Whoa. This Guy's Good.

There is a movie starring Sandra Bullock (who hails from Joe McWeirdsmile’s “Communist Country”) called 28 Days. It is about a 30-something woman who goes into rehab and, as my wickedly witty ladyfriend says to describe this particular hackneyed Hollywood meme, “learns how to love.” The film is, almost wholly, a cliché, the kind of movie I ought to hate. But if you’ve seen it, chances are good that you have a certain adoration for the film, as do I. Because of how it ends. (I won’t spoil even if the movie is eight years old. Add it to your queue. It’s not bad.)

The recency effect—the idea that short-term memory grasps and strokes first what it encountered last—is immensely powerful. This is why Barack Obama’s decision to buy a half hour of prime time this evening was so utterly smart. It was an entire half hour, his, all his, in which he got to frame himself and the issues exactly as he liked. It will be one of the last impressions voters hold in their brains as they go to the polls.

And it was good. As a production, as a broadcast, as an argument, it was stellar. It told grim stories about Americans facing tough circumstances but never got bogged down in “malaise.” It allowed Obama to be self-endorsing with a little bit of humble, which is when the man is at his best. It included endorsements from heavy hitters, including a hearty one from a military man. It featured Joe Biden, who, still has more gravitas than any V.P. pick since LBJ has had in his left pinkie toenail. It offered the candidate the opportunity to squash directly and coolly the most hideous attacks on his character and his patriotism. And, it featured many of these stories and endorsements from key states and ended with him live from the perennially spoiling and for-some-reason-important Florida.

The fact alone that this candidate thinks big enough to purchase a half hour of prime-time television indicates how serious a candidate is Barack Obama. The fact that he pulled it off indicates how mind-blowingly smart a candidate he is. As I’ve been saying for a very long time now. Barack. Obama. Is. The. Real. Thing.

This broadcast tonight, it was brilliant. I am walking on ceilings due to it. I can only suppose that it nudged a few million fence sitters. I do fear that he has tonight upped the ante, and that in 2012, everyone’s going to want one of these, leading every candidate to require gazillions of dollars more, and that this unique event of 2008 will lose its special quality as has the candidate cameo on Saturday Night Live. But damn. Biden was certainly on the nose, was he not?

(This post was also green-lit at The Smirking Chimp.)

Dear Sen. Dole,

I am writing you as a proud American, a former resident of your beautiful state, and as an atheist. Well. I prefer “Bright,” but you may not be familiar with the term.

I have just viewed your campaign ad accusing your opponent of being associated with the Godless Americans Political Action Committee. It is a despicable ad, and you have lowered yourself as a political candidate and as a person by approving it.

There are, believe it or not, Americans who do not profess any particular regligious faith. Some of them reside in North Carolina, as I did in the late ’90s. I do understand that I was among a slim minority. But I also understand that, under the purvue of the United States Consitution, my faith is just as protected as is yours.

As such, there is nothing sinister about a Political Action Committee that advocates for those interests in Washington. America has of late become a much more hostile place for Brights and to the more general idea of the secular commons, a construction that is actually necessary to defend the right of every American to worship freely. The day that we become a theocracy, Sen. Dole, the day that we are beholden to a state-sponsored religion, is the day that religious freedom dies. GAMPAC doesn’t merely advocate for heathens. They advocate for a continued, proud tradition and history of a truly free nation.

Your handlers’ defense of the spot just makes it worse. Comparing this attack to Kay Hagan’s assertion that you have oil interests in your corner—whether Hagan’s charge is truthful or not—is scummy. Questioning your connections to oil interests is not the same thing as untruthfully painting your opponent as a wanton nonbeliever in the Bible belt’s buckle, and you know it. The former—again, truthfully or not—questions your susceptability to political influence. The latter spreads malicious lies about your opponent’s religious faith. It is disgusting.

Not to mention incendiary. When your campaign goes there, Sen. Dole, it could perhaps have the unintended effect of electrifying the reptile brains of your constituents. We were tragically reminded in July what can happen when just one man brands a secular congregation as a scapegoat. Do you really want a Knoxville to happen in the Tar Heel State? How would you feel if it did, knowing full well that your ad may have provided the spark?

