Saturday, May 31, 2008

People Against Goodness And Normalcy

Kill the good! Kill the good! Kill the good!

Friday, May 30, 2008


Cheney Predicts McCain Will Win...

Well that's it then folks. We can confidently say that Barack Obama will be our next president because everything Cheney has ever confidently predicted the opposite has come true. Thanks Dick!

Vice President Dick Cheney told Republicans gathered at the midtown Sheraton NewYork Hotel and Towers last night, "If we all put our shoulders to the wheel between now and November, I'm confident we'll see John McCain as the next president of the United States.''


Hello All,

I am in Hawaii on the painfully beautiful island of Kauai, looking into this "states" independence movement. I am getting some good stuff out here and will resume blogging on this and other topics June 4, 2008. Internets don't come cheap in these parts, so, until then, keep fighting the good fight...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Late Night Funnies...


McClellan On Clarke Circa 2004...

I remembered this today when talking to a friend about duechebag ex-spokesperson Scott McClellan. This is his answer to a question about former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke's book in 2004. It's quite telling and it just makes 'ole Scotty boy look that much worse.
From the White House's archives:

Q Why do you think he's(Clark) doing this?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, why, all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? This is one-and-a-half years after he left the administration. And now, all of a sudden, he's raising these grave concerns that he claims he had. And I think you have to look at some of the facts. One, he is bringing this up in the heat of a presidential campaign. He has written a book and he certainly wants to go out there and promote that book. Certainly let's look at the politics of it. His best buddy is Rand Beers, who is the principal foreign policy advisor to Senator Kerry's campaign. The Kerry campaign went out and immediately put these comments up on their website that Mr. Clarke made.

I have to ask you the same question Scotty. Why did you release this book now? You had to have known that this would be used by Obama to hurt McCain. I personally love the "all of a sudden he's raising grave concerns" line. I love it when people's own words come back and bite them in the ass. Get bent Scott, you scumbag.

Googlebombing John McCain...

Chris Bowers over at Open Left has a great new game for all of us bloggers. Anytime you mention John McCain, link to one of the nine articles listed and blogroll John McCain to a different article. People searching for the crusty goblin will get some information they most likely would never in a million years see. The whole project is aimed at swing voters. Oh the power of the tubes...


"Awww Mom! Can't I stay outside and play a little longer? I want to invade Iran!"

Obama And The Truths...

Thought that sounded like a cool band name. Anyway, maybe this little video will help some of the nitwits out there who still have no idea that when water freezes it turns to a solid(gasp!). The truth about Obama:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

19 Year-old Gamer Becomes Mayor...

This might be a good thing, having Sims City kids running for mayor and winning. At the very least they have some "real" life experience when it comes to running cities. If only some city would vote a 19 year-old mayor to run their city like GTA San Andreas. I would move there in a heartbeat and become a badass pimp/drug dealer.

McCain's a Dummy!

Guess where I've got my hand... heh, heh, heh...

Our Fearless Leader...

Here's Bush today speaking to more than 1,000 graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He compares the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with WW II (I know!) and claims that "we're learning as we go" in Iraq. From TPM:

"After World War II, we helped Germany and Japan build free societies and strong economies," Bush said. "These efforts took time and patience, and as a result, Germany and Japan grew in freedom and prosperity. Germany and Japan, once mortal enemies, are now allies of the United States. And people across the world have reaped the benefits."

It's about as far a stretch when comparing past and present wars as one can logically grasp. This wasn't the quote of the day however and as he usually does he saves the best for last.

"We need to recognize that the only way that America can lose the war on terror is if we defeat ourselves," Bush said.

I really don't know what to say about this line. How exactly do we defeat ourselves in the war on terror? Are we the bad guys now? Would England have a hand in this "defeat"? Who would help us rebuild if we did defeat ourselves? Who's on first?

UPDATE: Here's my boy KO discussing Bush's "historical comparisions" and how we can make sure we don't defeat ourselves.

Rampant Stupidity In Our Country...

I have been having a lot of conversations lately about the collective stupidity that is taking over our society. How Fox News and other culprits are to blame for spreading ignorance and hate with no facts to back it up. We really have to take a long hard look at ourselves as a whole and wonder where we are going as a nation.

I am reminded of this after reading Ben Smith's blog from Monday. He checked out a Pew poll and found some startling numbers. A small minority of people are clinging to wild theories about a range of topics.

22 percent believe President Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance.
30 percent believe Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
23 percent believe they've been in the presence of a ghost.
18 percent believe the sun revolves around the Earth.

Now these numbers really scare me more than confound. If we as a society in the 21 century still have a significant portion who think the sun revolves around the Earth we are in trouble. 30% still believe the WMD bullshit story?!? They are getting this "information" from somewhere and they are spreading the word to others. Personally if someone tried to argue the sun around the Earth thing to me they would promptly get a swift kick in the groin but that's just me.

Matt Taibbi has a wonderful new book out of this whole phenomenon. It's called "The Great Derangement" and it is all about how large sectors of society on both left and right have taken to believing wild stories out of their displeasure with government and culture. He personally embeds himself in the 9/11 Truth movement as well as joins Hagee's church in San Antonio. The best part about the latter is this was before the election season and not a lot of people knew about Hagee, including Taibbi. I highly recommend the illiterate electorate to go out and buy this book.

These are some very strange times that we are entering. The idea that Obama and his pastor became media fodder for almost 2 full cycles and the still is about 10% of the population that still believe he his Muslim is depressing. I mean the whole uproar was about his CHRISTIAN reverend for christsake! Shouldn't that put the Muslim thing to bed? I guess not. I just try to be optimistic when I think of where we will be as a nation 30 years from now but it's hard to see anything positive on the horizon.

Dunkin' Donuts Buckles...

Well it finally happened. What should have been a hilarious story about right-wing idiocy has turned into another "victory" for the lunatic fringe. I use the term victory very loosely as this can be better construed as a corporation buckling to a small number of fanatics.

In case you missed it Dunkin' Donuts starting running an ad featuring the Food Networks Rachel Ray. In the ad she is wearing a black and white scarf(as you can see in the pic above). Well that got the Malkinites panties in a massive bunch. Malkin claims that the scarf is actually a keffiyeh, a typical headdress worn by Arab man.

