Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh noes! He's looking right at me!

I can't tell you how frightened I am by the possibility of John McCain's ad he plans on airing tonight!
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Apparently the McCain campaign has an ad rolling out tonight. What's it about?

JILL HAZELBAKER: Well, Mika, this is a historic ad. I think this is the first of its kind. Senator McCain is going to speak direct to camera to Barack Obama. I’m not going to give away many more details than that. But suffice to say it’s going to be a very exciting ad, and I think it’s going to get a lot of attention

BRZEZINSKI: Jill, you’ve got to give us more on this ad. He's speaking directly to camera, John McCain is to Barack Obama. If you say there's news here, what's the news?

HAZELBAKER: Well, I'm going to keep a lid on it. But I think it's newsworthy to note that Senator McCain is going to have an ad that's going to air in battleground states around the time that Senator Obama is speaking tonight. And he’s going to be talking directly to his opponent. So, I'm going to leave it there, but it's going be very exciting and a lot of people are going to focus on it.
Wait? An old, prickly white guy staring right into the camera and bitching about things that bother him?


Ms. Hazelbaker? You keep saying "exciting," but I don't think that word means what you think it means.

John McCain was a prisoner of the economy?

Weird. I had thought it was the North Vietnamese. Or maybe I'm just confused because, when asked about the economy and "kitchen table issues," he instead talked about being a POW.
McCain: Well you know I have town hall meetings all the time, everywhere across this country, and I hear from people...

And in all due respect my friends, I know what it's like to not have a house, I know what it's like not to have a kitchen table. I know what it's like not to have a table or a chair. For five and a half years, I sat in a cell with nothing but concrete floor and three boards to sleep on.
I hadn't realized the economy was so mean. Thank God McCain has pledged to destroy it.

Note to Libertarians

I think it's time you ended your grand compromise with the Republican party. This year's RNC platform proves it.

Nope, no racism here

Where oh where did Democrats get the idea that Republicans might attempt to "scare" white voters about Barack Obama's race?

Well, history, for one.

And here today to continue that history of race-baiting, WorldNetDaily's Craig Smith:
If Barack Obama is to become our 44th president, it will be heralded as a moment of historic significance unlike any other. However, I think many are missing the real reason why.

It's because Barack Obama will be our first hip-hop president.

I can only imagine how the world will embrace the leader of the free world when he introduces other foreign leaders with, "give it up for my man Vladimir." Giving "props" for joining us in a treaty. Or the first lady Michelle talking about "my man" the "daddy of my babies" when referring to the president. That should go over well everywhere from 10 Downing Street right on down to the streets of the Middle East.

The use of ghetto slang during the primaries and even today may be a clear indication just how the Obamas intend to "roll" if given the privileged seat in the Oval Office. Of course, having no sense of decorum and awe is nothing new to Democrats. Bill Clinton did a masterful job of disgracing the office, and I expect no less from Obama if given the chance.

But he will be so fly!

I can see it now. Air Force One decked out with "22s" and spinners. Maybe even a set of hydraulics. Watching the hip-hop president in the Oval Office with his baseball cap on backward coping a gansta lean in the big chair. Should be really pimp, don't you think? Cool man, real cool. Instead of giving away presidential cuff links to guests, as is the custom, he will offer "bling bling."
Frankly, it's pretty obvious that Barack Obama is a better writer and I'd guess he's probably a less colloquial speaker than Craig Smith. But Smith sees a black guy and thinks they're all 50 Cent. Or Flavor Flav. Or The Kingfish. How is Smith expected to tell all those black people apart, since they all look so much the same--all that blackness and all? Sure, Barack Obama might look acceptable now, but Smith isn't fooled and knows there's a thug beneath those three piece suits just waiting to get out.

If Craig Smith is still writing for WorldNetDaily by Monday, then it's an objectively racist publication and, by the right's new "Obama-was-in-a-room-with-Bill-Ayers-which-means-they're-tied-together-forever standard," the rest of its columnists have the choice of resigning in protest. Otherwise they are tacitly admitting their own racism.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Confederate Yanker explains how guns work (on TV)

I've already talked a little bit about the Confederate Yanker's most horrible post, and also pointed out in the Yanker's comments that he talks a good game, but must not be a very good marksman himself. That comment disappeared, so I thought I'd post a longer version here.

He wrote:
The claim of the rifle being sighted at 750 yards is simple hearsay repeating of the suspect's claim; one cannot determine wher [sic] a weapon is zeroed with any certainly [sic] by simply looking at the weapon's scope. If the police haven't fired it, they simply don't know if it is sighted at 750 yards, or if it has even been sighted at all. One must also take into account that the weapons were [sic] plain view with no protective case in the suspect's pickup truck when confiscated, and the jarring of a moderately-sized pothole could easily render a scope's zero worthless at all but close range.

