Friday, September 26, 2008

The Debate: Not a game-changer

Well, at least Ole Miss got some love tonight.

There was no slam-dunk in tonight's debate.

McCain supporters may -- no doubt will -- claim that their candidate possessed a stronger command of foreign policy issues. That's a win for McCain.

Then again, Obama supporters may -- and no doubt will -- claim that their candidate more than held his own on a subject -- foreign policy -- that was supposed to be right in the wheelhouse of McCain. McCain was supposed to crush Obama on foreign policy. Clearly, he did not -- that's a win for Obama.

In summation: All things being equal, I see Obama maintaining his current advantage after tonight, if only because the end result was not enough to sway anyone's opinion either way.

To be perfectly honest, McCain did better than I expected -- but probably not quite well enough to make the talking heads forget the stunt he pulled about going to Washington to solve the financial crisis beforehand. That was an idiot move.

The next debate is Oct. 2 in St. Louis between Biden and Palin. This is shaping up to be the greatest mismatch in the history of presidential politics. It's such a great mismatch that Biden is almost at a disadvantage because the expectations will be so low for Palin; she'll get points just for being able to find her way to the event.

I would not be surprised at all if Palin withdraws from the ticket before the debate for some reason -- family obligations, perhaps -- and we see the event cancelled or rescheduled with whoever the new VP is (Tom Ridge, Joe Lieberman, Mike Huckabee, etc.) - -it's exactly the sort of crazy, nonsensical stunt McCain has made a habit of pulling in this election.

Either way, the Palin choice is turning out to be the huge liability I predicted it would be.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Top 10 reasons McCain is cutting and running from the debate

10. Does he even have a house in Mississippi? I don't think so.

9. All thirteen of his cars are out of gas.

8. C
ouldn't find a single black Republican for the practice debate.

7. Frida
y is Bingo Night!

6. Coul
dn't get enough lobbyists together to form a quorum.

5. Somebody gave him a stick of gum while he was walking.

4. Gett
ing his teeth re-yellowed on Thursday and they won't be dry until Saturday morning.

3. Was planning on going to Golden Corral buffet.

2. Damn kids are on his lawn.

1. John McCain remembers the Great Depression, the Great Depression was a friend of his, and you, financial crisis, are no Great Depression.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My kid farts all the time

My son farts a lot

And by "a lot," I mean like 6-10 times an hour. Sometimes they're sweet little pips, like opening a tupperware container. Other times they're disproportionately huge, almost like a tommy gun blast. The funniest ones are when he stops what he's doing, semi-closes his eyes and lets a long one go

I envy him. How much happier would we all be if we could just fart when our bodies told us to, instead of trying to bottle them up all day and then blasting off as soon as you get in your car to go home.

Don't act like you haven't done that, either. All of you have -- though it's funnier with vinyl seats. Just don't forget to roll those windows down -- you may think the smell is gone but nobody really knows how bad their own farts smell -- or how long the smell stays. That sucker may linger for a while -- especially if you have cloth seats --  so don't volunteer any rides at lunch for a few days, just to be safe.

Speaking of old farts, John McCain is now saying the head of the SEC (that's the Securities and Exchange Commission) should be fired, and that if he were president, he would fire him. Great, except the president can't fire the head of the SEC. He has also called for more regulation of the financial services industry. Whether a guy who has opposed regulation his entire career can now be taken seriously when he calls for more regulation remains to be seen.

Stocks have rallied over the past two days on the news that the government is preparing the mother of all bailouts, with Uncle Sam simply buying up all the bad debt (dead mortgages) from the banks. This would transfer billions -- perhaps trillions -- of taxpayer dollars to the ailing banks, saving them from the consequences of their own greed.

Mommy and daddy have apparently taken back the keys to the car and agreed to pay for the accident. No wonder everyone is happy. Boy, that was a close one!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bush-Cheney goes Marxist

After several days of saying it would not bail out the nation's largest insurance company, A.I.G. (an acronym which, when pronounced as a word, is the way Texans say egg) , the government bailed out A.I.G., risking $85 billion of the taxpayers' money.