Now whether Ray and Dunkin' Donuts are part of some secret plan to convert the country to Islam one latte at a time is a pretty ludicrous argument. To say that a scarf resembling a keffiyeh is one thing but to take it to Malkinland and claim that a keffiyeh is actually a jihadist headdress and ONLY jihadists wear it is mind boggling.

Now I know it's coming from Malkin and it should be a bit insane but Dunkin' Donuts pulled the ad in fear of the boycott that Malkin was threatening. Your Dunkin' freakin' Donuts! So a few wing-nuts boycott you. You have a stranglehold on the market in the northeast and your spreading across the country with only Starbucks as a major competitor. Malkin already had boycotted them for being to "liberal" in her evil, beady eyes so what are you afraid of DD?

Are we really this afraid of Arab culture as a country that ANY form of their society is branded evil? Have we really slipped this far into a collectively ignorant fog of a society as a whole? Shame on you Dunkin' Donuts for buckling to this Salem witch craziness.

UPDATE: Here's Olberman on Dunkin's cowering in fear of the lunatic fringe. They made his Worst Person's list.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Richard Clark On Countdown Today...

Former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clark was on Countdown today to discuss Iran and the threat they actually pose. Clark lays it down and claims that we don't have any good intelligence on Iran and if we did that the administration would have produced it instead of relying on vague references and guesses ala Iraq. By the way, I love Richard Clark and hope Obama gives him a position in his cabinet.

McClellan Slams Bush In New Book...

Former White House press secretary has a new book coming out called “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception”. McClellan throws Bush and the administration under the political bus. It's about time some of these guys stop drinking the Kool-Aid. I'm not letting Scotty off the hook for all the bullshit he fed us over the years but this is refreshing. Among the worst of the charges:

• McClellan charges that Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the war.

• He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.

• He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be “badly misguided.”

• The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them — and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.

• McClellan asserts that the aides — Karl Rove, the president’s senior adviser, and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff — “had at best misled” him about their role in the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

I don't think any of this is a major change in what most of us with brains had known but this is the former White House press secretary! Not some anti-Bush blogger or whatnot. The right wing talking heads are already saying that McClellan is only trying to sell books and that it only makes him worse because it was he who was doing the lying. Well he didn't just make it up all by himself and he's claiming it came right from where we have suspected all along. Smoking gun it's not but it's better than nothing.

Bush Schills For McCain...

Bush and McCain will be co-hosting a fundraiser tonight in Phoenix to raise money for the McCain campaign. They also hope to ease growing concerns about McCain from the conservative base that he is not one of them. Why would you want to have an extremely unpopular president helping you raise money? Something like that would be media fodder I would think. If the media were allowed to attend it that is. The fundraiser was moved to a private location at McCain's request and no reporters or cameras are allowed. Why do they feel the need to hide in the shadows? If your such a maverick Johnny boy then lets see it. Put it all on the table for us to see.

Here's Obama today, talking in Nevada about McCain's secret fundraiser:

McCain/Bush, Who's who?

Can you tell the difference?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bob Barr: Intellectual or "Real Asshole"?

As you probably already know, or very soon will know, yesterday (May 25th) the Libertarian Party nominated Bob Barr as their party's 2008 presidential candidate. This is obviously a very important topic that we here at the Illiterate Electorate are obliged to address. The trouble is, I had been struggling with what to write about it for a full twenty-four hours.

I finally approached a close friend about Mr. Barr, asking her opinion on this enigma of a man. After explaining the dichotomy that is Bob's political career, I asked "So... what do you think?" Her response was brutally honest, "I think he's probably a real asshole."

I should explain how I framed the question...

Bob Barr represented Georgia's 7th congressional district as a Republican. I didn't know that either... wikipedia is a wonder of our time.

Apparently Bob's hallmark political moments have been when he initiated the Bill Clinton impeachment dialogue and when he went apeshit in support of the 1998 war on drugs (not Nancy Reagan's mind you, rather another failed attempt to control the citizenry).

To make a very long story very short (and I urge you to research the topic on your own rather than take my word), Bob actually penned an amendment, fittingly named the "Barr Amendment", that blocked an initiative attempting to legalize marijuana for medicinal use in Washington D.C. and prohibited future discussions on the topic. Free speech be damned, this last part of the amendment was reversed and then re-instated and still stands to this day (seriously, wikipedia rules).

Oddly, since Bob penned this controversial piece of legislation, he now lobbys for the Marijuana Policy Project, the group he originally cock-blocked with his fascist amendment. That's right, Bob is now trying to turn over his own amendment. He rightly cites the Bush administration's gross expansion of governmental power for the need to curb these further infractions against public freedom.

Also, he now opposes the Patriot Act that he originally voted for. Again nobally citing infractions against public freedom for his newfound sanity.

Finally, while Bob is publicly and legislatively against same-sex marriage (he helped pen the Defense of Marriage Act), he is opposed to the Federal Marriage Amendment because it is against state's rights.

After presenting wikipedia's information, I then destroyed a passage from an article in Foreign Policy that I read recently, explaining the quandary of the political flip-flop. The article illustrates how intellectuals (authors, academics, scientists) are praised for a public change of heart on an issue, while politicians are absolutely destroyed (see the right-wing attacks on John "Flip-Flop" Kerry).

So I finally asked, "So... what do you think?" and, as stated above, this is where the "asshole" comment came in.

The conversation then turned into a discussion, not really about Bob Barr, but about flip-floppers. My friend argues that academics, her chosen field of profession, flip-flop despite themselves. It could be a great detriment to an academic who supported a school of thought his or her entire career to change horses in the middle of a stream; however, when they do change their minds they are lauded for having consumed and digested a new perspective that leads to a more enlightened position (hence the lofty "intellectual" label).

To the skeptic (which let's face it, is most of us these days), politicians seemingly change their minds to gain votes. Nothing intellectual to praise there - just a profitable decision (see Mitt Romney's campaign for Governor of Massachusetts vs. Mitt Romney's campaign for President).

All of this brings me to the point... under what circumstances can a politician change his or her mind? Is it just a sad-but-true inevitability that we will always distrust politicians? Is it our home-team, sportslike view of politics that leads us to hold our own guy (maybe John Kerry?) in esteem after a flip-flop while we brandish the opponent (maybe John McCain?) a "flip-flopper" for supporting Bush tax cuts that he originally said "offended my conscience"? Because ultimately the question comes down to, "is Bob Barr an intellectual or just a real asshole?"

