Thursday, January 8, 2009

Paying to play all night long

The Nut: Richardson won’t be Obama’s Commerce Secretary because of a scandal that won’t quiet down quickly enough. It shouldn’t cripple him politically forever, but it has blocked his present ascension. The Albuquerque Mayor’s race has begun with Michael Cadigan, Richard Romero and Debbie O’Malley jumping into the fray. And finally, we’ll tell you what you’ll learn over the next year or two.

Why Richardson will not be Commerce Secretary

Whatever happened to being able to just take a nice trip to L.A., and seeing the Lakers and some old friends? Who invites the Feds along?

If you’re a Governor of a tiny state that solves international crises and saves hostages, you should at least be more suspicious than others. Campaign contributions from CDR Financial Products higher-ups and a contract CDR won from the New Mexico Finance Authority have a federal grand jury making sure everything was in order and no one got any special treatment due to a $100,000 donation to Richardson’s Hispanic and Native American voter registration campaign Moving America Forward. Let’s briefly go through the full situation and assess the likelihood of it moving forward, why he will not be Secretary of Commerce and what his future should hold for him.

The withdrawal of his nomination is the simplest part of the whole mess. The process of this grand jury will take at least a couple more months. With Blagojevich blowing up an enormous mess in Illinois and people already being up in arms about pay-to-play politics (pay-to-play: I’ll give you a big campaign contribution, if you give me a good job/state contract/political appointment/etc.), Richardson is a victim of circumstance at the very least.

As Commerce Secretary, he would have been at the forefront of the $1T bailout. Just imagine the outcry of Limbaugh and Hannity screaming “you’ve got this shady career politician that’s under investigation for pay-to-play politics and he’s the one that’s deciding where ONE-TRILLION-DOLLARS (cue spooky sound effect) of my hard earned tax money is going! We’re getting ripped off . . .”

Obama needs cabinet members ready to help his proposals pass without being mired in traditional political scandals. Obama has no time to sit and wait for an instrumental position for economic development to be confirmed. Maybe if Richardson would have been selected for the post he deserved – Secretary of State – he wouldn’t have anything to worry about . . . Pay-to-play politics are just everywhere! In New York, Hillary Clinton is getting checked for the very same thing as Richardson:

But she’s just going to run foreign policy, so what does he pay-to-play deals from her time in the senate have to do with her negotiations with leaders around the world? We’ll get into the conflicts of interest raised by the real Clinton’s foundation donor list and the nations they lead some other time.

Ok . . . but he’s still guilty, right?

The Governor has a pretty well rounded case thus far and the grand jury isn’t even looking at him yet . . . they’re just talking about the most powerful names that have surrounded him over the last six years. So here’s the full history of Big Bill and CDR Financial Services.

David Rubin, President of CDR Financial Services, helped out a couple of Richardson’s efforts in 2003 and 2004. He and his company gave $100,000 to various Richardson campaigns and also footed the bill for Bill and his crew to attend the 2004 national convention. At the same time, CDR was bidding on a contract with the state of New Mexico and won a job worth $1.6 billion to the state and $1.5 million to CDR in business. CDR won the bidding process for re-negotiating interest rate swaps for the state (you have fun figuring out how the hell those things work on your own and email me the answer).

The other half of the contract dealing with investments went to a joint venture of Salomen Smith Barney and Ryan Labs. The joint grow earned the highest score overall with CDR earning the second best of the six firms that bid on the contracts. They tied on the section involving interest rate swaps for the best bid and were awarded the contract.

Now we face the tricky part of sorting through how CDR’s bid earned their high marks – were those results cooked by an influenced finance authority? Did Bill send Dave Contarino (chief of staff at the time and manager of the campaign for President) with orders to give to the NM Finance Authority? Was Mike Stratton (close associate of Richardson’s and heavy-hitting politico) hired by CDR because that he could secure the contract with the state? Is it all simply mere coincidence and due to the incestuous nature of New Mexican politics? This is what the grand jury is trying to figure out.

Romero, Cadigan, O’Malley and someone else

Meanwhile, in Albuquerque, the town’s biggest political names and making maneuvers in preparation for a bid at the Mayor’s office in 2009. Liberal north valley city councilor Debbie O’Malley has thrown her hat into the ring to block Mayor Marty’s vie at an unprecedented, previously-unconstitutional third consecutive term. Moderate west side councilor Michael Cadigan thinks he would be best fit to not only end Marty’s reign at the only office he can win but also replace he poor conservative governance with more backward proposals. And former state senate president and two time candidate for congress Richard Romero would like to resurrect his political career at the behest of Marty (now that’s a career in Albuquerque politics – take down south valley boss Manny Aragon AND mayor-for-life Chavez) Oh yea, and Marty wants four more years so he can qualify for the city’s retirement plan.

The good news for Albuquerque voters is that the race shouldn’t bother them nearly to the degree of last year’s campaigns because of the new city finance law. Candidates are much more restricted from accepting any money from contractors doing business with the state or much of any kind of business. There will probably be a few groups that form outside of the official campaigns that run third party ads, but not nearly to the degree of 2008. So relax and look forward to laughing at Marty as he defends his red light cameras.

What 2009 and the future will hold

It wouldn’t be the beginning of a new year without an attempt to see what lies ahead. Here are a few things you should be able to count on in the next year or two.

NM will be better sheltered from the recession because all 5 members of congress are Democrats working in the majority caucus in good connection. Their freshman status (excluding Bingaman) will surely drag their abilities down a bit, but they will treat us better than if the Albuquerque and southern congressional districts would have stayed Republican.

Richardson will have plenty of headlines during the legislature about his terrible relationship with the Senate. The budget will be a horrible point of contention due to the drastic shortfall in revenues and the battle for capital outlay money will bring the legislature and the Governor’s office to blows.

Political observers will do their best to create drama in the Governor’s race, but the closer election day comes, the more obvious it should be that Diane Denish will be New Mexico’s first female Governor. Sorry Heather, we just don’t like cry babies.

According to Ben Simon, Israel will stop beating up Gaza before Obama is initiated. Another week and a half of bombing? That sounds about right for Israel.

Sarah Palin and Joe the wannabe Plumber will never go away. Alaska’s senate primary could feature the beauty pageant queen against the republican incumbent, Lisa Murkowski. Since being exposed that Joe would qualify for one of Obama’s tax cuts, Joe has been doing everything a normal plumber does – maintain his blog and reporting on the Israeli-Gaza fight. Their love-child is sure to be on the way.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fart jokes or Politics?

The Nut: Governors are not as untouchable as they hoped and Blagojevich and Richardson are proof-positive of just this. Coloradoans’ energy rates went up despite voting down the measure that was supposed to cause just this very thing. Minnesota still can’t figure out who won their senate seat. And Jared Polis demonstrates how you truly connect with your constituents.

Hold your fire!

Its December and thus, its time for political punditry to retrain their aim from lambasting those who aspire to exploit the political process to that, that is involved in the game of Politics through tasteless reference only. Yes! In celebration of the secular observance of the holiday of your choice that just happens to occur conspiratorially close a couple important days on the Christian calendar, we’re taking a breather from blasting corrupt governors to instead, mock the comparison we often reserve for those governors. As so succinctly states it, we observers and digestors of all things political enjoy three pastimes: politics, potty jokes and getting rich quick. And when we run the world, we’ll get rich in record time through astronomical sales of a truly terrible potty joke.
. . . someday.

