Friday, October 31, 2008

Palin's interpretation of the First Amendment

Lets just say she doesn't quite get it.
Basically, she thinks criticism is violating her 1st Amendment rights.
Benen explores the "chilling effect" this would have.

Rebels for Obama

That's no photoshopping. That is in fact an Obama sign in the yard of a home in Martinsville, IN which is also flying the Stars and Bars.
Ben Smith heard from the owner.
Money quote:
I firmly believe, after having been a registered republican my entire life, that
Senator Obama is EXACTLY what we need in Washington to lead our country out of
this economic crisis we are in. He has a steady calm which I feel is required
for the biggest job he'll ever have. He never lets us see him sweat!
This is 2008...not 1864! We are not blacks, whites, hispanics, cubans, or any other
ethnic race which has migrated to the USA to live in the "land of plenty." WE

The criminal justice system is a series of tubes

This is Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK). You may remember him from the world famous "the internet is not a truck, its a series of tubes" rant.

But now he's completely full of it. Stevens was convicted recently in a corruption case. Seems the jury did not buy his argument that he did know he was receiving improper gifts when he had his home remodeled, despite the fact that he did not pay for the renovations.

So with a convicted felon as their Senator, some are calling for Stevens to step down. Here is his answer: NO!

The good senator seems to think he has not been convicted of anything until all of his appeals are exhausted. Of course, that's bunk. I've got any number of clients who will be happy to explain to Stevens that every state in the Union and the Federal Government sure do treat them like convicted felons. A whole lot of them are awaiting their appeals from behind bars. So give it a rest, Ted. Step down.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Stay Classy, Frank Willis.

If Mr. Burgundy appears disappointed with Frank Willis, it's because he is. Frank's not being very classy.

It's not enough that Frank lost the primary. He then had to appeal it all the way to the South Carolina Supreme Court, because contrary to what every single American has always been taught, "one vote just was not enough" for Frank.

But, in for a penny in for a pound is Frank's creed, which led him to blame the system for his loss. See, in Frank's World, he was done in by partisan politics. How he can blame partisan politics when Frank is a democrat (allegedly) and he lost to another democrat in the Democratic primary is beyond me. In Frank's World, reason apparently does not reside. But hey...Ed Robinson does. So at least he's got that going for him, which is nice.

Well, if you can't beat 'em, continue to ram your head against the wall must also be a Willis family philosophy. I got a mailer yesterday from our outgoing Mayor, where he told me I only had one choice to keep Florence moving forward. Guess who Frank is endorsing. Rocky. Shocker.

So there you have it Florence, Frank Willis is endorsing Rocky Pearce. Now, if someone could just explain to me how that represents "change...with experience," because to me that screams MORE OF THE SAME.

I know one thing, there are certainly a lot of folks in Florence that do not want Wukela to win. If Wukela pulls this off, he will have done so by beating just about every single local politician. That should tell folks something.

Obam opening up a can in Cali


It's not surprise that Obama is going to win California and that he will win there big. But I don't think many thought it would be this big:

"Barack Obama appears destined for the largest California victory of any
presidential candidate since World War II..."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sakura and Miyami, get on the ball!

As someone who loves tuna, I have long tried to bring attention to the absence of establishments that sell and/or prepare quality tuna here in the Magic City. In fact, my personal test when I see tuna listed as the seafood special is to order it, then see if I am asked how I would like it prepared. If I don't get that question, I quickly change my order, because it is obvious the place will just cook the crap out of it. Tuna is meant to be cooked in more temperature variations than beef. If your waiter/waitress doesn't know this, it's because the place you are at doesn't either.

So since I can't get a good tuna filet/steak prepared worth a damn in this city, I have the following request of our sushi purveyors: let's get on this bandwagon. Please.

Pallin' around with convicted felons

Hey, Sarah...who you gonna vote for in that Senate race?

Roasting Matt Lauer

One roast you will probably never see on television, the recent Friar's Club roast of Matt Lauer. Why? Because as you can read, the network personalities seem to really have embraced the concept and could not wait for their chance to talk like sailors. Here's an example from Meredith Viera:

"People say he's so prim and proper, like he's got a stick up his ass. It's not a stick, my friends, it's Al Roker's dick."

Katie Couric got in on it too. But if you think that's raunchy, you don't know Gilbert Gottfried. I haven't even been able to find his whole jokes yet. Here's a relatively safe video of Gottfried from the Bob Saget roast, where Gottfried absolutely killed.

The Three Ashleys

Interesting summation of the race, based on telling the story of three Ashleys. The first helped propel W. in 2004. The second is the crazy, girl from Pitt who lied last week about being attacked. The third is the Ashley Baia, the young lady Obama referenced in his speech about race back in March.

You know, the story of our mayor's race has been used by Obama's national campaign and was picked up by the national press. (See here and here). And Ashley was here in Florence for quite some time. I think it is more than pretty cool that these two stories became big parts of Obama's campaign. I think it shows how truly efficient the campaign was. Obama's emphasis on grass roots organizing meant one thing: you paid attention to your lowest volunteers. When you do that, you find out about these stories and you can use them. You are not, for instance, watching tv, seeing your opponent answer a question from some guy and then scrambling to write that guy into your campaign (ala Joe the Plumber).

Hitch on Palin

Hitch gives his take on Palin as only Hitch can.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Americans fed up?

Could we be reaching a tipping point on negative campaigning? Ask John McCain how well it seems to be doing. So far, don't look to good. Today, as many as possibly 40 people in Indiana decided they would rather not get paid for the day than have to read what appears to be your pretty standard scare script.

And that was in this economy, folks. Now that's change we can believe in.

Good for them.

