Fight the Smears

30 10 2008
These smears generally speak more about the McCain/Palin camp than they do about the Obama camp.
Either way, the smears aren’t good for America.

Fight them.

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Steal back your country. Steal back your vote.

25 10 2008

The fantastic Dr. Rachel Maddow hipped me (Okay, so I know that her show is broadcast nationally and she’s got millions of viewers but I like to think that she’s just talking to me. Because she is.) to easy clear ways to protect my vote.

I suggest that everyone go to the Steal Back Your Vote website and read Block the Vote at Rolling Stone.com.





Are you pfucking serious?

21 10 2008

When I was in the sixth grade I pointed out that there needn’t just be a religious reason to abstain from saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

I told my teacher that as the Pledge was written in 1892, in America, there was no reason to assume that those who said it thought that it applied to people who looked like me seeing as how people who looked like me had only recently been freed from physical chains. I pointed out that in 1892 the country was still rebuilding itself and that one of the funnest ways, it seemed, for the country to rebuild itself was to create laws specifically designed to keep the newly freed people from having dignity, self-respect or a voice. I pointed out that, “one Nation under God” is some pretty tough shit to swallow for people who had had their gods, their language and culture and their families forcibly ripped from them and that “freedom and justice for all” seemed to mean “freedom and justice for all of us, not ya’ll.”

I was, even as a child, cautious about sheepyness of America that wraps itself up in the cloak of “patriotism.” I considered this my greatest American right. I considered myself quite the good American.

When I was in the 9th grade we read Democracy in America and Thomas Paine. We were asked to think about what the duty of political efficacy meant to us. We were taught that many of those who made America great were dissenters and that we should know that America is ours for the making as long as we were willing to raise our voices.

After high school I left my small town with white picket fences and American flags on every other door to come to New York City. Here I see flags of all different kinds and, in Brooklyn, unexpected but wonderfully welcome, picket fences. I see Fourth of July barbecues. I rejoice with co-workers about husbands becoming citizens. I look around my neighborhood and I see the excitement of first time voters. In New York City you can expect a protest if we don’t like you and a parade if we do. You can also expect that these events will happen simultaneously. I live in, what I thought, was the best part of America that she has to offer. I live where all of the jigsaw pieces meet flush and strangely bed-fellowed to make the beautiful picture of our country.

I guess I was wrong. It appears that, not only am I not a real American, I also don’t live in “Real America.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

What I love is that you can see how pissed off, but mostly, I think, hurt John Stewart is. And I understand.

I was here, in New York City, downtown the Financial District watching pieces of smoking flaming paper drift down outside the windows of my office on September 11th while “Real America” was waking up from its slumber.
I was walking ankle deep in dust along the length of the island, passing closed McDonald’s and Starbucks and Gaps and bodega after bodega, trying to find a pay phone because all of the cell lines were down only to realize that I didn’t have any change.
I remember having to negotiate with an armed National Guardsman to get below 14th Street to my friend’s apartment because I didn’t have New York ID and they couldn’t verify that I was who I said I was while “Real America” was watching news coverage over dinner.
I went back to work. I did not spend. I went back to work. Every single day, until I was fired, in the Financial District where business men wore masks and fear to work. I got up, got dressed and got on the train and emerged every single day to dust and smoke and more armed Guardsmen and the smell while “Real America” was just trying to get on with its life in its nice small town.
And even when I forced to leave the City for a small time because I lost my job and there WERE no jobs in the City because the whole world had melted down I came back as soon as I could.
I watched kids enroll in the military “to fight.” I saw them come home in caskets on the news.
There’s still a big gaping hole in my fucking city where the citizens of “Real America” like to go and snap pictures.

So yeah.
What is it that doesn’t make me part of “Real America” again?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

That’s right. I forgot.

Anyhoodle, thank god for John Stewart for saying it best:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And that’s why I’m voting for him to be President of the United States of Fake America on November eleventyith.





Starting the week off right.

19 10 2008

There is nothing quite like a nice Tina Fey break to send you to bed before beginning a new work week.

I swear, sometimes I feel like Tina Fey has done so much for America she should be relegated to National Treasure status. Like, instead of Mount Rushmore it could be Mount Feymore. Or just a huge pair of freakishly awesome glasses.

Anyhoods, even though it can’t be embedded, here’s a Tina Fey Break for you (but mostly for me).

Not that Amy Poehler is anything to scoff at.

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It’s been broughten.

16 10 2008

In honor of this grand finale (is it just me or does the way that Debra Messing keeps her mouth open, teeth bared during the promos for Starter Wife really creepy you out? She looks like a rapid woodpecker.) we’ve got ourselves a nice little drinking game.

We will take one drink for the following buzz words. (Get it? Buzz words?)

McCain:

My Friends
Reagan
Ayers
Acorn
Insinuations that Barack Obama is naive
Maverick
Across the Aisle

Obama:

Fannie & Freddie
“Let’s be clear”
Michelle
Bush
Insinuations that John McCain is John McSame
Insinuations that John McCain is lying

Players:
John McCain

Barack “Yes We Can” Obama

Bob Schieffer
Panel of uncommitted voters in Ohio.
Green (Men)
Goldenrod (Women)
Girlfriend (GF)
BPD
Peaco
Blue Point Brewing Company Toasted Lager
Advil Cold & Sinus

It’s just GF and me again tonight, but since GF is leaving around 9:45, I’ve decided to recruit my favourite stuffed animal, Peaco to join me on the couch.