Goober-natorial Maneuvers

So let’s open the toilet bowl and see which politicos come swirling to the rim! First and foremost, Rod Blagojevich (pronounced: “Rod B.”) is enjoying the final few days that he can honestly call himself the Governor of Illinois. His glory days of pay-to-play politics have passed and after failing to strong arm the President-elect, Roddy is recognizing that the price is never right when you over bid in this game.

He is showing signs of coming to his senses as he releases a statement through his lawyer that he will not make any appointment to fill Obama’s Senate vacancy. Detractors will argue he’s only doing this because the U.S. Senate has told him they would reject any appoint he made. But hey, surrendering at the tip of an enormous gun, is still a surrender, right?

Now the state of Illinois has to patiently wait as that same lawyer goes back to his team and devises some form of agreement that trades Blagojevich’s resignation for a lighter penalty for all of his less than gubernatorial behavior. Obviously, he acknowledges he’s at the end of his rope, but he’s not letting go of his last handful until they replace the shark tank with a more cushy landing pad.

And who could blame him? If you had run around high on the smell of your own farts thinking you were king of the world (see: South Park episode on Smugness) and now faced decades behind bars, would you throw your hands up in acceptance of the 30 year term or would you try to reason with your prosecutors for maybe only 5-10 years? The court of public opinion already came to an easy conviction, but this is only the first step in resolving the problem. The real courts will take much longer constructing their cases and it would take far too long to litigate against him to remove him through power this way.

Instead, the state of Illinois will attempt to find a compromise that provides Blagojevich with a lighter sentence in exchange for his acceptance of the fact that this is the end of his road. He’ll step down and get out of the way. He’ll probably spend a little time behind bars, but not as much as his favorite reporter from the Chicago Tribune would have wanted.

The state legislature can impeach him, he can resign, it’s a matter of time. So let’s be reasonable and allow the man that was able to elevate himself to the highest ranking office in the state of Illinois, yet fail to recognize the office’s immeasurable inferiority to that of the President (-elect or not) to peacefully implode upon himself. We can come along with the dust pan and sweep up his mess soon enough.

More goober Governors

Blagojevich is only the best-known of the Governors currently surrounded in scandal. New Mexican Governor Bill Richardson has been nominated to run the Department of Commerce for Obama and with such an opportunity surely comes political scandal. Just in time for his confirmation hearing, announcements of his possible involvement in another pay-to-play scandal emerge.

Richardson is accused of trading state contracts for campaign contributions . . . AKA being a politician. Honestly, what is the point in dumping big bucks into some self-absorbed politicians voter registration machine if your company isn’t going to get this money back in the form of business? Furthermore, if you knew that giving money to a politician that supported your ideals would preclude them from legislating in support of these ideals, would you still give them money?

Joe Monahan nailed the significance of this news in his Tuesday addition of his perspective on New Mexican politics:

“The betting line is that Bill makes it through Senate confirmation hearings relatively unscathed, but the R's now have reason to cause some unpleasantness. . . . It's assumed that the Obama team looked at what the feds are looking at and believed it would not stop Bill from getting in the cabinet.”

That’s how smart, savvy, not-on-their-way-to-jail politicians work. Unlike the when McCain went hunting for a Governor with sex-appeal (oh settle down! that's an non-sexual allusion to Palin's ability to garner more support than McCain, not her rack. Grow up you perverts), Obama did his research, analyzed the skeletons on display in Richardson’s closet (
during viewing hours only, hours posted nowhere, reservation required, viewers will supply own light and repelling equipment to access and view said closet. No cameras, cell phones or lucid memories) and concluded that while he’s no saint, he’s also not the devil some people believe him to be.

Assuming as Monahan did that this probe won’t come to full fruition, Richardson will assume his second cabinet position and up-and-coming New Mexican Democrats will break the elevator as they hurry to the fourth floor of the Roundhouse to get their turn to beg Governor Diane Denish for a chance to become the state’s next Lieutenant Governor. The halls located behind the scenes aren’t wide enough for all of the running around that is going on. Hector “Kojak” Balderas is thought to be a favorite for the position. Other notables include Lawrence Rael and some people have even had the lack of sense to utter the name of political rival Mayor Marty Chavez. These people have quickly forgotten that he currently has an open campaign for Governor in operation – a campaign that is set to go head-to-head with Denish in 2010’s primary season. Last I checked, the two weren’t too keen on being in the same room together. Rael is the candidate of aged experience. Balderas is the up-and-coming young guy at the party. Barack Out With My Cock Out always favors a fresh face over a seasoned veteran: give us Kojak!

Pardon me, Cletus

And while we’re discussing Governor’s, let’s not forget about the greatest lapse in campaign research history and dig back up the great clip of St. Palin, savior of not enough turkeys.

Ok, so one of her asinine press hits isn’t entirely her fault. After seeing bigger news operations function and how they will often send one staffer to an event like this to take footage, conduct interviews and run everything on their own, its no surprise this happened. The cameraman/reporter probably saw the turkey coop and figured it was her best background for the pull-aside interview that would follow the formal ceremony. She probably made this conclusion during or before the formal ceremony when Cletus the Butcher was on his lunch break. Then once the interview was rolling, Cletus finished lunch and got back to work . . . slitting the necks of soon-to-be Thanksgiving feasts in the background of the shot. Since the reporter was likely on her own, she didn’t have many options aside from grinning and bearing it.

. . . and what unknown reporter from Middle of Nowhereville, Alaska passes up such a golden opportunity for national fame and glory? None that have ever earned 3.4 million youtube views and counting.

Amendment 58 = rate increase NO MATTER WHAT

For any Coloradoan that endured the ads of the political season as they tried to enjoy a fair game of Jeopardy!, I am sure you’re plenty familiar with the advertising campaign that was run against Amendment 58 – the severance tax increase on the oil and gas interests that enjoy great profits through the exploitation of Coloradoan resources. The ads repeatedly reminded us that voting to increase taxes on these companies would only increase the rates we, the consumer paid in our monthly bill. Now the election has passed. The amendment failed. Oil, natural gas and coal prices have fallen. And yet, Xcel just sent out a notification that our rates – us the consumers, the same ones that were supposed to experience a tax pass-through if the bill succeeded – have experienced just that. Our rates went up despite the tax break we provided to our energy providers. Coupled with the written notice that quoted an exact dollar figure that we can expect to shell out, Xcel got a few local news reporters to state that Xcel rates would soon be going down for all of us. We will believe it when we see it.

The only thing left to do is ridicule you morons that just took money out of your own empty pocket. You just got duped by mega-millionaires AND you’re already getting stuck with the bill. Colorado has some of the lowest severance tax rates of any mineral-rich mountain west state. Defeating a measure that would have kept the money earned from Colorado’s minerals in the state has made you – you the fool that was carelessly misled by a few poorly written ads – poorer. Don’t bitch about Obama or tax and spend liberals stealing your paycheck, you just took a chunk of change out of your own account.

