It's Not Over!

"Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!"
-Bluto, Animal House

While those of us who follow the American Political Ritual obsessively are spiraling into a melancholic withdrawal, thankfully Election 2008 is still a bubbling cauldron of Weirdness. For two and a half years we compulsively stored and regurgitated ridiculous amounts of minute campaign detail of flubs, faux pas', position papers, voting records, polling data, statistical anomalies and dirty, dirty dirt on the dirty dirty lives of those crazy and egotistical enough to run for public office. But like a dog's ear perking up at the sound of a squirrel rustling in the Autumn leaves, It Is Alive and the chase may be on.

Like a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on a slice of hot out of the oven pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving season has blessed Drunken Politics. A frothing, teeming horde of Blackberries attached to lawyers has descended on Minna-soder for the Coleman-Franken recounted recount bonanza of Magical Ballots. New Mexicans chuckle with appreciation as Prince-conjured votes keep poofing out of nowhere. Divine Retribution could be in a Southern stocking this Christmas. Saxby Chambliss, the Rat Bastard who won his Senate seat by blistering triple-amputee veteran Max Cleland as a terrorist sympathizer, is in a December 5th runoff against a dude of the unknown called Jim Martin. Will disabled Veterans let Chambliss' bile go unpunished? Will Ted "The Convict" Stevens win reelection and make all of Alaska proud? Missouri has taken off their socks and shoes to finish counting up those pesky pseudo-ballots. And the Lieberman soap opera twists in the wind, what would Prince Machavielli do? Will Turncoat Joe go unpunished?

Will a few hundred votes from North/South/East/West Buttlick determine the shape of the United States Senate and US policy for the next generation? Dam straight. Now go find someone who didn't vote and smack their ignorant nose with a wet newspaper. Spiked with thumbtacks. And hot sauce.

The Bourbon Gods need to be appeased and they're demanding a turkey leg. Hopefully, they will shine a gravy-soaked Thanksgiving smile upon us during America's Overtime.

note: All I want for Christmas is a bag of fresh mixed metaphors.


Looking Forward

J: OK, enough with the facts. Let's get down to business. It's time for rampant speculation on the makeup of President Obama's Cabinet.

Secretary of State: As much as I think Bill Clinton would be a brilliant choice in this position, I don't know if Slick Willie would do it. Prior to the Democratic Party convention, I thought Biden was a lock for it. If it's not Bill Richardson, I will have to scrape my jaw off the floor with a putty knife.

Secretary of the Treasury: This might be the most important selection Obama makes, at least for the first few months of his administration. My dream pick would be Warren Buffet, but Paul Volcker will end up in the seat.

Secretary of Defense: Always a tough one for Democrats, because the party is seen as being soft on defense. Looking within the party, the obvious choice is Sam Nunn. If this is a seat Barack wants to offer a Republican, Chuck Hagel would be a nice fit. I think Obama defies conventional wisdom, and keeps Robert Gates in place, for continuity of command.

Attorney General: John Edwards screwed his way out of this slot. Arizona governor Janet Napolitano is the front-runner, and unless she declies, the spot is hers. Massasachusetts governor Deval Patrick may get some late consideration here.

Secretary of the Interior: Well, again, I have a dream choice. In an ideal world, there is only one choice for this slot, and that's Al Gore. I don't know if he'd accept the demotion.

Secretary of Agriculture: Someone like Tom Vilsack would fit in just fine here.

Secretary of Commerce: Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farms, would be a nice fit. Senator Olympia Snowe could also garner some bipartisan interest here.

Secretary of Labor: Norman Mineta? I really have no clue.

Secretary of Health and Human Services: In a perfect world, Hillary Clinton would be a great fit here. She's too smart to give up a seat in the Senate, and so is Barack.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Michael Bloomberg. Seriously- that's my prediction.

Secretary of Transportation: Hell, I don't know. I never can predict this one.

Secretary of Energy: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius would get my vote.  Arnold Schwarzenegger would be a great selection as well.

Secretary of Education: See "Transportation".

Secretary of Veterans Affairs: GEN (Ret.) Wes Clark.

Secretary of Homeland Security : If Chuck Hagel doesn't get defense, this job would be a great one for him.

C: Game on. Time to percolate some speculate.

State: Richardson. He just shaved off his beard. And he'll be rewarded for dissing Bill Clinton at their Super Bowl watching party. It doesn't hurt that the Axis of Weasels fear the Giant Hispanic.

Treasury: Bob Rubin has the brains and the Clinton Administration juice and Wall Street respect.

Defense: Hagel is a good choice but a realistic outside shot to Jim Webb who has solid credentials. Or Oprah.

AG: The MA governor Deval Patrick, a longtime Obama brother in arms, is a good call. New Jersey's John Corzine has a shot.

Commerce: Clueless. But someone from his new Economic Advisory Board is a good place to look. Lincoln Chafee could use some love. And he's a smart dude.

Labor: Will Robert Reich get any play?

HHS: Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill carried water for Obama from early on in the show.

HUD: Andrew Cuomo has up and coming written all over him. And he had the gig under Clinton.

Transportation: US Rep Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). He's been a longtime Transportation geek with green ideas coming out his ears. His bowtie is the perfect neckware for this gig.

Energy: This one is huge. And I don't have a clue...Would Al Gore come down off his throne?

Education: Caroline Kennedy. She oozes character.

VA: Wes Clark, is there a better place for a General with a heart?

Homeland Security: Another gig I think Jim Webb would be well suited for.

Interior: Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. Zing! Bam! Pow! Oh sweet justice!

UN Ambassador: Colin Powell needs to redeem his soul. Bill Clinton is too massive for such a lowly water carrying post.


J: Well, it's been a few days since the election. I can finally try and give my initial thoughts on what we've witnessed. I've tried twice before, but got way too emotional.

First off, it still boggles my mind that we can have an orderly transition of power. The people speak, the winners celebrate, and the losers accept it and move on. That's mind-boggling if you think about it for more than a second- people willingly relinquish power. The President just says "I'm good. Your turn. Have fun with it" and moves on.

But that's Drunken Civics. Not our gig. I want to look at the three turning points in this campaign. These were all tipping points- where the election could have taken a radically different turn.

First and foremost was January 26th- the South Carolina primary. To narrow it down even more, the 17 minute victory speech that Barack made. That set the standard for what C. refers to as "Shock and Awe" speeches by the President-Elect. Prior to that moment, Obama could have been just another winner of the Iowa Caucus- like Tom Harkin, Dick Gephart, and "Uncommitted". After that speech, we really saw the blossoming of the Obama movement.

And, good lord, that was a good speech.

The second moment came in Denver, at the Democratic Convention. Senator Hillary Clinton could have engaged in a long and drawn-out fight for the nomination. She most likely would have lost, but instead, she chose to have Senator Obama nominated by acclamation. That seemingly simple move allowed her supporters the freedom to support Barack. If she would have fought tooth and nail, she could have possibly thrown a ton of voters into McCain's camp. I don't know if it would have mattered in the long run, but it could have been the difference between a landslide/mandate and a narrow victory.

The third moment wasn't an instant- it was a period of almost a month, and that was John McCain's bizarre September. The Palin selection excited a ton of people... for a few days. Then, we got to hear her speak. Even though we can be a bit reactionary as a Nation, we instinctively understand some things. One of these apparently is "If you get eviscerated in an interview with Katie Couric, you're not ready to play politics at the major-league level". By the 26th, when the McCain I'm-Going-to-Suspend-my-Campaign play had failed, and he stepped on the stage at Ole Miss... the writing was on the wall.

If this race was a prize fight, it would have been called.


America the Beautiful

C. On October 6th, 2008, Drunken Politics was the first major media entity to predict an Obama Landslide victory. Here's our President Elect giving his victory address to an America starved for a thoughtful, daring and powerful restoration. One of what will be many Shock and Awe speeches:


Enough with Carrots, More Stick

Enough with this pleading for Americans to pretty pretty please please go vote. Ever want stand in a voter line in Haiti? Or name a random central African country. Or let's bring up a visual for our denser American citizens, the Purple-thumbed of Bagdad. You, in the most putrid state of willful ignorance, don't have the 'time', or you whine it doesn't really matter because THOSE politicians are all corrupt, etc., etc.. Guess what? The reason your job got shipped overseas, the reason why your house is going bye-bye, gas prices up, food prices up, the Chinese are poisoning your kid's Robo-former, is simple to understand. You are pathetic and lazy and you let it happen because it requires thinking and being an active participant in the true American Way of Life. And maybe you've heard, some of your fellow citizens get shot at for a living to protect your Rights.

Well, I say enough is enough. Go ahead, blame greedy corporations. Who let the line get blurred? Do you know your Congressman's views or voting record concerning anything? You non-voters revoke your right to citizenship. Gitmo could be put good use, what's that? I can't you hear you with your head underwater. Who are your two Senators? We'll let you out when you can recite The Federalist Papers verbatim.The Chinese had an interesting approach to re-education camps. Heck, we don't even have to deport you. We own our own version of Siberia, that's right, Alaska has lots of room for you and your buddies. Fresh air and meat just wandering around. Sorry though, no more socialist oil checks. See, you are no longer citizens. Besides, we don't want or need you sucking up valuable and scarce commodities, clogging up traffic and prisons, driving up the cost of healthcare and drinking our clean water. Bad news, you and those who scoff at participation in the process are no longer welcome.

