Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Note to John McCain

John McCain: I do believe that he’s hell-bent on the restoration of Russia as a major power in the world.

Note to John McCain: Russia is a major power in the world.

On a lighter note

Via Ben Smith: The Obama-Rama sounds like a very tasty drink.

Bill Gwatney died

R.I.P. Bill Gwatney

You will be missed.

I agree with Al Giordano

That's hardly a surprise, as I go to The Field when I find myself thinking Chicken Little thoughts, but this is especially perceptive:
Since he became the presumptive nominee, Obama's campaign has been hitting hard at McCain and he has been hitting back at his rival's attacks. And his punches have been connecting in ways that soften McCain up for harder punches come autumn, while also giving McCain enough rope to behave in such a way that drives up the Republican's own negatives.
I read that statement earlier today, but it didn't really sink in until I read this post by Joe Klein:
But there is no excuse for what the McCain campaign is doing on the "putting America first" front. There is no way to balance it, or explain it other than as evidence of a severe character defect on the part of the candidate who allows it to be used. There is a straight up argument to be had in this election: Mcain has a vastly different view from Obama about foreign policy, taxation, health care, government name it. He has lots of experience; it is always shocking to remember that this time four years ago, Barack Obama was still in the Illinois State Legislature. Apparently, though, McCain isn't confident that conservative policies and personal experience can win, given the ruinous state of the nation after eight years of Bush. So he has made a fateful decision: he has personally impugned Obama's patriotism and allows his surrogates to continue to do that. By doing so, he has allied himself with those who smeared him, his wife, his daughter Bridget, in 2000. Those tactics won George Bush a primary--and a nomination. But they proved a form of slow-acting spiritual poison, rotting the core of the Bush presidency. We'll see if the public decides to acquiesce in sleaze in 2008, and what sort of presidency--what sort of country--that will produce.
I mean, when you've lost the Joe Kleins/Thomas Friedmans of the world, who do you alienate next, Mark Halperin?

A little sadness

I'm sad to see that Gov. Brian Schweitzer will be speaking on Tuesday. There go my secret hopes for an Arabic-speaking Vice Presidential nominee. Oh well, there's still hope for someone fluent in Spanish.


This doesn't sound legal to me:

One of the more unusual schemes to raise money for Barack Obama comes from Dr. Emil Chynn, of the Park Avenue Laser Vision Center who describes himself as an “avid” Obama supporter.

In a press release, Dr. Chynn is making the following pitch: He is proposing a fund-raising raffle to support Mr. Obama in which Dr. Chynn will perform a “no cut, no flap LASEK” procedure to “one lucky winner” of the raffle. He plans to sell 111 of the tickets, which will be priced at $20 each to the “visually challenged.” That will raise $2,220, which Dr. Chynn said he will donate to the Obama campaign.

Although, I could use the surgery...

Worst picture of McCain?

I don't know if this is the picture I want to go out publicizing my daughter's book about me:

How creepy is that?

More good news for John McCain

Barack Obama still leads 46-43. Seriously, I wish I were making this stuff up, but it seems that everything is good news for John McCain.

Meghan McCain's new book about her father's life

This is an interesting fact about the book:
Cindy McCain, along with Meghan's siblings Jack, Jimmy and Bridget, are described fondly in the book — but the children from McCain’s first marriage are left unmentioned.
We wouldn't want any children to know that daddy likes to run around on crippled mommy with a younger blonde, now would we?

Sen. Bob Casey

I'm happy to see that Sen. Casey will be speaking at the Democratic Convention. I'm less happy to see that the lie promulgated that his father wasn't allowed to speak in 1992 because the elder Robert Casey was "anti-abortion." No, Gov. Casey refused to endorse Bill Clinton.

Hillary Clinton losing does not equal Chinese Oppression

I wrote a while ago about how Hillary Clinton losing doesn't equal rape, and here is it's follow up guide to how Hillary Clinton losing doesn't equal Chinese political oppression.

