Gray Flannel Dwarf


Sometimes they just make it too easy.

fail, baby, fail.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 8:25 am


Sarah Palin: Empty (pant)suit.

So, we already know she didn’t know, prior to her nomination (and presumably still doesn’t), what the vice president does.

Then last week, she makes this gaffe.

McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, speaking in Colorado Springs, Colo., said Fannie and Freddie had “gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers.” The companies, however, aren’t taxpayer funded but operate as private companies. The takeover may result in a taxpayer bailout during reorganization.

And finally, on her interview with Charlie Gibson she

She is a disaster. She is Harriet Miers with a flag pin. America, are you fucking nuts?

Note — the “pantsuit” reference is a continuation on the HRC joke. Have to state this, given the faux outrage over “lipstick on a pig“.

Oops? Wrong video? Sorry about that!

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 10:48 am


Well, I got the name wrong…

…and i mean who wouldn’t have…

…but I otherwise nailed the outcome way back in May of 2007.

Evangelical chosen. Conservatives placated. The evangelicals are running with their better than 25% chance that McCain cashes in; at very least, even if he gets elected and doesn’t keel over, he surely won’t run for re-election, meaning they’re in the driver’s seat.

Proof’s in the pudding: Dobson is all in for McCain-Palin.

Not to blow my own horn or anything. But I saw this coming months ago. MSNBC, I await my seat at the pundits’ table.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 1:26 pm


Petty Old Wanker.

Goddammit, John McCain. For someone who is, or was apparently, hesitant to cite your Vietnam experience…

Preceding this election, there was a fairly wide-ranging belief that McCain was hesitant to use his POW experience in a political context. The Senator himself, during the 2004 election, said he was “sick and tired of re-fighting” the Vietnam War.

“It’s offensive to me, and it’s angering to me that we’re doing this,” he said. “It’s time to move on.”

…you sure are doing a heckuva job of it now.

  • “POW” as an excuse as to why you cheated on your first wife
  • “POW” as an excuse as to why you offered your current wife up as Ms Buffalo Chip
  • “POW” as an excuse as to why you needn’t follow the stated rules in the Rick Warren forum.
  • And now, “POW” as a strawman in this latest flap over your inability to quantify how many houses you own.

Wave the bloody shirt around much more, McCain, and you’re gonna need a god-damned tampon.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 3:44 pm


On McCain’s receipt of the 2008 GOP nod

I think any reports on the demise of a John McCain nomination are greatly exaggerated. In fact, I think he will be the cornerstone of a strategy to hold together the a GOP ship, at least for the time being. As much as I wish I could write this off as cynicism and snark, but I’m thinking there’s the perfect storm brewing for such a scenario, morbid as some of the aspects may sound.

First of all, I’ll preface this with the following notion. As much as people like to think that the choice for VP nominee is of stellar importance in a presidential race, such a concept has, time and time again, been shown to be untrue. For example, as much as the Dems would like to believe that a “southern state” candidate will help them pick off electoral votes in the south, it hasn’t, and won’t.

That said, I think there will be a strategy for the GOP’s nomination, but not for all the traditional reasons. No, I don’t think they’ll name someone who they think will strategically help them win. Rather, I think they’ll name someone who doesn’t have a lot of exposure — and won’t, even as a veep nod, specifically because people don’t pay attention to him/her?

Confusing? Probably, on its face it sounds at very least fairly contrarian, but there’s a method to the madness.

As much as those on the left realise just how loopy McCain has gotten in the past two years or so — and I don’t mean partisan so much as just plain spacy — fact is that most of the low-information American voters still see him as this moderate ‘maverick’ who can “work both sides”.

Now, consider the following, noting that many of these ideas may be already well-known to some readers:

  • The GOP is in total disarray right now.
  • This schism is so great that you’ll currently find no candidate who both satisfies the conservatives and is palatable to the rest of the party*.
  • As such the conservatives are coming dangerously close to being marginalised within the party.
  • John McCain will be 71 in August, already older than Reagan was when he was elected, and we’ve still got two years to go. Furthermore, he’s been treated for skin cancer three different times.

