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October 15, 2008

Comments

Very well said.

Just a quick comment about the whole Ayers issue. This is not the first time he has said he couldn't care less about a washed up terrorist, but...

To me, the obvious response of most people facing all the other challenges of today should be, "So why should we?" And he didn't say why.

Also lying about Ayers saying he regretted not setting more bombs, which Ayers did not say.

I don't mean to feed the troll, so let me say this as a general point of admiration.

Obama's cool and grace amaze me. Had someone dumped that load of sleaze on me, I'd have been spluttering with anger. Instead, Obama kept his dignity and set the record straight. He even managed, without seeming petty, frightened, or pleading, to put the Palinite mob on notice that about their hatemongering and threats.

Can you believe we had a debate this spring about whether this man was ready for the pressure of the presidency? Obama could give Laurence Fishburne lessons in keeping your cool.

i deleted the troll -- next time, permanent ban.

Well said indeed, Publius.

The sad thing here, from McCain's point of view, is that had he run an honest, respectful, issues/qualifications-oriented campaign he might be solidly ahead at ths point.

Have him choose a decent running mate and stay away from all the Ayers/ACORN nonsense and there's a strong chance he would be winning.

If Obama wins it may demonstrate that sleazy campaigns can turn on the candidate and lose an election. Ironic if that ends up being McCain's last service to the country.

gee, I saw he had made a comment and I came to read it. The troll's comments are so ridiculous I actually find them amusing. It must have been pretty drastic this time to be banned.

mss: That is exactly why the McCain attempts to make him look like a risk fail

Although he showed considerable courage while a POW, John McCain is no great man. He is a rank opportunist whose personal conduct has been reprehensible.

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/make_believe_maverick_the_real_john_mccain

I do wonder what the self-styled "family values" crowd sees in McCain. According to the words attributed to Jesus (Mark 10:11 and Luke 16:18), McCain's marriage to the (diverted) drug thief Cindy constitutes a present state of ongoing adultery. Moreover, McCain's history of horndoggery (while still in active service such that it constituted criminal conduct under the UCMJ) would put Bill Clinton to shame.

I suspect that those who crow longest and loudest about "family values" simply have a fetus fetish.

I don't know why we're still beating this dead horse of John McCain as a Man Of Honor...

This Man only existed in McCain's view of himself and a lazy media. Nothing he has done outside his sacrifices in Hanoi give evidence to this. A good man destroyed is a sad thing. This is a bad, small-minded, petty man, and it takes a lot of restraint for me not to enjoy his come-uppance.

Publius I'm curious what about McCain you think is or has been "great", in any sense.

Breaking news: Governor Palin is stepping down from the ticket, and the new ticket is McCain/Joe The Plumber '08. Or did I mishear, and it's McCain that's stepping aside in favor of Joe The Plumber?

Re: Bernard Yomtov

I think had McCain run an honor centered campaign, he'd still be losing. The fundamentals are just too against any Republican. That said, I think he'd be losing slightly less. And I think he'd be hurting down ticket R's much less.

That said, I really don't think there's enough honor in McCain to base a campaign around it.

"Tonight, the great man not only brought up the Ayers nonsense (see Pajamas Media point above), but he actually accused Obama and Ayers of being part of some grand conspiracy to subsidize ACORN."

Oh noes, spoilers!

"i deleted the troll -- next time, permanent ban."

Huh? What troll? What did it say?

I thought it was by far his BEST performance. I feared McCain might have hit a home run.

However, I was more than sick of "Joe the Plumber" before he completed his first mention and he mentioned it 21 times. What a mess. Whoever in his camp of "expert lobbyists" came up with this gimmick should be fired IMMEDIATELY.

Let me tell you - if you own a house or condo -- you know plumbers are a fricking racket and are organized shake down artists. For Mccain to wrap himself up in joe the plumbers is a MASSIVE disaster that will backfire with every home and condo owner in America (except for those who are plumbers).

Joe the Plumber and McCain and Palin can now can go jump into a sewer and pull the lid closed behind themselves.

Guess you can see I was not swayed by McCain... And to think I voted straigt GOP from 1978 though the 2002 election.

Is it just me, or does McCain seem kind of pop-eyed?

This campaign has shown McCain to be anything but a "great man." Arrogant "I can't believe I'm losing to this guy" schmuck is more like it.

