The Friday Political Thread: No Recess!*

Unconvincing Quote of the Week
"The market is responding to the fact that we are here talking."
- Arizona Rep. John Shadegg (R), crediting the House GOP protest for a drop in the trading price of oil.

The Week in Brief
- Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis, TN beat back an opponent who accused him of supporting the Klan and hating Jesus. (For all of the attention this campaign got, he won by 60 points while Republican Rep. David Davis lost his primary in a race no one paid attention to.)
- Barack Obama became pro-energy exploration, all of a sudden. But he said the pledge of allegiance!
- John McCain whined about the negative turn of the campaign. Why didn't somebody do something about it?
- Anti-abortion zealot Phill Kline got the back hand from voters, for the third time.
-
The ACLU sued to get Bob Barr on the Massachusetts ballot. (The circumstances that kept him off are ridiculous.)

Below the Fold
- George McGovern blasts the Employee Free Choice Act.
- Tim Carney tips his fedora to his boss, Robert Novak.
- Ben Smith notices the subterranean theory that mocking Obama as "the One," as McCain has done, is a soft pitch to eschatologically-minded evangelicals.
- Eric Zimmerman watches the Democrats tweak their abortion platform plank.
- Nope. (A bit of an explainer here.)
- Joel Stein offers up some needed sanity to the "foreign oil is killing us!" crowd.
- Julian Sanchez smacks around the House GOP and their fellow travellers.
- Tom Bemis tells the press to cover John Edwards's scandal.

I've heard Republicans compared Nancy Pelosi to Marie Antionette this week, which obviously reminded me of this.

*Headline explained here.

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  • Orange Line Special: Doing It ||

    1. I'm offering cold, hard cash to those who ask one of my questions at a campaign appearance. If I can find sponsors for, say, $10,000 I'm going to be able to make the MSM look very, very bad.

    2. Vanity Fair contributor Judy Bachrach smears LouDobbs.

    3. Why would Reason want to give these two and people like them any more power than they already have? Maybe they should finally let us know.

    4. Peace Through Anti-prog, Part 2.

  • ||

    That 'American Thinker' piece (they call themselves thinkers?) has to be one of the silliest bits of campaign writing ever. And the comments are incredible. What a bunch of loons. They boil down to 'Obama is too stupid to be president,' 'Obama is running the worst campaign ever,' and 'The blacks will riot, win or lose, because thats what they do.'
    Wow. I feel stupider for even reading it.

  • Elemenope||

    Inflation a problem? They should put Shadegg on the case!

  • Kolohe||

    Well, Obama started speaking about 5 min ago at Keehi Lagoon about three and a half miles away, but alas I have to work this afternoon. So, gosh darn it, I'm guess I'm going to miss a chance at that $10K.

    Query: why is the cable news wall to wall with the 'bombshell' of Edwards, when there are the literal 'bombshells' between Russia and Georgia? (If the VP isn't worth a pitcher of warm spit, what the heck is a failed VP candidate worth?)

  • ||

    Kolohe,

    Boobies. That's why.

    ZOMG teh boobies.

    Yep, that's the society we live in.

  • BDB||

    American Thinker is one of the most unintentionally funny sites on the internet.

  • ||

    For those who thought that Obama going to Europe and the Mideast to lock up the zero electoral votes there was running a brilliant campaign -- what do you think about Obama spending NINE days in Hawaii to vacation / lock up the 4 electoral votes here, where he already had a 30 point lead?

    Still think this is smart campaigning?

    Oh, and while Pollster.com's state by state electoral college map doesn't show much movement on individual states, due to a lack of recent polls, note how the country symbol has gone from light blue (leaning Democratic) to yellow (tossup).

  • Colin||

    That's a great opinion piece by McGovern, my favorite Democrat. It's equaled only by the piece he wrote recently in Journal defending free markets.

    If only he were running this year.

  • BDB||

    Prolefeed, dude, its during the Olympics. I don't think it matters. No one is paying attention.

  • Kolohe||

    joe-
    yeah, but there 40+ year old has-been actress boobies.
    ...
    oh, yeah, like anna nicole smith.

    Never mind.

  • GILMORE||

    Unconvincing Quote of the Week
    "The market is responding to the fact that we are here talking."
    - Arizona Rep. John Shadegg (R), crediting the House GOP protest for a drop in the trading price of oil.


    As someone who spends all day tracking markets, I find this patently insulting.

    Do they really believe this? What frightens me is that they really think they're somehow more important than current market demand ... or even the (necessary) role of short sellers... or the chinese market... or the political stability & predicted output of Iran or Nigeria or Venezuela.

    I fucking hate politicians. All of them.

    Oh, and Lonewacko? You're a fucking idiot. Please, please give someone $10,000. Spend yourself silly. Go for it. Anything, anything for you to learn how much you are a total waste of your own time. When you are on your deathbed, may you have an epiphany where you see with clarity exactly how much of your life you've wasted being a zealot for a non-cause. Hopefully the horror of it all will be the last thought you ever experience.

  • ||

    Prolefeed, I think its a great idea. Everyone should vacation in Hawaii once in a while. McCain oughta try it. Maybe then he wouldn't continue to sound like, wait, no, BE, a lying, two-faced, corrupt, angry, bitter old man. Or then, maybe he would.
    And if you think Obama is incompetent, you must really have a low opinion of McCain.
    Yeah, juvenile comment. I was inspired by 'American Thinker.'

  • GILMORE||

    and p.s. = "Smearing" Lou Dobbs is IMPOSSIBLE. The man is professional hyperventilating idiot who accuses farm workers of spreading leprosy and conspiring with MS13. You can't "smear" a fucking arch-propagandist. This is a guy who dismisses any rational argument with crazy hyperbole that rivals the cutscenes from Starship Troopers....

    \e.g.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoDb3D7B2Zo

    UNLIMITED IMMIGRATION!!??!!!

    He just spastically denies reality... for money and popularity! The fact that he has fans like you doesnt bolster his BS in any way. The fact that people point out his fallacious assertions is to be expected.

  • Mojotron||

    I see that Tim Carney read that NYT piece on trolling.

  • Elemenope||

    For those who thought that Obama going to Europe and the Mideast to lock up the zero electoral votes there was running a brilliant campaign -- what do you think about Obama spending NINE days in Hawaii to vacation / lock up the 4 electoral votes here, where he already had a 30 point lead?

    Still think this is smart campaigning??


    Yes, actually, as polls have started to indicate that people believe they have been hearing *too much* about Obama. A vacation will ease the voter fatigue (not all of whom, strange as it may seem to us, mainline campaign info like it's heroin) and let McCain make gaffes all alone in the media wilderness.

    And, seriously, who doesn't want to vacation in Hawai'i?

  • John Edwards, in 1998 on Bill ||

    I think this President has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen.

  • ||

    Prolefeed,

    When you have 284 electoral votes, even if you lose all the tossup states, you can probably take a week off.

    You're pounding your chest over the fact that Obama is taking a vacation in August, with a huge electoral lead?

    What do I think about Obama's campaign? I think he's kicking the ass of someone who started out as one of the most popular figures in politics.

  • The Anti-Christ||

    I'm happy to see that Hal Lindsey and various other fundy whackjobs do not think I am Barack Obama. C'mon people, if I was running this time McCain would be back 20+ in the polls !

  • Jim Anderson||

    Rachel isn't such a great singer. Chandler's guitar work, however, is impeccable.

  • The Anti-Christ||

    What do I think about Obama's campaign? I think he's kicking the ass of someone who started out as one of the most popular figures in politics.

