Sunday, August 31, 2008

Was Sarah Palin Also Running for Miss Teen South Carolina?

You know, it's fun to speculate, to get in the mud, and find little things about the "opposition" party and their candidates. I've had more than a bit of fun here at Sarah Palin's expense in the last couple of days. But there's fun, and then there's just ragingly stupid.

If the 2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire excerpted below is the real deal (and I'm aware that some things out on the inter-tubes are faked), Sarah Palin is not only unqualified, not only hard-right, not only lame because she is pro-"intelligent design," she's an idiot.


2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire

Question #11: Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

Let me help you out there, Sarah. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in the late 1800s as an advertising tool to help sell American flags. It has changed many times over the years, and did not include "Under God" until the McCarthy years of the 1950s. Idiot.

And because she deserves it, here is how I imagine the question portion of her beauty pageant went. . .

Hurricane Gustav and Other Natural Disasters

Image from source, Washington Post

Every part of the country seems to have some vulnerability to natural disasters. That's why I get frustrated when I hear people say, "well, why does anybody live there?" One reason is, what's home is home. And whether you have to deal with earthquakes or tornadoes or forest fires or hurricanes or floods, we've all got something.

Even here in Las Vegas, we have drought, though we've managed to survive so far. Outside of that, the occasional localized fire or dust devil are about it. So the scale of a natural disaster lives only in my memories of the strong tornado seasons of the 1970s in Ohio. Xenia was flattened, and we seemed to have dozens of tornado warnings every year for years. But we stayed there.

Hurricanes in particular are quite peculiar in the way they affect us. Unlike earthquakes--where we can only react, or tornadoes, where we have only hours or minutes to prepare--hurricanes give us days of warnings. We can only sit and wait for it to come. Ride it out or flee, you can't stop it from coming, and it seems to plod along on its destructive path.

The most unusual aspect might be the way technology has brought it into our living rooms. In the last few years, there has been a communication convergence of sorts. Multiple channels of 24-hour cable news have become a ubiquitous reality, and so has instant information on the internet. We can know more about what's going on, faster than we ever could before. And yet, the hurricane takes its sweet time. It's a strange combination of anticipation and dread, and you just want it over with, while simultaneously having a morbid curiosity of what is going to happen.

While I am an avowed cynic, have Mark Twain's view of humanity, and am rampantly morbidly curious, I'm still hopeful that Hurricane Gustav wreaks as little damage in property and life as is possible. I also hope that no political party over-hypes or exploits the aftermath to their advantage. But that's a lot of wishing.

To see a particularly interesting interactive map of Gustav and other storms, click here: Washington Post

GOP Convention Cancels First Night for Gustav

Photo from source, Huffington Post

Heavens to mergatroids. The GOP must be in a full-on panic that the voters are going to have a Katrina flashback this week. Were it not for the colossal blunder at all levels of government in 2005 during that storm, you can almost guarantee that no change would have occurred at the Republican National Convention.

But change it they have, and--for people like Karl Rove, and those who have learned at his chubby knee--it will be almost 100% impossible to resist the urge to exploit the coming storm. There has already been talk about turning the convention into a "relief effort" or something akin to a telethon. John and Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin are down on the Gulf Coast today. As most Americans are dreading the landfall of Hurricane Gustav, I can assure you the Rove camp sees it as both an opportunity, and as the change-up they needed after a spectacular Democratic National Convention.

Be prepared in the next couple of days to hear any criticism of Republicans by Democrats to be demonized more than usual as "playing politics," even as they themselves exploit the situation for all it is worth.


John McCain tore up the script for his Republican National Convention on Sunday, ordering the cancellation of all but essential opening-day activities as Hurricane Gustav churned toward New Orleans. . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

Sarah Palin Protecting us from the Russians!

In perhaps the year's goofiest talking point, Cindy McCain is the latest to trot out "Alaska is right next to Russia," in an attempt to shore up Sarah Palin's lack of international experience. And the odd thing is, I watched this move from Free Republic's message boards early on Friday, to Steve Douchey Doocey on FOX & Friends, to the GOP candidate for first lady.

Is this now the prefered route of information in the Republican Party?

John McCain & Sarah Palin: Getting to Know You...

Yes, another Sarah Palin post, dammit! I can't help it that I keep finding out interesting/funny things out there on the inter-tubes. Just be glad I haven't printed anything about the whole baby/grandbaby rumor yet. If it gets any more solid though, you can count on it.

Anyway, this video comes courtesy of The Jed Report, by way of AmericaBlog. If you saw the Palin announcement live on the news like I did, you might have been too dumbfounded to notice what was really going on from John McCain's perspective. And when you consider that both his wives and his VP pick are all former beauty queens, a trend starts to emerge. . .don't you think?

Barack Obama: He Completes Us (Daily Show)

While I'm revisiting last week's Daily Show and Colbert Report clips, I couldn't ignore this fantastic comical short film. It plays like a very long (and infinitely funnier) John McCain campaign ad, lampooning Barack Obama's image as "the one."

C'mon, Democrats. It's OK to laugh, when the commentary is actually funny.

Colbert Report on McCain's VP Choice

Well, we've heard from Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee on McCain's choice of Sarah Palin, now how about Stephen Colbert? If you--like me--didn't know that Comedy Central was airing The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on Friday, check it out.

Daily Show's Jon Stewart & Samantha Bee on Palin

As usual, it is best left to the pros on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for the best analysis on the serious news topics of the day. And all done in a funny way. I wasn't aware it was even on last night, so it's great that they make the clips available now.

Check out Stewart and Samantha Bee, for the lowdown on John McCain's veep choice, Sarah Palin. And yes, over the next few days I'm hoping to have a little less about Palin on the blog. But no promises.

