Archive for the ‘Presidential Race 2008’ Category

A Plate of Palin

September 2, 2008

If Gov. Palin were a plate at a restaurant, few of us would have even the slightest idea of what we would get if we ordered one. Apparently the people of Alaska like the dish, but the rest of us are ignorant. When faced with ignorance of this proportion, we rely on the MEDIA to inform us. Unfortunately, the National Enquirer has not stepped up yet, so we are left with only the second and third rate journalism of NBC, CBS and ABC.

How is the media dealing with this ignorance? We have the good: Maria Bartiromo (CNBC) interviewed Gov. Palin the day of the VP announcement. I saw the interview and can tell you that Gov. Palin is the only politician in this race that can respond to a question with a clear and understandable answer. We have the bad: the rest of the media that are guessing about her policies and her competence based on one or two pieces of information that they got off her Wikipedia page (I doubt they read the whole thing). And we have the ugly: some “liberal” blogs that claim, based on no information, that her daughter is a double-slut.

The problem that the press has with Palin is that she is going to make them work for a living. The press doesn’t work, it just reprints things that people send it, skipping the insightful or detailed information and going straight for the most biased, inflammatory and salacious. A few people in the press may use the internet to get basic information, but most rely on their friends and partisan blogs to get their “facts.” They enjoy talking about her lack of experience. Duh. If McCain were to die in office, then perhaps Gov. Palin could call Obama and ask his advise.

In the first few hours of the Republican convention I heard CNN’s Wolf Blitzer talking about Gov. Palin. Talking about her isn’t really correct, he just asked everyone he could find two questions: “What do you think about Palin’s daughter being pregnant. What does that tell you about the Gov?” and “What do you think about the ‘scandal’ where she fired her sister’s husband during a custody battle? Is that going to hurt her?” Wolf reduced Gov. Palin down to the “liberal” view of women: as sluts and vengeful bitches. Now that the Republicans have a female candidate, we can see what “liberals” really think of women. I can’t wait for those nude pictures to show up on the Daily Kos.

There are a few liberals speaking out on this neo-misogyny. I heard a short interview on Fox News with Geraldine Ferraro who said that Gov. Palin was the first person of national stature, including Ferraro’s favorite candidate Hillary Clinton, that actually thanked Ferraro for leading the cause of females on the Presidential ticket. Ferraro didn’t outright endorse Palin, but perhaps she will get the guts to do so soon. After being called a racist by the Obama campaign, and now working for Fox News, Ferraro’s future in the Democratic party is over. I think she is holding out hope over hope that the Democratic party will once again become the party that accepts women as leaders.

Gov Palin will have to deal with lots of shit over the next couple of months, but based on the one interview I saw of her, it looks to me like she can take it and dish out a bit of her own. If asked about her family’s reproductive proclivity, I would offer this answer from Jurassic Park: “Life happens.”

Update: I was just watching MSNBC where someone was interviewing Newsweek Senior Editor and Obama cheerleader Jonathan Alter. He was asked if he thought that McCain had thoroughly vetted Gov. Palin, and, of course, he said that McCain hadn’t. Then he offered an example of what goes for journalism today. Mr. Alter said that McCain had not sent someone up to Alaska to vet her. His proof? He said that he assumed this since nobody in the McCain camp said that they had sent someone up there. This is journalism today.

The MLK Code

August 31, 2008

I didn’t listen to Obama’s acceptance speech, at least not completely, because I don’t like getting lectured to. But I was watching Bill Moyers just now talk with two of his friends on his chat show and he pondered that Obama never mentioned MLK by name in that speech. Apparently he called MLK “the Preacher”. That triggered something that I remembered from Sunday school many many years ago – that Jews are not supposed to say the name of God. I’m not sure why, exactly, because I didn’t really understand anything that they said in Sunday school. Religion is like biology, you kind of have to memorize everything because the logic that connects things is… not logical. I’m pretty sure Christians can say the name of Jesus whenever and however they wish, and they wish to a lot. I also remember hearing that Muslims are not supposed to say the name of their prophet without giving his title. Many muslims seem to prefer to just give the title and skip his name, because he is “The Prophet.” That got me wondering if calling MLK “The Preacher” was some sort of code, a subconscious way of elevating MLK from preacher to prophet. Maybe this is something he learned in Rev. Wright’s church, or maybe somewhere else.

