Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Obama's message to Iran 

Obama's decision to keep 50,000 troops in Iraq pissed me off: it wasn't my impression of what he meant by "end the war".

Top among the reasons I want us completely out of Iraq is that our military presence in oil producing Islamic nations has been correctly interpreted as a means to keep a stable supply of oil. This message takes a completely different tack: welcome these nations instead of coerce them.

If this attitude toward the region comes off as well in Iraq to Iraqi ears as this message to Iran comes off to my ears, the equation of keeping troops in Iraq to prevent a civil war vs withdrawing from a net negative situation may change.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Motherfucking articulate! 

Incredibly, I found this clip of a right-winger being pwned on a right-wing blog.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our new Republican Party 

Background if you need it. Republcans react.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Biblical teachings and ideology: BOO! Science YEA! 

I was too caught up in partisan rhetoric at the time to realize my passion for knocking on doors was primarily driven by a desire to hear an announcement like this from the president-elect. Awesome. YAY! We did it!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Post election olling 

Just wanted to chime in here about the post-election polls. Given the extraordinarily high post-election numbers for Obama, the desire for change has been proven by numbers but the impatience of the American electorate combined with two unpopular wars and an collapsing economy, Obama is going to have to absolutely charm America to avoid collapsing approval ratings.

I hope he can do it. The best thing we can hoe for is hope.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

obama and dog

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

New World Order 

One of the funniest GYWO and the first moving one I've seen.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"That one" seems racist to me 

It seems the immediate take-away point of the debate was when McCain referred to Obama as "that one." If it doesn't immediately seem racist, turn who said it around.

Karen and I both looked at each other and exclaimed something like "What the ... huh?"

The most substantive instance of the grumpy, ornery McCain, I believe, is when he bizarrely interrupted Obama to "thank" him for saying "McCain suggests that somehow ... he's somber and responsible," only to have Obama continue his response which effectively turn McCain's criticism about Obama "announce[ing] that you're going to launch an attack into another country."

OBAMA: Sen. McCain, this is the guy who sang, "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," who called for the annihilation of North Korea. That I don't think is an example of "speaking softly."

This is the person who, after we had -- we hadn't even finished Afghanistan, where he said, "Next up, Baghdad."

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Na na, na-na Na-na, hey hey 

If McCains' crotchety and wandering performance in general were not enough, about an hour and 20 minutes into the debate McCain just lost any chance of turning the campaign around by saying, "Thank-you."

UPDATE: transcript

OBAMA: Now, Sen. McCain suggests that somehow, you know, I'm green behind the ears and, you know, I'm just spouting off, and he's somber and responsible.

MCCAIN: Thank you very much.

OBAMA: Sen. McCain, this is the guy who sang, "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," who called for the annihilation of North Korea. That I don't think is an example of "speaking softly."

This is the person who, after we had -- we hadn't even finished Afghanistan, where he said, "Next up, Baghdad."

So I agree that we have to speak responsibly and we have to act responsibly. And the reason Pakistan -- the popular opinion of America had diminished in Pakistan was because we were supporting a dictator, Musharraf, had given him $10 billion over seven years, and he had suspended civil liberties. We were not promoting democracy.

This is the kind of policies that ultimately end up undermining our ability to fight the war on terrorism, and it will change when I'm president.

MCCAIN: And, Tom, if -- if we're going to go back and forth, I then -- I'd like to have equal time to go -- to respond to...

BROKAW: Yes, you get the...

MCCAIN: ... to -- to -- to...

BROKAW: ... last word here, and then we have to move on.

MCCAIN: Not true. Not true. I have, obviously, supported those efforts that the United States had to go in militarily and I have opposed that I didn't think so.

I understand what it's like to send young American's in harm's way. I say -- I was joking with a veteran -- I hate to even go into this. I was joking with an old veteran friend, who joked with me, about Iran.

But the point is that I know how to handle these crises. And Sen. Obama, by saying that he would attack Pakistan, look at the context of his words. I'll get Osama bin Laden, my friends. I'll get him. I know how to get him.

I'll get him no matter what and I know how to do it. But I'm not going to telegraph my punches, which is what Sen. Obama did. And I'm going to act responsibly, as I have acted responsibly throughout my military career and throughout my career in the United States Senate.

And we have fundamental disagreements about the use of military power and how you do it, and you just saw it in response to previous questions.

McCain tried to zing Obama in a way that didn't make sense - while interrupting him no less - only to have Obama give one of his best answers. McCain's response: "I hate to even go into this. I was joking with an old veteran friend ...

UPDATE: video

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Right for once 

Predicting political sentiment is difficult at best for anyone, especially me. So I'd like to take this occasion to congratulate myself for spotting immediately after the first Obama/McCain debate what turned out to be pretty much every point of the ensuing media coverage.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

New observation 

It just occurred to me that McCain's claim that Obama doesn't have the constitution to work with congressional Republicans is a great odds with Obama going out of his way to repeatedly emphasize in his answers points on which he he believed McCain was "absolutely right."

