Meanwhile, In Congress …

“Oh my God, our approval rating is below 15%! We have to fix this sequestration mess before Friday!”

“Or — hear me out — or we could spend the week making the biggest and best Harlem Shake video yet!”

You totally know this conversation took place.


Palin blasts White House’s rapper invite:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined the anti-Common refrain Wednesday night, questioning the White House's judgment for inviting the rapper to participate in a poetry event.

"You know, the judgment, it's just so lacking of class and decency and all that's good about America with an invite like this," Palin said on Fox News Channel. "It's just so easy to assume that they're just inviting someone like me or somebody to ask, 'Come on, Barack Obama, who are you palling around with now?'

"This rapper, we thought that we were to be united under the leader of the free world, Barack Obama, in tamping down racism and inciting violence and cop killing, certainly, and killing a former president," Palin said. "All those things that this rapper has glorified and really is known for, it just certainly reflects a lack of judgment on the White House's part ..."

I was having trouble making heads or tails of this, so I translated it.


Hi, I’m Lou Dobbs, called “Mr. Independent” by myself and others (mostly myself). When I abruptly quit my plush gig as the host of Lou Dobbs Tonight last week, people thought I had gone insane(r). Didn’t I have everything that an irritable curmudgeon could possibly want?


Announcing my newest enterprise: The Lou Dobbs Fantasy Camp for Peevish Elders, a painstaking recreation of my former news program, but open to the public. Now YOUR jingoistic, protectionist, and xenophobic views will get audience* they so richly deserve!

Sign up for our one-week program, and experience all the amenities* that I enjoyed as the host of Lou Dobbs Tonight:

  • Broadcasts: Sit in a big chair behind an important-looking desk, stare directly into the cameras, and let the world* know where you stand on the big issues of the day. Healthcare? Music today? Baggy pants? Portion sizes at Claim Jumper? THE AMERICAN PEOPLE* WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! All of your screeds will be recorded onto state-of-the art VHS tapes, ready for distribution to grandchildren and the disaffected Safeway employees who carry groceries to your car.
  • Sycophantic Correspondents: Tired of others giving you guff when you espouse your carefully considered opinions? During your daily television and radio broadcasts*, you will interact with up to four correspondents, trained to enthusiastically concur with all your utterances, guffaw at your witticisms, and only offer opinions that reflect your own. Enjoy roundtable discussions free of dissent, during which the analysis provided will consist solely of your own statements artfully paraphrased.
  • Polls: Each day we will run a poll of your choice, carefully worded to elicit an response overwhelming in its agreement with your views (E.g., “Do you believe Congress should give Obama the benefit of the doubt AND A CASTLE??!”) Remember: scientific* polls turn opinion into cold, hard fact.
  • Specials: Your week at LDFCfPE includes two 90 minutes specials, on the topics of your choosing. Are you, like me, are pedantically obsessed with word usage? Then “Irregardless: Scourge of a Nation” might be the program for you. Or maybe an hour and half about how Twitter doesn’t make sense? Like your bloviating, the possibilities are endless.
  • Foreign staff: All the “help” at LDFCfPE looks suspiciously foreign, allowing you to loudly speculate as to their legal status to all within earshot. Go ahead and accuse one of stealing the half-roll of LifeSavers you swear you had in your pocket. They won’t mind–after all, you are the boss!*

For more information please visit double-you double-you double-you dot slash slash the Internet dot L as in Lou, D as in Dobbs, F as in Frank, C as in Charlie, F as in a different guy named Frank, P as in Peter, E as in Ernie, in all-capitals except the second F which is lowercase, not sure if that matters, dot com, or pick up a brochure at your local IHOP.

The Lou Dobbs
Fantasy Camp
For Peevish Elders

Where the Cantankerous

* Simulated.

Bailin’ Palin

I love that Sarah Palin peppered her resignation speech with applause lines:

If I have learned one thing: LIFE is about choices!

