Friday, August 15, 2008

Campaign Countdown

Chuck Todd at MSNBC seems to get nothing but respect from the progressive blogosphere, so if you're getting antsy and need a daily fix without the slant, go here (even if they write things so far ahead of time — pre-posting — that they forget Phelps is already ahead of his eighth gold medal. SENIOR MOMENT ATTACK: It has been so long since I wrote the word "eighth" that I had to think really, really hard. Oy!)

Without further ado:

Countdown to Dem convention: 10 days
Countdown to GOP convention: 17 days
Countdown to Election Day 2008: 81 days
Countdown to Inauguration Day 2009: 158 days

P.S. Word on the street today is that Sen. Tom Kaine, a good friend of Obama's, will be the v.p. and he'll take Virginia this year. I'm thinking that not only is Mark Warner giving the kickoff speech at the convention, he's getting set up to run for president in 2016. But I know nothing of either man,  except Kain'e pro-life, which will have some of us feminists really, really worried.
I swallowed hard on the FISA vote, the NATO for Georgia statement, but can't go there on any abortion change that doesn't go my way. Of course, I can't vote for McCain either. Obama's people know we've got nowhere to turn. Shit.

UPDATE: Okay, I guess it's me that got the medal thing wrong. Could have sworn I heard 10 medals from NBC yesterday. Another Senior Moment attack.

Unfit For Publication

is the name of the 41-page Obama rebuttal to Mr. Swift Boat's — Jerome Corsi — new book slandering the candidate. Lots of pro-Obama people are worried about its effect on campaign reporting, but apparently the media at least are wise to the scam by now. Still, thanks to bulk buying by right-wing groups, it's now listed as a NYT bestseller, something that could convince unwary people to buy, read and believe it.
What I find most interesting about all this is Sumner Redstone, who you may never have heard of. He's a frequent guest on Charlie Rose, which I still watch occasionally. The book was published by one of his properties.
You can download Unfit for Publication in pdf here.
From Wikipedia:
"Simon & Shuster owns the Threshold Editions imprint, which is increasingly controversial for publishing right wing political books including for example Jerome R. Corsi's The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality as well as other books attacking Democratic party politicians. Managed by a Republican Party operative, Mary Matalin, Threshold has a reputation of general indifference to the accuracy of the works it publishes. However, Threshold is believed to be highly profitable."

One other bit of wikipedia trivia: S&S is owned by CBS, which in turn in owned by the National Amusements theater chain, which is owned by Sumner Redstone. He was born Sumner Murray Rothstein on May 27, 1923, and was ranked by Forbes last year as the 86th richest man in the world, with a net worth of $9 billion.
Is there an uncanny resemblance between Murray Rothstein and Jerome Corsi? Well, maybe if Murray would cram the carbs, quit dying his hair and injecting collagen in his cheeks.
Do all old white guys look alike? Discuss.

1 Corsi 2 Redstone 3 Ed McMahon 4 The Donald
(I was gonna find McCain and Bush, too, but getting these four to look semi okay took too much mental energy.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Okay, We DO Need The Stinkin' Oil

Apparently, you can't trust MIT. And watch out for anybody announcing any breakthroughs, solar or otherwise

1. Despite the hype, it doesn't appear that Nocera et. al. have made any significant advances in water electrolysis.
2. Even if the researchers drove the cost of the oxygen-evolving anode to zero and its efficiency close to 100%, we are still only marginally closer to being able to produce significant quantities of hydrogen from solar energy.
3. Want to invest in cobalt futures? Too late.

Two — 2! — Quotes O' Teh Day

Hat tip: Bill of Portland, Maine on Daily Kos
"Left to their own devices, the three networks would televise live executions. Except Fox---they'd televise live naked executions."
---Producer David Goldberg
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
---Abraham Lincoln

New Obama Ads

You may not see them, he's doing a lot of targeted stuff, although there's a new "middle class" ad scheduled to run on the Olympics starting Monday.

