Sunday, September 28, 2008

Memo to McCain:

The word "failure" contains an "L." It is pronounced "fayl-yur" not "fay-yur."
That is all.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Help me out here...

There is a certain segment of the population that will watch this video and still think the McCain campaign didn't show themselves to be a dangerously impulsive pack of incompetents by choosing Sarah Palin as their VP nominee. Then there are people like me who will laugh so hard they almost throw up-then be so bone-deep petrified at the prospect of this whoopie-cushion of a nominee being so close to the Oval Office she can almost smell Richard Nixon's boozy breath lingering in the air that they actually throw up.

One group is right and one group is so wrong that they should never be trusted on any matter ever again. I'm solidly in the latter category, so I have no objectivity left. I don't have a perch from which to make sober assessments. So help me out. Watch the video and tell me if my terror or their glee is the rational response.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


John McCain's "suspension" of his campaign and his attempt to postpone the debate is absurd. This will be the thing that people focus on when they try to figure out where it all went wrong. It's a shame, really, because the question of where it all went wrong will be one with a longer, more detailed, and way more illuminating answer.

If you need a recommendation of where to go for sharp analysis of this BS, I recommend following the shenanigans over at TPM.

Update: Jed sums up my feelings about as well as someone living outside of my head can:
What we are witnessing right now is what a McCain presidency would be like -- herky jerky, bouncing from crisis to crisis, overreacting at every step.

It's taken him exactly ten days to go from the economy is strong to we're heading into the Great Depression and must stop the campaign.

But nothing has changed other than the polls, and that's why it's impossible to take this gamble seriously.

McCain can see that he cannot win the presidency unless the campaign narrative changes dramatically, so he's decided to roll the dice.

After all his talk of bipartisanship, John McCain has decided to make an intensely political move. He does not have a plan, but he's willing to drag the country through his personal drama, no matter the cost, just so that he might win the presidency.

McCain wants to demonstrate his leadership skills, but instead he's demonstrating beyond any doubt that he is temperamentally unfit to be president.

I believe it's called "flailing."

Monday, September 22, 2008

The dreamlife of a crazy man

"No one wants to hear what you dreamt about, unless you dreamt about...them..."

-Built to Spill, Made Up Dreams

So I'm still in California. Northern, now (Oakland to be exact). I'm crashing on a friend's couch. Maybe this partly explains the oddity of the dream I had last night. But mostly, I think it's just that I'm a little nuts.

In this dream I was hanging out at Sarah Palin's house with her kids. They weren't her real kids, or her real house (as far as I know), but I just knew that was the situation like you do in dreams. I was apparently a high school classmate of one of Palin's daughters. Whether I was dreaming a made up adolescence in Alaska or the Palins had been relocated to early 90's Orange County, I don't know.

Either way, I was aware (again, as you often are aware in dreams about unstated things) that Palin's daughter had a crush on me that I didn't share. But she was my friend and I thought she was a very nice girl. So we're hanging out and Sarah Palin is basically just a presence in the background talking to official-looking people in the other room. The daughter asks me if I want to go check out the "grow room." When I say "OK," she makes me swear not to tell anyone about this. I agree.

So we go into this room off of the kitchen that is more like a cinderblock warehouse. It is filled with marijuana plants in terra cotta pots. There is also a swimming pool near the door and a bunch of garbage bags full of cultivated, dried out, weed, ready to smoke or sell.

As the daughter is pulling buds out of one of the trash bags to show me the quality, Sarah Palin and the officials she'd been talking to walk in. She looks like she does on the stump and they are dressed in conservative but sharp gray suits.

Sarah Palin yells at the daughter that she knows this place is off limits and to get the hell out. We leave, and the daughter tells me again that I have to promise not to tell anyone and that I should go.

As I'm leaving, I'm thinking that I made a promise to this girl whose only misstep was to have a crush on me, so I really should just keep this under my hat. But then I think, revealing the grass-growing operation could finally sink the McCain candidacy, so I almost have to spill the beans. But then again, I think, I don't really have a problem with people growing pot, so it would be massively hypocritical of me to let it out. Besides who can I tell? I can't trust the cops because they want McCain to win, so they'll just hush it up. I don't know any reporters, and they can't prove that the operation exists even if I do.

Then it dawns on me that the gray-suited men are going to remove any trace of the grow room and then probably hunt me down and kill me.

Then I woke up.

Make of that what you will, but I think it was a delightfully surreal way to spend a short spell of unconsciousness. At the very least it tells me that I have a truly massive ego and that I need to avoid eating burritos at night.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Let's hope so

This photo is from an anti-Palin rally in Alaska. That about says it all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some music

I post this for no other reason than because it's really, really great. I'm a huge Johnny Cash fan and an almost equally huge John Hartford fan, and I've never been hipped to this. I now have and so have you. Enjoy...

