So, basic opinions about Tailbunny are locked in.  Her debate was a loss — notwithstanding the expectations game.  The only way opinions on her become unlocked is if she does an actual, honest-to-God interview with somebody who is not a raving talk-show loon.

And as we have seen, Black Eagle is pwning Geezer on the whole economic meltdown thing.  The unemployment numbers are locked in, as is the fact that Dubya has seen the economy go down, hard.  Thus, the third debate with DJ Bob “Where You At, Fort Worth?” Schieffer is probably not going to do Geezer much good.

And thus: Tuesday night may just be for all the marbles.  It’ll be in Nashville, with “undecided” voters asking questions.  This being the South, you’d have to think that the MAVERICK will have a home-court advantage.  But, after the jump, I have a thought on what Barry can do — particularly because McCain has announced that the last month will be all about the 60s radical, the slumlord, and Rev. NAH NAH NAH. In short: jump that bastard — take the last club out of his hand and (rhetorically) beat him with it. Barry — BOOMAYE.

If Barry has the stones and the skill to carry this off, this may seal it:

“Sen. McCain, over the last few days, your campaign has said that it intends to change the subject away from the mismangement of the last eight years and the economic meltdown that you, as the Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, did nothing to change — meaningless oversight, no regulation. So let’s talk.

“When I learned about Rev. Wright’s comments, I voiced my disappointment. When he continued, I disowned him. Meanwhile, I have denounced Bill Ayers’ involvement in a terrorist group — whose operations occurred when I was in the second grade — and I have not said a word to him in years. Virtually nobody in America will ever hear from either of them again. Nor will people hear from, or care about Tony Rezko again. He’s going to jail. Good.

“But the American people, if you become President, will hear from Phil Gramm and Rick Davis, who had a hand in creating the financial mess affecting millions of homeowners and investors, and who are now running your campaign. And they will care about continuation of failed Bush policies by them and others in your inner circle, as America sinks further into a hole it should not be in. When will you disown them? When will you disown the policies that have driven this great country to the brink of total ruin?”

This would certainly do a lot to blunt the effect of the continuous loop the the McCain people are going to run over the last few weeks of the campaign. There’s no way that Barry can fail to respond — the droning of these attacks will, if unchecked, evaporate this lead and, perhaps, permit the Republicans with getting away with it… again.

But then of course John McCain is an honorable man, as evidenced by his experience as a POW, so Barry’s screwed anyhow.

Thoughts on how Black Eagle can knock out the Geezer on Tuesday are most welcome.


I’m prone to the same impulse, but everyone’s been ragging on Barry for not ragging enough on Geezer, yet Barry keeps winning. He’s playing for the middle, and his judgment is that the middle doesn’t want the red meat we all enjoy feasting upon. Let Geezer spin.

In other words: Rope-a-Dope.

McCain is going to go all out swinging for Barry’s head because that’s what gambling pugnacious short guys with tempers backed into a corner do. PG’s amazingly predictable.

What Barry has to do is keep cool and box PG in logically so that all he has left is admit Barry’s right or look like an ass. McCain’s shown time and time again that he’s more than willing throw himself into an ambush much like another US American disaster, Gen Custer.

Naw, pretty much hammer his economic advisory group and his lobbyist ties when he starts blabbering on about bringing change to Washington again.

To paraphrase Sorkin, “John’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t get it; it’s that he can’t sell it. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, John McCain isn’t the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it.”

Not sure my Graphic Intervention works, but I’ll see whether something more inspiring comes to mind later. Can’t have a regular feature without a logo-ish thingy!

I think that Hopey is doing a brilliant thing. It is because he doesn’t go after the oldster, because he’s respectful and tries to talk about what’s going on that he’s doing so well. I know the racism is dismaying – I’m sure that’s what’s holding him back – but he is slowly gaining. This is exactly what he did with Hillz. And I was desperate for him to beat back at her attacks and he didn’t. But it worked.

He really does seem to be the real deal and the more people get to know him the better they like him. This is what happened at the first ‘debate’. And I thought that Biden was brilliant the other night.

I Still Can Haz Hope®

@ManchuCandidate: gambling pugnacious short guys

You’ve read the Rolling Stone piece?

I’m still assimilating the themes, but it seems to come down to Short Guy With Daddy Issues. Or, if that’s too long for the bumper sticker: Spoiled Brat.

Every time I’ve bitched about the Unicorn’s campaign not fighting back enough, not being aggressive and really taking it to PG, he keeps gaining. I’m loath to make any further suggestions or lament about what they should do because the campaign appears to be run by bright enough people who are ready for the character assassination bit.

