The next chapter of American history

by twit

begins with record-breaking voter turnout…

FTW

image via Wonkette

via Politico on November 5, 2008:

More than 130 million people turned out to vote Tuesday, the most ever to vote in a presidential election.

With ballots still being counted in some precincts into Wednesday morning, an estimated 64 percent of the electorate turned out, making 2008 the highest percentage turnout in generations.

via MSNBC on November 5, 2008:

The percentage of Americans who voted was unmatched in at least a generation and perhaps since 1908, according to election experts. Secretaries of state estimated turnouts approaching 90 percent in Virginia and Colorado and 80 percent or more in big states like Ohio, California, Texas, Virginia, Missouri and Maryland.

via CNN on November 5, 2008:

Obama snared about 63 million votes to McCain’s 55.8 million, according to totals early Wednesday.

via MSNBC on November 5, 2008:

Obama won the popular vote, 52%-46% — the first time a Democrat won more than 51% since LBJ did it in 1964.

So how long is this election going to take?

by twit

via MSNBC on November 4, 2008:

… keep an eye on the four states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. If Obama wins just two out of the four, it becomes nearly impossible for McCain to get to 270 — even if he wins Pennsylvania.

… if Virginia is called early for Obama, that will be a sign of a possible big night for the Democrats.

… probably the earliest that we might see the election called for Obama (i.e., him going crossing the 270 mark) would be at 11:00 pm ET.

via the Associated Press on November 4, 2008:

Long lines and malfunctioning machines greeted voters Tuesday as polls across the country were deluged by people wanting to cast ballots in this historic race between Barack Obama and John McCain.

this could be a loooooong night…  or maybe not:

ABC News Andy Fies reports: In Manassas, VA where the Confederacy won the first major battle of its war to preserve slavery, Barack Obama held the last rally of his campaign to become President of the United States.

… It wasn’t the Civil War battleground itself — better Known in the North as Bull Run — but it had that feel. Ninety thousand Obama supporters poured over a distant ridge onto a field below, leading up to and surrounding the stage.

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if John McCain was a broadway show

by twit

he’d look a lot like this:

“My Friends: The Musical” via the Viral Video Chart

Halloween Greetings

by twit

From the Drudge Report:

ZOGBY: MCCAIN MOVES INTO LEAD 48-47 IN ONE DAY POLLING

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You Can Vote However You Like

by twit

via Breitbart:

Time: “You Can Vote However You Like,” inspired by rapper T.I.’s hit “Whatever You Like,” has swept across the Internet over the past few days, amassing nearly 300,000 hits on YouTube and booking them upcoming appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America and BET’s 106 & Park.

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the wheels on the bus

by twit

go round and round…

Even McCain can’t help but campaign for Obama:

From his interview to air tonight on Larry King Live. …

KING: You don’t believe Barack Obama is a socialist do you?

MCCAIN: “No”

while rumor has it, Palin is no longer welcome on the Straight Talk Express:

I’ve heard from one well-placed source that McCain has snubbed her on one long bus ride aboard the Straight Talk Express, to the embarrassment of those sitting nearby.

and the mad scramble is on in the McCain campaign to blame Palin for everything:

John McCain’s campaign is looking for a scapegoat. It is looking for someone to blame if McCain loses on Tuesday.

And it has decided on Sarah Palin.

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John McCain should know better

by lestro

When the basis for the closing weeks of your campaign comes down to emphasizing the differences between the “pro-America” sections of the country as compared to the cities (a concept the Philadelphia Inquirer recently ripped to shreds) you should really make sure you are on the up and up yourself.

Because for the record, this:

image via The New York Times

violates the flag code.

Section 176 (”respect for flag”), subsection (g) of the US Flag Code states:

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

Johnny Mac should know better.

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McCain used to be so much more than a punchline

by lestro

One of the few agreements I have with Sen. McCain is his opposition to ethanol subsidies and tariffs. Ethanol is a boondoogle, a mistake and total bullshit. It takes more energy to make ethanol than the fuel actually  produces and the production of ethanol creates more greenhouse gases than are saved by using ethanol as a fuel.

