A Tale of Two Videos

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This is a video from the McCain campaign called "Ayers." It's 90 seconds long, meant for web consumption, and it spent all of yesterday linked from The Drudge Report. As of 10 a.m. today, it had 418,605 views.

Remember "the McCain-Palin mob," the video from a liberal blogger that I linked yesterday? As of 10 a.m., it had 625,561 views.

Two small data points, but the takeaway is that the Ayers attack, pushed hard this week by the McCain campaign, and ampliflied by the media, is not burning up the web. Discussion of McCain's tactics is. That, not Ayers, is the McCain story of the week. (Another new media data point: While "Ayers" has stayed a topic topic in Twitter messages all week, now most Ayers tweets are mockery of McCain.)

Think about Bill Kristol's New York Times column from Sunday. Given a short phone interview with Sarah Palin, he pushed her to talk about Jeremiah Wright. "To tell you the truth, Bill, I don't know why that association isn't discussed more," she said. Bam! Zip! Pow! Etc. But if the goal was to launch a new discussion of Wright, it completely failed. As The Politico's Ben Smith wrote on Monday, "Today we have coverage of Palin talking about Wright, for instance, not of Obama and Wright."

I don't know why McCain is doing this. There was a reason that President Bush made a dig at the "angry left" in his Republican convention speech. Voters can get angry, but they don't want to think they're part of a mob. To make a really outsized analogy, historians of the 60s agree that the thuggery of cops on the Edmund Pettus bridge and video of ugly whites attacking blacks had the biggest impact on shifting mainstream white attitudes on civil rights. Obviously McCain supporters aren't attacking Obama supporters, but the unidentified man who yelled "terrorist!" when McCain asked "who is the real Barack Obama?" has gotten more ink than Palin's coaxed attack on Wright.

It's all a bit mystifying because in the Tuesday debate McCain had the makings of a successful anti-Obama attack on the economy. He warned against Fannie Freddie abuses, Obama didn't, Obama is their political project, I'll save your home and he won't. Did he cede some of this battlefield when he voted for the bailout? Sure. But this is still the battlefield that the election's being fought on. It's as if Iranian troops rolled into Iraq at the end of the 2004 election and John Kerry started attacking Bush's National Guard service. Unless the economy rebounds in three weeks, this will not be a referendum on Obama's character, and McCain's attempts to make it that will tempt this kind of backlash.

UPDATE: Another danger in what McCain's doing: Stories like this, where an ex-governor of Michigan bellyaches about the tone of the GOP campaign and un-endorses the candidate. It looked for a while like McCain would split newspaper endorsements with Obama, but he'll probably get hammered there too.

NEXT: 15-Year-Old Arrested, Jailed for Nude Cell Phone Photos of Herself

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  1. The old white jerk at the McCain event shouting “We’re angry! I’m not finished! We’re angry! Promise me you’ll talk about Reverend Wright!” is the best thing to happen to Barack Obama since Alan Keyes went off the lithium.

  2. LOL WUT

    I hereby officially withdraw my brain from paying attention to this election, and I pledge to devote all the time I would have spent on election news to listening to Joe Satriani.

  3. Satriani?!?

  4. Oh, come on, Warty.

    Joe Satriani music is just some guy wanking in a manner that sounds good to his own insider ears.

    While political commentary…uh…

    So, has Steve Vai put out anything lately?

  5. the best thing to happen to Barack Obama…

    …is the market crash. Everything else pales in comparison. It may be measured in trillions of dollars, but to the Democrats it’s invaluable.

  6. Who uses Twitter? Because if it’s the same user group as Facebook and Myspace, why would it be surprising that it breaks for Obama?

    Serious question, I don’t know anything about Twitter or why anyone would bother with it.

    And I guess I should hereby pledge all the time I would spend paying attention to election news to actually working. When this election is finally fucking over I’ll regret that I ever spent a minute considering the political implications of Twitter.

  7. The GOP really knew how to fear-monger. Not like these pansies today with their “I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more” and their ever-shifting take on the role of the government in propping up the economy. No! We had Karl Rove telling us that if we voted for Frenchy LeKerri we would be overrun with cheap red wine and mimes! And we we were grateful for it! Get off my lawn!

  8. Oh, I do so very much love when Sarah Palin talks about Rev. Wright. Oh, yes indeedy.

    Because that makes her religious associations and beliefs fair game.

  9. Isn’t there also a risk for McCain in trotting out the old, tired, already beat to death attacks? That if something “meaningful” actually comes up, that the voters will say, “not listenin, just more McCain/Palin bullshit?”

  10. I don’t think anyone can argue that failure and crisis harms the party in power, ed, but Obama had this election wrapped up before Lehman fell.

  11. McCain missed the boat on the bailout, and continues to miss the boat on the economy.

    The whole “who sent Obama/who is Obama, really” thing should be the background music. The foreground attack should be on the Dem ties to the Fannie/Freddie debacle.

    That’s a tough one for McCain, unfortunately, because he’s got his own share of Fannie/Freddie people. As with the bailout, unfortunately, it shows that he’s just too much a creature of the Beltway to seize the winning issue this time around.

  12. I agree about that old ranting crank who asked McCain a “question” the other day. That’s not the face you want representing your campaign.