But you, Joe Don't Vote, have been given every opportunity to be patriotic. Do you really want Citizenship Revoked with Extreme Prejudice stamped on your driver's license? It's Election Eve. You've still got a couple of hours to dig up a newspaper, (the tree-thing with words), go stand in line, pull a lever or touch a screen and end what shame and guilt you carry with you every day. Wait what? You might not even be registered to vote? Pssst. Remember that oopsy, little Patriot Act thingy THAT YOU IGNORED that only spied on pesky terrorists? Should have paid attention. We're watching you.

Just go vote, save us the trouble of tracking you down.



Insert Appropriate Cliche

(Cue keyboards. Annnd flashpots.) It's The Final Countdown...

C: Top of the ninth. Two minutes to go. No timeouts. The last Sticky Wicket. Matchpoint.The Nineteenth Hole. The Horse Race. Swing States. Ground Games. Ground chuck. Hamburger Hill. Battleground States. Undecided Voters AKA the Mentally Challenged.GWB. Mmmm...Bush. 401K. Market's up. Down. Wall Street. Main Street. Douchebags. Derivatives. Debt swaps. Wife Swaps. Greenspan befuddled. Gallup. Zogby. Quinnepac. Margins of Error. Tracking. Lip-smacking. Winking. Robocalls. Oprah. Hillary. Billary. The Left. The Right. Red. Blue. Purple. Pitchforks. Percentages. Shock. Awe. 911. Going Negative. Millions of dollars. Millions of promises. Smear, slash, fabricate, imaginate, burn. Early voting. Bailouts. Absentee voting. Long lines. Bread lines. Record turnout. GOTV. Mortgages. Fraud. Suppression. Racism. Hussienism. Healthcare. Hoopla. War? Wars? What wars? Wardrobe Malfunctions. Too old. Too Black. Too Mavericky.The Million Lawyer March. Billions of gallons of Campaign '08 jet fuel. Gasoline. Green Jobs. No Jobs. Hand Jobs. Iowa? New Hampshire? Ummm...whatever. Must win Pennsylvania. Or Florida. Or Nevada. Or West Bumfrick County, OH. Or France. Landslide. Slip 'N' Slide. Mudslide. Mudslinging. Muckraking. A-rabs. Terrorists. Taxes. Chainsaws. Slackjaws. Nieman-Marcus. Lenscrafters. Snowmachines. Moose meat. Bob Barr. Ralph Nader. Ron Paul. The Blimp. The Economy. We'll know in the first hour. No wait, it's going to be a long night. Circular firing squad. Circle jerk. Turnouts. Turncoats. Socialists. Communists. Patriots. Pinkos. Exit Pollists. Magical Thinking Wildlife. And uh...Godless Lesbians. Joe Lieberman. Joe Biden. Joe the un-Plumber. Sloppy Joe Sixpack. My Friends. And That One. Popular vote. Electoral College. Hope. Fear. Change. Loose Change. Under the Bus. Loose Change Under the Bus. Historical history. Conventional Wisdom.

Check please. And put two more Bourbons on our tab. Better keep it open.

J: You forgot Poland.

C. *headsmack* SNOW MACHINE. (Sounds so nice you gotta say it twice.)


Friday Hangover

J: Here we are- one last weekend until the Big One. There are smears and infomercials flying about, and Halloween looms large over the political landscape. Both camps are dressing up as centrists, in a last-ditch effort to gain the few undecided voters that remain.

Fortunately, I'm no longer in the crosshairs of anyone's Get Out the Vote movement. For the first time in my life, I early-voted. I normally like the polls on Election Day- the sense of being part of a group of citizens participating in our civic duty. But having children and no obvious babysitter made the convenience of voting early impossible to ignore. As I was walking out the door, my Little Guy asked me where I was going, so I told him "to vote". Well, there was no way I could be allowed to do that without supervision, so we piled in the Honda and were off to the polls. Once inside, he was fascinated by the process. I showed him the sample ballot, explained to him that straight-ticket voting was for lazy people who didn't do their research, and basically gave him his first lesson in Democracy. I cast my ballot, got my sticker- which promptly went on his shirt- and came home. He enjoyed it so much that when Mrs. J. then went to cast her vote, he absolutely insisted on going back with her. Perhaps it's my Kentucky roots showing, but when a three-year-old insists on heading to the voting booth as many times as possible... well, let's just say I'm proud. Next time around, I think I'll teach him how to buy and sell votes. He and Lyndon Johnson's grandkids can roll around Texas, driving the elderly to the polls.

Speaking of the elderly, I'm really starting to feel bad for John McCain.The more I think about his campaign, the more I truly believe that his entire plan for getting to the White House involved a race against Senator Clinton. If Hillary! had been his opponent, he could have easily chosen Joe Lieberman as his running mate, because whatever issues the base might have with McCain, their hatred of all things Clinton would assure him their support. Instead, his hand was forced, and we get the Palin show. But there will be more time for hindsight once the votes are officially counted.

And I think the person with the biggest axe to grind in the GOP may turn out to be Mike Huckabee. He appeals to the same crowd as Palin, he has far more executive experience, and even most of the Left just likes the guy. If I could have any politician as a neighbor, it would be Mike. He seems like he'd invite you over for a barbecue, and offer you a beer- even though he doesn't drink himself, he keeps a few on hand for guests. He's got to be sitting on a porch in Arkansas and laughing about the absurdity of this race. I expect to see more from him soon, because I believe he's going to end up as the spokesman for the Evangelical wing of the Republican Party.

C: J., I commend you. My father took me to the polls at 6:30AM before he had to go to work when I was a little guy. The metallic sound of the big armature and the curtain whistling behind us, the clack of the levers, is something I will never forget. I got a 'I voted today' sticker. And a cookie. Fine church lady volunteers, indeed. This is a moment that taught me respect for our country, citizenship and the value of one man, one vote. This being an American is serious business and the world is envious of this privilege.


The Twenty Fifth Amendment

C. Where in the Hades is Vice President Dick Cheney? Has anyone seen or heard from him? Did he run away from home? Is the door on the bunker accidently locked from the outside? Is he out scouring the backcountry of our dear ally Pakistan for Bin Laden? Has he shot that SOB in the face? Is this the November 2nd surprise, Cheney shaking the decapitated, bloody, elusive melon on Meet The Press for all the wussy doubters on a Sunday morning? Drunken Politics North has no inside information.

Oop, there's my flagpin...

Speaking of hard-core wild big game hunters, is there no place in an Obama Homeland Security Department for a moose killer? Recently, Governor Palin explained the job description of the Vice President. According to a certain Fancy Wardrobe Snow Machine Queen, the magic invisible ink asterisk on the Constitution implies that the VEEP assists in the creation and negotiation of legislation. Gettin' in there and creatin' policy with them Senators, you betcha. That loud *smack* sound is Senator Joseph Biden knocking himself out with a self-inflicted forehead slap. Senator John McCain and some top staffers have now thrown Governor Sarah Palin under the bus. When your staff goes on open background in the New York Times and The Washington Post stating your VP pick has gone rogue, 10 days prior to the election, psssst rogue, roguey-rogue, the excuse is in.

One way or another, eventually it would be fascinating to hear the rationale behind her ascension from McCain himself. She's whipped up the ugliest pitchfork elements of a very very new, foamy rabid Republican Party. And the case could easily be made that Alaska's Governor has not added a single vote that wasn't already sympathetic to the George Wallace legacy turned Republican voter wing. Dig through the data, maybe the silliest move ever made by a potential POTUS. Even the Senator Larry Craig Christian fundamentalists are thinking, 'whoa, whoa whoa...vetting anyone?' As strange as this sounds the party of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower,Charles Hagel, Nelson Rockefeller, William F. Buckley, George Will, David Brooks, Jacob Javits, Arnold Schwarzenegger, GHWB, Robert Dole, Richard Milhouse Nixon, P.J. O'Rourke, Lincoln Chafee, a whole bunch of Wall Street Nouveau Socialistas and Ronnie 'Morning in America' Reagan, has stepped way way out over the edge. Let's just see how long this new xenophobic jingo snake-handlin' nutbag luncheon lasts.
Even Spiro T. Agnew is blushing in the grave.

J. The most interesting part about Palin going off-topic is the perception that she's trying to set herself up for a 2012 run on the top of the ticket. At some point, someone is going to have to pull her aside and explain that exceptionally heavy unfavorable ratings do not bode well in a national election. The more Caribou Barbie speaks, the more the GOP looks like it could very easily split into two parties- the fiscal conservatives and the evangelicals. The other option here would be for the Libertarians to really extend their outreach efforts and try to recruit more disaffected Republicans into their ranks.

The funny thing is, there are certain places where the Libertarian candidate is affecting the state outcome. In Montana, the Obama/McCain race is razor thin, and Bob Barr is pulling a few percentage points. But, McCain has an even bigger challenge in the Big Sky Country- Ron Paul. That's right, our favorite candidate-with-a-blimp is still on the Montana ballot, and he's polling in the 4-5% range. If the Libertarians and fiscal conservatives cause Montana to flip blue, hilarity will ensue.

But, back to Palin. If the McCain campaign knows anything, it's definitely not how to stay on-topic, and the fact that she's making them nervous is a telling sign. I absolutely cannot wait for the books that will come out on this campaign. The Republicans had, in the past, been far better at the game than they showed this year. If Johnny Mac had been allowed to choose Lieberman or even Mittens Romney as his running mate, this would be a much tighter race. It's not like it would have been difficult to get the evangelicals to fall into line. It would have taken one sentence- "OK, vote for the pro-choice Democrat with the odd name". Maybe a speech by Huckabee, just to be on the safe side. Just like the diehard Hillary supporters, they would have made some noise, then gone right back to supporting their own self-interest.