Until now, I have considered you to be a New Republican, as one of those of your party who might actually be capable of “reaching across the aisle,” as they say, someone who might be able to help lead us out of this mess after in the post-Bush era. You initially came to your seat eschewing the questionable, race-baiting tactics of your predecessor. But, I reckon the chips are down right now, so, what the heck? Bring on the crusades!

I will be sending your opponent a few dollars. It won’t be much, but I hope it helps. I will also be sending some money to GAMPAC. I should thank you because before this flap, I did not know that such a PAC even existed!

I wish you a happy, productive retirement. God bless you.

Sincerely,
Brady Bonk

Jim Moran for Congress

Every time our good Congressman Jim Moran has to run, you hear the same ol’ saw. You might hear that Jim Moran loves pork, that he says things that are stupid, he’s a DLC Democrat, and that he’s on the take. He voted for the Clinton impeachment inquiry, and, okay, this one gives me pause. But I’d like to turn my eye for a moment away from the presidential race to make an argument for Congressman Moran, who is actually an excellent representative for this district and to whom I have personally pledged my vote until he’s ready to retire. I have, I have told him this personally. And here’s why.

He voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.

For that vote, I owe him mine. It’s that simple. That is how pivotal I believe that vote to have been. Moran was on the right side of Question One About Iraq (what the hell did you do that for?). He doesn’t and didn’t oppose the ongoing Occupation of Iraq because it hasn’t been successful. He opposed and opposes it because the invasion was and is boneheaded wrong in the first place. His “no” vote should carry a hefty weight. It does with me and it will until the man gives up his career in Congress.

There are other reasons to support Moran: He is on the House Committee on Appropriations, and a vote against Moran pulls a Democrat off of this powerful committee. He is an advocate for D.C. voting rights. He got into a shoving match with Randy “Duke” Cunningham over sending troops to Bosnia. God bless him.

But, for me, the bottom line is that Jim Moran made the right decision in the beginning on Iraq, and a vote for him continues to press that message, that a vote on principle, that a correct vote on such a vital issue is exestentially meaningful. If I see Moran, I will tell him, sir, I voted for you and always will, not only because I think you have done a fine job for Northern Virginia, but because you voted against the Resolution. That vote still means that much. It did, it does, and it should. Moran for Congress.

Gov. Bill Richardson Coming to Arlington

I have just arrived home from the Arlington office of the Obama Campaign for Change, where I have spent embarassingly little time, given all the lather I work up here at the KIAV. That will change now. It hit me on the subway ride home, almost as divine inspiration to just show up and say “Here I am!” It’s something I’ve been putting off and dreading, but on the train tonight, I was struck with an urgent necessity to get my hide over there. Papa Bonk’s good work in the incredibly pivotal Pennsylvania has shamed and inspired me to get into ABC mode (Apply Butt to Chair) and make some calls for Obama and our Democrats. I may ask the boss for Nov. 4 off so I can get out and work like hell. Let’s paint the mother blue.

It must have been some kind of fate, actually. When the fellow handed me the list I was to chip away at, four pages of phone numbers and indicators you’re supposed to circle or hash, I told him I wouldn’t be needing to call the first number on the list. Why not, he asked? Because, I said. That’s ME. Yep, that’s right. My name and number were at the top of my list.

Seeing as how I was already at the office volunteering, I put myself down for a “yes” on “willing to volunteer.”

Tonight I was calling to invite folks to one or two events Thursday in Arlington with Gov. Bill Richardson. FYI, Richardson will be at the Obama campaign headquarters at 4:15 p.m. Thursday. He will speak and then send a bunch of canvassers into the ‘hoods of The Peoples’ Republic of Arlington. Then, at 5:30 pm that same day, there will be an economic townhall with Gov. Richardson at Wakefield High.

In looking up some of this info, I found this. I love the interwebs.

Joe. Just Answer the Question!

The Bullshitter Party has this new theory that if Democrats say words, they express a statement of belief. Sort of like Barack Obama is a wizard and words he says are incantations capable of changing the course of history. I have been a little puzzled over this flap about “redistribution of wealth” because I have never heard Barack actually say it. Now comes the facts.

