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Just now, I dropped by Yahoo! News and one of the current top stories is a riveting Associated Press piece with the following headline: "Obama takes a break for some chili and sausage." Depending on the President-elect's intestinal fortitude, I predict that within the next hour, the AP will post a follow-up story bearing the headline "Obama takes a break at the loo."

illusionofjoy: (No Obama)

Sometimes I think the media pushes a narrative in an attempt to cause trouble because having nothing to report is bad for their bottom line. Is that paranoid and cynical of me? You're damn right it is! From The Hill:

Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest.

Public safety officials said in interviews with The Hill that the election, which will end with either the nation’s first black president or its first female vice president, demanded a stronger police presence.

Some worry that if Barack Obama loses and there is suspicion of foul play in the election, violence could ensue in cities with large black populations. Others based the need for enhanced patrols on past riots in urban areas (following professional sports events) and also on Internet rumors.

Democratic strategists and advocates for black voters say they understand officers wanting to keep the peace, but caution that excessive police presence could intimidate voters.

Sen. Obama (Ill.), the Democratic nominee for president, has seen his lead over rival Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) grow in recent weeks, prompting speculation that there could be a violent backlash if he loses unexpectedly.

Cities that have suffered unrest before, such as Detroit, Chicago, Oakland and Philadelphia, will have extra police deployed.

Two more weeks until this shit is over with!

illusionofjoy: (No Obama)

From the Times Online:

Russians were told over breakfast yesterday what really happened in Georgia: the conflict in South Ossetia was part of a plot by Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, to stop Barack Obama being elected president of the United States.

The line came on the main news of Vesti FM, a state radio station that — like the Government and much of Russia's media — has reverted to the old habits of Soviet years, in which a sinister American hand was held to lie behind every conflict, especially those embarrassing to Moscow. Modern Russia may be plugged into the internet and the global marketplace but in the battle for world opinion the Kremlin is replaying the old black-and-white movie.

The Obama angle is getting wide play. It was aired on Wednesday by Sergei Markov, a senior political scientist who is close to Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister and power behind President Medvedev.

Propaganda: it's what's for breakfast.

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From Media Matters:

Summary: On Glenn Beck, Ben Stein, while discussing Sen. Barack Obama's plan to deliver his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination at Denver's Invesco Field, stated that he did not "like the idea of Senator Obama giving his acceptance speech in front of 75,000 wildly cheering people." Stein further stated: "Seventy-five-thousand people at an outdoor sports palace, well, that's something the Fuehrer would have done."

Another "instant Godwin." While I like to make cracks that the main reason Obama is accepting the Democratic nomination at a stadium is because that is the only venue which can contain his oversized ego, I don't think a Hitler comparison is apt. Presently Barack Obama is touring European countries; should he start conquering them in quick succession with lightning-fast and violent precision, then it would be appropriate to compare him to Hitler (but only then if he starts with Austria).

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In Orange County, Florida, there currently stands a billboard with a photograph of the World Trade Center as it burned on September 11th, 2001. Next to that image is the following phrase: "Please Don't Vote for a Democrat" along with a website address - http://www.therepublicansong.com/ - home page of the man responsible for the billboard.

That man is Mike Meehan, formerly a music business entrepreneur who now owns a painting business (that is, buildings and other structures, not fine art). Meehan's biography betrays someone who seems "stereotypically conservative" - he mentioned a distrust for the "liberal media" how he appreciates the information "from Fox New [sic] Network."

I'm a big fan of the 1st Amendment, as it allows both bloviating jackasses such as myself and Mr. Meehan to express ourselves with no repercussions, save one: the risk that we'll be disagreed with. (I'm sure you were all wondering why I was giving this piece of human detritus any "air time.") Well, Mr. Meehan, as a musician, I'm here to rebut your position. First, I just want to say that I find the lyrics to your song to be so much trite, banal, cliché-ridden pap. My own "Is There Some Way Out Of Here?" blows your sorry ass right out of the water both in lyrical dynamism and political accuracy. Mr. Meehan, you do realise that the only major terrorist attack on American soil in the last century happened under the watch of a republican, right? Funny thing how it was relatively peaceful with those pesky Democrats in office with their damned liberalism. No time for logic though - gotta keep those Democrats from getting any votes!

