Owning a piece of the campaign

Now that Obama is the nominee, there’s a hot debate going on among his supporters about whether we should stop doing all we can to help him win or not, now that he’s made as all gag with the following panders to the center:

-Saying the Supreme Court was wrong to stop Louisiana from executing child rapists
-Caving on FISA, thus saying that the fourth amendment is just a suggestion
-Disowning Gen. Wesley Clark’s completely accurate statement about McCain’s military service having nothing to do with his ability to lead.

Plenty of Obama’s supporters aren’t going along with this, and are rightfully upset about it. If we wn a piece of this campaign, we have a right to question the Chairman’s judgement when he betrays the ideals that caused us to choose him in the first place.

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New song: Waiting for the Blackout to End

Earlier this week, the New York Times clocked the CBS evening news’s total coverage of Iraq in 2008 at a total of 51 minutes. That’s slightly less than 2 minutes per week. ABC World News clocked in at 55 minutes so far, edging them just over 2 minutes per week.

The war’s proponents are claiming that the good news from Iraq isn’t making it here – its detractors (like me) claim the bad news isn’t, and we’re both right. Our song about the Iraq media blackout is pretty short, but once you get past the second chorus you will have spent more time listening to it than two of the major networks spent discussing the war this week.

Hold the mouse over the title and a player will appear:
Waiting for the Blackout to End

It takes just a couple of minutes
It’s just about that long
To boil a pot of water
Or to play a 4 chord song
So if you think that there’s been improvement
Or it’s a mess that spirals on
It takes more than a couple a minutes
To ascertain what’s going on
When there’s 150,000 bodies
And 300,000 boots
And a billion some odd dollars
Going to high-priced substitutes
It don’t matter if they find it boring
Or if it makes your product flat
If you only do a couple of minutes
You owe much more than that

There’s weather coming out on the ones and the traffic on the tens
Everything that falls in between well, that all depends
‘Cause it don’t hold no one’s attention, like it used to do back then
That’s why every week, we’re down to a couple of minutes
While we’re waiting for the blackout to end

When there isn’t blood or fire
In the signals through the air
I’ll just have to take your word for it
That there isn’t over there
So you can say that the good news don’t make it through
But it’s tough to call
Cause when I only see a couple of minutes
I can’t see that much at all

So dice it down into tiny pieces I, can comprehend
For a living room so sick and tired of “oh, not that again”
Point those eyeballs downward as the line on the graph descends
Until every week, we’re down to a couple minutes
While we’re waiting for the blackout to end

There’s weather on the ones and traffic on the tens
But when it comes to bloodsher, no ain’t no time to spend
‘Cause it don’t hold no ones attention, like it used to do back then
And that’s why every week we’re down to a couple of minutes
While we’re waiting for the blackout to end

The Proper Framing for McCain’s Age: If You Don’t Get The Internet, You Don’t Get Al Qaeda

I think that jokes about John McCain’s age are funny. My band made a borderline-offensive music video where he has old-man tremors in his bathrobe. That said, I don’t actually think that McCain’s age makes him physically or mentally incapable of leading effectively, and any serious efforts to express that will probably backfire.

Seeing this similarly hilarious video of McCain’s deputy e-campaign manager John SooHoo having to explain that McCain is “aware of the internet” made me rethink what the opening is when it comes to McCain’s age:

The phrase “John McCain is aware of the internet” is the best line of the campaign season since Biden’s “noun, verb and 9/11” remark about Giuliani, but it also shows weakness on national security, his supposed strong suit.

People will argue about whether the central front in the war on terror is in Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Iraq all day long, but the real breeding ground for radical Islam is on this here series of tubes. In other words, John McCain, who doesn’t use a computer, jokes that whenever he needs something from one he asks his wife, and has no clue what Google is or does, has to deal with the war on terror with that much knowledge of its real hub.

That to me, is the best framing for McCain’s out-of-touch-ness: a real understanding of the national security threat requires a real understanding of the way information works in this day and age, especially with respect to the enemy. How can we trust McCain to protect us from a threat he admittedly doesn’t understand?

Doug Feith Hearts the Subjunctive Mood

When I was 13, I used to call an individual I didn’t like a “Dicknuts”. This seems apt:

“While emphasizing the disparate estimates about how close Saddam was to a nuclear bomb, Rice was saying that the CIA would not necessarily know when Saddam acquired one. She was warning that we might not learn this until after a detonation. This was an important and accurate statement.”

Joe McCarthy’s Spirit Alive and Well at the VA

Here’s a good one.

Will King, an Army Staff Sergeant who served in Afghanistan who had been diagnosed with mild PTSD, felt that his conditions were worsening. Unemployed, failing out of school and entertaining suicidal thoughts, he filed a disability claim with the VA to have his PTSD upgraded from mild to moderate.

They denied his claim, citing his involvement with VoteVets, an advocacy group that happens to be kicking ass as of late at exposing disgraceful behavior at the VA, as evidence that his PTSD wasn’t serious enough to claim unemployability. From the rejection letter:

The treatment reports from Memphis show you are currently involved with VoteVets.org, an advocacy group for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts…

The treatment reports from the VA Medical Center show you are currently involved with a veteran’s advocacy group and have traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with and lobby members of Congress on behalf of this organization. While you are not, strictly speaking, employed by this organization, you are actively involved and able to control and manage your symptoms sufficiently to engage in activities required by your involvement. (VetVoice, who has the full story)

So let’s get this straight: the organization responsible for providing care to our wounded servicemembers is citing involvement of a group that’s critical of it as grounds for denying benefits. To be clear, it’s not like Sgt. King has been spending 40 hours a week down at VoteVets licking envelopes, thus proving he’s obviously capable of holding a job. He spent 48 hours at an event they held in D.C. That’s it.

If the VA (an organization headed by a man who recently compared Traumatic Brain Injuries to the kind you get playing pee-wee football) is going to pursue a McCarthy-esque policy of threatening to deny benefits to wounded soldiers if they join certain veterans groups, they deserve much more outrage than this week’s song, a slow dirge called McCarthy’s Medicine.

(put your mouse over the title and the player will magically appear!)
McCarthy’s Medicine

For despondence and sleeplessness
Make an appointment with a specialist
If your name is on the contact list don’t expect to much
For that thing you’ve got
If your boots can’t shake out the sand
There’s a catch you’d better understand
A raised fist could be an empty hand
Shaking a paper cup, if you shake it up

(And they’ll say) Are you now or have you ever been
I’m sorry, what was that again?
McCarthy’s practicing medicine
In the modern age, from beyond the grave
So if you’re looking to deal with it
Boy, don’t try to be no advocate
Just keep your teeth on the tourniquet
‘Til it goes away, ’til it goes away

And I don’t need no doctorates
To diagnose irrelevance
And possibility of bad intent
That’s your punishment, your punishment
So if you’re looking to recuperate
Watch out with whom you affiliate
If you’re well enough to demonstrate
It must be second rate, so play it straight

(And they’ll say) Are you now or have you ever been
I’m sorry, what was that again?
McCarthy’s practicing medicine
In the modern age, from beyond the grave
So, irrespective of your circumstance
They’ll throw a wrench right into your plans
McCarthy’s got himself a second chance
In the modern age, far beyond his days

(And they’ll say) Are you now or have you ever been
I’m sorry, what was that again?
McCarthy’s practicing medicine
In the modern age, from beyond the grave
So if you’re looking to deal with it
Boy, don’t try to be no advocate
Just keep your teeth on the tourniquet
‘Til it goes away, ’til it goes away

Women For John McCain

The people who made this site are genius. Props.

Proud to live in California!

Congrats, newlyweds.