March 28, 2008
Does this commercial mean to imply that a certain Democratic candidate is un-American? Or perhaps even a fereigner?
Notice also that the spot uses a newspaper headline reading, "McCain: Ready On Day One." We have the Clinton campaign to thank for that one.
March 27, 2008
(by Al Sharpton of all people):
I seem to remember thinking Greta was intelligent when she was on CNN. Proof that Fox News makes people stupid? Or maybe it was just her horrible plastic surgery...
For the record, I agree with every single thing Rev. Wright said in the clips chosen by Van Susteren with the exception of Wright's last soundbite about Bill Clinton -- but I admit I don't know the full context of that last clip and perhaps Wright has a legitimate gripe about how Clinton treated Black people. Also, calling Condoleeza Rice "CondoSKEEZA" undermines Sharpton's argument that Wright didn't use any derogatory terms. However, it was a) funny (unlike Imus' comment about the innocent women on the Rutgers Basketball team) and b) aimed at a not-so-innocent individual.
The creators of South Park have launched a new site featuring free streams of every single episode of South Park ever made because they were "really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time. So we gave ourselves a legal alternative." (There are a few legal exceptions such as having to temporarily remove current season episodes seven days after they have aired -- but that's not their fault.) The site is amazing and easy to navigate. It also includes clips, news, an episode guide, games and "crap" (downloads, stuff to buy, etc.). Click below to begin wasting hours of your life:
Television is dead. Long live television.
March 26, 2008
Perhaps his most famous role, from 1947's Kiss of Death:
I can't imagine that's how he'd have wanted his career to be remembered but not everyone can lay claim to creating such an iconically evil character. And it was his first movie role, to boot!
Widmark gets extra props for this
A passionate liberal Democrat, Mr. Widmark played a bigot who baits a black doctor in Joseph Mankiewicz’s “No Way Out” (1950). He was so embarrassed by the character that after every scene he apologized to the young actor he was required to torment, Sidney Poitier.
Okay, cheap shot. Even for me. (But I bet you laughed.)
March 25, 2008
"The cease-fire is over; we have been told to fight the Americans," said one Mahdi Army militiaman...But wait! Didn't John McCain say the surge was working just one day ago?
"We're succeeding. I don't care what anybody says. I've seen the facts on the ground," the Arizona senator insisted a day after a roadside bomb in Baghdad killed four U.S. soldiers and rockets pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone there, and a wave of attacks left at least 61 Iraqis dead nationwide.I think it's pretty clear what we all need to do in November.
Last night, I couldn't get through more than 5 minutes of the FRONTLINE documentary I plugged below. It was no fault of the actual production which was smart and obviously professional. The problem was I couldn't bare to relive all of the bullshit our country was spoon-fed post 9/11 in the run-up to this illegal, costly, deadly war. Particularly frightening was having to listen to Donald Rumsfeld all over again. The horror. The horror.
March 24, 2008
March 23, 2008
March 22, 2008
March 20, 2008
(Click to watch)
MATTHEWS: What is the disconnect between Barack Obama and working-class regular guys, the guy you call—and I don‘t even like phrases like that, Joe six-pack, Joe bag of donuts...As I suggested yesterday, I think the big question come November will be whether the American people are smart enough to vote for the smart guy. Fingers crossed...
MAHER: Well, you know, I can sort of understand why that is. And—and I think we all have sympathy for people who are struggling, basically, economically.
I thought it was great that Barack Obama, in the speech, made the point that you are not being kept down by the immigrants or the black guy. That is not who is your problem. Your problem is the corporation, the greedy corporation and those people who—who put politicians in office, who do the bidding of those corporations, who rapaciously plunder the workers‘ pensions, who take their jobs overseas and so forth. That is the real problem...
That is the challenge for a politician like Obama, or really any Democrat, is to convince those people who their real problem is. And their real problem is that corporations have taken over America...
MATTHEWS: But John McCain is going to be tricky, though, for the Democrats, because he is a war hero. And although you list that—that list of attack on the Republican policies if you are a regular person, how it hurts you economically, suppose they go into that voting booth in November, and they don‘t choose between their economic interests and the richer guy‘s economic interests; they choose the war hero, the guy they identify with personally?
MAHER: Well, that is very—that is very possible.
You know, we are one terrorist attack away from John McCain, I‘m sure, rising in the polls by 10 points, because people think, oh, yes, he is tougher. Of course, he is not tougher about the war. He‘s dumber about the war. He‘s dumb about the war, because he thinks that, by keeping troops in the heart of the Muslim world, that‘s going to help the war on terror.
