Tuesday, September 30, 2008

While The Nation Sleeps

While we were all fixed on the the banking bailout shenanigans, the Senate passed another bailout when they approved $25 billion in taxpayer funded loans for US Automakers yesterday. Oh and the Democrats completed their total capitulation on offshore drilling at the same time...
Automakers gained $25 billion in taxpayer-subsidized loans and oil companies won elimination of a long-standing ban on drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as the Senate passed a sprawling spending bill Saturday.

The 78-12 vote sent the $634 billion measure to President Bush, who was expected to sign it even though it spends more money and contains more pet projects than he would have liked.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Waaaa!

To start off, I am glad the bailout bill failed in the House. Handing out an arbitrary amount without any real idea how much is needed, $700 billion in this case, just because they needed a big number, is ridiculous.

With that said I found it absolutely hilarious that House Minority Leader John Boehner is blaming Speaker Pelosi's supposedly partisan speech for the bill's failure. He is claiming that because Pelosi was mean to the GOP that at least 12 Republican's voted against the bill that he had counted on voting for it.

I wonder if he understands that he is saying A bill that he claims needed to be passed for the good of the country failed because Nancy Pelosi yelled at you? And I thought the Democrats lacked a spine...

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Photo Caption Fun

In honor of John McCain again having to cover for his VP choice on policy issues, this time on Pakistan, I figured I would give everyone an opportunity to add a fitting caption to the photo below showing said VP candidate. I have added a few of my own.



- This is the amount of experience I would bring to the Vice Presidency...
- This is how much vetting I received before being chosen...
- This is how close my state is to Russia...
- This is how much of a chance I have of beating Joe Biden in a debate...

Photo courtesy of the National Enquirer from their story on Palin's alleged affair with her husband's former business partner.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just Call Him Evel

Just like Evel Knievel, it looks like John McCain hasn't found a stunt that he didn't like.

Getting trashed in the polls? Just pick an unqualified Dick Cheney in a dress. Got a debate that you are worried about? Tell everyone you are suspending your campaign to help the country out of financial ruin and after throwing a monkey wrench into the process you return with your tail between your legs.

So what can John McCain do now to jump start his mess of a campaign?
In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one — the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fianc√© before the November 4 election.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

When George Bush needed a boost, he had his terror warnings. John McCain has Sarah Palin.

The Challenge Ahead For Biden

Now that the first Obama/McCain debate is in the books we can set our sights on the Vice Presidential debate on Thursday. So with that in mind here is a sample of what Joe Biden has waiting for him a few days from now.



UPDATE: Sarah Palin made another appearance on SNL last night in the guise of Tina Fey and it was absolutely hilarious not to mention dead on. Watch it:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman RIP

Another of America's great actors has passed away. News reports are coming out that Paul Newman has died at 83.
Paul Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as the anti-hero of such films as "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Color of Money"—and as an activist, race car driver and popcorn impresario—has died. He was 83.

Newman died Friday after a long battle with cancer at his farmhouse near Westport, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.
You will be missed.

"What we have here, is a failure to communicate" - Cool Hand Luke

Post Debate Thoughts

Before the debate, McCain spokesmen tried to spin how, against his own earlier comments about suspending his campaign, McCain could attend the debate despite the fact that the bailout plan hadn't been worked out.

With that in mind, the first thing I noticed during the debate was how McCain skirted that whole issue. That was his first mistake and it killed any benefits he might have gained with the stunt and then Obama made the mistake of not pressing him on it. Much of the rest of the debate was filled with talking points on both sides along with McCain harping on the perceived lack of experience by Obama followed by answers from Obama that showed that the did have at least some knowledge on the subject and McCain trying to hammer home his less than truthful points on Obama's tax cuts.

Putting the above standard fare aside, 2 points did stick out to me only because they weren't the usual campaign talking points. The first affects South Dakota and our burgeoning ethanol industry directly and it didn't take long for locals to catch an off handed comment by McCain that he would end subsidies for ethanol. Ending subsidies would probably all but kill that otherwise unprofitable industry but yet McCain said he would also work to encourage alternative fuel vehicle production by the US auto makers which is currently dominated by E85 vehicles. How would that work?

The last issue that stuck out to me was McCain again touching on his plan to build 45 new nuclear power plants. I mentioned this a few months back and it seems that while he keeps mentioning the issue, he cannot say how he will get around the fact that a license to build such a plant hasn't been issued since the 1970's because of regulatory and waste disposal issues and the fact that no one wants a plant built anywhere near them.

Yucca mountain, our only designated waste facility, is years behind schedule and may never open at all and McCain wants to ad 45 more waste generating plants to the 104 we currently have. So where will we store it? Of course my first reaction was one of McCain's 7 back yards but I digress.

Overall I thought that both candidates had their high and low points, I could sense Obama having problems from time to time getting his thoughts from his brain to his mouth resulting in a few uh's and um's and Senator McCain, would it be asking to much to look your opponent in the eye from time to time when addressing him?

In my opinion Obama showed that he isn't as clueless on foreign affairs as McCain would like us to believe and considering this debate was all about foreign policy, Obama held his own. Of course what I believe doesn't mean much but it seems I am not alone if the CNN post debate poll can be believed.
Who did the best job in the debate?

Barack Obama 51
John McCain 38

Who would better handle Iraq?

Barack Obama 52
John McCain 47

Who would better handle the economy?

Barack Obama 58
John McCain 37

Your thoughts?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Is Hef Loosing His Magic?

I realize that Hugh Hefner is 83 and all, but the hero to most males with a pulse is feeling the economic crunch.
Tycoon Hugh Hefner has been advised to cut back on staff at his multi-million dollar glamour empire as it struggles to cope during the global economic turmoil.

The 83-year-old has been told to lay off some of his staff at his Los Angeles and New York offices as soon as this month or go bankrupt.

Also of note is the rumors that a couple of Hef's "bunnies" have been wandering.
The news will be another blow to Hefner who recently discovered that two of his "bunnies" may have been cheating on him.

Holly Madison, who has previously been named as Hefner's "No.1" girlfriend, is alleged to have had an affair with magician Criss Angel and another bunny, Kendra Wilson, is reportedly dating football star Hank Baskett.
I guess it is true that no industry is recession proof.

The Sarah Palin Beauty Pageant

The 1984 Miss Alaska swimsuit contest featuring the darling of the GOP, or maybe darling is a little too much.

(h/t - Huffington)

UPDATE: This must have struck a nerve with someone as it was pulled from YouTube for "possible copyright violations" but Huffington Post has a slide show from the video. Too bad as the original YouTube poster promised more footage including a flute recital.

UPDATE 2: The video take 2

McCain Drinking Game

Now that John McCain is done saving us from financial ruin and has decided to restart his campaign in time for tonight's debate, the users of Twitter have come up with a neat little drinking game to play while watching McCain and Barack Obama duke it out.

The game tagged #McCainshot is a drinking game in which the participants take a drink each time Senator McCain says "friends" during the debate. While I am sure folks that play the game will get their fill of their favorite beverage, I hear that those that devised the game originally wanted to use "POW" but had to shelve the idea because no one would be standing by the end of the debate...

Speaking of Twitter, they have set up a subsite that constantly scours their database for all tweets referencing the candidates pretty much in real time. It's an excellent way to track the pulse of the "Twitter Nation" and should be a lively place to monitor during tonight's debate (which McCain apparently already won).

