Sunday, November 23, 2008

Harry Shearer / Le Show Receive Federal Bailout

Ahead of the nation's automakers and subprime mortgageholders, humorist Harry Shearer and his Le Show radio program have received a generous bailout package from President-elect Barack Obama. Heard locally on KCRW, 89.9, Santa Monica, Le Show has for the last 16 years depended on two recurrent serials, Clintonsomething and phone calls between 41 and 43 (the senior and junior Georges Bush) for much of its mirth, and audience.

With the election of Barack Obama, Le Show, however, appeared headed for comedic Chapter 11. After all, how far can one go airing Apologies Of The Week? Deprived of its two hit staples, the extent of Le Show's impending woes were only fully revealed this morning when the versatile voice-artist delivered an absolutely 'brown bag' impersonation of the new President. Hopeless.

The nondescript phone-distorted voice of the Illinois senator was heard successfully negotiating with Hillary Clinton to become the next Secretary Of State. The ever-resourceful Shearer, having prevailed upon friends Bill and Hillary to take the cabinet post, then used today's episode to launch a revamped version of one of his most popular long-running satires.

Clintonsomething: The Obama Years will, hopefully, provide Shearer's Sunday morning show with sufficient chuckles to bridge any laugh deficits before the next election cycle. Which begins in early March.

Friday, October 24, 2008


McCain Worker Attacked And Brutalized Over Bumper Sticker

Published October 24, 2008

In an incident which seems like it epitomizes much of the anger and bitterness of this election season, a McCain campaign worker from College Station, Texas who was in Pittsburgh helping to work a phone bank was robbed and then attacked, brutalized, and disfigured in what appears to be a politically motivated hate crime...

Police Declare 'Mutilation' of McCain Campaign Worker a Hoax

By Greg Mitchell

Published: October 24, 2008 2:00 PM ET

NEW YORK It had drawn wide local and national -- even political attention, with some of the candidates for president/vice president weighing in or even calling -- but now the story has fallen apart. Police in Pittsburgh have declared it all a hoax, and are charging the McCain worker at the center of the episode...

John Moody, executive vice president at Fox News, commented on his blog that "this incident could become a watershed event in the 11 days before the election. If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee. If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hey, GOP! It’s Not Too Soon To Start Pointing Fingers

Well, it sure looks like McCain has lost. The real question now is how badly and why?

Enthusiasm for a prospective Obama Administration is only exceeded these days by hopes for a very public internecine conflagration in the Grand Old Party. There's so much blame to go around, so many villains -- dupes, incompetents, mush-headed intellectual poseurs, con artists, buffoons, bullies, liars and plain, old hypocrites -- that the circular firing squad will need gatlin guns. And who but the Republicans come well-armed enough for this kind of genocide?

It would require a virtual Encyclopedia Of 21st Century Republican Blunders to tell the whole story. In reverse chronological order one wonders who’s to blame for: The Ayers Strategy, The Palin Choice, The McCain Campaign Suspension To Do Nothing About The Bailout Package, The World Financial Crisis, The Military Failure In Afghanistan, The Iraq War Debacle, The Katrina Disaster, The Global Warming Denials, The 10 Trillion Dollar Deficit, Enron, Energy Deregulation…?

What’s next? Who’s going to lead your party?

What’s the GOP's next new great idea?

Got Ideology? Milk it.

Is Palin the future of your party?

Is Romney?

How bout Mike Huckabee?

Are you set to become the party of the low-information right and hidebound social conservatives too resentful to vote their own self-interest? Or... What other choices do you have?

For a history and credit list of McCain's Campaign Bunglers, see next weekend's New York Times Magazine article, "The Making And (Re)Making Of John McCain"

A powerful and somewhat counter-narrative about the selection of Sarah Palin can be found in Jane Meyer's "The Insiders" piece this week in the New Yorker.

The real story of Sarah's selection will be some time in the making. Clearly, the competing stories have as their essential difference the extent to which John McCain was the agent of or the unwitting victim of her selection.

Someone, whom exactly varies with the version (and neither of these articles even tries to dabe dabes), apparently told the Senator that he could not have his first choice, Joe Lieberman. The real question is who put their foot down, how hard and with what rationale.

The Palin battle for the soul of the party looms as the most interesting and potentially devastating conflict on the GOP horizon. But the number of self-inflicted wounds that her nomination has already caused is heartening.

