Saturday, September 13, 2008

why I love the internet 

The Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator

I've taken the liberty of submitting some AmCop poster names:

Blicero - Charcoal Sniper Palin

Dawkins - Sack Panther Palin

Speakingcorpse - Krinkle Bearcat Palin

Finchy - Tarp Lazer Palin

Giuseppe Abote - Stinger Assassin Palin

Scats - Steak Leather Palin

Fixin's - Fork Decoy Palin

le chien - Quarter Granite Palin

Self-Satirizing Syndrome, cont'd. 

You know those preposterous headlines at CNN.com? Well, don't think that preposterousness--and its lucrativeness--has been lost on CNN! You can now click on an icon next to the headline and immediately purchase T-shirts with the preposterous headline emblazoned on it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

of course there's that 

My confidence in an Obama win has been based on the perception that he's, well, simply more popular. But it was a bit silly of me to assume that popularity translates to electoral wins in the New American Century. Mark Crispin Miller says something true:

...that is why the Bush machine put Sarah Palin next to John McCain. By arousing the hard core of vocal Christianists, they prepared the ground for the eventual redeployment of the same canard with which they justified their last unlikely "win": that millions of believers did the trick.


In fact, that claim will be the secondary "explanation" for McCain and Palin's "win." The first, of course, will be Obama's race, and the sad "fact" that America's just not ready to vote for a black man." We will hear endlessly (as we have already) about "the Bradley effect," and how it struck again, with millions of white folks who had openly approved Obama suddenly deciding, in the sanctum of the voting booth, to vote like Klansmen, thereby electing John McCain.

And, if Obama "loses," we will also hear a lot of other "explanations," each of which will suit the interests--the politics and/or pet theory--of the person(s) offering it.

We'll hear from Clinton people that he lost because he didn't put her on the ticket. We'll hear from Michael Moore, Ralph Nader and The Nation that he lost because he ran too corporate-friendly a campaign. We'll also hear from Mark Penn and the Wall Street Journal that he lost because his campaign was too "populist."

George Lakoff will tell us that Obama lost because he failed to frame the issues properly, Thomas Frank will note that all those Kansas-types are still too dim to know what's good for them, and Thomas Friedman (among others) will point out that Obama lost because he never made that crucial "gut" connection with "Joe Six-Pack" (whom Friedman and those others know so well). Meanwhile, many others will ascribe Obama's loss to all the lies and slanders heaped upon him by McCain's campaign and its confederates, who, we'll hear repeatedly, "Swift-boated" him to death, just as they did to Kerry (as if Kerry really lost the last election).

Some of those assertions will be partly true--and all of them are sure to be irrelevant. For if McCain and Palin "win," that victory will either be a miracle (which is, of course, how some of their supporters will explain it) or just another massive rip-off, perpetrated right before our eyes. And no such miracle is likely; for there is still no reason to believe that that old man and his demented running mate have any broad appeal. The polls now putting them ahead are highly dubious, based on a ten-point over-sampling of Republicans, and crafted without any calls to cell phone users (who comprise a large part of Obama's base).

Otherwise there is no evidence of any large-scale movement toward McCain and Palin--who have to trek to theocratic enclaves, like Colorado Springs, in order to draw cheering multitudes, while Obama/Biden draw them everywhere they go. With Democrats all in a panic, let's recall how few Americans turned out to vote in the Republican primaries, and how few new voters the Republicans have registered to date. Compare that feeble record with the vastly larger numbers who came out for Obama (and for Clinton), and all those whom the Democrats have registered to vote. Since then, the prospects for McCain have not improved, regardless of the spin on Sarah Palin--for this economy is in the crapper, and he has said repeatedly that he just doesn't know about such things. That issue, and his wild commitment to a war that most Americans oppose, make his victory in November quite improbable, to say the least.

And there you have the reason why the GOP must, once again, deploy its giant criminal machine: to cut the Democrats' vast popular advantage. And it is happening right now, as you sit reading this, as each day brings in new reports of voters purged, machines "malfunctioning," ballots slyly misdesigned, and other measures meant to benefit McBush's party. (The fraud is not occurring "on both sides.") Such evidence is far more solid than the nervous speculation that Americans might vote on racial grounds--or the fantasy that Sarah Palin's co-religionists could really win it for McCain.

