Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another Musical Ponderable

Istanbul (Not Constantinople) by They Might Be Giants.

(especially at 0:41)

and Puttin' On The Ritz by Irving "Taco" Berlin

(especially at 0:46)

Apple's Response

Apple should take a page from Shakespeare and mount a play-within-a-play:

PC stages his own (pathetic) little ad in an attempt to mock Mac, and ends up getting the tables turned on him. No?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Here come the endorsements

First up, The Seattle Times:
Obama should be the next president of the United States because he is the most qualified change agent. Obama is a little young, but also brilliant. If he sometimes seems brainy and professorial, that's OK. We need the leader of the free world to think things through, carefully. We have seen the sorry results of shooting from the hip.

The Iraq war: Many Americans will cast their vote on this one issue alone. Past performance is the best indicator of future conduct. Obama opposed the war, McCain supported it full-bore. Obama has a plan for moving the troops out; McCain seeks "victory," whatever that actually means. The net effect will be more time and money wasted in a country that did not participate in 9/11.

On numerous other issues, from media consolidation to health care, Obama has the stronger take. He makes up for a thin résumé with integrity, judgment and fresh ideas. Obama can get America moving forward again.

Deregulate Health Care

John McCain wants to do for healthcare, what Phil Gramm did for banking.

Good luck with that, pal!

Palin is Change Floridians Can Believe In

Change in support from McCain to Obama that is.

Maybe hold off on that new camera?

Apparently the HD-Video features on the new DSLR's aren't so great yet...

That's from the new Nikon.

Obama Nails McCain to Fiorina, Gramm and Bush

These ads are getting better and tougher. I like seeing the Democrats playing offense.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fake Sarah Palin

If you're not following FakeSarahPalin on Twitter, you really should start.
FakeSarahPalin I agree w/ John, it's time to fire the head of the SEC. COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS UNCOMPETITIVE & other regions deserve a chance!!

It just keeps getting better

Those new lame Microsoft ads that are going to replace the old lame Microsoft ads?

Made on a Mac.

Here is the monstrosity.


Most defensive ad ever?

The SuperSystem Speaks -- Week 3

The SuperSystem -- with no knowledge of anything about football other than last year's records and a painstaking mathematical study of the NFL since 1988 -- makes the following predictions for Week 2:

ATLANTA over Kansas City
BUFFALO over Oakland
CHICAGO over Tampa Bay
TENNESSEE over Houston
MINNESOTA over Carolina
NEW ENGLAND over Miami
NY GIANTS over Cincinnati
WASHINGTON over Arizona
SAN FRANCISCO over Detroit
SEATTLE over St. Louis
DENVER over New Orleans
PHILADELPHIA over Pittsburgh
INDIANAPOLIS over Jacksonville
BALTIMORE over Cleveland
GREEN BAY over Dallas
SAN DIEGO over NY Jets

This week's suicide pick: New England
Biggest remaining mismatch: St. Louis at New England, week 8

Season to date: 19-13

The SuperSystem Spoke -- Week 2

I forgot to put this up last week, but these were the predictions.

The SuperSystem -- with no knowledge of anything about football other than last year's records and a painstaking mathematical study of the NFL since 1988 -- made the following predictions for Week 2:

CINCINNATI over Tennessee
GREEN BAY over Detroit
KANSAS CITY over Oakland
NY GIANTS over St. Louis
MINNESOTA over Indianapolis
WASHINGTON over New Orleans
CAROLINA over Chicago
SEATTLE over San Francisco
TAMPA BAY over Atlanta
ARIZONA over Miami
DENVER over San Diego
PITTSBURGH over Cleveland
DALLAS over Philadelphia
OAKLAND over Denver

This week's suicide pick: Arizona
Biggest remaining mismatch: St. Louis at New England, week 8

Week 1 Perfomance: 9-7
Week 2 Perfomance: 10-6
Season to date: 19-13

Freud much?

John McCain says he puts "Country First."

Apparently Sarah Palin puts herself in front of John McCain:

Nagourney Gets Medieval on McCain

This is pretty brutal stuff:
These days, he sounds less like his old self than Bob Dole, another senator who ran for president in 1996, sounded in the closing days of his campaign — speaking louder or repeating statements that he thinks might be overlooked.

It makes you almost feel bad for---


Mark, You Ignorant Slut

Let's recap, shall we?