You just got jacked! Next time you get worked up about a proposed tax increase, remember that day in 2008 when you voted to remove money from your own wealth to give it to an energy corporation that will never share this money with you again.

The final countdown

Oregon finally woke up the hippies in Portland and got their ballots counted and were able to make Jeff Merkley the newest Senator from the Beaver state. Alaska sobered up and realized they were about to reelect a convicted felon and swallowed their Republican pride as they elected Mark Begich to be their first democratic Alaskan Senator since Mike “Drunk Uncle Frank” Gravel left the chamber. Georgia’s Senator that earned his seat by defaming a double-amputee Vietnam veteran won the run off election to ensure the Democrats wouldn’t hold a 60-seat majority.

There’s only one election result still to land. In Minnesota, things have gotten fuzzier and fuzzier as the canvassing board re-counts all of the 2.5 million votes cast to elect their next Senator. Out of 2.5m, the race has come down to anywhere between 1 and 800 votes depending on what source you read on what day. Franken has enjoyed beneficial rulings from the State Supreme Court, but the latest judgment has left both campaigns scratching their head in bewilderment of how to proceed forward. As it currently stands Franken is ahead by an insignificant margin and it will be Coleman to file the first lawsuit contesting the results.

Today, the Court ruled on how the improperly rejected absentee ballots be counted. While, us laymen might expect that an improperly rejected ballot would be, by definition, counted in order to guarantee suffrage to every eligible Minnesotan, its hardly that simple when a Senate seat is at stake. After all, as Gov. Blagojevich said, “a Senate seat is fuking valuable thing. You don’t just give them away for free.”

There’s no end in sight. Both campaigns have equal reasons for optimism as well as dread. But no matter what, if you’re going to put a volunteer on the phone to raise money, make sure they know more about the current standing of the race, than the author of Barack Out With My Cock Out does. Just yesterday, your’s truly, Ron Domino, received a request for some campaign cash to help them take their case to the courts. As I rudely forced the phone monkey off of his scripted notes and into the unpredictable abyss of a real conversation I came to learn that this man knew nothing more than was printed on the page in front of him. Campaigners of America, please take note: you should never be outsmarted by the guy in the cushy chair in the 30th row; you’re the ones playing this damned game!

Check back in March for the results. Minnesota can keep its fingers crossed that what happened to New Hampshire in 1974 does not befall them. Let’s all hope we’re capable of successfully counting all the way up to 2.5 million and avoid a re-vote.

Congress is working?!

Woa woa woa! Only fools read this page and interpret all claims literally. No, our Congressmen and women aren’t doing much more than lighting fully-secular holiday trees and attending secular holiday parties right now, but there is one man that is making waves despite not even being sworn in yet.

Boulder, Colorado’s Congressman-elect Jared Polis made a splash on the national stage as he became the first openly gay man elected to an open seat, but he’s not leaving that as his legacy. Jared knows there’s no better time than the present to address the problems that burden us. In the Washington Post, Jared opines about how Congress could best serve in the recovery of our economy. Step 1: send legislators with law degrees back to work writing law and have them stop reading business plans from failed American corporations.

In addition to Jared’s well-planned approach to addressing our financial crisis, Jared is raising the standard for openness and accessibility of an elected official. He didn’t hire a crew of webmonkeys to run a fancy online community based on his work. No, instead he’s writing his own words on his own blogs and bringing us along to more briefings and meetings than ever before.

His staffers can’t stop him from responding to every curious constituent and there isn’t a person in the world that will ever convince him that the bloggers, trolls and sock puppets of the political internets are insignificant. Between his regular postings on Coloradopols, myDD, DailyKos, Square State and his accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and My.BarackObama, he’s permanently plugged right in and always eager to talk with any interested party – be they a voting constituent, a die-hard member of the opposition, an underage student or a foreigner interested in our governmental workings, he never hesitates to fill you in on the latest news from Washington or CD-2.

Any other public servant – from dog catcher to President – would be wise to take note and follow his lead. If rumors emerge about Jared possibly getting in trouble for sharing too many of our government's secrets (the very same government we established to be transparent and open to the public), consider him doing a better job than any of the other 534 in those chambers.


So we seem to have failed miserably to come up with a fart joke. And as we failed to come up with any cleverness, we regressed into the traditional assault on the fallible politicians. Maybe next year! Please send the coal over, our stockings are ready for it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It’s almost over!

The Nut: Ads do stop?! Enjoy the final week of ads with this guide to a fun filled election night. If you still haven’t voted, you must read the list of needed victories. And who doesn’t need a drinking game for election night?

Would you like to buy a monkey?

Are you really ready to watch TV without political advertisements? Get the credit card out of reach and be prepared to see products you may actually want to buy. But before it’s all gone, let’s pay homage to everyone that has provided us the entertainment of the last year of politics.

For the stragglers, you’re not too late, hell, you can even still count yourself as doing it early if you hurry. Voting has been going strong and if you don’t do it by Tuesday, Nov. 4th, enjoy being shunned for the coming two years. If you’ve still got a ballot to be counted, follow this handy guide through the good and the bad from New Mexico to Alaska.

President: Obama. It’s your choice of being on the cool or lame side of history in this race.

New Mexico Senate: Tom Udall. Do you want the up and coming progressive supporter of renewable energy, a set timetable for ending the war in Iraq and at least making an attempt at establishing an affordable health care system or the guy that thinks those ideas are socialist dreams?

New Mexico House 1: Martin Heinrich. For those in the Albuquerque area, the choice is the pretty boy Dem that’s never held a real job in his life. The candidate that didn’t chair Bush-Cheney’ re-election bid in Bernalillo County. He’s also not the candidate that gave up his job because Gov. Johnson wanted to end the war on drugs.

New Mexico House 2: Harry Teague. Who says all Dems are the same? This guy made his money from oil, but still knows how to invest in clean fuel technologies. Everyone in southern New Mexico needs to give Steve Pearce an extra slap on his way down and put his old seat in Democratic hands.

New Mexico House 3: Ben Ray Lujan. The easiest part of the solid blue New Mexico plan.

New Mexico State Senators: Tim Eichenberg. Anyone living in the midtown/near heights area that can vote for Tim Eichenberg, please do and help this progressive Democrat unseat a conservative Republican.

New Mexico 2nd Judicial District, District Attorney: Kari Brandenburg. Torraco is just like Palin: Not trustable with a vote.

New Mexico Constitutional Amendment 5: Yes. Think about it. The candidate for Governor picks the Lieutenant Governor he or she runs with, so who else should pick who the sitting Governor works with?

Other good races around the nation:

Colorado Senate: Mark Udall. Just think of the synergy freshman Senators and cousins Mark and Tom will have. Coloradoans should also think about electing the dood that supports the Department of Peace:

Colorado House 4: Betsy Markey. In the only competitive Colorado House race, Betsy Markey must replace the Heather Wilson of Colorado. For the Sarah Palin lovers out there, this is a cute politician.

Kansas House 2: Nancy Boyda. She only had one term, there’s no point in throwing her out just yet. Give her another few years before you pass judgment.

Kansas Senate: Jim Slattery. If this race is close, expect massively gargantuan accusations across the nation about voter fraud from the defeated right. But Jim’s a good guy so vote for him if you get the chance.

