Wednesday, October 29, 2008

some stuff

1. Looks like the face-carving bitch story died an early death (though TPM, in its typically dogged fashion, is trying to Schiavo-ize it). I'm surprised. What doesn't surprise me is that Fox News VP John Moody has still not followed up on this statement on his blog: "If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting."

2. Check out this site for the most complete aggregation of election polling, along with tons of great graphs and charts and projections and related analysis. If there is anything poll related or concerning nuts-and-bolts of elections that is not included here, I don't think it truly, objectively exists.

3. Speaking of which... do you think Republicans ever stop to wonder what it means that the two richest, most important, and most powerful states in the union are so far in the Democrat's column that neither presidential campaign even bothers to visit or spend any significant advertising dollars there at all? Do they ever give any intellectual analysis to this idea other than "well, that's where all the minorities, fags, and commies live, so obviously they're gonna vote for the Democrat"?

4. Top-level McCain adviser -- speaking on a not-for-attribution basis, natch -- calls Palin a "whack job". True, but doesn't this fall into the category of information that would have been far more valuable to have PRIOR TO nominating her to be Vice President of the United States of America?

5. Best Halloween costume ever? (probably NSFW).

6. Here's a fascinating "Screw you guys, I'm going home" letter from an investment banker to his clients (pdf). Hate to give away the ending, but the last paragraph is priceless. To paraphrase: "While I've got your attention: LEGALIZE IT!"

7. ABC is counterprogramming tonight's Obama infomercial with a show called "Pushing Daisies", which apparently is not a documentary about McCain's candidacy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"I would draw your attention to the curious incident of the dog in the night-time"

"The dog did nothing in the night-time."

"That was the curious incident."

It appears that I may have overestimated the integrity of our leading national media organizations. Or maybe I've just underestimated their complicity in the GOP's latest and most egregious episode of Desperate Dirty Tricks(TM), represented by the crazy face-carving bitch from College Station, Texas and the McCain campaign's urgent attempts to plaster her carved up face across every teevee and newspaper and magazine cover in the land, thereby scaring the shit out of every right-thinking, god-fearing, suburban soccer mom in the country, causing them to immediately drop their copy of InStyle and run, not walk to the nearest early-polling place so that they can vote down the angry dark-skinned black baby-killing face-cutting communist Muslim hordes threatening to destroy our Great White Jesus-Sanctuary of a country.

Because these media organizations were lied to by at least two people working for McCain's campaign. The face-carver herself and the campaign's Pennsylvania media flack/hack. These lies, in turn, caused not a few of these media organizations to blare completely false and dangerously sensational allegations which threatened to incite severe racial strife in the few remaining days before a rather important election.

I call this a big story. Fox News itself, de facto media arm of the GOP, officially claimed that this "race-baiting" would spell the death of McCain's chances in the election. But that was before. Now? Dead silence. As far as I can tell, not a word anywhere in any major newspaper or on any major tv outlet.

Where are the calls for an explanation? Where are the demands for accountability? Why does McCain's Pennsylvania spokesman still have a job? McCain's organization -- and McCain himself -- are responsible for this. Sure, they didn't put the face-carving bitch up to it (at least I don't think so), but there can be no argument that they jumped in with both feet and attempted to use this obviously ridiculous story to maximum political effect. In my mind, this is far worse that McCain/Palin casually throwing out "Marxist" "socialist" and "palling around with terrorists" bullshit.

And furthermore -- fuck it -- unless and until McCain repudiates the face-carver and her enablers and fires the people responsible for this, I think it is not unreasonable to go ahead and lay the entire thing at his feet. Who's to say that he didn't put the face-carver up to the whole thing? He's not denying it. His people's fingerprints are all over the whole mess, and he's done nothing of any substance to distance himself from it.

