Thursday, September 25, 2008

French Toast

When Adam says it's time to dust off the ol' French toast alert system for the storm coming Saturday, I listen. You'll see the alert widget in my sidebar all winter.

If you aren't from Boston or don't read Universal Hub, the French Toast Alert System provides you with a color-coded reminder for when a storm's a-comin' and you need to stock up on milk, eggs and bread, lest you be snowed in and have to eat the children.

Of McCain and Money

funny pictures

A thought about the McCain gambit: A big part of suspending the campaign and pushing back the debate has to do with money.

What does he hope to gain from suspending his campaign?

  1. This back his "putting country first" argument.
  2. Delay the debate until Oct. 2, which would conveniently postpone of cancel the Vice Presidential debate.
  3. Put Obama in a position to also take ownership of a politically risky bailout plan. McCain was needed to secure Republican votes for the measure, so this move helps him spread the risk.

Fortunately, most observers and voters have called this for what it is: A naked political ploy. But I think there's one other reason that could have a hand in this. Money.

Obama has more cash than McCain, and is spending that fortune to get his message out to voters. McCain can't hope to compete with  the resulting flood of Obama ads.

To neutralize that advantage, McCain needs to dominate national news coverage. He's succeeded in the past, most recently and spectacularly with the Sarah Palin pick. The fact that she's tanking now almost doesn't matter, from this perspective. He got two solid weeks of campaign buzz and momentum out of that.

The drawback for McCain, of course, is that this is tantamount to blowing hard into a toy boat's sails. It gives you a strong push forward in the water, but it slows to a stop almost as quickly. So you need to blow again. And harder. This gambit is another hearty gust from the senator. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't look like it's working. He may have blown a little too hard and capsized the boat this time.

(That's my tortured metaphor: John McCain blows. A lot.)

So what happens next? We'll see if people internalize this move the way McCain wants them to—as an act of integrity—or for what it is: A last ditch effort to get some free pub for a campaign that's faltering under a losing issue. This could be the move that decides the election.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I am Crazy Glue

Lunch was almost uneventful today.

I wasn't hungry, so I went to Starbucks to talk with a friend and do a little writing. Apparently, someone slipped some Freak Juice in my espresso, because they soon started flocking.

Everything was fine for most of the hour. But then a regular walked in, sat down in the club chair next to me, and starts talking, angry.

"Fucking women, man. Unfuckingbelievable! They are goddamned unbelievable!"

What the Hell do you say to that? I thought he was just being rueful. He was in earlier, talking to a friend about a divorce. They went outside to talk further and had just come back. Maybe this other guy's wife had taken him to the cleaners?

I tried to laugh it off. "Heh, really?"

"I'm serious! Don't ever get fucking married! Goddamned women!"

"OK! Well, I gotta get back to work. Talk with you soon!"

So I fled the scene and drove back to work. I walked into the building just behind a woman in hippie sandals and a long, flowing skirt. She headed down the hall as I walked into the elevator. Just as I was about to make a clean getaway, she came barreling back down the hall and stops the doors.

"I guess I'll try another floor."


"Hah, OK. What floor would you like?" I asked, since I was standing next to the buttons.

"It doesn't matter."


She went on: "The bathroom on this floor is not very appealing right now." And she started to laugh.

"Ah. Fair enough." I said, and then started at the floor indicator, praying to God the doors would open and I could get out of the box of crazy. I swear it took an hour to get to the second floor.

This is why I work from home three days a week. Yeesh.

Alaska: The Road Warrior with Snow

Chris Rock  follows Bill Clinton on Dave Letterman and lays into him, Hillary, and Sarah Palin. Funny stuff.

(h/t: Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose blog is a must-read)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pedestrian Art

Technical difficulties at work led to a rare mid-day StumbleUpon fest. It led me to this collection of  pedestrian art.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Jane Swift, Stooge

Former governor Jane Swift has come out of the shadows as a John McCain surrogate. She took a starring role in McCain's "Palin Truth Squad" presser and proved to the listening world that she's an idiot.

Swift seized on Obama's use of a common idiom "lipstick on a pig," and repeatedly insisted he was talking about VP candidate Sarah Palin. Jake Tapper has the gory details:

Speaking on behalf of the McCain campaign, former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift tonight flatly stated that Obama had called Palin a pig.

"[T]he formation of the Palin Truth Squad couldn't have happened too soon, as we saw when Sen. Obama in Lebanon, Va., this evening uttered what I can only deem to be disgraceful comments comparing our vice presidential nominee Gov. Palin to a pig," Swift said.

"Sen. Obama owes Gov. Palin an apology," she said.

Asked why she was so confident Obama was "comparing" Palin to a pig, she said Palin was the only one of the four candidates on both parties' tickets who wears lipstick.

"She is the only one of the four candidates for president, or the only vice presidential candidate who wears lipstick," Swift said. "I mean, it seemed to me a very gendered comment."

Josh Marshall has more.

You've been gone all this time, Jane. Did you really return to become a shill and a liar? Do we need to call Christy Mihos to come chase you out of public life again?