  13. yes, when you’re balls deep in the cookie jar it’s very hard to yell about how evil the cookie jar is.

    I pledge to devote all the time I would have spent on election news to listening to Joe Satriani.

    you could just trepan yourself and save a lot of unnecessary pain and discomfort.

  14. I still haven’t heard the non-flip, non-snarky, non-ironic explanation of why I should care about the Ayers thing.

  15. I think too, that with the war and the economy, people are scared. They want a calm reassuring presence, with policy being secondary. McCain, as the mavericky fighter, with Rocky Bimboa as his trusty sidekick, Just don’t appeal to the masses. All the personal attacks now just come across as shallow and petty.

  16. You just wish you could have pulled off this outfit back in the day, Episarch. And it’s not like I’m listening to Yngwie Malmsteen. That would just be nerdy.

  17. I still haven’t heard the non-flip, non-snarky, non-ironic explanation of why I should care about the Ayers thing.

    No real reason to that I’ve come across either. Perhaps reminds you to never give aging Boomers the benefit of any doubt ever, but nothing that should impact your preference on Mac v. Bam v. Barr

  18. Obama had this election wrapped up before Lehman fell

    I agree, but the Dems won’t be looking this particular gift horse in the mouth.

    The foreground attack should be on the Dem ties to the Fannie/Freddie debacle

    The same debacle the mainstreem press–with only a couple of notable exceptions–refuses to report on? It’s rough going for McCain when the press is carrying the baggage for the Obama campaign.

  19. you could just trepan yourself and save a lot of unnecessary pain and discomfort.

    Would that give me insane guitar skills, like Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil for blues skills?

  20. And it’s not like I’m listening to Yngwie Malmsteen. That would just be nerdy.

    What exactly are you implying?

    (narrows eyes at Warty)

  21. Would that give me insane guitar skills, like Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil for blues skills?

    So much fun, that movie.

  22. So, Mr. Satriani, how do you think the Reverend Wright attacks are going to play among the Fender Dad demographic?

    Like this: doodle oodle doodle oodle doodle oodle doodle oodle waah! wah wah wah wah wah wah wah! doodleoodle doodleoodle doot doot doot doot doot doot kerr-chunk.

  23. This is just like 2004! Kerry was ahead of Bush, too!

  24. Charles Durning’s character was a masterful politician.

  25. Voting for the bailout didn’t just “cede some of the battlefield,” it was and is a total white flag of fiscal wimpdom, even if it’s hardly a shock coming from McSame considering his big government history.

    Look, I’m a Ron Paul fan, albeit one of the “normal” ones, but _I_ would vote against Dr. Paul if he’d voted for the bailout in some hypothetical media-unbiased reality where he’d gotten the nomination. Of course, we all know he’d have voted against the corporate welfare. People who are pissed off about the bailout are going to be proud to vote AGAINST both ‘major’ party bailout supporters. I know I am. My vote sends a message that needs to be sent. That message is “fuck you.”

  26. but Obama had this election wrapped up before Lehman fell.

    No three weeks ago (which does seem like a lifetime) it was close to a dead heat. Obama had a small lead, some momentum and most of the advantages, but McCain could have had some breaks his way, either due to luck, his actions, or obama’s mistakes.

    But by voting for the bailout (and flailing around visibly & unsuccessfully the week before that) he’s re-alienated the base he energized with Palin. And the weakness he showed makes whatever muddled middle is remaining also firm up for Obama.

  27. Had Ayers bombed abortion clinics instead of the Pentagon, there wouldn’t be an issue as he’d be in prison.

    That said, I don’t think the Ayers association is much of an issue for Obama. Obama fans don’t care or may even applaud the connection. Those of us who understand the meaning of Obama’s connection to Ayers realize it is symbolic of the overall reasons we aren’t planning to vote for Obama anyway.

    RC is right the Dem ties to Fanny/Freddie CRA and Obama’s visits to bankers in Chicago are all great stuff, but I’m not sure that McCain (or anyone) can bring that out into the light of day.

    Obama soundbites that DEREGULATION CAUSED THIS. The fact that it is The Big Lie is bad enough, but it is hard for anyone to counter that in three words.

  28. Agreed. McCain’s stupidity involving the bailout and economic issues in general is why he deserves to lose, but that’s what you get for listening to the Kristol “National Greatness” crowd. It’s probably better off for the Repubs if this election takes him out from ever being a national player again.

  29. Ooh, bad timing, TWC.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/opinion/l10ayers.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&oref=slogin

    Prosecutor from the Weathermen case. Not so much with the “Ayers would have been in jail if he’d bombed abortion clinics.”

  30. Charles Durning’s character was a masterful politician.

    A great character actor. One of the best.

  31. The scary thing is that this could get very ugly in the coming weeks with the ongoing attacks. There is a real danger in incitement to violence.

  32. Got a list of abortion clinic bombers who’ve been kicked loose on technicalities?

  33. A great character actor. One of the best.

    “Listen, we’re a small business but we’ve expanded. Expanded! Just like you frogs expand. Don’t you frogs expand?”

  34. Um, having your evidence thrown out because the FBI was committing illegal wiretapping isn’t generally considered a “technicality.”

