September 30, 2008

Stand Back, This Could be Bad

Have you seen trailers or ads for something called An American Carol. I firmly believe this could be the worse movie ever. Evidence is mounting:

Satire is supposed to tear down hypocrisy and demolish abusers of power, but this is a movie version of the The ½ Fox News Hour. It’s a bunch of rich and arrogant people making fun of free speech, dissenting opinions, minorities and being middle class. That’s not to say it couldn't have somehow worked, but Zucker is a poor marksman and his shotgun approach winds up shooting himself instead of making a point. A joke about a slave named Barack comes off racist, while Mel Brooks was able to hit the target in BLAZING SADDLES and bitch slap bigots with no backtalk.

Conservatives just can't be funny. Sad but true. If the jokes had worked they would have been liberal jokes.


September 29, 2008

Going to the Mattress

I am pleased to announce the opening of the First Craig Mattress Trust. I am happy to offer my mattress for anyone who wishes to stuff their life savings. Feeling unsure about your bank, mutual fund or hedge fund? With the mattress trust I offer an absolute guaranteed rate of return* and the very best security. I have a deadbolt. I am a very large and intimidating figure. I live in a very nice neighborhood (We have lots of Obama-Biden signs.) Plus, I'm very messey, and thus maintain the illusion of semi-poverty so no one would look in my mattress for any kind of payday. That's security you can depend on.

Put your faith in the First Craig Mattress Trust. Because everyone else is going to screw you.

*0 percent annual rate of return. Guaranteed.

Fail Out

The bail out bill fails in the House with most Republicans voting against it. Stock market is going down big. What the hell happened with McCain's man on a white horse bit? Does he suspend his campaign again? What the hell is going on with these guys?


Ezra Klien has a good point about the split between the voter reaction and the pundit reaction to the debate. McCain played to the pundits and won over the pundits. Obama played to the voters and won the voters.

Not everyone who watches the campaign is equal. If you would indulge me in a sports metaphor for a moment some voters are fans and some are the ball. The fans know who they are voting for. They are cheering for their guy to do well and the other guy to stumble. The undecided voters are the ball. They are who the candidates are playing for. The guy who gets his fans cheering loudest feels good about himself. They guy who wins the ball, wins. The pundits in this metaphor are the color guys in the announcer booth. You can impress the hell out of John Madden with your gutsy play, but if you don't put points on the board. Likewise, David Gergen could rule you the winner all day, but if the voter don't swing your way, you have lost my friend.

September 28, 2008

Tina Rules

The worst part is that the most ridiculous, incoherent Palin answer is a quote. The answer to the bailout question is a direct quote. The written joke lines are at least coherent. Palin is rapidly moving beyond our capacity to mock.

September 27, 2008

Bad Disney Movie

Two Men Enter, Two Men Leave

Nothing decisive last night. Things stayed pretty civil, considering the schoolyard pettiness that's been going on the last few weeks. Each side got their shots in. McCain needs to show his work. He keeps saying how Obama doesn't know anything and how he does, but he doesn't demonstrate why that's true. I can go around claiming I'm funny, but till I tell a joke, its just talk. Cutting earmarks won't actually solve any of our economic problems. Lots of people noted how pissed McCain is. Its like he's constantly on the verge of blowing his top, just cause he had to do the debate at all.

Obama won all the post-debate insta-polls, so that's something.

Palin-Biden up next. Biden was everywhere last night, doing the post-debate spin with happy-warrior enthusiasm on all the networks. Palin was...nowhere. Their debate should be worth watching.

September 26, 2008


So WaMu just died, Bush is doing the restore confidence speech thing that drains away all confidence again, there's no deal on the bailout, and McCain still remains committed to skiping the most important event remaining on the election calinder.

At this points, I'm not going to be surprised by anything else short of alien invation.

The Great Schlep

Introducing the greatest voter outreach program in history. The Great Schlep encourages Jewish kids to visit their grandparents in Florida and convince them to vote for Obama.

Here's Sarah Silverman introducing the concept. As is to be expected with Sarah, funny with questionable material.

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

September 25, 2008

No Deal

Bailout deal is blowing up, with a bunch of Republicans deciding they don't want to be Socialists after all. Barny Frank is tearing them up on my TV even as I write this. I'm sorry it takes a financial meltdown, but anything that raises Frank's profile is good. He rocks.

So if there's no deal, does the world end? Does McCain not show for the debate, and does Obama get the full hour to talk?

What happens next? If the fate of the Nation wasn't at stake, I would be totally getting popcorn.