Bill Maher's New Rules August 29, 2008

It's great to have Bill Maher back on HBO's Real Time. I've always been a little perplexed why his seasons seem to be so short, and the hiatuses so long. But coming back the week of the Democratic National Convention, and after the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate was good timing.


Sarah Palin Looks Like?

The selection of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate has brought out the "separated at birth" blogging. I'm a sucker for that stuff, always thinking, hey, doesn't she look like. . .?

First there's Ms. Palin and Tina Fey.

While I could certainly see Tina Fey playing Palin on Saturday Night Live, the resemblance isn't very strong.

Next up, Ms. Palin and Karen Walker (Megan Mullally)

I like this image, and even like the idea of a socially oblivious, boozing, pill-popping VP hopeful even better. But it still didn't quite hit the separated at birth sweet spot. So, I came up with one of my own:

Sarah Palin and Married With Children's Amanda "Marcy D'arcy" Bearse!

Other Separated at Birth Posts:

Featured Blog: Totally Looks Like (Cindy McCain and Borg Queen from Star Trek)
Cindy McCain Plagiarizes Recipes? (Cindy McCain and Jane Badler, Diana of V)
Separated at Birth: John McCain & Lon Chaney, Sr.
Horrible Monster or Presidential Candidate? (Fred Thompson and Movie Monsters)
Separated at Birth: Obscure Celebrity Edition
Sean Hannity & Lou Costello Separated at Birth

McCain-Palin: A Heartbeat Away

Another funny John McCain-Sarah Palin poster. This race just got a lot. . .um. . .funnier.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

One Year Ago Today: Fred Thomson Enters Race

One Year Ago Today is a new feature here at Greenlee Gazette, exploring stories that you may have forgotten. . .or in some cases, that you cannot believe are already a year old.

One year ago today, actor Fred alton Thompson entered the race for President. He drug his feet getting there, and did not quite live up to expectations.

Original Post, August 30, 2007

Fred Thompson, so he says, is finally going to declare his candidacy for President. I was worried when I first heard he might run, primarily because he sounds like Bush, only articulate. Worse than that, he sounds almost reasonable while simultaneously being--in my opinion--wrong.
And if there's anything I believe it is that a Republican should NOT be in the White House the next time around. Time is long past for a change.

I'm feeling less worried as things unfold, however. Fred may be a good actor, and very good at delivering scripted lines, but he's not turning out to be the tsunami I thought he'd be. So run, Fred, run.


Thompson to Enter 2008 Race Next Week, Tour 3 States

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Former Senator Fred Thompson, after months of flirting with a possible presidential run, will enter the 2008 Republican nomination contest next week with a Sept. 6 Internet announcement and five-day campaign tour through Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, his organization said today.

The former Tennessee senator, lawyer and lobbyist, who has had a parallel career as a Hollywood movie and television actor, will become the ninth Republican candidate. He consistently ranks among the top three contenders in polls of Republican voters, behind former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and ahead of or even with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

"We enter this campaign in a strong position,'' Bill Lacy, the manager of Thompson's exploratory committee, said in a statement released after a conference call with supporters.

"Conservatives across the country have put together the closest thing to a draft in recent presidential campaign history.''

Read more at:

RNC Wanted to Use Offensive Limbaugh Joke

Photo from source, The Swamp

Rush Limbaugh is referred to as facetiously as "comedian" by Keith Olbermann, but it is true that many of his fans think he's very funny. Why is it though that so often, conservative humor has an ugly edge to it? I mean, people find Ann Coulter funny too, but I don't think any of her jokes aren't at the expense of somebody else (usually a Democrat).

Well, Limbaugh was cracking wise again, this time an imaginary discussion between Barack Obama and newly minted John McCain running-mate, Sarah Palin. It's basically an abortion joke, though it doesn't have a punchline. And the RNC found it to have "great YouTube potential," envisioning a longer conversation, painting Barack Obama as--what?--a wuss? I think that's the gist.


Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh boosted Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's pro-life position and mocked Barack Obama on his radio show yesterday with a make-believe riff in which Obama asked Palin "When you found out your baby would be born with Down syndrome, did you consider killing it before or after the due date?"

Two Alaskan Papers Doubt Sarah Palin's Readiness

Photo from source, Huffington Post

Many pundits and reporters are likely to question Sarah Palin's readiness to be President, in the not-too-unlikely event that a potential President John McCain need someone to step in for him. But Palin is allegedly super popular in Alaska, so you'd expect the newspapers from her state to be a little more gentle than that, wouldn't you?

Not so fast.


Since yesterday's shocking arrival of Gov. Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate there has been the usual cable news and print blathering about the pick from those who know little about her. But what about the journalists close to home -- in Alaska -- who know her best and have followed her career for years? . . .

Read more at: Huffington Post

John McCain and Anna Nicole Palin

Thanks to my brother-in-law, Mark, for this very funny picture!


Hurricane Gustav and Its Effect on GOP Convention

Photo from source, Raw Story

One of the cries you'll hear shouted when anything bad happens, is "let's not play politics." I would agree with that on principle, except for the fact that the request is never heeded. Everything is fodder for politics, and if one side sits it out, the other side will clobber them, right?

Well, this time the "bad thing" is another hurricane headed toward New Orleans. If Katrina had never happened--or if it had been handled differently--there would probably be no thought given to altering the style or substance of the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis next week.

But Katrina was bungled badly. Whether you're like my Mom ("Yeah, right, George Bush made Katrina happen?") and think that President Bush was not to blame for anything, or if you're like me, and think Katrina underlined and bold-faced the incompetency of the Bush Administration, I think everybody can admit that it didn't go at all well. And so, having your big party pep rally while a potential Katrina-type disaster is happening again--well, Karl Rove can't let that happen, without some creative response.

There have been rumors that the convention would be postponed, or that George Bush would cancel his speech. The story excerpted below paints a much more likely picture. The Republican National Convention had the potential to pale mightily against last weeks Democratic one. But what if you turned it into a big Hurricane telethon?


