Sunday, August 31, 2008

Palin is a badass

From Cousin Mark's favorite columnist, Maureen Dowd:

This chick flick, naturally, features a wild stroke of fate, when the two-year governor of an oversized igloo becomes commander in chief after the president-elect chokes on a pretzel on day one.

The movie ends with the former beauty queen shaking out her pinned-up hair, taking off her glasses, slipping on ruby red peep-toe platform heels that reveal a pink French-style pedicure, and facing down Vladimir Putin in an island in the Bering Strait. Putting away her breast pump, she points her rifle and informs him frostily that she has some expertise in Russia because it’s close to Alaska. “Back off, Commie dude,” she says. “I’m a much better shot than Cheney.”

Then she takes off in her seaplane and lands on the White House lawn, near the new ice fishing hole and hockey rink. The “First Dude,” as she calls the hunky Eskimo in the East Wing, waits on his snowmobile with the kids — Track (named after high school track meets), Bristol (after Bristol Bay where they did commercial fishing), Willow (after a community in Alaska), Piper (just a cool name) and Trig (Norse for “strength.”)

“The P.T.A. is great preparation for dealing with the K.G.B.,” President Palin murmurs to Todd, as they kiss in the final scene while she changes Trig’s diaper. “Now that Georgia’s safe, how ’bout I cook you up some caribou hot dogs and moose stew for dinner, babe?”

I don't care who you are that's just funny!

What's even funnier is you can almost imagine Gov. Palin doing all of this. But, can you imagine Sen. Obama doing anything as decisive and macho? Me either.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fighter pilot

I have my doubts about McCain, but despite the lack of excitement, he is very good at one thing. He is a trained fighter pilot which means he knows how to get inside his opponents decision loop and stay a step ahead. As a fighter pilot he was trained to "Observe, Orient, Decide, Act" and repeat. The object in a dogfight was to work through the loop faster than your opponent, therefore gaining the edge that would result in a kill.

What he did today in naming Gov. Palin as his VP choice was to undercut the energy that Sen. Obama gained with his excellent acceptance speech last night. The Obama campaign might very well call foul, as a matter of fact, their statement yesterday was that if McCain did this it would be political malpractice. But, if they are protesting today, no one is hearing. As the pundits like to say, McCain sucked all of the oxygen out of the room this morning.

Props to the McCain camp for a dexterous political maneuver.

Obama Bio

Jon Stewart said it was ok to laugh at Obama. Then he helped us do it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nothing to see here, keep moving

I didn't watch Hillary's speech last night, or any other part of the convention so far. Because, well you know, I don't really care what the Socialists, I mean Progressives, darn it, the Democrats have to say. But it was apparently the best speech she has ever given. As far as I can tell that's not saying much. She has a tendency to tick off a laundry list of programs, which does not make for riveting oratory. One thing about Obama, even when he is saying nothing, it sounds good.

His speech tomorrow night must be going to be a grand one. The backdrop certainly lends to his Godlike persona. I might watch that one. Somebody remind me when it is going to be on.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Greetings from Beijing

And unfortunately, no, I am not in the Chinese capital to attend the Olympic Games! Cousin Mark has to work and attend meetings.

It's been an interesting week here in Beijing, and I thought I'd share a few of my observations:
1) China is number 1 based on Gold medals. State Chinese TV shows China in first place, as compared to the US media's method of showing first place, which is total medal count. Ha.
2) I have never seen the air so clear here in Beijing. Taking half the cars off the freeways and shutting down industry really works.
3) You can't get anywhere near the Olympics venues without a ticket. Security is incredible. Bag screening and "the wand" at every hotel and subway entrance. It seems to me that the #1 priority of the Chinese has been that there should be no incident, and if the venues are not full, so be it.
4) The pandas in the Beijing zoo are so cute! The zoo is contained in a beautiful park with all the classic Chinese scenes, the wheeping willows draped over the water, etc. Very nice.

Drunk, high, naked and driving

Some things are just too funny to improve on. Read on. Be sure and read the comments as well.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Damp dreams

The Democratic Party platform will include a statement that sexism in the media will not be tolerated in the future, and that sexism "dampens the dreams of our daughters." That is just one of the funniest things I've ever read. I don't think that party platforms normally include anything comical, but I would welcome any other examples, current or past.

Friday, August 15, 2008

If only

If only I were a foot taller, 25 years younger and infinitely better in shape; I could outswim Michael Phelps!


Gee, I thought cross examination debate was supposed to be a reasoned and thoughtful competition. Well, at least there were no nerds in the crowd!

If this is what Ian, Kyle and Mark get into; WOW!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

He's dreamy

Ok, I know that this must be somehow racist, because it is making fun of Obama's celebrity, again! And, well, if you don't worship at the altar of Obama you're somehow a racist. But it strikes me as pretty funny. I guess this falls under the category of negative campaigning but it is really clever.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Air up your tires

Last week Senator Obama suggested that properly inflating your tires will save huge amounts of oil. I'm sure he is right, though the savings is probably overstated. Obviously, keeping your automobile properly tuned and your tires properly inflated will increase fuel efficiency. The Republicans responded by making fun of the suggestion. The Senator said; "It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant."

