Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Truth in Advertising" Takes Another Hit

From an announcement that Pajamas Media is launching their own web TV thing (okay, that's funny all by itself), this:

CLICK to see exciting new participants, including Jeb Bush and Fred and Jeri Thompson.

(h/t: James Wolcott)

Evolving Euphemisms

Another line from the same article as in the last post:

… Mr. McCain, Mr. Graham and Mr. Lieberman are longtime traveling companions …

Remember when everyone used to talk about Martina Navratilova's traveling companion (wink, wink), Judy Nelson?

Sorry to put that three-way image into your mind.

[Added] I'm not the only one to have noticed, apparently.

Not Necessarily About Palin (he snickered)

I make them [decisions] as quickly as I can, quicker than the other fellow, if I can. Often my haste is a mistake, but I live with the consequences without complaint.
-- John McCain, 2002

But can the country?

Follow the link if you want more (discouraging) details on how John McCain picked his running mate.

(h/t: Instaputz)

John McWhorter on The Colbert Report

Ruh-Roh

Roger Ailes (the trustworthy one) discovers a dark secret about Sarah Palin that seems to have been missed by the extensive vetting process that McCain put her through.

Line of the Day: 2008-08-31

I just wish someone had told me that entropy was going to be logarithmic when I still had the liver for binge drinking.
-- R. Porrofatto

Runner up:

(... Jewel, on the other hand, is no Suzanne Somers.)
-- ibid.

FileZilla 3.1.2 Released

The FTP client FileZilla has released a upgrade to fix a couple of minor bugs. These don't appear security-related, but the upgrade is painless, so you might as well do it. Here's how.

Launch FileZilla. If you have automatic updates turned on, you'll be prompted to start the upgrade. If not, Help → Check for Updates ought to get you squared away. You'll be walked through the installation in the usual way. Probably you'll want to keep your existing settings (the default). Basically, clicking "Next" every time will do what you want.

When installation is completed, the program won't restart automatically. Just start it the way you always do.

If the built-in update procedure doesn't work for you, you can download the latest version directly, by visiting the FileZilla home page.

ShareThis Button Added

I have just added a ShareThis button to this blog. This is a widget that allows you to share posts. If you look at the bottom of each post (but above the comments, if you're looking at a single post page), you'll see something that looks like this:

ShareThis button


Click on it (not the picture above, but the icon at the bottom of any post) to send a link to the post via email or instant messaging, to copy the link to your own blog, or to add it to various bookmark sharing sites like Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon.

I don't have any experience with social bookmarking, but I have just used this button to send a link by email, and to add it to my MySpace and Facebook pages, and that all went well.

Try it out, if you like, and let me know how it goes. Thanks.

Want more info? Start at the ShareThis FAQ pages.


[Added] Ocean asked in the comments about registration, which I should have said something about earlier. As far as I can tell, you don't need to be registered with ShareThis to use the widget and some of its functionality; e.g., to send a link by email or to copy the link for your own blogging purposes. However, if you want to post the link on, say, Digg, you'll have to register with Digg, and similarly for other social bookmarking sites. That registration process can happen as part of clicking the ShareThis button; i.e., you don't have to go away, register at the social bookmarking site, and then come back. Ditto with the various sign-in procedures -- I was able to post a link to my Facebook page without first being signed in -- it all worked in line, as expected, after clicking the ShareThis button. (Thanks, O.)

I Tried to Be Serious, But They Just Won't Let Me

In my last post, I took the attitude that prominent bloggers on the right, while insulated and oversensitive, may someday be amenable to reasoned debate. But TBogg quashed that mood by catching the latest example of the paranoia riddling Little Green Footballs and sites who follow its lead. You'll have to wade through some geekery, but it's worth it for the laughs.

You'll note that TBogg doesn't give a link to the LGF post. This is not a violation of blogospheric protocol. It turns out that Charles Johnson, the proprietor of LGF, is so sensitive that he has set up his site to redirect links coming from sites that mock him. TBogg has long been On The List; Sadly, No! and LGF Watch have been similarly banished. This says a lot about the inability of the far right to tolerate dissent, doesn't it?

Anyway, if you want to see the LGF post to which TBogg refers, here's the link:
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31096_Whos_Behind_Anti-Palin_Smear_Site.

I doubt I'll ever rise to the stature of Those Who Must Not Point, but if you click that link and find yourself watching a stupid Flash animation or looking at the web site for the IDF, try copying and pasting the link instead.

It's worth browsing the comments on the LGF post, too, if you're unaware of just how unhinged wingnuts can get when left alone to stew in each other's juices. For example …

wright1 says:

Interestingly, a lot of the tactics on the left are right out of the nazi/fascist propagandist textbooks: lie, smear, lie, plausible deniability then lie, smear and lie some more

Taqyia2Me says:

Yet another thread that will be forwarded to my entire email address list.

Tells you something about those emails we keeping hearing about, doesn't it?

Dwayne says:

As a gay man, I am convinced that the true jackbooted thugs in America are people found on the left. And if any gay man or woman out there reading this doubts me, just try disagreeing with someone on the left who knows you're gay, and there is a pretty good chance those supposedly tolerant and openminded people will suddenly turn into a raging homophobe.

Eventually, they work their way around to the best way to deal with the coming Obama-led fascist state.

The Other Les says:

AKs make fine hunting rifles. at least that's what i say when people ask why i have one.

At a relatively short range, certainly.

I keep one within arm's reach as I type this in at this moment.

And so on. There are another 540 or so comments along these lines, for your reading pleasure. Ahem.

As a palate cleanser, see also TBogg's "Mooseketeers." It may set a new record for Awwww.

Blasts from the Past

I've been noticing an increasing tendency among those on the right to respond to any sort of criticism or mockery as "fascism" and "censorship," an attempt to "silence our voices." (e.g.) Perhaps this is one of those tropes that spread like opportunistic infections among the incestuous rightosphere. Or maybe it says something a little deeper -- a collective response to their awareness that the conservative stranglehold on the discourse is at long last being loosened. If so, perhaps it's the case that the rightwing bloviators have had it too soft for too long, and they've lost their callouses in the absence of any abrasion. Or maybe they've always had thin skins, and I'm just now noticing.

I had hopes for a time that the Pantload's magnum opus would have one positive effect: causing the word fascism to become so meaningless that we could just discard it. So much for dreams. It seems instead to have given permission to every whining wingnut with a keyboard to use it as often as John McCain says POW.