But you can be sure that McCain won't address it in any meaningful way without pressure from news media. But right now they are displaying an extraordinary lack of backbone, or maybe they just don't mind acting as an unprincipled megaphone for the very worst kind of racist lies. At a minimum, you'd think they would publicly question the credibility of the people that fed them this shit. Right now they're not even doing that. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens with the next big desperate dirty trick. Because, as this incident has demonstrated beyond any doubt, these are people without shame or conscience, and as soon as they understand that no one is being held accountable for even something like this, then the one remaining check on their behavior will have been removed, in which case the repulsiveness of their next dirty tricks will only be limited by the awfullness of their imaginations.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Isiah Thomas: honest, stable, classy guy

Reports yesterday suggested that Isiah Thomas had been taken unconscious from his by an ambulance to a hospital to be treated for a drug overdose. Thomas is now most famous not for winning championships with the Pistons but for stealing money for half a decade as GM and sometime-coach of the New York Knicks during a tenure in which the Knicks, despite the league's highest payroll, won very few games and racked up tons of bad p.r., including well-substantiated charges of sexual harassment by Thomas himself, eventually resulting in a jury verdict of $11.6M in punitive damages.

Thomas denied the incident had taken place. Instead, he said, his daughter had been hospitalized: "Thomas, in a brief cellphone interview with The New York Post, said it was his teenage daughter, Lauren, who was in distress. Thomas denied that anything had happened to him."

Thomas then trotted his son out in front of the press, who then dutifully repeated Isiah's line that he was not involved in the incident, that all the reportage was false, and that it was Isiah's daughter that had been hospitalized.

Enter Harrison [NY] Police Chief David Hall, who "confirmed that a 47-year-old male had been taken from Thomas’s home. He refuted claims that the incident involved Thomas’s daughter.“I understand that this person claims it was his daughter; he is lying,” Hall said. “It was definitely not his daughter, it was a male. We know the difference between a 47-year-old black male and a young black female.”"

Friday, October 24, 2008

I can haz Oktober supprize?

Ashley Todd, College Republican from College Station, Texas, has made a hell of a mess. She was volunteering for the McCain campaign, and faked an attack by a 6'4" "dark skinned" black man who... wait for it... just happened to be a crazy violent Obama supporter. A likely story, that was quickly and easily debunked.

BUT not before the McCain campaign was all over the story, amplifying it out to media all over the place. Directly contacting reporters and pushing the story, adding in details that had not yet been released by the police. The full story is here, and damn it is worth reading.

This could be a huge story. Here's another good summary, with video of reporters defending their sourcing of the outrageous claims after the McCain people deny being the source of the quotes. 2 different television reporters both saying the same person contacted them: McCain's Pennsylvania communications director Peter Feldman.

People in the comments suggested that Obama would have his lawyers working with the police to get the full story out, but the smart choice for Obama has to be to completely step away, keep your hands completely off the situation -- let the media and the local government hand the matter without any interference. In fact, have Obama come out and make a statement: "We deplore everything about this situation, and we call for a complete investigation with 100% transparency, immediately. But we will not take part in the investigation, we will not be involved in any way. Any of my staff who attempts to influence this investigation in any way
will immediately be fired. That is all we will have to say about the matter until further notice."

The police are upset at being played. The media will go after this hard; even in the most friendly environment (not applicable here) news organizations don't like being treated as suckers or fitted for clown shoes. All the facts and circumstances will come out, and the best thing Obama can do is steer clear and cut off any perception that he is trying to use the situation for his own gain. But it looks likely that he will gain significantly because even in the best-case scenario here, McCain is going to take a big hit.

And in the worst case, he is done as a candidate. This post from earlier today points to a blog item from the V.P. in charge of Fox News, John Moody, stated baldly that "If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting". Note that this was before it was understood that there actually was a hoax, and certainly before it was known that a McCain spokesman had been pushing a sensationalized version to the local tv stations. This statement from the Fox News guy clearly -- to me anyway -- implies that someone in the McCain organization also contacted Fox News to push a sensationalized version of the story. And the VP in charge of Fox News doesn't take calls from state-level communications directors. Someone higher in the organization would have been contacting Fox News. Which, as the guy says, spells doom for McCain.

So, to sum up: (1) If, as appears to be proven, someone on McCain's Pennsylvania staff was pushing this fake race-baiting story to local media in Pennsylvania, McCain looks very bad, but (2) if, as appears reasonably likely, someone higher up -- in McCain's national organization -- was pushing this fake race-baiting story to national media (Fox, CNN, NBC, Drudge, among others), then McCain is done for good, and for the rest of the campaign -- when not being ignored (shunned) by national media -- will be held up to severe ridicule and scorn.