    But no, there is no such list. Abortion clinic bombings came into vogue only AFTER the Democratic Congress uncovered COINTELPRO, so there was a lot less of that.

  35. Expect Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to be nationalized in the coming days….McCain is gonna get walloped

  36. Yngwie Malmsteen

    “There are too many notes. Take some out.”

  37. I still haven’t heard the non-flip, non-snarky, non-ironic explanation of why I should care about the Ayers thing.

    Because it (in context with other relationships) raises questions about Obama’s character in a couple of ways.

    If you believe that Obama hung out with Ayers, Dohrn, ACORN,, yes, even Wright, because he was on the same page as them ideologically, then you gotta wonder about his true political beliefs.

    If you believe Obama hung out with them because only because they were useful to jumpstarting his career, then you gotta wonder about his character.

    Or, you can just pretend that a whole constellation of relationships never really existed, and vote somebody into office whose biography, although short, is full of puzzling holes.

  38. It was dismissed because of illegal activities, including wiretaps, break-ins and mail interceptions, initiated by John N. Mitchell, attorney general at that time, and W. Mark Felt, an F.B.I. assistant director.

    Sounds like Deep Throat really blew it.

    Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.

  39. Because it (in context with other relationships) raises questions about Obama’s character in a couple of ways.

    Doesn’t it raise more questions about Annenberg, who funded the endowment that hired Ayers? He served on a board for an education charity for a guy. If some accountant served on a board with Ken Lay, does that mean the guy is a shitty accountant?

  40. Is McCain’s constellation of relationships with individuals ranging from G. Gordon Liddy & that General Singlaub coke smuggler (Now for a pre-emptive strike: Look, the ‘Contras’ DID IT, let’s get over the reflexive denials that our government could be corrupt enough to smuggle shitloads of blow on empty weapons plane return flights at immense profit, ok?) along with his wife\’s family\’s alleged mob-connections make his own biography similarly puzzling, if not holy?

  41. Obviously McCain supporters aren’t attacking Obama supporters…

    Give it time. The way the two camps are going, we’ll have some solid Gangs of New York shit before the month is out.

    Good times!

  42. we’ll have some solid Gangs of New York shit before the month is out.

    Do we get moustaches?

  43. The way the two camps are going, we’ll have some solid Gangs of New York shit before the month is out

    What could be better than two groups of idiots slugging it out?

  44. Doesn’t it raise more questions about Annenberg, who funded the endowment that hired Ayers?

    Sure. Him too.

    He served on a board for an education charity for a guy.

    See, this is the favorite dodge of people minimizing these relationships. They pretend that that the only thing Obama ever did with Ayers was sit on a board, when we know that isn’t true, and we know that there’s a lot we don’t know because Obama has been, shall we say, less than forthcoming about his past.

    I’d just like (a) to have a better account of where Obama came from so that (b) I can decide whether he really is a hard-left radical in drag or merely a cold-blooded political opportunist with no detectable principles. Is that so much to ask?

  45. And, sure, let’s get McCain’s biography on the table, too. I carry no water for him.

    I just find the Obaminoids particularly irritating – I’ve spent too much time around smug lefty academics, and am completely out of patience with the breed.

  46. I interviewed lefty economist Lester Thurow yesterday, and he told me: “McCain will win in a landslide. America is not ready for a black president.”
    Discuss.

  47. So, it’s one of those things that raises troubling questions, but there isn’t really any hard evidence of anything being wrong, so you talk about all the troubling questions it raises.

    Thanks, Newt. That clears up a lot.

  48. What could be better than two groups of idiots slugging it out?

    Normally, I’d be right there with you, but I think you fail to grasp just how large and well-armed these groups of idiots are.

    Two (perhaps) out-there predictions:

    If McCain falls far enough away from having a shot at this thing, someone crazy is gonna take a shot at Obama. Panic motivates in a way that mere hate cannot.

    If voter roll shenanigans continue, and a bunch of people show up at polls who have the right to vote and have been removed, there will be violence at the polls.

  49. “Given a short phone interview with Sarah Palin, he pushed her to talk about Jeremiah Wright. “To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more,” she said.”

    Sure, Sara, honey. While we’re ar it we can talk about Bishop Thomas Muthee.

    I wonder who voters would be more concerned about. A candidate whose pastor (who he has denounced) used some over the top hyperbole to dramatize the victimization of American blacks, or one who seems perfectly happy with one who instructed his parishioners to drive a woman out of her home because he believed she was a witch.

    I really wanted to like Sarah Palin. I really did. And I really try to tolerate religious differences (say creationism and abortion) as just that. But belief in witches, ahich I can only conclude that Palin shares, is beyond the pail. Except maybe as some kind of metaphorical expression.

  50. They pretend that that the only thing Obama ever did with Ayers was sit on a board, when we know that isn’t true, and we know that there’s a lot we don’t know because Obama has been, shall we say, less than forthcoming about his past.

    Yeah, he also attended a “get to know the candidate” tea in Ayers’ home (not a fundraiser, as misinformed people seem to think), which wasn’t even organized by the Ayers’, and is the type of function that happens all the time in Chicago (I have several friends who’ve been to similar function, and they may happen in other cities for all I know). Quite damning.

