Friday, October 31, 2008

There's Dumb...

And there's dangerously dumb. This quote from Sarah Palin is of the second variety.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."
It's almost impossible to mess up an understanding of one of our bedrock national principles so badly. But she is a special lady.

Almost 80's Movie Line of the Week

I'm cheating a little because it's Halloween, and Young Frankenstein is one of the best comedies of all time. It surely influenced many 80's comedies right?

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No. No. Be of good cheer. If science teaches us anything, it teaches us to accept our failures, as well as our successes, with quiet dignity and grace.
(turns to creature)
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Son of a bitch! Bastard! I'll get you for this! What did you do to me? What did you do to me.
Inga: Stop it! Stop that! Stop it! You'll kill him!
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: I don't want to live. I do not want to live.
Igor: Quiet dignity and grace.

A Reminder Not to Elect People Who Don't Believe in Government

I've heard several liberal bloggers talking about how McCain's candidacy has almost made them feel they would prefer another Bush term to a McCain one. I may have uttered those words myself actually. But the Bush team has proven they are not to be trifled with when it comes pissing me off.

The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January.

The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms.

Those and other regulations would help clear obstacles to some commercial ocean-fishing activities, ease controls on emissions of pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking-water standards and lift a key restriction on mountaintop coal mining.
It is nice of the Bush administration to give us a reminder that electing people who want to "get government out of way" to run government may not be the best idea.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Stars at Night are Big and...Well Something

I hope the McCain campaign isn't trying the Jeremiah Wright angle in Texas. A quarter of the electorate wouldn't believe Obama ever went to Wright's Protestant Church.

But the statewide survey of 550 registered voters has one very surprising finding: 23 percent of Texans are convinced that Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama is a Muslim.
Brought to you by the makers of George Bush's political career.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Someone on McCain's campaign should recruit Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard to help with morale. Pollard, whose team is 1-6, said earlier this week:

"I'm a believer. I absolutely believe we will win 9 straight."
I'll tell you what I believe. I believe that Bernard Pollard has a better chance of being the next Republican candidate for vice-president than the Chiefs do of winning the next 9 games. "Palin - Pollard 2012, Reality is for Chumps!"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


You can't ever have enough infographics. This one I got via Kevin Drum. It lays out the economic benefits from different kinds of spending. Take a look at what does the most good, and then ask yourself why studies have proven that the economy does better under Democrats than Republicans.

He Knows Her Better Than I Do

From the Politico:

In convo with Playbook, a top McCain adviser one-ups the priceless “diva” description, calling her “a whack job.”

Monday, October 27, 2008


Funny stuff. The best part is when he asks her if she's joking.

The Maize

I attended my first corn maze over the weekend. I don't know what your average corn maze is like, but the Liberty Corn Maze (pictured above) seemed huge to me. I would highly recommend the activity to those of you who, like me, always complain there is nothing new to do.

If I may offer you one tip, however, take a flashlight if you go after dark. If you don't, you may find yourself standing beneath the gator wondering how you ended up outside the maze on the opposite end of the entrance.

Hee Hee

From David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo:

Barack Obama is noted for his powerful intellect, but I don't think he gets nearly enough credit for the mental dexterity it takes to be simultaneously an Islamic theocrat, atheistic communist and national socialist while posing as a center left candidate. Those must be the compartmentalization skills they taught him at that Manchurian madrasah in Indonesia.

I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

From Ruth Marcus' column in the Washington Post:

"To be brutally honest with you, if Obama goes in there the [blacks] are going to go crazy -- and I'm not a prejudiced person."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Callin' it Like it is

E.J. Dionne sums up nicely in the Washington Post:

The cause of Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Robert Nisbet and William F. Buckley Jr. is now in the hands of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity -- and Sarah Palin. Reason has been overwhelmed by propaganda, ideas by slogans, learned manifestoes by direct-mail hit pieces.
It can be hard to remember sometimes, but conservatism wasn't always shorthand for an ideology that tolerated no deviations and ridiculed thought. Someday the movement will have ideas again. When they do, we can perhaps have legitimate debate again in this country.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dimmer Prospects

As a recently single gentleman, I saw this chart sometime ago and was enthused.

