Monday, December 1, 2008

Interlude: Recently revived members of the public

In 1973 Mike Oldfield, fresh from the release of Tubular Bells, was ensconced in a sprawling Oxfordshire manor home to record his Next Big Hit. He had worked up a version of the traditional Sailor's Hornpipe just for fun, and after a fairly serious round of drinking performed same on the move through the many rooms of the house, with sodden commentary by BBC personality Vivian Stanshall.

The result was...well...just listen:

Monday, November 24, 2008


Finally, the important issues emerge

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

146 years ago today

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ready on Day One

This went live less than 36 hours after the election results were announced. Impressive.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

GYWO: New World Order

  Submit to your new Marxist Overlords and Our new Maximum Overlord Super-Black Superman (sometimes appearing in his guise as mild-manner public servant Clark Dark):

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

GYWO: Pre-election chaos!

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Fairness doctrine

  What Atrios says.

  I don't know if this is some sort of straw man for the conservative chattering class, or perhaps this is analogous to the "War on Christmas" which never really existed.

  In any event the obsessive focus on the issue by the Right is a little weird.

  Or, echoing Atrios--"silly" or "stupid".

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Let's do the time warp

Daily Kos, 2005:

John Roberts had just been confirmed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Senator Obama, who had voted against the nomination, stepped up to defend his Senate colleagues who had voted for Roberts from what could be described as an angry mob of Kossacks. A quote:

My dear friend Paul Simon used to consistently win the votes of much more conservative voters in Southern Illinois because he had mastered the art of "disagreeing without being disagreeable," and they trusted him to tell the truth. Similarly, one of Paul Wellstone's greatest strengths was his ability to deliver a scathing rebuke of the Republicans without ever losing his sense of humor and affability. In fact, I would argue that the most powerful voices of change in the country, from Lincoln to King, have been those who can speak with the utmost conviction about the great issues of the day without ever belittling those who opposed them, and without denying the limits of their own perspectives.

Tom Tomorrow

Lots of folks have wisdom to share about the election: Cartoonist Dan Perkins is wiser than most. A snippet:

After eight years of an administration whose actions have run the gamut from stupid to venal, we will have a rational president who believes in things like, say, science. Who can string a succession of words together into a coherent sentence.

Read the whole thing.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quote of the day

President-elect Barack Obama at his first press conference since the election was asked an obvious softball question about what kind of puppy his daughters were going to get. After a brief tongue-in-cheek discussion about the choice, he suggested they would like to choose a shelter rescue dog, although most shelter dogs were "mutts like me."

"Mutts like me".

To quote Josh at TPM--"a line for the ages".

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Poll accuracy

If you're wondering which polls were the most accurate, a good summary is here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Adventures in Wingnuttery

Keeping up with the wild assertions that have been ginned up to attack Obama is a real challenge, particularly as the election draws near and the desperation level intensifies. A brief, but hardly all-inclusive, summary:

  • He was born in Kenya, not the United States.
  • His father is not Barack Obama Sr, but 1960s radical Frank Marshall Davis.
  • His father is Malcolm X.
  • His college education was funded by Islamic terrorists.
  • He was educated in an Islamic madrassa, where he learned to Hate America etc etc.
  • He is a Muslim. He is STILL a Muslim 'cause Muslims say he is and we know they don't allow take-backs, so there.
  • He gave up his US citizenship when he moved to Indonesia as a child.
  • His wife made a bitter, hate-filled speech lashing out at "whitey". A videotape exists but is being suppressed.
  • His wife gave a bitter, hate-filled radio interview lashing out at "white racists". An audiotape exists but is being suppressed.
  • He is a Socialist.
  • He is a Marxist.
  • He is a Communist.
  • He is the Antichrist.
  • His wife was jealous of a possible relationship with a campaign volunteer and forced him to send her to a Caribbean Island.
  • He'll "turn over the country to the blacks".

OK, that last one is, in fact, true. You found us out. We're going to have a Blackazoid-created wonderland of awesome negrosity.

"Negrosity" quote h/t Pandagon

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

UPDATED: With fresh new wingnuttisms:

  • Baby killer!
  • He'll take away all our guns!
  • He'll tax all our guns and ammo before he takes 'em away.
  • He'll declare martial law.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Senate Predictions

NC: Kay Hagan (D) replaces Liddy Dole (R).

Hagan had a slight but steady lead until Dole began running her "Godless" ad. Oops. Hagan surged by 3 points overnight.

GA: Saxby Chambliss (R) defeats Jim Martin (D)

While it would be sweet justice to see Chambliss beaten, I fear Jim Martin just didn't have enough in the tank. A shame--Martin is a man who would serve Georgia well.

KY: McConnell (R) defeats Lunsford (D)

This would have been a HUGE pick up, but McConnell has a solid machine in a very red state.

AK: Begich (D) replaces Stevens (R)

Begich was up 2 points when Senator Ted "The internet is a series of tubes" Stevens was convicted on 7 counts of lying, etc. Ted goes down the tubes, Mr. Begich goes to Washington.

LA: Landrieu (D) defeats Kennedy (R)

The Republicans best hope for a take-away this cycle falls short.

The Rest: Democrats all-- John Warner cruises to an easy win in VA; CO and NM each send cousins named Udall to DC; Max Baucus wins in MT, and Al Franken pulls off the win in MN.

Final Senate tally: Democrats 56, Republicans 43, Independent 1.

The Republicans will get one back right away when Joe Lieberman gets kicked out of the party.

Sarah Palin's medical records

Still not released.

She had promised to do so, and when asked about it again confirmed that she would release them.

Still waiting.

I do not subscribe to the tin-foil hat theory about the baby actually belonging to her teenage daughter: That's preposterous and counterproductive.

However: She was in Dallas, TX to give a speech when she began to feel unusual pains and began to leak amniotic fluid. She chose to stay in Texas, give the speech, then get on a plane and fly from Dallas to Anchorage, with a stop in Seattle.