Getting Rid of the Gatekeeper

Quick, which one is a Florence City Councilman and which one is a lady named Dana Barrett who lives in an apartment at 55 Central Park West and had a demonic figure speaking from within her refrigerator call her by the name "Zuul", which just so happens to be a demigod worshipped in 6000 BC by the Hittites, Mesopotamians and Sumerians and a minion of the deity Gozer?

Of course, the incredibly hot lady is Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), who is abducted and put into demonic possession by a dog-like beast in her own apartment, whereinafter one Dr. Peter Venkman arrives to find her in a trance, where her sole objective is to locate another possessed person. You see, Dana, now possessed as Zuul, is "the gatekeeper." Long story short, she's got to meet up with another possessed soul, possessed by Vinz Clortho or the "keymaster."

What the hell does this have to do with our local embarrassment Florence City Councilman Ed Robinson? Take a look at this. The article is about City Council's meeting today (hey...thats 3 Mondays in a row. It's almost like these guys are trying to ram a whole bunch of stuff through before November 4th...Wonder why?), where they approved themselves a pay increase and voted to give the County some land for development. Specifically, I find these quotes on the land conveyance telling:

Robinson voted in favor of the ordinance, but said development in Florence is
“lopsided” and has “created two separate cities.”

“It’s about to have me to the point where I want to vote against anything with (the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation), even though they got all the money, because of the unfair distribution of funds,” he said.

Now, I seem to recall someone talking about the failure for any of the new development to find its way north of Evans street. Who was that? Oh yeah...Stephen Wukela. In fact, I'm pretty sure Wukela has harped on it the entire race.
So why on earth is Ed Robinson endorsing Rocky Pearce instead of Wukela?

Probably the same reason he endorsed Frank Willis, who when confronted with Wukela's remarks about a city divided during their debate stated, “I don’t see that divide.” Ed is so moved by this unfairness in development that he is willing to start voting against the people with the coin? It's that important to him? Then why was he pushing so hard to keep Willis in office, when Willis denied there was even a problem? I mean, this is the mayor to whom Ed gave honorary ethnicity when he said to Willis, “You have been the most progressive black mayor."

Wukela has also strongly come out against City Council's recent quick push through of an ordinance to make city elections nonpartisan, while Rocky has not. Ed is also firmly against changing to nonpartisan, once again making you wonder why Ed is so against Wukela. So let me tell you why.

Ed is also a gatekeeper.

You see, Ed is just one of the latest in a long line of persons who have assumed office, only to abuse it. These ne'rdowells have claimed to be community leaders, when they are interested in doing absolutely nothing other than taking advantage of those self-proclaimed positions. See, these folks claim to speak for the black community and use that claim to milk cash out of politicians who are too lazy, stupid or (hate to say it but its true) racist to know otherwise.

In other words, these politicians don't have to worry about doing the hard work of reaching out to the black community, they can just pay the "gatekeeper." The gatekeeper will take care of those votes and you don't have to worry about it.

That is why Ed Robinson is so against Wukela. See, Frank and Rocky were willing to play the game the way its always been played. That Wukela, he bypassed the gatekeepers and went out in the black community and created relationships on his own. How else do you explain the staunch opposition to Wukela from every single local black elected politician yet Wukela still managed to win the black precincts two to one in the primary?

Don't think I'm right on this one? Take a look at what their mates on City Council have done for Ed and Billy Williams since the primary. Look how the nonpartisan ordinance was pushed through over their objections. Think someone isn't too pleased with the job the gatekeepers did for the primary? Anyone think Frank may have been hearing he was doing "just fine?" How about that motion Ed made to make city council members eligible for city retiree health benefits after 13 years instead of 20? Think the gatekeeper was asking for a little something on his way out the door? Think Ed knows the gatekeeper's time is over?

If Wukela can win the Mayoral election it means that a person wanting to run for office no longer has to play the game the same old way here in Florence. That ain't good for the Gatekeepers. In fact, it's kind of like a nuclear-powered proton pack shot to the gatekeepers.

Come November 4th, fire 'em up.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The future of the word "conservative"

As Inigio Montoya says, "you keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means."*
Sullivan has a good post on how the word no longer means what the they think it means. He links to William Randolph who has a true quote of the times: "there are only so many times I can tell people that I'm a conservative, but not that kind of conservative before it becomes clear that I'm using the wrong word."

Now you know what liberals have felt like since Carter.

*other Inigio Montoya facts:
-said: "Hello. My name is Íñigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die".
-is not left-handed
-was so slobbering drunk when found by Vizzini, that he could not even buy brandy. Vizzini hired him to help start a war, a prestigious line of work, with a long and glorious tradition
-he cannot swim
-is looking for a 6-fingered man
-he has dedicated his life to the study of fencing and is familiar with Bonetti's defense, Capo Ferro and Agrippa

Vote for me and I'll give Congress the gasface

It must be sad when you have to resort to arguing people should vote for you or else the other guy may be able to deliver on his promises. In other words, you realize you have failed so miserably to actually inspire any with what you believe and what you propose to achieve, you simply are left appealing to people's fear, hoping they don't will not want the other guy's vision enough.

Does he really believe "I can bring gridlock" is what Americans want, especially with the economic trouble we can already see on the horizon?

This must be emasculating.

1980 in reverse.

Once again, another follow-up the the Newt-Susan-Yoko series of posts. For any of my Republican friends, how do you feel about Nuzzo's remark that the new litmus test for your membership in the Republican Party will be "where do you stand on Palin?" And does it concern you that you have to answer "yes" to be a Republican? (At least to Nuzzo).

Anyway, it gives me an excuse to play my favorite Political video of all time (I love Blair looking all around in the second part, then leaning in with each utterance of weak, looking Major in the eye. Punked). This clip really shows the immaturity of our country. Our pols don't have the guts to stand across from each other and declare themselves.

