Saturday, November 01, 2008


Amanda Jones, who is 109-years-old and the daughter of a former slave, cast her ballot for Senator Obama this week. Her family has lived in Bastrop, TX for five generations.

Now, as you pump your fist, I reminisce

Harrogate's right: let's celebrate this weekend before the tension slams back down next week.

Although I am going to avoid aiming at early-70s Adult Contemporary of Chicago V (and they have entire albums that sounded like that, man!).

Baghdad Bob

Predicts McCain landslide!!! Well, I mean Rick Davis does since Obama is searching for 270 through Georgia, North Dakota, and Arizona. Right.

The Cook Report has a different take.

But it is fun mentioning Baghdad Bob anyway.

Without Wild Man's Consent

Despite Wild Man's good taste in music, he does not care for the following song, which is one of my all time favorites from one of my favorite bands. It reminds me of my long-forgotten college days, as I imagine it will for most of the Situationers.

Happy Saturday!!!!!!!

Harrogate has had a difficult time of it, lately, thinking of things to post, beyond offering up some good music/videos for the delight and amusement of fellow Board Members. The difficulty is, what is there left to say this close to the election. We are all very anxious and revved up and the moment has come and now we must wait.

But in the meantime, Harrogate will keep posting Music, just to stay in the conversation. What a great song this is. Too bad the band didn't do more stuff like this......

Conservative Goes to Obama Rally

with 10' sin picturing Obama in traditional African dress. The man states not is not the time for a Muslim-leaning President. Hilarity ensues. Watch it here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

McCain's Final Push....

Rick Davis released a memo (via Mark Ambinder) on behalf of the McCain campaign to argue that the election is close and McCain will win. If John McCain accepts the evidence in this memo, then he should be disqualified from office.

The thesis is that the election is close and, consequently, undecided voters will decide the election for McCain (but only if those undecided voters live in swing states and if they can make up the deficit between Obama and McCain.)

Refutations to Davis' arguments:
(1) Polls show national polls are tightening, especially a Gallup poll that had the gap at two. Problem: Gallup now has the gap at eight.

(2) State polls: you have Iowa to very close; Obama has Iowa as close but still in double-digits. No one trusts you. In the South West & Colorado, you stopped advertising in Colorado, meaning you cannot win it. You will not win New Mexico and will most likely not win Nevada. Besides: it does not matter if McCain, at some unmentioned time, has made up ground on voters. He is not doing that now.

(3) Ohio and Pennsylvania: what exactly is your evidence? That you have been campaigning there? Well that makes sense.

(4) Obama has a challenge hitting 50%. Well, he may not win Missouri, North Carolina, or Indiana. I bet he comes close in those states than McCain does in Colorado, Virginia, or Pennsylvania.

(5) Early Voting: Sorry, those sporadic voters are turning out. There is actual evidence of this.

(6) Expanding the field: Done that. See Virgina, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina.

(7) The elctrocty on Monday will help the GOTV on Tuesday? Money, which you spent on advertising, would have been better.

By the way, if your campaign were doing so well, you would not need to count on others to help you. Just saying.

This is NOT What Democracy Looks Like

Palin on the First Amendment:

[Q, host Chris Plante:] ... Is the news media doing its job? Are you getting a fair shake, the Republicans getting a fair shake, this year?

[Palin:] I don't think they are doing their job when they suggest that calling the candidate out on their record, their plans for this country, and their associations is mean-spirited, or negative campaigning. If they convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations, then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media. Look at Joe the Plumber, good old Joe the Plumber in Toledo, Ohio, he just asked a simple, straightforward question, and the media started investigating and attacking him. So, you know, there is some fear there, and in those terms, no, I don't think that they've been doing their job in that kind of context.

Palin believes the First Amendment covers politicians and not the press.

I wonder if she has ever read the Constitution and its Amendments. I honestly do no think she has.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Here are photos of early voting in metro Atlanta. There is an 8 - 10 hour wait to vote.

As Mark Ambinder notes, Obama's campaign manager, Davis Plouffe, stated in a conference call today, "The Die is Being Cast as We Speak." This comment refers to the strength of the numbers in the early voting states where a good percentage of the Obama vote is from non-traditional voters.

The Gallup traditional likely model, which is different from the expanded model, has Obama by eight. At the beginning of the week, Obama was up by two.

Four Days to go.

"The cracker over there / He try to keep it yesteryear"

I offer this not just as a McCain dig, but because this song--hell, this album-- marked the awakening of my political mind. At least at a level deeper than "there's nothing on TV because of this dang Iran-Contra hearing."

