So John McCain finally picked a running mate and I couldn't be happier. Why? Because of the sheer novelty and intrinsic comedic value that both candidates are supplying. Obama says, "We need change, no more old school politics" and then picks an old senate warhorse whose was elected to the senate when nixon was in office and obama was twelve. Then McCain who says, "Obama doesn't have enough experience to be president" goes ahead and picks the 2 year governor of Alaska whose only other experience was being mayor of a town of 6200 people. There are high school principals that hold more sway than that. Ummm...don't these two listen to themselves. I understand that its supposed to bring them votes, Barack was having trouble with white males and McCain is having trouble with women (well actually I guess not seeing as how he married that fox Cindy and her inherited millions). But all that not withstanding doesn't it at all mater that today was McCains 72nd birthday and that a VP pick for him is all that more important. If not because, Palin would be a "heart-beat away" from the presidency but also because if he wins he would almost certainly only serve one term which would make his VP the presumptive nominee next time around. Ummm...let me get this mom, PTA member, small town mayor, small state governor, vice-president??? If that was reasonable then every cashier at wal-mart is only 4 years removed from executive VP in charge of cheap stuff. Let the craziness that will be the republican convention begin assuming they can let go of their guns and bibles long enough to organize themselves (Thanks Barack). Patrick OUT!!!

Bubba Speaks

So the CNC (the Clinton National Convention) has been underway now for 3 days with the biggest night of all tonight when we finally get to hear from barack. Up to now, we have had two nights of clintons and one night with Michelle. Michelle, I thought, gave a speech which was heavy on niceties and light on content. She came across as both affable, kind hearted, and also as a strong woman with a deep devotion to the dreams of her husband. This of course was in stark contract to my own image of her as a gun toting terrorist as depicted on the cover of the new yorker some weeks back...sometimes I can just be so impressionable as a member of the "unwashed masses". Next of course was Hillary who valiantly decided to put party before self and proclaim support for Obama both in her speech and also in putting forward the motion to proclaim Obama the nominee without vote. I know that people will see this as a mighty act of political heroism and sacrifice. Personally, I see it a bit differently. Hillary fought hard to gain the nomination (and in my opinion should have gotten the nomination) and now has acquiesced to the will of her party. She clearly still believes that she would have been better for the country than her recently crowned senate colleague. This being understood, she should have stood up for that ideal and made her voice heard. Make sure the country knew and her party knew that when Barack's lack of experience, nebulous social directives, and naïveté fueled foreign policy come back to bite us all in the ass...we might just wonder what Hillary would have done. In stead, she plays the good party loyalist and does what's expected...moving ever more in lockstep. Ugh! That being said...she had a couple of good lines in her speech that allowed her to lighten up her normally harsh and robotic tone. "Sisterhood of the traveling pant suits"...absolutely classic self-aware and self-deprecating humor. Bill followed last night with a speech of his own about "foreign policy." He, of course, got a long standing ovation for his work as president. Why though, would they choose him to speak on foreign policy? If his presidency was good for anything it was his domestic policy that I will freely admit helped bring about a wide degree of prosperity. His foreign policy on the other hand...ignored: the world trade center bombings, embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, the attack on the USS Cole, and lastly the Khobar towers bombing...all of which were warning signs of what was the come eventually in the form of 4 hijacked airliners on one fateful September morning just a few years later. Furthermore, he was a strong believer in the presence of weapons of mass destruction inside Iraq...referencing on more than one occasion nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs in connection with saddam husssein. Barack was against the war in the first place and has been a harsh critic of its motivations (mainly the former which were never found...except for the chemical weapons and the already found biological weapons materials in the form of anthrax, botulism toxin, and small pox...buts thats something for another post). Back to Clinton, who also twiddled his thumbs waiting for UN and NATO approval while 12,000 Albanians were killed and 800,000 forced to flee their homes due to a system of ethnic cleansing instituted by Slobodan Milosevic. In stead, we signed accords and watched as our "diplomatic approach" went up in the flames of thousands of Kosovo homes. But least the Europeans liked him. I guess that's why they picked Bubba to speak. Just like Barack...his policy is short sighted and reliant on multi-lateralism to a fault...I can't wait. Tonight we get to see the big O himself. Standing amidst faux-greek columns in a massive stadium. Again, this makes perfect sense...the republicans attack him for being a rock-star like, vacuous celebrity talking head. The democrats response...bring in rock stars, move it to a stadium, and erect and elaborate show around one man...good move. Patrick OUT!!!