    Whoever this joe fella is he owes me a new monitor. I just spewed Christian baby blood all over it.

  • Orange Line Special: Southern ||

    37. Most of Reason's other commenters, revealed!

    38. One of today's opportunities to laugh at BHO supporters starts with "Picture this" here

  • Colin||

    What do I think about Obama's campaign? I think he's kicking the ass of someone who started out as one of the most popular figures in politics.

    Again you show your utter ignorance.

    First, most polls have the race as a statistical tie (or close to it), despite the political climate. That pollster.com poll is highly suspect. If you click on the individual states, you will see that not many of those polls were taken in August. One I saw was taken in May.

    Second, a year ago McCain was on the scrap heap (where he belonged.)

  • ||

    Lovely, more political mumbo jumbo and double talk. When will the Sheeple say enough!

    JT
    http://www.FireMe.to/udi

  • ||

    Do Android Politicians Dream of Electric Sheeple?

  • ||

    I've been largely away from American TV News for a couple years, but I remember watching Lou Dobbs at Detroit (Wayne?) Airport. Terrible. Just terrible.

  • Elemenope||

    They do when they sit in the High Castle.

  • Elemenope||

    Lou Dobbs is a special sort of special.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The Cosmic Puppets in the world Jones made are puttering about in a small land in Milton Lumky territory waiting for last year with the man whose teeth were all exactly alike.

    Flow my tears, the politician said.

  • ||

    Good on Senator McGovern for reminding his friends and associates of the vision they sold to the voters, and their responsibility to remain true to that vision and the people who bought it. I suspect, however, that the noble gesture will be as futile as his Presidential bid. I wonder how much it has hurt him, to be right on key points over the years but to be on the losing, marginalized side of the associated political battles? Oh well, I guess he must have won a few of them, to have enjoyed the distinguished career he did. Perhaps he takes comfort in that.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I would like to suggest a topic for the weekend thread (hat tip to Joshua Corning).

    What fear is more reality based?
    Fear of terrorism, fear of anthropogenic global warming?

    Some context:
    joshua corning | August 8, 2008, 5:16pm |

    Joshua quotes a previous poster...

    The real surprise may not be how silly moral panics of the past look today, but how disheveled today's rational high ground will look in the future.

    Joshua responds:

    "Any who fell into the Global Warming scare is an idiot and deserves ridicule now and in the future.

    Terrorism: not so much.

    Point being that there actually are terrorists. Over reacting to reality is not the same thing as over reacting to ghosts."

    Neu Mejican questions:
    Is the prediction that global warming due to human activity will cause important negative consequences on our society less reality based than a prediction that terrorism will cause important negative consequences?

    Looking back, will the measure we take to address terrorism be seen as justifiable while those taken to address AGW are seen as foolish?

    Which threat poses greater dangers in terms of liberty?

  • ed||

    why is the cable news wall to wall with the 'bombshell' of Edwards

    Indeed, Wolf ("I'm a whore, too!") Blitzer was referring to it as "breaking news" well into the night. A failed politician who is now a private citizen and who's not running for anything had an affair with a campaign skank two years ago. Stop the presses! That Russian war thing will have to wait.

  • Episiarch||

    I can't get over LoneWacko's love for Natalie "Eat for Two" Merchant. I particularly hate her as she was the favorite artist of an ex-girlfriend of mine and I was forced to hear her dissonant whining far too much.

    Hey, LoneWackjob: have you ever actually been with a woman? I ask because I have this feeling that if you were getting your knob polished once in a while you might lay off the obsession.

  • ||

    Oh, I love n00bs.

    Again you show your utter ignorance.

    He he he he he. Yes, my utter ignorance of polling and the state of the race. Tee hee.

    First, most polls have the race as a statistical tie (or close to it), despite the political climate. Putting aside your weasel-words about "close to it," when you take a number of polls that all show the same lead, even if each lead is within the margin error, the cumulative result is to increase the likelihood that the polls are capturing a real lead.

    That pollster.com poll is highly suspect. There is no "pollster.com poll," Einstein, it's an aggregation of other polls.

    If you click on the individual states, you will see that not many of those polls were taken in August. One I saw was taken in May. And today is August 9. So?

    If you don't like pollster.com, you can go to realclearpolitics.com. Or you can go to pollingreport.com. They're all showing the same thing, however much you may want to wish it away.

    We're in a situation comparable to an NBA team that has a lead in the middle of the 3rd quarter and rests its starters for a few minutes. Sure, the opponent can keep its starters in and close the lead, but the team that rested its starters is going to dominate the fourth quarter.

  • BDB||

    Its not as stupid as John Kerry going skiing in Idaho in March of 2004.

  • ||

    Prole-I think it's a bush league thing for Obama to do. But then, if you think about it, the guy has had so much experience at large scale campaigns. Oh wait, he has THAT little experience? Well, why the fuck would people pick him as a nominee of a major party? A speech that was good? You're kidding, right? Healing the nation's racial wounds? Uhh, that would be nice but actually getting a Democrat into the fricking white house lately might be a better start.

    The economy is in trouble. There is a long war that has lost public support which the incumbent party went to the mat for. If the Democratic Party doesn't win the white house this fall they should disband as a party. Obama is leading, but considering the factors supra I'm still convinced that had the Democrats chosen a candidate without all the baggage (strange name, hints of muslim past, racial challenges (not just a "black man" but the product of a biracial marriage [and with a "furiener" as the father], several things much of America, sadly, is not comfortable with right now), urban politician, little experience, etc.) with a more centrist record they would be whooping McCain something like LBJ-Goldwater right now.

    Don't get me wrong, I prefer Obama in nearly every way. I want out the war. I don't want a few more Alito or Robert type SCOTUS judges. I want a public rebuke of the corruption and mismanagement of eight years of GOP rule and theocracy. But I think we picked a less than ideal candidate to make sure all that happens.

  • BDB||

    Oh, and I wouldn't recommend that Barack go windsurfing.

  • BDB||

    Yeah MNG that nice, southern white protestant male John Edwards would have totally won!

  • ||

    "why is the cable news wall to wall with the 'bombshell' of Edwards"

    Why didn't Edwards just get Senate colleague and GOPer David "Family Values" Vitter to hook him up with a nice discrete hooker? Heck, it didn't seem to hurt that guys career. Or Larry Craig's...For that matter, John McCain's adultery gets nary a mention. The GOP is the place for extramarital affairs I guess.

  • ||

    MNG,

    Obama is leading, but considering the factors supra I'm still convinced that had the Democrats chosen a candidate without all the baggage (strange name, hints of muslim past, racial challenges (not just a "black man" but the product of a biracial marriage [and with a "furiener" as the father], several things much of America, sadly, is not comfortable with right now), urban politician, little experience, etc.) with a more centrist record they would be whooping McCain something like LBJ-Goldwater right now.

    You're saying, maybe they nominate a war hero with a lengthy resume? There's no such thing as a safe candidate.

    LBJ was no more the president in 1965 than George W. Bush was in 2001. Winning is a yes/no question.

    Another way to state your point is that the Democrats are in a position to nominate the candidate they actually want, instead of picking someone because of perceived electability.

  • ||

    If I was a conspiratorial sort, I'd suspect that the Democrats timed Edwards' announcement to minimize the amount of press McCain can command while Obama goes to Hawaii.

    But I'm not. He went during the Olympics for that. The timing of the Edwards story just sort of worked out that way.

  • ||

    Edwards was terrible. I don't think that guy was ever capable of commanding much support.

    But a Mark Warner, Evan Bayh, Ed Rendell, Tom Harkin, or the like would have been nice...

