Thursday, October 30, 2008

Countdown to the Election: 5 Days

good evening, my lovelies... let me begin by saying i no longer like this new, hot doctor on grey's anatomy. i'm sorry, but you stab four defenseless pigs and you lose me. what can i say? on the upside...izzie is finding her way back on my good side. "flipper babies" - beautiful.

but anyway, on to the polls....

the latest national polls stand as follows:

obama: 49.7%
mccain: 43.8%

so...we're looking at a net positive of 5.9% for obama... pretty much the same.

the electoral map also remains, basically, the same. with toss-ups: obama 311 to mccain's 142 (+169, obama). that leaves 85 toss up votes. without toss-ups, a slight change: obama holds a net positive of 190 votes with 364 electoral votes to mccain's 174. i believe realclearpolitics has placed indiana back in mccain's column. i'm holding out hope.

but tonight's toss-up state...with a shout-out to my lovely feminist friend, north carolina.

once again...north carolina is generally a red state. but things are looking good for the dems this season.

as prologue: let's take a quick look at the senatorial race. that daffy cunt liddy dole is in a tough race against democrat kay hagan. today's rasmussen actually has hagan up six points over dole: 52% to 46%.

dole is so desperate, as are so many republicans, that she has gone to the airwaves accusing hagan of accepting "godless money" because she attended a fundraiser and received a donation from an atheist! dole even has an actress saying "there is no god" over a picture of hagan...implying hagan has said (and believes) just that.

well, hagan has hit back saying she doesn't want to focus on such nonsense when she knows she's a good christian woman and the people of north carolina want to talk about jobs and the economy. and she ends the ad by saying she approves the message because she doesn't believe is "baring false witness against a fellow christian."

oh, snap!

it's a beautiful retort and much stronger than the pathetic initial ad my dole. but it highlights the trouble republicans are having maintaining their hold on this once reliable red state.

the latest polls out of north carolina have obama at 49% and mccain at 46%. that's a mere 3 point lead for obama.... out of an average of several polls. so let's look at the polls:

the latest rasmussen has obama up by 2. the cnn/time poll has obama with a net 6 points over mccain. reuters/zogby have obama up by 4 and the AP has obama up by just 2 points.

an nbc/mason-dixon poll from the 22nd is the last poll that gave mccain any good news at all in north carolina...and that was a tie.

charlie cook likes to say take the difference between the high and low and you generally see where the polls really stand... that comes out to the RCP average of 3 points for obama.

what i'm trying to say appears next tuesday should be a good night for the dems in north carolina.

my prediction: obama wins north carolina and its 15 electoral points.

bonus prediction: kay hagan mops the floor with elizabeth dole.

obama/biden 08!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Countdown to the Election: 6 Days

well, not long ago barack obama debuted his 30-minute campaign ad on most of the major networks. (actually - all major networks except ABC, which if fine because i was able to DVR my pushing daisies.)

i was worried about the "infomercial" but i thought it was very powerful. moving and informative... just beautifully produced.... well done, sir.

but let's look at numbers... six days out.

first, the general numbers: the national polls have tightened slightly with obama up 6 points over mccain...49.9% to 43.9%. now has the electoral map favoring obama even more:

w/ toss-ups: obama 311, mccain 142 (obama +169)
no toss-ups: obama 375, mccain 163 (obama +212)

now....there aren't many toss-up states left. obama's lead in colorado has increased to double-digits and is now in the obama column. new hampshire is solidly obama.

but which states are still toss-ups? well....let's focus tonight on indiana (and at this point i give a shout-out to my colts-lovin' friend rebecca).

indiana is a neighboring state of illinois which everyone thought would go to obama throughout the primaries... it's also been a solidly red state since the 80's.

but wait...

realclearpolitics has their latest average of indiana polls thus:

obama: 47.4%
mccain: 46%

that's a net positive of just 1.4% for obama. however...just a week ago, the average on 10/21, had mccain up 48.8% to 45%.

so what's changed...? and is 1.4% enough to guarantee a blue indiana?

i think indiana truly remains a toss-up state... perhaps the last toss-up in the midwest where all the other states are turning a darker shade of blue.

it's a red state, true, but the midwest is being hit hard by the economy which all polls show favors obama.

so let's look inside the numbers. the most recent poll out by reuters has mccain up +10. but the big 10 battleground poll has obama up +10. and research 2000 has obama up by just 1 point.

so we have a net positive of 1.4% for obama....

indiana has 11 electoral votes... 11 votes will not do much to help mccain win the election in 6 days.

so....does indiana matter? it may not... obama can win without the state. mccain can still lose with it.

but it would be nice to see obama sweep the midwest and turn another red state blue.

i'm gonna make a call and say indiana goes blue on november 4th.

and we'll know if i'm right in just 6 days....

stay tuned for another state tomorrow. and if you have early voting....get out there and vote!

obama/biden 08!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Countdown to the Election: 7 Days

it's hard to believe that the campaign of the past TWO YEARS is quickly coming to an end.

first it appeared hillary clinton looked inevitable. then obama won iowa and he was inevitable. then hillary came back and won new hampshire and it was anybody's game until obama finally wrapped up the nomination after a very long primary fight.