Will McCain turn RNC into telethon for hurricane victims?

A top aide in the McCain campaign said officials may turn the Republican National Convention into a service event to aid possible victims of a hurricane headed towards the Gulf Coast, CNN reported Saturday. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Daily Kos Gives Greenlee Gazette a Boost

I've been running this blog for 15 months now, and it is at turns a hobby, an obsession, and at times an obligation. I feel guilty when I don't post very much on a given day, or if I can't find anything interesting to post on the weekends. Today was one of those days where I. Just. Don't. Feel like it.

But a surprising thing happened. Yesterday, my friend and contributor, Stupid Monkey Planet gave me a link about John McCain's VP pick Sarah Palin. I thought it was funny and posted it. Surprisingly, I got an unprecedented amount of visitors yesterday, making it a personal best of 657 hits in one day. Pretty cool. I know that's small potatoes to most of the "big" blogs, but for my little (nearly) one-man show, not so bad.

Then came today, a day where blogging just seemed like a chore. I wanted to be lazy, and really pretty much have been. But while watching a DVD (Saw IV, not a Hollywood masterpiece, I assure you), I logged in on my laptop computer, and BAM! I was in the six hundreds again. A couple more clicks over the course of the video, and the number kept shooting up. As of now, at 7:17 pm PDST, the number is at 1,330. That's nearly as many people that visited the site for the entire month this time last year.

It turns out that The Daily Kos linked to my Sarah Palin is a GILF post, that little nothing, throw away joke of a post. I wondered what I'd ever have to do to get linked to by one of the big blogs. But why couldn't it have been one of my longer, more original posts? Oh, well. Hits are hits! So thanks Kos, and thanks Kos readers. You made my day.

Barack Obama, Polls and Cell Phones

Image from source, Dvice

From the time that Hillary Clinton had her "comeback" during the primaries (after it was too late mathematically for her to win), pundits have been asking, why can't Barack Obama seal the deal? They're still asking it, regarding the "close" race between Obama and John McCain.

The story goes, that this is a Democratic year. The Republicans have had a deeply unpopular President, whose administration has been stuffed full of some of the most despised people since Nixon's. The economy is shaky, gas prices are high, we're in a perpetual, unpopular war. . . Everything should ad up to a cake walk for Barack Obama. So, the punditry is confused that the polls only have Obama in a single-digit lead. Forget the fact that he's lead in all but a couple of polls ever since he clinched the nomination. . .why isn't he further ahead?

The story I've excerpted below goes part of the way into explaining why. I have an idea. The polls are close because we're a nation of partisans these days. Many Republicans have their political ideology so wrapped up in who they are, voting for a Democrat--demonized for twenty years by Rush Limbaugh--is unthinkable. No matter how badly Republicans are doing things, or how good the Democrat is, they just can't do it.

Democrats are in a different situation. They're less lock-steppy than Republicans, by and large. It's often said that trying to lead Democrats is like herding cats. But many are just as defiantly against voting Republican. Their votes are often more against a Republican than for a Democrat. But it works out the same.

That leaves very little middle ground. Can you even imagine not being sure who you're voting for this year? So polls are close, because we're divided. The hope that I have is that Democrats are more energized to go out and vote. That is what will win this election for Barack Obama. The danger in that scenario is, that a widespread popular opinion of a close election makes it much easier to steal. And we know Rovian armies are out there right now looking to do just that.

Now, another reason why the polls look close. . .


SHIFT: Obama's secret weapon — the cellphone

Recent polls have the two egomaniacs ("No, I should be the leader of the free world!") in a statistical dead heat. But to paraphrase defense witness Marisa Tomei suddenly realizing the import of the photographed tire marks in My Cousin Vinny, the polls are wrong. Why? Pollsters don't poll people with cellphones. Read on to find out what this means. . .

Read more at: Dvice

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain-Palin: Evokes Geena Davis' Commander in Chief

A short time ago, ABC aired a TV series starring Geena Davis, called Commander in Chief. It was about the first woman President of the United States, and was a pretty good--if short-lived--show, in the spirit of Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing.

In Commander in Chief, Davis' Vice President Mackenzie Allen becomes President upon the illness and then death of the elected President. It turns out, the President and many other people from his party do not want Allen to take over the Presidency. She was a trick, a ploy to get voters when she was added to the ticket, not anybody in her party's real idea of a President.

In the series, Davis' character rebuffs the party's efforts to have her resign, and instead turns out to be a capable and effective--and first female--President of the United States, despite what everyone thought of her.

Now, back in real life, John McCain has selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate. While most people (including me) don't know much about her yet, I think it is safe to assume that her resume was not the only reason McCain picked her. In fact, I don't think it would be going too far out on a limb to say, it was the only pick he could make that would steal Barack Obama's thunder, after a bravura speech at the Democratic National Convention. Picking Pawlenty, Brownback or Ridge would not have garnered the coverage McCain is now getting.

But don't forget that today is also John McCain's 72nd birthday. And that he is not an especially spry 72. And that he hasn't been in the best of health since he joined the AARP. The setup for this potential Presidency (much as I once thought a John Edwards Presidency would echo The American President) could put us in a Commander in Chief scenario. And would Palin be a match for fictional President Mackenzie Allen?

VP Pick Sarah Palin: GILF?


Leave it to my friend and contributor, Stupid Monkey Planet to find a funny and inappropriate reference to John McCain's pick for Vice President. And it just happened a couple of hours ago! Good work, Monkey!

And apologies to mature readers for this immature post. But I think the shirt is funny, and that the slightly cleaned up "explanation" is probably believed by many buyers of the shirt! Enjoy.

Source: CafePress

McCain's Palin Announcement: A Live Review

Image from source, Wikipedia

Since I'm home, and watching, I thought I'd type a report of the John McCain introduction of Sarah Palin as his VP pick.