It is stupid and our investment money can better be spent on other renewable technologies.

Since half the country grows corn, it made sense to look at it as a possible fuel source. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work very well.

However, with Iowa being one of the opening rounds in the upcoming presidential contest, intelligent policy can take a back seat to the need to pander to farmers by promising them continued ethanol subsidies, even though these subsidies not only continue the farce of corn-based fuel but also ratchet up our food costs by diverting stuff we can eat – something corn is quite good it – in favor of something we can put in our cars – something at which corn is middling at best.

Obama, meanwhile, is from Illinois, which grows a pantload of corn (Iowa ranks No. 1, Illinois comes in at No. 2) so he’s totally in the tank for ethanol.

Nobody’s perfect.

Recognizing the folly of ethanol (or at least taking a stand against stupid giveaways), John McCain is opposed to ethanol. It was one of the reasons he lost the Iowa Caucus to Mike Huckabee.

Or at least, McCain used to be opposed to ethanol subsidies. Back in 1999 he was opposed, although in this election season, McCain has said with the price of oil being so high, ethanol might make sense.

However, with Iowa polls showing a double digit Obama lead in a state with the “real America” profile Sarah Palin gets her panties in a bunch about, Johnny Mac is flip-flopping again:

But at a rally here Sunday afternoon, Mr. McCain seemed to suggest that government has a role in promoting corn ethanol.

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Joe the McCain

by twit

He’s finally been booted out of the campaign:

Joe McCain said: “I feel terrible about having hurt the campaign over this incident. I won’t be doing any more campaigning because of that.”

… McCain’s brother has been in the news on other occasions recently.

Joe McCain, speaking at an event in early October in support of his brother, called two Democratic-leaning areas in Northern Virginia “communist country.”

“I’ve lived here for at least 10 years and before that about every third duty I was in either Arlington or Alexandria, up in communist country,” the younger McCain, a Navy veteran, said at an event in Loudoun County, Va.

Joe McCain then apologized, but the remark reportedly drew laughter at the event.

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postcards from the internets

by twit

With McCain down in the polls and Obama increasingly projected to win the presidency in a landslide, it apparently is time for the kicking to begin:

Paging the gateway meme: via TPM, from The New Republic: “Charles Fried, … one of the most important conservative thinkers in the United States… announced that he has voted for Obama-Biden by absentee ballot.” But that’s not all: “he asked that his name be removed from the several [McCain] campaign-related committees on which he serves.” and: “… he said that chief among the reasons for his decision “is the choice of Sarah Palin at a time of deep national crisis.”  hmm. sounds familiar

Gateway meme to the front desk, please: via MSNBC: “In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released Tuesday, 55 percent of respondents said they believed Palin was not qualified to serve as president if the need arose. Palin’s qualifications were the No. 1 concern voters had about McCain’s candidacy, ahead of the economy and the war in Iraq.”

et tu, Lieberman? via Politico: ““[T]hank God she’s not going to have to be president from Day One. McCain’s going to be alive and well,” he said.”

McCain is a crappy hedge fund: via Politico: “Republican donors, at the end of day, aren’t stupid,” said another Republican familiar with third-party activities this cycle. “They’re not going to throw good money after bad.”

McCain volunteer snaps, goes insane: From the Associated Press, a truly tragic story of Ashley Todd, age 20, who “will be housed in a mental health unit at the county jail for her safety and because of “her not insignificant mental health issues,” prosecutor Mark Tranquilli said.”

Maybe it was the Palin shopping spree that did it: From the Associated Press: ““That whole thing is just, bad!” [Palin] said. “Oh, if people only knew how frugal we are.””

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Alan Greenspan admits a “mistake”

by lestro

I am just completely taken aback by this admission

Facing a firing line of questions from Washington lawmakers, Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman once considered the infallible maestro of the financial system, admitted on Thursday that he “made a mistake” in trusting that free markets could regulate themselves without government oversight.

Wow.  Shit must be worse than we thought.

Greenspan was all about deregulation and all about the market being the answer to the ills of the world.

But what he failed to count on was the overwhelming greed.

