Monday, December 29, 2008

The Bush Legacy

Back in January, President Bush predicted that by the end of his term, thanks to his Too Little Too LateTM brand of foreign policy, the Israelis and Palestinians would have signed a peace treaty.

How's that working out?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Soul Survivor

Headline on Drudge:

BUSH: 'I didn't compromise my soul to be a popular guy'...

I haven't actually read the article yet. Does it say why he did compromise his soul?

Friday, December 12, 2008

The War on Christmas

My wife took our daughter to the mall yesterday to get a photo of her sitting on Santa's lap.

Packages start at $18.

No personal cameras allowed.

I guess that approximates the Christmas spirit for an industry that thinks trampled security guards is the price of doing business.

Bah humbug!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Chicago Original

After reading the complaint against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich—which includes staggering allegations that he brazenly tried to sell Obama's vacated senate seat to the highest bidder, threatened to scuttle the Tribune Company's plans to sell Wrigley Field if they didn't fire Chicago Tribune editorial board members who had been sharply critical of him, and contemplated appointing himself to Obama's old seat in preparation for, get this, a possible 2016 presidential run (not kidding)—I am convinced that he truly embodies the maxim of one of Chicago's favorite sons, architect Daniel Burnham: make no little plans.

Indeed.

Now Illinoisans need to see if they can elect a governor who won't make a direct trip from the Governor's Mansion to federal prison. They're 0 for 2 on that count in recent memory.

Hate to say it, but this makes Sarah Palin's Troopergate corruption scandal look like amateur hour.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Morning in America



Yes we did!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Question for Sarah Palin

What didn't she know and when didn't she know it?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber

I wonder how Bob the Builder feels about all this attention Joe the Plumber is getting.

Joe Sixpack was too drunk to notice.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wall St. Hates McCain

Or at least it sure looks that way.

Debate days have been particularly brutal ones for the Dow Jones, and, as we all know, bad economic news is especially bad for the McCain/Palin ticket. (Let's call it the Unstable/Unable ticket, or maybe Unsteady/Unready?)

No amount of McCain's "fear Obama" act or Palin's hockey shtick is likely to distract voters whose life savings are disappearing faster than the last remaining shreds of John McCain's honor and dignity.

The first debate date wasn't so bad. The Dow actually rose (remember when that used to happen?) 124 points on September 26.

It's been downhill from there:

  • October 2, V.P. Debate — Dow down 365 points
  • October 7, Obama/McCain II — Dow down 508 points
  • Today, October 15, Obama/McCain III — Dow down 733 points
What does this all mean?

For starters, please don't have any more debates!

Between September 26 and today, a span of just 15 trading days, the Dow is down a gut-wrenching 2,565 points, or 23%.

On the days of the last three debates alone, the Dow has tanked 1,606 points, accounting for 62.6% of that overall loss. Three days!

Do you think maybe Wall St. is trying to tell us something?

Other than "you will never retire", that is.

Anyway, look for any McCain attacks on Obama's character to go over like, well, the rest of his campaign.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

B.S. Quote of the Year

Sen. Barack Obama has "waged the dirtiest campaign in American history..." — Cindy McCain
As in politics as in, er, other things, he who smelt it dealt it.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Memo to John McCain

The only people old enough to know who William Ayers is are the same people who just saw their retirement plans get sucked down the black hole of Wall St. The Culture Wars just might not be the first thing on their minds...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Quote of the Day

The last thing we need is for Republican officials to mock us on television when we're trying to rebuild the neighborhoods they have destroyed. Maybe if everyone had more houses than they can count, we wouldn't need community organizers. But I work with people who are getting evicted from their only home. If John McCain and the Republicans understood that, maybe they wouldn't be so quick to make fun of community organizers like me.
John Raskin, founder of Community Organizers of America

Traditional Values

Here is some nice conservative Palin-wear for the Young Republican set.

They also have some options for Palin's daughter.

Palin Comparison

We're in the Twilight Zone.

The media, expertly gamed by McCain's faux-outrage performance art over the past few days, are gushing about the "great" "speech" Sarah Palin gave last night. This morning, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough wanted to know if it was "the greatest political speech ever made, or just the second-greatest."

I guess that would make it better than the Gettysburg Address or Lincoln's Second Inaugural; more nuanced than JFK's "Ask Not.." speech; more inspiring than FDR's "We Have Nothing to Fear..." speech; more prescient than Reagan's "Tear Down This Wall" speech. Reductio. Ad. Absurdum.

In fact, it was a petty, mean-spirited, cloying, manipulative, disingenuous, empty piece of garbage. In other words, standard Republican fare.

I was particularly struck by how Palin brutally mocked Obama for community organizing on the South Side of Chicago, as if helping poor people and laid off steel workers (remember, Palin's husband is not just an America-hating secessionist and snowmobile racing super-he-man, he's also a member of the steel workers union) is dilettante's work.

