Saturday, June 7, 2008

Jim McKay Dead at 86

NY Times: Jim McKay, the genial ABC sports broadcaster who covered 10 Olympic Games for the network over 24 years and was the voice of the celebrated sports anthology series “Wide World of Sports” for its first 25, died Saturday at his country estate in Monkton, Md. He was 86.

I grew up with Jim McKay being the first voice I associated with Wide World of Sports.

"Spanning the globe... the thrill of victory. The agony of defeat."

T Minus 227/226 Days

Happy 83rd Birthday Barbara Bush.

"I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up."

Somehow I believe that this quote is missing something. For example: "I married the first man I ever kissed. I killed him and ate his brain. Then I married George Herbert. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up. Mostly for the oversentimentality; but not George W. He's throwing up because of the aftereffects of his latest binge."

Friday, June 6, 2008

Surprise! Bush Exaggerated Iraq "Evidence"

We all knew this to be true, but it's amazing that this report took five years to be completed and wasted untold millions of dollars.

Bush Overstated Evidence on Iraq, Senators Report

WASHINGTON — A long-delayed Senate committee report endorsed by Democrats and some Republicans concluded that President Bush and his aides built the public case for war against Iraq by exaggerating available intelligence and by ignoring disagreements among spy agencies about Iraq’s weapons programs and Saddam Hussein’s links to Al Qaeda.

The report was released Thursday after years of partisan squabbling, and it represented the close of five years of investigations by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence into the use, abuse and faulty assessments of intelligence leading to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

That some Bush administration claims about the Iraqi threat turned out to be false is hardly new. But the report, based on a detailed review of public statements by Mr. Bush and other officials, was the most comprehensive effort to date to assess whether policy makers systematically painted a more dire picture about Iraq than was justified by the available intelligence.

Of course, Bush loyalists claim that the report is a "waste of committee time and rescourses" and the White House is calling it a "selective view." I'm just wondering how "selective" the view is of Iran's nuclar ambitions and their military and weapons support against US troops and the government in Iraq. Actually, I'm not wondering. I know it's bullshit.

T Minus 228 Days

"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy... I was able to get a sense of his soul."

- About Russian President Vladimir Putin, June 2001

Thursday, June 5, 2008

No More Lobbyist Or PAC Money

"The DNC and the Obama Campaign are unified and working together to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. Our presumptive nominee has pledged not to take donations from Washington lobbyists and from today going forward the DNC makes that pledge as well," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. "Senator Obama has promised to change the way things are done in Washington and this step is a sure sign of his commitment. The American people's priorities will set the agenda in an Obama Administration, not the special interests."



In case you missed it.

And doing it in the house that will host the Republican Convention in September... classic!

Favorite lines:

11:43 "We honor the service of John McCain and I respect his many accomplishments even if he chooses to deny mine."

21:55 "What you don't deserve is another election governed by fear and innuendo and division. What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge and patriotism as a bludgeon."

T Minus 229 Days

"Anyway, I'm so thankful, and so gracious - I'm gracious that my brother Jeb is concerned about the hemisphere as well."

- Appearing with brother Jeb, Governor of Florida, Miami, Fl, June 2001

"I'm the master of low expectations."

- Aboard Air Force One, June 4th, 2003

No One Is Paying Attention Yet

When I was younger, I never paid attention to any of the primaries or caucuses. I thought it was mostly bullshit formalities before the general election. The reason I bring this up is because this past year has been amazing regarding the Democratic nomination for the Presidency. Surely everyone knows what has been going on with Hillary and Barack and Wrightgate and Tuzlagate and racism and sexism and on and on.

Well here is a conversation I had just a little while ago with the cashier at a Burger King drive-thru. She heard Ed Schultz on my radio speaking with some conservative about McCain.

Cashier: What's up with Hillary?

Me: Huh?

C: She just dropped out.

Me: Yes, she'll drop out on Saturday.

C: Why?

Me: ... She lost.

C: She lost?!