I've seen all I ever want to see of McMaverick. Once he gets the tar beat out of him, perhaps he'll show the good grace to disappear from public life. One hopes so.

McCain hasn't been able to express a rationale for why he should be president. Experience and being a POW doesn't fit the bill. And if he can't even remember that his running mate's kid has Downs and not autism then he's just not up to running the country.

here’s a man who has given a great deal of himself to public service — sometimes at the expense of his party

Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't see it that way. Public service involves more than shoehorning yourself into positions of power and then sitting there for decades. We need our best minds and our wisest counselors in government service and McCain is not and never has been one of them. He's deprived all of us of a competent agent in the Senate by taking up a spot that should be filled by a better smarter Senator. And of course, this isn't the first time. He took a spot at the Naval Academy that should have gone to a better more disciplined student who didn't have his family connections. He took a spot in flight school that should have gone to a better potential pilot. He's always been focused on self-aggrandizement through public service. Government is too important to be a crutch for working out one's daddy issues.

"Government is too important to be a crutch for working out one's daddy issues."

All the more reason not to vote for the guy who was abandoned by his daddy and then wrote a book about it, "Dreams from My Father".

I was kinda with you before this debate began, Pub, and was talking to my sister about how we kinda felt sorry that a decent-seeming guy like McCain had sunk this low.

But then I heard him say that he was proud of all the people that show up to McCain/Palin rallies.

To hell with him. When given the chance to repudiate calls for violence, he said he's proud of the mobs that want to kill Obama.

If I didn't know any better, I'd say we're lucky Bush beat him in 2000. But then, I figure it'd probably turn out about the same. Depressing.

The RNC is quitting Maine and Wisconsin, by the way.

All the more reason not to vote for the guy who was abandoned by his daddy and then wrote a book about it, "Dreams from My Father".

What specifically in the book makes you think Obama is working out personal issues by running for or being president? I mean, you wouldn't say something like that without having read the book and knowing what its about, right?

[email protected]:22- I love the headline.
RNC out of Wisconsin, Maine; focuses on red states
When Indiana is somewhere McCain needs to play defense I can go to bed a contented man.

Evidence that the McCain campaign are losing their minds.

I should say "McCain and the Republicans," just to be clear. I'm tempted to say "the bad guys," but that'd just be mean.

This campaign has revealed exactly what a sham the whole "honorable man" shtick was. You know, actual honorable men do not toot their own horns as loudly and often as this guy has over the years. They don't need to.

Pointless caveat: I was a Republican and a McCain supporter in 2000.

That pointlessness aside, McCain's current presidential campaign and the debate tonight has been complete and utter incoherence. Nothing has made sense. Nothing he has done or said has represented a strategy. Nothing makes the least bit of sense.

I am am also tired of the continuing refrain - "this is not the McCain I know". This is McCain. Regardless of the idiots and vipers he let into his den, he chose his positions. He chose his running mate. He chose his tone. And as a result he has failed. At every attempt, Obama has thrwarted him, and McCain has no coherent response. Even tonight, McCain amazingly asked Obama to repudiate John Lewis' statements (because apparently Obama must repudiate every statement from anyone even associated with the Democratic Party), and then when confronted with the point that people shouted "terrorist" and "kill" Obama at his own rallies, McCain said that he would never question the patriotism of the crowds at his rallies. It was completely ignorant and misguided.

The entire campaign has demonstrated the bankruptcy of the current Republican party, and the vapidness of their arguments.

Fred is absolutely right: Obama had daddy issues as an adolescent and as a young man, and wrote a book large parts of which speak to how he responded to those issues nearly twenty years ago, and how he's basically been able to resolve them and move on. I guess this means he shouldn't be President. Where you're going to find a candidate who's never had daddy issues ever will be a trick; maybe it's time for a robot President? An amnesiac President? And, oh, yeah, McCain had Salter write a book or two about his daddy issues, too, and the comment Fred is replying to was clearly implying McCain is running to finally get out of his father's shadow (which dynamic has been just peachy these last eight years). Shorter me: Fail, Fred, Fail.

I'm not sure Bill Kristol is one of McCain's "closest supporters". Kristol supported Romney during the primaries, didn't he? And I'm pretty sure he loathed McCain for his initial stand against torture.

McCain a great man? Piffle! He is unfit to serve.