Which seems odd, because no one gets into the market because it is fulfilling, they get in to make MONEY. Usually at any cost.  Didn’t he see Bonfire of the Vanities or Wall Street?

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Sarah Palin won’t get an Obama tax cut

by twit

Not if the $150,000 or so in clothes she’s gotten from the RNC counts as income…

Piano roll blues, danced holes in my shoes, There weren't another other way to be ...

via Wonkette, Politico reports on Oct 22, 2008:

The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

and not if she’s in prison!

The cash expenditures immediately raised questions among campaign finance experts about their legality under the Federal Election Commission’s long-standing advisory opinions on using campaign cash to purchase items for personal use.

image via Wonkette

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Liberal media, my ass

by lestro

This time it hits home because it is coming from one of my very favorite newspapers, The Philadelphia Inquirer (as reported in the NY Times):

Over the weekend, the Philadelphia Inquirer joined the many newspapers that have endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president rather than Senator John McCain, contributing to the 3-to-1 advantage that Mr. Obama already has in newspaper support, according to Editor & Publisher.

Yet the Philadelphia Inquirer also endorsed Senator McCain. That’s not a typo.

On the same page that the newspaper published a 901-word editorial supporting Mr. Obama, it ran just beneath it a 391-word dissent in support of Mr. McCain.

Seriously. They actually did that. What the fuck? Officially, of course, nothing happened:

Brian Tierney, chief executive of the company that owns The Inquirer, Philadelphia Media Holdings, and who sits on the newspaper’s editorial board, would not say. In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Tierney would only say, “We don’t talk about what goes on on the editorial page.”

But the Times has its ways:

But another member of the Editorial Board, who asked not to be identified because of possible repercussions, said that it was Mr. Tierney who pressed the case for Mr. McCain. After arriving at the meeting, the board member said, “we went around the room” and Mr. Obama was the “overwhelming winner.”

At that point, the person said, “Tierney weighed in and made the case for McCain.”

Mr. Tierney, an advertising executive who in the past had been involved in Republican politics, was among a number of business executives who bought the Inquirer and its sister paper, the Philadelphia Daily News, from the McClatchy Company in 2006 for $562 million.

So let me get this straight: It was actually the REPUBLICAN forcing his view on the newsroom and using his power and influence to try and sway an election?

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“either astoundingly ignorant or downright Orwellian”

by twit

The de ja vu is uncanny:

via leapsecond

We must hang together, gentlemen…

by lestro

McCain’s newest Joe the Plumber line is a pile of doo-doo:

“As Joe has reminded us all, America did not become the greatest nation on Earth by giving money to the government to spread the wealth around,” Mr. McCain told supporters, referring to a quotation from Mr. Obama.

Actually, McCain has that backwards. It was exactly that sort of thing that helped lead to the US to become the greatest nation on earth (the reason the US is the greatest nation, by the way, is the philosophical idea that all men are created equal and that governments exist to protect the rights of its people; two very fresh-at-the-time ideas from the Declaration).

But let’s humor Johnny Mac:  So public education, Social Security, those tax breaks for wealthy corporations, the highway system, the military rebuilding New Orleans, that bridge in Minnesota and all that shit – not to mention the $700 billion bailout we just approved -  that’s not giving money to the government and spreading the wealth around?

That’s EXACTLY what it is and what taxes are for, Johnny. The idea that we are stronger together than we are apart is not only the very basis for the United States (remember Franklin? “We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately“), but it is also the idea behind CostCo.

Anyone who has ever had to do their own shopping (or bought their own drugs) will tell you that buying in quantity lowers price. That’s how it works.  With everything.

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Hey Sarah Palin

by twit

… just because I can see the moon / doesn’t make me an astronaut, you loon…

Via the Viral Video Chart

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A Vote for the American Dream

by twit

It is true that there is much to be afraid of with the ongoing demonization of Obama by the McCain campaign.  Many people are rightly concerned that it could incite people to violence against Obama.

The Politico reports on October 16, 2008:

Letterman also asked McCain whether Palin said that Obama “pals around with terrorists.”

After hesitating for a moment, McCain answered, “Yes. And he did.”

