Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Are you fucking kidding me?

I may be a lapsed news guy, but I do still adhere to the old notions of keeping news seperate from commentary. I do, however, recognize that cable news is a different beast than other news sources. I honestly wouldn't mind Fox News so much if it dropped its "fair and balanced" horseshit branding. Conservatives tune in to hear what they want to hear. Progressives tune in to MSNBC because Rachel and Keith carry their banner. Any intelligent person would admit that.
What I hate is vacillation, much like what you get now on CNN, which can't decide if it wants Fox viewers or MSNBC viewers. It appears that NBC wants the ratings we lefties bring, but not the apparent stigma we have with a certain semi-retired newsreader's friends.

Newt in '12

Once upon time, I was an unpaid intern at CNN's Washington DC bureau. One of my jobs on Saturdays was to wait on guests for The Capital Gang program (hosted by Pat Buchanan, who is actually an incredibly nice man despite his politics). The guest who made the biggest impression on me was Newt Gingrich.
Newtie, as his mom calls him, was still a minority backbencher at the time with a penchant for camera hogging. Being a news junkie, I knew of his work, which consisted of throwing molotov cocktails at the Democratic leadership and trying desperately to pass himself off as an intellectual. I remember him holding court in the green room, giving the most half-assed, comp-lit undergrad assessment of John Wayne that I had ever heard.
A few years later, Newt got his chance to show just how Churchillian he could be. He decided he would be Prime Minister (just like ol' Winston) and use his new Republican majority to invalidate Bill Clinton. Putting on his best defiant-in-the-face-of-the-face-of-the-Luftwaffe pose, he let a funding resolution expire that forced a government shutdown in 1995. He expected Clinton to capitulate to all of his idiotic demands, only to watch ol' Bill laugh his ass off when the American people rose up en masse against Winston Jr.
Then, in 1998, Gingrich took time off from getting blow jobs off secretaries in his car to orchestrate Clinton's impeachment. Bill laughed even harder this time, knowing the Senate would never remove him and watching his polls numbers spike to record highs.
Since leaving the House in disgrace, Newt has published books and given speeches extolling his own Churchillian virtues. He snagged a regular gig as Fox News's pseudo intellectual, sort of like George Will without a bowtie. He wisely passed on running for president this year, not having the money or national organization to get the GOP nomination.
I believe Gingrich was keeping his powder dry for 2012. "Why?" you ask. Well, it turns out Newt was busy behind the scenes lobbying Republicans to vote against the Wall Steet bailout. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) told MSNBC this morning that the Republican leadership assured him they had their quota of votes to pass the measure, only to discover Newt was burning up the phone lines trying to sandbag the vote.
Why would Newt care about this vote? Two reasons: 1) voting no on the bailout is great politics for House members, all of whom are up for reelection; 2) It's an issue he can hammer Obama with for the next four years as he travels the country raising money for his nomination fight in 2011-12 against Mitt Romney (forget Palin).
I, for one, am heartened by this development. Obama is every bit as capable as Clinton and appears to be much more of a natural born leader. Newt was in over his head back in 1995 and, from what I can tell, hasn't appreciably changed since. Combine that with the beginning of the end of the Republican Party as a national presence and you have the makings of one King Hell Daddy ass-whuppin' in four years.
I can't wait.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Are you looking for info about this whole bailout mess? I can give you the 10 cent version:
Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury want to use at least $700 billion to pump cash back into banks and other domestic and foreign lenders sucking hind tits now because they overpaid for tens of billions of dollars of worthless mortgages. The Dems and GOP haggled, agreed to some token oversight of how the money is spent and I'll-believe-them-when-I-see-them restrictions on executive pay at the firms receiving federal money.
McCain and Obama both support the measure, albeit reluctantly, but that's now academic. The members of the House of Representatives have been flooded with calls from their constituents who oppose the plan. Being fond of their jobs, 227 Congresspersons voted today according to the wishes of voters rather than the lobbyists who feed them blow, hookers and unmarked bills.
To better understand the ramifications of all this, check out Paul Krugman and Barry Ritholtz.


