August 31, 2012
— Open Blogger Good evening morons and morn-ettes. I'll be providing your substandard entertainment tonight.
Don't Miss Tonight's Rare Blue Moon
Perhaps the moon's saying goodbye to its first human visitor.
On Friday night a rare blue moon will rise in the sky in an astronomical event that occurs only once every three years or so.
Plus: Invisible Obama -- the Song
— Ace Instapundit links a story that Hillary is staying as far as physically possible from Charlotte.
But then a reader speculates that that is just a smokescreen, and that the big surprise of the convention will be a Hillary-for-Biden VP swap.
Meanwhile, Reuters has Romney's favorables improving, but without any bounce in the head-to-head.
But in James Carville's Democracy Corps poll, Romney has a huge 54-38 lead with independents (16 points!).
Oddly enough, that poll puts Obama ahead by two skinny points, 49-47.
He is obviously counting on a near-2008 level of Democratic turnout. I don't buy that. And no one seems to be thinking of a big right-leaning turnout.
Finally, this is just special. From Misfit Politics, the guys who brought you Attaaaack Waaaatch.
— Ace Remember when Bush indulged in tough-guy bravado like "Don't mess with Texas"? And how that meant he had a cramped, thuggish intellect and could only think in simple lizard-brain impulses and higher-primate ritual aggression displays?
Well, every time President Kick-Ass does this sort of thing it's just awesome or something, according to the press. Gone are criticisms that it's "arrogant" or shows an unwarranted "swagger." Now it's just Our Hero laying down a masterful challenge to his critics.
So, President Kick-Ass tweeted this, with the text "This seat is taken."
In the insular world of the hard left this is thought of as a deft, snarky, cheeky response from an administration that has always been adept at social media.
To me, and I think a lot of Americans it looks petty and narcissistic.
It is narcissistic. I also think it's a bit ridiculous -- it's braggadocio coming from, I'm sorry, a loser. When you've got a terrific record and everything you touch turns to gold, you can break out the dick-waving braggadocio.
When you're basically just hoping your employer will overlook your last three and two thirds' years' performance and let you stay on for a little bit longer... Well, it is, to put it charitably, admirably disconnected from the horror of the actual facts.
This sounds like Jason Biggs' trash-talking. Trash-talking is fine, but it sounds pretty silly out of the mouth of a shlub.
Now, after MSNBC insisted furiously that Clint Eastwood had bombed, they showed this picture, and they all force-laughed and force-laughed at how hilarious it was. So apparently "just a grin with a body behind it" wasn't funny, but this sort of idiotic 16-year-old trash-talk is the height of wit.
Uncle Jefe sends in this racist one:
It's racist because it's a clear reference to Tiger Woods, who is partly black. Lawrence O'Donnell told me so.
I think this response by Adam Baldwin is pretty hysterical. It's so... I don't know. Silly and to the point.
— Ace I just don't believe Condi Rice is a politician or seeks to be a politician.
I don't think it's her ambition. I don't think it's her skill set.
I just never have.
That certainly doesn't mean she's without value; we are fortunate to have in this nation only a tiny cadre of politicians, and a much larger group of people who actually do things.
But the GOP's got this thing about insisting she's actually a politician and we'll all soon be voting for her and whatever.
Yes, it would be great to run a black female for President. Assuming such a person was agreeable to the party and actually was a politician.
People deride politicians, and for good reason; but anyone who denies that politicians have and practice a particular skill is just wrong.
Not everyone in politics is a politician, of course. David Axelrod could not be elected to anything, even Comptroller of Bridge-Trolls. A more likable, photogenic Bridge-Troll would beat hm.
Condi has skills, no doubt, but primary as an academic and adviser. She has appeal, but it's a quiet type of appeal. She does well in speeches, but she just doesn't seem to make the sort of choices that an actual office-holder would make. Why not run for Governor of California, for example? Or, if California's too hostile, run for governor of some state she's lived in.
Anyway, here's Allah gaming out Condi's chances in 2016, which I think he overstates, for purposes of providing a lively discussion, and I don't blame him.
But I just have never seen this. I think she's a bit like Romney in the sense that she's naturally a thinker, and thus an introvert. But Romney has spent years and years attempting to recast himself as an extrovert "people person" politician (and you can see, by the way, how hard that is, given that a very focused, very driven guy has had such a hard time doing so).
I just don't see Condi Rice yet making this hard transition.
— Ace He really thinks he's charming. And I guess he is... to stupid people.
