Tagged: John McCain

From Maverick to Zelig.

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I now believe that John McCain doesn't even know who John McCain is anymore. 10 years ago he was a straight talking maverick. Two years ago he was still a little strange but much more party line. Today he is borderline tea party. The latest wacky fun? He's suggesting that illegal aliens are looking to cause car accidents on purpose.

McCain was flip flopping (remember when only liberals did that?) on his previous views on immigration and strongly supporting Arizona's new borderline racist immigration law. He suggested that it would be a shame if the law led to racial profiling, but also totally justified.

Of course, I'm still trying to figure out why illegal aliens are cruising around looking to ram my car. I'm sure there's some insidious plot there that the Minutemen would be all over if they were still around.

What Sin Is Triangulation A Euphemism For Again?

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While it does seem a bit odd that Barack Obama would choose Pastor Rick Warren (best known for allegedly favoring John McCain in a debate at Warren's church, and, for those who enjoy such things, a certain lunatic conspiracy theory)  to officiate at Obama's inauguration, it's probably a better choice than Jeremiah Wright.

That's about the best I can say for it.

Finally, They Face the Tough Questions

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Both Obama and McCain will be interviewed (recorded earlier) on Monday Night Football. Does anyone think this is a good idea? Has anyone been thinking "man, I wonder what sort of insights Chris Berman has on the presidential election?" Just imagine the forced banter..

John "MCCLOUD!" McCain. Or, "Barack Obama. From?" "Harvard." This can really only end in tears, or drudging boredom. Or both.

As Good A Reason As Any

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Yesterday my five-year-old daughter announced that she wants John McCain to win because he has white hair and she loves him. My seven-year-old son said he wants Barack Obama to win because he "totally rocks."

The nearly two-year-old is the swing voter. Judging from her polling results at a party last night, she'll vote for whoever allows her to smear frosting all over herself.

Or, Young Women are the New Black…

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Remember those glory days when the Republican National Convention was a huge drinking game called find the one black guy? Well, those days are over. Not because of a dramatic influx of people of color, but because Fox has a new marching order. Show lots of shots of women. Especially young women. It's a little creepy, and pretty darn obvious pandering.

Speaking of pandering, tonight is Sarah Palin's big chance to see how many times she can use the phrase "executive experience." As always, I'm watching Foxnews, so you don't have to. Buckle up, it's gonna be a long night… (more…)

McCain Campaign Takes Strong Stance on Media Spinelessness

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Specifically, they insist on it.

Yesterday CNN's Campbell Brown interviewed McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. After commiserating over having ridiculous names, Brown did something nearly unheard of in modern political reporting — she actually tried to get Brown to answer the fucking question put to him — which in this case was about Sarah Palin's foreign policy experience. You can see the clip here. Watch the part where she tries to get him to specify what Palin does as Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard.

Of course, in this day and age to be a good reporter you're just supposed to sit there and take the talking-point bend-over from whatever blow-dried Mouth of Sauron your producer has dredged up. So apparently Brown's attempt to get a straight answer has caused offense, and the McCain campaign has canceled an appearance before the octogenarian fellator Larry King, saying that Brown's conduct was "over the line." And it's true, if the line is drawn between being a primped game-show-host and being a real damned journalist.

If Brown's terrier-like pursuit of Bounds was shocking, it was only because it is so rare. ALL the goddamn interviews should be like that, of both sides. (Believe me there are plenty of Obama happy-talkers who need to undergo Socratic questioning until they wet their non-exploitatively-cultivated hemp underdrawers.) CNN ought to drag some Obama flack on today and throw them into Brown's cage just to dispel the suggestion that the interview was biased. Reporters are not supposed to be spokesmodels.

Free Lawyer Advice: This Would Be An Excellent Opportunity to Shut Up

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Say you're an office manager married to an Amtrak foreman and drive a 1993 car and live in an apartment in Queens, and somebody notices that (1) you've recently given $61,600 to McCain's campaign and the RNC, most of it days after McCain endorsed offshore drilling, and (2) the business you are an office manager for is Hess Corp., one of the country's top five oil companies, and your contributions during that period plus those of Hess execs and their wives and mothers and such exceed $315,000.

Would you like to guess what I, as a high-priced white collar criminal defense lawyer, would like to tell you to do when the press calls to ask whether or not you donated your own money?

I'll give you a hint. It starts with "shhhhh" and ends with "ut the fuck up, dipshit." You don't. give. a. statement.

I'm in the market for a eye-catching design that can rival the Nike swoosh to go with my revolutionary branding catchphrase, Just shut up.

Paris Hilton Would Appreciate A Little Respect For Her Privacy

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The Associated Press, in an "analysis" of the McCain campaign's newest television ad which compares Barack Obama's celebrity (and media treatment) to that of some of the more vapid Hollywood celebrities, throws in a little too much information:

Jason Moore, a representative for Hilton, said McCain's campaign didn't seek permission to use her image.

"In reference to the recent John McCain ad, Miss Hilton was neither asked, nor did she give permission, for the use of her likeness in the ad, and has no further comment," Moore said.