You may not believe this, given the work I have posted in this space, but I used to have great respect for John McCain. I would go so far as to say I may have even voted for him over John Kerry if he were the GOP's candidate in 2004. I didn't agree with his social conservatism, but he always struck me as a fiscal and foreign policy pragmatist. I thought he would have a better chance of getting things done than Kerry because congressional Republicans would be forced to play nice with one of their own.
In the intervening years, the senator from Arizona has really, really showed his ass. His very conscious effort to transform the media into a hallelujah chorus allowed him pander behind the scenes to all of the religious zealots and lobbyists he railed against on his way to national prominence in 2000. He wrote and spoke incessantly about Honor, so much so that he became honorable without having to define what that word means. He was the Political/Media Establishment's perfect man. He shit gold and spit perfect wisdom, or so it seemed.
McCain's efforts paid off handsomely in this presidential election cycle. The aforementioned chorus carried him when his campaign sputtered in late 2007. Republicans eventually realized he was their only candidate with enough stature to beat Hillary Clinton.
Then came Hurricane Obama. This handsome, self-made young man swept onto the national scene and captured the media's attention, taking away the unquestioned adulation that McCain and his supporters expected to carry him to November.
The public wanted someone new, a leader who recognized that the economy is fundamentally fucked and that the occupation of Iraq was a huge mistake; in other words, a candidate who stands for everything McCain doesn't.
So McCain did the only thing he could do: he gave up any pretenses of nobility or honesty and bared his fangs. He picked a self righteous dimwit for his running mate and committed to bald-faced lying on a daily basis. He foresook everything he claimed to believe in.
Johnathan Chait of The New Republic sums it up best:
"The pattern here is perfectly clear. McCain has contempt for anybody who stands between him and the presidency. McCain views himself as the ultimate patriot. He loves his country so much that he cannot let it fall into the hands of an unworthy rival. (They all turn out to be unworthy.) Viewed in this way, doing whatever it takes to win is not an act of selfishness but an act of patriotism. McCain tells lies every day and authorizes lying on his behalf, and he probably knows it. But I would guess--and, again, guessing is all we can do--that in his mind he is acting honorably. As he might put it, there is a bigger truth out there."
In other words, the end justifies the means. McCain likes to call himself a maverick. He used to brag about standing up to clowns like Donald Rumsfeld. In his desperation to win the presidency, he has shown himself to be no better.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I know this is flogging a dead horse, but Tina Fey really owns our VPILF-in-waiting.

October Surprise

It is an article of faith amongst the conspiracy minded that Ronald Reagan's campaign secretly struck a deal with Iran to prevent the hostages from being released prior to the 1980 presidential election. I have mixed thoughts about the October Surprise, as it has come to be known. It's never been proven, but there is some circumstantial evidence that has always made me suspicious. Being a leftie, I admit that I want to believe it; however, as a journalist and reasonably intelligent adult, I know there is not enough there to prove it.
In the intervening election years, conspiracy sympathizers have always wondered what that campaign season's October Surprise would be. There is much hand wringing among lefties about what McCain/Bush/Rove have in store for us next month. Case in point:

What are your predictions about the inevitable ''October Surprise''?

Here's one of mine: In the final debate, McCain will have his big penitential moment. He'll confess his sin -- his hunger to become President -- and apologize for the unpalatable things his ambition has made him do.

And he'll say that it no longer matters to him whether he wins or loses, just so long as he reclaims his soul, and that's what he prays that ''Warshington'' will do too, for the sake of America.

And swing voters will eat it up and vote for him, because who better to be President than a man who says he doesn't want to be President?

I pulled this from Huffington Post, but have chosen not to link to it because I think the whole idea is ludicrous. "Why?" you may ask. Well, short of declaring martial law, the Republicans have no more cards to play.
Over the last three decades, the conservative Republican movement has gotten everything it wanted: neanderthal federal judges, repeated tax cuts, the end of federal oversight over just about everything, the right to harass and arrest political opponents, and a national media that trusts Republicans and is wary of Democrats.
Workers were forced to trade pay raises for credit cards, in order to make the inflation rate appear lower. Housing costs were removed from the inflation formula as another way to get phony inflation numbers. Having a pulse became the only requirement for getting loans to keep the economic activity going.
And it has all turned to shit.
The silent majority that Nixon, Reagan, and the Bushes pandered to so effectively for years is done with conservatives. In short, McCain's constituency this year is limited to Joe Lieberman, Lindsay Graham and a million or so evangelicals who think Sarah Palin was sent by God to do their bidding.
If you are looking for the unexpected in the next few weeks, try this prediction on for size:
This year's October Surprise is much more likely to be the disintegration of the GOP as a national party.