I've made this comparison before, but both Joe Biden and Bill O'Reilly must have been told by Irish grandmothers a whole bunch of times that they had the Gift of the Blarney. Oleaginous Irish charm, that is (no offense to the Irish, nor to dagos).
But Joe Biden is just.... I don't know what to say. Guy's giving full-mouth smackers to old ladies on the campaign trail.
One woman, who the pool later identified as Bev Kalmer, of Poland, Ohio, told the VP: "Welcome to Ohio." His response: "I've been waitin' all day to be here."
She said "You gotta keep the chair" to him -- a reference to Clint Eastwood's speech last night at the RNC -- and he gave her a kiss right on the lips. She swooned.
The LAT uses headline bias to declare "Ann Romney, others distancing themselves from Clint Eastwood's ramble."
The actual Ann Romney quotes:
Asked on ABCs Good Morning America about Eastwoods rambling, unscripted speech, the wife of the Republican presidential nominee allowed that she was grateful for his support, but quickly heaped much more effusive praise on Olympic athletes and fellow Mormons "that knew Mitt so well" who also spoke on behalf of her husband Thursday night. Those testimonials did not reach the vast majority of viewers because they were delivered before 10 p.m EDT, when the networks opened their live coverage.
On CBS on Friday morning, Romney again quickly segued away from Eastwoods performance. You can never take away from the fact that this country is in trouble, she said, and people are looking for real leadership and that I know that Mitt is the man for this moment.
There's an old maxim that you don't pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel, and it's quite clear that on this point Baby Wants A Bottle. The media are just determined to claim Clint Eastwood is awful, and should probably be committed for his own safety and the safety of others, and there is simply no point in arguing with Baby Who Wants A Bottle. Baby Wants A Bottle, Baby Will Keep Crying Until Baby Has A Bottle.
She's raised five babies. She knows.
This isn't distancing. It's refusing to get into an argument with a lunatic.
There are several problems with the media's attempt to spin this. For one, the video is viral and everyone can spend 10 minutes watching it to make up their own minds.
Does he ramble? He sure does. But what is the problem with that? No, it's not a political speech where every line is thought out and scrubbed and edited to an inch of its life, all for the purpose of delivering a precise message in a precise way. It's Clint Eastwood offering his general, barely rehearsed political thoughts.
And so it rambles. And, when it's not rambling, it kills. In fact, some rambles are hilarious, like when he suddenly remembers he wants to talk about attorneys and then gets wound up about that.
We're dealing with the East German judges here. Clint Eastwood did a great routine with a few technical errors here and there, and the East German judges are offering a score of 1.4 out of 10.
And their hope is that if they just keep flashing that score over and over, they can influence the other judges.
I've watched this like seven times now and I like it better every time. True, the first time around, I was worried that he wasn't going to come to his points. He was sometimes stammering and slow to get to his next killer line. But in each case, he did get 'round to that killer line -- in 2 seconds, rather than the professionally-preferred 0.8 seconds.
The liberals -- who are, they will be the first to tell you, all extremely funny and brilliant -- are all telling the same joke, that Clint Eastwood really thought he was talking to an Invisible Obama.
That's funny? That's funny, but "Joe Biden, Intellect of the Democratic Party, just a grin with a body behind it" isn't funny?
The Great Grazing Herd of Independent Minds as usual is all saying the exact same thing about this, and hoping that if they just keep saying it, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, they'll shape public opinion.
The bit was solid. I wonder if these sissies have ever actually seen a Clint Eastwood movie before. This is his style -- sly, laconic, deadpan, wry. He's a famously dry actor, and a famously small actor, in terms of theatrics. There's an old joke which I just made up that the difference between Eastwood Raging and Eastwood Happy is what side of his mouth he moves his cheroot to.
So, this is Clint Eastwood. The same guy who's been delivering killer lines with the slightest arch of the eyebrow for 50 years. Except he's now that plus 50 years.
He killed. Deduct him a few points for rambling, if you will, but ignore the East German judges.
One funny thing: The media wants to sell this as a "fiasco" so they keep running clips of it. The clips they're running are... unfortunately for their thesis, his killer stuff.
Personally I'd edit this up and run it in ads. (Unless he's specifically forbidden that, which he probably has, so forget it.)
"Lawn" thanks to AliceH.
But Aren't We Spending Time "Defending" A Humorous Newhart-Bit? So says a commenter, embittered redleg.
This is true, sort of? But keep in mind: In no conceivable world would the media NOT be attacking the Republicans today.
