Sunday, August 31, 2008

McCain Interferes with Hurricane Gustav Preparations

John McCain is headed to the Gulf Coast to do... something?

Moira Whelan of the Huffington Post writes:
John McCain's mere suggestion that he should go there shows his horrific and dangerous judgment. If it actually happens, which hopefully it does not [it did], then he will actually be doing harm. Because he is a presidential candidate, air traffic stops when he lands, roads are closed, and press follow him. Secret service and law enforcement personnel have to make sure everything is secure. That means all of these things STOP WORKING to make the area safer for the people getting out and protecting their homes. The only thing working in the favor of emergency management professionals are the noticeably small crowds at McCain perhaps people will not be motivated to stay around.
Bonus: more comedy gold from McGaffe Machine:

"I think Sen. Obama, if they want to go down that route, in all candor, she has far, far more experience than Sen. Obama does," McCain said.

He cited Palin's stint as governor of a "state that produces 20 percent of America's energy" as well as her previous membership in the PTA and her time spent on the city council and in the mayor's office in Wasilla, a town of fewer than 7,000 people outside Anchorage.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, John McCain cited Palin's PTA experience as a relevant qualification for the Vice Presidency of the United States.

"The Worst Vice-Presidential Nominee in U.S. History"

Today's recommended reading: Robert Elisberg explains why Ms. Palin is "the worst Vice-Presidential nominee in U.S. history":

Vice presidents are usually selected as people who are adept at blasting the other side's presidential candidate, because it's only the presidential candidate that matters. Joe Biden has already done that - twice - at length, spoken as someone who knows John McCain well and likes him. Sarah Palin had her first chance...and whiffed. Didn't even try. And it's hard to imagine what she has in her arsenal that will remotely allow her to do so in the future....

Now add on all the problems expressed above. Sarah Palin's inexplicably laughable lack of substance, most-especially on the foreign policy stage. Her taking away the one issue, experience, Republicans were even attempting. Her pushing away voters who might otherwise be willing to vote for a senator with 26 years in the Senate. Her bringing Hillary Clinton aggressively back into the campaign. Her inability to offer anything to off-set Joe Biden. Her standing as supposedly the most-qualified Republican woman as John McCain's first decision.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Barack Obama at the DNC

Obama's nomination speech at Invesco Field. Folks waited in line for 6 miles to see him. It's a good one. Definitely worth your 50 minutes.

It was so good, Pat Buchanan loved it. (In case you don't know, Buchanan is a far-right whack job, e.g. regarding AIDS: he believes homosexuals have "declared war upon nature, and now nature is extracting an awful retribution".)

Sarah Palin? Really? Mr. McCain, Can I Please Have Some of What You Are Smoking?

Turns out the Republican VP pick is Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska for the past 21 months.

Er... huh?

Reasons that Palin is a good pick:
  1. She's a woman.
  2. She's an interesting and unexpected pick.
  3. She locks up Alaska for McCain: it was a stretch for Obama anyway, it's a small state, and it's typically ignored by Presidential campaigns.
Reasons that Palin is a completely stupid pick:
  1. Hillary Clinton, a woman with great credibility on women's issues, beloved by millions of women across the country, will tear her a new one and can do so without accusations of sexism. In other words: she was clearly chosen in order to appeal to women. It's obvious pandering at best and idiocy at worst.
  2. She is strongly pro-life anti-choice. Female swing voters are mostly pro-choice.
  3. Alaska has 3 electoral votes.
  4. She's the target of an ethics investigation demanded by the Republican legislature in a state where the Republican Party is in serious trouble due to widespread ethical problems.
  5. She endorsed Barack Obama's energy plan.
  6. She is a creationist, and the Republican Party is already taking heat for being anti-science.
  7. Joe Biden wipes the floor with her in any comparison and will crush her in the VP debate.
  8. She recently dissed the office of VP.
  9. She might not have been thoroughly vetted.
  10. Even without all of that, Palin is a completely stupid pick because she eliminates McCain's best argument against Obama, and one of the few effective ones: that he is too young and inexperienced to be President. Palin is younger and less experienced than Obama. Less than two years ago, what was her job? Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, population 6,715.
Frankly, I think that McCain had picked Mitt Romney, but then when the houses thing came up, since the Romneys are even more disgustingly rich than the McCains, he was forced to abandon that plan.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Joe Biden at the DNC

Another knockout speech, this one from Joe Biden, Vice Presidential nominee.