  • BDB||

    Mark Warner doesn't have much experience, Ed Rendell is a big mouth and is on record praising Louis Farrakhan (why this didn't come out in the PA primaries, I don't know), Tom Harkin is a windbag, and Evan Bayh is Al Gore level boring.

    The Democrats made the right choice.

  • ||

    "Another way to state your point is that the Democrats are in a position to nominate the candidate they actually want, instead of picking someone because of perceived electability."

    My point is that, having been shut out of the white house for eight years, and with a tenuous hold on, say, the U.S. Senate, the Dems should not assume they are in that position...

  • ||

    Chastened by their humiliating defea in 1972 (when they picked a candidate liberals could put their most left wing hopes upon) the Dems chose a candidate in 1976 that was as electable as possible (Carter was Southern, evangelical, hardly a Ted Kennedy liberal, etc). And they won. Then, in 1992 having been chastened by the thumping of several Humphrey style liberals (Dukakis, Mondale) they chose a hardened, experienced, Southern self styled "New Democrat" and they won.

    Now, emboldened by their wins in 2006, they seem destined to make some familiar mistakes.

  • ||

    So, what you're saying is that the Democrats are in such a strong position that their nominee should have a huge lead, while also being in such a tenuous position that only a demographically-ideal candidate has a good chance of winning.

  • ||

    My Party Should Respect Secret Union Ballots
    By GEORGE MCGOVERN

    The key provision of EFCA is a change in the mechanism by which unions are formed and recognized. Instead of a private election with a secret ballot overseen by an impartial federal board, union organizers would simply need to gather signatures from more than 50% of the employees in a workplace or bargaining unit, a system known as "card-check." There are many documented cases where workers have been pressured, harassed, tricked and intimidated into signing cards that have led to mandatory payment of dues. [emphasis added]



    I've always admired principled consistency. My opinion of George McGovern has gone up. It was above average (for a politician) prior to this piece.

  • ||

    Yes, MNG, the period from 1972-1992 was one of serious Republican dominance.

    There are those who would say that the political atmosphere in 2008 is rather different from that during, say, the Reagan administration.

  • ||

    I'll take Obama by 1.5% over Bayh by 14%, every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Man, I hate Bayh. Can you imagine if the race was Bayh/Romney?

  • BDB||

    My nightmare scenario was Edwards/Huckabee.

    Now, on a more serious note, I'd like to know why on God's green earth both Presidential candidates are still pushing for Georgian (the country, not the American state)membership in NATO?

    Had they gotten NATO membership last year, we'd be looking at July 1914.

  • ||

    "There are many documented cases where workers have been pressured, harassed, tricked and intimidated into signing cards that have led to mandatory payment of dues." Hey, if it was just social pressure then what are you libertarians bitching about? I mean, it's not like ACTUAL coercion as I've been reminded so many times on this blog (like when people sign imprudent contracts or are pressured by their employer to withold speech, or to enter an unsafe workplace, etc).

    It's already, and still would be, illegal under the union card measure for anyone to apply illegal pressure to anyone to make them sign the card.

  • ||

    joe
    What I am saying is that things have to be in the Democrats favor in order for them to have a chance to win the White House, and they can negate that advantage by picking a weak candidate. Since 1968 we have had exactly three Democratic Presidential winning campaigns. Hell, even Carter barely beat Ford, and Clinton I owed a great deal to Perot.

    The way the GOP owns the White House in the last 40 years would, I should think, make Democrats very hesistant to ever think they have it "in the bag" and can afford to indulge in some ice cream.

  • GG||

    Bernie Mac died.

    Too bad his last performance, which was for Obama, was followed by Obama (and his merry band of appropriate language police) publicly scolding him for doing what made him a success.

    The timing of the Edwards story just sort of worked out that way.

    Mmmm hm.

    They're all showing the same thing, however much you may want to wish it away.

    I wish the wrinkly white-haired guy wasn't going to win. Alas...

    4. Peace Through Anti-prog, Part 2.

    Your NatalieMerchant/LoneWacko antidote.

  • ||

    "Had they gotten NATO membership last year, we'd be looking at July 1914."

    Tru dat. That NATO expansion is a potential source of great trouble for the U.S. as it really antagonizes Russia. Russia has a thing about being hemmed in, and we are providing that. I understand our desire to put these brave young democracies under the wing of our protection, but caution is needed...I for one am old enough to remember the Cold War and the amazing amount of time, money and effort wasted in striving against Russia, and would like to see that kind of thing avoided, if not at all costs then at some cost...

  • BDB||

    MNG-

    Russia is entitled to influence in the former Soviet Republics as much as we are to influence in Latin America. I don't see whats so unreasonable to expect that, but of course the war drums are being beaten (damn the consequences!) by all the usual suspects.

  • ||

    MNG, McGovern has always been a union busting, pro-corporate shill hasn't he. The possibility that he considers secret ballots more in line with democratic pronciples, a view I share, is patent nonsense.

    Your comparing this with dumbshits signing for loans they can't afford is ludicrous. But you knew that.

  • BDB||

    Oh, and MNG, don't conflate Russia with the Soviet Union. They're completely different actors that act totally differently in the world. Too man Cold Warriors do that.

  • Mad Max||

    George McGovern has come out in favor of secret ballots in union elections? What is the world coming to? I thought he was a nice guy, and here he's selling out to the top-hat-wearing, moustache-twirling, employee-exploiting villains of Corporate America!

    And it's not just McGovern. From McGovern's piece:

    "Some of the most respected Democratic members of Congress -- including Reps. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, George Miller and Pete Stark of California, and Barney Frank of Massachusetts -- have advised that workers in developing countries such as Mexico insist on the secret ballot when voting as to whether or not their workplaces should have a union. We should have no less for employees in our country."

    So it's not jut the corporate bosses in this country who've gotten to the Democrats; it's the corporate bosses in Mexico, too!

  • Neu Mejican||

    MNG,

    I'm still convinced that had the Democrats chosen a candidate without all the baggage (strange name, hints of muslim past, racial challenges (not just a "black man" but the product of a biracial marriage [and with a "furiener" as the father], several things much of America, sadly, is not comfortable with right now), urban politician, little experience, etc.)

    I still find the way you project these views on to "much of America" a fascinating phenomena. They are of marginal concern at best, imho...

    Who would you have gone with?
    Dodd?
    Biden?
    Richarson?
    Clinton?

  • ||

    Who would you have gone with?
    Dodd?
    Biden?
    Richarson?
    Clinton?


    Neu,
    Don't forget today's headliner, Edwards. I find Dodd and Richardson superior to Obama, but I'm not a Democrat and they hardly ever ask me for my opinion.

  • ||

    MNG,

    Times change. You're fighting the last war.

  • BDB||

    Obama will win, but it won't be a landslide. 1-2% win.

  • ||

    "Had they gotten NATO membership last year, we'd be looking at July 1914."

    I suppose the counter-argument would be that neither Georgia nor Russia would be pulling this stunt if Georgia was in NATO.

    Anyway, episodes like this are WHY it takes a while for NATO to review applications.

  • ||

    Neu-None of the above. The people that make up the Democratic Party should have got behind someone like the list I gave above.

    J-What's the issue then with the card authorizations? It is and still will be illegal for anyone to apply illegal threats or use of force against those who refuse to sign the cards. Why indeed is that not enought?

    BTW-I didn't mention loans, I mentioned "imprudent contracts" and was thinking of "adhesion contracts" which I'm told here all the time are just fine because nooone "made" anyone sign them. OK, fine. Noone can "make" anyone sign or not sign the union card. What's the prob?