Irresponsible race-baiting

This video is really just a "greatest hits" of Fox's coverage of the sick chick who said she was robbed and attacked by a black male after he saw her McCain sticker. Video is pretty unremarkable, until about 0:41 in, when Sadie Gurman (a reporter for the Pitt Post-Gazette) mentions "they're planning on adding a sexual assault to the case..."

The Fox anchor, some lady, interrupts to ask, "Sexual assault?"

To which Ms. Gurman elaborates, "apparently she lost consciousness at some point."

WTF is that about? Sure, lets throw some big-black-man-raping-our-innocent-white-women-gas onto the fire.

And if losing consciousness is indicative of being sexually assaulted, my college roommates have some explaining to do.

Why the wait???

To everyone who wants to know why we have yet to set a date, here the reason. It is a real pain to coordinate everyone's schedules for dance rehearsal. No wedding until we have this down cold.

Hey, Joe...F*#k you.

Joe, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother, you're not a friend. I don't want to know you or what you do. I don't want to see you at the hotels, I don't want you near my house. When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there. You understand?

Deputy Dog is starting to try to convince people that he really is not a douchebag. In a recent interview, Lieberman tried to say, hey...I'm not saying Obama isn't experienced enough to be President, I'm just saying he's less prepared than my bestest buddy John.

Really? See, I think that is exactly what you said. In fact, I know you said it, remember:

“You got a real clear choice to make, and I say it respectfully to Senator Obama
cause he is a gifted young man, but he is not ready to be President,” Lieberman
told McCain donors (August 12, 2008).

In that first linked interview, this jerk had the nerve to basically say he can only be held responsible for what he says and since he has done nothing but take the high road, it's all good. Guess Joey has forgotten about his being pimped to legitimize the GOP's bogus "Hamas endorsed Obama" attack. Not to mention his main "reason" for supporting McCain is eviscerated by his buddy's VP pick. That's what some may call "poetic justice" because we all know the real reason you were supporting McCain was because you wanted that VP slot.

Hey, jagoff...when you get out and publicly speak for a campaign, you're tied to it. All of it. That's one reason why so many people who had originally been for your boy are now bailing. They are disgusted. The other reason, well that's the same one that has instigated you backing off your earlier criticism of That One. They can see the writing on the wall.

A little Flight to end the night.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Screw elections. Dance Off for President. - Watch more free videos

Hat tip, Jay.

Frank and Rick, this is exactly why you lost.

On Monday, I had a post documenting the gall of certain members of the Florence City Council. Tonight, I am taking the time to single out just two: Rick Woodard and Frank Willis.

Gentlemen, your time is up. You lost. Thank you for your service. Now it is time to leave. But instead of going quietly into that good night, you have chosen to sully yourselves with your attempts to "fix" an election that is already over.

Why do these two deserve a post of their own? Just read their own words, quoted in this SCNow article (which I assume will be in the FloMo on Sunday).

I'll deal with Woodard first. Here is Councilman Woodard's wisdom from the article:

“I had no vote option when I went to the primary for mayor,” said Republican city council member Rick Woodard, who lost in the primary. Woodard said he and fellow council member Bobby Holland — both supporters of Willis — were “disenfranchised” of their mayoral votes because they had to vote for themselves in the Republican primary...

“There is no question that if (elections were non-partisan), Frank Willis would’ve been re-elected by a large number,” Woodard said.

First off Rick, you and Bobby did not "have" to vote for yourselves. You could have very easily chosen a Municipal Democratic Primary ballot and voted for your good friend Frank. Second, you guys wanted that dual ballot, just like you wanted to change the date to align the munis up with the general. Problem is, you guys actually have no political acumen. You all thought these things were going to help you maintain the status quo, when in fact it did not.

Your crocodile tears about being disenfranchised are about as sincere as your motives. You had a "vote option," Rick. You just chose not to take it. Why don't you blame Frank for not running as the Republican he really is?

Now for Frank. Have you no shame?

“I think the result would’ve been significantly different had we had
non-partisan elections,” ... “I think most of the people on this
council see this as not about power,” Frank Willis said, “but as about the
citizens of Florence being able to vote for whoever they want to vote for.”

You know...that is exactly what is wrong with this city and it is exactly why you guys are getting kicked out of office. Do you guys really believe your own bullshit? How about this...maybe you lost because you did not do enough to make people want to vote for you.

Now for Frank Willis:
To publicly go on the record and say the above after losing, is wrong and being a sore loser. To say it after challenging the results all the way to the South Carolina Supreme Court and losing is being a really sore loser. To say it after the man who beat you refused to say anything negative about you continuing that challenge all the way to the Supremes is classless. To say it with the general election still pending and without being man enough to ever publicly congratulate Wukela is simply sad.

Frank, for you to try to say this would have come up regardless of the primary is pure, unadulterated horseshit. Brand started pushing this mere hours after the Circuit Court threw you out. Your sincerity about this being unrelated to you losing is about as believable as it was when you tried to say changing the certification date of the primary results was your attempt to simply comply with the law.
What is even more incredible, is that you all admitted WHY you are doing it, because Frank and Rick lost. Then you have the nerve to think people will believe you would be doing this even if you had won. And your wasting OUR time with this, while we have bodies turning up all over town. Our City Council can't spend their time finding any funding for the police we need, but they have no problem trying to change their own losing history.

Vote Change.

Is Palin Yoko?

Seriously...I can see myself looking back on the good Governor years from now, being thankful that she pulled a Yoko and broke up the band (splitting the conservative crowd from the religious crowd, or what I like to call "Karl Rove's deal with the Devil").

This is going to be fun. Even I didn't think it was going to escalate this fast, but it looks like I wrote my "Newt and Susan Smith" post just in time. The Republicans are going Lord of the Flies and the McCain and Palin camps are fighting like hell for the conch shell.