Kansas City looked like a great place to be a single man. But a new chart kind of lets the air out of the balloon.

Not only is Kansas City apparently a poor place to be a young single male, but there isn't a city in the United States that tilts in our favor. Sounds like I may need to start hanging out at Curves.

Via Matt Yglesias.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


John McCain is upset with Republicans who have been critical of Sarah Palin.

“She is a governor, the most popular governor in America,” McCain said. “I think she is the most qualified of any that has run recently for vice president.”
So she is more qualified than Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, John Edwards, and Joe Lieberman? This is getting ugly.

80's Movie Line of the Week

I'm not entirely sure I can still claim "of the week" since I realized I have missed two weeks. Anyway, the political season always brings with it a reminder that words matter. In Night Shift, Michael Keaton explains what the word "prostitution" means.

Bill: PROSTITUTION! But what does that mean really? Sometimes it helps to understand a word if you break it down, so let's do that now shall we? Pros... it doesn't mean anything, you can forget about that... Tit, I think we all know what that means, Tu, two tit and TION of course, from the Latin to shun... to say uh-uh no thank you anyway I don't want it, to push away... it doesn't even belong in this word really.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Questionable Math

CNN has reported that the McCain camp is giving up on Colorado. If you consider Obama to be safe in every place where Kerry won plus Iowa and New Mexico (which look pretty safe and Gore carried in 2000), then Colorado alone would give Obama enough electoral votes to win.

The McCain campaign says this means they must win Pennsylvania. The problem is that Obama is ahead by almost 13 points in an average of the last 10 polls taken there.

This is not to mention that McCain would also need to prevent Obama from winning Ohio, Florida, or some combination of Missouri, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Somebody either has some serious cockeyed optimism, or the calculator is broken.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rules for the Bus

I went to the Obama rally Saturday. Instead of parking 6 miles away, I rode the bus. I picked it up at the MAX station at 43rd and Main, but the bus I got on was just a regular route bus. It was already jammed with people, most of whom were wearing some sort of Obama gear. There were also a few people on the bus, who just wanted to go wherever it was they were going without a bunch of first-timers getting in their way.

And it was very clear that many of the people on the bus hadn't been on one in a very long time if ever. For those people, I would like to make a few suggestions for any future bus trips.

1. You don't get on through the rear doors. You get on at the front. When you get on in the back you get in the way of everyone trying to get off. There is also nowhere to pay at the rear. Perhaps you did not know that there is generally a fare involved, but there is. If you wondered why everyone was looking at you like you had no head, that is why.

2. When the lady behind you says she is getting off at the next stop, that means get out of the way. It does not mean that you need to yell over the top of 40 people that someone is getting off at the next stop. There is a cord that the woman behind you definetely already pulled. It let the busdriver know what her intentions were.

3. It is not cool to fist bump every black guy that gets on the bus. It is the opposite of cool. You are not earning extra liberal points for that type of behavior. You might catch a pretty good beating however. Stop.

4. When an old lady tells you to make room because Rosa Parks is on the bus, she is jacking with you. Try not to think about what it all means, seriously, she is just messing around... and getting you to move your ass.

I am sure there is more to add here, but I don't want to fill your heads with too much. The rules are pretty simple. Try to follow them.

Welcome to the Ranks of the Anti-Americans, General!

Yesterday, Colin Powell endorsed Obama and made a pretty thorough case against McCain. The right has responded predictably.

Friday, October 17, 2008

At War With Themselves

Reliable conservative Kathleen Parker is standing up for Christopher Buckley against the onslaught from his fellow conservatives. In a Post column, she explains what has happened to conservatives of Buckley's type.