  • BDB||

    Joe, Georgia's President is a reckless idiot. He actually thought we would go to war for him because he sent some medical staff to Iraq or some other token force. I wouldn't put him past this to pull this off in NATO, starting a war as a member of the alliance and then come crying to the west for help. Small countries with nothing to lose love to draw larger, more advanced ones into their wars.

  • ||

    BDB,

    I don't think landslides are possible anymore; we won't be seeing one for a decade or more. There are a lot fewer swing voters, and I don't think either party can fall below about 42-44%, no matter what. Since neither candidate is a disaster like Goldwater or McGovern, I can't see either one falling below the high 40s.

  • ||

    joe-I think Democrats are engaging in wishful thinking if they think times have changed that much. Let's have the Dems dominate the white house like the GOP has in the last 40 years and THEN let them start to assume they have a natural advantage and can be self-indulgent in their nominee picks...

  • ||

    BDB,

    I can buy that, and I can't imagine Georgia actually getting into NATO with a government like that.

    One of the goals of NATO expansion is to get countries like Georgia to accept certain standards of behavior and advance politically. That's the theory, anyway. Sort of a combined-military-exercises version of the "trade promotes reform" theory.

  • ||

    MNG,

    There are both short-term and long-term trends in the Democrats' favor this particular year.

    I'd say that the long-term trends have brought the Dems to rough parity, maybe a slight advantage, in a typical year.

    This, however, is not a typical year. What you're saying about Obama being too far from the cookie cutter candidate would be a much stronger point in 2004, and perhaps in 2012 or 2020.

  • BDB||

    Joe-

    Well, John McCain wanted Georgia in NATO yesterday according to his statement, which really really fucking scares me.

    I think personally bringing any country on Russia's border into NATO is playing (excuse the phrase) Russian Roulette, but according to Commentary and the National Review that makes me a bed-wetting appeaser. See, they think Putin is totally irrational and wants to conquer the world. Really.

    I don't know what Obama's position on this is but I'd be willing to guess he still wants to expand NATO, though probably with less provocation than McCain.

  • BDB||

    BTW Obama could be really smart with this and show this as a "3 am moment" when McCain would decide to launch World War III.

  • ||

    BDB,

    Well, John McCain wanted Georgia in NATO yesterday according to his statement, which really really fucking scares me.

    Link? That's just nuts, if he actually said that.

    but according to Commentary and the National Review that makes me a bed-wetting appeaser. See, they think Putin is totally irrational and wants to conquer the world. Wait, wait, that sounds familiar. Ooh, where have I heard that before? Uh...little help?

  • BDB||

    Joe, the statement is on the front page of his official website.

    " Today, news reports indicate that Russian military forces crossed an internationally-recognized border into the sovereign territory of Georgia. Russia should immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory
    We should immediately call a meeting of the North Atlantic Council to assess Georgia's security and review measures NATO can take to contribute to stabilizing this very dangerous situation."

    He also says that Georgia has a "right" to NATO membership (I'll try to find that statement).

    Barack Obama has said nothing, AFAIK.

  • BDB||

    Also, it was those bed-wetting European appeasers who saved us from WWIII by blocking Georgia's membership. Bush, because hes buddies with the Georgia President (probably because hes just as reckless as he is) wanted them in.

  • BDB||

    Also, this.

    As president, McCain says he would back up his tough talk with equally aggressive policies. He wants to kick Russia out of the Group of 8, the organization of the world's leading industrial powers. McCain has also long been a proponent of quickly expanding NATO to include former Soviet allies like Georgia. Russia bristles at the notion of the Western military alliance encroaching on her border. "Rather than tolerate Russia's nuclear blackmail or cyber attacks," McCain said in a March speech, "Western nations should make clear that the solidarity of NATO, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, is indivisible."

  • ||

    Holy ^%$ing ^%@%!

    That's *%#^ing nuts. He's wants us back on a cold war footing, at least.

  • ||

    Obama's statement: Chicago, IL -- "I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict. Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war. Georgia's territorial integrity must be respected. All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis."

    So, Obama's vague and hopeful, and McCain's nuts. Now, sports.

  • Colin||

    Putting aside your weasel-words about "close to it,"

    It must be a strange world you live in, joey, if "close to it" are "weasel-words."

    And today is August 9. So?

    So a poll taken in May, in your mind, is as valid as one taken today? Okay.

    And the realclearpolitics poll you referred to has a 3.6% lead for Obama as of today. You may wish it away if you want to, but it's hardly "kicking ass."

  • Colin||

    I will agree with you on one thing -- Obama's statement about Georgia was far superior to McCain's.

    It's in situations like these that McCain becomes real scary.

  • BDB||

    If Obama could exploit the insanity of McCain's statement on this issue, it could change the race, making McCain the "risky" candidate.

  • Colin||

    The thing is, BDB, many Americans -- especially older Americans -- still have in their head that the Russians are the enemy. You can see this bias even in the media.

    It could even work to McCain's favor; and if he sees that as mandate to confront Russia, look out. He really could be worse than Bush.

  • ||

    McCain's statement on Russia is incredible. THAT should be the subject of the news, not Obama saying the pledge of allegiance, Edwards dipping his wick in forbidden oil, or off shore drilling. The Cold War was an expensive one, a re-enactment of which would make 4.00 a gallon gas look like nothing big.

    For that matter, I wonder what is the costs to Americans per capita of the Iraq war vs. the per capita costs of the increase in gas recently? Hmmm.

  • BDB||

    I guess, Colin, but no one wants nuclear war over some godforsaken backwoods nation thats the size of Delaware. That is just too insane.

    Again, it was and is a mistake to conflate "Russia" with "The Soviet Union". Completely different entities. The Soviet Union really was a big threat. Russia, not so much. Certainly no more than China.

  • Colin||

    no one wants nuclear war over some godforsaken backwoods nation thats the size of Delaware. That is just too insane.

    The problem is that no one realizes what could result from tough talk.

    I agree about the conflation of the two. You can still hear idiots on the radio use the two interchangeably. Given McCain's history, I wouldn't be surprised if he does, too.

  • ||

    McCain has already lost any chance of getting my vote. His statements about the situation in Ossetia just confirms my previous doubts about his suitability for the office. Obama probably won't get me to cast a ballot for hin, but his reasonable statements here don't hurt my estimation of him a bit.

  • BDB||

    More McCain madness, from his top national security adviser:

    He [Randy Scheunemann, McCain's adviser] also criticized Obama for calling on both sides to show "restraint," and suggested the Democrat was putting too much blame on the conflict's clear victim.

    "That's kind of like saying after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, that Kuwait and Iraq need to show restraint, or like saying in 1968 [when the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia] ... that the Czechoslovaks should show restraint," he said.



    I missed the part where Lyndon Johnson sent in tanks to uphold the Prague Spring. God, what an idiot. Had he been President in 1968 theres a good chance I would have never been born.

  • Colin||

    It's a great insult to the victims of the Prague Spring (which fell almost 40 years ago to the day) to compare the two.

    Calling him an "idiot" is far too kind.

  • Colin||

    I wonder if Barr has made a statement. I would almost bet it would be the best of the three.

  • BDB||

    Colin, it probably would be. But one more of these wacko missile rattling statements from McCain and I may be forced to vote for Obama just to keep him out. Sure I'll be taxed to death and have nationalized health care, but at least I'll be alive.

  • Colin||

    And what if Obama decides to invade a Sudan, a Myanmar, or a Zimbabwe? Who knows what the ramifications could be.

    But I'll admit -- in terms of foreign policy, no one is worse than McCain -- no one in my lifetime.

