Friday, October 31, 2008

October Surprise

The media gives a lot of attention to the idea of an October Surprise. Not like finding out that your girlfriend is pregnant from that weekend your wife was out of town visiting her sister in Toledo. The idea is that something comes up to change the outcome of the election at the last minute. In 2004, it was Osama's You Tube endorsement of John Kerry that many people contend may have tipped the scales in Bush's favor, particularly since Bush did such a fantastic job preventing Osama's first set of terrorist attacks. Apparently, Al Qaeda was planning something for this year, but they have less than 40 minutes left in October to pull it off.

Since Al Qaeda didn't come through, post your best idea for an October surprise in the comments section.

CNN is trying so hard not to be Fox News, they can't even tell you the truth about McCan's healthcare plan

CNN has done a fairly decent job covering the election so far this year. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being my TV is always tuned to CNN and 1 being Fox News, I would give them a 6. Their electoral college map isn't updated very often, which compared to sites like 538 and Pollster and Real Clear Politics is almost a joke. California is no longer considered a toss-up? Get the fuck out!

Another major limitation of CNN's election coverage is that they don't want to be put into the same category as Fox News, so they go over the top trying to make the coverage so middle of the road that they completely miss the boat sometimes. Now, I can already hear the comments coming on this one, so let me launch a preemptive strike against those of you who are already pointing out that my last post was a trash job of Fox News for being too far to the right. CNN is trying to walk that fine non-partisan line, and I'm trashing them as well. Based on this, I'm sure it would appear that the only news organization that would make me happy is some left wing echo chamber, which is definitely not the case.

Sometimes, news comes along and the facts are out there and no one is disputing them. A good news organization by my estimation would be one that reports the news regardless of who looks good or bad. Fox sucks because they present only good right or bad left stuff. CNN sucks because they try so hard to appeal to everyone, that they leave out details sometimes.

Case in point was their Fact Check tonight on Obama's claim that McCain's health care plan includes taxing your health care benefits. They accurately point out that this is a key component of McCain's plan, but then go out of their way to say that Obama's claim doesn't include the fact that McCain provides a $2500 tax credit for individuals and $5000 for families to offset the increased tax rate. They imply that Obama's claim is misleading because he doesn't mention McCain's tax cut and leave it at that.

The problem with this is what Obama and other non-partisan groups have already pointed out, which is that the average health insurance plan costs more than twice as much as McCain's tax credit. In an effort to be fair and balanced, CNN leaves out the punchline, which is that the tax credit makes it sound grand to people who don't know how much their employers pay for their health insurance. Tax credit sounds fantastic, but in reality most people's income taxes would go up because they are going to be paying taxes on health insurance premiums like they are income. At the end of the day, the tax credit is a null issue since most families will only feel the cold hands of Uncle Sam on their shoulders a little bit more than they used to, assuming that their employers continue to offer insurance, which many will not. When did news organizations start sucking this bad at their jobs?

When did Fox News stop pretending to be a reliable source of news?

Let me start by saying that I've never believed Fox News to be anything but a right-wing media organ, whose "fair and balanced" and "we report, you decide" slogans were meant to be ironic. I went to to find Tito footage to post here, and not only did I instantaneously regret it, but I realized just how far things have gone there. Drudge Report is linked right off of the front page. I'll hand it to Fox that they know their audience very well, if they think they can link to a conservative blogger and pass it off as news reporting. I guess if you're a Republican looking for hope and you don't want the kind of hope that Barak is cooking, Drudge report is the next best thing.

The Village People haven't done much research

I just want to take a second to remind Joe the Unlicensed Plumber and Tito the Angry Builder that back in February, the American Small Business League endorsed Obama, and not McCain.

"Since 2002, a series of federal investigations have found that billions of dollars in federal small business contracts have actually wound up in the hands of some of the largest corporations in the world ... The diversion of federal small business contracts to large corporations is a non-partisan issue that affects all Americans. Sen. Obama's record of rising above the influence of big business lobbying and his commitment to small businesses make him the best candidate to end dramatic abuses in federal small business contracting."

And that's before Obama announced his tax plan, under which both Joe and Tito would take home more money than they would under McCain's trickle-down plan.

McCain, your attempts at bonding with the common man are laughable. Assuming the votes follow the polling trends, your time is almost up. Then, you can mope around in one of your seven houses for a while, and then it's back to Washington, so you continue being John the Senator.