Do we want to live in an America defined by fear?  Not voting for Obama because of a fear that he will be assassinated is a vote for an America defined by fear.  It is a victory for violence and rage.

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Why is the Republican Party so racist?

by twit

via TPM, from the Press Enterprise on October 16, 2008:

The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”

The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist.

But wait, there’s more…

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“the incredible shrinking man”

by twit

Zing.  From Editor & Publisher on October 12, 2008:

Barack Obama picked up at least 16 newspaper endorsements this weekend, including six in swing states Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Missouri. John McCain, as far as we know, gained just two.

The Wisconsin State Journal and The Sun of San Bernardino had backed Bush in 2004. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called Obama’s opponent, John McCain, “the incredible shrinking man” who had made a horrific pick for his running mate.

Could the economy have something to do with it?

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American racism: Not dead yet

by twit

update: Frank Rich writes for the New York Times on October 11, 2008:

At McCain-Palin rallies, the raucous and insistent cries of “Treason!” and “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Off with his head!” as well as the uninhibited slinging of racial epithets, are actually something new in a campaign that has seen almost every conceivable twist.

On October 10, 2008, TPM takes a look at recent news coverage related to the tenor of recent McCain/Palin rallies:

The news orgs are beginning to weigh in with big takes on what is unquestionably one of the most important stories of Campaign 2008: The pathologically-unhinged tone that McCain-Palin supporters are displaying at rallies of late.

The New York Times has a write-up here; The Washington Post has one here, and The Politico has one here.

Salon has a related story on October 11, 2008:

It’s no accident McCain stood up after several honorable Republicans and former McCain supporters began to speak out about his campaign’s hate-mongering. On Friday Michigan’s former GOP governor William Milliken started backing away from the guy he endorsed.

“He is not the McCain I endorsed,” Milliken told a local paper. “He keeps saying, ‘Who is Barack Obama?’ I would ask the question, ‘Who is John McCain?’ because his campaign has become rather disappointing to me.

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Sarah Palin vs. The Philadelphia Flyers

by twit

The chorus of boos” was “almost deafening

“Palin came out onto the Wachovia Center ice Saturday night — greeted by resounding (almost deafening) boos from the Flyers crowd”

Sarah Palin thinks you are a moron

by twit

update: via McClatchy, from an Anchorage Daily News editorial on October 15, 2008:

Sarah Palin’s reaction to the Legislature’s Troopergate report is an embarrassment to Alaskans and the nation.

She claims the report “vindicates” her. She said that the investigation found “no unlawful or unethical activity on my part.”

Her response is either astoundingly ignorant or downright Orwellian.

We’re through the looking glass, people.

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Highlights from the Troopergate Report

by twit

What do you mean you don’t have time to read the entire 263 page report about how Sarah Palin abused her authority as governor?

Your faithful twit has collected some highlights for you:

(pdf at 8)

(pdf at 49)

(pdf at 52)

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But where’s Johnny Mac?

by lestro

So I saw a McCain ad today in the Washington Post:

And according to Factcheck.org, “McCain misrepresents Obama’s tax proposals again. And again, and again.”

Want to know how John McCain voted on Senate Concurrent Resolution 70?  Well, on both March 14 and June 6, the senior senator from Arizona did not vote.

Let me pull a Biden here and say that again: Did not vote on the budget resolution in question. In March, he was one of four to not vote (there was one ‘present’ vote) and five in June (two ‘present’). In fact, so far this year, McCain has missed 81 percent of the votes including 98 percent in the second quarter and every single vote in the third quarter.

(To be fair, Obama has missed 64 percent of the votes this year.)

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Sarah Palin rallies the KKK

by twit

update: via Newsweek on November 5, 2008:

The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied.

You don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows:

Just wow.  Via Wonkette, the Washington Post actually reports on October 6, 2008:

“Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers,” Palin said.

“Boooo!” said the crowd.

“And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,’” she continued.

“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.

“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.

So who is this nefarious Bill Ayers?  According to Palin, he is a terrorist:

“Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,” Palin told a group of donors in Englewood, Colo.

