30 August 2008

Sarah, Small and Pale

In his first major decision as a presidential candidate, Republican John McCain (BushBitch-AZ) fell flat on his face, proving to every American from Florida to Alaska that he has no intention of governing as his "Country First" campaign slogan suggests. While some in the mainstream media are praising the selection, many political pundits and bloggers - of both the left and the right - call this move for exactly what it is: a really bad, very political, and highly cynical pick. Sarah Palin is nowher near ready for the vice-presidency (and by extension obviously, the presidency)...not by a long shot. As it is, she's barely ready for the job she currently holds.

Various reactions from around the "inter-web"...
Think about what the Palin pick really says about how McCain views this campaign and how he views his potential responsibilities in national security.

Think about how he picked a woman to be a heartbeat away from a war presidency who hadn't even thought much, by her own admission, about the Iraq war as late as 2007.

Think about the men and women serving this country who have every right to trust that their potential commander-in-chief, whatever their party, would have some record of even interest in foreign policy before assuming office.

This is his sense of honor and judgment. This is his sense of responsibility and service.

Here's the real slogan the McCain campaign should now adopt:

Putting. Country. Last.
-Andrew Sullivan, author of "The Conservative Soul."
The longer I think about it, the less well this selection sits with me. And I increasingly doubt that it will prove good politics. The Palin choice looks cynical. The wires are showing.

John McCain wanted a woman: good.

He wanted to keep conservatives and pro-lifers happy: naturally.

He wanted someone who looked young and dynamic: smart.

But maybe...it will reinforce a theme that I'd be pounding home if I were the Obama campaign: that it's John McCain for all his white hair who represents the risky choice, while it is Barack Obama who offers cautious, steady, predictable governance.

But question: If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?
-David Frum, conservative blogger at the National Review.
Senator John McCain’s choice of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate is irresponsible. Senator McCain has repeatedly said that he puts his country first, not his ambition. This is an example of raw ambition. She has no experience outside of Alaska, one of our least populated states. And the experience she does have as governor amounts to less than two years. Governor Palin is not prepared to be “a heartbeat away” from the presidency. Mr. McCain has made a mockery of his own campaign and of his party.
-Elizabeth Rounds of San Francisco, in a letter published in today's New York Times

And then there is the fact that John McCain doesn't even know Sarah Palin. He met her twice before asking her to join the ticket, and all evidence points to the fact that he didn't look into her all that well. Uber-blogger Josh Marshall has been all over the Palin "Trooper-gate" scandal that is brewing up in Alaska...
Gov. Palin is in the thick of her own very Bush era scandal over her attempts to have her ex-brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, using her clout as governor. Now we've learned she's invoked the Alaska version of executive privilege to withhold emails dealing with the case.
Finally, Palin seems to be quite the bitch. Here she is cackling as a conservative radio host rakes a fellow Republican over the coals...

I highly suggest you scroll down Josh's blog and learn about the controversy over the firing. Between that and the readiness issue, it is plainly obvious that John McCain jumped the shark with this selection. As Sullivan pointed out, this isn't putting country first. In fact, it's putting country last.

29 August 2008

McCain / M.I.L.F.

I just flew back from a quick trip to Seattle and need to get into the office so more on this later, but...

John McCain just panicked.

By picking Gov. Sarah Palin (Republican of Alaska) to be his running mate, John McCain just threw the experience argument out the window. She's been governor of Alaska (population 643,0000) for exactly a year-and-a-half. Prior to that she was mayor of Wasilla (population 5,000). She's pro-life, anti-evolution, a 2nd place finisher in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant, and is currently under investigation for abuse of power.

Oh...and her husband works for BP Petroleum.

You know McCain wanted to pick Lieberman or Pawlenty. Instead he made a really bad political move, hoping to bring some of the Clinton women into his column (fat chance) and throw a Hail Mary pass to keep the christian fascists from abstaining.

McCain/Palin? At first blush, advantage Obama. I can't wait to see Joe Biden make mince meat out of this woman!

28 August 2008

America's Promise

Just as Ronald Reagan made the case for a strong, patriotic and vital conservatism at his party's convention in 1980, Barack Obama made the case for a strong, patriotic, and vital liberalism at the Democratic National Convention tonight.

In what could easily be described as the best acceptance speech from a Democratic presidential nominee since Roosevelt, Sen. Obama made a solid case for his candidacy, calling out John McCain and the Fascist-Republicans on issue after issue, domestic as well as foreign. Obama absolutely destroyed the Senator from Arizona tonight, making the case to every American that the last eight years have been absolutely dismal, and that electing McCain would lead to four more years of the same failures that have brought us to this moment.

Obama also made he case that he is not going to run Al Gore or John Kerry's campaign. He showed tonight that he'll go toe-to-toe with John McCain on every issue at every turn. More over, he laid out his plans to return America to the peace, prosperity, and global respect of the pre-Bush era. It is truly amazing, really, how fast and how far the current administration have dismantled the America that Bill Clinton - and the 41 presidents before him - left them. The world hates us, our Constitution is in tatters, and our economy is on the brink of ruin.