I'm not going to link it, but Politico found the SON of the old couple whose tearjerking story about romney's generosity made everyone cry. The big story was that he doesn't support Romney, and thinks he's greedy. And notes "I'm a union worker."
This son was not the son in the story, and in fact was just a child when Romney was helping his brother write his will.
But Politico had to offer push-back.
So when you say "The republicans have to defend Clint's speech" -- if Clint hadn't spoken, we'd be defending something else.
Here's Taranto on how he became "solidified on the right." He was converted due to an incident in which he defended free speech in a college newspaper column... and was suspended by the faculty for having done so. more...
— Ace He also... compliments Republicans.
I don't know if claims he makes at the end are true -- at the end he claims Obama lost every single age demographic except the young. In fact, now that I ponder this, it's simply preposterous. I actually hate myself for even wondering about it for two seconds.
He and his liberal host both agree that Democrats just aren't that enthused about Obama. Because of economic despair.
Yes, that tends to put a hitch in your giddyup.
On the other hand, he called Clint Eastwood a crazy old man.
In related news, Michael Moore is not getting any younger, saner, or thinner.
— Ace Remember when the media was insisting that Romney, apparently head of FEMA, cancel the convention to deal with Isaac?
Well, he's not the head of FEMA, but he did something the actual head of FEMA forgot to -- tour the affected areas.
President Barack Obama was today forced to announce he will fly to storm-hit Louisiana on Monday hours after Mitt Romney beat him to the punch by deciding to head there this afternoon.
After it emerged that Obama was still taking time to fit in a campaign stop in Cleveland, Ohio before checking out how clean-up operations are proceeding in the Bayou state, the Obama campaign abruptly cancelled that event.
'In light of the Presidents travel to Louisiana to meet with local officials and view ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Isaac, President Obama will no longer travel to Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, September 3,' the campaign said in a terse statement.
Obama is the one actually in charge of FEMA. He's also the one with a solid block of campaign stops through the storm.
— Ace Your Vice President. "Intellect of the Democratic Party. A grin with a body behind it."
Approaching a table of men he knew to be Greek, the VP said, Im Joe Bidenopoulos.
Ask George, he said unclear who George was, maybe someone at the table whos the most Greek Irishman hes ever known. Sounded like Biden was suggesting he is.
He moved on to a table of three women, sitting down briefly, before moving on to one where two women were sitting.
Lets dance, he said to one, named Jennifer, as she stood up right next to him. They posed for a photo before he turned to her tablemate, who was wearing scrubs, and asked, Are you a nurse? He then sat down and started speaking to her quietly, presumably about nurses.
Then, he posed with a group of restaurant staff and owners, and was talking about Greek food and rice pudding.
Can I get some rice pudding to go? he asked....
This article probably isn't fair; in context, there was probably some reason for Biden to say those things. But it's funny to imagine him just walking around saying random things like "I'm Joe Bidenopolous" and "Let's dance" and "are you a nurse?"
Graph via WattsUpWithThat*
Politifact: TRUE, WINGNUTS!!11!
Oh, my. Mitt really stirred the hornets' nest with his joke about Obama's promise to rein in those pesky sea levels.
Like they did with Paul Ryan's Janesville GM plant reference, the "fact checkers" are wetting themselves as they completely miss the point (and get the facts wrong at the same time).
They can't accept that every rational person outside their little Progressive/Media (BIRM) bubble views their Messiah's grandiose promises of environmental healing and a magically restored economy where every job is a green job as the punchline to a joke. A very bad joke.
The death throes of their fairytale are going to be ugly, but lucky for us they will be televised. Enjoy.
*(h/t Damn Dirty RINO for adding the Obama quote to the graph)
— LauraW Now fortified with 100% more nostalgic 90's lunacy.
The gay vampire look was very hip back then. Don't act like you don't remember.
Open thread, darling hearts.
— DrewM Some idiot rich guy invited a reporter to one of Karl Rove's fundraising meetings in Tampa. Nothing stupid was said (Rove and team are smart enough to know any meeting with more than two people is essentially public) but it's a really interesting look into the world of courting big money donors.
Rove explained that Crossroads had conducted extensive focus groups and shared polling and focus group data with all the major groups that are playing in the election. As many of you know, one of the most important things about Crossroads is: We dont try and do this alone. We have partners, he said. The Kochsyou name it.