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Immediate polling reactions 

Instant polling regarding the debate seems to indicate Obama clearly won. I'm figuring that McCain's refusal to engage Obama directly will be the main theme of coverage as it was quite bizarre and frankly, quite impolite. So I think my initial reaction wasn't as optimistic as it could have been --- especially being that I'm an Obama supporter who sees McCain as a washed up political opportunist.

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My reaction to the first debate 

I was excited that unlike 2004's format, this season's format allowed the candidates to directly engage in conversation with one another. Neither initially did, after encouragement from Leherer, Obama began to attempt back and forth dialogue but I didn't notice McCain even turn towards Obama once. He uttered a variation of "Obama doesn't understand ..." at least half a dozen times, yet didn't say it to Obama's face. I don't think he was afraid of engaging Obama - after all, it's the campaigns that set the rules - I think he was afraid of losing composure if he did get into a direct back and forth. I could also believe that it was a planned tactic to make McCain appear so dominant over Obama that he was above having to even talk to him. The net effect, I think, was making McCain appear haughtily condescending and petulant and making Obama seem engaged.

Both candidates sidestepped a few questions - the last, "What are the chances of being another 9/11?" was completely sidestepped by both, both to a lesser extent sidestepped what spending they may have to cut as a result of the $700 billion bailout.

Obama repeated the observation that McCain is a Bush Republican and intends to continue Bush policies; a strong point, but one that has been already made - although that reminder doesn't hurt Obama I don't think it will sink in with anyone who didn't already understand it.

McCain repeated a few of his stump speech and advertisement lies, but again, I believe most people already knew this, given the wide coverage of the dishonest nature of McCain's campaign. A lot of independents don't start paying attention to the campaigns until the debates, but the impact of follow-up coverage of the the facts and untruths presented will not affect them nearly as much as how the candidates presented themselves.

I do believe Obama's demeanor was much more presidential than McCain's - which wasn't presidential at all, but ornery. Add to that the fact that McCain leads Obama significantly in polls on national security and is basing the larger part of his campaign on that he his the clear choice for Commander in Chief, a draw on substance and a win for Obama in presentation will bring a noticeable shift towards Obama among undecideds and independents over the next few days.

Biden's evaluation, as to be expected goes beyond my prediction of a noticeable bump in polling for Obama: The debate was "fatal for McCain,

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

What do the McCain and Obama plans mean for YOUR tax bills? 

The Washington Post presented a more granular view earlier this week,

mccain vs obama tax plan

What does it mean that McCain continually claims Obama will raise "your" taxes? He's lying. I hope to chronicle all of the McCain campaign's lies of the last week tomorrow.

Unless the widely accepted increases in Democratic majorities in the Houses of Congress continue the rubber stamp of Bush policies into a McCain presidency, this only shows the priorities of the two presidential candidates. McCain: "Rich people are persecuted by the tax code. Rich people should be richer." Obama: "The richest people in America will still do well if their taxes are increased to that which they experienced under Clinton."

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Democrats way more organized this year 

The GOP's success in getting out the vote has been a pillar of their electoral success. This time around, it seems McCain is employing his same strategy as his foreign policy: shoot from the hip ... no overall strategy

I just received a well worded email from someone in my state precinct asking for help knocking on doors, replied and got a response in a few minutes.

Obama is simply more exciting than the yellow-toothed McCain. The media likes a close horserace, but the dynamics of this election tilt overbearingly to Obama.

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

It's over 

Democratic voter rolls up, Republicans down. McCain campaign recycling. (UPDATE: Flag story fabricated)

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For what it's worth 

McCain isn't baptized,

His wife and two his children have been baptized, but McCain has not. "I didn't find it necessary to do so for my spiritual needs," McCain explained.

If Obama wasn't baptized, it would be a major scandal, don't you think?

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Friday, September 05, 2008

RNC convention focused on turning out their base 

The RNC convention was focused on making Obama appear to be an unacceptable choice. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/09/mccain_manager_this_election_i.html,

"This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."
- McCain's campaign manager

By the time of a party convention, presidential candidates should be at the point of reaching out to the swing vote - as the Democrats did. The extreme partisan theme to the RNC convention shows they're still trying to shore up their voting base.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Biggest small St. Paul Story 

McCain's acceptance speech audience didn't even fill the 21,000 seating capacity of the EXCEL Energy Center. Compare that to Obama's 84,000.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hard act to follow 

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But Republicans aren't that stupid 

Following up my last post which referenced Republican voters' general lack of intellectual depth, I'll now brin g up something that has puzzled me for weeks. McCain is asking voters not to vote for Obama claiming that Obama will raise "your" taxes. Anybody paying the slightest attention knows that a key Obama campaign promise is to lower taxes for 95% of workers.

An effective false smear has to have at least some plausibility of truth. The 2004 swift-boat smears about Kerry succeeded because Kerry himself spoke of his service in Vietnam, giving the outrageous claims some measure of believability, however slight, for those dispositioned to wish to believe them. But the claim Obama will raise "your" taxes is completely ungrounded by even the most distorted take on anything Obama has ever said or done.