All of this with the knowledge that she was carrying a special-needs child.

Texas is home to one of the finest neonatal ICU centers on the planet. Instead, she got on a freakin' plane and flew to Alaska.

Perhaps there is some comment in the records which might reveal that decision for exactly what is was---foolhardy at best.

Original story from last spring in the Anchorage Daily News.

Interlude: Suzanne Vega

Palin Pranked

Uh-oh: A Quebecois radio show gets through to Gov Palin pretending to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

(h/t Daily Kos)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Obama's final campaign stop

Manassas, Virgina.

The choice is interesting on several levels: The once sleepy little town in Northern VA is now one of the fastest-growing places in the nation. There is also an exploding Latino presence.

History buffs know that the area is home to the Bull Run battlefield: Site of the first major battle of the Civil War in July, 1861. A second large battle was fought there in August, 1862: Both were Confederate victories.

(h/t Daily Kos)


A bit rash to make a prediction before the weekend news cycle, but I think the trends are solid. Barring some sort of last-minute revelation, here is my forecast of Tuesday's result:

I basically just extrapolated the current numbers through Tuesday: I do not think Obama will flip GA or MO, but he will pick up IA, MT, ND, FL, OH, VA, NV, and NC. The national vote totals should run Obama 51 McCain 46. I don't see Barr, Nader, and the rest picking up more than 3 percent.

Obama is making a strong push in ND, GA, and AZ. ND will pay off (McCain's numbers have plummeted there), GA--prolly not. The Arizona thing strikes me as an "in-your-face" tactic (although several polls have shown McCain's lead there shrinking).

I think predictions of 400+ EV and 60 Senate seats a bit optimistic.

The DKos map is pretty cool: try it.

Pre-election pressure

Too much for me:


The chair of the Hillsboro County (FL) Republican party sounds the alarm:"I see BLACK PEOPLE!"

An excerpt:


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thou shalt not...

...make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
--Exodus 20:4

Didn't I already surrender to Conservatives on behalf of satire? Just when you thought the fundies have reached a new level of moronitude, they dig down DEEP into their bag of buffoonery and Bring The Stupid.

I take you to Wall Street, USA, where a group of "Christians"---I am not making this up---is worshiping a golden calf as they pray for materiel wealth.

The Money Quote from dhonig at Daily Kos: "How do you satirize that?"

(h/t Wonkette via DKos)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


The Patron Saint of Conservatives sums it up nicely:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Seig Meow!

First is was Yellow, I'll buy that. who look like Kenny, ok.

But....cats that look loke Hitler?

Interlude: Dutch Treat

...I know there are those who prefer the orignal version as performed by Scotland's Average White Band, but I'll take the Candy Dulfer version:

Enabling terrorists

Here's the deal: In 2003, Obama attends a dinner for a Palestinian scholar named Rashid Khalidi. It appears the Obama had some nice things to say about Mr. Khalidi--while he is no terrorist, he is unabashedly pro-Palestinian--and perhaps not a staunch defender of Isreal.

The LA Times broke the story--8 months ago. Didn't seem to have much traction then because, after all, Khalidi is NOT a terrorist.

But wait,there's more: It seems there was video of the dinner, which the LAT is sitting on. The McCain campaign, via Drudge and Fox, demand I repeat demand the videotape be released.

But wait, there's more: Turns out that the International Republican Institute, under McCain's leadership, gave Khalid's Center for Palestinian Research a grant worth $448,000 in the early 90s.


Lemme see-Obama goes to a banquet and says nice things about him "Terrorist!"

McCain gives him almost half a million bucks: Diplomacy.

OK ,then.

UPDATED: Drudge has scrubbed the website of any reference to Khalid.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama and Marx?

That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard.


Interlude: Reel around the sun

You'll appreciate this more with the audio output turned up a bit:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shorter Sarah Palin:

If Obama is elected our national security will be placed in Jeopardy!


Bullshit for $200 please, Alex.

The McCain campaign in a nutshell

...from Sadly, No:

Hammer, meet nail. The ‘race is still close’ and ‘a great many people’ want to vote for John McCain very much, aside from that tiny, nagging detail that he regularly and very publicly makes terrible decisions, says retarded shit all the fucking time and couldn’t boil a pot of water without ’suspending’ all water-boiling activities a couple times before knocking the pot over in a spasmodic rage, leaving everybody in the kitchen with second-degree burns.


Satire surrenders unconditionally to reality:

mccain - feel the excitement

(h/t Daily Kos)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

10 days to go

No more daily poll updates: The numbers seem to be pretty steady.

Most people have made up their minds.

Barack Obama and his team have positioned themselves to win: If they execute their plan they will win. McCain can no longer do anything to affect the outcome.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Interlude: Morris Day

Financial Meltdown

Matt Taibbi does double-duty: Smacking down the absurd notion that the current economic crises can be laid at the feet of poor black folks who couldn't pay back their home loans---and eviscerating Byron York of National Review. The highlights:

B.Y.: Did I suggest that headwinds are unfair? But on the financial meltdown in particular, if you're suggesting that that is a Republican creation, or even more specifically a McCain creation, I think you're on pretty shaky ground.

M.T.: You don't think the unregulated CDS market was a major factor in the current crisis? Were you watching when AIG almost went under? Were you watching the Lehman collapse?

B.Y.: I think that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were also major factors. And I believe that many of the problems in the mortgage area can be attributed to the confluence of Democratic and Republican priorities: the Democrats' desire to give mortgages to people, particularly minorities, who could not afford them, and the Republicans' desire to achieve an "ownership society," in part by giving mortgages to people who could not afford them. Again, I believe that if you are suggesting that the financial crisis is a Republican creation, or even more specifically a McCain creation, I think you're on pretty shaky ground.

