Category Archives: politics

Holy Shit

CNN and NBC just called it for Obama. Grant Park is going insane. I totally just choked up.

This is IT, y’all. One of the few times in my life that I’m conscious of being alive in a historical moment.

FUCK, I wish I could have a drink.

Cautiously Optimistic

Moving this back up top … We mostly have it tuned to CNN, because Mr. Squab thinks their “hologram” shtick is teh awesome. The Hatchling and I spent the afternoon (post-nap) dancing around the living room and chanting “Yay, Obama!” Only she pronounces it “Obamama,” which is much cuter. They’re saying that MN had at least 80% voter turnout. SO PROUD.

Oh, and also, have you seen THIS SHIT?!?!

Totally unbelievable. This woman is, like, a caricature of a mean old conservative lady. I love the responses of the neighbors. (h/t Bitch, PhD).

God, I’m glad it’s almost over

I feel all jittery about tomorrow, even more so than usual. But one thing I will NOT miss is the mother. effing. campaign commercials. The presidential ones don’t get under my skin too much anymore, (maybe because I’m pretty optimisti about the outcome of that race) but christ, the Coleman/Franken ones are getting brutal. Coleman is such a slimebag – not only politically, but personally (you should hear some of the local stories about him) – and I’m really, really afraid he’s going to win. I have similar fears about Michele Bachmann, who I think might win despite the fact that she’s a freaking LUNATIC. But finally, it will just be good to have it all OVER. I can’t take the stress. The Hatchling and I will be heading to the polling station tomorrow morning bright and early so we can show off our “I voted” stickers all day long. And you, my lovely and educated readers? Have you already voted? Who do you think is going to win, nationally or locally? And how glad will you be to be out of election season?

Linky Bits

Howie and the Fonz being pro-Obama is not surprising, but Opie and Andy threw me for a loop, I admit.

Not that readers of this blog need convincing that federal money is better spent on the poor than the rich, but this graph is still pretty cool.

Looky, Daddy has some fabulous images for voting NO on prop 8.

I consider it a hopeful sign that even Liddy Dole is getting this desperate.

If you missed the Daily Show last night, you gotta watch this. I heart Samantha Bee:


Heh heh.

Debate #3 Live(ish) blogging

I know, I know, I’ve been extremely delinquent of late. I’ve been trying to operate on the time-honored principle of if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all … and you can see how THAT’S turning out. Fortunately for you, my class tonight had completely blown off their assignment for today, not the first time they’ve been remiss in preparation, so I lectured them about taking their classes more seriously, gave them some additional homework, and sent them home. Hence: I can watch the debate in (almost) real time – I just have to wait for Mr. Squab to finish putting the Hatchling down and then we’ll crank up Mr. Tivo. Not that I’m expecting any major surprises tonight, but then McCain has gotta be feeling pretty desperate at this point, so you never know.

I like Bob Schieffer. I bet he’s a good Grandpa. Just sayin’.

Well, McCain definitely looks more comfortable tonight than he did at the last debate, but he still isn’t really SAYING anything (or, in fact, he’s saying nonsense: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did NOT cause the current economic situation). Whereas Obama is being nice and specific, as usual.

Is it just me, or is McCain’s “Joe the Plumber” story coming out of nowhere? Obama: “[Joe’s] been watching some ads of Senator McCain’s.” Nice. Way to not be derailed.

McCain says “spread the wealth around” like it’s a bad thing. Like we’re all gonna be, like, “ooh, COMMIE.” How does he not get that for the vast majority of the public, that sounds like a great idea?

John McCain is going to use a hatchet AND a scalpel. Now there’s an image from my nightmares. Fuck. Again with the damn projector? I think candidates should only be allowed to use any given metaphor/anecdote in ONE debate. Come up with some new material.

Ooh, McCain is getting all feisty. “I’m not Bush.” Unfortunately, this just makes him look more like Grandpa Simpson, not more like a President.

I love how McCain keeps saying that it’s clear that he’s gone against his own party, as if just saying it will make it so. Maybe he thinks he’s a magician!

OK, Schieffer just gave McGrumpy a huge opening to bring up Ayers and ACORN and all … and instead he’s basically saying that, um, his campaign has gone incredibly negative because … Obama wouldn’t agree to ten town hall meetings? Jigga-who? Obama, of course, can take the high ground here, since of course he hasn’t gone anywhere NEAR as negative as McCain. I wish Schieffer would say something here about the difference between Obama’s negative ads, which are going after McCain’s policies, and McCain’s negative ads, which are straight-out ad hominem attacks.