mccain was dead two summers ago before he rose up from the pits of hell to snag the GOP nomination.

would hillary be obama's running mate....?

who the fuck is this sarah palin....?

as each question was answered, two or three more would appear...

but here we are. just one week away from knowing who the next president of the united states will be. and things seem to be coming into focus.

the brilliant charlie cook (who is one of the best political minds out there) probably put it best this weekend when he wrote:

For a political analyst, the normal posture this time of year is much like a baseball umpire's: hunched over, peering carefully as the ball approaches the plate, watching for whether it breaks left or right, whether it's coming in high or low. But, these days, we analysts are more like outfielders, watching in awe as a ball seems on a trajectory to not only clear the fence but very likely land in the upper deck.

the numbers we've seen over the past couple of months is just the type of surge obama can get behind. and i'd like to spend the next week looking closely at the numbers, possibly focusing on a specific state that remains "in play" each day.

but for today... i'd like to focus on just the big numbers. drawing information consistently from, the race currently stands thus:

obama 50.6%
mccain 43.6%

that's a 7% lead for obama. but as we've all learned from 2000...the popular vote means shit when choosing the next POTUS.

so how does the electoral map look...?

realclearpolitics currently has a definitive 306 electoral votes for obama and 157 for mccain. that's a net positive of 149 electoral votes for obama. but remember: you only need 270 electoral votes to become president.

so does that mean obama wins....? look back at cook's quote.... the answer almost has to be yes, right? i mean...those are numbers WITH toss-up states. let's take out the toss-up states and you see why cook says we're looking at an impressive trajectory.

without toss-up states, obama has 375 electoral votes to mccain's 163... that's a net positive of 212 electoral votes!

that's the upper deck, my friends (to steal a phrase from mccain).

so does obama win? can anything snatch this democratic slam dunk (to mix metaphors) from the jaws of victory? should we still fear a bradley effect?

in the coming days.... we'll focus on other issues playing into the november 4th election and focus in on a few key states.

but, my fellow's lookin' good.

obama/biden 08!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Don't Label Sarah Palin

so i'm watching the second installment of the brian williams interview with the cryptkeeper and sarah palin last night and i was struck by a specific exchange:

williams: "governor, are you a feminist?"

palin: "well, ya know gosh darn it, brian... i'm not gonna label myself anything."

okay...i admit that first part was me... but she did say she wouldn't label herself anything.


how many times do you label yourself a "reformer" during your speeches, governor? how many times do you call yourself (and mccain) a "maverick"? how often do you refer to yourself as a "washington outsider" or an "average american" (who just happens to spend $150,000 in two months on clothes at neiman marcus and saks fifth avenue)? wouldn't label yourself anything...

just like you won't label an abortion clinic bomber a "domestic terrorist." afterall.... he's doing god's will, isn't he? (this exchange can also be found in last night's segment of the nbc interview.)

i realize a lot of people are kvetching about this $150,000 for clothes story saying it's not relevant... but in a discussion where a candidate paints themselves as a "fiscal conservative" and a "reformer" that knows how to cut spending and not waste tax dollars.... you've just used $150,000 of tax payer money (remember - the mccain camp is using public financing...not raising private money like obama) on clothes and accessories. $150,000! that's more than most people make in a year...

and it just highlights the constant hypocrisy in the mccain/palin ticket. the consistent flip flops:

first mccain badmouthed religious zealots...then he met with them.
first mccain was against the bush tax cuts...then he voted for them three times.
first palin was for the bridge to nowhere...then she voted against it.
first palin was for cutting government waste...but then continued to take the government stipend for housing while living in her own home.

these are not reformers. these are not mavericks. not that they would ever label themselves. i mean...they're definitely not flip-floppers.

afterall...just a month ago when katie couric asked palin "do you consider yourself a feminist?" palin answered: "i do."

but ya know... whatever.

obama/biden 08!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Third Time's the Same

tonight is the last night of my mini-stay-at-home vacay. so i’ll be keeping this short and posting early because i can’t stay up all night and listen to post debate analysis. but i offer you some of my thoughts.... as they happen.

a live blog for you, my loyal readers... on this, the occasion of the final presidential debate of 2008.

the third and final debate
ah....we’re sitting this evening.

mccain begins with a shout out to nancy “just say no” reagan. then launched into: “they’re [i.e. the american people] hurting and they’re angry. that’s important so i’ll say it again. they’re hurting and they’re angry.... they’re angry.” the key word here is “angry.”

mccain is hitting this very unpopular idea of buying up home mortgages. you know.... his idea.

obama immediately starts speaking directly to the middle class. tax cuts for anyone making less than $250,000. also – access to retirement/401(k) plans without penalty.

GREAT answer to mccain’s idea for buying up foreclosures. could be a profit-making venture for the banks.

wow...look at john mccain looking directly at obama as he attacks about the plumber. this is new....

mccain...the camera is on you. stop looking so itchy.