The theft of this next race is only possible because the Democratic Party and the media, and principled Republicans, have shut their eyes to this regime's crusade against American democracy. And now the only way to stop it--or, if it does happen yet again, resist it-- is to face it at long last, and talk about it openly. It's therefore not enough to raise more money for the Democrats, and not enough to get more voters registered, and get them to the polls; and not enough to spread the word about McCain and Palin, or to try to get the media to do a decent job; and not enough to fight the smears and lies about Obama, and to demand that he and/or the Democrats get tougher.

While all of those activities are crucial, they'll amount to nothing if the race is finally rigged, and most Americans don't know a thing about it. And so, whatever else we're doing, we must also speak out loud and clear about that possibility. Otherwise, if that disaster should befall us, we will be as much to blame for it as those Republicans who pulled it off, and all those Democrats who let them get away with it.

Ohio Redux 

from the Votemaster:

Dirty Tricks Starting Already in Ohio

The Cincinnati Enquirer has a story about dirty tricks in Ohio intended to influence the election there. The McCain campaign printed a form on which a voter can request an absentee ballot and sent out about 1 million of them. The form included an unnecessary box asking if the voter was eligible to vote. If the voter didn't notice the box and didn't check it, he or she is in fact admitting that he or she is not eligible and the application has to be rejected by law. Secretary of state Jennifer Brunner is hopping mad about this stunt but she is required by law to reject invalid applications.

The CE adds that over 750 absentee ballot requests in Hamilton County have been invalidated.

"The greatest vice presidential candidate in the history of the United States": "freed Alaska for the first time": "She'll reform all of Washington" 

I mean, we know he's crazier than a shithouse rat, and that he's a compulsive liar.  But I really don't watch or read much of what actually comes out of the hole in McCage's "face" on a day-to-day basis.  The following are excerpts from today's Times article on McCage's appearance on "The View":

Ms. Walters also noted that Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin have said that her job will be to reform Washington. But, she pointed out, Mr. McCain has been in Congress for 22 years, the Republicans have been in the White House for eight years, so who, exactly, is Ms. Palin going to reform?

“The Democrats have been in charge of both houses for the last two years,” Mr. McCain replied.

Pressed, he added: “The Republicans, the Democrat party, even the independents. She’ll reform all of Washington.”


“By doing what she did in Alaska.”

What, exactly?

“First of all, earmark spending, which she vetoed a half a billion dollars worth in the state of Alaska.”

But she also put earmarks in, Ms. Walters noted.

“Not as governor she didn’t,” Mr. McCain said.

But as governor, she did. As the Anchorage Daily News, among others, has reported, in Ms. Palin’s first year as governor, she requested 52 earmarks valued at $256 million, and this year, her office asked the Alaska delegation in Washington to help land 31 earmarks valued at $197 million. Also, Citizens Against Government Waste ranks Alaska as having received the “most pork per capita” of all states this year.


Mr. McCain said that Ms. Palin “freed Alaska for the first time,” saying she “took government out of the hands of the special interests and the oil companies and the old-boy network and gave it back to the people of Alaska” and “that’s what we have to do in Washington.”

But what exactly will she do?

“The same thing,” Mr. McCain replied. “Break the old-boy network, the special interests that control our agenda in Washington.”


Ms. Behar brought up two of his recent ads against Mr. Obama, one suggesting that when Mr. Obama had used a colloquial expression about putting “lipstick on a pig,” he was referring to Ms. Palin and the other suggesting that Mr. Obama wanted sex education for children. “We know those two ads are untrue, they’re lies,” she said, and yet at the end of each, Mr. McCain’s voice says he approves of those messages.

“They are not lies,” Mr. McCain said.

What in the fuck is he talking about? Like Obama said, McCage is just "making stuff up." How can this go on? Who can possibly swallow this shit?

McCain is out of touch, says he's out of touch... 

At last night's forum on national service:

"Listen, mayors have the toughest job, I think, in America. It's easy for me to go to Washington and, frankly, be somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have."

...But who cares?

some good news 

A new intelligence forecast predicts US global dominance will decline in the coming decades. The “Global Trends 2025” report says US military power will take on less importance, because no one will attack the US “with massive conventional force.” The report also foresees US leadership declining “at an accelerating pace" in "political, economic and arguably, cultural arenas.” The reports sees global climate change as a major force that will drastically alter geopolitics.