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fox News "Jokes" About Killing Obama...

This is NOT fucking funny anymore. I'm trying to figure out who that nasty old lady is but either way Fox News allowed this to air and so far I haven't heard any apologies. I'm completely floored and need to go put my fist into something. I'm normally a very pacifist kinda guy.

UPDATE: Ok, the crypt keeper commentator is Liz Trotta former New York bureau chief of the Washington Times. I am really interested to see how this story plays out this week after everyone gets back from vacation. We'll be updating this later in the week.

UPDATE: Here's Trotta apologizing for her "oopsie!" moment this morning on Fox:

Trotta: Yes, I am so sorry about what happened yesterday and the lame attempt at humor. I feel all over myself, making it appear that I wished Barack Obama harm or any other candidate, for that matter, and I sincerely regret it and apologize to anybody I have offended. It is a very colorful political season, and many of us are making mistakes and saying things we wish we had not said.

Nice, a lame attempt at humor is probably the understatement of the campaign season. Yes Miss Trotta, you DID make it seem like you wanted to do Obama harm. Unreal. Another classic example of an "apology", "I'm deeply sorry more people didn't find that funny!"

"Flag of Your Choice" challenges nationalism across the Internet

Nauseated by American flags, lapel-pins, and anthems? Has this campaign season driven you to contemplate what it would be like to live abroad... forever? Do images of large crowds of Americans placing their hands over their chests and mindlessly reciting a pledge of allegiance to an amorphous land-mass remind you of goose-stepping morons?

Well... me neither. But Flag of Your Choice gives you the chance to change the whole thing around anyway. With hundreds of flags to choose from, you can see John McCain and Barack Obama attempt to blather their ways to the White House in front of the flag of your choice.

Go check it out. It's a fun twenty-three second break from the monotony of everyday life.

My creation at John McCain in front of the Iranian flag and Barack Obama in front of the North Korean flag

Barack Obama has disappeared!!!

I noticed something interesting this morning. From the front-pages of,,

Clinton stirring up anger, Obama says
Obama confronts America's racial divide
Obama Hits Clinton for 'Stirring Up' Trouble Over Florida, Michigan

Furthermore, from the front-page of International Herald Tribune:

A link to an AP story, "Obama urges Wesleyan grads to enter public service" and a link Roger Cohen’s story on Barack Obama’s expertise in using social networks to drive his campaign.

And from

"Obama Needs Jews, Hispanics To Win Florida"

OK... where am I going with this you ask. Everybody is completely obsessed with Barack Obama right now. Truthfully, so am I. Everything he says or does seems to cause outrage, scorn, adoration or some sort of curiosity at the very least. We're all held captive audience as his image, message and actions are broadcast from every media source, domestic and international.

Every source, that is, except one: as of 11:30 AM PST, Fox News has absolutely no mention of Barack Obama’s name anywhere on their site.

Am I reading too much into this? Maybe. It’s entirely possible. But would anybody who’s been paying attention to how that sad and scary little fictional "news" network operates be surprised if Rupert himself banned Barack Obama’s name from the Fox News front-page in an effort to slow the Obama-train?

If so, this is the best news Fox News has ever brought us. It means Reverend Wright is over. As is the lapel-pin nonsense. It means that McCain’s attempted bitch slap on Obama’s lack of military service was as impotent as McCain is likely to be.

Is the well really dry?

Somehow, I doubt it. Our short reprieve from empty-headed Fox News headlines is likely to be interrupted by some lark of a story about Barack Obama’s two-headed bat-boy offspring and how that somehow jeopardizes our rights to fire guns in public places.

To be honest, I probably won’t notice if they resume their ridiculous broadcasts of our future president sometime within the next ten minutes or so. I rarely bother to check the Fox News website.

But for now, the silence is golden. Not a chirp from the chimps on this fine Sunday morning.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Why do you hate Hillary Clinton?

My being a somewhat outspoken Barack Obama supporter has, at times, had an interesting effect on people. For instance, I bought an Obama campaign shirt at the dawn of the primary season. As a shirt is meant to be worn, I began proudly displaying the newest addition to my otherwise politically-void wardrobe (this isn’t entirely true - I do own a Save Darfur shirt… and you should too). I originally limited the use of my new apparel to what I saw as completely innocuous locales: the mall, the gym, and other non-work related places. An interesting development occurred: people noticed. Similarly outspoken Obama supporters would toss a “nice shirt” my way. Truthfully, I kind of liked the pro-Obama attention. However, non-Obama supporters would quizzically glare at the Obama ‘08 logo on my chest and approach me with political interrogation. The most interesting question I received was from a Clinton supporter, just sick of all the anti-Hillary sentiment available increasingly in quantity and vitriol as the campaign had progressed… He asked, “Why do you hate Hillary Clinton?”

I do not hate Senator Clinton and have refrained from making disparaging statements about her on almost all occasions (once I did agree with a friend that she did look a little like Mao in one of her mock turtleneck pantsuits and another time likened her physical appearance to Dr. Bob Kelso from the TV show “Scrubs”).

Ironically, I was actually a Clinton supporter when the campaign season began, often drawing the ire of the sometimes near-psychotic rhetoric of the most avid Clinton-despisers (see Sal Kilmister). What I have come to hate, yes hate, is the Clinton campaign.

This became my canned response, “I don’t dislike Hillary in any way. It’s just the ineptitude of her campaign…” And while I do not believe that she would be any less capable of a President than Barack Obama, I do ultimately hold her responsible for surrounding herself with the politically decrepit likes of Mark Penn and Terry McAuliffe. If these are the people she employs during a presidential campaign, then what can we expect of her presidential cabinet?

To make matters worse, it appears that the near-lifelong idol of mine that is her husband has apparently turned into something akin to a Bella Lugosi impersonator – destroying his mythical persona and growing legacy as the greatest statesman of our time.

To back up my position I would reference a few stupid-Hillary-tricks. Like when she wagged her finger and vomited the ridiculous statement, “Shame on you Barack Obama!” in response to a month old-Obama campaign mailer less than twenty-four hours after she announced how proud she was to be running for President in a campaign against him. Or when Mark Penn would spew the word “cocaine” over and over again in reference to Obama’s admitted adolescent exploration. Or when Hillary outright lied about the sniper-fire in Bosnia.