The Bullshitters have uncovered video of a law school panel discussion during which Obama and others discussed the Supreme Court’s approach to issues regarding wealth distribution. Here is what The Washington Post’s Fact Checkers found Obama said:

“Maybe I am showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but you know I am not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know the institution just isn’t structured that way…. Any of the three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts. I think that, as a practical matter, that our institutions are just poorly equipped to do it.”

Fact Checker observes that “In other words, Obama says pretty much the opposite of what the McCain camp says he said. Contrary to the spin put on his remarks by McCain economics adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin, he does not express “regret” that the Supreme Court has not been more “radical.” Nor does he describe the Court’s refusal to take up economic redistribution questions as a “tragedy.” He uses the word “tragedy” to refer not to the Supreme Court, but to the civil rights movement:

“One of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was that the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think, there was a tendency to lose track of the political and organizing activities on the ground that are able to bring about the coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change.”

Holtz-Eakin “read a different interview to the one I heard,” said Dennis Hutchinson, a University of Chicago law professor who joined Obama in the panel discussion. “Obama said that redistribution of wealth issues need to be decided by legislatures, not by the courts. That is what a progressive income tax is all about.”

If it were not for bullshit, the Bullshitter party would have nothing to talk about. Now comes the sad part. This is the BS that Joe Biden was confronted with in an interview by an alleged “reporter”:for an Orlando TV station. (The reporter’s normal beat is health. She apparently got this assignment because her questions were crafted by her husband, a political advisor to McCaine/Barbie.) The question was: “Is Obama a socialist because he said the words “income redistribution?” Biden got pissed off (because he rightly thought the question was idiotic) and refused to deal with it, and then the campaign made some minor smoke by refusing to have anything to do with the Orlando TV station. Now the damn thing is all over the right wing radio and I am hearing it while knocking doors in Pennsylvania….. where it is blown way out of proportion. “They are refusing to talk to the press… what are they trying to cover up?”

It is an idiotic question, but it has a real answer. Obama is not a socialist. All tax policy involves income redistribution. For the last eight years we have been redistributing income upwards… to people who make the big bucks. Obama wants to turn the clock back to the tax platform that fueled the Clinton economy, and give the tax breaks back to the rest of us. . Simple answer. No big deal. Next question?

It's Not A Big Truck

The charges and verdicts in the Ted Stevens trial
By The Associated Press – 47 minutes ago

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, was convicted on all seven charges of making false statements on Senate financial documents about gifts he received from contractor Bill Allen, oil services company VECO Corp., and others.

Below are the charges. The verdict form is broken down by year and jurors did not have to indicate which gifts, if any, they believe Stevens concealed.

COUNT ONE: False Statements, Scheme

ACCUSATION: Stevens engaged in a scheme to conceal from his Senate financial disclosure documents home renovations and other gifts he received from Allen and VECO from 2000-2006. Stevens contends he never asked for any freebies and believed he paid for everything he received.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT TWO: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2001 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, VECO employees dramatic renovated Stevens’ mountain cabin, building a new first floor and installing a new electrical system. Allen also filled Stevens’ house with furniture, left a tool box in his garage and installed a grill on the porch. Stevens also received from another friend an expensive massage chair, which Stevens said was a loan, and a custom work of stained glass, which Stevens said his wife arranged and he knew nothing about.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT THREE: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2002 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, VECO employees installed a new roof, wraparound deck and rope lighting system on Stevens’ home. An expensive fish statue, donated to his foundation by an Alaska nonprofit group, was also charged as a gift because it ended up on Stevens’ front porch.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT FOUR: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2003 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, Stevens received an Alaskan sled dog puppy from a friend who paid $1,000 for it at a charity auction. Stevens reported the gift’s value as $250 and wrote that it was from a charity in honor of his public service.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT FIVE: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2004 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, VECO employees installed or repaired kitchen appliances and performed maintenance on a rooftop snow-melt system at Stevens’ house.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT SIX: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2005 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, VECO employees performed roof and gutter repairs and electrical wiring.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT SEVEN: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2006 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, a VECO employee and an outside contractor performed work on the boiler at Stevens’ house. VECO’s costs were never paid and Allen paid the outside contractor’s labor. Stevens says he asked to be billed and didn’t consider it a gift.