UPDATE: They have added a new game so that Barack Obama doesn't feel left out. #obamashot will have you taking a drink each time Barack Obama says the word "change".

I would strongly suggest that those playing the game either do it at home or bring along a designated driver because having to drink each time that McCain says "friends" and Obama says "change" will result in you reaching .08 BAC quite early in the evening.

Back To The Future

Man is McCain good. The debate isn't for hours and he has already won.




Did I Miss Something?

John McCain, has decided to attend the debate after all and he is now claiming that there has been "significant progress" in the mortgage meltdown mess. Pretty neat trick Senator considering that you managed to derail a done deal when you submitted a last minute proposal. A proposal that would help your corporate buddies and has resulted in more delays and partisan bickering putting the whole issue in question.

I think I am having flashbacks to the GI Bill debacle, you know the one that McCain was against until it passed and then claimed credit for...

Sarah Palin A Boost...For Planned Parenthood

You would think that Sarah Palin's main contribution would be to fire up the Religious Conservative base. While her selection has definitely done that, an unforeseen side effect is that it has also been a boom for Planned Parenthood.
A three-week-old Internet campaign is asking abortion-rights activists to send donations to Planned Parenthood in honor of the Alaska governor.[snip]

Katie Groke Ellis, field manager for the Planned Parenthood of the Rockies Action Fund, predicts that the five-state chapter of the group alone could draw $100,000 in donations.

And the irony continues with Planned Parenthood's policy of sending thank you cards.
Planned Parenthood sends a handwritten thank-you card to the donor. If a donation is made in someone's name, he or she gets one, too.

In this case, the Palin cards will go to Republican presidential nominee John McCain's national headquarters.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sure, You Betcha

I watched Sarah Palin butcher her interview with Katie Couric yesterday and today:

And Marge Gunderson from Fargo kept coming to mind. I guess I'm not the only one that sees the similarity.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain Suspends Campaign

Does anyone else sense some serious politicking at work here? A Senator whom has pretty much blown off every Senate vote in recent memory and has freely admitted that economics isn't his best subject, suddenly feels the need to drop everything and head to Washington to work on the mortgage meltdown.

Oh and did I mention that there is a debate scheduled for Friday that McCain wants to postpone because of his sudden overwhelming concern (which just so happens to coincide with recent polls). You know that forum where "foot in mouth" McCain would have to answer questions without a script.

But then again I guess the American people don't really want to hear how the potential next President would deal with the economy would we...

Wingnut Logic

I am still trying to grasp that whole "if you allow gays to marry you are infringing on my religious rights" thing but the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins takes it even farther. While speaking out against California's gay marriage laws, he tells his flock about comments from a Pastor friend that intimates that allowing gay marriage will result in the "faithful" being jailed.
California Pastor Warns of Threat to Religious Freedom - FRC national campaign to defend marriage needs your immediate support
If marriage loses, religious liberty is next
September 23, 2008 | Refer a Friend

Dear XXXX,

I want you to hear something a California pastor said to me recently:

“If we lose, we go to jail.”

It’s just that simple, says Pastor Jim Garlow-if marriage loses in California, religious liberties everywhere will be next.

Family Research Council has been pouring resources into a national campaign to defend marriage and religious freedom, and . . .

I’m writing today to ask you again to stand with us. We still must raise $600,000 before the close of our fiscal year on September 30.

I know many Americans are feeling the pinch of a tight economy. As you prayerfully consider a gift, rest assured that FRC carefully stewards every dollar you give to the defense of marriage, religious freedom, parental rights, and human life.

The stakes are enormous. We face a national menace to religious liberty:

* In Boston, a Christian adoption agency was shut down for refusing to place orphans with homosexual couples.
* In New Mexico, a Christian-owned studio was fined more than $6,000 for refusing to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony.
* In San Francisco, the city council officially condemned Christian opposition to homosexual adoption as hateful and discriminatory rhetoric.

By God’s grace and with your help, we can win this fight.

FRC has been protecting marriage during its 25-year history, and we’ve been voicing your values ever since activist judges in Massachusetts and California legalized counterfeit marriage and triggered a national debate.

Your prayers and generosity are enabling FRC to use our national platform to make the forceful case for traditional marriage in the media, in the churches, and at the grassroots.

In less than two months, voters in California, Florida, and Arizona will have the chance to place marriage out of the reach of activists and liberals.

Twenty-six states already have constitutional protections for marriage.

We pray that California, Florida, and Arizona will be added to that list once voters learn the truth about the lies the Left uses to justify counterfeit marriage.

The fight for marriage in the states is our first priority.

But we can’t take our eye off Washington, D.C. politicians. Your support is vital as we stand up to liberals who want to criminalize your religious speech . . . threaten the religious liberties of employers . . . silence conservative and Christian broadcasting . . . raise taxes . . . and impose taxpayer funding of abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

Thank you for sacrificially giving whatever you can at this critical moment for faith, family, and freedom in America.

FRC national campaign to defend marriage needs your immediate support

Standing (Ephesians 6:13),

Tony Perkins
President

P.S. Please forward this e-mail to a friend.

Family Research Council: 801 G Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001
P: 202/393-2100 or 800/225-4008

Sounds an awful lot like the standard NRA scare tactic talking point that goes something like "if you ban semi-automatic assault rifles what is to stop you from banning gun ownership altogether", only crazier.

Pig Takes Woman Hostage

No word on whether it wore lipstick.
Sixty-three-year-old Caroline Hayes says she has been unable to leave her Uki house to use the farm's outdoor toilet at times because the white pig is aggressive towards her.

Ms Hayes says the animal came from a home two kilometres away, but its owners could not handle it and let it loose in the rainforest.

She says she and her neighbours began feeding the pig, who they named 'Bruce', after it first showed up at their homes 10 days ago.

Maybe A Total Press Blackout Is In Order

Maybe John McCain should rethink his unspoken policy of only having surrogates doing interviews. Among countless gaffes, you have Carly Fiorina saying he isn't qualified to run a company and then there is Tucker Bounds whom hasn't seen a question yet that he can answer...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Detour On The Straight Talk Express

John McCain's shielding of his not ready for prime time VP nominee came to a head today when the networks threatened to ignore Sarah Palin's meetings with world leaders in NY unless they were given more than just the standard photo opportunities.
Today, the McCain campaign had said it would allow only one editorial person inside. Now, the campaign is saying it wants only the camera inside with no editorial presence. All of the networks are objecting.

The networks eventually called McCain's bluff by voting to not cover the event at all which resulted in a miraculous change of heart.
12 Noon:  Word has come in that a CNN producer WILL be allowed to accompany the camera at these meetings.  This issue appears to be resolved.

So much for the "Straight Talk Express"...

McCain's No Talk Express

UPDATE: It looks like the McCain campaign has the last laugh. While CNN did get a reporter into the meeting, they had a whole 29 seconds in the room with Palin. He better be careful, folks might get the idea that he is sheltering his VP nominee from questions that might not make her look as qualified as the kool-aid drinkers had hoped.

