Because there are more important things to do on Friday night
September 24, 2008 12:25 PM   Subscribe

McCain calls time! John McCain has asked that the first presidential debate be postponed and he will suspend his campaign so he can focus on the economy. No response from Obama yet. But it may be due to his approval rating, The latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows Obama has taken a 45-39 percent lead.
posted by parmanparman (1584 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite

 
Slimy bastard. It's a good trick, except that everyone knows he's desperate.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:26 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Why not change the topic of the debate to the economic crisis?

This is lame.
posted by nitsuj at 12:27 PM on September 24, 2008 [14 favorites]


Has he asked the New York Times to stop reporting on him for the duration as well?
posted by Artw at 12:27 PM on September 24, 2008 [19 favorites]


Why not change the topic of the debate to the economic crisis?

Heh. That would be a funny one.
posted by Artw at 12:28 PM on September 24, 2008


Allow me to paste my well-reasoned response from the past McCain thread:

FUCKING NUTS
posted by Bookhouse at 12:28 PM on September 24, 2008


I dont get this at all. Yeah focus on the economy great, but won't this make him look weak-unprepared-like he's scrambling (not that Im about to shed a tear).
posted by rosswald at 12:28 PM on September 24, 2008


We all know single polls are super duper reliable for showing trends!
posted by smackfu at 12:28 PM on September 24, 2008


Might this have more to do with his campaign's admission that McCain has not done much to prepare for the debates?
posted by Nattie at 12:29 PM on September 24, 2008


To the GOP, less is more. And they've already won the VP debate if you look at the rules they've pushed through.
posted by Zambrano at 12:29 PM on September 24, 2008


Obama should just debate an empty podium, pausing often to talk about how punctuality is one of the most important Presidential qualities.
posted by jon_kill at 12:29 PM on September 24, 2008 [94 favorites]


A desperate ploy.
"McCain advisers said they are also reaching out to the Obama campaign to discuss pulling political television advertisements.

Advisers also say that McCain still wants to participate in all three presidential debates, but that the schedule is up in the air."*
posted by ericb at 12:29 PM on September 24, 2008


Makes me think of the scene in Blazing Saddles when the Governor says "We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Harumph!"
posted by peeedro at 12:29 PM on September 24, 2008 [15 favorites]


With luck, Obama will come back with "I understand that McCain doesn't feel up to it, but I have the vigor and energy to help work on our economy during the day and to fly to a rally in Shelbyville at night."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:30 PM on September 24, 2008 [36 favorites]


Fuck. 20+ years in the Senate and today is the day he decides to give a damn.
posted by clearly at 12:30 PM on September 24, 2008 [50 favorites]


I can only imagine the ways McCain will be able to fix our economy in the two hours he will now have to focus on it since the debates won't happen. THANK GOD WE'RE IN THE CLEAR NOW!
posted by nitsuj at 12:30 PM on September 24, 2008 [18 favorites]


Why not change the topic of the debate to the economic crisis Great idea!! Cmon Obama - suggest it!!!
posted by mildred-pitt at 12:31 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Finally, our problems have been solved!
posted by mattbucher at 12:31 PM on September 24, 2008


Wha? I don't get this stunt at all. Is he hoping to accuse Obama of putting his campaign over the economy?
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:31 PM on September 24, 2008


DESTROY HIM!!!! I'm serious. DESTROY HIM DESTROY HIM DESTROY HIM!!! Really though. I would very much like to see him destroyed (politically).
posted by Mister_A at 12:31 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


Phew! Those lazy talking point speeches he gives in super-safe red states must be taking a toll!
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:32 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obama should agree to temporarily suspend his campaign, and replace the foreign policy debate with one about national economic policy.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:32 PM on September 24, 2008


According to this WSJ article:

"At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal," Mr. Burton said in an email to reporters. "At 2:30 this afternoon, Senator McCain returned Senator Obama's call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement. The two campaigns are currently working together on the details."
posted by mullacc at 12:33 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Hey, if he wants to focus on the economy, maybe he could, I don't know, fire his lobbyist, money-accepting, part-of-the-problem campaign manager?
posted by mothershock at 12:33 PM on September 24, 2008 [12 favorites]


I was all set to debate, but like, my printer's been acting weird, so like, I couldn't print out my debate cards? And then something with the economy happened? And then like, my roommate asked me to help him with his econ work? 'Cause like, he's really worried? It would just help me a lot if I could have like one more day to work on this.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:34 PM on September 24, 2008 [133 favorites]


I'm voting for Obama and I think that rescheduling the Obama/McCain debate is an EXCELLENT idea.

Let's switch it to Biden and Palin this Friday night. McCain and Obama can keep the foreign policy debate first and the economy debate last, but move all of their debates til later.

Biden's ready to debate. And it sounds like Sarah "I'm ready for the VP job" Palin must be as well.

Yes?
posted by jeanmari at 12:34 PM on September 24, 2008 [36 favorites]


What.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:34 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


Might this have more to do with his campaign's admission that McCain has not done much to prepare for the debates?

That's what I'm thinking. Couldn't he have just prayed for a snow day?
posted by bondcliff at 12:35 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's a clever roll of the dice to resuscitate the "Ooh McCain's a mavericky maverick" meme from earlier in the campaign season when the press were still head over heels in love with McCain and his Straight Talk.

I love it when McCain walks into the Vegas casino, clicks his $500 Ferragamo loafers, and says, "Luck, be a lady tonight."
posted by blucevalo at 12:36 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's not about debate prep or working on the economy. McCain wants to hide for a few more days.

He doesn't want to be the one standing in front of the bright lights at the foreign policy debate when the moderator goes, "Well, our economy plays a role in foreign policy. So ... Senator McCain ... the economy ... wtf?"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:36 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Let's switch it to Biden and Palin this Friday night.

Aww, yeah.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:37 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain can't handle a debate. Palin can't handle a press conference. Let's just cancel the election and put these guys in charge of the free world already.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:37 PM on September 24, 2008 [63 favorites]


No, no, no.

I think Obama should take the tact that this is a serious issue, but the response is not to freak out, suspend his campaign and run for cover. The response is to have a plan, approach it with confidence - which will fill the voting public with confidence - and to stay on course, which is exactly what he's doing.

Whatever.
posted by kbanas at 12:37 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


nitsuj: "Why not change the topic of the debate to the economic crisis?"

Both Obama and McCain think that having the domestic policy debate last is in their best interest.
posted by Plutor at 12:37 PM on September 24, 2008


He's been bitching for months about Obama not meeting with him, and now he wants to postpone the debate? Obama should show up and debate either an empty chair or a Grampa Simpson cardboard cutout.

This is essentially an admission from McCain that he can't multitask in a crisis.

Might this have more to do with his campaign's admission that McCain has not done much to prepare for the debates?

You mean, besides naps?

Why not change the topic of the debate to the economic crisis?

Or change the location to DC.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:38 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


dude's got like 17 houses and 30 cars. Economy tanking has got to hurt him bad. Way more important than some debate.
posted by bonaldi at 12:38 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


What I said about this elsewhere: I have a not-very-sneaky suspicion that this is the McCain campaign's way of going "See? This issue is so important, and our guy is so responsible, that he will stop this foolish running for president and Get Down To Business. And that other guy? He's still running for president! He doesn't care about you at all! He's totally irresponsible!"
posted by rtha at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Well, at least now Canadians don’t have to decide between national election debates.
posted by KS at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2008


The latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows Obama has taken a 45-39 percent lead.

Not to mention the new Washington Post/ABC poll: Obama now leads McCain by 52 percent to 43 percent.
posted by ericb at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2008


"Let's switch it to Biden and Palin this Friday night."

posted by jeanmari at 3:34 PM on September 24 [+] [!]

That would be an awesome counter.
posted by rosswald at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


These people are clowns.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [10 favorites]


Seriously, though. This is the primary equivalent of McCain taking office and kicking the bucket and Palin having to step up to the plate.

So, let's have Palin step up to the plate. In this Friday's format. On this Friday's topic. Against Joe Biden.

I mean, she spent, what, 2-3 hours at the UN already. She's prepped and ready to go!
posted by jeanmari at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


If this were a post about McCain shuttering his campaign for good, it'd be interesting, but I can't believe every move by the campaigns can be 'the best of the web'.
posted by nightwood at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is he hoping to accuse Obama of putting his campaign over the economy?

If so, Obama's response ought to be "I'm capable of handling the financial meltdown and debates at the same time. A President doesn't always have the luxury of dealing with one issue at a time."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [42 favorites]


The Obama campaign said Obama had called McCain around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to propose that they issue a joint statement in support of a package to help fix the economy as soon as possible. McCain called back six hours later and agreed to the idea of the statement, the Obama campaign said. McCain's statement was issued to the media a few minutes later. link.

Obama: "Yeah, John. This is some serious stuff. We should issue a joint press conference and say something like 'We must act as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must resolve this crisis before the markets open on Monday' What do you say?"

McCain: "Sounds good. You get to work on the wording and send it over."

*jumps on stage*

"My friends. We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so."

Obama: DICK!
posted by ND¢ at 12:40 PM on September 24, 2008 [12 favorites]


This is insane. His whole campaign is running from the American people. One debate on a Friday night between two senators is not going to make economy fall down go boom.
posted by cashman at 12:40 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


You liberals have to remember, there was a time when McCain didn't have an opportunity to participate in a nationally televised US Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy, for FIVE YEARS... IN PRISON
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:40 PM on September 24, 2008 [59 favorites]


This is how we want our leaders to be, prone to publicity stunts and fleeing from an interrogation of the job they are applying for?

Ridiculous.
posted by iamabot at 12:40 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


He says it needs to be put off in order for him to "focus on the financial crisis,"

Translation: He lost his wallet or lost money on the market this week.
posted by nickyskye at 12:40 PM on September 24, 2008


Holy Shit. Is this unprecedented?

That motherfucker knows he is finished, unless his goon squad can control the media.

This is just one part of it. Meanwhile, he'll attack the New York Times, give an interview with Chris Wallace, and spread 100 more lies about Obama.

And if you're really, really quiet, you can almost hear the goose steps, somewhere in the distance.
posted by plexi at 12:41 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


This means that McCain has effectively killed one debate. His camp will never allow it to be "rescheduled," citing the lack of time dilemma that they've just created.
posted by william_boot at 12:41 PM on September 24, 2008


What.

Exactly.

I'm unconvinced the President has that much control over the economy, but I'm sure the Presidential candidates don't. Yes, I understand they're 3/4ths legislators.

McCain has to know this makes him look weak (anathema for Republicans, I thought) and has to have decided that's a better outcome than the inevitable Bush-Gramm connections that will be drawn. And Obama doesn't even have to draw them, the moderator(s) will take care of that.

We have dinner/debate plans on Friday night with friends we haven't seen in a couple years. He'd better not screw that up.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:41 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


My view is he is going to go do the job he was elected to do.

This is an opportunity for both candidates to prove they care more about the nation than themselves. I personally think both will step up to the plate.
posted by konolia at 12:41 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


What Obama should say: "Well, we're really sorry that our opponent is unable to walk and chew gum a the same time..."
posted by notsnot at 12:41 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


Furthermore, the motherfucking debates are for the American people, you fucking creaking octogenarian.

Fuck you and get on stage.
posted by plexi at 12:42 PM on September 24, 2008 [30 favorites]


PS if this was reversed you'd all be saying Obama was being a statesman.

And I would be agreeing with you.
posted by konolia at 12:42 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Couldn't he have just prayed for a snow day?

I think you mean "hurricane day".
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 12:43 PM on September 24, 2008


surely this.....wait that is a shrub meme.
posted by HyperBlue at 12:43 PM on September 24, 2008


This is a subject changer, but not from the polls -- from Rick Davis.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:43 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is an opportunity for both candidates to prove they care more about the nation than themselves. I personally think both will step up to the plate.

You... show up in these threads just to say ridiculous things, don't you?
posted by kbanas at 12:43 PM on September 24, 2008 [54 favorites]


Looks like John "I missed more senate votes than any other senator--even that one guy recovering from a brain hemorrhage" McCain has discovered a new passion for passing legislation now that people are over Palin and his poll numbers are tanking.
posted by turaho at 12:44 PM on September 24, 2008 [8 favorites]


He'd rather lose an election than have to talk about the issues - wait, no, er, he'd rather lose an election than think about the economy. Um, he'd rather lose an election than debate Obama? He'd rather lose the election and claim it's because he was too mavericky to play political games than lose the election because he's incompetent?

Help me out here, McCain, your new slogan ain't so catchy.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:44 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I cannot wait to see the attempts by right-wing pundits to twist this into a good idea.

Actually it makes my bones tired to think about it.
posted by the bricabrac man at 12:45 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


The dog ate my debate. :'(
posted by nitsuj at 12:45 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Nov. 5, 2008. McCain calls for a "do-over."
posted by ColdChef at 12:46 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


I've been sick in bed today and I've been having these fever dreams that every time I go online or turn on the TV there's some bizzaro-world news from the political front.

Wait, what do you mean my temperature is only 98.6?
posted by Biblio at 12:46 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


yo, this is the Foreign Policy Debate, which McCain wanted to have first 'cuz it's his STRENGTH. Not rescheduling it would be at his peril, politically.

Oh, and the suggestion that this debate be replaced by Biden/Palin? Sheer, unadulterated GENIUS!
posted by fingers_of_fire at 12:47 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes . . .

Well, Senator McCain and I agree that as senators and candidates we need to be in Washington DC to work on the ransom, er, I mean, bailout, plan.

We each chose a running mate who would be able to step in for us at a moment's notice and carry on in our place. So let's have Joe and Sarah debate on Friday about the economy while we put on a nice show of bipartisan unity in Washington.

What's that you say? She's not ready to go this week?
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:47 PM on September 24, 2008 [15 favorites]


Let's be honest. McCain is really, really hurting. Palin was a bust, all air and no heat. He's got nothing and people are waking up to that. Obama's got more money, and is better positioned. McCain is forced to run against his own congressional candidates because they are not for more regulation.

Frankly, this country jolted to the left, or maybe the movement became apparent yesterday when GOP house members handed Cheney his ass when the big man came to the Hill to rally the troops.

The facts are as follows: Obama called McCain at 8:30 this morning suggesting that they work together. At 2PM McCain indicated he was suspending campaigning and then at 2:30 he returned the call saying he would work together. Frankly, I expected Obama to offer this at the debates--it stops the GOP from running against the bailout--which is DOA in its current form. Obama's doing the right thing and McCain is agreeing to it.

they say that the new president starts governing before the election even ends. We're pulling out of Iraq on Obama's time table, not McCain's 100 year plan and now Obama's leading the charge on the bailout.

Just so we all know, Obama came up 9 in Washington Post polling today and up 7 in Fox News polling. McCain is taking a real, real beating on this. Poll internals show people trust Obama on the economy by very wide margins, double-digits.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:48 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


"PS if this was reversed you'd all be saying Obama was being a statesman."

And I would be agreeing with you.
posted by konolia at 3:42 PM on September 24 [+] [!]

If Obama did this I would be saying he just lost the election. And I'd be right.
posted by rosswald at 12:48 PM on September 24, 2008 [53 favorites]


Konolia wrote:

My view is he is going to go do the job he was elected to do.

This is an opportunity for both candidates to prove they care more about the nation than themselves. I personally think both will step up to the plate.


Oh, so they aren't running for President to help the nation, just themselves?
posted by tittergrrl at 12:49 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


In semi-related news, The National Enquirer's headline today: SARAH PALIN LOVER REVEALED
posted by clearly at 12:49 PM on September 24, 2008


McCain got the results back from his Study the Economy Commission -- apparently the fundamentals are not, in fact, strong.
posted by spiderwire at 12:49 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


I don't like the idea of Biden debating Palin this Friday because I want Biden in Washington. I never thought much of him and never really paid much attention to him until today's speech where he intelligently and systematically laid out why McCain has made and will continue to make poor foreign policy decisions over the years. It was just absolutely inspiring to see someone with such a grasp of foreign affairs and the keen intelligence to analyze it all. As much as I think Hillary Clinton would have made a more compelling candidate, it was also the first time I've been really enthusiastic about Obama's choice.

I've been watching MSNBC all afternoon and my heart jumps and sinks whenever Norah O'Donnell says: "John McCain has announced he will suspend his campaign [heart jumps] starting tomorrow to work on the budget crisis in Washington [heart sinks]."
posted by MegoSteve at 12:50 PM on September 24, 2008


Re: "doing the job he was elected to do"; the most recent job he and Obama were given was to run for fucking president - remember those conventions we had not too long ago? A big part of doing that is to present your positions to the voting public, and to debate your opponents on theirs.
posted by yhbc at 12:50 PM on September 24, 2008 [14 favorites]


This is an opportunity for both candidates to prove they care more about the nation than themselves.

The whole point of running for President is that you really do believe that your sitting in the White House is the most important thing you can do to help the country, because you care about it. That's not to say it actually works like that, but saying "oh, running for President is selfish" ignores the entire point of public service.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:51 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


PS if this was reversed you'd all be saying Obama was being a statesman.

And I would be agreeing with you.


No you wouldn't, not if it was obvious that Obama was backing out of the debate under the cover of "statesmanship" because he was down in the polls, getting rocked hourly by new stories in the media about his lies and gaffes, and facing the eventual revelation that his VP pick was an empty pantsuit.

Besides, the situation is not reversed. Presumably, you think Obama quite the statesman for having *first* contacted McCain about issuing a joint bipartisan statement on the bailout.

But I bet you think that was some kind of trick.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:51 PM on September 24, 2008 [11 favorites]


Besides, the situation is not reversed. Presumably, you think Obama quite the statesman for having *first* contacted McCain about issuing a joint bipartisan statement on the bailout.

I think it was the right thing for him to do. No trick.
posted by konolia at 12:52 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


A couple of days ago:

God Himself couldn't have given rank-and-file Republicans a better opportunity to create political space between themselves and the Administration. That's why I want to see 40 Republican No votes in the Senate, and 150+ in the House. If a bailout is to pass, let it be with Democratic votes. Let this be the political establishment (Bush Republicans in the White House + Democrats in Congress) saddling the taxpayers with hundreds of billions in debt (more than the Iraq War, conjured up in a single weekend, and enabled by Pelosi, btw), while principled Republicans say "No" and go to the country with a stinging indictment of the majority in Congress.

CNN today:

McCain's announcement came just hours before President Bush was scheduled to address the nation on the troubled state of the U.S. financial system -- a problem for which his administration has proposed a $700 billion bailout.

In response, the Obama campaign said Obama called McCain at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to ask if the Republican nominee would join him in a joint statement of "shared principles and conditions" for the proposal. It said McCain called back at 2:30 p.m. -- shortly before his New York announcement -- to agree, and "The two campaigns are currently working together on the details."


I guess it's going to be a bit harder for Republicans to weasel out of this one now, huh.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 12:53 PM on September 24, 2008


I will pay someone cash money to have this political thread not be about konolia.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:53 PM on September 24, 2008 [117 favorites]


I will not be surprised if there are no debates of any sort this fall. McCain's chances are slim enough without having the electorate watch Obama mop the floor with him in successive debates. The recent demand in changes of the VP debate format were an attempt to give Palin an out as well. The Dems wouldn't bite but expect her to follow McCain's lead and turtle too. Should Palin exit her bubble and actually debate, no matter how candy-assed the format, I would expect it to end with Biden standing on his chair swinging her wet entrails over his head like a lasso and yodeling...
posted by jim in austin at 12:53 PM on September 24, 2008 [29 favorites]


This is certainly more clever than just having his mom call the debate commission to tell them he has the runs and can't come in and take the test today.

McCain loves the stunts! Here's the next one: He'll publicly "learn" that Rick Davis has been on Fannie Mae's payroll the whole time. He'll be like, "What?! I trusted you, Rick. You don't take McCain's trust for granted. I care about this country too much to let you get away with this!" Then, he'll punch him, and Rick will fall through a breakaway table.
posted by ignignokt at 12:54 PM on September 24, 2008 [28 favorites]


Oh, I get it. He's going to focus on the economy. This should be good.
posted by lunit at 12:55 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seriously, is his campaign run by 8-year-olds? It seems like the last two weeks have been non-stop rounds of "I know you are but what am I?" "Mom!!! He got more than me!!!" "I'm rubber and you're glue, it bounces off me and sticks to you!" and now this "My dog ate my homework" bullshit.
posted by mothershock at 12:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


If being present for important debates mattered to McCain, he would not be the most chronically absentee member of the senate.

You look at this man and see sincerity and honor. That's because you ignore the aspects you can't process or make sense of. You excuse his ugliest behavior because he "is no choir boy," but nail Obama to the wall for any guilt-by-association you can think of.

But most of us look at McCain and see a conniving and bumbling old fool who's gotten panicky and desperate. Of course this is a game and a trick. Of course. The *only* question is whether he can *spin* it as sincere interest in putting country "first."

And again, as I said in the last long Palin thread, this year Americans are not falling for crap like this, in significant numbers.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


The Obama campaign said no deal on postponing the debate.
posted by cereselle at 12:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [11 favorites]


I guess we know who'll answer that 3 AM phone call when the chips are down now, don't we?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [15 favorites]


My friends,

I don't mind a good debate. For reasons known only to God and my doctor, I've had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can debate. When you debate is the real test.

Thank you, and God bless you,

John McCain
posted by benzenedream at 12:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Its not about Konolia, I just feel like Obama would have gotten eaten alive by making a move like this.

Which is why its so weird. McCain won't be hit as bad as Obama would have been, but it doesn't exactly look pretty. "The People" were expecting a debate, and even in the most positive light McCain tries to spin this, it still comes off looking negative. I guess this is why Im not paid the big bucks.
posted by rosswald at 12:57 PM on September 24, 2008


You liberals have to remember, there was a time when McCain didn't have an opportunity to participate in a nationally televised US Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy, for FIVE YEARS... IN PRISON

Yeah, you liberals. He was a POW, now give him the keys to the White House already! Screw this election BS.
posted by Camofrog at 12:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seven o'clock on a Friday night and McCain wants to work on the economy? By himself?
posted by JJ86 at 12:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [21 favorites]


Number of Senate votes McCain has cast since May: 0

-October Harper's Index
posted by mullingitover at 12:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [22 favorites]


I agree, Bookhouse. I will slap my own wrist and make no further direct responses to her.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


"This is an opportunity for both candidates to prove they care more about the nation than themselves. I personally think both will step up to the plate.

You... show up in these threads just to say ridiculous things, don't you?"


In political threads it's nice to hear, as it reinforces what the GOP talking points are for this news cycle. It saves the rest of us from having to listen to Rush or Hannity.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 12:59 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Obama should offer to move the debate to DC so McCain can be close to the office he rarely shows up at.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:59 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


ericb "Advisers also say that McCain still wants to participate in all three presidential debates, but that the schedule is up in the air."

The hideous fury of election raged about them - and at that moment a still small chorus of an unlicensed rock ballad sounded through the debating hall as from an infinite distance. The moderator's weary eyes swiveled round to glare at the A/V guys. None of them seemed to be playing an instrument. Suddenly a wisp of smoke was swirling and shimmering on the stage next to him. The chorus was joined by more instruments. For weeks the moderator had waited and waited, and nothing like this had ever happened before. He drew back in alarm from the swirling smoke, and as he did so, a figure slowly materialized inside, the figure of an ancient man, balding, paunchy and wreathed in wrinkles. In his eyes was Honor and on his brow a wispy combover.

"What's this?" whispered the moderator, wild-eyed, "what's happening?"

At the back of the empty room the stony-faced party from Focus on the Family leapt ecstatically to their feet chanting and crying.

The moderator blinked in amazement. He threw up his arms to the cameras.

"A big hand please, ladies and gentlemen," he hollered, "for the Great Senator John McCain! He has come! McCain has come at last!"

Thunderous applause broke out as the moderator strode across the stage and handed his microphone to the Senator.

McCain coughed. He peered round at the assembled gathering. The Honor in his eyes blinked uneasily. He handled the microphone with confusion.

"Er ..." he said, "hello. Er, look, I'm sorry I'm a bit late. I've had the most ghastly time, all sorts of things cropping up at the last moment."

He seemed nervous of the expectant awed hush. He cleared his throat.

"Er, how are we for time?" he said, "have I just got a min-"

And so the election ended.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:59 PM on September 24, 2008 [33 favorites]


This is entirely needless. Yes, they're both Senators, but that doesn't put them on any sort of level at which they ought to be meeting with the sitting President as a pair on this issue. Nor should they be able to do that as candidates. And despite both being Senators, neither of them are on the Senate Banking Committee. Nor is either on on the Joint Economic Committee, from which the eventual bicameral bailout bill is expected to emerge. As Senators, they have only three roles in this crisis: 1) to vote on the eventual bill, and 2) to negotiate with their networks within the Senate on the content of the bill, and 3) to speak publicly in support of their vision for the bill. Only one of those roles (1) requires presence in Washington, and it doesn't look like that's going to be happening Friday night. Congress was scheduled to end its session Friday - they may have to go into special session, in which case Friday evening won't be when things get resolved anyway (that would be insanely optimistic!) The other two Senatorial functions can be fulfilled - indeed, perhaps best are fulfilled - by communicating from the road, privately and to the public and the press.

I am not sure I respect the judgement of a candidate who is so ready to go into panic mode over a crisis that he doesn't really even have much power to direct at this moment. We're six weeks away from electing one of these two men President. I think that the debates are actually a much more important way for them to spend their time than meddling in a process which is already well under way and doesn't require special Candidate Magic to move forward. It will be easy for them to fulfill their rather limited (at this moment) Senatorial responsibilities while still campaigning, as sitting Congresspeople usually do. The choice of who will be leading us through the aftermath of this crisis over the next 4-8 years is a bit more important to me than watching them showboat right now. Put in your two cents, stay out of the way, vote when you're called to, and stay accountable to the American people whose votes you're asking for. Anything else looks like grandstanding and evasion. No other way to read it.
posted by Miko at 12:59 PM on September 24, 2008 [101 favorites]


Obama campaign: "The debate is on."
posted by WCityMike at 1:01 PM on September 24, 2008


Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Asshole Times infinity.
But you've got to admire his gumption, hey?
posted by SPUTNIK at 1:01 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I imagine Karl Rove crying at this sad attempt (which is like the sweetest honey evAr).
posted by rosswald at 1:01 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't even commit to the position that Obama will clearly win a debate (if it's held). Although it would be Obama's to lose.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:01 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


and meantime: Bush to address nation this evening. Further, the first time an army unit has been stationed in the nation and trained for civil disobedience...golly, the election? the economy? Iran?
posted by Postroad at 1:02 PM on September 24, 2008


Number of Senate votes McCain has cast since May: 0

Yeah, but he doesn't want to take the night off to VOTE. He's going to spend Friday night burying gold bars and canning tomatoes at one of his houses.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:02 PM on September 24, 2008 [12 favorites]


PS if this was reversed you'd all be saying Obama was being a statesman.

And I would be agreeing with you.


No, we wouldn't, because there's a markedly smaller amount of pure partisan hackery on our side of the aisle, and we're usually the first to slam Democrats for any sleazy shit they try to pull, because we actually hold our leaders to some kind of standard, as opposed to the party who feels some sense of twisted pride over having kept the same rictus grin plastered across their respective faces for 8 years of a fetid, incompetent head-of-state waving their banner.

But that's fine, John, you do whatever you need to do... Obama will debate you in absentia if he has to, and when you finally do get to the stage, you're going to face the biggest mismatch of televised debates since Nixon's pallid sweat lost him the '60 election. There is literally nowhere left for these hucksters to run, and I have a bottle of bubbly reserved for the first time Obama prompts the kind of Vesuvian reaction we all know is just waiting to emerge from McCain's hollow, angry shell.

Your move, GOP.
posted by Mayor West at 1:02 PM on September 24, 2008 [21 favorites]


PS if this was reversed you'd all be saying Obama was being a statesman.
And I would be agreeing with you.


Not me. I'm an Obama supporter. If he tried to back out of a debate (especially if, as McCain has, he'd tried to schedule even more debates), I'd be profoundly disappointed in him.

The fact is, there's not a lot that Obama or McCain can do about this. Dodd and Frank on the Commerce Committee are going to be chiefly responsible for whatever enabling legislation gets proposed. And they strike me as pretty competent, although I really wish they were taking a more skeptical view of the basic premise that America needs to pump $700 bn into the financial sector, and that it needs to do this in the form of a handout to banks. Obama and McCain can speechify, they can ask their financial consultants (in McCain's case, that would be the architect of the deregulation that got us here, Phil Gramm) for advice, and they can show up for the vote. It wouldn't really interfere with their debate.

And heaven forbid that they should actually debate the form of the rescue plan in their debate (I realize presidential debates don't actually feature debating anymore) in a way that might advance the discussion, advance public understanding of the situation, and perhaps even lay out some different options to be considered before the vote were taken. Sheesh. That would be crazy.
posted by adamrice at 1:02 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


konolia, my understanding of this whole campaign nonsense is that each candidate is supposed to prove that he is more qualified to handle the crises that we all face. If he can't 'focus on the economy' and run for president at the same time, how is he going to handle the economy, foreign affairs, random natural disasters, and everything else that will be thrown at him as president? The world will not stop spinning on its axis so that he can get his shit together, whether he's running for president or if actually gets elected as president.

This is just a jackass move to buy some time and make McCain out to be the golden candidate. Hopefully, it won't work. Although I wouldn't mind watching Palin being completely slaughtered in a debate on Friday, either.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 1:03 PM on September 24, 2008 [16 favorites]


I will pay someone cash money to have this political thread not be about konolia.

I'll pay double. She just loves the attention. Let's not give it to her. 'Nuff said.
posted by ericb at 1:04 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Maybe when McCain is done fixing the economy President Bush can go fix the Large Hadron Collider.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:04 PM on September 24, 2008 [54 favorites]


I heard an aphorism once from the field of game theory: "when a loss is inevitable, all moves are equally rational."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:04 PM on September 24, 2008 [81 favorites]


If Obama were smart and ruthless, he'd suggest that the debates go on, but that the economic debate be shifted to Friday and the foreign policy debate be postponed. He could frame it as a "responsibility to speak frankly from our privileged position about the challenges facing our country." And it would put drive a stake into the heart of John McCain's campaign. He'd maintain momentum, look like he wasn't flinching in the face of challenges, and that he knows how to use his current position to address pressing problems.

Unfortunately, I think Obama's campaign is shifting into margin protection mode now, so I'm guessing he'll go along with this so as not to get hammered for his "opportunism." And McCain will restart his campaign when his gnomes perfect the mind control ray, or it's Nov 4, whichever comes last.
posted by felix betachat at 1:04 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


My fellow Americans, I want to take a few moments of your time to talk to you today about John McCain's decision to call timeout in his campaign.

I just want to say, I agree with his idea wholeheartedly. Wholeheartedly. (beat) It is, finally, a good step in the right direction -- a step that frankly I think we all wish would have happened, somehow, sooner.

If only he had called timeout when he was trying to gut the regulators in the 1980s.

If only he had called timeout when he stepped up to the mic to tell America and everyone who was listening that he was fundamentally (beat) a deregulator.

If only he had called timeout when he was putting together his list of lobbyists to help run his campaign, and more than 80 of them were from the same predatory, amoral Wall Street firms that got us into this mess.

If only.

But now, you know,...here we are. (long beat)

We could have been in a far different place. Before the looting. We could have been in a better place. Before the crony capitalism and the lies. We could have used 700 billion dollars to fix education in this country, to fix health care, to make a difference to the American middle class. Before we discovered that John McCain and his band of merry men have taken it. Taken a bath in it. Rolled around in it.

I want to be very clear.

We have to fix this problem, and that sort of hard, tireless, brutal, and unpleasant work is going to be the hallmark of my presidency, and presidencies to come. Because I won't lie to you, today we have a mess to unravel that will resound down generations.

But I want you to remember tonight who caused these problems. Who created the atmosphere in which these jackals felt free to feed on the weak? And that's strong language, but at this point in history, knowing what we know now (beat) what has been hidden from us (beat) would any of us disagree with that?

I want you to understand that we have always been having this arguments...we on the Democratic side, and our opponents on the Republican side.

Our side of the story has been simple. Even a hockey game has a ref. (beat) Capitalism works, but it can also _be_ worked -- by the unscrupulous, the amoral, and the predators. You need a strong hand at the tiller...not to put your hand in the till and steal all you can get.

Turns out, yesterday? John McCain's head of the campaign's firm's been paid fifteen thousand dollars a month by some of these jackals. For not doing a lick of work.

Fifteen thousand dollars a month and now we have foreclosures.

Seven hundred billion dollar blank check for jackals and we didn't have enough money to defend New Orleans. Or Galveston. Or feed our kids.

Phil Gramm, at the time the chief economic adviser to John McCain, said that America is a nation of whiners.

And now John McCain (beat) wants to call a time out.

This isn't a sport. You don't get to roll around on the field faking an injury so you can play for time. This is America, where the people who have done wrong must truthfully answer for their conduct. In public. Under the light of the law.

OK, John. Suspend your campaign to go try to give the appearance that you're righting the wrongs you've been compounding, year after year, for your entire stay in Washington. You know what, though? I don't think it's going to work this time.

My fellow Americans...remember. Good night and God bless.
posted by felix at 1:05 PM on September 24, 2008 [169 favorites]


What Obama should say: "Well, we're really sorry that our opponent is unable to walk and chew gum a the same time..."

That was Lyndon Johnson describing Ford, but his actual quote was "fart and chew gum at the same time," and the press cleaned it up for him.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:05 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Let's focus on the real narrative here: McCain, the great war hero, is a coward.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:05 PM on September 24, 2008 [16 favorites]


What a clown. Reminds me of 'the dog ate my homework.'
posted by carter at 1:06 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Breaking News: John McCain, 91, remembers he is a Senator, drives his Model T to Washington.
posted by clearly at 1:06 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


Sarah Palin on the economy:

"Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this as it's been proposed has to pass or we're gonna find ourselves in another Great Depression. But there has got to be action taken, bipartisan effort-- Congress not pointing fingers at this point at...one another but.. finding the solution to this... taking action, and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.''
posted by EarBucket at 1:06 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


In times of crisis, democracies need more debate, not less.
posted by vibrotronica at 1:07 PM on September 24, 2008 [17 favorites]


oh, I see that while I've been writing my comment, history has marched on. Good show Obama. Grill that leathery old bastard.
posted by felix betachat at 1:07 PM on September 24, 2008


Obama campaign: "The debate is on."

Oh God, I'm never going to hear the end of this from my Republican friends. This was a lose-lose situation for Obama, and I think he took the bigger loss.

Well played, Johnny-boy. Well played.
posted by cimbrog at 1:07 PM on September 24, 2008


Perhaps this is why. Emergency? White House admits to planning bailout for MONTHS. Updated.
posted by nickyskye at 1:07 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Large Hadron Collider.

Is it just me, or does anyone else have a visual metathesis when they read this (as in large hardon collider).

Because McCain is a large hardon collider, which is a fancy way of saying he's a dick.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:08 PM on September 24, 2008


The Obama campaign said no deal on postponing the debate.

Tsk, tsk. Barack Obama claims he wants to end petty partisan politics in Washington, but when given the chance to lend a helping hand to a struggling Republican in need, he leaves him twisting in the wind. So which is it, Obama: all for one, or all for me?
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:08 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


konolia, you are straw manning. And didn't Matt ask you to take a time out in the politics threads?

I agree the pullout call smacks of desparation, but it's totally McCain's campaign style this year: stunt, flail, reboot. This is a particularly ballsy stunt, because it might help him to regain the lost stature that his press blackout has cost him. The wording of the press release is brilliant, by the way. It totally co-opts the Obama campaign's language and Kum-Bay-Ya aspirational stuff. It's game, is what I am saying.

Of course, it occurs that possibly gamemanship is the wrong tack to pursue in seeking the Preznidcy, but that's up to all of us in the US to decide come November 5, enit.
posted by mwhybark at 1:08 PM on September 24, 2008


I will pay someone cash money to have this political thread not be about [someone].
posted by Bookhouse at 12:53 PM on September 24


I'll go you one better. Every time I get the urge to respond to [someone], I will mark the post-it next to my desk. By the end of the day I will donate $5 to the Obama campaign for every mark on my post-it. I hope you will join me.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:09 PM on September 24, 2008 [12 favorites]


The fundamentals of our arguments for the debate are strong.


SIKE! Time out. I am going to go tackle a problem I don't understand.
posted by clearly at 1:09 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


There has got to be action taken

Something has to be done! This bailout plan is something!
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:10 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, if John can't make it to the debate, thirteen cars, all the Bud you can possibly drink and one jet notwithstanding, then maybe Mr. Bush can show up in his place. After all, his administrations policies would be continued should the nation suffer a collective anaphylactic shock and be unable to pull the right lever come November 4th.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:10 PM on September 24, 2008


and I think he took the bigger loss.

If McCain were not already in a free fall and state of panic, maybe. But I'd say the odds are even with either response, and depend on how the media narrative is managed and rebutted.

Sure, some blowhards will back the McCain pretense to "country first" here; but need I remind anyone that the media seem not to be too prone to doing McCain's bidding this last week or two?

On the other hand, they do love a drama queen, and they do love a tight horserace, so maybe they turn on Obama now and we get the Great White American Hero treatment for old man Mac.

Obama team -- get out there and fight to put a stamp of "McCain is a coward" on this story.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:11 PM on September 24, 2008


My friends,

I don't mind a good debate. For reasons known only to God and my doctor, I've had quite a few tough ones in my life.


What the hell does that even mean?
posted by mannequito at 1:11 PM on September 24, 2008


Even Rove wouldn't put his stamp on this ridiculousness.
posted by VulcanMike at 1:11 PM on September 24, 2008


This is so god damned crazy it just might work...

Well, no. Not really.
posted by brundlefly at 1:12 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is entirely needless
- miko

Perhaps, but perception is reality, especially in a world where people still think is Obama is Muslim and where the entire nation cares deeply about missing blonde women.

What they are doing is presidential, and leadershippy, and shit. That's what the public wants to see.
posted by eurasian at 1:12 PM on September 24, 2008


Sarah Palin on the economy:

Bug report. This comment was garbled to the point of incomprehensibility. Please advise!
posted by dirtdirt at 1:13 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe Johnny could borrow his wife's plane to fly to Mississippi after work on Friday?
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:13 PM on September 24, 2008


John McCain has asked that the first presidential debate be postponed and he will suspend his campaign so he can focus on the economy.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

But seriously. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
posted by Pastabagel at 1:13 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


From cereselle's link:
Obama supporter and chief debate negotiator Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., told MSNBC that "we can handle both," when asked about his reaction to McCain's call to postpone the first debate because of the administration's bailout plan. He believes they are making good progress on Capitol Hill on the bailout and his initial reaction is that the work on the Hill should not preclude the debate from taking place.

An Obama campaign official told ABC News the Democratic presidential candidate called McCain this morning to suggest a joint statement of principles.

McCain called back this afternoon and suggested returning to Washington.

Obama is willing to return to Washington "if it would be helpful." But reiterated Obama intends to debate on Friday.

McCain and his top advisers said the Republican presidential candidate has not committed to voting for the massive financial bailout plan proposed by the Bush administration, with aides saying he will reserve final judgment until there is a final product.
So where's the fire, McCain? Yeesh. Let the committees do their work and stop trying to get a piece of it. And - well positioned, Obama team.
posted by Miko at 1:14 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain is pretty pathetic, isn't he? I mean, how did they nominate this guy?

McCain is a direct insult to anyone who is both conservative (as we understand that term here in the US) and intelligent. If I was a Republican, I wouldn't know what to do, frankly. Probably sit on my hands. On one hand, you vote for the other guy, or you vote for Batshit/Insane ticket presented to you by your own party.
posted by maxwelton at 1:14 PM on September 24, 2008


Awesome. I have Daily Show tickets for tomorrow.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:15 PM on September 24, 2008 [43 favorites]


I am actually upset that I have to leave work and not hear immediately what will happen next. These are scary times, when cupcakes want to stay at work.

Keep up the great reporting, MeFites.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:16 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does McCain even need to turn up? They could just use one of those talking GI Joe dolls, and when he's asked a question, you pull the string in his back and it gives you either "I was a POW", "My opponent is a Muslim extremist and he eats babies", "It's all the fault of the Washington Liberals" or "Look! Over there! Terrorists!"

That would free him up to... do whatever the hell he thinks he can do for the American economy on a Friday night.
posted by Grangousier at 1:16 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


robocop is bleeding, you lucky bastard.
posted by brundlefly at 1:17 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good point on another thread -- we'd better not see Johnny Mac take his usual weekend off in Arizona this week.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:17 PM on September 24, 2008


.
posted by notmydesk at 1:17 PM on September 24, 2008


Felix, that was amazing. Comment of the week.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:18 PM on September 24, 2008


and The National Enquirer on teh Sarah Palin

Friends, today I will make history and purchase my first tabloid. I will also offer up $500 to any woman, or feller, who will testify, under oath, that they were boinking ol' Todd Palin while he was married to said Sarah. If he was on the road a lot, you know there was beef involved.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:18 PM on September 24, 2008


Oh, thank goodness. Finally, somebody who has a good grasp of economics will be working on the problem.
posted by dsword at 1:20 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama's statement at 4:45 Eastern.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:20 PM on September 24, 2008


The emerging chatter as I'm monitoring it already appears to favor "this is a gimmick/trick/evasion." Bad news for McCain.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:21 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


If McCain were not already in a free fall and state of panic, maybe. But I'd say the odds are even with either response, and depend on how the media narrative is managed and rebutted.

I'm not so sure about that. A lot of how swing voters swing goes with gut instinct, and while I'm an Obama supporter my gut instinct when I saw the headline (somewhere other than here first) was, "Well, good for him. Hope Obama joins him or he'll look bad." I can come up with all sorts of reasons why what McCain is doing is wrong, and intellectually I can support them, but they still feel like rationalization.

Part of the problem, I think, is that McCain's motives can only be filled in with what want them to be, here. Evidence points to a stunt, but we can't be positive. (I'm sure many people here in the echo chamber are positive, but so is Konolia and many others in her echo chamber. Its everyone else that matters.) Personally, I'm more believing that the motivation is, "We get be responsible and skip a debate? Awesome!" If anything, I'd slight them both for waiting this long if they were going to do it at all (which is support for it being a stunt, of course.)
posted by cimbrog at 1:22 PM on September 24, 2008


Hilariously, the Freepers seem to think that Obama's the one who's unprepared for debate, that he's upset because he'd have to write the answers on his hand again if the debate was delayed, that McCain should send Palin in his place, and that she'd wipe the floor with Obama.

How do these people live? One would think that without constant reminders, they would forget how to breathe and fall over dead, en masse.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 1:22 PM on September 24, 2008 [12 favorites]


Harry Reid sez that the candidates returning to Washington "would not be helpful at this time."
posted by Bromius at 1:23 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


More to the point, McCain has already used up his Hail Mary Pass on Palin, and the ball is still in the air.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:23 PM on September 24, 2008


It's weird that people think their gut is the same as everyone's gut. When I heard McCain was trying to shut down the debate, my gut said he was using an idiotic excuse to back out of a debate that he fears. Who says swing voters don't have my gut and not yours?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:23 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Absuloutey everyone reading this thread right now should read National Review's The Corner:

From Jonah Goldberg:

As a matter of civics, I am at a loss to understand what the argument against this [postponing the debate] could possibly be. I didn't much like the cancellation of the first night of the GOP convention because of the hurricane. Democracy should go on, and all that. But postponing a debate so that the world's oldest deliberative body can tackle the most pressing domestic crisis in modern memory seems both democratic and appropriate. The debate in Congress isn't a photo-op. It's what Congress is for.

See? There isn't an argument that can be made against postponing the debate. We don't want to hear the candidates debate each other over tackling "the most pressing domestic crisis in modern memory." No one wants to hear that. We want to hear about who is secretly a muslim, and who is proud to be a Hockey Mom(TM).

In fact, Jonah, maybe we should postpone the election, because it would create too much uncertainty. What do you think of that? Did your AEI check clear yet, BTW?

Not enough walls, not enough bullets.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:24 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm going to have to give McCain the benefit of the doubt on this one. True he's not on either committee but has influence. Whether he's there to fan the flames of reason and prudence (good) or do sneaky rich guy stuff (bad) the effects of the next two weeks have much much more to do with the outcome of the next Presidental term than anything else.

At the very least his decision will get people realizing that either (a) the economy is fruly tucked and IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED, or (b) the foxes are making away with the entire henhouse. I mean it affects Letterman!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:24 PM on September 24, 2008


Okay, John, but I expect to see a fixed economy on my desk Monday morning.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:24 PM on September 24, 2008 [43 favorites]


Obama's statement at 4:45 Eastern.

Live, or a written statement?
posted by cashman at 1:24 PM on September 24, 2008


"You liberals have to remember, there was a time when McCain didn't have an opportunity to participate in a nationally televised US Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy, for FIVE YEARS... IN PRISON"

With all due respect to what McCain went through, his experiences should likely BEG him to take advantage of the opportunity to speak freely on any issue, and respect the right of others to do the same and facilitate the forums, stages, whatever, to debate and/or discuss critical issues in the hopes of finding common ground, a solution, voters, etc.

If my assumption is correct, you are saying that just because he went through what he went through, everyone should halt their plans at his word. With all respect to what everyone goes through in their unique lives, granted by the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness written in our declaration of independence, the world must carry on and do what it must to insure a democracy remains at the end of each day, at least on this land, so that others do not have to experience what he went through. Soldiers like him serve for many purposes, one of them is to defend these rights.

That said, I call BS on McCain's call for a suspension, and let the debate go on this Friday.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 1:25 PM on September 24, 2008


we'll see, cimbrog. I didn't have that gut reaction. But I'm a strong Obama partisan.

I'm not sure his real motivations are that deniable. Once people think about it for a moment, they'll realize that missing the debate doesn't do much for the bailout plan, and that not talking about the issues doesn't either.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:25 PM on September 24, 2008


It's weird that people think their gut is the same as everyone's gut. When I heard McCain was trying to shut down the debate, my gut said he was using an idiotic excuse to back out of a debate that he fears. Who says swing voters don't have my gut and not yours?

Good point. Thanks for making me feel better about this, Astro Zombie. I am projecting my intestines onto other people.
posted by cimbrog at 1:25 PM on September 24, 2008


Obama's statement at 4:45 Eastern

Live, I THINK.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:25 PM on September 24, 2008


I'm pretty sure East Manitoba etc etc. was kidding about the "five years in prison" line. It's become a pretty standard joke to attribute every McCain failing to that excuse. Unbelievably, McCain himself seems to have overspent his POW credit line. Now there's a bailout I'd like to see.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:26 PM on September 24, 2008


From Politico: McCain suspends his campaign, and asks to postpone Friday's debate, to address the financial crisis. Both candidates have been marginal players; McCain, though, seems to have the potential to make himself a major one, and his move is a mark, most of all, that he doesn't like the way this campaign is going. But in terms of the timing of this move: The only thing that's changed in the last 48 hours is the public polling.
posted by mothershock at 1:27 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am projecting my intestines onto other people.

Ooh, I saw that movie! It was TERRIFYING!
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:28 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


What I'd really like to see is Obama debate McCain about this very bill directly on the Senate floor. That would be glorious.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:29 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


Man, suddenly I feel like I'm watching McCain swaying and bloody in an arena, and feeling the urge to jump up and yell FINISH HIM!!! at Obama with a downturned thumb.

Please--finish him. Put us out of his misery. Jebus.
posted by emjaybee at 1:29 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


More to the point, McCain has already used up his Hail Mary Pass on Palin, and the ball is still in the air.

McCain's just doing what you try next after the Hail Mary doesn't work and you wind up ten yards further back than you started: you fake an injury and force a time-out.
posted by EarBucket at 1:30 PM on September 24, 2008 [12 favorites]


You know, if we are going to keep this thread, maybe someone should change the second link in it to the correct one for the FOX News poll?
posted by yhbc at 1:32 PM on September 24, 2008


Wait..how many time outs does he have left?
posted by jonmc at 1:32 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I am projecting my intestines onto other people.

Ooh, I saw that movie! It was TERRIFYING!

osted by Astro Zombie at 1:28 PM on September 24 [+] [!]

If I am not mistaken, you were in that movie.
posted by clearly at 1:33 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Bingo, Earbucket!
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:33 PM on September 24, 2008


At the very least his decision will get people realizing that either (a) the economy is fruly tucked and IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED, or (b) the foxes are making away with the entire henhouse.

The problem is that everyone agrees that action is required, and nobody seems to have a coherent idea of what that action should be, including McCain. Do we bail out the bad guys to save the economy? Do we screw over the bad guys and end up screwing ourselves when the bad guys crash the economy? Do we try to do a little of both and hope things work out?

I would respect McCain's decision to do something about the problem a lot more if he actually told us what he wanted to have happen other than for the economy to be magically fixed.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:33 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Am I the only one concerned that either the whole world has gone mad, or I have?
posted by Bookhouse at 1:33 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Friday Night Lights!
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:33 PM on September 24, 2008


Ole Miss is saying that the debate is still on...according to Politico.
posted by Biblio at 1:34 PM on September 24, 2008


(a) the economy is fruly tucked and IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED, or (b) the foxes are making away with the entire henhouse.

Both.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:35 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hey, I thought the fundamentals of our economy were strong, anyway?
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:37 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


While I realize that this is just a tactic to either avoid a debate or to make him look more patriotic, I have to say that part of me likes it.

I think that it is ridiculous that two active US Senators are spending the better part of a year by not being US Senators at all. Their jobs are to campaign. They should have to step down from the Senate if they are going to do this. To a lesser extent, it is true with Biden and Palin, too. These people are all being paid with taxpayer money to have full-time jobs. And they are not doing them.

Incredibly, even the US President does it when he runs for re-election. He spends months being a candidate first, and a President second. And that is the President of the United States. If I were a sitting US President running for re-election, I would say, "I have got better things to do than run around the country trying to raise money and campaign. I am the President of the United States. I think that takes priority over campaigning, so I hope you will excuse me for doing my job. I will be glad to debate my opponent three times leading up to the election, but you can decide whether you want to vote for me or not based upon what I do as President, not what I tell you on some campaign trail."
posted by flarbuse at 1:37 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think that the consensus here is wrong, and that McCain is right. Never thought that I'd type that.

Both candidates are spending significant time prepping for the debate. Right now congress and the administration are hashing out major legislation (adding up to 7% to the national debt) which will hand over major powers and responsibilities largely to whomever is elected in November. It makes much more sense for them to be in DC full time this week representing their future potential administrations in this discussion.

This will be the most important piece of legislation from this Congress, and I damn well want my senator there paying attention and taking a role. The people of AZ think the same, I'm sure. I'm sorry that it will ruin a two hour TV episode where the candidates vie for the all important moron vote.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 1:37 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait..how many time outs does he have left?

That depends...how many tricks did the republicans use to push our current brilliant leader through? Whatever it is, multiply it by the number of houses owned by McCain and add it to the number of times Palin can blink *and* say "blink" in 5 minutes. As long as the dead wolf count in Alaska isn't the higher of the two, it should be accurate.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 1:38 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I know I can't be the only one picturing Obama alone on stage Friday night, with 2 hours to answer questions at his own pace with no rebuttals.

McCain may not show up, but I have a feeling the "debate" will happen without him.
posted by Benjy at 1:38 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Speaking of The Corner:
Since Obama Seems to Want to Go On with the Debate
Many readers relay that they'd like McCain to just offer Palin step in for him.
OMGWTFLOL… er, I mean to say, yes, while it would be a considerable challenge for Barack Obama to engage Sarah Palin in a freewheeling debate entirely about foreign policy two weeks before the planned vice-presidential debate, I believe that progressives should be willing to make that sacrifice for the good of our country in this difficult time.
posted by designbot at 1:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [12 favorites]


I should add that the internal polls over at McCain HQ must look absolutely terrifying; maybe worse than what we've seen so far. It's the only explanation for this kind of bizarre, desperate, panicky stunt. It's like he thinks he's a character on a TV show, not an actual candidate running to be the actual president.
posted by EarBucket at 1:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


robot: I respect a principled disagreement more than a talking points defense posture.

I don't agree with you, but we will see.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:39 PM on September 24, 2008


What an asshole. The country managed to have a presidential election, complete with violence-and-riots-ridden conventions and all, during the Civil War. This is inexcusable.
posted by raysmj at 1:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [15 favorites]


New rule: if you're desperate enough to throw around the phrase "suspend my campaign," then you damn well better mean it: i.e., pull your ads, circle your team's (lobbyist) wagons, refrain from oh lying on the goddamn record about yourself and your opponent, etc.

I do not think the words "suspend my campaign" means what he thinks they mean.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:40 PM on September 24, 2008 [10 favorites]


A friend I was just talking to referred to this as a "Fail Mary". I can't think of a more apt phrase.
posted by Remy at 1:40 PM on September 24, 2008 [42 favorites]


I think McCain finally realized that Bush got his ass handed to him in the debates last time, and he still won. So McCain is going to take it a step further and just forefeit entirely. He realizes that the debates are dead as a campaign sideshow. Nobody cares, people will root for their team regardless.
posted by mullingitover at 1:42 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


In semi-related news, The National Enquirer's headline today: SARAH PALIN LOVER REVEALED

BTW -- "...the National Review and Jonah Goldberg believe that reports of [Sarah Palin's] infidelity in the National Enquirer are not just news, they're credible news.
'Whatever the merits of the whole Edwards love child story, are we really supposed to believe that one of America's most famous trial lawyers wouldn't sue a publication that printed defamatory and slanderous lies about him?

Also, it's worth pointing out that while the Enquirer may or may not be scrupulous in its choice of stories — that's in the eye of the beholder — it is pretty scrupulous about its facts. They win lawsuits. They've broken a host of stories the MSM guys couldn't.'"
posted by ericb at 1:42 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does you really think McCain's going to stay home and do his Econ homework on a Friday night?
posted by hallowdmachine at 1:42 PM on September 24, 2008


Harry Reid weighs in:

I understand that the candidates are putting together a joint statement at Senator Obama's suggestion. But it would not be helpful at this time to have them come back during these negotiations and risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation's economy. If that changes, we will call upon them. We need leadership; not a campaign photo op.


Because the thing is, nothing has changed since yesterday that requires McCain's attention. Nothing. Other than his poll numbers.

Now those, yeah they've changed.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:43 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


*[Sarah Palin's] infidelity*

I know they were referring to the Edwards' story that the National Enquirer pursued.
posted by ericb at 1:44 PM on September 24, 2008


It makes much more sense for them to be in DC full time this week representing their future potential administrations in this discussion.

