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Political Pastimes

"All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt its spiritual level to the perception of the least intelligent of those towards whom it intends to direct itself."

-Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf ("My Struggle"), Vol. I


This is an archive of older items. 
For the current Election updates, visit the Main Political Pastimes page.
 

September 2008

Blowback

  • Obama has raised $8 million, no, make that $10 million, since the Palin speech.  GOP has raised $1 million. (WSJ)
  • Are McCain and Bush the same person?  Have you ever see one drinking water while the other is talking...? (YouTube)
  • Convention Bounce? Second by second (not really, but it looks like it) polling from Rasmussen. And more information from the Gallup daily poll.
  • Me, myself and I. Someone actually stayed awake long enough to count how many times John Bush --Ooops, I mean John McCain--said "I"? "When can we expect Fournier to tally up the number of times John "cause greater than self" McCain used the pronoun "I" in his convention speech?" (MediaMatters)
  • During his big speech, John McCain was standing in front of a projection of a building, but what building? Turns out they picked the Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood.  An odd choice-- why would you do that? Daily Kos has some insights.  Perhaps they meant to use a photo of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Or maybe they used it because it was used in the West Wing?  McCain Camp?  Not talking to the biased liberal scummy media types. (Daily Kos/ABC)
  • Dems are now leading in CO, IA, NV, NM, ND and OH. (Electoral-Vote.com)
  • A few more details on the truth-torturing that took place at the RNC: "Sarah Palin’s much-awaited speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night may have shown she could play the role of attack dog, but it also showed her to be short on facts when it came to touting her own record and going after Obama’s." (FactCheck.org)
  • About Sarah Palin, views from Wasilla resident Anne Kilkenny have been making the email rounds, but we wonder, of course, is this a real person?  Here is the word on who Anne  is from the blog FairlyConservative.
  • And 80s band Heart wants their song back: Nancy and Ann Wilson emailed the following statement regarding the use of the song "Barracuda" to intro Sarah Palin at the RNC: "Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there." (EW) Update: Heart guitarist Roger Fisher announced that his part of the royalties will be donated right to the Obama campaign, so go ahead Sarah, use it all you like.