He's got a biggish crowd, crowded much closer than the audience at Invesco Field last night. He's got an enthusiastic response, on the applause lines at least. They're a little on the NASCAR side, which is OK for me to say, because I'm from Ohio, and know whereof I speak! He's got hand-painted campaign signs, cheerleaders with pom poms, and a squealing microphone.

OK, Palin is introduced. Crowd goes wild. Music abruptly cuts off. She's pretty. Doesn't have a girly voice, which I frankly expected her to have. Not quite Elle Woods, at least on first impression. I'm always a little suspicious of hard-right younger women. I wonder, what the heck happened to her? She looks like she could be McCain's granddaughter, which she almost could be.

Nice looking husband and family. Palin has a decent amount of charisma, which is something McCain plainly lacks. Now she's talking a little more in depth about personal family stuff. Back on track, talking about her son enlisting in the army on September 11th. What's his name? Tack? Track? Crowd erupts into short burst of "USA! USA!" I guess the Iraq War is still a popular deal in Dayton.

She just invoked the POW card for McCain, and committed a little bit of an Ohio sin. . .she praised former Sen. John Glenn. . .a hated figure amongst Ohio Republicans.
She's reminding me a little of Sally Field now, even if she's right-wing. Now, giving a shout-out to Hillary Clinton. She's going for the ever-elusive PUMAs with a "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling" comment. She's wrapping up. Sounds a little like Marge Simpson trying to rally a Springfield audience.

My take: Grandpa and Gidget
(all right, that's just what they look like, but it's funny!)

John McCain Picks Sarah Palin for VP Choice

Photo from source, CNN

Like many, I woke this morning to the news that John McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Who? That was my first thought. Second, I thought, "well he picked one of the only people who can take some buzz away from Barack Obama's speech last night."

This is probably as close as I will ever come to "live blogging," since I have the day off from work, and am watching this unfold on the TV machine. MSNBC is a little wary of the choice. CNN is being very analytical about it, and FOX "News" is bubbling over with enthusiasm, right down on the floor with the chubby cheerleaders in the auditorium.

Oddly, the arena in Dayton, Ohio, where this is being announced, is going for a very homespun, down home. . .uh. . .homely look. I guess they think there is no way to compete with the spectacle of last night, so they're not even going to try.

I'm hopeful that this was a miscalculation by John McCain that there are more PUMAs out there than there really are. They were largely a media/right-wing creation, and don't likely exist in large numbers. Also, with the very real possibility that John McCain may be unable to fulfill a four- or eight-year term, it would put Palin into the White House with precious little experience.

More later, in fact likely sooner. . .


McCain picks Palin for vice president

Sen. John McCain has picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, a senior McCain campaign official told CNN on Friday. . .

Read more at: CNN

Barack Obama Wins Over Pat Buchanan

Yes, uber-Republican, Pat Buchanan was bowled over by Barack Obama's speech. In other news, Pat Robertson embraced gay marriage, Karl Rove turned himself in to the authorities, and FOX "News" admitted they aren't fair or balanced.

OK, well not really, but it was almost that momentous. And look at poor Rachel Maddow. . .it's the first time I've ever seen her at a loss for words.

John McCain: Please, Please Pick Mitt Romney!

Willard "Mitt" Romney would really be a fun pick for John McCain, don't you think? Forget about the Mormon thing (though it is true many Evangelicals would not vote for him). Forget that he's been christened "Mittens," and that "Willard" sounds like a leader of rats.

No, the fun part would be the ads that Barack Obama would have ready-made for the campaign. Watch the video below, and then say to yourself, "I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message!" Nothing else is needed!

Romney: 'Obama A Senator Killer' - gonna 'take care of' John McCain

Former Halliburton Subsidiary Sued for Human Trafficking

Image from source, The Independent

AmericaBlog got this one right. I knew that KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton) was borderline evil. I mean, if Dick Cheney was once in charge of it, wouldn't that stand to reason? But human trafficking? Slavery? It's hard to say borderline to that, isn't it?


KBR sued for forcing Nepalese workers to Iraq

One of America's biggest military contractors is being sued by a Nepali labourer and the families of a dozen other employees who say they were taken against their will to work in Iraq. All but one of the Nepalese workers were subsequently kidnapped and murdered. . .

Read more at: The Independent

Jon Stewart Rips on MSNBC for On-Air Tiffs

There seems to be some level of discord over at MSNBC, as I've noted here previously. Either they all hate each other, are extremely competitive, or are just like a typical "family" that gets on each others' nerves a lot. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart captured it all, and comment on it in a way I can't even aspire to, so just watch and I'll shut up.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain Ad Shows "HANG" Over Obama's Head

Image from source, Raw Story

Here we go again. Another political ad contains what might be a--deplorable if true--subliminal message. Taking a shot of Barack Obama at a rally, the ad shows supporters holding up letters that say, "C H A N G E." Except the shot is matted with a "vignette" effect, which changes the message to "H A N G."

Now, ordinarily I'm suspicious of claims like this. They often seem like a stretch. But as a graphic artist, I'm familiar with the vignette effect. It's even all the way around. Somebody had to go to extra effort to matte out the "C" by making the vignette effect irregularly shaped above Obama's head. That to me says, deliberate.


McCain ad questioned as word 'HANG' appears over image of Barack Obama

A McCain ad aired on Fox News channel with the words "HANG" in the background along with a photograph of Barack Obama has sparked outrage after being noticed by a reporter at a local Fox television affiliate. . .

Read more (with video) at: Raw Story

The Great PUMA Fraud

Image from RiverDaughter

I had a hunch that the threat of "PUMA"s was overblown, and if the Democratic National Convention did anything, it took away any power they might have had. I'd be very surprised to see the mainstream media latch on to the PUMA train much, if at all after this.

