Friday, September 26, 2008

friday night lights: open thread for the debate

prepare yourself to post your comments here as we discuss the debate in real time....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

jonah mcpalin

please forgive the following rant. i realize that political web logs are extremely tedious, and a lot of text hurts the brains of those of us who like to look at either pictures or bottles of adderall. but seriously, how can anyone even think about supporting mcain/palin after this last week? i understand (sort of) if you are not completely sold on b.rock obama. okay i take that back, i don't completely understand how you may not be sold on b.rock, but i at least can fathom it. but to still be supporting john and sarah? seriously? so, i'm going to list some of the reasons why (although i really think it's pretty obvious) one should vote barack over mccain.

1. the economy. obviously this is currently the leading factor in the election. so why go for obama over mccain? in my humble estimation, there are very few of us (politicians, layman, professionals) who actually understand what has happened with the economy or how to make it better. in fact, so much of what will happen with the stock market over the next while is based solely on perception. to have a president, then, that appears to be cool, calm, and collected is of great importance. we need someone we can trust to stay calm, not do anything rash (i.e. draft palin, suspend a campaign, cancel debates, make rash accusations ('let's fire cox!), or make false claims (the fundamentals of economy is strong)), and figure out a solution in a concentrated way. it's not so much whether that solution will be perfectly correct; rather, it's more important that we have a perception that our leader is going to do as much as he/she can to make the right choice and equally weigh all options.

2. temperament. mccain is crazy. isn't it obvious? he's so focused on the white house, that he has lost all semblance of identity. he blames the tenor of the campaign (his sleazy, lying ads) on the fact that obama turned down town hall meetings. then, yesterday, he ambushed obama with a press conference announcing he was suspending his campaign (today he has been running ads all across the country, and many, if not all, of his campaign offices are open ) to 'rush back to washington' to figure out a solution to the economic 'crisis' (something he denied was even happening at the beginning of the week).

3. do we really want another maverick in the white house? wasn't his pick of palin enough of a sign of his incompetence? please watch her performance on charlie gibson and katie couric to see that his lack of vetting made for a horrible choice for someone so close to the presidency.

4. i would keep writing, but it's time for me to leave this computer. maybe i'll add more later. maybe not.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

politico full of portent

look at this latest portentous article from

Thursday, September 18, 2008

attack of the....robots?

why is everyone talking about wall street and the presidential election? i guess maybe they've forgotten there are more important threats to our well being. that's right: robots.

Monday, September 15, 2008

making america stupid

if you haven't read it yet, here's thomas friedman's latest article.

Imagine for a minute that attending the Republican convention in St. Paul, sitting in a skybox overlooking the convention floor, were observers from Russia, Iran and Venezuela. And imagine for a minute what these observers would have been doing when Rudy Giuliani led the delegates in a chant of “drill, baby, drill!”

I’ll tell you what they would have been doing: the Russian, Iranian and Venezuelan observers would have been up out of their seats, exchanging high-fives and joining in the chant louder than anyone in the hall — “Yes! Yes! Drill, America, drill!” — because an America that is focused first and foremost on drilling for oil is an America more focused on feeding its oil habit than kicking it.

Why would Republicans, the party of business, want to focus our country on breathing life into a 19th-century technology — fossil fuels — rather than giving birth to a 21st-century technology — renewable energy? As I have argued before, it reminds me of someone who, on the eve of the I.T. revolution — on the eve of PCs and the Internet — is pounding the table for America to make more I.B.M. typewriters and carbon paper. “Typewriters, baby, typewriters.”

Of course, we’re going to need oil for many years, but instead of exalting that — with “drill, baby, drill” — why not throw all our energy into innovating a whole new industry of clean power with the mantra “invent, baby, invent?” That is what a party committed to “change” would really be doing. As they say in Texas: “If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got.”

I dwell on this issue because it is symbolic of the campaign that John McCain has decided to run. It’s a campaign now built on turning everything possible into a cultural wedge issue — including even energy policy, no matter how stupid it makes the voters and no matter how much it might weaken America.

I respected McCain’s willingness to support the troop surge in Iraq, even if it was going to cost him the Republican nomination. Now the same guy, who would not sell his soul to win his party’s nomination, is ready to sell every piece of his soul to win the presidency.

In order to disguise the fact that the core of his campaign is to continue the same Bush policies that have led 80 percent of the country to conclude we’re on the wrong track, McCain has decided to play the culture-war card. Obama may be a bit professorial, but at least he is trying to unite the country to face the real issues rather than divide us over cultural differences.

A Washington Post editorial on Thursday put it well: “On a day when the Congressional Budget Office warned of looming deficits and a grim economic outlook, when the stock market faltered even in the wake of the government’s rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when President Bush discussed the road ahead in Iraq and Afghanistan, on what did the campaign of Senator John McCain spend its energy? A conference call to denounce Senator Barack Obama for using the phrase ‘lipstick on a pig’ and a new television ad accusing the Democrat of wanting to teach kindergartners about sex before they learn to read.”

Some McCain supporters criticize Obama for not having the steel in his belly to use force in the dangerous world we live in today. Well I know this: In order to use force, you have to have force. In order to exercise leverage, you have to have leverage.

I don’t know how much steel is in Obama’s belly, but I do know that the issues he is focusing on in this campaign — improving education and health care, dealing with the deficit and forging a real energy policy based on building a whole new energy infrastructure — are the only way we can put steel back into America’s spine. McCain, alas, has abandoned those issues for the culture-war strategy.

Who cares how much steel John McCain has in his gut when the steel that today holds up our bridges, railroads, nuclear reactors and other infrastructure is rusting? McCain talks about how he would build dozens of nuclear power plants. Oh, really? They go for $10 billion a pop. Where is the money going to come from? From lowering taxes? From banning abortions? From borrowing more from China? From having Sarah Palin “reform” Washington — as if she has any more clue how to do that than the first 100 names in the D.C. phonebook?

Sorry, but there is no sustainable political/military power without economic power, and talking about one without the other is nonsense. Unless we make America the country most able to innovate, compete and win in the age of globalization, our leverage in the world will continue to slowly erode. Those are the issues this election needs to be about, because that is what the next four years need to be about.

There is no strong leader without a strong country. And posing as one, to use the current vernacular, is nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

dear dad

dear dad,

please watch this for thoughts on the rnc:

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

any questions?

i think this should clear up any lingering questions or concerns any of you may still have.

in other news, i'm completely, head over heels in love with campbell brown of cnn.