Called out

Josh Marshall over at TPM has linked to this fascinating Washington Post story about Thursday's get together at the White House. In short, it appears that Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership came loaded for bear and John McCain wasn't ready for anything other than a photo op.
The story confirms what many people, save hard core Republicans, suspected from the moment that McCain announced his campaign suspension and intention to go to Washington and fix the financial crisis: it was all a political ploy to get Sarah Palin off the front page and halt Obama's surge in national polling. McCain contributed nothing to the bailout negotiations. He agrees philosophically with Wall Street welfare but it smart enough to know that he has to appear to be on the side of the little guy.
The senator from Arizona has pandered to Main Street for years, always safe in knowing the national press would never bring up his pro-corporate record or the Keating Five. He is facing a skeptical press corps for the first time in nearly 20 years and has no fucking idea what to do about it.
Say whatever you want about Obama, at least he does his homework and had the balls to admit that he believed the bailout to be necessary no matter how it plays on Main Street. He showed no fear Friday night because, as the linked story above will illustrate, he has nothing to fear from his opponent.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Maybe I'm right

It looks like Joe Trippi, the guy who put Howard Dean on the map back in 2003, is seeing what I'm seeing.
Thank God...I thought I might be going a little crazy.

Hell must have frozen over

When the mouth-breathing conservatives acknowledge an Obama win, you know John McCain is in deep shit. The paradigm shift over the last few weeks away from national media fealty to conservative politics and to the inevitability of an Obama win has been a pleasant surprise for me. I am starting to think that the left wing blogosphere's worries about voter caging and GOP-led vote supression might be academic. Barring some tragedy, look for McCain to stay with 5-7 points in national polls while Obama pulls away in the individual state polls.

If it's not politics, it has to be The Who

Last week, I posted a thought about my favorite band in the whole of human history -- The Who. The above video takes about an hour to make my case for me.
Keith Moon was in the very early stages of his decline as The Best Fucking Drummer Ever, losing his place from time-to-time but still incredibly powerful and able work brilliantly off Pete Townshend. John Entwistle's bass rig takes up half the stage as he ably carries the rhythm duties whilst Moon and Townshend have some fun.
Roger Daltrey often gets neglected in discussions about vintage Who. He was able to fill the room with very strong voice in the midst of the very loud and powerful work of his bandmates, all of whom rank at, or very near, the top of live rock musicians. His voice asserts itself well and properly without getting in the way of the energy of his backing band.
The Who were like a lot of British bands that came in the wake of the Beatles, with just one properly trained musician (Entwistle) and incredibly varied influences like Eddie Cochran, Mose Allison, Stax and Motown, and too many more to list here. The Who were on the crest of the developments such things as using feedback and distortion and the Marshall stack, which made it possible to play over huge crowds in basketball arenas and football stadiums. In fact, Entwistle and Townshend bought their gear from Jim Marshall's shop and commissioned the first big cabinet amplifiers. Clapton, Hendrix and others quickly caught on and the big rock and roll concert sound was born.
Anyway, by the mid-70s, The Who was generally considered without peer on stage (sorry Zepplin fans; it's true). Hit the video and tell me later if you don't agree.

McCain still standing, for now

In case you didn't see my update below, I gave Obama the win last night on a split card. McCain effectively used his inner rage to strengthen his standing with conservative white guys, but Obama's Buster Douglas-like jabbing skills kept Iron John from hurting him.

UPDATE: The meme is emerging today that Obama=Kennedy and McCain=Nixon, circa 1960. I am biased to agree with this view, but I do see genuine logic in it. Obama was confident and assertive; McCain was stand-offish and prone to regurgitating talking points. I'm sure the 1960 debate is up on YouTube; watch it and tell me what you think of this analysis
The bad news for John, however, is that his VP choice is going up against Joe Biden next week.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A preview of Maron v. Seder

Too funny...Wednesday can't come soon enough.