“joe the plumber” and “we need to spread the wealth around.” i just heard these talking points on the o’reilly factor as i was momentarily humoring my older, conservative brother.

mccain needs to get less advice from o’reilly and rush and listen to smart conservative like mike murphy.

is mccain really revisiting his america vs. ireland argument?

let’s see if bob can finally get an answer about the WHAT will you cut in order to pay for these economic stimulus packages?

well, obama once again danced around the question. mccain pulled a sarah palin and decided to talk about something completely different. nope, wait... he just said he would start a spending freeze.

hmmm....mccain would eliminate subsidies on ethanol. did he just write off illinois, iowa, wisconsin and indiana?

“i’m not president bush. if you wanted to run against president bush you should have run four years ago.” a nice line from mccain. obama needs to hit him back with: “well, then you shouldn’t have voted with bush over 90% of the time.”

“record, record, record...” yes, johnny boy. we get it.

“if i sometimes mistake your policies for bush’s policies...” it’s because they’re so similar. a nice response obama.

but holy shit. mccain is really hitting hard tonight. he is on the attack.

8:25pm: bob schieffer brings up the nastiness of the campaign and will you address the negative attacks to each other.

i can’t believe mccain is really trying to blame the ugliness on obama’s unwillingness to sit down for 10 town hall style debates.

look at mccain playing the victim. poor me.... they found out i’m a racist and they called me on it. boo-hoo.

“you didn’t tell the american people the truth because you didn’t.” what?!?

there’s the answer. says obama (in a nuthshell): the american people care less about our hurt feelings and the nastiness than the real issues. that’s what they want us to talk about.

i’m so fucking happy that obama is hitting mccain on he and palin not addressing the shouts of “kill him” and “terrorist” at their rallies. they’re also yelling shit like “off with his head” and “treason.” that shit is scary. the kennedys... MLK. that is not the distance past.... this type of language is horrifying.

mccain’s lines of attacks just go so far off the beaten path sometimes.

obama’s point that we can’t paint each other as “bad people” is a nice line. and then off mccain goes on ayers and ACORN which is all such bullshit.

i love that the word “terrorist” is oh-so-slightly dropped whenever mccain brings up ayers.

obama has given some very nice, direct answers to the idiotic allegations by the mccain campaign and then gave a beautiful list of his advisors: buffett, biden, luger, jones... beautiful.

why is bob letting this debate descend into this idiotic, trivial dialogue? MOVE ON!

let’s talk about THE ISSUES!

oooooh… a biden v. palin question. this seems like a gimme for obama. “because palin is a fucking idiot!” game, obama!

the key word for palin is “reformer.” idiot. how can mccain really justify his stunt known as sarah palin with a straight face?

awww....the victim card again! “she understands special needs families.”

when asked if sarah is qualified to be president, obama gave the stock hillary answer: “that’ll be up to the american people.”

oh snap! obama said we need to fund more research for autism if we’re gonna take special needs research seriously. and that can’t happen if mccain wants an “across the board spending freeze.” beautiful....

“tax and spend liberal.” this week’s republican talking point.

energy and oil. mccain: “drill, baby drill.” whatever...

allow me to digress for one moment: we all know that even if we begin drilling tomorrow, it’ll take ten years to see any oil from these new offshore drilling sites. exploration, construction, drilling.... ten years. but what nobody talks about is that once shell and exxon and everyone else drills the oil – it’s not american oil. the oil belongs to the oil companies. and they don’t have to supply it to america. they’re businessmen! they will sell it to the highest bidder. if china is willing to pay more for a barrel of oil, guess what? shell sells it to china. we won’t necessarily see ANY of it.

thank vishnu that obama spoke about wind and solar energy. why not spend all that money...the time over the next ten explore alternative energy?!?! why not work to end our dependence on oil?!?

mccain finds a way to add “and he’ll raise your taxes” into any conversation... no matter how irrelevant. amazing....

fuck... over 30 minutes left and i’m already bored.

hit him, obama! clarify your plan for health care and the exemption for small businesses and “joe the plumber.” nice argument about young, healthy individuals may be able to afford health insurance for $5,000. but older, less healthy individuals probably can’t afford it for only $5,000 a year.

are you listening out there in pennsylvania?!?

“joe! i want you to do the job” mccain says. yeah...but joe can’t afford it! how can anyone really be against health care for everyone?!? should we just let our citizens die?

this amazes me! and i miss hillary....

oooooh! a roe v. wade question! mccain says he thought it was wrongly decided. “i think a lot of cases were wrongly decided.” really? can you name one? because sarah can’t...

i get so annoyed with the term “litmus test.” why can we not apply a fucking litmus test? we need judges that will uphold a woman’s right to choose!

carey – are you listening? obama just said roe v. wade was rightly decided. and he upholds a woman’s right to choose (under the safe guise of “right to privacy.”)

oh! and i’m so happy obama keeps bringing up equal pay for equal work.

education: obama thinks the children are our future. just like whitney houston.

well, hell.... we’re starting to repeat ourselves. let’s move on to my quick hits for the debate.

