July 27, 2007

Hate the snowman, not the game

Though it pains me to say it, Romney is completely right, and I already said so myself. Presidential candidates, from all parties, should be above stupid and juvenile gimmicks like animated cartoons asking them questions (hell, I think having cartoon characters give out Oscars is dumb). So like Michael Moore's Cuba scenes in SiCKO, that one moment of the debate where credibility was thrown out the window gave Romney the opportunity to dismiss the whole thing.

Of course, what candidates should not be above is answering questions from real people, which is what 90% of the YouTube debate was about. Conservatives spent a good chunk of time claiming Democrats were "scared" of Fox News. By that logic, Republicans are scared of... Americans.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:20 AM

July 26, 2007

Ring Kitty

Well, that's just a tad disturbing.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:00 AM

July 25, 2007

This is starting to get ridiculous

I'm having continuous flashbacks of the famous "If only he'd knock over a bank or something" cartoon from Doonesbury at this point. I'm far from being part of the knejerk Impeach-Bush-For-A-Thousand-Things bandwagon, but Gonzales? There isn't even an argument here. He lied under oath. He's proven to be incompetent. Numerous Republicans have already said he should resign.

Saying this is a no-brainer is an insult to people who lost their brains in industrial accidents. If Gonzales refuses to resign, he needs to be impeached, and Congress has no business taking a vacation until one or the other occurs.

Update: Josh Marshall - Josh Freaking Marshall- is at the point where he wonders why impeachment is still considered "off the table." As radical political concepts go that's pretty much Dylan plugging the guitar in.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:13 PM

July 24, 2007

Also Sprach Zarathustra

In terms of campaign and PR strategy this is pretty much the equivalent of the ape realizing he can smack other apes around with a leg bone in the opening scene of 2001.

Watching the coverage of John Edwards has been pretty depressing lately. It's obvious that a significant proportion of the political press corps has decided they just don't like him, and they're going to do whatever they can to destroy his candidacy. The principal vehicle through which this destruction is currently taking place is the haircut story, the vivid, emblematic tale that is supposed to tell us all we need to know about what a big, fat phony Edwards is. They drop it into story after story, no matter what the context is about, just as a reminder.

This could be lethal. It brings to mind the lie that "Al Gore said he invented the internet," which appeared in literally thousands of stories during the 2000 race. The Gore campaign never figured out how to handle it. At first they tried to explain that it wasn't true, but reporters just didn't care -- they kept repeating it anyway. Then they tried to joke about it, and that didn't work either.

Up until now, the Edwards campaign has gone through the same motions with the haircut story, with the same result. But now they're trying something different ...

... What they seem to be doing is working to make the haircut story bigger, not smaller. They want it to be an issue. They're trying to change what people think about when they think about John Edwards' hair. Instead of "What a phony," they want people to think, "God, that press corps is so ridiculous, why can't they talk about something that matters? Why do they have it in for John Edwards? Just what about him scares them so much?"


I'm not trying to insult the Prospect guys or anything like that here. This post is insanely important- it should be the opening letter to a fictional proxy summary titled "No Shit: 2007 Annual Report." I'm just amazed it took eight years following the Gore/internet nonsense for a political campaign to make this observation.

We don't have an independent media, and as such it plays favorites. They like to make people look bad. The only way you stop that is by doing the one thing the media absolutely hates- making them look bad. What were the most painful moments for the media in the last few years? Bill O'Reilly's lawsuit against Al Franken and his sexual harassment suit. Don Imus. Jon Stewart telling the guys on Crossfire that their show sucked. Dan Rather and the CBS memo fiasco. Remember the Summer of Missing White Girls? When the jokes started flying, the programming started changing. There is nothing, absoultely nothing, the media hates more than being told that they are doing a shitty job and being unable to rebut it.

It's a complete tragedy that this is the state of American media, but that's the way it is, and it's about time someone starts recognizing that. The Edwards hair jokes will stop when the media stops finding them funny. They love being funny, but they hate being clowns. If Edwards is going to start calling them clowns, they're going to put their suits back on and stop throwing pies.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:59 AM

Umm.... good?

I'm unsure why outrage or eyebrows are being raised over the prospect of Rupert Murdoch being on the short list for Time's Person of the Year. If he manages to pull off the takeover of Dow Jones (which of course I hope he doesn't), he'd be more than deserving of the title.

I realize that this is a painful exercise in futility one must go through every. Single. Flipping. Year, but Person of the Year isn't an award. In fact, it's not even supposed to be an "honor." It's a special profile that recognizes, and I'm quoting here, "the man, woman, or idea that for better or worse, has most influenced events in the preceding year." One of the richest people in the world in control of one of the most influential media empires in the world taking over the most influential financial information resource in the world sort of qualifies, don't you think?

Clearly this has become a pet peeve of mine but especially given the embarassment of last year, I don't really care if the person perceived as "winning" Person of the Year is a right-wing power-hungry fruitcake. Right-wing power-hungry fruitcakes, amazingly, have severe impacts on the events of the year.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:43 AM

July 23, 2007

Oh good lord

Nine people who are trying to become President of the United States of America were just ordered to answer a question presented in a grainy online video by a stop-motion animated snowman.

Yet another step in restoring dignity to the White House.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:26 PM

"Delayed babies"

Latest comic - click here!

You know, with genius points of logic like that, you almost regret the brilliant mind of Tom DeLay was stripped from the creative thought process of Congress prematurely just because he was a right-wing criminal lunatic who abused and ruined lives for personal and political profit. Is this DeLay's way of saying he needs to get laid? "We need more babies, America. Lots of them. Millions. Come, partake of my precious fluids so we can give a new American a job picking fruit instead of a Mexican day laborer."

When I first read that quote, I think my first reaction was just how amazing it was that there was literally nothing factually correct about his argument. I mean, it actually takes effort to say such a short sentence and have every part of it be wrong. My second thought, of course, was why isn't Tom DeLay in jail. But honestly, that hits me four, maybe five times, tops, before I shave every morning.

Buy some crap and join the list.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:10 AM