Sunday, May 16, 2010

If We Gave Them a Do-Over…

If we gave them a do-over, I wonder if the left, the independents, and the moderate right would have ended up voting for Obama? Or would we have seen a Clinton White House? Or, more shockingly, would the election have gone to McCain?

I ask because the comments over here are rather heated.

There is a shoe repairman on my street – a raging wingnut – wears his politics on his sleeve – he has a sign in front of his shop – Obama Lies Impeach Obama.

The impeachment of Obama is something that the left and the right may be able to get done together.

Wouldn’t hurt my feelings. Obama has been a disaster. He intends to do more damage to the citizenry. As a Trojan Horse Democrat he may succeed in gutting Social Security where Dubya had failed. Might be good to impeach him before he takes a huge bite out of our “entitlements”.

I don’t think we’ll see an impeachment of President Obama and his time in office won’t be all hardship and controversy. I remember a lot of bar talk--and comments on blogs tend to be a lot like bar talk--about an impeachment early in the Clinton presidency. I just as distinctly remember it fading away as the economy improved and as he stepped away from some of his more ambitious plans.

I have a hard time imagining Obama serving a second term, but, then, I wouldn’t be too surprised if his political fortunes change by the time he starts actively campaigning again.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Well, Yes, But…

From Mitt Romney :

Former Massachusetts GOP Gov. Mitt Romney said Monday night that President Barack Obama’s “weak point” in getting re-elected is the economy.

Well, yes, that is certainly one of his weak points. In fact, whether you agree that he has or hasn’t focused enough energy and time on jobs, the weak economy and general feeling of unease in the country will be working against President Obama.

But, Mr. Romney, one of your weak points is Romneycare, and it’s a big one. Bigger this year than it was during the last election cycle. Bigger than you might expect.

I’ll be curious to see how you handle that one.

Read the story.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A Telling Conversation

I have a friend who is a Republican. Not a conservative nor a deeply political person; her votes are more of habit and generalities than they are of intense political ideology. In the last election, she voted a mostly Republican ticket but refrained from voting for a presidential candidate because she didn’t like Sarah Palin, couldn’t vote for Obama, and there wasn’t an option of writing in my name.

That last bit isn’t a joke, by the way. We had gone from the office together and voted at the same time. When we were on the way, she told me she planned to write in my name because she thought I was a better candidate than any of the folks on the ballot. She’s probably wrong, but it would have made me smile; sadly, we saw nothing on the ballot that allowed for write-ins.

When I stopped by the office last week to use the printer, we talked for a bit and she wanted me to know two things that she said would shock me.

“I’m never going to say this again, so I have to get it out right now,” she said. She’s a notoriously stubborn and outspoken person, so when she goes for something like this, you know that it must hurt to the core. “First, I still don’t like him, but the Nuggets need George Karl back. Second, I still don’t like her, but even if Sarah Palin is the candidate, I’ll vote for her just to get Obama out of office.”

I was stunned by both admissions. She’s a long-time Nuggets season ticket holder, takes basketball more seriously than anyone I know, and has lobbied for Karl’s removal for over a year with me arguing the opposite. Her disappointment in McCain’s pick of Veep candidates was, if anything, even more absolute at the time. She didn’t like Palin, she didn’t think the woman was qualified, and she wasn’t fond of any woman being that close to the presidency--and oddly sexist opinion that brought out the kind of arguments I usually try to avoid in the office. That, in one conversation, she could possibly admit that George Karl brought value to the Denver Nuggets and that Sarah Palin would make a better president than Barrack Obama was like a Christmas miracle for me.

My Democrat friends will say that they never had her vote anyway, and there is truth to that, although her commitment to voting for any Republican candidate over the current president is out of character and more meaningful than they might admit. And, beyond that, the story doesn’t stop there.

Her kids both voted Obama in the election. Again, neither is particularly political and I don’t know either of them enough to guess at their motivation. My friend went on to tell me that she wasn’t sure how her daughter felt, but that her son was fuming mad over the president’s performance and bitterly regretted his vote. This is a young (mid-twenties), hispanic union member working in a non-professional capacity. He is the Obama demographic.

He’s also a nice kid, a smart kid, and, I stress this because I think it is important, not typically a politically oriented person.

The Democrats are going to lose the midterms in a big way. Barring a previously untapped and Clintonian capacity for triangulation that the public truly buys into, Obama won’t see a second term, either. The presidential election is a long way off, and, business cycles being what they are, the political situation could dramatically change between now and then. If the economy, the job numbers, and the tenor of the Obama presidency don’t change soon, though, I think it will reach the kind of tipping point where Obama might experience something that I can’t recall ever seeing: watching his own party abandoning him for another candidate when his “electability” is called into question.

Could Hillary be in the perfect position for 2012? I think it is entirely possible and I think that Democrats might find it easier to unite behind her than they would in fighting the early (too early, yes, but we’re speculating her) legacy of the Obama administration.

For the midterm elections, the future seems easier to predict. Obama and the Democrats are losing the center left and the independents right now, Republicans will see the return of some of the defectors who were tired of the Bush years, and some Democrats will stay home because they are going to be disheartened by the constant fight and the simple fact that the Obama years aren’t going the way that they expected. When you expect a deity and you get a mere Chicago politician, some folks are going to start questioning their choices.

Certainly, the human mind has amazing powers of self-justification and there will be a core of believers that will dig in and keep fighting. The great majority of voters aren’t true believers in much of anything, though, and their numbers are skewing to the right. The Tea Party wasn’t the flash-in-the-pan that many people thought it would be (and that the progressive left hoped it would be), and while the real impact of the movement has yet to be seen, only fools would deny the massive influence that the grass-roots uprising has had on the political conversations of the day. And the left’s continued attempt to minimize the movement with talk of “teabaggers” (and, yes, Mr. Ditto, I’m looking at you right now) is only entrenching the strange agglomeration of libertarians, conservatives, and center left citizens into an anti-incumbent and anti-establishment mood. Demeaning them, ignoring their worries, and insulting the Tea Partiers with accusations of racism, stupidity, and name-calling has only had the immediate effect of making the progressive left look even less attractive and less relevant to contemporary America than they did before the election of President Obama in what was far more a reaction to the previous administration than it was a mandate for massive social and political change.