5 Million iPhones Will Be Sold In Q4

And not one of them will be sold (officially that is) in South Dakota.
Based on the latest retail sales data from the NPD Group, Munster writes in a report to clients issued Monday that he is “incrementally more confident” in Apple’s unit sales for its three main product lines and has raised his targets as follows:

* Mac units of 2.8 million (vs. 2.5 million previously) in Q4
* iPod units of 11 million (vs. 10.8 million)
* iPhone units of 5 million (vs. 4.1 million)

Added to the 2.4 million first-generation iPhones Apple sold in the first six months of 2008, that would bring the total number iPhones sold this year to 7.4 million.

Just think Mr Jobs, if you had chosen an exclusive partner that served South Dakota, you might have sold a couple hundred more....

(Source - Fortune)

It's The Economy Stupid

Despite 2 years of spineless Democratic rule in Congress, it appears the Republican's are the ones with the image problem. By a margin of almost 2-1, Americans believe that our current economic woes are the fault of the GOP.
In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey out Monday afternoon, 47 percent of registered voters questioned said Republicans are more responsible for the problems currently facing financial institutions and the stock market; only 24 percent said Democrats are more responsible.

Twenty percent blame both parties equally and 8 percent say neither party is to blame.

The poll also indicates more Americans think Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, would do a better job handling an economic crisis than McCain, the Republican presidential nominee.

What do you think the Obama campaign will be hitting on this week?

Monday, September 22, 2008

How Many Holes Will We Have To Dig?

Quick question for the "drill here, drill now" crowd. Oil has jumped $40 a barrel in a week so how many more wells will we need to drill to offset traders fleeing the stock market in favor of oil futures? I can probably make some room in my backyard if that helps.

New McCain/Palin Press Photos

Ok not really, but quite funny just the same.



(h/t - DownWithTyranny)

A First?

I don't think I have ever seen a poll where 0 was one of the results but one of the latest American Research Group poll questions has just that.

Their September 22nd poll of 1100 adults shows that exactly 0% believe that the economy is getting better while 56% think it is the same and 42% think it is getting worse. Also putting Phil Gramm's mental recession comments aside, 68% think that we are in a recession. As for our current leadership,the ARG poll has Bush's approval rating falling from 30% to 19% while his handling of the economy fell to 17%.

More Perspective: The 1,800,000,000,000 Bailout

Yesterday I posted about the 700,000,000,000 mortgage industry bailout plan announced by the Bush Administration late last week. While that number is mind boggling, CNBC does the math and if you add everything including Fannie and Freddie, AIG, etc., the actual number could reach close to $1.8 trillion.

So while you contemplate $1.8 trillion for a moment, watch for more stories like this:
Fury at $2.5bn Lehman bonus

STAFF at Lehman’s New York office who helped to cause the world’s biggest corporate bankruptcy are to share in a $2.5 billion bonanza.

The bonus, which has been described by London staff as a “scandal” has been pledged by Barclays Capital, the British-based bank that last week acquired Lehman’s American operation and took on 10,000 staff.

And if golden parachutes like above don't raise your blood pressure, something else being discussed just might.

It appears that one of the plans floating around Washington includes bailing out foreign banks and if that isn't bad enough on its own, one of those foreign banks could be UBS which is the current rumor. What is so special about UBS you ask?

I am sure most will remember John McCain financial adviser and possible Treasury Secretary in a McCain cabinet, Phil Gramm. UBS just so happens to be the bank that he is the US Vice Chair of and a lobbyist for.

Chew on that for awhile but be careful not to whine...

UPDATE: Another McCain link to the mortgage meltdown. It seems his campaign manager Rick Davis lobbyed on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for 5 years helping them beat back more strict regulatory challenges.

Truth In Advertising

One can question the truthfulness of John McCain and more recently Barack Obama's campaign and a Canadian electronics retailer does just that with one of their online ads.



Having a couple of HD sets myself I can concur with the gist of the ad but like Wilson over at Gizmodo says, the volume should be turned down for the full effect.

And speaking of being truthful, the link above documents some smoke involving the Obama campaign's possible involvement in a less than truthful viral ad that is currently all the rage on the right. Stay tuned to see if there is any fire.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

So That Is Why McCain Has So Many Houses

John McCain caught a lot of heat awhile back, first over his not knowing how many houses he owns and then over the actual number which seems to have settled at around 7. Well we now know why he has so many houses.

How else will he be able to store his and Cindy's 13 cars?

You Just Can't Get Good Help These Days

Hopefully the Food Lion in North Carolina has since added vision checks to their pre-hire screening program after one of their cashiers accepted this as payment back in 2007.

$700,000,000,000

$700,000,000,000!

I am not sure what else to add but I bet Congress will find something and of course that only includes bailing out the banks and brokerage houses that thought giving $500,000 loans to minimum wage fry cooks was a prudent business decision. I would image that if we give it a few days the Democrats will add another $100 billion or so to bailout the fry cooks as well.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

O'Reilly Site Hacked

Hacker's can be a vindictive lot as Faux News Talking head Bill O'Reilly is finding out. Soon after O'Reilly condemned the hacking of Sarah Palin's email, hackers retaliated by hacking his site and grabbing user data from his user list.
A hacker claims to have cracked the web site of Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly and purloined a list of subscribers to the site, which includes their names, e-mail addresses, city and state, and the password they use for their registration to the site.

The attack was retaliation for comments that O'Reilly made on the air this week about web sites that published e-mails obtained from the Yahoo account of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, according to a press release distributed by WikiLeaks late Friday.

Watch O'Reilly's comments that drew the ire of the hackers:

Next Excuse

What's the quickest way to get a newsman's (and political opponents) interest peaked? Try telling him/them that there is no story. That is what McCain/Palin has been trying to do with "Troopergate" and all they seem to be accomplishing is keeping it in the headlines.

First Sarah Palin agrees to co-operate, then she doesn't. Her husband gets subpoenaed then ignores the subpoena. Now evidence that Palin's stated reason for firing her Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan might not be accurate either.
Palin has maintained that she fired Monegan not over the status of Trooper Mike Wooten, but over budget disagreements - specifically a trip Monegan planned to Washington which she said was unauthorized.

But
A travel authorization document signed by Palin's Chief of Staff Mike Nizich on June 18 approved Monegan's trip to Washington for the purpose of meeting Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

History repeating itself? You know, "I am not a crook" or maybe "I did not have sexual relations with that woman!" and now in Palin's case "I did not pressure my Chief of Staff to fire my brother in law". Doesn't have quite the same ring as the other 2 but I guess if true it will grow on us.

I am sure McCain would never forget it...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thune Not Making Friends And Influencing People

It seems that John Thune isn't the most popular guy these days in the right-wing blogosphere. He along with the other 19 Senators from the so-called gang of 20 (that includes our other Senator, Tim Johnson as well) have drawn the ire of the "drill holes everywhere" crowd because of the restrictions their compromise bill would place on offshore drilling.

Luckily for the blindly faithful, the gang of 20's compromise has been shelved until after the election causing a short reprieve and sigh of relief.
Breathe a small sigh of relief. A capitulationist bullet has been dodged. Looks like the Gang of 20 sham energy bill won’t come up for a vote before the November elections.

And poor GOP golden boy John Thune is caught in the middle, or should I say far left.
Lawmakers have run into roadblocks as the election-year dynamics have shifted. For instance, in a dramatic reversal, the House passed a Democratic energy bill this week that allowed coastal states to drill more than 50 miles off their shores. Plus Democrats are signaling that they will not try to renew the offshore drilling ban after it expires on Oct. 1.