The best part is the part where he talks about his mom starting about 5:30. She was in the audience. If I can make my mom one tenth as proud as she looked, I'll know that I've succeeded mightily.


August 28 is the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillary Clinton at the DNC

Hillary Clinton addressing the DNC. Very, very well done: an extraordinary speech, a wholehearted, sincere endorsement of Barack Obama, and a clear call for her supporters to help elect him.

Honest and sincere Hillary Clinton comes across very well. If this had been the woman who ran for the party's nomination starting in January, she would have gotten it.

I wonder, however, if she does better without the pressure of the candidacy.

Here she is during the roll call vote moving that Barack Obama be nominated by unanimous voice acclimation:

Bonus Video

Everyone's favorite Congressdork, Dennis Kucinich. He's on fire!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How Many Houses Does John McCain Own? McCain Himself Does Not Know.

In a spectacular gaffe that would be comedy gold were it not for the dire importance of the election this fall, here's John McCain on how many houses he owns (listen):
Q: How many houses do you and Mrs. McCain have?
A: I think, uh ... I'll let my staff get to you and tell you about that ...
Politico (who did the interview) reported it as:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

"I think — I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."
Interestingly, it actually is unclear how many houses he owns -- do you count the two luxury condos combined by remodel as one or two? how about the one ranch with three dwellings? -- but there's nothing in McCain's answer suggesting this thought process. He just said, "I don't know". (I counted six, though others have produced numbers as large as nine.)

Democrats smell blood. The new theme is that McCain is:
  1. Out of touch at home.
  2. Reckless abroad.
It seems to be effective, enough so that Obama has apparently delayed the VP announcement planned for today. A fine political day after the dismal polling releases yesterday.

UPDATE 8/22:

Here's yesterday's network news on the matter (hat tip). Ouch!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

John McCain Doesn't Know What Middle Class Means

John McCain being interviewed at the Saddleback Forum last weekend:
Q: Define rich.
A: ... if you’re just talking about income, how about $5 million.
From the Carpetbagger Report:
As far as McCain is concerned, if you make $4.9 million a year, more than 99.9% of the population, you’re not quite rich.
In graphical form (click for bigness):

This has led to an excellent DNC attack ad:

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Have Readers I Don't Know

So, one of my older posts mused about how many houses John McCain owns and how the number (six) is excessive. Recently I've received a couple of comments on it from people I don't know. Interesting. Why might this be? Well (click for bigness)...

I'm kind of baffled how this happened, particularly since it doesn't seem to be an obscure search (1M+ hits). But... cool huh?

(Incidentally, if you read this blog and I don't know you, please comment. I'd love to know how and why you found it.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Milli Vanilli, China Style

From the AP: Olympic opening uses girl's voice, not face

"The real singer, 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, with her chubby face and crooked baby teeth, wasn't good looking enough for the ceremony, its chief music director told state-owned Beijing Radio."

Update, 8/13 9:30am:

Here's the pics (from Windsor Star). Girl on the left was too ugly to sing in public.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Two Good Obama Ads

This one is running nationally during the Olympics:

This one is running in Nevada. While I'm a supporter of more nuke power, and lots of it, myself, I understand that the Democratic platform is anti-nuke. I like this one because it's such a clear whack at McCain's nuke positions: storing waste at Yucca Mountain, yes, trucking said waste through Arizona, no.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

10,000 Reasons Awards Event

As mentioned earlier, one of my photos won an honorable mention in a local photo contest. Today was the awards event.

Here's me with my photo:

I wasn't all that excited by the event itself. There was mingling for an hour, which Erin and I don't really enjoy and aren't too good at, though I did talk to a couple of folks from Friends of the Boundary Waters who were very impressed by my photo.

This was followed by an awards ceremony which was about 30% clapping and 50% giving fundraising awards to organizations participating in the MEF (sponsor of the contest) fund drive. I got a certificate and the foam-core print, which is pretty nice but is on plain paper.

The winning photos are online (and all look much better onscreen than on paper). Apparently, I was the 2nd honorable mention. Of the photos ahead of mine, I thought the 1st and 2nd place winners, and the 1st honorable mention, were very strong. I thought the 3rd-place winner was also very strong except for a severe composition error (a man's head aligns perfectly with the horizon, which looks weird) which IMO should have nixed it.

Also, Erin took a photo on our most recent BWCAW trip which I thought was simply extraordinary and which I believe to be a shoo-in winner next year.

Finally, here is our cat in a box:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

John McCain the Maverick?

Well, maybe if you define "maverick" as "voting with Bush 9 times out of 10".