  1. Even after cramming for the test, Palin has no idea about the Bush Doctrine.
  2. Tina makes moosemeat of Sarah.
  3. Karl Rove calls McCain out for lying too much.
  4. Joe Biden gives John McCain a new nickname.
  5. McCellophane can't get anyone to notice him.
  6. Palin's numbers go in the toilet.
  7. McCain decides to go Full Hoover on the day Merril Lynch and Lehman Brothers fail.
  8. Economic Advisor Holtz-Eakin claims that computer illiterate McCain pulled a MacGyver and invented the BlackBerry.
  9. Economic Advisor Fiorina opines that neither candidate on her own ticket are qualified to run a company.
  10. McCain unwittingly resorts to ethnic slurs.
  11. McCain loses Richard Cohen.
  12. McCain loses David Brooks.
  13. McCain loses former biographer Elizabeth Drew.
  14. Obama gets endorsed by the Republican former Governor of Virginia.
  15. Obama gets endorsed by the Republican former Mayor of Los Angeles.
  16. McCain gets battered by the Editorial Boards. And the AP.
  17. Chuck Hagel goes on record laughing about foreign policy credentials via osmosis.
  18. Obama raises a record $11 million -- in one night.
  19. John McCain accidentally declares war on Spain.
  20. One week ago, John McCain led in the national polls. Now--not so much.
So, please tell us, O Mark Halperin, who "won the week"?

Why, none other than John McCain, of course!

John McCain's Brain Fails Mainly Regarding Spain

By George he's lost it...

By George he's lost it!
And thus, the Senator finds himself in what appears to be an embarrassing if not potentially damaging proposition: either admit to confusing the name of the Spanish prime minister, a tough pill to swallow even with the built in perception that he is the candidate with foreign policy know-how, or explain away a position on U.S.-Spain relations that appears far outside the mainstream.

Perhaps, the animosity can be explained more easily: John is still remembering the Maine!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rub Her Nose In It

This is awesome:

Click here and you can make a donation to Planned Parenthood--in Sarah Palin's name!

They will even send her a card (if you put down the McCain Campaign address.)

New Coke Redux

The Bill Gates-Jerry Seinfeld ads? Cancelled.


Oh, Lord. The replacement sounds much, much, much worse.

Really, a John Hodgman lookalike?

The irony, of course, is that:

Hodgman : lame, cheap knock-off of Hodgman :: OS X : Windows.

Today's Political Ponderable

Is winning the Presidential election as simple as this:

The funnier candidate wins?

2004. Bush funnier than Kerry.
2000. Bush funnier than Gore (v. 2.000).
1996. Clinton funnier than Dole.
1992. Clinton funnier than Bush.
1988. No award given.
1984. Reagan funnier than Mondale.
1980. Reagan funnier than Carter.
1976. No award given.
1972. McGovern, least funny candidate in sixty years?
1968. Humphrey, second least funny candidate in sixty years?
1964. Johnson funnier than Goldwater.
1960. Kennedy funnier than Nixon.

Funny = "more human" = "more relatable."

Keep an eye on the zinger war.

How to Influence Seniors and Win Elections

It's really simple.

John McCain and George Bush wanted to privatize Social Security in 2005.

"Hey Seniors, how would your Social Security look if it was all in the market today?"

End of discussion.

One thing is for sure

Obama's zingers are getting better.


The Canon 5D

The best trend in Digital SLR cameras is adding the ability to shoot 1080p High Def Video.

Leave John McCain Alone!

Apparently Sarah "Boom-Boom" Palin gets really indignant with Fair and Balanced(tm) "journalist" Sean Hannity about the Democrats being mean to John McCain for saying that the fundamentals of the economy were strong.

Initially, I think she was told to just point out that McCain was quoting President Hoover on the day after Black Tuesday, 1929 when he said the same thing. Apparently she declined because she didn't believe that a vacuum cleaner was ever President.

They are cheap. They are easy.

But I still love them:

John McCain Invented the Blackberry

Sarah Palin is your new Segway

The Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator

(Mine is "Spoon Archer Palin.")

Lady de Rothchild III, Esq., Inc., LLC

Something tells me that in a week where you are making one calamitous gaffe after another and the economy is going to hell in a handbasket, getting the endorsement of a former Hillary Clinton fundraiser, and billionairess isn't quite the get for John McCain right now.


Fiorina iced.