As a result, the group was negotiating how far to take the drilling provisions.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), one of the negotiators, said the bipartisan group wasn't looking to end up "on the left of Nancy Pelosi," referring to the House Speaker.

But not to worry John, your image will surely be repaired soon enough once the Democrats completely capitulate and allow the big-oil Republican's to drill everywhere and who knows maybe you have learned something. Like not worrying about bi-partisan compromises as all that does is piss off your base and postpone the inevitable cave by the spineless Democrats whom as usual give in to the wishes of the right eventually anyways.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Spinewatch

While the mainstream media has been getting better at calling out John McCain when he pulls a whopper out of his rear end, NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen thinks they should be doing better. In other words he thinks the political press needs to grow a spine so along those lines he wants to use the power of social media, namely Twitter, to get the message out.
Rosen and others are calling for journalists of all stripes (professionals, amateurs, citizens, bloggers, etc.) to use a #spinewatch tag on Twitter and elsewhere to call attention to whether or not the professional press covering the home stretch of the 2008 presidential election is standing up to stonewalling candidates or sitting back and repeating their talking points.

The Republican's used Twitter for their "Drill Here, Drill Now" grandstanding on the House floor last month so I guess it's only fair for the Democrats to turn the table. So if you are so inclined, be sure to tag your Twitter's with #spinewatch whenever posting about the latest McCain/Palin "say what?".

And yes I assume that you could use it for Obama untruths as well but since Obama never lies and we're all a bunch of liberal hacks, the majority I read all dealt with McCain/Palin.

(h/t - Simon)

Palin Email Hack (Updated)

UPDATES BELOW including possible hacker identity


The big new thing in the right wing news is the story that came out yesterday about how hackers had hacked Sarah Palin's personal Yahoo Mail account. As soon as this came out I just knew that some of the usual wingnuts would immediately blame the left no matter what the evidence or lack thereof might show.

Of course the reality isn't so sinister and it looks at least initially like those guilty are nothing more than a few anonymous hackers who take pleasure in hacking without any discrimination based on politics (Update: not so fast, see updates below) and further evidence seems to point that they aren't even the brightest bulbs in the hacking community to boot.
You see, it appears that the hacker(s) used the proxy Ctunnel.com to access the account. Smart move, using a proxy! What was less smart was including the entire address in your screenshots, as that kind of defeats the purpose of using a proxy. Says Ctunnel.com owner Gabriel Ramuglia:
Usually, this sort of thing would be hard to track down because it’s Yahoo email, and a lot of people use my service for that. Since they were dumb enough to post a full screen shot that showed most of the [Ctunnel.com] URL, I should be able to find that in my log.

Oops! If the hacker in question wasn't doing his work from an internet café or using a second anonymizing service, it shouldn't be tough to track them down. And since this was definitely a federal offense, anonymous might be getting a little less anonymous in the not-too-distant future.

What this does do is call into question her decision to use that same Yahoo account for government business. Not only are there possible legal issues revolving around using the account to hide certain communications, the security issues are now plainly obvious.

Then again, considering the Bush Administration's issues with archiving their email correspondences, maybe Yahoo isn't such a bad option afterall...

UPDATE: Was the hacker actually looking to derail Palin? An unsubstantiated first person account suggests that maybe the case.

UPDATE 2 4:30 PM: Reports are now surfacing that the hacker might be the 20 year old son of Tennessee Democratic Rep. Mike Kernell. Early reports indicate that he has been contacted by federal authorities about the crime.

Redneck Vs. Bitter

Let's put aside for this post the fact that a former Hillary supporter suddenly becoming a McCain supporter makes absolutely no sense, you know that whole totally different philosophy thing. But when you are being paraded around the media by McCain as just that, is it really a good idea to be calling folks rednecks?

That's exactly what newly minted former Hillary and current McCain supporter Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild did yesterday when talking about Obama's "bitter" comments.

So to summarize, McCain surrogates have so far called us "whiners", "rednecks", and said that neither McCain nor Palin could run a major company. Whose surrogates are they again?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

When Pigs Fly

Nancy Pelosi is making another promise. This time she is going to find out who is responsible for the mortgage meltdown and I am sure everyone remotely involved is shaking in their boots.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered a broad, swift investigation of Wall Street and will demand testimony from Bush administration officials and captains of finance, congressional officials said.

House Democrats plan to aggressively look at the administration’s role in the meltdown over the weekend and to explore further regulation and government structures that would be taken up under the new president.

Maybe shaking in their boots is a bit strong considering Pelosi and the House under her leadership has so far caved on FISA, Impeachment, and soon last night offshore drilling. With that in mind, those involved are probably shopping for new boots versus shaking in them...

Learning From The Best

It appears that Sarah Palin is a quick study. She is taking a page out of Dick Cheney's book and refusing to meet with Alaska investigators looking into the dismissal of her public safety commissioner not long after pledging to fully co-operate with the investigation.
The presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain is trying to put to rest the ethical controversy that's come to be known as "Troopergate," releasing e-mails supporting Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's contention that she dismissed her public safety commissioner over budget disagreements, not because he wouldn't fire her ex-brother-in-law.

And, the campaign says, Palin is unlikely to speak with an investigator hired by the state legislature to look into the matter.

I guess if you are learning how to stonewall ethics investigators, you couldn't have better teachers than those in the current administration and it looks like McCain/Palin are making good use of their massive experience on the subject.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

McNabb Has Another Moron At Wide Receiver

In case you missed this from Monday night's game between the Cowboys and the Eagles, Eagle wide receiver DeSean Jackson did his best Leon Lett imitation and in the midst of showboating on his way to a certain touchdown, forgot that the ball should cross the goal line before celebrating.

Luckily for Jackson and the Eagles, no one from the Cowboys grabbed the lose ball and on the next play they were able to score but if one or the other of those didn't happen, ESPN announcer Mike Tirico's labeling this as "one of the all-time bonehead plays" would have been true.

I Am Being Out Of Line?

Is it out of line to expect that the bullshit not be so deep that I not need to roll up my pant legs every time a politician opens their mouth? Apparently McCain isn't the only one that has issues with the truth.
Co-Workers: Obama Inflated His Resume

It has been noted by Charles Krauthammer and others that very few people have stepped forward to vouch for Barack Obama.

Indeed, there would seem to be an especially conspicuous absence of witnesses to the years after graduated from Columbia and before he moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer.

Well, it turns out that one of his co-workers, Dan Armstrong, has in fact written about Mr. Obama during those days. And while he is an admitted fan of Obama’s, he claims that he has inflated his resume considerably.

Al Gore Moment

Did you know that John McCain helped create the Blackberry?
Move over, Al Gore. You may lay claim to the Internet, but John McCain helped create the BlackBerry.

At least that's the contention of a top McCain policy adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Waving his BlackBerry personal digital assistant and citing McCain's work as a senator, he told reporters Tuesday, "You're looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create."

I wonder if the Canadian company, Research In Motion (RIM), is aware of this and are they sending money his way?

Romney On McCain Lies: Huge Mistake

First we get Karl Rove, a guy with definite truth issues himself, saying McCain's ads do not pass the "truth test" and now we have Mitt calling out McCain. Chinks in McCain's shining armor? Or does Rove and Co. have something up their sleeve?

Like maybe the Conservative Reich Wing firing a shot across McCain's bow for this:
John McCain reaffirmed his support for federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research on Monday -- in direct opposition to his party's agreed-upon official policy on the matter.