M.T.: Oh, come on. Tell me you're not ashamed to put this gigantic international financial Krakatoa at the feet of a bunch of poor black people who missed their mortgage payments. The CDS market, this market for credit default swaps that was created in 2000 by Phil Gramm's Commodities Future Modernization Act, this is now a $62 trillion market, up from $900 billion in 2000. That's like five times the size of the holdings in the NYSE. And it's all speculation by Wall Street traders. It's a classic bubble/Ponzi scheme. The effort of people like you to pin this whole thing on minorities, when in fact this whole thing has been caused by greedy traders dealing in unregulated markets, is despicable.

B.Y.: I was struck by the recent Senate testimony of James Lockhart, who is head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, about the sheer recklessness of Fannie in recent years. Despite "repeated warnings about credit risk," Lockhart testified, Fannie became more reckless in 2006 and 2007 than they had been in the scandal-ridden tenure of Franklin Raines (who departed in 2004). In 2005, Lockhart said, 14 percent of Fannie's new business was in risky loans. In the first half of 2007, it was 33 percent. So something terribly wrong was going on there, and it became a significant part of the present problem.

M.T.: What a surprise that you mention Franklin Raines. Do you even know how a CDS works? Can you explain your conception of how these derivatives work? Because I get the feeling you don't understand. Or do you actually think that it was a few tiny homeowner defaults that sank gigantic companies like AIG and Lehman and Bear Stearns? Explain to me how these default swaps work, I'm interested to hear.

Because what we're talking about here is the difference between one homeowner defaulting and forty, four hundred, four thousand traders betting back and forth on the viability of his loan. Which do you think has a bigger effect on the economy?

B.Y.: Are you suggesting that critics of Fannie and Freddie are talking about the default of a single homeowner?

M.T.: No. That is what you call a figure of speech. I'm saying that you're talking about individual homeowners defaulting. But these massive companies aren't going under because of individual homeowner defaults. They're going under because of the myriad derivatives trades that go on in connection with each piece of debt, whether it be a homeowner loan or a corporate bond. I'm still waiting to hear what your idea is of how these trades work. I'm guessing you've never even heard of them.

I mean really. You honestly think a company like AIG tanks because a bunch of minorities couldn't pay off their mortgages?

B.Y.: When you refer to "Phil Gramm's Commodities Future Modernization Act," are you referring to S.3283, co-sponsored by Gramm, along with Senators Tom Harkin and Tim Johnson?

M.T.: In point of fact I'm talking about the 262-page amendment Gramm tacked on to that bill that deregulated the trade of credit default swaps.

Tick tick tick. Hilarious sitting here while you frantically search the Internet to learn about the cause of the financial crisis -- in the middle of a live chat interview.

B.Y.: Look, you can keep trying to make this a specifically partisan and specifically Gramm-McCain thing, but it simply isn't. We've gone on for fifteen minutes longer than scheduled, and that's enough. Thanks.

M.T.: Thanks. Note, folks, that the esteemed representative of the New Republic has no idea what the hell a credit default swap is. But he sure knows what a minority homeowner looks like.

B.Y.: It's National Review.

UPDATED: Megan disagrees. The comment "people with little or no understanding of markets" would be me.

I hasten to add that some really smart people wth advanced degress in economics and business got us into this mess.

Jane Galt endorses Obama

Megan McArdle has joined the steady stream of not-Democrats to endorse Barack Obama. To be sure, her endorsement is lukewarm, but you can add The Atlantic columnist to chorus of voices who are either for Obama or against McCain, or some combination of the two.

So I guess that locks up the tall girl libertarian econoblogger vote.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Some of this is recycled from his 2004 DNC speech.

Some of it is a tribute to his grandmother.

All of it is powerful. Set aside 5 minutes.


Daily poll summary Wednesday, October 22

Pollster:Obama 286 McCain 157 toss-up 95

538:Obama 344 McCain 193

Real Clear Politics:Obama 286 McCain 160 toss-up 92

Intrade:Obama 364 McCain 174

Nationwide: Obama-McCain
Daily Kos/R2K: 51 41
Rassmussen: 51 45
Gallup: 51 42
Reuters/Zogby: 52 42
Battleground: 49 47
Pollster: 49 43
RCP: 49 43

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sunday night, February 9th 1964

More rabid hatred at a Palin rally

Words fail me:

Pre Lives

Steve Prefontaine

Daily Poll Summary Tuesday, October 21

Pollster:Obama 286 McCain 157 toss-up 95

538:Obama 344 McCain 194

Real Clear Politics:Obama 286 McCain 155 toss-up 97

Intrade:Obama 364 McCain 174

Nationwide: Obama-McCain
Daily Kos/R2K: 50 42
Rassmussen: 50 46
Gallup: 52 41
Reuters/Zogby: 50 42
Battleground: 48 47
Pollster: 49 43
RCP: 49 43

Monday, October 20, 2008

Daily poll summary Monday, October 20

Pollster:Obama 313 McCain 157 toss-up 68

538:Obama 343 McCain 194

Real Clear Politics:Obama 286 McCain 155 toss-up 97

Intrade:Obama 364 McCain 174

Nationwide: Obama-McCain
Daily Kos/R2K: 50 42
Rassmussen: 50 46
Gallup: 52 43
Reuters/Zogby: 50 44
Battleground: 48 45
Pollster: 49 43
RCP: 49 43

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Interlude: David Gray

Trib endorses Obama

The Chicago Tribune endorses Obama for President.

Yeah, it is his hometown paper.


The Trib has never endorsed a Democrat for President...this is a first in the paper's 161-year history.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Why we fight

...from Tom Udall's Senate campaign:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Daily Poll Summary Thursday, October 16

Pollster: Obama 333 McCain 155 toss-up 50 (Obama+13)

538:Obama 353 McCain 184 (McCain+8)

Real Clear Politics:Obama 286 McCain 158 toss-up 94 (no change)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Interlude: What I like about you

After that last bit, something a bit more positive.

Uhhh, this would make a dandy song for spin class.

Just sayin'.


I will not commit the sin of syllogistic slander: I realize that just because nearly all racists are Republicans that it does not follow that all Republicans are racists.