While the Democrats lose the middle, it is entirely possible that giddy Republicans or Tea Partiers won’t learn the right lessons from recent elections or from each other--and my guess is that the Tea Party could overplay its hand in a few elections and cost conservatives some ground it might otherwise take, but that’s a conversation for another post. But Tea Party overreach and GOP clumsiness seem unlikely to derail the particular train that looks to bring massive defeat to the Democrats at the hands of an aroused, angry public in the mid-terms.

I’m no genius (political or otherwise) and I’m not reading tea leaves that aren’t readily apparent to others. What will be interesting is to see how the left rallies in those upcoming contests to try to maintain the advantage that they gained in the last election. In a way, though, that massive gain makes it even more apparent that the more time that goes on the more they are responsible for continued problems. Who else could it be? It helps that the Democrats managed to turn their supermajority into something that looked desperately like weakness.

If I’m right, though, and the GOP makes significant gains at the midterm, they will need to shift the tone of their message. No longer will it be good enough to be the minority fighting the good fight, but they will need to begin leading for the first time in many years. There is much to be red-faced about in being a Republican right now; the record of the supposedly conservative party has been, ahem, mixed as of late. Not finding a way to lead on the biggest issues of the day--not just offering up solutions, but actually delivering them and making the case for those solutions--would be devastating.

I believe that there is a historical opportunity coming to Republicans in mid-terms, but that opportunity could be an invitation to tragedy for conservatives if we don’t find a way to make something useful from it.

More reading for Sunday night:

Legal Insurrection has this gem: “If Obama has lost my friend, the Frank Rich-loving, Sarah Palin-hating greedy Democratic geezer that he is, the Democrats are in deep electoral trouble.”
Rasmussen Reports talks about trust issues.
Via the Corner, the Seattle Times supports a legal challenge the health care reform bill.
In a two-for-one, follow the link to Vodka Pundit and then click through to Charles Martin’s post on President Obama’s political “stage magic.” As I said a few days ago, keep watching both hands.
And, for something less political, Happy Easter.

Update: Be sure to see this post on Billllllll’s Idle Mind. “What did we do to deserve this?” Excellent question, Mr. Surplus Ells.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Resignation Accepted

We’re talking, of course, about the previously mentioned race-baiting asshole, Van Jones.

President Barack Obama’s adviser Van Jones has resigned amid controversy over past inflammatory statements, the White House said early Sunday.

Van Jones, an administration official specializing in environmentally friendly “green jobs,” has been linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the Sept. 11 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.

Good riddance, then, but boo to the Obama administration for hiring this guy to begin with. This little bit of fun brought to you by the guy of whom Christopher Buckley famously said, “He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for.”

I think I’m going to have fun returning to that quote a few times over the next three years.

Just sayin’.

Read the rest.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Morning, Mr. President. (Updated)

President Bush, a flawed man who will be judged by history far less harshly than he has been by contemporary media and by many of my fellow citizens, has left office. Today we celebrate the inauguration of Barrack Obama and, perhaps more significantly, we celebrate another peaceful passing of the power from one party to another.

There is no doubt that it is worth celebrating this proof of the continued gains of racial equality in the United States. That a black man could ascend to the seat of the presidency removes a significant barrier from the psyches of black men and women. No more is there a limit to how high that little black boy or girl can dream; from today, anything is possible. I truly believe that this is something worth celebrating.

So, yes, I celebrate the inauguration of Barrack Obama, President of the United States of America, and I hope and pray to the core of my being that his choices are wise, that his leadership matches his charisma, and that we are all better for his presidency. To hope for anything less than good for Obama would be an act of spite for my own country--not something I would be particularly proud of.

While I doubt that I will agree with all of his decisions, I will never treat the office or the president with anything less than the respect that he is due. I will voice my criticisms and disagreements with vigor but without rancor.

And today, like millions of other Americans, I will celebrate his election.

It isn’t just this election, though; it’s the continuation of the political system that has given us all a solid bedrock on which to build our futures. Every few years we hold elections in this country and some measure of power is passed from person to person and party to party. While our country isn’t at its healthiest right now, our unique government and culture still give us a potential future that most of the world still envies. The continuity of our system is a beautiful thing even when we don’t make the best decisions; if you doubt that, take a look at the joke that democracy became in Russia or the tragedy of faux-democracy through much of Africa. That’s hardly a reason to feel calm and complacent, but it’s a good reason to feel hopeful.

President Obama has a difficult road ahead, but he is bringing something to the citizens that has seemed in short supply of late: faith in our nation. With hard work, we, the people, can use that faith to make our nation strong again. That isn’t something that we have to ask the president to do for us, it’s something that we can and will do for ourselves.

Early in the morning of the first day of President Obama’s term in office, I am raising a glass to him, to my country, and to all of my fellow citizens.

Update: Bob had similar thoughts (although his linking this post was obviously a play for free shots at the next gathering of Rocky Mountain area bloggers).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It’ll Take You a Couple of Vodker and Tonics to Set You on Your Feet Again…

I’m off. For the next two weeks I shall be either playing on vacation or playing on a business trip to Kolkata. If you’re lucky, someone like Jerry will post here occasionally but, at least for the next week, I won’t have access to my computer or to my email.