Alaska Senate: Mark Begich. If there’s an Alaska reader out there, please ask yourself “do I want my state represented in the Senate by a convicted felon?” If not, vote Begich!

Minnesota Senate: Al Franken. Just so we get to the do the ‘good enough, smart enough’ joke one more time. Also, because Coleman has gotten in his share of trouble.

Texas Senate: Rick Noriega. If you’ve got a vote in Texas, use it to oust old-timer John Cornyn. We won’t hold it against you if this race doesn’t tip Dem, but if it does, look out for a wild night.

Mississippi Senate Race 1: Ronnie Musgrove. This is step one in Operation Isolate Alabama.

Georgia Senate: Jim Martin. Step two of OIA. Let’s see the Obama turnout machine kick in!

Kentucky Senate: Bruce Lundsford. Step three of OIA. Give the House Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell the boot and let another Republican take the reigns in the Senate.

Oregon Senate: Jeff Merkley. If there was one Republican Senator that could be spared, it might be Gordon Smith of Oregon, but without Merkley, the dreams of cloture are out of reach.

Montana Governor: Brian Schweitzer. Brian earns the Barack Out support just for an excuse to post video of the best campaign commercial of the year.

California Marriage Amendment: No. Attention Californians! Don’t give away all of the perceptions people have of you being a progressive, smart, forward-thinking state with one stupid vote you will soon come to be very ashamed of. See the way future, see a tolerance for gay marriage.

Down Ballot Races: Go to your county clerk’s website and find a sample ballot (to the googler!) Side note: if your county clerk doesn’t provide a sample ballot for you to view, we suggest hiring a new county clerk. Look up the races you will be voting on. Then call up the League of Women Voters and see what they have to say about the different judges, amendments, bond issues and various other questions on the ballot.

There’s plenty of action to watch across the nation on election night. The size and breadth of the Democratic wave that’s about to land will dominate, it’s just a question of how wide the destruction is felt. With that being said, it would be irresponsible to proceed further without predicting the future for everyone too eager to live it.

The official Barack Out With My Cock Out 2008 Election Predictions

Presidential popular vote: 55% Obama, 44% McCain 1% Barr, Nudar and Co.

Electoral Votes: 396-142

Final Senate Count: D-58, R-40, I-2 (and Lieberman will not caucus with the Democrats)

Final House Count: D-258, R-180

Election night surprises: One of the three southern senate races will go the Dems’ way (GA, MS or KY), New Mexico will turn solid blue with Udall taking the Senate race, Heinrich claiming the first district and Teague eliminating the last corner of red by winning the southern congressional district. Watch out for Montana, North Dakota and Georgia propelling Obama up to that 392 total.

Election Night Drinking Game

What’s a political event without booze? It’s voting in Utah, where they still mandate no sauce be poured on a polling day. Everyone else should be ably equipped with a quality drinking game to celebrate election night. Toast all of your hard work . . . celebrate victories . . . mourn the end of Heartless Halliburton Heather “I just love Janet Jackson” Wilson, Ted “It’s all my wife’s fault” Stevens, Tim “I thought the Rep from this district got to sleep around” Mahoney and the careers of so many more . . . place your bets with drinks and get started with these basic ground rules:

Take 1 drink for every house seat that changes hands
Give 5 if you’re from that state
Give 20 if you voted in that election

Take 5 drinks for every senate seat that changes hands
Give 10 drinks if you’re from that state
Give 20 if you voted in that election

Take 1 drink every time you hear a commentator say “too close to call”

Take 2 drinks for every Bush 2004 state that Obama wins.
Take a shot for every Kerry 2004 state McCain wins
Give 5 drinks if you have lived at one time in that state (at least 1 month)
Give 10 drinks if you cast your ballot in that state

Take a shot for every called state that is changed back to a toss up or the opposition

Side betting on all races is highly encouraged

Its been a long fun road. We’ll be back at least one more time to recap how it all played out. Happy electioneering everyone!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Remember New Hampshire or uncork the champagne?

The Nut: While no staffer will tell you its over yet, we are no fool: its over! Like a turtled box turtle, John McCain is on his back, helplessly flailing in a desperate attempt to right himself before a predator swoops down to swipe up a tasty snack. And like any other turtled tortoise, it is going to take a great outside force to upend his plight and restore his chances for survival. The work isn’t completely done, so pitch in like many artists around New Mexico did in their own unique way. Early voting has started in New Mexico and the County Clerk says my ballot is in the mail . . . let’s party!

Crayon or Magic Marker?

The writing on the wall has overtaken the canvass and we’re going to need a bigger wall (not along the border, settle down) if we have to write McCain and team “crap, this isn’t working either” another message. Surely, they have observed the clear signs from . . . North Carolina and Virginia that have swung out of his reach and will not just support President Obama, but also switch a senate seat to the Democrats side with Kay Hagen from NC and Mark Warner from Virginia. . . . or maybe they’ve taken notice that once unthinkable West Virginia is in play despite the Campaign for Change’s own worries that the state wasn’t progressive enough to elect a man with such a dark complexion. . . . maybe they figured out the game was over a couple weeks ago and signaled their concession by pulling out all efforts in Michigan. Take your pick of which state and what day, but one or the other had to have tipped off the former member of the Keating 5, the 21-year Senator that has called his wife worse things than bigots have called President-elect Obama.

Is that not direct enough proof for you? Ok, who has ever heard of a bookie paying out before the game ends?

So what’s left to do?

A lot more than planning the big Election Night party and post-Election Night cheap excuse for why you were so late to work that morning. Polls don’t vote (nor do yard signs according to many disgruntled Obama staffers) and as all of the Democratic candidates reminded John Edwards during the primary, polls are great, but election results are real (ethmm, 2004 . . . national result with that guy on the ticket, NC result . . . not in favor of Edwards). Go turn out the votes!

Go turn yourself out and don’t waste the gas on driving just yourself to an early voting location. (click on Voter Info) ** New Mexico guarantees you at least two hours away from work to get that ballot in the box, so make the most of it. The sooner you vote, the sooner the calls will stop. That’s a guarantee. The campaigns get updated lists from the County Clerk on a regular basis and once your name is listed as “already voted” they will leave you alone.

Go knock on doors and take advantage of the fact that you’re enjoying an Indian Summer in New Mexico and not the bitter beginning of winter in states further north. Go recruit your friends and take them early to the linked locations around Albuquerque. (click on Voter Info) **Disclaimer: Yes, the early voting locations list is provided by the Democratic party’s website . . .because they County Clerk doesn’t have her act together and the link to her listing is broken.

Or better yet, get creative like many artists around Albuquerque did and show your support in your own unique way. Maybe your explanation of Obama’s health care plan doesn’t sound as good as your guitar, ok, work with it like Bekah Wiggins did and raise a little money for Obama:

This picture was from the event Art for Change, which gathered numerous artists from five different states to offer their own personal creations to raise money for Obama’s New Mexican Campaign for Change. In addition to pulling in nearly $4,000 of cash, the event registered a few new voters and recruited many new supporters to do the real work of the election – turning supporters into voters. Hannah Macpherson and Bekah Wiggins came up with the idea and put it into action utilizing their circles of friends. The Obama campaign wasn’t involved in any of the planning until they graciously accepted the money that was raised. Hannah and Bekah will be beating down the doors to find everyone that hasn’t cast their ballot yet and they’d love to have you join them.