Watch this: yes, I know about the source but it seems damned unlikely they would have staged these performances.

This is hatred, ignorance,and bigotry direct from the heart of Ohio.

Interlude: Snap into position

Daily poll summary Wednesday, October 15

Pollster:Obama 320 McCain 155 toss-up 63 (no change)

UPDATED: Obama 333 McCain 155 toss-up 50 (Obama+13)

538:Obama 361 McCain 176 (no change)

Real Clear Politics:Obama 286 McCain 158 toss-up 94 (Obama-27)

Intrade:Obama 364 McCain 174 (no change)

Nationwide: Obama-McCain
Daily Kos/R2K: 52 41 (no change)
Rassmussen: 50 45(no change)
Gallup: 50 43(McCain+3)
Reuters/Zogby: 48 44(McCain+2)
Battleground: 51 43 (McCain+4)
Pollster: 50 42 (no change)
RCP: 49 42 (no change)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Daily poll summary Tuesday, October 14

Pollster:Obama 320 McCain 155 toss-up 63 (McCain-3)

538:Obama 361 McCain 176 (Obama +10)

Real Clear Politics:Obama 313 McCain 158 toss-up 67 (Obama+36)

Intrade:Obama 364 McCain 174 (no change)

Nationwide: Obama-McCain
Daily Kos/R2K: 52 41 (McCain+1)
Rassmussen: 50 45(no change)
Gallup: 53 43(no change)
Reuters/Zogby: 49 43(Obama+2)
Battleground: 53 40 (Obama+5)
Pollster: 50 42 (no change)
RCP: 49 42 (no change)

...the HUGE shift in the RCP electoral count and the 5 point Battleground bump are probably just statistical noise-nonetheless: Ominous tidings for McCain.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Carolina Blue

The Coach endores Obama.

Daily Poll Summary Monday, October 13

Pollster:Obama 320 McCain 158 toss-up 60 (no change)

538:Obama 351 McCain 187 (Obama +2)

Real Clear Politics:Obama 277 McCain 158 toss-up 103 (no change)

Intrade:Obama 364 McCain 174 (no change)

Nationwide: Obama-McCain
Daily Kos/R2K: 52 40 (Obama+1)
Rassmussen: 50 45(no change)
Gallup: 51 41(no change)
Reuters/Zogby: 48 44(no change)
Battleground: 48 45
Pollster: 50 42 (no change)
RCP: 49 42 (no change)

RCP Battleground states:

Battleground States Obama McCain change
Colorado 49.3 45.3 (no change)
Ohio 48.9 45.4 (no change)
Florida 48.7 44.9 (Obama +1.7)
Nevada 49.6 46.6 (no change)
Missouri 49 46 (Obama+2)
Virginia 50.0 44.9 (no change)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Three into two

Make up yer own joke-I got nothin'.

General Motors and Chrysler to merge?


Final report.

Summary: "Abuse of Power" by Gov. Palin? Yes.

Crime? Not so much.

(Overall relevence given the fact it looks as if the McCain-Palin ticket is in for a brutal stomping anyway? None.)

UPDATE: the money quote from Time magazine (h/t Daily Kos):

But the Branchflower report still makes for good reading, if only because it convincingly answers a question nobody had even thought to ask: Is the Palin administration shockingly amateurish? Yes, it is. Disturbingly so.


A harsh verdict? Consider the report's findings. Not only did people at almost every level of the Palin administration engage in repeated inappropriate contact with Walt Monegan and other high-ranking officials at the Department of Public Safety, but Monegan and his peers constantly warned these Palin disciples that the contact was inappropriate and probably unlawful. Still, the emails and calls continued — in at least one instance on recorded state trooper phone lines.


Monegan consistently emerges as the adult in these conversations, while the Palin camp displays a childish impetuousness and sense of entitlement.

Pollwatch hiatus

Let's give it a rest 'till Monday: The trends seem pretty fixed for now.

Obama on his game

While the McCain-Palin campaign stutters and stammers and works up crowds in to a hate-filled frenzy, Obama quietly sums up his candidacy. From an appearence in Phlly:

"I was in a small town in Ohio the other day... this was two days ago, I was doing a bus tour about jobs, in southern Ohio, and I went to a town called Georgetown, in Ohio... probably has a few thousand people. We stopped by a diner -- I was with the governor there -- because I wanted a piece of pie."

He continued:
You got some pie? What kind of pie? You baked some pie? What'd you make? Sweet potato pie?...

Well, they didn't have sweet potato pie in Georgetown... so, we ended up, I had some coconut cream pie, the governor had some lemon meringue pie... and, the waiters there, they wanted to take a picture with me, because they said that the owner was a die-hard Republican... they said 'we're going to take this picture so we can give him a hard time.'

But right as we're taking the picture, the owner walks out.

He's got our pie.

And he says, he says 'Here you go Senator, here's your pie.'

I said, 'I hear you're a die-hard Republican.'

He says 'That's right.'

I said, 'How's business?'"

Here endeth the lesson.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Daily Poll Summary Friday, October 10

Pollster:Obama 320 McCain 158 toss-up 60 (McCain-5)

538:Obama 348 McCain 189 (Obama +2)

Real Clear Politics:Obama 277 McCain 158 toss-up 103 (Obama+8)

Intrade:Obama 364 McCain 174 (Obama +11)

Nationwide: Obama-McCain
Daily Kos/R2K: 52 40 (Obama+1)
Rassmussen (10/8): 50 45(Obama-2)
Gallup (10/10): 51 41(McCain+1)
Reuters/Zogby: 47 43
Battleground: 48 45
Pollster: 49 41 (McCain-2)
RCP: 49 42 (Obama-2 McCain -3)

RCP Battleground states:

Battleground States Obama McCain Spread
Colorado 49.3 45.3 Obama +4.0
Ohio 48.9 45.4 Obama +3.5
Florida 48.5 45.4 Obama +3.1
Nevada 49.6 46.6 Obama +3.0
Missouri 47.4 47.8 McCain +0.4
Virginia 50.0 44.9 Obama +5.1

....the Virginia numbers are particularly Ominous for McCain: He has no path to the White House which does not include The Old Dominion.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Obama throws down the gauntlet

McCain: "Ayers! Terrorist! Ayers! Terrorist! Ayers!"