But until last night, when Keith Olbermann spent ten minutes delivering verbal corporal punishment in response to Senator Clinton’s strange reference to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, I had not heard the many Hillaryisms that have turned off so much of the electorate. Back-to-back these stories construct a mesmerizing narrative of a Greek tragedy. Mind you, Olbermann has an obvious man-crush on Barack Obama.

To wrap up my Saturday morning rant… I leave you with just a few of Keith’s points. You can watch the entire “Special Comment” in our previous post which links to the MSNBC video. Here’s a sampling:

We have forgiven you fawning over the fairness of Fox News while they were still calling you a murderer.


We have forgiven you quoting the electoral predictions of Boss Karl Rove.


We have forgiven you the 3 a.m. Phone Call commercial.


We have forgiven you President Clinton's disparaging comparison of the Obama candidacy to Jesse Jackson's.

We have forgiven you Geraldine Ferraro's national radio interview suggesting Obama would not still be in the race had he been a white man.


We have forgiven you for boasting of your "support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans"


We have even forgiven you repeatedly praising Senator McCain at Senator Obama's expense, and your own expense, and the Democratic ticket's expense.

Olbermann Special Comment: Clinton, you invoked a political nightmare

In case you missed Keith Olbermann's volcanic reaction to Senator Clinton's Freudian gaffe yesterday, feast your eyes on one pissed off white boy:

Ted Rall...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Why Hagee and Parsley Matter

For those of you not aware, Senator John McCain has dumped the support of two radical and psychotic pastors whose support he sought on the path to the GOP nomination. For those that missed it, the Washington Post reports:

Sen. John McCain on Thursday repudiated the presidential endorsement of the Rev. John Hagee after learning about a sermon in which the megachurch pastor from San Antonio declared that God allowed the rise of Adolf Hitler because it resulted in returning Israel to the Jewish people.

The Arizona Republican's decision to distance himself from Hagee came after months of mounting criticism, particularly from Roman Catholics, over his acceptance of Hagee's endorsement in late February. Hagee has called the Catholic Church a "false religious system" and a "false cult system" and has suggested that the church played a role in the Holocaust.

Sticking with the "rejection Thursday" theme at Camp McCain, he dealt another blow to radical right:

After rejecting the three-month-old endorsement of televangelist pastor John Hagee on Thursday because of newly reported comments Hagee made about Jews and the Holocaust, Republican presidential candidate John McCain also rejected the endorsement of Ohio preacher Rod Parsley, who has said that Islam is inherently violent. "I believe there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America, and I believe that even though he endorsed me, and I didn't endorse him, the fact is that I repudiate such talk, and I reject his endorsement," McCain told the AP.
Here is a headline from the Arab press:
Al-Riyadh (Saudi Arabia): McCain seeks support of hateful pastor who insults the prophet and religion – Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain called for the support of an evangelist who calls for destroying Muslims and describes Prophet Muhammad as the "spokesman for Satan's evil conspiracy." McCain sought the support of this Zionist pastor of Ohio, Rod Parsley. In a campaign speech in Cincinnati, McCain described Parsley as "one of the great leaders of America, a moral compass and spiritual guide."
This is far worse than the Reverend Wright pseudo-fiasco. For starters, McCain sought these two men out, as a 70 year old adult, for the sole purpose of political gain. He has no spiritual connection with either of these clerics, and that makes the behavior all the more whoreish. To this point, McCain went on to say:
I have said I do not believe Senator Obama shares Reverend Wright's extreme views," McCain said in the statement. "But let me also be clear, Reverend Hagee was not and is not my pastor or spiritual advisor, and I did not attend his church for twenty years." He added: "I have denounced statements he made immediately upon learning of them, as I do again today.
That's right. You sought out religious figures solely for the purpose of political booty. While McCain is not alone in such behavior, such behavior is deplorable and against the spirit of the U.S. Constitution and the very idea of religious sanctity. Not to mention this sort of behavior is part of reason of why the American political system is floating in the toilet.

Remember, Obama's path with Wright began when he was in his mid twenties. He was new to Chicago and new to faith. At least, for the most part, the relationship was (I think) principally spiritual and not political, which in my opinion speaks volumes about his character. Again, the inital courtship was that of a 26 year old seeker, and not a 70 year old power junkie.

Pandering to known bigots for votes is a far greater transgression than the sin's of Obama and Wright, because it smells of desperation and the sale of McCain's integrity and soul.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Russian Television on Obama (or Obama on Russian T.V.)

I think it is useful to try and see ourselves as other parts of the world see us...thus I post this clip from Russian Television:

I like the guy that comes on at 2 minutes, 21 seconds, and how they portray him...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Needles in Bigger Haystacks - The Paradoxical Statistics of Terror

While expansive data mining programs meant to find potential terrorists and criminals have long been goals of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies, futurist, science fiction writer and blogger Cory Doctorow eviscerates our culture of political fear mongering in a new column for the Guardian, The odds are stacked against us - Our dangerous statistical ignorance simply by crunching the numbers as to these programs' effectiveness.
"Statisticians speak of something called the Paradox of the False Positive. Here's how that works: imagine that you've got a disease that strikes one in a million people, and a test for the disease that's 99% accurate. You administer the test to a million people, and it will be positive for around 10,000 of them – because for every hundred people, it will be wrong once (that's what 99% accurate means). Yet, statistically, we know that there's only one infected person in the entire sample. That means that your "99% accurate" test is wrong 9,999 times out of 10,000!

Terrorism is a lot less common than one in a million and automated "tests" for terrorism – data-mined conclusions drawn from transactions, Oyster cards, bank transfers, travel schedules, etc – are a lot less accurate than 99%. That means practically every person who is branded a terrorist by our data-mining efforts is innocent."