If any American held doubts about whether Barack Obama was up to the job, if any American was unsure as to whether this junior Senator from Illinois is the man we need at the helm as we make a much overdue course correction...well...those doubts will have been put to rest tonight.

If you missed the speech the videos are below (sorry...the only high-quality clips I could find on YouTube were divided into five parts). I highly suggest give them a look. You won't be sorry. As David Gergen at CNN said tonight, it wasn't really a speech, but rather a symphony.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Al Gore's Speech - WTF?

Was it just me or did Al Gore sound like he had someplace better to be? He rushed through this speech and at its conclusion didn't say "thank you," "God bless America," or "fuck right off" and, after a wave or two, turned and practically ran off the stage.

I was deeply disappointed.

Del Martin, 1921 - 2008

Del Martin, the longtime political activist, died yesterday, just two short months following her history making wedding to Phyllis Lyon.

Her wife (and partner of 55 years) was at her side when she passed away.

Godspeed, Del. Thank you for paving the way.

Update: The true measure of Martin's trailblazing...an obituary in the New York Times.

The Next Vice-President of the United States

America's quintessential Everyman took the stage last night in his role as the vice-presidential nominee of the Democratic Party and showed America why he is the best man for the job. Watch Joe Biden's speech below and you'll realize that Barack Obama couldn't have made a better decision for V.P.

Tonight the convention concludes with a major speech by former Vice-President Al Gore and the acceptance speech by Barack Obama. I want to see a bit more red meat tonight. I want to see some major rhetorical body blows to George Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain, and the fascist form of government they represent. John Kerry, President Clinton, and Sen. Biden laid the groundwork last night...but tonight, at the very least, Al Gore needs to give a rousing "I told you so" speech. (It's probably a good idea for Obama to stay above the fray tonight.) Following eight years of the worst president in American history, the Democrats need to quit playing nice.

President Clinton

Quote of the Day:
People around the world have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.
-President Bill Clinton, telling it like it is at last night's Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The would-be first spouse followed in his wife's footsteps last night, stepping up to the plate, and hitting a grand slam for his party's new standard bearer. Last night Bill Clinton showed America why we love him, why we miss his eloquence and leadership, and why Barack Obama should be president.

Mr. Clinton has been very quiet these last couple of months, apparently unable to get over Hillary's loss to Sen. Obama. I can understand that. With every fiber of his being he wanted his wife to be president. For a guy who has lost only two elections in his entire life (one of them for an office he won back two years later), it had to feel like a punch in the gut when Sen. Clinton conceded in June.

We saw the worst of Bill Clinton in spades during the primary campaign. His tactics and public comments were beyond vial. But as with his wife on Tuesday, last night's speech took the very first important steps toward repairing his reputation. (The President, in particular, has a lot of making up to do with the African-American community.)

As you will see in the speech below, the healing has begun...

John Kerry

His speech last night was one of the best of the convention. Where the hell was this guy in 2004?

By Acclamation

Yesterday, about half way through the roll call of delegates, it was New York's turn to cast their votes for a presidential nominee, when Hillary Clinton grabbed the microphone and took another classy step toward a repaired future, asking the delegates to the convention to suspend the vote and name Barack Obama the winner by acclamation.

A few short seconds later history was made as Sen. Obama was named the official presidential nominee of the Democratic Party...

The Man From Montana

Gov. Brian Schweitzer. Remember that name. You could very well see him running for the White House in, say, 2016...

27 August 2008

A Proud Democrat

I have a confession to make. Two actually. First, before the Democratic presidential primary campaign I used to adore Hillary Clinton. As with many Americans she and her husband held a special place in my heart for the great fight they fought during Bill's eight years in the White House (not to mention the unparallelled prosperity). Hillary's work on behalf of so many causes and her eight years serving the state of New York in the United States Senate have been extremely admirable.

But during her campaign for the presidency I found myself recoiling at her campaign tactics, and flabbergasted at the personality traits I used to turn a blind-eye to but that showed themselves in spades in her contest against Barack Obama.

Needless to say, I was a bit anxious prior to last night's speech. Would the bitter, shrill Hillary rear her ugly head, prompting her bitter, shrill supporters to dig in and deny Obama their vote in November? Or would the Hillary I adored from 1991 to 2006 return from exile and help heal a potentially fatal split in the Democratic Party?

The answer leads me to confession #2. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton totally rocked the house last night. With a huge smile and some hearty enthusiasm she came out and by making the best speech of her entire presidential campaign handed Barack Obama a full and hearty endorsement, taking a big step toward rehabilitating herself with those of us who had become disenchanted with her these past 8 or 9 months. She still has a way to go (I want to see how she performs during the general election campaign), but last night was a tremendous step in the right direction.

Some speech highlights:
"To my Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits...from the bottom of my heart...thank you."

"...you haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership. No way. No how. No McCain."

"We don't need four more years of the last eight years."

"It makes a lot of sense that next week John McCain and George Bush will be together in the Twin Cities, because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart."
Suh-NAP !!