I’ve voted and I’m pleased to say that I will be attending a show in India the night of the election--I will be watching with interest from afar, but glad to be spared the last minute political ads and calls that would otherwise have been bashing my brain about. In case you wondered what I had to say on the subject of voting, this post from way back in 2004 (the comments don’t work anymore, so, yeah...) is something that I still stand behind (except for typos, grammatical errors, and a slight change in the priorities).

I’ll miss you.

But whilst I’m gone, feel free to enjoy the silence.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Is it Getting Drafty in Here?

NRO is pointing out that some Hillary supporters believe that Biden’s recent speech was actually a hidden reference to the draft. That simply won’t happen; whether Obama supports the idea or not, there is simply no support in Congress or in the voting public for a draft--and while I think Obama is the wrong choice for America’s continued welfare, I don’t think we need to conjure up the boogeyman of a draft to argue our case, especially with such slender evidence.

Just sayin’.

Quick aside: Apparently Biden thinks that America can bypass a crisis by voting McCain for president. I happen to agree, but it seems surprising that he would admit it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Broncos Embrace the Ugly

Ugly is the only way to describe the Broncos’ loss to New England. Well, perhaps not the only way. You could also say it was inept, hideous, disappointing, and plain old bad. And there are no excuses for the Broncos who lost an ugly, but winnable game last week--a game that showed up every shortcoming that the Patriots exploited tonight.

Like turnovers. The team saw two early, promising drives end on Dante Hall fumbles, saw Jay Cutler throw a couple picks, and saw Patrick Ramsey add one of his own. For a time, the offense looked like it could work its way back into the game, but the turnovers and bad penalties stole hope away every time.

But, Zomby, what about the injuries? That’s no excuse for such poor play and the Patriots could match the Broncos injury for injury if it came down to comparisons. Certainly, it didn’t help that Cutler injured his hand on the very first offensive play of the game--that that had nothing to do with Hall putting the ball on the ground twice early. Certainly, it hurt that both Baileys (Boss and Champ) left with injuries, but the game was out of hand well before that point. Champ Bailey’s absence only proved two things to me: that without him no one on the Broncos’ defense can be relied on to cover a good wide receiver and the Broncos defense really is as bad as advertised.

Because as much as the Broncos offense may have dropped the ball (sorry), the defense played a listless and fruitless game. Big plays, bad tackling, dumb penalties--you name it, they did it.

The Broncos used up their good luck early in the year and haven’t made their case for having earned the top spot in the AFC West. Only the weakness of the conference sees them still looking better than the uneven Chargers and woefully bad Chiefs and Raiders.

Not much in the way of happy thoughts could possibly be attached to a game this phenomenally bad.

None of which changes the fact that Obama supporters are using the accusation of racism against McCain-Palin supporters with sickening regularity and little in the way of evidence. I had thought that race problems in the US were decreasing, but the hysterics and the baseless claims of racism for the pedestrian crime of disagreeing over which candidate would better serve as the United States’ next president.

I’m not stupid. I know that there really is racism in the United States. I know a woman who won’t vote for either candidate--Obama because he is black and a liberal and McCain because he picked a woman as his running mate. Not because he picked Palin, but because he picked a woman. I know other people that aren’t convinced that Obama isn’t a secret Muslim and won’t vote for him based on that worry.

I’m not stupid. But that doesn’t mean that every slight or misunderstood word (cakewalk?) is a sign of racist intent. The repetition of the accusation without evidence speaks volumes about the bad faith of the accusers--these aren’t folks debating or having a reasonable conversation, these are folks hitting out with one of the bluntest of instruments.

False accusations of racism (similar to rape) just cheapen and deaden people to real acts of racism in our country.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Obama’s Plan is Wealth Redistribution

I really don’t like Obama’s answer to this question (watch the video to see what I’m talking about), although I suppose I should applaud him for being honest about his desire to help successful Americans do their patriotic duty by giving the country more money.

I don’t know about y’all, but I neither need to see any more of my wealth redistributed nor am I asking for handouts. I mean, I don’t have so much that higher taxes won’t hurt me, but my success in life isn’t hinging on the Obama-Biden plan of patriotically taxing the hell out of people who are doing better than me, either.

Taxing the wealthy isn’t the best way to help me be successful.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

McCain v/ Obama: Instatranslation (Nearly)

Don’t forget to check out Steve Green’s drunkblogging of the fun. Always brilliant. And the Gay Patriot’s puppy blogging is funny, too.

Question: The economy sucks. Help me Obamy wan Barracky, you’re my only hope.

Obama: Well, it’s all Bush’s fault. Except for where it’s McCain’s fault. And except for where it’s Wall Street’s fault. Vote me.

McCain: Read my lips: “No new taxes.” And keep our money here instead of giving it to the bad guys. I love your house and I’ll do everything I can to make sure you keep it. I’m not Bush.

Question: Who will replace Paulson ("The Evil One")?

McCain: I’m not good with jokes. Laugh anyway, please. Not sure, but I have some good ideas.

Obama: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I don’t know either, but eat the rich. And, seriously, I’m going to give you a tax cut. I mean it. Seriously.

Question: What the hell is with the bailout package? What the hell did you people do to us and our freakin’ money?

McCain: Bailout? No way, man, rescue. Think some happy thoughts and it will be okay. By the way, did you know that the sub-prime crisis was the Democrats’ fault and I tried to stop it? Fannie and Freddie aren’t your friends, but I am--and Obama is buddies with those bastards.

Obama: Totally, yeah, rescue. Money for everyone, which is nice. And, it was not my fault and Senator McCain is a big poopy head. Deregulation was the problem, not bad loans to people who couldn’t pay back all that bad paper. If we kept everything properly regulated all of those bad loans would have...umm, never mind. I don’t like Fannie and Freddie, either. Look, after all my pointing of fingers, I know you aren’t interested in pointing fingers, so…

Question: Obama, are you saying things are going to get worse before they get better?