You Might Be A Redneck

If you use a garden hose to tether your car during a hurricane...you might be a redneck.



(h/t - Gizmodo)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Before And After



(h/t - Huffington Post)

McCain's VP Job Description

Besides being the President of the Senate and first in line of succession, the Vice President's duties are left up to the President. That being said, this is what John McCain has set as Sarah Palin's job description if they win in November.
Vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin outlined the role she would play in the next administration Monday, saying she and McCain have agreed that she would focus on energy issues, government reform and helping families with special needs. (emphasis mine)

Let's look at her rack record as mayor of Wasilla and 20 month Governor of Alaska on these issues:

Energy - Drill, Drill, Drill. Their isn't a spot that she wouldn't drill even being quoted as saying "I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can’t drill our way out of our problem"

Government reform - Apparently there isn't an earmark out there that she doesn't like or hasn't accepted not to mention questions of using her position to get those she didn't like fired.

Helping families - Does supporting the billing of rape victims for their own rape kits count?

Sounds like Palin has a lot of work in front of her if she is to accomplish anywhere near as much as she did during her time in Alaska.

In McCain's Economy: All Is Just Peachy

Lehman Brothers is bankrupt, Merrill Lynch is in the midst of a fire sale with Bank of America, taxpayers are now mortgage brokers after the government takeover of Fannie and Freddie. The US automakers are tanking and looking to taxpayers to back a bailout. Families across the country are losing their houses and can't afford to gas up their cars to get themselves to the homeless shelters. So what does McCain and his posse of economic gurus think of our current economic situation?
Addressing today’s news of upheaval in America’s financial markets, McCain said this morning that, despite fears over the "turmoil" on Wall Street, “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

Or as McCain adviser Phil Gramm says, Waaaaaa!

McCain: Earmarks Bad, Palin Good

So what is up with this Senator McCain?
Last week, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, hadn't sought earmarks or special-interest spending from Congress, presenting her as a fiscal conservative. But state records show Gov. Palin has asked U.S. taxpayers to fund $453 million in specific Alaska projects over the past two years.

These projects include more than $130 million in federal funds that would benefit Alaska's fishing industry and an additional $9 million to help Alaska oil companies. She also has sought $4.5 million to upgrade an airport on a Bering Sea island that has a year-round population of less than 100.

It's called research, try it sometime you might be surprised what you discover, especially on issues you consider to be part of your platform. Then again considering the truth doesn't seem to be an issue with you, maybe you already knew.

Oh and by the way, this is Rupert Murdoch's own Wall Street Journal reporting this not your everyday liberal rag...

Somebody Is Hoping For A McCain Win

Does anyone not think that Tina Fey is hoping that John McCain wins in November? She absolutely nailed her Sarah Palin impression on SNL this past weekend.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Attack The Messenger, Karl Rove Edition

The liberal blogs have been all over John McCain and Sarah Palin for telling some whoppers during the campaign. It has recently gotten so bad that even that darn liberal media has finally started taking notice of the half truths and bedtime stories coming from the McCain camp.

Of course we all know that a rightie's blind faith in the Grand Old Party prevents them from ever considering that their guy/gal might be less than truthful so they instead do their best to look the other way or come up with some whoppers of their own to explain away the inconsistencies. This has been the political world that we lived in until recently when several non-partisan fact checking organizations have sprouted up to try and get around the spin that comes from both sides.

Now that these groups are also now calling BS on much of the BS coming from the McCain/Palin camp, the GOP spin machine led by their leader, Karl Rove, has had to go into full attack mode. And Fox News is more than happy to let their recently minted "political commentator" go on the offensive.
But on Fox News Sunday today, former Bush political adviser Karl Rove dismissed the organizations, claiming that “they’ve got their own biases built in there.” “You can’t trust the fact-check organizations,” said Rove




While Rove did concede that McCain might have gone too far at times (which is amazing in it's own right), he stopped short of saying that McCain didn't tell the truth because in Rove's world, we could never let the facts get in the way of McCain and Palin's mission.

Saying otherwise would be sexist and unpatriotic.

All That Was Missing Was Aunt Jemima

A vendor at the Values Voter Summit had an idea for a product immortalizing Barack Obama's position changes on the issues. Pictured is the product they came up with including an interesting caricature of the Illinois Senator.

I am all for a good parody but wouldn't pancake mix have been a better product? I would think Obama was more of a flip flopper (FISA comes to mind) than a waffler.

Oh and then there is that stereotypical picture thing...but who is surprised? I would bet most attending the so called "Values Voter Summit" are all about stereotypes and many I would guess still strongly believe that Obama is a Muslim.

UPDATE 1:45pm: LGF thinks the waffle mix might have something to do with Obama's "Why can't I just eat my waffle" comment so I guess the waffle product is fitting though I still would have gone with pancake/flip flop metaphor, minus the caricature, myself.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Is McCain Setting Up Obama?

I discussed yesterday how the latest Obama ad criticizing McCain for his perceived email/internet ignorance would probably backfire. Besides allowing McCain surrogates to again bring up his POW days because of the injuries he received causing problems for him using a keyboard, it appears that it is also not correct.

More proof that Obama needs some more talented internet researchers on his staff. Forbes from May of 2000:
In certain ways, McCain was a natural Web candidate. Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate’s savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. “She’s a whiz on the keyboard, and I’m so laborious,” McCain admits.

If wasn't for the fact that I believe that McCain is no where near smart enough to pull it off, I might believe that his whole internet dumbness meme was nothing more than an elaborate setup that Obama fell for hook line and sinker.

Billboard Top 100 Of All Time?

Top whatever lists dominate the internet with just about every possible subject being ranked by someone somewhere. Music along with movies probably top the list and Billboard is getting into the act, commemorating their 50th anniversary by listing their top 100 songs of the Billboard era.

Their list, unlike many, has a basis in something other than opinion as they used their charts to determine the top songs. Also like most lists, I disagree with it completely. Here's their top 10:

10. Un-Break My Heart (Toni Braxton)
9. We Belong Together (Mariah Carey)
8. Hey Jude (The Beatles)
7. You Light Up My Life (Debby Boone)
6. Physical (Olivia Newton-John)
5. Macarena (Los Del Rio)
4. How Do I Live (LeAnn Rimes)
3. Mack The Knife (Bobby Darin)
2. Smooth (Santana/Rob Thomas)
1. The Twist (Chubby Checker)

All I can say is that music must have been really bad at times to have Olivia Newton John and LeAnn Rimes topping the charts longer than the Beatles.

Candidates Say The Strangest Things

John McCain on why he is qualified for the job of President:

“I have had a strong and a long relationship on national security, I’ve been involved in every national crisis that this nation has faced since Beirut, I understand the issues, I understand and appreciate the enormity of the challenge we face from radical Islamic extremism. “I am prepared. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasn’t a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn’t a governor for a short period of time.” (emphasis added)


But apparently it isn't a problem for your number 2...

(h/t - Crooks and Liars)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Incompetence Continues

You have one of the most unpopular outgoing Presidents in history. You are facing a candidate that promises pretty much 4 more years of the policies of that unpopular President. Your opponent choses the mayor of B.F.E. as his running mate whose only foreign policy experience is the proximity of her state to Russia. So why are you behind in the polls and in real danger of losing?