No Drama

During the primary it was often remarked upon that while the Clinton campaign was a raucous bunch, always fighting with each other and generally being chaotic, the Obama campaign was very calm: "No Drama Obama" Now its easier to be calm about stuff when you're winning, but even when Obama was down, there was never the panicky chaos that sometimes tripped up the Clinton campaign.

Well multiply that contrast by ten and you have the Obama-McCain race. McCain has gone though at least two major campaign shake-ups. Everybody gets fire shake-ups. McCain make crazy, unpredictable choices. Not just the one time, but over and over and over. Obama manages to resist the panic when he was down in the polls. (And good lord, we Dems love to panic) McCain goes down in the polls and it's hit the big red button time.

Micky Kaus is right (Oh Crap) a McCain Presidency would be exhausting.

September 24, 2008

Time Out? What the Hell?

John McCain is suspending his campaign? So we won? Suspending is what you do after you lose, right?

This is the craziest McCain move yet. One day of bad polls and these guys go wacky. What the hell is McCain going to do to get the bailout passed? Is he really not going to go to the debate on Friday night? Is Obama going to debate an empty chair?


1. Bush Speaks

2. I start poking around the T Rowe Price website, looking for a way out of the stock market.

3. I go to my bank's website, just to be sure about that whole federally insured thing.

4. Deposits insured up to 100,000 dollars. If you have more than that in your account, you're not protected.

5. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. $100,000. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha.

6. Panic over.

Free Sarah Palin!

Poll Porn

Polls have been far too mixed for far too long to properly indulge. But here's Washington Post-ABC News giving Obama a 9 point national lead. Woo.

September 23, 2008

Your Moment of Zen

And you think I have trouble spelling.


Cats and Dogs, Living Together

George Will is making sense:

It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?

September 22, 2008


Good lord, could we not have Bush seek to assure anyone. Everytime he talks about the economy or stock market, I have the overwhelming urge to sell my meager stock holdings. I know I can't be the only one with the feeling.

The Plan

Everybody hates it, left and right. A 700 billion dollar bailout of Wall Street is going to be incredibly easy to attack. On one side you have the Bush administration claiming that the world will end without it, on the other you have the fundamental wrongness of the whole enterprise. The initial proposal is 700 billion, no strings attached, spent at the complete discretion of the Bush Administration. I figure something gets passed, but a lot going to get added, like relief for regular folks and regular beatings for financial hotshots. This is going to be an interesting week.

September 20, 2008

September 19, 2008


Steve Benen points out that Palin is taking over the ticket -

Yesterday, in the midst of a speech, Sarah Palin told voters about what they could expect from a "Palin and McCain administration." Seriously, there's video of it.

What's more, ABC News' Jake Tapper added that he's heard Palin refer to John McCain as her "running mate," a designation Tapper said he's never heard a "VP nominee use when discussing the guy at the top of the ticket."

And just to add insult to injury, Jonathan Martin reports that twice this week, he's noticed a fair number of people leave campaign rallies after Palin speaks, not sticking around long enough to hear what John McCain has to say. It happened on Tuesday in Ohio, and again yesterday in Iowa.

Not that I want to see this ship of fools elected, but I wonder how this plays out in a McCain Administration. Vice-Presidents are only as powerful as the President makes them. I always figured Palin would get a nothing portfolio. After all, McCain the warrior is not going to defer to girl in any Affair of State that matters. But what if Palin just steals the Presidency out from under McCain? This is a democracy after all, power, in the end, comes from popular support. So what if Palin has all the support? All the conservatives in Congress will support her over McCain. All the conservative institutions like talk radio and interest groups like the NRA and Pro-Life folks like her better. McCain may be end up like the old rich bugger who finds that his trophy wife is running the business.

Worse. Ever.

Bush is going to be regarded as the worse President in history. Charles Krauthammer is hoping for a Truman-style redemption down the road, but he is wrong. I don't have time to go into details right now, but rest assured, whole books, series of books, ten-part volumes will be written on how bad this President was.

September 17, 2008


Well, here's a newspaper quote that just about sums up the situation perfectly -

Though she has been on the campaign trail for nearly three weeks, Palin has yet to hold a press conference, and this morning's stop marked the first time she answered a question from the press on the fly, prompting concerned looks from staffers.

This is quite possibly the most ludicrous situation in American political history. A Vice-Presidential candidate that will not take questions? Who won't hold press conferences? Answering questions from the press is a huge part of the modern Presidency. A Vice-President who is not just reluctant, but afraid? The staff look concerned any time she come near a microphone? Unreal.

Ah Crap

I use Yahoo! mail. Is nothing safe?


