September 29, 2008
As much as I hate huge government interventions, I've been convinced that this is necessary in some form. Unfortunately, 2/3rds of the Republicans and 1/3+ of the Democrats voted against it.
Possible reason for the massive Republican opposition? Worst congressional leadership ever:
From a GOP source..
"Pelosi's partisan speech has caused our members to go berserk and may cost us any remaining chance to pass the bill."
The DOW is down around 500 pts right now.
September 28, 2008
September 27, 2008
JEFFREY TOOBIN: What is significant, I think, about these polls is there tends to be a multiplier effect when these -- about these debates. That, initially, people aren't quite sure, but once one side is established as the winner, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy....It is very important, I think, that the first objective analysis -- you know, not from us, but from polls, and I think it's consistent across the networks -- all show Obama winning.
I already see two memes being established:
1) Obama tied, so he won.
2) McCain was "disdainful", with comparisons to Gore in 2000.
This needs to be pushed back, because too many people didn't watch the raw footage of the debates, instead relying upon what the Deciders are telling them they saw.
September 24, 2008
State fish and wildlife officials have found hundreds of Asian swamp eels slithering and breeding around Silver Lake in Gibbsboro.
Four states now have the eels, which can gobble up all kinds of aquatic life.
No one has figured out how to kill off the creatures.
The eels are highly adaptable. They can change sex. They can burrow in mud and survive for weeks without food.
I know how to kill them off. It's called a gun.You would think that the land of Tony Soprano would know a thing or two about gunplay.
September 21, 2008
September 19, 2008
Rather than go through a recount process, Sean Parnell has conceded the primary election to Rep. Don Young (links in the original):
"If I thought there was anything wrong, inappropriate or unprofessional about the way this election tally was conducted, I would not only call for a recount, I would demand one," Parnell said. "But that is not the case here."
Events in the presidential contest may have diminished his incentive to keep fighting for the House seat. With Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin now the GOP's vice presidential nominee, Parnell is in position to become governor if the Republican ticket prevails. In a statement, Parnell noted that his current "responsibilities are heightened even more with the exciting possibility" that Palin could become vice president.
I'll have to admit that since the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate, I have thought that it was less likely that Sean Parnell would ask for a recount. If Palin ascends to the Vice Presidency, Alaska will need to keep at least one reform-minded leader behind. And, while this makes it more likely that Democrat Ethan Berkowitz will win in November, he is pro-drilling in ANWR and has to be more ethical than Don Young.
September 18, 2008
September 17, 2008
Frustrated by three weeks of The Messiah losing ground, The Deciders have determined that they must spring into action to help carry their guy over the finish line.
First, Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post is one of the first to explicitly provide cover for the media to go ahead and officially be in the tank for Obama.
All campaigns fall short, but some fall far shorter than others. And it is a phony evenhandedness, comfortable for journalists but ultimately misleading, that equates these failures without measuring the grossness of their deviation from the standard of decency. In the 2008 race, and especially in the past few weeks, the imbalance has become unnervingly stark. Ideological differences aside, John McCain's campaign has been more dishonest, more unfair, more -- to use a word that resonates with McCain -- dishonorable than Barack Obama's. -- Ruth Marcus, WaPo, 9-17-08.
Not to be outdone, Charlie Cook, one of the big time celebrity pundits, and a long time Democrat meme-setter, is trying to buoy the Obama camp's hopes and provide talking point for them to use.
That will likely happen at a time when the questions will be more pointed and more focused on the items that have been discovered as news organizations and Democratic opposition researchers comb her record.
But it's also true that McCain, who historically has been treated by the press better than most Republican presidential contenders, is now incurring the full wrath of a press corps that has decided that he has crossed the line, with ads and statements that do even greater violence to truth and fairness than is the norm.
It is a tone that some say has left McCain abandoning the "straight talk" ideals that made him such an attractive candidate in 2000.
No matter if what McCain and his campaign is saying and communicating is the truth or not, and whether or not he is abandoning his straight talk ideals. This will make it very difficult for them to get a message across, and the media refs are not likely to give him the benefit of the doubt on close calls.