Well this might have something to do with it. From Obama's spokesman Dan Pfeiffer on his latest ad slamming McCain's internet skills
"Our economy wouldn't survive without the Internet, and cyber-security continues to represent one our most serious national security threats," [Obama spokesman Dan] Pfeiffer said. "It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief doesn't know how to send an e-mail." (emphasis mine)

The only problem?
McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes.

Put aside for the moment that being able to use a keyboard is not a deal breaker if one desires to send an email, does Obama really want McCain's POW card being used again, this time in the proper "noun verb POW" context? Yes McCain could send an email if he really wanted to learn even with his war inflicted injuries, but is the shi*storm that will likely ensue really worth it? (Can you say lipstick on a pig?)

Newsflash to Obama and his surrogates. Before criticizing your opponent for his lack of internet skills, maybe consider hiring someone that knows how to use the internet, you know like maybe Google, so that they can research your attacks before you make them. There is so many other things that you could slam McCain on, why choose this one?

UPDATE 9/13: If the point was whether or not McCain could actually use a keyboard or type, this Huffington Post story might have been damaging. Unfortunately the issue is providing the McCain spin machine with another opportunity to throw the victim card back in Obama's face and no facts to the contrary seem to matter.

Break Out The Softball Gear

Yesterday I made an off handed mention about who might be better suited to interview Sarah Palin after her Charlie Gibson, ABC News interview. After reading the right's outrage over the way she was questioned I suggested that McCain have her talk to Sean Hannity.

They must have heard me...
Sean Hannity, the conservative commentator, will interview Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin next week, the Fox News Channel announced Friday.

Prediction: Get ready for the softballs to fly during this one and for those same folks on the "outraged right" to hail her performance as one for the ages...

Tim Johnson On Huffington Post

Senator Tim Johnson is interviewed by the Huffington Post and talks about Sarah Palin's "experience", John McCain's temper and even has a few words of advice for Barack Obama. Read the whole interview here.

Ooops, My Bad...

Both Barack Obama and John McCain vowed to suspend the negative ads in the name of honoring the 7th anniversary of 9/11. I guess someone forgot.
An independent watchdog group says that Republican John McCain's campaign violated a pledge not to air any negative TV ads on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The group Factcheck.org said Friday that is found a negative ad from the McCain campaign airing on Denver television on Thursday. That was the day both the Democratic and Republican camps had promised to take a break from traditional campaigning.

McCain campaign officials did not respond to repeated requests by The Associated Press for comment.

That damn sexism again! Oh that's right, that is Sarah Palin's excuse. Did you know that John McCain was a POW?

Somebody Please Explain

Ok we are now 2 commercials into Microsoft's $300 million ad campaign and I still don't get the punchline.


I will freely admit that ever since I had my own Vista problems (I lost everything, and bought a Mac), Vista is a sore subject with me. But even with my obvious bias exposed, does anyone get where Microsoft is going with this campaign?

To borrow from the latest political controversy, this doesn't even rise to "putting lipstick an a pig" levels. It's a pig without the lipstick.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Is Fair And Balanced?

Apparently for Sarah Palin supporters, the definition of "fair and balanced" questions are those that she can answer without looking totally lost.
Charlie Gibson had a chance to show that he could be fair, balanced, and P.D.S.-free with Sarah Palin’s first major MSM interview.

Looks like he blew it.

For some it appears that ABC's Charles Gibson didn't meet those standards. Maybe they should be looking at the other side of the interview table or better yet, stick with Sean Hannity and rehearsed questions.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pot Meet Darker Pot, Lipstick Edition

You can debate the intelligence of Barack Obama mentioning pig and lipstick in the same sentence after all the publicity garnered by Sarah Palin's lipstick quote all you want. But before you get to caught up in trying to connect the dots and feigning outrage, you might want to refresh your memory of John McCain's pig with lipstick quote when talking about Hillary Clinton and her healthcare plan.

This Really Instills Confidence

What does it say for our financial markets when some moron can mistake a 6 year old story for news which in turn causes a stock to drop 75%?
A worker at a Miami investment advisory firm called Income Securities Advisor, which publishes news alerts that get distributed to the Bloomberg News Service, did a Google search on bankruptcies this morning and got back search results that included a six-year-old story published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel about the 2002 bankruptcy filing by United Airlines.

And
Panic ensued, as they say, and United Airlines stock price plummeted 75 percent (down from $12.30 to $3 a share) before someone realized it was an old date and things righted themselves. The stock rebounded to $10.92 a share by Monday's closing. But not before United Airlines contacted the Sun Sentinel and demanded the newspaper retract its (6-year-old) story.

Spoils Of War

The "war on terror" wink, wink, has finally started showing the type of dividends our fearless leaders were looking for when they first ordered our troops into Iraq. Shell has become the first Western oil company to get their hands on Iraqi gas since the war started.
Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to a gas joint venture with Iraq worth up to four billion dollars, the Iraqi oil ministry said Tuesday, becoming the first Western oil major to gain access to the violence-wracked country's vast energy reserves.

The deal to capture unwanted gas burned off during oil production for sale both inside Iraq and abroad is expected to be signed in Baghdad next month, ministry spokesman Assem Jihad told AFP.

And who said were not making any progress?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Anti-Diesel Bias

Ford has a new model ready to hit showrooms in November that under normal circumstances would have Toyota worried. The 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic is a 5 passenger compact car that looks a lot like the previous generation Focus and will get 65MPG, with only one stipulation. You will have to be in Europe to buy one.

Why Europe only? Besides the higher cost associated with the engines being built in Britain, Ford doesn't think diesel powered cars can sell in the US.
Yet while half of all cars sold in Europe last year ran on diesel, the U.S. market remains relatively unfriendly to the fuel. Taxes aimed at commercial trucks mean diesel costs anywhere from 40 cents to $1 more per gallon than gasoline. Add to this the success of the Toyota Prius, and you can see why only 3% of cars in the U.S. use diesel. "Americans see hybrids as the darling," says Global Insight auto analyst Philip Gott, "and diesel as old-tech."

Is Ford making another miscalculation? Even with higher diesel costs, 65MPG seems an awful big selling point to me but with a government funded bailout a distinct possibility, maybe Ford feels they can afford to hold off.

Use The Force

I saw this and immediately thought of the somewhat obscure John Ritter movie called Skin Deep that included a battle between 2 "in use" glow in the dark condoms being used as light sabres.



Putting aside the obvious jokes about the lack of need for such a product within the Star War's crowd, I wonder how long it will be before George Lucas provides this company with another way to use them when he bends them over in court for copyright infringement.

"A long time ago in a galaxy for, for away"?

(h/t - Geekologie)

Pot, Meet Darker Pot

Don't you think the Governor of the state with the highest per capita pet project spending (re:earmarks) might want to avoid criticizing someone for the same issue?
John McCain and Sarah Palin criticized Democrat Barack Obama over the amount of money he has requested for his home state of Illinois, even though Alaska under Palin's leadership has asked Washington for 10 times more money per citizen for pet projects.

Maybe it's just me but she might want to move on to a different talking point, you know one that they aren't just as, if not more guilty of? Especially in light of the debunked "no thanks" to Congress on the bridge to nowhere claim that she and McCain keep bringing up.

One of these days Republican's might catch on, but I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ollie North?