That‘s exactly what started the war on terror. That‘s why bin Laden was so angry at the U.S., is, because we had troops in Saudi Arabia. And we pulled them out after 9/11, by the way. Of course, then, we go right back in and plant them in the—in the heart of the Muslim world and build Pizza Huts.
That is why young Muslim men want to come here and blow themselves up and kill us. And, until we solve that mental problem, we‘re never going to win this war on terror. It is not about what happens in Iraq. We need to get out of Iraq, not—not build bases there.
March 19, 2008
I'm guessing this isn't the kind of scrutiny the Clinton campaign was hoping for when they released Hillary's schedules as First Lady:
Clinton says her years as first lady equip her to handle foreign policy and national security as president.And unfortunately, the first half of the article highlights the fact that she was home a half dozen times while Bill was having his little fun with Monica Lewinsky. Ah, good times during the Clinton years.
But the schedules show trips packed with plainly traditional activities for a first lady, along with some substance.
For example, in her January 1994 visit to Russia with her husband, her schedule is focused on events with other wives. She sat in on a birthing class at a hospital, toured a cathedral and joined prominent women in a lunch of blinis with caviar and salmon.
The Clinton campaign said the schedules are merely a guide and don't reflect all of her activities.
The papers show her tackling health care reform out of the gate in 1993, with a meeting three days after her husband's inauguration and many more as the year went on, before her effort ultimately failed.
She was also involved in helping her husband win congressional approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a deal she now criticizes and says she would try to change.
Her White House policy role diminished markedly after the collapse of the health care initiative.
Oh, and btw: Hillary voted for the war. How presidential of her.
Surprise! Liberals loved it and right-wing hacks hated it. Here's Adam McKay's thoughtful and humorous response:
Barack Obama spoke like an enlightened leader from 2008 instead of like the fake cowboy from 1885 that most politicians evoke or like a pharmaceutical salesman talking about change, but "not that much change" at a team building exercise in Tahoe. In other words, he didn't pass the buck to save his own ass. It was a monumental moment in modern American politics. He didn't distract, deflect, or attempt to frighten. He didn't accuse, declare war, or get angry. He didn't game play, scape goat, or blame. Can you imagine? We need to engrave this shit onto a commemorative coin fast.And here's an example from the right:
Let’s call it another good con job from the substanceless Obamessiah and simply accept that he’ll never answer why his closest advisor aside from his wife hates white people with a blinding fury nor why that’s completely cool with him.(TBogg has more gems, if you can stomach them. I'm going to guess that the majority of these white men did not watch the entire speech and chose instead to watch the "highlights" on Fox News.)
One of the best reactions came courtesy of Jon Stewart and the Daily Show who correctly noted that Barack Obama actually spoke to us as if we were adults:
And Jon and Larry Wilmore hilariously demonstrated how much work we still have to do in order to heal the racial divide:
As I was walking my dogs last night, I did have one fear while reflecting on Obama's speech (and no, it was not the kind of fear Obama's white grandmother has admitted to having): What if Obama is too smart to be elected president? The response on the right convinces me that my fear may not be unfounded.
Toast used to be able to fetch a tennis ball for hours, without regard for my health, mood or state of inebriation. This thing would've rocked my world:
Remember this guy?
Here are James Blake Miller's thoughts on Bush's war:
"There’s a fine line between helping someone and you know, more or less taking over. And I feel that we do that. And I think we’ve really crossed that boundary with Iraq."And now he's home and his life has been torn apart. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has separated from his wife. "I can't identify with 'home' anymore," he says. Very sad. Yet Georgie thinks the war has been a great success and has no regrets...
The Huffington Post succinctly sums up Bush's success:
(Click for more)
March 18, 2008
This is moral leadership:
"This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign - to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction - towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren."
Dick Cheney on the "successful" Iraq War:
"If you look back on those five years it has been a difficult, challenging but nonetheless successful endeavor ... and it has been well worth the effort."Almost 4,000 dead U.S. soldiers? Over 132,000 wounded? More than 40,000 Iraqi civilian deaths? Plus a 3 trillion price tag? "Well worth the effort"??? Whose fucking effort Dick?
March 17, 2008
March 14, 2008
The Obama campaing responds to a completely idiotic memo sent by the Clinton campaign to reporters and bloggers:
To: Interested PartiesI love this. It's almost as if someone from the wonderful World-O-Crap provided the pitch-perfect snark.
From: Clinton Campaign
Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Re: Keystone Test: Obama Losing Ground [Get ready for a good one.]
The path to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue goes through Pennsylvania so if Barack Obama can't win there, how will he win the general election?