I think the biggest miss for Obama tonight was on the issues of vouchers. Vouchers always sound better in a speech than any actual results they show. The voucher system in DC, not to mention Minnestoa and every other location they have been implemented, have been a failure. They have not shown any change in in the testing results of students (although testing is not an adeqaute measure of success) that have transferred. Furthermore, the voucher systems established in cities funnel money out of needy schools into "successful" schools, thus leaving many public schools further strained. Vouchers take public moneys and divert them from schools that need the funds for improvements, and those schools end up even worse off than before. I felt that was a missed opportunity for Obama.

Surly, I agree with you on policy, but the answer on politics is right there in your second sentence: people often like the sound of vouchers. I don't think it would have been wise for Obama to spend 45 seconds trying to rapidly educate people on why they were wrong. He said he was against vouchers, which I assume you like, and he seems to be handling the politics of the situation just fine.

Obama showed admirable restraint in leaving Keating out. Also, too when asked about Palin he could have cleverly responded with three words: Emperor's New Clothes. But he didn't. Hats off to him. He was just so... what's the right word?

Oh, yeah: Presidential.

You may be right Warren. I hate vouchers because I have studied them and personally know they do not accomplish their intended purpose. I guess I just wished that there was a better or more robust explanation why they fail to provide the results so many insist they actually provide.

That wasn't the only issue I think Obama missed an opportunity to gain points, just the most glaring one at this point.However, d that I do not think it should be the purview of the federal government to provide additional funding at a national leve for education. I think that the federal government should provide more of an oversight role rather than act as a funding source for education. I disagree with obama on increasing monies for schools.

The RNC is quitting Maine and Wisconsin, by the way.

Good riddance, and get the hell out of my state.

Surly, if schools must forever be dependent on local funding alone, what do you do about the huge gap in funds between rich and poor districts?

Pool the money under the control of the state and redistribute based on a formula gtht gives more per pupil where more is needed.

I think Iowa does that.

Man, when this all shakes out, McCain's biography-- what's going through his head, and how he deals with the aftermath-- is actually going to be some really interesting reading.

Could McCain really handle being in the Senate under President Obama, especially after throwing away his reputation for nothing? I'm beginning to wonder whether he'll announce his retirement after the election for health reasons and disappear from the scene.

http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2008/10/joe-plumber-wait-wait-wait-that-sounds.html>Joe the Plumber (by way of The Rude One)
---
Even if one considers the Son of Cain decent, parts of his party clearly are not.
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/waterboard-him.html>This from Sacramento

It's not even a real campaign at this point: McCain is just going through the motions. He got what he wanted months ago, the affirmation of a Republican Presidential nomination. Actually being President would just be a load of hard work, and retirement beckons.

Anyway, I doubt the guy could run a serious Presidential campaign even if he wanted to: All his experience is running against other Republicans, the general election campaigns he's been in haven't been very hard fought. Heck, back in 2000 he explicitly tried to win the Republican nomination with the votes of Democrats! At one time there was actually talk of his switching parties.

He's never had to run a serious campaign against a Democrat, and it shows. He really doesn't know how to do it.

The blood would really be flying if Obama were a conservative Republican, though! ;)

All the more reason not to vote for the guy who was abandoned by his daddy and then wrote a book about it, "Dreams from My Father".

As if McCain's career hadn't been one big daddy (and granddaddy) issue. Obama dealt with his daddy issue by surpassing the man; McCain is still trying to be catch up with his.

A surprising number of successful politicians actually have what you could call "daddy issues" - or, more broadly, parent issues. Generally bereavement. The majority of British prime ministers over the last two centuries lost a parent, generally their father, in childhood - far more than you would expect from that demographic. Four of Australia's last five prime ministers were fatherless by age 35.
Add in similar events - for example, Tony Blair's father's serious but non-fatal stroke when Blair was 16 - and the numbers go up further...

Did anyone else notice McCain's proposal to fix education by allowing anyone exiting the military to teach without 'certification'?
(He did the sarcastic finger quotes around 'certification', just as he did around women's 'health' when discussing abortion.)

Not only does McCain not know how to run against a Democrat, a Democrat can use the knock-out punch no conservative rival could utter: "But John, you *are* a wingnut; you just play a moderate on teevee."

McCain still seems thrown by this. His campaign never escaped the delusion that he had the middle sown up, and just needed to get rightwingers on board.