McCain spokesman has no balls

If it seems like we're pouring it on here on the blog this week, well, it's because we are. We're four days away now, and it's gonna be a wild ride. The smears from McCain's camp are getting more and more desperate. Here's one such example of a gutless man, who makes an accusation but won't follow through when called out:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Joe the Doucher

Social Security is a wha...?

He's "blunt"...

How straight up fucking ass clown do you have to be to get on TV these days. I know the media is desperate to fill the 24 hour news cycle, but Jesus Christ on a crutch would you get over this guy already. This fucking clown is now looking at making millions of dollars off of asking one stupid fucking question. The original question was meant as sort of a "Gotcha" question on the trail, and Obama replied clearly and calmly. How Joe parlays this into a fucking music career or a book deal is beyond me. At the very most, he is dancing with the Stars material, but would get destroyed on "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader."

I apologize for stepping on the Midget's toes here a little, but I had to post something about this. This fucking Joe the Plumber/Singer/Media Whore thing is getting out of hand.

D'oh! the plumber

Looks like Joe the Plumber doesn't think enough of John McCain's economic policies to be seen in public with him. So much for Joe the secret weapon. McCain's camp doesn't seem to care that Joe isn't really a plumber, would benefit more from Obama's tax plan than McCain's, or that he has better things to do than be the poster child for McCain's failing Presidential campaign.

Progressive taxation vs. Socialism

One of the major differences between Barak Obama and John McCain is related to their economic policies, which are strongly based in what their core beliefs are about how the economy works. Obama's support of progressive taxation, which places are larger tax burden on those who are likely to be able to afford it, has earned him the label of being a socialist from conservatives, including McCain and Sarah Palin. Saying that progressive taxation equals socialism is like saying that owning golf clubs makes you Tiger Woods. While both you and Tiger own golf clubs, there's a little more to the his skill than what you both have in common.

What John McCain and his conservatives buddies don't want you to know is that we've had a progressive tax structure in this country for a very long time. Under Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton, W. Bush and both of our current Presidential candidates, the tax structure would be progressive. If you buy that progressive taxation leads to socialism, you're ignoring the fact that we've had this tax system for a long time under Presidents from both parties, and yet, we continue to operate in a highly capitalistic, free market fashion. Unless the banking industry takes risks and needs Washington to bail them out, of course. In that situation, government intervention and tax payer support of business is Ok.

The idea that somehow McCain's plan is less progressive than Obama's plan is highly debatable. Both candidates are reducing the overall level of taxation. The difference is not whether the candidates will "spread the wealth" as McCain continues to assert, but WHO the wealth will be spread to. McCain wants to spread the wealth to people who already have it. Obama thinks the country would be better off if poor people got to keep their money, instead of sharing it with people who don't really need it. Fortunately, the polls suggest that McCain and Palin have little traction with their arguments. Voters know how much money they make and the majority know they don't make over $200,000.

As the video Lord Bling posted yesterday show, McCain was highly supportive of a progressive tax until he realized that becoming the Republican nominee for President would require him to adopt their economic position and abandon his own. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center also found that while both candidates will increase the deficit, McCain's plan will continue to increase the deficit to a much greater extent than Obama's plan or even if we had another 4 years of W. Yikes. The good news is that it doesn't appear that most people are falling for this fallacious logic.

Mike Johanns vs. Scott Kleeb

The expression "too little, too late" occurs pretty regularly in politics and probably applies to every last ditch effort McCain and Palin are pulling out of their sleeves this weekend. Another example darkened my doorstep last night shortly after midnight. I was awake with the baby, as I often am during these days of fatherhood and heard someone on our front porch, but they didn't knock. We have pumpkins out there, so I thought for sure that one of the neighborhood kids that I'm always trying to maim with my car had limped onto my property for some revenge. Instead, I found no one, but a post-it note with the message: "Mike Johanns is crooked. Learn the truth."

Being an interweb junkie, I went to the website, which basically outlines all the questionable stuff Johanns did as Secretary of Agriculture under Bush. He took trips to exotic places and wasted tax payer dollars. After reading this, I was disappointed in Johanns's opponent for Chuck Hagel's Senate seat, Scott Kleeb. Why hadn't Kleeb mentioned any of this during the campaign?

Honestly, the information did little to change my vote. I was voting for Kleeb all along, mostly because Johanns is incredibly conservative, even by Nebraska standards. I'm not sure making this information public would have mattered either. By all estimates, Kleeb is down 20% against the former Nebraska governor. Johanns is probably one of the most popular political figures in the state behind legendary football coach and former member of the US House Tom Osborne. Johanns may even be more politically-respected than Osborne in the state, since a Johanns-backed Dave Heineman beat Osborne in the Republican primary during the 2006 Nebraska Governor's race.