At least when Palin becomes Preznit she'll have less influence.

Game on 

Palin pwns self 

No need even to package this into an ad. Just buy time and air the raw footage. She clearly has no idea what the fuck she is talking about -- the best she can do is recite a jumble of half-memorized phrases vaguely related to the question.

This isn't even about Palin being "evasive," as politicians often are. There's no direct statement or view she's trying to avoid conceding to Gibson because she has no views.

The video speaks for itself.

Also, compare Palin's answers to Gibson yesterday with the views she expressed in this 2007 interview on foreign affairs.

That went well. 

She said it.

Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."

Are you fucking kidding me? Did the Large Hadron Collider send us all back to 2002?

Also this gem with Charlie Gibson, who was trying to be nice:
Palin continued to take a hard line on national security issues when asked whether war with Russia could be necessary if Georgia were to join NATO and Russia crossed its borders again. Palin replied, "Perhaps so."
Yo, seriously? War with Russia -- and BTW, that would be, like, a nuclear war -- over a couple of podunk provinces that look like Borat's home village?

Cut the ad and cut it today.


John McCain says he wants 100 years of war in Iraq. But he doesn't even know who we're fighting against. He doesn't know the difference between Shias and Sunnis, or insurgents and Iranians. And Sarah Palin STILL thinks 9/11 was planned by -- Iraq??

And now Sarah Palin's on national TV threatening war with Russia -- wow. War with Russia. Nuclear war. For a tiny Georgian province the size of Rhode Island.

Can we really trust these two with their finger on the button?

New Campaign Ad: Victory '08 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pam: Suck It! 

Happy 9-11 Day 

The fact that Obama didn't join McCage at Ground Zero by flying his campaign plane directly into McCage means that Obama isn't serious about winning the election.


“The day will come when most Americans have no living memory of the events of September the 11th. When they visit this memorial, they will learn that the 21st century began with a great struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror.”

--George W. Bush, 9/11/08

Cage III—Free Show. B.S. Latrodectus Mactans Productions/Infernatron Animation Concepts, Canada. Cosgrove Watt, P.A. Heaven, Everard Maynell, Pam Heath; partial animation; 35mm.; 65 minutes; black and white; sound. The figure of Death (Heath) presides over the front entrance of a carnival sideshow whose spectators watch performers undergo unspeakable degradations so grotesquely compelling that the spectators’ eyes become larger and larger until the spectators themselves are transformed into gigantic eyeballs in chairs, while on the other side of the sideshow tent the figure of Life (Heaven) uses a megaphone to invite fairgoers to an exhibition in which, if the fairgoers consent to undergo unspeakable degradations, they can witness ordinary persons gradually turn into gigantic eyeballs. INTERLACE TELENT FEATURE CARTRIDGE # 357-65-65

--David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, 1996

Quick trot to Left Field 

Seemingly unrelated to our usual pileup of campaign outrages... Letterman goes on a "rant" about the environment.

And yet it is related. Nothing could be more emblematic of our current sickness.

One of the very purveyors of neverending distraction and denial suddenly decides to actually state the truth. It can only come out as a "rant," an interruption from the usual, presumably "calm" stream of TV utterance. Yet such a crack in the spectacle could only arrive as a declaration of certain defeat-- we're fucked before we've even started trying. This in itself is only more reassurance.

The entire episode is an analogue of the pessimism surrounding Obama and the election. The culture industry simply cannot wait until we're fucked and there's nothing left to do-- until things are beyond repair. It's actually doing something about the situation that is truly anathema.

So, when are we going to PA, FL, etc etc???

A compelling point of view 

Today's script 

[Open on grainy, jerky handheld footage of pretty white woman cowering in bathroom as masked attacker breaks down the door]

FEMALE NARRATOR: Unbelievable. As mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin made rape victims pay for the medical exam needed to gather evidence. No other town in Alaska did this.

[Pull quote of Alaska governor in newspaper: "Only Wasilla"]

FEMALE NARRATOR: What was she thinking? Does she want rapists to go free?

[Shot of Sarah Palin looking happy and nonchalant and smug]

FEMALE NARRATOR: And now look at John McCain. He's attacking Barack Obama for taking action to protect our kids from child molesters.