What had emerged from that data is an acute understanding of the nature of those undecided, persuadable voters. If you say hes a socialist, theyll go to defend him. If you call him a far out left-winger, theyll say, no, no, hes not. The proper strategy, Rove declared, was criticizing Obama without really criticizing himby reminding voters of what the president said that he was going to do and comparing it to what hes actually done. If you keep it focused on the facts and adopt a respectful tone, then theyre gonna agree with you.
Roves analysis of the Senate races was technical and masterly. The Republicans need four seats to gain a majority, and Rove said he feels really good about Nebraska and is optimistic about North Dakota, even though Democrats have a strong candidate in former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp. Were deeply engaged there, Rove said. In Wisconsin, former Governor Tommy Thompson has an excellent shot to winhe has a quirky, cross-party appeal. Virginia is going to be tight and will likely mirror the way the state votes in the presidential race. Of those, Rove declared, we can win three.
In Connecticut, Rove noted that Linda McMahon, the former head of World Wrestling Entertainment, whom he had once written off, was running a really smart campaign. And the state, he noted, had moved more to the right. Those affluent, socially liberal, economically conservative people in Fairfield County and the New York suburbs have finally figured out that their pocketbooks matter more than abortion.
There are six Republican incumbents Rove identified as in jeopardy, but the biggest risk to Republican hopes of retaking the Senate is Todd Akin in Missouri, following his comments about legitimate rape. Rove urged every attendee to apply pressure on Akin to convince him to leave the race. We have five people who are interested in replacing Akin, Rove said. We dont care who the nominee is, other than get Akin out.
Just from personal experience I think Rove is right about the tone of the campaign. I know we all want red meat all the time but we simply aren't the target audience. There has to be some hard hitting stuff but the few hundred thousand people Mitt needs in each of a handful of states don't react to it the same way we do.
If Mitt and team can keep the right combination of hard hitting, more in sadness than anger and personal revelation they struck in his speech last night, he'll do very well.
A couple of thoughts about last night:
-Romney was great. He's gotten so much better on the stump. I was pretty close to the stage for his speech to the American Legion on Wednesday and was shocked at how much better he was in person than on TV. Last night a lot of that came through.
-Eastwood was alternatively hilarious and horrifying. It would have been much more effective as a Night One event. It was simply out of place last night.
-The elderly couple and especially the woman who lost a daughter were fantastic character witnesses for Mitt. They need to be in ads, lots of ads pronto.
-Rubio was great as always. No one in politics today gives the "love letter to America" speech any better. He's going to be President some day. I just hope he leaves the Senate and does a term as Governor first. There's plenty of time for it.
-Whoever scheduled last night needs to be shot and then fired. The personal testimonials were fantastic but following them up with two generic politico types and then the Bain stuff (which was good, just not as good as the personal speeches) sucked the energy out of them and they were too distant from Romney's speech. Also, showing the bio video out of the network window in exchange for Eastwood was simply political malpractice.
Mitt was let down by his staff last night but much to my surprise, he bailed them out.
Today Romney is heading to New Orleans. Smart move to distance himself from Bush and beat Obama there. There was talk in Indianapolis he was going to go from the Legion speech to the Gulf Coast but I guess the storm was still raging there so it didn't work out. That would have been very aggressive programming.
— Gabriel Malor Happy Friday.
I couldn't resist piling on media fact checkers yesterday.
Yahoo News reports that there is a planned Reagan hologram, it just wasn't ready in time for the convention.
DOD is threatening to sue the author of an UBL raid book for breaching non-disclosure rules.
August 30, 2012
As explained by Paul Ryan:
"So here's the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?"
— Ace On MSNBC, they are insisting that the statement "You want an American for big jobs" is a "birther" attack on Obama.
From AD, here's a partial transcript:
Ed Shultz: He said "When the world needs to do really big stuff, we need an American."
Ed Shultz: That was a bither line.
Ed Shultz: I don't know how else to take that.
Ed Shultz: That was below the belt.
Maddow: It struck me the same way.
They're also deriding Clint Eastwood as being unwatchable and inarticulate. Remember, this is Rachel Maddow and Al Sharpton and Ed Schultz lodging this complaint.
The most amazing thing here was Ed Schultz' passionate insistence that Clint Eastwood, ventriloquizing (by suggestion) "Go f*** yourself" into the mouth of the Invisible Obama, was a nasty, degrading attack, because Obama is a "family man" and presumably would take offense at this language.
Right. Chicago politician. Chose Rahm Emmanuel as his chief of staff, a famously profane man.