The first thing that occurred to me when I read of his suggestion was President Carter telling us that we should turn our thermostats to 68 and wear a sweater in the winter. The problem with that is not that conservation is wrong, but, that it is not a solution, it is not big thinking, it is NOT what we expect the President to talk about. We expect the President to have a solution that solves the problem not merely mitigates its effects. And this is, I think, why the Republicans jumped so gleefully on the comment, because I am not the only one who was reminded of the feckless Carter administration.

Leah Daughtry

The Rev. Leah Daughtry is the Chief of Staff to the Democratic National Committee and the CEO of the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee. Among her other accomplishments she served as an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Labor during the Clinton administration. She serves as Pastor to the House of the Lord Church, Washington, DC. The House of the Lord Church was founded by the Rev. Leah Daughtry's grandfather, and is currently presided over by her father the Rev. Herbert Daughtry.

The House of the Lord Church is a church based on Dr. Cone's black theology of liberation, the same as Sen. Obama's former church headed by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. One of the stated beliefs is:

That Jesus is essentially African in origin.While Abraham, the father, was located in Asia, after hundreds of years in Egypt, northern Africa-and Canaan-during which obvious assimilation of religion, medicine, art, architecture, engineering, etc., occurred, what passed on to Jesus was Africanness.

We have all heard by now the statements made by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright; the question is, are these sentiments shared by the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, and his daughter? How does a black theology of liberation play with the mainstream Democratic voter?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Terroristic goats

Goats slip past security fence near NYC bridge-AP Aug. 8, 2008

The National Park Service could have asked any rancher and they would have known a fence wouldn't stop goats (or illegal aliens for that matter.) There is an old joke about a fellow who builds a new fence and asks his neighbor, an old rancher, if the fence will stop a goat. The rancher tells him to take a bucket of water and throw it at the fence; if any of the water goes through then so will a goat.

Other Viewpoints on McCain

Since J.R. has taken to referring to Obama as an "empty suit" I have been looking for some "liberal elite" commentary about McCain and as usual for this liberal elite, I find that Maureen Dowd is my favorite.

Some of my favorite excerpts from her latest column:

"The Arizona senator who built his reputation on being a brave proponent of big solutions is running a schoolyard campaign about tire gauges and Paris Hilton, childishly accusing his opponent of being too serious, too popular and not patriotic enough.

Even his own mother, the magical 96-year-old Roberta McCain, let slip that she thought the Paris Hilton-Britney Spears ad was “kinda stupid.”"


"McCain could dismiss W. as a lightweight, but he knows Obama’s smart. Obama wrote his own books, while McCain’s were written by Salter. McCain knows he’s the affirmative action scion of admirals who might not have gotten through Annapolis without being a legacy. Obama didn’t even tell Harvard Law School that he was black on his application.

McCain upbraids Obama for being a poppet, while he’s becoming a puppet. His mouth is moving but the words coming out belong to his new hard-boiled strategist, Steve Schmidt, a Rove protégé, nicknamed “The Bullet” for his bald pate.

Schmidt has turned Mr. Straight Talk into Mr. Desperate Straits. It’s not a good trade."

Monday, August 4, 2008


Democrats have a candidate who is sophisticated in his understanding of policy, and Republicans have a candidate who is still largely running on his biography as a war hero, whose only coherent and consistent remaining policy position is support for offshore drilling.

That is how Adam Serwer describes the differences between the candidates. Of course, liberals are always sophisticated, and the rest of us are just empty headed, and don't know what is best for us. The actual word for this attitude is "condescension". I won't argue McCain's policy beliefs, as they seem to be muddy at best, but to call the empty rhetoric and platitudes that Sen. Obama spouts sophistication is to stand reason on its head. He sounds sophisticated, but if you read these speeches they are hollow and empty of any coherent thought. "We are the change we seek"? My bullshit meter goes way into the red when I hear something like that. It makes no sense, but it does sound very impressive. Or, "My friends we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it." Now that is sophisticated; wanting to change the greatest nation in the history of the world, and not specifying whether that change would be for the better, or for the worse.

Senator Obama's record at the national level is toilet paper thin, and his record at the local and state level is pure redistributionist socialism. But that alone makes him sophisticated by the lights of the Serwer's of this world. You can define sophisticated by their definition as "his politics align with mine."

The more I listen to this empty suit the less I find to like.

ADDED: As Barry Deutsch points out. Apparently the cited Obama quote is not something he said, see

Racism is an issue

Race keeps coming up in the campaign for the Presidency. But it is not Republicans discussing Senator Obama's race, it is the Obama campaign calling the McCain campaign racist. I don't see how reminding those white voters that are reluctant to vote for a black man that Obama is half-African is a winner. And calling the campaign that never mentions race racist is certainly a loser.

Ruth Ann Dailey has a more detailed discussion in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sexism is an issue

Certain elements of the Democratic Party are pushing for a plank in the party platform that states that the primary elections "exposed pervasive gender bias in the media" and to call on party leaders to take "immediate and public steps" to condemn future perceived instances of bias. I didn't perceive this bias, but then I'm a white male and think Senator Clinton is perfectly awful enough without worrying about her gender.

I know that women, particularly women who grew up in an era of overt discrimination against women felt that there was a strong gender bias on display in the Democratic primary. One even recently commented that if Senator Clinton is not the VP candidate she will not be able to vote Democrat this year. This is certainly something the Party should pay attention to, because this is a group who can move the election to the Republican side.