See, the more I think about it, the more McCain seems to be following a BAD idea. The last thing the congressmen who are already on the case need is for two prima donnas to come traipsing in and bring their personal fight to the floor. This needs done quick and the extra baggage of two presidential candidates can only slow things down. Unless McCain and Obama are on agreement on something to force both of their parties to pass, they should stay the hell away except for perhaps when the vote comes.
posted by cimbrog at 1:44 PM on September 24, 2008 [11 favorites]


The only way (according to my gut, which is a potent, swampy place) that the current American situation can get any more surreal is if McCain changes his mind, agrees to the debate and then right after the first question about the economy throws down one of those ninja smoke bombs and goes zipping out of the venue on a batman style air powered grappling hook thing. Later he will be found wearing a fucked up Bruce Willis bald on top hippie mullet in the back wig and a paste on fu-manchu mustache trying to cross over the border into TJ using an expired gym membership card he swiped from Jessie Ventura. Oh a hundred thousand prayers to my great Homosexual Muslim Communist Secular Pagan Sky God that it might be so.

Every night HST comes to me in my dreams, splashes some Chivas on my face, ashes a Dunhill in my ear and hisses into my ear "It's... Just... Not... Fucking... Weird... Enough... Yet, Man!"
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:44 PM on September 24, 2008 [51 favorites]


I haven't heard McCain say he will "roll up his sleeves" this weekend to work on the economy. I don't believe he's going to do any real work unless he promises to roll up his sleeves.
posted by marxchivist at 1:45 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


postponing a debate so that the world's oldest deliberative body can tackle the most pressing domestic crisis in modern memory seems both democratic and appropriate

But this isn't how it works. "The world's oldest deliberative body" is not working on this as a body. It's not like there's a full session going on with all members of Congress seated at their desks and debating on the floor. Congress is working on it in tiny committees. Behind closed doors. That McCain and Obama are not behind. They could be in Washington and make a few phone calls, or they can be anywhere and make a few phone calls.

There is simply zero need for them to be husting to Washington during the scheduled debate time. The lights of the Capitol are going to be turned off Friday night. The people actually drafting the legislation are probably heaving their first sigh of temporary relief from a crushing week, having a few hours' respite over a neat bourbon and medium-rare steak. I'm not sure they're so in need of McCain swooping in at the last minute to go all spreadsheet on them at the last minute. In fact, since McCain can be viewed as one of the people who contributed directly to the conditions that created this crisis, I'm not so sure his solutionizing is even very valuable to the committees. Or to Bush. "Let's get the career-long deregulator in here to, er, create regulations and oversight!" Sounds...unrealistic.

I think fcm is reading the early buzz right. I normally avoid the news-website comments pages, but they are a pretty good place to sample the water-cooler buzz across the spectrum. And so far, this is not spinning well as a "leadership" move with many .

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement on Sen. John McCain's effort to postpone the first presidential debate, stressing it "would not be helpful at this time to have them come back during these negotiations and risk injecting presidential politics into this process."

He added: "If there were ever a time for both candidates to hold a debate before the American people about this serious challenge, it is now."
posted by Miko at 1:46 PM on September 24, 2008 [21 favorites]


He said it! "the president should be able to do more than one thing at once..."
posted by xorry at 1:46 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Obama live on CNN now. (stream)
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:46 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow! Obama just gave a press conference where he said that he believed that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the candidates. "It's more important than ever."
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:46 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain's just doing what you try next after the Hail Mary doesn't work

I'm sorry about the derail, but this just hurts my football-loving-heart. There is no 'try next' after a hail mary because it's only called on the last play of the half/game. Well, unless the coach is completely insane...ohhh I get it.

posted by and hosted from Uranus at 1:46 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obama kicking ass on live TV right now.
posted by mothershock at 1:46 PM on September 24, 2008


Oh, yes, please please, let us have a republicans vs. democrats debate represented by Obama and McCain! I don't mind some postponement but yes please let us focus the whole debate on economics which the republicans have fucked up.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:46 PM on September 24, 2008


CNN statement, Obama answering questions now:
Debates: this is exactly the time when people need to hear from person who in approx 40 days will be dealing with this mess; part of prez's job to deal with more than one thing at once; more important than ever to talk to American people.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:47 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Watching Obama speaking live now (via CNN)..."I think it's part of the President's job to do more than one thing at once....It's more important than ever to present ourselves to the American people."
posted by jaimev at 1:47 PM on September 24, 2008


You'll note that Obama is also taking questions from the press right now, because he is not a coward.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:48 PM on September 24, 2008 [36 favorites]


Sometimes I wish Barney Frank could be a presidential candidate. But then I remember that presidential candidates aren't so open in their scathing remarks, and I change my mind. But what a dream.

On preview: Ok this Obama guy sounds good, too.
posted by Tehanu at 1:48 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


...making it very clear he is in the thick of things, talking daily to Congressional leaders and Paulson.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:48 PM on September 24, 2008


Thanks miko. I'm following comments right left and center, but mostly early editorial opinion on key sites. Granted, I'm looking mostly at the left and center, because the dead enders would defend McCain if he said he needed a weekend off to quit drinking.

I am seeing very little positive reaction from anyone reasonable.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:49 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


He just reiterated that "presidents have to deal with more than one thing at a time." This is beautiful.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:50 PM on September 24, 2008


Angels and Airwaves? Really Obama? REALLY?

That is definetly not change I can believe in.
posted by Stynxno at 1:50 PM on September 24, 2008


You sad, pathetic, underinformed old man. Why don't you go have Cindy take you for a ride on the SS Failboat or whatever your yachts are called and let the grownups take charge for a change?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:50 PM on September 24, 2008 [10 favorites]


"Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time." - Obama just now at his press conference.

This is the winning position.
posted by afx114 at 1:50 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


The point was that many in the MSM are now taking notice of the National Enquirer's reporting. The current issue of Newsweek, for example, has this story: The National Enquirer: Ur-Text of the Tabloid Age.

The Enquirer says it has 3 sources and a signed affidavit relating to the Sarah Palin infidelity story.
"Whatever the merits of the whole Sarah Palin adultery story, are we really supposed to believe that one of America's most famous hockey moms wouldn't sue a publication that printed defamatory and slanderous lies about her?

Also, it's worth pointing out that while the Enquirer may or may not be scrupulous in its choice of stories — that's in the eye of the beholder — it is pretty scrupulous about its facts. They win lawsuits. They've broken a host of stories the MSM guys couldn't."*
posted by ericb at 1:50 PM on September 24, 2008


Jiujitsu -- "If it will be helpful, I am prepared to be anywhere, any time. But I don't see the need to inject presidential politics into this situation . . . presidential candidates have to do more than one thing at a time .. . "
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:50 PM on September 24, 2008


Ungh. Why does CNN insist on that multiple-shot "Big Board"? Watching Obama speak is like watching that bootleg copy of The Dark Knight my friend filmed in the theatre a few months back.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:50 PM on September 24, 2008


This will be the most important piece of legislation from this Congress, and I damn well want my senator there paying attention and taking a role. The people of AZ think the same, I'm sure. I'm sorry that it will ruin a two hour TV episode where the candidates vie for the all important moron vote.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:37 PM on September 24


The candidates should be debating precisely this bill on Friday so they can clarify for the American people what is at stake if their version doesn't pass. I don't know if you've been paying attention, but networks like CNBC have been broadcasting wall to wall coverage of the committee hearings, including the lunatic fringe "what is the constitutional support for the Fed?" Congress is working the issue just fine without McCain there.

And no offense to John McCain, but he's a fucking dummy on his best days, and on a subject as technical as this he's clinically retarded. Most people don't realize the distinction between economics and finance (and this is a financial crisis that has turned into an economic one, not the other way around), so I can assure you that Mr. Fifth-from-dead-last-in-his-class doesn't either.

By the way, McCain's desire to rush to DC to work the problem himself demonstrate a textbook failure of executive leadership. Obama is doing the right thing here, because Obama knows he doesn't understand all these technical details and can't really add to the debate. What he is good at is making sure his party gets the big picture issues the way he wants them - does the govt take ownership of the bailed out companies or not, what punitive measures to take against executives, etc. The experts in his party can work the details within those larger issues.

McCain thinks he's going to start talking about swaps and the investment banking model and CDO's etc. after a five minute briefing? He's an arrogant fool. The experts in his party don't even want him there, because he'll screw things up.

Have the debate, and explain to us why you've been a senator through the S&L crisis, the 1987 crash, the CBO-junk bond collapse and somehow never saw this coming.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:50 PM on September 24, 2008 [35 favorites]


We have to fix this problem, and that sort of hard, tireless, brutal, and unpleasant work is going to be the hallmark of my presidency, and presidencies to come. Because I won't lie to you, today we have a mess to unravel that will resound down generations.

... My opponent has ignored the economic crisis that we've seen building for years, even up until last week when he said that the "fundamentals are strong." But this week, when his poll numbers began to drop, he suddenly demands that we drop everything and run back to Congress so that we can solve this over the weekend.

That's just not a serious response -- in fact, it's exactly the sort of theatrics that got us into this mess, and I'm not interested in it. Many of us have been trying to get John McCain and George W. Bush to take these problems seriously for years, so either they've just now realized that they were wrong, or they're trying to play games with us -- again. Not this time. The stakes are too high.
posted by spiderwire at 1:50 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Obama just now said live on TV he wants to have the debate. it's a mistake.
posted by matteo at 1:51 PM on September 24, 2008


(I was quoting Obama from the live statement above)
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:51 PM on September 24, 2008


McCain's next move: Push through secret legislation which will officially declare November 4th, 2008 to be National Opposite Day.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:52 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


It makes much more sense for them to be in DC full time this week representing their future potential administrations in this discussion.

Neither of them is an expert economist. The economy does not need two egos giving out talking points. It does not need more noise and drama. They are not elected yet, and while their roles as senator and presidential candidates can conflict, the Presidential debates can't go on without them - yet the Congressional debates easily can. The consequences of both debates are very important.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:52 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


It makes much more sense for them to be in DC full time this week representing their future potential administrations in this discussion.

This will be the most important piece of legislation from this Congress, and I damn well want my senator there paying attention and taking a role.


But there's nothing for them to DO right now...other than make the phone calls and write the emails that they can do anywhere. They're not the ones drafting the bill. That's the key thing to realize.

It's like when there's a fire or accident and everyone rushes to the scene...only to stand around gawking. One of the first things they teach you in emergency management is to get the useless people out of the way so the people who are actually working on the problem can do their work. Going to Washington, for these two senators right now, is a waste of time and might in fact distract the committees from their work as media turn their attention to the star power of the Candidates' Descent.
posted by Miko at 1:52 PM on September 24, 2008 [18 favorites]


...we both have big planes, they can get us from DC to MS very quickly ...
Reiterates: Very important that the American people see the people who could be in charge of this in a few months
posted by madamjujujive at 1:52 PM on September 24, 2008


MSNBC Poll: Agree or Disagree: Friday's presidential debate should be postponed so the candidates can focus on the economy.
posted by ericb at 1:53 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


OK, that's it, my disbelief is no longer suspended. You guys are just putting this wacky "election" stuff on television while Bush reinforces his bunker, right?
posted by pracowity at 1:54 PM on September 24, 2008


CNN streaming won't play on my Mac, anybody got another source?
posted by sciurus at 1:54 PM on September 24, 2008


Uranus, the thing is that "attempted onside kick" doesn't make such good copy. Fail Mary, though, whoever posted that one, thanks a million, I will use that a lot.
posted by Mister_A at 1:55 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think McCain was afraid he was going to be out-statesman'd (?) by Obama, because of the 8:30am suggestion of a joint statement. That was some classy-ass shit from Obama, and McCain knew it, and also knew that he couldn't agree to it without seeming like he was doing Obama's bidding. So he's like - "Oh, yeah? You want statesmanship? How 'bout we suspend campaigns out of respect for the economic clusterfuck..." etc.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:55 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I mean, this is like when Obama complained of the McCain ads -- he looked like a whiner. same thing now -- he got shafted on this, McCain is not playing clean on this, he wants to buy time and frame this pullout as the patriotic thing to do, to make Obama look unpatriotic and power hungry, it's obvious bullshit, but Obama has to bite the bullet on this -- what if McCain doesn't show up at the debate? Obama will look like the biggest dick ever.
posted by matteo at 1:55 PM on September 24, 2008


Has anyone really outlined all of the things McCain has cribbed or stolen from Obama's campaign? It's disturbing that Obama was the one that initiated the phone call regarding the joint statement, and McCain decided to turn that into a political play behind Obama's back by coming out to suspend his campaign. It just oozes of sleazy politics.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:55 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sometimes I wish Barney Frank could be a presidential candidate.

Barney Frank: "I'm used to being in the minority. I'm a left-handed gay Jew. I've never felt, automatically, a member of any majority."

Seconded.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:55 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


That MSNBC question is a perfect example of a badly framed, context-presupposing question.

And even so, McCain has few friends freeping it yet.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:55 PM on September 24, 2008


The reporters keep asking leading questions, wanting him to slam McCain, and Obama keeps redirecting them to the point (remember? our free-falling economic death spiral?). Obama is a freaking living masterclass in not biting the hook.
posted by mothershock at 1:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Does anybody else think that if McCain even had a passing familiarity with the computer, this discussion wouldn't even be happening.

"Well, we have the economy to worry about, and when the men with their slide rules finish charting things on graphs, they are going to need to communicate with me in some way, and even the fastest messenger on the fastest pony can't get me that quill-written letter if I'm across the country. Hell, it couldn't even be done by carrier pigeon ..."
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [31 favorites]


John McCain has asked that the first presidential debate be postponed and he will suspend his campaign

The Enquirer says it has 3 sources and a signed affidavit relating to the Sarah Palin infidelity story.


Holy shit, I just figured it out. Maybe McCain is going to drop Palin as VP and add Romney?
posted by Pastabagel at 1:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm going to repeat this from the long Palin thread for laffs, because I'm still cracking up over it.

Today on another board I saw Sarah Palin referred to as "Churchy Spice."
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [47 favorites]


And now McCain has backed himself into a totally predictable corner where he can't campaign and Obama can.
posted by amro at 1:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Neither of them is an expert economist.- Solon

It doesn't take an expert to figure out that you oughtn't to give the keys back to these drunks, but I take your point.

Also: Jeez, fast thread is fast.
posted by Mister_A at 1:58 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


CNN streaming won't play on my Mac, anybody got another source?

Check washingtonpost.com front page.
posted by inigo2 at 1:59 PM on September 24, 2008


Too late, he's done.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:59 PM on September 24, 2008


Astro Zombie, write us a song!
posted by Mister_A at 2:01 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damn. I guess I'll wait for it to show up on YouTube.
posted by sciurus at 2:01 PM on September 24, 2008


Right, Mister_A. I would agree that it's important for them to be back in Washington working on this if either of them was in a committee working on this. It's not that I think Presidential debate automatically wins over Congressional Duties - it just depends on who is running for President. It's not like McCain is going to be doing anything he wouldn't be able to do from a hotel room with a phone/computer and television. (Yeah, I know, McCain + computer... just pretend for a moment.)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:02 PM on September 24, 2008


Holy shit, I just figured it out. Maybe McCain is going to drop Palin as VP and add Romney?

Oh please, oh please. . .

Seriously, never in a million years. McCain would lose by 20 points. They'd be able to call the election by 8PM EST.
posted by EarBucket at 2:02 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


The reporters keep asking leading questions, wanting him to slam McCain, and Obama keeps redirecting them to the point (remember? our free-falling economic death spiral?). Obama is a freaking living masterclass in not biting the hook.

Better still, he has perfected that tone of gently scathing mockery that's become characteristic of his attacks on McCain since the conventions. Reporters were pushing him to declare McCain's grandstanding rush as out of bounds and instead he just smiles conspiratorially, repeats the carefully worded statement, and conveys an entire volume of scorn with his eyebrows. Please, please, please let these men debate on Friday.
posted by felix betachat at 2:02 PM on September 24, 2008


Rather than moving up the Biden/Palin debate, here's an even better suggestion for John McCain:

2) Volunteer to let his VP nominee sit in for him against Obama on Friday.

OH PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO IT DO IT DO IT
posted by fungible at 2:03 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I watched it on Al Jazeera
posted by matteo at 2:03 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


lol
posted by sciurus at 2:04 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


McCain is not playing clean on this, he wants to buy time and frame this pullout as the patriotic thing to do, to make Obama look unpatriotic and power hungry, it's obvious bullshit, but Obama has to bite the bullet on this

Uh, yeah. So what's the next part of the McCain Master Plan, the next swoop of the OODA loop: Does McCain shit his pants in public or what?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:04 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


If McCain doesn't show up at the debate, Obama gets 2 hours of nationally televised air time.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 2:05 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Astro Zombie, write us a song!

I will not have a debate today
I have to work on the economay
Our finances are in disarray
And that's not good for the economay
There's a lot of money we're gonna pay
To prop up the old economay
It can't be done if I stay away
It's the debate or the economay
It must be done without delay
And so I say, with some dismay
That I will not have a debate today
As I have to work on the economay.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:08 PM on September 24, 2008 [32 favorites]


Oh, that does it. Joe Lieberman is "disappointed" with Obama.

Talk abotu disappointment, dickwad.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:10 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


Debate Commission says: Friday night debate is on. (per MSNBC just now)
posted by mothershock at 2:11 PM on September 24, 2008


another tactic to keep the actual policies of the McPalin camp out of the media. Maybe he'll show up but only allow the press to be there for 29 seconds.
posted by noriyori at 2:11 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


::Rove, McCain, and Palin stand outside waiting for the school-bus Monday morning::

Rove: Johnny, you shouldn't have gone to the debates the other night, Obama really made you look bad.

::McCain grumbles, balls his fists up in his pockets and digs a hole in the dirt with his sneaker::

McCain [grumbling]: Didn't even wanna go. I wanted to stay home and fix the 'conomy, but everybody was makin' fun of me, callin' me chicken, so I had'ta.

Rove: shouldn't have done it though, now the everyones gonna call you names.

Palin: What's "vapid" mean?

Rove: Huh?

Palin: Some called me vapid. I think it means I'm pretty. Does it mean I'm pretty Karl?

Rove: *sigh* Yeah. It means you're pretty. Listen guys, I'm not feeling well. I'm gonna skip school today.

::Rove leaves::

McCain [still grumbling]: Reminds me of the time those mean guys stuck me in that 'frigerator box and beat on the sides with sticks.

Palin: I'm vapid Johnny! Wheee!

::image fades::

~fin~
posted by quin at 2:12 PM on September 24, 2008 [31 favorites]


"Disappointed" is Joe Lieberman's default setting.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:13 PM on September 24, 2008 [12 favorites]


*donates money to the Obama campaign*

I have now solved one more financial problem than John McCain.
posted by oaf at 2:15 PM on September 24, 2008 [16 favorites]


Yeah, Lieberman is like Droopy Dog, if Droopy Dog was in the pocket of AIPAC.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:16 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is a strong contender for Daily Show Dick Move of the Decade
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:17 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


(inspired by AstroZombie, to the tune of "Yes! We have no bananas!")

"Yes! We have no debates!
We have no debates today!
We have pandering and lying, subterfuge and crying
And all kinds of farce and -- say,
We have responsibilities to abdicate
And an end-times evangelical VP candidate, but
Yes! We have no debates,
We have no debates today!"
posted by mothershock at 2:17 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


WAIT wait wait.

I go to Ohio State, and just received this e-mail (asking for volunteers) from the Political Science Department:

"ABC News' This Week with George Stephanopoulos will be in Columbus this Friday, Saturday and Sunday to setup and shoot a live town hall with Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain."

What happened to suspending his campaign?
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:18 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obama on CNN says (let me paraphrase) that he proposed to McCain to issue a joint statement. McCain agreed, and also "muddled through" an inquiry about postponing the debates. Obama thinks it's wrong to inject presidential politics into the negotiations on Capitol Hill, and thinks the best thing they can do is show the American people that they are committed to the issue (through the joint statement), and to continue with the debates so the American people can be more intimately acquainted with their policy platforms, etc. Oh, and that they have big jets with their names on them to whisk them to Washington should they be needed (and to Mississippi for the debate, too.)
posted by quanta and qualia at 2:18 PM on September 24, 2008


It's become a "political" story already (MSNBC headline "Crisis Engulfs Debate Politics").

Remember Churchy Spice's advice, Barack -- don't blink. Just stare them down and dare them to walk out of the ring.

The usual blowhards (ie Blitzer and co.) are trying to find the pro-McCain spin here, but struggling. Meanwhile Jack Cafferty just called it a "stunt."
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:18 PM on September 24, 2008


The hysteria about what will happen to "the economy" if the "Big Bailout Plan" is not passed IMMEDIATELY is just that: hysteria. It is being manufactured.

Now, a related digression: frankly, and yes conspiratorially, I find it hard to understand why some of these financial firms--that have been limping along for years--suddenly went under in one big fell swoop with six weeks to go before the election. One would think Paulson would have been told by Bush and his cronies to just keep them afloat for six weeks, and then let the next president deal with the mess. I still don't see exactly and specifically what sent the dominoes tumbling so quickly. Lehman was rumored to be in trouble back when Bear went down last spring. Presumably the fiasco at Fannie and Freddie could not be even temporarily averted. But AIG, Goldman, Merrill's takeover by Bank of America, Wachovia's and Morgan's troubles, etc--what exactly caused the entire to house of cards to collapse virtually overnight? My understanding of these firms is that they were very, very, very good at stalling on bad news. They had perfected the art of playing with non-existing, with finding legal loopholes to cook the books, with announcing multi-billion-dollar "write-downs" in stages, rather than all at once, etc: so why were some of them no able to keep the charade going for another six weeks? Clearly Paulson used his considerable power to ensure his beloved Goldman fared the best, and Buffett's recent investment in them cements that. Just as clearly Lehman was deigned not worth trying to rescue. But what's really going on here? Was Paulson recently given an ultimatum by the Chinese on one of his numerous visits there? That Paulson has been jetting around the globe attempting to shore up capital and secure investments (self-link) is no secret. What was the exact chain of events that got us to this point, and why were Bush and his handlers not planning on just delaying this shit-storm until the next president came along? More question than answers here, I realize, but I cannot shake the feeling that the looting of the Treasury is being done in reaction to what amounts to a semi-manufactured crisis. I readily admit that the financial sector is seriously in a mess, and has been for some time, but the way the thing has unfolded seems, in more than one way, a bit suspect.
posted by ornate insect at 2:18 PM on September 24, 2008 [14 favorites]


A lot of people are suddenly asking this: what's wrong with McCain's face in this video? Watch his left eye.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:21 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Seems like the move is consistent with the message the McCain campaign has been drumming.
Just recently Schmidt was castigating the congress for adjourning for recess on Sept. 26 before addressing the Wall Street stuff.

But (as Miko pointed out) congress is out of session on the 26th, so ... what? He’s going to sit in there alone? He’s going to pretend to be delivering pizza to one of the committees working on this and stick his head in?

Goldberg has his head up his ass, as a matter of civics.

And - if you say it’s not on. And the other guy says “Oh, it’s on.”
Man...you’re gonna get served.

On the other hand maybe McCain is just that ballsy. Maybe he’s blowing off the debate to go play golf or something.

It is amazing though, how much of this showboating depends on ignorance.
And if you aren’t - that is - if you happen to know something about whatever issue - you see how much bullshit talk it is.
And you see the level of contempt folks in the McCain campaign and guys like Lieberman must have for us.
They’ve gotten used to pissing on people’s heads and telling them it’s raining.
But it’s such an old form.

I mean - I told y’all Obama was a 1,000 lb gorilla - and no one would see him coming. Oh, I’m not saying he’s wearing white gloves.

But the press, the other pols, they’re used to dealing with marshmallows. This whole ‘not’ exploiting people’s ignorance must really freak them out.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:21 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Another theory: suspending TV ads for several days levels Obama's significant likely financial advantage for the next 6 weeks. Betcha McCain saw the ramped up Obama spending numbers and realized he couldn't match it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:24 PM on September 24, 2008


Okay, seriously. This election season in the US is like watching a collaboration between Michael Bay and Uwe Boll, except they've been told they can't have explosions or blood, so now they're just trying shit out and seeing what sticks.

Is there some kind of hidden amendment to the Constitution that mandates seeing just how weird things can get before the US population gets wise?
posted by Dipsomaniac at 2:24 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


what if McCain doesn't show up at the debate? Obama will look like the biggest dick ever.

Quite the opposite. For a long time I've been reading the sky-is-falling crowd who are really concerned with being outmanuvered on stunts like this and swiftboating and the like. But it is a case of the Republicans going to the well too many times. There are two key facets of American culture that need to be kept in mind here. First that people like the same thing over and over again, and second, that they hate the same old thing.

Nobody is buying the same old stuff. Circumstances change and they have changed tremendously since 2004.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:26 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


CHRIST WHAT AN ASSHOLE.
posted by tristeza at 2:26 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


"In semi-related news, The National Enquirer's headline today: SARAH PALIN LOVER REVEALED"

You got to love the picture they chose to run with that...
posted by Naberius at 2:27 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


This just in:

McCain to wear Palin mask during debate.
posted by Mister_A at 2:27 PM on September 24, 2008


Debate? Hell, I'm surprised he didn't suggest suspending the election
posted by rocket88 at 2:28 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Taking time out to learn enough about the economy of Japan or Mexico to deal with a localized financial crisis would be one thing, but not being up to speed on our own economy seems like a confession of incompetence and failure to plan.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:28 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Enquirer story reminds me of Fargo ...
posted by carter at 2:29 PM on September 24, 2008


Churchy Spice? Perfect.
posted by adamrice at 2:29 PM on September 24, 2008


Most people don't realize the distinction between economics and finance...

Especially McCain. As of last week, he didn't even know for what the various Senate Committees are responsible.

McCain Doesn’t Know What His Own Committee Does.
“With Wall Street’s financial institutions in turmoil, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) argued in a series of interviews today that his experience on the Senate Commerce Committee meant he knew ‘how to fix this economy.’ ‘I understand the economy. I was chairman of the Commerce Committee that oversights every part of our economy,’ McCain told CNBC’s Squawk Box [video].

But, as the Washington Post points out, the Commerce Committee doesn’t oversee ‘every part of our economy,’ let alone ‘the very areas now in crisis’:
‘In fact, it is the Senate Banking Committee that has oversight of “banks, banking and financial institutions; control of prices of commodities, rents and services; federal monetary policy, including the Federal Reserve System; financial aid to commerce and industry and money and credit, including currency and coinage.”

According to its Web site, the Commerce Committee oversees 13 areas, beginning with the Coast Guard, and continuing through “regulation of consumer products and services … except for credit, financial services, and housing” — the very areas now in crisis.’
It’s not that surprising that McCain is confused about the Commerce Committee’s economic responsibilities, considering that he freely admits, ‘The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.’”
posted by ericb at 2:30 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


Do you mean the *wink*? I've seen that several times from McMaverick. How about a this panting dog?
posted by quanta and qualia at 2:31 PM on September 24, 2008


This election season in the US is like watching a collaboration between Michael Bay and Uwe Boll, except they've been told they can't have explosions or blood, so now they're just trying shit out and seeing what sticks.

This just in: McCain replaces Palin with Verne Troyer.
posted by cog_nate at 2:33 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


How's it polling? Bad for McCain:

Survey USA did a snap poll on the subject this afternoon:

50% want the debates to go on as scheduled, 36% want the debates but to change the focus on the economy, 10% want a postponement, 4% say not sure.

That's 86% against McCain.

As I said earlier, people just aren't buying this--it is too sudden. If McCain had started talking about this on Monday, maybe, but the American people are smarter than people give them credit for. They get it.

I know a whole bunch of people are going to scream about how dumb the American people are but that is the exact "elitist" crap that has sunk us. Obama has trusted in the brains of the American people (see Hillary's BS gas-tax holiday stunt) and they have never let him down. I don't think he's going to stop now. I think he knows something that most of us don't.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:34 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


This is a rather huge length to go to just to avoid the debate.:P
posted by electricsoup at 2:38 PM on September 24, 2008


Man with all due respect to our fundamentalist/dominionist hardcore conservative friends, if there is a God and there were a time that God Himself sought to intervene in American politics, it has got to be happening now. A cat-5 hurricane predicted to hit new orleans during the start of the RNC convention, and a market shock/financial system collapse timed with the fall run up to an election between an old Republican drone (and a cynical faux religious half-wit with a pregnant teen daughter as his running mate) and an upstart clear change agent who appears to be as morally upstanding as anyone who's run for office in decades.

God’s sitting up on his cloud saying, “damn it... How many signs do you people need??? Vote for Obama, you morons!!"

Christ: "Word."
posted by psmealey at 2:38 PM on September 24, 2008 [47 favorites]


earbucket: McCain's just doing what you try next after the Hail Mary doesn't work and you wind up ten yards further back than you started: you fake an injury and force a time-out.

Exactly.

McCain likes gambles.

This is a big gamble-- it might work.

It might blow up in his face, and, actually, odds are that it will-- but if it doesn't... it'll pay off pretty well.

FWIW, McCain's approach isn't strategic, it's tactical; even though the Palin pick is starting to weigh him down, it gave him a strong short-term boost. That boost has just encouraged him to go with his instinct... which is to do sudden, Wild 'n' Crazy Guy Seventies SNL moves. Though he's less Steve Martin than Dan Aykroyd... Angry Dan Aykroyd.
posted by darth_tedious at 2:40 PM on September 24, 2008


I once saw an Asian stripper squat and drop a golf ball out of her rectum.

This is weirder than that.
posted by wfrgms at 2:41 PM on September 24, 2008 [14 favorites]


BREAKING: MCCAIN CAN'T FOCUS ON ECONOMY AND FOREIGN POLICY DISCUSSION AT SAME TIME
Ticker: Would China exploit his weakness if President? Is he also too old to think about both safety and civil liberties?
posted by DU at 2:42 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Christ: "Word."

Obama cultist
posted by spiderwire at 2:42 PM on September 24, 2008


Re: Rick Davis NYT article
Is the McCain campaign's assertion (that Davis since 2006 has been effectively divorced from the firm) correct? It's a pretty bold assertion if untrue.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 2:44 PM on September 24, 2008


NationalReviewfilter: I am at a loss to understand
posted by lukemeister at 2:46 PM on September 24, 2008


Is it just a coincidence that this was announced hours before Bush addresses the nation in prime time about the economic crisis? Sounds like a tag-team suplex attempt to me.

So which way does McCain go? If he goes against Bush, he enforces his "maverickness" at the expense of GOP support. But if he goes with the administration on the bailout, he retains his GOP base (perhaps the only support he has left) at the expense of his "maverick" image.

Seems to me McCain loses either way.
posted by afx114 at 2:46 PM on September 24, 2008


I'm old and jaded, and yet I am having so much fun watching this election unfold. This has been the most awesomest campaign EVER! Rock on, crazy McCain! Spin the decision wheel again!
posted by ferdydurke at 2:47 PM on September 24, 2008 [13 favorites]


I haven't heard McCain say he will "roll up his sleeves" this weekend to work on the economy. I don't believe he's going to do any real work unless he promises to roll up his sleeves.

Hi next move is to offer to hash it out with Obama while they both clear brush at one of McCain's houses.
posted by Killick at 2:47 PM on September 24, 2008


Fox News says McCain wants the 1st Pres debate to replace the VP debate in STL on Wed, and for the VP debate to be held in MS at a TBD date.

Also, three different McCain spokespeople have said that McCain is going to Washington 'to roll up his sleeves' and get to work.
posted by Science! at 2:49 PM on September 24, 2008


So when do we invade Iran?
posted by R. Mutt at 2:50 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just saw this on Drudge: LETTERMAN MOCKS MCCAIN CANCELLATION

Money quote(s):

"You don't suspend your campaign. This doesn't smell right. This isn't the way a tested hero behaves."

"I think someone's putting something in his metamucil."

"He can't run the campaign because the economy is cratering? Fine, put in your second string quarterback, Sara Palin. Where is she?"

"What are you going to do if you're elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We've got a guy like that now!"
posted by Rhaomi at 2:52 PM on September 24, 2008 [15 favorites]


Holy shit, I just figured it out. Maybe McCain is going to drop Palin as VP and add Romney?

Pastabagel -- I have been pondering that, too. Have you noticed that McCain has appeared in public with Romney a few times this week and last?

McCain meets on bailout with Romney, CEOs .
posted by ericb at 2:52 PM on September 24, 2008


And the rest of the world looks on, giggling nervously, the same way they did when they were just little kids and that weird guy down the street dropped trou and did the "helicopter" in the local playground one delicate spring afternoon.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:53 PM on September 24, 2008 [18 favorites]


If only Obama hadn't rejected McCain's invitation to ten town hall style debates, then he never would have had to resort to teh crazee.

I'm old and jaded, and yet I am having so much fun watching this election unfold.

I'm old and jaded too, but this is like watch a whale beach itself. McCain is worse than a terrible candidate: he's pathetic.

The problem though, is that there are still 50MM people who are numb and ignorant enough to actually put this clown in the oval office, regardless of ANYTHING he says or does. The fear is that one of these gimmicks will be timed well enough, or give him just enough dumb luck to convince another 30MM people that he's the right choice.
posted by psmealey at 2:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, I just figured it out. Maybe McCain is going to drop Palin as VP and add Romney?

My thought too.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:58 PM on September 24, 2008


What is "the world's oldest deliberative body?" I thought that was the Althing.
posted by RussHy at 2:58 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, they want to make the vice-presidential debates TBD? Who'da thunk it?
posted by Bookhouse at 2:59 PM on September 24, 2008


The hysteria about what will happen to "the economy" if the "Big Bailout Plan" is not passed IMMEDIATELY is just that: hysteria. It is being manufactured.

Let me draw you a diagram.

Bailout stalls in Congress, plan is DOA on Monday. Short sell ban expires Oct. 2 (I think, perhaps earlier).

Financials are sold off and shorts return, destroying Morgan Stanley. Washington Mutual fails. Washington Mutual has 143 billion in FDIC insured deposits, which is three times the size of the FDIC fund. FDIC breaks. Wachovia fails. Other national and regional banks will fail. The govt will have to pass an emergency FDIC bailout to cover all those deposits. And the fat cats on Wall Street don't have Wachovia savings accounts. Morlochs like us do.

Depositors, i.e. you and me, cannot get at our money. In other words, your ATM cards and debit cards won't work, because there's no bank account connected to it. How much cash do you have on you right now? Because you're going to live off of that until your next payday, assuming you'll have one (see below).

Do you rely on a debit card? Not anymore. No cash means you're going to go to your credit card. But with cash frozen in the system the price of what money is still free to move will skyrocket. In other words the interest rate (i.e. the price of money) will go through the roof. So the money for groceries your credit card lent you is going to accrue 30% interest.

Meanwhile, on Wall Street, money market funds are ransacked, and the price of many falls below $1. But the $1.3 trillion in money markets is also insured so the govt is now on the hook for untold billions. In the meantime, the equity markets collapse. So no one is going to retire ever. Which means that Social Security is going to have to pick up the slack or a lot of seniors are literally going to go homeless.

And the govt has to step in anyway now because when people can't get their money, they can't spend it. So imagine the ripple effects. How many retail sector layoffs, service sector layoffs, etc. No economic activity means the economy is going to contract. That means recession, or worse. But the labels don't matter. The average person on the street won't have any money. In a stroke of irony for Ron Paulites, now the U.S. mint really will have to start printing actual physical money as fast as they can order ink because the electronic money is inaccessible.

So, not to pick on you or anything, but I don't think you appreciate the gravity of the situation. I'm not suggesting we pass Paulson's plan sight unseen. I don't care if the govt becomes the number one shareholder of every bank in America and every derivatives trader has to get castrated by a Saw-Z-All. The banks must stay open or the lives of people you know and love will be ruined. Get the picture?
posted by Pastabagel at 3:01 PM on September 24, 2008 [35 favorites]


A lot of people are suddenly asking this: what's wrong with McCain's face in this video?

He probably couldn't get his "American Idol" make-up artist there in time.

John McCain Uses Idol Makeup Artist!
"John McCain, whose ads skewer Barack Obama for his 'celebrity' status, has his own close ties to show business, the new issue of Us Weekly reports exclusively.

The 72-year-old was recently made TV-ready by makeup artist Tifanie White who's worked on So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol.

McCain paid the 2002 beauty-school grad $5,583.43 for her services, according to the Federal Election Commission."
posted by ericb at 3:01 PM on September 24, 2008


From ericb's link:
John McCain, still on the fence whether to back the proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, huddled this morning with a panel of business executives, including former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

The Associated Press reports that McCain said he wanted to discuss "how we can make sure that the American people regain confidence on Main Street so that they can regain their confidence in Wall Street and in Washington."
Because if there's one thing that billionaire executives understand, it's how regular folks like us can regain our confidence in Wall Street and in Washington.

This is how the man thinks. You can't make this shit up, people.
posted by psmealey at 3:01 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


God, I love this echo chamber.
posted by smackfu at 3:03 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


And he’s taking his ads down. Wha…? Does he personally broadcast them live? What’s he going to do next, only ever appear in a wheelchair?
posted by Artw at 3:03 PM on September 24, 2008


Churchy Spice.
posted by mwhybark at 3:03 PM on September 24, 2008


Fox News says McCain wants the 1st Pres debate to replace the VP debate in STL on Wed, and for the VP debate to be held in MS at a TBD date.

"Or hey," McCain continued, "if you want to cancel the VP debate all together, that's cool too. Whatever."
posted by turaho at 3:03 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Just saw this -- McCain was supposed to be on Letterman tonight, but canceled the appearance to go work on the economy. However, during the taping...

Then in the middle of the taping Dave got word that McCain was, in fact just down the street being interviewed by Katie Couric. Dave even cut over to the live video of the interview, and said, "Hey Senator, can I give you a ride home?"

Earlier in the show, Dave kept saying, "You don't suspend your campaign. This doesn't smell right. This isn't the way a tested hero behaves." And he joked: "I think someone's putting something in his metamucil."

"He can't run the campaign because the economy is cratering? Fine, put in your second string quarterback, Sara Palin. Where is she?"

"What are you going to do if you're elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We've got a guy like that now!"

posted by mothershock at 3:05 PM on September 24, 2008 [21 favorites]


John McCain working on the economy? Didn't we already have that when he was helping to fuck it up?
posted by longsleeves at 3:06 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


He's taking his ads down because he took public financing; he has $85 million to spend and it really doesn't matter if he spends it now or in a few weeks. A lot of his ad stuff is actually from 527s and the RNC. Want to bet the RNC continues running ads?
posted by Justinian at 3:07 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


What is "the world's oldest deliberative body?" I thought that was the Althing.

Actually, it's...John McCain. ZING
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:07 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


A non-emergency meeting

"The McCain campaign's new urgency about the financial crisis didn't entirely clear his schedule this morning. My colleague Amie Parnes reports that he made it to his scheduled morning meeting with Lady Lynn de Rothschild, a Clinton backer who recently came out in support of him. All while Obama was waiting by the phone for a returned call."
posted by homunculus at 3:08 PM on September 24, 2008


Bailout stalls in Congress, plan is DOA on Monday. Short sell ban expires Oct. 2 (I think, perhaps earlier).

Pardon my ignorance, but wouldn't the ban be extended until a bailout plan is approved?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 3:09 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Could there be a medical/health reason behind this?
posted by Auden at 3:10 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


“God’s sitting up on his cloud saying, “damn it... How many signs do you people need??? Vote for Obama, you morons!!”

I believe that joke ends “Why didn’t I save you? What are you talking about I sent a jeep, a boat and a helicopter?”

“I once saw an Asian stripper squat and drop a golf ball out of her rectum.”

That is bizarre, man. On a firmer lie with a low bounce like that you really want to use a lob wedge.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:10 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


I agree with everyone who is saying that Obama and McCain have no reason to head back to DC to be a parrt of the negotiations. I think we all understand that neither of them will be involved directly in those negotiations and that the Senate will not be in session as a whole.

However...

You guys are over-thinking this. Even something that simple is too nuanced for the general electorate. All they understand is this:
Big fucking financial problem. Should we give Wall Street a $700 billion bailout? Congress meets to debate it.

They don't make the distinction between Congress meeting as-a-whole as opposed to the small individual committees which are actually doing the negotiation. They don't

And now they see McCain putting his campaign on-hold in order to "do the hard work" on this problem. It doesn't matter that he's just going to be sitting in his office between photo-ops with the big players in this emergency. They just see him "doing the job the voters sent him there to do". And they will drink it like sweet, sweet Kool-Aid.

You can expect the ads.
John McCain put his dream on-hold to do the tough job of guiding us through these tough times while Barack Obama kept playing politics...

Americans just aren't deep enough to care about the details. They aren't. You may think that this is a desperate move, but you'd be wrong. This is smart, heads-up politics that is designed to show McCain as involved and Obama as disconnected or uncaring. It's a cynical roll of the dice, to be sure. If the bailout plan blows-up horribly, McCain will be standing at ground zero. However, it could well be after the election before we know if the bailout is really working, and McCain could be in the Oval Office by then. And then it doesn't matter.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:11 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


By the way, in my scenario above, all those banks will fail by the latest on 2pm the day the short sell ban expires if there is no plan. Again, I'm not kidding.

To frame the historical context, the mid-late 90's saw currencies and markets around the world collapse like dominoes. Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, Korea, Mexico, etc etc. Americans we're barely aware of it because those places are mostly hot and sticky or the TV footage of grannies clutching funny-colored money was grainy and fuzzy. So meh.

But now it's our turn. In many ways, the market started breaking in 2000 with the dot-com crash, but went on life support after 9-11. The attack and the huge outlay of def. spending coupled with Greenspan jamming rates to almost zero put the housing market into overdrive, and gave most American's their final speculative swan song. (Most americans don't appear to have played the oil or commodities boom, but rather appear to have gotten screwed by it). So what was delayed by 9-11 is not happening to us.

I think when someone writes the book about this, it starts in 1991 with the CBO/junk bond bust, goes through the nineties to the collapse of international markets to now.

We're living the last chapter of an invisible history.
posted by Pastabagel at 3:12 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


Washington Mutual has 143 billion in FDIC insured deposits, which is three times the size of the FDIC fund.

If the FDIC runs out of money the Treasury will print more. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that there's draft legislation sitting on a shelf somewhere to cover just this emergency. Not that that's a wonderful thing in the long run, but I don't think every single WaMu account holder will just be SOL come Tuesday if this bailout doesn't happen.

And, of course, the $700 Billion will more than cover the assets of the next dozen or so banks that fail.
posted by Skorgu at 3:15 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


And as per my statement at the beginning of the thread, I'm sending some money to Obama right now.

If anyone else wants to chip in, they can help the fund-raiser of my imaginary friend, Bacon.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:17 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't think you appreciate the gravity of the situation.

I don't think you appreciate the subtlety of my questions about the Paulson/Bernanke plan (questions currently shared by many lawmakers in D.C., Republican and Democrat, and by many economists, Wall Street-watchers, journalists, business leaders and pundits).

Contrary to what you may think, I think some kind of plan right now is probably a good idea. However, like a lot of people, I have been troubled by what Dodd called yesterday the plan's "lack of details," and by the plan's lack of oversight. I think Paulson and Bernanke did a good job arguing why some kind of plan is urgently needed, but I think they have so far done a fairly poor job either articulating the details of that plan or allowing some elements from alternative plans being floated around Washington, D.C. to be entered into the existing plan. Bush's televised speech tonight will likely also be big on superlatives about the crisis, and short on molding a plan that includes more than just a blank check.

I don't know how many times I have to state my case about scrutinizing this plan as completely as possible. I understand what's at stake. What I do not understand is the argument that all scrutiny and questions must be thrown to the wind and the plan AS-IS must be signed post-haste. My actual argument is not far from what Dodd and Shelby are advocating, as I understand it, and I share many of the concerns Sanders and Biden and Schumer (for instance, about the size of the loan) have expressed.

For the last time I understand that the credit lines must be opened up and confidence restored. What I do not understand is why at least a few days of due diligence is a bad idea, nor why attaching at least some modicum of oversight and regulation (perhaps stipulating that more will come later) to the plan is a bad idea.
posted by ornate insect at 3:19 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


1864
1944

I haven't read full histories of either election year, but I would all but guarantee that no one called for a timeout.
posted by uri at 3:20 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


I think that it is ridiculous that two active US Senators are spending the better part of a year by not being US Senators at all.

Problem is, a few years ago someone actually tried it--insisting that the right thing was to spend time during the summer doing the job he was elected to do rather than spend all his time campaigning for a higher office.

Plan didn't work out well; the guy was Mike Dukakis.
posted by gimonca at 3:22 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


So McCain also cancelled his Letterman appearance tonight... only during the actual taping of Letterman he was just down the was doing an interview wit Katie Couric

Suffice to say Letterman got in some good mocking at McCain's expense about it.
posted by edgeways at 3:22 PM on September 24, 2008


Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really
really really wanna overturn Roe vs. Wade.

If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get a snowmobile
Marriage is forever, babies never end
posted by stavrogin at 3:22 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


Ole Miss Official Says Debate Cancellation Would Be 'Devastating'


...to the tune of $5.5mil.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 3:22 PM on September 24, 2008


I once saw an Asian stripper squat and drop a golf ball out of her rectum.

Brings to mind the "ping pong balls" scene from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert [video | 03:15].
posted by ericb at 3:24 PM on September 24, 2008


Ole Miss Official Says Debate Cancellation Would Be 'Devastating'


...to the tune of $5.5mil.


Put it on our tab.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:26 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


What is "the world's oldest deliberative body?" I thought that was the Althing.

In fairness, Goldberg has admitted he was mistaken on that point and offered a correction.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:30 PM on September 24, 2008


"My friends, we didn't stop to have a debate when they were torturing me mercilesslyin Vietnam. We can't let external distractions cause us to lose focu...what, Sarah texted me? Oooh, look! A sideways smiley face!"
posted by jamstigator at 3:31 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


“They don't make the distinction between Congress meeting as-a-whole as opposed to the small individual committees which are actually doing the negotiation. They don't.”

They should. And they would if it was given to them straight. Your right about it being how the game is played (re: my comments on Schmidt above).

But that’s how things get so divorced from reality with the security theater and this crisis, etc.
That only works when we can afford it.

It was always my contention about “1984” that even with the supremacy of doublethink - the universe remains objective.
At some point a hurricane hits or a meteor strikes, there’s fires, floods, starvation, and people’s survivial instinct kicks in.
We’re damn smart creatures. So you’re right. For now. But don’t mistake ‘fat, dumb, and happy’ for what the human animal really is. A survior.

(Hey, I liked McCain for a while. Bit iffy on some things about him, but generally - ok. Then he got lambasted by the Republicans with the whole ‘black baby’ thing and on and on and on - and it just got sickening to the point where I’m wondering if there’s any ass he won’t kiss or crap he won’t eat to climb the ladder. The torture thing was the last straw. Oh, I don’t think he really supports torture. But the fact that he was willing to, yet again, suck it up just to get along, pretty much soured me on him as a candidate.
And that resentment carries. Other folks see it. Other folks see they were lied to by the Republican party. It’s not going to go away. Even the church folks should know better by now it’s a facade.)

So it doesn’t matter if somethings gourmet cooked if it’s rotten. I’d rather eat plain oatmeal. And most folks would too.
And they’d be pissed at some chef trying to serve them something that would make them sick no matter how pretty it is.
Just have to show ‘em is all.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:31 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


What I do not understand is why at least a few days of due diligence is a bad idea, nor why attaching at least some modicum of oversight and regulation (perhaps stipulating that more will come later) to the plan is a bad idea.

All due respect to Pastabagel's considerable grasp of and insight into the possible outcomes of inaction, but that's where I come out too. There's always the possibility to increase the debt ceiling, or in essence provide a capital extensions to bridge the gap while a workable solution needs to be hammered out. What worries me is being put over a barrel again by the administration in an effort to exploit another crisis and get something done hastily and quickly, that will again benefit or protect a tiny group of people at the expense of the rest of us again. Again. Again.

As to what McCain (or Obama, for that matter) brings to the current equation, other than representation of their home states and parties, not much. McCain's statement is craven bullshit. He's looking to capitalize on the crisis to make some easy points, but it's still pretty much of a long shot.
posted by psmealey at 3:33 PM on September 24, 2008


In related news: Laura Bush: Palin Lacks Foreign Policy Experience.
posted by ericb at 3:35 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I once saw an Asian stripper squat and drop a golf ball out of her rectum.

You've got nothing until you've been to Marilyn's A Go Go, or similar venue, in Pattaya Beach. Golf balls? Meh.
posted by jsavimbi at 3:35 PM on September 24, 2008


Newsweek:
"Some moderates may see this maneuver as further evidence of McCain's erratic, impulsive temperament. Others could interpret it as a desperate gimmick, given that McCain's isn't 'suspending' anything other than two days of debate prep. The Democratic congressional leadership won't make it easy for McCain to claim a political victory. (Harry Reid is already saying his presence 'would not be helpful.') And if the final bailout is unpopular with the public--which seems likely--McCain could be blamed. So there are significant risks involved."
posted by ericb at 3:40 PM on September 24, 2008


And as per my statement at the beginning of the thread, I'm sending some money to Obama right now.

Why not just send some Charmin' and cut out the middleman?
posted by spiderwire at 3:41 PM on September 24, 2008


Pastabagel, stop with all your hoity toity imminent economic collapse tripe. I have it on good measure the the fundamentals of our economy are strong.

just trying to make a joke about a situation that scares the bejeezus out of me... no hard feelings.
posted by clearly at 3:42 PM on September 24, 2008


“What, does McCain think the Senate will still be working at 9 p.m. Friday?” Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania said in an interview, referring to the scheduled start time of the debate. “I think this is all political — I wish McCain had shown the same concern when he didn’t show up in the Senate to vote on the extension of the renewable energy tax credit.”
posted by ornate insect at 3:43 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Since McCain has bailed on Letterman, does that mean we get Regis instead?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:43 PM on September 24, 2008


No matter how much Konnie and other paid propagandists try to sell the idea that after being the most-absentee Senator and the one whose vote the Bush Administration could automatically count on, McCain is showing responsibility by going back to work to push this power grab through Congress, the argument stinks to high heaven.

And anyone who calls MetaFilter an "Echo Chamber" is obviously stone deaf. I see Echo Chambers all over the web and the acoustics are totally different. This place has problems at time amplifying every fart in ways that fool some people into thinking it's actual content, but echoes? No way.
posted by wendell at 3:51 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Pastabagel: I don't think you appreciate the gravity of the situation.

Here's a question: If this is such a dire situation, why did the administration sit on its bailout plan for weeks and months before the plan was presented to Congress?
posted by ryoshu at 3:53 PM on September 24, 2008


And Letterman is filling the time given up by McCain with KEITH OLBERMANN. I'd call that a "Fuck you, John" response, and a highly eloquent one.

I wonder what they'll talk about?
posted by wendell at 3:53 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


So assuming Pastabagel knows what he's talking about, the building's-on-fire analogy seems to apply: the alarm is ringing, everyone can smell smoke, it's clearly not a drill. So what's a resident to do?

1. Panic (bad idea)
2. Debate whether or not it's actually that much of an emergency (bad idea)
3. Point fingers at the bastards who started it (maybe later)
4. Get out of the way and let the fire department do their job (only real option)

Awful as it sounds, America, your various elected and appointed officials are the fire department here. Here's hoping they're up to the task.
posted by philip-random at 3:54 PM on September 24, 2008


Why did the administration sit on its bailout plan for weeks and months before the plan was presented to Congress?

Because they knew better than to give anyone sufficient time to give it reasonable analysis. Duh.
posted by wendell at 3:54 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


That would free him up to... do whatever the hell he thinks he can do for the American economy on a Friday night.

I don't buy it, McCain's way too old for clubbing.
posted by mannequito at 3:54 PM on September 24, 2008


It's almost as if the Republicans are actively trying to lose this election, but nothing they do seems to stick, so they're just giving up.

And they'll probably win anyway.
posted by jnaps at 3:55 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Palin interview:
COURIC: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

PALIN: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie--that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

COURIC: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

PALIN: He's also known as the maverick though. Taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talking about--the need to reform government.

COURIC: I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation?

PALIN: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 3:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [28 favorites]


Divine_Wino said: Every night HST comes to me in my dreams, splashes some Chivas on my face, ashes a Dunhill in my ear and hisses into my ear "It's... Just... Not... Fucking... Weird... Enough... Yet, Man!"

When I first read that, I spent an embarrassingly long amount of time trying to figure out why Harry S Truman would be acting that way.

/duh
posted by amyms at 3:58 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


After everything else, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that Hunter S. Thompson and Harry S Truman ARE THE SAME PERSON.
posted by wendell at 4:00 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


It's almost as if the Republicans are actively trying to lose this election, but nothing they do seems to stick, so they're just giving up.

I've been saying this shit for years, and no one believed me.

The last six years have been like living on the wrong end of a Ben Stiller movie.
posted by spiderwire at 4:01 PM on September 24, 2008


After everything else, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that Hunter S. Thompson and Harry S Truman ARE THE SAME PERSON.

My God, man, are you daft? You'll blow the cover of its next earthly avatar!
posted by enn at 4:02 PM on September 24, 2008


Holy shit, I just figured it out. Maybe McCain is going to drop Palin as VP and add Romney?


Then his right-wing Jebus nut base stays home.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:03 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you."

Does that work? Wow.
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


If I was Obama, I'd be running ads with footage of an NFL ref making the 'TO' signal, but that's just me.
posted by jonmc at 4:03 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


COURIC: I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation?

PALIN: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.


Sweet merciful FUCK. Can someone just PLEASE put them out of their misery??
posted by tristeza at 4:04 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


enn, I just met this dude named Herman S. Terryton...
posted by wendell at 4:05 PM on September 24, 2008


I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.

From now on, that's my answer to everything.
posted by wendell at 4:06 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


If this is such a dire situation, why did the administration sit on its bailout plan for weeks and months

Another question: if the situation is so dire, why was the administration so initially adamant in their resistance to incorporating into the plan any of the concerns expressed by lawmakers? A person selling a burning house does not have a lot of prospects, and should be willing to put a "new house built on same lot must have fire extinguishers" clause into the contract if that's what the buyer wants.
posted by ornate insect at 4:09 PM on September 24, 2008


Just for you, jonmc.
posted by EarBucket at 4:14 PM on September 24, 2008 [14 favorites]


earbucket, have my retarded internet babies.
posted by boo_radley at 4:16 PM on September 24, 2008


just trying to make a joke about a situation that scares the bejeezus out of me... no hard feelings.

I've never lost $700. Not even in Vegas, baby. Never mind being told that I'm going to lose $700,000,000,000 no matter what I do, because all of a sudden, I'm a partner in every bank on Wall St. Without the bonus or the place in the Hamptons.

The beejeezus factor is well deserved. But don't worry though, you'll have the same amount of $$ in your bank account come next week. It's just that they won't buy as much.
posted by jsavimbi at 4:16 PM on September 24, 2008


Since McCain has bailed on Letterman...

But, he'll be available to "glad hand" Bono et al tomorrow -- before focusing on the current crisi!!!
"Mr. McCain said that after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on Thursday, he would return to Washington to work on the bailout package."
Pussy!
posted by ericb at 4:19 PM on September 24, 2008


I got polled by the shills for Fox News (embarrassingly, I still have a landline). They didn't say it was for Fox, but as the questions kept rolling I kept thinking, "This has got to be an Republican PR company."