quick hits
--cnn’s newsroom is as busy as their graphics during the debate. 12 pundits and three moderators. i find it difficult to keep up.
--i think they asked bob shieffer to moderate in hopes it’ll make john ‘the cryptkeeper’ mccain look younger.
--mccain starts writing notes as soon as he sits down. is his memory that bad he has to write down thoughts before he forgets them? and then he just writes and writes and writes.
--i heard a great argument earlier today that mccain could’ve convinced people that he wouldn’t be a third bush term if he hadn’t decided to run a third bush-style campaign. it was nice.....
--“for all intents and purposes” is an empty fucking phrase. and WAY over-used.
--fuck! i wish i’d been counting how many times mccain brought up “joe the plumber.” by 9pm CST – it’s been at least four times... but about three or four times during each time he brings him up.
--mccain’s body language is better tonight. he looked at obama. he spoke directly to obama. but he still looks like a grumpy old man.
--obama looks presidential. he looks calm. but he looked (and was) ready to fight back on mccain’s attacks.
--do you know who obama’s number one surrogate is tonight after the debate? one hillary clinton. oh yeah.....
--on the final question of the debate, why is mccain suddenly so intent on interrupting obama while he speaks?
--thanks chuck todd on nbc. joe the plumber was mentioned over 20 times by mccain.

final thoughts
my final thoughts will also reflect the candidate’s final remarks.

my older brother (the conservative) thought mccain looked more choppy tonight than he has in the past. i think he’s uncomfortable on the attack but everyone had told him that he had to attack, attack, attack. it’s too bad.

and he did come out and attack. and he hit obama hard.

but i think obama was able to answer all of his attacks. and calmly.

the closing remarks were nice. mccain spoke of his service. obama spoke about the needs of the country. i dunno....?

i find it a bit of a draw (again) tonight. boring....(again) though maybe not as boring as last time.

but was a draw. mccain can’t win with a draw. a draw means obama wins. and i just didn’t see anything tonight that changed the game.

another nice analysis from chuck todd: mccain’s performance will excite his base. but both candidates have their base. what did mccain do to garner votes from the center? from independents? i just don’t see it.

and to follow-up on a statement that chucky t. made about a month or more ago: we’ll know how this race will end november 4th on october 15th. well...look at the polls. look at the electoral maps: obama is up. and he’s up well.

i haven’t brought up realclearpolitics for some time, but let me revisit my favorite website. the RCP average of national polls has obama topping mccain by 7.3 percentage points: 49.8% to 42.8%.

and if you look at RCP’s electoral map. obama has 286 electoral votes in his column to mccain’s 158. that’s obama up by 128 electoral votes. of course, you only need 270 electoral votes to win the presidency and he’s already at 286 without toss up states.

add toss ups? obama 364. mccain 174. that’s obama in a landslide of 190 electoral votes over mccain.

again.... i’m cautiously optimistic.

well, it’s almost over. the debates are over. i can’t believe it’s a mere 19 days until election day.

and i leave you tonight with bob shieffer’s mother’s sage advice: “go vote now. it’ll make you feel nice and strong.”

obama/biden 08!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fannie/Freddie Fact Check

thank you, CNN:

The Statement: At a presidential debate Tuesday, October 7 in Nashville, Tennessee, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats resisted regulating mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which ultimately collapsed and had to be taken over by the government. "Meanwhile, they were getting all kinds of money in campaign contributions. Sen. Obama was the second-highest recipient of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac money in history — in history," he said.

The Facts: Federal law forbids candidates from receiving money directly from companies. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics tracks donations from employees of various companies. The center's list of contributions from Fannie and Freddie employees places Obama second. Ahead of him is Sen. Chris Dodd, Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

The total listed for Obama is $126,349 — a tiny fraction of the approximately $390 million his campaign has raised, according to the center. The list shows McCain has received a total of $21,550 from Fannie and Freddie employees. The list includes donations of at least $200 from those who receive paychecks from Fannie and Freddie. It also includes donations from political action committees — pooled contributions from employees.

The report spans from 1989-2008 — just a portion of the time since Fannie Mae went private in 1968 and Freddie Mac was created in 1970.

The New York Times has published a separate list looking at contributions from "directors, officers, and lobbyists for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" for the 2008 campaign cycle. That list — using figures from the Federal Election Commission — shows McCain receiving $169,000, while Obama received only $16,000.

VERDICT: Misleading. No donations actually came from the companies. One method of measuring employee contributions does put Obama second overall, but another, for the current election cycle, shows McCain receiving significantly more.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Belmont Stakes

well, it’s the second of three debates tonight between john “i’ll fight dirty after i promised to fight clean” mccain and the messiah known as barack obama. i’m thinkin’ i’ll attempt another live-blogging... but i may be moving around a lot... or just yelling at the t.v. a bit too much to get a lot down. but i’ll try.

first.... let’s say up front: i like the format. i realize this is supposed to help mccain, but i like the idea of the candidates answering questions directly from voters. and not having any distance between themselves and who may vote for them.

i also hope that tom brokaw does a better job at moderating than gwen ifill did last thursday. that was easily one of the most disappointing performances i have ever witnessed. i’m an enormous fan of ms. ifill... but the news stories circulating about her new book praising obama clearly got in her head and she let palin take over and not even answer the questions posed.