Palin got the first major lick in this morning, through Ben Smith's piece.

The McCain camp countered by calling Palin a diva and saying she's "going rogue" (do we take out rogue VP candidates? I mean I know we take out rogue nations).

Sullivan asks one hell of question:

Why is Palin in Iowa today, currently with a deep blue color on all the
electoral maps, if not to start her campaign for 2012?

Money quote

Ken Adelman, who I think brings up what is key for many, on endorsing Obama:

Granted, McCain's views are closer to mine than Obama's. But I've learned over
this Bush era to value competence along with ideology
. Otherwise, our ideology
gets discredited, as it has so disastrously over the past eight years.

Meet Cindy the Beer Girl

You know, like Joe the Plumber. of the McCain campaign's favorite tactics is to redefine terms so that they can claim their bullshit is true. The latest redefinition: small business.

How can I say they are "redefining" this term? Because our U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham introduced Cindy McCain as a "great small businesswoman" at a rally in Colorado. Her "small business?" The beer distributorship she inherited from her father, Hensley & Co. It is the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributor in the country (that would be #3 out of 800) with revenues last year of almost $200 million.

Or how about "Bob the Boat Builder". Another McCain "small businessman" who ran a company that had revenues of $67 million last year.

Graham's introduction is especially ridiculous, because of where it took place: in Colorado! That's right, Lindsey was basically telling those folks, "hey, she's a small businessperson...just like Pete Coors. You know, the fella that runs that quaint little brewery that just so happens to be the largest brewery on a single site IN THE WORLD. You know, the same family that owns a major league baseball team, founded the Heritage Foundation and basically runs your state. Can you believe Obama wants to raise Cindy and Pete's taxes! I mean, how are these poor folks gonna make payroll?"

W. Review

So we went to see W. last night with several friends. I had read several reviews. Pretty much all of the reviewers had been surprised that Stone had not skewered Bush. No, Stone does not portray the current president as the Devil incarnate. And I agree with most of the reviews I read, it is almost impossible to see the film and not empathize with the guy.

Personally, I think a lot of people misunderestimated Oliver Stone. Yes, he can be out there personally...but the guy knows how to make movies. Stone is too smart of a filmmaker to have done what many expected him to do, savage Bush. Why would he do that? He knows the far left was coming to see this movie no matter what. If he wanted to make a point to people who hold views different than his, Stone had to be a little more subtle. He did not want to drive people away by focusing on every one of Bush's personal failings. He wants people who consider themselves fans of the President to be willing to come and sit through the thing.

Some examples of Stone's obvious effort to appeal to the Right:

1) The Cocaine. You don't see it, even though it was widely reported and certainly discussed in mainstream America prior to his election. Why not? It's not like Stone handles Bush with kids gloves. For 60% of the film (it seems), W is either downing a drink or pouring another. And this is a director who certainly does not feel that drug use itself is that demonizing. Hell...supposedly "Scarface" was loosely based around Stone's own addiction to cocaine. It is obvious to me that Stone knows there is a certain fairly large segment of the population who does not believe W did cocaine. He chose to ignore it, so as not to turn those folks off. I think rightfully so. Who gives a shit. Let's face the time your average American who has enjoyed the nightlife reaches the age of thirty, it's probably just as easy to list the illicit substances they have NOT tried, as opposed to those they have. We are a nation of consumers. Hey, capitalism requires it. Personally, unless a potential politician has an addiction that is ongoing, I don't think voters even need to know. Bush let us know he was addicted to Jesus and it was because he has a problem with alcohol. Fair enough. Thanks for the heads up. BTW, he was an idiot for not just admitting the coke. He made it into an issue. I loved Obama's response when asked if he inhaled: That was kind of the point.

2) "Laura Bush." In particular, the respect the film shows her. One scene in particular, Laura comes in to the room, wakes a hungover W up and proceeds to change. Being the Elizabeth Banks fan that I am, I got a little eager there when I saw the clothing change coming. Now I know Oliver wasn't going to give us any First Lady T & A, but I was ready for a little JCPenny-ish catalogue undergarment material. When the blouse comes off...tanktop. Now, call me crazy, but I think Oliver actually thought he would piss off some of the religious diehards if he showed "Laura Bush" in a bra.

3) The 2000 election. Non-existent. One single line about it, the purpose of which was to establish yet another wound inflicted upon Jr. by Poppy in his never-ending battle with his daddy issues.

All in all, it was a decent film. It was however, the best movie experience I've had since high school. See, the power kept flickering, 'causing the sound to cut off. The picture kept running, but there were a hand full of several minute interludes there at the end, where we had no sound. There was a fair-sized audience in attendance. One of the employees came in to explain what was happening and say passes would be available.

After a couple of more sound outages, some of our fellow patrons decided to go ahead and leave. Being the juvenile idiots we are, this led us to start shouting, "Stay the course! Terror lovers! Why do you guys hate freedom!" Given the movie, I think everyone enjoyed the comments. I hope no one was offended. Personally, I almost pissed myself laughing. Seriously...I haven't laughed so hard like an uncontrollable retard since we watched Speed at the Capri and saw the bus jump the gap in the freeway. Of course, back then...we had a little assistance in acting so foolish.

So what's my final take? W. Good times, especially when there are power surges.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Waz Up. Change.

Hands down, the best campaign commercial in recent memory.

Be hip. Be Cool. Catch the 30 Rock premiere before all the kids.

Frank clued me in. NBC is streaming the new season's premiere. Check it.
Also, Pop Candy linked to a 30 Best Moments from 30 Rock.