For example, the doyenne of conservative commentators, the ever-fatuous and dishonest Peggy Noonan who is treated with such undeserved deference and is such an unabashed shill for whatever bullshit is being peddled by the Republicans, has this performance after the Palin-Biden debate to live down.

"She killed"

For Noonan to then write, a few days later in the WSJ, when it was apparent Palin's debate performance was largely a flop:

"In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism."

Makes her over-the-top "assessment" a transparent instance of the kind of tone-deaf, and to a degree ideologically blindered punditry, she has always practiced. Her cred suffers. She, after all, helped give us W., too.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

McCain UnAbel

McCain UnAbel to stop his war machine.

Now we have some inkling of what John McCain's "my fellow prisoners" slip was about. He views himself as surrounded by hostiles. This isn't a unique situation for him. It's likely the reason McCain repeatedly boasts of not having been voted "Miss Congeniality" in the Senate. At heart, McCain is a man who really can't tolerate affiliation. He shamed his father by finishing next to the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy. Short of permanently destroying his own future, one can only guess how tempted he must have been to accept the offer of early release from his captors at the Hanoi Hilton since it also offered him the ultimate opportunity to humiliate his father.

He disdains everybody, that's the kind of "Maverick" McCain is -- no surprise his campaign lurches from scheme to scheme, that it's been criticized for having no governing philosophy. He flies, when he's not crashing, by the seat of his pants.

But in this parallel to the Cain and Abel story, McCain has once again crashed into enemy territory. His palin' around with Palin has him rolling around in the rabble-dregs of his potty. Embraced by the base he hated.

Now that he has them up in arms, he's bearing the mark of Cain.
The election is pretty much over, even should there be a terror attack. But in the combustible climate of the current financial meltdown McCain needs to pull ads and publicly retract the Ayers' crap if he wants deniability when the shooting starts. Some trigger happy gangstas should let Cain know he's marked if anything happens to O.. No Keating.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


May have waited too long to make this prediction. I posted the reasons on WikiAnswers about a week ago.

Recapping, here's why... Gov. Ed Rendell will BE the Vice Presidential nominee.

He of all the name office-holders best serves the most compelling of the Obama campaigns needs. Besides bagging PENNSYLVANIA, he is

1)The least objectionable and probably closest FOB and FOH of the prospects
2)The best demographic fit with OHIO voters
3) Jewish, offering Obama a huge leg up in FLA.
4) He is a middle-class "lunch bucket" moderate who is the former Chairman of the DNC (Unity, unity, unity)
5) His strength is pocketbook domestic issues (bucked Unions and instituted an Rx program in Penn), i.e. he helps most with white middle-class men.
6) His lack of national foreign policy experience is preferrable to being out of touch with working-class white men in an election that will turn on a souring economy.
7) He blows the 'elitist' label out of the water. Particularly if McCain chooses Romney.
8) His having been kept out of the national limelight will make his choice seem an energizing stroke of genius. Which is probably why the 3 dwarves (Kaine, Bayh and Biden) have been so publicly paraded.

RICHARDSON is the other, even greater choice, but the Clintons have probably vetoed his nomination, refusing to let will him to be rewarded for what they regard as his treachery.

Earlier prediction is available at

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Top 10 Reasons Hillary Should NOT Be The V.P. Nominee

If an impartial or inexperienced observer doubted how ruthless, unethical, shameless and destructive the Clintons can be, the last days of her campaign should have now erased any uncertainty.
Having fueled her bankrupt campaign using the kamikaze calculation that she had nothing to lose (that her negative, attacking posture would either result in a victory or force Senator Obama to assume her debts -- the 11 million dollars she loaned her campaign) she’s now attempting through minions like George Stephanopoulos, whose Clinton White House exit was dogged by whispers of proclivities which could account for his servility, to coerce a place on the ticket.


10. The only undisclosed location where she truly feels secure is inside the Oval Office.

9. Socks, the Clinton cat, needs a larger lawn to mark her territory… as does Bill (and to those who say she’s dead, the Clintons point out only the superdelegates can determine that)

8. Though older White Women love her, they make up a smaller proportion of general election voters than in the primaries. And only they, among the voters she scared up in the last phase of the race, are her native constituents. Poorer and less educated whites were, in general, voting a preference and are far more likely to be attracted to a Democratic ticket where the VP-nominee actually appeals to them (e.g., Edwards, Clarke or Jim Webb).