Then there was the pièce de résistance...
I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?
That comment was a direct challenge to those bitter PUMAs ("Party Unity My Ass"), who just can't seem to get over the fact that their candidate lost. But the comment is also at the heart of what Sen. Clinton was saying last night. This election is too important. If America makes the mistake of electing John McCain to a third consecutive Republican White House term, we may not recognize our beloved country come 2012. As it is she certainly isn't the same as she was in 2004 (let alone 2000). America - and Americans - simply can't afford a continuation of fascist rule.

And so, thank you Sen. Clinton...and congratulations. What a tremendous and extraordinary speech!

Her speech, in full, below (and if you missed it, I highly recommend you watch)...

26 August 2008

Beth's Mom

Our dear friend Beth emailed us yesterday with news that her mom is in the hospital following an aneurysm scare. She's doing well and holding her own and for that we are grateful. As Beth said:
We've come to accept that perhaps she's NOT superhuman, and that hurts. But we'll take a slow recovery over the alternative!!!
Warm, healing thoughts, tremendous cyber-hugs, and a big dose of love are being sent your way, Ms. Beth!


As Olbermann said last night, Michelle Obama's speech to the convention last night was "pitch perfect." Voters saw the real Obama family tonight - red-blooded Americans to their very core. Loyal everymen whose love for each other and dedication to their fellow American drive them to do their best with each new day. The pride in her mother's eyes was enough to put a lump in your throat.

Michelle's speech, in three parts, below...

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:


The great lion's last roar, passing the infamous torch to a new generation...

A Nation Diminished

Former Rep. Jim Leach - a Republican - endorsing Barack Obama for president at last night's Democratic convention...

25 August 2008

Obama / Biden

It really is one of the most potent presidential tickets in a long time. There are shades of Kennedy/Johnson and Reagan/Bush here: The popular newcomer to the national scene joining forces with the well respected Washington veteran, both former rivals for their party's nomination. Only with Obama and Biden there is a genuine respect. Kennedy and Johnson couldn't stand each other, and the first Bush was always cool to Reagan's aloofness and economic policies (never mind that he continued those policies during his one term). But the chemistry is pitch-perfect with this new team. Should they win the White House in November, America's stature around the globe will take a tremendous step in the direction of some much needed healing.

With all the gushing I've done over Obama's candidacy these last seven-and-a-half months, it is easy to forget that my first choice for the Democratic nomination was Sen. Biden:
...his command of global affairs is beyond reproach. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden has distinguished himself against the incompetent fool currently residing in the White House, offering the only workable alternative plan to fix the mess that is the Iraq War (a loose federal system under which the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds would each control their own territory).

The Iraq debacle has cost America a huge chunk of her reputation around the world, and Biden's international star-power would be a huge asset in next year's general election.
The incompetent war criminals currently working in the White House have turned America's stature and leadership upside down. One hundred years from now historians will look back at the Bush/Cheney regime and conclude that their leadership weakened America more than anything Hoover, Nixon, or Carter combined could have ever done. If America is to enter a period of non-dominance, the administration of George W. Bush will serve as the concrete marker of the era's beginning.

With his choice of Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate, Barack Obama has sent a solid signal that he intends to do his best to reverse course before we tumble over the cliff the current president has been driving us toward (and that John McCain would drive over with increased speed). With Biden at his side, Obama makes it known that he will surround himself with a team that will give him solid, adult advice; a team that will not cater to his every whim, but rather provide a "President Obama" with all the facts, a solid policy debate, and some good old-fashioned "no" answers every once in a while. Yes...Obama would be the ultimate decision maker, but I for one will sleep comfortably at night knowing he has made his decision based on several different perspectives, rather than having 20 different "yes men" give him the advice that he wants to hear. Turning a deaf ear to opinions that differ from your own has proven to be catastrophic for both the United States and the globe.

And now it's on to Election Day. No matter who John McCain picks as his running mate, the choice couldn't be starker: Competence and a thoughtful steady-hand vs. increased saber-rattling without a thought to the future. In a world that gets increasingly scary by the day, the answer is a no-brainer...


Biden's Speech

Without any iota of a doubt, Obama picked the right guy...

Little Miss Chloe

Looking into her Daddy's new iPhone!

23 August 2008

It's Biden!

As predicted by many in the media and punditry classes, Barack Obama picked Joe Biden as his running mate. Readers of this blog know I think this is a most superb choice. I'm away for the weekend and have minimal wireless connection (I am posting this via my iPhone), so a longer post on Monday. Suffice it to say, I'm thrilled!

22 August 2008

New Polls and a Map

The Reuters/Zogby poll released earlier this week showing John McCain leading Barack Obama by 5 points had to be an outlier. Zogby has been notoriously bad at getting solid numbers the last couple of election cycles, so one must take anything he puts out there with that caveat. Several other polls released since then have shown Obama leading McCain, although those leads have shrunk to an average of 2 or so points.