There is little chance that those arrested posed any serious threat, or even had a plan at all.

An average shooter with a scoped rifle can hit a man-sized target at 100 yards with regularity. An average shooter who has been practicing can make the same shot at 200 yards with no discernible change in point-of-aim. A good shooter who knows his gun, ammunition, and wind conditions can make the shot at 300 yards most of the time, but much beyond that, wind drift, ballistics, shooter experience, imperfections in trigger control and limitations of the weapon and ammunition make such shots improbable even on a stationary target with plenty of time to prepare and fire.
As I pointed out in comments, anyone who can't consistently hit man-sized targets at 250+ yards without a scope (using only adjustable iron sights) isn't much of a shooter. Had he ever served his country, he'd know that people do it every day on Army shooting ranges, shooting at pop-up targets that give them only three seconds to sight and shoot. Even the worst Army shooters have to hit a few at that range just to qualify and, where I'm from, that's still not great.

Also, the dude clearly doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to scopes. He says that the "claim of the rifle being sighted at 750 yards is simple hearsay repeating of the suspect's claim." He's right that one can't tell if it's "zeroed" at that range, but having a policeman shoot the rifle wouldn't tell you either, because--as any good shooter knows--a weapon is zeroed for an individual shooter's grip and sight picture, not for the weapon. In other words, if I zero my weapon, the weapon is good for me, but would probably not work for someone else, especially when you think about the angles you get at 750 yards.

However, there are many scopes that have an adjustable objective ring on the downrange end, which has numbers on it corresponding to distances. In other words, far from it being impossible to tell the distance at which someone has sighted a weapon, all some FBI agent would have to do is pick the rifle up and look at the number on the scope, which I assume happened in this case.

I sure do love these know-nothing, fake-ass tough guys who blog on the right.

Update: Typo corrected.

Stupid blogger meets stupid terrorists

Shorter Confederate Yankee:
The left seems to think threats against a presidential candidate should be taken seriously even when it's obvious those people were too inept to actually kill anyone.

Meanwhile, we on the right are focused on the important things like Barack Obama's ties to a member of the long-defunct Weather Underground, a group too inept to actually kill anyone (except themselves).

Or the "Seas of David" guys who were too inept to kill anyone and, anyway, "had no weapons, no bombs, no expertise, and no money."
And he could go on and on.

Update: Since the Confederate Yanker gives only a single example of how "bloggers pounced on the story," which doesn't amount to much,so I went looking for all the deranged lefties taking this threat too seriously. Most everything I found amounted to straight-forward reporting of what was being reported in the press. So, is the Yanker's suggestion of a lefty "assassination fantasy" which causes liberals like me to take these people too seriously just, you know, bullshit?

Here's an example of just how seriously people on the left are taking this story. You be the judge.
The MSNBC crew got out and rumbled through the deserted hotel lobby toward the bar, which, much to everyone’s dismay, was closed. What next?

As if on cue, Tammy Haddad, the ubiquitous whirlwind of a TV producer, burst through the hotel’s front door, said hello, hello, hello, and announced that she had major news about the hotel. “They got us in here with the white supremacists,” said Ms. Haddad.

For the next five minutes, she regaled the MSNBC pundits with a story, which would appear on the Newsweek Web site later that night, about the F.B.I. arresting several hotel guests for gun and methamphetamine possession. The men, with apparent ties to white supremacist groups, had maybe come to town to try and assassinate Senator Obama. During the arrest, one of the jittery dudes had jumped out of a window on the sixth floor!

“Know how you can tell a crime isn’t going to be successful?” (Rachel) Maddow asked her new friends. “Crystal meth.”
Update: David Neiwert points out that there are some (let's say) high-functioning tweakers out there...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Check his luggage for golden fiddles

Cheney will be stowed in Georgia during the Republican National Convention.

When will the governments realize...'s got to be funky, sexy ladies?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Texas Republicans set a new standard

Apparently, it's now everyone's responsibility to buy houses for half-siblings born to parents who abandoned you at a young age, whether you actually know these half-siblings or not. Weak...

Again, no one's attacking John McCain for "being successful and living the American dream," but only for being so ridiculously out of touch that he doesn't even know how many houses he owns (he's got staff to count his houses). A) This is not a common American problem and B) John McCain isn't living the dream because he's successful, he's living the American dream because his sugar mommy's daddy was successful. There's a difference there.

But, this ad begs, when is Cindy gonna start passing around some of daddy's money to her two half-sisters whom she often fails to acknowledge when referring to herself as an only child? "It makes me feel like a nonperson, kind of," said one of her half-sisters.