Dem responses, from The Hill:
“I think it's the longest Hail Mary in the history of football or Marys,” said Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who has been the House’s lead negotiator with both the Senate and the administration on the bailout package...

“They’re not mutually exclusive,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), the Democratic Caucus chairman, of the upcoming debate and work on the bailout. “It’s not like canceling the debate will help to resolve this.”

“That’s absurd,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (Calif.), a senior House Democrat. “Does he think because there's a financial crisis we should cancel the election?”
Meanwhile, this in CQ Politics about Obama's call to the Republican statesman, keeping in mind that McCain believes it is time to rise above petty squabbling:
But McCain spokesman Brian Rogers countered that Obama and McCain never spoke in Wednesday morning.

“Sen. Obama phoned Sen. McCain at 8:30 a.m. this morning but did not reach him. The topic of Sen. Obama’s call to Sen. McCain was never discussed. Sen. McCain was meeting with economic advisers and talking to leaders in Congress throughout the day prior to calling Senator Obama,” Rogers said.
So there *Pbbt*
posted by woodway at 4:21 PM on September 24, 2008


Since McCain has bailed on Letterman, does that mean we get Regis instead?

Nope. He gets face-time with Howie Mandel on "Deal Or No Deal."

If Howie is repulsed and refuses him an audience, next up is McCain's time with Jeff Probst on "Survivor: Gabon Gambling."
posted by ericb at 4:26 PM on September 24, 2008


Holy shit, I just figured it out. Maybe McCain is going to drop Palin as VP and add Romney?

My thought too.


I'd just like to have it on the record that I totally called this first.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:29 PM on September 24, 2008


> Just for you, jonmc.

How about ones for Delay of Game and Intentional Grounding
posted by mrzarquon at 4:29 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


mrzarquon, those are backwards.
posted by oaf at 4:33 PM on September 24, 2008


COURIC: I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation?

PALIN: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.


Karl, Karl, why did you abandon her?
posted by elpapacito at 4:33 PM on September 24, 2008


Demand the Debate 2008
posted by neroli at 4:36 PM on September 24, 2008


Did anyone hear about the "Let's cancel Firday's debate and have it when the VP debate was scheduled" request from the McCain campaign? Makes things... a little more obvious, no?
posted by VulcanMike at 4:37 PM on September 24, 2008


I'm not going to pretend to understand why McCain is doing this...

McCain has a limited amount of money. He knows that 527s will keep spending even if he stops. He's dropping in the polls and he's learned in the past few weeks that it's too early to start putting all his money into deceitful, negative campaign ads. He takes a break. He's still dropping in the polls but when he starts spending money again he gets a bump up in the polls. That looks like a momentum shift and he can restart with the really nasty campaign ads when there's a bit less time for the media and the public to fact check them before election day.

Any of that make sense?
posted by rdr at 4:37 PM on September 24, 2008


oaf- my bad, was copy pasting, didn't check links on preview.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:38 PM on September 24, 2008


Oops. The McCain campaign accidentally sent its talking points on the debate cancellation to reporters.
posted by ericb at 4:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [12 favorites]


JPEG image of the Talking Points.
posted by ericb at 4:40 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Look, everyone, I seriously think we should take a step back from this thread. We're wasting time posting here when we really should be focussing on the economy.
posted by twirlypen at 4:42 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


They're not good with computers! They were a POW! Yahoo hacked them!
posted by Artw at 4:43 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Divine_Wino said: Every night HST comes to me in my dreams, splashes some Chivas on my face, ashes a Dunhill in my ear and hisses into my ear "It's... Just... Not... Fucking... Weird... Enough... Yet, Man!"

When I first read that, I spent an embarrassingly long amount of time trying to figure out why Harry S Truman would be acting that way.


And I was trying to figure out when the Hubble Space Telescope became sentient.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:45 PM on September 24, 2008 [8 favorites]


Well, all of McCain's experience is showing itself now -- his experience at losing, that is. His maverickness too, totally fighting the Republicans that want him to win this election. I mean, he could come out on stage smoking a crack pipe with a black hooker on each arm, an upside down cross hanging from his neck, and syringes full of smack sticking out of his forehead...and his poll numbers might go UP at this point!
posted by jamstigator at 4:47 PM on September 24, 2008


And I was trying to figure out when the Hubble Space Telescope became sentient.

It became self-aware on August 29, 1997.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:48 PM on September 24, 2008 [13 favorites]


This might honestly be the McCain/ Rove strategy. I hope it's not. But since when did hope matter? Dirty tricks win elections.

Step 1:
Paulsen/Bernanke in collusion with Washington draw up a bailout plan knowing full well that it it will fail politically. In fact they want it to fail.

Step 2:
McCain pulls a stunt says he's going to DC, implores Obama to follow. Obama does not take the bait.

Step 3:
Bailout fails, shit hits the fan--economy collapses completely as soon as the short sell holiday ends.

Step 4:
John McCain says: Where were you Obama, when I was in DC?

Step 5:
The end game is that the media finds a new hero--John McCain--after all he understands the economy, right?
posted by |n$eCur3 at 4:49 PM on September 24, 2008


I lurve Dave so much for being cranky I needed to bling him up.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 4:49 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama's response to the suggestion of the cancellation of the debate.

Whoever recorded it was apparently so impressed by one of Obama's comments that they rewound it as Obama was still speaking, so there's a little hiccup.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:54 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


I decided to make myself a wallpaper-sized version, so here it is if anyone wants it.
posted by EarBucket at 4:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


Wow - and yet a few threads down we have this, various people are declaring others to be overly paranoid.

It's not like the debates will really matter anyways, amiright?

Hey, two outta three - maybe we have another trifecta? People have been loosing their homes for the last 2 years - where was the bailout for individuals then?

I cannot believe the quislings here - you trust McCain? Any better than your current leaders?

...heads-in-sand, bad case of ADHD, I dunno but, wow....
posted by jkaczor at 4:58 PM on September 24, 2008


McCain doesn't want to win at this point. Or maybe it's the Republican Party that doesn't want to. They'll just get blamed for all the hideous stuff that's going to come home to roost in the next couple of years.

No one is really this inept.
posted by dilettante at 5:01 PM on September 24, 2008


Well we know where were goin
But we dont know where weve been
And we know what were knowin
But we cant say what weve seen
And were not little children
And we know what we want
And the future is certain
Give us time to work it out

Were on a bridge to nowhere
Come on inside
Takin that ride to nowhere
Well take that ride
posted by ornate insect at 5:02 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


And when the dust settles, this election will STILL come down to a couple of percentage points, plus whatever mischief Karl Rove can jigger up in Colorado.
posted by briank at 5:10 PM on September 24, 2008


Financials are sold off and shorts return, destroying Morgan Stanley. Washington Mutual fails. Washington Mutual has 143 billion in FDIC insured deposits, which is three times the size of the FDIC fund. FDIC breaks. Wachovia fails. Other national and regional banks will fail. The govt will have to pass an emergency FDIC bailout to cover all those deposits. And the fat cats on Wall Street don't have Wachovia savings accounts. Morlochs like us do.

Depositors, i.e. you and me, cannot get at our money. In other words, your ATM cards and debit cards won't work, because there's no bank account connected to it. How much cash do you have on you right now? Because you're going to live off of that until your next payday, assuming you'll have one (see below).

Do you rely on a debit card? Not anymore. No cash means you're going to go to your credit card. But with cash frozen in the system the price of what money is still free to move will skyrocket. In other words the interest rate (i.e. the price of money) will go through the roof. So the money for groceries your credit card lent you is going to accrue 30% interest.
-- pastabagel
That's absurd. My bank's not WaMu, and it has tons of money. No one except you is claiming that ATMs are going to stop working, that's just idiotic.
posted by delmoi at 5:14 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


From Forbes magazine today:

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

posted by EarBucket at 5:15 PM on September 24, 2008 [18 favorites]


Can anyone suggest a way for those of us outside the US to access to debates? Internet streaming is fine, but I have a Mac.

And were those quotes from the Katie Couric interview for real? I read it and thought you very making it up (and very funny it was too) but now reading the comments here - that was actually for real what was said in a 'serious' interview?
posted by Megami at 5:16 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, Megami. That's actually the way she talks. We're having a hard time believing it, too.
posted by EarBucket at 5:18 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I propose that the phrase Bush-League be replaced with McCain-League
posted by Mick at 5:24 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Holy cow, look at this: West Virginia. No wonder McCain wants to suspend the campaign.
posted by EarBucket at 5:27 PM on September 24, 2008


The banks must stay open or the lives of people you know and love will be ruined. Get the picture?

Pastabagel's comment is really a well-done illustration of Everything I Learned About Economics By Watching It's A Wonderful Life. (Srsly.)

Can we put mama dollar and papa dollar in the safe now, so that Clarence can get his wings?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:32 PM on September 24, 2008


Rejoice, friends!

Not in our lifetime will we again witness farce on this level. It is a galactic event.

I had a 2004 hope once, that the curtains would rise on some anonymous stage, the lights would come on and the crowded room of equally surprised reporters and cameras would inadvertently broadcast live the sight of a surprised and drunken GWB having anal sex with Rick Santorum's dog, but even that fantasy pales to these shenanigans.

Frankly, it is nearly as improbable. I won't bore you with the list, but please, stop for a moment and consider what has happened to this hapless group, led by W and championed by John McC, and pause in humble wonder.

At this point, I so so so want to see that empty podium on TV. Oh, Fate, let it be so. (Oddly, either way will be a loser for McC; how will he even hold his head up if he does show up? I mean it seems the die is cast, no? It is beyond fixing at this point, it seems.)
posted by FauxScot at 5:32 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


COURIC: I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation?

Katie Couric is the perkiest of them all! She will NOT be upstaged by that hussy, Campbell Brown.

Nice to see that the "I'm going to ask you one more time in plain language" meme is apparently hitting the media.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:33 PM on September 24, 2008


I also regret that David Foster Wallace is not here to really appreciate this moment.
posted by FauxScot at 5:35 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Ladies and gentlemen, there's been too much partisan rhetoric that has torn our country apart. We cannot focus on the problems that our great nation needs to address if we're constantly bickering over who's idea was what, or if we're playing the blame game. But more than this, we cannot - as a nation - move forward while this presidential campaign is taking up so much energy, time and money from myself and my opponent, Senator Obama. This is why I am proposing suspending all campaigning. And the use of Chia Pets.

As you can see to my left, I have here on this table two Chia Pets, one in my likeness and one in the likeness of my opponent. From this day until election day, a non-partisan volunteer - preferably a veteran of the armed forces - will give both Chia Pets precisely the same amount of water every day. They will receive the same amount of sunlight. The veteran will talk to, and possibly sing to, both Chia Pets for the same length of time. On election day, an independent body of scientists will gauge which Chia Pet has grown the lushest, most robust, most healthy coat of foilage. This and this alone will determine who the next president of the United States will be.

Please, hold your questions. Let me explain. Apart from being a delightful addition to any breakfast nook, Chia Pets are non-partisan. They have no allegiance to any party, none that I'm aware of anyway, and to my knowledge have never expressed a preference with regards to policy. They don't play the Washington game. There's no razzle-dazzle. You absolutely cannot get more non-partisan than a Chia Pet, and I defy anyone to try.

Now, my opponent might use a lot of elitist, Ivy League words to describe my decision. He'll say I'm "avoiding confrontation", that I've made a "cognitive break from reality", that I'm "in desperate need of immediate and possibly involuntary psychiatric help". And that's just the sort of empty rhetoric Americans have come to expect from him. But I trust the American people will see and understand that really, at a time when this country needs us to be focusing on the nation's troubles, we simply don't have time for things like running for president, discussing policy, debating each other, worrying about what last-ditch gamble to take in order to nudge ourselves up the polls an eensy bit, who looks older and more haggered and such. Does my opponent love America enough to put his ego aside and leave the decision of presidency to the Chia Pets? I know that I am! Let's hope Obama is willing to rise to the challenge. Let's put country first! Thank you and God bless America!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:35 PM on September 24, 2008 [23 favorites]


some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy..."It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

Why does this not surprise me? It's a very revealing detail.

It's easy to draw up economic doomsday scenarios (it was easy to do long before the events of past few weeks or before the falls of Lehman, AIG, Fannie/Freddie, Bear, etc), but one should always be weary of being pressured by a clever salesman into signing something before it has been vetted. That's just common sense, and in the case of the Bush team, given their history of deception, prudent.

If the Paulson/Bernanke Plan is only an emergency measure to unclog global credit, one wonders how the problems won't return in a few months time. We will hear the president's speech in an hour on this topic.

Shelby and Dodd had been pressing Paulson for some time for something more than an ad-hoc approach, as we have since the Bear Stearns collapse last spring been just loping along from crisis to crisis, bank failure to bank failure, and a more comprehensive approach was lacking.

The first draft of the plan as presented earlier this week appeared to be in essence a blank check, and required no new regulation of the financial industry, no equity for taxpayers, no help for homeowners, no new regulation on mortgage lenders, no punitive measures for Wall Street CEOs, and gave Paulson unchecked authority to do with the money as he pleased. Furthermore it specified no details whatsoever about how much toxic debt was being taken on, and nowhere listed the specific assets and asset classes (many of them complex securities to be sold at reverse auction by teetering firms we were nevertheless then told would not sell if they did not like the Paulson plan, leading some to wonder why these companies needed to be bailed out).

Yesterday in the Senate Banking Committee Paulson and Bernanke seemed ill prepared to grapple with these kinds of demands for details or other alternative suggestions and plans meant to improve the current plan. Although they admitted the total sum of $700 billion would likely not be used all at once, they steadfastly resisted the suggestion of traunches (for instance, start with $200 billion, and re-convene in January--when neither HP or BB will still be there BTW--as a way to measure the progress of the overall package).

Some seem to have misread my skepticism on the Paulson/Bernanke plan: my skepticism is only that if the administration wants its plan it should be willing to give something in return. That is reasonable and standard in all negotiations, business, political, or otherwise. I'm not at all against having a plan, but I am against not taking a little bit of time to consider and construct a reasonable plan, and not giving into pressure to just sign the first thing that comes across the desk.
posted by ornate insect at 5:37 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


THIS IS EXTRAORDINARILY PAINFUL: All we’ll say is, Sarah Palin answered one of Katie Couric’s questions tonight with this line: “I’ll try to find you some [examples] and I’ll bring them to you.” UPDATE: Video!
posted by R. Mutt at 5:38 PM on September 24, 2008


Oh, this is rich.

COURIC: If this doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great Depression?

PALIN: Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on.


OK, that settles it. McCain-Palin is making Bush-Cheney look like a couple of PUNKS.

I mean, all Bush-Cheney said was that if Democrats were elected, there'd be more terrorist attacks.

McCain-Palin is saying if Democrats are elected, there'll be a war with Russia AND a Great Depression.

/me snaps fingers in air

Oh, girl did NOT just go there. Oh yes she did! Oh! Yes! She! Did!

Go Palin, Go Sarah, Go Palin, getcher freak on, Go Palin!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:38 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can anyone suggest a way for those of us outside the US to access to debates? Internet streaming is fine, but I have a Mac.


CNN and MSNBC stream just fine on my macs (all intel machines, maybe that's why). CSpan always worked fine on my PowerPC macs, and will surely carry the debates *if* they happen.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:38 PM on September 24, 2008


Couric's interview with Palin [video | 05:39].
posted by ericb at 5:40 PM on September 24, 2008


Paulson/Bernake Plan = The Patriot Act all over again. Ram it through without any discussion or we're dooooooooommmmmeeeeddd!!!!

If your neighbor fucked up your hedges, would you lend him your hedge trimmers to fix it?
posted by afx114 at 5:49 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


“I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.’

Just like Lassie! Wow!


“McCain doesn't want to win at this point. Or maybe it's the Republican Party that doesn't want to.”

McCain: The election is getting too close. I might actually win this thing. Rick, what should I do?
Davis: You could blow off the debate.
McCain: Yeah! Screw ‘em. Fake a heart attack and go golfing or something. Hey, did I ever tell ya - I saw this Thai stripper once...
Davis: No, I mean, you should call them. Just cancel it.
McCain: What? Won’t I look like a dick?
Davis: No, no.
McCain: What if he calls me out?
Davis: Nothing will happen. Don’t worry. Just pick up the phone...
McCain: Hey, didn’t you blow off some reporters today?
Davis: What? Uh..
McCain: Yeah, weren’t you supposed to have lunch with the Christian Science Monitor people.
Davis: I had Mike go out on that.
McCain: Ah, Jeezuz John. I want to lose but I don’t want to look like a doofus. Now everyone is going to think we’re ducking the spotlight because you were working for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Davis: You want me to call Obama?
McCain: No, no. *dials* *rings, rings rings* He’s not there. *Hangs up*
*phone rings*
McCain: Hello?
Obama: Hello. *chewing*
McCain: Barack?
Obama: Yeah. *munch munch much* I star 69ed you. I never answer my phone. What’s up?
posted by Smedleyman at 5:50 PM on September 24, 2008 [29 favorites]


Couric's interview with Palin

Geez, she looks really uncomfortable there. Almost nervous. And check out the way she circles around and spits out the same talking points again when Couric presses her on the Rick Davis question. I'm pretty sure I spotted contempt on Katie's face at several points.
posted by EarBucket at 5:51 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wowza. And on and on it goes.
posted by agregoli at 5:54 PM on September 24, 2008


I think you're confusing contempt for awesomeness.
posted by Science! at 5:54 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I'll tra da fand some and brang 'em to ya." Christ, that voice.
posted by ColdChef at 5:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


Looks like Obama will meet up with Bush and McCain at the White House tomorrow. From FOXNews: Bush to Push Bailout Plan in Meeting With McCain, Obama, Other Lawmakers
President Bush invited John McCain, Barack Obama and congressional leaders to the White House on Thursday to discuss his administration's proposed bailout of the financial industry and press them to back the plan.

The invitation was extended Wednesday evening, and Bush called Obama personally to ask him to the Thursday afternoon meeting, which Obama accepted, his campaign said.
posted by funkiwan at 5:56 PM on September 24, 2008


"I guess we know who'll answer that 3 AM phone call when the chips are down now, don't we?"

Yea, John McCain passes out immediately after Matlock.

Also, the early bird dinner specials start at 3 PM, so that doesn't work either.
posted by clearly at 5:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


The verdict? MCCAIN EPIC FAIL.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


ornate insect, do you have some information that Ben Bernanke is going to retire before his term is up? The Fed chairman isn't a cabinet position that ends when this administration ends, and Henry Paulson most certainly could still be in the cabinet depending on this election's outcome.
posted by Eekacat at 5:58 PM on September 24, 2008


No grapefruitmoon, his fear-mongering is based on talking to his friends. Who work in finance. And would like their industry to get a $700bn bump.

As Slacktivist pointed out this morning, Paulson is demanding more, with 3 pages, than the defence budget, which is hundreds of pages. In fact, you don't get $15,000 for a three-page grant application.

Unless it's an emergency, obviously.
posted by bonaldi at 6:00 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I also think that McCain could drop Palin this week. Think about it:

- He suspends his campaign. Why suspend? Why not just fly back for 24 hours or so? Why not come to DC, sit in a few hearings, have a few meetings and then go back to campaigning? Obviously there is more to this maneuvering than just demonstrate that he is still "on the job" or is "taking the lead" on this crisis...

- Additionally McCain has opted to cease running ads. Again, why? How do ads affect McCain's ability to work on the crisis? Could it be that he wants to get away from the McCain-Palin brand?

- Suspending the campaign implies that it will come to an end with the option of restarting later. Restarting how exactly? When? Doesn't this set McCain up for a re-launch?

- Palin has a host of problems. The initial enthusiasm is wearing off. She is hurting his numbers in places that matter like Colorado and Florida. The campaign is spending a lot of time and money baby sitting her and they dare not let her in front of the press... this is all wearing thin. (Also, the mention of Palin's possible affair up thread is interesting. Sure it's the National Enquirer, but recent evidence suggests they know a thing or two about exposing infidelity. And as Andrew Sullivan has pointed out, the guy she supposedly had the affair with recently filed to have his divorce records sealed - more than a year after the actual divorce... so, even if there is nothing there, there is the appearance that something is being hidden.)

- McCain has been hanging out with Romney TODAY... who by all accounts is a masterful executive, exactly the type of VP you want when the economy is on everyone's mind. I mean, why else would they be hanging out? It's not like Romney is the only "expert" McCain could go to, and rumor is the two aren't exactly good buddies...

- McCain has asked for a postponement of Friday's debate with Obama. Why? It's on Friday night - not exactly a hot time for financial policy wonkery. Is he really concerned that the debate might overshadow the crisis or vice versa? Or is he worried some internal strife might hurt his appearance? Further, the McCain camp has been clear: it's not just Friday's debate that is up the air - all the other debates may need to be rescheduled too.

So... McCain suspends his campaign and advertising, ostensibly to address the financial "crisis" - asks for an extension on the debate... Comes into DC to put on a little dog and pony show... meanwhile, Palin is quietly stuffed into the first Greyhound back to Alaska. She says that the financial crisis requires her full attention back home. Oh and also she needs to devote more time to her large and growing family. OH yeah, and the mainstream media won't leave her alone!

McCain get's his bearings over the weekend, and relaunches brand McCain-Romney on Monday. Every politico and journilist collectively shits a brick for a few days, pollsters' computers explode and a week later everyone is like Palin-who?

Bravo McCrazy. Bravo.
posted by wfrgms at 6:00 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bush looks like a deer in the headlights.
posted by EarBucket at 6:02 PM on September 24, 2008


Managing the Bailout: He’d Do It for Nothing
posted by ornate insect at 6:04 PM on September 24, 2008


/me snaps fingers in air

Oh, girl did NOT just go there. Oh yes she did! Oh! Yes! She! Did!


lol
posted by axltea at 6:06 PM on September 24, 2008


The House has passed the stopgap bill.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 6:06 PM on September 24, 2008


Paulson, Bernanke Put Bank Aid Ahead of Best Deal
posted by ornate insect at 6:08 PM on September 24, 2008


McCain is not going to drop Palin any more than people are going to drop that line of argument. Forget about it.
posted by cashman at 6:08 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Wow - and yet a few threads down we have this, various people are declaring others to be overly paranoid.

Yep. I did say overly paranoid. And I think tonight's events proved it. McCain just got his ass handed to him.

Let's look at the "low-information voter," a creation of Karl Rove. According to Rove, these voters are sensitive to, shall we say, less than policy-level forces. These people look at how the candidates react to soap-opera-like scripts suggested to the media.

Let's assume Rove is 100% right and go over the events today. McCain, in a recorded statement, unilaterally announced he was pushing for a postponement of the debates and a suspension of campaigning to deal with the problems we face. He was attempting to dictate the action to Obama.

In the past Democratic candidates would do what the Republican dictated. But today, Obama did not. Obama in a live press conference said no, let's let the debate go forward. In other words, one man tried to dictate, and another said go ahead, make my day.

The result is McCain let out the joint statement Obama asked for--In other words, he let Obama dictate to him.

Think I'm wrong? Bush just gave the Trotskyist line.

The country lurched left yesterday when Cheney was handed his hat by House Republicans when he pushed for the original Paulson plan.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:10 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


By that, I mean, for the budget, not for the financial crisis... but it seems pretty rushed, too:

The text of the measure was not released until late Tuesday, and lawmakers and the White House were still poring over it as the House voted.

“We’re glad the Democrats did not extend the moratorium on [drilling], but we’re still reviewing the legislation,” said Corinne Hirsch, spokeswoman for the Office of Management and Budget.

“The simple truth is this: Very few people have any idea what’s in it,” Rep. Jerry Lewis of California, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, complained. “During this time of economic uncertainty, our constituents are demanding oversight, transparency, and accountability from Wall Street. They deserve no less from Congress.”


All this and a $25 billion bailout for auto makers, aside from the financial "rescue" package.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 6:11 PM on September 24, 2008


Stop rubbing the microphone, dumb ass!
posted by cashman at 6:11 PM on September 24, 2008


I know I usually just babble about 500 words on this shit but I am honestly overwhelmed. This has all really gone beyond farce now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:12 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


He's explaining what the frickin' FDIC is?
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 6:14 PM on September 24, 2008


Huh. Apropos of nothing, I was just playing with the electoral map, and I realized that if Obama holds the Kerry states, plus Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, and New Mexico, there'll be an hour or so before the polls close on the west coast where it's clear he's going to win, but the networks will have to pretend to wait for the numbers to come in from California to call it. That should be entertaining.
posted by EarBucket at 6:15 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Video of Letterman Ripping Into McCain [09:11] -- posted two hours before East Coast screening.
posted by ericb at 6:17 PM on September 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


what the fuck is bill clinton doing on cnn right now?
posted by snofoam at 6:18 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


um, okay, that wasn't so helpful. why is he pretending the taxpayers are going to make money off the paulson plan?
posted by snofoam at 6:19 PM on September 24, 2008


Errr, there are OTHER congress-kritters who can screw things up just as well as the Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama. Its not like they are SO darn important that without McCain/Obama the right job won't happen.

Not to mention both can ask their party members to represent them.

Meanwhile A bill to get rid of the Federal Reserve - just so we have all kindsa options on the table.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:19 PM on September 24, 2008


One thing that I haven't seen mentioned yet is that doesn't McCain's decision to suspend his campaign to "deal" with this increase the sense of panic people might have about the situation?
posted by drezdn at 6:19 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain is acting very presidential. His country needs him and he is responding. And, by tghe way, did he tell you about being a POW? If you check his attendance records, this may well be the first time ion ages he has been back to Congress. I wonder which of his 13 cars he will drive there?
posted by Postroad at 6:22 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


And as Andrew Sullivan has pointed out, the guy she supposedly had the affair with recently filed to have his divorce records sealed - more than a year after the actual divorce... so, even if there is nothing there, there is the appearance that something is being hidden.

That was a different dude (or, second dude, if you will). He just wanted his privacy maintained...and failed to get it.
posted by graventy at 6:25 PM on September 24, 2008


He's explaining what the frickin' FDIC is?

As my wife was just pointing out. He always sounds like a tenth grade student delivering an oral report he didn't want to do.

I don't generally watch, but this time it was important enough I was hoping for some reason to think this wasn't just another big grab. Color me unconvinced. I'm sticking with supporting Bernie.

There is nothing wrong with a sense of urgency, but I have seen nothing to convince me of a need to rush. Maintain the current short-sell provisions if necessary, but no one has convinced me of the bogey man in the financial closet yet.
posted by meinvt at 6:26 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


As an aside: Intrade has Obama about 13 points over McCain and rising, and McCain has dropped like a stone on RCP to a spread of about 3.5 points at the time of this posting.

I wish I knew a fitting sports analogy for this. All I can think of is a hyperextended leg.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:32 PM on September 24, 2008


Bush looks like a deer in the headlights.

He always does. Don't let it fool you. We're the deer. He's the fucking headlight.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:33 PM on September 24, 2008 [20 favorites]


Jon Stewart's boner must be threatening to rip a hole in space-time.
posted by boo_radley at 6:34 PM on September 24, 2008 [32 favorites]


!!!

A senior campaign official says that McCain will NOT debate -- no matter what -- if Congress hasn't reached an agreement on a bailout package.

The aide did not know whether Gov. Palin would attend Oct. 2's vice presidential debate if Congress, by that point, still hasn't reached a deal.


what

WHAT

SHE IS A GOVERNOR

WHY

NO

WHAT

WHY DO YOU DO THIS THING MY MIND IS BROKE
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:36 PM on September 24, 2008 [22 favorites]


Every time I peek into a political thread around here, I actually come out wishing I were a Republican. It's the oddest feeling.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 6:37 PM on September 24, 2008


I wish I knew a fitting sports analogy for this.

*cough*
posted by cog_nate at 6:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [8 favorites]


Oh, this is all very exciting.

I wish I had more confidence in the approximately 50% of Americans (who vote, at least), though. I love that Obama's continuing to operate based on a trust in the intelligence of the American people, I really do: I just hope he's right.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Financials are sold off and shorts return, destroying Morgan Stanley. Washington Mutual fails. Washington Mutual has 143 billion in FDIC insured deposits, which is three times the size of the FDIC fund. FDIC breaks. Wachovia fails. Other national and regional banks will fail. The govt will have to pass an emergency FDIC bailout to cover all those deposits. And the fat cats on Wall Street don't have Wachovia savings accounts. Morlochs like us do.

Pastabagel's scenario is more or less accurate, but the problem is that the Paulson "plan" doesn't help it much - that "plan" is to use the $700 billion to buy worthless debt instruments nobody will ever want to buy at massively inflated prices to "revalue" them, essentially creating solvency via government fiat.

Problem: $700 billion isn't enough to do this. It isn't nearly enough. We're talking about trillions of dollars of debt instruments, and once some of them start to fail (and once the feds run out of money, they will), the dominoes start falling all over again. It essentially only postpones Pastabagel's scenario by a couple of months, and with luck maybe smooths out the collapse - which is why I tend to think the conspiracy theorists who think Paulsen and Bernanke tried to push an obviously crap plan down America's collective throat on purpose to give McCain the election need to relax - their obvious aim was to sabotage an inevitable Obama presidency.

The problem with "too big to fail" is that sometimes it becomes "too big to stop failing." In such instances, it's better to let it fail and use that money instead to mitigate the effects of failure.
posted by mightygodking at 6:41 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


*cough*

Heh. Only imagine what would happen if the other team, the refs, and the crowd ignored the call, and just kept playing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:42 PM on September 24, 2008


Indeed, mightygodking. 700B is a lot of unemployment insurance.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:44 PM on September 24, 2008


WHAT

SHE IS A GOVERNOR


You Eastern elites, always knocking the great state of Alaska! You said she has no foreign policy experience — but she can see Russia from there! And now you're claiming that she has no role to play in the salvaging of our economy? Come now. Don't you know what they have in Alaska?

GOLD. That's what. And I expect tomorrow we'll see Governor Palin out there in the streambeds personally sifting for the gold to replenish the vaults at Fort Knox and bail out our troubled financial sector. Or maybe even to return our nation to the gold standard singlehandedly! Because that's just the kind of hands-on pragmatic everywoman she is. Beat that, Ron Paul!
posted by enn at 6:49 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Can anyone suggest a way for those of us outside the US to access to debates?

In Australia, SBS is broadcasting the debates. Assuming they happen, of course. I look forward to tuning in to a couple of hours of their delightful test pattern and whatever world music CD they're pushing that week.
posted by plant at 6:49 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love that Obama's continuing to operate based on a trust in the intelligence of the American people, I really do: I just hope he's right.

I think that sometimes. Then I get up in the morning, go out to walk the dogs, and see the several "Another FAMILY for McCain" signs arrayed in my neighborhood. Then I figuratively find the nearest large tree and bash my forehead against the trunk until I give myself a subdural hematoma. Just another day in Paradise, man.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:50 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love that Obama's continuing to operate based on a trust in the intelligence of the American people

It terrifies the ever-living fuck out of me.
posted by Cyrano at 6:52 PM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


wow, david letterman just ripped into mccain hard; he was seriously ticked off.

I think what pissed dave off the most was that mccain lied to him.

Letterman says that mccain called him personally and said he couldnt do the show because he was flying to washington to work on the economy.

Then half way through the show dave puts up a live feed from the cbs news room of mccain getting his makeup done for a catie couric interview.

Also, putting on Keith Olberman instead was an obivous middle finger to the McCain Campaign.
posted by Merik at 6:55 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


So McCain's clueless aids now claim they'll be bartering for the debates?!

Seriously... eliminate him.
posted by odinsdream at 6:55 PM on September 24, 2008


Headline on FARK:

Frail old man runs from African American asking for change
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [50 favorites]


Good lord, that letterman clip is gold. I'd stopped watching him years ago, though I'd watched him almost every night for the first ten years or so. Has he gotten interesting again?
posted by the bricabrac man at 6:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can somebody tell me if Pastabagel's doomsday scenario is completely, partially, somewhat or not at all nonsense?
posted by grabbingsand at 7:06 PM on September 24, 2008


This is madness.

(MADNESS? THIS IS POLITICS)
posted by subbes at 7:13 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can somebody tell me if Pastabagel's doomsday scenario is completely, partially, somewhat or not at all nonsense?

Talking to people about this over the past couple of years as I've studied and read and watched and waited for it all to go kablooey, I've always said that I figured there was maybe a 5% chance, worst-case-scenario, that it would end in Depression-level collapse.

Pastabagel's scenario is worst-case, but I do think that the odds of that happening in the near future (or something approaching it) are considerably better than 5% at this point.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:14 PM on September 24, 2008


Let McCain spend Friday however he wants. I personally wouldn't mind a good debate between Obama and Barr/Paul/Nader. Is it too late to have that arranged?
posted by skyper at 7:15 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love that Obama's continuing to operate based on a trust in the intelligence of the American people

It terrifies the ever-living fuck out of me.



I know, me too. But then it also inspires the ever living fuck out of me, and then I remember that there is no other way of winning that is *worth* having. If we need to win by being lowest common denominator shock and awe culture war bullshit slanderous fucktards, by gaming elections and using brute power to corrupt the process, then we might as well give up and become Bush/Rove Republicans.

I always force myself to remember that the only victory comes from winning on the ideas and the record and the vision of liberalism, which despite its slandering by the right since Nixon, has done more for the people of the United States than conservatism has ever come close to offering.

Their god has failed. They are doomed, whether in this election or the next. The conservative and christianist ideologies are bankrupt for all but a diminishing minority of less than 25 percent of American voters (they still act like they own the fucking flag, but they're relatively marginal if they aren't the cynical pawns of the neocons or the corporatists -- the ones who still support Bush, in fact). They're dangerous people, and we've been severely dumbed down and given a corporate media that thinks "fair and balanced" means that both center right and far right perspectives need to be represented in any debate.

These are wild times, unstable times. People wake up when their asses are on the line. It's happened before. Americans are not dumb, just oblivious when times are stable. They've been unstable as hell for the past 8 years, and I think the ambien is wearing off.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:17 PM on September 24, 2008 [20 favorites]


"Well, it's a start." says my boyfriend.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:18 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


MOST Americans, I should have said. More than half, anyway.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:19 PM on September 24, 2008


Awesome, bitter-girl. I'd been thinking of posting that in an earlier bailout thread too.

That would certainly change the discourse -- if we started lynching CEOs when they laid us off.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:20 PM on September 24, 2008


That amount of money doesn't even exist.
That's like saying, "I want a kajillion bajillion dollars."
posted by lukemeister at 7:22 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know Kos links are frowned on around here, but this is a hell of a new twist and I haven't seen it covered elsewhere . . . yet.

Pastor Muthee, the African witch hunter who blessed Sarah's run for the governorship at Wasilla Assembly of God church, is on video saying something blatantly anti-Semitic while Palin is in the audience. This guy laid hands on her and blessed her political career. Here's what he says about Jews:

It's high time that we have top Christian businessmen, businesswomen, bankers, you know, who are men and women of integrity running the economics of our nations. That's what we are waiting for. That's part and parcel of transformation. If you look at the -- you know -- if you look at the Israelites, that's how they work. And that's how they are, even today.


Hello, Florida.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:26 PM on September 24, 2008 [8 favorites]


I personally wouldn't mind a good debate between Obama and Barr/Paul/Nader. Is it too late to have that arranged?

Dr. Paul isn't running. The closest they would come to a debate is if some bill Paul was pimp'n would make it to the Senate. Paul/Obama on The Constitution would be amusing and on the topic of money (Von Mises VS whatever tag once could use to describe Obama). But really, Dr. Paul is not an option as he's not running. Barr/Nader/Baldwin would ask for a rocket ride from NASA to get there as fast as possible to the studio - so the lack of willingness to arrange such is not on their end.

Talking money/business with, oh say, an MBA grad who will be out of a job later in Jan 2009 would be a hoot too. But also - not an option unless someone is not planning on leaving that gig his daddy helped him get.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:32 PM on September 24, 2008


Just watched the Letterman clip.

You know that sound-effect from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons? The one they'd use when the airplane Bugs was in was about to smack into the ground? The screaming, rushing, wailing sound? Yeah, that sound.

That's what I hear when I see John McCain. Yep.

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA---
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:36 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's really nice that John McCain can drop the campaign and go back to DC to fix the economy this weekend. It's sort of like taking a day off work to hang out with your kids (if you still have a job, because, you know... the economy).

And then you yell at your co-workers for not taking the day off, because they don't care about their kids.

And then you tell your boss to give you a raise.
posted by spiderwire at 7:37 PM on September 24, 2008 [8 favorites]


I too am secretly fantasizing about McCain booting Palin.
posted by ChickenringNYC at 7:42 PM on September 24, 2008


spiderwire,

Right, it's Take Your Senator To Work Day!
posted by lukemeister at 7:43 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


This election would make a smashing musical, don't you think? It's got everything!
posted by Ron Thanagar at 7:43 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I didn't read all of these comments so this may be repetitive. I saw McCain briefly on TV commenting and it was the very worst thing possible for market stability. He was emphasizing what a terrible situation it is. Catastrophic. That is so going to make investors feel comfy. If he'd spoken calmly that we would get through this, it would have been, well, presidential...
posted by sammyo at 7:43 PM on September 24, 2008


That would certainly change the discourse -- if we started lynching CEOs when they laid us off.

It's very Dead Kennedys, fourcheesemac.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:44 PM on September 24, 2008


Gawd, I love Redstate.com. They think that Palin should go and debate Obama in McCain's place on Friday. They seem to think that Palin's some sort of secret weapon that McCain's holding back until just the right time.
posted by octothorpe at 7:47 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


Stepping back from it all, dispassionately ignoring the fact that there's still a chance that these lunatics could actually win the Presidency of the United States, it's actually becoming entertaining to watch the escalation of absurdity that the McCain campaign has enacted.

It's like, every day, I think that they can't possibly get more absurd. But then by 3:00 PM, they've outdone themselves yet again.

I predict that by next week, McCain will publicly challenge Vladimir Putin to a jello wrestling contest.
posted by Flunkie at 7:48 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'd buy that logo for a dollar!
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:49 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


"This election would make a smashing musical, don't you think? It's got everything!"

jibjab has got you covered: Time for Some Campaignin'
posted by clearly at 7:53 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I predict that McCain's final desperate play will be to visit Iraq and be taken as a POW. Then Sarah Palin will go in Rambo-style and rescue him. If they can pull that off, I'm almost okay with them winning the election.
posted by snofoam at 7:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [19 favorites]


Can somebody tell me if Pastabagel's doomsday scenario is completely, partially, somewhat or not at all nonsense?

Count me among those voting "mostly nonsense." What I'm reading tells me that a massive credit dry-up would lead to much slower growth. Which is really bad for this insanely sick financial system we currently run on, and insanely bad for CEOs who need massive short-term growth to get their goddamn billion-dollar bonuses, but not so earth-shatteringly apocalyptic for most of us.

That's about it. A much slower increase in growth/productivity, and a possibly very serious downturn for some years. And Pastabagel nowhere offers any evidence for the claim that something must be done *immediately* about this - as in, this week - or we're fucked and all eating out of garbage cans for the next 20 years.

Bottom line is pretty damn clear: Slow down, tell the world markets we're dealing with it and will have something by year's end but want to do it right, and then get to work. No RUSHNOWTODAYONLY bullshit. Because that's what it is - pure bullshit.

Frail old man runs from African American asking for change

*spits potato chips at screen*

posted by mediareport at 7:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I haven't read all 400+ comments and maybe its already been said a thousand times over but jeeze, McCain sure is one cynical prick. First Palin, now this shit? Fuck him and fuck his campaign with Steve Schmidt's bald head. There's my contribution to the rational discourse.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:58 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


I wager that by Saturday McCain replaces Palin with Bush and hires Cheney to replace Davis.
posted by odinsdream at 8:02 PM on September 24, 2008


Ledbetter ‘Strongly Offended’ By McCain’s Statement That Women Need ‘More Education,’ Not Equal Pay
posted by homunculus at 8:03 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


This isn't a desperate Hail Mary. More of a sneaky trick play. Think about it this way: what does Obama have to gain from sticking it out and demanding that the debates go on as planned? The debate will be cancelled anyway, and Obama will be cheated out of one of his three opportunities to display his superiority as a public speaker. He will gain, perhaps, a small and brief pyrrhic victory and the ability to say "I told you so" on a few campaign stops. But if he plays it up too much he will be lambasted as a sore winner and, ultimately, it will be forgotten as the election cycle grinds on. McCain will have successfully dodged a debate; Obama will have lost a golden opportunity to set the rhetorical terms of the campaign; and all McCain will have lost is one opportunity to look like an idiot on national television.
posted by googly at 8:04 PM on September 24, 2008


I think that sometimes. Then I get up in the morning, go out to walk the dogs, and see the several "Another FAMILY for McCain" signs arrayed in my neighborhood. Then I figuratively find the nearest large tree and bash my forehead against the trunk until I give myself a subdural hematoma. Just another day in Paradise, man.
posted by FelliniBlank


Come to my part of MI, FelliniBlank. I don't think I've seen a McPain sign in the populous parts of Washtenaw County. Oh sure, in the xxx-urbs, more of them than 08bama, but the same people supported the incumbent sheriff in the primaries, and he got his ass handed to him countywide.

Of course, if you live in Chuck Yob/Dick DeVos country, you have my sympathies.
posted by beelzbubba at 8:04 PM on September 24, 2008


He probably couldn't get his "American Idol" make-up artist there in time. John McCain Uses Idol Makeup Artist!

And -- the $5,000 make-up artist was there today to spritz-up McCain for his interview with Katie Couric!
posted by ericb at 8:05 PM on September 24, 2008


So let me get this straight, the actual president is now considered so incompetent and ineffectual that it doesn't seem out of place for presidential candidates to step in *as though they have statutory standing to do so* on a major national crisis, rather than playing their actual elected and appointed legal roles.

Sara Palin is more of an idiot than I gave her credit for, which is quite an accomplishment, not to mention really really scary.

Am I missing anything?
posted by nax at 8:08 PM on September 24, 2008


I too am secretly fantasizing about McCain booting Palin.

Eeeeeew.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:09 PM on September 24, 2008


googly, because those last few deflections worked so well?
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:10 PM on September 24, 2008


Bank robbers laying down smoke bombs.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:10 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wonkette analysis: John McCain to suspend campaign, with exception of some campaigning
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:22 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


I wrote to both my Senator and my Rep and expressed my opinion that, in matters of grave importance, it behooves us as a nation to make a carefully considered decision and not a fast decision.

There's a decent book out there on the art of negotiating that explains that one way for your side to come out on top is to set an artificial deadline. Indeed, if no deadline is set, it behooves you to wait until the last possible moment to spring your terms on your opponent. It makes excellent strategic sense for Paulson and Bush, knowing full well that this bailout was an inevitability, to plan for it for months and wait for the hammer to fall before springing it on us as "the only solution." They are negotiating from a place of strength.

Hopefully, our elected representatives (and our presidential nominees) will have the presence of mind to continue saying "fuck no" to any plan until the details have been carefully considered. Again, this decision is too huge to rush into.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:30 PM on September 24, 2008


snofoam: what the fuck is bill clinton doing on cnn right now? [...] um, okay, that wasn't so helpful. why is he pretending the taxpayers are going to make money off the paulson plan?

Are you seriously asking why Bill Clinton is acting like an apologist for the business class?

Seriously? Because, like, that's his thing. He's always done that.
posted by mediareport at 8:32 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


There's a decent book out there on the art of negotiating that explains that one way for your side to come out on top is to set an artificial deadline.

My wish/hope is that they'd negotiate from the perspective forwarded by Harvard's Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton in 'Getting to Yes.'
posted by ericb at 8:35 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ George Bush is looking more like Barbara Bush. I think he's using her makeup.
posted by mazola at 8:36 PM on September 24, 2008


All around a hell of a night. I posted a summary to PoliticalFilter.
posted by butterstick at 8:39 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


"McCain is not going to drop Palin any more than people are going to drop that line of argument. Forget about it."

Maybe Palin will drop him.

The zeitgeist on this, man. You can almost see it. HST checked out way too early. I sometimes think of them at his funeral. Maybe Depp standing beside the little cannon. "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man" playing. Always gets me down.

But I've been feeling more hopeful that I have in a while. And I've stopped hearing Public Enemy's "Shut 'em Down."

In fact. I've had this running through my head all day:

Got a revolution behind my eyes
We got to get up and organize

posted by Smedleyman at 8:44 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think he's using her makeup.

Her genetic makeup.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:46 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


That interview with Palin...wow, just...wow.

Living in Japan, I don't get kind of coverage that most Americans experience with the 24 hour news services, so I've only really seen pics of Palin and read about her on the net. But, that video...is she always like that? And people buy it?
posted by snwod at 8:49 PM on September 24, 2008


From the Clinton interview on CNN:
CLINTON: But when this is over, and after the Jewish holidays, which follow close on it, I intend to go to Florida, to Ohio, to Northeast Pennsylvania and to Nevada, at a minimum. I may do events in Arkansas, depending on what the Democratic Party does down there. And I have some fundraising for them in California and New York.

KING: Do they ask you, go here, go there?

CLINTON: Yes.

KING: All right. (INAUDIBLE). Why are you -- are you kind of feeling Jewish, that you're waiting until after the Jewish holidays?

CLINTON: No. But I think it would be -- if we're trying to win in Florida, it may be that -- you know, they think that because of who I am and where my politic base has traditionally been, they may want me to go sort of hustle up what Lawton Chiles used to call the cracker vote there.

But Senator Obama also has a big stake in doing well in the Jewish community in Florida, where Hillary did very well, and where I did very well. And I just think respecting the holidays is a good thing to do.

KING: I was just having a little fun.

CLINTON: I know.

KING: We'll be right back with Bill Clinton.

Don't go away.
The cracker vote! Wow.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:50 PM on September 24, 2008


A lot of people are suddenly asking this: what's wrong with McCain's face in this video? Watch his left eye.

Anybody else notice anything weird with McCain's left eye recently?
posted by ericb at 8:51 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


whoo boy, forget a musical, I think this election season deserves it's very own Coen Brothers film. You wouldn't even have to exaggerate Palin to any extent.
posted by edgeways at 8:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


For MeFites with a libertarian-friendly streak, this fellow from the Cato Institute pointed out in yesterday's WSJ that the "credit crunch" (and, by extension, any disastrous failure) is limited to just the areas of finance populated by Paulson and his pals:

First of all, the financial storms over the past year have -- before last week -- been largely confined to securities markets and to interbank loans among commercial and investment banks. Bank loans to commercial and industrial business, real estate and consumers continued to expand nearly every month. Commercial and industrial loans exceeded $1.5 trillion this August, up from less than $1.2 trillion a year earlier. Real-estate loans exceeded $3.6 trillion, up from less than $3.4 trillion a year ago. Consumer loans were $845 billion, up from $737 billion. Credit standards are tougher, which is surely a good thing, but interest rates for creditworthy borrowers remain low.

The ongoing slow but steady availability of bank credit helps explain the much-remarked contrast between Wall Street and Main Street -- the shaky condition of exotic financial markets compared with relatively benign statistics for industrial production, retail sales, employment and the rest of the nonhousing economy. Most people go about their business without depending on investment banks or exotic varieties of commercial paper.


You've got to sift the rest, as usual with economic libertarians, and I'm not qualified to judge his standard defense of deregulation just below, but the quote above seems verifiable enough. If it's true, then it certainly makes the notion that we're in immediate risk of a depression look pretty goddamn fucking ridiculous.
posted by mediareport at 8:56 PM on September 24, 2008 [8 favorites]


Know who I miss? Alex Reynolds. Whatever happened to that guy?

Don't do this. Seriously.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:57 PM on September 24, 2008


But, that video...is she always like that?

They've been keeping Palin under wraps, so who knows?
posted by lukemeister at 9:00 PM on September 24, 2008


But, that video...is she always like that? And people buy it?

Palin has only appeared only three times to date for "one-on-one" interviews.

First -- an interview with ABC News' Charlie Gibson (Sept. 7), another with Fox News' Sean Hannity (Sept. 17) and this evening's with CBS's Katie Couric.

Palin has yet to hold a press conference, or to appear on a Sunday morning "talking-head" program.

To mmost people it is obvious that she is "way-over-her-head" and that the McCain campaign is shielding her from legitimate inquiry, questioning by the American press and public.
posted by ericb at 9:02 PM on September 24, 2008


*Palin has only appeared only three times...*
posted by ericb at 9:07 PM on September 24, 2008


The Witch Fighter Anoints Palin
posted by homunculus at 9:11 PM on September 24, 2008


The banks must stay open or the lives of people you know and love will be ruined. Get the picture?

yeah, it would be just like when fdr closed all the banks to straighten out the financial system - they got closed, people went through the books and figured out which banks were toast, which ones were fine and which ones needed a bit of money to tide them over

and it KEPT the lives of people from getting ruined

has it ever occurred to any of the nervous nellie brigade that the worst case scenario isn't failing to do the "right thing" by the end of the week, but doing the "wrong thing" to the tune of 700 B this week and then discovering that it's not working? - then what's going to happen?

has it ever occurred to anyone that there's a risk here of seriously pissing off the american people to the point where they will look for ways to evade paying taxes to pay for this great boondoggle

oh, no - the government had better get a lot for this - equity, new rules, help for the little people, etc etc etc - because if you think the little people are willing to pay 2-3K each to bail out the wall street banks for nothing, you'd better think again - and if the next president wants to govern this country, they'd better make damn sure that the common man who's paying for it doesn't feel screwed
posted by pyramid termite at 9:12 PM on September 24, 2008 [11 favorites]


Not to mention the obvious fact that if the Government is the only entity left willing to buy these "complex instruments" (debt, shitpiles) the corollary is that NOBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD wants them.
posted by odinsdream at 9:15 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


A lot of people are suddenly asking this: what's wrong with McCain's face in this video? Watch his left eye.

Very interesting, I didnt notice this before. He has some lid lag on the left eye and the left corner of his mouth appears to droop. The forehead is also affected--if you look at the right forehead, there are wrinkles, but these don't appear on the left.

If this is new (and I haven't looked at older footage to confirm) it means he has a peripheral nerve palsy, namely the facial nerve. This is also known as Bell's Palsy. This can be transient or it can persist to a variable degree. Putting off the debate could be a way of riding out the natural course of this disorder.

The other possibility is that he had some prior damage to the facial nerve from the surgeries required to remove the cancers on his face. Again, I dont know if this is new or old.
posted by mert at 9:19 PM on September 24, 2008


A lot of people are suddenly asking this: what's wrong with McCain's face in this video?

Fucking fucker's fucked.
posted by mandal at 9:24 PM on September 24, 2008


I'm actually not surprised about this.

McCain's mantra going into November is going to be "America First". Economic problems? Forget the election and lets "work" on the Economy. Granted, theres really not much he can do, so obviously it's grandstanding, but still -- that's the image he's trying to project. "America First, Election Second".

I'd like to say that it's going to flop, but I'm not so sure. It's true that McCain has been hit hard recently, problem #1 being that most people have now realized that Palin has (roughly speaking) the political intelligence and savy of a hot dog. They don't let her speak to reporters for a reason.

But if McCain keeps up the "AMERICA AMERICA AMERICA AMERICA" battle cry while simultaneously portraying Obama as the "less American" (read: black Muslim) candidate, he might be able to eek out a victory in November. Lots of Americans are willing to have smoke blown up their asses as long as it's red, white and blue smoke and a Ten Commandments gets built in the county courthouse.

We'll have to wait and see, I guess.
posted by Avenger at 9:24 PM on September 24, 2008


Fuck waiting and seeing. I'm going to be knocking on doors this weekend armed with Miko-points.
posted by odinsdream at 9:29 PM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


whoo boy, forget a musical, I think this election season deserves it's very own Coen Brothers film.

Hah, yes! Ending with McCain and Palin ridden out of town on rails.
posted by zarah at 9:29 PM on September 24, 2008


The cracker vote! Wow.

Clinton is of course talking about the hard working American employees of Nabisco® and Keebler® brand snack products.
posted by clearly at 9:30 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


The ECONOMYS been KIDNAPPED by NINJAS. Are you a BAD ENOUGH D00D to SAVE IT?!?!?!?

John McCain: "I'm BAD!"
posted by kaibutsu at 9:32 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Watching Governor Palin stumble through that interview was painful. Couric's entire face was a mask of distaste and the tone in which she spoke to Palin was just a hair less patronizing than the one you'd use to explain to a three-year-old why they can't go down the bathtub drain. Palin looked panicky and sweaty and completely, totally unprepared.

Man, if it weren't such a crucial campaign the bizarre hilarity of it all would be awesome.
posted by winna at 9:40 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


From a comment at balloon juice about that awesome Palin interview today:

"I'm still in shock over how terrible the Palin/Couric interview was. “Train wreck” is being charitable – it was more like a train derailing on a bridge, tumbling a thousand feet into a canyon and landing on a pile of old dynamite and gas drums. And then a jumbo jet crashed into the flaming wreckage. Followed by an earthquake that caused the whole mess to slide off a cliff into the sea, where the few miraculous survivors were eaten by sharks."
posted by lattiboy at 9:44 PM on September 24, 2008 [23 favorites]


Newt [Gingritch] on Senator McCain’s Decision to Suspend His Campaign to Forge an Agreement on the Financial Crisis:

The McCain Leadership Factor

Today john McCain showed what it meant to put country first.

He put everything on the line to try to put together a bipartisan sizable economic package to replace the failed Paulson bailout package.

This is the greatest single act of responsibility ever taken by a presidential candidate and rivals President Eisenhower saying, ‘I will go to Korea.’


There's more, but I had to stop reading after that because I laughed so hard I threw up.
posted by you just lost the game at 9:51 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin ain't no Cheney, that much is clear. She doesn't lie or inveigle well. But I understand she's a much better shot.
posted by illiad at 9:52 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


the worst case scenario isn't failing to do the "right thing" by the end of the week, but doing the "wrong thing" to the tune of 700 B this week and then discovering that it's not working

Amen. You nailed it.
posted by ornate insect at 9:52 PM on September 24, 2008


Watching Governor Palin stumble through that interview was painful. Couric's entire face was a mask of distaste and the tone in which she spoke to Palin was just a hair less patronizing than the one you'd use to explain to a three-year-old why they can't go down the bathtub drain. Palin looked panicky and sweaty and completely, totally unprepared.

Yeah, I dunno about this. Katie Couric seemed to show obvious disdain during the interview. She's obviously upset about something, dunno if it's the way the McCain campaign has treated the media, or the promotion of an unqualified woman based on looks, but man she looked pissed. It should be easy for the right to accept the "mean media picking on our girl" line.
posted by graventy at 9:54 PM on September 24, 2008


Plan’s Basic Mystery: What’s All This Stuff Worth?
posted by ornate insect at 9:54 PM on September 24, 2008


Wow, whoever it was way upthread who said we should all be reading The Corner at NRO wasn't kidding. Here's more madness/hilarity;

The Grant Gambit [Jonah Goldberg]

From a reader:

Jonah;

I think McCain should show up for the debate looking reluctant and disheveled. He could apologize for this condition, saying he had to rush back from doing the nation’s business. He could be like Grant having to apologize to the impeccably dressed Lee at Appomattox for showing up all muddy and in an old private’s coat. There was, after all, a war that needed winning.

