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Paul Begala w/Bill Maher

Bill is right, Paul is a funny guy.

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Real Time w/Bill Maher
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You're right Norm, Begala is funny. He's a complete shill, but he makes it fun, unlike most.

Maher is wrong about Hillary. Sarah Palin has energized the GOP base! We should have picked Hillary! It should be obvious what's wrong with those two statements. The only thing that could energize the right more than a right wing moose-hunting woman is Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket. You think Obama or Palin are inexperienced? At least they held elected office before 2000. HRC would have been fine as a pick, but by no means would the ticket be coasting to victory right now.

I thnk the biggest reason McCain is doing better is that a lot of people watched the RNC (yes, Palin helped that), and--we forget--McCain has been one of the most popular politicians in American over the past decade. That's just now registering because this is when most people start paying attention to politics. "200-year old man". Fine. He also happens to be a cranky, scrappy, ill-tempered, sometimes independent minded conservative with a personal story that's way more compelling than Bush's. His appeal in this regard should be easier to fathom than Palin's. I don't like him as a presidential candidate but no one should be surprised that he's pulling even with Obama.

Another flaw in the Palin effect thesis that Maher believes: Gallup polls show that McCain-Palin's rise is not being driven by white women, much less women in general. McCain-Palin is doing about 4-6 points better among white women, the same that they're doing generally. His rise is being driven by Republicans coming over to his side and strong performance with independents.

I agree 100%- all this focus on Palin is exactly what McCain wants, and the Dems are taking the bait.

Here's the play: the media starts attacking Palin, McCain cries "liberal media" foul, and the con-servatives dig in their heels and go deaf to McCain/Palin criticism.

Meanwhile, almost everyone who is currently in camp Obama decided this awhile ago. They decided they hated McCain's VP long before [s]he was selected.

The result: rather than keep the focus on the economy, and the rags-to-riches narrative of Obama, we're all yelping and hollering about some ditzy hockey mom. The media watches the Internet feeding frenzy, and per usual, follows along for a short-term ratings bump.

If you want to hurt Palin's campaign; if you really want to attack the crutch of the McCain campaign, simply DO NOT mention the name Palin again before November.

This woman is a creationist who believes men once rode dinosaurs. At face value, this conveys a dangerous insanity. However, the ~50% of Americans who "aren't sure" about evolution certainly aren't going to start reading the science journals in the next few weeks- they will be far too distracted by the election circus- just like we are.

The entire Palin strategy is a red-herring. Sell Obama to the middle class, and do it as follows:

  1. He intends to CUT TAXES on the MIDDLE CLASS

  2. He intends to shift focus from Iraq back to the Al Queda in Afghanistan

  3. He believes in SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURISM, not big government solutions, as evidenced by his early career in Chicago

[Note: these talking points are targeted to conservatives and independents]

If you go negative, they will simply reply to you that "the Democrats are just as bad". America has become comfortably numb from the Bush administration- sell them, don't slam them. They have already proven they are far better at consumption than reasonable responses to attack.

And as far as the female vote goes-

Either they agree with Palin's views, or they don't. It's none of my business- but I can't understand why a Hillary PUMA would want anything to do with Palin.

My political radar told me that Obama should have selected Clinton as veep because selecting her would have truly energized the Democrats. I have to admit that I was worried and disappointed when Obama chose Biden because I knew that this would result in a lot of disappointed Hillary voters who might not ever get over their disappointment. The election this year is different from past elections in that you have emotions riding higher than they ever have because of people looking forward to race or gender change and because both a black or a woman brings out the worst in some people.

However, there is one good thing about this election in that women and Blacks will be taken seriously from now on. And if Blacks are taken seriously, then so will Hispanics and American Indians.

We'll know that we've truly progressed when the gender or color/culture of a person is given little consideration and when any kind of person is considered a "true American", when to be a "true American" does not mean that you have to be some white American from a small town. It's as though big-city sophisticates aren't real Americans, they're just some elitists.

I would much rather have someone who is smarter and more sophisticated than I am running my country. I could care less how much fun they might be to have a beer with. This election is not a populary contest or a place to express our anxieties and views re gender/race relations. We're electing the person who will decide which countries we/should or should not invade.

For me it the question of the presidential elect's views on waging a war on another country which most influences how I vote. I care about health care, the proper education of our youth and many other important issues which affect society as a whole. However, while we, the U.S., continue to wage wars in other countries, we will never have the economic resources to solve all of those other problems.

You'd better vote for the peace candidate then!


I have only two choices in this election - Obama or McCain.

Obama is too willing and ready to go to war in Afganistan and Pakistan. But McCain is even more willing to go to war in Russia, Iran, or any other country which the leader of the U.S. deams reasonable to attack.

