Monday, September 29, 2008

The Agony of Defeat... Again- Pic of the Day 9/29

For the second straight year, the Mets were eliminated from the playoff race on the last day of the season-- blowing a big lead in the season's final weeks.

Above is a pic from the front page of the Journal News (Westchester NY's largest paper) of me, a lifelong Mets fan, in obvious pain.

It was a bad weekend.

Friday, September 26, 2008

If It Walks Like a Duck...

My, how the mighty have fallen. The New York Times reported this morning on the status of the proposed $700 billion bailout plan, and the picture emerging from the discussions is as topsy-turvy as one can imagine. On the one hand, we have the President, proposing that Congress grant him even more extraordinary powers so that he can handle this particular issue with the economy. On that same hand, it appears we have the Democrats, eager to get this piece of legislation under their belts, but maintaining that certain provisions are included so that it's not strictly a deal for Wall Street, by Wall Street and of Wall Street. In the end, though, it might be just that. The Times quotes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as saying "It (the bailout) will happen because it has to happen." Such an impending tone makes one realize just how badly the financial sector has infiltrated the body politic. We're going to bailout banks that got in way over their heads irresponsibly because we have to. Nice.

On the opposite side of this battle are the Republicans, and this is what makes this current political climate so perplexing. The Republicans, long known for being Wall Street back scratchers, tax cutting everything from capital gains to C.E.O. bonuses, are now staunchly against the proposal. They find it absurd that tax-payer dollars ought to be spent in an endeavor to stabilize the financial sector, while little is done to curb spending in other areas. Of course, this kind of fiscal restraint was not evident during the first six years of the Bush administration, when they cut taxes, increased earmarks substantially and endorsed a war whose strategy was so flawed, that a major consequence is the vast sums being spent on it: some $10 billion per month.

Of course, this is no indictment of the corporate-Democratic paradox, nor of Republican hypocracy. They exist because it's the nature of the beast. This is the ultimate low of a presidency. Mr. Bush believes that history will come to his side, like it has for President Harry Truman. The Korean War killed Mr. Truman's presidency; Bush's lack of leadership has killed his. Truman did stubborn things like integrate the army, then the federal government, and endorsed the new state of Israel, all with significant opposition from his own staff, no less. Bush demanded loyalty at all cost, and held over his opponents a mandate that was as paper thin as his courage: because he could always find a way to garner fifty one percent, he could always win.

Democrats would come into the fold because some will lack the courage to stand their ground. Republicans would come for the obvious reasons, because it's their gravy train. Well, it's a good thing the American public can smell ineptitude, because in 2006 they fired the GOP, and essentially nutored Mr. Bush. His leadership style is so ineffective, he cannot even get his party in line in a moment of economic peril. Where Clinton signaled to Democrats that centrism is the quality needed for long term survival, Mr. Bush demonstrated that all you need is a simple majority. Where President Reagan obtained Democratic support in order to cut taxes in 1981, Mr. Bush used fear and the fresh memory of a tragedy to get the nation into as serious a circumstance one could find itself: war. And now we have a financial crisis even the most cautious observers call traumatic. "An end of an era on Wall Street", they say. And Mr. Bush, with his limp clout, trying to pull together a coalition to pass a vital law, cannot even get Wall Street's employees, his fellow Republicans, in line. January 20th cannot come soon enough.

Monday, September 22, 2008

SNL: McCain Ad Wars

Still in the midst of an imposed drought comes a quick gulp of water:

SNL's take on McCain's ads, which have taken more than a few liberties (such as portraying Obama's vote in favor of a bill that- in part- provided funding for a program educating kindergarteners on sexual abuse as, "Obama spent money on sex- ed for 5 year olds").

An interesting note: former SNL writer and cast member, and current US Senate candidate Al Franken reportedly came up with the premise of this sketch, which was then written out by SNL's head writer, Seth Meyers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Sad Saga

I've been asked to stop posting for a while by my employer, but happily, that doesn't mean I have to stop altogether. Because, every year around this time, I'll work in some non-political posts about my favorite team's collapse in the baseball standings. This year is no different, except I'm going to use to words of blogger David Lozo.

His post is decent, but it's the picture at the top that gets me.

The Sad, Sad Saga of Your Average N.Y. Mets Fan

There is nothing funnier yet, at the same time, sadder than a New York Mets fan. It’s like watching a six-car pileup where everyone dies, but everyone is dressed as Star Wars characters, so part of you laughs. But mostly, you feel bad for these desperate fools who have a harder time staying on an even keel than a meth addict.

Ever since the Mets had a seven-game lead with 17 games to play in 2007, I have been conducting a study of the New York Mets fan. I have charted emotions for close to a full year now, and I think it’s time to reveal my findings. What follows is a recounting of the emotional highs and lows of Mets fans for the last 350 days or so.

Sept. 12, 2007: “Dude, we’re seven games up. I can’t wait for the playoffs. We’re going to avenge that loss to the Cardinals and win the World Series. Willie Randolph has been superb and Tom Glavine really should get his option picked up.”