Slow motion trainwreck

Surprise, surprise! McCain goes to Washington, tries to get the House Republicans to score some populist points for him without pissing off his patrons on Wall Street, fails, and winds up going to the debate anyway. I was going to liveblog the debate, but I have decided to savor what I'm sure will be a slow motion trainwreck without the distraction of typing.

UPDATE: McCain held up better than I expected. His persistence in telling the same lies over and over again probably helped sustain him. Obama did well, probably winning by split decision.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wow. Just, wow.

Wow, it's only September and McCain has already conceded. Al Giordano sums it up much better than I could:
McCain's proposal to postpone Friday's debate is already an epic fail.
Barney Frank nails it: "It's the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys."
Pass incomplete.
Obama's going to Mississippi to debate an empty chair if need be: "Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time. It's not necessary for us to think that we can do only one thing, and suspend everything else."
There's a basic law of physics here: Objects in motion stay in motion. This juggernaut of a campaign, the millions of volunteers and small donors, the media budgets lavished on it, a year of meticulous and fair planning by the national debate commission... no one man, not even a candidate, can stop that by unilateral fiat. I'm impressed by how quickly McCain's gambit crumbled in the course of two afternoon hours (and take back my previous statement that it didn't seem like a bad move).
Wow. Just, wow.
If this were chess, McCain would be in check right now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I know this sounds nutty, but...

Larissa Alexandrovna has just posted a very compelling article at Huffington Post that connects some very scary dots. I hope she is wrong and please feel free to laugh at me for title linking to it if everything works out okay in a few months.
I won't summarize her work here, as she does it very well herself, but I know how it will read to most people. Please suspend your disbelief for a few moments and read it. I really think our form of national governance is in danger of going away.
I generally pooh-pooh most conspiracy theories. I think they the reflect intellectual laziness of their adherents, generally, and some kind of sublimated need for faith for people who can't seem to find a religion that suits them. I do believe that Oswald had help in killing Kennedy, but I really think 9/11 wasn't an inside job so much as it was a mistake by the Bush administration in thinking that a handful of religious zealots couldn't actually fly planes into buildings; however, I do think the hijacked United 93 was shot down by the military after it recognized what said zealots were in the process of pulling off. The official story, while way too politically convenient for Bush, is certainly understandable and probably defensible.
Having said all of that, something is going on now in Washington and on Wall Street that cannot possibly be defended by anyone but Bush, McCain, and their wealthy patrons.


By sometime this evening, you will begin seeing and hearing stories alleging that the Democrats are holding up the president's bailout plan for the economy. You will hear how Sen. Obama and his congressional colleagues are threatening to kill any chance of saving our nation's economy unless they are allowed to make unnecessary changes to the plan.
This, my friends, is bullshit. There is nothing in the proposal for the average taxpayer. The plan the Bush administration is pimping calls for nearly a trillion dollars of your money to be spent buying up paper that Wall Street and foreign banks don't want anymore. The whole point is to let the greedy idiots who caused this mess off the hook with no consequences. Their mistakes go away and they get cash to resume running their companies and the economy into the ground.
Congressional Democrats are starting to speak out about this. Sen. Obama appears to be slowly laying the groundwork for coming out the proposal. The GOP and Sen. McCain will begin shrieking that the Dems are trying to destroying the economy. They will allege that Obama is connected to FannieMae and FreddieMac, two badly run funds that helped created this mess. Not only is that crap, but it obscures the fact that McCain's campaign is run by lobbyists who made millions of dollars advocating for the regulatory changes that allowed this whole mess to happen.
Click above for more.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

So it begins...