  51. Normally, I’d be right there with you, but I think you fail to grasp just how large and well-armed these groups of idiots are.

    The numbers actually willing to engage in violence are, I would imagine, still very small. I wouldn’t mind seeing those small groups go at it. Not at all.

    “OK, so which of you has been eating newspaper?”

    “That’s inconclusive.”

  52. The numbers actually willing to engage in violence are, I would imagine, still very small.

    I imagine it correlates closely with those who are unemployed, or just lost a ton of money one way or another.

    Oh shit.

  53. RC Dean: Please explain what you mean by “you gotta wonder”. Part of my problem with this whole thing is that nobody can explain in plain language what the issue is. The meaning is always left to the other person to “wonder” at. That’s why this story has no traction. Nobody can say definitively why I should care.

    I don’t want to wonder about things. I don’t want to be left with unstated implications. I don’t want a snarky or ironic statement. If this is about “character” then I’m afraid you’re going to have to show me something about Obama’s character, not some other guy who ran in the same circles. I don’t mean to “minimize” the relationship. I wouldn’t care if Obama was rearbanging Ayers for 10 years. I simply don’t care. And apparently, most Americans don’t care either. Grumpy old men care, and I doubt they were going to vote for Obama anyway.

  54. Um, having your evidence thrown out because the FBI was committing illegal wiretapping isn’t generally considered a “technicality.”

    Point is that Ayers bombed the Pentagon but he couldn’t be convicted of it because of illegal wiretaps. Big diff between I didn’t do it and can’t catch me at the bottom of the sea.

    Although I dearly wanted to obtain convictions against all the Weathermen, including Bill Ayers, I am very pleased to learn that he has become a responsible citizen.

    And, he’s such a nice boy, look how well he’s done.

    The point is that Ayers gets a pass. Not from everyone, of course. But from enough of the broad culture, including the university, the former prosecutor, the media, legal system, and you that his connection to Obama will not have an effect on the election.

  55. So, RCD —

    If a politician is all snuggly with Kissinger, does that make him a war criminal?

    Is the mechanism physical, like osmosis, or is there a metaphysical process, some sort of associative property?

  56. I imagine it correlates closely with those who are unemployed, or just lost a ton of money one way or another.

    Oh shit.

    It’s about to get good! I have my weaponry, I’m not worried.

  57. I interviewed lefty economist Lester Thurow yesterday, and he told me: “McCain will win in a landslide. America is not ready for a black president.”

    Are you shitting us, Jamie?

    Although, I wonder, given the accuracy of his economic predictions, whether his political prognostication is worth much.

  58. RC Dean: Please explain what you mean by “you gotta wonder”.

    Clouds. There is a cloud over Barack Obama, because of all of these troubling questions.

    If you raise six accusations which are all refuted, you can talk about how these questions just keep coming up, and where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

  59. “Yngwie’s chops were so superior and scary that regular guys couldn’t play it and the result was the entire grunge movement.”

    Discuss.

  60. In a month we will have a lot of people ranting on here about how ACORN “stole” the election.

  61. There is no doubt that if there is a deep and long recession homes will have to be shared. No humane government would allow a large segment of the unemployed to go homeless while others have empty rooms. Those that refused to share their space would be seen as criminals and punished by eviction. Our lives would be difficult but eventually the economy would return to normal and we all would get back our privacy.

    There would be no time to choose a compatible roommate in times of an emergency.The problems of sharing a home with a stranger can be severe. The distribution of food and sex would have to be negotiated fairly. Fortunately the arrangement will be temporary. But in some cases strangers will become compatible and will be strangers no more. Faith,Hope and Charity can open all doors.

  62. I am reassured by Sen. Obama’s pattern with Rev. Wright. If a guy he knows is a political liability, he gets dumped. And if Sen. Obama can dump his old pastor, Rev. he can dump his old Chicago neighbor, Professor Kill Your Parents.

    In sum, I don’t see Ayers or Wright joining an Obama administration. Obama knows them too well.

  63. Of course we will, BDB. It’s going to make Bob Dornan’s Evita performance about teh illegals stealing his seat seem tame by comparison, and the accusations of Diebold hacking in Ohio in 2004 seem grounded in concrete evidence.

  64. When will you people get it through your heads that we CAN’T let Obama win this thing! McCain isn’t perfect, but four years of Obamastan would be a DISASTER for American freedom. At this point, Obama’s sympathy for terrorists and socialists is hardly surprising. What is surprising is that people are giving up on McCain when it counts, and that no one is really kicking Obama where it hurts. Conservative and libertarian blogs should be in an uproar against this scumbag. Do we give up this easily?

  65. Are you shitting us, Jamie?

    No.
    Then again, Lester Thurow also told me that financial meltowns like this are “inherent” in capitalist markets, and that “nobody is to blame” for the current crisis.
    As an interviewer, it was hard to keep from laughing and/or screaming at him.

  66. I don’t know, Mad Max. Ayers’ professional background would seem to make him a good pick for Secretary of Education.

    But then, I understand he’s also done some work at the Pentagon.

    What? Too soon?

  67. Good news for Episiarch! He can finally, legally, be himself.

  68. I brought up the “Chicago School” with Thurow, and he immediately and dismissively rolled his eyes at me.
    He also corrected me on the pronunciation of Von Mises.
    “It’s VON MEESES,” he said.
    I could tell he was kind of … well, a dick.

