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These people share the same country as us. October 17, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Politics, Social Commentary, Television.
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It’s sad to think that the most honest uncensored real-world testimonials are coming from Al-Jezeera, a news organization that was once and in some circles still is reviled as a mouthpiece of Islamic extremists.

But remember people, freedom of speech means all speech not just the speech that you agree with.  These people maybe be uninformed and hateful, but they have the same right to speak their minds as any other American.  It would just be nice if the American media was free to cover it as honestly as the Islamic media.

The terrible part of it is that it is we, the public that causes so much censorship and filtration of our news.   We are the ones who file FCC complaints en masse when we see half a nipple a Super-Bowl Halftime show causing decades of increased content sensibilities in broadcasting.  It is we who fund and fuel the special interest groups who’s job it is to make sure that if someone in the public eye says a poorly worded sentence that as many people as possible find out about it and are told where to complain.

We have the power to stop this. It’s called the remote control.

Next. Time. Just. Change. The. Channel.

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Debate #3 – A good day to be a plumber. October 16, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics, Television.
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Joe the Plumber

Joe the Plumber

Well, the third and last Presidential Debate has come and gone.   Only 20 short days till Americans across the country will file into tiny closets with curtains and little switches and decide the fate of the free world.   We’re in the most trying economic time in our country since men with curly mustaches were jumping out of windows in the thirties.   We continue to lose lives of our finest and bravest citizens in deserts half a world away.   Osama Bin Laden is still breathing.  We can’t seem to figure out how to provide fair and comprehensive healthcare to all our citizens.

But what subject seemed to be on the minds of the 2 candidates more than any other during the debates tonight?

This guy.

The bald guy on the left, not the handsome black guy on the left.

Joe is the bald guy on the right, not the handsome black guy on the left.

That’s right.  Joe is f’ng famous for asking Barack Obama about his tax policy about a week ago.   He is now a household name.  Well, a household first name and then a profession.  But you really have to give it to Barack.  Maybe Joe is not voting for him still, but Barack took 5 minutes and answered his question in a clear, concise manner that did not pander to him or insult his intelligence.

Here is a short impression of Joe when he first heard his name mentioned tonight.

Joe was mentioned by John McCain no less than 24 times and by Barack Obama 4 times.   I really hope that’s enough.  Because I really can’t make a decision about a candidates position until the 34th or 35th time they run something into the ground.

If you want to score this debate, I’d call it a clean sweep by Obama.  Sure McCain got in a really good line about Barack tying him to Bush.  Even I gave him style points when he said “If you wanted to run against Bush you should have ran 4 years ago”.  But still, Obama remained his calm, cool and collected self.  McCain still looked creepy when he smiled or laughed.  And frankly Obama won the I look and act presidential contest.

Again, both candidates performances I’m sure really sat well with their bases.  But the independents are simply not going to go for a guy they don’t want to look at for the next 4-8 years.  It’s sad, but true.  No matter what their stance on the issues, Barack looks like a president and John looks like that uncle you avoid at parties.

Oh… wait what? October 8, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Politics, Television.
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The Exact Moment That Decided This Election October 8, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics, Television.
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Both candidates have these same expressions right now.

Both candidates have these same expressions right now.

There have been many gaffes during this campaign.  Both Republicans and Democrats have put their feet in their collective mouths  more times than one blog can cover.

But McCain managed, in 3 short seconds, to (at least in my humble estimation) loose his last remaining chance at winning this election and the last remaining shred of respect that I had for him.

Here’s what he did.

Oh. My. Rude. Senator.

I really can’t think of a time where I’ve had such an appalled reaction while watching television.  Well, maybe season 2 of HEROES.   But my wife, myself and I’m sure a great many American’s all shared a collective “WTF” moment when the Arizona senator referred to his opponent as “That One”.

I mean good Lord.  Barack Obama has a title, sir.  It is “Senator”.  Just like yours is.  You could have probably gotten away with “my opponent”, “Barack” or even “Barack-man Turner Overdrive”.  But “That One”?  Hell ta’ tha’ no.

I will now offer at no charge a retort for Senator Obama to use during the 3rd and final debate.

Who was it that voted with the Bush Administration over 90% of the time? Who was having cake with Bush while people drowned en masse in the wake of Katrina?  Who can’t smile without it looking really, really creepy?  You may not be able to guess, but it’s “Gramps” over there.

Use it in good health, Senator Obama and feel free to thank me later after your inauguration.

McCain wins debate, loses staring contest. September 27, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics, Television.
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(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Well, it wasn’t quite the slug-fest that I wanted it to be, especially from Obama, but we did gain some key insights as to how both sides have decided to play their hand in these debates.