Anyone who knows me, or who at least has bothered to click on any of the links in my blogroll, has figured out that I am very, very skeptical about our country's economic prospects over the next decade or so.
Energy prices have risen so much in the last few years that working people are having trouble just affording the gas to get to work. Fuel oil and natural gas prices will be high enough this winter that some of our poor and infirm neighbors are in real danger of freezing to death. I believe this new public urgency about wind and solar power is genuine, but those won't become significant sources of energy for the masses anytime soon.
Medical costs, those banes of my existence, are so high that our next president will be forced to accept huge expansions of Medicaid and Medicare enrollment, price controls, and some kind of statutory path to a national single-payer plan. The greed and short-sightedness of insurance companies and hospital execs have driven us to this point. I know some doctors and I believe them when they say they are trapped in the middle. I imagine the only docs who will bitch about socialized medicine are the ones who make millions providing fake tits and fatter wangs to people with too much money and too little sense.
Housing and construction are fucked, too. Anyone who claims we are close to a bottom in the real estate market (especially in the wildly inflated East and West coasts) is either stupid or lying. Thanks to AIG, getting insurance for large public and commercial construction projects or the bonds to fund said work is now way, way harder than it was before. There are realtors around Indy who are keeping busy enough to get by, but they ain't a whole lot of 'em and they are having more trouble than ever getting mortgages for their clients. This all is a symptom of what's going on in Congress and on Wall Street (hit the title link for more about that mess).
Did I mention the auto industry? Well, Toyota and Honda do a lot of their manufacturing here today and they seem to be getting by. I can't say the same about GM, Ford and Chrysler, however. They are looking for $25 billion or so to keep afloat until they can "retool." GM is so desperate that it rolled out its Volt for the press last week. The Volt, a plug-in hybrid that would be able to go 40 miles on a charge and 300+ miles with the help of a small gas engine to recharge the batteries, is promising, but there are problems. GM doesn't have a reliable battery or capacitor for storage yet, but the company insists it will be on car lots by 2010. Chrysler is run by the guy who ran Home Depot into the ground and Ford seems to be hoping for the glory days of selling millions of high-margin SUVs to come back.
What does this all mean? I think you know what I think. 
My grandma summed it up for me recently. "You know, Mike, I was born in the last Depression and I think I'm going to live long enough to see the next one."
As much as I will hate living through what's coming, I hate that she may see all of that suffering again before her date with St. Peter and my Grandpa.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Josh and Sarah

Joshua's surgery went fine yesterday. The doctor said the damage in his hand was a little worse than expected, but the pin and screws should fix everything hunky-dory. I'm off to Josie's to babysit him today as he begins to convalesce.
In other news, the Palin hits just keep coming. I've linked the title to a diary on Dailykos.com about the Governor's increasingly apparent lying problem. Daily Kos gets knocked for some of the stuff that pops up in the diaries, but this particular post includes transcripts from her and the First Dude's recent TV interviews. Even a knee-jerk hater of liberal blogs can't deny that the VPILF-in-waiting is way, way, way too cavalier with the truth. It's almost as if she doesn't realize all of this crap she's spewing is being taped.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Something to read

Despite whatever the execs tell you, newspapers are still profitable in this country. The corporations that claim to be losing money aren't really losing money; they are running smaller profit margins than they did 10 years ago. I won't go into the why of that, as I have done so previously in this space and rehashing it just makes my blood boil. 
Anyway, hit the link above to read about how some newsroom staffers at the LA Times have finally decided enough is enough. Cutting jobs and coverage is bad enough, but doing so after using the employees' money to buy the damn paper is even worse. 
Off to the hospital to hold Josie's hand during Josh's surgery.


My little man Josh (who just turned 16 -- Jesus!) is getting a pin set in his broken left hand today. Send him a nice thought if you have time today.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I must confess that I am stunned at the turn the presidential race has taken in the last few days. I am referring to the national media's sudden willingness to actually point out how much bald face lying the McCain-Palin campaign has been doing. I never thought I would live to see said media willing to actually call spades spades. 
I would revel more in this wonderful turn of events, but I feel as shitty as a Lehman Bros. shareholder today. I'm in the throes of that nastiest of bugs - the summer cold. I am chugging fluids and trying hard to resist the temptation to lay in bed for the rest of the day. Who am I kidding? I'll be asleep before any of you see this post. 
Have fun at work.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I lied

I know I promised a few days ago to avoid Sarah Palin, but please, please hit the link above. That bitchy twit you don't like from the PTA is the Republican nominee for Vice President.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Click here now