  69. Sugarless,

    I’m still irritated that Connecticut beat Rhode Island to this.

    Bastards.

  70. Ayers as Secretary of Education PC Re-Education.

  71. The real problem is that the GOP is still in the denial about what happened in 2000-2006, when they were solely in charge of the government and responded to the situation by abandoning anything remembling philosophical conservatism. Until they deal with that, they won’t be able to debate the issues because they’re completely unable to articulate any sort of consistent position on them.

    In the mean time, the party has nothing left but conservatism as a sort of identiy group for lower-middle class rural white Christians.

    Unfortunately, as the McCain campaign shows, the GOP hasn’t really ‘bottomed out’ yet and is likely to continue spiralling downward for some time to come.

  72. Look on the bright side, Jamie.

    Maybe President Obama will let you fire off a single salute to international socialism before he confiscates your guns.

    We’ll see common-sense firearms regulation yet…Inshallah.

  73. ECONOMIST: CUT VALUE OF HOMES

    By JAMIE KELLY
    of the Missoulian

    Bailout? Bail out whom?

    Prosecute? Prosecute whom?

    Political talk is cheap and a $700 billion bailout is expensive, but the financial crisis that looms over the United States and the world would be easily undermined with a single course of action: lower the price of homes.

    That’s the opinion of Lester Thurow, a world-renowned economist in Missoula to help celebrate the opening of the UM business school’s Gilkey Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Executive Education and to speak to students about the nation’s ongoing financial meltdown.

    The Montana-born-and-raised Thurow, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and prolific author on globalism and economics, said much of the hemorrhaging in the economy could be slowed if the government stepped in to lower home prices to “pre-bubble” levels and renegotiate bad loans and loans in default.

    “You’ve got to stop people from walking away from their mortgages,” said Thurow. “Whatever you do, you have to do that, or else.”

    Or else what?

    Or else the United States and the rest of the world are in for prolonged pain, said Thurow, who added that the bailout bill recently passed by Congress is a mistake.

    Bailouts only help banks and their CEOs, and don’t address the real problem: that people aren’t making their mortgage payments and that the default rate has locked up financial and credit markets.

    “You can’t just operate on confidence,” he said. “You have to get the economy moving.”

    To do that, Thurow calls for the government, on a massive scale, to reappraise home values and have banks and individuals renegotiate subprime loans to help stop the crisis from spreading further.

    Neither presidential candidate, Barack Obama or John McCain, is addressing that issue, with both voting for the massive bailout, he said.

    Yet, unlike the candidates, Thurow won’t toss around blame. This current crisis is no different than others that have preceded it, he said.

    “I don’t blame anyone because it’s the nature of the beast,” he said. “Elk come with horns. That’s just the way they come. Capitalism comes with financial crises. That’s the way it comes.”

    Calls for hearings and prosecution of CEOs and others are fruitless, because no laws were broken in the first place, Thurow said.

    “Who would you prosecute?” he asked. “People did things at the time that were perfectly legal. Maybe they shouldn’t have been done, but they did.”

    Thurow said there will be further short-term pain on the stock market, but insisted the United States will avoid another Great Depression, and that “around 2009, 2010, things will begin to level out.”

    Thurow was born in Montana and left the Treasure State when he was 18.

    He has appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes” and sat on the editorial board of the New York Times.

    Reporter Jamie Kelly can be reached at 523-5254 or at jkelly@missoulian.com

  74. The one that really gets me is the Angry White Guy at the McCain rally who is really angry at the “socialist”…uh, Democrats. As if McCain is some Great Capitalist Leader. If “the socialists are taking over” it’s with the help and perhaps LEADERSHIP of Republicans like John McCain.

    I am also very sorry for Cindy McCain’s disadvantaged children- the ones that Barack Obama is trying to starve and kill.

    Thats not a good look for a thieving ( formerly?) drug-addicted lady that already looks straight out of central casting for Ice Bitch/Evil Queen.

    These McCains just look like angry bitter ( no elitist) old fools.

    I think they need to run some more ads showing McCain’s positives rather than the attacks on Obama. I would suggest featuring some of the blue collar workers from Ohio who said “We still don’t like black people” and a prominent “Lady de Rothschild” endorsement commercial.

  75. I could tell he was kind of … well, a dick.

    He has some connection to my dad. Like they went to the same high scohol or something. I know he said he grew up in Eastern Montana during an oil boom or something, which is also where my dad grew up (Sidney, MT), and they’re about same age, so they may have gone to school together at some point. Most eastern Montanans are pretty nice, but really smart people can be pretty dickish at times, I guess.

  76. I don’t know, Mad Max. Ayers’ professional background would seem to make him a good pick for Secretary of Education.

    But then, I understand he’s also done some work at the Pentagon.

    What? Too soon?

    I thought that was kinda clever the first time

  77. But Joe! The tee-vee said the Ayers attacks are “resonating”.

    Chris Matthews said were the election held today, Obama would “Squeak by” with a two point win in PA.

    Yeah, he really said that. Even though he’s up an *average* of +13.8 in PA.