[Grainy stock footage of fleeing children with pull quote of NY Times editorial slamming McCain ad; washed-out clip from McCain ad on TV fades to picture of McCain and Palin mugging and grinning like they couldn't give a shit]

FEMALE NARRATOR: What's with these two? Aren't our leaders supposed to keep our families safe? What on earth are they thinking?

[Words appear on screen as read.]
FEMALE NARRATOR: McCain/Palin. Out of touch. Out of their minds.

UPDATE: Framed another way:

Sarah Palin and her Washington lobbyist got a $3.2 million earmark to study the DNA of seals.

But if you want to get the DNA of the monster who raped you in Wasilla? Tough luck, honey. You'll have to pay for that yourself.

Sarah Palin. Wasting taxpayer millions on seals while rapists go free.

Slur debunked, and ad opportunities 

I like what the NYTimes did with this article: "Ad on Sex Education Distorts Obama Policy."

If he hasn't yet, can he please make an ad out of it?

Even better, this one seems pretty much ready-made: "Palin’s Pipeline Is Years From Being a Reality":

In fact, although it is the centerpiece of Ms. Palin’s relatively brief record as governor, the pipeline might never be built, and under a worst-case scenario, the state could lose up to $500 million it committed to defray regulatory and other costs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Tomorrow is The Holy Day. Obama and McCain will be making a joint appearance at the World Trade Center site in what is supposed to be a gesture of putting aside political differences.

What are the chances that the McCain campaign or the RNC drop another disgusting Obama attack ad tomorrow?

My guess: 100%.

shake your halo down 

h/t hiaw

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Both campaigns are freaking out; new McCain ad a vile crime against what little decency and dignity remains in America 

There are no words for this.

McCain's got a new ad out accusing Obama (utterly falsely) of wanting to promote sex ed in kindergarten. With the implication clearly being that Obama is some sort of Negroid criminal deviant who will smoove-talk his way into your innocent daughter's knickers (or pull-ups?).

There's only one response to this. Obama should literally challenge McCain to a duel.

Totally sickening. It's not just that it has no basis in fact whatsoever. It's the ugly, ugly shit that is obviously being implied here. It's so over the top that it makes Willie Horton look like constructive criticism.

If there is any decency left in this country (and I'm not claiming there is), this will backfire and
cost McCain the election.

NYT's Excellent Adventure 

Shorter David Brooks:

Dude! This election is like totally weird!

I'm not even kidding:

Last winter, Barack Obama succeeded by running a weird campaign.


But over the course of the spring, Obama’s campaign got less weird.


But by campaigning in this traditional way, Obama ceded the weirdness edge to McCain.

The old warrior jumped right in. Think about how weird last week was.


If I were advising the candidates, I’d tell them to double down on weirdness.


remember: Weirdness wins.

Yah, brah! Like what if there was piece of dandruff on McCain's suit that if you were infinitely small would look like a whole 'nother solar system and on the tiny dandruff earth there was an even weirder election with a super-small John McCain with a piece of dandruff that...


Dude...like seriously. Seriously. Seriously? They PAY me for this man! And like grown people with like educations and shit like actually read it. No lie. THAT's what's fuckin' weird, man! ...I like... shape...opinion...

...so now like everyone will totally know how weird this election is...

...dude, I totally love my job, dude. Like God Bless the US, nawmean?

Brazenly corrupt Palin 

She made Alaska pay her a per diem for "meals and lodging" in her own home. Not once, not twice, not three times, but 312 times and counting...

Palin, who earns $125,000 a year, claimed and received $16,951 as her allowance, which officials say was permitted because her official "duty station" is Juneau, according to an analysis of her travel documents by The Washington Post.

The governor's daughters and husband charged the state $43,490 to travel, and many of the trips were between their house in Wasilla and Juneau, the capital city 600 miles away, the documents show.

Good thing she put that private plane on Ebay!

Also, I think this point should be obvious to anyone, but if a regular person tried to slip meals and lodging at home into an expense report, they would be fired.

Even a high-ranking executive would be fired for something like that.

UPDATE: A link to the story has now reached Yahoo!'s front page, with this tidbit added.
Palin took her daughter Bristol to New York in October for a conference on women and leadership, a tour of the New York Stock Exchange and various meetings, the analysis shows. Travel costs included three nights in a hotel room costing more than $700 a night.
Are you fucking kidding me?