@Lyndon LaDouche: you’re on it; it’s the same thing he did with Clinton; he just sat back and let his opponent dig his/her own grave.

@nojo: What so many of us arm-chair quarterbacks forget is that Barry says nothing that has not been polled and focus-grouped, and its not like his campaign people just spin theories based on logic and surmise, message crafting is quite empirical. Only mavericks come up with last minute hunches and run with them. And jump on a plane to DC and look like an ass. And appoint a shrieking flirting know-nothing fundie GILF hockey-mom as VP candidate.

The unicorn’s people are not guessing or betting, they KNOW that they will get the people in the middle to turn to Obama by refraining from attacking McCain. Or, I should say, by attacking him very carefully and subtley.

No, Gore and Kerrey’s problem was not lack of aggressiveness, it was lack of charisma. They were boring, awkward, losers, they spoke badly, they had bad voices, they were pedantic and their syntax ghastly.

You shoulda seen the message poll I worked on, I was the researcher and oppo guy, I had to research anything and everything on our own guy and the opponent, and then turn anything significant I had found into a series of attack phrases and responses-defenses. People who get these polls mistake them for push-polls, because my campaign’s poll had about 20 different vicious attacks on my own candidate, just so we would know what to look ou for.

Obama is gonna continue excatly as he has. He will only hit directly at McCain during the debate if McCain really goes off the rails and tries to stick a shiv in him. One thing Obama might do is a kinda McCarthy-hearings “at long last, have you no shame, pyschogeezer moment,” look for that during the debate, it could be scripted a thousand ways, but the gist will be, “John, I expected better from you, I never thought you were the kind to wallow in the gutter.” Lip biting.

If McCain is panic-spewing vitriol and lies and does make any direct and ridiculous attack during the debate, Obama will hit back very hard, again, though, turning it to something like, “How desperate are you, John, that you would tell such odious lies.” He will use the words “erratic,” “wreckless,” desperate.”

Let’s get some nice 527 group to run some ads:

Bible Spice supports a violent secessionist movement, even addresses their convention as the key note speaker, a movement whose leader was killed while buying bomb making materials in 1993 – that’s 21 years after William Ayers placed his last bomb.

There was once a financial crisis, the likes America had never seen, causing every bank in Texas to fail and prompting a huge government bailout, at the center of that crisis was John McCain and his lobbyist pals. Some things never change.

@smapdi: Those flares we’re shooting off seem to be working. That’s one more MIA bracelet I can remove.

@smapdi: “Bible Spice” — me likey.
Some things never change.: Indeed. I’ve been reading Frances Trollope’s Domestic Manners of the Americans, written about her sojourn here in the late 1820s, and what she says about our ca- RAY-zee religion and politics is still dead on. Haven’t decided yet if that’s encouraging (since we’re still here) or depressing.

Another lost one has found the flock. Welcome.

I didn’t read the profile, but I can sadly relate to some of PG’s feelings being a short pugnacious guy myself. However, I don’t carry the Everest sized chip that he does on his shoulders. Definitely daddy issues. And a risk taker in the worst sort of way (for the sake of taking a risk not the means an end goal.)

Prommie might be right. Barry’s the Road Runner and he has to go is “Beep Beep” while Wil E. McCain gets caught up in his own defective machinery.

@Mistress Cynica – “Bible Spice” isnt mine, and you have gone over my head with your book learnin.

@Manchu – Awww someone remembered me. It was good to find you guys. I thought there was a pogrom or something.

@Promnight: I’m starting to wonder whether Saturday wasn’t the McCarthy Moment — whether accusing your opponent of consorting with terrorists is the final straw for voters tired of the bullshit.

That, plus the fact Geezer’s campaign can’t stick to a consistent message — they’ve pulled the “Maverick” ads, for example, and they were against Change before they were for it. It becomes a blur to people who don’t follow each twist closely.

And finally — what got me thinking about that election-night post — Geezer’s disorganized ground game. It’s not just pulling out of Michigan, it’s that every anecdotal report I read compares hapless McCain ops to a well-oiled Obama machine.

I still fret about disenfranchisement, but a lot of what Barry’s doing right has nothing to do with rallies and ads and debates, and everything to do with stuffing a bunch of butts in buses and driving to the voter-registration office. While Geezer throws one Hail Mary after another, Barry keeps grinding out first downs courtesy of the best offensive line on the field.

@nojo: I spent the day in apple country Pennsylvania, deeply rural, close to Gettysburg and the place was awash in Obama signs. I think the ground game will remain solid, but would like to see Biden deliver something akin to what CB scripted. Barry can’t enter the WH without having smacked down publicly this background bullshit. If and when he takes the mantle, don’t forget the 24/7 noise that will be disgorged from Fix Noise, Rush, etc.