*snip*

Update/Correction: Several readers have politely inquired about my use of the "oldest deliberative body" line.

One friend asked, "What about the British Parliament?"

Others point to some other pretty darn old deliberative bodies.

My short answer: I don't know why they call the Senate "the world's oldest deliberative body." I just assumed it was true unthinkingly.

posted by you just lost the game at 9:59 PM on September 24, 2008


illiad: "Palin ain't no Cheney, that much is clear. She doesn't lie or inveigle well. But I understand she's a much better shot."

Has she tried shooting lawyers? I hear they're wilier than moose, but nobody wants to eat them.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 10:07 PM on September 24, 2008


from the same page:

The correct phrase is "world's greatest deliberative body."

...and I thought he was suffering from hubris before with his unthinking assumption. Who is this twat?
posted by pompomtom at 10:07 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


He just needs a few days to help Cindy get their money transferred to more secure investments overseas. They don't want to lose everything like the rest of are going to.
posted by Mr_Zero at 10:08 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


If your neighbor fucked up your hedges, would you lend him your hedge trimmers to fix it?

Fuck yeah. It's wrecked, it's wrecked. Do what you can, asshole.

However, hedge != 700 billion dollars.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:08 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hell of a day.
posted by cortex at 10:13 PM on September 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Goddammit, what a day to lurch from putting out one fire after another at work. I don't know if I'm more disappointed in missing OBAMA LIVE AND AWESOME this afternoon or in not getting to read this thread as it unfolded in real time.

I hereby announce a suspension of all deadline-related activity at my job in order to better spend more time on Metafilter address our economic crisis!
posted by scody at 10:19 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Hell of a day."

word.
posted by clearly at 10:28 PM on September 24, 2008


McCain, who said a week ago that the fundamentals of our economy are strong, now says that things are so cocked up that he has to rush back to Washington on his white horse to save the country and can't possibly spend a few hours in a key debate?

Doesn't pass the smell test OR the laugh test.

And poor Sarah Palin. She's has given three whole interviews now and something in each of them has given me dumb-chills. Her teetering "responses" to Couric's questions reminded me of that SNL skit with Perot and Stockdale in the car. The one where Perot pulls to the side of the road, lets Stockdale out and then guns the motor to leave him in the dust, so he could get another Veep.
posted by darkstar at 10:30 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Great chess move! He's outflanked Obama!!eleventy!!
(via)
Chess move? Chess Move???!!! So much for this selfless gesture being non-partisan.
posted by nudar at 10:33 PM on September 24, 2008


RE: Couric's interview with Palin [video | 05:39].

Palin spouts almost the same exact line for the followup as she did for the first question... But then she adds a little of that patented Palin Magic—trying to make it sound totally different by putting a weird-ass emphasis on the word "recused" ("RE-cused"), and then verbally italicizing the word "himself".

"Nailed it!"

posted by blueberry at 10:38 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


What's McCain gonna do do during his "suspended campaign"? I bet he needs to do a little soul searching. I can totally see him sneaking out in the Straight Talk Express and just hitting the road...

Meanwhile Sarah Palin, in attempt to prove her readiness to take the reigns in his absence will solve the financial crisis by selling the Statue of Liberty on eBay. She won't actually do this, but that'll be her story, and she'll be sticking to it.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:51 PM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's almost seeming like a reasonable theory that he wants to be the punchline of a joke.
posted by Flunkie at 10:51 PM on September 24, 2008


in immediate risk of a depression look pretty goddamn fucking ridiculous.

Do you know what caused the Great Depression? Too-low interest rates that fueled a credit-based economic boom that expanded the money supply in the twenties. Sound familiar?

Interest rates hit a low in mid to late 2005. 2005 marks the peak of the housing boom, i.e. the mortgage-based economic boom that inflated the money supply. But you want to know how smart Warren Buffet is? Buffet made his famous ticking bomb prediction in 2003.

What makes the 2000s different from the 20's is that (a) people are aware of the 20s, and wondering what happens when the bubble bursts, and (b) China. China coming online as a source of US imports is deflationary because of massive economies of scale and cheap labor. Those effects are deflationary enough to mask the industrial commodity price inflation that China was responsive for from 2002-2006. We don't see the inflation because the products from China can be produced so much less than the products from elsewhere that we bought in the 90's. So the effect was hidden.

But the effect was there, and the whole thing starts unwinding beginning with homeowners. Let me make it real for you. Remember Casey Serin? He buys his first investment properties in October 2005. He bought in at the top, a classic amateur move. By September 2006, he starts his blog iamfacingforeclosure.com

In 2007, the number of foreclosures is 79% higher than 2006. In March of 2007, Wall Street gets the first hint of big trouble when mortgage companies that kept the mortgages instead of selling them on start to get burned. In March we get earnings warnings from H&R Block's mortgage division, Countrywide, and the big home builders out west, among others. The market has a significant correction in mid-March. Buy summer 2007, the bubble is bursting, but we have a big problem. The bursting bubble is slowing the economy and bringing down the market, so Wall Street wants the fed to cut rates from the higher level where they've raised them to stop the foreclosures.

But Bernanke can't do this because as he knows from being the nation's foremost living expert on the economic causes of the Great Depression, he needs to shrink the money supply steadily or else it will shrink catastrophically. He's aiming for a soft landing while everyone is telling him to pull up and keep flying.

"They know nothing!" - In mid summer 2007, the credit agencies come out of a coma and realize they've rated everything AAA when its a pile of crap. They get religion, via Buffet and Vanguard's pronouncements that the rating agencies are negligent, and start to re-rate everyone's credit. The most visible thing they do is rate I-bank Bear Stearns poorly, because Bear has bought a lot of CDO's (black-box mortgage packages) that contain defaulting mortgages. Banks are stacking up over $400 billion in losses as writeoffs. Jim Cramer famously makes the statement the Fed is asleep, and that they have no idea how bad it is for the investment banks that are leveraged heavily in these things.

What I suspect Cramer knew that everyone didn't is the staggering ratio to which these banks were leveraged, well over 25:1 but my measure. A rough way to look at this on the downside is that the market contracts they are destroying money 25 times faster than the underlying asset is. The market has it's second severe correction between Aug 2 and Aug 17.

Fed caves, and cuts rates on August 18, 2007 and the market jumps and runs for about a month. But the dollar collapses. More importantly, the Fed creates three new ways to create money but in a way that does not raise rates, and importantly in a way that creates information about who owns what and which firm needs money.

In the fall, the Fed fails to cut rates again, the market drops, economic indicators show a slowing in the economy, and worse, commodity price inflation is becoming a problem. Oil, metals, gold, and food commodities run as every other asset declines in price. Experts argue over whether the commodity inflation is fundamental (peak oil, china, ethanol) or speculative (last ditch effort to make money when every other market fails) and exacerbated by a weak dollar.

Fall 2007 wave of write offs. On November 9, 2008. Merrill Lynch announces its first quarterly loss in 6 years when losses due to subprime mtge exposure reach $8 billion, $3 billion more than they expected. The market crashes immediately. Throughout the month, bank after bank, US and foreign will announce multibillion dollar first wave writeoffs. The Fed fine tunes the system to prevent the market from crashing further.

Economic data released in January 2008 and the failure of a British bank Northern Rock cause global markets to crash as it becomes clear that the US recession is underway, and the rest of the world is slowing in response. China declines more than 5% in one day. It is now clear that the financial system is failing, and that the markets are not responding to fundamentals but to a rapid depletion of credit. Merril Lynch announces a second wave of writedowns of over $12 billion, with more to come. U.S. markets crash on January 21, 2008. The fed is forced to cut rates 0.75%, which is a capitaulation. The Federal Reserve cannot control the money supply contraction, so the only hope is to restart economic activity to stop a recession.

The unwinding is underway. In Feb 2008 unemployment hits a 5-yr low. In March 2008 Bear Stearns fails, and is sold to JPMorgan in a weekend deal brokered by the Fed. Fed takes junk mortgages as collateral for a loan to JPMorgan. Bernanke famously notes that Bear Stearns is too big to fail and that its failure would have led to a catastrophic unwinding of the financial markets.

By april, gold and oil reach astronomical highs. By early september 2008, fannie mae and freddie mac are taken over the government. On September 15, 2008 Bank of America buys Merril Lynch for a 60% discount off its price a year earlier. The same day, Lehman Bros fails. The markets worldwide crash driven by brutal short selling of financials and speculation of who is next. Experts and press estimate that insurance giant AIG has "one day to make a deal" before short sellers kill the stock and the company fails. On 9/16, AIG is bailed out by the U.S. Treasury and the Fed. Washington Mutual, Wachovia, and Morgan Stanley are expected to fail by the following Monday if they do not get investment or get acquired. No deal is struck on 9/17, and the failure of Morgan is imminent. On 9/18 the UK bans short selling. The US bans short selling on 9/19, and the government announces it will essentially bail everyone else out.

The writing was on the wall since 2005 for anyone who was paying close attention. In August 2007 everyone knew there was something seriously broken in the financial system. It's been over a year. There is a metafilter post for every single one of these events.

The thing is I don't care if you believe me or not. It isn't a matter of belief. What was one esoteric financial instruments is now a clockwork mechanism with Casey Serin as the input and you on the output.

They need to pass something or we are seriously screwed. You want proof? Read everything about the crisis up to this point. You'll read about subprime, CDO's, ARMs, credit default swaps, excessive leverage, etc.

You won't read one word about hedge fund failures, mutual fund closures, or 401(k)s collapsing, because those things haven't happened yet. They are next. Hedge funds are the gear that meshes with the I-banks and the general stock market which is owned mostly by mutual funds, which in turn make up the bulk of 401(k) accounts. When the hedge funds die, the whole market will tank, and short sell bans won't help at that point.

The plan isn't to stop the bleeding, the plan for stopping the dying. We are going to bleed. That's why Bernanke didn't bother to cut rates at the last meeting - what's the point? The housing market has already seized up, and fine tuning won't help anyone. The system needs gross repairs.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:59 PM on September 24, 2008 [68 favorites]


Now this makes sense. The Democrats already have a deal. So McCain gets to grab a lot of media attention, go back to Washington meet with Obama and Bush, looking very bi-partisian, and talk about how he helped to hammer out a deal. If I were the democratic leadership I'd turn the screws on the republicans now that they're stuck in an incredibly time sensitive spot.
posted by rdr at 11:01 PM on September 24, 2008


I have an even better idea, Obama should offer to suspend his campaign, take a two week vacation in Texas, and let Biden go to DC and debate McCain.
posted by sfts2 at 11:02 PM on September 24, 2008


OK, I'll bite - so what does the individual do, pastabagel. Lord knows I'm not a rich man, but I would sorely like to keep what I got, both in my savings account and my IRA. So is the smart money on mattress-stuffing? Or keeping in mind that I've got some 30-odd years of saving ahead of me, and while this current episode will be traumatic, it will pass?
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:16 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's getting close to October. Are we in for a suprise?
posted by dougzilla at 11:16 PM on September 24, 2008


The system needs gross repairs.

I could not agree more with that statement.

However, the initial, rough draft of the Paulson "plan" offered precisely zero repairs.

It was really just a request for a large sum of money, and for Paulson to have total control of how that money was used.

This lack of any specifics is why the plan is already being modified through negotions between Senators like Dodd and Shelby to include something like "repairs" (although the repairs do not yet go far or deep enough in my view: the Swedish model would make more sense, as would a a five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for single taxpayers.).
posted by ornate insect at 11:33 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


re: pastabagel.

Most of my money sits in a credit union that didn't jump on the bad loan bandwagon. (The rest sits in a Sacramento-based credit union, which doesn't bode as well; maybe I'll give them a visit tomorrow.) But just for the fun of it, let's say what-if.

I know how to grow tomatoes (and squashes and eggplants and so on) and have a few years practice existing in a gift economy. I have no problem moving thousands of miles by bicycle, if the urge takes me. I'm not completely sure where I fit in that 'we' you referenced, re: the bleeding. Sure, change can hurt, but it hurts less if you're ready for it, if you remember that your great-grandmother lived through the worst case scenario with seven kids and a far less developed base of knowledge and sense of community than yourself.

I recommend "we" start investing in our communities instead of financial institutions. Take care of your neighbors and they will help take care of you, bankruptcies or no. Social capital cannot be extinguished by a stock market crash, nor can the knowledge we share with each other. If you're really so worried, I recommend learning a different song and dance than the one you've been watching.

There's this really cool Derrick Jensen bit where he's talking about hope. Hope is a process of making the best of having no control over one's situation. You don't 'hope' to eat a sandwich; you just go make one. Hope is the thing you have when you're on the airplane, wondering whether it will crash. So Jensen, he says, to paraphrase, fuck hope. If I'm in a situation where hope is necessary, it's time to change the way I'm living.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:36 PM on September 24, 2008 [14 favorites]


Pastabagel's scenario is worst-case, but I do think that the odds of that happening in the near future (or something approaching it) are considerably better than 5% at this point.

I'll be my usual wacko conspiracy nutjob self and point out that so far, for the last eight years or so, every disaster has generally gone worse than anyone's "worst case scenario."'
posted by rokusan at 11:51 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


dougzilla writes "It's getting close to October. Are we in for a suprise?"

Surprise buttsecks, maybe.
posted by mullingitover at 11:57 PM on September 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


I think McCain avoiding this debate was dastardly clever. Now that people are speculating that he's "scared" of debating Obama, the bar has been raised. People will be expecting Obama to absolutely mop the floor with McCain when they finally meet and, my friends, this will not happen.

Remember the Gore/Bush debates? Or the Kerry/Bush debates? I do. And I remember people on Metafilter and elsewhere saying: "Kerry is such a master debater! He's going to master debate all over Dubya! It's gonna be awesome!"

And nothing came of it. Just like nothing will come of this debate. Republicans will think McCain was great, Democrats will think Obama was great, and since the media doesn't want to pick a side, the only story they will have is this: "Despite Obama's reputation as a great master debater, he failed to deliver a crushing blow to McCain."

The same goes for Palin. After the first Gore/Bush debate, I remember reading a NYT op-ed saying that Gore came across as "too smart." Get ready for that again. The more people laugh and denigrate Palin, the more pressure there is on Biden to do something that, in the end, he cannot do: change people's minds.
posted by Ljubljana at 12:30 AM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


A little late to the party, but if we're going to toss around sports analogies (Palin = Hail Mary), I'd like to dub McCain's move here a Chris Webber Timeout.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 12:36 AM on September 25, 2008


Now that people are speculating that he's "scared" of debating Obama, the bar has been raised

I don't see this as the main issue. McCain is putting off a primary obligation of a Presidential candidate. Presidential debates are not for political stunts, they exist to assist voters in making a more educated decision between the candidates. The topic of the first debate is 'foreign policy,' a topic he already has a fairly solid stance on. His choice to concentrate on the financial crisis, an area where he has himself stated isn't one of his strong suits, serves as a burden to the actual negotiations regarding the crisis and is a slap to the face of every voter who would like to know more about him other than the fact that he spent a good deal of time in North Vietnam.
posted by clearly at 12:41 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel's scenario is worst-case, but I do think that the odds of that happening in the near future (or something approaching it) are considerably better than 5% at this point.

I work in the financial credit industry. I still have a job. Anybody throwing about numbers backed by the suggestion that all the currently outstanding mortgages are worthless is suspect. Not all credit is bad. The problem is, nobody knows just how bad some of these investments are, so it makes panic and perception much more volatile instruments than under normal economic conditions.

But the truth is, most people who have mortgages weren't trying to end up on the next episode of Flip My House. Most people who have mortgages also have jobs and make payments. So extend them their terms out another ten years. That would solve everything...

...except the bank will now have an extended risk, and if there's nobody to lend them money, they simply can't make the deal happen. The price of money is the problem. When a bank wants to extend more credit, it has to in turn have credit extended to it. The cost of that credit right now is through the roof, so nobody is lending to anybody else. The additional margins on LIBOR are way to high... it's like a poker game where nobody trusts anybody else, and to further aggravate the situation, nobody's doing anything. It's like someone turned off the spigots.

This mythical, magical $700B number is a guess. I'd bet hard money they'll end up on a figure about half as large to buy up the securities, which they hand over to the recently-acquired Freddie Mac-umbrella. Will it make a difference? Possibly.

The Pollyana response to Pastabagel's doomsday scenario sees Congress passing a $400B bill that covers (essentially) the pricing differential between what the speculative bubble inflated into the housing market over the past few years. Banks will be rid of the risk, and can continue lending to other banks. This will be probably all ending up being paid for by the Chinese, who frankly can afford it. And it's in their best interest to keep their little consuming-buddy all fat and happy.

Once banks start lending to each other, the faucets get turned back on (slowly) and the worst is over. Yay.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:44 AM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


So is the smart money on mattress-stuffing?

Opium futures are starting to look pretty sweet about now. Hard drugs always do well in a recession.

Or a lower risk play would be EJ Gallo, as sales of Thunderbird gonna be way, way up over the next few years.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:51 AM on September 25, 2008


Holy mother of tuna! This is one fandango here!
posted by humannaire at 1:10 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain's mantra for the past eight years has been "Straight Talk." And while adults realize this is bullshit since a) he's a politician and b) he's a Republican, he's gotten a lot of mileage out of this idea.

So why wouldn't he want to show off his manly debating skills and trounce that faggy, negroid Ivy League Obama guy? This is why I think there's something more going on here. Dumping Palin? I'd be surprised, but it could happen. Personal health issues that he needs to find a way to spin before announcing them to the public? It think this is closer to the possible mark. Triangulating with Rove and Cheney about some sort of Tehranian bombing/October Surprise? Actually, this last notion is the one that I'm thinking might be the most accurate.

And btw, I'm a dude on the internet. With an opinion. About teh politics.
posted by bardic at 1:51 AM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


So why wouldn't he want to show off his manly debating skills and trounce that faggy, negroid Ivy League Obama guy?

Because he's a big girl's blouse.

Dumping Palin? I'd be surprised, but it could happen.

Too late. He's bought that cow and all the rancid milk in her festering udders.

Personal health issues that he needs to find a way to spin before announcing them to the public?


As much as loathe the toadying old bastard, I wouldn't wish cancer on anyone, especially not the sort he's likely to get (colon, prostate).

Triangulating with Rove and Cheney about some sort of Tehranian bombing/October Surprise?

bardic, shut up. You're scaring the mortal fuck out of me. Some of us live close enough to Iran that we don't likey your last scenario very much.

*hides under desk and sucks thumb*

I think they've found Bin Laden and they're trying to figure out what colour bow to sticky-tape in his beard.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:31 AM on September 25, 2008


I remember reading a NYT op-ed saying that Gore came across as "too smart."

You know who else didn't like smart people? Seriously, when did being smart become such a liability?
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:37 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Katie Couric, I am sorry I insulted your prowess. You are a marshmallow kitten... with FANGS! Mrowr!
posted by like_neon at 3:18 AM on September 25, 2008


Wow, if you can be stumped so easily by Katie "McDimples" Couric... just wow. Imagine what would happen if a real reporter was allowed to question Palin.
posted by rokusan at 3:56 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


If FOX puts Obama up by 6, does that mean he's actually up by 15%?
posted by gman at 3:57 AM on September 25, 2008


In semi-related news, The National Enquirer's headline today: SARAH PALIN LOVER REVEALED

Am I the only one getting a 404 on the N.E. site? It must be getting hit hard...or its plug has been pulled!!
posted by zardoz at 4:07 AM on September 25, 2008


Wow, if you can be stumped so easily by Katie "McDimples" Couric... just wow. Imagine what would happen if a real reporter was allowed to question Palin.

What, you mean someone like Jeremy Paxman? A man who asked the same question of Micael Howard candidate TWELVE TIMES until he got a straight answer.

Am I the only one getting a 404 on the N.E. site?

No.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:15 AM on September 25, 2008


OMFG, I just watched that video. It's even worse live than in transcript. Seriously? People are thinking of voting for her? OMFGLOLUSA. At least Pauline Hanson never had a shot at Prime Minister.

/still stunned

posted by jacalata at 4:19 AM on September 25, 2008


OMFGLOLUSA

Dear jacalata, lesson 1 in modern American politics:

If you want to get fundamentalists (who number in their millions in the US) to vote for you, all you have to do is come out as strongly "Pro-Life". Palin doesn't support abortion in any case, even if every male in your family gang-rapes you (she has made this quote clear).

That makes her VERY attractive to nearly half of American voters... almost like Jesus with tits.

Anything else she says, has said, or will ever say is ignored.

xo - meet me at the pub in a few and I'll fill you in.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:25 AM on September 25, 2008


I'd love to but I'm scared to leave the house in case there are American fundamentalists outside. I'm going to hole up in here with my liquor supply until Obama wins the election.
posted by jacalata at 4:31 AM on September 25, 2008


Don't worry, duck. If McCain and Palin keep postponing everything, there won't even need to be an election. If only one team shows up on game day, Americans call that a 'forfeit'.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:54 AM on September 25, 2008


I think the debates should continue, and if McCain doesn't show I think Obama should use one of these.

It would be like Mr. Garrison and Mr. Hat, only all presidentialy. Like, I can just imagine Obama talking out of the side of his mouth in a falsetto, being all, "Well I was in a POW camp for five years and I thought lots about economics and stuff and um, that, uh, deregulation! And America first!" and the Obama will be all stentorian and shit and say stuff like, "A valid point, Senator, however, I'm proposing a $25 billion State Growth Fund to prevent state and local cuts in health, education, housing, and heating assistance or counterproductive increases in property taxes, tolls or fees. My relief plan will also include $25 billion in a Jobs and Growth Fund to prevent cutbacks in road and bridge maintenance and fund school repair - all to save more than 1 million jobs in danger of being cut."

That would fucking rule.
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:03 AM on September 25, 2008 [11 favorites]


Remember the Gore/Bush debates? Or the Kerry/Bush debates?

Oh so well. One reason I supported Obama is that I was sick of dems acting like pussies and losing as a result.

Obama knows John Kerry. John Kerry is a friend of his. He's no John Kerry. There's a big difference. Obama knows how to fucking win, and he knows how to kick ass and take names.

Stop being afraid of the GOP. Look at Obama -- he's not afraid, and that's what makes him different from our last few candidates.

He just told McCain to stick it up his ass. Can you imagine Kerry's response to any of this being "the debates are on, sorry asshole?"
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:11 AM on September 25, 2008 [12 favorites]


If FOX puts Obama up by 6, does that mean he's actually up by 15%?

Nah, FOX's polls are actually pretty decent, and 6 points looks like right about where he should be right now. Wouldn't surprise me if it's more next week, though.

Also, in the Couric video, I love the way she slows down at around 2:30 to explain to Palin that the polls show that people are looking to Obama in this crisis. She sounds like she's talking to a child.
posted by EarBucket at 5:20 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ah, nice CNN/Time poll has Obama up 9 in Pennsylvania.

That's more like it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:23 AM on September 25, 2008


I know that this is a stupid question, but if Johnny Mac is suspending his campaign why are they still running his spots on my local TV and why is Mitt Romney "surrogating" for him on the Today Show here in my state (every third word = John McCain). Did McLame mean that he needed to find suspenders to keep his campaign from dropping trou?
posted by beelzbubba at 5:23 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


There is probably some rational and boring explanation, but the National Enquirer website has disappeared completely. Seems like a pretty large coincidence that this happened right after they broke the "story" about Palin's lover.
posted by ymgve at 5:23 AM on September 25, 2008


So what does happen if McCain flat-out refuses to show up? Does the debate proceed, with the moderator essentially interviewing Obama for an hour?

I've been catching up on the Red State and Malkin stuff, and the level of denial is... well, abhorrent. McCain made a commitment to debate the issues in front of the public, and now he's running on the flimsy excuse that there's a crisis he did nothing to prevent in 20+ years in the senate, and after claiming a week ago that the fundamentals of the economy were "strong."

What, seriously, will it take to make people at least admit that there's something seriously wrong with the idea of McCain as president?

What if there's a... I don't know, health crisis while he's in office, and suddenly Russia invades Afghanistan in a fit of daffy ambition? Is he going to meekly ask Putin to hold off because he has to think really hard about something for a week or two?
posted by Shepherd at 5:27 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


ymgve, I'm able to get to the NE site and their Palin infidelity story just fine. And now I need a Silkwood shower.
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:27 AM on September 25, 2008


I clicked on your N.E. link & got the right landing page. Does that mean I'm now on the enemies list? Or I've moved up or sthg?
posted by beelzbubba at 5:28 AM on September 25, 2008


I can still get to the NE website, not even a lag, on computers that don't have it cached. Not that I would ever actually go there...
posted by Science! at 5:29 AM on September 25, 2008


There is probably some rational and boring explanation, but the National Enquirer website has disappeared completely. Seems like a pretty large coincidence that this happened right after they broke the "story" about Palin's lover.
posted by ymgve at 8:23 AM on September 25 [+] [!]


I'm getting in fine. I wonder though, if their site is getting (you'll pardon the phrase) pounded.
posted by anastasiav at 5:30 AM on September 25, 2008


(er, Medvedev, not Putin -- aw, who are we kidding?)
posted by Shepherd at 5:32 AM on September 25, 2008


Weird, one person I asked got the same "under construction" blank page I get, while another got the real front page like you others did. Chalking this one up to some badly configured content servers then. (I'm outside the US, that might affect things)
posted by ymgve at 5:32 AM on September 25, 2008


Yeah I'm outside the US and the site is borked for me.
posted by like_neon at 5:34 AM on September 25, 2008


While I agree that this seems like a terrible move on McCain's part, what happens if a deal is hammered out? He might not have had anything to do with it, but we all know plenty of people will be dumb enough to believe the BS his campaign will put out. HE SAVED AMERICA! I don't know, this may turn out to have been a good gamble after all. I hope not.
posted by Mavri at 5:42 AM on September 25, 2008


Same happens for me, I'm in the UK and can't access their site. Which is unfair, wtf National Enquirer?
posted by saturnine at 5:43 AM on September 25, 2008


Josh Marshall, as always, is awesome:
Perhaps this will shine an unflattering light on my psyche. But, like many of you, I have a busy schedule, with lots of work obligations and meetings. I also end up doing a decent number of panel discussions and speeches, though I try hard to keep those to a minimum. And like everyone, sometimes I get tired or overwhelmed and I wish I could get out of this or that responsibility.

Occasionally in these moments, in a perverse kind of private entertainment, I've found myself imagining what would happen if I pawned off on someone just the ballsiest, most inane excuse for flaking on some commitment. And not something that people might buy -- nothing entertaining about that -- but just something completely off the wall and nonsensical. What would people's reaction be? Speechless, laughter, tearing me limb from limb? Would they ever speak to me again?

So, let's see, I can't moderate the panel because I've been called to Washington to give a special briefing on guerilla tactics to be used against the Taliban?

Or maybe, I want to be at the meeting, but as weird as this sounds, all the bridges and tunnels out of Manhattan have been shut for the day. Some counter-terrorism thing probably. I tried renting a helicopter but they're all booked by people at the UN.

Isn't this pretty much what John McCain tried to pull today? But actually really did it? And on a national stage? He wants to cancel the debate? And maybe also Palin's debate. Are you kidding? Why not cancel the election too? And because he has to go back to DC to solve the financial crisis? Really? The topic he knows nothing about and after he's shown up less in the senate in the last two years than anyone but Tim Johnson, the guy who had the stroke? Which of my employees is going to call from home tomorrow and say they can't come to work because of the financial crisis?

One of the advantages of running a presidential campaign is that roughly half the country is deeply committed to believing or at least saying that virtually anything you do or say makes sense. And so it is here. But, look, if you were living in the real world, if you were some hotshot young executive at a Fortune 500 company trying to rise in the ranks, and you pulled some whacked crap like this, it would probably get you blackballed permanently. People would think you were either deeply unreliable or maybe just had a screw loose. And yet here he is -- is he kidding? He can't debate Barack Obama because he's got to go to Washington and save the economy? It's like the biggest 'dog at my homework' in history.
I mean this, as a very genuine question, with the desire for an honest answer: based on his actions for the last few weeks, can anyone who supports McCain- not just hates liberals, hates Obama, LURVES Sarah Palin, but actually, legitimately supports John McCain-

Can anyone of you actually tell me exactly why he wants to be president?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:47 AM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


OK, I'll bite - so what does the individual do, pastabagel.

You don't have to do anything, because my doomsday scenarios presume Congress does nothing. Congress is very clearly going to do something before Oct. 2, and it pretty much guaranteed that whatever they pass, Bush will sign. So doomsday will likely be averted.

But, and I say this in all seriousness, things looked really very terribly bad on Tuesday of last week, and I started pulling money out of the bank account that the debit card I do my spending comes out of. Because if I do that and the worst doesn't come to pass, then I just look like a silly goose and have to redeposit it.

By the way, just because they pass a bill now doesn't mean that after Obama takes office he can't pass another bill that changes things in this plan. Frankly, he should, because the bill is sloppy and hasty and probably goes too far in many respects and not far enough in others. So whatever they pass should be considered the emergency room. After the election, bring in the specialists to do the meticulous reconstruction work.
posted by Pastabagel at 5:54 AM on September 25, 2008


Can anyone of you actually tell me exactly why he wants to be president?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:47 AM on September 25


The same reason as Obama, W, JFK, Clinton, Bush 41, Nixon, T. Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt, Lincoln, Jackson, and John Quincy Adams:

"I'll show you, Dad!"
posted by Pastabagel at 5:58 AM on September 25, 2008


Oh, man, that Palin interview is priceless. At 2:30 when Couric rebuts her, it reminds me of the old lady I rent a garage from, when she tells me I didn't pay last month, even when I've got a receipt in hand, in her handwriting. Just repeat, "No...no...no" and look like someone just dropped a hammer on your foot and you're trying not to holler out.
posted by notsnot at 5:59 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I know that this is a stupid question, but if Johnny Mac is suspending his campaign why are they still running his spots on my local TV
Because, as has been made abundantly clear over the last several weeks, John McCain is a pathological liar.

Was this supposed to be a trick question or something?
posted by Flunkie at 6:11 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


...worth a thousand words...
posted by neroli at 6:12 AM on September 25, 2008


By the way...Rick Davis is still treasurer and corporate director of his lobbying firm.
posted by neroli at 6:19 AM on September 25, 2008


The only winning move is not to play.

Worked in War Games. Worked for Kirk in Wrath of Kahn.

Well, Kirk did play, he just cheated.

</my contribution>
posted by mazola at 6:22 AM on September 25, 2008


1864
1944

I haven't read full histories of either election year, but I would all but guarantee that no one called for a timeout.
posted by uri at 3:20 PM on September 24 [6 favorites +] [!]


Here are some details on that point. (1932 as well)
posted by neroli at 6:24 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Kirk won in Wrath of Khan by thinking in three dimensions, while Khan thought in two.

Barack Obama will win in this election by thinking in three dimensions, while John McCain thinks in fifteen, fourteen of which are not actually real.
posted by Flunkie at 6:24 AM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Awwww yeah. Rasmussen has Obama up by 2 points. In North Carolina.
posted by EarBucket at 6:30 AM on September 25, 2008


Ha ha, CNN has the stock market opening bell along side the live video of McCain's speech this morning. They should run stock market graphs alongside every politician's public addresses, in real time. For the lulz.
posted by Science! at 6:31 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I still think Pastabagel is exaggerating wildly, and I'm not alone. There are a number of commentators, William Greider on the left to match the free market Cato guy I linked above, who note that this financial crisis is mostly limited to interbank Wall Street types, who very much don't like the idea of shrinking power, but that it's not the urgent disaster-in-waiting for the rest of us it's been painted as to get us breathing scared. Here's Greider, after wondering why Paulson isn't even *attempting* to do the hard-nosed deal-making he was known for when he was at Goldman Sachs:

The underlying power relationship in this crisis has been artfully obscured by the bailout sponsors because they decline to explain clearly what the bailout really is intended to accomplish. First, they said it was to restore calm in markets. Then they said it was the rotten assets centered in mortgage securities. But the problem is more accurately described as the great deflation of Wall Street's illusions--inflated prices, profits, deals, commissions and bonuses. You name it, they ran it up to stratospheric levels. Now the dream is dying and values are falling, but have not yet hit bottom.

To put it more concretely, the banks and investment houses have lost massive amounts of capital--a hole that is real, not psychological. Maybe $1 trillion, possibly twice that. We can't say exactly, because the banks have still not come clean and because assets in bank portfolios continue to lose value as housing prices continue to deflate.

The great capital losses mean Wall Street is sure to get smaller--a lot smaller--with fewer firms, less leveraged deals based on inadequate capital and a general retreat from its domineering role in economic life. Personally, I believe a smaller Wall Street will be good for the country, part of restoring balance to the damaged economy.

In any case, it is folly for Washington to imagine that it can--or should--simply replenish Wall Street's great loss. That essentially is what Paulson's blanket bailout attempts to do--restore conditions to "normal" by buying up the bad assets from banks at inflated prices. In other words, supply the missing capital that private lenders won't provide. Good luck with that...

The real goal for government intervention should be to manage Wall Street's inescapble downward adjustments in ways as peaceable as possible. Stabilize the shrinking financial system so it will keep the real economy going, that is, insure that credit and capital flows continue, while Wall Street is gradually cut down to normal size. There is real pain in that for everyone, but the objective is concrete and manageable...

At center stage are the big, bad players--the mega-banks and some others--who took the extreme risks and are now conveniently described as"too big to fail." If that's so, then one goal of government should be to make them get smaller, either through market forces or by lawful edict.


Again, credit does not seem to be drying up in the areas important to "the real economy." Pastabagel and those like him are buying into the notion that the finance shell game and the core economy are the same thing and the death of one will surely result in the death of the other IF THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T ACT RIGHT NOW! Bullshit. Lots of folks on both the left and right are pointing out that the distinction between the two is real, and that letting these credit default swap fucks hang - or, my view, call their bluff on giving taxpayers an equity stake - is not the end of the US economy. Hell, it might even be the start of a better one.
posted by mediareport at 6:35 AM on September 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


McCain said he suspended his campaign yesterday afternoon/evening. Liar. He's giving giving a speech rught now (started at 9:16 a.m. ET) at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. So much for jetting off to D.C. yesterday afternoon.

BTW -- while McCain is in NYC, Congress is wrapping up a deal.
posted by ericb at 6:37 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Barney Frank: “We’re trying to rescue the economy, not the McCain campaign."
posted by ericb at 6:38 AM on September 25, 2008 [13 favorites]


ericb, I'm no McCain apologist, obvs, but in his statement yesterday McCain specifically said he'd be suspending his campaign after the Clinton event.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:44 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


A link for my above assertion, just because this is MetaFilter.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:46 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


ericb, I'm no McCain apologist, obvs, but in his statement yesterday McCain specifically said he'd be suspending his campaign after the Clinton event.

True, but why did he cancel his appearance on Letterman?
posted by ericb at 6:48 AM on September 25, 2008


Oh it's terrible, doomsday is coming, look, those liars Bush and McCain are urging us to PANIC and give them a blank check to bail out their buddies with a trillion dollars *WE DON'T HAVE* or everything will go to hell in a handbasket and it will ALL BE OUR FAULT for being meanies.

Fuck. That. Shit. They had this plan, and this amount, ready to roll; they don't know what they are asking for, or how much, just "a really big number."

Who bailed out New Orleans? Who bailed out 10 million uninsured little children? Who bailed out the foreclosed homeowner, or the suddenly jobless Kimberly-Clark or DHL worker?

After threatening us with terrible consequences if we didn't support the War on Terra, the phony baloney war over WMDs in Iraq that weren't there, the civil-rights-destroying Patriot Act, and all the rest, this administration has *USED UP ITS CREDIBILITY* with scare tactics. I saw Bush last night and laughed in his terrorizing face. I expect my reps to do the same. Show us the exact language, why the exact amount needed is needed, how we get paid back, how we maintain oversight, how the money will be doled out in (relatively) *small* increments as needed and especially how we can *change* this deal once President Obama and dem majorities in the house and senate are in place on Nov. 5. Do not tell me we have to commit the Obama administration to a trillion dollar boondoggle. No f'ing way.

If you lie and lie and scare and terrorize until no one believes you, then it is *your* fault if no one believes you and that finally does lead to an actual threat coming true.

This is Bush's fault, the GOP's fault, and Wall St's fault. All this "there's plenty of blame to go around" bullshit is just bullshit. As a stockholder, as a person with bank accounts, as a person with a job, I still say fuck it, bring it on. Let's wash the blood down the drain.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:50 AM on September 25, 2008 [16 favorites]


True, but why did he cancel his appearance on Letterman?


So he could get an easy ride with Katie Couric at the same time, no?
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:50 AM on September 25, 2008


True, but why did he cancel his appearance on Letterman?

Because you can't make some grandiose statement about suspending your campaign 'cause teh economy is sux0rs, and then go on to follow the Top 10 List. The Clinton Global Initiative event has some gravitas to it, plus I'm sure the McCain advisors still have this illusion of wooing the few straggling Hillary supporters, so it wouldn't have done well by them to cancel on an event with her name on it.

Anyway, it's a dumb point to quibble over, especially since God and pretty much everyone else is recognizing McCain's stunt for the, well, stunt that it is.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:52 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


The correct phrase is "world's greatest deliberative body."

I'm pretty sure that's the Fantastic Four.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:52 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I realized this morning that McCain reminds me of Dilbert's boss--he's not needed to fix the problem, it's not his job to fix the problem, and he has no idea how to fix the problem. Nonetheless, he's going elbow his way in there and spray Leadership all over it.
posted by EarBucket at 6:54 AM on September 25, 2008


As for the Couric thing... I got nothin'.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:54 AM on September 25, 2008


When I watched Bush's speech it was amazing how if you replaced every instance of "financial crisis" with "terrorism" and "national economy" with "national security", I swear I've heard that speech before...
posted by like_neon at 6:56 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


So he could get an easy ride with Katie Couric at the same time, no?

More because he needed to do damage control with Katie Couric after she interviewed Sarah Palin.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 6:57 AM on September 25, 2008


So he could get an easy ride with Katie Couric at the same time

Great. Now I have to rip the top of my skull off, Sylar-style, and take at toothbrush to my frontal lobe to destroy the image of McCain givin' her one.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:58 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


What, you mean someone like Jeremy Paxman? A man who asked the same question of Micael Howard candidate TWELVE TIMES until he got a straight answer.

My god, chuckdarwin... that is amazing on video.

How can we get interviewers over here to do that? It seems to me that it would be the obvious evolutionary response* to the "repeat the talking points" defense mechanism that pols all have now.

* Obviously more your field than mine.
posted by rokusan at 6:58 AM on September 25, 2008


I think a major reason for the McCain diversionary dog-ate-my-homework schtick is that the Rick Davis/Freddie Mac scandal was going to eat him alive. He lied right into the camera about in on tuesday night, and it was almost shocking. Today we learn that they've lied again -- this time through surrogates, including Churchy Spice her diddlydo self. Today we learn that Davis has NOT "severed" his ties with his lobbying firm at all (or "recused himself" as miss idiot said) -- HE WAS STILL AN OFFICER OF THE FIRM!

In any rational universe, this lie alone would be McCain's undoing. It was trending that way yesterday when he pulled Hail Mary out of his fat old white ass.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:00 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


How can we get interviewers over here to do that?

Taxpayer-funded media.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:02 AM on September 25, 2008 [14 favorites]


especially since God and pretty much everyone else is recognizing McCain's stunt for the, well, stunt that it is.

And Letterman's awesome takedown, doing the "real" news media's job for them, was pitchperfect, has gone totally viral, and will be the nail in McCain's campaign coffin.

Poetic justice. The lightweight entertainers -- the View, Letterman -- are carrying the ball while the the ""journalists" are trying desperately to entertain us.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:03 AM on September 25, 2008 [19 favorites]


"The Congressional Budget Office director yesterday told Congress that the proposed bailout may worsen the current financial crisis. 'Ironically, the intervention could even trigger additional failures of large institutions, because some institutions may be carrying troubled assets on their books at inflated values,' Peter Orszag said. 'Establishing clearer prices might reveal those institutions to be insolvent.'" *
posted by ericb at 7:06 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


And who will we blame if we spend a trillion bucks bailing out the finance boys and Wall St and the banks *still* go down the tubes? Because as I look at the numbers, I don't see a trillion being nearly enough to do more than slow down the crash.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:07 AM on September 25, 2008


Fiorina excluded from McCain’s high-profile economic meeting.
"Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) defended his economic adviser Carly Fiorina, saying that he was 'proud of her record.'

...When...[McCain]...convened a high-profile roundtable to discuss the financial crisis with 12 economic advisers in New York yesterday, one absence was notable: Carly Fiorina."
posted by ericb at 7:08 AM on September 25, 2008


Garrison Keillor:
Mr. McCain seems willing to say anything, do anything, to get to the White House so he can go to war with Iran. If he needs to recline naked in Macy's window, he would do that, or eat live chickens, or claim to be a reformer.
When you've lost Keillor, you've lost Wobegon.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:10 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Palin can't be that bad. She just can't, it's impossible. She's got to be faking it, to lower expectations and to surprise Biden doing the debates, whenever they happen. That's the only thing that makes sense, 'cause the alternative is just horrifying.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:11 AM on September 25, 2008


Wall St. f'ing Journal, Editorial Board:

Last we checked, the President of the United States was still George W. Bush, the Secretary of the Treasury was still Henry Paulson, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve was still Ben Bernanke, and Congress still had 533 members not running for President who are at least nominally competent to debate and pass legislation.

So count us as mystified by Senator John McCain's decision yesterday to suspend his campaign and call for a postponement in Friday's first Presidential debate so that he and Barack Obama can work out a consensus bill to stabilize the financial system. This is supposed to be evidence of leadership?


Epic Fail indeed.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:12 AM on September 25, 2008 [13 favorites]


How can we get interviewers over here to do that? It seems to me that it would be the obvious evolutionary response* to the "repeat the talking points" defense mechanism that pols all have now.

I think Paxman is a one-off, even here.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:12 AM on September 25, 2008


Boston Globe editorial board:

McCain has already brought discredit upon his campaign by shielding running mate Sarah Palin from hostile questions. This impulsive new stunt makes him appear unsteady and underprepared, too. America can work through a financial crisis and handle a campaign at the same time.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:14 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fiorina excluded from McCain’s high-profile economic meeting.

She said something that upset him. He gave her a proper bollocking, apparently, and demoted her.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:14 AM on September 25, 2008


.
posted by Balisong at 7:17 AM on September 25, 2008


I've just read all of this in one go and I feel like I've been spanged in the face by a frying pan made of stupid. I'm just dazed... American elections are awesome.
posted by ninebelow at 7:20 AM on September 25, 2008 [7 favorites]


He gave her a proper bollocking, apparently,

Christ Almighty. Why is this thread turning into McCain slash? DO NOT WANT.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:21 AM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Um. Can someone who understands economics better than I do explain why this isn't as terrifying as it sounds?

China banks told to halt lending to US banks
posted by EarBucket at 7:26 AM on September 25, 2008


Why is this thread turning into McCain slash? DO NOT WANT.

I'm so tempted to write Obama/McCain now, with Obama all dominant.

Okay, no. I can't handle the mental images.
posted by Nattie at 7:27 AM on September 25, 2008


bollocking = chewing out/dressing down... wait, that still sounds sexual.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:33 AM on September 25, 2008


What the fuck is McCain going to do? He's not even the decider yet!
posted by scabrous at 7:39 AM on September 25, 2008


I was willing to accept the Pastabagel-style point of view on this problem all the way up until this latest McCain stunt. I still didn't think we had to hurry as much as the administration was saying but I thought the general principles behind their assertions were correct. Now I'm not so sure. They are behaving awfully suspiciously. I heard just this morning that oversight was still a point of contention. What is with this insistence on no oversight? Who the fuck do they think they are?
posted by effwerd at 7:41 AM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


With apologies to Shel Silverstein.

"I cannot go to Senate today",
said grumpy old man John McCain.
"My pressure's up, my penis is down,
My first wife lost her pageant crown.

I have to buy a house, maybe a car,
Throw more of your money to the war.
I was a POW for FIVE! long years,
I need a break to drink some beers.

Sarah's troubles have made a mess,
I cannot work with all this stress.
Obama's dog ate my debate,
I have the Constitution to desecrate!

I don't feel well, there's a hurricane,
I need more money for my campaign.
I need a nap, my wrinkles hurt,
I have a country to subvert!

My heart is bad, my hair is...
What? What's that you say?
Economic downfall is on the way?
Goodbye, I have to save the USA!"

I'm not much on politics, but I had to do this. Forgive me any liberties with facts I may have taken.
posted by sephira at 7:44 AM on September 25, 2008 [34 favorites]


Oh, and how obvious is it when McCain says, Obama and he should meet with the president and then the president says later that night, Obama and McCain should meet with him. That seemed too coordinated. After seeing that report on the Rachel Maddow Show about how Malaki admitted that Bush wanted to stay in Iraq an extra year because of the domestic political situation, all of this is just too obvious. I mean, does that count as a 120 billion dollar taxpayer-funded campaign contribution to the McCain campiagn?
posted by effwerd at 7:48 AM on September 25, 2008


As I have suggested before, the cause of this mess can be traced to two firms - neither of which is getting any attention.

Simplistic, I know, but still deserves more attention.
posted by sfts2 at 7:55 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I mean, does that count as a 120 billion dollar taxpayer-funded campaign contribution to the McCain campiagn?

Starting with the Hurricanes, it's almost seemed like Bush has been letting McCain play little president.
posted by drezdn at 8:00 AM on September 25, 2008


drezdn: "I mean, does that count as a 120 billion dollar taxpayer-funded campaign contribution to the McCain campiagn?

Starting with the Hurricanes, it's almost seemed like Bush has been letting McCain play little president.
"

Well shit, someone has to do it.
posted by Science! at 8:01 AM on September 25, 2008


Not to sound too naive, but are we finally going to get past the lie that everyone's money is safer in the stock market? Are we finally going to allow people with smaller resources (like the ability to put the limit of just $5,000 per year in IRAs, in other words most of us) to just put their money, if they want, still protected from the tax man and college tuition vultures, in long-term CDs? I did some math, and if I had been allowed to do this with our one actual pension roll over, years ago when mr. nax had a real job, we would not have lost 5-15% of our retirement account every five years on the latest fuck up. We would now have an ACTUAL retirement nest egg. If the gummint really trusts me to handle my own money, it ought to allow me to, um, handle my own money.
posted by nax at 8:02 AM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Starting with the Hurricanes, it's almost seemed like Bush has been letting McCain play little president."

Yeah, the tendency of the campaigns to use real events as presidential theatre is really pissing me off. I think McCain's been worse about it, but it seems like Obama's done it a bit too.
posted by Tehanu at 8:05 AM on September 25, 2008


I've been catching up on the Red State and Malkin stuff, and the level of denial is... well, abhorrent...

What, seriously, will it take to make people at least admit that there's something seriously wrong with the idea of McCain as president?


Dude, nothing. NOTHING.

I used to attribute this kind of support to well-meaning but deluded people. Reality isn't always a picnic, and I can understand wanting to cling to some cherished beliefs if you were raised with them and they went unchallenged for a long time.

But when someone repeats some lie and you correct them with verifiable facts... and they wander away looking troubled and then brighten at the next opportunity to repeat the same lie, that isn't delusion. That's dishonesty. There's a whole wack of people out there who are more about petty divisions and feeling right than being right and working toward anything better.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:13 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


>>> "Just like nothing will come of this debate. Republicans will think McCain was great"

I think it should be pointed out that Republicans have never thought McCain was great. In fact, during the primaries they spent as much time criticizing him as they did Clinton.

That's the problem - Republicans don't like him, and his only hope is that they like Palin. Trouble is, she sucks at answering questions. McCain needs to distract from that and stall so that she can have time to learn about the world outside Alaska.

That's what this is about - An "oh shit" realization that the VP pick is a simpleminded beauty queen who knows nothing about Washington or the world outside Alaska.
posted by Ragma at 8:14 AM on September 25, 2008


Well, whoever is playing president better start entering cheat codes. Pakistan fires on NATO aircraft.
posted by Science! at 8:19 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hooo boy. Garrison Kiellor is a flaming liberal; his take on McCain doesn't surprise me.

But the Wall Street Journal?

I think it's fair to say the move isn't playing well where it counts.
posted by Miko at 8:29 AM on September 25, 2008


Sen. Charles Schumer:

"Two days of hearings will now give way to one all-important work session this morning in the Capitol. The idea of a rescue plan has gotten a public airing; now it's time for both sides to roll up their sleeves, get together in a room, and hash this out once and for all. We hope to reach a bipartisan consensus in time for this afternoon’s meeting at the White House, so Senator McCain and President Bush can finally get to work on the job they've neglected thus far: delivering Republican votes."
posted by Tehanu at 8:32 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


nax -

If you're unable to invest your IRA in bonds or cash, you need to roll it over to somewhere else. Everywhere I've had an IRA has a wide variety of options to invest it in, including cash accounts and stable bond funds. Either you're unaware of your options or your IRA is artificially restricting them.

Unless you're talking about 401(k)s, in which case any limitation on investment options is your company's fault.

In either case, this doesn't seem to have anything to do with government regulation.
posted by chundo at 8:35 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain still running ads. McCain Surrogates still appearing on TV, doing live chat with newspapers.

Some suspension.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:46 AM on September 25, 2008


Are you saying the suspension was actually some kind of... i dunno... "lie"?
posted by Artw at 8:57 AM on September 25, 2008


Some suspension.

The really bizarre thing is this: Of course they're still running ads. Of course his surrogates are still talking to the press. Of course his website's still up and taking donations. Even if you accept the premise that McCain's personal supervision is desperately needed in Washington right now, those activities can go on perfectly well without him. He doesn't need to be there to press the "play" button in the TV station when it's time for the ad to start. It wouldn't make any sense to stop doing those things.

The question is, why announce you're going to do it?
posted by EarBucket at 9:07 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, if you're ever gonna be sequestered in your house for several days because you are highly radioactive after thyroid cancer treatment, and need something to keep your mind off of your petty little health issues, well, it doesn't get much better than this. Perspective is everything.
posted by kimdog at 9:10 AM on September 25, 2008 [8 favorites]


McCain hasn't read the Paulson plan yet--all three pages of it.
posted by EarBucket at 9:10 AM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ohhhhh... McCain's whole 'election campaign' is just a mad hoax to entertain kimdog!

Phew.
posted by jacalata at 9:13 AM on September 25, 2008


Seriously, my friends and family call in to check on me... and all I do is rant about what the fuck is happening with Wall Street and the campaigns. I haven't taken a Xanax during my whole ordeal, but I'll be taking one on election day.
posted by kimdog at 9:19 AM on September 25, 2008


The question is, why announce you're going to do it?

Presumably so he can point at Obama campaigning, then get called on his own campaigning, then get really upset at the press for "lying".
posted by Artw at 9:27 AM on September 25, 2008


McCain is really putting "no publicity is bad publicity" maxim to the test.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:40 AM on September 25, 2008


McCain's campaign is the worst I can remember, going back to Reagan vs. Carter in 1980. I thought the most obvious parallel was Bob Dole, another war hero selling out his principles in one last desperate grab for the presidency, but Dole's campaign only seemed sad and pointless. McCain's is insane.

The Palin pick reminds me of Super Bowl XXII. John Elway threw a 56-yard touchdown pass on the Broncos' first play, which was a stunning and audacious move. That was all they had, though. The Redskins scored 35 points in the second quarter and won 42-10.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:45 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Remember the Gore/Bush debates? Or the Kerry/Bush debates? I do. And I remember people on Metafilter and elsewhere saying: "Kerry is such a master debater! He's going to master debate all over Dubya! It's gonna be awesome!"

I do. Kerry did pretty much rhetorically and boringly mopped the floor with Bush and all anyone remembers is that HE FORGOT POLAND.

Obama is pretty much free to light himself on fire right now and no one will think about anything except that John McCain is FIXIN TEH ECONOMIES. ALL BY HIMSELF.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:48 AM on September 25, 2008


McCain Forgot to Tell His Webmaster About the Suspension
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:48 AM on September 25, 2008


McCain's campaign is the worst I can remember, going back to Reagan vs. Carter in 1980. I thought the most obvious parallel was Bob Dole, another war hero selling out his principles in one last desperate grab for the presidency, but Dole's campaign only seemed sad and pointless. McCain's is insane.

Perot/Stockdale.
posted by spiderwire at 9:51 AM on September 25, 2008


Thanks chundo. As you point out, my IRAs are fine, because I was able to put them where I wanted them, unlike being forced, with our rolled over 401K, into stocks and bonds. Doing even better is a close relative, who did not need to hide assets from what I called the college tuition vultures, and has basically amassed a fortune in CDs. Our 401K rollover just basically loses all its gains every 5-8 years or so, and that is in fact due to government regulations that, when we had to take the rollover, said I could not put that money into real estate, give it to my kids, put in CDs or under the freaking mattress if I wanted to, without paying a high penalty. I’m not suggesting no regulation of tax-sheltered retirement accounts. I’m saying I should get to choose the nature of that investment, and not be limited to the stock market, with its false choices of Mutual Fund A or B, “high risk” or “low risk.” Why should I have to choose any risk at all if I don’t want to?

(apologies to the thread for the derail)
posted by nax at 9:52 AM on September 25, 2008


Alan Sepinwall, TV critic for the Newark Star-Ledger has posted a transcript of Letterman's McCain-related comments from yesterday. Hee.
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:53 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Palin pick reminds me of Super Bowl XXII. John Elway threw a 56-yard touchdown pass on the Broncos' first play, which was a stunning and audacious move. That was all they had, though. The Redskins scored 35 points in the second quarter and won 42-10.

Good call kirkaracha...what else happened in that Superbowl?

Redskins quarterback Doug Williams was named the Super Bowl MVP, completing 18 of 29 passes for a Super Bowl record 340 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception. Williams became the first player in Super Bowl history to throw 4 touchdowns in a single quarter, and throw four in a half. Williams was also the first African-American quarterback to reach the Super Bowl, and to date is the only African-American quarterback to win one.

Also the stadium ran out of hotdogs, and Elway tried to call off the game at Halftime.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:53 AM on September 25, 2008 [11 favorites]


You know what else

Williams was black.

Take that, Mofos.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:07 AM on September 25, 2008


So what happens if McCain doesn't show up tomorrow? Obama debates a chair? Obama gets interviewed alone? Or can they invite Barr and have a Democrat/Libertarian debate, as if the Republicans don't even exist?

And here I though May being initially left out here in Canada would be the most fun debate story of the year...
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:12 AM on September 25, 2008


Whoa! Is that what 'African-American' means?
posted by Science! at 10:12 AM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh, you said that already billyfleetwood

Still, repeated for emphasis.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:14 AM on September 25, 2008


This stunt had two purposes:
1. To overshadow Palin's disastrous interview as a news story.
2. To provide a future excuse to cancel the Biden/Palin debate.