No matter how many boilermakers she pretends to knock back, or how good she gets at pumping gas, these folks are not her folks. And everybody knows it.

7. She should be offered the Vice Presidential nomination after, and only after, Bill Clinton heads off on his critical, four-year fact-finding mission… to Uranus.

6. She brings enormously high negatives. Not only would she, personally, be a drag on the ticket, she comes with heavy baggage. Beyond Bill, the laundry list of suspicious dealings, shady characters and scandals that were scrupulously not trotted out by the Obama campaign, or the media, will be endless aired in the general election.

5. Though 60 to 70 % of all Democrats consistently rated her campaign more negative and attack-oriented, Clinton voters consistently reported they would defect to McCain at higher rates. Typically 30% to 20%. Gee, what could explain it?

How about, she was losing. In other words, childish resentment. Had the situation been reversed the numbers would have been higher, and for cause.

So it's a good index of particular partisans' transient unhappiness with the state of the primaries, but a poor indicator how Democratic voters will behave in the election.

4. The raison d’etre for many Democrats in the primaries was to find an electable candidate who would not carry the deficits of a Bill or Hillary Clinton into the Fall.

Giving her the Vice Presidential nomination utterly and totally defeats the point of his insurgency.

3. If an Obama/Clinton ticket did somehow manage to win the election it would almost certainly lead to a fractious, volatile, divided government, two centers of power with differing constituencies vying in an endless rivalry.

That, in and of itself, would be reason for any unbiased, thoughtful, non-partisan voter to NOT vote for the ticket. Period.

2. The mere fact Hillary Clinton needs the Vice Presidency means she hasn’t, like Lyndon Johnson, been able to achieve a decent working relationship with Senators of even her own party let alone members of the other.

She soiled her nest. Let her clean it up.

She’s a straw dog.

We’ll listen and applaud loudly to her long, rousing primetime speech at the convention.

We will honor her and her husband's long service to the nation.

She should, perhaps, have a voice in choosing the Veep, even some influence on Obama's advisers and cabinet.

But the Number One reason Hillary Clinton can and should be denied a place on the Democratic ticket is...

She lost the goddamn nomination, goddammit!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


A nation rubbernecks. Texas
Who's more Waco, the state's child protective services for rounding up 416 people with April 19th fast approaching on the basis of a single phone call placed on a cellphone (i.e., from 'anywhere, u.s.a.), or the co-religionists practicing multiple marriage and statutory rape within?

Compounding a felony

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bill Clinton Comes To Jesus -- "I Love My Wife, But I Support Barack Obama"

"The speech Senator Obama delivered today -- on Race in America -- was so extraordinary, such a remarkably frank opening toward a healing of our national divides, I have no choice but to acknowledge the obvious and offer my own personal witness to the exceptional opportunity his candidacy provides...

This man, this senator, this Barack Obama is the man this country has long waited for, the man this country needs, the man we, indeed, must elect our next President. I'm sorry, Hillary. I hate to disappoint you. Again. But the truth is the truth, and when the spirit moves us, the flesh must follow..."

Monday, February 25, 2008


Today, Frank Rich agreed with our post of February 21st, "Hillary's Blunder From Day One"

OPINION February 24, 2008 Op-Ed Columnist: The Audacity of Hopelessness By FRANK RICH "The Clinton camp has been the slacker in this presidential race, and its candidate’s message, for all its purported high-mindedness, is self-immolating."

He goes on to point out that Obama has so far evidenced far and away the superior management skills

And here is another disturbing fact that has also so far gone under reported, ignored, or simply unnoticed. Perhaps in attempting to be balanced no one has noted the main determinant behind the trendline that has been moving in Barack Obama's direction since "Day 1".

The movement of support for Hillary to support for Obama has thus far followed a simple, straightforward information pyramid. A game of telephone.

In fact, it appears to be the only rule support for Obama has obeyed. His growing 'movement' has resisted confinement to the categories on which political bases are normally founded. So far, his appeal has had almost nothing to do with interest groups. Neither race, religion, economic strata, education, nor ethnicity has been relevant in determining where his core support lies

Only one factor has been a reliable predictor -- access to information.