Right, Ed. Poor Obama. How will he get over it.
— Ace Get it on.
For Clint (?), Rubio, & Romney.
Either Clint's late, or Clint's not coming and they're killing time, or, possibly, they've decided they want Clint on national tv at 10 and will let Romney run well past 11, and will dare the networks to cut away.
Option 3. They decided to dare the networks.
— Ace Joe Biden was so moved by Mitt Romney's acts of charity that he left a breadcrust at a diner and told the waitress, "For your bambino."
Preview of Chris Matthews: Dave S. thinks he knows what Chris will say about Clint Eastwood.
You know what strikes me? You got this guy, Clint Eastwood, he gets up there and he just looks angry. He looks like an angry, old, white man. And he's speaking to a group of angry, old, white men. So it plays well in the house, but this guy is detached from the pain of those that are left out.
I start to watch this guy, the scowl on his face, and it occurs to me that his role in Gran Torino was more of a biography than anything.
He wants us to check to see how close he got. I can guarantee you right now it's pretty close.
— Ace The Newt/Callista thing was very natural and totally not a bad idea, so there's that.
— Ace Here's the Update: complete schedule:
Introduction of Colors US Central Command Joint Forces Color Guard Team
Pledge of Allegiance by Dylan Nonaka
National Anthem sung by SEVEN
Invocation byKen and Priscilla Hutchins
Remarks by U.S. Rep. Connie Mack (FL)
Reagan Legacy Video
Remarks by Newt and Callista Gingrich
Remarks by Craig Romney
8:00 p.m. Remarks by Governor former Jeb Bush (FL)
Remarks by Bob White, chairman of Romney for President campaign
Remarks by Grant Bennett
Remarks by Tom Stemberg
9:00 p.m. Remarks by former Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kerry Healey
Remarks by Jane Edmonds, former Massachusetts Secretary of Workforce (Democrat who's going to sing Romney's praises)
Remarks by Olympians Michael Eruzione, Derek Parra and Kim Rhode
Remarks by ~MYSTERY SPEAKER~
10:00 p.m. Remarks by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (FL)
Remarks by presidential nominee Mitt Romney
Benediction by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan
Speaker Boehner declares convention adjourned
By the way, take a gander at the Murderer's Row of talent the Democrats have scheduled for next week:
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin
Newark Mayor Cory Booker
Former President Jimmy Carter (via video) (?!?!?)
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who will be the first Latino keynote speaker at a Democratic National Convention (he's the keynoter, not Clinton? Um, okay)
Former President Bill Clinton (ah, so Clinton speaks last, and is therefore the keynoter)
Former Republican Governor of Florida Charlie Crist (also, "Former Independent, Current Bunghole")
Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Georgetown Law School Graduate Sandra Fluke (Oh she's a graduate now? Wow. They got a Law School Graduate!!!)
Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (Hope she talks about her state's amazing turnaround... under a different governor)
Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine
Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California (awesome)
President of NARAL Pro-Choice America Nancy Keenan (this should be good)
Caroline Kennedy (noted orator and layabout)
Womens rights activist Lilly Ledbetter (also good)
Obama Campaign Co-Chair Eva Longoria (was a TV "star" like five years ago)
U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts (another Human Highlight Film)
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (ummm...)
U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, together with the women of the U.S. Senate (Gee, I wonder what this evening's theme is? Besides leghair)
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (beloved)
President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards (another one... they've got a lot of eggs in this Abortion is Awesome basket)
Journalist Cristina Saralegui (They got a Journalist... almost as good as a Law School Graduate)
Los Angeles Mayor, Democratic Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa (running his city smooth as silk)
Senate candidate from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren (need big wampum)
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina (she dared to come?)
I omitted all the ones I never heard of or barely heard of.
Anyway, should be a real hoot.
Click on the link above that list and you'll see some complaints by Democrats-- that the DNC is actually attempting a very white convention, because, I guess, they want to appeal to undecided whites.
So... Racism? You be the judge.
Excerpts... From Romney's speech. Some pungency here:
President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. MY promise...is to help you and your family.
From what I read, it's a more lovey-dovey humanizing speech than I would want, but I don't fear; I'm pretty sure he's holding the tough stuff back, so it's fresh when he delivers it.
You don't telegraph your blows, after all.
No one reading Ryan's excerpts would have realized what a thorough skull-f***ing he planned to deliver.
Here's one sharp line:
"If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's President Obama? You know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had, was the day you voted for him."
Again, going directly after Obama's strength.
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