Read the whole article, it's short and makes a great point, and is the perfect answer the next time someone tries to say we need data-mining, or illegal wiretapping, or widespread bank transaction surveillance, or... You get the picture. Statistics are good at making predictions of generic - not specific - cases. Useful as a guide, but never as useful in bringing in a potential perpetrator as hardcore, down and dirty police work. Instead of providing the tools needed for law enforcement and terror prevention, as Doctorow points out it's taking needles in haystacks and burying them in deeper haystacks for our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to sift through.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sue as I say, not as I do

Shocking absolutely no one, House Minority Leader John Boehner is a complete hypocrite. In a piece for the Politico, Boehner's wiretapping stance draws ire, Chris Frates details how Boehner and lawyers representing him against Representative Jim McDermott in an illegal wiretapping case reaped a million dollar reward even as Boehner has vocally sought to squash Electronic Frontier Foundation and ACLU suits against telecoms who are widely accepted to have acted illegally in wiretapping Americans without a warrant at the behest of the Bush Administration.

Forgetting the fact that wiretapping in violation of FISA is now believed to have started before 9/11, which already discredits any of Boehner's fearmongering national security claims, his case against McDermott makes his attacks on "greedy trial lawyers" laughable. Apparently they shouldn't be allowed to sue on the behalf of Americans whose rights have been violated. But, they're encouraged to profit if representing him.

Thanks to Tim Jones at EFF for his post on the story.

Election night thread:

(12:39 AM EST) Oregon with 80% in:

Precincts Reporting 80%
CandidateVotesVote %DelegatesProjected Winner

(10:50 PM PST) I wonder, what % of Reagan Democrats are still alive???

(10:40 PM PST) Here is an overview of the Oregon electorate.

(10:31PM PST) Here is a great story about Obama crossing the crucial, and game winning threshold of delegates.

(10:17 PM PST) Here are Oregon the results with 66% reporting:
CandidateVotesVote %DelegatesProjected Winner

(9:10 PM PST): Here is Obama delivering his speech tonight from Iowa:

(9:03 PM PST): Here is a great interactive map that portrays the county by county break down of the tally in Oregon.

Here are the results with 51% reporting:

(8:45 PM PST) 47% in:

Real-time Race Results:
CandidateVotesVote %DelegatesProjected Winner

(8:25 PM PST) Here are the results in Oregon with 11% in:
Real-time Race Results: (all times Eastern Standard)
Precincts Reporting 11%
CandidateVotesVote %DelegatesProjected Winner

(7:15 PST) Senator Obama is giving his victory speech in Iowa.

(7:05 PST) Again, Clinton wins Kentucky and is currently chewing tobacco. Here are the numbers with 100% in:

VotesVote %DelegatesProjected Winner

Obama got over 70,000 more votes in Kentucky than did John McCain:

CandidateVotesVote %DelegatesProjected Winner

As for Sen. Obama, he now has the majority of all pledged delegates by everyones count save for Sen. Clinton, who is arguing only the only the votes that have gone for her should be counted.

Here is an email his campaign is circulating:

Dear Illiterate Electorate --

The polls are closed in Kentucky and votes are being counted in Oregon, and it's clear that tonight we have reached a major milestone on this journey.

We have won an absolute majority of all the delegates chosen by the people in this Democratic primary process.

From the beginning, this journey wasn't about me or the other candidates. It was about a simple choice -- will we continue down the same road with the same leadership that has failed us for so long, or will we take a different path?

Too many of us have been disappointed by politics and politicians more times than you can count. We've seen promises broken and good ideas drowned in a sea of influence, point-scoring, and petty bickering that has consumed Washington.

Yet, in spite of all the doubt and disappointment -- or perhaps because of it -- people have stood for change.

Unfortunately, our opponents in the other party continue to embrace yesterday's policies and they will continue to employ yesterday's tactics -- they will try to change the subject, and they will play on fears and divisions to distract us from what matters to you and your future.

But those tactics will not work in this election.

They won't work because you won't let them.

Not this time. Not this year.

We still have work to do to in the remaining states, where we will compete for every delegate available.

But tonight, I want to thank you for everything you have done to take us this far -- farther than anyone predicted, expected, or even believed possible.

And I want to remind you that you will make all the difference in the epic challenge ahead.

Thank you,

Barack Obama

Congratulations Obama. I hope you slay that crusty goblin in the fall.

Clinton wins Kentucky- Man goes jogging

Poor white people in Kentucky prefer a very rich white woman over a somewhat rich black man.


This is like watching preseason football in the post season...

Stay tuned for Oregon, this could be an interesting night.

McCain: More Proof of his Idiocy and Deception

John McCain took another disingenuous and illogical jab at Sen. Barack Obama today:

MIAMI, FL -- In the city that nearly half of the nation's Cuban
Americans call home, McCain again today criticized Obama, saying that his
rival's willingness to meet with Raul Castro would send "the worst possible
signal to Cuba's dictators."

He went on to say that such a policy legitimizes corrupt and tyrannical governments.

For starters, nothing about our Cuba policy has worked since before JFK was president. So McCain's status quo approach shows an absolute lack of understanding or imagination in foreign policy. It also shows that he will do or say anything to anyone in order to win. Fortunately for Obama he has experience against such an opponent, but I digress....

His speech got me thinking. Just last week, President Bush meet with the Saudi leadership. I got to thinking, "aren't they just as bad as the Cuban government?"

So I visited the Freedom House Organization, who compiles a database of countries and how they fare in regards to freedom of speech, assembly, suffrage, ect. It turns out that while Cuba is slightly worse off than Saudi Arabia, both countries near the bottom of their rankings. So then, why do we meet with them?

Too bad one can't run a car off of cigars...

Fairytales should be taught as fairytales...

...not in biology class. That's my reaction anytime I hear about Creationism still being taught in public schools. It's no longer shocking some still try to get around the many court decisions that would have seemed to have decided this issue. But, Wired's Science blog writes about a report that 25 percent of biology teachers around the country are still teaching Creationism, or some derivative like Intelligent Design, in public classrooms, and that they believe it's a viable alternate theory to evolution. Many in fact believe the scientific community accepts that these "alternate theories" are scientifically sound.

While this issue is nothing new, the final point is one of interest to Michael B. Berkman, Julianna Sandell Pacheco, and Eric Plutzer with their paper titled Evolution and Creationism in America's Classrooms: A National Portrait. While progressives have focused on the courts as the bulwark against religious fundamentalism crossing over into public schools for decades, the researchers show this is not enough. Nor should it be.