Me: Yes, Obama won enough delegates on Tuesday. He won. She can't catch up.

C: She can't catch up?

Me: No.

C: ...oh...

Here is a lady working away and not in tune with anything political, at least not as in tune as we are (by "we" I mean blogging, political junkies) and didn't know that Hillary Clinton was behind in the race for months, that her last month was likely detrimental to the Democratic party as far as focusing on McCain and that although there was no way she was going to come close, kept running anyway.

I know voting is a right, but sometimes I think it should be a privilege.

Obama Confronts Lieberman

I wonder if Holy Joe pissed his pants when confronted by an irritated, black man.

HuffPo: ...during a Senate vote Wednesday, Obama dragged Lieberman by the hand to a far corner of the Senate chamber and engaged in what appeared to reporters in the gallery as an intense, three-minute conversation. While it was unclear what the two were discussing, the body language suggested that Obama was trying to convince Lieberman of something and his stance appeared slightly intimidating.

Using forceful, but not angry, hand gestures, Obama literally backed up Lieberman against the wall, leaned in very close at times, and appeared to be trying to dominate the conversation, as the two talked over each other in a few instances.

Still, Obama and Lieberman seemed to be trying to keep the back-and-forth congenial as they both patted each other on the back during and after the exchange.

Afterwards, Obama smiled and pointed up at reporters peering over the edge of the press gallery for a better glimpse of their interaction.

Obama loyalists were quick to express their frustration with Lieberman's decision and warned that if he continues to take a lead role in attacking Obama it could complicate his professional relationship with the Caucus.

Having to be taken by the hand is apparently obvious that Lieberman didn't want to have that conversation. I wonder how long it was before McCain got a frantic call from Holy Joe? A minute or two?

Keep it up Joe, in a few months you'll be out of the caucus faster than you can cry "Zell Miller."

Does This Look Familiar?

Sam Stein: On Wednesday, the McCain campaign put out a new homepage, featuring his new, Obama-like slogan, and an image that seems uncannily similar to Obama's trademark campaign logo - the red and white stripped valley under what appears to be a blue sun (or in McCain's case, blue sun rays).

This looks awfully familiar. Maybe because it looks (albeit badly) something like this:

Or perhaps McCain's "new" slogan, "A Leader We Can Believe In" sounds a little something like this.
It's really an amazing thing when a substantial part of the electorate doesn't have an original bone in their collective body. But what do you expect? The GOP has always been about fooling the rubes to vote against their own best interests. They're stuck in it. They're mired in their old ways, apparently not realizing that it didn't work in 2006 and it's not going to work in 2008.
Soon McCain, in an attempt to confuse voters in November, will change his name to Jarack Sidney Hussein McBama on the ballot.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where Were You...

...on the night that history was made in American Presidential politics on June 3rd, 2008?

Barack Obama has clinched the Democratic nomination this evening, the first African-American Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

I was working and didn't get to hear the full speeches, just snippets. Of course, the snippets I heard were Obama praising Hillary Clinton on a hard fought campaign, and being a better candidate for having run against her. And what I heard from Clinton was more of the same: how she has won the important swing states and how she won states equalling 270 electoral votes, as if this were a general election. What I didn't hear was a concession speech or even a congratulatory gesture to Obama for a "win", just a "run" of a good campaign.

I was just listening to Dan Abrams on the late night primary coverage on MSNBC asking why Clinton not conceding tonight was a big deal. She's lost. What's the difference if she conceded tonight or if she does so tomorrow or later in the week?

Here's why, Dan. For as much as Barack Obama was praising Hillary Clinton and showing her respect with his kind words, her non-concession speech was a slap in the face, in my opinion, to Obama. For as much as Hillary Clinton wanted "the nearly 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected,” she was disrespecting the nearly 18 million voters who voted for Barack Obama in denying them the celebration they deserved after winning the Democratic nomination.

It seems to me that for all of Hillary's bluster these past weeks of having every vote count, she really means every one of her votes. Continuing to claim that she has won the popular vote, all the while discounting the caucus states she lost and the 45% of uncommitted voters in Michigan is proof of that.