  78. Point is that Ayers bombed the Pentagon but he couldn’t be convicted of it because of illegal wiretaps. Big diff between I didn’t do it and can’t catch me at the bottom of the sea.

    Not according to the justice system there isn’t.

  79. Tweety got issues.

  80. You know whose positives have spiked since the meltdown? Joe Biden’s.

    Is it because he’s the most credible adult on the stage? Because he looks good in comparison to Palin? (Let me repeat: I. Am better. Than that.)

  81. When will you people get it through your heads that we CAN’T let Obama win this thing! McCain isn’t perfect, but four years of Obamastan would be a DISASTER for American freedom. At this point, Obama’s sympathy for terrorists and socialists is hardly surprising. What is surprising is that people are giving up on McCain when it counts, and that no one is really kicking Obama where it hurts. Conservative and libertarian blogs should be in an uproar against this scumbag. Do we give up this easily?

    McCain and Obama are both socialists. There is no evidence that Obama is a terrorist sympathizer. Quite the contrary.

    Bush has already been a DISASTER for American freedom. Specifically, the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th amendments have all taken hits.

    I have absolutely ZERO faith that McCain will make any effort to reverse that. I believe that with Obama, there is a chance to restore some of those freedoms. Sure, Obama might want to take a whack at the 2nd amendment, but the Heller decision put a huge kink in that plan and the Supremes aren’t going leftist anytime soon.

  82. The Bradley Effect will win it for McCain.

  83. The Bradley Effect will win it for McCain.

    Sorry, but I’ve been dead for about 15 years now.

  84. The real problem is that the GOP is still in the denial about what happened in 2000-2006, when they were solely in charge of the government and responded to the situation by abandoning anything remembling philosophical conservatism.

    The meltdown started waaaaaay before that. The ideological collapse started when Gingrich made the bush-league error of tring to beat Clinton in a media fight and caught hell when he shut down the government, but really the cracks were already visible in the Reagan years. You remember Reagan? Libertarian-talking guy, big fan of racking up massive deficits, then distracting people by cutting nickle-and-dime programs while leaving the big ticket stuff in place as a gift to his supporters? The guy who believed in “deregulation” (which turns out to be a particularly Orwellian way of saying “crony capitalism”) as perhaps his signiture policy? The guy whose behaviors have been emulated by conservatives ever since, even though it was already painfully obvious that they lead to massive graft and corruption?

    The house of cards that is conservatism has been tilting for a long time now.

  85. “Yngwie’s chops were so superior and scary that regular guys couldn’t play it and the result was the entire grunge movement.”

    Yngwie’s chops were so speedy that it’s often hard to discern anything but a blur of notes. That gets really damn tiresome, really damn quick. All the speed demons that were popular back in the early 90’s had that same problem.

    Most people like songs written as songs, not as vehicles for guitar solos (Malmsteen, Gomez, Vai, Satriani, Di Meola, etc.) While you may hate grunge bands, they at least wrote accessible tunes.

  86. The house of cards that is conservatism has been tilting for a long time now.

    I think every political movement is a house of cards because cards are the only available building material.

  87. Jamie, did you really write that article? There wan’t a single “fuck” in it.

  88. You can blame WFB for the sorry state of modern conservatism. I’ll never forgive the guy who wrote a fiction book pimping his distancing the Cold Warriors from Rand, the Old Right and the JBS.

  89. Most people like songs written as songs, not as vehicles for guitar solos (Malmsteen, Gomez, Vai, Satriani, Di Meola, etc.) While you may hate grunge bands, they at least wrote accessible tunes.

    But even if they are vehicles for guitar solos, they still need to be good songs. Yngwie didn’t know how to write a good song. He only knew how to shred.

    If you look at guys like Eddie Van Halen, Ritchie Blackmore, or Frank Zappa, they knew that they would need a good song around their solos and that’s why they were so successful. Blackmore himself only did a handful of instrumental tracks (two as b-sides) because he didn’t think they’d hold people’s interest.

    Unfortunately, Yngwie did not learn this from his hero.

  90. Most people like songs written as songs, not as vehicles for guitar solos

    My favorite solos are from Will Sergeant of Echo and the Bunnymen. Hell, he’ll often just repeat one note five or six times in row (listen to “New Direction” sometime, for example, or the last minute and a half of the Killing Moon), but they were really flowing and fit the mood of the music perfectly.

  91. Does Jack White qualify as a guitar hero?

  92. Most people like songs written as songs, not as vehicles for guitar solos

    Nah but I like the Buzzcocks’ “Boredom” just cuz it sets up that great all-thumbs two-note solo.

  93. FOX News pays Ollie North, a guy who sold weapons to a country that wants to destroy Israel, and probably the US.

    Does that mean everyone at FOX is tainted?

  94. Does Jack White qualify as a guitar hero?

    Does Jack Black qualify as a guitar hero?

  95. Does Frank Black qualify as a guitar hero?

  96. But even if they are vehicles for guitar solos, they still need to be good songs. Yngwie didn’t know how to write a good song. He only knew how to shred.

    Which is why I like Satriani. His songs typically have some flow to them, and aren’t just scales played ridiculously fast over and over for 10 minutes. But you also get to marvel at his absurd skills, too, so it’s a good mix for me.