9 o’clock showtime!

Fucking Wolf! Every time I’m ready to go he’s here killing time.

Bob Schieffer: Hi. Look at me, I’m like Arthur at Camelot. Look at my round table!

BPD & GF: Hi Bob!
BPD: I wonder if I’ll be able to fit in any “What About Bob?” jokes.
Peaco: (Silence)

John McCain: The polls say that I should look at you. So, here I go.

Barack Obama: The polls say that you should look at me, but damn! Try and turn the crazy down a notch.

Schieffer: Senator McCain, you proposed a $52 billion plan that includes new tax cuts on capital gains, tax breaks for seniors, write-offs for stock losses, among other things.
Senator Obama, you proposed $60 billion in tax cuts for middle- income and lower-income people, more tax breaks to create jobs, new spending for public works projects to create jobs.
I will ask both of you: Why is your plan better than his?
Senator McCain, you go first.

McCain: Let me start off by saying that today Barack Obama tried to kill Nancy Reagan.

“Americans are hurting right now, and they’re angry. They’re hurting, and they’re angry. They’re innocent victims of greed and excess on Wall Street and as well as Washington, D.C. And they’re angry, and they have every reason to be angry.”

They’re angry about Nancy and they’re angry about Fannie and Freddie and both of those things are Barack Obama’s fault.

Obama: America, if you still don’t know why my plan is better than his then I just don’t know about you… but since I’m a polite guy I’ll repeat it again.

Number one, let’s focus on jobs. I want to end the tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and provide a tax credit for every company that’s creating a job right here in America.
Number two, let’s help families right away by providing them a tax cut — a middle-class tax cut for people making less than $200,000, and let’s allow them to access their IRA accounts without penalty if they’re experiencing a crisis.
Now Senator McCain and I agree with your idea that we’ve got to help homeowners. That’s why we included in the financial package a proposal to get homeowners in a position where they can re-negotiate their mortgages.
Last point I want to make, though. We’ve got some long-term challenges in this economy that have to be dealt with. We’ve got to fix our energy policy that’s giving our wealth away. We’ve got to fix our health care system and we’ve got to invest in our education system for every young person to be able to learn.

McCain: (Blinkblink) “I would like to mention that a couple days ago Senator Obama was out in Ohio and he had an encounter with a guy who’s a plumber, his name is Joe Wurzelbacher.” Joe the Plumber in Ohio looked at Obama and said, “The black man is trying to steal my American dream!”

Obama: Le sigh. Do I have to repeat the 95% tax cut thing again? I’m about enabling Americans to make good choices and not be burdened by taxes.

McCain: Ireland is better than America!

Peaco: (Silence)
BPD: I wonder, Barack Obama spent at much time talking about how Ireland is SO much better than America, would he be accused of being un-patriotic?
GF: Who’s not wearing a flag pin today, McCain?

Schieffer: What will you cut back?

Obama: This is not a question that I can answer at this time. As I’ve been saying in all of the other debates. But I will cut something.

McCain: (Blinkblink) I’d like to talk about home ownership and The Depression. Because… I remember it and that was before Zoloft was even invented.

“OK, what — what would I cut? I would have, first of all, across-the-board spending freeze, OK? Some people say that’s a hatchet. That’s a hatchet, and then I would get out a scalpel, OK?”

You know, like how heart doctors cut your neck and arms off before taking out the scalpel to operate on your heart that had been ravaged by the heart attack brought on by pork barrels.

Obama: Who do you want for your President America, a butcher or a surgeon?

“When President Bush came into office, we had a budget surplus and the national debt was a little over $5 trillion. It has doubled over the last eight years.
And we are now looking at a deficit of well over half a trillion dollars.
So one of the things that I think we have to recognize is pursuing the same kinds of policies that we pursued over the last eight years is not going to bring down the deficit. And, frankly, Senator McCain voted for four out of five of President Bush’s budgets.”

McCain: “Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.”

GF: Oh! The old man’s got jokes!
BPD
: Yeah, JM gets really touchy when Barack talks about his boyfriend.

Peaco
: (Silence)

Obama: I’ve got this.

“…The fact of the matter is that if I occasionally have mistaken your policies for George Bush’s policies, it’s because on the core economic issues that matter to the American people, on tax policy, on energy policy, on spending priorities, you have been a vigorous supporter of President Bush.”

Freddie Mercury:
Are you ready, are you ready for this
Are you hanging on the edge of your seat
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust

Schieffer: All right. We’re going to move to another question and the topic is leadership in this campaign. Both of you pledged to take the high road in this campaign yet it has turned very nasty.

McCain: (Blinkblink) The tone of the campaign has been tough. And it’s Obama’s fault because he’s black. We will run a truthful campaign. The truth is that I don’t mind stirring up racial tensions with “coded” messages but I take great offense and someone decoding the messages and getting upset about it. Like Congressman John Lewis. John Lewis hurt my feelings because he spoke to the discomfort and disgust that most Americans are feeling about the tone of my attacks and the hateful things that are being yelled at my rallies. And he was wrong. He played the race card by implying that that site of a mob of angry white people shouting, “Kill him” about a black man is scary and reminiscent of a time not so far removed from today. He’s a dirty lier and Obama’s a dirty lier and that’s not negative; it’s just true.