What does this suggest to me? Simply put, I’m thinking the conservatives will hedge their bets. They’ll hold their noses and vote for McCain… but they will ask for something in return. Specifically, they’ll want one of their cronies, such as Brownback or Huckabee named as the veep nod, should McCain, well… cash in. At very least, it gives them a foothold in 2012, should McCain, who I don’t think would run for reelection, pull off a win.

While I admit that such a frank discussion about mortality can be pretty unsettling, I think the desparation on both sides is unenviable. Given the current circumstances, I imagine the GOP would make this “deal with the devil” — in this case, a devil with the face of an angel. In fact, it’s a notion not far removed from when the GOP found themselves courting the evangelicals in the 1980s in the first place — facing increasing irrelevancy and decreasing constituency, worked with Viguerie and Weyrich to forge the Moral Majority pact. The only real difference this time is that the GOP is that much more desperate — and the conservatives, after having a taste of power for the past 30 years, don’t want to lose it. Both segments have something to gain. That we saw McCain speak at Liberty University’s 2006 commencement and thus apparently made amends with Falwell is notable; the real point to watch will be Dobson, who has thus far adamantly refused to support McCain.

This past Sunday was Pentecost Sunday in the Christian church. I daresay that should a “mighty wind” occur and Dobson changes his tune, that we’ll know the above deal has been struck. Far from being an important role in the public eye during an election, the veep nominee might very well turn out to be something of a shadow candidate for the conservative base of the GOP.

* I would posit that Fred Thompson may satisfy the “conservatives + GOP” equation. If you ask me, he would probably be their best bet.


I’m not a moderate, but I play one on TV

So apparently there’s talk of Fred Thompson looking for the GOP nod in 2008. Doesn’t surprise me at all — back when Cheney was having all those health issues prior to 2004 and there was talk that someone else would take the VP slot, Thompson was the first name that came to my mind. More recently, with Cheney’s blood clot issues, Thompson’s name has come up again.

In any case, I can see the campaign commercial:

Hi, I’m Senator Fred Thompson. You may know me in my roles as “Rear Adm Painter” in The Hunt for Red October, “Big John” in Days of Thunder, or “DA Arthur Branch” in Law & Order. Now, I want to be your President.

It doesn’t surprise me that he’s getting a fair amount of ground-level support from GOP grassroots. Here’s a guy who carries the GOP flag without having all that apparent baggage that pisses off the evangelicals… and as we’ll note in the MSNBC article above, he certainly spouts all the talking points:

On the issues, Thompson said he:

  • Is “pro-life,” and believes federal judges should overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision as “bad law and bad medical science.”
  • Opposes gay marriage, but would let states decide whether to allow civil unions. “Marriage is between a man and a woman, and I don’t believe judges ought to come along and change that.”
  • Opposes gun control, and praised last week’s 2-1 federal appeals decision overturning a long-standing handgun ban. “The court basically said the Constitution means what it says, and I agree with that.”
  • Supports President Bush’s decision to increase troops in Iraq. “Wars are full of mistakes. You rectify things. I think we’re doing that now,” he said. “Why would we not take any chance, even though there’s certainly no guarantees, to not be run out of that place? I mean, we’ve got to take that opportunity and give it a chance to work.”
  • Would pardon former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice now, rather than waiting until all his appeals are exhausted. Thompson is a fundraiser for Libby’s defense.

Obviously, once you get beyond the actors’ facade, there’s a deep level of party loyalty there. At first I thought Thompson might be a bit of a challenge for the Dems in the upcoming election. As it stands, I don’t think he would be as much of a problem as initally imagined. Then again, Thompson, of course, wouldn’t be the first popular actor to run for President…

Nonetheless, if he decides to run, I think he stands a fine chance at receiving the GOP nod.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 11:16 am


Another log on the fire

Thank you, John Dean, for stating that which I’ve been saying for years; you have some weight to throw around, I don’t.