A deliberate attempt to smear Obama, McCain’s ticket-mate echoed the line at three separate events Saturday.

“This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” she said. “We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism.”

However:

Her reference to Obama’s relationship with William Ayers, a member of the Vietnam-era Weather Underground, was exaggerated at best if not outright false. No evidence shows they were “pals” or even close when they worked on community boards years ago and Ayers hosted a political event for Obama early in his career.

Obama, who was a child when the Weathermen were planting bombs, has denounced Ayers’ radical views and actions.

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What if Sarah Palin is the parody?

by lestro

This past weekend on SNL, Tina Fey once again parodied Sarah Palin, this time using Palin’s actual responses from the now infamous Katie Couric interview.

But what if Sarah Palin really is a parody?

What if this is all just a crazy character and she’s working us all, like Borat or Andy Kaufman?

Think about it in pure stereotypical, demographic, Hollywood terms:

A former beauty queen from a small town in Alaska who marries a half-Native snow mobile champ; She’s a born-again young-earth creationist who is blessed by a witch-hunter and believes the Flintstones are real; She has five kids, including the oldest (named Track) in the military, and her pregnant, unwed teenage daughter planning a wedding; Palin wins mayor on big, national, wedge issues; She goes on to governor, where she gets deep into a scandal that started with a sister in a bad divorce with a state trooper.

Then she was picked out of obscurity and thrown onto the Republican ticket at a time when the country is in the middle of two wars and struggling with a floundering economy.

What a great bio. You couldn’t write that. No one would believe it.

Now factor in her performances; the way she is good with a script and with catch phrases and seems to be improvising in interviews. It’s almost like ‘how far can I take this?

What if she’s just locked in the punch?

They picked her to stop an open revolt

by twit

but it looks like when it is time for civil war in the Republican party, it is simply time for civil war:

Famed conservative columnist George Will told a gathering of Senate aides on Monday that Gov. Sarah Palin is “obviously” not prepared to assume the presidency if necessary, two event attendees told the Huffington Post.

Appearing at a Senate Press Secretaries Association reception at the Cornerstone Government Affairs office, Will offered a harsh assessment of John McCain’s running mate.

Palin is “obviously not qualified to be President,” he remarked, describing her interview on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric as a “disaster.”

… Will, who did not return requests for comment, had also been previously critical of McCain’s choice of Palin, writing a week after it was announced: “The man who would be the oldest to embark on a first presidential term has chosen as his possible successor a person of negligible experience.” One week ago, meanwhile, Will penned a blistering op-ed about McCain, accusing him of practicing “fact-free slander,” holding a “Manichaean worldview,” and “characteristically substituting vehemence for coherence.”

thx Wonkette

CNN vs. SNL

by twit

or, “Sarah Palin vs. Sarah Palin”

It’s the first time Wolf Blitzer has ever heard SNL parody use exactly the same words…

via the Viral Video Chart

Through the looking glass

by lestro

Nothing makes sense.

See if you can find anything in this pile of crap that makes any logical sense at all (aside, of course, from Johnny Mac not talking to the press. That actually makes perfect sense):

Later, his campaign’s senior policy adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin issued a statement blaming Democrats and presidential rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for the bill’s defeat.

“From the minute John McCain suspended his campaign and arrived in Washington to address this crisis, he was attacked by the Democratic leadership: Senators Obama and Reid, Speaker Pelosi and others,” Holtz-Eakin said. “Their partisan attacks were an effort to gain political advantage during a national economic crisis. By doing so, they put at risk the homes, livelihoods and savings of millions of American families.”

The adviser also blamed remarks delivered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, chastising President Bush’s free market economic policies, for pushing Republicans away from the bill.

Actually, it was President Bush’s free market economic policies that got us into it and it was the bailout itself and the total lack oversight that drove the Republicans away from it.  It is the continuing adherence to free market policies that prevented the Republicans from voting for it…

“Barack Obama failed to lead, phoned it in, attacked John McCain, and refused to even say if he supported the final bill,” Holtz-Eakin said. “Just before the vote, when the outcome was still in doubt, Speaker Pelosi gave a strongly worded partisan speech and poisoned the outcome. This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country.”