Obama: "Say it to my face."


McCain: More lies about pork

...ok, not a lie per se, but when McCain accused Obama of earmarking $3 million for an overhead projector in Chicago, he left out something: The money was for a new Zeiss projector in the renowned Adler Planetarium.

McCain: Erratic

Team Obama continues to hit all their marks:

Get Your War On

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Daily poll summary Thursday, October 9

Pollster:Obama 320 McCain 163 toss-up 55 (unchanged)

538:Obama 346 McCain 191 (Obama +1)

Real Clear Politics:Obama 264 McCain 163 toss-up 111 (unchanged)

Intrade:Obama 353 McCain 185 (Obama +15)

Nationwide: Obama-McCain
Daily Kos/R2K: 51 41 (no change)
Rassmussen (10/8): 52 45
Gallup (10/7): 51 42
Reuters/Zogby: 48 44
Battleground: 48 45
Pollster: 49 43 (unchanged)
RCP: 51 46 (Obama+2 McCain +2)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McCain voters in a nutshell

Lemme get this straight:

Senator McCain plans to buy up $300 billion in mortgages...

....but also freeze federal spending...

...and make the Bush tax cuts permanent...

...but he says we can work on saving Social Security...

...and a national healthcare plan...

...and national energy policy..."Do all three at once", he says. "We're Americans", he says.

Oh, he'll do all these things without cutting defense spending, continuing our war in Iraq, deploying a "surge" to Afghanistan, and absorbing the $700 billion bailout expenditure.

Can he also turn water into wine?

The Stupid Vote

...analysis from The Daily Show:

California Prop 8

A ballot initiative in California would ban same-sex marriages. This commercial against Prop 8 may be a bit reductio ad abursdum, but....they make a pretty compelling point. (h/t Daily Kos)

Daily poll summary Wednesday, October 8

Pollster:Obama 320 McCain 163 toss-up 55 (unchanged)

538:Obama 345 McCain 192 (Obama +2)

Real Clear Politics:Obama 264 McCain 163 toss-up 111 (unchanged)

Intrade:Obama 338 McCain 200 (McCain +15)

Nationwide: Obama-McCain
Daily Kos/R2K: 51 41 (Obama -1)
Rassmussen: 52 45 (McCain+4)
Gallup (10/7): 51 42 (Obama+1)
Pollster: 49 43 (unchanged)
RCP: 49 44 (unchanged)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate summary smackdowns in the first 25 minutes: McCain in Deep Trouble at that point. Viewership and expectations are front-loaded, and this was the Night for mcCain to draw blood (or so they said).

Didn't happen early.

My fearless prediction: McCain supporters will be exultant, or at least call it a win: they heard what they wanted.

Obama supporteres: Same.

Snap polls: Will run solidly for Obama.

Net impact on the electorate: Little to none. If any, a slight bump for Obama.

UPDATE: The morning after...

CBS: Not even close, an easy Obama win.

CNN: See above.

...the assembled punditry on TV called it for Obama. Even Bill Bennett.

Day-after snap polls can be misleading, and the internals of the CNN poll seem to indicate they oversampled Democrats. However, the consensus was McCain needed to land a big blow to turn the momentum of the campaign around. He needed a clear, if not decisive, win.

He was beaten.

Daily Poll summary Tuesday, October 7

  • Pollster:

    Obama 320
    McCain 163
    toss-up 55


    Obama 342
    McCain 194

    Real Clear Politics:

    Obama 264
    McCain 163
    toss-up 111


    Obama 353
    McCain 185


    Obama McCain
    Daily Kos/R2K: 52 41
    Rassmussen: 52 41
    Gallup (10/6): 50 42
    Pollster: 49 43
    RCP: 49 44

Monday, October 6, 2008

What's left?

The only demographics where McCain still holds a lead are men overall (46-45); the South (52-41); and over 60 (45-43).

In other words--his base is old white Southern men.

I wonder how much of that support he'll lose when they learn he'll finance his tax cuts with reductions in Medicare and Medicaid.

Daily Poll summary: Monday October 6


Obama 260
Mccain 163
Toss-Up 115


Obama 339
McCain 198

Real Clear Politics:

Obama 264
McCain 163
Toss-up 111

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Keating 5

....looks like I'm on a roll: Obama surrogates to use the K5 scandal against McCain.

The effectiveness of the choice to me is far less relevant than what it says about the Obama campaign vis-a-vis previous Democratic efforts: These people play hard ball when necessary. A far cry from the lame responses you'd have gotten out of the Kerry or Gore camps.

If the guilt-by-association thing continues look for mention of McCain's association with Pastor Hagee, Richard Quinn (a Columbia, SC white supremacist), and of course convicted felon and McCain donor G. Gordon Liddy...

Are these associations of McCain's equivalent to l'affaires Ayers, Rezko, Wright, and others? I dunno, but if if McCain goes there, he'll get it right back twice as hard, and in the same news cycle.

That said, look for all of this to be handled by surrogates. (Biden is off the circuit for a coupla days)--permits Obama to stay above it all.

McCain deconstructed

From Rolling Stone.

Yeah, I know---consider the source.

On the other the whole thing. Wow.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Times bashes Sarah

...conservatives will dismiss it out of hand, but the NYT ran 2 entire opinion pages on Sarah Palin. The criticism is quite harsh.

Bob Herbert was the best.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Covering all the angles

I can't imagine why, but the McCain campaign seems to have bought the rights to the URL

Really. (h/t Daily Kos)

Update: Uh-huh. Looking like a prank. Didn't pass the smell test.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

OK, I'm not watching the VP debate

If Sarah Palin crashes and burns I'll feel some empathy for her (remember Admiral Stockdale?)...and if she does well I'll be angry.