    I’m quite pleased to have hijacked this thread, by the way. Guitars are way cooler than McBain and O-whats-his-name.

  97. Does Black Rob qualify as a guitar hero?

  98. Which is why I like Satriani. His songs typically have some flow to them, and aren’t just scales played ridiculously fast over and over for 10 minutes. But you also get to marvel at his absurd skills, too, so it’s a good mix for me.

    I would agree with that, but that style can get repetative. I haven’t listened to any Satriani after Time Machine although his first two albums are among my faves.

    That being said, I saw him at a G3 concert in 1996 and he wasn’t quite as impressive. Steve Vai kicked everybody’s ass that night.

  99. my personal faves are (in no particular order) SRV, Django, Gilmore, Lifeson, and of course, Neil (no i cant’ play but i’m gonna solo anyway) Young.

  100. [Satriani’s] songs typically have some flow to them, and aren’t just scales played ridiculously fast over and over for 10 minutes.

    His songs are better than Malmsteen’s, but his lyrics are atrocious. Not that I’ve never written lyrics that bad, but I throw them away after I sober up.

    If I want to listen to a guitarist wanking away, I’ll get out the Michael Schenker solo albums. The songwriting still isn’t great, but his solos have a sense of melody that’s almost unmatched.

    Talking about Guitar Hero, I thought it was funny that one of the songs on there was Blitzkrieg Bop. Probably the only time where playing the video game is actually harder than playing the song on a real instrument.

  101. Does Vanna White qualify as a guitar hero?

    For some reason, whenever I see her, my fingers hurt.

  102. I’m not going to call Weigel an idiot. However, Youtube isn’t exactly known for their speedy accuracy nor are they known to be unbiased. For instance, this previous example of a Drudge-linked video never made it to their top lists, for some odd reason. It was just a glitch!

    In the current case, if you look at the sites linking to the two videos, you’ll see that almost all the traffic to the McCain one is from Drudge. However, the BHO smear gets links from the HuffPost, DK, etc. and has probably received hits from an endless string of “liberal” sites as well as from digg (which wouldn’t be listed).

    Maybe Reason needs to find Weigel a helper to explain complicated things like this to him.

  103. my personal faves are (in no particular order) SRV, Django, Gilmore, Lifeson, and of course, Neil (no i cant’ play but i’m gonna solo anyway) Young.

    All good players (esp. Gilmour, Lifeson, and N. Young). I live in Austin, so SRV gets old.

    I tend to favor Frank Zappa, Ritchie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Fripp, Glenn Tipton (God help me), and Angus Young.


  104. Does Jack White qualify as a guitar hero?

    Hell no.


    Does Jack Black qualify as a guitar hero?

    Hell yeah!

    It’s all about the spirit, not the chops.

    Speaking of guitar hero, anyone ever hear of Monty Montgomery?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31QQ1gNpAaY

    Warning to fellow guitar players – watching this may make you want to cut your fingers off.

  105. Lonewacko, who’s your favorite GuitarHero?

  106. Carlos Santana.

  107. As I get older and mellower I’ve started preferring Chet Atkins and Joe Pass. I don’t need more excitement.

  108. As I get older and mellower I’ve started preferring Chet Atkins and Joe Pass. I don’t need more excitement.

    How about Mark Knofler? Great playing, but talk about mellow.

  109. Carlos Santana.

    Seconded.

  110. Ele,

    Of course, I guess he’d spell it CarlosSantana and only listen it in a closet.

  111. NEWSFLASH: libertarians like wanky guitarists.

    next on our special report on water: “wetness – nature or nurture?”

    just kidding i love you guys.

  112. i would like to think he has a fuckton of nortenos mixes.

    so what about it senor wackolo? what is on your ElectronicMusicPlayingDevice?

  113. next on our special report on water: “wetness – nature or nurture?”

    I love to nurture wetness.

  114. Probably nobody here cares, but I just have to note that the fomer Michigan governor (whose been out of office for 25 years) who is backing away from McCain is a RINO squish from way back. Nobody pays the slightest attention to him anymore. The media trots him out every four years for their “even staunch Republicans are distressed by” [insert this year’s candidate here] story.

  115. dhex,

    Maybe a bad encounter with Gerardo in his youth left him permanently scarred.

  116. I think that there’s a 95% chance that Lonewacko’s family was raped, murdered, and then raped again by a band of mariachis. Just a guess.

  117. If John McCain can’t even hold the RINO squishes, it’s worse than I thought.

    That would be like Barack Obama losing the buppies.

  118. The real problem is that the GOP is still in the denial about what happened in 2000-2006, when they were solely in charge of the government and responded to the situation by abandoning anything remembling philosophical conservatism. Until they deal with that, they won’t be able to debate the issues because they’re completely unable to articulate any sort of consistent position on them.

    Conservatives have always abandoned conservatism when there was an external “enemy” to fight. After WWII there was very little difference between conservatives and libertarians. Then the Russkies became the enemy. Bill Buckley argued that small government principles had to be put on hold until after we prevailed against International Godless Communism. Reagan was somewhat of an abberation in that he talked a lot about small government, but he still managed to grow government. Now we have a war with International Islamic Terrorism, and small government principles have to again be put on hold.

