Browsing Category: "SMASH Politics"

What if John McCain were Black?

Thursday, October 30th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with 3 Comments

Hope Nope

Someone forwarded this e-mail to me this morning. It’s probably going around the Internet. Let me share it:

How Racism Clouds Judgment

What if things were switched around?
Think about it. Would the country’s collective point of view be different?
Ponder the following:

  • What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
  • What if Read the rest of this entry »

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Why It’s Obama

Thursday, October 30th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »


In watching last night’s Barack Obama’s 30-minute prime-time TV ad, one couldn’t escape the sense that this was a culmination of sorts. We are now 5 days away from the most important election of our times, and never have I seen such intense interest in a presidential election. Then again never have I seen such an “advertisement”, or “commercial”, that was so seamlessly produced in a way that could capture the nation’s attention so close to an election by such a unique candidate. Should we reproach Obama for the fact that his campaign has the wherewithal to fund this ad and approach the seven TV and cable networks (CBS, NBC, Fox, MSNBC but not ABC or CNN) and say, “Can we buy 30 minutes of air time?”? Is it fair that his campaign, at last count, has now amassed something close to $600 million? If the largesse were McCain’s, don’t you think they would have done the same? It just strikes me that the McCain campaign has been engaging in some childish playground name-calling. They don’t like that this time it’s the Democrats who have clearly outspent them. They don’t like to acknowledge the fact that their candidate has been without a clear and defining message and that, though the race will probably tighten in the waning days, this campaign has been in a freefall. Read the rest of this entry »

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Presidential Debate #3: Not Close and No Cigar

Sunday, October 19th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

Presidential Debate #3

Bob Schieffer of CBS News moderated this third debate, a fairly lively one, from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. Coming into this, McCain had to make up for some lost ground in the last couple of weeks amid a financial crisis that has made most Americans edgy about having a Republican in charge. McCain’s numbers have been down; some would say that his negative campaigning and declining confidence in running mate Palin have caused somewhat of a free fall. In contrast, Obama’s numbers have either risen slightly or remain stable. What McCain had to do was something more aggressive in this debate, which would focus on domestic policy, that would set Obama on edge and keep him constantly on the defensive. As a bonus, if he could throw the normally unflustered Obama, McCain could score some much-needed points. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Rachel Maddow Rocks

Saturday, October 18th, 2008 | SMASH Politics, SMASH Pop Culture with 1 Comment

Rachel Maddow

The start of the “Rachel Maddow Show” on October 10 made for some pretty arresting TV. The daily MSNBC talk show, which premiered in late September, had as its lead topic the increasingly hateful and obnoxious crowds that have been whipped up as some sort of strategy by both John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin. Things had reached a breaking point, and so too, had the 31-year old host, herself an incisive political analyst, Stanford-educated and a former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. That Friday was also the day that John McCain ran into a nasty crowd and tried to placate it by saying that that Obama “was an honorable man” while supporters tried to boo him. One elderly woman went so far as to call Obama an “Arab” as she stood there, microphone in hand, as McCain quickly tried to correct her. It was both an uncomfortable and remarkable moment. This is where the McCain/Palin campaign, so bereft of message and purpose and cynical enough to have us believe it’s better to simply smear, that it has now been able to rile up people in ways that have become coarse and divisive, and sometimes downright dangerous. Read the rest of this entry »

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Diddy Still Buggin’

Thursday, October 9th, 2008 | SMASH Politics, SMASH Pop Culture with No Comments »

Diddy VoteYes, indeed, the sane and thoughtful political discourse in this country is alive and well, thanks to Diddy’s latest video blog entry from his site on Bad Boy Records. John McCain, and not Sarah Palin, he says, scares him because of the “That one” remark from Tuesday’s debate. Diddy has TiVo? Looks like he just replayed it. Incredulous, he likens this remark to something that could be said “in 1962” when in fact “it’s 2008”. What is a multi-millionaire mogul rapper-stylist-baggy-clothes-designer-NY-bon-vivant-general nuisance supposed to do? He tells us he really could “say something” here that’s “insane”, but, whew, he spares us what he is really thinking. What a relief.