Andrew-

Haha, yes, what was that all about? I and the people we were watching it with just started laughing when McCain mentioned this program about troops going straight to the classroom without having to take these confounded (finger quote) "exams." It didn't seem to go over well with the CNN audience, either.

The key for me -- besides the 'health of the mother' quote, was the way McCain spoke about a 'cospiracy to destroy the Democratic process in this country' -- or however he put it, and everyone treated him like a sidewalk preacher trying to convince you 'the end of the world is nigh, REPENT!' as you were hurrying to work.

The only question left in the Presidential race is how many 'red states' McCain will manage to turn blue. (I've been predicting 400 EVs for Obama since mid-April.)Time for us to concentrate on the down ticket races -- and please don't ignore the state legislature -- they'll be the ones in charge of redictricting in many states.

But, barring some incredible catastrophe, get the marmalade for McCain. He's toast.

Though personally liberal, I edit a nonpartisan Web site for women over 40. My board,liveblogging for the very first time, was not amused, especially http://tinyurl.com/3udg2l>when it came to health care. They also wearied of the games: " Joe The Plumber is back again. Who knew he was this sick?"

The RNC is quitting Maine and Wisconsin, by the way.

McCain's plan is a white flag of surrender and that is not what our Republicans need to hear today, that's for sure.

To riff on Brett B's comment @ 07:20: it's funny, but the same career electoral dynamics - of not having had to run tough election campaigns - has been been charged against Barack Obama as well. Supposedly part of the "inexperience" jibe against him was that his elections for the Illinois Statehouse (once he had gotten in) were as an "insider" running from a "safe" district; and that his 2004 Senate run was just an astounding bit of luck due to a GOP implosion.

That said, though: Obama (making the probably correct assumption that he IS running his show himself) has certainly proved his campaigning ability this year. (Aided, of course, by a Republican effort that has been just purely godawful*). He seems to have done most things right this time, to get through a bruising primaries fight, and then a national campaign. And stay ahead.

*I've been following Presidential campaigns since Kennedy/Nixon, and can't, offhand, (outside of George McGovern's in 1972) think of one that has been SO mismanaged as John McCain's this year.

"I mean, McCain — echoing the most feverish of the fever swamps — actually accused Obama of supporting denying health care to newborns."

That's because he did. Obama can deny his radical abortion record all he wants, but the bottom line is that he voted against legislation in Illinois that would have provided basic medical care to children how survive abortions. McCain was right to finally bring it up, but I strongly suspect it's too little, too late.

Ugh. replace "how" with "who"

Yes, but didn't he support the Federal version of the same bill?

I commented last night that McCain had better be darn sure that Joe The Plumber (1) loved McCain, (2) was telegenic, and (3) would stand up to scrutiny. I can't see video on this device, but from a few blog posts and comments it appears that McCain is OK for (1), I'll assume a pass on (2) - but (3) is a fairly bad Fail. It seems Joe's understanding of his tax liability under Obama's plan is wrong, unsurprisingly, but more importantly according to a brief at TPM, Joe just compared Obama to Sammy Davis Junior. Don't get me wrong, as a Jew I was raised to have a great deal of affection for Davis, but there is no way to make that comparison and not appear racist; doubly so to anyone who remembers that a lot of the Rat Pack's stage show portrayed Davis as an obsequious and infantilized willing victim.

Ex-Soldiers as schoolteachers? That was the traditional Prussian retirement plan for invalid soldiers.

I guess Joe is getting his fifteen minutes on the morning talk shows. According to politico he isn't a registered voter. According to a Kos Diary he he isn't listed as having a license to be a plumber. (Although that could be some kind of easily explained mistake). According to Joe himself he is not in the tax bracket to get taxed under Obama's plan.

I don't think that the McCain folks did their research when they picked this guy to be their Everyman.

I would call it jumping the shark, but the Fonzie-derived phrase doesn’t do justice to the sheer tragic magnitude of the farce we saw tonight.

As a point of information: The jumped the shark phrase seems to have run its course and will be replaced by the Indiana Jones-derived phrase, "nuked the refrigerator". I have spoken.

BTW, McCain's performance last night really reallllly did nuke the refrigerator.

I don't think that the McCain folks did their research when they picked this guy to be their Everyman.

No. You amaze me.