Radical conservatives are still having an interesting time of it, though these days they are being mutilated by fellow "conservatives." The well-fed Right now cultivates ignorance as a political strategy and humiliates itself when its brightest sons seek sanctuary in the solitude of personal honor.
I suppose the people she is talking about have about finished some viral campaign talking about what a baby-hating non-patriot Parker must be.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Maybe We Should Call for More Debates

It seems that people are all but sure now that Obama will win this election. I am feeling pretty confident myself, but I wonder if the end of the debates doesn't present McCain with his best (if still very small) opportunity.

The debates have been a boon for Obama. He has simultaneously been able to talk about the issues he is strong on (and voters care about), and capitalize on the opportunity to stand in front of a large number of Americans and look presidential. The McCain campaign's attack ads have been unsuccessful, and I think at least part of the reason is that the Obama voters hear described in the ads so clearly does not resemble the Obama they see at the debates. Obama seems more credible as a result, and McCain seems less credible.

With the debates over, the McCain camp will have the chance to make more wild charges, and Obama will not have the same kind of platform to respond. That could allow the attacks to be a bit more effective.

The other benefit to McCain with the end of the debates is that he no longer has to talk about policy if he chooses not to. Last night, I heard some of the most bewildering things I have heard in a political forum. Three points stood out:

1. McCain again mocked Obama's interest in "safe" nuclear power.
2. McCain appeared to dismiss women's health concerns as a concoction of the left.
3. McCain seemed to say that we should have college grads and soldiers as teachers, and that those groups shouldn't have to go through any testing to be eligible.
Those are absolutely three of the dumbest statements ever made during a presidential debate. Did McCain mean something more complex and just didn't spit it out? Maybe, but he didn't spit it out. So anyone watching the debates now must assume that John McCain supports unsafe nuclear power, indifference towards the health concerns of women, and unqualified teachers in the classroom.

I'm thinking his campaign staff are very glad the debates are over.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chiefs Getting Offensive

The Kansas City Chiefs' offensive struggles on the field apparently have not affected their ability to be offensive off it. Larry Johnson was recently charged with simple assault for an incident at a KC nightclub.

Citing police and court documents, the Kansas City Star reported that a 26-year-old woman accused Johnson, 28, of pushing her on the side of the head at a nightclub on Feb. 24, 2008.
I am a little curious as to what pushing someone on the side of the head really means. It doesn't sound like something that would be effective if you were really interested in assaulting someone. But leave it to a Chief to even screw up simple assault.

Monday, October 13, 2008


You can say a lot of things about Christopher Hitchens. That he minces words is not one of those things:

The most insulting thing that a politician can do is to compel you to ask yourself: "What does he take me for?" Precisely this question is provoked by the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin. I wrote not long ago that it was not right to condescend to her just because of her provincial roots or her piety, let alone her slight flirtatiousness, but really her conduct since then has been a national disgrace. It turns out that none of her early claims to political courage was founded in fact, and it further turns out that some of the untested rumors about her—her vindictiveness in local quarrels, her bizarre religious and political affiliations—were very well-founded, indeed. Moreover, given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the whack-job fringe of the party's right wing and of recycling patent falsehoods about Obama's position on Afghanistan, she has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses.
The rest of Hitchens' article at Slate is similar. For a guy who has spent the last few years concentrating all his ferocity towards those who didn't want to be in Iraq, an unwillingness to back McCain must truly mean the wheels are off.

What a Weekend!

Kansas City professional sports teams suffered no losses this weekend.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sourcing the Nonsense

Why would those nuts at McCain/Palin rallies think Obama is a Muslim terrorist or a socialist? The Daily Show provided a theory:

How Not to Build a Permanent Majority

It wasn't that long ago that people like Hugh Hewitt were writing books about a permanent republican majority. This election, while far from over, looks like it could produce a Democratic president and increased control of both houses of Congress. David Brooks attempts to explain why in his column in the Times today:

And so, politically, the G.O.P. is squeezed at both ends. The party is losing the working class by sins of omission — because it has not developed policies to address economic anxiety. It has lost the educated class by sins of commission — by telling members of that class to go away.
The whole article talks about the rampant anti-intellectualism and anticoastalism that has been an undercurrent of GOP thinking for awhile, and has absolutely busted out at recent McCain/Palin rallies. If you want to be a party that builds a coalition broad enough to stretch over a long period, it probably is best not spend all your time proposing that half the country are in some amoral, terrorist loving, baby killing cabal. That's free advice.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Maybe He Didn't Understand the Question

David Broder is pissing me off. Here is what he had to say about the presidential candidates' answers at the second debate.