Green line: Did the decoder ring come in the cereal box?
Goldenrod line: God, you’re so stupid!

Obama: (working very hard not to reach across the aisle and beat the shit out of John McCain.)

“Well, look, you know, I think that we expect presidential campaigns to be tough. I think that, if you look at the record and the impressions of the American people — Bob, your network just did a poll, showing that two-thirds of the American people think that Sen. McCain is running a negative campaign versus one-third of mine.
And 100 percent, John, of your ads — 100 percent of them have been negative.
It absolutely is true. And, now, I think the American people are less interested in our hurt feelings during the course of the campaign than addressing the issues that matter to them so deeply.”

McCain: (Blinkblink) But I’m the victim. Your ads point out my flaws in logic and offer opposing viewpoints! Just like Bush says: Opposing views are attacks. They are attacks on my character. Dissenters (Blinkblink) are terrorists.

Obama: I am not John Lewis’ keeper. He’s perfectly within his bounds to say whatever he wants to as an American.

McCain: “Let me just say categorically I’m proud of the people that come to our rallies.” I am proud of the racists that come to our rallies. I’m proud of their support that incites hate and violence. It is their American right to be racist and spew invectives.
It is not your right, Obama, to take issue with that. (Blinkblink) I remember when people like you knew their place.

Obama: There is a culture in Washington that demonizes people rather than talk about the issues.

McCain: Ayers!

Freddie Mercury:
I want to ride my bicycle.
I want to ride my bike.
I want to ride my bicycle.
I want to ride it where I like.

Obama: Bring it! Ayers has nothing to do with me, but it’s become the centerpiece of John’s campaign. Acorn has nothing to do with me.

“Let me tell you who I associate with. On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. If I’m interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO.”

The fact that Ayers has become the focus of McCain’s campaign is more to do with him than it does with me.

Schieffer: So I’ll begin by asking both of you this question, and I’ll ask you to answer first, Sen. Obama. Why would the country be better off if your running mate became president rather than his running mate?

Obama: Sarah Palin got housed Joe Biden style! Big ups Scranton!

McCain: (Blinkblink) Well gosh darn it, when I think of special needs, I think of Sarah Palin. “…She’s a role model to women and other — and reformers all over America. … I’m proud of her.”

Peaco: Uhm, I know that I’m not a woman, or even human, but the fact that he would say that the unethical, inarticulate, close-minded, empty-vessel, Puritan Barbie, Sarah Palin is a good role model for anything is pretty insulting.
BPD: Thank you Peaco!
GF: Wait, I thought that he didn’t talk.
BPD: Isn’t more impressive that when he does talk it’s something important.
Peaco: If only they could teach Sarah Palin that.

Schieffer: Climate change, yes — has said what both of you have said, and, that is, we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
When Nixon said it, we imported from 17 to 34 percent of our foreign oil. Now, we’re importing more than 60 percent.
Would each of you give us a number, a specific number of how much you believe we can reduce our foreign oil imports during your first term?
And I believe the first question goes to you, Senator McCain.

McCain: Drill baby drill!

Freddie Mercury:
I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You’re so self-satisfied I don’t need you
I’ve got to break free
God knows,
God knows, I want to break free

Schieffer: All right, let’s go to a new topic, health care. Given the current economic situation, would either of you now favor controlling health care costs over expanding health care coverage? The question is first to Senator Obama.

Obama: “We’ve got to do both, and that’s exactly what my plan does.” I swear, it’s like you’re not listening.

McCain: It’s not that I’m not listening, it’s that I can’t hear on this side of my face. Because I’m old. And deaf. And I can’t hear logic.

“Now, my old buddy, Joe, Joe the plumber, is out there. Now, Joe, Sen. Obama’s plan, if you’re a small business and you are able — and your — the guy that sells to you will not have his capital gains tax increase, which Sen. Obama wants, if you’re out there, my friend, and you’ve got employees, and you’ve got kids, if you don’t get — adopt the health care plan that Sen. Obama mandates, he’s going to fine you.
Now, Sen. Obama, I’d like — still like to know what that fine is going to be, and I don’t think that Joe right now wants to pay a fine when he is seeing such difficult times in America’s economy.”

Obama: Zero fine.

McCain: (Blinkblink) Zero.

Obama: Did I stutter?

“Zero, because as I said in our last debate and I’ll repeat, John, I exempt small businesses from the requirement for large businesses that can afford to provide health care to their employees, but are not doing it.”

McCain: (Blinkblink) I need to change my Depends.

Green line: Wait, who’s Joe?
Goldenrod line: It’s like you’re getting dumber by the minute.

Peaco: He’s the ugliest doll of them all.

McCain: The government is too big and too bad. That’s why I’m running to be head of the government.

Schieffer: All right. Let’s stop there and go to another question. And this one goes to Senator McCain. Senator McCain, you believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Senator Obama, you believe it shouldn’t.
Could either of you ever nominate someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees with you on this issue? Senator McCain?

McCain: (Blinkblink) I would never impose a litmus test even though as a boy I used to have to walk 10 miles up hill in the snow to my litmus. I want a strict adherence to the Constitution and I believe that the Constitution thinks that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision. That’s my litmus test. (Blinkblink)

Obama: America, this is a man who hasn’t seen his litmus in 26 years.