Panic in Camp Obama

August 29, 2008

John McCain showed his “commander in chief” credentials today by selecting Sarah Palin for his vice presidential running mate. Minutes after the selection was announced its strategic value became evident. Team Obama quickly attacked Palin on her inexperience and her blue-collar roots. Hours later Obama himself had to shut them up seeing that attacks on her immediately deflected and amplified against him, all without a single shot being fired by any McCain partisan.

I predicted that McCain was going to pick a good-looking woman (I thought it would be Carly Fiorina) as his running mate because he likes good looking woman. You can see it in his eyes. Bill Clinton is probably kicking himself in butt right now thinking, “The Democratic party has a lot of good looking women in it, and I pick Al Gore? I had to go out trolling for interns and he’s going to be flying in his personal jet all over the place with this VPILF. McCain is a real genius.”

Meanwhile, in Camp Obama, it seems that they do not yet have a response to the McCain pick. I can imagine the Obama planning session for VP attacks: “Let’s put the A team on Romney and Pawlenty, the B team on Jindal, Ridge, Lieberman and that chick from EBay. We should have some coverage on them other presidential candidates too. Hey, Herbert, you cover the female Republican governors, if there are any.” Herbert was the janitor.

Yesterday, during his speech in Denver, Obama pivoted and moved in the direction of all previous Democratic candidates. He promised everything to everyone but didn’t say how or how much it would take. Today McCain outflanked Obama without firing a shot. The war in Iraq is going McCain’s way. We’ll have to wait and see if this war does the same.

Bill Clinton’s Best Argument

August 28, 2008

Bill Clinton tonight made what may be the most important argument why not to vote for Obama. Going back to the 2004 election, I always felt that John Kerry never made the one winning argument for his election: a Republican Congress and an Republican President at the same time are a bad idea. Well, the same goes for a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President. Clinton stepped into it when he declared:

“… [McCain] still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years, a philosophy we never had a real chance to see in action until 2001, when the Republicans finally gained control of both the White House and Congress. Then we saw what would happen to America if the policies they had talked about for decades were implemented.”

I think the same argument applies this year to Obama. The last time we had a Democratically controlled Congress and White House was during the first two years of Clinton’s Presidency, two years that brought the fastest possible demise of Democratic power in Congress. The previous time was the Presidency of Jimmy Carter, the biggest disaster in American history. Revising Clinton’s line to reflect Obama’s candidacy yield a most powerful argument:

“Obama still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years, a philosophy we rarely had a real chance to see in action, but if the Democrats finally gain control of both the White House and Congress, then we will see what will happen to America if the policies they had talked about for decades are implemented.”

Sounds about right.

Have a Nice Dinner

August 27, 2008

The Democratic National Convention started yesterday and I’m bored already. So far the only interesting speech was given by Obama’s daughter who asked her dad, “Where you are Daddy?” Apparently she knew where he was, but he didn’t. The keynote speaker today said that we are engaged in a “race to the future”. What does that mean? Most people over 30 are trying to keep the future as far away as possible. But guess what, the future will always going to happen, 10 minutes will happen 10 minutes from now.

Then the Governor of Montana came on and said that McCain voted against solar energy 26 times. What does that mean? I doubt that McCain voted to make solar energy illegal, as many Democrats (and some Republicans) had voted to make nuclear power illegal, to make reprocessing plants for nuclear fuel illegal, to make the storage of nuclear waste illegal, to make new offshore drilling for oil illegal, etc.. Perhaps what he meant was the McCain voted against spending billions and billions of Federal money on programs that promised to make “commercial” success of solar and wind power. I can believe that. but that hasn’t stopped people from building solar plants or wind turbine farms. My guess is that the first bill in Congress to make wind farms illegal will come from Democratic sponsors in the name of conservation.

But the funniest line so far was given by Chuck Schumer who, when being interviewed by Bill O’Reilly of Fox News was asked whether he (O’Reilly) should stick around to hear Hillary Clinton’s speech or go to dinner. Schumer when saying his goodbye after 5 minutes of postulating about what Hillary was going to say, told O’Reilly: “Have a nice dinner.” I took his advise too.

Presidential Newlywed Game

August 17, 2008

Except for the omission of Bob Eubanks and the big 25 point question, last night Barack Obama and John McCain played the Newlywed Game at the Saddleback Church forum. The pastor Rick Warren stood in for Mr. Eubanks. The format showed the differences between the two candidates more effectively than any ad or interview to date. Some highlights of the show included McCain saying Obama was “not rich,” (actually McCain reluctantly/jokingly offered $5M/year as the threshold for being rich, and Obama made only $4.2M last year), and Obama reflected on another black man’s inexperience as disqualifying him for high office (in this case Clarence Thomas’s appointment to the Supreme Court).