Stormy Weather

Quality... at the RNC

  • Convention Day Four:
    • In another natural disaster/coincidence, of the sort that have dogged the Republican Convention, the GOP 's final convention day has somehow inadvertently fallen on the same night as the NFL season opener.  OOOOOooooh.  Tough choice!  Kickoff or kicked in the groin?(UPI)
    • Sarah Palin parody vlog, two more installments. (YouTube)
    • A video introducing Cindy McCain has a bit about how John romanced Cindy Lou and how they both lied about their ages when they met. Uh-huh, this is the guy Cindy will describe not twenty minutes later in her speech as the man "who always speaks the truth, no matter what the cost."
    • How must John McCain's first wife Carol must feel? McCain and Carol were still married at the time of John's cocktail party romance with Cindy. John and Carol were still married for the six months that he pursued Cindy.  He actually got the marriage license to marry Cindy a month before his divorce from Carol was granted.  It was such a bitter pill for Carol's friends that even the Reagans cooled in their friendship with McCain over it. (LAT)
    • The World's Longest Introduction to a Candidate, Who's Already Been Introduced About Six Times in Three Days. Says Cindy, "From its very birth, our party has been grounded in the notion of service, community, self-reliance..."  OH, are you like, um...um,  "COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS"? (Fox)
    • Cindy McCain being interviewed by Katie Couric.  No, no,  don't skip this one.  Don't bypass it.  It's too delicious, if only for the moment when you realize that Cindy has no clue what the phrase "overturn Roe v. Wade" actually means. (HuffPo)
    • John McCain, War Hero is on! I don't have anything pithy to say about this speech to be honest,  it's just a recap of the homespun Republican cliches that they've been using since Reagan.  If I'm being perfectly frank, I haven't seen the whole speech.  I nearly fell asleep watching it, except when the protesters were dragged off.  He should thank them.  They awakened half his snoozing audience. (YouTube)
  • Tom Ridge says: "John Bush is very much his own man..." I'll let you just watch this one. (YouTube)
  • So how much is Mrs. Palin helping John McCain? ABC's new poll tells the story in the ideological center: "Among moderates, Biden registers as a net 15-point positive for Obama. In the same group, Palin shows no effect on support for McCain." (ABC)
  • Paul Krugman, in the Times, warns about the politics of resentment: "One of the key insights in “Nixonland,” the new book by the historian Rick Perlstein, is that Nixon’s political strategy throughout his career was inspired by his college experience, in which he got himself elected student body president by exploiting his classmates’ resentment against the Franklins, the school’s elite social club." (NYT)
  • Joe Biden calls Palin' speech "amazing."  do you mean "amazing" haha? (CNN)
  • Barack addresses Palin's attack on Obama's work as a community organizer: "Maybe that's the problem, that's why they're out of touch and they don't get it--cause they haven't spent much time working on behalf of those folks." Oh, and by the way, he's in York, PA.  Where he now holds a 3 to 5 point lead. (YouTube, RCP)
  • Meantime, Fox News' O'Reilly Factor has started airing the Obama interview--in pieces of course--sound bytes if you will. (HuffPo)
  • And what of Hillary?  The QUALIFIED woman. "Sen.  Barack Obama will increasingly lean on prominent Democratic women to undercut Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. John McCain, dispatching Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to Florida on Monday and bolstering his plan to deploy female surrogates to battleground states, Obama advisers said Thursday." (NYTimes)
  • So what about Every Republican's Favorite Punching Bag, the Liberal Media? Political commentator Time Mag's Joe Klein fires back at the McCain campaign: "There is a tendency in the media to kick ourselves, cringe and withdraw, when we are criticized. But I hope my colleagues stand strong in this case: it is important for the public to know that Palin raised taxes as governor, supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it, pursued pork-barrel projects as mayor, tried to ban books at the local library and thinks the war in Iraq is "a task from God." The attempts by the McCain campaign to bully us into not reporting such things are not only stupidly aggressive, but unprofessional in the extreme." (Time)
  • "The McCain camp has been unusually aggressive in pushing back against the media, and it seems to hope to persuade journalists to back off in their scrutiny of Palin," says  Howard Kurtz with a few more words about the McCain tactics. (WaPo)
  • "Those there that night now feel as if they are living in some sort of alternate reality in the Xcel Energy Center here," adds Jim Rutenberg, bewildered by suddenly being the  evil Liberal Media again. (NYT)
  • Well, if you start feeling too nauseous, you can always go to Jim Drinkard's terrific article on the AP wire: Attacks, Praise Stretch Truth at GOP Convention to check the facts. (AP)
  • Day 3, or Whuh-huh?: Yes, folks, it's The Night of Old Republican Favorites. Remember dancing the night away to such hit-tunes as "It's Liberals," "The Scurrilous Media," and "9/11, 9/11, 9/11"?
    • First a warmup: Yes, my darlings,  if there's a microphone in front of you, pinned to you, or somewhere within fifty feet,  consider it live. (Man, how are these people going to master Twitter when they don't get 20th century technology?) How Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan and Republican Wall Street Journal columnist Mike Murphy really talk when they think no one's looking: "The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives. Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and that's not what they're good at, they blow it." (HuffPo) The morning after, Noonan evaluates.(WSJ)
    • Let Mitt Romney make you swoon with  "It's Opposite Day!" "What do you think Washington is right now, liberal or conservative? Is a Supreme Court liberal or conservative that awards Guantanamo terrorists with constitution rights? We need change all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington." (NYT)
    • And in case you haven't heard the rambling and thoroughly irrelevant story about the Arkansas teacher and the desks, Mike Huckabee is happy to trot it out for you again. Along with things best filed under Too Much Information.  "Heck, I was in college before I found out it wasn't supposed to hurt to take a shower." (OR Live)
    • Rudy "9/11" Giuliani, leads the crowd (9/11) in a rousing chant of "Drill, baby, drill!"  Then there's this one(9/11) : "At exactly the right time, John McCain said, "(9/11) We're all Georgians."  A restless America says, "Whuh-huh?  But I'm not Southern. And why do I keep saying 9/11 to myself?" (NYT)
    • Now, your headliner, America's Favorite Small Town Barracuda, Sarah Palin, who's such a maverick and a reformer that she's reading a speech written by Matthew Scully, former speechwriter for George W. Bush: "I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone... Here's a little newsflash for those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion." (NYT/MSN)
    • HuffPo says: "Here's a little newsflash for Sarah Palin, to paraphrase her speech: The media isn't writing about you to seek your good opinion — they're writing about you to serve the people of this country." (HuffPo) See Liberal Media above.
    • And we finish with a rousing chorus of John Rich's  "We're all just raising McCain!"  Because , you know,  he was dead. (YouTube)
    • Palin: "Listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or even a reform, not even in the State Senate."  If you're interested,  read the list of Obama's record of sponsoring legislation. (Congresspedia)
  • And among other resources, a Dictionary of Palin-guage: Black teen pregnancies? A “crisis” in black America. White teen pregnancies? A “blessed event.” (That Minority Thing)
  • Salutations and welcome to St. Paul, John McCain.  May I introduce the father of Bristol' child, but please don't talk about it.  And please stand here next to him for the photographers.  but don't talk about it. Pose, please?  But don't talk about it!  And one more....WILL YOU PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT IT? (And, Levi, goshgollygeewhillickers, will you PLEASE hold her hand like I told you to?) (NYT)
  • Here's one you've never heard before: McCain campaign's Steve Schmidt says the media is "on a mission to destroy" Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by displaying "a level of viciousness and scurrilousness" in pursuing questions about her personal life. ME: Um, no Steve,  they're just oh, what's the phrase...VETTING  HER. (WaPo)
  • Joe Lieberman's speech: " The Washington bureaucrats and power brokers can't build a pen strong enough to hold these two mavericks." (NYT)
  • Obama campaign's Robert Gibbs responds: "A different Joe Lieberman from the one that called Barack Obama in 2006 and asked him desperately to come to Connecticut and campaign for him." (YouTube)
  • Michael Moore responds to Joe's comment "... if John McCain is just another partisan Republican, then I'm Michael Moore's favorite Democrat." (MichaelMoore.com)
  • Bush: from a distance you look like my friend, even though we are at war. (NYT)
  • Fred Thompson leads the lineup of   Republican after Republican who must now defend this obvious disaster of a candidate. Here's what Fred came up with: "She has run a municipality and she has run a state. And I think I can say without fear of contradiction she is the only nominee in the history of either party who knows how to properly field-dress a moose." ME: I'm sure her country will be calling on her for that.  Unless we can get to Polarica in China Basin or  Bud's Custom Meat in Penngrove.  In which case we might not need her services. (LAT)
  • RNC Co-Chair Jo Ann Davidson extolling the virtues of our next vice president, Sarah...PawlentyME: Does she know something we don't? (YouTube)
  • McCain cancels Larry King interview (WSJ) in retaliation for Campbell Brown's brazen display of journalistic chops in asking Tucker Bounds, "Can you just tell me one decision that she made as commander and chief of the Alaskan National Guard, just one?" (YouTube)
  • And Part Three of Did ANYONE check this woman's background?? Apparently no one thought to ask the Wasilla City Clerk for anything. (Wash. Independent)
  • Part Four of  I'm too exhausted to even comment. (AP)
  • Hurricane Palin: "Thanks to McCain's miscue, everything the press touches about Palin turns into a scoop."  (Slate)