And one chooses how to react to circumstances. You can choose to engage in things that tear down, or build up. I choose to work very hard on a path for fruitfulness and productivity. I choose NOT to tear down and waste precious time; but to build UP this state and our country, and her industrious, generous, patriotic, free people!

It’s the feel-good quit of the summer!


Told ya so.

Dodged a bullet on that electorial prediction, though. That would have been a lot of beer. At one point during the night Obama was actually at 292, and I was all, like, “Oh shit, you gotta win another state. Any state dude, even one no one cares about. How about Nevada? Or a Dakota?”

* * *
Please return to your polling stations to receive your new stickers

Please return to your polling stations to receive your new stickers

* * *

McCain’s speech was all class. I’d like to think that, were McCain elected, the man we saw last night is the man who would serve as president, rather than the stranger we saw on the campaign trail.

* * *

Driving to work today I noticed that Obama’s promise of unity is already reaching fruition. The two Seattle newspapers–which are often at loggerheads–both came up with the same headline:

Black & White

I also noticed that the local McDonald’s had changed it’s marquee overnight:

When Obama is president ...


* * *

Conversation I just had with Squiggle:

Me: Who’s the president?

Squiggle: Obama!

Me: And who’s the vice-president?

Son: A pumpkin!


* * *

Anyway: yay, glad that’s over. Going to bed now. Wake me on January 20th.

* * *

New Era

Presidental Debate Liveblogging

I was mulling over the debate during my commute home from work, and started to marvel over just how bad things are for John McCain tonight. Just about every major factor is working against him:

  • The main topic of the debate, health care, is the Republicans’ #2 worst issue.
  • The huge drop in the stock market today ensures that the Republican’s #1 worst issue, the economy, is certain to get a lot of air time too.
  • McCain is totally in a box on this Ayers thing. After the second Presidential Debate, Team Obama was practically goading him into bringing it up tonight, saying “we’ve been seeing some pretty over-the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days, that he wasn’t willing to say it to my face. But I guess we’ve got one last debate.” McCain responded by saying that he most certainly would. But you know Obama has a response all queued up and ready to roll. And the brunt of McCain’s charges regarding Ayers is that Obama “hasn’t been forthcoming about the relationship”–will he still be able to say that after Obama addresses the issue on live TV in McCain company? Of course, if McCain doesn’t mentioned Ayers, Team Obama can double-down: they can again insinuate that he’s a coward and add that he broke his word to boot.
  • Worst of all, all of this must frustrate McCain terribly–and that’s likely to be evident. The format of the debate has the two sitting right next to each other at a table, so any signs of hostility from McCain (not making eye contact), are likely to be amplified, as most camera shots will show the men side-by-side and in extremely close proximity.
The one upside to the debate for McCain is that it gives him one last chance to change the dynamics of the race. Alas, even that is a poisoned pill: McCain has “shaken up the race” so many times now (picking Palin, his campaign suspension, etc.) that attempting to do so again tonight will only feed into the narrative that he’s “erratic”. But playing it safe is also a losing proposition for him, given the current polls.

It’s damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t for John McCain tonight. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it.

5:53: Pre-debate prediction: knowing that McCain has no choice but to attack, Obama will be all smiles as he comes out, and will be overtly (perhaps even overly) collegial toward his opponent. Then, in his first few statements, he will refer to McCain as a friend and/or make some comment about how this will be an issue-oriented debate. It’s a twofer when McCain then goes negative, because he can then (a) make the “gee whiz my buddy just stabbed me in the back” face and (b) retaliate with negativity, arguing that “he started it.”

6:00: Moderator: “By now we’ve heard all the talking points …” Ha! Nice try, but get ready hear them again.

6:01: McCain turns the conventional wisdom on it’s head, starting every speech with not a joke but a shout-out to someone in the hospital. MAVRICKY!

6:03: McCain is trying so hard to maintain eye-contact that he looks like a besotted kid starting at a love interest sitting near him in the library.

6:05: Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman, and now Joe the Plumber is mixed up in the race? Can we get a moratorium of Joes around here? Update: Oh my God, how could I forget Joe Sixpack?