Nonetheless, I am surprised that these issues of corruption and government waste weren't brought to the forefront by Kleeb prior to 5 days before the election. My conservative friends will say that the fact that this didn't come up makes the accuracy of the information highly suspect, but that hasn't stopped McCain or Obama or anyone else running for public office from bringing things forward during this election season.

I don't know if anyone could beat Mike Johanns in Nebraska outside of a "live boy, dead girl" scenario. You've heard this one right? Often attributed to Democrat and corrupt former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, a political race is no longer close enough to be considered a contest is often described as "live boy, dead girl", which refers to the fact that the only way the leading candidate can lose the election is if they are found in bed with either a live boy or a dead girl. It's a great description of the margin in the Johanns/Kleeb race, and the results will give us an idea about how accurate the infrequently conducted polls with small samples that occur in Nebraska actually are.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The realities of McCain's health care plan

In case you hadn't noticed, there's a ton of people in the United States who don't have health insurance. Both candidates have their own solution to the problem. The difference between Obama and McCain on healthcare is that Obama's plan actually addresses the fact that millions of Americans, including 10 million children, don't have health insurance. The main problem with this lack of insurance is not only that people don't get care, it's that the care the rest of us get and pay for is way more expensive, because we're paying for those who can't.

McCain's plan is a quintissential conservative approach: free market healthcare. McCain would eliminate the tax incentive companies and businesses currently have to provide their employees with health insruance. It's widely accepted that eliminating the tax break would cause many employers to drop their group insurance plans. In it's place, he would provide a $2500 tax credit for individuals and $5000 tax credit for families to purchase individual insurance. There's one huge problem with these numbers that is evident when you look at this graph that shows the cost of the average health insurance premium in 2007:

An average plan costs $12,000 per year. The numbers don't add up do they?

If you currently have group health insurance through your employer, you may have noticed that they didn't ask you about pre-existing conditions, how old you were or whether or not you smoke crack. If you had to purchase an individual plan in the "free market", people with pre-existing conditions would be unlikely to be eligible for insurance. If they are, the cost would likely be prohibitive except for those with substantial wealth. It's estimated that McCain's plan could result in 20 million more Americans without health insurance coverage. Insurance companies love this plan because they would only have to ensure healthy, rich people, which means huge profit margins that they won't have to pay taxes on thanks to McCain's corporate tax breaks.

So what would Obama do? For one, he would actually address the problem of all those people who currently don't have coverage instead of increasing their numbers. Obama would subsidize care so that people without insurance can get it, which will ultimately result in cost containment. Increasing the number of uninsured, as McCain's plan definitely would, does nothing to contain costs, since the rest of us will end up paying for their care in the end.

Update: Douglas County

The official voter registration numbers are in for Douglas County, which is part of the 2nd Congressional District that I've been talking about for both the Presidential Election, as well as the House of Representatives. Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 4,000 voters. There are about 61,000 registered independents as well. This would appear to be a good thing for both Barak Obama and Jim Esch.

However, I think reality is a little bit more complicated than just the sheer numbers would indicate. First of all, Sarpy County is also part of the 2nd Congressional District. Here are the Bush/Cheney results from 2004 for both counties from City Data:

You can see that Bush/Cheney pulled about 10% more of the popular vote in Sarpy than in Douglas County in 2004, suggesting that Sarpy is more conservative. Douglas County has roughly 3 times more people than Sarpy. Math sucks, but if we do a little math we might be able to make a rough prediction about where things stand.

I created a model that would probably give most statisticians diarrhea. In a week, however, we can look to see how close I really was. I took data from Rasmussen Reports on the percentage of each party who is supporting their party's candidate. Interestingly, both McCain and Obama are around 87% support within their parties. Obama holds an advantage among independents by 9% nationally. Using these figures combined with the voter registration data and an average of the historical voter turnout by party from Douglas County to get a rough estimate of voter totals. This includes more spurious assumptions than I can even tell you about, but it's a starting point. Based on these numbers, Obama would hold a 101,200 to 100,795 margin over McCain in Douglas County. The margin of victory for Republicans in Sarpy county has always been more than 15,000 votes in the last 6 Presidential Elections. Based on this alone, Obama's chances of taking the 2nd Congressional District's electoral vote seem slim.