In Indiana

Hillary Will Be Nominated

The Hillary and Obama campaigns have finally reached an official deal on how to handle her role at the convention -- her name will be placed in nomination, as a way to assuage her embittered supporters and minimize the possibility of strife at the Denver gathering, according to two sources familiar with the deal.
Obama and Hillary advisers decided that this course was preferable to having her name not introduced, the sources say.
One source confirmed that there will be a roll call vote at the convention, probably on the third day, with her name in entrance, and that Hillary will encourage her supporters to vote for Obama.
"This will recognize the historic nature of the primaries, honor the voices of everyone who participated, and help with party unity," the source says.
More here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Julia Child: Spy For Her Country

along with about another 24,000 other Americans during World War II.
I loved Julia, her gawkiness, her voice like you-know-what on a blackboard. She was like a big stork, swooping around the kitchen, trimming hairs out of a dead baby pig's nose and brushing its teeth before popping it into the oven. Her wine mantra, "a little for the pot, a little for the cook."

This old show is about 6 minutes. And you will learn to make an omelet.

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Oil

or coal, or natural gas. 'Cuz, Dawg, we got the sun.
Ten years from their lab to my house.
Nocera hopes that within 10 years, homeowners will be able to power their homes in daylight through photovoltaic cells, while using excess solar energy to produce hydrogen and oxygen to power their own household fuel cell. Electricity-by-wire from a central source could be a thing of the past.

Obama's Best Ad So Far?

Plugged in for 16 key states.

Oil, Russia, U.S., China (And Yes, Zbiggy!)

The 'sphere is all over the place on this Georgia/Russia thing and at least one AP report in which reporters were escorted by Russian military through the capital of South Ossetia that supposedly was brutally attacked by the Georgian found little evidence of destruction or civilian casualties (Russia claimed 2,000 killed).
So, while the U.S. has been messing around and may have encouraged Georgia to go too far, the whole thing is really about energy resources.
A poster at Daily Kos found this great story from the Asian Times three years ago that sort of ignores all the ethnic politics of the last two centures or so and just lays it all out from the pipeline's viewpoint. It's really long, but worth every word.
And it boggles my mind. I haven't read anything this good since Tim Weiner's book on the CIA last year. The interconnectedness of everyone — George Soros and Dick Cheney? — just sucks the air out of the room.
Here's a taste:

Pipelines and US-Azeri ties
The Baku-Ceyhan pipeline was originally proclaimed by BP and others as the project of the century. Former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski was a consultant to BP during the Bill Clinton era, urging Washington to back the project. In fact, it was Brzezinski who went to Baku in 1995, unofficially, on behalf of Clinton, to meet with then-Azeri president Haidar Aliyev, to negotiate new independent Baku pipeline routes, including what became the BTC pipeline.

Brzezinski also sits on the board of an impressive, if little-known, US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC). The chairman of USACC in Washington is Tim Cejka, president of ExxonMobil Exploration. Other USACC board members include Henry Kissinger and James Baker III, the man who in 2003 personally went to Tbilisi to tell Eduard Shevardnadze that Washington wanted him to step aside in favor of the US-trained Georgian president Mikhail Shaakashvili. Brent Scowcroft, former national security adviser to George H W Bush, also sits on the board of USACC. And Cheney was a former board member before he became vice president. A more high-powered Washington team of geopolitical fixers would be hard to imagine. This group of prominent individuals certainly would not give a minute of their time unless an area was of utmost geopolitical strategic importance to the US or to certain powerful interests there.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Russia, What You Should Know

Well, for one that Bush I and Clinton helped get us to where we are now so, no, it's not all Shrubya's fault. That the neocons are and have been for years salivating at the thought of confrontation. That they all believe they will survive a nuclear war, so they are crazy. That many of them are McCain's advisors. That he has always been a fraud.
That you don't have to take my word for any of this. There are actually people who know things that you can rely on.
Just start here and then move on to there.

Yes, I know, you can't find Kosovo on a map and neither can I, but there we are.
Yet many both outside and even inside the Bush administration predicted that the U.S. decision to champion Kosovo independence without Serbian consent would lead Moscow to become more assertive in establishing its presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Is Bush Drinking Again?