6:08: McCain is not stringing arguments together very deftly tonight. Also: helllllllo populism.

6:10: I gotta hand it to McCain, he’s got Obama playing defense early.

6:11: These are good questions, for a change.

6:12: This has pretty much just become a race to see who can be first to work their talking points into this “no talking points” debate. Obama takes an early lead, checking “not one dime” and “go through the budget line-by-line” off his master list.

6:16: “Overhead projector” is the new “Spain”.

6:17: McCain is talking about using both a hatchet and a scalpel. This debate on health care is terrifying.

6:20: Why does Obama keep giving McCain “enormous credit” for his “opposition” on torture?

6:23: McCain ends a response to a question about negative campaigning by calling Obama a liar.

6:28: I don’t know if I can stand 4 years of Obama’s “aaaaaaaaand”.

6:31: This response by McCain on his supporters is the most unfocused I’ve seen. He supports everyone who attends his rallies and recognizes that some of them and hateful nutjobs? Also: every time McCain interrupts Obama he loses1000 voters at least.

6:34: Ayers! ACORN! McCain just blew his scandal load in one heaving spurt. He’s gonna be flaccid from here on out.

6:38: Hahaha. While Obama is answering this VP question I bet McCain is all, like, “OhShitOhShitOhShit …”

6:40: At what point did “autism” become the center square on the Political Bingo card?

6:43: Did McCain just advocate “nuclear pants”? I’m reconsidering my vote.

6:47: Obama’s looking a little ragged, can’t seem to decide is he should be talking to the moderator or the camera.

6:48: Wait, McCain is a Free Traitor? Re-reconsidering my vote.

6:50: Obama just promised to “enforce unfair trade agreements.” I’m fully in the swing vote camp, now.

6:52: Are these guys fully incoherent now, or have I just stopped paying close attention?

6:53: Shorter McCain: “I like ice cream, so there’s really no doubt that Senator Obama will raise taxes.”

6:58: Joe the Plumber has just rocketed in the ranks of C-list celebrities. He will be all over the media tomorrow.

7:04: Wait, Obama is wearing a red tie and McCain is wearing blue? Maybe a Freaky Friday body switch prior to the debate?

7:10: Obama appears to have come armed with reformulated responses on an astonishingly wide range of topics.

7:12: And “eloquence” is the new “articulate.”

7:13: Science question! Mention the overhead projector, Obama!

7:14: McCain: Education is the civil rights issue of the 21 century. PAY NO ATTENTION TO THOSE GAYS!!

7:17: Wow, agreement on charter schools. That’s pretty great.

7:20: Obama thinks children are our future. Apparently he has found the greatest love of all.

7:22: Apparently, by virtue of having an autistic son, I and my wife both get 500 votes a piece this election.

7:24: But will McCain mention he’s a POW in his closing statement as he did in the first two debates? Update: No! C-C-C-Combobreaker!

7:27: Obama’s closing statement: Say no to Bush and yes to free ponies!

I could provide some post-debate analysis, but it would be like summarizing a game of Pong. Here, just watch this 30-second video half a dozen times.

Presidental Debate Liveblogging

Round II:

6:00: Aww rats. Obama and McCain just came out wearing their normal attire. After the “I’ve got a bracelet” / “oh yeah, well I also have a bracelet” exchange of the first debate, I was hoping they’d arrived encumbered by layers and layers, and would spend the whole debate stripping off articles of clothing and sharing the personal anecdotes associated with each. “This stocking cap was given to me by a grandmother who lost her retirement in the stock market”, “well these cuff-links were given to me by an unaborted fetus” …

6:01: Brokaws’ tie matches the bright red carpet, and McCain’s tie matches the bright red carpet. Obama is the odd man out with blue. CONSPIRACY?

6:04: McCain’s first statement to Obama included a fleeting moment of eye contact and the phrase “It’s good to see you at a townhall meeting” with the “finally” left unspoken.

6:06: First headlights-in-the-deer moment goes to McCain on the “who would you appoint” question. Uhh, did I just write “headlights-in-the-deer”?