Sept. 30, 2007: “I hope Tom Glavine dies. Clearly he was a double agent for the Braves. Seven runs in an inning? I hate the Mets. We should fire Willie and start fresh.’

Jan. 30, 2008: “We traded for Johan Santana? Noooooo. Get out! That’s awesome! That guarantees us the NL East, and at worst a World Series trip. What a deal! Omar is a genius! Willie’s going to get us there!”

April 29, 2008: “I know Billy Wagner blew the save because of the error, but I don’t trust that guy.”

May 6, 2008: “Why does Carlos Delgado see the field? Can’t that guy retire already?”

May 26, 2008: “Please fire Willie already. This Mike Pelfrey character is a complete bust.”

May 29, 2008: “It’s not like it’s Willie’s fault.”

June 10, 2008: “OK, Willie needs to go.”

June 13, 2008: “Seriously, I hope we get someone for Delgado next season.”

June 16, 2008, 2:30 a.m.: “You know, I think Willie’s got this thing figured out

June 16, 2008, 3:45 a.m.: “Good riddance. Willie was killing us.”

June 24, 2008: “Jerry Manuel isn’t making things better.”

July 4, 2008: “Johan Santana just is not a big-game pitcher. He can’t finish what he
starts. Such a bum.”

July 6, 2008: “I know we’re 3.5 out with 74 games to go, but this team is done. No chance.”

July 17, 2008: “What a great move by the Mets to put Manuel in charge. I think a World Series is a real possibility now.”

July 19, 2008: “We can’t even beat the Reds. How can we possibly win the division?”

July 20, 2008: “If Wagner is done, we are screwed. That guy is lights out.”

July 25, 2008: “Mike Pelfrey should be getting some consideration for the Cy Young.”

August 3, 2008: “We are so done.”

August 10, 2008: “Mike Pelfrey better not be on the postseason roster.”

August 17, 2008: “If my neighbors think I’m loud now, just wait till they hear me when the Mets are playing in October.”

August 24, 2008: “We’re not going anywhere with this bullpen.”

Sept. 1, 2008: “Carlos Delgado is the NL MVP.”

Sept. 2, 2008: “This Luis Ayala guy is pretty awesome. He can close for us in the playoffs.”

Sept. 5, 2008: “We’re going to choke away the division again.”

Sept. 6, 2008: “I never said they were going to the World Series.”

Sept. 7, 2008, 4:45 p.m.: “We’re so done. Fire everyone.”

Sept. 7, 2008, 11:30 p.m.: “Johan Santana is a big-game pitcher. We’re going all the way.”

Sept. 10, 2008: “Hey, can I take off a few days in October? No one has off the day of Game 7 of the World Series, and I want to make sure I can watch it.”

This morning: “Our bullpen is a nightmare. I hope they miss the playoffs. Just give the division to the Phillies.”

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Clinton/ Palin

Probably the best political sketch in nearly ten years.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Flip-Flops, All for the Price of an Oval Office

Mom: So since when do the Republicans care about women?

Me: What?  What do you mean?

Mom: Well, they seem to care a lot about women and I thought they never wanted women outside of the home.

And thus is the new political order of the day.  A universe where a casual observer, like my mom - citizen since '72 (ah, '72), can be confounded by a seismic shift in GOP talking points: feminism.  Yes, faux-feminism is the new Black, and the designer is Senator John McCain.  He tailors his chic centrism in a flowering couture of social conservatism being fiercely worn by none other than Alaska's great governor, Sarah Palin.  Holy wow!

It's the Democrats who are keeping that glass ceiling in place.  It's the Democrats who don't want women to progress.  Yes, it's the Democrats who want to return to 1918.  The party of Eleanor Roosevelt has turned into the party of Rush Limbaugh, only Rush doesn't want any part of it because he's a feminist now.  

That's right, folks: To want Sarah Palin to win the Vice Presidancy is to be for Women's Rights.  It's to be for a woman to have the right to have government deny her the right to choose an abortion.  It's to be for women having the right to not have the explicit right to fight side-by-side with men in combat.  It's to be for women having the right to be punished for working and having a child - at the same time, no less.  It's to be for our future.

Sarah Palin wanted to ban books from her local library, wants to be the special announcer at next year's Summer Slam when Creationism and Evolution meet, and once vied for round three at Bull Run while she was part of a small secessionist movement ("small" is relative, because nothing but the landscape's big in Alaska - it just ain't Texas).  These are all things that are as American as moose murder, and women should be ashamed if they're not proud of this.  Every women needs to learn to cross check, because Sarah Palin took her shots from the goons of all shapes and sizes for The Cause.  Every lady needs to learn to not plan their pregnancies, because Sarah Palin has five kids, will have five more, and will pass legislation making it legal to give birth well past menopause - God's willing notwithstanding.

James - that narrow-minded, right-wing chauvinist - Carville wrote an incendiary piece in the Financial Times, that bastion of Female Oppression, about how Mr. McCain has affected his party with the Sarah Palin nomination.  Read it not to see how the GOP has given up national security as their centerpiece.  Read it not to learn how flip-flopping is only flip-flopping if you're a former liberal like John F Kerredy - I mean Kerry.  Read it to see what America's up against:  Barack Obama's Islamist change, one that we just can't afford (because utility prices are insane!)