[Answer: I suppose by holding obviously Democratic states like California and New York, and beating McCain in swing states like Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin where Clinton lost to Obama by mostly crushing margins. But good question.]
After setbacks in Ohio and Texas, Barack Obama needs to demonstrate that he can win the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is the last state with more than 15 electoral votes on the primary calendar and Barack Obama has lost six of the seven other largest states so far -- every state except his home state of Illinois.
[If you define "setback" as netting enough delegates out of our 20-plus-point wins in Mississippi and Wyoming to completely erase any delegate advantage the Clinton campaign earned out of March 4th, then yeah, we feel pretty setback.]
Pennsylvania is of particular importance, along with Ohio, Florida and Michigan, because it is dominated by the swing voters who are critical to a Democratic victory in November. No Democrat has won the presidency without winning Pennsylvania since 1948. And no candidate has won the Democratic nomination without winning Pennsylvania since 1972.
[What the Clinton campaign secretly means: PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT WE'VE LOST 14 OF THE LAST 17 CONTESTS AND SAID THAT MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA WOULDN'T COUNT FOR ANYTHING. Also, we're still trying to wrap our minds around the amazing coincidence that the only "important" states in the nominating process are the ones that Clinton won.]
But the Obama campaign has just announced that it is turning its attention away from Pennsylvania.
This is not a strategy that can beat John McCain in November.
[I don't think Clinton's strategy of losing in state after state after promising more of the same politics is working all that well either.]
In the last two weeks, Barack Obama has lost ground among men, women, Democrats, independents and Republicans -- all of which point to a candidacy past its prime.
["A candidacy past its prime." These guys kill me.]
For example, just a few weeks ago, Barack Obama won 68% of men in Virginia, 67% in Wisconsin and 62% in Maryland. He won 60% of Virginia women and 55% of Maryland women. He won 62% of independents in Maryland, 64% in Wisconsin and 69% in Virginia. Obama won 59% of Democrats in Maryland, 53% in Wisconsin and 62% in Virginia. And among Republicans, Obama won 72% in both Virginia and Wisconsin.
But now Obama's support has dropped among all these groups.
[That's true, if you don't count all the winning we've been up to. As it turns out, it's difficult to maintain 40-point demographic advantages, even over Clinton]
In Mississippi, he won only 25% of Republicans and barely half of independents. In Ohio, he won only 48% of men, 41% of women and 42% of Democrats. In Texas, he won only 49% of independents and 46% of Democrats. And in Rhode Island, Obama won just 33% of women and 37% of Democrats.
[I'm sympathetic to their attempt to parse crushing defeats. And I'm sure Rush Limbaugh's full-throated endorsement of Clinton didn't make any difference. Right]
Why are so many voters turning away from Barack Obama in state after state?
[You mean besides the fact that we're ahead in votes, states won and delegates?]
In the last few weeks, questions have arisen about Obama's readiness to be president. In Virginia, 56% of Democratic primary voters said Obama was most qualified to be commander-in-chief. That number fell to 37% in Ohio, 35% in Rhode Island and 39% in Texas.
[Only the Clinton campaign could cherry pick states like this. But in contrast to their logic, in the most recent contest of Mississippi, voters said that Obama was more qualified to be commander in chief than Clinton by a margin of 55-42.]
So the late deciders -- those making up their minds in the last days before the election -- have been shifting to Hillary Clinton. Among those who made their decision in the last three days, Obama won 55% in Virginia and 53% in Wisconsin, but only 43% in Mississippi, 40% in Ohio, 39% in Texas and 37% in Rhode Island.
[If only there were enough late deciders for the Clinton campaign to actually be ahead, they would really be on to something.]
If Barack Obama cannot reverse his downward spiral with a big win in Pennsylvania, he cannot possibly be competitive against John McCain in November.
[If they are defining downward spiral as a series of events in which the Clinton campaign has lost more votes, lost more contests and lost more delegates to us ... I guess we will have to suffer this horribly painful slide all the way to the nomination and then on to the White House.]
[Thanks for the laughs guys. This was great.]
Last night at Bob Mould's Irving Plaza concert in NYC, my wife said she felt like she was seeing a member of The Beatles. I don't know if I'd go that far but a strong case could be made that Mould along with Grant Hart were indeed the Lennon & McCartney of American Punk during their stint as co-leaders of Minneapolis' Hüsker Dü. Nearly three decades later, Bob is still kicking out the jams like it was 1981 all over again (Grant, however, seems to be M.I.A. Where are you, dude?).
During last night's show, Bob whipped out songs from his entire career, covering Hüsker Dü ("I Apologize"), his early solo career ("See A Little Light"), his work with Sugar ("A Good Idea") and his later solo work ("Egoverride"), all the way up to his most recent release, District Line. All of these stages of his career have had the same things in common: Intelligent and melodic songwriting, passionate vocals and scorching guitar work. And all of these were present last night.