I've been wasting too many electrons on the BloggingHeads.tv forums and elsewhere trying to make clear the difference between disagreement and censorship, between snark and authoritarianism. To that end, I wanted to note some eloquent essays from long ago (in Internet time) that argue the same idea, that I just happened across.

To give a little context, a guy named Lee Siegel used to write a blog on culture for The New Republic's website. At one point, back in 2006, in reaction to the netroots-fueled movement to defeat Joe Lieberman's bid to retain his Senate seat, Siegel let loose a couple of bilious burps equating bloggers with Hitler and baseball caps with jackboots. Or something like that. Hilarity ensued, of course, but many also took the occasion to pause their goosestepping and put some real effort into rebutting Siegel's rants. See hilzoy, Yglesias, and Wolcott for three examples of what I am trying to say, done much, much better.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Watch This

Carl Zimmer and Richard Preston on BloggingHeads.tv


I've got a suggestion for a great way to spend fifty minutes: go watch the diavlog between Carl Zimmer and Richard Preston on BloggingHeads.tv.

Zimmer and Preston are two outstanding science writers. You might know Zimmer from books of his such as Parasite Rex and Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life, his contributions to The New York Times, and his delightful blog, The Loom.

You might know Preston from books of his such as The Hot Zone and The Cobra Event, as well as his regular contributions to The New Yorker.

Their diavlog is structured as a loose interview of Preston by Zimmer. They start by discussing some of the essays in Preston's new book, Panic in Level 4, and then go on to talk about the art and craft of science writing. Topics covered include self-cannibalism, how humans have sex at the top of a tree, and worries about being evicted from your apartment for calculating too many digits of pi. It's just an absolutely wonderful conversation to hear.

More information, including links to all of their books, is available by visiting Carl Zimmer's web site and Richard Preston's web site.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bouncy, Bouncy

I place very little stock in national polls, particularly this far from Election Day. But still, every now and again, you catch a little nugget and you like to savor it for a minute.

Over the past few days, Obama's support among conservative Democrats has jumped from 63% to 77%:

Obama gains among conservative Democrats

(click pic to enlarge)


Overall, among all voters, he has opened up a nice 8% lead:

Obama +8% Nationwide

(click pic to enlarge)



(h/t: No More Mister Nice Blog)

CPAC Blogger of the Year, Don't Forget

And Kevin K. of Rumproast helps us understand why.

How Does Palin as Running Mate Help?

Really, the only way I think this helps the ticket is that the McCain campaign can now feign outrage over alleged sexist remarks at the same time they are on the fainting couches decrying some mythical slight to McCain’s honor.
-- John Cole

It Gets Worse

Palin appears to be a global warming denier.

There Goes the PUMA Vote

All 132 of them, anyway.

Headline:

Palin didn’t like Hillary Clinton’s ‘perceived whine.’

Details plus video.

I give it two hours before the mewers on PUMAPac and Flowbee's House of Crazy start talking about her as "Obamabot." Or dismiss her as a plant by the Obama-Pelosi-Dean axis of secret world domination. You think I'm kidding? I would bet even money on this.

But Back To Last Night

ThinkProgress reports:

Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) acceptance speech last night reached a quarter of America’s households, according to Nielsen Media Research. In all, with over 38 million viewers, “more people watched Obama speak than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, the final “American Idol” or the Academy Awards this year.” The AP notes that “Obama’s audience might be higher,” since Nielsen didn’t estimate how many people watched on PBS or C-SPAN.

And don't forget about all the super-cool elites who don't have TVs and instead watched the live stream of the convention on their computers.

Or dorks, if you prefer. I'm cool with labels.

Okay, This Is Troubling

Word 'round the campfire is that McCain had met Palin once, and talked to her once on the phone, before picking her as his running mate.

Kevin Drum has links a-plenty, and adds this thought:

This is all part of what I was talking about the other day when I noted that McCain is running such a palpably unserious campaign. Steve Schmidt seems solely interested in winning the daily news cycle; his staff spends its time gleefully churning out juvenile attack videos; McCain himself has retreated into robotic incantations of simpleminded talking points; and now he's chosen a manifestly unqualified VP that he knows nothing about. I've honestly never seen anything like it.

Drum starts off with serious misgivings about Palin's cluelessness about Iraq, too. Worth a read, for sure.

And speaking of unserious, here's Sarah Palin's blog. Unseriously.

More Goldbergian Wisdom

Following up from earlier, doesn't this line just say it all about the Pantload?

... she's an exciting, exotic (yet heartlandish) female pick.

Forget Her Looks ...

... this, from back on October 2006, is ugly:

The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor's race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state's public classrooms.

On a related note, I wonder how well the webservers are holding up at the Anchorage Daily News.

(h/t: Andrew Sullivan)


[Update] Bumped up from the comments:

Everyone is trying to paint her with this, BJ, but I think it's completely untrue.

If I had to guess, she's for teaching ONLY creationism in schools.
-- John Evo

Heh, indeed.

Sully plays an ace.

Idle Thought

Is Hawaii still "exotic" if Alaska is part of "regular America?"

(Inspired by.)

The Spanking of the Wingnut

Althouse meltdownIf you feel about Ann Althouse the way I feel about Ann Althouse, you'll love Nicole Belle's brilliant piece of snark.

Althouse is predictably outraged, outraged, over this piece. I won't link to her sputtering reaction on her blog, because she hates when you won't link to her, and I know she's reading this right now, because she has a Google Alert set up to notify her of every last mention of her name online. Hi, Ann!


[Added] Who knew? l@lhouse! l@lhouse!


(pic. source (screen grab from video))

Here's Johnny!

Here's Johnny McCain!


I noted a while back that the man who used to be known for his Straight TalkTM doesn't spend so much time with the press these days. And now, maybe we see why. Check out this meltdown interview with James Carney and Michael Scherer of Time. They politely call it "prickly." I call it the Real McCain.


(h/t: Defective Yeti | pic. source)

A Very Serious, Thoughtful Juxtaposition

Partial screen grab from last night, while checking the Amazon sales rank of Jerome Corsi's big bucket o' lies:

Jonah Goldberg in good company


But wouldn't Lucianne be proud of her little Pantload?

P.S. happy sign: Googling the older wingnut returns as top results:

  1. Wikipedia entry
  2. Debunking from Media Matters
  3. Criticism from another conservative
  4. An exposé of Corsi's past doings

Great Moments from the Erstwhile Wooden Man

Forgot about this. From Al Gore, speaking earlier in the night (before Obama's speech):

Today, we face essentially the same choice we faced in 2000, though it may be even more obvious now – because John McCain, a man who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them, the same policies all over again?