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Jon Stewart outdid himself in this segment... there are no words for the kind of hypocrisy you're about to see, but at least someone called it out:

Uh-Oh: Pic of the Day 9/4

During last night's well- received speech, GOP VP nominee Gov. Sarah Palin cited her opposition to the "Bridge to Nowhere" pork barrel project as evidence of her independent streak. Problem is, Palin was actually for the bridge before she was against it, as is evident in this photo. The $400m bridge connected a small Alaska town to a hardly used airport, saving users from having to ride a $5 ferry.
“Palin said Alaska’s congressional delegation worked hard to obtain funding for the bridge as part of a package deal and that she ‘would not stand in the way of the progress toward that bridge.” - Ketchikan Daily News 9/2006
Just a guess, but this probably won't be the last time we see this photo...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

100 Years or 1 Year - No Real Difference

The Financial Times has a compelling piece about the Iraq War and the "time horizons" being discussed between the Bush Administration and that of Nouri al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq. The report by Demetri Sevastopulo quotes General David Patraeus, top commander of coalition forces in Iraq, as suggesting the possibility that U.S. forces can begin redeployment from Baghdad.  He cautioned his suggestion by alluding to conditions staying as they are now, with violence down and peaceful political dialogues persisting.  Still, American soldiers leaving Baghdad, as the article puts it, "would be highly symbolic given the scale of violence that gripped the city in 2006 and 2007."

Now Senator McCain will surely credit his backing of "The Surge" as playing the pivotal role in the new status quo, while Senator Obama will suggest that the Iraqis want us out as much as Americans do, lulls in violence notwithstanding.  What's striking is the frankness with which Gen. Patraeus discusses the mid to long-term future of our involvement in Iraq, and how the administration is not hovering over him insisting on the use of vague, ambiguous terms that carry no consequence.  Obama's at least given details as to how he'd leave Iraq.  Can't wait to hear Mac's response to this.  Fifty years or one hundred, we hav- what?  We're leaving already?  Well, is it with honor?

Friedman on ET

Thomas Friedman wrote a great piece in today's New York Times on what's at stake in terms of energy in the presidential election.

John McCain prided himself on being the greenest Republican in Washington; however, his "drill drill drill" rhetoric and selection of running mate Sarah Palin contradicts his crafted image. Freedman quotes Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope, who states:

“Back in June, the Republican Party had a round-up. One of the unbranded cattle — a wizened old maverick name John McCain — finally got roped. Then they branded him with a big ‘Lazy O’ — George Bush’s brand, where the O stands for oil. No more maverick.

“One of McCain’s last independent policies putting him at odds with Bush was his opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, yet he has now picked a running mate who has opposed holding big oil accountable and been dismissive of alternative energy while focusing her work on more oil drilling in a wildlife refuge and off of our coasts. While the northern edge of her state literally falls into the rising Arctic Ocean, Sarah Palin says, ‘The jury is still out on global warming.’ She’s the one hanging the jury — and John McCain is going to let her.”

Friedman goes on to point out that the energy technology (ET, as he calls it) will surpass information technology (IT) as the most important and profitable industry in the world. We must remember, he argues, that the country that comes to dominate it will reap the substantial benefits. That means investment in and a commitment to new technology.

As Friedman writes: "The country that spawns the most E.T. companies will enjoy more economic power, strategic advantage and rising standards of living. We need to make sure that is America. Big oil and OPEC want to make sure it is not."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Letterman: Top 10 DNC Pick Up Lines

It may be a few days late, but here are Letterman's (a bit on the risqué side)...

Top Ten Democratic National Convention Pickup Lines
10. Wanna form a more perfect union?

9. Something's rising and it's not the national debt

8. I'm stiffer than John Kerry

7. Let's go someplace and release our delegates

6. Care to join the wife and me for a little 'bipartisanship'?

5. I'll make you scream like Howard Dean

4. Now that's what I call a stimulus package

3. I'm gonna Barack your world

2. Wanna pretend we're Republicans and have gay bathroom sex?

1. Hi, I'm John Edwards
And here are some that failed to make the cut:
  • Play your cards right and I'll get you in to hear the speech by Illinois State Comptroller Dan Hynes
  • How'd you like to be on the cover of National Enquirer?
  • Has anyone ever said you look like a young Madeline Albright?
  • Where does a guy go to get Spitzer'd?
  • Wanna see a nude photo of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Palin To Be GILF! Teen Daughter Expecting "Illigitimate" Child! is reporting that the daughter of Governess Sarah Palin (R-AK), GOP Veep nominee, is pregnant. Bristol Palin, The governess' daughter, is expected to keep the child, and CNN is reporting that she will marry the father. (I'd provide more information about him, but the scumbag move on my part can't be done until the scumbag move of recklessly getting this possible minor's information is completed.) The GOP is expected to rally around the soon-to-be teen mother.

How ironic. The GOP makes a living out of making it seem as though some young, poor lady who has a child out-of-wedlock represents the biggest socialist parasite in our nation's economy. Yet, what come's with a McCain-Palin win? A new member to said club.