And, if the wide proliferation of the piece below is any indication, this may be the PUMA's last call.


Yes, indeed, one of the pundits with the latest "Hillary supporters will vote Republican" words admitted she was repeating the GOP talking points, which indeed she was, along with the jib-jab of the cable talkies and the flim-flam of the so-called experts who treat smears as truth and talking points as news. . .

Read more at: The Hill

Barack Obama Delivers at DNC Acceptance Speech

Photo from source, MSNBC

There isn't much I can add, or take away from the speech given by Barack Obama tonight at the Democratic National Convention. I'm sure some people could come away from the speech still not agreeing with Obama. But I don't think they'll discount him as a lightweight anymore.

Strategists for John McCain must be shaking their heads, wondering how in the hell are we going to compete with that? Simply amazing. And how wonderful to have a potential President who can speak in full sentences that make sense. And you know what? I can even imagine having a beer with him.


Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois accepted the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night, declaring that Sen. John McCain of Arizona, his Republican opponent, was not up to the task of resolving America’s economic and foreign policy problems. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

Republicans Criticize Obama's Stage Dressing

Image from (why not) FOX "News"

We are by now used to inane criticisms from the John McCain campaign and Republicans about Barack Obama. The big one today is the stage dressing of Invesco Field/Mile High Stadium. They've dressed it up patriotically, with a facade that brings to mind the columned buildings and monuments around Washington, D.C.

Predictably, Republicans are whining that it looks like Mount Olympus, which of course plays into Rush Limbaugh's "Lord Obama, the Great and Merciful" slur. It doesn't come off that way on television though. I see a set evocative of the White House, with seventy-some-thousand-odd Democrats waving American flags.

So, I have one thing to say to conservatives: Jealous much?


The McCain campaign is ecstatic over this report from Reuters: "Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's big speech on Thursday night will be delivered from an elaborate columned stage resembling a miniature Greek temple . . ."

Read more at: Huffington Post

The Presidential Name Game

Image from Chronicle Books

Many actors and sometimes politicians change their names if they sound a little weird. John Wayne's name was really Marion, for example. So conventional wisdom might say that a name like "Barack Hussein Obama" might be a liability for a politician. FOX "News" personalities (some of whom who have unlikely names like Brit Hume and Mort Kondracke) have certainly made hay with the "Hussein" part, and the unfortunate rhyme of "Barack" with "Iraq" and "Obama" with "Osama."

So, some liberals have taken to highlighting John McCain's middle name, which is "Sydney." But not so fast, my liberal brethren! Newly nominated Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has the middle name Robinette, of all things! Of course, he's a Jr., so it's sort of a tradition thing. . .and son Beau who is a III carries the name too. . .and he's kinda hot.

Still, Robinette trumps Sydney. Not to worry though. The rumored Republican VP nominee, Mitt Romney--a name already christened "Mittens" by some--has the first name Willard. Rats, anybody? If it's Mike Huckabee. . .well, he's got a funny last name. Tim Pawlenty too. Piyush "Bobby" Jindal? Even his adopted name is from the freakin' Brady Bunch. Long shot turncoat Joe Lieberman? Middle name: Isadore.

So, can we dispense with the Hussein references now? Thanks much.

Kristin Chenoweth's Intervention

And now for something, completely different. This parody of the runaway hit show about addiction, Intervention, stars Pushing Daisies star, Kristin Chenoweth. The Other Half and the former Housemate are both rabid fans of both Chenoweth and Intervention, so I couldn't not post it. Enjoy. WARNING: Some language may not be safe for work (NSFW).

See more Kristin Chenoweth videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MSNBC is the Place for. . .Interoffice Politics?

It isn't a secret that I'm a fan of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, but it would seem that the star of that show rubs a few of the other people at MSNBC the wrong way. And all the ink comes down against Olbermann. Maybe he is cranky and difficult to work with, I don't know. But so far, the videos I've seen of spats between personalities on that channel seem pretty balanced between the various spatters (spatterers?).

Here, Chris Matthews and Olbermann have a little tiff, though it looks like mostly Matthews who is in a snit. And doesn't come off as a 60-something year old either. Whoever is at fault in this and other fights, it does bear mentioning that we don't see much of this at FOX "News," and I think I know the reason. They have marching orders over there, talking points. Hard to have a fight when you don't go off script!

Editor's Rant: Radio Commercials and False Advertising

Image from MV Recycling

I listen to a lot of talk radio, probably too much. Especially in a "political Christmas" like what is going on now. I probably would have half as many posts on the blog if I wasn't as plugged in as I am to Rachel Maddow, Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann and Stephanie Miller. I've even been known to work in a little Rush Limbaugh, Sean [ack!] Hannity and Mark [accckkkk!] Levin, from time to time.

But one thing you get along with the talk, is commercials. Lots and lots of commercials. And that goes for most of radio, not just talk, not just right or left-wing. And the common trait among these commercials (excluding most of the local ones) is that they are annoying, too repetitive and usually deceitful.

The ads use many tricks to deceive. One tactic is the fake interview, where they make it sound like the host (or a faux host) is talking to an expert on some product. Often, they'll even flub a line or two to sound more "live," throw in a chuckle here or there, and rarely ever actually tell you exactly what they're selling. You have to buy the book or the product to find out what's in it!

They sell time shares this way, notably Tahiti Village right here in Las Vegas with an overly exuberant Tanya Roberts trying to give you a "free getaway" (note: not a vacation, and not actually at Tahiti Village). They sell get rich schemes, work at home schemes, home security schemes. All using trickery, and very careful wording to do it.

The ad that inspired this post is one that plays on KTLK out of Los Angeles (and undoubtedly elsewhere) about a grocery bag tax. A very concerned female voice laments the price of gas, and of groceries, and implores Californians to vote against a grocery bag tax that would add $400 to each family's budget. That's a 25 cent tax per bag. My math works that out to 1,600 grocery bags per year! How many families do you know that buy 133 bags of groceries per month?