I am suspecting that Rick Davis, Steve Schmidt, and the other guy at the top of the McCain campaign will not have jobs in the 2012 or 2016 Republican presidential candidates' campaigns.

"I don't think that the McCain folks did their research when they picked this guy to be their Everyman."

No kidding - one really has to wonder if "the McCain folks" have done any research in this campaign!

I read, on a blog somewhere, early last summer, some wacky theorizing about the 2008 Presidential race: along the lines that Iraq, Dubya's tanking popularity and economic hard times were set to sink the GOP's chances this year anyway, and that the Republican candidate was pretty much going to have to be a sacrificial lamb goat. The only questions were: "Who"? And "whether or not he would be in on the fix".

Given the way this campaign has played out so far, I would say the answers are: "John McCain" and "probably not". And this stuff doesn't seem quite so looney-tunes as it did in May!

and will be replaced by the Indiana Jones-derived phrase, "nuked the refrigerator"

I doubt that a phrase will take off when it comes from a movie that stank.

It might be more hip to say that McCain's campaign hasn't figured out that they have an icing problem.

Correction: according to the Toledo Blade joe is a registered voter--a registered Republican who voted in the primary.

He's a plant.

Given the way this campaign has played out so far, I would say the answers are: "John McCain" and "probably not".

If you look around the room and you don't know who the "mark" is...

It just gets better: Joe the Plumber is a relative of Charles Keating.

"McCain a great man? Piffle! He is unfit to serve."

Oh, I don't know - a bit of garnish, a little drizzle of balsamic - it might ok . . .

feddie - would you vote for a bill that simultaneously said:

1 - We'll cut taxes 5%
2 - Republicans can't vote

If you voted against this bill, is it fair to say that you "opposed cutting taxes"?

" Obama can deny his radical abortion record [sic] all he wants,

Sarah P.? Is that you?

It just gets better: Joe the Plumber is a relative of Charles Keating.

I suggest not charging down that road - first the "facts" may not be right, and second it smacks of the nasty and mean spirited countertop investigations the Frost family were subjected to during the SCHIP debate.

I know this guy is an adult rather than a kid, but that distinction will be lost on people who don't understand that the Lidless Eye of Sauron Google and the blogosphere are always watching you.

Leave the guy alone - he's having his 15 mins of fame and from the snap polls it looks like Obama won the debate handily with undecided voters despite Joe The Plumber (or maybe because McCain was so heavy handed with J-t-P that it turned them off).

Time to move on to other things.

"I doubt that a phrase will take off when it comes from a movie that stank."

Hey, I really liked Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I liked it a lot more than Temple of Doom.

I liked it a lot more than Temple of Doom.

I liked Ronald Reagan more than George W. Bush.

Just sayin'

McCain is hardly a great man. As latter day GOP pols go, he's certainly not the worst, but he's only 'great' in his own mind, or rather *potentially* great (he thinks he deserves to have greatness thrust onto him, since he can't be bothered to be great on his own). What McCain is is personally charming, if you happen to be a fellow senator (so long as he hasn't raged at you and called you an 'asshole') or a member of the press. One of the best descriptions I have read about how McCain is percieved was an unfortunately-annonymous comment several months ago on Yglesias' blog. The commentor claimed, plausably, to having worked on the Hill. It was a long detailed comment, but she averaged a lot of Senator's takes on McCain this way (not verbatim, but close): 'Sure, McCain is lazy and a bit of a lightweight about most issues, but he is a genuine war hero and a hell of a funny guy.' That rings very true to me.

Not great. Not even sorta. I don't feel the least bit sorry for him. This is not tragedy, which would require that McCain be a great man torn apart by remorseless fate.

And Brett's comment is a key one. McCain has never had to run a really tough race against a Democrat. It certainly shows.

Malraux,

You may be right that McCain was a loser from the beginning, but I'm not convinced. I think he made several major errors:

1. Palin, for all sorts of reasons.

2. His behavior around the bailout bill. Almost anything - support, oppose, stay out of the fight - would have been better than scurrying around incomprehensibly.

3. Ayers, ACORN, etc. In a different time that stuff might work, but we've got two wars and a financial crisis and a recession. That's what people care about, not "a washed-up terrorist."

Change those and he has a chance.

I hate vouchers because I have studied them and personally know they do not accomplish their intended purpose.