“I think that it’s true that we shouldn’t apply a strict litmus test. I think that the Constitution has a right to privacy in it that shouldn’t be subject to state referendum.”

McCain: We have to change the culture of America. And that’s what the pro-lifers who bombs abortion clinics or shame clients are trying to do.

Obama: Abortion divides us. But surely there must be some common ground. That common ground is education and adoption and helping single mothers.

“…Nobody’s pro-abortion. I think it’s always a tragic situation. We should try to reduce these circumstances.”

Green & Goldenrod lines: Fo’ Real!

McCain: “Just again, the example of the eloquence of Senator Obama. He’s health for the mother. You know, that’s been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything.
That’s the extreme pro-abortion position, quote, “health.”
I don’t care about the health to the mother. I don’t care about the mother. She wouldn’t be in this mess if she were barefoot and in the kitchen like she’s supposed to be. She’s not the issue. She’s doesn’t get a say. The fetus does. THE FETUS! (Blinkblink)

Freddie Mercury: What the fuck! Is he fucking, serious man? Finger quotes?!?!

I mean:
Is this the real life or is this just fantasy?

Caught in a landslide. No escape from reality.

Schieffer: Let’s stop there, because I want to get in a question on education and I’m afraid this is going to have to be our last question, gentlemen.
The question is this: the U.S. spends more per capita than any other country on education. Yet, by every international measurement, in math and science competence, from kindergarten through the 12th grade, we trail most of the countries of the world.
The implications of this are clearly obvious. Some even say it poses a threat to our national security.
Do you feel that way and what do you intend to do about it?
The question to Senator Obama first.

Obama: We need to work on early education. We need to make college affordable.

McCain: (Blinkblink) I don’t really care that much about the kids that No Child Left Behind left behind.

Schieffer: Gentlemen, we have come to the close. … Now, for the final statements, by a coin toss, Senator McCain goes first.

McCain: America needs a new direction but not that new a direction that will have you forget the “long line of McCains that have served our country for a long time in war and in peace…” (Blinkblink) I have a history, 26 years in Congress of upholding that not so new direction. My campaign has a long history of setting us back 40 years. I’m the kind of change that gets put into a sock and whapped upside someone’s head.
I’d be honored to serve you this way.

Obama: I give you the same kind of tingly feeling that JFK did. Go with that. (But don’t shoot me.)

And scene.

So… Obama won. Clearly.

That’s 3 for 3. We are the champions my friends!

McCain is a horrible little man who only hates women and Obama more than he hates himself. Sneering, jeering and incoherent the sad thing is that this debate was his best showing. He actually was scoring some points at the beginning but did not have the stamina to keep it up. (Frankly, if he doesn’t have the stamina for a 90 minute debate I doubt that he’ll have the stamina for four years in office.) I’m hoping that even with the Bradley Effect November 5th will be a mighty day of reckoning for Mr. McCain.

Barack Obama is so freaking awesome he’s actually worthy of Michelle Obama.
He was, as he always is, cool, collected and articulate. At this point, all that Team Obama really needs to do is just run out the clock; score a few points here and there, but don’t do anything risky that would cost you the ball.

Nineteen days left. I am, scared, excited, anxious, jubilant. I feel ten different things at any given moment about the next three weeks.

This has been a really hard race. I was very hurt (by Hillary Clinton and her supporters) during the primary season and the McCain/Palin Campaign has just really tried to kick the shit out of my hope and and good feelings for America.

But, even though I have been battered, I refuse to give up hope. I refuse to give up ground. And I refuse to mourn until all of the votes have been counted.

Gobama or go the fuck home.





Nanna Nanna Booboo!

10 10 2008

In the words of Quinn’s best friend/tormentor and President of the Fashion Club, Sandi, “Well Well Well.”

I will admit that I am gloating.
Gloating that Ms. Palin was found guilty by the panel of her fellow Alaskans of an abuse of power in firing Walt Monegan.

Of course McCain/Palin has spent the past couple of days sitting and spinning and trying to explain this away. They’ve released their own report, written by their own staff members who just as fair and balanced as Fox News.

They’ve suggested that the report is “half-done and likely half-baked.” (Heh! He wishes!) Palin’s lawyer, Thomas Van Flein has even gone so far as to say that “the Branchflower report won’t be complete because the investigator didn’t interview key witnesses including the governor and her former chief of staff, Mike Tibbles. ‘They didn’t even try to interview the governor. You want to know why she reassigned Monegan, it would be nice to talk to her. They didn’t even try,’ Van Flein said.”

Now, I know that I’ve not gone to law school like (I presume) Mr. Van Flein has, but I would think, just from you know, what I’ve learned from Law & Order, that they did try to interview the governor. That’s what a subpoena is.

As my girlfriend Rachel Maddow would say, LIAR!
(Ah, Rachel Maddow so nervous and CUTE on the Tonight Show!)

Maybe Rachel Maddow can host an episode of SNL that Tina Fey is playing Sarah Palin on and then they can be together. Rachel Maddow and Tina Fey! TOGETHER! ON MY TV!

Both of them with their cutewonderfulsexynerdy glasses, I just.
It’s like. Sometimes when the air. And my head. Mrs. White was right but in the TOTAL opposite way of what I’m feeling here. Because yes! On fire.
I know that you can’t see me but I just wanted you to know that I’ve clasped my hands together in front of my lips, grinned until it began to hurt and then realized that I had to breathe.