6:08: This is basically a “9 Mile” style rap contest, with the candidates trying to weave talking points into their performance rather than mad rhymes.

6:11: McCain used his response to attack Obama; Obama (so far) is ignoring the attack and answering the question. Is this how it’s going to go all night? Update: Nope. “Now, I have to correct Senator McCain history … unsurprisingly…”

6:15: This is pretty dull. I hope there’s a “Rock Band Challenge” component to this debate; this is the perfect venue for it.

6:18: Apparently the candidate who says the phrase “special interests” the most will receive 40 bonus points.

6:20: Brokaw keeps asking really tough questions, and poor McCain keeps getting them first (while Obama gets 60 seconds to come up with an appropriate nonanswer).

6:25: McCain gets a question from the Internet. This is the most email he’s ever received!

6:29: “You know, a lot of you probably remember the tragedy of 9/11.” Gee Obama, ya think?

6:30: Doubling the Peace Corps!? Where the hell did that proposal come from? Has Obama ever mentioned it before, or are we venturing into improv, here?

6:33: McCain is now saying that Obama “wants to raise taxes.” Not that he’s going to, just that he really, really wants to.

6:35: Words that will not escape Obama’s lips tonight: “I agree with John.”

6:36: Oh, god. Can we just stipulate, ahead of these debates, that McCain will swear that Obama will raise taxes and Obama will give his “not one dime” rebuttal? It would save everyone 20 minutes.

6:38: McCain says that fixing Social Security is not very hard, all we have to do is “sit down at the table” ZOMG WHY DIDNT ANYONE EVER THINK OF THAT BEFORE?!

6:40: McCain namecheck tally: Leiberman: 3, Palin 0.

6:42: When Obama said “The computer was originally invented by {ominous pause} a number of government scientists”, I honestly thought he was going to say “Al Gore” there for a moment.

6:45: Again, McCain gets the tough Brokaw question first. That’s rough, dude.

6:47: For the record, here are all the issues that Obama does not think are “central”

  • The next poet laureate
  • The redesign of the penny
  • Whether the toilet paper rolls in the whitehouse crappers will be “over” or “under”

6:52: McCain is very insistent that I do the math.

6:53: Is healthcare a right? McCain just gave the wrong answer. Obama is so eager to give the right answer that he’s standing up as he waits for his turn.

6:55: Before the third debate McCain should take a Sharpie and write the following on his hand: “DON’T FORGET: YOU SUCK AT JOKES”.

6:58: Oh McCain, dude, did you just say a president needs to know “when we should go into a war and when we shouldn’t”. That’s a slow pitch over center plate, my friend. Update: And yet, Obama just barely manages to get to first …

7:04: I’m pretty sure “beneficially” isn’t a word. Update: It is, but I still wouldn’t use it three times in a single sentence.

7:07: iObama: “We will nuke bin Laden from orbit, even if he’s discovered in Tampa.”

7:09: It’s hard to keep track of all of McCain’s heroes. So far he’s mentioned Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt, and Gimli.

7:11: Brokaw’s has pretty much given up. Unrelated: what’s with the weird black rectangle behind these guys. Are individual cable channels photoshopping Cialis ads into that space or what?

7:17: McCain: “We’re not going to have another cold war … with Russia.” Oo, I wonder who it’s going to be with, then? I’m gonna guess Chad.

7:15: Yay, another “strategy vs. tactics” semantics fight! This is like hanging out with boardgame nerds.

7:16: “Part of the challenge for the next commander-in-chief is to foresee the challenges that we’ll face. That’s why I’ll establish a Department of Precrime.”

7:24: “Gamechanger”, drink! But where the hell is “Maverick”? I should have done three or four dozen shots by now.

7:26: Brokaw says the final question is zen-like: “What don’t you know.” Obama: “Uhh, I’ll tell you what I do know.” McCain: “I don’t know what the unexpected will be.” Those responses are so lame they deserve only one-hand’s worth of clapping.

That was just too boring to pass judgment on. But David Brooks says Obama won. David Brooks. I think that’s set and match, folks.