The first was successful. The second...wait and see.
posted by rocket88 at 10:18 AM on September 25, 2008


Well as of now it appears that the debate will go on with or without McCain, either as an interview or town hall meeting with Obama. U. Miss has already spend over 2.5 million dollars setting up the event (roadblocks, security &c...) and will not be able to reschedule the debate even if they wanted to.
posted by daHIFI at 10:21 AM on September 25, 2008


Awaiting Your Correspondance - Important Business Matter
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


So what happens if McCain doesn't show up tomorrow? Obama debates a chair? Obama gets interviewed alone? Or can they invite Barr and have a Democrat/Libertarian debate, as if the Republicans don't even exist?

I saw a comment elsewhere that suggested if McCain chickens out 9pm tomorrow night, that they'll turn it into a town hall. I wish they had cameras following them around this entire time. Cause you know McCain is somewhere furiously scrambling to be doing something economy related at 9pm tomorrow night, in Washington. Like how you'd hear your mom coming up the stairs and you'd quickly shut off your tv, jump over to your pad and textbook and try to pretend like you were doing your homework?

But I bet he'll do it in a weasly manner, by finding an empty office near where all the discussions were happening, sequestering himself in it, and getting 4 or 5 other people in there while his smarmy campaign people (minus Davis and Fiorina, of course) cover for him and make it seem like he's in there with an abacus and a calculator, furiously computing the figures on the bailout bill. Even though all of congress will be gone and done. They might even try some nonsense like making it seem like "after everyone else left, John McCain was still working on the bill".

I hope the media is all over him tomorrow around the time things wind down and he still has hours to get to the debate. I can't wait for the lame excuse he gives. Uh...I'll never make it through security and to the gate on time. I have to park my car and wait for the shuttle to get there. I wasn't able to print my boarding pass because I was up last night going over all 700 billion dollars of the bailout plan.

I agree with what someone said - if you vote for a person who does this stuff, you are flat out being dishonest.
posted by cashman at 10:26 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow. Hard to believe the Republicans are asking us to trade in a guy whose VP shot his best friend in the face for a guy who shot his own self in the foot.
posted by mothershock at 10:27 AM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


The question is, why announce you're going to do it?

I think they would think that Obama would blink and also suspend his campaign. Which just shows how the McCain camp has no idea who they are running against. He was hoping to buy some time.

What is odd is it is coming across the wire Congress has a deal ready (and McCain isn't even DC yet!) so McCain's excuse for his suspension is evaporating.

That McCain never really did suspend his campaign doesn't surprise me at all. What will be insteresting is if McCain will "blink" and go back into campaign mode. Or really blinks and shows up at the debate.
posted by birdherder at 10:30 AM on September 25, 2008


Yeah, he better be doing something economy related at all times or he’s toast.
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on September 25, 2008


This stunt had two purposes:
1. To overshadow Palin's disastrous interview as a news story.
2. To provide a future excuse to cancel the Biden/Palin debate.


3. To avoid firing Rick Davis
posted by effwerd at 10:34 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


rocket88, I believe the stunt was also to draw attention away from the Davis-as-BFF-to-Fannie-and-Freddie story that had just started to gain traction.

The news about Obama going on with or without McCain has me grinning ear to ear. Talk about brass ones.
posted by shiu mai baby at 10:36 AM on September 25, 2008


To be fair, Rick Davis, although he still has a title, surrendered complete control of the campaign quite some time ago. His stated reason IIRC was (as soon as Obama became viable) that he didn't want to do what a campaign against Obama would 'have' to do (presumably Willie Horton), and that he would resign if Obama won.

There's not much firing left to do. What a parting gift to Obama though.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:38 AM on September 25, 2008


shui mai baby, I was thinking instead that Obama has a wallet, loaded with cash, with 'bad motherfucker' written on it.

I could get behind a president with those principles.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 10:38 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Lawmakers: Financial bailout agreement reached.
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and DAVID ESPO – 13 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Warned that time was running short to bolster the distressed economy, congressional Republicans and Democrats reported agreement in principle Thursday on a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, and said they would present it to the Bush administration in hopes of a vote within days.

Emerging from a two-hour negotiating session, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said, "We are very confident that we can act expeditiously."

"I now expect that we will indeed have a plan that can pass the House, pass the Senate (and) be signed by the president," said Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.

The bipartisan consensus on the general direction of the legislation was reported just hours before President Bush was to host presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain and congressional leaders at the White House for discussions on how to clear obstacles to the unpopular rescue plan.

Key lawmakers said at midday that few difficulties actually remained.

"There really isn't much of a deadlock to break," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
posted by cashman at 10:40 AM on September 25, 2008


a robot made out of meat, you're thinking of Mark McKinnon, McCain's former chief media advisor, who stepped down in May because he didn't want to run against Obama. Davis is very much running the campaign.
posted by EarBucket at 10:44 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


[Being anti-abortion in all cases] makes her VERY attractive to nearly half of American voters... almost like Jesus with tits.

I can't speak for how attractive Jesus with tits would be to Americans, but only 17% of Americans share Palin's extremist anti-choice views, according to a poll conducted by the National Right to Life itself last June, while 12% of those who identify themselves as "pro-life" support allowing abortion only to save the life of the mother, and the largest percentage of pro-lifers - 27% - think abortion should be allowed in the event of rape or incest. Furthermore, according to NRL, 17 percent of voters said they would only vote for a candidate who shares their view on abortion, regardless of that view. Looking at that group, 12 percent said they would only vote for a pro-life candidate and just 4 percent said they would only support a candidate who backs abortion.

In short, only a handful of Americans are a Talifabulous as Palin, and not even all of them are unflinching in how they would vote as it pertains to this issue.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:46 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, he better be doing something economy related at all times or he’s toast.
posted by Artw at 12:30 PM on September 25


And John McCain's sleeves better be rolled up 24/7 for the foreseeable future.
posted by birdherder at 10:49 AM on September 25, 2008


So... is McCain going to debate after all, then?
posted by lunit at 10:51 AM on September 25, 2008


posted by you just lost the game at 9:59 PM on September 24

If you make one donation to the McCain campaign, it should be that moniker.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:52 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Her loud n proud anti-choice stance certainly garnered her a lot of support from social conservatives early on, no?
posted by chuckdarwin at 10:53 AM on September 25, 2008


Also: Jesus with tits is now my favourite expression ever.

It's hot as Jesus with tits in here.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:53 AM on September 25, 2008 [10 favorites]


So... is McCain going to debate after all, then?

Are you fucking kidding? He's going to have to OVERSEE SOME IMPORTANT FINANCIAL SHIT IN D.C.

He's too busy.
posted by chuckdarwin at 10:56 AM on September 25, 2008


This whole thing is a stunt to detract from Palin opening her mouth:

From Firedoglake:

Sarah Palin will tell Katie Couric this on CBS News tonight.

"So, again, I believe that… a surge in Afghanistan also will lead us to victory there as it has proven to have done in Iraq. And as I say, Katie, that we cannot afford to retreat, to withdraw in Iraq. That's not gonna get us any better off in Afghanistan either."

In the interim, someone might wanna tell her that Bush has already agreed to retreat.

"Iraq and the United States have agreed on a date for the departure of all American troops as part of a broader security pact they are negotiating, the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, said Monday. 'There is actually an agreement concluded between the two parties over the definite date, which is 2011, to end any foreign presence on Iraqi soil,' Maliki said."

posted by mothershock at 10:58 AM on September 25, 2008


Q: what other poll sites do y'all recommend besides fivethirtyeight?
posted by taz at 10:58 AM on September 25, 2008


From PopBitch:

Bike wars
McCain offers Sarah Palin a ride on his chopper

All you have to do is stand for President and
American companies start showering you with
freebies. John McCain was just given a customised
motorbike, by Orange County Choppers. It's
designed to be a tribute to PoWs - the barbed
wire highlights are especially tasteful.

When McCain was presented with the bike he said
"Sarah and I are going to get on that chopper
and ride it straight to Washington!".

Sadly John McCain doesn't have a bike license and
his years as a PoW means he can't lift his arms
high enough to reach the handlebars. Plus the
lack of rear suspension would aggravate his
enlarged prostate. Oh and the bike isn't road
legal either. Nice work, Orange County Choppers.

Bike:
http://www.sturgistravels.com/2004/occ.po4.jpg

Choppers for Obama!
http://tinyurl.com/ObamaBadge

posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on September 25, 2008


(I suspect that's from before he got all busy with the economy and all)
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on September 25, 2008


I can't speak for how attractive Jesus with tits would be.

I know someone who can.

posted by chuckdarwin at 11:01 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


To avoid firing Rick Davis

ding ding ding! That's the thing I keep coming back to for all this Fail Mary maverick-y goodness. They seem to be reasonably comfortable with Palin-as-Spiteful-Folksy-Moron, since they needed to wrap up the Spiteful Folksy Moron vote once and for all.

Obama has a wallet, loaded with cash, with 'bad motherfucker' written on it.

*waits impatiently for someone to photoshop and post*

Oh, and by the way: if anyone is going to draw comparisons between John Elway and John McCain, then as a diehard Broncos fan I must draw my own comparison between Elway and Obama. Two words: The Drive.
posted by scody at 11:05 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


In any rational universe, this lie alone would be McCain's undoing.

In this universe, where the Republican candidate's principal opponent is a talented, charismatic young black man, I think he has to commit murder live on television for there to be any undoing. And even then, he'd still get 28% of the vote.
posted by psmealey at 11:05 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


taz, I have also bookmarked electoral-vote.com
posted by yhbc at 11:07 AM on September 25, 2008


Q: what other poll sites do y'all recommend besides fivethirtyeight?

Take your pick.
posted by EarBucket at 11:08 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I just watched Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric. Is it just me or does she sound like Frances McDormand's character in Fargo?
posted by ob at 11:09 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nate Silver is my fave. Today:

Let me digress for a moment. One of the reasons I probably turned out to be a Democrat is because of Ronald Reagan and Bugs Bunny. When I was a kid, once every now and then, they had Bugs Bunny specials scheduled for prime time ... I looked forward to these for weeks. But invariably, invariably! -- or so it seemed when I was six years old -- they'd be preempted by Ronald Reagan giving a speech. I was sure what Mr. Reagan was saying was very important ... but I absolutely hated him as a result.

Americans feel about the debates they way I felt about Bugs Bunny. The cumulative audience between the three Presidential debates will likely significantly exceed that of the Super Bowl. They like watching them, and look forward to them. If McCain denies them that pleasure, they are likely to be angry with him, perhaps in ways they have difficulty expressing.

posted by fourcheesemac at 11:12 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


The bipartisan consensus on the general direction of the legislation was reported just hours before President Bush was to host presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain and congressional leaders at the White House for discussions on how to clear obstacles to the unpopular rescue plan.

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAH!!!
*SNORT*
Oh God...
posted by cimbrog at 11:13 AM on September 25, 2008


If you read the transcript it totally goes into Markov chain style word salad free association at points, as she desperately tries to swim her way back to a talking point.
posted by Artw at 11:13 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why is McCain trying to cut and run from the debates?
posted by drezdn at 11:13 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sarah Palin answered a whopping five questions from the press corps today -- or rather, she answered four; she was asked five questions, but demurred from answering if she'd be voting for Stevens or Rep. Don Young in the upcoming state election.

One choice quote:

POLITICO: Do you think our presence in Iraq and afghan and our continued presence there is inflaming islamic extremists?

A: I think our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will lead to further security of our nation, again, because the mission is to take the fight over there. do not let them come over here and attempt again what they accomplished here, and that was some destruction. terrible destruction on that day. but since September 11, Americans uniting and rebuilding and committing to never letting that happen again.


Like the Iraq, such as.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:14 AM on September 25, 2008 [13 favorites]


I just watched Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric. Is it just me or does she sound like Frances McDormand's character in Fargo?

No, because Frances McDormand's character's accent had a charming lilt to it - Palin's accent drips with smarm and arrogance.

Also, taz: I check with RealClearPolitics often, and have heard others recommend Pollster.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:16 AM on September 25, 2008


"So, again, I believe that… a surge in Afghanistan also will lead us to victory there as it has proven to have done in Iraq. And as I say, Katie, that we cannot afford to retreat, to withdraw in Iraq. That's not gonna get us any better off in Afghanistan either."

Wow. What a complete dunce. How did it happen that she was elected Governor in Alaska? She sounds almost completely brainless. Surely she must have some competency somewhere?
posted by psmealey at 11:17 AM on September 25, 2008


ob: "I just watched Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric. Is it just me or does she sound like Frances McDormand's character in Fargo?"

As I've been saying for a while now, "Oh, yah!"
posted by notsnot at 11:21 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


"So, again, I believe that… a surge in Afghanistan also will lead us to victory there as it has proven to have done in Iraq. And as I say, Katie, that we cannot afford to retreat, to withdraw in Iraq. That's not gonna get us any better off in Afghanistan either."

Violence is down – but not because of America’s ‘surge’

Afghanistan Isn't Like Iraq: Why a "surge" won't work there.
posted by homunculus at 11:21 AM on September 25, 2008


I just watched Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric. Is it just me or does she sound like Frances McDormand's character in Fargo?

I thought she sounded more like Grace, the secretary from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.


Which would make McCain Mr. Rooney.

And Obama would be Ferris.


And, I don't know, Biden would be... Sloan? Cameron? Ferris' dad? It's not a perfect metaphor, okay?

posted by logicpunk at 11:22 AM on September 25, 2008 [8 favorites]


Ha! I liked that "communities like New York" line from Palin. "See guys? I don't have anything against communities. I like communities! And by extenstions, those who organize them."

Her flailing about gets more amusing with each interview. Come debate time, I expect she'll be using puppets to illustrate her points.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:24 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin answered a whopping five questions

Not even five. Four. So little, the entire transcript would be shorter than most people's good comments here.
"CNN: On the topic of never letting this happen again, do you agree with the way the Bush administration has handled the war on terrorism, is there anything you would do differently?

A: I agree with the Bush administration that we take the fight to them. We never again let them come onto our soil and try to destroy not only our democracy, but communities like the community of New York. Never again. So yes, I do agree with taking the fight to the terrorists and stopping them over there.

POLITICO: Do you think our presence in Iraq and afghan and our continued presence there is inflaming islamic extremists?

A: I think our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will lead to further security of our nation, again, because the mission is to take the fight over there. do not let them come over here and attempt again what they accomplished here, and that was some destruction. terrible destruction on that day. but since September 11, Americans uniting and rebuilding and committing to never letting that happen again.

POLITICO: Do you support the reelection bids of embattled Alaska Republicans, Rep. Don Young and Sen. Ted Stevens?

A: Ted Stevens trial started a couple days ago. We’ll see where that goes.

POLITICO: Are you gong to vote for them?

[no answer.]

JERSEY JOURNAL: What do you think of bailout package before congress?

A: I don't support that until the provisions that Sen. McCain has offered are implemented in Paulson's proposals."
That's not a press conference or really any kind of questioning at all. You could grab the guy working the register at a department store and they'd be able to answer similarly, and just as emptily. She's terrible.
posted by cashman at 11:25 AM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Surely she must have some competency somewhere?

Hasn't the last 8 years taught you that competency is not a prerequisite for executive office?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:25 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


matteo wrote: what if McCain doesn't show up at the debate? Obama will look like the biggest dick ever.

Um, since when is the person who is stood up the dick? Isnt' the person who fails to show the one guilty of a dick move?
posted by wierdo at 11:29 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you make one donation to the McCain campaign, it should be that moniker.

"Mr. John Q. Buyacopyofthehomegame" would be fun, too.
posted by cortex at 11:30 AM on September 25, 2008


Now when I think of McCain, I see him as Pie-chart man. LOOK AT THESE MOTHERFUCKIN' PIE CHARTS! THESE PIE CHARTS DO NOT LIE!!
posted by Mister_A at 11:33 AM on September 25, 2008


So there's been a deal. And McCain hasn't even arrived yet. This is too perfect.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:36 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some republicans are frantically spinning that there's no deal yet, obviously just to keep some semblance of the appearance that McCain is helicoptering in to save the day. Amazing.
posted by felix at 11:37 AM on September 25, 2008


I thought she sounded more like Grace , the secretary from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Which would make McCain Mr. Rooney.


McCain is the one taking a day off, right? Ferris lies a lot and is sort of a sausage king, so that fits. That makes Palin Cameron. I'm going to say that the Ferrari is our economy.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:40 AM on September 25, 2008 [11 favorites]


In the event of a McCain no-show, Obama should hammer home as much as possible that McCain taxes the health care deductions from your paycheck, while Obama cuts taxes on everyone who makes less than $250k. Again and again, with no one to counter, for 90 minutes, in to millions and millions of homes around the country during prime time on a Friday night.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:40 AM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


McCain will be at the debate. He can't afford to let Obama spend an hour answering questions from the audience in front of sixty million people. He's going to have to do a complete 180, and it's going to make him look like a hysterical dolt.

(More than he already does, I mean.)
posted by EarBucket at 11:40 AM on September 25, 2008


We never again let them come onto our soil and try to destroy not only our democracy, but communities like the community of New York. Never again. So yes, I do agree with taking the fight to the terrorists and stopping them over there.

How much combing through the political ranks do you suppose McCain's people had to do to find a Bush clone wrapped in just the right biographical package to make her appeal to the base yet be damn near impervious to criticism? Seriously, she not only says what he says, but she also has a similar speaking style.

There's nothing McCain can do that is more desperate, power-hungry, and reeking of terrible, win-at-any-costs judgment calls than choosing her as VP. Even this debate fiasco and using the economy as a political football are still ranking 3 and 2, respectively. I am outraged that he chose her. It's irresponsible and inexcusable.

So there's been a deal. And McCain hasn't even arrived yet. This is too perfect.

I think he may have arrived just in time to pose for photos. Supposedly he landed at National around lunchtime.
posted by Tehanu at 11:42 AM on September 25, 2008


Holy shit to that interview transcript. Does no one ask follow up questions? Or insist on questions being answered?
posted by Rumple at 11:46 AM on September 25, 2008


NPR: Charting McCain's "Suspended" Campaign.
posted by Tehanu at 11:48 AM on September 25, 2008


sorry if this has been posted already (computer is running slow, and thread is running fast!): What Bush Left Out
posted by scody at 11:49 AM on September 25, 2008


um, cashman: I actually clarified that she answered only four questions in the rest of the sentence that you quoted. Comedic effect and all.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:50 AM on September 25, 2008


Gideon Rachman, in the Financial Times (!)

If McCain had been conducting a campaign of utmost sobriety and deliberation up until this moment - I think calling the debate off might have worked for him. The trouble is that in the past couple of weeks, he’s given the impression of making spur of the moment pronouncements and decisions. So at the beginning of the week, he is announcing that the US economy is fundamentally in good shape. By the end of the week, the crisis is so grave that it would be a dereliction of duty to honour his commitment to one of the hallowed traditions of a US election - the presidential debate.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:50 AM on September 25, 2008


This is an opportunity for both candidates to prove they care more about the nation than themselves.

And McCain is failing miserably.
posted by wendell at 11:52 AM on September 25, 2008


"The Republican presidential nominee is hoping that his abrupt decision to suspend campaigning, seek a delay of Friday's debate with Democrat Barack Obama, and return to Washington to help prod negotiations over a financial rescue package will be seen as the kind of country-first, bipartisan leadership he believes Americans want.

What he risks, if things don't go as he hopes, is a judgment by voters that his move was a reckless act by an impetuous and struggling politician that hardened partisan lines in Washington at just the wrong moment and complicated efforts to deal with the biggest financial crisis in more than half a century."

The inability to do two or more things at once can be seen as a sign of leadership? Crack. That campaign is on crack.
posted by rtha at 11:54 AM on September 25, 2008


um, cashman: I actually clarified that she answered only four questions

Yeah, I think I even saw it the first time and then omitted it upon review. I just saw the wispy transcript that could fit on one side of a fast food napkin and had to share that little bit of mouth-wipey goodness.
posted by cashman at 11:56 AM on September 25, 2008


I'll admit it's been a while since I stopped keeping up with the current casus belli for Iraq, but are we really still stuck on the "we're fightin' 'em over there so we don't have to fight 'em over here" thing? I thought that one died somewhere in the transition between McLellan and Tony Snow... which is some years now. Or are we in re-runs now?
posted by psmealey at 11:56 AM on September 25, 2008


Why is McCain trying to cut and run from the debates?

I think he's trying to eject.
posted by Tenuki at 11:59 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just watched Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric. Is it just me or does she sound like Frances McDormand's character in Fargo?

Marge Gunderson's folksy small-town manner and upper Midwest accent belied a very sharp mind and intense dedication to her duty.

So no, Palin doesn't sound that much like Gunderson.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:00 PM on September 25, 2008 [13 favorites]


Ummmmm.........

>>> "A: I don't support that until the provisions that Sen. McCain has offered are implemented in Paulson's proposals."

Congress just finished the new plan to hand over to the president. McCain still isn't there. Has he even offered any provisions? And if he did, then he didn't need to be there?

Can anyone find out what provisions McCain offered?
posted by Ragma at 12:00 PM on September 25, 2008


Or are we in re-runs now?

Yes, I think they're showing the 2002 season of "Go Get 'Em, Dubya"!

No wait, this must be a remake. He looks like an Alaskan beauty queen.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:01 PM on September 25, 2008


I saw a headline this morning about the Clinton Global Initiative but misread it "Obama and McCain speak in CGI" and thought, so that's how McCain's gonna do the debates.
posted by spiderwire at 12:02 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Flat spin!
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


>>> "A: I don't support that until the provisions that Sen. McCain has offered are implemented in Paulson's proposals."

Congress just finished the new plan to hand over to the president. McCain still isn't there. Has he even offered any provisions? And if he did, then he didn't need to be there?

Can anyone find out what provisions McCain offered?


I'm pretty sure that was campaign-script for "don't know the details, don't talk about it, defer to McCain's action plan and be assertive about it." Here's something from a Dallas Morning News though.
posted by Tehanu at 12:04 PM on September 25, 2008


McCain is the one taking a day off, right? Ferris lies a lot and is sort of a sausage king, so that fits. That makes Palin Cameron. I'm going to say that the Ferrari is our economy.

No, no. That's backwards. Rooney is shirking his responsibilities as principal in order to make Ferris look bad, but he justifies it as sending the appropriate message to the rest of the student body. Similarly, while McCain has a responsibility as a candidate to interface with The People and get them enough info to make an educated choice, he's dicking around, trying to make Obama look bad.

Meanwhile, Ferris is out doing more on his "day off" than he would have sitting through another day of school. The "day off" in the title is kind of an irony: he's getting experience and epiphanies left and right out there with the peoples. Clearly, Obama would rather be out on the float singing "Danke Schoen" than doing meaningless busywork (the meaningless busywork here being the bailout, which is proceeding without his largely unneeded input).

So clearly the metaphor holds up. And you know, I'm just gonna say it.

Biden is Charlie Sheen's character.



Oh, Ferris. Is there nothing you can't eventually be made to explain.
posted by logicpunk at 12:04 PM on September 25, 2008 [24 favorites]


McCain quiet on debate despite bailout plan
Candidate doesn't announce change of mind despite agreement in principle


Anybody reasonable should realize by now he shouldn't be trusted anywhere near a position of power, let alone his lovely sidekick. He keeps giving the GOP Vote Fraud Department more and more work to do.
posted by wendell at 12:08 PM on September 25, 2008


Yeah FOX News is both spinning this as not complete and still needing a powerful guiding hand (McCain's) to send it through the houses, AND that it wouldn't be this far along if McCain hadn't risked his campaign to help resolve it, AND that GOP hardliners hate it and there's no way it will pass.

Also they listed McCain's 5 points that Palin wanted included, but failed to connect them with Dodd's press conference where he and members of both parties said pretty much every lawmaker wanted those included.
posted by Science! at 12:08 PM on September 25, 2008


Is it just me or does she sound like Frances McDormand's character in Fargo?

I've got it! She actually sounds like William H. Macy's character in Fargo, only higher pitched.
posted by fungible at 12:15 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, Ferris. Is there nothing you can't eventually be made to explain.


Hillary Clinton is Jeannie, and Michelle Obama is Sloane?
posted by Tehanu at 12:15 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Ferrari is our economy, and Bush is the joyriding garage attendant.
posted by emelenjr at 12:16 PM on September 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


Candidate doesn't announce change of mind despite agreement in principle

I don't know who I am, but I approved this message.
posted by spiderwire at 12:19 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


She actually sounds like William H. Macy's character in Fargo, only higher pitched.

JERRY
Ma'am, I answered your question.

There is a silent beat.

MARGE
... I'm sorry, sir?

JERRY
Ma'am, I answered your question.
I answered the darn - I'm
cooperating here, and I...

MARGE
Sir, you have no call to get
snippy with me. I'm just doin'
my job here.

JERRY
I'm not, uh, I'm not arguin' here.
I'm cooperating... There's no, uh
- we're doin' all we can...

He trails off into silence.

This preview of the US Vice Presidential Candidates Debate is brought to you by Burn After Reading, in theatres now.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:26 PM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


I've got it! She actually sounds like William H. Macy's character in Fargo, only higher pitched.

Actually, that makes a lot of sense--in fact it's Katie Couric who sounds like Marge Gunderson in that interview. Not the accent, of course, but the way she handles it.

Consider the scene where Gunderson (McDormand) is interviewing Jerry Lundegaard (Macy) in the auto dealership. When Lundegaard doesn't give Gunderson a straight answer to her question, what does she do? She asks the question again. And again. Until finally Lundegaard tells her, OK, he'll get her the information she wants, but then hops in a car and speeds off instead, because he knows that information doesn't exist.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:28 PM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've got it! She actually sounds like William H. Macy's character in Fargo, only higher pitched.

That's much more accurate. I find her inability to correctly pronounce "ing" (she seems to always drop the g) a bit strange. Maybe it's because I'm a Brit, but folksy accents (and God knows there are plenty of British folsky accents) don't immediately make me think trustworthy, but then we're pompous like that.

Actually the whole interview is comedy gold.
posted by ob at 12:28 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


You people are excellent, thank you. This is the best election coverage I have ever read.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:28 PM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


McCain's campaign "suspension" has clarified something I've been suspecting all along. McCain doesn't see campaigning as a serious or worthwhile endeavor. It would explain the lying, and the overall "reversal of honor" that's been going on. I'm guessing that in his mind geing a Senator and being President are positions of honor that he earned the right to as a POW. Everything else is just a distasteful formality that is being forced upon him.

It's like he's campaigning "ironically"

So who cares if you lie a little? Pick a shitty running mate? Miss a debate? It's all a charade, and for him to actually take it seriously would mean admitting to himself that he's subject to the same rules as everyone else, Which obviously he isn't. Because, you know...5 years in a box.

It's like being on a date with a guy who just knows you're going to sleep with him at the end of the night, cause he was a football star, or drives a Porsche. All of this chit-chat is just a formality, and he'll put up with it if it makes you feel better, and sure I'll tell you you're pretty America if that's what you want to hear. But we all know you're gonna give it up later, so maybe we skip the movie and just go back to his place...

Dear John,

I used to be impressed by flashy guys, but there's something you should know. You're not that cute anymore. And It's been a long time since you played football, and that Porsche? We both know you didn't pay for it. Besides, the last guy from your firm we went home with turned out to be a really lousy lay. And his buddies trashed my apartment and stole some stuff, and then he kept calling, and we couldn't get rid of him.

So we can't fall for your crap this time. We want to know how you really feel before we sleep with you. make us feel special John, not just like some one night stand who owes you a BJ cause you were in the war.

Sincerely,

The USA

p.s. I know you thought it would be cool having a lady wingman, and her being pretty would make all the other girls jealous. But it's totally obvious that she keeps ordering soda water and lime, but pretending like she's drinking. It's creepy, and if she won't join the conversation it makes it seem like she's just sitting there judging us.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:29 PM on September 25, 2008 [32 favorites]


"Across the country, McCain campaign offices are up and running, accepting volunteers, conducting phone banking, literature dropping and over GOTV activities. This held true on a local, state, and even regional level. The Huffington Post called up 15 McCain-Palin and McCain Victory Committee headquarters in various battleground states. Not one said that it was temporarily halting operations because of the supposed 'suspension' in the campaign. Several, in fact, enthusiastically declared the continuation of their work. Others hadn't even heard that the candidate for whom they were devoting their time had officially stopped campaigning."
posted by ericb at 12:31 PM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Blithering Idiot
"Horrific, horrific, horrific excerpt of Palin explaining why living close to Russia and Canada makes her a foreign policy expert. She comes across as a blithering idiot. At some point, Republicans have to ask themselves why they're willing to risk our national security, should McCain die in office, on someone who is quite clearly not ready to lead our nation in a time of crisis. Watch the video -- 'Palin on foreign policy.'"
Transcript:
COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--

COURIC: Mock?

PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.
posted by ericb at 12:35 PM on September 25, 2008 [10 favorites]


This isn't the first time McCain has suspended his campaign.
posted by Sailormom at 12:35 PM on September 25, 2008


"...Others hadn't even heard that the candidate for whom they were devoting their time had officially stopped campaigning."

But the really sad part is the "Huckabee for President!" sign in their window.
posted by spiderwire at 12:35 PM on September 25, 2008


billyfleetwood, you are my hero.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 12:40 PM on September 25, 2008


Obama would rather be out on the float singing 'Danke Schoen'

That would be an awesome way to get from Congress to the White House after the swearing-in ceremony.

what else happened in that Superbowl?
I knew all that--Doug Williams' incredible performance should have forever ended any question about "black quarterbacks," which shouldn't have been a question in the first place--I just didn't want to get too tangential.

And I'd only compare McCain to Elway in the specific instance of that Hail Mary pass. McCain doesn't have the commanding leadership and poise that Elway demonstrated in The Drive. McCain's more like Billy Kilmer: he throws the ball up like a wounded duck and you have no idea where it's going to go.

posted by kirkaracha at 12:41 PM on September 25, 2008


Y'all, the debate tomorrow has to go on. Otherwise my fair city will be deprived of the distinct honor of having Palin watch the debate at The Irish Pub, because, of course.

I can hear her now: "Oooh mai gaaash that was a gooood point Jaaahn made ther, ya know? Aaah gotta sey, Aaahm just honnerd to be able to knaaack a few baaack with the fine citizens of Phillerdelphia an' t'waaaatch this great debate with yooo geyes."

My ears, oh how they will bleed.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:42 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


(Aaah gaat so curried away with my lewsy Palin accent that Aaah fergaaat that link fer yooo geyes.)
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:45 PM on September 25, 2008


logicpunk said: Biden is Charlie Sheen's character [in Ferris Bueller].

Hee. Biden could totally pull off that character. I can picture him leaning in toward Palin at the debate with Charlie's line:

"You wear too much eye makeup. My sister wears too much. People think she's a whore."
posted by amyms at 12:49 PM on September 25, 2008 [13 favorites]


This isn't the first time McCain has suspended his campaign.

Yeah, it's evidently also not the first time he's tried to pull out of a debate when confronted with bad poll numbers:

With new polls showing his campaign dead in the water among California Republicans, Arizona Sen. John McCain has pulled out of a long-scheduled debate with Texas Gov. George Bush, set for Thursday in Los Angeles.
posted by mothershock at 12:50 PM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't see this clip from the Palin v. Couric smackdown (and btw has Katie Couric ever been suspected of journalism before this?) anywhere upthread, though maybe I missed it. [cbsnews embedded video]

They keep getting better, or worse, or whatever. Here she's imaging the possibility of Putin "rearing his head" and "coming into US airspace" over Alaska as a basis for her foreign policy credentials. It's weird war talk, as well as weird imagery and convoluted thinking in action, as usual.

What a freakshow she is. I shook her hand on a receiving line in Alaska in June, by weird coincidence, thinking she seemed an odd character from a movie that needed to get made back then, but I had no idea. She seemed harmless then. No more. And note that her favorability in Alaska has now been documented to have fallen 15-20 percent since she went viral on a national ticket.

And yeah, Couric as Marge G is damn good, actually. I never thought she had it in her, but I guess it's like shootin' fish in a barrel to trip up Churchy Spice and Her Cue Cards.

Man, if a real journalist gets near her, it's over. Female, preferably. I'm thinking Lara Logan, maybe. Someone who really does foreign policy well.

But seeing this, it's clear they can't be planning to let her debate Biden. No way. She could win it on spunk and evasion, maybe, if Biden makes a wrong -- too aggressive or patronizing -- move. But the chance she'll sink the remaining hopes of the GOP campaign looks far too great to risk. I think they approach probability.

That, I think, is what this is all about. I waver between that and Rick Davis coverup as the big rationales, but maybe it's a way to kill two birds with one bag of bullshit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:50 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Who's the dead grandmother?
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:50 PM on September 25, 2008


This is a nice graph showing Obama's September rebound in Blue, Red and Tossup States. The movement in "Red" states is especially impressive, and I think tracks a convention surge for Palin among the base, and subsequent disenchantment as the weeks went by.
posted by Rumple at 12:50 PM on September 25, 2008


From later in the article:

Bush supporters quietly reveled in McCain's surprise announcement. "From a distance, it seems like the `Straight Talk Express' is careening off the exit ramp in California,'' said Leslie Goodman, a Republican communications consultant and Bush backer, in a reference to McCain's campaign bus.
posted by mothershock at 12:52 PM on September 25, 2008


I don't see this clip from the Palin v. Couric smackdown

Look eight comments above yours! ; )
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on September 25, 2008


I believe the Couric interview will be continued tonight.
posted by Science! at 12:53 PM on September 25, 2008


New today:

Farleigh Dickinson Univ. poll of Alaskans:

Which vice presidential candidate has the background and experience to be a good president?
Palin (R) 37
Biden (D) 43
Both 5
Neither 7

LOL.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:54 PM on September 25, 2008


off topic, but maybe not so much: Israel sought US green light for strike on Iranian nuclear installations. woah, woe.

Bush's decision to refuse to offer any support for a strike on Iran appeared to be based on two factors, the sources said. One was US concern over Iran's likely retaliation, which would probably include a wave of attacks on US military and other personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as on shipping in the Persian Gulf.

The other was US anxiety that Israel would not succeed in disabling Iran's nuclear facilities in a single assault even with the use of dozens of aircraft. It could not mount a series of attacks over several days without risking full-scale war. So the benefits would not outweigh the costs.


posted by Rumple at 12:55 PM on September 25, 2008


"Obama would rather be out on the float singing 'Danke Schoen'"

I read that as "would rather be out there throat-singing "Danke Schoen" and though, now *that's* a trick I'd love to see him do on Letterman!
posted by notsnot at 12:55 PM on September 25, 2008


I heard your polls were kind of ill
Red state, blue state, all downhill
I came to help restore your pluck,
'Cause I'm the veep who likes to...
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:56 PM on September 25, 2008 [12 favorites]


Look eight comments above yours!

Here's the Couric-Palin Foreign Policy madness on youtube for anybody who has problems getting those cbs videos to play. Palin makes Jack Handey sound like Einstein. She's terrible.
posted by cashman at 12:58 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Governor Palin (my favorite nickname is Caribou Barbie) said "a surge in Afghanistan also will lead us to victory there as it has proven to have done in Iraq. And as I say, Katie, that we cannot afford to retreat, to withdraw in Iraq. " If we won, why can't we withdraw?! Great, we won, let's go home!

Like President Bush, she and McCain simultaneously claim we won and we can't leave. I can't find the quote, but McCain said something like Obama had been wrong about the surge and if Obama'd had his way our troops would've been home in March 2008. And that would be bad because...? Over 150 of our troops have been killed in Iraq since then.

I think they would think that Obama would blink and also suspend his campaign.

Another factor: Obama Dramatically Ramping Up Overall Ad Spending: "Obama's overall spending on TV ads has jumped 50% in the last two weeks, while McCain's has held steady -- and Obama is now outspending his rival even as he's up on the air in more states."

This isn't the first time McCain has suspended his campaign.

"He's surged in New Hampshire." No wonder he loves The Surge.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:06 PM on September 25, 2008


Manuel: Mets 'suspending' pennant race

NEW YORK -- Mets manager Jerry Manuel announced Wednesday night that, due to the urgency and gravity of the financial crisis on Wall Street, the New York Mets will be suspending their pennant race.

posted by Atom Eyes at 1:07 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Who's the dead grandmother?
posted by Dr-Baa at 3:50 PM on September 25 [+] [!]


Duh. 9/11 is the dead grandmother.
posted by aught at 1:12 PM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Won't someone please think of the children!
posted by aftermarketradio at 1:23 PM on September 25, 2008


Palin, in her own words: "I don't know, you know?"
posted by afx114 at 1:37 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, they (Los Mets) might as well... I mean, tie game, bottom 9th, last season at Shea, playing the best team in the NL, you get a leadoff triple and fail to score? Jeez.
posted by Mister_A at 1:46 PM on September 25, 2008


Didn't McCain - back in his war hero days - bail out of five or six planes? I say give him this one.

It sure beats "Plan B" for derailing the election debates (the LeMay nuke-them- back-to-stone-age attack plan on Iran).
posted by Surfurrus at 1:50 PM on September 25, 2008


Country First. Colbert suspends his show (briefly).
posted by cashman at 1:55 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Head of Skate.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 1:56 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am so sorry to hear that the Philly-based Irish pub Ms. Palin intends to watch the debate from is not this one.
posted by mwhybark at 1:57 PM on September 25, 2008


Yeah. Oh Yeah¿ Youbetcha.
He's fleeing the interview./, the Jerry Lundegaard that he is.


'You liberals have to remember, there was a time when McCain didn't have an opportunity to participate in a nationally televised US Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy, for FIVE YEARS... IN PRISON'
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94


So, after 5 years of abuse...
Think he trusts anyone¿
Touch of BPD[borderline personality disorder]¿ Hmmm¿

I get the impression he doesn't give a phat shit.


Does this governmoo [it's a Québecois thing] handout mean that Conrad Black gets released from jail and given some money to go too¿
what,

The clips of those 'ministers' are the fucking most bizarre. Unbelievable./
Can you say brainwashed¿
Just like Sara Palin.
posted by alicesshoe at 1:58 PM on September 25, 2008


Appropos of Palin on Couric, and the limited access she's given to the media:

How Team McCain thought that pissing on the media left and right was going to lead to positive coverage is beyond me. Do you think newspapers, television stations and cable networks are worried about a condemnation from Old Ironsides? "Oh no, McCain says we're being mean, guys, we'd better back off"? What's the incentive to backing off compared to, say, doing research and asking questions? Maybe if you want to lose readers/viewers, sure. Seriously, telling journos to back off and go easy on a candidate is tantamount to saying, "Go ahead, I dare you to dig up as much as you can find on her and report on it relentlessly."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:58 PM on September 25, 2008


I'm quite suprised that nobody has yet accused McCain of "pulling a Bunning:"

It's no secret in Kentucky that Sen. Jim Bunning, a Republican who was expected to coast to reelection on Nov. 2, has been acting strange. Over the past few months, Bunning has angrily pushed away reporters, exchanged testy words with a questioner at a Rotary Club and stuck to brief, heavily scripted remarks at campaign events, delivered in a halting monotone. The former major league baseball star now travels the Bluegrass State with a special police escort, at taxpayer expense. His explanation? Al-Qaida may be out to get him.

More substantively, the incumbent would agree to only one debate with his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Daniel Mongiardo. And the rules Bunning negotiated were bizarrely rigid: The encounter could not be live; the taping has to occur in the afternoon, not the evening; no audience could be present in the studio; and, under threat of legal action, Mongiardo could not use any sound clips or video of Bunning's debate performance in campaign advertisements.

This apparent fear of the spontaneous has spurred rumors in Kentucky that Bunning, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, is suffering from some sort of dementia, perhaps Alzheimer's. Bunning has declined to release his medical records. But until now, there was nothing hard to suggest that the one-term Republican senator was anything but a crotchety, occasionally confused, or arrogant old man.


Makes me wonder if this is what McCain is angling to do with the debates: participate via satellite, so he can be coached by his campaign staff.
posted by brain cloud at 2:07 PM on September 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


Wanda Sykes with Jay Leno: the bailout and Sarah Palin [video | 05:37].
posted by ericb at 2:09 PM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


More from the Salon article on Bunning's debate shenanigans:

Saying falsely that he was needed in Washington this week for Senate votes, Bunning tore up his own carefully crafted debate agreement and refused to return to Kentucky on Monday for his one scheduled debate with Mongiardo. It was to have taken place at 2:30 p.m. Monday in the Lexington, Ky., studio of WKYT-TV. Instead, Bunning insisted on "debating" via satellite from the womblike conditions of the Republican National Committee headquarters studio in Washington.

The senator refused to allow a member of the Kentucky media to be present at the RNC studio to monitor whether Bunning was receiving assistance with his answers, according to Mongiardo campaign manager Kim Geveden and WKYT news director Jim Ogle. And Bunning refused to engage reporters via satellite in a previously agreed upon post-debate news conference, insisting instead that his 15 minutes of answering questions occur by telephone, without accompanying video footage.

posted by brain cloud at 2:10 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin: Iraq, Afghanistan presence makes US secure: "I think our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will lead to further security for our nation. We can never again let them onto our soil."
posted by kirkaracha at 2:17 PM on September 25, 2008


Last act. Corrupt government. Loot treasury. All that.

“Can anyone of you actually tell me exactly why he wants to be president?”
posted by XQUZYPHYR

I don’t support him for president, but I do have some empathy for him. I think, granting him all possible benefit of doubt, he thinks once he gets to be president he won’t have to say crap he doesn’t mean or kiss ass, etc etc. and he can genuinely do the best he can for the country.

The whole Rick Davis sort of shows that. McCain is an otherwise honorable man, but flawed. Kind of like Kurtz.
Instead of working to remedy his flaws he focuses on allieviating them through his better qualities.
Which, really, is horrible in someone who thinks they know better. And it’s absolutely catastrophic in a leader. They’re more willing to get into the ends justifying the means thing.
And it can’t lead to anything but tragedy.
Demonstrably.

“...it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America...”

Huh. The word “daffy” has not entered my vocabulary for some time.
And I haven’t even thought of the word “broad” in ages.


“Biden is Charlie Sheen's character.”

So that makes Palin Ferris’ sister Jeannie.

*glances down at crotch*
*cracks knuckles*
posted by Smedleyman at 2:19 PM on September 25, 2008


"I think our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will lead to further security for our nation. We can never again let them onto our soil."

Does this silly cow honestly think either country attacked us on 9/11? I thought these idiots had been hunted to extinction.

She really, really needs to talk more often. Especially about foreign policy.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:21 PM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Makes me wonder if this is what McCain is angling to do with the debates: participate via satellite, so he can be coached by his campaign staff.

Obama only has to repeat his line about owning a large plane and being able to fly it anywhere, even wherever McCain has gone to ground. If it's gotta come down to spurning a host city and costing millions of dollars in order to show that McCain is running from the encounter so be it.
posted by Science! at 2:22 PM on September 25, 2008


Planned Parenthood gains from Palin e-mail campaign.
posted by ericb at 2:24 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin is going to the IRish pub tomorrow? Can I go? I have a foreign-sounding last name and a beard, should be no prob, right?

PS is it the one near 20th or the one near 11th?

PPS Is it OK to taunt her with lipstick or is that sexist?
posted by Mister_A at 2:55 PM on September 25, 2008


The Ferrari is our economy, and Bush is the joyriding garage attendant.
posted by emelenjr at 2:16 PM on September 25


Except that when Ferris and Cameron tried to fix it, they crashed it.

This does not bode well.
posted by ColdChef at 2:56 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


So does Bunning actually have support in KY? I mean, who in the hell would elect a coward like that?

If you're going to stand for public office, you also have to stand for public scrutiny.
posted by maxwelton at 3:00 PM on September 25, 2008


Anybody know the Over/Under on the amount of times McCain mentions during the debate that he didn't have enough to prepare because he was busy fixing the economy?
posted by hexxed at 3:01 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jeff Sadosky, director of regional communications for the McCain campaign, said: "This crass political stunt is yet another reminder that the Barack Obama campaign and its surrogates has given up on the 'new politics of hope' that they were so proud of a few short months ago."

What a bunch of frickin' crybabies. Jeez, in my old man's day Republicans used to punch you in the mouth and then laugh at you. These modern day Republicans play ding dong dash, and then cry about it when their intended victim doesn't even answer the bell.

I used to kind of loathe Republicans for what they stood for (but grudgingly respect their steadfastness and steeliness). These guys, can't stand them, but mostly because in the way I feel when I see some teen age jocks ganging up on one of their peers. They're clueless and pathetic, and not really all that threatening... save for the fact that they have numbers on their side.
posted by psmealey at 3:01 PM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


“PPS Is it OK to taunt her with lipstick or is that sexist?”

You know who else wears lipstick?

The Joker.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:13 PM on September 25, 2008


If you're going to stand for public office, you also have to stand for public scrutiny.

Dick Cheney has proved you wrong for 8 years.
posted by cell divide at 3:14 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


As Predicted: Tucker Bounds tries to say that McCain is responsible for breaking the bailout stalemate
posted by homunculus at 3:21 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Since we're mapping people to characters from Fargo, I'd just like to add that by far the best matchup, possibly even of any politician to any character in any movie ever, is Dick Cheney as Gaear Grimsrud.
posted by Flunkie at 3:24 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tucker Bounds

Can't stand the guy. He exemplifies the worst of PR flaks. He'd disown his own mother, if it were to advance any cause he represents.
posted by ericb at 3:28 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Associated Press: McCain campaign slows, but doesn't stop.
posted by ericb at 3:37 PM on September 25, 2008


I'd just like to add that by far the best matchup, possibly even of any politician to any character in any movie ever, is Dick Cheney as Gaear Grimsrud.

No, Grimsrud was a lot more charming and personable.

Tucker Bounds

Can't stand the guy. He exemplifies the worst of PR flaks. He'd disown his own mother, if it were to advance any cause he represents.


For the longest time, I kept mixing up Tucker Bounds and Tucker Max. I was at first baffled by McCain's choice of spokesperson. But then, I thought, who better than a self-professed "asshole" to lead this campaign; someone who does shameless, disgusting things and proudly waves them above his head for the nation to see? I also thought it was nice Tucker Max found an actual job.

Imagine my disappointment when I learned McCain's actual spokesperson was simultaneously less interesting and more reprehensible.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:38 PM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Governor Palin (my favorite nickname is Caribou Barbie) said "a surge in Afghanistan also will lead us to victory there as it has proven to have done in Iraq. And as I say, Katie, that we cannot afford to retreat, to withdraw in Iraq. " If we won, why can't we withdraw?! Great, we won, let's go home!
Victory has been redefined as "being in Iraq". You didn't get the memo?
posted by Flunkie at 3:41 PM on September 25, 2008


Barney Frank: GOP Colleagues Winced At 'Mighty Mouse' McCain
“One would think that some of John McCain's Republican colleagues might actually want to help him become president of these United States, but no: given the opportunity to ensure that the presidential candidate might be able to make a substantive contribution to bailout measure negotiations, McCain's friends in the Republican Party put their noses to the grindstone and worked out a deal without any Maverick input. Clearly Republican leaders are totally in the tank for Obama.

How painful was the thought of working alongside McCain? Over at Politico, they report that Barney Frank minced few words, saying: ‘Nobody mentioned him. The man's irrelevant to the whole process. No Republican mentioned his name. I'm the only one who raised his name. They winced when I did.’ Frank also compared McCain to a cartoon superhero:
‘He's been irrelevant to the process. He remains to be,’ said Frank. ‘I was afraid that his dropping in here, like Andy Kaufman's Mighty Mouse -- ‘here I am to save the day’ -- I thought that would slow things down. I didn't see any sign of our Republican colleagues paying any attention to him whatsoever.’”
posted by ericb at 3:44 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Obama has a wallet, loaded with cash, with 'bad motherfucker' written on it.

obama is the righteous man
mccain is the tyranny of evil men
we are the shepherd

or

obama is the shepherd
mccain is the selfish
and we are the vengeful lord

does this make palin the lost children?
posted by CitizenD at 3:48 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


No Bailout Yet

Interesting. This morning they had a plan. Then that meeting that McCain and Bush though was so important. Then no deal. Thanks, John!
posted by effwerd at 3:51 PM on September 25, 2008


POLITICO: Do you think our presence in Iraq and afghan and our continued presence there is inflaming islamic extremists?

A: I think our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will lead to further security of our nation, again, because the mission is to take the fight over there. do not let them come over here and attempt again what they accomplished here, and that was some destruction. terrible destruction on that day. but since September 11, Americans uniting and rebuilding and committing to never letting that happen again.


It's a little bizarre to be living in a world where Katie Couric represents the unflappable old guard of media, but I truly hope it forces others to grow a pair and, when not answered, ask that question again.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:57 PM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Obama has a wallet, loaded with cash, with 'bad motherfucker' written on it.

Ok:

1) I am straight.
2) I have never really had a thing for Obama beyond the politics and passion.

But damn it would be something to see him act out that scene.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:59 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Interesting. This morning they had a plan. Then that meeting that McCain and Bush though was so important. Then no deal. Thanks, John!

See...they had a plan, but then Gilligan fell asleep, and a monkey snuck up and stole all the coconuts, but everybody thought Gilligan ate all the coconuts and the skipper was sleepwalking and found the coconuts, but by then it was too late to signal the rescue plane, and then the monkey dropped a coconut on Gilligan's head, and everyone laughed and laughed...
posted by billyfleetwood at 4:02 PM on September 25, 2008 [14 favorites]


Compared to the Charlie Gibson interview, the difference in interpersonal dynamic in the Palin/Couric interview is fascinating. She sure says "Katie" a lot less often than she said "Charlie."
posted by yarrow at 4:04 PM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Has Obama, McCain, or the Pres. spoken to the press yet?
posted by Science! at 4:06 PM on September 25, 2008


From the CNN article:
"One of the concerns I've had over the last several days is that when you start injecting presidential politics into delicate negotiations," Obama said, "then you can actually create more problems rather than less."

When asked whether Friday's debate will go on if McCain doesn't show up, Obama said: "I hope he does."

CNN has learned that the University of Mississippi -- site of the first presidential debate -- has been told by the Presidential Debate Commission to continue preparing for the event.

Both McCain and Obama advance teams were seen on stage going through sound and video checks from their candidates' respective podiums.
So, there's going to be a debate after all. Great! Now I have to re-order the keg and 12-foot hoagie that I canceled after McCain ran for cover. That's a $50 tap deposit I'm not getting back. You see? He's already bad for the economy. God damn it, McCain, make up your rabbit-ass mind.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:06 PM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Dick Cheney has proved you wrong for 8 years.

Hm. Did I mention I was in a box for five and half years?
posted by maxwelton at 4:06 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


So does Bunning actually have support in KY? I mean, who in the hell would elect a coward like that?

Oh, Bunning won the election, in part because he pulled some really nasty tricks. And Mongiardo ran as Republican Plus!, having been proudly responsible for the state's law to ban gay marriage. So even though Mongiardo seemed like he might at least be kind of minimally competent in other ways, morally it was 6 of one, half dozen of the other. Except that if Bunning's senile, at least he has an excuse. FWIW, Bunning seems to be feeling much better now.

I couldn't hold my nose tight enough to vote for anyone in that race. Maybe Mongiardo could have won if he'd laid off the gay panic - I surely wasn't the only person in the state who wouldn't vote for him because of that.
posted by dilettante at 4:33 PM on September 25, 2008


That's a $50 tap deposit I'm not getting back. You see? He's already bad for the economy.

Isn't that actually good for the economy (bad for you, though)? Now instead of being $7,000,000,000,000 in the hole we're only down $6,999,999,999,950.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:36 PM on September 25, 2008


Isn't that actually good for the economy (bad for you, though)? Now instead of being $7,000,000,000,000 in the hole we're only down $6,999,999,999,950.

I recuse myself from any discussion on economics until the economy is back on track. Country first!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:43 PM on September 25, 2008


I'll try to find an economy and I'll bring it to you.
posted by Artw at 4:45 PM on September 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


Compared to the Charlie Gibson interview, the difference in interpersonal dynamic in the Palin/Couric interview is fascinating. She sure says "Katie" a lot less often than she said "Charlie."

Palin is a charmer, and I'm pretty sure that Katie Couric is immune to said charms. Charmers know when they can't pull one over on someone, and they don't try.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:49 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


National Review on pay equity: Two weeks ago, I explored the gap between Barack Obama’s rhetoric on pay equity and the reality of how he pays women in his Senate office. While Obama preaches equal pay for equal work, he does not practice it on Capitol Hill.

Well, it turns out that his running mate, Joe Biden, is even worse.


Clarification by Legistorm, the source of the raw data:

We do not take a position either for or against Murdock's analysis. We will simply note that there has been some debate about the validity of his claims because he did not include consideration of whether the men and women were doing equal work. Whether this criticism was valid is also something we do not take a position on.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:52 PM on September 25, 2008


Bailout sparks a Republican street fight
posted by Tehanu at 4:56 PM on September 25, 2008


Compared to the Charlie Gibson interview, the difference in interpersonal dynamic in the Palin/Couric interview is fascinating. She sure says "Katie" a lot less often than she said "Charlie."

I too found that compellingly interesting. It's why I suggested above that she be interviewed by another woman who really knows foreign policy, like Lara Logan.


[boyzone]
(Plus then we'd see her taken apart by a stunningly beautiful woman who IS smart, educated, informed, serious, and critical so we can stop with this "but she's so pretty" crap. I'm amazed at how often Palin's being "pretty" is cited as some kind of credential for anything. As my brother once said of Logan, "I'd chew off my own arm for a chance to smell her hair.")[/boyzone]

posted by fourcheesemac at 4:57 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Another sports analogy: the No Más Fight.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:58 PM on September 25, 2008


I was just up on my roof, and from my place here in Brooklyn, I can actually see Wall Street.

So...that $700bn will be sent to me via check? or I could totally come pick it up? I'm totally flexible, but we should hurry because I have to get started with this bailout.
posted by billyfleetwood at 4:59 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Two cents from the ranch:

1: This thread kicks ass. The upcoming election could be one of the most important events in our lives, so I really appreciate the informed and intelligent (mostly) comments.

2. Mc Cain's record speaks for itself going all the way back to the Naval Academy. Ride on daddy's coat tails/rest on P.O.W. laurels. He ALWAYS gives little effort, knowing he'll just "cruise on through Mr. Hand's class."

All I can hope for is that minority Americans come out and vote like they never have before and end this.

My fear? Replay of 2004.
posted by snsranch at 5:01 PM on September 25, 2008


So how good do I feel that *today* I went and closed by WAMU checking account and moved it to another bank-- been putting it off all week, but somehow today I made the time.

This evening, word is WAMU has been seized by FDIC and its deposit assets sold to JP Morgan.