The gist of this post, and much of the rest of Bradblog's work, is that Republicans are sending phony absentee ballots and voter registration forms to MILLIONS of potential Obama (yes, that means black) voters. If the mail is returned or the phony registration form is used, McCain can contest their ballots when they show up to vote. If the people fill out the absentee ballots, they stay home on election day unaware that the vote they cast in the mail is crap.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Aside from Obama finally accusing McCain-Whatshername of "not telling the truth" about their bullshit reform-change-it's not our fault message, there doesn't seem to be much to write about today. 
I've got the week off, which means I'm sitting by the phone waiting for work to call me in because the dozen people above me in seniority didn't answer their phone. I really like working in a Teamsters shop overall (better pay, benefits and very well defined rules for what the bosses can say and do), but weeks like this bite. It's the bad that goes with the good, so I guess I shouldn't bitch. Indiana's unemployment checks aren't anything to brag about, but they're enough to almost get by on during a layoff.
I could get some work done on Black Helicopters, the novella I promised to start excerpting here a month ago, but I just dread it. I'm not blocked, exactly; it's more like taking something that I've already put so much into and have such a fondness for and fucking it up. The characters deserve more than I've shown of them thus far, but I'm afraid of doing too little or too much. In other words, I'm procrastinating.
I could clean the house and do some laundry, but that holds about as much fascination for me as it does for you. 
I could watch a movie, but I sat up until 5 this morning watching Dazed and Confused. I had forgotten how many good actors were in that little gem. Parker Posey personified the perfect high school bitch. I was 9 years old in 1976, but I was surrounded by a shitload of young aunts and uncles who always seemed to be around our house. And many of them had no compunction about smoking pot in front of my sister and me. 
My nostalgia, as well as my respect for Richard Linklatter, were dissipated a bit when I flipped down a channel and tried to watch A Scanner Darkly. I'm all for pushing the envelope, but motion capture annoys me and I've never understood Philip K. Dick's status as a Genre God. I've read a few of his works and they're fine; nothing less and nothing more. I guess I'm just not a fanboy.
Anyway, I've killed enough time. Seder v. Maron starts in about 10 minutes at samsedershow.com, so I think I will saunter on over that way.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Birthday

My mom turns 61 years young today. Send her a nice thought if you have time.


In the next day or so, you will hear and see some chatter about an experiment slated for Wednesday at CERN in Switzerland. Japan, Europe and the U.S. have pooled their resources to build a particle collider that is about to go live. The gist of it is that scientists will smash subatomic particles together at nearly the the speed of light. I'm not a physicist, but I believe they expect to learn neat stuff about the Big Bang. 
Several opponents to the project fear the collision will form a mini-black hole (which could swallow the Earth whole, in theory). I tend to side with the guys who have designed the experiment, but, as I asserted before, I know jack shit about physics.
I do know, however, that many of the physicists who designed the first A-bomb feared it would trigger an endless chain reaction that would burn up the planet. I think nuclear weapons are an awful scourge, but we are still here. My guess is that we will all wake up Thursday morning in good form.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Last thoughts on Palin (for now)

The numbers are in and Sarah Palin has been good for John McCain and the national media. McCain has pulled even with Obama and all anyone can talk about is Palin. I see that Joe Biden joined the establishment chorus this morning in trying to goad the governor into doing unscripted appearances.
All I can say about this hubbub is "Be patient." 
Two months is a long time to hide from the national media, as impotent as it is. As I have written for the last week and a half, Palin's a sincere dunderhead. She believes whatever is coming out of her mouth at any given moment, which puts her squarely in with most Americans. That fact (and her undeniable MILFiness) why she is popular right now; it will also be her undoing. She will appear on TV without handlers soon and say stupid, easy-to-debunk things that the press will jump on. It would be great if she did so in the next week, that would be great. The effect will be the same, however, if she does so in early October.
Don't forget, too, that the tabloids love her rather interesting personal life. The rumor about her faking a pregnancy to cover up for her daughter has pretty well played out, but there appears to be at least one friend of her husband's that she has grudge-fucked because The First Gentleman can't keep his cock in his pants, allegedly. She has also tried to run Wasilla and the state as extensions of her will, a common trait among mouth-breathing right wing Jesus freaks. 
Of course, the proper media will tut-tut such stories, but the Enquirer and every other rag at the checkout line will see nice bumps in circulation over the next two months. As always, money talks and bullshit walks.
GO COLTS!!!!!! 