This ad is sponsored by some nebulous sounding group that turns out to be--wait for it--the Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council and The California Film Extruders and Converters Association. No wonder they're worried.

When I get a deceptive sales pitch, I'm almost 100% guaranteed not to buy what is being sold. If your product, plan or idea is valid, it should not need to be sold with tricks and lies. 'Nuff said.

First Same-sex Marriage in California Ends in Death

Photo from source, SFGate

Getting away from the Presidential election for a moment, there was sad news out of California today. One half of the first legal same-sex marriage in California, Del Martin, passed away. She had been with her partner for over half a century. It's nice that she was able to become legally married before she passed away, but profoundly unfair that she had to wait so long.

Thanks for blazing the trail, Del!


Lesbian activist Del Martin dies at 87

Del Martin, a pioneering lesbian rights activist who with her lifelong partner became a symbol for the movement to legalize gay marriage, died Wednesday morning. She was 87. . .

Read more at: SFGate

Joe Biden Accepts VP Nomination

Photo from source, MSNBC

Joe Biden threw out the first "red meat," at least in prime time, at the Democratic National Convention tonight. In accepting the nomination as Barack Obama's running mate, Biden went after Bush, Cheney and of course, John McCain, more strenuously than any of the big names so far. Biden's speech was--if not polished--still pretty powerful.

After a lull in enthusiasm over the last couple of weeks, I'm excited again. And if that is the measure of success of a convention, they have gotten something right.


Biden goes after McCain as he joins the ticket

Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president Wednesday night and immediately went to work on what party officials said would be his main job on the stump: tying Sen. John McCain to the Bush White House and telling voters they “have the power to change it. . .”

Read more at: MSNBC

John McCain Finally Called by Media on Lies

Photo from Democratic Underground

I'm convinced that the only way that John McCain will win the election in November, is if he manages to lie enough, often enough, that he convinces people he is the lesser of two evils. His campaign lately has been bashing Barack Obama, while being heedless of the truth.

Finally, someone in the mainstream media has called him on it. It's about time.


From the Fact Check Desk: Did Obama Say Iran Is a 'Tiny' Country That 'Doesn't Pose a Serious Threat'?

We, in the media, have given a lot of airtime to the TV ads of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., this week, starring, as they do, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

There's been evidence emerging that McCain's campaign isn't really running these ads anywhere, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group. . .

Read more at: ABC News

Dennis Kucinich's Rousing Speech at the DNC

Dennis Kucinich may never have a realistic chance at becoming President. But his spirit and his ideas probably express the anger, the desires and the hopes of your average liberal blogger, I tell you what! So what if he's kind of elfin? Wasn't that Lord of the Rings thingy like really popular? And Frodo didn't have a hottie wife. . .

Bill Clinton's Speech at the DNC

Photo from source, MSNBC

It would appear that any lingering doubts or fears that the Clintons might pull some sort of stunt--however unrealistic that may seem now--most certainly did not come to pass. Last night, Hillary Clinton gave a terrific, unifying speech. Tonight, her husband, former President Bill Clinton did the same.

Any so-called PUMAs out there who are still defiantly pledging support for John McCain over Barack Obama, clearly care nothing for the wishes of the Clintons. I'm beginning to believe that the PUMAs were largely a media creation, helped along by McCain and right-wing talk radio.


Bill Clinton sets aside differences with Obama

Former President Bill Clinton laid to rest any speculation Wednesday night that he would not enthusiastically back Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois for president by making a forceful call for voters to elect Obama because “Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. . .”

Read more at: MSNBC

One Year Ago Today: Larry Craig Taps His Way Into History

Original Photo from

What are the odds? I got the idea to start a new feature, One Year Ago Today, because my blog has been around since about June 2, 2007, and I thought it might be interesting to revisit some old posts. Because of the news-suckingness of the 2008 Presidential election, many other stories are lost or forgotten.

So, can you believe my luck that one year ago today, Larry Craig was found out to be a toilet stall tapper? I find that very fortuitous (and funny).

Original Post, from August 27, 2007:

What is with this tidal wave of GOP sex scandals? And why are the majority of them married men in gay sex scandals? They also all tend to be big supporters of banning same-sex marriage, and "protecting" traditional marriage. Protecting them from what, getting found out?

It is true that Democrats have been busted for "illicit" sex, but they're not out there braying about "teh gay," and then doing it in private! Amazingly, this guy pleaded guilty, and still maintains his innocence. Read all about it. . .


Craig Arrested, Pleads Guilty Following Incident in Airport Restroom

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon.

Craig’s arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the Hennepin County District Court. He paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation with the court that began on Aug. 8.

A spokesman for Craig described the incident as a “he said/he said misunderstanding,” and said the office would release a fuller statement later Monday afternoon.

After he was arrested, Craig, who is married, was taken to the Airport Police Operations Center to be interviewed about the lewd conduct incident, according to the police report. At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?” the report states. . .

Read it all at:

Condolences to Friends

Not long ago, I wrote a lament about the imminent passing of our friends' (Mr. & Mrs. Lesto) dog, Pepper. We were lucky to have her longer than we expected to. She wasn't in fighting form, but she was happy and unrestricted from any dietary worries. For once, she could eat whatever she wanted.

But, as we all knew would happen (but were hoping would never come), she ultimately could not go on. She was a wonderful dog (and this coming from a cat person, and a cynic). The Other Half and I will miss her terribly.

Coincidentally (and of course on an entirely different scale), another friend and his family are coping with loss as well. Jeff and Sandy, two friends of almost two decades, are dealing with the relatively sudden loss of Jeff's Mom. She was a very cool lady, and while I didn't know her well (though I had the privilege of working with her briefly), I'm glad I got to know her at all.