YES! Obama finally calls McCain/Palin out on their freaky, freaky rallies. People that McCain is, apparently, “proud” of. Sheesh.

OK, McC is bringing up Ayers and ACORN … in the same sentence. As a response to Obama’s calling for more civilized discourse. Keep it classy, McCain. This gives Obama the opening he’s been looking for to set the record straight, which he does with a nice, steady, detailed answer.

Interesting question about running mates. I wish Obama would take the opportunity to take a dig at Palin, but of course he won’t. McCain: Palin will be a good president because she understands special needs children “better than any American I know.” I’m sorry, WHAT?!?! Schieffer gives Obama a big opening to slam Palin, and he turns it into a comment on the need for increased spending for issues like autism, which McCain/Palin’s spending freeze would deny. Nice.

Is it just me, or is McCain all over the place in this debate? He’s jumping around so much with every answer it’s impossible to keep track of what he’s actually trying to say. He just went from NAFTA, to Colombia, to the drug war, to Obama’s travel plans in the space of about 30 seconds. And now Obama is Herbert Hoover. WTF?

Obama is doing a nice job giving a concise explanation of his health care plan. McCain … not so much. Fuck. Joe the Plumber again? This is an area where Obama just wipes the floor with McCain’s ass. He clearly is so much more knowledgable about this than McCain, not to mention that McCain’s plan is almost universally acknowledged to SUCK.

McCain says the average cost of a healthcare plan is $5800. Quoth Kevin Drum: “The average cost of a healthcare plan is $5,800? Maybe for an individual it is, but McCain’s $5,000 tax credit is for an entire family.” Good point.

I gotta give Schieffer credit; he’s asking some good questions and really following up. Much better than the previous two debates in my book.

McCain just said he would never and has never applied a “litmus test” for the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice. ORLY? Ezra finds evidence to the contrary.

Thank GOD Obama is coming out so strongly in favor of Roe v. Wade. He certainly hasn’t always been so clear about this, and I’m glad to hear he’s realized that this is an important issue for lots of us voters. Also GREAT nod to Ledbetter. That’s one that McCain should be grilled on at every opportunity. Interesting: When McCain talks about his prolife stance, the CNN graph shows “undecided” women with a very negative response and “undecided” men with a very positive response. I guess we know who McCain is speaking to. (Obama, meanwhile, gets high marks from both groups.)

McCain on education: Throwing money at the problem is not the answer. You will find that some of the worst schools in the country have the most money. (paraphrasing) Me: WHERE? WHERE will you find that? Give me ONE example of a school district with a lot of money and terrible outcomes! Meanwhile, I’m not totally thrilled with the Obama campaign’s apparent decision that it’s OK to diss teacher’s unions … But at least he’s not stumping for vouchers, for chrissakes.

Apparently McCain thinks that Down syndrome and autism are the same thing. Someone should really disabuse him of that notion.

Wrap-up: Neither candidate really blew me out of the water tonight, but overall I gotta call this one for Obama. McCain certainly brought the crank-ass, but his comments were largely incoherent and he seemed much more focused on getting out jabs at Obama than in presenting himself as a compelling candidate for the presidency. Obama, meanwhile, stayed substantive, coherent, and respectful. He didn’t have any explosive or game-changing moments, but then he really didn’t need them: the game is going his way, so he just had to make sure nothing derailed that. And I think he succeeded.

Post-Debate discussion

Well, I have to admit I’m a little bummed that Palin didn’t totally crash and burn, BUT: I thought Biden knocked this one out of the park. Man, was he in good form – substantive, passionate, pithy, informed, on point. Palin, as far as I could tell, was all platitudes and talking points with a healthy dose of caffeine and “folksiness” thrown on top. When I could even understand what she was saying, it was empty and meaningless, and while she didn’t have that deer-in-the-headlights look that she did during the Couric interview, I can’t imagine that anyone could watch this and NOT understand how much more Biden knows about … like, everything. I have to say, I’m liking Biden more and more as this campaign goes on (not that I didn’t like him before, I just didn’t feel super excited about him). He sure as shit brought his A game tonight. What did you think?

(Also, if you’re interested in some excellent liveblogging of the debate, you can’t do better than Ezra.)