She and John have several houses, they can't hook a sister up?

John McCain: Golddigger

McCain has now tried to deflect the argument that his rich lifestyle makes him out of touch by playing the POW card.
I am grateful for the fact that I have a wonderful life. I spent some years without a kitchen table, without a chair, and I know what it's like to be blessed by the opportunities of this great nation. Cindy's father, who barely finished high school, went off and distinguished himself in World War II in a B-17 and came back with practically nothing and realized the American dream, and I am proud and grateful for that, and I think he is a role model to many young Americans who serve in the military and come back and succeed.

So the fact is that we have homes, and I'm grateful for it. We spend our time primarily in Washington, D.C., where I have a condominium in Crystal City, [Va.]; here in this beautiful Sedona that I am blessed every moment that I can spend here; our condominium in Phoenix, Ariz.; and a place over in San Diego. The others are also for investment purposes.
Now there are many who say he's overplayed this card and it's losing some of its power. I would agree, but I think it's not hard to show that his responses just keep getting us back to the fact that McCain isn't rich because he's some especially savvy businessman. He's rich because he married a beauty queen heiress.

So, doesn't this response drive home that the man owes his lifestyle and his political career to the fact that he's a golddigger? After all, he financed his first campaign with loans from his wife's inheritance and he couldn't afford all those homes on a military retirement and a senator's salary. So John McCain should be thankful to Cindy McCain's father for his "wonderful life." He wasn't "blessed by the opportunities of this nation," he was blessed by meeting a rich woman who didn't mind committing adultery with him and then marrying him. Yeah, he did a brave thing a long time ago, but, by all accounts he was spoiled and selfish before that and he's not currently rich because he's some ideal of the American dream.

All in all, I'd frankly be disgusted if my sons decided that marrying into another man's money was the way to live a "wonderful life."

Barack Obama, on the other hand, earned his way into the best schools in the nation by only his brains and hard work. He truly did start with practically nothing and realize the American dream.

WTF David Broder?

I simply cannot believe this shit. David Broder has some nice things to say about Joe Biden, but then, out of nowhere, this b.s. line.
Biden brings a blue-collar sensibility that has been lacking in Obama's campaign, reflecting his background in Scranton, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. I know of Democratic governors who fear that Biden's prolix rhetoric will go right over the heads of their constituents. But he has worked hard at shortening his answers to questions, and -- as David Brooks noted in his New York Times column urging Biden's selection -- this is a guy whose authenticity and heart-on-the-sleeve passions are real.

The message he surely has brought to Obama is: Your background looks elitist to many of the people I represent. The way to overcome that impression is to be in their neighborhoods, talk directly to them in small groups and show them you really understand the struggles in their lives.
I wish Broder would explain to me exactly how being raised by a single mother, earning your way into good schools by dint of hard work and talent and then eschewing vast sums of money to instead work as a community organizer is a background that "looks elitist." For God's sake, a community organizer's job description is basically
  • be in people's neighborhoods

  • talk directly to them in small groups

  • show them you really understand the struggles in their lives
Even Republican strategists don't believe this "Obama's an elitist" shit, so what makes Broder such a uniquely obtuse dumbass?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama's house vs. McCain's pretty little shoes

In all the Rezko tripe, I've seen it tossed around repeatedly that Obama got a sweetheart deal on his house by buying it for $300,000 less than the asking price. There is a simple response to that: Obama was the high bidder. As TPMuckraker put it:
In January of 2005, the Obamas made three successive bids on the home, which had been listed at $1.95 million. After bids of $1.3 and then $1.5 million, the Obamas, through an agent, finally offered $1.65 million, a bid which the seller ultimately accepted. Obama has said that the house was on the market for a number of months and was overpriced. The seller, a doctor at the University of Chicago named Fredric Wondisford who has refused to speak to the media, has stated in an email released by the Obama campaign to Bloomberg that Obama's bid was the highest bid on the home.
Now, we know how Republicans negotiate. They accept the first price offered to them as long as their buddies are on the receiving end of the transaction and the money isn't theirs, but out here in the real world, no one buys a house at the asking price.

What's fascinating is that the issue of Obama's house is actually a win for him if he would run with it.

The fact that he was the high bidder on his house proves that it was the asking price that was high and he received no favors. The fact that Obama negotiated for a better price shows that--even though his income last year puts him near the top one percent of earners in the nation--he actually understands what it means to balance a household budget. He doesn't have a sugar mommy to buy him houses and give him 5 c-notes to go out and buy himself a pair of pretty little shoes. That's why Obama's tax plan (no matter how much McCainiacs want to lie about it) would give the average American taxpaying family a tax cut that would equate to about $1000 a year. McCain, on the other hand, would give the average family, oh, around $100. The rich, however, would rake it in.