I come from a small family, and also a relatively young family, so I have not often had to deal with loss personally. So, I will confess, I do not deal with it well. Everything I say to the bereaved sounds to me to be hopelessly cliched, and inappropriate. So I have a tendency to clam up and say nothing at all. And while I do not wish to equate a pet death with a loss of a parent, I do know that both families have been dealt a blow. I'm sad for both, and I hope that my friends can accept my limited ability to express that adequately.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hillary Clinton Delivers Unifying Speech at DNC

Photo from source, MSNBC

It will be very interesting to see what is left of the "PUMA" movement, after the bravura speech given at the Democratic National Convention this evening. Hillary Clinton spelled out, with no ambiguity, why a vote for John McCain by her defenders as a protest would be a mistake.

Before the speech, much of the punditry talked about whether or not Clinton's speech would be sincere. The point is irrelevant. Anyone who supporting Hillary Clinton must vote for Barack Obama if they care anything about her goals or her wishes. That is the point, and she made it well.

Oh, and she got in some good digs at George W. Bush and his clone, John McCain too. Great job, Hillary!


Clinton makes strong case for Obama

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton answered skeptics Tuesday night by issuing a ringing call for her supporters to rally behind Sen. Barack Obama, saying Democrats cannot afford to stay home in November and let another Republican administration ruin the economy. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

Pot, Meet Kettle: FOX "News" Calls CNN Biased

Image from source, News Corpse

A while back, I found this comment at Newshounds, a site with the motto, "We watch FOX so you don't have to":


--Chuck Anziulewicz Homepage 08.13.08 - 10:54 am

The reason that resonated with me is, the network and its ardent fans absolutely will not admit that FOX "News" is biased toward conservatives and Republicans. Anybody with eyes and ears and a brain can see that it is. Despite their Fair and Balanced motto, they show their bias in almost every program, in countless ways.

Defenders will say that only The O'Reilly Factor is biased, and that Hannity & Colmes is balanced because of its right-left format. Bollocks. From their story selection, to their chyrons, to the angle they hit stories from, and the guests they put on to discuss the stories, they show their bias. Almost everything about FOX "News" shouts their slant.

So it is particularly amusing that FOX is now calling CNN biased in print advertisements. And using typically twisted logic to boot.


In a feat of heroic irony, Fox News published an ad promoting itself that called CNN a partisan network. It is beyond me how they could have completed work on the ad with all the laughing that one would expect to ensue. But they did complete it and it was printed in several newspapers including the Washington Post and News Corp. sister pub, the Wall Street Journal. . .

Read more at: News Corpse

David Shuster vs. Joe Scarborough on MSNBC

Zowie! Fireworks flew on MSNBC between commentator David Shuster and Morning Joe host, Joe Scarborough, over party affiliation. Scarborough seems to be irritated with MSNBC's "liberal" reputation, or maybe he's irritated with being labelled a Republican? It's hard to tell which, maybe a little of both?

Truth is, Joe Scarborough is a Republican, but he doesn't seem to follow his party's marching orders. I kinda sorta like him sometimes, and just as often am irritated by him. His biggest fault is not his politics, but his arguing style. He takes on a condescending, sing-song air, and comes off as a whiner. Even if he's right (pun intended) in this argument, he loses the argument with his demeanor.

22 Million Watch Democratic National Convention

Maybe there's hope for America after all? While most people I know are very interested in this year's Presidential election (and most seem to be rooting for Barack Obama), there are a few who just don't care. About much of anything, it would seem. Some people are just not aware of what's going on in the world around them, and do not care to be.

I wondered, briefly, if I was like that when I was younger. But even though I wasn't nearly as plugged in as I am now, I clearly remember paying attention in 1992 (as related here). I tuned out much of the Iran/Contra affair, and very quickly lost interest in the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky flap. But I knew what was going on.

I've assumed though, that I was something of an anomaly. I was encouraged by the dramatically high turnout for the primaries and caucuses this year though, and am hopeful that the turnout is as enthusiastic in November. When I read on The Drudge Report today that the Democratic National Convention's ratings were down last night, I was a little bummed out. Then I remembered that Drudge is often wrong. And he was again.


Conventions: On Opening Night, Democrats Draw at Least 22 Million

At least 22 million television viewers watched the Democratic convention Monday night, when Michelle Obama spoke about her husband and her family, according to Nielsen Media Research. . .

Read more at: New York Times

FOX "News" Fair & Balanced Toward Democrats?

With that headline, I almost went into hysterics again (after Sean Hannity said he was "fair" to the Clintons). Friend and contributor, Stupid Monkey Planet sent me an email with the FOX "News" website's top stories. Here's a simple cut and paste. You tell us, is this spin-free news? And these are just the headlines!


Good catch, Monkey!

Sean Hannity Believes He's Been "Fair" to the Clintons

Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! GASP!!! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!

I'm sorry, but just when you think that FOX "News" blow-hole, Sean Hannity can't possibly get more ridiculous, he goes and says something like this. I mean, really.


Sean Hannity: "I think I was more fair to the Clintons"

On the August 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity said to Fox News contributor Geraldine Ferraro: "[Y]ou've been one of the Clinton supporters that have been very vocal, very unhappy about the way [Sen. Barack] Obama treated [Sen. Hillary] Clinton." Ferraro responded: "And the media treated Clinton." Hannity said: "No, I think I was more fair to the Clintons." Hannity did not explain what he meant by "fair," but during the Democratic presidential primaries, Hannity asserted: "I'm leading the Stop Hillary Express. . ."
Read more at: Media Matters for America

Rachel Maddow on Michelle Obama and Pat Buchanan

I've mentioned before on the blog that at one time, I was a Republican. Not exactly a strong one, mind you, but I voted primarily for people with (R) after their names. At the 1992 Republican National Convention, Pat Buchanan gave an ugly, nasty speech about "the culture wars," by which he meant gay people. The speech went unrefuted, and for me a pall hung over the remainder of the Convention, and the election season.