Fucking A. I feel like a genius.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:04 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Interesting. This morning they had a plan. Then that meeting that McCain and Bush though was so important. Then no deal. Thanks, John!

McCain Has Now Jeopardized the Bailout Deal
“Nice stunt our hero pulled. Now things are worse. McCain reckless fratboy rashness politicized a deal that was almost done. Compete freaking moron. Don't believe me, read Politico:
‘A high-profile White House meeting on Treasury’s $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan ended Thursday on a sour, contentious note, with no joint endorsement by the two presidential candidates, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama.

Democrats complained of being ‘blindsided’ by a new conservative alternative to the plan first put forward by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. And the outcome casts doubt on the ability of Congress to move quickly on the matter, even after leaders of House and Senate banking committees reached a bipartisan agreement Thursday on the framework for legislation authorizing the massive government intervention.

It was McCain who urged President Bush to call the White House meeting attended by House and Senate leaders as well as Obama, his Democratic rival. But the candidates left without commenting to reporters outside, and the whole sequence of events confirmed Treasury’s fears about inserting presidential politics into what were already difficult negotiations.’
Wall Street had posted a gain of 197 points earlier in the day, buoyed by hopes of an agreement. The markets had closed by the end of the White House meeting, but Friday could bring turmoil, and there will be immense pressure now by Treasury to get back on track before Monday.”
posted by ericb at 5:07 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


(And JP Morgan means "China")
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:08 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


At White House, McCain Plays Bailout Spoiler.
posted by ericb at 5:09 PM on September 25, 2008


Bailout Deal Appears To Fall Apart After McCain And House GOP Push Surprise Alternate Proposal.
posted by ericb at 5:11 PM on September 25, 2008


CBS News reports that the alternative plan McCain floated would "include fewer regulations and more corporate tax breaks for businesses."
posted by ericb at 5:12 PM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I seem to have rotten luck remembering or finding what's already been posted in this thread, but I can't find this one either, so here it is: new ad hits McCain with medical questions. (Youtube)

Full story. (Alternet)

Pretty sobering images of McCain's surgery scars, etc. Some networks and stations refusing to air it.

I think this is the kind of negative ad that might work. It's really tough.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:17 PM on September 25, 2008


Ack -- ">video link for McCain medical records ad (not from Obama campaign)
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:18 PM on September 25, 2008


Does the "S" in John Sidney McCain III stand for "Smeagol"? "I wants it...my preciousss."

Another sports analogy: the No Más Fight.
...in which the black guy beat the guy from Panama.

posted by kirkaracha at 5:20 PM on September 25, 2008


Charmers know when they can't pull one over on someone, and they don't try.

And it's not even that Gibson was particularly charmed, it's just that she knows that she can pull off the "spunky gal faces off with male authority figure" narrative with him and not with Couric.

My favorite part of tonight's installment was when Katie said "Wait, so you're saying that Henry Kissinger is naive?"
posted by yarrow at 5:20 PM on September 25, 2008


Yea! My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
Yea! My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
Yea! My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
I can't buy no beer.

Well I'm standin' on a corner - With a bucket in my hand
I'm waitin' for a woman - That ain't got no man.

CHORUS
'Cause My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
Yea! My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
Yea! My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
I can't buy no beer.

Well, I went upon the mountain - I looked down in the sea
I seen the crabs and the fishes - Doin' the be-bop- bee.

CHORUS

Well, there ain't no use - of me workin' so hard
When I got a woman - in the boss man's yard.

CHORUS

Extra verse.

Well, me and my baby - we just bought a Ford
And now we sit together - on the running board.

CHORUS
posted by ornate insect at 5:21 PM on September 25, 2008


Another Disgusting Operation Proves John McCain is Healthy
posted by lukemeister at 5:21 PM on September 25, 2008


Wow. The crazy has been upped. And they’re going to spin this shit stiring on top of a shitty situation as some kind of sure handed mavericky leadership? Fucking wow. Will this work?
posted by Artw at 5:30 PM on September 25, 2008


I think this is the kind of negative ad that might work. It's really tough.

It's not a negative ad per se. It speaks about real potential health issues a 72 y.o. man who has had 4 bouts of melanoma might face in the next few years.

Other have been commenting elsewhere online regarding their concerns for McCain's health:
A medical professional weighs in about melanoma.

A doctor weighs in about McCain's health.

Reader Mail about McCain's health.
posted by ericb at 5:31 PM on September 25, 2008


TV commentator on Palin's remark that Putin has to fly over Alaska: "... talk about air space."
posted by madamjujujive at 5:32 PM on September 25, 2008


I hope not. Holy shit already.
posted by snsranch at 5:32 PM on September 25, 2008


All right. With this latest stunt, I have come to the conclusion that McCain wouldn't simply be a worse president than Obama, but it actively, and dangerously, and recklessly, bad for this country. I don't simply think he shouldn't be president. I think he should stop being a senator.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:35 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


TV commentator on Palin's remark that Putin has to fly over Alaska: "... talk about air space."

"Moscow is closer to New York than it is to Anchorage. And yet nobody would say that David Paterson has extensive foreign policy experience thanks to his proximity to Russia."
posted by ericb at 5:37 PM on September 25, 2008


I too found that compellingly interesting. It's why I suggested above that she be interviewed by another woman who really knows foreign policy, like Lara Logan.

Amen. Lara Logan would decimate Palin. That one interview would decide the election. Which is why it will never, ever happen.

[boyzone]
(Plus then we'd see her taken apart by a stunningly beautiful woman who IS smart, educated, informed, serious, and critical so we can stop with this "but she's so pretty" crap. I'm amazed at how often Palin's being "pretty" is cited as some kind of credential for anything. As my brother once said of Logan, "I'd chew off my own arm for a chance to smell her hair.")[/boyzone]


And how! I would walk one thousand miles just to buy Lara Logan a toothbrush.

/don't know what that means either
posted by zardoz at 5:38 PM on September 25, 2008


I have come to the conclusion that McCain wouldn't simply be a worse president than Obama, but it actively, and dangerously, and recklessly, bad for this country.

Hell, I'm pretty sure he'd be worse than Bush. Imagine Dubya, but more hawkish, more sure of himself, and senile. If I weren't so confident of an Obama win, I'd be out back digging a bomb shelter right now.
posted by EarBucket at 5:39 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Putin has to fly over Alaska...

Don't flights between Moscow and New York; Moscow and Washington D.C., etc. traverse the Arctic Circle and go nowhere near Alaska?
posted by ericb at 5:40 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ha! Margaret Carlson on Countdown basically just said that Sarah Palin is an insult to small town people.
posted by effwerd at 5:41 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mayor West writes "Obama will debate you in absentia if he has to, and when you finally do get to the stage, you're going to face the biggest mismatch of televised debates since Nixon's pallid sweat lost him the '60 election. There is literally nowhere left for these hucksters to run, and I have a bottle of bubbly reserved for the first time Obama prompts the kind of Vesuvian reaction we all know is just waiting to emerge from McCain's hollow, angry shell."

Do ya think Obama giving McCain a heart attack during a debate would help or hurt him in the polls?

flarbuse writes "To a lesser extent, it is true with Biden and Palin, too. These people are all being paid with taxpayer money to have full-time jobs. And they are not doing them."

This is at least somewhat excusable with senators as there are a lot of other people around manning the switch as it were, governors are supposedly in a solitary position. This is the big advantage of random timing elections. MPs will gear up when they think it's coming but there isn't much overt action taken until the election is called and then six weeks later it's all done.
posted by Mitheral at 5:44 PM on September 25, 2008


Hmmm..Maybe I'm being paranoid, but it seems to me that this "McCain spoils the deal" thing is what he planned all along (and by all along, I mean, since like Tuesday night). Bear with me, but this is how I think it could've (might still) play out.

The financial market (not economy) is cratering. Hank floats a noxious, $700B mugging attempt. The 'merican public starts getting pissed and clearly don't want to be on the hook for the bill. McCain, seeing his polls crater as well, calls in every favor he has in Washington. See the Republicans pretend to buy-off on the Democrats plan in closed-door sessions, graciously allowing whatever the Dems want with only token resistance. Hell, even GW Jr says he's open to discussing a new stimulus package. Meanwhile, McCain does something that seems insane (oh you maverick!), and cockpunches Obama on the joint statement, and 'suspends' his campaign, after getting GW's promise to call them both back to Washington.

The Dems think they are going to get this fetid piece of shit plan signed off, and start making overtures to the press that they are almost done, when McCain hits town and changes the deal at the last minute. At that moment the masks come off the Repubs, and they all start screaming about what a crappy plan this is, and no economist in his right mind would sell America into socialism this way..

McCain wasn't meant to broker a deal, he went there to piss on the plan and tell the American people that if it wasn't for him, the Democrats would've saddled them with generations of debt, and sold America into socialism. That the emergency isn't so bad, and the Republicans are the only ones who have enough back bone to stand up to the wall street fat cats and let them drown.

Sure GW, and Paulson, and a few others may take a hit, but the Democrats (and Obama) come out looking like weak-kneed sissies who are ready to hand over the entire economy at the barest whisper of a problem.

Please someone tell me I'm very very wrong about this.

The only hitch I can see, is the media's general scorn towards the McCain campaign and they not willing to take up this narrative. But 5 weeks is a long time, and there is time for this to get traction.
posted by gofargogo at 5:45 PM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


CBS News reports that the alternative plan McCain floated would "include fewer regulations and more corporate tax breaks for businesses."

If this is true, I don't understand this at all. I understand if he needs to do something to pretend he is actually doing something about this mess, and I understand he needs indecision and continued talks if he wants to get out of the debate, but how could less regulation and corporate tax breaks possibly play well with voters who are already super pissed about this bailout?
posted by snofoam at 5:46 PM on September 25, 2008


Conservatives are calling this a "Financial 9/11" and praising McCain for rushing to DC to save the day. The 9/11 attacks are the wrong analogy: Bush got the memo saying "Bin Laden determined to strike in US," told the briefer, "you've covered your ass," and stayed on vacation. Bush also stayed on vacation during Katrina (after enjoying cake with McCain while people are drowning in the streets of New Orleans).

The first time Bush rushed back to Washington was to sign the Terri Schiavo bill.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:47 PM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


It always makes me feel better when I read something like this. It's a reminder that somewhere in the Republican party there are people with whom I have ideological disagreements, and nothing more. It isn't just the party of greed-drunk criminals and monstrously fucktarded whackadoos.

And I swear on a stack of Action Comics #1s that if the Democrats were acting like this, I would either vote third party or not vote for POTUS. Really, normal Republicans, it's okay to not vote for them.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:47 PM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Daniel Larison is actually a sane conservative. It's a rare species these days. David Frum's been refreshingly honest about Palin and the bailout, too.
posted by EarBucket at 5:52 PM on September 25, 2008


Wow, the people posting on The American Conservative blog hate McCain as much as we do.
posted by neroli at 5:53 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


@gofargogo: You're giving them too much credit. They're not smart enough to pull all of that off. Maybe one of those things individually, yeah, I could see them pulling it off. But a coordinated series of steps that would make Machiavelli jizz in his grave? No way.
posted by afx114 at 5:56 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't flights between Moscow and New York; Moscow and Washington D.C., etc. traverse the Arctic Circle and go nowhere near Alaska?

I'm sure they cross over Canada, which is next to Alaska.
posted by Artw at 5:57 PM on September 25, 2008


You don't want that stack of Action Comics #1s. In fact, never speak of them again; the mere rumor of their existence would devalue the ones already in collections and send the collectible comics market into a death spiral. Give them to me. I promise I will only sell one every ten years, and each time I'll claim I found it in somone's attic.
posted by yhbc at 6:00 PM on September 25, 2008


Please someone tell me I'm very very wrong about this.

I think you are likely right. Sorry. Look, a kitty!
posted by Tehanu at 6:03 PM on September 25, 2008


gofargogo, you scare me.
posted by mwhybark at 6:03 PM on September 25, 2008


@afx114: ok ok, so my paranoid fantasies have perhaps made it more dramatic and cohesive than it is. But man, if I was in their camp, as soon as the deal unraveled at the WH this afternoon, that would be my message without stopping from now until Nov. 4.
posted by gofargogo at 6:03 PM on September 25, 2008


Actually, gofargogo that's exactly what I was thinking. The repubs will stick with McCain and help to make it look like he came in a saved the day. According to MSNBC Paulson is blaming the democrats for slowing down the deal.
posted by ob at 6:05 PM on September 25, 2008


Sorry to come to this so late, but I finally watched the Couric-Palin interview. Oh. My. Sweet. Lord. I don't know what is scarier - that you have a political party in the US that thinks it is okay to run a dolt like that for a major political office, or that there are a legion of people out there who still support her, and don't have problems with her after that interview. That was beyond parody, beyond satire, that was a sick sick joke.

Chuckdarwin - there can be only one Jeremy Paxman. Thankfully.
posted by Megami at 6:07 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Awwww, Tehanu...cute kitty!

Wait...what happened to my retirement!?
posted by darkstar at 6:07 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


This whole thing is a sham.
posted by vibrotronica at 6:08 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


CBS/NYT have Obama up 48-43. We're getting to the point in the election where a five point lead is pretty significant. Excluding the Reagan-Carter debate in 1980 (and trust me, the GOP doesn't want this to be a repeat of Reagan-Carter) the most a modern presidential debate has managed to shift the race is by 4 points.

There just aren't many opportunities to change the game once the conventions have come and gone, and every day that goes by means more and more voters have solidified their positions. Add that to the fact that early voting has already started in some states (hello Virginia!) and Obama's lead at this point becomes very significant. There's a reason McCain's hit the panic button this week.
posted by EarBucket at 6:15 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait...what happened to my retirement!?

You left the records in an open briefcase, and a litter of adorable kittens fell asleep on them. Don't worry! You can look at them later. Just not right now.
posted by Tehanu at 6:15 PM on September 25, 2008


emelenjr writes The Ferrari is our economy, and Bush is the joyriding garage attendant.

Seriously? Bush is Sonic Youth's original drummer?

I've spent the last 10 years of my life reeeaaaaaaaalllly disliking georgie-boy. Now this?

No way. That dog aint huntin'. No way Bush is anywhere near that cool (not even during his 'say hello to my little friend' days).

----

Oh, also throwing my little photochop into this thread.
posted by Artichoke Dance Off!! at 6:16 PM on September 25, 2008


DOW Futures down 112.00 (so far).
posted by afx114 at 6:21 PM on September 25, 2008


Please someone tell me I'm very very wrong about this.

The only hitch I can see, is the media's general scorn towards the McCain campaign and they not willing to take up this narrative. But 5 weeks is a long time, and there is time for this to get traction.


You're only slightly wrong about this. I think the endgame is different. My impression is it goes a bit more like this:

Deal is on the way. McCain get's Bush to drag them into the principals office. Hilarity ensues, and all of the sudden a deal is NOT on the way. In fact, it's a huge derail and everyone needs to go back to square one.

That takes time. Probably about 28 hours or so.

There will again be progress tomorrow. Shit, they'll probably get right back to where they were at noon this morning around.... oh say 9pm tomorrow night. McCain won't be able to attend the debate because he's busy twisting arms to make sure the bailout gets passed.
posted by butterstick at 6:23 PM on September 25, 2008


McCain wasn't meant to broker a deal, he went there to piss on the plan and tell the American people that if it wasn't for him, the Democrats would've saddled them with generations of debt, and sold America into socialism. That the emergency isn't so bad, and the Republicans are the only ones who have enough back bone to stand up to the wall street fat cats and let them drown.

Sure GW, and Paulson, and a few others may take a hit, but the Democrats (and Obama) come out looking like weak-kneed sissies who are ready to hand over the entire economy at the barest whisper of a problem.

Please someone tell me I'm very very wrong about this.


Yeah to be clearer than before, I think you're likely right that this was the setup and intended outcome. I think it may be backfiring though. On several levels-- argument within McCain's own party, McCain alienating various groups he needs keeping him lukewarm in their hearts, and mostly looking like a humongous idiot with the campaign-suspending nonsense.
posted by Tehanu at 6:29 PM on September 25, 2008


Also, McCain accomplishes more than one thing with my imaginary move. I've noticed that happens a lot because everyone reads Sun Tzu.
posted by butterstick at 6:30 PM on September 25, 2008


According to MSNBC Paulson is blaming the democrats for slowing down the deal.

But ABC is saying this:
As Democrats met in the White House's Roosevelt Room after the meeting with Bush, Paulson told them, "Please don't blow this up," according to sources.

Sources say Frank was livid, saying, "Don't say that to us after all we've been through!"

House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reportedly said, "We're not the ones trying to blow this up. It's the House Republicans."

Paulson replied, "I know, I know; it's both sides," according to a Treasury Department spokeswoman.
McCain's stunt sort of reminds me of the Clinton/Republican-controlled Senate stand-off in the mid-90s. McCain is going to try and pass this off is doing what's best for the country, and that it's all on the Democrats to move his plan forward and help America. The Dems in this case can either hold their ground and tell McCain to take his wrench out of the gears, or cave in one way or the other. I have a feeling some clumsy blend of the two may be made, wherein both parties and both candidates can claim partial victories. But it'd still be nice to see the Dems simply cross their arms on this and browbeat McCain into backing off.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:34 PM on September 25, 2008


There's no way McCain's stupid enough to skip the debate. 3 of 4 Americans say the Friday debate should be held on Friday. There are going to be 50-60 million people watching, maybe more than that. He can't afford to let Obama have them all to himself. If he doesn't show up tomorrow night, he needs to suspend his campaign for good and schedule his concession speech.
posted by EarBucket at 6:39 PM on September 25, 2008


Yeah Butterstick, I was thinking the same thing this morning. But then I realized he could do all of it: which would manage to derail the VP debates (a big liability for him), reclaim maverick/republican 'principles', and have some serious leverage against Obama, while also providing leverage for every republican running for reelection because this move puts all the [D]s in a weak position. I'd guess that's how he got so many repubs to sign on.

The big gamble (and we know how he likes to gamble) is if this financial meltdown actually jumps to the greater economy because of a lack of action on Congress' part. But then again again, it looks like [R]s are out blaming the [D]s for the delay, so they win both ways.
posted by gofargogo at 6:39 PM on September 25, 2008


Cripes. If they're conniving and smart enough for such a plan, they might just be conniving enough to win.

hold me
posted by subbes at 6:47 PM on September 25, 2008


There's no way McCain's stupid enough to skip the debate.
Oh, I don't know about that.

It seems that ever since the Palin pick, his strategy has been "We're not being absurd enough! We need more inanity, we need to look more ludicrous, and we need to do so in a way that shows we have a fundamental disrespect for the basic core of democracy!"

It's been non-stop since then, even up to the current hour. I'm not entirely convinced that he's going to see the light in the next 24 hours.
posted by Flunkie at 7:01 PM on September 25, 2008


Please someone tell me I'm very very wrong about this.

OK.

Look, since the campaign began, it's been tempting to see every Republican move as a devilish masterstroke - but not a one has turned out that way.

Remind yourself of the handwringing when McCain picked Palin. It was a master stroke! A game changer! He was getting in Obama's OODA loop!

But that turned out not to be true. Obama and his campaign have kept moving, playing their own game at their own pace, and it's working for them.

In fiction, desperate losers succeed by staking all on one last plan that's so crazy it might just work. In reality, that's how they lose.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:16 PM on September 25, 2008 [10 favorites]


He was getting in Obama's OODA loop!

But that turned out not to be true.


This. If anything, Obama's careful, measured campaign has gotten inside McCain's OODA loop. McCain can't seem to rattle him or shake him off his game, no matter what he tries, and it's leading him to take more and more desperate moves to try to change the shape of the race. McCain's a recreational gambler (though not, to my knowledge, one with any kind of a problem) and he ought to recognize what's going on here.

He's tilting.
posted by EarBucket at 7:23 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Look, since the campaign began, it's been tempting to see every Republican move as a devilish masterstroke - but not a one has turned out that way.

That's a very good point. If this campaign has taught us anything, it's that the Republicans have just as much potential for aplomb at spectacular fumbles as Democrats.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:28 PM on September 25, 2008


If CBS is right about the Bush/McCain counter proposal including fewer regulations and more corporate tax breaks, WHY ISN'T THIS GETTING BIGGER PLAY in the media? This should be the real story. This would have to permanently break any chance of McCain getting elected if people realized that this is what he was charging into Washington to bring off. GRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Has anyone else seen this story anywhere but CBS?
posted by marsha56 at 7:34 PM on September 25, 2008


> McCain can't seem to rattle him or shake him off his game, no matter what he tries, and it's leading him to take more and more desperate moves to try to change the shape of the race. McCain's a recreational gambler (though not, to my knowledge, one with any kind of a problem) and he ought to recognize what's going on here.

I think the big thing is this: Obama manages his campaign. He has staffers, and people working with him, he does delegation, and all of this stuff. But it is his campaign, almost everything that comes out of there has a unified voice and backing. He is in charge, he is managing every movement that happens, he knows enough to have the right people to address the issues, but at the same time I see him as someone who knows when to pull someone back because they are wandering away from the goal. Obama has had to do this, because he had to fight his way into the democratic ticket, he had to manage everything closely. And once he got the seat, his group took over the party to keep it on message. Brilliantly planned and executed.

McCain? The GOP decided they had to go with him, and he was picked by the GOP to represent them as an attempt to stay in power. He is yet another deluded king of a sand castle, surrounded by people who tell him what they think he needs to know, and try anything to stay in the game. It is a campaign run by a horribly managed board, that are all throwing out their ideas on how things should work, and failing miserably. There is no single voice, the message keeps changing faster than you can keep up with it, and well that is falling to pieces under the focused drive of obama's campaign. I don't want to think how poorly Clinton's group would have fared in this situation, they would have chased every little flare and diversion McCain threw at them, and be running in circles by november.

Honestly, I feel sorry for the man. When I heard his rationale that the attack ads were justified because Obama refused to discuss things with him, I can see that is honestly what he believes. His pettiness and temper, combined with information being fed to him by his handlers, makes his viewpoint entirely understandable. Sad, but understandable. That Hitler in the bunker video could be repurposed for McCain's office on Nov. 4th, and it would be spot on (I honestly think states that everything thinks are not swing are going to come into play when the uncounted people start voting).
posted by mrzarquon at 7:37 PM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


McCain last week:
McCain, in a striking departure from his platform of corporate tax breaks and an extension of President Bush's tax cuts, assumed the mantle of economic populist, blasting what he called the "reckless conduct, corruption, and unbridled greed" of Wall Street and railing against multimillion-dollar severance packages for CEOs as "disgraceful."

"Americans put a lot of trust in the bankers and brokerage firms of Wall Street," he said in Tampa. "Too many people on Wall Street have been recklessly wagering," he continued, on "an endless quest for easy money."
"And so what we need to do is, propose LESS regulation and MORE corporate tax breaks."

Remember when the term "flip-flopping" was all over the news in 2004? Why are we not hearing so much of this now?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:43 PM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Remember when the term "flip-flopping" was all over the news in 2004? Why are we not hearing so much of this now?

Remember when the criticism of the not-heroic-enough Vietnam War hero with the rich heiress wife was all over the news in 2004? Why are we not hearing so much of this now?
posted by oaf at 7:45 PM on September 25, 2008 [19 favorites]


Craig Ferguson:

It's the democratic process! We didn't suspend it for 9/11, we didn't suspend it for Pearl Harbor, we didn't suspend it for the Nazis, we didn't suspend it for the damn British! We don't do that in America! We don't! There's no suspending the campaign!
posted by EarBucket at 8:10 PM on September 25, 2008 [10 favorites]


so is having no investments and barely 2 thousand in the bank a good thing? Can I gloat? Or will I be fighting in the street for a potato? Cause let me tell you now, that potato is MINE.


Bastards!
posted by The Whelk at 8:13 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


It is a campaign run by a horribly managed board, that are all throwing out their ideas on how things should work, and failing miserably. There is no single voice, the message keeps changing faster than you can keep up with it, and well that is falling to pieces under the focused drive of obama's campaign. I don't want to think how poorly Clinton's group would have fared in this situation, they would have chased every little flare and diversion McCain threw at them, and be running in circles by november.

I'd go further. We've seen this before. Your analysis of the Clinton campaign's disorderly style describes that campaign once Obama began to tear it asunder while staying steadily on course and on message. What we're seeing is Obama doing the same thing to McCain's operation.

It really is a stunningly professional operation. I feel a strong sense of generational pride at Obama's execution of this campaign (I'm two years younger than he is).
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:14 PM on September 25, 2008 [10 favorites]


so is having no investments and barely 2 thousand in the bank a good thing?

That's my silver lining. My broke ass doesn't have anything to lose.
posted by Nattie at 8:15 PM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Remember when the term "flip-flopping" was all over the news in 2004? Why are we not hearing so much of this now?

It's been replaced by the more au courant "lying." I'm amazed to be hearing that word in polite company now.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:17 PM on September 25, 2008


This. If anything, Obama's careful, measured campaign has gotten inside McCain's OODA loop. McCain can't seem to rattle him or shake him off his game, no matter what he tries, and it's leading him to take more and more desperate moves to try to change the shape of the race. McCain's a recreational gambler (though not, to my knowledge, one with any kind of a problem) and he ought to recognize what's going on here.

The entire concept of this is enough to make me want McCain impeached from his senate seat if it's even legally possible to do so. He doesn't give a shit about anything. At all. I've read so many right-wing comments and blogs over the last 24 hours talking about how McCain "played" Obama or how he "one-upped him" and they were saying the same thing about the Palin pick and who gives a fuck? What does making Obama feel bad have to do with leading the motherfucking country? Now they're bragging about how McCain might have deliberately fucked up a deal that- even if you disagree with it, mind you, was intended to try and stop our entire economy from fucking collapsing- for no reason other than it... well shit, I guess it's... funny?

This is what I mean by my earlier question about why exactly McCain wants to be president. Lord knows these people all don't. Why does he want to win other than so he doesn't lose? This is massive group sadism, at best. It's a good day when they think more people they don't like are frustrated.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:18 PM on September 25, 2008 [10 favorites]


Anyone catch Paul Begala call Bush "a high functioning Moron" with Wolf Blitzer during special coverage of the bailout crisis? He went there, he said that.

And amazingly, neither Blitzer nor Ed Rollins reacted in any way other than to look down at their hands. As did the other guest, I think Gloria Borger.

"A high functioning moron."

I felt the dam break.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:19 PM on September 25, 2008 [9 favorites]


I knew this all was ringing some kind of bell.
J. Pierpont Flathead (730 AE - 789 GUE) was a capitalist, banker, and monopolist who achieved success through his business aptitude and corruption. He used the military and his connections to eliminate competing lemonade stands and banks. He disappeared while using his bank's teleporting vault system...His autobiography was entitled "I'm Rich and You Aren't - So There!".
posted by Miko at 8:27 PM on September 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


It's a good day when they think more people they don't like are frustrated.

You're soooo close! Connect the dots:

Republicans = /b/rothers
posted by aramaic at 8:28 PM on September 25, 2008


"And all of these ideologues, it gets me angry. I do talk radio and most of talk radio is conservative-dominated ideologues, Kool-Aid-drinking idiots -- idiots -- screaming at you, "This is socialism," this is this, this is that, "It's Clinton's fault." "It's Clinton's fault." "It's Clinton's fault"? Clinton hasn't been in office in eight years.

It's Bush's fault. It happened on Bush's watch."

posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:35 PM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I caught this in the comments to a remarkable confessional by "crunchy conservative" Rod Dreher at BeliefNet. He watches the Couric interview and decides he's had enough of her.

So the first comment on the article, by commenter canijustsay, appeals to Dreher's (presumably) conservative readers and commenters as follows:

I am just visiting this site from a link. I don't know what the position is on abortion, if that is the deal breaker for you with regards to Obama. Or maybe it is Homosexuality/Gay Marriage. But there has got to be some kind of common ground that you can find with him and not let this woman anywhere near the White House. Please, please!! He has been trying to reach out to the persons of faith which not many Dems do. I think he would like to end abortions from the front end with education and counseling. If that is the only reason that you will put Sarah Palin in office, then I just don't know. My 2 cents.


I found that strangely moving.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:35 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


CBS Releases Most Damaging Sarah Palin Clip Yet!
posted by ericb at 8:43 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


(If I missed this previously, sorry)

Obama campaign's statement:
John McCain sought to change the subject from his out-of-touch response to the economic crisis with a big announcement that he was 'suspending' his campaign. But the only thing McCain really wants suspended is the American people's disbelief. In fact, he's been in full campaign mode the entire time...

When McCain finally arrived in Washington, almost twenty-four hours after his announcement -- and after Congressional leadership announced a deal in principle -- he huddled with his lobbyist campaign advisors while his running mate held a political rally and his political spokesmen and surrogates were out in full force, continuing to attack Barack Obama.

So make no mistake: John McCain did not 'suspend' his campaign. He just turned a national crisis into an occasion to promote his campaign. It's become just another political stunt, aimed more at shoring up the Senator's political fortunes than the nation's economy. And it does nothing to help advance this critical legislation to protect the American people during this time of economic crisis.
Hmm, maybe he really does have a "Bad Motherfucker" wallet.
posted by scody at 8:54 PM on September 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


The entire concept of this is enough to make me want McCain impeached from his senate seat if it's even legally possible to do so.
The Constitution doesn't explicitly forbid it, but neither does it explicitly say that it can be done.

In fact, the House of Representatives once did impeach a Senator, but when that (of course) led to a trial in the Senate, the Senate refused to try the case, saying that they lacked jurisdiction, claiming that members of the legislative branch cannot be impeached.

Since then (which was a long time ago), no member of Congress has ever been impeached, or (as far as I know) has even had impeachment charges placed against them.

So I would say, probably, no, even though the Constitution doesn't explicitly say you can't impeach a Senator, there's a case to be made that you can't, and at the very least there's a longstanding de facto precedent against doing so.

However, with all that said, the Constitution does explicitly give each House of Congress the power to expel its own members. A vote of two-thirds is necessary to do this.

In fact, in the case mentioned above, where the Senate refused to try the impeached Senator, they immediately expelled him anyway, in accordance with this explicit Constitutional power.
posted by Flunkie at 8:55 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Barney Frank: God save us from John McCain’s “help”
posted by homunculus at 8:58 PM on September 25, 2008


Krugman: Where Are the Grown-Ups?
posted by homunculus at 9:04 PM on September 25, 2008


to continue the OODA / Air Force analogy: it looks like McCain is smoking about about to get shot down for the 6th time.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:07 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


fourcheesemac: "Anyone catch Paul Begala call Bush "a high functioning Moron" with Wolf Blitzer during special coverage of the bailout crisis? He went there, he said that.

And amazingly, neither Blitzer nor Ed Rollins reacted in any way other than to look down at their hands. As did the other guest, I think Gloria Borger.

"A high functioning moron."

I felt the dam break.
"


Yes. I laughed my ass off. Then it was repeated. I laughed again. Today was a great day for alcohol and pundit TV.

Plus I've been reading this thread all day and have been totally enamored with your user name. I've never wanted a grilled cheese sandwich, a Big Mac and some macaroni and cheese more in my life.

Plus, tonight's 'The Office' was awesome.
posted by Science! at 9:09 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin calls Henry Kissinger naive.

Or, giving her all possible benefit of the doubt and putting it in the best possible light for her, Sarah Palin doesn't believe Katie Couric when Couric correctly points out to Palin that Henry Kissinger supports policies which Palin calls, in the context of a conversation about her meeting with Kissinger, "naive".

Hey, I didn't say it was a "good" light for her. I said it was the "best possible" light for her.
posted by Flunkie at 9:15 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Politico: Some House Republicans Would Rather See the Market Crash Than Sign On To A Massive Bailout.

Country First!!!
posted by ericb at 9:32 PM on September 25, 2008


Video for "Bush is a high-function moron"
posted by KokuRyu at 9:38 PM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Craig Ferguson:

It's the democratic process! We didn't suspend it for 9/11, we didn't suspend it for Pearl Harbor, we didn't suspend it for the Nazis, we didn't suspend it for the damn British! We don't do that in America! We don't! There's no suspending the campaign!
posted by EarBucket


It was Sarah Palin that made Craig Ferguson an honorary citizen of Alaska.
posted by Sailormom at 9:40 PM on September 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


It seems that ever since the Palin pick, his strategy has been "We're not being absurd enough! We need more inanity, we need to look more ludicrous, and we need to do so in a way that shows we have a fundamental disrespect for the basic core of democracy!"

The sad reality is, no matter what McCain does, close to 50% of the votes will go for him, as people will continue to vote along ideological lines. It does matter how insane the guy behaves, or how intelligent Obama appears to be.

In the context of the election, the events of the past few days are inconsequential, little better than amusing political drama. But it won't influence any Red State voter to deliver Obama some sort of landslide that will act as a judgment on this debacle.

Of course, you Americans look like a bunch of clowns and thieves to the rest of the world, but big fucking deal.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:50 PM on September 25, 2008


Video for "Bush is a high-function moron"

Jesus on a popsicle stick, I feel dirty after following that link, but it did remind me that approximately half of America is populated by people who just plain terrify me. Then again, I didn't actually need a reminder, and now I need a skull-douche.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:51 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Although I will agree with the commenters at the link saying that Begala was wrong in saying what he did. 'High-function' is way too generous.

Ha! See what I did there?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:53 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Who Wants to be Sarah Palin’s Gay Friend?
posted by homunculus at 9:57 PM on September 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


The sad reality is, no matter what McCain does, close to 50% of the votes will go for him, as people will continue to vote along ideological lines.

Yup. A lot of what I read around here lately makes me think of the tone during the 2004 election. There was just no way that moron Bush was going to win again. We were sure of it.

Whoops.

And for that 50%, If the Second Great Depression hits, it'll be Bill Clinton's. 100% No sober reflection or sharing of the blame. 100%.
posted by Cyrano at 10:09 PM on September 25, 2008


it did remind me that approximately half of America is populated by people who just plain terrify me.

I honestly think that if Letterman and the rest of the late night crowd turn on McCain, it could actually have an effect on the election.

How terrifying is that?
posted by Cyrano at 10:12 PM on September 25, 2008


OK, this is delicious: Palin actually did have well established venues and forums to engage with Russian officials on a number of fronts, and she cut their budget and stopped sending representatives:

Opportunities abound for Alaska governors to engage in Russian diplomacy, with the state host to several organizations focusing on Arctic issues. Anchorage is the seat of the Northern Forum, an 18-year-old organization that represents the leaders of regional governments in Russia, as well as Finland, Iceland and Canada, Japan, China and South Korea.

Yet under Palin, the state government — without consultation — reduced its annual financial support to the Northern Forum to $15,000 from $75,000, according to Priscilla Wohl, the group's executive director. That forced the forum's Anchorage office to go without pay for two months.

Palin — unlike the previous administrations of Gov. Frank Murkowski and Gov. Tony Knowles — also stopped sending representatives to Northern Forum's annual meetings, including one last year for regional governors held in the heart of Russia's oil territory.

"It was an opportunity for the Alaska governor to take a delegation of business leaders to the largest oil-producing region in Russia, and she would have been shaking hands with major leaders in Russia," Wohl said.

posted by Rumple at 10:12 PM on September 25, 2008 [10 favorites]



Who Wants to be Sarah Palin’s Gay Friend?

posted by homunculus

Dan Savage! I adore that man!
posted by Surfurrus at 10:12 PM on September 25, 2008


I honestly think that if Letterman and the rest of the late night crowd turn on McCain, it could actually have an effect on the election.

How terrifying is that?


Letterman has already turned. McCain canceled his appearance last night, and Dave was still ranting about it tonight. Will be fore weeks to come, I'm betting.
posted by anastasiav at 10:17 PM on September 25, 2008


Who Wants to be Sarah Palin’s Gay Friend?

Now there's a reality show I'd watch.
posted by mazola at 10:24 PM on September 25, 2008


This little mashup is obvious, but effective.
posted by Rumple at 10:36 PM on September 25, 2008


That Palin Honorary Citizen video is a riot, Sailormom. Thanks.
posted by cgc373 at 10:37 PM on September 25, 2008


The election has already started, with early voting in Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming.

Remember when the criticism of the not-heroic-enough Vietnam War hero with the rich heiress wife was all over the news in 2004?

Well, the Republicans wore Purple Heard Band-aids to mock McCain's wounds, didn't they?

The sad reality is, no matter what McCain does, close to 50% of the votes will go for him

Not close enough--McCain's ceiling in national polls is around 45-46% and has been all summer--and Obama's leading in enough states to get at least an electoral vote tie (and he'd likely win in the House of Representatives).

That Hitler in the bunker video could be repurposed for McCain's office on Nov. 4th, and it would be spot on

Behind-the-scenes video from a McCain staff meeting.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:51 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Any word yet on what type of debate/meeting/event could occur if McCain is a no show?
posted by iamkimiam at 11:16 PM on September 25, 2008


kirkaracha - that will never get old. Not in a thousand years.
posted by Artw at 11:21 PM on September 25, 2008


Sarah Palin calls Henry Kissinger naive.

She's qualified to make that call since she saw that episode of The Simpsons where he dropped his glasses in the toilet.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:23 PM on September 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


"Putin rears his head"
posted by kirkaracha at 11:30 PM on September 25, 2008 [12 favorites]


Alaska isn't on the way between Moscow and any part of the US
posted by cillit bang at 2:25 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, this is a bookmark but may I just say:

eek

please try something new please please I mean it couldn't get any worse, right?
posted by h00py at 3:29 AM on September 26, 2008


Someone upthread mentioned that Jon Stewart must have been raring to go yesterday.

Damn right.

This video clip nails it. It's the ultimate mashup. Every American needs to see it once to be reminded of just how badly we've been pwned by the Bush administration.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:32 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Whoops, this is the clip I meant to link (not that the other one isn't hilarious too).

He directly mashes up Bush's 2003 Iraq war pitch with Wed night's banking crisis speech. It's amazing. They are THE SAME SPEECH in form and argument: give me unlimited powers or something really scary will happen to you.

("Clusterfuck to the Poorhouse" is good too.)

You know, there probably aren't any left on MeFi, or reading this thread, who would dare. But I would be happy to see one serious conservative fellow MeFite make a reasoned case for why McCain/Palin is not the joke we all think they are. WHy should they get anyone's vote at this point? What IS the case for their supporters' votes? I don't mean an emotional, hot button, culture war case -- she who shall not be named has done that plenty. I mean a forceful, reasoned, policy-driven argument for why McCain/Palin should not be sent home now. I promise, personally, to respond graciously if anyone would care to try making it.

Because I DON'T HAVE ANY FUCKING CLUE WHY ANY RATIONAL PERSON WOULD SUPPORT THE MCCAIN/PALIN TICKET. Enlighten me.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:41 AM on September 26, 2008 [6 favorites]


Comedy Central blocks their videos to anyone in Canada and routs us to the infinitely sucktacular Comedy Network. Is there any other way to watch these things?
posted by Shepherd at 4:49 AM on September 26, 2008


Yup. A lot of what I read around here lately makes me think of the tone during the 2004 election. There was just no way that moron Bush was going to win again. We were sure of it.


I'm as fearful of that analogy as anyone, but I am convinced that Barack Obama is no John Kerry.

He's hit every single note that Kerry missed so far. Believe!
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:01 AM on September 26, 2008


The last *serious* Mefite was probably Uncle Fester, with whom I'm still in contact. He thinks they're a joke just as much as we do.
posted by notsnot at 5:03 AM on September 26, 2008


For what it's worth, I am friends with a woman who is very smart, a lawyer, and an avid (non-religious) Republican -- she went to the GOP convention and everything. I e-mailed her earlier this week to point her to MeFi, because I think she might be someone who could bring a reasoned argument for McCain. She wasn't sure she had the time, but she did say she'd pass along the link to a couple of her fellow smarty Republicans who are in full-on independent-voter-courting mode. I really do hope one or two of them will give us a chance.
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:08 AM on September 26, 2008


Youtube video of Begala calling Bush "a high functioning moron" -- so you don't have to click on the rightwing NewsBusters link above and get slimed . . . .

Actually, Anderson Cooper's analogy to Bush's speech in Jackson Square after Katrina is pretty spot on too ("he just wasn't there"). I'm no fan of AC, but he nails this.

I am still amazed at the way Borger and Rollins just sit there looking at their hands.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:12 AM on September 26, 2008


I knew it sounded familiar!

I too would like to hear a rational pro-McCain/Palin platform. I sometimes do get paranoid that I've been hanging around this joint too much and am experiencing the same "brainwash" that I accuse conservatives/repubs of having. I'm afraid we may have scared them off, this being the overwhelming echo chamber that it is.

One of the smarter guys I know is voting for McCain because he is a staunch believer in "trickle down economics" and despite not liking McCain or Palin will vote Republican til the day he dies because I guess trickle down economics is a basic tenent of the Republican platfrom? He doesn't care Palin's an extremist idiot, doesn't care about McCain's background or flip flopping, just firmly believes companies getting tax breaks will eventually help everyone in the long run and as long as that's a foundation of Republican party, he's voting that way.
posted by like_neon at 5:20 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oooh, Judith Warner feels sorry for Sarah Palin, interesting analogy to Elle Wood (of Legally Blonde).
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:34 AM on September 26, 2008


And even the odious Kathleen Parker has gone sour on Palin.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:40 AM on September 26, 2008


Which Legally Blonde is she talking about? In the first one, Elle Woods actually buckles down and proves she belongs in law school. This starts quite early in the movie in fact. And she's genuinely charming and actually considerate of other people. I have yet to hear Palin answer a question succinctly and coherently or even show she's... nice. Yeah, Sarah Palin just does not come off as a nice person. Defensive, condescending, smarmy, calculating... but not nice.

But Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde? I am a fan of the first movie (had the movie poster up in my room) but I had to turn off this sequel after 15 minutes cause it made my brain hurt. So yeah I can see the comparison there.
posted by like_neon at 5:48 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]



Comedy Central blocks their videos to anyone in Canada and routs us to the infinitely sucktacular Comedy Network. Is there any other way to watch these things?


CTV streams Daily Show and Colbert Report episodes on their website, each is usually divided into 4 chunks.
posted by modernnomad at 5:50 AM on September 26, 2008


That Kathleen Parker article is pretty incredible, fcm, although I think my favorite part was this commenter:
___________
Posted by SavedGirl | 1 hour ago

The arthur of this article is a hater. Just look at the way the CBS interview with Katy Corick was edited to make Palin look like a bufoon. She did just fabulos when Shawn Hannity interviewed her, See the difference between a hostile journalist and a fair and balanced journalist.
___________

I am in love!
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:58 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Seconding like_neon on the silly movie analogies. Sarah Palin is the diametric opposite of Elle Woods, of whom the whole point of the character was that she was actually qualified to be thrust into a level of responsibility and respect she previous never thought she herself deserved. I mean it was a silly movie, but come on.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:03 AM on September 26, 2008


Because I DON'T HAVE ANY FUCKING CLUE WHY ANY RATIONAL PERSON WOULD SUPPORT THE MCCAIN/PALIN TICKET. Enlighten me.

Oh, the answer is simple. They believe Obama/Biden would be worse. No matter how bad the past eight years have been for America, they expect Obama to make things even worse than McCain would. All this election stuff, the dirty politics, the mudslinging, lying, half-truths, idiocy... that's just what they expect from an election, and they assume the amount of lying is equal on both sides. They fully expect Pres. McCain would be completely different from candidate McCain (compare Gov. Bush and Pres. Bush), and McCain's values as an honourable man are superior to Obama's values as a vaguely-defined "other".
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:06 AM on September 26, 2008


How do they deal with the obvious fact that they're *wrong*?
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:22 AM on September 26, 2008


How do they deal with the obvious fact that they're *wrong*?

lalalalalalalala I CAN'T HEAR YOU lalalalalalalala


That's how.
posted by ambrosia at 6:27 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


I too would like to hear a rational pro-McCain/Palin platform.
Well, then, with all due respect, I suggest that you get used to disappointment.
posted by Flunkie at 6:29 AM on September 26, 2008


Oh wow. Wow.

Right wing radio civil war has erupted. One of the great smackdowns of all time by one of the biggest assholes on the airwaves . . . of another. Mark Levin nails Bill O'Reilly with a lead pipe. Article on Hot Air, Direct Audio Link

"You paid more to cover up your little phone sex than I've ever earned."

And more gems. These guys are professional haters. Watching them turn on each other is like watching a really good dinosaur movie.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:35 AM on September 26, 2008 [7 favorites]


How do they deal with the obvious fact that they're *wrong*?

Faith denies reason, man. Every time.
posted by lysdexic at 6:49 AM on September 26, 2008


Comedy Central blocks their videos to anyone in Canada and routs us to the infinitely sucktacular Comedy Network. Is there any other way to watch these things?

You should bring this to Sarah Palin. She is governor of a state which borders your great country and she should be able to help.
posted by birdherder at 6:59 AM on September 26, 2008 [5 favorites]


Right wing radio civil war has erupted.

Nope. It's a growing split through the entirety of 'right wing' minded people. I watched FOX News all day yesterday and all night, and it really was one Republican after another coming in with widely differing views/plans/opinions and not only arguing with each other, but with hosts and FOX commentators. The most telling part, as far as the network goes, is that the talking heads who host the show were trying desperately to get their guests to agree with their own standard right wing mantras, and few people would.

I seriously thought left wingers would break first, but I think we're finally, actually into a decades long split between the mainline parties and their far edge wingers.
posted by Science! at 7:00 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


dAnyone catch Paul Begala call Bush "a high functioning Moron" with Wolf Blitzer during special coverage of the bailout crisis? He went there, he said that.

Oh, what I wouldn't give for video access at work.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 7:08 AM on September 26, 2008


Faith denies reason, man. Every time.

Actually, I'd say that it's more along the lines of "Faith supercedes reason," at least among devout Christianity. God's ways are not the way's of man, God operates in ways that we often cannot comprehend, all that stuff.

At their core, Christians will (or at least are expected to) pick faith above all else, because that's what faith is, by definition: belief that God's in control of it all, even when all the facts belie your belief.

Which is precisely what makes arguing with Christians an often futile exercise: for them logic and reason only carries one's POV so far, and after that faith takes over. If you aren't a person who gives as much weight to faith, well, it's kind of hard to operate on an equal basis.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:09 AM on September 26, 2008


*supersedes, dammit. Stupid homonymic latin root thingie.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:13 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jay Smooth on economics and smart guys - Illdoctrine Video:
After so many years of being guided by our anti-intellectualism and voting against anybody who acts like he thinks he's smart, suddenly our entire future hinges on having faith that these guys are smarter than we are.

That feeling you're feeling right now? Hoping and praying that your leaders are smarter than you? Please remember that feeling when you go in the voting booth.
posted by cashman at 7:15 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


** and oh god, I actually typed a grocer's apostrophe. Revoke my degree, fire me from work, and just put me out of my misery already.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:17 AM on September 26, 2008


Faith denies reason

I could have sworn that this was a quote from one of Paul's letters, but can't find it now. But, IME, this is how many people operate.
posted by lysdexic at 7:24 AM on September 26, 2008


Sure is. But reason is often poorly founded and conclusions are developed using bad logic. Everything swings both ways.
posted by Science! at 7:33 AM on September 26, 2008


From conservative Daniel Larison:

McCain will have us on tenterhooks on a daily basis wondering whether he will call for impeaching the Supreme Court or bombing Uruguay and he will denounce anyone who questions his proposal as a selfish and corrupt villain, and while Obama might adopt equally awful views he will do so more slowly and allow the rest of us time to organize opposition and rational counterarguments that might actually prevail.
posted by EarBucket at 7:35 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Because I DON'T HAVE ANY FUCKING CLUE WHY ANY RATIONAL PERSON WOULD SUPPORT THE MCCAIN/PALIN TICKET. Enlighten me

It is because Obama is black, for one thing.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:42 AM on September 26, 2008 [5 favorites]


Lysdexic, was this what you were thinking of?

And actually, in my quickie half-assed research I stumbled upon a passage that pretty much sums up the evangelical vote, and their reaction to Palin's unpreparedness:

"26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are"

...and if that's what you believe to your very core, then sure, Palin's a perfect pick.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:43 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, what I wouldn't give for video access at work.

The video in question has been upped to YouTube.

Which is precisely what makes arguing with Christians an often futile exercise: for them logic and reason only carries one's POV so far, and after that faith takes over. If you aren't a person who gives as much weight to faith, well, it's kind of hard to operate on an equal basis.

I'd submit that there are still ways of "arguing" with Christians about one issue or another within their own parameters. You need to appeal to the greater message of Jesus' teachings instead of getting bogged down in a Bible quote battle rap, as it brings out some of the more glaring contradictions in their arguments (It's the state's job to outlaw abortion, for example, but NOT the state's job to care for the poor and the needy). This in particular infurirates evangelicals, who prefer the fire and brimstone thou-shalt-notness of the OT to the love one another, forsake material greatness, care for the most trod upon among us message that their prophet was trying to convey.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:44 AM on September 26, 2008


Well, I think it's just great. McCain doesn't show up at the debate, Obama holds a townhall meeting just like McCain wanted, and now McCain doesn't have to run those negative attack ads anymore. That's why he's running them, right? Because Obama won't do townhall meetings with him? He won't still run them just because because he didn't feel like showing up, right?
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 7:45 AM on September 26, 2008


McCain "has raised anew potentially damaging questions of his age, executive abilities and, most of all, his temperament."
posted by ericb at 7:51 AM on September 26, 2008


AP: "...it was a remarkably bad day for Republicans....it was hard to tell who had suffered a worse evening, Bush or McCain."
posted by ericb at 7:55 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now this really pisses me off: Former AIG CEO to sell $1 billion worth of stock after bailout.
posted by ericb at 7:56 AM on September 26, 2008


Oh I agree whole-heartedly, Marisa, and there are some pretty clear signs that a significant chunk of Christians are pulling away from the gospels of money, hatred, and bigotry that are embraced by so many evangelicals, electing instead to get back to the essential teachings of Jesus. Which, you know, tends to align way more closely with the Democratic platform, at least with regards to social causes.
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:03 AM on September 26, 2008


If only Obama hadn't rejected McCain's invitation to ten town hall style debates, then he never would have had to resort to teh crazee.

McCain wanted to do 10 town hall meetings. Obama was getting all the media attention, and the town halls would've given McCain free media in the format that he's supposedly most comfortable in. Obama counter-offered with five joint appearances (including the three traditional presidential debates) and McCain rejected the counter-offer.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:09 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker was cited in today's The Note suggesting that Palin should withdraw, saying "I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted."
posted by Miko at 8:10 AM on September 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


OMG, check out some of the other comments made on other articles by SavedGirl who shiu mai baby quoted above. This has to be parody:

Cheney's records are his property. Why would he want to let them be available where liberal media reporters -- like Bernstein and Woodward who destroyed President Nixon -- can go through them and try to fabricate some incriminating charges for a nonexistent crime like with Scooter Libby and Tom Delay.
posted by thewittyname at 8:12 AM on September 26, 2008


.
posted by snsranch at 8:15 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


“TV commentator on Palin's remark that Putin has to fly over Alaska: "... talk about air space." “

I think someone should ask Palin, on foreign policy, what she thinks of the Japanese bukkake situation.


“There's no way McCain's stupid enough to skip the debate.”

McCain is probably going to circle, then go sit in a bar for a few hours and call and say he couldn’t find the place.

“But I would be happy to see one serious conservative fellow MeFite make a reasoned case for why McCain/Palin is not the joke we all think they are”

I’m a serious conservative. But, I can’t see any reason to support McCain/Palin. ...of course, I’m not a Republican on the national level. And likely never will be since the purple heart band-aid thing (and myriad other things in the past 8 years).
I agree with McCain on certain issues. In fact, I’m pretty closely aligned with him on some things.
I suspect I could give a cogent argument on why to support him based on those issues.
But given his past performance - I see no evidence that he actually stands for those things - or anything, if someone at the top says otherwise.
I mean, I respect certain leaders, but I don’t frog on something just because someone says “jump.” The torture thing, f’rinstance. I think he seriously is against it. On the other hand, he’s had ample opportunity to kick someone’s backside on it, and - zip, nada. In fact he waffled on the Presidents’ signing statement - et.al.
And the ‘black baby’ thing. Y’know, politics is one thing. You go after my family, it’s personal, and I’m going to get up in your face. McCain was kissing Bush’s ass a few years later.

Really - I can’t think of anything he’s taken a serious stand on - other than trying to be president.

“They believe Obama/Biden would be worse... They fully expect Pres. McCain would be completely different from candidate McCain.”

See that’s the thing. On the one hand, Obama scares the hell out of me. On the other, McCain wouldn’t be able to be a different man as President.
I think Obama could turn the office, and the country, into anything he wanted if given half a chance*. The man’s game is that tight.
So looking at the lay of the field - I like the Dem opposition he’s getting.
On the other hand McCain would still be a Republican whipping boy. So whether he’d want it or not - it’d be business as usual.


*And it’s not that I don’t trust him. I wouldn’t trust anyone that smart, tough and charismatic with the fine tuned presidential powers Bushco has built up over the past 8 years, there Lord Acton. (I do trust the way Obama works tho’).
But if anything we need an real asshole in office to remind us just how dangerous that concentration of power is. McCain isn’t competent enough to be that asshole.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:23 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama was getting all the media attention, and the town halls would've given McCain free media in the format that he's supposedly most comfortable in.

Also, its easy to game town hall meetings by filling them with confederates who ask questions provided by the party or directly from the candidates.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:24 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Money quote from Kathleen Parker:
If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

If Palin were a man, we'd all be guffawing, just as we do every time Joe Biden tickles the back of his throat with his toes. But because she's a woman -- and the first ever on a Republican presidential ticket -- we are reluctant to say what is painfully true.
Parker isn't the WSJ. She's a major columnist at the right-wing website Townhall- founded by the extreme-right-wing Heritage Foundation. This isn't moderate Republicanism or pro-business conservatism. This is Palin's right-wing base, declaring flat-out that Palin should not be vice-president.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:29 AM on September 26, 2008 [8 favorites]


McCain pundits on Fox: 'Democrats may have been trying to draw out debate on the bailout, so that McCain would have to stay in DC and miss the debates."
posted by Science! at 8:30 AM on September 26, 2008


Holy crap, that Parker piece is amazing. She's actually asking Palin to withdraw "for the country". Does anyone know if this has happened before - that a conservative voice calls upon one of their candidates to actually drop out for the better of America? I don't get a chance to use the word "flabbergasted" a lot, but it's the only one that fits what I'm feeling right now. With a tiny smidge of delight.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:30 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks Smedleyman.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:33 AM on September 26, 2008


Smedleyman: thanks for that opinion - it's clearly an honest one. But I'm still confused about why people see Obama as "scary," though. I don't see anything in his background or his goals that seem threatening. He actually believes in the system - is it just that it's become so hard to imagine someone seeking leadership for reasons other than the accrual of personal power? I see him as motivated mainly by the same ethic of service that motivated many of my family members to serve in the Army, and by a sincere desire to apply his considerable talents to important problems. I don't see the scare. No one has yet been able to explain that to me in any concrete way. The guy's ambitious. So is every single person in politics. It doesn't scare me - it comes with the territory. People who are afraid of power don't seek it I'm more interested in how he will use it, and given his leglslative history and time in legislative bodies dealing with imperial fiat and special-interest pressure, his railings aginst the secrecy and unilateral decision making of the Bush years, I expect he will curtail, not expand, exeutive power.
posted by Miko at 8:33 AM on September 26, 2008 [6 favorites]


But I will say that if the biggest fear one can drum up about Obama is that he is too smart, well, as the opposite of too smart once said, bring it on.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:33 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


After so many years of being guided by our anti-intellectualism and voting against anybody who acts like he thinks he's smart, suddenly our entire future hinges on having faith that these guys are smarter than we are.