Blue Suspenders

There is still plenty of fun-filled speculation left, though. The biggest question Barack Out With My Cock Out faces is if a symbolic Bible Belt will remain intact across the electoral map. In 2000 and 2004 it was strong and wide, ready for the most excessive of New Mexican belt buckles, but in the last 4 years the belt has withered down so thin, only the trendiest hipster doofus might sport it. For the visually inclined, provides a great chart of where things stand. When you do the math on how Obama is running at least double the amount of advertising of McCain’s campaign and then add in the fact that Obama’s supporters are twice as enthusiastic about his candidacy as McCain’s (in fairness, the Obama Nation is much younger, more agile and generally more active than McCain’s geriatrics) you start to see the where the election is going.

Now get another plate, we’ve got more things to add. Add in the ties McCain has to Mr. Unpopular AKA President Bush and his proud support of the President’s policies “over 90% of the time” ‘. . . more than most of his Republican colleagues.’ Add to it his statement that he just doesn’t know so much about the economy. On top of that, add the fact that the majority of the battle of this election is not being fought in the swing states, but in the states that were surely expected to support the Republican nominee.

The big question that remains about the election is whether there will be an unabridged belt wrapping across our nation from North Dakota down to Georgia. Barack Out With My Cock Out has studied,, and countless other sources for far too long to have any uncertainty in stating that the belt will survive without the blue connecting New Mexico to Maine, but with a shocking surprise in Kansas or South Dakota that goes out the window. It won’t reach from Canada to the Atlantic, but it will get to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Bradley effect and other unfounded notions

Much has been made about the issue of the accuracy of polling and how each poll represents the forthcoming actions of the voters. Every poll has a margin of error for a reason – they just aren’t perfect. We’ll skip the Stat 101 lecture and brush gently on the issues the pollsters face. Finding a perfect representation of the overall population is impossible because you don’t know what that overall population looks like. Not everyone will or is able to vote so pollsters attempt to determine how to represent the portion of people that will participate in the election. A “likely voter universe” is as easy to identify as a Chupacabra or a Poltergeist. But one issue we are confident they are not facing is whether race will skew the polling results in comparison to the electoral results.

A quick stop in History class teaches us that the Bradley Effect derives its name from former Mayor of Los Angeles Tom Bradley and his failed candidacy for the Governorship of California. Bradley was a black politician that was leading in the polls going into Election Day only to end up losing. Many people attributed the divergence in polling numbers and the result to the presumption that people being interviewed for the poll were ashamed to admit they would be voting for the white guy rather than the black man. This theory has had few opportunities to be tested since Bradley’s 1982 defeat. Some fear pollsters over-compensate for racial tensions. Some worry they poll the wrong portions of the population that would have these sentiments. Some fear just the mention of this idea might encourage others to mislead pollsters. Some people go on with their lives. After a painful winter experience in Iowa, Barack Out With My Cock Out knows that people love to mislead pollsters, but does not worry about this throwing the election. The Bradley Effect, if it does exist is said to only account for up to a 5 point shift. So if you look around the nation and award Obama all of the states where he hold at least a 6 point lead, he still wins 277 electoral votes (calculated from’s poll averages – a conservative-leaning site). Let’s say NM Sec. of State Mary Herrera screws up everything in New Mexico and gives away the state’s votes to McCain, . . . Obama still wins with 2 extra votes.

We’re looking at the numbers of young voters that might finally turn out en masse to support the Democratic nominee. We’re looking at the portions of the population that pollsters may not be accurately accounting for in their samples to swing this election far past any Bradley Effect or worse.

We’re also thinking of all of the friends we have that may let a distasteful remark here and there that are still voting for Obama. The most fascinating aspect of Obama’s candidacy is not that he is going to become the first black President, but that he is earning the support of people that otherwise would have nothing to do with people of a different race of your own. More and more voters stuck in the ante bellum days of our republic are coming out in sincere support of Obama. Think about it. Think about all of your friends and those that have used an ugly joke or a slur you’d never imagine uttering in front of a member of that minority group and think about how many of them still have friends of the minority groups they take so much joy in belittling. Racism is not dead, but it has evolved into a very odd form where people hold their views internally, but still behave in a mature manner when face to face in the real world. The world isn’t perfect yet – as evidenced by McCain’s un-ending attempts to convince voters Obama is a Islamic terrorist in order to gain ground in the race – but it is improving and racism has no chance to derail Obama’s victory train.

390-148 and . . . ?

You saw it here first. Two weeks out and that’s the way it’s going to be. Barack Out With My Cock out came to this number by looking at all battlegrounds and acknowledging the superior ground effort, the superior expenditures on advertising and the general shift in the opinions of the country put these states in President-elect Obama’s column. Now the real guessing game is which state that is supposed to be outside of any reach of Obama will also fall his way. Georgia was our choice, but Arkansas, West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana and even Mississippi are all vying to be the surprise of Election Night.

The more important question is if the Democrats will achieve a cloture-proof majority in the Senate (look it up). As good as this wave we’re riding is, we aren’t holding our breath. The one flaw of is that it consistently states that the Democrats must pick up nine seats to achieve this very important legislative advantage. However, we cannot hold any faith that the turncoat Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) would abed such ruthless legislating after spending the last year on the campaign trail with Sen. McCain. Maybe it could happen in 2010, but not this year. But we’re dying to be proven incorrect.

To quickly count seat by seat, it appears the Udall boys are ready to roll and will pick up the seats in New Mexico and Colorado (Tom and Mark, respectively). In Oregon, moderate Republican Gordon Smith can’t say enough nice things about Obama to save his seat from being claimed by Jeff Merkley. Virginia has the safest of safe seats for a Dem to win and Mark Warner is doing just that. Jeanne Shaheen will upend Sen. John Sununu’s career in Maine. Kay Hagen will claim what could have been the second senate seat for the Democrats in North Carolina if John Edwards had run for reelection in 2004 (maybe. according to insiders, Edwards probably would have lost his reelection had he at least attempted to hold the seat). Mayor of Anchorage Mark Begich is relieving 40-year Senator Ted Stevens just in time for Stevens to head to jail for the free home makeover he received from lobbyists (way to blame your wife! You’re the man!). And the most laughable of races takes place in Minnesota – those guys just can’t get enough of celebrities and are on track to send Al Franken to Washington because he’s good enough, he’s smart enough, and damnit, people kinda like him.

So that’s eight seats they’ll add. NOW your complaints that the Dem’s aren’t ending the war in Iraq fast enough are valid. Previously, they were unfounded since the Dems did not have a majority in the Senate on that issue because Lieberman just loves dumping $10bil a month into a mission President Bush stated was already accomplished.