A lose-lose for me.

UPDATE: OK, I lied. She started quite well indeed--the folksy stuff is just bs, but it plays well.

Later...she is falling apart. Sad to watch, really.


McCain out of Michigan.

Obama had earlier pulled out of ND, AL, & GA, but there was some thought that McCain had a shot in MI.

Not anymore. McCain playing defense now...exceptions-NH, which is still a toss-up, and PA/WI--I guess McCain thinks they can pull off an upset there. Not bloody likely.

Ohio (echoing 2004), Florida (echoing 2000), and surprise!: Virginia and North Carolina will be the battleground states. Obama seems to have already flipped Iowa and New Mexico...has a good shot in CO, and an outside chance in NV.

Remote-control Palin

...debunked on Daily Kos.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hold off on the end-zone dance... Obama Labor organizer sounds a note of caution: While the news of late has been all good for the Democrats, the electorate is still volatile, there's plenty of time between now and the election, and many voters harbor some doubts.

Dick Morris' election math full of feces. Resplendent avec merde.

His latest analysis is so over-the-top biased towards Obama that even Kos calls BS on it.

The opening says it all: "Is NewsMax really paying Dick Morris for this crap?"

Lookit, I'd love it if Morris' Epic landslide scenario comes true, but it just ain't gonna happen.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Biden vs. Palin

Joe Biden's spokesman raises expectations (with tounge firmly in cheek) for Sarah Palin:

“He's going in here to debate a leviathan of forensics, who has debated five times and she's undefeated.”
— Biden spokesman David Wade

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Debate: View from the Far Right

OK, I still do not see the debate as a "decisive Obama win". Heck, I don't even see it as a narrow Obama win---at best my view is the night was a draw.

Josh Trevino--founder of the conservative website RedState--disagrees. Big time.
Some excerpts (h/t dKos):
Most shocking is the Democracy Corps survey which, though a Democratic outfit, stacked its focus group 2-1 with ‘04 George W. Bush voters — and yielded a plurality for an Obama win.

The bottom line is that John McCain did not accomplish what he needed to: discredit Barack Obama as a responsible steward of America’s fortunes abroad. A major theme of his campaign is Obama’s callowness and consequent unfitness to lead in wartime. The failure to expose this posited shallow grasp of the wider world — a remarkable proposition about a half-Kenyan raised in Indonesia anyway — is a serious erosion of credibility for McCain. To find a foundational proposition of one’s candidacy rendered ineffectual is a tremendous blow

Ouch. But wait, there's more:
In one swoop, the superiority of John McCain on foreign affairs was laid waste. An effective debater would have responded with a series of his foe’s own grievous errors in the same sphere — and despite his thin public record, Barack Obama has several. Instead, McCain lamely replied, "I’m afraid Senator Obama doesn’t understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy," and segued into a non sequitur about General Petraeus. To paraphrase Tallyrand, this was worse than a crime — it was a mistake. Assaulted on the very pillar of his candiacy, John McCain yielded.

Pause here and consider the source: Hardly a leftist-leaning lickspittle of the Main Stream Media. The freakin' founder of RedState..

It gets worse:
The larger story here is not the debate. Rather, it is the story of which the debate is merely the culminating chapter: the three-week-long implosion of the McCain campaign itself. At the end of the first week of September, that campaign boasted its first lead in the national polls, a surprisingly successful convention, and an energizing vice-presidential nominee. At the end of the last week of September, the lead is gone, the convention is forgotten, and Sarah Palin is more disaster than delight

I guess he just joined the nattering nabobs of negativism.

Palin: Reversal of fortune

Old leftosphere reaction: McCain has pulled off a game-changer! Why-Ohwhy didn't Obama pick Hillary?

New leftosphere reaction: Oh, won't you staaaaay...just-a-little-bit-long-er?

Tide turning against Palin

Summarized in an article on Fox News, which then scrubbed it from the website.

"Fair and balanced".

However, you can't fool The Google--a copy was cached on a server---in China.

Very Orwellian mind-set over at Fox.

UPDATED: The righty chatteratti are piling on.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Strategy vs. Tactics

...good analysis here.


...well, the polls show an Obama win.

I disagree.

I thought we had a chance to deliver a knockout blow to a tottering McCrankypants and failed to do so. Disappointed.

McCain had a specific theme he went out to stress and did a good job sticking with it: "Obama doesn't understand, I'm experienced, I've been there, I know the leaders." He said it over and over--which was the idea.

In terms of tone, edge to Obama: McCain (as always) sounded like a jerk--Obama very calm and specific. Again, another missed chance for Obama: McCain clearly has a temper (famously so, in fact) and I think he could easily be pushed to snap.

To be fair to Obama his performances have improved by an order of magnitude--you should have seen his early debates in the primaries. But he tends to be somewhat passionless...too much the scholar.

Watched at the local Democratic HQ: We chose to play the non-alcoholic version of the debate drinking game--take a drink every time McCain said "Reagan", "my friends", "surge", or "Petraeus". Total score: 4 Reagans, 5 my friends, 3 surges, and 4 Petraeuses.

UPDATE: I left out at least two "mavericks". My God, I can't believe they actually say that: Worth a double shot.

Oh, bottom line: I don't think anybody's mind was changed last night.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh what a tangled web...

Reality continues to outpace satire.

The McCain campaign, weary of being called out by the press on being...factually challenged...held a conference call with selected media types to make their case and suggest that there some things about the Obama/Biden ticket which were worthy of more scrutiny.

They provided a list to reporters which turned out to be....youuuuu guessed it! Lies! Oh, sorry..."errors". Incredibly, they chose to advance an...embellished...version of the truth when they probably didn't need to. They lie instinctively.

But wait, there's more: Asked about the "errors" Team McCain was unable to substantiate any of their claims.