Why 2008 Matters

And now, a special comment by Greg Ostrander:

While I can appreciate that there are tactical reasons to run on the economy and the war, from where I sit there are far larger issues at stake in this election. There are certainly points on which I disagree with Obama, but he is a very smart man who cares about the large and serious issues that confront our country, and though he has not emphasized it recently, I believe he has the background to address one of the most pernicious legacies of the Bush administration.

One aspect of this election that gets lost in the shuffle as the campaign highlights the economic concerns facing our nation is the dramatic loss of our moral compass over the last eight years. Russia doesn't feel any need to listen to moral suasion from a country that engaged in torture in Iraq, "extraordinary rendition" throughout the world (an oblique way of saying kidnapping without judicial process with an end result of harsh interrogation if not torture), and a war based on trumped up claims of WMDs and links to 9/11. The economy is certainly important, but our nation was founded on principles that go beyond the current economic outlook, principles that have truly been endangered by the vast and arrogant expansion of Presidential power the current administration has engaged in.

Obama is a constitutional law expert, and has the fortitude to make hard choices without imperiling the constitutional goals that are the true source of the greatness of our country. McCain heralded a recent Supreme Court decision that granted rights to detainees as one of the worst in our history, a shocking interpretation of a decision that allows individuals against whom no charges have been brought to challenge their detention in federal court. This is one of the most fundamental aspects of the rule of law: that an executive authority does not have unilateral power to lock someone up and throw away the key without a check by another branch of government to confirm that such detention is appropriate. Bush has repeatedly attacked such rights as incompatible with his view of executive prerogative. McCain has now indicated a clear agreement with this approach, and whether through repeated arguments, by ignoring the Court, or by replacing a current liberal with a far right justice it is clear that he will continue this unprecedented attack on the very core of our constitutional system. We can't afford another 4 years where the basic elements of our system are under relentless attack. The price is too high.

I have been too sanguine regarding this election up until now. I just couldn't see how the people of this nation could stomach the ticket the Republicans have offered and the absolute failure of the Republicans to put forth any positive ideas regarding the challenges we face. We can't afford to be complacent any longer. There is still time before the election to make a real difference in the communities we live. The Obama campaign has done a remarkable job of building the organizational infrastructure necessary to make sure that your time and energies aren't wasted. Here is the link for the "neighbor to neighbor" page on Obama's website, but there are other ways of helping the campaign and I would encourage you to explore the website and get in touch with your local office to find a way to volunteer in a manner that fits your personality. If time is a luxury that you don't have enough of, I would encourage you to donate here which will provide for a doubling of your contribution if it is made prior to Friday. And if you want to get fired up about what Obama's candidacy means to this country, and all of the different types of people who are our fellow Americans, I would suggest you click here.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rove Protested at Claremont McKenna

For some inexplicable reason, Claremont McKenna invited Karl Rove to speak at their Athenaeum lecture series yesterday. Fortunately due in no small part to the adjacency of Pomona College, he was heckled before, during and after his speech.


Bait and Switch?

Why did Bill Clinton send out an email today decrying the slimy attacks of the Republicans, tell me how we need to all come together and get Barack Obama elected, and then offer to let me donate... Hillary Clinton's campaign?

If McCain Ever Takes Questions Again

A reporter really needs to ask John McCain if he thinks it's a good thing that his economic advisor Carly Fiorina got a $42 million golden parachute from Hewlett-Packard in light of the 24,600 layoffs that Hewlett-Packard announced today.

Et tu, Carly?

A radio talk show host asks humor-deficient former HP CEO Carly Fiorina if Sarah Palin is qualified to be CEO of HP.

Carly's answer: no.

Mr. Cellophane

Dramatis Personae

Richard Gere as Rick Davis, John McCain's campaign manager
Renee Zellweger as Sarah Palin
John C. Reilly as John McCain

MoveOn Hits One out of the Park

I love this: it hits McCain twice, once politically and once personally--which I think is the secret of all effective attack ads. Politically, on his lobbyist pals/his puppeteers. Personally, on his mockable "my friends" tic--which even his own campaign can't stand to hear him use.

Barack 101

There are only a few more weeks of voter registration in most states.

That means, by the beginning of October, the entire universe of voters will be set. That's it. No more.

What this means is: once October begins, there are only two ways for Obama to increase his support:
  1. Persuading undecided voters and converting wavering Republican voters.
  2. Making sure that every single voter who supports Obama votes on election day.

As November draws closer, I'll talk more about about the way to make sure everyone votes. But for now, the focus has to be on persuasion.