Ban on baggy pants ruled unconstitutional. Yay freedom.


Not to be a legal nitpicker or anything, but I'm with LG&M - what exactly is the legal basis for spending 80 billion dollars and almost completely taking over an insurance company? Not to be too technical, but Congress spends the money in our system. Where was Congress in all this?

Own, and now that we've nationalized a rather large chunk of the economy in recent days, how are we going to run these companies? Personally I vote for worker run collectives. And don't try and tell me it wouldn't work. If having a highly paid CEO running your company worked, we wouldn't be in this mess.

September 16, 2008

Where's My Rescue?

It would be a lot cheaper to rescue me. I'm not nearly in the money pit that A.I.G. is. We are not talking billions here. Just a couple of million dollars will help ensure my financial future well into the 21st Century.

Sort of

While the complete and total meltdown of the stock market (500 Points!) is nothing good, at least the political debate can swing back to actual affairs of state, instead of what lipstick on a pig "means." Its really too bad that it takes disasters like wars and economic train-wrecks to move the political conversation off of the totally trivial.

September 15, 2008

What the Hell, Hero?

Just what the heck does "The Fundamentals Of Our Economy Are Strong" mean, anyway? Huge investment banks are failing. That's a pretty fundamental part of the economy going boom. If stocks go down and the banks are in good shape, then yes, the fundamentals are strong. If the investment bank that buy and sell stocks goes under, then stocks go down, the fundamentals of the economy are in trouble.

September 13, 2008

Morning Inspiration

Worried about polls? Try this:

If you need something more high-minded here's "Les Misbarack" its, well, um:

Feel better? I know I do.

September 12, 2008

No Idea

Palin didn't have any clue as to what "the Bush Doctrine" meant. She tries to wriggle out like a champ, but she apparent just didn't get to that chapter of her crash course in world affairs.

James Fallows does the best job explaining why this is so bad:

Sarah Palin did not know this issue, or any part of it. The view she actually expressed -- an endorsement of "preemptive" action -- was fine on its own merits. But it is not the stated doctrine of the Bush Administration, it is not the policy her running mate has endorsed, and it is not the concept under which her own son is going off to Iraq.

How could she not know this? For the same reason I don't know anything about European football/soccer standings, trades, or intrigue. I am not interested enough. And she evidently has not been interested enough even to follow the news of foreign affairs during the Bush era.

A further point. The truly toxic combination of traits GW Bush brought to decision making was:

1) Ignorance
2) Lack of curiosity
3) "Decisiveness"

That is, he was not broadly informed to begin with (point 1). He did not seek out new information (#2); but he nonetheless prided himself on making broad, bold decisions quickly, and then sticking to them to show resoluteness.

We don't know about #2 for Palin yet -- she could be a sponge-like absorber of information. But we know about #1 and we can guess, from her demeanor about #3. Most of all we know something about the person who put her in this untenable role.

September 11, 2008

Jump the Pig

I keep hoping that one day, a Republican attack will be so stupid and disingenuous, that they will forever be labeled stupid and disingenuous. Could "lipstick on a pig" be that attack? One can only hope.

September 10, 2008

Drilling for Oil

The next scandal:

The Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal — including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.
The investigation also concluded that several of the officials “frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana, and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.”

They were literally in bed with the oil industry. Not a metaphor. These were the people who's job it was to make sure the public got a good deal when oil companies drilled on public land. And they got bought off with blow and blow.

Oh and John McCain was the chair of the commerce committee during this scandal, which oversees this department.

A Smear too Far

The latest McCain attack ad accuses Obama of passing legislation to teach "'comprehensive sex education' to kindergartners." The horror. In reality the program was designed to help protect kids from predators, by teaching them what "bad touching" is. So McCain manages to twist protecting kids into corrupting kids. Quite an achievement in smears, eh? So how dirty do you get before you lose your honor? So fine - you want to go there? John McCain opposes protecting kids from sexual abuse. McCain would rather see your kids molested than lose an election.

September 8, 2008

Bad for Living Things

First came Sarah Palin's hostility to polar bears. Now it also turns out that she is very anti-wolf. Is there no fuzzy thing out there that she does not hate?

All doomed in a McCain-Palin administration.


MSNBC apparently thought that Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews hosting campaign coverage was too interesting, and too "liberal" so they have yanked the two and replace them with the dull David Gregory.

Those guys made the conventions watchable. I love the whole merry quarreling band of folks at MSNBC. There are at least 5 networks out there if you want dull balance (Big 3, PBS, CNN) one choice if you want conservative and interesting (Fox). MSNBC was this close to being liberal and interesting. Guest they just want to be the same.