tom... keep them on point. keep them honest. don’t let them get away with “no, i want to talk about my talking points.”

also…before we go into this: what do we think about mccain’s dirty campaigning? will he bring up the smears? with obama in the room? with a live audience that may boo him?

i’m predicting no… but i guess we’ll see. it’s just bad politics and as much as i can’t stand mccain and his cronies... he must be smarter than that, right?

hmmm... can i change my answer?

debate night in america
mccain at least acknowledged obama as he entered the stage. obama is to the left. mccain is to the right. seems appropriate.

first question, not a surprise: the economy.

obama immediately pegged this current crisis on bush’s “failed policies” and included: “policies senator mccain supported.” nice... tough words against AIG execs. demands they give the money back and executives fired. again, nice...

mccain addressed obama but didn’t really look at him.

i think mccain’s “nice to see you at a town hall meeting” was meant as a subtle jab. maybe too subtle...

people want to hear about their 401(k) plans and sending their children to college... mccain is talking home prices. the question was about stocks and 401(k).

oh, nice question tom: who will you appoint to be the next treasury secretary to replace paulson?

the question clearly took mccain by surprise. he has no answer. again, tried a lame joke: “not you, tom.” obama said buffett would be a good choice but maybe not the best (but didn’t stop from reminding people warren does support him). but neither one of them gave a name.

mccain got the talking point: “not a bailout. a rescue.” um, yeah... no. it’s a bailout.

you can put lipstick on a pitbull but it’s still a hockey mom. no, wait.... is that how the saying goes?

need to fact check: is obama the second largest recipient of fannie mae and freddie mac money?

huh. mccain talked in generalities and attacked obama when asked what exactly is in the bailout package for individuals. obama came right back and said, “let me tell you what you get out of this...” but then i think he meandered and kinda answered (available credit) but then didn’t really answer... and gave his credentials on trying to stop the economic crisis.

and now he’s attacking mccain again....

come on, barack. give a definitive answer.

“we have a 20th century policy for a 21st century problem.” yes, obama. we get it. you’re the bridge for washington into the 21st century.

wow, look! mccain looked directly at and spoke directly to obama. a strong moment, actually....

okay, when asked why he should be trusted with our money...obama was direct. he spoke about need for healthcare and energy policy reform.

mccain is throwing out a lot of numbers but not giving any specifics. “record, record, record.” “pork, earmarks, pork.” “energy, energy, energy.” but can you provide any specifics? we’ve heard the talking points...

wait? did mccain just bring up terrorists when talking about priorities?

obama is, once again, being specific: energy, first. “in ten years we have to be free of middle east oil.” health care, priority number two. priority number three? education.

well played, sir.

first internet question: we’ve never been asked to sacrifice anything but our soldiers’ blood since WWII. what will you ask people to sacrifice?

mccain’s answer: cuts in washington and washington programs. and then the one example you give is a more streamlined defense budget? how is that asking any of us to sacrifice?

how about a call to volunteer? a call to donate to nonprofits?

obama started talking about a call for service. talked about how everyone needs to start thinking about the energy they use. how can we save energy in our homes and our buildings? he also talked about young people’s hunger to serve and doubling funding for the peace corps.

ah, at 8:37pm (CST) mccain brought up the spectre of “tax and spend liberals.” obama will raise taxes on small businesses.

hit back obama.... he will not raise taxes on 95% of the nation. and he won’t raise taxes on most small businesses... but he will give them tax incentives for providing health care benefits to the employees.

did mccain just blow off the idea of having to SAFELY dispose of nuclear waste? seriously?

5 million new jobs can be created by working on alternative fuels, claims obama. hillary would call those “green collar jobs.” i miss hillary.

mccain just referred to obama as “that one.” 8:49pm. why not just call him “boy”?

i’m so happy obama keeps hitting mccain on the fact that he wants to TAX healthcare. healthcare costs have never been taxed. it’s idiotic! keep hitting him on that, obama.

“medical errors” as they call them. you mean the doctors?

i think mccain is hitting obama on healthcare mandates again (sorry, i was typing). obama doesn’t have mandates. hillary had those (i miss hillary). i wish he had mandates... otherwise, we’ll never get to universal health care.

mccain believes healthcare is a “responsibility” not a “right.” obama… you better hit him on this!

good…obama says in a country as wealthy as our country, healthcare should be a right. bravo. (and amen!)

clear it up, obama. no mandates for you. no threats of making you change your plan. no mandates for small businesses but 50% tax incentives for healthcare. only mandates for children.

what was that cocky move mccain did with the mic after saying “there’s no time for on the job training, my friend”? who does he think he is? tom jones?

the obama doctrine? while we may not always have a national security issue at stake, we have a moral issue. basically, he believes we need to help stop ethnic cleansing and genocide but also acknowledges that we can’t be everywhere all the time. an honest answer.

i’m getting really tired of mccain saying “my friends.” fuck you! you’re not my friend.

the mccain doctrine? i dunno? bomb, invade? what is he saying? and did he just say we need a “cool hand” at the controls? and that would be you, mctemper?

mccain said: “your children’s safety is my first priority. after our nation’s security.” so...we’ll send your children into iraq to die and cause further hatred of our nation and endanger ourselves and our troops… which actually makes us less safe. but i’ll take care of your children? what?

mccain is keeping his cool tonight... but he’s still so smug and smarmy.

i don’t know if obama’s constant insistence on follow-ups will play well with everyone. he may come across as too pushy... or maybe even whiney. but i think it’s important for him to defend himself after mccain’s false attacks.