Many of the beliefs of these teachers are not merely set by their families and communities, but also by their own education in science - or lack thereof - as well. As such, Berkman, Pacheco and Plutzer put forth a no-brainer: Mandating that teachers actually need to have taken evolutionary biology as part of their accreditation. With exposure to actual evolutionary biology, and the scientific process, it would be much clearer for some what a theory actually is. While there are always hardliners, among the remaining 1-in-4 teachers who think it's okay to push their religious views on students and call it science, this is an important idea. While it's simple, there is no silver bullet that will forever resolve this issue, and this is a common-sense, practical step that should have been taken years ago.

Bad News for Uncle Ted: Kennedy Has a Brain Tumor

This is very sad news. Hang in there old friend...

Why do the poor and uneducated support Clinton over Obama?

The data strongly suggests that the less money and education you have the stronger is the likelihood of a vote for Clinton. Political scientists and sociologists alike will examine this phenomena for years to come, but on the morning of the Kentucky and Oregon primaries, I thought a brief bit of anecdotal observation might be appropriate.

First off, a lower level of education and income must be understood in their proper context, as we eliminate black voters from that metric. Your income and education level will help predict your voting behavior only if you are white. For whites, these are the most important variables amongst the poor and uneducated. If you are poor, uneducated, and black, then your race becomes a greater indicator than your the other two variables.

So why does this matter? It matters because poor and uneducated white people are going to deliver big for Clinton. Race does play a part, but it might (and I stress the word might) not be as fundamental a source of causation than one might think. It is my opinion (or guess) that race is playing a larger role for black voters than it is for white white voters.* It is possible that the poorer and less educated you are, the more intoxicating something like a "gas tax holiday" might become. This makes sense. If your macro-economic literacy is limited, and what you understand is that gas is getting more expensive and that Clinton wants to make it cheaper than her message will better resonate with you. You are more concerned about saving 70 bucks this summer than someone who reads the Economist, a publication that costs more than 70 dollars a year. The more educated and farther from the poverty level you fall, the more likely it is you will understand the long term stupdity of Clinton's proposal, and be able to decipher it as exploitation of the desperate.

Thats why I say that race may be a more significant metric for poor and uneducated black voters, for they are just as desperate for economic relief. However, it is my opinion that racial justice is understandably still paramount to their lives, and that the election of Barack Obama is not going to necessarily bring that about.

But I digress...Here are some Bushisms:

*- Note, I stress the word voters, as many folk from these demographics simply have no faith in the system and choose to stay home. - Yes, there is a certain (and often important) form of education that one cannot receive in a classroom.

Tear Up Your American Money!!!

Apparently our money is not only increasingly worthless, it is also illegal... a federal appeals court today found that our money is just plain not-fair. It seems that having all bill denominations printed on the same size puts blind people at even more of a disadvantage. So tear the stuff to shreds... you were only going to use it to pay for gas anyway.

Monday, May 19, 2008

McCain Supports Draft

I can think of no other reason why he would jeopardize the health and proliferation of our all-volunteer military service. Dems and Republitards alike are lashing out at the crazy old coot for opposing a vets college aid bill that would restore benefits to the level of those given to WWII vets. Silly bastard doesn't know which way he's facing now, does he?

Cancer Survivor Pitches No-Hitter...

Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester threw a no-hitter tonight against the Kansas City Royals. In 2006 Lester was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma but after successful treatment returned to pitch the final game of the World Series last year. He is the second pitcher in the history of baseball to no-hit the Royals, the other was Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. Congratulations Jon!

Olberman Defends NBC Over Bush Interview...

The White House sent a letter to NBC today calling the airing of Bush's interview with Richard Engel "deceptively edited". So Olberman does what he does best and plays the part they demanded to be aired in full. The extended footage doesn't help the Bush in the least bit. From the interview:

"You said that it was appeasement. Were you referring to Senator Barack Obama?"

The President responded: "You know, my policies haven't changed, but evidently the political calendar has. People need to read the speech. You didn't get it exactly right, either. What I said was is that we need to take the words of people seriously."

Flying Penis Interrupts Speech...

Grand chess master Garry Kasparov was interrupted by a flying penis helicopter while giving a speech in Russia. We all know the lengths that Putin will go to silence an enemy(radioactive poison) but who knew they had penis helicopters? Scary stuff for sure.

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)...

I urge everyone to take a few minutes out of your busy days and watch the videos of Iraq veterans testifying before Congress on May 15th. These heroes have a lot to say but unfortunately most people haven't been listening. Spread the word.

The REAL John McCain...

This is part two of the Robert Greenwald and BraveNewFilms, "The Real John McCain". Somehow I don't see anyone in the MSM reporting on this. It's just a silly YouTube video of an old man lying and flip flopping around like a dying fish.

Clinton: Obama Declaring Victory Tues. Insults 17 million...

In a memo sent out today by the Clinton campaign, Hillary says that if Obama claims victory after Tuesdays primaries then he will be insulting the 17 million "supporters" of Clinton.

Senator Obama's plan to declare himself the Democratic nominee tomorrow night in Iowa is a slap in the face to the millions of voters in the remaining primary states and to Senator Clinton's 17 million supporters.

This is just plain stupid on a lot of levels. First, she doesn't even have a popular vote count of 17 million even if you include Michigan and Florida. So she has to claims 17 million supporters. If they support her then why didn't they vote for her? 2 million people who support you but don't vote for you is quite a large group Hillz.

Second, does this also mean that Hillary staying in the race despite the astronomical odds against her insult the 16 million people that have voted for Obama? Doesn't the issue have two sides? I mean, which is more insulting to the voters?

Finally, Obama never said he was going to declare victory tomorrow. So she's making up shit again and pushing that wedge ever so deeper into the Democratic party. Nicely done Senator, when the country elects John McCain in Nov. I hope you'll be proud. I myself will feel insulted.

White Woman's Burdon: Geraldine Ferraro May Not Back Obama

Geraldine Ferraro (whom you may recall argued that Sen. Obama could never have made it this far in life if he were not black), has apparently been watching the 1995 film White Man's Burden, and has been confusing socio-fiction with reality. Of Obama, she now says:

Ferraro, in the NYT story, terms Obama "terribly sexist." And, as a result, she says she may not be able to cast her ballot for him if, as anticipated, he gains the Democratic presidential nod.

I dug through the NYT story and couldn't find why she thinks he is sexist. I have never heard that charge before. Perhaps it is because he had the chutzpah to take down the most viable female contender to date? I don't see how that makes him sexist.