September 6, 2008

There Goes the Money

I don't mean to alarm anyone, but I think we are about to nationalizee the mortgage industry. I'm pretty sure all the conservative screechers should shut the hell up about Obama as a socialist when the Bush Administration is taking over one of the largest (and most troubled) industries in American.

September 5, 2008

Weak Game

McCain just isn't the speaking type. He can chat, banter, and smooze but the man can't give a speech. He has no rhythm, no flow. He talks over applause, he hits sentences on the wrong word. The put a green screen behind him again. Oh, and it turns out he was a POW in Vietnam.

One line stands out for me. McCain declared he was "blessed by misfortune." He thinks that the five years of being a POW was a blessing. It proved his character. It gave him a sense of self-worth. It made him a patriot. It certainly made his political career. But I fear what that would mean for his Presidency. McCain deep down doesn't believe the misfortune of war is bad. He thinks its a blessing. A chance for him and his nation to prove themselves. To show character. To be true patriots at last. McCain will bring us new wars, so that we can all be "blessed by misfortune"

September 4, 2008

Palin Speaks

Oh, so two decades of hating Hillary Clinton later, suddenly the GOP loves mouthy broads? Palin can give a speech, regardless of all her other problems. The kind of speech she gave was interesting. Sarcastic, cutting, petty and mean. I take back what I said about Biden having to go easy on the girl. You go ahead and shred her, Joe. Now I'm not qualified to say how effective the speech was. Of course its going to annoy the hell out of me. But what does it do to a swing voter? Is it really the official taking point of the Republican Party that community organizing is a worthless thing?

Oh and the speech was full of lies. Palin was a big backer of the bridge to nowhere. Her lie about this form the entire core rational of her candidacy. She is all lies! Lies!

September 3, 2008

Tell Us What You Really Think

One of the better hot mike mistakes in history. Yes, what you suspected was true, it really is all BS.

Night of Palin

Its her big speech at the convention tonight. She had to come out sooner or later. I'm just waiting for the next shoe to drop. My favorite so far are her links to the Alaskan Independence Party. She wants to destroy America! Piece by Piece! That's Aaron Burr territory. Now she just needs to shoot down a former Treasury secretary and she will match up perfectly. Robert Rubin, watch your back.

By the Way

It really is time to toss Lieberman out of the Party. I mean, I know its on our to-do list, and its a long list and all, but its time to move that item up on the priority list.

September 2, 2008

Bush Speaks

Dateline - St Paul. The wildly unpopular American President, George W Bush, gave his heartfelt endorsement and support to John McCain tonight in a very brief address to the Republican National Convention. While keeping his address short and using a video rather than a live address in a vain effort to place some distance between McCain and himself, President Bush made very clear that his support lies with Mr. McCain. Mr. Bush, whose Presidency is notable for a sting of failures that encompass both foreign and domestic policy, made clear that the best man to continue his legacy as President was John McCain.

History Lesson

In 1972 George McGovern, facing a very difficult race against Richard Nixon, was having trouble picking a Vice Presidential running mate. He settled on the little-know and little-vetted United States Senator from Missouri, Thomas Eagleton. It was soon revealed that Eagleton had been treated for depression, and that the treatments had included electric shock treatments. While McGovern initially backed his selection, within two weeks Eagleton had been dropped from the ticket and replaced with Sargent Shriver, who was notable for being a Kennedy in-law and having the best name in American Political history.

The chaos and bad publicity from the Eagleton affair is widely credited with crippling an already underdog McGovern campaign, which went on to crushing defeat that November.

Why do I bring this up today? Oh, no reason. Just making conversation.

September 1, 2008

No Vet, No Net.

Levee watching is the new national sport, but might as well do politics while we wait.

Sarah Palin was an impulse buy by John McCain. The McCain camp spent lots of time and effort on other potential VP picks, and McCain just went with his gut for someone they didn't bother to check out. Which is very dramatic, but leads to ...well...drama. Its pretty clear the McCain camp didn't vet Palin at all. Which means they get to learn about her the same time the rest of us do. Today we learned all kinds of fun facts.

First up her 17-year old daughter is pregnant. Umm.

Next - Palin is getting deposed over the firing of a State trooper and has has lawyered up.

Finally - She has ties to a nutty Alaska Independence Party which want...well...Alaskan independence.

This is all in the first 72 hours. Over a long weekend. What's going to come out in the course of a regular business day?

Party Crasher

Here we go again. At least Gustav sounds like the name of the villain. Nothing to do but watch and wait.