@ManchuCandidate: The Rolling Stone Epic — long but illuminating.

It tells the life story of John Sidney McCain III — that III being the operative part, since McCain Jr. and Sr. were both four-star admirals.

And there’s a passing comparison to another implicit Trey, George Walker Bush — whom, it’s noted, was a better pilot.

@nabisco: No, it won’t be a world of rainbows come January. The American electorate is as split as it ever was, the difference this year being that McCain is making an awful case for himself.

Nor will Rovians simply roll over and play dead. The early rap against Clinton was that he didn’t have a “mandate” (Perot split the idiot vote), which of course was quickly forgotten when Shrub won on a Supreme Court technicality. They’ll make up something to undermine Barry’s authority, and of course Barry will do something disappointing that disheartens his supporters.

But hey, politics as usual would be an enormous improvement over the past eight years. And that’s the soft bigotry of low expectations.

A good read.

I’m supremely disappointed that John sat in the ready room while others charged right into the flames to stop them. I also noticed they skipped the whole part of the “wet Start” he allegedly caused.

@Promnight: And right on cue, here’s Norman Mailer on Sarah Palin Joe McCarthy, April 30, 1954:

The McCarthy hearings are being televised these days, and I catch them from time to time. If you’ve never seen McCarthy you’ll have a surprise when you do. What all his critics fail to admit is that he has enormous charm and sex appeal, and a characteristic man’s man way of talking which dominates everyone around him, so that to a person ignorant of politics, he would seem just wonderful. The result is that it’s truly terrifying to watch him work, because you wonder how can this man be stopped? Yet, on the other hand it’s possibly not as bad as it seems, for I think a lot of his support is not active enthusiasm for his ideas, methods, etc., but simply the response of ignorant people to his vast and clever charm. The hope there is that when all the showdowns come, his minions may be startled to discover the ideas behind this guy they think is so great.

@ManchuCandidate: Yeah, I was waiting for the description of how McCain started that carrier inferno.

But it’s a lesser detail in the larger picture — not only ducking into the ready room, but quickly hitching a chopper ride so he could regale Johnny Apple with his heroic story. Call that, um, parachuting out.

@nojo: I just cracked the spine on my dead tree edition, and read the introduction to the piece after dinner. I’ll finish it in between offensive sets by the Steelers this evening.

I don’t recall World War II having near the weight in 1975 that Vietnam continues to have on us today. That’s what we get for losing a criminal war.

(And for you 2040 bloggers decrying the dead hand of Iraq in your election, you heard it here first. Now go out and find some water.)

@nojo: Do you think CB and her Jeebusy throng will let us live in peace and harmony if Barry’s elected, long enough for us to live just to 2010, if not 2040? Nay, I say they’d consort with members of the Axis of Evil (TM) to obtain snukes and destroy us all.

@nojo: Mailer had the machofratmisogynist thing going, didn’t he? I look at McCarthy and see nothing but reptillian shitbag, but Mailer couldn’t help but admire the drunken brawling macho of the asshole.

@nojo: The uglier rumor is that McCain literally started the conflagration by doing a wet-start, basically, if you “flood” a jet engine, and then start it, a huge flame will shoot out the back of the engine, and the story is that older pilots would haze newer pilots by purposely doing this, so that a huge flame would, most times harmlessly, come shooting out toward the plane behind them, but on that occasion, the flame cooked off the rocket that shot forward, hit McCain’s plane, and started the disaster off. There’s a well developed theory on this, and it says that McCain was immdeiately airlifted off the ship with those journos to prevent him being lynched by an angry crew.

Alas, its probably not true.

@nojo: Exactly. Anything of the size and scope of a presidential campaign is mostly about logistics.

@FlyingChainSaw: Strategy is for amateurs, but logistics is for the pros.

@Promnight: That New Yorker collection of Mailer letters is an interesting read — you see him slowly turning into an idiot as the years wear on. But in 1954 he wasn’t yet His Generation’s Hemingway Wannabe, and while we don’t see Sex God Joe in the kinescopes, Mailer’s writing before the terror burst. Il Duce also had that going for him, as did Ronnie. And did you see that charmer Musharraf on the Daily Show?

We the Enlightened can see through all of them, but let’s also acknowledge the power they wield. We’re damn lucky Talibunny was kicked out of the nest prematurely.

@Promnight: The wet-start rumor may well be true — just unconfirmed by the standards a legit publication has to follow. You can imagine a lawyer blue-penciling the passage in the draft, for example, because the available sources aren’t sufficient to the charge.