I completely understand why a woman would want to see a female president. Frankly, I would like to see one (or two, or three...) as well, but that is not going to be this year's historic event. Any feminists that think their overall rights are going to expand under a McCain presidency are delusional. Anyone who behaves this way is not a feminist - for a true feminist would want to advance the worthy cause of women's rights. Rather, one who behaves this way has the mentality of a sports fan, and will be surrendering their bodies to Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito if they follow Geraldine's dangerous path.

Iraq Vets Music Video:

This is a video and tune were put together by two Iraq vets, one of whom I know...many of the photos are first hand shots taken by the guys themselves:

Sen. Obama draws like the Stones....

Obama spoke to 72,000 in Portland, OR yesterday. Here are some photos:

For more please click here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sat Night Mike Gravel Video: Crank That Mike Gravel

Bill O'Reilly Flips Out: Dance Remix

Fourth Of July Cancelled...

With all the problems facing the country this summer we can now add firework's shortage to the list. Thanks to some warehouse fires in China recently the supply of fireworks is down. From The NYT's:

Fireworks vendors said that because of the sudden shortage, fireworks like bottle rockets, ladyfingers and Roman candles, as well as mortars used in professional displays, will be hard to get, meaning many of the usual pyrotechnic extravaganzas across the country may have to be curtailed or even canceled.

“Everybody in the industry is scared to death that their orders aren’t going to get here in time,” said Ken Sprague, president of Hamburg Fireworks Display in Lancaster, Ohio, which choreographs fireworks shows throughout the Midwest. “I haven’t slept a full night in months.”

What are the wing nuts going to do July 4th? No fireworks? No patriotism? They're gonna have to start cranking out flag lapel pins and bumper stickers to make up for this.

In honor of Ted Kennedy: Weekend Comedy

Here are a few classics from the early days of Internet(s) streaming. I remember trying to watch these with 56K...enjoy:

And my all time favorite:

Get Well Soon Ted:

We're pulling for ya...

Solider won't serve in Iraq; Dizzying vet statistic

Upon reading this story about an Army Sgt. that is refusing to serve in what he is calling an an "illegal and unconstitutional occupation," I came across a frightening piece of data that I had not heard before:

Some 300,000 of the 1.6 million US soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from the psychological traumas of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or both, an independent study showed last month.

If my math is correct (and it may not be...I did go to American public schools) that is nearly one in five troops that come back mentally damaged. I filter that through the (sadly overlooked) story from last month about the V.A. covering up the nearly 1,000 Bush Administration Wars vets that are attempting to take their lives, and I am not sure if I should reach for some Pepto Bismol, Jack Daniels, or both...

...But I digress.

This is all horrible, to say the least, and I hope history points to this type of data as the lasting legacy of the Bush Presidency....along with gutting the economy, infrastructure, and educational system of the country.

He is scum.

Weekend Comedy: Bill Hicks on Bush 41 and the CIA

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mike Huckabee: Turd

I don't know what to say. I should say something, but I am not sure what I can say about this:

Obama Fires Back at Bush and McCain

Yesterday, I said that Obama needs to take this appeasement nonsense and use it to his advantage. He needs to light a fire under the GOP's giant ass.

Today he did just that.

Obama S.D. Press Conference Mastery

Just a heads up...Sen. Obama is currently speaking to the press (11:30 pst) so if you are by a tube, tune in. He is looking very "presidential" and has offered to take McCain on anytime and anywhere to discuss foreign policy, of which Obama clearly has a good grasp. As I have heard mentioned before, if we selected our candidates on foreign policy experience alone, then Dick Cheney would be the obvious choice. Quality trumps quantity, and I when I think McCain, I don't think quality...

Note: We will be live blogging the Oregon and Kentucky primary all day and night this Tuesday.

Endangered Species...

This can't be good for us. When are people going to realize that you can't eat money? We're heading for a major environmental crisis and people only care about American Idol, poker, and whatever TV tells them is the new cool thing. Why can't people realize that when animals die off, WE die off? The GOP doesn't have an escape pod for you. There is no secret "conservative" planet to go live on. This is beyond red/blue politics and it needs to be addressed.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

McCain Said He Would Talk With Hamas...

Two years ago John McCain said he would talk with Hamas because, "sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them". Does McCain realize that when he does an interview on air that it will be kept in the archives? After agreeing with Bush Thursday that Obama's policy of diplomacy with Hamas is the same as Nazi appeasers and continually saying that Hamas supports Senator Obama, this is a bombshell. What defense does McCain have for this? Here's the video from the HuffPo.

RUBIN: "Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?"

McCAIN: "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that."

The interview was with James Rubin for Sky News and he has an op-ed in today's Washington Post about his exchange with McCain. We'll see how McCain tries to weasel out of this(maybe he will finally claim a senior moment?) and how well the MSM tries to protect their man-crush. Here's Rubin:

"Given that exchange, the new John McCain might say that Hamas should be rooting for the old John McCain to win the presidential election. The old John McCain, it appears, was ready to do business with a Hamas-led government, while both Clinton and Obama have said that Hamas must change its policies toward Israel and terrorism before it can have diplomatic relations with the United States."

How is McCain even still their nominee? I mean over the last month he has fucked up about a dozen times and the media keeps fawning over him. I say it again people, what would happen if Obama had accused McCain of this same thing and this video surfaced? You thought the media orgasm over Rev. Wright was bad? This should be a major thorn in McCain's side but we'll see in the coming days what comes of it.

Olberman Breaks Down McCain's Fantasy...

John McCain's speech today on how the first 4 years of his administration would go, it's a about an old man who would fix the nation's problems and make all of are wildest dreams come true. He sounds a lot like Willy Wonka actually. Here's Olberman bringing reality back into the equation:

Hardball Crash and Burn...

Right-Wing radio host Kevin James today on Hardball talking about...well even he's not really sure what he's talking about. We'll see more of this trash in the coming days following Bush's disaster "speech" today in Israel. This is the Right-Wing in a nutshell, spewing talking points while having no idea whatsoever the history behind the claims they make. I don't care for Tweedy much but he does a good job of slamming this clown.

Bush and Olmert are both incompetent, criminal nincompoops, and the world would be a better place if they were in a maximum security prison:

But I digress....