Certainly it's less respectable than being the mayor of a town of 4,500 that also happens to be the meth capital of Alaska. Right?

A question for the GOP: Wasn't it just yesterday that you were tearing down Barack Obama for being all oratory and no experience? And now you want to add Sarah Palin to the Holy Trinity (she will sitteth at the far-right hand of God) on the basis of an (un-pretty) speech she gave at the Republican Convention?

There's a word for that: "hypocrisy". Although you guys might just know it as "business as usual".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Up for the Count

What is it with Republicans and counting?

Last week, John McCain couldn't count high enough to number all of his houses. This morning, on the fair and balanced Fox News, one of the Stepford Anchors made a reference to the 300,000 protesters creating havoc for police at the Democratic Convention.

Only they meant 300.

They were only off by an order of 1,000.

It does make me wonder how they'll celebrate John McCain's 73,000th birthday this week.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jobama!

Just wanted to get in on the Democratic Party 2008 ticket naming action.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Truth Is Stupider Than Fiction

A friend sent me this photo the other day. In the foreground is The Onion. In the background it's the Chicago Sun-Times.

Words fail.

Saint McCain

John "President Bush is 'a man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius'" Hinderaker puts his finger on the pulse of middle class America:

The latest campaign kerfuffle is Obama's effort to make hay out of John McCain's inability to tell a reporter how many houses he owns. McCain mumbled something about condos and said the reporter should talk to his wife. Predictably, Obama is trying to spin this exchange as showing that McCain is "out of touch."

I can relate, though. For example, if a reporter asked me how many ties I own, there's no way I could answer.

...

The truth is that McCain isn't out of touch with "ordinary people" because he's rich, he's out of touch with his own domestic arrangements because he cares little about material things, and for many years has devoted his extraordinary energies not to enjoying his wife's money, but to serving the American people. Given the number of nights he's spent in hotels or on military bases over the last few years, it's no wonder he hasn't seen much of his wife's condos.
Wow, nice try! And I guess he doesn't really step on those $550 Italian loafers because he walks on air?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Clintonian Democracy

A horrendous and narcissistic non-concession concession speech, as if that's a surprise.

New odds: Hillary Clinton will concede when Guns 'n Roses releases Chinese Democracy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Feminist

From Hillary Clinton's letter to superdelegates:
I am in this race for all the women in their nineties who've told me they were born before women could vote, and they want to live to see a woman in the White House. For all the women who are energized for the first time, and voting for the first time. For the little girls – and little boys – whose parents lift them onto their shoulders at our rallies, and whisper in their ears, "See, you can be anything you want to be." As the first woman ever to be in this position, I believe I have a responsibility to them.
Yes, let me imagine having that conversation with my own daughter:
See, you can be anything you want to be. All you have to do is grow up to marry a very powerful man and then use his fame to win a seat in the U.S. Senate in a state where you've never lived and without ever having held any prior elected office. Then, when you finally run for president, you can unleash your ultra-famous ex-president husband as your attack dog and co-campaigner, all the while complaining about what a disadvantage you're at because (sniffle, sniffle) the boys are so mean.

Do that, and you could join a long line of female heads of state who got where they did for similar reasons: Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan was the daughter of the first prime minister, Megawati Sukamoputri of Indonesia was also the daughter of a beloved former prime minister, Corazon Aquino in the Philippines was the widow of an assassinated senator and leader of the political opposition, and the current president of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez, is the wife of the ex-president.

What's that? Yes, it would be quite an honor for the United States to join that illustrious group of nations. Quite an honor, indeed. And what a step forward for women, too!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lieberman Jumps Shark - With Sharks!

Andrew Sullivan says Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Asshole-Conn.) has "jumped the shark", thanks to his wise decision to headline Pastor/Screaming-Bigot John Hagee's 2008 Christians United For Israel Washington-Israel Summit in July.

You may remember Hagee as the kind-hearted soul who referred to the Catholic Church as the "Great whore" and, perhaps hitting a little closer to home for Sen. Lieberman, blamed the Jews for their own history of persecution because they denied Christ and said that Hitler was doing God's work by "helping" to convince the Jews of Europe to establish the state of Israel. (Thanks, God!!)

So Lieberman isn't just jumping the shark. He's jumping a cage teeming with hungry tiger sharks while waterskiing astride two massive great white sharks that are being pulled by a dozen frenzied hammerhead sharks.

Just to be clear.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Image of the Day



Up next? Campaign surge.

Monday, March 17, 2008

ABBA Drummer Found Dead

I'm guessing it was a "bizarre gardening accident".

News for Kids

Being a new parent can really change your perspective on things like family, values, priorities—and cable news anchors.