But now the collapse of venerable financial institutions might well dominate public attention in mid-September. While relatively few are immediately affected by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the fire sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America, the reverberations that such economic calamities cause are likely coming soon.
In addition, consumer confidence is further eroded, buyers are spooked, business expansion and increased hiring decisions are shelved, and the cycle continues its spiral downward.
While managing the economy is not exactly Obama's strong suit, it does pull the focus even further away from national security, McCain's strength. It would seem a better bet that this jump ball would be more likely go toward the team that hasn't been in power, and the edge would go to Obama.
There is no question that this election is still very much up in the air. The question is whether there is another momentum change in the making.
September 16, 2008
I can see why these polls are tightening up again: the bounce McCain enjoyed may be fading, the relentless media barrage, and general gyrations in numbers have created an essentially tied race and brought the numbers back together.
But, another wild card on public opinion may not be Charlie Gibson or Katie Couric. It may come from Jay Leno. And this liberal TV Critic from Kansas City may have an explanation why.
As of right now, the juiciest target for his humor are the people who are spinning Sarah Palin's vice presidential ambitions. Notice how he returns to the same topics night after night: Bush's incompetence. McCain's irrelevance. Palin's handlers' spin.
I find it interesting that Leno can get away with doing what Brian Williams can't do: openly mocking Republican talking points in a nonpartisan setting. You don't see any rumors about Republican women boycotting Leno, do you? McCain lackeys aren't wasting their breath going after NBC's entertainment division with the lustiness of their attacks on NBC's news division. (Because they want John and Cindy to make return visits to Jay's couch.)
Yet, right now, the entertainment side may be doing more damage to the Palin-McCain ticket.
Johnny Carson, toward the end of his career, called Dan Quayle "the gift that keeps on giving." But that was a role that many a politician played in the "Tonight Show" monologue under Carson, a rogue's gallery of Democrats as well as Republicans, from Earl Butz to Bert Lance to Billy Carter to Ronald Reagan to James Watt to Bush 41. (Those are the ones I recall from memory.)
The crucial difference this time is the candidate is not the butt of Leno's Palin jokes. Her supporters are. While Tina Fey attacks Palin directly, questioning her credentials and mocking her beauty-queen poses, Leno pokes gentle (sometimes not gentle) fun at the McCain campaign for keeping Palin on a short leash.
Not only that, but Leno draws damn near 4-5 million viewers a night, many of whom live in Ohio, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. These people, fed a constant diet of anti-McCain/Palin jokes, may alter their votes accordingly.
I ignored Stewart and Colbert, since their viewers are almost eclusively Democrats anyway. But Leno draws from everybody. And if enough Mabels in Zanesville vote according to what Leno wants, that could be an under the radar asset for Obama.
September 14, 2008
I was watching a CNN special about Sarah Palin tonight and had to chuckle a bit when they brought up the fact that the Palins’ eldest son, Track, was born eight months after his parents got married.This is something I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more about between October 24 and November 4.
Got married by eloping, no less. Cue the “shotgun wedding” jokes from the left.
I don't think the problem here is that they had a shotgun wedding or eloped, but that various surrogates (including Gov. Linda Lingle at the RNC Convention) have stated that they eloped to save their parents money. While that is probably true, it gives a false impression of why they got married. On the other hand, it's not like they ever tried to hide their anniversary date or Track Palin's birth date.
I have a feeling that if the media tries to play this up, it will end in much the same way as their attempt to exploit Bristol Palin's pregnancy.
September 12, 2008
A consumer survey in May by The Nielsen Company found that half the respondents said the economy had no impact on the amount of alcohol they bought. The state of the economy had a significant impact on only 20 percent of the respondents.In other words, people are getting ripped at home, instead of heading out to bars. Which, I guess means less drunk driving and more quality time with the hoboes chained up in the basement. Everybody wins!
About 80 percent said they were spending the same amount of money on alcohol as in the past, but a large number reported going out less to bars and restaurants where they would buy alcoholic beverages.
"Purchases at out-of-home or on-premise locations may be more susceptible to a negative economy as consumers eat out less and entertain at home more often," said Danny Brager, vice-president, Client Service, Beverage Alcohol, The Nielsen Co. "Off-premise sales in grocery, mass merchandise, convenience, liquor and other stores will likely see benefits of this activity."