The Gut Feeling

At the end of the day, it comes down to the little things. And at the end of the day, Barack Out With My Cock Out wants a President that can stroke a jumper from 15 feet like Larry Bird, not a dying bird. The next update will contain the official voting guide for New Mexicans with encouragement to residents of other states for important contests. As soon as the lazy Mary Herrera-wannabe County Clerk gets me my mail-in ballot, its on. Hey Maggie, put a staffer on dropping my ballot into the mail and get the rest of the team working on fixing your website.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The official Barack Out With My Cock Out Presidential Debate Drinking Game

The Nut: Are you considering watching the first debate between presidential nominee Barack Obama and senator John McCain? Don't foolishly head into such an endeavor without making use of the following rules to keep the booze flowing at the proper rate - a waterfall pace guaranteed to make your head fuzzy enough to understand what the hell they're suggesting.

Also, if you find this combination of booze and politics to be an enjoyable, time, there's an awesome event to check out on next Friday. Details about Art for Change follow after the drinking game.

The official Barack Out With My Cock Out Presidential Debate Drinking Game:

Begin the opening round roughly 20 minutes before the beginning of the debate (9 eastern):

For Your Affiliation:
- Take 3 drinks if you're a registered republican
- Take 2 drinks if you're Independent or other.
- Take 3 drinks if you're not registered to vote.
- Take 1 drink if your registration does not match your current address.
- Take 1 drink if your registration does not match your ID.
- Give 3 drinks if you're registered as a Democrat.

For Your Voting:
- Take 1 SHOT of cheap whiskey if you voted for Bush in 2004.
- Take 1 SHOT of cheap whiskey if you voted for Bush in 2000.
- Take 1 SHOT if you voted for Ralph Nudar (or other candidate) in either election.
- Give 3 drinks if you voted for John Kerry.
- Give 6 drinks if you voted for Al Gore.
- Get outta my house if you're old enough to have voted for Clinton.
- Take 2 drinks if you voted for Bush in a swing state (NM, OH, FL, PA, MI, etc.)
- Give 2 drinks if you voted for Kerry in a swing state (NM, OH, FL, PA, MI, etc.)
- Give 4 drinks if you voted for Gore in a swing state (NM, OH, FL, PA, MI, etc.)
- Give 2 drinks if you voted for Kerry in a solid red or blue state (the heartland, the west coast, New England, etc.)
- Give 4 drinks if you voted for Gore in a solid red or blue state (the heartland, the west coast, New England, etc.)
- Give 2 SHOTS (to different people) if you voted absentee or early for Kerry or Gore.
- Take 1 SHOT if you voted absentee or early for Bush.
- Take 2 SHOTS if you voted absentee or early for Nadar (take 4 if your vote was cast in a swing state)

For Your Activism:
- Take 1 SHOT if you actively campaigned for Bush by knocking on doors, making phone calls, attended a rally, etc.
- Give 5 drinks if you actively campaigned for Kerry or Gore by knocking on doors, making phone calls, attended a rally, etc. (A person that worked to support Kerry AND Gore will give 12)
- Take 1 SHOT of cheap whiskey if you donated to Bush's campaign.
- Take 5 drinks if you donated to a PAC of any type.
- Give 1 SHOT if you lied, cheated or deceived the GOP in order to attend a Republican rally.
- Give 3 drinks if you saw John Kerry live.
- Take 1 SHOT if you were paid for your work for the Bush campaign.
- Give 5 drinks if you were paid for your work for the Kerry or Gore campaign (12 if you worked on both).
- Give 3 drinks if you woke up before the sun to campaign on election day in 2004 or 2000.
- Take 3 drink if you got into an argument with a complete stranger while out campaigning in 2000 or 2004 (8 if both)
- Take 3 drinks if you had a poltical bumper sticker on your car for the election.
- Take 5 more drinks if it is still there.
- Take 3 more drinks if the bumper sticker was replaced with an anti-Bush sticker.
- Take 3 drinks if you’re mad that the local Obama HQ was out of bumperstickers the last time you went by.

During the actual debate:

Take 2 drinks every time someone has to tell you to shut up so they can hear the debate.
Take 5 drinks if that person has to ask a second time without you responding.
Take 2 drinks if you are left confused by the answer a candidate gave.
Take 2 drinks every time a candidate runs over his allotted time.
Take 1 SHOT if your vote was determined by what you heard during the debate.
Take 2 MORE SHOTS if your vote switched from Barack to McCain because of the debate.

The words of the night: Everyone takes 1 drink every time either man says any of the following words:

Any reference to President Boosh
Any reference to a foreign head of state.

Economic Hard Times:
Garn-St. Germain
Keating 5
Stock Market

Foreign Policy:
Al Qaeda
“The Surge” (in Iraq)

Any former U.S. President
Any random American a candidate names as a good example of American values

Georgia (take a shot of whiskey if you thought the capital of this Georgia was Atlanta)
Great Britain (or UK)
North Korea

Rhetorical ideas:
Any questioning of Patriotism
Any reference to experience gained while imprisoned in Vietnam
“drill for oil” (or any suggestion of such an idea),“Equal Pay for equal work”
"Rebuilding international coalitions/support"
Renewable energy development

To end the debate: everyone toasts a shot to celebrate being able to have so much fun participating in the American political process.

And as promised:

See you there.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Baracking it for the ladies

The Nut: Politicians are on parade as shining examples of how to live a smarter, safer, protected life. John McCain’s sexy VP pick, warrants the revisiting of the sexist remarks he has used to court his base supporters. Meanwhile, the Tina Fey-wannabe has involuntary gone on record with a thorough demonstration of her ability to handle, sensitive, secure matters.

Progress doesn’t pile on

It took a weeklong, psilo-landen venture through the hills, but the Sarah Palin bashing urges have been buried in a deep hole under a mountain of LANL waste. It won’t come back because it can’t come back. For those that don’t like the freshman Governor from Alaska or her support of hunting wolves from a helicopter or use of state dollars to pay her mortgage or her recruitment of millions in pork for her town of 6,700 or her threats of banning books or her perversion of an otherwise gorgeous Tina Fey, heed this call: Do not attack her. Do no callously insult her. Do not mock her husband’s snowmobiling, her daughter’s abstinence-only education or her firm belief that god will save her before the floods of the rapture (better known as global warming among the school-educated crowds) come and cleanse the land of all evil. Just like Barack Obama, it only builds her support and re-doubles her disciples’ efforts.


Before we return to the inevitable days of not knowing the names of any Alaskan politician, it does serve purpose to examine how she functions as a political figurehead (i.e.: governor, VP nominee, mayor of podunkistan, dog catcher) should her date to the prom kick the bucket before the final dance.

As soon as Gov. Palin was announced as the member of the GOP that will live on in Jeopardy! answers and political almanacs as the token offering of the GOP in a lame attempt at being progressive, reports emerged of email exchanges concerning an alleged attempt by Palin to get her ex-brother-in-law fired. Barack Out With My Cock Out is fully unconcerned with these allegations because they are still simply that: allegations. But other netizens concerned with electing only the best and the brightest to lead our nation took it upon themselves to expose what FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests have not obtained.

We will be brief in summarizing the tale of Palin’s pirated email account, but you can read all of it through that link. It didn’t even take true hacking. A person cobbled together Palin’s personal information and took advantage of the dangerously generic personal questions most email services use to send people forgotten passwords. This isn’t hacking, this is just being wiser than your average beauty queen/small town news reporter.