Sure they do: gutting public schools.

=================

Even if one considers the Son of Cain decent, parts of his party clearly are not.

I'm sure it's just a matter of "context".

==================

Did anyone else notice McCain's proposal to fix education by allowing anyone exiting the military to teach without 'certification'?

Yep. Because vets shouldn't have to go to college (so why give 'em a GI Bill), they can go where specific and critical skills are needed. How about making them brain surgeons without all those pesky "certifications", too?

TLTiABQ: McCain's campaign hasn't figured out that they have an icing problem.

As in hockey, cake-making, or aviation?

(Aware that the very question reveals my unhipness.)

Joe the Plumber is a relative of Charles Keating.

Okay. That's it. I'm now fully subscribed to the John McCain-as-mark theory. But I don't feel the least bit of sympathy.

As latter day GOP pols go, he's certainly not the worst

I had no idea Dubya would be as bad as he is. Let's keep our fingers crossed that McCain doesn't get the opportunity to demonstrate that he's worse, which I consider a distinct possibility at this point.

The possibility that McCain is worse, that is, not the possibility that he'll win.

I couldn't agree more, particularly that "The truth is that the great man has nothing to say."

I've been thinking about why McCain is doing what he's doing and why he's losing. I believe that he is losing because he lacks a vision for our country. That is the disease that is taking down his campaign. Everything else is just a symptom of that disease: the pandering to the right; the crazy stunts (suspending his campaign), the Ayers/Acorn nonsense.

Basically, McCain really has no idea what he really wants to do as president.

Nothing makes this clearer than the way the two candidates view the word "change." For Obama, it is a fundamentally new direction for our country. For McCain it is "shaking things up." The whole maverick-thing highlights this nicely. We don't need a person who wants to be different, we need a policy that changes the direction of our country.

For McCain, "change" is a tactic, not a strategy.

Hilzoy's comparison of legislation passed by McCain vs. Obama really drove home for me what these guys care about (see link below).

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/
obsidian_wings/2008/09/compare-and-con.html#more

McCain is very much focused on the military and on taxes/payments. Obama is focused on things like supporting educational programs for minorities/women/low-income students, expanding the pipeline of scientists, transparency.

Seems to me that McCain is really running a Senatorial campaign.

I've posted more details here if any wishes to read more. I'm always interested in feedback.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/16/
82415/784/358/632218

@Nell:

the icing problem

Tony Stark: How did you solve the icing problem?

Obadiah Stane: Icing problem?

[Iron Monger suit freezes over and deactivates.]

Tony Stark: Might want to look into it.

TLT is correct as usual. Joe the Plumber (Samuel J. Wurzelburger) of Holland, OH (near Toledo) is not provably related to the Republican donor/Keating's son-in-law Robert W. of the Cincinnati area.

But nor is he winning any friends for the McCain campaign outside the media whores --who love nothing more than visits with the exotic fauna of "authentic", salt-of-the-earth working-class guys -- as long as they're Republican plants.

But I'm sticking with JayC's assessment of the campaign, because it's impossible to believe that it could be as bad as it is without intentional sabotage.

The lime-jello background for the speech that was supposed to steal some of the spotlight from Obama's delegate-clinching appearance?
The 'suspend the campaign' stunt?
The total lack of effort on the policy front, the lurching from one un-thought-through proposal to the next?

That's not all McCain's doing; he's being sabotaged.

Nell, it's Wurzelbacher. McCain just thought it was Wurzelburger during the debate.

@stvk

Basically, McCain really has no idea what he really wants to do as president.

Yes.

It reminds me of what happened to Ted Kennedy early in the 1980 Democractic primary contest, where he was lamed very early on by a devastating moment in an interview when the interviewer asked him a very simple question: "Why do you want to be President", and he didn't have an answer.

And that this weakness is only now being exposed in the general election campaign is a byproduct of the weakness of the GOP primary candidates this year and the strange way that McCain won by default as all the other challengers collapsed or came up short. He was never challenged to offer a positive vision for the country or to articulate what role he wished to play in taking us there.

ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

I totally agree with your thoughts on this ("And that this weakness is only now being exposed in the general election campaign is a byproduct of the weakness of the GOP primary candidates this year..").