Personally, I hope Palin doesn't get the hint, and decides to make a 2012 run- because the GOP primary would eat her alive. The freewheeling nature of the early debates could absolutely embarass her. There would be no shortage of Republicans who thought they would be a better running mate for McCantankerous, who would be more than happy to lay a few hammer-shots to her face.


All Politics Are Local

C. Here in Oregon the thrill of Election Day is dampened by this silly statewide mail-in ballot thing. Two weeks before election day we all receive our ballots and Voter's pamphlets (216 pages of trees delivered to every voter in the Greenest State in the Union, that's irony goodness). One can drop their citizenry duty off at libraries and government places statewide up until Election Eve or mail with your own dam stamp three days prior.

In the Soggy Outlands, we have these critters know as ballot initiatives. Your fabulous idea can become law if your Street Corner Pester Army can annoy and sign up enough registered voters to get on a November ballot. And Bill Sizemore, our resident Conserva-pimp, makes banco-grande with all flavors of juicy suburban fraidy-cat caucasian churchy issues. This brings us to Measure 58. The Measure 58 Ballot Title summary in The Holy Moly Oregony Pamphlet states, " Prohibits teaching public school student (sic) in language other than English for more than two years".

In the Oregon Ballot Tome, along with candidate statements and supporting statements, any citizen or group can purchase statement space after the official legal constitutional/law proposal for $5oo clams. Argument In Favor or Argument in Opposition. This is straight and true and right from the pages of the Oregon Voters Pamphlet:


Argument in Favor
Current law lets English students to progress at their own rate. No! Wrong! Measure 58 will require children to learn faster—by force of law. This measure will outlaw slow English learning! Cool!
In fact, laws requiring Latinos to learn faster could also legislate geniuses! Isn't it amazing what a Sizemore measure can do? Vote for faster English learning—and legalize geniuses! It's that simple! Sizemore simple!
My friends, Mexicans should be taught in English because it's our native tongue. But American colleges in Mexico City teach in English! By logical extension, that is wrong! Students should learn in the national language. Stop teaching military personnel in Germany in English. Keep the German in Germany! Students learn better in languages they can't easily understand!
The speed at which children learn is best established by initiative and referendum! The key is to legislate lesson plans by popular vote: The more lesson plans you vote on, the faster children learn. It's so simple! So how many hundred Sizemore lesson initiatives do you want to vote on in any one election?
Don't leave teaching to teachers! To make English students progress, all you have to do is vote for Sizemore measures. Bill Sizemore knows better than teaching professionals how to mandate student advancement by initiative petition. The religious right demands democratic dogma, and Sizemore legislates accelerated Latino language learning.
Additionally, this measure establishes the precedent for popular vote on all professional planning. How will your doctor treat your infection? Not by professional knowledge! No! Let the voters decide! Yeah!
Teachers should not be left alone to teach, and doctors should be regulated by the whims of popular elections! Professional practices should be set by the lowest common denominator of public prejudice at the ballot box. This is democracy! We want democratic lesson plans and democratic medical procedures! Sizemoron medicine! Let's vote!
Donations: Traditional Prejudices Coalition, Box 1851, Portland 97207.
(This information furnished by M. Dennis Moore, Traditional Prejudices Coalition.)

And Drunken Politics loves America.


Two Very, Very Very Short Weeks

C. The polls start closing in 300 some odd hours. Minutes are ticking away on the longest, most expensive Presidential campaign in American history. (The famous "Seasons of Love"song from the Broadway show Rent should be the background music here.) Early voting is busting records with long lines where available. Absentee ballots are flooding in. The airwaves, radio waves, the internets, mailboxes, answering machines, doorknobs, front lawns, editorial boards and columns, all are flooded with the Red, White and Blue Blood that pumps through America's veins. Sit in a diner and odds are someone will stick a microphone in your face. Hell, it's almost as if people really cared about the outcome of an election and apathy is so 20th century.

Fourteen days out and the picture is looking a tad grim for Senator McCain and Celebrity Governor Palin. Drunken Politics loves Conventional Wisdom. And Conventional Wisdom is great for ratings. And Conventional Wisdom is trying real, real hard to pimp the horserace. Campaigns always tighten up toward Election Day, the Bradley Factor, 'Will the kids really vote?', the rehabilitation of 'The Happy Warrior', coverage of 'Battleground States' and Gaff-Hunters and Dirt Mongers are pouring over every word to find secrety subtext and hidden nuance and hysterical implication in any utterance from a sixth tier surrogate.

Simple fact(s): McCain and Palin are swimming outside the deep end rope. The polling numbers and trends are rolling them up. Palin is a national joke who still doesn't know what the duties of the Vice President involve and the Arizona Senator appears bi-polar. The RNC is pulling back money from the campaign to save congressional seats. The editorial boards, even classical GOP-friendly journalists, are collectively shaking their heads at a mis-managed, unhinged campaign. And General Colin Powell is driving a stake through the heart of a supposed great friend.

Senator Obama's team is trying to figure out how to blow the avalanche of money that flooded their coffers. Being positive and calm is working for some strange reason. New Voter registration for Democrats is through the roof. Trendlines, trendlines, trendlines. 401K is a dirty word. And a hunch that American voters are dismayed by the sneering lowest common denominator pitchfork crowd of drooling troglodytes that appear to be the new Republican Base. That whole Economy That GWB And Friends Ran Into The Ditch (ETGAFRITD) has a bit more traction the Guns, God and Gays for the moment. Maybe it is a James Carville-ism.

Johnny Mac and the Avon Lady are running out of October Surprise, time and money. And their spaghetti is not sticking to the wall. And Obama is going to see his sick Granny in Hawaii.

J: Well, C., I cant disagree with a thing you've said, so allow me to expand on a couple of things.

First off, there's the "horse race" aspect of the coverage. This could easily turn out to be a short-term gain, long-term loss for McCain. Johnny Mac's core base- the elderly and the "I love Jesus a whole lot" crowd- are going to vote. Period. Plagues would not keep these people away from the voting booth. The people Obama's campaign has newly registered? They might be tempted to stay at home on the 4th if they think that everything's decided. If it's projected to be close? They might think that their vote could be the deciding one, and figure that their time in line is worthwhile.

Then, there's the Powell issue. This is a bigger deal than it would seem at first glance. Much of McCain's ambition stems from his inability to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, and pin on the four stars of a full Admiral. He separated from the Navy as a Captain, the equivalent to a US Army Colonel. It's still a very prestigious rank, but there is a vast difference between a Captain and an Admiral. Powell, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held the most powerful office someone in uniform can attain. For him to come out and endorse Obama, while saying thinks like "This is a time for outreach", is a huge slap in the face of McCain. The essence of Powell's argument is that McCain approaches things from the level of a Captain- a man in charge of a single ship, while Obama looks at situations like a General or Admiral- where you have to consider a hell of a lot more factors. 

As far as the coverage on Election Night, there are two states that will tell the early tale- Virginia and North Carolina. If either of these goes to Obama, the electoral math becomes so prohibitively difficult for Sarah Palin's running mate that it would be safe to go ahead and crack open the bottle of Bourbon, 'cause it will be over. If I know that, the pundits have to know it. It will be entertaining to watch them attempt to not call the race for the next three hours.


Debate the Third

J: Well, the third and final Presidential debate is finally here, and this one has the potential to be interesting. Before you think I've lost my mind, let me explain.

The first two debates were hardly "debates" at all, they were two men speaking in talking points. That very well could be the case again tonight. But some part of me doubts that this will be the case. Senator McCain is trailing badly in national polls, and the state-by-state breakdowns show an even larger disparity. He needs an absolute slam-dunk victory in this debate- something that not only makes him look like the inevitable choice to be the next President, but also simultaneously knocks Senator Obama off the stage. Something huge, something remarkable. And that means he can't play it safe- he has to let it all hang out.

While it's possible that he could score a successful knockout blow, there is also danger in this approach- he could swing and miss so badly that he stops any momentum his campaign still retains. An error of that magnitude would be virtually impossible to recover from in 20 days... but taking that risk might be the only way Johnny Mac gets the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There's the drama for tonight- will he try and win this debate, or the election?

The thing is, I can't see any potential attack he can make. Obama's campaign has been Ali's "rope-a-dope" in action. Let your opponent make some body blows, but protect the head. Then, in the later rounds, once your foe has spent all their energy, land the knockout if you can... but realize that winning on points still counts as a win. The Democratic primary drudged up all the dirt Obama has- and it's not much. If the Clintons can't find the skeletons in your closet, then there probably aren't any to be found.

McCain has hinted that he's going to mention William Ayres in this debate. I'm not convinced that this would be an intelligent move. First off, it could turn out like his choice of VP- while the base gets energized, independents simply aren't swayed by it. Second, and perhaps more importantly, if you're going to use an attack, you really shouldn't announce it ahead of time. To go back to the boxing analogy, you can't telegraph your punches. You're setting yourself up for a massive counter. A former president of the Harvard Law Review would probably eviscerate a comment like that on the spot, but with days to prepare, it could be flat-out brutal. If there is a mention of Ayres tonight, hold on... because you are about to see one of the greatest comeback remarks of the past few Presidential campaigns.

Tonight's drinking game rules are simple: For Obama, drink when he says "middle class". For McCain, drink when he studiously does not look at Obama. If you want to give your liver a thorough beating, add these: For Barack, add "failed policies", and for Johnny Mac, "My friends". But be careful- the "my friends" rule is guaranteeing yourself a massive hangover. You've been warned.