Memo to Diddy:

If you really want to see something scary, try turning on your TV to Read the rest of this entry »

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Presidential Debate #2: A Subdued Affair

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with 1 Comment

Presidential Debate 2

Tom Brokaw had it right tonight. As Obama and McCain walked onstage in Nashville for their second debate of the campaign, the mood of the country had changed tremendously since their first encounter on September 26. The Dow plunged over 500 points today and the index is closer to 9000 than 10,000; people are concerned about the economy in ways that they haven’t since the Great Depression and voters especially are anxious for answers out of these somewhat desperate times. As a result, there was a somber feel to this evening’s affair given the crisis; a distinct pallor or dark cloud seemed to hang over the heads of the two candidates. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart: A First Look

Monday, October 6th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart

[Via dailykos]

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Vice Presidential Debate: Biden vs. Palin

Saturday, October 4th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

Palin Vs. Biden

Uh oh. Soledad O’Brien is hopped up on speed, talking so fast and loudly flailing her arms at a captive Columbus, Ohio audience as she talks up this hokey device that CNN is giving them during the Biden-Palin debate. We’re supposed to be mesmerized by this focus group, which has been given an all-you-can-eat fried shrimp dinner at a Red Lobster, with their voting devices, signaling up and down throughout the debate when either candidate makes a gaffe or hits a home run. We are t-minus 5 minutes to the Vice Presidential debate between the hockey mom from Wasilla and the scrappy veteran Senator from Delaware. The candidate from nowhere versus the insider who entered the Senate when Sarah Palin was in the second grade. Oh, by the way, she made this stupid point to Katie Couric the other day, an obvious dig at Biden’s age. Imagine that. She makes a jab at her opponent when it is she who everyone fears would become President should old guy McCain drop dead sometime in the future. That is, if he wins. Read the rest of this entry »

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Presidential Debate #1: No Knockout Punches

Saturday, September 27th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

The first Presidential debate of the election season between Barack Obama and John McCain at Ole Miss was a mostly sobering, understated affair. No one tossed any pounding blows. No one came away with any killer lines. There was, I think, a fairly decisive victor but it wasn’t necessarily because of debating skill or technique. This was to be a battle between the 72-year-old McCain and the much younger upstart Obama, the former clearly one with experience in the Senate dealing with the evening’s theme, foreign policy and national security. Obama, by contrast, had to be seen as the distinct challenger and there is evidence that his poll leads have not been as high because voters have taken his relative lack of experience to heart. McCain clearly tried to expose this vulnerability as much as possible. But Obama was able to hold his own against the senior senator.

Some highlights (and lowlights): Read the rest of this entry »

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Triumph the Insult Dog at the RNC

Saturday, September 13th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

Triumph the Insult Dog at RNCThere’s no need to set this one up. Triumph, the nasty, potty-mouthed Doberman that is the creation of long time cocmedy writer Robert Smigel (“SNL”), and a recurring character on Conan O’Brien, is at it again. This time he and his acid tongue has been sent to St. Paul’s Excel Center and the recent Republican National Convention. It’s not only hilarious to see this puppet dog in a straw hat and cigar, but it’s amazing that Smigel can come up with such rapid ad-lib zingers to the pale, captive crowd of supporters. And somehow, in the end, Triumph also succumbs to the charm of a certain sexy and zesty librarian VP choice, Sarah Palin.

In the interest of fairness, Conan’s people also sent Triumph to Denver for the Democratic extravaganza. But these two clips are uproarious, and it’s not merely the fact that many of these people are not as familiar with Triumph or his schtick. There are two clips here, in fact, and the MO is the same. Triumph searches out the Read the rest of this entry »

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Diddy Be Buggin’: Are There Black People in Alaska?

Monday, September 1st, 2008 | SMASH Politics, SMASH Pop Culture with No Comments »

P DiddyWell that didn’t take long. Not even 24 hours had passed since John McCain, in only his reportedly second meeting, announced that Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska would be his running mate, that the knives have come out from all corners. While social conservative types like Pat Buchanan (whom Palin supported in 2000) and Rush Limbaugh are beyond themselves in rapturous excitement, much of the media and other rational heads have called the pick the single biggest political gamble they had ever seen in modern American history. Ed Rollins, former Reagan henchman and former supporter of Mike Huckabee, has admitted just as much. David Gergen, former administration official under both Republican and Democratic White Houses, an Independent and respected analyst, told Wolf Blitzer he had not seen this coming. A gamble, yes, but one that had potential to possibly ruin McCain’s chances to be President.

The usual suspect of Democrats or Clintonistas are naturally apoplectic. Horny toad James Carville declared himself at “a loss for words” to Larry King on Friday night. This before taking apart Stepford Wifish Nancy Pfotenhauer, once respectable economist-turned McCain acolyte on payroll for repeating over and over again that Palin was the most popular governor in the country right now. As if that brings experience and as if the former mayor of Wasilla, AK three years ago is poised to become Commander in Chief should, God forbid, something happen in the next few years to the 72-year-old McCain. To think this was the most qualified of all Republicans –even, to take the female argument, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas—that McCain could have chosen only points to the political contrivance of this all. Read the rest of this entry »

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McCain’s VP Pick: Calling All Hillary Supporters

Friday, August 29th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

Morning news anchors are tripping over themselves trying to figure out who is going to be John McCain’s VP pick. This on the day after Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. What should be a day after to go through highlights from that speech and provide some post-election afterglow instead becomes a masterfully calculated announcement from the McCain folks to drive the news cycle today.

