Archive for October 9th, 2008


Oct 09, 2008 in Politics, The senility of John McCain

Politicians who yell at people, “Do you know who I am?” make us wish we didn’t.

McCain’s game is craps. So is Jeff Dearth’s. Jeff was at the table when McCain showed up and happily made room for him. Apparently there is some kind of rule or tradition in craps that everyone’s hands are supposed to be above the table when the dice are about to be thrown. McCain—“very likely distracted by one of the many people who approached him that evening,” Jeff says charitably—apparently was violating this rule. A small middle-aged woman at the table, apparently a “regular,” reached out and pulled McCain’s arm away. I’ll let Jeff take over the story:

“McCain immediately turned to the woman and said between clenched teeth: ‘DON’T TOUCH ME.’ The woman started to explain…McCain interrupted her: ‘DON’T TOUCH ME,’ he repeated viciously. The woman again tried to explain. ‘DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO?’ McCain continued, his voice rising and his hands now raised in the ‘bring it on’ position. He was red-faced. By this time all the action at the table had stopped. I was completely shocked. McCain had totally lost it, and in the space of about ten seconds. ‘Sir, you must be courteous to the other players at the table,’ the pit boss said to McCain. “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? ASK ANYBODY AROUND HERE WHO I AM.”

This being Puerto Rico, the pit boss might not have known McCain. But the senator continued in full fury—“DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”—and crisis was avoided only when Jeff offered to change places and stand between McCain and the woman who had touched his arm.

For the woman’s sake, I’m glad somebody stopped McCain before he pushed her.

We’ll do just fine without this guy in the White House.


Republicans in the wilderness.

Oct 09, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives

Apparently the cats over at National Review are going completely buggers over McCain’s apparent doom. Coupled with Palin’s hate rallies, the right is suffering from a serious affliction of PTD (politically transmitted diseases). Syphilitic politics is leading even supposedly “rational” (they’re not and never have been) institutions like National Review to engage in wild conspiracy theories that, let’s face it, will not end with Obama’s election. Fortunately, they fit the key characteristic of rightwing conspiracy theories: so absurd they’re automatically laughable to sane people, instantly discrediting those who propagate them. Hilzoy applies some logic salve:

This is delusional. It would be interesting to ask, for instance, why so few of Obama’s law students have come forward to talk about his attempt to transform them into Maoist cadres, or why the lawyers in his firm have not mentioned his commitment to cultural revolution, or how he has managed to conceal his desire to nationalize the means of production from, well, everyone. Was he secretly plotting to get asked, unexpectedly, to speak at the Democratic Convention, take a chance on running for President, and succeed, back when he was on the Harvard Law Review? That, plus absolutely iron self-control, might explain why no one caught a glimpse of Obama’s secret radicalism: he has been concealing it for decades, the better to bore away at our bourgeois institutions.

There’s only one problem with that hypothesis: if Obama were as stealthy as that, if he had lived a secret life for decades, completely concealing his inner Maoist, he would never, ever have blown his cover by getting on a board with William Ayers.

Rightwingers rarely became 9/11 truthers because they loved George W. Bush. No other reason.

Have fun in the jungle, boys and girls! Follow Rush Limbaugh into the Heart of Darkness!

The horror…the horror…


UPDATE: Ben Smith pinpoints the cornered panic some Republicans feel now that they’ve convinced themselves Obama is some radical terrorist-lover and they realize he’s about to become President. Choice quote:

But the sense that his presidency is imminent appears, to some minority of Republicans, to be essentially unacceptable. Whether because of his views, his race, his life story or his partisan affiliation, Obama doesn’t fit their model of a possible president of the United States. And so there’s a new urgency to the reaction against him.

McCain’s questioner in Wisconsin today put it clearly.

“We’re all wondering why Obama is where he’s at. How he got here. Everybody in this room is stunned we’re in this position,” he said.

If you’re like me, you’re starting to get really concerned about the threat of assassination. When the right starts boiling themselves in fury it doesn’t matter how insubstantial and illogical the reasons are. Obama could not be more conciliatory or friendly toward whites, and his entire campaign has thrown conservatives all sorts of warm fuzzies. The Republican base, facing defeat, is returning to its roots: angry, hateful, unhinged, irrational, tribalistic, and openly fond of violence as a solution. Civilized Americans are rejecting this Ayers nonsense, but to the right it’s a drop of Rage Virus-infested blood to the eyeball.

Barack Obama needs to be very careful about his public appearances, and Secret Service needs to double down on their protection. The unthinkable is being thought about a lot, and out loud.

Thomas Friedman never says anything worth a damn.

Oct 09, 2008 in Sarah Palin

Well, never say never:

I only wish she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.

Sorry, I grew up in a very middle-class family in a very middle-class suburb of Minneapolis, and my parents taught me that paying taxes, while certainly no fun, was how we paid for the police and the Army, our public universities and local schools, scientific research and Medicare for the elderly. No one said it better than Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.”

In Palin’s defense, she still has no idea what she’s talking about. She just reads things and they make her wonder…


Barack Obama = terrorist.

Oct 09, 2008 in Uncategorized

Videos like this pop up and we’re treated to the usual list of excuses about how these are cherry-picked examples that are not representative of the party as a whole. Take a look at this and tell me that you don’t take these people’s words seriously:


Blogger Interrupted shot this video at a local McCain rally. Granted, those who speak up first and bellow the loudest are usually the dumbest among us but there is a bit of consistency to these types of outrageous claims/ideas.


Wait til You Hear This One

Oct 09, 2008 in Uncategorized

The people who like to make a big deal about “flip flops,” who’re really into CONSISTENCY and RELIABILITY and STRENGTH and so on? They would like you to just forget all that while they issue this “correction”, which reverses their earlier position. You see, it was a matter of language, not intention. The earlier draft, which said the exact opposite of what the new draft says, was merely a misstatement of the candidate’s position.

I don’t know, man. I’m beginning to think you Republican types aren’t taking this election seriously. It’s not a scrimmage. You have to actually have an opinion on an issue before you go running off at the mouth about it. Anyway, the question stands: Republicans are the ones who abhor “flip flops,” right? This is a within-24-hours “flip flop.” Y’all still real into the whole notion of consistency?