Hey, I believe in recycling, but that’s ridiculous.

I didn't want to post Al Gore's speech on The Night, but it's a good one. (And no PowerPoint slides!) Watch a key clip here, and then follow the link underneath the video box for the whole thing.

Nice to See The NYT is Reading Balloon Juice

While John Cole was preparing to liveblog Obama's acceptance speech:

6:20 pm- Might as well start early, as it is going to be a long night. To start, a true conversation I just had with my mother:

Mom: So, are you going to watch tonight?

Me: Sure. It will be great political theater, and regardless of your politics, it is a historic first for the country that you want to experience.

Mom: Oh. I was talking about the Steelers (pre-season game).

Congratulations, John. We knew you way back when.


And as long as we're here ...

From later on, direct from the source:

8:23 pm- Bill Richardson: “John McCain can pay hundreds of dollars for his shoes, but we’re the ones who will pay for his flip flops.” Heh.

And:

The best thing about the night- as the press is dissecting Obama’s masterful performance, I flipped to a panel on PBS about the speech. Dolores Kearns Goodwin was talking at length, in the shadow of the Obama speech, that McCain needs to show he can use a teleprompter.

McCain Picks Palin (Updated)

Couple of quick thoughts on the new news:

I had speculated in various forum discussions that this would be a smart pick for McCain if he believed there are large numbers of Hillarhoids. I think those numbers are far smaller than the MSM likes to pretend, as you might recall.

The first downside that comes to my mind is that the "inexperience" card, as an attack on Barack, is now off the table. As soon as the GOP tries to play it, you point to she who would be successor should anything happen to the 97-year-old McCain. Anybody? Anybody? Anyb …

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, said in a statement.

I do like me some rapid response.

And regarding the non-choice of Tim Pawlenty, if I were a wingnut blogger, I would say that McCain just threw the state of Minnesota under the bus. But I'm not. I'm a proud moonbat. Besides, I hate that expression.


On a related note, I saw this last night:

If you're bummed about not getting a ticket to watch the Obama speech at the Invesco Center, you'll be happy to know they're still giving away tickets for John McCain's veep announcement tomorrow at the aptly-named 12,000 seat Nutter Center.
-- Josh Marshall

Barack Obama:Acceptance Speech
2008 Democratic National Convention

I can't add anything to this:

(alt. video link: to be added, visit msnbc.com if you can't see the above)


But you know who can add something to this? Andrew Sullivan, that's who. I have no idea how he wrote something this good, this fast. (Andrew: I hope you don't mind that I posted the whole thing. I wanted a copy for myself, as soon as Twin let me know about it.)


Barack Obama, accepting the nomination, 2008


The Hope We Confess   (Andrew Sullivan)

It was a deeply substantive speech, full of policy detail, full of people other than the candidate, centered overwhelmingly on domestic economic anxiety. It was a liberal speech, more unabashedly, unashamedly liberal than any Democratic acceptance speech since the great era of American liberalism. But it made the case for that liberalism - in the context of the decline of the American dream, and the rise of cynicism and the collapse of cultural unity. His ability to portray that liberalism as a patriotic, unifying, ennobling tradition makes him the most lethal and remarkable Democratic figure since John F Kennedy.

What he didn't do was give an airy, abstract, dreamy confection of rhetoric. The McCain campaign set Obama up as a celebrity airhead, a Paris Hilton of wealth and elitism. And he let them portray him that way, and let them over-reach, and let them punch him again and again ... and then he turned around and destroyed them. If the Rove Republicans thought they were playing with a patsy, they just got a reality check.

He took every assault on him and turned them around. He showed not just that he understood the experience of many middle class Americans, but that he understood how the Republicans have succeeded in smearing him. And he didn't shrink from the personal charges; he rebutted them. Whoever else this was, it was not Adlai Stevenson. It was not Jimmy Carter. And it was less afraid and less calculating than Bill Clinton.

Above all, he took on national security - face on, full-throttle, enraged, as we should all be, at how disastrously American power has been handled these past eight years. He owned this issue in a way that no Democrat has owned it since Kennedy. That's a transformative event. To my mind, it is vital that both parties get to own the war on Jihadist terror and that we escape this awful Rove-Morris trap that poisons the discourse into narrow and petty partisan abuse of patriotism. Obama did this tonight. We are in his debt.

Look: I'm biased at this point. I'm one of those people, deeply distressed at what has happened to America, deeply ashamed of my own misjudgments, who has shifted out of my ideological comfort zone because this man seems different to me, and this moment in history seems different to me. I'm not sure we have many more chances to get off the addiction to foreign oil, to prevent a calamitous terrorist attack, to restore constitutional balance in the hurricane of a terror war.

I've said it before - months and months ago. I should say it again tonight. This is a remarkable man at a vital moment. America would be crazy to throw this opportunity away. America must not throw this opportunity away.

Know hope.

(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty.)


[Added] Andrew has the full text of the speech, posted here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The New Black is the New Black

Thoreau: Not by the color of his skin but the arugula-laden contents of his recycled Whole Foods grocery bags.

Just Checking

You're already subscribed to Doghouse Riley, right? And snarf up the latest as soon as they're posted, right? So my linking to

and

and

just to name the latest three, would be superfluous, right?

Okay, good.

Tales From the Spell-Checker

I just had occasion to use the word deniability in an email. Thunderbird gave it the red underline. Before adding the word to my "personal dictionary," I figured, hey, I don't know how else it could be spelled, but why not Google it just to be sure?

In retrospect, it didn't surprise me, but I was at least a little saddened to see the results returned were dominated by plausible deniability.

See what happens when you let Republicans into the White House?

Cenk Uygur Interviews Bill Burton

It's been an acknowledged truth, for years now, that Jon Stewart is one of the best interviewers of politicians anywhere on TV. Jokes aside, Stewart asks more real questions than any ten of the blow-dried set who never miss a chance to refer to themselves as "journalists."

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, someone I'm slowly becoming aware of, strikes me as another Jon Stewart -- a funny guy who's up-front about his partisan leanings, who nonetheless asks the kind of questions we can only wish the MSM would ask.

Here's an impressive piece of work that I came across on my buddy Baltimoron's Left Flank blog. Uygur, off-camera, is interviewing Bill Burton, Barack Obama's national press secretary, sometime in the past couple of days at the Democratic National Convention.

Burton's answers are occasionally good, while mostly being what you'd expect from a guy in his position. I don't reject everything he says out of hand, and I do acknowledge how his position and the realities of our electoral process require him to resort to the spokesdrone two-step from time to time.