OK, I’ve gotten this link from about five different people, so I figured I’d better post it. Might make the debate more fun, less cringing. I will not be able to live-blog tonight, as I have to attend a rehearsal, but we’ll record the debate and I might “live” blog my responses as I watch it when I get home. Hafta wait and see. In the meantime, consider this a handy spot in which to post your expectations and early responses.

Oh, and also – DON’T VOTE.

(Basely stolen from eWAC.)

Liveblogging Debate #1

Well, folks, we’re gonna take a stab at liveblogging this sucker. Hopefully McCain’s lack of prep will make for some interesting moments.

8:05 – Obama gets the first answer. He seems to be doing a decent job controlling his tendency toward over-verbiage. Nice clear points. Good job connecting the economic disaster to Bush and McCain. McCain’s response, however, definitely has a more personal touch. He’s not really saying anything (as per usual) but he sounds conversational where Obama sounded wonkish.

8:10 – Lehrer keeps trying to get them to talk to each other but so far they aren’t biting. Why not? Take the opportunity to go after him directly, Obama!

Apparently, McCain has decided to debate entirely in platitudes.

8:15 – Please, please, please let Obama take advantage of the huge opening that McCain just gave him to talk about earmarks. PLEASE. OK, now we’re seeing a little fight in him. But I have to say, McCain is in good form. Obama’s going to have to up his game.

8:30 – I feel like Obama is giving much more substantive (and meaningful) responses, whereas McCain is just spouting talking points, but I’m afraid that John Q. Public will find McCain more persuasive or memorable or something. Erk.

Ooh, nice “using a hatchet where you need a scalpel” remark.

8:40 – Yes! Obama’s getting angry! Go after him on the budget stuff! Gah, McCain tries to bring out the “mavericky” bit again. Obama better keep on hammering away at it.

8:45 – I’m getting a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. McCain is just looking so damn smug and he’s coming across all folksy and I’m afraid that shit is going to play better than Obama’s intelligence. I mean, is it me or is McCain actually putting Obama on the defensive? I feel like Obama needs more punchy, pithy soundbites. I hate that that’s true, but I’m afraid it is.

9:00 – Again with the bracelet story? Barf-o-rama. This isn’t a freaking campaign appearance, buddy. Try actually debating. NICE! Obama has a bracelet, too. Heh.

9:10 – Nice dig on the Spain thing … McCain, of course, is operating as though Obama hasn’t said anything at all and just keeps reiterating his talking points. Good that Obama keeps calling him on it. If it works. Will it help Obama or hurt him that he’s waaaaay better at pronouncing foreign names?

9:30 – I think Obama gave a better/more moving answer to the 9/11 security question. But boy, McCain is really hammering the “Senator Obama just doesn’t get it” meme. I wish Obama had a more effective comeback for that – I mean, clearly, it’s total BS, but just waxing knowledgable about the issues (sadly) isn’t enough to make that meme go away. Having said that, McCain’s apparent belief that he can just say something is true to make it so (i.e., “the veterans know I love them and I’ll take care of them” – despite the fact that he’s screwed them a number of times) MAKES ME SICK.

(Obama gets class points for being the first to cross the stage to shake hands with the McCains after the debate.)

Summation: I really think this one is a draw. I mean, if you already know who you’re voting for, your opinion is probably confirmed, but if you’re still undecided I’m not sure this debate really helps. They both come off as informed and statesmanlike; neither one of them is *really* pushing at the other one. I think Obama missed some key opportunities of calling McCain on some of his bullshit – I hope in the next debate he gets more comfortable going on the attack. BTW, Think Progress did live fact-checking of the debate issues, so head over there for more substantive responses.

Edited to add – I think Ezra gets it right:

This is a pretty traditional debate performance for Obama. Strong on substance. Few mistakes. Little in the way of killer instinct or decapitating lines. McCain, by contrast, is offering an uncommonly strong performance powered, as far as I can tell, by his raging contempt for Obama. He won’t look at him. He’s using “what Senator Obama doesn’t understand” the way Joe Biden uses “ladies and gentlemen.” His constant refrain is the places he’s visited, leaders he’s befriended, aging advisers and presidents he’s known. Obama is conveying the fact that he thinks McCain wrong. But McCain is conveying the fact that he thinks Obama an unprepared lightweight. One of these is a stronger claim than the other.