Where could this model fall apart? If the turnout for Democrats is higher than 65% and the turnout for independent is higher than 60% (the coefficients I used in the model based on previous Presidential elections), that would seem to help Obama. If the Independent vote is more solidly for Obama than the 53% that is being estimated nationally based on Rasmussen, his numbers would increase. To overcome Sarpy county's likely margin of at least 10,000 votes for McCain, Democratic turnout in Douglas county would need to be > 78%. A more likely scenario would be Democratic and Independent turnout of 70% in Douglas County, which would give Obama more than 10,000 vote cushion to absorb the impact of conservative Sarpy County.

I'll examine the numbers to see how close this rough estimation comes next week.

Charles Barkley is the MAN

I always liked Charles Barkley. Loved watching him play ball. Loved seeing the fun he had when he played with Manute Bol when they were on the 76ers. I even had a Barkley Suns jersey back in the day. I loved his openness with the media about anything, especially politics. He used to consider himself a Republican, but not anymore!

If you said "tl;dr" to that last link, here are some highlights:

"(R)acism is the greatest cancer of my lifetime. I think anybody who is racist is an idiot whether they are black or white. Anybody who is racist I just I think they are an idiot."

"(T)his thing didn't start with (McCain). It started with President Bush and these gifts to rich people like myself -- all these tax cuts and things like that. That's my biggest problem. Uh listen, John McCain, you gotta respect anybody who goes to war. But these Republicans who ran this economy into the ground. We've got to end the war in Iraq and we got to stop giving rich people like myself and people who run big companies tax breaks."

"(M)y idea of religion is we are supposed to encourage people to love other people. I am a big pro-choice guy. I am a big gay marriage guy and they are so divisive and that is not my idea of religion. My idea of religion is we are supposed to bring people together. We are not supposed to judge other people. .... (T)he notion that you would vote for a president because he is against abortion or against gay marriage is absurd."

"The reason I voted for John Kerry last time and have been more out there this time, I look at the -- it's really about rich people versus poor people and I think it is a travesty what they have done to poor people in this country. And let's be realistic, it doesn't, George Bush -- I don't care. It's not going to have any effect realistically on my life who the president is. The reason I am supporting the Democratic Party, I think it is a bona fide tragedy what has happened to poor people in this country and the gap between the rich and the poor is wider than it has ever been."

And finally:

"Brown: So are you going to run for governor (of Alabama)?

Barkley: I plan on it in 2014.

Brown: You are serious.

Barkley: I am, I can't screw up Alabama.

Brown: There is no place to go but up in your view?

Barkley: We are number 48 in everything and Arkansas and Mississippi aren't going anywhere."

Mr. Barkley, welcome to the left. We're glad to have you.

Video of the entire interview is here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New blog colors

When I started this blog on the eve of the 2004 Presidential Election, we had a black template. For some reason today, the idea struck me to go back to a black format. If you don't like it, tough shit.

Palin's gone ROGUE!

When I read the headline for this article on, I laughed so hard that I peed a little. In my head, I'm picturing Sarah Palin clad in camo and face paint, hiding with her husband Todd in the wilderness, out of contact with the McCain campaign. As if she's some trained operative that's broken free from her brainwashing and she's on the loose!

Reality is that everyone's a critic when your team is losing. McCain and Palin have one week to completely shift the tide of the election in their favor, and things are getting contentious. Instead of letting her $150,000 wardrobe drift away, Palin decided to bring it up again yesterday, which really only helps her detractors. I think it's one of the dumbest issues that's come up this year, but Palin seems more interested in self-preservation than in doing what is best for her ticket.

McCain's decision to pick Palin will be debated for a long time. I think the damage she did to his ticket has been overstated. His economic policies and statements that the fundamentals of the economy were strong have damaged him far more than his running mate ever could. Although one poll suggests that the Palin selection made McCain much less palatable to independent voters.

McCain is not George W. Bush....really

John McCain has been pretty forceful about the fact that he is not George W. Bush. Who can blame him for not wanting to be associated with one of the least popular President's in US History? Despite what McCain says repeatedly, a USA Today/Gallup Poll from October 10-12 suggested that 66% of a sample of adults are either very concerned or somewhat concerned that McCain would pursure policies similar to Bush if elected. Is there are a reason people think this? News flash, this association between Bush and McCain is not a coincidence. The similarities were surprising even to me.

Probably the most damning thing for McCain is his voting record, which anyone with insomnia and an internet connection can access. McCain has voted in line with President Bush over 90% of the time in recent years. Conservatives will be quick to point out that Obama has been just as partisan as McCain, voting almost exclusively with his party at nearly every turn. This is absolutely true and a sad statement about the partisan nature of US politics. The problem for McCain is that the link with Bush is far more damaging given Bush's lack of popularity. Both candidates were doing the same partisan thing, McCain just happens to be doing it with one of the least popular figures in US history.