For a taste of what the show was like, here's a clip from Bob's DVD, Circle of Friends, the shoulda-been-a-hit in a better world, "If I Can't Change Your Mind":
(Click to watch)
The show also featured an interesting opening act, a band called Halou from the Bay Area. Sort of a cross between the Cocteau Twins, Sigur Rós and My Bloody Valentine:
Online Videos by Veoh.com
You can get their music here.
And, in between bands, Irving Plaza showed this great video from Bat for Lashes, "What's a Girl to Do":
(Click to watch)
It was a great night. But I've gotta admit, it's not 1981 anymore and my ears are not the youthful receptors they once were. Hopefully I'll get used to this constant ringing...
March 13, 2008
March 12, 2008
In case you haven't heard, Dawn Wells ("Mary Ann" from Gilligan's Island) was arrested for marijuana possession.
This is not an endorsement of recreational drug use, but I'm willing to bet that the following clip was created by or for people under the influence:
(Click to watch Dawn Wells talk about her teeth with Space Ghost)
March 10, 2008
Eliot Spitzer, he of the $4,300 per hour hooker fame, recently said his super-delegate pledge to Hillary Clinton was rock solid.
I'm assuming if he resigns, he loses his vote, no?
March 07, 2008
via The Huffington Post:
It will come as a surprise to many people that there are rules in politics. Most of those rules are unwritten and are based on common understandings, acceptable practices, and the best interest of the political party a candidate seeks to lead. One of those rules is this: Do not provide ammunition to the opposition party that can be used to destroy your party's nominee. This is a hyper-truth where the presidential contest is concerned.Hillary has gone so deep into the mud, I'm afraid her fingernails must be getting pretty dirty:
By saying that only she and John McCain are qualified to lead the country, particularly in times of crisis, Hillary Clinton has broken that rule, severely damaged the Democratic candidate who may well be the party's nominee, and, perhaps most ominously, revealed the unlimited lengths to which she will go to achieve power. She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her.
As a veteran of red telephone ads and "where's the beef" cleverness, I am keenly aware that sharp elbows get thrown by those trailing in the fourth quarter (and sometimes even earlier). "Politics ain't beanbag," is the old slogan. But that does not mean that it must also be rule-or-ruin, me-first-and-only-me, my way or the highway. That is not politics. That is raw, unrestrained ambition for power that cannot accept the will of the voters.
Senator Obama is right to say the issue is judgment not years in Washington. If Mrs. Clinton loses the nomination, her failure will be traced to the date she voted to empower George W. Bush to invade Iraq. That is not the kind of judgment, or wisdom, required by the leader answering the phone in the night. For her now to claim that Senator Obama is not qualified to answer the crisis phone is the height of irony if not chutzpah, and calls into question whether her primary loyalty is to the Democratic party and the nation or to her own ambition.
Editor's Note: I am in no way endorsing physical violence against Hillary Clinton. I'm just saying that she must meet a lot of in-ter-esting people on the campaign trail...
"The events of September the 11th, 2001 demonstrated the threats of a new era. I say 'new' because we found that oceans which separate us from separate -- different continents no longer separate us from danger," which is, like, one of the Rude Pundit's favorite Bush administration mantras because every time Bush says it, the earth rumbles with the sounds of dead Native Americans spinning.
Yesterday I vented my anger at the Clinton campaign for comparing Barack Obama to Ken Starr. Today an Obama adviser called Clinton "a monster" who is "stooping to anything." What's the difference? Well, Barack Obama clearly is no Ken Starr. Clinton? Take it away Keith:
So, okay, if we want to talk semantics, perhaps "monster" was the wrong term to use. The adviser should have said "Republican."
March 06, 2008
Here's a little observation about something big in Texas courtesy of a Rude Pundit reader:
"I can tell you that Clinton did not *win* the popular vote in Texas. We are the state of the 19-percenters, Huckabee-lovers and Hagee. Republicans knew that McCain would win Ohio and since in Texas we have open primaries, the RNC, Texas Repubs and Rush had been telling all their zombies to vote Clinton because they think they can beat her. My own mother, who hasn't voted for a Democrat for 40 years, told me that she voted for Hillary because 'you know, I support McCain, so I voted for her like everyone else up here.' My mother wasn't our only contact to verify our suspicions. All those rural counties with few votes...Republicans to the core and they HATE Hillary with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Although I live in an Obama county near the George HW Bush Presidential Library, we must have had a huge number of crossovers ourselves because Huckabee nearly beat McCain here."Of course, this goes against the story the media is currently creating and/or lapping up: That Hillary has Big Mo' and Obama is back on the ropes. So no one's going to look into this.