The thing to listen for here is Uygur's questions. He's expressing real concerns, reflecting a well-thought-out point of view, that every progressive and liberal would like to hear Obama and his campaign address. There is no time wasted on softballs. He starts off with the first question on every lefty's mind: why won't the Democrats spine up and stop treating McCain's forty-year old war story as the ace of trumps? All of his questions are pointed without being cheap gotchas. Though he cannot elicit a perfectly straight answer to every last question, his follow-ups and obvious "I call bullshit" tone of voice are impressive, and he does get somewhere with them. Imagine how much better off we would be if more spokespersons and politicians were treated like this.

This should be required viewing for everyone in J-school, not to mention everyone currently taking up space on TV. Thanks for the reminder, Balt -- I gotta start paying more attention to the Young Turks.

(alt. video link)

Joe Biden at the
2008 Democratic Convention

Starts slow, finishes strong. Nice work contrasting Obama with McCain on foreign policy.

Bonus: surprise ending!

(alt. video link)

John Kerry at the
2008 Democratic National Convention

Another guy who has trouble speaking from the big stage, but this is a good effort. I liked how he went after McCain, and the sly references to his own problems with the Republican attack machine.

(alt. video link)

Bill Clinton at the
2008 Democratic National Convention

No matter how many times he pisses you off, he can still make you like him the next day.

(alt. video link)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Honest" John McCain of the Day: 2008-08-27

Greg Sargent from TPM looks at the latest ad from the Straight Talk ExpressTM, in which McCain's people claim Obama says Iran is "tiny" and "doesn't pose a serious threat." Greg says it's a grievous distortion.

The AP agrees. So does the Boston Globe.

Andrew Sullivan says it's "so out of context as to be a lie."

The Guardian sums it up well:

The script:

Announcer: Iran. Radical Islamic government. Known sponsors of terrorism.

Developing nuclear capabilities to "generate power" but threatening to eliminate Israel.

Obama says Iran is a "tiny" country, "doesn't pose a serious threat".

Terrorism, destroying Israel, those aren't "serious threats"?

Obama -- dangerously unprepared to be president.

JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approved this message.

Read on...

Here's a real quick fact check:

Obama didn't quite say Iran is "tiny" and doesn't "pose a serious threat". What he said, in Oregon in May, was: "Iran, Cuba, Venezuela -- these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us." He went on to advocate direct engagement of the sort John F. Kennedy had with Nikita Khrushchev. And Nixon had with Mao. And Reagan had with Gorbachev.

Meanwhile, in a June speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Obama in no uncertain terms acknowledged the threat the Iranian regime does play. He said, "There is no greater threat to Israel - or to the peace and stability of the region - than Iran."

It used to be that during conventions, the other side's campaign would do the courtesy of laying low. Not only is the McCain campaign not doing that, they're pushing boundaries with highly questionable ads.

But don't forget: the Republicans have yet to hold their convention.

Payback, it is to be hoped, will be a bitch.


[Added] Steve Benen put up a more detailed post, including video, quoting and analyzing Obama's remarks at the time he made them.

Is There a Condo on Elba Available For Immediate Occupancy?

Formerly likable former President speaks:

He said: "Suppose for example you're a voter. And you've got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don't think that person can deliver on anything. Candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues, but you believe that on the other half, the candidate will be able to deliver. For whom would you vote?"

Then, perhaps mindful of how his off-the-cuff remarks might be taken, Clinton added after a pause: "This has nothing to do with what's going on now."

That was yesterday afternoon. Maybe he's just trying to pump up more attention for his speech tonight? Or is he really that stupid? Or bitter?

Speech Review Review of the Day: 2008-08-27

... Bill Kristol, whose first word must have surely been to mistakenly call his mother "dada" or his father "mama," so impressive is his unbroken streak of wrongness.
-- Betty Cracker

The rest of the post features some delightful quote-mining from comments posted by various lost kittens PUMAs, who were mewing piteously ROARRRRRING while the HRC speech was going on. If you need a shot of schadenfreude, this is vintage stuff.

Wolcott's Way With Words

Man after my own heart:

The full title is The Black List: Volume One, and unlike Mel Brooks' The History of the World, Part 1, this project wlll actually be sequelized, if that's a word, and if it isn't, it probably shouldn't be.

Blog Post Title of the Day: 2008-08-28

The award goes to Chez.

The Defective Yeti Speaks

Matthew Baldwin doesn't like to go all political on his blog, or so he says from time to time. Maybe someone guessed his password.

A recent Twit:*

I appreciate that McCain starts every speech with "my friends" because then I know he's not talking to me and can stop listening.

And don't miss his critique of McCain's new ad.

[Added] Or his liveblogging of DNC night 2. Entry 6:59 is so right.


* I refuse to call them "Tweets." Twitterers should embrace the obvious noun. This is the Age of Irony, is it not?

And besides, if Hillary Clinton can get a roar of approval for saying "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuit," what does that tell you? Embrace the words your enemies want to use against you! Do you not ever learn from Teh Gheys?

Really, Not From The Onion

Politico passes along this from the AP:

On Tuesday, members of the Republican platform committee meeting in Minneapolis voted down a proposal to call the opposition the "Democrat Party" in the 2008 platform. Instead, they'll go with the proper Democratic Party.

What August J. Pollack said.

Caption of the Day: 2008-08-28

Must be seen in context.

And the rest of the post is a total pwn of wingnut dumbassery besides, so you should read it all.

Snark of the Day: 2008-08-27

I'm not exactly sure how "technology ended" Muir's "main job" unless it means that the car wash finally went fully automated …
-- TBogg

[Update] We have a tie. The boy's on a roll today.

Oh, No, Mo Do

There are some in the blogosphere who suggest she may have lost her mojo. I can't imagine why.

But this Democratic convention has a vibe so weird and jittery, so at odds with the early thrilling, fairy dust feel of the Obama revolution, that I had to consult Mike Murphy, the peppery Republican strategist and former McCain guru.
-- Mo Do

This is beyond beyond self-parody.

Who better to give you the straight scoop, Ms. Dowd? What's next, consulting Dick Cheney on firearms safety?

Molly Ivors disliked other things about this column.

Small Comforts

It's always nice to learn that no matter how crazy I get, there will always be someone crazier.

(h/t: Apostropher (no, really))

Just In Case

Probably you've already seen it, but the cable-free me just caught The Daily Show's opening night convention coverage.

Do I even need to say it? Highly recommended.