John McCain and Barack Obama have been asked twice -- once in the Mississippi debate and again on Tuesday night -- what their priorities would be. McCain flat-out refused to choose, arguing that the United States can do it all. Obama mentioned energy, health care and education but did not acknowledge that he might have to choose among them.
The question didn't ask what they would leave out, it asked what their priorities are. McCain did not answer the question. Obama did. But Broder, in typical Broder fashion, blames them both.

Now the larger point of his story is well-taken. It is true that both candidates are reluctant to say what they might give up with a bad economy. But if Broder is really surprised by that he probably hasn't learned anything in his century of writing columns. Or maybe he is just mailing it in at this point.

The bigger issue is that Broder is almost never willing to say one side has behaved worse than the other, even when it is clearly warranted. This is the type of media coverage that allows John McCain to get away with egregious attacks and outright lies. Yes, the media needs to be fair. But they need to be accurate too.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


For those of you who aren't baseball fans, Manny Ramirez was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 1st. Manny is one of those athletes, like Allen Iverson, who people love to criticise. The fact that these guys are honest overshadows the fact that they always perform, are especially clutch and never provide a legit reason to think they don't want to win in the worst way.

Tim McCarver recently said that Manny was despicable because he quit on his team before the trade. His proof was that since the trade Manny hit .397 and had an OBP of .489. That's pretty good. But the month before Manny got traded he was batting .347 and his OBP was .473. If that is what quitting on your team looks like, I would love to see a couple of Royals put it in the tank next year.


Or Roosegan? One of those guys is John McCain's hero.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Have Little to Add Here

Glenn Greenwald has a really good post about McCain's increasingly nasty speeches. The link is here, but I wanted to just paste the first part as is.

In the last two months of this election -- as the Bush administration winds down as the most unpopular in modern American history and the Right is on the verge of a desperately-needed collective death -- we see a perfect microcosm of what our country has been over the last eight years. The financial crisis is spreading, accelerating, and morphing across the globe in unpredictable ways. The economic anxiety levels are as high as one can recall, teetering on panic, and even the Wall St. Journal Editorial Page is acknowledging that America's days of economic dominance are over. The national debt is over a staggering $10 trillion and has doubled in the last 8 years alone. And the symbols of our nation have become gulags, the waterboard, an endless stream of bombs and occupations, and people imprisoned forever with no charges of any kind.

And as these flames engulf America's foundations, what is the Right doing -- the movement that brought us all of this through their virtually absolute control of our Government for the last eight years? They're spending all their time chattering with each other about an aging 1960s radical and giddily cheering the increasingly repellent Sarah Palin as she skips around the country in front of rambunctiously booing right-wing crowds accusing Barack Obama of palling around with The Terrorists and pointing out that he doesn't see America the way all the Normal, Good Americans do. For the last eight years, the opponents of the Right have been America-hating Terrorists and they still are.