Let the Conventions Begin

So the olympics are over. USA Basketball "redeemed" themselves well enough and will be taking home another gold medal this year, though not without a valiant effort on the part of the spanish. Now of course, we can return to the world of nightly political news and roundtable discussions of political rhetoric instead of Michael Phelps' records. Of course, coming up this week is the Democratic National Convention in Denver. I have been wondering what Obama and Biden might have new to say at this point in the race. I am also interested to see what becomes of all the hillary clinton supporters (a sizable portion of whom still say they will not vote for Obama). If I were Obama, my first order of business would be to thank my supporters (i.e. the media). Without them, he would be just another first term US senator with limited governmental experience and a slew of questionable acquintences. I also wonder if Obama's brother is going to make it there this year. I know some news groups found him living in a hut in kenya. Apparently he is a semi-militant muslim extremist, nicknamed Roy. Well one things for sure...i'm not trusting anyone named Roy any more. I'll add that to my list of terrorist names like Osama and Hussein. I could be wrong but I think that this relationship could be even worse than Clinton's(Bill this time) cocaine dealing half-brother, Roger. Come to think of it, I guess I'll add that to my list of bad seed names. Osamas, Husseins, Roys and Rogers of the world...I've got my eye on you. Anyways, something tell me that neither Roger or Roy were invited to this years convention...though I could be wrong and I hope I am because isn't family what the DNC is all about in the first place. Who would let politics get in the way of that? I'm also looking forward to hearing senatory biden speak so we can play the first round of my new internet game show, "Where have I heard this speech before?" The game is simple really, contestents will try to nail down the true source of Biden's speech from here on out. Options will include: talking points memos, meet the press appearances, previous speechs, and last but clearly not least...someone else's speech. I'm thinking about having life lines to the effect of Wikipedia and Google searches, and perhaps the proceedings from the british parliament. Bonus points for catching biden actively plagiarising. Of course in a week, we'll have our dose of the republicans which will likely inspire similar ire for your reading pleasure. Patrick OUT!!!

Roger Clinton

Roy Obama

Biden Plagiarism

Something light

So with all the political upheavel goings on in regard to the presidential election, russian invasion forces, and energy costs being turned upside down I am going to summarilly disregard these things...even put aside my scathing attacks on Joe Biden who I destest more than any other senator and talk about something a bit lighter. We are nearing the end of week two at the olympics and the redeem team has been in top form. They looked a little weaker in their last game against argentina (which I couldn't watch live but saw later in the day). Still though, they win by close to 20 points and showed strength down the stretch with key performances by bench players. They advance tonight to the gold medal game against spain who looked like amateurs against them the last time they met. Spain led by Juan Carlor Navarro, and Pau Gassol has some seasoned NBA players and some top tier European talent but they show no signs of being able to stack up against the "redeem team." On a side note, I hate that name. I know its a play off of the 1992 "Dream team." But still, we don't need redeeming. We had a little slide 4 years ago because USA basketball forgot that playing defense helps in winning games and that team work is not just 5 guys on the court at once. Even still, the United States has one 12 gold medals in 15 attempts with an additional silver and 2 bronze medals. They boycotted the 1980 olympics so we didn't medal there but they have gotten a medal in every olympics they participated in. The US is to basketball what the Chinese are to Table Tennis. One loss, does not make us ripe for redemption. I guess what it does do is make the US realize that they should take more seriously the high expectations that we have here for them to be the best in the world. Its a shame that we don't take the international game more seriously. I understand that there are big NBA contracts out there that get in the way of all that but every so often we need to remind the world that there is no need for redemption here. More so that every win over the US in a major competition should be considered an upset victory. So tomorrow morning (2:00 am for those interested) I hope that we utterly destroy the spanish national team and put to rest the naysayers who say that the US can't play the international game. Furthermore, I think that the US viewing public should make just as big a deal about the FIBA world championships as we do about the Olympics and make sure that we send our best every four years there too so we never have to hear about the redeem team again. As a side note, Spain is the defending FIBA world champion(we came in third, no Kobe, Kidd, Boozer,Prince, or Redd)...time to make them look silly. Patrick OUT!!!

Sweet Gig

"From the time Barack Obama was sworn in as a United States Senator, to the time he announced he was forming a Presidential exploratory committee, he logged 143 days of experience in the Senate. That's how many days the Senate was actually in session and working. After 143 days of work experience, Obama believed he was ready to be Commander In Chief, Leader of the Free World, and fill the shoes of Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan. 143 DAYS. I keep leftovers in my refrigerator longer than that."