For more than 40 years I have considered myself a “Goldwater conservative,” and am thoroughly familiar with the movement’s canon. But I can find nothing conservative about the Bush/Cheney White House, which has created a Nixon “imperial presidency” on steroids, while acting as if being tutored by the best and brightest of the Cosa Nostra.

Today’s Republican policies are antithetical to bedrock conservative fundamentals. There is nothing conservative about preemptive wars or disregarding international law by condoning torture. Abandoning fiscal responsibility is now standard operating procedure. Bible-thumping, finger-pointing, tongue-lashing attacks on homosexuals are not found in Russell Krik’s classic conservative canons, nor in James Burham’s guides to conservative governing. Conservatives in the tradition of former senator Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan believed in “conserving” this planet, not relaxing environmental laws to make life easier for big business. And neither man would have considered employing Christian evangelical criteria in federal programs, ranging from restricting stem cell research to fighting AIDs through abstinence.

Candid and knowledgeable Republicans on the far right concede — usually only when not speaking for attribution — that they are not truly conservative. They do not like to talk about why they behave as they do, or even to reflect on it. Nonetheless, their leaders admit they like being in charge, and their followers grant they find comfort in strong leaders who make them feel safe. This is what I gleaned from discussions with countless conservative leaders and followers, over a decade of questioning.

Today’s GOP does not hoist any true “conservative” values, much less any of the classic Republican planks. To think, back when I was in high school and college, that which bothered me most about the GOP was its reliance on “guns, tobacco, and the Christian right”. Oddly enough, those hardly seem like the biggest of the party’s problems right now, except say, maybe the rhetoric we keep hearing from the Dobsonites.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 8:24 am


Dear GOP: For July 4th… Flag Etiquette

An open letter to the GOP:
Hey all… so man! How about that! I know it’s got to be frustrating. One vote short for the flag burningdesecration amendment. I mean, sure, one would think that, just in time for Fourth of July and a mere few months before the 2006 midterm election, people would be energised over this flag issue, right? Man, tough beans.

Well, tell you what. I’ll compromise with you. I agree with you that the American flag is a very important symbol of America, national identity, and what we stand for as a people. For that reason alone, I think now, so close to our nation’s birthday, that it would be a good time to examine what US Code Title 4 might tell us about proper flag usage. Because none of us would want to to be on the wrong side of things regarding such an important national symbol… we’d never dilute the importance of our flag, or be caught doing anything that could be construed as such, right?

Right. So just to be sure…

US Code Title 4 Chapter 1 § 8: Respect for the Flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart. (k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

So, um… we’re on the same page right? Great…

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 9:28 pm


Cato Instituting an ass-kicking.

When you’re the current administration, perhaps you can take a few of the punches as the tide turns on you over the years. You were able to take Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative lambasting you, around the time of the elections, for your “free speech zones”, and you were able to shrug off the criticism of Pat Toomey and the gang at Club for Growth for the reckless “conservative” spending. More recently, perhaps you could stomach the words of Richard Viguerie, only one of the founding masterminds of the modern Republican party, who called you on your betrayal of the Republican party.

But now, the traditional bastion of libertarianism, the Cato Institute, calls you on your (un)Constitutional arrogance?

Ouch. Just ouch.


Watergate floodgate

So ever since this administration has been in power — and I guess beforehand — they’ve been an image of old-style hardline neocon, and have always given the impression that they want to go back to the good ole days. There’s Rumsfeld, who once thought about running for President himself. There’s Cheney in there as VP. And now, there’s a brewing sex scandal at, of all places, The Watergate Hotel? The GOP would like you to believe they are the party of ideas. Certainly not any new ones, obviously!

Per Merriam-Webster, definition 3a for ‘conservative’:

3 a : tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : TRADITIONAL


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 11:33 am


You can’t make this stuff up.

So to recap 2005:

The case for war in Iraq begins to smell fishy. Although this is a matter of national security, the GOP Senate stonewalls investigations.

Plame’s name gets leaked. Although this is a matter of national security, the GOP Senate stonewalls investigations.

Then the WaPo publishes an article about secret US military prisons in Europe!