Does anyone who's seen this ad (and I have though I can't find a linkable clip) honestly think that the most unflattering use of Paris Hilton is: a) with her permission; or b) that anyone, apart for people living in plastic bubbles and Paris Hilton, gives a damn?

I think it's a pretty clever ad, which Obama has invited upon himself. As for Miss Hilton, God only knows what she's invited upon herself.

An Old War Story

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In the summer of 1967, something unthinkably weird happened on the deck of a US aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin.

It was fueling time in preparation for yet another sortie, and the planes were arranged on the carrier in this manner:

The large plane in the upper left, an F-4 Phantom II, flipped from external to internal power. Normally, this was wholly routine. This time, a power surge launched a 5-inch rocket out of the underwing rocket pod.

As you can see, the weapon struck one of the two manned planes, A-4 Skyhawks, on the right. Although a safety mechanism prevented the rocket from detonating, it struck and destroyed a wing-borne fuel tank on the smaller plane and a conflagration ensued. The external fuel tanks on those and nearby planes overheated and exploded, accelerating the fire with even more jet fuel, which then caused even more tanks in the area to cook off. The pilots in the affected planes could either quick-fry to a crackly crunch or jump ten feet down into the fire, near its source, and run through the erupting blaze to safer ground.

Meanwhile, the impact of the initial rocket strike had also caused a couple of half-ton bombs to come loose and fall into the heart of the inferno. A minute and a half into the crisis, as the mutually reinforcing jet-fuel/explosion cycle spiraled out of control, one of the heavy bombs beneath the struck planes cooked off. It destroyed the plane with its remaining arms, blew a crater in the flight deck, and rained fiery jet fuel and molten shrapnel on the crew who had been trying desperately to bring things under control. Almost all the on-deck firefighters were destroyed in the blast. In addition, the explosion detonated eight more of the same heavy bombs. The chained explosion of the half ton missiles shredded the flight deck and sent flaming and molten debris flooding down into the hangars and living quarters below.

One hundred thirty-four dead. One hundred sixty-one injured. It took the ad hoc firefighting crew until the following day to master the flames.

One of the pilots of the two Skyhawks the wayward missile had struck was incinerated by secondary explosions as he tried to escape his cockpit. The other, whose plane had dumped the half-ton bomb that set off the huge chain reaction 90 seconds in, managed to survive. Throwing open the canopy and climbing onto the nose of his plane, he ran down, leapt into the flames, and fled through the fire shortly before the big one beneath his craft went off and destroyed his aircraft and everything around it.

He escaped– but not before going back in to try to help another plane's pilot to safety– a rescue interrupted and prevented by an explosion that threw him back two body lengths, pelted his chest and legs with shrapnel, and ripped apart his fellow rescuers.

From the heart of the disaster the Skyhawk pilot finally made it to the periphery and safety, having defeated fear– having reacted with courage and agility just in nick of time.

His name? Lieutenant Commander John McCain.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the relevant details and images.

How to Tell a Mountain from a Molehill

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Five Thirty Eight, one of the myriad election projection sites around the web, has a piece far more interesting and entertaining than another story on how divide the number 538: the Electric Minor Political Scandal Acid Test.

We all have our biases, and we all wonder how it is that some story we just don't care about, like what's on Obama's lapel or McCain's use of his wife's jet as opposed to her car, takes off on the web while important news like Zimbabwe goes undiscussed. 538 has an explanation for this, and based on about 26 years of watching politics like a hawk I think he's mostly right. The test boils down to:

1. Easy soundbite.

2. Appearance of hypocrisy or other serious political negative.

3. Does it tell us something we just know is true?

4. Is it safe for the opposition to use?

5. Are people bored?

Based on these criteria (more fully explained at 538), we can see why Obama's Jeremiah Wright problem took off. BLACK NATIONALIST OBAMA PREACHER YELLS GOD DAMN AMERICA IN CHURCH ON 911!


But you can apply the test to any of them. WARMONGER BUSH USED DADDY'S CONNECTIONS TO DODGE VIETNAM DRAFT! would have been dynamite, had it not been superseded by something even easier: LIBERAL MEDIA SMEARS REPUBLICAN WITH FAKED DOCUMENTS!!! And so Dan Rather lost his job, and John Kerry lost his election.

In fact, you could probably condense the test even further. Can you put the scandal in capital letters, and if so, how many punctuation symbols can you add before it gets embarrassing? Based on all of this, I can see two potential scandals becoming major embarrassments if further evidence or events warrant: McCain's explosive temper (SHOULD THIS MAN HAVE HIS FINGER ON THE BUTTON?!?), and the fact that surrogates claiming to support Obama are sabotaging his candidacy by minimizing or laughing off McCain's heroism (LIBERAL BRIE EATERS SPIT ON MCCAIN'S SACRIFICE!!!) That or something to do with arugula.

Of the two, I expect the temper to have more legs when it matters. Obama can throw Wesley Clark and any number of idiot bloggers under the bus. His bus has 18 wheels. McCain, on the other hand, has to drive his bus, or someone will have an accident.

Via John Scalzi.