In return, the government got 80% of the now near-worthless stock. In other countries, when the government effectively buys (nearly) all of a company's stock, it is called nationalization. Treasury secretary Henry Paulson was clearly afraid A.I.G.'s demise would take out too many other big players and wreak massive damage on the economy. The move will be very controversial since it risks public money to protect bad investments made by A.I.G. management. It is the very antithesis of the Republican small government/personal responsibility dogma.

This nationalization poses an especially large challenge for John McCain, who is now railing against corporate greed and lack of government regulation of the financial industry. What he doesn't talk much about is how deregulation happened. It was the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that repealed the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act and thus eliminated the depression-era walls between between banking, investment, and insurance that made this crisis possible.

Glass-Stegall erected walls between banking, investment management, and insurance, so problems in one sector could not spill over into the others, which is precisely what is happening now. The primary author of that legislation was former-senator-turned-lobbyist Phil Gramm, McCain's top economic advisor (he's the guy who said America was in a "mental recession" and that America had become "a nation of whiners," remember?) McCain fully supported that bill and has a decades-long track record of opposing government regulation of the financial industry. Now, suddenly, not so much.

Obama is already pointing out that McCain got what he wanted (deregulation) and this is the consequence.

UPDATE: The Dow just closed in a free-fall, dropping more than 400 points today. The collapse of the U.S. financial services industry and it's socialistic bailout is going to be the cherry on top of the Bush administration's 8-year reign of error -- provided something worse doesn't happen in the next three months, which is entirely possible.

Just to review the latest GOP policy positions:

Socialization of healthcare services = BAD

Socialization of finanical services = GOOD

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Funniest scene ever filmed

I keep trying to get motivated to write another political screed, but my heart's just not in it right now. We're still a million miles from the finish line in the presidential race. 

I'm still 100% certain that Obama will win, though it may be closer than I first thought; he may not get to 300 in the electoral college.

I know Palin is the hottest thing going right now, but I also know this: Americans love beautiful people, but they love destroying beautiful people more. The more popular Palin becomes, the more she's gonna get dumped on near the end of this thing, and I predict an ugly end to this affair.

Look for the Fatal Attraction card to get played about the first week of October.

Anyway, without further adieu, the funniest scene ever filmed. It is from the 1980s classic Bachelor Party, starring Tom Hanks -- this was actually released after Splash, so it got much more play than movies of this type ordinarily get. Bachelor Party was awesomely funny with almost as many quotable lines as Caddyshack, which remains the Mother of All Quotable Movies.

I have tried to think of a political parallel to this scene. No luck yet.
By the way, the clip is probably a little too long; you can stop watching after about :35.
If you want the best setup for this, I highly recommend watching this scene first.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Obama needs to get mad like Jean Luc Picard

I like Star Trek.

This is one of my all-time favorite Star Trek moments. I always thought this scene, starting with the line "We've made too many compromises already; too many retreats..." (go to 1:15 in the clip) would be a great scene to show on the jumbotron at a football game when the home team has to make a goal line stand.

That would get me fired up.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah Palin

So it has come to this.

I started to write a long post about things like the steady downward spiral of the collective American IQ into an abyss of apathy, intellectual sloth, narcissism and willful ignorance. I was going to mention how, generations from now, we will be looked on as the Generation That Blew It; the generation that let America slide into global mediocrity after a century of global dominance.

To put it into pop culture terms (rapidly becoming the only terms we understand anymore):We are in real danger of becoming the American generation that jumped the shark.

Instead, I'm skipping ahead to the relevant portion, and that is that Sarah Palin is simply the most fantastically unqualified person to ever have even the slightest chance to occupy the oval office in modern American history (which I consider to be since the introduction of electricity).

By choosing Palin, John MCain has effectively guaranteed the failure of his campaign. I say this because the idea -- McCain's cynical idea -- that a majority of Americans would willingly ignore her complete lack of qualifications is absurd.

And before anyone out there starts up with the Republican talking points about her "executive" experience making her more qualified than Obama (which is bullshit), just ask yourself this: If Hillary hadn't run for president, would anyone even be thinking about Sarah Palin for VP right now?

Of course not. The idea would be absurd.

It still is. McCain is done.