Archive for September 13th, 2008

McCain 2008 = Gore 2000. Sort Of.

Hey, remember the 2000 election, when the media turned Al Gore into The Biggest Liar Ever, with a little help from the Republican presidential campaign?  Well, now they’re turning John McCain into The Biggest Liar Ever, with a little help from… the Republican presidential campaign:

I started reading up last night on some of the campaign styles of presidential candidates of the television era (every race since Kennedy-Nixon), and it led me to conclude that John McCain is running the most fundamentally dishonest campaign of the last half-century. Every candidate from both parties has spun, accentuated, and exaggerated. They’ve all taken cheap shots and made promises they almost certainly knew at the time they couldn’t keep.

But there’s just something breathtaking about John McCain’s 2008 campaign, and it’s not just because he’s running in part on his reputation for candor and integrity. We’re talking about a candidate who’s been lying about everything — his record, his running mate, his opponent, his agenda, his past, and his policies. He’ll lie, get caught, and then repeat the same lie. He’ll lie, get caught, and then lie about lying. He’ll lie about some things in which the truth was just as good, but lying came more naturally. And he seems to be lying more as the race unfolds.


And the New York Times’ Michael Cooper and Jim Rutenberg report in a news story today that this might, slowly but surely, be on its way to becoming a campaign narrative.

Harsh advertisements and negative attacks are a staple of presidential campaigns, but Senator John McCain has drawn an avalanche of criticism this week from Democrats, independent groups and even some Republicans for regularly stretching the truth in attacking Senator Barack Obama’s record and positions.

That’s an exceedingly polite way of noticing all of the people who’ve noticed McCain’s pathology.

As Paul Krugman pointed out in his column yesterday, the character of a campaign is a much better predictor of how a candidate will govern than its competence.  It certainly was in 2000 and 2004, when Dubya ran deceitful, mean-spirited, divisive (but very competent) campaigns, and then proceeded to give us 8 years of deceitful, mean-spirited, divisive (and utterly incompetent) government.  And now John McCain is running the same kind of campaign with unabashed gusto.

So much for that March 11 memo from Rick Davis to the campaign leadership:

It is critical, as we prepare to face off with whomever the Democrats select as their nominee, that we all follow John’s lead and run a respectful campaign focused on the issues and values that are important to the American people.

Throughout the primary election we saw John McCain reject the type of politics that degrade our civics, and this will not change as he prepares to run head-to-head against the Democratic nominee.


Overheated rhetoric and personal attacks on our opponents distract from the big differences between John McCain’s vision for the future of our nation and the Democrats’….

Throughout his life John McCain has held himself to the highest standards and he will continue to run a respectful campaign based on the issues. We expect that all supporters, surrogates and staff will hold themselves to similarly high standards when they are representing the campaign.

Yeah, McCain’s enforcing that about as well as the no-lobbyists rule.

(h/t bmaz)

1 comment September 13th, 2008 at 11:26pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Gore,McCain,Media,Politics

All You Need To Know About “Drill Here, Drill Now”

A picture is worth a thousand words:

Any questions?

1 comment September 13th, 2008 at 07:02pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Energy,Environment,Politics,Republicans

John McCain Doesn’t Use A Computer BECAUSE HE WAS A POW!!!

Did I mention that he was a POW?

As part of its effort to show the 72-year-old Republican Sen. John McCain as old and out of touch, the Democratic Party’s hip campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, which frequently says it honors the former POW’s military service to his country, Friday released a new ad.

As noted Friday by our blogging colleagues over at the Technology blog here, the ad says, among other things: “1982, John McCain goes to Washington. Things have changed in the last 26 years, but McCain hasn’t.

“He admits he doesn’t know how to use a computer, can’t send an e-mail.”


Here’s a passage from a lengthy Boston Globe profile on McCain that was published the last time he ran for president. It was headlined “McCain character loyal to a fault.” It was written by Mary Leonard.

And it was printed more than eight years ago, on March 4, 2000.

It is available online, where Jonah Goldberg of The Corner blog at the National Review found it.

“McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain’s severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain’s encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He’s an avid fan — Ted Williams is his hero — but he can’t raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.”

Oh, snap!  The Obama campaign really stepped in it this time!  Or did they…

Of course, this directly contradicts what McCain and his campaign manager have said. McCain told the New York Times in July:

I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don’t expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need.

Campaign manager Rick Davis said in June that McCain would grab Blackberrys from reporters and tool around on the internet:

He actually is, he always is grabbing people’s Blackberrys on the bus. In fact, no reporter’s Blackberry is safe from his prying eyes. He loves to tool around on the internet, he especially loves the videos that get produced that usually poke fun at him. I think that’s his most entertaining part of the internet.

And in a Politico interview, McCain said again that he uses a blackberry and plans to go online:

I use the Blackberry, but I don’t e-mail, I’ve never felt the particular need to e-mail. I read e-mails all the time, but the communications that I have with my friends and staff are oral and done with my cell phone. I have the luxury of being in contact with them literally all the time.

Be sure to click through for lots of pictures of McCain using cellphones with no apparent difficulty.  Maybe the keys on a computer keyboard are just too damn large.

(h/t Ian Welsh)

September 13th, 2008 at 04:26pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

Bristol’s Mom Has Got It Goin’ On

None of this is my fault.

Honestly, I don’t know whether to be amused or appalled…

(h/t NY Daily News, which is also responsible for one of the creepiest slideshows I’ve ever seen…)

3 comments September 13th, 2008 at 12:53pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging,Palin,Weirdness

Happy Belated Birthday!

To the integrated circuit, which turned 50 years old yesterday.  I am actually using this marvelous invention RIGHT NOW!

If it wasn’t for the invention of the integrated circuit, then computers today would probably be housed in huge mahogany cabinets with a baffling array of polished, brass valves, or at least be stuffed into huge boxes containing hand-soldered transistors. We owe a lot of thanks to the integrated circuit, or microchip, which is today celebrating its 50th birthday.

The first microchip (pictured) was first demonstrated by Jack Kilby from Texas Instruments on 12 September 1958. It might not be much to look at, but then Texas Instruments admits that Kilby often remarked that if he’d known he’d be showing the first working integrated circuit for the next 40-plus years, he would’ve ‘prettied it up a little.’ The chip worked, though, producing a sine wave on an oscilloscope screen at the demo.

The integrated circuit itself is the germanium strip that you can see in the middle of the glass slide, and it measured 7/16in by 1/16in. With protruding wires, and just containing a single transistor, some resistors and a capacitor, it’s a primitive chip by today’s standards. However, it opened the gate for mass production of larger-scale chips that could contain more and more transistors without the need for complicated hand-soldering jobs.

Hooray for microchips!

(h/t MAKE, by way of Engadget)

September 13th, 2008 at 10:59am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Technology

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