I wonder if McCain wants a do-over

First, we have Kathleen Parker, conservative columnist of the Washington Post and National Review, checking in today with her view that the single most important decision of John McCain's life was made while thinking with his dick rather than his brain. No, I'm not making that up. She says it somewhat less crudely, but nonetheless that is the entire point of her column today in the Washington Post. See for yourself.

Parker borrows somewhat from the fascinating blockbuster behind-the-scenes article on the McCain campaign appearing this week in the NYT's Sunday Magazine. Here's how she begins her characterization:

McCain didn't know her. He didn't vet her. His campaign team had barely an impression. In a bar one night, [Robert] Draper asked one of McCain's senior advisers: "Leaving aside her actual experience, do you know how informed Governor Palin is about the issues of the day?" The adviser thought a moment and replied: "No, I don't know."

Blame the sycamore tree.

McCain had met Palin only once -- in February, at the governors' convention in Washington -- before the day he selected her as his running mate. The second time was at his Sedona, Ariz., ranch on Aug. 28, just four days before the GOP convention.

As Draper tells it, McCain took Palin to his favorite coffee-drinking spot down by a creek and a sycamore tree. They talked for more than an hour, and, as Napoleon whispered to Josephine, "VoilĂ ."

One does not have to be a psychoanalyst to reckon that McCain was smitten.
And it only goes downhill from there, with Parker essentially saying that McCain had a hard-on for Palin and couldn't resist the idea of having such an attractive woman follow him around the country and sing his praises day after day.

Which brings us to this: New York Times endorses Obama. Money quote:
Senator John McCain of Arizona has retreated farther and farther to the fringe of American politics, running a campaign on partisan division, class warfare and even hints of racism. His policies and worldview are mired in the past. His choice of a running mate so evidently unfit for the office was a final act of opportunism and bad judgment that eclipsed the accomplishments of 26 years in Congress.
That, my friends, is, as Mickey Knox might say, a harsh indictment.

I completely agree, of course. Foisting (or, attempting to foist?) Sarah Palin on the public was bad enough to soil everything he has done in his entire political career. This is what history will remember of John McCain.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Via Sullivan, I see that the McCain campaign in its desperation wants to launch one last salvo of character-assassinatory slime at Obama by playing the "Wright Card". Sadly, they are prevented from doing so because they lack the money.

And surely the finances of the McCain campaign will not be helped by the disclosure that previous donations were spent wrapping Sarah "Hockey-Mom-of-the-People" Palin in designer finery from Neiman Marcus. How likely is it that Wal-Mart denizens -- Sarah Palin's primary constituency -- will be willing to fork over their hard-earned paychecks to finance McCain's slow-motion train wreck of a campaign?

And by the way... I have nothing against nice clothes. If I were, say, a hedge fund manager or a professional athlete or had married a fabulously wealthy beer heiress, I would probably do quite a bit of shopping at Neiman's myself. But how incredibly stupid is it that the McCain campaign would spend an amount roughly equivalent to what most Americans spend on their homes to dress up Sarah Palin, knowing full well that her one and only positive political attribute is her ability to connect with "real Americans", knowing quite well also that such spending would certainly, as required by law, be reported to the public prior to the election? Aside from any abstract notion of the morality, fairness, or desirability of having such a fantastically expensive wardrobe, and considering only the monumental political stupidity and tone-deafness of such a thing: what does this incompetence say about the way a President McCain would govern the country? I mean, shit, even Bush in all of his incompetence would have immediately seen the error in doing such a thing.

Contrast: Michelle Obama got a decent amount of press for appearing on The View in a dress that cost less than $150 dollars. Notice that I'm not saying this means that Ms. Obama is to be revered as some kind of middle-class saint (surely the income level of the Obama household has been used to purchase far more expensive clothing than this -- and no problem there, either), but simply that it shows a remarkable difference in the competence of the competing campaigns and their respective candidates.

populism punctured: Palin's privilege problem

Ouch. This one's gonna leave a mark.

