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March 26, 2008

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And lets not forget the usual Republican pandering to the creationist end of the Religious Right.

That's going to prove more dangerous to biotech innovation than universal health care...

What a terrifying mental picture.

McCain's constant use of the phrase "my friend(s)" drives me absolutely crazy.

Well, but on the other hand, you have to give the man credit for the things he really does know more about than almost anyone. There are few people alive, much less presidential candidates, who have so much experience crashing planes, not to mention exploding aircraft carriers . . .

Fearless warrior dodges details. The war’s the thing. All else, details to distract petty minds.
He may, after all, have chosen Haggee with great care. Haggee too sees justification for his megalomania in dreams of swimming in rivers of blood. Who better to bless blood lust?
Blood bath, blood bath, rah rah rah.
McCain has suffered heroically for his country.
Now it’s his country’s turn to share in his heroism and justify it.
Bomb bomb bomb, war after war after war, “My friends”.

I’m reminded of Buck riding the Bomb as it plummets toward its target. Yeee Haaah!

Thanks, hilzoy. My problem with McCain isn't simply that he isn't all too bright. It's that he isn't even bright enough to discriminate whose advice he is taking.

Sure, no one can no everything. And there isn't a soul on this earth who knows enough about every decision a President has to make for this country. But you at least need to have the faculties to be judicious about the folks advising you.

McCain is just too dumb. Haven't we had enough of dumb for the last seven years?

What a terrifying mental picture.

No kidding. That's as bad as the picture of Joe Lieberman's head pasted onto Katherine Harris's body riding a horse that someone circulated a couple of years ago. Terrifying.

Kevin Drum had a similar riff a few days ago. Talk about Teflon.

Somewhat OT: an interview with the pilot who flew Clinton into Bosnia. It's worth listening to, if you like the idea of a basically decent and respectful military guy saying, essentially, "um, no, that didn't happen". No evasive maneuvers, no sitting on flak jackets, no sniper fire anywhere.

"Yeah, so, no evasive maneuver. Okay? I gotta tell ya, I will give it to the commander of Air Base Eagle. He had that place - you know, not only were there no bullets flying around, there wasn't a bumblebee flying around. He had that place locked up tight. He had, uh, it was really impressive. He had tanks pointing all the way around the perimeter. He had ground troops every place. He had helicopters in the air, to make sure nobody - for any ground movement. And we did the same approach we do - we did every time. And it was a steep approach but that's because there were hills around it. But it was just what we do every time - I mean, every landing into there, was the same way. (...)

RUSTY: Now let me ask you this. Those bullets—she says that there was no greeting ceremony and they were told to run to their cars. As the pilot, do you remember seeing anything like that? Run, run, run.

William "Goose" Changose: Nope, nope, I didn't… well let me just say, I didn't say it, and I was the aircraft commander. So if somebody said it, it was not part of my crew. And I'll be honest with you, I mean, if there would have been sniper fire going on Rusty, first of all we wouldn't have landed.

RUSTY: Okay.

Changose: That's number one. Number two, we wouldn't have let her outside of the plane. You know, we have contingencies for just incase something like that, we would have gone around and gone back or gone someplace. But the fact that we landed tells you that there's… there's nothing gonna happen. At least at that moment it was secure."

Am I the only person that is kinda miffed about the "red phone" and it's origin in the first place?

I mean, this is something that doesn't get a whole lot of discussion, but unless I'm wrong, the red phone, aka the "hotline" was a communications system set up back in the sixties... between us and MOSCOW!

Unless something has changed, you don't get phone calls about Radical Islam Terrorists on the red phone. It's kinda like an early warning sign that someone doesn't know what they are talking about regarding national security if they think that's how it works.

I mean, if I'm wrong, I stand corrected.

My next thought is, shouldn't the person who answers the red phone at 3 am be able to pronounce the name of the guy on the other end? Just a thought.

Sorry... this detail keeps bothering me.

Tangential, but let's support the troops by supplying ancient and substandard ammo.

Well, since he's my intern, he'd sure as hell better be doing my laundry.