My 8-month-old daughter and I have been watching a lot of coverage of this protracted primary battle, and I've noticed something weird. She really perks up whenever Chris Matthews or Lou Dobbs comes on the air.

And I think I've figured out why: she thinks these moon-faced babblers are babies just like her. She may be right. Consider:



Mercifully, she hasn't started hating immigrants yet, but I'm getting worried that her first words are going to be "border fence".

Bonus observation: Tim Russert looks like a 4-year-old who's eaten Christopher Hitchens.



Or is that the other way around?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What's In a Name?

A new rule for Wall St. investment firms: you really shouldn't put the word "Bear" in your name.

Why tempt fate?

According to the Wall St. Journal, J.P. Morgan Chase has agreed to buy venerable investment firm Bear Stearns for the low, low price of $236 million. That's million.

For the sake of context, BS (heh) was valued at $3.54 billion at the end of business Friday. It was worth in the neighborhood of $20 billion back in January 2007. That would be a one(ish)-year drop in value of over 98%.

Perhaps I'm just spitting into the wind, here, but maybe it's not a good sign for our economy when a respected 85-year-old Wall St. firm could conceivably be bought by a PowerBall winner.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Obama Steamroller

A huge day yesterday for Barack Obama, who swept primaries in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. In all three races Obama got more votes than all of the Republicans combined.

He beat Hillary Clinton by at least 23 points in each race and won 63.9% of all Democratic votes in all three races to Clinton's 36.1%

And there's good news for the Democratic Party as well. Double the number of voters turned out for the Democratic primary in Virginia as for the Republican primary, and that's in a state that went for Bush in 2004. There were 2.6 times more Democratic voters in Maryland, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, 19.8 times more Democratic voters in D.C.

That's good for the Democrats—and good for Obama in particular—since he's clearly responsible for the overwhelming turnout that has been seen in Democratic primaries all across the country.

In head-to-head polls with presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, Obama holds a 3.7% edge, while Clinton actually loses to the Arizona septuagenarian by 1%.

The writing is, as they say, on the wall. What with Obama's demonstrated ability to garner critical independent votes, it would be insane to nominate Hillary Clinton to run in the 2008 general election. So, is the Democratic Party insane?

Good question.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Headline of the Day

Drudge links to an article using the following headline: World's Biggest Christ Struck by Lightning



No word on whether ElectroChrist came to life and wreaked havoc in the streets of Rio. Here's hoping.

Spinning in a Downward Spiral

The New York Times has an article this morning about Hillary Clinton's campaign woes which quotes a number of donors and supporters worried that the nomination campaign is slipping away from her.

Enter Clinton spinmeister Mark Penn:
She has consistently shown an electoral resiliency in difficult situations that have [sic] made her a winner... Senator Obama has in fact never had a serious Republican challenger.
It's true that Obama won his Senate seat against carpetbagging Republican Alan "Crazy Eyes" Keyes after his much more formidable opponent, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race amidst a sex scandal that surfaced during his divorce from Star Trek: Voyager actress Jeri Ryan.

That said, Penn's spin is a load of crap. Hillary has never faced a serious Republican challenger, either.

In 2000, Hillary was poised to run against former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was expected to make it a very tight race. In May of 2000, however, he was forced to drop his Senate bid after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Oh, and because he had been very publicly cheating on his wife.

His replacement was a Long Island Republican named Rick Lazio who had little more going for him than the fact that he had an attractive wife and couple of cute kids, whom he shamelessly exploited in countless campaign ads touting his 'family values'. He gave it his all (one unintentionally hilarious NY Daily News headline read "Lazio Pitches Tent in Swing Country"), but Clinton, with her massive name recognition, steamrolled the relatively unknown Lazio, winning by a 12-point margin.

In 2006, Clinton was expected to face Jeanine Pirro, the ambitious and somewhat well-known Westchester County District Attorney. After a few months of lackluster campaigning, Pirro withdrew from the race, leaving the Republicans to offer up John Spencer, former mayor of Yonkers, as its sacrificial lamb. Clinton held on to her Senate seat by crushing Spencer with a 36-point margin.

Does Mark Penn consider either of these races to have been seriously contested? If he's an honest man, he couldn't possibly. So I suppose that leaves it an open question.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

George Bush: Hope Peddler

President Bush wants a legacy. A good one, that is.

Hence his little trip to the Middle East where he hopes to unite (not divide) the ornery folks now squatting on land ultimately set aside for the Miraculous Second Coming of Jesus ChristTM—after which, conveniently, all the squatters will be evicted straight to the fires of hell.

In the meantime, G.W. wants to take care of some business. Forgive him if he's unclear on the concept. Yesterday, Bush predicted that the Israelis and Palestinians would sign a peace treaty before he leaves office a year from now.