Which brings me to the billboard itself - judging by the images you chose and your song writing - ahem - "skills," you don't strike me as a particularly creative individual. You might have a head for business, but in regards to artistry, your soul is a desert. Though you might be giving yourself a hearty pat on the back for "spreading an important message," I think you deserve a quick punch in the gut for using the same worn-out fearmongering that those with two or more brain cells to rub together saw through well over four years ago. Call me crazy, but I just don't think that Al Gore would have ignored a report with a title like "Bin Laden Determined To Attack Within United States" and then rushed us off to a misadventure in Afghanistan followed by Iraq while Osama cooled his heels in Pakistan. Guess which party was gung-ho for that bullshit? The republicans!

I probably should thank you for one thing though, Mr. Meehan...while I am still very angry about certain political events which have transpired over the past several months, I will say that you've made Barack Obama look slightly better to me. I'm sure that will fade when Obama has his next fuck-up, but I can assure you of this: unless he suddenly turns into the reincarnation of Theodore Roosevelt, I will not be voting for John McCain or anyone else in his pathetic party. Take your smoking towers and shove them up your ass.

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Behold! The New Yorker magazine cover for July 21st, 2008:

The New Yorker - July 21st, 2008

Something tells me that neither Obama himself nor his supporters are going to look too kindly on this. Me, being the sick bastard that I am, find it funny as hell. This is way too over the top - they can't be serious!

The article about Obama's early political career is far more sobering. It reaffirms what I already knew about his political opportunism and arrogant sense of entitlement. For those with the stomach to have the details filled in, this is an eye-widening read. My stance that a vote for Barack Obama is a grave mistake remains unchanged.

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There are several postings of this on YouTube, but this is the best rendering I have found:

Things haven't changed much in 44 years.

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

It is a sad day indeed when even America's bullshit detector, Ted Rall, starts sipping the Obama Kool-Aide. Still, I take solace in the fact that Rall will take a shot at any politician and has been one of the very few cartoonists and columnists on a major syndicate to take Obama to task on more than one occasion. For the moment, I'll take today's cartoon as simply being a lapse in output, and not a more sinister sign of indoctrination.

Meanwhile, the rest of the mainstream media has there collective noses out of place over Hillary Clinton's supposedly "controversial" comments about RFK. VastLeft at Corrente sums up my feelings on the matter perfectly:

The media frenzy around Howard Dean sounding gravelly in a microphone was 100% bullshit.

The media frenzy around Hillary Clinton recalling the campaign of a great Democrat who was assassinated is 100% bullshit.

Anyone who falls for either is not just any dupe, but the kind of dupe who lets the media pick our candidates.

I am so sick of bullshit.

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Without digging up the numbers for oneself, the mainstream media has led us to believe that Obama's nomination is somehow inevitable. However, when one examines the raw data, a different story takes shape. In pledged delegates, Obama has a 4% lead. In the popular vote, Clinton has a .05% lead. Neither candidate has this thing "sewn up." It is encouraging that the general public, for the moment, seems inclined to agree. From the PEW Research Center:

Fully 72% of the public - including comparable percentages of Democrats, Republicans and independents - say that journalists should not be anointing Obama as the Democratic nominee at this stage in the race. Just 20% say that journalists should be doing this.

Opinion among Democrats about what the press should do in this regard may well reflect their view that Hillary Clinton should stay in the race. Recent surveys by Gallup and ABC News/Washington Post find that most Democrats believe that Clinton should stay in the race. In the ABC News/Washington Post survey, released May 12, 64% of Democrats, including 42% of Obama supporters, said Clinton should remain in the race.

In other words, people aren't buying the mainstream media narrative that "it's over." Are we really surprised that the general public mistrusts the mainstream media, though? This is the same mainstream media who anointed Bush the winner of the 2000 election, aided and abetted leading us into a disasterous war in Iraq and encouraged the "Swiftboating" of John Kerry. Trust them? I trust them about as far as I can throw them.