I also credit this album for my not becoming a racist, d-bag cretin, but that's a whole other story.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


In addition to suffering an embarrassing moment-- calling out for Joe the Plumber when the plumber was off with Sarah Palin or signing a PR contract-- there was another oddity about McCain's rally in Ohio today.

It appears that with a rally of just over 6,000 supporters, 4,000 of those there were students from the neighboring school districts. From First Read at MSNBC:
A local school district official confirmed after the event that of the 6,000 people estimated by the fire marshal to be in attendance this morning, more than 4,000 were bused in from schools in the area. The entire 2,500-student Defiance School District was in attendance, the official said, in addition to at least three other schools from neighboring districts, one of which sent 14 buses.

This is just blatant hypocrisy on the part of the Right.

My father is rolling over in his grave!

My ballot has been marked, put in its envelope, and signed. I did my part Situationers, now do yours!

The nation is watching you, North Carolina!

"Neither candidate has gone on record regarding same-sex hog coupling"

Institutional Design Flaws

The New York Times reports that on the free market women pay more than men for health care for "individual insurance policies providing identical coverage."

Video of A&M Protests

From CNN: Video of the YCT event.

The YCT's would gain more respect if they could put together a coherent argument rather than the shit it peddles.

In its their defense, one member plays the Socratic victim card: no one is presenting the conservatve argument and, hence, the truth. It is hard to believe that at A&M there is no one defending the conservative view. It is certainly hard to believe that no one, not the National Review, Weekly Standard, Fox News, etc. etc. etc. is defending the conservative view. I cannot believe that the members of the YCT are that stupid.

Their other defense by the YCT is that the group is asserting its first amendment right. This is just an off topic argument as no one is calling for the censorship of the YCT, much to the conservative's group dismay. Those who protest the egg-toss argue to the YCT that the group's message is counterproductive, ineffective, and offensive-- it's not bloody persuading anybody you fools. This is not a call for censorship and certainly not a call for prior restraint.

But, if you think its your best argument, play the role of victim. In your own ignorance, you weaken the institution of A&M. In your failure to develop a responsible argument, you make it easy for people to call you a bunch of racists. It a shame that your acts must reflect on the university.

'Everybody hates a tourist": A secret message for the Republican Party

"They're laughing at you and the stupid things you do"

Well, maybe they will "fail like common people," right, Bill?

"There's nothing else to do."


Did you want to add something, Keith?

"Dick Fingers"

This will help recruitment....

The Immature, I mean Young Conservatives at Texas A&M hosts an anti-Obama carnival where you can throw eggs at Senator Obama. You can see photos here and I highly encourage it, especially the photo where an A&M football player protests the egg-toss. Hopefully, that football player will continue to show courage and transfer to a different school in the fall.

Devoid of any irony, Jay Cunningham, a member of the YCT, stated:
"Please step up and let people who actually do support our views have a voice because right now there is no voice for conservatives because of the crowd that was surrounding me."
There is no voice for the Conservative movement, especially at A&M. Right. We believe you. The world has tried to silence you. Boo-Hoo.

According to reports, there will be another event on Friday. I hope that people in Texas will protest it.

Update: After thinking about it, I guess we can say that the use of an egg toss as a protest is a sign of progress. I have not heard reports about videos that concern black-face or of parties with a "ghetto" theme occurring on the A&M campus. Maybe someday the YCT will not feel so insecure about their viewpoints and try to debate rather than intimidate dissenting viewpoints on their conservative campus. I guess that would involve diminishing their racists and misogynist attitudes though. It is easy to bully people when you possess a super-majority.

As the YCT at A&M demonstrates, once again, childish antics are the best way to start a debate a reasoned debate.

Harrogate Endorses Barack Obama for President; and, a Happy Thursday Musical Tribute

Here you go, Andrew Sullivan. You can add this to your list of "stunning" endorsements.

Harrogate, after considering the many brilliant brain things in his head, Officially endorses Barack Obama for Presidency of the United States. For further explanation, see at least half of the posts that he has posted on this site in 2008.

Also, here's the song that Harrogate has listened to three times today already. It's really a wonderful song. He thinks Readers are familiar with it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What we learned tonight....Obama's Political Ad

Overall, it was well done though I can see how if you have been following the campaign for two years it was not "new." Somtimes its best to reassure voters. If you missed it, you can watch it here.

Obama's political ad marries the problems of average Americans with solutions to those problems. Its strength resides on, first, Obama's calmness and, second, the ability of American voters to reach out to other voters. For example, in a time of economic crisis, the story of the women who opens her fridge to find very little for her family reminds the audience of the failures of the Bush Administration and warns against a repeat. The lack of health care for the second couple adds to the country's pain as those who have worked for this country are on the verge of receiving little. Yet, these problems receive rational proposals from the candidate.