    If you talk to conservatives today, they will all give lip service to small government. But they will still all rally around the candidates who promise to strengthen and expand government. This was made concrete earlier this week in an email from someone writiing to unsubscribe from the RLC mailing list. She said she was quitting because of the RLC “being on the absolutely wrong side of our war for our survival against Islamic totalitarianism”.

  119. Is it too late to throw in my vote for Buckethead?

  120. RINO squishes

    I hear 7/11 has a new 72 oz. bargain cup for those.

  121. Maybe a bad encounter with Gerardo in his youth left him permanently scarred.

    “Rico Suave” scarred a lot of people. Most of us are able to recognize that not all Hispanics are to blame for it…

  122. Most of us are able to recognize that not all Hispanics are to blame for it…

    But those that are? Those fuckers get what they deserve.

  123. Hogan: Re: “I thought that was kinda clever the first time.”

    Why would you do that? Would you call somebody out like that in the real world? What would make you do that?

  124. “Rico Suave” scarred a lot of people. Most of us are able to recognize that not all Hispanics are to blame for it…

    But we can still blame whitey for ice ice baby, right?

  125. BakedPenguin,

    Also, while my rotted brain is thinking of it. I couldn’t find Soy Leyenda in the catalog I finally got out of George Eastman House. Although all hope may not be lost, I think the catalog was use the performance film catalog and not the preservation catalog. I’ve got more inquires in.

  126. RicoSuave is the soundtrack to the NorthAmericanUnionHighway. DaveWeigal knows but is TooStupid to ask the HardQuestions like WhatHappenedToGerardo?

    That would be like Barack Obama losing the buppies.

    what the fuck is buppies?

  127. Black yuppies.

  128. “what the fuck is buppies?”

    Black yuppies.

  129. SugarFree: you son of a gun.

  130. But we can still blame whitey for ice ice baby, right?

    The greatest shame of America is that it didn’t exile that idiot to Mercury.

  131. Lamar,

    I have you know my mother was a bitch, thank you very much.

  132. Bitch is the new black.

  133. Oh, and there’s also Brad Paisley and early Glen Campbell.

  134. Black yuppies.

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    i get it!

    it’s like “blasians” but about socio-economic factors instead of ethnic heritage.

  135. See! See! No one listened to the raving bigots on gay marriage and now something like this has happened!

  136. SugarFree – thx. If a copy of Soy Leyenda is ever found, we have to invite Lonewacko to the screening.

  137. The Last Man On Earth… SPEAKS SPANISH!

    I think we’d break him.

  138. SugarFree,

    we told you so.

  139. Anti-citrite.

  140. “coaxed”.

    HA! Good one.

  141. Oh, wait. I hadn’t finished. Another good one: “It looked for a while like McCain would split newspaper endorsements with Obama”.

    You are cracking me up. God-damned side splitting. McCain will get 25% newspaper endorsements, tops. I’ll put $ on it.

  142. ed: “the best thing to happen to Barack Obama…is the market crash. Everything else pales in comparison. It may be measured in trillions of dollars, but to the Democrats it’s invaluable.”

    Obama was very probably going to win anyway, albeit by a narrow margin and with a less Democratic congress. Given the chances that whoever is on office during 2009-2010 as the US struggles through what is looking like a nasty recession (in a best-case scenario), I’m not sure that the credit crash has really done Obama any favors in the long run.

  143. Sorry, the last post should read “Given the chances that whoever is on office during 2009-2010 as the US struggles through what is looking like a nasty recession (in a best-case scenario) WILL GET BLAMED FOR THE MISERY, I’m not sure that the credit crash has really done Obama any favors in the long run.”

  144. The left has been calling W a terrorist, Hitler, and murderer for seven years, and millions of people world-wide believe he perpetrated the 9/11 atrocity. Now one guy yells “terrorist” about BHO at a McC rally, and such behavior is suddenly now a horrible, notable outrage? Gimme a break.

  145. @gp:

    Don’t waste your breath. It seems the Socialists are taking over Reason, along with everything else.

  146. John McJerk is trying hard to lose in a landslide, ain’t he?

  147. This is just like 2004! Kerry was ahead of Bush, too!

    Nooooo, he wasn’t.

  148. Don’t waste your breath. It seems the Socialists are taking over Reason, along with everything else.

    Seems W, his man Paulson and the fat cats on Wall Street are the socialists now. Imagine if Obama had proposed nationalizing the banks like Bush and Paulson have. We wouldn’t even be having to hear all this Ayers baloney.

  149. It doesn’t matter what McCain or Obama do or do not do; McCain is going to win. No way will America vote in Obama.

  150. re newspaper endorsements above – from editorandpublisher.com:

    Our Updated Endorsement Chart: Obama Leads 28-11

  151. The unmitigated hypocrisy of the Democrats to express outrage at the anger of a few people at Republican rallies when even Sen. Obama has been harping on how angry the public is makes me laugh. The iconic hypocrisy of the left to warn conservativs to be “good losers” and lay off Obama’s past extreme socialist associations when for 8 years they have called Pres. Bush and his cabinet and advisors every name in the book, drawn grotesque cartoons of them, produced movies not merely mocking them, but suggesting assassination of them, is obvious. The intellectual and emotional honesty of the left is non-existent.

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