So how did McCain differ from Bush in the small number of situations where he didn't vote with the President? One of the largest examples has been on tax policy. McCain voted against Bush's tax cuts several times saying "I cannot in good conscience vote in favor of tax cuts irrespective of their size or to which segment of the population they are targeted,". Sound different than the feisty Maverick, we've all gotten to know so well this election year?

What caused McCain to change his stance from being against giant tax cuts targeted at the wealthiest Americans? Largely, it was his desire to have a shot at the Republican nomination. John McCain learned something very important in the years since his 2000 primary loss to W.: you will not win a Republican primary unless you adopt the core economic stance of the Republican party. Considering McCain's voting record against Bush's tax cuts combined with his current economic policies that are in complete lock-step, it's a great example of how McCain has completely changed himself to appeal to his own party. Not exactly what a real maverick would do, but you can't really blame him, since if he hadn't, we might be talking about how we ended up with an election between a Mormon and a black guy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Douglas County turns blue

Nebraska has a solid reputation for being a red state for good reason. We haven't gone Democratic for President since Lyndon and Ladybird in 1964. This year won't be an exception to that as McCain will get most of the state's electoral votes. The 2nd congressional district can prevent a shutout as I mentioned the other day, and the latest voter numbers by party make it seem like an actual possibility that Obama could gain one electoral vote from Omaha. The deadline for voter registration in Nebraska was 6 pm last night. As of October 21st, there are officially more registered Democrats than Republicans in Douglas County. This is not only good news for Obama, but also for Jim Esch. Who is Jim Esch? He's challenging waste of space incumbent Lee Terry for the 2nd congressional district's seat in the US House. The latest polls show them within the margin of error. All good news for those tired of the status quo.

Friday, October 24, 2008

All Our Heroes Have Died...

I don't waste my time, especially in an election year, seeking out in wonderment what my favorite celeb has to say about certain issues and/or elected officials. This is why I disregarded Sly Stallone's endorsement of John McCain and the human killing machine Chuck Norris' endorsement of Mike Huckabee. Then I see this when I get up this morning.

This one hurts the most. I could care less about the rest of those idiots and who they vote for, but come on John, I can't believe that you would stoop to this level. My biggest problem with this endorsement, unlike those others, is that John Elway might actually have some pull in a swing state that tends to have nothing but love and admiration for him and his career. Am I influenced by his vote of confidence for John McCain? No, but lets just say that I'm not real impressed at this point with his post-career decision making, save the whole marrying an ex-Raiderette cheerleader.

Now I know someone will say, "If he had come out for Barack, you wouldn't be upset." The point of this post isn't the endorsement itself, but the fact that John Elway knows that he could influence the low info portion of the electorate in Colorado.

One of the poorest decisions by one of the greatest QBs of all time. Way to "Orange Crush" my spirit on a Friday John.

Medical Experts: 1/4 Chance McCain will die in the next 4 years

I joke about how old John McCain is a lot lately, but according to an article from it's no laughing matter. Given his history of skin cancer, McCain has a 25% chance of being dead within 4 years. Wow. Makes that Sarah Palin VP pick seem like a real doozie doesn't it. I've always wanted a creationist hockey mom as the President.

The media has been getting a lot of criticism about not hammering Obama, or former smoker, or Biden on their health histories. I think the reasons for this are twofold:

1) Obama was smart and didn't release his health records publicly. McCain has criticized him for this, but there's no requirement that a Presidential candidate do this. Obviously it's not helping McCain to portray himself as an image of health and vitality.

2) If Obama dies, which I would guarantee is way less likely for health reasons than McCain, we get Joe Biden. Biden was a Presidential candidate in his own right in the primaries and the more I learn about him, the more comfortable I would be with him in the driver's seat if something did happen to Barak. On the other hand, if McCain dies, we get what I believe is the worst VP nominee in world history. She's proud of how dumb she is and how little she reads. She doesn't believe in evolution, which is like not believing in gravity.

Obama is doing well in the polls as of today, but reading this article made me sick to my stomach based simply on the fact that a McCain victory just got a whole lot scarier.

RIP: Yellow Bus of Drunken Shenanigans

Back on St. Patrick's Day in 2007, a group of dedicated friends with serious drinking problems put all their money together and rented a yellow school bus to transport them on a fantastic voyage around Omaha. Some blacked out. Some flashed devil horns in every picture taken of them, as they tend to do when their blood alcohol increases. One person even tossed cookies on my neighbor's lawn and then got in his car and drove home. It was a night that we'll never remember.