For your consideration

I've been on another vacation the last few days (oh the benefits of a late start date at work...). I'm in California, currently in Orange County where I grew up. Next week I'll be in the Bay Area, where I lived before moving to New York (and where I will in all likelihood wind up again at some point).

I really don't have a lot to add to the accelerating media narrative of John McCain being a liar. He just is, dammit, and thankfully the idea seems to be sinking in.

What I do have to add is a plea on behalf of Debbie Cook. She's the current mayor of Huntington Beach, where I grew up, and she's running for congress against Dana Rohrbacher. He's been in congress since before I moved away and he's been a boil on the ass of our republic for a long time.

Orange County is a weird place. It's an island of right-wingeriness in the middle of California. But it's not Mississippi. I grew up here (I say "here" because I'm in OC now) and I'm not a dittohead. I know a lot of people here who are anything but conservative. If the voters of Orange County can pull it together enough to kick B-1 Bob Dornan to the electoral curb, they can give Rohrbacher his walking papers. And in Debbie Cook, I believe the perfect opportunity to do just that has presented itself.

Cook is not only better than Rohrbacher (faint praise indeed), she would be a truly stellar member of Congress. The House of Representatives would be a better place for her influence by several orders of magnitude.

So, if you can kick a little cash her way, please do. She could use it and it would be such a kick in the Republicans' collective groin take back the California 46th. Also, if you're in a safe Obama state and your Congressional district would sooner secede from the union than go Republican, please consider putting Debbie Cook on your "volunteer time to put in on election day" list. I know I will and I personally can't wait to crow about Rohrbacher, the torture apologist, getting his electoral comeuppance in November.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Maybe I'm juvenile, but when I see the clips from Sarah Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson

I keep thinking of this:

"In what respect, Chaaaaarrrrrlie?"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This is telling

This interview with Bob Woodward stood out for me for a lot of obvious reasons. One of the most frightening things revealed is that George W. Bush apparently thinks winning a counterinsurgency is a simple matter of tallying up the dead on both sides. Whoever's number is lowest wins. Never mind pesky things like blowback and creating more insurgents/terrorists by the very methods that sort of mindset argues in favor of. Watch the whole thing:

H/T Crooks and Liars.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm Danger Zone Johnny and I have the integrity of a hyena

It seems pretty clear to me at this point that the McCain campaign is trying to bring this campaign into the swamp of personal animosity. They certainly have done so on their side. They have opted for a strategy of trying to make this a tit-for-tat poop-flinging contest. That allows Obama's central theme of being a grownup running to fix serious problems to be diluted or destroyed. If that happens, all there is to argue about is experience as the McCain campaign defines it. That is not winning ground for Obama.

1. This is not surprising. McCain has hired Karl Rove proteges to run his campaign. That's what they do.

2. McCain desperately needs to keep this campaign away from issues. He will lose on the issues. When large majorities of Americans disapprove of President Bush and McCain wants to adopt essentially all of his policies-the issues are not his friends. When McCain refuses to support updating the GI Bill to have it actually help returning veterans in a meaningful way-issues are not his friends.

So, yeah. McCain does not want this election to be about issues.

3. When you want to keep an election away from issues, you lie, insult, and try to get the other guy to do the same thing. McCain has done just that. From the repeated outright lying on this "bridge to nowhere" nonsense, to his latest ad about Obama wanting to teach kindergarteners about the finer points of fellatio, he's dragging this one into the depths of the political scum swamp.

4. What to do? Let him. John McCain has built his political persona on being above this hyper-partisan, red-meat-for-the-salivating-base approach. And while Democrats have been shouting from the rooftops that McCain is not that person anymore, nothing proves the point like ol' Danger Zone himself hopping into the Rove wallow and snorting about in the filth for all to see. The Republicans have gone to that well too many times, and it's simply not full enough to do it for them anymore. All it's going to do this time around is prove our point.

Moreover, Obama built his primary victory on superior organizing on the ground and that's where this one's going to be won as well. All of the polls people are fretting about are based on tried and true methods but we are dealing with a vastly larger voter pool this time around. I believe that the polls are showing this race to be tighter than it actually is. After all, in the Democratic primaries in every state in the union the turnout was record breaking. And since May, the Obama campaign has been working hard to register even more voters in every state. I don't think Obama's confident smile as he was being interviewed by Keith Olbermann the other night was unfounded optimism or a veneer. I think he has faith in the campaign apparatus he's built. And so do I.