“Well, behold! How did this get revealed?? This is an issue of national security! Whodunit??”, bleat GOP Senator Frist and House Speaker Hastert. “Commence the investigations!!”

…that is, until it starts to look like it came from within the GOP itself

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 5:14 pm


Cop Killer Wha?

Good to see that in addition to his lyrics being as poignant now as they were then, that they’re no less controversial…

ABC News: School Talent Show Draws Secret Service.

The students told ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver they are performing Bob Dylan’s song “Masters of War” during the Boulder High School Talent Exposé because they are Dylan fans. They said they want to express their views and show off their musical abilities.

But some students and adults who heard the band rehearse called a radio talk show Thursday morning, saying the song the band sang ended with a call for President Bush to die.

Threatening the president is a federal crime, so the Secret Service was called to the school to investigate.

Students in the band said they’re just singing the lyrics and not inciting anyone to do anything.

The 1963 song ends with the lyrics: “You might say that I’m young. You might say I’m unlearned, but there’s one thing I know, though I’m younger than you, even Jesus would never forgive what you do … And I hope that you die and your death’ll come soon. I will follow your casket in the pale afternoon. And I’ll watch while you’re lowered down to your deathbed. And I’ll stand o’er your grave ’til I’m sure that you’re dead.

Maybe they should’ve just stuck with making cracks about ladies’ undergarments.

But seriously, think this country is not divided? I love this choice quote from the article:

“These kids are being used to promote an extreme leftist point of view on the taxpayers’ dime,” Boulder resident James Lemons told KMGH.

One would think that with the GOP firmly entrenched, at least for the next few years, that you’d not see this sort of paranoia. Then again, the GOP is good at that – and I guess when you get down to it, paranoia is a pretty Machiavellian political concept, anway.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 4:58 pm


“This is not your party”

Salon has a really interesting interview with Joseph Wilson, husband of “outed” CIA operative Valerie Plame. They talk about a myriad of things, but I think this quote is on the money:

What’s the difference in the GOP from when you were growing up?

If you’re fiscally responsible, this is not your party. If you believe in a moderate foreign policy characterized by alliances, free trade and the ability to operate in an international environment, this is not your party. If you believe in limited federal government, this is not your party. If you believe that the government should stay out of your bedroom, this is very definitely not your party. In fact, I would argue that unless you believe in the American imperium, imposed on the world by force, or unless you believe in the literal interpretation of the Book of Revelations, this is not your party.

He hits the nail on the head, I think, albeit in a somewhat hyperbolic manner; what he says here pretty much sums up what I’ve been saying for the past five years or so: the Republican party does not exist in a state which lives up to its own ideals.

It’s not something that started in the current administration, either. Rather, it has its roots somewhere around 1980, following Falwell’s run for office. Thereafter, the Republicans sold their soul to maintain constituency.

I’m fiscally conservative, but I can’t stomach voting for a party that pushes a moral agenda the way the Republicans do — regardless of the fact that, historically, the Republican have been pretty much “hands-off”. I am not going to stick with any given party simply to adhere to its namesake, and I won’t sell out my beliefs or ideals just for the sake of keeping a party’s numbers up.


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 11:06 am


A View from the Inside

“While this commandeering of a narrow segment of both intelligence production and American foreign policy matched closely with the well-published desires of the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, many of us in the Pentagon, conservatives and liberals alike, felt that this agenda, whatever its flaws or merits, had never been openly presented to the American people. Instead, the public story line was a fear-peddling and confusing set of messages, designed to take Congress and the country into a war of executive choice, a war based on false pretenses, and a war one year later Americans do not really understand. That is why I have gone public with my account.”

Tags: , , , , , , — cswiii @ 5:46 pm


Mo’ money, mo’ prollems.

Hey Dubya -

This war is your baby. So maybe it should come out of your pocket, at this point.

I’d almost recommend taking it out of your re-election campaign funds, except I’m still keeping up hope thinking there are some Republicans out there who don’t support the Iraq invasion. In that case, it wouldn’t be so polite to spend their money, either.


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 11:50 am