VERDICT: Guilty

KIAV Exclusive: Leaked Republigoat Campaign Memorandum

From: Anonymous Republigoat Strategist
To: Party Loyalist Rank-and-File, Joe The Plumber
Re: 2008—Batshit Crazy Will Lead Us To Victory
11:48 p.m. Oct. 22, 2008

I know it’s looking bleak. Just over two weeks to go, and the polls are caving in on us or, at best, holding steady. I know the phrase “shine off the apple” has been making the rounds regarding Gov. Palin. I would appreciate it if you did not utter the phrase in my presence. Thank you. And, yes, the old man seems like he’s starting to crack up. There for a moment, I thought Johnstown was going to rush the stage and pummel him. “I couldn’t agree with them more?” Christ. Every time the man opens his mouth, my balls tighten up a little. I can’t help it. It’s just a reflex. 

I’m pleased to announce though that we have new marching orders from on high. It is a Hail Mary play, but one that I think has some potential. What the hell, right? 

As you know, for years, we have exercised what we all have come to know as the “Rove Flip,” wherein you turn an opponent’s strength into a weakness by flipping it, by criticizing him for it, even if you have to lie your ass off to create the criticism. There are many variations of the RF, in fact one we’ve been employing quite a bit this season has been the one where you blatantly accuse your opponent of participating in horrible shitty behavior that you know you yourself are actually engaged in. Actually, this maneuver has become known as the “Cindy Corollary,” thanks to her amazing claim that, in fact, the Obama campaign is running the “dirtiest campaign in American history.” I’m glad I was alone my office with the door closed when I first heard that because I laughed my fool head off. That was amazing work, Cin. You deserve the recognition. Keep it up!

We have decided that it is necessary at this stage in the game to RAMP THINGS UP a bit. We’re in the hole, and the old man is wandering all over the place stammering like an idiot. I’ve been tempted to make him lip sync, but our tech guys can’t figure out how to make that work. We tried him on an earpiece so we could direct him a little, but we put an end to it after the Brokaw debate; it just makes him wander around the stage even more, looking for that disembodied voice. No, what we need to do is to now is to employ a much-discussed theory that’s not yet been tried: The mythical “Rove Batshit Crazy Motherfucker.” Yes, it really does exist.  

I know. It is scary to imagine that we’re actually going to try this, to test TB’s theoretical nuke, the idea that,  if “flipping” does the job as effectively as it does, then completely blowing shit up with complete total nonsense crazy will serve to make we Republicans kings of the world for all of eternity. I know it’s scary, that you worry for your reputations and, indeed, for your very holds on reality. But, friends, we are in a tighter spot than I’ve seen us since Butterfield spilled about the tapes. We need results here, people. So. Batshit crazy it is. 

I know of a young woman in Pittsburgh who can fake a mugging. It would be better, of course, if she could carve something into her own face. Should not be a problem, from what I understand, she’s cut herself before. I will of course make sure that she knows to blame it on a Negro when she reports it, Susan Smith style. And, you guys are doing great at the rallies, but could you be more creative with the things you’re screaming out? “Terrorist” and such are getting pretty old. Try “Obama is a space alien,” or “Obama is the doo-doo man.” You know. Real batshit crazy stuff. And Gail, that was a nice touch not washing your hair for a few days. Thanks for that. You’re a go-getter.

I think I can get the old man’s brother to call 911 to complain about the traffic. That would be very helpful. If any congressman receiving this memo would like to help us out, just walk onto the floor and start speaking in tongues. I will be watching C-SPAN for it. And, finally, folks, I am not opposed to anyone doing a little streaking. Just make sure to wear a McCain/Palin bumpersticker on your derier.

Help us out, folks. We need to put TB’s theory to the test. We are after all in the midst of a disaster, and what better time than a disaster to take our big ideas off of the drawing board and to put them into practice? Think like Prince. Let’s go crazy. Let’s get nuts. Hey, that’s a good song. Maybe we can use it on the campaign trail. Anyway. At the very least, remember that any batshit crazy thing you do is likely to drive a liberal TO TEARS. Thanks for all you do, and God bless America.