January 31, 2008

Miss a Little, Miss a Lot

Man, what a night to be social and away from my TV. The big showdown debate and new Lost. How was it?

Hulk for Obama

That's right brother.



(VIA)

January 30, 2008

The Next Great Horror Movie

Attack of the Naked Mole-Rat that Feel No Pain!

Edwards Out

Word is on the wires that Edwards is dropping out of the race. Now we have the pure 1 on 1 match-up going into Super Tuesday. I really admire Edwards for bringing issues of poverity and class into a race that would rather ignore both. The question of the week is where do Edward's voters go? Dana Goldstein chews on the question here. Edward's edorsement could decided this race. Case in point - Connecticut (a super Tuesday state) is 40% Clinton, 40% Obama, 11% Edwards. Any guess where the swing vote lies?

January 29, 2008

Today is Goodbye Rudy Tuesday

Done with the race after a third place Florida finnish. McCain wins it, Mitt second. McCain v Mitt on Super Tuesday, Huckabee hanging around to play spoiler down south.

Wasted?

The GOP is suddenly all hot and bothered about Congressional earmarks aka the dreaded pork. Bush hit this theme hard in the SOTU address last night and the Presidential candidates, especially McCain have been hitting this theme very hard on the trail, as if ending earmarks will end our current economic woes.

Pork is dismissed as waste - 30 million dollars for a new freeway interchange in Olympia, Washington! 10 million dollars to study the mating habits of king crabs in Alaska! Ok, maybe are more effective and rational ways to spend federal dollars, but this money isn't wasted. Traffic in Olympia will get better. We might just find out something about king crabs that keeps the species from going extinct or help crab fisherman keep their livelihoods. The point is, earmarks are useful to people, or their wouldn't be any political benefits to giving them out.

If you want real waste, they look no further than the Iraq war. Billion and billions of dollars, not the petty millions that make up pork, is being spent on Iraq. Hundreds of billions each year. And we have nothing to show for it but dead soldiers.

January 28, 2008

All Hail the Mighty Brick!

The lego brick turns 50 today.

State of the Union

Is not good.

And I'm not watching.

That is All.

Map

On to Super Tuesday! That's the day that my personal vote in California will be the deciding vote of this Primary season. Thanks to South Carolina and Ted Kennedy's endorsement Obama is ready to sweep the nation.

Truth is, this race is very likely going to go past Super Tuesday. Clinton and Obama are in a very tight race. This is going to get fought out State by State. Nick Beaudrot lays out the States that Obama is likely to target come Feb 5.

The Republicans have Florida this week. Florida is where Rudy! becomes Rudy? Polls show McCain and Romney locked in a tight race for first. Seeing as McCain is a very affable fellow who seems set on getting us into more wars, I'm rubbing the rabbit's foot for Romney.

January 26, 2008

Big

Very big win for Obama tonight. He's beating Clinton by over two to one in the South Carolina primary tonight.

January 25, 2008

Power of Ten

Top Ten Campaign Promises by Barack Obama:

10. To keep the budget balanced, I’ll rent the situation room for sweet sixteens.

9. I will double your tax money at the craps table.

8. Appoint Mitt Romney secretary of lookin’ good.

7. If you bring a gator to the White House, I’ll wrassle it.

6. I’ll put Regis on the nickel.

5. I’ll rename the tenth month of the year “Barack-tober.”

4. I won’t let Apple release the new and improved Ipod the day after you bought the previous model.

3. I’ll find money in the budget to buy Letterman a decent hairpiece.

2. Pronounce the word nuclear, nuclear.

1. Three words: Vice President Oprah.

Gone in a Cinch

Dennis Kucinich drops out. Apparently, whatever deal he struck with Satan only covered his personal life and not his political one:



I kid! I will say that if we want a liberal standard bearer in the race the dude better carry that standard better. If the guy advocating for single-payer health care pulls 1% in a Democratic Primary, people conclude that there's no market for proper universal health care. But really its just that there's no market for Dennis Kucinich.

January 24, 2008

Lunatics

Holy Crap. It's like a cartoon of evil Republicans at work. What is it about Hillary Clinton that drives the right insane? I mean this stuff is so clearly over the top and sure to backfire.

January 23, 2008

It's a Dead Man's Party

In a rather strange twist, it appears that Fred Thompson has won the Louisiana caucuses one day after he dropped out of the race. Election Central has the gruesome details.

Counting the Lies

Well someone finally gone down and dirty and counted up all the lies that got us into this mess. Once you lay it out, the number is pretty staggering: 935 lies by the President and senior administration officials. And this wasn't "spin" or "exaggeration" This was blatant:

Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

532 times the administration told the big lie. The WMD lie. The al-Qaida lie. The "Iraq is going to give WMD to al-Qaida" lie.