The joy that would bring me… is… uhm… there are no words that I feel comfortable sharing here.

They are good words! But private.

Anyhoods, let’s move on to my favourite of the responses to the report.

This one from yesterday:

“It’s a governor’s right and responsibility to make sure that they have the right people in the right place at the right time to best serve the people who hired them, and for me, the people of Alaska, so my cabinet’s got to be the right cabinet for the people of Alaska.”

Oh, Sandi you do try.





POTUS Shots: Part Deux

9 10 2008

I love a good sequel.

Like, Batman 2, Mrs. Potato Head and a fourth slice of pizza.
So I’m pretty pumped about this second debate. The NY Times has provided this handy-dandy cheat-sheet for both sides and I’m anxious to see whether or not they follow it.

I will admit that I’m a little nervous. Barack has been slowly making gains and taking over the lead in nationwide polls and I just don’t want anything to derail his (and his campaign’s) hard work. The McCain campaign has pulled out the ugly stick (Oh, look! Cindy McCain is running for office too! [P.S. Cindy, the Obama’s totally win Class Couple and Most Likely to Succeed.])and have begun to wave it about the head of the American public.

[And side-note: This, “Who is Barack Obama?” “I don’t know him/them,” crap is really getting to me. I just think that it’s pretty fucking telling that suddenly “America” wants to “know” a candidate when that candidate is Black.

Was America asking this question when Bill Clinton was running? Was America asking this question after the Monica Lewinsky debacle? Has America asked “Who is Sarah Palin?” I mean, this is a lady who came out of nowhere and still refuses to answer direct questions that might actually give us an idea about who she is?

How come America is not asking, “Who is John McCain?” Is it because he wrote a book? Oh, right, Obama’s written two.
Is it because America knows John McCain? They know that the man running on the (Family)/Country First platform cheated on his first wife and helped cover up the possibly illegal pill problem of his current wife?
They know that the man running on the “reaching across the aisle” line, frequently only reaches far enough to get a more comfortable position up Dubya’s butt?
They know that the man who’s talking about how Obama is an elitist and is out of touch with “Joe six-pack {Which: only White people get to boast about being Joe and Jane six-packs. If these were Black people, or people of Hispanic descent they’d just be lay-about drunks. A drain on the great teat of America. They wouldn’t be revered as the heart of America and the GOP.} is the man who was a part of the Keating-5 whose activities closely mirror the ethically challenged activities of the current members of the failing Wall Street {Which: That’s a situation -that’s crushing Joe and Jane six-pack- that he helped to engineer with his “Regulations Bad. Cheating on our country with Corporate America Good!” policies.}.
They know the man who has never paid for his own health care and now wants to making virtually impossible for them to afford theirs.
And all of this just makes me wonder, “If you know John McCain so well why would you vote for him?” And all that I can come up with is, “Because he’s familiar. White.”]

I don’t want more of McCain’s base and baseless character attacks to goad Barack into having to sling mud; but I also don’t want his above the fray demeanor to be misconstrued as weakness.
I want a nice clean game with the home team winning handily, but without embarrassing the other team by spiking the ball in their face and faux-peeing in their direction.
(I reserve the right to change my mind about that depending on how low-down the McCain team plays. Sometimes when the opposition keeps up with the pass-interference and the face-masking you have the right to spike the ball in their face and dance around it while faux-peeing in their direction. Just saying.)
I think that the “Town Hall” format is kind of stupid and gives aid to McCain’s doddering Grandpa ruse.

The ruse doesn’t work on me. I take one look at John McCain and I think, “Old man smell!”

Anyhoods tonight it’s just me and Girlfriend.
Secretly I’m glad. It means we didn’t have to clean.
We’re going to drink but there’s no drinking game. We don’t need an excuse to drink. I would say that we are Jane and Jane six-packs but I’m Black.

DVR will be in play.
Time stamps will not be.