While I found the arrangement awkward at times, i.e. the discussion of Obama's mother and his solution for Health Care should have been placed after the older couple whose wife needed insurance for arthritis and the husband, at age 72, worked at Wal-Mart, the production was excellent. As was the timing from the political ad to the live address in Florida. The conclusion of the "Closing Argument" speech is nicely done as well.

I am most impressed with his vision of democracy as it weakens a conception of elite democracy but does not engage in the anti-elite demagoguery that Palin and McCain expounds. While Obama may play an important role (at times narrator) most of the solutions will need the support of the main actors (the American people) in our drama of democracy. We see this with his discussion of the economy and education. Obama asked the American people to participate in government and, more importantly, in their own lives as the life of one presents consequences for another. The story of the American Democracy is the story of those who participate in whatever way they can...

Obama also argues where President Bush went wrong and offers a corrective reading on the American promise: in times of crisis, the people must sacrifice.

While the are many differences between Obama and McCain, he does not attack McCain, which makes McCain's post-ad attack seem childish, again. On Fox News, O'Reilly interviewed someone about William Ayers to make the case against Obama. At one point O'Reilly asked the former FBI agent why his testimony mattered. Exactly.

The critique of the ad will be that Obama is buying democracy. This argument seeks to weaken Obama's electoral authority, especially before the election. But this argument rests on conceptions of campaign finance and political equality that remain unmentoned by its advocates. It seems odd that those on the right criticize the aspects of capitalism they cannot control. Wait, did I say odd? I meant something else.

To Walt Whitman, who said, "Did you, too, O friend, suppose democracy was only for elections, for politics, and for a party name? I say democracy is only of use there that it may pass on and come to its flower and fruit in manners, in the highest forms of interaction between [people], and their beliefs -- in religion, literature, colleges and schools -- democracy in all public and private life...."May this vision return some day....

Anyone Have a Snow Shovel I can Borrow?

6" and still falling!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Voting in Florida

Spurned Lover, I mean, spurned VP McCain possibility, Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, announced that he will extend the hours for early voting in Florida so that voters can participate 12 hours a day through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and a total of 12 weekend hours, between 7 a.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.

Gov. Crist stated that the right to vote is sacred and that "many have fought and died for this right....This is not a political decision. This is a people decision."

In response, one plugged in GOPer stated, "He just blew Florida for John McCain."

As Jonathan Chait at TNR stated, the quote by the "plugged-in" Republican "quote concedes a lot in terms of the GOP's claim to democratic legitimacy."

After eight years, maybe democracy will arrive in Florida after all.

Is campaign finance dead?

And should it be? Law Professor Richard L. Hasen examines campaign finance regulations in regards to Senator Obama's campaign.

In this piece, Hasen refutes most of the arguments that focus on Obama's money and political corruption. Additionally, he points out the competing conceptions of political equality in this campaign: whether political equality ought to refer to whether or not both candidates possesses the same amount of funds or whether or not the candidates should possesses money in proportion to the support they can receive in the polity. The first argument seems ideal, until you consider the factors that can be a problem such as some media markets are more expensive than others; limiting the money that the candidates receive does not limit the money some 527s can spend (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth). The second argument provides a better vision of democratic as more people can contribute.

Hasen concludes that because of Obama's success, the nominees in 2012 will not participate in the public financing system.

It's always the Party's Fault

On The Daily Beast, a former speechwriter for John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama states that the party left her because of the way in which in treats women, represented by Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, and the working class, (poorly) represented by Joe the Plumber.

Interesting story. I'll say more later.

Why not let Palin be Palin?

Well, Robert Draper notes that according to the McCain campaign, Palin just cannot grasp national issues. Enjoy:
I’m sympathetic to Eskew and Wallace, and not just because they’re decent people. They’ve held their tongue from leaking what a couple of McCain higher-ups have told me—namely, that Palin simply knew nothing about national and international issues. Which meant, as one such adviser said to me: “Letting Sarah be Sarah may not be such a good thing.” It’s a grim binary choice, but apparently it came down to whether to make Palin look like a scripted robot or an unscripted ignoramus. I was told that Palin chafed at being defined by her discomfiting performances in the Couric, Charlie Gibson, and Sean Hannity interviews. She wanted to get back out there and do more. Well, if you’re Eskew and Wallace, what do you say to that? Your responsibility isn’t the care and feeding of Sarah Palin’s ego; it’s the furtherance of John McCain’s quest for the presidency.

With seven days to go, this infighting is surreal. Bizarre really.

The campaign fell to the high school level where McCain "snubbed" Palin aboard the Straight Talk Express. This is the presidency, not supreme ruler of Homecoming.

McCain: "Now don't say anything mean, otherwise I'm gonna be angry."