C. Thankfully J., the debate had nothing to do about yours and my diminished mental capapacity. Although that would place us firmly within the new Palin worship mongers club. She's been reduced to family huggy Ops with Downes Syndromers. I guess the whole Obama-U-Is-A-Arab-Muslim-Teerorist thing is off the table. It's manditory, we're going to have to get ourselves a collector yellow 'TRIG' tshirt to commemorate the Palin fiasco. It's good to know there is one voting block locked up for McCain-Palin.

ring ring... It's Jerry Springer, he's looking for a pregnant teenager whose mother is a VEEP candidate, the baby daddy has dropped out of high school to get a job in oil fields. awwwwww....

This is postgame analysis on my behalf, stupid neighbor turned off his router. The Pirate wifi Lifestyle has its drawbacks. The Debate , mind you I've read or seen zero spin due to the phrases 'middle class' and 'my friends', ended up in a draw. Yep, a draw. McCain's RedBull's wore off after a half an hour reducing him to an eye-popped twitchy mess. Obama babbled like tall guys do when they're forced to sit down. Unfortunately for Johnny Mac, he's a Republican. America opened up their 401K statements on or about October 10th. George W. Bush is a Republican. Punishment will be severe. McCain, highly animated, hates taxes and has a crush on a Man Plumber. Obama, if you squeezed him you'd get cucumber juice. Thank the Lord this was the Debate the Third. This was by far the most interesting and confrontational debate, Bob the Mod didn't step in, and both candidates were engaged maybe due to their proximity. Thankfully, neither expressed a flag-waving solution to the horrid crapfest that will be known as the Great Recession. My liver is grumpy.

Breaking news: Joe the Plumber is not a licensed plumber and he owes back taxes. Woopsy.


The Bailout Worked

C. That's right, I said it, the Bailout worked. The United States of America government has, for once, done it. No, I'm not speaking of the steaming pile of moose droppings that used to be known as the Economy. Boooringggg. What is the single most important chunk of THE GREAT AMERICAN LIFESTYLE? Ta-da! Television. The Idiot Box. America's Babysitter. The NFL and the NBA and the Olympics and Tony Bourdain and Love Boat reruns and This Old House and Sesame Street and Dancing with the Stars and... I'm a cheapskate. Good bourbon in copious amounts is expensive. Cable TV is disgustingly expensive and www.hulu.com has the Daily Show and the Colbert Report for free. I, being the good rabbit ear using American, was terrified by the ominous scroll that my BoobTube would die unless I called toll free gubment number by February something 2009. I received my $40 Bailout Coupon within two weeks. I was told I could wander into any God-fearing American Electronics Retailer and they would take my $40 credit card-like coupon and a $10 dollar bill and hand me a little magic Made In China box and everything would be alright. Does anyone with an IQ over a Baby Palin trust the US government to get anything right? Not me. So five minutes opening a box, two connections to America's Bestest Friend, put batteries in Chinese remote control and POOF, I have stunning, crystal clear, glorious high definition wide screen format television. The Bailout worked. I trusted my government and I will be a pig in poo on football Sunday. AND IT'S FREE BECAUSE IT FLOATS THROUGH THE AIR! Count this voter as a die-hard believer in our new American Socialism. Whoa Amen and God Bless America.

Oh, and when Americans opens up their 401K quarterly statements this week and next, free TV will become very popular and John McCain will curse his fortune for running for President when the stock market loses 35% of its value a month before the election. The Other Bailout, ummmm, not working so good. Woops.

Woops. Make that 40%. Anybody seen GWB lately? If Americans lose half of their retirement savings in one month, an incumbent dogcatcher will lose in an bloody landslide. And it's one thing when Joe Sixpack has to work until he's 94 his two jobs plus pimping ebay beenie baby deals at 3AM, but when rich guys start losing money...not a good time to be a Republican fundraiser. Or an elected Republican. It's going to be a brutal sweep for years to come.


Schadenfreude Tuesday

C. Just as most NASCAR fans secretly wish for a bumper to fly into stands to shear off the melon of the cousin you really don't like anyway, I enjoy political debates for those proverbial cringe moments. Really, who goes to a racetrack to see cars make a left hand turn for three hours? A town hall forum gives Political Schadenfreudeans (note: trademark immediately) fabulous opportunity for tires and windshields to fly off and shred the fleshy parts of any candidate. This metaphor makes more sense after a few beers. Trust me. Will Senator McCain's skull go Scanners tonight? Will Senator Obama accidently burst out an audible "I call bullshit, John."? Tune in.

Riddle me this Batman, where on God's green earth do you find a townhall room full 'undecided voters'? Who are these pathetic mutants who need to ask a question to help the 'decide'? Have they been sequestered in a bomb shelter for two freaking years of non-stop campaigning? "I don't know how I'm going to vote yet, I haven't heard anything yet to help me make up my mind..." This nonsense should be grounds for the revocation of citizenship.

J: I couldn't agree more on "undecided voters". Make up your damn mind already. If you don't know what these two stand for already, then you haven't been paying attention, and thus shouldn't be asking questions at a debate.

My gut feeling is that we might see some of John McCain's legendary temper appear. Unlike the previous debate, there's not going to be as much physical separation between the two, and Johnny Mac might actually look at Barack. This could make him lose it. And, for those of you who didn't know, McCain did not look at his opponent during the first debate. This would lose a high school debater points. I just don't think he was able to look at the young whippersnapper that might keep him out of the Oval Office.

He might surprise me, and keep his cool... but if there's going to be a trainwreck tonight, I think this is the most likely one. It is definitely the most entertaining option. For all of Obama's charisma when giving speeches, he comes across much more as a law professor in debates. Verbal pauses while he tries to figure the most correct phrasing for an answer are annoying, but not amusing. A crochety old man erupting into a rant on-stage? That is potentially comedy gold.

I'm keeping the drinking game rules simple on this one- one drink when McCain smiles and it looks creepy, one drink when Obama refers to his opponent as "John". If McCain calls his opponent "Barack" rather than "Senator Obama", chug. It didn't happen once in the last debate.

C. The height of the candidates is going to add some weirdness, but eventually they'll have to look at each other. J., your simple rules are dangerous. But add Obama or McCain say, "The Economy? Hell if I know, we're screwed." Finish the bottle.



C. It's in the wind. Landslide.

1. Check out all the polling data, the Electoral College map ain't pretty for McCranky and the Avon Lady from Mooseville. http://www.pollster.com/ or 538.com or MSNBC.

2. McCain isn't bothering to campaign on the weekend, puttering around the golf course while his party regulars smell an embarrassment? Publicly bailing on Michigan. Woops.

3. Governor Palin practically hanging (in a smug yet folksy way of course) Obama in effigy as a terrorist sympathizer this weekend at a Colorado event. Desperate and ugly snottiness that McCain supposedly swore off.

4. Massive new voter registration that skew Democrat demographic.

5. The Bailout fallout and Wall Street implosion are making 401K's into 201K's, voters are going to punish the GOP with extreme prejudice.

Enjoy the Saturday Night Live sketches America, the Landslide is brewing up a vicious beating.

J: Dammit, C, you always yell at me for breaking out the early predictions... and now I'm going to turn the tables. The election is still a long way off. A month is a hell of a long time in politics, and... hell, my heart's not in it. I agree with you.

But, for the sake of accuracy, I will say that it's fivethirtyeight.com, and they do a really good job of breaking down the numbers.

I also really don't see McCain's campaign managers getting much work after this race, at least not on a National level. David Plouffe will be the "must-have" Democratic strategist for the next decade. He was smart enough to steal the grass-roots internet organization of Dean in 2004, and the "Speed Kills" approach of Carville in '92. He has had the message out quickly, and his ability to keep everything running through the campaign has kept the Obama message on-topic.

Still, it is a month, and it should get more entertaining from here. Our next stop- tomorrow's drinking game... err... debate.

C. Now that I've opened my big, fat trap, expect Johnny Mac to stroll on stage with Bin Laden's head under his arm with a butter knife in his hand.


The VP Debate

J: Well, tonight's the night- the Vice-Presidential debate between Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden. And the spin from both camps is incredible. It's hilarious to watch both camps downplay their candidate's chances while talking up the opponent like they're the second coming of Clarence Darrow.

If nothing else, there is the potential for tremendous humor here.

And, if you haven't seen this, it's worth your time.

C. Snow machine! Snow Machine! Snow Machine!


Caribou Barbie

J: The worst thing about a blog going dark for a few months is that there are far too many things that need commentary, and far too little time to mention them all. But, so far, the biggest surprise of this election is John McCain's choice of vice-presidential nominees.

I don't believe for a minute that Sarah Palin was Senator McCain's first choice as running mate. I think she was a reactionary pick, trying to pander to both the hard-core conservative base and the "PUMA" crowd from the DNC. She's definitely motivated the base- on both sides. Hard-core feminists and the pro-choice community may want to see a woman in a position of power, but not this woman. And I think, before everything is said and done, that Hillary! will come forward and deliver a statement that will do some considerable political damage to Palin.

Here's my overall take on Governor Palin:

I think she's a great politician- for Alaska. The problem there is that the main issues that affect Alaska aren't the same as those that affect most of America. She's extremely sharp on the Alaskan issues- look up some of her 2006 debates on Youtube. She's also smart, cunning, and has a mean streak- all of which are necessary in politics. She knows which lawmakers have slept with which aides, and who has what skeletons in their closets.

I think the big reason she comes off poorly in interviews- and Katie Couric and Charles Gibson aren't exactly the attack dogs of the Washington press corps- is that she hasn't spun herself up on National issues. Oil production and fishing rights? She's good, she's done her homework, it's important to Alaska, she gets that stuff. International relations? Not an issue for her.