The Players:
BPD
Girlfriend (GF)
John McCain
Barack Obama
Oxtail from the Jamaican bakery on the corner
Heineken Minis
Coca Cola
Tom Brokaw (Moderator)
Uncommitted Ohio Voters (Green line, men. Goldenrod line, women.)
Two chairs both alike in dignity. In fair, (Wait, where the fuck is this debate?) where we lay our scene.

~~~

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Hello Tom. You sound phlegmy, are you sick?

Green line: Dip.

Brokaw: The world has changed. There’s no bottom it seems, to our descent. Now that I’ve started things off nice and cheery-like, I’m going to throw it to the audience. Section A from Allen Shaffer.

Allen?

Shaffer: With the economy on the downturn and retired and older citizens and workers losing their incomes, what’s the fastest, most positive solution to bail these people out of the economic ruin?

Obama: 1. Oversight. 2. Tax-cuts for the middle-class.

McCain: 1. Energy independence. 2. “Let’s not raise any taxes on anybody today.” Tomorrow, maybe, and only for the dirty masses.

BPD: I’m creeped out about the way that John McCain moves. It’s like an aggressive robot.
GF: No-mo arigato Mr. Roboto.
BPD: He’s been told to work the room, but jeebus, my grandma who’s missing a toe moves better than him. Hi, Grandma!
GF: Hunny, you know your Grandmother still doesn’t trust the internet.
BPD: Yeah, she still calls it The (singular) Internets (plural).

Brokaw: Who should take over the Paulson post?

McCain: Not you.

BPD: Babe, is this what it’s going to be like when I’m old? All flat jokes all of the time?
GF: No. You’re already there.

McCain: “I like Meg Whitman, she knows what it’s like to be out there in the marketplace.” She knows that women generally get paid less than their male counterparts. “But the point is it’s going to have to be somebody who inspires trust and confidence.” Someone that we can trust not to rock the boat on fair pay.
Here’s a joke: What has two thumbs and takes the crony right out of cronyism and puts it in this Presidential race? THIS GUY.

Obama: I like Warren Buffet. But I don’t want to lock myself into anything right now before I can really take a look around at what I’m working with, so I’m just going to repeat my tax plan.

Brokaw: Gentlemen, let’s just KISS and make up. And by KISS I mean, Keep It Simple Stupids. Obey the time limits. And now, a question from the nervous black guy in the audience. Let’s put on this nervous Black guy. Oliver Clark, who is over here in section F.
Oliver?

Clark: Well, Senators, through this economic crisis, most of the people that I know have had a difficult time. And through this bailout package, I was wondering what it is that’s going to actually help those people out.

McCain: it’s not a bailout it’s a rescue. I believe that the head-honchos in the corporations who, much like me, can’t remember the number of homes they own, deserve rescue. I suspended my campaign to make sure that the middle class was going to be protected. “But you know, one of the real catalysts, really the match that lit this fire was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” And we all know, because Fox News told us, that people like you lit the match that lit the fire.
So that’s why, as I move very close to you, like angry Johnny 5, I’m going to aggressively let you know that I want “Americans, like Alan,” to “realize the American dream and stay in their home.”
Not you. You never deserved one.

Green line: Drop.
Golden rod: Let’s give him a chance. Oh, what the hell. Drop.

Obama: Now I’ve got to set the record straight because the old man just lied to you. Deregulation got us in the mess. John McCain LOVES deregulation.

“I never promoted Fannie Mae. In fact, Senator McCain’s campaign chairman’s firm was a lobbyist on behalf of Fannie Mae, not me… This is not the end of the process; this is the beginning of the process. And that’s why it’s going to be so important for us to work with homeowners to make sure that they can stay in their homes.”

BPD: McCain LOVES the word crony. Have you ever noticed how the words crony and corny share the same letters?
GF: Hunny, you’re so crony!

Brokaw: We’re going to continue over in Section F, as it turns out.
Sen. Obama, this is a question from you from Teresa Finch.
Teresa?

Finch: How can we trust either of you with our money when both parties got — got us into this global economic crisis?

Obama: (pause)

“Well, look, I understand your frustration and your cynicism, because while you’ve been carrying out your responsibilities — most of the people here, you’ve got a family budget. If less money is coming in, you end up making cuts. Maybe you don’t go out to dinner as much. Maybe you put off buying a new car.
That’s not what happens in Washington. And you’re right. There is a lot of blame to go around.”

Blame it on Bush. And McCain. When I’m elected I’m going to spend some money on key issues that we’ve got to work on: health care, energy independence, education.

Green & Goldenrod line: For REALS!

McCain: The system is broken. I’m a reformed. I’ve reached across the aisle (meds willing). I’ve reached across the aisle to (that fucking cock-block) Joe Lieberman.

Green and Goldenrod lines: Flat line.

McCain: Pork barrel!

BPD: Listen, Joe and Jane six-pack love little more than pork rinds.

The Passage of time and propaganda.

BPD: Uhm, I zoned out and when I came back I noticed that Barack Obama 1. Just referenced JFK and 2. Said something that got both of the lines soaring. So… sweet!

Brokaw: All right, gentlemen, I want to just remind you one more time about time. We’re going to have a larger deficit than the federal government does if we don’t get this under control here before too long. (badum chink!)

Sen. McCain, for you, we have our first question from the Internet tonight. A child of the Depression, 78-year-old Fiorra from Chicago.

“Since World War II, we have never been asked to sacrifice anything to help our country, except the blood of our heroic men and women. As president, what sacrifices — sacrifices will you ask every American to make to help restore the American dream and to get out of the economic morass that we’re now in?”

McCain: Everything that you need. Like health care. Medicare. Drug research. Everything except for the wars I want to fight. “We’re Americans!” And by we, I mean, “Not you.”

Obama: That’s not the kind of sacrifice America needs, John.

“You know, a lot of you remember the tragedy of 9/11 and where you were on that day and, you know, how all of the country was ready to come together and make enormous changes to make us not only safer, but to make us a better country and a more unified country.
And President Bush did some smart things at the outset, but one of the opportunities that was missed was, when he spoke to the American people, he said, “Go out and shop.”