So they had a deal until Mac showed up, then it fell apart. And on Saturday, he literally phoned it in, which his advisers told the press was the right move.

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Attack the tactic? Bad strategy, John.

by lestro

I think I just got to the heart of the problem in the George W. Bush Administration, as well as the would-be sequel of the McCampaign.

It is a delicate, but incredible important distinction between strategies and tactics.

Friday in the debate, during a discussion about the 2003 troop surge in Iraq, Barack Obama said:

They have done a brilliant job, and General Petraeus has done a brilliant job. But understand, that was a tactic designed to contain the damage of the previous four years of mismanagement of this war.

And so John likes — John, you like to pretend like the war started in 2007. You talk about the surge. The war started in 2003, and at the time when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy. You said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. You were wrong.

You said that we were going to be greeted as liberators. You were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shiite and Sunni. And you were wrong.

John McCain, following this eloquent and succinct dressing down of his judgment, put on his most condescending face, flicked his tongue a few times and did exactly what the Karl Rove playbook says to do.

He belittled his opponent, plugged the message and changed the subject:

MCCAIN: I’m afraid Senator Obama doesn’t understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy. But the important — I’d like to tell you, two Fourths of July ago I was in Baghdad. General Petraeus invited Senator Lindsey Graham and me to attend a ceremony where 688 brave young Americans, whose enlistment had expired, were reenlisting to stay and fight for Iraqi freedom and American freedom.

I was honored to be there. I was honored to speak to those troops. And you know, afterwards, we spent a lot of time with them. And you know what they said to us? They said, let us win. They said, let us win. We don’t want our kids coming back here.

And this strategy, and this general, they are winning. Senator Obama refuses to acknowledge that we are winning in Iraq.

With McCain’s storied military career, his dressing down his younger opponent on the difference between a strategy and a tactic carries some weight.

Unfortunately, as Joe Biden pointed out in the immediate spin (which was not countered by the other veep candidate, by the way. hmmm…), McCain was wrong and Obama was right.

A strategy is a big picture goal while a tactic is what you use to help achieve those. In the case of the surge, the strategy was “Clear, hold and build” – the tactic used to try and accomplish it was a temporary increase in troop levels.

In a broader sense, the strategy was to use the military to tamp down violence and create breathing room for the diplomatic operations to take hold and allow us to get out. The tactic that was used to allow the military to tamp down the violence was “the surge”.

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Delusions of the McCain campaign

by twit

via TPM, the Times Online reports:

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby.

“It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

hmm… could it be that the McCain campaign believes that this election is not about the issues facing this country?  at least if they expect to win?

The McCain campaign realizes that the more time voters have to look at the McCain/Palin debacle, the worse their chances are.  They appear to want anything that will “shut down the race” and divert attention away from the issues at stake in the election.

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McCain lies vs. McCain senility

by lestro

Those are the only options.

Last night in the debate, McCain returned to the topic of earmarks, delivering this:

Denouncing government spending, he tossed in an example. “You know, we spent $3 million to study the DNA of bears in Montana,” he said. “I don’t know if that was a criminal issue or a paternal issue,” he joked, but so rapidly that some viewers might have been confused, or wondered if the candidate was.

There are two problems with what he said. First, there’s this, from a Factcheck.org article last year:

Despite the fun McCain had ridiculing the bear project on the Senate floor, he didn’t actually try to remove it from the bill. He did introduce several amendments, including three to reduce funding for projects he considered wasteful or harmful, but none removing the grizzly bear project appropriations. And despite his criticisms, he voted in favor of the final bill.

The article also includes a discussion of the Bridge to Nowhere, noting McCain’s opposition, and his failure to show up to vote on whether to divert the Bridge to Nowhere money to New Orleans following Katrina.  The attempt to divert the money to Katrina aid failed.

Instead, Congress removed Gravina’s earmarks, tossing that money into Alaska’s general transportation pot to be used however the state chose. McCain wasn’t there for that vote, either.