But wait, there's more: Unable to make their case, they concluded that the media were "in the tank" for Obama.

But wait, there's more: The Obama campaign responds:

Number of probing stories the NY Times has written over the course of the campaign about Barack Obama, his life, his religion, his childhood, his politics, his time in the state senate, his time in the U.S. Senate, his family, his religion, his friends, his fundraising and all other manner of associations: more than 40

Number of stories the NY Times has written over the course of the campaign about the last major financial regulatory crisis, resulting in a huge bailout, and which John McCain was centrally involved in with his political godfather Charles Keating: 0

Sunday, September 21, 2008

No blank check

Thus spake Madame Speaker.

Well...we shall see.

I think it unlikely that all of the reforms proposed by Robert Reich would be included in any deal--but Congressional Democrats should be able to extract significant concessions.

It remains to be seen if these concessions will include the pound of flesh from...somebody...anybody...who can be held responsible.


What they really do.

The candidates' solutions... the economic crises summed up by Noah Millman (via Megan McArdle):

Obama: We're in this mess because the fundamentals are bad, and the fundamentals are bad because the Republicans have been ignoring ordinary working people and their needs. Most of what I think we should do is not particularly germane, and what is germane I don't want to explain in too much detail because I'm worried I might get it wrong. I'm sticking to my platform.

McCain: We're in this mess because a bunch of Wall Street hot shots got us into it, but they won't dare to pull that stuff when I'm in the White House, because I survived five years in a POW camp. Do I look like the kind of guy who hangs around with a bunch of Wall Street sissies who buy their shirts at Thomas Pink? Not on your tintype girlie-girl.

News flash from the city!

Some Americans are racists.

What will the Obama campaign DO?

I'm thinking that Team Obama was fully aware going in that there is a hard core of voters who will not vote for the black guy, not no way, not no how. Many of these voters are democrats who might have voted for Hillary (or another Democrat).

I think the strategy is twofold: Yeah, they will not vote for the black guy, but some of them will sit home in disgust. Some of them will vote for Bob Barr. Only some would vote for McCain. So that tends to cut the losses somewhat. Part duex is to counterbalance those losses with increases in registration and participation in the black community. I think we can take it as a given that the Obama campaign will register many thousands of new voters by election day, and will get a much higher percentage of those voters to the polls than either Kerry or Gore did.

Will it be enough to counterbalance the 2.5 percent mentioned in the AP/Yahoo poll? November 4th will tell.

McCranky is providing unlooked-for help of late with his complete inability to utter a coherent paragraph about the economy. Despite his attempts to tie it to Obama, he owns this crises and the Obama campaign is fairly hammering him on it. They are also quite cleverly reminding voters of McCain's support of privatizing social security: Not looking like such a good idea given the recent news. McCain will still win in the older voter demographic. But not by as much.

One thing is for certain: This is NOT the same campaign team which ran the show for either Kerry or Gore. They haven't been perfect, but they've been WAY more aggressive. Except for a brief bounce during the GOP convention, the McCranky/Barbie team has been playing full-time defense.

Again, will it be enough? I dunno. IIRC I said going in that I was skeptical about the chances of any black candidate winning the White House--even more so about one whose middle name was "Hussein" and whose last name rhymed with "Osama".

Actually I thought the first black president (not counting Bill Clinton) would be a Republican. A few years back I thought maybe Gen. Powell or maybe JC Watts. Now, no credible black GOP candidates on the horizon.

I expect the long knives to come out next. On both sides--you know they've been saving the Good Stuff for the stretch run.

Friday, September 19, 2008

How much money?

How much did it cost to bail us out of the current crises?

One trillion dollars.

How much is that? A million dollars in crisp new $100 bills would be a stack 39 inches high.

A trillion dollars in $100 bills would be a stack 615 miles high.

What would a trillion bucks buy?

The entire War on Terror (so far).


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Bernard Chazelle's series on Charlie Parker continues.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

For my conservative friends

Time for me to have a John McEnroe moment with y'all.

We have often had engaging conversations about matters political, and I have always felt that people of good conscience can engage in spirited but civil discussions about the future. In truth there are often times when we find plenty of common ground: I have no quarrel with people who think our nation is best served by a commitment to freedom, opportunity, and growth.

To be sure the devil is in the details, but despite the fact we think of different paths we want the same America.

Will John McCain and Sarah Palin take us there? Really?

And Sarah Palin?

You can not be serious.

Good Lord, how much more will it take?

Perhaps this reference from her speech will shed 'smore light on her "character". (And please carefully consider the implications of a statement which implies she is not responsible 'cause the speech was written for her by the McCain staff...)

The Battle of Kelly's Ford....

...and the politics of personal destruction.

In the spring of 1863 Confederate General Fitzhugh Lee had been sending messages through the lines to his Union rivals, taunting them about their horsemanship, inquiring when the blue-clad cavalry was going to amount to anything, and reminding them that his legendary troopers had quite literally ridden circles around the entire Union army. In one message, he taunted his old West Point classmate General William Averell to return his visit, and bring some coffee.

Fed up, Averell crossed the river with 3000 men and caught the Southerners off-guard-- inflicting over 100 casualties and causing the Rebel riders to retreat for over a mile. On the wrong side of the river and outnumbered, Averell retired in good order. He left two wounded Confederate officers with a sack of coffee and a note for Lee which read: "Dear Fitz: Here's your coffee. Here's your visit. How do you like it?"

Fast forward to the current campaign: Republicans are shocked!-shocked! that they could be attacked by Democrats based on things have have said and done! Beyond belief that the GOP could actually be held accountable for their deeds!

This, of course, from the same people who brought you the politics of G. Gordon Liddy, Don Segretti, Lee Atwater, and Karl Rove. They have broken laws, betrayed trusts, manipulated the media, gamed the system, and used any tactic they could in pursuit of one single goal: To acquire and maintain power. The end justified any means, and collateral damage--to people, to American institutions, to the rule of law-- is viewed as irrelevant. In the past two decades they have added the power of talk radio and their very own news network to their list of tools. They were able to control the narrative in the last two elections and had the White House occupied by a useful idiot--kept under tight reins by Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and a gang of thugs.