Since that time, renting a school bus to transport your drunken friends around town isn't quite as punk rock as a it used to be. Every Thomas, Richard and Harold with two c-notes and a previous DUI conviction that makes them extra leery about driving around after drinking has been taking advantage of the yellow school bus. Just like anything else that is exceptionally popular, assholes have ruined it for everyone.

According to the Omaha World Herald, the newspaper with the worst website ever, both school bus companies who had been renting their buses for "adult party time" are no longer providing the service because of pressure from law enforcement and concerns for liability. I thought it was particularly interesting that the article points out that "Partygoers (were) urinating and vomiting in front of businesses", because as I pointed out earlier that happened on our bar crawl. While I've done a lot of stupid things while drinking, including posting to this blog, who throws garbage out of the window of a school bus as an adult? You're riding in a giant yellow bus, specifically designed to stick out like intelligent people at a GOP campaign rally. Did you really think the police that follow these buses around wouldn't notice?

Obviously, the police did notice and while they were more than willing to turn their heads when it was just a group of idiots drinking on the bus, the minute debris starts flying from the bus, police are less likely to ignore it. Although the article states that First Student, one of the companies who had previously provided buses for these types of activities, is considering starting them again, the article makes it pretty clear that drinking on the bus will not be acceptable. We'll miss you drunken school bus! Thanks for letting us get drunk enough that we were unable to form memories.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Life in the Deep Red

When I moved to Nebraska, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. Let's face it, Nebraska's would hardly be described as progressive, unless you're comparing us to Utah or Wyoming, which is like saying you're younger than John McCain or have better heart health than Dick Cheney. I've lived in Nebraska a couple of different times, but my most recent return was less than a month after the 2004 Presidential Election. Living in a really red state has traditionally meant that my vote gets buried. A few significant developments have ensured that my vote may actually count this election year, and I don't even have to come up with a fake address for voter registration in Missouri or Iowa.
Nebraska is unlike other states (except Maine) with regards to the electoral college in that the person that wins the state does not take all 5 of our electoral votes. Rather, the winner of the state gets the two Senate electoral votes and the three remaining for the House are distributed based on the votes in those congressional districts. The 2nd Congressional district, which is essentially just the city of Omaha, has a chance to provide Obama with a single electoral college vote. The latest polls show McCain with a 3 point lead over Obama in the 2nd district, which is within the margin of error for the poll.
Another interesting story is that a young Democrat from Omaha, Jim Esch, is giving incumbent Lee Terry fits in his re-election bid. Back in 2006, Esch managed 45% of the popular vote against Terry without any major support from the Democratic party and a largely grassroots campaign. This year, Esch has the money and the support to pull it off, but there haven't been any polls published to get an idea about the status of the race. It's not a race that's getting a lot of attention in the national media, but I think Esch will pull out the upset, helped by record voter turnout and support from the Democratic party.
Here's to hoping for a little speck of blue in an otherwise red landscape.

Video of the Week -- The Big Fuckin' Lebowski

Some of you may have seen this already, but if not, I present -- The Big Fuckin' Lebowski (audio Not Safe For Work):

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

For as terrible as the Broncos looked last night....

... things like this just make the Chiefs look worse.

Yeah, I know, "Larry Johnson and Brandon Marshall may as well hang out at the same clubs." I get it. And I agree with Roger Goodell when he says, 'Nothing good every happens after midnight.' But Marshall was arrested for domestic abuse once, and the charges were dropped. Johnson obviously has a problem with women. And yet, I'm sure he still gets laid like Wilt Chamberlain in the 70's. But instead of turning this into a rant against famous people and their luck with women, I'll just end it by saying the entire AFC West is an embarrassment to the NFL.

Sometimes cartoons say it best

Click to enlarge

Monday, October 20, 2008

RIP Rudy Ray Moore

The world lost a great comedian this morning. The one-and-only Rudy Ray Moore, also known by his stage name of Dolemite, passed away in Akron, Ohio due to diabetes complications. He was 81.

I had the good fortune of meeting the man back in 2000 at a video convention in Las Vegas. The autograph booth wasn't quite set up yet, and even though I was just another white kid, he saw how excited I was to meet him, so he was gracious enough to let me get a picture:

His stand-up performances and his films were incredibly funny. I remember all the times I used to sit with the Angry Midget and the Shelfo twins and watch Dolemite, The Human Tornado, or Disco Godfather. The phrases 'Put yo weight on it!' and 'Bitch are you fo' real?' got peppered into our conversations regularly ... in fact, maybe a little too much! I'm just glad I didn't use them in any job interviews. I don't think the true Whitey would like being called a 'rat-soup eatin' honkey muthafucka.'