That wasn’t the kind of call to service that I think the American people were looking for.
And so it’s important to understand that the — I think the American people are hungry for the kind of leadership that is going to tackle these problems not just in government, but outside of government.
And let’s take the example of energy, which we already spoke about. There is going to be the need for each and every one of us to start thinking about how we use energy.
I believe in the need for increased oil production. We’re going to have to explore new ways to get more oil, and that includes offshore drilling. It includes telling the oil companies, that currently have 68 million acres that they’re not using, that either you use them or you lose them.
We’re going to have to develop clean coal technology and safe ways to store nuclear energy.
But each and every one of us can start thinking about how can we save energy in our homes, in our buildings. And one of the things I want to do is make sure that we’re providing incentives so that you can buy a fuel efficient car that’s made right here in the United States of America, not in Japan or South Korea, making sure that you are able to weatherize your home or make your business more fuel efficient.
And that’s going to require effort from each and every one of us.
And the last point I just want to make. I think the young people of America are especially interested in how they can serve, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m interested in doubling the Peace Corps, making sure that we are creating a volunteer corps all across this country that can be involved in their community, involved in military service, so that military families and our troops are not the only ones bearing the burden of renewing America.
That’s something that all of us have to be involved with and that requires some leadership from Washington.”

Brokaw: How would you break America’s bad habit of too much debt and easy credit?

Obama: By blaming Bush.

McCain: My friends, I remember Herbert Hoover. He was the best door-to-door vacuum salesman I ever did meet. My friends, I’m making up policy on the spot. Undefined unspecific policy that sounds like crazy. “Well, you know, nailing down Sen. Obama’s various tax proposals is like nailing Jell-O to the wall.” And while I am all for Jell-O shots for all Americans (not you, Oliver)(You know who would really go crazy for Jell-O shots? Nancy Regan. Ronald would have to pull her away from the table every time.) his tax plan doesn’t make any sense to me.

Obama: That’s because it’s about the people. The middle class not about people who avoid taxes by putting their money into off-shore bank accounts and fancy investment options.

Brokaw: Sen. McCain, two years for a reform of entitlement programs?

McCain: Sure. Hey, I’ll answer the question. Look — look, it’s not that hard to fix Social Security, Tom. It’s just…

Brokaw: And Medicare.

McCain: “… tough decisions. I want to get to Medicare in a second. Social Security is not that tough. We know what the problems are, my friends, and we know what the fixes are. We’ve got to sit down together across the table.” It’s been done before my 26 year tenure in Senate.

Green and Goldenrod lines: If it’s so simple why haven’t you done it? Yawn!

Brokaw: The next question does come from the hall for Sen. McCain. It comes from Section C over here, and it’s from Ingrid Jackson.

Ingrid?

Jackson: Sen. McCain, I want to know, we saw that Congress moved pretty fast in the face of an economic crisis. I want to know what you would do within the first two years to make sure that Congress moves fast as far as environmental issues, like climate change and green jobs?

McCain: I feel the need for speed. And I’m going to quickly turn away from you, black lady, and turn towards the safe-looking white people in the front row. This is the kind of speed that I’m talking about.

BPD: I wish that John McCain would choke on a pork barrel. I don’t know if I’d be consistently bragging about voting against bills that had “Christmas Tree Ornaments” that help other people and ease the bill’ passage.
GF: McCain looks so creepy when he’s not speaking. He’s just tottering around.
BPD: That is the smile and sway of senility.

Brokaw: Quick discussion. Is health care in America a privilege, a right, or a responsibility?

McCain: “I think it’s a responsibility, in this respect, in that we should have available and affordable health care to every American citizen, to every family member. And with the plan that — that I have, that will do that.”

Obama: (sighs) (thinks, “It’s like shooting ducks in a barrel.”)

“I think it should be a right for every American. In a country as wealthy as ours, for us to have people who are going bankrupt because they can’t pay their medical bills — for my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.
So let me — let me just talk about this fundamental difference. And, Tom, I know that we’re under time constraints, but Sen. McCain through a lot of stuff out there.
Number one, let me just repeat, if you’ve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it. All I’m going to do is help you to lower the premiums on it. You’ll still have choice of doctor. There’s no mandate involved.
Small businesses are not going to have a mandate. What we’re going to give you is a 50 percent tax credit to help provide health care for those that you need.
Now, it’s true that I say that you are going to have to make sure that your child has health care, because children are relatively cheap to insure and we don’t want them going to the emergency room for treatable illnesses like asthma.
And when Sen. McCain says that he wants to provide children health care, what he doesn’t mention is he voted against the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program that is responsible for making sure that so many children who didn’t have previously health insurance have it now.
Now, the final point I’ll make on this whole issue of government intrusion and mandates — it is absolutely true that I think it is important for government to crack down on insurance companies that are cheating their customers, that don’t give you the fine print, so you end up thinking that you’re paying for something and, when you finally get sick and you need it, you’re not getting it.
And the reason that it’s a problem to go shopping state by state, you know what insurance companies will do? They will find a state — maybe Arizona, maybe another state — where there are no requirements for you to get cancer screenings, where there are no requirements for you to have to get pre-existing conditions, and they will all set up shop there.