Over the span of a week or so, the McCain campaign treated Sarah Palin to a shopping spree -- at Neiman's and Saks Fifth Avenue, among other high tone outfitters -- to the tune of over $150,000, which is almost three times the median household income, at a time when Americans are facing extreme economic hardship and anxiety, apparently undertaken so that she can look splendorific while parading around "real America" practicing her patented brand of "she's one of us" identity populism politics.

Plus, on the same day, this story comes out, wherein it is revealed that Sarah Palin carted her human political props (her children) around the country on the taxpayers' dime, only later to "amend" her expense reports to reflect that these children were somehow "conducting official state business".

As they say in my weekly staff meetings, the "optics" of this are nothing short of horrific. In other words, this won't exactly go over well with the barking mass of $30k/year millionaires who have miraculously been duped into supporting Republicans despite the rather obvious fact that their regressive tax policies: (1) only benefit people who can actually afford to buy their Vera Wang purses at Neiman Marcus, while (2) harming those unfortunate people (i.e., the barking mass) who must charge such things on their over-extended credit cards and then struggle to make the minimum payments once they realize that their HELOC privileges have mysteriously been revoked.

I suggest that these stories may go some way toward driving these points home, even through the rotten protein-muck that stands in for these people's brains.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

what color is the sun in your world?

When Sarah Palin was nominated to be Vice President of the United States by John McCain most people had never heard of her. I had. In following the Ted Stevens corruption investigation over at TPMMuckraker early in the summer, there had been an item speculating that the GOP might want to replace Ted Stevens in the upcoming election for his Senate seat with a candidate who wasn't, you know, being investigated by the FBI for corruption.

One such possible replacement mentioned was then-popular Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, but this was seen by Josh Marshall as improbable because, even then, her approval ratings were plummeting in Alaska because she too was under investigation -- not for accepting bribes, but for abusing her power as Governor to wage a vicious, all-out campaign to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from his job as an Alaska state trooper.

But, of course, this state of play didn't stop John McCain from picking her as his VP running mate. After all, McCain once shook hands with her at an event, and then had a 15 minute telephone conversation with her; enough, apparently, to convince him that she would make a fine VP and potential president if he were to become dead or incapacitated as a result of one of his many serious lingering health problems.

But despite the McCain campaign's subsequent no-holds-barred legal assault and outright attempts to obstruct justice, the investigation rolled on and the Republican-dominated Alaska legislature released its report as scheduled. The report -- which I've read -- unsurprising concluded that Sarah Palin had indeed violated state ethics laws and abused her power, pretty much exactly as had been described all along in news accounts.

Prominently featured in the report are its "Findings". And under the heading of "Finding I" the report states: "For the reasons explained in Section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act." This could not be more clear or unambiguous. She "abused her power" and violated an ethics statute.

Again, this is not surprising. That someone like Sarah Palin -- an ambitious, though small and petty, uneducated, unsophisticated backwoods Christianist autocrat -- would do such things is not exactly shocking to a person like me. After all, I grew up in a small town in the bible belt. Such things are taken for granted in such places.

But what is astounding -- even to me -- is Sarah Palin's reaction to this report. There are a lot of possible responses, none of them very good, but nonetheless par for the course with prominent people who have been caught out in some type of wrongdoing. The investigation was a partisan witchhunt. The investigator was biased. The investigator was incompetent. The report's conclusions are not logical, ignore the facts, or give emphasis to the wrong facts. The witnesses lied or were biased. I wasn't afforded the proper opportunity to give my side of the story. Etc, etc.

These responses, while inaccurate, legalistic, obfuscatory, and bordering on dishonesty, are what we have come to refer to as "spin". This means taking bad facts and putting them in the best possible light through some degree of specious defense-lawyer-type argumentation. It is what Bush and his minions have been doing for 8 years now.

But this is not what Sarah Palin did. Sarah Palin said the following: "Well, I’m very very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing, any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that."

This is not spin. This is stating what is verifiably, absolutely untrue.