  • BDB||

    I agree with you that Obama is likely to get us an intervention somewhere, but I don't think he will have one in which we directly confront a nuclear power.

    Obama will probably have us invade some third rate, third world country that has no allies for some leftist feel-good reason.

    McCain will quite possibly have us start a war with Russia over Georgia, or with China over Taiwan.

    You don't have to be a genius to figure out which is preferable.

  • Kolohe||

    For that matter, I wonder what is the costs to Americans per capita of the Iraq war vs. the per capita costs of the increase in gas recently? Hmmm.

    back o' the envelope-

    cost of Iraq war 565 billion.
    per capita = 565b/300m = $1,883 / capita

    US motor gasoline consumption -> 390 million gallons per day => 390m*365/300m = 474 gallons /capita per year => 4.00 this year - 2.80 last year = 1.20 per gal delta
    => $570 per capita per year, or about 1/3 the cost of iraq.


    Caveats: Oil cost delta neglects pass through costs on all other products and esp commodities like food. Which probably doesn't triple the oil figure but does make it closer to iraq. However, Iraq war calc neglects background defense budget of $400b-500b per year, which is another $1700 per capita per year

  • Colin||

    Because of treaty obligations we would likely defend Taiwan no matter who was president.

    And you shouldn't worry only about Georgia. There are lots of potential hot spots in what was once the Soviet sphere of influence.

  • Elemenope||

    Because of treaty obligations we would likely defend Taiwan no matter who was president.

    I imagine it would depend upon the breaks. If it was a done deal before we could even bear a fleet into the engagement zone, then we'd probably *not* engage the PRC.

    If we just happened to have a fleet to project some power into the region in the area, then PRC would undoubtedly not be stupid enough to attack in the first place, but if they did we would respond.

  • BDB||

    There are many other places, but Georgia worries me most because their idiot President took Bush's second inaugural speech at face value, and really thinks we will do anything for him and his piss-ant republic in the name of "democratic solidarity" (even though hes a bit of an autocrat), including a war with Russia I guess.

  • Colin||

    If it was a done deal before we could even bear a fleet into the engagement zone, then we'd probably *not* engage the PRC.

    Yeah, there seems to be a lot of leeway in that treaty (more than I thought.) And McCain would clearly be more gung-ho.

    Of course, Taiwan is very well armed; and an amphibious assault can be difficult in the best of circumstances. I can't imagine it happening -- especially when everything's going so well for the PRC. But you can never say never.

  • Orange Line Special: Subbota E||

    Breaking: A renegade BHO volunteer smuggled out a shocking BHO campaign training video. It explains everything, including Reason's coverage.

  • Kolohe||

    Because of treaty obligations we would likely defend Taiwan no matter who was president.

    I agree with LMNOP @3:12. Furthermore, to add to what BDB said @ 3:15 the case of Russia/Georgia is instructive in one key aspect. If Taiwan 'starts it' by doing something really antagonistic, (a specific example escapes me) then the US may not wish to or even be able nor to get involved. Ossetia will be an object lesson to the Taipei government of how far they can push the envelope.

    At first, when I heard Russia bombed the Black Sea port and Tbilisi itself (and tanks were on its outskirts) I thought this would be a full scale Russian invasion of Georgia. But now, it looks like they are concentrating on Ossetia and the other semi-autonomous region; the rest of the theater was only strategic bombing. So, at this point at least, the Russian engagement is looking much like the 1999 NATO-Serbian war, but this time, we are looking at it from the other side.

    However, if Russia does a full scale hostile takeover of Georgia, and there is no response, I would be very worried if I were in the Taiwanese govt. Or the Ukrainian one.

  • Colin||

    Speaking of Taiwan, couldn't one say that the PRC is to Taiwan the way Georgia is to South Ossetia?

  • ||

    I missed the part where Lyndon Johnson sent in tanks to uphold the Prague Spring.

    I missed the part where Kuwait shelled Basra.

    Also, the part where the Czechs sent a column of tanks to take Smolensk.

    I'm not saying Russia's in the right here, but McCain is being as deliberately ignorant and dishonest about the facts on the ground as he was about Iraq, and has been about Iran, in his efforts to gin up support for wars against them.

    This guy is Buck Turgidson.

  • BDB||

    Go away, OLS, the adults are having a conversation.

  • BDB||

    Joe I don't know if its deliberate dishonesty, or just that the guy has a hard-on for war.

    I'll take the liberal cult leader over President Turgidson, thanks.

  • Colin||

    How can you mad at OLS when he brings such joy? :)

    Anyone notice that he inserted the Russian word for "Saturday" in his post title? Very clever.

  • ||

    Uh oh.

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/9/131633/3094/67/565379

    The US military is going to commit an act of war against Russia. They're going to use their air lift equipment to transport Georgian troops into the combat zone to fight.

    And it gets better from there.

  • BDB||

    You mean Georgia went to Iraq for their own selfish national interest and not to spread freedom and democracy? OH NOES! WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT!? I thought they really believed in the Freedom Agenda! (ends snark)

    I'm hoping Putin stays restrained and ignores this. I can't believe I'm hoping Russia restrains itself!

  • ||

    No, no, Putin retired. Medvedev is the president now. He's calling the shots.

    HA HA HA HA HA ha...hoo boy. Oh, man. I slay me.

  • Colin||

    I have a feeling it's the Olympics that are restraining Russia. Perhaps this was what the Georgian president anticipated.

  • ||

    I something restraining Russia?

    I hadn't noticed.

  • BDB||

    So, the Iraq War may have unwittingly started off a chain of events (in Georgia!) that led to a very nasty regional war, in the best case scenario?

    I don't recall anyone bringing up that possibility in 2002-03. Talk about unintended, unforseen consequences!

  • Colin||

    If Tblisi's still standing, they're restrained.

    You hadn't noticed because you're provincial numskull.

  • ||

    Uh huh. And you're Colin: World Traveler.

    Nothing more pathetic than a sophmore lauding his worldliness from a dorm room.

  • Kolohe||

    Speaking of Taiwan, couldn't one say that the PRC is to Taiwan the way Georgia is to South Ossetia?

    The ethnic ties between Mainland China and Taiwan are a lot stronger; by a low-granular measure they would be considered a single culture. An overwhelming majority of Taiwan is ethnically Han Chinese (compared to say Tibet and the other 'problematic' western provinces); they (generally) speak a different dialect than Mandarin, but so does Shanghai and Hong Kong.

    The primary reason for the historical split is not the Chinese civil war, but the Japanese control from the 1870's until the end of WW2 - which caused a definite political and (very) slight cultural divergence between Taiwan and the Mainland during a period of rapid industrialization. Chiang Kai-shek managed to take advantage of this after the KMT's defeat on the mainland.

  • Colin||

    I've certainly done more than traveling than you. I lived in Europe for five years and speak three languages.

    You're a buffoon who's already admitted in a previous thread that he doesn't know the difference between "Iran" and "Iraq."

    Even G.W. knows more about the world than you.

  • BDB||

    What I find ironic about China and Taiwan is that the current PRC policies bear a striking resemblance to those of Taiwan in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Ideology-free rapid industrialization and modernization under a one-party dictatorship. I guess the KMT "won" after all.

  • Beaver Stater||

    OT: Speaking of the Olympics... nice to see Oregon leading the medal count after the first day. ;) Congrats to Mariel Zagunis and Becca Ward. Gotta love girls that can wield a saber!

  • Colin||

    Putin just made a statement implying that Russia may annex South Ossetia.

    The plot thickens.

  • Elemenope||

    I guess the KMT "won" after all.