Obama: No way, everything is fine. Except that things are worse now than at any time since the Great Depression and you should all be scared.

Question: McCain?

McCain: Things could get worse if we don’t make the right choices. Workers are strong--and, it was too the sub-prime stuff--and if we give them a good environment to fix the problem they will.

Obama: I don’t trust you with our money. Not sure I have a real question, I’m just pissed.

Obama: There’s a lot of blame to go around. Especially for the Republicans. I mean, no one is innocent, but the Republicans are bad. Really bad. But trust me to spend your money on big new entitlement programs, which will be fine because I’ll find something or other to cut in the budget, too. Promise.

McCain: There’s a lot of blame to go around. Especially for people who aren’t me. Including Obama. I point fingers at both parties.And since Obama hasn’t, you know, done anything yet, I want you to focus on records rather than rhetoric. Obama wants 860 billion in new spending--which is way more than the abomination of a bailout and pork rescue package. And Obama spends money stupidly. Offshore drilling. So there.

Questions: Health, energy, entitlement reform: priorities?

McCain: All three at once. All are important. Entitlement reform is vital because our economy can’t take the bruising if we keep going this way. Nuclear power plants and alternative fuels are cool, too. And remember that I’m the bipartisan one. Very very bipartisan. Which is good because these are all national security concerns, too.

Obama: No way, man, we have to have priorities. Energy is really important. So I’m going to spend some money on that. Health is important, too. And I don’t actually like earmarks. That are coming from others. Because it’s always vital when I do it. And McCain is going to raise your taxes and give money to rich people. Eat the rich.

Question: What sacrifices will you ask us to make to fix America’s problems?

McCain: We’re going to have to eliminate some programs. We’re going to have to prune those programs--including bad defense deals--that aren’t working. Obama asked for a really expensive overhead projector, remember, and that’s just dumb. Let’s cut spending and stop being dumb: spending freeze outside of vital programs, transparency, consulting with folks like you, and, read my lips, “No new earmarks!” We can so tackle all these problems right now.

Obama: Remember 9/11 and all of that coming together stuff? Yeah, Bush screwed up that particular kumbaya moment by not asking Americans to do more for the country. So I’m going to ask Americans to do more for the country. And, by the way, I love oil. And clean coal. And, maybe, nuclear stuff, too. Always have, always will. Buy American! Shout out to the young people!

Question: Not really. This is actually a personal potty break.

Returned: In case you were wondering.

Question: How the hell serious are you about dealing with entitlement programs?

Obama: Pretty serious. Maybe not as serious as you. Pretty serious, though. Straight talk express lost a wheel a few moments ago, though, so eat the rich. If I tell everyone that I won’t raise taxes often enough, maybe they’ll believe me. Did I just say that out loud? And I love small businesses more than McCain does. McCain loves big companies and it isn’t fair. Don’t forget that all of the problems facing the United States are President Bush’s fault. Except for where they are McCain’s fault.

McCain: I’ll actually answer the question. Yes, I’m as serious as you. Gipper! Obama doesn’t reach across the aisle. I do. No problem on Social Security. Medicare could be a bigger one, though. But if we get creative and hold congress to the wheel, we’ll get some results. And don’t forget that Obama votes for tax increases and votes against tax decreases and that’s the truth from the straight talk express. So there.

Question: McCain, how do you keep congress moving with a purpose? I mean, like they did when they saw $700 billion floating around like a free freakin’ drugs?

McCain: Climate change. Nuclear power. It’s safe, it’s clean, it creates jobs, we can re-process, let’s move forward. I’m the real green candidate. What was the question?

Obama: This is another one of the biggest challenges of our time: finding a way to say what McCain said without saying what McCain said. Oh, yeah, that’s right: money. I’ll spend more money than him. I do too like nuclear power. McCain hates the environment secretly and votes against alternative energy all the time. Seriously. Drilling is okay, but we can’t just drill our way out of the problem. Have I said that before? At least I’m not calling myself the freakin’ maverick all the time.

Commentary: Move it along, guys.

Question: Manhattan project or silicon valley to solve the problem?

McCain: Mixed, you know. A little bit of both. And just so you know, when I vote against stuff it’s because there’s a ton of other crap loaded onto the bill. So there. Drilling will help us get from here (dependence) to there (independence). God bless nuclear power.

Question: Tell me about Ayers and Wright.

Heheheh. Just kidding.

Question: Is health care a commodity? Should it be?

Obama: I feel your pain. You’re being crushed under the weight of the lack of my intrusion in your health care plans. So, here’s how I’m going to solve that problem for you: I’m going to spend you into health and happiness. McCain is going to raise your taxes. Don’t forget that.

McCain: Yeah, some of his ideas are okay, but I don’t think that government and mandates are the solution to this particular problem. My plan gives every American a tax break and portability--and that’s way better than mandates. 95% of you will pay the same or less. I’m still not good with jokes, though. Please laugh.

Question: Privilege, right, or responsibility?

McCain: Responsibility on lots of levels. Like

Obama: It’s a right. Everyone should get health care. We’re the wealthiest nation on the planet, so why can’t we afford health care for all. Senator McCain lies. Don’t trust him. I won’t mandate anything and I won’t be mean to anyone who doesn’t need it. Honest. Portability sucks. Government works. Trust the government to solve this problem for you.

Question: With the economy tanking, how can the US be the peacemaker that it needs to be.

McCain: Good question. Without a strong economy, you can’t have a strong military, and we can’t be that force. But I believe in the wise use of our military to answer this question--which is good because what was that question? I love my country, the military, and my own damned mavericky self.