Ever since our military attacked Azizabad, Afghanistan on August 22nd, numerous groups including the United Nations and human rights organizations have claimed that up to 90 civilians were killed. Also since August 22nd, our military has disputed the number of civilian deaths instead claiming that no more than 7 might have died.

Finally yesterday the military admitted that the scores of witnesses and other evidence could mean that the higher civilian death toll might be accurate. While that thought is horrible, what makes it even worse is who they used to corroborate their initial denials, the one and only Fox News correspondent Oliver North.
The US military said that its findings were corroborated by an independent journalist embedded with the US force. He was named as the Fox News correspondent Oliver North, who came to prominence in the 1980s Iran-Contra affair, when he was an army colonel.

So we are being accused of killing almost 100 civilians during one of our military operations and we use the word of Iran Contra front man Ollie North for death toll corroboration?

This Is Who Will Have The Keys To The Economy?

John McCain has already freely admitted that the economy isn't his forte and now we have an idea on how knowledgeable his running mate is on the subject. Here's her take on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, speaking in Colorado Springs, Colo., said Fannie and Freddie had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers."

Sorry Sarah, they weren't costing us a dime. That is of course until the Bush Administration decided to bail them out this past weekend.

McCain/Palin, what a pair. But at least one of them can shoot a moose with the best of them...

The New Janis Joplin?

Janis Joplin was a talented singer taken from us way to soon due to a drug overdose in 1970. Are we witnessing this generation's Janis Joplin?
Amy Winehouse stunned organisers of a music festival by ordering 48 bottles of Jack Daniels, according to a report.

Organisers of the three-day Bestival event on the Isle of Wight said they were shocked when Winehouse requested two whole crates of bourbon for the gig, The Sun said.

Now they are concerned that Winehouse - who is already facing legal threats after pulling out of a scheduled performance in France recently - may appear on stage in no state to wow the festival crowds.
Winehouse has already been put on notice by doctors that one more overdose could be fatal so is this really a good idea?

McCain Wants Bi-Partisan Administration

John McCain is vowing to take a "very bi-partisan approach" to selecting his cabinet even promising to pick a Democrat or two.
Speaking to CBS' "Face the Nation," the Republican presidential nominee vowed that he won't just have a single token Democrat in his Cabinet.

"It's going to be the best people in America, the smartest people in America," McCain said. "So many of these problems we face -- for example, energy independence -- what's partisan about that?"

I smell a cabinet position for Joe Lieberman in the works, he said he was a Democrat at one time didn't he?

Washington Outsider?

Do Washington outsiders hire lobbyists to secure millions in earmarks?
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure almost $27 million in federal
earmarks for a town of 6,700 residents while she was its mayor, according to an analysis by an independent government watchdog group.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Browns Fan Begins A New Season

Very few sports fans can relate to the pain and agony that awaits a Cleveland sports fan at the beginning of a season. In fact to be a Cleveland fan who was alive for any championship, you would need to be over 44 years old to be around for the 1963/64 Cleveland Browns. And don't get me started on the Indians...

With that said, last years 10-6 Browns get ready to open another season and I again get to wonder, how soon before I have to say "just wait until next year?". A few times in the 1980's I was able to last until the AFC Championship game only to be hit in the stomach by "The Drive" and "The Fumble".

So as the Browns get ready to play Dallas this afternoon, I should know fairly quickly whether it will be wait until next year or wait until next week. Here's hoping it's the latter but also knowing that it is probably the former.

It is Cleveland after all.

McCain The Flying Ace (Updated: Almost)

Updated below with a clarification on one of the documented incidents.

I have been doing some research on John McCain's time in the military, for the obvious reasons of course, but also because I am a fan of naval aviation having spent over 5 years serving on aircraft carriers.

Much of what I found is the standard stuff that McCain himself likes to discuss including his 5th from the bottom of the class graduation at the Naval Academy and his being shot down in North Vietnam but I did find out a few more interesting tidbits. The most intriguing of which being the fact that McCain is an ace, a reverse ace that is, meaning that he destroyed 5 aircraft during his military service, all of which were his own (4 in accidents and 1 in combat). This fact supposedly earned him the nickname "Ace" from his Vietnam flight buddies.

I was previously aware of 2 incidents, the most obvious being the one he had shot out from under him in Vietnam and the second which would be familiar to any sailor that has ever been to firefighting school, happened during the USS Forrestal fire in 1967 that killed 134 of McCain's shipmates. McCain was temporarily trapped in his A4 Skyhawk on the flight deck when an errant missile hit either his plane or the one next to his while preparing for flight ops. The unarmed missile knocked off a fuel tank that consequently started the deadly fire.

But of course an ace has to destroy 5 aircraft and McCain crashed 3 other times to get his 5. His first incident happened in 1958 when his engine quit while doing practice landings causing him to crash into Corpus Christi Bay. He was very lucky as the impact knocked him unconscious and the plane settled to the bottom of the bay before he came to and made it to the surface. A subsequent investigation found no engine problems.

McCain's second crash occurred while he was deployed in the Mediterranean and he took out power lines while flying too low which was similar to what happened in 1998 when a Marine Corps jet hit the Italian ski resort gondola cables.

And McCain's 3rd crash prior to the Vietnam and Forrestal incidents happened when the trainer he was flying from Philadelphia after the Army-Navy game flamed out and crashed into a row of trees. He was able to eject before the plane went down.

So there you have John McCain's flight record. 20 hours of combat flight and 5 planes destroyed. But considering McCain's flight instructor said that he was "positively one of the weakest students to pass our way", what else would one expect?

Other than possibly being our next commander in chief that is...

UPDATE 9/7 9:45am: There is some question as to whether the incident with the power lines ended up with McCain's plane crashing. So in fairness he is only credited with being in the cockpit of 4 planes that were destroyed plus taking out some power lines which would leave him 1 short of being a reverse ace. Also to clarify, McCain's incidents never led to any disciplinary action being taken against him nor did he lose out on any promotions due to these issues.

McCain Disses Veterans Again

For a candidate that claims to be pro-veteran, John McCain sure seems to be doing a good job of pissing them off.

Paul Riekhoff, director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, whom already has McCain rated "D" for his voting record on issues related to it members, is slamming the GOP Presidential nominee for completely ignoring Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans during his acceptance speech at the RNC. For some reason he thinks McCain should have done more than show a picture of Walter Reed, that would be the middle school not the hospital, as a backdrop during his speech.
RIECKHOFF: I think honestly that backdrop, whether it was Walter Reed medical center or Walter Reed middle school — that’s about as close as Sen. McCain got to veterans issues last night. He didn’t mention the word veteran once during his entire speech, didn’t talk about post-traumatic stress disorder, didn’t talk about veterans funding. I think he really forgot where he came from last night.

At least McCain can't be accused of being inconsistent. He ignores all veterans equally except for the one POW who somehow managed to learn how to be President in the Hanoi Hilton which he discusses all the time.

Not Ready For Prime Time

Apparently the greatest thing since sliced bread in the GOP isn't quite ready for the Sunday prime time lineup as only 3 of the 4 candidates will be making the Sunday talk show rounds.
Three of the four now-official candidates on the major-party presidential tickets are scheduled to sit down for questions: Democrat Barack Obama on ABC's "This Week," his running mate, Joe Biden, on NBC's "Meet the Press" and Republican John McCain on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Absent from this list, of course, is the GOP's star of the moment, the not-so-long-ago obscure governor of Alaska who is McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin.