“i was joking with an old veteran friend,” mccain says. this when he said “bomb, bomb, bomb...bomb, bomb iran.” yeah.... funny, john. real funny.

“withdraw our troops in a responsible way” from iraq, obama says. hillary started the trend of “responsible withdrawal.” i miss hillary....

mccain just said obama is “correct” on some of his points when it comes to afghanistan. okay, obama people: mccain’s camp jumped all over you guys two fridays ago when obama said mccain was right on some things. quid pro quo.

mccain repeated his “i looked into putin’s eyes and saw three letters: a K, a G and a B.” bad line two fridays ago. bad line again tonight. fell flat.

9:20 CST: i’m bored.

obama needs to work on these long rambling answers. he’s answered the question three times (the russia question). we gotta stop our democratic candidates from giving long, kerry/gore-esque answers. answer the question and stop talking.

by “our interests” mccain means “oil.”

9:29 CST: can we get in one more question brokaw wants to get in? he forges on. a question from new hampshire with a “zen like quality.” and it is a good question: what don’t you know and how will you learn it?

obama gave a nice answer about learning more from challenges you never expect rather than challenges you do expect. then he went into what he does know and how america is great and his mother was single.... you know, flag pin stuff.

mccain says he doesn’t know what’s going to happen... sounds like he’s setting up an attack on obama being too risky.

“i know what it’s like in dark times,” mccain says. you mean before the invention of the light bulb, right john? (sorry, enita...i couldn’t resist.)

9:34 pm CST: the debate ends on an odd note: mccain was standing in front of tom brokaw’s speech.

quick hits
--nobel prize winner al gore is in the house!
--okay... i love the oliver stone presidential movies: jfk, nixon.... i mean, i’m like an insanely HUGE fan of those. and now i have so much hope in W. and i think the previews, with that song, are pitch perfect.
--it’s comforting to hear tom brokaw’s voice.
--meanwhile, teresa in section F is about as hick as hick comes....
--8:21pm (CST): mccain calls himself a “reformer” for the first time and said “reform” within 30 seconds of it.
--8:24: “reform.” everybody drink!
--8:24: “ronald reagan.” everybody drink!
--i think people underestimated obama’s comfort level in front of a town hall crowd. he looks confident, relaxed and knowledgeable.
--here’s a switch: the democrat brought up 9/11 first!
--did you know that both obama and mccain are south paws? have i mentioned this before?
--mccain looks like a tiny pitbull pacing back and forth looking for the perfect place to take a piss.
--8:41pm: “ronald reagan.” drink!
-- ah...leave it up to a younger voter to ask about the environment. thank you, ingrid.
--“we cannot drill our way out of the problem.” nice obama.
--“i’ll stop and you didn’t even wave.” mccain used that exact same line in the first debate. get some new comedy writers.
--mccain keeps pacing. he can’t sit still. he can’t just stand back at his chair when obama speaks. it’s irritating. obama sits at his chair, allows mccain to speak….and watches him the entire time. good body language.
--mccain’s hair transplant crack fell flat. quelle surprise.
--there are a lot of white people in that room. actually, a lot of bald white men.
--by 9:10pm we’d only heard from two african americans... no latinos. mostly white people.
--okay...drinking game words for next time: for mccain: “record” and “my friends.” for obama: “21st century” and “clarify” or “follow-up.” jager shots if anyone mentions “change,” “reform” or “maverick.”
--is cindy mccain wearing purple? purple doesn’t bring to mind money or medication. what is she thinking?
--after the debate, obama went to shake mccain’s hand again and he directed him to cindy and never shook his hand.
--just a reminder: the election is four weeks from today.

final thoughts
i thought it was a pretty even debate. i would give obama the lead on demeanor and substance. mccain didn’t lose his cool and didn’t make any personal attacks.

but mccain did not change the game tonight.... which means he lost.

the types of petty attacks he made and dippy jokes just made him seem disconnected from real problems facing the country.

mccain hit hard on taxes, of course... but i’m not sure he hit home with any of them. obama was able to come back and defend himself.

mccain was clearly on the attack... but obama basically kept his cool. answered the attacks honestly. and just seemed much more presidential.

at a time when polls are widening.... and battleground states are steadily becoming more blue. this was not a performance that will lose obama any votes or garner mccain any votes.

with four weeks to go and only one more debate... i’m not sure how mccain can change the game at this point.

i’m becoming cautiously optimistic.

obama/biden 08!