Once again, McCain has chosen to side with the poor little billionaires like his sugar mommy--the man actually said that sometimes billionaires are poor--but Obama is actually working against his own self-interest to give more money back to the average American taxpayer.

So let McCain try to use Obama's house against him. The response to that is simple: Obama was the high bidder. Case closed.

And, frankly, if Americans vote with their wallets this year, Obama's the high bidder there, too.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Who says John McCain is out of touch with the common people?

After all, as Politico reported last month, he and Cindy pay over a quarter of a million dollars for some of those common people to take care of his many, many houses, so I'm sure he might touch some of them sometimes.

You know...accidentally.
Property records show that trusts and corporations controlled by her and her children spent nearly $11 million between the summer of 2004 and February 2008 on three condominiums in Phoenix and a pair outside San Diego.

One of the Phoenix condos, a 6,600-square-foot unit for which Cindy McCain’s trust paid $4.7 million in October 2006, became Cindy McCain’s primary residence after the trust sold the couple’s Phoenix house for $3.2 million in December 2006. She had purchased the house years earlier from her father.

Less than one year later, a corporation controlled by Cindy McCain bought another condo on a lower floor in the same building for $830,000.

And, in between, the corporation plunked down $700,000 for a 1,900-square foot, three-bedroom loft condo for her then-22-year-old daughter Meghan McCain, who was moving back to Phoenix after graduating from New York’s Columbia University.

Cindy McCain, through another family corporation, spent about $4.7 million in 2004 and 2008 on two condos in an exclusive building in Coronado, Calif., an affluent San Diego suburb noted for its high percentage of military retirees.

In her recent Vogue interview, conducted from the newer Coronado condo, McCain explained that her husband, a Navy veteran, initially wasn’t keen on the idea of a pied-à-terre in Coronado.

"When I bought the first one, my husband, who is not a beach person, said, 'Oh, this is such a waste of money; the kids will never go,'” she told Vogue. “Then it got to the point where they used it so much I couldn't get in the place. So I bought another one.”

Through her trusts and other corporate entities, Cindy McCain also owns another three properties: a scenic ranch outside Sedona, Ariz., where John McCain has entertained staff, prospective running mates and political reporters; a three-bedroom Arlington, Va., condo that’s been John McCain’s Washington-area residence since 1993 and the La Jolla, Calif., condo on which the back taxes were due.

The McCains increased their budget for household employees from $184,000 in 2006 to $273,000 in 2007, according to John McCain’s tax returns.
That's right. The McCains pay $270,000 per year for butlers and maids--that's $50,000 more than the median value of an American home.

Leave Sugar Mommy alone!

Is this really the tack McCainians want to take here? That you can't attack tough guy John McCain for the stuff his sugar mommy buys him? Somehow, I don't think that makes him seem more in touch with the common man...
Though McCain is widely perceived to to drawn first blood by attacking Obama's character, the official said that the difference between Obama's mocking McCain for his wealth and his shaky answer on the number of homes he owns was that McCain's charge "reflects an existential reality," where Obama's charges "attack Cindy. She owns the homes. I thought he said the wives were off-limits."
In other words, it's Cindy's world and McCain just lives in it.

Does that mean we can't attack his political career since she bought him that too?

Why isn't this an ad yet?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How dare Obama say such things!

Barack Obama, July 31st:
Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he's not patriotic enough, he's got a funny name, you know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.
Jonah Goldberg, today:
More than most candidates, Obama needs to appear like a plausible commander in chief because he’s not only inexperienced (during the last Summer Olympics, he was still an Illinois state legislator), he’s novel. The name, the skin color, the cosmopolitan upbringing: Fair or not, all of these things give Obama the aura of otherness that is both part of his charm and a potential handicap.
Just so you don't have to read any of more of his bullshit, the shorter version of Goldberg's column is this:
Republicans will attack Obama for acting like he's already president and for not acting like he's already president.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Loving being ignorant

McCain just now:
(Obama) thinks that putting air in your tires is the equivalent of offshore drilling!
Popular Mechanics, yesterday:
Will maintaining proper tire pressures make a huge difference in the enormous amount of oil we import? No. But it can make a dent, albeit a very small one. According to the Department of Energy, underinflated tires alone cost the country more than 1.25 billion gal. of gasoline annually—roughly 1 percent of the total consumption of 142 billion gal. According to the Annual Energy Outlook 2007, published by the Energy Information Administration, offshore drilling would increase domestic production of crude oil by only about 1 percent.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Navy agrees