Wingnut Phrase of the Day: 2008-08-27

The Chinese (who are not restricted by feminist nonsense) …
-- Phyllis Schlafly (via)

Goodnight, Dad

Sometimes I post pictures just because they're nice pictures.



Michelle, Sasha, and Malia Obama, after Michelle's DNC speech



(pic. source)

Hillary Clinton at the
2008 Democratic National Convention

I don't often think Sen. Clinton is at her best on a big stage, but this was quite good, with some very good moments, and her words were great.

(alt. video link)

Kevin K. of Rumproast adds some nice commentary.

Dennis Kucinich at the
2008 Democratic National Convention

He's a figure of fun to a lot of people, me included, but I thought he did a good job here. Starting at about 2:26, he really hits his stride. Sure, people in the crowd were laughing, but he had them by the end. Nice job, DK.

(alt. video link)

P.S. Who caught the intro music? Ohio Players, for the Congressman from Ohio, I expect. Count on the wingnuts obsessing over its title though: "Love Rollercoaster."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Why It's Sometimes Worth Reading at Least a Little Past the Headlines

The headline:

PUMAs on the march

The first three words:

DENVER -- A crowd ...

The rest of the lede:

... of about three dozen women and one man are marching down 16th Street in support of Hillary Clinton …

Is thirty-seven a crowd? Maybe, if all you have is three egg cartons. But as a political force? Hell, there's probably twice that many people standing outside the White House right now, chanting "U.S. out of Antarctica."

If there's one thing I want more than anything by the end of this convention, it's for the MSM finally to let go of their fictional "controversy" and admit that the PUMAs are nothing more than a few sad and reality-challenged people, being used by Fox News, played by the Republicans, infiltrated by racists, and suckered by a handful of self-promoting scam artists.

If you're not up on this, browse Rumproast, HillaryIs44, and Yes to Democracy. They've been months ahead of the MSM on exposing this sham and they deserve more of a shout-out than this little blog can give them.

What Chez Said

Reasons why the proprietor of Deus Ex Malcontent likes Jon Stewart: #312 and #313.

Quickies. Goodies. Go see.

Note to self: Remember "gerbil wheels."

Blast From the Past

Four months seems like so long ago, doesn't it? Here's the sainted one, speaking with Chris Matthews in April of this year:

(alt. video link)

Read more at the source: the good people at TPMtv.

A Note to the Editor of the National Review Online

K-Lo


I guess if this is the best possible picture of you, and you're only about 30, it's understandable why you might write something like this:

The Next Constituency, the Slut Vote? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Why did John McCain even bother with Madonna? Her whore-at-50-shtick is pathetic. I think we can ignore her latest p.r. stategy.

I can well imagine, Kathryn Jean, that Madonna has attracted a few more men than you have, so this explains where "slut" comes from: plain and simple jealousy.

But really, think about your past and present jobs before calling someone else a "whore." Heritage Foundation? National Review? You take money to make your mouth move the way your paymasters want, don't you?


(pic. source | h/t: Matthew Yglesias)

Michelle Obama at the
2008 Democratic National Convention

Pretty darned good, at times quite moving. Be sure to watch the last four minutes, especially.

(alt. video link)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just When You Thought Fox "News" Couldn't Get Any More Pathetic

Gawker has a post and a video clip of the sort of Fair and BalancedTM coverage we've come to expect. Note the permanent "Leftist" caption, the overhyping of what's really happening, and most of all: the beyond stale victim mantra of the wingnuts these days -- every time they're questioned, disputed, or ignored, it's "censorship."

And really, is there some kind of Murdoch-owned clone factory for pumping out these gated-community, "concerned," hairspray-sodden "blonde" hosts?

My peeps have it right: Fuck Fox News.

(h/t: TBogg)

"We are all POWs now"

Says davenoon.

Just Plain Awesome


Swiped from Paul Rosenberg.

More Foll(p)ow-Up

Great minds think alike department ... well, except that darkblack is better with the Photoshops.

And speaking of interesting observations by Jed Lewison ...

... who here knew that John McCain won less than 50% of the popular vote in the GOP primaries? I knew it was low, and frequently chortled when he had trouble breaking the 70% barrier even long after all of the other candidates had dropped out, but I didn't realize it was that bad.

Don't know why I haven't added The Jed Report to my blogroll already, but that's changing right now.

Foll(p)ow Up

Jed Lewison, who caught the video that I embedded in the last post, has an interesting follow-up. It appears that CBS edited McCain's answer.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pathetic Or What?

Following up on the last post …

This (POW) mumbling, (POW) meandering, (POW) faux-humble (POW) act (POW) is really grating on my nerves. Tell me whether this makes you feel the same way, right from the first "answer."

(alt. video link)

(h/t: The Jed Report)

The Answer to Every Question From Now On

From John McCain, I mean.

John McCain POW


Now it's just getting silly.

[Update] Even sillier.


(pic. source)

The All-Purpose Rebuttal For The Next Three Months

Via Marc Ambinder:

An Obama spokesman: " RNC staffers shouldn't throw stones from their 7 glass houses."

Will also work when applied to others besides "RNC staffers," as well as for various values of "7." I mean, who knows how many houses John McCain really owns? He sure doesn't.

Nice Picture

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, during Saturday's festivities at Springfield, Illinois, where Joe Biden was introduced as Barack Obama's running mate. Click to enlarge.

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, Springfield, Illinois, 23 Aug 2008


I swiped this from icebergslim, who's got a bunch more, plus a link to the video of the speeches. Tip: Most of the pictures appear small on icebergslim's site, and they're not click-zoomable. Instead, right-click them and use "View Image" to see larger versions.

(h/t: The Jed Report)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Another Sip of Joe

Back from when Rudy used to matter, but it brings back fond memories, and spurs hopes that he can make St. John look like this.

(alt. video link)

Reminder via August J. Pollack, who continues making music for my ears:

Biden is the one person who might actually be able to deflect criticism appropriately- he's the only one who, when faced with attacks like "in 2005 you said you'd be thrilled to run with John McCain", he might actually respond with the equivalent of "well, yeah, that was before I found out John McCain was a fucktard." Hell, he might even say exactly that. And he'd be right.

New VP Comment of the Day: 2008-08-23

Since it’s now official that Hillary will not be chosen, PUMA is changing its full name to Democratic Unity My Biden (DUMB)
-- Jim Henley

Flowbee Watch

Larry Flowbee JohnsonCan you believe Larry C. Johnson is still typing out this same sentence? From his latest post:

I asked a friend who knows someone who has seen the video to [sic] Michelle Obama making disparaging remarks about “white” folks.

