Thursday, October 30, 2008

Florida Elections

Placeholder for immoderate commentary on Democrats campaigning in Florida, for  swamplanders.

Joe Klein's latest column

Wrong guess about the Beltway reaction to Obama. Acquiescence, mostly. Ornstein's comment illustrates a way that McCain could make his apology, though. A joint, antipork appearance in favor of an infrastructure bank could do it for him.

Joe-- is there some chance that we can reexamine the risk of "Islamic extremism?" I think there's a pretty story to be told that it is overblown--more like Basque separatists and the Tamil nationalists than like the Nazis or the Soviets.

Also, you need to consider the possibility that Obama's prioritizing energy conservation and reduced dependence on oil supplied by some states that, either officially or unofficailly, are engaged in, for what danger it represents, Islamic extremism.

The US is way overdue in shifting away from the use of imperialist application (or threatened application) of military force to addressing the root causes involved with separatist movements in allied countries.

And in the same use of force dealing with countries that express opposition to the US, but have no mechanism for acting on that opposition, and, perhaps, no actual interest in doing so, other than for domestic political consumption.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Posted on an Amy Sullivan thread:

Everyone seems to be missing the point. While Amy utterly fails to make it clear, the movement she is referring to IS new IF you confine your attention to Evangelicals and Catholics!

Of course a quick review of the landscape makes clear that a large percentage of the people who oppose abortion aren't doing so out of concern for the children but out of their contempt for the mothers. If this weren't the case, then the pro-life movement would be among the most ardent supporters of Planned Parenthood and of Sex-Ed in the schools.

As long as we recognize that none of the controversy is about unborn children but ALL about sex unimpaired by guilt or worry and the people who hate that, then everything comes into sharper focus and begins to make sense.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

At the risk of being self-indulgent

This is another one of my insightful and deserving comments that has been moderated into oblivion:

You would think that in addition to watching the tracking polls to simply see how they're doing that the McCain camp would also use them to determine what's working. The evidence suggests to me that they are absolutley tone-deaf as to what voters are interested in and want to hear. Part of the problem is that the folks who attend their rallies and can get all worked up with the cheerleading and name-calling are not representative voters. They're allowing their base to skew their strategy and hurting themselves in the process.

If you read the text of Obama's speech yesterday he talks at length about bringing people together and encouraging citizen involvment. Michelle Obama graciously declined the opportunity to make fun of Palin's wardrobe situation on Jay Leno.

The message that comes through is clear. One side consists of decent people, the other side, of jerks.

This was moderated - Read it here.

It's unfortunate to note just how much our Presidential politics interferes with our ability to strategize coherently. If McCain were to win, you can be sure that the drawdown you describe will be delayed simply to prevent an "I told you so" and if Obama is elected, it will be accelerated just to assert I'M in charge now!

I am told that U.S. intelligence community now considers Pakistan the central front in the war on terror

This of course also means that the CIA is the central force fighting the war on terror. I have to think that that's a more effective use of our resources than throwing 150,000 soldiers at the wrong country was.

All I know is that the overriding issue in this election is keeping John McCain, Randy Scheunemann, and James Woolsey the H377 away from our Middle East policy. As far as I'm concerned it even overrides the economy, because our boneheadedness in the ME is a big part of WHY our economy is in such dire straits.

Monday, October 27, 2008

McCain: Not in This Millennium

Steve Benen points out that while five Secretary of States,  Eagleberger, Kissinger, Baker Haig, other...oh yeah, George Schlutz...have endorsed McCain, neither of the Secretaries of State in this administration has done so.  Actually, Steve just mentions Condi. But it is interesting...

Perils of Nepotism

It was pretty clear from a talk given last week by one part of the Neportism Cubed team, Andrew Rosenthal,  that he has decided to write off William Kristol. So he's only got a couple of months left to say silly, funny things, before returning the shrinking and increasingly irrelevant world of money-losing, low circulation conservative venues.  (No, I don't think the folks at TIME have missed the vacuity of his commentary, either.)

  Here's today's howler:

Then McCain and Palin can spend the final week speaking for themselves. They should throw themselves open full time to the media. Could the press coverage get worse?
Oh, yes it could. As it is, in very controlled settings, both Palin and McCain have had Daily Show moments.  Can you imagine Palin in an open press conference explain again, repeatedly, that "gifts" don't count if you don't want them--echoing Ted Stevens complaining all that furniture that belongs to other people is littering his cabin.  Or  another bout of "Name That Secretary of State" for McCain.