Yes, I realize all of the problems with attacking Al Quaeda camps in Pakistan without Pakistan's approval. That is not the same as what is happening in Iraq. The U.S. killed the leader of Iraq, as well as his two sons. The U.S. did not set out to target Al Quaeda camps in Iraq. The U.S. set out to overthrow the leader of Iraq and all the while gave little thought as to what would happen to Iraq afterwards other than some bromides about being greeted with flowers.

Obama attempted to provide a balanced response to the Russia/Georgia problem. He noted that Georgia had provoked the conflict, and he was right. Yes, Russia responded with their military might in an disproportional manner. But did the mainstream media in the U.S. discuss the two sides to this issue? No, they did not.

And did not the U.S. respond in an disproportional manner to the questions surrounding Iraq? Hell, Iraq didn't even attack any Americans. So, yes, the U.S. responded in a warmonger, disproportional manner, and then the U.S. has the audacity to question Russia.

And anyone who agreed with the Bill Clinton Kosovo principle should also agree that the Ossetians have the right to independence and should be free from ethnic cleansing.

The U.S. did not set out to target Al Quaeda camps in Iraq. The U.S. set out to overthrow the leader of Iraq and all the while gave little thought as to what would happen to Iraq afterwards other than some bromides about being greeted with flowers

And, in fact, Al Queda didn't have much influence to speek of in Iraq until the U.S. toppled their government and threw their political balance into turmoil.

And do we, Americans, now discuss how to return some sense of political balance to Iraq, the country we are meddling in? No! We're too fucking busy discussing lipstick on a pig, evolution v creationism, and other such nonsense.

And Americans are too fucking busy debating what "victory" means. Victory? Hell, the hurricaine victoms in the U.S. pale in comparison to the hell that Iraqis are suffering through. Victory? Victory?! Give me a fucking break. Are Americans so damned selfish that they view the war in Iraq only through their own eyes and lives? we Americans are responsible for the lives of the Iraqis because we meddled. And yet when we speak of Iraq, we speak of it only in terms of our own selfish egos.



And we argue over whether or not "the surge worked". If you were an Iraqi, how would you feel about the war and the fucking so-called surge? Hell, women in Iraq have fallen under the power of Islamic fundamentalists. At least under Sadaam Hussein, they didn't have to cover themselves in veils and burkas.. now they do. But how many Americans give a shit about how the lives of Iraqi women is now deplorable? No need to worry, right? We have Sarah Palin as a vice president. Fuck the everyday lives of women in Iraq, right?

Okay, last rant.

I'm so fucking sick and tired of Americans discussing Iraq in terms of how it affects our lives. We, our United States, the so-called "best country in the world" invaded Iraq, overthrew their government, and all we can muster up is platitudes such as "victory" or "support the troops".

Those of us who knew that overthrowing the leader of Iraq and waging a war on Iraq (such as Obama) would lead to the U.S. attempting to deal with quagmire are so fucking pissed off at those who were beating the fucking war drum that we are at out wit's end.

I've always thought that Obama was in a lose lose situation with the VP pick. McCain was picking only as a reaction to Obama and for political expediency. So if Obama had chosen Hillary Clinton, McCain might have picked Bobby Jindal and portrayed Obama and HC as a ticket of dysfunction. I also think his executive experience meme was always going to be a key part of his campaign. And the likelihood is that we would have arrived back at the same position we have now. Right now patience is a virtue and sooner or later there will be Palin fatigue. At least I hope so. I think Obama's greatest mistake was assuming that McCain would pick for the same reason he did for governing purposes. As a combination Obama and Biden will work nicely. But politically it wasn't very astute.

All good points JoAnn!

At the risk of sounding like Lamos (sp?), I'm not so sure Obama is as anti-war as you seem to believe.

Sure, he opposed the Iraq war when the president of an opposing party declared one, but how telling is that really?

Chasing Bin Laden into Pakistan on the assumption he is even there (probably is, but then I haven't seen any real evidence), and ignoring the possibility he could just jump on an airplane and land in some other stan is crazy in my opinion. What do we do then, now that we've pissed off a nuclear armed country that shares a border with China and is full of angry muslims.

I'm not going to try and convince you McCain is some peacenik, but I don't think he's going to feel any need to prove how tough he is once he is elected either. I really don't think he has any desire to confront Russia militarily, but understands the power of sword rattling as a diplomatic tool.

Well, Bush has decided that Troops on the ground in Pakistan and Bombing cities in Pakistan is completely acceptable. Just ask the DOD, they admitted to it a week or so ago, killing 50+ people.

I really don't think he has any desire to confront Russia militarily, but understands the power of sword rattling as a diplomatic tool.