Campaign Trail In/S/anity

GOP Convention (official site)

Family Values

August 2008

Political Repercussions of Hurricane Gustav

McCain taps Sarah Palin as VP pick:

DNC Convention (official site)

Also:

July 2008

Obama tours Middle East & Europe

June 2008

January 2008

  • Ross Perot on McCain and the Republicans: Perot is appalled at the specter of big banks having to borrow from foreigners to stay afloat: "We have to go around the world with a tambourine and a tin cup."  (Newsweek)
  • And then there's John McCain, speaking about President Putin. Of Germany. (YouTube)

Years past

  • John McCain's crude joke reveals what some of us have always known about his meanness. (Salon)

 

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Media Bits
(in their own voices)

Obama-Biden

  • Plan for Change Ad: "For many of you, our troubled economy isn't news."
  • DNC Acceptance 2008: "What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me; it's about you."
  • Speech in Berlin: "People of the world – look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one."
  • On Racism: "I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes."
  • Launching his campaign: "By ourselves, this change will not happen. Divided, we are bound to fail. But the life of a tall, gangly, self-made Springfield lawyer tells us that a different future is possible.  He tells us that there is power in words. He tells us that there is power in conviction. That beneath all the differences of race and region, faith and station, we are one people. He tells us that there is power in hope."
  • DNC Keynote 2004: "There's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America."

DNC Speeches

  • Al Gore: "We have a candidate whose experience perfectly matches an extraordinary moment of transition."
  • Joe Biden: "Like millions of Americans, they're asking questions as -- as ordinary as they are profound, questions they never, ever thought they'd have to ask themselves."
  • Bill Clinton: "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power."
  • Hillary Clinton: "We cannot let this moment slip away. We have come too far and accomplished too much."
  • Michelle Obama: "All of us driven by the simple belief that the world as it is just won't do, that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be."
  • Ted Kennedy: "The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on."

McCain-Palin

RNC Speeches

  • Cindy McCain:  "From its very birth, our party has been grounded in the notion of service, community, self-reliance..."
  • Sarah Palin: "I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone... Here's a little newsflash for those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion."
  • Mitt Romney: "What do you think Washington is right now, liberal or conservative? Is a Supreme Court liberal or conservative that awards Guantanamo terrorists with constitution rights? We need change all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington."
  •  Mike Huckabee: "Heck, I was in college before I found out it wasn't supposed to hurt to take a shower."
  • Rudy Giuliani: "At exactly the right time, John McCain said, "We're all Georgians."
  • Joe Lieberman: " The Washington bureaucrats and power brokers can't build a pen strong enough to hold these two mavericks."
  • Fred Thompson:  "She has run a municipality and she has run a state. And I think I can say without fear of contradiction she is the only nominee in the history of either party who knows how to properly field-dress a moose."

 

 

 
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