Samplings from times past ...

16 May 2008:

I now have it from two three four sources (three who are close to senior Republicans) that there is video dynamite–Michelle Obama railing against “whitey” at Jeremiah Wright’s church.

19 May 2008:

Four Republican sources have told me that the tape exists. I’ve also been informed that Karl Rove and his allies have a copy of it and are using it to raise funds for independent expenditure groups.

[...]

And I’ve learned that a right-wing Republican billionaire has put a $1 million bounty on the video. He doesn’t want John McCain to win, like a number of conservatives, and thinks Obama is a pathetically weak candidate. The billionaire wants that video released now.

26 May 2008:

I have two friends. One is a Democrat and one is a Republican. One lives on the west coast and one lives on the east coast. They do not know each other. Yet each has spoken directly with someone who has seen the tape.

[...]

The clincher came when my buddy on the west coast wrote to me that he had a friend who had seen the tape.

31 May 2008:

New and dramatic developments. This is a heads up. I’ll post the news Monday morning by 0900 hours. Now I know why people who have seen the videotape say it is stunning. Barack’s headaches are only starting.

2 June 2008 07:43 AM:

I learned over the weekend why the Republicans who have seen the tape of Michelle Obama ranting about “whitey” describe it as “STUNNING.” I have not seen it but I have heard from five separate sources who have spoken directly with people who have seen the tape.

2 June 2008 10:48 (by Larry Johnson tool co-blogger "SusanUnPC"):

FYI, for those expecting to SEE the tape, GET REAL. Read Larry Johnson’s description of what is ON the tape. That is the story.

4 June 2008:

At no time have I claimed to have the tape or promised to deliver said tape.

5 June 2008:

So, sure looks to me that there a recording of Michelle’s racist rant exists in the hands of folks working to help elect McCain.

7 June 2008:

The recording that shows Michelle Obama saying disparaging things about white folks is for real. It is not part of some elaborate dirty trick. The people who have seen her comments describe it as “stunning” or “devastating.” I have not spoken directly with the people who have seen the tape, but I have spoken to two of my friends who are friends with those who watched the tape/dvd.

Flowbee's original goal, of course, was to sway the primaries in favor of Clinton. When it became obvious that wasn't going to happen, he changed his tune, and started floating the idea that the sinister GOP operatives absolutely, definitely had the tape, but they were planning to hold it until after the convention. WHEN IT WOULD BE TOO LATE FOR THE DEMOCRATS TO DO ANYTHING!!!1! Presumably, somewhere in his addled mind is the idea of a last-minute change of heart by enough delegates to change the nomination, which, if you ever skimmed the comments from a couple of months ago at NoQuarter, is something you were reminded, early and often, COULD HAPPEN, ABSOLUTELY, NO DELEGATES ARE BOUND!!!1!

I'm going to go way out on a limb here and predict that's not going to happen, either. The interesting question then becomes: will Flowbee continue to push the story of the imaginary tape, thereby revealing himself to have been a McCainiac all along? [UPDATE: Yes, he did continue. See this 21 October 2008 post, for example.]


(pic. source)

This is Huge!

Blows the Biden story right off the front page!

McCain's Best Man Hasn't Endorsed Him

... former Defense Secretary William Cohen, the best man at John McCain's second wedding, hasn't endorsed him yet. In fact, just now on CNN he said that McCain should pick Romney as VP because he doesn't have domestic policy experience.

Okay, not really huge. But it does make you go hmmmmm.

Still unanswered: whether Cohen is more bothered by McCain's elitism or by how out of touch he is.

It's Biden

Joe BidenBarack Obama has picked Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware to be his running mate, if you hadn't already heard.

I'm happy with this choice. Far better than the other names that were being bandied about lately, that's for sure.

My biggest worry, as I noted elsewhere: there is already a pre-built narrative about Biden-as-gaffe-machine, just as there was for McCain-as-maverick and Gerald Ford-as-accident-prone. The MSM will doubtless spend 90% of their time writing stories about everything he says in this light. If he manages to keep his foot out of his mouth for a week, they'll doubtless resort to speculative pieces like, "Has Obama clamped down on Biden? Why hasn't Biden said anything memorable? Is the pit bull turning into a poodle?" And so on.

Can't wait for the first round of wingnut pieces attacking Biden for being a "Washington insider." You know, because he's spent 35 years there, and McCain Teh Maverick has only spent 26.

Ultimately, I'm as happy as I could reasonably be with this choice. I look forward to many moments like this:

(alt. video link)


Go get 'em, Joe.


(pic. source)

Another Obamican Speaks

Susan Eisenhower: Reflections on Leaving the Party.

The beginning:

I have decided I can no longer be a registered Republican. For the first time in my life I announced my support for a Democratic candidate for the presidency, in February of this year. This was not an endorsement of the Democratic platform, nor was it a slap in the face to the Republican Party. It was an expression of support specifically for Senator Barack Obama. I had always intended to go back to party ranks after the election and work with my many dedicated friends and colleagues to help reshape the GOP, especially in the foreign-policy arena. But I now know I will be more effective focusing on our national and international problems than I will be in trying to reinvigorate a political organization that has already consumed nearly all of its moderate “seed corn.” And now, as the party threatens to trivialize what promised to be a serious debate on our future direction, it will alienate many young people who might have come into party ranks.

My decision came at the end of last week when it was demonstrated to the nation that McCain and this Bush White House have learned little in the last five years. They mishandled what became a crisis in the Caucusus, and this has undermined U.S. national security. At the same time, the McCain camp appears to be comfortable with running an unworthy Karl Rove–style political campaign. Will the McCain operation, and its sponsors, do anything to win?

(h/t: Instaputz)

Friday, August 22, 2008

House Party

Jed has a bunch of absolutely delightful videos on McCain's growing problem posted on his DailyKos diary.

He has one more on his own site -- a collection of clips from various TV news programs. A relief to see the MSM finally forced to cover the real McCain.

(h/t: Kevin K./Rumproast)

Obama's VP Announced

Details here.

What John Cole Said

Barack Obama under photo of Muhammad Ali

And, as a side note, as someone who was a Republican forever, watching a Democrat actually not only fight back, but fight back capably, quickly, and smartly IS a new kind of politics of a sort. In the past, you all sat by, let yourself get trashed and defined, and then wailed plaintively about mean Republicans taking the low road. Ask anyone out there- if someone punches you, you are allowed to punch back. It isn’t your fault if your assailant thought he was bullying a wimp but accidentally picked a fight with a heavyweight.

