Ohio and Florida and 15 in PA. That's big news because they are key electoral states, but also areas he was supposed to struggle.

As evidenced by those swings, a lot can change in a short amount of time, but I see this looking increasingly difficult for McCain to stage a comeback on his own. He has damaged his own image severely over the last couple weeks, and I don't think Palin is going to do anything to help his cause...