As many of you have by now heard, President Bush took aim at Sen. Obama through an indirect jab by asserting that talking to one's enemies is a dangerous form of appeasement that leads to genocide:

Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as
if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,''
Bush said in an address to the Knesset today which drew repeated standing
ovations for his commitment to stand by Israel against all enemies. We
have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in
1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to
Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this
what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly
discredited by history.

This was said in the Israeli Knesset, making the reference to Hitler all the more inflammatory. Olmert, Israel's incompetent and criminal counterpart to Bush, stood there and applauded, all the while knowing that his government has had back channel talks with Hamas on numerous occasions. This is a man that has literally polled in the single digits and is currently being investigated by the law for corruption.

But that is besides the point, which is that Bush used his role as the Head of State to tell the people of Israel that the man who is best positioned to be the next President of the United States might make concessions that lead to your extermination. This is not the message, overt or otherwise, that our leader should be delivering to the legislative body of one of our most important allies. Like Joe Biden said:

“This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset and make this kind of ridiculous statement.”

Sen. Biden is 100% correct. Besides rising to level of malarkey, Bush's statements were irresponsible and incorrect, and represent really bad diplomacy (which is par for the course). For starters, he did not mention that communication prevented our annihilation in the Cuban Missile Crisis. He did not mention that Israel has only found peace with Egypt (relatively) and Jordan (more clearly) through discussion, and that this is the only peace that they have had with anyone in their neighborhood. He did not even mention that we have achieved progress through communication with North Korea and Lybia under his own government.

These were not the words of a Head of State. Instead, this was classic political bantering of the worst most partisan kind, and we are all worse off for it. The United States and Israel, two countries that I care deeply about, are currently being run by criminal morons that have weakened the their countries by every possible metric. Both showed their true selves today, and it was ugly.

Here is a clip of the speech:

Behind Enemy Lines:

For reasons I am too frightened to contemplate, I am on John McCain's email list. I got his email today and was about to send it to my spam box, but after hearing his speech this morning, I thought I would give it a look. I am going to analyze this with my comments in parenthetical italics. It reads as follows:

My Friends (I am not your friend you crusty goblin),
We are all aware that next January, the political leadership of the United States will change significantly when a new president is sworn into our nation's highest elected office. It is important that the candidates who seek to lead our country after President Bush define their objectives and what they plan to achieve not with vague language but with clarity.

(I agree with this so far. Good work senator! I fear the other shoe is about to...)

What I want to do is take a little time to describe what I hope to have achieved at the end of my first term as president. I cannot guarantee I will have achieved these things, but I am presumptuous enough to think I would be a good president.

(I am not entirly sure I know what this even means, and quite frankly, I think I will sleep better for it. I think he is saying he will win the election, perhaps get nothing done, yet still be a good president? )

By January 2013, at the end of my first term as president, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom. The Iraq War has been won and Iraq is a functioning democracy. The threat from a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan has been greatly reduced but not eliminated and there has not been a major terrorist attack in the United States since September 11, 2001.

(This is a fantasy. I can't summerize it any better than this. When I, as a 14 year old boy used to project my life 4 years into the future, it usually consisted of me being a rock star and addored by millions of slutty women that loved me for my money and my metal. McCain is outlining his dreams. This is a therapy session, not a forieng policy outline.)

The United States has experienced several years of robust economic growth and Americans again have confidence in their economic future. Congress has lowered taxes and passed fundamental tax reform offering a choice in how taxes are filed. Americans, who through no fault of their own, lost jobs in the global economy they once believed were theirs for life, are assisted by reformed unemployment insurance and worker retraining programs.

(Does he think he is a super hero?)

Public education in the United States is much improved and test scores and graduation rates are rising everywhere in the country. Health care has become more accessible to more Americans than at any other time in history.
The United States is well on the way to independence from foreign sources of oil; progress that has not only begun to alleviate the environmental threat posed from climate change, but has greatly improved our security as well.

(This is starting to remind me of the story that George tells Lenny at the end of the book "Of Mice and Men" just before he shots him in the back.)

Scores of judges have been confirmed to the federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, who understand that they were not sent there to write our laws but to enforce them.

(This is perhaps the worst sentence I have ever read. What he is really saying is he will appoint judges who will rule the way he wants them to rule, which by the way would make impossible the majority of the freedom and prosperity he has outlined above, but I digress.)

Voluntary national service has grown in popularity in part because of the educational benefits used as incentives, as well as frequent appeals from the bully pulpit of the White House, but mostly because the young Americans understand that true happiness is much greater than the pursuit of pleasure, and can only be found by serving causes greater than self-interest.

(Umm, how can a father with children in their 20's not understand that a probable majority of this country's youth thinks that sacrifice is having to turn off their cell phone before a college class that they don't want to attend./?- I am not sure which puncuation to use as that sentence was a question/statement hybrid...)

This is the progress I want us to achieve during my presidency.

(If any of it were real I would want it too...)

These are the changes I am running for president to make. I want to leave office knowing that America is safer, freer and wealthier than when I was elected.

There are serious issues at stake in this election, and serious differences, but it should remain an argument among friends; each of us struggling to hear our conscience, and heed its demands. Each of us, despite our differences, united in our great cause and respectful of the goodness in each other. That is how most Americans treat each other. And it is how they want the people they elect to office to treat each other.

We cannot again leave our problems for another unluckier generation of Americans to fix after they have become even harder to solve. I'm not interested in partisanship that serves no other purpose than to gain a temporary advantage over our opponents. We are all compatriots. We are fellow Americans. I intend to prove myself worthy of the office, of our country and of your respect. I won't judge myself by how many elections I've won. I won't spend one hour of my presidency worrying more about my re-election than keeping my promises to the American people.

And now, I call on you to do your part in making this vision a reality. I am not presumptuous enough to think that I will be elected our next president without your help, and I humbly ask you today to make a contribution to my campaign of any amount to ensure my campaign is fully funded and able to take my message and vision directly to every American voter.


John McCain

(He then begs for spare change)

P.S. There are serious issues at stake in this election, and serious differences between the candidates. We will argue about them, as we should. If I am elected president, I will work with anyone who sincerely wants to get this country moving again. But I must be elected in November to do this, and that is why I ask that you join me by making a financial contribution so that my campaign can be fully funded to win in November. Thank you.

(Please do not send this man money. Please send him a pillow, he clearly needs a nap...)