Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
At a rally today in Ohio, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) accused Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) of wanting to “spread the wealth.” McCain then summoned Joe the Plumber, who wasn’t even in the audience:
McCAIN: That’s only because Joe the Plumber asked [Obama] the right questions right here in Ohio. … Joe’s with us today. Joe, where are you? Where is Joe? Is Joe here with us today? Joe, I thought you were here today.
McCAIN: All right, well you’re all Joe the Plumbers, so all of you stand up!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Now to tell you the truth, I not an American citizen and therefore, legally, unable to vote. But I am, however, trying to assimilate myself into the culture and electoral sensibilities of this country so that when the time comes I will be ready to take my citizenship oath in body, mind and spirit. Which is why yesterday, my only concern while watching John McCain and Barack Obama face off in the second presidential debate was, which of those two guys would be best qualified to quaff a pint with me. To fully focus on what was happening during the debate, I turned off the television captioning because I did not want "words" or "ideas" to cloud my judgment of their co-drinking abilities. And this is what my final verdict was.
John McCain would be a terrible drinking buddy. America certainly deserves much better. Now I'm not really a social drinker and I do most of my drinking alone sitting in a tiny room with doors and windows closed and all electrical appliances turned off but the foremost thought running through my mind yesterday as I watched John McCain try to make the case for being a great drinking buddy was, someday if I were to find myself stranded on a desert island and could choose one person not to have a drink with, that person would be Sen. John McCain.
I would definitely not want to be John McCain's drinking partner. Not if we were drinking at my place. That's because because Sen. McCain would probably pick up his drink and go wandering all over my house. Like he did last night at the debate. Did you see that? Whereas Barack Obama sat tight on a stool during his adversary's speaking time trying his best not to look elitist, when it was Obama's turn to speak, John McCain kept puttering all over the place like the Energizer bunny. I am not sure if he was trying to walk off an erection or an irrepressible urge to urinate or if he was merely attempting to prevent his leg muscles from atrophying, but each time the camera focused on Sen. Obama, you could see movement in the background and it was John McCain in ambulatory mode. So that's why I'm not that big on having John McCain over for a drink. I don't want him meandering aimlessly through my basement, bathrooms and closets with a glass full of liquid in his hand. I would have to follow him around just so I'm able to hear what he's muttering under his breath and he would probably crash into stuff and spill everything all over the floor and look unduly surprised on being informed that I do not employ at least five servants to clean up that mess.
I wouldn't want John McCain sitting beside me in a bar either. Mostly because John McCain doesn't seem like he is ever in a good mood. During yesterday's debate, John McCain spent most of his time looking extremely irritated as if he was vexed at why the American public was even pretending that they had a choice in the matter of electing him and were forcing him to share a stage with this gangly young communist prick from Chicago.And even when he smiled, you could see that right behind the curve of his distended lips lay sharp pointed fangs that were itching to break out and gnaw your face off.
Now when you're having a drink with a buddy in the bar, it is difficult for you to relax and forget your worldly cares and tensions if your drinking partner is constantly in the mindset of gnawing people's faces off. It introduces a palpable tension in the air and it is far from relaxing, which is why you're there in the first place. With John McCain at your side, you are always on edge because you are aware that at any given moment, you might have to physically restrain him from walking over to a neighboring table and yelling at some punk that he (John McCain) didn't get shot down in Vietnam so he (the punk) could wear that stupid shirt in public. And how about getting a haircut and a shower? No, those would definitely not be good drinking times.
But how about a scenario where John McCain would merely be in the same bar as you are in, not with you as such, but alone, by himself, perhaps sitting a couple of stools away? I pondered over that situation as well because I really want to cover all angles for this presidential election. Well, from what I saw yesterday, that could be a problem as well. John McCain, eyeing me from two stools over would undoubtedly take issue with me, probably with something I'm wearing or saying or my sports team affiliation or the fact that that I'm nursing a draft and not a bottle, you know, stuff that pisses off crotchety old men. And he would quite possibly pass a lot of snide remarks while conversing with an imaginary person, you know, something like what he did yesterday to "that one" guy, before walking up and asking me to fuck off because he'd been frequenting this bar ever since he was a kid and I was not from here and therefore, not welcome. That would spoil my evening too.