Guess who has tickets to tonight's home opener? Give up? ME!

Friday, September 5, 2008

When the Who ruled the world

Anyone who knows me is very much aware of my slavish devotion to most things Who. I've seen every incarnation of the band since Kenney Jones replaced the late, great Keith Moon. As badass as the current lineup is (Zak Starkey on drums, Pino Palladino on bass, Simon Townshend on rhythm guitar, Rabbit on Hammond and keyboard all backing Daltrey and Townshend), I must confess than I will always regret having not seen them with Moon before his sad decline in the late 70s.


My old high school classmate Kim is a wonderful illustrator whose work you can find by hitting the I'm with Sully link on my blog roll. Her entry for today really affected me. Here's what I wrote to her:
Your musings about clutter struck a chord with me, Kim. My dad was a linotype machinist and his dad retired out of the composing room at the Star. I actually remember when printing was a trade, rather than hacks like me being just proficient enough with Photoshop and Quark to do the work of five people. I spent a lot of Saturdays at work with my dad watching the old timers dig through hundreds of yards of big stand-up cases looking for fonts, as well as stripping negatives and hand manipulating the exposures on the big cameras to get just the right look on the plate. I love my MacBook, but it does hurt to know that its forebears killed such a neat (and good-paying) trade.

About the rifle-totin' VPILF

Hit the link above for the story behind my favorite Photoshop job of all time. I have removed the photo from this space because the guy who owns the original has asked others not to use it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Palin seemed pretty comfortable onstage Wednesday and, I'm sure, allayed a lot of fears of Republicans who were afraid that she would come off as a MILFy Dan Quayle. Several of the leftie blogs have made the very good point, however, that she overplayed her hand a bit. Her story of being the hockey mom who became a part-time mayor, then governor for almost a year and a half, was God's plenty to leave a good impression on moderate Dems and undecideds.
But she went further to take the same tired, not terribly sharp, swipes at Barack Obama. Republicans, especially mediocrities like Palin, always try to sound witty next to Dems and come off looking like dunderheads. The GOP wins when it attacks with an army of meth-addled dunderheads carrying dull axes in one hand and the Reader's Digest version of the New Testament in the other.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


James Wolcott is a genius:

This is what happens when you pull an unknown Northern Exposure Karen Walker out of the rabbit hat for the second most powerful job in the nation. Had Sarah Palin been on the rubber-chicken circuit for years, as Ronald Reagan had, we would have become familiar with her and her family, much as we did with (say) the Romney fraternity over the long course of the primary campaign. But she was sprung on the country out of nowhere, and just about the first thing we learn about this family-values matriarch is that her unwed teenage daughter is pregnant (then we learn that the governor used the line-item veto to slash funds for teenage mothers--what a monster).

New Kevin Smith flick

Hit the link above to see a NSFW trailer from Kevin (Clerks, Dogma, Chasing Amy) Smith's new movie, Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

This one is good, too

Check out this above link, too.

Palin's executive style

Hit the link above for a look at Sarah Palin's first months as Mayor of Wasilla.

We'll see

Sarah Palin gets to show off her TelePrompter skills to the whole country tonight and I can't wait.
My good friend and colleague Jimmy Tuttle has admonished me for my post last night speculating about a pseudo-dramatic surge to sweep Fred Thompson into the second slot on the GOP ticket. He believes my ideas to be crap. He may be right...okay, he is right. Sarah will stick it out, in all likelihood.
Anyway, I am looking forward to her speech tonight. She has a tightrope to walk, with most of her comments about her record from her first appearance having been thoroughly debunked. She can't just attack Obama, as this is her first real introduction to the country. Selling herself will be her primary job tonight, as another hurricane is getting ready to knock her and McCain back off the front page. They can get out of St. Paul with the last impression being that of 10,000 or so crackers wildly screaming her praises.
We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Look out for the crusty old D.A.