Breaking news at 7:39 am PDT: Matt Lauer of NBC News and Today announced that McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. The 44-year old staunch conservative and mother of five, has been in office for two years. Chuck Todd of NBC News said just an hour ago that three years ago, she was just a mayor of a small town in Alaska. This morning she will appear in Dayton, OH with McCain at a rally designed, as only the GOP can muster, to present what is a rather bold and shrewd choice for the Arizona Senator and his campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

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Locate Campaign Donors In Your Neighborhood: Fundrace 2008

Thursday, August 28th, 2008 | SMASH Politics, SMASH Technology with No Comments »

Fundrace 2008

Care to know if your well-off stepmother is playing a blue or red card? Has your office mate led you astray by donating to the “other” side? Want to know at which party your favorite celeb has thrown millions?

Find out by using this fully interactive Fundrace 2008 map detailing campaign contributions and their sources.

Drag the map to find the hotspot of your choice, and then click to find the juicy details.  You can search Fundrace by name, address, zip code, occupation or employer.

Interesting sidenote: Barack Obama donated $4,600 to Hillary Clinton, then Hillary donated half this amount ($2,300) to Barack.

Wow, this can become addictive.

[Via The Huffington Post]

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DIEBOLD Admits e-Voting Machines Have Lost Votes for 10 Years

Sunday, August 24th, 2008 | SMASH Politics, SMASH Pop Culture with No Comments »

Defective Diebold Machine

Your DIEBOLD Vote Hasn’t Counted For a Decade

Are you a lucky lotto winner? I hope so.  With the recent announcement from the e-Voting champions themselves stating that their e-machines are inherently flawed and that they have been dropping votes for years, the chances of getting your vote through and making it count are as slim as they’ve ever been - but for a change, you’re now painfully aware.

Rabbit's Foot

The logic error is present in both types of voting machines made by the company: touchscreens and optical scan systems. These machines are used in 34 states (1,750 jurisdictions). For example, in Ohio’s March primaries, it is known that the machines temporarily lost 1,000 ballots.

The e-Voting machines “contain a critical programming error that can cause votes to be dropped while being electronically transferred from memory cards to a central tallying point”.

Clearly the most shameful element of this scandal and recent admission is that Diebold (ahem… now Premier Voting Solutions) has previously denied any malfunction or impropriety in their e-machines, and they have continued to Read the rest of this entry »

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Hey! Where Was My Text Message About Biden?

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

Obama SMS

I did not get my text message –until 1:04 am PST. After a long day in which CNN and every other news organization was chomping at the bit big time wondering who Barack Obama would select as his vice-presidential running mate, we finally have word that it is Senator Joe Biden of Delaware. That bit of news came courtesy of CNN, and chief Washington correspondent John King at 12:42 am EST –a full three hours earlier–from a well-placed source. It was a bit disappointing that the news had leaked and that it didn’t go to the supporters first via SMS.  Millions of Obama supporters who signed up for this bit of news was significant because it symbolized the Obama campaign’s taking this to the people first and notifying them before anyone else.

My cellphone buzzed at this ungodly hour while I was already sleeping. I knew what it was, and I didn’t bother getting up to read the SMS. I knew who Obama had chosen, and in fact, I had just switched off the TV with a bleary-eyed Larry King with the same talking heads that he had on six hours earlier. Honestly, CNN had been apoplectic and snappy all day long, promising that “at any minute now” they would tell us who the VP pick would be. That meant that all of the newscasts featured mostly speculation, but also updates from the also-rans like Tim Keane and Evan Bayh, who sent word that Obama had called them to say they would not be the choice. How do I know all this? I had CNN on virtually all day too, thinking too that they would have the answer first, even though I tried to convince myself that my cellphone would go off first. I was wrong. I was misled. But OK, let’s get on with this. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Twilight of Condi Rice

Monday, August 18th, 2008 | SMASH Politics with No Comments »

Condi Rice

Three years almost to this week, while Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, Condoleezza Rice was shopping for designer shoes in Manhattan. She was on vacation, though as a high security official she surely received updates about disasters like the horrendous floods that took place in Louisiana. She still attended the Broadway play that night, “Spam-a-lot”.

Ten days ago, the Bush White House watched helplessly as Russian tanks rolled into central Georgia in what has now been called the most serious showdown with Moscow since the end of the Cold War. By all accounts, the attack on Georgian troops inside their territory along the borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia was savage and brutal. But it wasn’t a surprise. These borders have been disputed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The once-familiar saber rattling finally roared one bloody afternoon. Not only did the US help hasten this event, but it completely failed in dealing with it in the days that followed. Diplomatic disaster of the first order? No –that’s much too kind. Read the rest of this entry »

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