    Heh. Don't tell Sun Yat-Sen.

  • BDB||

    Putin just made a statement implying that Russia may annex South Ossetia.



    Oh shit, get ready for all the morons screaming about 1938 and The Next Hitler.

  • ||

    When you have 284 electoral votes, even if you lose all the tossup states, you can probably take a week off.

    joe, surprised you're so sanguine about the candidate you have a mancrush on doing something so asinine that even my children have given me puzzled looks and asked if Europe and Hawaii are places that Obama should be campaigning in.

    Obama doesn't have 284 electoral college votes. He has zero, same as McCain. If you look at the pollster.com map , what you see is that based on older polls back when Obama appeared to have a large national lead, Obama had a commanding lead in just some of the states that both Gore and Kerry won, and a commanding lead in none of the states that Bush won.

    I don't much care whether Obama or McCain wins. They both suck from my perspective. What I'm saying is that if Obama was serious about winning, he wouldn't be taking a vacation, he'd be charging around hustling up votes. And if he absolutely feels he must take a breather in a state with great weather, it would be far smarter to take it in fucking Florida -- you know, one of yellow swing states on the map.


  • Colin||

    Abkhazia, the other breakaway republic, is now launching air and artillery strikes against Georgia.

  • Elemenope||

    And if he absolutely feels he must take a breather in a state with great weather, it would be far smarter to take it in fucking Florida -- you know, one of yellow swing states on the map.

    When taking a vacation, I am of the mind that only criteria for a location is that which will actually provide comfort and relaxation for the vacationer.

    Since Obama is essentially from Hawai'i, it would make sense for the familiarity and general awesomeness of Hawai'i to recommend it to the top of his list.

    Also, I don't think it particularly wise, either from a vacationer POV or a political one, to play politics with one's own off-time.

  • Colin||

    Just imagine if McCain were president right this moment.

    It's beyond frightening.

  • BDB||

    Again, Obama will win narrowly through a combination of Bush destroying the Republican brand and his own creepy personality cult increasing turnout among the young. Also, you can add McCain's Russia-baiting statements to the list.

  • Elemenope||

    Oh shit, get ready for all the morons screaming about 1938 and The Next Hitler.

    I wouldn't worry too much until Sarkozy or some other two-bit interventionist started yammering about "peace in our time".

    OTOH,

    Abkhazia, the other breakaway republic, is now launching air and artillery strikes against Georgia.

    ...is a pretty fucking bad sign.

  • BDB||

    Colin, I think someone should force McCain to read The Guns of August or if thats too heavy watch The Day After.

  • BDB||

    "too heavy for him". He did graduate last in his class or close to it from what I understand.

  • Colin||

    I think McCain already speaks about Putin in ways that evoke Hitler.

  • Colin||

    Not only did he graduate near last, but he was an admiral's son. You gotta believe they cut him a lot of slack.

  • Colin||

    Again, Obama will win narrowly through a combination of Bush destroying the Republican brand and his own creepy personality cult increasing turnout among the young.

    That creepy personality cult might turn off many voters, too. If they do that "O" salute during his nomination speech like I read about, it could make a pretty damning McCain ad.

  • BDB||

    I think McCain already speaks about Putin in ways that evoke Hitler.



    I should have figured. Do these assholes have any other historic reference point besides 1938 and Hitler? Do they know about anything else? Do they REALLY think every bit of foreign aggression is Munich, that every negotiation is appeasement, that every year is 1938? That level of stupidity makes my head hurt.

    Putin is an asshole but hes a rational one, not Hitler.

    Theres an "O" salute? What!? I think it will work regardless. Look at how many people get suckered into MLMs. Not saying there are no rational reasons to vote for Obama, but his margin of victory will be the personality cult.

  • Colin||

    During the Republican debates, McCain told Paul that people like him caused Hitler.

    Here's a link to the salute:

    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/washington-whispers/2008/08/07/one-nation-under-a-new-obama-salute.html

  • Colin||

    Man, that story almost reads like it came from the Onion. :)

  • Bingo||

    This is the dumbest election ever.

  • BDB||

    Dumber than 2000?

  • Interested Fellow traveler||

    Colin:

    which countries? which languages? and what activities?

  • Kolohe||

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/9/131633/3094/67/565379

    The US military is going to commit an act of war against Russia. They're going to use their air lift equipment to transport Georgian troops into the combat zone to fight.


    If anything, they may be some US logistic support to transport some 2,000 Georgians back to Georgia - you know their country of origin. I doubt they're going to drop them into a hot LZ. Has Russia declared a blockade (or whatever it's air/land equivalent is called) around all of Georgia?

    And it still wouldn't be an act of war unless you think the Berlin Airlift was an act of war? (ok, not a perfect analogy; how bout Europe running through the Anaconda blockade of the Confederacy?)

  • Kolohe||

    I will say interesting map in that kos link. My french is a little rusty, but if a read it right, Batoumi has got to be the closest Russian military base to the NATO border.

    Also, a whole lot a Georgians don't particularly care to be Georgian.

  • Colin||

    which countries? which languages? and what activities?

    I lived four years in Prague (I was there, in fact, at the same time as Matt Welsh), and a year in Vilnius. I speak Czech pretty fluently (or at least I did :)), decent Russian, and can generally get by in some other Slavic tongues. As to what I did, like Matt as well, I ran a small business.

    I also got to travel to most countries in the region. I was never in the Caucuses, but I did visit crazy places like Croatia (officially still at war at the time) and Albania. It was really a magical time.

    How about you?

  • Bingo||

    I went to Mars. AND Jupiter. It was way more magical. Speak the languages pretty fluently too... what now, Colin?

  • Colin||

    You win. :)

    I was asked, so I answered.

  • Kolohe||

    One meta-comment that comes to my mind in the discussion here and the other Ossetia thread.

    It is far better for dorm-living sophomores & other basement dwelling urchins (and anyone else sans credentials) to pontificate about matters of foreign affairs and font pitch, and possibly (probably) be wrong, than for everyone to just shut-up and rely on 'experts.'

    or else from you get: "well, I don't no much about forensic science except from what I see from William Petersen, so I'm sure that Dr. Hayne down there in Mississippi knows what he's doing. He's an expert and has be doing his job for years. Who is some journalism/poli-sci degree Hoosier living in Alexandria to say otherwise?"

  • ||

    """Arizona Rep. John Shadegg (R), crediting the House GOP protest for a drop in the trading price of oil."""

    Holy crap I was just talking about this the other day. I don't remember if I posted it on H&R. I said I was waiting for them to take credit, post hoc ergo propter hoc. I knew one of the GOP had to jump, they just needed a body to step forward and look foolish.

    If I wanted to apply that fallacy, I'd credit the lip service about investigating oil traders as the reason.

  • Elemenope||

    Kolohe,

    So very true.

    Especially when it comes to the soft sciences, which aren't exactly crackerjack with predictions.

  • BDB||

    And doubly true when Our Government Experts have been terribly wrong on this subject for the past seven years (foreign policy).

  • Elemenope||

    Well, our OGE's advice at least proceeds from a *predictable* bias. I am much more frightened of those experts who protest their objectivity loudly.

    Objectivity is a shit sandwich on ice.

  • ||

    BDB what subject has our government experts been right in last seven years?

  • BDB||

    Good point, Tricky. I can't think of any.

  • ||

    A fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Ariel Cohen, praised McCain's statement as "robust and tough."

    Yay!

  • ||

    Colin, you lying sack of shit.

    Admitted I don't know the difference between Iran and Iraq - made up.

  • ||

    I speak Martian and a have a three foot...