Unless you're not middle or lower class. Which McCain has defined as everybody making less than $5 million a year - this a smear with the plausibility of belief because McCain actually said it, even if clearly in jest. The believability of the $5 million smear sinks in to those wishing to believe it because it's buttressed by the demonstrable fact that McCain's campaign promises would indeed favor the very rich over everybody else. McCain's lavish life has also truly and demonstrably placed him out of touch with the un-rich: reference his sincere claims that no American would pick lettuce for $50/hr and that "You could make an argument that there's been great progress economically over" the Bush years.

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I'll cede my take on Obama's acceptance speech to an unlikely voice 

If McCain is planning on following up with ads that all Obama has to offer is speeches, I'm quite confident in believing he's overestimating the intellectual curiosity of the Republican base.

Update: doublethink.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The power of our example vs. the example of our power. 

People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power..
- Bill Clinton

The best speech and line of the convention so far.

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Monday, August 25, 2008


What she said.

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Krugman on Republicans 


[I]n the world we actually live in, pro-corporate, inequality-increasing Republicans argue that you should vote for them because they're regular guys you'd like to have a beer with, while Democrats who want to raise taxes on top earners, expand health care and raise the minimum wage are snooty elitists.

If there's anything else we need to understand about the economics of the 2004 elections, I don't know what it would be. The queer phenomenon of down-and-out social conservatives gathering at the gated communities of their corporate overlords pitchforks and torches in hand, bellowing, "We are here to lower your taxes!!" is described in detail by Thomas Frank in his phenomenal book What's the Matter with Kansas.

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The Republican wrecking crew 

From the Strib,

Vandals broke three plate-glass windows and a glass door early Sunday at presidential candidate Barack Obama's state headquarters in St. Paul.

Here is what someone thought of my Obama bumper sticker (purchased at said Obama headquarters) that I displayed at a golf resort in Wisconsin a few weekends ago.

UPDATE: A billboard outside of the MSP airport welcoming the kerrfluckers' overlords:

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

American politics 

That's one of the back porches off the master bedroom in one of the mansions owned by the presidential candidate who's running a campaign highlighting the accusation that his African-American opponent is "elitist".

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The Nuge is an idiot 

The print and television media coverage is obviously biased in favor of Sen. Obama, yet you do not hear McCain complaining about it. He continues to march face-first into the howling political winds like an American buffalo on a mission. I like that.

When Obama received European adulation (as if he were the Second Coming), McCain did not complain but rather continued his steadfast campaign on American turf.

"No Whiners Allowed"
By Ted Nugent

Here is just a sampling of the many complaints over much time from the McCain camp about Obama and the media.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Liberal media finally attacks McCain 


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Monday, August 04, 2008

Republicans come out against properly inflated tires 

Good Lord, kill me now. Jesus Christ at a waffle bar.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Damned if you do or don't 

The McCain campaign feebly attacks Obama not only in a ridiculous manner but in a ridiculous manner that is equally applied to McCain.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

FOX push-polling 

I've gotten used to the fact that FOX NEWS is a crypto-Republican public relations firm, but even unscrupulous public relations firms stay away from push-polling. The assimilation of FOX News into the Republican party apparatus is now complete.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

McCain knows what the Iraqi PM really REALLY wants deep down inside 

Iraqis are begging for us to stay, nomatter what they may say. McSame,

"I have been there too many times. I've met too many times with him, and I know what they want."

Full interview (with commentary) is a hoot.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Degree of candidates' liberalness depends on who they're running against 

Steve Sauerberg,

Dick Durbin has become the most divisive and liberal Senator in the entire Senate.

Or John McCain,

Democratic Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma said Tuesday Barack Obama is "the most liberal senator" in Congress and he has no intention of endorsing him for the White House.

Both Senators from Illinois are the most liberal in the entire Senate.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

So, a candidate walks in to a foreign language class and says 

Q: Europeans call people who speak two languages bilingual and those who speak one language trilingual. What do they call Americans who speak one language?

A: American.

From TPM (the language thing is near the beginning, hang out to the end to see McCain hop off his stump long enough to tread onto Obama's (Obama "is living proof of the greatness of America")

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ex Post Facto FISA + Obama presidency = no retroactive immunity 

Obama voted for the FISA Bill which keeps in place the original protections for domestic communications but gives retroactive immunity to telecoms who colluded with the Bush Administration's illegal spying on Americans.

When Obama is President, he could direct the DoJ to file a suit claiming pointing out that such Ex Post Facto legislation is blatantly unconstitutional allowing suits to move forward.

I mean, why not?

UPDATE: Russ Feingold doesn't see why not.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

It really gets going a little before half the way through 

Happy Independence Day.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Obama on strategy vs tactics 

One of the flaws in the President's approach is to say that [Bush] is doing what General Petraeus tells him is the best thing to do; that's not the President's job, the President's job is to tell the general's what the mission is because you have to take the entire strategic interests of the United States in mind not just one particular front when it comes to our national interest. And so the mission I will set for our generals is to bring this war to a close.

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