'The Human Tornado' trailer -- Not Safe For Work

Rest in peace, Rudy.

P.S. Thanks to Viking for passing along the info.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We're getting a litle ballsy down here in Texas...

The Democratic chairman in our district just dropped off a couple of signs for me, and I put them up in the yard:

I'm setting the over/under on them getting stolen (or my house getting egged at the very least) at seven days. We're in a white neighborhood, in a Dallas suburb full of 50 and 60 year olds. So, smart money would probably take the under. Stay tuned!

P.S. Yes, those are weeds in the front flower bed. I don't have a green thumb. I only bring death.
P.P.S. No, HCP, they're not THAT kind of weed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Video of the Week: Gojira -- 'Vacuity'

Here's my Video of the Week: It's the new music video from the metal band Gojira. I know you're not all metal fans, but I think you'll all at least appreciate the visual style used here. The band members are all very environmentally conscious, and that comes through in an odd way in the video. And yes, for all you knuckle-draggers out there, the girl gets naked near the end.


They're a lot smarter than most metal bands. I know, I know, 'That's not saying much!' But they have a lot to say about our world right now. Lyrically, the singer says Vacuity is about "absence of matter, emptiness, but full of light. Ultimate presence beyond the notions of our world. Vacuity is the source and not just 'nothingness.' We live in a world that goes faster every day and it seems there's a lack of time for each one of us." It's a refreshing change from the usual 'murder death kill' of the rest of the metal out there.

Their new album is titled 'The Way of All Flesh', and it just released here in the states last Tuesday. If you liked the video, it's definitely worth a purchase. Between them and the District B-13 movie clips I posted a couple of weeks ago, who knew French people could kick so much ass?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No one ever accused this site of being 'tasteful'...

... and with posts like this, no one ever will. For the record, I didn't make this picture. But I couldn't NOT post it.

McCain's better-late-than-never economic plan

John McCain is set to unveil his new economic plan today to save the world. The plan has all of the tenants you would expect from a McCain economics plan: cutting taxes and increasing tax loopholes for businesses without accounting for how that loss of tax revenue will be replaced. The underlying concept that McCain and other conservatives attempt to promote is that lowering corporate taxes has the effect of improving wages for workers as the company has more money left over to spend on their employees.

Reality is much more complex than that, and this assumption ignores significant contributions to wages for employees including the tried and true concept that companies pay you only as much as they have to pay you to be competitive regardless of how much profit they actually make. The only people who make more money when the company makes more money are shareholders, which is an unfortunately small percentage of families in the current economic climate. In fact, the evidence to support this concept on McCain's own website is a clever mixture of opinion pieces from conservative economic pundits and studies of economies with significant manufacturing sectors and substantially lower education levels than the US.

The real question is where McCain's economic plan has been. For a guy who saw this economic crisis coming years ago, this "new" plan has been slow to materialize. If you have followed McCain's economic policy at all during the last two years, it's very clear that the plan is just taking that pig wearing lipstick and putting a dress on it as well. The fundamentals of McCain's economic philosophy, the very same philosophy of deregulation that got us into this mess, have not changed. Hopefully, voters will notice that this is the same old economic plan, dressed up to make him seem more credible on the economy.

Obama advertising on Burnout Paradise online

It's happening more and more nowadays: Online video games with advertising placed in them. It's pretty annoying, as it stands out like a sore thumb in most cases. I already paid $60 for the game, and I pay for Xbox Live, so why am I seeing advertisments? I play online games to escape reality, not to be reminded of it. However, one of the exceptions I make on the annoyance factor is for additional content that is made free because of advertising. Gears of War had two free multiplayer maps last year because the Discovery Channel show 'FutureWeapons' sponsored them. Well, Burnout Paradise may not have had their recent free content sponsored by Barack Obama, but I at least have to give some credit to his team for getting exposure in an otherwise foreign ad space:

Obama may not be a huge proponent of video games, but at least he's aware of their power, and is willing to try to reach those who game. Can you imagine John McCain doing something like this? He's still learning how to use the internets...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Palin in recent historical perspective

I can't remember a time in my life when there was a larger disparity between the Vice Presidential candidates for the two major parties. Sarah Palin is possibly the worst Vice Presidential nominee in modern history. When you consider her company in this category, being the worst Vice Presidential nominee in modern history is a dubious distinction to say the least. Let's consider our nominees:

Sarah Palin
At first when conservatives reacted negatively to McCain's nomination of Palin, I thought it might just be their typical "let's eat our young before they grow up to be liberals" instincts, but the more we learn about her, the more it seems like maybe those same conservative strategists aren't complete morons.
- The only supreme court case Palin knew about and could comment on was Roe v. Wade. I don't believe that the VP needs to be a Constitutional Scholar, but if you're running against one, you might want to know more than just Roe v. Wade. Most importantly, she seems proud of how little she knows about everything. With an aging and cancer-riddled McCain, don't you want to nominate someone who could possibly run the country?