  • BDB||

    I wonder when McCain will invent his own "salute"?

  • ||

    prolefeed,

    If you look at the pollster.com map , what you see is that based on older polls back when Obama appeared to have a large national lead, There never a period when Obama had a national lead larger than that he has now. His lead is the same size, or slightly smaller, throughout June and July as it is now.

    Obama had a commanding lead in just some of the states that both Gore and Kerry won, and a commanding lead in none of the states that Bush won.

    That's an interesting way to say that he is winning every state Gore and Kerry won, plus some states Bush won, while McCain is losing every state Gore and Kerry won, as well as several states Bush won.

    Obama is winning deep in Republican territory, and McCain hasn't cracked anything in Democrat territory. Meantime, Obama is winning more in the swing states. Pollster.com, realclearpolitics - they all tell the same story.

    You want to second guess the Obama campaign's strategy after that primary, when he's in the position he's in nationally? You go on with your bad self.

  • BDB||

    I think we have to wait until after Labor Day to see if the attempted swift boating of Obama will work or not.

  • Elemenope||

    joe --

    I think Colin is referring to an incident where you *accidentally* referred to Iran as Iraq (I only remember it because it was a conversation with me ;). In context it was clear which country you were referring to, and consequently it was easily identifiable a momentary slip of the finger/mind.

    Which makes Colin kind of a douchebag for utilizing out of context.

    Such as it is on the Interwebs...

  • EJM||

    Since LW/OLS has been particularly busy, here's some Zoé, Thermo, Volován, División Minúscula, and Panda to enjoy.

  • Colin||

    joe said in that thread, that many times (as in more than once) he mixed up "Iran" and "Iraq."

    If that makes a douchebag, so be it. It certainly doesn't make me a liar.

  • ||

    There never a period when Obama had a national lead larger than that he has now. His lead is the same size, or slightly smaller, throughout June and July as it is now.

    Last week, joe. Same Friday thread on H&R, on the pollster.com map. Light blue nationally (leaning Democratic) then, yellow (tossup) now. McCain ran a few hit pieces, and a seemingly solid lead is down to just a couple percentage points.

    Obama is in Hawaii, where he has a solid 30 point lead. He held a rally in Honolulu yesterday. This is moronic political strategy. If you're gonna hang out on a beach a couple of months before the election, hang out on one in Florida (or North Carolina or Virginia), where just going from one place to another means you're gonna run into thousands of voters who matter. If Obama loses Florida by a couple thousand votes, and thus maybe the election, it'll be due to this.

    I wouldn't be surprised if HRC was pointing out this lack of discipline to superdelegates about now ...

  • TallDave||

    "The market is responding to the fact that we are here talking."

    What, we don't believe in markets here anymore? Or do we not believe the markets are responsive to the possibility of more oil?

  • tarran||

    Talldave,

    The market clearing price for oil isn't going to change just because some congressmen, sitting in a dark room, are making noises about someday in the future allowing more drilling... maybe.

    I expect that a drop in price is the result of lowered demand from both conservation (people changing their behavior because of higher prices) and because people are building fewer factories/office buildings due to the economic slowdown.

  • Episiarch||

    I speak Martian and a have a three foot...

    Vertical leap?

  • ||

    I don't think my whole family combined has a three-foot vertical leap.

    prolefeed,

    All of the aggregates show Obama with the same 3-4 point lead over McCain that he's had since early June.

  • Warty||

    I can't believe I actually clicked on lonewacko links. I feel so dirty...

  • ||

    Here, look at this chart.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html

    And regardless of that, you're talking about one week, in early August, during the Olympics, while his campaign continues to run ads, organize in the field, and release statements. Maybe you're right and this is a net loss for him, but you seem to be hanging a lot of hopes on a very thin reed.

  • ||

    What, we don't believe in markets here anymore?

    I think we not only believe in them, we understand them enough to know that supply and demand are the primary drives are price, and that demand is dropping as the national and global economy slow down.

    Or do we not believe the markets are responsive to the possibility of more oil?

    I think it's been definitively established on these threads that speculation - which is what "the possibility of more oil" in ten or fifteen years is - has absolutely no influence at all on the cost of oil, and that only batshit insane socialists would ever consider such a thing. At least, that was your line when oil prices were high and rising.

  • ga||

    Re: "Barack Obama became pro-energy exploration, all of a sudden."

    Obviously, a political move that just may only piss off hard-line Liberals/Libertarians whose numbers do not really add up to all that much.

    But from a political point, Obama is right. First, the long battles (in the media and in Congress) over drilling come quicker to a close thereby allowing his other messages/policies to be discussed. And second, as drilling, when allowed, turns out to not even begin to start for like 4 to 8 years, or add to the amount of oil supply for like 10 to 12, whose faces will be covered in egg? The GOP. (Well, if the media do their jobs anyway. And, of course, Americans are not famous for the attention span *sigh*)

  • ga||

    rassinfrassin URL parser couldn't fix a typo i made

  • BDB||

    Its because people stopped buying Hummers and pickupts, thats why the price of oil is down. Because $4 was too much for us to pay, so we used less. Duh! Its not because of Jack Boner (or whatever the name of the Republican Minority Leader) is bitching about it.

  • ga||

    BDB "... no one wants nuclear war over some godforsaken backwoods nation thats the size of Delaware. That is just too insane."

    But there are insane people within the throes of the power structure of this country, and, (and I don;t know which is worse) there are insane people throughout the general populous.

    Insane is a harsh word, but how else to define the chicken-hawks in the Bush Administration and in the Op-Ed pages of all our major newspapers that still think that the War on Iraq is a good thing? How else to define the right-wing authors, TV/Radio hosts and "Pundits" and their legions of citizen followers who still think that the War on Iraq is a good thing?

    A War on Iran will happen with the right "justification".

  • TallDave||

    The market clearing price for oil isn't going to change just because some congressmen, sitting in a dark room, are making noises about someday in the future allowing more drilling... maybe

    Sure it is. Anything that appears to increase future supply will necessarily reduce carry trades -- and Congress is the hand on the spigot here in the U.S.

    I'm sure other factors come into play as well, but it's just weird to see the editor a libertarian maagzine pooh-poohing the idea that markets respond to future supply signals.

  • BDB||

    GA-

    Yeah but war with a fourth rate power like Iran or Iraq or Serbia is one thing. War with another world power in an age of nuclear weapons is complete madness. Yet there are still people basically calling for actions that would start that!

  • BDB||

    BTW McCain is running freaking attack ads during the Olympics. Thats not very smart, its a happy event run positive ads. Even Bush did that in 2004.

  • ||

    And regardless of that, you're talking about one week, in early August, during the Olympics, while his campaign continues to run ads, organize in the field, and release statements. Maybe you're right and this is a net loss for him, but you seem to be hanging a lot of hopes on a very thin reed.

    "Hopes"? joe, try and get this fact, which I've already pointed out on this thread -- I don't care whether Obama or McCain wins. They're both awful choices from my perspective.

    I know it's hard for a partisan Blue-stater like you to grasp, but try to wrap your head around the possibility that not everyone is cheering for either the statist on the Blue team or the statist on the Red team -- meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Some of us actually support the guy who's AGAINST statism (or at least is talking a hell of a game, which amounts to the same thing for someone with a 0% chance of getting elected.)

    My comment is simply about how asinine it is for Obama to be taking a vacation in a state he's got totally locked up, instead of in any of the swing states. You get votes just by walking around and smiling and being pleasant to people at the beach, restaurants, stores -- everywhere you go in the course of relaxing. Seems silly, but lots of people vote based on such personal contact with a candidate.