Nearly in the same breath, however, he conceded that it was unlikely for the problem of Hamas to be solved within that timeframe. How Bush plans to get Israel and Palestine to sign a peace agreement while the Palestinian Authority still has no control over the Gaza Strip—from which Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel—is beyond my meager capacity to understand. Maybe it will be a faith-based initiative.

So we're really faced with three possibilities here: President Bush is a bold leader with innovative ideas about international diplomacy (no), he is a hopeless naïf with an unjustifiable optimism over matters about which he knows little (yes) or he's screwed everything else up so badly that he thinks, "what's a little more garbage on the pile?" (this requires some self-awareness and the admission of error, so, no)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sound Familiar?

Here's Josh Marshall of TPM talking about the panic and confusion over at the Hillary Clinton campaign as her presidential dreams circle the drain:
I find it difficult to conceive of how unprepared her team was for this not-that-hard-to-predict turn of events.

What it tells me is that they never really planned for this. And they literally have no idea what to do at the clutch moment. For the now they are grasping for anything and everything.
How long until Hillary declares "Mission Accomplished"?

We already have a president with tunnel vision; utterly irresponsible and incapable of contingency planning. Do we really want to go down that path again?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Spam Poetry

Constructed entirely from my spam subject lines:
Exquisite Replica

Dearest
like others, allows
scalding democratic
skeptically smoking
of quality face time

And itself
As my tide
Find that special someone
Don't be shame
Napoleon enjoyed this,
Stop flossing now!
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Romney-bot 3000

More proof, as if we needed it, that Mitt Romney is a plasticized empty vessel—all facade, no content.

Andrew Sullivan has the side-by-side comparison of his obviously staged Kennedyesque "respect mah religion" pose.

Governor, you're no Jack Kennedy.

Quote of the Day

He warned that if Democrats succeed in forcing a quick end to the war, the American people will be at greater risk.

"I think, among other things, it would encourage [Al Qaeda terrorists] to launch further attacks," he said. "I think it would encourage them, if we were to operate in way that said, 'You're right, if you kill enough Americans, you can change U.S. policy,' they'll kill more Americans."
That's from a Dick Cheney interview in Politico.

Of course, we've already sent the message that "if you kill enough Americans, you can change U.S. policy" to the terrorists loud and clear. They killed nearly 3,000 Americans in 2001 and U.S. policy changed drastically. Now we have gulags and torturers, a multi-trillion dollar military mistake in Iraq, warrantless wire-tapping of U.S. citizens and an executive branch that disdains the Constitutional rights and responsibilities of the other two branches and of the American people. America is at a low ebb in popularity worldwide because of these and other changes in U.S. policy, brought on by the killing of many fewer Americans than have died in Iraq.

This is the kind of policy change that Cheney likes, however. Naturally, what he really means is policy changes that weren't his idea. But he's not just being hypocritical, here. Look at the implication of what he's saying. If no number of killed Americans is "enough" to justify a policy change (a proposition that has never been true in the history of this nation, by the way), then an unlimited number of Americans could be killed and the 'appropriate' response would be to change nothing.

That's a pretty handy philosophy to have when you're trying to wage permanent war.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Trivial Yet Ridiculous

No, I'm not talking about George Bush. He's not trivial. Yet.

I was logging in to a certain financial website where I track my meager 401(k) holdings and was greeted with this strange screen:



Looks pretty normal on the surface, but look at the lower half. If you have forgotten your e-mail address? Are they serious? Out of all the things you need to remember to log in—e-mail address, password, username—your e-mail address is the last thing you're going to forget.

Beyond useless.

Ok, now that I've shattered your world with this investigative report you can go back to reading about how Incurious George either knew all about the NIE on Iran's nuke program and lied about it all this time, or didn't find out about this huge news until last freakin week even though this vital information was available at least six months ago. Either way, it inspires confidence, no?

Hey, maybe the White House folks had some hand in designing that login screen.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I Knew It!

Scientific proof that Republicans are delusional: Republicans Report Much Better Mental Health Than Others.

I guess this explains how they can sleep at night.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gay Flap Flop

Who cares about this flap over the "gay question" asked at last night's debate—allegedly by a member of Clinton's campaign apparatus?

It is as if people think that candidates should not be subjected to challenging or hostile questions during a debate. Well, they should. We're electing a president, here, not a beauty queen (as was all too clear from the pallid and dour faces on display last night in Florida).

Retired Brig. Gen. Keith H. Kerr has some 40-odd years of experience in the U.S. military and is gay. He has as much of a right to ask questions as the next guy. Do the Republicans getting all bent out of shape over this really think that the debate questions should be nothing but softballs? ("Mr. Burns, your campaign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?")

All this hyperventilating (I'm looking at you, Drudge) looks suspiciously like an attempt to change the subject from the abysmally poor answers the candidates gave to Kerr's question.

If Kerr really isn't a military veteran, then you've got a scandal. Otherwise, quit yer whining!
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