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

Those who think there won't be a backlash are wrong. Various webloggers in exile from the majors like DailyKOS and The Huffington Post have been grumbling about how they will rebel against Barack Obama if he is the Democratic nominee. Donna Darko has a collection of links to female webloggers outraged by the misogyny surrounding the Obama campaign - some of these women are even forming a nascent movement against he who has been erroneously referred to as "the presumptive Democratic nominee" (really should be "assumptive," for the "ass" joke which follows).

However, now a member of a major media market has decided to log a protest against Obama. Radio host Steve Corbett of talk station WILK-FM has this to say:

Read more... )

The problem with Barack Obama is that he is effectively alienating a huge chunk of people who could bring about a Democratic victory in November. Upon his trouncing in West Virginia, the Obama camp claimed the the state was not part of their plan for general election victory, a stance that flies in the face of nearly half a century of electoral trends. Furthermore, there were claims that his loss in the state was due to simple racism - a canard which has been trotted out time and time again to smear Hillary Clinton's supporters. I seriously doubt that racism has a great deal to do with Obama's crushing losses in the state; I think the main reason that Obama lost in West Virginia is because he snubbed the voters there. He arrogantly assumed the mantle of inevitability and did not do any campaigning in the state, save for a token appearance right before the primary and the purchasing of television advertising. By contrast, Hillary Clinton was on the ground and engaging voters one-on-one constantly. Net result: Obama did not get a majority vote in a single West Virginian county. When you snub people, they tend to snub you right back.

Superdelegate loudmouth Donna Brazile has claimed that there is a new Democratic Party being created where voters are more urban and younger. The problem, of course, is that these two groups don't make up a large enough coalition by any stretch of the imagination to ensure an Obama win in the general election. With the alienation of the working class, women, Hispanics, Asians, older voters and yes, even the homosexual community, an Obama nomination seems the perfect way to set up huge wins for John McCain in November - either through protest votes for Hillary Clinton or a third party, spite votes for John McCain or "values" votes for McCain (each alienated group will have a different reason and a different reaction).

So, the obvious solution is to nominate Hillary Clinton - the trend currently is that she will finish the primary and have retained her lead in the popular vote. It will be up to the superdelgates to decide who the nominee is in August. If they give the nod Obama, not only will he face the challenge of the republican attack machine, but he will have to figure out how to win back all of the Democrats he has lost at the same time - an uphill battle of Sisyphean proportions.

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One of the great things about the Internet is that it is a place where a myriad of new "toys" are always popping up. More recent in this long line is the Democratic Candidate Mashup and Debate. Pick two to all eight candidates, click an issue and watch a video of each candidate responding to said issue.

It's a nifty idea, if not slightly limited in scope; there are only four issues to choose from, "The Big Three" of Iraq, Health Care and Education along with lighter questioning from Bill Maher. It also does nothing to alleviate the ADD nature of current information dissemination. I decided to match up my two favourite candidates - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - with each other and ended up watching the same talking points that I've seen many times before in regards to each candidate. While this is a bit disappointing, it is to be expected. I'd say that this tool at this stage of the game is better for the uninitiated, rather than the hardcore political junkie.

Currently, there is only a mashup for Democratic candidates as the Republicans (as expected) are a step behind. An offer has been extended to Republicans to do their own debate mashup, but thus far, they have been unresponsive. Republicans fear progressive things like the Internet, Socialised Health Care and indoor plumbing (one of those I made up).

Should this idea prove popular enough, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some cross-party mashups by the time the main presidential campaign is in full swing. Personally, I'd like to see them dig deeper and include more than just the two mainstream parties, but something tells me that I'll have to wait a little while before I can click and automatically see Democratic, Socialist, Libertarian and Green party members each stating their piece about Health Care or Iraq.

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You know, whenever something is pegged as controversial, it just makes me want to seek it out all the more, if for no other reason than to see what the fuss is about. Several Pittsburgh television stations have decided not to air the new Trojan condom ad. None of the networks, of course can give a good reason for the ban, likely because coming out and saying they don't want to lose ratings by offending their (apparent) target demographic of beer-swilling, misogynistic fat bastards would be bad for business. Here's the ad in question:

[Error: unknown template video]

Frankly, the most offensive thing about it is the incorrect implication one might draw that humans evolved from pigs and not from apes. Still, good ads grab one's attention; great ads are the ones people seek out on YouTube.

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Seth Warren

May 2017

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