They lied. Don't forget.

January 22, 2008

Fred is Out

My initial reaction to Fred Thompson's campaign went something like this:

Who? Law and Order Guy? Oh the one who came in after the other guy. For President? Nooooooo.

I still stand by that careful analysis. It holds up well.

More Trouble

I don't want to alarm anyone, but some of the world's stock markets are crashing. Ok all of them are crashing.

January 21, 2008

Oh Boy

The future just done arrived:

A three-dimensional image of Prince Charles will deliver a speech at an international energy summit in Abu Dhabi to try and reduce carbon emissions.

That science fiction future they keep telling you about? Its here.

Cloverfield

(Lightly Spoilerish)

By the far the coolest trailer of last year was this mysterious untitled pic from JJ Abrams. Party - Explosion - Head of the Statue of Liberty comes crashing down. Well the movie that goes with that trailer is out and the movie is called "Cloverfield." Cloverfield as it turns out, is the rather harmless-sounding government code-name for the big nasty which makes life so difficult for our party-going New Yorkers. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but Monster! Run!

Most of the time, the monster wrecks a city, you get the monster view. Or the above the monster view. People run and scream and die like ants. Well this movie is from those ant's perspective and it sucks to be those people. Hand-held cameras bring the action home.

The days of picture perfect special effects is over. The real trick now is dirty, out of focus, out of frame, and seamless blended into the real world.

A movie like this is about balance. You want people who are compelling enough to be involved in their plight, but not too sympathetic that the inevitable deaths bring you down. This is a popcorn movie, after all. I just want to have some fun during the long weekend. Our central characters are unknown, good-looking, and good enough actors that they keep our sympathies. They maintain balance by committing acts of head-banging stupidity. I'm guessing the filmmakers were going for "heroic" but instead they landed on "too dumb to live"

In the end I pronounce this film to be "good" but I now pronounce the era of the hand held camera over. My inner ear can't take much more. I want my Steadicam.

MLK

Words



Music

January 20, 2008

Rules

So it turns out, due to the complexities of the caucus system, that Obama actually picked up one more delegate that Hillary. While I'm gratefull that my guy can claim some sort of moral victory, I'm not exactly comfortable with a system where the person with less votes can win. You know, systems like this one.

January 19, 2008

Winners!

Mitt and Hillary sitting in a tree. W-I-N-N-I-N-G.

They are now the front runners. Until next week. Or maybe just for this afternoon.

Stay tuned to this space for an exclusive report from inside the Nevada Caucus.

January 18, 2008

Ground Zero

Its like Cheney is some kind of event horizon of lawlessness, crushing our Constitutional order from within. Now the Secret Service is caught up in it too:

The arrest of a man named Steven Howards in June 2006 after he approached Vice President Dick Cheney at a Colorado ski resort and denounced the war in Iraq might have seemed, at the time, no more than a blip on the vice president’s schedule.

But now the blip has become a blowup, with Secret Service agents — under oath in court depositions — accusing one another of unethical and perhaps even illegal conduct in the handling of Mr. Howards’s arrest and the official accounting of it.

The revelations arise from a lawsuit Mr. Howards filed against five Secret Service agents, accusing them of civil rights and free-speech violations. They offer a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Secret Service, which usually wears the standoffish, plainclothes cool of its mission like a cloak of invisibility.


So they arrested an anti-war protester with no cause and then tried to cover up this fact by claiming the man tried to assault the VP. Its no coincidence that all of these things start with Cheney. The man has no respect for the law and he is in charge. When the guy in charge has no respect for the law, no one else does ether.

January 17, 2008

Just Saying

Ross Douthat points to a polls that has Obama beating Romney by Thirty points in a general election match-up. I think this is the match-up we want come November.

Just Saying.

Franken!



I am actually happy to face my day, having been reminded that Al Franken is running for the US Senate.

January 16, 2008

Who Gets a Say

Dennis Kucinich ended up losing a court fight to be included in last nights Democratic debate in Nevada. While I'm sure that his defenders will claim that this is an injustice and an attempt to bar the left from the national debate, at a certain point we half to separate the people who can win this from the people who can't. There were something like 40 candidates on the New Hampshire ballot. There are lots of people out there "running for President" some are just ego tripping, some are total nutters. The is a serious process. We need to focus on the real candidates. Poor Dennis is just on the wrong side of the Real/Not-Real candidate divide. He pulled in 4% of the Michigan vote on a ballot that lacked Edwards and Obama. He was beat ten to one by "Uncommitted"
He has no money, no campaign infrastructure, and no chance. I'm sorry but everyone who says "I'm running for President" doesn't get a invite to the debates. Call me a elitist if you want, but thems the breaks. If life was going to start being fair, it wouldn't begin in the Presidential race.