Personally, I wish this thing had been declared over on Tuesday. Every single day this thing drags on, more nastiness and stupidity will be spewed by idiots (and more ammo will be provided to the Republicans for the actual election). Take this latest Clinton low for example:
Aides to Sen. Hillary Clinton accused Sen. Barack Obama of adopting Republican talking points and acting like Ken Starr for launching a more aggressive campaign following his losses in Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island on Tuesday.Fortunately, I don't think it does the Clinton campaign any good to bring up Ken Starr. Nobody wants to relive that nightmare (and that's quite possibly what a Clinton candidacy is going to be).
Citing few specific instances in which Obama had averted to GOP form, Howard Wolfson, Clinton's chief spokesperson, nevertheless denounced the Illinois Senator's new rhetoric, such as pressing for Clinton to release her tax returns and contrasting his dealings with indicted Chicago-insider Tony Rezko to her investments in Whitewater.
March 05, 2008
Look, I really don't want to hate Hillary Clinton but she just makes it so damn impossible not to. Seriously, WTF? Why is she praising John McCain while trashing Barack Obama?!?!
Thanks Ohio. Thanks Texas. Now we're stuck with her at least until Philadelphia if not (someone please forbid) longer.
March 04, 2008
She's also an idiot when it comes to big decisions:
I personally cannot stomach her anymore. However, if you think you can handle it, here is Clinton's Hail Mary appearance on The Daily Show last night. Choosing to go live via satellite ranks right up there as another "great" decision (awkward satellite delays simply make things, um, awkward). Surrounding her self with zombie youths was not too bright either. I'm guessing the not-so-flattering camera angle was not her choice but you never know...
March 03, 2008
Evan Handler, yes the Evan Handler of Sex & the City fame, has written one of the most compelling arguments yet as to why you should vote for Barack Obama:
...Besides what I have experienced as his superior demonstrations of strength, composure, restraint, and reasoning during their last two one-on-one debates, Senator Obama has structured his campaign around what I feel is an irrefutable truth: the United States government will never again function efficiently unless United States citizens force it to do so. His insistence that the U.S. government must serve its citizenry, and his acknowledgment that it will do so only if the citizenry once again holds its government accountable is a statement so simplistic that it is, for some, dismissible. It also happens to be a truism so profound that it might, I have come to hope, be unstoppable...Click the link above to read the entire post.
...I do not doubt Senator Clinton's heartfelt desire to do well for the American people. The crucial difference is she continues to insist she knows what's best for those people even as they reject her insistence, while Senator Obama states over and over that what he wants is to assist the American people in doing well for themselves. The most crucial way they can help themselves, he stresses, is to create a government that works for them in the ways they want it to, and to exercise oversight to ensure it achieves its missions. There must be accountability in order to have success, he says. To have accountability, there must be transparency. He encourages us to insist upon both, and once the view has been cleared, to keep our eyes peeled.
Some insist that's all he's saying, though I don't see that to be the case. What he is doing that might make it appear that way is repeatedly relating every idea and policy position back to that central theme. But he doesn't seem to be doing that solely out of a desire to stay "on message." He seems to be doing it as a result of his understanding that without those conditions of transparency and accountability being met, nothing else is possible. At least nothing other than what we've seen for the past seven, fifteen, twenty-three, or forty-odd years.
A government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It's not a revolutionary thought -- at least not like it was when the notion was first conceived. It is, however, a stunningly unusual platform for a contemporary presidential candidate. With increasing consistency, each of our more recent candidates has stressed what he is going to provide to the populace, either as an entitlement program, or as a tax break. Concurrently, we've recently endured a nearly decade-long period of previously unthinkable power grabbing and consolidation by the executive branch of our government. Of even greater concern than the power grabbing has been the purposeful erosion of the divisions between the executive, the judicial, and the legislative braches. Attorneys General refusing not only to indict, but even to testify truthfully; Justice Department employees enforcing executive branch vendettas, then refusing to appear in answer to subpoenas; Supreme Court justices ordering an end to the counting of votes. Senator Obama is not raising his flagship position out of the ether, or, as far as I can see, out of excessive opportunism or ambition. He's speaking out about a very real crisis -- one of existential proportions -- in the history, health, and wellbeing of our republic. And he's doing so without histrionics, with tremendous grace and understatement. He seems increasingly to me to be a man of vast insight, both in terms of what he's trying to accomplish, and in terms of his methods of attempting to accomplish it...