This is like Clinton coming out and saying: "I am pleased that the House of Representatives voted not to impeach me." What if Fred Goldman had gone in front of television cameras and stated: "I am pleased that the jury found O.J. Simpson guilty of murder, and I'm looking forward to him being sentenced to life in prison."? Or maybe, back in February, Bill Belichick could have met the post-game media and said: "I am very pleased to have won this game, and our players deserve a lot of credit for the Patriots being crowned the 2008 Super Bowl Champions."

Henry Wade: "It is very pleasing to me to have the Supreme Court accept my position and rule that there is no constitutional impediment to the power of states to prohibit abortion."

King George III: "I was pleased to read the declaration by the American colonists, and I wholeheartedly agree with their conclusion that they have no cause or desire to dissolve the political bands which connect the colonies to Great Britain."

Maybe in a couple of weeks Sarah Palin can hold her very first press conference, in which she might be asked: "How disappointed are you with the election results, with being part of a ticket that will be remembered for losing in such a historic landslide?" To which she will perkily and confidently answer: "Well, I am very very pleased to have been elected Vice President of the United States, and I feel strongly that also, this validates the good judgment of the electing people, decent pro-Americans too, those people, there, who voted. And can vote, for elections. Youbetcha. Also, I am looking forward to being inaugurated in January, there, for America, the job creation, and supporting of its values, inaugurating me."

And maybe then people will point and laugh, and some men in tidy white coats and clear plastic gloves will surround her and gently escort her away.

Friday, October 17, 2008

TUPAC Friday


Still on parole and I’m the first nigga servin’
pour some liquor on the curb for my niggas that deservit.
But if I want to make a million, gotta stay dealin’.
It’s kinda boomin around the way: and today I’ll make a killin’.
Dressin’ down like i’m dirty’, but only on the block.
It’s a clever disguise to keep me (from) runnin’ from the cops.
Ha, I’m gettin’ high. I think I’ll die
...if I don’t get no ends.
I’m in a bucket, but i’m ridin’ it like it’s a Benz.
I hit to strip let my music bump,
Drinkin’ liquor, and I’m lookin’ for some hoes to fuck.
Rather die makin’ money than live poor and legal
As I slang another ounce, I wish it was a kilo.
Damned if I don’t, and damned if a nigga do.
So watch a young mothafucka pull a trigga just to RAISE UP!
But don’t let 'em see you cry, dry your eyes
Young nigga: time to do or die.
I keep a pistol in my pocket,
Ready on my block.
Ain’t no time for a nigga to even cock shit.
And now they see that mothafucka peep pain,
At point blank range cause he slackin on the game.
Ain’t a damned thing changed
Shakin’ the dice, now roll ‘em,
If you can’t stand pain better hold ‘em.
Cause ain’t no tellin’ what you might roll.
You might go catch AIDS from a slight cold.
Nigga, better live your life to the fullest,
I'm equipped to kill a bull,
got a pistol, mothafucka better pullit.
Cause even when they kill me,
they can never take the game from a young G.

We straight ballin'

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law

Everyone should watch this. It should be shown to every student in every high school:

Taxi to the Dark Side.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


For those who appreciated my post last week on the mendacious and despicable attempts of prominent wingnut bloggers to lay the entire blame for the country's economic mess at the feet of poor minority homeowners, I highly recommend reading this transcript of an online chat in which a guy named Matt Taibbi (author of this awesome Rolling Stone article on Sarah Palin) absolutely fucking obliterates one of the very same wingnuts I was referring to on the very same issue which was the subject of my post.

It really gets going about 1/3 of the way through when the hapless, transparently racist wingnut cites "the Democrats' desire to give mortgages to people, particularly minorities" as the primary source of all the trouble. This guy clearly had not the slightest clue what the fuck he was talking about, and as became even more clear had no idea what he was in for or what kind of person he was talking to.

This is the kind of thing that would be pity-inducing if it weren't for the fact that the victim is obviously an ignorant, vicious bully who spends his time looking around for smaller and less powerful people upon which to inflict his impotent hatred.

(Via John Cole, who follows up with some incisive "larger context" commentary on what this says about the modern "conservative" movement)

The short, (relatively) happy political career of Sarah Palin

The discussion at this post is about the future political prospects of Sarah Palin. Will she or won't she be a serious candidate for President in 2012?