Conservatives endorsing Obama

Kind of a follow up post to the "Newt and Susan Smith" post earlier. There have been any number of conservatives who have endorsed Obama and this week has seen Obama pick up two big ones. Most everyone knows one: Colin Powell. But perhaps more telling, is the fella to the left. Who is he? He's Charles Fried. And here's what TNR has to say about him and his endorsement:

(Fried) has long been one of the most important conservative thinkers in the
United States. Under President Reagan, he served, with great distinction, as
Solicitor General of the United States. Since then, he has been prominently
associated with several Republican leaders and candidates, most recently John
McCain, for whom he expressed his enthusiastic support in January.
This week,

Fried announced that he has voted for Obama-Biden by absentee ballot. In his
letter to Trevor Potter, the General Counsel to the McCain-Palin campaign, he
asked that his name be removed from the several campaign-related committees on
which he serves. In that letter, he said that chief among the reasons for his
decision "is the choice of Sarah Palin at a time of deep national crisis."

After TNR reported the above, Fried wrote this to them:

I admire Senator McCain and was glad to help in his campaign, and to be listed
as doing so; but when I concluded that I must vote for Obama for the reason
stated in my letter, I felt it wrong to appear to be recommending to others a
vote that I was not prepared to cast myself. So it was more of an erasure than a
public affirmation--although obviously my vote meant that I thought that Obama
was preferable to McCain-Palin. I do not consider abstention a proper option.

This is what I was referring to earlier. Fried is one of the Goldwaters and he has had enough with the direction he sees his party heading. Listen...this isn't a lukewarm moderate here. This is a heavyweight conservative who was advising John McCain. How in the hell is Obama an extremist, when he is being endorsed by advisors to John McCain?

Even though I disagree with Fried on policy, his actions give me hope. It is not just that he has voted for my candidate. It's that by making his vote public and explaining his reasons, he is standing up and saying enough. It is conservatives like Fried who will determine how our two party system is going to look in the future. Is it going to be Liberal versus Conservative? Or Secular versus Religious? God will truly need to help us if it is the latter.

A little hair of the dog to get you through to the Weekend

Nothing can push you over the finish line of a long week like a little angst-filled Eddie.

Homework Assignment #2: Learn the meaning of "preconditions"

Okay. I have decided to help Sarah Palin out. Since I have declared Obama the winner of this year's election ( need to go vote, it's taken care of), from now until November 4th, I will try to help Palin prepare for her own Presidential run in 2012. I will do this by offering homework assignments, as I see the need. We'll call this assignment #2. I'm counting the post about her needing to get a copy of the Constitution as #1. Once she understands that the Vice-President does not control the Senate, she may move on to this assignment.

When foreign policy is being discussed, imposing preconditions on talks means that one side is refusing to come to the table, until the other sides gives in to some demand. It has nothing to do with "preparing" for your talks.

Let me use an example: In the video above, you look like an idiot, because you were not adequately prepared to answer a question about meeting with preconditions. Sen. McCain would be smart if he demanded you took a test proving you know what the hell you are talking about before you be allowed to do any futher interviews. You taking and passing such a test would be a precondition you are required to satisfy before you will be allowed to sit down and talk to any more of the elite media.

Newt and Susan Smith?

So I was over at the Washington Monthly's site this morning, and I saw this interesting post by Hilzoy. You know, Gingrich has been pretty out of the spotlight for so long, I sometimes forget how ridiculous his comments could be.

The reason I post this (besides the fact it reminded me to select Stretch Armstrong's "Union" on the IPod), is I personally believe the Republican Party is heading towards a pretty big fork in the road after November 4th. Barring some unexpected turn of events, I believe Obama is going to win and it is not going to be as close as most predict. I think Obama will win pretty big, and the Democrats will pick up a number of seats in Congress. There is going to be a lot carnage and blood-letting, as blame is thrown around and the GOP is going to have decide the direction they want to head going into the future.

Unfortunately for the Goldwater conservatives out there, Karl Rove did succeed in creating a "Republican Majority." The unfortunate part of it for the Goldwaters, is that Rove created the majority IN the Republican party. Rove rode Bush into office on by grasping the tail of the evangelical tiger. And now that tiger is the most ferocious thing in the GOP tent.

The Palin pick did two things:

1) Palin gives evangelicals their next political hero. She is now there star and woe be unto those that don't support her when it comes time to pick the next Republican Presidential candidate. You can already see her starting to distance herself by criticizing some of the campaign's moves. I have increasingly been comparing McCain-Palin to J. Howard and Anna in my mind. Thanks for the spotlight, old fella. Now where's that plug...

2) Palin's pick cost McCain the election. McCain knows it. The Goldwaters know it. Anyone who is not impressed that "she's so much like me!" knows it. And anyone who has criteria for President which goes beyond the critical question of whether or not one of the candidates are as MILF-able as Stiffler's mom, knows it. It also alienated a lot of those Goldwaters from the Republican presidential ticket.

Listen, Republicans can blame McCain for losing this. He has done just about everything he could possibly do to lose it. But let's face it, once Obama got the nomination for the Dems, it was over. He is, as Colin Powell said, a "transformational figure." I know the haters don't want to admit it, but it is true. One of McCain's attempted shots at Obama only proves it. When McCain tried to turn Obama's ability to go Berlin and draw a record crowd into a negative, he showed he just doesn't get it. For all the harm the Republican Administration of the last eight years has done to the our reputation around the world, the world still wants to embrace the United States. Despite our flaws, the idea of America still inspires. Why? Because freedom and liberty are pretty damn inspirational.

So the choice the Republicans are going to have to make, is which direction will appeal to those that still believe in the idea of America? The ideas of freedom and liberty? Is it a true conservative direction? One that is against big spending and government interference in your life (in reality, not rhetoric. We haven't seen the Republican party truly try to advance those ideals in a very long time)? Or will they choose a direction of being the chosen ones on the righteous path? Where government is concerned with rewarding those that are the chosen.