Obama's support has increased obeying a simple metric, moving from those most informed (the college educated) to those less informed to those least informed. The only possible exception might have been his support among African-Americans that took a sudden jump just before and after the South Carolina primary. But Bill Clinton whacked the jungle drum exceedingly hard those days (under an assumption that has always proved true in the past, the more black support a black candidate has the more uneasy white support becomes). That may well account for the sudden dramatic shift to Obama in that community.

If you have any doubt check out the two new polls in Ohio just released today. (Linked below)There's been a big switch in just the last two weeks. At the top of the information totem pole. College-educated voters have gone from +5 for Hillary to +25 for Obama.** (again, see below)

That shift accounts for almost all the gain in the Quinnipiac survey in the last two weeks. And that corresponds to every other shift we've seen. If California's primary were help today Hillary Clinton would lose. Nationally, she's now trailing by a good margin. The Obama wave sweeps over each primary state as the primaries come into focus in each new information micropolis.

The point is this -- even if Hillary Clinton should somehow manage to outrun the information stream long-enough to capture the nomination she will be viewed, ultimately, fairly or not, as undeserving of the nomination. It isn't worth it at that price. Or, certainly, it shouldn't be.

**A Quinnipiac University Poll indicates Clinton's lead over her opponent has slipped to 51 percent to Obama's 40 percent. Less than two weeks before, Clinton was favored 55 percent to Obama's 34 percent. Ohio's primary will be held March 4.

The poll, which surveyed 1,853 registered Ohio voters from Feb. 18-23, shows a particular erosion of support for Clinton among college-educated voters, who favored the candidate 46 percent to Obama's 41 percent earlier in the month. That sector of voters now favors Obama 58 percent to Clinton's 33 percent.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hillary's Blunder From Day 1 -- Running Obama's Campaign Pt. 5

The campaign sound-bite that Senator Clinton has offerred ad nauseum for her candidacy emphasizes her readiness "from Day One" -- ''Both Senator Obama and I would make history, but only one of us is ready on Day 1 to be commander in chief, ready to manage our economy, and ready to defeat the Republicans."

As sloganeering goes, it's sad. It draws attention to a deficit even as it trumpets her main asset. What about "Day Two," and Three, Four and Five..?

Not only is the claim modest, it seems to concede her learning-curve might not be as steep as her opponents'. Should a crisis arise sometime after the first weeks and months of the next President's inauguration, her edge is debateable. But even this claim has been called into question by the on-the-ground reality of the primary season.

Having watched her campaign flounder attempting to find a compelling rationale for her candidacy, or a consistent message, while squandering huge sums of money -- her husband had the temerity to suggest her campaign's under-performance this month was, in fact, over-achieving given it's been run on 'a shoestring' -- it's no longer fair to assume she has any edge over Senator Obama in competency. From Day 1, or otherwise.

In fact, the management of these rather massive political campaigns, both Republican and Democratic, are a very good measure of the candidates aptitudes for governance. They are the biggest executive operations any of them have ever managed. And if people are truly interested in judging their management skills, rather than making empty debating points, you have a pretty fair indication of what to expect.
"What has Barack Obama ever accomplished?"

Well, this campaign season, he and his staff have run a seamlessly efficient operation. Mere competence has triumphed over massive advantages in experience. McCain's campaign went broke, absolutely belly-up, dead in the water. It was the result of a management style that befits him, inattentive delegation to the nuts and bolts of the operation. His professed weakness, a disinterest in economics, reared it's head. It's a style much like George W. Bush's, without the dishonesty.
Hillary's campaign has been plagued by dissension. Not surprising. Conflict is her (and her husband's) metier. This battling and embattled style is further weakened by another design flaw, one that seems to flow from Hillary's own disposition. After all, it was she who blamed "a vast right wing conspiracy" for sabotaging her husband's administration. Consequently, she has surrounded herself, again, by an arrogant, closed circle unable or unwilling to learn from events.

The organization that has appeared most organized?

Judging by his campaign, this guy Obama should run for President.
A famous fighter, Oscar Bonavena, once said of experience, "Experience is like being given a comb after they have shaved your head."

Raw "experience" is over-rated as a crucible of character. Since every morning brings a new day, and each new day entirely new situations, "learning" from experience is a unique aptitude that shows up early, or not at all.
Hillary and John McCain haven't learnt much from their experiences.

IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR THE SKINNY ON OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN STAFF, their bios and positions, scroll down to Running Obama's Campaign, Pt. 3

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And the Nominees Are... Or, PUTIN ‘08

Who will it be, Obama or Hillary? The answer here. Lots of noise and a maze of speculative information plagues the public arena on who is “winning". There are hosts of news organizations whose websites show a variety of pledged and unpledged superdelegate counts. These usually combined with a host of uncertain and widely varying counts of the actual elected delegates.

So how will it be decided? No one is prepared to say for certain, except that no candidate will win enough delegates outright. One scenario being bruited about is that Al Gore and/or perhaps John Edwards and a coven of other party elders, Biden, Dodd, Richardson, will confer and somehow intervene. But the benign Big Brother solution seems wishful. Most likely, to this observer, the writing will eventually be on the wall.

This can only happen once a consensus evolves. And the Democratic delegate-selection debacle – a foray into true representative democracy – has kicked up too much dust to offer any clarity before the Pennsylvania primary. The candidate best able to garner un-electorally earned delegates (Hillary Clinton) will, most likely, find it in their interest to keep the writing from appearing on the wall even then. Given that Sen. Clinton and her husband are the “big dogs” in this fight, short of a knockout, they’ll use the confusion to try and force Sen. Obama to take the Vice Presidential slot and call it the best solution.

The alternative, which may well emerge, particularly if the blogosphere picks up the cry, is to rely on the one fairly stable and certain indication of support – the raw total vote count. See REAL CLEAR POLITICS

Florida’s vote can be included, maybe has to be included. But Michigan’s vote can’t reasonably be credited. This makes the large primaries in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvance hugely important. Sizable pluralities for Hillary, no matter how the resultant delegate apportionments are reduced by savvy management of resources by the Obama campaign, will get her the raw vote lead and, almost certainly, the nomination.

Monday, February 18, 2008


What new painkiller is rightwing talk radio jockey Rush Limbaugh sucking on these days?

Today, he announced that, "You know what name would excite me for McCain’s Vice President… Bobby Jindal." Jindal, the India-born newly-installed Governor of Louisiana, has been at his job something like three months.
One can only conclude, since Rush is not a Clinton Kool Aid-drinker, he’s on some powerful drugs of his own. This after he spent weeks excoriating McCain as a poisonous traitor to the conservative Republican bedrock. Here he is announcing, no, declaring excitedly for a moderate, son of the third world who’s been Governor slightly longer than the lifespan of a mayfly. But, what the heck, if you can’t beat them, join them. Has the Obama bug become so powerful that, having stung the racialist religio-fascist Limbaugh, it has produced a case of candidate-envy so strong Limbama is lobbying Republicans to pick someone with even less experience, and a more exotically ‘diverse’ background?

He’ll take any kind of diversity, just so long as its not this Democrat Obama. Tomorrow, my money is that he’ll claim he was joking.

It's the anxiety of influence. Limbaugh's afraid he's about to not have any!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Clinton's Fake Shake-Up -- What Else Is New?

Hey, the Clinton change in campaign managers (from Patty Solis Doyle to Maggie Williams) is just another slick bit of marketing from the savviest campaign ever to seek a third term as President.

Why do it? And why do it now? Ah, yes. Timing. Tuesday Clinton will lose three more primaries in the "Potomac" region. She just lost Maine after losing Washington, Nebraska and Louisiana.

This change is touted as no change at all. And it isn't. Ms. Williams is just getting a new title and so is Ms. Solis. But it lays the predicate for suggesting, when Hillary wins Texas and Ohio, which she is expected to do, that some wondrous turnabout has occurred.

It doesn't hurt at this point to show her flagging supporters that 'change' is in the air. And she will need all the help she can get from the media by the time Texas and Ohio roll around.

It's making the most of a bad situation. This is the Clinton magic. That they constantly find themselves in 'bad situations' is of their own divisive doing.

What her campaign is most desperately in need of is a 'rationale' -- a reason to vote for her, a reason she's running. But, absent that, manipulating the atmospherics will have to do.

So far, the only 'real' event, the only primary that really varied from the predicted outcome, was New Hampshire. An event which may well have been inflected by Hillary's tears. They were real enough one supposes. But her reason for crying -- that she so desperately wants to do great things for our country -- was transparent baloney which even those moved to sympathy could see through.

What these Clintons might have been had they only been honest...