That is what's wrong, Dan. It's time to face reality. And the "conference call" earlier today in which she was asked a planted question on whether she would be interested in the VP slot and answered, "I'd be open to that" reads as completely disingenuous. Painting Obama in a corner and putting him in the awkward position of having to offer Hillary the running mate position in public is not at all a classy move - just as the non-concession was not. I say this because now if Obama asks her, then he compromises his true change message and if he doesn't offer it to her, party unity will be compromised with all those hurt Hillary supporters who feel they've been cheated out of something.

That brings me to another topic: Clinton supporters need to stop the whining. There is nothing that Obama did that would cause you, supposedly Democrats, to vote for John McCain in the general election. If you think Hillary was treated poorly by the media, or perceived misogyny or sexism during the campaign, that's your prerogative, but that wasn't Barack Obama. No matter how many times Bill Clinton accuses Obama of smear by proxy, it doesn't make it true.

From Bob Cesca's live blog:

Extended tribute to Senator Clinton...

OBAMA: That is particularly true for the candidate who has traveled further on this journey than anyone else. Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign not just because she's a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she's a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight.

We've certainly had our differences over the last sixteen months. But as someone who's shared a stage with her many times, I can tell you that what gets Hillary Clinton up in the morning - even in the face of tough odds - is exactly what sent her and Bill Clinton to sign up for their first campaign in Texas all those years ago; what sent her to work at the Children's Defense Fund and made her fight for health care as First Lady; what led her to the United States Senate and fueled her barrier-breaking campaign for the presidency - an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be.

And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country, she will be central to that victory. When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen. Our party and our country are better off because of her, and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Woman hater.

Woman hater, indeed. So please, think of the big picture. Don't vote against the Democratic nominee for spite. What a tremendous mistake that would be.

On a lighter note, after watching a bit of what John McCain calls a speech, it made me feel a little better looking forward to the upcoming contest. There he was, standing in front of a green background with "A Leader You Can Believe In" plastered behind him and his fake grin, and as Jason Linkins, who was liveblogging for the Huffington Post noted, "when you Google McCain's "'A Leader You Can Believe In,' this happens.

Time to kick some McAss!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


MSNBC is reporting that Senator barack Obama is only 30.5 delegates away from winning the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States.

Bo Diddley Dead at 79

NY Times: Bo Diddley, a singer and guitarist who invented his own name, his own guitars, his own beat and, with a handful of other musical pioneers, rock ’n’ roll itself, died Monday at his home in Archer, Fla. He was 79.

NY Times: Remembering Bo Diddley

T Minus 231 Days

"This is a nation that loves our freedom, oves our country."

- Washington DC, 2002

Montana and South Dakota... today, the final two primaries of this long process. If Obama takes these states as he is favored to, I wonder what excuse Clinton will come up with to say these votes aren't important? Or maybe she sees the end after all.

NY TIMES: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton invited fund-raisers and other supporters to an election-night rally in New York City where, aides said, she was prepared to deliver what they described as a farewell speech that summed up the case for her candidacy. They said Mrs. Clinton was not likely to withdraw from the race on Tuesday night, probably waiting until later in the week, once Mr. Obama’s victory appeared clear.
Sensing an opportunity to shut down the nominating contest, Obama campaign advisers said that they were orchestrating an endorsement of Mr. Obama by at least eight Senate and House members who had pledged to remain uncommitted until the primaries ended, and that the endorsements would come the moment the South Dakota polls closed on Tuesday night.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Goalposts Move Again

The new number is 2,118. The Democratic Rules & By Laws committee has ruled to award Florida and Michigan all of it's delegates with ½ votes each.

As of this post, Obama leads Clinton in the delegate count 2,076.5 to 1,918. Of course, the news brought out the worst in Clinton supporters, who claimed the Democrats have just thrown the general election to the Republicans, and some claimed to vote against their own best interests.

It figures.