Obama: McCain thinks I don’t understand. Which is true since I don’t understand why someone hasn’t whacked Osama and why we invaded Iraq. His judgement sucks. Don’t trust him with the military. Trust me. I mean, I didn’t actually mean that thing about our military bombing villages and killing babies or whatever the hell it is that I said--I love the military and all of those honorable bastards who are bombing villages and killing babies or whatever the hell it is that I said. And, anyway, why aren’t we bombing villages and killing babies in Darfur instead of Iraq?

Question: Obama or McCain doctrine for use of force outside of national security issues at stake?

Obama: Moral issues are as big as national security issues, so we should commit troops wherever and whenever possible when bad things are happening except for those times when I’m not so sure about what the hell I’m talking about because I don’t actually have an “Obama Doctrine” do I? And that’s what I intend to do when I’m president.

McCain: Obama wanted to wave the white flag and I didn’t. No defeat for me, buddy. We must do whatever we can to prevent genocide and bad stuff as long as we understand the limits of our own capabilities. The first question: can we have some beneficial effect on the situation? Gipper! I’m better at this part than Obama. Big time.

Question: Should the US respect Pakistani sovereignty or should we violate the borders when going after bad guys?

Obama: That’s a tough question and it’s Bush’s fault. In case you were wondering. And the Taliban is stronger than they were in 2001--you know, before we kicked them out of power and knocked them around a bit. And, yes, I will violate that border if I get the chance to kill Obama--I totally don’t respect their sovereignty.

McCain: So, Obama is announcing that he’s going to invade Pakistan even while he’s trying to get them to play nice with us. That sounds like a good idea to you? Please. Anyway, walk softly, carry a big stick, and let’s put things in place that will help us beat the Taliban without having to threaten Pakistan. K?

Obama: I am totally butting in. Look, I want to be very clear: I don’t want to invade Pakistan regardless of what I’ve said in the past. I like mixed messages. The mixier the better. Senator McCain thinks I’m green behind the ears for some reason--remember: bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran. And, anyway, this is all Bush’s fault except for where it is McCain’s fault. And, no, I’m not losing my temper. Why do you ask?

McCain: Dude, you said you’d attack Pakistan. Dude. I’ll do what I need to do, I’ll act responsible, and I’ll get Osama, but I’m not going to telegraph my punches. And that Iran thing was a joke. Get a life.

Question: Afghanistan? What’s up with that?

Obama: Iraq. It’s all because Iraq, damnit. I’ll leave Iraq, put the troops in Afghanistan, and then tell the Afghani government to do a better job.

McCain: Help me Petraeus wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope. And, anyway, Obama isn’t wrong about all of it. Just some of it. The important bits.

Question: Cold War? What’s up with that?

McCain: There is no new war coming, so don’t worry too much about that. Putin...eyes...K...G...B--you fill in the missing bits. Russia isn’t behaving and we have to support Georgia and the Ukraine, we have to hold Russia accountable, and we have to think about NATO membership for some of our friends over there. But a small spanking doesn’t a Cold War make.

Obama: Well, ehhhhhhhhh, Russia is a country. It’s a big country. Yeah, moral support to people is good, Money is better. Let’s give them money and that should solve a lot of the problems. Not sure how much money, but money. That’s the answer. In fact, if I were to think about it, money seems to be my answer to most things. And the next Commander in Chief should be far more psychic than the current administration. I’m psychic. You can tell by the halo.

Question: Gipper! Evil empire?

Obama: No, but they sure do a lot of evil stuff.

McCain: Maybe. I don’t think we need to get into that war of words stuff, but we need to hold the Russkis accountable.

Question: Israel: if Iran attacks, would you immediately defend them or would you wait for the UN to green light it?

McCain: UN? Oh, hell no. Not that Russia would let us do anything in the UN Security Council anyway.  And, yeah, we better pay attention to that, folks.

Obama: I won’t let the UN veto us in acting in our own interests. But we shouldn’t really let ourselves get drawn into a situation like that--which is why I think we should invade Pakistan. If I ramble enough maybe I’ll sound like I have a serious answer and I won’t have to directly answer that whole thing about meeting with bad guys without precondition. And it’s all Bush’s fault. Don’t forget that.

Question: What don’t you know and how will you learn it?

Obama: I’m totally funnier than McCain. I’m going to ramble and not actually answer the question, but I’m going to avoid answering it in a really thoughtful and inspirational way. Because let’s be honest, joking aside, I know it all so why should I pass up on an opportunity to bash the current administration. Hope. Hope with me, my people.

McCain: I don’t know what all of us don’t know: what comes next. I’m totally not psychic. We’re facing a difficult future and I don’t know what to expect next. But I’ve spent my life serving the country, I’ve served through hard times, and I believe in this country’s future and greatness. I am honored to serve and I would like to continue to serve. Vote me.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