And I think she never studied those sorts of things because she didn't expect them to be relevant, at least not at this point in time. She was viewed as an outside contender to get a shot at VP, because there were other women in the GOP perceived to be more "qualified" and "experienced" (which I think are bullshit labels to use- there is no job that can really prepare a person for the Presidency. If we wanted experience, this race would be George H.W. Bush vs. Jimmy Carter). Kay Bailey Hutchinson would have been a far more powerful running mate.

When she runs for President in 2012- and she will, 'cause if McCain loses, she's still the new face of the GOP, while if he wins, I believe he'll be a one-termer (assuming he makes it through the term)- you'll see a much more informed Sarah Palin on the campaign trail. A lot more foreign policy and economic discussion, a lot less about moose hunting and snowmachining.

And that brings up another interesting aspect- she's trying to connect with the "average" voter by saying "I'm a lot like you". The simple fact of the matter is- she's not. While most parents may take their kids to sports, the kids are playing soccer and baseball, not hockey. The average American doesn't hunt moose, nor do they ride snowmachines. (I just really like the word "snowmachine". I'd always heard those referred to as snowmobiles, but hearing "snowmachine" has changed my vocabulary. Snowmachine.)

Finally, I've noticed an interesting phenomenon when talking to her male supporters. Eventually, the phrase "she's hot" comes out. Really? Sarah Palin? While I'm not going to disagree with them- every person has their own standards for what qualifies as attractive- I just don't see it. I think her voice is the deal-breaker for me. I just can't concieve of sultry pillow talk with that accent. Instant deal-breaker. And I think Thomas Jefferson would spin in his grave if he learned that the people of the Republic were even considering voting for someone because of physical appearance.

I have no good conclusion to this, so here's Governor Palin offering honorary Alaskan citizenship to Craig Ferguson.

C. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is simply not qualified to be Vice President let alone President of the entire United States of America. Now it is good clean fun to be Zena the Christian Warrior Executive of a National Geographic wonderland populated with moose, bears, hippies, king crabs, 'snow machiners' (say it again J., 'snow machiners'), oil drillin' good ol' boys along with the cast of extras from Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson's masterpiece Death Hunt, but mistaking a whale for a Russian submarine is not foreign relations expertise. Pageant princess drama, popping out a litter, sitting on the PTA, being an avid speak-in-tongues member of a Church of Snake-handlers and being the mayor of some frozen shitberg are not Leader of the Free World resume builders either. The ink isn't even dry on Her Smugness' passport. And when Katie Couric, a former Today Show hostess, turns you into a dog-ate-my-homework blithering idiot you are in deep moose dung.

After the first Presidential debate (where Senator McCain offered proof that North Korea is evil, "South Koreans are three inches taller than North Koreans."), Sarah Palin was noticeably absent for the post spin fiesta. Joe Biden did his gig filling in the Obama potholes and sharing the happy Koolaid. The Republican team turned to Rudy 9/11 Giuliani instead of the Queen of Hockey Moms. When your own people are afraid of what you'll say, this is not exactly a ringing endorsement of your qualifications. After the whoopee lipstick on a hockey pig feigned outrage 10 minutes of Frothing The Base, Palin appears to have become a liability even among her own campaign team. Is Joe the Lapdog Lieberman whispering in McCain's good ear, "Im still vetted John, I'm still vetted"? And which GOP wizard sold the idea that Caribou Barbie could pull Hilary Clinton women voters?

Overheard at the McCain war room, "We need a bump in the polls! Stat! Who's got an idea?"...

Cue music and 3...2...1..."Yummo! Next week on Rachel Ray: Sarah and Bristol Palin join Lynne and Jamie Lynn Spears to discuss what's really important: EVOO, making little Christians and loving Geebus!"

The October 2nd Vice Presidential debate should be a hoot.

J: Snow machiners.


Running Again

J: My fellow Americans, our long National nightmare is over. C. finally has a working computer again, and not a minute too soon. Because as bizarre as the primaries were, the general election for the Presidency is quickly becoming, for lack of a better term, flat-out weird.

Then again, so is the rest of America. The state of the Union is bizarre. If you need proof, just look at the American Football Conference. The Bills, Titans, Ravens, and Broncos are undefeated. And I won't even get started on the state of the Raiders.

But this isn't Drunken NFL. It's Drunken Politics, and we have enough strange happenings in that realm to keep us busy. I'm not going to get into the economic collapse right now, we can come back to it later. But yesterday, Senator John McCain announced he was suspending his campaign in order to focus on the bailout. Well, not immediately- he will still speak at Bill Clinton's "Clinton Global Initiative" on Thursday. But Friday? Well, by golly, he won't be campaigning Friday. No sir. Country First. It's far more important to get this bill passed. Never mind that he sits on no committee that will be doing the real work on it, never mind that he has not made a single vote in the Senate since April, he's going to go to work! It's not like there was anything major scheduled for Friday. Other than that debate with Senator Obama in Mississippi. The Foreign Policy debate. The one where it was assumed that McCain would make his strongest showing.

There have so far been three really interesting ramifications from this. First, McCain cancelled his apperance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Now, Dave likes Johnny Mac. Hell, McCain announced he was running on Letterman. There's a history there. So, when McCain called and said he was heading to the airport, Letterman had no problem with it... until he found out that McCain was down the street, doing an interview with Katie Couric. It's bad enough to cancel one TV appearance for another, but don't do it on the same network. Dave was irate- and if you haven't seen it, it's hilarious. The fact that Letterman got Keith Olbermann as the replacement guest

Dave on McCain.

Second, the McCain Campaign has suggested moving Friday's debate to October 2nd, and rescheduling the VP debates to a date TBD. In one day, the McCampaign suggested moving two debates. Just... wow.

Third, I don't know if it was David Plouffe or Barack himself, but someone in the Obama camp earned their pay yesterday. When Obama said "It is going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once", he framed the discussion in his terms. More importantly, he acted quickly enough to get in the same news cycle as McCain's announcement. Speed kills.

C. Well J., it's good to be back in the seamy underbelly that is Drunken Politics. Months ago when I decided to give my brain and sanity a rest from Chris Matthews and Fox News by canceling my cable, the Flying Spaghetti Monster decided to test me by pouring a full glass of wine over my laptop. With no Internets or cable TV, I suffered with local TV rabbit ear Action News, the joke known as nightly national news and these strange documents fashioned from trees called 'newspapers'. I now can fully relate to your generic Americanus Ignoramus also known as 'voters'. It is nearly impossible to construct an informed opinion with what passes for media insight. Only Public Television's Charlie Rose and the News Hour prevented suicide. Granted, local TV news helped soothe my information-free anxiety by sharing scare videos of criminals lurking under every bush, the frightful disease of the day and Doppler 8000 pinpoint weather forecasts. The one highlight of old-timey TV are the endless barrage of campaign attack ads. It's helpful to know that one of my US Senate candidates loves rapists and taxes, and the incumbent owns a set of million dollar golf clubs. Yea Democracy!

Speaking of Yea Democracy!, we can thank our red, white and blue stars that the free market is in a state of near collapse. Without the end of Wall Street capitalism and financial giants' implosions, we'd still be deluged with the grand debate whether Governor Sarah Palin is a lipstick-coated pig or a moose-shootin' reincarnation of the Virgin Mary/GILF. While foreclosures and 401K losses bother a few grumpy Americans, WalMart is still open 24/7, so how bad could the Economy really be? Former TX Senator and McCain economic advisor Phil Graham said we've become "a nation of whiners". Woops, a TRILLION DOLLAR bailout woops. Last week McCain said the economy is fundamentally strong. Woops. Now he's suspended his campaign trying not to trip over his superhero cape as he flies back to Washington to save the day from greed mongers. Unfortunately, those selfish bastards in Congress worked out a deal to fleece the taxpayer before he could work his Mystical Maverick Magic. And Obama has the working man's shark, errr friend, Warren Buffet advising him so the little guy can sleep tight. Senator Obama, Man of Change, has the fattest of the fat cats steering him on policy. Sheesh.

Will there be a debate Friday? On something? Anything? Will Obama debate himself? Will John McCain sell his houses to prove his empathy with America? Will Obama smug himself out of the White House by using big fancy words and complicated ideas?

Healthcare? Jobs? Home ownership? Gasoline or Groceries? Guns? God? Gays? Pregnant white teen trash? Maybe a shiny new Cold War because those old ones we are fighting are downright boring? Suspend the election until until the economic boo birds simmer down? Is privatizing Social Security off the table? Stay tuned America.


Ae We There Yet?

C: Drunken Politics North has experienced technical difficulties. Pouring an entire glass of wine over a laptop is bad for web access. Thanks to a charming and very attractive neighbor and the loan of her laptop, this post is possible. On with the show.

The Keystone State is Ground Zero for Hilary. The horrifying debacle that was the debate, (which J. warned me not to watch), tested the metal of any politics geek. Sheesh, what a fiasco. Let's see, York Peppermint Patties is closing up shop and moving its facility from PA to Mexico, and ABC News asks about flag pins and Rev. Wright. And while Obama and Clinton spar over Drivel and Nonsense, McConfused is shoring up national credibility despite the facts. A Bush economy in the crapper, a sub-prime mortgage meltdown, war on two fronts, international disrespect, the death of the US dollar and oil prices through the roof, yet McCain has parlayed the Democrat's sniping and his veteran status into the realm of Presidential possibility. Shi'a, Shiite, who cares, eh? Economy-shomony.

With a bit of luck, Pennsylvania will stick a fork in Clinton and say she's done. Will mathematics ever kick in? This is No Child Left Behind gone mad.