Obviously McCain's "everything and the kitchen sink" gutter campaign (shades of Hillary Clinton - don't be surprised - I told you the Republicans would pick up her talking points and run with them) seems to have put a dent in Obama's earlier polling leads. But despite that he still leads the Republican nominee, who can't seem to get himself above the 44% mark in poll after poll.

Republicans seem to be falling into line as well. And that shows itself quite starkly in the latest state-by-state polling. If the election were held today, the Electoral College tally would result in a 269 to 269 tie, throwing the election for president into the new House of Representatives in January and the election for vice-president into the new Senate.

Here is the current map:

Obama 269
McCain 269
(270 needed to win)

Although Democrats are expected to control both chambers by increased majorities followng November's elections, if the presidential election is thrown into House of Representatives, each state gets one vote, with the winner having to have a majority (26 votes).

So then one has to look at the party breakdown in each state's delegation. The current House make-up shows 27 states with Democratic majorities representing them, 21 with GOP majorities, and 2 states with equal numbers of each. If each member voted along party lines, then Obama would get 27 votes to McCain's 21, making the Democrat president. The Senate (where it is one member, one vote) would go for Obama's running mate hands down.

, House members aren't required to vote along party lines. And if Democratic House members in just 3 red states decide to vote for the Republican over Obama, then we very well could have McCain named president along with a Democratic vice-president.

What are the chances of an Electoral College tie? I would say, if polling stays close through November, they are larger than most pundits and political scientists admit. After all, everyone thought the popular vote/electoral vote split in 2000 could never happen in the 21st century...but it did.

But it is only August, the conventions have yet to take place, Obama and McCain have yet to pick their vice-presidential running mates, and most Americans won't really start paying attention to the election until after Labor Day. Remember, in 1992 Bill Clinton was running third behind the first President Bush and Ross Perot until a day or two into his convention when he took a solid lead.

So let's see how things play out over the next couple of weeks. There is no need to panic (I think McCain's "I don't know how many houses I own" remark is going to be an incredible boost to Obama), and these polls could change on a dime.

Elitism (noun): see John McCain

Quote of the Day:
Just so we are clear: visiting your grandmother while vacationing in Hawaii, the state where you were you were born - elitist.

Meeting the millionaire heiress daughter (who you will soon begin an affair with and divorce your first wife and then go on and buy a ton of houses) in Hawaii and then going on and honeymooning in Hawaii – not elitist.
-John Cole, calling the McCain campaign on their bullshit.

Beyond Hawaii, there are those houses. "I'll have my people get back to your people with the exact number of homes I own"?? Give me a fuckin' break! That's the most elitist remark in the history of the modern presidential campaign!

"Better Off?"

Another excellent ad from the Obama campaign...

Another superbly done ad is called "Restore"...

The Songs of Summer

The #1 single in the nation this very week 38 years ago (thanks to Beth for this fabulous link)...pure 70's cotton candy pop...

"Make It With You" by Bread...

21 August 2008


Yesterday John McCain insisted that the American economy is strong and then later, when asked how many homes he owned, couldn't come up with an answer (it's seven, by the way). This after stating earlier in the week that he considered someone rich if they made over $5 million a year.

The Obama campaign didn't waste any time and will air this ad in select markets starting today...

The Latest Obama Ad

Very Clinton-esque (circa 1992)...

But, damn it, where are the hard-hitting ads taking down John McCain!?!

48 Hours

Well, no text message from Barack Obama about his choice for V.P. However, I assume that within 48 hours we should all know. Members of the media still point to Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, Tim Kaine, and Kathleen Sebilius as the most likely candidates. But over the last couple of days I've been wondering if Sen. Obama is taking us all for a ride...if he plans to throw us a curve ball when he announces.

My thoughts, as laid out yesterday on the DailyKos diary page:
Ok...so here we are less than a week before Obama's coronation at the Democratic National Convention. His VP pick should be named any day now, and the media and political junkies are waiting by their cell phones for the text message from the campaign with the announcement. Will it be Biden, as all current "indications" tell us? Or will Obama "go with his heart over his head" and pick Kaine? Will he thumb his nose at many in his progressive base and go with Bayh? Or will he thumb his nose at Hillary Clinton's "18 million voters" and name Sebelius?

I think (THINK) he's playing all of us and will go outside of the box...

Colin Powell
has been awfully quiet. Perhaps Obama really wants to jump start the campaign by getting Bush's former Secretary of State to join the opposing team. It would certainly be a potent ticket. If he can answer the question as to why he knowingly went to the UN in 2003 to do Dubya's falsified WMD bidding, independents and moderate Republicans might just flock to Obama's side with Powell on the ticket. BUT...how would conservative Democrats (ie: those Clinton folks in Appalachia) really feel about a ticket containing two African-Americans, even if one is semi-Republican? My take - Powell may ensorse Obama, but he won't be "the guy."

Chuck Hagel
is about as conservative on most issues as they come. But the Nebraska Republican has been an outspoken critic of Bush's Iraq War planning and is being mentioned in many circles as a possible Defense Secretary in an Obama administration. Let's be clear...if Obama picks Hagel as part of a unity ticket, progressives will leave him in droves. And there won't be enough independent voters to make up the difference.