12 Observations Evenly Divided Between the Broncos and Other Stuff That Caught My Attention Today

  1. Broncos Find a Defense. The same crew that made KC look like offensive powerhouses last week somehow held Tampa to two field goals over the course of 58 minutes of game play. And they did it by getting pressure on the quarterback, sacking the quarterback, and playing strong against the run. Tampa’s per rush average was good (6.3 yards per carry), but that doesn’t count the times that the Bucs came up empty on third and short through much of the game.
  2. Did They Even Pass on Champ? I know that through much of the first half, the Bucs failed to attempt a pass in Champ Bailey’s direction. Does anyone know if that held throughout the game? I can’t remember. Bailey is having an interesting season. With so few passes against him, he hasn’t made the splashy interceptions or big hits (except when he cheats up for run support--in which case he’s been nothing short of spectacular); but he’s shut down a good chunk of the field every games. He changes the game just by showing up. I wonder if that’s enough to get him into the Pro Bowl this year?
  3. They Picked a Good Time to Show Up. Speaking of the Broncos’ D, it’s a damned good thing they showed up today. The offense was something close to pedestrian. It was nice to see Brandon Stokley have such a solid day, though (six catches for 52 yards and a touchdown). He’s far more talented than some people realize and when Royal went down with an ankle injury the passing game didn’t much suffer.
  4. Jane Smiley is, Indeed, an Idiot. And Steve Green has the proof.
  5. A Musical Abomination. During today’s game, Toyota ran an ad (over and over again, damnit) using the Fixx’s song “Saved by Zero"--a remade, re-imagined, totally screwed up version of the song. In fact, the first time I heard it, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was listening to; it was the second time that the ad came on that I fully realized the horror of what had been done. Presented here is a short playlist of songs from the Fixx that you might remember if you are of a certain age. It doesn’t change Toyota’s screw up, but at least you might enjoy the trip down 80’s Pop Lane.
  6. Sometimes Turnovers Kill, Sometimes They Don’t. One of the Broncos’ big problems last week was the turnovers. Between the two ugly fumbles, Cutler’s pair of bad passes, and the Chiefs the Chief’s aggressive defense, the turnovers hurt bad. Not only did the Broncos take better care of the ball today, but their one turnover didn’t much hurt.
  7. That is Some Serious Free-Range Stupidity. Some days it seems that common sense is dead in the U.S. Know what I mean?
  8. More Stupidity. No, I don’t care if Biden is sporting a little Botox. I do care about fundraising irregularities in the Obama camp, but a little potential vanity on Biden’s part doesn’t quite reach me as a serious voting issue.
  9. What’s With Passing on Third and Short? Last week and this week the Broncos attempted passes on third and short (one or two yards to go) in important situations where grinding out a few first downs could mean a lot in the game. I like the confidence in the passing game, I like the bold play calling through much of the rest of the game, but with a guy like Pittman in the backfield it wouldn’t hurt to use the ground game to control the clock and the pace of the game. And, yeah, I’d probably be saying something very different if they hadn’t failed to convert.
  10. In Case You Missed it... I do care about fundraising irregularities. It’s not a make or break issue (generally), but it matters.
  11. Yeah, Olbermann is an Ass. See what I mean? To be fair, though, I did think that Lowry’s commentary was a bit over the top and the idea of O’Reilly as a debate moderator is laughable. Just sayin’.
  12. A Win is a Win. It wasn’t the most exciting and it wasn’t the prettiest, but it was actually a pretty strong win today for the Broncos. Especially since San Diego and the Chiefs both lost today. The Raiders didn’t fall any further behind, but I have to wonder how they’ll respond to their mid-season coaching change. My guess is that it won’t be pretty.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pre-Debate Thoughts (That Have Nothing to do with the Debate)

Has it struck anyone else that Nancy Pelosi is (spiritually) the very twin of Kyle’s mom?

Just sayin’…

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bringing Out the Worst in People

Sarah Palin is bringing out the very worst--the very ugliest--in people. Not liking her, not liking her politics, not wanting her to be close to the presidency are all things I understand. The political attacks on her record, on her beliefs, and on her qualifications are all fair game. That’s just the nature of politics (and if you think that ours are ugly, you should watch what British papers print about their political leaders).

But hacking email accounts, threatening her with being raped by black men if she ever comes to Manhattan (and what the fuck was up with the racist tones on that little rant?), and Andrew Sullivan’s completely insane insistance that Palin should release medical records and eye witness accounts to prove that her son is, you know, her son were all bad enough. Then there were the folks that insisted she wasn’t really a woman and, perhaps, wasn’t even human. All this animosity driven not by facts or reasonable thought, but by policy disagreements.

But, of course, all politics is personal, or so I’ve heard--and Rep. Alcee Hastings from Florida has made it about as personal as can be.

Rep. Alcee Hastings told an audience of Jewish Democrats Wednesday that they should be wary of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin because “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”

That has to win some kind of award for idiocy in this election and I’m not even sure it deserves a reasoned response. All I can cook up right now is amazement that he would even make that kind of an accusation about Palin--anti-semitism and racism because the woman is a hunter? Sure, Sandra Bernhard insinuates that all the black men in Manhattan want to rape Sarah Palin--and tell me that isn’t playing to some of the worst and most disgusting racist stereotypes--but Alcee decides to paint Palin as a racist and a Jew hater.

Something about that kind of stupidity makes me want to embrace that personal side of political engagement, too. In fact…

Fuck you, Alcee.

Now then, that feels a bit better.

Via Gateway Pundit, who has all the requisite links.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Indeedeheh: The Punting Democrats Edition

When it comes to economic problems, there’s no doubt that the Republicans aren’t blameless, so don’t imagine that I won’t be willing to hold them accountable for their actions--often irresponsible and self-serving--on this issue. But then there’s Harry Reid.

Let’s just say that I agree with a good chunk of this short article from Tom Bemis on MarketWatch.com.

U.S. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has said he doesn’t have a clue about how to fix the financial crisis.

“No one knows what to do. We are in new territory here. This is a different game,” the Democrat from Nevada said late Wednesday. In fact, Congress is likely to do what it usually does when the chips are down—punt.

Still it’s amazing that, in the biggest financial crisis since the Depression, the man in charge of the world’s greatest deliberative body can’t even think of the one thing everybody else has to do when times are tough: cut the budget.

It really isn’t brain surgery; it’s just addition and subtraction—well, really just subtraction.

The problem is, it’s so simple, probably only a hockey mom could understand it.

And that’s the real issue.

I do disagree with one thing, though: Bemis states that he thinks that proclaiming ignorance is a good political move for the Democrats. He might be right, but I can’t imagine that an elected official admitting that he’s clueless on an important issue is ever a good thing. If that casts any kind of a shadow on Obama at all--which, perhaps it doesn’t--then it doesn’t help his presidential bid, does it?