Honestly, I do have to give a narrow win to McCain on this one, but very narrow and won solely based on sharp direct and often times, dare I say it, unsportsmanlike attacks on Obama.   But in an age where the sound-bite rules, he definitely got in some good punches.   The only problem is, he did it at the expense of looking very un-presidential.

I was absolutely amazed at McCain’s inability to make eye contact with his opponent.  It was downright eerie.   Even after being told several times to direct their retorts at each other, McCain refused to give his opponent the satisfaction of even acknowledging him with one fleeting glance. He did, however, manage to correctly use the word “Festooned”. But that is certainly not going to silence any of the people saying his age is an issue.

As a quick aside, this is my attempt to recreate a text message from one 7th grader to another that correctly uses the word “Festooned”.,

nce nu jckt. it’s 100% festooned w cul stf.

Ok, now that I got that out of my system…

McCain also made one of his strongest and most shrewd moves when he said that he thought that Obama “Didn’t possess the knowledge or experience” to serve as President. I’m really sorry, but I thought that one of the things that the Right keeps repeating is that Obama is too “Ivy League”.   There are certainly things that someone looking to find fault with Obama could find, just read those chain emails from your weird aunt.  But I haven’t seen one crazy email that has challenged Obama’s intelligence.

If you’re confused as to where I’m going with this, here’s a hint.

Obama is smart.  Really smart.  Possibly too smart for some who try to paint him as a sort of  douche-bag valedictorian type.  But personally, I want my president to have a higher SAT score than I did.

Now, I know that John McCain is smart as well, but even if he wasn’t I think Obama proved that he has the demeanor of a person who realizes that personal attacks like that don’t belong in the political discord.  Obama may have not had as many sound bites as McCain, but he did have a few very good ones and more importantly than anything else, he continued to look Presidential as McCain continued to look sloppy.

Did I mention that the hardened Navy Pilot/POW who supposedly looks everyone in the eye wouldn’t look the skinny Harvard grad in the eye?  Yeesh…

Now I certainly thought that Obama missed some chances and was being a bit too polite.  Several times you could tell he really wanted to set something straight after McCain took a swing at him but either let McCain steamroll him or allowed the subject to be changed.   This is something that he will most definitely need to correct in the future debates.

So if you’re keeping score, McCain squeaked by with a victory by taking the low road.  The good news for Obama fans is that this was the debate where everyone said McCain would have the upper hand.  So because he was able to stand up and not get completely crushed, it’s a moral victory.   Now on to the VP debate and the second and third Presidential Debates.

If the McCain campaign want’s some advice for the coming debates, Number 23 has some.

Update: Well, it looks like I saw the debate differently than most uncommitted voters.  That’s what this CBS poll says anyway.

CBS News and Knowledge Networks conducted a nationally representative poll of approximately 500 uncommitted voters reacting to the debate in the minutes after it happened.

Thirty-nine percent of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Barack Obama was the winner. Twenty-four percent thought John McCain won. Thirty-seven percent saw it as a draw.

Forty-six percent of uncommitted voters said their opinion of Obama got better tonight. Thirty-two percent said their opinion of McCain got better.

Sixty-six percent of uncommitted voters think Obama would make the right decisions about the economy. Forty-two percent think McCain would.

Forty-eight percent of these voters think Obama would make the right decisions about Iraq. Fifty-six percent think McCain would.

We will have a full report on the poll later on. Uncommitted voters are those who don’t yet know who they will vote for, or who have chosen a candidate but may still change their minds.

The margin of sampling error could be plus or minus 4 percentage points for results based on the entire sample.

Letterman is Pissed, McCain is Scared September 25, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics, Television.
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John Paul Filo/CBS, via Reuters)

(Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS, via Reuters)

Something is amiss in the world of John McCain. I don’t know what he’s thinking, I honestly don’t.   But what I do know, is that you do not cancel on David Letterman on the day of taping.

NO SENATOR!! BAD SENATOR!!

Lucky for us, someone at CBS leaked the as yet to air segments where Dave shows McCain what happens when you  mess with a man who has a TV show with his name on it.

In the world of late night television, if you cancel your appearance the day of you better be dead or dying.  It’s basically like standing up your bride on her wedding day.   Of course this is a little different, because in this case John McCain decided to walk down Broadway and marry some other girl. Namely, Katie Couric.

I’m honestly not sure what I’m more upset at, the slap in the face to one of the greatest living broadcasters, or the fact that McCain doesn’t think it’s a good idea for the American People to see him in a debate in one of the most domestically, internationally and economically unstable times in the history of our country.