Some people think so.


Ah, Summer!

'He will make Cheney look like Gandhi'

Email this to everyone you know.

It's The Economy, Stupid!

On a day when the Washington Post absurdly examines what one commenter calls "the Elks Club demographic" in Pennsylvania and worries if Obama can win more of the grumpy old man vote, a real reporter at the Los Angeles Times takes a look at pocketbook voters.
I don't believe for a minute that the Obama campaign doesn't have this group at the top of its list, and they really do count.

Four years ago, exurbs in Florida, Ohio, Nevada and Colorado were especially important to Bush's reelection. Targeted by Karl Rove, the architect of Bush's victory, they were full of families escaping crowded schools and other downsides of city and suburban life. They were more consumed with the demands of everyday life than politics, but were open to the Republican messages of family values and low taxes. To Rove, these communities were an important piece of his plan to build a lasting GOP majority. And Bush made a strong stand, winning 97 of the 100 fastest-growing counties.
...Since Bush was reelected in 2004, according to a Times analysis, the average cost of gas to drive both ways of the 26-mile commute between the Wrencrest subdivision and downtown Tampa in a typical passenger car has more than doubled, from $4.36 to $9.22.

McCain On Abortion

Apparently a lot of pro-choice women are confused about his position, and there's a four-page story analyzing his weasely record.
But this is all you really need to know:

 The campaign website of the same man who, eight years ago, said Roe shouldn't be overturned now says, "John McCain believes Roe v. Wadeis a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pass It Along

John Edwards

out of the poverty fighting business.
In other words, the Center may have done some good, but its primary purpose was to serve as a vehicle for Edwards’ political career. Indeed, it appears to be very similar to the bogus “Reform Institute” that John McCain set up after his defeat to George W. Bush in 2000, and which was designed to keep alive his presidential ambitions and reward his cronies.
Dawg, this is the reason people hate politicians. I mean, it isn't even hard to find out about this stuff. Some days I think we're all in on it and we know it, but pretend otherwise. For the kids's sake or something.

It Feels So Good To Laugh Until You Cry

and Dave Barry is the only writer who has ever made me do that. I think I stopped reading him when I decided I didn't have time to be happily entertained and filled with mirth, life was too serious. Then, when I realized I still needed him, he went on sabattical or something.
But he's back, and in China. Ahh, much better now.
...Now you are in Beijing traffic, which is like an exciting video game with the bonus element of potential death. You have fast-moving cars, trucks and buses; you have a wide variety of mutant two-and-three-wheeled motorbike-contraptions putting along at minus two miles per hour; you have many bicycles, sometimes with an entire family on the one bicycle, dad pedaling, mom balanced behind him, holding a baby; and you have the occasional pushcart, stacked high with what appears to be trash. All of these vehicles are competing for the same packed road space, and nobody ever yields to anybody. Left turns routinely produce dramatic oncoming-bus moments that cause you to very nearly void your clueless western bladder.
Sometimes your driver will gesture at another vehicle, then turn to you and say something in Chinese, which you interpret to mean, ''Can you BELIEVE these morons?'' You answer ''Ha ha!,'' meaning it in the sense of ``Please resume watching the road.''
NOTE TO SELF: Bookmark Dave Barry blog. Read daily.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Is McCain Fit to Lead?

An essay by the Washington Bureau Chief of MarketWatch says not.
Hope more voters figure it out, although I'm not counting on the news media to tell them.
Since last January, Sen. Obama's fitness for the presidency has been the only question that matters in American politics. The pollsters and pundits agree that if Obama can show the voters that he's up to the job, he'll win. If not, he won't.
But that begs another question: Is McCain fit to lead America?
That question hasn't been asked, nor has it been answered.
The assumption seems to be that McCain's years of experience in the military and in Congress of course give him the background and tools he'd need in the White House. As Britney might say, "Duh! For sure he's qualified!!! He's Mac!!!"
But is that true? Does McCain have the right stuff?
A careful look at McCain's biography shows that he isn't prepared for the job. His resume is much thinner than most people think.