So, as a beer drinking person, this is my final word on John McCain as a potential drinking partner. A resounding no. As for Barack Obama, I am aware that he does seem a bit too knowledgeable about stuff and would probably kick my ass in an argument on just about anything, but what you have to remember is that he sucks at bowling. Really, really sucks. So at the end of the day, when you're stumbling back to your car after a night of drinking and bowling with the President of the United States, you will continue to be secure in the belief that you are a better, more accomplished human being than him, at least in the field of bowling, and that should put your mind at ease as you crawl into your bed and try to drown out the screams of your broken crushed dreams through soothing slumber.
And ultimately, isn't that what you really look for in a president?
Friday, October 03, 2008
So that being said, Palin was okay. As expected, she was all verbiage and no substance. What was different from her past few interviews was that her words were leaving her mouth in the correct sequence with meaning attached. In this debate, she did not act like she had just woken up after a night of hard partying and forgotten to drink a glass of water for every vodka tonic she had. She talked fast and if you weren't paying close attention to what she was saying, the urgency of her delivery could make you believe she was saying something worthwhile. Sadly, she was not. She dodged a number of questions. Her answers were not specific. Where Joe Biden spoke knowledgeably about the sub prime mortgage crisis, Bosnia, Hamas, Hezbollah, Darfur and Pakistan, Sarah Palin spouted vapid, generic catch phrases like "corruption on Wall street" and "the white flag of surrender" and "love of Israel" and "opposing troop funding". Same old Palin, just that this time, she was at least offering correct talking points in response to the correct question.
Palin's lack of actual knowledge as well as the evidence of her cramming showed through. She looked like she wanted to get through the damn thing ASAP so she could get back to her hotel room and drill for oil. Seldom, after Senator Biden stopped speaking on an issue, did she look like she was eager to offer a repudiation of what he had just said. Most of the times she was content with merely delivering her memorized lines and getting on with it unless, God forbid, the moderator actually asked her to respond, in which case, her response was "...uh...I disagree, but let me bring up this stuff instead that's wholly unrelated to what we are talking about right now." The couple of times she actually did offer a counter-argument, it did not pertain to what was being discussed. When the topic was the mortgage crisis and deregulation, she kept talking about tax increases. When the issue was the bailout package, she kept babbling about energy bills. It was as if she was trying to recognize individual words and phrases from Joe Biden's narrative and quickly rummaging through her Rolodex of talking points to see if they matched anything in there.
On foreign policy, Joe Biden killed her. It was a thing of beauty and pathos. Palin didn't say a single thing we haven't already heard said a million times on television. If a 5 month old baby were allowed to watch CNN an hour everyday for a week, he would have done a better job than did Ms. Palin and would have been cuter. Joe, on the other hand, was informative, confident and detailed. Sarah Palin was reduced to throwing names around, names Americans are afraid of and that haunt them in their dreams. Ahmedinejad, Kim Jong Il, Castro. Ahmedinejad, Kim Jong Il, Castro. In response to the question whether a nuclear Pakistan was worse or a nuclear Iran, Joe Biden took two hundred and sixty three words to reply. Palin's answer? "Both are extremely dangerous, of course." Really Sarah? You think so?
Winner? Joe Biden was commanding, knowledgeable (or what television hacks like to call "professorial") and detailed (or what they like to call dull). Even though he had the serious disadvantage of being a wrinkly old man as opposed to being a pretty young woman, he did sufficiently well in the debate to overcome this drawback. The media will tell you that Sarah Palin succeeded merely by failing to tie her shoelaces together by mistake and falling off the podium. Seriously, is this what Americans have come to accept as success? Is this the vice presidential bar my metal detector just discovered buried deep underneath my foot?
I hope not. But let's see.
Update : More here.