That year, after hearing that speech, and also seeing George H.W. Bush cozy up to Pat Robertson on the 700 Club, I voted for Bill Clinton. And I never went back to the GOP. In this clip, which followed Michelle Obama's amazing speech last night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow brought up the '92 Convention. And she did it with Pat Buchanan sitting right next to her!

Brava, Rachel! NOTE: Be patient, the moment is about half-way in.

DNC: The Hillary Clinton Factor

The mainstream press--working seemingly in tandem with right-wing punditry and the John McCain campaign--has been beating the "divided Democratic Party" drum for months and months. And this week, with the Democratic National Convention underway, the beat has gotten louder.

Left-wing pundits have been downplaying this, which they would probably try to do even if it were true. But many voices, from Thom Hartmann on Air America Radio, Randi Rhodes from Nova M Radio, and John Aravosis from AmericaBlog have been reporting that it is not only overblown, but that this divide isn't even evident at the convention itself. My thought is that it makes a good story, but that it's typical mountain out of a molehill stuff.

As the story below shows, the events taking place at the convention with Hillary Clinton are not at all unusual, in the context of previous Democratic Conventions. In fact, it would be odd if she didn't have a prominent spot.


Hillary Clinton speaks at convention. The press concocts a story

Within the fast-forward world of campaign journalism, it's not considered cool to examine the recent past in order to provide context for today's events. (We know it's not cool because nobody does it.) Nonetheless, here's a very brief history lesson that the political press prefers to ignore. . .

Read on (it's really good) at: Media Matters for America

Karl Rove's Insights on the Warmth of Michelle Obama

Gaagghhh! Fair warning folks, this is a video of Karl Rove, deconstructing Michelle Obama's powerful speech last night. He ain't pretty, and just watching the guy requires a couple of drinks, a strong stomach or both. But even a strong stomach will have trouble tolerating Rove, talking about emotions and warmth.

Not surprisingly, Rove didn't think Obama's speech was very good. But his comments are so far from the speech I watched, I can be comforted in knowing that I'm nothing like Karl Rove. And what could be better than that?


Karl Rove Says Michelle Obama's Speech "a missed opportunity"

Was Karl Rove watching a different Michelle Obama speech tonight? Rove called the speech a missed opportunity for three reasons. . .

Source: Newshounds

Monday, August 25, 2008

Awesome Speech by Michelle Obama at DNC

Photo from source, MSNBC

Michelle Obama has just finished her big speech at the Democratic National Convention, and I have to say, wow. Awesome speech, classy lady. . .a tough act to follow. I can't imagine many--if any--first ladies delivering a better performance. If this doesn't squelch the right wing sleaze about her, or at least mute its effectiveness, absolutely nothing will.


Wife stresses Obama’s American values

Michelle Obama mixed the personal and the political Monday night in painting a picture of her husband, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, as a working-class advocate for the American dream who “will finally bring the change that we need. . .”

Read more at: MSNBC

The Vim and Vigor of John McCain

I'm double-dipping into The Jed Report's videos tonight, first because this as a particularly good example of the leadenness and befuddlement of John McCain. And secondly because I'm watching the Democratic National Convention, and finding the whole blogging thing a little more difficult than usual!

Here's what four more years would sound like (McCain mashup)

John McCain: Dehydrated Babies. . .McHuh?

This very short clip left me scratching my head. I keep picturing a Top Ramen-like package, containing dehydrated babies. . .just add hot water! Seriously, what was John McCain trying to say here?

Found at: The Jed Report

Denver Cops Foil Obama Assassination Plot?

Image from source, CBS4Denver

Holy moley. This is one thing that many, many Barack Obama supporters have feared. Hopefully, this was the only plot. And how wild is it that they only got this guy because of a traffic stop? It reminds me of the ricin case here in Las Vegas, which was only foiled because the guy dosed himself.

With all of the warrantless wiretapping, data mining, and over-reaching government "security" measures and organizations, it's strange that these near misses are getting caught by chance.


Police Investigate Possible Plot To Kill Obama

Law enforcement authorities have arrested two men and several law enforcement sources say the investigation is looking into whether the men intended to harm presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. . .

Read more at: CBS4Denver

Michael Moore on Why Democrats are Nice to McCain

I like what Michael Moore has to say here. I don't always agree with him, and think the right wing assigns him far too much power, but this is pretty dead on. On a side note, I'm convinced that Moore is trying to become Bruce Vilanch.

New Barack Obama Ad: McCain Don't Know Much

Catchy, and true. The only way I like "attack ads" is true. So I approve this message too!

Are Hillary Clinton's Supporters Really a Big Deal?

Image from HipHappy

This morning, one of the very first stories I saw was one alleging a huge divide at the Democratic National Convention. According to the blaring headlines, Hillary Clinton's supporters are still balking at a Barack Obama candidacy, and ready for some kind of fight.

While I'll admit to having a gnawing fear in the back of my mind at some kind of surprise coup, I've thought for some time that the fear was overblown. And-if the voices I heard from the convention floor via radio are any indication--the story was overblown in the media this morning. Sure, there are PUMAs out there (some undoubtedly not Democrats anyway, and possibly even Rush Limbaugh kool aid drinkers), but I just don't think they're as big a force as they've been made out to be. I guess we'll all get to see soon enough how it will all play out.


Clinton asks her delegates to back Obama for the country's sake

Hillary Clinton made an impassioned appeal Monday for supporters to put aside disappointment over her failed presidential bid and unite behind Barack Obama, a move aimed at avoiding lasting divisions that could damage both the Democratic nominee and the New York senator's own political future. . .

Read more at:

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