Then there's this knee-slapper:

For that matter, he might as well muzzle the campaign. McCain campaign senior staff members now seem to be spending more time criticizing one another than Obama, and more time defending their own reputations than pursuing a McCain-Palin victory. McCain should simply say that for the last week of the campaign, no staff member is authorized to speak to the media about anything beyond logistical and scheduling matters.

Does Billy think that the backstabbing and resume distribution has been authorized?   Given his role in all this, especially the Palin Pick, shouldn't he consider following his own advice?

No. Instead, he says McCain should completely retool (again, just like Billy has advised for the last three weeks) and go back to "POW POW POW!" in a 30 minute ad just like Obama's. First Palin gives a First Lady speech:

Palin could speak first, reprising her fine recent speeches on women’s issues and special needs kids — speeches that got almost no press coverage. She could then introduce her running mate, reminding people of his heroism, and pointing out, as she does on the stump, that he is the only candidate “who has truly fought for America.”

And then The Real John McCain provides the hard-hitting substance that has always been the basis of his candidacy:

As for McCain, he needs to speak about America’s greatness and its future; about how the ingenuity and toughness of the American people will turn around this financial crisis just as the ingenuity of General Petraeus and the toughness of his fighting men and women turned around Iraq; about how America’s spirit was not undone by a terrorist attack, and will not be undone by a financial mess; about how the naysayers will once again be proved wrong; about how America will emerge from its troubles stronger than ever and will win its battles at home and abroad.

Yep. That's the ticket.  A pep talk.  That's the kind of change America needs, my friends.

In fact, why not fire everybody, and have Billy write the speeches?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This didn't pass the moderation filter! Astounding

What I find the most reassuring isn't that Obama is presenting himeself as serious and sober in contrast to the mouth-foaming that McCain's abetting and encouraging, it's that it appears to be working.
Ever since Karl Rove spewed his "therapy and understanding" line, I've been waiting patiently for the American people to realize that the Republican playbook is utterly devoid of anything constructive to contribute to the Country.

It appears that they're finally catching on.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Motorpsycho Nightmare

Swampland is sorta back up, in a word press implementation with redirects still propagating and therefore failing, I think.

Here's the direct link:

Thanks, KT, for  passing that on.

Potty Mouths on the Record

Ambinder prints a fairly informal press release from testy Randy:

Just read your post.  This is on the record.  This is cleared by HQ.  It is a fact that Barack Obama was palling around with terrorists.  It was a fact before Governor Palin  said it in a fully vetted speech and it is fact today.   It is bullshit to claim or write anything else.

Does this mean that it's okay now for Atrios and Markos to use profanity? Are we no longer offended by this kind of language?

Update: Worth noting that Ambinder is apparently another of  those journalists whose default mode of communication with sources is "off the record."

Swampland Drained Today

Interesting that this had to happen on two of the worst news cycles imaginable for McCain. With Obama out of the picture, he had a  chance to gain some traction, at least a little, and what did he get?
  • A horrible hoax designed to foment racism.
  • A brother abusing 911.
  • His VP demonstrating in so many ways  that she is a phony
  • Endorsements of Obama by Charles Fried, Reagan's Solicitor General and Bill Weld. Republican right and left fleeing the ship.
  • Fingerpointing starting to crack the McCain camp, with more and more past tense references to the campaign from its workers.
Steve Benen has all the details.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pulled Directly from AmericaBlog:

Obama has noted this before, as has Jon Stewart - the fact that Republican politicians admire stupidity and ignorance. They wear their lack of education, their incompetence, their failure as a badge of honor. And it's certainly an American tradition, having disdain for intellectuals. But when push comes to shove, do you really want bubba, or bubba with lipstick, in charge of your 401k and your life savings? At some point America has got to get over its love affair with stupid. Or the mistakes of the last eight years, when we elected stupid to an art form, will continue to repeat themselves.

This is a theme that's been close to my heart ever since March. If you google the word 'elite' I'm sure you will find page after page extolling the virtues of mediocrity.

I find the whole thing - dare I say it - stupid!