January 15, 2008

Mitt!

Mitt Romney wins Michigan. The Republican primary season is like the Special Olympics - everyone a winner. At least once. Except for Rudy. Rudy Giuliani is just nowhere, 3% of the vote at the last count.

I guess Romney finally found some people who are hard up enough to listen to the flim-flan. John McCain and Mike Huckabee finished 2-3 respectively. If I were to put down money I'd say that Romney/McCain/Huckabee is the likely final outcome of primary season. But I wouldn't put money down on this race.

On to the Convention!

Breaking

Top Secret covert op plans revealed!

Kung-Fu Monkey has the transcript.

January 14, 2008

Chronicles Reviewed



What with the strike on and all, the most interesting happening on my TV is Terminator:Sarah Connor Chronicles. Now Arnold is busy bankrupting the State, but the franchise keeps on trucking without him. Robots, badass chicks, and time travel paradoxes. The first night was all about settling the timeline. The three Terminator movies each had a different theory of time travel. The result is mess of paradoxes that the new show can solve in the only way possible: that's right, with more time travel.

The new Sarah Conner, last seen in 300, seems passable, and almost pulls off the heavy voice over narration they give her to read. Young John Conner, last seen on Heroes, has the winey teenager bit down. We shall see what kind of Sci-Fi Messiah he'll make.

Far and away the best part of the new show is Summer Glau as the latest robot protector. As we learned with Firefly nobody does creepy supernatural waif like our girl Summer. She does great stuff with both her line reading and body language. Sometimes she's a robot successfully pretending to be human, sometimes unsuccessfully. And sometimes she's just a fraking killing machine. Regardless, she impossible not to watch.

And so I'll keep watching.

Just Once

I would like signs of progress in Iraq to hold up under scrutiny. Is the new de-Baathification law a good sign? Of course not.

In Review

This Modern World shows us the primary season so far.

January 13, 2008

January 11, 2008

Math

Suddenly, people like noted GOP and Romney tool Hugh Hewitt are starting to believe that the Republicans are headed to the much hoped for brokered convention. Check out this poster at Red State spinning out a possible delegate scenario where Romney comes out on top. He makes the case that a lot of the Super-Duper Tuesdays states are going to go to candidates for home state reasons, So McCain get Arizona, Fred "Sleepy" Thompson takes Tennessee and so on. Which means no one gets enough delegates on the day that going to settle it all. Now the Red State guy posits that losers would drop out and release their delegates, but the more likely outcome in a divided race would be for everyone to stay in a try a cut a deal. 500 delegates might be worth the Vice Presidency. 250 might get you a Secretary of Defense gig.

This is going to be so much fun.

January 10, 2008

Doolittle is Done

No really this time.

Not running reelection, retire at the end of his term. Jail to follow.

Dance the dance of happy.

Kerry backs Obama

To announce endorsement today.

One thing to keep in mind is that Obama owes Kerry a lot. It was Kerry who picked Obama, then just a Senate candidate, to give the keynote at Kerry's 2004 nominating convention. That's the speech that got Obama noticed, and the rest is history current events.

January 9, 2008

Requiem



Just about the saddest ad ever. Because its true.

Next

Next is Nevada in 10 days and Barack Obama is picking up the endorsement of the State's Culinary Workers Union today. Oh its on now.

January 8, 2008

Swings

You didn't think it was going to be that easy, did you?

You know, for a moment there I really did.


Its a measure of just how fast expectations have shifted, that tonight's narrow Clinton win is a bit of a shocking upset. I bet if you told the Obama strategy team a couple of weeks ago that they would win Iowa easy and come in a close second in New Hampshire, they would be very happy. But now a narrow Obama loss feels big. That's a score 1-1 for those keeping track at home. I think every race is going to be important from here on out. This isn't going to be over fast. Its very clearly shaping up as a two person race, which leaves Edwards out in the cold.

McCain does his thing. I am going to refrain from predicting how the GOP side of things will play, cause it would make me look foolish. Too many moving parts.

Choices

Strangely enough, there are actually people out there who are deciding between McCain and Obama. "Independent" types who apparently don't care a wit about the policy positions of candidates. Character is king. But the problem with character is that it is damn arbitrary. I think that it doesn't speak very well of John McCain that he wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years. I think that statement makes him look stupid. Others say that's him being honest and hard-noised. Character is a funny thing that way.

But given that I want Obama to win and fear John McCain as the most electable of the GOP field, lets hope these fickle independents wander over to the Obama side of the ballot.

January 7, 2008

Fast, Fast, Fast.