-Cindy McCain

Well dear Cindy has a point here. But lets not also forget that this took place over the course of just more than 2 years. That comes out to just more than 1 day in session/ week. Wow! How do they do it. I mean seriously, between raking in kickbacks and ripping off the taxpayer with "campaign trips" I'm surpried they have time for that 1 day/ week. I know that some of you are saying, "Oh patrick don't be so hard on them...they have committee meetings to go to that counts for something." If you said that to yourself turn on C-span and watch a committee meeting. Actually, watch anything on C-span. More often than not you will see either an empty room or a media circus that is supposed to be a committee meeting. Otherwise, you will see an empty floor of thje house with one person speaking. For some reason, every time I turn on C-SPAN (it happens more than you might think) its Rep. Dennis Kucinich speaking. The guy may be a nutball but he certainly does put the time in to get his voice hear by...NO ONE. Furthermore if you think that our erudite representatives and senators are actually spending their time drafting legislation, researching the facts, or anything else that might benefit the country then you have never met a "congressional aide." These are the workhorses of congress running all around trying to get signatures and draft important legislation while their "do-nothing" bosses live the high life. Now, our congress has set a new record for the lowest amount of legislation passed in the last 20 years. To put that into historical perspective, the so called "do nothing" 80th congress that Truman railed about worked almost 100 days more than our current congress. Its a sad thing to know that we put our faith in such a small group of people who claim to be devoted to public service who can do so little and have little more concern than being re-elected and scoring political points.

So what do I advise we do about all this. Well when election day rolls for the new guy. "When in doubt vote incumbents out." I was channeling Johnny Cochran right there. Patrick OUT!!!


So the UK's guardian newspaper (perhaps my favorite overseas source for news and a touch of gossip) recently asked the US presidential candidates to list their top 10 favorite songs. Normally, I would glance at such a list and then move on from the silly concept having gained nothing. BUT... McCain listed ABBA amongst his favorite song artists...TWICE! Thats a full on 20%! If you let me list my 500 favorite songs, ABBA wouldn't make the cut. Even when I'm all alone with nobody watching me, Dancing Queen still sucks. Obama might have reverened wright and (terrorist) fist bumps but now McCain has his own sweedish pop Willie Horton which seriously calls into question his judgement. I really hope that McCain pulls a Sister Souljah moment on ABBA and that he takes time at the convention to "denounce and repudiate" them. I just can't wrap my head around how a millitary man who spent years in a hanoi prison being tortured and beaten by the north vietnamese can come back and list Dancing Queen as his #1 song. I mean seriously, I would take "The Chicken Dance" over this. I think it might also be a sign that he has officially given up on the "black vote" and apparently the "not deaf vote" as well. For top 10 favorites (as I can think of them this moment) are below

1. Cocaine - Eric Clapton / J.J. Cale
2. Caroline in My Mind- James Taylor
3. Got my Mojo Working - Muddy Waters
4. The Weight - Grateful Dead (and many others)
5. Fools' Moon - Government Mule
6. Georgia on my Mind- Ray Charles
7. Aint No Sunshine- Bill Withers (Buddy Guy Cover)
8. Woodstock - Crosby Stills Nash and Young
9. At Last - Etta James
10a. House of the Rising Sun - The Animals (and many others)
10b.Amazing Grace - Blind Boys of Alabama

The tenth spot is shared because they share the same melody and so I can't really pick one over the other. Also I realize that the list includes no classical offerings. Perhaps I will make another list in the future of my classical and operatic faves for when the mood is right. Patrick OUT!!!

Diatribe and Dribble

So the conservatives (read: evangelicals) in this country are all crazy about this religion forum that McCain and Obama participated in over the weekend. I watched most of it and was largely unimpressed by either one. Actually, I wasn't just unimpressed by the candidates I was surprised that this pseudo political dribble even made it on air. Supposedly it was going to be a milestone in the campaign were both candidates try to sway the religious vote to their side. Obama went first with the pastor asking series of questions in particular subject areas interspersed with light hearted comments after the candidates answers. He really should have just shut up and let the candidates answer. It was like he was talking to a child trying to work their way through a math problem..."good job their little guy, you're almost there...don't give up." Either that or he was letting his congregation know when an answer had met his approval so they knew what to think without having to specifically decide for themselves. Obama was also asked to define what "rich" was. He said anyone making more than $250,000 per annum. Seems reasonable to me but what about his repealing tax cuts for the that only people who make more than that level. Or is he repealing tax cuts for the middle class the way his plan would suggest? Hmmm....a contradiction? He also quoted bible verse which beyond my usual aversion to such things from political candidates made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. I know why he was doing it but there is only so much pandering I can take in one sitting. Unfortunately, Mr. McCain is also skilled in such things and he was up next. He was also pretty dull and less than inspiring, though I could have guessed that was coming. He made a special point of mentioning his 25+ year pro-life record and that his would be a "pro-life presidency". Ummm...OK. While I disagree with that particular stance for more than a few reasons I can perfectly understand why it is so very important to other people with their own particular world views. But I started to wonder...why is it that the media always talks about the democratic party taking the black vote for granted and they don't talk about the republicans doing the same thing for the evangelicals. Instead, the evangelicals are the party "base." Why is it that the minority vote in this country isn't also the democratic party "base." Or even the notion that republicans totally pander to the evangelicals in this country and make it a one issue contest over abortion. I know its a big issue to a lot of very prominent and very religious people but surely they must also care about other things beyond abortion and gun rights. I was thinking about adding in the hastening of rapture through the rebuilding of the temple but I'm still not sure I believe that as a motive for the christian right. Besides the point, what it comes down to is that both political parties have sunken to the lowest common denominator and no longer try to persuade the middle of the road "swing votes" instead they try to "get out the vote." That is, they want to energize the people who already agree with them (because its easier than thinking) to get out there and just vote. How I long for a political debate in this country where parties and candidates spar over the issues with data and dialog rather than diatribe and dribble. I wish that november was next month so I could get my vote out of the way and then begin to recover from the depression that will inevitable accompany it. Patrick OUT!!!