But the version as printed is damaging enough: McCain hides out while others heroically fight the blaze. McCain rides the first helicopter out and relaxes in Johnny Apple’s Saigon digs in order to get his version of the story in the New York Times. Then as now, McCain’s ambition trumps McCain’s humanity.

@redmanlaw: Thats what all the logistics people I worked with thought, Oh, it was our GOTV that won it, not the fact that the other guy was caught fucking a sheep. Come on, guys, pull another all-nighter cutting out walking routes. The logistics people I knew were arrogant masochists who prided themselves on their all night hours. Blah. I was always half convinced that having a crowd of half drunk teamsters out knocking on doors was more likely to scare people than get them out to vote. But I am just an arrogant strategist. He he. Lets spend the night sandwitching the other guy’s signs, that’ll show him, we’ll even put up 20 signs in front of his headquarters.

Rah rah.

@Promnight: Every problem is a nail, and every professional is a hammer.

But as someone who would most likely fall in with the media strategists (Go Ducks, Tucker!), I recognize their myopia towards the broader operation. Great ads, guys! But where are the aisle displays?

@smapdi: Or get Sylvester Stallone to call out Psychogeezer for allowing *communists* to take him alive. “Wha’, fucking guy is in Hanoi and shit and he doesn’t see the opportunity to seize and garrison the commie capital? Wha’ kinda fucking puke doesn’t just fucking go for it?”

@Promnight: Our Dean strategy sessions before the New Mexico caucuses were fueled by copious amounts of wine with my vegematarian marinara sauce over spaghetti in my dining room. All the establishment hacks who were for Hillary in this cycle were in the Kerry camp and would not budge for endorsements. We were doing well with urban (such as we have “urban” in northern New Mexico) white libs, but Dean’s appeal dropped like a rock once you left city limits. So much for the ground game. Your Teamsters (for which Mrs RML’s uncle worked for) with some walking around money etc could not have hurt. I retired after Kerry got the nomination and pissed away the race, leaving things in the hands of The Professionals.

@redmanlaw: Of course, all the marketing and logistics in the world couldn’t save New Coke.

Tonight’s Mad Men really raised issues on aging and raised the creepy bar in a sort of subtle way.

@nojo: Nojo, New Coke was not a mistake, it was deliberate. Before New Coke, all Coke was made with cane sugar, real sugar. Coke wanted badly to switch to corn syrup, its much cheaper, but tastes quite different. They went to New Coke, people hated it, so then they offered Coke Classic, but it was not the same as the old Coke, it was made with corn syrup. What they did was create an interregnum, noone drank the old original Coke, and then immediately drank Coke Classic, so the difference was not noticed.

Ever since, Coke is not Coke. You can get real, original, genuine Coke two ways. Mexican Coke, imported from Mexico and sold in Mexican groceries, and Kosher Coke, with a blue bottle top, sold around the time of the high holidays. They are still made with sugar. There is a real difference, cane sugar Coke is brighter, sharper, corn syrup is cloying, not as sweet, not as tart, coats the mouth, not as refreshing.

This is no conspiracy theory, its the straight dope.

Forgot to add that it also isn’t as easily digested leading to the rise in obesity and Diabeetus Two.

@ManchuCandidate: @Promnight: Boourns to HFCS and Fake Coke. And grade 2 corn.

@nabisco: How ’bout those Phillies? (Yes, I am going to write that on every thread.)

@ManchuCandidate: I did not know that. I don’t drink the shit, I seek out mexican coke, Coke is a special occasion to me, at most once a week I drink a Coke. It was designed as a hangover cure, which is cool.

My Doc tells me that diet coke, which I do drink, as a medicinal measure to stay awake in the afternoons (its so much trouble to fire up my little espresso maker) actually can make you gain weight, something about the shit in it interfering with your body metabolizing the calories you do take in.

Coffee and Booze, thats all there is in the world worth drinking, coffee and booze.

If I could only get a fucking espresso, anywhere, at any price, the equal of what I got anywhere and everywhere in Romegirl’s part of the south of France, I could be a happy man. Back when I travelled there, you could get the lunch special for around 7 or 8 bucks, and it was 3 courses, and a half carafe of wine. As an amuse bouche, they would give you the tinyest little dish of peanuts or potato chips when you sat down, It makes you appreciate potato chips when they are doled out like caviar.

But anyway, after a three course lunch, a wonderful green salad, something amazing like duck confit, and ice cream, served with a pint of wine per person, you would tend to doze. But no, order that espresso, just a couple of tablespoons of the richest, blackest, creamiest, tastiest rocket fuel you ever had, you were revived and good to go. They always serve it with a little tiny piece of chocolate, and never figured out if you were supposed to melt it in the espresso, or just eat it afterward, I tried both ways. Romegirl, what are you supposed to do with the little piece of chocolate? Are there jobs for american lawyer-lobbyists?