I personally think that Harry Reid just gave the Republicans a gift wrapped pro-McCain ad.

Picture it with somber music, an authoritative voiceover: “The economy is in trouble and our leaders need to take action. What is the Democrat’s plan?”

Harry Reid: “No one knows what to do...”

Voiceover: “Harry Reid and the Democrats aren’t ready to lead on one of the most important issues of our time, but John McCain has a plan to cut government spending, strengthen the economy, and make jobs.”

Seriously. Gift wrapped.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bad Decision Making in the Clinton Camp

Hillary Clinton’s decision to pull out of a rally because Sarah Palin was also scheduled to attend is bad choice on both politics and principles.

Hillary Clinton has pulled out of an appearance at a New York rally next week to protest Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, her aides say because she doesn’t want to be seen alongside Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a “partisan” event.

Several American Jewish groups plan a major rally outside the United Nations on Sept. 22. Clinton had previously accepted the invitation to join, but her aides objected when they learned the Alaska governor will be part of the rally. Palin is also expected to meet with several foreign ministers during the U.N.’s opening General Assembly session.

“Her attendance was news to us, and this was never billed to us as a partisan political event,” Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines said Wednesday. “Sen. Clinton will therefore not be attending.”

Americans like to see politicians put aside politics for principle (which is why the Palin camp’s response, which you can read in the linked article) will go over far better than Hillary’s. While those photo op togetherness moments for our elected overlords itch at the cynical region of my brain, the truth is that most of us still end up thinking happier thoughts when politicians find common ground. Complaints about it being a “partisan” event aren’t going to make the situation better--especially since the organizers were obviously hoping for a bipartisan pair of politicians to support their cause.

While it’s a small thing, I also don’t imagine that it will help Obama or Hillary maintain the Democrat’s traditional advantage in wooing Jewish voters.

Halperin, who is Jewish and called Clinton “a far better candidate” for Democrats than Obama, suggested that her actions could backfire on the Democratic ticket.

“Jews traditionally vote Democratic, and if a major Democratic leader does not join in the fight against Iran, where are those voters going to go?” he asked. “It’s problematic from the very point of view that says you have a national poltical leader who fundamentally is choosing not to stand up against Ahmadenijad.

“It changes my view of (Clinton’s) wisdom, of her ability to take a situation, analyze it and come out on the right side, and that is deeply troubling to almost every voter in America, not just Jewish voters,” Halperin said, adding that Clinton’s move “is the kind of thing” that could tip voters toward McCain.

To me--a conservative Republican, admittedly, so not much Hillary’s target audience--this is a slap in the face to all of us who believe that Iran is a real and credible threat and that the survival of Israel, one of the United States’ very few friends in the region, trumps party politics every time.

To be fair, though, it isn’t as bad a decision as, say, contracting someone to write a new book in the late Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s series. Those books are so tied to his voice and to his skewed world view that it’s hard for me to imagine any other writer doing justice to the subject matter. Perhaps Terry Pratchett but even that seems a stretch.

Perhaps I’m being too pessimistic, but the Spider Robinson/Robert Heinlein abomination left me a little scarred.

Besides, who the hell is Eoin Colfer?

(Thanks, Jerry.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hollywood v/ Palin

Hollywood’s heroes are stepping up the war against Governor Sarah Palin--and eloquence isn’t their friend.

First, Matt Damon demeans Sarah Palin achievements and calls her a mere hockey mom.

“You do the actuary tables and there’s a one-out-of-three chance, if not more, that McCain doesn’t survive his first term and it will be President Palin . . . It’s like a bad Disney movie,” said Damon, who has ponied up $4,600 to Barack Obama this year and $28,500 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

“ ‘I’m just a hockey mom from Alaska.’ And she’s the president,” he continued. “And it’s like she’s facing down Vladimir Putin and using the folksy stuff she learned at the hockey rink. It’s absurd. It’s totally absurd.”

There is nothing to be ashamed of in being a “hockey mom,” but (while he pays lip service to her being “mayor of a really, really small town” and being “governor of Alaska for less than two years") when he sees her as Vice President he sees “just a hockey mom from Alaska.” Her experiences in government and her popularity with the citizens of Alaska just disappear and suddenly Sarah Palin is just a mom shuttling kids to hockey practice and cooking brownies. Given that he doesn’t ask the same question about Obama and his extremely limited governmental experience, I wonder what that says about Matt Damon?

Does it say that he thinks that a man like Obama is automatically more capable of dealing with the Russians that a “mere hockey mom” (who also happens to have stints as both mayor and governor on her CV)? Or is it just that he doesn’t like either Palin or McCain’s politics and he’s grasping for reasons to tear down what he sees as the biggest threat to Obama’s campaign?

Honestly, I have a hard time imagining the former, but the latter is more then enough reason to discount his words. He may not be a sexist pig (hold the lipstick, please), but he’s definitely carrying water for his candidate’s campaign. Luckily, America doesn’t seem to give much notice to its stars’ political opinions.

And Pamela Anderson demonstrates the wisdom of America’s citizens.

The reporter asked Pam if she saw a recent Newsweek article, which showed a gigantic bear hide in the office of Palin’s house.

“I can’t stand her,” Pam blurted out. “She can suck it!”

Which argument makes Matt Damon’s pronouncements look positively brilliant by comparison, especially coming as they do from a woman who made a career from artfully bouncing down beaches on the boob tube, playing second fiddle to David Hasslehoff. Her main claims to fame subsequently are short marriages, explicit tapes, and exceptionally funny taste in men. She’s not what you might call a good role model for young women.

When folks like this take shots at a woman like Palin--especially with arguments like “She can suck it!"--it just increases the public sense that she is one of us. She represents someone who understand our concerns and problems in a way that most actors in Hollywood never will.