Read the whole thing.

FileZilla 3.1.1.1 Available

The FTP client FileZilla has released a patch to address what sounds like a minor bug. Doesn't sound like a major security problem, but the upgrade is painless, so you might as well do it. Here's how.

Launch FileZilla. If you have automatic updates turned on, you'll be prompted to start the upgrade. If not, Help → Check for Updates ought to get you squared away. If not, visit the FileZilla home page.

Opera Update

I don't usually note updates in software that I don't use, and I haven't played around with the Opera browser in years, but I keep seeing notes that there's a big patch available. Brian Krebs has details.

Krebs notes that the Opera developers still haven't gotten around to building an automatic update mechanism. Boo, hiss, to say the least. Consequently:

Last month, a massive study based on browser data collected by Google showed that only slightly more than half of Opera users are surfing with the most recent, patched version of the browser. By comparison, 83.3 percent of Firefox users were found to have the latest version installed at any given time. This disparity is largely due to the fact that Firefox downloads updates automatically and prompts the user to install them immediately. If the user declines the update, the patches are installed the next time the browser is started.

Now you know.

Line of the Day: 2008-08-22

Just because it sounds good:

… if you ever look at the stoichiometry of phytoplankton don't come complaining to me that I didn't warn you …
-- Robert Waldmann

All Right, Everybody. Take a Deep Breath.

Stress of the never-ending campaign coverage getting to you? Discouraged about any of the nine coming apocalypses? Olympic blabber have you looking around for your spare ammunition clips?

Maybe it's time to indulge your inner child. Give this a few seconds. The truth will eventually emerge:

(alt. video link)


Yeah, you're right. Now that I think about it, I probably could have chosen a better post title.

(Swiped from Miss Poppy Hussein Dixon's Adult Christianity | For Christ's Sake)

How Many Houses Again?

Paul Campos does some legwork for John McCain.

Morning Wonkery

Paul Krugman gives a nice analysis of the differences between Obama's tax plan and Bush's McCain's in his column today.

You might already have a sense that you're likely to prefer Obama's plan if you're not rich -- and by "not rich" we don't just mean scraping by on anything less than $5 million/year -- since McCain's plan starts out by preserving all of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, but there are some interesting details. Here's one that I didn't know (emph. added):

According to estimates prepared by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, those Obama tax increases would fall overwhelmingly on people with incomes of more than $200,000 a year. Are such people rich? Well, maybe not: some of those Mr. Obama proposes taxing are only denizens of lower Richistan, although the really big tax increases would fall on upper Richistan. But one thing’s for sure: Mr. Obama isn’t planning to raise taxes on the middle class, by any reasonable definition — even that of the Bush administration.

O.K., the Bush administration hasn’t actually offered a definition of “middle class.” But in May, the Treasury Department — which used to do serious tax studies, but these days just churns out Bush administration propaganda — released a report purporting to show, by looking at the tax bills of four hypothetical families, how the middle and working class would be hurt if the Bush tax cuts aren’t made permanent.

And when the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities looked at the report, it made an interesting catch. It turns out that Treasury’s hypothetical families got all their gains from the so-called middle-class provisions of the Bush tax cuts: the Child Tax Credit, the reduced tax bracket for lower incomes and marriage penalty relief.

These all happen to be provisions that Mr. Obama proposes leaving in place. In other words, the Bush administration itself implicitly defines the middle class as consisting of people making too little to end up paying additional taxes under the Obama plan.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

McCain Explained

Everything, all wrapped up in one neat theory: The hysterical foreign policy. The superficial domestic agenda. The $100 million dollar couple who call others elitist. The endless MSM love.

It's almost frightening how plausible this idea is: John McCain is a TV pundit.

No, this guy had it first.

No, this guy did.

Houses of Cards?

Has McCain finally had his Dukakis-in-a-tank moment? Has be finally been photographed windsurfing, as it were?

Given all of the good reasons not to vote for McCain that have so far been ignored, what if it's the number-of-houses gaffe that finally crushes him?

And if that doesn't do it, the next time the P.O.W. card gets played, it may make everyone suddenly burst into laughter. Howard Fineman thinks it's been overplayed. So does Eric Kleefeld. [Added] So does Oliver Willis.

But back to the number-of-houses gaffe. Obama's ad is good.* But I like this guy's idea even better


* Atrios has a killer punchline, though.

IOKIYAR! (one in never-ending series)

Jonathan Stein:

John Edwards cheated on his wife. The media found out about it. John Edwards will not be attending the Democratic convention.

Rudy Giuliani used public funds to cheat on his wife and used city agencies to cover his tracks. The media found out about it. Rudy Giuliani will be delivering the keynote at the Republican convention.

(h/t: Steve Benen)

I Give It 12 Hours ...

... before the rightwing noise machine is once again howling, "He threw his grandmother under the bus!!!1!"

And wait'll they get to the part where he mentions Rev. Wright.

Obama television interview from 1995.


[Added] Old Man McCain has the other clips, too, in case you missed the link.

What Passes For Reasoned Discourse Among Wingnuts

Jill StanekWingNutDaily's Jill Stanek:

Some may think I'm going over the top to compare
[Michael J.] Fox to slave owners or Hitler or the Sudanese government.

(pic. source | h/t: Andrew Sullivan)

Chicken Hawk Pwned

If you've ever seen the smug mug of Michael Goldfarb and thought to yourself, "Now, there's an aging frat boy who needs a good slap," then you'll enjoy the Greatest PWNAGE of ALL TIME.

(h/t: Andrew Sullivan)


[Added] Revenge of the nerds! (And don't miss the comments, especially the one pointing to Beth's logo.) Breaking: Now official!

Case Closed: McSame is the Name

Jack Cafferty delivers the final argument.

mccain and bush


(h/t: Don McArthur | pic. source: brotherpeacemaker)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Follow-Up

LGM's davenoon offers a visual aid to augment my earlier reading recommendation.

“healthy indulgence rebranding”

As of this writing, that exact phrase appears in only one place on the Web, as far as The Google knows, anyway. I can't decide whether the reporter, Kim Severson, was having a little fun with hyperbole, slightly misquoted someone, or really did get a peek behind the curtain. But at first read, it sounded entirely believable.

The phrase makes its Web debut in a piece featuring Julia Stewart, once a waitress at IHOP, now chief executive of the company that owns IHOP and recently absorbed Applebee's, which, hand-waving about independently-owned franchises aside, means she oversees the feeding of nearly two million people a day. (One measure of the corporate overlord nature may be found in the anecdote about an IHOP in Vermont, whose owner needed special permission to offer maple syrup.)