(Well, everybody but the hoboes, I guess.)
September 11, 2008
Besides, I feel this is how we need to start treating some of the pessimism on our side:
I just don't have it in me to post much of Teh Funny today. But, I do have three quick hits:
Given the looming debate and vote promised in Congress over expanded oil drilling, why am I not shocked that this story involving shady dealings between oil folks and Government officials came out today?
Employees at the department's Minerals Management Service "socialized with, and received a wide array of gifts and gratuities from, oil and gas companies," according to the department's inspector general, Earl Devaney.
"When confronted by our investigators, none of the employees involved displayed remorse," Devaney said.
The alleged activities occurred between 2002 and 2006 and involved 19 former and current workers at the Minerals Management Service's offices in Denver and Washington. Devaney recommended that those still on the job be fired.
The workers were involved in the "royalty-in-kind" program that collects and sells oil and gas turned over by energy companies as royalties for drilling on federal lands. About $4 billion a year in royalty-in-kind oil and gas is collected and sold by the department.
The oil companies named in the report were Chevron, Shell Oil, Hess Corp and Gary Williams Energy Corp.
Look, if dirty events happened, then the people involved need to be punished. But, to quote a Truther, "I question the timing."
Finally, when your daughter wants to wear a dress reserved for an upcoming wedding, don't let her near chocloate chip cookies. Just sayin'
Basically the way it works is that Saudis and Gulf States recognize that if the high prices keep up, the US is going to seek out alternate energy sources and our own oil sources. Countries like Iran and Venezuela need the high prices today to fuel their social policies and military activities, and can't worry about tomorrow's economy. So they now have a split, and things fell apart in the OPEC meeting as a result, this should get interesting.
September 09, 2008
September 08, 2008
I can't spend much time talking about this, because my break's about over, but this writer from across the pond has an interesting take on the mayor of the 9000-person town of Wasilly:
Her rise from parent-teacher association to city council gave her a natural political base in her home town of Wasilla. Going on to become mayor was a natural progression. Wasilla's population of 9,000 would be a small town in Britain, and even in most American states.
But Wasilla is the fifth-largest city in Alaska, which meant that Palin was an important player in state politics.
Her husband's status in the Yup'ik Eskimo tribe, of which he is a full, or "enrolled" member, connected her to another influential faction: the large and wealthy (because of their right to oil revenues) native tribes.
As with most poor, distant places that suddenly receive great natural-resource wealth, the first generation of politicians were mesmerised by the magnificence of the crumbs falling from the table. Palin was the first of the next generation to realise that Alaska should have a place at that table.
The writer makes a point that the moose-hunter stuff, while true, serves as a smokescreen to hide a true political talent that causes people to underestimate her. So while Sarah Palin is building coalitions, other people are saying "oh, she's just a mayor," and she ends up surprising them.
Four years ago this evening, a lawyer from Atlanta posted a comment at Free Republic, disputing the accuracy of a document used in the segment on 60 Minutes II.
Four years ago, three old friends from Dartmouth posted updates on their blog questioning the segment.
Four years ago, a computer programmer and Zappa fan posted a .gif document demonstrating how the 60 Minutes documents could not have been authentic.
Four years ago, the old media was exposed as the partisan hacks most on our side always suspected they were.
Four years ago, Dan Rather and his sidekick, Mary Mapes, were forever discredited.
Four years ago, the blogosphere became a major player in the political scene.
That night, my then-pregnant wife had to retire to bed early due to nausea and fatigue, while I stayed up way too late participating in and witnessing digital history unfold.
Man, has it been that long?
September 05, 2008
The man was recently convicted for illegally carrying weapons concealed in Virginia. During that arrest, again in his car, it was found he had two (I'm guessing deactivated) grenades with powder inside and a firecracker meant to act as a fuse.
I'm glad the Capitol police detained the guy, he sounds a bit off, and he's already been convicted for charges related to illegal weapon possession once. We already had one crazy guy manage to push his way in to the Capitol with guns blazing, I'd rather they be safe than sorry.
(h/t- Alice H)
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