All Politics Are Local

C: We have a lull in the Weirdness that is the Presidential campaign, crazy Preachers, blah blah, race, blah blah sexism, blah blah, War, blah blah, stupor-delegates blah blah...

So here's why the sport of Drunken Politics starts at one's front door. Perhaps I'm lucky or blessed, one of many a community meeting around the area concerning a transit project between Portland, OR and our neighbors across the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA was scheduled for the tavern within spitting distance of Drunken Politics North.

Warm up time. A Knob Creek and a cola back at the cross steet pub. A strange bearded man suggested I have a Greyhound. We have a discussion about breakfast drinks. I stick with the Knob because vodka is breakfast libation. Some Goth kids are playing pool, "Ooo, You Make Me Live" is on the jukebox. Time to cross the street for the event.

Time for a Makers and a cola back. The bartender knows my drink even though this place has only been open for two months. That's class. Politics are interesting here in Stumptown, a quasi-debate in a public room, a tavern, brings in the people. The room was jam-packed with my neighborhood classic yuppie concerned types. I buy two beers for two folks sitting next to me. I guess this was to be an informative community sharing of proposals and ideas for river crossing. Easing congestion, people moving and a metro feel between the Couve and Portand. So the ideas are expounded about a new bridge, expanding/widening existing spans, light rail extention, bike lanes, safety, and a mix and match happy happy everyone mashup. One problem. Washington and the Vancouver don't want tolls, taxes, light rail or bike lanes. They want a fat highway bridge for free. Oregon has different ideas about transportation. What would Tonya Harding do? As opposed to filling out the little blue 'ask your question' cards, I simply blurted out remarks and querys. The Mr. No Taxes Ever Vancouver Dude probably strangled me in his head many many times. Good thing the 'moderator' was smirkingly sympathetic and I know the bar owner and the staff, I may have been tossed for being a heckler. Did get a round of applause once...

I am now convinced it's a bad idea to encourage people to commute to and from Vancouver. Fuck the bridge.

Bonus: A free t-shirt from somebody handing out swag for some Budweiser-sponsored Hollywood flick that premiers next week.

Big Weirdness, it's in your neighborhood too. Who says transportation projects are boring?


A Moment For Reflection

C: It's the Fifth Anniversary of the Iraq War. Here at Drunken Politics we have a strong tendency toward the irreverent and the sublime ridiculous nature of Politics. This is not one of those times. The War in Iraq has warped Geo-politics, damaged international relations on an immense scale and cost billions and billions of dollars with a global economic impact that will echo for generations. Deep divisions among Americans, our allies, enemies, governments and their respective dissenting citizens, political relationships, even between individuals and families, are going to be a massive challenge to heal. And the untold cost to average Iraqis and their children, nearly 4,000 U.S. servicemen dead with nearly 30,000 wounded and the effect on their families and friends and all Americans, is a tragic situation that should never be downplayed. Raise a glass in deep thought and pray we all figure out how to straighten out this Mess.


Basketball Jones

J: It's one of my favorite times of the year- NCAA conference tournament week. I'm always amused by how the big boys- the so-called "majors"- play true to form. The PAC-10 and SEC play a little streetball, the Big XII and Big 10 play like, well, a bunch of Midwestern farmboys shooting ball, the ACC looks like a clinic, and the Big East has all the style, subtlety, and grace of a mugging.

The thing is, once they start dancing for real, every game starts to look like a Big East game, so it may be a positive for them.

And then there's Cinderella. Small schools playing in gyms with pull-out bleachers and cinder-block walls just beyond the baseline. We get our annual fill of estatic students and proud alums, who are so overjoyed that, for a week, their school matters. The brutal reality that they're going to be down to Kansas by 30 in the first half, and CBS will cut away to a more competitive game, hasn't sunk in yet. For all the glory the tourney gives Cinderella, more often 
than not she goes home in a tattered dress.

And that brings us to everyone's favorite thing- their bracket. Who to pick? Who's the dark horse? Why does my job outlaw gambling, when even the boss has his sheet in the pool for $10? No worries, we're here to help. First off, a team peaking late in the season is generally a good pick to make the round of 16. Southern Cal and Kentucky have both been hot lately. Second, a strong but quiet mid-major will go deeper than you think, and Butler looks like this year's "no-name" that can make a run. But for the Final Four, you go with #1 and #2 seeds. UCLA? They look real good. Kansas? History says "no". Memphis? Maybe. I'm not sold on them yet. Tennessee? Let me see how they do in the SEC Tourney before I give my recommendation.

And so on. There's probably more to say, but I've got to get to the couch- the games start soon.

C: I believe I enjoy Conference Championship tournaments more than the Bracket Show. Strangely, it's similiar to the Primary season free-for-all. Everyone knows everyone, elbows and blood flow freely and sometimes it's better to stuff in a guy's face that you've already played for a few years.

That said, the Big East and the ACC in any given year, on any given night, could smoke half the NBA.

I've more to say but the wall of televisions here at Drunken Politics North demands closer scrutiny.


That Time Again...

J: Well, here we are. My least favorite time of election years- the Doldrums. It's like the period right after the All-Star break in baseball- you know who's good, you've got a pretty good hunch about who's coming out of each league... but it's a long stretch until the post-season, and your favorite team is about to play the Tampa Bay Rays. You'll watch, you'll be somewhat interested, but it's pretty much a foregone conclusion how that series is going to turn out.

There's a primary in Mississippi today. Senator McCain will win the Republican primary, although a few hardcore folks will still vote for Huckabee. Senator Obama will win on the Democratic side with well over 60% of the vote. Senator Clinton will give a speech targeted to Pennsylvania voters and will probably not mention Mississippi.

Mike Gravel will not make a televised speech, and we will all lose that potential entertainment.

And then, we wait... until April 22, when we get to the stretch run. I'll be interested to see what Michigan and Florida do in the interim, but it's a long wait. I'm thankful I'm not a Pennsylvania resident, because there's basically enough time until then for Clinton and Obama to try and meet each and every resident of the state and personally ask for their vote. For the first time in my life, I feel sorry for Philly

C: Geezus J. fear not, The Big Weirdness never sleeps. New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer is on the rotisserie for *ahem* enjoying the company of women who may be of questionable moral fiber. Spitzer's rapid rise to national stardom by smacking down Wall Street shenanigans made him some powerful enemies. And you just know he was setting himself up for a monster run at the White House in the future. Now the question is, are sexual dalliances cause for dismissal from public life if there are no actual abuses of power? Bill Clinton? Nope, just dumbass. Newt Gingrich dumping his cancer-ridden wife while she's in the hospital for a fresh girlfriend? Nope, that's just crass. Mark Foley's obsession with Congressional pages? Sure. Rudy Giuliani hiding police escorts' payments for his girlfriend? Sure. Senator Larry "wide stance" Craig tapping his foot in code in an airport bathroom? Nope, that's just kinky. Senator John McCain allegedly boinking a lobbyist with a favorable legislative slant for her connections? Well, we'll see.

And the Obama/Clinton Mess To Success will just get messier with the Pennsylvania Invasion. Mathematics be damned. The Keystone State is Hilary's Alamo. The Last Stand. And we all know how the Alamo turned out. Get out the mop and bucket, it's going to get bloody. "Oooh yeah", to quote Randy Macho Man Savage, we've got the idiocy of seating or kickball do-overs in Florida and Michigan. And the Stupor Delegate fiasco waiting to happen. I'm not sure we shouldn't head to Puerto Rico to gauge the sentiment of the electorate in the 51st State. That's Jai-alai goodness.

Lest we forget, McCantankerous has to keep his mug in the news. Expect Vice President selection speculation to heat up if there's a Big Weirdness lull.

Doldrums? Let's not forget the Western Conference race in the NBA and March Madness. Drunken Politics will be there no matter the contest.

C: And who says Big Weirdness does not rule the day. Geraldine Ferraro is going to be choked out at the next Emily's List meeting for today's comments.


Friday Weirdness

C: Ron Paul has almost quit. The underground internet movement that pumped millions of dollars into his Revolution are shaking their collective melon in disbelief. His delegates are drinking heavily and smoking freedom vegetation not knowing which way to turn. Drunken Politics has the remedy for the Pain and Shock. John Carpenter's They Live, starring the greatest actor of our generation -Roddy Piper. This awesome, ultimate political conspiratorial thriller will help us all get through these troubled times. Dr. Ron Paul, long may you rock.

J: And let's talk about the title to that blimp.

Oh, and OBEY.

C: We need that blimp pink slip. "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum." No need to sweet talk these cats.


Fuzzy Math

C: What a mess. On Kinda Sorta Super Tuesday Obama wins Vermont. Clinton wins Ohio and Rhode Island. Contrary to popular belief and shoddy press reporting Tejas is a wash, not a win for Clinton, because of the convoluted Primary/Caucus WTF methodology to designate delegates. What does this mean? It means Democrats are doing their damnest to screw up the easiest Presidential walkoff homerun in ages. Hilary cannot win based on standard delegate count. Barack can sort of win based on the same criteria. Imagine Florida and Michigan get to play kickball again and Clinton squeaks by on pledged delegates, but super delegates have swung to Obama. Obamaniacs freak out and don't want to vote in the national election because Hope dies with Obama. Or the other way around. Or a brokered convention? Or it comes down to Puerto Rico's game changing swing status? Can you imagine Clinton and Obama duking it out in the be all, end all San Juan debate? Geezus H. Kringle on a Cracker. Oh wait, Dems argue about foreign policy credentials and advertising.