Yeah, I don't know if the hardliner Republicans realize the problem with bashing "Ivy League policies" a couple of weeks ago and now screaming about how justified they are in their defiance because they have all these Ivy League economists who say the bailout is a bad idea.
posted by effwerd at 8:36 AM on September 26, 2008


The debate is back on.
posted by modernnomad at 8:38 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


The AP says that McCain will go to the debate tonight.
posted by peeedro at 8:41 AM on September 26, 2008


WOW. Well done, Mr. Obama. Way to demonstrate a cool head and Presidential gravitas.

And what weak spin from McCain's team. You can almost smell the shame.
posted by Miko at 8:43 AM on September 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


The debate is back on.
"...McCain will be going to the debate. Someone just blinked. This whole debate stunt was yet another erratic and questionable decision by McCain. In the midst of a crisis, we've seen who the real John McCain is and it says a lot to the American people McCain isincapable of managing the nation in a crisis. Where Obama has been measured in his response, McCain and the Republicans are playing politics with the international economy and making a bigger mess."
posted by ericb at 8:43 AM on September 26, 2008


The AP says that McCain will go to the debate tonight.

Of course he will. His advance team was down in Mississippi for the past couple days setting up, doing sound and lighting checks. Even after he said he was withdrawing from the debate. Just another grandstanding showboat maneuver that ends up being another meaningless waste of time from Team McCain.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:44 AM on September 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm waiting for the Republican spin - haven't seen it yet. Because right now it looks like McCain couldn't figure out how to weasel his way out of the debate and basically got busted. Maybe now they can start asking him about Fiorina and Rick Davis, and he can try to make up new lies to get out of that.
posted by cashman at 8:44 AM on September 26, 2008


This morning's tracking polls:

Hotline: Obama 49% McCain 42%
Research 2000: Obama 48% McCain 43%
Rasmussen: Obama 50% McCain 45%
posted by EarBucket at 8:49 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


And now that McCain's blinked and agreed to the debate, he's allowed Obama to be the one setting the agenda for the campaign. Still a far better decision than not going, but it puts him in a much weaker position than he'd be without all the grandstanding. He's in real danger here of becoming seen as a wishy-washy flip-flopper.
posted by EarBucket at 8:52 AM on September 26, 2008


Now this really pisses me off: Former AIG CEO to sell $1 billion worth of stock after bailout.

Why? He served as director from 1968 to 2005.
posted by peeedro at 8:55 AM on September 26, 2008


Miko: But I'm still confused about why people see Obama as "scary"

For what it's worth (and I am by no means anything close to conservative), I found the idea of Obama unsettling during the primaries because it seems like a continuation of the GWB-era politics where it didn't matter so much what your background or actual policies were, so long as the constituency felt like you were a good guy. I saw one too many Obama supporters with a weird little glint in their eye talking about how inspiring he was. Meanwhile, during the debates, the ones making actual, reasoned points (like Biden & Dodd) were being roundly ignored. Not to say that Obama was entirely fluff, but compared to e.g., Biden, it was clear where the experience was. And, I don't know, after eight years of being ruled by the guy you'd want to grab a beer with, I was looking forward to getting the adults back in charge.

But, hey, I'm totally voting for Obama. He's played a good game, he's showed amazing judgment, he's convinced me there's something behind the charm. Plus, unlike the last person we elected who got in based on being charismatic, Obama's not fucking evil.
posted by logicpunk at 9:02 AM on September 26, 2008


This is so bizarre. It's like a WWE stunt before the big match. P.O.W.-MAN WILL GRAB THIS METAL CHAIR OF ECONOMICS AND BEAT YOU WITH IT!!!! YOU ARE A WIMP, MR. HOPE!!! ARRRRGH!!!
posted by Tehanu at 9:02 AM on September 26, 2008 [7 favorites]


Oh, ok then. Shoot, almost 40 years, one billion ain't so much. If my math is right, that's only like 25 million a year. What a loser.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:02 AM on September 26, 2008


And RCP has Obama ahead of McCain by 3.7 and rising, with both candidates moving away from each other. This is about the same lead Obama had on McCain pre-conventions, in August.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:03 AM on September 26, 2008


Metafilter: These guys are professional haters. Watching them turn on each other is like watching a really good dinosaur movie.
posted by Rumple at 9:08 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Naw, Rumple. We're amateurs here. Compared to Limbaugh and Levin and Hannity and O'Reilly, we're like a Quaker Meeting House.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:12 AM on September 26, 2008


This is so bizarre. It's like a WWE stunt before the big match. P.O.W.-MAN WILL GRAB THIS METAL CHAIR OF ECONOMICS AND BEAT YOU WITH IT!!!! YOU ARE A WIMP, MR. HOPE!!! ARRRRGH!!!

Ha! I picture more a WWF situation. I can just hear Mean Gene now: "POW-Man has tapped out. He is asking the ref to break up this match so he can go back to his corner and catch his- OH MY GOD WHAT IS HE DOING?"

Jesse Ventura: "He's about to leap from the top rope. The ref isn't looking!"

Mean Gene: "Oh this is terrible. The Hopeinator has his back turned. POW-Man is fighting dirty. And he jumps!"

Jesse Ventura: "He missed! What a bellyflop to the mat that was."

Mean Gene: "A spectacular misfire from POW-Man."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:13 AM on September 26, 2008 [12 favorites]


he's convinced me there's something behind the charm. Plus, unlike the last person we elected who got in based on being charismatic, Obama's not fucking evil.

logicpunk: I see what you mean, but it's been a neessary dilemma for Obama, I think. Going into this race, he observed that: (a) for years and years, the Democrats had been suffering because our candidates were relatively UN-inspiring: didactic Gore, "stiff" Kerry; (b) that despite those candidates' solid command of and insistence on speaking about the issues, their position messages were lost amid a much more simplistic, emotion- and identity-driven rhetoric; and that (c) elections are won or lost not on issues and positions, which always guarantee the support of the base, but on appeal to the undecided and less-informed voter population, whose attention can be swayed greatly by image and rhetoric. So his strategy was to recognize that much of politics happens in the gut, while ensuring that his policy positions were unassailably well-crafted. Some people encountered the "glint" first and assume there is no message - but of course there IS something behind the charm. The charm, in fact, is employed in support of the message. If you're inclined to support Democrats, certainly you enjoy technical policy debates of the kind we saw (a little of) in the primaries. But Obama's public oratorical style was aimed not at winning over the technocrats in the party, who he'll ultimately get anyway, but at galvanizing Democratic-leaning but frustrated and disaffected voters and winning the all-important 'swing' vote. For those who need concrete information on his background and issue positions, it is there. And perhaps it needs to be brought more to the fore to improve the confidence of his newer supporters and make the case to those still on the fence who feel that he is all image. But overall, I think this strategy has been unconventional for a Democrat, but the Party sorely needed to recognize that even when a candidate has rock-solid credentials, when it comes down to the disaffected and the undecideds, image is where the election is lost or won.
posted by Miko at 9:14 AM on September 26, 2008 [8 favorites]


Seriously, if you haven't listened to the Levin takedown of O'Reilly (and defense of Limbaugh) yet, it's *must listen* shit. This is the taste of what's coming -- the GOP is going to split apart and eat its own young after this election, and it's already started. This is the casus belli.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:14 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain campaign statement wrt tonight's debate came with this:
“The difference between Barack Obama and John McCain was apparent during the White House meeting yesterday where Barack Obama’s priority was political posturing in his opening monologue defending the package as it stands,” said the McCain campaign statement.

“John McCain listened to all sides so he could help focus the debate on finding a bipartisan resolution that is in the interest of taxpayers and homeowners. The Democratic interests stood together in opposition to an agreement that would accommodate additional taxpayer protections.”
WTF.
posted by jamaro at 9:14 AM on September 26, 2008


um

What Miko said.

As usual.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:17 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


(McCain and his minstrels ride along, with the minstrels singing: )


Bravely bold McCain rode forth to the debate.
He was not afraid to lose, oh brave McCain!
He was not at all afraid to be mocked in nasty ways!
Brave brave brave brave McCain!

He was not in the least bit scared to be shown to be a farce,
Or to have his name defiled, and his status broken,
To have his views rebuked, and his honor pissed away,
And his reputation tattered, brave McCain!

His threats ignored, and his lies called out,
His integrity shown to be clearly not,
And his health being bad, and his mind having gone,
And his VP—

MCCAIN: No, no! That’s enough of that! There’s evil work afoot!

(McCain and company find themselves confronted by… THE BLACK KNIGHT!!!)

KNIGHT: Halt! Who art thou?

MINSTRELS: He is brave McCain, brave Mc—

MCCAIN: (to Minstrels) Shut up! (to Knight) Oh, nobody really, just passing through.

KNIGHT: What do you want?

MINSTRELS: To speak and—

MCCAIN: (to Minstrels) Shut up! (to Knight) Nothing really, just to pass through, good Sir Knight. I am a Presidential Candidate, you know….

KNIGHT: You’re a Presidential Candidate? Well, in that case, we’re going to have to have a debate!

MCCAIN: N-no we don’t.

KNIGHT: Oh, yes we do. Standard procedure.

MCCAIN: But, but I’m a POW!

KNIGHT: That’s nice.

MCCAIN: There’s a horrible economic crisis!

KNIGHT: Debates have been in economic crises before.

MCCAIN: But I have to go to Congress to fix the economy!

KNIGHT: You’re not even part of the committee this problem will be debated in! Now, don’t be such a baby. (turns around to get some note cards) So which format would you like this in, town hall or…. (turns back to see McCain gone) He buggered off!

(McCain and company… well….)

Brave McCain ran away!

MCCAIN: No!

Bravely ran away, away!

MCCAIN: I didn’t!

When questions reared their ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled!
Yes, brave McCain he turned around
And other business to do he found!
Bravely going to his seat,
To Congress he made a brave retreat.
Bravest of the brave, McCain!
posted by Pope Gustafson I at 9:18 AM on September 26, 2008 [20 favorites]


“The difference between Barack Obama and John McCain was apparent during the White House meeting yesterday where Barack Obama picked his nose and smelled strongly of hope,” said the McCain campaign statement.

“John McCain listened to all sides because he is awesome but also a bit tired. The Democratic interests stood together in opposition to an agreement that would accommodate hugs and great things.”
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:20 AM on September 26, 2008


the GOP is going to split apart and eat its own young after this election, and it's already started.

I think that Palin's going to be far more of a boon to the Democratic party than anyone's realized yet. McCain essentially made this election a referendum on the Christian Right by picking her. If (and it's still an if) Obama wins this election by a significant margin, it's going to be seen as a repudiation of Rovian tactics and/or hard-right Christian conservatism, depending on who you talk to. I wouldn't be surprised if she's the last really conservative religious type nominated to a major party ticket.

It's going to expose a faultline between the business concerns and the abortion voters in the party, and it won't be pretty. The fallout will take a long time to settle, but I seriously think we could be seeing the beginning of the end of the Republican party here.
posted by EarBucket at 9:20 AM on September 26, 2008


“John McCain listened to all sides so he could help focus the debate on finding a bipartisan resolution that is in the interest of [corporate] taxpayers and [mutiple] homeowners. The Democratic interests Everyone else stood together in opposition to an agreement that would accommodate additional taxpayer protections the wealthy.”
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:22 AM on September 26, 2008


Virginia: Obama 50, McCain 45
Missouri: McCain 47, Obama 46
North Carolina: Obama 49, McCain 47
Pennsylvannia Obama 50, McCain 44

Some of these big tossup states are really starting to trend strongly for Obama, or, in the case of Missouri, he has closed a lot of ground. Hard to imagine McCain winning if he is tied down trying to save Missouri and North Carolina. Very encouraging.

Pollster.com is upgrading their trend charts to flash applets where wherein you can pick and choose certain polls to display and create your own trendlines, etc., which is kinda cool even if a bit TIA for me.
posted by Rumple at 9:22 AM on September 26, 2008


It's old news that the debate is on. Didn't you hear? John McCain already won!

Now, let's think about this... ad generation and placement lead time... gee, all this white horse crap couldn't have been a cheap, grotesque, asinine stunt, could it?
posted by clever sheep at 9:23 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, ok then. Shoot, almost 40 years, one billion ain't so much. If my math is right, that's only like 25 million a year. What a loser.

Yes, I can see the general issue of excessive executive compensation, but that blog post linked this stock sale and billion dollar profit to the AIG bailout. I genuinely asking this, so turn down the snark-o-tron, what does this have to do with the AIG bailout?
posted by peeedro at 9:24 AM on September 26, 2008


Of course he's going to the debate tonight! Didn't you guys hear? He's already won!
posted by mothershock at 9:24 AM on September 26, 2008


jinx, mothershock, buy me a Coke!
posted by clever sheep at 9:28 AM on September 26, 2008


I am willing to bet a little of my FDIC-insured checking account balance that the McCain press release on yesterday's meeting was written before his plane landed in DC.

That ad's a beauty, too.
posted by Tehanu at 9:28 AM on September 26, 2008


John McCain already won!

What the shit?

You can't make this stuff up. Unbelievable.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:30 AM on September 26, 2008


I don't believe it just yet. I want some sort of substantive proof - not just some random screenshot.
posted by cashman at 9:36 AM on September 26, 2008


I genuinely asking this, so turn down the snark-o-tron, what does this have to do with the AIG bailout?

With the caveat that I haven't had a chance to read that article, if this guy is selling stock that's worth $1B, that stock is only worth so much because of the bailout. Sure he may have been there 40 years, but without the gov't stepping in, that stock would be worth a heck of a lot less.
posted by inigo2 at 9:40 AM on September 26, 2008


AP Poll: Few support Bush's market rescue plan
Just 30 percent say they support Bush's package, according to an Associated Press-Knowledge Networks poll released as White House and congressional leaders struggled to rescue the plan after House Republicans rebelled against it. Despite the president's pleas that the package is urgently needed to prevent an economic meltdown, 45 percent say they oppose Bush's proposal while 25 percent said they are undecided.

The poll found a standoff over which presidential candidate would do better handling the financial crisis, with about a third opting for Republican John McCain and about the same number preferring Democrat Barack Obama.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:41 AM on September 26, 2008


I've said it before and I'll say it again: Thank y'all for this great thread. Things that have been said here have made me think about all this shit going down in new ways. I credit MeFi that I can understand a lot of what's going on right now, because The News certainly isn't doing this in any comprehensive manner. I really commend those of you (and there are so many!) who are adding such substance to this discussion. *I love you guys.*

Enough meta. Now back to the thread.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:44 AM on September 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a McCain supporter, said the Republican made a "huge mistake" by even discussing canceling the debate.

"You can't just say, 'World, stop for a moment. I'm going to cancel everything,'" Huckabee told reporters Thursday night in Alabama before attending a benefit for the University of Mobile. He said it's more important for voters to hear from the presidential candidates than for them to huddle with fellow senators in Washington.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:50 AM on September 26, 2008


In honor of McCain blinking on the debate.
posted by EarBucket at 9:54 AM on September 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


snsranch: All I can hope for is that minority Americans come out and vote like they never have before and end this.

My fear? Replay of 2004.


That's an understandable fear to have, especially since McCain's campaign has become eerily familiar over the last couple of months. Some people are clearly getting that sinking feeling they got in 2004 when they realized that "It's just so stupid it just might work" turned out to be a winning strategy for Bush.

I'll let you in on a secret: this election is going to be an absolute blowout. The whole "neck-and-neck election" meme is the result of a media narrative driven by faulty poll numbers. The polls are faulty because they continue to underestimate the effect that minority and youth voting blocs will have in this election (remember Iowa?). I'm keenly aware of this because I'm a young Latino. Furthermore, as a painfully over-educated second-generation Latino I'm a member of a fairly small group in an interesting position, i.e., I'm part of a newly emerging generation of Latino voters who have witnessed the hardship of the immigrant experience firsthand and, with the help of our families and through the grace of God, have been fortunate enough to get a decent education. And let me tell you, I'm not worried about Obama's chances. Anyone looking at the data through my eyes wouldn't be.

By now most of us know that Latinos are going to play an important role in this election and that Latino voters overwhelmingly identify themselves as Democrats (by well over a 2-to-1 margin according to a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center). Both Obama and McCain know that the Latino vote will be absolutely critical to winning some key states. Accordingly, both candidates are working hard to out to those voters. This is an effort in which Obama is clearly leading McCain: Obama is walloping McCain among Latinos in Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico; they are tied among Latinos in Florida.

The element of Obama's campaign that has slipped under the radar of the mainstream media (although it didn't get past Rita Moreno) is that Obama has been very effective at targeting the young Latino vote. This is a brilliant move on many levels. Examined statistically, the Latino youth vote is set to explode. Obama has been positioning himself to take advantage from the beginning of his campagin. As such, he's built an insurmountable lead among these blocs. McCain's campaign knows this too, which is why they've already ceded the youth and minority demographics to Obama.

There's another important aspect, though, one that you're not going to find in a poll. I've been thinking about immigration lately, especially after this thread. Since I was born in this country my parents are on "one of the easiest" tracks to citizenship. The six to seven years cited really is a best case scenario--it took my parents two decades just to get their residency. We're hoping that they get to be citizens and vote in an election sometime before they retire.

It's a subject I don't discuss much. When you spend the majority of your life being fully aware that all it would take for your parents to lose everything they've worked for is a single bureaucratic screw-up . . . well, you learn to avoid the subject.

The media, naturally, is busy focusing on whether Americans will be able to accept a guy with such a funny name as their President, a narrative which is being pushed by the McCain campaign. But before you start to worry over the the effectiveness of the McCain campaign's attempts to portray Barack Obama's as un-American, know this: they forget that Obama's story is my story, and the story of every child who is forever grateful to their immigrant parents for working their fingers to the bone simply to give their children the chance to be an American. There are thousands and thousands of us in the swing states, many voting for the first time, all eager to take advantage of a right that our parents may never have. And now, just as our excitement and anticipation has reached a fever pitch, they're talking about Obama's "foreignness". These morons are actually actively reminding us that for the last twenty years the Republican party has been hell-bent on making us think we're not "real" Americans, even when we were freakin' born here.

We're not just excited anymore. Now we're also pissed.

...and then factor this in with what is sure to be a record-breaking turnout from the Black community, as well as every other minority community, and you can see why I'm not worried.
posted by joedan at 9:54 AM on September 26, 2008 [83 favorites]


Miko: when it comes down to the disaffected and the undecideds, image is where the election is lost or won.

And this, I think, is what's ultimately threatening about Obama. In some sense, it's a concession by the democratic party that policy doesn't matter. It's not a road I'd be thrilled to go down, considering where it's led the republicans.

Clearly, I'm not saying Obama is all style and no substance. Dude has shown he has substance out the ass. And hopefully the democrats will learn that it's the combination of the two that wins elections, not just talking pretty.
posted by logicpunk at 9:54 AM on September 26, 2008


I want some sort of substantive proof - not just some random screenshot.

Me too - that's too easy to mock up.
posted by Miko at 9:56 AM on September 26, 2008


How reputable is Balloon Juice for a source?

Depends. They're quoting self-described "progressive" radio talk show host Ed Schultz who says he was told this personally by "Capitol Hill insiders". It feels plausible, sure, but I also take it with a grain of salt.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:57 AM on September 26, 2008


Friends are crafting 'The Debate at Ol' Miss Drinking Game' for this evening.

So far, I've suggested:
McCain says: "My friends..." = 1 sip of beer

McCain pronounces it "Warshington" = 1 sip of beer

McCain says "POW" or mentions "My time in Hanoi." = 5 shots of whiskey (Since he can only get away with it once, amirite?)
Further suggestions welcome and appreciated.
posted by ericb at 9:58 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


In honor of McCain blinking on the debate.

Ex- McCain Adviser: McCain "Blinked," Campaign "Governed By Tactics, Not Ideology"
“After days of saying that John McCain would not attend Friday's presidential debate unless an agreement on a bailout package for the markets was ‘locked-down,’ the McCain campaign has gone back on its word.

On Friday, it announced that the Senator would head down to Mississippi even though, as they readily admit, much work remained needed on the bailout agreement.

The whole episode left even conservatives admitting that the McCain campaign looked erratic and a bit foolish with no apparent direction or guiding principle.

‘It just proves his campaign is governed by tactics and not ideology,’ said Republican consultant Craig Shirley, who advised McCain earlier in this cycle. ‘In the end, he blinked and Obama did not. The 'steady hand in a storm' argument looks now to more favor Obama, not McCain.’

Shirley added, ‘My guess is that plasma units are rushing to the McCain campaign as we speak to replace the blood flowing there from the fights among the staff.’”
posted by ericb at 10:03 AM on September 26, 2008


Oh, ericb, I think a sip every time Obama starts an utterance by levelling that no-nonsense "Look." Also, perhaps a sip if he says "Now that is ridiculous," and whenever he mentions the South Side of Chicago.

I love the man, but the game's no fun if you don't play both sides.

Also, here are some bingo cards. There are probably many more versions scattered around the net - or make your own!
posted by Miko at 10:06 AM on September 26, 2008


Further suggestions welcome and appreciated.

McCain says "the blame game": one shot.

Either candidate says "across the aisle": one sip of beer.

McCain smiles, showing teeth: five shots.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:07 AM on September 26, 2008


Conservative spin


Presidential debate in Israel:
Sheldon Schurer, the counsel for Democrats Abroad in Israel, spoke on behalf of Obama and running mate Sen. Joe Biden: “Sarah Palin is an extremist, unfortunately,” he said. “She’s out of step with traditional values. Her values are not my values. She is against abortion even in cases of incest and rape. It’s wrong,” said. “Global warming she doesn’t attribute to human responsibility. She wanted to ban books from the libraries.”

“That’s an outright lie. You prove that, you prove that,” shouted Zell, jumping out of his seat. “I challenge you. I challenge you.”

“I made a statement based on what I heard and read,” a somewhat shocked-looking Schurer said.

The audience cheered – though it was not clear which side they were supporting.

“That was a nice show,” an audience member said.
A nice show, since 2007.
posted by lysdexic at 10:11 AM on September 26, 2008


This should help McCain. Not:

Former NYC Mayor Giuliani Supports McCain, Financial Rescue Plan

McCain has previously blamed the current crisis on "unbridled greed" on Wall Street, so it could look bad that his main surrogate is moving swiftly to make money off of it.

This isn't going to be a fun day for Rudy Giuliani.

New York Times:
The Truth About Giuliani? Ex-Aide, a Felon, Has His Say. RudyVeritas.com
posted by nickyskye at 10:13 AM on September 26, 2008


"If only you had agreed to those ten town hall debates." two shots
posted by effwerd at 10:18 AM on September 26, 2008


ericb - I was just about to start working on this important project myself.
posted by snofoam at 10:18 AM on September 26, 2008


Thank you so much for that beautifully-written comment, joedan.
posted by shiu mai baby at 10:26 AM on September 26, 2008


Hah, take a sip every time Obama says some variation of, "Let's be clear."
posted by Nattie at 10:27 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, joedan: amazing and inspiring. I'm still teary from reading your comment.
posted by mothershock at 10:31 AM on September 26, 2008


That was close, shiu mai baby. I must have been hallucinating the direct quote.
posted by lysdexic at 10:32 AM on September 26, 2008


Drink on "Change." All that will be needed.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:36 AM on September 26, 2008


Speaking of drinking games...
posted by mothershock at 10:36 AM on September 26, 2008


Thanks for your great comment, joedan, made my day.
posted by nickyskye at 10:39 AM on September 26, 2008


Drink on "Change." All that will be needed.

We'll all be shit-faced in the first half-hour!
posted by ericb at 10:41 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


But I will say that if the biggest fear one can drum up about Obama is that he is too smart, well, as the opposite of too smart once said, bring it on.

Well, for my own part, my problem with Obama stems from the "Oprah factor". When he first started gaining attention, he sounded like (and mostly still does) all those crappy self-help gurus getting people to visualize their own empowerment and transcend their problems through faith. All this "dare to have the audacity to hope" wankery was just far too close to Bush's "faith-based" governance. He talks a lot about having hope and visualizing and creating a better tomorrow without actually specifying his vision of what a better tomorrow would look like, or the steps required to achieve that. I have a lot of suspicion towards those who say they have a vision for something better, follow me, without actually telling you what it is they're seeing. Because my idea of what's better than what we've got now could be radically different.

There are negatives about Obama. Don't blind yourself to them. That doesn't mean he's not the better candidate, but there are rational reasons *not* to vote for him, which puts you either in the McCain camp, or third party/non-voter.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:42 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


A sip every time Obama says "uh" -- love to hear him speak, but he's definitely better at speeches than off the cuff, though his message is still solid.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 10:46 AM on September 26, 2008


I can't bring myself to watch the entire Palin interview. My skin crawls with embarrassment every time she speaks, and Couric was not asking hardball questions! I can't understand how she managed to rise this far before being exposed.

I think McCain has to win big tonight to keep his campaign in contention. Of course, there's still five and a half weeks until the election, so who knows what might happen?
posted by letitrain at 10:51 AM on September 26, 2008


I think I’ve become addicted to crazy. I’m now checking Google news every half hour, minimum, to see what crazy new thing has happened. If the crazy supply gets shut off in five and a half weeks I’m screwed. Vote John McCain and perma-crazy!
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on September 26, 2008 [13 favorites]


He talks a lot about having hope and visualizing and creating a better tomorrow without actually specifying his vision of what a better tomorrow would look like, or the steps required to achieve that.

I hear this all the time, and have a hard time understanding it. A vast chunk of his speechmaking has been pretty detailed policy wonk stuff. His website is packed to the gills with pretty detailed plans for everything from healthcare to promoting volunteerism among college students. I can see how someone might still be peddling the 'he's all rhetoric' GOP talking point if they hadn't done, oh, about half a second of watching anything about his campaign, any of his speeches (especially since the nomination) or visited his website. What do voters expect, that he's going to knock on your door personally and explain his policies to you? Seriously, that's all he's been doing on every channel and every page of his website since the primaries got going. Democracy is not a three ring circus where you clap the loudest for whichever performing seal amused you most - as citizens you have a responsibility to educate yourselves about the people who put themselves forward to lead you. I really fail to see how he could make that any easier for voters at this point.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:05 AM on September 26, 2008 [21 favorites]


GhostintheMachine, I take it you haven't spent a lot of time here, have you? I mean, yes, it's the official Obama site, but it's a pretty comprehensive resource for exactly the kinds of change Obama is trying to bring about.

Furthermore, I could understand someone saying they were unsure about Obama and what he stands for back in, oh, 2007. To say that he hasn't laid out quite clearly what his plans are shows a lack of interest and effort on your part, not on the part of the candidate himself.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:08 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


I really need to get back to work. When is politics/the economy/reality going to quit imploding so I can get on that already?
posted by lunit at 11:12 AM on September 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Democracy is not a three ring circus where you clap the loudest for whichever performing seal amused you most - as citizens you have a responsibility to educate yourselves about the people who put themselves forward to lead you.

This x1000. I am really, really sick to death of people who expect to be spoon-fed each candidate's position on the key issues. We as a nation are so complacent about our vote, and it saddens when I I hear an otherwise intelligent person express their ignorance about either candidate. Goddamnit, it is YOUR JOB as a VOTING ADULT to find out everything you possibly can about both of the people running for president and make your choice. Anything less than that is a fucking insult to this country.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:12 AM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


He talks a lot about having hope and visualizing and creating a better tomorrow without actually specifying his vision of what a better tomorrow would look like, or the steps required to achieve that.

This is a generic trope used by people of all stripes to explain their mistrust/discomfort with candidates of all affiliations since time immemmoriam. Put another way, it basic5 ally means: I have a bias against candidate x, but I'm either too lazy or too uninspired to be bothered to research the matter any further.

There are certainly legitimate reasons *not* to be in Obama's camp, but the lack of a specific, demonstrable vision or practical steps to achieve parts of that are not among them.
posted by psmealey at 11:19 AM on September 26, 2008 [8 favorites]


But I'm still confused about why people see Obama as "scary," though.

To some people he's young, seemingly unexperienced, can't seem to answer a question in a straightforward manner. Throw in the dark skin, mix in the Obama and Hussein names and top it off with ignorance and viola! One scary candidate.

I can just hear them now: "John McCain, he might be wrong, but at least he stood up and said I'm doing something about this economy ness! He spoke up, did something, meanwhile what's Obama doing? Debate pratice?!"

Yeah, it's enough to make me weep too, at times.

For what it's worth, while I do intend to vote for Obama, I fully believe he'll screw up a couple of things up since he'll be learning on the job. He's not some magical savior who will be able to fix everything. I'm ok with that, as I think he's smart enough to learn from the mistakes he'll make and he's starting from a good point and wants to head in a good direction.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:25 AM on September 26, 2008


I can't bring myself to watch the entire Palin interview. My skin crawls with embarrassment every time she speaks

Me too. The sense of embarrassment actually outweighs my anger at her being the VP pick in the first place, plus any partisan glee I might feel by watching her screw up. In the moment she speaks, what I feel most overwhelmingly is extreme discomfort. Sometimes I cover my mouth and go, "Oh, no." I can only do that a few times before I just have to turn it off, though.

Democracy is not a three ring circus where you clap the loudest for whichever performing seal amused you most - as citizens you have a responsibility to educate yourselves about the people who put themselves forward to lead you.

Thank you for saying this. It drives me crazy when people say Obama seems/seemed like he has no substance when, ever since the primaries, his detailed policy plans have been on his website. No other candidate was held to the same standard, even though they didn't go into any more detail about their policies during their speeches or meetings with the media. There's only so much you can say in those encounters, and when your policy plans are tens of pages of course you can't go through all of it.

It's like people saw his being inspirational and somehow decided that meant he needed to wipe their ass for him or he wasn't doing enough to get his policies across. The information has always been there, Obama himself has frequently directed people to the website if they want details... be an a responsible citizen and go read the things he has taken the time to provide instead of just saying, "Oh, people are inspired by him, guess that means he's bad."

If someone is waiting for the candidates to launch into more than a basic summary of their policy positions in televised appearances, they're going to be waiting a long time. And they don't bother with detail for good reason: most people wouldn't understand the details and would be more confused, and the ones that will understand know to go read the details.

Plus, as Miko already detailed, Democrats don't win when they focus overly much on policies. Instead, they're called stiff and uninspiring and they lose. Since when the hell has being inspirational and a good orator a liability?
posted by Nattie at 11:28 AM on September 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


I am really, really sick to death of people who expect to be spoon-fed each candidate's position on the key issues. We as a nation are so complacent about our vote, and it saddens when I I hear an otherwise intelligent person express their ignorance about either candidate. Goddamnit, it is YOUR JOB as a VOTING ADULT to find out everything you possibly can about both of the people running for president and make your choice.

This times 700 billion. Candidates don't lack specifics just because you ignore them. You know how people don't actually disappear just because you close your eyes? This works the exact same way.
posted by snofoam at 11:29 AM on September 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


I can't bring myself to watch the entire Palin interview. My skin crawls with embarrassment every time she speaks, and Couric was not asking hardball questions!

Me too, and yes! Couric's questions were entirely predictable (from what I can tell of the patchwork of videos I've seen), and it should have been relatively easy to thoroughly crib her... but I expect that the McCain team, whatever their other skills may be, are bad, bad teachers, and they basically paralyzed her with over-coaching. Did you notice how many times she said "John McCain"? They drummed it into her that she needed to keep him foremost in her answers (since she had gone off the rootin'tootin' deep end on her own in earlier comments with slips like "a Palin-McCain administration" - plus early media attention on her was threatening to relegate him to a footnote), and probably stuffed her with directives like "when they ask about X, talk about Z" - and it just got completely scrambled.

She couldn't think on her feet and do the fill-in-the-blank thing that had been grilled into her at the same time. And she couldn't amp up the charm because she was desperately trying to keep her Cliff notes straight.

I think she does a lot better as a freewheeling speaker with mistakes and all, because she projects much better that way, and she's liable to throw the whole process a bit off-balance with answers that seasoned politicians would never give... maybe saying "I don't know" or "I'm still working on that" - responses that the opposition might crow over, but which, vitally, would sound refreshing and honest to a lot of people. Left to her own devices, I very much doubt that she would have come off as a total jibbering idiot.

So, as I mentioned in the monster thread, mostly speaking about the strategic error of trying to hide her from the press: they got her, for better or worse, and now they have absolutely no clue how to handle her or what to do with her... and they are systematically neutralizing all the qualities that could still help them out.

I'm not a fan in the tiniest degree, but man, it's almost tragic. Laughably tragic, from my point of view... but wow. (don't ever change, McCain guys!)
posted by taz at 11:40 AM on September 26, 2008


It drives me crazy when people say Obama seems/seemed like he has no substance when, ever since the primaries, his detailed policy plans have been on his website. No other candidate was held to the same standard, even though they didn't go into any more detail about their policies during their speeches or meetings with the media. There's only so much you can say in those encounters, and when your policy plans are tens of pages of course you can't go through all of it.

I agree. This underlines a double standard that I've heard from more than a few concern trolls. Obama talks about hope and change = he's all style and no substance. Obama details his plans of action = he's an ivory tower intellectual who can't relate to Joe Sixpack, Mary Walmart, Frank Bed Bath & Beyond or what the hell ever. Just more switcho-changeo rhetorical bullshit couched as real criticism.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:49 AM on September 26, 2008 [10 favorites]


We're gonna liveblog tonights debate over at PoliticalFilter. All are welcome.

BYOB.
posted by butterstick at 11:49 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Throw in the dark skin, mix in the Obama and Hussein names and top it off with ignorance and viola! One scary candidate.

I don't think Obama or Hussein are all that scary. Barack however is totally scary. BARACK! It sounds like Klingon.
posted by ND¢ at 11:52 AM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


He talks a lot about having hope and visualizing and creating a better tomorrow without actually specifying his vision of what a better tomorrow would look like, or the steps required to achieve that.

Yeah, he should really provide some specifics. Maybe he could provide a 33-page Blueprint for Change [PDF]. Maybe he could set up web pages and downloadable PDFs on issues like Civil Rights, Defense, Disabilities, Economy, Education, Energy, Ethics, Faith, Family, Fiscal disciple, Foreign Policy, Health Care, Homeland Security, Immigration, Iraq, Poverty, Rural issues, Service, Seniors, Technology, Urban Policy, Veteran's Affairs, and Women's Issues. Maybe he could give some speeches on specific issues like the economy, education, the environment, faith, foreign policy, Iraq, immigration, or health care. He could even write a book specifying his vision of what a better tomorrow would look like. Oh, if only there were some way for people who are curious about specifics to find out what his positions are!
posted by kirkaracha at 11:52 AM on September 26, 2008 [49 favorites]


wow
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 11:56 AM on September 26, 2008


Barack however is totally scary. BARACK! It sounds like Klingon.

But we do need a strong hand in the Oval Office. And who stronger than a Klingon. Can't you just see him charging into a cabinet meeting with his wrinkled forehead screaming "Today is a good day to die!"

I doubt Putin would "rear his head" after that.
posted by teleri025 at 12:01 PM on September 26, 2008


Please vote. Let's take back our country and make it great again.
posted by bardic at 12:01 PM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Couric's questions were entirely predictable (from what I can tell of the patchwork of videos I've seen), and it should have been relatively easy to thoroughly crib her...

I suspect their hands were full once they realized McCain thought Spain was in South America. You know, you clear that up, then you decide to do a quick run through of other European countries, just to be safe, but it turns out he thinks Portugal is in South America, too. (Does he know it's next to Spain, at least? Is that good?) Maybe it's just Spanish-sounding countries, you tell yourself. But you start working your way east, and by the time you discover that he thinks Bulgaria is in Africa, your nerves are on edge. This is worse than when you tutored people in high school. You haven't even gotten to the stack of practice questions yet. The debate is in a few days.

Oh God, you cannot have this fucking debate. You cannot--

Palin walks in. She wants to know what part of Russia she sees from Alaska, so she can look it up on Wikipedia for the Couric interview. Where are her handlers? McCain asks what continent Wikipedia is on, or, "Is it like Malaysia?"

It's too much. "QUIT. TALKING. ABOUT. RUSSIA," you growl, punctuating each word with a kick to the table. Note cards fly everywhere, and this only makes you angrier. "I don't know why you don't shut up about Russia!"

They both stare at you, this is bad, and Christ Palin's had weeks to learn about Russia and hasn't even done that, she cannot debate, she cannot --

And then it hits you. There's no time for Couric, but this may still be salvaged.

"I'm sorry," you say, and they narrow their eyes. "I shouldn't have said that. But I have an idea."
posted by Nattie at 12:07 PM on September 26, 2008 [16 favorites]


Perhaps I should point out that 1) I'm trying to present the Devil's Advocate position here, as others have asked exactly how someone could support McCain (or not support Obama) at this point in the campaign and 2) I'm Canadian, and therefore have my own election(s) to concern myself with? Yours is just more fun to watch (from a somewhat safe distance, anyway).

So there are very good reasons why I haven't exactly dug into the specifics of Obama's position. But allow me to continue in this vein for a bit. Again, from a distance, he's a lot of flash without substance, a relative newcomer, and he's a Democrat. For someone who's a born'n'bred Republican, that's three pretty good reasons to not bother investigating further. I mean, I probably should check out the platform of the third guy in my city's mayoralty race. He might just have some good ideas. But honestly... I've seen him run in virtually every election - municipal, provincial, and federal - either as a independent or from a fringe-of-the-fringe party, and I'm pretty sure I'd be wasting my time to check him out further. He once seriously espoused extending marriage rights to human-robot couples, for example. So I've made my decision on him already. He might be the best candidate, but I think I'll go with my gut on this and pick one of the other two candidates.

That's likely what many lifelong Republicans who are still supporting McCain are basing that opinion on (other than the xenophobes, the homophobes, the racists, and other fringe groups). They know a little about Obama, and don't like him. They might see the flaws in McCain, but they're willing to overlook them. That's all.

If you think every single vote sits down and rationally compares the planks of every platform of every candidate before each election, you're as nuts as this election cycle. There's a hardcore group on both sides of this fence that wouldn't change no matter what candidates did, said, or thought. Elections are always fought over the undecideds and independents, and the results will be based on what information reaches them. They're a good mix of emotion and reason, so this election is Obama's to lose, basically.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:12 PM on September 26, 2008


But, hey, I'm totally voting for Obama. He's played a good game, he's showed amazing judgment, he's convinced me there's something behind the charm.

Yeah, some of us walk into a meat-market bar and fall in love six times before sitting down and ordering a drink. Others are scrambling to hook up before they turn the lights on after last call. But the point is to make the connection. Welcome aboard.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:17 PM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you think every single vote sits down and rationally compares the planks of every platform of every candidate before each election, you're as nuts as this election cycle. There's a hardcore group on both sides of this fence that wouldn't change no matter what candidates did, said, or thought. Elections are always fought over the undecideds and independents, and the results will be based on what information reaches them.

I think just about everyone here knows that independents and undecideds are who's going to make this race. Which is why Obama's been focussing on the independents and undecideds. I'm not expecting to convince people who think Palin is bullied, for example, that Obama is the best man for the job. But in terms of detailing easily digestible nuggets of information that make up a plan, staying consistent, and staying on-message, I think Obama's the stronger candidate. And it would seem a combination of his strengths and Palin's weaknesses are nudging undecideds and independents his way.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:22 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


BYOB.

No problem, I remember 2000, so I've brought plenty of ballots.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:34 PM on September 26, 2008


If you think every single vote sits down and rationally compares the planks of every platform of every candidate before each election, you're as nuts as this election cycle.

If I thought that, I wouldn't even bother campaigning, because Obama would have it in the bag by an 80/20 margin.

Furthermore, being willfully ignorant about the election and the candidates running for the most powerful office in the entire world isn't something that should be encouraged or coddled. To paraphrase nicwolf over in the Palin and Pancakes thread, ignorance isn't a lifestyle, it's a character flaw.

Lastly, while I appreciate your effort to provide some perspective, GITMS, it's a little disingenuous for you to start out your argument by saying "Well, for my own part, my problem with Obama stems from the 'Oprah factor'" only to back-pedal into the devil's advocate stance when people call you out on it (emphasis added, obviously).

Your "from a distance" argument is horseshit, frankly. Last time I checked the internet is as fully accessible in your part of the world as it is in mine.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:41 PM on September 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO): McCain "stopped a deal" yesterday at the White House
posted by homunculus at 12:51 PM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, some of us walk into a meat-market bar and fall in love six times before sitting down and ordering a drink. Others are scrambling to hook up before they turn the lights on after last call. But the point is to make the connection. Welcome aboard.


Well, to be fair, I was hot for Biden before he lost. I'm not one of those fabled independent voters who could go either democratic or republican.

So in terms of your metaphor: I'm the guy in the bar who's only expecting a casual hookup, but then it turns into a pretty mind-blowing night, and the gal is actually interesting and you want to make plans to see her again, 'cause this could be going somewhere. And also, Joe Biden is there! And he has pancakes!


Awesome.
posted by logicpunk at 12:59 PM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jon Stewart Analyzes Bush’s Latest Fearmongering Speech
posted by homunculus at 1:01 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


You're right, shiu mai baby, the "from a distance" argument is horseshit. So tell me, should I vote for Kelly or Fougere or Boyd? Outhit or Christie? Regan, Lorincz, Khosla, Munday, or Ennis? Because the internet is as fully accessible in your part of the world as it is in mine, too.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 1:02 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


homunculus - you have to post the rest of that statement, the spin is there.

"I do think that John McCain was very helpful in what he did. I saw him this morning, we've been talking with his staff. Clearly, yesterday, his position in that discussion yesterday was one that stopped a deal from, uh, finalizing that no House Republican, in my view, would've been for. Which means it probably wouldn't have passed the House. Now, Democrats are in the majority, they can pass anything they want to without a single Republican vote. But they don't seem to be willing to do that. I'm pleased we can have negotiations now that get us back to things that we think can protect the taxpayers better, create more options, are, frankly, be better understood in the country than the plan, than the path that we were on just a couple of days ago."

posted by Big_B at 1:05 PM on September 26, 2008


Democratic ticket as chance meeting that turns into a hot threesome.

No wonder people think lefties are perverts.
posted by cortex at 1:05 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


There are negatives about Obama. Don't blind yourself to them. That doesn't mean he's not the better candidate, but there are rational reasons *not* to vote for him, which puts you either in the McCain camp, or third party/non-voter.

Now this is just crap. If you are saying that Obama has negatives, that's certainly true, but it would be difficult to build an argument from that to the assertion that they put you in McCain's or anyone else's camp. They would have to lack those problems without counterbalancing problems of their own, and I have a hard time imagining that in any rational weighing of the facts.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:06 PM on September 26, 2008


Furthermore, being willfully ignorant about the election and the candidates running for the most powerful office in the entire world isn't something that should be encouraged or coddled.

Really? I'm quite willing to coddle it in the people who vote the same way I do. I'd like them to vote the right way for the right reasons, but I'll take what I can get. Anyway, given the grossly insignificant nature of our votes (from a statistical standpoint), I fail to see why we should spend more time on it than we would on say any financial decision that costs more than an hour of our labor. Most of us make decisions unconsciously or from prejudice, and post-hoc rationalize when asked why, or worse yet don't bother to rationalize at all. Considering that every candidate is working from a set of talking points and beholden to a set of interests that dictates almost every decision they'll make in office, perhaps the vague feelings of mistrust our subconscious throws up when we see them spinning on TV are as valid a decision making process as any. Although if I hadn't been able to overcome my feelings of disgust every time I saw Bill Clinton make that fake bad-boy eyebrow raise expression I wouldn't have gotten the chance to vote for one of the best Presidents of the last 30 years.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:09 PM on September 26, 2008


and it should have been relatively easy to thoroughly crib her...

The scary part is that they did.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:10 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm the guy in the bar who's only expecting a casual hookup, but then it turns into a pretty mind-blowing night, and the gal is actually interesting and you want to make plans to see her again, 'cause this could be going somewhere.

Yeah, pretty much me, too. I was happy with most of the field, had a short fling with John E. and Joe B., flirted with Hillary a bit, but that tall black man just kept hanging around and saying such soothing and true things, I fell hard. My SE (spousal equivalent) was horny for Hillary, but I kept saying either one would be a great candidate. She's now a 'Bama fan, too.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:15 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I expect that the McCain team, whatever their other skills may be, are bad, bad teachers, and they basically paralyzed her with over-coaching.

Karl Rove just said exactly that to a gaggle of undergrads here, minus the bad teachers part.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:16 PM on September 26, 2008


Comedy Central blocks their videos to anyone in Canada and routs us to the infinitely sucktacular Comedy Network. Is there any other way to watch these things?
You should bring this to Sarah Palin. She is governor of a state which borders your great country and she should be able to help.
Well, she might be able to help, but her specific area of expertise with regards to this is more that when Harper rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, where... where do they go? It's Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is... from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Canada, because they are right there. They are right next to... to our state.
posted by Flunkie at 1:16 PM on September 26, 2008


of the last 30 years
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:16 PM on September 26, 2008


Anyway, given the grossly insignificant nature of our votes (from a statistical standpoint), I fail to see why we should spend more time on it than we would on say any financial decision that costs more than an hour of our labor.

Maybe because the close races of 2000 and 2004 taught us that there is nothing insignificant, from a statisitcal standpoint, about the nature of our votes, and that the decision made is one we'll be saddled with for the next four years.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:21 PM on September 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


Anyone have links on where I can stream the debate live?
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 1:23 PM on September 26, 2008


If Palin were a man, we'd all be guffawing, just as we do every time Joe Biden tickles the back of his throat with his toes.
I think this is a poor analogy.

I could be wrong, but my general impression about Biden's verbal missteps is that he sometimes says things in a way that open him up for an interpretation that would reflect poorly on him - referring to Obama as "articulate", for example.

Palin, on the other hand? Some of the things that she says are actually difficult to parse as actual sensible English.

It almost seems as if she has been spoon fed a whole bunch of talking points in a short period of time*, without any deep understanding of any of them, and randomly jumps from one to the next without regards even to basic sentence structure, let alone meaning, logic, or situational appropriateness.

*: And gee, I wonder why on Earth it would be that it seems as if that's the case.
posted by Flunkie at 1:35 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


People were asking about the mentality of Repubs. Well, as sure as night follows day, the NYP has some good examples. They're running a story about how Letterman embarrassed CBS and one comment at the end of the article stands out:


educatedMC wrote:
Sarah Hannen Wrote: Go on ahead, keep spitting on Freedom.

The men and woman in uniform will remember that when Mr. Potin is baring down on your home because he took a fasttrack through anchorage, becasue Ms. Palin had her hands tied behind her back by dems and libs.

You thin its funny she can see russia from her porch. I think its the last chancce we have to be free.

Please campaign with McCain. Please!!! I'll email him about. You're a perfect example of a McCain voter. P.s. I Vote, pay taxes, write my representatives, follow current events, take care of my family, pay my debts, and keep my yard up. I AM AMERICAN EVERYDAY OF MY LIFE.


So you heard it here first. Some gentleman by the name of Mr. Potin is going through the "fasttrack" in Anchorage (presumably a reference to airport security) because Ms. Palin is indulging in a bi-partisan bondage session. As for the rest, it's hard to parse, but I get the distinct impression that having an untidy yard is un-American. You really can't make this stuff up.
posted by ob at 1:43 PM on September 26, 2008 [8 favorites]


The men and woman in uniform will remember that when Mr. Potin is baring down on your home because he took a fasttrack through anchorage, becasue Ms. Palin had her hands tied behind her back by dems and libs.

You thin its funny she can see russia from her porch. I think its the last chancce we have to be free.

Please campaign with McCain. Please!!! I'll email him about. You're a perfect example of a McCain voter. P.s. I Vote, pay taxes, write my representatives, follow current events, take care of my family, pay my debts, and keep my yard up. I AM AMERICAN EVERYDAY OF MY LIFE.


That smells like high-grade trolling to me. Just about on par with "If Obama isn't a Muslim, how come he denies it? You wouldn't have to deny it if you really weren't a Muslim, because everyone would already know you're not, and wouldn't say you were."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:49 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


You're right, shiu mai baby, the "from a distance" argument is horseshit. So tell me, should I vote for Kelly or Fougere or Boyd? Outhit or Christie? Regan, Lorincz, Khosla, Munday, or Ennis? Because the internet is as fully accessible in your part of the world as it is in mine, too.

Just to be clear, we are in a US election thread, no? It's one thing to be ignorant of the electoral politics of another country in general, quite another to enter a discussion of those politics in the same state. I stay well out of Canadian/Australian/UK/&c. politics threads for exactly this reason.

And as a centrist (whose views aren't shared by anyone in elected office in this country near as I can tell) I like Obama, but I find the messiah complex going on a bit spooky. He has his negatives and at his core he's a politician but the leap from acknowledging the man's imperfection to endorsing his opponent...I just can't get there from here.
posted by Skorgu at 1:51 PM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Republican WA Gov candidate Dino Rossi goes “stealth Republican”.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe it is trolling, but there have to be a substantial amount of people who think: Sarah Palin's just like me so she must be telling the truth. It reminds me of the time I dated a repub (I know, I know) who told me (this is before the Iraq war) that Bush surrounds himself with smart people (Condi Rice has a PhD!) so they must be right about WMDs in Iraq. In other words they're smart, so they must be right (of course smart in a non-elitist way.) This person was very smart herself but couldn't divorce feelings (ultimately she said that why she liked the repubs is that they weren't pussies) from the reality of the situation.
posted by ob at 2:01 PM on September 26, 2008


Advance transcript of tonight's debate*:
Obama: It's true, Doc; I'm a wabbit alright. Would you like to shoot me now or wait 'til you get home?
McCain: Shoot him now! Shoot him now!
Obama: You keep outta this! He doesn't have to shoot you now!
McCain: He does so have to shoot me now! [to Lehrer] I demand that you shoot me now!
[Lehrer looks at the camera, unsure if McCain knows what he's talking about. As McCain sticks his tongue out at Obama, he is shot. McCain walks back over to Obama, gunsmoke pouring out of his nostrils]
McCain: [to Obama] Let's run through that again.
Obama: Okay.
Obama: [deadpan] Would you like to shoot me now or wait till you get home?
McCain: [similarly] Shoot him now; shoot him now.
Obama: [as before] You keep outta this, he doesn't have to shoot you now.
McCain: [re-animated] Hah! That's it! Hold it right there! [to audience] Pronoun trouble. [to Obama] It's not "he doesn't have to shoot you now," it's "he doesn't have to shoot me now"
[Pause]
McCain: [angrily] Well, I say he does have to shoot me now!! [to Lehrer] So shoot me now!
[Lehrer obliges and lets him have it]
* Which McCain has already won. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
posted by kirkaracha at 2:09 PM on September 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


> I like Obama, but I find the messiah complex going on a bit spooky.

I always find these sentences strange. What do people actually mean by this?

That he is the bringer of the end of days? I can see some Rapture Ready folks seeing him as that, with his eloquent silver tongue.

Or is it that he believes that he alone can save the people? If that were the case, then he would be the one grandstanding about his influence on the bailout bill.

Really, I see Obama as modest, but consistent and intelligent with his politics and his speeches. He may appear like the Jesus to some, but many good leaders do. They know people, understand and care for them, and want to work to make things better. That is an admirable skill, and not something I think should be used to dismiss Obama as having a messianic complex.
posted by mrzarquon at 2:12 PM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain campaign confirms that the "McCain Wins Debate!" ad was real, accidentally released early.
posted by EarBucket at 2:26 PM on September 26, 2008


You're right, shiu mai baby, the "from a distance" argument is horseshit. So tell me, should I vote for Kelly or Fougere or Boyd? Outhit or Christie? Regan, Lorincz, Khosla, Munday, or Ennis? Because the internet is as fully accessible in your part of the world as it is in mine, too.

Wow, what a spectacular example of point-missing. See, I'm not over here offering a bland, undereducated opinion that's been tarted up as "devil's advocate." If I were a voting Canadienne, and/or deeply interested in Canadian politics, you bet your sweet ass I'd do my fellow MeFites the courtesy of, you know, schooling myself in the details of each candidate before I opened my poutine-hole.
posted by shiu mai baby at 2:31 PM on September 26, 2008 [7 favorites]


National Review: A Hostile Audience
"One side effect of McCain's debate gambit is, I'm told, that everyone at Ole Miss now hates him. It will make for a very hostile audience tonight among those students and faculty attending. He might have to apologize for creating the uncertainty or make some explanation up front, which is never ideal."
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM on September 26, 2008


Maybe because the close races of 2000 and 2004 taught us that there is nothing insignificant, from a statisitcal standpoint, about the nature of our votes

Good point. My perspective from California is a little skewed on this.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:47 PM on September 26, 2008


McCain campaign confirms that the "McCain Wins Debate!" ad was real, accidentally released early.

Mission Accomplished.
posted by adamrice at 2:48 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


"One side effect of McCain's debate gambit is, I'm told, that everyone at Ole Miss now hates him. It will make for a very hostile audience tonight among those students and faculty attending. He might have to apologize for creating the uncertainty or make some explanation up front, which is never ideal."

I'm not sure that's true. It's very possible, but I wouldn't assume it.
posted by Tehanu at 2:51 PM on September 26, 2008


My apologies I wasn't nearly clear. I don't think Obama thinks himself the messiah. Rather, I think that many have created an impossible hype that he is some post-political Über-candidate and will somehow be able to magically cure the many problems we face — forgetting that there is a Congress and Divers Politicks to be dealt with before any of his language becomes law. Being above it all is a brilliant campaign move, but at some point things come down to a vote.

I'm afraid that, when reality rears its head and things do not improve drastically enough to justify the hype we will have ruined the little faith many people have in the process.
posted by Skorgu at 2:54 PM on September 26, 2008


Artw, well of course Dino prefers a Grand Old Party party to a Democratic Party party. Everyone knows they've got the best hookers and blow. Redundant acronym snarky pedantry baked fresh daily.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:00 PM on September 26, 2008


I'm not sure that's true. It's very possible, but I wouldn't assume it.