The Obama campaign will be focused on persuasion through their advertising, debate performance and their attempts to control their message through the media. This is the effort that will be coming from the top, down to the people. This is what all of your donations are financing.

However, there is an even bigger and more important persuasion effort raging right now. Every single Obama supporter in the country is a surrogate for the campaign.

You are trying to convert your friends, or your sister-in-law in a swing state, or a friend at work that may be listening to a little too much conservative AM radio.

The only way this is going to work is if everyone contributes to this effort non-stop for the next 49 days.

The only way we are going to be effective surrogates for the campaign is if we can frame the issues effectively and confidently make the clear distinctions with John McCain and his policies.

The only way to do that is to be informed.

Welcome to Barack 101.

Every one of you has an assignment this week. Mandatory. No exceptions.

You must read this Daily Kos diary.

You can print it out and read it. But then you must read it online. And you must click on at least a few of the links.

Bookmark it. Go back to it. You don't have to cram Palin-style, but make yourself as familiar with the details as possible.

Your final exam will be November 4th.

The good news is that it's Pass/Fail.

The bad news is that it will not be offered again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Your Move, John

After getting called out by his previous supporters in the real media, Fox News, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch and even Karl Rove himself, John McCain--already running against his own party who has been the incumbent power for the past 8 years--may have only one option left:

McCain must denounce the slimy tactics of his campaign and start running against himself.

Obama De-Defunds the 527s

And they go on the attack. (But they get two minutes for slashing.)


The incompetent former HP CEO and current McCain advisor Carly Fiorina takes the bait:
"I think of course [Tina Fey's] portrait was very dismissive of the substance of Sarah Palin,” Fiorina argued, calling it “totally superficial,” “disrespectful in the extreme,” and “sexist.”

Tina Fey 1, Republicans 0

Aww, Poor Baby...

Johnny McCain forgot to bring his shiny new bicycle to school today...and now no one wants to play with him.

Did Charlie and Tina Do Their Jobs?

Palin fading?


Here are Sarah Palin's daily approval numbers from the Daily Kos/Research 2000 tracking poll:


In the span of five days, Palin has gone from +17 to +4 -- a statistically significant shift. This includes the Gibson interview as well as the media's sudden focus late last week on the Palin/McCain lies. In comparison, Biden is at 48/32/20, Obama is at 54/38/8, and McCain is at 51/45/4.

So Palin may not be the least popular of the four -- McCain is, but she is certainly the least liked of the four candidates, and given that both Obama and Biden are at +16 favorability, McCain's +6 and and Palin's +4 point to a fundamental weakness that will likely play a role moving forward.

Is Rasmussen Also Cooking the Polls?

How else can you explain this?

A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that while 31% of adults want CBS’s Two and a Half Men to win the Emmy for best comedy, only 27% think the show actually will win. Instead, 33% believe The Office will win that Emmy, even though slightly fewer adults (28%) want it to take home the coveted award.

Only 11% want last year’s winner for the best comedy series, 30 Rock, to be a repeat awardee.

Clearly Rasmussen oversamples mouth breathers.

Today's Classic Rock Ponderable

Are Bad Company's "Feel Like Making Love" and Crosby, Stills and Nash's "Southern Cross" exactly the same song?

If not, why not?

Your Family Reunion Will Suck

Sweet Johnny McCain's Cousin:

So, where is the straight-talking, commonsense John McCain of 2000? I'm afraid he is long gone, replaced by a desperate version of himself who seems to contradict nearly everything he once stood for.

What becomes apparent in his ideological about-face is just how out of touch McCain really is with America's working families.

In a time when the country is facing the worst housing crisis in the memory of most Americans, McCain couldn't even recall how many homes he owns. When asked how many homes my side of the family owns, I can answer you pretty quickly. Zero.

Cassius Obama

I think Obama has waited until the sheer weight of lies and smears hit a critical mass. Now he has complete license (and in fact, encouragement) from the press to hit McCain as hard as he wants to.

This is a good start:

This is, of course, essentially what he did in the primaries. Hillary hit and hit and hit and hit. Then the public decided she was running a crazy negative, slander-filled campaign. The net result was her favorables went down and Obama's went up--even when he counterpunched.

Obama did the same thing over the summer. McCain attacked, and attacked, and attacked, and attacked. Obama didn't seem to retaliate very effectively.

Until the convention.