It's been years since I've eaten in an Applebee's and decades since I've eaten in an IHOP. It's less food snobbery, I think, than it is a revulsion for the robospeak that seems to be required of the employees in such establishments. It makes me feel as much a part of the assembly line as the machine-wrapped silverware set-ups and the faux-local photography cluttering the walls. I don't mind grabbing a bite at McDonald's or Burger King or Wendy's -- maybe the difference here is that the burger outlets don't try to pretend that there's anything special about you or your "dining experience."

There's another piece, too. Futile as it is, like most other efforts to Fight The Man, I look for ways to resist the homogenization of America. Few things in life discourage me as much as traveling several thousand miles, only to see all of the same exact places. I still think shudderingly of the ridiculous squabbling that we'd have on business trips -- should we have dinner at Chili's or Applebee's or TGI Friday's?

The article both reminds me why I've stayed away, and, strangely, makes me want to visit. Maybe it was the hint of humanity that Ms. Stewart let slip when talking about the risks of making even the tiniest of changes when updating the menu: "Don’t get me started on the mozzarella stick."

I know what she means, but still, suddenly: mmmmmm, mozzarella sticks.

And really, it doesn't take any effort to recall -- with fondness -- the first specific menu item that ever lodged in my mind: pigs in blankets.

With blueberry syrup, of course.

Well, when I think about it, more likely "blueberry" syrup.

The Fifth Hundred-Year Storm of the Past Fifteen Years?

Matt Welch: McCain's Georgian Hyperbole

Teaser:

Exaggerating threats is a feature, not a bug, of McCainite neoconservatism, and reveals much about what kind of president he'd make.

(h/t: Matthew Yglesias)


[Added] See also.

Study Also Finds Water Is Wet

Part of a Pew Research Center report on News Interests and Knowledge (click to zoom):

Fox News Keeps You Stupid


Clearly, the questions designed to measure "high knowledge" were liberally biased.

"Why I Will Not Vote for John McCain"

A fellow POW speaks out.

(h/t: Andrew Sullivan)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Right Wing Comedy

As usual, it only works when it's unintentional.

Guess who's not going to be doing their big-laffs-shindig after all?

Wingnut Comedy Fail


HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!


(pic. source)

Bill "Correction Appended" Kristol

Looks like the NYT's web editor finally admitted it:

Bill Kristol: 4th error


Good job, Leftosphere.*

For those of you scoring at home: That's the fourth time Kristol has had to have one of these added to his once-a-week column since he started this gig in January.


* This link won't mean much anymore -- it searches only over the last 24 hours, and hence, was only meaningful at the time of original posting.

The Less Usual Drill

Hendrik Hertzberg has a really smart post up about off-shore drilling. If the non-stop "Drill Here, Drill Now" nonsense is starting to wear on you, this is just what you need for an antidote: Our Drop, Their Bucket.

And speaking of that most annoying of vacuous Republican slogans, I came across a gem that Righteous Bubba unearthed. Perfect for dessert.

Tomasky Speaks

The headline:

Does being a jerk work?

John McCain is a liar and flip-flopper and panderer and bully and whiner. And it seems to be working

The lede:

When people start running to be president, we learn new things about them. The amount and intensity of exposure – the fact that suddenly we are subjected to their thinking on every conceivable issue and non-issue – makes this inevitable. As a result of this our opinions change. We either like them more or less than at the beginning, but rarely in just the same measure.

I've been surprised at how much less I like John McCain than I did a year ago.

The rest.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nice Turn of Phrase

Maryc, from World O' Crap:

… the Administration’s “feed a crony, starve a constitution” strategy …

Neoconservatism, Defined.

Posted by Snorghagen as part of a comment on S,N!:

One guy (former neo-con Michael Lind) described neoconservatism as “Marxism with entrepreneurs substituted for proletarians as the heroic subjects of history.”

Can't vouch for the attribution, but it's an interesting thought, nonetheless.

In case you don't read Balloon Juice as obsessively as I do ...

I didn't watch the suck-up-to-Rick-Warren fest, but it sounds from John Cole's telling that I might have missed some interesting bits. Read this and especially this.

The latter sounds like a real Reagan moment, and I don't mean that in a good way. Is John McCain blurring his own reality with his self-created image? Is he starting to believe his own PR?

John Cole, I fear, is right in his closing thought:

My guess? No one will ask McCain about it for fear of being accused of questioning his patriotism.


[Added] TBogg weighs in on the second topic. Warning: Clear mouth of all fluids before proceeding.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Frank Rich is Baaaa-aaaack

From vacation, that is. Check out "The Candidate We Still Don’t Know." Awesome.

Somehow, one line from Rich's piece seems the best caption for the accompanying picture:


"It seems almost churlish to look at some actual facts."

John McCain: talk to the hand

(click pic to enlarge)


Although maybe one more snippet couldn't hurt:

The most revealing poll this month by far is the Pew Research Center survey finding that 48 percent of Americans feel they’re “hearing too much” about Obama. Pew found that only 26 percent feel that way about McCain, and that nearly 4 in 10 Americans feel they hear too little about him. It’s past time for that pressing educational need to be met.

What is widely known is the skin-deep, out-of-date McCain image. As this fairy tale has it, the hero who survived the Hanoi Hilton has stood up as rebelliously in Washington as he did to his Vietnamese captors. He strenuously opposed the execution of the Iraq war; he slammed the president’s response to Katrina; he fought the “agents of intolerance” of the religious right; he crusaded against the G.O.P. House leader Tom DeLay, the criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff and their coterie of influence-peddlers.

With the exception of McCain’s imprisonment in Vietnam, every aspect of this profile in courage is inaccurate or defunct.

Will the MSM ever get off its collective can and do its job? Or will it let McCain skate right through November, just like it did the Current Occupant?

Okay, maybe just one more:

Some of those who know McCain best — Republicans — are tougher on him than the press is. Rita Hauser, who was a Bush financial chairwoman in New York in 2000 and served on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in the administration’s first term, joined other players in the G.O.P. establishment in forming Republicans for Obama last week. Why? The leadership qualities she admires in Obama — temperament, sustained judgment, the ability to play well with others — are missing in McCain. “He doesn’t listen carefully to people and make reasoned judgments,” Hauser told me. “If John says ‘I’m going with so and so,’ you can’t count on that the next morning,” she complained, adding, “That’s not the man we want for president.”

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