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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
09:45 am

A Morning Haiku for Sunshine Sarah

Palin-McCain, huh?
This woman is scaring me.
Must defeat them now.

I keep waiting for Angela Lansbury to pop up at some point.

| posted in politics, pop culture | 1 Comment

19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
08:45 am

NSFW But Too Funny Not to Link

If you haven’t seen it yet, “Black Comic Introduces McCain” at the Republican National Convention is just unfreakingbelievably funny.

NSFW, though.  So go here.  Trust me, it is so worth it.

| posted in politics, pop culture | 1 Comment

19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
07:45 am

I So Feel His Pain

Another gem from The Onion:

After receiving yet another unwanted e-mail from liberal political action group MoveOn.org Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama deleted the message from his inbox without even glancing at its contents.  “Ugh, not these people again,” Obama was overheard to say as he placed the unread e-mail into the Gmail folder marked “Trash.” . . .

“It seems like every time I turn on my computer, another goddamn MoveOn.org e-mail pops up,” said Obama, noting that this is the third message from the progressive online organization he has deleted in the past week. “How many of these things am I going to get?”  “They already know I’m going to vote for Obama,” Obama added. “The only people who sign up for this thing are Democrats anyway. They’re just preaching to the choir.”

Obama reportedly joined the MoveOn.org mailing list while attending the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Although he was initially intrigued by the idea of receiving newsletters and updates from a group of like-minded, politically active Americans, Obama said the nonstop deluge of e-mails has made him regret his decision.

“I usually get excited when I see that I have one unread message,” Obama said. “I think that maybe it’s something interesting or important, but then I see it’s another MoveOn e-mail and my heart just sinks. It’s like getting nothing.” . . .

Obama’s mail records confirm that, in April 2008, he replied to a MoveOn.org e-mail entitled “10 Things You Need to Know About John McCain” with the message “Shut up.” . . . “I know this election is important and everything,” Obama added. “But these people seriously need to relax.” . . .

“It’s irritating that these people think they’re doing everybody this great service just by clicking ’send’ a million times,” Obama said. “I’m trying to make the world a better place, but with all the time I’ve been spending deleting e-mails, it’s going to take me forever.”


Time to move on, MoveOn.  Your act has become tiresome.

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19 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
06:45 am

Morning Buzz: He’ll Be Moosed

Via Blue Herald:


Hat tip:  South Jerusalem

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18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
11:55 pm

Joltin’ Joe

Another great point from the only VP candidate actually qualified to hold the job:

COURIC: Your vice presidential rival, Governor Palin, said “To the rest of America, that’s not patriotism.  Raising taxes is about killing jobs and hurting small businesses and making things worse.”

BIDEN:  How many small businessmen are making one million, four hundred thousand–average in the top 1 percent. Give me a break.

I remind my friend, John McCain, what he said–when Bush called for war and tax cuts–he said, it was immoral, immoral, to take a nation to war and not have anybody pay for it. I am so sick and tired of this phoniness.

The truth of the matter is that we are in trouble.  And the people who do not need a new tax cut should be willing, as patriotic Americans, to understand the way to get this economy back up on their feet is to give middle class taxpayers a break. We take the tax cut they’re getting and we give it to the middle class.

Pow! Bam! Zing!

| posted in foreign policy, politics, world at home | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
11:50 pm

Spain Spain Spain Spain Spain Spain Spain Spain. . .

Lovely Spain, wonderful Spain!

This is the story that just keeps on giving.

So Josh Marshall and TPM have put together a nice little video summarizing McCain’s running of the bull on  Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

The transcription is particularly useful.  As a result, something new caught my eye:

REPORTER:  Okay what about Europe?  I’m talking about the President of Spain

McCAIN:  What about me, what?

When she asked “what about Europe,” he heard “what about you.”  That’s pretty clear from his response.  But Scheunemann keeps insisting that McCain knew what he was talking about, that he intended to dis Zapatero, and that he was reflecting the position of the campaign.

I’ve shoveled a lot of horse dookie in my day (I worked at a summer camp for four years — you do a lot of that), so I think I recognize a load of bull manure when I see it.  McCain clearly misheard or misunderstood the reporter.  He thought she was asking something about him, not Europe.  So there is no way in hell that his final answer was anything other than confused tap-dancing around a question he had completely misunderstood.

Just one question here:  when McCain makes a mistake in office, will his White House attempt similar stonewalling and denial?  Because if it does, it really will be Bush 44.

| posted in foreign policy, politics, pop culture | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
10:44 pm

Velociraptor Pwns Moose Every Time

Sure, Sarah Palin can shoot a moose, but I bet she couldn’t top this:

I could survive for 1 minute, 22 seconds

Share your scores. . . .

Hat tip: Slog

| posted in globalization, politics, pop culture | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
10:26 pm


Obama is back on top (ahem).  Just, I would like to add, like I predicted.

Every time I put this poll up, people tell me that national tracking polls don’t matter, that only state polls matter.