From the NY Observer:
“Hi everybody. I hope that the Denver convention will be turned into the American equivalent of Tiananmen Square,” wrote a commenter named “johninca” on a Web site announcing PUMA’s 2008 “convention” in Washington.
What happened in Tiananmen Square:
In Beijing, the resulting military response to the protesters by the PRC government left many civilians dead or injured. The reported tolls ranged from 200–300 (PRC government figures), to 300–800 (The New York Times), and to 2,000–3,000 (Chinese student associations and Chinese Red Cross).
Hillary Clinton supporters are protesting this:
Hillary Clinton lost a primary Election
Participants in Tiananmen Sqaure protested this:
The PRC is known for its intolerance of organized dissent towards the government. Dissident groups are routinely arrested and imprisoned, often for long periods of time and without trial. One of the most famous dissidents is Zhang Zhixin, who is known for standing up against the ultra-left.[31] Incidents of torture, forced confessions and forced labour are widely reported. Freedom of assembly and association is extremely limited.
Oh so similar.

New Obama Ad

Loves it. It does the following
  1. Highlights link between McCain and Dubya
  2. Highlights link between the Iraq War and our economy
  3. Highlights Iraq's surplus due to high oil costs
  4. Highlights Sen. Obama's positive message
This is the definition of a contrast ad. It's not negative, it's not false - it presents a contrast between the failed Bush/McCain economic policies and the promise of better Obama policies.

MoDo too

It seems that today I agree with those who normally I can't even read. MoDo sums up my feelings about Hillary Clinton with this:

Obama also allowed Hillary supporters to insert an absurd statement into the platform suggesting that media sexism spurred her loss and that “demeaning portrayals of women ... dampen the dreams of our daughters.” This, even though postmortems, including the new raft of campaign memos leaked by Clintonistas to The Atlantic — another move that undercuts Obama — finger Hillary’s horrendous management skills.

Besides the crashing egos and screeching factions working at cross purposes, Joshua Green writes in the magazine, Hillary’s “hesitancy and habit of avoiding hard choices exacted a price that eventually sank her chances at the presidency.”

It would have been better to put this language in the platform: “A woman who wildly mismanages and bankrupts a quarter-of-a-billion-dollar campaign operation, and then blames sexism in society, will dampen the dreams of our daughters.”

Otherness and Sen. Obama

For once, I absolutely agree with Michael Crowley:

Peter Beinart argues that race is holding Obama back in the polls, and urges him to take a high-profile stand against race-based--and in favor of class-based--affirmative action to assuage white fears.

That might be a good start. But it doesn't do much about myths that he's a Muslim and a foreigner who doesn't love the flag, etc., and I suspect those things are tied up with the race question in a way that such an affirmative action gambit wouldn't remedy.

I have always thought that the "otherness" problem for Sen. Obama is a problem that candidate would face. He's just happens to be tied into "Muslim." No Black candidate would be considered sufficiently patriotic aka grateful for America.


Steve at The Carpetbagger Report highlights the Democratic platform's "shift" in language describing its position on abortion:

But it’s not necessarily a policy change to argue that the party “strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs.” Wallis calls this a “shift”; I call this the same policy Dems have supported for years.

Some of this may be procedural in nature. Waldman noted, “Pro-life religious liberals were included in the process like they haven’t been before. They’re thrilled with their participation and feel that the platform moved in the right direction as a result.”

I’m glad they’re encouraged; it’s a sign of respect to have a seat at the table. But the platform itself, at least in this draft form, seems pretty similar, if not identical, to the party’s position on the issue for years.

It's interesting to compare this to my time at the UN, monitoring the status of various resolutions. Giving someone a real voice in creating the document is very important, which is why we saw so many of the LDCs and LLDCs gather together into groups to influence the final resolution.

Go Mark Warner

I went to school in Virginia while Mark Warner was Governor, and let me say this: the only reason Jim Webb was able to become Senator is because Mark Warner laid a foundation of Democrat awesomeness in that state. The only reason Tim Kaine became Governor is Mark Warner. The only reason Barack Obama has a chance of winning Virginia is Mark Warner. Democrats were dead in that state before Mark Warner became Governor. If Virginia didn't have silly term-limited Governors, Mark Warner would still be Governor. There is a reason that the current Sen. Warner (R-VA) almost refused to endorse Jim Gilmore, the Republican running for his open Senate seat is Mark Warner.

Mark Warner was my early favorite for Vice President, but if he can't be a great Vice President, he can be a great Keynote speaker and a great Senator.

PS I've met Sen. John Warner several times, and let me tell you, he is hysterical. I mean, how else could he become husband #7 of Elizabeth Taylor?