    Obama is going to pick up thousands of votes in Hawaii without even trying on this vacation. If he loses Florida by a lesser margin, will all his staffers still think this trip to Hawaii was such a great idea? Or will some of them be perceptive enough to say -- "Wow -- we really fucked up."

  • Bingo||

    How close is the race in Florida? I was under the impression that McCain led by a pretty large margin

  • Kolohe||

    prolefeed-
    If Obama did take his vacation in Virginia or Florida he would have been criticized by the Hannity-types as a calculating panderer.

    And the Hannity-types would be right.

    The race has gone beyond the 'silly season' - Roget fails me to obtain le mot juste - and thus, I think less is more right now. Staying out of the spotlight for a week or two is at this point an asset - this campaign has been going on so long, even the junkies are getting fatigued.

    Neither candidate can go back to the front porch campaign of McKinley, but a little less exposure may be helpful - the count is currently 234,000 hits for "Obama" on Google news. So no one is going to forget him.

    And really, how many 'common' people outside of NH/IA meet a presidential candidate anyway?

  • Kolohe||

    I seem to recall back in the day, Rush et al got on Clinton's case for vacationing in Martha's Vinyard as a political calculation.

  • ||

    Attention Prog Fans.

    For contemporary prog, Zombi are worth checking out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZvH3bT5jH0

  • ||

    Re: The latest polls.

    joe, remember that Obama is running for the Democratic party. This is the party that managed to lose to both Nixon and George W. Bush. Twice. This is the party that nominated Fritz Mondale and Michael Dukakis on successivive elections.

    Last year, the Detroit Lions started off at a very respectable 6-2. Knowing their history, their proven ability to fuck up a wet dream, I doubted that they'd be playing postseason. You can look up how the pussy cats played the second half. Track records should not be discounted, and the donkey party's is not that good. As ambivalent as I am about Obama, I'd much prefer that he kicks McCains butt back to Metamucilville. As Ronald Reagan showed, vacations are for after you get elected.

  • ||

    the count is currently 234,000 hits for "Obama" on Google news...

    And only 25 for "Obama sex video".

    I report, you decide. ;-)

  • BDB||

    J sub, but I just can't believe the Democrats can fuck this up. The only way McCain can really screw it for them is by winning Michigan, the only Kerry state of any size he has a chance in. Do you think that will REALLY happen?

  • tarran||

    I'm sure other factors come into play as well, but it's just weird to see the editor a libertarian maagzine pooh-poohing the idea that markets respond to future supply signals.

    What supply signal?

    The republicans in Congress have accomplished jack shit. There's no additional supply as a result of their actions. Nor will there be. Do you really think Obama and a Democrat Congress are going to open up the U.S. for drilling? Do you think the guys who trade in oil professionally are so stupid as to think the house Republicans have the power to pull this off? The only impact that this action is going to have is to reduce the crushing margin of victory the Democrats are going to have over the Republicans come November, as the dumber portions of the Republican base will be slightly more motivated to get off their asses and vote on election day.

  • Avenue Q||

    I report, you decide. ;-)

    The Story of Obama -> 22 million hits.

    The Story of O -> 49 million hits.

    Both with no quotes, and SafeSearch ON(!) ->

    Turning the safesearch off raises the second number to 146 million. It also weirdly enough raises Obama's total to 23 mil (which can only mean there's about a million pages of Obama slash fiction out there)

  • tarran||

    Whups, I screwed up the blockquotes on the first paragraph. I was quoting Tall Dave there.

  • ||

    J sub, but I just can't believe the Democrats can fuck this up. The only way McCain can really screw it for them is by winning Michigan, the only Kerry state of any size he has a chance in. Do you think that will REALLY happen?

    Remember Tom Eagleton?
    While past performance is no guarantee of future results, it should certainly be taken into consideration. It is the Democratic party. That must always be considered.

    Plus Michigans economy is in the shitter and the two biggest Democratic politicians (Governor Granholm and Mayor Kilpatrick) are not very popular. I don't think it's likely, but I could see McCain taking Michigan.

  • ||

    J sub, but I just can't believe the Democrats can fuck this up. The only way McCain can really screw it for them is by winning Michigan, the only Kerry state of any size he has a chance in. Do you think that will REALLY happen?

    Kerry had almost the same seemingly insurmountable lead about this time of the year in 2004. Then the race tightened up.

    It's not so much a case of the Democrats fucking this up, as the fact that the electoral math hasn't changed much since 2000 and 2004, where more or less the same dozen or so states were in play. That, and both parties have nominated windmill politicians who have calculated exactly where the political center is, and are furiously tacking toward that center in terms of how they pretend to have stances on the issues.

    Obama is charismatic and is running in a year that should be strongly Democratic-leaning, but I still think it's gonna be a squeaker once the poo starts being flung in earnest.

  • ||

    Not prog (maybe Arcadia comes close?), but today is National Duran Duran Appreciation Day!

  • ||

    "As Ronald Reagan showed, vacations are for after you get elected."

    I agree. WTF? A vacation in the middle of the election season? Pathetic...

    The Democrat's track record with the White House makes it INCREDIBLE that any Democrat would think it's a lock. Incredible...

    The Republicans used to be called the "stupid party" but this election they've been very smart. With Bush low in the polls (he earned every drop) McCain was the best pick (hard to paint him as a Bush lackey). Obama was, on the other hand, a terrible choice, indicative of the foolish tendency of liberals for wishful non-practical thinking. We're going to get four more years of wars and SCOTUS choices that think monotheism is our state religion and the police can do no wrong...

  • ||

    Kerry had almost the same seemingly insurmountable lead about this time of the year in 2004. Then the race tightened up.

    That is false. To take one example, John Kerry never had a lead in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in 2004. There was not a single iteration of that poll that showed a Kerry lead - in fact, Bush never lead by less than 4% in that poll.

    Wheras Obama had a 6% lead in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, which he has consistently lead for months.

  • ||

    joe | August 10, 2008, 9:46pm | #

    Kerry had almost the same seemingly insurmountable lead about this time of the year in 2004. Then the race tightened up.

    That is false. To take one example, John Kerry never had a lead in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in 2004.


    This graph so far shows something strikingly similar to what is going on now -- through August, Kerry seemingly had it wrapped up with strong leads in states totaling over 270 electoral college votes, with Bush having way fewer strong states.

    Then, at the end of August 2004, the strong support for Kerry dropped off.

    This graph shows the realclearpolitics.com poll averages over time -- note how Kerry lead through July and August.

  • ||

    This graph so far shows something strikingly similar to what is going on now -- through August, Kerry seemingly had it wrapped up with strong leads in states totaling over 270 electoral college votes, with Bush having way fewer strong states.

    That's funny, a few hours ago you were talking about how bogus it was to look at electoral leads before the election. Anyway, no, that's not similar to what's going on now. McCain isn't leadin in "fewer strong states," he's leading in more states. That chart also shows a great deal of volatility in the race, which we're not seeing now, and the mean electoral lead is considerably smaller than Obama's. That last point is particularly important, because of how the race shaped up like that: Kerry was winning in blue states, Bush in red states, and they were splitting the swing states - unlike this year, when Obama is leading in many more swing states.

    This graph shows the realclearpolitics.com poll averages over time -- note how Kerry lead through July and August. Also, once again, note the volatility, with Bush and Kerry overtaking each other throughout the race. Also not similar to what we're seeing this year, which is a remarkably steady 3-4 point lead.

  • ||

    Yet there are still people basically calling for actions that would start that!

    Yeah. Most of them seem to be Russians.

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