And just now, John McCain -- speaking in New Mexico -- delivered one of the ugliest, nastiest, most invective-filled personality attacks a major candidate has ever delivered, blatantly designed to stoke raw racial resentments and depict Obama as a Manchurian candidate funded by secret Arab Terrorist sources -- a truly unstable and hate-mongering rant filled with lines like these, delivered with an angry scowl to screaming, howling, booing throngs, while Cindy McCain stood behind him shaking her head in disgust at each fact she heard about the Black Terrorist daring to challenge her husband...
The post continues on, actually quoting McCain's speech and then showing the effects of a lot of this rhetoric on Republican crowds. Apparently, the effect on some is to suggest assasination. Nice.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Breaking Point

What line do you think needs to be crossed before Obama is allowed a little leeway if he punches one of his opponents in the eye? I would think these comments by Sarah Palin might come pretty close to that line:

"Well, I was reading my copy of today's New York Times and I was really interested to read about Barack's friends from Chicago," Palin told the crowd. "Turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man who, according to The New York Times was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol.' These are the same guys who think patriotism is paying higher taxes. This is not a man who sees America as you and I do -- as the greatest force for good in the world. This is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country. This, ladies and gentlemen, has nothing to do with the kind of change anyone can believe in -- not my kids and not your kids."
It's insulting to Obama, of course, but it also insults everyone listening because Palin is both expecting us to believe she suddenly deems the NYT a reputable news source and fundamentally mischaracterizing the story in question.

For the record, I think Obama will take the high road and leave fisticuffs off the campaign trail. It is hard to imagine him not being tempted though.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

80's Movie Line of the Week

What with that great jobs report this week and all, how about a movie about the plight of the American worker, Gung Ho?

Hunt Stevenson: Afterwards we have a few beers and piss for distance.
Kazihiro: For us it's accuracy.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Wishin' It Don't Make It True

I'm not sure how anyone could have watched last night's debate and not decided Sarah Palin is a disaster. Being able to smile and form sentences are not the hurdles that bona fide national leaders are expected to clear. It was plainly evident that Joe Biden knew mountains more than Palin about virtually everything they talked about. Her down home shtick was plastered on like eye shadow on a tranny.

The American public seemed to have agreed with that assessment. All of the instant polls taken after the debate declared Biden the winner by double digit margins. But one group seems to have been watching a different debate. I am referring, of course, to conservative pundits.

Almost to a person, the knuckleheads at NRO have decided Palin won the debate and that America will be in love with her. They also think the press is showing its bias by not talking about how great she did. Life is good on Planet Conservatron.

One more thing: Gwen Ifill disappointed me last night. When a candidate announces moments into a debate that she will not be accountable to questions asked by the moderator, it really has to be the moderator's job to make some attempt at forcing that candidate to comply with the rules agreed to before the debate started. Credit goes to the Republicans for painting Ifill into a corner where she may not have felt like she could do anything about it. I, however, think she still could have and should have.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Trust Issues

With our attention focused on the future, it can be easy to forget about how much the Bush administration did to run government into the ground. We got a small reminder this week, even if nobody paid attention to it.

The report says "it appears" that Missouri U.S. attorney Todd Graves "was told to resign because of a political dispute among Missouri politicians, not because of an objective assessment of his performance." Specifically the dispute was between Republican Sen. Christopher S. "Kit" Bond and Graves's brother, a Republican congressman.

Arkansas U.S. attorney Bud Cummins "was not removed for any performance reasons," the report says. "Rather, the evidence shows that the main reason for Cummins's removal was to provide a position for former White House official Tim Griffin."

The most egregious case, according to the report, was that of New Mexico U.S. attorney David Iglesias. The evidence showed that Iglesias was removed because of complaints from Republican Sen. Pete Domenici and other GOP officials and party activists who believed he was not being aggressive enough in pursuing certain voter fraud and public corruption cases -- by happenstance, cases against Democrats.

Gonzales and his deputies at Justice never looked into Iglesias's handling of those cases and, in fact, never even asked him about them. They just fired him.
Pretty easy to understand why the president doesn't have a lot of credibility when he tells the American public that the financial bailout is in their best interest. That's too bad.

Bad Sign

If anyone ever begins a story about you with a sentence like this, you can asume things aren't going well.

Sarah Palin's performance in her CBS News interviews has been so poor that one can't avoid speculating about the depth of her ignorance.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Reminder

We watch the numbers for Obama and McCain go up and down and focus on the totals. But there are a million stories within those totals. What is your favorite among those exhibited below?


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