Could you then say that Obama doesn't have any desire to confront Pakistan militarily, but understands the power of sword rattling as a diplomatic tool?

Would you say that Hillary Clinton didn't have any desire to obliterate Iraq, but understood the power of sword rattling as a diplomatic tool?

Would you say that, in the end, we Americans rattle the sword too much instead of engaging in diplomacy?

And would you say that Palin doesn't have a fucking clue about all these complexities?

McCain, Clinton, Biden, Palin, Obama... they're all rattling that fucking sword because that is what the majority of sword-rattling Americans expect them to do.. right?

I've always thought that Obama was in a lose lose situation with the VP pick.

Perhaps the two parties should pick their vice-presidentia candidate on the same day? Oh, no, that would be fair and balanced.

Perhaps the two parties should hold their conventions simultaneously? oh, no, that would be fair and balanced.

Perhaps we should be discussing important issues such as war and economic policy. Oh, no, that would require a public who is educated.

"Could you then say that Obama doesn't have any desire to confront Pakistan militarily, but understands the power of sword rattling as a diplomatic tool?"

I pray he is.

Hillary Clinton didn't have any desire to obliterate Iraq,

Oops.. that should have read "obliterate Iran"...


Yo0 pray that he is. I hope that McCain is. Obama will be influenced more by Democrats who historically shun war. McCain is influenced more by Republicans who historically want to go to war.

It's a nuance, but I can read between the lines of the political noise.

I kind of like the idea of the VP candidate being the person who came in second in that parties primaries. I think that's how it used to be, and I think there could be some benefit in having a Pres. and VP not necessarily like each other. Might keep 'em a little more honest.

And i understand that the economic future of the Military and it's employees/advocates depends upon the support of such people as McCain who believe that overthrowing Hussein and other dictators is of paramount importance.

I think there could be some benefit in having a Pres. and VP not necessarily like each other

Well, Obama and Biden are not like each other.

McCain and Palin are not like each other.

But neither McCain nor Palin have ever objected to a war.

Republicans to this day believe that the intervention of the U.S. in the Vietnam war was a good thing. The only problem, as they analyze it, is that the U.S. wasn't tought enough. The Republicans feel that war is the answer and they continually point to WWII as a way to justify their opinion.

I kind of like the idea of the VP candidate being the person who came in second in that parties primaries

I kind of like this too, and if this were still the case, Hillary Clinton would be the veep. Instead, the veep is appointed rather than elected.

I kind of like the idea of the VP candidate being the person who came in second in that parties primaries

I kind of like that too. If it were so, it would be Obama/Clinton vs McCain/Romney... if only!

Historically eh? Let's examine that.

WWI - Wilson - Democrat

WWII - Roosevelt - Democrat

Korea - Truman - Democrat

Vietnam - Kennedy - Democrat

Persian Gulf - Bush I - Republican

Bosnia - Clinton - Democrat

Afghanistan - Bush II - Republican

Iraq - Bush II Republican

'not like' meaning 'kinda dislike' each other.

Sorry, I can see how I wasn't clear on that one.


Dude, do you even read what you write? We actaully won a couple of those wars that Democrats got us into, and some were completely inevitable.

I agree totally with Begala. Who gives a shit about a know-nothing twit like Sarah Palin? Concrentrate on how the Republicans have completely run the country into a ditch. What have they done right in 8 years? The economy, the war, jobs, health care, education, the environment, you name it and they have all the wrong answers.

Winning a war = shunning war?


That is a simplistic list. You don't even list Bush I Iraq. You don't list Nixon or Johnson with Vietnam. Understanding the complexities of foreign policy cannot be explained with some simple little list as you made, and you know better than that.

/Hillary Clinton mode on/

Shame on you Syngas!

/Hillary Clinton mode off/

'not like' meaning 'kinda dislike' each other.

Sorry, I can see how I wasn't clear on that one.

Let's see..

"kind of like"

"not like"

"kind of dislike"

Seriously, Syngas, are you just dishing out bullshit or are you simply confused?

yep, Bush I was on the list.

Okay, Johnson continued Vietnam, Nixon ended it. Happy now?

Oh, yes, there is Bush I, but where is Eisenhower?

Palin and McCain are flexing their muscles and itching for war with Russia. And Palin doesn't even understand that Georgia provoked this confict. Yikes!

Nixon ended it...right.. Nixon ended it just as Sarah Palin said "no to Congress".. What about Nixon's secret war?

Syngas said, I kind of like and then responds:

'not like' meaning 'kinda dislike' each other.

Sorry, I can see how I wasn't clear on that one.

No, not clear. Enlighten me.