The person got into her account, looked around for the dirt Extra and Inside Edition dream of and was crushed to only find a few email exchanges between her and other Alaskan officials discussing official business. They tired of it and hoped leaving the log-in information on the web’s biggest forum for hackers and trolls would let the next anti-Palin netizen finish the job they had begun. Unfortunately – for the federal government that could have had their job done for them and for all of the Democrats eager to reap the political benefits of this exposed material – Palin’s e-guardian angel swooped in, emailed her advisor (either an oxymoron of a term or quite the substantial fete as Palin only takes guidance from one man and that man: god) and helped rescue the account before it could be further abused. Good night and sweet dreams!

Nightmares of implications

So what does any of this have to do with the election? Everything because it is a real example of how Gov. Palin has run the state of Alaska and how she conducts herself as a political leader. It’s not a campaign-polished, spun-dry presentation of her as the quintessential American mother. It shows her ability to guard her own privacy and conduct her own office and a substantial lack there-of. While a court of law will take forever to formally convict her of the ethical charges, it is now proven in the court of “I know my ass from a hole in the ground” that she has used a private email account to conduct official state business.

Chime in Palin apologists. “All politicians do that. That’s how they all conduct the real business.” Yep, you’re fully 100% right. But all of the others have the brains of a savvy businessman to know how to cover their own ass and do it without putting it into easily searchable records. We’ve seen the personal email addresses of seasoned, wise politicians . . . they resemble the subject line of a piece of spam with a jumble of letters that if rearranged might spell out one of their names, the year the account was set up and the office they are seeking. Why? Because is too easy to find. It’s a tried and true practice of job seekers, headhunters and savvy PR gurus to guess at what the intended receiver’s email might be and to try random combinations of until one doesn’t bounce back. In addition to her illegal actions of conducting state business through private accounts, she left these accounts vulnerable and accessible to any random 8th grader that knows how to work a google search (note of clarity in her defense: Alaskan students typically do not learn how to use google until they go to college out of state). Do you want the #2 in the land to leave sensitive matters of national security and economic policy open and available to anyone with an internet connection and a proxy server?

Hear it here first: Gmail’s thorough note taking WILL be the downfall of many candidacies in the near future. The first candidacy to fall because of publicized emails that aren’t fit for the public eye is that of McCain because he brought along Palin for the ride.

More important is her man

Let her go. Let’s focus on why she is on the ticket. She’s a vice presidential nominee, as even she’s wondered, the actual job of being VP doesn’t get too interesting until the senate has a tie to break or the President has a heart to defibrillate. The real job of the vice president is done from the day he or she is selected until the general election. Ideally, they will swing their home state to vote for their ticket when they were previously disposed to vote against them (like when John Edwards ran with Kerry and brought North Carolina into the D column . . . almost). The VP is a handout to the base to rally their support. Typically, they do not receive the attention the true leaders of the ticket receive and thus, their exposure is confined to the party-faithful, involved voters that want to vote for their side, but have some personal, petty beef with the Presidential nominee (i.e.: democrats that don’t support Barack because he made Hillary cry to win New Hampshire). She’s not important. She won’t be a major decision maker in our nation’s policy. She is here to pander to the Republican base that heeds their pastor’s guidance in filling out their ballots.

Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?

Because Janet Reno is her father.

Whoaaaaa. Before you get upset with Barack Out With My Cock Out and its editorial board, please direct your anger to the man that can be credited as the source of this tasteless joke that was first used when Chelsea was only 18.

This joke made its national debut at a 1998 GOP fundraiser in DC. Wooing the audience and their deep pockets was maverick entertainer, John McCain. Set aside McCain’s fervent love of this country and the unending respect he holds for its leaders . . . like Attorney General Janet Reno. This is a clear, undisputed incident of John McCain insulting a defenseless 18-year-old girl just to raise money for a Republican fundraiser. That’s more Maverick than the Dallas Maverick’s then record-setting season of winning only nine games in 1994.

We’ll hear anyone’s defense of McCain and his clever joke. Was it a single occurrence? No. Google “John McCain’s seven sexist rants” and read all about his belittling of women, even the one’s he loves (the Alaskan-educated readers can click here, apologies for the taunting of using google to find something). He once mocked his current wife (not the one that he left when she was no longer the beauty queen he married) for her caked-on make up. He said it better than we can recreate it: “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a dolled-up trollop, you cunt.” In his defense, he said he had had a long day before he told his new wife the truth about her plastic face.

Is he partisan in his sexist comments? Nope. As shown, he’ll go after his own family. He does like referring to all pro-active women as “Pat Schroeders” – a former congresswoman from Colorado that is remembered for her work on women’s rights.

When Jake Tapper interviewed McCain about his selection of campaign chairmen for the state of Nevada, his perfectly timed, well-judged humor reemerged. He tried out the old line “and I stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago,” looking for raucous applause. Unfortunately, the crickets stood at attention as Tapper wondered to himself if McCain was aware of the Gov. of Nevada’s messy divorce and the accusations of infidelity. In Tapper’s words: “awkward.”

Feminism is for women, not woman

So when did feminism stop being about women? Answer: the day a man started using a woman to further his political ambitions. Electing McCain to the Presidency and letting Palin tag along to the white house will do as much for woman’s rights as elevating Al Gonzalez to the office of Attorney General did to eliminate the racial disparity between white Americans and Hispanics (nothing for those curious of the answer).

Don’t kid yourself. Don’t talk about glass ceilings. John McCain is holding up Sarah as a battering ram to blast through the glass ceiling Pres. Bush (W without the H) erected over McCain in South Carolina in 2000. Attention feminists of the world: do you support McCain using a woman to achieve his political dream?

More importantly, are you content to tolerate the GOP’s relegation of women as unable to perform tasks in as productive a manner as their male counter parts; should they continue earning 77 cents for every dollar her brother makes? This is a simple matter of government policy and there are only two choices: One side, Barack Obama, that supports mandating equal pay for equal work and the other side, John McCain, that has stated on record and worked against enacting such a law because it would place an undue burden on business. John McCain does not support equality for women and he stands in the road towards a sincerely enlightened and equal America.

Are you worth 77 cents or a full dollar?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Porn is Bipartisan?

The Nut: National Conventions are miserably dull unless you’re there in person. Sarah Palin is not hot, does not have a record to support anything she claims to stand for and will be remembered as ‘that lady that lost with the old guy in 2008.’ A full breakdown of her candidacy included. Simple talking points to properly highlight Palin’s credentials are at the bottom.

Is Porn Bipartisan?

I’m asking! There was a trailer with an inflated elephant proclaiming that porn is bipartisan cruising downtown Denver during the convention. With the pick of Sarah Palin, the GOP has attempted to beautify the old wrinkly Presidential ticket they have been putting together.

With the selection of the two-year (not two-term) Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, the GOP and John McCain have a Vice-Presidential candidate with so much experience, she makes Barack Obama look like Bill Richardson. In addition to being the mother of a newly born infant with down-syndrome, she brings a record of raising taxes on working Alaskans, increasing spending without balancing budgets and a few good years in front of the camera covering the local news in Michigan.