I hope they chose right. Listen, the two party can be a good system. There is a need for a liberal party that wants the government to have programs to help the less fortunate. There is a need for a conservative party to question the need for the programs the liberals propose. If we could actually get back to those two parties, this country would be better off.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

So, you're a Obama person, answer this...

This is my public service announcement as we head to November 4th. By far, the question I keep hearing as the election gets closer, usually starts like this: "Hey, you're votin' for that Obama, answer me this...." And then the person cites some ridiculous crap they have "heard." Obama is a muslim. He promotes partial-birth abortions. He can't run for President, because he was really born in Kenya, etc. Of course, this is all ridiculous. More often than not, the "source" for this information is an email someone has received.

As my public service announcement, I would like to offer you this easy explanation. To these questions, pose this response:

If you believe every email you get, then why don't you order that pill that will
make your penis bigger and get in touch with that Nigerian prince who wants to
split $200 million with you.

That is all.

ps. A late hit-tip to Daniel Hudacko. A gentleman and scholar, despite the fact that he is one-half of the spawn of satan's fantasy football team: The Hudack Attack. Daniel, thanks for correcting the grammar and reminding me it's never a good idea to post after several rounds of Guiness.

I want to rear my little head

Moscow's answer to Flight of the Concord.

Getting what you deserve...

This is Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Why is her story important? Well...because it just may signal that there is hope for civilization. You see, the good Congresswoman went bat-shit crazy on Hardball.

After that McCarthy-like performance, her race got a little tighter. Seems her Democratic challenger started getting a whole heck of a lot of donations: $1.3 mil in online donations and another $1 mil for the DCCC. Now it seems the NRCC is pulling all its advertising for the good Congresswoman.

It probably did not help matters that the way she backtracked off the "anti-american" comments when the fallout started, for example by whining that Chris Matthews "trapped" her and that he used the word "anti-american." Foolishly, at the same time she was denouncing term "anti-american," she was going on conservative talkshows denouncing it like so:

And so, he was using the word “Anti-American” and I told Chris, what I question
are Barack Obama’s views. Because Barack Obama’s views are against America.

Bachmann had been looking at a pretty easy win and still may pull it out, because her district is staunchly Republican. However, if this lady's booted out of office for this crazy rant, maybe its a sign that the electorate is fed up with this kind of divisive foolishness.

I can dream, can't I?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

All Aboard: A tribute to Johnny Cash

I really need to turn this computer off and go to bed, but I just followed a link through Pop Candy, to, where they are streaming a new Cash tribute album with covers done by punk bands. So far my favorite is Bouncing Souls covering "Man in Black." But then the Souls have always been fun. How else would one describe a band that named a song Joe Lies (When he cries). If you don't get that, you need to go hang out at the Gas & Sip.
I've got to admit, I'm a little disappointed that no one covered "One Piece at a Time."

The First Presidential Fantasy Football Team

Yo, Barak! Wolf Blitzer's Lap had it's five-game domination streak ended this past week. My QB, best WR and best RB are all on a bye, so I could use some help getting the ship righted. If' you can help Rick Reilly with his roster, how about little help here in South Cackilack?

I know Republicans are against activist judges, but can't they at least agree to let up with the activist Vice Presidents?

Will someone please get this lady a copy of the Constitution! Please. Anyone?

I mean...this link here offers a free copy of of “The U.S. Constitution & Fascinating Facts About It” or allows you to order in bulk at deeply discounted rates. It is also available in English or Spanish language editions.

McCain as Vizzini: Cheney, Lieberman, Gore, Bentsen, H.W. Bush...morons!

John McCain is a fool. He fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: Never claim your hail-mary, intellectually-uncurious vice presidential running mate is the most qualified in recent memory.
That's the nugget he dropped in an interview with Imus:

"I think she's the most qualified of anyone recently who has run for vice president to tell you the truth..."I'm frankly entertained at the elitist attidue toward a person who is a proven leader."

Happy Enchilada

On a hectic day...a little Prine can go a long way.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wukela Opens Up a Can on Rocky

Overlooking my bias in this race, I also am a realist. It comes from being a Plaintiff's lawyer, where the rule is always assume and prepare for the worst, so that anything over that is gravy. During the debate with Willis, I thought it was about even for the first half of the debate, and then Wukela won the second half.

This debate was different. Rocky did not help himself at all. He refused to support getting the 18 new cops the Police department asked for over one year ago (instead talking about community policing and cameras). He refused to support the idea of an independent audit of city government (saying there were internal protections to look over the money. WTF? The whole problem is that the checks are internal and not external, Rocky). He refused to condemn the failure of Councilman Robinson to accurately account for funds (offering a lame answer that it was accommodations tax, so he could jump the conversation to tourism, then to the Civic Center, which hey...that was when I was mayor).

Time after time, Rocky failed to answer direct questions.

Wukela was the exact opposite. He answered questions directly and authoritatively. Not only did he provide his answers, but he also explained why Rocky's "solutions" did not make sense. (Not that he needed to. Rocky admitted later that "you aren't going to get all these programs" when asked how the economy would affect Florence. In other words, all the crap about cameras...just kidding!)

Perhaps most telling was the tax issue. Rocky pledged there would be no increase in taxes or service fees under a Pearce administration. If you want to know how stupid that is, look at the way Heath acted when he began that question (Kind of the "you're not really saying that's possible right?"). No one who is serious and wants to be credible can say that. Not during these economic times.

Wukela's answer was dead on: It's irresponsible to make that pledge. More importantly, Wukela pointed out no one can say what will need to be done revenue-wise, when we have no idea how the peoples' money is really being spent.