In light of the furor over the “bridge to nowhere,” Alaska’s governor opted to use the money for other pursuits. The bridge was never built, but McCain has been using it as his prime pork example since 2005, even blaming it for the Minneapolis bridge collapse in August 2007. (He cited it as an example of a pet project that diverted money from necessary highway maintenance.)

Which brings us to his running mate. During the debate, McCain once again returned to a theme of experience – seeming to forget that his running mate is supposed to be qualified to take over should something happen to the president – but why would he mention the Bear DNA study when Sarah Palin made a similar request?

Palin, meanwhile, has requested $3.2 million to be spent in part researching the “genetics of harbor seals,” in one of the state’s many requests for federal funding of research into Alaska’s fauna.

So what else did Sarah Palin request your tax money for?

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The laws of nature vs. debate body language

by lestro

Was John McCain the alpha male or the low-ranking monkey?

It is generally agreed that John McCain did not look at or address Barack Obama at all during the first presidential debate. But different folks saw it in different ways.

Conservative columnist David Broder saw it like this:

That suggests an imbalance in the deference quotient between the younger man and the veteran senator — an impression reinforced by Obama’s frequent glances in McCain’s direction and McCain’s studied indifference to his rival.

Whether viewers caught the verbal and body-language signs that Obama seemed to accept McCain as the alpha male on the stage in Mississippi, I do not know.

A primatologist writing to Talking Points Memo saw it from a different angle:

I think people really are missing the point about McCain’s failure to look at Obama. McCain was afraid of Obama. It was really clear–look at how much McCain blinked in the first half hour. I study monkey behavior–low ranking monkeys don’t look at high ranking monkeys. In a physical, instinctive sense, Obama owned McCain tonight and I think the instant polling reflects that.

During the debate, I saw it as McCain’s inability to look Barack Obama in the eye.

But I figured that if I had been spreading such horrible lies about someone, I wouldn’t be able to look them in the eye either.

I suppose we’ll see it in the polls soon enough.

But where’s Sarah?

by lestro

Following Friday night’s debate, NBC welcomed via satellite Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, to do a little post-debate spinning.

Following his segment, Anchor Brian Williams reported that NBC offered a similar spot to Sarah Palin, but the McCain campaign declined, offering Rudy Giuliani instead.  A similar thing happened on CNN, and all of the major networks, except for ABC, which would not interview Biden because Palin was ‘not available.’

Maybe that’s because in the debate, McCain returned to the experience theme and figures American voters aren’t stupid enough to buy that again when reminded of the selection of Palin as his running mate.

But no matter. So where was Sarah Palin while the focus of the political world was on Ole Miss?

Well, she started the night at a private pre-debate party at an Irish bar in Center City Philadelphia. (The party, by the way, closed the bar to customers on a night when the Philadelphia Phillies were battling for a playoff spot, beating the Washington Nationals 8-4 and lowering their magic number to 1 following a Mets loss to Florida.)

No word where she was for the actual debate, probably getting tutored by her Bush Administration teachers

But what does that say?

Dave Letterman touched on this after McCain lied to him about having to go back to Washington to fix the economy, an issue he has admitted not knowing anything about (when McCain didn’t leave until the next day and did an interview with Katie Couric AT THE SAME TIME he was scheduled for Letterman). Letterman wondered where McCain’s “second string quarterback” was, pointing out that if your choice for second can’t step in when you have to run off, what good are they?

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Is hell freezing over?

by lestro

It appears at least one ideologue is beginning to realize the role he played in the current financial crisis:

Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and a longtime proponent of deregulation, acknowledged on Friday that the voluntary supervisory program of Wall Street’s largest investment banks had contributed to the global financial crisis and abruptly shut the program down.

wow.

“The last six months have made it abundantly clear that voluntary regulation does not work,” Mr. Cox said in a statement. The program “was fundamentally flawed from the beginning, because investment banks could opt in or out of supervision voluntarily,” he added.

“The fact that investment bank holding companies could withdraw from this voluntary supervision at their discretion diminished the perceived mandate” of the program, and “weakened its effectiveness.”

wow again.

Unfortunately, Cox is also the guy that John McCain, champion de-regulator, wants fired.

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