Looks like it is still a bit too hot in the political kitchen for Palin whom John McCain continues to hide from the mean ol' media unless he controls the puppet strings.

Too bad Dick Cheney wasn't this invisible these past 8 years.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Marriage Problems?

Sick of having to sit through reality TV with your better half? Is it causing relationship issues? According to a new survey getting a Tivo could save your relationship.
Some 79 percent of 1,000 DVR owners reported that the technology has improved their relationship, according to the NDS DVR Report.
Or you could just marry someone with the same tastes in TV...

Pit Bull With Lipstick

Remember that line from Sarah Palin's speech at the RNC about the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull that so energized the troops? It seems that it isn't the first time someone associated with John McCain has used a similar phrase though in slightly different context.

Do you remember controversial pastor John Hagee, you know the guy that John McCain put on the gold plated pandering knee pads in order to get his endorsement? Well he also said something very similar in his book "What Every Man Wants in a Woman".
Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist.

Do you think the McCain speechwriters had a copy of this handy while writing the Palin speech?

Friday News Dump

Does anyone find it funny that the Bush Administration waited until late on a Friday evening, the day after John McCain finished up a convention in which his admitted lack of economic knowledge wasn't a topic, to announce that we the taxpayers could soon be in the mortgage business?
The government has formulated a plan to put troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under federal control, dismiss their top executives and prop them up financially, federal officials told the two companies yesterday, according to three sources familiar with the conversations.

Under the plan, which could prompt one of the most sweeping government interventions in financial markets in U.S. history, federal officials would place the firms under a conservatorship, a legal status giving the government the option and time to restructure and revive the companies, the sources said. The value of the companies' common stock would be diluted but not wiped out, while the holdings of other securities, including company debt and preferred shares might be protected by the government.

But i guess we shouldn't worry about taking on over a trillion more in debt, we are just a bunch of "whiners" in the midst of a "mental recession" anyway.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Will The Same People Question Palin That Question Johnson?

South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson's decision not to debate Joel Dykstra has brought complaints from all directions, as long as that direction is the right, all questioning his fitness to serve. While in the meantime, other than personal appearances to mainly invite only events and press releases, Johnson stays pretty much out of the media eye.

Something similar is happening on the national front with John McCain's choice for Vice President, Sarah Palin. From the minute she was announced many have questioned everything from her limited resume. And because the media has been doing their job, the McCain campaign has decided to shelter her from the their questioning.
According to Nicole Wallace of the McCain campaign, the American people don't care whether Sarah Palin can answer specific questions about foreign and domestic policy. According to Wallace -- in an appearance I did with her this morning on Joe Scarborough's show -- the American people will learn all they need to know (and all they deserve to know) from Palin's scripted speeches and choreographed appearances on the campaign trail and in campaign ads.

We don't care about her foreign and domestic policy views? We will learn all we need to know from prepared speeches?

Do South Dakotan's notice a trend here? I do but somehow I doubt the people complaining about Tim Johnson's limited public appearances will be saying much about their gal Sarah's self imposed media blackout.

At least with Johnson, South Dakotan's have years of direct personal knowledge of the man and his qualifications as well as a voting record in the job, with Palin that isn't the case. Johnson has an excuse, you know that brain injury thing so what about Palin? They were mean to her?

But heck, it's not like she will be next in line for the Presidency, oh wait she would be...

Is It Too Early To Ask For A Refund?

Microsoft's first try in a $300 million Vista ad campaign starring Jerry Seinfeld is out and all I can say is hopefully any subsequent ads are better.

The McCain Speech

Did you know that McCain gave a speech last night? If not here's the gist:

"Thanks to President Bush for his 8 years of leadership...nod off snoring loudly...I'm the real change that is needed...did I wake up in the middle of an Obama speech?...I'm the best guy for the job...hoping I can resume my dream when I go to bed...I had it rough as a POW 40 years ago.

Thank you, and God Bless you."

Did I miss anything?

John Bush? Kids Say The Strangest Things

As do spurned VP candidates...



Tom Ridge nails the John McCain platform with one Freudian slip.

Walmart Slammed By Mexican Court

Now to be fair, I am far from knowledgeable on the working conditions in Mexico. I do know that they must be bad enough to cause 1000's of Mexicans to cross our borders yearly in search of a better life.

So knowing that, how bad must Walmart be in Mexico if their Supreme Court is criticizing their labor practices? I'll give you a hint, an 1890's dictator and store only salary vouchers are mentioned.

I wonder if they tell their employees how to vote down there as well?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Touching But...

If you happened to catch the "Pledge of Allegiance" video on Tuesday at the GOP convention, you might have thought it to be quite touching. If you missed it, I have embedded it below.


What isn't as touching and what the GOP failed to mention is despite over 4500 military deaths and a similar number of funerals since we went to "war", they instead decided to hire actors for the military funeral scene in the video, much to the dismay of some veterans groups.

Brandon Friedman from VetVoice:
The issue here isn't that the RNC used actors in what might have been a haste. Rather, the underlying problem is that Bush and McCain supporters don't like to deal with the messy reality of warfare that genuine troops bring to the table. That is, they feel compelled to stage a funeral with actors. Because to show a real military funeral--with the heaving chests of a broken family clutching a flag-draped coffin containing the pieces of their dead soldier--might just make the funny hat-clad, stupid button-wearing audience blanch. And that doesn't make for good TV. Plus, people just wouldn't go for it. So they use sanitized actors.

But this is an insult to the military. The use of actors shows an unwillingness to face up to what they've done--to the military and to the nation. And it shows that the only way to keep up support for the war is to hide its reality from the American people.

What Has McCain Gotten Us Into?

Any self respecting secular humanist, or anyone that thinks that Sunday sermons don't belong determining Monday's legislation for that matter, has to be a bit worried over some of the things that GOP nominee Sarah Palin has said in the past.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God."

Isn't that similar to what Al Qaeda says each time they try to blow us up?

And what is this all about?
Palin told graduating students of the church's School of Ministry, "What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys." As they preached the love of Jesus throughout Alaska, she said, she'd work to implement God's will from the governor's office, including creating jobs by building a pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to North American markets.

So God is an oilman? Implementing God's will from the Governor's office?

I don't do this often here, but at this very moment I myself am praying. I am praying that if somehow 72 year old John McCain wins in November, he leads a wonderfully healthy next 4 plus years so that Sarah Palin can fade into Dan Quayle like obscurity.

Noun, Verb, Sexism

With Rudy Giuliani it was noun, verb, 9/11. With John McCain it is noun, verb, POW. And now apparently with Sarah Palin it is noun, verb, sexism. At least that is the contention of female Republicans.
Female Republicans embraced identity politics with gusto today, touting the virtues of presumptive vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and suggesting that any attempts to question her qualifications amounted to blatant sexism. (emphasis mine)

So for all those meanies out there, stop picking on Mrs Palin just because she is unqualified, you sexist pigs!

Speaking of sexism, a liberal blog I read from time to time has an interesting nickname for McCain's VP pick that they use in place of her name, James.Dobson.In.A.Dress.

Is that sexism? Maybe. Is it accurate? Probably. Is it funny? Absolutely...

UPDATE 7:55am: I guess The Washington Monthly's Political Animal did't get the sexism memo. They fact check Sarah Palin's speech from last night and apparently facts aren't important to Palin or her speechwriters.