There will be voters who disagree with Wukela, but no one should be unsure of what his positions are. Tonight, voters saw one old politician who is willing to make promises he knows he can't keep and is offering Florence more of the same. They saw another young politician who is willing to tell voters what he really thinks and by that fact alone represents a change in our local politics.

If you're happy with the status quo, Rocky's your guy. If you want to see a real change in Florence, Vote Wukela.

(Click the post title to watch video of the debate)

Sarah Palin meets Terry Tate

Remember Terry Tate? He was the Office Linebacker debuted by Reebok during Super Bowl 2003. Terry's commercials usually involved some poor Joe going about their monotonous routine in the office space, only to get lit up by Terry and then dispatched with a Schwarzenegger-worthy tagline. Who can forget: "Don't bring that weak ass stuff up in this humpty-bumpty," "You kill the joe you make some mo'," or the immortal " The Pain Train's comin!" looks like Sarah Palin has met the Pain Train. Woo, woo, Sarah....woo, woo.

Florence Mayoral Candidates Debate Tonight

Florence Democratic mayoral nominee Stephen Wukela will debate petition candidate Rocky Pearce tonight on WPDE, Channel 15 (ABC) from 7:20-8:00 pm.

For those unfamiliar with the race, Wukela won the June 10th primary by one vote over incumbent Frank Willis. Willis then proceeded on a two-month odyssey in challenging the results. The results were upheld by the State Democratic Party, the Circuit Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit and finally the Supreme Court of the State of South Carolina.
Before the Circuit Court had even ruled, the powers that be in Florence had dusted the mothballs off of Rocky and talked him into running.

Since that time, Florence has been inundated with Rocky material. He's spending money like a drunk sailor. I've received at least 3 mail-outs. He's got his signs all over the Cherokee/Country Club area. Rocky commercials are running pretty regularly on cable and he's got several billboards around town. So clearly, the old-money interests in Florence are seriously worried about a Wukela victory.

Now, I have a clear bias, so I'll spare you why I think Wukela is the better choice. But check out the debate. There are many who believe Willis made a mistake in debating Wukela and Wukela made him pay for it. If you watched the Ketner-Brown debate, you know Heath did a pretty good job and the format allowed him to press a little.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Florence is representin'

As of 3:00 pm today, Florence County had voted approximately 3950 voters (that's paper and electronic). They had voted almost 300 today alone at that time. Looking at the numbers for 2004's General Election in Florence County, that would mean we have almost already voted a fifth of voters we did four years ago.
If you needed any reason to go vote early, think about those numbers. Polls are going to be ridiculi on November 4th. Go now and vote absentee. Your eligible to vote absentee if you will be working, are a student, are 65+, are disabled, will be out of town, serving jury duty or several other factors (check out for a full list). In Florence, all you have to do is go down to the Voter Registration office at the DSS building on the corner of Hwy 52 and Third Loop Road. I've been over there twice this week and both times they were very busy but people were getting in and out between 20 and 30 minutes. That's time enough to vote and grab a sandwich on a lunch break. Make it happen.

Is the run over for Wolf Blitzer's Lap?

Could the five week run of domination be over? Could the most exciting fantasy football team in recent memory be in for its first lost since a ridiculous and fluky Week One shootout loss? We'll know after tonight. Blitz's Lap has to overcome a thirty-two point deficit to win. We do have Cutler, Marshall and Sammy Morris going for us. The Steel Package has Michael Pittman. Here's to hoping the Package is screwed by RB Killa Coach Shanahan. Come on Pats, load up on the run. Come on Marshall, atone for those fumbles. Daddy needs a new pair of shoes.

PS. Alas...everything good must end. The Cutler-Marshall combo only produced 13 points for me, leading to an eight-point loss (117-109) for the Blitz. With Denver and Minny having byes, the Blitz will need some underachievers to step it up (I'm talking to you Cotchery, Brown & Ginn Jr). At 5-2 with 863 total points (league-high), we are still looking good. But now is not the time to get complacent. Expect a tough week of practice to get these fellas ready.

No Shame.

 is your City Council (minus councilmen Bradham and Holland). They held a "Special Meeting" today. This should come as no surprise to those of you who have kept up with City Council's doings since the June 10th pirmary. You see, with Willis and Woodard already headed home and Holland likely to join them come November 4th, they've got some work to get done. And quick.

How can I say these men have no shame?

Well...I could have said it back on July 31st, when they called a special session to try to change the rules to help Frank Willis hang onto his job. At that meeting, the only item on the agenda was changing the certification date for the primary results, because they all realized Frank would not be able to get any "new" results certified in time.

Or I could have said they had no shame when they allowed one of their own, Robinson, to call the Democratic Mayoral Nominee racist at their council meeting last week. How Robinson can argue Wukela would create "racial disparities" when he won the Democratic primary by winning all the predominantly black precincts is beyond rationalization, but who says Ed Robinson is rational.

I could have said they had no shame after their Septemer 8th meeting, when they failed to address the public outcry over their failure to properly account for the allocation of funds (specifically the $7600.00 given to Robinson for a Juneteenth festival that didn't happen until August, after the rest of the media followed Larry Smith and the Community Times questioning of what happened to the money). What they did instead was give the Downtown Development corporation $300,000 to purchase the old Kimbrell's building without having it appraised at all.

I could have said they had no shame after their October 13th meeting, when Councilman Brand proposed a first reading of making the municipal elections non-partisan. Why was this potentially shameful? Isn't nonpartisan a good thing? It can be. But that's not why they proposed it. No, if you want an explanation, look no further than their own words.

“What happened to us was because of partisan (elections),” Woodard said.
Woodard also said that his and Willis’ support was split because of separate
party primaries — “It had nothing to do with being a Republican or a Democrat.”