McCain is the Republican nominee, much to the shock of establishment Republicans and the Christian Wing. Bush, the President with the lowest approval rating since Calvin Coolidge or Beelzebub, endorses him. The stock market is getting crushed, oil hits $105 a barrel, the dollar is embarrassing in its global worth, gold near a $1,000 an ounce, the housing/mortgage mess and the Chinese are poisoning our children AND they have the Olympics. (Thank you Nixon and Kissinger.) They may be a couple of Wars going on somewhere. But McCain is maybe giggling with hope that the Democrats may be commiting ritual suicide in a circular firing squad. James Carville is pulling his hair screaming, "It's the economy, stupid!". Oh wait, nevermind.

And Huckabee might get his own talkshow.

Big Weirdness rules the Day.

J: First off, I need to get this off my chest: there is nothing hard to understand about how Texas' Democratic primary works. It's a vote, then a caucus. Two thirds of the delegates are apportioned by the vote, the other third are divided up via caucus results. And you can't caucus unless you voted in the primary. That is not a difficult process to understand. Really, it's not. I just explained it in three sentences.

Second, I am really getting more irate than usual with the state of journalism in this Nation. Delegates at the National Conventions are what makes candidates. It's not votes, it's not States won, it's not anything other than delegates. Senator Clinton's "huge, Earth-shattering, momentum-disrupting" victory on Tuesday gained her, by my math, four delegates. Senator Obama was leading by about 144 before, and about 140 today. Watching the confetti fall reminded me of a wide reciever doing his convoluted touchdown dance... when his team is down 48-13 in the 4th quarter. Any losses to Senator Obama's lead will easily be made up in Wyoming on Saturday and Mississippi on Tuesday.

Now, let's look at the GOP. Senator McCain got his magic number, and immediately went to the White House on Wednesday. Wise move- he had to have his moment with President Bush to satisfy the 23%ers, he did, and I think that's the last time you'll see those two men together until the election. Get it out of the way early, and get it behind you.

Governor Huckabee has put himself in an interesting place. He's probably not going to be the Vice-Presidential nominee, but his concession prize is stepping into the role formerly held be Ralph Reed, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell- he's America's Christian Political leader- even if he doesn't know it yet. I don't think this is a bad thing necessarily. After all, Huckabee brings something to the table that none of his predecessors had- a sense of humor. That will be an interesting twist to watch in the weeks and months to come.

Big Weirdness indeed.


There's a New Sheriff in Town

C: And his name is Dave Grohl.

On what will bring America together: “I think that what the country needs now is a good, smoky barbecue—family style, at least once a week, winter months included. It’s important that people bring it back to cooking over the fire as a family unit. You know what I do when I sit around a grill with my family? I talk. We talk. It’s something about that hickory smoke that brings my family together—and friends. And that’s where I really get to share and learn with my family and fellow Americans. It’s around that grill. It’s two beers, it’s three beers, it’s four beers, it’s 10 beers. This is what America needs—beer, and barbecue. It’s the red, white and barbecue.”


For religious reasons I must throw my full weight and support behind this man and his March to the White House.


Nader's In.

J: But why? I understood the reason for Nader's campaign in 2000, and somewhat in 2K4. I just can't see a reason for his run this time around. Senators Clinton and Obama should lean far enough left for his taste, and John McCain is not the epitome of Neocon.

I don't understand his reasons for running, and I really don't understand where he thinks he'll get the signatures to appear on the ballot. In fact, the only conclusion I can draw from this is that Ralph Nader is an attention whore. Oh, and just in case Mr. Nader is reading this- I voted for Harry Browne over you in 2000!

OK, rant over. C should be around to set me straight shortly.

C: *smacks forehead* Well, Mr. Nader lacks nuance and stealth. He 'hinted' at running a month or two ago, and by 'hinting' I mean I should know better that 'hinting' means he's running. And I'm glad he's running. The Weirdness Gods are kind with their gifting. And part of the Weirdness is that Obama has co-opted Nader's 2000 agenda, I can prove this if anyone questions this concept. Why is Ralph running? I have no idea, it's America and he can?

Here's what to watch for: Democratic leadership and the Media implying that Democratic voters are morons. Every time they perpetuate the mythology that Nader cost Gore the White House, they impune every Democrat who voted for Bush. In 2008, GWB has the lowest historical approval rating of any modern President. It appears that Democrats weren't smart enough to tar and feather Bush the first two go arounds. Now it's popular to think, OK let's chain-whip him and drag him behind a motorcycle. Oooo, look, something shiny...

Can Nader raise the entertainment value of this grim March to the White House? Surely. And that is reason enough.

note: He's tall enough to be President.

Look at the YouTube!

J: Senator Clinton decided to attack Senator Obama for allegedly stealing two lines from Deval Patrick. She then uttered the four words that are the topic.
Unfortunately for Hillary!, this is 2008, and a whole lot of people look at the YouTube.

I'm not saying this to be pro-Obama. I'm not saying it to be anti-Clinton. I'm throwing it out there because I absolutely love seeing smug people hoisted on their own petard.

Tuesday's Ohio debate will be telling. If Senator Clinton comes out polite and civil,
then her outrage over Senator Obama's campaign mailings will seem to be falsified anger. If she instead goes on the attack, then Obama's best choice is to take the high road and act Presidential. Dr. Thompson said something along the lines of "true happiness in Politics is a wide-open hammer-shot on some poor bastard who sees it coming, and can't do a thing about it."

I'd bet Senator Barack Obama is truly happy.

C: I prefer the youtube Obama Mariachi.

I think Ohio's debate will be a Clinton on message, no contention Act of Contrition. It will be challenging to watch, but that's why the Weirdness Gods gave us Bourbon. Stay classy Hilary, burn down with dignity.


Throw the Spaghetti

C: Against the Norge. It's done. Cooked. Ready to plate. Senator Obama has trounced Senator Clinton in Wisconsin*. The Land of Curds and Beer has laid a smackdown on Hilary. Double digits. Good lord, in the book of how to screw up a fine campaign with arrogance, laziness, strategic blundering, spousal hubris, financial incompetence and a plain, remarkable resemblance to the adaptibility of tectonic plates, these people are impressive in their stupidity.

NAFTA? Say goodbye to OH and TX.

How do I fit in here Norah O'Donnell is hot?

Obama runs the table, owns the show. Dam, the man can speech. He'd best enjoy the next few months. The wolves are licking their chops. You thought Kerry's 'swiftboating' was nasty?

A sidenote: At the grocery today, Huckabee's book was in the clearance rack. No shit.

Une autre sidenote: New Mexico finished counting a few days ago. Who knows. "Oh, what's that? A box, filled with what? Ballots?"

*Like all other ahole journalists we're required by law to whine how we did not get the Hawaii assignment.

J: This should not come as a surprise. A wise man said " This has everything to do with geography. Look at the rest of February: Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington, U.S. Virgin Islands, Maine, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii, and Wisconsin all hold primaries or caucuses. I don't see a single state, district, or territory where Hillary can walk in and win easily. He has the momentum, he has the charisma, he has the money."

Some people tried to argue with me... the same people who argued with me when I declared McCain the front-runner. All this tells me is that I should gamble a lot more on the primaries. I have no call on Ohio, but I predict Texas may turn for Obama. The early-voting period started yesterday, and the turnout- predominantly driven by the Obama camp- is the largest in history.

I'm interested to see the smear campaign, though. If the Clintons can't find good dirt on an opponent, I don't know who will. And I really have no clue how to spin an Obama weakness into a McCain strength. The best one I've seen so far is a claim that Senator Obama is the Antichrist. It's a little early in the cycle to play the big cards like that. I wish I was making that up, but throw Obama antichrist into your favorite search engine... it's out there. It's even being tied into the Mayan prophecy that the world will end in 2012.

Speaking of bets, I'm trying to look at the NBA's Western Conference and make sense of things. Will the addition of Jason Kidd be enough to push past Phoenix and Shaq? Will either have enough weapons to handle Kobe and Gasol in L.A.? Will any of the three have the horses to unseat the Spurs? And what, exactly, is going on in New Orleans? Time will tell... and I still like Boston in 6 over any of these teams. But not enough to lay serious scratch.

C: Political Kreskin you may be. NBA, not so much. I've got tix to the Blazers/Boston game on the 24th, my hometown puppies will spank the Celtics. Wait until the Oden era...

Shaq is old and fat and busted up. Kidd's a wifebeater. Never bet against the Spurs.

And it's time to juice up the VP speculation for both eventual nominees.


Merry President's Day

C: President's Day should not be about mattress sales or getting that screaming deal on a used pickup truck. It should be a moment ponder the Weirdness that is presidential history. Granted, somewhere some little kid is memorizing the elected order of the Presidents just to embarrass us all on late night TV. And you scream silently because you forgot Zach Taylor and Millard Fillmore. Nevertheless, the Big Cheese in Chief stories, our stories, are epic. And this American rollercoaster should be cherished for all its glory, wickedness, miscalculation and occasional glimpses of greatness. To our loyal readers, blow the dust off that Encyclopedia Brittanica growing mold in your grandmother's basement and look up any President. Then read some more from anywhere and everywhere. You think today's politics are a dirty, brutal muckfest? Enjoy.

Since this is Drunken Politics, Andrew Jackson springs to mind. What a story. And what an interesting SOB. Ask the Seminole or the Cherokee. Or the Masons. He also threw the greatest Inaugural Party of all time.

"President Jackson was known for opening up the White House to visitors of all classes. His inauguration party lasted for hours as throngs of people from packed streets pushed into the White House. This painting captures the rowdy scene with its broken furniture and stifling crowd. It took a whole week to scrub and clean the White House after the party."