On one level, you’re correct.  Since we still have that archaic puddle of poo known as the electoral college, state polls continue to matter more.  And given the skillful analysis provided by 538.com, I don’t bother posting state results (though I may, in the future, make an exception for Michigan and Florida, the two states I spent my childhood in).

So why do I bother?  Because the Gallup poll has a history of predicting the state polls.  It is about three days ahead.  That’s why the state polls remain in the McCain column — but also why they already are showing movement towards Obama.

In three days, we’ll know whether I’m right.

And on November 1, you might just be able to predict who wins.

| posted in media, politics | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
09:56 pm

Evening Haiku

Hey, Sarah’s speaking!
She is totally awesome!
Crap McCain is on

Thanks to those who have posted their own haikus.  Keep them coming!

| posted in none of the above | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
08:45 pm

Evening Election Thread

I’d stick around, but now that Sunshine Sarah has finished speaking, I’m done.

Talk amongst yourselves.

| posted in media, politics | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
07:45 pm

T-Shirt of the Day

From a new group made up of people with a certain name who don’t like one of their namesakes.  Really.

Visit the site to see pictures of people named McCain who are supporting Obama.  Here’s my favorite — Lauren McCain from Denver, Colorado:

Man, everybody wants to be Sarah Palin these days.  Even people who hate her policies.

| posted in politics, pop culture | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
06:45 pm

Palin Riffs on Foreign Policy

Yesterday, someone actually got to ask Sarah Palin about foreign policy at a town meeting — specifically about her experience.  Here’s what Palin had to say.

I think because I am a Washington outsider that opponents are going to be looking for a whole lot of things that they can criticize and they can kind of beat the candidate here who chose me as his partner to kinda tear down the ticket. . . . But as for foreign policy you know I think I am prepared and I know that on Jan. 20 if we are so blessed as to be sworn into office as your president and vice-president, certainly we’ll be ready. I’ll be ready. I have that confidence. I have that readiness and if you want specifics with specific policy or countries go ahead. You can ask you can play stump the candidate if you want to. But we are ready to serve.

I didn’t think it could get worse than her responses on foreign policy during the Charlie Gibson interview.

I was wrong.

Oh, one other thing:  there are numerous reports that at a McCain rally in Iowa today, people started leaving after Palin spoke and while McCain was speaking.  Maybe they were from Spain.

I’ve said it before.  I’ll say it again.  It’s Sunshine Sarah’s party now.

Buddha help us.

| posted in foreign policy, politics | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
05:45 pm

Spanish Inquisition: The Audio

Pull up a comfy chair with some soft pillows and give it a listen.  There is no doubt that McCain has no freaking clue.

Most damning line:  “I know the leaders.”  Apparently not.

Is it me, or does McCain not sound so good?  And it’s transparently clear that she told him up front that she was asking about Zapatero.  That said, my guess at the order of the questions was off.  He started with the Calderon answer.

She gives him four chances.  On three occasions she references Zapatero or Spain directly.  Two of the four times he comes back with Latin America.

And listen to the end again.  The interviewer is so flustered by McCain’s reply that she forgets what her next question is, and instead asks him to say hello to her listeners.  In response McCain makes it clear that he thinks he’s talking to Spanish-language listeners in Florida (which would explain why he did the damn thing in the first place).

In fact, the interview was conducted by Radio Caracol, a Miami station that is part of the Union Radio network.  It was broadcast in Miami.  But it also was broadcast on the entire Union Radio network, and McCain clearly had no idea that was the case.

As I predicted, Republic of Georgia lobbyist hero and McCain foreign policy spokesman Randy Scheunemann is lying denying that McCain meant anything other than he will not commit to meet Zapatero:

In this week’s interview, Senator McCain did not rule in or rule out a White House meeting with President Zapatero, a NATO ally,” he said in an e-mail. “If elected, he will meet with a wide range of allies in a wide variety of venues but is not going to spell out scheduling and meeting location specifics in advance. He also is not going to make reckless promises to meet America’s adversaries. It’s called keeping your options open, unlike Senator Obama, who has publicly committed to meeting some of the world’s worst dictators unconditionally in his first year in office.

Remember the whole kerfuffle about Bush not being able to admit a mistake?  Four more years, baby, four more years.

| posted in none of the above | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
04:14 pm

The Candidates and the Crisis

Noah Millman over at The American Scene, my favorite conservative site, summarizes what the four candidates have to say about the current financial meltdown:

Obama: We’re in this mess because the fundamentals are bad, and the fundamentals are bad because the Republicans have been ignoring ordinary working people and their needs. Most of what I think we should do is not particularly germane, and what is germane I don’t want to explain in too much detail because I’m worried I might get it wrong. I’m sticking to my platform.

McCain: We’re in this mess because a bunch of Wall Street hot shots got us into it, but they won’t dare to pull that stuff when I’m in the White House, because I survived five years in a POW camp. Do I look like the kind of guy who hangs around with a bunch of Wall Street sissies who buy their shirts at Thomas Pink? Not on your tintype girlie-girl.