That's how it looks from up here in Memphis. A woman I work with is going to the debate. She's an Ole Miss grad. I figured she would be a McCain voter, but she is not happy at how this has gone down. She was making fun of McCain at work today. The comments and polls on the Commercial Appeal website for the last couple of days have been filled with people saying the debate should go on. McCain is perceived as rude, which is the worst thing you can be in the South.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:27 PM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


r, I think that many have created an impossible hype that he is some post-political Über-candidate and will somehow be able to magically cure the many problems we face

Many who? Who thinks this? I agree that it's a straw man. I don't know anyone who thinks this.
posted by Miko at 3:31 PM on September 26, 2008


Rather, I think that many have created an impossible hype that he is some post-political Über-candidate and will somehow be able to magically cure the many problems we face — forgetting that there is a Congress and Divers Politicks to be dealt with before any of his language becomes law. Being above it all is a brilliant campaign move, but at some point things come down to a vote.

Except he's proven to be quite a participatory Senator. He has quite a history of reaching compromise in both the Illinois and US Senates. I'm pretty sure he doesn't think he's above it all.
posted by butterstick at 3:37 PM on September 26, 2008


Interview with Paul Krugman and economics professor Michael Zweig.
posted by homunculus at 3:37 PM on September 26, 2008


Nobody thinks that, Miko--or at least they didn't until the McCain group came out with that ad "The One" and people picked up on that meme.

That ad wasn't just aimed at the people who look forward to Armagoeddon; it was also aimed at people who felt "uncomfortable" with Obama and didn't want people to think that the only reason they have this vague discomfort is that he is black.
posted by leftcoastbob at 3:40 PM on September 26, 2008


McCain is perceived as rude, which is the worst thing you can be in the South.

I'm pretty sure my grandfather in TN would say that the worst thing that you can be in the South is a negro.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 3:49 PM on September 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Nobody thinks that, Miko--or at least they didn't until the McCain group came out with that ad "The One" and people picked up on that meme.

To be fair, I encountered the "his zombielike supporters scare me" meme here on MeFi well before "The One" ad came out. I think you're right, though, that the ad capitalizes on the basic anxieties you note, and that perhaps underlie the wariness some people seem to feel about other people's support of the candidate who, it is ridiculously clear, is the better.
posted by Miko at 3:59 PM on September 26, 2008


Anyone know where I can find a live stream of the debate? I have problems with CNN--I don't know if that's because I'm on a Mac or because I'm overseas.
posted by zardoz at 4:07 PM on September 26, 2008


before I opened my poutine-hole

As someone married to an actual Canadian person, I find this sort of stereotyping offensive.

The correct term is timmy's-hole, or timmyhohole.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:09 PM on September 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


butterstick: I don't think he thinks that but his campaign has absolutely run with the image of being different and above "politics as usual." The shoulder-wipe, the middle-distance stare, the non traditional campaign signs and logos, the focus on ground campaigns instead of lawn signs and traditional polling, etc. He's run a nontraditional campaign from the start and that imagery has been central to it. And it's going to win him the election.

Miko, leftcoastbob: Come on now, I don't know any Republicans but I don't doubt their existence. Ron Paul doesn't have a monopoly on slightly-too-keen supporters, it's the nature of politics and our desire for leaders who are somehow greater than us. People, real people think this just as real people think that Bush is a good president (19% of the coutry!). Yes they're silly but they're part of the changing zeitgeist that we're riding now. Hit up some old Reddit threads from the nomination season.

I want Obama to win, I supported him from the moment I saw him speak. But I don't think, not for a second that he, alone can change Washington. He can't, and if he could I wouldn't want him to because we have to change it. We don't get to elect the right guy and then abdicate all responsibility for paying attention. That's the danger I see in the charismatic campaign that he's running. The real work starts after the election and it'll take more then the right guy in the right place to patch up this sinking ship.
posted by Skorgu at 4:16 PM on September 26, 2008


But Palin has a direct line to the Almighty! He just can't understand what the hell she's saying.
posted by schyler523 at 4:25 PM on September 26, 2008


I don't know any Republicans but I don't doubt their existence

I don't doubt it either, but I'm not talking about this idea coming from them. I'm talking about hearing from other Democrats.

We don't get to elect the right guy and then abdicate all responsibility for paying attention. That's the danger I see in the charismatic campaign that he's running. The real work starts after the election and it'll take more then the right guy in the right place to patch up this sinking ship.


He's been saying exactly that all along; it's one of the reaons I switched my support to him after seeing him in the NH primary. He also embodies it - his campaign's organizational strategies have brought a lot of new people into the process of government at the ground level. The campaign itself demonstrates that these ideas are translating to action (I see it concretely at the campaign office - busloads of volunteers, people who have never before been politically active working for other Democrats' campaigns so that there will be a supportive legislature in January).

There's no "danger" in this kind of campaign. Consider the alternative - the complete rejection of citizen involvement other than the voting of the faithful by the current Administration, and the general apathy that characterizes American political life most of the time. That's what's dangerous. Of course the real work starts after the campaign. Everyone knows that; no one is saying otherwise or has said otherwise. By pointing that out, you're almost implying that Obama's message has been "elect me and I'll solve everything." That's never been his message, and even a cursory dip into his speechmaking shows clearly that in almost every stump speech he emphasizes citizen action and involvement as the source of change. So I'm not sure where that sense that he isn't talking about the difficulty ahead is coming from. He talks about it all the time, and his supporters have heard and responded.

It begins with winning the vote, though, since the real "danger' is that by talking about false obstacles and activating people's fuzzy fears, some support will be lost and we'll never get the opportunity to do the work of cleaning up the legislative mess Bush has left us. That's why that argument about "scary supporters" is a straw man. There's not an election in this world in which most of the political energy dissipates after inauguration. The difference this time is that less of it will evaporate. But even if it were exactly the same level of citizen involvement, the policy direction of the elected officials would still be vastly superior.

No "danger." No one to be "scared" of.
posted by Miko at 4:37 PM on September 26, 2008 [10 favorites]


We don't get to elect the right guy and then abdicate all responsibility for paying attention. That's the danger I see in the charismatic campaign that he's running.

This is actually an intertesting argument I've had with a few people recently. I fully believe that Obama expects that the new people he's bringing into the process will stay involved.

There's been a ot of talk about "dogwhistles" in this campaign. Thos things the candidates say that only certain clued in constituents can hear, and everyone else misses. well a big one was in Michelle Obama's DNC speech, when she was talking about their first date. How she fell in love with him as he talked about "the world as it versus the world as it should be"

This comes from the opening paragraph of Saul Alinsky's book "Rules for Radicals"

"What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away"

A lot of what Obama has done in this election comes from the Alinsky school of community organizing. The Republicans may have sneered at the idea of community organizing,but Obama is currently testing some very radical philosophies on a scale that hasn't been seen yet. Not all of it is Alinsky, but when he references his start as a community organizer, that is exactly what he's talking about.

Alinsky's philosophy is based on the idea that Power gravitates to two poles. Those who have the money, and those who have the people.I feel pretty safe saying that he's gambling on the people way more than the people are gambling on him. If anyone knows he can't do it alone, it's Obama himself. So far they've been there for him. but this aint over yet. You're right in that if he wins, that's just the beginning .

More from Rules For Radicals(which was published in 1971)...

"There's another reason for working inside the system. Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution.
posted by billyfleetwood at 4:50 PM on September 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obama looks ready.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:55 PM on September 26, 2008


Anyone know where I can find a live stream of the debate?

Online streaming for the presidential debate?

posted by cashman at 4:59 PM on September 26, 2008


Elections, for all but the most hardened policy wonks (myself included) are won not by the text of speeches but by their emotional content. Obama's message is wonderful. Obama's words are exactly as you say. I have no quarrel with any of these things.

But the image, the nonverbal cues in his campaigns, eight years of fury and resentment combined with a very charismatic orator with a message of a fundamental shift in how the country is run and you don't see that perhaps there are those who don't listen to his words but his image? Who hear "the hard work is yet to come" and think "If Obama gets elected it'll all be OK" ? I thought that the first time I heard him speak, and he was saying nothing of the kind.

We aren't immune to the supremacy of image over substance just because our image is a liberal one; the same biases that elected Bush twice make us yearn for the story, the fable of the righting of wrongs with a single defiant act, the enlightened glory of the world as we imagine it to be.

The enemy cannot be Their Story, to be defeated with Our Story. The enemy is being led by any story above the facts. The flaw in the last eight years wasn't Bush, it was us. It was the media, the Congress, our own sloth and inaction.

Not that I think Obama can do anything about it, nor should he be able to. But we can't stick our heads in the sand and deny that many among us are swayed not by the words and logic of this campaign but by its emotional portent.
posted by Skorgu at 5:01 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


A small but satisfying moment with a McCain rep on CNN.
posted by neroli at 5:03 PM on September 26, 2008


CNN MSNBC
posted by neroli at 5:31 PM on September 26, 2008


I'm pretty sure my grandfather in TN would say that the worst thing that you can be in the South is a negro.

When my grandmother was on her deathbed on Tennessee, all she wanted to do was watch Tiger Woods play golf. She had never played golf in her 91 years, but she loved Tiger because "he was so respectful."
posted by vibrotronica at 5:36 PM on September 26, 2008


It's old news that the debate is on. Didn't you hear? John McCain already won!

I would bet cash money that both campaigns already have ads precisely like that, ready to go. It's just an accident that someone made it live.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:57 PM on September 26, 2008


. But we can't stick our heads in the sand and deny that many among us are swayed not by the words and logic of this campaign but by its emotional portent.

And to that I say a big So Fucking What. It matters not at all how he gets elected or why. It matters that he gets elected, by smart voters and stupid voters alike, opening up the possibility for all the responsibility we hope and image people will suddenly take.

Personally, I wouldn't expect that to happen; history doesn't bear it out. I expect we can improve, and draw a lot of new, energized, and talented people into the process.

I don't deny that many people are swayed by the emotional appeal of his campaign. I admire it. I welcome it. I've been waiting for a candidate I can support to employ it, rather than have the best lack all conviction, while leaving the strategy of passionate intensity to the worst.
posted by Miko at 6:07 PM on September 26, 2008


9:13 They don't want to talk to each other? WTF? Why isn't Barack jumping down John's throat?
posted by Meatbomb at 6:14 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


dirtynumbangelboy writes "It's just an accident that someone made it live."

Full paranoia mode: I wonder if it really was an accident. The McCain gets to put out the message that they won the debates with plausible deny ability. And it doesn't really make them look bad because they can blame it on some nameless advertising flunky.
posted by Mitheral at 6:29 PM on September 26, 2008


"Most liberal person in the senate??!"

Obama, here is your retort to that: "If voting against George W Bush the majority of the time, unlike Senator McCain's 90%, then I wear that label with honor -- look where GWB has lead us, and where John McCain plans to lead us. I stand by every vote I have made in the Senate."
posted by brain cloud at 6:39 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just heard a man who owns 13 cars say "i have fought against excessive spending."
I'm running out of things to throw at the TV.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 6:39 PM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


(*the majority of the time makes me a 'liberal')
posted by brain cloud at 6:42 PM on September 26, 2008


Obama needs to direct all of his remarks, all of his ripostes, directly at McCain. Lehrer keeps prompting them to -- DO IT. No stump speech, no prepared answers. Tear him the hell up, Barack!!
posted by brain cloud at 6:45 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


OK, shiu, let's review what I said about Obama, and see where you might have gotten off-track.

There are negatives about Obama. Don't blind yourself to them. That doesn't mean he's not the better candidate, but there are rational reasons *not* to vote for him, which puts you either in the McCain camp, or third party/non-voter.

Now, please read that carefully. You can't honestly say there are *no* negatives about Obama. And I'm not talking "secret Muslim" idiocy, I'm talking about his level of experience (not the least experienced candidate, sure, but compared with Biden and McCain he's a rookie). Or his voting record (any recent vote he's made happen to upset you?). Or some of his personal associations (Wright, Ayers, the real estate one whose name escapes me now - and I know McCain has his share or worse, too). And that's just if you happen to share his political beliefs. There's a reason he won the Democratic nomination by somewhat less than a landslide - because even those in his party were concerned he might not be the best person to be President.

Now imagine the world from another political perspective... say, from the right, the conservative view. He's pro-choice, favours increased government regulation/oversight, favours an early pullout from Iraq... if you're pro-life, against government interference in business, and feel that Iraq needs to be stabilized by American forces first, then you're going to have disagreements with Obama on those positions.

So there you go, a few rational reasons why one might not want to vote for Obama. Maybe you want someone with more experience in the White House, and the VP picks don't mean shit to you. Maybe your deep-set religious beliefs want Roe v. Wade overturned. Maybe you think having terrorists fighting US troops in Iraq lowers the chances of another terrorist attack on US soil (and even Obama had to admit the surge had a positive effect). Maybe... hell. Maybe you've actually sat and listened to everything he's said, and you've come away with the impression that he's full of shit just like every other politician. So if you're not going to vote for Obama, who are you going to vote for? Well, there's this McCain guy - experienced, pro-life, with a reputation (only slightly deserved) for bipartisan work, a real military background and has seen the horrors of it, who (excepting the last few months) has been incredibly honourable. Or you can look at some of the third-party candidates like Barr or Nader or any of the dozen others running, and see who most closely fits your world view.

See, not everyone thinks the same. Not everyone values the same issues. If you can't see that Obama has faults and McCain has virtues (which isn't to say that Obama has no virtues and McCain has no faults, mind you), then you're just as mindless as those you deride. Both candidates have their share of both. And for each of us, we assign different levels of importance to those faults and virtues. McCain's actions of the past few months can be seen as "true colours now showing" or "just doing what's necessary for the election before resuming old ways".

I can see how someone might not want to vote for Obama, and settle on McCain by default. If you can't see the possibility of faults in your candidate, you're blind. The man's not perfect, and the more you try to present him as such, the more others will grow to suspect his appeal is more hero worship than rational.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:54 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Debate just over. I say Obama held his own easily, looked in command of foreign policy, had presidential bearing, and took the fight to McCain steadily. Now we'll see how the sillyheads spin it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:41 PM on September 26, 2008


Obama definitely held his own, and McCain came off better than expected. This, admittedly, is his strongest suit - he won't do so well on other issues. Early on, the wisdom was that this would be the debate McCain would trounce on - he didn't have that big a success. It was tiresome to hear him repeat the language "what Obama doesn't understand", which was a pretty barenaked attempt to suggest inexperience on the part of Obama. McCain hammered his experience points, which is all well and good and one of his few positives...except that you can be very experienced and still very wrong. Obama did a good job calling BS on McCain mischaracterizations. Nothing in the debate will come back to haunt Obama tomorrow; he was utterly solid. All in all, though, a serious debate on a serious subject with strong content on both sides.

Obama did a good job connecting economic weakness with national security. That's an important point that McCain's outlook refuses to take in. The trade deficit, national debt, and exhaustion of human resources put us at a dangerous disadvantage.
posted by Miko at 7:53 PM on September 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


You can't honestly say there are *no* negatives about Obama.

You're absolutely correct. And indeed, not once, here or anywhere else, have I ever made such an assumption.

Look, I’m not going to rebut each of your points, because you know what? You just made rational arguments for why some of we US Americans might not vote for the guy! Hooray for you! And guess what? THAT WAS MY POINT ALL ALONG. I have said again and again that it would be great to have someone make an intelligent, researched case for McCain, and I stand by that assertion now.

But that’s not what you did, not at first. You initially came in here, dropped some lame, vague comment that you haven’t seen anything in Obama beyond being some black Tony Robbins. Not because he actually is a black Tony Robbins, but because you can’t be bothered to actually take ten minutes and read up on the volumes of substance that Obama has made available on his site. Sure, you grace us with the astounding insight that Obama isn’t perfect, and that there just might be reasons not to vote for him, but you don’t back up that statement with anything concrete.

So I (and a few other people) called you on it. Then you retreat and are all, “Oh ho ho! But I am just playing Devil’s Advocate!” No, you weren’t, which is why I have replied as I have – and for your own sake I’m just going to ignore your bizarre left turn into Canadian politics in a thread that is all about the American election.

Let me boil it down to this: I just think it’s a really dumb move, on your part, to spew such condescending generalities and platitudes, especially on Metafilter, a site that is chock-full of smartypants who love to research the shit out of everything. And because I’m not a completely heinous bitch, let me reiterate again, in all sincerity: thanks for your most recent comment, because that’s the kind of thing I was looking for in the first place. Substance, man.

See, not everyone thinks the same. Not everyone values the same issues. If you can't see that Obama has faults and McCain has virtues (which isn't to say that Obama has no virtues and McCain has no faults, mind you), then you're just as mindless as those you deride.

Oh for fuck’s sake. Please. Look through each and every single one of my posts here on MetaFilter and tell me exactly where I have made any comment that would even resemble that assertion.
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:01 PM on September 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obama, did a great job, but I fear McCain will totally get a bump out of this. All the recent stunts and errors lowered expectations, and suddenly there he was, and he didn't sound like a clown. That's enough to draw back a lot of people who were drifting away.

And yes--"'what Obama doesn't understand'...was a pretty barenaked attempt to suggest inexperience on the part of Obama"--but I think that will play well to those undecideds who were originally turned off by Obama but then got turned off McCain more.

I am a lot more worried now than I have been for a while.
posted by neroli at 8:07 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, interestingly, it may not result in a big McCain bump. My sense is that this debate may not budge any already-committed votes. But I know of at least one Republican who is expressing surprise that Obama came off as smartly and capably as he did. It seems incredible that anyone would be surprised by that at this late date, but then I realized: if you haven't watched any of the Democratic primary debates, and have only been getting your Obama news through the major media outlet soundbites and, perhaps, talk radio, as many on the right or uninvolved people have to date, then the skill, knowledge, and balance he put on display here would actually be surprising. So I think this might come out as a wash - basically leaving the voter landscape about what it was before.

The Washington Post has a debate fact-checker:
McCain seriously mistated his vote concerning the marines in Lebanon. He said that when he went into Congress in 1983, he voted against deploying them in Beirut. The Marines went in Lebanon in 1982, before McCain came to Congress. The vote came up a year into their deployment, when the Marines had already suffered 54 casualties. What McCain voted against was a measure to invoke the War Powers Act and to authorize the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon for an additional 18 months. The measure passed 270-161, with 26 other Republicans (including McCain) and 134 Democrats voting against it.
--Glenn Kessler
and
John McCain raised an old Republican canard, repeated often in the primaries, when he claimed that Obama's health care plan would eventually turn the health care system over to the federal government. The Illinois senator proposes helping individuals purchase health insurance through a system of subsidies and tax credits. He is also in favor of mandatory health insurance for children. But he is not advocating a state-run health system, such as the one that exists in Britain and some European countries. Under the Obama plan, individuals will still be free to choose between different types of health insurance, and will be able to choose their own doctors.
posted by Miko at 8:18 PM on September 26, 2008


...and the flip side of McCain's pushing experience and saying what he can remember about 1983 and "thirty-five years ago" is that it just reminds everyone that he is OLD. It's true, he's been around and traveled and done and seen a lot. But it's not entirely a positive to realize he's offering himself to us while on the downslope of an exhausting and complicated and tightly politically connected existence, and that his foreign policy views were formed in the depths of the Cold War.
posted by Miko at 8:23 PM on September 26, 2008


Finally getting aroiund to watching the local news report on Palin's visit to Philly -- there were a bunch of protesters outside the bar, one of whom was holding up the following sign: "PALIN IS A MILITANT INTOLERANT LYING FRAUD!" I will confess to a lol.
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:25 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


There will be no bump for McCain out of this. Obama will gain a point or two, and next week's polls will start to push toward 8 and 9 point leads in composite.

It's down to a choice between two guys. The choice was so clear.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:57 PM on September 26, 2008


I thought both of them did fairly well tonight; I know a lot of people were wondering if McCain was going to be off of his game after the theatrics of the preceding days, but he was, for the most part, reasonably calm. Still, since this was the foreign policy debate McCain was favored to win it, and I think Obama did far better than McCain was expecting, which gives Obama a slight edge, in a way.

I think it was creepy and downright insulting that McCain didn’t bother to look at Obama, while Obama was very good about addressing McCain, Lehrer, and the viewers at home pretty equally.

I got chills at this part:

“John, you like to pretend like the war started in 2007. You talk about the surge. The war started in 2003, and at the time when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy. You said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. You were wrong.

“You said that we were going to be greeted as liberators. You were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shiite and Sunni. And you were wrong. And so my question is...of judgment, of whether or not -- of whether or not -- if the question is who is best-equipped as the next president to make good decisions about how we use our military, how we make sure that we are prepared and ready for the next conflict, then I think we can take a look at our judgment.”

That’s the kind of stuff that the Obama campaign needs to hammer home, again and again and again from now until November.

And then there was this, from McCain, which made me choke:

“I want the families to make decisions between themselves and their doctors. Not the federal government.”

Except for those sluts who get themselves knocked up. They clearly need the government to step in and tell them exactly what decisions to make. Or rather, eliminate any decision at all. That's what Uncle Sam -- and your judgmental, right-wing local pharmacist, of course -- are there for, because lord knows you womenfolk can't be trusted with a decision about your own bodies. Whee! This governmenting stuff is a piece of cake!
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:23 PM on September 26, 2008 [10 favorites]


“I want the families to make decisions between themselves and their doctors. Not the federal government.”

Except, of course, that that's not the way it is. The insurance companies make the decisions and clue in the doctors. Who's he trying to kid?
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:39 PM on September 26, 2008


Well, it's probably how it works for McCain.
posted by Artw at 9:42 PM on September 26, 2008


McCain did not babble or rant. He made his points in an understandable manner. So in that respect, I don't think he lost any ground, and may have gained some back.

But when you consider that his foreign policy seems to revolve around the central notion that "we need to stay in Iraq longer than Obama says," his policies will probably seem less attractive to any undecideds paying attention. And his condescending language and disdainful body language, well, I'm sure that will play well with the base. Everyone else? I wonder.
posted by adamrice at 10:32 PM on September 26, 2008


And yes--"'what Obama doesn't understand'...was a pretty barenaked attempt to suggest inexperience on the part of Obama"--but I think that will play well to those undecideds who were originally turned off by Obama but then got turned off McCain more.

CNN had this bizarre real-time poll indicating how democrats, independents, and republicans responded to the debates. One of the interesting things was just how turned off pretty much everyone was when McCain attacked Obama that way. They also did not like hearing McCain talk about Iraq.
posted by delmoi at 10:45 PM on September 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know of at least one Republican who is expressing surprise that Obama came off as smartly and capably as he did. It seems incredible that anyone would be surprised by that at this late date...

I missed the debate - stoopid night shift - but that is an excellent point; many reactions in the other FPP were sort of muted as McCain exceeded the low expectations many MeFites had. But for a lot of folks to whom Obama is, in a lot of ways, still a bit of a question mark with more style and hype than substance, this is an important and substantial first impression. That much of the coverage seems to be reporting a tie, or perhaps more accurately, the absence of a clear winner, actually bodes much better for Obama than McCain, IMO.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:43 PM on September 26, 2008


I know of at least one Republican who is expressing surprise that Obama came off as smartly and capably as he did.

And so well-mannered and considerate, too, with his pants not at all hanging off his ass.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:20 AM on September 27, 2008 [12 favorites]


My personal reaction was that it wasn't a game changer; both of them did fine, and that probably benefits Obama more than McCain, since an unchanged race looks pretty good for him right now.

But there are indications Obama may have won more significantly. 538 has some good thoughts on post-debate polling here, and Josh Marshall has an interesting email from a monkey researcher (!):

I think people really are missing the point about McCain's failure to look at Obama. McCain was afraid of Obama. It was really clear--look at how much McCain blinked in the first half hour. I study monkey behavior--low ranking monkeys don't look at high ranking monkeys. In a physical, instinctive sense, Obama owned McCain tonight and I think the instant polling reflects that.

It's going to be interesting to watch the polls for the next few days.
posted by EarBucket at 5:23 AM on September 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


Wow. Mark Halperin definitely didn't think much of McCain's performance. Grading the two candidates on substance, style, offense, and defense he gave McCain a B-, while Obama got an A-.
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:30 AM on September 27, 2008


Oh, and this CBS poll (pdf) of undecided voters has some really interesting numbers:

Who won?
Obama 39
McCain 24

Effect on the candidates' image:
Obama
Better 46
Worse 8
Same 46

McCain
Better 32
Worse 21
Same 47

Would make the right decisions about the economy?
Obama 66
McCain 42

Is Obama prepared to be president?
Pre-debate 44
Post-debate 60

Does Obama understand your needs and problems?
Pre-debate 58
Post-debate 79

Presidential preference

Pre-debate
Obama 36
McCain 34

Post-debate
Obama 41
McCain 29

In the 1980 debate, the most important thing Reagan did was to reassure voters that he was presidential. They were fed up with Carter, they wanted a change, but they weren't sure that this charismatic celebrity candidate was the guy to do it. After the debate, his numbers shot through the roof because people decided he was up to the job. Obama may have sealed the deal for a lot of people last night.
posted by EarBucket at 5:31 AM on September 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


McCain was afraid of Obama

Precisely.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:09 AM on September 27, 2008


Watch this. (Youtube)

Bill Maher's "new rules" segment from last night. Utterly brilliant Swiftian reversal of the usual racist spin. The best New Rules segment evah.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:38 AM on September 27, 2008 [7 favorites]


(key part is the second half of the video clip)
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:39 AM on September 27, 2008


And, did anybody catch this? I wondered about it last night, but it looks like after Obama's "Spain" smackdown, McCain said "Horseshit!" twice under his breath. Andrew Sullivan links to the video.
posted by mothershock at 7:56 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think he says "horseshit" too, but a lot of people are saying it's "of course not," and alas, the audio is poor and Obama speaks just at the crucial moment, so unless we can get a feed from McCain's mic and mute Obama's, we'll never know.

Of course, it is *exactly* the kind of thing McCain would say (He of: "at least I don't slather on makeup like a trollop, you c*nt" -- to his wife! Funny given that we've seen lots of images of JM being made up like a trollop this week.)
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:23 AM on September 27, 2008


It's a bit "OMG dude totally did the finger" isn't it?
posted by Artw at 8:53 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


S.E.C. Concedes Oversight Flaws Fueled Collapse
posted by ornate insect at 8:58 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


That "New Rules" was great!
posted by Miko at 9:36 AM on September 27, 2008


From ornate insect's link, above. I was naively expecting this to end with "SEC Chairman Cox then resigned for promoting a policy he now recognizes as a major contibutor to the worst financal crisis in 70 years". HAS THE MAN GOT NO FUCKING HONOUR??

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a longtime proponent of deregulation, acknowledged on Friday that failures in a voluntary supervision program for Wall Street’s largest investment banks had contributed to the global financial crisis, and he abruptly shut the program down.

The S.E.C.’s oversight responsibilities will largely shift to the Federal Reserve, though the commission will continue to oversee the brokerage units of investment banks.

Also Friday, the S.E.C.’s inspector general released a report strongly criticizing the agency’s performance in monitoring Bear Stearns before it collapsed in March. Christopher Cox, the commission chairman, said he agreed that the oversight program was “fundamentally flawed from the beginning.”

“The last six months have made it abundantly clear that voluntary regulation does not work,” he said in a statement. The program “was fundamentally flawed from the beginning, because investment banks could opt in or out of supervision voluntarily. The fact that investment bank holding companies could withdraw from this voluntary supervision at their discretion diminished the perceived mandate” of the program, and “weakened its effectiveness,” he added.

Mr. Cox and other regulators, including Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, and Henry M. Paulson Jr., the Treasury secretary, have acknowledged general regulatory failures over the last year. Mr. Cox’s statement on Friday, however, went beyond that by blaming a specific program for the financial crisis — and then ending it.

posted by Rumple at 10:13 AM on September 27, 2008


Larison:

It seems to me that the McCain camp would very much like a do-over on the VP selection, but they know that if they dump Palin now it will definitely be over. If he dropped her now, or if she resigned for whatever reason, the combination of media triumphalism (the narrative would be, “so much for experience and judgement!”), liberal Schadenfreude and conservative despair would be so great that McCain wouldn’t stand a chance. . . .

The entire Palin episode has been like some drunken bacchanalia that gave way to a terrified awakening several weeks too late. When her critics were painting her as a new Eagleton, her supporters were laughing at them as lunatics filled with hate, and now they are beginning to think that the haters may have been onto something. The GOP is experiencing self-immolation, and I can’t say that I am very bothered by that.

posted by EarBucket at 10:16 AM on September 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


All four major daily tracking polls now showing either a five or six point lead for Obama, by the way.
posted by EarBucket at 10:17 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


It seems to me that the McCain camp would very much like a do-over on the VP selection, but they know that if they dump Palin now it will definitely be over.

Perhaps, but to be fair, go back in time to the Thursday night of Obama's acceptance speech, which even the likes of Pat Buchanan loved. If McCain had come out the next day with Lieberman or Romney as VP pick, that Obama suge would have steamrolled McCain anyway. Remember the *only* excitement at the Republican convention was the Palin buzz. There was a reason he had to throw a Hail Mary, and it was to try to get the election onto a Republican Values terrain and get the base excited -- which neither Lieberman (too abortiony, too Jewish) nor Romney (too pagan cultish) nor Ridge (too boring, too Patriot Actish) would have done. Seriously, it is zero-sum: any candidate that would have won him the centre and kept him on the "experience" attack would have lost him the base, and, as we saw, vice versa. So the options for McCain were lose then, or lose later, and he chose lose later. In effect, a "normal pick" would have left him mired in the warm embrace of the last eight years, and he was getting nailed there by Obama.

So, name one possible VP who would have had a serious shot at saving the McCain ticket. Maybe Huckabee, who is fundie and yet kind of likeable and not inexperienced? Hilary? (don't laugh, I thought it might happen). Nancy Reagan? The exhumed corpse of Teddy Roosevelt? Picking Palin, especially the unprecedented timing relative to Obama's speech, was a desperate act then, motivated by the fear Obama was starting to run away with it, and a pick they can surely regret it in the present but realistically, they had no good options it seems to me.
posted by Rumple at 12:45 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, name one possible VP who would have had a serious shot at saving the McCain ticket.
Jesus.

Of course, the McCain campaign would keep him in a media-free protective bubble, because they wouldn't want it to get out that he has crazy ideas like caring for the less fortunate and not judging people.
posted by Flunkie at 12:55 PM on September 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


Huckabee would've been the obvious choice, bringing the base in in the same way Palin is supposed to. It wouldn't have been as exciting for the GOP, though - they wanted the bump that proposing something other than a two-white-guy ticket gave.
posted by Miko at 12:58 PM on September 27, 2008


Yeah, Huckabee would have brought a lot of Palin's positives without her negatives. I don't think he would have wanted it, though, honestly. He's much better off waiting four years than hitching his wagon to McCain's star now.
posted by EarBucket at 1:05 PM on September 27, 2008


Huckabee is just as unpalatable to a big chunk of the Republican base as Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman, just a different chunk for different reasons. His economic policies scared the bejeesus out of the Wall Street segment of the Republican base.
posted by ambrosia at 1:38 PM on September 27, 2008


It seems to me that the McCain camp would very much like a do-over on the VP selection, but they know that if they dump Palin now it will definitely be over.

Maybe. But she could step aside and claim that she's expecting another blessed event and that the duties of VP (whatever those might be) are just too much for her in her delicate state. The religious right could expound on how wonderful that is, McCain could wish her the best, and then we could all turn our backs and forget about her. Everybody wins (with the possible exception of Alaska.)
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:44 PM on September 27, 2008


So, name one possible VP who would have had a serious shot at saving the McCain ticket.

Jesus.


THE HYPNO-TOAD.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:52 PM on September 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


Fareed Zakaria unloads the full payload on Palin in Newsweek today -- and on McCain, even more so, for picking her as VP.

This is a guy who has been pretty non-partisan, and whose primary audience is in the business community, so it has to sting. Choice quotes:

Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president. She is a feisty, charismatic politician who has done some good things in Alaska. But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start. The next administration is going to face a set of challenges unlike any in recent memory.

. . .

In these times, for John McCain to have chosen this person to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, it is simply not true.

posted by fourcheesemac at 2:00 PM on September 27, 2008 [6 favorites]


Holy crap, Fareed Zakaria? That Fareed Zakaria?

Man ... I bet things are a little awkward at Camp McCain.

PALIN: Oh hey guys watcha reedin?

STAFF: (long sigh)
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:10 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


An Angry John McCain

Compilation of last nights greatest moments.
posted by mrzarquon at 2:25 PM on September 27, 2008


James Fallows really nails the debate analysis in favor of Obama in the Atlantic.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:41 PM on September 27, 2008


Fallows indeed hits the nail on the head!
posted by ericb at 4:20 PM on September 27, 2008


Now that McCain's HEY, LOOK OVER HERE GUYS, SHINY! move is over, perhaps the press can get back on the whole Rick Davis thing again?

Well, whaddya know: A Freddie Mac Money Trail Catches Up With McCain

Look for the McCain campaign to move on to the ol' I GOT YOUR NOSE! in 10... 9...
posted by scody at 4:46 PM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, between that Rick Davis article and the Fareed Zakaria "time for everybody to admit Palin is just incompetent" editorial, it looks like the next Newsweek to hit the stand is officially the John McCain Is Fucked issue.
posted by neroli at 5:04 PM on September 27, 2008


McCain campaign confirms that the "McCain Wins Debate!" ad was real, accidentally released early.

Premature adjaculation.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:18 PM on September 27, 2008 [11 favorites]


Ha, I was just coming here to post the Isikoff bombshell, scody.

Rick Davis is the Sarah Palin of campaign managers. He's a gift that keeps on taking, and thus giving. Corrupt sonofabitch.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:23 PM on September 27, 2008


And the new Frank Rich column is out . . . sample:

The question is why would a man who forever advertises his own honor toy so selfishly with our national interest at a time of crisis. I’ll leave any physiological explanations to gerontologists — if they can get hold of his complete medical records — and any armchair psychoanalysis to the sundry McCain press acolytes who have sorrowfully tried to rationalize his erratic behavior this year. The other answers, all putting politics first, can be found by examining the 24 hours before he decided to “suspend” campaigning and swoop down on the Capitol to save America from the Sunnis or the Shia, or whoever perpetrated all those credit-default swap
...
It’s that utter power vacuum that gave McCain the opening to pull his potentially catastrophic display of economic “leadership” last week. He may be the first presidential candidate in our history to risk wrecking the country even before being voted into the Oval Office.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:35 PM on September 27, 2008


Palin appears to have lied or massively overstated with her "we have trade missions to Russia, we do" line to Couric. Not hardly.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:42 PM on September 27, 2008


Wow, Rich is great when he's indignant. That column manages to hit every single damning McCain moment from the last week, and tie them all together, neatly and fatally. A fine piece of work.
posted by neroli at 5:49 PM on September 27, 2008


McCain worried he came off rude last night.
posted by ericb at 6:21 PM on September 27, 2008


Obama takes down McCain on Iraq. Watch it.
posted by ericb at 6:24 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the Newsweek article:

Federal campaign records show the McCain campaign paid Davis Manafort $90,000 through July 2007, when a cash crunch prompted Davis and other top campaign officials to forgo their salaries and work as volunteers. Separately, another entity created and partly owned by Davis--an Internet firm called 3eDC, whose address was the same office building as Davis Manafort's--received payments from the McCain campaign for Web services, collecting $971,860 through March 2008.

The contact form for 3eDC is here.

Write in! Say Hi to Rick Davis! I did, and it felt good.
posted by neroli at 6:30 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


From that Frank Rich excerpt, interesting to note that the NYT sidebar thingie shows the second most emailed article from the New York Times is:

Wasilla Watch: Sarah Palin and the Rape Kits
posted by Rumple at 6:40 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]



McCain and Team Have Many Ties to Gambling Industry (NY Times)

Includes a lot of dark details of McCain's dealings with Native Americans.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:59 PM on September 27, 2008


What were the polls like at this point in 2004? I'm scared to get optimistic, because isn't this how we all felt 4 years ago? Will someone please convince me that things are different this time?
posted by Bobby Bittman at 7:01 PM on September 27, 2008


At this point in 2004, Bush led Kerry by a margin almost identical to the lead Obama has now. Bush's lead waxed and waned, but Kerry never pulled ahead again for the rest of the race.
posted by EarBucket at 7:10 PM on September 27, 2008


Just for fun, here's electoral-vote.com's map for this date in 2004. We're in far, far, far better shape this year. Obama's no Kerry.
posted by EarBucket at 7:11 PM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yep, here's an overview of the main polls from 2004. By this same time in the fall, Bush was up in most of the polls by ~5 points, with a handful of polls garnering a tie or a lead for Kerry within the margin of error. But the trend was clearly toward Bush by this stage, even if plenty of us kept thinking that surely common sense would win out in the end.
posted by scody at 7:14 PM on September 27, 2008


Obama takes down McCain on Iraq. Watch it.

Yeah, that was good. Maybe the best minute in the entire debate.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:14 PM on September 27, 2008


What were the polls like at this point in 2004? I'm scared to get optimistic, because isn't this how we all felt 4 years ago? Will someone please convince me that things are different this time?

electoral-vote.com has a handy "this day in 2004" button. They also allow you to download their batch of 2004 polling. election-projection had something similar, but they want money now. IIRC he's GOP and therefore won't be getting any from me.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:16 PM on September 27, 2008


This seems as good a place as any to present some conservative opinions from my brother, on why he supports McCain (out of order and disjoint, because they're extracted from a conversation). (Background: he's fairly anti-religious, anti-regulation, works in international tax law, three small kids, thinks Europe is a socialist nightmare).

(me) Why would you support McCain?
(him)"What about that I believe in the possibility of change, even if only incremental change?

If I dislike the influence of lobbyists on overly eager to please politicians, and, like George Washington prefer my presidents not in hock to party or money, or at least not too much so?

If that were so, I certainly wouldn't vote for the party-line-toeing, ruthless loophole-exploiting, conviction-free machine politician, would I??"


[my summary of some points he made]
-the surge was right
-leaving Iraq early is wrong
-it is immoral not to condemn third-trimester abortion
('if he cares so little about human life, no wonder he was against the surge!')
-less regulation is good
-Chicago is corrupt and any politician from Chicago must be corrupt
-neither McCain nor Obama seem to understand the economy, so they're even there

-on Obama's voting history in the senate (state and federal)
"two issues: basically, you do agree with his votes, because on everything controversial he voted the party line or not at all. Important to scratch those backs, isn't it? As for the voting 'present' in Illinois, wtf? I know he didn't want to leave a trail that could be used against him, but isn't that the point of 'experience'??"

-Palin's not as dumb as I think she is, and "Also, on the bridge, she did can it, if eventually. Saying to a local crowd 'you aren't nowhere to me' strikes me as an obvious thing to say, Obama would certainly have said it (McCain is about the only politician I know who wouldn't have, see above)." So she does have an anti-earmark pedigree.

-"Against the Billary funding machine, he made the (apparently meaningless) commitment to stick to public funds because he knew Billary couldn't say that. In the reverse position, he took the money."

" [By saying McCain has more convictions] I meant things like the surge, or abortion, or ethanol subsidies (McCain barely competes in Iowa because he can't be stuffed pretending he thinks the federal government should subsidise corn-based ethanol, for example) or free trade (surely Obama is smart enough to understand the benefits of something as simple as free trade!).

But as it happens, my main reason is that I have more confidence in McCain to not do anything extreme, and much more confidence that if he does do anything extreme it will be something like improving immigration, which Obama can't do because he needs to scratch too many union backs, or something else which is broadly consistent with my view of things we should do.

[Extreme things Obama might do are] restricting or not renewing parts of NAFTA, withdrawing early from Iraq, appointing crappy judges, abetting trial lawyers, supporting ever more copyright (many republicans are as bad on this, but not McCain), supporting the blatant anti-semitism of the UN-Human-Rights-whatever-it-is, abandoning free trade, excessive anti-global-warmenism, etc."
posted by jacalata at 7:40 PM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


A narrative of what happened in Washington on Thursday. Explains a lot about the interaction between McCain and Obama at the debates.
posted by neroli at 7:49 PM on September 27, 2008 [6 favorites]


Holy shit, neroli, that is quite a report.
posted by inconsequentialist at 8:10 PM on September 27, 2008


I guess that I expect too much out of our elected officials--I expect them to act more Congressional and less junior high school-ish.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:45 PM on September 27, 2008


Wow. Thanks for posting that, jacalata. I think that your brother isn't going to be swayed by anything and is not the independent undecided voter that everyone's fighting to get. However, I'm struck by this:

Chicago is corrupt and any politician from Chicago must be corrupt

Where is he from? I had no idea that other parts of the country thought this way about Chicago.
posted by ignignokt at 9:08 PM on September 27, 2008


I don't think he will be either, I was mostly just hoping to get some reasoned responses from the Uber-team here so that I can hold my own against him in conversation, and a lot of people here have been saying they'd love to hear from serious conservatives willing to say more than 'Obama is a muslim babykiller!' - whatever his faults, my brother isn't stupid, and I can't think of any more intelligent people to debate against (if only by proxy).

But perhaps I should have mentioned, we're Australian. My parents are left-wing social justice Catholics, and my brother is hard-core right wing atheist (mentioned the Kennedy's as another example of Chicago corruption, which I think Dad would spit at).
posted by jacalata at 9:31 PM on September 27, 2008


Well, ok. I don't have my details all proper like, but I can give you starters. Anyone can feel free to correct any horrid assumptions I make.

- The Surge is working is simply a false positive. The reason it seems to be succeeding is that there were bribes given to...Sunni? leaders, to cease fire, and they worked. Bribes. Not a surge.

-Ask him what exactly he means by leaving Iraq early. What kind of conditions does he expect Iraq to reach before we leave? I think, given the past 5 years, it's highly unreasonable to expect Iraq to suddenly become a peaceful shining light of democracy. I'm not keeping a close eye on Iraq, but I really think that at some point we have to cut our losses a bit.

-If he brings up abortion, bring up the Obama's support for sex education and unwed mothers and how that will save more lives than any stupid abortion ban. See the arguments deployed against konolia in The Thread, as they seem quite sound.

-Less regulation is what fucking got us here. This link from ornate insect even has the SEC admitting it.

-I don't know much about Chicago politics, but everyone claims the Daly Machine is still at work there. And ask him why, if Obama's so corrupt, they haven't found anything against him? People are scouring over his record, and if anything stuck, it would be front and center in the National Review in minutes. Also, *cough* Keating 5 *cough*

-Obama's voting history. Bring up the fact that McCain has the lowest attendance record of any current Senator this session. What does he think of Bush's presidency? That 90% votes with Bush thing isn't a BS figure.

-Palin is as dumb as you think she is. (See all footage from the Couric interviews. Good Lord.) Her having an anti-earmark legacy is bullshit. She hired a fucking lobbyist as mayor of Wasilla, and got something like 26 million in earmarks for that podunk backwater. And she kept the Bridge to Nowhere money. Wouldn't some stalwart anti-earmark crusader tell Washington 'Hell No'? That 'working within the system' line is bullshit.

-Campaign Finance. He didn't take public funds because the system is broken. I know I've seen a number of stories about McCain ignoring/skirting his own freakin' reform law.

-Convictions. I don't really know what to say here, Obama has his stances on everything clearly laid out on his site. Is it that he's not standing against his party on anything?

(Any numbers are based on memory, and so I apologize for that, but almost all of my information has come from the 4 big Palin threads we've had.)
posted by graventy at 9:56 PM on September 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


These are admittedly glib, and I'm sure there's better informed folks here who could do a much better job than I, but here's some stuff off the top of my head for those first points:

-the surge was right
"If Obama opposed the invasion, why would he support an escalation? Considering the original action was sold as a cakewalk, wouldn't it be reasonable to be leery about sending more troops into the quagmire?"

-leaving Iraq early is wrong
"When's 'early'? What are the conditions for 'victory with honor' in Iraq? Stability, dollars, or casualties?"

-it is immoral not to condemn third-trimester abortion
"According to... ?"
('if he cares so little about human life, no wonder he was against the surge!')
"False equivalency."

-less regulation is good
"It's done wonders for Wall Street."

-Chicago is corrupt and any politician from Chicago must be corrupt
"If the Daley machine had been Republican rather than Democrat, would you be saying that?"

-neither McCain nor Obama seem to understand the economy, so they're even there
"Obama has been consulting with authoritative sources for over a year; McCain couldn't even be bothered to read a three page memo when he received it. And frankly, considering that McCain is supposed to be the candidate with decades of experience, don't you think it's sort of telling that you're saying he and Obama the rookie are on the same footing?"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:15 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lawmakers Reach Accord on Huge Financial Rescue
posted by homunculus at 11:24 PM on September 27, 2008


Mudflats on big anti-Palin rally in Anchorage (great signs)

My fave: "Hold me accountable -- in what respect?"
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:30 AM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, and "Cram, Baby, Cram" and "I Can See the End of Your Political Career from my House."
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:31 AM on September 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain never showed up at Capitol Hill for bailout negotiations today
posted by ornate insect at 8:06 AM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone know where there's archived video of Obama in Fredericksburg VA yesterday? I hear it rocked, despite heavy rain -- over 20K people showed.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:10 AM on September 28, 2008


fourcheesemac: no love for the "Spongebrain Squarespecs" one?

I think I liked the PALIN HUMILIATing ALASKA one, but only because it reminded me of the Get a brain, morans" guy.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:15 AM on September 28, 2008


Saturday Night Live's parody of the debate was unfunny all the way through, but the worst part is how no one has figured out how to make Obama funny. It looks like they're going with the "he's a corrupt Chicago pol" angle, and it just didn't work very well. The joke got applause instead of laughter, which means it wasn't funny but that there were Republicans in the audience.

The McCain bits were funnier, as he is beyond easy to parody, but it was still flat -- nowhere near the great Bush/Dukakis sketch. (Of course, these guys only had one day to write it).

The Palin parody at the beginning was better, but nowhere near as funny as the actual footage it was based on.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:25 AM on September 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, ROU, love for them too -- thanks!

Bookhouse, I totally agree -- it was unfunny and awkward and the TV audience could feel it. I have not heard it mentioned in media followups this AM, which is probably good news. But I don't see your main point as "the worst part." I think it's a huge advantage for Barack.

Oh, they can mock him for all kinds of things, mostly imputing grandiosity or elitism or corruption or secret beliefs. But this stuff is not sticking -- it's amazing to see, if you step back from it. Obama has Reagan's "teflon" quality. He disabuses people of these caricatures and slanders once he becomes familiar. Now that low-info voters are paying attention, finally -- the real effect of the financial crisis so far has been to make people focus on a scary reality -- they are going to see Obama three times in a row in debates. This is why I think he won the friday debate by a much bigger margin than the pundits thought in the immediate aftermath. They were scoring on points made (even so, I don't know what they are talking about, since I think Obama cleaned McCain's clock on substance) and found it a "tie." But every single poll is showing Obama won the debate by 10-20 points with independent and undecided voters, and moved his key internals (favorability, national security, understands you) even more sharply upward. The facile explanation is that the body language -- McCain nasty, Obama friendly and cool -- drove the difference. But I think it's deeper than that. I think Obama was exactly right to avoid direct confrontations with McCain except in a few key spots. He's ingratiating himself to people who want to fear him and who have been prepared to see him as hiding a dark side.

Two more just like this and it's landslide time, baby. BTW, today looks like it will be the first day when all national trackers show Obama up 5 or more, and most show him over 50 percent -- the first day of post-debate polling now being folded into 3 day rolling averages.

Fucking A, huh?
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:39 AM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


And at this point, I think any mention of Wright or Ayres or Rezko will backfire and tar McCain. Palin has immunized Obama against most of the remaining pathogens out there that Hillary Clinton didn't suppress during the primary. I think a Wright commercial will be met with a "there he goes again, being negative" response -- McCain will be seen as desperate.

We can all imagine last-minute Bush-admin led foreign affairs-driven potential "gamechanging" events, each of which would now seem at least partly to be opportunistic "coincidences" which could be argued against as such. The response to Bush's plea for bailout plan support was almost total derision from the people and the press. He has no constituency any longer to defend him. I think a majority of Americans would be pleased to attribute cynical motives toward almost anything he could do.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:45 AM on September 28, 2008


The Palin parody at the beginning was better, but nowhere near as funny as the actual footage it was based on.

They get points for metahumor achieved by simply having Fey repeat what Palin actually said, word for word, and getting laughs.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:47 AM on September 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


The Palin parody at the beginning was better, but nowhere near as funny as the actual footage it was based on.

I agree. I thought the Palin parody was pretty funny, mainly because about half of the lines she used were quotes from the interview. But I'm pretty sure they could have gotten the same amount of laughs just using the original interview, flashing "SHE ACTUALLY SAID THIS" on the bottom of the screen.
posted by graventy at 8:50 AM on September 28, 2008 [6 favorites]


But I don't see your main point as "the worst part." I think it's a huge advantage for Barack.

Well, sure. But the gods of comedy do not agree.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:50 AM on September 28, 2008


Perhaps they do, though. That debate sketch has been ignored and panned, so they may have to retool. They desperately need a better Barack.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:14 AM on September 28, 2008


John McCain, 1999:
Certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.
John McCain, 2008:
John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned.
If I dislike the influence of lobbyists on overly eager to please politicians, and, like George Washington prefer my presidents not in hock to party or money, or at least not too much so?

The Anti-Lobbyist, Advised by Lobbyists: "When McCain huddled with his closest advisers at his rustic Arizona cabin last weekend to map out his presidential campaign, virtually every one was part of the Washington lobbying culture he has long decried."

Against the Billary funding machine, he made the (apparently meaningless) commitment to stick to public funds because he knew Billary couldn't say that. In the reverse position, he took the money.

McCain asked for public funding in the primaries, got a loan using the public funding as collateral, then withdrew from public funding after a spat with the FEC (no wonder he wants to fire the FEC head). Basically he had it both ways. He used public money when his campaign was struggling (spending $49 million of the allotted $54 million by late February), then switched to private funding.

As for the voting 'present' in Illinois, wtf?

Obama voted "present" 129 times out of 4,000 votes (3% of his votes) in the Illinois Senate and "used the present vote to protest bills that he believed had been drafted unconstitutionally or as part of a broader legislative strategy." "In at least 45 instances, Mr. Obama voted with large numbers of fellow Democrats as part of the tactical skirmishing with Republicans over the budget. Seven other times, he voted that way as part of a broad strategy devised by abortion rights advocates to counter anti-abortion bills."

It’s Not Just ‘Ayes’ and ‘Nays’: Obama’s Votes in Illinois Echo

What about that I believe in the possibility of change, even if only incremental change?

McCain has been in Congress for 25 years. What has he changed? That's glacial, not incremental.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:25 AM on September 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


Obama's strangely hard to make fun of. The Daily Show's gotten pretty good at it, but SNL's had zero luck. I think partly it's because, apart from the whole Messiah-complex thing, there's just not a lot about him that's easy to cara cari cary mock. McCain is old, Palin babbles, Gore was stuffy, Bush was stupid, but Obama is. . .what?
posted by EarBucket at 9:28 AM on September 28, 2008


The "Couric for Vice President" sign at that rally was blackly amusing, as a signifier of how far we've come: it would absolutely, 100% be an upgrade to the Republican ticket.
posted by Rumple at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2008


I was so glad to see this in the Atlantic article:

The least self-aware moment for John McCain in last night's debate came at the half-way point, when he said, "I'm afraid Senator Obama doesn't understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy."

It was so clear, he was checking off talking points and thought it might fit here, but he was so wrong: Barack had just outlined the wrongness of committing troops (grand strategy, the president's job), while John was talking about the surge, which was a little trick that supposedly had "won the war" (LOL).

And the "lessons from Vietnam" were so wrong, too, frighteningly wrong - John has learned that the people betrayed the Army, that sticking it out for honor and dignity is what we have to do. What hew needed to learn is that the army is working for the people, for the president, and that the armed forces don't get to call the shots.

John is a pathetic tired and bitter old man who wants to win the Vietnam war. Please don't let him be president.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:58 AM on September 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hertzberg in the New Yorker captures the Palin word-blizzard succintly:

This seems to be a case of incoherence of thought leading to incoherence of syntax. Pronouns wander in search of antecedents like Arctic explorers in a blinding snowstorm.
posted by mothershock at 10:14 AM on September 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


McCain is old, Palin babbles, Gore was stuffy, Bush was stupid, but Obama is. . .what?

He's like Lisa Simpson!
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:24 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I rather liked this:
Now, take a look at these pictures. Here are the CEOs of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and the Lehman Brothers. I know the first thing that jumps out about these faces is that they all happen to be white, and they all happen to be responsible for stealing. But what you have to understand is that these whites are a product of a society that made them that way. It was the neighborhoods and the schools they went to: Harvard, Yale, the Wharton School of Business. They never learned the value of doing real, actual work and the first step to fixing that is better role models, so kids growing up white today don't think the only way out of Westchester is corporate crime. Or a government handout or sailing. So I get it, the temptation is to look at McCain and vote against him because you don't see an individual, you just see another typical welfare whitey.

And it's true, he's spent his entire life shuffling from one low-paying government job to another. Well, except those years he spent in prison. Typical! And between you and me, he's not very articulate. Oh, he may have some street smarts, but he's not what you call an educated man. He freely admits he's ignorant about the economy. And apparently the only thing his white running mate knows how to do is crank out one baby after another. And now of course, her teenage daughter is pregnant out of wedlock. Because she learns it at home! But that doesn't mean we should assume all white people are like that, just because so many of them are.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:31 PM on September 28, 2008 [6 favorites]


fourcheesemac: Obama in Fredericksburg, VA.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:44 PM on September 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


many thanks synaesthetichaze!
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:01 PM on September 28, 2008


Woohoo. That Hertzberg thing is fine writing. As usual, but meaner. Ouch.

So I'll see ya and raise ya, Charlie, 'kay?

Here is RedState.com founder Joshua Trevino (a rational conservative, I think) admitting Obama cleaned McCain's imploding clock in the debate Friday.

The GOP may not hold together until Nov. 4. It's coming apart in real time.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:11 PM on September 28, 2008


"If you think those lobbyists are working day and night to elect my opponent, just to put themselves out of business... then I've got a bridge to sell you up in Alaska."

BAD MOTHERFUCKER.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 4:12 PM on September 28, 2008


And Marisa Stole, that was my absolute favorite moment of Maher's rant too. Fucking brilliant. The audience thought so too, to judge from the laughter.

Exactly -- the schools they went to.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:13 PM on September 28, 2008


Here's a good one. "Palin's Stand on Mining Initiative Leaves Many Feeling Burned." (Wash Post)

Quite aside from her breaking the law by trying to influence the outcome of a ballot initiative right before she was picked as VP. Pebble Mine is an awful project, one that will devastate one of the great salmon runs and a beautiful place.

Goes with being a wolf killer.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:50 PM on September 28, 2008


Hell, here's a key quote. This woman is bad for the earth and corrupt as hell. I wish Barack would juice up the environmental theme a little and get Gore out there to remind people they have reasons besides their 401K tanking to be scared.

But the [Pebble] mine would sit on Bristol Bay, a fishing paradise where 31 million sockeye salmon worth $108 million were caught last year. Opponents consider it too risky to construct an open-pit mine, as well as the world's largest dam to hold mining waste, so close to the valuable fishing grounds. The defeated initiative would have a