This year things are different. The GOP "brand" is beyond tarnished--it is broken. Conservatism is so wildly dysfunctional that they are poised to follow up a 2006 mid-term drubbing by losing the White House to a black man whose middle name is "Hussein" and whose last name rhymes with "Osama". Who'd-a-thunk it?

Worse, they are now being called out on their tactics. Their choice of a woefully unprepared and unqualified VP candidate is being revealed for the political stunt that it is. Their embrace of bald-faced lies as campaign talking points is openly discussed even by some of their old complicit friends. The campaign of personal sleaze attacks which is being mounted against the Obama/Biden ticket is facing brighter lights than they expected.

In short, they are on the receiving end. Defense is not their game. The half-truth, the distortion, the rumor, the dog-whistle--these are the GOP stock tools. Being asked to justify their actions and prove their allegations leaves them completely out of their depth. Caught red-handed in a series of fabrications, GOP surrogates accuse the Obama camapign of taking the low road.

Full marks for hypocrisy. If a Democrat on the ticket had a teenage daughter who was pregnant out-of-wedlock, what kind of converstaion would we be having? If a Democrat's wife had stolen prescription painkillers from a charitable organization what types of things would the GOP be saying? If a Democrat's spouse had belonged to a political party which advocated secession from the United States would that topic be off-limits?

When confronted, it seems the GOP hate machine goes to pieces. The Democrats should keep up the pressure, and maybe send a message through a backchannel to their GOP rivals: "How do you like it?"

Maybe they could attach a sack of coffee to the note.

A Jazz interlude

We interrupt our usual program to direct your attention to Bernard Chazelle's wonderful piece on Charlie Parker. Read, then watch (and listen).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Drill here. Drill now.


(h/t atrios)

McCain blasts Bridge to Nowhere

...that would be the same one with which Sarah Palin has a "For it before she was against it*" problem.

Here McCain suggests that the money wasted in Alaska could have prevented the Minneapolis bridge collapse: Watch. (h/t abrauer-dKos)

*-by "against it" I mean she changed her position after Congress had already killed the appropriation. (Her assertion that she said "No, thanks" would best be characterized as...errr...ummm...lying, yeah that's it.) Oh, they kept the money anyway. And also kept the money for the road to the bridge...even after the project was cancelled.

That's right: They built a Road to Nowhere.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Georgia: Martin to the offensive

Underdog Senate candidate Jim Martin seems to be putting all his chips in with a huge ad buy: The campaign will feature Max Cleland, who remains popular despite losing to Saxby Chambliss in 2002.

Maybe enough Georgians will feel remorse over choosing Chambliss over Max last time (they should) and vote for Martin. Maybe Martin will benefit from the Obama voter turnout.

I wouldn't bet on it: Look for the Georgia GOP to start running some really offensive ads if the race stays close. Worked last time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

September 11th

There are a number of commemorations this year--there always are.

A number of suggestions regarding remembrance are circulating, but of all the things I have seen, heard, or read, this is by far the most powerful.

Set aside a few moments--less than 3 minutes-- and listen.

Sarah Palin and the cult of lying

Hunter at dKos hits it out of the park. Read the whole thing.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

An asterik is born...

Legions of GOP faithful pronounced Sarah Palin the rising star of conservatism after her speech at the RNC. To be sure Team McCain provided her with some of their best materiel, and she delivered it well. She displayed a stage presence and sense of timing that reveal that she will be an effective campaigner.

But now the balloons are gone and the applause has stopped and the rush of excitement has died away. How many Republicans are having "morning-after" regrets?

It is plain now that Palin was not thoroughly vetted. Perhaps McCain would have reached no different decision, but the failure to adequately screen their pick resulted in the research being done in public by the media, which is NOT the scenario the Republicans wanted.

Since then, the steady drip-drip-drip of allegations about Gov. Palin continues to erode her credibility as a potential Vice President--and calls into question the decision-making process used by McCain to make the selection. There are some accounts that McCain wanted to select Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge, but was cowed from doing so by a threatened evangelical revolt. Given the favorable media buzz following the DNC in Denver, they were desperate to do something to alter the momentum of the campaign. Unable to choose a Democrat like Lieberman or a moderate Republican like Ridge, McCain was forced to throw the hail-Mary pass with the Palin pick.

His choice has had the effect of energizing his moribund campaign and firming up his support with the "values voters" of Christian Right. They have advanced their agenda by dispatching their surrogates to blame the media for criticism of their new star while keeping her sequestered from the press--thereby avoiding unscripted moments.

Meanwhile--the doubts about Sarah Palin continue to mount:

You could no doubt assemble a similar bullet-point list about Barack Obama, but those issues have been out there for 19 months (or longer) and voters have had plenty of time to look him over. With Palin the hits-just-keep-on coming, and there are only 59 shopping days until election day.

Education matters

Barack Obama: BA, political science/international relations: Columbia University.
JD, (magna cum laude) Harvard University.

Joe Biden: BA, history/political science; University of Deleware
JD, Syracuse University

John McCain: BA, United States Naval Acadamy (894th of 899)

Sarah Palin: Hawaii Pacific University:1982
North Idaho College:1983
University of Idaho:1984-85
Matanuska-Susitna College (Palmer, AK):1985
University of Idaho:1985-87 (BA-Journalism) a potential employer, whom would you choose?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Welcome to the Island!

For those of y'all who migrated here from Full Chat, welcome.

The political, social, and economic discussions from that site have been moved here. It seemed to me that the motor racing and fitness topics should be seperated from the punditry.

Running and fitness will go live on a new site of their own (working title: Fast Twitch) coming Real Soon Now--leaving Full Chat as a motorsports-only zone.