Monday, October 6, 2008

3 1/2 Minutes from Hell

there were just over 56 glorious minutes.... sure, we were down by 10 at the beginning. but we came back and tied it... we moved ahead before the half.

and then we were ahead by 17 points!

the houston texans! ahead of the indianapolis colts by 17 points heading into the final moments of the game.

i had to be dreaming..... i had heard about the one and only time we had beaten the colts... but in a cruel trick of fate i was in wisconsin for that game and didn't get to see it.

that was december of 2006.

and now here is was.... two seasons later. 10-27, houston.

i was about ready to join the thunderous chant of "sage! sage! sage!" that has grown louder and louder over the years with most houston fans.

"put sage in," they would say. "schaub sucks. sage should be the starter," would mutter another.

"sage is too inconsistent," i would remind them. i've always defended our starters. david carr because he was hot (and better than the team around him, i still believe). and matt has promise... he just needs a better front line.

but suddenly....with matt schaub on the sidelines after an extreme illness saw him hospitalized saturday night... after rosenfels had the chance to show everyone that he could live up to what they all believed.....

here we were! 56 1/2 minutes into an unbelievable win over the colts.

and then the texans did what the texans do best:

they fucked it up.

it only took a little over two minutes. first rosenfels went for an idiotic play we didn't need (remember - up by 17 with under four minutes to play). he launched himself for a first down. not a quarterback slide... no.... he launched himself. he fumbled the ball. the colts scored. 17-27, houston.

the next houston drive.... rosenfels fumbles a loosely held ball. colts score. 24-27.

okay, great... we now have under two minutes.... we can drive down the field - or just hold on to the fucking ball and run out the clock.

but no... not our houston texans.... not sage rosenfels. he throws an interception.


i think it took about two plays for peyton manning to get it into the endzone. final score: 31-27, indianapolis.

it was the greatest breakdown in the final five minutes of any nfl game. ever.

so i'll say it again: sage rosenfels is too inconsistent.

and coach gary kubiak is, apparently, a moron.

you're up by 17 points... there's under four minutes to play. you just protect the ball. convert some third downs... run out the clock.

what the fuck was rosenfels trying to prove? he had the job....

it was our first home game of the season... delayed by hurricane ike. the roof will need to be open all season due to the damage by the hurricane to the roof of reliant stadium. for just over 56 minutes, the houston fans had something to cheer about after 3 road games lost. after 15 days of no power....

after a september that was abysmal for most houstonians.

so thanks, guys. at least you're consistent. you always find new and surprising ways to suck.

i don't know how anyone cheers for more than one houston team. i couldn't take all that disappointment. the texans are enough, thank you.

oh...but my cubbies blew it too.

(why do i like sports again?)

our next three games are against teams that are usually considered worse than we are: miami (who is on the rise), detroit and cincinnati.

i'm not sure how we'll fuck this one up... but give the texans time. they'll figure out a way to fail.

it's like watching the democrats.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Notes From All Over: 200th Entry Edition

so....did you know that this would be my 200th blog entry? kinda kooky, huh?

seems like it came out of nowhere...

of course, between the storm. the fifteen (yes, count them: 15) days without power. this week being the close of last month's books at work. not to mention the 2009 budget was due this week.

and did i mention i didn't have power for fifteen days?

yeah... this blog entry came out of nowhere.

so, i kinda feel like a bit of a recap. maybe some thoughts on the past 200. probably more thoughts on the past three weeks.

but some thoughts. for the 200th entry...

hurricane horror stories
it seems so long ago now that a series on the horrors of the storm just seem, well, dated.

my friend steven and i hunkered down in my place with his two dogs, 96 bottles of water, six gallons of water, lots of bread and peanut butter... and WAY too much junk food. oh - and booze.

i really couldn't sleep as the night of the 12th turned into the early morning hours of the 13th of september. by 1:40 am - we had lost power. by 3am - we were in the thick of it, as the man says.

i spent the next three hours plugging up leaks on the north and west side of my apartment like some little dutch boy. all the while listening to the eerie screech of metal across cement from the construction site across the street from me. i thought for sure it was the mobile leasing office just waiting to fly into my apartment.

but it was so dark outside...and there was so much wind and rain... i couldn't see shit. and everytime i tried to peek outside the window - it felt like it was ready to pop in on me... so i ran and hid.

it was a long night... when the daylight began to break through the clouds and the pissing down rain of the early morning hours... i saw the road outside was a river... it was a giant storage unit that had been blown across the cement... and a shit load of downed trees, fences and shingles.

i am happy to admit: i was scared. i no longer need to wish for a category one hurricane.

just a tropical storm, in the future.

oh - and did i mention that steven slept through all of this.....?

15 days
it took centerpoint energy 15 days to get the lights on for me. all around me there were lights. i've discussed this. on the 15th day...early afternoon. the trucks descended on my neighborhood like bears (gay, not the animals) on an all you can eat hotdog contest. lots of hunky men flared out across the streets. and at about 4:20 pm... i watched the centerpoint man rise up to meet the blown transformer across the street from my living room.

he took the old one down. he hung a new one. he flipped the latch....and i turned to look at my ceiling fan.