Maybe I've had one too many Anchor Steams. ;/


I meant it would be beneficial to have a pres. and VP that didn't necessarily like each other. Example: I don't necessarily like Jill.


Sorry 'bout that. I really have had one too many Anchor Steams. Time to call it quits.


Really - I hadn't noticed as you were dogging my comments. I take it you would prefer I didn't comment at all since it wasn't even in response to anything of yours. I can do that.

Keep commenting, Jill. Your willingness to examine different points of view, think about them, and adapt your own views accordingly marks you as a thoughtful human being with a healthy ego. You are in good company, and your input is welcome and desired.

I don't want to make too much of it, but if I'm reading this right the tension between you and Syngas is understandable, but pretty easily resolved. It reminds me of when I began posting here a few months ago after a long absence. At the time, I disagreed with what I perceived as bias in how Norm was presenting information contrasting Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. I even went so far as to not quite accuse, but suggest, that Norm was a shill for the Clinton campaign.

Unsurprisingly, Norm wasn't too thrilled at this (to say the least!), and he let me know it in no uncertain terms. And upon reflection, my ethics demanded (with a now-appreciated assist from Norm's direct confrontation) that I admit it was pretty irresponsible of me to even skirt such an allegation based purely on my personal speculations.

In this case the story seems to be - if my read is correct - that Syngas was insulted about the implication that he may be, or may be like, calligraph. Surely that's understandable, isn't it? (Also, surely his reaction provides a little data that helps triangulate an answer to the question, doesn't it?)

On a broader note, my opinion is, even though the internet provides anonymity, we still have to remember that we're all talking to (and about) real people. Sometimes people get offended. When that happens, sometimes it's nice to stop for a reality check & see if the action was worth the risk in order to air an important point or to find something out, or if maybe we did something we should have avoided or could have done more effectively in some other way.

Yes, Syngas, on your fast foward, it was JFK who got us embroiled in Vietnam, and Johnson who kept us their, and Nixon who continued this madness, which just goes to show that we Americans are forever embroiled in some conflict/war and forever "supporting our troops" and forever willing to label those who prefer diplomacy over war as "cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys"... so sad and pathetic!

And to clarify, both Truman and Eisenhower, as well as Kennedy and Nixon played a role in the war in vietnam. Why do we as Americans insist on being forever at war? Do we see our role as policeman for the globe? If so, why not go to war with Cuba, North Korea, Haiti, etc etc etc? Is it that we are just going to save one country at a time? And we're going to "save" these countries without the support of the rest of the international community and we can do this because of "American exceptionalism"? Is that it? What makes us so damed "exceptional" as compared to the European countries?

Back to Begala - Molly Ivins must be smiling somewhere!

Jill - keep commenting somewhere.

Why are we dogging Jill?

I agree with her more often with not and enjoy disagreeing occasionally.

Just to clarify - I'm not dogging Jill. I agree with R7.

The only person dogging Jill is Syngas, and he entitled to his opinion. Jill dogged me, but I don't hold it against her. No need for drama. We all have those moments when we disagree.

But again, I repeat that Syngas is no Calligraph. Yeah, Syngas goes too far, but then most of us go too far at one time or another.

No big deal.

We have all dogged you at one time or another JoAnn.

Doesn't mean we don't love you.

And it seems that madfarmer ain't calligraph either. If they ARE one and the same, they are alter egos.

Keep fighting the good fight, as they say.

Um - actually, I don't think that's true, JoAnn. I don't recall trash talking you about nothing -bringing you up in threads you weren't a part of (there was no disagreement) or following your comments around to show what you're doing wrong. I've got to assume Syngas had a point for doing it and the only one I can think of is he doesn't want me commenting. It feels creepy and strange.

You did seem to think I called you a troll once which I actually didn't. You had made some snark about left wingers or something and it was in a round-up that talked about trolling as in: saying things to get a rise out of people so I said something like do you realize your statement came close to trolling? (I'm pretty sure it was just that mild.) You're obviously not a troll but when you brought it up later, that wasn't the point of your comment so I didn't stop you - I guess I should have because it wasn't what I said ---

As far as S. and c. being the same, for most topics, you can pretty much tell which frequent poster is posting in the first paragraph or so without looking at the identifier 'cause everyone brings something different to the table - S. and c. seem politically in lockstep. But now I do see a big difference: c. barely pays attention to anything I say - S., on the other hand, can probably quote me.

Gotta say - nice to hear other commenters (besides S.) read my comments, too :) I love to read what you guys have to say. I know very few people in the real world who want to talk politics -even in these historic times. It's amazing. So, with a little hyperbole but with sincerity - I'm honored.

And JoAnn, I don't usually comment just to agree but you were cracking me up about the saber rattling - it was spot on.


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