No...it won't be a Republican.

So then there's...

Hillary Clinton. And so here we are, 5 days to the start of the convention, Obama's national lead averages about 2 to 4 points (he's losing in one poll today), the shitty McCain ads have taken a toll, and Obama's Electoral College tally is way down. Many pundits and political insiders have said since May that if Obama was in this situation come convention time he might be forced to pick Sen. Clinton.

Yeah, yeah...the Clinton psycho-drama is the last thing the country needs right now, and Hillary's presence on the ticket could well bring out the right-wing fascists in droves (not to mention send Andrew Sullivan right over the edge). Readers of this blog know I'm no fan of Hillary's and that I think the Clintons' behavior during the primary campaign was absolutely vial. But think about it...increased African-American turnout and tremendous support from women combined to make one of their own President and Vice-President of the United States...well...it's exactly the boost Obama could use right now.

But, dare he?

I could be WAY wrong here and this little thought could very well be a pesky itch short-circuiting my brain. But the chance is there...is it not?
Then there's the possibility he'll name someone who absolutely no one has thought of. As "AZSheri" commented in the diary post:
I hope Obama names someone that has not been on the media's radar screen and we will all say, "Wow, that was brilliant. I didn't see it coming, but yes, of course."
Only time will tell.

Rachel Maddow and MSNBC

MSNBC has given Rachel Maddow (political analyst, "Countdown" substitute anchor, and Air America radio personality) her own show beginning September 8. She'll take over the hour-long slot right after "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" (9pm ET, 6pm PT), replacing the hapless "Verdict with Dan Abrams."

Maddow is about as intelligent as they come and can hold her own against the blow-hards on the right. Case in point, here is Rachel handing Pat Buchanan his ass...

I for one will make sure I'm home and in front of the TV for Maddow's show.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones (1949 - 2008)

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (Democrat-OH) died unexpectedly yesterday of a brain aneurysm. The first black woman to represent Ohio in congress, Jones was a good, solid Democrat and, most importantly, a true patriot.

Our thoughts go out to her constituents in Ohio and her friends & family.

19 August 2008

It's Not Mean If It's True

Quote of the Week:
Less traditional choices mentioned include former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, an abortion-rights supporter, and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential prick in 2000...
-Associated Press story on the McCain veep-stakes, unintentionally calling like it is.

(Courtesy: Atrios)

The Songs of Summer

An absolute smash from 1978 (#2)...Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street"...

Who Is the Real Christian?

Quote of the Day:
Obama talks like a Christian. McCain talks like a politician being made to talk about Jesus.
-Stephen Suh, in his assessment of Saturday's Obama-McCain pow-wow at Saddleback Church.

In other Saddleback news, the claims by some that Sen. McCain was in some way, shape, or form given questions in advance is proved - almost beyond a doubt - in the clip below. After answering a question about marriage, McCain immediately asks if they could "get back to" to the subject of Supreme Court justices.


Mr. Warren hadn't yet asked about Supreme Court justices, and in fact can be heard saying "you're anticipating my questions."

What a fuckin' weasel.

18 August 2008

Obama / Powell ?

This will knock Larry right over the edge...and into the Nader/Gonzalez camp...

NPR's "Day to Day" reported this afternoon that former Secretary of State Colin Powell has emerged as a finalist on Barack Obama's short list of V.P. possibilities. They don't list any solid sources so take their reporting with a tremendous grain of salt.

While Powell has met with Sen. Obama - and seems to be leaning in the direction of endorsing him over John McCain - I just don't see Powell joining the Democratic ticket. I could be wrong (although I think an Obama/Powell unity ticket could (could) steamroll to victory) but Obama would risk losing a large chunk of his base if he chooses Powell.

I for one would gain an instant case of heartburn over whether to support the ticket or not. Powell would have to answer one major question before I'd consider backing a Democratic ticket with his name on it: Why didn't he stand up to President Bush in the run-up to the Iraq War? He knew the evidence was flimsy (at best), yet went to the U.N. and pimped it as absolutely irrefutable. Yeah, yeah...he was playing the "good soldier" role to Bush's role as Commander-in-Chief...but, still...Powell's reputation at the time was beyond reproach and he was the one person in the Administration who could have showed the world who these guys really were and what they were really up to.

On the flip side of the coin, if Obama puts Powell in the #2 slot on the ticket it could help repair Powell's tarnished reputation. As it is, despite the U.N. debacle, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State holds high approval ratings with the American public. And what better way to stick it to George, Dick, and that whole gang than to accept a spot on the ticket of the opposing team?

My Pick: Joe Biden for Vice-President

The Democratic National Convention, in which Sen. Barack Obama will officially be nominated for president, begins one week from today in Denver. That means the Senator's pick for the vice-presidential slot should be announced sometime before Sunday.

Who should he pick?

The one man whose experience and statesmanship are beyond reproach; the one man who, together with Barack Obama, would constitute the strongest Democratic ticket in a very long time; the man who I supported for president prior to the Iowa caucuses...

