Tag Archives: Politics

Someone get the barf bags.

I admit that I haven’t been following the Democratic National Convention. I know that I’ve missed some truly amazing speeches. Michelle Obama’s speech was, I’m told, nothing short of awe-inspiring, and Hilary Clinton’s motion to nominate Barack for President was apparently on the same level. I also missed Bill Clinton’s speech, which is kind of a bummer, because, well, I like Bill. I did find this quote from his speech, though, and I love it:

“People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example, than by the example of our power.”

That’s just brilliant. And so true.

Now, every Presidential campaign will bring with it some moments of interest, one or two moments of great inspiration (very few, though I will say Obama is the first candidate whose speeches I’ve actually downloaded to my MP3 player to listen to later on), and some moments of profound, truly inspired idiocy. McCain, a man who has never been afraid to stoop to levels of campaigning which really ought to be beneath a man of his stature, provided one already with his earlier speech comparing Obama to Paris Hilton. More recently, though, he’s demonstrated how willing he is to drop to what many of us would consider the bottom of the cesspool, then grab a shovel and start digging.

Consider, for example, this excerpt from a May speech of Obama’s:

Strong countries and strong Presidents talk to their adversaries. That’s what Kennedy did with Khrushchev. That’s what Reagan did with Gorbachev. That’s what Nixon did with Mao. I mean, think about it: Iran, Cuba, Venezuela — these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, ‘We’re going to wipe you off the planet.’ And ultimately, that direct engagement led to a series of measures that helped prevent nuclear war and over time allowed the kind of opening that brought down the Berlin Wall.

I think this is a good speech. He acknowledges the threats that face our nation today, but emphasizes that we must talk to those that oppose us. We never cut off relations with the Soviet Union, even though they were a much bigger threat to us than, say, Iran. McCain’s campaign took this speech, did some quote mining, and pulled up the phrase:

Iran… tiny…

then squatted and squirtted out this ad:

This ad strikes me as so blatantly misleading as to be just plain ludicrous, and it’s downright shameful how willing the McCain campaign is to appeal to the ignorance of the voting public. Of course, it’s also frightening how well this tactic works; Bush Jr. managed to stick around for eight years using pretty much the same strategy.

As always, things are going to simply get more ridiculous, more offensive, and more appalling before they get better.

Someone get the barf bags.

(Tip o’ the hat to for the info.)

Politics: Like I know what I'm talking about.

California Tradition

In order to bring a fresh take on the traditional Overdue Budget Party that California throws for several months, Governor Schwarzenegger last week signed an executive order recommending that the state cut pay for all state workers down to the Federal minimum wage, and lay off thousands of part-time and temporary employees. One hopes that he remembers he’s a state worker as well, and that his own salary is adjusted accordingly.

State Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, has stated his intention to flat out refuse to implement any such executive order. He says that Schwarzenegger’s understanding of state law related to state workers’ pay is flawed. And even if Schwarzenegger is right, then the state simply won’t be able to implement the pay cut. The state’s payroll software was written twenty years ago, in COBOL, a language that nobody programs anymore, except for retirees and part time workers. It’s been patched together with duct tape over the years, and no one’s really touched it since Y2K. This is kind of funny. It means that the very people who would end up rewriting the payroll software to implement the pay cuts were themselves let go. Irony. Ur doin it rite.

Election News

Am I the only one who thinks John McCain’s campaign took a wrong turn on the way to nasty and ended up in downright surreal? The ad that called Obama a “celebrity” and compared him to Paris Hilton was, well, inspired, in its own back of the short bus kind of way. The best part of the ad, though, was Paris Hilton’s response. “I guess that means I’m running for President”. The real shocker, of course, was her coherent delivery of an energy plan which sort of makes sense (though I question whether limited offshore drilling will provide any short term relief). Here’s Hilton’s response, in case you haven’t seen it:

Response from the McCain camp:

“Sounds like Paris is taking the ‘All of the Above’ energy approach that John McCain has advocated — both alternatives and drilling. Perhaps the reality is that Paris has a more substantive energy plan than Barack Obama.”

This amuses me because the plan Hilton talks about is pretty much the same as Obama’s plan anyway. But that McCain’s team has chosen to view Hilton’s spot as a de facto endorsement only strengthens my notion that someone in there got their political science classes mixed up with their “Introduction to Surrealism” art class. It hasn’t quite got the Dada-ist feel that Mike Gravel’s ads did last year, but it’s bizarre nonetheless.

Or maybe I’m just too old for these newfangled politics.

I’ll leave Gravel to finish things off for you.