I hope we hear a lot more about this. And I really do think this is going to be a big problem for Sarah Palin.

yay, the future 

courtesy Safety State

Monday, September 08, 2008

panic not 

A reader at TPM makes some good points:

The McCain campaign wanted to frame this election on experience, but had to abandon that when the polls didn't move. The surge issue has likewise attracted no great interest. Although McCain continues to discuss it, as a theme, he has ditched it in favor of this murky "change/reform" theme. (By selecting Sarah Palin, the campaign has officially ceded the point.) This all works to Obama's advantage because if the discussion becomes one of change, it must necessarily shift to policy--the last place McCain wants to go. But he's backed himself into a corner.

Obama has run his general campaign with exactly the kind of pacing he ran the primary. It's not always clear why he's doing certain things because they don't correspond to the daily news cycle. That's because he has planned the entire campaign in advance. You can see how he's hit his marks as he's gone along: after he won the primary, he immediately tacked right and demonstrated his "working across the aisles" theme. The trip abroad was designed to elevate him to a presidential figure and deflate the claims of his inexperience. The convention was a way to simultaneously build momentum among the base and lay a foundation for elevating the discussion above Rovian BS and placing it directly on issues via the change argument.

We exit the convention right on schedule. Obama has set the table, and the Republicans have come to dine. I have little doubt but that the Obama camp feels it's right where it wants to be.

While overall I think this might err a bit on the side of thinking elections have anything to do with issues, the general thrust of it seems to me basically correct. Bounce and Palin-hysteria aside, its passably clear that the Republicans are not in control of the narrative. As with Obama's pre-VP announcement dip, this too shall pass.

So, 6 points. 

It was a six-point bounce. That's about the same as Obama got. The Dems had their convention and got a bounce, then the Republicans did likewise. Now the next phase can begin.

They got a six-point bounce. All conventions receive bounces and theirs was six points. Completely average and ordinary. Let's all move on.

The Obama people are smart. They have a plan that's worked so far, and I say let's help them carry out their plans. At least for a week. No advice, no panic.

Anyone up for PA this weekend?


buy now

"Straight news programming" 

MSNBC is kicking Keith Olbermann (and Tweety! Tweety!!) out of the election coverage anchor chairs for the rest of the campaign.

They are to be replaced with a mop-topped turd called "David Gregory," who was cultured from earlier coprolites ("journalists") Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw.

Olbermann has by far the most viewers of any show in the history of MSNBC.  So what's the problem?

As Brian Stelter writes for the NYT, "that success has a downside."

What's the downside?

When the vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin lamented media bias during her speech, attendees of the Republican convention loudly chanted “NBC.”

Republicans cry and stamp their feet; Olbermann's booted from covering the debates.  End of story.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Caption Contest 

Winning caption gets a sharp kick to the solar plexus.

Courtesy of Fixin's.

Same bullshit 

This post-convention moment is critical.  If I remember correctly, it was here in 2004 that the swift-boat damage had been done, the spittle-flecked bloodbath of the RNC was over, Bush bounced comfortably ahead, and Kerry never caught back up.

Now, what do we have?

McCage has bounced ahead of Obama.  Not to the double-digit extent of the Bush bounce lead, but still, Obama is supposedly the frontrunner in this election.

Sitting senators not even working for McCage (e.g. Inhofe) are slandering Obama--free attacks from your colleagues!  Will Jon Tester or Jim Webb step up and do the same for Obama?  (Will they, while they're at it, point out that Inhofe is a raving lunatic?)

Palin has free reign to slander Obama and lie about herself and McCage.

--Hillary won't go after Palin.  (Has Hillary done fucking anything since the convention?  Do people believe she wants Obama to win?)

--As Josh Marshall notes, Where the fuck is Biden?  Isn't this his job?  What is the presidential candidate doing this work for?  It's not his job and he's not good at it!

--Palin investigation is neutered; she won't be subpoenaed; Alaska politicos have decided to circle the wagons rather than have their in-house takedown of Palin go national and disrupt the McCage campaign.

--Palin doesn't have to answer questions from anybody...until she's ready!

--The media honeymoon for Palin may not go on forever, but it still goes on.  Front page of WaPo website:

Palin's Politics and Family Blur
VP nominee's most compelling public persona is that of a coiffed and charismatic working mother.

Isn't that great??


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