For a navy pilot, McCain’s situational awareness is not good.

McCain has his history wrong and does not understand Islamic doctrine. The ‘surge’ has produced a ‘Hudna’ (justification-8:66) which in practice allows outgunned Jihadis to pause for up to ten years and regroup. As soon as the relative weakness passes, 8:65 becomes the doctrine and the violence will resume.

McCain can ‘pause’ the troops for one year, or five years, or ten years, or until the money runs out. The end result will still be internal civil conflict yielding either a victorious theocratic dictator or a victorious military dictator.

The appropriate historical parallel for the West to turn to is Russia’s ‘General Winter’. The Russian army strategically retreated in the fall before both the French and German forces. General Winter turned the tables.

We don’t have General Winter but we have General Qur’an. A strategic retreat to remote bases is all it takes. General Qur’an will destabilize the region and return it to it’s traditional status of warring tribes with limited ability to impose their will on the West. The Iraqi Shiites themselves cannot agree to share the oil. The Arab Shiite-Persian Shiite ethnic rift will be the next fissure to show up.

Kyle,

The "phone" foreign policy ads this year do not have a red phone. That's just the media's name for it, based on their recollection of the Mondale ad in 1984.

But nowadays it doesn't matter what one says, when the media starts echoing each other that something else was said. Al Gore's relationship to the internet and Dan Quayle's reported comment on Latin America are good examples.

(My favorite snark about the 3am phone call was Keith Olbermann conecting it to her sleep deprivation excuse for a false retelling of the Tuzla trip.)

To be fair, though, Obama is not entirely free of positions that are either poorly thought out, or poorly expressed. The bit about fissiles, for instance.

Not that anything resembling a ban on fissiles is ever likely to pass either the House or the Senate, much less gather any enthusiasm in countries like France and Japan, but still.

rea: There are few people alive, much less presidential candidates, who have so much experience crashing planes, not to mention exploding aircraft carriers . . .

Dude/dudette – even as snark that’s just wrong. The fire on the USS Forrestal killed 134 sailors. I’d ask you to read that entire article if you don’t actually know what happened. And being shot down over enemy territory is hardly “experience crashing planes”.

Even though it would be pretty easy to put together a similar list of gaffes for Clinton or Obama, it’s fair game to mock him for those slips. But the Forrestal fire?!?

I missed that, Steve. It's exceedingly hard to pilot any airplane that's missing a wing. McCain was lucky to have survived.

It's completely possible to criticize McCain's politics without having to lie about his past, rea.

I’m reminded of Buck riding the Bomb as it plummets toward its target. Yeee Haaah!

That was Major Kong, not Buck Turgidson.

Tsk.

On McCain: It’s not often you’ll find me in agreement with the likes of Jane Hamsher, Markos Moulitsas, Glenn Greenwald, Atrios, and freakin’ MoveOn.org… (OK so this would be the very first time.)

But I am loving this.

But I am loving this.

hope it has legs. with black boots. steel toes.

Oh, c'mon.

One: the Republican DoJ won't prosecute the Republican nominee. Why, prosecution - or even investigation! could affect his chances of getting enough votes to enable Republicans to rig the election.

Two: if by some appalling mischance this has enough legs that it can't be swept under the large, thick rug of the McCain-lovin' media, sort of like a giant wriggly fish-catching spider spinning its web somewhere very, very public, the kind of spider you see at the Zoo and tell yourself firmly has to be stuffed until it moves and you scream and jump back and everyone stares and you try not to blush... then I bet what happens is McCain rapidly admits guilt, is fined, the fine is paid, and the next morning the story is being spun by all the helpful spiders into "Honest McCain Got Confused, But Readily Admitted Fault And Paid His Fine" and the whole right-wing blogosphere will shout with one Sheloblike blurt of poison, at anyone who challenges this view, "That's old news! That's in the past! He's admitted his fault, he's paid the fine, let's move on! I thought you liberals believed in forgiveness! Double standards! Hypocrisy!"

When Republicans commit crimes, the story never has legs.