Experience v. Change

Palin’s choice as McCain’s running mate takes the question of Obama’s experience off the table. Sarah Palin has spent two short years in the Alaskan Governor’s igloo and before that she was mayor of the town of Wasilla. Wasilla, AK had roughly 5,000 citizens . . . the size of the more over-crowded high schools in some big cities. As mayor of Wasilla, Palin had to hire a city manager to attend to truly administering the city. So, she has two years of experience as chief executive of a state of 670,000 people and the experience equivalent to a high school student body president of a large high school . . . bear in mind, the class president usually leaves most real decisions to be made by the principle of the school and the school board (just like Palin did).

Oh, you argue that she’s only going to be #2 and she’s along for the ride whereas, Obama is running for President where he’ll do all the work. First, lets remember the last 7 ½ years of Cheney running the show from the VP seat and then lets be reasonable. Obama’s VP pick brings more experience to the executive than the other three candidates combined. More importantly, the worries of Obama not completing his term in office are not nearly as high as the worry of McCain. AND if some idiot would miraculously pull off the unthinkable, Obama has Joe Biden – the man that would probably be the nominee if experience was all it took to become President.

Real reform

She made her name in Alaska as a reformer that cleaned up the ethical lapses that permeated the Alaskan Republican Party. While she did bring many corrupt politicians to justice, she has not found herself outside of the inquiries. Her work to expose and prosecute corruption has led her to be exposed for her own political improprieties. There are accusations of her attempting to get an ex-brother-in-law fired from his post as a state trooper. She has a record of political hiring and firing that echoes of Alberto Gonzalez’ administration of the Department of Justice. It almost leads one to wonder if her presence on the ticket could put Alaska back in play for Obama with disenchanted Republicans voting for Obama out of spite.

What about the family?

More disgusting than her fierce aggression toward people who disagreed with her politics is what she has drug her family through just for her own political ambition. The fact that she has a infant child with down-syndrome while sitting Governor doesn’t confirm her conviction to her opposition to abortion rights, it affirms her bond to her political ambition. This demonstrates her selfish conviction to her own goals. Being Governor of a single state is not a day job. Its not a 60-hour a week job. When you’re Governor of just one state, you’re busy 24/7 attending to political and governmental duties. When you run for one of the only two nationally elected offices in the United States, you miss the quiet days at the Gov’s igloo.

Now that she has accepted the Republican nomination to be one heart attack away from the oval office, she has overtly stated she has no interest in being a real mother to her newborn child. Do not credit her for sticking with her conviction to anti-abortion stances. Credit her political ambition. She knew if she would have aborted the pregnancy, it would have been discovered and her political career would have been trashed. But despite needing to attend to a newborn child, she has seized her one impossibly lucky political opportunity despite the needs of her family.

Not only does she tout this as her true proof of her anti-abortion stance, she offers her husband’s membership in a union as proof of her support of working class Americans (as opposed to a record of signed legislation guaranteeing labor unions the right to form or raising wages for the members of these unions [raising the minimum wage raises most union wages as union wages as often set as a percentage of the minimum wage, i.e.: 250% of the current minimum wage]). She offers her son’s voluntary enlistment in the nation’s military and being sent to Iraq this year as her proof of her patriotism, not a record of what she has done to provide our veterans with health care, mental health care or quality jobs after they leave the military.

And the little things

The little things with no extrinsic meaning do bear significance, as well. Palin’s announcement demonstrated the true difference between Obama and McCain’s campaign. Obama had millions across the nation receiving text messages on Friday night as they hung out with friends. The message was instantly spread virally to everyone’s local networks (there are rumors that a fake message proclaiming Hillary won was also spread to many people’s chagrin). People didn’t learn about it from Matthews or Matthews or Wolf, they learned about it from their friend (as I did) and it began a discussion about the election.

Sarah Palin became the VP nominee around 10 on a Friday morning (eastern) after a monumental speech from Sen. Obama. I watched ABC break in with the news. When they went to show who McCain had picked to accompany him on the ticket, they had to dig up grainy youtube video to show footage of her.

The colossal difference in messaging and style is more than just the little things they do. This is a simple game of contacting the number of voters you need to win the election. Obama’s campaign is contacting the people they need to win the election while McCain’s team is almost approaching the election as a foregone conclusion. If Mit Romney really turned down McCain’s offer of VP, you would surely have to conclude that the GOP recognizes that this election is un-winnable for them.

Hillary lovers unite!?

The first thing everyone has said about this selection is that it was targeted directly at disaffected Hillary backers that are unwilling to support the presidential nominee that supports all of the public policy that they need and desire – Barack Obama. While Sarah does share anatomical similarities with Hillary (i.e.: earrings), her politics are as divergent as possible. The educated guess of Barack Out With My Cock Out is that polls will show around 15% of former Hillary supports stating they are supporting McCain because of Palin’s choice.

There is little to do about this number of people and votes for Obama are best found elsewhere. It is unlikely that these voters would have supported Obama even if he had picked Kathleen Sebelius (Gov., KS) and McCain would have picked a man (Sebelius if offered as an example because Hillary had absolutely no chance of becoming the VP nominee. NONE!). If that number stays around 15% or less of former Hillary supporters, there shouldn’t be many problems in November for Obama. Currently, roughly 30% of former Hilldoggers say they can’t pull their head far enough out to vote for Obama and these same polls show, with no ties or toss ups, a 273-268 win for Obama with New Mexico being the 5 vote difference. Now, think about what happens when 15% of those voters vote for Obama instead of McCain.

Talking the talk:

So to boil it all down to what is and is not, here are the simple positions of the hockey mom of a 5-month old child with down-syndrome, Governor of Alaska, former mayor of Wasilla, AK and GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin:

Abortion: So against it, she even carried through her down-syndrome pregnancy and now has a 5-month old child to bring along on the campaign trail. However, she has no record in governmental action (legislative or executive) of taking action to eradicate abortions or to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.

Budget and Fiscal Responsibility: She raised taxes on middle class Alaskans and gave tax breaks to larger companies. She took office with balanced budgets and left behind deficits. She proposed bond issues (borrowing money to pay for a current project) when the state had plenty of money from oil and gas severance revenues.

Environment and Energy: She is a true Republican in support of undeterred oil and gas exploration. She has questioned the existence of global warming and has worked to keep the Department of the Interior from holding oil and gas mining operations accountable for their environmental impact. She supports drilling to solve our energy problems, not renewable resources.

Iraq War: Her son is on his way to the warzone and she couldn’t be prouder. She supports John McCain’s approach of stabilizing Iraq as our operation point for the Middle East and does not support a timetable for a phased, controlled withdrawal.

Ethics: In her limited career of public service, she has fired many political opponents even within her own party and has taken criticism for making many of the firings because of political and personal motivations. She is currently under investigation for attempting to get her ex-husband-in-law fired as a state trooper.

Real World Experience: Before entering politics, she worked as a local news reporter . . . a perfect fit for a former beauty queen.

But She’s Beautiful: So are millions and millions of other women. Do you really want to lust after your Vice President? The porn star that ran for President in Italy lost because Italians weren’t idiots (they naturally went for the bigger celebrity in the race).

Bottom Line: If Mit Romney really refused the VP nomination, you must wonder who else passed up McCain’s offer. When they finally came around to finding a two-year Governor of Alaska to make a feeble attempt at woeing Hillary supporters, they may have conceded the race to Obama.