15 days began to spin.

jo jones: power woman
power was restored to my place of business five days after the storm. bigger problem: there was a giant oak on the building.

but councilwoman jolanda jones of houston came to the rescue and put us on the top of the priority list. (it's good being a nonprofit.) four pieces of heavy equipment and a crane later... the tree was off by friday. we reopened on monday.

jolanda jones was on survivor. and she pulled someone from a burning car a couple of months ago.

she's a superwoman. vote for her.

the election
i suppose i would be remiss if i didn't mention the election in my 200th entry. believe it or not.... the election has been going on for as long as i've been blogging.

madness, i know... but like crack for us politicos.

last week ole cryptkeeper mccain and the messiah known as obama debated in mississippi.

the debate was called a draw by most but i honestly felt like obama came off as the winner. and i say this with all due impartiality. mccain seemed confused and off his game throughout the debate... and he would fall back on stock answers obviously given to him by his handlers. "record" this and "leadership" that... and he would just unjustly attack obama with out and out lies.

and obama didn't let him get away with it....

obama was able to talk about a broader range of issues... from the economy to foreign policy. and he held his own on the stage with mccain in a foreign policy debate. was he great? no... but he was solid.

here's a simple way to know obama won the debate. my older brother is about as red as they come.... hates hillary like a good republican should... but he's not thrilled with either obama or mccain.

but it bugged the shit out of him that mccain would never...not once...look at obama.

obama would address mccain directly. he would look at him while he spoke. (you guys know i'm all about body language... just look back at my coverage of the hillary/obama debates.) but mccain just couldn't even bring himself to look at obama once.

and that really turned my brother off.

tonight... palin takes on biden and i'm probably looking forward to this more than any other debate.

my friend sally thinks biden should just bring out a globe, spin it and ask palin to name the president of any country his finger lands on. hell, ask her to name the country!

but i think biden has to be careful.... he can't come across as condescending or beating up on palin. he has a fine line he must walk.

palin...after interviews with gibson, couric and hannity, expectations are low. but don't let her fool you. we've already seen that she can charm a crowd.

also of note: both are gaffe machines. so let's see what happens.

the hurricane really fucked up my football viewing. i lost all of week 2 that first weekend. no college ball. no nfl. this a week after tom brady of the pats was injured and declared done for the season.

i can only imagine what i missed from the talking heads of the fox pregame show.

the following weekend... i was able to watch my beloved houston texans humiliate themselves. my friend rhoda and i went to a sports bar to watch the game. it was awful... the game, not the sports bar. the sports bar was, um, okay... some hot guys. but not nearly enough.

the texans also lost this past weekend..... but at least they were in the game against jacksonville.

and the texas longhorns are looking good so far this year. AP has them ranked at #5 after some major upsets last weekend. but i can't let this segment on football end without a shout out to my dear friend kristen.

kristen is a texas alum. and a good friend... she offered me access to her home (that never lost power) throughout my fifteen days. including for the games and the debate.

so...i took her up on the texas/rice game on the 20th.

i love kristen... i do. but never again..... and this all comes from love.

she told me to arrive early.. the game started at 6pm. "we have A/C," she reminded me. so i got there shortly before in hand. i was warned of the children. and there they were... all over the place.

the game started at 6. it was decided to DVR the game until everyone could settle down and watch it. by everyone i mean: kristen and her husband... their two children. the two sets of neighbors from across the street and their three children.... kristen's mother and stepfather and me.

first you had to corral the children... and feed them. but this one didn't like this and that one wanted grandma to sit by her.... and then you had to clean up after the children.

then the children had to play... and check daddy's ear and eyes and heart with the fake medical equipment. and one had to pretend to saw off the other kids' heads with his play chainsaw... (really? play chainsaw?) which caused problems. which caused a crying fit.

and then it was bath time and wash up time... but don't forget to go back across the street to get the toothbrush and toothpaste... and they need to change into pj's.

then it's time to say good night to everyone and kiss mom and dad and grandma and grandpa. oh - and then it's story time. but not just one story... they need two stories.

and then they were finally in bed.

so shortly after 8pm... we were able to start the game.

um, yeah... the cable company decided not to play the texas game advertised on the guide...but the fucking astros game instead. so we missed the entire first half. but found the game for the second half.

but, oh wait... first we have to feed the adults.

so around 8:30....we start to watch the game...which was a blow-out by then.... so who really cared?

and i love kristen... and it was so nice of her to open her home to me. and i appreciate everything she offered and everything she gave.

but, um, yeah.... me, children and football. it don't mix.

oil and water, baby. oil and water.

in conclusion
it's been a long, crazy journey..... this past september will go down as one of the worst in recent memory. the storm was frightening. the fifteen days were trying.

and trying to get work back up and running, handling the weeks' worth of appointments missed and needing to be rescheduled....

september was a bad month.

but i look ahead to october and the rest of this year and i see some nice weather. some good plans with friends.... a trip to san francisco.

and more blogging. to paraphrase my best friends wedding: "maybe there won't be (gay) marriage... maybe there won't be sex... but, by god, there will be blogging."

and hopefully sex... but that's a different entry.