McCain says it’s because he thinks this is time to focus on fixing the economy and making sure that this bailout passes through congress.   Great, that’s wonderful but I’d believe it more if it was his idea and if he was ahead in the polls.   Unfortunately neither of those things are true.  It was in fact Barack Obama who first approached the McCain campaign to suggest that in this instance they present a united front and release a joint statement about the  importance of the bailout bill.  But you might be confused because John McCain decided to go public before responding to the Obama Campaign and say that he would like Obama to join him in suspending campaigns and postponing the debate until this crisis has passed.

How very convinient.   Let me ask you Senator McCain,  what happens when things get tough if you become president?  What happens if Russia pulls a couple Destroyers up to our coast at the same time oil is at $200 a barrel and the Dow is down 800 points in a day?   Do you get to postpone being president?  Because based on your actions now, that’s the impression that I get.   I also don’t appreciate you insulting my intelligence by attempting to play this brand of “but seriously folks” politics.  It comes off very disingenuous.

Sure, times are tough.  But now is the time to really show us what you’re made of.  You want to be president?  Show us.  Don’t retreat out of the public eye and away from the scrutiny of the press.  Stay and show us what you would do if you were in charge.    Debate your opponent.  Because you owe it to us to stand next to the man you think you would be better than, and tell us why.

Also, this is fun…

McCain Campaign Continues It’s Shadow Puppetry. September 23, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics, Social Commentary, Television.
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The McCain campaign continued it’s “Nothing to see here. Hey isn’t that a giant robot bunny?” style of campaigning today by consistently trying to draw attention away from it’s lack of identity and focus on false and tepid diplomacy stunts and economic non-statements.

Sarah Palin traveled to the UN to meet with a few world leaders including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Henry Kissinger.   Unfortunately for the American voter who might be looking to events like this to help make their decision, the McCain campaign decided it would be a bad idea to allow reporters to observe these “diplomatic meetings”.

This is some scary stuff right here ladies and gentleman.   We’re just getting through what is arguably the most secretive and covert administrations in the history of the office of The President and at least one of the major candidate’s campaigns is quickly showing that in terms of journalistic transparency, they will be more of the same.    I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat or politically Bi-Curious, that should send chills down your spine.

This country needs a press corp that is free to cover the news where and when it finds it, not when it’s deemed politically convenient for it’s leaders, would-be or otherwise.   Beware the person who has the political strategy of staying outside of the public eye as much as possible.  If John McCain is worried that he will not benefit from more journalistic scrutiny, he should not be looking to fill the most powerful office in the land.  And if he feels that his choice for a running mate is better served by being allowed to campaign in a vacuum (no, that is not a sexist comment about her being a woman),  he should have left her to the relative anonymity of our northern-most state.

Look John, as a candidate you can’t expect to be able to stick to your talking points 24/7.   It’s just the nature of running a presidential campaign in these modern times.  You don’t get to give a press conference for 11 minutes and then take a few weeks off, sheltered from the main stream media.   You have to be there, non stop, answering whatever question is thrown at you.  You owe us that much.   You want us to follow you for the next 4 years?  Then answer every single question.  Allow the press open access to you, your running mate, your advisers and anyone else who might be able to give us some insight as to the type of leader you will make.

This is the absolute least we should be able to expect from our potential leader.  Let us ask and the free press we depend on to ask you anything.  Don’t call it “unfair scrutiny” when there is no such thing in this game.   All is fair in politics and if you can’t understand that, you don’t get to play. Period.

See you Friday boys.  John, lets see if you can channel that guy from 2004 who used to make me believe that non-partisan politics really were possible.

Yes We Can! Live – Will.i.am and John Legend August 29, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Television.
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In case you missed it (because I did), here’s a live performance of the very popular “Yes We Can” youtube video. Will.i.am and John Legend were on point yesterday warming up for the historic night.  I honestly thought they might do this but I was skeptical as to whether or not it would work live.

It.Works.Live.

The orignal.

In other music/political news.  The new McCain/Palin ticket walked off stage to VanHagar.  Wow, way to keep it current guys.

DNC Day 2 – The Strong, Stoic Pants Suit of Unity August 27, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics, Television.
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Orange, I knew it!!

Orange, I knew it!!

This will be an attempt at a live blog of Hillary’s DNC Speech.   Please excuse grammatical and spelling errors. Also, please excuse my dear Aunt Sally.   She’s not very good at math.

10:35pm EST – MSNBC keeps going back and forth from shots of Bill Clinton supposedly being handed a “Unity” sign and not quite holding it up.

10:36pm EST – The “Hillary” intro video is going.  So far we’ve heard “You Really Got Me Now” and “Are You Gonna Go My Way”.   Chelsea Clinton is doing the narration.

10:38pm EST – Amy Poehler!! Tina Fey!!!  SNL gets some love!