So by all means, get mad. Call McCain out as the liar and Bush clone he is. Call him "unfit for high office," as he surely is. But more importantly, help out in the push to register voters. Give money to the campaign so they can organize teams of election monitors and lawyers to keep those registration gains on election day. If you're tapped out, do some phone banking. But most importantly, don't get lost in gloom based on what some polls say. As The Littlest Gator over at the Group News Blog says: "Dammit dig in and fight harder. There is a long tradition of Liberals in American fighting for what is right, what is good for the people, what is fair and kind and what just makes sense." Remember that. If the people who brought you the forty hour work week, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and female suffrage persevered in the face of brickbats and lynchings, we can stiffen our spines in the face of some tight polling numbers and make the change we want to see happen.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Talk to me Goose

This video about sums it up. And I will henceforth refer to John McCain as John "Danger Zone" McCain.
See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Know any women swayed by Palin?

Here's what you tell 'em: Under her mayorship, the town of Wasilla forced rape victims to pay for their forensic medical tests. It saved the taxpayers money, you see. Except for the taxpayers who were raped. And the other taxpayers that were raped because the original rapists weren't brought to justice because the victim couldn't afford to collect the evidence to prosecute. Yeah, she's like a pit bull alright...the kind that eats children.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A little late night TV

I'm watching Real Time with Bill Maher and there are 2 things that really stand out to me:

1) Michael Steele has a profound problem with logical reasoning (or at least doesn't mind if viewers think so). He basically said that Sarah Palin being a mother and a coach is relevant experience for the job of Vice President of the United States, while Obama being a community organizer is not relevant experience for the office of President. Sharp as a beach ball.

2) There was a brief clip of Dan Savage talking to Tucker Carlson and Carlson was leaning away like Savage had smallpox and halitosis. Usually "homophobia" doesn't refer to actual terror, but Carlson is clearly homophobic in that he is phobic about homos. He's also a tool, but for my current purpose, that's neither here nor there.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Yes, please which Joe Biden calmly and cogently explains that any crimes by members of the Bush administration will be pursued after they leave office. Here's hoping this isn't mere puffery and that it isn't contingent on any particular election outcome.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A quick thought about the Palin pick

Is it possible that the McCain campaign (and more likely, the RNC) chose Palin as a means to save the Alaska senate seat for the Republicans?

I just saw Chuck Todd and John Harwood on MSNBC saying that the McCain campaign is touting a post-Palin bump in the polls in Alaska. They wondered why the campaign would have spent money on a poll in a state as solidly red as Alaska. But it occurs to me that even if the presidential race isn't exactly tight there (and the polls have been tighter than anyone would have guessed), putting Palin on the ticket would get Alaskan Republicans out to the polls, and potentially create some coat-tails for Ted Stevens.

Even if McCain loses, this could prevent the Democrat Mark Begich from capturing what before Senator Stevens's indictment, was considered a long shot victory in the Alaska senate race. I guess it makes some sense for the NRSC to stem the bleeding wherever possible.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fred Thompson and Joe Lieberman

H/T Al Giordano

By way of explanation

Obviously, I'm back. And just as obviously, I was gone from ye olde blogosphere for a little while.

But contrary to Brendan's (AKA my only reader-holla!) suggestion, I have not lost my will to blog.

I had very good reasons not to be blogging for a few months. First, I had to deal with the last set of exams of my law school career. Studying for them and taking them took a few weeks (BTW, all was well and I graduated magna cum laude). From there and through the end of July, I was studying for and taking the New York Bar Exam. A more diabolical test of one's ability to soldier on through boredom and monotony has yet to be devised. But after the exam was out of the way, the missus and I embarked on a weeks-long road trip through the south. Fourteen states, 3500 miles, and several tons of the best food I've ever eaten later, and here I am. I may have more to say about that later, but for now let me just say that I love barbecue, fried chicken, bourbon, road trips, and Mrs. Jilliker, so it was one hell of a way to end the summer.

That explanation out of the way, I have the month of September free before I start work, so I should be much more prolific in the coming weeks. Clearly I've come back at a good time.

...and Lieberman...

All I can think of as I watch Joe Lieberman speak is the poor Connecticut sucker who voted for him in 2006 hoping he would act like a Democrat. That guy's gotta be pissed.

update (10:48 EDT):
Speaking of irony, the crowd who only two hours before were shouting huzzahs and hosanas at the President now shouting approval at Lieberman's praise of bi (and non) partisanship.

On watching the RNC

As I watched Fred Thompson go through the story of John McCain's time as a POW I was struck most by the audience shots. The same people with tears running down their faces are the same hooting troglodytes that are first to the barricades anytime anyone has the temerity to insinuate that our military should stop torturing the prisoners in our military prisons.

And their faces betray no trace of appreciation of the irony. If it wasn't the very definition of the word tragic, it would be funny.