@Promnight: No, no no! Not diet coke! Shit goddamn (get off your ass and jam).

ADD: I’ve been sober since 8/11. I don’t know why I’m proud of that, but I am. Maybe I am an alcoholic after all.

Hmmm….for those of us waiting for Unicorn to go after the Keating Five angle, I suppose we wait no more.

@JNOV: I’m trying to chill as well. Love the drankin, hate the hangover.

/transforms into GWB

@JNOV: Not after reading tonight’s posts. I also understand that there’s a lot of sodium in DC, so — you get thirstier.

Enjoying a cup o’ tea and metallica while writing a brief. “There is none more black” tea.

I see them from the floor in 16 days.

@redmanlaw: Are you taking the boy?

Sodium too? Christonacrutch I can’t catch a break! I love Good Earth Original Organic, so I’ll stick to that.

I didn’t know Mustaine got all saved and wouldn’t tour with some satanicish band. And he had a spiritual adviser touring with him? Not my Dave.

Lars is a priss.

@JNOV: The boy IS going to see “Tallica with me.

I knew Mustaine’s arm was all fucked up and that he quit for a while and disbanded Megadeth. Did not know that about the Jeeziz stuff. It didn’t come up in interviews I saw this year for Gigantour, which passed through ABQ over the summer (missed it).

I’m listening to Lars play his ass off right now (along with everyone else) on “All Nightmare Long” on Death Magnetic.

@Promnight: The problem is that artificial sweeteners are so much sweeter than sugar that people who consume large quantities of them become desensitized to sweetness. They then overcompensate for this when eating or drinking things that contain sugar and ingest far more calories than they would otherwise. It’s really awful. I try to avoid the stuff as much as possible, and have seriously curbed my habit of ordering iced tea at restaurants and sweetening it with Splenda or whatever. If only they served honest to goodness sweet tea around here!

@redmanlaw: Oh, Lars has mad skillz, but he’s a whiny baby.

Sister Sharon Falconer said this today, to rousing applause (despite the fact that she incorrectly said she was somewhere in Marin County, instead of dreary Burlingame):
“You can do the math … or just go with your gut. … Barack Obama is going to raise your taxes,” she said, again repeating the questionable charge – one which has been challenged by independent fact-checking organizations – that Obama would raise taxes on those making more than $42,000 a year.
Now, the way I interpret that statement is that you can either believe facts, or believe the fantasy she is promulgating.
Holy Jumpin Jehosephat. Does anyone actually believe her crap?

@Ewalda: Guess I should have added that to the Postmodern Times thread.

@Ewalda: What? And shatter our precious anarchy?

@JNOV: I hope he seriously takes this tack on Tuesday, although he just has to sit back and let McCain fall into it.

(Honestly, I can’t tell if your glee is sarcastic or not.)

@Signal to Noise: This is truly fascinating — and that site’s as slick as everything else the campaign has done. That kind of polish takes time.

Will he bring it up Tuesday? He may not need to, and he may not want to, although I’m sure he’s prepared to. I suspect they’re planning on letting the media do the work for them — note that message, “full documentary available at 12:00 p.m. Eastern.” They’re staging it as an event, timed for the evening newscasts to have just enough time to absorb it, and the McCain camp just enough time to sputter a response.

And the coverage likely spills into Tuesday, overshadowing and informing the debate. Terrorist Pal is way old news by then.

Damn, they’re good.

@Signal to Noise: And just arrived is the Obama email announcing the Keating website — the rollout has begun.

Geek footnote: “” was registered Sept. 25 — the Thursday McCain parachuted in save the economy.

@nojo: The polish and the elbow work it takes to have an effort look that good — that is not something you would have seen in the Gore and Kerry campaigns — partially because the Internet was not quite at a place where such a rollout and effort was possible technically, but also because those campaigns weren’t exactly savvy on how to manage such efforts.

I saw the link on TPM earlier tonight. This is sneaky good as far as strategy goes.

@Signal to Noise: Stay tuned — I’m bundling all this into a fresh post…

@ManchuCandidate: I love the “Barry is the Road Runner” metaphor. Great!

@Promnight: Bravo on your take on Mailer’s vulnerability to McCarthy’s nonexistent charm (rhymes with smarm). That quote reminded me of Peggy Noonan’s maunderings about her heroes. Both of them are deeply disgusting.

@lynnlightfoot: But somehow, I love Mailer’s work, even though he was a clown.

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