Saturday, May 31, 2008

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

I guess I should be pleased that the Republican dogs are still gnawing on the bones of Barak Obama's alleged "gaffe" or misstatement about his uncle having liberated Auschwitz. It means they're scraping the bottom of the cesspool for want of anything substantive; but then the Al Gore bit about inventing the internet still flaps the lips of the fatuous and he didn't actually say it.

Glenn McCoy, the cartoonist who appears in the New York Times, is an example of such nonsense, but then most everything he publishes is. Can we really compare the brilliant and erudite Obama to Dan Quayle? Yes, if we're so desperate and if we have an audience so deranged that any spurious attack will please them. Yes, that's just what McCoy does once again in his latest graphic excretion.


The efforts to make the Clintons feel better about losing the nomination get abstruse after a while.


I'm really getting sick and tired of listening to John McCain try to make out that he is a better man, a smarter man, and most of all, has more foreign policy experience and is better fit to be president, simply because he is a vet and was a prisoner of war. It's bullshit.

Being a pilot in the military and being a prisoner, especially in solitary confinement does not make one more savvy when it comes to foreign policy. Indeed, grunts on the ground working in and around foreign soldiers and civilians have a much better chance of broadening their perspectives than do pilots flying thousands of feet above it all.

On the other side of the coin, while having military experience can certainly add a dimension of understanding that goes beyond the borders of the US, not having that experience does not mean that anyone who does is better equipped to make tough decisions and to lead.

Media feeds on conflict, and the flatter the conflict, the easier it is to write. But one of the great revelations of this election is how diverse America really is. We tend to get hung up on small--but important--factors, like Obama's problem in Appalachia. But I'm just going to level with you--there is no way I thought a black man would ever carry Oregon and Iowa and then also get 90 percent of the black vote. What that says to me is that there is so much out there that I really don't know. And that I also should stop blogging so much, and get out more.


Sen. John McCain has attacked Sen. Barack Obama for not traveling to Iraq to see the "facts on the ground." But a recent statement by McCain about troop levels has his opponents raising questions about his own knowledge.

In comments to reporters on Thursday, McCain asserted that "I can tell you that it is succeeding. I can look you in the eye and tell you it’s succeeding. We have drawn down to pre-surge levels. . . . "

In fact, as the Obama campaign was quick to point out, the troop level in Iraq is at about 155,000 right now, well above the 130,000 that would mark a return to pre-surge levels.


Could Democrats win a Senate race in Mississippi? According to Rasmussen, Roger Wicker, the Senator appointed to serve out Trent Lott's term, trails Donny Musgrove, the Democrat, by a point. Presume heavy black turnout from an Obama run and a Democratic financial edge and . . . sorry. Can't even go there. It's blowing my mind.


You would think that advocating indiscriminate killing of people in some Middle Eastern country - any country will do! - just "because we could" would be the kind of thing which would cause people to respond with disgust and revlusion, and perhaps revoke your NYT columnist card. But, as we've learned so many times over the years, there's really nothing you can say or write about the awesomeness of killing Arabs for random reasons which will stop your cocktail party invitations from coming. Friedman, I suppose, was at least not quite as narcissistic as Richard Cohen, who thought killing people in Iraq was a good idea because it would be "therapeutic" for our country. Dead innocent people so Cohen could save a bit on his shrink bill.

But the problem with Tom Friedman is that he's very serious and taken very seriously. Unlike Maureen Dowd whose gibberish has lost its influence over the years, Tommy "Suck On This" Friedman is still The Most Serious Foreign Affairs Man In America. When Tom Friedman speaks, people listen, even as his metaphors become as bad as his advice.

During a fund-raiser in Denver, Obama . . . was asked what he hoped to accomplish during his first 100 days in office. "I would call my attorney general in and review every single executive order issued by George Bush and overturn those laws or executive decisions that I feel violate the constitution," said Obama.


[I]n an election like this one, the polls aren’t there to tell the real story; they are there to support the various different stories that the commentators want to tell. The market is not for the hard truth, because the hard truth this time round is that most people are voting with the predictability of prodded animals.


Reading tea leaves from the new November polls is as hard as it was a year ago to see what was really going behind the numbers that showed Hillary Clinton running away with the Democratic nomination.

Now, despite post-Bush Republican disarray, the new Pew poll shows "a tightening general election matchup between Obama and McCain" under a headline that says, "McCain's Negatives Mostly Political, Obama's More Personal."

It's tempting to decode that as racism, but the reasons are surely more complicated.


Is it the GOP's horrible reputation (in light of Bush, Katrina, Iraq, etc.) that is making voters not like them, or is it actually just their positions that are making them so unpopular?

Cartoon by (who else?) Glenn McCoy/Universal Press Syndicate

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