It was clear that Obama’s ideas come from a very theoretical base and that he has a difficult time with the idea of absolutes. Obama also did not explain why he thinks the way he thinks, rarely sighting specific events or philosophies he used to come to decisions. In fact, Obama seemed to enjoy thinking about issues more than resolving them. If you could run for the Supreme Court, then Obama might be a good candidate.

On the other hand, McCain showed that he has definite opinions on things and those opinions are formed, for the most part, on his own experiences. Perhaps McCain is equally thoughtful in private, but in answering questions it was clear that he had come to conclusions on most issues.

The most telling comparison of the two candidates came as they answered the question about whether there is evil in the world. Obama said that all of us have the potential for evil and it is something for which we must be continuously mindful and confront. McCain said that strapping bombs onto mentally retarded women and detonating them in the middle of a crowded public market is evil and he will destroy that evil. God willing.

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Barack, Can We Talk

August 14, 2008

This week Presidential candidate Barack Obama was on vacation visiting his senior citizen Grandmother in Hawaii (she lives there). This week the Obama’s campaign also announced their own “no tax” policy: senior citizens making less than $50K should pay no taxes. I can imagine the conversation over the Obama dinner table. “Barack, sweetheart, you know¬† I pay way too much in taxes and I make less than $50K. That’s not fair.” Obama, who has said that tax policy should be based not on increasing revenues or improving the economy but on “fairness”, must have taken his Grandmother’s pleading to heart. I’d like to invite Obama to dinner so I can plead my case that people who start their own businesses employing lots of people in high paying jobs should not pay taxes. I think that’s fair.

Inflated Words

August 8, 2008

In a clever marketing gimmick, the McCain campaign handed out tire gauges labeled “Obama Energy Plan” to a crowd of Obama supporters a few days ago. This was in response to an Obama speech wherein he informed the crowd that if everyone kept their tires inflated properly we would not need off-shore drilling. The irony here is that while Obama does his usual pontificating on issues where he knows he is 100% correct (although he is not), his opponent takes real action to really do something about the issue. Maybe, next, Obama will ask for legislation requiring oil companies to perform free tire pressure checks with each fill-up. Didn’t gas stations do that in the 50’s? I think they call that full service now.

Change We Can Believe In?

August 7, 2008

Obama’s campaign tag-line is: Obama, change we can believe in. Here are my top 8 follow-on lines:

8. Change we can believe in. By the way, got any spare change?

7. Change we can believe in, until after the election.

6. Change we can believe in. They don’t.

5. Change we can believe in. Just don’t ask for proof.

4, Change we can believe in. Really. Trust me. Really. I’m not joking.

3. Change we can believe in. That is, the Royal “we.”

2. Change we can believe in. I believe in unicorns.

1. Change we can believe in. See, I changed my energy policy yesterday.

Hilton’s Contribution a Complete Waste

August 5, 2008

In what must be irony to the irony power, Kathy Hilton, mother of Paris Hilton, now realizes that she spent “a complete waste of the money … a complete waste of the country’s time and attention at the very moment when millions of people are losing their homes and their jobs. And it is a completely frivolous way …” Is she talking about her daughter whose entire lifestyle is frivolous? Or is she talking about her own frivolous lifestyle? No, she is talking about Presidential candidate John McCain’s ad comparing her daughter to Barack Obama.

Now, why would she think that this comparison shows her daughter in a bad light? Well, she is a Republican so maybe she was making a political statement. I doubt it. Maybe she saw the comparison racially, which might make her a racist. I’ll leave that one to MSNBC who seems to find racism in pretty much everything these days. Maybe because the ad says that Obama is a bigger celebrity than her daughter. I doubt that either. Maybe she understands that the world sees her daughter as a frivolous, complete waste of the public’s time whose celebrity comes not from anything substantial in her life but only from the media’s unending coverage. Maybe she feels that Obama is better than that, and therefore better than her daughter. Most people would think that, but if I were Paris, I would hope my mother wouldn’t.

Update: Paris has now released a response spoof to McCain’s ad. The spoof isn’t all that funny, but it does show that she has more of sense of humor than either her mother or the Obama campaign. The lesson here: fight humor with humor, not incredulity.