Jes: ... the whole right-wing blogosphere will shout with one Sheloblike blurt of poison, at anyone who challenges this view..

I’m thinking you haven’t closely followed how much of the RW blogosphere detests McCain for campaign finance laws.

On the FEC, it’s not the DoJ. By law half are Democrats. The chairman, David M. Mason, was nominated by Bill Clinton. So have some faith!

I’m thinking you haven’t closely followed how much of the RW blogosphere detests McCain for campaign finance laws.

Absolutely I haven't been paying much attention to what the wingnuts say about each other, you're quite right to call me on that and I'll take your word for it as someone who has undoubtedly read more wingnut blogs than I ever will. If, on the other hand, you are arguing that the RW blogosphere detests McCain more than they detest the idea of a Democratic President in 2009, well, no: short of some definite evidence, that I don't believe.

On the FEC, it’s not the DoJ. By law half are Democrats.

Does the FEC have the power to prosecute and send McCain to jail? AFAICS from their website, they have the power to impose administrative fines. Thereafter, I can't see why the scenario wouldn't go exactly as I outlined it.

Jes: If, on the other hand, you are arguing that the RW blogosphere detests McCain more than they detest the idea of a Democratic President in 2009, well, no: short of some definite evidence, that I don't believe.

No, not at all. Of course they will grit their collective teeth and support him now.

Short version: Much of the RW does not see McCain as being very friendly to the First Amendment. He was not the preferred candidate by a long shot, and McCain-Feingold was a big part of the reason (his previous stance on illegal immigration and the Gang of 14 ranked up there too, I’m not sure what would be number one if you took a poll.)

Of course they will grit their collective teeth and support him now.

Exactly. Thus, my scenario. He's the Republican nominee, he could expose himself to Congressional pages on a sunny day in front of the whole MSM, and he'd still be supported by RW blogosphere because better a Republican than President Osama or President Billary. He could also eat kittens live on primetime TV, mock the afflicted, genuflect to George W. Bush, have a snuggle with John Hagee, and not know the difference between Sunni and Shi'ite Islam. Really, all he has to do is keep breathing, and if they've still got Bush's puppethandler that was used for the debates, he probably doesn't even need to do that.

As of right now, the FEC doesn't even have the power to meet, since so many members are missing that they don't have a quorum. The nominees can't be confirmed because the Republicans are trying to add the truly odious Hans von Spakovsky to the commission; the Dems won't confirm him, and the GOPers are blocking all other nominees until they do. So this probably won't go anywhere. Still, it's nice to put your name on something calling for the rule of law

Dan: Oh yeah. I had forgotten about that… Point Jes.

A BETTER 3 AM SCENARIO:

INT. WHITE HOUSE BEDROOM - 3 A.M. - SPLIT SCREEN

AT LEFT SCREEN: The stillness of the white house is shattered by the ringing of the RED PHONE.

President HILLARY CLINTON, rouses herself from a deep sleep, picks up the receiver, and listens to the message. Nodding, she hangs up the phone.

H. CLINTON: Bill, Bill, wake up, we have a major problem…

B. CLINTON (a rustling of a blanket as he comes awake): What is it, Hill - a domestic or international crisis?

AT RIGHT SCREEN: Again, the stillness of the white house is shattered by the ringing of the RED PHONE.

President BARAK OBAMA rouses himself from a deep sleep, picks up the receiver, and listens to the message. Nodding, he hangs up the phone.

B. OBAMA: Michele, Michele wake up - we have a major problem…

M. OBAMA: (a rustling of a blanket as she comes awake): What now, Barak, did you forget to put your stinky socks in the hamper again?

CUT. PRINT IT.

JJ: I guess there is a point there, but I have to admit that I lack the nuance to “get” it.

Besides, I kind of like stinky socks… At the end of the day its kind of a benchmark – how rough a day was it?

Isn't it revealing how all of Jay Jerome's fantasy Clinton presidency sequences involve Hilary's first act being to seek Bill's counsel? He must not think much of the judgement of women.

The only point I see is that Jay should never, ever, quit his day job.

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