Sarah Palin is finished in politics. As I posted anonymously in the comments, my prediction is that after losing her campaign for reelection as Governor of Alaska, she will accept a slot hosting a Nancy Grace-style current events/gossip talk show at Fox News. That is what she is fit for, and nothing else.

Sarah Palin is a vacant, vacuous, semi-good-looking talking head -- in short, a cheerleader -- who utterly melts down in the face of any well-reasoned opposition -- unless, of course, empowered with the ability to cut off the mic of her opponent. She was only able to become governor of Alaska (Alaska!) through pure serendipity. My guess is that the good folks of Alaska simply needed a little help from the national spotlight in coming to these same conclusions.

Good riddance.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Texas 45, OU 35

Witness the awesome spectacle of #5 Texas crushing the hopes and dreams of #1 Oklahoma. Sooners, nice of y'all to stop by, now take your big-ass trucks with the "nobama" stickers and go the hell home.

Look for Texas to be ranked #2 this week.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Jay Rockefeller: corrupt, incompetent, anti-American

Gee, I know it is really just shocking... but some former NSA employees claim they were routinely ordered to record and transcribe the personal phone calls of U.S. citizens who were suspected of no crime and who had no conceivable connection to "terrorism", including journalists, aid workers and others.

We all knew this was going on. Anyone who didn't is mentally feeble or not paying attention. Which is why it was such a disaster to legally immunize all the people responsible for this with that abortion of a FISA amendment earlier this year, (without, of course, even bothering to investigate or otherwise determine anything about the crimes and malfeasance that it was intended to immunize).

And the person most responsible for the FISA amendment and for enabling the blatantly illegal surveillance in the first place? That would be Jay Rockefeller. Contacted for comment, Jay Rockefeller states that these revelations are "extremely disturbing" to him. Right.

You, sir, are a disgrace to your country. You have utterly failed to uphold your oath of office and have knowingly violated your duty to your constituents and to the nation. You should shut the fuck up, resign your post, and go find a nice quiet place to die. Thomas Jefferson would have had you hanged in the public square.

"The public's out there throwing darts at a board, sport...

I don't throw darts at a board."

Wow, this is truly a bloodbath.

Me, most of my assets are in cash money dolla bills, y'all. (although, as a buddy of mine likes to say, I'm also heavily invested in the used car market.) Time to start buying stocks? Or have we yet to hit bottom here?

During the most recent of my occasional wades through the muck of the wingnut blogs I learned that the present economic, uh, downturn is mostly due to poor (ignorant, perfidious, deviant) minority-type individuals failing to live up to their obligations. (Who knew those folks had so much economic power over the rest of us? Truly a revelation.)

So, yeah, your 401k got eated by all those ungrateful brown people. It's all their fault, to be sure. And Clinton. Can't forget about Clinton, obviously. He had a major hand in it. Because of his blowjob that he got. Or something.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some stuff about whatever. yawn.

Since I (re)started following politics closely 2 years ago, there have been a lot of bizarre and interesting things that have happened. Helping to up the Are You Fucking Kidding Me? Factor (let's call it AYFKM Factor for short) has, of course, been the only positive contribution of the Bush/Cheney faction. Granted, most everything they do, large and small, tends to be bad and terrible for the world, the country, and me personally, but let no one say that they don't make the world a more interesting place, news-wise.

And a black man named "Hussein" makes a seemingly successful run for the presidency? In the day and age of Terrorist Bedwetter Ascendancy? That'll ramp up the AYFKM Factor. As will the spectacle of a mudbrain ignorant beauty contestant being nominated for the office of Vice President on a major party ticket.

And of course who could forget the saga of the public's exposure to the true nature of modern Wall Street as being nothing more than a reckless, irrational, gigantic pyramid scheme requiring a gargantuan injection of funds from the taxpayer (i.e., the folks on the bottom of the pyramid) to prevent the entire Ponzi Structure from toppling into the abyss, in turn wreaking unimaginable destruction on the global economy? Boy, that was a doozy. Glad we got through that whole mess. (Oh, wait... yeah... that's right, it's still going on!)

