July, 2008

Chasers War On Everything

It came to my attention the other night that not all of you were aware of The Chaser's War On Everything. Please enjoy my two favorite skits.

And here's one for our bridge afficionados!

Obama's Missed Opportunity

Yesterday the senate voted on a cloture motion for HR.6049 again, the "Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008." Once again the motion failed, and the bill is stalled over the stalemate of funding.

Briefly, although most of the tax credits have bi-partisan support, the language of the bill follows the Democratic Pay-As-You-Go rules (PAYGO), and contains a provision to pay for the tax credits essentially by taxing the income of hedge fund managers as earned income, not investment income (ie capital gains). The Republicans don't support closing that tax loophole and are pushing for a waiver of the PAYGO rules.

So why was this a missed opportunity for Obama? The cloture vote was almost party line, with 4 Republicans joining the Democrats and no Democrats joining the Republicans. Senators Kennedy, Stevens, Obama, and McCain did not vote. If Sen. Obama had made a point to go to the senate and vote for cloture the motion still would have failed, but he would have raised the profile of the issue and would have earned a weapon with which to attack McCain.

Hilarious Conservative Watch

Hardly a day goes by that some conservative with a website doesn't work themselves into a tizzy over some benign or obscure cultural item. It wouldn't be worth anybody's time to mock each such episode, but this one struck close to my heart. You see, by happenstance the otherday I stumbled across NEPALibWatch.com (That's North Eastern Pennsylvania Liberal Watch) attacking something near and dear to me: Rob and Big!

The proprietor of NEPALibWatch is upset that MTV would pollute young minds by "Promot[ing] decay and degeneration by bringing inner city thug values to kids who don’t live the thug life."

Leave John McCain Alone!

I caught some of the sunday shows today, and I see that the press is fighting hard to 1) protect their darling McCain and 2) keep this race close (blowouts don't push paper, people!).

Here's a video some of the talking heads made after Obama's hugely successful overseas trip.

Atrios nailed this a while ago. I just "updated" the audio (crudely, at that).

Obama's PA Offices

I just wanted to pass along this map of Obama's field offices in Pennsylvania.

That has a nice look to it, doesn't it?

Here are McCain's offices:

Pennsylvania & Ohio Regional Headquarters
240 North 5th Street
Suite 340
Columbus, OH 43215
Office number is 614-441-8097
Office fax is 614-222-2530

Local Office:
112 State Street
Harrisburg, PA, 17101

So We share an office with Ohio located in Columbus, and our "local" office is in Harrisburg?

Ambitious, huh?

McCain/Jesus '08

Yes, this is an official campaign poster.

I'd sooner believe that McCain is Jesus than that he offers a "wise" foreign policy.

Meanwhile, Obama is in Israel. From M.J. Rosenberg at TPM Cafe:

I just talked to a friend who saw Obama in Israel. I asked him what his friends in the Israeli media are saying. "What are they saying? They are saying that he's the next President. And they think he's the smartest American politician they have seen yet."

Annals of Bad Ideas

I was recently alerted to a sense of the congress resolution that has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that seems unnecessarily provocative. The bill, H.CON.RES.362, calls upon President Bush to escalate the tensions with Iran. It's mostly toothless- it isn't legally binding and is mostly uncontroversial, as it calls for increasing diplomacy. However, it seems to me to be a bad idea on two counts. First, it seems an unneccessary provocation that could undermine future diplomatic negotiations. More importanlty, however, subsection 3 reads:

(3) demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran's nuclear program;

Emphasis mine. Isn't this a blockade? Isn't a blockade an act of war?

I'm doubtful that even Bush and Cheney would launch an attack on Iran by the end of their term, but why give them any excuse?

Obama's Strong Iraq Plan

Unless you've been living in a hole for the past few days, you've heard that Sen. Obama is travelling overseas to a number of countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama has been meeting with generals, politicians, diplomats, and American soldiers. The trip is non-partisan, as these junkets always are, and GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel (along with Sen. Reed, a Democrat) accompanied Obama.

The trip has been a roaring succes so far, and a a couple interesting things have resulted. Most importantly, Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki explicitely endorsed Obama's 16 month withdrawal plan.

Obama's plan leaves him room to be flexible in response to situations on the ground, but the bottom line is that it shifts the objective from staying to leaving. Why anyone in their right mind would believe that occupying Iraq with 150,000 troops for an indefinate period of time serves the strategic interests of the United States is beyond me.

Summer Blogging

It's summertime and the living is easy, so blogging isn't my top priority. While I'm busy, please entertain yourself.

I would also recommend reading the blog Glomarization, a new blog by an astute local. Philadelphia is expanding its blogopoly.

Jerking the Gas Nozzle

Is there a bigger joke in the US Senate than Larry Craig?

I'll be posting a bit more in depth about the offshore drilling gambit later, but in the meantime, please don't jerk anyone's nozzle.

Via TPM.