Biden: I’ve been in the Senate forever, and I proposed a whole bunch of bills to deal with this problem – in fact, I’ve proposed bills to deal with just about any problem – but nobody will listen to me, particularly not John McCain. I hate it when people don’t listen to me.

Palin: I’m pretty sure John said he was against the bailout yesterday, but today he said he supported it. So I guess this is one of those times when you have to support something that you don’t basically feel good about because there’s no real alternative. That sounds about right.

Yes it does, Sunshine Sarah, yes it does.

If you’re not reading TAS, check it out.  If other conservatives were as consistently thoughtful (and often hilarious) as they are, progressives actually would have someone to debate.

| posted in globalization, politics, pop culture | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
01:45 pm

Daily Political Haikus

Spanish Radio
Asked him a simple question
Who is Spain’s PM?


McCain on Spain fails
mainly to explain his view
that our friend is bad

| posted in foreign policy, pop culture | 2 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
12:45 pm

Brush with Hotness

Total Request Live

This is off topic, but given the demise of MTV’s Total Request Live, I wanted to share my own brush with celebrity.

Five or six years ago, I attended a retreat for my then-employer on Long Island.  At the end, I needed to travel into NYC for some meetings.  The bus service my company had hired to transport folks was short one vehicle, so they put the five of us heading to Manhattan in a limo.  One by one, it dropped us off.

I was staying at the Paramount, which is located around the corner from MTV’s Times Square studios, and unbeknownst to me, where MTV apparently kept a suite for visiting stars.

So when “my” limo pulls up outside the hotel, about 300 teenage girls started screaming.

Then I got out.

It was like somebody had thrown a switch.  The girls stopped in mid-scream.

I have never seen greater disappointment in my life.

Funny thing is, if I close my eyes, I kinda sorta almost not really look like a fat, middle-aged, gray-haired version of Justin Timberlake.

Bringing diplomacy back, girl.  Those other countries don’t know how to act.

Photo:  Wikipedia

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| posted in pop culture | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
11:45 am

Late Morning Buzz: The Crayola Origin Story

Given the McCain in Spain story, I didn’t have a chance to post the daily morning buzz until now.

Kottke unearthed this great old film of how crayons are made.  Enjoy.

Something tells me if this film was made today, all the workers would be Chinese.

| posted in globalization, pop culture | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
10:45 am

My Fair Zapatero

Idea for a new Broadway musical:  My Fair Zapatero.  The Sarahnator could sing,

McCain in Spain falls mainly on his face


| posted in foreign policy, politics, pop culture | 1 Comment

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
08:45 am

John McCain’s Handy Guide to the World

After John McCain had absolutely no clue who the prime minister of Spain was, even though he was talking to a freaking Spanish radio station, I thought it would be useful to share with our readers a guide to John McCain’s world.

Here is a list of countries that John McCain cares about.  Future interviewers are advised to limit their questions to this list.

1.  Countries the United States has invaded:

  • Vietnam
  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • The Confederacy

2.  Countries that he thinks the United States should invade:

  • Iran
  • Russia
  • Pakistan
  • Hell (but only if Osama lives there).

3.  Countries that hate our values and our way of life:

  • China
  • North Korea
  • Bolivia
  • Venezuela
  • The Hamas-controlled part of Palestine
  • Cuba
  • France
  • Hawaii (too exotic)

4.  Countries near countries that we’ve invaded, want to invade, or hate us:

  • Syria
  • Jordan
  • Thailand
  • The PLO-controlled part of Palestine
  • Cambodia
  • Ukraine

5.  Countries his dad fought against in World War II:

  • Japan
  • Italy
  • Germany

6.  Countries that speak English:

  • Great Britain
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Alaska

7.  Countries that have been invaded by other countries we’ve invaded, should attack, or hate our values:

  • Georgia
  • Kuwait
  • Poland
  • Czechoslovakia
  • The Union

8.  Countries on our side in the war on drugs:

  • Mexico
  • Colombia
  • Latin America

9.  Israel

10.  Israel

11.  Have I mentioned Israel?

That’s about it.  The rest of the world, well, as far as he’s concerned, they’re all Georgians too.

| posted in foreign policy, politics | 0 Comments

18 September 2008 Charles J. Brown
07:45 am

Death to Mickey!!

Turns out that Mickey Mouse is haraam:

As it happens, there are four Disney comic books published in the UAE and distributed by in Saudi Arabia. Here’s one called, of all things, “Mickey.”

The distributor is none other than Al-Arabiya, the Saudi-owned, UAE-based media company that competes with Al-Jazeera.

I had a fatwa issued against me once.  I always thought it was because of my human rights work.  But maybe it was because I had the same name as a cartoon character.

Hat tip:  Checkpoint Jerusalem

Comic book: Disney Comics Worldwide

| posted in foreign policy, globalization, pop culture, world at home | 0 Comments

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