Dan Quayle
Dan Quayle is probably widely regarded as the worst and most embarrassing VP in American history. Quayle is the perfect storm of a weak selection process, bad candidate, and the fact that most Americans don't know about Presidential history, let alone VP history. Even on the eve of his selection at the 1988 Republican Convention in New Orleans, his own party couldn't believe the pick and stated it publicly. Sound familiar? Spelling gaffes aside, Quayle did have experience in the US House and US Senate, although he publicly stated that Mars and Earth were in the same orbit. To say that Palin is another Dan Quayle is not really fair to Quayle, since he does have government experience at the federal level and actually finished law school instead of a series of stints a community colleges. You didn't think there was such a wide spectrum of idiocy did you?

Vice Admiral James Stockdale
Ross Perot's running mate during the 1992 President Election has become a bit of a political punchline, mostly because of his erratic appearance during the 1992 VP debates. What people may not know is that Stockdale is one of the most decorated officers in the history of the US Navy and has a Master's degree from Stanford. He was the President of the Navy War college and like John McCain, a prisoner of war during Vietnam. An interesting contrast to McCain, Stockdale had this to say about his POW and military service (see if you can spot the contrast):
It was so different from Quayle and Gore. The four years in solitary confinement in Vietnam, 7½ years in prisons, drop the first bomb that started the...American bombing raid in the North Vietnam. We blew the oil storage tanks of them off the map. And I never—I couldn't approach—I don't say it just to brag, but, I mean, my sensitivities are completely different.

Nonetheless, Stockdale was widely considered to be a nut, only based on his VP debate, despite the fact that depending on your list of qualifications for VP, many might consider him more qualified than Dan Quayle.

What's amazing to me is that even among individuals considered to be the worst VP nominees in modern history (fairly or unfairly), Palin manages to make Dan Quayle seem imminently qualified. That's what I call an unfortunate accomplishment.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Get back to school...


Monday, October 06, 2008

Video of the Day -- Barack Roll

If you've been on the internets for longer than six months, odds are good that you've been Rickrolled at least once. In terms of internet memes, it was one of the biggest of the last few years. However, it has slowed down considerably as of late, which probably isn't a bad thing. But someone found a new way to breathe life back into this one...

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Devil Wears Wal-Mart?

So, I was watching the debate last night and saw nothing of real importance come from either camp. Except that neither of the candidates made any real gaffs and that Palin's head didn't exploded only to have Jesus take her place behind the podium. Then I began listening to the post debate "analysis" and it was no surprise that they tried to paint Palin as an everyday, down to Earth, no nonsense kind of gal, and this got me thinking.

When the FUCK did it become so terrible to be educated in this country? Joe-6-Pack, hockey mom's are pit bulls with lipstick, and every woman that voted for Clinton did so because she had a vagina, not because she has a graduate degree, or the fact that she may know a little something about how things work in Washington. How ridiculous are these arguments? Are we done shilling to every jag-off that can't admit their real problem with Obama is that he is a black guy?

I understand that the everyday working guy likes to have a beer, hell I'm one of them, but I also feel a strong desire to better myself and my situation by using what little intellect I have been "blessed" with by furthering my education. Why would we want someone to lead us that is an everyday person? This makes no sense. If you don't think you are better than me, then don't try to LEAD ME! If I thought that you were going to do the same fuck up, run the country into the ground, I'm too drunk at 3am to answer anything bullshit, I would run myself. However, I recognize the fact that there are people out there smarter than I in the arena, of lets say, running a country. This means that I would rather have you do it as oppose to me. In a year where we cannot afford, quite literally, to fuck this up, we don't need anymore lip stick on a pig.

Via Con Dios,

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Just in time for tonight's VP debate:

Found this on someone's Twitter update last night and had to post it here:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Video of the Week -- Omazing Grace

Now this is what I'd call a 'joyful noise.' Be sure to stick around for the show-stopping finale!