Like I said yesterday: Obama’s supporters continue to be the GOP’s best friends. More hearty thanks to Anderson and Damon for helping the cause; we truly appreciate everything you do for us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Joe Biden: Obama’s Bare-Knuckled Blunderer (And How the Race Has Shifted)

The McCain campaign strategy in bringing Sarah Palin on as VP has worked brilliantly to this point. It caught Obama’s people flat-footed, it brought out the worst in her opponents and in some of Obama’s biggest supporters, and it completely stole the spotlight from the DNC. It was as if the left couldn’t even imagine McCain making the pick of a woman as a running mate.

Biden, in contrast, was a safe choice. He was meant to be Obama’s bare-knuckle fighter. Biden was supposed to solve the experience gap. Some people even called Biden a great pick.

Ultimately, he was meant to solve the problem of that famous 3 a.m. call.

During the media roar over Palin--a schizophrenic reaction swinging from digging in the dirt to treating her like a rock star--Biden has almost disappeared. Unfortunately for the Obama camp, when Biden does surface it’s by inviting a paraplegic, wheelchair-bound senator to stand and then admitting that he may not have been the best choice for the job.

“Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States. Let’s get that straight,” Mr. Biden said. “She is qualified to be president of the United States of America. She is easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America, and quite frankly, might’ve been a better pick than me.”

Strangely, I agree with him on at least one part of this: Hillary would have been a better pick.

The biggest mistake of the Obama campaign was in not finding a way to bring Hillary into his camp. It would have brought together a base of voters that would have nearly guaranteed a winning campaign. And to those people who say that there was too much tension between the two camps, I submit that you don’t have to like your VP pick to recognize the smart political choice. The only thing you have to do is trust them to act in to help carry your policies forward in office and trust that they will help you win the election. Hillary, out of a sheer sense of political self-preservation, would have done both.

No matter how you view the Biden pick, it was still a dumb thing to say and it gave even more ammunition to the Democrats’ opponents--the same opponents who grabbed onto Biden’s earlier statements about Obama’s lack of experience. Right now, small mistakes and tiny flubs are being magnified in no small part because the party of the left seems to be floundering and unsure of itself.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that some of Obama’s biggest supporters are becoming the GOP’s best (if inadvertent) friends.

Thanks, folks. From those of us on the right, I’d like to let you know that we appreciate your hard work.

While Obama may be laying claim to being the one, the only Gaffe-O-Matic, Biden has shown himself to be a bare-knuckled blunderer. He was meant to shore up Obama’s weaknesses, but, in retrospect, he’s just magnifying the sense that Obama isnt quite ready for prime time. Biden was an overly safe pick for a wildly exciting candidate--and likely an irreversible one.

I know some folks are suggesting that Obama will “throw Biden under the bus,” but that would be political suicide. It would be more evidence (especially in the face of McCain’s inspired choice) that Obama isn’t quite up to the job and a “me too” invitation to Hillary would be an offensive and desperate decision that would relegate Hillary to the position of token woman. Can anyone possibly imagine that it would help save Obama? I think it would damn him to also-run status.

The only way that Obama negates the Palin pick isn’t by switching his old white guy for a woman; he negates the Palin pick by discrediting the pick--which, of course, runs the risk of demeaning or diminishing women.

The McCain camp moved brilliantly to grab the media and the country. Obama will be walking a tightrope as he works to discredit Palin and risks angering women who had overwhelmingly supported him earlier in the election cycle. Not only that, but the Democrat’s presidential nominee is campaigning against the Republican’s vice presidential nominee--a situation that distracts the Obama camp from what is arguably the more important target, but also diminishes Obama to comparisons with the GOP number two. Biden, if he didn’t say crazy stuff like he did today, would be nearly invisible in the race at this point.

With just a few months to go, the GOP is working to consolidate small leads, take back some of the battleground states, and force Obama to spend more time and money in states that his folks probably considered safe.

Far left hand-wringing aside, nothing is decided. There is a lot of time for the race to tip one way or the other and it’s hard to predict whose voters will actually show up at the booth. While Obama tries to figure out the Palin puzzle, though, McCain has solidified a good portion of the Republican base and is making serious inroads in wooing independents to the cause.

But from a strategic standpoint, the Sarah Palin pick was a bold, exciting, and utterly brilliant bit of political maneuvering by the McCain camp--and that’s not even having discussed the message that it sends to the Republican party about the kind of leaders that the GOP is promoting right now.

Again I say: Palin - Jindal 2012.

Monday, September 08, 2008

On Obama: No Secret Muslim

Is Obama an undercover Muslim?

I don’t see what benefit there is for the GOP in focusing on Obama’s verbal gaffe--a small mistake that reinforced the questions some people have been asking about his religious beliefs--and obsessing about whether he is secretly Muslim. A little bit of confusion during a conversation does not qualify as evidence; a lengthy membership in a Christian church (even one that many of us find repulsive) is a far more convincing measure of his convictions. Of course, that works both in the positive (for those that care, it should be reassuring that he is a Christian) and in the negative (for those that care, and I am one of them, the long association with the church implies some philosophical questions, as well).

Beyond that, though, it distracts from real issues and the real differences between the candidates. With momentum on the side of the Republicans after Sarah Palin’s introduction to the country, getting stuck in this dead end conversation only blunts the forward motion.

Hell, for that matter, I wouldn’t much care if Obama were a Muslim. While I’m fairly sure that America isn’t ready to vote a Muslim into office, I can’t personally see that it would change my vote, and not just because I’m not planning to vote for the guy. Atheist, agnostic, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Toaist--I don’t really care. The only question to me is whether a candidates political philosophies and policies match the template I’m shopping for.

For me, Obama isn’t that guy regardless of how he chooses to worship. 

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It’s a Shame About Palin…

Shame that conservatives hate women so damned much. This Palin person might have a good future ahead of her otherwise.


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