Joe Biden

The Songs of Summer

A classic from three summers back..."Love Is Just A Game" by the Magic Numbers...


So, I have yet to watch the Rick Warren forum, in which both Barack Obama and John McCain answered a series of questions (exactly the same questions to each candidate) from the California religious leader. Apparently, though, the audience was told several times by Warren that, while Obama was answering his set of questions, McCain was back stage, in isolation, unable to listen to the exchange. You see, that would make the playing field even.

Turns out Warren was lying. McCain was in his car during most of the Obama exchange, but swears he wasn't listening to the event. Various blogs report that McCain was too quick to answer the first question (ie: he had his answer prepped and "ret ta go"), which makes McCain's insistence that he didn't listen to the Obama segment rather dubious.

Do you believe him?

I sure as hell don't.

16 August 2008

Madonna's Birthday

Wasn't Madonna JUST twenty-five and enjoying her first top 40 hit with "Holiday" ?!?

She turns 50 today...and looks absolutely freekin' fan-tab-ulous!

Let's have a short video celebration, shall we. First up, her latest million-seller, a duet with the equally sexy Justin Timberlake..."4 Minutes"

Next up, my personal favorite. Whether it's the arrangement, the production, the writing, or Madonna's vocals, this track is absolutely perfect in every single way. From 1990, "Vogue"...

Loved dancing my ass off with friends to this hot track at Chicago's legendary Big Chicks. From 1998, "Ray of Light"...

"Don't Tell Me" - just 'cuz the video includes some hot cowboys...

The spanish version of another personal fave, "What It Feels Like For A Girl" ("Lo que siente la Mujer")...

I couldn't possibly post all of Madonna's best, so I'll conclude with this live 1990 performance of her first top 40 single (1983, #20). A classic performance from the film "Truth or Dare," enjoy "Holiday"...

Happy Birthday, Madge! Thank you for 25 years of solid, flawless entertainment.

14 August 2008

America's Future Is In Our Hands

A new vision...now more than ever...

The Public vs John McCain

Another excellent ad...

Recipe For Failure

Here is an amateur ad from YouTube (courtesy of John Aravosis at AmericaBlog). As John points out, the Republicans wouldn't think twice about airing such a vicious ad. Where are the Democrats on this? If you want to win this thing then you need to learn to hit below the belt...Rove style.

13 August 2008

Mid-Week Brain Break

Twin baby moose playing in the sprinkler with their mama...

"He'll Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi"

This homemade ad really hits home...

And She Wanted to Be President?

Quote of the Day:
Wow, it was even worse than I’d imagined! [Clinton's] advisers couldn’t execute strategy; they routinely attacked and undermined each other, and Clinton never forced a resolution. Major decisions would be put off for weeks until suddenly she would erupt, driving her staff to panic and misfire.

Above all, this irony emerges: Clinton ran on the basis of managerial competence—on her capacity, as she liked to put it, to “do the job from Day One.” In fact, she never behaved like a chief executive, and her own staff proved to be her Achilles’ heel. What is clear from the internal documents is that Clinton’s loss derived not from any specific decision she made but rather from the preponderance of the many she did not make. Her hesitancy and habit of avoiding hard choices exacted a price that eventually sank her chances at the presidency.
-Josh Green, in his excellent new essay for the Atlantic, in which he exposes extreme mismanagement in Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

If you have time I highly recommend you give the entire piece a read. I'm sure you'll agree...the Democrats picked the better nominee.

Obama Leads McCain in Alaska

A new poll of Alaska voters by Hayes Research shows Democrat Barack Obama leading Republican John McCain by five percentage points:
Obama 45%
McCain 40%
This is state that has gone Republican by overwhelming margins in every presidential election from 1968 to 2004. As points of reference, here are the last three results in Alaska:
Bush 61%
Kerry 36%

Bush 59%
Gore 28%

Dole 51%
Clinton 33%

(In 1996 and 2000, third party candidates did really well, thus the bigger gaps.)
Obama is giving McCain a run for his money in this state, and that says a lot about the Democrat's appeal in a handful of red states. Even if Obama doesn't win this state on Election Day, a small margin of victory for McCain would be embarrassing.

"Save Me"

A favorite on the film festival circuit this past year, First Run Features' "Save Me" will be released commercially in select cities this fall. Time Out London calls it the most powerful gay drama since "Brokeback Mountain." Starring Chad Allen, Judith Light, and Robert Gant, "Save Me" opens on September 5.

The preview itself is pretty powerful...

12 August 2008

Dazed and Confused

Do we really want this guy to be president?

11 August 2008

The Edwards Affair

A few brief words on the John Edwards affair: I'm not upset with the former Senator because he had the affair. He's a man, and as un-PC as it sounds the fact of the matter is that it's not part of a man's DNA to be monogomous. Many try and succeed, many try and don't succeed, many just don't try. Whatever the case with Edwards, the affair and its effect on the Edwards family is a private matter between him and his wife.