Barbara West's interview with John McCain, conducted yesterday.

Tips for the Ladies

From Chelsea Lately (on E!--if you haven't watched it, you should). Amy Sedaris teaches Chelsea about keeping her hooha clean--using a model designed by Todd Oldham. Very funny stuff, though not for the prudish ;)


I was just watching a clip of McCain at a rally. As usual, Cindy McCain was standing right behind him. She looks rather bored, although she does do a good job smiling, laughing, and clapping at the right moments. She probably knows all his speeches, or at least their basic formula, by heart by now.

I'd hate to follow any of these candidates around for more than a few days. How these people do it is beyond me.

Happy Tuesday Music Tribute; Or, Things That Make Oxywife Moan

As some of you already know, I have been slowly resurrecting my once-famous and now defunct listening room. It's been a slow process because I've had to acquire a few additional components. What's more, the pieces I want are not always readily available on the used market. So there's a lot of waiting involved.

But finally, last week, one of my two preamp choices was listed for sale. The price was right, so I bought it. It's a full-function tube preamp with a 100% tube phono stage. This is my first foray into vacuum tubes, so I was eager to give a listen.

Because the conditions for the reestablishment of the listening room have not yet been met, my audition of the new preamp was rather makeshift. The active monitors sat on floor, flanking both sides of the preamp, which sat in the middle of the room, also on the floor. My iPod was connected directly to the preamplifier.

I have say that I didn't expect much out of the system on this particular evening because the audio files on my iPod are compressed to the point that songs lose their sense of realism. But when I pushed play, the music just sang. Everything sounded so right. I could not believe how realistic the tubes made vocals and instruments--especially acoustic instruments--sound. And again, this is through the iPod.

I was so impressed that I called Oxywife into the room to listen. I knew she would also be impressed. And this is no small assumption, as she tends to think that I spend too much money on audio equipment. For the record, she is probably right. She also tends to say things like, "Well, I don't really hear much of a difference," usually just to emphasize her belief that a purchase was wasteful.

But the night my preamp arrived, things were different. As I shuffled through numerous songs, I paused the iPod on Michael Buble's cover of "You Don't Know Me." Since Oxywife likes Buble, I invited her to listen to this song. To my surprise, she said "Wow! That really sounds good." And then shortly thereafter, it happened: Oxywife experienced her first eargasm.

So as a tribue to my beautiful wife, I post here for you the song that made her moan.


The Rhetorical Situation is five days ahead of David Brooks and The New York Times.

Monday, October 27, 2008

RNC in Montana

That's right. The RNC must protect its lead in Montana. In 2004, Bush won the state by 20 points.

In 2008, the RNC must advertise for John McCain in Montana. (The RNC conceded Colorado (9 Electoral Votes), Virginia (13), New Mexico (5), and will lose Iowa (7) & Nevada (5)). That's 286 (Bush 04) - 39 (C, V, NW, I, V) = 247, or, no path to 270, even with Pennsylvania.

This is just a terrible media buy. What difference does Montana make? If McCain loses there, he will still not win Colorado.

Update: Here is a realistic McCain 270 strategy. I think number one is the best option for McCain.

Sarah Palin and the War on Science

And the GOP base wants her around after November?

From Slate: Christopher Hitchens on Palin. Basically, Palin is so ignorant that she does not even know she is ignorant. It's the fruit flies, stupid.

And the GOP does not care whether or not she is ignorant. That is sad for the American voter.

A Cartoon for Consideration

Are you joking? Is this a joke?

I finally got around to watching this interview. OMG!

Are you reading Mr. P-Duck

According to Politico, these are the words of NASCAR's Junior Johnson:
These days, I run a small country ham and pork skins business. Barack Obama will fight for a fair economy where small businesses like mine have the freedom to grow, and he'll defend the Second Amendment to protect the hunter's way of life.

I'm just saying Mr. P-Duck. The times are a changing.

Too horrific for words

As most of the bloggers at the Situation know, I'm no fan of guns. This story, of an 8-year-old boy accidentally shooting himself in the head while firing an Uzi (yes, you read that correctly) under adult supervision at a Massachusetts gun show, reminds me just why I am not a fan of guns.

Happy Monday Musical Tribute

Here's the Way to Get the Week started Right. The day and the week are young yet. Take a moment, here.

Frozen in the place I hide
Not afraid to paint my sky with
Some who say I've lost my mind
Brother try and hope to find

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A question

Do you think that the media or the general public would care about the deaths of a black man and a black woman and the abduction of a black child if they weren't related to a celebrity? Unfortunately, I'm not so sure...

Saturday night on Sunday morning

"Don't you...forget about me..." Awesome.