And, if he were challenged but a stronger candidate, I suspect he wouldn't be the nominee. (By the way, how do you add links to text?)

stvk: Here are the link instructions someone gave me when I asked the question some months ago:

< a href=[URL] > [TEXT] < /a >

Remove all spaces save that between "a" and "href"

Always ALWAYS Preview.

[I would add: Remove the square brackets as well as the spaces.]

< a href=[URL] > [TEXT] < /a >, says JanieM.

Actually, it's ["URL"]. Don't forget the quotes.

And yes: ALWAYS preview.

--TP

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/10/pride-goeth-bef.html>Whoever gave me the instructions didn't include quotes, and I never use them. It seems to work okay.

(This is just a link to this thread, for testing purposes.)

Tony P., I should have asked, is there some context in which the lack of quotation marks will cause a problem?

Some sites' commenting engines require the quotation marks, some do not. If memory serves, hyperlinking at some sites even only works without them. What fun!

That's not all McCain's doing; he's being sabotaged.

I'm not sure of this at all. McCain is not very bright. He's surrounded himself with people who are not very bright. He has the kind of personality that repels a lot of talented people. And he's trying to run an enormously complex operation. The incompetence his campaign has demonstrated is about what I'd expect for a dumb guy with mostly dumb subordinates trying to execute a really complex organizational maneuver.

Sing it, Turb. It is obvious that no one could possibly know everything required to competently run an entire country. The next best thing, therefore, is having the intelligence and judgment to know where to turn for advice.

This country has been led to the brink of ruin by an Administration that takes advice and selects appointments based on just about every criteria except intelligent consideration regarding what is best for the nation. From everything I've seen so far, McCain appears to be even worse than Bush at this.

Janie, I could swear the first time I tried to make a link on this very site, it didn't work without the quotes. So I've never again tried NOT using them. I guess I am like Mark Twain's http://thinkexist.com/quotation/the_cat-having_sat_upon_a_hot_stove_lid-will_not/262047.html>cat :-(

--TP

Some sites' commenting engines require the quotation marks

Make sure you use regular Joe6Pack quotation marks "like this", and not the fancy elitist ones “like this”, because typepad is a Heartland kind of web app - it doesn't like those San Francisco values.

If you make it mad it will get bitter and cling to its anchors and hyperlinks.

Nice Twain/cat quote, Tony.

And thanks to WT and TLT for shedding light. I rarely comment anywhere else but here, so I haven't had to grapple with these questions much.

I should probably not get started on varieties of quotation marks...and software that thinks it knows more than I do about what I want to write....

wonkie wrote: Pool the money under the control of the state and redistribute based on a formula gtht gives more per pupil where more is needed.

I think Iowa does that.

Maine does something like that. I would have thought a lot of states do ... but I don't have time to research it.

Maine's state funding of education is a subject of constant battling, but not so much (at least as far as I know) about relative funding of richer/poorer districts as about

1) the fact that the state isn't living up to its promise (and I think a statutory requirement) to provide 55% of the overall education spending in the state, and

2) the state's effort to get schools to consolidate, which in effect means to close smaller schools (typically rural).

"...when the interviewer asked him a very simple question: 'Why do you want to be President", and he didn't have an answer.'

Roger Mudd, for the record.

"Tony P., I should have asked, is there some context in which the lack of quotation marks will cause a problem?"

Normally it won't work. "Normally" being defined as plain HTML. Why Typepad is different, I don't know; this is the first I've heard of this. I wouldn't get in the habit of leaving out quotes, as it's not supposed to work without quotation marks around the URL.

Make sure you use regular Joe6Pack quotation marks "like this", and not the fancy elitist ones “like this”, because typepad is a Heartland kind of web app - it doesn't like those San Francisco values.
The non-symmetrical ones are normally called "smart quotes." Informally, sometimes "curly quotes," or "curved quotes."

Thanks all for the instructions on formatting!

Thanks to TLT for the illuminating quotation; makes me almost want to see more than the five-minute snippet of Iron Man I caught this summer during my break from sno-cone making at the drive-in.

And thanks, KCinDC, I knew that name didn't look right.

Now, another kindness is requested: How do you make those fancy elitist-curly-curved quotes? (Not for URLs, of course; I don't want Typepad all bitter and resentful.)

I use this as a handy guide for all HTML marks, Nell.

Although I wrote too soon; that doesn't have smart quotes. Brb.

Here they are.

Thanks, Gary!

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