Olympic Fever

I LOVE THE OLYMPICS. Just had to get that out there. I mean seriously, perhaps the best invention ever. Perhaps only following democracy and modern rational thought...hmmm, a greek connection. Wow, I should have been an ancient greek...i bet thats what I would have gotten on my aptitude test in high school (if we had to take those things). I wouldn't want to be a modern greek least not today, the US destroyed their basketball hopes in a mere 40 minutes. Back to the olympics, I was trying to put together why I like them so much. I think its because way deep down I am an overly proud american supremacist that really believes that we have something special here not easily found in the rest of the world. Of course, the olympics and the ubiquitous medal tables only serve to confirm that notion. Of course, my Americo-supremicist ideologies are not at all based on athletic prowess but sometimes its nice to just kick ass and take names. For all the shit we get from the rest of the world, every four years we can take a few weeks to shove it back down their throats with an F-U from the U-S-A. Ok, maybe that goes a little far but after watching the Men's 4x100 freestyle relay and their outstanding performance against the french...I have never been more proud of the US athletics. The novelty of having the french team say they were going to destroy the US was just beyond words. It was like they were playing into the worst french stereotypes meanwhile, the americans come from behind to snatch away victory in spectacular fashion. It was like watching a pro-US movie on the big screen but it was real. I mean this was the "Independence Day" of olympic sports and Michael Phelps was Will Smith, but in this one...the French couldn't blow up the white house. Gymnastics is another story of course, the US men were pretty much out of gold medal contention from the start...the women were a different story. After watching some of the competition it was clear that the US-CHINA battle was going to be tough. At the same time, it seemed that the two teams were getting along really well on the side lines. I wondered what they did in their off time. I bet the US team was listening to music, watching movies, just relaxing. The chinese team...maybe getting their training wheels off their bikes. Taking their baby teeth and hiding it under their pillow at night, or maybe being read a bed time story by the coach. Hmmm, 16 years old? Each one or combined? I guess it doesn't matter now, Silver medals are nothing to be scoffed at and I guess we'll never know the truth but it certainly seemed a little strange. Tonight, Phelps goes for #5...should be good. Patrick OUT!!!

Paris for President<>

You should all check out the link above and look for the paris hilton campaign video. Actually, its a response to, "that white haired dude" (John McCain) who used paris hilton in one of his ads against Barack Obama. All in all, I would say that this was the most effective satire of the campaign yet. Its a shame that it took Paris hilton to top the likes of letterman, leno, colbert, stewart, and even THE NEW YORKER. In brief, Paris declares her candidacy and threatens to "Paint the white house pink" if she is elected. She also gives an outline of a soundly reasoned energy, I'm not kidding. Signing off with, "see you at the debates bitches." If I were in charge that would be how all presidential candidates signed off from political ads. Of course, the other sad thing is that if she were to go to the debates she would already be doing better than some political candidates. Namely Obama, who, by and large, refuses to take questions from audiences whenever possible. This is in stark contrast to McCains townhall meetings where hours go by until all questions are exhausted. I wonder if the obama campaign is worried about the potential of dirtying the image of powerful public speaker. Apparently, Paris Hilton isn't worried about such things...OK, we all know that Paris really doesn't care what any of the "poor (making under 500,000/year)" people think. If she did, then she might be more like Obama and keep her mouth shut. Of course, then we might not have ever had the video above. With that, Paris for President '08. I figure if I'm going to throw my vote away in a state that doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of electing a politician I believe in...I might as well throw it as far away as possible. Patrick OUT!!!