So, I guess my point is: it seems like a really long time ago that, for example, our primary concern here at Hick Town Rap Star was the possibility that Alberto "Judge" Gonzales might get away cleanly with lying to congress and the public. The AYFKM Factor has -- in my estimation -- increased steadily over the last half-year or so, and, as a result, now only the most outrageous or bizarre news captures my interest (at least to the point where I'll take the time to blog about it).

And I guess the further point being... nothing fitting that description has happened so far this week. So instead I'll treat you to a quote from today's edition of IOZ, who in describing last night's "debate" sez:
On foreign policy, McCain continued to insist that he "knows how to get Osama bin Laden." (McCain foreign policy statements, like fortune cookies, usually benefit from the addition of "in bed", by the way.) This plan appears to consist of figuring out where Osama bin Laden lives and sending people there to capture or kill him, which seems more like the treatment than the screenplay, if you know what I mean.
To which I would only add one point (that I think I've made here before, and recently), which is that if McCain knows how to get Osama bin Laden -- something he's been saying for many months now, by the way -- then isn't it the height of selfishness for him not to have told someone his secret plan before now? Or maybe he's just making shit up in a desperate attempt to come up with something -- anything! -- that might make it even remotely more likely that he will get elected president. But it can't be that, of course, because as we all know McCain is an honorable man with unchallengeable integrity etc etc.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

They could've called it "Capital Decimation Partners", but oh well

Interesting new hedge fund here.

One of their "competitive advantages":
We are not limited to looking for opportunities with positive expected returns and so can cast a broader net across the investment universe, thus extending our efficient frontier beyond what other hedge funds can offer.
Here's their note to prospective investors:
If you are interested in investing... you are in luck. The elegance of our approach is we do not need the high cost of marketing or investor relations departments. Rest assured that your capital and assets will be discreetly seized on your behalf.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We won't have Palin to kick around much longer...?

I may have gently alluded to this before, but it looks like Andrew Sullivan may know something about Sarah Palin that we don't.

Brief backstory: Soon after Palin's nomination, Sullivan posted several times with questions about the Trig-baby and whether it was actually Palin's biological child. He made no factual assertions that weren't already in the public record, only questions. He was then viciously attacked by the wingnut brigade. After which, he went incommunicado for two days. Here's a post where he relates this series of events.

Then for three weeks he didn't mention the Trig-baby explicitly, but frequently dropped subtle hints that something was amiss with Palin's candidacy (beyond the obvious things that are amiss). One of his posts was a long and sickeningly sweet ode to Palin's bravery, nobleness, and altruism in choosing to give birth to the Trig-baby and attend to its special needs for a lifetime. Odd, to say the least.

Also over the three weeks, Sullivan continually (and rather weirdly) urged the Obama campaign to demonstrate "patience and steel", the clear implication being that Palin/McCain would self-destruct before the election.

Then a week ago Sullivan wrote the post linked above, which revolves around him privately contacting the McCain campaign in an effort to get an on-the-record statement that Palin is in fact the Trig-baby's biological parent. (They later made such a statement to Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post.)

So... with all that in mind, I've been reading between the lines and my working theory at this point is that Andrew Sullivan knows something -- either has evidence, or believes he is on the point of getting evidence -- about this Trig-baby situation; something that will cause Palin to go down in flames, and that he has been carefully setting up "the reveal" for weeks now.

I mention all this because these two short posts from today are the latest -- and maybe the strongest yet -- to support my theory. Check them out... and let me know if this is simply wishful thinking.

[UPDATE] For those of you who won't click through...

In the first post, he says she fails so badly in interviews either because "she's out of her depth" or because "she's panicked about something else that's hanging over her head", concluding "If I were her, I'd quit now, blame the media and hand the reins to Romney."

In the second, he first invokes Eagleton in the post title, then quotes another blogger saying that McCain can't kick her off the ticket for fear of it looking like "appeasement of the enemy". Which Sullivan then follows with this rather opaque prediction: "I don't think she'll be on the ticket in November. And it won't be appeasement."

Admittedly, this is like reading tea leaves... and maybe I'm merely fantasizing about what would be a perfect conclusion to Sarah Palin's political career... But I guess we'll see.