My anger comes from a different angle - I simply can't believe the gall this man had, knowing the high level of risk involved, in making the decision to run for president with this affair practically still going on when he announced his nomination in late 2006. Although I never really thought his candidacy would go anywhere, the pundits and the polls had the 2004 vice-presidential nominee ranking in the top 3 throughout the early parts of the 2008 campaign. Had Obama not caught fire, Edwards would have been Hillary Clinton's chief rival. And looking at the piss-poor campaign she ran, Sen. Edwards could easily have won enough primaries to make him the party's presumptive nominee.

And if that's where we were today, I shudder to think of the turn the Democratic convention would take at the end of the month, not to mention the landslide win Grandpa McCain would get in November.

John Edwards was an absolutely reckless idiot for even thinking it was ok to run for president in this day and age with that sort of infidelity in his very recent past. If Barack Obama promised him a cabinet post in exchange for an endorsement, he'd do well to inform the former Senator that he can no longer offer him the job.

Issac Hayes, 1942 - 2008

The legendary R&B signer Isaac Hayes was found dead yesterday at his home in Memphis Tennessee. Despite his rather bizarre departure from the classic animated sitcom "South Park," you can't deny the man's mark on the soul music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

In celebration, here are two clips: The first is Hayes as "Chef," singing to the kids of "South Park" about his new dessert. The second one I am unable to embed, but if you click here you can view the video for his 1980 million-seller "Don't Let Go."

I'm Back...Again

Sorry for the lack of posts since Thursday. I've had lots on my plate, including a visit from the in-laws. They're in town through Tuesday so posting will be light through then.

08 August 2008

End-of-the-Week Levity

You gotta love the Onion...

The Songs of Summer

One of the all-time summer classics...this one from our bicentennial summer..."Lido Shuffle" by Boz Scaggs...

06 August 2008

A Poll and A Map

A new poll by the Associated Press and Ipsos Public Affairs shows Barack Obama leading John McCain by six points among registered voters:
Obama 47%
McCain 41%
Key take aways: Obama runs even with McCain among men, leads by 13 points among women, by 30 points among voters between 18 and 34, and by a whopping 55 points among blacks, Hispanics and other minorities.

Based on this poll and other current state-by-state polling, here is where I see the electoral map as of today...

Obama 325
McCain 213

The race seems pretty static right now, and we're bound to see little movement during the Olympic Games. But as we get towards the end of the month, when the V.P. picks are named and the party conventions take place, Americans will be paying more attention to the election. My hunch is they'll see McCain as another take on Bush and Obama's lead will solidify.

Hey...I said it was a hunch.

Mid-Week Brain Break

Sent to theatres last month, here is the trailer for the remake of the 1951 classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still"...

I remember watching the old Robert Wise classic on the 3:00 Movie after school back in Chicago. While that film will always be remembered as the venerable science fiction classic, it will be interesting to see how the Hollywood of 2008 re-tells the story.

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" is due to be released in December.

Ignorant and Proud of It

Suh - NAP!

This guy ain't your typical roll-over-and-take-it-like-a-bitch Democrat!

Lift the Ban

As an extension of the post below about gay linguists, I post this excellent short clip from Brave New Films that focuses on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell debacle...

The Military's $9 Million Error

Steve Ralls of the Huffington Post:
This morning's Christian Science Monitor reports that the Army is preparing to offer a staggering $150,000 retention bonus to service members who are proficient in Arabic, "in reflection of how critical it has become for the US military to retain native language and cultural know-how in its ranks." Indeed, as the war in Iraq goes on, and the military subsequently finds fewer and fewer people anxious for extended stays in the desert, retaining trained troops is becoming a critical centerpiece of many commanders' strategies. The supply of Arabic speakers just isn't keeping up with the demand created by ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, over 60 Arabic linguists were discharged from the military over the last several years (when we needed them most to help fight terrorist jihadists) simply because they were gay.

Say it with me: The. Worst. President. Ever.


Here is the teaser trailer for Oliver Stone's upcoming film, "W."

I. Can't. Wait.

Outrage Fatigue

Quote of the Day:
I have ceased to care about McStupid's Britney video and Obama's acting presidency. Or the New Yorker cover. Or Cindy McCain's 20 painkillers a day. Or the endless hand-wringing about the fucking narrative...

Our complacency will be our downfall, and I no longer care. Let Rush Limbaugh and ExxonMobil have America — it's becoming a crumbling shithole anyway.
(The now former) blogger Skimble (by way of TalkLeft, by way of Larry), throwing his hands in the air and calling it a day.

Yeah...no doubt about it...the 24/7 news cycle can burn a guy out on this presidential election thing. But after eight years of the worst presidency in United States history, this election is too important. As I've said before, no American will get their idea of the perfect president. Ever. And if you're waiting for an uber-liberal in the mold of Russ Feingold, Bernie Sanders, or the late Paul Wellstone to win the White House...I have news for you...even in this day and age, they'd lose all 50 states. Barack Obama is about as close as we'll get to that political philosophy. And I, for one, am hoping beyond hope that he wins in November. Now more than ever, we need him.