10:41pm EST – 18 Million Cracks.  Let the healing being.

10:41pm EST – Hillary takes the stage.  THE WINNER IS ORANGE!!  I CALLED IT!!

10:44pm EST – Bill is getting misty.

10:45pm EST – “A proud supporter of Barack Obama” – Michelle seems to like it.

10:48pm EST – “No Way. No How. No McCain. Barack Obama is My Candidate!” – Now that’s a t-shirt I’d buy.

10:51pm EST – “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants-Suits” Well played Hillary, well played.

10:56pm EST – Why does every single politician do the thumb-on-top-of-the-fist thing?

10:59pm EST – Bill gets a shout out.  Ah, the good old days.

11:00pm EST – Universal Healthcare sounds good.

11:01pm EST – Lots of love so far for Barack, but I really would like to see her lay into McCain more.

11:04pm EST –  “McCain and Bush are awfully hard to tell apart” – Niiiiice.

11:07pm EST – 26 Minutes long.  Keith Olbermann calls it a “Grand Slam”.  I’d agree with him.

Well, the general consensus is that the deed has been done.  Hillary took the high road in a way that many people did not think possible.    Not only did she make it blatantly clear that at this point if you were her supporter and you are not currently supporting Barack Obama that you are no longer her supporter, but she gave concrete reasons as to why you should be happy about your new support of Obama.

It wasn’t an direct order to support him, it was a thoughtful, forceful and compelling list of reason why anything other than full support of Barack would be inconceivable to anyone who supported her.   She even made it clear that if you were supporting her because of who she was and not what she stood for than you basically completely missed the point entirely.

All I can say is Bravo Hillary, Bravo.   You won back this supporter.  You’ve continued the theme of healing in a way that only you could.   We can now only hope that those among your more hardened and stubborn supporters will take your words to heart.

That’s it until tomorrow night.  We’ll see if the boys can hold a candle to the women.

PS: Great choice on the orange.

DNC Day 2: The Warm Up Acts August 27, 2008

Posted by Robert in Election 08, Humor, Politics, Television.
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I'm thinking the orange one. What about you?

I'm thinking the orange one. What about you?

It’s day two of the madness in Denver and all the political world and blogosphere alike are buzzing about just what Hillary Clinton is going to say during her speech tonight.   It’s pretty much accepted that anything short of a direct order to her supporters to throw their support behind Barack. It would also be nice if she takes the time to really lambast McCain.

Last night was wonderful and all, and I thank you for indulging me in my gushfest, but tonight the Dems need to really begin the offensive strikes against McCain and the newly energized neo-cons.

But before Hillary can have her say, we need to get through the other guys.

Fast Eddy

Fast Eddy

The first major speech of the night came from an old buddy of mine, Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania.  This guy has always been a favorite of mine.  He comes off like that lovable uncle who you really hope has too much to drink, because then he’ll just start handing out cash and telling people how he really feels about them.  That’s my kind of honesty.

Rendell focused mostly on the topic of the energy crisis.   It was a very convincing speech, but it was a little strange because there didn’t seem to be that many people in the audience.  He kept rising to these crescendos with his voice but there just wasn’t the crowd noise that you like to hear when you’re trying to whip people up into a fever pitch.  It’s like when you go see Ben Folds in concert but you’ve got to get through 2 local bands before you even get to the opening act.  But in this case you actually really like one of the local bands.

Bobby's World

Bobby's World

Next up for the night was Senator Bob Casey, Jr.  Pretty good speech here.  Senator Casey is the token Dem who is Pro-Life.  That’s fine, I’m Pro-Life too, most Dems are.  We just see that you can be Pro-Life while supporting a woman’s right to choose.  A lot of ultra-conservatives would have you think that we’re for mandatory abortions, that I would be against.  Just like mandatory gay marriage.  That would be way to much hairy snuggling for me.  Senator Casey’s lasting impression on the convention should starting what is the chant “4 More Months!”  I see what you did there Senator.  You get 2 points.

Ed Harris?

Ed Harris?

Governor Warner of Virginia is up right now. Technically he’s the keynote of the night, although no one has any delusions as to who is the most anticipated speaker of the evening.  He seems to be a little more confident on the mic.  He spoke of the possibility of having an administration who actually believes in science.  Wow, that would be fun.  I was blinded with science once.  It was fun.

Still, after 3 major speeches of the night, we’re really laking in the verbally destroying John McCain category.  WAKE UP DEMS!!!  GROW A PAIR!!!

Now we wait for the one they call Hillary.  She’s got one of the biggest sets in congress, maybe she can show us the way.

Oh yeah, Dennis Kucinich was there too.  He’s always entertaining.