That's right, they want to change the rules because they lost. But we already know these guys will do whatever they can to stay in office.

Do I think they have no shame because at today's (once again "special") meeting, they voted themselves a pay increase (Brand and Holland voted against the pay increase)? No. I mean, these are the same guys that voted to extend their own terms when the voted to align the muni elections with the general. I have been moved to say they have no shame, because the believe the people of Florence will forget what came out of their mouths just seven days ago. The SCNow articles from today's meeting and the meeting from last week are linked below. Look at their own comments from the Oct. 13th meeting. You almost feel sorry for Billy D. Where was the workshop? Where was the Public Hearing?

What the articles don't show is the bullshit Brand, Woodard and Willis gave Billy at the hearing. No, no...nobody's trying to fast track anything. We just want to go ahead and get the first reading out of the way. We'll have plenty of time to go over it. I'm going to guess not much time was devoted to going over that 6 single-member district info.

Listen, I've got my own reasons for liking the partisan approach, not the least of which is history and some of the tricks that were used around these parts to disenfranchise minorities. Plus, its a simple fact that we are smack dab in gerrymandering country (just take a look at Leatherman's district on a map). It's a little harder (or at least eventually more expensive) to redraw municipality lines. You do have to provide services to those folks. But the reasons behind these yahoos pushing this and the ham-handed way they go about it is shameful.

I am anxiously awaiting November 4th and the change we will have to this council. I mean, afterall, isn't Florence supposed to be a "city of character?"

SCNow article on today's meeting:
SCNow article on last week's meeting:


I made sure I got up in time to watch Meet the Press yesterday. It wasn't easy, especially considering we sat in traffic on Shop Road for an hour trying to get back to the Magic City and forget yet another Gamecock heart breaker. The reason for setting the alarm, ensuring I got only 5 hours sleep? Colin Powell was going to endorse Barak Obama.

Was it worth it? Damn right. Powell gave what was one of the most concise and intelligent endorsements I have ever seen one politician (or pseudo-pol) give another. He correctly articulated the concerns of many Americans. And he did it with the gravitas befitting a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
One of Powell's more prescient points:

And I’ve also been disappointed, frankly, by some of the approaches that Senator
McCain has taken recently, or his campaign ads, on issues that are not really
central to the problems that the American people are worried about. This Bill
Ayers situation that’s been going on for weeks became something of a central
point of the campaign. But Mr. McCain says that he’s a washed-out
terrorist. Well, then, why do we keep talking about him? And why do
we have these robocalls going on around the country trying to suggest that,
because of this very, very limited relationship that Senator Obama has had with
Mr. Ayers, somehow, Mr. Obama is tainted. What they’re trying to connect
him to is some kind of terrorist feelings. And I think that’s

Now, I understand what politics is all about. I know how
you can go after one another, and that’s good. But I think this goes too
far. And I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little
narrow. It’s not what the American people are looking for. And I
look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign and they trouble me. And
the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated
a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with two more
conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that’s what we’d be looking
at in a McCain administration. I’m also troubled by, not what Senator
McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said
such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct
answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a
Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there
something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not
America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American
kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior
members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be
associated terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a
magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and
Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a
mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s
grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the
headstone. And it gave his awards–Purple Heart, Bronze Star–showed that he
died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old.
And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross, it
didn’t have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic
faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American.
He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he
waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we
have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as
nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I’m troubled about the fact that,
within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.

Powell's comments outside the studio, to reporters was even more telling (link below). He basically said the crap the McCain-Palin campaign is pushing is the shit Al-Jeezera is sending out to the world and it is "killing us." That's right...the "Country First" crowd is actually endangering American lives by pushing the Muslim = anti-American stuff.

So who's the guy above and why is he a sell-out? He's Michael Steele, former Lt. Governor of Maryland, current Fox News talking head and token black guy for the Republican party. Why is he a sell-out? Is it because he is a Republican? No. It's because I listened to him on NPR this morning and I heard him serve up the current talking point for the McCain campaign in response to Powell's endorsement.

According to Steele, Powell just wants to be a part of history and get on the first-black President bandwagon. You see, it's all about Powell being black. They always stick with their own, you know. Well then, Michael...if that's the case, how does one explain you?

I would comment on Sarah Palin taking exception to Powell declaring her not ready for the Oval Office, but why bother. I mean what does a man who has worked closely with Presidents in times of crisis know about judging the readiness of an intellectually uncurious Governor? It's not like he's ever seen one of those before or anything.

What do these two images have in common?

How about they are both going down and people are scrambling for the life rafts. The Orlando Sentinel had a report Sunday that highlighted the survival actions of Floridian Republicans. They are bailing and making sure everyone knows who was on the bridge for this one. Now complaining that there ain't a campaign as far as they can tell is one thing. But calling it "Dukakis-like," well that's just damn mean.,0,4081829.story


What are these two gentlemen up to? Why they're breaking ground for this new blog: Behind the Pine Curtain.
Why a blog? For those that know me, you know I talk too much and have a wealth of useless information in my head. I have decided that maybe my own blog would be a better way of dispensing with that useless information and my opinions, rather than through constant status updates on my Facebook page.
What's with the title? "Behind the Pine Curtain" is a phrase we use to explain to outsiders, what is going on here in Florence and the Pee Dee in general. In other words, it is used to explain all the machinations that take place out of sight. If you are not from here, often things make no sense. You've got to understand, shit's different here. It is a whole different world once you cross that Pine Curtain on I-20 (roughly the Bishopville exit).
So we'll see how this goes. Maybe it lasts, maybe it doesn't. I hope some will find it interesting. I hope none find it offensive. Now that I think about it, I just hope some find it, period.
Oh, well...enjoy