With a litany of scurrilous McCain attacks having piled up (by the way, that's an ablative absolute, for those of you scoring at home), the rhetorical power of Obama's acceptance speech was greatly magnified in a way that would not have been possible had McCain's attacks been rebutted more fervently.

"Enough!" anyone?

It feels to me that Obama is repeating this strategy a third time. Yes, it's been muddied by the uncertainty on how to respond to Palin. But the facts are McCain has unloaded his cannons--hurt Obama, but permanently ruined his previously untouchable reputation with the refs. Obama has survived this onslaught and now is the sentimental favorite again--a role that he plays exceptionally well. When he seems wronged, his supporters rally, his fundraising spikes and his volunteer numbers swell.

If the Obama campaign has learned anything over the course of this brutal election cycle, it's that being the frontrunner kind of sucks. The pundits and the comedians turn against you. Your base gets complacent. You are a marked man.

In some ways, being the underdog in the polls (no matter how dubious) is the best thing that could happen to Obama coming into the first debate from a media narrative perspective. I think that David Plouffe, et al. are cool, calm and collected because they geniunely don't think the polls are that important--especially the daily tracking polls. I think they believe in the mathematical reality of the polity and the advantages they have in organization and field work.

As an aside, I think that there is a neat parallel between the 527 and the ground game. Obama is trying to quickly rectify his mistake in defunding the independent 527 organizations. McCain is trying to quickly rectify his lack of ground game deficit with his Palin-energized based. My sense is both of these efforts will come too late for both candidates to close the gap with the other. Both 527s and GOTV efforts require months and months of preparation, and while last minute infusions of energy and capital can help, with fifty days to go, as a great man once said, "time is a luxury you don't have."

Gallup's Wilful Deception

Remember when I said this?:

While McCain is definitely getting a bounce in the polls, pollsters seem to be--at the same time--increasing the number of Republicans that they poll and decreasing the number of Democrats.

Now weighting polls is standard operating procedure, but making this change, while McCain is getting his convention bounce is amplifying the magnitude of this bounce. What is less than clear is if this is a real effect, or artificial.

Yeah, it's pretty much confirmed:

In other words, Gallup is admitting the following:

    1. At the time it released the September 8th poll (showing McCain up by 10), it believed institutionally that likely voter results were less accurate than registered voter results.
    1. Likely voter results have only occasionally diverged from the registered voter results.
    1. Despite these facts, Gallup deliberately chose to release, to the widest fanfare possible, a poll using an admittedly less accurate method (the likely voter method) at the time of McCain's maximum convention bounce, knowing that it would show a large divergence (+10 for McCain vs. only +4 with registered voters) based on the likely voter method, even though such a divergence is not often present.
    1. In short, they combined all possible factors in McCain's favor to make his lead seem as big as possible -- and the media went wild with it.

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Why John McCain = Microsoft

    (this is not a compliment)

    Daniel Eran:

    • Pretending to play the role of an underdog outsider while actually being an authority with monopoly control.
    • Appeals to uninformed audiences who don’t even realize that what they’re celebrating is not in their own best interests.
    • Can’t function on the web.

    The Anonymous Cartoonist Strikes

    Delicious Irony

    Skin cancer survivor John McCain's VP pick Sarah Palin installed a tanning bed in the Alaskan Governor's mansion.

    “The governor did have a tanning bed put in the Governor’s Mansion,” Roger Wetherell, chief communications officer of Alaska’s Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, confirmed to this newspaper. “It was done shortly after she took office [in early 2007] and moved into the mansion.”

    Seattle Sports Fans and Democrats

    The top ten similarities:

    1. You never seem to win in the playoffs (but you do really well during the regular season.)

    2. You're accused of being too nice and lacking a killer instinct.

    3. You suffer from extreme media bias against you.

    4. The Superbowl XL refs were clearly working for the Ohio Secretary of State in 2004, and Katherine Harris in 2000.

    5. You feel like your team is always playing not to lose.

    6. Mike Holmgren runs on 3rd and 12 about as effectively as Democrats run attack ads.

    7. Your biggest hero turns out to be kind of a douche.

    8. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth screw you over.

    9. You hate your former players with a dark, eternal thirst for revenge that can never be slaked.

    10. You've had your heart broken too many times.

    America is likely to be eaten by a grue

    Infocomphiles only, please.

    Defining Palin

    The three most important women in America standing between Sarah Palin and the old Naval Observatory.

    1. Tina Fey
    2. Gwen Ifill
    3. (distant) Hillary Rodham Clinton