Hey, can you believe it? McCain's failure to check out Sarah Palin is blowing up in his face.
All snark mostly aside, things don't look good for the Republicans' VPILF-in-waiting. The relatively minimal amount of hurricane damage in NOLA has allowed the national press to turn its attention squarely back to Palin today. Unflattering information about her -- trying (and failing) to fire her supposed asshole brother-in-law, endorsing Ted Stevens then condemning him when the FBI showed up with supoenas for all of his files and friends, the pregnant and unwed teenage daughter, the fishy story about her water breaking in Dallas but being able to keep her legs crossed all the way to Anchorage without anyone noticing that she was even pregnant, etc. -- is snowballing down the aisles of the Republican convention.
And the National Enquirer has sent the guys who busted John Edwards up to Alaska to give the Governor a full-body cavity search.
What will happen? Well, I've got some speculations on that and none of them include a happy ending.
First of all, Palin is toast. If she were in good shape with the campaign and the party, she would have spent today visiting live on all of the cable news shows and giving "exclusive" interviews to the network news shows. All we know is that she is supposedly in St. Paul. I'm guessing she is in a hotel suite getting grilled by McCain's handlers about all of the dumb shit she and her husband haven't disclosed yet. They will convince her to come clean about everything, as she doesn't appear smart enough to realize that the handlers will use to send her back to Juneau with her mouth taped shut.
Secondly, every Republican's favorite security blanket, former Sen. Fred Thompson, suddenly bumped Rudy Giuliani out of the prime speaking slot tonight. Thompson, a decent character actor and wildly indifferent presidential candidate, will give Palin a cursory mention before lighting into Obama and Biden. All of the GOP talking heads will immediately hail his remarks in the same light as Lincoln's Second Inaugural.
The fun will start Wednesday morning, I expect the cable news shows to begin crackling with rumors of a "draft Fred for VP" movement taking hold on the convention floor. If that trial balloon is not shot down by the mouth breathing evangelicals and neanderthals like Pat Buchanan by nightfall, look for a dramatic withdrawal announcement by Palin sometime before Thursday morning.
Should my scenario play out, McCain will get a temporary bounce of five or six points and almost draw even with Obama. That "surge" will slowly erode throughout the rest of this month and give way to freefall after the first debate on Sept. 29.
Or not.

And this, too

Hit the title link for some serious sagacity from James Wolcott.

Monday, September 1, 2008

McCain is so fucked

Watch McCain lead spokesperson get taken apart by lightweight Campbell Brown.

Good news and better news

Hey all,
This is the post in which I promise to start posting more, but I won't do that this time. I probably will make multiple posts this week, as I have the whole week off, but we shall see how it goes.
The good news today is that Gustav appears to have been much less destructive than Katrina. NOLA residents learned their lesson a few years ago and got the Hell out of town, the levies are holding and there were enough cops and National Guard troops to handle the situation. We'll see in the next few days how all of those oil platforms and refineries held up.
The better news is John McCain's attempt to piss off the GOP establishment worked brilliantly, so much so that he has effectively eradicated his already slim chances to beat Obama. He wanted Lieberman; the Republican establishment wanted Romney (who just became the party's presumptive nominee to get pounded like a narc at a biker rally in 2012).
Palin is a slow-moving train wreck. She is not at all qualified for the VP job and doesn't seem too bright, at least not thus far. It's a shame that her daughter's aversion to birth control has become a national news story. I believe the governor when she says that she supports her daughter's pregnancy and I give her brownie points for that. I take away points, however, for Palin's decision to accept McCain's offer without consideration for her daughter's privacy. These stories always come out about national candidates and even dunderheads like McCain and Palin should know that. I hope the baby and her teenaged mother are healthy and able to forgive Palin some day for such a selfish decision.
I have trouble believing the national polls that show McCain so close to Obama. From what I can tell, younger voters -- who rely solely on cell phones -- are hardly being sampled. The national media types who use these polls know this, but they use the numbers anyway because their bosses want a seemingly close race in order to pump up viewership and sell ads. Not to beat a dead horse, but this poll business is just another example of how accountants and salesmen have ruined the news business.