New Hampshire votes Tuesday, so there is barely time to get all the needed attack ads, polls and spin filed in time. Of course, sometimes the spin outruns the polls. Here's Clinton's guru Mark Penn getting embarrassed.

That there is an Obama bounce underway is pretty clear. The psychology of "bounces" is pretty clear. Winning gets you lots of attention. People like to back a winner. If you can't make up your mind, the most popular choice is pretty safe. The restaurant with the long line outside usually has the best food. And the effect builds. Win one, the second win is easier, then the next, and so on. Which is why its important that someone other than three old white farmers in Iowa not always get the first shot at picking the winner.

Well Ya

NPR's Monitor Mix blog on the growing dominance of U2 on the campaign trail. When you're trying to get everyone to like you, its best to do it with music everyone likes playing in the background.

(Via M.Y.)

January 6, 2008

Fight!

Bill O'Reilly got into a shoving match with an Obama staffer. John Dickerson has a good write-up. My particular favorite moment is when Bill-O get heckled with shouts of "falafel."

I swear, if it had come down to fisticuffs and we got a photo or video of Bill-O getting punched by an Obama staffer, it would be worth 5% in every Democratic Primary held this year.

UPDATE: Keith Olbermann gives the incident the coverage it deserves, with a Puppet Theatre recreation. Sweet.

January 4, 2008

New Day

Obama Iowa victory speech:

Shoot the Wounded

Biden and Dodd are out of the race. The sentimental favorites of foreign policy wonks and constitutional rights wonks respectively, they just can't play with the big boys this election cycle (Girl! Big Girl too! Clinton is really throwing off the casual use of gendered language in politics. A good thing.) The Democratic Caucus rules are really tough on the second tier, with no one under 15% able to gain votes. Which doesn't leave the second tier a 5% vote total to build on. This clears up the debate platform. Just the people who can win. And Dennis.

Nobody dropping out of the race on the GOP side. They all still think they can win! One of them must be right.

January 3, 2008

Results Show

First off, Iowa is a clear win for Obama and a clear loss for Hillary. Obama put together a solid margin of victory against top notch competition. All three major Democratic campaigns went all out in Iowa and Obama is very clearly the winner. Clinton came in third, which is pretty damn awkward place for a frontrunner to be. Edwards, supposedly in his make or break race, was neither made nor broken. A distant second and a narrow avoiding of 3rd is not what he needed. Edwards is in a hole, behind in the polls and way behind in money. He didn't dig any deeper, but he didn't climb out either. Obama can build momentum in New Hampshire or Clinton can get her mo back, but neither of the big two is going down early. This fight goes on.

Big Huck is going to cause the GOP trouble. His populism gives the tax-cutters fits and his complete lack as far as foreign policy knowledge goes gives even the brilliant minds who brought you the Iraq War the willies. But he has tremendous game with conservative Christians and could very well “ah shucks” his way to the nomination. The GOP establishment (who hate Huck) need to unite around a candidate fast. But I don’t know who. Rudy is faded, Thomson asleep. Romney just lost to Huck after spending all his political capital in Iowa. I’m just not convinced that anti-torture, anti-global warming, pro-immigration, pro-campaign finance reform McCain can become the standard-bearer of the Conservative establishment.

Results!

Obama!

Huck!

I guess I will tolerate the continued existence of the Iowa Caucus. But next time it needs to go.

Bang!

That's a starter's pistol going off. Iowa Caucuses tonight. I don't know how its going to turn out and neither does anybody else. Please keep in mind that the Caucuses are no good and really shouldn't be the way we do things. Everyone together:

This is no way to pick a President.
*

*All criticisms of Iowa void upon a win by my guy.

January 2, 2008

Funny. Informative

Confused by the GOP Presidential field? Learning by metaphor is very effective.

May I present the The GOP Primary Field in Buffy Villains.

Laugh. Then Understand.

Close

So the Democratic race in Iowa is damn close. Not "close" in the sense that someone is winning and someone is close to that winner, but rather a different person is in the lead every time a new poll comes out.

Caucuses are Thursday night. I figure watching the results will be the best way of figuring out who wins.

January 1, 2008

Predictions

This is the year I become svelte. 2007 was the year I learned what svelte means and I figure 2008 will be a good year to put that knowledge to good use.

The writers strike will drag on, resulting in no one watching any TV or movies at all. People will be forced to turn to blogs for all of their entertainment needs.

White will be the new black.

Both sex and money will remain popular throughout 2008.

Inevitable Democratic victory. Like I would predict anything else.

Real estate is crashing and will continue to crash. I myself am moving my money into sports memorabilia. If OJ can go to jail over it, it must be worth something.

Bush will not have grown in office, even in his last year in office.

Life will remain complicated, despite a number of people claiming they can make it simple.

What's your prediction?

New Years Day