05 August 2008

Di Fi For Gov?

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, in his current role as columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, reports that United States Senator Dianne Feinstein (herself a former SF mayor) is mulling over another run for governor in 2010. She lost a close race for that office in 1990, but since then her star in the Democratic Party and within state politics has risen to the ultimate heights, her terms in the United States Senate transforming her into an elder statesman. (I still say that had Al Gore put her on the ticket in 2000 he'd be finishing his second presidential term right now.)

But...she'll be 77 in 2010 and I think that will be quite the hindrance should she decide to go for it. State Attorney General (and former Governor) Jerry Brown is mulling over a run for the same office, but he'll be 72. Willie Brown thinks if Feinstein throws her hat in the ring Jerry will run for another term as AG.

That leaves the current San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom - young, handsome, and California's kind of liberal. Willie Brown thinks he'd defer to DiFi if she runs and then hope she'll appoint him to serve out the rest of her Senate term. I disagree. He could give Feinstein a run for her money in the Democratic primary. But would he be able to win over the conservative Democrats and independents of the Central Valley in the general election?

Good question. Only time will tell.

Little World

Washington Post: A study of 30 billion instant messages between 180 million people around the world proves the theory that all humans are separated by the infamous "six degrees of separation."

Money quote:
...researchers have concluded that any two people on average are distanced by just 6.6 degrees of separation, meaning that they could be linked by a string of seven or fewer acquaintances.

The Songs of Summer

From the summer of 1979, the height of the disco craze, comes this classic from legendary producer Giorgio Moroder. Having been at the helm of several monster hits by Donna Summer and winning the Academy Award for his score to the film "Midnight Express," Casablanca Records teamed Moroder with the legendary R&B family the Sylvers. Having lost their founding older brother Leon to the Solar label in 1978, the siblings found themselves stuck at Casablanca without their anchor.

Enter Moroder. He moved the family to France where he stamped his trademark production on the family's trademark harmonies. The result was the aptly titled album "Disco Fever." The first single from the set was this dance club favorite.

Enjoy "Mahogany (Do You Know)" by the Sylvers...

04 August 2008

I'm Back

The three-day weekend was exactly what I needed. After several months spent flying back and forth between San Francisco and Seattle it was nice to get away and veg poolside with friends. Not once did I turn on a computer, not once did I pick up a newspaper. As a matter of fact, I only used my cell phone twice, and both times very briefly. I would have loved 2 or 3 more days. But this will do for now.

Back to Business...

I see Barack Obama's average lead in pre-election polling is down to about 2-points. My sincere hope is that this is simply due to the fact that it's mid-summer and most Americans are on vacation and not paying attention. The country is falling apart at the seams, our Constitution is in tatters, and our reputation around the globe is on life-support - all courtesy of the war criminals we call our President and Vice-President. Yet, rather than fix what ails us, the only thing the Republicans know how to do is call the Democrats pussies, air campaign commercials that sucker-punch below the belt, and hope the American voters fall for their trickery yet again.

I certainly hope Americans aren't that stupid. Then again they did vote for Bush in 2004 when all signs pointed to disaster. Only this time we REALLY can't afford four more years of the same policies. And no matter what John McCain and the Fascists in the Republican Party tell you, that's exactly what you'll get if they're elected for a third term.

Obama / Bayh ?

First Read reports that the campaign has issued a schedule to reporters via email that has them in Indiana on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Could this mean the Democratic nominee has decided to name Sen. Evan Bayh as his running mate?

I'd be ok with such a pick.

Bayh doesn't excite the masses the way Obama does - as a matter of fact his personality is so "un-Obama," at times you might confuse him with Carlton the door man from the old "Rhoda" sitcom. BUT...his resume is stellar: Governor of Indiana for eight years, currently in his second Senate term where he sits on the Armed Services and Intelligence committees, among others. Outside of Joe Biden, Bayh is probably the best suited to be one heartbeat away from the presidency.

Two residual pluses to picking Bayh: He might help deliver Indiana's 11 Electoral College votes (the state hasn't gone Democratic since 1964), and as a former high-profile Clinton supporter he might help heal any left over wounds from the drawn out and bitter primary contests.

01 August 2008

3-Day Weekend

Brent and I are off to Sonoma County to join the Lazy Bears for an extended weekend along the Russian River. I'll return to the blogosphere on Monday.

(Photo: Mark L. Kaufman)

The Songs of Summer

The best dance track of 1999 - and one of the best of all time...

"Big Love" by Pete Heller...

The Best McCain Can Come Up With?

Quote of the Day:
We want to have a serious debate. But so far, we've been hearing about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. I do have to ask my opponent: is that the best you can come up with? Is that really what the election is about?
-Barack Obama, yesterday during a speech in Iowa.

Bottom Feeder

The fact that GrandPappy BushBitch gets more than 40% in pre-election polling speaks reams...too many Americans have no idea what they're doing when they vote. This ad should sow the seeds of doubt about McCain. My hunch is it won't.