Politics and History are good, clean, ugly, disturbing, messy American fun. Merry President's Day.

And cheers for the King of SOB's, Teddy Roosevelt. There would be no National Parks or National Forests without him. Edward Abbey and I raise a glass to you.


Thursday Weirdness

J: And I'm back. The evildoers cannot control my computer for long. Thankfully, I'm back today, because we had a nice piece
of oddness on Capitol Hill.

In case you missed it, Republican Representatives walked out of Congress rather than voting on whether to hold Josh Bolton and Harriet Miers in contempt for their refusal to testify in 2006. Nothing too unusual there, just political grandstanding. As in, there's no way almost any Republican* wanted to have a vote recorded on this, so they walked out, and said it was because the Democrats would rather push this issue than vote on the FISA (wiretapping) law that expires tomorrow.

That's all fine and good, but the Republicans may have been a touch too smart for their own good. The walkout occured when a Republican called a procedure vote. Oh, and it was during a memorial service for Tom Lantos, a Democrat who succumbed to cancer.

So, let me get this straight- someone from one party called a vote during a memorial service, and then his own party walked out while decrying partisan politics? At first, it would seem a bit disingenious, but the alternative was either opposing the White House OR facing reelection while voting for basically unlimited wiretapping on any American. I think walking out might have been the best card they could have played. You don't get a recorded vote, FISA expires (and the intelligence community now has to get a warrant no more than 72 hours after starting a 'tap), and you get to decry "rabid, partisan politics". Is it slimy? Sure. It's also the smartest move to make.

*I say "almost" because three Republicans stuck around and voted "yea". One of these was Ron Paul. As much as I am amused by the man's supporters, it's hard to argue the courage of his convictions.

C: I think I actually burst out in laughter when I saw this 'outrage on the steps'. I'm sending John Boehner a thank-you pack of smokes.

We must protect the phone companies at all costs. How dare anyone impune the courage of the White House, Bolton and Miers are getting Medal of Freedoms. Dead fellow Congressmen don't count just because they escaped from concentration camps. And the Constitution is a terrorist document, Al Qaeda loves the Constitution.


Is It Over?

C: Thankfully, my partner-in-crime had his laptop attacked by terrorists. Otherwise, I'd have to hear how Hilary's Giuliania-ification was written on the wall. Obama's ground game has put the hurt on Clinton's establishment coronation. Barack crushed the Crabcake. Big. Holy moly, Big.

Speaking of Big Strangeness, back in 2001 I attended a Ralph Nader rally here in town. Cue Obama's Giant Platitude Fiesta in Wisconsin on his Chesapeake victory night speech. Scroll back. The Ralph Nader show: Eddie Vedder played acoustic, Danny Glover and Jello Biafra spoke. Then Nader. Nearly word for word, idea for idea, philosophy for philosophy, Barack has co-opted the Nader paradigm. A new way of non-partisan thinking, collaberation, healthcare, corporatism, the environment, green energy, children first, war policy, workplace policy and living-wage jobs...Yes We Can. Uncanny. It's the messenger. Or maybe its time has come.

J: "It's the messenger. Or maybe its time has come."

It's both. Nader has done a hell of a lot for America, but he can't turn on the masses. Obama can. And after 8 years, people are ready for a huge change.



C: The weekend belonged to Senator Barack Obama. He swept Clinton. Running the table in Maine, Washington State, Nebraska and Louisiana and the all crucial US Virgin Islands. Hilary fired/demoted her Campaign Manager. It would be par for the course if someone kicked the Clinton's dog Sunday afternoon to top it off. And now the bad demographic bucket of cold water know as the Cheseapeake cluster is staring Clinton in the face. Hilary is clicking her heels together, "Super-delegates, super-delegates, super-delegates..."

And Reverend Mike Hucklebee is having trouble with his math skills. Word is Chuck Norris is going to roundhouse kick that delegate count into submission.

New Mexico *cue final Jeopardy theme music* still. Counting. Ballots.

In Other News: Drunken Politics is in serious negotiations to take control of the RP Blimp as he's decided to scale down his campaign. Well, not really. But we want that Blimp.


Friday Weirdness

C: It's Super Friday. In New Mexico. Three days after Tuesday's primary, the Land of Enchantment has taken off its shoes and socks in an attempt to finish counting provisional ballots to determine the final outcome of the Democrat's race. Notorious for being slow at getting an election result, one of these days, perhaps before the general election, Clinton or Obama will find out who won.

Move over Meet The Press, there's a new game in town. Edwards did a sit down interview. Obama and Clinton as well. Now Mike Huckabee today sat down with THE mover and shaker in the political universe. That's right, Tyra Banks. Tim Russert had better start updating that resume.


Mitt quits

Breaking News:

C: Willard Romney announced at the Conservative Political Action Conference that he's bailing out of the show. Maybe his wife took away his checkbook, more likely he did the simple math that he'd have to win all the remaining primaries. His Hair has declined to state whether it will continue the campaign. Mitt can sleep well in the knowledge that he's a new member of Rich Dudes Who Blow Millions On Vanity Politics. Steve Forbes and Ross Perot are buying the welcome aboard drinks tonight.

This is bad news for Democrats. They'll continue the knockdown dragout while Republicans fall in behind the McCantankerous. Is Hucklebee going to have "frank discussions" next?

J: Well, it wasn't hard to see this coming, obviously. I'm seeing ramifications for both parties here, though.

On the Republican side, Huckabee will either drop or surge. I have no idea if the combination of "evangelical" and "true Conservative" will be enough to stop Johnny Mac's juggernaut. If I were running McCain's campaign, I'd try to not find out- I'd call Mike and ask him if the VP slot or a cabinet position would be enough to convince him to drop out of the race. Point out how it helps the GOP- every dollar not spent during the primaries can help during the general.

There's a Democrat who ought to be very upset about this news- Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. McCain and Obama were pulling in the Independent voters in states with open primaries. If McCain is viewed as the sure thing, then those voters will go to where their voice matters, and that's to Barack Obama. Extra percentage points = more delegates, and I expect to see a push by the Obama camp to draw as many of these independents to the polls as they can.

C: Clinton Campaign Boss McAuliffe says they've banked $6 million in the last 24 hours. So much for being broke.

CPAC and the the ultra-right wingers may be trying to squeeze McCain with the three G's. Guns, god and gays, the Fundamentalists want their chunk of flesh. The Club For Growth'ers are ultra-cranky as well. The immigration thing gets their collective panties in a bunch too. Is Johnny Mac's war/terror card enough to get them to capitulate? Doesn't look like it yet.

sidenote: Anything that makes Lou Dobbs froth up has high entertainment value.


Super Repurcussions

J: The Democratic Party's delegate selection rules trend towards the arcane, but it appears that Obama outgained Hillary last night, to the 
tune of about 845 to 833, plus or minus four on each side. Momentum matters, and Hillary knows it. She also can't match Obama's money, and from here on out, Clinton has no more clear-cut "victory" states. To use a boxing analogy, she just threw her knockout punch, and Obama absorbed it. Hillary's campaign plan had to call for her winning New York, California, and Massachusetts big, and Obama had to know that. So, he took the best approach available- he tried to keep it competitive in those states, but did not strictly focus his energies there. This is smart, both for the primary and the general. As long as the Dems have a decent candidate, none of those three are going to vote Republican. So, Barack took his message into states like Missouri and Georgia, which will be more competitive for their electoral votes.

I think Hillary's wave may have peaked. Clinton needed to be seen as the eventual nominee by this point. Instead, she's just a viable candidate. I could be wrong, but I expect Senator Obama to start to pull away soon. This has everything to do with geography. Look at the rest of February: Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington, U.S. Virgin Islands, Maine, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii, and Wisconsin all hold primaries or caucuses. I don't see a single state, district, or territory where Hillary can walk in and win easily. He has the momentum, he has the charisma, he has the money.

On the Republican side, apparently Willard had told his people that California was his "make or break" state. Getting beat by 8% in your "make or break" state will generally cause one to have one of those somber meetings with staff. Money may not be Mitt's problem, but even rich guys have to hate spending millions to get 34%. I think Romney and his well-groomed hair will be leaving us soon.

J: Late Breaking News:

Senator Clinton has loaned her campaign $5 million from her own bank account, and sources are reporting that some of her senior staff, including campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, are working this month without pay.

Rudy G may have set the precedent for poor campaigning, but Hillary is showing signs of following the same gameplan. Focus on the big states, ignore the small ones, go for the big delegates. If Clinton has a plan B, she must implement it soon- or this race will be out of her grasp quickly.

C: It may be a mistake to stick the fork in Clinton just yet. Delegate count is a wash after Fat Tuesday. Raw popular voter numbers are a wash. The Obama Kennedy/celebrity endorsement did not win either MA or CA, not even close. Super-delegates are establishment insiders which favors Hilary. If and when Florida and Michigan seat their delegates guess who gets them. The Clinton ground game in Big States is still alive. Caucuses-schmaucuses. If it goes down to Ohio, Texas, the Chesapeake cluster or Pennsylvania don't bet against the Senator from New York. And Obama has been put on the proverbial pedestal, expect the Media to start tearing him down as quickly as they built him up. And we haven't seen how she runs as a perceived underdog. This is too fluid for a momentum call said the counter-intuitive skeptic.

The HuckaSurge is going to HuckaSputter. He's running out of Evangelicans, it may be why Willard stays in the game. And side-splitting humor includes the Rabid Radio and TV/attack book/religion machines braying about McCain's liberalism.

Maybe it's just me but the pundits breaking down "exit polls" by race and gender is creeping me out.