That’s how in banking it works. Everybody goes to Delaware, because they’ve got very — pretty loose laws when it comes to things like credit cards.
And in that situation, what happens is, is that the protections you have, the consumer protections that you need, you’re not going to have available to you.
That is a fundamental difference that I have with Sen. McCain. He believes in deregulation in every circumstance. That’s what we’ve been going through for the last eight years. It hasn’t worked, and we need fundamental change.

Goldenrod line: Yeah boyee! Off the charts!

Brokaw: Phil Elliott is over here in this section, and Phil Elliott has a question for Sen. McCain.

Phil?

Elliott: Yes. Sen. McCain, how will all the recent economic stress affect our nation’s ability to act as a peacemaker in the world?

McCain: “Well, I thank you for that question, because there’s no doubt” that the only questions that I like to answer are questions that relate to war.
“America is the greatest force for good in the history of the world.” Ignoring the Trail of Tears. And the slave trade. And how the railroads were built. And the Japanese Internment Camps. And the Atomic Bomb. And Agent Orange. And torturing detainees in Guantanamo. And our inability to help Haiti or Darfur or Zimbabwe. Or our unwillingness to safely educate our own children.

Brokaw: Senator Obama, let me ask you if — let’s see if we can establish tonight the Obama doctrine and the McCain doctrine for the use of United States combat forces in situations where there’s a humanitarian crisis, but it does not affect our national security.

Obama: (This is what being Michael Jordan in the 90s must have felt like.)

“Well, we may not always have national security issues at stake, but we have moral issues at stake.
If we could have intervened effectively in the Holocaust, who among us would say that we had a moral obligation not to go in?
If we could’ve stopped Rwanda, surely, if we had the ability, that would be something that we would have to strongly consider and act.
So when genocide is happening, when ethnic cleansing is happening somewhere around the world and we stand idly by, that diminishes us.
And so I do believe that we have to consider it as part of our interests, our national interests, in intervening where possible.
But understand that there’s a lot of cruelty around the world. We’re not going to be able to be everywhere all the time. That’s why it’s so important for us to be able to work in concert with our allies.”

McCain: My friends. Let’s talk about Iraq.

Green and Goldenrod lines: STOP CALLING US YOUR FRIENDS. DROOOOOOOOP!

BPD & GF: STOP CALLING US YOUR FRIENDS. DRINK!

Brokaw: Next question for Senator Obama, it comes from the F section and is from Katie Hamm. Katie?

Hamm: Should the United States respect Pakistani sovereignty and not pursue al Qaeda terrorists who maintain bases there, or should we ignore their borders and pursue our enemies like we did in Cambodia during the Vietnam War?

BPD: Katie Hamm did not write this question herself.

Obama: “Katie, it’s a terrific question and we have a difficult situation in Pakistan. I believe that part of the reason we have a difficult situation is because we made a bad judgment going into Iraq in the first place when we hadn’t finished the job of hunting down bin Laden and crushing al Qaeda.” And fundamentally, Pakistan is not acting like an ally of America. Alliances go two ways and if one side is not holding up its end of the bargain, it’s not a useful alliance.

McCain: You know, my hero is a guy named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt used to say walk softly — talk softly, but carry a big stick.

BPD: Teddy Roosevelt! “Say it ain’t so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards!” Plus, doesn’t “Talk softly but carry a big stick” mean, “Be nice. But be prepared to bash them over the head with that big stick, repeatedly if necessary, if they can’t hear you”?

McCain: Surge!

Green and Goldenrod lines: DROP to flat line.

Obama: “Senator McCain, this is the guy who sang, ‘Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,’ who called for the annihilation of North Korea. That I don’t think is an example of ‘speaking softly.'”

BPD: It looks like Biden taught Obama bow to crack a joke.
GF: Maybe Sarah Palin could teach John McCain.

McCain: Vladimir Putin has 1.5 letters in each eye!

Green and Goldenrod lines: Whaa?

BPD: I think that’s a no.

Brokaw: All right we have to move along. Over in section A, Terry Shirey — do I have that right, Terry?

Shirey: Senator, as a retired Navy chief, my thoughts are often with those who serve our country. I know both candidates, both of you, expressed support for Israel.

If, despite your best diplomatic efforts, Iran attacks Israel, would you be willing to commit U.S. troops in support and defense of Israel? Or would you wait on approval from the U.N. Security Council?

McCain: Well, thank you, Terry. You’ve given me the perfect opportunity to angry robot over to you and awkwardly pat you on the should. “And thank you for your service to the country.” I’d like for your to ignore the fact that I don’t show that service any more respect than some empty platitudes. I wouldn’t wait for ANYone. Just like my pal Dubya.

Obama: Yup. I’m no cowboy. Or, the kind of rancher that uses the gimmick of not branding his cattle as a means of stealing others’ cattle. I understand the importance of working within fruitful alliances.

Brokaw: All right, gentlemen, we’ve come to the last question.
And you’ll both be interested to know this comes from the Internet and it’s from a state that you’re strongly contesting, both of you. It’s from Peggy in Amherst, New Hampshire. And it has a certain Zen-like quality, I’ll give you a fair warning.
She says, “What don’t you know and how will you learn it?”

Obama: “My wife, Michelle, is there and she could give you a much longer list than I do. And most of the time, I learn it by asking her.”

BPD: Obama for the win!

McCain: I don’t know what is unknown and as it is unknown I don’t know how I would learn enough to that I can know it. “We will be talking about countries sometime in the future that we hardly know where they are on the map, some Americans” because we can’t read because I refuse to fund education for fear or raising taxes.

BPD: Uhm? That what you want to end with.
GF: That’s not comforting.
BPD: Well, that’s what you get when you’re looking for comfort from the Troll on the Bridge. GOP, this is your candidate.

I chalk this up as win number 2 for Obama and it looks like I’m not the only one. And that’s without factoring in “That One.” I just love how nervous Oliver Clark shifts in his chair when McCain says that. I just want to lean over and say, “Yeah, you heard that. Still undecided?”